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It is August and NHL news is quite thin. Sometimes this stall in news brings wacky trade rumors and/or speculation. There are some rumors out there that include the Bruins, the most recent being the Bruins being involved in talks with the Winnipeg Jets for big money defenseman, Dustin Byfuglien.

For Boston fans unfamiliar with Byfuglien, he really broke into the league during the 2007-2008 season, playing almost the full season and scoring 19 goals with the Chicago Blackhawks. He has stayed mostly consistent since then, with his best regular season performance being the 2013-2014 campaign scoring 20 goals and 56 points with the Jets. He also played a huge role in the 2010 Stanley Cup playoffs for the Blackhawks, helping them win the Stanley Cup tallying 16 points in 22 games. Continue reading Boston Bruins Trade Rumor: Dustin Byfuglien »

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Photo Courtesy of Associated Press

The Detroit Tigers recently let go of President of Baseball Operations and General Manager Dave Dombrowski. Dombrowski had been with the Tigers for nearly 14 seasons.

Dombrowski built the Tigers from the ground up. In his first full season in Detroit, the Tigers had an American League worst record of 119 losses. However, he did not let this be a detriment to his overall plan. Dombrowski was known for not being afraid to pull the trigger on a big time move. Some examples include trading for Miguel Cabrera and Max Scherzer. Continue reading Dave Dombrowski Should Be on Red Sox Radar »

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Red Sox Trade Mike Napoli

August 7, 2015 at 10:32pm in Featured, Red Sox
Mike Napoli (ESPN.com)

Right before Friday night’s game, the Red Sox struck a deal to trade Mike Napoli and cash to the Texas Rangers for cash or a player-to-be-named-later.

The Rangers will pay about $1.5 million of the remaining money owed to Napoli.  Continue reading Red Sox Trade Mike Napoli »

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1. Red Sox:

* I don’ think I have ever seen Craig Breslow have a clean outing

* Wait to next year when infielders have to throw to Hanley at first (they will need netting behind first base)

* People wonder what David Ortiz would do in Yankee Stadium with the short right field porch – surprisingly only 28 home runs in 401 at bats at the Stadiums (one every 14.32 at bats)

* Red Sox have 3 combined triples from the #3 / #4 / #5 / #6 hitters this year

* Not quite pushing the right buttons – Pinch hitters for the Red Sox this year: 8-44 (.182) / 0 HR

* Average against Red Sox pitching by month (I guess it wasn’t pitching coach Juan Nieves fault): April – .259 / May – .263 / June – .265 / July – .275 / August – .278

2. Patriots Roster:

* Players over age of 30 – 4 (gotta be youngest team in league) Continue reading Connelly’s Top Ten: Someone Get Felger a Towel »

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2015-512x512_flowers_trey_headshot

When New England selected Trey Flowers in the fourth round of the 2015 draft, the early thinking was that he could be a pass rusher with power and contribute on passing downs. The 6’2, 266 pound defensive end is not as large as some of the prototypical pass rushers in the NFL, but he uses his length as well as anyone and makes plays with his strength.

The Patriots have quite a bit of depth in terms of pass rushers with Chandler Jones, Rob Ninkovich, Jabaal Sheard, and Dominique Easley all ahead of Flowers on the depth chart. When asked what he felt his role could be in such a crowded group, Flowers said he was eager to contribute any way he could.

“I’m just coming out here and working hard. I want to be that guy who can get his reps when he can, who is attentive, who listens to all the coaches, and contribute wherever I need to be,” Flowers said.

One of the best ways for Flowers to get on the field early is to be as versatile as possible. He had opportunities both inside and outside along the defensive line in practice.  The rookie felt that being able to do both was important for him and for his teammates.

“It’s definitely a way that I can help the team the fastest that I can. Being able to go out to in and things like that…like I said, I’m just trying to establish a role and if that’s what the coach wants me to do, go inside sometimes and outside I’m all for it.”

Flowers is making the most of his opportunities in camp thus far. He has looked explosive in several drills and has been around the football in full team work. At this point, he has had most of his chances with backups and will likely see extensive time in the preseason as he tries to climb his way up the depth chart. Playing at Arkansas in the SEC, Flowers is no stranger to big games or strong competition. In one week he will have his first taste of NFL action as the Patriots host the Packers in the team’s first preseason game. Flowers is looking forward to the chance.

“I’m just looking forward to going against someone other than my teammates. Camp can be long, going against the same people each and every day, but I’m looking forward to going against someone else. I wouldn’t say there are any nerves, it’s all football. I’m just trying to go out there and do it as best I can.”

If Flowers can produce in the preseason as well as he as at times during camp, he will continue that climb up the depth chart.

 

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The Patriots held their seventh training camp practice of 2015 on Thursday. The practice had a heavy situation-focus as well as an “official” element to it. The following are my observations from day seven:

NFL referees are in town for three days of practice, which began today. The officials were part of the entire practice, officiating drills as well as 11 on 11 work. Bill Belichick was asked prior to practice about the presence of officials and felt that it was good for the Patriots to get an understanding of how they would be making calls. He also noted that it helps the team know what to be ready for when facing an opponent and how that will be called by officials. Several players drew flags on both sides, with the focus being on offensive and defensive pass interference.

With officials present, there was a heavy amount of situation and late game work in 11 on 11s. The team also turned the music volume up to force players to communicate in a loud environment. The team  simulated late game field goals and having to run the field goal unit onto the field as time ticked down. The defense had to run laps at the conclusion of the work, with the offense getting the better of them.

Rookies Tre Jackson and Trey Flowers continue to be impressive in camp. Both of them have been winning battles and Tre Jackson had a strong performance overall today. Brandon Gibson also turned in one of his strongest performances in camp. Despite being flagged by officials for an offensive interference, he had several great catches including one down the sideline that drew cheers from the crowd.

Dominique Easley had several inside rushes that disrupted plays or won drills. The second year pro was solid in limited action last season and looks poised to take on a larger role in 2015.

Aaron Dobson was missing from practice. He was part of a group of several players out, including Julian Edelman. When asked about Edelman’s status, Belichick called it “day to day.” The Patriots will practice again on Friday with the schedule for the weekend still to be determined.

 

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Henry Owens (USA Today Sports)

One of the few things Red Sox fans have left to enjoy about the 2015 season is the opportunity to glimpse the future of their team. They got such a look on Tuesday when Henry Owens made his major league debut ay Yankee Stadium. It was only one start, and it was against a team that had never faced him before, but Owens was very impressive against a solid Yankees lineup that had their way with Boston’s bullpen the second their starter left the game. In fact, Owens appears to have been just about the only thing keeping the Red Sox in Tuesday’s game, because the lineup managed just three runs and five hits over six innings against Yankees starter Masahiro Tanaka, then were blanked by the New York bullpen. This is not to say that Owens was outdueled by Tanaka because that is not exactly the case, but he did a great job of giving his team the chance to win, which is exactly what Red Sox starters have so far been wholly unable to do in 2015.

Continue reading Henry Owens Solid In Red Sox Debut »

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