Red Sox Need to get Over Past Contract Mistakes, Keep Lester

It’s no secret: Since Theo Epstein went on a shopping spree overspending on Carl Crawford, and Adrian Gonzalez after the 2011 season, the Red Sox have been hesitant to give any players a long term deal. It’s a bit understandable because of the situation the Red Sox were in until the Dodgers bailed them out, but if there’s anybody worth giving out a large contract to, it’s Jon Lester.

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We’ve heard about it all season long. The Red Sox went to Lester, low-balled him, and negotiations went nowhere. According to reports, Lester wants a guaranteed 6 years from the Red Sox. By the time that contract were to end, Lester would be 36 years old. It’s old for a baseball player, but Lester has never had any major injuries before that have caused him to miss much time.

In parts of 9 seasons, Lester has 110 career wins, and his worst year was the dreadful Bobby Valentine year of 2012 when he only had 9 wins. Sure that year he showed his frustration and didn’t become the stopper that a club needs, but it’s hard to fault him because he had a clown as a manager.

I’ve also heard fans and experts talk about the Red Sox trading Lester this week, or letting him walk after the year and signing Max Scherzer. Scherzer has told the Tigers he is going to test the Free Agent market, but it just doesn’t make sense for the Red Sox to go with Scherzer over Lester. The two aces are the same age, and yes Scherzer has won a Cy Young award, but Lester has proven he has what it takes to play in the AL East, which up until this season, was the toughest division to pitch in.

If Lester wants the 6 years, Cherington needs to buck up and give him that deal. Sure maybe those final two years will be a bust, but it’s the price you need to pay to get a great pitcher in his prime. You see the Yankees doing it all the time with guys like Jacoby Ellsbury, and that’s not a good thing to constantly do, but with a pitcher as special as Lester, you have got to pay that price.

The theory that Lester will be traded for some prospects by the trading deadline and then sign with the Red Sox after the season is absolutely LUDICROUS!! It’s like a couple who is fighting and somebody is leaving the house: IF YOU LEAVE, THAT’S IT. THERE’S NO COMING BACK!

If Cherington does trade Lester, all hope with Lester on the Red Sox in the future is over, and the rebuild will offically begin for the franchise.

New England Revolution Pre-match Analysis

The big question on everyone’s mind going into this season was whether or not the New England Revolution had the defensive clout to make a real press for the cup come playoff time. Taking a look at recent results the answer has been made very clear: They don’t. Having not won against an MLS opponent since May the Revolution come into tomorrow’s game boasting a run of six straight losses. Regardless of the sport that is an appalling number and it is a wonder as to how they currently find themselves in control of a playoff spot with two games in hand over the Philadelphia Union and Columbus Crew.

With a win tomorrow the Revolution could jump as high as third overtaking both Toronto and New York in the process. Tomorrow’s task in not a particularly easy ask as they find themselves facing a Columbus Crew side who are currently equal on points and would love the opportunity to control their own destiny given New England’s particularly holey defense.

Lee Nguyen will be looking to get onto the scoresheet come Saturday.

Lee Nguyen will be looking to get onto the scoresheet come Saturday.

New England will find themselves hanging on to, what appears to be, their only offensive support right now in Lee Nguyen. Nguyen was relatively quiet in their loss to FC Dallas registering just 1 shot on goal in what was an overall dismal team effort. The Columbus Crew have only a slightly better goal differential than that of the Revolution and the striker will be looking to capitalize on a questionable defense. Should Nguyen, and the rest of the Revolution team be able to do so then I can see nothing other than a win against the Crew.

A Look Ahead: The 2014 New England Patriots

In recent years Tom Brady and Bill Belichick’s New England Patriots have always started an NFL season as many peoples favourites following 3 Super Bowl triumphs in the Brady-Belichick era. With that being said the team haven’t lifted the Lombardi trophy since 2004 and have also fell at the final hurdle twice in 2007 and 2011. For most franchises going deep in to the postseason is still considered a successful campaign but for the Patriots it’s win the big one or bust.

This is at the forefront of New England’s mind especially heading in to a season where the GQ quarterback Tom Brady will be 37 come kick-off time on September 7th. You can certainly argue that the window is closing for the legendary although it has been said as well as mentioned often that Terrific Tom could play in to his 40s. Personally I would put him in a bracket along other sporting legends who’ve enjoyed success in their twilight years such as Tim Duncan of the San Antonio Spurs and Ryan Giggs of Manchester United.

New England Patriots

So with that being said whilst looking at Brady’s career in recent years it is clear to see that he can still get it done and hasn’t deteriorated even with a receiving cast last year that including rookies along with no real superstars to throw to. A fourth Super Bowl ring would almost certainly cement Brady as the best quarterback of all-time; I mean who could argue with 4 Super Bowl wins and 6 appearances on the grandest stage of the all. If that happens this year retirement will naturally be thrown out there by the media but regardless of whether the Pats win it all this year I think Brady will play for at least another 3 seasons, including this one, as that would mean he would be 39 when the 2016 season starts and potentially could signal the end of his career.

Regardless of when Brady and Belichick leave New England one things for sure you have to say that with these two at the helm of the organisation as well as taking in to consideration that New England have added to a roster that made the AFC Championship game last year you’d definitely put the Patriots as one of the favourites to represent the AFC come Super Bowl 49 in Arizona just after the turn of the new year. They’ll have to contend with the likes of the Denver Broncos who they had an arms race with this past off-season during free-agency. A Brady vs Manning AFC Championship game is well on the cards again when you look at the rosters assembled by New England and Denver but don’t count out a young Indianapolis Colts team that is led but a superb young quarterback in Andrew Luck who just gets better and better as he prepares to enter his 3rd season in the NFL to shake things up for the old dogs in this conference.

The Pats last made the Super Bowl in 2011 and since then have also made the past 2 AFC Championship games so naturally any Patriots fan will have high hopes for New England to make it to the big game but after unfortunate injuries down the stretch in recent years and the fact that the Patriots in general have been spoilt for success over the past decade I personally am looking at the 2014 season through more objective eyes. New England’s success will come down to the young guns stepping up as this roster does have a lot of young talent; Only Vince Wilfork along with Tom Brady remain on the roster from the team’s last Super Bowl victory. You can expect even bigger things from young defensive players such as Chandler Jones and Dont’a Hightower who enter their third season this year as well as Jamie Collins who emerged as a gem late in the 2013 season. The secondary is looking scarily good with Devin McCourty, Brandon Browner and Darrelle Revis all on the roster and all hunting out opposing offenses.

CL AND JC

Along with a revamped secondary the young Pats will have big roles to play in 2014

New England’s success will come down to the young guns stepping up as this roster does have a lot of young talent; Only Vince Wilfork along with Tom Brady remain on the roster from the team’s last Super Bowl victory. You can expect even bigger things from young defensive players such as Chandler Jones and Dont’a Hightower who enter their third season this year as well as Jamie Collins who emerged as a gem late in the 2013 season. The secondary is looking scarily good with Devin McCourty, Brandon Browner and Darrelle Revis all on the roster and all hunting out opposing offenses.

On offense the Patriots have added Brandon LaFell to the likes of Julian Edelman as well as second year players Aaron Dobson and Kenbrell Thompkins with Dobson in particular being predicted for a breakout season. It is clear to see that this offense of the Patriots has potential with Rob Gronkowski being the key player to any success that the offense looks to have with his blocking for the running game as well as drawing double coverage in the passing game being key. That’s along with the fact that when he receives the ball he is one of the best players in the league especially at getting in to the end-zone and putting points on the board.

With that being said Gronk has struggled for injuries in recent years but if he can stay healthy, especially in the playoffs, then the Patriots have a real shot to go all the way in 2014. For now though I’m sure they’ll be honing their skills and getting back to basics whilst focusing on getting their passing game back to top notch for the 2014 season. If the offense can get it going this season along with a defence that has the potential and players to create a unit that will rival the legendary defensive units from the past 3 Super Bowl winning teams then you’d say that New England has one of the most well equipped rosters in the National Football League and has all the tools to make it to Phoenix Stadium in 2015 with the franchise having a shot at winning it’s 4th NFL Championship.

Does a healthy Gronk in the postseason equal a Super Bowl victory for New England?

Does a healthy Gronk in the postseason equal a Super Bowl victory for New England?

 

No Sense in Red Sox Trading for Cole Hamels

There have been rumors this week that the Red Sox are thinking about making a trade for Phillies starting pitcher Cole Hamels to protect themselves against a potential loss of Jon Lester on the free agent market. While some might be excited that the Red Sox are willing to go that far to stay in contention and build a strong rotation, there should be more that question the logic behind such a trade. Given the current circumstances the team finds itself in, there is absolutely no reason to trade for Cole Hamels.

Hamels is a proven ace

Hamels is a proven ace

What would the Red Sox actually be getting in Cole Hamels? The easy answer is a very good starting pitcher. In 17 starts to this point in 2014, Hamels has put up 9.05 K/9 and 2.99 BB/9 with a 48.5% Groundball rate, 78.1% strand rate, 2.83 ERA and 3.14 FIP. Hamels also has a pretty impressive postseason record: in 81.2 innings across 13 playoff starts, Hamels sports a 3.09 ERA with 77 strikeouts, just 21 walks, a 1.05 WHIP and .218 average against. There could be some concern that Hamels’s numbers might look a little better because he has spent his whole career in the National League, but that is counteracted by the fact that his home ballpark (Citizens Bank Park) is widely considered to be one of the better hitters’ parks in the game. So there is a lot to like about Hamels as a player, and any team would do well to have him at the top of their rotation. The problem this causes for the Red Sox is that the better the player, the better the return required in a trade for him.

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The Red Sox First Family

Congratulations to NESN host and former Red Sox sideline reporter Jenny Dell on her engagement to current Red Sox third baseman Will Middlebrooks. The pair’s relationship became public knowledge early in the year and they have been capturing Red Sox Nation’s collective attention ever since. While she no longer works on the field during live Red Sox broadcasts, Dell remains a fan favorite throughout Red Sox Nation due to her light-hearted, fun, and open personality. Middlebrooks has been through a roller coaster season, with injury after injury completely derailing his chance for a breakout year. He is currently rehabbing in Pawtucket with the hope of a quick recovery and a successful return to Fenway Park. Red Sox Nation wishes them nothing but health and happiness in the years to come.

P.S. – Apparently Dell’s engagement ring was made by a Yankee fan. Oh the humanity.

These Big, Bad & Ugly Bruins Sweaters Are Wicked Awesome (PHOTOS)

ugly bruins sweaters

These UGLY Boston Bruins sweaters are probably the best thing to happen to the fans of the Black & Gold since the B’s hoisted the Cup back in 2011. Can you already picture yourself wearing this slice of hockey heaven on the beach or on the slopes?

Your biggest dilemma will be which one to buy?

ugly bruins sweaters

Psst, you can get both Ugly Bruins Sweaters from Fanatics.  Be the envy of all your friends!

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