jimmy preseason

The Patriots will take on the New Orleans Saints in their second preseason game on Saturday night. The game concludes a week that included two days of joint practices. Tom Brady and the Patriots offense shined throughout the two sessions that both teams called valuable. As with the first preseason contest, tonight will feature limited time by the starters with backups playing most of the game. With that in mind, here are five players to watch tonight:

Chris Harper- The rookie wide receiver out of Cal will likely get a lot of chances tonight with Julian Edelman, Brian Tyms, and Aaron Dobson all dealing with injuries. He has looked solid in camp and has come on strong as of late and was productive in joint practices while working with Jimmy Garoppolo. The 5’11”, 175 pound Harper has also had some punt return opportunities in camp.

Brandon Bolden/ James White- Bolden and White have been battling throughout camp to fill the third down back roll that was left open by the departure of Shane Vereen. Bolden is stronger, but White has more speed and quickness. White played in last Thursday’s preseason opener and looked like a player ready to take on the third down role. Bolden has the advantage that he plays on special teams, but if White has another strong outing he could put himself firmly ahead of Bolden.

Malcom Brown- The rookie first round pick is one of several options to fill the middle of the defensive line after Vince Wilfork signed with Houston this offseason. Pairing Brown with 2014 first round pick Dominque Easley is something the Patriots hope to do for the next several seasons.

Jimmy Garoppolo- The potential of Garoppolo starting at least one game this regular season has been well documented. What the Patriots need is for Garoppolo to have a strong game and continue to build toward his possible regular season action. He looked shaky in the first half against Green Bay last week but improved as the game went on. A more consistent performance will help both the Patriots and the young quarterback going forward.


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Hanley Ramirez

Coming into the 2015 baseball season, the Boston Red Sox were expected to have a potent offense, especially with the new additions of Hanley Ramirez and Pablo Sandoval. Mike Napoli, who underwent offseason surgery to repair a sleep apnea problem, tore the cover off the ball in spring training by batting .400 with a team high six homers and 11 RBIs.

Unfortunately, inconsistent play from Ramirez and Sandoval, as well as a steep decline from Napoli that seemingly came out of nowhere, combined with a less than stellar starting rotation has the Boston Red Sox in the cellar of the AL East for the third time in four seasons. To make matters worse, the Red Sox payroll was $150,655,500, the highest in franchise history. Continue reading What Could Have Been: The 2015 Red Sox »

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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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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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New York Post/Bill Kostroun

Over the past week there have been multiple fights at Miami Dolphins training camp. The skirmishes between players have been widely publicized and embarrassing for the organization. In efforts not to be out done the New York Jets have thrown a counter punch of their own this week. Jets quarterback Geno Smith got his jaw broken when he was punched in the face Tuesday by teammate and linebacker IK Enemkpali. Enemkpali, a late round draft pick in 2014 out of Louisiana Tech, punched Smith during a locker dispute over a $600 dollar debt.

It all started earlier this year when Smith was to attend a football camp put on by Enemkpali and was unable to make it. When Smith wasn’t able to join his teammate, Enemkpali demanded to be reimbursed for a plane ticket allotted to Smith for the event. This is not the first disagreement between the two players over this matter, however the first one ended in both sides walking away, and this one ended with a haymaker to Smith’s jaw.
The young linebacker is no stranger to violence having been arrested in college after a bar fight, striking an undercover police officer and requiring pepper spray and a stun gun to take down the big fella. Unfortunately for Jets new head coach Todd Bowles the “smash mouth” style football left behind by ex-Jets head coach Rex Ryan was sadly misinterpreted by Enemkpali and instead used quite literally. Now Bowles will have to try and put the pieces (of bone) back together to get the Jets back on track. Continue reading The NY Jets Circus is Back! QB Punched Out, Locker Room in Shambles »

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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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Photo Courtesy of Associated Press

The Detroit Tigers recently let go of President of Baseball Operations and General Manager Dave Dombrowski. Dombrowski had been with the Tigers for nearly 14 seasons.

Dombrowski built the Tigers from the ground up. In his first full season in Detroit, the Tigers had an American League worst record of 119 losses. However, he did not let this be a detriment to his overall plan. Dombrowski was known for not being afraid to pull the trigger on a big time move. Some examples include trading for Miguel Cabrera and Max Scherzer. Continue reading Dave Dombrowski Should Be on Red Sox Radar »

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