Red Sox Manager John Farrell (Source: Jared Wickerham/Getty Images North America)

In 2013, it seemed like everything Red Sox Manager John Farrell touched turned to gold.  2014 hasn’t nearly been the same, and Wednesday night’s loss to the Blue Jays was no different.

Joe Kelly and the Red Sox were up 2-1 in the 7th in Toronto when Edwin Encarnacion hit a lead off double on Kelly’s 86th pitch.  Farrell had seen enough.  Instead of letting the former Cardinal to work his way through the inning, Farrell called in lefty reliever Tommy Layne to face switch hitting Dioner Navarro.  After a base hit, Farrell opted to make another pitching change — this time for Junichi Tazawa.

Tazawa, whose career ERA against the Blue Jays is now 6.87 with 7 home runs, allowed the fairly predictable to happen: a three-run pitch hit home run off the bat of Danny Valencia. Continue reading John Farrell’s Second Season Unlike his First »

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Ryan Malllett is heading to Houston (Jim Rogash)

The Ryan Mallett era in New England has come to an end.

The Patriots have traded the fourth year quarterback to the Houston Texans for a sixth-round draft pick.

Mallett failed to impress in this his fourth training camp, and has never really been a good fit for the Patriots system.

With the Texans starting mediocre veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick at quarterback, Mallett could be given a shot to start by mid-season if the Harvard alum struggles. Mallett will be reunited with former Patriots assistant Bill O’Brien, who is now the head coach in Houston. Continue reading Patriots Trade QB Ryan Mallett to Houston Texans, report says »

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With the 2014 FIBA World Cup underway, the USA will look to overcome Paul George's injury to defend their crown. ("Family Guy," 'The Perfect Castaway,' 2005)

The FIBA Basketball World CUp is underway. The USA will attempt to defend their title, but will have to do so without Paul George following his horrific injury. In the meantime, several nations should put up quite a fight, especially late in the knockout stages. But for now, the Americans will have to deal with Turkey, the team they beat in the Finals last time, as well as four others. For the tournament, we’re here to to present predictions for how things will turn out.

Correctly picking a team to advance past the group stage is worth one point. Furthermore, picking the #1 team from each group exactly is worth four points, followed by three points for exactly guessing each group’s #2 team, and so on.

So check below for the Group Stage picks, as well as a list of the teams in each group. The first four teams in each group will advance to the knockout stage. Continue reading 2014 FIBA World Cup Pick ‘Em: Group Stage »

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Danny Ainge

With a GM as secretive and prone to throwing out red herrings as Danny Ainge, it’s nearly impossible to understand his train of thought and  predict who the Celtics will try to acquire in their quest to raise banner number 18. Yet we cannot help ourselves as it compels our experience watching a lackluster team compete.

Owner Wyc Grousbeck hinted that this offseason could include “fireworks” and perhaps rival 2007′s groundbreaking offseason that saw the formation of the Big Three, but it has come and gone without any big-name signings. Whether or not Rajon Rondo will be dealt continues to be a mystery as teams struggle to determine what a poor-shooting point guard’s value is in the modern NBA. Continue reading Five Targets for the Celtics’ Rebuilding Process »

Jackie Bradley Jr.

Jackie Bradley Jr. was sent down to the Pawtucket Red Sox on Monday. When asked by reporters about the move, he said he was “disappointed” in himself. The truth is the Red Sox should be disappointed in themselves for not handling this player better.

The mishandling of Bradley began last season when the Red Sox had him play in the first games against New York in April 2013.

Over a year ago, it all seemed to make sense. Bradley had a phenomenal 2013 Spring Training season, exceeding even the highest of expectations. Through the middle of March 2013, he was hitting .436/.551/.564 in 39 plate appearances. He was the talk of the town all month long.  All of the newspapers, radio and television broadcasters asked, ‘should the Red Sox wait and let him play in Pawtucket to ensure his maturity once he arrived at Fenway Park?’ or ‘should they bring him to the opening series in New York?’ When the first days of April arrived, Bradley was in a Red Sox uniform playing centerfield in the Bronx. Continue reading The Mishandled Career of Jackie Bradley Jr. »

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Kenbrell Thompkins scored on a beautiful backs-houlder throw from Tom Brady. (Jared Wickerham, Getty Images)

With the first two pre-season games in the books this Patriots team is beginning to fold into shape.

Offense

Save a pick-six that was intended for tackle turned tight-end Steve Maneri, the first string offense looked very impressive.

The highlight of the night was Tom Brady’s back-shoulder touchdown pass to Kenbrell Thompkins. The back-shoulder throw has emerged as an almost unstoppable weapon in the NFL the past few years (nobody uses it more than Aaron Rodgers), but Brady rarely utilizes it. Thompkins started the game at receiver alongside Edelman and Amendola, and it’ll very interesting to see how he is used in Week 1. Continue reading Monday Afternoon Rewind: Patriots vs Eagles »

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Rajon Rondo (Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE/Getty Images)

The Boston Celtics will officially lose out on the services of superstar power forward Kevin Love on August 23. Once the calendar turns to that date, the Cleveland Cavaliers are going to send the first overall pick of the 2014 Draft, Andrew Wiggins, along with a few other assets to Minnesota in exchange for Love. Before Cleveland signed LeBron James, it appeared the Celtics were one of the few teams that had a chance to acquire Love, but the Cavs had plans of their own to sign the big man once James decided to head back home to Ohio.

The Celts were very vocal about the potential of a big offseason this year, but as of now their biggest moves have been re-signing Avery Bradley and acquiring free agent Evan Turner. The question the C’s now face is what to do moving forward, after co-owner Wyc Grousbeck admitted that his team missed out on the “fireworks” they had been hoping for. Continue reading Celtics Should Continue Patient Approach to Rebuilding Process »

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