John, Gerry and Kirk open the 6am hour Monday discussing the Red Sox losing their weekend series in Texas and the team's 12-17 record over its' past 29 games.

Be forewarned. For the blog is dark and full of spoilers.

Sunday night’s “Game of Thrones” finale “Winds of Winter” ended what might be nothing less than the best season of any TV series in history.

What makes a great season of television is subjective as hell and impossible to quantify. But you know the best ones when you see them. When a show has completely hit its stride, you’re fully invested in all the characters and every plot thread has a payoff. My personal short list includes Season 3 of “The Sopranos,” that included such classics as the legendary “Pine Barrens” episode. “Breaking Bad’s” fourth season, the one that ended with Gus Fring getting his face blown off. Year 3 of the office, which included the “Benihana Christmas” two-parter, directed by the late, great Harold Ramis. Season 4 of “Seinfeld,” the one with “The Contest.” And I will put Season 6 of “Game of Thrones” up against any of them, or anything you care to throw at me.

The brilliance of the season finale is the way the showrunners weren’t afraid to dial it back after the landmark “Battle of Winterfell” installment the week before. The penultimate episode wasn’t epic in the way we always use the word now. As in “Have you had the Buffalo Chicken egg roll? It’s epic.” I mean in the dictionary sense. An adventure. Grand in scale, with a cast of thousands and lots of cavalry dying in the mud. Arguably the most ambitious single episode in the history of television, and they pulled it off to perfection.

The last one scaled it back, which was smart. We were given little character moments. Jamie Lannister telling off that old, sadistic pervert Walder Frey by reminding him they weren’t friends and he doesn’t need him. Poor Davos Seaworth, that tough as nails, honorable mensch coming to grips with what happened to Shireen and admitting he loved her like his own daughter. Tyrion Lannister pledging his loyalty to Daenerys Targaryen. Jon Snow and Sansa Stark’s heart to heart as the weather begins to pay off their father’s “Winter is coming” tease. The look on Sam Tarly’s face as he discovers what I think is the library in the castle from “Beauty in the Beast.”

All of which, while nice, would have been a crushing letdown if they didn’t also give us the kind of mayhem, revenge and fist-pumping moments “GoT” does better than any show ever has:

  • Arya Stark using the skills she learned at the House of Black & White, not to serve some stupid, arbitrary Many Faced God she doesn’t believe in. Instead, she uses her ninja power to start crossing names off her “Kill Bill”-like hit list. And throws in a little “Sweeney Todd” cooking skills to give us one of my top ten most satisfying TV deaths ever.
  • Cersei Lannister crossing off her entire enemies list in one fell, green-flamed swoop. In the process, taking out the thousands of people who threw poop in her face as she was marched naked through the streets at the end of last season. The fact that the producers have made us root for this twisted, cruel, incest-baby making demon queen is a miracle. And demonstrates what great story telling is capable of.
  • The fact Cersei spared the Septa who followed behind her ringing the “Shame!” bell for the extra Platinum Package suffering made it even better. Sometimes people have a problem with the level of torture “GoTs” is willing to show. But in this case, it’s hard to argue since it’s sadist-on-sadist crime.
  • Lyanna Mormont, the 10-year-old queen of Bear Island, who quickly became the breakout star of Season 6. Her grasp of the Big Picture when it comes to Westeros geopolitics exceeded only by her ability to shame a bunch of grown men warriors into supporting Jon Snow.
  • And finally, that finale. The last scene with Dany charging across the sea to claim the throne of the homeland she’s never set foot on, with a thousand ships, Dothrakis, freed slaves and an imp who drinks and knows things would have taken your breath away even if it didn’t include three dragons flying above as air support.

If the Second Circuit Court of Appeals doesn’t reverse Tom Brady’s suspension, I’m going to react the same way Tomnen did to the trial in the Sept. And if Patriots fans don’t greet Brady with the “King of the North” chant this season, I swear I’m pledging my sword to House Jets.

Next April can’t come fast enough.

Blog Author: 
Jerry Thornton

Welcome to Monday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

Welcome to Monday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

MLB: Red Sox at Rays, 7:10 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Dodgers at Pirates, 12:30 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Mets at Nationals, 7 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Astros at Angels, 10:05 p.m. (ESPN)
Soccer: European Championship, Italy vs. Spain, 11:30 a.m. (ESPN2)
Soccer: European Championship, England vs. Iceland, 2:30 p.m. (ESPN2)
Tennis: Wimbledon, 7 a.m. (ESPN)


Kevin Durant

Kevin Durant

— The Celtics’ dream of landing premier free agent Kevin Durant lives on for at least another few days.

According to Yahoo Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski and confirmed by ESPN, Durant has added the C’s to his list of teams to meet as he officially hits free agency Friday.

Durant already reportedly set meetings with the Warriors, Spurs and his current team, the Thunder. The new group includes the Celtics, Heat and Clippers.

The Knicks, who have made clear their desire to join the hunt, are said to be under Durant’s consideration. The Wizards, Durant’s hometown team, reportedly are not one of the early favorites, with a team source acknowledging to ESPN, “It’s not like LeBron and Cleveland.”

The 27-year-old forward, a nine-year pro, averaged 28.2 points last season as he led Oklahoma City to the Western Conference finals, where the Thunder squandered a 3-1 series lead and fell in seven games to the Warriors.

The former league MVP is scheduled to go on a publicity tour of the Far East on July 9, and he reportedly wants to make his decision before then. The Thunder, who can offer him the most money, are considered the favorites, although he could attempt to maximize his financial prospects by signing a one-year deal and becoming a free agent again next year.

— Pete Rose showed his appreciation to his hometown fans as his No. 14 was officially retired by the Reds on Sunday.

“It solidifies what I’ve been saying for many, many, many years and will continue to say it: Cincinnati is the baseball capital of the world,” Rose said from a stage by second base.

The number retirement — which had to be approved by Major League Baseball, as Rose has been banned for life since 1989 for gambling while the team’s manager — was part of a weekend of festivities honoring the Reds’ 1976 World Series champions.

Notable in his absence was second baseman Joe Morgan, who has been dealing with health issues. Rose said Morgan is awaiting a bone marrow transplant.

“He’s doing OK,” Rose told reporters. “He’s doing good. He sounded real strong. I hate to talk to him now because when he starts talking for a couple minutes, he starts crying [and saying], ‘I want to be there.’ ”

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On June 27, 2003, which Red Sox player tied a major league record by recording three hits (single, double, triple) in one inning — the 14-run first inning of a 25-8 rout of the Marlins at Fenway?

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “In the first inning, it wasn’t really a whole lot of balls that were hit hard, they were just hit where we weren’t. That was basically the difference.” — Red Sox pitcher Clay Buchholz, after allowing three first-inning runs in his team’s 6-2 loss to the Rangers on Sunday

STAT OF THE DAY: 4 — Home runs hit in the fifth inning by the Indians off Tigers ace Justin Verlander, as Cleveland won 9-3 for its ninth straight victory and improved to 9-0 against Detroit this season

‘NET RESULTS: Conor Gillaspie hits an RBI double in the ninth inning to give the Giants a walk-off win over the Phillies.


SOOTHING SOUNDS: Leigh Nash, lead singer of Sixpence None the Richer, was born on this day in 1976.

Blog Author: 
Jerry Spar
Arcand talks about the Sox and their recent struggles on the mound while previewing the Sox/Rangers rubber match today. He also gets into the Celtics and their future.
The moody and opinionated Kirk Minihane stops by the station with Bradford and's Ian Browne live in Arlington. Kirk, Rob and Ian discuss anything and everything.
Rob and Ian get into the Celts and Danny Ainge's approach to the draft on Thursday night. They discuss Jaylen Brown and why they're unhappy with the lack of fireworks. They get into Wyc getting booed and the fan reaction. What about Kevin Durant? The guys discuss why Durant would ever consider Boston.
Bradfo and Ian are live in Arlington, Texas, the site of a rough outing yesterday for knuckleballer Steven Wright and the Red Sox. The guys talk about why Wright had a bad day, the rest of Boston's poor pitching and if they can make a deal to change that.

Welcome to Wednesday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.