GloucesterTimes.com, Gloucester, MA

April 24, 2013

Crunch Time


Gloucester Daily Times

---- — Perfect Fit

It looks like the Red Sox have a beast in the middle of the batting order along side David Ortiz after all. It may be April, but Mike Napoli has already proven to be a perfect fit in the Red Sox lineup, and more importantly, a perfect fit for Fenway Park.

Heading into Tuesday, Napoli leads the majors with 25 RBI. His righthanded power swing is perfect for hitting shots over the green monster, and he is one of the main offensive reasons why the Red Sox sit atop the American League East.

Dustin Pedroia, Ortiz and Napoli are an unlikely middle of the order trio, but so far it’s looking like that trio is going to keep the Red Sox in the middle of the American League East race this season.

Most Improved

Indiana Pacers forward Paul George was named the awarded the league’s Most Improved Player Award on Tuesday.

George, 22, burst onto the scene this year establishing himself as one of the league’s best one stars averaging 17.4 points, 7.6 rebounds and 4.1 assists per game while leading the Pacers to the No. 3 seed in the Eastern Conference.

George, a 6’8” swing man in his third season, improved his point per game totals by more than five points from last season (12.1 ppg).

College Football Playoff

The NCAA announced the official name for its football playoffs, which will begin in the 2014 season. “College Football Playoff” was the name the NCAA landed on.

The NCAA also announced that Dallas’ Texas Stadium will host the first College Football Playoff title game in January 2015. The semi-final rounds will rotate between six bowls; Rose Bowl, Sugar Bowl, Orange Bowl, Fiesta Bowl, Cotton Bowl, Chick fil-A Bowl, over the next 12 years.

Brown Returns to Cavs

Mike Brown will be back on the bench as Cleveland Cavaliers coach next season. Brown, who coached the Cavs to a berth in the 2007 NBA Finals and 2009 Eastern Conference Finals with Lebron James, was hired by the team on Tuesday.

Brown, who takes over for the fired Byron Scott, was fired five games into the 2012-2013 season by the Lakers.

-Compiled by Nick Curcuru