Xander Bogaerts (Getty Images)

Not much has gone well to date for the Red Sox, from their pitching staff to their current standing in the American League East. This might leave some fans looking forward to the All-Star game, and attempting to keep track of who might represent the Red Sox in the Midsummer Classic. While it would be hard to make a case for most of the Red Sox to play in that game, Major League rules dictate that someone from the Red Sox roster be present. With all apologies to Dustin Pedroia (who would likely be going himself if the American League did not feature so many top-tier second basemen), we are here to tell you that Xander Bogaerts is the most deserving Red Sox of an All-Star roster spot. Don’t worry, we will also justify.

Swing the Stick

A quick look at Bogaerts’s triple-slash (.287/.324/.398) might not impress most fans as much as it should. He is carrying a pretty high average, but just an average-ish on-base rate, due mostly to his low walk rate (5%). There is some power (3 HRs), but not a whole lot and it is mostly doubles (12 2Bs, .111 Isolated Slugging) power. Continue reading All-Star Worthy: Xander Bogaerts »

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Kelly Oubre (Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

A lot has been made of the difficult time the Celtics have had trying to workout prospects. Some players, such as Wisconsin’s Sam Dekker have pulled out of their workouts and it is unclear why. Whether they think the 16th spot is lower than they would want to go or its lower than they think they should go or they are afraid general manager Danny Ainge is just goin Continue reading Why This Year’s NBA Draft Doesn’t Really Matter »

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Major League Baseball cancelled 60-65 million All-star game votes due to a high percentage of votes going to Kansas City Royals players. Can the MLB do this? Is it fair?

If voting were to close today eight Kansas City players would be part of the team. This is a classic case of technology beating the system.

Continue reading MLB Cancels 60 Million All-Star Game Votes »

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Brock Holt (Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

How about a more specific question: Should Brock Holt have an everyday spot in the lineup somewhere? That is much tougher to answer, since the Red Sox’ master plan likely did not include having their super-utility role player move to an everyday role. Ultimately, super-utility probably is the best way to use Holt; he can play 3-4 times a week and his extreme versatility and selfless attitude allow him to give almost every position player a day off when needed. However that role comes with the caveat of “on a good team.” The Red Sox are not currently a good team, so they might seriously consider allowing Holt to play just about every day so long as he keeps producing.

Continue reading Should Brock Holt Start for Red Sox? »

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Jimmy Garoppolo, Matt Flynn, and Tom Brady at OTA's

With the Super Bowl rings now handed out to last year’s championship team, and OTA’s underway, eyes are turning to what kind of squad the Patriots will put on the field this fall. In New England, it seems there are always questions about what kind of team will be assembled. Bob Kraft and Bill Belichick seem to have had no issues parting ways with big names over the years like Wes Welker, and more recently Darelle Revis and Vince Wilfork.

The coaching staff under Belichick are always eager to begin the molding process of players that even avid Patriots followers will not have heard much about. So what questions do we have this year? What will the defense look like without Big Vince Wilfork? Will the secondary recover from loosing arguably the best defensive back in the game? Who will be in the backfield when the season starts? One question that hasn’t needed to be asked in a long time is who will be the starting quarterback? That question now looms ahead as Brady and New England await the decision of his appeal to the findings of, and subsequent suspension from the Wells report, which is now being handled by Rodger Goodell. Continue reading Preparing for Life Without Brady, a Look at Jimmy Garoppolo and Matt Flynn »

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Lebron James submitted another epic Game 6 stat line, but came up short  as Steph Curry and the Warriors clinched their first NBA title in 40 years. (CBS Sports)

Counting down to the tipoff of Game 6 of the NBA Finals, guest analyst Dwyane Wade brought up Game 6 of the 2012 Eastern Conference Finals, in which Lebron James nearly singlehandedly fended off the Boston Celtics and elimination (and his 2008 demons) at the TD Garden, effectively closing the Big Three title window for good.

As painful as it was to be forced to recall that deeply suppressed memory, it made me somewhat giddy. Was I about to see Lebron go full supernova to save the Cleveland Cavaliers season and force a Game 7? Without having it come at the expense of my own team? Was anything even out of the realm of possibility?

When the final horn sounded, Lebron’s stat line didn’t disappoint: 36 points, 15 rebounds, 9 assists, just shy of his third triple double of the Finals. But somehow his performance still was disappointing, as the Golden State Warriors withheld a furious JR Smith heat check 3-point barrage in the final minutes to end the franchise’s 40 year title drought. Continue reading Lebron Falls Short as Warriors End 40 Year NBA Title Drought »

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Through the first four games of last season, the Patriots offense was in shambles. Tom Brady was constantly under pressure and the team was struggling to move the ball even against inferior opponents, such as the Raiders and Vikings. The woes culminated in a 41-14 drubbing at the hands of the Kansas City Chiefs.

The offensive line began to play better in the loss to the Chiefs, thanks to the insertion of Bryan Stork as starting center. The line stabilized and was solid through the rest of the Patriots championship season. That does not mean that the problems went away, however. Brady was sacked four times in a late season game against the Jets and twice in the Divisional Playoff win against the Ravens. The Patriots did a much better job of protecting and getting the ball out quicker as the season wore on, but it was an area that needed to be addressed.

The Patriots drafted Florida State guard (and former Stork teammate) Tre Jackson as well as Georgia Tech guard/center Shaq Mason. Dan Connolly, a mainstay on the Patriots offensive line, has not been re-signed after his play dipped a bit last season and Ryan Wendell has proven to be an adept run blocker but has had inconsistencies in pass protection. Currently, the Patriots would have Wendell, Stork, and Marcus Cannon as their three interior offensive lineman if the season began today. Cannon struggled mightily last season and despite having a full offseason to work at guard, his performance should not be expected to be strong.

Enter Jackson. The 6’4″, 326 pound lineman played 49 games for Florida State in his career there and was a unanimous All-American in 2014. He played both guard and center for the team in his career and could play either guard spot for the Patriots but he played mostly on  the right in college. His could potentially solidify the interior of the line next to Stork, so long as he improves his technique which was lacking at times in college. Dave DeGuglielmo will have the responsibility of improving Jackson’s technique so he can excel at the NFL level.

It is possible that both Jackson and Mason start for the Patriots at points this season, but the better bet is for Jackson. Mason is an excellent run blocker, but he is coming from a Georgia Tech team that rarely passed (203 total attempts in 2014) and his pass blocking skills need work. Jackson could be an immediate starter and contributor. There would be growing pains, as with any rookie, but if Jackson earns a starting nod the Patriots would go a long way in have a stable interior line for the foreseeable future.

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