Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Sox Win 6-5, Send Alfredo Aceves Down to Triple-A

The Red Sox got a big win on the field Wednesday, beating the Oakland A's 6-5.  But it was Sox fans who got the bigger win when they heard the news of Alfredo Aceves' departure from Boston to Triple-A Pawtucket.

The Red Sox bats lifted Jon Lester to a 6-5 win, matching the A's three-run fourth inning and following it up with a three-run fifth.  The other two runs for Oakland were split between Junichi Tazawa and Koji Uehara.  To wrap the game up, Andrew Bailey struck out the side in the ninth giving the Sox their 14th victory on the season.

Lester has already earned his fourth win in 2013.  It took until June 16 of last season for him to notch four.

As for another Red Sox starter, Aceves will not be given a chance to earn a win anytime soon for Boston as he was sent down to Triple-A Pawtucket following Wednesday's game.  The team has given him a 72-hour window to report to the minor league affiliate, but some signs are pointing towards a potential deal in the works.

Aceves got smacked around by the A's on Tuesday night, giving up seven earned runs in 3.1 innings -- the shortest of his career -- and placed the blame on the weather conditions and a hole dug in the mound by opposing starter Bartolo Colon.

"It's hard to figure out what you're going to get out of Alfredo on a given day," manager John Farrell said following the rough outing.  The Red Sox will call up Ryan Lavarnway to fill the roster spot until John Lackey returns from the strained bicep his pitching arm;

Monday, April 22, 2013

This Kmart Commercial is Genius

We could all use a good laugh, and Kmart's new "Store to Home" shipping guarantee commercial will do just the trick.

Red Sox Go 1-2 Against Royals, But Bring Much Needed Normalcy Back to Boston

On Friday night, the Red Sox were set to return home to Fenway Park for the first time since the Boston Marathon bombings. A tribute to the victims and first responders was set for the pre-game ceremonies, but a suspect on the loose and almost all of the Boston-area's law enforcement in Watertown for the manhunt to bring him to justice, the game had to be postponed.

The 19-year-old suspect was captured alive that night, bringing a sense of joy to Boston that had been stolen from the city on Monday.  The Red Sox held their first home game on Saturday afternoon, and with it came the emotional pre-game ceremony.  There were images on the scoreboard showing the marathon when it was like any other Marathon Monday that slowly transitioned to chaos and sadness.  There were images of the first responders and police officers, as well as the victims of this senseless attack.

But what changed between Friday's tribute to Saturday's were the images of the manhunt in Watertown, which brought loud cheers and a sense of pride, knowing that our men and women in uniform had once again, made us safe.  What changed was David Ortiz's return to the lineup, bringing with him a speech to not only the crowd but all of Boston, that got the city back on its feet.

In Saturday's game, Clay Buchholz dazzled again, going eight innings and giving up two runs, finishing with an ERA of 0.90 on the season.  It was a Daniel Nava three-run blast into the Sox bullpen (caught by Koji Uehara) that lifted the Sox to victory over the Kansas City Royals, setting up the perfect ending to an amazing and emotional day at the ballpark.

Sunday was a day-night doubleheader, but did not go the way the hometown crowd wanted.  There was still that different feeling in the air, a sense that this crowd was coming together not only for their team, but for themselves and their city.  Game one ended 4-2 in favor of the Royals, while bonus baseball was played in game two only to see Andrew Miller walk in the game-winning run in the 10th inning.

The highlight of game two was Allen Webster's first start of his major league career.  He gave up three runs, two of them earned, off five hits with five strikeouts in six innings.  Two of those hits were home runs, but he showed, at age 23, he's ready for The Show.  He was not afraid of hitters, as just a couple innings into his night, he was getting hitters down 0-2 with ease.

With the return of baseball, Boston has been restored.  Next, Fenway Park will welcome the Oakland A's, who have lost three in a row to the Tampa Bay Rays.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Red Sox Pitching Staff Leading the Charge

The Boston Red Sox have won five games in a row, to push their record to 10-4 and put themselves as one of the four teams in the majors with 10 wins this season.

The last time they won five in a row? June 16-21, 2012.  But even though last year's team showed strings of greatness, they are nothing like the 2013 Red Sox.  We can actually like this team.

At this stage in the season, having only seen 14 games out of these guys, it is tough to know if the Red Sox are for real or if they are playoff contenders just yet.  But one thing fans can take solace in is that at the end of the day, win or lose, they are watching a great group of players who show up to the ballpark ready to play for their city and have some fun.  At a time like this, nothing could matter more.

One department of the team that is benefiting from this "fresh start" in 2013 is the pitching staff.  Eight out of the 13 pitchers who have taken the mound are boasting a sub-2.70 ERA, with a workload ranging from three to 22 innings pitched.  Two standouts have been starter Clay Buchholz and relief master Koji Uehara.

Buchholz has won all three of his starts, giving up 11 hits, 10 walks and one run, while striking out 23 and holding batters to a .149 average over 22 innings, a team high.  Uehara has gotten through 6.1 innings while giving up just a single hit, striking out seven and holding opponents to just .050.  Oh, and he's only thrown 69 pitches in those seven appearances.

Of course, it hasn't all been sunshine and rainbows.  The new "closer" Joel Hanrahan has been placed in the 15-day disabled list, citing a hamstring injury.  He has given up six earned runs in 4.2 innings for a 11.57 ERA.  Alfredo Aceves, a reliever-turned-starter when John Lackey was forced on the DL following a strained bicep in his pitching arm, has picked up a win in two starts, but has given up 18 hits -- five of them home runs -- and 10 runs in 14.1 innings for a 6.28 ERA.

Much has been said about John Farrell coming back to a familiar pitching staff and how these pitchers have needed a stronger leader than they have had since his departure, and it appears to be paying dividends.  The starting rotation holds a 7-2 record, striking out 98 batters in the 14 games through Wednesday night.

Tigers Beat Mariners In 14-Inning Game Featuring 40 Strikeous

Records on records last night in Seattle.  Detroit's Max Scherzer and Seattle's Felix Hernandez took the hill inside Safeco Field last night, and led a pitcher's duel for the ages.

For the first time in Safeco Field history, both starting pitchers struck out 10-plus batters.  For the first time since 2001 -- when the Padres and Giants faced off -- two pitching staffs have combined for 40 strikeouts in one game.  For the first time since 1992, two starters have struck out at least 12 batters and allowed one earned run or less.

For the Tigers, they needed another great pitching performance as their bats struggled again.  They became the first team in MLB history to win back-to-back games despite their batters striking out at least 16 times per game.

The game was a 1-1 tie after the ninth, and bonus baseball lasted until the 14th inning.  The Tigers added a run to take a 2-1 lead, but in the bottom of the inning, the Mariners weren't going quietly.  With Justin Smoak standing on first, Dustin Ackley roped a double down the right field line.  Smoak was attempting to score from first, but an excellent relay got the ball to Tigers back-up catcher Brayan Pena as the Mariners first baseman came barreling in. 

Pena, seen in the video above seemed shaken up by the hit, but held on for the Tigers win.

Bruins Fan Prove Boston Strong, While Bruins Clinch Playoff Spot in Shootout Loss

The boys are back.  Boston hosted its first sporting event since Monday's Marathon bombings in the form of a Bruins-Sabres game at the TD Garden, with Buffalo coming out on top after a 3-2 shootout win.  But the focus was not on the winner of Wednesday's game, rather the spectacle of the game itself.

On Monday, the Bruins players were all at the Garden for their game against the Senators before it was postponed due to the attack a few hours before puck drop.  With the players gathered, they had an opportunity to talk about what had transpired on Boylston Street and how they would react as a team.  Coming into Wednesday's contest, they knew what this city needed.

"The only thing we can do is play the game to give Boston something to be happy about," said B's center David Krejci.  "It's been an emotional last few days.  Just like everybody else, I had just one channel on the TV the last couple of days."

Before the game started, Boston had plenty to be happy and proud about.  A video tribute to the victims and first responders was shown, followed by Rene Rancourt and the Boston Fire Department Honor Guard entering the rink for the national anthem.  As you can see in the video above, Rancourt didn't have to do much singing as the Garden crowd was more than ready to show just how Boston Strong they were.

"I know its a tough time right now, we know that," said winger Brad Marchand.  "For them to come out and support us, to take their minds off everything for a couple of hours and come in tonight, we just wanted to say thanks.  We're thinking of everyone and they're in our thoughts and prayers."

The Bruins fought hard throughout the game, with Daniel Paille and Chris Kelly each notching a goal, but it was an Andrew Ference penalty with just under a minute in the third period that led to a Sabres power play goal that would tie things at 2-2 before the final horn.  Sabres goalie Ryan Miller stood tall, stopping all four attempts in the shootout, while Anton Khudobin stopped three before Drew Stafford slipped one in between the Bruins backstop's pads.

"It's emotional for me as well, as an American," said Miller.  "We like to play, but there are bigger things.  I think the way people have stepped up and tried to help, tried to do the right things, you can tell that this is only going to make us stronger."

The Bruins locked up a spot in the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs with the point from the shootout loss, but just getting back to hockey in Boston was the most important thing on their minds.

"You feel that this is your home, that this is what you represent as a professional organization," head coach Claude Julien said.  "The first thing you want to do is help out, and you do the best you can.  We did that for Newtown, and I'll tell you what, there wasn't a better feeling than going there and trying to spread some joy and put smiles on some people's faces.

"Our goal is to do the same thing here with this city and everyone that was involved in this tragedy."

UPDATE: For those of you who cannot see the video above, here is another version on YouTube.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Through Sports, We Are One Boston

We are One Boston. We Are Boston Strong.

This great city has begun its rally, and we are not alone.

Sports have long been a way for people to unite during times of hardship, but for Bostonians in the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombings, sports have begun to unite for them.  Teams from California to Montreal -- and even as far as London -- have held moments of silence to honor the victims.  On Tuesday night, teams all around Major League Baseball played Neil Diamond's "Sweet Caroline," an eighth inning staple inside Fenway Park for Red Sox home games.

The healing process will take time, but knowing the teams we support are supporting us right back makes an incredible difference in Boston.  Seeing fans in pinstripes belting out "Sweet Caroline," hearing entire crowds go from perfect silence to deafening cheers during our National Anthem and just knowing that our city is on the mind's of our favorite athletes as they put on their uniforms makes us stronger than ever before.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Pray for Boston


Today is Day One.

Yesterday, two bombs exploded near the finish line of the Boston Marathon on Boylston Street.  From the reports thusfar, three people have died, 17 people remain in critical condition and over 150 people were injured by the blasts.

The marathon finish was re-routed to Boston University, preventing countless amounts of participants from crossing the famous yellow finish line, and giving race officials, police, volunteers and other first responders a chance to clear the debris and assist anyone injured in the horrific incident.

Today is Day One.  Our city's first day to take a step back and breathe, no matter how choked up we may be.  Our first day to try to restore some normalcy to our lives whether it be by just going to work or making that extra time to talk to or see our close friends and family.  Our first day to take back our marathon.

See, the Boston Marathon is not only the world's oldest marathon, but it's the best one going.  The entire city becomes one big family, with over 500,000 spectators cheering on over 25,000 runners as they battle their way from Hopkinton over Heartbreak Hill, past Boston College and down Beacon and Bolyston Street.  But Monday a different battle had to be fought.  The two explosions created an unthinkable war zone that knocked runners from their feet, blew out store windows, destroyed grandstands, sent shrapnel flying and brought this great city to its knees.

Today is Day One.  Day One of William Richard's life without his eight-year-old son, Martin, who was taken away from him by this senseless and cowardly attack.  Day One for those injured in local hospitals to wake up with missing limbs and crippling injuries.

Standing on the marathon course from outside my apartment on Beacon Street, I made the decision to stay away from the news as it was being reported around 3 p.m.  I chose to stay put and cheer those people on who have dedicated themselves to pushing through 26.2 miles for a long list of amazing reasons that make this event what it is.  Whether they were running for Boston Children's Hopsital, the Wounded Warrior Project or just because their friends told them they couldn't finish the whole thing in a cheeseburger costume, cheering was my coping mechanism.

Watching people with numbers pinned to their shirts whipping out their cell phones and slowing to a walk was heart-wrenching.  A woman came up to me as the crowd thinned, and with a look of concern I can't shake, asked me if she would be able to finish the Boston Marathon.  Me, the same person who hours earlier was with a group of my closest friends, holding a sign for the runners that said, "stop if you want beer!"

But today is Day One.  Day One for Boston to come together and find their coping mechanism.

It's fitting that today be a bright sunny day in this city, because while we have been knocked down, Boston will never stay down.  On this sunny day, people will come together for the victims, for the runners who never finished and for those who will never get another opportunity to finish.  Boston is strong.  Boston is ready.  While there will forever be a scar on our hearts and on this city, the Boston Marathon will never be taken from us.

Boston Strong

Friday, April 12, 2013

Carlos Quentin Charges Zack Greinke, Breaks His Collarbone

Tensions boiled over in San Diego on Thursday night.  Dodgers pitcher Zack Greinke plunked Padres outfielder Carlos Quentin in the elbow during the bottom of the sixth inning, and Quentin was none too happy about that.

Benches cleared as Quentin bull-rushed Greinke, actually breaking the pitcher's collarbone in the process.  According to Quentin, he was pushed over the edge when Greinke said something to him as he was instructed to take his base.

"That was the final straw," Quentin said, although what was actually said between the two in unknown.

Dodgers catcher A.J. Ellis wrapped up Quentin and took him down as the mob moved in.  Along with the enraged batter and "instigating" pitcher -- as the umpires officially ruled it -- Matt Kemp and Jerry Hairston Jr. were ejected from the contest.  Kemp and Hairston came into the pile of players and, according to Dodgers manager Don Mattingly, when Kemp learned that Greinke suffered an injury, he "kind of lost it."

The Dodgers would eventually win the game 3-2, but although the game ended, there were still scores that needed to be settled.  In a hallway between the two clubhouses, Kemp and Quentin met face to face and had a not-so-friendly exchange, which had to be broken up by teammates.  As the two were separated, the last thing said from Kemp was a loud, "we'll see..."

The two teams will square off again in Los Angeles on Monday.  There has been no word on suspensions or fines yet from the altercations.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Supporter Submission - First Pitch Woes

There is a long history of  intersport crossovers with quarterbacks playing baseball. Many people know that Tom Brady was actually drafted by the Montreal Expos in 1995 but turned it down to play football at Michigan. Dante Culpepper was drafted by the New York Yankees before deciding to air it out to Randy Moss and Cris Carter. Even John Elway actually played for the minor league affiliates of both the Yankees and the Kansas City Royals. The list goes on and on.
It makes sense that quarterbacks would thrive in baseball, throwing mechanics in both sports are fairly similar and, while some may argue otherwise, the pace of the games is actually fairly similar with frequent stoppages defining both. It's not surprising then that those individuals who excel in one of these sports, excel in the other.

So when you consider all of that, recent Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel should have had no problem tossing out the first pitch at the Texas Rangers game this past Sunday in Arlington, right? Aside from throwing up the Longhorns sign during his spring break in Cabo San Lucas -- and in the process alienating just about every Texas A&M fan in the country -- Manziel is arguably the most beloved man in Texas besides Ross Perot. 

During his freshman year Manziel threw for over 3,000 yards and rushed for another 1,000 breaking an SEC record and taking A&M to their best season in years. Unfortunately, it seems as though his nickname “Johnny Football” is short for “Johnny Football.... only, and exclusively football.” 

After watching the video above, the only thing that can come to mind is the call of famed (fictitious) Indians broadcaster Harry Doyle, “Juuuuuuuust a bit outside.”

Fortunately Johnny need not worry. In a bizarre one-up attempt, former Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson channeled his inner Mariah Carey at Wednesday's game between the Detroit Tigers and Toronto Blue Jays.

MBTA Buskers Cover Taylor Swift, Pay the Bills at the Same Time

These guys are blowing up right now.

Live from a T station near you, Rhett Price and Josh Knowles are bringing their talents right to your daily commutes.  The two violinists, and former Berklee College of Music students, manage to make a living off of performing at various MBTA stations.

The video above, their cover of Taylor Swift's "I Knew You Were Trouble," has gone from 10,000 to nearly 50,000 views overnight.  With their reputation growing, the duo is planning a trip to New York City to play out in their subways as well, hoping to continue their successes in Boston.  Shouldn't be too difficult to go anywhere and make a killing considering the amount of talent these they have.  I could listen to them play all day.

Thanks to The Big Example for finding this video.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Seven-Year-Old Jack Hoffman Scores Touchdown During Nebraska Spring Game

This is so cool.

Seven-year-old Jack Hoffman suffered through weeks of seizures and medical procedures in 2011 just to come out of the battle with a pediatric brain cancer diagnosis.  He has been fighting ever since, even through two brain surgeries, proving he's one of the toughest kids around.

How tough?  Tough enough to break off a 69-yard run in Nebraska's spring football game against guys who are at least 11 years older than him.  He brought 60,000 fans at the stadium to their feet, and was mobbed by the entire Nebraska squad in the end zone after the score.

What a cool moment and an awesome story this is.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Vlad Guerrero Signs with Former Team of Jose Offerman, John Rocker

The Long Island Ducks have finally inked a former Major Leaguer who won't cause fans to go running from the park.  Vladimir Guerrero has signed with the Independent Atlantic League team at age 38.

The Ducks have a brief but very interesting history of signing former major league talent.  In 2005, they picked up John Rocker who had a history of controversial comments...
"I'd retire first. It's the most hectic, nerve-racking city. Imagine having to take the 7 Train to the ballpark looking like you're riding through Beirut next to some kid with purple hair, next to some queer with AIDS, right next to some dude who just got out of jail for the fourth time, right next to some 20-year-old mom with four kids. It's depressing... The biggest thing I don't like about New York are the foreigners. You can walk an entire block in Times Square and not hear anybody speaking English. Asians and Koreans and Vietnamese and Indians and Russians and Spanish people and everything up there. How the hell did they get in this country?"
So there's that, which resulted in New York fans throwing golf balls and batteries at him when he entered the game from the bullpen.  And speaking of physical assaults, Jose Offerman was on the 2007 roster when he was hit by a pitch from Bridgeport Bluefish pitcher Matt Beech and proceeded to knock out catcher John Nathans with his bat.  His next move was to charge the mound, swinging the bat violently and succeeded in breaking Beech's hand.

Guerrero has no such history of being a loose cannon, and the only "insane" thing he is capable of is hitting a ball that has bounced in the dirt or one that is above his head.  

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Bruins Add Veteran Depth at the Deadline for a Playoff Push

Now that the NHL trade deadline has come and gone, the Boston Bruins have put themselves in a great position to make another playoff run thanks to minimal injury problems and some added veteran depth.

Jaromir Jagr has joined the team today after being traded from the Dallas Stars for two prospects, including Lane Macdermid, and a conditional second-round 2013 draft pick, but the Bruins weren't done dealing after the five-time Art Ross Trophy winner was signed.

Today, the Bruins completed a pair of moves.  Forward prospect Maxime Suave was traded to the Chicago Blackhawks for another forward prospect, Rob Flick.  Sauve was injury-prone throughout his career with the Providence Bruins, and the 22-year-old Flick is a former fourth-round draft pick who will add a great physical presence.

The last deal of the day was involving the St. Louis Blues, who will send Wade Redden to Boston for just a seventh-round draft pick -- a sixth-rounder if he is to play in the playoffs.  Redden has never played for the B's, but has previously played with captain Zdeno Chara and currently injured Chris Kelly when the trio were on the Senators.  The Bruins picked up Chara as a free agent in 2006 when the Senators chose to re-sign Redden instead of the 6'9" defender.

The Bruins have had some defensive struggles with the sometimes lackadaisical play of Andrew Ference and Johnny Boychuk, not to mention the Adam McQuaid injury.  With a player like Redden, the Bruins have given themselves a player who can make those on the ice with him a better player.  With under a month remaining and every point making a difference, the Bruins look to be in good shape.

Guy Allows Home Run Ball to Hit (Presumably Now Ex-)Girlfriend in the Face

We've seen balls hit into the stands caught by beer cups, guys on their cell phones (check out who wrote that last article), and fathers holding their children.  Then we've seen balls that have caught unsuspecting girlfriends in the arm or now face when their chivalrous boyfriends move like guys from "The Matrix" to get out of the way.

Before we start to make fun of this loser for not being man enough to catch a ball with his bare hands, let me just say that this should in no way lend support to the argument for wearing a glove to a game at his age.  But seriously, if the odds of getting struck by lightning are more in your favor than catching a foul ball or home run, how could you just let one go without making an effort? 

Even the girlfriend has a hand in the vicinity, but the guy is practically at the concession stand by the time the baseball arrives.  Just a poor showing all around by this guy.  He takes a girl to a ballgame, gets some awesome seats right on the center field wall, and all she has to remember the night by is a bruised cheek bone.  Sweet.

Oh, and yes, I believe that's a blog record for most hyperlinks in one paragraph at the top, there.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Bubba Watson Drives a Hovercart

According to Bubba Watson, he started out driving golf carts when golf got in the way.  Pretty sure if he started out driving this thing, golf would not have stood a chance.

The video above is an advertisement for Oakley, featuring Chris Fitzgerald, president of Neoteric Hovercraft, Inc., who sell actual hovercrafts similar to this.  Unfortunately, the likelihood of seeing these bad boys at the links near you is next to zero.

Maybe one day, though...

Bruins Reportedly Trade for Jaromir Jagr

Hopefully this isn't another Jarome Iginla scenario, but for the time being, the Bruins have reportedly completed a trade that would put Jaromir Jagr in Boston.

Multiple sources, including ESPN's Pierre LeBrun and the Dallas Morning News' reporter Mike Heika, have said the deal is completed, pending the approval of the league.  The deal seems to be similar to Iginla's, with the Bruins sending two prospects along with a conditional draft pick based on if Jagr is re-signed for next season.

As with the Iginla deal, we will be monitoring this very closely to make sure all the details are correct and that everyone dots their i's and crosses their t's.  But, as it would have been with Iginla, it will be great for the B's to add a veteran presence like Jagr, who has the ability, even at age 41, to make everyone around him on the ice a better player.

UPDATE: The deal is rumored to involved Lane Macdermid and Cody Payne as the two Bruins prospects going to Dallas, and the draft pick will be a conditional second-round pick.

UPDATE: The deal is official.  Jagr will join the team on Wednesday.  As to where he'll fit in, that remains to be seen.  Patrice Bergeron went down with an apparent head injury on Tuesday night against the Senators, so with more line jumbling on the way, Jagr's role could vary greatly.

Jackie Bradley Jr. Takes Family to Applebee's to Celebrate Opening Day

As if I wasn't looking forward to Jackie Bradley Jr. becoming my favorite player enough, the man draws a key walk to start a Red Sox rally on the team's way to a 8-2 win over the Yankees, then takes his family out to dinner in Times Square to celebrate.  What restaurant do they choose?

The Bee's.

“We all went out to Times Square and just hung out,” Bradley said. “My family’s never been to Times Square, so I wanted to show them what the big city, bright lights has to offer. We all went out to Applebee’s and just enjoyed ourselves, and came back and hung out.”

A veteran move by the 22-year-old who had just made his Major League debut a few hours prior.

Bradley brings an easy-going philosophy to the ballpark every day that could sound lackadaisical at first, but given his performances this spring and on Opening Day, he's just the type of player this year's team needs.

"I'm a pretty relaxed guy," he said.  "I like to chill, take it on.  If I get down 0-2, what's the worst that can happen?"

And when Bradley went down 0-2 in his first at-bat, he was as cool as the other side of the pillow, drawing a walk against Yankees ace C.C. Sabathia which helped ignite a four-run rally.  Along with the praise from Red Sox Nation, "JBJ" has received numerous texts and calls of congratulations from players like J.D. Drew and David Price, and even country singer Darius Rucker.

Commercial Battle - Wheat Thins vs. Duluth Trading Co.

Two very different products, two very funny commercials.

A little while ago, I posted a Wheat Thins commercial featuring the classic "Um, I don't know" argument, a yeti and a neighbor named Ted, but this commercial could go toe-to-toe with the best of 'em.

Below, we have a Duluth Trading Co. commercial for their new 'buck naked' underwear.  Its a simple TV spot, but there's something about that guy frolicking around followed by the underwear's slogan of "no pinch, no stink, no sweat" that's hilarious.  Enjoy.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Red Sox Prove 2013 is a 'Whole New Ballgame,' Beat Yankees 8-2 in Season Opener

The Red Sox are 1-0 on the 2013 season, beating the New York Yankees 8-2 in Yankee Stadium on Opening Day.

The Red Sox drew eight walks and smacked 13 hits, while Jon Lester and the Sox bullpen held the ailing Yankees to two runs on six hits. Lester went five innings, striking out seven while giving up both runs along with five hits. 

The relief corps combined for four innings of one-hit baseball, with Koji Uehara, Andrew Miller, Andrew Bailey, Junichi Tazawa and Joel Hanrahan taking the hill.  Uehara needed just five pitches to get three outs in the sixth, and Bailey, Tazawa, Miller and Hanrahan hit 95, 96, 97 and 98 miles per hour on the radar gun respectively to shut down the Bronx Bombers.

The Sox hit .333 with runners in scoring position on the day, with stellar performances by Jacoby Ellsbury, Shane Victorino and Jose Iglesias.  Ellsbury went 3-for-6 with a triple and two RBI and Victorino added a couple knocks with three of his ribbies coming while there were two outs in the inning.  All three of Iglesias' hits stayed in the infield, but they'll look like line drives in the box score.

Jarrod Saltalamacchia managed to work three walks against Yankees' pitching, and crossed the plate twice as a result.  The much anticipated debut of Jackie Bradley Jr. saw the 22-year-old follow Saltalamacchia's lead, drawing three walks and knocking home a run as he grounded out to Robinson Cano.  Bradley made his first Major League start in left field Monday, a position he has never played until roughly a week ago in Spring Training, and made a circus grab tracking down a Cano blast just shy of the left field wall.

The Yankees didn't have too many bright spots in their first game of the new campaign, with one of the few coming when Francisco Cervelli slapped a two-run single off Lester in the fourth inning.  C.C. Sabathia gave up four runs on eight hits, but managed to strike out five.

The two teams will play again Wednesday night, and my confidence in this club is growing every day.  The offense looks like they're having fun and the pitching staff has taken on a whole new mentality.  Despite Monday's Yankees not being the team they will be at midseason due to injuries, it always feels good to beat them.  The Red Sox lost their final eight games of 2012, and are off to what looks like a hot start in 2013, crushing a Yankees pitching staff and excelling in all areas of the game.

Go Sox.

Golfer Doesn't Want to Get Pants Wet, Takes Them Off For Chip Shot

Well, I've never seen that on the golf course before.

Danish golfer Andreas Harto, playing in the Trophee Hassan II Tournament in Morocco, had a shot go just off the green that narrowly avoided a lake, but in order to hit his ball, he would have to stand in the water.  No one likes wet shoes, socks or pants, so Harto took them all off for the stroke.

As he was drying off, he realized he had to go mark his ball on the green, so instead of waiting for his legs to dry, he just scooted across the green in his unmentionables, snagged his ball and trotted back off.  Quite the scene on the European Tour.

Why I Love Sports - Opening Day

The Houston Astros beat the Texas Rangers last night in Houston as the baseball season officially got underway, but Monday is the day we've all been waiting for.

Red Sox - Yankees, Dodgers - Giants and Phillies - Braves are just a few of the games on tap for another amazing Opening Day.  Jon Lester will be facing C.C. Sabathia, two of the best left-handers in the game, in Yankee Stadium Monday afternoon.

I have been slowly getting more and more optimistic for this season of Red Sox baseball, and after seeing the lineup and hearing from some of the players, I'm pumped for things to get underway.  A few additions to the pitching staff and a few additions to the offense seemed like trivial things months ago, but when you put everything together and look at the lineup card for today, the Sox are looking good.

Sure, this blog might turn into your typical Boston blog if the team tanks, blasting pitchers for not trying or hitters for going into inexcusable slumps, but right now, its all systems go.  I'm excited to see how this pitching staff can perform, and if they can carry the success they had this spring.  I'm more excited to see how players like Will Middlebrooks and Jackie Bradley Jr. will play right out of the gate for this 113th Opening Day game for the Red Sox.


If you call yourself a sports fan, then this past weekend, and including Monday, have been jam-packed with awesome sports moments.  Two Connecticut schools have made the Frozen Four in the NCAA men's hockey tournament (Yale and Quinnipiac) and Michigan and Louisville solidified their spots with Wichita State and Syracuse in the NCAA men's basketball Final Four -- Louisville doing so after losing their emotional leader Kevin Ware to an absolutely horrific leg injury.

In the world of NCAA women's basketball, Louisville made waves by knocking off Brittney Griner and the defending champions Baylor to reach the Elite Eight.

The Bruins got back on track, shutting out the Sabres 2-0 in Buffalo, and the Blackhawks exploded for a 7-1 victory in Detroit.  Andy Murray was forced into a tiebreaker by David Ferrer during a nearly three hour three-set match under the hot Miami sun, but came out victorious.  D.A. Points won the Shell Houston Open, his second career victory after failing to make the cut in seven of nine tournaments he started this year, and earned a spot in the field for The Masters.

Here's to another great day of sports, Happy Opening Day, everyone.