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Five Questions With Barstool Sports Writer Jerry Thornton

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Five Questions With Barstool Sports Writer Jerry Thornton 

As we continue our five questions series that has seen the likes of Chad Finn and Jared Carrabis we are always looking for new and interesting ways to bring Boston sports influencers into potentially a new light. This week I had the pleasure of interviewing former WEEI radio personality and current Barstool Sports writer Jerry Thornton five questions revolving around the New England Patriots.

 Jerry is one of the more talented Patriots writers in the region and his experiences range from writing a book on the Pat’s all the way to partaking in weekly interviews with Bill Belichick. Below are the five questions I asked Jerry and a special bonus one below where he shed some light on the behind the scenes of interviewing the hooded one.

1. What has been your favorite Patriots story to write about so far?

You might think it’d be one of the Boston championships. But as great as those have been and as much as I appreciate how lucky we are, my favorite story to write about has been Deflategate. It just has everything. Conspiracy. Lies. Cover ups. Us against the world. Smear campaigns. Courts. The great vengeance and furious anger of the most energized, motivated and tech-savvy fan base in all of sports.

I pride myself on being The Man Who Was Right About Deflategate From Minute One. I read everything about it with a skeptical eye from the beginning and as much abuse as I took for being a Denier, I never had to move off my spot as more and more haters came over to the side of the angels on that. I must have written a million posts about it, and I rocked ’em all.

2. During your time at WEEI, what was the most memorable time on the radio?

Well this happened slightly off the air. But we talked about it quite a bit. When I first got my hands on a copy of my first book, “From Darkness to Dynast: The First 40 Years of the New England Patriots” (sorry about the shameless plug, but not sorry), I brought a copy to the studio at Gillette with the idea of offering it to Bill Belichick.

Well, this was during training camp, and whether it was a bad day of practice or what, he was being a little cranky during the interview. (I guess he’s like that some times? I never noticed.) Anyway, when we were done he had to race off to his press conference but I handed him a copy anyway. And his whole demeanor changed. He was really appreciative, especially when I told him “Spoiler alter: At the end, you win the Super Bowl.” So he thanked me and left. Then came back a full minute later and asked if I wouldn’t mind signing it.

I kid you not. If there are an infinite number of parallel universes all existing simultaneously, we live in the only one where he has my autograph and I never asked for his. Like any Patriots fan worthy of the name, I’d take a bullet for that man.

New England Patriots News

3. With your book From Darkness to Dynasty already under your belt, can we expect another one in the future?

Absolutely, Having spent years working on FD2D (its droid name), nights and weekends, off and on, I can honestly tell you it’s worth the time and effort. In that way ballplayers will win a title and say “This why we lift all them weights.” You can write a million blogs but there’s something about having something tangible that will outlive you that it really gratifying. So I’ve met with my publisher and the ball is rolling on the next project.

4. What made you decide to leave WEEI and go back to Barstool?

I’ll put it the way my former co-host Dale Arnold put it to me on the air: “Wait. So you’ll get a national audience, more money, and less work and you’re leaving … WHY?” I loved being at WEEI. It was an amazing opportunity. And a success. Our ratings were great and getting better and management said nothing but positive things as they offered me a new contract. But Barstool offered me opportunities and pay WEEI couldn’t. Plus I always did miss being connected to that Stoolie audience.

I’ve always felt pride and some ownership of what Barstool has accomplished. And still a part of things. Fortunately I left on the same good terms with WEEI I did with the Stool back in 2014. So they’ve kept me on the payroll and given me some great part time roles. That means a lot.

5. With Barstools podcast network growing what seems to be daily, can we expect to see a Jerry Thornton run football podcast in the near future?

Yes. That was part of the original plan when I signed back on in November. We were waiting for the right co-host to become available, and he has. So I’m working on a date certain to launch this thing because I love the podcast format even more than radio. And to have one on that Barstool platform will be living the dream.

Optional: When the you were off air during the weekly Bill Belichick interviews on the Dale and Holley show, what was coach Belichick like

It’s not like I’m objective on this question because I make no effort to hide my appreciation for the man who saved my football team. But honestly, Belichick was great off the air. Even when he was being super guarded during the interview, he wasn’t above admitting off air that he didn’t give us much to work with. But more often than not, he’d get chatting about something, stay right through the break and we’d have to shoo him out of the room. Either way, I always took it as he was doing and saying what he needed to to keep his team focused. Which was fine by me.

Thank you to Jerry for agreeing to come onto the five questions series, stay tuned for future editions of the series. 

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.

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Heaps Out, But Who’s to Blame in New England?

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New England Revolution

Heaps Out, But Who’s to Blame in New England?

Hope springs eternal one week into the post-Jay Heaps era for the New England Revolution after a surprise 2-1 victory over table-toppers Toronto FC on Saturday. But despite taking three points from their first match since the skipper’s dismissal last week, the Revs will likely need to win out and receive a good bit of help to avoid missing the MLS Playoffs for a second consecutive year.

Who’s to blame for the slide into mediocrity since their 2014 MLS Cup appearance? Heaps was the first on the chopping block, yet many have questioned Revolution General Manager Mike Burns as well. Voices around the league from prominent agents, to national soccer writers, to the Twitter artist formerly known as @FakeJayHeaps have pointed to the GM’s culpability.

Burns stepped into his role as GM at the same time as Jay Heaps was brought before the 2012 season. In the build to 2014, he played a role in earning the Revolution a reputation for drafting well, utilizing homegrown players and making clever low risk-high reward acquisitions. Is any of that true in 2017? Has it been true since 2014?

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State of Trifecta Network

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State of Trifecta Network

The last two months have been a whirlwind. There are no words that can truly describe what has happened to us as a website.

We went from a site that was getting an average of 2-3k viewers a week to getting that in a single day on average since the start of June. Since the start of June, we have been a credentialed member of the media to several of the teams in the area and look to increase that in the Fall.

Ultimately everything we create is meant to be read/consumed by our readers, you.  Often it is tough to get a vibe on what is or isn’t working in terms of content. That is why we would greatly appreciate if you guys give your thoughts in the comment section of this post to help us curate better content.

One thing we are looking forward to in the Fall is more reader/writer interactions. We will start doing Q and A’s related to all the Boston sports teams as well as a live Fantasy Football podcast where we will take your lineup questions.

The launch of the Fantasy podcast has yet to be decided, but expect it ahead of week 1 of the NFL season with a draft podcast. We will also be launching a Fantasy Football league to run alongside it if interested in joining fill out the contact form below with your information.

Trifecta Network is a growing platform, we will always be free and made for our readers. We appreciate your readership and want to build the best product we can to ensure the best Boston sports experience in the city.

You may have noticed more video content on the site, it is an area we are looking to improve, but not focus solely on. Many sports sites are going away from traditional writing, a move that I believe is a mistake.

If you ever have any thoughts or comments please feel free to reach out to us.

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Boston Red Sox

Boston Red Sox: Realistic Trade Deadline Possibilities

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Fenway Park

Third Base for the Red Sox has been a void for the last few months, and these names could help them fill it.

As we normally do, every Trade Deadline year after year the Red Sox always throw their hat in the race for the biggest name on the market. This season, Jose Quintana has been the biggest name that was moved and to no surprise the Red Sox checked in on him at some point in the season. With names like Sonny Gray, Todd Frazier, and David Robertson all potentially on the move, I assess the realistic opportunities for the Red Sox to cash in and find their missing puzzle piece at third base. These are some players that you may not of heard of that are likely on the radar for the Red Sox this season:

Jed Lowrie playing infield for the Oakland Athletics.

Jed Lowrie, Oakland Athletics

It shouldn’t be a surprise, but the former Red Sox infielder may find his way back into Boston. With Oakland exploding their team quicker than anyone in the bay area can fathom, most of the Athletics players become a target for trade opportunities (as we saw with Doolittle and Madson). In Boston, Jed Lowrie makes sense.

Lowrie is probably the most obtainable of this list. The switch hitter is hitting a respectable .272 with 10 homers and 33 RBI in 83 games. He’s on pace to have one of his better seasons since 2014, but this is only due to injuries. Lowrie is notoriously injury prone, and his low cost can provide a valuable third/short/second option without moving an important player. He was a platoon player while in Boston before ultimately losing his job completely to Jose Iglesias, then Bogaerts, then Will Middlebrooks so platooning is nothing new to him. With Oakland owing him $6 million next year, you would expect the Red Sox to take part of the contract and give up a fringe prospect for him and to Dave Dombroski, this is pocket change. Prepare for the return of Jed Lowrie in Boston.

Josh Harrison at bat against the Miami Marlins.

Josh Harrison, Pittsburgh Pirates

While this is more of a stretch than a reality, I still want to talk about it in case it happens (making me look smart). Harrison has been a sort of Brock Holt style player for the Pirates since breaking into the league in 2011. A career .282 hitter, he doesn’t wow you with flashy power and high RBI totals. Instead he provides a reliable bat that in the lower half of the lineup.

Despite being a very reliable part of the Pirates lineup, and a potentially good fit for Boston, he is under contract through 2020. If the Red Sox plan on moving Devers like they did with Moncada, they better haul in a bigger return than 30 year old Josh Harrison. But if Dombrowksi pulls the trigger and decides to go with Harrison expect him to move to a different position if he sticks around. He might even end up at pitcher. Who knows.

Eduardo Nunez taking batting practice before the 2016 All Star game. He represented the Minnesota Twins for the American League.

Eduardo Nunez, San Francisco Giants

The former Yankee (and All Star, believe it or not!) is yet another player that provides flexibility when it comes to filling holes, but once again – all we are focusing on is third base. Red Sox Nation may be hesitant to see another former Giant taking reigns over third base but I promise you that Nunez is nothing like that dude that the Sox just DFA’d. In 67 games this year Nunez is just a tick under .300, batting .297 with 4 homers and 25 RBI. He’s also got 17 steals, so the tangible of stealing bases makes him more of an attractive pick up.

Nunez is also signed through this season – potentially making him an even better suit for Boston with prospects waiting. His numbers aren’t flashy, but they’re maybe the most respectable of this list considering he has spent some time on the disabled list. With the Giants in free fall, and more than likely selling the house in two weeks, I would put my money on Eduardo Nunez as one of the first to go.

With the deadline two weeks away, I think these three guys could end up in Fenway Park playing third base really soon. While the main point of focus is finding another reliable arm in the bullpen, it is necessary to find a major league ready third baseman who can provide a tangible that Marrero and Lin can’t at this early in their careers – and that is to hit with consistency. Check back in on July 31st and see the madness unfold.

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