Larry's Feed
Mar 26, 2014

World Series champion Red Sox relying on youth

By Larry Fine

(Reuters) – The Boston Red Sox are sticking to a long-range blueprint for success and relying on 21-year-old shortstop Xander Bogaerts as a critical cog in defense of their World Series crown.

No less an authority than Boston second baseman Dustin Pedroia welcomes the prospect of entering the 2014 campaign with rookie Bogaerts as his double-play partner.

Mar 20, 2014

Big-budget Dodgers hope 2014 is a smash hit

By Larry Fine

(Reuters) – The Los Angeles Dodgers appear poised to cash in on their big-budget blockbuster of a roster and end a 26-year wait for another World Series in the 2014 Major League Baseball season.

A dream starting rotation topped by double Cy Young winner Clayton Kershaw, former Cy Young winner Zack Greinke and Korean import Ryu Hyun-jin, and a strong offense could turn Hollywood’s team into a juggernaut if all the pieces fall into place.

Mar 20, 2014

Profiles of National League teams

By Larry Fine

(Reuters) – Following are brief profiles of the 15 National League teams ahead of the 2014 Major League Baseball season starting on March 22 with the Los Angeles Dodgers playing the Arizona Diamondbacks in Sydney, Australia:

EAST

Atlanta Braves

Manager: Fredi Gonzalez

2013 record: 96-66 (Won division, eliminated in Division Series by the Dodgers)

Suffered heavy blow to NL-leading pitching staff (3.18 ERA) when Kris Medlen (15-12, 3.11) blew out his elbow this spring requiring surgery, and signed free agent Ervin Santana as replacement. Also lost slugging catcher Brian McCann to free agency, although Justin Upton and Freddie Freeman remain.

Mar 20, 2014

Knicks open Jackson era with seventh straight win

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Phil Jackson was given a rousing welcome home by the Madison Square Garden crowd and the gift of a victory by the New York Knicks, whose future he now oversees as the team’s new chief of basketball operations.

Jackson, a player on the last two Knicks’ title teams dating back more than 40 years who went on to win 11 NBA crowns as head coach of the Bulls and Lakers, watched from a midcourt seat as the Knicks posted their seventh consecutive win by beating the Indiana Pacers 92-86 on Wednesday.

Mar 18, 2014

Jackson says Anthony is part of Knicks’ future plans

NEW YORK (Reuters) – New York Knicks basketball chief Phil Jackson said on Tuesday he wants to reshape the club into a more fluid, ball-sharing team and that Carmelo Anthony is part of the future plans.

“There’s no doubt about Carmelo being one of the top scorers in the league, and maybe the best individual isolation players in the game,” Jackson said during a news conference at Madison Square Garden where he was introduced as the team’s president.

Mar 18, 2014

Jackson introduced as president of Knicks

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Phil Jackson was officially named president of the New York Knicks on Tuesday in a move the National Basketball Association team hopes will help restore a winning culture to the franchise.

Jackson, a link to the Knicks’ glory days as a defensive-minded role player on teams that won two NBA titles in the early 1970s, went on to win a record 11 NBA titles as a head coach – six with the Chicago Bulls and five with the Los Angeles Lakers.

Feb 26, 2014

Knicks coach stands behind Felton, will play versus Heat

GREENBURGH, New York (Reuters) – New York Knicks coach Mike Woodson said on Wednesday that he stood behind point guard Raymond Felton, who was arrested on Tuesday on gun possession charges, and that Felton would remain in the Knicks’ lineup.

“Bottom line is, Ray is part of our team,” Woodson told reporters after Wednesday’s practice, in which Felton participated.

Feb 25, 2014

Earnhardt feels vindicated by Daytona 500 triumph

By Larry Fine

(Reuters) – After enduring 55 races without a win and doubts from critics about his competitive fire, Dale Earnhardt Jr. was still bubbling with excitement from his Daytona 500 triumph, a victory he said had vindicated him.

“If you look at how happy I was Sunday after winning that race, you’ll know how bad I want to win,” Earnhardt told reporters on a conference call on Tuesday.

Feb 25, 2014

Motor racing-Earnhardt feels vindicated by Daytona 500 triumph

Feb 25 (Reuters) – After enduring 55 races without a win and doubts from critics about his competitive fire, Dale Earnhardt Jr. was still bubbling with excitement from his Daytona 500 triumph, a victory he said had vindicated him.

“If you look at how happy I was Sunday after winning that race, you’ll know how bad I want to win,” Earnhardt told reporters on a conference call on Tuesday.

Feb 19, 2014

Jeter says he has more left, but other things to do

By Larry Fine

(Reuters) – Yankees captain Derek Jeter faced the media on Wednesday to explain the retirement announcement he made last week on Facebook, and said he decided to make 2014 his final season because it was simply time to do other things.

Jeter, who played just 17 games in 2013 because of a series of injuries to his legs and ankles, said he worked harder than ever to get ready for the upcoming season and was fit to play, but that it was time to move on after what will be his 20th season.