Price waits for Ortiz to touch 'em all (Jim Davis/Boston Globe)

The 2015 season has highlighted the harsh reality of the Red Sox pitching staff: it lacks an Ace, or really any time of frontline starter. This is the need that Ben Cherington seriously needs to address in the immediate future, either at the trade deadline or in the offseason. There is absolutely no way the Red Sox can expect to contend in 2016 if they still have anything resembling their pitching staff in 2015. Several options exist to make that reshaping a reality, though some options are better than others.

There have been rumors over the last year and a half of a potential deal for Phillies lefty Cole Hamels, but it now seems that he is likely off the table for the Red Sox. Despite their insistence that they are contenders, the Tigers have been allegedly considering a trade of David Price before he hits free agency after the season. Some have speculated that Price would be a good target for the Red Sox, assuming they could keep him beyond the 2015 season. Price is a very good pitcher, but he is not a match for the Red Sox and should not be pursued under any circumstances.

Continue reading (David) Price is Wrong for Red Sox »

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Brock Holt could be moved before the trade deadline. (Photo Courtesy of the Boston Herald)

With the trade deadline action in full force, the Red Sox need to take a serious look at the players on their roster and their roles in the 2016 season. Shane Victorino was the first Sox player to be dealt, but there are more moves to be made in order to best develop a functioning team for the spring.

While flexibility is a great tool for any team, opportunities exist for Boston to deal All-Star utility player Brock Holt to a contending team. Holt can fit on any roster, and with the Royals taking Ben Zobrist off the market, the only similar trade option is Martin Prado. The Sox could attempt to capitalize on this unique market by exchanging the 27-year-old for a low-level prospect, which may be a better move long term. Continue reading Small Deals Can Make a Big Impact on the Red Sox »

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In a surprising move, Robert Kraft stepped to the podium before coach Bill Belichick on Wednesday and came out strong against  a league office that he believes unfairly punished his team as well as Tom Brady. When Belichick stepped to the podium, he deflected all questions related to ball deflation or Brady, saying that he was on to training camp. Video of Kraft in full is below as well as Belichick deflecting Brady questions.

 

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Tom Brady is the obvious choice to wrap the five most important Patriots heading into training camp series. The quarterback is entering this season amid something he has never dealt with before, a swirl of controversy. He is currently under a four game suspension and will sue the league in Federal Court to attempt to get the suspension wiped out. Even if he is exonerated in court and plays all 16 games, this story will not leave him anytime soon.

If he does have to serve any time. focus will switch to second year back-up and potential Brady heir Jimmy Garoppolo. If that situation occurs, Brady will have to help prepare Garoppolo while also coming to terms with the fact that he is guilty in the court and public’s eyes and will have to miss time. Brady is also cognizant of how he got his job in the first place, replacing a quarterback who could not play when Drew Bledsoe was injured in 2001.

Brady will have to deal with all this while also attempting to lead his team to a repeat as Super Bowl Champions. He also no longer has Shane Vereen or Stevan Ridley as well as a question mark at left guard. He is also one year older and not far removed from the September 2014 talk of his physical and performance decline. Of any quarterback in league history, Brady has done the most with less. However, 2015 will be his biggest test.

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I’m firm on this — if Tom Brady is unsuccessful in battling his ridiculous suspension in federal court, which may mean he won’t be in Gillette Stadium for the NFL opener. If that’s the case, then #NoBradyNoBanner!

#NoBradyNoBanner

#NoBradyNoBanner

Head coach Bill Belichick is always essential to the Patriots success, but the 2015 training camp will provide him with potential challenges that are beyond the norm. First, his team is fresh off a Super Bowl win in 2014 and will have to remain hungry and focused as the rest of the league is now working to take them off the top of the NFL mountain. Second, he still does not know which quarterback will start opening night and unlike other teams with that issue, this is not by design. Belichick has the best quarterback of all time on his roster, but as of now will not have him in September. He also has a defense with some major changes and an interior offensive line that is not quite figured out yet.

Belichick has always been a master as keeping his teams focused and turning any slight, real or perceived, into a mountain of motivation. The 2015 training camp will be a busy one for the hall of fame coach, as all the moving parts mentioned above will need to be squared away before the Thursday night opener against the Steelers. As of now, it looks like the NFL is going to uphold Tom Brady’s suspension (via ESPN), which will likely mean a court battle. This added distraction will be unlike a Belichick coached team has faced in a season. Although the Patriots fought through controversy in 2007 and 2013, they did not have their best player suing the league with a potential suspension hanging over his head.

If not handled properly, any one of the issues above could cost the Patriots games this season. There is little doubt that of all NFL coaches, Belichick is most likely to handle these situations well. The intriguing part of the 2015 training camp is that Belichick not only has coaching challenges (secondary, offensive guard), but major mental and off the field challenges as well.

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Troy Tulowitzki can leave that Colorado Rockies uniform behind after the Toronto Blue Jays landed him in advance of the 2015 MLB trade deadline. (NY Post)

Where to even start? I’d been awake for less than an hour when my phone told me that the Toronto Blue Jays had swung a trade for Troy Tulowitzki, sending Jose Reyes and a package of pitching prospects to the Colorado Rockies in exchange for the five-time All-Star shortstop.

Good morning, AL East, indeed! Continue reading So That’s Happening: Blue Jays Swap Reyes for Rockies’ Tulowitzki before Trade Deadline »

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