Dear John (Henry),

Dear Red Sox Ownership and Baseball Operations,

I know we don’t talk as often as we should but in light of recent events I feel the need to reach out to you all. 93 wins and AL East Champs was good everyone! Proud of the guys for battling for that title and your one playoff win, awesome! However, and here’s where I get harsh, that’s not F@?!$^# good enough.

This is the Boston Red Sox you are running here. I see your bottom line and there’s really no need for you to be acting and running the operation the way you are. Cut the shit with trying to please pink hats and #windancerepeat, you have to win over your REAL fans. Congrats on running the largest bar in Boston. This team was barely good enough to win the East, let alone bring a spark to the city the way you used to.

Cup check here gentlemen, the Yankees are FOR REAL. They are here at the big show and you’re leaving in the middle of the 8th after Sweet Caroline has been overplayed, again. You have young talent, they have young talent. You have grizzled pitchers, they have grizzled pitchers. They have balls, you have dancing after a meaningless win because you’ll get retweeted. They have (another, maybe even 2) franchise shortstop(s), you have Xander “It’s too cold” Bogaerts.

I’m not saying the 3 Championships and countless memories have gone forgotten, they haven’t and I thank you for them. However, you’ve turned this team from the lovable losers of the Early 00’s, to the pride of Boston to… a disgrace of a baseball team that gives away playoff tickets. I’m not suggesting you go all 2013 on us, that team has its purpose and brought much needed life into a city that desperately needed it.

It’s the wrong David walking through the door and leading the team, it’s the little guy who only stands in whatever shadow is cast the largest. It’s ruining an unbelievable farm system for 2 pitchers whom gave up 3 Ls in 3 games. You have potentially generational talent in your outfield and Big Niño at 3rd, that are getting poisoned by the clubhouse and it’s not the media’s fault. Your HALL OF FAMER broadcaster was shot in the back because of your 300 million dollar waste of space and his lack of taking criticism.

I haven’t even gotten to your ex-manager and your failings there which have been chronicled quite well. John Farrell, much like the beards of 2013 should have been left in 2013. You had Torey Lovullo as Bench coach leading the charge for the Arizona FREAKING Diamondbacks, they haven’t been relevant since the turn of the century. Hey guys, little known secret — they won as many games as you with a sliver of the payroll you had. You should’ve tossed that has-been pitching coach-turned manager out when you had the chance when you got swept but the choke-job Indians in 2016. Now I’ve heard you’re about to be groveling to get an AARP  manager in Jim Leyland. C’mon, even in these sorry times you’re better than that.

Well, I once thought you were… In a time where the viewership is declining rapidly in all of baseball you have nearly turned the most loyal fans against you. As the ownership and baseball operations team of the Boston Red Sox, its your duty to keep baseball on the map. Newsflash for you— it’s not going well right now. Look, I’m not saying I have the answers for you although if you’d like I’ll give you some advice pro bono.

Goodbye Xander, Jay Groome and 2 other prospects.
“Hey, Mr. Jeter, how’d you like a generational arm in Groome and a good player that idolized you?
-Oh, Xander, yeah he likes warm weather he’ll do fine in Miami I’m sure. All we ask is for Gincarlo and your other least desirable contracts — we’ll even throw in JBJ.
-No, Mr. Jeter I don’t know why the Yankees aren’t calling you… do we have a deal?”

That might not even get it done because you have tarnished this franchise’s value by turning a blind eye to what made you successful and by putting the wrong talent in leadership roles.

Pedroia, Benintendi, Mookie, Stanton, Devers, Hanley, Travis, Vasquez, Nunez(assuming he returns). Would be your lineup with that deal, that not only will put your beloved pink-hat butt’s in seats but also a desirable product that can go into the Bronx and at least match-up with them. Understandably this lineup is just a best-of-both-worlds kind of thing but I really hope the Red Sox can be likeable and fun again.

I don’t think that’s too much to ask for,
A fan who believed in ’04.

Advertisements

As Hockey Season Draws Near

Welcome back, I see you’re reading again, this one will be a little more laser focused than my last post. Without further ado the song of the post is Your Song by Elton John. So click away, drink your beer, sing along with Elton and read my ramblings.

A few days away from Bruins training camp and we have an issue. David Pastrnak is still unsigned (as a Restricted Free Agent no less)! He, of a 70 point season at the age of 21, has a bright bright future in front of him, just like his grin. pasta teeth

The Bruins failure with young exceptional talent of the past several years has been chronicled quite well, I needn’t dwell on the matter. However, this one seems worse than the others because when Kessel, Seguin and Hamilton, there were rumblings of their flaws within the Bruins system(s). David Pastrnak on the other hand is a fan favorite, team player (despite occasional defensive woes) and he is very happy here in Boston.

I said I wouldn’t dwell on the matter — here we are mid-September and we have heard from countless people on the Bruins beat that the next generation of talent is coming through. Well, let’s get Pastrnak signed and let him get chemistry with these guys. Out with the old, in with the new. I, as the pro-bono armchair GM, would like some changes on the bench. If you have to sell low on a few of these players, by all means, sell low.

Before getting to the guys I’d like off the team, for sake of a youth movement; let’s breakdown the currently projected lines and pairings.

Marchand-Bergeron-Pastrnak; Marchand and Bergeron are one of the great duos the modern sport is seeing, there’s no need to break up what works but I wouldn’t be surprised if Bruce Cassidy throws a wrench at the vets to see how they handle it. I do expect Pastrnak on this line because when they were all together last season they made defenses quiver. Bergeron had injuries last season and is sure to be ready to rip. Still the issue is that 1 out of 3 is not signed.

DeBrusk-Krejci-Bjork; Krejci is the only known commodity in the NHL here. However, with injury problems here and there the past few seasons and slow linemates on either side of him; I see these two rookies firstly making the team and secondly, meshing well with the Czech. Bjork left Notre Dame and a possible Olympic roster slot to sign with the Bruins and he should aim to prove it as a top-6 guy. DeBrusk has been the twinkle of the Bruins beat guy’s eye and I believe he’ll push for a spot, make it and show he’s ready. He and Bjork do have three zone potential and this line could be solid all-around.

Vatrano-Spooner-Heinen; I was tempted to put JFK on this line but I think he needs more time down in the A. Spooner and Vatrano being14-vatrano-rc_1 offense first forwards I think Heinen being a scoring threat, this line could be pretty potent. The big IF is, can they play defense? I think given Spooner’s experience, his past coach and his desire to be noticed as a top 2 center in this league he will benefit by being on his own without a safety back-checking veteran on his line.

Kuraly-Nash-Acciari; Noel Acciari is coming into this season healthy and with a new paycheck and should ‘lead’ the fourth line. Sean Kuraly looked like he could spark the team when needed as proven with his playoff performance, however it wasn’t much for Erik Karlsson and company. Nash and he could swap for faceoffs as well as either one being bumped up a line if Spooner has his cold streaks. This line could become a fan favorite as they bring the intensity and compete every shift.

If you’re still here shocking predictions are ahead as we reach the defensive pairings.

Chara-McAvoy; The captain and the kid, both studs but in different decades. Chara hasn’t been his beastly self since the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs and McAvoy is ready to play and compete for perhaps as long as the giant he’ll be paired with. I expect to see Chara decline greatly this year so I’d imagine he’ll get bumped down as Krug and Carlo bring up their games.

Krug-Carlo; That brought me to the next pairing; Krug and Carlo. Speedy and confident will blend well with young and steady. This pairing has sleeper potential to distribute lots of points if teams over-look Krug as they have.

McQuaid/Miller-Grzelyk; 2016 Beanpot Tournament - SemifinalsI think some of the reason that McQuaid and Kevin Miller were protected from the Golden Knights over Colin Miller is that they flat out can’t stay healthy and they do need veteran guys to lead the youth movement. With Miller and McQuaid swapping crutches there will be a spot on the bottom pairing of the defense. None other than Charlestown’s own Matty Grzelyk will take the spot. Krug 2.0 (but taller) will prove to have an equal or greater season than Colin Miller when it comes down to it.

Tuukka will have a bounceback season and the backup situation will fall solely to Zane McIntyre.

You and I are still hanging in there and we got to the most exciting part of the post; snubs and scrubs.

First the scrubs, otherwise known as guys that need to be off the team or sold for popcorn vendors; Matt Belesky and David Backes. I want to like these guys on the Bruins but their subpar performances and age are becoming a not so sneaky problem. Don’t get me wrong I’d be thrilled if they proved me wrong and won us the Cup. However, I’d take a 4th rounder for the both of them. I’m completely on board with a youth movement. Which leads me to the snubs I left off the depth chart.

As I mentioned earlier JFK was a close call on the third line but I opted for him having more seasoning in the AHL, he will learn there and be ready for the NHL whenever Spooner leaves us. Austin Czarnik who made the team last year out of camp had a hard time coming back from multiple injuries which might just be the story of his career. New Hampshire’s own Tim Schaller also got the snub from me due to a pure numbers standpoint but I’d like to see him on the 4th line occasionally for a jolt. Speaking of jolts Jesse Gabrielle has turned lots of heads recently as he seems to be following in the Brad Marchand mold of players, another guy I would like to see up in the Garden at times this year. Kenny Agostino is someone who, like Vatrano has a ‘wicked rippah’ of a wrist shot, he could spend time on the 3rd or even second line if they need a look.

My friends, it’s been over 1000 words and you have stuck with my pro-bono work as the Bruins GM.

As they say, keep your ear to the grindstone,
Lomonte

 

It’s Been Awhile

Welcome back readers, sports fans, probably just my mom; it has been a long while since I’ve posted or even recently thought about posting. Bringing me to the song of the post, It’s Been Awhile by Staind so click the link, take a listen and away we go into my musings on Boston sports.

Since I last posted on November 18th, 2015 Boston Sports Journal has semi-stolen my New England Sports Brief. Bygones will be bygones and I would highly suggest taking a look at Greg Bedard’s material, he’s the best in the business and gets far more technical than these ramblings I spill to you.

Recapping since my last post:patriots-falcons-3-28

The Patriots lost to Denver en route to Peyton (Asterisk) Manning’s exit. We had the last laugh from that loss because we are now FIVE time Super Bowl Champions and headed into a season where we are very dangerous and a superb contender to go back-to-back. I believe that despite our second Kansas City meltdown.

The Red Sox and their sarcastically wonderful manager came off of a terrible season to wish Papi a happy retirement. In doing so they got their doors blown off by the Indians in the ALDS and got to watch Theo and the Cubs win their 1st World Series this century. I wish the Cubs another 108 year curse, but I’m in the minority there. This season however we are in first place and look to close on that in the near weeks. However this year’s team is not winning any popularity awards given some of their actions. I hope for a rocky ending to finally get John Farrell out of town.

The Celtics, since I last posted, have come a long, long way. They were still scrappy underdogs and barely getting to the playoffs. Now, however shocking the trade was, are expected to compete for the Eastern spot in the NBA Finals. My takeaways from the Kyrie Irving – Isiah Thomas trade are; the Celtics are going to be a fun team to watch this year and I expect great things from them but I become heartbroken thinking about how much that I.T. and Jae Crowder had to go through in their personal lives and then getting traded away from a city and team that loves their gritty players and their toughness.

The Bruinspasta barely missed the playoffs last time I posted but then screeched into them while losing to Erik Karlsson and Craig Anderson in the first round this past season. Now however, PAY PASTRNAK ALREADY! More on that in an upcoming post, where I play armchair GM for the Bruins pro-bono.

If you’ve stuck with me thus far, I commend your persistence. That’s all I have in this post, I hope I don’t go AWOL again and stay up-to-date with my Boston Sports takes for your sanity.

Until next time,
Lomonte

 

Wed. 11/18/15 NE Sports Brief

As I get back into writing here in this blog, again, this time I’m being very cliche and writing in a coffee shop.

Suggested song of the Post: Big Parade by the Lumineers

So I’m trying this new format and figure that it could be a better use of my time, while still keeping up with adding posts. I’ll be recapping the Boston sports scene here in one post. Without further ado, here we go:

Boston Bruins:
This team, this year, doesn’t look like they have what it takes to go deep into the postseason. A month and a half into the season and they have been up, down, sideways all over the place. I might be one optimist in Bruins’ nation but I think they will make the playoffs and the young mixed with the ‘old’ core can thrive once they gel a bit more. When they’ve won, they’ve looked great. When they lost, they look awful. CRV5tvm

No team can win when they blow leads and are horrific on the penalty kill. As the season wears on the upper management needs to remain calm and not throw the future and present out the window in order to get back into it. Maybe a shake up on the blue line to gather prospects or picks, and getting rid of the coach; but more on that in another post. They’ll overall be fine, grabbing the 7th spot in the east for the playoffs but falter to the Habs. They tread water for now.

Boston Celtics
The upstart Celtics have come into the season with high expectations, and a tough beginning schedule. They have done just what I thought of them so far. Good defense and a spotty offense. I like what I have seen, and think they too will be a playoff team. I look forward to the second season we need to keep an eye on, what with the Nets first round pick, potentially a lottery one at that.

Looking way ahead to the offseason and making some bold predictions on that front. A top three pick could be enticing for free agents to take a look here. A top three pick, a young core and a talented coach could be a very good place for Kevin Durant to get the Celtics banner 18.

New England Patriots
This week’s game against the Bills should be a win and they should be careful; being a potential trap game. A trap game, not in the sense that the Patriots could lose the game; but a key player. I am more concerned about the health of the stars and studs on the team than I am with winning a measly regular season game.

I see the Patriots game being somewhat close, but overall the Bills falter on defense making way for Brady’s heroics with a “unknown” name being his sidekick. Patriots 34-Bills 27.

Boston Red Sox
This is our final season with David Ortiz, his farewell tour will be met with smiles, bat flips and some nastiness as the team gets back to October to extend his retirement date a bit further. I like the Kimbrel trade more than most; many think they gave up too much but with them trading away young middle infield prospects, of which you have proven young talent on the roster and also still in the minors, this trade helps them astronomically. I’ll get to the free agency below.

hi-res-339c1723bafc420393c789120f9905f2_crop_north

This season I see them getting to the Wild Card game, (and from there its up to fate) with the Blue Jays still riding high and winning the AL East. Pablo and Hanley start the season with the team but one gets dealt at the deadline for pitching depth (Mark Melanson, Jonathan Paplebon being a few that could be a nice compliment to Kimbrel).

Other Sport Thoughts:

-I see the Free Agency Pitching to fall like this; David Price to the Red Sox. Greinke back to LA. Zimmerman to the Cubs. Cueto to the Giants. Jeff Samardzija to the New York Yankees.

-Speaking of the Yankees, they scoop up Mat Latos or Scott Kazmir, Daniel Murphy and Justin Upton.

Until next time,

-Lomonte

Drop ‘Em; Gloves, Players and Coach

Song of the post: I See Fire by Ed Sheeran

Here we are again (no not another apology to why I haven’t posted in awhile) but here we are again, creeping closer to the NHL Trade Deadline.

Up here in New England all we want is no more snow. Please, please no more snow! Also here in New England we are looking towards the trade deadline and the Bruins front office. The dismal looking Bruins, who are in the playoff hunt, but are also dragging ass towards the Cup run.

The Bruins are in the 8th spot in the Eastern Conference, and are not going anywhere fast, they look frustrated and confused as if they aren’t playing the same game as the opposition. They are in cap jail and the league has noticed that the Bruins stars aren’t stars at all; seemingly not wanting to acquire a cup winning player from the Bruins. 600x400_Pastrnak_Action_vsFLA

As much as we’d like to see a Lucic for Oshie trade, the chances are very slim to that. As much as we’d like a time machine, we have neither the technology or the steady hands for an operation like that.

The Bruins need to focus in on the cancer in the locker room and trade him, look at 2011 for example, or trade off all pieces but Bergeron, Krejci, Hamilton, Rask and Pastrnak.

Yes, they don’t want to shed the impression that they are kissing goodbye on the season but they also can’t keep putting that product on the ice. I think they need to start the overhaul sooner rather than later.

Free up cap space, obtain draft picks and retool the roster this summer. It’s high-time for a change in the TD Garden. Perhaps its not the players, however.

Perhaps the coach is a broken record and can’t get his players to react to his preachings. The tenured coach may need to be replaced, the game is changing but he is not.

There is a place for the Big Bad Bruins but with some speed too.

-Lomonte

+It should be noted that I had no idea that Ed Sheeran played music until our second snow day at UNH

 

A Good Ol’ Shake-Up

Song of the Post- The Hockey Song

Happy New Year to you! And a not so happy New Year in the TD Garden. Tanking and underperforming teams are a constant as of late.

The underperforming team is the most confusing and perpetuating case that I mention. The Bruins were really effected by that Montreal series, it seems to have shaken the entire franchise to it’s core. They went from being feared and being in the top tier of the NHL to out of the wild card at this point in the season.

Nearly halfway through the ’14-15 campaign and the Bruins have more questions than the start of the season, which is concerning. What is this team to do? CRV5tvm

What are Julien and Chiarelli to do with the current cast of characters in the clubhouse?

The Bruins have gotten complacent and are contempt with their roles. They, and their coach, are set in their ways and know they have job security. Player like, Lucic, Marchand and others have their contracts, feel that their 1-2 seasons of success mean that they are firmly rooted in Bruins history. The Bruins brass needs to make a move that will fetch them either immediate returns or a haul like the Kessel trade.

We as fans deserve better than what has been put on the ice and as the Habs did when they lost to the Bruins in ’11, they rebuilt. They identified their core and upgraded around them. Unfortunately the Bruins were overconfident in their system as well as the players on the roster.

In my opinion, which most assuredly will not be taken into consideration as this team moves forward with the season, the team should sell off some key players this season; mend the ailing players and reload in the offseason. That meaning the B’s should ID some stars they can build on and ones they can lose. That will mean getting younger and getting some weight off the team.

Lucic, Marchand, Kelly, Campbell, Chara, McQuaid and Bartkowski are on my chopping block. Trade these players in bunches and in packages, attempting to obtain some younger talent and picks.

Kelly and Chara to Edmonton for Yakupov or some future picks would be fine by me, that team needs veteran leadership and defensive depth, those players would help solidify the Oilers on almost all fronts.

Lucic, McQuaid/Bartkowski to the Blues for TJ Oshie, as I alluded to in a previous post would help the B’s out on offense and help the Blues with their cap situation.

Marchand, and Campbell to the Blue Jackets or the Hurricanes for picks and/or some prospects in their systems. The Blue Jackets, although they annihilated the Bruins after Christmas, have few offensive options and while Campbell isn’t known for his offense, he can slot somewhere to help them and Marchand can further their edge that they play with. The Hurricanes are slipping and sliding and are thought to be shopping Eric Staal, I think they should do the opposite and add Marchand to his weapons.

Clearly the Bruins aren’t going anywhere, and their system is loaded with young top-4 defensemen, which is why I focused solely on adding forwards. They need a shake up and now is the time to fix it.

-Lomonte

+Pastrnak should not be moved.

A Boston Sports Fan Holiday Guide

Song of the post: THIS & Santa Claus is Coming to Town by Bruce Springsteen

Merry Christmas and happy holidays from me to you. Those of you in the New England area and New England sports fans globally, have had many Christmas wishes come true over the past 15 or so years.

This year we have a very specific Christmas wish list that would make us all happy in the long run for each of our favorite teams. Starting with the men who play Sundays, following with the Boston Celtics, leading into the Red Sox and then the Big (Bad) Bruins.

For the New England Patriots all we wish for Christmas for them is health, and to retain their level of play. It is no secret that without one of the cogs in the offensive machine that is led by Tom Bradyrob-gronkowski, they aren’t at their peak performance level. Blount and Gray are a dangerous tandem that when healthy can run on just about everyone. Lafell and Wright are similar towards the production in that they help Brady get the first downs when checked upon. Amendola and Edleman are another tandem that is necessary in the Pats successes. As we saw against the Jets, Amendola can be a feature wideout, although it would be nice if he wasn’t the premier target. Edleman has shown time and again that he is the Brown, Branch, Welker type of choice for Tom Brady and as we could tell on Sunday that his absence was felt in the struggle against their New York foe.

Lastly for the offense would be all-time health for Brady and Gronk, without them our ship has no captain or sail to lead us to victory. Without Gronkowski the past several years the Patriots have stalled and not made it where they need to. If he remains healthy with his QB then maybe his QB can party like Gronk until the misses calls Brady home. Four defensive standouts that the Pats wish remain healthy are Collins, Hightower, Jones and Revis. They need their top D-men to keep roughing up the opposition.

The Celtics are next on tap, and we wish for only one thing, tanking. Rondo is out and the Celtics are filled with young talent, but still miss that superstar they need. They need the no. 1 pick overall and the team will be complete. Expiring contracts coming off the book plus young stars coming of age, will be enticing for future free agents. Stay the course Danny Ainge.

We have a few wishes for the Red Sox this holiday season, and that is no more moves. I personally want to hold onto the talent they have and not trade to get Cole Hamels. He is not a necessity as ownership seems to believe. The other wish the current prospects break onto the scene and stay competitive. As a side wish, health for Papi would be well received.

The lackluster Bruins are winners of two in a row going into Christmas and for them we wish they’d get a top six right wingerSochi Olympics Ice Hockey Men and a brand new fourth line. As has been noted since preseason the Bruins need a top-line RW and the Blues are looking to move TJ Oshie according to sources, the Bruins have a need for his talents and could fit well with playmaker David Krejci. A move for him would certainly avoid the forbidden movement of lines in Julien’s system. He could slot in the top line next to Lucic and Krejci, leaving the Bergeron line intact along with the Soderberg-Eriksson line that has been potent as of late. He would shuffle things towards the right path they belong on. However given the Bruins cap situation and the Blues desire to retain Tarasenko they could attempt to deal some of their unnecessary contracts, such as the current fourth line, which hasn’t produced much in quite some time. Moving the likes of Campbell, Paille and even Kelly would free up cap space for the Bruins and offer roster spots for the touted prospects in Providence. Obtaining Oshie would be a giant leap in getting back into the playoff picture, as well as allowing prospects to grow in the Bruins system.

Although one thing we can all wish for is lower ticket prices and less traffic in going to watch our favorite teams. A (Christmas, Hanukkah, Festivus) Miracle it would be.

-Lomonte

+