Tom Brady came out firing with four touchdowns three of which to Rob Gronkowski (AP Photo/Winslow Townson)

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Football has returned and our defending champion New England Patriots came out with fire on banner night. Tom Brady came out to an incredible ovation as was expected after the way he was treated for the past eight months. The “Where is Roger” chants were perfect and I was happy they showed up towards the end of the game when the Patriots already had control.

I had the privilege of attending the game (always pays to know a guy) and the fans were genuinely into taking it to the Steelers all night. Roger was an afterthought and that’s exactly how it should have been. Continue reading Notes and Observations Week 1: Brady Nearly Perfect as Patriots Beat Steelers on Banner Night »

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Wade Miley (Bob DiChiara/USA Today Sports)

When the Red Sox acquired Wade Miley in the offseason, they did not expect him to carry the starting rotation. The team was looking for a pretty good/not great innings eater who could be counted on for a quality start virtually every time out. For much of 2015 Miley had underperformed those expectations. Miley has been much better in the second half, and has looked more like the mid-rotation horse the Red Sox were looking for.

It is hard to say what the main reasons were for Miley’s underwhelming first half in Boston. There certainly could have been an adjustment period for a new team, new catcher, and a new league that he had not really pitched to before. Whatever the cause, Miley’s first half line was entirely unimpressive: 6.48 K/9, 3.29 BB/9, .269 AVG against, 4.80 ERA, 4.01 FIP, 4.42 xFIP. The peripheral stats are mediocre, and the estimators suggest that Miley might not have been too awful, but the entire picture is still uninspiring. There is no stat in that line that brings value to the team, making Miley essentially replacement level.

Continue reading The Red Sox Can Now Count on Wade Miley »

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Don Orsillo (Gail Oskin/Getty Images)

Does anyone working at NESN have any idea what they are doing? Do the network’s decision makers put any thought into their actions, or do they just throw things against wall and hope they stick? We have reached the point where something needs to change in the hierarchy at NESN because the Red Sox’ flagship network is quickly becoming a complete joke among the fan base, which will do absolutely no good for their precious ratings.

Continue reading NESN Continues to Disrespect Don Orsillo »

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ramirez masslive

When you spend $88 million on a player he better be worth every red cent. Hanley Ramirez is not worth the high-priced contract he signed with the Red Sox.

Hanley Ramirez reminds me of a movie from the 1980s starring a young Tom Hanks, called The Money Pit. A newlywed couple buys what they think is their dream house, only to find that it is littered with bad wiring, poor construction, and a renovation that goes south before it even begins. Ramirez has not lived up to all the hype. Last winter Red Sox Nation hoped that 2015 would be the season of our dreams, only to find it had a lost, injury-prone left fielder that cannot seem to hit over .300.

Continue reading The Hanley Ramirez Experiment, In General, Must End »

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Hanley attempting to play the outfield (Charles Krupa/Associated Press)

There is a noticeable difference between a disappointment and a disaster. Dustin Pedroia missing almost half of a season’s worth of games due to injury is a disappointment; Hanley Ramirez playing Left Field is a disaster. In fact, Hanley playing just about any position is a disaster, and he is effectively a Designated Hitter at this point in his career. The Red Sox are locked into David Ortiz at that spot for 2016, so there is a logjam in the immediate future. It is clear that keeping Ramirez in the Outfield is no longer an option going forward, so it was encouraging to learn earlier this week that the Red Sox will be moving him to First Base going forward. The move sets up the team well both in the near and long term, and eliminates one of the biggest issues with the 2015 Red Sox.

Continue reading Hanley Moving to First! Red Sox Defense is Saved! »

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I believe in miracles: Rick Porcello goes seven shutout innings off the DL to beat Chris Sale and the White Sox. (Getty Images)

Did anyone in Boston see Rick Porcello walk across the Charles River recently? Because if Wednesday’s start against the Chicago White Sox was any indication, something mildly miraculous is going on with the embattled righthander.

Going up against Chris Sale and his now MLB-leading 229 strikeouts, Porcello went pitch for pitch with the White Sox ace for seven shutout innings in his return from the 15-day disabled list. When Sale turned it over to the White Sox bullpen in the eighth, Travis Shaw went deep to break a scoreless tie (who said to move Hanley Ramirez to first anyway?) to give Porcello his first win since May 16.

Continue reading Miracles Do Happen! Porcello, Tazawa Outduel Sale, White Sox in Red Sox Shutout »

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Clay Buchholz (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

If it seems like Clay Buchholz has gone mostly unnoticed since the All-Star break, it’s because he has. The Red Sox’ subpar record and recent youth movement have combined to make Buchholz and his future an afterthought in recent weeks, but that is not likely to continue much longer. Of course it helps that he hasn’t taken the mound since July 10th, and seems to be in no rush to return to it. There is something to be said for a pitcher being cautious with an injury to his pitching elbow, but if we go on recent quotes from Buchholz regarding his health, it seems like he could be doing more to get close to pitching than he currently is. All this really does is continue a trend of Buchholz taking an injury way too far, and continue to prove that he is unreliable in every sense of the word.

Plenty has been made of Buchholz’s health record (or lack thereof), including the popular sentiment that the Red Sox should have traded him earlier in this season while he still had value. That ship has sailed, so we’re not going to dwell on it here. However, we can look at the fact that Buchholz has only topped 170 innings pitched in roughly one third of his “full” Major League seasons. As an outside observer, it is impossible to say for certain that Buchholz could have pitched more than he has in those seasons, but that lack of durability has to be caused, at least in part, by an inability to pitch through discomfort. Many, many players are on the record stating that a Major League season is a grind, so a ballplayer needs to be able to deal with the nicks and bumps that come with that grind. No player is likely going to be at 100% through the course of an entire season, but some are able to persevere better than others.

Continue reading Clay Buchholz Has a Hazy Future with Red Sox »

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