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Connelly Top Ten – I’m Back – So Aren’t the Sox (really don’t care that much)



1.Red Sox Predictions and Thoughts:


* The Hanley watch is on – 497 plate appearances and his $22mm option kicks in for next year (that’s 125 games played)

* You missed your chance to trade Jackie Bradley – hitting .184 in Spring Training

* Who is this Marcus Walden: 13 innings – 15 K – 0.69 ERA – 0.77 WHIP

* Porcello 4.91 ERA in Spring following last year’s 4.65 ERA

* Love the extension for Christian Vazquez

* Here’s hoping Price has a decent year and opts out

* Prediction – Porcello over 4.00 ERA / Steve Wright won’t pinch run / Martinez will fly out to the warning track in right 10 times / Stanton doesn’t hit over 37 home runs for Yankees / 90 wins


2. Patriots


*Patriots offseason trade – Butler, Solder, Lewis, Amendola, 3rd round pick, 5th round pick for Shelton, McCourty, Clayborn, Hill, Tobin, Patterson – so far their defensive line is much better, offensive line worse, backfield the same, defensive backs same

* If Jimmy G was in the draft right now he would be a top three pick – the Patriots got a 43rd pick in exchange for a top three pick / for the 3rd pick – Jets gave their 6th, 37th, 49th, and another second rounder

* Jeremy Hill is in for a culture shock coming from the Bengals (don’t forget about his sucker punch when at LSU)

* Interesting to hear Troy Brown on WEEI saying there is tension between Bill and Tom

* Patriots have the 31st / 43rd / 63rd / 95th / 136th / 159th / 219th picks


3. Celtics


* Brad Stevens wins as the Celtic coach – 25 / 40 / 48 / 53 / 55 (this year’s pace)

* No Irving, Smart, Brown or Hayward – ugh

* What does the eye test tell you on Horford – underachiever - overpaid

* Horford Rankings – Salary - 11th highest paid ($27.7mm) / Scoring - 85th at 12.7 / Rebounding - 28th at 7.5 rpg

* Marcus smart is 155th in three-point shooting at .301


4. Bruins


* Cassidy Coach of the Year – Four of his top five players – Marchand, Bergeron, Krejci Backes – have missed a combined 73 games

* Donato, Hodge, Grahame, and Bourque – Donato the only son better than father

* Record without Bergeron 35-20 .636 / 11-7 without .611

* Backes 29 goals in two years – not bang for the buck

* Does Khudobin get playoff starts?

* Next year – Haynes, Beleskey and Sidenberg count $4mm against the cap

* Crazy stat in the Globe – Brad Marchand hasn’t taken a slap shot yet


5. My thoughts on Yawkey Avenue:


* Qualifier – Yawkey wasn’t the picture of progressiveness – and not being a forward voice in Boston is not what we’re looking for (we are the hub of Abolitionists)

* But whenever you talk about history you must put everything in context (ie. Negro and Colored were accepted terms – someday African American term will be deemed insensitive)

* You don’t have to look any further than the newspaper - that John Henry owns - to see context.       Headlines such as “Japs Surrender” / “Krauts on the Run” / And the N word routinely showed up in the Boston Globe

* Black players – Reggie Smith and George Scott spoke favorably of Mr. Yawkey

* Yawkey is criticized for being the last to integrate (1959) BUT REALLY – so the Tigers 1958 (11 years after Robinson) / Phillies 1957 (10 years) / Yankees 1955 (eight years) – they are all guilty as well

* Before John Henry starts naming himself the beacon of inclusion – anyone look at his hedge fund holdings in the 80’s - South Africa? Gun companies?

* If you had to bet in Vegas – did Cora’s minority status make his naming inevitable?

* If I’m the Yawkey Foundation – if the city pulls the name – I pull all my investments in the city schools and services and take their money to a town that understands the family could have done better but in the totality has made a significant difference


6. NCAA Basketball


*Watched the Villanova vs West Virginia game Friday night – 40 minutes – 48 fouls (a foul every 50 seconds of the game – that’s every other possession): “look at me – I’m an official and need attention.”

* Does TBS really need five people in their studio and a politically correct effort by adding a woman

* How has Duke lost a game this year – their front line – 7’0” / 6’11” / 6’11” / 6’10” / 6’10” (Celtics go 6’11” / 6’10” / 6’10”)


7. Amazing Stats – There were obviously eleven defensive players on the field for the Patriots when Butler intercepted the Seattle pass - How many defensive plays did those eleven play in this year’s Super Bowl? ZERO


8. Old School – After Paul Pierce was given the gift of having his number retired – silly talk about Garnett’s number being retired– who are players that dropped in for a cameo and contributed but don’t deserve their number retired:


·         Keith Foulke

·         Koji Uehara

·         Darrell Revis

·         Charlie Scott

·         Corey Dillon

·         James Posey

·         Paul Silas

·         Bailey Howell


9. Just a Little Bit Outside – In March of 1935 – a dog in Japan died named Hachiko. Hachiko was such a devoted dog that he used to meet his owner at the train station at the end of each day. One day the dog’s owner died at work. The dog showed up for that train every day for nine years before dying while waiting for him.


10. Randomocity


* I hate that moment between seeing a pothole and hitting it – recoil city.

* Anything cause goosebumps more than the lyric “and the rockets red glare!”

* Whatever happened to fish sticks?

* Now in Chicago they say the most dangerous place to be is at funerals – there has been a run of shootings at graveyards, funeral homes, and churches – hmmm quite a place.

* 172 firemen that worked on Ground Zero have died since 9/11 – that’s 10 a year

* Watched documentary – The Kill Team on Amazon – yikes you would never enlist after watching this

Michael has written for the Boston Herald and other sites in the past and his top ten column is now housed on Trifecta Sports Network. Connelly's Top Ten releases on Monday's and Friday's.

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  1. vermont k

    March 26, 2018 at 8:41 AM

    Welcome back Mike. One note on Garopollo. I agree the Pats should have gotten more, but the deal was not made in a vacuum. Whoever got him had to pay him, it wasn’t just like drafting a guy No. 3 and paying rookie scale for four years. What did the 49ers guarantee, 70 mil? And if NE kept him it meant at least 17M. So it was really JG and 17M for a No. 2. Still not great, but you have to follow the money, as I heard somewhere that seems relevant now.

    • mpc

      March 26, 2018 at 1:50 PM

      fair points - although what does a top three pick get - $7mm to $8mm - still a chunk of money but not as much

  2. Don Mehan

    March 26, 2018 at 1:24 PM

    Yes, Jackie Bradley is hitting .184 this spring.
    And Stanton is hitting .206 for NY this spring.
    If Jackie ends up .026 behind Stanton come end of season, I’ll take it.

    • mpc

      March 26, 2018 at 1:53 PM

      Are you ok with Jackie Bradley’s progress - he has huge holes in his swing

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Fantasy Baseball Talk: Baseball Is Back Baby



Boston Red Sox

It seemed like just another day in Tampa Bay yesterday.  It was warm and sunny outside.  Inside it was perfect.  Two Teams were facing off against each other under the dome.  Just a typical Sports game, right?  Yeah, you would be wrong!  It was Opening Day for Major League Baseball and Chris Sale was pitching for the Red Sox against the Rays.  I was checking my phone constantly throughout the game, looking up stats.  Just if you were wondering?  Yes, I play Fantasy Baseball.  And this blog is all about Fantasy Draft Picks.  More importantly, it’s about who played good on [Thursday].

Now back to the Red Sox game… I have Chris Sale as one of my Pitchers.  He had over +300 Strikeouts last year [2017] and I expect to get a lot of value out of him.  He is a solid choice in your Line Up if you play Head 2 Head.  Which is the Fantasy Style I play.  But he is even more valuable in Rotisserie.  Which is the League Style I’m entering as we speak.  I also like to play Cumulative Points for the whole Season.  The reason Sale is such a good pick is that he throws Strikes and can go deep into games.  This is a guy who outperforms in the WAR Stat category.  WAR, Wins Above Replacement, means that he is so good at playing that he outperforms the next Pitcher up.  And Chris Sale had that good of a Season last year.

Yesterday we saw him play just like last year.  He was throwing Strikes and had 9 Ks through 7 Innings.  It looked like a sure victory.  But then Joe Kelly came in for relief and botched it.  The Red Sox would go on to lose [6-4].  Still Sale netted me 23 Fantasy Points.  That is better than your average Starting Pitcher.  I also have Mookie Betts, Xander Bogaerts, and Andrew Benintendi.  All of whom had an, ok, day yesterday.  I mean the only one that got me Fantasy Points was Bogaerts, with 7.  It’s a pretty good start.  I might want to add Eduardo Nunez, he had at good game scoring 8 Fantasy Points.

For most Fantasy Teams  you want to fill up those positional players that will be playing each and every day.  Also you don’t want to shy away from 1st Basemen and DHs.  They can score you a lot of points over the course of the week.  One weak spot is Catching.  You will want to get a starting Catcher who plays consistently.  Think Christian Vasques for the Red Sox.  Also Relief Pitching is important so you are going to want to round out your Team with at least 2 of them.

A few of yesterdays big bat scorers were: Nelson Cruz 7 FP, Nolan Arenado 6 FP, Giancarlo Stanton 16 FP, Freddie Freeman 12 FP, George Springer 6 FP, Jose Abreu 9 FP, Rhys Hoskins 7 FP, Khris Davis 9 FP, Yadier Molina 8 FP, Eduardo Nunez 8 FP, Brett Gardner 7 FP, Kyle Schwarber 7 FP, Kole Calhoun 10 FP, Tim Anderson 14 FP, Matt Davidson 22 FP, Jose Martinez 10 FP, and Lucas Duda with 8 Fantasy Points.

Some Pitchers that scored big were: Dylan Bundy 22 FP, Chase Anderson 20 FP, Felix Hernandez 21 FP, Jake Odorizzi 21 FP, Luis Severino 25 FP, Justin Verlander 22 FP, and Noah Syndergaard with 19 Fantasy Points.  Needless to say, yesterdays Pitching was 1st Place Starters and today’s Pitching will know doubt be players to watch for.  Think Yu Darvish for the Cubs.  These are the guys you want on your Fantasy Team.  I always check the stats on guys throughout the Season.  I mean 162 Games for each Team.  Yikes!  Baseball Season is long, so check this blog for updates every week.  I will do my best to Illuminate the guys I think will be good for your Team.

I know you guys were joansing for some Fantasy Talk, same here.  There is still time to sign up for Fantasy Baseball.  There’s Yahoo and such.  I typically am on ESPN Leagues.  There are still sign ups for ESPN Leagues, go grab a Fantasy Team today!  Baseball is back, Baby!!! Cheers!

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Connelly Top Ten – Red Sox on Pace for 0-162 / Playoff Hockey



Connelly Top Ten – Red Sox on Pace for 0-162 / Playoff Hockey


1. Red Sox opening day


* Joey Cora has the worst winning % in baseball history

* Hope not an omen for the bullpen

* Chris Sale must be furious to lose that win

* Red Sox payroll most in baseball at $223mm – if you don’t win its embarrassing (over $50mm more than Yankees)

* Baseball didn’t fix this problem 3:00 game time

* Joe Kelly 13 strikes – 16 balls (donate your check to Boys Club)

* How come players always slide head first on an inside the park home run?

* Hanley four plate appearances 493 to go for his option


2. Bruins


* Some great skating in the Tampa – B’s game

* Marchand is a great penalty killer – very Derek Sanderson-esque

* Rask went waffle on a Lightening players head

* Marchand is the best stop and start guy since Sammy Samsonov

* Backes losing the puck is Lucic-esque

* Seven points for the first line

* Tampa more talent – Boston more heart


3. Celtics


*Wednesday night the Celtics beat Utah without 75% of its payroll (Hayward, Horford, Irving, Smart and Morris)

* From SI their 14th double digit comeback of the year

* This game should wrap up Coach of the Year for Stevens

* 5-0 road trip without their two best players

* Jaylen Brown for the first time played like a potential superstar taking over the game


4. Patriots


*Just imagine if this was reversed – NFL experts have now stated that three of the Eagles five touchdowns were improperly called. Add don’t forget that pick play on 4th down to save the game / interference on Hogan on Hail Mary / etc.

*  Shouldn’t the League come out and comment on the calls

*  Shouldn’t official Gene Steratore be censored for the calls he made that were improper

(not to mention that Patriot hater and All Time Eagle Troy Vincent was the highest ranking official in the replay room – things that make me go hmmm)


5. Who would you rather have Horford at $28mm or Sullinger at $2mm?


Horford this year…………$28mm / 12.8 points per game / 8.6 rebounds per game

Sullinger with Celts………$2mm // 11.1   points per game / 7.7 rebounds per game


6. Giacarlo Stanton on pace for 324 home runs


7. Amazing Stats – Kyrie Irving should be All NBA selection this year – hasn’t happened in Boston lately – once in thirty years - last five:


2008 – Kevin Garnett

1988 – Larry Bird

1987 – Larry Bird

1987 – Kevin McHale

1986 – Larry Bird


8. Old School – In 1987-1988 season Jay Miller led the Bruins with 33 fighting majors / This year Adam McQuaid leads the team with 5


9. Just a Little Bit Outside – Something you wouldn’t see these days - President Millard Fillmore fought for the Union Army in the Civil War – after his presidency!

10. Randomocity


* Marchand goal totals are inflated by 5 overtime goals skating 3 on 3 / imagine what Orr would have done with 3 on 3 – he would skated around the California Seals for 4:59 and then roofed it from center ice

* Has Steve Lyons gone with the Marsha Washington color and cut look?

* Who is the City Planner who is just letting building after building go up in Kenmore Square and the Seaport with no rhyme or reason?

*Quarterback Lamar Jackson got a 13 on his wonderlic test – maybe he’ll slip to the Patriots

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Mookie Betts’s Comments In-Game Speaks To His Weaknesses



Mookie Betts

During Tuesday’s Boston Red Sox spring training game the broadcast team implemented a genius move. They mic’d up Boston left fielder Mookie Betts.

Now Betts tends to be perceived as a sort of a weak personality lacking player. So whoever decided to mic him up, great move. But what Betts actually said when trying to field a ball coming his way speaks to who he is deep down.

Now you may say, “Oh wow, he is being so honest”. And you know what, yes, yes he is. But do you actually want your Gold Glove superstar outfielder to say something like that? Or would you rather have him go all out and try and make some sort of incredible play?

If this was any other player saying this I wouldn’t have an issue. But with Mr.Bowling superstar himself, he has a history of not having the makeup of a superstar. Following his MVP runner-up season the left fielder sat down with WEEI’s Rob Bradford and essentially said and I am paraphrasing here, ” I will never have a season like that again”. And sure once again being honest, but following your 23-year-old season what type of superstar says something like that.

For a player that seems more interested in bowling, it truly will be an interesting conversation when he goes in to get the mega-deal he will most certainly get.

Betts is a great player and should get paid, but one thing he and I agree with is he will never be an MVP type of player again.

Again, his words, not mine.

But seriously we need more in-game mics on players, was sort of cool to hear a superstar player broadcast that he gave up on a play well before the play was close to being made.

Update: Commentor believes Mookie Betts is one of the best all-time right fielders. So let us educate by listing a few names that a just a tad better than the one time runner up to MVP.

No particular order:

  1. Hank Aaron,
  2. Roberto Clemente,
  3. Reggie Jackson,
  4. Babe Ruth,
  5. Tony Gwynn
  6. Frank Robinson,
  7. Mel Ott,
  8. Shoeless Joe Jackson,
  9. Al Kaline,
  10. Andre Dawson,
  11. Roger Maris,
  12. Vladimir Guerrero
  13. Dwight Evans,
  14. Harry Hooper,
  15. Dave Winfield
  16. Ichiro Suzuki

Likely others I may have missed and for that, I do apologize. Don’t get me wrong Mookie Betts is a good player, probably the third best right fielder in MLB, but even he wouldn’t be crazy enough to claim any type of all-time list. Who knows maybe over time he will warrant a spot on this list and in the hall of fame. But I am sorry, one season of MVP caliber baseball doesn’t do anything for me.

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