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Connolly’s Top Ten: Boring Draft, Sox Anemic, Wire Best Show



Connolly’s Top Ten: Boring Draft, Sox Anemic, Wire Best Show

1. Red Sox – Chris Sale compared to Pedro 2000:

* Pedro’s record 18-6 / ERA 1.74 / Scores in losses 1-0 / 2-1 / 2-1 / 3-2 / 5-3 / 3-0

* Chris Sale record 1-2 / ERA 1.19 / Scores in losses 3-0 / 2-1

2. Celtics Playoffs – Minutes per game 2017 vs. Career leaders

* Isaiah Thomas 36.6 / Avery Bradley 37.0 / Al Horford 35.2 / Jae Crowder 35.0 /  Marcus Smart 31.0

* Russell 45.44 / Jo Jo White 42.85 / Antoine Walker 42.69 / Cowens 42.34 / / Larry Bird 41.99

3. NFL Draft – Patriots no buzz so lets go back to five quality years in a row at the draft:

* 1973 – John Hannah, Ray Hamilton, Stingley, Sam Bam

* 1974 – Steve Nelson, Andy Johnson, Sam Hunt

* 1975 – Steve Grogan, Shoate, Russ Francis

* 1976 – Mike Haynes, Pete Brock, Tim Fox, Ike Forte

* 1977 – Raymond Clayborn, Stanley Morgan, Horace Ivory, Don Hasselbeck

4. Paul Pierce in the Hall of Fame?

* Never first team All NBA

Boston Red Sox

5. Local teams and payroll:

Celtics 20th in payroll $93mm

Bruins 23rd in payroll $72mm

Patriots 20th in payroll $160mm

Red Sox 4th in payroll $200mm

6. Should have been Dynasties

Early 1970’s Bruins – just two Stanley Cups was underachieving

Atlanta Braves 1980’s – John Smoltz, Glavine and Greg Maddux and just one

Miami Dolphins 1970’s – Don Shula the most over-rated coach in sports history – had control over multiple hall of famers and only won two

7. Amazing StatEvan Turner had more triple doubles for the Celtics than Dennis Johnson – 3 to 1

8. Old School – Horford is shooting 56.1% from the field in the playoffs – who are the other top five Celtic history in post season?

* Ed Pickney…………61.2%

* Kendrick Perkins…..56.6%

* Kevin McHale……….56.1%

* Bill Walton…………..55.9%

* Cedric Maxwell………54.6%

9. Just a Little Bit Outside – Favorite Cable TV Series in order – Wire, Mad Men, Sopranos, Game of Thrones, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Dexter, Breaking Bad, Man in the High Castle, Deadwood, Boardwalk Empire, House of Card

10. Randomocity

* Pedro never gave up a walk-off home run

* Do Subaru’s come with the Coexist bumper sticker

* Quint’s story about the USS Indianapolis is better than Alec Baldwin’s rant on Glengarry Glen Ross

* I can’t believe there wasn’t a bigger uproar by the media or the Bruins about the unbalanced officiating

* Can I pose an observation? Now this is a not about racism as much as profiling – I think NBA officials measure probability and not actuality – I think often they assume fouls on white players who they perceive not to have the athletic ability to make certain plays – ie – step in front for a charge / block a shot – just watch some of the fouls on Kelly Olynyk

* I asked Kevin Paul Dupont why no one asked David Pastrnak about missing the net or ask Marchand about only scoring 1 goal is 25 playoff games – he told me to ask the fans

Boston Red Sox

Who’s Going to the Bullpen?



Red Sox

Who’s Going to the Bullpen In October For The Boston Red Sox?

You’re fooling yourself if you don’t think that the Red Sox will be sending a left-handed starter to the bullpen, come October. Boston’s going to need at least 1 more late-inning southpaw to navigate around playoff caliber line-ups. The only question is: Who will it be?

Recently John Farrell alluded to this bullpen deficiency when commenting on the injury-status of exorbitantly paid lefty David Price. As you may have heard, Price has been making strides towards a regular season return on the mound. He threw a simulated game against Sox hitters last Wednesday. Purportedly he had all his stuff working nicely.

If David Price is to make such an expeditious return (what a fighter), it would come right on the threshold of the playoffs. John Farrell has been asked whether Price could be pitching out of the bullpen in October. His response: “At this point, you can’t rule that out.”

You have to see where Farrell is coming from here. The Sox have just 2 lefty pseudo-specialists in the pen. I tenuously concede that title, to these 2 guys, simply because they’re left-handed pitchers. We’re talking about Robby Scott and Fernando Abad here. That’s it. Those names don’t exactly inspire confidence, do they?

What Is

That’s right, at this juncture, the Red Sox are relying on 2 left-handed pitchers to come out of the bullpen in high leverage situations. The problem lies with the fact that both Scott and Abad are not utilized, nor do they present any real threat, against left-handed hitters.

Fernando Abad has had a good, if not a super-solid year for the Sox as a 7th inning arm. In 42 games, he has a 2.68 ERA. Awesome, for a guy who is just the epitome of mediocrity. What should somewhat concern fans is his ERA against left-handed hitters. It’s actually a tick higher than the mean. Against batters from the same side, Abad has a 2.81 ERA. He has 8 innings fewer, recorded against lefties than he does against righties in 2017. This betrays his role out of the pen. Abad is a general 7th inning guy. He is not the invariable shutdown southpaw that the Red Sox need to face left-handed hitters in critical October situations.

Robby Scott is a middling and shriveling hose on the mound (look at this goofball’s arm slot). Good ol’ “Bob O” is slinging with a 4.05 ERA out of the bullpen. You could call Scott Boston’s lefty-specialist, but he has an inherent weakness. This is something that will definitely rear its repugnant head in the playoffs: His ERA is 7.20 on the road. Ouch! So theoretically, Robby Scott’s only dependable for about half a postseason series.

Thus something’s gotta change.

What Could Be

As our buddy John Farrell suggested, David Price could find himself, in some capacity, pitching out of the bullpen when he returns. Now don’t forget that Farrell has a multitude of options on the table when it comes to the delegation of this staff. Expect to see a roulette-wheel of arms, or a “next man up” sort of rotation in October. It should be fun to watch.

There are 3 guys, Price being one, who are eligible to lead the staff as the “lefty” in the pen.

This youngster has the most untarnished promise: Eduardo Rodriguez. That’s right, E-Rod has already demonstrated his ability and willingness to relieve. Well, kinda. He has pitched 1 inning in relief, in his entire career. In this inning, Rodriguez struck out 2 while giving up not a single hit nor a run. What makes him an enticing option, is that he is still young. This implies that there’s some pliability left in that athlete-psychology of his. If Sox management sells it to the kid tactfully, this move to the pen could have some permanence to it. As a starter, he has a 4.28 career ERA. It’s never too late to find your calling E-Rod!

Drew Pomeranz is another left-handed starter to seriously consider as a bullpen arm, in the postseason. This guy was a full-time reliever in 2015, with the Oakland A’s. That year, he had a 2.61 ERA in 44 games. What amplifies his allure as a potential reliever: His ERA was 2.12 against lefties. Some may be deterred by his underwhelming performance in the 2016 postseason. Last year, in the Cleveland series, Pomeranz pitched 3.2 innings of relief and gave up 2 ER’s. Conversely, he had 7 K’s. These bad numbers were probably a symptom of the nervousness that Pomeranz was experiencing. He was pitching in his first couple and the only, postseason games of his career. Pomeranz is certainly worth another shot.

Lastly, we come to David Price. He is the volatile and toxic pitcher that the Red Sox have handcuffed themselves to for seasons to come. Dave Dombrowski is still desperately trying to produce a bang for his buck with this guy.

General soreness has plagued Price up and down, to his fingertips, since this past Spring. With about 3 weeks left in the regular season, and with Price situated to return after a few more rehab sessions, a decision has to be made. What do you do with this expensive lefty in October?

You can hear it screaming from the tonality of all of David Price’s press conferences: He wants to be loved. But there is also boisterous, yet half-repressed, ego here. Asking a Cy Young winning starter to go to the bullpen is a delicate task. You could kindle an inextinguishable conniption fit, the likes of which we’ve never seen. But if Farrell can spin-doctor the proposal in such a way as to make Price feel like the hero, we might have ourselves a weapon to capitalize on.

Back in 2008, coming out of the bullpen for Tampa, David Price had a 1.58 ERA in 5.2 innings pitched. And this was in the postseason! He was just a wee-little rookie back then. Since these successful relief appearances, which he made nearly a decade ago, Price has established a horrendous track-record in October.

The Hand You’re Dealt

Again, with David Price, the best approach would be to stroke the ace’s ego, when explaining this prospective move to the pen. Pitch it to him like he’d be putting Boston on his back. If the Sox can strategically delay Price’s return, John Farrell could even construe it as a short “rehabilitation period”. You know, just to get things in motion; to shake off the rust David. If I was Price, I would be grateful for any opportunity to restart with a clean slate in October.

As the Red Sox rotation is constituted, practically 70% of their starters are left-handed. Surely a bullpen assignment is on the horizon, for one of these southpaws. With a surplus of starters, the Sox can afford to spin the carousel of this rotation. It’s foreseeable that a right-hander and a left-hander could end up splitting a postseason game almost evenly. Stigmatic honor aside, what matters is the win, not who’s the pitcher on record.

John Farrell is certainly worthy of some sympathy: His bullpen resolution will be a difficult one to reach. Boston has a bunch of cantankerous and talented starter’s here, and all of them want to shine. David Price is the lefty who would be the most suited for a stint in the bullpen. Such a reintroduction would coddle him back into his preferred role as a starter. Farrell admittedly is toying with this exact notion. Let’s just hope that Price is flexible enough to do what’s asked of him.

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Boston Red Sox

Red Sox Batting or Pitching More Concerning?



Red Sox

Red Sox Batting or Pitching More Concerning?

Tonight NESN will be broadcasting the game in virtual reality (for those who care). Wow, how futuristic! But before we let NESN get all virtual reality on us, let’s take a more realistic look at this exasperating Red Sox team. Most recently, they’ve been questionable on both sides of the baseball. But which element will ultimately be more detrimental to our hunt for postseason glory: The arms or the bats?

We are now in the month of September. Playoff baseball lies near on the horizon. There are only 24 games left on the schedule, and we are up by a tenuous 2.5 games on the Yankees. The heartbreak of losing that series, this past weekend in the Bronx, still lingers in the minds of fans.

It is undeniable that the Red Sox have faltered as of late. They are a measly 7-8 in their last 15 games. Our guys have been underperforming. And this is certainly not the time to ease off the gas-pedal. Despite the lead in the division, we have not secured a playoff birth just yet.

Both our pitching and our hitting has waxed and waned, like a candle in the wind. There appears to be an emotional dichotomy in this clubhouse. Some games, this Sox team takes the field clamoring to hear the words “play ball”. But almost just as often, we see a bunch of players who appear to be disinterested and defeated out of the gate. It makes you wonder if they have what it takes to be successful on the biggest stage.

Don’t get it twisted: Dave Dombrowski wants to win immediately. He’s not here for an unglamorous “rebuild”. Over the past 2 years, Dombrowski has assembled a competitive postseason team. He’s done this through aggressive trading, with a tenacious business approach. He’s surrounded our homegrown talent with bonafide star-power. On paper, we have one of the most formidable teams in the MLB.

We’ve all performed the eye-test. The Red Sox making a playoff run in 2017 should be safely presumed, right? Sure. But just how far should we expect them to go in October?

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Who To Follow On Twitter This Patriots Season




Who To Follow On Twitter This Patriots Season

The New England Patriots kick off their 2017 NFL campaign this Thursday against the Kansas City Chiefs.

Getting the best commentary and information is often tough to come by, especially on Twitter. Here is a list of must follows this Patriots season.

Trifecta Accounts:

@TrifectaNetwork: We will have the latest Patriots news and breakdowns.

@StephenHilton92: Stephen is the Patriots Expert for Trifecta Network and will have breakdowns of every game and big news.

@TannerRebelo: Tanner will have the latest reports directly from the Patriots and breaking news coverage.

@EvanCook33: Evan, our Pawtucket Red Sox beat writer, will be contributing to our Patriots coverage this fall.

Local Media Accounts:

@JeffpHowe: The Boston Herald’s Patriots beat writer.

@MarkDanielsPJ: The Providence Journals Patriots Beat Writer

@PatsCap: Expert knowledge of the Patriots cap room.

National Media Accounts:

@AdamSchefter: ESPN NFL reporter, one the best in the business.

@RapSheet: NFL Network reporter, right there with Schefter.

We hope you found this helpful. There are other accounts out there, but these are the accounts that provide the most “value” to Twitter users.

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