Archive for August, 2010

Francona’s take on Ellsbury,Cameron & Youkilis
August 18, 2010

Ellsbury out for 4-6 weeks which takes him to the last weekend of the season.

cameron will have surgery in the next 2 weeks-he is out and there is a chance-very slim that Youkilis could return (like if the red sox made the world series.

and oh yah- pedroia is now on the DL for 2 more weeks as his foot has not completely healed

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Red Sox and Wes Welker
August 12, 2010

In reverse order. Do not expected Wes Welker to play in tonight’s pre-season opener vs the Saints. In fact I don’t expect him to play in the 2nd pre-season game vs Atlanta and I only expect him to play a couple of series in the 3rd pre-season game. And you know by now that hardly any starters play in the meaningless 4th pre-season game so he definitely won’t play in that one.

Now having said all of that, Wes Welker’s return from surgery is not your normal case/player. But knowing Belichick, and how he treats the pre-season, c’mon, do you honestly think he will put Welker (one of 3 or 4 main keys to a successful season) at risk in an exhibition game?

Now to the Red Sox. The biggest question concerning their hopes for a playoff spot is can Tampa continue to fold?

The Red Sox will continue to play good baseball as their pitching is finally beginning to come around and with Dustin Pedroia returning next Tuesday there is legitimate hope (tho what is with Bill Hall? Hope he can play left field).

Let’s reassess after this week-ends series in Texas against the 1st place Rangers

-MD

JC Breaks Down UFC 117
August 10, 2010

He didn’t get to hang out with Chris “The Crippler” Leben at Remy’s (a la your humble editor and NewsCenter 5’s Sean Kelly), but that’s because our MMA guru JC was too busy paying attention to the actual card. Here’s his review:

The dust has settled on another exciting UFC event and while the talk since Saturday night has centered around the surprisingly competitive main event, a large part of the evening went just as expected.

-Jon Fitch solidified himself as the “Best of the Rest” in a welterweight division dominated by Champion Georges St-Pierre, with a snooze-fest unanimous decision over Thiago Alves. Fitch finds himself in a precarious position atop the UFC contenders as he’s beaten everybody (outside of GSP) but his style of fighting is such that very few will spend the money to watch him fight as the main event.

-Clay Guida did what Clay Guida does. Not sure if it says more about the fight or about me, but the only part of this fight that I rewound and watched over again was when Guida pushed his corner-man’s head out of the way so he could let out a burp that appeared to originate from the depths of his soul. It was classic Guida.

-Matt Hughes continued his resurgence, with a nice submission on Ricardo Almeida that had Almeida passed out in the Octagon.

-Junior dos Santos proved everyone right (except me) and dominated Roy Nelson for three rounds. As good as Nelson looked against his first two UFC opponents, dos Santos shined a light on some glaring weaknesses in Nelson’s game. It’s hard to believe Nelson will do well against his next rumored opponent in Shane Carwin. He couldn’t take dos Santos down and Carwin will be tougher, with his wrestling pedigree. It’d also be hard to believe Carwin wouldn’t send Big Country into a dream within a dream within a dream if he connected on half the shots Junior did.

-Christian Morecraft made Stefan Struve look like Mushmouth after the beating he delivered in round 1. Unfortunately for Morecraft, the doctors let Struve continue in spite of a bottom lip that appeared to be falling off. I’m surprised to see nothing has been made of Struve’s cheapshot after the tap coming out of the 2nd round. Morecraft hadn’t even pulled his hand back from the tap before Struve hammered him with a leg kick. Shortly thereafter, Morecraft was out cold.

-Nothing can be said about the Silva/Sonnen fight that hasn’t been said already. It ended exactly as expected, but the beginning and middle were beyond shocking. To his credit, Sonnen offered no excuses after the fight (unlike Silva). He gave credit to Silva and said his heart was broken. If he showed this much class leading up to the fight, he probably would’ve heard less boo’s entering the ring. Of course, it also would’ve resulted in much fewer PPV buys (and thus, likely less $$ for Sonnen).

Up Next

Make no mistake, Shaq is not the biggest thing to come to Boston this summer. In less than three weeks, Dana White brings the UFC to his hometown for the first time. This card offers something for everybody. BJ Penn, one of the top pound-for-pound fighters of all time, looks to take his title back from Frankie Edgar. UFC Legend (and star of the upcoming Sly movie “The Expendables”) Randy Couture takes on the first legitimate cross-over challenge from a boxing champion in James Toney. Westwood native Kenny Florian (who operates the Florian Martial Arts Center in Brookline with his brother Keith) takes on rising star Gray Maynard for what’s likely to be for a title shot against the Penn/Edgar winner and Brockton’s own Joe Lauzon will face off against Ultimate Fighter castoff Gabe Ruediger. Previews and predictions will come as we get closer to fight night.

The Big Shamrock
August 10, 2010



With the addition of Shaq have the Celtics surpassed the Red Sox and the Patriots as the #1 team in New England? Red Sox diehards will immediately shake their heads, but once the Red Sox season is over and the Patriots have lost a couple of games (sorry but that is going to happen), The Celtics and their huge opener against LeBron, Dwyane Wade and the Heat will be THE topic of conversation.

Shaq, at todays introductory press conference, was indeed bigger than life. He said that he is 7-1 and 345 pounds wearing a size 22 shoe. He addressed what he liked as a new nickname- “The Big Shamrock, or maybe even The Big Green Mile”. I must admit that “The Big Green Mile” is clever but it doesn’t quite have the immediate identity to the Celtics as does “The Big Shamrock”. (tho I’m not giving up on “the Big Leprechaun”.)

Everyone knows that Shaq is not going to be dominant on the court, but off the court he is a guy that has learned how to smile, unlike 90-95% of professional athletes (think Red Sox-have you ever seen a more sullen bunch with a few exceptions?). Seriously, what is their not to smile about-making millions of dollars for playing a kids game. Don’t take yourself so darn seriously and Shaq does not which is one of the biggest reasons that he is so popular.

If Shaq wants to (and even if he doesn’t want to) he could easily be the most popular athlete in this town in no time. Sounds unlikely? Trust me. If he can produce just a little, which I have every reason to believe he can, look out. Keep smiling Shaq, everyone can always use a good smile to help uplift their day.

-MD

UFC 117 Preview
August 6, 2010

Editor’s Note: Our MMA guru JC checks in with his preview of Saturday’s big UFC 117 card in Oakland. It’s the start of some heavy coverage as we get ready for UFC 118 at the Garden on August 28. Next up, lightweight star (and Boston’s own) Kenny Florian joins us for TD Bank Sports OT on Sunday, August 15 at 11:30. He’ll be talking about his big fight versus Gray Maynard at UFC 118.

Six days after watching new poster-boy Jon “Bones” Jones dismantle Vladimir Matyushenko, the UFC travels to Oakland Saturday to continue its busiest month since December 2008 with UFC 117.

Main Event

Not too long ago Middleweight Champion Anderson Silva was considered by many to be the “Baddest Man on the Planet”. A few fights later, Silva has come no closer to defeat but has fallen so far off the mountaintop that UFC President Dana White threatened to cut his title-holder after his unanimous-decision over Demian Maia.

Silva’s opponent is former Oregon State House candidate Chael Sonnen. Like any good politician Sonnen has talked a big game. Against any other champion, Sonnen’s Clubber Lang impression would have made him public enemy #1, but Silva holds that title too. Saturday night we’ll see if Sonnen’s game plan is as sharp as his tongue.

Prediction: The question is not whether Silva will win, but which Silva will show up. Will the Champ toy with Sonnen for 5 rounds and coast to another victory, putting Dana White in the unenviable position of having to consider putting his money where his mouth is and cut a title-holder coming off nine straight title defenses? Or will the Spider shut Sonnen up in the ring with the type of performance that catapulted him to the top of the UFC? My vote is somewhere in between. Sonnen will take the Spider down Saturday night, but Silva’s still dangerous on his back and Clubber Jr. is susceptible to submissions and will eventually get caught.

Silva wins by submission in the 2nd.

The Rest

Jon Fitch vs. Thiago Alves – Contrasting styles in this fight. Fitch is all wrestling and puts together some major snoozefests. On the other hand, ten of Alves’s sixteen victories have come by knockout or TKO. Prediction: GSP showed the world the gameplan to beating Alves and it’s right in Fitch’s wheelhouse. Take him down and grind him out. Fitch by unanimous decision.

Clay Guida vs. Rafael dos Anjos – Fan favorite Guida is back after losing two of three and takes on the young Brazilian dos Anjos. Prediction: Guida lays on him for three rounds and dos Anjos spends Sunday pulling hair out of his mouth. Guida by decision.

Matt Hughes vs. Ricardo Almeida – UFC Legend Matt Hughes is back and looking for his third straight victory after dropping two straight (Alves & GSP). After taking a step down in competition, Hughes is enjoying some success in the twilight of his career (take note, Iceman). Prediction: Hughes by decision.

Junior dos Santos vs. Roy Nelson – Fans in Oakland haven’t seen a belly like Nelson’s since JaMarcus Russell left town. Fortunately for Nelson, the belly is all they have in common. Casual fans will think it’s some kind of joke when the mullet-wearing Nelson enters the ring, but the joke is on dos Santos if he doesn’t take Big Country Nelson seriously. Perhaps the most intriguing matchup of the night pits the young prospect dos Santos against the wily old veteran in Nelson. A shot at the UFC Heavyweight title is on the line in this fight and word is that the loser is already slotted to take on Shane Carwin. Prediction: Nelson by TKO.

Shaq Needs A Nickname
August 5, 2010

Well, not really. He’s already got like 50 of them.

But if you caught sports at 11, you heard Lynchie put out the call for new nicknames for the newest Celtic Shaquille O’Neal. Dowling is pitching “The Big Hub-Ub.” I am partial to “The Big Leprechaun.”

Do you guys have any ideas? Comment here, or email us at wcvbsports@thebostonchannel.com.

We may use your nickname on the air tomorrow at 6. If we find “the one” we’ll mention it to Shaq when he’s introduced Tuesday.

Shaq- The Big Hub-ub
August 3, 2010

Shaquille O’Neal and the Celtics have come to an agreement on terms for a contract to bring “The Diesel or Shaq-Diesel here to Boston.

Shaq has been known as “The Big Aristotle”, “The Big Maravich”, and “The Big Cactus” but now that Shaq is coming to the Hub, he should now be known as “The Big Hub-ub”, though our sports producer Scott Isaacs’ nomination of “The Big Leprechaun” is a pretty good one as well.

Shaq averaged 12 pts and 7 rebounds in the 23 minutes per game he played last year. He played 53 games last year. Next season all that would be needed from the 350 pound 18 year veteran is 8-10 pts and 5-6 rebounds/gm. And then there is the off the court activities!?

Shaq and Big Baby! and Nate Robinson! It could be the highest rated sitcom going. Shaq can’t get here soon enough. And oh by the way yes, he will help this team win too. A better show than even those young cocky upstarts playing in Miami. Opening night against the Heat is less than 3 months away.

-MD

C’mon Kraft, just pay Brady
August 1, 2010

Patriots Training Camp is now 4 days old and while Logan Mankins is still holding out, Wes Welker is in camp and practicing, tho no contact drills yet.

Tom Brady is in camp, but somewhat like Mankins, is not signed, for next season anyway. So what is taking so long? Oh yah, money, and LOTS of it.

Busisnessman Tom is looking to break the bank and his bargaining power will never be better. He turns 33 on Tuesday and so this will be his last big contract, and he wants to make sure it is indeed big, with lots of money up front in a signing money. How much? How does 20-30 million sound? Considering Brady’s accomplishments and how much rookie quarterbacks are getting (Sam Bradford- 80 million-50 of that guaranteed, over 6 years), that figure is not unreasonable.

I know Kraft can’t write a blank check, but considering Brady took a bit of a hometown discount in his last contract negotiations (60 Million over 6 years) and he restructured that contract to help sign Randy Moss,  it is now time to really cash in, especially now that he’s married to that business tycoon Giselle who settles for No discounts whatsoever. Even if Brady gets what he is asking he still won’t be the biggest money winner in his house.

Brady, on Friday, would not criticize these stalled negotiations or say anything negative about his owner saying that  “expressing personal feelings doesn’t do any good, doesn’t help anybody including the team”, also saying that he “is not going to play games”. The message was clear.

Brady was also asked if he’s like to end his career with the Patriots responding, “that’s what Tedy Bruschi and Troy Brown wanted…”. Yes, Brady would like to stay, but he is much more of a businessman now and he wants to be paid and if he has to go elsewhere to get that money, make no mistake about it, Brady would do exactly that.

C’mon Mr. Kraft, forget about the bath your Patriot Place is taking and pay up or your team will suffer just as mightily.

-MD