GloucesterTimes.com, Gloucester, MA

August 31, 2013

Crunch Time


Gloucester Daily Times

---- — Slumping Papi

Red Sox slugger David Ortiz entered Friday’s series opening contest with the Chicago White Sox in the midst of one of the biggest slumps of his career, certainly the biggest slump in his 11 seasons with the Red Sox.

As of Friday Ortiz was hitless in his last 22 at bats. Big Papi has been battling back stiffness over the last two weeks and despite the slump he is still putting up great numbers hitting .310 with 24 home runs and 79 RBI.

“Even Papi struggles,” Ortiz said. “I’ll be back.”

Released

Patriots fans raved about the team scooping up tight end Jake Ballard off of waivers last season, saying it was a potential steal from the New York Giants. Ballard missed all of last season with an injury and never caught on in Foxborough this summer as he was cut from the team on Friday.

With Rob Gronkowski still on the PUP list as of Friday, that leaves Zach Sudfeld and Michael Hoomanawanui as the lone active tight ends on the Patriots roster.

Clemens to Texas

Infielder Kody Clemens, a junior at Memorial High in Houston, is following in the footsteps of his father, Roger, and brother, Kacy, and will be playing baseball at the University of Texas. Another brother, Koby, signed with the Longhorns in 2005 but went pro.

All-nighter every night

SI.com reported SMU quarterback Garrett Gilbert crammed 27 units into his final semester at Texas to graduate and become eligible immediately at SMU.

What’s that, nine classes? Don’t know if that passes the smell test.

Headline of the week

“Black Bears gifted with sacks of Cole.”

That was the clever Portland Press Herald headline on a feature on UMaine pass rushing whiz Michael Cole.

Foul mood

Chicago Bulls second-round pick Erik Murphy had a disastrous opening game in the Las Vegas Summer League. The 6-10 forward racked up a whopping 10 fouls in under 19 minutes of play and missed all six of his 3-point tries. In another game, he broke his nose.

It turned out, though, he played very well overall, averaging 11.6 points and 4.8 rebounds while shooting .548 from the floor and .500 on 3-pointers.

-Compiled by Times Staff