With the 2017 major league All Star game nearly three weeks away theBoston Red Sox find themslves in second place in the AL East 1.5 games behind the Yankees. With a respectable 40-32 record most fans would be more than happy with that record. But being the Red Sox their are several distractions facing the club this summer. One major distraction is how manager John Farrell handles his players. One particular example has been David Price. Price who missed all of spring training with an injury has returned but has nothing great to show for it. Price is in his second year of a 217,000 million dollar salary. Price won 17 games a year ago but isin’t even close to where he should be this year. Price rently got into a shouting match with a Boston writer. Farrell as usual walked away and didn’t take any resposibilityfor it. The whole incident was unprofessional on both Farrell and Price. The second prolem is Pablo Sandoval. Sandoval went on the 10 day DL with an inner ear infection. Not to mention he’s not even half way through his 95 million dollar contract. This is his second stint on the DL this year. Another blunder by Farrell he sat Sandoval down due to the speed in KC and started Josh Rutledge all three games. Poor judgement on Farrells part The third issue has been DH Hanley Ramirez. Ramirez is dictating to Farrell and the Red Sox he just wants to be a DH. Ramirez who had great numbers last 30-111 and a 286 BA once again Farrell lets his players control him. Not to mention Ramirez makes 22,000,000 million per season. The last point is how Farrell handles his pitching. Close Craig Kimbrell is having an All Star season. Farrell has him coming in the eight inning facing four batters instead of three. Also he’s been pulling out his tarters to early in one instance it cost the Sox a win in KC. Obviously Farrell is overmanaging and is afraid of his job. Where ever the Sox finish this yea these foolish decisions he makes may or may not cost him his job.
With the Golden State Warriors the 2017 NBA champion and the NBA draft a week away here is a capsule of the top twenty NBA greats of all time Number one Michael Jordan. Simply the games best. He resurrected a floundering franchise and turned them into one of the greatest sports teams of all time. Six world titles with only one teammate to work with. That was Scottie Pippen. No dream team here. Just devotion and hustle. Didn’t make half the money Lebron makes. Number Two Majic Johnson. Another loyal Laker. His career 10,000 assist makes him the alltime gretest passer along with rival Larry Bird. If he didn’t contract the HIV virus he would of played longer. Number Three Larry Bird. The kid from French Lick Indiana is one of the all time greatest shooters. Led the Celtics to three world titles in the eighties not including afourth trip that was a loss to the Lakers. Also one of the great assist leaders of all time. His 5,000 career assist is half of Majics total. Number Four Bill Russell. Drafted out of the University of San Fransisco he one the gratest centers ever. Only Abdul Jabbar comes close to him. He was the main force of the Celtics dominance in the sixties. Number Five LeBron James. Probably the greatest two way player to play the game. People don’t realize he plays all five positions. Does it all every night 27 points per game 7.3 reboundsper game and 8 assist per game. Three world tiles under his belt at 32 years old. Atleast one more on the way. Number Six Kareem Abdul Jabbar. Nest to Russell the second best center in NBA history. A great 14 year career with the Bucks and Lakers.Averaged 28 points per game andeight rebounds. One of the best hook shots ever. Number Seven Kobe Bryant. One of the gratest Laker players ever Probaly the best shooter in NBA history. A great two way player. The main reason the Lakers beat the Celtics in 09. Number eight Bob Cousy The great Holy Cross product played in 924 games in his 14 year career. Teamed up with Bill Russell to make the Celtics a powerhouse in the sixties. A great free throw shooter80% and averaged 20 points per game not to mention a great passer. Number nine Jerry West The 13 year Laker was nicknamed Mr Clutch. Played in932 career games all with the Lakers.Averaged 22 points per game excellent passer7 assist per game and good rebounder averaging 5 per game. Number Ten Oscar Robertson. Nicknamed the big O He played 10 seasons with the Bucks averaging 25 points per game. A great passer 10 assist per game. Clutch shooter. Also one of the best defensive players ever. Eleven Elgin Baylor A brilliant 13 year career all with the Lakers. Rookie of the Year in1958.An eleven time all star. Finished up with 23,000 career points and over 3000 assist. decent rebounder 7.5 per game. Number twelve John Havlicek The former Celtic nicknamed Hondo for his nightly hustled. Drafted out of Ohio State he’ll go down as one of the greatest Celtic shooters ever. A career 1270 games 18 points per game. Great free throw shooter 80%. Also solid defensively. Number thirteen Dave DeBuusschere. The former Knick great played 14 seasons in the NBA. One of the reasons the Knicks were one of the best teams in the seventies. Finished up with 14,000 total points. A great rebounder and defender. Number fourteen George Gervin One of the greatest Spurs ever. Played thirteen season twelve with San Antonio and one with Chicago. Played in over 10,000 career games averaging 22 points per game. Great free throw shooter at 84% Number fifteen Dave Bing. Bing was one of the toughest players to play the game in the seventies. Had a great 12 year career. Nine with Detroint and a year with Boston and Washington. Played in 901 career games averaging 18 points per game and an excellent free throw shooter 77% Number Sixteen Tim Duncan Another great Spur. A draft loterry pick by San Antonincan was probably one of the great modern day players Played in 1392 career games.Averaged 25 points per game 10 rebounds and had an 69% free throw percentage. He was the complete player. Number seventeen Dominque Wilkins Who can forget about Nique.Will go down as one of the greatest Hawks of all time Played in 1079 games. averaging 21 points pergame great free throw shooter 80% and snagged 6 boards a game. Number eighteen Paul Pierce Pierce will go down as one of the Celtic greats. The main reason the Celts won the championship in 08. Probably will retire as a Celtic after being dealt to the Nets for a buch of draft picks. Also spent time with the Clippers and Washington. Number nineteen Pete Maravich. Nicknamed PistolPete he will be remembered from his deep shooting success. Would of been one of the best three point shooters if he played in this era. Played his whole career in Atlanta with one season in Boston. Number twenty Scottie Pippen. Don’t forget about this guy. Teamed up with Michael Jordan to make the Bulls one of the greatest teams ever. Well their you have my selections. Maybe after this years draft their will be another one added to the list.
With the NBA draft a few days away the Boston Celtics have the number one pick. With GM Danny Ainge at the helm their’s no telling what can happen. The common name everyone expects is Wasington Husky sharpshooter Markelle Fultz. Personally I like Kansas small forward Josh Jackson. No matter how you look at either one will help and make your team better.Fultz has a field goal percentage of 64% and a three point percentage of 41%. This is an area that the Celtics desperately need help in,especially in the playoffs. The Celtics current group of Terry Rozier, Marcus Smart and Isaiah Thomas is as good as it gets. Thomas is the bestpoint guard in the East. Rozier isin’t bad either. Marcus Smart however is one of the best shut down guards in the league but terrible offensively. So if the Celtics take Fultz he would be a nice shot in the arm. Thomas is a liability on defense and Fultz has a good reputation. This leads us to plan B.Kansas Jayhwk small forward Josh Jackson. Jackson has the perfect build for a wingman. He stands6’8” 207 lbs. Tough mentally and a great defensive reputation. Much better defensively than Fultz. With that being said the better choice for the Celtics is Jackson. Jackson led the Jayhawks to a 31-5 season record only to lose the Ducks of Oregon. Jackson shoots 37% from 3 point land and has a field goal percentage of 54% He also averages 7.5 rebounds per game. If the Celtics don’t take Fultz then Jackson is the perfect alternative. The Celtics never replaced hall of famer Paul Pierce since he left. Jackson has all the makings to be an elite NBA player.
The 5-5 Revolution have two tough games coming up in the next couple of weeks.On June 14th the Revs meet Rochester at Rochester and three days later face Chicago at home at Gillette. Currently the Revs are in 7th place in the M,LS Eastern conference with 20 points.The Red Bulls of New York are in front tied with 20 pts and Atlanta United is right behind the Revs with 18 points. So far, this season, the Revs are getting good performances from midfielder LeeNgyuenone of the leagues best. So far Ngyuen has 4 goals and 2 assists, and has played in all 15 games. He’s also logged 690 minutes. the Revilution are also getting good performancesfrom Diego Fagundez 4goals and 365 shots and 2 sssists and has played in all 15 games. Also goalkeeper Cody Cropper is having an outstanding season. Cropper has recorded 37 saves, and has a 5-4 record and four shutouts. He also earned save of the week award against Seattle on 4/29 of this year. So far the Revs are playing tough competitive soccer. A sweep in the next two games would be a big boost for the Revolution. A split would keep them pretty much where they are.
So what direction will the Bruins go in this summer? A gutsy move would be to replace net minder Tukka Rask. Rask hasbeen heavily criticized for his poor post season performance the past four years. The only issue is Rask is in the third year of an eight year contract about a 7,000,000, million dollar cap hit. But who out their is better. Playoff wise Rask has made 53 appearances and winning 23. Since the Stanley Cup the B’s have suffered painful exits to the Blackhawks and Canadiens twice. And two years without any trip to post season. Barring any trades a interesting free agent is Kings goaltender Ben Bishop. Bishop 30 years old was dealt to the Kings mid way through last year. A playoff record of 21-13 GAA2.09. Bishop has a cap hit 5,590,000 a little cheaper than Rask. But roughly the same age most likely will be overpaid by some team. Not a good Bruins fit. Mike McKenna of the Lighting is another veteran available. McKenna is a well traveled player. However he’s only played in 27NHL games and at 34 is on the last leg of his career. Would not be a good fit for the Bruins. An intriguing player available is BlackHawk backup goalie Scott Darling. Darling has a Stanley Cup ring and had an ecellent teacher in Corey Crawford. Only 28 Darling is in the prime of his career. Jf theBs were to make a move d be their best fit He would be long term and cheap. A career record of 17-9 238 GAA. The last player available is Flyer backup Steve Mason. Mason 29 years old. Mason has played in 58 NHL games has a 26-21 record 2.66 GAA. In the playoffs he’s 2-9 with a 3.35 GAA. Maybe a good fit for Providence and Boston. But at best a backup. No matter what direction they go in the Bruins need to make deep post season runs at in the playoffs. Tukka Rask has had sveral years to do it but keeps coming up short. Bruin fans are waiting patiently for another Cup. If they come up short another year moving him and his 7,000,000 dollar contract might be their best logical choice.
Now that the 2017 NBA season is officially over for the Boston Celtics It’s time to look ahead and see what additions can be made to the club. For the second season in a row the Celtics went down fighting against Cleveland. But this time they did after getting past the Bulls and Wizards. Not bad considering GM Danny Ainge has got them to be the third best team in basketball in just three years. This year however Cleveland beat Boston out in every category . Categories such as three point shooting, field goal shooting and of course turnovers.One area the Celts can play better next year. t One area they did shine in was rebounding, they out rebounded the Cavs 52-42. So where do the Celtics go from here? The Celtics won this years lottery getting the number one pick plus their own pick at 27. The buzz around Celtic fans is Washington Husky freshman Markelle Fultz. Fultz ended up the year shooting 45% and had a field goal percentage of 53%. This could definitely help the Celtics. The problem is the Celtics are well stocked at guards. But the way Fultz shoots he would be to hard to pass up. Which means probably trading Terry Rozier or Marcus Smart. Point guard Isaiah the top shooter in the eastern conference is up fora contract and is seeking a max deal four years. This leads us to the next option maybe trade the two picks and be in the same position next since they have another pick from the Nets. Maybe the Celtics should think about going big in order to stop LeBron. One player whose intriguing is Piston center Andre Drummond . Drummond is just 23 the same age as a lot of the draft picks . Drummond is 6’11 279 lbs and played 81 games averaging 13ppg. Another rumor that has been surfacing in Boston for months is Jazz forward Gordon Heyward. Heyward has an edge since he played under Brad Stevens at Butler. The only problem is Hayward is already making 16 million which means his next contract would be for at least 25 million for four years.Sounds pretty ridiculous. But the Celtics however have plenty of money to spend. Some other big men to keep an eye on are Wizards small forward Otto Porter. A perfect Celtic fit. Torontos Serge Ibaka a power forward much cheaper than Hayward. Another name is Warrior forward Andre Iguadola still a great two way player. And of course the last area of concern is point guard. The Celtics are blessed to have the best shooting guard in the league. A couple of quality names are Laker three point sniper Nick Young. Cleveland’s Kyle Korover. Korover is 36 can play both shooting guard and small forward. Clipper guard JJ Redick would be a great fit for Boston. Reddick is still one of the best guards in the NBA.Also James Jones of Cleveland would be a good fit. Playoff experience plus a deadly three point shooter. The Celtics also need to sign restricted free agent Kelly Olynyk stole game seven from the Wizards. Also forward Amir Johnson. Johnson an unrestricted free agent is physical and one of the teams best leaders. Best Celtic fit Johnson. With the NBA draft just a month a way anything is possible with Danny Ainge calling the shots. With the number one draft pick the best coach in the NBA and plenty of money to spend this summer should be one of the most exciting in a long time. The Future is now for the Boston Celtics.
With a quarter of the 2017 MLB season in the books the Boston Red Sox find themselves in third place in the AL East 23-21- 512 and 4.5 games out of first. For a lot of clubs that would be encouraging but not for Red Sox nation who won the AL East last year. The first order of business is to get starter David Price back healthy. Price is currently on a rehab assignment in Pawtucket and should be back in a week to ten days. Secondly the Sox and their fans need to get over the retirement of David Ortiz. Naturally production has fallen way off the Sox have a league low 38 homers and 166 runs batted in.but have a respectable team batting average of 266. First baseman Hanley Ramirez has filled in and has done a respectable job with 5 homers and 17 runs batted in. If the Sox are going to make a run outfielder Jackie Bradley needs to get going. Bradley had a great year last year but is hitting just over 200 with 4 homers and 11 runs batted in. So far the pitching has been fair. Newly acquired Chris Sale has been sensational. Sale is going for his ninth straight games with ten strikeouts or more. Sale recently tied a club record of eight straight games held by Pedro Martinez. Relief wise the bullpen has been sub par .Relievers Robby Scott, Heath Hembree , Matt Barnes and Fernando Abad been criticized by the fans for being overused by manager John Farrell. Closer Craig Kimbrell has been brilliant. Kimbrell has a nifty ERA of 0.96 a 4-2 record with 12 saves . The last area of concern has been third base. Opening day 3rd baseman Pablo Sandoval has gone down with an injury. Sandoval out most of last year had a fantastic spring and earned his job back. Sandoval should be back within in week. Since his injury third base has been a committee. Utility men Josh Rutledge, Marco Hernandez and Deven Marrero. Out of the three Marrero has shined playing solid defense. If the Sox are going to be serious contenders they need to make a move now. Other than Rick Porcello and Eduardo Rodriguez the Sox need quality starts from the fourth and fifth spots .Starter Steven Wright has gone down with an injury. Fifth starter Drew Pomeranz has been awful. If the Sox start falling farther and farther back then manager John Farrell’s job could be in jeopardy in the off season. The Sox may need to thick about trading for another starter or arm to survive the summer The only problem is GM Dave Dombrowski has already traded away most of the organizations top prospects. Only time will tell.
The Celtics and Wizards continue their round two play off match up to night against the Wizards. So far the series has been pretty equal with the Celtics taking the first two games by scores of 123-111 and a 129-119 overtime win. Game three was won by the Wizards in a blowout 116-89. What has been the difference maker? For the Celtics it’s been Isaiah Thomas. Thomas was deadly in game two putting up 53 after getting a tooth knocked out in game one. For the Wizards John Wall’s 40 point performance only went down in defeat. The difference maker in game three was Otto Porter. Porter had one of the biggest games of his career pouring in 34 and dishing out 14 assist. So what are the keys needed in order to capture the series and move on to the Eastern Conference Championship? i would say it’s a combination of two things one bench and two obviously defense. This is where the Celtics have the edge. Bostons bench of Terry Rozier, Jonas Jerebko and Amir Johnson have it over Brandon Jennings, Ian Mahinmi and Bogdanovic aren’t as good as the Celtics. Defensively the Celtics need big games from Marcus Smart and Avery Bradley. Both are shutdown guards on defense. Smart on the other hand needs to keep his cool and not commit so many turnovers as he did in game three. Basically this series can go either way. Which ever team plays Smart and doesn’t commit turnovers will win. If either team flares up like in game three it could cost suspensions as in the case of Wizards Kelly Oubre. Oubre got into a shoving match with Boston’s Kelly Olynyk and this could be an edge for the Celtics Sunday night. So I give the edge to the Celtics with the scoring punch Of Isaiah Thomas, Al Horford, Avery Bradley and Jae Crowder. Offensively the Wizards led by John Wall Monkrieff Morris, and Bradley Beal aren’t as good as Boston. Basically their’s no stopping Isaiah Thomas. Also the Celtics have another edge over the Bullets. That’s none other than head coach Brad Stevens. Stevens has done a great job in molding this team together with his rotations and strategies. Look for the Celtics to win in seven. .
The Celtics have had an exciting twenty four hours after capturing the Semi Final East round against the Wizards 115.105. It only gets better as GM Danny Ainge and his brain trust gather to see what number they fall in this years NBA draft. The Celtics have two first round picks via a trade with the Nets. The obvious pick is to improve the teams field goal percentage. The problem is they’re well stocked at point guard. So who do they draft or sign over the summer? If the Celtics fall in the top three look for the C’s to draft either Kansas’es Josh Jackson or NC States Justin Jackson.Jackson a senior totaled 1626 points in his Jay hawk career with a field goal percentage 45 percent. Jackson is one of the top small forwards in the draft. Freshman Josh Jackson is one of the most intriguing players in the draft. Only a freshman Jackson finished his freshman season with 522 points averaging 16 points per game and has one of the best shooting percentages in the country at 51 percent. Kris Jenkins of Villanova is another dark horse player. Jenkins has perfect small forward size 6’6 inches 235 lbs Jenkins had an impressive college career totaling 146 games 1383 total points averaging 9.5 points per game. If the Celtics decide to select a point guard the best shooter in the draft is Markelle Fultz of Wasington. Fultz only a freshman had 579 total points averaging over 23 points per game and a pretty solid 41 percent from the field. Other interesting candidates to keep an eye on are UCLA’S Lonzo Ball A freshman who finished up his career at 36 games totaling 524 points. Ball is not quite as good as Fultz but has a bright future ahead of him. Kentucky’s Malik Monk is another possibility . Monk a freshman shooting guard had an impressive freshman season totaling 754 points and averaging 19.8 points per game. A player who could step right in and help the Celtics would be Iowa State senior guard Monte Morris. Morris has a reputation of not turning the ball over rather than lose it he’ll hold onto til the play is finished. Morris played a total of 140 games with a total of 1708 points . A very sound player who can step right in and help a team out. Another top prospect to keep an eye is Florida States Johnathan Issac. Issac a freshman led the Seminoles to the final eight in this years March Madness tourney.. A strong leader he played in 32 total games with an impressive 50 percent field goal percentage totaling 383 points. c Would be a quality NBA forward within time. If the Celtics decide to go big Arizona’s Lauri Markkanen would be a great fit for Boston. A 7 footer Markannen a freshman totaled 576 total points in 37 games for Arizona. He would be a nice compliment along with current Celtic big man Kelly Olynyk. No matter how the balls drop tonight the Celtics have plenty of options. They could trade this years lottery pick and be in the same position next because they the Clippers number one 2018 pick plus three second rounders. They own the 37th,53rd and 56th picks in this years draft. No matter what direction they go in it should be an exciting six or seven weeks. It only gets better the Celtics will have agood idea of where they stand after to nights lottery drop. Stay tuned.
Now that the 2017 NFL Draft is in the books let’s examine the four Pat’s picks and see if any of these for can measure up to be Patriots. This draft unlike other Pat’s draft only came away with four picks due to off season signings or trades. Unlike other years where Belichick has drafted the likes of Tom Brady, Rob Gronkowski, Julian Edleman Devon McCourty just to name a few. This year Belichick came away with Youngstown State linebacker Derek Rivers, Troy offensive lineman Antonio Garcia, UCLA OT Connor McDermott and Arkansas DL Dietrich Wise. Starting with Rivers, Rivers was a two time All American for the Penguins. Rivers played a total of 49 games making 37 starts in his four years at Youngstown. Rivers registered 173 total tackles and 119 were solos. Look for Rivers to take the place of departed Chandler Jones at outside linebacker. Offensive tackle Antonio Garcia drafted with the second third round pick out of Troy University. Garcia is massive 6ft 5 291 pounds with exceptional long arms. Very productive starting in 37 games over four years at Troy. In that span Garcia just gave up an impressive 55 sacks. Good competition facing Clemson, Ohio State, Mississippi State and Wisconsin.A project player but look for him to eventually replace Nate Solder injury prone at left tackle within time. Dietrich Wise Wise the Pats 4th pick from the Razorbacks has unusual long arms.Wises length is 35 inch arms. Uses his length well and is very poised as a pass rusher.Also has very quick hands. Didn’t become a starter till his senior year. As a senior he had 119 stops for a total of 55 yards lost.Coming off the bench he was very productive averaging thirteen tackles and two sacks as a sophomore and junior. Will spell relief for Alan Branch and Malcom Butler . Connor McDermott OT UCLA. McDermott had a very solid career at UCLA. Gave up 14 sacks in a game during the 2015 season second lowest in school history. Started in 24 games over his junior and senior year. Also very versatile can play tight end . Something that Belichick relishes. Basically the Patriots traded a 1st,2nd,5th and seventh for off season acquisitions Kony Ealy DE, TE DeWayne Allen Colts, TE James O’Shaughnessy/KC running back Mike Gillislee Bills, Rex Burkhead running back / Bengals.They had a free agent blockbuster signing in signing Bills cornerback Stephon Gilmore. Gilmore signed a four year deal with 40 million guaranteed. The team also came to terms with holdout corner Malcom Butler. Also they Also they acquired linebacker Kyle Van Noy from the Browns Van Noy was very productive for the Pat’s appearing in 14 games in 16 plus 3 playoff games. Overall give the Patriots a Dminus for this years draft. Its alot better to draft a player and have under team control for four or five years.By giving up all those picks for guys like Ealy and De Wayne Allen you still risk the chance of losing them in a year or two. Players like ex Patriot cornerback Logan Ryan cornerback Justin Coleman and safety Duron Harmon are examples of this. Players who take time to develop but eventually become quality NFL players.