Jrue Holiday: Gatekeeper of the Big Macs

Jrue Holiday: Gatekeeper of the Big Macs

One of the areas the Sixers really struggled in last season was closing out tight games with just a few minutes to play. At times they lacked a player who could step up in the final moments.

In Tuesday night's preseason win over the Wizards, Jrue Holiday -- who finished the night with a game-high 24 points -- looked confident with the ball in his hands in a tight game. He hit two big pull up three pointers in the final minutes, a really nice sign that the third-year point guard could be poised to step into a closers role for a team that desperately needed it a year ago.

In his post game chat with reporters, Jrue played it off as simply being his night to step up, giving credit to Lou Will as being a solid closer as well.

Jrue's play down the wire also created one of the more humorous moments of the evening, when he found himself on the free throw line with just seconds to play. The Sixers point total stood at 99 and Jrue had one shot left to push the total into triple digits which would give every fan in attendance a free Big Mac.

Holiday missed the free throw as the sparse crowd got rather vocal, cheering "Big! Mac! Big Mac!"

Holiday got lucky, however, as the ball bounced right to him on the rebound and he was quickly fouled, sending him back to the line for redemption.

This time he delivered, pushing the Sixers into triple digits and providing (delicious?) free cheeseburgers tomorrow to all ticket-holders.

Did Jrue realize that so much free meat and special sauce was on the line?

"Thad was chomping," Jrue said in the locker room while doing a bite-down motion with his hand and mouth. You could see him smiling as he stood on the line and the fans got louder. That's when he realized.

"I had to thank the fans for coming out," Holiday said.

A Sixers win to cap off the abbreviated preseason and a free Big Mac for lunch tomorrow. Just Jrue Holiday showing his love for the Philly fans.

Happy Holiday.

Buccaneers promote former Eagles WR Josh Huff to active roster

Buccaneers promote former Eagles WR Josh Huff to active roster

Josh Huff is back on an NFL active roster.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are calling the wide receiver up from their practice squad to their 53-man roster. The Eagles released Huff just over a month ago following his arrest for unlawful possession of a firearm. 

The 25-year-old Huff was originally a third round pick by the Eagles in 2014. He made 48 receptions for 482 yards and four touchdowns over three seasons. He excelled on special teams, returning two kicks for touchdowns. One of those kick returns came in his penultimate game with the Eagles, a 21-10 win over the Vikings on Oct. 23. 

Huff replaces Cecil Shorts III for the Buccaneers after Shorts suffered a season-ending knee injury on Sunday in San Diego.

Meanwhile, the Eagles have filled Huff's role in the offense with rookie receivers Bryce Treggs and Paul Turner. 

MLB Notes: Red Sox acquire ace LHP Chris Sale from White Sox

MLB Notes: Red Sox acquire ace LHP Chris Sale from White Sox

OXON HILL, Md. -- All-Star ace Chris Sale is joining the reloading Boston Red Sox, leaving behind his shredded reputation with the Chicago White Sox.

Boston acquired Sale on Tuesday for a package of four prospects, including high-priced Yoan Moncada.

Sale was a top trade target at the winter meetings and the AL East champion Red Sox were getting him instead of Washington, which also pursued.

A few hours earlier, Boston got prime setup man Tyler Thornburg from Milwaukee. After that deal was announced, without tipping his hand, Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski said: "We're trying to win now, as you can see."

Boston acquired Sale for minor league pitchers Michael Kopech and Victor Diaz, outfielder Luis Basabe and Moncada, a third baseman (see full story).

Red Sox get setup man Thornburg from Brewers for INF Shaw
OXON HILL, Md. -- The Boston Red Sox have gotten the setup man they wanted, acquiring right-hander Tyler Thornburg from the Milwaukee Brewers in a package that included infielder Travis Shaw.

The deal was announced Tuesday and was the first trade at baseball's winter meetings.

Milwaukee also got minor league infielder Mauricio Dubon, minor league right-hander Josh Pennington and a player to be named or $100.

The 28-year-old Thornburg will become Boston's eighth-inning guy, setting up closer Craig Kimbrel for the AL East champions. Thornburg was 8-5 with 13 saves and a 2.15 ERA in 67 games for the Brewers, striking out 90 in 67 innings.

The 26-year-old Shaw hit .242 with 16 home runs and 71 RBIs last season. He mostly played third base, and also saw time at first.

The 22-year-old Dubon hit a combined .323 and scored 101 runs between the Single-A and Double-A levels. The 21-year-old Pennington was 5-3 with a 2.86 ERA in Class A (see full story).

Yankees to retire Jeter's No 2 on May 14, last single digit
NEW YORK -- Derek Jeter's No. 2 is being retired, the last of the New York Yankees' single digits.

The Yankees said Tuesday the number will be retired on May 14 before a Mother's Day game against Houston, and a plaque in his honor will be unveiled in Monument Park during the ceremony.

Jeter's number is the 21st retired by the team. He won five World Series titles and was a 14-time All-Star during a 20-season career that ended in 2014 and he is sixth in career hits with 3,465.

Jeter set Yankees records for hits, games (2,747), at-bats (11,195), doubles (544) and stolen bases (358) (see full story).