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.

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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

The Whole Team Here

Songs of the Post: Started from the Bottom by Drake || We Are the Champions by Queen || Tessie by Dropkick Murphys

Your Boston Red Sox are 2013 World Series Champions! The Red Sox defeated the Cardinals 6-1 on the jowls of John Lackey, the broken back of Shane Victorino, the MVP caliber walks of Papi and the [breaking] balls of Koji Uehara. Boston_Red_Sox_celebrates_World_Series_championship_20131031013016_320_240

It had been 95 years since the Red Sox had clinched the World Series at home. 1918 was the last time. That year sounds familiar, huh? Well it’s finally laid to rest. Babe Ruth has rolled over in his grave and now his bones have turned to dust. That number can no longer haunt us, that number is now just that, a number.

It feels like a weight has been lifted and we can finally breath easier. Now this weight is not as heavy, not a fraction as heavy as the one from 9 years ago. This weight carried different burdens; the bloated contracts, the slobs we called pitchers, the crazy manager, the “sexy” team, and being the laughing stock of the league. Now we shed those names and became the heroes, the beardos, the 2013 World Series Champions.

I can’t say much more that hasn’t been said already and I want to let it sink in for all of us, however; since Scott Boras has moved onto free agency; I might as well too.

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I have half a mind of a GM and half a mind of a fan; perhaps that’s mostly just being a diehard. Show me a definition and I’ll stop thinking I can be in the front office. Part of me jumping ahead is because I won’t be around to experience the winter meetings and spring training (more on that in another post).

Jacoby Ellsbury, Stephen Drew, Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Mike Napoli and Joel Hanrahan frontline the free agent grouping.

Els and Drew are both Scott Boras clients and he has already started the tampering. According to Boras, Ellsbury needs an MRI on his right hand and eleven teams have already called about him. Eleven teams! Also his other champion client Stephen Drew, after an historically poor postseason was fitted for contacts between games five and six. No complaints there actually; he hit a homerun due to the contacts. I believe, unless Farrell needs his binky in Stephen Drew, that both will be gone onto… greener walls… cough.. cough Chicago Cubs.

Good riddance too! At times, most of the times, Stephen Drew was unbearable to watch, and at others you thanked the living gods that he was at short. However, like his brother we won’t really miss him. We have a 21 year old hotshot coming in. And as for Jacoby, he has, until this year been too ‘Hollywood’ for Boston. Many teams will have increased money and Ellsbury should be wooed elsewhere.

Their replacements will be Xander Bogaerts and Jackie Bradley Jr. I’m going to be the first to say it; these guys are the biggest, most dweeby, awkward baseball players I have ever seen. Their talent makes up for it though. Xander, fluent in four languages looked dumbfounded and like he’d rather be in an online chatroom when being interviewed; and at times when he was in the batter’s box. And I follow Jackie Bradley Jr. on twitter and some of the things he posts are just plain weird; and this picture: jbj

Like I said, their talent makes up for their current awkwardness.

In my opinion we can move on from Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Mike Napoli. Salty has overstayed his welcome by more than I ever wanted him to. Not to mention that he just kind of appeared on this team. I know he was traded but he’s just bleh. I can deal with Ross and Lavarnway until some of our catchers in the system can develop. Napoli was good while he was here but he was injured and he had that bigger hip issue early on. If they keep it to another year deal that’d be fine; but we can transition Lavarnway and Middlebrooks into firstbasemen as the farm seems to be teething with 3B and catchers.

I’d like to see Hanrahan back simply because Koji is 37 and that was magical and unheard of this season. We can’t expect near perfection for 5 months from him. He and Bailey looked good while they were back and forth between closer and setup. With Tazawa and Breslow and others in the ‘pen we’ll be looking good. I’d hope that Workman stays with the bullpen.

I think Lester should have his option picked up and we should work on and extension in the season. He earned it. Lackey should get another year or two added onto this contract he still owes us. Dubront should be the third starter and hope that he brings his stuff. Peavy and Dempster should split the fourth starter and one could be used as trade bait when the time comes. The fifth starter should be one of the kids in the farms; whether its De La Rosa or Webster; I think they can be brought up and taken under the wings of the older guys.

I didn’t forget about Buchholz:  indiana_jones_and_the_last_crusade

He can be traded at anytime in my opinion. We just went through Beckett checking out for half a year, but Beckett actually went out there and pitched. Buchholz’s attitude is very much west coast and he can go and take his shell necklace and hippie van out to California with him. The Dodgers threw us a bone once, why not again?

It’ll be a hot stove for sure, however we can’t bring back the same 25-40 guys. If you get complacent then you end up rolling in fried chicken grease and beer like the 2011 team.

-Lager

+I apologize for the lateness of the post
+I can’t take credit on the Buchholz picture- (Barstool)
+Check out the facebook page (link top left)