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ESPN Has Gone Through And Essentially Eliminated MLB Coverage On The Network



ESPN Has Gone Through And Essentially Eliminated MLB Coverage On The Network

Yesterday ESPN went through and laid off a countless number of staffers ranging all over their networks regions. Now with the dust settling it appears as if ESPN is shifting away from baseball coverage entirely as they let go several prominent reporters and analysts from their baseball team.

With the layoffs, ESPN is looking to try and bring in outside programming to beef up their MLB talk on their channels without having the burden of paying for it in-house.

In a press release, ESPN announced it’s partnering with MLB Network to air “Intentional Talk,” the slap-and-tickle fest hosted by Chris Rose and Kevin Millar. The program will run from 4:00-5:00 p.m. on ESPN2 beginning next week.

The collaboration between ESPN and MLB Network isn’t a surprise, given Disney’s 33 percent stake in MLB Advanced Media. It appears as if ESPN is dramatically cutting down on its original MLB studio programming, with “Baseball Tonight” stars such as Dallas Braden, Doug Glanville and Raul Ibanez being let go on Wednesday. “Baseball Tonight” host Karl Ravech is going to see his role significantly reduced as well.

In addition to these names they have also let go Jayson Stark and Jim Bowden, both of whom highlighted their reporter brigade for Major League Baseball.

While ESPN pays MLB $700 million annually to broadcast games, it’s apparent baseball coverage is no longer a sport according to the World Wide Leader. That’s likely a reflection on MLB’s lessened national standing. “Sunday Night Baseball,” once a top show has seen its rating tank after the network gutted the booth team and replaced genuine personalities like Curt Schilling and John Kruk with vanilla ice cream replacements.

It is looking like the only two sports that ESPN will focus on is the NFL and NBA, both of which they are paying billions of dollars to annually to broadcast their league games. Funny thing is it is the contracts to these two leagues that ultimately sunk ESPN, and now they are forced to eliminate a majority of coverage from two leagues that have an abundance of fans.

In the long run, the moves made by ESPN cutting coverage from the MLB and the NHL will drive many fans away with their favorite sports no longer having any weight on their networks. Sadly once the worldwide leader this company is going down fast, and in an effort to save it they are getting rid of the parts that made it special.

Tanner founded Trifecta Network in Spring of 2016 and has been the Chief of Content for the Network since that time. Currently Tanner covers all the sports teams in Boston and has contacts in many of the teams in the city. Before starting Trifecta, Tanner was a Site Expert for the FanSided site Chowder and Champions before leaving to cover Boston teams on the ground as a member of the media for Trifecta.

Boston Celtics

The Good, the Better and the Best



Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images

Well if this wasn’t the worst week in Boston Sports history then I don’t what is. Now that I think of it, this month of October has arguably been the worst month ever, for Boston fans. The Sox are done, the Pats are neck-and-neck with the Jets in the AFC East and the Celtics are currently 0-2. There’s just no salvation to be found!

By now, all of us have fully absorbed the magnitude of Gordon Hayward’s injury. And the prognosis will certainly not put a smile on your face, nor will the trajectory of this Celtics team, as they are still searching for their first win. If that’s not frustrating enough for you, Marcus Smart is out for tonight’s game with an ankle injury.

Man, New England is in dire need of a pick-me-up. Have no fear. I am here to answer the call.

Rather than doing another installment of the Good, the Bad and the Ugly (where I mostly enumerate the worst things in Boston Sports) let’s do something a little more positive. This city needs a big injection of enthusiasm and I’ve come to provide it.

It’s time for the first ever (and probably only) edition of The Good, the Better and the Best.

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New England Patriots

NFL Talk: Week 7 Picks



Rob Gronkowski, NFL Tight End For The Patriots

NFL Talk: Week 7 Picks


Another shocking week of NFL football is now in the books. We have had many surprising injuries this past week that could very well decide the fate of some football teams futures moving forward this season. It was another 5-9 week for my picks and man it’s hurting me knowing how much football we still have left to see this season. 50-41 for the season. Well it’s time to see what else that I can right for football for Week 7!


Kansas City Chiefs @ Oakland Raiders: Winner – Chiefs


Chiefs losing to the Steelers last week showed that the undefeated streak was going to end eventually. However, the Raiders are a team that has been nothing but a disappoint this season. When they signed Marshawn Lynch this past off-season, everybody thought they would be using an old-fashioned ground and pound offense but instead, the Raiders have been mostly playing pass heavily. The Raiders receiving core including Michael Crabtree and Amari Cooper have been off this season and can’t maintain the production we are used to seeing from them. With both teams coming off losses, this game will come down to who will have the better overall defense.


I think Jack Del Rio knows his team needs to be changed in order for them to turn their season around but I feel that going against the Chiefs, who are one of the hottest teams this season, will be a huge challenge. Unless they allow Lynch to run the ball to take pressure off Derek Carr (who has been playing bad all throwing for 8 touchdowns and 4 picks so far), then I don’t see this Raiders team winning this game. The Chiefs should win this tight AFC West match up, 27-20.


Baltimore Ravens @ Minnesota Vikings: Winner – Vikings


The Ravens lost to the Chicago Bears last week and Joe Flacco has not been doing his team any favors this season. He has thrown 4 TDs and 8 INTs this season already, and going against the Vikings defense which has enough talent to put pressure on Flacco with the Front-Seven and the backfield having Xavier Rhodes and Harrison Smith, could give the Ravens the idea to run the ball instead. Which will not do any good because the Vikings have the 3rd best run defense (allowed only rushing 78 yards per game). The Ravens’ defense will have t step if they want this game to be close. The total score between these two teams will be low regardless, but I have the Vikings winning it all at home 18-13 with Case Keenum as the starting QB.

New Orleans Saints @ Green Bay Packers: Winner – Saints


It’s so sad how Aaron Rodgers now has an collarbone injury and is out for the entire 2017 NFL season. Ticket sales to Packers’ games just went down by 50% once the injury report listed him out entirely. That Packers team lives and dies with Rodgers and there is no two ways about it; The Packers season is over. With the New Orleans Saints starting to click finally with their defense stepping up finally this season, they could make some serious noise in Lambeau Field.


If Rodgers was playing, I would give this game to the Packers but now they have Brett Hundley under center. I don’t want to say that the Packers won’t be able to score some points, but going against Drew Brees, a future hall-of-famer, and a red hot Saints defense who are coming off a strong win last week against the Detriot Lions, won’t be easy for any backup QB. I have the Saints winning this game 27-17.


New York Jets @ Miami Dolphins: Winner – Dolphins


I would say the Jets should win because of how close they have played their games this season. (If you saw the whole game last week, everybody has been saying that the call on the play on Austin Seferian-Jenkins was a TD, but was called as not a TD becuase of loss of control on the ball, which everybody in that stadium saw was BS. I ruled it as a right call, but dumb rule) However, the Jets were originally predicted to be the worst team in the NFL. Now? That titles belong where it always has…with the Cleveland Browns. (The NFL is truly a cruel league) The Jets are a team that is unpredictable and it makes them interesting to watch. The Dolphins have one advantage going into this game and that is the run game. Jay Ajayi is the running back that likely will have the most time on the field on Sunday. The Dolphins need to control the clock in this game. I don’t expect Jay Cutler to make miracles happen but I do want the Dolphins to succeed at home. The Jets have had some serious games but I don’t think Josh McCown will survive against that defensive line consisting of Cameron Wake and Ndamukong Suh. I think this will come down to controlling time of possession and the Dolphins squeeze out the win 24-23.


Carolina Panthers @ Chicago Bears: Winner – Bears


Mitch Trubisky had some serious magic going on last week with Jordan Howard. The two were able to to get the Chicago offense going against the Ravens’ defense and the Bears defense had Flacco throwing picks throughout the day. The Bears defense is fairly underrated this season (8th in the league passing defense) but their strength is through their run game, give Jordan Howard the rock and let Trubisky take the pressure off. This is the key to their success.

The Panthers’ are coming off a hard loss last week after losing All-Pro LB Luke Kuechly to his 3rd concussion in three years. The Panthers defense has been tough but losing your leader in the line backing core will force players like Shaq Thompson to put more responsibility if Kuechly remains out. (He has been reported to still be attending practices) However, Kelvin Benjamin has also been listed as DNP (Did Not Participate) so that is also a major concern. The Panthers need to establish their running game because it’s clear that Cam Newton can’t be Super Cam unless he can take the pressure off. (The bears have allowed over 104 rushing yard per game this season, which is 15th in the NFL)


This game game can be decided by the Bears maintaining their current run game throughout, but it will depend on the Panthers defense stepping up if Kuechly is not on the active roster. The Panthers need to feed the ball more to Christian McCaffery then Jonathan Stewart if they want to win this game. Bears should win this game 21-18.


Arizona Cardinals @ Los Angeles Rams: Winner – Rams


The Cardinals have established a running game. Adrian Peterson is a difference maker on that offense compared to how he was in New Orleans. However, Todd Gurely vs. Adrian Peterson for the best running game should be a fun watch for sure. I love the idea that the Cardinals can be a legitimate team now but the defensive line will be the decider for how well AP will run.


The Rams special teams are also important. They have arguably the best special teams unit in the NFL. However, despite the Cardinals having a great win, I think the Rams are one of the best upcoming teams this season. I have the Rams winning this game 27-24 in a close NFC West showdown.


Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Buffalo Bills: Winner – Bills


Man, Jameis Winston is going through the Fitzmagic curse. The reality is that even if Winston returns, this Bucs defense is absolutely terrible. They are incapable of holding down the run as was seen with AP’s performance last week. The Buffalo Bills are coming off a bye week and should definitely be bringing in some pain with LeSean McCoy in the run game.


It’s crazy to think that this year, its all about the running backs being the difference makers in a pass happy era like the NFL is in today. But with how tough pass defenses are today, they are heavily reliant on the defensive line to bring pressure. And while Tyrod Taylor is much of a scrambling QB, he is still capable of throwing the ball hen needed. Winston will have a difficult time dealing with the Bills defense as they are 7th in the league in rushing yards per game (87.6 yards per game) and this means the passing attack will play a key role in this game. Mike Evans could be a huge decider in this game but the sad truth is we will not know for sure if Winston will be healthy.


If we are basing this game around now? I have the Bills winning this game by a field goal (because the Bucs’ kickers apparently can’t get any) 24-21. But if Winston is in this game then I would take the Bucs to make an upset, but right now I won’t hold my breath until we see the injury reports on game day.


Jacksonville Jaguars @ Indianapolis Colts: Winner – Jaguars


So much for my prediction about the Jaguars winning last week. The Jags are a team that seem like they should be able to make a turn around with their secondary but the team’s inconsistency is what makes them a hard team to bet on. But if they win one game and then lose the next game, then this is going a straight 8-8 for the year. However, this is a in-division rivalry we are about to see in Lucas Oil Stadium.


I love Brissett but with the news that Andrew Luck is likely going to miss the entire 2017 NFL season, it makes you realize that Chuck Pagano is about to be on the hot seat out of Indianapolis. The Jags are seemingly the better team and they just dodged a bullet with the news that Leonard Fornette is likely playing Sunday. The Jaguars offense lives through that run game and the turnovers are especially important.


I have a feeling Frank Gore will be used in the running game more during this week so there is likely chance he will have plenty of attempts. But I see the Jags winning this game 27-20 if the Colts don’t bother to make adjustments.


Tennessee Titans @ Cleveland Browns: Winner – Browns


….I really do not want to go over how this game will be because it’s already obvious. The Browns will be a team going for a Top 3 pick in this year’s draft and that is SAD. The Titans are still trying to compete for their division against the Texans and Jaguars but they have a ways to go. Hopefully Mariota will be healthy for this game (he definitely wasn’t 100% on Monday night) but otherwise, this is an easy one to pick. Titans win over Cleveland 24-17, and I know this because Deshone Kizer is starting again for them, and I can only say that the Browns need to pick a QB in next year’s draft or else.


Dallas Cowboys @ San Fransisco 49ers: Winner – Cowboys


So Ezekiel Elliot will play in this game. The reality is that the Cowboys seem to be pushing his suspension further back then expected, which is important for this team moving forward. However, the 49ers have confirmed that Bowman is gone and with him out, it is likely the line backing core will be lacking in leadership. The Dallas Cowboys seem to have it easy with this game as the 49ers are tanking to rebuild the team with next year’s draft.


However, the game will be somewhat close but the 49ers are confirming to bench Brian Hoyer for CJ Beathard. But it won’t be enough to make a difference as Dak Prescott is preforming better now. Which will be important for the team going forward but the Cowboys should win this game 30-21.


Cincinnati Bengals @ Pittsburgh Steelers: Winner – Steelers


The Bengals are one of those teams that seemingly should be bad but never stay that way for long. But going all the way to Heinz Field against the Steelers will be tough. The Steelers just upset the last undefeated team; the Kansas City Chiefs and are likely to continue their win streak at home. The Killer Bs should be a good enough offense that they can likely pull through in this game especially with both teams having the best passing defenses in the NFL. (Bengals have allowed 159 passing yard per game and the Steelers have only allowed 153)


This game will be decided by the running game and I think I would take over Joe Mixon any day of the week. I think the Steelers have the most likely chance to pull through this one based on match-ups even with Andy Dalton and AJ Green starting to finally click. Steelers win a close AFC North match-up 31-24.


Seattle Seahawks @ New York Giants: Winner – Seahawks


The Giants made an upset last week by doing one thing: Getting Ben McAdoo to shut up and let his coordinators do their damn job. McAdoo making the playcalls was clearly not helping the offense especially once their receiving core got hit. The Giants relied on minimizing their mistakes and letting the Broncos act arrogant because everybody thought they couldn’t pull an upset.


However, the Seahawks have a veteran defense and are unlikely to allow the same mistakes that the Broncos did. The Seahawks are a team that has been having difficulties with their offensive line and the Giants are likely pull some stops with their defense but I think this will come down to which defense gets the most turnovers. Seahawks win 24-23.


Denver Broncos @ Los Angeles Chargers: Winner – Chargers


I believe that the Chargers pull the upset of the week by going on a 3 game win streak. The Broncos are going to traveling and after that beatdown from the Giants that they got, they will be coming in angry. However, the Chargers are a team that looks to get pay back for what happened earlier in the season when they cam just short of a field goal of winning their game at Mile High.


The two teams here will have an interesting matchup as the Chargers have allowed the most rushing yards in the NFL (with 153 yards rushing per game) while the Broncos are currently 2nd in Run defense. This will be key as the Broncos will likely shut down the run game and try to hold down the passing game with their elite “No Fly Zone” Secondary. However, the Chargers have allowed the 4th least amount of total passing yards in the NFL, and if you think that Brock Osweiler will be able to get through that defense without a possible turnover, you got another thing coming. I think that the Chargers despite the Broncos having a clear advantage in defense, can give them more headaches then when they first played each other Week 1. Chargers pull another upset 24-23 at home.


New England Patriots @ Atlanta Falcons: Winner – Patriots


This will be possibly the Game of The Week right here. These two teams are coming in with alot of heat under them. The Patriots have one of the worst defenses possibly in NFL history while the Falcons are beginning to suffer through the Super Bowl Hangover.


While the Pats are indeed still safe with Tom Brady, it won’t help if they can’t beat this Falcons team that is still very familiar with what happened only 8 months ago in Super Bowl LI. (The 28-3 jokes are already tiresome so I ain’t doing them now) But the Falcons are a team that can be able to pull something here. They lost last week in a bad way to the Miami Dolphins, but the Patriots should be easier to throw against if Matty Ice pulls through. Julio Jones hasn’t played much of a factor this season as he has yet to receive a TD this season.


The Patriots are still a team that will compete for the AFC championship but nonetheless the Super Bowl Champions aren’t walking out of that new stadium without some pain. The Patriots will an ugly game this week 34-32 against the Falcons will come within a  field goal of winning this game, but come up short.


Washington Redskins @ Philadelphia Eagles: Winner – Eagles


The NFC East has a strong match-up on Monday night. The Eagles are one of the most dangerous teams in the NFC right now. The Redskins are a team that can likely give the Eagles pain, but the Eagles Front-Seven led by Fletcher Cox will make this game a dangerous one to say the least. The Redskins have an offensive line that can handle any Defensive line but this will be a match-up that can be decided based on the Eagles DL and the Redskins OL.


The Redskins are starting to slowly gain momentum now especially with their secondary being led by Josh Norman. The Eagles have made a great dual threat in using LeGarrette Blount to great effect by having him average 4.9 yards after contact (Only 8 running backs in the NFL having 4.9+ yards WITHOUT CONTACT). With the teams playing the way they are this will be a back and forth game for sure, with both Carson Wentz and Kirk Cousins competing for the best QB in the NFC now without Aaron Rodgers being on the Packers. This will be a game worth seeing but I have the Eagles winning at home in a close game 28-26.








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Boston Celtics

Celtics Talk: The Little Guys




The play of Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward will not make or break this Celtics team. Everyone knows that they’ll perform. No it’s the ancillary characters, those hard-nosed guys who have been placed on the backburner, that will make the difference for Boston during the upcoming 2017-18 season.

This past summer was charged with controversy and pandemonium, following some massive moves made by Danny Ainge and his subordinates. Dishing out well-groomed fan favorites to teams manifold, Boston felt like the nexus of offseason activity in the NBA.

Many Celtics fans still harbor some reproach, regarding the unfamiliarity of this team. But I assure you that there is still exists that “Tommy Point” foundation, which the Celtics will look to for a foothold when the going gets tough. These are the individuals that will dictate the trajectory of this team’s season.    

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