Sunday, July 31, 2011

Red Sox Acquire SP Erik Bedard.



The Red Sox have acquired starting pitcher Erik Bedard from the Seattle Mariners.

VIA RedSox.com:
The Red Sox traded four Minor Leaguers in the deal -- three of whom -- catcher Tim Federowicz, pitcher Stephen Fife and righty Juan Rodriguez -- went to the Dodgers for outfielder Trayvon Robinson. The Red Sox then dealt Robinson and outfielder Chih-Hsien Chiang to the Mariners to complete the exchange for Bedard. Boston also acquired Minor League reliever Josh Fields, a right-hander, from the Mariners in the deal.

Before going on the DL, Bedard had an ERA of 3.00 in 15 starts. His record of 4-6 may not have shown, but he was pitching very well.

A lot of fans may be familiar with Bedard from his time in Baltimore, where from '04-'07 he had a 3.82 ERA and somehow managed to win 40 games. Despite posting decent numbers with a horrible team he didn't exactly show up big against top competition. In his career at Fenway Park Bedard is 2-3 in 6 games with a 6.99 ERA. That career ERA in Boston is 2nd worst to only to his career Angel's Stadium... where his ERA climbed to 7.08.

Another issue with Erik is the fact that his fire has often been called into question. He's developed a reputation as a guy who may not really love playing baseball. Many believed this to be so true that it was rumored he may blow his first game off the DL as a way to kill off trade interest and stay with The Mariners, a team in the midst of maybe the worst losing streak in MLB history, just so he wouldn't have to leave his comfortable surroundings in Seattle. If these whispers seem to creep up in Boston this could end up getting ugly fast. For some reason guys that don't care about winning aren't exactly who you want to pick up for a Playoff push.

Despite all the negative numbers and rumors I actually consider this a smart trade. Bedard can be a decent pitcher who should give Boston quality innings, he has experience in the AL East, and his 3.82 ERA should be good enough to pile up a few wins with The Red Sox in Fenway Park.

Who knows? Maybe he pitches with more confidence and can become a quality addition. But playing under a pressure he's never experienced will weigh on him far too much. This one could really go either way.



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Rondo Shows Up At Patriots TC.






via @RealPatriots

Friday, July 29, 2011

Chad Ochocinco Biography.



Released in 2006.

First Round Of Cuts For Patriots



The Patriots have cut LB Tully Banta-Cain, CB Tony Carter, TE Alge Crumpler, OL Nick Kaczur, DL Marcus Stroud, DL Ty Warren and rookie free agent Ryan Coulson.

This sends a message to me that Belichick is continuing on the youth movement started last season. Expect to see quite a bit from rookies Nate Solder (T), and Lee Smith (TE). With the release of Warren and veteran Marcus Stroud I'd be looking for more time from either 3rd year DT Myron Pryor, 2nd year undrafted DT Kyle Love, or most likely 2nd year 7th round pick Brandon Deaderick... who not only impressed with his 2 sacks but his killer flat top.

Another scenario could be another signing, usually I wouldn't expect it, but with the developments in the past 2 days... I'd expect basically anything.


Here's Ty Warren's Statement

“I appreciate the Pats through the years,” Warren told the Herald. “They’re doing some things defensively and choose to go in a different direction. I thank the Krafts for the opportunity and drafting me in 2003. It was a pleasure. I will be moving on to bigger and better things. We are sorting out and will look forward to wearing a contending NFL team jersey this fall.”




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Sox Going Hard After Ubaldo.



Reports are coming in that The Red Sox are in the running as finalists to acquire Ubaldo Jiminez, The 27 year old Dominican right hander won 19 Games last year on a 2.88 ERA. This season has been a step back for Jiminez but he's still been a quality pitcher. Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal reported that according to get him Boston would have to give up Kyle Weiland and Scott Middlebrooks, a Double A 1B with power potential.

At first I was weary of giving up any top prospects at this year's deadline. But with the injury to Clay Buccholtz starting to look more and more serious, i've adjusted my feelings. With Weiland's MLB ERA at over 8 in two career starts, this is a kid that has yet to show what he has to offer. Middlebrooks on the other hand is a promising prospect, but with Adrian Gonzalez locked up long term at First Base I'd say he too is expendable.

In order to keep this unbelievable season from ending up a huge waste of time, Boston GM Theo Epstein has to acquire more starting pitching to keep Lackey from being a top 3 starter. Other reports say that Seattle's Erik Bedard, but with his reputation as a guy who just doesn't seem to rise to the occasion... I'd rather the young flamethrower who was at one point the best pitcher in baseball.




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Here He Is.



First picture of Chad and Tom Brady on practice field outside Gillette.

Chad and Albert Haynesworth won't be able to have contact practice until August 4th, but the new guys will be able to watch practice until then.

Credit to http://twitter.com/rlevison6 for the picture.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Chad Ocho Cinco To The Pats.




I don't want to say I called it... but you can check the facts.

New England has acquired Chad in return for two draft picks (one this season one next season). Ocho Cinco was scheduled to make 6.35 Million Dollars this season, but has most likely restructured his contract as the Patriots requested.

The artist formerly known has Chad Johnson has over 1,000 yards receiving in 7 out of his 10 seasons in the NFL. Last year, with a battered and beaten Carson Palmer as his QB, Chad had 67 receptions, 4 TDs, and 831 yards. I guarantee two out of those three stats go up with Tom Brady and Bill Belichick.



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Monday, July 25, 2011

Dustin Pedroia: The Streak Continues



Dustin Pedroia has now hit in the past 21 games. Over the streak he's hitting .384 with 10 walks, 16 RBI's and 7 HR's. After struggling earlier in the year, The Laser Show has now reached his stride and appears to once again be an MVP Candidate... along with his First Baseman and Center Fielder.

If you compare Dustin's statistics right now to his '08 stats up to the same point, there are some numbers that compare quite well. Pedroia's .321 AVG in '08 is easily better than his .301 this season. He has 50 RBI's right now compared to his 47 back in his MVP season. Pedroia has twice as many steals so far with 20. Then, despite the .020 drop in average, The Laser Show is actually slugging .009 points higher at .470.

It would seem that come the end of the season Pedroia should defenitely be involved in MVP talks once again, especially since the only major drop has been in average... which, by the way, is .317 since May 1st. Just .009 points lower than The Year Of MV-Pedroia. Obviously the game is about wins and losses, but there is no sport like Baseball when it comes to individual statistics' effect on team wins. With Boston's 1, 2, and 3 hitters in serious contention for that big individual trophy, how could the team not be in serious contention for the big team one?

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Ocho Cinco To The Patriots?



Last season The Patriots lost to The New York Jets because their receivers couldn't get open before the pass rush reached Tom Brady. Branch and Welker are excellent receivers and excellent route runners, but they could be even more effective if they were playing along side another great receiver. Enter: Chad Ocho Cinco.

Chad is a guy who is capable of running any route in the book, he can go deep, work the slot, and can get behind the screens. While Randy Moss would command double teams because of his ability to "take the top off the defense", Ocho is a guy who's command attention because of his quick feet, simply put Ocho breaks defenders ankles. In my opinion Chad could come over to the Patriots and succeed in the same system that allowed New England to score an NFL best, 32 Points Per Game.

Before the lockout Ocho fed into the idea in order to create a buzz around his possible movement VIA Twitter (obviously).

Ocho Cinco:
"PePe and Bill #EPIC"


Then there was this:





With the football operations looking to start up again, news of Ocho's trade requests, Cincinnati's refusal, and other teams interest in the superstar will start to heat up.

A couple months ago Chad was completely left off of the NFL's Top 100 Players, If New England could get #85 they could be getting a man with something to prove... and those are the type of players who thrive in this environment.

This could get really interesting...




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Is Beltran A Realistic Option?


According to multiple sources the battle for Carlos Beltran has two teams who have been far more aggressive than the rest. It's a two team race between Philadelphia and Boston. The two teams who most have scheduled to play for the World Series in October.

Other rumors claim that The Mets are willing to pay at least part, if not all, of Beltran's salary for this season. Beltran's contract has him making 20 Million on the year, but technically he's only owed about 6 Million more for the remainder of this season. But with the annually high payrolls of both The Phillies and Red Sox, who lands the 34 year old Switch Hitter could most likely come down to who has the better prospects.

Both teams have top of the line farm systems, but after the Adrian Gonzalez trade Boston only has 3 Top 100 Prospects, and zero in the top 50. Philadelphia on the other hand have 4 Top 100 guys, 2 in the Top 50, and 1 in the Top 10. No one expects Philadelphia to deal a top of the line prospect like Dominick Brown for a player who most likely isn't long term. And on the other side even though Boston's Jose Iglesias is ranked just 52nd by BaseballAmerica, The Red Sox have high expectations for the young Short Stop and feel his Gold Glove potential could finally stop their revolving door at SS.

Maybe Boston could get it done with just low level prospects who could still fill rolls. Only the Mets know who they'd be willing to take, only the Sox and Phillies know who they'd be willing to give up. What is it worth to a WS Contender to add a switch hitting right fielder, with center field experience, who's hitting .294, with 30 doubles, and 14 HR's? Obviously that sounds like something who'd give up quite a bit to acquire... but then you add that this guy will most likely be testing Free Agency, and the face that he's 34 with some past injury problems.

JD Drew isn't enough in right field for the Boston Red Sox. Josh Reddick is a nice young player who is already an upgrade, but if you could add Beltran even just for this postseason it could be the difference between your third Championship of the decade, and another disappointing postseason.




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Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Patriots D': Improvement Without Addition.


Like any young group the New England Patriots' defense in 2011 had it's ups and downs. Because of injuries to Ty Warren and Leigh Bodden many rookies were thrown into the fire earlier than Belichick probably planned. Despite giving up the 3rd most passing yards in the NFL, New England's young group clearly have serious potential. By the season's end they looked like a polished group who had grown to play together.

Along with allowing over 4,000 passing yards, the Pats allowed the 3rd most 1st Downs in the NFL. On the other hand New England was 11th best in the league at stopping the run, and were 2nd best in the league when it came to forcing turnovers.

Even though I wouldn't expect too many big signings at the defensive end, there will still be some additions. Veteran CB Leigh Bodden, and DT Ty Warren will bring more leadership to a group filled with youth. Rookie CB Ras-I Dowling will bring size rarely seen in NFL Cornerbacks. Veteran signing Marcus Stroud will most likely fill in as the 4th DT in the 3-4, but the 6'6" veteran is a three time Pro Bowler who has only missed 2 games in the past 3 years.

The other factor for improvement will be the continued growth of players already here. Devin McCourty looks to be special, Jerod Mayo could very well turn into a top 5 MLB, Patrick Chung is a hard hitting safety who is getting better and better in coverage, Jermaine Cunningham showed some pass rush potential, and 2nd year linebacker Brandon Spikes showed ball hawking skills in his rookie year that are rarely seen that quick in a players development.

With defensive captain Vince Wilfork still being that steady force there is no doubt that 2nd year players will continue to take steps forward, new rookies will be shown the Patriot way, and high character guys like Mayo will continue to grow into leaders. This Patriot defense will be better, but it won't be because Robert Kraft breaks the bank. It will be because Belichick has drafted quality football players for a system that has been proven time and time again.



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It's Josh Reddick's Time.



June 19 to July 18 Josh Reddick hit .339, with 4 HR's, an OPS of 1.069, and 21 hits in 22 games.

J.D. Drew over the same timeline looked much different. Drew hit .211, with 0 HR's, and an OPS of just .549.

If you listen to Sports Radio you won't hear many people defending Francona's decision to stick with the veteran, and why would you? CSNNE's Sean McAdam's reported that Drew had emotionally "checked out" weeks ago. Regardless of who was better up until now it hasn't really mattered, with Carl Crawford on the DL Boston had to work a platoon style outfield to fill in. But now Crawford is back and it's time to pull away from NY in the 2nd half. It's time to make the hard decisions.

Terry Francona, like Bruin's coach Claude Julien, is known for his loyalty to his veteran's. Sometimes this can turn out to be a good thing: See David Ortiz. On other occasions he's merely prolonging the inevitable, as was the case in 2007 between Center Fielder Coco Crisp and rookie fan favorite Jacoby Ellsbury. That season Francona didn't make the switch until after the first round of the Playoffs, from then on Jacoby was the clear cut everyday Center Fielder.

Hopefully Tito doesn't take until October to make his decision this year, the difference between 35 year old Drew and 24 year old Reddick could just be the difference between 1st and 2nd place in the AL East. And as any seasoned Red Sox fan knows... sometimes that difference makes all the difference.

With Ortiz currently serving a suspension, Francona's decision has been pushed off once again. But once 8 out of the 9 of the everyday starters are locked in, and it comes down to who's the everyday Right Fielder... the obvious choice has to be made, and barring a trade at the deadline that choice is Josh Reddick.



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Monday, July 18, 2011

The Effects Of The Perfect Storm's Return.


Carl Crawford will start at Left Field in his first game since June 17th when he strained a hamstring. Crawford played in 2 rehab games with Pawtucket. He went 1-5 in about 10 Innings of play.

After a rough first half of the season where Crawford struggled with a new team, unbelievable hype, and an unclear spot in the lineup, Carl then started to show what everyone wanted to see as CC went on to hit .295 from May 1st to June 17th, before popping his hamstring and missing a month.

Carl will now look to build on what he did in May and June, without letting the problems of April continue to weigh on him.

No word yet on where Carl will hit with the suspension of Ortiz, but with the everyone together he has looked best in the 6th spot behind Big Papi. With Carl living up to potential Boston will easily have the best lineup in baseball, especially since the return of Crawford will put pressure on Francona to choose an everyday Right Fielder. Without his everyday Left Fielder Tito has been platooning 2/3 of his outfield between McDonald, Drew, and 24 year old Josh Reddick.

With Crawford back to health, and Drew's career deep into it's twilight, it's clearly time for 24 year old Josh Reddick to take over full time to solidify the lineup. The Red Sox lineup by October should look as follows:

CF: Ellsbury (Lefty)
2B: Pedroia (Righty)
3B: Gonzalez (Lefty)
1B: Youkilis (Righty)
DH: Ortiz (Lefty)
LF: Crawford (Lefty)
RF: Saltalamacchia (Switch)
C: Reddick (Lefty)
SS: Scutaro (Righty)





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Sunday, July 17, 2011

Laser Show Triggered By All-Star "Snub"?



Since July 3rd when the All-Star Teams were announced Dustin Pedroia appears to have awakened. Whether he's insulted, getting fully healthy, or just hitting his groove... The Laser Show has started up. In those 8 games The Former MVP is hitting .389, has reached in every game, his OPS is a crazy 1.352, and he has 5 Home Runs. Dustin had only 7 HRs in the previous 79 games.

The recent spike in production has also boosted his season stats right up to the level everyone is used to. After hitting .240 thought the first 2 months of the season, Dustin is now up to to .289.

Is it a coincidence that The Red Sox are once again a well oiled machine, despite key injuries to Jon Lester, Clay Buchholz, and Carl Crawford? I don't think so. Boston is currently 1st in The American League, and with Dustin Pedroia at full force they have the best 1, 2, 3 in The MLB... but wait until this lineup regains it's health and picks up another bat at the deadline. Barring even more injuries this team looks to have a date with destiny.




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Sunday, July 10, 2011

Jon Lester Replaces Hernandez As All-Star



Jon Lester will be replacing Felix Hernandez on the 2011 American League roster in Arizona. Because Lester is currently on the DL he won't actually pitch. Jon will attend the game with full honors but will be actually replaced by Toronto's Ricky Romero.

This is Jon Lester's 2nd straight All-Star Selection, and many feel that he shouldn't have been left out in the first place. The big lefty is currently 10-4 on the season with a 3.31 ERA and 110 Strikeouts in 18 starts.

Lester will join teammates Jacoby Ellsbury, Adrian Gonzalez, Kevin Youkilis, David Ortiz, and Josh Beckett on the roster.

Where Does Papi Rank In Red Sox History?



The Boston Red Sox have had their fair share of sluggers over their long history. They've had Foxx, Yaz, Rice, Manny, Mo, and of course the kid who would come to be the Greatest Hitter Who Ever Lived. But where in those ranking is David Ortiz? How does he stack up?

If you were to compare trophy collections you'd find that Ortiz get's pushed aside a bit. Vaughn, Rice, Foxx, and Yaz all won an MVP. Ted Williams won 2 of them and should have won 3. Ted and Carl both won the triple crown. Then Manny Ramirez won the '07 World Series MVP. The only real award David Ortiz has, outside of his rings, is his 2004 ALCS MVP Award and I doubt Ortiz would trade it for anything.

Now if your going to look at raw numbers, David Ortiz' name comes after very few. In the All-Time Red Sox ranks, David Ortiz is ranked 4th in Slugging Percentage and On Base Plus Slugging, both lists read: Williams, Foxx, Ramirez, Ortiz. Three of those guys are considered the greatest hitters of their generations, then the 4th is David.

It's safe to say that the top 4 Sluggers in Red Sox History are ranked with Williams at the top, followed by Jim Foxx, then either Manny Ramirez or David Ortiz. Williams and Foxx of course never won in Boston, Ortiz and Ramirez both won twice... together.

What is more in deciding that 3rd position? Is it Ramirez's gaudy totals, or is it Ortiz's unforgettable heroics? If this were the Yankees and all these players had a shameful amount of Championships I'd have to put Manny Ramirez, who is undoubtedly one of the best right handed hitters to ever play the game. But the only problem is that this is the Boston Red Sox, the team that went 86 years in between World Series Titles, and because of that the nod must go to David Ortiz. Of course Manny played a huge part in those two Championships, but the curse was broken in the series against The Bronx Bombers and in 2004 David Ortiz was a powerhouse.

With David Ortiz's place in Red Sox History cemented he'll continue to rake his way up the Red Sox leader boards. Papi is 71 Homers behind Dwight Evans and it took him 5,000 PA's less to get there. He's 42 Doubles behind Jim Rice and he did it in
over 3,000 less PA's. Oh and Ortiz is 2 Championships behind Harry Hooper's 4 with Boston currently atop the American League East.




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Saturday, July 9, 2011

Kevin Youkilis Named To '11 All-Star Team.



On Friday Red Sox Third Baseman Kevin Youkilis was named as a late addition to the 2011 All-Star Team in Arizona. Youk will join teammated David Ortiz, Jacoby Ellsbury, Adrian Gonzalez, and Josh Beckett at the event. Kevin was inserted because of an injury to Yankee's 3B Alex Rodriguez. Former teammate Adrian Beltre will get the start for The AL.

This will be Kevin Youkilis' 3rd All-Star Selection, and first selection as a 3rd baseman. Youkilis is hitting .276 on the season, but .300 since May 1st.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Bruins Sort Of Trade For Joe Corvo.



The Bruins have traded a 2012 4th round pick to the Carolina Hurricanes in return for 33 year old defenseman Joe Corvo. Corvo has has 5 seasons with between 37 and 48 points, including last years' 11 goals and 29 assists. Last season for The 'Canes, Corvo posted a career 24:49 minutes per game and appeared in all 82.

Meanwhile Carolina signed Bruins UFA Defenseman Tomas Kaberle to a 3 year 13 million dollar contract. Kaberle may not have brought the PP expertise that was expected, but it looks like Carolina is looking for the same thing. The Hurricanes will be paying over twice as much for an older player who only contributed 7 more points last year, not to mention the fact that their PP was almost exactly the same as Boston's regular season percentage.

Corvo on the trade:
"This came as a suprise...a very pleasant surprise."
This looks to be a double steal for The Bruins. Not only is the Kaberle experiment over, but The B's have already replaced him with a worthy replacement at half price.