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Will The Sox Win The AL East?

By on August 29, 2016 at 9:30pm
(AP Photo/Gail Burton) Can the Red Sox take the division in the playoff push?

As September is nearing, playoffs is becoming a predominant topic in baseball. The powerhouse hitting Red Sox are now in a position where the postseason is not a guarantee. They have been bouncing in and out of first, second, and third place for a majority of the season. The Red Sox, Blue Jays and Orioles have been the most dominant teams in the Al East all season.

Going into Monday Aug. 29th, the Red Sox sit in second place with a 72-58 record, two games behind the Blue Jays. Baltimore sits right behind the Sox, only one game back. So the question we are all wondering is who is going to win the division?

I believe at this point it’s a complete toss up. We can pull out as many statistics as we want to predict the end of the season results but we have to remember that this is baseball. This game is so unpredictable, especially when there are only 30 games left to be played. Any team could take the division with being just a half game up, it could be that close.

The good news is that the next month of baseball is going to be tough for all teams in the AL East. Starting tonight until the end of the season the Sox have two remaining series against the Rays, Yankees, Orioles, and the Blue Jays. So the standings in the AL East are going to be jumping all around for the next month. If the Sox want a legitimate chance at taking the division, they need to be the best team in the month of September, period.

If the Sox do not win the division, they always have the Wild Card. But with the Wild Card , the top two teams have to play in a one game playoff match up to decide who moves onto the ALDS. Boston needs to avoid this at all costs because a one game deciding match up is a tough game to win. If this were to happen I’d be scared to see who Farrell decides to start on the bump.

However I am very confident the Sox will finish the season strong. Their hitting is still very dominant. Ortiz is still showing he’s one of the best with 30 plus homers and 100 plus RBIs. Mookie is still one of the best hitters in the entire MLB right now with 29 homers, 94 RBIs, and a .321 AVG (Did I mention he was a lead off hitter for the majority of the season?). And Pedey quietly is hitting .320 going into Monday. So the bats are there. Again as we’ve discussed a million times, it all comes down to the Sox pitching. Starting pitching for Boston has looked better lately, the bullpen is still an issue. All we can do at this point is pray that the pitching comes around going into September.

The toughest series the Sox are going to have this next month are the ones against the Blue Jays. Toronto plays as the biggest threat towards Boston. They are a very well rounded team that can hit and have some pitching. The two series the Sox have against them in the next month are definitely the most imports series they will have all year.

This all being said, I’m super excited for the next month of baseball because its going to be a a fun one to watch.

 

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Jose Fernandez

September 27, 2016 at 3:17pm in MLB, Opinion, Top Story

Jose Fernandez

On September 25, 2016 Major league baseball lost one of the greatest pitchers in the game.  Not only was Fernandez already one of the best pitchers in the game, but he had a very bright future.  Fernandez passed away around 3 in the morning on September 25 due to a tragic boating accident.  I woke up to this news on Sunday and I was completely devastated.  Being that he was only 24 years old, it seemed like he had a lot of great baseball left but now all we can think is what could have been.

Before I talk about how great a person he was, let’s talk about Jose Fernandez, the ace of the Miami Marlins.  In his short four year MLB career, Fernandez had a career record of 38-17 with an ERA of 2.58.  He also posted 538 strike outs.  This guy could throw heat and he was very electric.  In my mind he was easily in the top 5 of MLB pitchers right now.  Some of his career accomplishments, were winning the NL Rookie of the year in 2013 and being named to the all-star game in 2013 and 2016.  Not only did Fernandez bring dominant stuff to the mound but he also brought a great personality.  This guy loved baseball and he was always having fun.  He was also the Marlins biggest cheerleader.  He loved his teammates and his teammates loved him.  Sometimes he rubbed opposing players the wrong way but that was just him showing his emotions.  Fernandez was just a fun, loving player that would express how he felt about his performance or his teammates performance.

Jose Fernandez, the individual, was also great too.  Fernandez tried to escape from Cuba to America and failed three times.   On his fourth attempt, a person fell into the sea, and not knowing who it was, Fernandez, jumped into the water and was able to rescue the person and get them back into the boat.  The person he saved turned out to be his mother.  At only 15 years old, Fernandez, was already a hero for doing that.  Fernandez, his sister and his mother successfully made it to America and relocated in Tampa Bay.  Jose loved his family and his biggest fan was his grandmother.  His grandmother would climb to the roof of her house just to be able to listen to Fernandez pitch on the radio.  After six years apart, his grandmother was able to attend opening day in 2014 and watch her grandson pitch.  Fernandez pitched a great game that day and I believe part of the reason was because of his Grandmother being in attendance.

Jose Fernandez leaves his grandmother, mother, sister, and girlfriend behind.  One of the saddest things about Jose passing is that a week ago he announced on Instagram that his girlfriend was pregnant.  That child will never know his/her dad but will know how outstanding his/her father was not only as an MLB pitcher but as a human being.  The Marlins have already announced that they will retire the number 16 Fernandez jersey and I believe that is the right move.  He will never be forgotten by that franchise and will be watching down on that team.  Baseball will miss you Jose, keep smiling and forever Rest in Peace.

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Marchands stays a Bruin for 8 more years. (cbc.ca)

It looks like Brad Marchand will remain a Bruin for the considerable future as he has just been signed to a new 8 year contract extension worth $49 million, according to multiple sources. Continue reading Brad Marchand Resigns with Bruins for 8 years $49 million »

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World Cup of Hockey is set to begin next week. (ajournalofmusicalthings.com)

The last time the NHL hosted a World Cup tournament the year was 1996. Independence Day was the number one movie in America, Seinfeld was at the peak of it’s popularity, the Dallas Cowboys were actually good, and I was just days old. 20 years ago the USA squad, led by Brett Hull and Mike Richter, ran the table against opposing teams and beat the heavily favored Canadian team, led by the ‘Great One’ himself, in the championship series. Now two decades later, the American bunch will look to repeat the success of the ’96 team in this years World Cup of Hockey, which is being held in Toronto, and earn ultimate bragging rights in this highly anticipated preseason tournament. Continue reading The Ultimate World Cup of Hockey Preview »

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9 games to circle on your calendar. (forum.canucks.com)

With the long-awaited Jimmy Vesey Sweepstakes, or #VeseyWatch as it was known on Twitter, coming to an unfortunate end last week after the North Reading, MA native decided to sign in the Big Apple with the Rangers instead of his hometown team, the buzz around this upcoming Bruins season has taken somewhat of a hit. The questions surrounding this group of players, specifically on the blue line, haven’t been addressed and the moves that have been made, most notably the signing of David Backes, have been second guessed. Adding Vesey to this group would have reinvigorated a fan-base that isn’t very happy right now according to recent sports polls, and masked some of the problems that still linger for this years squad. Nevertheless, training camp opens in just about a month, so rather than sulk and pout, I looked at the B’s upcoming season and found nine games that will surely get even the most depressed Bruins fan pumped up. Continue reading 9 Bruins Games to Circle on your Calendar »

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Tony Quinn/Icon Sportswire

The Sox had a relatively quiet trade deadline today as they only acquired one player in a one for one trade. The Sox acquired left handed reliever Fernando Abad from the Minnesota Twins in exchange for minor league lefty Pat Light.

Abad will help the Sox’s struggling bullpen as left handed hitters have only a .163 batting average off him this season. This is not a big trade but will definitely aid the Sox a little with their pitching situation. But the move that everyone was hoping for was to see another stud pitcher in the starting rotation.

Everyone knows Chris Sale was the talk of the deadline but it was no surprise to me that he stayed with Chicago. A dominant pitcher like him is not going to go anywhere without a very large trade being put in place. It’s a shame the Sox couldn’t snag him because he is just what we are missing.

However, I have to say I am very surprised Andrew Benintendi and Joan Moncada stayed with the AA Portland Sea Dogs. I expected the Sox to move at least one of them in a trade to acquire a starting pitcher. Now that they are staying in the Sox farm system, I don’t know what the Sox are going to do with their starting rotation.

The addition of Drew Pomeranz was viewed as a good move at first but is looking a little shaky right now. Steven Wright has had a couple bad starts lately and David Price is still yet to get into a consistent groove. The only consistent pitcher the Sox have right now is Rick Porcello who quietly has been a stud this year with a 14-2 record.

I don’t know what the Sox are going to do but if they want to be serious contenders for the playoffs, their pitching has to make some adjustments. The AL East and the American League in general is very competitive right now and it’s really a toss up for which teams are going to win the division and the wild card.

Safe to say this trade deadline helped, but it wasn’t enough.

 

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AP Photo/Michael Dwyer

As the baseball season is at the halfway point we start examining players for baseball’s most prestigious award, the Most Valuable Player. Two Red Sox players are considered to be serious contenders in this year’s insanely competitive AL MVP race. Those two players are Xander Bogaerts and David Ortiz. However there are many other great players to consider when talking about the MVP race.

Potential AL MVP Candidates

  • Josh Donaldson
  • Jose Altuve
  • Robinson Cano
  • Mike Trout
  • Manny Machado

Many people put Josh Donaldson at the top of the list right now. Donaldson was the AL MVP last season and is once again having himself a fantastic season. But I personally wouldn’t put him at the top of the list right now. If I had to choose a player right now to be at the top of the AL MVP race I would choose Astros 2B Jose Altuve. Altuve currently leads to MLB with 135 hits and a .358 AVG. Right behind Altuve I would put Ortiz. Ortiz leads the MLB with 34 doubles, a SLG of .665, and an OPS of 1.083.

The only problem with Ortiz is that he’s a DH. Many people use that against him because there are no defensive stats to credit him with. But with the performance David is having at the plate this year makes him a serious contender for the MVP award in his final season.

Do not forget about Xander Bogaerts. He is being viewed as a genuine player to win the award. He is arguably one of the best hitting shortstops in the entire MLB. As of Saturday Xander has 125 hits (3rd in the MLB behind Jose Altuve and Mookie Betts), 23 doubles, 11 home runs, 61 RBIs, .324 AVG, .381 OBP, .469 SLG, and a .850 OPS. Xander is also a very good defensive player with a .973 fielding percentage and only 9 errors in 813 innings.

The AL MVP race is going to be a very competitive one this year because there are so may players that could take the crown. But it is only half way through the season so nobody knows who’s going to stay on track or drop off the candidate list. All I’m saying is to not count the Sox sluggers out of the race, especially Ortiz. Even though he’s a DH, he’s putting up one of the best seasons of his career and has some of the best numbers in the game right now.

Can you imagine a 40 year old in his last season winning an MVP award? We can only hope…

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