Boston Red Sox v St. Louis Cardinals

Allen Craig was damaged goods when the Red Sox received him from the St. Louis Cardinals in exchange for John Lackey during the 2014 season. Last season he had a nagging foot injury that he never really recovered from forcing him to underperform, and more recently be sent to AAA Pawtucket Red Sox.

He is no longer part of the 40-man roster and, right now, has little-to-no true trade value for Boston hitting .135/.237/.192 this season. He can turn that around, if he allows himself time to heal. Continue reading Allen Craig to Pawtucket, Removed from 40-Man Roster »

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Jerry Remy (Image from NESN)

Wondering where Jerry Remy is? So were we… until Rem-Dawg finally Tweeted Monday that he’ll be back on Tuesday:

Remy has been out since the beginning of May, only saying that he wasn’t “feeling well.”

Like him or not, his commentary has been missed, for sure.

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Red Sox Mad Men

1. Deflategate:

* How much do people want to get Tom Brady? Remember they wanted him sanctioned earlier this year for swearing

* I love that Willie McGinist, Ted Bruschi, Heath Evans stood by Brady while serving in the national capacity

* Supporters of Brady so far: Favre, Moon, Kaepernick

2. Red Sox:

* Size of the first three Red Sox hitters: Betts 5’9″ / Victorino 5’9″ / Pedroia 5’8″ Continue reading Connelly’s Top Ten: Red Sox Make Us Mad Men (and Women) »

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Gabriel Bouys/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Earlier this week, we checked up on Paul Pierce’s post-Celtics career. Since then, Pierce’s Wizards team’s season ended after a game 6 loss to the Atlanta Hawks. Until today, the last two pieces of that 2008 Championship Celtics team remaining in the playoffs were Doc Rivers and Glen Davis.  While Glen Davis has undeniably struggled since joining the Los Angeles Clippers last year, Doc Rivers’ career in LA has been an enigma: equal parts triumphant and disgraceful. He has simultaneously turned the Los Angeles into a legitimate contender for the foreseeable future while prevented them from winning an extremely winnable series against the Houston Rockets. The crux of this dilemma resides in Doc Rivers’ increased responsibilities that were granted to him after becoming the Los Angeles Clippers President.

Doc Rivers transition from television personality to NBA Head Coach proved victorious after he led the 1999-2000 Orlando Magic who many considered a bottom-three team, to a 41-41 record. He earned himself a Coach of the Year Award for his ability to make something out of team that was headlined by Darrell Armstrong (who?). While he would eventually lead the Magic to the playoffs for the next three seasons, his Orlando Magic became first-round fodder each year, leading many to question Doc’s coaching abilities. After an abysmal 1-10 start in the 2003-2004 season, Orlando fired Doc, returning Doc to his broadcasting career. When Danny finally rescued Doc from a destiny akin to Reggie Miller and Chris Webber, Doc was once again met with criticism up until the point they raised banner 17 into the Garden’s rafters.

By 2012, Doc had successfully catapulted himself into the Gregg Popovich stratospheres of un-touchability. Because of the well-documented respect his players had for Rivers, in addition to his creative after-timeout offensive plays, he was universally recognized as a Top-3 coach.  Unfortunately for Rivers, through no fault of his own, the Celtics were no longer a top-3 team, and following a first-round exit in the 2013 playoffs, his future was in question. While he was still under contract with the Celtics, it became clear after months of failing to answer whether or not he was returning to the Celtics that his time in Boston had come to a conclusion. It was for Boston fans to understand why Rivers was reluctant to coach a rebuilding Celtics and perhaps it was the silver lining of an unprotected First Round draft pick that softened the blow of Doc’s departure. The opportunity to coach Chris Paul and Blake Griffin as opposed to say, Jordan Crawford and Vitor Faverani, in addition to having full control over player personnel as the Clippers new GM, was simply too good of a package for Celtics fans to feel any kind of resentment for Doc.

Fast forward to May 17, 2015: the day the Clippers became the 9th team in NBA history to blow a 3-1 series lead. Doc Rivers had triumphed over the reigning-champions San Antonio Spurs in the previous round and had all but figured out how to contain MVP-runner up James Harden. Yet, it was the Houston Rockets bench players that proved catalyzed the Clippers epic reversal of fortune. Down 15 with 14 minutes left in Game 6 of the Western Conference Semi-Finals in Los Angeles, Kevin McHale removed Harden from the game and employed a bench-heavy lineup for the remainder regulation. The Rockets B-squad overcame the massive deficit and surmounted the panicked Los Angeles Clippers by outscoring Chris Paul and company 40-15 in the fourth quarter.

What the Rockets have that the Clippers don’t – isn’t coaching or star power – but a bench that meshes. Doc the GM attempted to emulate fellow Coach/GM Gregg Popovich’s bench model by assembling a bench with skills contradictory to their starting counterparts. For example, at the center position, he grabbed Spencer Hawes – a floor stretching center – to contradict Deandre Jordan’s inability to hit shots from anywhere, especially from the free-throw line. What Doc had failed to anticipate was for the pieces to simply just not fit. Hedo Turkoglu’s skills haven’t been at an NBA level for three years while Jamal Crawford has year-in and year-out proved to be a playoff no-show, failing to shoot over 40% in five straight playoffs (notably posting an abysmal 9.9 PER in this year’s playoffs). It was when Doc Rivers had traded for his son, Austin, that Doc the GM began receiving heavy amounts of criticism.  Austin Rivers, who had failed to receive considerable minutes on a short-staffed Hornets team, was on the fast track for Bleacher Reports’ next Top 50 Draft Busts of all time (and still is) when Doc had “saved” him and thus successfully staged the single most gratuitous display of Los Angeles nepotism since the Will Smith/Jaden Smith dumpster fire of a movie entitled After Earth.

While Doc Rivers had diligently navigated the Clippers through the muddy waters of the Donald Sterling Clippers era, he has let Chris Paul and Blake Griffin down by failing to provide them an adequate bench that’s capable of holding onto a lead while they rest.  Now Steve Ballmer, who just spent $2 billion on the Clippers last summer, may be in the uncomfortable position of asking Doc to step down from the General Manager role.  Chris Paul will once again suffer through another summer of pundits claiming he’s a choker, as he once again failed to make the conference finals; a feat he’s never accomplished in his career.  With Deandre Jordan entering free agency, where he’ll inevitably receive a max contract from Doc, the Clippers will now have less money to repair their broken roster.   Perhaps Doc will one day look back at his days with the Celtics and think “maybe I had it pretty good”, with Danny Ainge as the GM deflecting the majority of the blame for his team’s shortcomings.  When Doc triumphantly played his “get out of Boston Free card”, and thus become the President (coaching and GM duties) of the Los Angeles, he should have known that by upping his powers, he’d also be increasing the media’s ammo against him.

While Doc Rivers will forever have a fan in me, its hard to feel bad for him with this predicament on his hands.  He asked for the world, and with that, you inherit the all the world’s problems.

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(Photo by Brian Babineau/NHLI via Getty Images)

The Eastern Conference Final is set. The New York Rangers against the Tampa Bay Lightning. Just for fun let’s speculate what would happen if it were the Bruins, not Tampa Bay in the Conference Final against the Rangers.

The Bruins won the season series this past regular season against New York, 2 wins and 1 loss. Even the loss was only by 1 point in mid-February when Cam Talbot was on fire filling in for King Henrik while he was injured. Continue reading What Would Happen if Boston, not Tampa, were in the Conference Final? »

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NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell smiles during a news conference after the NFL owners meeting, Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2012, in Irving, Texas. Goodell said he "fundamentally disagrees" with former league boss Paul Tagliabue's decision not to discipline players in the New Orleans Saints bounty scandal. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

Roger Goodell will be the person who hears the much anticipated Tom Brady suspension appeal. Goodell, who has the power to appoint himself or someone else to hear appeals has chosen to hear the case himself.

At the hearing, Tom Brady and the NFLPA with newly hired lawyer Jeffrey Kessler will get the opportunity to present their case as to why they believe his suspension is unjust. After hearing the evidence, Goodell can decide to uphold or reduce Brady’s suspension. Continue reading Roger Goodell To Hear Tom Brady’s Appeal »

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Jim McNally

1. DeflateGate:

* Its not that the Patriots didn’t do what they said they did. It’s that it has been an accepted practice for years and the NFL set a precedent allowing it

* Deflator because McNally lost weight – don’t think so

* This in Court will be as good as a NFL playoff game – NFL will get destroyed

2. Basketball and Hockey playoffs:

* Load up on Tampa Bay over the Rangers – they are the best skating and passing team since the Russian Red Army

* Felt bad for Ovechikin – he finally committed himself to play hard and he doesn’t win again Continue reading Connelly’s Top Ten: Deflator = Biggest Loser? »

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