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Boston Red Sox

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

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It has been a nonplussing and extremely long week, for Boston sports fans. During this part of September, we all start to experience the perennial football jitters. Over the summer we’ve become accustomed to watching the Sox play practically every single day. So when the Patriots start up again, the 7+ days wait between games can feel torturous. Especially after a depressing loss, like the one that we saw last Thursday night.

But rejoice New England! It’s Friday. Week 2 in the NFL is officially underway. The Pats can start their redemption campaign with a win against the Saints on Sunday. It’s time for another highly anticipated edition of The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. Let’s kick it off!

The Good

A player very dear to Boston has returned from a lengthy stint on the “10-day DL”. Somehow what was supposed to be a quick rest, for general soreness, has been protracted into what feels like months. That’s right folks, David Price, the pride of the Red Sox, is back. But he’s not going to be pitching, in his normal capacity, as a starter. Nope, this time around our Cy Young winning southpaw will head to the bullpen.

Putting Price in the pen was being talked about, as we approached the threshold of his return. It was cemented just a couple of days ago, when manager John Farrell announced that David Price would be coming back to the Red Sox in a “multi-inning role” as a reliever.

Following the announcement, Price publically embraced his new responsibilities. In a recent press conference, he essentially said that he is willing to help this team in any way possible.

Price has pitched out of the bullpen before, even in the playoffs, and he has had success doing so. In the 2008 postseason, Price had a 1.58 ERA in 5.2 innings. Given his apparent compliance and willingness to serve, this seems like a win-win move.

Since the day that the Red Sox acquired him, David Price has had a tough go of it, both politically and statistically. Although he is one of the more loquacious pitchers in the game, and also a thinker, Price hasn’t exactly ingratiated himself to the Boston fan-base. So, of course, Sox fans are a little jaded to the pandering we hear in press conferences.

Hopefully Price can let go of the October troubles of his past, and start a new. For $30 million a year, I’m positive that the Sox would be more than happy with the lefty mutating into the next Andrew Miller. As we’ve been saying for the past couple years: It’s time to put up or shut, for David Price.

The Bad

At some point or another, almost all have us have been “the new kid in school”. An uncomfortable situation like that will certainly stimulate the fight or flight instincts in an individual. It can get ugly. Just ask, New Orleans Saints running back, Adrian Peterson.

This past Monday was the season premiere of Monday Night Football on ESPN. The first game, of the special double-header, featured the Minnesota Vikings versus the New Orleans Saints. Adrian Peterson was returning to the twin cities, for the first time in his new black and gold uniform. Not only was his performance underwhelming on the field, but he was visibly disgruntled and downtrodden on the sidelines. This was not the AP that America is used to seeing.

Now, I lived in Minnesota for quite some time; I watched Peterson play for years. I was in attendance for the game against the Chargers, when he broke the single-game rushing record. This dude’s an indefatigable worker and an absolute beast.

Peterson’s behavior during Monday night’s game was uncharacteristic, to say the least. The circumstances of his Saints debut, against the Vikings, represented the perfect storm for this veteran RB.

Think about it: He’s returning to the NFL, after a year that was saturated with domestic abuse controversy. Not to rekindle the past, but many people don’t even believe that he should be allowed to play football. Peterson is also on a new team, working with a new coach and a new playbook. Oh yeah, and his Vikings replacement, Dalvin Cook, set a rookie record for rushing yards, in that MNF game.

Adrian Peterson was involved in just 9 snaps, on Monday night. He had 6 carries, while only racking up 18 yards. This is a guy who has had a 2,000-yard season, and he has over 11,000 career rushing yards. Quite the dichotomy between his past and his present; hence the veteran’s frustration.

A video of Peterson dogging Saints head coach Sean Payton, on the sidelines, has gone viral. Payton is seen walking away, with his back turned, as his new RB chews him out roundly. Watching the game, you would presume that Peterson was complaining of a lack of involvement in the offense.

Since the incident, Adrian Peterson has come out and addressed the media. He clarified that he is fine with coach Payton. But he also mentioned that he “didn’t sign up for 9 snaps”. Let’s hope his troubles continue, just for week 2, as the Patriots are facing the Saints this Sunday.

Only time will tell, but if I was a betting man I would say that Peterson will eventuality prosper in New Orleans. This is a guy who has won the comeback player of the year award, after recovering from a torn ACL. For now it’s sad to watch a veteran, who was once regarded as one of the greatest ever, spiral out of control like this. It’s bad for fans and it’s bad for the sport.

The Ugly

Give Sergio Dipp another chance! We all know it was cringeworthy, inappropriately bombastic and downright awkward. But come on ESPN, cut the newbie some slack!

If you managed to stay awake Monday night, after the scintillating Vikings-Saints game, you saw a piece of pop culture history. Holy cow! Stretched thin, ESPN threw together a motley crew of neophytes for the broadcast of the second MNF game. One of these rookies was bright-eyed sideline reporter Sergio Dipp.

This dude was coming over from the ESPN Deportes section of the sports media company. On Monday, Dipp made his first report from the sidelines of a nationally telecasted NFL game. He seized the opportunity. Go and watch the video, because his performance was unspeakably bad.

Dipp’s commentary focused mainly on the new head coach of the Denver Broncos, Vance Joseph. It’s clear that Sergio Dipp felt a deep psychological connection with this kindred spirit, who was also making an important debut. “Here he is, having the time of his life.” Dipp exclaimed as the camera panned over to, a cool and calm, Vance Joseph inspecting his playbook. In actuality, it was Sergio Dipp, not Joseph, who was having the time of his life.

That was Dipp’s first, and only appearance as a sideline reporter. He bombed. The video propagated Twitter like meme wildfire. Sergio tried to salvage some honor by releasing an apology video. It was even more cringeworthy.

I implore you to stop Mr. Dipp. Embrace your quirks and pretend like nothing happened. Sometimes the more you speak, after an embarrassing moment, the worse you make it. Any publicity is good publicity. Get back to the sidelines and report like you’re having the time of your life. I don’t think you could even pretend to do anything else.

Columnist operating out of Manchester, NH. Retired pitcher (unprofessional not amateur). Voracious consumer of all things Celtics and Red Sox. Sometimes I produce content as well.

Boston Red Sox

Red Sox Rumor: Jackie Bradley Jr. Being Shopped For Trade

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Red Sox

With the Boston Red Sox looking to acquire a power bat this offseason to keep up with the Yankees they are reportedly shopping a core member of their current team.

According to Bob Nightengale of USA Today the player Boston is shopping is center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. One potential destination for Bradley is the Chicago Cubs. Chicago has been connected to Boston with slugger Kyle Schwarber potentially being available.

Schwarber has mashing power but has had issues at the plate having a .211 average last season that caused the Cubs to send the home run hitter back to the minors last June.

Bradley who hit 26 home runs two seasons ago fell back to 17 home runs this past season with a .245 batting average. His fielding ability though makes up for any shortcomings he has at the plate and his contract status could be very appealing in the trade market. Bradley Jr. has three years of arbitration remaining on his contract.

If Boston moves on from Bradley the likely scenario of outfield positioning would be moving Andrew Benintendi over to center field keeping Mookie Betts out in right field.

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Boston Red Sox

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly: Stanton in Pinstripes Edition

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MLB Home Run Derby

The snow is now cascading down upon us with indifferent wrath. Today, Boston saw the first real Winter Storm of the impending season. And while you were outside futilely efforting to resist nature, with your shovels and snowblowers, the World of Baseball fractured entirely.

If you haven’t heard by now, you live under the most obscure rock in existence. The New York Yankees have purportedly acquired Giancarlo Stanton from Derek Jeter and the Miami Marlins. 

Stanton is currently going through the formality of physicals and medical checkups – as if there’s going to be anything physically wrong with this inhuman behemoth.

The Winter Meetings commence tomorrow. It is expected that the trade will be officially announced soon after.

Reports suggest that the Yankees have agreed to eat $265 million of Stanton’s contract, while sending Starlin Castro to Miami along with a couple of low-level pitching prospects.

This was our White Whale, Boston – this one got away and we still ended up dying in the end.

Dave Dombrowski looks like an absolute fool for having let this chiseled new-school Bambino slip through his hands. He immolated the entire pitching crop, down on the farm. So it’s inconceivable that Dombrowski didn’t offer the kitchen sink, in his pursuit of Stanton.

Conversely, underneath the surface, Giancarlo’s mind might have been irrevocably made up, before talks even started. He’s a city-slicker. Miami nightlife translates better to Big Apple nightlife than it does to the half-revelry of the Boston Commonwealth.

The Yankees obtain Giancarlo Stanton, presupposing the implications for the Red Sox and fans alike. It’s with a heavy heart that I unfortunately welcome you to a familiar and antique era of Red Sox Baseball. It’s the late 90’s all over again…

But, you know what? Let’s try to make light of this nonplussing news! Yeah, we don’t need Giancarlo Stanton and those Damn Yankees still won’t win the World Series! It’s time for another installment of the Good, the Bad and the Ugly.

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Boston Red Sox

Boston Red Sox Do Not Need To Get A Big Bat

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Red Sox

Many have stated their wishes that the Boston Red Sox will go out and get a big-time bat for the heart of their order. A bat that they seemingly need to help protect the likes of Mookie Betts and Hanley Ramirez in the lineup. One of the bigger names connected to the team is Giancarlo Stanton, but reports show that idea as a longshot with Stanton not looking at Boston as a possibility.

Another name, Jose Abreu, is also reportedly out of the running with Ken Rosenthal reporting that the White Sox will not trade their slugger before the start of the season. With the potential list shortening with JD Martinez and Eric Hosmer leading the running, maybe Boston should sit still this offseason.

That is sort of a controversial take, but the notion of Hosmer or Martinez doesn’t get the juices flowing, and ultimately will cost the Red Sox more then they are worth.

So what is the answer, Boston still needs a first basemen for next season. A position that could be filled with Sam Travis and Hanley Ramirez given the idea that Dustin Pedroia will find some time at the DH spot next season with Eduardo Nunez getting some quality time at second base. Another possibility is Rafael Devers not panning out at third base and needing to move to first base or DH at times.

Also in the cards is prospect Michael Chavis who should find himself in AAA Pawtucket at some point next season and maybe in Boston at third base or first. Then comes the possibility of Blake Swihart or my favorite, Bryce Brentz. Both were getting trained at first base with Pawtucket last season and could see reps at first base if Dave Dombrowski opts to not sign a big-time bat.

Of course, these solutions are not as flashy and will not present an immediate threat for Boston in the heart of their order. But betting on the current roster to bounce back at the plate and see an emergence of another young player might be a route to take.

Worse case scenario they get the same amount of production and end up right around 90 wins like they were this past season. But the upside of keeping the financial flexibility going forward while trying out prospects might be the best thing for Boston to do instead of overreacting to fan pressure.

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