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McGair: PawSox manager named to I.L. All-Star coaching staff

June 13, 2012

Mike Sarbaugh, manager of the two-time defending Triple-A Baseball National Champion Columbus Clippers, and Marty Brown, former Buffalo manager and currently in his second year as skipper of the Las Vegas 51s, have been named managers of their respective league's All-Star teams for the 2012 Triple-A All-Star Game. This marks just the second time that both All-Star managers are making a return trip to the event (2003, Marc Bombard and Rick Sweet).

McGair: One step at a time for Daniel Bard folllowing his first outing with the PawSox

June 9, 2012

By BRENDAN McGAIR
Sports writer
PAWTUCKET – Here’s what Daniel Bard had to say following his one-inning outing for the Pawtucket Red Sox Friday night:

Bard’s general reaction to the three runs he allowed on 25 pitches, 16 for strikes:
“The best thing about throwing down here (in the minors) is that you can kind of throw out the results and not worry about wins and losses too much. I’m trying some tweaks mechanically and I think they were really good on some pitches and that’s what I was looking for, to get some feel.

Iglesias to the DL; Ex-Cub Prior officially joins the PawSox

June 1, 2012

Per the PawSox:

PAWSOX PLAYER MOVES - The PawSox today placed SS Jose Iglesias on the
7-day disabled list (retroactive to May 29) with lower back soreness.
Iglesias, who is hitting .269 in 42 games this season and was
Pawtucket's top hitter in May (.341 in 20 games), has not played since
May 25 vs. Toledo.
The PawSox today added veteran RHP Mark Prior to their roster. Prior,
31, will be used out of the PawSox bullpen. He was signed by the Red
Sox as a free agent on May 2 and has been pitching for Boston's extended

McGair: Rakim Sanders' pre-draft session with Celtics pushed back, working out for Pistons, Rockets and Warriors this week

May 29, 2012

By BRENDAN McGAIR
Sports writer
Originally, Rakim Sanders was to workout for the Boston Celtics last Friday at the team’s practice facility in Waltham, Mass. – one day before Boston ousted Philadelphia in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference semifinals.
On Monday Sanders’ agent, Brian Samuels, passed along in an email that the Pawtucket native’s session with the C’s has been rescheduled for a future date.

McGair: Expect Brown to have a new hoops coach in place by next Thursday

May 26, 2012

By BRENDAN McGAIR
Sports writer
PROVIDENCE – Memorial Day weekend on Brown University’s campus means one thing: Biding graduates adieu.
Come next Thursday, that same campus will roll out the welcome mat for its new men’s basketball head coach. Those same sources say that the two remaining candidates for the job include Pawtucket native and current Brown interim coach T.J. Sorrentine along with Mike Martin, who played at Brown (Class of 2004) and is presently an assistant coach at Penn.

MiLB.com launches contest for “Best Mascot in Minor League Baseball”

May 23, 2012

New York, NY – MiLB.com, the official website of Minor League BaseballTM, earlier this week launched MiLB.com Mascot Mania, an interactive tournament allowing fans to choose the best mascot in Minor League Baseball. Voting for Round One starts today and runs through Tuesday, May 29. Five additional rounds will follow before the fans’ choice as the “Best Mascot in Minor League Baseball” is crowned on Tuesday, June 19. Fans can cast their vote now at http://www.milb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20120521&content_id=31888292&vk...

McGair: Talking football with New England QB Ryan Mallett

May 21, 2012

By BRENDAN McGAIR
Sports writer
Besides talking about his childhood friend and current Red Sox third baseman Will Middlebrooks in a piece that ran in Monday’s edition (here it is in case you missed it: http://pawtuckettimes.com/content/happy-you-buddy-pats’-qb-mallett-elated-middlebrooks-can-officially-call-himself-big-leaguer), Patriots third-string quarterback Ryan Mallett weighed in about a few pigskin-related topics.

On what Mallett’s offseason dance card consisted of leading up to the start of Organized Team Activities:

POLITICS AS USUAL (By JIm Baron) It's very unlikely that Pleau will be executed

May 13, 2012

Let’s face facts: The fight between Gov. Lincoln Chafee and U.S. Attorney Peter Neronha is about where Jason Pleau is going to spend the rest of his life — in a federal prison or at the ACI. It is not — I repeat not — about Pleau getting the death penalty. That’s because it is extremely unlikely that Pleau is going to be executed, no matter how the current legal wrangling plays out.
The family of David Main, the Lincoln man gunned down by Pleau as he was making a deposit at a Woonsocket bank, would be spared a lot of anguish if someone would tell them that.

POLITICS AS USUAL (By Jim Baron) Rancid supplemental tax beats bankruptcy

May 6, 2012

A 13 percent supplemental tax really stinks.
There is no way around that fact for people who live in Woonsocket, so it is best to just put it out there from the start: After you have paid all your property and automobile taxes for the year, to be hit with a bill for an extra 13 percent and get nothing for it except to balance the city’s books is the rancid cherry atop a crap sundae.

McGair: Friars look to max every ounce out of Desrosiers' 7-foot frame

May 1, 2012

By BRENDAN McGAIR
Sports writer
On Nov. 11, 2011, Carson Desrosiers blocked eight Loyola (MD) shots, a high sum that undoubtedly warmed the heart of Wake Forest head coach Jeff Bzdelik. It was unrealistic to expect that Desrosiers would be able to swat away that many shots on a nightly basis, yet it wasn’t out of bounds to expect that the seven-footer would emerge as some sort of bruising force for the Demon Deacons down on the blocks.

McGair: Aaron Cook's agent talks about the process behind May 1 opt-out date

April 30, 2012

By BRENDAN McGAIR
Sports writer
BOSTON - For Aaron Cook and the Red Sox, D-Day – as in Decision Day – is at hand.
With Tuesday marking May 1, the day in which Cook’s minor-league opt-out clause officially takes effect, Boston must decide whether to promote the veteran pitcher and place him on the active roster or risk losing him to free agency. Reached Monday night, Joe Bick, the agent for Cook, spelled out a step-by-step process that included all involved parties.

POLITICS AS USUAL (By Jim Baron) It's a war memorial, not a religious symbol

April 29, 2012

Folks who read this column during the whole Cranston prayer banner controversy know I am a stickler about church and state separation.
Even when a complaint may seem picayune or silly, or targets a much revered or longstanding symbol, having religious iconography on public property is wrong and impermissible under the Constitution. Public property should and must be a zone of neutrality where all faiths feel welcome to pass and roam freely, but none can plant a flag — or a cross, or a crescent or a six-pointed star.

POLITICS AS USUAL (By Jim Baron) Revisiting an old friend — the Electoral College

April 23, 2012

Every presidential year, it seems, a debate starts up about the curious constitutional custom of the Electoral College.

McGair: Rich Hill will pitch Saturday and Sunday for PawSox

April 20, 2012

By BRENDAN McGAIR
Sports writer
PAWTUCKET – Rich Hill will take another important step in his rehab Saturday when the lefthander pitches in relief for the Pawtucket Red Sox.
“I’ll pitch an inning (Saturday) and another inning Sunday,” Hill noted following Friday’s 15-10 win against Durham.
Pitching on consecutive days represents the next hurdle for Hill, who is not even a year out from undergoing Tommy John surgery. The 32-year-old passed his tests with Single-A Greenville and Salem, totaling six innings over five appearances.

McGair: Mark Melancon hopes to straighten himself out with PawSox

April 20, 2012

By BRENDAN McGAIR
Sports writer
PAWTUCKET – Friday saw Mark Melancon begin what he hopes is a short stint with the Pawtucket Red Sox.
“I’m just excited to get out there and throw strikes and kind of get on a roll,” Melancon said. “I haven’t been able to do that.”
Truer words have never been spoken. Melancon was demoted by Boston earlier this week, his ERA an unsightly 49.50 (11 runs on 10 hits in just two innings). The hope is that by pitching in a less stressful environment, the 27-year-old Melancon can get himself in order and back up to the Red Sox.

POLITICS AS USUAL (By Jim Baron) How many legislators have been arrested now?

April 8, 2012

I’m going to be watching the House and Senate Finance committee hearings to see if any more money is being funneled into the ACI kitchen budget. I figure that, at the rate senators and representatives are running afoul of the law these days, legislators are going to have a vested interest in improving the quality of prison food.

POLITICS AS USUAL (By Jim Baron) 'Policy agenda' smells a lot like campaigning

April 2, 2012

Those of you who don’t get around much in the world of cyberpolitics might be surprised to learn that Gov. Lincoln Chafee has his very own channel on YouTube.
You can click on to YouTube and then search for either “Rhodeislandgovernor” or “Governor Lincoln Chafee” and you can get a list of a whole bunch of videos that either the governor’s office made, or that show some of his TV appearances or speeches at various public events.

POLITICS AS USUAL (By JIm Baron) Never a dull moment in Central Falls

March 25, 2012

Writing a weekly column like this, it is always a good idea to have a different mix of subject matter each week to keep things interesting for readers. Well, someone please tell that to Central Falls. That unfortunate municipality just can’t seem to keep itself out of the headlines, so we’ll have to keep discussing it here.
Besides, if you live in Pawtucket or Woonsocket and you think what’s going on in Central Falls doesn’t matter to you, then you’ve got another think coming.

McGair: Locals partaking in postseason hoops

March 14, 2012

By BRENDAN McGAIR
Sports writer
It might not be the glitz and glamour of NCAA Tournament, but a pair of local Division I players – two seniors, mind you – find themselves involved in postseason play.
Woonsocket’s Tyrone Nared and his Oregon teammates rocked LSU, 96-76, in Tuesday’s opening round of the National Invitational Tournament. Playing 19 minutes off the bench, Nared registered two points (both coming on free throws) along with three rebounds and three assists. Next up for Oregon is a second-round matchup with Iowa, set for Sunday night in Eugene.

McGair: Bryant University completes next step toward NCAA Division I certification

March 7, 2012

Per the Bryant University athletic department:
SMITHFIELD -- Bryant University announced Wednesday it has successfully completed the self-study process for NCAA Division I Certification.

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