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Mitch's Sports Report: Subban For Weber Is Talk Of The Hockey World; Red Sox Pitching Woes Continue

Hockey's free agency feeding frenzy doesn't officially begin until tomorrow, but it's a trade that went down yesterday that has the puck world abuzz today.

Montreal Canadiens General Manager Marc Bergevin said trading P.K. Subban to the Nashville Predators for Shea Weber was one of the most difficult decisions he's ever had to make, and if things don't work out for Les Habitants, it's fair to say it's a choice that could cost Bergevin his job.

This is a trade, of course, that could work out beautifully for both franchises. Subban and Weber are both all-stars, terrific  puck-moving defensemen who can also be counted on to provide offense when it's needed. Both are known for their blistering slap shots and excellent skating skills. Subban, however, is still just twenty-seven years old to Weber's thirty-one, and is the more offensive minded of the two. Weber adds a veteran presence to the Montreal blue line and is especially good quarterbacking the power play, and is the better of the two in the defensive zone, less prone to mistakes than Subban. Still, Subban, along with goalie Carey Price, has been the face of the Montreal franchise since 2007 when he was drafted to the Canadiens. Weber has played his entire career with Nashville and won the Norris Trophy as the league's top defenseman in 2013. It's a fascinating trade with ramifications for both teams that will be scrutinized closely in the years to come.

Also, Boston Bruins fans can forget those visions of Steven Stamkos dancing in their heads. There were rumors that the Bruins might make a run at the Tampa Bay center in an effort to do something to revitalize their moribund fortunes after missing the playoffs the last two years, but Stamkos is sticking with Tampa, signing a new eight-year deal with the Lightning yesterday.

In Major League baseball the turnaround in good pitching for the Boston Red Sox was short-lived. Yesterday in Tampa Bay David Price turned in his second straight poor outing in a 4-0 loss to the Rays. Price gave up four runs in the first three innings, including a home run to Brandon Guyer, and on the other side of the hill Matt Moore just befuddled the Boston bats, allowed just three singles, while striking out five for the win.

The NY Yankees got their biggest win of the year yesterday in the Bronx, a comeback victory that could just save their season if they can build on it. The Yanks trailed the Texas Rangers 7-2 heading into the eighth inning when Brian McCann hit a solo home run, and McCann came through again in the bottom of the ninth with another dinger, this one a game-tying three run blast to right, and that set the scene for Didi Gregorious to hit his first ever career walk off homer,a  two run shot that gave the Yankees a 9-7 win.

The NY Mets got burned again by their former second baseman in the nation's capitol as David Murphy and the Washington Nationals completed a three-game sweep of the Mets with a 4-2 win. Murphy hit a solo shot and had a two-run blast in the second to give Max Scherzer all the runs he would need. Scherzer set down 18 Mets in a row at one point and the Nationals now have a six-game lead over the Mets in the NL East.

The Vermont Lake Monsters hadn't swept a double header at Centennial Field since 2009, but they got it done yesterday taking two from the Aberdeen Iron Birds. Miguel Mercedes and JaVon Shelby were a combined six for six at the plate in a 5-3 game one win, and Brendan Butler was great on the hill in the nightcap, giving up just three hits over four scoreless innings in the 2-0 shutout.

In the NECBL, the Vermont Mountaineers showed signs their offense may finally be coming to life in a 12-3 drubbing of the Keene Swamp Bats at Recreational Field. Troy Scocca hit a two-run homer and Culver Lamb combined with reliever Joey Benitez to stifle the Swamp Bat bats.

The Upper Valley Nighthawks split their double dip with the Mystic Schooners, winning game one 10-3 and losing the nightcap 9-4.

Roger Federer is used to standing ovations whenever he takes the court, but yesterday the crowd at Wimbledon was standing and cheering for his opponent, the player ranked number 772 in the world, tennis teacher Marcus Willis, who teaches middle school kids the game and makes about 40 bucks an hour doing so. Willis was able to face Federer by winning 7 qualifying matches and then beating the number fifty-four player in the world in his fist round match. He went on to beat Federer yesterday in straight sets to continue his fairy tale story, and I'm joking of course. He lost in straight sets but did win seven games in the process over one of the greatest legends of tennis in a 6-0, 6-3, 6-4 match that for Willis can in no way be described as a loss.

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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