1. Red Sox:

* Should have traded Buchholz before injury and Uehara before his injury
* Hanley Ramirez on pace to play 138 games this season or 85% of the season – games played the last five seasons: 92 / 157 / 128 / 97
* Hanley first 82 at bats – 10 home runs / next 288 at bats – 7 home runs (speaking of home run surges see #4 below)
* Audie Murphy, Sergeant York and David Ortiz – what courage Ortiz showed walking 20 feet from the first base dugout to play first base in Miami
* Did Jackie Bradley hitting below .150 really call Eck out?
* Nice pick up by Ben this week of pitcher Ryan Cook who after two games has an ERA of 27.00

2. Patriots:

* The producer in the CBS channel 4 truck had one shot he needed to get and that was Brady coming out to a huge ovation but he failed because they were at commercial
* Talk about a friendly broadcast – Steve Burton doing pre-game and Dan Roche doing play by play Continue reading Connelly’s Top Ten: Channel 4 Producer, Boyce, Cherington and Goodell »

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pats packers

The Patriots fell to the Packers 22-11  in their first preseason game of 2015. The game saw many key players rest and was an opportunity for younger players and new arrivals to get some game action. Not too much can be learned from a contest like this scheme-wise, as neither team game plans. However, some players made their roster bubble case while others increased the hill they have to climb.

The Patriots defense bent early but did not break, allowing three points in the first quarter despite Green Bay being in Patriots territory three times. The Patriots had two fourth down stops, including one inside their own five yard line. Malcolm Butler carried his strong camp into the game and looked solid in coverage early, as did rookie Darryl Roberts, who did leave the game with an injury. Rookies Tre Jackson, Shaq Mason, and David Andrews were the starters in the interior of the offensive line and each held their own. Mason had a great block to help spring  Jonas Gray for a touchdown.

Tom Brady got the start, but Jimmy Garoppolo played most of the game at quarterback. Garoppolo had issues throwing behind receivers, especially Boyce, but got better as the game went on. He was sacked seven times, which although partly his fault also was evidence of poor offensive line play in front of him.

Jabaal Sheard entered the game on the second defensive series and showed some of the reasons why New England brought him in this offseason. He drew a holding penalty and had several impressive rushes off the edge, all before halftime. Logan Ryan, on the other hand, did not make a strong case to be a starter come September. He got beat badly by Jeff Janis on a second quarter touchdown that came on fourth down.  Dominique Easley and Malcom Brown saw time together in the interior of the defensive line, a combination the Patriots hope will be part of their defense for years to come.

It was also a tough night for Josh Boyce, who had several drops and could have done a better job working back to the ball on a third quarter Garopppolo interception. James White made a strong case to be New England’s third down back, he pass-blocked well and showed flashes of athleticism in the passing game. He capitalized on Brandon Bolden and Travaris Cadet being out due to injuries and the battle for the third down back will be one of the more interesting competitions to watch going forward.

Notable players who did not see the field were Jerod Mayo, Dont’a Hightower, Rob Gronkowski, Scott Chandler, and Bryan Stork.

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The Future Corner Outfielders

I have been in the back woods of Maine hiking, canoeing, and reading books since the last time I posted, so I have been completely out of the loop. As I’m driving home Sunday afternoon I tuned in to the second half of the Red Sox game in Detroit. I’m listening to Joe Castiglione when I realize I have no idea who is playing where defensively for the Red Sox. Then I find out Jackie Bradley is in centerfield with Castillo and de Aza in the corner outfield slots, and the infield consists of Holt at third, Bogaerts at short, Josh Rutledge at second, and Travis Shaw at first.

Initially I was slightly taken back by some of the names out there, but when I thought about it a little more I realized it’s not a bad thing at all that these guys are getting reps. Continue reading PawSox Storm Fenway Park, Red Sox Nation Gets Sneak Peek of Future OF »

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AP Photo/Carlos Osorio

The Red Sox season is unofficially over, but for their closer, Koji Uehara it’s official. Uehara took a line drive to the wrist off the bat of Detroit’s Ian Kinsler in Boston’s 7-2 victory Sunday at Comerica Park. The right-hander reached for the hot shot from Kinsler and the ball made contact with his wrist putting Koji in obvious pain, he recovered to make the play but his wrist will take more time.

Initial X-rays did not show a break but with continued pain and swelling Uehara had a CT scan on the inflamed wrist which showed a non-displaced distal fracture, or in layman’s terms, a broken wrist. Uehara will be shutdown for the remainder of the season but is expected to make a full recovery. Continue reading Koji Uehara Out for Remainder of Season with Broken Wrist »

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The Patriots held their final practice before Thursday’s preseason game on Tuesday afternoon. Prior to practice, Bill Belichick said it was a day the team could use to begin the transition to game preparation, most of which will take place on Wednesday. Tom Brady was absent from practice, which forced Jimmy Garoppolo and newcomer Ryan Lindley to take all of the reps.

Unfortunately for the two quarterbacks, it was the worst offensive practice of camp. There were numerous dropped passes and missed connections in the passing game. Some dysfunction is expected with Lindley being on the team for less than two days, but today’s troubles were beyond expected. The weather was rainy and slippery, which was a factor.

Darryl Roberts was the best player on the practice field for the defense. He had at least four pass break ups and had tight coverage on nearly every snap. One of his break-ups was a deflection that landed in the arms of Tavon Wilson for an interception. Fellow rookies Trey Flowers and Malcom Brown also had some impressive moments including when the two of them teamed up for pressure on Garoppolo to force a quick throw.

Overall, it was a sloppy practice both weather and football wise. The defense, led by Roberts, made some impressive plays but the offense got in it’s own way too often. Following Thursday’s game, the Patriots will hold their final “open to the public” practice on Saturday.

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Rusney Castillo (Elsa/Getty Images)

Since the Red Sox have been unofficially eliminated from 2015 playoff contention, they have admitted to using the balance of the season to evaluate the roster’s potential for 2016 and better inform the team’s offseason strategy. One of the most interesting roster auditions is in Right Field, where the team hopes Rusney Castillo can play well down the stretch and eliminate a potential hole in the 2016 outfield. Jackie Bradley Jr. is in a similar situation, however he faces a much more uphill battle since he is competing with Mookie Betts for playing time. Conversely, Castillo has a golden opportunity to cement a starting role on the 2016 Red Sox.

Continue reading Rusney Castillo’s Open Audition »

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1. Red Sox:

* From MLB Network – Red Sox pitching has given up at least 7 runs in a game 32 times

* Ortiz is hot and hitting the ball long – things that make me go hmmmm

* I saw Hanley Ramirez run hard down to first Friday night and that noteworthy because it’s the exception

* Speaking of running down to first – I timed Ortiz down to first in his last two at bats: 7.31 and 7.28 (Mickey Mantle once did it in 3.10)

* I saw Bogaerts stand in the box on line drive to left, which turned out to be a double

* Red Sox have to drill Ingesias after he spiked first baseman Shaw on purpose

* Another slick move by Ben Cherrington – he not only traded Mike Napoli but he gave them cash to take him

* Brock Holt is hitting .209 since his visit to the All Star game

* Jackie Bradley first 57 at bats – 4 RBI / next four – 5 RBI

* Haven’t seen one tool from Blake Swihart that is exceptional Continue reading Connelly’s Top Ten: Red Sox Pitching, Bonnie and Clyde, Frank Gifford »

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