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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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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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Sox Cruise to 6th straight Win

August 18, 2016 at 12:42pm in Boston, Red Sox, Top Story

bettsAfter last night’s 8-1 win over the Orioles, the Red Sox seem to be on fire. This was their 6th straight win and they have now moved into the top spot in the wildcard. They are now only one game behind Toronto for first place in the division. One of the many reasons the Sox are playing so well is star outfielder, Mookie Betts.  Betts is playing unbelievable right now and definitely should be in discussion for MVP right now. Since August, he has batted .403, with seven homeruns and 20 RBI’s. He had a three home-run game against Arizona on the 14th and a two home-run game against the Orioles on the 16th. The three home-run game was Bett’s second time doing that this season and the first time a Red Sox player has done that since the great Ted Williams. I know that Jose Altuve is having an amazing year, batting .364 for the Astros, but if the Sox make the playoffs and the Astro’s don’t than Betts should hands down get the MVP.

The Red Sox starting pitching has also been a big factor why they have won 6th straight games. In the past seven days the Sox starting pitching has only let up a total of eleven runs. Rick Porcello picked up his 16th win on Sunday, and all season long has given the Sox a pitcher they can rely on. If Porcello keeps pitching as well as he has, he will definitely be in the discussion for Cy young. Rodriguez has also been a nice surprise lately. In the month of August he has an ERA of 2.08. It really seems like he is turning around his season. Unfortunately, on Tuesday, while pitching a no hitter through four innings he had to come out of the game due to injury. Hopefully, this is just something minor and continues to pitch well for the rest of the season.

The Sox have 43 games left and a three game lead in the Wild card standings so as of right now they are in a good position to make the playoffs. I believe that they will and if they don’t I will consider this season a disappointment. Go sox!

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1. Red Sox:

* What happened to the Fenway crowd – they get more excited for Sweet Caroline than Mookie? 3 dingers – no curtain call / no standing for his 5th at bat?

* A Holt sandwich – Holt was 0-6 – while Pedroia and Betts combined for 9-12 / 10 RBI

* The two starting pitchers made a combined $586,666 Sunday ($24mm and $20mm)

* Team saved John Farrell’s job this weekend

* Saw two 1975 flashbacks – Holt made a play from the hole set his foot and threw an over the top strike to first like the Rooster used to. Bennitendi on one of his hits and follow through looked just like Fred Lynn – but the fans didn’t care they were excited to see the guy on stilts outside on Lansdown Street

* Bennitendi has five multi hit games in his first ten – but good news for the Red Sox fans – Wally was dancing between the innings

* I bet you $100 that John Farrell ran Steve Wright to prove he is smart as Joe Maddon

* Show the video of Brock Holt running out the pop up Saturday and ending up on second when it was dropped leading to a two run inning – fans missed it they were checking out which side Gary Striewski parted his hair Continue reading Connelly’s Top Ten: Pink Hats Don’t Know Game, Mookie Insane, Rio and Duck »

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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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