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
Wednesday, 06 June 2012 13:45

Red Sox Report Card May

There's no disputing that the 2012 Red Sox season has been a bit of a disappointment thus far. Sure, there have been extenuating circumstances the number of injuries has bordered on astounding but those problems are no different than those shared by half the teams in the league.

After a less-than-ideal start, the Sox spent the month of May slowly digging themselves out of the hole April put them in. In fits and starts, the team managed to drag itself above the .500 mark and enter June with a winning record.

Sure, they're still planted at the bottom of the division, but the American League East is going to be won by a war of attrition there are only a couple of games currently separating first from last. But if the Red Sox want to be a serious contender, they need to build on what successes they've had this month and find a way to make some significant upgrades.

Published in Report Card
Wednesday, 16 May 2012 12:17

May daze

I have so many topics to write about its making my head spin right round baby right round. (Anytime I can get some 80's music lyrics in the first sentence, it's going to be a good column.)

An injury to Derek Rose was just what the doctor, as in Doc Rivers, ordered. Now instead of losing in the second round, the Celtics will most likely beat the 8th-seeded Sixers and play in the Eastern Conference Finals. I know KG and crew had some success against Miami late in the year, which has Green Teamers thinking another trip to the Finals. But as much as I can't stand Lebron and the Heat, me getting my own reality show is more likely than a Celtics series win, which means the 'New Big Three' era in Boston will end. It's been a nice five-year run resulting in one NBA title and another Finals appearance. Let's be happy with that because KG, Ray Allen and maybe even Rondo will be somewhere else next season.

Joe Buck won the sports Emmy for best play by play recently. Yes, he is smooth, knowledgeable and talented on Fox Sports. But do you know anyone who enjoys his play by play? Me either. It's like when they give the Oscar for Best Picture so some artsy flick that five people on the entire planet took the time to see. Buck is good, like caviar. But I don't know many people who really like either one.

Published in The Sports Edge
Wednesday, 04 April 2012 13:17

Baseball is back

Forget about those two Seattle and Oakland games that were played in Japan at 6 a.m. our time and replayed on tape delay three hours later this week. (Side note: Is there anything in the entire world of televised sport that's lamer than tape delay? I would say no.) Baseball season is back, and with it comes a lot of change. Change for the better.

First off it means the winter is over, spring is here and soon after comes summer. I'll talk about the Red Sox a little bit, but the fact that the games are back changes the way you live your life. I don't mean that as an extremely deep thought, because it isn't. For roughly 160 (accounting for the occasional rain out or double header) of the next 200 days, you have entertainment. Whether you watch the game from inning one to inning nine, check in on it for a few pitches to see the score, listen to it on the radio, or just have it on in the background while you do other things, the Sox are back. There is also the annual Fenway trip many like to make. Ask people and they'll say, 'I try to get down once a year.' Then of course you get there and the seats are uncomfortable and you spent 500 bucks on the day, but hey, it's Fenway. Had to make the annual visit.

Published in The Sports Edge
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