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Mitch's Sports Report: Draft Pawns: Celtics Try But Fail To Trade Their Number Three Pick

The Boston Celtics had the number three pick in yesterday's NBA draft and they were up front about wanting to trade it. Already stocked with a young, talented, but raw core of players in need of veteran leadership and especially an established superstar impact player to compliment rising star Isaiah Thomas, the Celts listened to offers but in the end said the asking price other teams put forth for the rights to that number three pick were too costly, and so they kept the pick and selected California shooting guard Jaylen Brown.

He's a fine player but not one who will instantly upgrade the Danny Ainge's squad and take them to the next level. The Celtics had more picks than any other team in the draft this year and also selected in the first round French power forward Guerschon Yabusele and Croatian center Ante Zizic, but again, Ainge and coach Brad Stevens would much rather have traded any of those picks for an established star like Chicago's Jimmy Butler, but the Bulls weren't interested in the potential of the draft picks, and apparently no other teams were either, and in the end this drafft has to be graded as a bust for the Celtics. There's an interesting parallel here with the Boston Bruins, who are also looking to upgrade with the NHL draft looming this weekend, and are likely facing the same problem: a lot of picks, but no leverage to make an impact trade, and the Bruins, by the way, are in far worse shape than the Celtics heading into next year.

The biggest shocker of the draft came via a trade as the Oklahoma City Thunder sent power forward Serge Ibaka to the Orlanda Magic for three players: guard Victor Oladipo, forward Ersan Ilyasova and the rights to power forward Domantas Sabonis, who was Orlando's number eleven pick in the draft. The Thunder likely made the move guessing that they could lose superstar Kevin Durant to free agency this off season and want to restock with multiple young players who have potential. Sure would be great for the Celtics if they could entice Durant to wear the Green, but a lot of suitors will be knocking at his door.

Happier news for the Boston Red Sox, who were in danger of getting swept four straight game by the Chicago White Sox at Fenway Park yesterday but were bailed out when Xander Bogaerts hit a walk-off, game-winning RBI single in the bottom of the tenth for an 8-7 come from behind and much-needed win. The Red Sox trailed three times in the game, by scores of 3-0, 4-1, and 7-5 before clawing their way back each time and getting the best pitching performance yet by their closer Craig Kimbrel, who pitched two full innings of relief and got out of a bases-loaded, nobody out jam in the tenth to allow Bogaerts to win it in the bottom of the frame.

Kimbrel hadn't pitched two full innings in five years, but was up to the task, and while I still don't believe in closers being used to maintain tie games, this was a desperation move by manager John Farrell, who really didn't have much choice since set-up reliever Koji Uehara had been used and abused the night before, giving up two home runs in the eighth inning that allowed Chicago to win that game. The Red Sox also turned the bases-loaded no one out tables on the White Sox, who faced a similar dilemma in game one of the series in the bottom of the ninth and were able to wriggle free without damage. Rick Porcello started the game for Boston and wasn't especially good, giving up four runs in five and a third innings, but Kimbrel was good enough to pick up the win. Things don't get easier for the Red Sox as they travel to Texas to take on the AL west-leading Rangers tonight.

The NY Yankees were idle and they happily welcome the sad sack Minnesota Twins to the Stadium tonight. The NY Mets were coming off a two-game sweep of the defending world series champion Kansas City Royals, but got beat last night by the worst team in the National League in a 4-3 loss to the Atlanta Braves. Trailing by a run in the eighth, Ardonis Garcia hit a two-run blast off Mets reliever Addison Reed to give the Braves a rare victory.

In the NECBL the Vermont Mountaineers losing streak is at three games after falling to the Keene Swamp Bats 5-3 in Montpelier last night. The Upper Valley Nightahwks were idle yesterday and they take to the road tonight to face the Winnipesaukee Muskrats.

At Thunder Road raceway in Barre yesterday Northfield native Matt White picked up his first victory in five years, winning the qualifying heat, the semi-feature, and the main 50-lap event to claim the triple crown.

A graduate of NYU with a Master's Degree in journalism, Mitch has more than 20 years experience in radio news. He got his start as news director at NYU's college station, and moved on to a news director (and part-time DJ position) for commercial radio station WMVY on Martha's Vineyard. But public radio was where Mitch wanted to be and he eventually moved on to Boston where he worked for six years in a number of different capacities at member station WBUR...as a Senior Producer, Editor, and fill-in co-host of the nationally distributed Here and Now. Mitch has been a guest host of the national NPR sports program "Only A Game". He's also worked as an editor and producer for international news coverage with Monitor Radio in Boston.
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