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Red Sox Trade Alejandro De Aza to San Francisco Giants

By on September 1, 2015 at 7:57pm

Yesterday the Red Sox traded Alejandro De Aza to the San Francisco Giants in exchange for minor league reliever Luis Ysla. According to a tweet from Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com, the Red Sox will still have to pay $650K of De Aza’s remaining salary as part of the deal. This is the second time De Aza has been traded this year, after Boston acquired him earlier in the season from the Baltimore Orioles.

At the time the Red Sox were still in contention but needed outfield help and De Aza filled that void. During his time in Boston De Aza performed above expectations; in 161 at bats he hit .292 with 9 doubles, 5 triples, 4 home runs, and 25 RBI. He also played great defense in the outfield. Continue reading Red Sox Trade Alejandro De Aza to San Francisco Giants »

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The Dramatic Rise of Daily Fantasy Sports

August 27, 2015 at 6:54pm in Fantasy

You likely can’t go a day without hearing someone talk about Draft Kings, or hearing a radio advertisement for FanDuel. Its popularity is hard to ignore. The allure of possibly winning $1 million legally and by spending not so much is just too hard to pass up for some.

Having a rough draft dooms many seasonal and dynasty fantasy owners, but that’s no problem for the daily games. If you have a bad draft, you lose on the first day. But there’s always a tomorrow in the world of daily fantasy sports games. Continue reading The Dramatic Rise of Daily Fantasy Sports »

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In a stunning move, NESN has fired longtime Red Sox play by play announcer Don Orsillo. Orsillo will stay on for the remainder of the season and will be replaced in 2016 by Dave O’Brien. Orsillo, who has been with NESN since 2001, has become a fixture in New England and has been there to call some of the greatest moments in Red Sox history such as Manny Ramirez’s 500th home run and the the 2004 World Series Ring ceremony held on opening day of 2005.

Despite the Red Sox being bottom-feeders over the past two seasons, Orsillo has been a mainstay and one of the most enjoyable parts of NESN broadcasts. Orsillo has also been brilliant when faced with challenges, namely the revolving door he has had in the booth over the past several years. Color commentator Jerry Remy has been with Orsillo nearly all of this season, but has missed significant time over the last few seasons due to illness and to personal issues. Despite this, Orsillo was always at the top of his game, making his work with 26 different partners while Remy was out dealing with his son’s arrest look effortless.

When asked about Orsillo’s departure, Remy was visibly dejected. “I love him,” Remy said.

Orsillo will be missed from Spring through Fall on TVs across New England. His professionalism and broadcasting talent have brought the game to life for fans and his ability to switch from comedy to announcing skill will be sorely missed. In what might be the greatest testament of all to Orsillo’s time in Boston, no one that has come in to contact with him could have a negative word to say. Orsillo was, and remains, the class of broadcasting. His replacement, Dave O’Brien, has been calling Red Sox games for WEEI and will be able to handle the work. But even though  O’Brien is a qualified broadcaster, this move is a sad one for Red Sox Nation.

 

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Patriots starting offensive lineman Ryan Wendell practiced on Tuesday, a signal that he has been removed from the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list. Wendell, who is entering his eighth season, has experience starting at both guard and center.

Wendell entered in the NFL as an undrafted free agent and has played his entire career with the Patriots. He played on two AFC Champion teams and won Super Bowl XLIX with the team. With Wendell returning, the interior offensive line picture becomes more interesting.

Rookies Shaq Mason and Tre Jackson have gotten a lot of guard reps alongside starting center Bryan Stork and fill in David Andrews so far through camp and the preseason. Jackson looks primed to potentially start this season at one guard spot, which leaves the other spot to come down between Wendell and Mason. Mason is an excellent run blocker but has had trouble in pass protection, due in part to his limited experience in that area. Wendell is also a better run blocker than pass blocker, but has more experience protecting Tom Brady.

The Patriots will have a decision to make over the next two weeks, whether to go with Mason or Wendell as the final starting offensive lineman. In this writer’s view, Wendell looks to be the favorite if healthy. Mason could win the job and could end up being the better player, but Wendell has the experience edge and that makes a difference when the Patriots will already definitely be starting a second year player (Stork) and probably a rookie (Mason) as well. Health will be the key for Wendell, the more of an impact he can make through the rest of the preseason the better. Unlike last season, the Patriots look ready to enter the regular season with solid options along the inside of the offensive line.

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jimmy preseason

The Patriots will take on the New Orleans Saints in their second preseason game on Saturday night. The game concludes a week that included two days of joint practices. Tom Brady and the Patriots offense shined throughout the two sessions that both teams called valuable. As with the first preseason contest, tonight will feature limited time by the starters with backups playing most of the game. With that in mind, here are five players to watch tonight:

Chris Harper- The rookie wide receiver out of Cal will likely get a lot of chances tonight with Julian Edelman, Brian Tyms, and Aaron Dobson all dealing with injuries. He has looked solid in camp and has come on strong as of late and was productive in joint practices while working with Jimmy Garoppolo. The 5’11”, 175 pound Harper has also had some punt return opportunities in camp.

Brandon Bolden/ James White- Bolden and White have been battling throughout camp to fill the third down back roll that was left open by the departure of Shane Vereen. Bolden is stronger, but White has more speed and quickness. White played in last Thursday’s preseason opener and looked like a player ready to take on the third down role. Bolden has the advantage that he plays on special teams, but if White has another strong outing he could put himself firmly ahead of Bolden.

Malcom Brown- The rookie first round pick is one of several options to fill the middle of the defensive line after Vince Wilfork signed with Houston this offseason. Pairing Brown with 2014 first round pick Dominque Easley is something the Patriots hope to do for the next several seasons.

Jimmy Garoppolo- The potential of Garoppolo starting at least one game this regular season has been well documented. What the Patriots need is for Garoppolo to have a strong game and continue to build toward his possible regular season action. He looked shaky in the first half against Green Bay last week but improved as the game went on. A more consistent performance will help both the Patriots and the young quarterback going forward.

 

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joint practice

The Patriots will travel to White Sulpher Springs this week to conduct joint practices with the New Orleans Saints. The practices will be on Wednesday and Thursday of this week, after which the teams will travel to New Orleans and compete in a preseason game on Saturday.

Bill Belichick has made a habit of having the Patriots practice with other teams during training camp over the past several years. He has called the practices some of the best he has been a part of and it has helped make up for some of the other restrictions on practice time in training camp.

The practices give the teams extended time to “hit someone else” rather than the series or two in a preseason game that the starters might play. It also allows coaching staffs to share information and improve their own performance as well as evaluate talent against another NFL team for an extended period. Teams can gauge where they are at training camp wise as well. They walk away from joint practices with a better understanding of what exactly needs to be worked on.

Following Saturday’s game in New Orleans, the Patriots will fly home and have practice before taking on the Panthers in Carolina next week.

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Photo Courtesy of Associated Press

The Detroit Tigers recently let go of President of Baseball Operations and General Manager Dave Dombrowski. Dombrowski had been with the Tigers for nearly 14 seasons.

Dombrowski built the Tigers from the ground up. In his first full season in Detroit, the Tigers had an American League worst record of 119 losses. However, he did not let this be a detriment to his overall plan. Dombrowski was known for not being afraid to pull the trigger on a big time move. Some examples include trading for Miguel Cabrera and Max Scherzer. Continue reading Dave Dombrowski Should Be on Red Sox Radar »

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