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Trade Deadline Red Sox Reset

The 2014 Boston Red Sox are one of the most frustrating teams to watch in recent memory. I almost feel guilty critiquing them after the 2013 championship run, so I have chosen to give them a pass, and put my trust in the ownership group. It’s silly to critique an ownership group like the John Henry trio. They are always putting a plan in motion, in a way they are a lot like the Celtics with Danny “Trader Danny” Ainge at the helm. While franchises like the Patriots and Bruins have a rock solid structure, the Celtics and Red Sox are constantly adapting to trends.

Maybe they are packing it in this year. The things that went well for them in the 2013 World Series season (Nava / Gomes platoon being ultra effective, Victorino playing way above his pay grade, Buchholz not throwing extended batting practice every fifth day) have blown up directly in their face.  Brock Holt has been a catalyst for this lineup, which is great and horrible at the same time. You can’t rely on Holt to be Jacoby Ellsbury at the top of the lineup. Eventually he will turn back into Brock Holt. Don’t be surprised if he hits below .275 the rest of the way out. He might finish the season at a respectable .285, but it will be due to the inflated first half. Obviously, Holt isn’t the problem. The Legend of Brock Holt is one of those tall tales that would be way cooler if it was taking place during a season when we weren’t relying on it to keep us hovering seven games under .500 all season. Jake Peavy left the Sox with nine losses, but that doesn’t tell the whole story. In all nine of his losses he received more than three runs of support zero times. He let up five earned runs or more in four of those losses. However, he had five no decisions with two earned runs or less.

It doesn’t matter how you look at this season. Anyway you slice it, has been bad. The team has been easy to root for, but tough to watch. That almost makes it harder than a season like 2012 when you could choose to not watch the games as a form of rebellion. Last year was supposed to be a bridge year but it ended up being a championship season. It wasn’t a fluke by any means, it was just a perfect storm of overachieving player’s, beards, and chemistry. Maybe this year is the real bridge year.

The Red Sox have a plan, and it should involve Jon Lester. Don’t say, “They need to stop acting like they are spending on a Minnesota budget” because they aren’t. The Lester debacle is unique in that they took “hometown discount” to a new level with the low-ball 4-year $70 million offer in Spring Training. That was nearly disrespectful, yet he remains loyal to the city of Boston. Lester continuously says this is where he wants to be. As a skeptic of any quotes that comes from an athlete’s mouth during a contract year, I wholeheartedly believe Lester.

There are guys like David Ortiz who you love because he is an entertainer. He is a larger than life character who will crush a fastball, flip his bat, and drags his nuts around the bases going at a snail like pace (I’m looking at you Chris Archer).

You love Jon Lester because he is the kind of guy you would want your son to emulate in Little League. A very abbreviated version of his story goes something like this. In 2006 Lester was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin Lymphoma, a treatable cancer. He returned during the 2007 season only to became the third starter in baseball history to get his first postseason win in the clinching game of a World Series, which is kind of admirable.. But most of all you are drawn to Lester because he seems genuine when he talks so glowingly about the Red Sox franchise. Maybe he has a different outlook on life than most athletes who haven’t come back from a bout with cancer. Boston was there for him during what was likely his lowest moment. Outside of his role on the 2012 “Bobby Valentine Variety Show” Red Sox, he has been everything a fan, a teammate, a coach, or an owner could want. Regardless of what happens in the next two days I firmly believe Jon Lester will be in a Red Sox uniform in 2015.

Optimism as a Red Sox fan is still new to most. Three World Series’s in a decade should have done a lot to change that, but it hasn’t. Be patient, wait until next year, because this offseason should be huge. Giancarlo Stanton will be on the market, there are a few big arms set to hit free agency, and Ben Cherington should be making serious moves. After the 2015 season the Red Sox don’t have any big money left on the books other than Pedroia, Ortiz, and Buchholz. If there is a player out there that they have their eye on, they won’t hesitate to open up the check book.

Confession About LeBron James

The NBA is, more than any other pro sports league, a player driven league. Specifically a superstar driven league. Greatness is expected from these superstars on the biggest stage. It is the reason the San Antonio Spurs slide under the radar until their annual deep playoff run. The casual fan won’t appreciate what the Spurs represent as a franchise, which is consistency. The casual fan wants to see LeBron James or Kevin Durant drop 50 on a helpless opponent, like an unstoppable freight train. They don’t want to see pristine ball movement and fundamentally sound basketball. They want to see Chris Paul toss up lobs to Blake Griffin because it’s more exciting than watching Tim Duncan execute a textbook post move that ends in the same result, two points added to the scoreboard.

 

There was a time when I would say LeBron went to Miami to be second option to Dwyane Wade. The first year following “The Decision” it looked like that was the case, but looking back it couldn’t have been shorter sighted. Fast-forward to 2014, and LeBron is redefining the sport while D-Wade looks like he is a few years away from transitioning to becoming a bench player.

 

Watching LeBron James on the court is similar to competing in the level of Super Smash Bros. where you need to fight off 10 of the same character at once, but they fly off the screen at first touch. It looks to easy for him, and he can only be stopped when he decides to pull up from mid-range or worse, from three. Not to say he isn’t solid from these areas, but his efficiency is his strength more than anything. The most important trend in James’s career has been his shot selection. As he matured, he grew into his body and brought his game closer to the basket.

 

Percentage of James’s shots taken from 10 feet or further, including 3 pointers:

 

54.4% in 2010-11, 53.4% in 2011-12, 49.5% in 2012-2013, and 47.8% in 2013-14.

 

That is just one of many different statistics that can be used to display LeBron’s maturity, his growth, and his efficiency. LeBron bends defense’s so much that Chris Bosh has become a spot up three-point shooter. When LeBron is shooting 11 for 12 from within 3 feet of the basket like he did in his 49-point game four performances of the Brooklyn Nets series, the Heat can afford to let Bosh wander around the three-point line. Truthfully, LeBron plays the role of every position at some point during a game. He is a distributor, a rim protector, a perimeter defender, a paint presence, and spot up shooter. There isn’t a spot on the court where he is ineffective.

 

I never thought I would see the day, but it has come. I have grown tired of hating LeBron. My hate has blossomed into full-blown appreciation. A few years back I hated him for the same reasons I hated Peyton Manning. They had all the talent in the world, but could never pull their team to the next level. In both case’s I thought it was ridiculous to compare them to the legends of their respective sports, but for LeBron that is no longer the case.

 

 

 

Video

Young Montreal Canadiens fan meets player under unusual circumstance.

During a recent game between the Montreal Canadiens and the Ottawa Senators, Canadiens defenseman P.K. Subban took a slap shot from center ice that found it’s way into the stands. The puck deflected off an adult, and struck a young boy named Thomas in the ear.

Soon after, Thomas and his father received a call from Subban himself, who pledged to make it up to him. What happened next will make your day.

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Wil Wheaton responds to being called a nerd as a kid.

At a press conference Wil Wheaton was asked by a young girl if he was called a “nerd” as a kid, and how he dealt with it.. His response is uplifting but most importantly it is true.

“When a person makes fun of you, when a person is cruel to you, it has nothing to do with you. It’s not about what you said, it’s not about what you did, it’s not about what you love. It’s about them feeling bad about themselves, they feel sad.”

Grateful to be alive: Father saved from house fire by daughter.

Grateful to be alive: Father saved from house fire by daughter.

After witnessing a fire erupt from his neighbor’s home, Roger Hough sprinted inside to save the 18-year-old who resided there. In the process of putting out the fire, Hough passed out due to the heavy smoke.

Hough’s 22-year-old daughter Ashleigh proceeded to pull him from the home and administered chest compressions until her father woke up.

 

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Things to look forward too: Summer

This particular post would include a thought provoking quote, along with gif’s the relate to the subject matter.

 

“Green was the silence, wet was the light,
the month of June trembled like a butterfly.”
― Pablo Neruda100 Love Sonnets

With the winter coming to a close and the sun bursting through what seemed to be, for months, an infinitely  grey sky I am here to remind you that within weeks everything will be different. No longer will you be restricted by a puffy winter coat, or gloves that don’t let you comfortably use your iPhone while outside.

Your daily routine will go from feeling like this:

To something much more enjoyable, like this: