Dave Dombrowski made a detour on the way to Winter Meetings to meet with Hanley Ramirez in Boca Raton, Florida.

Dombrowski hoped to speak to Ramirez about expectations for next season. The Red Sox would like to see Ramirez lose 15 lbs of muscle mass, so he can become a better run producer behind the plate and more athletic on the field, according to reporting by Peter Abraham by the Boston Globe. 

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Zack Greinke (Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press)

We’ve already been over how the Red Sox need starting pitching, particularly a top-end starter. National League Cy Young contender Zack Greinke is one of the most readily available options on the free agent market, and some have suggested that he should be the next great Red Sox Ace. There have also been reports that Greinke suffers from social anxiety, making a market like Boston a less than ideal fit for him. Even if that were the case, it should be left off the table entirely because it is not the fans’ (or reporters’) place to diagnose or judge any player’s personality or mental competence. But even excluding the alleged disorder, Greinke is not the right fit for to lead the Red Sox rotation.

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Clay Buchholz (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

When the news came out on Wednesday that the Red Sox had exercised their option on Clay Buchholz, it seemed obvious and mystifying at the same time. The news itself was largely unsurprising, but the next step in the process remains unclear. For some reason the Red Sox were expected to pick up the $13 million option, even though Buchholz has become the very definition of unreliable in recent seasons. While some see the price as a relative bargain given how much starting pitchers are being paid around baseball, there is also a legitimate argument that the Red Sox could have been better off by allocating that money elsewhere. That argument is what makes Buchholz’s future team a mystery, as it is starting to make more sense by the day.

Continue reading Red Sox Keep Buchholz…For Now »

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Tom Brady continued his dominance on Thursday adding four more touchdowns. He celebrates this one with Julian Edelman. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)

One of the best things about being a Patriots fan is having this luxury of knowing you’re going to the playoffs every year. Even more than that, you’re probably going to watch your team in the AFC Championship just like the past four years. In only week eight, the Patriots have basically wrapped up the AFC East. After emasculating the Dolphins on Thursday night they now have wins against each of their AFC East opponents. What’s more impressive is that score could have been a lot worse. The offense left a lot of first half points on the field as the defense was shutting the Dolphins down. That’s really nitpicking though as 36 points is nothing to bat an eye at.

– I genuinely hope everyone watching is really appreciating what Tom Brady is doing this season. What he’s doing at 38 years old is nothing short of amazing. On Thursday he went 26-38 for 356 yards, with four touchdowns and no interceptions. That brings his totals on the year to 2,410 yards with 20 touchdowns and only one interception that came off a bobbled pass from Julian Edelman. He’s on pace to throw over 5,500 yards, about 47 touchdowns, and maybe have three interceptions. He’s more focused than he’s ever been and it was never more apparent than on one play in the fourth quarter. With the game already in hand with a score of 29-7, Brady took a sack after missing a read. He then slammed the ball and his fist in frustration. Even though the game was already over Brady wasn’t satisfied. He wants to leave no points on the field. Tom Brady wants to win this season more than he wants anything in the world and I don’t think there’s anyone out there who can slow him down.  Continue reading Notes and Observations, Week 8: Patriots Virtually Clinch AFC East in 36-7 Win Over Dolphins »

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Feb 25, 2015; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Celtics forward Jonas Jerebko (8), guard Evan Turner (11), guard Isaiah Thomas (4), forward Jae Crowder (99) and guard Marcus Smart (36) celebrate against the New York Knicks during the second half at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to the Jungle! That’s the song that will be blasting through the speakers at tip off tonight as the Boston Celtics take on the Philadelphia 76ers in the home opener at TD Garden. The crowd will be rockin’ in anticipation of a young Celtics team that finished last season on a 24-12 run to lock up the 7th seed in the Eastern Conference playoff picture. Of course Boston did get swept by LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers on their way to the NBA Finals but they gave everything they had and left the Cavs bruised, battered and even dislocated (sorry, Kevin Love).

One thing is for sure, the Celtics plan to build on last year’s success. They finished last season 40-42 and would like to see that win total creep into the high forties or low fifties this season. With Brad Stevens running the show, a core of young talent, and a few veterans added to the mix Boston is poised to continue the rebuilding of a winning culture and get back to the post season.

Continue reading The Celtics Are Back! 2015-16 Season Starts against the 76ers at TD Garden »

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Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski celebrate after Gronk went uncovered and untouched to score the go ahead touchdown. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

Of all the AFC East opponents the Jets have been the one to consistently play the Patriots close. With a revamped defense and new head coach Todd Bowles, there were people who thought this was the year they overtake the Patriots in the East. Once again they played competitive football throughout the game and kept it interesting for four quarters. Then right at the very end they decided to show everyone why the Jets are still the Jets.

– Tom Brady led the Patriots to yet another fourth quarter comeback in his incredible career. In the fourth quarter alone he went 14-17 for 150 yards and two touchdowns. Going against the number one ranked defense in the league, and the best secondary in the league, he shredded them for 355 yards. What’s even more impressive is that the Patriots didn’t even try to pretend like they wanted to run the ball. The whole world knew they were passing on the best secondary in the league and they still couldn’t stop him. That’s why he’s the greatest quarterback of all time. Even when the other team knows exactly what Brady is going to do he still does it and makes it look easy. Continue reading Notes and Observations, Week 7: Brady Nearly Perfect in 4th Quarter; Patriots Beat Jets 30-23 »

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Johnny Cueto (Tony Dejak/Associated Press)

Earlier in the week we proposed a similar question regarding David Price, in wondering whether the Red Sox should consider a serious run at a major free agent in their search for an Ace for the starting rotation. Johnny Cueto is a very, very similar player to Price, and will most likely cost just almost as much to sign, in both years and dollars. The Red Sox, as a major market team, have the capability to acquire either player off of the free agent market, but there is merit in wondering if they actually should take the plunge. Free agent megadeals almost never work out for the signing team, so there is legitimate reason to speculate on the wisdom of making a splash just for the sake of spending to capacity. A deeper look into the situation reveals that the Red Sox should probably look elsewhere to find their Ace.

As stated above, Cueto is a very similar pitcher to Price, and that is why he will get paid at the top of the market this offseason. Cueto is only 29 years old, has averaged about 178 innings per season in the Major Leagues, and has a 3.30 career ERA, with only 2.60 BB/9, and a .236 Average Against for his career. So we can agree, solid marks all around. He has been good, he has been relatively durable, and he limits walks. This sounds like a solid pitcher that would be worth a decent investment in, especially since Cueto’s numbers are slightly worse than Price’s and would therefore mean a cheaper contract in signing him. And to be sure, Cueto would easily be an upgrade over any starter the Red Sox currently possess.

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