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Christmas With The Celtics

August 14, 2016 at 9:12pm in Boston, Celtics, Uncategorized
Isaiah Thomas will be looking for another all star season.

Finally, for the first time since 2012 the Boston Celtics are back in action on Christmas day.  They will be traveling to play the New York Knicks, who have added Derrick Rose, Joakim Noah, and Courtney Lee this offseason.

Since The Celtics acquired Isaiah Thomas things have been different.  He has brought a buzz around Boston that has been missing since the big three.  Now, basketball fans want to see Isaiah and These Celtics compete on national television.  Which will finally happen.

All NBA fans know Christmas day is the biggest day of the year for the NBA. It’s the day where superstars, and the best teams compete with the world watching.  It says a lot that The Celtics will be playing. No, this doesn’t mean the rebuild is over.  The rebuild will continue until the next championship comes to Boston.  However, all the “experts’ see what’s brewing in Boston.  We have a young team, a great coach, and now have two all-stars.  Plus, Boston is a sexy pick to challenge the Cavaliers in the eastern conference.

This could and should be a successful season for The Celtics.  The additions of Al Horford, and Gerald Green are great pickups for this team.  Horford is a bona fide all-star, and Gerald Green will be great providing scoring off the bench.  How about Ray Allen?  We all know The Celtics struggle with shooting, so why not give Allen a chance?  I would.

The Celtics had 7 nationally televised games last year.  This season?  They are scheduled for 22.  The Boston Celtics are finally back on the map.


Sox Drop Series To Yankees

August 12, 2016 at 1:22pm in Boston, Red Sox
Farrell's days could be numbered if The Sox don;t turn this around.

Are you kidding me?  This past Yankees/Sox series might have been the most frustrating regular season Red Sox series EVER.  This team has a real problem finishing games, and that will ultimately be the reason this team doesn’t make a deep playoff run.  If they even make the playoffs.  As of now, yes they are a playoff team.  However, do they really look like a playoff team?  The obvious answer is no.

The Red Sox should have won this series pretty easily, but now?  The Yankees are only 3 games back of The Sox in the standings.  The Yankees are not a good team.  They unloaded at the trade deadline by trading, Andrew Miller, Aroldis Chapman, and Carlos Beltran.  New York pretty much waved the white flag at the deadline, and now they have hope.  I’m not saying The Yankees are a threat in the division or the wild card.  The point is these are the games you have to win when you’re fighting for a playoff spot.

The Red Sox had a lead going into the 7th inning in all 3 games of the series.  They lost two of those games.  The one game they did win, they walked the bases loaded in the ninth.  This Red Sox bullpen is putrid.  It seems like they can’t get anyone out, especially when there are guys on base.  It seems like this pitching staff has no guts.  They can’t get the big strikeout when the pressures on, it seems like they get tight and timid.

This series wasn’t all the pitching staffs fault.  What happen to the offense?  Just about a month ago they were crushing the baseball.  Now?  They have 2 hits in their last 29 attempts with the bases loaded.  This offense is much to talented to go into slumps like this.  Speaking of slumps, why does it seem the whole team goes in one giant slump at the same time?  It seems like this team is lacking confidence right now.  They could really use a benches clearing brawl to wake them up, or you know they could fire the manager.

They start a 3 game series with Arizona tonight, it’s safe to say sweeping The Diamondbacks is a must.  Especially with the tough road games on the horizon.

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

If anyone from New England stayed up till one in the morning to watch the Red Sox lose six out of eleven games on the West Coast, then…sorry. However, you were not alone, and you were also not alone if you felt frustration and anxiety as the Sox quietly ducked out of a playoff spot for the first time since April.

Now that all is said and done, the Red Sox sit three games out of first place in the AL East and a half game behind the Deroit Tigers for the second wild-card spot.

Opposite-coast games are tough for any team, but when you pair the exhaustion of eleven games in eleven nights-after a six hour flight from Boston, in which three different ballparks were visited-and, incredibly, the fact that the Sox have had to endure 43 games in 44 days-their toil is understandable.

The one off-day the Red Sox get in the midst of their mind-bending stretch comes today-and they get to relax on yet another long flight, this time back to Boston to take on the Yankees the next night. The six-game homestand is much needed, as the Sox will soon be on the road again for another 11 games, in four cities.

A few months ago, the entire city of Boston seemed confident in the Red Sox and their playoff chances. Now, with a little less than two months to go, hope is dwindling. If the Red Sox can manage to take four or five of six from the Yankees and Dbacks-a highly achievable goal, temperaments will improve, but the outlook after their next eleven game set on the road remains to be seen.

A few more thoughts…1. Why can David Price not get to ten wins? Who pitches for the Sox in a one-game playoff? 2. A-Rod finally stepping away from the diamond. One more series at Fenway? 3. ESPN can’t help but make sure that JBJ is always in the headlines as a trade candidate in the offseason. 4. Benintendi worth the wait so far.

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