Friday, November 17, 2017

Four Pats ruled out - Friday's Patriots/Raiders injury report

The Patriots will be without two starting offensive lineman Sunday in Mexico City against the Raiders. Both Marcus Cannon and David Andrews have been ruled out.

Here's Friday's full injury report.


OL David Andrews (illness)
OL Marcus Cannon (ankle)
ST Matthew Slater (hamstring)
WR Chris Hogan (shoulder)

WR Danny Amendola (knee)
TE Martellus Bennett (shoulder/hamstring)
DL Malcom Brown (ankle)
DE Cassius Marsh (shoulder)
CB Eric Rowe (groin)


CB David Amerson (foot)

G Gabe Jackson (ankle)
LB Cory James (knee)
OL Marshall Newhouse (hip/quad)
FB/RB Jamize Olawale (hamstring)

WWE Survivor Series Predictions

It's Survivor Series time in Houston this weekend. The #UnderSeige storyline for Raw vs. Smackdown comes to a head. I wish the men's elimination match would've been conducted in War Games, but that's left for Saturday night and NXT!

* WWE Cruiserweight Championship Kickoff Show Match: Enzo Amore vs. Kalisto
Who cares, right! Enzo cheats his way to retain the Championship.
Winner: Enzo Amore

* The New Day vs. The Shield
Should be a decent match if given the time. The road to make Roman Reigns strong for Wrestlemania continues. Plus, there should be some insane bumps here too. So, it's The Shield going over here (Raw 1-0).
Winner: The Shield

* Sheamus & Cesaro vs. The Usos
Battle of Tag Team Champs here. Really impressed at what both teams have done the past few months. The Usos take one for Smackdown (1-1).
Winner: The Usos

* Alexa Bliss vs. Charlotte Flair
This could be really good as the Women's Champions face-off. No chance they let the buzz of Charlotte Flair just winning the title get doused. The Queen over The Goddess! WOOOOO! (Smackdown 2-1).
Winner: Charlotte Flair

* The Miz vs. Baron Corbin
Intercontinental Champ vs. US Champion. The social media aspect of this "feud" has been great with both guys raising the game. The Miz is at the top level of talent right now in WWE. Heavy involvement from The Miztourage. (2-2)
Winner: The Miz

* Survivor Series Elimination Match: Alicia Fox (Captain), Nia Jax, Sasha Banks, Asuka and Bayley vs. Becky Lynch (Captain), Carmella, Tamina Snuka, Naomi and TBA
I expect Paige to be the TBA for Smackdown. If not Paige, then Natalya. Asuka will be protected in this one to not get pinned, so expect countout or DQ there. Banner night for the Smackdown women continues with Becky Lynch the star. (Smackdown 3-2).
Winner: Smackdown

* Survivor Series Elimination Match: Kurt Angle (Captain), Braun Strowman, Finn Balor, Samoa Joe & Triple H vs. Shane McMahon (Captain), Randy Orton, Shinsuke Nakamura, Bobby Roode and John Cena
Really like the Raw team, just hope it doesn't develop into an Angle/Triple H love fest. Ideally, it would be great for the storyline if Jason Jordan costs Raw the win and Triple H and Stephanie McMahon bury Angle Monday night on Raw. But then again, the thought of Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn screwing Smackdown over to let Raw win sounds more delicious. (3-3)
Winner: Raw

* Brock Lesnar vs. AJ Styles
Match of the night if they do it right! Universal Champion vs. WWE Champion. Raw needs to win the night for obvious reasons. So, Lesnar in a squeaker after a good 15-20 minutes. (Raw wins the night 4-3)
Winner: Brock Lesnar

Friday Thoughts - Brown's breakout night, Jones vs. Kraft, Red Sox first move

Let's crank it up for a windy and chilly Friday here in the Northeast.

* - Kudos to Jaylen Brown and the Celtics. Brown energized Boston to a comeback win over the defending champion Golden State Warriors, 92-88 Thursday night. What makes his 22 point, seven rebounds, two blocks and two steals performance even more inspiring is that he did it with the heavy heart of learning his best friend, Trevin Steede, had passed away the night before. Clearly, Brown was the best player on the court as the Celtics fought back twice from a 17-point deficit to win their 14th straight game. Well done. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Steede and Brown families.

* - As for the game, no one would've given the Celtics any chance of winning if you told them they would shoot 32% for the game and be down by 17 twice. None! Defense, energy and heart. That's what kept them in enough to grind it out late.

* - Damn. Charles Barkley was really down on the Celtics during last night's halftime spot on TNT. Said they couldn't beat Cleveland, Toronto or Washington. Yikes!
* - Do yourself a favor and give this ESPN Outside the Lines piece on the Jerry Jones vs. Roger Goodell feud. Another outstanding piece of journalism by Don Van Natta Jr. and Seth Wickersham. Gotta love Jones calling Bob Kraft a p*ssy in this quote to Goodell - "If you think Bob Kraft came after you hard, Bob Kraft is a p---y compared to what I'm going to do."

* - While some of the sportsradio jocks think it's Giancarlo Stanton or bust this offseason for the Red Sox, me thinks otherwise. It seems the Red Sox don't have the appetite for giving up a ton AND spending $300 million on the NL MVP. Time will tell, but it looks like a few B type additions might be heading to Boston. I hope I'm wrong.

* - Patriots vs. Raiders in Mexico City. What could go wrong! Can we please stop these International Games. They are unnecessary!

* - Me thinks it might be time for a slip up for the Eagles and Saints this weekend. Just saying. All of our NFL Week 11 picks are here!

* - It's Survivor Series weekend in Houston for the WWE. Love that War Games is coming back as part of NXT Takeover. But, wouldn't it have made more sense to have War Games be the Team RAW vs. Team Smackdown elimination match? It would've been the coup de grace on the #UnderSiege storyline.

* - Yes, I'm now rooting for utter chaos in the College Football Playoffs. Would love to see Georgia avenge the Auburn loss in the SEC Championship game to get them there. And yes, that would mean Auburn beating Alabama next Saturday.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Thursday's Patriots/Raiders Injury Report - Andrews sick

Just one change for each team Thursday for the Patriots and Raiders injury report. For New England, center David Andrews missed practice due to illness. For Oakland, tackle Marshall Newhouse missed practice after being limited on Wednesday.


C David Andrews (illness) 
OL Marcus Cannon (ankle)
ST Matthew Slater (hamstring)
WR Chris Hogan (shoulder)

WR Danny Amendola (knee)
DL Alan Branch (neck)
TE Martellus Bennett (shoulder/hamstring)
DL Malcom Brown (ankle)
DE Cassius Marsh (shoulder)
CB Eric Rowe (groin)


CB David Amerson (foot)
T Marshall Newhouse (hip/quad)

G Gabe Jackson (ankle)
LB Cory James (knee)
FB/RB Jamize Olawale (hamstring)

NFL Picks - Week 11

Byes:  Colts, Jets, Panthers, 49ers

Titans at Steelers (Thursday 8:25pm)
This could be a throwback to the old Oilers/Steelers games in terms of physicality. Expect the Steelers to be more focused than the lackluster performance in Indy four days ago.
Winner: Steelers

Bucs at Dolphins (Sunday 1pm)
This was supposed to be the season opener for both teams, but Hurricane Irma had other ideas. The way both teams are playing, we all wish they would've played it 10 weeks ago.
Winner: Dolphins

Lions at Bears (Sunday 1pm)
The Lions appear to be getting things going as they get ready for Thanksgiving. Two wins in four days (here and vs. Vikings) could go a long way in winning the NFC North. As for the Bears, the offensive struggles continue.
Winner: Lions

Jaguars at Browns (Sunday 1pm)
Signs that Jacksonville is getting better: they won a game they should've lost Sunday vs. the Chargers and with RB Leonard Fournette not doing much. The search for win #1 continues in Cleveland. Don't expect it here.
Winner: Jaguars

Ravens at Packers (Sunday 1pm)
Before the season, this would be a matchup of two high tier playoff teams. Now, just a pair of teams trying to hold on to playoff hopes.
Winner: Packers

Cardinals at Texans (Sunday 1pm)
How do you think Colin Kaepernick feels about this one - Drew Stanton vs. Tom Savage.
Friday update: It'll be Blaine Gabbert vs. Tom Savage. Yeah!
Winner: Texans

Rams at Vikings (Sunday 1pm)
Could be the game of the day as the league's top offense goes against one of the stingiest defenses. The maturation of the Rams and QB Jared Goff will be on showcase here in battle of 7-2 teams.
Winner: Vikings

Redskins at Saints (Sunday 1pm)
Who would've thought the Saints would be the hottest team in the NFL with a top rated defense and running the ball (6 rushing TDs in Buffalo last Sunday). Perfect place for a trap.
Winner: Redskins

Chiefs at Giants (Sunday 1pm)
An Andy Reid team coming off a bye against a 1-8 team. Yikes!
Winner: Chiefs

Bills at Chargers (Sunday 4:05pm)
Welcome to your first start QB Nathan Peterman. Guess the Bills want to start on the 2018 season.
Winner: Chargers

Bengals at Broncos (Sunday 4:25pm)
Perfect spot for the Broncos to get healthy.
Winner: Broncos

Patriots vs. Raiders in Mexico City (Sunday 4:25pm)
First off, can we do away with these International Games? Wouldn't this be a great atmosphere in the Black Hole in Oakland? Tough stretch for the Patriots continue as they have the second of their 5 of 6 on the road. For Oakland, it's a must win to keep playoff hopes alive. Expect a lot of offensive fireworks.
Winner: Patriots

Eagles at Cowboys (Sunday 8:30pm)
Perfect spot for the Eagles to bury the Cowboys' NFC East Title and possible playoff hopes. It's all on QB Dak Prescott and that offensive line for the Boys. Something tells me they have just enough for the upset to stay alive.
Winner: Cowboys

Falcons at Seahawks (Monday 8:30pm)
No Richard Sherman (achilles) for the Hawks which could mean the offense gets opened for Seattle, who now can't lean on the vaunted defense. No Devonta Freeman (concussion) for the Hawks.
Winner: Seahawks

Lorelai and Abbie's NFL Week 11 Picks

Congrats to Abbie! She went a perfect 6-0 last week! Can her sister get revenge this week? Let's see.

Titans over Steelers
Patriots over Raiders
Dolphins over Bucs
Chiefs over Giants
Cowboys over Eagles
Falcons over Seahawks

Titans over Steelers
Patriots over Raiders
Dolphins over Bucs
Chiefs over Giants
Eagles over Cowboys
Seahawks over Falcons

Good luck everyone!

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Wednesday Patriots/Raiders Injury Report

The Patriots did get Malcom Brown and Eric Rowe back at practice Wednesday, but Martellus Bennett adds a hamstring issue to his injuries.  It looks like Marcus Cannon, Matthew Slater and Chris Hogan are back in Foxboro as the team practices out in Colorado Springs this week after Sunday night's win in Denver. All three, it appears, will have another game off.

Here's the first injury report of the week as the Raiders and Pats get ready to rumble in Mexico City Sunday.


OL Marcus Cannon (ankle)
ST Matthew Slater (hamstring)
WR Chris Hogan (shoulder)

WR Danny Amendola (knee)
DL Alan Branch (neck)
TE Martellus Bennett (shoulder/hamstring)
DL Malcom Brown (ankle)
DE Cassius Marsh (shoulder)
CB Eric Rowe (groin)


CB David Amerson (foot)
T Donald Penn (not injury related)

G Gabe Jackson (ankle)
LB Cory James (knee)
T Marshall Newhouse (hip/quad)
FB/RB Jamize Olawale (hamstring)

28 years ago today - Flair vs. Funk "I Quit"

Simply a classic! Ric Flair vs. Terry Funk in an "I Quit" match from the Clash of Champions on this date in 1989! Enjoy.

Video courtesy of WCW/WWE/TBS/You Tube

Well done Kyrie Irving

Not only are the Boston Celtics winning on the basketball court, 13 in a row heading into Thursday night's matchup with the World Champion Golden State Warriors, but they're doing it off the court as well.

Witness this scene by Kyrie Irving after Tuesday night's win in Brooklyn.
Video courtesy of NBA/Twitter

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Survivor Series - The Shield debuts in 2012

Remember this? The Shield debuts at the Survivor Series in 2012 to interrupt the WWE Championship match between CM Punk, John Cena and Ryback.

Now, five years later, The Shield reunites to take on The New Day this Sunday at Survivor Series in Houston.

Video courtesy of All Around WWE/You Tube/WWE

If NFL Playoffs started today.....

1. Steelers 7-2
2. Patriots 7-2
3. Chiefs 6-3
4. Titans 6-3
5. Jaguars 6-3
6. Bills 6-3

1. Eagles 8-1
2. Vikings 7-2
3. Saints 7-2
4. Rams 7-2
5. Panthers 7-3
6. Seahawks 6-3

Sunday, November 12, 2017

College Football Playoff - Our Top 4

After a wild day in which #1 Georgia lost to Auburn, #2 Alabama had to rally late to beat Mississippi State and #3 Notre Dame got routed at Miami, here's what we think the top 4 in the College Football Playoff rankings might look like this week.

1. Alabama
2. Oklahoma
3. Clemson
4. Miami

Just on the outside looking in should be Wisconsin and Auburn. Yes Auburn has two losses, but with its win over Georgia, the Tigers could run the table to beat Alabama and Georgia again in the SEC Championship to make the playoff. I think the Committee sets them up nicely for that here with a #6 or #7 ranking.

Georgia is still alive should then win out and beat Alabama/Auburn in the SEC Championship game. As for Notre Dame, a likely bid to the Cotton Bowl is the best they can do.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Hogan, Cannon, Brown OUT for Patriots - Friday Injury Report

As the Patriots head West to Denver Friday, they know they will play Sunday without Malcom Brown, Chris Hogan and Marcus Cannon. All three are ruled out Friday. Martellus Bennett did practice with the team Friday after passing his physical upon being claimed from the Packers.

Bennett did explain his injury situation on his Instagram account.


DT Malcom Brown - Ankle (DNP)
T Marcus Cannon - Ankle (DNP)
WR Chris Hogan - Shoulder (DNP)

WR Danny Amendola - Knee (LP)
TE Martellus Bennett - Shoulder (LP)
CB Stephon Gilmore - Concussion / Ankle (LP)
DL Cassius Marsh - Shoulder (LP)
CB Eric Rowe - Groin (LP)


ILB Todd Davis - Ankle (FP)
WR Emmanuel Sanders - Ankle (FP)
T Donald Stephenson - Calf (LP)

FP - Full participation in Friday practice
LP - Limiited participation in Friday practice
DNP - Did not practice Friday

WATCH - Would you dare do this?

Would you swim by the edge of a 338 foot waterfall? Watch these folks who did, courtesy of Insider/You Tube.  It's called the Waterfall at Devil's Pool in Zambia. How appropriate.

Thursday, November 09, 2017

Abbie and Lorelai's NFL Week 10 Picks

Week 10 is here! Last week, Abbie got the better over Lorelai in their differences (4-0), so she goes first this week.

Seahawks over Cardinals
Bucs over Jets
Saints over Bills
Patriots over Broncos
Falcons over Cowboys
Panthers over Dolphins

Seahawks over Cardinals
Bucs over Jets
Bills over Saints
Patriots over Broncos
Cowboys over Falcons
Dolphins over Panthers

20 years ago - The Montreal Screwjob

Hard to believe, but 20 years ago today in Montreal, the historic Montreal Screwjob went down between Shawn Michaels, Bret Hart and Vince McMahon. It's a Survivor Series memory for the ages!

(Video courtesy of WWE/DirecTV)

Martellus Bennett returns to Patriots

One day after being cut by the Packers, TE Martellus Bennett is back with the team he won a Super Bowl with last season - the New England Patriots.

Bennett, just in year one of his 3-year, $21 million deal with the Packers, was cut Wednesday after being inactive the past two games and has had a shoulder injury this season.

Bennett will be a welcome addition back in New England to be paired with Rob Gronkowski and Dwayne Allen, who has yet to catch a pass this season from Tom Brady.

The move costs the Patriots just over $400,000 this season. DE Geneo Grissom was waived to make room on the roster.

Patriots-Broncos Thursday Injury Report

Things do not look good for Malcom Brown, Chris Hogan and Marcus Cannon for the Patriots heading into Sunday's game in Denver. As for the Broncos, C.J. Anderson and Derek Wolfe did not practice on Thursday.

The Patriots, who picked up TE Martellus Bennett for a return trip to Foxboro, will leave for Denver on Friday.


DL Malcom Brown (ankle)
WR Chris Hogan (shoulder)
OL Marcus Cannon (ankle)

WR Danny Amendola (knee)
CB Stephon Gilmore (concussion/ankle)
DE Cassius Marsh (shoulder)
CB Eric Rowe (groin)


RB C.J. Anderson (ankle)
DE Derek Wolfe (neck)

WR Bennie Fowler (ankle)
G Ron Leary (elbow)
C Matt Paradis (back)
WR Demaryius Thomas (hamstring)
ILB Todd Davis (ankle)
T Donald Stephenson (calf)

WR Cody Latimer (knee)
ILB Brandon Marshall (shoulder)
WR Emmanuel Sanders (ankle)
S Darian Stewart (thigh)
OLB Shane Ray - Wrist

NFL Picks Week 10

Seahawks at Cardinals (Thursday 8:25pm)
No Earl Thomas for the Seahawks and still a struggling offense for Seattle. So, things point Arizona's way in a game they need to have. Just one thing - Russell Wilson.
Winner: Seahawks

Packers at Bears (Sunday 1pm)
Just don't know how the Packers score points, especially on the road. Expect a low scoring affair though where the Bears grind it out on the ground.
Winner: Bears

Browns at Lions (Sunday 1pm)
Maybe the Lions offense found its groove Monday night in Green Bay. But, then again, they shouldn't need much this week at home against the lowly Browns.
Winner: Lions

Steelers at Colts (Sunday 1pm)
How did the Colts win in Houston? No Deshaun Watson for the Texans, that's how. Back to reality this week for Indy. Big Ben and the Steelers offense won't be so kind.
Winner: Steelers

Chargers at Jaguars (Sunday 1pm)
Former Jags head coach Gus Bradley comes back to town with the Chargers. RB Leonard Fournette returns after his one game punishment last week for the Jags. A San Diego upset would not be a surprise here.
Winner: Jaguars

Saints at Bills (Sunday 1pm)
Good matchup of two potential playoff teams. Will the Bills wake up from a woefull loss at the Jets? Will the Saints surprising defense travel well in Buffalo?
Winner: Bills

Jets at Buccaneers (Sunday 1pm)
NY gets a break with WR Mike Evans suspended for the Bucs, who will have former Jet QB Ryan Fitzpatrick at the helm for the injured Jamies Winston, who Evans was protecting by blindsiding Saints CB Marcus Lattimore last Sunday.
Winner: Bucs

Vikings at Redskins (Sunday 1pm)
How Washington won in Seattle last Sunday without three starting offensive lineman is still a mystery. Just as intriguing is the fact that the Vikings are 6-2 despite a true #1 QB. Teddy Bridgewater is waiting in the wings as he's back practicing
Winner: Redskins

Bengals at Titans (Sunday 1pm)
Tennessee is still trying to figure out if it wants to grab hold of the AFC South. A visit from the Bengals makes that easier to do.
Winner: Titans

Texans at Rams (Sunday 4:05pm)
How will the Texans keep up against the Rams, who put up 51 last Sunday against the Giants. The answer - they won't.
Winner: Rams

Cowboys at Falcons (Sunday 4:25pm)
Gut feeling - this is the week the Falcons offense puts it together. As of this prediction (Thursday PM), Ezekiel Elliott is still playing.
UPDATE (Thursday 7pm) - Elliott lost his hearing and is suspended. 
Winner: Falcons

Giants at 49ers (Sunday 4:25pm)
If I were Kyle Shanahan, I'd be playing Jimmy Garoppolo in this one.
Winner: 49ers

Patriots at Broncos (Sunday 8:30pm)
The Broncos are heading the wrong way with three straight losses. QB Brock Osweiler beat the Patriots in OT two years ago, could they do it again on SNF?
Winner: Patriots

Dolphins at Panthers (Monday 8:30pm)
QB Cam Newton and the Panthers offense did just enough to beat the Falcons last Sunday. The trend of Cam running should continue to escape the Fins aggressive pass rush.
Winner: Panthers

Wednesday, November 08, 2017

Horford out with concussion - Celtics host Lakers tonight

The Celtics will be without Al Horford indefinitely with a concussion, the team announced Wednesday. Boston will host the LA Lakers Wednesday night at the TD Garden, putting its nine game win streak on the line.

Horford suffered the concussion reportedly in Monday night's game in Atlanta, although he didn't suffer any symptoms until Wednesday morning.

Horford missed nine games last season with a concussion. The Celtics went 4-5 without him.

Click here for more from NBC Sports Boston.

BREAKING NEWS: John Cena added to Smackdown LIVE Survivor Series team

And so, the Smackdown LIVE team for Survivor Series team is complete! John Cena returns to fight with and for Shane McMahon!

Previously, it was rumored that Cena would be the special guest referee for the Brock Lesnar vs. Jinder Mahal champion vs. champion match. But, with AJ Styles defeating Mahal Tuesday night to become the new WWE Champion, that role isn't needed.

Tuesday, November 07, 2017

Monday, November 06, 2017

If AFC Playoffs started today...

AFC Playoff Picture (as of 11/6/17)

1. Steelers 6-2
2. Patriots 6-2
3. Chiefs 6-3
4. Titans 5-3
5. Jaguars 5-3
6. Bills 5-3

Sunday, November 05, 2017

Abbie and Lorelai's NFL Week 9 Picks

It's November and not long until Thanksgiving (and Christmas)! Good luck with this week's picks!

Broncos over Eagles
Giants over Rams
Panthers over Falcons
Chiefs over Cowboys
Dolphins over Raiders
Packers over Lions

Eagles over Broncos
Rams over Giants
Panthers over Falcons
Cowboys over Chiefs
Dolphins over Raiders
Lions over Packers

Saturday, November 04, 2017

Saturday Six Pack

We welcome back the Saturday Six Pack! Six quick thoughts on a lazy Saturday afternoon here in New England!

1. Welcome back Stephanie McMahon. Arguably, she's one of the strongest WWE characters and hasn't been seen on Monday Night RAW since WrestleMania! Now, will she kick Kurt Angle to the curb or what?

2. Goodbye Jimmy G! I think it's funny hearing some of Patriots Nation rant about it was the wrong thing to do or that the Patriots didn't get enough for him on the way out. I ask this - for all you who want them to pay Garoppolo the franchise tag money ($25 million) and give Tom Brady the expected raise to make more than his backup - who do you want to lose, because you have to make some cuts elsewhere if your QB's make up 40% of the salary cap.

3. I find it funny that most of the pundits on sportsradio think that it's Giancarlo Stanton or bust when looking for a power hitter for the Red Sox. I, for one, do not. I wouldn't give up more top prospects and major league roster guys plus pay him $20+ million a year. One guy is not going to solve this problem. Eric Hosmer would be a nice upgrade from Mitch Moreland. But he too is not a complete solve. For it to work, some of the existing guys have to step up to the power table (yes, Betts, Bogaerts and whomever plays 2B). But yes, there will have to be upgrades from the outside too. Yes, plural.

4. How entertaining are the Celtics?! Seven wins in a row after dropping two to start the season shows the team has resolve after the adversity of losing Gordon Hayward. Love the grit, the defense and yes, the huge upgrade on the boards! Plus, how good is it having a legit scorer in Kyrie Irving late in games who can create and get to the basket! If you missed the second half Friday night in Oklahoma City, you missed the C's first real test of the season.  Consider that test passed with a comeback victory after being down 17 in the first half.

5. 70's one day, 40's the next. Welcome to November in New England! And while we're at it, can we just do away with Daylight Savings Time already!

6. Damn, how hot is Alexa Bliss in the WWE these days. Waiting for the day she feuds with Stephanie McMahon!

BONUS: Can the #UnderSiege movement really have any teeth if no one really feels under siege? It's a good idea, just the execution of the idea is weak. Smackdown LIVE should've kidnapped Kurt Angle when they had the chance. RAW should've immediately retaliated the next night. Now, a week later, both shows are taped overseas. Hopefully, getting out the Country will give them better ways of furthering the storyline until we get to Survivor Series!

Friday, November 03, 2017

Friday Free Thoughts

It's Friday and time to let the mind wander loose before the weekend. So, here it goes....

* - Yes, Alex Cora is a nice and intriguing pick to lead the Red Sox as manager in 2018. He'll be introduced on Monday. Yet, if the Sox don't get a big power bat to put in the middle of the lineup, it'll mean little for their advancement as a World Series contender.

* - Yes, I would've kept Tom Brady too. It's just good for business. There was no way they were paying Jimmy Garoppolo $25 million and then up Tom Brady's contract to match him to account for nearly 40% of the cap in 2018. And yes, I don't blame Garoppolo for not signing a bridge deal to continue to be a back-up for another few years. The time had come.

* - Yes, it's early in the NBA season. But these Celtics are very entertaining. How good they can be without Gordon Hayward is still left to be determined.

* - And speaking of Gordon Hayward, why the heck was he on the Today Show this week. Yes, we care here in New England, but do many outside care enough for Matt Lauer to do an on-site interview? Hardly. But then again, maybe they were just in the area for the Pete Frates story so they figured it was nice to double up.

* - Hey NFL and Ezekiel Elliott and NFLPA. Enough, we're tired of the court cases. Figure it out and get a better procedure to deal with player punishment.

* - Not for nothing, but things in the WWE have been better. Storylines, writing and execution are not exactly clicking on all cylinders. I'm somewhat intrigued by Survivor Series even though the lead up has been less than must see TV.

* - That was one hell of a World Series between the Astros and Dodgers. I just wish I could've watched more of it with the late night viewing. How about 7pm starts?

* - Note to NFL - it's not the National Anthem protests that are keeping us from watching games. It's the overexposure, the replays and utter lack of simplicity to what the game used to be to what it is now. Think about it.

Thursday, November 02, 2017

NFL Week 9 Picks

Byes - Patriots, Chargers, Steelers, Browns, Bears, Vikings

Bills at Jets (Thursday 8:25pm)
Everything points to the Bills. With a win, they tie the Patriots for first place in the AFC East at 6-2. Buffalo just traded for WR Kelvin Benjamin, who probably won't play, but makes the Bills better. The Jets have held the lead in all three of their last three games - all losses.
Winner: Jets

Falcons at Panthers (Sunday 1pm)
Will Cam Newton pout now that his best buddy WR Kelvin Benjamin is in Buffalo? The Panthers offense struggled mightily with Benjamin, how will it work without him? Something tells me the Falcons found something in grinding out a win in the rain last Sunday vs. the Jets.
Winner: Falcons

Colts at Texans (Sunday 1pm)
What QB Deshaun Watson did in Seattle (400+ yards/4 TD's) was remarkable. He shouldn't have that tough a time this week vs. the Colts. Indy just put QB Andrew Luck on the shelf for the year (Shoulder). There goes the last bit of interest in the Colts for the season.
UPDATE (Thursday) - Deshaun Watson is out for the season with a torn ACL. So, it's Tom Savage at QB for Houston, which should make it a much closer game.
Winner: Texans

Bengals at Jaguars (Sunday 1pm)
On the whole, the Jags are a playoff contending team. Now, could they just get rid of this good one week, not so good the next routine!
Winner: Jaguars

Bucs at Saints (Sunday 1pm)
Two teams going in completely opposite directions. Something you wouldn't have said after the first two weeks of the season when the Saints were sitting 0-2.
Winner: Saints

Rams at Giants (Sunday 1pm)
If you penciled this one in at the beginning of the year, you would've thought the Giants would be 5-2 and the Rams would be the team in disarray. Rams en route to the playoffs.
Winner: Rams

Broncos at Eagles (Sunday 1pm)
Two teams going in completely opposite directions, part 2. Broncos turn back to QB Brock Osweiler and the Eagles turn to new starting RB Jay Ajayi after Tuesday's trade with the Dolphins. Edge: Eagles
Winner: Eagles

Ravens at Titans (Sunday 1pm)
Can you truly trust either team to give you what you expect them to give you on a week in, week out basis?
Winner: Titans

Cardinals at 49ers (Sunday 4:05pm)
It's the start of the Jimmy Garoppolo era in SF, even though he won't play this week. It may be there best shot a win too!
Winner: 49ers

Redskins at Seahawks (Sunday 4:05pm)
The Seahawks found two things in last week's win over Houston. One - their offense in a 41 point shootout. Two - Duane Brown as some much needed offensive line help in a trade with the same Texans.
Winner: Seahawks

Chiefs at Cowboys (Sunday 4:25pm)
Unless there's a last minute court decision, it's week one of the Ezekiel Elliott suspension which is bad news for the Cowboys. Can Darren McFadden and Albert Morris step in and compete with the Chiefs?
UPDATE (Friday) - Judge rules Zeke can play. Edge: Cowboys
Winner: Cowboys

Raiders at Dolphins (Sunday 8:30pm)
Why do we get another primetime appearance from the Dolphins? And don't look now, Miami is on MNF next week vs. Panthers. Good spot for the Raiders to get better.
Winner: Raiders

Lions at Packers (Monday 8:30pm)
Can someone please help QB Matthew Stafford and the Lions offense find a map to get into the end zone! Five field goals despite nearly 500 yards of offense last week in a home loss to Pittsburgh.
Winner: Lions

What a night! Correa proposes after World Series win

Now, that's a night to remember! Well done Carlos Correa!

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Let's Make A Deal - active NFL trading deadline

It could be the most active NFL trading deadline ever! The deadline is 4pm (ET) Tuesday and two blockbusters are already in the books.

Monday night, the Patriots traded QB Jimmy Garoppolo to the 49ers for a second round 2018 pick.

Tuesday morning, the Dolphins sent RB Jay Ajayi to Philadelphia for a fourth round 2018 pick. There's also rumors of Miami shopping WR Jarvis Landry as well,

In other news, the NY Daily News reports that WR Jeremy Kerley has been suspended by the NFL for violating league policy.

Fake report out there about WR Ty Hilton to Saints. Rumors that Hilton, Vontae Davis and Donte Moncrief are on block and talking though.

Hold on to your hats, this could be a fun and busy day!

Monday, October 30, 2017

Report: Patriots trade QB Jimmy Garoppolo to SF

A major deal in the NFL as the Patriots send backup QB Jimmy Garoppolo to SF Monday night, per ESPN's Adam Schefter. New England receives a second round pick, which could be the 33rd or 34th pick in the 2018 NFL Draft.
So, who backs up Tom Brady in New England? It could be former Patriots QB Brian Hoyer, who was reportedly cut by the 49ers after the Garoppolo deal was done. Garoppolo is an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season.

The deal means a couple of things for New England. Clearly, Tom Brady will end his career in Foxboro. Getting the pick now means the team could use it to improve immediately with the NFL trading deadline coming Tuesday at 4pm.

Also, it now leaves the franchise tag open and available to use possible on CB Malcolm Butler should the two sides not execute a longer-termed deal before Butler hits free agency after this season.

Patriots at the break - what's left

So, after Sunday's 21-13 win over the LA Chargers in Foxboro, the Patriots head to their bye week with a 6-2 record.

What's left? A daunting five of six game stretch, including three in a row, on the road to kick-off the second half of the season. If the Pats can manage that road successfully, home games against division foes Buffalo and the NY Jets wait in the balance to close out the regular season.

Sunday, November 12 at Broncos 8:30pm NBC
Sunday, November 19 vs. Raiders (Mexico City) 4:25pm CBS
Sunday, November 26 vs. Dolphins 1pm CBS
Sunday, December 3 at Bills 1pm CBS
Monday, December 11 at Dolphins 8:30pm ESPN
Sunday, December 17 at Steelers 4:25pm CBS
Sunday, December 24 vs. Bills 1pm CBS
Sunday, December 31 vs. Jets 1pm CBS

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Should Yuli Gurriel be suspended for this?

UPDATE: MLB has suspended Yuli Gurriel for the first five games of the 2018 regular season without pay.

YES! A thousand times yes should he be suspended by MLB or the Astros for this offensive racial slur made against Dodgers pitcher Yu Darvish. Yuli Gurriel should be ashamed for doing this after hitting a home run in Friday's game three of the World Series in Houston. 

Now, will he? Probably not for the World Series. I would expect MLB to give him a 2 game suspension which he will appeal and not serve until the 2018 regular season. 

That's simple not good enough. Suspension could be handed out and appeal made immediately in time for Saturday's game 4. If I'm the Astros, I don't play him and make him sit out anyway. Will they? Probably not. 

(Photo courtesy of TMZ)

Fight Night - Warriors vs. Wizards

Friday night in Oakland, it's more than just hoops as Draymond Green and Bradley Beal get into it.

Watch, courtesy of You Tube/Young DeRozan

Both Green and Beal were ejected in the Warriors 120-117 win. If you watch closely, you  may even see some Wiz on Wiz crime in there too!

Friday, October 27, 2017

Abbie & Lorelai's NFL Week 8 Picks

Patriots over Chargers
Bills over Raiders
Jets over Falcons
Cowboys over Redskins
Lions over Steelers
Broncos over Chiefs

Chargers over Patriots
Raiders over Bills
Falcons over Jets
Cowboys over Redskins
Steelers over Lions
Broncos over Chiefs

Friday Patriots-Chargers injury report - Brown, Rowe out

The Patriots will enter Sunday's home game with the LA Chargers minus three defensive starters.  CB Eric Rowe (groin), DL Malcom Brown (ankle) and LB Dont'a Hightower (out for season - pectoral) will all miss the game. For Rowe, it will be his fourth straight missed game.

The good news for the Pats is that CB Stephon Gilmore may return after missing a pair of games with a concussion.

Here's the full Friday injury report:

New England Patriots

DL Malcom Brown - ankle
LB Dont'a Hightower - shoulder (out for season)
DB Eric Rowe - groin


WR Danny Amendola - Knee (LP)
CB Stephon Gilmore - Concussion / Ankle (LP)
DL Lawrence Guy - Chest (LP)
DE Cassius Marsh - Shoulder (LP)
LB  Elandon Roberts - Ankle (LP)

Los Angeles Chargers


T Joe Barksdale - foot

RB Melvin Gordon - foot
DT Corey Liuget - back

First Trump, now McNair - NFL players upset again

First, it was President Donald Trump putting new life into the National Anthem protest. It was this quote from an Alabama rally on September 22nd that brought the issue into the spotlight after it had seemingly died down from its league-wide presence to a mere less than nine players kneeling before a game.

“Wouldn’t you love to see,” President Trump asked, “one of these NFL owners when somebody disrespects our flag to say ‘get that son of a bitch off the field right now’?”

Now, after the issue had simmered down once more, there's this quote from the tremendous reporting by ESPN's Seth Wickersham and Don Van Natta Jr. from last week's meeting between the owners and players.

"We can't have the inmates running the prison," Houston Texans owner Bob McNair said.

McNair's words, in front of his fellow NFL owners, now out to the public, have the Texans and some of the rest of the players around the league again enraged. According to reports out of Houston, the Texans thought about a walkout Friday after hearing the comments. WR DeAndre Hopkins did miss practice to which head coach Bill O'Brien called a personal day. Things are indeed tense in Houston.

So now the question is what will the players do next? McNair has apologized for his words used at the meeting. First he did it to NFL VP Troy Vincent who was at the meeting and now to the rest of the league.

Should the players protest more? Maybe find a different vehicle or message? Walk out? The ball is in their collective court once more.

In various national polls, it seems that the American public doesn't find the current vehicle or protest message one that they can find common ground with. And to boot, it comes at a time where viewership and interest is down for the NFL, much like it is for TV in general. There are far more options and ways to watch TV content these days than there ever has been. Quite frankly, it's not a fair comparison for rating numbers today vs. days gone by. The metrics just don't add up nor collected accurately to be fair.

The one message that is clear is this. The NFL and the owners are tired of it all and are increasingly worried about the business. It's no longer just a personal or constitutional rights issue. It's just a pure dollars and cents issue for them. And with that, it's quite possible that the sense of the issue may be lost.

For years, the league's owners and players have faught over everything. It's the most lopsided battle of all-time, one much worse than the league's best vs. the worst. It's not even a contest.

For the battle to be won and the league to move forward as one, they will have to do it together in a way that's more than just a ceremonial meeting between owners and players which leads to the have's calling the have not's "inmates" in their prison.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Hightower has surgery - out for season

Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network follows up his earlier scoop with news of Dont'a Hightower's surgery on his torn pectoral muscle. The Patriots LB is now set to be out the rest of the 2017 season,

#Patriots LB Dont’a Hightower had surgery today to repair his torn pec, source said. It went well. Should have a full recovery for 2018.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) October 26, 2017

NFL Picks Week 8 - Patriots or Chargers and more....

Byes - Cardinals, Giants, Jaguars, Packers, Rams, Titans

Dolphins at Ravens (Thursday 8:25pm)
QB Matt Moore takes over for the injured Jay Cutler (ribs). Could be an upgrade for the Fins on offense. As for the Ravens, inconsistency is their middle name. Maybe primetime will be the cure for Joe Flacco's ails.
Winner: Ravens

Vikings vs. Browns in London (Sunday 9:30am)
If you were in London, would you watch this one? DeShone Kizer gets another shot to start at QB for the Browns. The expected pull and backup QB coming in at some point should be expected as the Vikings roll across the pond.
Winner: Vikings

Chargers at Patriots (Sunday 1pm)
A week after the best defensive showing of the year, the Patriots will play without Dont'a Hightower (torn pec). RB Melvin Gordon, if healthy, could provide a big, physical test in Foxboro. A Chargers win here wouldn't be all that surprising.
Winner: Patriots

Raiders at Bills (Sunday 1pm)
Are the Bills for real? So far, they are sitting just a half game behind the Patriots for first in the AFC East. Historically, the Raiders have not done well in this spot - West Coast team coming East for a 1pm game. QB Tyrod Taylor and RB LeSean McCoy could give the Raiders D fits.
Winner: Bills

Colts at Bengals (Sunday 1pm)
The Colts could be the cure-all for Cincinnati after a second-half failure in Pittsburgh. Expect a heavy dose of RB Joe Mixon.
Winner: Bengals

Bears at Saints (Sunday 1pm)
Suddenly, the Saints are back in play as a playoff team with a defense that suddenly is ok. And speaking of defense, the Bears won last week scoring 2 TD's on defense and QB Mitchell Trubisky completing just four of seven passes.
Winner: Saints

Falcons at Jets (Sunday 1pm)
A matchup between the Patriots last two wins. Yes, things should be easier for Atlanta against a Jets team that has injuries and youth in secondary. Hello, Julio Jones and crew!
Winner: Falcons

49ers at Eagles (Sunday 1pm)
The best vs. the worst in the NFL. What could possibly go wrong... (i.e. the 49ers lost 40-10 last week at home vs. Dallas)
Winner: Eagles

Panthers at Bucs (Sunday 1pm)
NFC South elimination game for the Bucs, who can ill afford another loss after handing the Bills a win last Sunday in Buffalo. The question for Carolina is can Cam Newton guide an offense to be consistent enough to win?
Winner: Bucs

Texans at Seahawks (Sunday 4:05pm)
Great test for QB Deshaun Watson in what will be his toughest environment of his rookie season. He should be on the run causing Seattle fits all day. The same could be said of QB Russell Wilson against a Texans defense that's still formidable even without JJ Watt and Winston Mercilus.
Winner: Seahawks

Cowboys at Redskins (Sunday 4:25pm)
Yes, Ezekiel Elliott is eligible to play. Good news for the Cowboys. Would it surprise you to know that Dak Prescott (14) has thrown for more TD's than Kirk Cousins (12)?
Winner: Redskins

Steelers at Lions (Sunday 8:30pm)
It seems like the Steelers, who return to the scene of their 2006 Super Bowl victory are back on track with two wins in a row and sitting atop the AFC, tied with the Chiefs and Patriots at 5-2. Lions in need of a home win here after dropping two in a row. All the momentum is with the Steelers, so.....
Winner: Lions

Broncos at Chiefs (Monday 8:30pm)
Bad spot for a reeling Broncos team that's lost two in a row. Going to Arrowhead against the Chiefs, who've lost back-to-back games, isn't quite the way you want to get right. Offensively, Broncos are lost.
Winner: Chiefs

Report: Hightower out for season with torn pectoral

This one hurts!

Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network reports that Patriots LB Dont'a Hightower will miss the rest of the season with a torn pectoral muscle.

Hightower, who Albert Breer of reports had been playing with a 55% tear of the muscle, suffered the injury in the final minutes of Sunday night's win over Atlanta.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Wednesday Patriots-Chargers injury report - Hightower, 3 others out

The first injury report is out for the week for the Patriots and Chargers. The bad news for Pats fans is that LB Dont'a Hightower is reportedly out for Sunday's game.


CB Eric Rowe (groin)
DT Malcom Brown (ankle)
WR Danny Amendola (knee)
LB Dont'a Hightower (shoulder)

CB Stephon Gilmore (concussion/ankle)
DL Lawrence Guy (chest)
TE Jacob Hollister (chest)
DL Cassius Marsh (shoulder)
LB Elandon Roberts (ankle)


T Joe Barksdale (foot)

TE Antonio Gates (knee)
RB Melvin Gordon (foot)
DT Corey Liuget (back)
K Nick Novak (ankle)

Would you rather - Red Sox trade or free agency

Trade for Giancarlo Stanton?

Sign JD Martinez?

Who would you rather?

Pedroia surgery - out 7 months

Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia had successful surgery on his left knee and will be out 7 months, the team announced Wednesday.  The surgery was a cartilage restoration procedure done in New York.

The surgery, the same one pitcher Steven Wright had in May, and loss of Pedroia until at least May now leaves Boston with a void at second base. Eduardo Nunez is a free agent and suffered a knee injury of his own that left him being replaced on the ALDS roster against the Astros

So, in addition to trying to get a power bat to add to its lineup for the 2018 season, the Red Sox will now have to look at options at second base. Internally, past the Nunez option, Boston has Devan Marrero and Tsu-Wei Lan.  Outside the team, the Twins Brian Dozier would be attractive as he has just one-year left on his contact and comes with power (34 HRs), but even if Minnesota would be looking for a deal, it could prove costly.

In addition to Pedroia, Hanley Ramirez, Eduardo Rodriguez and Robby Scott have all gone under the knife this offseason.

The bigger picture for Pedroia is can he be the same player he was before the injury or is this career-ending?

Welcome to Boston new manager Alex Cora!

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Abbie & Lorelai's NFL Week 7 Picks

Yes, there's a surprise in this week's picks! Look below to see what it is....

Patriots over Falcons
Dolphins over Jets
Bills over Bucs
Seahawks over Giants
Eagles over Redskins

Falcons over Patriots
Dolphins over Jets
Bucs over Bills
Seahawks over Giants
Redskins over Eagles

Good luck to all!

Friday, October 20, 2017

Gilmore, Rowe out - Burkhead back for Patriots vs. Falcons

Friday's latest injury report....

Kurt Angle returns to WWE ring Sunday

Breaking news out of the WWE Friday as both Roman Reigns and Bray Wyatt have been taken off the TLC PPV this Sunday in Minneapolis due to illness. It's reported that viral meningitis has hit some of the locker room.

Angle, RAW General Manager, will return to a WWE ring for the first time in 11 years replacing Reigns in the 3-on-5 handicap match. So, it will be Angle, Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose taking on The Miz, Cesaro, Sheamus, Braun Strowman and Kane. The Shield reunion in a match will have to wait a bit longer.

As for Wyatt, he will be replaced on the card by Smackdown's AJ Styles to take on Finn Balor. That could be a classic!

For more news, click here for the WWE website.

NFL Picks Week 7

Thursday night - Raiders 31 Chiefs 30

Byes: Lions, Texans

Bucs at Bills (Sunday 1pm)
The biggest question is whether Bucs QB Jameis Winston will be able to throw after his AC joint injury last Sunday vs. Arizona. Bills defense might make him wish he could go if he does. LeSean McCoy may be licking his chops after seeing what Adrian Peterson did last week to the Bucs D.
Winner: Bills

Panthers at Bears (Sunday 1pm)
So, were the Bears really that good in an OT win on the road in Baltimore or were the Ravens that bad?
Winner: Bears

Titans at Browns (Sunday 1pm)
DeMarco Murray's hamstring injury may lead to the emergence of Derrick Henry as the lead RB in Tennessee. As for Cleveland, the round and round QB carousel continues with DeShone Kizer back at the helm due to Kevin Hogan's injury (ribs).
Winner: Titans

Saints at Packers (Sunday 1pm)
Game 2 of the Brett Hundley era in Green Bay. And yes, suddenly - after 3 TD's last week vs. Detroit - the Saints defense is looking better.
Winner: Saints

Jaguars at Colts (Sunday 1pm)
It seems like the Jags are going to be one of those teams that are good one week, not so good the next. Luckily for them, they lost last week.
Winner: Jaguars

Cardinals vs. Rams in London (Sunday 1pm)
It's always great when one of the top players for one of the teams playing in London says the international games should stop. Sorry, Todd Gurley, but the NFL is not thanking you even though you are right! In better news for the Rams, they look like they are for real!
Winner: Rams

Jets at Dolphins (Sunday 1pm)
Suprisingly, the Jets don't suck this season. 3-3 is a surprise for them and they almost beat the Pats. Surprisingly, the Dolphins scored 20 straight points to beat the Falcons 20-17 last Sunday. Surprisingly, the Jets whooped the Dolphins 20-6 earlier this season having shutout the Fins until the final play of the game. Revenge.
Winner: Dolphins

Ravens at Vikings (Sunday 1pm)
Jerick McKinnon made the Vikings go against the Packers. Now, can he take the lead and who will lead them - Sam Bradford, Case Keenum or the now practicing Teddy Bridgewater? If you can figure out the Ravens, you're a better man than I!
(Friday update: QB Sam Bradford and WR Stephon Diggs ruled out)
Winner: Vikings

Cowboys at 49ers (Sunday 4:05pm)
In this week's episode of the Elliott tales, Ezekiel gets to play for the Cowboys. And that's good news in Big D. Remember when this was the best matchup in the NFC?
Winner: Cowboys

Bengals at Steelers (Sunday 4:25pm)
The Steelers may have found something last week in KC - more Le'Veon Bell and less Ben Roethlisberger. Makes sense.
Winner: Steelers

Broncos at Chargers (Sunday 4:25pm)
What the heck was that Sunday night in Denver? The then winless Giants absolutely took it to the Broncos. And how about them Chargers, they actually won a close game in the final seconds. Fluke or trend?
Winner: Chargers

Seahawks at Giants (Sunday 4:25pm)
Welcome back to reality Giants.
Winner: Seahawks

Falcons at Patriots (Sunday 8:30pm)
Super Bowl LI rematch and all the talk of the historic comeback by New England. Fast forward and neither team is playing well at the moment. Everything points towards a Falcons revenge, especially if Stephon Gilmore can't play to contain Julio Jones, so you know what that means...
(Friday update: CB Stephon Gilmore and Eric Rowe both ruled out.)
Winner: Patriots

Redskins at Eagles (Monday 8:30pm)
With the Chiefs suddenly losers of two in a row, the Eagles take over the top spot in the NFL. 10 days to prep and a division game to boot means it won't be a trap game for Philly.
Winner: Eagles

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Abbie & Lorelai's Week 6 NFL Picks

Last week, Lorelai took a couple of differences from her sister. Will Abbie get the edge this week???

Eagles over Panthers
Patriots over Jets
Dolphins over Falcons
Steelers over Chiefs
Broncos over Giants
Titans over Colts

Panthers over Eagles
Patriots over Jets
Falcons over Dolphins
Steelers over Chiefs
Broncos over Giants
Titans over Colts

Good luck to everyone!

NFL Week 6 Picks

How good will we be this week???

Byes: Bengals, Bills, Cowboys, Seahawks

Eagles at Panthers (Thurday 8:25pm)
Nice to way to start week 6 with a battle of 4-1 division leaders in Charlotte! Short week probably not enough time for Eagles to get up to speed for Cam Newton, who's looked very good in back-to-back 300+ yards passing outings in road wins over New England and Detroit.
Winner: Panthers

Patriots at Jets (Sunday 1pm)
What's more surprising - the Pats already have two losses or that the Jets have won three in a row? Both teams tied with Buffalo atop the AFC East Division (yet another surprise). If Brady (shoulder injury) can't get by the Jets, there's more problems than we think in New England.
Winner: Patriots

Dolphins at Falcons (Sunday 1pm)
It took a lot for the Dolphins to win their home opener last Sunday against the Titans and back up QB Matt Cassel. The Falcons are coming off the bye after a home loss to Buffalo, so this one could get ugly early. 
Winner: Falcons

Bears at Ravens (Sunday 1pm)
Rookie QB Mitchell Trubisky played well despite throwing a game-deciding INT Monday night against the Vikings. It won't get any easier on the road in Baltimore as the Ravens get back on track to back up an upset win in Oakland last Sunday.
Winner: Ravens

Browns at Texans (Sunday 1pm)
Houston QB Deshaun Watson put up 45 points against the Chiefs (i.e. the best team in the NFL right now). Watson may be licking his chops heading into this one, especially with all the injuries Houston has on defense (Watt, Mercilus).
Winner: Texans

Packers at Vikings (Sunday 1pm)
It looks like QB Aaron Rodgers is going on another one of those runs after a comeback win in Big D. RB Aaron Jones will make it a little bit easier against a tough Vikes defense. When will Minny see that QB Case Keenum is actually a better option than Sam Bradford, regardless of whether Bradford is healthy or not?
Winner: Packers

Lions at Saints (Sunday 1pm)
Who are the real Lions? The team we see the first month of the season or the one that got pushed around at home against Carolina? Saints, off the bye, could provide the wrong answer for Detroit.
Winner: Saints

49ers at Redskins (Sunday 1pm)
Open audition here for Washington QB Kirk Cousins for 2018?
Winner: Redskins

Bucs at Cardinals (Sunday 4:05pm)
Two teams seemingly going in different directions.
Winner: Bucs

Rams at Jaguars (Sunday 4:05pm)
No joking, this should be one of the day's more entertaining games!
Winner: Jaguars

Steelers at Chiefs (Sunday 4:25pm)
Trap game for KC in a rematch of last year's AFC Divisional Playoffs? Big Ben and Steelers offense with 5 INT's last week and questioning themselves. Chiefs on a roll through anyone standing in their way. Hmmmmm....
Winner: Chiefs

Chargers at Raiders (Sunday 4:25pm)
QB Derek Carr is expected back from his back injury in this one. That should be enough to cure Oakland's three game losing streak. California's wildfires could have this game moved to SF. Stay tuned.
Winner: Raiders

Giants at Broncos (Sunday 8:30pm)

Is there anyone left to play WR for the Giants after Odell Beckham Jr. and Brandon Marshall both got ruled out for the season and Sterling Shepard got hurt last week too vs. SD? Plus, add in the chaos of Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie getting suspened and Denver, coming off the bye, should cruise.
Winner: Broncos

Colts at Titans (Monday 8:30pm)
QB Marcus Mariota should be back for the Titans which should mean it's enough for the Titans to win.
Winner: Titans

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Farrell out - what's next for Red Sox

So, the expected (to most) came to fruition on Wednesday. John Farrell is out as Red Sox manager with a World Series title and back-to-back American League East championships in his back pocket. On the flip side, he also leaves with two last place finishes sandwiched in the middle.

Is it the right move for Boston? I say yes. The team will explain why at an 11am press conference. Farrell had been signed through the 2018 season.

The Red Sox were talented and you could say they underachieved this season. In 2016, after being swept by Cleveland in the ALDS, Farrell said the team would learn and improve. But, after adding Chris Sale to the rotation, the offense sputtered in a season in which there was a record number of home runs hit. In fact, while everyone else was going yard, the Sox were dead last in the AL.

While Xander Bogaerts, Mookie Betts and Hanley Ramirez all took steps backwards, Andrew Benintendi took a leap forward.  Yet, the offense never seemed to replace the power and production from the recently retired David Ortiz. Eduardo Nunez helped at the end of the season only to see it come to a crashing close with a knee injury.

Yes, it's true. You can't blame Farrell (432-378 in five seasons in Boston) for Sale not winning a game in the ALDS despite two chances. You can't blame Farrell for Craig Kimbrel spitting the bit in game 4 vs. the Astros. Yes, Houston is a better team. But the Sox were just non-competitive in games 1 and 2. That's on Farrell. New voice needed. New leadership needed.

But, let's look at Farrell, the manager. Never one to be a genius in handling in-game decisions, Farrell never seemed to have a feel for his pitching staff. Leaving his starters in too long, going to Matt Barnes too much in the 8th inning or losing faith in Addison Reed, Farrell just didn't have it.

And how about in the playoffs, Ramirez (Boston's best chance at power and best hitter in the playoffs) and Devers were both out of the line-up (Ramirez in game 1 before Nunez got hurt, Devers in game 2). Then, leaving Devers in the game in game 3 late when Deven Marrero should've been in for defense, his role on the roster.

Then there's the leadership. Farrell never seemed to have the clubhouse. Whether it was the Dustin Pedroia vs. the Orioles (it's them, not me) incident in which Pedroia seemed to put his team under the bus or the David Price vs. Dennis Eckersley controversy, Farrell never seemed to lock it down. Farrell nor Price apologized to Eckersley for the inexcusable tirade on the plane ride to Toronto. It just seemed like Manager John would do whatever to appease a clubhouse void of leadership, fight and unity.

And what was the seemingly unending faith in Brock Holt and Chris Young? Neither produced in the role they were cast in for 2017, yet always got chances.

This team had tons of young talent - Betts, Bogaerts, Benintendi, Jackie Bradley Jr., Rafael Devers, Eduardo Rodriguez and more. But there was no growth led by Farrell.

So, who's next? Alex Cora, Brad Ausmus, Gary Disarsina? Dave Dombrowski and ownership will make that call. But that's not all that's needed. A power bat. A solution at second base whether it be knee surgery for Dustin Pedroia or moving in a different way. Clubhouse veteran leader. Outside of the power bat, whether it be Giancarlo Stanton, JD Martinez or another route, the other moves aren't gamechangers.  Stanton would cost equity and money and that's a huge decision to make whether to trade existing talent like Bogaerts, JBJ or prospects like Jason Groome.  There's not much left on the farm after bringing up Benintendi and Devers and using prospects to get Sale, Kimbrel and Drew Pomeranz.

Could they move on from Ramirez, Young, Brock Holt and others?

Let's be honest. The Sox will contend again in 2018 even if they do nothing. They'll need David Price, Pedroia and Tyler Thornburg to be healthy to do that. But, making positive moves could mean the difference between back-to-back ALDS sweeps and moving ahead to a World Series contender.

Saturday, October 07, 2017

Abbie and Lorelai's NFL Week 5 Picks

After a fun day running a 5K at the Color Run Rhode Island at McCoy Stadium, it's time to pick some games! No Patriots game to pick since they won Thursday night (yeah!) in Tampa!

Titans over Dolphins
Bengals over Bills
Jets over Browns
Cowboys over Packers
Texans over Chiefs
Bears over Vikings

Dolphins over Titans
Bengals over Bills
Jets over Browns
Cowboys over Packers
Texans over Chiefs
Vikings over Bears

Thursday, October 05, 2017

NFL Picks Week 5

It's on the 2nd quarter of the NFL season as week 5 gets underway Thursday night in Tampa with the Patriots and the Bucs. Interesting fact - Patriots head coach Bill Belichick has never won a game as a head coach in Tampa, the only NFL city he hasn't won in (the "road" win in London doesn't count). Of course, he's never coached a game as a head coach in Tampa either. If he doesn't get it tonight, the Pats aren't scheduled back in Tampa until 2025.

Now, on to the picks!

Patriots at Bucs (Thursday 8:25pm)
Can the Pats defense look any worse than it did last Sunday against Carolina? The Bucs have more weapons (Winston, Evans, Jackson, Howard, Martin, Rodgers) than the Panthers, so yes, it's possible. But, is it probable?
Winner: Patriots

Bills at Bengals (Sunday 1pm)
After a win in Atlanta, Buffalo is a clear early season surprise, especially with the league's #1 scoring defense. Cincy's offense has come alive the past two weeks with a new OC to lead QB Andy Dalton.
Winner: Bengals

Jets at Browns (Sunday 1pm)
What's a bigger surprise - the Jets having won back-to-back games or the Browns being favorites despite not having a win yet?
Winner: Browns

Panthers at Lions (Sunday 1pm)
Will Cam Newton's sexist comments to a Charlotte Observer female reporter distract him here? Winner here takes a step up in the NFC race early.
Winner: Lions

49ers at Colts (Sunday 1pm)
Everything points to a Colts victory here. So, you know what that means in the NFL. Run the other way!
Winner: 49ers

Titans at Dolphins (Sunday 1pm)
Miami's home opener after Hurricane Irma wiped out week 1 for the Fins. Matt Cassel vs. Jay Cutler would be must miss TV, no if Cassel is in for Marcus Mariota (hamstring). Miami's scored 1 TD in two weeks against the Jets and Saints. Yikes!
Winner: Dolphins

Chargers at Giants (Sunday 1pm)
Battle of 0-4 teams and someone has to win, right?
Winner: Giants

Cardinals at Eagles (Sunday 1pm)
QB Carson Wentz has absolutely taken a step forward in the first four weeks (6 TDs). Can it continue?
Winner: Eagles

Jaguars at Steelers (Sunday 1pm)
Good week for the Pittsburgh offense to get healthy, especially Big Ben to Antonio Brown, as the Jags are on the back end of back-to-back road games (3 if you count a "home" game in London).
Winner: Steelers

Seahawks at Rams (Sunday 4:05pm)
Step up and show it week for the surprising Rams. Expectations would surely change if the can follow up a road win in Dallas with a division victory over the underachieving Seahawks.
Winner: Rams

Ravens at Raiders (Sunday 4:05pm)
Oakland just isn't the same offensively without QB Derek Carr (back). Time for Beast Mode to step up?
Winner: Raiders

Packers at Cowboys (Sunday 4:25pm)
Would there be wideset panic in Big D with two losses in two weeks at home?
Winner: Cowboys

Chiefs at Texans (Sunday 8:30pm)
Great spot for QB Deshaun Watson to prove he is for real after putting up 33 and 57 points against the Patriots and Titans the past two weeks. Chiefs clearly the dominant team in NFL so far. But then again, the regular season really hasn't been their issue has it been?
Winner: Texans

Vikings at Bears (Monday 8:30pm)
QB Mitchell Trubisky gets his first NFL start in the primetime spotlight!
Winner: Bears

Red Sox ALDS Roster

The Red Sox have set the ALDS roster for its series against the Houston Astros. The suprise - all five starters make the roster and LHP Robby Scott not.  So, that means Doug Fister and Rick Porcello could potentially make starts while Eduardo Rodriguez heads to the bullpen with David Price. The other surprise - no Chris Young, who has had a disappointing season.

Pitchers (11): Doug Fister, Joe Kelly, Craig Kimbrel, Austin Maddox, Drew Pomeranz, Rick Porcello, David Price, Addison Reed, Eduardo Rodriguez, Chris Sale, Carson Smith

Catchers (2): Sandy Leon, Christian Vazquez.

Infielders (8): Xander Bogaerts, Rafael Devers, Brock Holt, Deven Marrero, Mitch Moreland, Eduardo Nunez, Dustin Pedroia, Hanley Ramirez. 

Outfielders (4): Andrew Benintendi, Mookie Betts, Jackie Bradley Jr., Rajai Davis.