Friday, December 30, 2005

NFL Week 17

Home team is capitalized, favorite on the left. Spread is in the middle. Make your picks based on the spread. To see how I've been faring, look at my week 16 results.

SAN DIEGO11Denver43.5
Buffalo1.5NY JETS38
KANSAS CITY7.5Cincinnati46
NEW ENGLAND5.5Miami37.5
TAMPA BAY13.5New Orleans37.5
GREEN BAY4.5Seattle39
Monday, Jan. 1

My Picks Denver, Giants, Indy, Cleveland, Buffalo, Carolina, Chicago, KC, PIT, NE, TB, SF, JAC, Seattle, Philly, St Louis.

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Thursday, December 29, 2005

Help Wanted

I'm stickying this post for a few days. If you want to see the latest posts, look below!

I'm looking for help in posting to this blog. While I feel like I have a lot to say on and about New England sports, I know there's more to be said. Are you looking to get your opinion out there? Want to let everyone know your opinion on the Patriots, Red Sox, Celtics and Bruins (and Revs)? Or perhaps you're a Yankees fan and want a more balanced report to show up here? Post a message in the comment section to let me know about your interest.

You don't have to be a good writer, just opinionated and willing to write a post a week or so (although you can write as many as you want). I just want to do more with this site and you may be just the person to help me do that!

Thursday, December 22, 2005

NFL Week 16

Home team is capitalized, favorite on the left. Spread is in the middle. Make your picks based on the spread. To see how I've been faring, look at my week 15 results.

Saturday, Dec. 24
CINCINNATI 13.5 Buffalo 44
Pittsburgh 7 CLEVELAND 31.5
KANSAS CITY PK San Diego 49.5
MIAMI 5.5 Tennessee 44
Jacksonville 6 Houston 37
NEW ORLEANS 3 Detroit 37.5
CAROLINA 5 Dallas 37.5
WASHINGTON 3 Ny Giants 37
TAMPA BAY 3 Atlanta 36.5
ST. LOUIS 9.5 San Francisco 42
ARIZONA 1 Philadelphia 39.5
SEATTLE 9 Indianapolis 44
DENVER 13 Oakland 42
Sunday, Dec. 25
Chicago 6.5 GREEN BAY 31
Minnesota 3 BALTIMORE 34
Monday, Dec. 26
New England 5.5 NEW YORK JETS 37

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Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Johnny Damon goes to the Yankees

As I ., The Era of the Idiot is dead. With Johnny Damon signing with the Yankees (5 years, $52 million), the idiots are all gone. Remember your line-up for the world series? Damon, Cabrera, Ramirez, Ortiz, Millar, Mientkiewicz, Nixon, Kapler, Mueller, Mirabelli, Varitek, Bellhorn, Roberts and Reese? Of these 14 players, only Ramirez, Ortiz, Nixon and Varitek are left.

But, the question now is not what happened, but where do we go from here. There's talk of acquiring a new centerfielder (Torii Hunter would be nice, but there's also Crisp). That still leaves first base and shortstop to fill.

It also leaves a big gap in their offensive power. I hope the Red Sox are doing all they can to appease Manny. Loretta and Lowell, despite their defensive qualities, aren't going to make up for what the Sox just lost. The Red Sox don't need to be the number one offense, though, as long as they keep Manny and Ortiz and shore up their pitching.

Speaking of pitching, the Sox tendered offers to Bronson Arroyo and Josh Beckett, and reliever Guillermo Mota. As a result, if the three hurlers choose to do so, they can take their case to an arbitrator early next year or settle with the team, with the possibility of a long-term contract.

The Red Sox could be exploring long-term deals, since all three could enter free agency after the 2006 season.

BTW, I hope you enjoy your haircut Johnny!

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Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Giant Johnny Damon Bobblehead

Giant Johnny Damon Bobblehead
Originally uploaded by jennyberg.
Now this is just too funny. It's a giant johnny damon bobblehead doll on Newbury Street. I wonder what they'll do with it when he plays elsewhere next season? Will Gillete buy it and shave it next year in a for charity event?

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Graffanino accepts arbitration, Seanez comes back to Boston

Tony Graffanino accepted salary arbitration from the Red Sox before Monday night's deadline, meaning the infielder will return to Boston next season. Not surprisingly, Johnny Damon refused. But the Red Sox will continue to pursue JD, although he is not expected to sign anywhere soon.

In other news, 37 year-old Rudy Seanez resigned with the Red Sox. He last pitched for the Sox in 2003 when he went 0-1 with a 6.23 ERA in nine appearances. Last year for the San Diego Padres, Rudy set career highs in wins, appearances, innings and K's with a 2.69 ERA. He signed for one year, with a club option for next year.

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Week 16 Playoff Scenarios

Here are the scenarios for teams that can clinch playoff berths in Week 16.

New England has clinched division title.

Cincinnati has clinched division title.

Indianapolis has clinched the division title and homefield advantage in the playoffs.

Jacksonville can clinch playoff spot with:
1) JAC win
2) JAC tie + PIT loss or tie
3) JAC tie + SD loss
4) PIT loss + KC loss or tie

Denver has clinched playoff spot.

Denver can clinch division title with:
1) DEN win or tie OR
2) SD loss or tie

Denver can clinch first-round bye with:
1) DEN win + CIN loss

N.Y. Giants can clinch division title with:
1) NYG win or tie

N.Y. Giants can clinch playoff spot with:
1) MIN loss or tie

Washington can clinch playoff spot with:
1) WAS win + DAL loss + MIN loss + ATL loss

Chicago can clinch division title with:
1) CHI win or tie OR
2) MIN loss or tie

Chicago can clinch first-round bye with:
1) CHI win + NYG loss + CAR loss

Chicago can clinch playoff spot with:
1) WAS loss or tie OR
2) TB loss

Carolina can clinch division title with:
1) CAR win + TB loss or tie OR
2) CAR tie + TB loss

Carolina can clinch playoff spot with:
1) CAR win or tie OR
2) WAS loss or tie + ATL loss or tie + MIN loss or tie

Tampa Bay can clinch playoff spot with:
1) TB win + DAL loss or tie + WAS loss or tie OR
2) TB win + DAL loss or tie + MIN loss or tie OR
3) TB win + WAS loss or tie + MIN loss or tie

Seattle has clinched division title and a first-round bye.

Seattle can clinch home-field advantage with:
1) SEA win or tie OR
2) CHI loss or tie

Arizona, Baltimore, Buffalo, Cleveland, Detroit, Green Bay, Houston, Miami, New Orleans, N.Y. Jets, Oakland, Philadelphia, St. Louis, San Francisco and Tennessee have been eliminated from playoff contention.

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Monday, December 19, 2005 - NFL - Pasquarelli: Morning After Week 15

Len Pasquarelli jumps on the bandwagon. He goes on to discuss how the linebackers kicked butt on Saturday, running Simms down into the ground. I kept expecting Simms to just say 'forget it, I'm going home' after getting hit once again.

What Len fails to point out is how conservative Belichick has been the past year when going up against any decent offense. My question is: was he conservative because he felt he had to be because of injuries (specifically Seymour)? Or is that what we should expect this to happen again once the playoffs start. Hopefully, he'll keep the aggressive tactics going when the playoffs start. - NFL - Pasquarelli: Morning After Week 15:

Having secured a third straight AFC East title with Saturday's shutout victory over the Tampa Bay Bucs, the New England Patriots can now begin looking seriously, and with a renewed degree of optimism as well, at defending a far more important championship.

And the rest of the league, particularly the playoff contenders in the AFC (yes, including the Indianapolis Colts, folks), can begin looking hard again into the rearview mirror.
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Sunday, December 18, 2005

Patriots passed their test

Holding the Tampa Bay runners to 30 yards was impressive enough, running over the top rated defense was better. The Patriots played a game with almost their whole team for the first time since the first game and it really showed. They really pulled it together and it was a real wonder to see. For the first time, since the start of the season, I am feeling really good about the Pats chances for doing more than just making it to the second round. And after the Colts showed their vulnerable side today, I'm feeling good about their chances of winning it all. It's really going to be hard these final two weeks to not get overexcited.

Bring on the final exam!

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Friday, December 16, 2005

Love to Hate the Yankees

I grabbed this photo off of flikr. It's oh so true, we do love to hate the Yankees.

Can the Patriots pass the test

Over at new england sports rant, it seems J Robinowitz thinks the Pats are going to fail their last test before the final exam. I think the Pats have a really good shot at winning this Saturday's game (1:30 PM ET) against the TB Bucanneers.

New England Sports Rant:

Yes, they played better the last two weeks...against two of the worst teams in the NFL. All this talk of play-off victories seems more than a bit premature. Until this team beats someone with a winning record, everyone needs to take a big step back and realize that this is not the same team as the past two's not even the same team as 2001. The only reason the Pats will even be in the playoffs is that they play in the worst division in football.

It's time to get real folks, this week is the test, and personally, I don't think the Pats are going to pass.

This is why they can win:
This injury report is probably the best they've had in a long time. Despite Brady's injury (and who know's how hurt he really is.), they have Dillon, Faulk, and Brady will be on the field and the effect they can have on the game can't be underestimated.

From the Boston Herald: Belichick’s defense can be puzzling, especially for a young quarterback like the Buccaneers’ Chris Simms.
"They are solid on defense, they really are," said Simms, who already has been sacked 19 times. "They’re extremely well coached on defense and they’ve got a lot of talent, especially in the front seven."

Also, with Seymour back on track and the middle of the field being plugged, Cadillac Williams is going to have a hard time finding holes to fill this week.

Look for previous posts on the .

Pats sign Tucker to patch O-line

New England Patriots have signed Tucker to support the 'thin' left tackle position. With Matt Light still out and Nick Kaczur injured shoulder, they needed someone else to cover the spot. This was bad news for Mike Cloud as once again, he was cut from the roster. Of course, since Cloud was resigned in the same week last time, you can't count him out just yet. - N.E. Patriots: Pats sign Tucker to patch O-line:

Regular starter Matt Light, who has missed 10 games since leaving a Week 3 win in Pittsburgh with a broken leg, underwent an additional procedure two weeks ago. His replacement, rookie Nick Kaczur, sat out last week’s game with a shoulder injury.
Tucker was a free agent since his release by Buffalo on the final preseason cut Sept. 4. Washington signed him as an undrafted free agent before the 2001 season and he also played for Dallas in 2002 before joining the Bills.

To make room for Tucker, the Patriots released running back Michael Cloud for the second time this year.
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Thursday, December 15, 2005

NFL Week 15

Head on over to see the week 14 results. Not as impressive last week, but my overall average is still good.

Pick against the spread, home teams are capitalized, favorites are to the left.

Saturday, Dec. 17
NEW ENGLAND 4.5 Tampa Bay 35.5
NY GIANTS 3 Kansas City 46
Denver 8.5 BUFFALO 34.5
Sunday, Dec. 18
Pittsburgh 3 MINNESOTA 40.5
INDIANAPOLIS 7.5 San Diego 51
JACKSONVILLE 16 San Francisco 37.5
Seattle 7 TENNESSEE 45
Arizona 1.5 HOUSTON 42
MIAMI 9 NY Jets 35.5
Carolina 8 NEW ORLEANS 40
WASHINGTON 2.5 Dallas 35
Cincinnati 8 DETROIT 44
OAKLAND 3 Cleveland 40
ST. LOUIS 3 Philadelphia 42.5
Atlanta 3 CHICAGO 31.5
Monday, Dec. 19
Green Bay 3.5 BALTIMORE 33

Look for previous posts on the .

Terry Francona speaks out on co-GMs

Of course Terry endorses (see quote below) the two headed monster configuration. It's more likely he'll still have a job next year. Any new GM would have brought in his own coach to work with.

Also, according to the same Herald story the Dodgers don't feel confident they can deal with Boras (Damon's agent). The Sox are still waiting on Johnny's response to their 4 year $40 million offer. Want to bet Boras is just looking over the counteroffers in the hopes of getting a bidding war to start up? - Boston Red Sox: Dodgers eye Damon -- LA doesn’t like chances:

Sox manager Terry Francona endorsed the new GM configuration.
“I’m really pleased at the way this turned out,” he told the Associated Press last night. “Having these guys run the baseball operations, basically what will happen is nothing changes. From my view, having it stay the same is really great.”
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Nomar Garciaparra

There's a new web site dedicated to getting Nomar to return to Boston. Chances aren't good. The Sox don't want him, and Nomar doesn't want to come back. In case your wondering, there are also two other sites dedicated to both sides of the Manny trade rumors this offseason, KeepManny and TradeManny.

Want to know the latest about where Nomar is heading? Take a look at rotoworld below. They seem to have the latest rumors.
Nomar Garciaparra : - Nomar Garciaparra Biography from

Dec. 14, 2005 - 10:12 pm et

The Yankees are one of four teams that Nomar Garciaparra is considering, his agent said today.
The New York Post reported in today's edition that the Astros and Indians were also believed to be finalists. The fourth team might be the Dodgers. GM Ned Colletti confirmed that an offer had been made.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Shortstop heaven

Let me see if I've got this straight. Jeter at Shortstop, A-Rod at third and Nomar Garciappara at first? Who's going to play second base? Furcal?

These three players were the top three shortstops of the last decade and now they (maybe) play for the New York Yankees next year? What a strange world we live in. If anyone had told me this was going to happen, I would have said they were crazy!

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Tuesday, December 13, 2005

The Red Sox in 2006? I don't think so.

ESPN has kept the whirlwind offseason in line automatically, and so you can see (below) what the Red Sox will be paying next year (assuming nothing else changes) to field a team. The salary's shown are 2005. There's also no SS (unless you pencil in Cora), no CF, and no back-up catcher on this list, so things will change.

Speaking of further trades, word out of co-GM Ben Cherington is "the chances are good" that both Ramirez and Johnny Damon will return to the Red Sox, the Boston Globe reports. Well, tell that to Damon.

1. Manny Ramirez19,806,820
2. Curt Schilling14,500,000
3. Jason Varitek8,000,000
4. Trot Nixon7,500,000
5. Keith Foulke7,500,000
6. Mike Lowell7,500,000
7. Matt Clement6,500,000
8. David Ortiz5,250,000
9. Tim Wakefield4,670,000
10. David Wells4,075,000
11. Mike Timlin2,750,000
12. Mark Loretta2,750,000
13. Guillermo Mota2,600,000
14. Josh Beckett2,400,000
15. Bronson Arroyo1,850,000
16. Wade Miller1,500,000
17. Chad Bradford1,400,000
18. Alex Cora1,300,000
19. Kevin Youkilis323,125
20. Adam Stern316,000
Total Team Salary: 121,311,945

Look for previous posts on the .


Why in the world would we want to emulate Baltimore and Tampa Bay in having two GM's. It doesn't make sense at all. Make a decision, put one of them in charge and make the other an assistant. How hard is that?

Being GM in Boston means you're the point man of a committee, but at least people know who to go to when a decision has to be made.

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Monday, December 12, 2005

Optimism and Skepticism

Why we should be optimistic about the New England Patriots:

1) They're playing their best game now at the end of the season. With Corey Dillon, David Givens and Kevin Faulk back in the offensive arsenal, the Patriots offense has taken off. Just take a short look at the stats from yesterday's game. Also, look at how their defense has come together.

2) They should wrap up their playoff spot next week. With either a win or a loss by Miami, the Pats will take their fourth spot in the playoff rotation, with a home game to start off. They will be able to rest their key players (read, heal up their key players) in the final couple of weeks.

3) Once the Patriots are in the playoffs, all bets are off. They have a great record, in the past few years (obviously), and that experience will help them face up against the teams that haven't managed to get over that hump.

Why we should be skeptical of the New England Patriots:

1) Yes, they beat up on the weak sisters in the league, but look at their numbers against the teams who will likely be in the playoffs? They just can't seem to win in the big games.

2) Harrison, Light, Dillon, Faulk, and now Brady are all injured. Harrison and Light(?) won't be coming back. Who knows how badly Tom Brady was hurt in that 3 yard run?

3) Who cares if they beat up on the Bills. Buffalo went up by over 20 points last week, but then let Miami back in. They've obviously given up on this season.

4) Yes, their record in the playoffs is spectacular, but this is not last year, or the year before that. This team just isn't as good as it once was.

What's my opinion? A little bit of both. I'm hoping for some magic to hit in the playoffs, but realistically, if the Pats win their first round in the playoffs, I will consider it a success and look forward to the draft next year.

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Sunday, December 11, 2005

Definition of a crackback

I looked up crackback at since it's called so infrequently. I don't believe Brady should of been called on it this time around.

Definition: An illegal block by an offensive player who is usually spread out away from the main body of the formation and runs back in towards the ball at the snap, blocking an opponent below the waist or in the back with the force of the block back toward the original position of the ball at the snap.

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Saturday, December 10, 2005

Since releasing their IR report, 5 players were downgraded

This includes RB Pass and Evans. TE Daniel Graham is out. Offensive Tackles Nick Kaczur and Matt Light are also out. With Kevin Faulk still hurt, the Pats will be thin at running back. Daniel Graham can be made up for at TE with Big Ben and Fauria. It's unsure who the Pats will play at left tackle, though. Expect some rearrangements going on with the offensive line tomorrow.

Matt Light T Doubtful Ankle Missed Portion
Tom Ashworth T Questionable Knee Missed Portion
Corey Dillon RB Questionable Calf Missed Portion
Heath Evans FB Questionable Shoulder Missed Portion
Kevin Faulk RB Questionable Foot Missed Portion
David Givens WR Questionable Knee Missed Portion
Daniel Graham TE Questionable Shoulder Missed Portion
Artrell Hawkins S Questionable Thigh Missed Portion
Bethel Johnson WR Questionable Pelvis Missed Portion
Nick Kaczur T Questionable Shoulder Missed Portion
Patrick Pass FB Questionable Hamstring Missed Portion
Michael Stone S Questionable Ankle Missed Portion
Tom Brady QB Probable Right Shoulder

Mark Campbell TE Questionable Hamstring
Chris Villarrial G Questionable Hamstring Missed Portion
Mike Williams T Questionable Chest Missed Portion

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Friday, December 09, 2005

Trade Rumors continue

This morning, the big rumor is Miquel Tejada for Manny Ramirez and you can forget about it. Unless Tejada's contract was back-loaded as the Washington Post has implied (4 years for $60 million left, not $48), the Orioles are not going to make the trade.

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Thursday, December 08, 2005

Last day leads to big trades in Red Sox Nation

The big news out of the winter meetings for baseball's execs is the moving of SS Renteria (Gordon Edes of the Globe) for prospect Andy Marte and 2B Mark Loretta coming to Boston for back up catcher Doug Mirabelli.

The Red Sox will need a new shortstop as of today. According to one report, $11 of the $29 million owed to Rent-a-wreck over the next three years will be paid by the Red Sox. The trade was for Andy Marte who happens to be the number one prospect in the minors today.

Seems like a good trade to me, but now they need a new SS (Nomar, anyone? ;-))

From the Boston Globe: The Sox dealt Renteria and cash considerations to Atlanta today in exchange for top prospect Andy Marte (third baseman). Commissioner Bud Selig needed to OK the money exchanging hands between the teams. The Red Sox are expected to pick up part of the $29 million remaining on Renteria’s contract over the next three years. The exact dollars are still unclear, but the commissioner needs to approve any deal in which $1 million or more exchanges hands.

The Red Sox are now expected to sign a free-agent shortstop to replace Renteria rather than pursue a trade with the Devil Rays for Julio Lugo, as had been rumored the last couple of days here at the winter meetings.

Some likely candidates to fill Renteria's shoes include Alex Gonzalez, Royce Clayton, and Pokey Reese.

Doug Mirabelli has been moved to San Diego for Mark Loretta. Loretta has a lifetime avg of .301 (.280 this past year) and an OBP .365. The big concern here is Doug Mirabelli's relationship with Tim Wakefield. Wakefield has been the foundation of the Red Sox team, the most reliable when it comes to eating up innings every 5 days. Will he be able to connect with whoever catches him next year as well as he did with Mirabelli? The Red Sox were concerned enough to discuss the trade (reportedly) with Tim Wakefield before pulling the trigger.

Mark Loretta according to
Loretta had a disappointing season in the wake of his blockbuster 2004 campaign. His power numbers fell dramatically, in part because of a mid-May thumb injury requiring surgery. He struggled to regain his stroke when he finally came back, and it wasn't until the final weeks of the season that he began banging the ball consistently. Defensively, he was typically solid, and there are few better guys in a clubhouse. He could have a big bounce-back season in 2006.

One last note. Kevin Millar is officially gone as of yesterday. Not surprisingly, the Red Sox failed to offer him arbitration. Thanks for the World Series (of which he was a big part!)

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NFL Week 14

Sunday, Dec. 11
CAROLINA 5 Tampa Bay 37
New England 3.5 BUFFALO 37
MINNESOTA 6.5 St. Louis 45
PITTSBURGH 5.5 Chicago 31.5
Oakland 3 NY JETS 37.5
Indianapolis 7.5 JACKSONVILLE 42
TENNESSEE 6.5 Houston 42
CINCINNATI 12 Cleveland 43
Washington 4 ARIZONA 41
SEATTLE 16 San Francisco 43
SAN DIEGO 13.5 Miami 45
DENVER 14.5 Baltimore 40.5
DALLAS 3 Kansas City 43.5
GREEN BAY 6 Detroit 36
Monday, Dec. 12
ATLANTA 10 New Orleans 43.5

Take a look at my results for week 13.

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Wednesday, December 07, 2005

More talk from the Winter Meetings

Manny, Manny, Manny... lots of talk, but no movement. It's looking like he'll be in Red Sox next year after all. He can't say they didn't try, though.

Nomar may be on the (fill in the blank) playing (fill in the blank). Basically, you can fill in the blanks with any team and any position and you may be right. Or at least on top of the trade rumors.

Grady Little was hired in LA. No, really.

Renteria may be heading to Atlanta in a three-way trade involving Atlanta and Tampa Bay. The Braves sending a prospect Andy Marte to Tampa Bay, and the Devil Rays would send shortstop Julio Lugo to the Red Sox. Lugo has a career .340 OBP and .276 AVG (.295 last year). Drafted in the 43rd round by the Astros in 1994, he was the lowest-round draft pick to come up through Houston's system and reach the majors. The Sox have also inquired about Cabrera.

John Olerud announced his retirement yesterday.

The new Sox GM will likely be hired from within. If a guy comes in 2 or 3 times and you haven't announced him as being 'the one', then he isn't.

Almost forgot to mention from the boston herald:

On the trade front, the most significant progress came with the Padres on a deal that would send catcher Doug Mirabelli, and possibly a minor-leaguer, to San Diego for second baseman Mark Loretta. That deal could become official soon.

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Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Trade Talk for the Boston Red Sox

Rumors are flying with trade after trade possibility. Take a look at some of the highlights below. Personally, I'm most intrigued by the possibility of Nomar coming back to Boston, although I wouldn't be surprised if he headed to the Yankees. He batted .312 after coming back from the groin injury.

World tourney taking shape - The Boston Globe:

According to an NL executive, the Red Sox discussed a deal for Tampa Bay shortstop Julio Lugo, offering a package that included Kelly Shoppach and Kevin Youkilis. The Sox presumably would move Lugo elsewhere in the infield. But a Devil Rays source said Tampa was fielding numerous offers for Lugo and that, while it has interest in Shoppach, it is lukewarm on Youkilis. The Sox are still believed to be interested in Aubrey Huff, though several teams are expressing interest in the lefthanded-hitting outfielder/first baseman. The Sox also have expressed at least preliminary interest in free agent first baseman J.T. Snow

Of course, most of the rumors about trades center around Manny. I still believe he'll be gone next year, but I'm not looking forward to it. Unless they get quality (as in ace) material in pitching back, they'll be a poorer team next for it.

Progress seen in Ramirez talks - The Boston Globe:
''We're coming closer," said Bill Lajoie, who is serving as point man for the Red Sox contingent at baseball's winter meetings here, when asked about the likelihood of the team satisfying Manny Ramirez's request to be traded. - Red Sox & MLB: Ramirez’ trade sweepstakes heating up:
With the Angels definitely unwilling to trade their best young pitcher, Ervin Santana, a third team must get involved to get Ramirez to Southern California. The latest front-runners are the Diamondbacks, who would receive a package of prospects from the Angels while the Sox would receive Arizona’s Troy Glaus, who would be used at first base.
Since the Angels would have to shed some salary to accommodate Ramirez’ $57 million, the Red Sox might also have to take an existing contract off their hands as well, possibly Darin Erstad.
A trade to the Mets grew less likely, but it is early still in these meetings and general manager Omar Minaya’s well-known adoration of Ramirez has not vanished. - Red Sox & MLB: Deal would leave mark: If Manny goes, Sox makeup goes:
To a man, the Sox baseball operations staff knows what losing Ramirez would do to their lineup. The Sox have led the major leagues in runs scored each of the past three seasons, a streak that coincides with the union of Ortiz and Ramirez in the heart of the lineup. That is not coincidence as much as it is cause and effect, the No. 1 reason why the Red Sox score like Brad Pitt.
Why do you think the Los Angeles Angels would love Ramirez, anyway?
Because Ramirez and Vladimir Guerrero would give the Angels precisely the kind of duo the Sox now possess.
“It’s a lot of offense. He’s an outstanding hitter,” Shipley said of Ramirez. “To replace that is difficult.”

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Monday, December 05, 2005

Was there a football game yesterday?

In case you missed it yesterday, the final score was 16 - 3 as the Pats walked through their final preseason... Oh, you mean that was a real game against a real team?

The Pats showed that they certainly don't deserve to be relegated to this division at least.

In the meantime, Adam Vinatieri broke Gino Cappelletti's Patriots career scoring record yesterday, etching his name into the Patriot's record book (again). Ty Law returned to Foxboro (did anyone see him?) and so did Ted Johnson for a half time ceremony honoring his achievements. But more importantly for this year's team, Kevin Faulk, Corey Dillon and the pass rush all returned as well.

Richard Seymour had a couple of comments about yesterday's game. The first was how quiet the crowd was. Unlike last week's game in KC, there really wasn't much to cheer about yesterday, now was there?

The second comment was on how the defense was loosened up allowing the pass rush to occur. What Richard doesn't seem to understand is how much of a difference he makes to that line. Without him, they were sitting back on their heels, waiting to see what the offense was going to do. With him, they can charge in and take control.

Seymour's facemask penalty may have been the most costly penalty of the year yesterday. Not only did they lose control of the ball, but they also lost the 50 yard run!

Look for previous posts on the .

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Mike Cloud was back in uniform

Following reports of Kevin Faulk's injury worsening, Mike Cloud was back in Patriots uniform. He was wearing number 34. Heath Evans, Corey Dillon, and Kevin Faulk were all questionable this week on the injury report. Of the 12 players on the injury report for the New England Patriots, only 1 wasn't present (according to reports) at pracice yesterday and that was Matt Light.

Matt Light T Doubtful Ankle Missed Portion
Tom Ashworth T Questionable Knee Missed Portion
Corey Dillon RB Questionable Calf Missed Portion
Heath Evans RB Questionable Shoulder Missed Portion
Kevin Faulk RB Questionable Foot Missed Portion
David Givens WR Questionable Knee Missed Portion
Daniel Graham TE Questionable Shoulder Missed Portion
Bethel Johnson WR Questionable Pelvis Missed Portion
Patrick Pass FB Questionable Hamstring Missed Portion
Willie McGinest LB Questionable Finger Missed Portion
James Sanders S Questionable Ankle Missed Portion
Michael Stone S Questionable Ankle Missed Portion
Tom Brady QB Probable Right Shoulder

Derrick Blaylock RB Out Ankle Missed Portion
Jay Fiedler QB Out Right Shoulder Missed Portion
Sione Pouha DT Questionable Calf Missed Portion
Curtis Martin RB Probable Knee Missed Portion
Rashad Washington S Probable Hip/Quad Missed Portion


Friday, December 02, 2005

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Update: Blog traffic had a mixup with the programmer. Looks like it's gone under. If you're still interested in building traffic, however, you should check out these other traffic exchanges.

Suing Doug Mientkiewicz

I'm sorry, but this is just sad. Why do the Red Sox feel it's necessary to sue Doug Mientkiewicz for the ball he caught for the final out of the World Series. He let them borrow it to display, and now they're suing for possession of it? They should be worrying about the next World Series, not spending time and money looking back at the last one.

You can read more about the suit at bloomberg.

The Sox also added a little more depth to their bullpen, trading with the Cubs for 25 year old Van Buren. The Cubs were most likely clearing a roster spot. The trade was for cash or a player to be named later. David Borges believes he'll end up in AAA at the beginning of next year.

Jermaine Van Buren had a 1.98 ERA for AAA Iowa last year with 25 saves. He was called up for just six innings at the end of year, where he posted a 3.00 ERA.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Joe Thornton traded to the San Jose Sharks

"The Boston Bruins, who have lost 9 of their last 10 games, pushed the panic button last night and traded their captain and best player, Joe Thornton, to the San Jose Sharks for defenseman Brad Stuart and forwards Marco Sturm and Wayne Primeau." - New York Times. Read Thornton's comments there. Apparently he was out for dinner with his folks when he got the word.

Was it panic? Was it a money saving feature? Or did they trade away a player who was underperforming? Opinions vary on whether Joe was just too young for the role being thrust on him in Boston.

Joe Thornton was the number one pick in 1997. He has 9 goals and 24 assists this year. Stuart, 26, the third overall pick in 1997, has 2 goals and 10 assists this season. Sturm, 27, has 6 goals and 10 assists; and Primeau, 29, has 5 goals and 3 assists.

O'Connel released the following statement:
"We felt we needed to shake up the team and sometimes you have to make some difficult decisions to better the team," O'Connell said. "We feel we received three players who can help us immediately. Brad Stuart is a top-four defenseman who is strong at both ends of the ice. (Marco) Sturm is a proven scorer, a good two-way forward who is a terrific skater and (Wayne) Primeau is a solid, two-way player who has good size at the center position."


NFL Week 13

Head on over to see my week 12 results. I'm up to 86/169 = 50.9% (ties are pushes) total.

Sunday, Dec. 4
MIAMI 4.5 Buffalo 34.5
PITTSBURGH 3 Cincinnati 42
BALTIMORE 8.5 Houston 38
INDIANAPOLIS 15 Tennessee 50.5
Jacksonville 3 CLEVELAND 33.5
N.Y. GIANTS 3 Dallas 42.5
CHICAGO 7 Green Bay 30.5
Minnesota 2 DETROIT 37.5
CAROLINA 3 Atlanta 43
Tampa Bay 3.5 NEW ORLEANS 38.5
Arizona 3 SAN FRANCISCO 44.5
Washington 3 ST. LOUIS 45.5
NEW ENGLAND 10 N.Y. Jets 41.5
Denver 1 KANSAS CITY 45
SAN DIEGO 11 Oakland 49.5
Monday, Dec. 5


Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Cloud was released on Tuesday

Michael Cloud was released on Tuesday, making room on the roster that hasn't been filled yet. This may be an indication of the return of Corey Dillon or Kevin Faulk.

Corey Dillon has missed the last two games with a a high ankle sprain. After missing last week's game against the Kansas City Chief's, Dillon was projected to return on Dec 4th.

Kevin Faulk broke a bone in his heel Sept. 25, an injury that was first considered to be season ending. He has been improving lately, so much so he was set to questionable on last week's injury report.

In other news, Lenny Walls, formerly of the Denver Broncos, was picked up off the waivers by Oakland. The Patriots were rumored to be interested (a warm body who plays cornerback), but since they were 32nd on the waiver wire list, every other team would have had to pass him up.

Also, "the Patriots will honor retired linebacker Ted Johnson at Sunday’s game against the Jets. Johnson spent all 10 years of his career with the Patriots and was instrumental in their three Super Bowl wins. He finished with 757 tackles and 11.5 sacks. Johnson retired in July because of short- and long-term complications he suffered from concussions over the years." - quote from an artcle by Michael Parente in the woonsocketcall.


Johnny Damon, another free agent, another paycheck

Gordon Edes at the Boston Globe discusses the market for Johnny Damon in an article today and he makes some good points. Scott Boras is asking for a 7 year $80 million deal for his client, Johnny (WWJD) Damon. And he may get it (I'm not sure where, but it's looking better every day for him).

Let's review the market price for center fielders. (yes, there really is more)

Carlos Beltran got 7 years, $119. J.D. Drew got 5, $55. Andruw Jones will be getting $26.5 over the next two years. Jim Edmonds got 6 years for $57. Bernie Williams received $12 last year, and if the Yanks had a moment of insanity, he would have received another $15 in an option year this year (all $ in millions, of course).

So where does that leave Johnny? The Red Sox have reportedly offered him 4 years at $40 and they would apparently be getting a bargain at that money. At one point, Damon was a leading contender for MVP (I never thought it would carry through, but his name was mentioned at the beginning of the year). His numbers speak for themselves, and so does his durability. But his real worth comes from being a genuine lead-off hitter. The Sox could get another center fielder (who has a better arm), it's the lead-off spot they'd have trouble filling.

So, I expect the Sox to offer Johnny another year (by team option), and about $12 a year. But when Damon gets a better offer somewhere else (yankees, to yank boston's chain or angels?), he'll be gone.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Manny Ramirez' condo is for sale

You too can buy this $6.9 million dollar condo. It comes unfurnished with a condo fee of $4000/month. But with that fee you get concierge service, parking (not to be underrated in Boston), and access to the sports bar. 4500 square feet on the 37th floor of the Ritz-Carlton Towers with a view of the Charles, what more could you want?

In another indication that even Manny expects the trade to happen this winter, he and his wife have put their condo up for sale. See images over in a NESN news report through the website.

Monday, November 28, 2005

A little bit of perspective

If somebody had told you on Saturday that Tom Brady was going to throw four picks on Sunday, what would you have said the score was going to be? 35 - 14? 42 - 12? Well, the end score was 26-16 in a deserved loss. Any team that plays as bad as the Patriots did against the Kansas City Chiefs deserves to lose and that's that.

But if you listen to the radio this morning, you would think this team was the worst of the worst with no hope. The only thing they have to hope for was an early entry and an early exit for these hapless defensive players.

Well, I'm here to tell you that's a little bit overboard. Yes, these New England Patriots are not as good as last years players. Their defense has been bad and there doesn't seem to be anything they can do to improve this secondary. But that's not the whole story.

The defense did pretty well yesterday. Holding the Chiefs to 26 points off of 4 turnovers was not an easy thing to do. Their run defense was pretty good. Yes, Larry Johnson had 116 yards on 31 carries, but what did you expect him to have after they went up 20 points?

The offense is hoping for a little bit of relief in the next couple of weeks. With Corey Dillon out, Heath Evans has been carrying the load at RB. Their number two WR was Tim Dwight. I mean, how much offensive firepower is that? Yes, they're out there playing hard, but they are not who they were supposed to have.

The Pats offense struggled yesterday, mostly because Tom Brady had a bad game (and not because of pressure from the KC defense, despite what Hicks had to say). He was throwing high right from the start, the ball was definitely sailing on him.

This is definitely a flawed team, but that doesn't mean they are a bad team. They've played some very tough teams and payed the price in bodies and bruises. Hopefully, the injury bug will pass on to some other team now and their offense will return soon.

Do I think the Pats will win the SB just as I did last year, no. Do I think they have a chance of facing up with any other team out there, yes. This season is not over and they still have a good chance of taking it all.


Saturday, November 26, 2005

Patrioits and Chiefs injury report

Corey Dillon, Kevin Faulk, Bethel Johnson, David Givens, and Matt Light are all out for Sunday's match against the KC Chiefs. Most likely, Evans and Pass will mix it up at RB once again. Most likely, despite being probable once again, Tom Brady will play... ;-)

Matt Light T Doubtful Ankle Missed Portion
Kevin Faulk RB Questionable Foot Missed Portion
Tom Ashworth T Questionable Knee Missed Portion
Monty Beisel LB Questionable Back Missed Portion
Troy Brown WR Questionable Foot Missed Portion
Corey Dillon RB Questionable Calf Missed Portion
Tim Dwight WR Questionable Rib Missed Portion
David Givens WR Questionable Knee Missed Portion
Daniel Graham TE Questionable Shoulder Missed Portion
Jarvis Green DE Questionable Shoulder Missed Portion
Patrick Pass FB Questionable Hamstring Missed Portion
James Sanders S Questionable Ankle Missed Portion
Bethel Johnson WR Questionable Pelvis Missed Portion
Willie McGinest LB Questionable Finger Missed Portion
Tom Brady QB Probable Right Shoulder

Jerome Woods S Out Hamstring Missed Portion
Ronnie Cruz RB Out Knee Missed Portion
Kendall Gammon TE Out Leg Placed on IR
Kris Griffin LB Out Hamstring Missed Portion
Willie Roaf T Questionable Hamstring
Ryan Sims DT Questionable Foot
Patrick Surtain CB Questionable Ankle
Eddie Kennison WR Questionable Back
John Browning DT Probable Knee
Boomer Grigsby LB Probable Abdomen Missed Portion
Benny Sapp CB Probable Hip


Thursday, November 24, 2005

Happy Thanksgiving

I just want to say thanks for what I have and what I don't have today. My family and friends are what makes Thanksgiving a wonderful time and I'm looking forward to spending time with them today.

I also want to say thank you to all the people who take the time to read and enjoy what I have on this site.

Thank you!

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

NFL Week 12

Make your picks against the spread. I'm at 50% for the year so far, how about you? Don't forget the early games this week on Thursday!

Thursday, Nov. 24
Atlanta 3 DETROIT
DALLAS 2 Denver
Sunday, Nov. 27
KANSAS CITY 3 New England
CINCINNATI 9 Baltimore
Carolina 4 BUFFALO
TAMPA BAY 3 Chicago
MINNESOTA 4 Cleveland
TENNESSEE 8 San Francisco
Jacksonville 3.5 ARIZONA
SEATTLE 4.5 NY Giants
New Orleans 1.5 NY JETS
Monday, Nov. 28

Head on over to see week 11 results.


Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Beckett for Ramirez

No, not that Ramirez. Hanley Ramirez, Anibal Sanchez, and an unspecified minor league pitcher are heading to Florida, while Josh Beckett and Mike Lowell are headed on up to Boston. Trading Hanley Ramirez this off-season was obvious, with Edgar Renteria's contract being too large to unload this year.

Seems like a good idea to me to add pitching, but the way Yahoo number 2 is complaining on the radio this morning, you would think blisters were the end all and be all of ailments. While it's true that Josh Beckett has been on the DL twice a year, most of those stints were because of blisters. If Beckett can pitch in 28 games a year, he'll be an improvement over what we had last year. He has underachieved since winning the MVP, but that does not make him a bad pitcher. He's also arrogant enough to pitch in a major market, something that isn't always true.

Also added to the payroll will be gold glover Mike Lowell (it's officially time to say goodbye to Miller). Unless the Marlins have decided to pay for half of his salary, it looks like all that money the Red Sox were saving by playing rookies next year (BTW, where's Youkilis going to play, first? Or will he be gone, too?) is going to go to Lowell and Ramirez (yes, that Ramirez). I can't see how they're going to flip Mike or dump Manny based on their large salaries.

BTW, it looks like the left side is going to be horrible next year when it comes to hitting. Between Renteria and Lowell, I'm not sure who's going to have worse numbers at the plate. Lowell was just .236 with eight homers and 58 RBI this past season despite entering the campaign as a career .277 hitter with an average of nearly 25 homers and 95 RBI over the previous five years with the Marlins. Renteria on the other hand, batted .276 with 8 HR and 70 rbi last year. Maybe Lowell will return to form and give Edgar a run for his money.


Monday, November 21, 2005

Beckett and Burnett

The latest news on the possiblity of trading for Josh Beckett isn't good. It looks like Texas has the leg up on Boston, with the trade bait of Hank Blalock. The Boston Herald is also stating if the Sox can't acquire Beckett, they may make a play for free agent AJ Burnett.

I'd be excited to see either pitcher come to Boston. Almost any help we could get in pitching would be a step up, but either of these two pitchers would be a help for any team. If I might suggest, how about acquiring both?

Click on read more to see Burnett and Beckett's stats.

2001FLA22 1.50440000 24.01494311124
2002FLA67 4.1023210000 107.293564913144113
2003FLA98 3.0424230000 142.013254489256152
2004FLA99 3.7926261100 156.2137726616654152
2005FLA158 3.3829292100 178.2153756714758166
TOTAL 4134 3.461061033200 609.05292662345517223607

1999FLA42 3.48770000 41.1372316302533
2000FLA37 4.7913130000 82.2804644824457
2001FLA1112 4.0527272100 173.1145827820783128
2002FLA129 3.3031297501 204.1153847512990203
2003FLA02 4.70440000 23.0181312221821
2004FLA76 3.6820191000 120.010250499438113
2005FLA1212 3.4432324200 209.0184978012779198
TOTAL 4950 3.7313413114801 853.27193953546631377753


GM Report

The Boston Red Sox have brought in Dan Wilder, Jim Beattie and Jim Bowden in for second interviews over the past three days.

Wilder, who has worked for the A's, Braves, Cubs, Brewers, and White Sox, is known foremost as a talent evaluator. After retiring in 1989, bringing to an end a minor league playing career, Wilder began scouting and coaching in the A's system. He joined the Braves as a scout in 1991, ascending to assistant director of scouting and player development in 1995, his last year with Atlanta. He directed the Cubs' farm system for three seasons, then climbed into the role of assistant GM in 1999.

He then moved to Milwaukee, where he became the club's vice president of player personnel for three seasons before accepting a position as special assignment scout in 2003. That fall he joined the White Sox in his current capacity.

Beattie, the former executive vice president of the Orioles, lost that job at season's end when the club elevated vice president Mike Flanagan into the position. He previously worked as the general manager for the Expos. In fact, it was Beattie that traded Pedro Martinez to the Red Sox for Carl Pavano some eight years ago. Beattie interviewed with the Red Sox at Fenway Park last Friday.

Bowden, a Weston, Mass., native, recently signed a brief extension through April to remain as Nationals GM, though the club is expected to conduct a search for a permanent general manager whenever the team is sold. Bowden has been issued permission to pursue what he has continually referred to as a dream job.

Of the three, I think I'd be most interested in giving Beattie a chance. Working for the Expos and managing a $9 million payroll (back in 1999) has to mean he knows two things. One, how to make deals and two, how to develop talent. Both are important in today's Red Sox. There's no doubt the Red Sox want to go smaller and younger, and that's what Beattie has the most experience in doing.

In other news, Gabe Kapler, the free agent outfielder rehabbing in the wake of Achilles' tendon surgery, was released.