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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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1. Red Sox pitchers rank by starts:

* Wright – team record during starts – 13-7

* Price – team record during starts – 11-12 * Porcello – team record during starts – 16-6

2. Draft position of the Patriots leading passer, rusher and receiver during Super Bowl seasons:

2014 –   199 /  undrafted / 42 Continue reading Connelly’s Top Ten: Top Sports Moments, Ruben Kinkaid and Celtic Scoring »

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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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Dustin Pedroia plays the hero in LA (Getty Images)

Heading into the month of August, it appeared as though the Sox had lost their swagger. They took a beating from the surging Tigers, and they were on the verge of being stomped out by the under-performing, last place Angels. All day long, the offense was stagnant to say the least. Steven Wright, who has been a shell of the pitcher we came to love earlier this season, did his best to work his way in and out of trouble throughout the entire afternoon. But his tightrope act eventually succeeded three runs to an Angels offense that should have jumped all over the knuckleballer much earlier in the game. As the innings painfully kept rolling along, the Sox offense did their best to ensure that the Angels would walk away with a 3-1 series victory.

That was until Dustin Pedroia came to the plate with two on and two out in the top of the ninth inning. Pedey took a high, first pitch fastball from Houston Street that was right in his wheelhouse. It appeared as though he’d missed his pitch, but Street went right back to the well with another high heater, and the former AL MVP jumped all over it and sent it over the center field wall to put the Sox up 4-3. For good measure, Xander Bogaerts followed up Pedroia’s heroics with a yabo of his own, and the Sox were able to close out a 5-3 victory in a game that they had no business winning in the first place.

These are the kinds of games that playoff caliber teams, and moreover, championship caliber teams find ways to win. There’s no telling if this Sox team has the resolve to be either of those just yet, but it’s certainly a step in the right direction. Lord knows the Orioles and Jays aren’t going anywhere anytime soon.

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1. Red Sox:

* That’s as exciting as it gets – gotta be longest ball Pedroia has hit

* I know that they won but insane that Leon didn’t pinch hit for Hannigan – they have a 227-point differential in average

* Bogaerts has as good as balance as anyone I’ve seen other than Manny

* The Bogaerts, Bradley, Betts trio is the best young group since Fisk, Evans, Lynn, Rice

* Buchholz last appearance as a Red Sox? Three shutout innings and the win

* That win is up there with the Mother’s Day comeback and the Mugsy Allenson walk off bunt

* I love the energy I saw – Bogaerts leading the charge – even Hanley into it Continue reading Connelly’s Top Ten: Deja Vu in Anaheim, Germans Blowing up Jersey, Patriot Fanatics »

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Brad Marchand (Bleacherreport.com)

Summertime isn’t the most exciting time as far as hockey rumors go, especially when the biggest news surrounding the Bruins roster is waiting for unrestricted free-agent and Hobey Baker winner Jimmy Vesey to decide which team he’ll play for next season. However, Brad Marchand has recently made headlines not for his on ice antics, rather what his next contract will look like as a professional hockey player. Marchand is entering the final year of a four-year $18 million dollar deal and will be seeking a significant raise after coming off of a career year in which he scored 37 goals and 60 points.

It’s recently been reported that Marchand is looking for a 7×7 deal, meaning he wants seven years at seven million per, which would end up costing the B’s a total of $49 million. Granted he receives this contract, Marchand will be paid among the likes of teammates David Krejci and Tuukka Rask as well as the Sedin twins and St. Louis Blues sniper Vladimir Tarasenko. Again, if he ends up getting this contract, it will put somewhat of a strain on the B’s cap space and will most likely force Don Sweeney to trade an impact player since David Pastrnak and Ryan Spooner will also be due for new deals after next year.

Although Marchand did prove to the entire NHL he was a dangerous scorer last year, it was his only season in which he scored more than 30 goals. Guys that have contracts in the seven million dollar range are either proven stars or franchise altering type of players. It doesn’t seem like Marchand is in that category just yet since last year was his breakout season, so it might be a better idea to wait and see if he repeats his high scoring pace next season and then sign him in the offseason. Not only would this give Sweeney more time to figure out what to do with all these contracts, it would also give Marchand the opportunity to prove he deserves a top-tier contract. The worst thing that could happen would be to lock him up long-term now and then find out he isn’t worth the dollars and term they are paying him. Waiting an extra season seems like the most logical choice in this case since he hasn’t completely shaken the agitator/borderline-dirty player mantra or cemented his place as a consistent scorer year after year.

The other option that hasn’t been floated around at all is trading Marchand now that his value is at an all time high. Even though this doesn’t make much sense right now, if Marchand proves he isn’t the goal scorer everyone thought, it would be harder to get the same type of players in return if the B’s did decide to trade him later on. While it’s hard to justify this now, it would look like a great move for Sweeney if some other team is paying seven million dollars for a 20-25 goal scorer with a wild side.

Obviously there are a lot of factors that come into play in a situation like this, but at a time where cap space is king and goal scorers come and go, it would be wise for the Bruins to hold off on signing Marchand right now and let him control his own destiny with his play next season. It’s been repeated at nauseum that the B’s finally escaped cap hell and inking Marchand now would bring them right back where they started, so Sweeney should show some patience and let Marchy show he’s grown from a pest to a leader.

 

 

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