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!

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