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Falmouth youth Tyler Smith has no tolerance for tears while battling cancer: ‘It’s either fight or die’ 08.20.14 at 12:51 pm ET
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Three years ago, sitting in his hospital bed, Tyler Smith couldn’t take any more.

Tyler Smith decided to skip the tears and focus on fighting cancer. (Courtesy the Smith family)

Falmouth’s Tyler Smith decided to skip the tears and focus on his fight against cancer. (Courtesy the Smith family)

The 10-year-old from Falmouth, the kid with a permanent smile on his face, knew the drill. His friends and loved ones would enter his room. Since he’d lost his hair due to the chemotherapy, he would see the sadness in their eyes. Tyler knew the term “leukemia” instantly frightened everyone. He’d see the tears well up, and you can be certain he knew what was coming next.

“Everyone who visited would say how sad it was that I was sick, and then they would start to cry,” Tyler explained. “Pretty much everyone was crying.”

Everyone cried, with one notable exception. Tyler Smith chose not to shed tears about his cancer. He decided to beat it.

“You can’t avoid cancer once you have it,” he said. “It’s either fight or die.”

Tyler decided to make a new rule. If anyone wanted to visit him, there was absolutely no crying.

“I’m a hockey player, and hockey players don’t cry,” he said.

* * *

Cancer was not — and still isn’t — a death sentence for Tyler. Now 13, with a full head of bushy brown hair, he actually credits the disease with helping make him a better person. Thanks to the cancer, he says, he is a much more sensitive person.

“Before this all happened, cancer didn’t mean anything to me,” he said. “Now it means something.”

Tyler was diagnosed in July 2011 with acute lymphoma leukemia (ALL), which is a cancer that starts from white blood cells called lymphocytes in the bone marrow. Just as the word “acute” would indicate, the disease progresses at a rapid speed. ALL will kill if not treated quickly.

In this case, the cancer was not immediately diagnosed. Tyler and his family moved from Cape Cod to North Carolina in March of 2011. Before the Smith family finished unpacking, Tyler was suffering from extreme fevers, ones that reached as high as 105 degrees. His parents took him to the doctor but were told he had a virus or the flu. The fevers disappeared but always returned.

“When we came back to the Cape for the Fourth of July, Tyler got sick again,” said Brian Smith, Tyler’s father. “We were boating at the time, and he had such little strength that he couldn’t even get out of the boat.”

Tyler’s parents took him to the pediatrician he had seen since the day he was born, but the doctor was hesitant to say anything specific was wrong. Tyler’s mother, Paula, was heartbroken that her son was in pain. She decided to take matters into her own hands.

“There’s something wrong,” she said to the doctor. “You told me to trust my instincts as mother, and I want you to do blood work to find out what’s not right.”

A mother’s instinct drove the doctor to do more testing. A mother’s instinct kept her son alive.

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Read More: Dustin Pedroia, Jimmy Fund Radio-Telethon, Tyler Smith,
Wednesday’s Morning Mashup: Robinson Cano respects Mariano Rivera’s opinion that he lacks drive to be best 05.07.14 at 8:00 am ET
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Welcome to Wednesday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our WEEI.com home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

WEDNESDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
MLB: Reds at Red Sox, 7:10 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Dodgers at Nationals, 1 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Cubs at White Sox, 8 p.m. (ESPN)
NBA playoffs: Wizards at Pacers, 7 p.m. (TNT)
NBA playoffs: Clippers at Thunder, 9:30 p.m. (TNT)
NHL playoffs: Penguins at Rangers, 7:30 p.m. (NBCSN)
Soccer: Aston Villa at Manchester City, 2:40 p.m. (NBCSN)

AROUND THE WEB:

— Mariners second baseman Robinson Cano was asked Tuesday for his reaction to criticism from former Yankees teammate Mariano Rivera, who questioned Cano’s desire.

Rivera writes in his forthcoming book, “I don’t think Robby burns to be the best,” like most elite players. Rivera also said he would take Dustin Pedroia as his second baseman if he had to win one game.

Cano, who left New York to sign a free agent deal with Seattle in the offseason, took the high road.

“Everybody has a different opinion. That’s his opinion and I have to respect his opinion,” Cano told reporters Tuesday before the Mariners played the A’s in Oakland. “I’€™m not going to go too far into this. That’€™s the only thing that I can say. My focus right now is this team. I’€™m here, we’€™re winning. I was over there already and now I’€™m here and now I’€™m focused on the team. I’€™m going to be excited for my teammates.”

Added Cano: “How does Mariano feel? I respect that and I’€™m always going to have respect for him, a guy that I spent nine years with and for me is always going to be the best closer. That’€™s how I feel.”

— The NBA announced Tuesday that Clippers president Andy Roeser is taking an indefinite leave of absence as the league restructures the franchise following the ban handed out to owner Donald Sterling.

“This will provide an opportunity for a new CEO to begin on a clean slate and for the team to stabilize under difficult circumstances,” NBA spokesman Mike Bass said.

Roeser, who came under fire when he released a statement questioning whether it was Sterling’s voice on the recording from V. Stiviano, has worked for the Clippers since 1984 and was named president in 2007.

“I knew they were going to bring in a new CEO eventually, but it is [a surprise],” coach Doc Rivers said of the timing, as his team is in a second-round playoff series against the Thunder. “I just didn’t know about it. I’m glad I didn’t know about it, actually. I think the NBA is doing their job, and we’re just trying to keep this thing together.”

— The Jets are the latest NFL team to be sued by a former cheerleader claiming the club pays less than minimum wage, following similar suits against the Raiders, Bengals and Bills.

NBC Bay Area reports that a plaintiff identified as Krystal C. filed a class-action suit Tuesday against the team. The Jets appear to be more accommodating than the other teams facing suits — paying $150 per game and $100 per special event — but Krystal alleges that her salary dropped to $3.77 per hour after factoring in the “off the clock” hours the cheerleaders are expected to work, such as showing up to games 3 1/2 hours early, selling calendars and helping at junior cheerleader camps. Adding hair, makeup and transportation expenses drops the wage to $1.50 per hour.

“Cheering in that field in that live stadium with thousands of fans and players is an experience you’ll never forget,” said Krystal, a 25-year-old Connecticut resident who worked for the team in 2012. “But I started feeling that there is this unfairness. I did all the math, and our paycheck wasn’t summing up.”

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On May 7, 1997, which Red Sox catcher — who would go on to greater fame as a member of the Athletics’ “Moneyball” team in 2002 — hit his first career home run (along with his second) in an 11-3 rout of the Twins?

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Read More: Andy Roeser, Dustin Pedroia, Mariano Rivera, Robinson Cano
Thursday’s Morning Mashup: Pete Carroll offers LeBron James NFL tryout 10.13.11 at 7:56 am ET
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Welcome to Thursday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our WEEI.com home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

WHAT’S HAPPENING LOCALLY THURSDAY:
No games scheduled

AROUND THE WEB:

‘™¦ LeBron James, looking for something to do during the NBA lockout, sent out a tweet Tuesday wondering about the deadline for an NFL team to sign a free agent. Seahawks coach Pete Carroll saw an opportunity to put his recruiting skills to work, so he offered up a tryout and tweeted a picture of a LeBron Seahawks jersey. LeBron was impressed, although Carroll warned that the money wouldn’t be same as what LeBron makes with the Heat. Tweeted Carroll: are you aware of what the League’s rookie minimum is? Tweeted back LeBron: Yeah, more than what I’m making now Coach.

‘™¦ Mark Davis is succeeding his father, Al, as owner of the Raiders. In the San Francisco Chronicle, Scott Ostler writes that the team is “drastically and irreversibly changed,” but nobody knows if it’s for the better or worse. Ostler predicts Mark will be far more hands-off and much less controversial than Al.

‘™¦ The fan who ran onto the golf course at the Frys.com Open Sunday and threw a hot dog in the direction of Tiger Woods spoke Wednesday and explained his thinking. “I threw the hot dog toward Tiger Woods because I was inspired by the movie ‘Drive,’ ” said 31-year-old Brandon Kelly of Petaluma, Calif. “As soon as the movie ended, I thought to myself, ‘I have to do something courageous and epic. I have to throw a hot dog on the green in front of Tiger.’ ” Kelly was arrested for disturbing the peace.

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On Oct. 13, 2003, during a 3-2 victory over the Yankees in Game 4 of the ALCS, which Red Sox player set a team record with his fifth home run of the postseason?

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Read More: Al Davis, Dustin Pedroia, LeBron James, Mark Davis
Deutsche Bank Championship: PGA rookie Keegan Bradley continues dream year 09.01.11 at 8:17 am ET
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NORTON — August was a month of major milestones for Keegan Bradley.

The Vermont native burst onto the national scene by winning the PGA Championship two weeks ago. And that allowed him the chance to fulfill two other dreams: meeting childhood idol Tom Brady and throwing out the first pitch at Fenway Park.

Talking with WEEI’s Dennis & Callahan after his PGA title, Bradley told of receiving a congratulatory text from Brady and of wanting to play a round of golf with the Patriots quarterback, which is in the works.

Meanwhile, on Tuesday night the diehard Red Sox fan took to the mound at Fenway prior to the Red Sox-Yankees series opener.

“Yeah, one of my dreams my whole life has been to be able to throw the first pitch at Fenway, and I got to realize that dream [Tuesday] last night in front of a bunch of my friends,” Bradley said Wednesday. “It was a strange feeling to be on the mound at Fenway, but it lived up to the hype. It is something I will never forget.”

Bradley admitted that his friends put some pressure on him before his ceremonial pitch.

“Well, talking to my buddies, they’ve said, ‘You better not bounce that thing in there,’ and I just didn’t want to bounce that thing in there,” he said. “I would give myself a B-minus. I’ve got Dustin Pedroia, who got down in a catcher’s stance. He’s kind of a small guy anyways, and it was a small target. But it was — I was afraid. I was so nervous that I was afraid I was going to do something embarrassing, so I was happy with it.”

Bradley has returned to New England this week for the Deutsche Bank Championship, part of the PGA Tour’s FedEx Cup. He is excited to be back close to home.

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Read More: Deutsche Bank Championship, Dustin Pedroia, Keegan Bradley, Phil Mickelson
Tuesday’s Morning Mashup: Mavericks want to capitalize on Dwyane Wade’s ‘overreacting’ 06.07.11 at 7:42 am ET
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Welcome to Tuesday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our WEEI.com home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

WHAT’S HAPPENING LOCALLY TUESDAY:
MLB: Red Sox at Yankees, 7:05 p.m. (NESN; WEEI)

AROUND THE WEB:

‘™¦ The Mavericks are down 2-1 to the Heat in the NBA finals, but they apparently aren’t afraid to speak their mind and criticize their opponent ‘€” and each other. On Monday, DeShawn Stevenson revealed to the media that one of the Mavs’ strategies is to transition to offense quickly after a Dwyane Wade drive because of his “overreacting” in an attempt to draw foul calls.

“Coach said it before the series we have a chance to push the ball like we like because [Wade] complains to the ref a lot,” Stevenson said. “We’ve got to take advantage of that. He does it all the time. He did it like seven times [in Game 3].”

Guard Jason Terry also made a comment about Miami’s defense not being as good as the Trail Blazers’ ‘€” and yet he’s shooting just 38.2 percent from the field. That led to Dirk Nowitzki calling out his teammate.

“Jet [Terry] hasn’t really been a crunch-time, clutch player for us the way we need him to,” Nowitzki said. “We have to find a way to get Jet some freedom and get him off some movement, and he’s got to make some shots for us.”

‘™¦ Former college basketball coach Bobby Knight weighed in on the Ohio State controversy ‘€” in which players were suspended for trading memorabilia for tattoos ‘€” by criticizing the NCAA. “I understand what’s happened and there was a rule that was violated,” Knight said. “But it was an idiotic rule.” Speaking before the Iba Awards ceremony in Tulsa, Okla., where positive role models in sports are honored, Knight added: “I think this NCAA that we’re currently involved with is so far out of touch with the integrity of the sport that it’s just amazing.”

‘™¦ With the Major League Baseball draft in full swing, Real Clear Sports looks at the top 10 colleges that produce pro players. No. 1 is Long Beach, with Miami second and Arizona State, alma mater of Dustin Pedroia , third.

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On June 7, 1968, the Red Sox conducted a successful amateur draft, selecting which three players who went on to become major league All-Stars?

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “We played with a little bit of an edge tonight. It’s a win, but it’s still just one. I’m not sure how much carryover there will be.” ‘€” Bruins forward Shawn Thornton, after Monday night’s 8-1 rout of the Canucks

STAT OF THE DAY: 98 ‘€” Penalty minutes in the third period of Monday’s Bruins-Canucks game

‘NET RESULTS: Here’s the the third New Era commercial with Red Sox fan John Krasinski taking on Yankees backer Alec Baldwin.

A soccer goalie knocks the ball in his goal when it hits the cross bar and then bounces off him.

TRIVIA ANSWER: Cecil Cooper, Ben Oglivie and Bill Lee

SOOTHING SOUNDS: Prince turns 53 Tuesday.

Read More: bobby knight, DeShawn Stevenson, Dirk Nowitzki, Dustin Pedroia
Top stories of 2010, No. 7: Red Sox derailed by injuries 12.25.10 at 10:51 am ET
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For the final 10 days of 2010, WEEI.com will count down the top 10 stories of the year. In what was a memorable 12 months for all four of Boston’s major professional teams, there was a plethora of compelling storylines. Our next entry in the countdown is No. 7: The Red Sox‘ injury-plagued lost season.

Check out our previous entries:
No. 10: Kevin Garnett’s return to form
No. 9: The Patriots’ playoff meltdown vs. the Ravens
No. 8: The Marc Savard-Matt Cooke incident and aftermath

Also, make sure to cast your vote in WEEI.com’s poll for the 2010 Boston Athlete of the Year.

The 2010 Red Sox season was supposed to be predicated on two traits: pitching and defense. All offseason long, Theo Epstein raved about those qualities as the team signed Adrian Beltre, Mike Cameron and John Lackey while letting Jason Bay sign with the Mets.

There was only one problem with Epstein’€™s plan. He could not have factored in the most important characteristic of the 2010 squad: injured, early and often.

Within the first two weeks of the season, the Red Sox already had suffered their first casualties of the season when two-thirds of their outfield went on the disabled list. Things would only get worse, as the team lost three starting pitchers to the DL, four catchers were sidelined and two of the most reliable and productive members of the lineup, Dustin Pedroia and Kevin Youkilis, missed large parts of the season.

Things became so bad that they were almost laughable. The Red Sox led the league in total trips to the DL with 23, and finished fourth overall with over 1,050 games lost to the DL and more than $20 million lost due to injury. Their 89-73 record look that much more impressive considering the Red Sox lost most of their most important players rather than just a slew of no-names.

Josh Beckett and Daisuke Matsuzaka each missed five or more starts and those in the bullpen suffered myriad injuries. Victor Martinez missed just 23 games on the disabled list, a relative victory for a team of the walking injured. A torn thumb muscle forced Youkilis to ride the pine for over 60 games and Pedroia’€™s broken foot kept him out for more than half the season. Cameron, the most disappointing of the new acquisitions, managed just 162 at-bats. But the biggest exemplar of all the injuries and frustration of the 2010 season was Jacoby Ellsbury.

With Cameron’€™s addition, Ellsbury was supposed to take over left field duties and potentially become an even scarier threat on the base paths. The 26-year-old, who had led the league in steals in back-to-back seasons with 120 combined steals, was drawing very favorable praise during spring training.

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Read More: Dustin Pedroia, Jacoby Ellsbury, kevin youkilis, Mike Cameron
LEEInks List: Memorable Boston press conferences 11.03.10 at 6:28 am ET
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Randy Moss has had a wild 24 hours: playing against his former team less than a month after being traded and then being waived on Monday. But the most memorable part of Moss’ Halloween was Moss’ press conference, when, in a bizarre twist, he interviewed himself. The veteran receiver announced that he would no longer answer questions from the press this season but he wanted to talk to avoid being fined again.

While Moss’ press conference may be one of the wildest we’ve seen nationally in the past decade, we were able to find some other instances of stars in Boston saying some crazy things, or finding themselves in odd situations. Here’s a collection of some for which we could locate video.

10. March 10, 2010: Nomar Garciaparra retires as a Red Sox

The former shortstop and his onetime adversaries in the Red Sox front office buried the hatchet for a day at spring training so Garciaparra could retire as a member of the team with which he started his career. There were those who questioned the sincerity of Garciaparra, who had some legendary battles with the media.

9. Dec. 9, 2009: An embarrassed Tom Brady gets peppered with questions about his new baby

Brady tried his best to change the subject, but the media continued to pester him about the birth of his son. It would be difficult to recall a birth in Boston that received more attention than this one.

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Read More: Dustin Pedroia, kevin garnett, Randy Moss, Rick Pitino
Boston Sports Drinks (shaken, not stirred) 09.20.10 at 5:45 pm ET
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Sitting on my North End roof deck, watching the sun set over the Garden, sipping a John Daly (a take on the Arnold Palmer: lemonade and sweet tea vodka), I got to thinking. Miami nightclubs already have a drink named after LeBron James. Kentucky bars have a shot named after John Wall, and he only spent a year there. How come Boston doesn’€™t have signature drinks named after its high-profile sports personalities? Enlisting the help of Boston’€™s best bartender, Sarah Pemberton, we came up with five cocktails every Boston establishment should add to its menu.

THE LASER SHOT (a.k.a. The Dustin Pedroia)

1 oz. Patrón Silver
1 fresh lime slice
Squirt of Frank’€™s RedHot Cayenne Pepper Sauce

Combine tequila and juice of one lime slice over ice in a cocktail shaker. Shake well. Strain into a shot class, and add a squirt of Frank’€™s RedHot.

This shooter is like The Laser Show himself–compact and fiery. The Patrón gives a nod to the second baseman’€™s 2008 Silver Slugger Award, and the squirt of Frank’€™s RedHot obviously reflects the 5-foot-something Red Sox star’€™s impassioned personality.

THE SHPNOTAQ (a.k.a., The Shaquille O’€™Neal)

3 oz. Hpnotiq
0.25 oz. Midori
0.5 oz. sloe gin
3 crushed mint leaves
Dash of Sprite

Combine Hpnotiq, Midori and crushed mint over ice in a cocktail shaker. Shake well. Pour over a tall glass of ice, add a dash of Sprite and float the sloe gin over top. Garnish with a cherry.

A tall of drink of (not) water, this cocktail won’€™t cost much, and it can only help you rebound from that Game 7 hangover. Finding ingredients that end in Q is never easy, so the Hpnotiq is a natural fit. The Midori adds some Celtics green, and the mint is the next-best thing to a clover. Despite the aged legend’€™s sluggish pace (hence the sloe gin), we hope he’€™s still nimble (like the sprite).

THE SUPER BOWL (a.k.a., The Bill Belichick)

4 oz. Gale Force Gin
4 oz. ClearHeart Vodka
2 oz. Pusser’€™s British Navy dark rum
4 oz. Bacardi 151 over-proof rum
4 oz. Bacardi Silver light rum
2 oz. Blue Curaçao
2 oz. sour mix
6 oz. Hawaiian Punch
12 oz. Nantucket Nectars Pineapple Orange Guava

Fill a tiki bowl with about 20 ounces of ice. Add liqueurs. Mix in juice, top with sour mix and stir well. Makes enough for 3-5 people.

This concoction exposes your weaknesses. It’€™s 40 ounces– like you’€™d see a homeless man in a cutoff sweatshirt drinking. The gin and juice come from Belichick’€™s adopted home of Nantucket. The Bacardi Silver and Blue Curaçao add Pats colors. The vodka puts a twist on the Friday Night Lights ‘€œclear eyes, full hearts, can’€™t lose’€ mantra. The Hawaiian Punch represents his two Pro Bowl coaching stints. He’€™ll surpass 150 regular-season victories this year, hence the 151. The sour mix reflects Belichick’€™s ever-present sourpuss. And the dark rum recognizes his father’€™s contribution to the Naval Academy.

THE BLACK ‘€˜N’€™ GOLD (a.k.a., The Milan Lucic)

1 oz. black rum
1 oz. gold rum
0.5 oz. Chambord
Dash of Canada Dry Ginger Ale

Combine rum and Chambord over ice in a cocktail shaker. Shake well. Strain into a tumbler, add a dash of ginger ale and garnish with a yellow twist.

This drink will pull your sweater over your head and knock you out. Share a hat trick of these with a lady friend, and you’€™re definitely scoring. The combination is simple: the Bruins’€™ Black & Gold, a taste of Lucic’€™s home country (the ginger ale) and an appreciation for his slamming of people into the boards (the Chambord).

THE BIG O (a.k.a., The Glenn Ordway)

4 oz. stout
4 oz. Arrogant Bastard Ale
0.5 oz. Glenfiddich
0.5 oz. Bailey’€™s Irish Cream

In a pint glass, pour the stout slowly over a spoon to float atop the ale. Add the scotch and Irish cream to a shot glass. Drop the shot glass into the beer and chug.

Warning: This drink may cause you to talk over people, and it’€™ll stay in your mustache for hours. It’€™s a take on the Black & Tan, neither of which represents Glenn. But The Big O is admittedly stout, and he gets called ‘€œa fat bastard’€ by a handful of callers a day.

Read More: Bill Belichick, Dustin Pedroia, Glenn Ordway, john daly
Available second basemen and Elias rankings 07.14.10 at 10:46 am ET
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MLB Trade Rumors had two posts Wednesday morning that are both of interest to Red Sox fans as the July 31 trade deadline approaches.

First, MLBTR looks at second basemen who could be on the move before the end of the month. The Sox are said to be in the market for a middle infielder after Dustin Pedroia went on the disabled list with a broken foot at the end of June. One of the more intriguing prospects is Orioles All-Star Ty Wigginton. He has hit .252 this season but his power numbers (14 home runs, 45 RBI) certainly add to the resume. He’s also a free agent at the end of the season, meaning he could be one of the most likely on this list to be moved. Others that could see new homes come July 31 are Dan Uggla, Kelly Johnson and Cristian Guzman.

Also at the site are the Elias Rankings that determine whether free agents-to-be are considered Type A, Type B or none of the above. Those designations decide the draft compensation teams can be awarded if they lose a given free agent. For instance, the Red Sox selected Bryce Brentz and Anthony Ranaudo in the draft after being awarded the 36th and 39th picks in the sandwich round for losing Type A free agents Jason Bay and Billy Wagner.

Here’s what Boston free agents-to-be would be designated as if the season ended today:

Victor Martinez, C, Type A

Jason Varitek, C, Type B

David Ortiz (option for next year), DH, Type B

Bill Hall (option), utility, none

Adrian Beltre (option), 3B, Type A

Mike Lowell, 3B, Type B

Read More: Dustin Pedroia, red sox, Rumor Mill,
Millar vs. Pedroia and the battle for No. 15 01.09.09 at 10:45 am ET
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The MLB Network offered a particularly entertaining exchange between guest studio host Kevin Millar and Dustin Pedroia about the rightful guardian of No. 15 in Red Sox lore.

Kevin Millar: I tell you what, I have a card here with a long list. You’€™ve been in the league for two years. You’€™ve been Rookie of the Year, MVP, won a Gold Glove, Silver Slugger, you’€™re on the cover of MLB ‘€™09: The Show, you started the All-Star Game, you’€™ve won a title, and you’€™re wearing my number. What’€™s left?

Dustin Pedroia: The most impressive thing out of all that stuff is wearing your number, for sure. I remember last year, we were going to a game and I saw this elderly lady wearing No. 15. I thought, ‘€˜That’€™s pretty sweet.’€™ Then I looked up closer and it said Millar on the back, and I almost threw up a little bit. I was like, ‘€˜Are you kidding me? That was, like, 1,000 years ago.’€™ It was hilarious.

For the full interview, click here.

Read More: Dustin Pedroia, kevin millar, red sox,