Category Archives: Boston Sports

Moncada Signing Solidifies Red Sox Infield

First a little disclaimer: the headline might be somewhat misleading. The Red Sox’ signing of Cuban uber-prospect Yoan Moncada does seem to stabilize the team’s infield picture, but for the future, meaning two or three years down the line. There is no current opening in the Red Sox infield, but there should be by the time Moncada is ready to show the world why the Red Sox just paid $31.5 million to a 19 year-old who has never played baseball in the United States. The tools, talent, and projectability are allegedly off the charts, so once he is ready the Red Sox might more or less have to find a spot for him, but it might not be as hard as it sounds.

Consider the Red Sox infield picture beyond the 2015 season; Mike Napoli is headed for free agency, and while he says he would like to stay beyond this season, there probably won’t be much motivation for the Red Sox to get something done beyond a one-year deal. So that leaves Dustin Pedroia and Pablo Sandoval locked up long-term, plus Xander Bogaerts sticking around at shortstop. However, given Sandoval’s less-than-inspiring physique (plus his career 0 DRS and 2.2 UZR at third), it might be best to move him to first base in the long term. If injuries or weight really become an issue, he could even DH on a near full-time basis, thereby leaving first base open for Hanley Ramirez. Regardless, the first base/DH duties should go between Sandoval and Ramirez, in whatever order the Red Sox see fit.

Read more

New England Patriots: Super Bowl XLIX Champions!

The New England Patriots and Seattle Seahawks contested arguably the greatest Super Bowl of all-time. It had everything from hard hitting defense to brilliant offense and just pure drama as the two teams battled it out until literally the last seconds of the game. With 23 seconds to go Russell Wilson threw an interception to Patriots rookie defensive back Malcom Butler on the one yard line sending the New England Patriots players and fans around the world to go in to a frenzy of celebration as well as disbelief that they had finally captured their first Super Bowl championship since 2004.

Brady’s reaction to Butler’s intercepted summed it all up for anyone associated with the Patriots

 

After Jermaine Kearse’s catch down at the goal-line it appeared that New England would surely suffer a third straight Super Bowl defeat as it seemed once again that the football gods were once again going to snatch victory away from the Patriots with a David Tyree/Mario Manningham type play. Tom Brady and Bill Belichick in particular needed this victory more than anything to quieten down all the doubters and finally get this massive weight off of their shoulders. Despite all Brady and Belichick have achieved if Wilson had indeed completed that pass to Lockette or if the Seahawks had just run the ball with Lynch like 99.9% of people would have done then Seattle would have surely won this game and left the Patriots franchise in devastation.



style="display:inline-block;width:728px;height:90px"
data-ad-client="ca-pub-0701776857259407"
data-ad-slot="9166058956">

But the beauty of sport is that it is all swings and roundabouts and that is none truer than in the National Football League. When Brady started his career he was a young kid fighting tooth and nail to make it in the NFL and under the guidance of Belichick the Patriots won 3 Super Bowls in 4 years thanks to a a fantastic defense, great coaching and the heart as well as the desire of a young quarterback. Some would say that at that time Brady was just a game manager, some would say that despite having the best win ratio in NFL history he hadn’t won the big one since 2004 and that it was just because of that great defense that Brady had 3 Super Bowl rings. People would even dare to call Brady a choker and bring up the lack of Super Bowl success since SpyGate despite guiding his team to the big one two more times since 2004. The 2007 team almost pulled of perfection, in 2011 the Pats just couldn’t get the job done and it appeared that the 4th championship may never come around.

Read more

Super Bowl XLIX: Patriots vs Seahawks

super-bowl-patriots-seahawks

Destiny, rising in the face of adversity and desire; these are the things that great teams believe in, do and aspire too which is something both the New England Patriots and Seattle Seahawks possess.

These two NFL heavyweights will lock horns come Sunday evening for arguably the biggest prize in sport, the Lombardi Trophy. The Patriots are looking to capture their 4th championship in franchise history and more importantly their first since 2004. Tom Brady and Bill Belichick will also be looking to exorcise demons from previous Super Bowls as it was in this exact stadium back in 2007 where the Patriots were minutes away from pulling off the perfect season before losing to the Giants and finishing the campaign 18-1.

Despite all their achievements and all the success the Patriots organisation has achieved it appears that Sunday’s game is going to define a legacy. If Brady and Belichick win then it is a 4 Super Bowl win and 6 appearances, both have the most playoff wins for a QB and for a head coach and both hold numerous other records that help stake their claim as the greatest ever. If they don’t defeat Seattle then other fan bases will continue to jibe the Pats with “Spygate”, “Deflate gate” and about any other gate they can think of.

The Patriots are usually the masters of rising up in the face of adversity and punching it right in the throat which is something you could say they’ve done more so than ever this season but Seattle have had to combat this themselves. After a lacklustre start to the season the defending champions were heavily criticised including the almighty legion of boom and despite the fact that many experts were touting a possible return to the Super Bowl for these Seahawks secretly I believe and from what I saw about 90% of people really did feel that Dallas or Green Bay would knock off Seattle in this postseason but it never happened.

The Seahawks rose from the ashes last week to pull off one of the greatest playoff comebacks in NFL history as they rallied back from 16-0 down to take the game to overtime at 22-22 before Russell Wilson finished off the game to Jermaine Kearse with a beautiful touchdown leaving Green Bay shell shocked and wondering what if (I doubt any of their players will be watching the game tomorrow). So now Russell Wilson, Marshawn Lynch and this amazing Seattle Seahawks defense, who came up big especially in the red zone last week, will have a chance to repeat against a team who were in fact the last NFL franchise to pull off such a feat.

It’s that among many other factors which makes this game so exciting and so damn hard to predict! This will arguably be Seattle and New England’s toughest games of the season. The Patriots themselves pulled off a memorable playoff comeback against Baltimore in the divisional round so we know how much heart and determination both of these teams have. They also put in a stellar performance in last weeks AFC Championship game against the Colts to blow out the opposition 45-7 with LeGarrette Blount running wild and the Pats defense coming up big with huge intensity and fantastic play for near enough the entire 60 minutes.

The Patriots defense is probably the second best in the league and the truth is that they are not that far behind Seattle’s but with this Seahawks D being so tough and so nasty it just puts them head and shoulders above the rest. Now Tom Brady has faced many great D’s in the past and he will have been studying Seattle night and day for the past fortnight so he will be prepared and he has the tools to defeat the legion of boom.

The LOB’s and this Seattle defenses kryptonite for me is Rob Gronkowski as despite how good the likes of Kam Chancellor, Earl Thomas, Richard Sherman, Jeremy Lang and Bobby Wagner are they’ve never come up against a player like Gronk as this man can do anything. Now despite Gronk’s abilities to block, catch and just about to near enough anything my key to the game is this Pats o-line protecting Tom Brady as well as whether they can be effective enough to help get the run game going.

In Brady’s past two Super Bowl losses the Giants front 3 was able to create tons of pressure to force a collapse in the pocket and get to Tom. If that happens again on Sunday it will be hard for the Pats to win especially as we’ve seen how brilliant that the likes of Bruce Irvin and Michael Bennett are in the pass rush. They have the skills to crash up the middle and replicate the success the Giants had against Brady but this Pats o line ranks 4th in giving up the fewest sacks this season so them doing their jobs will be crucial.

If they can indeed hold up strong and give Brady time in the pocket as well as create a successful run game with Blount also being a key factor then the Pats have the tools to win this game. The recipe to New England’s success on offense this season has been quick passes, slants and the abilities of their small, nibble receivers creating plays after the catch so Julian Edelman and Danny Amendola will have big roles to play. This is something that Seattle have sometimes struggled against in the past with TY Hilton of the Colts being an example. Edelman, Amendola can both run similar corner routes to this one and because all are so good but with different qualities it makes for an exciting head to head when this Pats offense goes against the Seattle defense. Add Gronk in the mix as mention previously along with the big bodied Brandon LaFell who’s having a breakout year at wideout for the Patriots, he has become one of Brady’s most trusted weapons, and this Patriots offense will be giving the Seattle defense a few sleepless nights of their own. (Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan fans will appreciate the pun).

The Pats defense will be having a few restless nights of their own as they know how devastating Russell Wilson and Marshawn Lynch can be. Beast mode is the best running back in the league and thrives for the big games whilst Wilson always seems to keep calm in high pressure situations and also always manages to pull out a big play when needed. Doug Baldwin for me is a very underrated receiver and will pose the Pats defense threats but because of his slant running type nature New England will be well equipped for this.

Despite Russell Wilson’s ability to use his legs and considering how underrated his throwing ability is at times which was something the Broncos underestimated in last years Super Bowl I feel this Patriots defense has all the tools to combat the Seattle offense. Just like Wilson is a new type of QB these Patriot linebackers in the form of Jamie Collins and Dont’a Hightower are new breeds of linebackers and are equipped to disrupt as well as get after Russell Wilson. whilst the likes of Vince Wilfork, Chandler Jones and Rob Ninkovich definitely have a chance of frustrating beast mode.

Add the Pats secondary to this defense which includes brilliant safety Devin McCourty along with Darrelle Revis wanting to prove he’s the best corner in the game on the biggest stage of them all when he goes against Richard Sherman tomorrow and you can see why this is the best Patriots defense since 2007. Remember the last time the Pats were in a Super Bowl Julian Edelman played at corner; now they have key contributors such as Brandon Browner, Logan Ryan, Kyle Arrington and Patrick Chung who all have risen to the occasion thanks to the inspiration and leadership from the likes of Revis and McCourty. For the Seahawks to win they’ll need to run the ball effectively through Lynch so that Wilson can try to deceive the Pats D by using his own legs and with his throws but if that doesn’t happen they’ll become a bit more predictable which will help the Patriots in attempting to stop this Seattle offense.

Now everyone is talking about Seattle repeating or the fact that this is the game to cement Belichick but more so Tom Brady’s legacy and to be quite honest it is a little bit. It is incredible that he would have to win this to make on Sunday to have 4 Super Bowl wins from 6 appearances in the big one just to prove the doubters wrong but personally I see this as being the career game for Rob Gronkowski who will help Brady, Belichick and the Patriots achieve their dreams once again. Gronk, the man who played for the university of Arizona, has waited 3 years for this since the Super Bowl loss to the Giants when he hobbled around on one ankle and has missed the past two playoffs with other injuries so it’s only fitting that the biggest game of Gronk’s career will be played in Arizona, a place he loves and a place where he hopes his dreams will be fulfilled come Sunday night. Seattle may be favourites and I do agree with that assessment but I’ve been adamant all season that if Gronkowski stays healthy the Patriots will win the Super Bowl so despite the fact that Pete Carroll is up against his former team as well as that the all mighty legion of boom are the best defense to come along since 1985 Bears I am standing by that prediction now more than ever.

Prediction: Patriots 27-23 Seahawks

 

Boston Bruins: Last Two Weeks By The Numbers 1/31/15

With the All-Star Break encompassing seven of the last nine days, the Bruins have played just four games in the last two weeks while continuing to jockey for playoff positioning. Aside from Patrice Bergeron, the team’s lone representative in Columbus, the B’s enjoyed their eight days off and look to pick up where they left off to begin the unofficial second half of the season. The last two weeks have included a theme of very late Colorado goals, a milestone point for a Bruins’ centerman and the first NHL brawl for one young defenseman. This is Boston Bruins: Last Two Weeks By The Numbers.

Patrice Bergeron had a very impressive All-Star Game debut for Team Toews.

Patrice Bergeron had a very impressive All-Star Game debut for Team Toews.

0.3: Jarome Iginla scored a goal with 0.3 seconds left in the first period to give the Avalanche a 1-0 lead on Jan. 21. It was the second straight period the Avs scored a goal with under a second remaining against the Bruins as Daniel Briere scored with 0.4 remaining in the game to win it for them on Oct. 13.

1: Craig Cunningham notched the first career assist (third point) as he recorded the primary helper on Gregory Campbell’s goal in Dallas on Jan. 20 in his 24th career game.

1: David Pastrnak recorded his first NHL penalty (a slash) on Jan. 21 in the 3-2 shootout loss to the Avalanche.

Read more

12 Reasons The Patriots Lost Super Bowl XLVI

The Patriots are just about set to take on the NFC Champion Seahawks in their sixth Super Bowl appearance in the last 13 years. In their two most recent trips in 2007 and 2011, however, the Pats have not been able to come away victorious. In their most recent Super Bowl loss to the Giants, there were some pretty clear reasons as to why they were unable to win the game. We all remember the last-minute, game-winning touchdown drive orchestrated by Eli Manning, Ahmad Bradshaw’s accidental touchdown and the last-second Hail Mary attempt falling incomplete. Chances are, however, most people have forgotten about some of the other reasons the Pats came out on the wrong end of the score, but not to worry. Here are the top-12 reasons the Patriots lost Super Bowl XLVI.

Tom Brady walks off the field in Indianapolis following the Super Bowl XLVI defeat.

Tom Brady walks off the field in Indianapolis following the Super Bowl XLVI defeat.

Read more

Boston Bruins: Last Two Weeks By The Numbers

The Bruins seem to have found their stride as the first half of the season has come and gone and as a team hanging around the bottom of the Eastern Conference playoff picture, their current five-game winning streak could not have come at a better time. Over the last couple of weeks, the B’s have extended some recent dominance over a couple different opponents, seen their prized rookie do something not many Bruins’ teenagers have, outshot an opponent by more than they have in almost five years, fired the fewest shots on goal they have had in a period this season, had a couple centermen hit a milestone on the same night and rattled off a season-high point streak. This is Boston Bruins: Last Two Weeks By The Numbers.

David Pastrnak has come on in a big way over the last few games and is in Boston to stay.

David Pastrnak has come on in a big way over the last few games and is in Boston to stay.

1: Former Bruins goaltender Anton Khudobin made his first start against Boston as his Hurricanes came away with the 2-1 shootout win on Jan. 4 in Raleigh.

1: David Pastrnak scored his first NHL goal – first two actually – in the 3-1 win over the Flyers on Jan. 10. He is the youngest NHL player to appear in a game this season.

1: In the same game, the Bruins won for the first time this season when Zdeno Chara committed a penalty (1-5-3). They then improved to 2-5-3 in their next game against Tampa Bay.

1: Patrice Bergeron was selected as the Bruins’ lone representative to the All-Star Game for the first time in his career.

Read more

« Older Entries