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Report: Ridnour has 4-year deal with Wolves

07.14.10 at 11:54 am ET
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Point guard Luke Ridnour has agreed to a four-year, $16 million deal with the Timberwolves, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports, who also speculates that Minnesota could send Ramon Sessions to the Bobcats to clear its logjam at the position.

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Report: Williams leaves Celtics for Nuggets

07.14.10 at 11:49 am ET
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According to a report from ESPN’s John Hollinger, forward Shelden Williams has agreed to sign with the Nuggets. Williams was a reserve for the Celtics in 2009-10 who showed flashes in the early part of the season but was not a contributor by the time the playoffs rolled around. The report indicates that the Nuggets also have re-signed veteran guard Anthony Carter.

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LEEInks list: Best Red Sox performances of first half

07.14.10 at 11:13 am ET
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Rookie Daniel Nava's grand slam vs. the Phillies was one of the highlights of the first half of the Red Sox' season. (AP)

Though the Red Sox are 88 games into the season with another 74 to go, the All-Star break generally is regarded as the midway point of the season. As such, it’s time to reflect on what’s been largely considered an up-and-down season for the Sox. With a large number of injuries handcuffing the team from the beginning of 2010, the fact that the Red Sox have largely remained in contention is nothing short of amazing. In honor of that, we’ve come up with a list of the best single-game performances from the first half of the season, divided by pitching and offensive performances.

Looking back on Boston’s 51 wins, there have been players that have stepped up and filled holes, especially from the rookie replacements. The interesting thing to note is that between the six All-Stars on the team (Dustin Pedroia, Víctor Martínez, Adrián Beltré, David Ortiz, Clay Buchholz and Jon Lester), only four of them account for the 10 performances on our list.

Let’s kick off the list with a few honorable mentions, starting off with Opening Night:

John Lackey, April 7 vs. Yankees: 6 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 3 K, 2 BB

On Opening Night, John Lackey showed why he was one of the big-name acquisitions during the offseason. Unfortunately for everyone involved, this first game would be Lackey’s best outing of the year.

Jon Lester, May 25 vs. Rays: 6 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 9 K, 5 BB

Lester has had an amazing year so far. So much so, that he’s motivated his bullpen to continue his work. April 25 was the perfect example, as Lester only allowed a single to Willy Aybar in the fourth and that was it. Lester pitched six innings, then handed it to the ‘pen. The relievers didn’t allow another hit for the rest of the game.

Clay Buchholz, May 29 vs. Royals: 7 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 4 K, 4 BB

If Lester’s been amazing this year, Buchholz has been Cy Young-like this year. Just four days after Lester’s game, Buchholz took the mound and handled the Royals with ease. He allowed some sporadic hits over seven before delicately handing the 1-0 lead to the dynamic duo of Daniel Bard and Jonathan Papelbon, who successfully got the hold and the save, respectively. Read the rest of this entry »

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Available second basemen and Elias rankings

07.14.10 at 10:46 am ET
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The well-traveled Ty Wigginton is a candidate to be moved by the Orioles before the July 31 trade deadline. (AP)

MLB Trade Rumors had two posts Wednesday morning that are both of interest to Red Sox fans as the July 31 trade deadline approaches.

First, MLBTR looks at second basemen who could be on the move before the end of the month. The Sox are said to be in the market for a middle infielder after Dustin Pedroia went on the disabled list with a broken foot at the end of June. One of the more intriguing prospects is Orioles All-Star Ty Wigginton. He has hit .252 this season but his power numbers (14 home runs, 45 RBI) certainly add to the resume. He’s also a free agent at the end of the season, meaning he could be one of the most likely on this list to be moved. Others that could see new homes come July 31 are Dan Uggla, Kelly Johnson and Cristian Guzman.

Also at the site are the Elias Rankings that determine whether free agents-to-be are considered Type A, Type B or none of the above. Those designations decide the draft compensation teams can be awarded if they lose a given free agent. For instance, the Red Sox selected Bryce Brentz and Anthony Ranaudo in the draft after being awarded the 36th and 39th picks in the sandwich round for losing Type A free agents Jason Bay and Billy Wagner.

Here’s what Boston free agents-to-be would be designated as if the season ended today:

Victor Martinez, C, Type A

Jason Varitek, C, Type B

David Ortiz (option for next year), DH, Type B

Bill Hall (option), utility, none

Adrian Beltre (option), 3B, Type A

Mike Lowell, 3B, Type B

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Wednesday’s Morning Mashup

07.14.10 at 7:45 am ET
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Welcome to Wednesday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our WEEI.com home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

WHAT’S HAPPENING TODAY:
No local games scheduled

AROUND THE WEB:

Tiger Woods spent another day calmly refusing to answer in depth any questions related to his personal life from the aggressive British media in Scotland. Gene Wojciechowski at ESPN.com writes that it’s time for Tiger to open up and be more human.

♦ A lacrosse team representing the Iroquois tribe, which helped invent the sport, apparently will not be able to compete in the World Championships in England due to a controversy regarding the players’ visas. Jerome Taylor in The Independent has the story.

David Biderman in The Wall Street Journal has a story on Ryan Reid, who was a virtual unknown before being selected by the Thunder in the second round of last month’s NBA draft.

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On July 14, 1956, which Red Sox player pitched the first no-hitter at Fenway Park in 30 years?

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “I believe I’ll be back [with the Red Sox]. Expletive] yeah. What should I believe? I’ll tell you one thing, I’m not going to go the Angels. This is too far.” David Ortiz, addressing rumors about his future in Boston

STAT OF THE DAY: 5 — Pitches thrown by Nationals reliever Matt Capps, who got the win in Tuesday night’s All-Star Game

‘NET RESULTS: Terrell Owens gets dunked on during a game at Harlem’s Rucker Park.

Tremendous catch at an Arena Football game. Mute the sound unless you want to hear Eminem swearing.

Spanish players celebrates their World Cup title on the plane ride home.

TRIVIA ANSWER: Mel Parnell, with a 4-0 victory over the White Sox

SOOTHING SOUNDS: Woody Guthrie, who died in 1967, was born on this day in 1912.

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Report: Harrington agrees with Nuggets

07.14.10 at 6:44 am ET
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According to an ESPN report, free agent forward Al Harrington will sign a five-year, $34 million contract with the Nuggets.

The Mavericks, who obtained Tyson Chandler from the Bobcats on Tuesday, also were in the running for Harrington but reportedly were not willing to commit to five years.

Harrington, a 6-foot-9, 250-pounder, averaged 17.7 points and 5.6 rebounds last season with the Knicks. He has played 12 seasons in the NBA, for the Pacers, Hawks, Warriors and Knicks.

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Ortiz: ‘I believe I’ll be back’ with the Red Sox

07.13.10 at 5:45 pm ET
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ANAHEIM, Calif. — David Ortiz, who told ESPN.com Monday that he would like a multi-year contract after his current deal, told WEEI.com prior to Tuesday’s All-Star Game that he thinks he will return as a member of the Red Sox next season.

“I believe I’ll be back [with the Red Sox],” said Ortiz, whose current deal includes a $12.5 million team option for 2011. “[Expletive] yeah. What should I believe? I’ll tell you one thing, I’m not going to go the Angels. This is too far.”

Ortiz won the Home Run Derby Monday night, and hits the second half hitting .263 with a .945 OPS and 18 home runs. For more coverage from the All-Star Game see the Red Sox team page at weei.com/redsox.

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Ilgauskas rejoins LeBron with Heat

07.13.10 at 5:16 pm ET
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Winning is the word for another Cavalier headed to South Beach next season. Cleveland.com reports Zydrunas Ilgauskas is leaving Cleveland after 14 seasons to play center for the Heat.

On leaving Cleveland, Ilgauskas said: “I’ve been a loyal soldier for 14 years. I just feel it’s time for me to go and chase my dream of winning a ring. If I’m fortunate enough to do that, a lot of me will thank Cleveland for it.”

After James announced his departure last Thursday, leaving Cleveland with a rebuilding effort, Ilgauskas opted to follow up on recruitment efforts by Miami — and James specifically — and accept a two-year, $2.8 million offer. The Heat had had no center under contract before Ilgauskas.

Despite holding records as the Cavs’ all-time leader in games played (771), rebounds (5,904), and blocks (1,269), and being second in points (10,616), Ilgauskas had a tough time last year when Cleveland benched him behind Shaquille O’Neal. The Cavs traded Ilgauskas to the Wizards to pick up Antawn Jamison in February. Ilgauskas was bought out by the Wizards and returned to Cleveland in March, but that didn’t help him get his starting spot back.

He averaged 7.4 points and 5.4 rebounds Cleveland last season.

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Price too steep for Sox on DeJesus?

07.13.10 at 5:08 pm ET
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According to a report on FoxSports.com, the Red Sox and Royals have discussed the availability of Kansas City outfielder David DeJesus in roughly the last 10 days. The two sides agreed to touch base again later about the 30-year-old. Alex Speier of WEEI.com reports that, according to a source, the Royals are seeking a “rich” return for the outfielder, and that while the outfielder could be of interest to the Sox, he wouldn’t be at the current asking price.

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Report: Bell considers Lakers, smooths things over with Kobe

07.13.10 at 1:58 pm ET
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Veteran swingman Raja Bell will meet with former adversary Kobe Bryant Wednesday as the free agent continues to consider his options. Bell told ESPN.com he has spoken to Bryant on the phone a few times already.

Bell got physical with Bryant in the 2006 playoffs, clotheslining the Lakers star in Game 5 of a series won by the Suns. He later referred to Bryant as a “pompous, arrogant individual.”

Responded Bryant: “Does he know me? Do I know this guy? I don’t know this guy. I might have said one word to this guy. I don’t know this kid. I think he overreacts to stuff. … I don’t know this kid. I don’t need to know this kid. I don’t want to. We go out there, we play the game and leave it at that. Maybe he wasn’t hugged enough as a kid. I look at him a little bit, he gets a little insecure or something. I don’t know.”

Bell played in just six games last season due to a wrist injury. He started last season with the Bobcats and was traded in November to the Warriors, who released him in March, three months after he had surgery on the wrist.

A 10-year NBA veteran who averages 10.3 points per game and is known as a stellar defender, the 6-foot-5 Bell started his collegiate career at Boston University before transferring to Florida International.

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