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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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

Lazier than Manny Ramirez on a Grounder to Short

Song(s) of the Post: Freak by Steve Aoki & Take U There by Jack U & a throwback on this thursday Boom, Boom, Boom, Boom!!! by Vengaboys

Apologies mean close to nothing in today’s world, and I have few avid followers of this blog to write one here. However, I have been busy with plenty of new responsibilities this semester, which speak to my absence on here.

So, as I try to escape studying, and writing papers, I stumbled back upon this hobby of mine.

Since my last post, the New England Patriots have not lost, Tom Brady is funkier than ever and Gronk has turnt up like we all know he can do. Since my last post, the Red Sox are no longer defending Champions, they are chasing free agents with promises and North End’s finest cuisine. Since my last post, the Bruins have started the season the way they should have, losing half their D-corps.

Now to elaborate on each of those topics:W1ST9658.JPG

The Patriots 8-2 on the year, and 6-0 since Kansas City, are in the driver’s seat of the AFC. They look well on their way to title 4. As I alluded to earlier Tom is playing at a ridiculous level for an over the hill QB. The O-line remembered that they’re protecting the greatest QB to play the game. The receivers have finally run the correct routes, and we still have two young guys who haven’t quite broken the starting 11 (Dobson, Tyms). The running game is looking as good as they can without Stevan Ridley, RIP. Bill is coaching out his mind, and the Militia of Boom is coming to fruition now that Browner and Revis are playing at the correct level.

I will say, this is all fun and games but its only November, and I beg that the Patriots aren’t peaking too early in the season. They are playing top-tier football but if they don’t enhance this play during the playoffs, then I gotta say, I’m a little nervous. And believe-me-you the Broncos peaked too early in the season, and dare I say it, but the Eli-led teams peaked weeks 15-February….

That stung, but I’m looking realistically. I don’t believe they’ll take a dip in performance, nor do I wish that upon my team. In Bill We Trust.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Lester, Panda and the crew will cause some noise this year. 9a48d99d0dc9454aaf303233d4d9ea9f-9a48d99d0dc9454aaf303233d4d9ea9f-0

Things look promising on all fronts with the Red Sox and the free agent class this year. Then again, its only November. I expect a big year from the Sox, as I do every year. This year is the year they can put the Giants and Cardinals in check by asserting their dominance since ’04. Winning 4 in 11 years is just as impressive as 3 in 5. And its almost more difficult to do. With the pending addition of Sandoval, David Ortiz will have more than enough protection in the lineup and have an immensely productive summer. Pedroia in front of him, Cespedes behind him, Panda behind that, and Nap behind him. Not to mention Allen Craig, Xander and Castillo. I feel my wallet getting lighter with all the tickets and beer I plan on buying this summer. The team is going to be stacked…. On offense.

Pitching on the other hand, will be a wild ride. Assuming Lester returns and pitches close to his performance last year the ace will be an ace. 2-5 however will be kind of a toss up. De La Rosa, Webster and Joe Kelly are “meh” pitchers as of now and with the offense looking as potent as it is I’d say they’ll be alright in the end. Koji is back and we’ll need nothing less than what we’ve expected from him. Should be a fun summer with the Sox.

Buy your turkeys early this year, Pablo’s gonna be rich and hungry.

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The Bruins are right where we want them this year. There is no sarcasm in that statement either.They have talent and talent on the IR, set to return for the grind of the season, right in time to be healthy to ramp it up for the playoffs. B1FAzT9CIAA7Say

Rask will return to form and win some games for them. As I said, the injured D-corps will come back and just in time. As we have seen in such a short sampling, when Krejci is in the lineup they can beat whoever they want; all the lines are set in their entirety and they run the show on those nights. Dougie is coming into his own and has almost grown into his body, the 6’5″ Elsa costume wearing peer of mine has thrown on some muscle and has shown a “tough” side at times this year.

I’m not worried about the Bruins and I’d like them to stay put at the trade deadline.

-Lomonte

+BASKETBALL! CELTICS! RONDO! I got nothing.

+I’d rather Boychuk than Chara still on the team but that’s neither here nor there.

+Today’s post was brought to you by procrastination

Take it Easy Tom

Song of the post: 100 Black Coffins by Rick Ross 

I had to let my feelings from Monday night sink in and settle down so in this post I’ll talk about the Patriots flub of a game against the Chiefs.

As you can tell by the song, (53 Coffins on Monday night) the New England Patriots as we know them seemingly died in Kansas City.

First things first, the crowd seemed like a bunch of pink hats out to break the sound barrier only. At least I think so.

Now to analyzing the disgrace that was the Patriots: Special teams, the best in the league. Defense, below average on all accounts and even further below average blowing their assignments and giving up 300 yards in the first half. The offense, even worse than the defense. They couldn’t develop any sense of rhythm or keep the defense off the field to catch their breath.

I’ll focus more on the offense because they are the weakest link right now. It all starts with Tom Brady. You heard right, Tom Brady is the reason that the Patriots are 2-2, not the O-line, not the receiving corps, but Tom Brady is hurting the Patriots more than not. (Aside from Josh McDaniels).hi-res-158177656_crop_exact1

Brady commands respect in every room, field or area he enters and is the greatest post-season QB to ever play. Something is off with him however. Maybe its Gisele wearing the pants, maybe its the new handsome backup from Eastern Illinois, maybe its Tom Brady. Maybe Tom Brady is the problem. He is one of the best motivators of his time and has always seemed to turned it up a notch when it was time to. He was able to motivate when he was playing better than everyone else. He’s been pedestrian so far.

His motivational tactics involve losing his temper and getting amped at his targets. We see it when he hammers his helmet into Gronk’s or slaps Edelman on the ass. He loves the game and gets intense. And until recently the team around him has responded well to it.

This is a different generation now. The offensive line is young, as are the receivers. And this generation, my generation has had the softer coaches and ‘everybody gets a trophy’ mentality. Tom is nearly ten years older than the guys he needs to motivate. Yelling at them makes them tuck their tails between their legs and not step up.

Or so that’s what I’ve seen in the majority of times that Brady has used his anger to motivate the team. The 22 and 23 year old o-line can seem to do nothing right in his mind, but Tom needs to help them as well as motivate them. He has to lead them more than we’ve seen. He needs to also do his job.

-Lomonte

PS: Now that Browner is back this week is the defense going to be the Militia of Doom?

One last thought: Perhaps Josh McDaniels is the issue, not any of the players at all.

The Gang’s All Here

The infamous song of the post: Freaking Out by Flo Rida

This is my first post in quite some time. Nearly a year. I was busy with military training and then an awesome summer job so I drifted away from this lovely little blog. Here I am again, back in school and better than ever.

Since being away New England sports have had let down after let down. Which I’m neglecting to mention.

Today, a mere nine days to the Bruins 2014-2015 season, we look ahead.

466351393_slideKrug’s back.

Smith’s back.

The gang is all here. Something in the air tells me this team is hungry. This team is willing and ready to get our cup back. Tim Thomas may be gone but his logo is stamped on this team. Prove people wrong.

“This team is too slow, this team is too old fashioned, they can’t skate with the rest of the NHL.”

Yet they have the most talent depth defensive core in the NHL, they have a Vezina goalie, and two studs backing him up. They have a Norris trophy winner, and young puck moving defensemen to back the Mack Trucks of Boychuk, McQuaid and Kevan Miller. They have a center corps that is worthy of any NHL team, with Bergeron, a perennial Selke finalist as their 2nd line center. Two left-wingers are determined to bounce back from dismal postseasons. Not to mention the plethora of young talent fighting for their NHL career to take off.

The Bruins didn’t change much from last year aside from losing Thorty and  Jarome “30 Goals” Iginla, which as difficult as it may be to replace those two players I have full confidence that their production will be matched if not passed. If what these two players say is true, Marchand and Lucic are coming back into the season with a head full of steam and are ready to step up their game. Which should mean more scoring from them.

The player replacing Iginla missed significant time last year is Loui Eriksson, and he can score at least 20 goals in his sleep. And playing with a play-making center in Krejci, and a thumper in Lucic he should have plenty of space to snipe.

Reilly Smith is back and is also capable of scoring 20-25 goals, and with chemistry between his linemates already developed, they could be clicking pretty quickly.

The mysterious third line is going to be a work in progress all season. I think it could be beneficial though. I envision Soderberg-Kelly-Spooner as the interchangeable center. Winged by either Paille/Campbell and Fraser. Fraser has impressed me during preseason and might even push Smith for the 2-line RW position.

The fourth line will look quite a bit different from the Merlot line of years past. Campbell said a position change for him could be in effect, that meaning he may not be the center for that line. The fourth line may look like an AHL line of the past two years, bringing along a few of the kids whether it’s Khoklachev, or Caron/Florek may take up two of the positions on that fourth line.

The bottom six forwards will be mixed and matched until something clicks and that will be good, for competition and even production. 1297542845319_ORIGINAL

As for the defense; the top four are likely set in stone. Chara and Seidenberg for chokeholding the other team’s top line, then Boychuk and Hamilton for some  offensive spark and toughness.

The defense will be business as usual, and the bottom two spots may be open for anyone at camp. Although Torey Krug is our powerplay specialist, his spot is not given to him. The last two could be anyone from Krug, Bartkowski, McQuaid, Miller, Morrow or even Warsofsky.

The reigning President Trophy winners have 69 points to replace between a few players. They are hungry and ready to prove people wrong.