EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

December 16, 2012

Sports in a minute

Christopher Smith
The Eagle-Tribune

---- — JOPPIE’S PURSUIT

Davie Joppie officially was named the new hitting coach for the Pawtucket Red Sox this past week.

“I never played professional baseball, so to do what I’ve done and be involved with baseball like this is rare,” Joppie told mlive.com. “I’m still trying to continue to chase my dream of making Major League Baseball, and now I’m one step closer.”

He will be in his eighth season in the Red Sox farm system. He served as hitting coach for Portland from 2008-12. Before that, he was a hitting coach at Lancaster (2007) and Wilmington (2006). He came to the Red Sox after holding coaching and managerial positions in the Athletics farm system for 10 years.

CENTRAL VS. ANDOVER

The first ever Andover vs. Central girls varsity hockey game is today at 7:30 p.m.

Maybe a few years from now the hockey game between these two girls programs will be as highly anticipated and as intense as whenever Central and Andover girls basketball play each other.

HOGAN NEAR 1,000

Georgetown senior Kristin Hogan is just 19 points away from 1,000 points for her career. She could achieve the feat tonight as Georgetown hosts Lynnfield at 6:30 p.m.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL THOUGHT

It’s ridiculous that the BCS national championship game between Notre Dame and Alabama isn’t until Jan. 7. There are way too many bowl games and the season gets dragged on way too long.

All the BCS bowls, including the national title game, should be played on New Year’s Day.

RONDO MOVING UP

Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo already is sixth all-time in Celtics team history with 3,775 assists. Fifth on the list is his teammate, Paul Pierce, with 4,016.

Bob Cousy owns the franchise record with 6,945. John Havlicek is second with 6,114. Larry Bird is third with 5,695. Bill Russell is fourth with 4,100.

MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL

In a Monday Night Football with nowhere near the hype of last week’s Pats/Texans clash, the New York Jets (6-7, 3-3 on road) will play the Tennessee Titans (4-9, 2-4 at home) today at 8:30 p.m. in Nashville on ESPN.

BUSH TO PRISON

Matt Bush, the first overall pick in the 2004 MLB draft, has accepted a plea deal in his hit-and-run DUI case and will serve at least three years in prison, according to the Tampa Bay Times.

“He’s taking it pretty good,” his father Daniel Bush told the Tampa Bay Times. “He’s not crying or sulking. He’s preparing for it. Everybody in our family is backing him up.”

The San Diego Padres picked Bush first overall in 2004, letting Justin Verlander go second overall to the Detroit Tigers.

Bush, a shortstop, never made the major leagues and even converted to pitcher.

There were a few very talented pitchers who went in the first round that year: Verlander, Jered Weaver, Phil Hughes, Gio Gonzalez, Jeff Niemann, Huston Street and Scott Elbert.

PATRIOTS TO HELP NEWTOWN

New England Patriots ownership will donate $25,000 to Newtown, Conn., according to NFL.com.

The Krafts own the Rand-Whitney box plant in Newtown.

“To me, the adults who lost their children in this are so important, the future of the school and how it moves forward is important, the town is important,” Jonathan Kraft said Sunday, according to NFL.com. “It’s not for us to make the decision on what to do with the money. But we’re gonna help.”

Kraft also said in the article: “The players have been really effected by it, just hearing guys talk. You never hear guys talk about current events, but the guys were talking about it on Friday afternoon and Saturday in the building. A lot of guys have young children. A lot of guys have guns. There was a lot of talk here.”