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Thursday, 20 December 2012 11:40

Boston's burning hot stove

A look at some Red Sox signings

After an abysmal 2012 season that saw the Boston Red Sox finish with 93 losses their worst season in 40 years and engage in perhaps the biggest salary dump trade in the game's history, the team finds itself in a rebuilding phase.

They have made some free agent signings aimed at altering the franchise's trajectory and halting the downward spiral they've been in for the past couple of years. Here's one fan's take on those big signings as well as one former franchise fixture's return to the division on the other side of its most heated rivalry.

Published in Sports
Wednesday, 24 October 2012 16:31

Red Sox acquire John Farrell as manager

BOSTON - The Boston Red Sox are hoping that two big trades will help them get back to the playoffs after missing out three years in a row.

The first was a genuine blockbuster that sent Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford, Nick Punto and Josh Beckett to the Los Angeles Dodgers and freed up more than $250 million in future salaries. The second was the deal that brought John Farrell back to Fenway Park on Sunday.

Published in Sports
Wednesday, 17 October 2012 13:46

Football nation

A few weeks ago, the great Bob Ryan of the Boston Globe posited that his city, one of the last holdouts, was now officially a football town. For 140 years, the 'Hub of the Universe' had reserved the deepest of its sports love for the game of baseball, from the National League's powerhouse Braves of the late 1800s through the Americans and Pilgrims, the forerunners of the Red Sox. Generations of fans who followed the likes of Ruth and Speaker, Williams and Pesky, Yaz and Tony C., Fisk and Lynn and even Manny and Pedro had held a stranglehold on the market that even three Patriots Super Bowl wins couldn't wrest away. Then came September of 2011, followed by what we may someday refer to as 'the Valentine year.' And just like that, the Sox (and baseball in general) were relegated to second fiddle status.

Published in The Sports Edge
Wednesday, 03 October 2012 16:34

Rotten tomatoes

Historically, the beginning of October marks the start of great things to come. Think about it: Columbus Day weekend (a day off with zero responsibilities!), leaves starting to turn, Halloween, Thanksgiving fun things on the horizon.

In sports it's a time where you are overwhelmed with options. NFL and NCAA football go full tilt, the MLB regular season comes to an end and playoffs begin - but this year, for me the options are limited, and there is no one to blame but the Boston Red Sox. Playoffs? Not this year - not by a long shot.

Published in The Sports Edge
Wednesday, 29 August 2012 12:53

Kind of a big deal

Red Sox, Dodgers make massive trade

Any doubts the Boston faithful may have had about 2012 being a lost season have officially been eliminated.

In one of the biggest money trades in baseball history, the Red Sox sent pitcher Josh Beckett, first baseman Adrian Gonzalez, outfielder Carl Crawford and utility player Nick Punto to the Los Angeles Dodgers for a package of first baseman James Loney and four minor leaguers: pitchers Allen Webster and Rubby De La Rosa, infielder Ivan DeJesus and outfielder Jerry Sands.

Published in Sports
Wednesday, 01 August 2012 14:09

Red Sox Report Card July

Even optimism has its limits. We are reaching those limits when it comes to the 2012 Red Sox. As we enter August, it is clear that this season's squad is underachieving.

That's not to say that they are a bad team. They're not. A bad team, we could deal with. We dealt with bad teams for a long time. No, what we have in 2012 is worse a mediocre team. Boston has hovered around the .500 mark for the entire season; there have been a couple of strong stretches, but even those were almost immediately offset by bad patches.

This season's addition of a second wild card playoff spot has kept postseason hope alive in Boston. However, it has also kept hope alive in several other cities across the country. It's going to take an extended stretch of quality play to give the Red Sox a chance to leapfrog into that wild card spot. Is it possible? Absolutely. Is it likely? I'm not so sure.

Published in Report Card
Wednesday, 25 July 2012 13:57

Dirty Little Secret

As the dog days of summer approach, Red Sox fans continue to be troubled by what has been a season-long series of false starts and dashed hopes. There have been flashes of brilliance from this team but also much longer stretches of mediocrity, all while the guys in pinstripes continue to play with a youthfulness that makes you wonder if there's a Dorian Gray-like team portrait hanging in Hank Steinbrenner's office. It would be enough to make me add several new gray hairs if it were not for my dirty little secret. No, it's not Just For Men. It's that I just don't care like I once did. 

Published in The Sports Edge
Wednesday, 18 July 2012 13:38

Bringing the heat for real

The recent weather in Maine has been hotter than NESN reporter Jenny Dell, so there's a slight chance I might be suffering from heat-induced delusions. But when it comes to the Red Sox, I think I can see clearly now; the rain is gone. While these thoughts might make you a bit overheated, here's what I think about the rest of the Sox regular season.

There will be no playoffs again this year. Sox are at .500 as we speak. Sure, they're getting healthier every day, but unless they have three quality starting pitchers coming off the DL (they don't), they're going nowhere. Message to John Farrell: 'Please come back!' Sox pitchers have struggled since he has been gone. The bullpen has been serviceable, but without a few guys who can get you to the seventh inning consistently, there'll be no October baseball for Boston again this year.

Published in The Sports Edge
Tuesday, 03 July 2012 13:59

Red Sox ascendant

Maybe it's all the Vitamin D I've soaked up from playing in a few golf tournaments this weekend, but I am filled with optimism. I don't think it's the sun, I think it's the Boston Red Sox slowly but surely climbing in the standings of the American League East. Don't look now, but the Sox are in third place! The pain of injuries that were like a swift kick to the groin back in April and May is subsiding and Boston is getting healthy. Look out Major League Baseball - here they come.

David Ortiz continues to drink from the fountain of youth like my friend Jimmy at an open bar wedding. He's been swinging the bat like Thor would a hammer. Sitting on 399 career HRs, my hope is that he can wait to hit fateful number 400 at Fenway Park. Honestly, if someone would have said to you that Big Papi would have 20+ dingers at the All-Star break you would likely have offered them some water and said 'sober up.' But here he is, the team's club house leader and easily the best Designated Hitter in baseball. We can talk about legitimate MVP candidacy at a later date.

Published in The Sports Edge
Wednesday, 27 June 2012 14:42

Happy trails, Youk!

Saying goodbye to a Red Sox favorite

As sports fans, we become attached to those who play for our beloved teams. While fandom has become more about rooting for laundry than individuals in recent years, we still develop feelings for the athletes who go out there day after day and do their best to contribute to the cause.

Alas, the day inevitably comes when we have to bid farewell to our favorites. That day arrived for Red Sox third baseman Kevin Youkilis, who was traded to the Chicago White Sox this weekend in exchange for pitcher Zach Stewart and utilityman Brent Lillibridge.

Youkilis has been a beloved member of the Red Sox since he was first called up from the minor leagues in 2004. He was a part of Boston's two 21st century World Series wins and a vital piece of the puzzle in 2007. He finished in the top six in MVP voting twice. He won one Gold Glove and could have easily won more, despite playing third base, first base, left fieldwhatever the team needed.

Published in Sports
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