Going into the 2007 NBA Draft there were two can't miss prospects. Greg Oden and Kevin Durant. Open ended up having the knees of a 100 year old and never really accomplished anything in his career. Durant has become a top 3 player in the NBA.
After the 2006-07 season the Boston Celtics finished 24-58, 2nd worst in the NBA. They went into the NBA draft lottery with nearly a 40% chance at top 2 pick. They were going to end up with one of these two stars. We all know how that ended up. They ended up with the 5th pick. The worst possible situation at the time. Celtics fans thought the sky was falling.
Luckily it was a blessing in the disguise for the Celtics because now with no chance at Greg Oden or Kevin Durant it allowed them to trade the pick for Ray Allen. That trade eventually led to Kevin Garnett agreeing to be traded to the Celtics which created the new Big 3 and won the Celtics an NBA Championship the next season.
However despite a championship in 2008 and another finals appearance in 2010 many have questioned if the Celtics have been off with Kevin Durant the entire time? Personally I don't so, I' don't wanna take away a guaranteed champion for the potential of what could have happened with KD. The Big 3 run was awesome and although their window was short, they did win a title.
Kevin Durant ended up getting drafted by the Seattle Supersonics who would become the Oklahoma City Thunder the next season. During his time in OKC Durant has been one of the best players in the NBA. Rookie of the year in 2008, four time scoring champ, NBA MVP in 2014, 7 time All Star, and made it to the NBA Finals in 2012. All of this and he is still just 27 years old.
Durant's contract expires after this season and many NBA insiders and fans alike believe he is leaving OKC unless they make the Finals again this year. With the Warriors and Spurs also in their conference, I don't think they'll be making the Finals so he is most likely gone. There have been rumors of Durant leaving for Houston to pair up with former teammate James Harden, and also Golden State which would create the ultimate super team. If Durant did that the Warriors could break the win record they just set last night.
I for one think Kevin Durant should go to the Celtics, yes I am a Celtics fan so of course I'm coming off biased but it is also a great decision for him basketball wise and that is what this blog is about. Hopefully I'll convince you why Durant should come to Boston. Hopefully KD reads this too and decides to come to the C's.
Why Kevin Durant Should Sign With The Boston Celtics
The Boston Celtics have the most prestigious history in the NBA. 17 NBA Championships. Countless Hall of Famers. Red Auerbach. When you think NBA history, the Celtics have been there for everything. They have more retired numbers than they know what to do with. 35 is retired right now for the late Reggie Lewis but I have a feeling they'd make a special exception for KD.
Yet despite this, the Celtics have always had trouble getting major stars to sign in Boston as free agents. Many blame the weather and perceived racism of Boston, but I think that is a bunch of bullshit. There are ass holes every where, not just Boston. Yeah it's cold, but with the travel of the NBA, you aren't gonna be in Boston every single night.
It's always baffled me that guys don't wanna come and play in Boston. It's the best sports city in the country. We are winners. This city wins a championship every other year. Only the Lakers can compete with the Celtics for most prestigious organization in the NBA. The Celtics are the foundation of the NBA, they are the Yankees of the NBA.
If you want to be the best, why would you want to play with some nothing orginaztion like the Rockets? When you can come to Boston be beloved by the best sports city in America. If you win in Boston you become a legend. Become part of a legacy of excellence, be part of the Boston Celtics. With legends like David Ortiz and Tom Brady reaching the end of their respective careers, Kevin Durant has the chance to become the new face of sports in Boston and New England.
Playing in Boston is tough and is definitely not for everybody (looking at you Pablo Sandoval) but one thing the Boston fans are is loyal. If you try your best and give effort every night, we appreciate it, and the city will fall in love with you. Boston fans go to games, tickets to all four local teams are tough to get even in down years because the city had a large, passionate, loyal fanbase. In Boston you will be appreciated. We love our guys and are begging to get a chance to love you. While it is a small city, Boston is also the city for entire region as most of New England roots for the Celtics. You're getting love for 6 states.
3. Celtics Have A Bright Future
When the Celtics traded away Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett they basically got every Brooklyn Nets draft pick for the next five years.
The Celtics have a legit chance at top 3 pick in this upcoming draft and then again in 2017 and 2018. So not only would the Celtics be adding Kevin Durant to this roster but also top lottery picks as well to compliment this roster as it currently is constructed.
In addition to the upcoming draft picks the Celtics have one of the most complete rosters in the NBA. While they lack a superstar, (which is a huge deal) they have many key players who carry the load. If you add Kevin Durant and a top 5 pick to a team that has high quality starters in Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, and Avery Bradley. Mixed with up and coming young role players like Marcus Smart, James Young, and Terry Rozier this Celtics team can have a very bright future.
4. Brad Stevens
Lots of people think coaching the NBA is overrated as it is a players league but the Celtics have one of (if not the top) young coaches in the game with Brad Stevens. He gets the most out of his players. He was able to get 48 wins out of a team without a legit superstar and has squeezed every ounce of talent he can get from this roster. Last year he got the Celtics to the playoffs when they were one of the worst teams in the NBA for most of the season. He's been successful where ever he coaches. As a college coach he made it to two straight National Championship Games with Butler, a mid major. Shocking the college game two straight years.
If you gave a coach like Brad Stevens a player with the talent of Kevin Durant to add to up and coming players like Jae Crowder and Isaiah Thomas, there is a great chance this team takes the next step and becomes a championship contender.
5. Eastern Conference
Kevin Durant has played is entire career in the NBA's Western Conference. The West has been better than the East for as long as I can remember. There have been many great teams in the West and it is always a rock fight to make it out of the West to go to the Finals. The Lakers, Mavericks, Spurs, and Warriors have all won NBA championships since 07-08 Durant's rookie year. While in the East only the Celtics and Heat have since 08. The last five seasons Lebron James' team has won the Eastern Conference. People don't wanna acknowledge it, but Lebron is not the same player he was even 3 years ago. All of the extra playoff games have added an additional season of playing time to his career. He's getting older, and is not going to be on top of the mountain forever.
While it does not guarantee a championship. A switch to the Eastern Conference makes the road to the Finals much easier. Despite their age, the Spurs aren't going away anytime soon, the Warriors are loaded, the West has two elite teams that are going to make it very hard to reach the Finals for the foreseeable future. Currently the East only has 1 team, the Cleveland Cavaliers that has a chance to win the NBA Championship and they'd a distance 3rd behind the Warriors and Spurs.
If KD were to come to Boston, all of a sudden the East is no longer a lock to go to the Cavs. The balance of power in the entire conference can change with the addition of one player.
In 2012 Kevin Durant made his only NBA Finals appearance to date. His Oklahoma City Thunder won game 1 against Lebron James' Miami Heat only to lose four straight games and the NBA Championship. KD has had other team playoff runs, but this was the closest he's every been to a championship.
What better way to get a little revenge then to go to the Celtics (in the Eastern Conference) and be the reason Lebron never brings a championship to Cleveland? A Lebron v KD rivalry in the playoffs every year would be awesome for the NBA.
All of the reasons I've listed previously kind of mash up together for this. Kevin Durant is an amazing basketball player. Probably already a HOFer with what he's done statically to this point. However at 27 years old he still has many elite years left where he can become an all time great. Boston gives him the best chance to do this. Yeah he could go to the Warriors, but the Warriors are Steph Curry's team. KD's numbers would have to go down just because of all the talent on that roster, and while he would most likely win a championship there. The impact of being the guy in Boston would be much greater for his legacy. Bringing a championship(s) to the Boston Celtics would be the best thing for KD's career. If he could win multiple and maybe another MVP or two, he could end up as a top 15 player in NBA history.
So that is my pitch to Kevin Durant on why he could come to the Boston Celtics. Hopefully Danny Ainge has a better pitch and presentation lined up for him this summer, but if he needs any help I'm very available.
Forgotten in the NBA action last night was the amazing comeback the Celtics had against the Heat. They allowed FIVE points to the Heat in the 3rd quarter, FIVE in the comeback effort. After stumbling the last few games, many Celtics fans were worried that the team was backing into the playoffs. I know I was.
I was busy working when the game starting and looked at times and saw the Celtics were down by 20+. I thought at first they were resting their starters but they weren't, they just were playing awful. Thanks to a 20-0 run the Celtics came back and ended up beating the Heat by double digits.
Whenever the Celtics have a huge comeback it brings many Celtics fans to game 3 of the 2002 Eastern Conference Finals when the Celtics came back from down 26 against the Nets. Although they ultimately lose the series this is one of the most memorable Celtics moments of my lifetime, most notably for me because it is one of the earliest memories I have of the C's as I was in like 4th grade when this happened. I remember watching this game in my aunts basement in PA on a 10 inch tv when we were visiting for the weekend. This is when I fell in love with Paul Pierce.
So in honor of the Celtics huge comeback last night, this weeks sports #TBT of the week is game 3 of the 2002 Eastern Conference Finals. Crazy how awful the film quality is, you'd think it was the 1982 ECF.
This year's Celtics playoff run begins in Atlanta on Saturday. I know I sound crazy but I really think this team could win the East. As a 5 seed it will be tough but their isn't much difference from the 2nd best team to the 6th best in the East, plus I think the Cavs are overrated AF and have a lot of internal issues. They are for sure the clear cut favorites, plus the NBA is fixed so they probably will win the East, but I am very excited to see what this Celtics team will do in the playoffs. GO Celtics!!
Last night was quite the night for the NBA as it was the final night of the 2015-16 regular season. The Golden State Warriors were going for history as they attempted to break the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls regular season win record of 72 wins and lifetime Los Angeles Laker Kobe Bryant played his final career game. Oh and the Celtics erased a 26 point deficit to beat the Miami Heat. That will be forgotten but it was the most important moment of the night by far. #GreenRunsDeep
A big conversation I saw all over twitter and heard on sports radio was which game would you rather go to?
Warriors 73rd win or Kobe's final game.
Most people said the Warriors because it was history being made and Kobe's final game was just a meaningless game against the Utah Jazz. I personally cared way more about Kobe's final game and what would happen during it. I like events, and Kobe's final game is much more of an event IMO. I was gonna watch the Warriors if it got close but they won pretty easily. Steph was Steph and shot the lights out. I'm almost not even impressed by him anymore just because it's become so common place for him to have 8 3's a night. Plus as a Patriots fan I really don't give a shit about regular season win records. They don't matter, especially if you don't win the championship. (16-0) It took me a good 3 years to get over 18-1 and TBH if I think about it for more than 30 seconds I still get upset. I'm done talking about the 07 Pats. I don't wanna get pissed off and ruin my day. I do have a funny feeling the Spurs are gonna beat the Warriors in the playoffs but thats not what this is about.
To start off Kobe's final night the Lakers had a pre game ceremony which including a wicked lame video of guys saying how much Kobe meant to them. I always think these are over the top and fake. It's a nice gesture, but just doesn't seem real to me. Although since he's made his career in Los Angeles I guess vapidness is fitting.
Also very weird to me how Magic called Kobe the greatest Laker ever. Is it even really a debate? I feel like Kobe isn't even top 3 Lakers of all time. Magic, Kareem, Jerry West then maybe Kobe? I'm not even hating, I respect Kobe and almost like him, I just feel like with such a historic organization that might be a little too much praise.
Then Flea (of the Red Hot Chili Peppers) played the National Anthem....on his bass. Yeah a bass solo National Anthem because that's what people want. I love RHCP but this was soooooo awful. I'm sure Flea was on another planet when performing but this sucked, so distorted, just not what you want from a National Anthem. Electric Guitar is one thing that can sound bad ass, theres nothing bad ass about a bass solo. Also ik you're trying to be the cool Laker fan but take off your hat when performing the National Anthem. Jesus man. That drives me insane, but I guess that's just because I'm more American than this guy.
Next was the PA guy with the least enthusiastic announcement of all time. You'd think Kobe played his final game at the public library. Dude this is the final time Kobe is getting his name announced to the Staple Center crowd, I know the Lakers were ass this year but maybe, just maybe know the magnitude of the moment.
(start video at at 1:46)
Finally the game began. With all the ceremony you almost forget that there is an actual NBA basketball game that is supposed to be taking place.
Kobe came out shooting. 0/5 shooting to be exact to start the game. Everybody knows you gotta just get the misses out of your system early. The Lakers didn't score a point for the first 5 minutes of the game and even I who wouldn't call myself a Kobe fan got worried, even as a Celtics fan I felt kind of bad. I don't hate Kobe the same way I hate other rivals, I didn't wanna see him lay an egg in his final game. For a few minutes I thought the Jazz would win by 30 and Kobe would score like 17 points.
Finally shots starting falling, Kobe heated up a little and finished the first quarter with 15 points....on 5/13 from the floor. You didn't know then, but it was going to be a "special" night.
Kobe however definitely did show his age at times last night.
I was shocked I was so entertained during this game. It was AWFUL basketball but at the same time it was beautiful. Just a back and forth tilt of airballs and turnovers, I was on the edge of my seat.
The Lakers had 16 wins going into last night for a reason, they SUCK. The Jazz are ok, they were 40-41 going into last night but were eliminated from the playoffs already and were just played for pride as with a win they'd finish the season at .500. You could tell they didn't want to let Kobe win his final game.
After 3 quarters Kobe had shot like 32 times. All I wanted was for him to shoot 50 times.
The Lakers were down by as many as 15 points in the 2nd half. I don't really remember when because I was too busy focusing on Kobe throw up shows for wherever he wanted. Let's fast forward to the final minutes. At this point it looks like the Lakers might actually come back, then theres some sloppy play and it looks like the Jazz have the game at hand.
Not if the Mamba has anything to say about it, after having one of the strangest games in NBA history as Kobe was as inefficient as it gets. Down 10 with like three minutes remaining Kobe starting playing like it was 8 years ago and starting hitting shot after shot, I think he scored like 13 straight points at one point. Credit to the refs who swallowed their whistles and let them play....yeah probably could have called a few fouls on the Lakers to ice it for Utah but whats really more important a nothing franchise winning to go 41-41 or one of the greatest players of the last 25 years going out with a win in a meaningless game?
Here is a longer video of Kobe's final minutes.
If thats' too long here is the final field goal of Kobe's career that gave the Lakers the lead.
50th shot of the game!! 50, 5-0. Amazing. In Kobe's last game he had the ultimate ball hog, forced shot performance that has been Kobe's entire career. It incredible to watch a 37 year old man shoot a basketball 50 times in one game. I'm not comparing myself to Kobe, but here is a comparison to Kobe. I've played a lot of pick up basketball the last few years, like a lot. Won an intramural championship in college (no big deal) so I know a thing or two about hoops. I don't think I've shot 50 times in 5 years of playing. Mamba did it in like 42 minutes of playing time. I can't wait to have kids so I can tell them about that random Wednesday night in April of 2016 where I witnessed all of this.
After 2 late free throws Kobe had 60 points on cool 22/50 shooting from the floor. I know he shot 50 times but 60 points in his last game was pretty awesome. I think some of the reactions are a little over the top, this was a meaningless game. People calling it the perfect ending are nuts, pretty sure a championship is the perfect ending, but for an awful team this was pretty cool. Kobe dropped a 60 burger in his final game and most importantly his team actually won. 17 wins in his final season. Yikes.
I do think it's very fitting however that the final play of Kobe's career was an assist. We all know Kobe was about buckets not dimes.
And just like that it was over. Kobe Bryant's career is finished. 60 points in his final game. While it was probably the worst 60 point performance of all time he still dropped 60. It was the most points anybody scored this season and also the most shot attempts in a single by anybody, in any season since 1984.
He addressed the fans for a final time. A lot of lip kisses with his daughters...idk what you think but to me that is weird AF, you stop kissing your parents on the lips way before whatever age Kobe's daughters are.
I think there was a slight at Lebron in there too for leaving. I can get behind hating on Lebron any day so I will say thank you to Kobe for that. Of course he ended with "Mamba Out" which apparently was very planned.
So the Kobe retirement tour is over. Now we can all focus on the NBA playoffs which start in a few days. Warriors will probably win it all. Hopefully my Celtics can at least move past the Hawks. I'm going to game 4 so I'll be sure to have a blog about that.
P.S. When did Kobe's wife get Kim Kardashian surgery?
"Who?" - non diehard Patriot fans.
In a somewhat surprising move the Patriots just released their 2014 first round draft pick defensive linemen Dominique Easley. In two seasons with the Patriots Easley did basically nothing. One highlight I can remember him having was an interception vs the Vikings in week 2 of 2014. Other than that, nothing.
I never liked him. I'm a Gators guy and still didn't like the pick. The Pats drafted a guy with terrible knees and he ended both of his seasons as a Patriot on the IR. Shocker. This chump as lucky enough to be on a Super Bowl winning team without doing anything. Makes me feel bad for Patriot legends like Logan Mankins and Wes Welker who just missed out on some bling.
What is really odd about this move is that by cutting him now the Pats still are going to have a 3.6 MILLION DOLLAR cap hit. Which for a team strapped for cap space is troubling. That is what really makes me mad because now they're probably gonna have to cut Danny Amendola unless he restructures again because this team is cap strapped. Makes you think he probably did something deplorable to get released. Hoping it's not a Hernandez 2.0 type of situation. (There were rumors of an unnamed Patriot being involved with that dude who just died on the Ravens I think)
With Dominique Easley gone is just adds to the laundry list of players the Patriots have drafted early in the last decade that completely flopped. To me that is the craziest story of their 15 year run of dominance in the NFL that they've done it while having a ton of draft busts. Obviously they've made some really good selections as well, and struck gold with guys like Brady and Edelman in the late rounds but just look at some of the names they've taken and the guys still available. Obviously it's easy to look back now and say how the hell could you mess that up? But even the greatest franchise in all of sports as it's misses.
Patriots Draft Busts in the Last Decade
2006: 1st round 21st overall Lawerence Maroney (RB) Wasn't a complete bust but for how high of a draft pick he was I'd consider him a flop. Was okay in 2006 and 2007.
2006: 2nd round #36 overall Chad Jackson (WR) over guys like Greg Jennings, Devin Hester and Maurice Jones-Drew
2008: 2nd round #63 overall Terrence Wheatley (CB) over Jamaal Charles
2008: 3rd round #78 overall Shawn Crable (LB) 3rd round pick 4 career tackles in the NFL
2008: 3rd round #94 overall Kevin O' Connell (QB) drafted a QB in the 3rd round when you had Tom Brady and Matt Cassel
2009: 2nd round #40 overall Ron Brace (DT)
2009: 2nd round #41 overall Darius Butler (CB) next pick Jarius Byrd, could have also had LeSean McCoy, Connor Barwin, or Max Unger
2010: 2nd round #53 overall Jermaine Cunningham (LB) Complete bust, taken ahead of Carlos Dunlap and Sean Lee
2010: 3rd round #90 overall Taylor Price (WR) no impact whatsoever
2011: 2nd round #33 overall Ras-I Dowling (CB) first pick of the 2nd round and also probably the worst pick of the 2nd round. Hurt entire time with Pats. Did literally nothing.
2011: 3rd round #74 overall Ryan Mallet (QB) complete waste of a 3rd round pick
2012: 2nd round #48 overall Tavon Wilson (S) Experts didn't even expect him to get drafted
2012: 3rd round #90 overall Jake Bequette (DE) played in 8 games from 2012-15. BUST
2013: 2rd round #59 overall Aaron Dobson (WR) More like Aaron Dropson, was okay rookie year, been hurt ever since
2014: 1st round #29 overall Dominique Easley (DL) 22 games in 2 seasons. Cut Today.
Again obviously the Pats have been great in the last 10 years. 3 AFC championships, 1 Super Bowl win, 9 Division titles, 5 straight AFC championship game appearances. It's just crazy to me they've had so many draft flops and have maintained this high level of excellence. All the credit to Belichick the coach (not the GM) despite all the success of the Brady Belichick era the craziest thing to me is that they have underachieved despite all the success. Could very easily have another Super Bowl or 3.
The 2016 Major League Baseball season is a week old. After a week there have been many storylines that have surprised fans across the country: Rockies rookie SS Trevor Story hits 7 home runs in his first 6 major league games, the Dodgers pull a rookie pitcher in his first career start despite having a no hitter going and the Baltimore Orioles are the leagues final undefeated team at 6-0. Nobody saw any of those things coming.
However this off season there were three major changes to the game that baseball fans knew were coming going into this season. First, many stadiums added additional protective netting to increase fan safety from flying balls and bats. Secondly, the change of slides are and are not allowed into 2nd base. Thirdly, a smokeless tobacco bans across a few major league cities.
Briefly, I think the additional nets are good to prevent bats, because no matter how closely you are paying attention to the action a large flying projectile coming into the stands can still cause serious damage. However I do not like the change however because it just enables phones culture more. Too many people are too busy staring at their phone instead of actually watching the game and a few have been hit by foul balls, I have no sympathy for these people. Social Darwinism at it's finest. I'm just as guilty as most for phone use but there are times where we need to put the fucking phone down and just enjoy life as it happens, and a major league baseball game is one of those places.
I think the new rule into second base is soft as well, one freak accident happens in the playoffs and now everybody is up in arms. America is getting too soft and it's leaking into sports as well. People are too lazy to fix things so instead they just ban them. It's not in just sports, it's all of life. I could go off on that subject for 10,000 words but am gonna try to keep my cool and just focus on the main reason I'm writing this. The smokeless tobacco ban.
Recently, cities such as Boston, New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles have banned smokeless tobacco. San Francisco was the first city in the country to ban smokeless tobacco use in all ballparks. Most notably, AT&T Park, home of the San Francisco Giants. A legal substance is now considered illegal in these places, resulting in a fine.
We still are in America, right?
I for the record, do not dip and never have. I did a pouch once in high school (I'm a pussy) thought it was nasty and never touched it again. I smokeless tobacco use is fucking disgusting and will openly admit I judge all people who do it, I think less of you. Smokeless tobacco is proven to cause cancer (RIP Tony Gwynn) and it is just gross to see dudes spit into water bottles or cups. It blows my mind that there are women on this planet who will kiss men who chew tobacco.
That being said it is not illegal and unlike cigarettes does not have adverse affects to those surrounding you, like second hand smoke. I don't have an issue with people dipping, it's their choice and doesn't negatively impact me. I think it is gross, but this is America and until it is actually illegal nation wide I don't think it should be banned from ballparks. Tobacco use goes as far back into baseball history as the double play. The famous Honus Wagner card that is worth like a billion dollars came from a cigarette give away ( I think)
In Boston anybody caught dipping/chewing at Fenway Park will be issued a $250 ticket. Including the guys on the field and in the dugout. Now to a regular guy sitting in the center field bleachers that is stiff price to pay. But for a major league baseball player, even someone making the league minimum it's a joke. Anybody who calls that number and reports someone is a snitch!
Many wonder if it will even be enforced. Is a cop really gonna issue David Ortiz or Dustin Pedroia a $250 ticket for having a lip in? Even if they do, do you think they're gonna care, $250 to someone making 15 million dollars is like a penny to a broke loser like me. It literally does nothing. These guys are addicted to this substance and are millionaires. Even if they have to pay thousands it's not gonna do anything. If you want to make a change I feel like there are better options than this.
Many say this rule is because the use of dip is unhealthy, which it undoubtedly is. But so are Fenway Franks or the $11 Budweisers for sale. I love a few (10) beers and hot dogs when I'm at Fenway, but I know they aren't good for me. I'm not an idiot I have a brain, I can figure out processed meats probably aren't healthy. Yet I make the discussion to do it anyway, and so does literally thousands of other people, just look at the lines. So I think this argument is a load of shit. I love beer too and don't think it should ever be banned but I know drunk people can be awful. Theres nothing worse than being around annoying drunk people that don't know how to handle their shit when you're sober, it's so annoying. Drunk people at games cause a lot more trouble than some guy packing a yammer. Didn't fans in LA basically kill a Giants fan a few years ago, don't think they did it because of dip. You just can't pick and chose what is bad for people. Since they can't sell skoal at Fenway like they can Budweiser this is a way to make money IMO. Again you can't tell people what they can and cannot do with things like this where it is not a crime or hurting anybody.
Then you'll hear the role model argument. "We can't have our young kids looking up to baseball players who chew tobacco" look at the bad influence it sets. Athletes are just people are good at playing a game. They're still people they aren't better than you or me. How about we have parents actually do their jobs and teach their kids what is right and wrong explain to them why you shouldn't use tobacco.
Pretty simple just show them a picture like this.
Instead of actually taking the time to do something, like explain to people the dangers of tobacco they just ban it. Again I think anybody who uses tobacco is a moron, I'm smarter and better than you because I don't dip but it is their right as an American to be that moron. That is something I'll support forever. The same way they can blast me for eating nothing but pizza for 5 years causing me to be a fat slob. It's the same thing. But I think it is stupid to say to grown men playing a game they can't pack a lip and then to think fining them $250 is gonna do something.
So while I do think dipping is disgusting, I think it is more disgusting for people to try to take freedom away.
News just broke on twitter that the Patriots are bringing back RB LeGarrette Blount on a 1 year deal. Terms have not yet out been announced, but I would be shocked if it is for a cent over 2 million dollars.
After the Pats cut often injured RB Tyler Gaffney yesterday may people suspected this move would happen. I guess I like this move.
Blount is not flashy at all, but in a way he is a microcosm of what the Patriots are all about, do your job, always be ready for whenever your number is called. He's an undrafted guy who was great in college then got in trouble. Patriots love bargain-bin players and that is what Blount is. There will be weeks where he gets 3 carries and then weeks where he gets 22. He's not a number one back, but in the backfield rotation the Patriots have been using for over a decade he's more than serviceable, in 12 games last year Blount rushed for 703 yards and 6 TD.
The biggest problem for the 2015 Patriots was keeping Brady upright because of their awful offensive line. Having no running game at all did not help the cause. After Dion Lewis torn his ACL against the Redskins and Blount got hurt against the Texans the Patriots had no running game at all. They were forced to sign free agent Steven Jackson. He was out of football all season and just had nothing left to give to the NFL. In the AFC championship game the Patriots could not run the ball at all as they had no legit threats to run the ball, parlay that with their poor offensive line it led to their demise as the Denver Broncos and Von Miller could just tee off on the Patriots every down knowing that every play was going to be a pass.
Bringing back Blount will help the Patriots offense, he's a good back, I think a little slow to hit the hole at times but we've seen in 2013, 14 and 15 at times how he can take over a game. I just wish the Pats added Matt Forte this off-season. With the contract the Jets gave him the Patriots definitely could have afforded him plus he is a perfect fit for the Patriots offense. But instead Blount-force trauma is back. Lets hope he and the Patriots have a great 2016. Man, I can't wait for football to be back. After waiting 10 years between Super Bowl Championships, hopefully this time the wait is much shorter.
Since his career is over next Wednesday I thought I'd pay my respect to Kobe Bryant. Hated him when he went against the Celtics in the Finals (If Perk doesn't get hurt in game 6 the Lakers would have lost game 7 in 2010 I truly believe that) but as I get older I respect Mamba more for all he's done for the NBA. He's the last of a dying breed of actual competitors in the NBA. Now it's a love fest and everybody is boys. I hate it. You're supposed to be competitive in sports and have rivals. I didn't like him because he was a rival of the Celtics. I feel like that is going away with how sport sports and life in general is becoming but thats something for another day. Hated Kobe on the court against my team but loved that he embraced being the bad guy and the villain. He knew who he was.
He'll retire an 18 time all star, with 5 NBA championships, 7 Finals appearances, all time leading scorer in Lakers history, 3rd highest scorer in NBA history. Love him or hate him he is probably a top 10 player of all time.
So since he is retiring this weeks sports #tbt is when Kobe scored 81 against the Raptors...Poor Jalen Rose
I do think it's stupid that he changed his number half way through is career, does he get 8 or 24 retired? You can only do that if you change teams or in your first couple season. I'm a BIG number guy in sports, it's how you're truly recognized and thought of. What number comes to mind when you think of Kobe? 8 or 24? I bet it's close to 50-50.
But it truly was the ultimate rebranding. Can't find the whole clip but Daniel Tosh said it best
"The first thing Michael Phelps should have done when that photo came out was call Kobe Bryant's publicist. Cuz Kobe was accused of rape, and all he had to do was settle in court for millions of dollars, change his jersey number and win a championship and that soulless town in LA couldn't be prouder. I just hope that when parents let their kids run around in #24 jerseys, they have the decency to say: 'well come on, number 8 was the rapist. Number 24 has a great work ethic and an unblockable turnaround.'"
My all time favorite Kobe moment.
Tuesday was Opening Day for the Boston Red Sox, they beat the Indians 6-2. When I did my little Opening Day blog I added pictures from the 3 World Series Champion teams of this century and it got me reminiscing about the players that made up those teams. It got me going down memory lane, which for me is something that happens about every-other day. So many of my favorite memories are wrapped around sports in one way or another.
A big thing on the internet recently has been build your favorite/best team "Draft Kings style", (for those of you who don't know what that means is basically everybody is given a dollar value and you have to build your team and stay under the salary cap) This trend has been going on not just with sports but with tv/movie characters and music too. If you read my blog on picking your 5 best office characters, basically that type of thing.
Last night I watched a video on the 2007 Red Sox and I decided to build my best team using players from each Red Sox World Series champion team. Now as this is just my start-up blog and I'm also HORRIBLE with math instead of going through all the work of giving everybody a dollar value to make it truly draft kings style, I decided to do a limit of players you could pick from each year.
The team consists of all C, 1B, 2B, 3B, SS, LF, CF, RF, DH, Starting Pitcher, Relief Pitcher, and Closer. Giving you the grand total of 12 players.
I decided to make it 4 players from each year, the only stipulation being you can only have one pitcher per year. So for example you couldn't have 2013 Jon Lester and 2013 Koji on your "dream team". It's gonna be 3 position player (2 and a DH for one year) and 1 pitcher from 2004, 2007 and 2013. The only exception being for players that were either injured or in a platoon situation such as Gabe Kapler and Trot Nixon in 2004 (injured) or Daniel Nava and Jonny Gomes in 2013 (platoon). If you were to some how pick them that still only counts as 1 player.
Final thing is you are taking the player from that entire season and playoff run. Only those stats matter, don't think of other seasons when doing this. So if you take Pedro it's 2004 Pedro. Don't think about his crazy 1999 and 2000 years when doing this.
Alright enough with the rules. Let's get started!
Here's a refresher on all the rosters incase you forgot! Not gonna list every starting and relief pitcher just because there are obvious players you wouldn't take on your dream team.
Here are my picks. Stats I'm showing are: age, games, home runs, rbis, stolen bases, batting average, on base percentage, on base + slugging, wins above replacement.
2004 Jason Varitek: (32) 137 games 18 HR 73 RBI 10 SB .296 BA /.390 OBP/ .872 OPS/ 4.0 WAR
2007 Jason Varitek :(35) 131 games 17 HR 68 RBI 1 SB .255 BA/ .367 OBP/ .787 OPS/ 2.3 WAR
2013 Jarrod Saltalamacchia: (28) 121 games 14 HR 65 RBI 4 SB .273 BA/ .338 OBP/ .804 OPS/ 2.9 WAR
With Catcher Jason Varitek was the primary catcher for 2 of the 3 Red Sox World Series Victories. It was Salty behind the plate in 2013.
With Catcher 2004 Varitek is clearly the best selection but again it is important to remember the year limit so you can't just pick the best player available for every spot. Kind of like draftings...
However in this case I am going to and 2004 Jason Varitek is behind the plate for my dream team, the dude nearly hit .300 as an everyday catcher, that is almost unheard of in the majors. Many forget this was a contract year for Tek and he sure did deliver with the highest batting average of any full season in his career. He was rewarded by being appointed the captain of the Red Sox in 2005 although over the years the importance of that has been ridiculed.
2013 Salty was solid but he lost his job in the World Series to David Ross which loses him a major points. Tek was solid for sure in 07 but was starting to show signs of his age, with these three 2004 Varitek is clearly superior so he's my guy.
2004 Kevin Millar: (32) 150 games 18 HR 74 RBI 1 SB .297 BA/ .383 OBP/ .857 OPS/ 2.8 WAR
2007 Kevin Youkilis: (28) 145 games 16 HR 83 RBI 4 SB .288 BA/ .390 OBP/ .843 OPS/ 2.4 WAR
2013 Mike Napoli: (31) 139 games 23 HR 92 RBI 1 SB .259 BA/ .360 OBP/ .842 OPS/ 4.0 WAR
Unlike Catcher, with 1st base there is no clear cut winner IMO. All three guys beat the other two in at least one stat category. Mike Napoli clearly has the highest WAR but I don't think that's all that matters. I do appreciate SABERmetrics and think they matter, but at the same time I think nerds rely on them for too much.
Each guy brought something different to the table and all had their big moment(s) in the postseason. Kevin Millar's walk in 4 game of the 04 ALCS led to the most famous steal in Red Sox history. Kevin Youkilis hit .500 with 3 HR and 7 RBI in the 07 ALCS and if it wasn't for Josh Beckett would have been series MVP. Mike Napoli's HR in game 3 of the 2013 ALCS was the only run scored in a 1-0 win against Justin Verlander and the Tigers.
One thing they all do have in common is very high on base percentages. These three knew how to work the count. Another major similarity is that they all lost their starting jobs at 1B in the World Series when games were played in the NL park to David Ortiz.
When building my dream team I'm taking 2007 Kevin Youkilis and this is why: Defense.
In 2007 Kevin Youkilis was a gold glove winner, and although that award has it's critics you can't take that away from him. In 2007 Youk didn't make a single error at first base. He would break the record for my consecutive chances at 1st without an error over 2007 to 08 (record since broken). Match that with his similar offensive numbers as the other two guys and high OBP, 2007 Youk is my 1st basemen.
2004 Mark Bellhorn: (29) 138 games 17 HR 82 RBI 6 SB .264 BA/ .373 OBP/ .817 OPS/ 3.7 WAR
2007 Dustin Pedroia: (23) 139 games 8 HR 50 RBI 7 SB .317 BA/ .380 OBP/ .823 OPS/ 3.9 WAR
2013 Dustin Pedroia: (29) 160 games 9 HR 84 RBI 17 SB .301 BA/ .372 OBP/ .787 OPS/ 6.3 WAR
Mark Bellhorn in 2004 became a folk hero. Despite leading the league in Strikeouts he was a productive player. In the postseason he hit a home run in 3 straight games (ALCS games 6 & 7, WS game 1). Bellhorn was a big part of the team in 04 but he's not in the discussion for me when picking my 2B.
In a battle of Pedroias there is 2007 Rookie of the Year Dustin and 2013 All star and gold glove winning Pedroia. Both Pedroia years were much better defensively than Bellhorn as well. You really can't make a bad decision here with either Dustin.
I'm giving the slight edge to 2007 Pedroia just because his post season numbers were better. In 07 Pedey started slow but Terry stuck with him and it definitely paid off. He became ROY, won MVP the following season and became one of the most important players on the entire roster for years to come. I'd say in 2013 Pedroia was much more important to the Red Sox success just because the 2007 Sox were more talented than 2013, but again with the stipulations at hand you gotta make the tough decisions, so 23 year old, Rookie of the Year, old slightly balding Pedroia is my 2nd basemen.
2004 Bill Mueller: (33) 110 games 12 HR 57 RBI 2 SB .283 BA/ .365 OBP/ .811 OPS/ 1.2 WAR
2007 Mike Lowell: (33) 154 games 21 HR 120 RBI 3 SB .324 BA/ .378 OBP/ .879 OPS/ 5.0 WAR
2013: Will Middlebrooks: (24) 94 games 17 HR 49 RBI .227 BA/.271 OBP/ .696 OPS/ -0.1 WAR
We can all cross Will Middlebrows off the list right away. One of the biggest busts in recent Red Sox history. What hurts the most about him is unlike many busts he actually showed legit glimpses of promise at the major league level. Other than hitting a double in game 2 of the ALCS and being the obstruction guy in the World Series he did nothing in the postseason as he was benched for rookie Xander Bogaerts.
I love Billy Mueller, he was huge in 04. His walk-off HR against Mariano Rivera in July of 2004 is one of my all time favorite red sox moments and one of the most memorable regular season games of my fandom. He was a huge part of the 04 team despite not playing in 52 games.
The choice here however to me is extremely easy, in 2007 Mike Lowell. His stats were amazing. As the #5 hitter in the Red Sox line up he was a force. 5th in the MVP voting in 2007. He went from throw-in in the Josh Beckett-Hanley Ramirez trade to World Series MVP. 2007 Mike Lowell is one of the easiest decisions on this list. He was an All Star for the Sox as well. Pencil him in at 3rd base for the dream team.
2004 Orlando Cabrera: (29) 58 games 6 HR 34 RBI 4 SB .294 BA/ .383 OBP/ .857 OPS/ 1.8 WAR
2007 Julio Lugo: (31) 147 games 8 HR 73 RBI 33 SB .237 BA/ .294 OBP/ .643 OPS/ 0.6 WAR
2013 Stephen Drew: (30) 124 games 13 HR 67 RBI 6 SB .254 BS/ .333 OBP/ .777 OPS/ 3.0 WAR
Shortstop has been a revolving door for the Red Sox from 2004 to basically last season. Cabrera, Renteria, Gonzalez, Lugo, Green, Lowrie, Scutaro, Aviles, Drew, Bogaerts. I'm probably forgetting some but those are all the guys who have played SS for a major period of time off the top of my head. Out of all of the positions on all the World Series teams this is by far the weakest. Gotta pick somebody though.
I'm all out of 2007 position players, but even if I wasn't theres no chance I take Julio Lugo. I hated Julio Lugo, looking at his 07 stats though they are a lot better than I would've guessed. I can't believe he drove in over 70 runs, and had 33 stolen bags. Really don't remember that and I watched probably 90% of the Red Sox games in 07. My biggest Julio Lugo memory is being in a Facebook group back in high school called "I'd trade Julio Lugo for a bag of stale Doritos" He's garbage.
After they trading away Nomar in July of 2004 Orlando Cabrera was the Sox SS in the 2nd half of the season. Wasn't that outstanding but a very solid SS who played gold-glove quality SS in 2004. Can't remember a big Cabrera moment in 2004 but that's because my brain has too many memories from 04. Plus I was 12 and my mind gets worse by the day. I'm sure he had some big moments....Just looked it up 11 RBI in the 2004 postseason. Good for you O-C.
Stephen Drew got a lot of shit in 2013, mainly in the playoffs when he became an automatic out. However during the season his stats weren't awful. I feel like he was much, much better in the first half of 2013 than he was in the latter half and postseason. His defense though in the playoffs was huge, I can remember a sliding stop he made in game 6 of the ALCS (I was there NBD) that took runs off the board. Defense is why Farrell stuck with him throughout the postseason. The one time he took him out, Will Middlebrooks came in and Bogaerts moved to SS and we all know how that ended as Will Middlebrooks only World Series high light was an obstruction call.
It was fitting after how much Drew struggled in the playoffs that he hit a homer in game 6 of the World Series. This line up I'm making has a ton of great bats but I need Stephen Drew to sure up the D, him as a 9 hitter isn't awful. Shockingly, Stephen Drew makes this roster.
2004 Manny Ramirez (32) 152 games 43 HR 130 RBI 2 SB .308 BA/ .397 OBP/ 1.009 OPS/ 4.1 WAR
2007 Manny Ramirez (35) 133 games 20 HR 88 RBI 0 SB .296 BA/ .388 OBP/ .881 OPS/ 2.5 WAR
2013 Daniel Nava (30) 134 games 12 HR 66 RBI O SB .303 BA/ .385 OBP/ .831 OPS/ 2.8 WAR
2013 Jonny Gomes (32) 116 games 13 HR 52 RBI 3 SB .247 BA/ .344 OBP/ .771 OPS/ 1.1 WAR
07 was one of Manny's worst seasons with the Red Sox which is saying something because he still had a solid season. Everybody will remember his walk off homer against K-rod in the ALDS from that year. As much as I love Daniel Nava (fuck Jonny Gomes, Nava got screwed by not getting a lot of postseason playing time in favor of Gomes, despite hitting .303 and being 5th in the AL in OBP) the obvious choice he is 2004 Manny Ramirez.
In 2004 Manny was a monster. Lead the AL in HR and OPS, was an All Star, won a Silver Slugger and finished 3rd in MVP race. In the post season Manny was great as well (not really in the ALCS) as he won World Series MVP.
Gotta have 04 Manny in Left.
2004 Johnny Damon: (30) 150 games 20 HR 94 RBI 19 SB .304 BA/ .380 OBP/ .857 OPS/ 4.2 WAR
2007 Coco Crisp: (27) 145 games 6 HR 60 RBI 28 SB .268 BA/ .330 OBP/ .712 OPS/ 3.3 WAR
2007 Jacoby Ellsbury: (23) 33 games 3 HR 18 RBI 9 SB .353 BA/ .394 OBP/ .902 OPS/ .6 WAR
2013 Jacoby Ellsbury: (29) 134 games 9 HR 53 RBI 52 SB .298 BA/ .355 OBP/ .747 OPS/ 5.7 WAR
In 2007 it wasn't really a platoon. Coco was the starting CF basically the entire season, Jacoby just got called up late in the year and was hot. In the ALCS he took over for Coco so when talking about building a dream team of the World Series winning teams you have to include Jacoby from 07. Regardless they aren't my pick. Just had to give Tacoby Bellsbury a nomination.
It's between 2004 Damon and 2013 Ellsbury. Both left handed centerfielders who sold out and went to the Yankees. Although when Damon went it hurt a lot more as most Red Sox fans knew Ellsbury was gone and frankly many expected it. I felt straight up betrayed when Damon joined the Yankees and cut his hair and shaved off his beard. Luckily for the Sox both were not the same player after leaving Boston. Ellsbury is much faster than Damon. He is a better fielder IMO than Damon too, but not by much, both were good defensive CF's in their time with Boston.
It's a tough choice because Ellsbury was great in 2013 but for my dream team I'm going 2004 Johnny Damon.
In the lead off spot Johnny Damon had nearly 100 RBI. A lot of new age baseball people will say RBIs don't matter I don't think you can say that. The things Johnny Damon did offensively to set the table in 2004 were huge and are ultimately what separates him from Ellsbury. Johnny was the face of the 2004 Red Sox "Idiots" persona with his long hair and beard. I hated him for a long time after leaving the Sox but looking back now in 2016 you cannot take away from what he did. His 2004 season was outstanding, his grand slam in game 7 of the ALCS will never be forgotten in Boston. Give me the idiot in center.
2004 Trot Nixon: (30) 48 games 6 HR 23 RBI 0 SB .315 BA/ .377 OBP/ .887 OPS/ 0.9 WAR
2004 Gabe Kepler: (28) 136 games 6 HR 33 RBI 5 SB .272 BA/ .311 OBP/ .700 OPS/ 0.1 WAR
2007 J.D. Drew: (31) 140 games 11 HR 64 RBI 4 SB . 270 BA/ .373 OBP/ .796 OPS/ 2.1 WAR
2013 Shane Victorino: (32) 132 games 15 HR 61 RBI 21 SB .294/ .351 OBP/ .801 OPS/ 6.1 WAR
People forget that Trot Nixon missed most of 2004 but he did, due in part to a herniated disc. Everybody loves the dirt dog, he was what it meant to be a Red Sox in the early 2000's but he just wasn't a big enough part of the 2004 regular season to get serious consideration. Luckily for Trot and Sox fans, he was healthy enough to play in the playoffs.
JD Drew really underperformed in 2007 but his grand slam in the ALCS makes it all worth it. Just wasn't a true Red Sox player. Hard for fans to like him.
I was going to pick Victorino regardless even before comparing the stats but after seeing them it really is no contest. I forgot how poor J.D. Drew's stats in 07 were. Many people, including myself bashed the Shane Victorino signing when it happened and sure he was awful in 2014 and 15 but also was hurt most of the time. Can't take away from how huge he was for the 2013 Red Sox. He won a Gold Glove in RF, hit nearly .300 and played through the pain.Which helped him become a fan favorite. I feel like he let himself get hit by a pitch every game in the playoffs just to get on base. His grand slam in game 6 of the ALCS is one of my favorite Red Sox moments. The 2013 team means so much to me. With Victorino in the line up in 2013 we all knew every little thing was gonna be alright. Without Victorino the Red Sox don't win the 2013 World Series. He's manning RF for my dream team.
2004 David Ortiz: (28) 150 games 47 HR 139 RBI 0 SB .301 BA/ .380 OBP/ .987 OPS/ 4.2 WAR
2007 David Ortiz: (31) 149 games 35 HR 117 RBI 3 SB .332 BA/ .445 OBP/1.066 OPS/ 6.4 WAR
2013 David Ortiz: (37) 137 games 30 HR 103 RBI 4 SB .309 BA/ .395 OBP/ .959 OPS/ 4.4 WAR
David Ortiz! David Ortiz! David Ortiz!
Big Papi is the only player who was on all three World Series Champion teams. All 3 seasons he had a great regular season. Each season he was an All Star, and Silver Slugger award winner. In 2004 and 2007 he finished 4th in MVP voting, and finished 10th in 2013.
Personally I feel like the 2007 Red Sox are the most forgotten champion of all the recent Boston championships and I feel like David Ortiz's 2007 is forgotten as well, which is insane because he hit .332 the best in his career and his 6.4 WAR was the a career high as well. He didn't have a historic playoff moment like he did in 2004 or 2013 but will still solid that October. He hit .714 in the sweep of the Angels in the ALDS and had 3 HR and 10 RBI in the 2007 postseason.
In 2004 David Ortiz had the team jump on his back in the ALCS comeback against the Yankees. We all know about the walk off hits he had in games 4 and 5 to keep the Sox alive. He hit a cool .387 with 3 HR and 11 RBI in that 7 game series where he was named ALCS MVP.
As great as 2004 David Ortiz was, I'm out of 2004 spots and am forced to use 2013 David Ortiz as my DH. I shouldn't say forced because in 2013 even at 37 years old David Ortiz was a force and the most feared bat in the Red Sox line up. I recently went into great detail about 2013 David Ortiz in a blog about his retirement. Check it out if you wanna see more about him.
In the 2013 playoffs Papi was a monster. He hit 2 HRs in the ALDS against the Rays and future teammate David Price. He struggled in the ALCS with only 2 hits but made the most of them as one was his series changing grand slam in game 2 that tied the game at 5. In the World Series, David again carried the Red Sox as most of the other bats in the line up got cold, he was on fire. hitting .688 in the series with 2 HR and 6 RBI. It very easily could have been 3 HR and 9 RBI as Carlos Beltran stole a Grand Slam from him in game 1 in a very similar spot to where Torii Hunter fell over the all in right field.
The final spot in my World Series dream team goes to 2013 David Ortiz.
For pitchers again it's one starter, one reliever and one closer. One from each season. I listed a ton of starters from all three teams and you can obviously chose one that I don't list but for me these are the only starting pitchers that have a legit argument to be the guy.
2004 Curt Schilling 21-6 3.26 ERA 226.2 Innings Pitched 203 K 1.063 WHIP
2004 Pedro Martinez 16-9 3.90 ERA 217 IP 227 K 1.171 WHIP
2007 Josh Beckett 20-7 3.27 ERA 200.2 IP 194 K 1.141 WHIP
2013 Jon Lester 15-8 3.75 ERA 213.1 IP 177 K 1.294 WHIP
2013 John Lackey 10-13 3.52 ERA 189.1 IP 161 K 1.157 WHIP
Lackey didn't get run support and had a losing record, but don't let that fool you. He was great in 2013, a real bounce back after an awful 2011 and Tommy John Surgery in 2012. He was big in the postseason going 3-1. Which included 6.2 shut out innings in the Game 3 of ALCS and was the winning pitcher in the World Series clincher. Had a great year and I felt deserved to be recognized with the other great starters from 04, 07 and 13 but he is not my choice.
To me it really comes down to 2004 Curt Schilling and 2007 Josh Beckett. Both were runner up in the Cy Young Award voting (Beckett probably would have won in 2007 if he pitched like 30 more innings as his numbers are very close to CC Sabathia's in 07) Both were horses in the playoffs as well. However I'm giving the slight edge to Schilling.
His trade to the Sox helped change the team's culture, his why not us attitude all season helped break the 86 year old curse. He didn't shy away from his goals and his achieved them in his first season as a Red Sox.
Also the Bloody Sock game, enough said.
Big Schill is one the mound for me here.
In 04, 07 and 2013 the bullpens were key. I listed a bunch of guys earlier you could pick from. Timlin, Embree, Okajima, Tazawa just to name a few.
I'm going with 2007 Hideki Okajima
In 2007 Okajima pitched 69 innings over 66 appearances with a 2.22 ERA and 63 K's with a WHIP under 1 at 0.971. He was elected to the AL All Star team as the final vote winner. Although he struggled in the sweep over the Rockies, before the World Series he didn't give a run in 7.1 innings of work between the first two rounds. I loved Oki in 07 and he is an easy pick to me for my reliever. I feel like people have forgotten about him because he was really only good for 3 seasons but in 2007 Okajima was a gigantic key the Sox success.
2004 Keith Foulke: 5-3 2.17 ERA 32 Saves 83.0 IP 79 K
2007 Jonathon Papelbon: 1-3 1.85 ERA 37 Saves 58.1 IP 84 K
2013 Koji Uehera: 4-1 1.09 ERA 20 Saves 74.1 IP 101 K
Closer was a strong position for all three teams, again you really can't make a bad decision here. Folk was great in 04. People forget how nasty Papelbon was. Mainly because of how big of an ass hole he is and how his final appearance as Red Sox was blown save in 2011 that completed their September collapse, but he was filthy. Both had more saves in their World Series seasons but I'm going with Koji in a landscape.
It works out perfectly that he was on the 2013 team for the rules I set up but I was picking him no matter one, 1st pick out of all the pitchers.
Koi in 2013 is basically unhittable. The crazy thing is one he threw like 90 mph (which for a closer is very rare) and two he wasn't even supposed to be the closer; Joel Harrahan was, then he got hurt and Andrew Bailey took over, then he got hurt and Koji became the closer. He was one of the most important members of the 2013 team when he came in not only was it game over, but it was also usually over within 10 pitches. He finished 7th in the Cy Young voting which is amazing when you consider he was only the closer for 1/2 the season.
Koji was the 2013 ALCS MVP, and deservingly so, he went 1-0 with 3 saves, pitching 6 innings over 5 games with 9 strikeouts while only allowing 4 hits. He retired faced 21 hitters in the ALCS and struck out nearly half of them. Koji was NASTY! Didn't allow a run in the World Series either, and had 2 saves in the fall classic. Don't forget his pick off of Kolten Wong in game 4. I LOVE KOJI!!
That's it. Thats my dream Red Sox team using players from the 2004, 07 and 13 World Series Champion teams. Here's how I would fill out the line up card. Position, player, side they hit from, year.
1. CF Johnny Damon-Left (2004)
2. 1B Kevin Youkilis-Right (2007)
3. DH David Ortiz-Left (2013)
4. LF Manny Ramirez-Right (2004)
5. 3B Mike Lowell-Right (2007)
6. C Jason Varitek-Switch (2004)
7. 2B Dustin Pedroia-Right (2007)
8. RF Shane Victorino Switch/Right in the playoffs (2013)
9. SS Stephen Drew-Left (2013)
Starter: 2004 Curt Schilling
Reliever: 2007 Hideki Okajima
Closer: 2013 Koji Uehera
Thanks for reading! Hope you enjoyed it. Think you can come up with a better line up? How would you create your team? Let me know in the comments below!!!!
If you read my MLB preview blog(s) you saw that Mookie Betts is my AL MVP pick for 2016. Well on Opening Day he's gotten off to a hot start. On pace for 162 homers in 2016. Not bad. Also made a great catch in RF that saved at least a double.
As much as I love the Red Sox their social media prescience can be so cringeworthy at times. #YaBettsBelieve is such a shitty try hard hashtag.
After yesterday's game was postponed because it was too cold (not helping the baseball players are pussies argument there boys) the Boston Red Sox are back! Opening Day for the 2016 Sox starts in Cleveland as the Sox take on old friend Terry Francona's Indians.
David Price vs. Corey Kluber is the pitching matchup for game 1 as two former Cy Young Award winner face off on Opening Day.
I've gotten into the Sox a lot so far on the blog. In fact, my first post was about them and it was awful but I'd like to think I'm getting better everyday. If you disagree just keep that inside. When Spring Training began everybody was worried about Hanley at first base but I feel like that has gone away. I honestly believe in Hanley. I think he has a big bounce back in 2016. Now the big question is Pablo Sandoval and whats his future with the Red Sox? Personally I hope he just gets traded but idk if any team is dumb enough to take him, but one can dream. I do think the Red Sox have what it takes to make the playoffs but there are still a lot of uncertainties in the this team, mainly in it's rotation after David Price. I just really want to see David Ortiz in the playoffs one last time.
But today Opening Day and I'm not gonna worry about all the negativity and just for today enjoy the fact that the Red Sox are back. Today is game 1 of 162 let's start the season off with a win! I hate when people say games in April don't matter because they matter in the standing just as much as a game in July or September. You can't win a division in April but you sure can lose one. The last two years the Sox were basically out of the race by June. Let's hope that changes this season!
Go Red Sox!! and remember it's not how you start (only for today, not all of April I think the biggest key to success for this team is a good April, I mean look at 2013 they started 18-8 and we all know how that magical season ended) it's how you finish.
I'd love to see one of these sometime in the fall of 2016.