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joint practice

The Patriots will travel to White Sulpher Springs this week to conduct joint practices with the New Orleans Saints. The practices will be on Wednesday and Thursday of this week, after which the teams will travel to New Orleans and compete in a preseason game on Saturday.

Bill Belichick has made a habit of having the Patriots practice with other teams during training camp over the past several years. He has called the practices some of the best he has been a part of and it has helped make up for some of the other restrictions on practice time in training camp.

The practices give the teams extended time to “hit someone else” rather than the series or two in a preseason game that the starters might play. It also allows coaching staffs to share information and improve their own performance as well as evaluate talent against another NFL team for an extended period. Teams can gauge where they are at training camp wise as well. They walk away from joint practices with a better understanding of what exactly needs to be worked on.

Following Saturday’s game in New Orleans, the Patriots will fly home and have practice before taking on the Panthers in Carolina next week.

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1. Red Sox:

* Third base coach Brian Butterfield is lucky this is Pink Hat nation – how many times this year have I said that his judgment would have him fired from a little league team. Sending Ortiz when he wasn’t even at third in the 9th when the left fielder had the ball in his glove in short left field – is insane – Rene Lachman was booed out of his this town for moves less than that

* Red Sox this weekend averaged per game: 15 runs / 18.5 hits / Pitches 182 / Extra base hits 8.1

* Quite a farm system – with a chance to move the winning run into scoring position – Garin Cecchini wasn’t even close on two bunts and then struck out – when he returned to the dugout – Panda, Lovullo, Holt and Bogearts all patted him on the butt (Billy Martin rolled in his grave)

* Literally (I know I’m prone to hyperbole) In left field the Red Sox went from the worst outfielder in the majors (Hanley) to the best outfielder in the majors (Bradley)

* Ortiz unbuttoned his shirt to show off his gold necklace (Billy Martin again rolling over in his grave)

* I would trade Owens in the offseason – he has to be too fine when he is living at 88 MPH

* No question Felix Hernandez drilled Panda on Saturday (oh well – no fight in this team)

* Red Sox pitcher Ryan Cook ERA is now up to 40.50 – is there any doubt that Wakefield is better right now Continue reading Connelly’s Top Ten: Wendell Kim back from dead? »

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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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Entering his 3rd full season in the NHL, Torey Krug is looking to play a bigger role, possibly as an everyday top 4 defenseman on the Boston Bruins in the upcoming campaign.

“For me personally, I feel like I’m ready for that challenge. It’s up to the coaching staff as well, but right now I’m eyeing that spot, and until somebody tells me otherwise, I’m going to go take it in camp,” Krug told the Boston Globe recently.

The top 4 spot he is seeking was opened when the Bruins traded d-man Dougie Hamilton to the Calgary Flames earlier this summer. Continue reading Torey Krug Ready to take on a Bigger Role »

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farrell boston

John Farrell announced during his Friday night pre-game press conference that he has stage one lymphoma. The lymphoma was detected after having surgery in Detroit for a hernia on Monday. A mass was removed at the time of the surgery.

Farrell will step down as manager of the Red Sox while he undergoes a nine-week course of chemotherapy. Bench coach Torey Lovullo will take over managing operations for the remainder of the season. Continue reading John Farrell Diagnosed with Stage 1 Lymphoma »

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1. Red Sox:

* Should have traded Buchholz before injury and Uehara before his injury
* Hanley Ramirez on pace to play 138 games this season or 85% of the season – games played the last five seasons: 92 / 157 / 128 / 97
* Hanley first 82 at bats – 10 home runs / next 288 at bats – 7 home runs (speaking of home run surges see #4 below)
* Audie Murphy, Sergeant York and David Ortiz – what courage Ortiz showed walking 20 feet from the first base dugout to play first base in Miami
* Did Jackie Bradley hitting below .150 really call Eck out?
* Nice pick up by Ben this week of pitcher Ryan Cook who after two games has an ERA of 27.00

2. Patriots:

* The producer in the CBS channel 4 truck had one shot he needed to get and that was Brady coming out to a huge ovation but he failed because they were at commercial
* Talk about a friendly broadcast – Steve Burton doing pre-game and Dan Roche doing play by play Continue reading Connelly’s Top Ten: Channel 4 Producer, Boyce, Cherington and Goodell »

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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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