Posted by: Mike B. | October 13, 2009

Me on the news!

Not sports related but figured I would share this.

http://www.thebostonchannel.com/video/21278983/index.html

Posted by: Mike B. | October 12, 2009

Red Sox Sabotage Themselves Out of the Playoffs

Sox getting swept by the Angles in 3 straight to get eliminated from the playoffs wasn’t the thing that bugged me the most; it was the way it happened. In games one and two pitching was great but then there was no offense. Then in game 3 we finally saw some offense but then the bull pen collapsed and the pitching killed us. They just never put pitching and hitting together in the same game. I must say it is a shame because the Red Sox starters did what they needed to accomplish and pitching wins championships right? Well not if the hitting is gone as the Red Sox felt like they needed to prove in games one and two.

Game 3 was a completely different story as closer Papelbon lost the game for the Sox in the 9th inning. It was a scene out of a horror flick as the Red Sox were one out away from a one run win in the ninth but then the season disappointment for the Angles, Vladimir Guerrero, showed why he has been the face of the Angles throughout his career. It seemed from the onset of the series that Los Angeles had more of their heart and determination in the game then the Red Sox did.

There were good things for Red Sox fans to take out of the series however, some Red Sox players performed well. Offensively the biggest surprise was Jacoby Ellsbury who led the Red Sox with 3 hits while Drew continued his steady improvement in a Red Sox uniform by going 2 – 9. Buchholz shined and let up the least number of runs of the 3 Red Sox starters as well. Bard had 3 shutout innings, while Saito had one inning of shutout ball himself. As much as I hate to point it out Ortiz and Youkalis were both disappointments in the series for the Red Sox, along with season standout Ramon Ramirez who pitched great this season in the pen but appeared to let the postseason emotions take over against the Angels.

All in all it was a giant season of ups and downs for the Red Sox, a season which unfortunately will be most remembered for the down swings of the year then the up swings. Well Red Sox fans, there is always next year.

Posted by: Mike B. | September 28, 2009

Red Sox Update (September 28th)

Well it wasn’t the weekend Sox fans were hoping for to say the least. Good news is that the Sox magic number to secure the Wild Card is down to 2. Facing Toronto and then Cleveland to close out the year I think it is pretty safe to say they are in. Then the task at hand will be the Angles who Boston has been dominating this year. This will set up another ALCS against the HATED Yankees (unless they manage to lose to the Tigers) and I’d expect the Red Sox to be a bit more prepared in that match-up. As of late the Yankees have owned the Red Sox so the Red Sox will look to their superior pitching to get them out of the woods in that respect.

The Red Sox are looking good going into the last week of the regular season and at over 90 wins I’d have to say they had a great year. Ups and downs like any other baseball season I think pitching and pitching depth were the big story of the 2009 season. The addition of Victor Martinez is another big storyline that New Englanders won’t soon forget. I’m expecting that before the close of September the Red Sox will be popping corks to celebrate another Wild Card, BRING ON OCTOBER.

Posted by: Mike B. | September 17, 2009

BC Ready for First “Real” Game of the Year

This week will be the first opportunity for Boston College to make a statement in the ACC, let’s hope it is a good one. Boston College will take on Clemson on their home turf for their third game of the year. I know what you’re thinking, “But you said first game of the year”. The first two games of BC’s season were more like practice games in my opinion cause their opponents were not that “high caliber” of a college team. First game of the year they took on fellow Boston team Northeastern and won 54-0 which was followed up with a 34-7 victory vs. Kent State. With two huge victories in the first two games BC still isn’t on the college football radar since the teams they played aren’t very convincing in the least.

This Saturday September 19th head coach Frank Spaziani will take his BC Eagles into enemy territory for a noon time battle in which Clemson is favored by 7. BC will try to ride their 2 headed monster QB tandem Justin Tuggle and Dave Shinskie to try and upset the Tigers on their home turf. This game looks to be a big offensive battle, one which new “head cheerleader” Mark Herzlich will definitely be there for. Herzlich is the BC Linebacker who was diagnosed with cancer during the offseason and goes to all the BC games in between chemo therapy treatments. This weekend he will also get the pleasure to catch the Falcons game as well to watch former teammate and Falcons QB Matt Ryan.

My prediction for the game is a BC victory by 3 lead by their high powered offense and Top ACC receiver Rich Gunnell. BC defenders will have their hands full themselves however as the No.2 and No.3 receivers in the ACC are on Clemson (Jacoby Ford and C.J. Spiller respectively). This should be a great test for the BC defense without their star linebacker Herzlich, I am expecting that with their spirits high from two blowout wins BC will hang on to win this offensive matchup.

For more great articles like this one please visit FanRates.com and Boston Sports Then and Now.

Posted by: Mike B. | September 17, 2009

The Return of Dice-K

With Matsuzaka coming to the mound I was honestly very apprehensive to have him take the mound, especially wit the way the Red Sox pitching has been on fire of late. I was very wrong about not having “faith” in Dice-K, as he pitched great. 6 innings and 93 pitches later Dice-K ended his night as a 3 hit shutout. Walks were the problem with this outing (like many of Dice-K’s) as he had 3 along side 5 strikeouts. Red Sox pitchers are starting to click I thought; Beckett, Lester, Buchholtz and now Dice-K. Pitching wins championships and the Red Sox potential playoff starters are looking great just in time for the playoff race.

As exciting as Dice-K’s return was it was not the only big story of the night. Papi’s homerun set a new record (270) for homeruns by a DH, passing Edgar Martinez. It was good to see a big positive for “Big Papi” in a year that brought so many negatives on him. Between his horribly slow start and the positive steroid test coming out this yeah Ortiz hasn’t been looking or acting like the Big Papi that Red Sox fans know and love. Congrats David!

For more great articles like this one please visit FanRates.com and Boston Sports Then and Now.

Posted by: Mike B. | September 15, 2009

Patriots Week 1 Review

With the Patriots week 1 Monday Night Football game over we can now take a look back at how the team did.

Overall:

All in all I think the team did ok. With that said this game should not have been won by the Patriots but on throw back uniform night we got a taste of the vintage Tom Brady we are used to seeing. Luck combined with deadly accurate passing from Tom Brady made the comeback what it was; miraculous. With that being said I think the defense is the unsung hero of the game. Yes they had times where they did not look good, yes they had times where it seemed the Bills were marching down the field and yes people were expecting them to do better. The reason I say “unsung hero” is because this is a fairly new unit without Vrabel, Seymour and Bruschi; not to mention without Mayo at the early stages of the game. They did a better job late in the game then I was expecting by far and had a key fumble and fumble recovery that set Tom up to make that game winning drive.

Met expectations:

Randy Moss (12 REC, 141 YDS): I think we expect a big game from him every week and this week he delivered. During one drive he almost seemed unstoppable while he a Brady found themselves on the same page.

Wes Welker (12 REC, 93 YDS): Throw back uniform night apparently means vintage Wes Welker as well.

Tom Brady (39/53, 378 YDS, 2 TD, 1 INT): A bit rusty (the interception) but then Brady made up for it by leading the Patriots to another TERRIFIC comeback victory. I was wondering where his nickname came from and he refreshed my memory last night.

Adalius Thomas (5 tackles, 1 sack, 4 solo, 1 pass deflection, 2 QB hits): Adalius is still here unlike his veteran defenders Vrabel and Bruschi and boy are we glad.

Lawrence Maroney (10 carries, 32 yards): I’m beginning to wonder if he will ever have a breakout season. He is continuing to disappoint me especially since they were even putting an extra blocker on the line for him; STOP STUDDER STEPPING!

Above Expectations:

Ben Watson (6 REC, 77 YDS, 2 TD): After being thought of as “the guy that dropped the easy pass” early in the game he joined alongside Brady as the hero of game by catching the last 2 touchdowns of the game.

Brandon Meriweather (8 tackles, 3 solo): What a great game by Meriweather, he was all over the place and was one of the defenders that caused the fumble on the 4th quarter kickoff, setting Brady up to march down the field and win the game.

Tully Banta-Cain (4 tackles, 2 sacks, 3 solo): Speaking of helping out the defense Tully has grown into a great player in front of Patriot’s fans eyes over the past few years. He will need to keep pressure on the opposing QB; especially since they are without Seymour.

Leigh Bodden (6 tackles, 5 solo, 1 pass deflection): What an addition to this defense! To be honest I wasn’t expecting this much production out of him but he is looking like he will be a GREAT addition to the New England defense this year.

Below Expectations:

Steven Gostkowski (2 FG, 1 PAT): Too bad he made his expectations so high after last year when he only missed 2 field goals from within 40. He missed one this game and shocked all of Patriot Nation the good news is that means he shouldn’t miss another for a while.

Jerod Mayo (1 tackle): I know, I know he got injured. I was hesitant to put him here since he came out with an injury but he is “THE GUY” now when it comes to the look of the new Patriots Defense. Defensive rookie of the year last year has a lot of expectations and hopes to fill in New England but he can’t do either while on the injury report.

The Final Score (24-25): What happened to everyone saying Pats by at least 10?

Not a bad game to start the year off. Gostkowski making his FG like usual and Brady not giving up the INT for a touchdown would have made the game a bit more to expectations but the Patriots first half was a still a lot of running and very little passing for the Patriots pass happy offense. There is definitely a lot of rust that needs to come off but it was good to see the Pats won’t let pressure get the best of them and they will try their best to become the typical Tom Brady and Belichick Patriots.

The next game is on Sunday vs. the HATED New York Jets. This looks to be a true test for the Patriots defense and I expect it to be a close game for sure.

For more great articles like this one please visit FanRates.com and Boston Sports Then and Now.

Posted by: Mike B. | September 12, 2009

Red Sox Update for September 12, 2009

Are you ready for some Tampa Bay action this weekend in Fenway? I hope so cause that is what we are getting.

9 Behind a streaking New York Yankees (hottest team in baseball since the all-star break) it is beginning to look like the division is fading away unless the Yankees start to skid and the Red Sox can sweep them in the final series between the two teams later this month.

This brings us to the Wild Card where Boston clings to a 2 game lead over the Texas Rangers.
Looking ahead the Yankees and Red Sox should both stay in this order for the division and wild card if you look at their easy schedule to close out the season. I would also expect the Red Sox to take 2 out of the 3 games in this weekends 3 game series vs. Tampa Bay Rays especially since it is at home where the Sox are playing very well like always.

As far as the injury front Tim Wakefield is looking as unreliable as the returning Dice-K. Will one of these pitchers be able to salvage some magic for the end of the season to cement themselves on the playoff roster? That still remains to be seen but I’m not banking any money on either of them at this point. Myself I’m almost literally praying that all this recouperation time for Dice-K will work. So unless something drastic happens I look forward to playing the Yankees in the ALCS in what should be a great October showdown.

For more great articles like this one please visit FanRates.com and Boston Sports Then and Now.

To be honest I’m not very sure how legit this is or who this person’s source is. There is a link below to the web page where this article is found but is in Spanish because it is from the Dominican Republic. Personally I hope it is the list and we can finally know the players in the “steroid era” that have tested positive in the past. This would end all the stupid steroid speculation on the list and end all of the he said/she said rumors of who is on the list and who isn’t. Most of this list doesn’t really surprise me and since it is a list out of the Dominican Republic (where most of the known steroids users are from) I would not be surprised at all if this list was accurate.

Baseball has taken quite a hit that keeps on coming back up due to more and more names being released. In my opinion we need to release this list for all to see so that this trend doesn’t continue as every time it does it makes a mark on the game. I’m not sure what the penalty would be for major league baseball if they released the list but in the agreement players that tested positive can’t be punished games or anything for their inclusion on the list.

The article with the list can be found HERE.

Here is a very rough English translation of the article using Babel Fish:
True wasps’s nest has risen in Republic Dominican by list presented/displayed by vestibule Rotoinfo.com, in that they appear the names of the peloteros that presumably gave positives in tested by the Great Leagues in 2003, to detect the steroid use in the baseball. Of that list of 103 positives only the names of two were developing: Alex Rodriguez and Sammy Soda, but now is offered completes, with the presumed positives. On the telephones of the sport writing of DominicanosHoy.com hundreds of calls of readers interested in knowing the list have been received. Rotoinfo.com is a publication in English, that when publishing the list clarifies that he is unofficial. The publication has hit to Dominican, since in her they appear 22 of his compatriots, some of them true idols of the fanatics. The names that have hit more of the new ones mentioned are those of David Ortiz and Pedro Martinez, mainly, because they have lashed the steroid use in the baseball. Ortiz had said that those that consume steroids must be sanctioned of by life, whereas hardly days ago Pedro sent a challenge to that they published the complete list ” although my name is there, although this and surely of which not estará”.

For more great articles like this one please visit FanRates.com and Boston Sports Then and Now.

Posted by: Mike B. | September 1, 2009

Red Sox Prepared for Arms Race

I hate to sound like a parent mentoring his kid with “don’t run with scissors” but when it comes to baseball (especially the playoffs) I am a firm believer in “pitching wins championships”. Apparently the Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein believes the same theory as he has been unloading pitchers not performing up to par (Brad Penny and John Smoltz) while getting some pitchers he hopes have fresh strong arms (Billy Wagner and Paul Byrd). The news of acquiring Billy Wagner was very exciting Sox fans as he has great numbers out of the pen and is currently third on the “current players saves list” behind Mariano Rivera and Trevor Hoffman. Paul Byrd was not as sure of a bet; until he took the mound for the first time this past weekend. Byrd looked as if he smelled the chance at a playoff run as he mowed down the Blue Jays for six scoreless innings.

With a fairly easy September schedule the Red Sox are looking like they will be smiling when October comes. With series against the White Sox, Orioles, Angels, Orioles (again), Royals and Blue Jays this month the Red Sox are primed to make a run at the Yankees. Yankees are due to cool off a bit but their September schedule looks just as easy making the key series for both teams in September their last series against each other as well as the series against AL East rivals Tampa Bay Rays. These series combined the Red Sox need to do a lot more winning then the Yankees do if they want to catch up and win the division.

The Red Sox bats are alive as of recent so if this keeps up they will have a great chance. JD Drew, David Ortiz, Jason Bay and Mike Lowell have been swinging the hot bat lately which was missed a lot by the team last month. Another acquisition the Sox had made, which is paying off very highly, is the multitalented and reliable bat of Victor Martinez. With a great combination of pitching and hitting the Red Sox are looking to storm into the playoffs big time. It will be up to them as Tampa Bay is looking to make a run at the Wild Card as the Rangers appear that they will start to fade due to a lack of pitching. The long September journey will start tonight as the Red Sox begin a crucial series at Tampa Bay.

More great articles like this one can be found at FanRates.com and Boston Sports Then and Now.

Posted by: Mike B. | August 24, 2009

Monday is a sad day in Boston

It all started with a bang on Friday, Yankees were in town and the Red Sox needed to stop the AL East bleeding in the standings. Things didn’t go so well as the Sox got absolutely smoked by the Yankees 20-11. Things were looking down for Boston but a lot could be done to make up for such a crazy Friday.

The Boston Cannons had their semi-finals game Saturday and got themselves out to a nice lead when things started to fall apart. The Cannons were outshot and outplayed in much of the game but had the lead to hold onto as the game was coming to a close. Problem was that they couldn’t hold on. In a nail biter of a finished the Cannons (#4 seed) were ousted by the #1 seed Denver Outlaws 11-10.

Boston was faced to hope and pray the Sox could salvage game 2 of the 3 game Red Sox – Yankees series and with newcomer Tazawa on the mound against veteran ace Burnett. Lucky for the Sox Burnett’s bad luck at Fenway this year continued; giving hope of a victorious weekend by killing the Yankees behind an outstanding pitching performance from Tazawa 14-1.

All this lead to the pitching showdown of the year; Beckett vs. Sabathia. The two 14 game winners faced off to see who would be the AL wins leader. Sabathia had been on fire in the month of August while Becketts previous start had been one of his worst outings of the year. After a first pitch HR from Yankees captain Derek Jeter, Red Sox Nation was hoping for a comeback. The comeback never came as Beckett struggled with his curveball and the outside corner for Sabathia seemed to be very generous all night. Sox lost the game to a final of 8-4 as Beckett had two dismal starts in a row and Red Sox nation will rally around young hurler Buchholz tonight as he tries to begin a winning streak for the Red Sox playoff push.

You can read more amazing sports articles at FanRates.com.

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