Thursday, May 23, 2013

Wild Pitches - 5/23/2013

by Hal Bent

I've been keeping a log of things I want to share and don't have anywhere to put them, so I figured "Wild Pitches" is a great title and I'll classify these as "I'm just going to throw this out here real quick" comments.  Here goes:


  • MLB/Boston Red Sox
    • Adrian Gonzalez was a failure in Boston: The Red Sox ultimately traded their best hitting prospect in the minor leagues at that time--first baseman Anthony Rizzo--for a singles hitting first baseman. Rizzo is now reunited with Theo Epstein in Chicago, and is currently wrecking Wrigley with ten home runs and 30 RBIs in 48 games, with an .869 OPS through 5/20/2013.  Oh, and he's only 23 years old. Also, he's locked up long term in Chicago.  Anyone still naive enough to believe that the Gonzalez trade was an ownership/Larry Lucchino deal made over protests by Epstein? 
    • Clay Buchholz and Jon Lester of the Red Sox are a combined 13-1 in wind-loss at this point of the system is the good news, as the "Big 2" have certainly stepped up after both having disastrous 2012 seasons; the bad news is the rest of the starters are a combined 8-12 in win-loss.  The Sox need John Lackey (that is tough to type!) to continue to pitch well, and Ryan Dempster to convert his increased strikeout rate in to wins. Felix Doubront has been a mix of terrible and barely adequate, but there is no help as Alfredo Aceves and young Allen Webster have struggled.  If Franklin Morales gets healthy and effective, he should solidify the rotation in Doubront's place, barring any further injuries to the rotation.
  • NFL/New England Patriots
    • The New England Patriots opened "Voluntary" Organized Team Activities and the missing and walking wounded are piling up.  Tight ends hurt (Rob Gronkowski, Aaron Hernandez), wide receivers in walking boots (Julian Edelman) and a foot injury (rookie Josh Boyce), a safety coming off surgery (Devin McCourty), and an unknown injury to a back-up running back (Brandon Bolden).  Linebacker Brandon Spikes was a no-show, with rumors of unhappiness not having a new deal. Trying not to panic in May, but I have visions of 2006 with Tom Brady throwing to Doug Gabriel, Jabar Gaffney, and Reche Caldwell. 
    • That said, the Patriots look good having Danny Amendola at wide receiver. Similar, but different to Wes Welker, he should allow for the Patriots to exploit base defense and weak nickel cornerbacks as their spread offense continues to click.
  • NHL/Boston Bruins
    • Love that the Bruins young defense are taking it to the Rangers and skating the puck up the ice and taking shots on goal inside the blue line.  This is just shows why the Bruins need to work their offense through the defense, and not ignore them. This should hopefully be a wake up call to coach Claude Julien.
    • Former NESN Analyst Kathryn Tappen does a great job at the NHL Network doing their highlights shows and all that hockey knowledge honed at Bruins games in Boston shines through.
  • NBA/Boston Celtics
    • Danny Ainge should have blown this team up three years ago.  He pays the price this summer. 
    • If I am Doc Rivers, I check to see Oklahoma City wants to trade for him as coach before coming back to Boston. 

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