Benintendi collected his first MLB hit in Seattle. Photo: Joe Nicholson, USA Today Sports

Nothing comes easy for the 2016 Boston Red Sox, as David O’Brien et al remind us on a near-nightly basis. After a dismal road-trip, the Red Sox failed to improve on their record in a series against the Yankees, and now sit at only nine games above .500.

The playoff picture in the East is tight as it will ever be, with the Sox three games behind the Jays, and 2.5 behind the Orioles. At the moment, the Red Sox hold a .5 game lead over the Tigers for the second spot in the race for the second wild card berth. A poor series against a .500 team was the last thing David Ortiz and Co. needed, but regardless, it is what they got.

With a team as streaky as this, it’s feasible to consider the possibility that they might go on another tear, and finish the season with breathing room in any playoff race. However, sports in the Boston media remain ever-reactionary, and the flavor of the past ten games has been doom. It is always difficult to remain positive, after the stretch the Sox have most recently suffered through.

One of the bright spots on the team has been newcomer Andrew Benintendi. Unfortunately, the key word in the sentence prior is “newcomer”. All rookies are bound to make mistakes, or have a “welcome to the League” moment. Benintendi’s simply came during a crucial moment in the game.

For those watching, it was next to unbelievable. A seemingly playable, albeit sharply, hit ball by Jacoby Ellsbury quickly made it’s way into left field, prompting a quick response by Benintendi. The ball went mere centimeters over the 22 year old, and Ellsbury was safely aboard with a double, driving in two. Those two runs proved insurmountable in the eighth and the ninth for the Sox, who once again left the field with a heartbreaking loss.

Heartbreaking losses are acceptable in a season of 162 games, but at the rate they are coming lately to this team, one has to wonder if this is truly a team built for postseason success. All outside factors point to yes, with phenoms X, Betts, JBJ, and now Benintendi-but close games, especially during the postseason-are must-wins.

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1.Red Sox:

  • Back to back games Farrell pulled out the starter too early – never mind pinch running the other starter and getting him hurt
  • Sandoval three hit games – 3 in 127 games / Bennitendi three hit games 2 in first six games
  • David Price the guy that juiced and then signed and didn’t juice?
  • Pink hats – couldn’t believe Bennitendi didn’t get a huge hand for his first Fenway at bat

2. A-Rod

I’ve said this before but I almost feel sorry for a guy making more an at bat than we make in a year – if A Rod was a horse they would shoot him Continue reading Connelly’s Top Ten: Farrell Torching Season, Jimmy G – Ugh, Lefties and Kimbrel »

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www.olympic.org

Nate Ebner, safety for the New England Patriots and member of the USA National Rugby 7s Team and Aly Raisman, Needham native and captain of the USA Women’s National Gymnastics Team are both putting the state of Massachusetts on their backs down in Rio at the Olympic games.

Most people may not have known that Nate Ebner was a rugby player at heart. He never played high school football and played rugby at the Ohio State University. After years of rugby and the death of his Father, he decided to try out for the football team at Ohio State in hopes of achieving his dream to play in the NFL. He made the team and also was drafted by the Patriots after college at the 197th pick in the draft. Not only has Nate achieved his dream of playing in the NFL, he also is a Super Bowl Champion with the Patriots.

And even though the Men’s Rugby Team is eliminated from medal contention from their loss on Wednesday, Ebner has made all of us proud. He’s a go-getter and when he puts his mind to something, you better believe he’s going to do it. He said he was going to be an Olympian, and look at him now. His late Father would be proud of him.

Switching gears to women’s gymnastics, I’m sure everyone is aware of who Aly Raisman is how much of an impact she has on the Olympics. Aly and her “Final Five” squad got Gold in the Women’s Team Final Tuesday afternoon. The US beat second place Russia by 8.209 points, the largest margin of victory in olympic women’s gymnastics history. Aly Raisman served as a large impact in the team’s victory as she put on an absolute clinic during the floor exercise. Her final routine left me in awe. The moves she pulls off are truly extraordinary.

Raisman currently has three gold medals to her name. She will try to make that four gold metals when she attempts to go back to back golds in the individual floor competition.

Ebner and Raisman continue to impress all of us in what they do. Thank you for representing this great country and bring home more golds!

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Vesey has less than a week to pick his NHL home. (thecrimson.com)

Jimmy Vesey, the Harvard product who won the Hobey Baker Award as the best player in college hockey last season, is about to end all the drama and mystery when he chooses which NHL team he wants to play for on August 15th. When Vesey spurned the Nashville Predators this past spring and refused to sign with the team that drafted him, he instantly became the hottest free-agent on the market. Intrigue was added after his rights were traded to the Buffalo Sabres at the beginning of the summer, and hometown buddy Jack Eichel got the opportunity to recruit the former Crimson stud. Now all that remains is for Vesey to select which team he’ll call home and if the B’s are fortunate enough to land him, it’ll be the biggest offseason addition since Zdeno Chara 10 years ago. Yes that big. Continue reading Vesey is Key to Rest of Bruins Offseason Plan »

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1. Red Sox

  • Price not worth the Price
  • Everytime I watch Tazawa pitch he is getting ripped but his ERA remains adequate – he threw up some cookies
  • Pedroia is on pace to hit into 30 double plays
  • Can’t believe Dodger Stadium is the third oldest park in baseball
  • Would you trade, as suggested in the Globe, Rusney Castillo for Puig?
  • I love hearing Ortiz had to be taken out of the game for sore body after playing six innings in the field – try being a single parent that works five days a week for $30,000

2. Luck:

Sports writers so want Andrew Luck to be the new quarterback delight now that Peyton is gone. How is he in the postseason compared to Tim Tebow:

  • Winning % : Luck .500 / Tebow .500
  • TD to INT: Luck 9 TD to 12 INT / Tebow 2 to 0
  • QB rating: Luck 70.8 / Tebow 90.0

3. Top Red Sox catcher’s average:

minimum 150 at bats

  • Leyritz….287
  • Fisk……284
  • Leon……272
  • R. Nixon…268
  • Berryhill….263
  • Gedman….259
  • Parrish……259
  • Montgomery .258
  • Cerrone……250

4. Yankees:

Yankees removed $109mm from its payroll for 2017

* A Rod……..$20mm

* Chapman….$11.3mm

* Miller………$9mm

* Teixeira…….$22.5mm

* Sabathia……$25mm

* Beltran……..$18mm

* Nova……….$4.1mm

Amazingly they still have $100mm due to Headley, Tanaka, Gardner, Ellsbury, McCann, Castro, Clippard

5. NFL Hall of Fame induction:

A league of integrity:

* Chris Mortenson received a plaque from the NFL – second time they have given him something

* Eddie De Bartolo – rigged the salary cap (like Denver)

* Brett Favre – who showed his junk around

* Marvin Harrison who was connected to a shooting death

6. Mount Rushmore of Red Sox switch hitters:

Reggie Smith, Bill Mueller, Yoan Moncada, Shane Victorino

7. Amazing Stat:

Jim Furyk a record 58 Sunday

  • Birdies on seven straight holes
  • 10 birdies / one eagle
  • Picked up twelve strokes on the leader
  • Missed six birdie putts

8. Old School – Red Sox averages:

  • Clemens, Lollar, Kelley, Wade Miller, Schourek were 9-16 as hitters – .562
  • Rudy Pemberton has the highest average of any Red Sox with at least 100 at bats – .346
  • Dave Sax, Tony Graffanino, Jemile Weeks, Joey Gathright were 92-289 – .318

9. A Little Bit Outside:

Saw this question the other day – if you could bring a fictional character to life who would it be – some of my suggestions:

* Yukon Cornelius

* Cool Hand Luke

* William Wallace

* Maximus

* Ghost of Christmas Present

* Bugs Bunny

10. Randomocity

* 1st basemen are holding tags on runners that dive back into the base hoping their body is not connected to the base when they go to stand up

* Last thing you want to hear from a dog owner – he’s usually so friendly

* Jason Heyward making $17.5mm – average by month .224 / .217 / .257 / .217 / .250

* How does a 1-0 National win that goes only 8.5 innings take 2:43

* Dave Stapleton hit two home runs in his first two games

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Garoppolo will have a lot on his plate to start the year. (Kevin Hoffman, USA Today Sports).

On July 15th Tom Brady announced to the world he would no longer seek legal action in the infamous “Deflategate” scandal, thus ending the longest, and quite possibly the most ridiculous sports story ever, that was endlessly talked about for the better part of a year and a half. At that moment, it became clear Brady would accept his four game suspension, and put an end to his 14 year starting streak in the process. The man who has grown from hidden-gem to living legend had to hand the reigns over to Jimmy Garopplo, the unproven yet highly touted backup, therefore creating quite the interesting scenario for the QB from Eastern Illinois. Continue reading The Curious Case of Jimmy Garoppolo »

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Mookie Named AL Player of the Month

August 5, 2016 at 10:17am in Featured, Red Sox
Rob Carr/Getty Images

On Wednesday Boston’s center fielder Mookie Betts, was named AL Player of the Month for the month of July. Mookie tour up July, posting some pretty impressive stats. He batted .368, hit five home runs, had 15 RBIs, five stolen bases and had a 1.068 OPS.

At just 23 years of age Betts is having himself a remarkable season. He is arguably the best lead-off hitter in the MLB as he is is in first place in multiple lead-off hitter statistic categories including hits, home runs, RBIs, and doubles.

Mookie currently has 140 hits (31 doubles), 22 home runs, 71 RBIs, and an average of .306. He joins teammate Jackie Bradley Jr. as the only Red Sox players this year to receive player of the month rewards; JBJ won AL player of the month back in May.

Betts keeps proving to everybody that he is becoming an elite out fielder/hitter in this league and I believe he can easily be compared to a Mike Trout caliber player. Hey if you don’t agree with me, the stats speak for themselves.

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