EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

July 15, 2013

Sports in a minute

Christopher Smith
The Eagle-Tribune

---- — SCHWALM’S PHOTO REMOVED

After receiving complaints from visitors, Pro Football Hall of Fame officials took down a photo of former Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez, according to The Plain Dealer in Cleveland.

The photo won an award-winner in the 2010 Hall of Fame football photo contest and taken by Eagle-Tribune photographer Mary Schwalm.

“In the spirit of good taste we thought we’d take it down,” Joe Horrigan, the hall’s vice president of communication and exhibits, told The Plain Dealer.

We had the same photo as our Eagle-Tribune sports Facebook page profile picture but we removed it the day Hernandez was charged with murder.

FLIRTING WITH A NO-HITTER

Boston Red Sox rookie Brandon Workman made his first major league start yesterday and took a no-hitter into the seventh inning against Oakland. Then Coco Crisp, the first batter of the seventh, stroked an infield single against him.

That’s somewhat similar to a start he made for the Portland Sea Dogs against Double-A Reading on April 30. He retired the first 18 batters, but then saw his perfect game broken up by the first batter of the seventh.

Workman could really help the Red Sox out of the bullpen in the second half when Clay Buchholz returns from the DL because he throws hard and throws a lot of first pitch strikes. He has excellent control.

“My cutter and curveball have been really good this year,” Workman told The Eagle-Tribune earlier this year. “I’ve been able to throw those in a lot of different counts and have had success with both of them. And all of it stems off my fastball, being able to throw that where I want to and get ahead in counts.”

BRITTON IN BULLPEN

Pawtucket southpaw starter Drake Britton was considered a potential option in Boston’s bullpen before lefty reliever Matt Thornton was acquired Friday.

Britton who was promoted to the Red Sox on Sunday to give them depth in case Workman struggled early, still could be an important part of the bullpen if someone (a lefty or righty) struggles in the second half.

“I want to pitch in the big leagues,” Britton said. “I don’t care how.”

Britton faced 89 left-handed batters when with Portland this year, holding them to a .187 batting average (compared to .281 vs. righties) and posting a 1.21 ERA.

“I used to struggle with it (facing lefties) a lot for some reason up until this year,” Britton said. “I’ve really concentrated on getting lefties out. That’s supposed to be an easier out than a righty — lefty on lefty. So I concentrated on being able to throw inside to them and I’ve been successful with it.”

INTERESTING DYNAMIC

It should be interesting to see how new Brooklyn Nets coach Jason Kidd and new Nets players Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce all co-exist with one another.

After all, Kidd just retired from the NBA and is only three years older than Garnett who he spoke with recently, although not much was reportedly said.

Kidd told The Boston Globe about Garnett, “He’s a man of few words, but when he does say something, everyone listens.”