The Red Sox continue to cruise along, winning their seventh in a row last night, behind a resurgent Clay Buchholz. The magic number to win the division sits at six games with ten to play.

It is always satisfying to see cocksure loudmouths have to eat their words when it comes to the local teams, and this is especially fun with all the demands for the head of John Farrell earlier in the season, the proclamations that Rick Porcello is terrible or that Hanley Ramirez is a lazy bum who will be a disaster at first base.

They may not win the World Series this fall, but this Red Sox club has made the summer interesting.


The Patriots enter tonight’s game with the Houston Texans as a rare home underdog.

With rookie Jacoby Brissett the likely starter at QB we could see some interesting stuff from Bill Belichick and Josh McDaniels tonight. The Washington Post tells us that Brissett is perfect for the Patriots.

(Hey, have you heard that Brissett was mentored by Bill Parcells????)


The New York Times, which has mostly been on the right side of deflategate, allowed one of its writers to publish an infomercial for Exponent, the company behind the pseudoscience of the Wells Report.

The writer of the article has a history of anti-Patriots Tweets and articles, so that he choose to present things in this light is not much of a surprise.

patriots-from-johnbranchnyt

The article essentially consists of Exponent giving a tour of its facilities and saying “we’re smart! we stand by our work!

None of the objections brought by critics were asked of the scientists. Nothing about the doctored photos of the gauges, etc. They emphasize that they did not allow their Boston office to participate in the study to avoid “fan bias” in their work (They don’t trust their own people?) but allowed a New York Giants fan to lead the work.


Elsewhere from the last week or two (I’ve been out of town):

Jim Donaldson: It’s a wrap after this final column – The longtime ProJo columnist accepts a buyout from the paper.

NFL Week 2 Finals: Season Off to Slow Start – NFL ratings aren’t great thus far. Thanks Roger!

The WEEI morning show “tryouts” are a sham. Despite being likely the least popular candidate, barring a huge surprise Gary Tanguay will get the gig alongside Minihane and Callahan. I hope I’m wrong. I’ve already put @OldTakesExposed on notice.

HUBRIS ALERT.

HUBRIS!

The funny thing is, Tom E Curran called this #hotsportztake exactly yesterday morning:

But you won’t see the hashtag #UnconventionalBill if Edelman starts taking snaps. It will be #ARROGANCE and it will be trending like a motherscratcher.

To the people who revile Belichick for what they see as a mumbling, smarter-than-thou pomposity, using Edelman at quarterback won’t be fun – WHEEEE!!!! – like it would be if some coach who’s cuddly with the media did it. It will instead be seen as an attempt by Belichick to show how smart he is. Another “Look at the big brain on me….!” moment in which he’s toying with an opponent like a cat with a mole.

Any bets on whether ol’ Yianni read Curran’s post and thought Yes! I’ve got my hottake for the day!

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22 thoughts on “Streaking Sox, Underdog Pats

  1. The interesting thing to me about sportswriters is that they are (some of them; not all of them) sort of the anti-journalists. In the sense that, as a reporter, you have to keep an open mind, and base your assumptions on facts and data. And many times, when new facts and data are presented, a reporter has to shift his or her viewpoint to accomodate said data. Many sportswriters are completely locked into the original “Deflategate’ storyline, and have no interest in adjusting the way they look at it. And that’s kind of frustrating.

  2. HUBRIS…

    I listened to OMF for about 20 minutes today and heard that term multiple times used to describe Belichick and his decision to not sign a QB.

    While I’d prefer the Patriots signed a QB to be the back up tonight. Even if it meant to just run a bunch of generic plays over and over. But I get why the Patriots didn’t. Belichick, you can’t say this for all coaches, has shown to be very much aware of percentages of all situations having to do with football. So the chance that you would lose your starting QB aren’t very high to begin with. What are the chances you lose your starting QB one week and the backup the very next week? Those chances have to be pretty low. (Man, I hope I don’t have to eat my words tomorrow)

    So I guess he must be thinking why bring in some guy who isn’t very good with only 2 days to get ready for a game and have to cut someone they really don’t want to cut to cover themselves on the off chance they lose Brissett tonight.

    The guy is a gambler, always has been, but he isn’t dumb about the bets he places and this move makes sense when I look at it this way.

    1. The point about cutting someone to bring in another QB is a very good one, especially considering the short time they will need the new QB.

      Let’s say they signed TJ Yates and cut LaAdrian Waddle, Clay Harbor or Anthony Johnson. Whoever they cut would get picked up by another team, so whatever plans they had for them would be scrubbed. Meanwhile, Brady is back for game 5, so Yates would be let go after 2 weeks, max. Do they really want to lose a guy off their 53 man roster, with no compensation, for a 2 week rental of player they hope won’t see the field?

    2. At this point, I think the evil genius side of BB’s personality almost relishes the chance to unleash “The Edelman Package” of plays on the unsuspecting Texans. (Like the mid-90s Steelers used to do when O’Donnell was their starter, but they would run the “Slash Package” of plays for Kordell Stewart as a wrinkle to disrupt the defenses’ game plan/play-calling.)

      Seriously, this is a coach, and a coaching staff, that leaves no stone unturned. They probably have been working on some kind of “Edelman Package” of plays for a while now. While they no doubt would like to see Brissett stay healthy tonight (and see Garappolo return next week), they’ve got to be very prepared for the worst-case scenario, and they probably have some very effective plays diagrammed in case #11 has to take a few snaps (but, hopefully, that won’t be the case).

      It is a gamble, though, I agree, though BB probably views it more like a calculated risk than a flat-out gamble.

      The more logical explanation, which I read somewhere else today, is that they didn’t want to make a roster move to accommodate a new QB on the roster because they didn’t want to expose a player to the waiver wire. This makes sense, really, especially considering that any QB they signed would only be on the roster for two weeks, and then would have to be released anyway after #12 returns for the Cleveland game.

      1. There are about a million women around New England who would love to see the Edelman Package too.

        Giggity.

        Kidding aside, you make sense and I wouldn’t be surprised to see it tonight.

  3. Just one thing about having to let someone go to temporarily sign someone like TJ Yates: the Pats are going to have to cut someone anyway when Tom Brady comes back. I think the same is true for Rob Ninkovich. Also, Dion Lewis, Tre Jackson and Sebastian Vollmer are on the PUP list and the Pats will have to cut another player for each one of those guys they bring back. Not saying they should sign Yates or anyone, just saying that the Pats are going to lose a few guys here fairly soon.
    So – if they DO cut someone to sign Yates, they’ll just end up cutting Yates in 10 days to make room for TB, so that roster spot was gone anyway.

    1. Agreed. It’s all speculation at this point about the roster spot, and they do have to risk losing two guys when Ninkovich and Brady come back in two weeks anyway.

      That said, call it “Hubris,” but the Pats always have a reason for some of the unconventional moves they do make. Maybe they really do think they can get by with Edelman for 2 or 3 quarters if they had to, and maybe they think it would work to their advantage given that Houston couldn’t possibly prepare for the kinds of plays they’d run with Edelman under center.

      The likely return of Gronk tonight makes it easier to lose Edelman as a receiver should that scary scenario play out during the game….and they had to know by Tuesday that Gronk was probably going to play this week.

      That must have figured into their decision to not bring in a QB.

    2. I don’t think that’s accurate. Brady is suspended, not injured or on the restricted list. Suspended players count towards the roster limit. No roster move will be needed when Brady comes back, because Brady’s already on the 53-man roster.

      1. Hi Dave,

        I think it is accurate – found this on insidefootball.com:

        Suspended List
        Players who have been suspended by the NFL are not eligible for PUP (unless they have an injury that’s going to prevent them from practicing). Those players are allowed to practice and play in preseason games. Once the final roster cut down date hits, though, any player that’s been handed a suspension goes on an inactive or reserve list and does NOT count against the 53-man roster.

        Funny, but if you look at the Patriots’ roster on patriots.com, you’ll see 55 names (including Brady and Ninkovich) on the roster, when you would expect to see 53.

        Just sayin’. I’m sure they’ll get it straight without our input anyway. 🙂

  4. Garoppolo Surgery??

    Just read this on PFT regarding the ligament injury to Jacoby Brissett:

    “That’s a huge blow for the Patriots, one game before Tom Brady’s return from suspension. Jimmy Garoppolo was inactive last night because of his surgery.”

    Um, did Jimmy Garoppolo have surgery? Did I miss a memo?

        1. Well – they were talking about Garoppolo’s surgery (not Brissett’s) like it had already happened or something. According to them, “Garoppolo was inactive last night because of his surgery.” That’s why I asked – because as far as I knew, JG10 had not had any surgery.

          And about getting another QB – might still happen, but seeing reports now that Brissett’s injury isn’t as serious as originally reported. Now it’s a sprain.

  5. Couple of media-related observations (local angle) in the wake of last night’s impressive performance by the Evil Empire down in Foxboro:

    1–Felger will find ANYTHING to complain and troll about. I briefly, much to my chagrin, tuned in to the CSNNE post-game show for a few minutes last night, and while he was complimenting the game plan and the team’s performance, he also said he “doesn’t want to watch an NFL game with college football plays being called,” and he wanted to see a “Tom Brady game plan” next week against Buffalo. I mean, seriously Mike? They called “college” plays because their only healthy or available QB is six months removed from college. You go with the players you’ve got, and you do the best you can with them (and whatever you think will help win the game). Is he really suggesting that the Pats should run a “Tom Brady” game plan against the Bills next week even if they don’t think Brissett is ready for that? Or, is he just trolling? I think I know the answer to my own rhetorical question.

    2–It’s amazing to me how we’ve all come to expect the Shank’s of the world to start with the “March of the Tomato Cans” b.s. after a game like this. I’ve seen countless references to it today among fans and media observers, with everyone expecting the CHB — or someone else in the media — to begin bad-mouthing the opponents the Patriots have faced over the first three weeks of the season as a way to diminish what the team has accomplished without Brady (and without Gronk, Hightower, et al).

    Hasn’t happened yet, but I just find it incredible that things are so freakin’ predictable in some quarters of the local media that the expectation of the “tomato can” rhetoric is so pervasive among the great unwashed masses the day after such an uplifting, “eff you, Roger” performance by the local NFL franchise.

    Sad that it’s come to that, really.

  6. ESPN lede the other day — “How Is Brady Legacy Tarnished By Patriots Victories?” (Or something similar – I don’t remember the exact wording.)

    Stay classy, Worldwide Loser.

    1. I didn’t see that, but I did see a couple ESPN headlines wondering if Peyton Manning was a system QB due to the success of Trevor Siemian.

      I’m sorry. When I wrote “I did see a couple of headlines,” I meant “an idea that will never be mentioned on air or online.”

  7. So let me see if I have this straight Bruce. Because they are winning, John Farrell’s complete ineptitude gets glossed over and it has to be accepted. Its a fascinating argument. I don’t buy that Farrell has suddenly learned to manage. His in game management is still monumentally awful. Perhaps he is backing away more and giving Torey Lovullo more sway. I am not sure. Perhaps this is one of those cases of players winning despite the manager. I find it incredulous that Farrell can have 1 great season, 3 historically bad ones, then one great one again and he gets to keep his job for 5 more years. Its maddening. Look, the criticisms of Farrell are not unfounded. What I can’t tell is if the transcendence of David Ortiz cough cough overcomes Farrell’s stupidity. It might. In which case Sox fans might get to see a 4th championship in the last 13 years while we are then saddled with Farrell for the foreseeable future. Whereas it is exciting the team will be playing playoff baseball, that is a separate argument to whether or not Farrell is competent and should or should not have taken the heat he has.

    1. Careful, LTD…unless you can tell me exactly who has said Farrell will get to keep his job for another five years, I’m going to be convinced your reference is Joe Strawman. I have not a single soul say Farrell should be locked up to a long-term deal. If the Sox win the whole thing, then that can be a legit topic for discussion. Short of a championship, Farrell could wind up getting canned anyway because Dombrowski inherited him and we all know that Farrell is not DD’s number one choice for the job. I have no problem criticizing Farrell’s in-game managing decisions which leave most of us scratching our heads, but where he should get some credit is for how he’s gotten this team to play for him during this stretch run (unfortunately though, that’s an intangible that cannot be measured).

      1. Jason…I am presupposing this ownership will give him a 5 year extension if he wins his second WS ring. Yes it is a straw man argument but it based on a projection that winning means Dombrowski will be stuck with him for 5 years. I just wanted to counter Bruce’s argument that those who have been questioning Farrell as the manager have egg on their face. I do not see it that way.

    2. The Sox have a five and half game margin, but it’s the smallest divisional lead in baseball!! That’s terrible, fire the manager!! They are tied for the second most wins in baseball, but they should have 100 wins by now!! That’s terrible, fire the manager!! They only have the second highest run differential in all of baseball!! That’s terrible, fire the manager!! Anything good that has happened this season and especially over the past month is because of the GM, the bench coach, the players. It can’t be the manager because … he’s terrible!!

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