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Conneley’s Top Ten: Red Sox, Sergio at the Masters and Patriot Trades



Top Ten

Conneley’s Top Ten: Red Sox, Sergio at the Masters and Patriot Trades

1.Red Sox update

* Clean innings for Kimbrel as a Red Sox 32 of 61 (no Eckersley)

* Red Sox catchers have thrown out all four base stealers

* Sandoval last 100 at bats as a Red Sox .160 / 1 HR

* Heath Hembree and Noe Ramirez = Wasdin and Rapp

* Outfielder dance at the end of wins – goofy – go back to taking the picture – not seeing much rhythm from Benintendi

* Jackie Bradley should be handed the Golden Glove before the season


2. Why Marchand shouldn’t be an idiot:

* 2017 – Pasternak and Marchand’s 73 goals were 31.5% of team total

* 1971 – Esposito and Bucyk’s 127 goals were 31.8% of team total


3. Masters

* Great golf down the stretch – Garcia’s iron play was amazing

* He putted that putt on 18 in regulation right where he was aiming

* I find myself rooting against Sergio – must be Ryder Cup hate

* Ricky Fowler and his Oompa Loompa spray-on-tan-pant color refused to win the Masters

*Was Fred Couples separated at birth from David Duchovny or Garth Brooks

* Masters still on the bucket list!


4. Patriots trades using draft picks in Belichick era:

* Brandin Cooks………2017 – 1st Round pick

* Dwayne Allen………2017 – 4th Round pick

* Eric Rowe………….2016 – 3rd Round pick

* Martellus Bennett…..2016 – 4th Round pick

* Talib………………..2012 – 4th Round pick

* Ochocinco………….2011 – 5th & 6th Round pick

* Albert Haynesworth..2011 – 5th Round pick

* Deion Branch……….2010 – 4th Round pick

* Derrick Burgess…….2009 – 3rd & 5th Round pick

* Randy Moss………..2007 – 4th Round pick

* Wes Welker………..2007 – 2nd & 7th Round pick  

* Doug Gabriel………2006 – 5th Round pick

* Andre Davis………..2006 – 5th Round pick

* Duane Starks……….2005 – 3rd Round pick

* Corey Dillon……….2004 – 2nd Round pick

* Ted Washington……2003 – 4th Round pick


5. NFL rule change suggestion – all field goals of 60 yards or more should be uncontested


6. Quotes from the Globe leading up to the David Ortiz signing:

1/1/03 – Ortiz, 27, appears to be the most appealing option to the Sox, and he has helped his cause by tearing up the Dominican winter league. A 6-foot-4-inch, 230-pounder, he is batting .351 with four homers, 23 RBIs, and a .422 on-base percentage in 20 games for Escogido. He has served primarily as a DH over six seasons with the Twins, though he appeared in 132 games at first base, committing nine errors.

1/1/03 – Epstein’s prime target appears to be free agent David Ortiz, who hit .272 with 20 homers, 75 RBIs, and a .339 on- base percentage last season for the Twins. The Twins released the left-handed-hitting Ortiz in part to avoid going to salary arbitration with him after he earned $950,000 last season. He has drawn considerable interest, and the Sox are among several teams jockeying for his services.

1/10/03 – “We’ve talked to them about it,” said Ortiz’s agent, Fernando Cuza. “It would be a good fit. David would love to play there. He would do some damage at Fenway Park, and he would be great in the clubhouse.”

1/23/03 – Ortiz, meanwhile, passed a physical in Boston Saturday and has agreed to a one-year deal for a sum in the vicinity of $1 million. Ortiz, a lefthanded hitter, batted .272 with 32 doubles, 20 home runs, and 75 RBIs last 1/23/03


7. Amazing Stat – In the 1980-1981 Celtic season, long distance shooter Chris Ford attempted 36 three pointers / this year’s Celtics attempts 33.3 a GAME


8. Old School – What do Oscar Robertson’s and Ted Williams Triple Crowns have in common? Neither won the MVP:

* 1962 NBA MVP – Russell 1st (18.9 pts / 23.6 rebounds / 4.5 assists) Chamberlain 2nd (50.4 points / 25.7 rebounds / 2.4 assists) / Robertson (30.8 pts / 12.5 rebounds / 11.4 assists)

* 1942 MLB MVP – Joe Gordon 1st (18 HR / 103 RBI / .322 AVG) / Williams 2nd – (36 HR / 137 RBI / .356 AVG) – robbery


9. Just a Little Bit Outside – Red Sox have the flu – what other illnesses have they had over the years:

* Racism-itis

* 25 Cabs – 25 Players-itis

* Triple-itis – slow big slugging right handed hitters (Danny Cater, Beetle Bailey, Bob Watson, Dick Stuart, Wily Mo Pena – all meant no speedy runs from home to third

* Popeye Chicken addiction-itis

* Joe Kerrigan’s phobia of holding runners-itis

* Carl Everett mania-itis

* Wally-phobia


10. Randomocity

* If you haven’t seen the Warren Buffet documentary on HBO – I recommend – simple but interesting

* Applications for the Harvard class of 2020 – 39,041 / accepted 2,106 (5.4%)

* Wow – Fortune Magazine ranked Theo Epstein the greatest leader in the world – the world!

* Boston Globe had a feature on the Huracan Spyder Lamborghini – cost $241,295 / or can lease for $20,048 down payment and then $3,199 a month

* Francis Ford Coppola wanted to fire Al Pacino throughout Godfather until the restaurant scene

* If you love baseball – MLB Network is amazing

* I used to love the salty popcorn at Fenway in the upside-down cone for yelling “we want a hit”

* Winter Olympics in South Korea – yikes – that could be an opportune time to send a missile

* Don’t look now but Tim Tebow on pace to hit 50 home runs

Boston Red Sox

Red Sox Name Alex Cora As The New Manager



Since the firing of John Farrell, the rumor mill has pegged former player Alex Cora as the clear frontrunner. Over the weekend it was being reported that Boston had decided on Cora but was waiting for the right time to announce the decision.

On Sunday the naming of the 47th manager in team history was made official.

“We were very impressed when we interviewed Alex,” said Dombrowski. “He came to us as a highly-regarded candidate, and from speaking with him throughout this process, we found him to be very knowledgeable, driven, and deserving of this opportunity. He is a highly respected and hardworking individual who has experience playing in Boston.”

Cora played in Boston from 2005 to 2008, and is currently a bench coach with the World Series-bound Houston Astros.

“I am extremely honored and humbled to be named manager of the Boston Red Sox and I want to thank Dave, John Henry, Tom Werner, and Sam Kennedy for giving me such a tremendous opportunity,” Cora said. “Returning to the Red Sox and the city of Boston is a dream come true for me and my family and I look forward to working towards the ultimate goal of winning another championship for this city and its great fans.”

“In Alex we have found a natural leader to guide our clubhouse,” said Henry. “He is extremely smart with a dedication to what it takes to be successful in today’s game on the field. His baseball acumen and his ability to think strategically are uncommon for someone his age. We could not have found a better match for our players, our front office and for where we intend to go over the coming years as an organization.”

“Alex also has a full appreciation for the use of analytical information in today’s game and his ability to communicate and relate to both young players and veterans is a plus,” added Dombrowski. “Finally, the fact that he is bilingual is very significant for our club.”

The official press conference on the hiring will take place after the conclusion of the Fall Classic.

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Boston Red Sox

Red Sox Managerial Decision Seemingly Made Up



Did anyone think that the Boston Red Sox would take their time when hiring their new field manager? According to one report the team is moving rather quickly

According to one report, the team is moving rather quickly to the point where their minds are already made up.

“There is a 99.9 percent chance of [Cora] being named Red Sox leader,” a source told Puerto Rico’s El Nuevo Dia. “They want him for the job. That post is for him. Alex is very beloved there. And he would love to run Boston. They want to make the fast decision.”

Cora is currently serving as the bench coach for the Houston Astros, a team that is battling it out with the New York Yankees for the chance to go to the World Series. Boston isn’t the only suitor for the former player however. Cora is set to meet with the New York Mets on Tuesday and is also expected to be of interest to other teams like the Philadelphia Phillies.

But the interest between Boston and Cora is mutual and a report from Puerto Rico confirms that. Cora played for the Red Sox during his career and was part of the 2007 Wolrd Series team. At the time he was considered an excellent leader on the team that had all the intangible qualities of one daying being an excellent coach. Since his playing days, he has served as an ESPN Analyst, GM of Puerto Rico national team, coach in Puerto Rico’s baseball league, and now a bench coach for Houston.

If the Red Sox are able to bring in Cora it would be seen as if they had been grooming him for years and that he is their guy. With other suitors in tow, it looks like an offer from the Boston Red Sox to Cora is going to come rather quickly. And quite frankly, this is the best decision for the team.

Acquiring Cora is far superior to a long time mediocre manager like Ron Gardenhire or a failed first coach stinter like Brad Ausmus. Cora is both young and has some prior experience to bring to the table. The one real question with him is if he will be too buddy-buddy with the players, a very real possibility.

Red Sox fans seem to be rather torn on this topic, many seem to like the idea of an old manager like Gardenhire, while others favor Cora who was a fan favorite as a player. In reality the true intentions or favorite of the Red Sox is unknown, but for the moment, Cora looks like the lock.

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Boston Red Sox

Red Sox Manager Contestants Stepping Right Up



Red Sox

On Wednesday the Boston Red Sox fired field manager John Farrell. With the departure of Farrell, the Red Sox must now conduct a full and wide search for their next manager. There are dozens of potential candidates for the job. The one choice that will have to be made is to either to go young or go old.

Fortunately for us, Dave Dombrowski gave a general outline of what he will be looking for in the next manager. In his post-firing presser, he mentioned that the candidate is unlikely to come from within.

That comment seemingly rules out a candidate like Chili Davis or Gary Ddisarcina.

In terms of experience, Dombrowski said “I think managerial experience helps. I don’t think it’s a 100% necessity.”. He also mentioned the importance of being in the dugout as experience. The last time Dombrowski hired a field manager he was in charge of the Detroit Tigers. The coach he hired at the time was Brad Asmus. So maybe that means he will go on the younger side.

If he goes young in terms of experience here is the list of potential candidates:

  • Brad Asmus: Asmus was let go by Detriot after having a rather shaky first tenure as a manager. He was hired by Dombrowski and has plenty of connections to New England. He will land somewhere this offseason.
  • Alex Cora: Direct connections to Boston and knows how the media is here. Well respected by players and has coached in Puerto Rico and is the bench coach for AJ Hinch’s Houston Astros.
  • Jason Varitek: Obvious connections here. But he has no actual experience as a coach in the dugout. He has helped with player development and scouting as a special assistant to the gm in Boston. But chances are he isn’t in the conversation.
  • Hensley Meulens: Speaks Spanish, English (and other languages), has extensive coaching experience and serves as the hitting coach for the Giants. Has coached the Netherlands in the WBC. There has been a rumor that Major League Baseball is encouraging the Red Sox to hire a coach of minority status. Meulens fits that bill.

In terms of an older/experiences option, there are a few. There is an opportunity here for Dombrowksi. That opportunity is to convince the well respected Jim Leyland to come out of retirement. Leyland though doesn’t seem interested in coaching again and decline to come to Boston a long time ago.

Below are few options for an experienced field manager:

  • Leyland
  • Torey Luvullo: Had a 93 win first season at the helm of Arizona. Could be convinced to leave to come back to Boston.
  • Joe Girardi: Could be on his way out of New York. Is a noted good in-game manager.
  • Ron Gardenhire: Former Twins manager and currently a bench coach for the Diamondbacks. This kind of smells to me though.

What way will Dombrowski go with is anyone’s guess. This process can take awhile with the team needing to lock down a list and start the interview process. According to Dombrowski he always has a list of people for every position he might have to hire for. So, in theory, this could happen fairly quickly.

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