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Three Red Sox Needs

By on October 9, 2015 at 7:43pm

Earlier in the week we looked at some of the Red Sox’ current organizational strengths heading into the offseason, and now we are taking a look at some needs the team will be working to improve on this winter. Most of them are pretty obvious and involve pitching, but let’s get into it. Below are the Red Sox three most glaring needs, in no particular order.

An Ace

This one has already been talked about a lot and is pretty obvious, as 2015 proved the harsh reality that a rotation full of mediocre pitchers gets a team nowhere. The Red Sox are in a good position with some of their younger pitchers, including Eduardo Rodriguez, Henry Owens, and Brian Johnson, but those guys are not yet ready to be legitimate number one starters. Fortunately, the Free Agent and Trade markets are likely to be flush with top-notch starting pitching; it will be up to Dave Dombrowski to decide how to allocate his resources and improve the roster. Aside from the obvious talent improvement that would come with an established Ace, such an acquisition would also create more competition among the rest of the roster’s pitchers, as there would be one less spot in the rotation available. This competition would be great for both veterans, like Wade Miley and Rick Porcello, and younger players like Owens and Johnson. Competition breeds improvement, which is sorely needed throughout the Red Sox pitching staff.

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1. Cowboys preview:

* Jerry Jones bought the Cowboys for $150,000,000 and is now worth $4,000,000,000

* Robert Kraft bought the Patriots for $172,000,000 and is now worth $3,200,000,000

* Cowboys running back and leading rusher Joseph Randall was arrested on 10/13/14 and 2/3/15 for pot, shop lifting and there was some domestic abuse event surrounding one of the arrests

* After JFK was shot in Dallas – the rest of the country called the Cowboys the Dallas Assassins

* After the 1990’s stories of the infamous Dallas White House – the team’s nickname was changed from America’s Team to South America’s Team

* Roger Staubach’s net worth is estimated at $600,000,000 (or $600,000,000 more than Antoine Walker’s)

* Cowboy Stadium cost $1.3 billion / Texas Stadium cost $35.0 million / Allen High School field cost $65.0 million (google the field)

* 83 million people watched the episode of who shot JR (11/21/80) – ironically shown one day short of the anniversary of who shot JFK Continue reading Connelly’s Top Ten: Bruins Lose, Jerry Jones Rich, We Have Heroes – Not Looking »

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The Bruins lost their 1st game of the season Thursday night against the Winnipeg Jets 6-2.

The B’s came out of the gate at the beginning of the game with so much energy and power, the same energy and power that they have to harness for the full 60 minutes.

They only harnessed it for the first period, though. After the first period it was a disaster. Continue reading Bruins Messy in Season Opener Against Jets »

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Winslow Townson/Associated Press

Before the Patriots can take care of business in Dallas this weekend they took care of some business in their own backfield. Dion Lewis has signed a 2-year contract extension with the team reported to be worth $3 million. The shifty running back receives a $600,000 signing bonus, with a first year salary of $800,000 and a second year of $1.2 million. With incentives Lewis could make up to $5 million in the next two years.

Despite Lewis’ injury history he looks as healthy as ever and for the price this seems like a low risk for what the Pats are getting in return. Continue reading Patriots Sign RB Dion Lewis to 2-Year Contract Extension »

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It's been a couple of days, but I'm still giddy and grinning that the Yankees lost and former Red Sox/$153 million man Jacoby Ellsbury didn't even start. (US News)

It almost made this season entirely worth it. Another year out of the playoff race by August (and that’s optimistic), another last place finish, and one American League Wild Card game nearly undid all the futility of the 2015 season – and the Red Sox were already home hitting the links.

Such is my hatred and vitriol for the New York Yankees that I can find near complete solace in their shutout loss at the hands of Dallas Keuchel and the Houston Astros in the AL Wild Card round. Yes, that’s how pathetic this past season was.

Continue reading The Yankees Lost, Ellsbury Got Benched, and I’m Still Giddy »

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Three Red Sox Strengths

October 7, 2015 at 8:30pm in Featured, Opinion, Red Sox, Top Story
Jackie Bradley Jr., Mookie Betts, and Rusney Castillo (Caylor Arnold/USA Today Sports)

Now that the offseason is officially upon us a month sooner than most fans would like, the time has come to take stock of the Red Sox organization, see just where they stand, and try to figure out how they will proceed going into and through the offseason. Since there is always a give/take, ying/yang, etc. we will cover both ends of the emotional spectrum, but for now let’s start on a positive note and take a look at three areas of organizational strength that can be built upon going forward.

The Lineup

It’s no secret that the Red Sox need a good amount of pitching improvements if they want to contend in 2016 and beyond. The everyday lineup, however, appears to be in very good shape as currently constituted. Five Red Sox posted an OPS right at or near .800: David Ortiz (.913), Dustin Pedroia (.797), Mookie Betts (.820), Jackie Bradley Jr. (.832), and Travis Shaw (.822). Additionally, the Red Sox as a team finished among the Major League leaders in several offensive categories including:


6th in Batting Average – .265

5th in OBP – .325

7th in Slugging – .415

4th in Runs Scored – 748

4th in RBI – 706

6th in wOBA – .321


Pretty impressive. Keep in mind that all of this was accomplished despite two of the lineup’s alleged staples – Hanley Ramirez and Pablo Sandoval – were worse than replacement level and a complete drain on the offense. The Red Sox had a top-6 offense in the baseball in 2015, with potential to be top-3 in 2016.

Continue reading Three Red Sox Strengths »

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Heading into this weekend’s game in Dallas, much of the focus will be on who is not playing. Tony Romo and Dez Bryant will be unavailable for the Cowboys due to injuries and Lance Dunbar has been lost for the year with a knee injury. One unit that is healthy and menacing is the Cowboys offensive line.

If Dallas is to beat New England, they will have to run the ball well. Brandon Weeden cannot win a game on his own and the Cowboys will also want to keep Tom Brady on the field. They have spent high draft picks on the offensive line, with Zack Martin, Tyron Smith, and Travis Frederick all being first round picks since 2011. These three players form a nucleus that has dominated opposing defenses over the last two years. Their play helped propel Demarco Murray to the league rushing title in 2014 and they have opened up 2015 playing well.

The Patriots have had one major weak spot on defense thus far and that has been stopping the run. Although part of this has been because they have jumped out to big leads therefore leading teams to throw more. This then forces the Patriots to use passing personnel, which means it is easier to run when the offenses choose to. Despite this qualifier, the team’s run defense should still be better. New England is giving up 4.9 yards per carry, tied for worst in the NFL. They are also giving up 117 yards rushing per game, which ranks 23rd.

Dallas no longer has Murray, but can still be formidable when blocking in the run game. The wild card for the Patriots defense is Weeden. With Romo and Bryant out, the Patriots can play more slanted to the run game and play seven or eight players in the box. However, if Weeden begins the game playing well, New England will have to play more sub packages and put more pressure on their defensive line.

The Patriots trip to Dallas is a very winnable game, as long as they don’t allow the Cowboys to push them around at the point of attack. This offensive line is the best the Patriots will face all season. Their front seven has played well against the pass and played better in the run game against Jacksonville, but it is still not a sure thing. The bye week may have come at a good time for the unit, as they got time to improve and practice more together.

The proof will be in the pudding on Sunday. Either the Patriots run defense will continue to improve or New England will get pushed around.


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