Category Archives: Boston Sports

Romo is a Good Target for Red Sox

sergio romoWhile we find ourselves in the midst of the Winter Meetings frenzy, the Stove is currently as Hot as it has been all offseason, with no signs of cooling ahead. Now that a certain starting pitcher has left for windier pastures, it is time for the Red Sox to move forward with their off-season plan. While it is true that the team is still in desperate need of multiple quality starters, a need also exists in the bullpen for a quality late-inning guy. The Red Sox did extend Koji Uehara at the very beginning of the offseason, but he probably should not be expected to hold down the back of the bullpen on his own. Enter Sergio Romo.



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There have been recent rumors that the Red Sox have, in fact, been interested in Romo this offseason (along with the Giants, Dodgers, and Yankees). This interest is merited since: 1) Romo has been very good throughout his career, and 2) the Red Sox have a need in the back of their bullpen. Romo is a good fit because he spent the first part of his career, and even parts of 2014, pitching in the eighth inning as a very valuable setup man. Since Uehara will most likely be pitching in the ninth (at least to start), it would be important to sign a reliever who has experience setting up and can move between roles as needed. His additional experience closing games (78 career Saves) over the past two-plus seasons with the Giants adds another valuable element: that Romo can slide into the closer’s role should Uehara decline or fatigue (again) in 2015.

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Boston Bruins: Last Two Weeks By The Numbers For Dec. 6

The weather has not been the only thing in Boston to start getting colder over the last few weeks. To say that the Bruins have gone cold would be an understatement compared to the standards Black and Gold fans have grown accustomed to over the past few seasons. They are enduring through injuries and that has really shown in their play. Here is a deeper look at the statistics – most not being so pretty – that include a road slump, some troubling news about which team has been scoring first, milestones for coach and one of his oldest players, a winning streak over one recently relocated franchise and a less-than-stellar month on the power play. This is Boston Bruins: Last Two Weeks By The Numbers.

boston bruins

The Bruins are fighting injuries and fighting to make up ground in the Eastern Conference standings.

0: Gregory Campbell had zero points in 12 games in November. It was his first full month without registering a point since October 2013.

0: The 2-0 loss to the Kings on Tuesday marked the first time that the Bruins were shut out on the road this season.

1: Montreal goaltender, Carey Price, registered his first ever shutout against the Bruins on Nov. 22, blanking his rivals, 2-0, at TD Garden.

1: Rookie Joe Morrow got his first NHL point and goal in the 3-2 loss to Pittsburgh (the team that drafted him) on Nov. 24 just 28 seconds after a Milan Lucic tally.

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Patriots vs Packers: Is this a Super Bowl preview?

Today sees the 9-2 New England Patriots take their seven game winning streak to Lambeau Field where they will face off against the Green Bay Packers in a clash between what many consider to be the two best teams in football right now. This is the first time ever that Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers’ teams will go head to head which is something that somehow adds more spice to what is already the most mouthwatering affair of this 2014 NFL season to date.

In their last 3 games the Patriots have faced all division leaders and defeated all 3 in comfortable fashion. Before their bye week they hosted the Denver Broncos and blew them out of the water with Tom Brady putting on a passing clinic in a 43-21 victory and after the bye week they went to Lucas Oil Stadium to take on the Colts where they wore down the defense of the Colts with ground and pound football in a 42-20 win.

That game saw a new starlet in the form of Jonas Gray who scored 4 touchdowns that night to deflate Indianapolis just as they did in last years playoffs when LaGarrette Blount did the same in another blowout victory. Blount has sinced resigned with the team and celebrated his return with a touchdown in last weeks 34-9 victory against Detroit at Gillette Stadium where the Patriots frustrated the Lions’ offense with brilliant defensive play. They mixed up the schemes and showed different coverages to limit Calvin Johnson and frustrate Matthew Stafford.

The Patriots recipe to success many times during the Brady-Belichick era has been playing 60 minutes of smart football and that is what they will need tonight when they come up against Aaron Rodgers and co. Just like New England the Green Bay Packers started the season at 2-2 and came under intense scrutiny from many but following a blowout defeat on the road in New Orleans 44-23 before their bye week the Pack have come out all guns blazing and have scored a combined 132 points in their last three outings giving them huge wins at home over Chicago and Philadelphia before winning a close one against Minnesota on the road 24-21 last weekend.

The fact that the Patriots have also scored over triple digits in total with 119 points in their past three games just shows how breathtaking today’s game could be and with Brady and Rodgers at the QB position it is very unlikely that these two teams will disappoint us. With the two best offenses in football at their disposal Brady and Rodgers will both be looking to put their best work on display under the lights of prime time football. Terrific Tom has 26 touchdowns to just 6 interceptions on the year with 2,998 passing yards to his name too and a QB rating of 101.0 which is very impressive considering how poorly the Pats started the year.

A-Rod better known as Aaron Rodgers well he has been in devastating form this season and has accumulated 30 touchdown passes to just 3 picks and is also just short of the 3,000 yard passing mark with 2,957 yards on the year. He is way ahead passer rating wise of all the other quarterbacks with a ridiculous overall rating of 119.3 which just explains how great Rodgers is. Tonight personally and what a lot of people have suggested already is a matchup between the two best quarterbacks of their respective eras and between two QB’s who will definitely be in the conversation for greatest quarterback of all-time for years and years to come.

Who will lead their team to victory in today’s game?

Now despite the Packers early season woes besides a rusty opening season game against Seattle where Green Bay looked scared they have bounced back very well to get to 8-3 and as mentioned previously their displays in recent weeks have been amazing but the Patriots troublesome times early on in 2014 are almost incomparable. It has been said time after time but after that Monday Night madness against the Chiefs back in week 4 the Patriots came under so much scrutiny in particular Tom Brady.

After that huge bounce back win against Cincinnati the Patriots have been on a hot streak steamrolling through everyone in their path. Despite his supposed woes Brady still managed to rarely turn the football over even during this offenses poor start to the year now when you combine the fact of Brady’s intelligence with how well this New England offense is doing then you can start to see as well as appreciate why this team is so devastating. The return of Rob Gronkowski has been unquestionable one of the main ingredients for how effective this Patriots offense has been and it has been brilliant to see Gronk return to the superstar level that only a handful of other players in the league can reach. He continues to dominate opponents and will be a real handful for the Packers and it will be interesting to see if Clay Matthews stays as an inside backer especially given the resurgence of the Patriots run game.

The prospect of a Gray-Blount one two punch gives Shane Vereen the ability to do what he does best which is catch passes out of the backfield and cause mismatches for opposing defenses. As we know this Patriots offense has been in devastating form with everyone contributing to its success which has helped Brady and Gronk have such a devastating affect just because they don’t have all the pressure to get it done themselves now that everyone else is stepping up and a lot of that credit should go to the offensive line who, now that it has a settled starting line up, has brought the stability and great lineman play needed in order to make this New England offense tick once again.

Having a mad scientist-coaching mastermind in the form of Bill Belichick helps the Patriots offense because with the players they have on the other side of the ball it has given them the opportunities needed to make plays and both the defense and offense are helping each other out. This is especially true this season as this Patriots defense is probably the best we have seen since 2007 when New England almost pulled off the perfect season. Bill Belichick is having lots of fun defensively this year and he along with defensive coordinator Matt Patricia are thriving with the talent they have on this side of the ball with the likes of Revis, Browner, Arrington Hightower, Collins, Chung, McCourty, Chandler and Chris Jones, Ninkovich and even the new additions of Ayers and Casillas coming to mind.

They’ll need whoever is on the field tonight to be at their best when they come up against Rodgers and co as they have a stellar receiving core with Randall Cobb and Jordy Nelson leading the way along with a supporting cast of Boykin and rookie wideout Devante Adams who has slowly worked his way in to the offense. Add running back Eddie Lacy to the mix who despite some personal on-field troubles himself at times this season still is considered to be one of the best backs in the league and you can see why this Packers offense is equipped to succeed. In a pass heavy team Lacy’s stats sometimes don’t reflect well on him but with his obvious talents it gives a different dimension to Green Bay and a running back that has the ability to succeed where maybe in years gone by this is something they’ve lacked.

As I mentioned before tonight sees, in my opinion, the best quarterbacks of two generations/eras whatever you like to call it go head to head. Brady and Belichick have not only won three Super Bowls together but they have also combined to pick up numerous accolades along with the respect of many for their many achievements over the last almost 15 years. Packers coach Mike McCarthy and Aaron Rodgers if anything are both the next generation of Brady and Belichick. They may only have one ring to their name but surely at some point in their careers in Wisconsin at least a second championship will follow but the same regarding a fourth has been said about Brady-Belichick yet that hasn’t happened as of yet.

Belichick and McCarthy both teased the media this week with the pair both asked to compare the two quarterbacks early in the week. Belichick’s reply was “They both wear No. 12,” before ending the media session and McCarthy’s response to the same question was that “They’re both from California,” before he ended his session too. With both these franchises in prime positions to make a run at a championship under the guidance of brilliant head coaches and fantastic quarterbacks stemming down to well equipped offenses that know what it takes to win games in any way shape or form it is no wonder that this is being hyped up as a preview of Super Bowl XLIX come February 1st.

Personally I don’t see both of these teams making the big game and if I had to choose one to make it I would go with the Patriots just because they seem to be more well rounded overall of these two teams but in regards to tonight’s game going to Lambeau Field is no easy task and that is what makes the prospect of tonight’s matchup so gripping with the winner of tonight’s game probably the hardest choice to make. Will the Patriots assert themselves as the best team in the NFL by making it 8 wins straight in one of the toughest places to play in football or will Rodgers and co derail the Brady led New England train and rack up their 4th straight win to take a step closer to getting a bye going in to the postseason… We’ll find out in a few hours!

Boston Bruins: Last Two Weeks By The Numbers 11/22

Despite a couple of consecutive startling losses, the Bruins have weathered the storm without Zdeno Chara quite nicely over the last month or so. They are now…since losing their captain, including…over the last two weeks. Also during that time, one winger notched an offensive milestone, Toronto scored the most goals it has scored against Boston at home in 14 years and one Bruins leader had his worst individual game in over three years. This is Boston Bruins: Last Two Weeks By The Numbers.

The Bruins celebrate a goal during a come-from-behind win in Columbus.

The Bruins celebrate a goal during a come-from-behind win in Columbus.

1: Somehow, Simon Gagne, Dougie Hamilton and Dennis Seidenberg were each plus-1 in the 6-1 loss to the Maple Leafs on Nov. 12 and no one was worse than minus-2.

1: Matt Fraser’s fight with Nathan Beaulieu of the Canadiens on Nov. 13 was his first penalty of the season in his 10th game.



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1: Matt Bartkowski recorded his first point of the season on Torey Krug’s Nov. 18 goal against the Blues though it was only his sixth game of 2014-15. Bartkowski, who still does not have a goal in 91 regular-season NHL games, notched his first point since April 3.

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Do the Red Sox Really Need Sandoval?

The past several weeks have put the Red Sox through the free agent rumor mill like we have not seen for quite some time. There are multiple sources that reported how the Red Sox are positioned to spend significant money on the free agent market this offseason, and they appear to have made offers to several big names on the market. One of their early targets is said to be former Giants third baseman Pablo Sandoval, who could provide good defense and help balance the Red Sox’ righty-heavy lineup. However, when one takes a step back from all of the hype and excitement, they can objectively ask themselves: do the Red Sox really NEED Pablo Sandoval? The Red Sox are definitely a team that can afford to pay top-of-the-market rates for free agents, but Sandoval might not really be a legitimate need for the Red Sox.

Sandoval might be more of a luxury than a necessity

Sandoval might be more of a luxury than a necessity

The first question to ask is does Sandoval fit into the Red Sox’ culture and is he the kind of player that the organization values? The Red Sox are a team that openly values hitters who take a selective approach at the plate, take pitches, and work the count. This is significant because it is an area in which Sandoval struggles greatly. Over the course of his career, Sandoval has swung at 45.7% of the pitches he has seen outside of the strike zone, and at 58.3% of the pitches he saw overall. The top three Red Sox hitters, Dustin Pedroia (career 26.1 O-Swing%, 43.2 Swing%), David Ortiz (career 22.2 O-Swing%, 44.8 Swing%), and Mike Napoli (career 24.6 O-Swing%, 42 Swing%), swing far less often. These are the kinds of guys that the Red Sox want hitting in the middle of their lineup, and preferably over the rest of it too. While it is true that the Red Sox already have a similar player to Sandoval in Yoenis Cespedes (career 37.4 O-Swing%, 50.9 Swing%), his contract is up following the coming season and his stay in Boston is far from guaranteed. In addition, there are reports that Cespedes fell out of favor with Red Sox coaches due, at least in part, to his unwillingness to change his approach at the plate. The Red Sox do not value free-swinging players as much as advanced hitters who work the count, which is something that Sandoval absolutely does not do.

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Why the Red Sox Have a Chance at Lester

Let’s start with the disclaimer that I do understand that I am the glass half-full type of person that tends to take the optimistic outlook on things. I realize that The Cubs’ (or any other teams’) dollars are worth just as much as the Red Sox’, and that the Red Sox cannot really bank on much of a hometown discount at this point. Popular rumors say that the Red Sox are one of at least six teams that are intensely interested in signing Lester from the open market, and Red Sox ownership reportedly has a meeting scheduled with Lester and his agents. However, the simple fact that they traded him should not rule the Red Sox out as a serious bidder for Lester’s services on the free agent market. Obviously the team has the resources to compete with just about any team on the open market, so the dollars should not be an issue. Red Sox fans should not exactly expect that Lester will definitely return to Fenway this winter, but they can expect a realistic shot at signing him.

There is something to be said for the comfort factor here. Lester was drafted, developed, and enjoyed tremendous success with the Red Sox organization, and this cannot be ignored completely. Additionally (and possibly more importantly), Lester has a great family life in the Boston area. His wife and children are comfortable here and have their whole lives centered around this area, so coming back to the Red Sox would be a seamless transition as far as the community is concerned. Lester has said before that one of the key factors in his free agent decision will be how comfortable his family is in a particular community, which should be an area in which the Red Sox have a sizable advantage over the rest of the market.

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