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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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UNITED STATES - SEPTEMBER 29:  From the book New York Exposed. Willie Mays' famous eighth inning catch going away from home plate in the first game of the 1954 World SEries between the New York Giants and the Cleveland Indians.  (Photo by Frank Hurley/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)

1. Red Sox:

* John Farrell has no feel for his starters – either takes them out too early or too late –
* Ortiz is starting to think about career extra base hit numbers – saw him hustle out two doubles this week
* Top four hitters in the line up are hitting: .310 / .305 / .314 / .321
* 2:32 on a getaway day
* Take the team away from Tampa – total attendance 45,478 for the SERIES (four games)

2. Patriots:

* Typical sports radio trying to stir something up about Brady and Belichick feud. Continue reading Connelly’s Top Ten: Sox Managers Worse Than Farrell, Loaded 1966 All-Star Team, Brady-Belichick’s ‘Feud’ »

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It’s still two months until the beginning of the NBA season, but while teams and players are making plans for the preseason, it’s also a good time for handicappers to start lining up their online sports bookmakers for the upcoming season. With plenty of free bets in the offering, a relationship with a couple of new online sports bookmakers creates a great way to boost one’s bankroll.

In news from the Boston Celtics camp, the team has made giant strides in the off-season. The task at hand was bringing a little more scoring depth to the front line in anticipation of an all out war with the NBA defending Champion Cleveland Cavaliers, along with what should be much improved Chicago Bulls, New York Knicks and Indiana Pacers teams. Continue reading NBA Preview: 2016-2017 Boston Celtics »

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1. Red Sox:

* Amazing Ortiz’s strikeout to BB numbers – 63 to 65

* Leon has 22 extra base hits in 145 at bats – project that over 600 at bats – that’s 93

* Leon has grounded into one double play in 141 at bats / Ortiz 18 in 398 at bats or one every 22 at bats

* John Farrell didn’t just rob the Red Sox of their ace by pinch running a pitcher who hasn’t run the bases in a decade – BUT he also stole from him a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to go from Pawtucket to Cy Young winner and probably make a million dollars

* Other than Price, Red Sox won’t have a pitcher strike out 200 this year

2. Olympics:

* I don’t think you drape yourself in flag if you don’t win gold

* Donald Trump – deport Lochte

* Remember when boxing was the premier sport – 1976 in Montreal was electrifying

* The color analyst for track and field is embarrassingly bad

* Basketball was boring / marathon was interesting with Alberto Salazar’s pupil grabbing bronze

3. Pedro insane stuff in 2000:

* Number three hitters for the year hit .118

* When he had hitters in an 0-2 count – he struck out 116 and walked ZERO

* Hitters were 0 for 6 with the bases loaded

* In the 9th inning – struck out 6 walked ZERO / average against .143

* Against Tampa – 36 K to 1 BB  (36.00)

* From July 23rd to Sept 26th – 112 K to 8 BB (14.00)

4. Porcello run for Cy Young:

American League rankings on categories:

ERA…….10th……..3.22

WHIP……4th……..1.04

Avg Against..11th….232

5. Around the MLB:

* Average Attendance in playoff bound Cleveland 19,553

* Game times on Saturday – 11 of 15 games over 2:50

* Size of two Astros from Saturday Altuve and Kemp both listed at 5’6” (on their tiptoes)

* Yankees since getting rid of all of their stars 11-8

6. Mount Rushmore of third basemen:

Schmidt, Brett, Beltre, Boggs

7. Amazing Stats:

Eck 1990 vs. Zach Britton 2016

Eck – 1990…………. 4-2 with 48 saves / 73 K to 5 BB / 0.61 ERA / 0.61 WHIP

Britton – 2016 pace – 3-1 with 50 saves / 79 K to 21 BB / 0.54 ERA / 0.81 WHIP

8. Old School:

Eddie Matthews of the Braves played in all three cities in franchise history (about.com):

Boston………..145 games –  1 season / .242 avg / 25 HR – 58 RBI

Milwaukee……1,944 games – 13 seasons / .280 avg / 452 HR – 1277 RBI

Atlanta………..156 games – 1 season / .250 avg / 16 HR – 53 RBI

9. A Little Bit Outside:

Great to hear baseball is thinking about some radical changes – my suggestions

* How about no catcher’s visits

* Pitch clock necessity

* No warm up pitches out of bullpen

* Reduce time between innings – less commercials – 60 seconds

* Second manager’s visit in a game – must pull pitcher

* Intentional walk – straight down

* Don’t need to replace baseballs every third pitch

* One replay per team a game

* No throwing the ball around

* Catchers pinch run for with two outs

* Each visit to the mound can not exceed 30 seconds

* Managers not allowed to argue calls on field

* Move bullpens closer to mound

* With communications – coaches call to bullpen to change pitcher

* Crazy suggestion – foul ball with two stirkes is an out

10. Randomocity:

* Altuve and Betts going for MVP – both second basemen under 5’10”

* Can you believe Gillette Stadium is 14 years old / TD Garden is 21 years old

* How did Freddie Prinze walk off the mound with a no hitter in Summer Catch?

* Revolution have won 6 of 25 matches

* Trump went Bobby Kennedy this week, going to Milwaukee and New Orleans – next you know he’ll be quoting Aeschylus

* Convicted – no!

* Swordfish – not good this summer

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Tropicana Field (MLB Photo)

When ESPN mentioned that the Red Sox would be playing three baseball games in three nights in three different cities, I had to whip out a Red Sox schedule because I could not believe how MLB could pull that one off. Mostly, I felt for the Sox themselves and how they must have been feeling. As daunting as it seemed, the forecast only got worse as the Red Sox had to play a one o’ clock game in Detroit after a night game in Baltimore, leaving the Sox with four cities in six days.

The sweep preceding this awful road trip was a good morale boost for the streaky Sox, who were not having a great month up to that point. When the Diamondbacks came to town, I believed the Sox would take two out of three, but they played great and swept Arizona out of the stadium. The next night, in Cleveland, Drew Pomeranz (finally) pitched a gem, and gave the Red Sox their fourth win in a row, and his first in a Boston uniform. All was well so far, but the next two nights, the Orioles loomed large.

Continue reading Sox Go 5-2 On Most Recent Road Trip; 4 Game Set in Tampa Upcoming »

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Are The Sox Hitting Their Stride?

August 21, 2016 at 2:05pm in Boston, Red Sox
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The Boston Red Sox have won 9 of their last 12 games.  With 5 of those wins coming on the road against some of the American league’s best, Cleveland, Baltimore, and Detroit.  This, so far successful road trip is no fluke.  From pitching, to hitting, to defense this Red Sox team is hot right now.  I usually don’t like to compare teams, however, this team has a 2004 feel to it.  I know every Red Sox fan remembers that team, the camaraderie, the pitching towards the end of the season, and the most similarity between the two teams is how each team played, and has played towards the end of the season.

Over this road trip, The Sox starters have a combined ERA of 1.51.  It doesn’t matter who’s on the mound right now, from Price, Porcello, Pomeranz, and even Clay Buchholz, they are all producing.  Most impressive all the starters are able lately to go deeper in the game, which really helps with a bullpen as putrid as The Sox pen.  With these being the dog days of summer and another long road trip on the horizon, The starters have to continue to dominate the way they have been.

The offense hasn’t been too shabby over this stretch.  Betts and Ortiz have been hot of late, and with constant contributing from Sandy Leon, Dustin Pedroia, and Hanley Ramirez this offense isn’t showing any signs of slowing up.  It would be nice to see Xander get going, his last two games he has had two hit in each game, which is a good sign.  As well as the starters have been pitching they could go south very fast, and if or when that happens it will be up to the offense to carry the load.

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1. Red Sox:

* John Farrell does it again – pushes wrong button – how many losses have been a function of his decision making

* Look how many pitchers come to Boston to play for the pitching “guru” Farrell and actually get worse – Price, Kelley, Pomeranz

* Dombrowski gave up gems for the following bullpen arms – Carson Smith, Kimbrel, Abad, Ziegler

* Betts average since All Star game .359 / Bogaerts .262

* Betts has 19 stolen bases – you’re going to see him running more as he tries for MVP and 30 – 30 year

*By the way Chase Utley got two curtain calls in Philly the other night for two home runs (by the way he plays for Dodgers)

* In Buchholz’s nine seasons that he left spring training in the starting rotation – he had more than 20 starts three times

* Dombrowski has made some questionable moves this season but the three moves he will regret the most – not signing Betts, Bogaerts and Bradley last winter

* Give Price $31mm but you can’t give Rich Hill $6mm Continue reading Connelly’s Top Ten: Farrell Does it Again, Tazawa meet John Wasdin, Brady a Good Draft Pick »

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