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

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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

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.

 

Too Much Talent

Song of the post: I’m Not Sorry by Mike Stud & No Diggity by Blackstreet

Movie Scene that’s applicable: “Ya suspect

There’s no right spot to start with analyzing the Red Sox multiple signings in the wee hours last night. Hanley Ramirez and Pablo Sandoval are the top tier free agent hitters this year; and the Sox got them both. I should be excited, yes? dt.common.streams.StreamServer.cls

Well I’m not. This just feels wrong to me. This feels like the time we almost had A-Rod, or Texiera. I don’t like it. Maybe these deals aren’t legal but because Bud Selig is on his way out he doesn’t care. I feel dirty thinking about the Sox incoming talent. I just want Lester back. Is that wrong of me to think? The amount of talent on the opening day roster before these two signings was more than enough, not to mention the talent in the minors. Now I’m just confused.

Where is this team heading with these moves? Who is getting traded? What is going on at Fenway Park?

I am complaining that the Sox have too much talent coming into next year. There will be clashing between the forces in the lineup. The young guys, Xander, Middlebrooks, Jackie Bradley Jr., Mookie Betts, Garin Cecchini, will be bitter at the fact that the front office, who had been promising them playing time and starting spots has seemingly abandoned ship with them.

The players they brought in will be resentful that they were moved to beautiful Fenway Park. Craig, and Cespedes maybe blocked out of spots in the lineup and will probably cause a stir. Cespedes, it has been said, already is a drama queen in the clubhouse. Likewise, the new players that have signed recently may not get the ‘rightful’ amount of playing time that they signed for.

The Red Sox signing all these players may have a reverse effect that is desired. The Giants are already hard at work trying to steal Lester from the Red Sox, we took their big guy. Who says they won’t try the same. The Yankees are the Yankees so look for them to overspend to compete. The Dodgers may want Lester, Scherzer or Shields, so again, look out west to take a few prime starters from the Red Sox viewpoint.

What these few moves have done is scare pitchers away from the AL East, and make it enticing to play for the Red Sox as well. That’s what we hope at least. The best case scenario is that the Red Sox land Lester, and trade away for another proven pitcher to compliment Jon for the next few years as the young pitchers come into their own.

The bright side is they can make moves and are somewhat set up for Papi’s predecessor.

This bipolar post is brought to you by Confusion.

-Lomonte

+I am a little bitter that Barstool Sports signed Jarred Carrabis, I wanted that job and Jarred is kind of self centered. When the Sox won the Series in ’13 he talked solely about his “journey” and feelings with the team. Almost completely ignoring the Boston Marathon in his write up. He thought he was the driving factor behind them winning. Or so it seemed.

+Also sticking to the Barstool writers openings, I’ll write in Jerry Thornton’s place if needed.

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

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