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

+

Ouch Jon.

Song of the post: Blank Space by (the one and only) TAYLOR SWIFT

We’ve all heard, and this may be late to the show but Jon Lester is a Chicago Cub. despicable-me-minions-whaaaat-aczfexuc

Jon Lester is gone. He is in the less hated pinstripes and on the up and coming Cubs. Theo Epstein and his “prospects” were more than the Red Sox and their stacked offense and the offer to be the next legend.

Alas it was not enough, and just like that the Cubs are soon to be contenders. My hate for them grows and I’ve said it before but I never want to witness the Cubbies win it. Steve Bartman you are my hero.

We turn the page and look at the strange roster that belongs to Ben Cherington and John Farrell. What are they to do with their minimal pitching? Who is available to sign? How do we fix this?

First, they need an ace, preferably through free agency. Which narrows it down to James Shields and Max Scherzer. Scherzer looks like a Yankee, and he’s asking for 200 million. I think he is out. James Shields, as I think I’ve mentioned before would be the best fit on this Sox team. He can be an ace while our farm system blossoms into great pitchers. I want him and I want him now.

If they cannot obtain an ace through free agency they must turn the tables with trades. No one is safe. The Sox need an ace and they should stop at nothing to get one, one that is young and will actually give them years and productivity if they were to trade Bogaerts, or Betts, or even Pedroia with Cespedes. I said it. Pedroia could be out of town, if they desperately need a young stud pitcher. 201310011529557518686

However, they should lay out the money for Shields and then trade a one-for-one with Cespedes and any of the number of pitchers attached to his name; Cueto, Latos, etc.

Two pitchers and then the Red Sox should stand pat. Keep this roster until NEEDS arise.

Assuming they get the “correct” pitchers in FA and trade market their rotation would look something like:

James Shields
Cuteo-Latos-Masterson
Joe Kelley
Rubby de la Rosa
Clay Bucchholz-Webster-[Prospects]

With the lineup they are throwing out there that is more than formidable enough to contend. Not to mention many players on the roster will be protected by the other members of the lineup and are due for bounceback seasons.

All in all, the Lester loss is baffling, could’ve been avoided and needs to be addressed.

-Lomonte

+Not to mention that the way he left was exactly how he said he wouldn’t leave. He said something along the lines of “what’s 20 million when on a scale that large?”

+ Red Sox- 6 years and $135
+Cubs 6/7 years and $155/170

+Hypocrite, liar, and I’ll deeply think about my fanship if the Red Sox honor him before the next 20 years is up.

+Bobby V’s fault.

 

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.

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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.

Bye Week Already?!

Song of the post: Drunk Last Night by the Eli Young Band

I apologize for this being the first Pats only football post of the season. It’s bye week and that’s unacceptable. In my defense I was here, there and everywhere on Sundays and Breaking Bad was quite addicting.

Also the on-field product was making me want to yak. This week, albeit the mopping of the Steelers was rather ugly. Now, clearly the team is hurt and many of the players are new and new to the system. Brady has been trying to find which receivers are reliable and which (cough.. Josh Boyce) are invisible. The defense who could be top 5 in the league when healthy, have not been healthy or shown their best. Wilfork, Mayo, Talib, Kelly, and most recently Gregory and Ninkovich are the biggest and best on that side of the ball; and on the injury list.

Most teams with all of their losses on personnel would call off the dogs and kick their feet back. Not while Belichick is running the helm. He has done a masterful job this year from defusing the Tebow circus, deflecting the Hernandez hype, grunting at reporters and winning football games this year. Despite the loss of players he has coached this team up and won games the real Patriot way. DOBSON-HED-515x268

’07-’12 it was about blowing out teams while the defense was being rebuilt piece by piece. Right as all things were clicking, Welker decided he’d rather get high and eat Papa John’s with Peyton. Hernandez thought he was playing GTA V and Gronk got hurt. Then they had to win the ways from ’01-’06; close games won with gritty offense and clamping defense.

Now a shade more than halfway through the season the Patriots have done just that.

With a fluke loss at the Meadowlands, or the Jets new stadium rather, and an embarrassment from a very dangerous Cincinnati team, they have been great; winning with some flare for the dramatic and defense. Against the Steelers the Patriots should’ve had the game wrapped up after the first possession in the third; but a fumble changed the game.

Then some great QB work by the best, Tom Brady they took off with the game, took it to Pittsburgh better than the Bruins did last spring.

Looking ahead the Panthers could be a hidden threat. Cam Newton and their defense has been wondrous as of late. Then come in the Broncos a huge game that could show our dominance and potentially (unofficially) clinch a bye in the playoffs. From there the toughest team would be the Ravens, and even then they don’t have Ed Reed or Ray Lewis so Brady can really open his eyes and have some fun there.

The Texans and Dolphins are teams that will slowly fall into the abyss of the NFL. Unless Case Keenum shows something amazing. However, the Dolphins with this huge controversy should be done for the year; a locker room split perhaps and not much fight as we assumed.

I expect the Patriots to finish 13-3 with a bye if they’re lucky, but probably 12-4 with the AFC East division clinched. Time will tell, and unfortunately I will be away for the end of the season and playoffs. Hopefully they’ll be in the Super Bowl when I’ll be able to watch.

-Lager

+I like goofy Tom Brady

Brady to Tebow! BRADY TO TEBOW!

Song of the post: Too Much by Dave Matthews

Training camp has started and the Tebow Train has left the station.

ny_u_ttebow4_sy_400The Patriots will have a circus on their hands with Tebow, Hernandez, Dennard and anything that happens with in Gronk’s party-life. There are two things that can stop it; winning and Belichick’s answers to the madness. “Yeah he suits up, plays football.” “He is a tough player.” “I think we just have to adjust.” That sums up an interview with Bill.

Win Brady win, that’s the mindset. It’ll be interesting to watch what happens throughout training camp and preseason games. This year you get the sense that besides Brady, and Gronk every position is going to be a battle. Best player wins.

Today they apparently had Tebow at WR. I love it. Absolutely love it. He’s going to be the guy we can throw to on 4th and two and as long as he catches it he will fight for those extra yards we need. He’s as big as a fullback, fast as a runningback and as versatile as they come. He’s a football player. He will line up on special teams, defense and the bench. Belichick is going to toy with the media and the opposing teams by throwing Tebow out their for ridiculous situations.

He’ll play my position that I play in basketball, “distraction guard.”

In a few weeks it won’t be “murderer, drunk, Hernandez, Dennard,” it’ll be “Brady to Tebow! Brady to Tebow! BRADY TO TEBOW!”

The Patriots will be fine, and the rest of the AFC East will blow up somehow so I’m not worried about that. Nor am I worried about the Ravens, and by Ravens I mean Joe Flacco because he’s the only one playing. I’m not worried about the Broncos either because have you seen what we’ve done to their defense the past two years? Demolished it, and that was with Elvis Dumervil.

BRADY TO TEBOW!  [Gronk/Tebow ’13]

Lager

This One Time at Seguin’s House

Song(s) of the Post: Charlie Brown by Coldplay & Runnin’ Outta Moonlight by Randy Houser & Born in the U.S.A. by Bruce Springsteen

What a long strange trip it’s been since I last wrote a post. I mean 10 days ago? Holy shirts and shoes.

Well, what didn’t happen in the sporting world? Jeez there was a lot that went down since I took my holiday hiatus. Wind the clock back and you’d see that the Stanley Cup Just ended, we all still had Hernandez jerseys, the Celtics didn’t have 9 picks in 5 years, and the Red Sox weren’t…. yes they were in first place. That hasn’t changed.

I’ll start there. The Red Sox, first place Red Sox, wow it’s nice to say that again. Top of the league in almost every team category; they are the little team that could. Sure, at the current moment they have been skidding a bit, however they are on the West Coast road trip. That always kills them. Plus their best pitchers are hurt or cautious.

The Sox will be interesting to watch, as they have all season, but this year they are never the favorite. No way, no how.

We all counted them out, and for good reason, I mean????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????…. Look.

But we did in ’04, and that team was more thrown together than this one. I’m not saying they will win the World Series, the NL is too strong, I am saying that they are going to contend every team they face for a win.

________

Well, the least fun story to talk about is on tap next.

The New England Patriots, oh how we loveth thee. Whether you are an opposing fan, or a hometown boy they are an interesting topic. As an away fan you want to hate on them as though they slept with you mother and sister then laughed about it. As a townie you root for them ’til pigs fly.

Away fans cannot deny the fact that they are the classiest franchise on the planet right now. They are buying back their mistake’s jersey and burning them for you. You pick a new jersey as long as your bring in the one of the team murderer.

As for the future season, it is about to be time to talk about them nonstop. In Brady we trust on offense, and fingers crossed for defense. That’s the motto recently. I’m fine with Gronk not being 100% until sometime in November because that’s when we need our offense to get strong, then for him to hit his stride come February.

________

I’ll go with the Celtics here, because look at that hair. spt_2_olynyk_pic_t575

Last I wrote about them we had two if not three Hall Of Famers on the team. Then Danny dropped the ball and executed a great trade for the future team.

After drafting Kelly Olynyk in the draft Ainge made a call to shape the Celtics for years to come. They sent Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Jason Terry to the Nets for garbage and 3 picks in 5 years.

This may not be a good thing for some fans because they want to win and want to win now. However, the Celtics ABOSU-friggin-LUTELY need to be in the lottery this year. I don’t care how or why they do it, just get to the lottery boys. I feel that the luck will be upon them if they get there. Brad Stevens better play it right.

Not only is the top pick as coveted as LBJ, but the consolation prizes are also decently talented. My plan, which I hope you’re all on board with is to tank this year. Either sit Rondo for a year or trade him at the deadline, then get Wiggins as the first pick, him becoming Kobe, and McHale and getting back on track, then in 2018 get the Nets lottery pick for the Pippin to Wiggins’ MJ.

_______

The NHL’s runner up, Boston Bruins have some explaining to do.

Fine, Horton walked, and yeah Ference had younger competition with better upside, but Seguin could’ve warranted a better return at say the trade deadline?

However, that’s past us and now we finally have a talented top six instead of a decent top nine. I mean yeah I liked Seguin’s potential, but that’s all it seemed like it was, potential. Perhaps it was the system, his work ethic or the millions of women in the greater Boston area that wanted him (plus entry to any bar and get out of jail free cards); that caused the trade that will shape the NHL.

I don’t see why it will be a bad trade, basically getting similar numbers and some prospects. I’m excited about the prospects, one of them, Morrow, will fit nicely in with the rest in 2-3 years. He’s a bigger sized Bartkowski. Morrow, Krug, Bartkowski, Hamilton will be a top 5 D in the NHL in 5 years. Mark. My. Words.

Then we signed Iginla, WOW!!! I mean I’m still bitter about this winter’s tease but now I’m fine that we didn’t have to give up prospects. Next thing on the list is to sign Rask and then extend Bergeron.

I’m feeling the decade of dominance will be extended a few more years.

Lager

+Revs are doing well