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2014 MLB Playoffs Expert Picks: Wildcard Round

By on September 30, 2014 at 8:07pm
Kansas City finally ended a lengthy playoff drought; can they pull off more magic? (http://www.zastavki.com/) Kansas City finally ended a lengthy playoff drought; can they pull off more magic? (http://www.zastavki.com/)

The playoffs are here. Oakland and Kansas City are starting things off in the AL Wildcard game, followed by San Francisco and Pittsburgh. Oakland really fell off the mark during the regular season, having to clinch a spot on the final day, while Kansas City is in the playoffs for the first time since 1985. San Francisco, like Oakland, fell off in the middle of the season, while Pittsburgh stuck to its guns in the home stretch. Whatever happens, these should be good games.

To start our annual Pick ‘Em, correctly guessing the winner of each Wildcard game is worth two points. Complete picks are below, and the Divisional Round picks will be up later in the week, so check for them soon, and see our picks for the Wildcard winners below. Continue reading 2014 MLB Playoffs Expert Picks: Wildcard Round »

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David Ortiz may be averting his eyes, but I'll be tuned in to celebrate the end of this apocalyptic 2014 Red Sox season. (Portland Press Herald)

So maybe this occasion doesn’t call for a parade down the Charles, but it certainly is a cause for celebration.

Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve been searching for reasons to keep watching the Red Sox, if only to feel like a better fan and to justify to myself (and my girlfriend) why I needed to watch sports on a daily basis. It started with Rusney Castillo’s debut and has carried through to David Ortiz setting records, the Return of the Koji, and, now that seemingly every Red Sox regular is out, how Mookie Betts and the rest of the rookies are faring heading into next season.

But today is really the moment I’ve been waiting for: The apocalyptic 2014 season is nearly over for the Boston Red Sox! The beginning of the end is about to get underway at 1:35 PM against the New York Yankees in Derek Jeter’s final game, and I don’t plan on missing it.

Continue reading Why Watch the Red Sox? This is the End! »

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With only two games left and nothing to play for, I'll still be watching if only to see Derek Jeter's last hurrah and Mookie Betts's bright future. (Getty Images)

And then there were two.

This afternoon, the Boston Red Sox play their second to last game of the atrocity that is the 2014 season, though you’d be excused for confusing them with the Pawtucket Red Sox. Dustin Pedroia, David Ortiz, Mike Napoli, and Shane Victorino are all out for the season, leaving a collection of rookies to fill the Red Sox lineup. So why bother watching?

Because those rookies are going to be key to the team’s success in 2015, particularly one Mookie Betts, who has ascended to the top of the Red Sox prospects list in rather spectacular fashion. Oh, and you might have heard of some guy named Derek Jeter…

Continue reading Why Watch the Red Sox? Mooooookieeeee and the Rooooookieeeeees (and Some Guy Named Jeter) »

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Bobby Valentine may not be able to count, but the 2014 Red Sox are one win away from not being as bad as his 2012 team. (ESPN)

Thank the baseball gods that there are now less than four games left in this abomination of a Red Sox season.

All are against teams officially eliminated from the MLB postseason – the rubber game against the Tampa Bay Rays, then three against Derek Jeter and the New York Yankees – meaning the Red Sox can’t even play the role of spoiler.

So why even watch if this season remains literally meaningless, with no playoff implications remaining? For one reason, and one reason only: The magic number 1, as in one win the 2014 Red Sox need to end up with a better record than the 2012 team led by a certain Bobby Valentine.

Continue reading Why Watch the Red Sox? For the Magic Number 1 »

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It was, as Agent Smith likes to say, inevitable.

Mike Napoli, the lone bastion of the bearded 2013 World Series Champion Red Sox, ended his hairy-faced holdout and finally shaved. Take a look, courtesy of NESN and the official Red Sox Twitter feed:

Continue reading Mike Napoli (Finally) Shaves, Signalling the End of a Red Sox Era »

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Will the Red Sox closer carousel bring Koji Uehara back again next year, or will the Red Sox have to turn to someone else (again)? (ESPN.com)

157 down, 5 to go.

That’s all that’s left on this misery of a Red Sox season, thankfully. But the Rajon Rondo trade rumors are nothing more than just that — rumors — and the Patriots don’t play every day (perhaps fortunately, considering Week 3′s ugly win), so I’m trying to justify reasons to keep sports in my everyday life.

So to answer the question, “Why watch the Red Sox?”, I’ve turned to Rusney Castillo’s first stint in the majors, Clay Buchholz’s momentum going into 2015, and David Ortiz’s record-setting season. One more reason (which I’ll probably ignore) is the Red Sox closer carousel, and what it may mean for the 2015 return of deposed closer Koji Uehara.

Continue reading Why Watch the Red Sox? The Closer Carousel and the Return (?) of the Koji »

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Brock Holt

Back in 2012, the Red Sox sent a package of prospects over to the Pittsburgh Pirates for projected closer of the 2013 season, Joel Hanrahan. Brock Holt was a mere throw-in, and Joel Hanrahan revealed himself as a bust, which cleared a path for Koji Uehara to dominate as the Red Sox closer.  Holt played 23 games last year season with the Red Sox where he primarily filled in for Middlebrooks at third base. He batted .203 and failed to secure a roster spot for himself on the Red Sox 25-man roster.

Before the 2014 season began, there once again was no roster spot for Brock Holt. Yet again, we thought at the time that the Red Sox were going to defend their title a little bit more formidably.  After a month and a half of disappointment and injuries, Holt found himself thrust into the starting lineup. Initially covering for Middlebrooks at third, by mid-June, Holt was thrown into the outfield, where he excelled, despite being an infielder by trade. Since then, Holt has played every single position on the baseball diamond this season besides pitcher and catcher. Continue reading Brock Holt: Utility Man or Key Future Starter? »

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