Blog http://www.weei.com/taxonomy/term/47/sports/sports/2011/12/David%20West en When it comes to best games of 2014 NFL season, revenge will be a running theme http://www.weei.com/sports/feed/blog/anonymous/when-it-comes-best-games-2014-nfl-season-revenge-will-be-running-theme <!--paging_filter--><div id="attachment_62156" class="wp-caption alignright" style="width: 310px"><img class="size-medium wp-image-62156" alt="Tom Brady and Peyton Manning will meet for the 16th time as starters this season. (AP)" src="http://itiswhatitis.weei.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/spt-121008-manning-brady-300x169.jpg" width="300" height="169" /><p class="wp-caption-text"><a href="http://audio.weei.com/football/tom-brady.htm" class="r_lapi">Tom Brady</a> and <a href="http://audio.weei.com/football/peyton-manning.htm" class="r_lapi">Peyton Manning</a> will meet for the 16th time as starters this season. (AP)</p></div> <p>Revenge. Redemption. Or just plain payback. Maybe it&#8217;s a coincidence, but many of them are marked by a chance at retribution &#8212; however you choose to describe it, here are our choices for best NFL games of each week in 2014.</p> <p><strong>Week 1: Packers at <a href="http://audio.weei.com/football/seattle-seahawks.htm" class="r_lapi">Seahawks</a>, Thursday at 8:30 p.m. (TNF)</strong> The <a href="http://audio.weei.com/football/super-bowl.htm" class="r_lapi">Super Bowl</a> champs get the season started in the Thursday night opener, a rematch of the Fail Mary from 2012.<br /> <strong>Week 2: Steelers at Ravens, Thursday at 8:30 p.m. (TNF)</strong> The rivalry isn&#8217;t what it once was, but Pittsburgh-Baltimore games are nasty, brutish affairs that always make for compelling theater.<br /> <strong>Week 3: <a href="http://audio.weei.com/football/denver-broncos.htm" class="r_lapi">Broncos</a> at Seahawks, Sunday at 4:25 p.m.</strong> A Super Bowl rematch. Can Peyton Manning and the Broncos get some payback?<br /> <strong>Week 4: <a href="http://audio.weei.com/football/steve-smith-panthers.htm" class="r_lapi">Panthers</a> at Ravens, Sunday at 1 p.m.</strong> New Baltimore receiver <a href="http://audio.weei.com/football/steve-smith.htm" class="r_lapi">Steve Smith</a> said that when he faces his old Carolina team, &#8220;put your goggles on because there&#8217;€™s going to be blood and guts everywhere.&#8217;€ <em>Ahem</em>.<br /> <strong>Week 5: Chiefs at Niners, Sunday at 4:25 p.m.</strong> KC quarterback <a href="http://audio.weei.com/football/alex-smith.htm" class="r_lapi">Alex Smith</a> returns to the Bay Area where he&#8217;ll meet the team that dealt him prior to the start of last season.<br /> <strong>Week 6: Cowboys at Seahawks, Sunday at 4:25 p.m.</strong> <a href="http://audio.weei.com/football/tony-romo.htm" class="r_lapi">Tony Romo</a> returns to Seattle &#8212; where he botched a hold on what might have been his best shot at a playoff win &#8212; to meet the Seahawks.<br /> <strong>Week 7: Jets at Patriots, Thursday at 8:25 p.m. (TNF)</strong> <a href="http://audio.weei.com/football/darrelle-revis.htm" class="r_lapi">Darrelle Revis</a> faces his old mates for the first time as a member of the Patriots.<br /> <strong>Week 8: Packers at Saints, Sunday at 8:30 p.m. (SNF)</strong> Helmed by <a href="http://audio.weei.com/football/aaron-rodgers.htm" class="r_lapi">Aaron Rodgers</a> and <a href="http://audio.weei.com/football/drew-brees.htm" class="r_lapi">Drew Brees</a>, two of the league&#8217;s best offenses square off under the dome in New Orleans.<br /> <strong>Week 9: Broncos at Patriots, Sunday at 4:25 p.m.</strong> Brady-Manning XVI.<br /> <strong>Week 10: Niners at Saints, Sunday at 1 p.m.</strong> San Francisco goes back to the site of its Super Bowl loss.<br /> <strong>Week 11: Patriots at Colts, Sunday at 8:30 p.m. (SNF)</strong> <a href="http://audio.weei.com/football/andrew-luck-stanford.htm" class="r_lapi">Andrew Luck</a> gets his third crack in as many years at solving <a href="http://audio.weei.com/football/bill-belichick.htm" class="r_lapi">Bill Belichick</a>&#8216;s defense.<br /> <strong>Week 12: Cardinals at Seahawks, Sunday at 4:05 p.m.</strong> The only team to beat Seattle at home last year ventures into CenturyLink Field again.<br /> <strong>Week 13: Seahawks at Niners, Thanksgiving at 8:30 p.m. (TNF)</strong> The meanest rivalry of the last few years goes national on Thanksgiving night.<br /> <strong>Week 14: Seahawks at <a href="http://audio.weei.com/football/steve-smith-usc.htm" class="r_lapi">Eagles</a>, Sunday at 4:25 p.m.</strong> Seattle&#8217;s uber-physical defense gets a crack at Philly&#8217;s high-octane offense.<br /> <strong>Week 15: Jets at Titans, 4:05 p.m.</strong> <a href="http://audio.weei.com/basketball/chris-johnson.htm" class="r_lapi">Chris Johnson</a> has a shot to get some payback on Tennessee, which let him walk for nothing earlier this offseason.<br /> <strong>Week 16: Eagles at Redskins, Saturday at 4:15 or 8:30 p.m.</strong> <a href="http://audio.weei.com/football/desean-jackson.htm" class="r_lapi">DeSean Jackson</a> gets his second chance of the season against his old team.<br /> <strong>Week 17: Bears at Vikings, Sunday at 1 p.m.</strong> New Chicago pass rusher <a href="http://audio.weei.com/football/jared-allen.htm" class="r_lapi">Jared Allen</a> would love the opportunity to sink his old mates in his return to Minnesota.</p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-blog-author"> <div class="field-label">Blog Author:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Christopher Price </div> </div> </div> Blog patriots Other Thu, 24 Apr 2014 11:00:01 +0000 442161 at http://www.weei.com Thursday’s Morning Mashup: Avs’ Erik Johnson says ‘no place in the game’ for Wild’s Matt Cooke, who gets 7-game suspension http://www.weei.com/sports/feed/blog/anonymous/thursday%E2%80%99s-morning-mashup-avs%E2%80%99-erik-johnson-says-%E2%80%98no-place-game%E2%80%99-wild%E2%80%99s-m <!--paging_filter--><p>Welcome to Thursday&#8217;s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our <a href="http://www.weei.com/" target="_blank">WEEI.com home page</a> or <a href="http://weei.stats.com/multisport/front.asp" target="_blank">click here for the top stories from our news wire</a>.</p> <p><strong>THURSDAY&#8217;S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:</strong><br /> MLB: Yankees at <a href="http://audio.weei.com/baseball/boston-red-sox.htm" class="r_lapi">Red Sox</a>, 7:10 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)<br /> MLB: Reds at Pirates, 12:30 p.m. (MLB Network)<br /> MLB: Diamondbacks at Cubs, 2 p.m. (WGN)<br /> MLB: Orioles at Blue Jays, 7 p.m. (MLB Network)<br /> <a href="http://audio.weei.com/hockey/nhl.htm" class="r_lapi">NHL</a> playoffs: Bruins at Red Wings, 8 p.m. (NBCSN)<br /> <a href="http://audio.weei.com/hockey/nhl-hockey.htm" class="r_lapi">NHL</a> playoffs: Avalanche at Wild, 9:30 p.m. (CNBC)<br /> NHL playoffs: Sharks at Kings, 10:30 p.m. (NBCSN)<br /> <a href="http://audio.weei.com/basketball/nba-playoffs.htm" class="r_lapi">NBA playoffs</a>: Pacers at Hawks, 7 p.m. (NBATV)<br /> NBA playoffs: Thunder at <a href="http://audio.weei.com/basketball/grizzlies.htm" class="r_lapi">Grizzlies</a>, 8 p.m. (TNT)<br /> NBA playoffs: Clippers at Warriors, 10:30 p.m. (TNT)<br /> Soccer: UEFA Europa, Benfica vs. Juventus, 3 p.m. (FS1)</p> <p><strong>AROUND THE WEB:</strong></p> <div id="attachment_27309" style="width: 160px" class="wp-caption alignright"><a href="http://leeinks.weei.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/Cooke_Matt-Penguins-head-12.jpg"><img class="size-full wp-image-27309" alt="Matt Cooke" src="http://leeinks.weei.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/Cooke_Matt-Penguins-head-12.jpg" width="150" height="224" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text"><a href="http://audio.weei.com/hockey/matt-cooke.htm" class="r_lapi">Matt Cooke</a></p></div> <p>&#8211; Wild forward <strong><a class="r_lapi" href="http://audio.weei.com/hockey/matt-cooke.htm">Matt Cooke</a></strong> is back in a familiar spot: on the sideline serving a suspension. Cooke was <a href="http://weei.stats.com/multisport/story.asp?i=20140423212453639765108" target="_blank">banned seven games</a> by the league for his knee-on-knee hit on Avalanche defenseman <strong>Tyson Barrie</strong> in Game 3 of their series &#8212; the second-longest kneeing suspension in league history. Barrie suffered a sprained MCL and is expected to miss 4-6 weeks.</p> <p>This is Cooke&#8217;s sixth suspension, adding up to 34 games. He had gone three years since his last major transgression, when he played for the <a class="r_lapi" href="http://audio.weei.com/hockey/pittsburgh-penguins.htm">Penguins</a>.</p> <p>Cooke, 35, can appeal the suspension to commissioner <strong>Gary Bettman</strong>.</p> <p>&#8216;I think everyone is pretty informed on what he does out there and what he&#8217;s done in the past, and I think that speaks for itself,&#8221; Avalanche defenseman <strong>Erik Johnson</strong> said Wednesday before the suspension was announced. &#8220;There&#8217;s no place for that in the game. Look at the guy who he hit: one of our top &#8216;D.&#8217; He&#8217;s going to be out for the foreseeable future.&#8221;</p> <p>Added Johnson: &#8220;I don&#8217;t even know if there&#8217;s a place for him in this game. It&#8217;s disgusting what he&#8217;s done to guys&#8217; careers.&#8221;</p> <p><iframe src="http://video.nhl.com/videocenter/embed?playlist=608692" height="360" width="600" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <p>&#8211; The Knicks are looking for a new coach after firing <strong><a class="r_lapi" href="http://audio.weei.com/basketball/mike-woodson.htm">Mike Woodson</a></strong>, but president <strong><a class="r_lapi" href="http://audio.weei.com/basketball/phil-jackson.htm">Phil Jackson</a></strong> made it clear <a href="http://weei.stats.com/multisport/story.asp?i=20140423123430442557408" target="_blank">he won&#8217;t be returning to the bench</a>.</p> <p>&#8220;<strong>Jeanie Buss</strong> was here with the Board of Governors last week and stayed through the weekend, and tried to encourage me to coach the team. And if there&#8217;s anyone that can encourage me to do anything, it&#8217;s Jeanie Buss. But I was able to withstand her arguments the whole time,&#8221; Jackson said dueling a Wednesday press conference at the Knicks&#8217; training center in Greenburgh, N.Y.</p> <p>Added Jackson: &#8220;Right now I know physically what I can do. That&#8217;s something that I don&#8217;t think physically I can do.&#8221;</p> <p>Jackson said he has some names in mind, and he did nothing to discourage rumors that TNT analyst <strong><a class="r_lapi" href="http://audio.weei.com/basketball/steve-kerr.htm">Steve Kerr</a></strong> is the leading candidate.</p> <p>&#8220;I know philosophically we have a strong connection. Whether he&#8217;s able to take a job like this, I don&#8217;t know,&#8221; Jackson said. &#8220;I will get in a conversation with him later on this month and talk to him about and see where he&#8217;s at as far as his desire to coach.&#8221;</p> <p>&#8211; Pacers guard <strong>Lance Stephenson</strong> admitted that he and teammates <strong><a href="http://audio.weei.com/basketball/evan-turner.htm" class="r_lapi">Evan Turner</a></strong> <a href="http://weei.stats.com/multisport/story.asp?i=20140423143659127620808" target="_blank">had a &#8220;little scuffle&#8221;</a> prior to Game 1 of Indiana&#8217;s series vs. the Hawks, although he denied a report that punches were thrown.</p> <p>Two large scratches were evident on Turner&#8217;s neck during the game, which the favored Pacers lost.</p> <p>&#8220;We got in a little scuffle, but it was just practice related,&#8221; Stephenson said. &#8220;No blows, just hard playing and getting ready for the playoffs. I mean, I&#8217;ve got no problem with him.&#8221;</p> <p>Meanwhile, coach <strong>Frank Vogel</strong>, who had a long conversation after Wednesday&#8217;s practice with team president <strong><a href="http://audio.weei.com/basketball/larry-bird.htm" class="r_lapi">Larry Bird</a></strong>, appeared unconcerned about a report that he is &#8220;coaching for his job&#8221; after the team&#8217;s late-season struggles.</p> <p>&#8220;It&#8217;s the NBA, we&#8217;re all coaching for our jobs,&#8221; Vogel said. &#8220;All I know is that I&#8217;ve got incredible support from Larry and we&#8217;re trying to win games.&#8221;</p> <p><strong>ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below):</strong> On April 24, 1983, which player scored 1:52 into overtime to give the Bruins a 3-2 victory over the Sabres in Game 7 of their Adams Division finals series at Boston Garden?</p> <p><span id="more-27306"></span></p> <p><strong>QUOTE OF THE DAY:</strong> &#8220;When it&#8217;s that obvious, something has got to be said. Our awareness was heightened, given what we had seen in the past.&#8221; &#8212; <a class="r_lapi" href="http://audio.weei.com/baseball/boston-red-sox.htm">Red Sox</a> manager <strong><a class="r_lapi" href="http://audio.weei.com/baseball/john-farrell.htm">John Farrell</a></strong>, on asking umpires to check Yankees pitcher <strong><a class="r_lapi" href="http://audio.weei.com/baseball/michael-pineda.htm">Michael Pineda</a></strong>, who then was ejected for having pine tar on his neck in the second inning of the <a href="http://weei.stats.com/multisport/recap.asp?lg=MLB&amp;g=340423102" target="_blank">Sox&#8217; 5-1 victory Wednesday</a></p> <p><strong>STAT OF THE DAY: 3 &#8211;</strong> Goals by which the Blue Jackets trailed the <a class="r_lapi" href="http://audio.weei.com/hockey/pittsburgh-penguins.htm">Penguins</a> in Game 4 of their series before rallying to tie the game with 22 seconds left in regulation and then <a href="http://weei.stats.com/multisport/recap.asp?lg=NHL&amp;g=2014042329" target="_blank">winning in overtime</a></p> <p><object width="600" height="360" classid="clsid:d27cdb6e-ae6d-11cf-96b8-444553540000" codebase="http://download.macromedia.com/pub/shockwave/cabs/flash/swflash.cab#version=6,0,40,0"><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true" /><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always" /><param name="src" value="//www.youtube.com/v/3nYB2O3NsZ4?version=3&amp;hl=en_US" /><param name="allowfullscreen" value="true" /><embed width="600" height="360" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" src="//www.youtube.com/v/3nYB2O3NsZ4?version=3&amp;hl=en_US" allowFullScreen="true" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" /></embed></object></p> <p><object width="600" height="360" classid="clsid:d27cdb6e-ae6d-11cf-96b8-444553540000" codebase="http://download.macromedia.com/pub/shockwave/cabs/flash/swflash.cab#version=6,0,40,0"><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true" /><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always" /><param name="src" value="//www.youtube.com/v/pV9iXqyCcBs?version=3&amp;hl=en_US" /><param name="allowfullscreen" value="true" /><embed width="600" height="360" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" src="//www.youtube.com/v/pV9iXqyCcBs?version=3&amp;hl=en_US" allowFullScreen="true" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" /></embed></object></p> <p><strong>&#8216;NET RESULTS (mobile users, check the website to see the videos):</strong> A driving <a href="http://audio.weei.com/basketball/lebron-james.htm" class="r_lapi">LeBron James</a> gets an elbow to the throat from Josh McRoberts toward the end of the Heat&#8217;s victory over the Bobcats.</p> <p><object width="600" height="360" classid="clsid:d27cdb6e-ae6d-11cf-96b8-444553540000" codebase="http://download.macromedia.com/pub/shockwave/cabs/flash/swflash.cab#version=6,0,40,0"><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true" /><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always" /><param name="src" value="//www.youtube.com/v/pjl3zOYPbRg?hl=en_US&amp;version=3" /><param name="allowfullscreen" value="true" /><embed width="600" height="360" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" src="//www.youtube.com/v/pjl3zOYPbRg?hl=en_US&amp;version=3" allowFullScreen="true" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" /></embed></object></p> <p>Massachusetts native <strong>Chris Colabello</strong> of the Twins hits a home run while his mother is being interviewed (on her birthday, no less).</p> <p><iframe src="http://m.mlb.com/shared/video/embed/embed.html?content_id=32326113&amp;topic_id=8877600&amp;width=600&amp;height=360&amp;property=mlb" height="360" width="600" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <p><strong>Jimmy Fallon</strong> presents &#8220;Tonight Show&#8221; superlatives for <a class="r_lapi" href="http://audio.weei.com/hockey/nhl-hockey.htm">NHL</a> players, including a number of Bruins.</p> <p><object width="600" height="360" classid="clsid:d27cdb6e-ae6d-11cf-96b8-444553540000" codebase="http://download.macromedia.com/pub/shockwave/cabs/flash/swflash.cab#version=6,0,40,0"><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true" /><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always" /><param name="src" value="//www.youtube.com/v/SEI9Mt5la_k?version=3&amp;hl=en_US" /><param name="allowfullscreen" value="true" /><embed width="600" height="360" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" src="//www.youtube.com/v/SEI9Mt5la_k?version=3&amp;hl=en_US" allowFullScreen="true" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" /></embed></object></p> <p><strong>TRIVIA ANSWER: <a class="r_lapi" href="http://audio.weei.com/hockey/brad-park.htm">Brad Park</a></strong></p> <p><object width="600" height="360" classid="clsid:d27cdb6e-ae6d-11cf-96b8-444553540000" codebase="http://download.macromedia.com/pub/shockwave/cabs/flash/swflash.cab#version=6,0,40,0"><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true" /><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always" /><param name="src" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/UAo46-Rpqiw?version=3&amp;hl=en_US" /><param name="allowfullscreen" value="true" /><embed width="600" height="360" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" src="http://www.youtube.com/v/UAo46-Rpqiw?version=3&amp;hl=en_US" allowFullScreen="true" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" /></embed></object></p> <p><strong>SOOTHING SOUNDS: Robert Knight</strong> was born on this day in 1945.</p> <p><object width="600" height="360" classid="clsid:d27cdb6e-ae6d-11cf-96b8-444553540000" codebase="http://download.macromedia.com/pub/shockwave/cabs/flash/swflash.cab#version=6,0,40,0"><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true" /><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always" /><param name="src" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/9Sda1DB6doU?version=3&amp;hl=en_US" /><param name="allowfullscreen" value="true" /><embed width="600" height="360" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" src="http://www.youtube.com/v/9Sda1DB6doU?version=3&amp;hl=en_US" allowFullScreen="true" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" /></embed></object></p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-blog-author"> <div class="field-label">Blog Author:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Jerry Spar </div> </div> </div> Blog general Other Thu, 24 Apr 2014 10:56:51 +0000 442166 at http://www.weei.com John Lackey bounces back, sticks through eight innings http://www.weei.com/sports/feed/blog/anonymous/john-lackey-bounces-back-sticks-through-eight-innings <!--paging_filter--><p><a class="r_lapi" href="http://audio.weei.com/baseball/john-lackey.htm">John Lackey</a> knew what he needed to do tonight against <a class="r_lapi" href="http://audio.weei.com/baseball/new-york-yankees.htm">the Yankees</a>.</p> <div id="attachment_66161" class="wp-caption alignright" style="width: 320px"><a href="http://fullcount.weei.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/Lackey_John-Red-Sox-9-19-13.jpeg"><img class="size-full wp-image-66161 " alt="John Lackey (AP)" src="http://fullcount.weei.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/Lackey_John-Red-Sox-9-19-13.jpeg" width="310" height="206" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text"><a class="r_lapi" href="http://audio.weei.com/baseball/john-lackey.htm">John Lackey</a> (AP)</p></div> <p>Following two sticky starts against <a class="r_lapi" href="http://audio.weei.com/baseball/new-york-yankees.htm">the Yankees</a> and Orioles where he allowed six runs over 5 2/3 and 5 1/3 innings, respectively, Lackey needed to turn in a strong performance to help save a taxed bullpen. Lackey needed to be the pitcher he was in his first two starts of the season, when he allowed a total of two earned runs over 13 innings pitched.</p> <p>But Lackey wasn&#8217;t focused on turning around his own individual performance. Instead, Lackey focused in on putting forth a performance that would give the bullpen a rest and set up the rest of the pitching staff moving forward over the next couple of days.</p> <p>Lackey did just that.</p> <p>&#8220;I really wasn&#8217;t thinking about [turning things around],&#8221; Lackey said. &#8220;I was thinking about trying to give the bullpen rest, for sure. We&#8217;ve got some guys down there that have been worked pretty good the last week or so and we&#8217;re trying to give those guys a little bit of a breather and win a ballgame.&#8221;</p> <p>Through his eight-inning outing, Lackey tarred the corners pitch after pitch with strikes, befuddling the Yankee lineup at the plate all night. The hurler struck out a season-high 11 hitters for his third win of the season. The outing marked his highest strikeout output since July 26, 2013 versus Colorado when he punched 12 Rockies.</p> <p><span id="more-70759"></span></p> <p>Lackey turned around his performance through a slight adjustment in the game plan. Through the early innings of the game, Lackey mixed his pitches more, throwing his curveball in the early innings instead of pounding away with high fastball.</p> <p>&#8220;The one in New York, I definitely missed some locations and I didn&#8217;t pitch very well,&#8221; Lackey said. &#8220;I thought that my last one could&#8217;ve been a lot better considering a few little things. I didn&#8217;t make too crazy adjustments. I just tried to a little bit more of a mix with my pitches a little bit earlier on.&#8221;</p> <p>&#8220;The usage of a sharp breaking ball.,&#8221; said <a href="http://audio.weei.com/baseball/boston-red-sox.htm" class="r_lapi">Red Sox</a> pitching coach Juan Nieves. &#8220;He defined his breaking ball a lot more, from curveball to cutter. He threw some changeups. He threw some more two-seamers to left-handed hitters. He kept the ball on the ground a lot more. A little plan we had after the outing in New York. He&#8217;s such a strong competitor that sometimes going away from familiarity (is tough). It was great disposition from him, and it showed he could open his repertoire and use more pitches.&#8221;</p> <p>All night, Lackey located his pitches at will all night, throwing 76 percent of his 111 pitches for strikes. The dominant command led Lackey to his success against the Yankee lineup, highlighted by his four punch outs of Yankees first baseman <a class="r_lapi" href="http://audio.weei.com/baseball/mark-teixeira.htm">Mark Teixeira</a>.</p> <p>&#8220;The biggest things was that he was putting the ball where he wanted it to,&#8221; said catcher A.J. Pierzynski. &#8220;He was able to throw multiple pitches and he had put away pitches. The last couple of outings, he&#8217;s been a little bit off and I know him and Juan had talked and made a couple of adjustments, but tonight, he was spot on.&#8221;</p> <p>The balance between a sharp breaking ball and Lackey&#8217;s usual strong fastball keyed the righty into a successful outing.</p> <p>&#8220;He&#8217;s always been trustworthy on his fastball,&#8221; Nieves said. &#8220;I thought overall, using four-seamers and two-seamers is very important for him. Also, defining his breaking ball and keeping the gap between the curveball and the cutter. Sometimes when pitchers have both pitches they make a hybrid pitch and throw some slurries. I thought defining his breaking ball was important, with him throwing his hard breaking ball and then changing speed to his other breaking ball, his curveball&#8221;</p> <p>Throughout the outing, Lackey balanced pounding the strike zone with catching too much of the plate.</p> <p>&#8220;There is such thing as too many strikes if you&#8217;re hitting the white part of the plate too much,&#8221; Lackey said. &#8220;I was fortunate enough tonight to be hitting the corners more times than not and AJ called a good game. We had a good mix going. It wasn&#8217;t like I was throwing one pitch for a strike. I was able to mix it up a little bit and that helped.&#8221;</p> <p>Knowing the predicament with the bullpen, Lackey put it upon his shoulders to go out and stick around  deep into the game to give the worn down relievers some rest.</p> <p>&#8220;It was a challenge and a motivation, for sure,&#8221; Lackey said. &#8220;It&#8217;s not something I haven&#8217;t done before. I&#8217;ve been the guy to go Opening Day a few times so it&#8217;s something that I&#8217;m capable of and expect out of myself.&#8221;</p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-blog-author"> <div class="field-label">Blog Author:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Joon Lee </div> </div> </div> Blog red sox Other Thu, 24 Apr 2014 04:33:07 +0000 442141 at http://www.weei.com Joe Girardi, Michael Pineda, Brian Cashman react to ejection of Yankees starter due to presence of pine tar http://www.weei.com/sports/feed/blog/anonymous/joe-girardi-michael-pineda-brian-cashman-react-ejection-yankees-starter-d <!--paging_filter--><p><a href="http://fullcount.weei.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/PinedaPineTar.gif"><img class="alignright size-medium wp-image-70741" alt="PinedaPineTar" src="http://fullcount.weei.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/PinedaPineTar-300x169.gif" width="300" height="169" /></a>Following the <a href="http://audio.weei.com/baseball/boston-red-sox.htm" class="r_lapi">Red Sox</a>&#8216; 5-1 win over <a href="http://audio.weei.com/baseball/new-york-yankees.htm" class="r_lapi">the Yankees</a>, the majority of the conversation centered on New York starter <a href="http://audio.weei.com/baseball/michael-pineda.htm" class="r_lapi">Michael Pineda</a> being ejected  in the second inning after being caught with pine tar on the right side of his neck.</p> <p>With Pineda&#8217;s April 10 start against the Red Sox still fresh in most everyone&#8217;s mind &#8212; with the righty having been seen with a glob of pine tar on his wrist before removing the substance in the fifth inning before the Red Sox could act &#8212; there was little room for interpretation.</p> <p>After the ejection, Yankees manager <a href="http://audio.weei.com/baseball/joe-girardi.htm" class="r_lapi">Joe Girardi</a>, Pineda and New York general manager <a href="http://audio.weei.com/baseball/brian-cashman.htm" class="r_lapi">Brian Cashman</a> didn&#8217;t question the ruling, or the objection made by Red Sox manager <a href="http://audio.weei.com/baseball/john-farrell.htm" class="r_lapi">John Farrell</a>. Here is what they had to say:</p> <p><strong>GIRARDI</strong></p> <p><strong>Did you know he had it on?</strong>: &#8220;I did not. He did not have it on when the game started. I guess from what I understand he had a hard time gripping the ball and put it on in the second inning. Obviously that&#8217;€™s a problem and we&#8217;€™re going to have to deal with the circumstances and Michael&#8217;€™s going to have to deal with it and we&#8217;€™ll get through it.&#8221;</p> <p><strong>Did you see it on him?</strong> &#8220;No, I did not, I never saw it on Michael, so. I didn&#8217;€™t look at Michael. Gerry told me he did, said he had something on his neck and I just said, &#8216;€˜OK,&#8217;€™ got Phelpsie ready and worried about trying to keep the score the same.&#8221;</p> <div id="attachment_70769" class="wp-caption alignright" style="width: 310px"><a href="http://fullcount.weei.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/pinetar.jpg"><img class="size-medium wp-image-70769" alt="Michael Pineda is examined for pine tar by home plate umpire Gerry Davis. (AP)" src="http://fullcount.weei.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/pinetar-300x227.jpg" width="300" height="227" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Michael Pineda is examined for pine tar by home plate umpire Gerry Davis. (AP)</p></div> <p><strong>What about the April 10 game</strong>? &#8220;Obviously we have discussions with all our pitchers on things they&#8217;€™re dealing with, that&#8217;€™s what we do. We don&#8217;€™t ignore situations, we handle situations and something Michael chose to do after the first inning, he had a hard time gripping the baseball. Conditions are not conducive to gripping a baseball. Unknown to us he put it on and went out there.&#8221;</p> <p><strong>Surprised at his judgement?</strong>: &#8220;I mean, it&#8217;€™s a young kid. I don&#8217;€™t think he&#8217;€™s trying to do anything to cheat, I think he&#8217;€™s trying to just go out there and compete. It&#8217;€™s unfortunate it happened but like I said we&#8217;€™ll deal with it we&#8217;€™ll get through this, it&#8217;€™s a little bump in the road and we&#8217;€™ll be all right.&#8221;</p> <p><strong>Upset?:</strong> &#8220;I&#8217;€™m not going to get mad at him. The kid&#8217;€™s doing the best he can, he&#8217;€™s trying to compete, and that&#8217;€™s what he&#8217;€™s trying to do. I don&#8217;€™t think he&#8217;€™s trying to get an edge on anyone. He&#8217;€™s a young man that&#8217;€™s been through a lot, been through a lot of rehab and has worked his tail end to get off to this start and he made an error in judgment.&#8221;</p> <p><strong>Where do you go from here?</strong>: &#8220;It&#8217;€™s something we have to deal with. There are other things that are going to come up in the course of the year that we&#8217;€™ll find a way to get through it.&#8221;</p> <p><span id="more-70761"></span></p> <p><strong>Want a rule change?:</strong> &#8220;That&#8217;€™s something I&#8217;€™ll talk with  <a href="http://audio.weei.com/baseball/major-league-baseball.htm" class="r_lapi">Major League Baseball</a>. Obviously you want guys to compete at the highest level and you want safety. It&#8217;€™s something I&#8217;€™ll talk to MLB about.&#8221;</p> <p><strong>Will there be a suspension?:</strong> &#8220;I have no idea, will just wait to see what comes down.&#8221;</p> <p><strong>What did Pineda said:</strong> &#8220;I did not talk to Michael right away, obviously my job is to manage the game. And then I went up in the dugout. He feels bad, he feels like he let his teammates down. But as I said to Michael, &#8216;€˜Hey, this is a little bump, we&#8217;€™ll get through this, we&#8217;€™ll find a way to get through this and you&#8217;€™ll be back pitching before you know it.&#8221;</p> <p><strong>What about turning the dugout camera?:</strong> &#8220;No, what frustrated me is the camera is meant for the dugout, not for the tunnel and Michael was already out of the game so what I wanted was I don&#8217;€™t want it down in our tunnel, that&#8217;€™s our private area. It has been clearly stated that that is for the dugout, not for the tunnel, not for conversations and what happens between players and coaches and that was my beef. If I was really going to tear up the camera, I would have torn it up but I was trying to get it from being in the tunnel.&#8217;€™&#8217;€™</p> <p><strong>Surprised at Farrell&#8217;s objection?</strong>: &#8220;If it&#8217;€™s that obvious, with all the attention, I don&#8217;€™t think so.&#8217;€™&#8217;€™</p> <p><strong>Bad judgement?:</strong> &#8220;He made poor judgment tonight. He&#8217;€™ll admit to that. But I think you can look at everyone in that room and everyone in this room, we have not always made the best decisions in our life and you learn from them.&#8221;</p> <p><strong>Problems with dugout camera?</strong>: &#8220;I think MLB&#8217;€™s going to have a problem with ESPN going into our tunnel. I didn&#8217;€™t break the camera, all I did was keep it from going into our tunnel. You guys are acting like I ripped it apart. The camera worked the rest of the game, didn&#8217;€™t it? All I did was turn so it was on the field or the dugout. &#8230; If I&#8217;€™m going to get fined for that, I&#8217;€™ll have a real problem with that because I didn&#8217;€™t do anything to hurt the camera. The camera&#8217;€™s in my way, there wasn&#8217;€™t one on the other side. The camera&#8217;€™s in my way, that&#8217;€™s where I stand every day, the camera&#8217;€™s in my way.&#8221;</p> <p><strong>Pineda gave Red Sox no choice?:</strong> &#8217;€œThat&#8217;€™s probably fair to say.&#8217;€™&#8217;€™</p> <p><strong>PINEDA</strong></p> <p><strong>Why did you do it?:</strong> &#8221;In the first inning I no feel the ball, and you know, I don&#8217;€™t want to like hit anybody so I decide to use it.&#8221;</p> <p><strong>Why your neck?:</strong> &#8220;I don&#8217;€™t know. Like, you know, like, it&#8217;€™s cold, and I no want to hit anybody on the team, and I want to feel good the ball and make a good pitch.&#8221;</p> <p><strong>It&#8217;s illegal</strong>: &#8220;Yeah, but, the team. I don&#8217;€™t feel the ball and I don&#8217;€™t want to hit anybody, so &#8230;&#8221;</p> <p><strong>Who put it on you?:</strong> &#8220;Yeah, I do it by myself, yeah.&#8221;</p> <p><strong>Pine tar?:</strong> &#8220;Yeah, yeah. It&#8217;€™s pine tar.&#8221;</p> <p><strong>Expect suspension?:</strong> &#8220;Yea. You know, like, I feel so apologize for my team and everybody, so, I learn from this mistake. It no happen again.&#8221;</p> <p><strong>Did anybody with Yankees talk to you about this?:</strong> &#8220;No, nobody talked to me about that. I do it today because I no feel the ball in the first inning, and I do it by myself.&#8221;</p> <p><strong>What about what happened on April 10?:</strong> &#8220;This is the past. I don&#8217;€™t want to talk about it. I know I make a mistake today. That&#8217;€™s it.&#8221;</p> <p><strong>Did you apologize to your teammates?:</strong> &#8220;Yeah. I apologize to my teammates cause you know I put all the relievers in a bad (spot), so I apologize to my teammates and everybody. I feel so sad.&#8221;</p> <p><strong>What about next time?</strong>: &#8220;I go out there  and pitch my game. I no use it anymore.&#8221;</p> <p><strong>CASHMAN</strong></p> <p><strong>Thoughts?:</strong> &#8220;We certainly are responsible, and there&#8217;€™s certainly failure on our part as an organization as a whole that he took the field in the second inning with that on his neck. He&#8217;€™s responsible for his actions, but we failed as an organization for somehow him being in that position. I don&#8217;€™t know how, none of us right now, we&#8217;€™re scratching our head right now, how that took place.&#8221;</p> <p><strong>Was there a conversation with Pineda?</strong>: &#8220;I think it&#8217;€™s probably best to not comment on that, but clearly what took place in the second inning should not be taking place.&#8221;</p> <p><strong>Are you angry?:</strong> &#8221;I think we&#8217;€™re all embarrassed. We as a group are embarrassed that this has taken place. I think Michael&#8217;€™s embarrassed. I think we&#8217;€™re embarrassed that somehow he took the field with that in the position like that. It&#8217;€™s just obviously a bad situation, and it clearly forced the opponents&#8217;€™ hand to do something that I&#8217;€™m sure they didn&#8217;€™t want to do, but they had no choice but to do. Obviously we&#8217;€™ll deal with the ramifications of that now.&#8221;</p> <p><strong>Retribution?:</strong> &#8221;It&#8217;€™s not anything that&#8217;€™s on our mind. Listen, I would want our manager to do what John Farrell did. I would want, on behalf of our fan base and our team, to do the same thing that they did. Obviously this is a terrible situation that we all witnessed and we&#8217;€™re all a part of and we all have ownership to because there was clearly a failure and a breakdown that he wound up walking out of that dugout with something like that. It&#8217;€™s just not a good situation.&#8221;</p> <p><strong>Why didn&#8217;€™t you know?</strong> &#8221;I think with television. With television I think the Red Sox probably saw it just like we saw it, but he was already on the field. He didn&#8217;€™t have it in the first inning. He had it in the second inning. There wasn&#8217;€™t anything there in the first inning. He walked out of the dugout in the second inning with it on, and I think by the time everybody saw what was going on, it was too late.&#8221;</p> <p><strong>Did you see it before the ump?</strong> &#8221;I personally got a phone call from people watching the game on TV like, &#8216;€˜Hey, I don&#8217;€™t know what&#8217;€™s going on, but something looks (suspicious).&#8217;€™ So I got out of the stands, walked in, but by the time I made it from the stands in here it was too late.&#8221;</p> <p><strong>Is the problem that he used it or that it was so obvious?</strong> &#8221;It&#8217;€™s against the rules, let&#8217;€™s leave it at that.&#8221;</p> <p><strong>Dumbfounded that it was so blatant?</strong> &#8221;We are all responsible. He did what he did, but we are all responsible that he got out of our dugout and was on the field in that manner. We&#8217;€™re all responsible for that situation. Don&#8217;€™t misunderstand that we are a part of putting something on him and stuff like that, but clearly we all have ownership of the fact that that never should have happened.&#8221;</p> <p><strong>Was he told not to do it?</strong>: &#8220;There have been enough conversations. And obviously there will be more now, or there have already been more now, even in-game when he was ejected from the game. I think after the last go-around with the same team, clearly there were a lot of conversations about this. There are no secrets there.&#8221;</p> <p><strong>Expect suspension?:</strong> &#8221;Yes.&#8221;</p> <p><strong>Message to the fans?:</strong> &#8221;This is not something that we&#8217;€™re proud to be sitting in, and we&#8217;€™re certainly embarrassed. When he took the field in the second inning, that should never have taken place.&#8221;</p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-blog-author"> <div class="field-label">Blog Author:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Rob Bradford </div> </div> </div> Blog red sox Other Thu, 24 Apr 2014 04:26:01 +0000 442146 at http://www.weei.com Red Sox reaction to Michael Pineda: ‘Something has to be said’ http://www.weei.com/sports/feed/blog/anonymous/red-sox-reaction-michael-pineda-%E2%80%98something-has-be-said%E2%80%99 <!--paging_filter--><p><iframe src="//www.youtube.com/embed/46zBPyy78Yk" height="360" width="600" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0"></iframe> </p> <p><a href="http://audio.weei.com/baseball/john-farrell.htm" class="r_lapi">John Farrell</a> had no choice Wednesday night at <a href="http://audio.weei.com/baseball/fenway-park.htm" class="r_lapi">Fenway Park</a>. There was no room for looking the other way from the greasy skin of <a href="http://audio.weei.com/baseball/michael-pineda.htm" class="r_lapi">Michael Pineda</a> this time. </p> <p>After watching <a href="http://audio.weei.com/baseball/new-york-yankees.htm" class="r_lapi">the Yankees</a> right-hander <a href="http://audio.weei.com/baseball/michael-pineda.htm" class="r_lapi">Michael Pineda</a> blatantly used pine tar on his hand in a 4-1 win on April 13 at <a href="http://audio.weei.com/baseball/yankee-stadium.htm" class="r_lapi">Yankee Stadium</a>, the <a href="http://audio.weei.com/baseball/boston-red-sox.htm" class="r_lapi">Red Sox</a> manager said he had no choice but to call for home plate umpire Gerry Davis to inspect the right side of Pineda&#8217;s neck in the second inning Wednesday at <a href="http://audio.weei.com/baseball/fenway-park.htm" class="r_lapi">Fenway Park</a>. </p> <p>What Davis found was an obvious streak of pine tar used by the pitcher to gain an advantage on the grip of the baseball. The blatant use of pine tar represented an obvious violation of rule 8.02 (4) of applying a foreign substance to the ball and Pineda was immediately ejected. After being warned by MLB after his previous violation in New York, Pineda faces an almost certain suspension of at least eight games from <a href="http://audio.weei.com/baseball/major-league-baseball.htm" class="r_lapi">Major League Baseball</a> for the latest infraction.</p> <p>&#8220;When it&#8217;s that obvious, something has to be said,&#8221; Farrell said afterward in explaining his trip to the mound to call for an inspection. </p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-blog-author"> <div class="field-label">Blog Author:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Mike Petraglia </div> </div> </div> Blog red sox Other Thu, 24 Apr 2014 04:06:35 +0000 442131 at http://www.weei.com Closing Time: John Lackey sticks around for eight innings in leading Red Sox past Yankees http://www.weei.com/sports/feed/blog/anonymous/closing-time-john-lackey-sticks-around-eight-innings-leading-red-sox-past <!--paging_filter--><p dir="ltr"> <div id="attachment_57707" class="wp-caption alignright" style="width: 160px"><a href="http://fullcount.weei.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/Lackey_John-Red-Sox-head-13.jpg"><img class="size-full wp-image-57707" alt="John Lackey" src="http://fullcount.weei.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/Lackey_John-Red-Sox-head-13.jpg" width="150" height="228" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text"><a href="http://audio.weei.com/baseball/john-lackey.htm" class="r_lapi">John Lackey</a></p></div> </p><p dir="ltr"><a class="r_lapi" href="http://audio.weei.com/baseball/john-lackey.htm">John Lackey</a> came into Wednesday looking for a bounce back start after two straight shaky outings where the righty gave up six runs in less than five innings pitched. Sans the help of pine tar, Lackey delivered a dynamite eight inning, one-run performance, helping lift the <a href="http://audio.weei.com/baseball/boston-red-sox.htm" class="r_lapi">Red Sox</a> to a 5-1 win over <a href="http://audio.weei.com/baseball/new-york-yankees.htm" class="r_lapi">the Yankees</a>.</p> <p>Through his eight innings, Lackey dominated <a class="r_lapi" href="http://audio.weei.com/baseball/new-york-yankees.htm">the Yankees</a> to the tune of a season-high eleven strikeouts on seven hits. Lackey consistently pounded the outside part of the plate with all of his pitches, throwing 76 percent (111 pitches, 84 strikes) of his pitches for strikes on the evening.</p> <p>The stickiest situation all night for the hurler came in the fifth inning, when Yankees right fielder Brett Gardner started the inning off with a single and was moved to third base by <a class="r_lapi" href="http://audio.weei.com/baseball/kelly-johnson.htm">Kelly Johnson</a>&#8216;s ground rule double. Lackey quickly responded to the hits by striking out <a class="r_lapi" href="http://audio.weei.com/baseball/jacoby-ellsbury.htm">Jacoby Ellsbury</a> and forcing <a class="r_lapi" href="http://audio.weei.com/baseball/derek-jeter.htm">Derek Jeter</a> to ground out to <a class="r_lapi" href="http://audio.weei.com/baseball/dustin-pedroia.htm">Dustin Pedroia</a>.</p> <p dir="ltr"><a class="r_lapi" href="http://audio.weei.com/baseball/new-york-yankees.htm">The Yankees</a>&#8216; lone run came in the sixth inning when <a class="r_lapi" href="http://audio.weei.com/baseball/alfonso-soriano.htm">Alfonso Soriano</a> drove in <a class="r_lapi" href="http://audio.weei.com/baseball/carlos-beltran.htm">Carlos Beltran</a> on a sacrifice fly. The Yankees&#8217; one run is tied the lowest run total a <a class="r_lapi" href="http://audio.weei.com/baseball/boston-red-sox.htm">Red Sox</a> opponent has scored this year (The <a class="r_lapi" href="http://audio.weei.com/baseball/texas-rangers.htm">Texas Rangers</a> also scored one run in a 5-1 win on April 7).</p> <p dir="ltr">Lackey&#8217;s eight inning performance was incredibly important for the Red Sox bullpen, which has thrown 14.2 innings in the three games prior to tonight&#8217;s contest.</p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE RED SOX</strong></p> <ul> <li><a class="r_lapi" href="http://audio.weei.com/baseball/grady-sizemore.htm">Grady Sizemore</a> started the home half of the first inning with a standup triple into the right field corner, breaking his 0-for-13 streak on the homestand. Sizemore was 1-for-26 before the three bagger. The triple was Sizemore&#8217;€™s first since June of 2011. Sizemore scored on a <a class="r_lapi" href="http://audio.weei.com/baseball/dustin-pedroia.htm">Dustin Pedroia</a> single up the middle.</li> <li>The Red Sox scored two runs in the first inning for the first time this season.</li> <li>This time, the Red Sox got him. <a class="r_lapi" href="http://audio.weei.com/baseball/michael-pineda.htm">Michael Pineda</a> was ejected in the middle of second inning forusing pine tar. Home plate umpire Gerry Davis ejected the tall righty after touching a shiny area on Pineda&#8217;s neck. <a class="r_lapi" href="http://audio.weei.com/baseball/major-league-baseball.htm">Major League Baseball</a> will review the incident on Thursday and former Yankees manager and current MLB Executive Vice President for Baseball Operations <a class="r_lapi" href="http://audio.weei.com/baseball/joe-torre.htm">Joe Torre</a> will determine the length of Pineda&#8217;s suspension. <img class="size-full wp-image-70741 alignnone" alt="PinedaPineTar" src="http://fullcount.weei.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/PinedaPineTar.gif" width="504" height="284" /></li> <li><a class="r_lapi" href="http://audio.weei.com/baseball/mike-napoli.htm">Mike Napoli</a> continued his strong week with an RBI double in the third inning that bounced fair down the right field line and disappeared into the stands. During the ensuing confusion, <a class="r_lapi" href="http://audio.weei.com/soccer/napoli-soccer.htm">Napoli</a> ran home because Gardner and the umpires could not find the ball. The play was subsequently ruled a ground rule double. Since April 13, <a class="r_lapi" href="http://audio.weei.com/soccer/napoli-soccer.htm">Napoli</a> is hitting .342 with a .385 on-base percentage with four doubles, three home runs and six RBI.</li> <li><a class="r_lapi" href="http://audio.weei.com/mut-and-bradford.htm">Dustin Pedroia</a> continued his recent hot streak with two singles, two runs scored and one RBI. Since receiving a cortisone shot in his left wrist on April 15, Pedroia has hit .352 (34 at-bats) with a .450 on-base percentage with six doubles and three RBI.</li> <li>Brock Holt turned in another strong performance with an RBI single and two walks. Since being recalled from Pawtucket on April 18, Holt is hitting .400 with four RBI with a .458 on-base percentage.</li> </ul> <p><strong>WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE RED SOX<br /> </strong></p> <ul> <li><span style="line-height: 13px;">Catcher A.J. Pierzynski swung through a hit-and-run that resulted in <a class="r_lapi" href="http://audio.weei.com/baseball/mike-napoli.htm">Mike Napoli</a> being thrown out at second base.</span></li> </ul> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-blog-author"> <div class="field-label">Blog Author:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Joon Lee </div> </div> </div> Blog red sox Other Thu, 24 Apr 2014 02:23:27 +0000 442111 at http://www.weei.com Five incredibly early thoughts on Patriots 2014 regular-season schedule http://www.weei.com/sports/feed/blog/anonymous/five-incredibly-early-thoughts-patriots-2014-regular-season-schedule <!--paging_filter--><div id="attachment_37934" class="wp-caption alignright" style="width: 241px"><img class="size-medium wp-image-37934" alt="Tom Brady, Bill Belichick and the rest of the Patriots will have their hands full in 2014. (AP)" src="http://itiswhatitis.weei.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/tom-brady-bill-belichick-231x300.jpg" width="231" height="300" /><p class="wp-caption-text"><a href="http://audio.weei.com/football/tom-brady.htm" class="r_lapi">Tom Brady</a>, <a href="http://audio.weei.com/football/bill-belichick.htm" class="r_lapi">Bill Belichick</a> and the rest of the Patriots will have their hands full in 2014. (AP)</p></div> <p>Here&#8217;s the 2014 schedule for the Patriots:</p> <p>Week 1: at Dolphins &#8212; Sept. 7, 1 p.m.<br /> Week 2: at Vikings &#8212; Sept. 14, 1 p.m.<br /> Week 3: vs. Raiders &#8212; Sept. 21, 1 p.m.<br /> Week 4: at Chiefs &#8212; Sept. 29, 8:30 p.m.<br /> Week 5: vs. Bengals &#8212; Oct. 5, 8:30 p.m.<br /> Week 6: at Bills &#8212; Oct. 12, 1 p.m.<br /> Week 7: vs. Jets &#8212; Oct. 16, 8:25 p.m.<br /> Week 8: vs. Bears &#8212; Oct. 26, 1 p.m.<br /> Week 9: vs. <a href="http://audio.weei.com/football/denver-broncos.htm" class="r_lapi">Broncos</a> &#8212; Nov. 2, 4:25 p.m.<br /> Week 10: Bye week<br /> Week 11: at Colts &#8212; Nov. 16, 8:30 p.m.<br /> Week 12: vs. Lions &#8212; Nov. 23, 1 p.m.<br /> Week 13: at Packers &#8212; Nov. 30, 4:25 p.m.<br /> Week 14: at Chargers &#8212; Dec. 7, 8:30 p.m.<br /> Week 15: vs. Dolphins &#8212; Dec. 14, 1 p.m.<br /> Week 16: at Jets &#8212; Dec. 21, 1 p.m.<br /> Week 17: vs. Bills &#8212; Dec. 28, 1 p.m.</p> <p><strong>1. Prime-time players: </strong>For the second straight season &#8212; barring a flexed out game &#8212; New England will play five prime-time games. The Patriots will play back-to-back night games in Week 4 and Week 5 (at Kansas City and home against the Bengals), Week 7 (a Thursday night game in Foxboro against the <a href="http://audio.weei.com/football/new-york-jets.htm" class="r_lapi">New York Jets</a>) and road games against Indianapolis on Nov. 16 (Week 11) and at San Diego on Dec. 7 (Week 14). By way of comparison, the Patriots had four prime-time games in 2012 and 2010, and three in 2011 and 2009. This season also marks the fifth straight year the Patriots will face the Jets at least once in prime time, and the third straight year that game will take place as a part of Thursday Night Football</p> <p><strong>2. Short weeks:</strong> The biggest turnaround for the Patriots comes in mid-October when the Patriots have clash with the Bills on Sunday, Oct. 12 in Orchard Park. Then, New England has to turn around and host the Jets the following Thursday night in Foxboro.</p> <p><strong>3. Bye week:</strong> The Patriots have a relatively good spot for their bye week, coming in Week 10 after what promises to be a monumental clash with the Broncos on Nov. 2, a Week 9 game in Foxboro. For what it&#8217;s worth, on average over the last decade, New England&#8217;s bye week has come in Week 7. This year marks the third time in a decade the Patriots will have their bye fall in Week 10 &#8211; they had it in 2007 and 2013. (The earliest bye week of the last decade came in Week 3, back in 2004.) Another positive as it relates to the bye week comes with the fact that New England will have 14 days between <strong><a href="http://audio.weei.com/football/peyton-manning.htm" class="r_lapi">Peyton Manning</a></strong> and the Broncos (Nov. 2 in Foxboro) and <strong><a href="http://audio.weei.com/football/andrew-luck-stanford.htm" class="r_lapi">Andrew Luck</a></strong> at the Colts (Nov. 16 in Indy). However, the bye comes in the middle of what is arguably the toughest stretch of the season for New England, a six-game string that starts on a short week with the Jets, followed by home games against the Bears and Broncos. Coming out of the bye, the Patriots then travel to face the Colts, host the Lions and then make their first visit to Green Bay since 2006 for a date with <a href="http://audio.weei.com/football/green-bay-packers.htm" class="r_lapi">the Packers</a>.</p> <p><strong>4. Patriots-Broncos, or Brady-Manning, Chapter 16:</strong> The centerpiece of the regular season will undoubtedly be the Nov. 2 game between New England and Denver, set for 4:25 p.m. A rematch of last year&#8217;s AFC title contest, it figures to be the 16th meeting between <strong>Tom Brady</strong> and Manning. (Manning and the Broncos will have a full 10 days to prepare for the Patriots prior to the Nov. 2 game between New England and Denver.)</p> <p><strong>5. Road warriors:</strong> Last year, the Patriots played one regular-season games (Houston) and one postseason game (Denver) outside of the Eastern Time Zone. In 2014, the Patriots have four regular-season games outside of the Eastern Time Zone, including a date with the Chargers in San Diego (<a href="http://audio.weei.com/football/qualcomm-stadium.htm" class="r_lapi">Qualcomm Stadium</a>), as well as contests on the road against the Vikings (TCF Bank Stadium in Minnesota), Packers (<a href="http://audio.weei.com/football/lambeau-field.htm" class="r_lapi">Lambeau Field</a> in Green Bay) and Chiefs (Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City). According to Google maps, a road trip to all eight regular-season road games &#8212; departing from Foxboro &#8212; would be 10,026 miles by car. That includes the Jets (207 miles to MetLife Stadium), as well as Chargers (2,981 miles from Gillette to Qualcomm by car).  That&#8217;s in stark contrast to the 2013 schedule, which included 7,130 regular-season miles and just three regular-season road trips of 1,000 miles or more (Miami, Atlanta and Houston), with the December trip to face the Texans the longest at 1,839 miles.</p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-blog-author"> <div class="field-label">Blog Author:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Christopher Price </div> </div> </div> Blog patriots Other Thu, 24 Apr 2014 00:23:03 +0000 442081 at http://www.weei.com Michael Pineda ejected from game in second inning for using pine tar http://www.weei.com/sports/feed/blog/anonymous/michael-pineda-ejected-game-second-inning-using-pine-tar <!--paging_filter--><div id="attachment_70719" class="wp-caption alignright" style="width: 160px"><a href="http://fullcount.weei.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/Pineda_Michael-Yankees-head-13.jpg"><img class="size-full wp-image-70719" alt="Michael Pineda" src="http://fullcount.weei.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/Pineda_Michael-Yankees-head-13.jpg" width="150" height="235" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text"><a class="r_lapi" href="http://audio.weei.com/baseball/michael-pineda.htm">Michael Pineda</a></p></div> <p>Yankees starter <a href="http://audio.weei.com/baseball/michael-pineda.htm" class="r_lapi">Michael Pineda</a> was ejected from his start against the <a class="r_lapi" href="http://audio.weei.com/baseball/boston-red-sox.htm">Red Sox</a> Wednesday night after home plate umpire Gerry Davis determined the pitcher had a significant amount of pine tar on the right side of his neck.</p> <p>Davis was alerted to the substance by <a href="http://audio.weei.com/baseball/boston-red-sox.htm" class="r_lapi">Red Sox</a> manager <a class="r_lapi" href="http://audio.weei.com/baseball/john-farrell.htm">John Farrell</a>  with two outs and <a class="r_lapi" href="http://audio.weei.com/baseball/grady-sizemore.htm">Grady Sizemore</a> at bat, with the righty having already thrown 40 pitches and given up two first-inning runs. The umpire proceeded to come out to the mound, checking Pineda&#8217;s glove and hand before identifying the pine tar on his neck.</p> <p>Cameras showed Pineda did not have the substance on his neck in the first inning.</p> <p>Rule 8.02 of in the Major League Rulebook states: &#8216;€œThe pitcher shall not apply a foreign substance of any kind to the ball.&#8217;€ If found guilty of the transgression, the accused pitcher is supposed to be ejected and be handed a 10-game suspension.</p> <p>Pineda had come under scrutiny in his previous start against the Red Sox (April 10), possessing what appeared to be a significant amount of pine tar on his wrist. <a href="http://fullcount.weei.com/sports/boston/baseball/red-sox/2014/04/10/red-sox-players-talk-around-controversy-surrounding-michael-pinedas-pitching-hand/">(For a recap of that incident, click here.)</a></p> <p>Farrell had said after the previous appearance that the Red Sox didn&#8217;t notice the discoloration until it was too late, with Pineda having cleaned off the substance when coming on for the fifth inning.</p> <p><a class="r_lapi" href="http://audio.weei.com/olympics/michael-phelps.htm">Michael Phelps</a> replaced Pineda, striking out Sizemore to end the second.</p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-blog-author"> <div class="field-label">Blog Author:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Rob Bradford </div> </div> </div> Blog red sox Other Thu, 24 Apr 2014 00:00:33 +0000 442051 at http://www.weei.com Patriots’ 2014 regular-season schedule unveiled http://www.weei.com/sports/feed/blog/anonymous/patriots%E2%80%99-2014-regular-season-schedule-unveiled <!--paging_filter--><p>Here&#8217;s a look at the Patriots 2014 regular-season schedule:</p> <p><strong>Week 1: at Dolphins &#8211;</strong> Sept. 7, 1 p.m.<br /> <strong>Week 2: at Vikings &#8211;</strong> Sept. 14, 1 p.m.<br /> <strong>Week 3: vs. Raiders &#8211;</strong> Sept. 21, 1 p.m.<br /> <strong>Week 4: at Chiefs &#8211;</strong> Sept. 29, 8:30 p.m.<br /> <strong>Week 5: vs. Bengals &#8211;</strong> Oct. 5, 8:30 p.m.<br /> <strong>Week 6: at Bills &#8211;</strong> Oct. 12, 1 p.m.<br /> <strong>Week 7: vs. Jets &#8211;</strong> Oct. 16, 8:25 p.m.<br /> <strong>Week 8: vs. Bears &#8211;</strong> Oct. 26, 1 p.m.<br /> <strong>Week 9: vs. <a href="http://audio.weei.com/football/denver-broncos.htm" class="r_lapi">Broncos</a> &#8211;</strong> Nov. 2, 4:25 p.m.<br /> <strong>Week 10:</strong> Bye week<br /> <strong>Week 11: at Colts &#8211;</strong> Nov. 16, 8:30 p.m.<br /> <strong>Week 12: vs. Lions &#8211;</strong> Nov. 23, 1 p.m.<br /> <strong>Week 13: at Packers &#8211;</strong> Nov. 30, 4:25 p.m.<br /> <strong>Week 14: at Chargers &#8211;</strong> Dec. 7, 8:30 p.m.<br /> <strong>Week 15: vs. Dolphins &#8211;</strong> Dec. 14, 1 p.m.<br /> <strong>Week 16: at Jets &#8211;</strong> Dec. 21, 1 p.m.<br /> <strong>Week 17: vs. Bills &#8211;</strong> Dec. 28, 1 p.m.</p> <p>For more Patriots news, check out <a href="http://www.weei.com/teams/patriots/home" target="_blank">weei.com/patriots</a>.</p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-blog-author"> <div class="field-label">Blog Author:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Christopher Price </div> </div> </div> Blog patriots Other Wed, 23 Apr 2014 23:47:25 +0000 442041 at http://www.weei.com Red Sox notebook: John Farrell explains Daniel Nava’s demotion; Shane Victorino just about ready http://www.weei.com/sports/feed/blog/anonymous/red-sox-notebook-john-farrell-explains-daniel-nava%E2%80%99s-demotion-shane-victo <!--paging_filter--><div id="attachment_57739" class="wp-caption alignright" style="width: 160px"><a href="http://fullcount.weei.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/Nava_Daniel-Red-Sox-head-13.jpg"><img class="size-full wp-image-57739" alt="Daniel Nava" src="http://fullcount.weei.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/Nava_Daniel-Red-Sox-head-13.jpg" width="150" height="222" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Daniel Nava</p></div> <p>While his demotion to Pawtucket was not unforeseen, Daniel Nava was still disappointed to hear after last night&#8217;€™s 9-2 loss to <a href="http://audio.weei.com/baseball/new-york-yankees.htm" class="r_lapi">the Yankees</a> that he would be taking the bus back to Triple-A.</p> <p>Nava started the season off struggling, hitting .149 with two home runs and three RBI while posting a .240 on-base percentage. Nava&#8217;€™s weak performance combined with the team&#8217;€™s need to carry an extra reliever in the bullpen led to 31-year-old&#8217;€™s trip back down to the minors.</p> <p>&#8216;€œGiven the number of innings by our last five days, we needed to add another arm, some help out there,&#8217;€ <a href="http://audio.weei.com/baseball/boston-red-sox.htm" class="r_lapi">Red Sox</a> manager <a href="http://audio.weei.com/baseball/john-farrell.htm" class="r_lapi">John Farrell</a> said. &#8216;€œI felt like we needed to get Daniel Nava going again. His struggles at the plate are evident. We&#8217;re just trying to get him back to the player of confidence that we&#8217;ve seen in the past.&#8217;€</p> <p>Farrell believes that Nava needed to find his approach back at the plate after the outfielder struggled to find his typically patient approach at the plate out of the gate this season.</p> <p>&#8216;€œThere needs to be more of a consistent two strike approach,&#8217;€ Farrell said. &#8216;€œThere were times where he tried to hit with a little bit too much power instead of that hitter of average that had occasional home runs. He also needs to hit from the right side of the plate as well.&#8217;€</p> <p>Part of the reason the team sent down Nava was a result of the outfielder&#8217;€™s dip in confidence.</p> <p>&#8216;€œPlayers&#8217; confidence ebbs and flows,&#8217;€ Farrell said. &#8216;€œWe&#8217;ve got to get a guy that was pivotal to our success a year ago right at the plate and it&#8217;s going to take some time to get some at-bats to do just that.&#8217;€</p> <p>Farrell says that Nava was still disappointed with the demotion to Pawtucket, although the outfielder&#8217;s recent performance suggested a potential demotion.</p> <p>&#8216;€œI can&#8217;t say that it was disbelief but it was a disappointing message to deliver considering his contributions last year in combination with the need for another reliever,&#8217;€ Farrell said. &#8216;€œMaybe deep down, he agreed with it and knew that it was a necessity.&#8217;€</p> <p><strong>Wilson ready to step up and contribute</strong></p> <p>In response to the a thin bullpen that pitched 14.1 innings over the last three games, the Red Sox called up reliever Alex Wilson. Wilson pitched in 26 games in 2013, posting a 4.88 ERA with 22 strikeouts, 1.735 WHIP and a 7.2 strikeouts per nine innings. Wilson is excited for the opportunity to contribute to the major league squad.</p> <p>&#8216;€œI&#8217;m throwing the ball pretty well,&#8217;€ Wilson said. &#8216;€œI&#8217;m pretty comfortable. I&#8217;m in a good spot right now. It&#8217;s always great to come back and be the first guy called up this year, it feels good.&#8217;€</p> <p>Farrell said the reason that team brought up Wilson stemmed from the abundance of innings the relievers have pitched over the last couple of games.</p> <p>&#8216;€œHopefully we get through tonight in good shape and our bullpen gets back to normal rest,&#8217;€ Farrell said. &#8216;€œWe typically don&#8217;t like to carry an eight-man bullpen so we&#8217;d like to get back to thirteen position players if we can.&#8217;€</p> <p>Farrell also added that the team brought Wilson over starting pitcher Allen Webster due to the team&#8217;€™s desire not to mess with Webster&#8217;€™s starting routing in Pawtucket.</p> <p>&#8216;€œWe felt like that a two inning reliever is what we needed and that&#8217;s what Wilson&#8217;s done,&#8217;€ Farrell said. &#8216;€œFamiliarity of role. That&#8217;s why Alex is here.&#8217;€</p> <p>While his current stint with the Red Sox is expected to be short, Wilson is just glad to have an opportunity with the team.</p> <p>&#8216;€œJust keep working every day,&#8217;€ Wilson said. &#8216;€œIn the long haul, I&#8217;m still playing baseball as my job so I&#8217;m glad to be doing and I&#8217;m glad to be here.&#8217;€</p> <p><strong>Victorino in Boston during scheduled off day</strong></p> <p>Outfielder <a href="http://audio.weei.com/baseball/shane-victorino.htm" class="r_lapi">Shane Victorino</a> is inching closer every day to making his regular season debut with the Red Sox after suffering a right hamstring injury at the end of Spring Training. After going 0 for 4 with three strikeouts for Pawtucket last night against the Rochester Red Wings, Victorino was spotted in the clubhouse before the game. Farrell said that today is a scheduled off day for the 33-year-old.</p> <p>&#8216;€œPart of the plan was to have today be an off day and we weren&#8217;t going to adjust if he wasn&#8217;t active here,&#8217;€ Farrell said. &#8216;€œHe&#8217;ll go through the pre-game work today with us.&#8217;€</p> <p>Farrell would not hint whether or not the team will activate Victorino for tomorrow&#8217;€™s game.</p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-blog-author"> <div class="field-label">Blog Author:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Joon Lee </div> </div> </div> Blog red sox Other Wed, 23 Apr 2014 23:32:28 +0000 442026 at http://www.weei.com Report: Patriots exercise fifth-year option on left tackle Nate Solder http://www.weei.com/sports/feed/blog/anonymous/report-patriots-exercise-fifth-year-option-left-tackle-nate-solder <!--paging_filter--><div id="attachment_49383" class="wp-caption alignright" style="width: 160px"><img class="size-full wp-image-49383" alt="Nate Solder" src="http://itiswhatitis.weei.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/Solder_Nate-Patriots-head-12.jpg" width="150" height="226" /><p class="wp-caption-text"><a class="r_lapi" href="http://audio.weei.com/football/nate-solder.htm">Nate Solder</a></p></div> <p>The Patriots exercised the fifth-year option on left tackle <strong><a class="r_lapi" href="http://audio.weei.com/ncaa/football/nate-solder.htm">Nate Solder</a></strong> on Wednesday, according to <strong>Jason LaCanfora</strong> of CBS Sports.</p> <p>The option is worth the average value of the third through the 25th-highest cap numbers for offensive linemen in 2014. According to our friend <strong>Miguel Benzan</strong> of Patscap.com, that would put Solder&#8217;€™€™s option at about $7.3 million for the 2015 season. Considering the market for free agent left tackles this offseason (five free agent tackles received guaranteed deals in excess of $10 million) and Solder&#8217;s level of play since he arrived in the league three years ago, it seems like a sound financial move for New England.</p> <p>Teams have until May 3 to exercise the fifth-year option on the first-round picks of the 2011 draft class, and Solder is one of several members of the class to have their option already picked up &#8212; it&#8217;s a group that includes Houston&#8217;s <strong>J.J. Watt</strong>, Arizona&#8217;s <strong><a class="r_lapi" href="http://audio.weei.com/football/patrick-peterson.htm">Patrick Peterson</a></strong>, New York&#8217;s <strong>Muhammad Wilkerson</strong> and San Diego&#8217;s <strong>Corey Liuget</strong>.</p> <p>For more Patriots news, check out <a href="http://www.weei.com/teams/patriots/home" target="_blank">weei.com/patriots</a>.</p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-blog-author"> <div class="field-label">Blog Author:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Christopher Price </div> </div> </div> Blog patriots Other Wed, 23 Apr 2014 23:24:00 +0000 442021 at http://www.weei.com Bruins don’t mind being the punchline of Jimmy Fallon’s joke http://www.weei.com/sports/feed/blog/anonymous/bruins-don%E2%80%99t-mind-being-punchline-jimmy-fallon%E2%80%99s-joke <!--paging_filter--><p>DETROIT &#8212; The which-knee-was-hurt video wasn&#8217;t the only one involving <strong><a href="http://audio.weei.com/hockey/brad-marchand.htm" class="r_lapi">Brad Marchand</a></strong> that has been circulating over the last 24 hours.</p> <p>Marchand, <strong>Dougie Hamilton</strong> and <strong><a href="http://audio.weei.com/hockey/zdeno-chara.htm" class="r_lapi">Zdeno Chara</a></strong> were all the butts of<strong> Jimmy Fallon</strong>&#8216;s jokes in Tuesday&#8217;s &#8220;Tonight Show&#8221; as Fallon gave superlatives to different players in the <a href="http://audio.weei.com/hockey/nhl.htm" class="r_lapi">NHL</a> postseason based solely on their headshots.</p> <p>Marchand was given the superlative for being the &#8220;Most Likely to Play a Pizza Delivery guy in an 80s Movie About Skiing,&#8221; Hamilton got &#8220;Easiest to Replicate as a Bobblehead&#8221; and Chara got &#8220;Most Likely to be Two Humans Sewn Together.&#8221;</p> <p>&#8220;It&#8217;s pretty funny,&#8221;<strong> <a href="http://audio.weei.com/hockey/milan-lucic.htm" class="r_lapi">Milan Lucic</a></strong> said Wednesday. &#8220;At the end of the day, we had something to laugh about this morning.&#8221;</p> <p>Hamilton, who has also said his head shot makes him look like Beeker from The Muppets, said he didn&#8217;t understand how he looked like a bobblehead, but did say he prefers Fallon to The Muppets. His teammates felt that Marchand&#8217;s superlative was the most accurate.</p> <p>&#8220;I could [see him delivering pizzas],&#8221; Lucic said. &#8220;Out of the three, that&#8217;s probably the best one.&#8221;</p> <p><object width="640" height="360" classid="clsid:d27cdb6e-ae6d-11cf-96b8-444553540000" codebase="http://download.macromedia.com/pub/shockwave/cabs/flash/swflash.cab#version=6,0,40,0"><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true" /><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always" /><param name="src" value="//www.youtube.com/v/SEI9Mt5la_k?hl=en_US&amp;version=3&amp;rel=0" /><param name="allowfullscreen" value="true" /><embed width="640" height="360" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" src="//www.youtube.com/v/SEI9Mt5la_k?hl=en_US&amp;version=3&amp;rel=0" allowFullScreen="true" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" /></embed></object></p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-blog-author"> <div class="field-label">Blog Author:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> DJ Bean </div> </div> </div> Blog bruins Other Wed, 23 Apr 2014 20:27:27 +0000 442006 at http://www.weei.com Red Sox lineup: Grady Sizemore leads off, Mike Carp in left field http://www.weei.com/sports/feed/blog/anonymous/red-sox-lineup-grady-sizemore-leads-mike-carp-left-field <!--paging_filter--><p>With <strong>Daniel Nava</strong> having been sent down by the <a href="http://audio.weei.com/baseball/boston-red-sox.htm" class="r_lapi">Red Sox</a> on Wednesday, <strong>Mike Carp</strong> will get a start in left field against Yankees right-hander <strong><a href="http://audio.weei.com/baseball/michael-pineda.htm" class="r_lapi">Michael Pineda</a></strong>. <strong><a href="http://audio.weei.com/baseball/grady-sizemore.htm" class="r_lapi">Grady Sizemore</a></strong> will hit leadoff &#8212; a responsibility that he is likely to part with starting Thursday, with the anticipated return of <strong><a href="http://audio.weei.com/baseball/shane-victorino.htm" class="r_lapi">Shane Victorino</a></strong> from the disabled list.</p> <p>Nava went 1-for-3 with a homer against Pineda earlier this year; Carp has yet to face him, while Sizemore is 0-for-3 against the hulking righty. Pineda will face off against <strong><a href="http://audio.weei.com/baseball/john-lackey.htm" class="r_lapi">John Lackey</a></strong>, who will be looking to improve upon his prior start against <a href="http://audio.weei.com/baseball/new-york-yankees.htm" class="r_lapi">the Yankees</a> in which he allowed a career-high four homers.</p> <p>For complete batter vs. pitcher matchup histories, <a href="fullcount.weei.com/sports/boston/baseball/red-sox/2014/04/23/wednesdays-red-sox-yankees-matchups-john-lackey-vs-michael-pineda/">click here</a>.</p> <p><strong>RED SOX LINEUP<br /> </strong></p> <p>Grady Sizemore, RF</p> <p><a href="http://audio.weei.com/baseball/dustin-pedroia.htm" class="r_lapi">Dustin Pedroia</a>, 2B</p> <p><a href="http://audio.weei.com/baseball/david-ortiz.htm" class="r_lapi">David Ortiz</a>, DH</p> <p><a href="http://audio.weei.com/baseball/mike-napoli.htm" class="r_lapi">Mike Napoli</a>, 1B</p> <p>Mike Carp, LF</p> <p>A.J. Pierzynski, C</p> <p>Xander Bogaerts, SS</p> <p>Brock Holt, 3B</p> <p>Jackie Bradley Jr., CF</p> <p>John Lackey, RHP</p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-blog-author"> <div class="field-label">Blog Author:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Alex Speier </div> </div> </div> Blog red sox Other Wed, 23 Apr 2014 19:57:05 +0000 442001 at http://www.weei.com John Farrell on Dale & Holley: Red Sox’ search for lineup instability may subside with return of Shane Victorino http://www.weei.com/sports/feed/blog/anonymous/john-farrell-dale-holley-red-sox%E2%80%99-search-lineup-instability-may-subside-r <!--paging_filter--><div id="attachment_25200" class="wp-caption alignright" style="width: 160px"><a href="http://fullcount.weei.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/Farrell_John-head09.jpg"><img class="size-full wp-image-25200" alt="John Farrell" src="http://fullcount.weei.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/Farrell_John-head09.jpg" width="150" height="226" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text"><a class="r_lapi" href="http://audio.weei.com/baseball/john-farrell.htm">John Farrell</a></p></div> <p><a class="r_lapi" href="http://audio.weei.com/baseball/boston-red-sox.htm">Red Sox</a> manager <strong><a href="http://audio.weei.com/baseball/john-farrell.htm" class="r_lapi">John Farrell</a></strong> , in his weekly interview on WEEI&#8217;s Dale &amp; Holley show, confirmed that the Sox informed Nava last night that he was being optioned to Triple-A Pawtucket. After hitting .303 with a .385 OBP last year, Nava has struggled to a .149 average and .240 OBP.</p> <p>&#8220;That&#8217;s never a fun conversation. I think he was certainly disappointed by the news he was going to be optioned back. He was a big part of this offense last year, particularly as a left-handed hitter. But we&#8217;ve got to get him back on track. The at-bats and the consistency of at-bats is not there right now as it was a year ago. There&#8217;s a need for a little bit more of a consistent two-strike approach, and he needs to go back and continue to get reps as a right-handed hitter,&#8221; said Farrell. &#8220;We feel like he&#8217;s going to contribute to this offense before the year is out. We&#8217;ve just got to get him back hitting with confidence and just the overall game played with more confidence.&#8221;</p> <p>Nava will be replaced on the roster by right-hander <strong>Alex Wilson</strong> on Wednesday, but <strong><a class="r_lapi" href="http://audio.weei.com/baseball/shane-victorino.htm">Shane Victorino</a></strong> is expected to return as soon as Thursday. While the 33-year-old has struggled during his minor league rehab assignment (1-for-11, an infield hit), Farrell believes that Victorino will immediately change the team&#8217;s dynamic.</p> <p>&#8220;He will have an impact I think the day he walks onto the field for us. One, physically, he feels good. That&#8217;s the biggest question that we had to answer, just the ability to go back-to-back days. The durability, that is there,&#8221; said Farrell. &#8220;His defense impacts every game he plays in right field. So, first and foremost, where we&#8217;ve had some balls that have come back to bite us a little bit in right field, that will be the impact on the defensive side.</p> <p>&#8220;Timing-wise at the plate, we know that will continue as he gets at-bats here at the big league level,&#8221; he added. &#8220;Saying that he&#8217;s going to step back in and he&#8217;ll be a .400 on-base guy, that&#8217;s not the expectation. But I think we miss the defense. We miss the energy that he brings, and the overall attitude he adds to the edge of this club once we take the field.&#8221;</p> <p>Victorino&#8217;s return could help bring the Sox a measure of lineup stability that has been absent. The loss of Victorino &#8212; the primary occupant of the second spot in the <a href="http://audio.weei.com/baseball/boston-red-sox.htm" class="r_lapi">Red Sox</a> batting order last year &#8212; and the departure of leadoff constant <strong><a class="r_lapi" href="http://audio.weei.com/baseball/jacoby-ellsbury.htm">Jacoby Ellsbury</a></strong> in free agency has left the Sox in a state of some lineup disorientation, with five different leadoff hitters and 19 different lineups &#8212; none of which has been featured more than twice.  (The lineup featured by Farrell on Wednesday will be the Sox&#8217; 20th of the year.)<span id="more-70728"></span></p> <p>Now, with Victorino almost back, Farrell is hopeful that the duo of Victorino and <strong><a class="r_lapi" href="http://audio.weei.com/baseball/dustin-pedroia.htm">Dustin Pedroia</a></strong> can restore order at the top of the lineup.</p> <p>&#8220;Even after Jake signed with <a class="r_lapi" href="http://audio.weei.com/baseball/new-york-yankees.htm">the Yankees</a>, we didn&#8217;t set out to replace Jacoby. We set out to become a top-five offensive team, knowing that we were going to integrate some young players and that would be a challenge in its own right, so there&#8217;s an experience curve that we&#8217;re going through with some of the younger guys while we try to get their feet on the ground,&#8221; said Farrell. &#8220;Right now, [<strong><a class="r_lapi" href="http://audio.weei.com/baseball/grady-sizemore.htm">Grady Sizemore</a></strong>] will continue to hit leadoff tonight. I think when Shane comes back, we want to put him at the top of the order, whether that&#8217;s the leadoff spot or whether that&#8217;s the two-hole, that remains to be seen. We could see in the past that Dustin has had more success in the leadoff spot than Vic; Vic is a very good two-hole hitter, as is Pedey. But I think that dynamic of those two to give us some base running capability, the ability to steal a base when needed, is evident with those two guys at the top of the order, and that might put Grady down in that 5-6-7 spot, in that range, depending on who we&#8217;re facing on a given night. Lineup continuity, believe me, is a priority. Even though for the vast majority of the season, we&#8217;ve had a number of moving parts, that&#8217;s been hard to accomplish. But that&#8217;s a goal we&#8217;re getting closer to.&#8221;</p> <p>Farrell said that he hadn&#8217;t given much consideration to the idea of having <strong>Xander Bogaerts</strong> hit at the top of the lineup.</p> <p>&#8220;I think our approach with younger players, and Pedey might be the exception to this when he first came up in &#8217;06 and then in &#8217;07, I still think Xander&#8217;s going to be a run-producing bat. This is a guy that, maybe the expectations have been so high based on what he did in 45, 50 at-bats last year, but I still think for him to get established, for him to get set, still in that six, seven slot, down there with him, is the right place to be right now,&#8221; said Farrell. &#8220;That doesn&#8217;t say that in time he doesn&#8217;t migrate north in the lineup, but that&#8217;s the approach right now.&#8221;</p> <p>Farrell also discussed other difficulties that the roster has encountered, including the overall defensive shortcomings, <strong>A.J. Pierzynski</strong>&#8216;s transitional challenges in Boston and the team&#8217;s need for its starting pitchers to lead it through its current rut and give the team an opportunity to play with a lead. As part of that conversation, Farrell took stock of <strong><a class="r_lapi" href="http://audio.weei.com/baseball/clay-buchholz.htm">Clay Buchholz</a></strong>&#8216;s early season struggles.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&#8220;He&#8217;s still in an arm-strength building phase. The natural question might be, &#8216;Well why didn&#8217;t that take place in spring training?&#8217; Well, I think it&#8217;s proven over time that a lot of starting pitchers will get that mid-season arm strength sometime late-April, middle of May is when it starts to kick in, and I think we&#8217;re seeing that from Clay now,&#8221; said Farrell, who summarily dismissed the notion that Buchholz&#8217;s decision to sleep at <a class="r_lapi" href="http://audio.weei.com/baseball/fenway-park.htm">Fenway Park</a> (in a designated sleeping room for players) prior to Monday&#8217;s game had anything to do with his poor outing that day. &#8220;He has the stuff [to compete], yes. Now, is his velocity down a little bit this year compared to where it was last year? Yes it is. But at the same time, I outlined there was a progression being made between the first and second start, the second and third. He takes a step back. What it means, though, right now, is that his location has got to be a lot more consistent and relentless with that. He doesn&#8217;t have the margin for error to miss with his pitches in the middle of the plate.&#8221;</p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-blog-author"> <div class="field-label">Blog Author:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Alex Speier </div> </div> </div> Blog red sox Other Wed, 23 Apr 2014 19:25:44 +0000 441986 at http://www.weei.com NFL Draft’s Potential Patriots: Towson RB Terrance West http://www.weei.com/sports/feed/blog/anonymous/nfl-draft%E2%80%99s-potential-patriots-towson-rb-terrance-west <!--paging_filter--><p><a href="http://weei.com/"><i>WEEI.com</i></a><i> will continue to offer daily insight and analysis regarding options that may be available to the Patriots when it comes to the 2014 <a class="r_lapi" href="http://audio.weei.com/football/nfl-draft.htm">NFL draft</a>. Here is one is a series of profiles of players who could be on the board when it&#8217;€™s time for the Patriots to make a selection.</i></p> <div id="attachment_66697" class="wp-caption alignright" style="width: 410px"><img class="size-full wp-image-66697" alt="Terrance West (AP)" src="http://itiswhatitis.weei.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/West_Terrance-Towson-1-4-14.jpg" width="400" height="316" /><p class="wp-caption-text">Terrance West looks to make the jump from FCS school Towson to the NFL. (AP)</p></div> <p><strong>T</strong><b>ERRANCE WEST</b></p> <p><b>Position:</b> Running back</p> <p><b>School:</b> Towson</p> <p><b>Height:</b> 5-foot-9</p> <p><b>Weight:</b> 225 pounds</p> <p><b>Achievements:</b> Set <a class="r_lapi" href="http://audio.weei.com/ncaa/ncaa.htm">NCAA</a> FCS single-season rushing yards record (2,509 yards), single-season rushing touchdown record (41 touchdowns) in 2013, 2011 CAA Offensive Rookie of the Year, 2011 <a class="r_lapi" href="http://audio.weei.com/football/jerry-rice-hall-of-famer.htm">Jerry Rice</a> Award</p> <p><b>What he brings:</b> At Towson, West was a dominating player who obliterated defenses with his tough, compact frame and solid speed. West showed decent hands in his time in the CAA as well. The 23-year-old isn&#8217;t afraid to take contact, but scouts are concerned he takes too much contact at times. His pass protection is sub-par and he has a tendency to hold the ball high. Scouts also are concerned that West is from a league with inferior talent and will struggle in the NFL. West is viewed as a workhorse type of back who will wear down defenses.</p> <p><b>Where the Patriots could get him:</b> Round 3</p> <p><b>Notes:</b> In 2013, West ran for 2,509 yards and 41 touchdowns to bring his career totals to 4,854 yards and 84 touchdowns, both Towson records. After seeing 194 and 195 carries in 2011 and 2012, respectively, West saw his carries go up to 413 in 2013. &#8230; At the NFL combine, West ran a 4.54 40-yard dash, benching 225 pounds 16 times and recording 33 1/2 inches on the vertical jump.</p> <p><b>Related articles:</b></p> <p><a href="http://proplayerinsiders.com/towson-running-back-terrance-west-nfl-draft-gem/" target="_blank">Pro Player Insiders</a>: Towson Running Back Terrance West: <a class="r_lapi" href="http://audio.weei.com/football/nfl-draft.htm">NFL Draft</a> Gem</p> <p><a href="http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/nfl/2014/02/17/combine-terrance-west/5565491/" target="_blank">USA Today</a>: Terrance West a sleeper to watch at NFL Scouting Combine</p> <p><b>Video: </b>Here are <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x3P8AiFO5CU" target="_blank">West&#8217;€™s 2013 highlights</a> with Towson.</p> <p><object width="600" height="360" classid="clsid:d27cdb6e-ae6d-11cf-96b8-444553540000" codebase="http://download.macromedia.com/pub/shockwave/cabs/flash/swflash.cab#version=6,0,40,0"><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true" /><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always" /><param name="src" value="//www.youtube.com/v/x3P8AiFO5CU?hl=en_US&amp;version=3" /><param name="allowfullscreen" value="true" /><embed width="600" height="360" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" src="//www.youtube.com/v/x3P8AiFO5CU?hl=en_US&amp;version=3" allowFullScreen="true" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" /></embed></object></p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-blog-author"> <div class="field-label">Blog Author:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Arjuna Ramgopal </div> </div> </div> Blog patriots Other Wed, 23 Apr 2014 19:05:00 +0000 441976 at http://www.weei.com