Ron Roenicke Offers Update With Rafael Devers Out Of 2nd-Straight Game

Rafael Devers on Tuesday will be out of the lineup for the second-straight game, as the Boston Red Sox take on the Tampa Bay Rays in the second game of the series.
Manager Ron Roenicke’s reasoning for taking the third baseman out of the lineup Monday was to rest his ankle, which was “a little iffy” after lunging toward first base in Sunday’s walk-off win over the Toronto Blue Jays, where he hit a game-tying home run
And though he’ll sit out again, there isn’t a lot of concern over the injury, and Roenicke provided a small update on his progress.
“Pretty good,” Roenicke responded Tuesday when asked how Devers’ ankle was feeling in a pregame conference call.
“(Devers) went out and did some hitting in the cage, took some ground balls today, ran a little bit. So he’s doing way better. We weren’t quite sure where he was going to be at after last night but a lot better today.”
Hopefully we see Devers starting again soon.
More Red Sox: J.D. Martinez Found Something ‘He’s Been Struggling To Find’ During Batting Practice

J.D. Martinez Found Something ‘He’s Been Struggling To Find’ During Batting Practice

J.D. Martinez had a much-needed solid night at the plate Monday against the Rays.
The designated hitter went 3-for-4, including his first home run of the season, in Boston’s 8-7 loss to Tampa Bay at Fenway Park.
Despite the loss, it was a crucial night of production of Martinez, who had yet to hit an RBI since the Red Sox’s Opening day victory over the Baltimore Orioles.
And while a lack of access to the video room has contributed to the slump, it appears he’s beginning to adjust.
Prior to Boston’s second game against the Rays, Ron Roenicke revealed Martinez told his manager he “found something” to help his production at the plate.
“His batting practice yesterday was outstanding,” Roenicke told reporters during his Zoom pregame press conference. “His swing was — when he’s good, that’s what his swing was. And after BP he made the comment that he did find something that he’s been struggling to find. Last year he had a lot of trouble trying to find that one good swing that he’s used to having. (In) ’18 he had it for pretty much the whole year. So this year he’s still been searching. He had it in training camp and our second training camp and then lost it. And yesterday we saw in batting practice all of a sudden all of us that were watching was like, ‘wow that’s the J.D. we know.’ And it carried over to the games. So I would say that was the reason why we saw the good outcome. He did something mechanically a little bit different to get him to the point where he felt that’s where when he’s best, that’s where he is. … And that’s what we saw, really good at-bats from him. And hopefully that continues. …”
If Martinez can get going the way Red Sox fans have seen him in the past, then he’ll certainly be a threat when he steps in the box.
More Red Sox: Ron Roenicke Praises Jonathan Arauz After Rookie’s Big Night

Pac-12 Latest College Football Power 5 Conference To Cancel 2020 Season

Another domino has fallen, looks like another Power Five college football conference has decided against playing out the 2020 season this fall.
Within an hour of the Big Ten on Tuesday announcing it was canceling all fall sports for the upcoming school year, multiple reports indicate that the Pac-12 will have the same fate. And the conference officially announced the news at 4:30 p.m. ET.
Pete Thamel of Yahoo Sports and Stadium’s Brett McMurphy on Monday both reported the news, noting that the conference will attempt to play in the spring if COVID-19 conditions approve across the United States.

Source: The Pac-12 has cancelled the fall football season. The league will attempt to play in spring.
— Pete Thamel (@PeteThamel) August 11, 2020

Pac-12 has canceled fall football season, source told @Stadium. “We’re done,” source said. Official announcement at 4:30 p.m. ET
— Brett McMurphy (@Brett_McMurphy) August 11, 2020

Pac-12 will try and play football in spring “if (COVID) conditions improve, we will try,” source told @Stadium
— Brett McMurphy (@Brett_McMurphy) August 11, 2020

 
Commissioner Larry Scott said in a statement that holding their college football season would make for many more challenges than those faced by professional sports.
“Unlike professional sports, college sports cannot operate in a bubble,” Scott said, via McMurphy. “Our athletic programs are part of broader campuses in communities where in many cases the prevalence of COVID-19 is significant. We will continue to monitor the situation and when conditions change we will be ready to explore all options to play the impacted sports in the new calendar year.”
Now, all eyes are on how the ACC, Big 12 and SEC move forward.
More: Boston College Is New England’s Last Hope For College Football In 2020

Flames Vs. Stars Live Stream: Watch NHL Playoff Game Online

The Calgary Flames and Dallas Stars are set to kick off the Western Conference postseason.
With the qualifying round and round-robin tournament now complete, the matchups have been determined and Calgary is set to take on Dallas in the first round at Rogers Place in Edmonton.
Flames-Stars will be the first game of the Western Conference playoffs, with the puck set to drop at 3:30 p.m local time.
Here’s how to watch Flames vs. Stars online:
When: Tuesday, August 11, at 5:30 p.m. ET
TV: NBC Sports Network
Live Stream: FuboTV | NBC Sports
Round-Robin Debrief; Hurricanes Series Preview | NESN Bruins Podcast Ep. 77

Blazers Vs. Mavericks Live Stream: Watch NBA Seeding Game Online

The Dallas Mavericks are safely in the Western Conference playoffs and only have potential seeding left to play for.
The Portland Trail Blazers are a totally different story.
We are guaranteed a play-in tournament for the final seed in the Western Conference. The Grizzlies currently hold the eighth seed but the Blazers, Phoenix Suns and San Antonio Spurs all are within one game of Memphis. The Eighth and ninth seeds will play a best-of-two tournament for the final playoff spot, with the eighth seed only needing to win one of the two games.
It’s all very confusing. Here are some details:

Playoff clinching and elimination scenarios in the NBA today … pic.twitter.com/BGYAAcIWnX
— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) August 11, 2020

The Blazers will face the Dallas Mavericks on Tuesday in serious need of a victory. Will Damian Lillard and Co. hold on to the ninth spot with one game left in their regular season? We’ll find out soon enough.
Here’s how to watch Tuesday night’s Blazers-Mavericks game:
When: Tuesday, Aug. 11, at 6:30 p.m. ET
TV: TNT
Live Stream: TNT
More NBA: Why Dr. Anthony Fauci Considers Celtics’ Bob Cousy His ‘Total Hero’

Red Sox Vs. Rays Lineups: Andrew Benintendi Leads Off, Rafael Devers Still Out

Andrew Benintendi has struggled at the plate all season, but he’s going to get another chance to get back on track while batting leadoff.
The Boston Red Sox and Tampa Bay Rays are set to meet Tuesday night for Game 2 of their four-game set at Fenway Park, and Benintendi will be back in left field and hitting leadoff after having the opener off. With Benintendi back, Kevin Pillar will sit, with Alex Verdugo in right and Jackie Bradley Jr. in center.
Jonathan Arauz will remain in the lineup as Rafael Devers appears to be out. Devers was unavailable in Monday’s loss, but Arauz had a nice night in his place. Mitch Moreland also was unavailable Monday, but he’ll be back in the lineup, hitting fifth and playing first base while Michael Chavis takes over for Jose Peraza at second.
Martin Perez will be on the mound for the Red Sox. He’ll be opposed by Andrew Kittredge.
Here are the lineups for both teams:
BOSTON RED SOX (6-10)
Andrew Benintendi, LF
Alex Verdugo, RF
J.D. Martinez, DH
Xander Bogaerts, SS
Mitch Moreland, 1B
Christian Vazquez, C
Michael Chavis, 2B
Jackie Bradley Jr., CF
Jonathan Arauz, 3B
Martin Perez, LHP (2-1, 3.45 ERA)
TAMPA BAY RAYS (9-8)
Mike Brosseau, 2B
Yandy Diaz, 3B
Austin Meadows, LF
Jose Martinez, DH
Hunter Renfroe, RF
Ji-Man Choi, 1B
Willy Adames, SS
Manuel Margot, CF
Mike Zunino, C
Andrew Kittredge, LHP (0-0, 2.35 ERA)
More Red Sox: Ron Roenicke Reveals Factors Behind Brian Johnson’s Release

NFL Rumors: Patriots Unsure If Sony Michel Will Be Healthy By Week 1

Sony Michel’s rehab could sideline him into the regular season.
The New England Patriots are unsure if Michel, who underwent foot surgery this offseason, will be healthy by Week 1, according to a report Tuesday from The Athletic’s Jeff Howe.
“Nearly a month before the Patriots’ season opener against the Dolphins, it’s still no sure thing Michel will be ready in time, according to a source,” Howe wrote. “There’s such an uncertain nature in the recovery from any foot surgery that it can be a challenge to predict a defined timeline. But right now, Michel is not on the doorstep.”
With that outlook, it sounds very likely Michel, who currently is on the active/physically unable to perform list, will miss at least part of Patriots training camp, which begins in earnest next Monday with the team’s first padded practice. The Patriots are set to hold their first non-padded practice Wednesday after 1 1/2 weeks of strength training, conditioning and walkthroughs.
No Michel would create additional opportunities for 2019 third-round draft pick Damien Harris and veteran newcomer Lamar Miller, assuming Miller passes his physical after agreeing to terms Monday on a one-year Patriots contract.
More Patriots: Why Lamar Miller Signing Makes Sense For Pats
Miller has been a productive dual-threat back throughout his NFL career, surpassing 870 rushing yards and 25 receptions in five consecutive seasons before sitting out last year with a torn ACL. The 29-year-old was a first-time Pro Bowler with the Houston Texans in 2018, totaling 973 rushing yards (4.6 per carry) and five touchdowns to go along with 25 catches for 163 yards and one score in 14 games.
Patriots running backs coach Ivan Fears recently shared a glowing review of Harris, who logged just four garbage-time touches as a rookie last season.
“I think you’re going to like what you see,” Fears said of the Alabama product last week. “And I think combining him with the other SEC runner that we have in Sony, you have a hell of a pack there.”
Michel, the 31st overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, played in every game for the Patriots last season, leading the team in rushing (912 yards) for the second straight year. His yards-per-carry average dropped from 4.5 to 3.7, though, and he’s now missed time due to injury in each of his first three NFL offseasons. Knee ailments sidelined Michel last summer and during his rookie year.
Third-down back James White, the versatile but injury-prone Rex Burkhead and 5-foot-5 undrafted rookie J.J. Taylor round out New England’s running back room. Brandon Bolden opted out of the season due to COVID-19 concerns.
More Patriots: Is Damien Harris Poised For Year 2 Breakout?

College Football Rumors: Big Ten Canceling Season, Hopes To Play In Spring

UPDATE (3 p.m. ET): It’s official. The Big Ten has canceled the entire fall sports schedule, the conferenced announced Tuesday afternoon.
“The mental and physical health and welfare of our student-athletes has been at the center of every decision we have made regarding the ability to proceed forward,” said Big Ten commissioner Kevin Warren said in a statement. “As time progressed and after hours of discussion with our Big Ten Task Force for Emerging Infectious Diseases and the Big Ten Sports Medicine Committee, it became abundantly clear that there was too much uncertainty regarding potential medical risks to allow our student-athletes to compete this fall.”
The statement acknowledged the conference could attempt to play fall sports in the spring.
SECOND UPDATE (3:50 p.m. ET): The Pac 12 is also canceling its fall season, according to multiple reports.
ORIGINAL STORY: The 2020 college football season, at least as we’ve come to know the college football season, appears to be on the ropes after a massive domino fell Tuesday.
The Big Ten, in a move that’s been reported or predicted by multiple people this week, is expected to cancel the 2020 season, Yahoo’s Pete Thamel reported Tuesday, citing sources. According to Thamel, the conference’s plan, at the moment, is to try and play in the spring.

Sources: Big Ten is announcing that the fall is cancelled. League will attempt to play in the spring.
— Pete Thamel (@PeteThamel) August 11, 2020

Playing college football — and all college sports, really — was always going to be one of the more difficult hurdles for the sports world to clear while the COVID-19 pandemic rages on in America. College athletes are, by definition, (supposedly) amateur athletes. If players can’t (legally) be paid, then they can’t be put in harm’s way to play sports. That becomes even more true when you consider how many colleges across the country are going to remote learning to start the school year. Not even business of college athletics can justify having athletes be on campus when the rest of the school is doing remote learning.
Now, we wait to see whether other Power 5 conferences follow. It sounds as if big-time football conferences like the SEC are insistent upon making the season happen, and the same might be said for the Big 12.

Two SEC sources just told me the same thing seconds apart: “We need the Big 12 to stay committed.”
— Steven N. Godfrey Jr. (@38Godfrey) August 11, 2020

Thamel had this tidbit about the ACC’s efforts to have a season.

Added: “The whole purpose of delaying the season was to navigate the return of students. We deserve the opportunity to get to that hurdle and re-assess once that happens.” 2/2
— Pete Thamel (@PeteThamel) August 11, 2020

More: Boston College Is New England’s Last Hope For College Football In 2020

Celtics Vs. Grizzlies Live Stream: Watch NBA Seeding Game Online

Tuesday’s seeding game between the Celtics and Grizzlies means much more for one team than the other.
Boston is locked into the Eastern Conference’s No. 3 seed with the 2020 NBA playoffs fast approaching. Memphis, meanwhile, will need to win a play-in series in order to reach the Western Conference playoffs, and it can reserve a spot in the play-in with a win over the C’s.
The Celtics and Grizzlies met once during the regular season prior to the NBA’s pause. Boston notched a 119-95 win at TD Garden in late January.
Here’s how to watch Celtics vs. Grizzlies online and on TV:
When: Tuesday, Aug. 11 at 5 p.m. ET
TV: NBC Sports Boston
Live Stream: FuboTV — free trial | NBC Sports Boston

Why Jeremy Lauzon Is Staying In Over John Moore, Connor Clifton For Game 1

When the 2019-20 NHL season paused, Jeremy Lauzon was skating on the Boston Bruins’ third pairing.
And when the playoffs start Tuesday, that’s exactly where the defenseman will remain.
The Bruins are set to play Game 1 of their first-round Stanley Cup Playoffs series against the Carolina Hurricanes on Tuesday, and Boston head coach Bruce Cassidy confirmed after morning skate that Lauzon — not John Moore or Connor Clifton — would play alongside Grzelcyk.
It long was assumed that the role was Lauzon’s to lose, and during the round-robin tournament he really didn’t do anything to warrant being bumped from his spot. Thus, Moore and Clifton will be spectators for the foreseeable future.
Round-Robin Debrief; Hurricanes Series Preview | NESN Bruins Podcast Ep. 77
“The way we finished the year, we’re still — we’re not burying that part of the season,” Cassidy explained Tuesday over Zoom. “Cliffy played and Johnny Moore, one game. So probably made that decision coming out of training camp with how I allotted the ice time. At the end of the day, if we need to make a switch we will. We just felt that gave us the best balance in our lineup of size and puck moving ability with Lauzy in there.
“I do believe the bigger guys needed a few more reps. He’s now been on the ice a little while. I thought was a little better against Washington. He settled in to his game. So that’s the decision behind it. I do have a lot of faith in Johnny and Cliffy if Lauzy is not up to the task or any one of the other D. But that’s what we’re going with tonight and we feel that it’s going to give us a real good chance to win.”
Lauzon does balance out Grzelcyk’s game the best of the three. Even though he too is a left shot, Lauzon does a good job of closing out plays, which allows Grzelcyk to play a little more freely in the neutral and attacking zones. Moore, another left shot, isn’t quite as sound in that area, while Clifton — who would make up the only left-right third pairing of the available options — is an aggressive player that often joins the rush, which sometimes leaves Boston’s blue line too exposed when he plays with Grzelcyk.
Things might change, but it sounds like Lauzon might have to take a step back in order for that to happen. Not impossible for a young guy still finding his way in the top flight, but that’s not the reality at present.
Game 1 of Hurricanes-Bruins is set for 8 p.m. ET. You can find the projected lineups for both teams here.
Bruins Vs. Hurricanes Playoff Preview: Analysis, Predictions, X Factors