Other http://www.weei.com/taxonomy/term/49/all en ‘Game of Thrones’ might have just finished best season in TV history http://www.weei.com/sports/feed/blog/anonymous/%E2%80%98game-thrones%E2%80%99-might-have-just-finished-best-season-tv-history <!--paging_filter--><p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/MehJaeTVrxI" width="600" height="360" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></p> <p>Be forewarned. For the blog is dark and full of spoilers.</p> <p>Sunday night&#8217;s &#8220;Game of Thrones&#8221; finale &#8220;Winds of Winter&#8221; ended what might be nothing less than the best season of any TV series in history.</p> <p>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&#8217;re fully invested in all the characters and every plot thread has a payoff. My personal short list includes Season 3 of &#8220;The Sopranos,&#8221; that included such classics as the legendary &#8220;Pine Barrens&#8221; episode. &#8220;Breaking Bad&#8217;s&#8221; fourth season, the one that ended with Gus Fring getting his face blown off. Year 3 of the office, which included the &#8220;Benihana Christmas&#8221; two-parter, directed by the late, great Harold Ramis. Season 4 of &#8220;Seinfeld,&#8221; the one with &#8220;The Contest.&#8221; And I will put Season 6 of &#8220;Game of Thrones&#8221; up against any of them, or anything you care to throw at me.</p> <p>The brilliance of the season finale is the way the showrunners weren&#8217;t afraid to dial it back after the landmark &#8220;Battle of Winterfell&#8221; installment the week before. The penultimate episode wasn&#8217;t epic in the way we always use the word now. As in &#8220;Have you had the Buffalo Chicken egg roll? It&#8217;s epic.&#8221; 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.</p> <p><span id="more-8480"></span>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&#8217;t friends and he doesn&#8217;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&#8217;s heart to heart as the weather begins to pay off their father&#8217;s &#8220;Winter is coming&#8221; tease. The look on Sam Tarly&#8217;s face as he discovers what I think is the library in the castle from &#8220;Beauty in the Beast.&#8221;</p> <p>All of which, while nice, would have been a crushing letdown if they didn&#8217;t also give us the kind of mayhem, revenge and fist-pumping moments &#8220;GoT&#8221; does better than any show ever has:</p> <ul> <li>Arya Stark using the skills she learned at the House of Black &amp; White, not to serve some stupid, arbitrary Many Faced God she doesn&#8217;t believe in. Instead, she uses her ninja power to start crossing names off her &#8220;Kill Bill&#8221;-like hit list. And throws in a little &#8220;Sweeney Todd&#8221; cooking skills to give us one of my top ten most satisfying TV deaths ever.</li> <li>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.</li> <li>The fact Cersei spared the Septa who followed behind her ringing the &#8220;Shame!&#8221; bell for the extra Platinum Package suffering made it even better. Sometimes people have a problem with the level of torture &#8220;GoTs&#8221; is willing to show. But in this case, it&#8217;s hard to argue since it&#8217;s sadist-on-sadist crime.</li> <li>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.</li> <li>And finally, that finale. The last scene with Dany charging across the sea to claim the throne of the homeland she&#8217;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&#8217;t include three dragons flying above as air support.</li> </ul> <p>If the Second Circuit Court of Appeals doesn&#8217;t reverse Tom Brady&#8217;s suspension, I&#8217;m going to react the same way Tomnen did to the trial in the Sept. And if Patriots fans don&#8217;t greet Brady with the &#8220;King of the North&#8221; chant this season, I swear I&#8217;m pledging my sword to House Jets.</p> <p>Next April can&#8217;t come fast enough.</p> Blog general Other Mon, 27 Jun 2016 14:29:31 +0000 2302271 at http://www.weei.com Monday’s Red Sox-Rays matchups: Eduardo Rodriguez vs. Blake Snell http://www.weei.com/sports/feed/blog/anonymous/monday%E2%80%99s-red-sox-rays-matchups-eduardo-rodriguez-vs-blake-snell <!--paging_filter--><div id="attachment_90954" style="width: 160px" class="wp-caption alignright"><a href="http://fullcount.weei.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/Rodriguez_Eduardo-Red-Sox-head-15.jpg"><img class="size-full wp-image-90954" src="http://fullcount.weei.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/Rodriguez_Eduardo-Red-Sox-head-15.jpg" alt="Eduardo Rodriguez" width="150" height="215" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Eduardo Rodriguez</p></div> <p>The Red Sox will continue their road trip Monday when they send Eduardo Rodriguez to the hill in the opening game of a three-game series against American League East rival Tampa Bay. The Rays will give rookie southpaw Blake Snell the start.</p> <p>Rodriguez heads into Monday&#8217;s game with a 1-2 record to go along with a 6.41 ERA and a 1.46 WHIP. The 23-year-old has started just five games in 2016 due to a knee injury, which forced him to miss the first couple of months of the season. His most recent appearance came on Wednesday in an 8-6 loss to the White Sox. The left-hander did not receive a decision after letting up three earned runs and four hits in six innings. Rodriguez also struck out a season-high seven batters while only walking two.</p> <p>&#8220;You can see the velocity is back,&#8221; <a href="http://weei.stats.com/mlb/recap.asp?g=360622102&amp;home=02&amp;vis=04&amp;final=true" target="_blank">Red Sox manager John Farrell said.</a> &#8220;Consistency with both sides of the plate is better, so I think everything&#8217;s coming back day by day.&#8221;</p> <p>In his short career, Rodriguez has faced the Rays twice with a 4.91 ERA. In his last start vs. Tampa Bay Sept. 21 of last season, he allowed three runs, six hits and struck out four in six innings in an 8-7 Boston win.</p> <p>Opposite of Rodriguez will be Snell,<a href="http://m.mlb.com/prospects/2016/#list=tb" target="_blank"> the Rays&#8217; No. 1 prospect at MLB.com.</a> He is 0-2 in just three career appearances, but his 2.40 ERA is sixth-best among major league rookies, as he has yet to allow more than two earned runs in an outing. He last pitched in<a href="http://m.mlb.com/video/v843959883/tbcle-snell-tosses-6-23-quality-innings/?query=Blake+Snell" target="_blank"> a 6-0 loss to the Indians on Tuesday.</a> The 6-foot-4 rookie allowed two earned runs on seven hits in 6 2/3 innings, but he only fanned three while walking three more.</p> <p><iframe src="http://m.mlb.com/shared/video/embed/embed.html?content_id=843959883&amp;topic_id=6479266&amp;width=600&amp;height=360&amp;property=mlb" width="600" height="360" frameborder="0">Your browser does not support iframes.</iframe></p> <p><span id="more-105118"></span></p> <p>&#8220;Really happy with the way Blake threw the ball,&#8221; <a href="http://m.rays.mlb.com/news/article/185416436/blake-snell-solid-in-third-mlb-start-vs-tribe" target="_blank">Rays manager Kevin Cash said.</a> &#8220;I don&#8217;t know how many times in his young career building up in the Minor Leagues he&#8217;s been in the seventh inning. But the way he approached it and attacked hitters, it was really impressive.&#8221;</p> <p>As this will be just his fourth career game, Snell has yet to face the Red Sox. His first ever pitching appearance came against the Yankees, a fellow American League East opponent. Snell surrendered just one run and two hits in five innings while striking out six.</p> <p><strong>Red Sox vs. Snell (LHP)</strong></p> <p>No Red Sox have faced Snell.</p> <p><strong>Rays vs. Rodriguez (LHP)</strong></p> <p>Mikie Mahtook (6 plate appearances): .500 AVG/.500 OBP/.667 SLG, 1 double, 1 RBI, 2 strikeouts</p> <p>Evan Longoria is 3-for-5 with 1 double, 1 RBI, and 1 walk.</p> <p>Steve Pearce is 1-for-5 with 2 walks and 1 strikeout.</p> <p>Logan Forsythe is 1-for-4 with 1 RBI and 2 walks.</p> <p>Tim Beckham is 1-for-3.</p> <p>Brandon Guyer is 1-for-3 with 1 home run, 1 RBI, 3 walks, and 1 strikeout.</p> <p>Steven Souza Jr. is 1-for-3 with 1 RBI.</p> <p>Kevin Kiermaier is 0-for-3 with 2 strikeouts.</p> <p>Curt Casali is 0-for-3 with 1 strikeout.</p> Blog red sox Other Mon, 27 Jun 2016 13:45:25 +0000 2302261 at http://www.weei.com Monday’s Morning Mashup: Kevin Durant reportedly adds Celtics to list of 6 teams he wants to meet http://www.weei.com/sports/feed/blog/anonymous/monday%E2%80%99s-morning-mashup-kevin-durant-reportedly-adds-celtics-list-6-teams <!--paging_filter--><p>Welcome to Monday&#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>MONDAY&#8217;S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:</strong><br /> MLB: Red Sox at Rays, 7:10 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)<br /> MLB: Dodgers at Pirates, 12:30 p.m. (MLB Network)<br /> MLB: Mets at Nationals, 7 p.m. (MLB Network)<br /> MLB: Astros at Angels, 10:05 p.m. (ESPN)<br /> Soccer: European Championship, Italy vs. Spain, 11:30 a.m. (ESPN2)<br /> Soccer: European Championship, England vs. Iceland, 2:30 p.m. (ESPN2)<br /> Tennis: Wimbledon, 7 a.m. (ESPN)</p> <p><strong>AROUND THE WEB:</strong></p> <div id="attachment_38563" style="width: 160px" class="wp-caption alignright"><a href="http://mashup.weei.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/Durant_Kevin-Thunder-head-14.jpg" data-id="38563"><img class="size-full wp-image-38563" src="http://mashup.weei.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/Durant_Kevin-Thunder-head-14.jpg" alt="Kevin Durant" width="150" height="216" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Kevin Durant</p></div> <p>&#8212; The Celtics&#8217; dream of landing premier free agent Kevin Durant lives on for at least another few days.</p> <p>According to Yahoo Sports&#8217; Adrian Wojnarowski and confirmed by ESPN, Durant <a href="http://sports.yahoo.com/news/sources--kd-planning-to-host-free-agent-meetings-at-single-site-164954322.html" target="_blank">has added the C&#8217;s to his list of teams to meet</a> as he officially hits free agency Friday.</p> <p>Durant already reportedly set meetings with the Warriors, Spurs and his current team, the Thunder. The new group includes the Celtics, Heat and Clippers.</p> <p>The Knicks, who have made clear their desire to join the hunt, are said to be under Durant&#8217;s consideration. The Wizards, Durant&#8217;s hometown team, reportedly are not one of the early favorites, with <a href="http://espn.go.com/nba/story/_/id/16539790/washington-wizards-think-sign-kevin-durant" target="_blank">a team source acknowledging to ESPN</a>, &#8220;It&#8217;s not like LeBron and Cleveland.&#8221;</p> <p>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.</p> <p>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.</p> <p>&#8212; Pete Rose showed his appreciation to his hometown fans as his No. 14 <a href="http://weei.stats.com/mlb/story.asp?i=20160626140319778730608&amp;ref=hea&amp;tm=&amp;src=" target="_blank">was officially retired by the Reds</a> on Sunday.</p> <p>&#8220;It solidifies what I&#8217;ve been saying for many, many, many years and will continue to say it: Cincinnati is the baseball capital of the world,&#8221; <a href="http://m.mlb.com/video/v861339783/sdcin-reds-retire-roses-no-14-in-pregame-ceremony/?affiliateId=clubMEGAMENU" target="_blank">Rose said</a> from a stage by second base.</p> <p><span id="more-38561"></span></p> <p><iframe src="http://m.mlb.com/shared/video/embed/embed.html?content_id=861339783&amp;topic_id=6479266&amp;width=600&amp;height=360&amp;property=mlb" width="600" height="360" frameborder="0">Your browser does not support iframes.</iframe></p> <p>The number retirement &#8212; which had to be approved by Major League Baseball, as Rose has been banned for life since 1989 for gambling while the team&#8217;s manager &#8212; was part of a weekend of festivities honoring the Reds&#8217; 1976 World Series champions.</p> <p>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.</p> <p>&#8220;He&#8217;s doing OK,&#8221; Rose told reporters. &#8220;He&#8217;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], &#8216;I want to be there.&#8217; &#8221;</p> <p><strong>ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below):</strong> On June 27, 2003, which Red Sox player tied a major league record by recording three hits (single, double, triple) in one inning &#8212; the 14-run first inning of a 25-8 rout of the Marlins at Fenway?</p> <p><strong>QUOTE OF THE DAY:</strong> &#8220;In the first inning, it wasn&#8217;t really a whole lot of balls that were hit hard, they were just hit where we weren&#8217;t. That was basically the difference.&#8221; &#8212; Red Sox pitcher Clay Buchholz, after allowing three first-inning runs in his team&#8217;s <a href="http://weei.stats.com/mlb/recap.asp?g=360626113&amp;final=true" target="_blank">6-2 loss to the Rangers</a> on Sunday</p> <p><strong>STAT OF THE DAY: 4 &#8212;</strong> <a href="http://m.mlb.com/video/v861284383/cledet-indians-club-four-home-runs-in-the-5th/?affiliateId=clubMEGAMENU" target="_blank">Home runs hit in the fifth inning</a> by the Indians off Tigers ace Justin Verlander, as <a href="http://weei.stats.com/mlb/recap.asp?lg=MLB&amp;g=360626106&amp;ref=hea&amp;tm=&amp;src=" target="_blank">Cleveland won 9-3</a> for its ninth straight victory and improved to 9-0 against Detroit this season</p> <p><iframe src="http://m.mlb.com/shared/video/embed/embed.html?content_id=861284383&amp;topic_id=6479266&amp;width=600&amp;height=360&amp;property=mlb" width="600" height="360" frameborder="0">Your browser does not support iframes.</iframe></p> <p><strong>&#8216;NET RESULTS:</strong> Conor Gillaspie <a href="http://m.mlb.com/video/v862252383/phisf-gillaspie-delivers-walkoff-double-in-the-9th/?affiliateId=clubMEGAMENU" target="_blank">hits an RBI double</a> in the ninth inning to give the Giants a walk-off win over the Phillies.</p> <p><iframe src="http://m.mlb.com/shared/video/embed/embed.html?content_id=862252383&amp;topic_id=6479266&amp;width=600&amp;height=360&amp;property=mlb" width="600" height="360" frameborder="0">Your browser does not support iframes.</iframe></p> <p><strong>TRIVIA ANSWER:</strong> Johnny Damon</p> <p><strong>SOOTHING SOUNDS:</strong> Leigh Nash, <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8N-qO3sPMjc" target="_blank">lead singer of Sixpence None the Richer</a>, was born on this day in 1976.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/8N-qO3sPMjc" width="600" height="360" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></p> Blog general Other Mon, 27 Jun 2016 10:52:54 +0000 2301956 at http://www.weei.com Loui Eriksson in talks with six teams, Bruins willing to go past 4 years http://www.weei.com/sports/feed/blog/anonymous/loui-eriksson-talks-six-teams-bruins-willing-go-past-4-years <!--paging_filter--><div id="attachment_54615" style="width: 160px" class="wp-caption alignright"><img class="size-full wp-image-54615" src="http://bigbadblog.weei.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/Eriksson_Loui-Bruins-head-15.jpg" alt="Loui Eriksson" width="150" height="215" /><p class="wp-caption-text">Loui Eriksson</p></div> <p>As expected, teams have used the NHL’s free agency interview window to approach winger Loui Eriksson, who spent the last three seasons with the Bruins. As of Sunday evening, six teams had contacted Eriksson’s agent about the player.</p> <p>The Bruins are interested in retaining Eriksson, but have been reluctant to sign Eriksson for anything longer than four years. That said, a source indicated to WEEI.com Sunday night that the Bruins are indeed willing to go beyond four years on a contract carrying a lesser average annual value. Eriksson’s camp believes the soon-to-be 31-year-old will receive at least five years on the open market.</p> <p>Though the Bruins could still sign Eriksson prior to free agency, he’ll be free to sign wherever when he reaches unrestricted status on Friday.</p> <p>&#8220;I’m sure they’ll be exploring [the interview period],&#8221; Bruins general manager Don Sweeney said over the weekend. “We’re in a position where we’re going to sign a couple of players and we’ve [been interested] all along. We just don’t know whether or not we’ve found common ground. We clearly didn’t because we didn’t sign, but the discussions were good. They were positive, but it’s a balancing act and we’ll be now in discussions with other players as well.&#8221;</p> <p>A left-shot wing who plays both sides, Eriksson scored 30 goals and added 33 assists for 63 points last season for the Bruins.</p> Blog bruins Other Mon, 27 Jun 2016 02:28:18 +0000 2301136 at http://www.weei.com Dave Dombrowski: Clay Buchholz anticipated to make next start; Trades unlikely right now http://www.weei.com/sports/feed/blog/anonymous/dave-dombrowski-clay-buchholz-anticipated-make-next-start-trades-unlikely <!--paging_filter--><p><div id="attachment_102373" style="width: 160px" class="wp-caption alignright"><img src="http://fullcount.weei.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/Dombrowski_David-Red-Sox-head-16.jpg" alt="Dave Dombrowski" width="150" height="220" class="size-full wp-image-102373" /><p class="wp-caption-text">Dave Dombrowski</p></div>ARLINGTON, Texas &#8212; After a lengthy meeting with manager John Farrell following the Red Sox&#8217; 6-2 loss to the Rangers, Dave Dombrowski offered the media assembled a dose of reality.</p> <p>His team&#8217;s starting pitching just finished a three-game series in which it allowed 19 runs in 12 1/3 innings, with the Red Sox falling four games back in the American League East race. And, in the latest loss, Clay Buchholz struggled once again in the No. 5 spot, allowing five runs over 5 1/3 innings.</p> <p>But Dombrowski offered the fly in the ointment when it came to making a deal to help fix the problem.</p> <p>&#8220;The thing you have to remember is that you have two clubs to make a deal, and most clubs, as I&#8217;ve said all along and it hasn&#8217;t changed whatsoever, really are not prepared to move towards 2017 and be in a position where they&#8217;re willing to move,&#8221; he said. &#8220;There are probably five clubs that have been looking at that all year long, and I think those five clubs are the ones that remain.&#8221;</p> <p>Dombrowski added, &#8220;It&#8217;s still early. I can tell you I&#8217;ve done a great deal of work and there&#8217;s five clubs that are willing to talk about it, and it&#8217;s the same five clubs who have been at it all year. So it&#8217;s still a little early for that type of situation. We&#8217;ll see what happens.&#8221;</p> <p>Some of the teams it would appear Dombrowski was referencing are the Braves, Phillies, Padres, Brewers, Reds, Rays, Diamondbacks, and Twins.</p> <p>When asked if he believed some of the solutions might come internally, Dombrowski referenced the rash of injuries the organization finds itself with, both in the majors and minors.</p> <p>&#8220;First of all, we&#8217;ve got nine guys on the disabled list, plus we have guys on the disabled list on the minor league level, too, that we would normally bring up,&#8221; he noted. &#8220;So we&#8217;re scuffling for positional players at this point. The depth of our lineup, that doesn&#8217;t help. So you only have so many players in the organization who are capable the big league club at a particular time. </p> <p>&#8220;The problem you run into is that some of those players are anticipated to be back soon relatively soon, so you can&#8217;t go out and make a trade for some positional player and gives up one of your top prospects that somebody asks for a two-week, or a week, type of situation. Our pitching, we had a bad series pitching-wise. Most of the guys did. I don&#8217;t want to say all of them because some of the guys threw the ball well out of the bullpen. We need to pitch better, we need to play better.&#8221;</p> <p>As for Buchholz, who now has a 6.31 in 12 starts, Dombrowski surmised that the righty would still be in the rotation when his next turn comes up.</p> <p>&#8220;I anticipate he&#8217;ll start for us again,&#8221; he said. &#8220;I anticipate, but you&#8217;re asking me questions and we haven&#8217;t even had a chance to get showered, basically, so we still have time to sit down and visit and have all those types of discussions. But I anticipate he will.&#8221;</p> Blog red sox Other Sun, 26 Jun 2016 23:37:19 +0000 2300816 at http://www.weei.com Red Sox Review with Christian Arcand, 6-26-16 http://www.weei.com/sports/feed/audio/anonymous/red-sox-review-christian-arcand-6-26-16 <!--paging_filter-->Christian recaps the Red Sox 6-2 loss to the Rangers.<br/><br/><b>[0:00:11]</b> ... top quality line to open the home run porch Bear Bryant QB <b>Prince</b> <b>Fielder</b> game. The variables. Into the second round of this series of correlated. Want things. He's a recap of the Red Sox and ... <br/><b>[0:00:43]</b> ... In the Red Sox not fall four games behind the first place <b>Baltimore</b> <b>Orioles</b>. Circulate these. Red Sox Rudy went on Sports Radio WEEI. Well Ellis find. Red Sox. Ball to the Rangers 62 Christian arcane ... <br/><b>[0:02:19]</b> ... seven hits five runs only four earned one of those runs ugly <b>Prince</b> <b>Fielder</b> home run didn't count. Because gender Bogart's with a another error. Dander Bogart's cannon for all sorts of unearned runs these days. ... <br/><b>[0:05:53]</b> ... some light at the end of it turtle slider John Ferrell player <b>Carl</b> <b>Willis</b>. Tried to bring in experts that I to a sensed the pitching in the start developing pitching. Sean Burroughs not to drop ... <br/></br/></br/></br/></br/></br/></br/> Audio red sox Other Sun, 26 Jun 2016 23:13:00 +0000 2300806 at http://www.weei.com Closing Time: Hole gets deeper for Clay Buchholz, Red Sox after loss to Rangers http://www.weei.com/sports/feed/blog/anonymous/closing-time-hole-gets-deeper-clay-buchholz-red-sox-after-loss-rangers <!--paging_filter--><p><div id="attachment_105114" style="width: 410px" class="wp-caption alignright"><img src="http://fullcount.weei.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/clayroadthrow-400x290.jpg" alt="Clay Buchholz struggled once again in his loss to the Rangers Sunday. (Tim Heitman/USA Today Sports)" width="400" height="290" class="size-medium wp-image-105114" /><p class="wp-caption-text">Clay Buchholz struggled once again in his loss to the Rangers Sunday. (Tim Heitman/USA Today Sports)</p></div>ARLINGTON, Texas &#8211; Things continue to trend in the wrong direction for Clay Buchholz and the Red Sox.</p> <p>The pitcher the Sox were not only relying on to fill the fifth spot in their rotation, but, in the short term, help relieve a taxed bullpen, came up short once again. Buchholz allowed five runs over 5 1/3 innings, leading to a 6-2 loss for the Red Sox at the hands of the Rangers.</p> <p>The outing marked the seventh time in 12 starts that Buchholz has allowed five or more runs, with his ERA as a starter now standing at 6.31.</p> <p>The loss drops the Red Sox four games out of first place in the American League East for the first time since April 12.</p> <p>It seemed miraculous that Buchholz lasted as long as he did after suffering through a horrific first inning. The Sox starter kicked off his outing at Globe Life Park by allowing the first six Texas batters to reach via four singles and a pair of walks.</p> <p>Buchholz escaped the first giving up three runs after leaving the bases loaded via fly out to left field off the bat of No. 9 hitter Bryan Holaday.</p> <p>The righty has now allowed 13 earned runs and 21 hits in his 12 first innings this season.</p> <p>The Sox starter settled down to allow just one hit over his next four innings. But in the sixth inning, after a throwing error from shortstop Xander Bogaerts on Adrian Beltre&#8217;s grounder, Prince Fielder rocketed a line-drive into the right field corner and over the 349-foot sign for his seventh homer of the season.</p> <p>After a trip to the mound from manager John Farrell, Buchholz would stay in to get Rougned Odor on a ground out to second. But a subsequent walk to Elvis Andrus ended the starter&#8217;s day, forcing the Red Sox bullpen to final eight outs. For the series, Sox relievers were forced to pitch 12 2/3 innings.</p> <p>For the three-game series, the Red Sox starters allowed 19 runs (13 earned) in 12 1/3 innings.</p> <p><a href="http://weei.stats.com/mlb/gameview.asp?gamecode=360626113&#038;home=13&#038;vis=02&#038;meta=true">For a complete recap of the series finale, click here.</a></p> <p><strong>WHAT WENT WRONG</strong></p> <p>&#8211; Farrell&#8217;s plan to intentionally walk Nomar Mazara with two outs and Shin-Soo Choo at third base backfired. Playing the notion that reliever Heath Hembree would fare better against Adrian Beltre, considering righty hitters were hitting just .132 against the hurler. Beltre responded by ripping an RBI single into left field, increasing the hosts lead to five.</p> <p><strong>WHAT WENT RIGHT</strong></p> <p>&#8211; Bryce Brentz hit his first major league home run, a solo blast in the sixth inning that cut the visitors&#8217; deficit to two at the time.</p> Blog red sox Other Sun, 26 Jun 2016 22:13:22 +0000 2300701 at http://www.weei.com Red Sox lineup: David Ortiz sits, Bryce Brentz at DH http://www.weei.com/sports/feed/blog/anonymous/red-sox-lineup-david-ortiz-sits-bryce-brentz-dh <!--paging_filter--><p><div id="attachment_90930" style="width: 160px" class="wp-caption alignright"><img src="http://fullcount.weei.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/Ortiz_David-Red-Sox-head-15.jpg" alt="David Ortiz" width="150" height="224" class="size-full wp-image-90930" /><p class="wp-caption-text">David Ortiz</p></div>ARLINGTON, Texas &#8211; With lefty Martin Perez on the mound for the Rangers, David Ortiz is starting the Red Sox&#8217; series finale against Texas on the bench. Filling in for Ortiz at DH will be Bryce Brentz, with Ryan LaMarre getting the start in left field.</p> <p>Here is the Red Sox lineup with Clay Buchholz pitching for the visitors:</p> <p>Mookie Betts RF<br /> Dustin Pedroia 2B<br /> Xander Bogaerts SS<br /> Hanley Ramirez 1B<br /> Jackie Bradley Jr. CF<br /> Bryce Brentz DH<br /> Travis Shaw 3B<br /> Sandy Leon C<br /> Ryan LaMarre LF</p> <p><a href="http://fullcount.weei.com/sports/boston/baseball/red-sox/2016/06/26/sundays-red-sox-rangers-matchups-clay-buchholz-vs-martin-perez/">For all the matchups, click here.</a></p> Blog red sox Other Sun, 26 Jun 2016 17:17:21 +0000 2300176 at http://www.weei.com Sunday Red Sox Farm Report: RHP Sean O’Sullivan goes 7 shutout innings for PawSox; Brock Holt 2-for-3 in rehab assignment http://www.weei.com/sports/feed/blog/anonymous/sunday-red-sox-farm-report-rhp-sean-o%E2%80%99sullivan-goes-7-shutout-innings-paw <!--paging_filter--><p>Here’s a look at the action in the Red Sox farm system on Saturday.</p> <p><strong>TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX (39-37): W, 7-3 vs. Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (Yankees)</strong></p> <p>&#8212; Starter Sean O’Sullivan pitched seven shutout innings, allowing just four baserunners on three singles and a double to win for the fourth time in five June starts. Playing in front of a season-high 10,247 fans at McCoy Stadium, the 28-year-old right-hander struck out six and did not walk a batter in improving to 6-2 with a 2.79 ERA and 1.11 WHIP in 11 Triple-A games this season.</p> <p>&#8220;It was really just about getting ahead in the count,&#8221; <a href="http://www.milb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20160625&amp;content_id=186228556&amp;fext=.jsp&amp;vkey=recap&amp;sid=t533" target="_blank">O&#8217;Sullivan told MiLB.com</a>. &#8220;I tried to use all my pitches and luckily I was able to throw everything for strikes and fortunately they hit some balls hard right at our defense.&#8221;</p> <p>&#8212; Right fielder Henry Ramos went 3-for-4 and collected four RBIs, on two run-scoring singles and a <a href="http://www.milb.com/multimedia/vpp.jsp?content_id=857589983&amp;sid=milb" target="_blank">deep two-run home run</a> to right field in the sixth.</p> <p><iframe src="http://www.milb.com/shared/video/embed/embed.html?content_id=857589983&amp;width=600&amp;height=360&amp;property=milb" width="600" height="360" frameborder="0">Your browser does not support iframes.</iframe></p> <p>&#8220;From that left side, he&#8217;s got some impact to right field,&#8221; <a href="http://www.milb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20160625&amp;content_id=186228556&amp;fext=.jsp&amp;vkey=recap&amp;sid=t533" target="_blank">manager Kevin Boles said</a> of the switch-hitter. &#8220;We&#8217;ve seen him manage his at-bats, he can drive the ball; he does a lot of things well.&#8221;</p> <p>Ramos, 24, is hitting .323/.338/.516 with two home runs an 10 RBIs in 17 games with the PawSox since being promoted from Double-A Portland.</p> <p>&#8212; Brock Holt, continuing his rehab assignment as he works his way back to Boston following a concussion, played all nine innings in left field. He went 2-for-3 with two walks and two RBIs, and he picked up an outfield assist in the fourth inning.</p> <p>&#8220;I feel better,&#8221; <a href="http://www.milb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20160625&amp;content_id=186228556&amp;fext=.jsp&amp;vkey=recap&amp;sid=t533" target="_blank">Holt said</a> after his fifth game in Triple-A. &#8220;It&#8217;s just been about getting out there and getting more at-bats.&#8221;</p> <p>Said Boles: &#8220;Brock played well and got tested in a lot of different ways. He had some pretty good at-bats, and you can tell it&#8217;s a professional AB when he goes up there.&#8221;</p> <p><span id="more-105105"></span></p> <p>&#8212; Catcher Ryan Hanigan, also on a rehab assignment from Boston, played seven innings and went 0-for-4. He is 2-for-9 in three Triple-A games.</p> <p>&#8212; Shortstop Mike Miller went 2-for-3 with a walk, center fielder Rusney Castillo was 2-for-4 with a double and two runs scored, and first baseman Chris Marrero went 2-for-4.</p> <div id="attachment_94299" style="width: 160px" class="wp-caption alignright"><a href="http://fullcount.weei.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/Lin_Tzu-Wei-Red-Sox-head-15.jpg" data-id="94299"><img class="size-full wp-image-94299" src="http://fullcount.weei.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/Lin_Tzu-Wei-Red-Sox-head-15.jpg" alt="Tzu-Wei Lin" width="150" height="215" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Tzu-Wei Lin</p></div> <p><strong>DOUBLE-A PORTLAND SEA DOGS (26-47): L, 8-4, vs. Reading (Phillies)</strong></p> <p>&#8212; Second baseman Tzu-Wei Lin went 2-for-4 with a walk and two RBIs. He hit his first Double-A home run, a leadoff blast to right field in the first inning. Lin, 22, is hitting .248/.312/.337 in 57 games this season.</p> <p>&#8212; Shortstop Mauricio Dubon, making his second Double-A start since his promotion from Salem last week, went 2-for-5 with two RBI singles. The 21-year-old from Honduras is 3-for-8 in his first two Double-A games.</p> <p>&#8212; Designated hitter Tim Roberson went 2-for-4 with two doubles to improve his batting line to .254/.296/.339 in 34 games.</p> <p>&#8212; Teddy Stankiewicz could not get out of the first inning, allowing three runs on four hits and recording just two outs. The 22-year-old right-hander, a second-round pick in 2013, fell to 2-7 with a 4.91 ERA and 1.50 WHIP in 14 starts this season.</p> <div id="attachment_94342" style="width: 160px" class="wp-caption alignright"><a href="http://fullcount.weei.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/McGrath_Daniel-Red-Sox-head-15.jpg" data-id="94342"><img class="size-full wp-image-94342" src="http://fullcount.weei.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/McGrath_Daniel-Red-Sox-head-15.jpg" alt="Daniel McGrath" width="150" height="218" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Daniel McGrath</p></div> <p><strong>HIGH-A SALEM RED SOX (44-27): W, 2-1, vs. Frederick (Orioles)</strong></p> <p>&#8212; After completing a game that had been suspended two days earlier, and losing 5-1, Salem bounced back. In a game shortened to seven innings, left-hander Daniel McGrath went the distance, allowing one run on five hits and a walk while fanning five. The 21-year-old Australian is 2-3 with a 4.75 ERA and 1.19 WHIP in seven games this season.</p> <p>&#8212; Third baseman Rafael Devers went 1-for-3 and drove in the winning run on a single in the fifth inning. The 19-year-old is hitting .239/.303/.342 in 65 games this season.</p> <p>&#8212; In his first at-bat with Salem, shortstop Jose Sermo hit an RBI double in the second inning. Sermo, 25, was a 35th-round selection of the Brewers in 2012 out of Bethany College in Kansas and played three seasons in the Milwaukee organization, reaching Double-A before being released. He had been playing for the independent league Gary SouthShore RailCats when he was signed last week.</p> <div id="attachment_102302" style="width: 160px" class="wp-caption alignright"><a href="http://fullcount.weei.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/Espinoza_Anderson-Red-Sox-head-16.jpg" data-id="102302"><img class="size-full wp-image-102302" src="http://fullcount.weei.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/Espinoza_Anderson-Red-Sox-head-16.jpg" alt="Anderson Espinoza" width="150" height="223" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Anderson Espinoza</p></div> <p><strong>SINGLE-A GREENVILLE DRIVE (38-34): L, 5-3, vs. Lakewood (Phillies)</strong></p> <p>&#8212; Starter Anderson Espinoza pitched 4 2/3 innings, allowing one run on three hits and a walk with two strikeouts. The 18-year-old right-hander fell to 4-6 with a 3.90 ERA and 1.27 WHIP in 14 starts.</p> <p>&#8212; Marc Brakeman came on in relief and struggled, allowing three runs on four hits and a walk with four strikeouts in 2 1/3 innings. Austin Glorius finished with two innings of one-run ball on a hit and a walk with two strikeouts.</p> <p>&#8212; Lakewood starter Jose Taveras struck out 15 Drive batters in eight innings and had a perfect game into the fifth until Mitchell Gunsolus hit a double and Tyler Spoon drove him home with a single. Greenville managed just those two hits off Taveras and three in the game.</p> <p>&#8212; Kyri Washington hit a two-run double in the ninth inning, scoring Luis Alejandro Basabe and Chad De La Guerro, who both had walked.</p> <div id="attachment_102469" style="width: 160px" class="wp-caption alignright"><a href="http://fullcount.weei.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/Tubbs_Tucker-Red-Sox-head-16.jpg" data-id="102469"><img class="size-full wp-image-102469" src="http://fullcount.weei.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/Tubbs_Tucker-Red-Sox-head-16.jpg" alt="Tucker Tubbs" width="150" height="214" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Tucker Tubbs</p></div> <p><strong>SINGLE-A (SHORT SEASON) LOWELL SPINNERS (9-0): W, 9-3, vs. Tri-City (Astros)</strong></p> <p>&#8212; The Spinners remained perfect, exploding for seven runs in the first inning en route to their ninth straight win. First baseman Tucker Tubbs led the way by going 3-for-4 with a double a home run and four RBIs. Tubbs, a ninth-round pick last year, is hitting .375/.500/.625 in his first five games this season.</p> <p>&#8212; The first-inning rally was capped by a two-run home run by No. 9 hitter Carlos Tovar. The 20-year-old shortstop finished 2-for-4 and now is hitting .308/.333/.615 in seven games this season.</p> <p>&#8212; Catcher Roldani Baldwin went 2-for-3 with an RBI double, a triple and a walk. Designated hitter Tyler Hill went 2-for-4 with an RBI double.</p> <p>&#8212; Starter Kevin Steen went four innings and allowed three runs on three hits and four walks with four strikeouts. Brad Stone picked up the win after going 1 2/3 hitless innings, allowing two walks and fanning two. Kuehl McEachern recorded his first save, pitching 3 1/3 scoreless innings, allowing four hits and striking out two.</p> Blog red sox Other Sun, 26 Jun 2016 14:33:57 +0000 2299956 at http://www.weei.com Sunday’s Red Sox-Rangers matchups: Clay Buchholz vs. Martin Perez http://www.weei.com/sports/feed/blog/anonymous/sunday%E2%80%99s-red-sox-rangers-matchups-clay-buchholz-vs-martin-perez <!--paging_filter--><p>For the final game of the Red Sox-Rangers series on Sunday afternoon, the Sox will count on Clay Buchholz, while the Rangers will turn to left-hander Martin Perez.</p> <p>Buchholz is 3-7 in 16 games this season (11 starts) with a 5.83 ERA and a 1.408 WHIP. Buchholz has been enduring a tumultuous season. His start last Tuesday was his first since May 26 after being demoted to the bullpen. In that outing against the White Sox, the 31-year-old right-hander <a href="http://m.mlb.com/video/v841056483/cwsbos-anderson-homers-on-first-pitch-of-the-game/?game_pk=447923" target="_blank">gave up a home run on the first pitch</a> of the game, but he settled down to pitch five innings, giving up three runs on four hits, including two home runs, and one walk with five strikeouts in a 3-1 Boston loss. In all but two of Buchholz’s starts this year he has given up at least one home run.</p> <p><iframe src="http://m.mlb.com/shared/video/embed/embed.html?content_id=841056483&amp;topic_id=6479266&amp;width=600&amp;height=360&amp;property=mlb" width="600" height="360" frameborder="0">Your browser does not support iframes.</iframe></p> <p>&#8220;The stuff was good,&#8221; <a href="http://www.weei.com/sports/boston/baseball/red-sox/john-tomase/2016/06/22/buchholz-good-enough-earn-another-start-not-ea" target="_blank">Buchholz said after the outing.</a> &#8220;I felt like the ball was coming out of my hand. I threw some good pitches in full counts that I needed to throw. I walked one guy, but it wasn&#8217;t necessarily a bad walk, in my mind. I prepared as much as I could for this start, and my body felt good out there. I feel strong. We&#8217;ll see what happens again five days from now.&#8221;</p> <p>Buchholz is 1-5 in seven career starts against the Rangers with a 4.10 ERA and a 1.320 WHIP. His last start vs. Texas came last season when Buchholz went 7 1/3 innings, giving up three runs (two earned) on five hits and two walks with four strikeouts.</p> <p><span id="more-105044"></span></p> <p>Perez is 6-4 with a 3.57 ERA and a 1.390 WHIP. The left-hander comes into Sunday’s start without having lost a game over his last six starts. In his <a href="http://m.mlb.com/video/v834628783/texstl-holliday-hits-a-solo-home-run-to-right/?game_pk=447909" target="_blank">most recent outing last Sunday</a> against the Cardinals, Perez didn’t get a decision in a 5-4 Texas win after pitching 5 1/3 innings and allowing four runs (two home runs), eight hits and three walks with no strikeouts.</p> <p><iframe src="http://m.mlb.com/shared/video/embed/embed.html?content_id=834628783&amp;topic_id=6479266&amp;width=600&amp;height=360&amp;property=mlb" width="600" height="360" frameborder="0">Your browser does not support iframes.</iframe></p> <p>Against the Red Sox, Perez is 1-1 in three career starts with a 6.19 ERA and a 1.938 WHIP. Perez’s last start against the Sox came in 2014. In that outing, the 25-year-old threw 3 2/3 innings, giving up six runs, nine hits and four walks with four strikeouts.</p> <p><strong>Red Sox vs. Perez (LHP)</strong></p> <p>Dustin Pedroia (9 plate appearances): .250 AVG./.333 OBP/.375 SLG, 1 double, 1 walk</p> <p>Chris Young is 4-for-7 with 1 double, 1 home run and 1 RBI.</p> <p>David Ortiz is 2-for-6 with 1 double, 1 home run, 1 RBI and 1 strikeout.</p> <p>Xander Bogaerts is 0-for-5.</p> <p>Jackie Bradley Jr. is 3-for-4 with a strikeout.</p> <p><strong>Rangers vs. Buchholz (RHP)</strong></p> <p>Shin-Soo Choo (19 plate appearances): .133 AVG./.316 OBP/.200 SLG, 1 double, 3 walks, 5 strikeouts</p> <p>Adrian Beltre (15): .154/.267/.308 2 doubles, 1 RBI, 2 walks, 3 strikeouts</p> <p>Elvis Andrus (14): .357/.357/.429, 1 double, 1 RBI, 5 strikeouts</p> <p>Prince Fielder (13): .182/.308/.182, 1 RBI, 2 walks, 2 strikeouts</p> <p>Mitch Moreland is 4-for-7 with 1 home run and 2 RBIs</p> <p>Rougned Odor is 1-for-2.</p> <p>Bobby Wilson is 0-for-2.</p> Blog red sox Other Sun, 26 Jun 2016 13:23:46 +0000 2299846 at http://www.weei.com Sunday NFL Notes: In return after hiatus, Dante Scarnecchia will be part of unique NFL company http://www.weei.com/sports/feed/blog/anonymous/sunday-nfl-notes-return-after-hiatus-dante-scarnecchia-will-be-part-uniqu <!--paging_filter--><div id="attachment_109110" style="width: 385px" class="wp-caption alignright"><a href="http://itiswhatitis.weei.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/9328498.jpg" data-id="109110"><img class="wp-image-109110" src="http://itiswhatitis.weei.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/9328498.jpg" alt="Dante Scarnecchia returns to the same gig he left following the 2013 season. (Winslow Townson/USA TODAY Sports)" width="375" height="306" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Dante Scarnecchia returns to the same gig he left following the 2013 season. (Winslow Townson/USA TODAY Sports)</p></div> <p><strong>1.</strong> Dante Scarnecchia is facing a unique set of challenges as he returns to the world of coaching this year. The veteran offensive line coach, who stepped away after the 2013 season, was rehired by the Patriots this past offseason to help try and fix a leaky line. While Scarnecchia&#8217;s bonafides in the program should give New England fans cause for optimism, what does history tell us about coaches who stepped away from their old job, only to return to the same gig? Here are six examples of three assistants and three head coaches who moved on, only to be lured back to their old address. (Thanks to <a href="https://twitter.com/Eric_Edholm" target="_blank">Eric Edholm</a> for coming up with a few names.)</p> <p><strong>a)</strong> Howard Mudd is probably a pretty fair comparison on a few levels. One, he&#8217;s a veteran offensive line coach who can trace his roots in the pro game back multiple decades. (All in all, he spent 38 years in the NFL as an o-line coach.) And two, he also stepped away after a few years, only to eventually return to the same position. Mudd, who served as the offensive line coach for the Niners, Seahawks, Browns, Chiefs, Colts and Eagles, had two tours of duty with Seattle: His first go-round came from 1978-82 (under Jack Patera), and his second was from 1993-97 (under Tom Flores and Dennis Erickson). On both occasions, his offensive lines held up pretty well. Now retired (again), he recently wrote a book about offensive line play, and has <a href="http://espn.go.com/blog/cleveland/post/_/id/1521/former-browns-and-long-time-nfl-coach-howard-mudd-offensive-line-play-in-the-nfl-is-poor" target="_blank">plenty of very strong opinions about the state of offensive lines around the league</a>.</p> <p><strong>b)</strong> Locally, when it comes to returning to the same job, Josh McDaniels is the standard. McDaniels was the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach from 2006-08 with the Patriots before leaving to take over as head coach of the Broncos. After a year-plus with Denver and a quick stopover as the offensive coordinator in St. Louis (2011), McDaniels returned to the Patriots and was later named OC again after Bill O&#8217;Brien left. He&#8217;s maintained the job ever since, and the New England offense hasn&#8217;t missed a beat. One of the reasons McDaniels&#8217; return was so smooth was because he stepped back into a situation with the same quarterback (Tom Brady) and same head coach (Bill Belichick) as hen he left. But in many ways, this is the ideal scenario for the Patriots and Scarnecchia.</p> <p><strong>c) </strong>Dick LeBeau is another veteran assistant who can provide a blueprint for Scarnecchia in that he didn&#8217;t seem to miss a beat when he returned to his old gig. The Hall of Famer was the defensive coordinator for the Bengals from 1984-91, before taking a new job with the Steelers as their defensive coordinator (1995-96). That was just the beginning, as he returned to Cincy as the defensive coordinator in 1997, and became the head coach of the Bengals in 2000, a stretch that ended in 2002 with the ascension of Marvin Lewis to Cincy head coach. He then returned to Pittsburgh to work as the Steelers&#8217; DC from 2004-14. All the while, he helped craft some of the best defenses in the league, and in his second stretch with the Steelers, he was able to nab a pair of Super Bowl rings.</p> <p><strong>d)</strong> Joe Gibbs is probably the least successful example of a coach who returned to his old gig after walking away. In his first stint as head coach of the Redskins (1981-92), Gibbs led three Super Bowl teams, and at that point in his career, was accorded as one of the best coaches in the history of the game. His second act as a head coach wasn&#8217;t nearly as successful; lured out of retirement by Washington owner Daniel Snyder in 2004, he spent four years as the head coach of the Redskins. Twelve years older, he went 30-34 with no playoff trips in four seasons and stepped away from the game for good.</p> <p><strong>e)</strong> Art Shell guided the Raiders on two separate occasions: once, from 1989-1994, and again in 2006. His first stretch was impressive mark — four seasons of at least nine wins, one AFC West title and a 54-38 record. Lured back to the Raiders after an apocalyptically bad stretch after Jon Gruden walked away, he was placed in charge of the 2006 team, which went 2-14. It would be the final head-coaching gig of his career.</p> <p><strong>f)</strong> Bud Grant was the head coach of the Vikings from 1967 through 1983, and led the franchise to four conference championships in that stretch. He retired after the 1983 season and was replaced by Les Steckel, but Steckel turned an 8-8 team in 1983 to a 3-13 bunch the following season. He was let go, and Grant returned for one more year — the 1985 Vikes finished 7-9 before Grant again stepped aside for good, handing the reins to longtime assistant Jerry Burns. He remains the only coach to win 100-plus games as a head coach in the NFL and CFL.</p> <p><strong>2.</strong> Earlier this offseason, the fact that the Ravens released left tackle Eugene Monroe — who missed 15 games the last two years — got us thinking about durability, dependability and what it all means in the context of roster-building. The ability to consistently answer the bell on a weekly basis can be an underappreciated talent, and it&#8217;s one New England values. To that point, the Patriots current have three players among the league leaders in consecutive regular-season games played: quarterback Tom Brady (112, third best at his position), defensive end Rob Ninkovich (102, third best at his position) and kicker Stephen Gostkowski (80, tied for fifth at his position). Just seven other teams have more than three players who are among the top five at their position when it comes to consecutive regular-season starts. (For the record, both the Cowboys and Steelers lead the league with six players each.) When it comes to the quarterback, Brady is the only quarterback in the history of the league to put together two consecutive games played streaks of 100-plus contests. For what its worth, if Brady hadn&#8217;t been injured for almost the entirety of the 2008 season and if he had stayed healthy, he&#8217;d be sitting in second place overall with a streak of well over 200, well ahead of Peyton Manning&#8217;s string of 208 straight regular-season starts, which ran from 1998 to 2011.</p> <p><strong>3.</strong> NFL Media announced this week that for the first time ever on YouTube, the NFL will upload full network broadcasts of three games for each NFL team. Fans can vote for their favorite games by visiting <a href="http://www.nfl.com/youtubegames" target="_blank">NFL.com/youtubegames</a>. The page provides links to each teams Facebook page where a poll is posted asking fans to vote for their favorite game. The three most-voted games per franchise (five options are provided in each poll) will be uploaded to the NFL&#8217;s official YouTube account (<a href="https://www.youtube.com/nfl" target="_blank">youtube.com/nfl</a>) prior to the start of the 2016 season. Voting is currently open and will run through early next week. For the Patriots, fans can vote on the following games: Super Bowl XXXVIII, Super Bowl XXXVI, Super Bowl XLIX, 2001 AFC Divisional Round vs. Oakland, and the 1985 AFC Championship Game vs. Miami.</p> <p><strong>4.</strong> When the Patriots cut loose veteran defensive lineman Vince Wilfork prior to the 2015 season. the feeling was that Wilfork was (relatively) close to the end of the road. But after a solid first season in Houston alongside J.J. Watt, it appears the 35-year-old might be hanging around longer than some thought. The 6-foot-2, 325-pounder told the Houston Chronicle this week that he wants to keep going as long as his body will allow it. “I feel good,” <a href="http://www.chron.com/sports/texans/article/Fire-still-burns-for-Texans-Vince-Wilfork-8215038.php?cmpid=twitter-desktop" target="_blank">Wilfork said</a>. “I said until I feel like I cant perform at a certain level or my body cant take it, or I&#8217;m mentally not there anymore, it&#8217;ll be time for me to hang it up. But I think I have a couple more good years in me. I think, mentally, it&#8217;ll go before my body will. Its just the amount of stress over the years you&#8217;ve been in the game. To play this game, you have to be mentally there. If you&#8217;re not mentally there, I dont care who you are. You wont make it.” If you missed it, <a href="http://itiswhatitis.weei.com/sports/newengland/football/patriots/2016/06/21/ex-patriots-dl-vince-wilfork-will-be-part-of-espns-body-issue/" target="_blank">he&#8217;s also one of the models for this years “ESPN: The Magazine” Body Issue</a>.</p> <p><strong>5.</strong> It would have been fun to think about the prospect of Calvin Johnson catching bombs from Brady, but it sounds like Megatron is going to stay retired. Speaking for the first time since he made his official announcement, the 30-year-old Johnson said hes not coming out of retirement for anything. “No. I&#8217;m not coming back,” <a href="http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap3000000671451/article/calvin-johnson-says-hell-stay-retired" target="_blank">he told the Detroit Free Press with a laugh</a>. “You ain&#8217;t got to worry about that. … My decision, I made my own decision. I&#8217;m good with it.” There was some talk of Johnson and his reps figuring out a way for him to land in New England, a prospect fueled by Johnson&#8217;s former teammate Nate Burleson <a href="http://itiswhatitis.weei.com/sports/newengland/football/patriots/2016/03/23/ex-lions-wr-tells-calvin-johnson-to-unretire-join-patriots/" target="_blank">saying Megatron should un-retire and join the Patriots</a>. However, if Johnson is really done, he leaves the game with 11,619 receiving yards, 83 touchdowns, and a legacy as one of the best to ever line up at the position.</p> <p><span id="more-109109"></span></p> <p><strong>6.</strong> For those of you keeping track at home, <a href="http://itiswhatitis.weei.com/sports/newengland/football/patriots/2016/05/23/tom-bradys-lawyer-confirms-to-abc-news-that-quarterback-will-appeal-ruling/" target="_blank">Thursday marked the one-month anniversary of Bradys Deflategate appeal filing</a>. If history is any guide, the decisions on those hearings usually take between three and six weeks. (At least, <a href="http://itiswhatitis.weei.com/sports/newengland/football/patriots/2016/05/23/court-decision-on-tom-bradys-deflategate-appeal-will-take-about-a-month/" target="_blank">that&#8217;s what ESPN business analyst Andrew Brandt told SportsCenter the morning Brady&#8217;s appeal was filed</a>.) Just as a reminder: If Brady&#8217;s petition is granted, its likely that the decision from the entire Second Circuit wouldn&#8217;t come until after the 2016 season is completed, which means the quarterback would likely be able to play this coming year. If its not granted, Brady and his legal team could still appeal to the Supreme Court.</p> <p><strong>7.</strong> Because they&#8217;re the NFL&#8217;s only publicly owned team, the Packers are required to disclose their financial information, and the franchise unveiled its records from 2016 this past week. If their coffers are any indication, its a good time to own a professional football team. Despite the fact that Green Bay is the leagues smallest market, it was ninth in the league in total revenue at $409 million in 2016, an eight percent increase over last year. It’s the 13th straight year with a new high for one of the NFL&#8217;s marquee teams. (According to the Associated Press, revenue from national sources rose six percent to more than $222 million. It was outpaced by the nearly 11 percent growth in local revenue to $186 million.)</p> <p><strong>8.</strong> Heading into 2016, Bill Belichick has 223 career regular-season wins, and will likely move into fourth place overall sooner rather than later, surpassing the legendary Curly Lambeau (226 career wins). Belichick, who will kick off his 42nd season in the NFL next month and 22nd year as a head coach, could climb into third place within the next two seasons, as hes just 27 career wins behind Tom Landry (third overall with 250 wins). Given where he is at this stage of his career, it would take a monumental task for him to reach the top two — you never say never, but Don Shula is tops overall with 326 career wins as a head coach, while George Halas is second with 318 career victories. For the record, Belichick has the fewest career years (21) of any coach in the top five when it comes to regular-season wins. (Marty Schottenheimer, who has 200 career wins, good for seventh all-time, was a head coach for 21 years.)</p> Blog patriots Other Sun, 26 Jun 2016 09:00:05 +0000 2299391 at http://www.weei.com Closing Time: Steven Wright, Red Sox derailed by Rangers http://www.weei.com/sports/feed/blog/anonymous/closing-time-steven-wright-red-sox-derailed-rangers <!--paging_filter--><p><div id="attachment_105097" style="width: 410px" class="wp-caption alignright"><img src="http://fullcount.weei.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/bogaertswright-400x278.jpg" alt="Xander Bogaerts consoles Steven Wright after exiting in the fifth inning Saturday night. (Kevin Jairaj/USA Today Sports)" width="400" height="278" class="size-medium wp-image-105097" /><p class="wp-caption-text">Xander Bogaerts consoles Steven Wright after exiting in the fifth inning Saturday night. (Kevin Jairaj/USA Today Sports)</p></div>ARLINGTON, Texas &#8211; In the hot, windy air of Globe Life Park Saturday night, Steven Wright misplaced his magic.</p> <p>For just the second time this season, the Red Sox&#8217; starter allowed more than three runs, this time giving up seven (4 earned) over just 4 2/3 innings. Wright&#8217;s hiccup helped result in a momentum-stopping, 10-3 loss to the Rangers.</p> <p>The outing pushed Wright&#8217;s ERA to 2.18. It also gave Red Sox starters a 7.83 ERA this time through the rotation.</p> <p>The Red Sox reside three games in back of first-place Baltimore in the American League East, and one game ahead of third-place Toronto.</p> <p>Wright gave up some of the game&#8217;s biggest hits &#8212; Mitch Moreland&#8217;s two-run single, Elvis Andrus&#8217; three-run triple, and an RBI hit from Adrian Beltre &#8212; on fastballs.</p> <p>The loss proved to be an all-around uninspiring night for the Red Sox, with the Rangers&#8217; pivotal five-run fifth inning being helped along by errors from Xander Bogaerts and Hanley Ramirez.</p> <p><a href="http://weei.stats.com/mlb/gameview.asp?gamecode=360625113&#038;home=13&#038;vis=02&#038;meta=true">Click here for a recap of the Red Sox&#8217; loss.</a></p> <p><img src="http://fullcount.weei.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/Closing-Time-note.jpg" alt="Closing Time note" width="600" height="23" class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-101900" /></p> <p>&#8211; David Ortiz received a belt buckle and pair of cowboy boots as a retirement gift from the Rangers before the game.</p> <p><strong>WHAT WENT WRONG</strong></p> <p>&#8211; Ian Desmond became just the fifth hitter to take Wright deep, blasting leadoff homer over the center field wall in the fourth inning. The home run was Desmond&#8217;s 13th of the season and tied the game at 1-1.</p> <p>&#8211; The Red Sox finished the fifth inning with a major squander, with Dustin Pedroia grounding into a 5-4-3, inning-ending double play with the bases loaded. It kept the Sox in a one-run hole.</p> <p>&#8211; Bogaerts made his sixth error on the season on Shin-Soo Choo&#8217;s routine grounder to lead off the home half of the fifth. Later in the frame, Ramirez made another miscue on what should have been an inning-ending grounder off the bat of Rougned Odor, loading the bases. One batter later, Andrus cleared the bases with a triple.</p> <p>&#8211; With the bases loaded and two outs in the fourth inning, Moreland took advantage of a Wright fastball by rifling it into right field for a two-run single, breaking a deadlock. It was the first hit against Wright this season with the bases loaded in eight plate appearances.</p> <p>&#8211; Robbie Ross Jr., who followed Wright, struggled a bit, allowing two runs on three hits over 1 2/3 innings.</p> <p><strong>WHAT WENT RIGHT </strong></p> <p>&#8211; After striking out the first four Red Sox hitters he faced, Texas starter A.J. Griffin&#8217;s first-pitch fastball to Ramirez was sent over the right field wall to give the Sox an early lead. It was Ramirez&#8217;s fourth homer in his last 11 games.</p> <p>&#8211; Jackie Bradley Jr. saved a run in the second inning, making a shoe-top catch of Andrus&#8217; shallow fly ball. The two-out grab prevented Rougned Odor from coming in from second base and tying the game.</p> <p>&#8211; Bryce Brentz showed his defensive ability for the second straight night, making back-to-back running catches to rob both Mitch Moreland and Robinson Chirinos in the third inning.</p> <p>&#8211; Mookie Betts produced once again, this time coming up with a bases-loaded single, scoring Bradley Jr. He is now 3-for-6 with the bases full on the season.</p> Blog red sox Other Sun, 26 Jun 2016 05:23:44 +0000 2298966 at http://www.weei.com Rangers attempted to trade for Steven Wright http://www.weei.com/sports/feed/blog/anonymous/rangers-attempted-trade-steven-wright <!--paging_filter--><p><div id="attachment_90978" style="width: 160px" class="wp-caption alignright"><img src="http://fullcount.weei.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/Wright_Steven-Red-Sox-head-15.jpg" alt="Steven Wright" width="150" height="213" class="size-full wp-image-90978" /><p class="wp-caption-text">Steven Wright</p></div>ARLINGTON, Texas &#8212; Steven Wright certainly wasn&#8217;t considered one of the hotter properties this offseason.</p> <p>He was his first full major league season, one which ended early due to a concussion. So, by the time the Hot Stove season hit, Wright represented a 31-year-old knuckleballer who had never started more than nine games. He was also out of options.</p> <p>But that didn&#8217;t stop the Rangers from targeting Wright.</p> <p>&#8220;We asked about him this winter and they did not want to move him,&#8221; said Rangers general manager Jon Daniels.</p> <p>While credit goes to Texas for identifying Wright as a potential pitcher of value, Daniels noted that the Red Sox deserve praise for not giving up on the pitcher.</p> <p>&#8220;No. Cheap pitching. Versatile guy,&#8221; said Daniels when asked if he was surprised the Red Sox didn&#8217;t let Wright go. &#8220;We didn&#8217;t know he was going to do this or we would have tried harder.&#8221;</p> <p>As it turned out, Wright had his worst outing of the season Saturday night against the Rangers. The Sox starter allowed seven runs (4 earned) over 4 2/3 innings, raising his ERA to 2.18.</p> Blog red sox Other Sun, 26 Jun 2016 03:24:44 +0000 2298851 at http://www.weei.com Rangers attempted to trade for Steven Wright http://www.weei.com/node/2298856 <!--paging_filter--><p><div id="attachment_90978" style="width: 160px" class="wp-caption alignright"><img src="http://fullcount.weei.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/Wright_Steven-Red-Sox-head-15.jpg" alt="Steven Wright" width="150" height="213" class="size-full wp-image-90978" /><p class="wp-caption-text">Steven Wright</p></div>ARLINGTON, Texas &#8212; Steven Wright certainly wasn&#8217;t considered one of the hotter properties this offseason.</p> <p>He was his first full major league season, one which ended early due to a concussion. So, by the time the Hot Stove season hit, Wright represented a 31-year-old knuckleballer who had never started more than nine games. He was also out of options.</p> <p>But that didn&#8217;t stop the Rangers from targeting Wright.</p> <p>&#8220;We asked about him this winter and they did not want to move him,&#8221; said Rangers general manager Jon Daniels.</p> <p>While credit goes to Texas for identifying Wright as a potential pitcher of value, Daniels noted that the Red Sox deserve praise for not giving up on the pitcher.</p> <p>&#8220;No. Cheap pitching. Versatile guy,&#8221; said Daniels when asked if he was surprised the Red Sox didn&#8217;t let Wright go. &#8220;We didn&#8217;t know he was going to do this or we would have tried harder.&#8221;</p> <p>As it turned out, Wright had his worst outing of the season Saturday night against the Rangers. The Sox starter allowed seven runs (4 earned) over 4 2/3 innings, raising his ERA to 2.18.</p> Blog red sox Other Sun, 26 Jun 2016 03:24:44 +0000 2298856 at http://www.weei.com Sandy Leon making case to stick around with Red Sox http://www.weei.com/sports/feed/blog/anonymous/sandy-leon-making-case-stick-around-red-sox <!--paging_filter--><p><div id="attachment_91802" style="width: 160px" class="wp-caption alignright"><img src="http://fullcount.weei.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/Leon_Sandy-Red-Sox-head-15.jpg" alt="Sandy Leon" width="150" height="226" class="size-full wp-image-91802" /><p class="wp-caption-text">Sandy Leon</p></div>ARLINGTON, Texas &#8211; A few weeks ago, it wouldn&#8217;t seem to be a plausible conversation, keeping Sandy Leon on the major league roster when Ryan Hanigan was healthy enough to return.</p> <p>But that&#8217;s exactly the discussion taking place with Hanigan&#8217;s return nearing.</p> <p>The problem for the Red Sox is that they can&#8217;t attempt to send Leon back to the minors without putting him on waivers, with the 27-year-old catcher not possessing any more options. It was a maneuver the Sox were forced to execute with Leon last season, with the catcher clearing waivers and returning to Triple-A Pawtucket.</p> <p>This time, with Leon hitting .545 with a 1.343 OPS in his nine games, the move would be appreciably riskier.</p> <p>&#8220;We don’t want to lose him. He’s doing a great job,&#8221; said Red Sox manager John Farrell, adding, &#8220;I think there were a number of us who felt like we wouldn’t see him again. He did get through and thankfully he re-signed with us even after the end of the season. And as we’re seeing now, he’s proving to be a valuable player for us.&#8221;</p> <p>Farrell noted that Hanigan (who is coming back from a neck injury) would have to catch back-to-back games of nine innings at Triple-A Pawtucket before returning.</p> <p>And while Blake Swihart is expected to return from his injured ankle in about a month, catching doesn&#8217;t appear to be part of the equation when he comes back due to the nature of his injury.</p> <p>That leaves Leon, Hanigan and Christian Vazquez, who does have options and came into Saturday night&#8217;s game hitting .215 with a .557 OPS.</p> <p>But it has been the turnaround by Leon, who was hitting .243 with a .655 OPS in 36 games with the PawSox before his promotion, that has shaped the debate.</p> <p>&#8220;Probably confidence,&#8221; said Farrell of the difference in Leon this season. &#8220;I can’t say that the swing has changed all that much. He’s not missed pitches when they’ve been on the plate. He’s shown some discipline at the plate, even some borderline pitches [Friday] night when he takes. I think he’s just come up and he’s jumped in and gotten a couple of key hits. I’m sure that’s boosted his confidence even further.&#8221;</p> Blog red sox Other Sun, 26 Jun 2016 01:46:15 +0000 2298641 at http://www.weei.com