Red Sox Showing Signs Of Life

Winners of seven out of their last ten games, the Red Sox are showing some life here as we approach the last week before the All Star Game.

At 39-45, things aren’t great, they’ve still got major issues with guys like Rick Porcello and Mike Napoli, but slowly, things are improving.

The talks shows must feel good, they’ve been able to bring out all their old material on the Dominican left-fielder named Ramirez, who doesn’t always make the smartest plays in the field or on the basepaths, and can make routine plays an adventure.

While Hanley Ramirez hit a game winning home run in yesterday’s 5-4 win over the Houston Astros, Ramirez also ran into an out at third base early in the game, and served as the DH while David Ortiz played first in place of the struggling Napoli.

Gary Tanguay, who has suddenly become the top fill-in at WEEI despite getting fired from three jobs (Patriots radio, Celtics TV and 98.5 mid-days) in the last few years, spent this morning screaming that Ramirez should’ve been in there at first instead of Ortiz and was being selfish.

So let me get this straight. Ramirez, who has struggled mightily in adapting to a new position in left field, should’ve been put at another position he has never played before. Sounds insane.

By the way, Ramirez is hitting .308/.357/.538 since June 1st.  He’s clearly the problem.

The reemergence of Tanguay is nothing short of baffling to me.

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On Friday, Chad Finn gave a rundown of the local sports radio shows, an endeavor I’ve been meaning to do myself recently.

How do Boston’s sports radio shows rate?

I’d say I pretty much agree with him across the board. I’m not a huge fan of the style of Toucher and Rich, but I understand the appeal for many.

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CSNNE will broadcast three Celtics summer league games over the next week or so:

Following are the NBA Summer League games available LIVE on Comcast SportsNet and online:

LIVE: Monday, July 6 at 9PM Celtics vs. Utah (in Utah)

Replay: Saturday, July 25th at Noon

 

LIVE: Thursday, July 9 at 7PM Celtics vs. San Antonio (in Utah)

Replay: Saturday, July 25th at 2PM

 

LIVE: Thursday, July 14 at 7PM Celtics vs. Miami (in Las Vegas)

Replay: Saturday, July 25th at 4PM

 

Mind. Blown.

“I have come to appreciate the strength of Roger’s character that causes him to rise higher than the ethics of the current environment that all to often seeks to justify and defend indefensible acts.”

Troy Vincent on Roger Goodell

“Somebody has to protect the integrity of the game,” Vincent said. “That’s my responsibility, to protect and preserve the competitive fairness of professional football. That’s why our game is so great, because we protect the integrity of the game.”

Vincent on his job.

 

Just Another Sunday For The Globe

Yesterday’s Sunday Boston Globe was AWESOME.

If you’re into marveling at a lack of self-awareness, I guess.

We’ll start with the top story:

Baseball pitchers want a better grip, not a competitive advantage

Oh, the irony. baseball players would rather not cheat, but they’re FORCED to because of the slickness of the ball. Everyone does it. They joke about it.

The column (by Peter Abraham) ends like this:

Uehara smiled when asked what he uses.

“I do what everybody else does,” he said. “But I’d rather not talk about it.”

Now, when Tom Brady wants a better grip on the footballs, and requests that they are at the bottom end of the legal limit for inflation, he is CHEATING. It’s the end of the world. It’s the biggest scandal since…well, ever.

Abraham admits the contrast:

It’s a speck on the scandal meter compared to the lingering question of whether Patriots quarterback Tom Brady ordered footballs deflated before the AFC Championship game in January.

The difference apparently is that baseball players are not seeking a competitive advantage when they bring a foreign substance to the mound, or doctor up the ball in some way, they are just innocently trying to grip the ball better. Tom Brady is a cheating fraud whose entire legacy is on the line and he and the Patriots have been tendered the biggest punishment in the history of the NFL for this atrocity.

Moving to Ben Volin’s Sunday Football Notes, Volin proudly shows off his discovery of a Patriots fan statistician who agrees with the Wells Report!

Well, not really. Volin originally tweeted out the email he received from the statistician, who is not agreeing with the Wells Report, but is letting AEI know that he was able to replicate the results of the Wells Report when they could not. He still disagrees with the Wells Report and agrees that the data set used by Wells is flawed and the results were cherry picked.

That’s a far cry from PATRIOTS FAN STATISTICIAN BACKS WELLS REPORT SCIENCE, which is what it seems like Volin was going for. He somehow uses this as a way to wag his finger at Patriots homers:

The Wells Report was attacked viciously and thoroughly in New England, home to some of the most brilliant scientific and legal minds in the world, as well as the most rabid and passionate fans in the country.

It’s millions of Patriots fans vs. one Ted Wells, and Wells has gotten clobbered.

But when anything pro-Patriots is released — such as the AEI report or the Patriots’ Context Report — every word is taken as gospel. There’s been very little critical analysis of their work, and anything that doesn’t fit the “Patriots are innocent” story line is ignored.

Awww, poor Teddy got clobbered!

That last bit is just classic. Volin does realize that outside of New England, it is the EXACT OPPOSITE. It would be written like this – But when anything anti-Patriots is released — such as the PSI report or the Patriots’ Staffer Tried To Introduce Illegal Ball Report — every word is taken as gospel. There’s been very little critical analysis of their work, and anything that doesn’t fit the “Patriots are cheaters” story line is ignored.

(Props to Jerry Thornton for this – Wells Report ‘science’ firm Exponent gets whacked by court order – a judge is ordering Exponent to turn over documents related to their work on another case, saying “Methodologically sound science has nothing to fear from full and open disclosure.” Remember though, that according to Roger Goodell, “Ted Wells’ integrity is impeccable.”)

Let’s head over the Sunday Baseball Notes. Nick Cafardo is an unabashed Jose Iglesias fanboy. He is also Scott Boras’ local mouthpiece. So what is the lead section of the notes yesterday? Iglesias vs Xander Bogaerts – who also happens to be a Boras client! So he gets to compare (and promote) two Boras clients! Nick searches far and wide to get a source that agrees with his take on things:

“With all due respect to Bogaerts, he’ll never be Iglesias,” said a National League GM. “I haven’t seen anyone like that in years. I saw a lot of [Omar] Vizquel, and I think this guy [Iglesias] is better. To do something extraordinary like he does . . . I know that even though you have a good player like Bogaerts, when you trade away a guy like that you’d better have a great reason.”

I hope the GM is only talking defensively, because that is a bunch of nonsense. Bogaerts’ ceiling is much higher offensively than Iglesias, and he’s improved dramatically in the field.

Then we have Dan Shaughnessy talking with Larry Lucchino! (Anti-Shaughnessy linking policy prevents us from bringing you this content.) Hey guess what? The Red Sox have marginalized Larry, and the team is struggling! Lucchino gives canned answers and Shaughnessy has an easy, mail-it-in Sunday column. All is good.

Finally, we’ll look at the Sunday Basketball Notes. Gary Washburn grades each team’s draft. OK. Kind of expected, even if the grades mean absolutely nothing. My gripe with this column is not with Washburn, but with Celtics forward Jared Sullinger. The guy has struggled with his weight and conditioning during his time here, even to the point where Danny Ainge publicly called him out on it. Sullinger is reportedly working hard this summer, but this quote doesn’t do him any favors:

“I think I’m going on a personal feel,” Sullinger said. “If I’m able to move the way I want to move and make the moves I want to make, I think the number [weight] doesn’t really matter. It’s all about how long I can stand out there and be able to put the work in that I put in in the first quarter all the way through the 48 minutes of the game.”

Ugh. I’ll paraphrase Shaughnessy on this one. Get. Him. Gone.

Finally, from today, it must be summertime – WEEI suspends morning show host Kirk Minihane