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.

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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 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

+

What Happened? I Blacked Out

Video of the post: Old School Debate scene

Song of the post: 3005 by Childish Gambino

What you should know about the video is that I just cranked out a paper and will stick it to my professor and his anti-American teachings today. Last class so I can’t wait.

On to the important matters; Red Sox and Bruins

The Red Sox, although I did bash them on twitter and a bit here, I now see what has and is taking shape. papi1It is great. Lester leaves to Chicago and cozy up with Theo and Jed, then the Sox promptly trade for two young pitchers that round out the back end of the rotation. They still need an ace. What the Sox did was equivalent to sticking it to Lester.

“Oh you want to leave for Chicago, fine we’ll improve the rotation behind the incoming ace and laugh as you have to deal with Johnny Gomes and Joe Maddon.”

This also shows to certain aces still on the market that the Sox aren’t playing around and can’t just hit and that they are ready to win. They have solid serviceable pitchers and young guns on the way up. Personally I would rather them sign Shields than trade for an ace.

****************

The big overrated Czech is back on the ice and is apparently playing tonight against the Chicago Blackhawks. Fitting that Chicago plays Boston and ‘our guy’ chose their mound over ours. I hope the Garden is rocking and the chirpers are out.

Back to Z playing tonight, I don’t think he should. His first game back against the most potent offense in the league, he looked slow this year anyway, so him playing tonight is puzzling, but I digress.

As overrated as I think he is, the boys in black and gold certainly need him back. I unfortunately have not seen much of the games this semester, you can blame the same professor as previously mentioned but, however I know they haven’t been at their best.

This is the time of the year they need to beat the ones they should and put up a fight against the better teams. I will say that the B’s need to make a move for a scorer on the top 2 lines.

The Bruins are in good position considering their predicament they got into with their injury plague and amount of games they played. As their schedule gets deeper and rate of games played thins, I expect them to make a great run and position themselves well going into the All-Star break.

Coming soon: Break down of the Patriots.

-Lomonte

+Masterson signs with Sox

+So now the Sox rotation:
(ACE)Porcello
Kelly
Miley
Bucchholz-Masterson-Prospects

Someone Get The Pitchforks Ready, The Celtics Are Winning

Song of the post: Ready For This Steve Aoki Remix

The Boston Celtics have won four games in a row. That’s right, count ’em four (1-2-3-4) wins. That’s a quarter of the wins I personally think they should strive for. hi-res-183712255-head-coach-brad-stevens-of-the-boston-celtics-meets_crop_650

They beat the Jazz, an equally awful team, they beat the Magic twice, a team that sucked last year and will this year too. And they beat the Heat; the only win I approved of. That made them 4-4, too far ahead of the curve of where they should be. Brad Stevens has this team believing they can win, and they are streaking; which is a terrible thing for any team with as great of a chance at the lottery as they do.

I condemn anyone who thinks that the Celtics should NOT tank this year. They have a grand opportunity in their laps several first round picks in the next six years. This is the year to tank, this is the year to suck, this is the one to get that coveted young superstar. The Celtics have good complimentary pieces as of now, Sullinger, Green, Olynyk and Bradley. They also have assist-happy Rajon Rondo healing up.

That doesn’t mean go for the title this year Brad [Stevens]. You cannot and will not get past the Knicks, Nets, Pacers or Heat. Zero chance Brad. If you don’t get the lottery this year you will have effectively sent the Celtics into the abyss of mid-round picks the next 5 years. This is the perfect time to suck, you have the aforementioned players who are all younger than 27. If the Celtics land a lotto pick then he can blossom to a superstar at the right time. It will be the passing of the torch from Lebron to (future pick) just as it was Pierce to Lebron not too long ago.

If the Celtics do not land the lottery pick this year they might just get a wee bit better the next several years and never have this golden opportunity again. This is a blessing for the Celtics. I do not agree with ‘green-teamers’ that think to package several players to get an Anthony Davis or Andre Iguadala. There is a core in place that would be perfect to compliment a budding superstar.

The case is they need the lottery pick this year, preferably a gifted scorer that Rajon Rondo can pass the ball to for the next few years. Then once you have Rondo and STBNL (superstar-to-be-named-later), you can get the third wheel (Kevin Love?) and complete the next big three.

Bottom line; this is the year to tank because of timing and this wonderful opportunity handed down to them. It would be utterly foolish and a showcase of Danny Ainge’s ineptitude to not pursue this year’s lottery draft.

The NBA isn’t like the MLB we don’t want a miracle story, we want dynasties.

-Lager

Win The Series and Fall Into a Rut: What Not To Do in the Offseason

Song of the post: Dancing with Avicii

Not even a week removed from the superb Sox World Series win, we have reached the simmering of the hot stove. Rumors already bouncing in here, there and everywhere.

The latest and most disturbing to me is the Brian McCann rumor. He and his agent have already started to muse about Fenway and its faithful fans, some Sox representatives have mentioned his name in passing. STAY AWAY! I’ve heard he’s asking for 3-5 years for upwards of 40 million guaranteed.

Have we learned nothing? Stay away. You have 2 serviceable catchers between Ross and Lavarnway, plus a few prospects in the system at the catcher position. We set forth last offseason straying from the big, bloated contracts as well as building from within; why falter from that plan?

I’m not even a fan of bringing back the same team as last year. Yes, the pieces you must bring back can stay there; however the 2013 Red Sox should remain that, the bearded heroes who brought a city back to Boylston Street.

No Salty, no Drew, no Ellsbury, and Napoli may be an exception for a 1 year deal. If we try to bring back the same team we will only be disappointed and let down. The team will compete no matter what and the Sox will be in the hunt but there is no need to repeat history. The free agent market is bleak this year and I think the fans would be perfectly content standing pat, as it were. The city and the fans fell in love with this team; and it seems as though the ownership did even more to the point where it might cripple your chances going forward.

Build from within and extend the players before they reach free agency. We have a great farm system.

-Lager

The Talented, but Troubled Tampa Bay Rays and Where They Should Move

Song of the Post: Southern Comfort Zone by Brad Paisley || Aw Naw by Chris Young || The Greatest by Kenny Rogers

I feel bad for the players in the Tampa Bay Rays organization. They have wonderful scouts and wonderful players and they have plenty of talent. However, they have no fans, and those fans that are there are not very passionate. Baseball, all sports rather, are better when the teams have passionate fan bases. The Tampa Bay Rays have a young, talented and stocked farm system and should be given a chance to play in front of fans that care. dt.common.streams.StreamServer

I can look close to home to all the way West, and North and South; all of the Boston teams have the best fans, and is obvious by the sheer masses that come to the parades. Then you can look out West to the Seattle Seahawks and Sounders fans, loudest on the planet. I hate to say it but Montreal and Toronto have great fans; and then look at the southern college fans, ‘Bama and LSU have great fans that stay for life.

Tampa has none of those characteristics, but their players deserve better. And they can’t keep their players long enough to build on the team and retain the veterans to perhaps win a championship and maybe some fans. Not to mention their stadium is a dump and a rat festered area.

They need to move. Look what it did to the Expos organization. Now the Washington Nationals they have some fan interest and are nearly there to contend every year. The Rays are there every year (as of late at least) and a change of scenery would be best to jumpstart a fan base and keep some players there.

I am biased and want them to lose to the Sox perennially. However, they are too talented and deserve a better place to play.

I have often dreamed of winning the lottery. You know the huge one that’s like 300 million or more? Well I’d want that in one sum and buy out the Rays and move them somewhere nicer.

A place like Nashville, Tennessee. Random, sure but the facts about that city would be suitable for a baseball team. Known for country music and their whiskey Tennessee has one thing missing from being the most “American” city and that is a baseball team. Look at the Nashville Predators, a hockey team with fans in a southern town. I’d bet that Nashville has more people that are knowledgeable about baseball than they do hockey.

I believe that Nashville has a minor league team but they can switch places with Tampa.

A name change could be in order as well as a new color scheme. I’d call them the Nashville Pioneers with a gold, red and bronze color scheme; their logo an “x” made up of an axe and a rifle.

The players and manager would remain the same, just new colors and better fans. Opening day would feature Nashville-based artists singing the National Anthem. Maybe its just a dream but I think it’d be good for baseball.

-Lager