As the August heat breaks in New England, giving way to cooler fall temperatures in September, it can mean only one thing, College Football is back! The Boston College Eagles are preparing for the upcoming 2015 season on the practice field prior to their home opener against The University of Maine on September 5th. The Eagles will have a younger squad this year with many players graduating and moving on last season.

Entering his third year with Boston College, veteran coach Steve Addazio is gearing up for his tall task of coaching a youthful roster. In a quote posted on the Eagles Football webpage he had the following to say: “This will be the biggest changeover I think I’ve been around,” he said. “It hit me this summer. All of a sudden, you have to rethink everything you’re doing, how you handle everything … It’s just really different, the magnitude of it, the numbers of guys.” Despite the turnover and young group Addazio highlighted positives of the team as athleticism and attitude.  The Eagles have had back-to-back seven-win seasons and a bowl appearance in each of the last two years. Continue reading Boston College Football: Preview of the 2015 Season »

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Matt Barnes (Charles Krupa/Associated Press)

Monday’s start against the Indians at Fenway was supposed to be a positive step in the right direction for Matt Barnes. The team and its fans were hoping Barnes could build on his solid pure stuff and minor league performance as a Major League starter. His results were unimpressive out of the bullpen to start the year, and unfortunately there was not much improvement against Cleveland. This lack of concrete production makes Barnes’s future in the Majors hazy, leaving serious doubt about whether he will make his next start with Boston or Pawtucket.

Continue reading Barnes Struggles in First Start for Red Sox »

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Francona & Farrell

Last week John Farrell announced his diagnosis of stage one lymphoma and that he would step down from his role as manager of the Red Sox for the remainder of the season. While Boston prepares to battle Cleveland in a three game series at Fenway this week, John Farrell will be waging war against cancer, and by his side will be longtime friend and Cleveland manager Terry Francona.

Farrell is to start his first round of chemotherapy on Tuesday and Francona plans to be right there in his corner. Farrell and Francona met as teammates in the late ’80’s and Farrell coached under Tito from 2007-2010 before heading north to Toronto. With the two knowing each other for over 25 years its a small blessing Cleveland’s road trip to Boston coincides with Farrell’s treatment initiation. Continue reading Terry Francona Will Join John Farrell For His First Chemotherapy Session »

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joint practice

The Patriots will travel to White Sulpher Springs this week to conduct joint practices with the New Orleans Saints. The practices will be on Wednesday and Thursday of this week, after which the teams will travel to New Orleans and compete in a preseason game on Saturday.

Bill Belichick has made a habit of having the Patriots practice with other teams during training camp over the past several years. He has called the practices some of the best he has been a part of and it has helped make up for some of the other restrictions on practice time in training camp.

The practices give the teams extended time to “hit someone else” rather than the series or two in a preseason game that the starters might play. It also allows coaching staffs to share information and improve their own performance as well as evaluate talent against another NFL team for an extended period. Teams can gauge where they are at training camp wise as well. They walk away from joint practices with a better understanding of what exactly needs to be worked on.

Following Saturday’s game in New Orleans, the Patriots will fly home and have practice before taking on the Panthers in Carolina next week.

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1. Red Sox:

* Third base coach Brian Butterfield is lucky this is Pink Hat nation – how many times this year have I said that his judgment would have him fired from a little league team. Sending Ortiz when he wasn’t even at third in the 9th when the left fielder had the ball in his glove in short left field – is insane – Rene Lachman was booed out of his this town for moves less than that

* Red Sox this weekend averaged per game: 15 runs / 18.5 hits / Pitches 182 / Extra base hits 8.1

* Quite a farm system – with a chance to move the winning run into scoring position – Garin Cecchini wasn’t even close on two bunts and then struck out – when he returned to the dugout – Panda, Lovullo, Holt and Bogearts all patted him on the butt (Billy Martin rolled in his grave)

* Literally (I know I’m prone to hyperbole) In left field the Red Sox went from the worst outfielder in the majors (Hanley) to the best outfielder in the majors (Bradley)

* Ortiz unbuttoned his shirt to show off his gold necklace (Billy Martin again rolling over in his grave)

* I would trade Owens in the offseason – he has to be too fine when he is living at 88 MPH

* No question Felix Hernandez drilled Panda on Saturday (oh well – no fight in this team)

* Red Sox pitcher Ryan Cook ERA is now up to 40.50 – is there any doubt that Wakefield is better right now Continue reading Connelly’s Top Ten: Wendell Kim back from dead? »

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Torey Lovullo (Winslow Townson/Associated Press)

Sunday’s 10-8 extra-inning loss to the Seattle Mariners was a perfect microcosm of the Red Sox’ 2015 season: plenty of hits and production by the lineup, complete and total failure from the pitching staff. In fact, the lineup went above and beyond the call of duty, erasing a 7-0 deficit to tie the game at 8 in the bottom of the ninth inning. Ultimately, asking the bullpen to hold Seattle scoreless into extras proved to be too tall a task, to virtually no one’s surprise. Here are several notes and observations from Sunday’s game:

  • Henry Owens was a complete enigma on Sunday. Owens gave up 7 runs over his first three innings of work, mostly on the strength of three home runs (one from Robinson Cano, two from Franklin Gutierrez). However, he was able to settle into the ballgame and ended up getting through six innings, allowing ten hits with the seven earned runs. It was a good sign that Owens was resilient enough to last moderately deep into the game and save his bullpen to some extent. Owens’s peripherals were very strong against Seattle, striking out ten batters in his six innings while only walking one Mariner. Home run luck fluctuates throughout the course of a season, so if Owens can keep his K/BB rate in a similar range as it was in Sunday’s contest, he will have much more success over the rest of the season. In summary, the initial stat line looks subpar, but Owens pitched better than it seems.

Continue reading Owens, Red Sox Bullpen Shaky in Extra-Innings Loss »

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Entering his 3rd full season in the NHL, Torey Krug is looking to play a bigger role, possibly as an everyday top 4 defenseman on the Boston Bruins in the upcoming campaign.

“For me personally, I feel like I’m ready for that challenge. It’s up to the coaching staff as well, but right now I’m eyeing that spot, and until somebody tells me otherwise, I’m going to go take it in camp,” Krug told the Boston Globe recently.

The top 4 spot he is seeking was opened when the Bruins traded d-man Dougie Hamilton to the Calgary Flames earlier this summer. Continue reading Torey Krug Ready to take on a Bigger Role »

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