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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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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pats packers

The Patriots fell to the Packers 22-11  in their first preseason game of 2015. The game saw many key players rest and was an opportunity for younger players and new arrivals to get some game action. Not too much can be learned from a contest like this scheme-wise, as neither team game plans. However, some players made their roster bubble case while others increased the hill they have to climb.

The Patriots defense bent early but did not break, allowing three points in the first quarter despite Green Bay being in Patriots territory three times. The Patriots had two fourth down stops, including one inside their own five yard line. Malcolm Butler carried his strong camp into the game and looked solid in coverage early, as did rookie Darryl Roberts, who did leave the game with an injury. Rookies Tre Jackson, Shaq Mason, and David Andrews were the starters in the interior of the offensive line and each held their own. Mason had a great block to help spring  Jonas Gray for a touchdown.

Tom Brady got the start, but Jimmy Garoppolo played most of the game at quarterback. Garoppolo had issues throwing behind receivers, especially Boyce, but got better as the game went on. He was sacked seven times, which although partly his fault also was evidence of poor offensive line play in front of him.

Jabaal Sheard entered the game on the second defensive series and showed some of the reasons why New England brought him in this offseason. He drew a holding penalty and had several impressive rushes off the edge, all before halftime. Logan Ryan, on the other hand, did not make a strong case to be a starter come September. He got beat badly by Jeff Janis on a second quarter touchdown that came on fourth down.  Dominique Easley and Malcom Brown saw time together in the interior of the defensive line, a combination the Patriots hope will be part of their defense for years to come.

It was also a tough night for Josh Boyce, who had several drops and could have done a better job working back to the ball on a third quarter Garopppolo interception. James White made a strong case to be New England’s third down back, he pass-blocked well and showed flashes of athleticism in the passing game. He capitalized on Brandon Bolden and Travaris Cadet being out due to injuries and the battle for the third down back will be one of the more interesting competitions to watch going forward.

Notable players who did not see the field were Jerod Mayo, Dont’a Hightower, Rob Gronkowski, Scott Chandler, and Bryan Stork.

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The Future Corner Outfielders

I have been in the back woods of Maine hiking, canoeing, and reading books since the last time I posted, so I have been completely out of the loop. As I’m driving home Sunday afternoon I tuned in to the second half of the Red Sox game in Detroit. I’m listening to Joe Castiglione when I realize I have no idea who is playing where defensively for the Red Sox. Then I find out Jackie Bradley is in centerfield with Castillo and de Aza in the corner outfield slots, and the infield consists of Holt at third, Bogaerts at short, Josh Rutledge at second, and Travis Shaw at first.

Initially I was slightly taken back by some of the names out there, but when I thought about it a little more I realized it’s not a bad thing at all that these guys are getting reps. Continue reading PawSox Storm Fenway Park, Red Sox Nation Gets Sneak Peek of Future OF »

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Rusney Castillo (Elsa/Getty Images)

Since the Red Sox have been unofficially eliminated from 2015 playoff contention, they have admitted to using the balance of the season to evaluate the roster’s potential for 2016 and better inform the team’s offseason strategy. One of the most interesting roster auditions is in Right Field, where the team hopes Rusney Castillo can play well down the stretch and eliminate a potential hole in the 2016 outfield. Jackie Bradley Jr. is in a similar situation, however he faces a much more uphill battle since he is competing with Mookie Betts for playing time. Conversely, Castillo has a golden opportunity to cement a starting role on the 2016 Red Sox.

Continue reading Rusney Castillo’s Open Audition »

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