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Thursday, 01 August 2013 12:05

Red Sox Report Card July

We're about to enter the dog days of the MLB season. While the Red Sox have sat at the top of the American League East division for much of the season, their performance in July has brought them back to the pack; the Tampa Bay Rays are neck-and-neck with Boston thanks to a scorching-hot month of baseball, while the Baltimore Orioles lurk not far behind. And of course, only a fool counts out the Yankees especially with two months left in the season.

Still, the Red Sox are playing solid baseball. Considering the quality of the division in which they play, they're performing reasonably well a couple of games over .500 for July is nothing to sneeze at. You'd like to see them put some distance between themselves and the rest of the AL East, but that seems unlikely to happen. Expect even more of a battle in the month of August.

Published in Report Card
Wednesday, 03 July 2013 11:59

Red Sox Report Card June

We've reached the halfway point of the 2013 major league baseball season and the Boston Red Sox are looking as strong as ever. The month of June was particularly good for the BoSox; they went 17-11 and have retained their position atop the division with the best record in the American League.

There has been a bit of adversity injuries and ineffectiveness have popped up here and there but for the most part, this Red Sox team appears to be firing on all cylinders going into the second half of the long MLB season. While the pitching has been touch and go, the bats have been red-hot and show no signs of slowing down. We should be in for a stretch run that will be a pleasure to watch.

Published in Sports
Wednesday, 05 June 2013 12:14

Red Sox Report Card May

The month of May is in the books for the Boston Red Sox. While they didn't have quite the success that they did in the season's first month, a 15-15 record certainly isn't terrible. They've fallen back to the pack a little bit in terms of production, but at the end of the day, it's your place in the standings that counts.

And as of June 1, Boston's place is first.

It hasn't been ideal there have certainly been bumps in the road along the way but the fact remains that this is a team that is fun to watch. Here's hoping for four more months of the same.

Published in Sports
Wednesday, 15 May 2013 14:40

Umpire fails

Blunders by MLB's on-field officials

Baseball probably has more purists than any other American professional sport. The game is deeply connected with its own history; that sort of historical connection inevitably leads to staunch resistance to the idea of change.

But the hands of the game's powers that be may just have been forced.

Published in Sports
Wednesday, 01 May 2013 10:29

Red Sox Report Card April

We're a month into the 2013 Major League Baseball season and things are looking awfully good so far for the Boston Red Sox. They're sitting at the top of the division and performing well in just about every aspect of the game. 

While they've had to deal with some injuries, the general esprit de corps of this team has made them a pleasure to watch a far cry from the frankly unlikeable squads Boston has sported over the past couple of seasons. Regardless, it's nice to have baseball back.

Published in Report Card
Wednesday, 17 April 2013 15:36

42' hits a home run

Film tells the story of Jackie Robinson

I am a sucker for a good sports movie. It doesn't even really matter which sport the drama inherent to athletic competition in general often makes for compelling cinema. And that competitive tension can be mined for humor as well as drama. You don't even need to be a sports fan (though it undoubtedly helps). The very best sports movies are the ones that use what happens on the field as a way to speak to the larger issues of what happens off it. 

Published in Movies
Wednesday, 10 April 2013 11:51

Portland's 20th Anniversary All-Stars

A look at some of the most successful Sea Dogs

The Portland Sea Dogs are celebrating their 20th anniversary this season. The team's first season was 1994; they began life as the AA affiliate for the expansion Florida Marlins. They remained part of the Marlins system through 2002, when the team switched affiliation and joined the Red Sox farm system, where they remain to this day.

A lot of future big leaguers have worn the Sea Dogs uniform. In honor of this auspicious anniversary, it seemed fitting to assemble an all-time lineup. Here's a look at some of the best players ever to grace the grass at Hadlock Field.

Published in Sports
Wednesday, 03 April 2013 11:55

An explosion of extensions in MLB

Teams signing players to lengthy, high-dollar deals

Back at the turn of the 21st century, the world of baseball economics experienced a complete overhaul. The massive multiyear contracts of players like Alex Rodriguez (10 years, $252 million) and Manny Ramirez (eight years, $160 million) introduced the sports landscape to the concept of the $20 million-a-year player.

However, while those contracts were (mostly) successful in their way, there were also a number of lesser players who received deals that far outweighed their actual value. Forgettable pitchers such as Darren Dreifort and Chan Ho Park got multi-year deals and huge paydays. The failure of those deals helped to stabilize the market.

Published in Sports
Wednesday, 27 March 2013 13:05

The best of baseball's worst

Who's on Worst?' looks at bottom of baseball's barrel

There are many reasons that we love sports, but one of the biggest is the fun found in athletic subjectivity. Using evidence both statistical and anecdotal to debate who was better or the best Russell or Wilt, Montana or Brady, Jordan or James - there's nothing better to a hardcore sports fan.

But of all the sports, baseball likely inspires more of these debates than any other. The game's deep dedication to history and devotion to ever-evolving statistical analysis makes it perfect for these sorts of conversations. Everyone's got their favorites and everyone has a reason why their guy is the best of all time.

Published in Sports
Wednesday, 20 March 2013 14:20

Hope springs eternal

For anyone who has been a Boston baseball since before the days of 'Red Sox Nation,' there are a couple of basic requirements tied to the calendar. One is to anticipate the September swoon and the disappointment that follows (except for those glorious '04 and '07 seasons); the other is to greet each new campaign with optimism and unrealistic expectations. Since we're less than two weeks from Opening Day, it seems like as good a time as any to engage in some wishful thinking and envision a scenario where the Red Sox rise from worst to first.

Published in The Sports Edge
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