Tagged with "MLB"
Musings From The Hoodwood 8-5
Category: Daily Blog 2.0
Tags: NBA NFL MLB

                                                                                                   Junior wins and is cleaning up the track too!

Greetings From the Hoodwood where it just seems like things are a little unhinged.

Now normally, I would have all sorts of hyperbole and hype here, but I am having some pc issues. So right now, you will get the condensed version that will be added to today. Please accept my apologies.

NBA: The nightmare scenario

By now you’ve likely seen the gruesome injury that Pacers superstar and leading scorer Paul George suffered this past weekend. I won’t do anything gross like show a replay, but the reactionary mentality of some talking head is laughably nauseating. The fact that NBA players have been competing internationally for the past 22 years and this is the first major injury that has happened should dissuade those that are saying that this is proof positive that NBA players should not be playing in the these tournaments. So what if this had happened 2 months from now in a meaningless preseason game in Muncie? What if the injury had happened in a charity event? Mark Cuban has been extremely vocal on his dislike of using pro players for international competition and has advocated using under 23 players for World Cup, Olympic competition and other international events. I think his position is based purely on self-serving interests. Cuban is merely voicing what the other less locaquious owners want to say. They want a piece of the action in this international tourney, they would rather say help stage an international tourney like the World Cup and be in control of it or at the very least get some sort of cut for their players playing in it. Unlike soccer where the national team players get paid and get bonus money for playing in the World Cup, players on the national basketball team aren’t paid. Now the Pacers have insurance that they will likely use to offset the loss of George this season and the money that they have to pay him. They will likely also get a salary cap exemption from the NBA but they have dropped from and Eastern Conference title contender to also ran. Remember that Lance Stephenson bolted for Charlotte last month. Which leaves the Pacers with Roy Hibbert as their centerpiece this year…oy vey.

NFL: Dalton gets paid…is it worth it?

Since Hoodwood is close to Cincinnati, I have had an interesting view of the machinations going on with the pro football team of the area re-signing Andy Dalton to a lengthy contract. The Bengals inked the 4th year quarterback to a contract that could be worth up to $115 million. Now I have to admit that when I first heard about this. I wanted to break out the Picard meme asking rhetorically “what the fuck is this man?” But the more I look at the deal and the way it’s structured, the Bengals might be looking rather smart. The contract gives Dalton 2 more years with incentives that will pay him $25 million  but it has opt and boosts that if Dalton plays bad in the next two years the Bengals can jettison him with little financial hardship. If he plays good, the contract keeps paying out, with financial flexibility that will make Dalton the 4th highest paid QB in the game. This keeps the Bengals franchise tag clear, which might be used on his favorite target AJ Green who will be looking to make (well deserved) Megatron money here soon. The detractors are numerous and loud, pointing to Daltons 4-8 record against the Bengals main rivals Baltimore and Pittsburgh and his 0-3 record in the playoffs which none were close and Dalton made critical errors in all of them. Dalton to his credit has stepped up to try to be the face and voice of the franchise and has played by and large very well during the season. He has more playoff starts than either Boomer Esiason or Carson Palmer. Has thrown for 80 TD’s in three seasons and has a respectable 30-18 record which is better than the much more ballyhooed Tony Romo who is 24-24 in the past 3 seasons with zero playoff appearances. But now the pressure ramps up on Dalton who has not parlayed regular season success to playoff success and it could be not only his fate but Marvin Lewis’s that hang in the balance for it.

Phat Dap

To Jim Kelly and Andre Reed who at the Hall of Fame induction ceremony hooked up for one last more pass. Reed who was inducted in the Hall this weekend spoke glowingly about his teammate who is battling cancer and Kelly was on hand to throw Reed a completion which they did some 664 times over their Hall of Fame Careers. Here’s to Reed for being part of a great hall class but to Kelly too who is taking the fight to cancer and I’m hoping is on hand for many more induction classes.

Head Slap

To Maryland basketball recruit Trayvon Reed that was arrested for shoplifting less than $6 of candy then compounded his stupidity by resisting arrest and breaking the hand of one of the officers trying arrest him. Now Reed is facing felony charges in addition to being dropped like a hot potato from Maryland’s recruiting class.  Slap to Reed for throwing away a bright future.

 

Quick Hits

Slump? What Slump Dale Jr. wins the Poconos again…he’s in the catbird seat for the big money title chase

Hey weren’t youse the World Champion Red Sox a few months ago…now a fire sale? Wow

David Wilson of the G-Men will have to call it quits due to a neck condition…that’s a crying shame.

Ray Guy made the football hall of fame…it’s about damn time

Tony Bosch of Biogenesis surrendered to the DEA..what secrets will he reveal?

I think Kirk Gibson is a punk for targeting Andrew McCutcheon with a “purpose pitch” he should be suspended

Ill add more as the day goes. Until Next Post Fellow Sports Fans

Red Sox on Sale
Category: Daily Blog 2.0
Tags: #bostonstrong mlb red sox

It’s been a sad couple of days in Red Sox Nation.  I know, I’m crying poormouth, because we don’t usually find ourselves on the selling list.  It’s almost as if 2013 didn’t happen – I mean what a great story: “Worst to First!” except no one ever talks about the “Worst to First to Worst again.”  Seems like someone made their deal with Mr. Scratch and it expired with the last out on October 31st.

How else to explain the near complete dismantling of the starting pitching staff: Felix Dubront, Jake Peavy, John Lackey, and Jon Lester.  Gone.  Jonny Gomes.  Gone.  This is not to say the Sox didn’t get some fine returns, but Lackey is under contract for $500,000 next year.  If nothing else, he’d be a solid #5 starter for that kind of money. 

The Sox have stocked their farm system over the last decade.  Cespedes, who comes back for Lester,  leads the league in outfield assists, paired up with Jackie Bradley who isn't too far off.  The other returns are solid 2-6 batters with great power and RBI production, combined with is multiple free agent pitchers (including Lester) for next year.  All the position players are under contract and the team salary number has been reduced so they can now dump money on pitchers in free agency.  It all makes a world of sense.  But it still hurts.

No one wants to call it a day.  No one wants to throw in the towel.  No one wants to say the season has been a waste.

But it has been.

It’s remarkable to me that just a few months removed from a world championship, the team that won it all has been dismantled.  And while heartening to read Jon Lester’s ad (although the cynic in me thinks the NVRQT shout out paid for the ad) and knowing Jonny Gomes carries with him a memento of his time in Boston on his back as well as his kind words about his time here makes the dismantling a little easier to bear, it still hurts. 

To top it off, the day after the fire sale, the Sox were playing the Yankees.  Yeah.  Ouch.  I know any Kansas City Royals fans, or Pittsburgh Pirates fans out there are just wailing and gnashing their teeth over this scuttled season in Boston, but it’s a story as old as professional baseball.  Joy and heartbreak.  Heartbreak and joy.  It’s just that it usually happens to other people.  Over the last ten years, the Red Sox have been unusually blessed.  Before that, during my lifetime, it was mostly heartbreak – so close, and yet fall short.  Throughout baseball history, worst to first stories are rare.  Rarer still are the first to worst stories.  In fact, the first 90 years of MLB saw not one team ever do it.  Over the last 25 years, 11 teams have done it with only the Twins ever winning it all before the Sox did it last year.  This happens because for the better part of that MLB history, worst meant finishing last in your league – or at least in one of the two divisions in your league.  Now, you have the opportunity to finish last in your division without truly being the worst.  The Padres, made the opposite trip: First to worst (1996-97) to (96-97) First.  That aside, no one makes the worst to first – winning it all – and back to worst.  No one.  Except the Red Sox.

In a way, that’s worse than not winning.  Sure, the glow of a freshly minted banner at Fenway lasted a few weeks, but after that – it was a tragic reminder of the 2014 season.

Does it suck to be a Red Sox fan?  No.  There’s a plan in place, there’s resources available.  This team will be back next season.  But next season is 8 months away.  Baseball is a long term race, but when your team is out by the trading deadline it’s a very long 8 months.

Inquiring Minds Want (Sports) Answers
Category: Daily Blog 2.0
Tags: MLB Mike Trout NFL Ray Rice Redskins

It’s that time again…when the sports news tickles the curiousity of fans everywhere leaving them wanting to know, “the rest of the story.”  For example, Inquiring Minds want to know…why Mike Trout was taking a leak while the ball was going over his head handing win to the Orioles this week?  You don’t think he could have caught that ball if he was in position?!  Well, take a look at this:

And Inquiring Minds want to know why “Slugger” Ray Rice received a standing ovation as he arrived on the field at the Ravens camp?  In today’s NFL, smoke some weed and you’re out 6 games or even a whole year, but KO your fiancé…two games.  So Inquiring Minds  want to know if “Charm City”  is some misnomer or is that the other Ray was involved in a murder, so a girlfriend beating didn’t seem so bad?

Inquiring Minds want to know – already- which Super Bowl team will be an early playoff flame-out or even a no-show?  It has been about 20 years since a team defended its title in the NFL…Inquiring Minds want to know whether Seattle can do it and whether Denver can get back to the Big Dance?  It says here that the NFC is too tough for even the Seahawks to repeat (and we already see the effect of egos).  Denver is one big hit to their QB of going to the head of the draft line…no soup for you, either.

And Inquiring Minds want to know why the so-called football experts will all pick the same teams to win their divisions and get back to the playoffs when it is a matter of history that HALF of those teams will not be in the playoffs in 2015?   The 2013 bracket lost 5 of the 12 teams in 2014…Inquiring Minds want to know who will not make the cut this season?   According to the Sun Tzu Crystal Ball (trademarked, by the way) Philadelphia, New Orleans, San Diego, Cincinnati and Carolina will be out…the ball is a little hazy at the moment as to who will take their place.

And finally, Inquiring Minds may want to know (a) will the Redskins ever change their name and (b) does anyone really care other than a few activists?  Well, if you pay attention to the guys who have the power – and that would be the Redskin owner and his Band of Brothers led by Goodell and his merry men,  it is never changing.  From my chair, it does not really make a big difference to me, one way or the other.  I personally would advocate changing the logo to either a (redskin) potato or a (redskin) peanut.  Nobody could complain about that!

Have a great Saturday!

Sports Friday with Hal: Trade Deadline Doozies
Category: FEATURED
Tags: MLB baseball trade deadline trades football NFL NFL Notes

Happy Friday!

 

MLB Trading day, so here’s my quick breakdown from deadline day:

 

Tigers acquire David Price in three-team deal with Mariners (who receive Austin Jackson) and Rays (who receive Drew Smyly, Nick Franklin, and Willy Adames)

I love these three team deals in major league baseball--they are far too infrequent.  Good pickup by the Tigers, obviously. With great starting pitching to begin with, adding Price makes the Tigers the favorites to represent the A.L. in the World Series this fall. Price is a legitimate ace and the Tigers can afford to lock him up this offseason. The Rays get a middle infielder and a cheaper starter in Smyly who they control for four years. The Mariners upgrade with Jackson for Franklin.  But the Tigers are the big winners.

 

Marlins and Astros agree to six-player swap, with Miami receiving Jarred Cosart, Enrique Hernandez, and Austin Wates in exchange for Colin Moran, Jake Marisnick, Francis Martes, and a 2015 compensation draft pick.

The trading of compensation picks is new, and I think it is fantastic. Cosart is the centerpiece of the trade and is 24 and has pitched fairly well for the Astros to date. Miami gives up Marisnick who is 23 and has speed and power potential in centerfield. Moran is 21 and a top prospect at third base.

 

Braves acquire James Russell and Emilio Bonifacio from Cubs in exchange for Victor Caratini and cash

Caratini is decent prospect at catcher but only 20 and in single-A. Bonifacio is a journeyman but fills a need in Atlanta down the stretch. Russell is just a lefty reliever. Braves may have sacrificed too much. Nice move by Theo Epstein grabbing Caratini.

 

Yankees acquire Martin Prado from Diamondbacks in exchange for Peter O’Brien

The Yankees seem to believe they can still make the playoffs. Maybe they can. But they are not winning any World Series’ anytime soon. Prado cash for Arizona and O’Brien is a slugging prospect. Prado is good, but not great. He can help immediately in right field--and New York can afford him--but he cost them one of their few top hitting prospects. To upgrade over Ichiro Suzuki, though, is necessary.

 

Yankees acquire Stephen Drew from Red Sox in exchange for Kelly Johnson and cash

At least this deal was trash-for-trash. Both are terrible hitters this year but Drew will be playing out of position as the Yankees are trying to win now while handcuffing the team by playing defensive liability Derek Jeter at shortstop every night. It would be a shock for Johnson to get a single at bat in Boston.

 

Nationals acquire Asdrubal Cabrera from Indians in exchange for Zach Walters

Nice grab by the Nationals getting a legitimate middle infielder to help staunch the loss of Ryan Zimmerman’s bat. Washington is losing ground to Atlanta and this deal helps right now. Cabrera is a rental for now, but Washington could use their negotiating window after the season to lock him up. Cleveland has Francisco Lindor ready to step in at shortstop next year. Walters is a decent prospect who needs a bit more seasoning but has potential to be a regular with some pop. Cleveland already is rebuilding having dealt Justin Masterson already, so getting anything for Cabrera is a win.

 

Orioles acquire Andrew Miller from Red Sox in exchange for Eduardo Rodriguez

The Orioles paid a steep price for a power lefty arm in the bullpen. Rodriguez is a top pitching prospect at double-A and is only 21 and is a hard-throwing lefty starter. BaseballProspectus.com says this about Rodriguez:

 

The Venezuelan lefty has a good feel for pitching, with a smooth arm action and a quick delivery to home. His fastball generally sits in the 91-93 velocity band, although he can gas it up to 94-95 in short spurts. The fastball does not have a ton of movement, but there is mild arm-side run and some life. His slider is more of the sweeping variety and not a true strikeout offering, but he shows command and enough tilt for it to play solid-average at the major-league level. His changeup has really been the enigma this season, as at times he has not been able to consistently feel the pitch. It can be too firm, and when the change is coming in at 84-86 it does not provide the differential necessary to offset the fastball. The overall arsenal is good, but it is not the great that many evaluators look for in a top prospect.

 

All in all, he is still a prospect worth trading for with Miller a free agent at the end of the year. He needs work and the Red Sox have been boasting about their investments in minor league coaches and developers of the pitching staff for years and now is the time to back their talk.

 

Mariners acquire Chris Denorfia from Padres in exchange for Abraham Almonte and Stephen Kohlscheen

Poor Seattle Mariners fans: no Matt Kemp but they get... Chris Denorfia. Ugh. Denorfia has...well no power and not much speed. But replacing Endy Chavez is a win right there. Almontes is a failed prospect and Kohlscheen is...well, he is very tall.

 

Athletics acquire Jon Lester, Jonny Gomes, and cash from Red Sox in exchange for Yoenis Cespedes and a 2015 compensation draft pick

I cannot believe Lester was traded by the Red Sox. Everything that was right about the franchise was summed up in this kid. Only 30, he is a legitimate ace in the postseason, a durable, tough kid who is a lefty and throws 95 MPH and battles on the mound...exactly what the A’s needed. This is their year and they are grabbing it. Cespedes is a power hitter who has only a year left on his contract but a much better pickup rather than trading for Matt Kemp. Cespedes is 28 but has superb power, winning the last two Home Run Derbies. If the Sox made up their mind to trade Lester, then at least there is a player that can help immediately coming back in the trade. Still, it just seems strange with Lester no longer in Boston.

 

Cardinals acquire John Lackey and Corey Littrell from Red Sox in exchange for Joe Kelly and Allen Craig

The Lackey move is strange. He is on the books for the major league minimum after an odd clause of his contract kicked in (extended for a year at MLB minimum if Tommy John surgery). Lackey is never going to pitch for that amount of money. Of course, St. Louis can extend him easily and he steps in as a veteran with postseason success who can strikeout guys and give a team a lot of quality innings. Kelly is 26 and a legitimate starting pitcher. He can be a rotation piece for years to come. I love Allen Craig. The Cardinals have Oscar Taveras who needs to play everyday (where do they get all these prospects!) and will not miss him. But he has legit Fenway power and is signed long-term at a reasonable price. Stick him in left field, and the team is set with 20-30 home runs and 30-40 doubles and a professional bat through 2018.

 

Brewers acquire Gerardo Parra from Diamondbacks in exchange for Mitch Haniger and Anthony Banda

Go Brewers. A Gold-Glove outfielder to backup at all three spots is a solid player for the roster. Haniger is a double-A mid-level prospect and Banda is 20 and in single-A. Arizona stockpiles some kids while Milwaukee should get a good pickup to help try to hold off the Cardinals and Pirates in the NL Central.

 

Twins acquire Tommy Milone from Athletics in exchange for Sam Fuld

Oakland grabbed Fuld, who they waived earlier this year, to add to the outfield depth. Milone is the winner of the deal as the lefty goes from 7th or 8th starter in Oakland to a regular front-line starter in Minnesota getting the ball every five days from here on out.

 

* * *

 

NFL NOTES:

 

Injury Breakdown:

Ravens fourth-round draft pick defensive end Brent Urban tore his ACL. He was expected to be a part of the line rotation and now is out for the year. Last week cornerback Aaron Ross tore his Achilles during the conditioning test and was lost for the season. Ross was expected to be the third cornerback in Baltimore and the Ravens now have lost two valuable depth players so far this offseason.

 

Colts guard Donald Thomas--who missed 14 games last year after tearing a biceps tendon and right quadriceps re-tore it at camp and is out for the season. He was signed to a four-year $14 million contract from New England two years ago and now is likely done in Indy. The Colts also lost running back Vick Ballard who tore his Achilles earlier. It is sink-or-swim with running back Trent Richardson. The Colts had better hope he was worth the first round draft pick! Defensive lineman Fili Moala tore his ACL earlier at OTAs. Seriously, that is bad luck already in Indy.

 

The 49ers planned to have running back Frank Gore split time with Kendall Hunter this season. Put those plans on hold. Hunter tore his ACL and Gore’s fantasy football value just jumped as he will again be expected to lug the ball 250 or so times in 2014.

 

The Cowboys’ second-round draft pick defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence--who was to replace DeMarcus Ware-- is now out for two to three months with a broken foot. He misses valuable learning time and even if he returns will take time to get up to speed during the season. Dallas now turns to...ugh, Jeremy Mincey. Wow, quite the step down from Ware.

 

The World Champs were not safe from the injury bug this week. Tight end Anthony McCoy--who missed all of last year with a torn Achilles in training camp-- tore his Achilles in training camp on his other foot. Ouch. McCoy was a backup role but depth behind Zach Miller would have been nice. Maybe this works out for Jermichael Finley and he goes to Seattle.

 

On Thursday, Kansas City Chiefs star safety Eric Berry was carted off the field. Fortunately, it was not serious. It blew up social media for a bit, but fortunately it seems to be a minor injury and nothing serious. The Chiefs definitely dodged a bullet yesterday.

 

* * *

 

A WEEK OF VACATION AND A RAISE:

Must be nice to be Marshawn Lynch. $1.5 million raise and no fines for sitting at home. NIce deal if you can get it.

 

*

 

SAFETY INSURANCE:

Kansas City added former Patriots safety Steve Gregory to compete at safety next to Eric Berry. Gregory should compete with Husain Abdullah for the starting job and gets a chance after sitting on the sidelines all offseason. Gregory is a decent free safety who struggled playing near the line of scrimmage. If anything, it at least helps their depth.

 

* * *

 

Alright, time to call it a day.  Have a great weekend, all! Preseason football starts next week!!!

Raising the White Flag - Your 2014 Boston Red Sox Quit...AGAIN!
Category: MLB
Tags: BostonRedSox MLB

Yes, the Red Sox season is now officially over. They have quit on the season for the second time in three years and I'm a little put out about it.

While baseball economics and the needs required to rebuild a team for so-called future contention are obvious in the decisions made in the last few days, the fact that the Red Sox have QUIT once again is a far cry from the standards that should be set in order to call yourself a professional franchise.

At this point, admission to all Red Sox home games should be free of charge. We aren't going to be seeing much in the way of quality baseball as the season progresses towards the now inevitable pathetic conclusion. It is offensive that people will have to pay to watch that kind of garbage. Whatever happened to the notion of actually TRYING TO WIN!?!

First up on the Red Sox 2014 Fire Sale (and what a disgusting idea that Boston is engaging in a practice that is supposed to be reserved for traditionally horrific teams.) is the Jake Peavy trade.

Boston sent Peavy to the San Francisco Giants (where he's already made one appearance) for two minor league pitching prospects. Sadly, neither lefthander Edwin Escobar or righthander Heath Hembree are doing much at the Triple A level to inspire the notion either will find a home on the big club any time soon. 

Peavy needed to have a change of scenery because things just weren't working out for him in Boston. He was 1-9 before being traded and while some of that can be chalked up to the lack of run support the Boston offense was providing, he simply wasn't getting guys out as well as giving up a rather large amount of homers. 

On Wednesday, the most necessary trade was made when the Cubs got Felix Doubront from Boston for a player to be named later. If the news had been announced honestly, it would've said Boston begged the Cubs to take the pissant malcontent off their hands and they could give them some barely adequate minor leaguer somewhere down the line...if they felt like it.

Doubront whined his way out of Boston because he wanted to be a starter and not stuck in the back of the bullpen. In his last Red Sox appearance he got shelled and by all accounts I read, acted like he didn't even want to be out there doing his job.

What really chaps my ass about this is the rather selective memory Doubront seems to have. Whenever the Red Sox have had him in the rotation, he would show flashes of promise but never really pay things off by following through and developing into a reliable performer. More often than not, he got rocked. He wasn't worthy of being kept in the rotation. Another fun fact that Doubront seems to have forgotten is that his most successful stretch of performance was coming out of the bullpen during the World Series last year. 

But instead of manning up and doing the job he was assigned, he acted like a crybaby. When I saw a quote from catcher David Ross saying Doubront was a "professional", I damn near choked on my dinner. Professionals don't (or rather shouldn't) act like Doubront did. Good Riddance.

Today was the official non-waivers trade deadline and the Red Sox made sure to continue showing how they could roll over and play dead for the rest of the MLB field by selling off John Lackey to the St. Louis Cardinals (along with minor leaguer Corey Littrell and some cash) for pitcher Joe Kelly and OF/1B Allen Craig.

Lackey was leading the Red Sox in wins. While the team doesn't have a lot of those wins, it is crazy to me that you'd get rid of another guy out of your rotation. If you want to make matters worse, the guys they got in return are diminishing returns. Kelly has been out injured for three months and Craig is hitting nearly 70 points lower than his average last season.

The Red Sox traded reliever Andrew Miller (who never really amounted to a hill of baked beans while in a Boston uniform despite having markedly good stats to this point in the season.) to the Orioles for another pitching prospect. This time they got a lefty named Eduardo Rodriguez. He's currently in Double A with a 3-7 record and a 3.45 ERA.

Finally, while the news has been a foregone conclusion for days, when my mother called me at work to tell me that Jon Lester had been traded, I was still somehow able to be completely enraged.

I think this trade hurts more because Lester was one of "our guys" rather than the fact that Lester was doing reasonably well this year and was likely the only real "STAR" amongst Boston's hurlers. The latter is of course important as well. But Lester grew up here as a player. From the early days, fans rooted for him. When he got sick, we hurt with him and when he came back from cancer we were happy to have him back on the mound. When he threw that no hitter it was magic! I was watching that game on TV and glued to every pitch as he came closer and closer. And when he was the winning pitcher to clinch the 2007 World Series, he secured his status in Boston sports lore.

But that wasn't enough to make the Red Sox front office avoid offering him a lowball offer that was embarrassing to all parties. This happened despite the fact that Lester was very public in wanting to stay in Boston and said he would take a hometown discount. The keyword is discount, not fleecing. I guess the front office needs a thesaurus on that one.

So Lester was sent to the Oakland A's today along with Jonny Gomes. I was a bit surprised that Gomes was traded away as I hadn't really seen his name mentioned in trade rumors. It is too bad that he's gone because he was seemingly a good soldier during his time with the Red Sox. Surprisingly, the Red Sox actually managed to get something of quality in return for cashing out their Jon Lester chips. They got All-Star outfielder Yoenis Cespedes (and a draft pick). The Cespedes contract runs through 2015. The downside to this is that it really doesn't help unclog the logjam in the outfield.

The trade deadline is in a couple of hours as I write this and who knows what else Boston is going to do. Outfielder Mike Carp wants to be traded because he's not playing. Of course, he re-signed with the club in the offseason knowing that his role was going to be as a reserve off the bench in a limited role. I don't know why his lack of playing time was such a surprise and prompted the trade request. There's also talk of Koji Uehara being traded away.

So what's left for the Red Sox now? They've traded away 4 pitchers who held rotation spots at various times over the last couple of years. Technically, the oft-injured and even more oft-inconsistent Clay Buchholz is now the #1 starter! You've got Rubby De La Rosa (who has had moments but isn't set in stone), Allen Webster (I always forget he's even on the team) and Brandon Workman (another guy that has his moments but until a couple of days ago had been back in the minors). That's 4/5ths of your rotation now folks!

As for the positional players, Brock Holt is the only player who has shown steady consistency since he was put into the lineup. Daniel Nava has been hurt and sent to the minors. When he was in the show, he's been in that outfield logjam for playing time.

Dustin Pedroia and Mike Napoli have been adequate but not even rose colored glasses can hide the fact that neither of them is really hitting all that well. 

Jackie Bradley Jr. makes great plays/catches on defense but hasn't show the ability to be good or sometimes even acceptable at the plate. Xander Bogaerts had a great run to open the season but hit the rookie wall harder than a first year basketball player in the NBA.

David Ortiz is hitting for power but his average has been down. He's also been sidetracked by a variety of petty "feuds". 

As for manager John Farrell, everything he touched turned to gold last year. This year has been a vastly different story. Things have gone so far backwards that he even got thrown under the bus by a couple of his players (Lackey and Ortiz) when they publicly disagreed with a game management situation they didn't like. 

The owners and GM Ben Cherington had better hope that things pan out for the team next season because fans are not happy that they've quit on this season. And I can't imagine the fanbase is going to be doing cartwheels over the new acquisitions the team has made in lieu of keeping players who could've helped turn the team around.

Young guys are fine to have around on your team but if they don't live up to expectations and you've given away your veterans, what's left? I know the players they got are expected to be able to contribute to the team now and in the immediate future, but do you want to bet a future Jordan's Furniture offer on that kind of iffy prospect?

The Red Sox don't have to worry about being asked to play the children's game Capture the Flag for the rest of this season...they've already raised the white one and flat out surrendered.

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