Category Archives: Boston Sports

Red Sox Trade Lester, Acquire Much-Needed Bat

After weeks of speculation, debate, and anticipation, the Red Sox finally moved Jon Lester in a trade that will reshape the current major league roster. On the morning of the 2014 non-waiver trade deadline, the Sox shipped Lester (along with Jonny Gomes and cash) to Oakland in exchange for two-time reigning Home Run Derby Champion (and outfield cannon holder) Yoenis Cespedes and a 2015 Competitive Balance Round B draft pick. While it is sad to see a player such as Jon Lester go, the return for him is substantial, as is the chance that the Red Sox could make a run at bringing Lester back in free agency following the season.

Cespedes could be a difference-maker in Boston

Cespedes could be a difference-maker in Boston

This trade represents a slight surprise to most fans due to the fact that all trade talk involving Lester up to this point suggested that the Red Sox were seeking several high-level prospects for Lester, as opposed to established major leaguers. In hindsight, a return such as this should have been expected, since it would be hard for any opposing general manager to justify trading multiple high-impact prospects for two months of Lester’s services. But in getting Cespedes, Ben Cherington filled one of the Red Sox’ most glaring needs: an outfield bat that can hit in the middle of the lineup. The Red Sox’ offensive struggles have been well documented in 2014, and the outfield has been a key contributor (or non-contributor). To this point in 2014, Cespedes brings a .256/.303/.464 triple-slash, good for a .332 wOBA and 113 wRC+. While these numbers on their surface may make Cespedes seem like a relatively unimpressive player, other stats such as his .208 ISO and .278 BABIP suggest that there is room for improvement in his game. This is all to say nothing of the effect playing all of your home games at the O.co Coliseum can have on one’s offensive numbers. When taking into context Cespedes’s career numbers (in addition to the fact that he will not turn 29 until October), it is not unreasonable to think that he could put up a line closer to his rookie season in 2012 (.292/.356/.505) with a full season’s worth of home games at Fenway Park.

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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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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!

Celtics Circuit: C’s Sign Evan Turner

Evan Turner Boston Sports Then & Now

The Boston Celtics will be Evan Turner’s third team in five months.

The Boston Celtics bolstered their roster with the addition of veteran swingman Evan Turner on Monday. Turner’s deal will be for a portion of the midlevel exception.

The 25-year-old Turner has played in the NBA for four seasons. He spent three and a half years with the Philadelphia 76ers where he was taken with the 2nd overall pick in 2010. Turner was shipped to the Indiana Pacers in February. He has averaged 11.1 points, 5.3 rebounds, and 3.1 assists. While the 6-foot-7-inch Turner is talented, but mercurial. He got into a fistfight with fellow Pacers teammate Lance Stephenson (he has his own demons) before Game 1 of the Pacers’ first-round series against the Atlanta Hawks.

This summer, the Pacers refused to give Turner an $8.7 million qualifying offer, thus making Turner a free agent. Turner is looking to reinvent his career after a tough few months with the Pacers. The guard played limited minutes with the Pacers in their run to the Eastern Conference finals.

The Celtics have a crowded back court since they drafted Marcus Smart and James Young in June. They also resigned Avery Bradley and traded for Marcus Thornton. Rajon Rondo is entering the final season of his contract. Also, the Celtics have 18 players committed to $80 million, which is over the luxury tax threshold. The Celtics have three non-guaranteed contracts that could push them below the threshold. They also could be using Turner or one of their other guards to acquire future assets like they did with MarShon Brooks and Jordan Crawford last year.

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