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Eduardo Rodriguez bids farewell to Red Sox, excited to ‘work towards a World Series title’ with Detroit Tigers

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Eduardo Rodriguez bids farewell to Red Sox, excited to ‘work towards a World Series title’ with Detroit Tigers

Eduardo Rodriguez is ready for the next chapter of his baseball career, but he’ll certainly cherish his time in Boston.

The former Red Sox left-hander has signed with the Detroit Tigers on a reported five-year deal worth at least $77 million. But before joining his new team, Rodriguez bid farewell to the Red Sox in an Instagram post on Tuesday.

Rodriguez wrote:

“After 7 year with the organization that give me the opportunity that change me and my family life after all the ups and downs I wanna say thank you @redsox for believe in me thank you for all the good memory’s together and especially that World Series ring😎😎to all my teammates that I have the opportunity to play in the same uniform thank you all and to the fans in Boston thank you so much for all the support all this years you always will have a part of my heart from me and my family thank you so much 👊👊👊 with all the love “THEGUALO”

Rodriguez spent the first six seasons of his career with the Red Sox, compiling a 64-39 record and 4.16 ERA in 159 games, including 153 starts, as he became a cornerstone of the Red Sox’ rotation after being traded by the Orioles for Andrew Miller in 2014. He was a major contributor to the Red Sox’ championship season in 2018 before enjoying a breakthrough season in 2019, when he went 19-6 with a 3.81 ERA and finished sixth in Cy Young voting.

After missing the 2020 season due to myocarditis, a side effect of COVID-19, Rodriguez returned in 2021 and made 31 starts. He was inconsistent but had some of the best starts of his career in the postseason as he helped the Red Sox come two wins short of the World Series.

Rodriguez became a free agent for the first time in his career after rejecting the Red Sox’ $18.4 million qualifying offer. In Detroit, the 28-year-old Rodriguez will become something of a veteran leader of a young staff that includes 24-year-olds Casey Mize and Tarik Skubal and 23-year-old Matt Manning.

The Tigers made the Rodriguez signing official on Tuesday and the left-hander expressed great excitement in joining his new team.

“I am excited to be a Tiger and appreciate the commitment being made to building a winning team in Detroit,” Rodriguez said in a statement. “After some great years in Boston with amazing fans and teammates, I am blessed to be coming into a new situation where the fans in Detroit are some of the best in baseball. In speaking with (general manager) Al (Avila) and AJ (Hinch, manager), I knew this is a place that would be a good fit for me and my family. I can’t wait to join my new teammates and work towards a World Series title.”

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Lucas: Healey should give Biden a hand, he could use it

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Lucas: By bowing out, Charlie Baker leaves door wide open for Maura Healey

Democrat gubernatorial candidate-in-waiting Maura Healey ought to invite President Biden to her announcement ceremony.

After getting stiffed in Georgia by Stacey Abrams, who is also running for governor, Biden could use a hug.

The Stacey diss came when the Georgia Democrat, once on Biden’s short list of vice-presidential candidates, declined to attend Biden’s speech in Atlanta last week.

It would do Healey a lot of good among Democrats, liberals and progressives to host Biden. It would show that while Biden is down and out in the polls, he still has his base of support in Massachusetts

A warm Boston reception would stand in stark contrast to the cold shoulder many Democrats, including Abrams — once a strong supporter — gave Biden in Atlanta.

Once there Biden delivered a weird speech on voting rights, comparing opponents of the Democrat-sponsored voting rights bill to racists.

Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said the speech was not only “profoundly unpresidential, but it also “was incoherent, incorrect and beneath his office.”

Abrams claimed her absence was due to a scheduling conflict. Biden went along with the excuse. And nobody believed either one of them. You drop your schedule when the president of the United States says he is coming.

More realistically Abrams did not want to appear on the same platform as Biden, who has fallen so deep into a hole that it would take a cave rescue team to find him.

So, forget the Bulldogs, go Minutemen.

Although Attorney General Healey has not officially announced her candidacy for the Democrat nomination for governor, she will automatically become the favorite once she does.

She is a progressive who is far better known than her two opponents, has a two-term record as attorney general, has raised a ton of money and could become the first woman and openly gay governor elected in Massachusetts.

Currently the other two Democrats running are state Sen. Sonia Chang-Diaz of Boston and Harvard professor Danielle Allen.

With Healey in the race, it is likely that they would eventually drop out of the race the way former state Sen. Ben Dowling of Pittsfield did. Dowling, the first to get in the race, was the first to drop out.

So, Healey has nothing to lose and a lot to gain by inviting Biden to come to Massachusetts. She is a well-established Trump antagonist, having filed some 50 lawsuits against Trump when he was president. Most went nowhere but they helped weaken Trump, which was the point.

And despite his train wreck of an administration, Biden still has three years left on his term, so it makes good sense for a governor to be on good terms with him.

As all but crowned as the Democrat nominee, Healey would face conservative Republican Geoff Diehl, a Trump supporter, in the November election, which could make for an interesting race.

Healey, a good progressive Democrat, is a solid Biden supporter who is already campaigning against Trump.

No sooner did Biden give his speech in Atlanta, than Healey was out with a statement praising Biden and echoing what he said, even the parts that were untrue.

“Did you hear President Biden’s speech in Atlanta today?” Healey asked in a fundraising email to potential campaign donors. “He traveled to the cradle of the civil rights movement to outline the urgent need to protect our constitutional right to vote and the integrity of our elections.

“There’s no question that our democracy is under threat. One year ago, armed insurrectionists launched a deadly attack on the U.S. Capitol,” she said.

“The former president and his cronies are still spreading lies about the integrity of our elections and initiating sham audits.

“Republican legislatures across the country are passing dangerous restrictions on the right to vote that disproportionately target black, Latino and Indigenous people,” she said.

“One of my top priorities this year is advocating for voting reform. We need legislative action to prevent election sabotage and protect the freedom to vote” as “a first step toward healing our democracy.”

Joe Biden could not have said it any better.

Healey, as the new leader of the Democrat Party in the state, may not be able to heal our democracy, but she sure could help heal old Joe.

And unlike Abrams and Georgia, Healey could welcome Biden and give the sad and confused old guy a much-needed hug.

Peter Lucas is a veteran Massachusetts political reporter and columnist.

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Catholic Memorial, Xaverian boys battle to 1-1 tie

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Catholic Memorial, Xaverian boys battle to 1-1 tie

CANTON — By now, every hockey player, coach, parent and Zamboni driver in Massachusetts is well aware of the fact there will not be a Super Eight tournament this season.

So, as a way to recreate a similar atmosphere, the Catholic Conference and its member schools decided to get a little creative, and host a “Showcase,” with three games taking place back-to-back in the same facility.

Based on how things shook out at the Canton Ice House Sunday, it looks like they made the right choice. In the opening showdown of the afternoon, which also featured some late-game controversy, Catholic Memorial ended up skating to a heart-stopping 1-1 draw with rival Xaverian.

“(It was) really fun,” said Xaverian coach David Spinale. “Lot of energy in the building. Chris Kuchar from Malden, it was his idea. We all supported it, and we just said: ‘Let’s find a location, where we could do kind of a game to game to game (structure),’ like this.”

Despite the frigid temperatures, hundreds of fans made their way to Norfolk County to take part in the events, and they were treated to a defensive stalemate in the first game.

Both Catholic Memorial (6-1-1) and Xaverian (7-1-1) struggled to get anything going offensively for the entirety of the opening period, with quality chances coming few and far between.

This held true until the latter stages of the second stanza, when Finn Burke found himself in possession of the puck behind the Xaverian net. As he scanned the ice for a teammate, the defenseman spotted Connor Fryberger skating alone in the slot, and fed a pass his way.

Fryberger proceeded to slap a shot into the lower corner of the cage, giving Catholic Memorial a 1-0 edge with 5:38 to play in the period.

Desperately needing an equalizer later on in the third, Xaverian drew even behind the efforts of junior right winger Joe DiMartino, who registered his fourth goal of the season with 8:43 remaining in regulation.

Although Catholic Memorial was whistled for a critical tripping penalty with 2:49 left, Xaverian was unable to capitalize on the man-advantage as the Knights forced overtime.

Neither program managed to strike in the extra session, at least, not until there were about 6.5 seconds remaining, when Nick D’Olympio started one final 2-on-1 rush. The Rockland native fired a shot off the pad of Xaverian goaltender Brendan Flanagan. The puck then bounced over to Fryberger, who tipped it home for what appeared to be a game-winning goal. However, the referees waved the play off, saying it came after time had expired.

“It hit off (the goaltender’s) pad, and I batted it out of the air,” said Fryberger. “It could’ve been a buzzer-beater, but it was too late… I thought I had it in time, adrenaline pumping. I don’t know.”

Braden O’Hara and Max Lockwood were credited with assists for Xaverian.

“I couldn’t really tell,” Spinale said when asked about the final sequence. “I thought I heard the buzzer, then it went in. But again, I’m biased.”

On a day where the Knights were missing multiple key players, Tyler Hamilton stood out for Catholic Memorial, as he notched an assist.

“We showed up today with guys that play hockey and we played hockey,” Catholic Memorial coach Larry Rooney said. “We played a good game of hockey, and I’m proud of the guys.”

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Bruins place Karson Kuhlman on waivers

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Bruins place Karson Kuhlman on waivers

The Bruins placed reserve right wing Karson Kuhlman on waivers on Sunday.

The 26-year-old Kuhlman, who signed with the B’s as a free agent out of Minnesota-Duluth in 2018, has a goal and an assist in 19 games this year. He’s got 7-8-15 totals in 75 career NHL games.

The move suggests that Trent Frederic and/or Nick Foligno are close to being activated off injured reserve. Foligno appeared to have dodged a serious injury after getting tangled up with an opponent and awkwardly falling on a net-front play in the B’s victory in Tampa on January 8. He resumed skating last Friday. Frederic suffered an upper body injury in Washington on Jan. 10.

Oskar Steen, meanwhile, has been in the lineup for the past eight games since being called up from Providence. He’s got a goal and an assist and, in Saturday’s physical 4-3 wn over Nashville, he dished out six hits.

We’ll find out at 2 p.m. Monday if a team puts a claim in on Kuhlman, who has a salary of $725,000 and will be a restricted free agent in the summer.

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