Credit: Sportingnews.com

David Ortiz, Xander Bogaerts, and Jackie Bradley Jr. are among the leaders in the AL all star voting as of Tuesday. Jackie sits comfortably in the number three spot (over 937,000 votes) right behind Mike Trout and Lorenzo Cain. He is expected to be a starter in the All-Star game. Meanwhile Ortiz and Bogaerts both lead the AL with votes in their positions. But these are not the only three Sox players that may make the All-Star game this July.

Potential Sox Players to Make ASG:

  • DH David Ortiz
  • SS Xander Bogaerts
  • OF Jackie Bradley Jr.
  • OF Mookie Betts
  • 2B Dustin Pedroia
  • 1B Hanley Ramirez
  • 3B Travis Shaw

The Sox have a chance a pretty good chance to bring a decent amount of players to the All-Star game, but it shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone. The Red Sox are the best hitting team in the MLB. They are first in runs (342), hits (610), doubles (152), total bases (1015), RBIs (329), AVG. (.290), OBP (.355), SLG (.482), and OPS (.837). They lead in almost every major offensive statistic so it wouldn’t be a shocker if half of the starting lineup ends up All-Stars this season. At one point during the season, six of the nine starting players were batting over .300 which is ridiculous. These guys are proving that they are a dominant force on the offensive side and they are really trying to make a name for themselves this year.

Now their pitching is another story. Everyone knows that Boston’s weakest part of their game is their pitching. But they do have some solid pitching from David Price, Rick Porcello, and Stephen Wright. If any pitchers from the Sox were going to make the All-Star game, I would have to say it would only be Porcello. He is 7-2 on the season with a 4.04 ERA. But I honestly don’t think Porcello will make it. If he had another win or two and had a lower ERA then yes he probably would make the team.

This time of year is looking very different from where the Sox were last year. The only player from Boston to make the All-Star game was Brock Holt. Now Holt has been hurt for a while with a concussion so we haven’t seen him so he’s out of the question for this year’s game. But to go from one All-Star to potentially four, five, maybe even six All-Stars in one year is a huge improvement.

I’m looking forward to seeing how the voting ballots end up and who leads in each category. I want to see our players at the top of the food chain come July. But its up to YOU Boston fans to cast your vote and get our boys to the All-Star game. So head on over to MLB.com and vote! You can vote a total of 35 times total and five times a day. If I could vote 35 times a day I would but I also have no life so that’s just me.

Happy Voting

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RIP to the GOAT

We all know that Muhammad Ali will go down as the greatest fighter to ever put on a pair of gloves, but he will be remembered for so much more than just his lightning-fast hands and infamous Ali shuffle. Ali transcended sports, and he did it on his own terms. He stood up for what he believed in regardless of consequence, and he did it in a time when men, especially African-American men, dared not challenge authority.

Ali was a three-time world champion, and the best smack-talker to ever pick up a microphone. His opponents were often defeated before they ever stepped in the ring, as Ali had been talking them back into their corner in the weeks leading up to the fight.

Nowadays, every athlete wants to be a celebrity and vice-versa, but Ali truly was both, and boy did he ever know it. I’ll never forget listening to clips of Ali and the late Howard Cosell yucking it up before a fight. Cosell knew what buttons to push and helped to bring us some of the greatest quotes and one-liners ever produced. I’d like to think that the two of them are up in the clouds right now enjoying one another’s company once again.

So RIP to the Muhammad Ali, the greatest of all-time. You turned sport into spectacle. You “shocked the world”.  “Rumble young man, rumble.”

 

Photo courtesy of sportspyder.com

The Boston Bruins fell short of expectations when they failed to reach the Stanley Cup playoffs for a second straight year. Although many recognize the B’s need a shakeup on defense, one superstar has been connected as a possible offseason signing for the Bruins and his name is Steven Stamkos.

It’s been widely speculated for much of the season that Stamkos will leave Tampa Bay, the team that drafted him first overall in 2008, and pursue work in another, more passionate hockey city. Rumors have linked the Bruins as a potential destination for Stamkos, particularly because of his relationship with head coach Claude Julien when they represented Team Canada in previous Olympic Games. However, the likelihood of this happening is slim-to-none. Continue reading Don’t Count On Stamkos Signing In Boston »

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Joe Kelly (Elsa/Getty Images)

The honest truth is that Joe Kelly struggled against the Toronto Blue Jays on Friday night. It was a bit of a strange start for Kelly, because while he did struggle, he also showed some encouraging sings that suggest the potential for future success. Kelly lasted 4.2 innings while allowing 5 runs on 9 hits and 3 walks. Kelly did also strike out 8 Blue Jays in his outing, which provides the basis for confusion. The initial reaction is that Kelly allowed too many runs in too short a time frame, but seeing the high strikeout total gives pause for reconsideration.

Kelly’s return was met with solid optimism, as he had been racking up an impressive strikeout total in Triple-A Pawtucket while on a rehab assignment as well. It is easy to think that a Major League quality pitcher should easily strike out a good number of Triple-A hitters, but that is not a guarantee. It is encouraging to see that Kelly has carried the strikeout ability to the Major League level, because it will allow Kelly to get out of tough situations, especially if he keeps allowing baserunners at a similar rate to his last start.

Continue reading Kelly Struggles Against Blue Jays, Leaves Room For Hope »

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Globe Staff Photo/John Tlumacki

The Red Sox suffered an 8-2 loss last night to the Colorado Rockies. Clay Buchholz got the start on the bump for the Sox and it was a rough one. Buchholz pitched five innings, let up seven hits, six earned runs, and three home runs. He is now 2-5 on the season with a 6.35 ERA.

Once again Buchholz disappoints us with an upsetting performance. The question that I keep asking is, WHY DOES FARRELL KEEP PITCHING HIM? Clay has done nothing that convinces me that he can be a starter in the rotation. He’s been a streaky pitcher his entire career and just isn’t reliable. I hate to admit it, but every time I see Clay on the mound, I have a good feeling were going to lose. I just don’t have any confidence in his ability to pitch anymore. There’s been many times when Clay has had great command and had a flare to his game but we haven’t seen that in years.

Buchholz was booed in Fenway Park last night. That never happens. Boston fans are notorious for sticking by their players through thick and thin. When our own fans boo one of our own, you know something is wrong. It just shows that after 10 years, I think Sox fans are done with Buchholz. I do find this sad however. Being booed by your own fans must be the worst feeling, just a big slap in the face. I hate when that happens because even though Buchholz is doing bad, it’s not like he’s trying to let off three home runs in one game. But at the end of the day it’s business and I’m right there with the frustration of the Sox fans.

Bottom line, I personally think Buchholz needs to go. He’s been with the team for a long time but it just doesn’t seem like its working out anymore. The Sox are looking like serious contenders this year. Their offense is showing that they have some of the best hitters in the entire MLB. But their pitching is the one thing that needs to step up if they want to compete deep into the playoffs. They cannot have anything holding them back so some changes need to be made before it’s too late.

 

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Grant Halverson/Getty Images

Walking through the streets of Boston two nights ago, after yet another Red Sox victory, it was almost easy to forget that New England still has a football team. Perennial success for these two franchises comes as no surprise for most millenials, and most, including myself, do not know how good they have it.

That being said, playoffs are never a given (unless your name is Tom Brady), and with that sentiment comes the inevitable questioning of offseason decisions. Time is the only way to tell whether or not the correct decision has been made, and as New England fans, we have been told to “trust in Belichick”. This is certainly an easy thing to do, as Belichick’s successes speak for themselves.

Belichick’s Patriots would not be the team to beat in the NFL if it were not for the team’s unquestioning work ethic and drive. Below are three players who have the most to prove this season on offense.

Continue reading Three Offensive Question Marks for the Patriots »

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Hanley's Heel Turn

Exactly one year ago today, the Boston Red Sox were 21-25 and on the verge of being swept by the hapless Minnesota Twins. The bats were cold, the pitching was atrocious, and the attitude in the clubhouse was reflective of a team who truly didn’t care. While I managed to convince myself that the Sox could turn it around a few different times over the course of the summer, it was at this point when I knew this was truly a lost season. There is NOTHING worse as a baseball fan than knowing your team is out of the hunt before the dog days of summer even begin. This frustration was magnified by the thought that most Sox players seemed to be content with their shoddy, second-rate performances.

No player better exemplified this disinterested demeanor than Red Sox left fielder Hanley Ramirez. The Hanley/left field experiment was beginning to take shape as a catastrophe of epic proportion. At this point, Hanley’s hot April bat had long since cooled, and he was a walking (not running, because Hanley does NOT run down fly balls) blooper reel in the outfield. The thing that was most frustrating about Hanley in left was his unwillingness to work at his craft. Whispers from the clubhouse that he wasn’t putting the time in were growing increasingly loud in volume. A phantom “hamstring” injury mercifully ended Hanley’s time in left, and the Sox began to look toward next year with a plan in place to try Hanley at first base.

Fast foward 365 days later. The Sox are in first place at 29-17, and Hanley has yet to make an error at first. His bat, while lacking in power, has been a consistent all year long. He’s no longer swinging his helmet off trying to launch a 700 foot homer on every cut, and the results are a much-welcomed increase in doubles and opposite-field hits.

What has Hanley changed you ask? Did he go to a wellness retreat? Did he find God? I’d argue that he truly didn’t change much. What has changed is that the Sox are winning baseball games.

When you’re going good, a guy like Hanley, with his happy-go-lucky, carefree attitude is a welcomed commodity. It’s the sort of personality that can help to keep things light and fun in the clubhouse, something many teams need over the course of a grueling 162 game season.

When you’re going bad, a Hanley Ramirez-type is a cancer. No one wants a whimsical, nonchalant guy in the clubhouse when the team is getting their doors blown off on a nightly basis. It’s similar to when you’re in a bad mood and someone tries to tell you a joke and it makes you even more angry. Get the hell out of here and let me be mad.

Keep doing you, Hanley. As long as Ortiz, Bogaerts, and JBJ keep mashing, I have a feeling this is going to be a fun summer for all of us.

 

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