Monday, June 30, 2014

H4TV: The Red Sox Should Chase Dodgers’ Outfielder Matt Kemp this July - The Sports Journal

The Red Sox Should Chase Dodgers’ Outfielder Matt Kemp this July - The Sports Journal

Contrary to reports of “Nothing going on” in trade talks with the Dodgers for outfielder Matt Kemp, the Red Sox are at the point of the season where a move has to be made for an outfielder, or the team starts selling off every asset who is not a long-term solution for the future.

FSF: NFL 2014 Off Season Winners – First Stop Fantasy

NFL 2014 Off Season Winners – First Stop Fantasy

Every offseason in the NFL there are winners and losers. Some years the top teams take a hit as age and the salary cap catch-up to them. Some years the weak get weaker as they clear cap space for the future and bungle yet another NFL Draft.

Which NFL teams were offseason winners? Who were the rich teams who got richer? Who were the teams that are in position to rise from the bottom of the division in a hurry?

Monday, June 23, 2014

FirstStopFantasy.com: Buffalo Bills Game-by-Game Predictions – First Stop Fantasy

Buffalo Bills Game-by-Game Predictions – First Stop Fantasy

Buffalo Bills Game-by-by Game Predictions: The Buffalo Bills ignited the 2014 NFL Draft with excitement with their bold moves on day one as they moved their first-round pick in 2014 and their 2015 first-and-fourth-round picks to move up five spots. While the Bills hardly have a history of moving up in the NFL Draft, that certainly changed this year as general manager Doug Whaley rolled the dice on wide receiver Sammy Watkins.

FirstStopFantasy.com: Cleveland Browns Game-by-Game 2014 Predictions – First Stop Fantasy

Cleveland Browns Game-by-Game 2014 Predictions – First Stop Fantasy

Cleveland Browns Game-by-Game 2014 Predictions: While Manziel gave Cleveland 24 hours of excitement, the good feelings were blunted by a report that All-Pro wide receiver Josh Gordon had failed a drug test and could be suspended for the entire 2014 season. Over a month later and the Browns still have no news on the length of the suspension as the NFL has left the team in limbo as they head towards the opening of training camp.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Cover32: Patriots post-draft roster breakdown: Secondary | New England Patriots

Patriots post-draft roster breakdown: Secondary | New England Patriots

When last seen, the New England secondary was being burned by Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos in the AFC Championship Game to the tune of 400 yards through the air. With starting right cornerback Aqib Talib spending most of the game sidelined with a leg injury he suffered at the beginning of the second quarter (the score was only 3-0 Denver at that time), the Patriots were forced to try to get to the Super Bowl without their number one cornerback for the second consecutive season.

To remedy the situation, the Patriots simply went out and got the best defensive player in free agency.  With his release from Tampa Bay, New England secured the services of All-Pro cornerback Darrelle Revis.

Friday, June 13, 2014

H4TV: Patriots’ Wide Receivers Could Fumble Super Bowl Chances - The Sports Journal

Patriots’ Wide Receivers Could Fumble Super Bowl Chances - The Sports Journal

After another offseason of uncertainty, the Patriots have a collection of wide receivers and tight ends who bring inexperience and injury concerns without any clear answers for 2014. A return to health from some key contributors could leave New England with a wealth of playmakers to deploy all over the field.



If the young receivers improve, the veteran receivers stay active, and the Patriots can get Gronkowski on the field for the entire season, the offense should be back to their explosive and high-scoring ways.



However, there remains a number of “ifs” in Brady’s arsenal.

- Sports Friday with Hal Fathers Day Weekend.6 12 2014

- Sports Friday with Hal Fathers Day Weekend.6 12 2014

Sports and Father's Day Collides at my Weekly Sports Friday Blog Post at YouGabSports.com

Thursday, June 12, 2014

FSF Top 100 Players: #89 Donte Whitner – First Stop Fantasy

FSF Top 100 Players: #89 Donte Whitner – First Stop Fantasy

The FirstStopFantasy.com Top 100 NFL Players continues with #89: Donte Whitner: Signed by Cleveland in free agency this off-season, Whitner showed great potential in his time in Buffalo but really blossomed in San Francisco. This past offseason he made headlines not just for his free agency move to Cleveland but with his comments previously about pursuing legally changing his last name to “Hitner” to emphasize his style of play.

Monday, June 09, 2014

FirstStopFantasy.com: FSF Top 100 Players: #92 Michael Johnson – First Stop Fantasy

FSF Top 100 Players: #92 Michael Johnson – First Stop Fantasy

For Michael D. Johnson, he had earned his respect in the Cincinnati locker room and with opposing quarterbacks. Unfortunately, playing in Cincinnati on a defense loaded with talented players such as Carlos Dunlap, Geno Atkins, Vontaze Burfict, and Leon Hall has seen Johnson fly under-the-radar.  As he needed time to adapt and force his way into the starting lineup in Cincinnati kept him hidden from the general NFL public.

Johnson may not be flashy. He may not be profiled in the pre-game theatrics. He may not be known by the casual NFL fan, but opposing offensive coordinators and quarterbacks are very aware of the disruptive defensive end on game tape. As he starts fresh in Tampa Bay in 2014 expect this under-the-radar star to explode on the public scene as the centerpiece of the Buccaneer’s defense.

MusketFire: New England Patriots NFL Draft Analysis for 2014 season and 2015 and Beyond

New England Patriots NFL Draft Analysis for 2014 season and 2015 and Beyond

As head coach Bill Belichick continues to build the Patriots not just for a run for the Super Bowl in 2014 but also for the future, the draft picks in 2014 confounded many NFL analysts as they anticipated a draft built around adding offensive weapons for quarterback Tom Brady. Instead New England balanced the present and the future as they shored up both sides of the football and addressed their needs in their typical manner.  As frustrating as the 2014 NFL Draft may have been to New England Patriots fans, there was–as always–a method to the madness of the Patriots front office.



The NFL Draft is a fascinating process as teams balance building for the future and looking for instant impact. Bill Belichick has seemingly had a plan in place during the NFL Draft–even if it is not obvious to analysts with their instant analysis.  Stepping back to let the dust settle it becomes clearer what New England’s plans were when taken in the historical perspective of past drafts. In that regard things begin to make more sense.

Saturday, June 07, 2014

H4TV: Kevin Love the First Piece of the Puzzle in Boston? - The Sports Journal

Kevin Love the First Piece of the Puzzle in Boston? - The Sports Journal

A top offensive player like Kevin Love teamed with a pass-first point guard like Rajon Rondo is a match made in basketball heaven. Of course, the Celtics still need to be able to lure Minnesota in trading Love to them.

Friday, June 06, 2014

YOUGABSPORTS - Sports Friday with Hal Memories of Zim

- Sports Friday with Hal Memories of Zim

My weekly feature at YouGabSports.com is a look at the impact of former Red Sox manager Don Zimmer and his impact on a weird six-year old kid in the early 1980s

Thursday, June 05, 2014

Wednesday, June 04, 2014

Cover32.com: Patriots post-draft roster breakdown: Defensive Line | New England Patriots

Patriots post-draft roster breakdown: Defensive Line | New England Patriots

The defensive line was a glaring weakness in New England last season. At defensive end, the Patriots had their starting duo of Chandler Jones and Rob Ninkovich on the field for over 1,100 snaps each. Jones led the defense with 1,142 snaps played while Ninkovich was second with 1,114 snaps logged (perProFootballFocus.com). With only free safety Devin McCourty logging over 900 snaps on defense it is a small wonder that by the AFC Championship Game neither defensive end was able to lay a hand on Denver Broncos quarterbackPeyton Manning.

Tuesday, June 03, 2014

Five Burning Boston Sports Topics - 6/3/2014

Five Burning Boston Sports Topics

Five minutes free for me; Five burning topics around Boston Sports for you:


1. Brock Holt - the Red Sox Newest Two Week Wonder:
The Boston Red Sox have a new cult hero: utility infielder Brock Holt.  On the Red Sox seven game winning streak following their ten game slide, Holt has keyed the Red Sox revival. The 25-year old former Pittsburgh Pirate even tied a major league record by hitting four doubles in one game. Holt is even getting premium playing time at first base with Mike Carp on the disabled list along with starter Mike Napoli.


Holt has gone 16 for 47 in his last ten games for a .340 batting average. While fans on Yawkey Way carve monuments and talk radio hosts decry the re-signing of infielder Stephen Drew, an alarming statistic is the power-deficient Holt has almost as many strikeouts as hits in this same time (14 strikeouts).  Year-to-date Holt has a .408 BABIP (Batting Average on Balls In Play).  That type of success is not sustainable, unfortunately.


With Napoli due to return and Drew in position take most of Holt’s playing time, he is definitely in the “enjoy it while you can” category right now.


2. Love Loves Boston?
The Boston Celtics have done little to diminish their interest in 25-year old power forward Kevin Love of Minnesota. The trip by the west coast native with his agent did not include any official Celtics activity (tampering, as he is under contract with another team), but is a good sign for the Celtics that they may get piece two of the puzzle.  


Pairing Love, a dynamic scorer and rebounder, with Rajon Rondo could be a match made in basketball heaven. The team would be a high scoring forward away from being a legitimate playoff team in the East if they could package picks and players for Love.


Look for my analysis of the fit and the cost of a potential trade for Love coming soonto H4TV: http://www.h4-entertainment.com/.  


3. New England Looking for Veteran Depth at Tight End?
The New England Patriots have recently had veteran tight ends Dustin Keller and Jermichael Finley in Foxborough, MA to workout and likely gauge their return to health after each had an injury plagued 2013.  Keller was signed by division rivals the Miami Dolphins from fellow division rival the New York Jets.  Keller was hurt prior to the regular season (gruesome knee injury) and never played in the regular season for Miami.


Finley remains unsigned after his season ended with a week seven neck injury against Cleveland.  Finley had been hurt earlier in the 2013 season as well in week three versus Cincinnati.  Finley is still only 27 year-old and if healthy would be a solid second tight end opposite and in reserve of Rob Gronkowski.


Neither player is a lock to be healthy enough to return to their prior form, but for a low price (likely near the veteran’s minimum) it would behoove New England to strengthen their depth at wide receiver with one or both of these veterans.  It is a little risk for a large potential return.


4. RollerCoaster Red Sox?
The Boston Red Sox are working their way back into the American League East race after a horrid ten game losing streak in May.  As the team suffered from World Series hangover, there was little doubt that this team is not a 90 loss team and that a turnaround was forthcoming. Little did anyone predict back-to-back sweeps as they ripped off seven straight wins.


Rookie shortstop (soon to be third baseman) Xander Bogaerts and the aforementioned Brock Holt helped lead the Sox back out of the cellar. With Stephen Drew adding depth to the infield and first baseman Mike Napoli soon returning to the lineup, the Red Sox should be back in the race at least for a wild card spot.


from: ESPN.com


5. Get Ready for Revis:
The most surprising part of the offseason workouts in Foxborough, MA has been the lack of coverage of cornerback Darrelle Revis.  For some reason, the pickup of Revis has been downplayed since the initial excitement of the signing in March.


For all the good work Aqib Talib did in a year-and-a-half in New England, he really only had a four game stretch where he was the best player on the field. Check out his season arc at ProFootballFocus.com:


Outside of week seventeen, his dominant stretch occurred in games two through five. Granted, the stretch he missed is clearly demarcated, and his struggles when he returned at less than full strength is obvious, but Talib really had a short period of time where he played as an elite cornerback.


Now look at Darrelle Revis. In a new defense after missing almost an entire season with a knee injury. Playing in a system which most definitely did NOT highlight his strengths. Playing at admittedly less than 100%:
(again from ProFootballFocus.com)


Two bad games.Two bad games where he was injured and only played part of those games...one against Steve Smith and Carolina and the other versus Megatron. He consistently played at levels that show why he is one of the best players in the NFL.


Revis is one of the few NFL players who can make such a huge impact on the game just by stepping between the lines. The New England Patriots went out and brought in the best free agent on the market.  This is definitely time for the Patriots fans to get excited!

FullPressCoverage.com: New England Patriots’ Top 2019 NFL Draft Picks Show Evolution on Both Sides of the Ball

The New England Patriots may have tipped their hand with their first two 2019 NFL Draft picks. Choosing a bigger, more aggressive outside-...