Pierce Nicked Up As Hawks Knock Off Celtics

C’s Stumble At The Garden Against Atlanta Hawks

The Boston Celtics fell to the Atlanta Hawks by the final of 97-86 on Friday but could have lost more than just a game as forward Paul Pierce strained his left knee in the third quarter of Friday’s loss.

After being stepped on in the third quarter, Pierce left the game before returning in the fourth quarter wearing a black knee brace and tape to support his left knee.  He scored five points in the quarter but it wasn’t enough for the C’s as they lost for the second time this season.  

Pierce noted that his knee was “a little tender” and is going to wait and see how it feels before suiting up for tonight’s game with the Indiana Pacers.  Losing Pierce’s production, 18.1 ppg and 5.1 rpg, would hurt the C’s but the injury isn’t believe to be too serious.  

But lest not forget Kevin Garnett’s injury in Utah last season.  Doc Rivers and Danny Ainge will be hoping for a better prognosis this time around regarding “The Truth” and his tender knee.

Best Celtics Team Ever?

The C’s Are Rolling, Off To 8-1 Start

Excuse me for being a little premature in my examination and in result, my exclamation, of this years Boston Celtics squad but…  How could I not be?

The C’s are rolling thus far in the 2009-10 NBA season and even with one loss to the Phoenix Suns, does anyone else think this might be one of the most talented Celtics teams of all-time?  Albeit Kevin Garnett does look a little sluggish on the court after knee surgery in the off-season, but I think KG’s situation is comparable to that of Tom Brady this year as it may take a few weeks or months into the season for Mr. Garnett to feel 100 percent comfortable with his knee.

Putting that issue to rest, lets examine all other facets of the team.  

We have the starting five and what a fine group of players we have.  Rajon Rondo, newly locked up to a long-term deal, has solidified himself as one of the premiere point guards in the NBA.  Not only has Rondo improved offensively this year, the way he distributes the ball and creates for his teammates makes him a spark plug for a group of veterans.  Oh, and his defense is menacing for opposing point guards on a nightly basis.  

Kendrick Perkins is next on my list, and he is averaging a career best 9.2 ppg, even with four-less minutes of playing time per game.  My point– Perkins is entering his prime at the age of 25, putting up better numbers than any years prior, and he is getting rest in the fourth quarter because of the way the C’s are blowing out every opponent they face.

The Big Three round out the starting five and Paul Pierce is proving why he is the truth as Pierce is putting up great numbers in 34 minutes of play, averaging just over 18 ppg with 4.3 assists per game.  Although Ray Allen’s points, rebounds, and minutes are down from his career averages, it just proves that the Celtics aren’t exerting all their energy at the early point of this season which will produce benefits at the latter end of the season and into the playoffs.

The bench may be one of the best I have ever seen for a Celtics squad as the play of Shelden Williams, Rasheed Wallace, Eddie House and Marquis Daniels have all been bright spots for Doc Rivers and the C’s.  With the return of Glen Davis to come some time in the near future and the return of good health to Brian Scalabrine, the C’s depth will only increase, in time for the most grueling parts of the season.

So why does this squad look better than the teams of the Bob Cousy, Bill Russell, and Larry Bird?  Because this team is coming off a disappointing end to last year and are newly motivated to prove that they are not too old or too slow to win another championship.  This year’s Celtics squad has the energy, poise, and know-with-all to compete and dominate, night-in and night-out, as their current 8-1 record is a good barometer for what the rest of the season should look like.

Boston has set a franchise best 21.6 ppg margin of victory thus far this season which indicates this team could be the best of all time.  Time well tell if this is true as the C’s have to avoid the injury and fatigue bug, but there have been nothing but good signs so far and it could very well lead to the raising of an 18th banner.  

Red Sox Plan To Make Offer To Matsui-False!

NESN.COM- The Red Sox have a four-year, $60 million offer out to Jason Bay, but they are reportedly hunting for backup plans. World Series MVP Hideki Matsui appears to be one of them.  According to NPB Tracker, citing a report from the Japanese outlet Nikkan Sports, the Red Sox are preparing to make a multiyear offer to the 35-year-old Matsui, who hit 28 homers in 456 at-bats during the past season while serving as the Yankees’ designated hitter.-Full Story
I guess NESN is letting anyone post on their website now because anyone that has even a little bit of a clue about this team knows that Matsui has no place on the Red Sox.  First off he cannot play the field at all and the only place he can fit in is at DH and that isn’t going to happen. So stop the Matsui to Boston stories because it is never going to happen. I guess this means that the  Hot Stove rumors are ready to fly

Return Of The Captain

Varitek Decides To Stick On With Sox, Exercise Option

The Boston Red Sox captain, Jason Varitek, has decided to exercise his $3 million option for 2010 and stay with the Red Sox next season as backup catcher.  

Good news or bad news, the returning of Varitek for the 2010 season seemed like a no-brainer for the 37-year-old catcher.  Varitek hit .209 last season with 14 homers and 51 RBI, as his playing time evaporated with the arrival of Victor Martinez.

Varitek has played 13 seasons with the Red Sox, with 11 of those as the main catcher.  Tek’s first year in Boston, after coming over with Derek Lowe in a lopsided trade with the Seattle Mariners, saw his playing time split with Mike Stanley.  But for the past 12 years, Varitek has been the main backstop for the Red Sox and represented the heart and soul of team from Beantown.

Now with his skills at the plate on a rapid decline and his ability to throw-out base-runners described as non-existent, Jason Varitek will be the most expensive backup in the Major Leagues.  Still, Varitek receives praise from all pitchers he’s worked with about his ability to call a good game and knowledge on how to approach each and every hitter.

The possibility remains that the captain may get the nod to be the personal catcher for Josh Beckett, who is in a contract year, as the numbers of Beckett are astoundingly different when Varitek catches in favor of Martinez.  Beckett, who had three regular-season starts with Martinez, had a 6.19 ERA when Martinez caught instead of Varitek.

But Theo Epstein announced that Martinez will be the primary catcher for the 2010 Red Sox and fans must believe its because of Martinez’s bat instead of glove.  It will be a changing of the guard next season for the Boston Red Sox at catcher, and although Varitek may never do it intentionally, the change may cause for some awkwardness and tension in the clubhouse as Varitek will be called upon to take a role he is very unfamiliar too.  

You can slice it either way.  Having Varitek in 2010 may be a bright spot for the bench and chemistry of the ballclub.  Having him might also create a divide in the clubhouse and take up $3 million on the bench instead of at other areas of need.

Nevertheless, the verdict has been made.  Varitek will be a Red Sox in 2010.  And he will be a backup catcher in 2010.  Maybe it would have been best if Varitek opted to move elsewhere or take a position as a coach for the Red Sox.  But that wouldn’t be very Varitek-like.  He is a catcher and Red Sox, hand-in-hand, at heart and that fact is undeniable.

So welcome back Jason Varitek, it oughta be one helluva last ride on the rodeo.   

Stay Warm This Winter with New Boston Sports Teams Snuggies

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Call it a snuggie. Call it a slanket. The famous blanket with sleeves is now available with your favorite Boston Team logos on them at Chowdaheadz! 

 

Whether you are a Red Sox fan, Patriots fan, or Bruins fan we have you covered this winter. With these blankets, you can be in control of the remote and follow your favorite Boston teams from the comforts of your own couch. Perfect gift item for the upcoming holidays or simply grab one for yourself.

 

Don’t miss out on these. They will sell out quickly. Please visit www.chowdaheadz.com to order yours now.

Keywords: Red Sox Snuggie, Patriots Snuggie, Bruins Snuggie Celtics Snuggie

Brady And Patriots Control The AFC East

Pats Back To Their Old Tricks In 2009

A dynasty reborn?  Or just a few glimpses from the past?  The New England Patriots are 6-2 now in 2009 and are two games ahead of the New York Jets and 2 1/2 games ahead of the Buffalo Bills and Miami Dolphins.

Sunday’s game against the Dolphins was a tough fought win for the Blue and Grey, especially when it came to stopping Miam’s trickery with the Wildcat but Tom Brady and Randy Moss propelled the Patriots to a 27-17 victory and gave New England a bit of a cushion in the AFC East.

Brady had another 300+ yard performance and Randy Moss reeled in another TD with six receptions for 147 yards receiving.  The victory may be a key cog in the New England’s AFC East crown plans this season as the Dolphins, although now 3-5 on the season, were undefeated in the AFC East before their loss to the Patriots on Sunday.  New England is now 5-0 at home this season and are set to face the 8-0 Indianapolis Colts on the road next week in a revival of one of football’s best rivalries.  

Peyton Manning has manned the Colts charge this season as Indy fended off a pesky Houston Texans squad this past Sunday to stave off its first loss of the year. This matchup will be a true barometer for where Bill Belichick and the Patriots are at thus far in the 2009-10 season and could be a building block for what could be a rebirth of a dynasty.

Or a mere illusion of what use to be.

(AP Photo) (AP Photo)   

Theo Epstein & Company Are Busy B’s

Sox Ink Wakefield & Martinez, Decline Gonzalez & Varitek

The Boston Red Sox wasted no time on Monday as the Sox opted to give Tim Wakefield a new two-year contract and picked up Victor Martinez’s $7.1 million team option for 2010. 

Boston also opted to decline Jason Varitek’s $5 million team option while also declining Alex Gonzalez’s $6 million option for 2010.  Wakefield’s new deal is worth $5 million over the next two seasons and saves the Sox a little money as the knuckleballer was set on a $4 million-per-season option as long as he stayed with Boston.

The declining of both Varitek and Gonzalez doesn’t mean that neither player will be back with the ballclub next season.  Varitek will most likely take his $3 million player option for next year and serve as Martinez’s backup.  The Red Sox wouldn’t be opposed to welcoming Gonzalez back to the team next year but the 32-year-old shortstop will have to come at a lower price than $6 million.  

It is rumored that the Sox were heavy on trying to land J.J. Hardy from the Milwaukee Brewers but struck out on a deal as the Brewers sent Hardy to the Twins in exchange for outfielder Carlos Gomez.  The Sox would have had to part with highly touted pitching prospects Clay Buchholz or Daniel Bard and the Brewers balked at the idea of Michael Bowden.  Jed Lowrie remains the only plausible option at shortstop on the current Red Sox roster, but Lowrie has a history of wrist problems which will force Theo Epstein to have a backup option just as insurance Lowrie.  

Epstein has many other items on his list for the 2009 offseason with decisions to be made on whether or not to sign Jason Bay or Matt Holliday. Also, whether the Sox should lock up Josh Beckett long-term or trade him for some valuable assets. Boston may also be in the hunt to acquire a middle-of-the-order bat like that of Adrian Gonzalez of the San Diego Padres.  With old friend, Jed Hoyer, now leading things in San Diego, the Sox and Padres may be able to strike a deal that could make both parties happy (at a reasonable price).  

The hot stove for the Red Sox this offseason will be burning at all times and Epstein and company are guaranteed to be working around the clock to make sure the New York Yankees aren’t the team raising the World Series trophy in 2010.  


Red Sox Sign Wakefield To 2 Year Deal

The Red Sox were busy Monday, picking up catcher/first baseman Victor Martinez‘s $7.1 million team option, declining catcher Jason Varitek‘s $5 million team option, and tearing up pitcher Tim Wakefield‘s team option and replacing it with a two-year agreement.

The team also confirmed it was not picking up a $6 million option on Alex Gonzalez, which had been reported Sunday.

Wakefield’s deal is worth $5 million over the two years: $3.5 million in 2010 and $1.5 million in 2011, sources told ESPN The Magazine’s Buster Olney. It replaces a perpetual $4 million-per-season team option the Red Sox had on the knuckleballer.-Full Story

Business as it is supposed to be

1) I was very disapointed with the double draw playcalling late in the first half.  The second down draw on 2nd and 21 I liked. Safe, reliable, Kevin Faulk goes for 12. the 3rd and 9 was a safety call that we of the Belichick deciple are not used to.  What the hell was conceding the touchdown and going for the 3 all about? It’s not like we had Chad Henne at quarterback. We had one of argueably the best decision making quarterbacks in the history of the league at the helm. I am all for playing smart and not forcing a pass and causing a turnover or a sack. However it woudld have been much more aggressive to go for the 6, especially when Miami was going to get the ball to start the 2nd half.
2) Halelujah, Pat Chung did something. He got a sack on an 8 man blitz. Of course the gap he shot had no blockers and my uncle in his walker could have gotten to Henne. Regardless he got the sack. Of course he attoned for his good play by making the same blitz in the 2nd half and burying his head into Henne’s chest for a 15 yard penalty. Should that have been a penalty? Only according to the stupid NFL rule book. So Net Net, he did what he was capable of-nothing.  Just for the record, James Laurinitis is leading the Rams with 56 tackles (46 solo, 10 assisted) has 2 interceptions, 3 passes defended and is in contention for defensive rookie of the year. Pat Chung you ask?  20 total tackles, 2 sacks (1 for a 15 yard penalty) and NO passes defended which is arguably a moot stat for a safety right?  No, I won’t let it until the Patriots decide in 2 years to not pay Meriweather and we’re stuck with Chung at safety. Thank G-D for Brandon McGowan. That guy is Harrison like.
3) I often notice the bias by the officials and announcers to superstars in the league but none worse then yesterday.  Dan “Medicaid” Dierdorf undressed Brandon Tate for being too close to the sidelines on a Brady bomb. Dierdork stated that Tate needed to create his separation farther inbounds. Might have been the stupidest comment I’ve ever heard, and that includes the years I’ve been stuck listening to Phil Simms. Why? 1) Brady airmailed the ball about 10 yards wide out of bounds. The movie superstar, Air-bud wouldn’t have been able to jump for it. 2) Tate did an EXCELLENT job creating separation and had 3 yards on the defender. It’s also important to note that he wasn’t tip-toeing the sideline. 3) What? the sideline How many bombs has Brady thrown to Moss where Moss is 1 step from the sideline, hauls it in and is off to the races.  2 thumbs down for Danny boy and his unnecessary vernacular hammering a promising rookie when the savvy veteran is the one who made the mistake.  Maybe Joey Porter is right. Brady does get preferential treatment- but not just by the officials.
4) Pat White can throw the ball and should be starting at quarterback for the Fins. I hope that they win next week when I take them in my suicide pool vs. lowly Tampa Bay.  Yes, I know they beat the swiss cheese offensive line of the Packers yesterday but they are non going to be able to stop the Wildcat. 
5a) Every time Ocho-Dinko fumbles, he should be required to be mute for 2 whole minutes.
5b) For those of you who have Directv and a Blackberry or Iphone type device, I highly recommend that you download the Directv Superfan for Mobile. Holy crap that thing is amazing. I was at the Martinsville NASCAR race  2 weeks ago and caught 3 full quarters of the Pats v Bucs from London on my 2.5 inch Blackberry Storm.  Is it 1080P like? No, but it is amazing and I didn’t miss any of the action. (til my battery died) Note- I am not a redneck but you can’t not love bringing in your OWN cooler full of beer to the race. Can you imagine the profit margin defecit if the NFL started allowing people to bring in their own soft coolers to the game? Mine fit under the seat ( a rule) and held 14 beers.  If this rule ever happened, you’d see the soccer style domes protecting the players added to NFL stadiums at the same time. Of course, we’re all in fantasy land thinking that the NFL would ever let people bring in their own beer instead of having the privilege of swigging 9 buck warm Coors Lite swill.
5c) I will be in Indy next week for Pats v Colts. I’ll have my live game thoughts as soon as I’m capable of rendering thoughts about the showdown next Sunday!
Go Pats!

Charlie Visits South Dakota!

Saw Mount Rushmore!


I met a cool highway patrolman named “Robby”. He took me for a spin in his cruiser.

Ate at my first “In & Out Burger”

Unwinded a little bit at a local establishment!

Revolution Lose To Fire

BRIDGEVIEW, Ill.(AP) — John Thorrington and Cuauhtemoc Blanco

scored as the Chicago Fire advanced to the Eastern Conference final
with a 2-0 win over the New England Revolution on Saturday night.

Chicago entered the match trailing in the two-game, total-goal semifinals series after a 2-1 defeat at New England on Sunday.

Thorrington scored in the 35th minute of Game 2 with Marco Pappa and
Brandon Prideaux getting assists. Blanco sealed the win with six
minutes remaining in regulation.

It’s the second consecutive season in which Chicago has
eliminated New England from the playoffs, and fourth in eight all-time
postseason matchups.-Full Story

Hermida Could Blossom As A Red Sox

Newly Acquired Outfielder Hoping For A Fresh Start

A change of scenery could be exactly what the Boston Red Sox think that outfielder Jeremy Hermida needs.  Hermida, at one point considered one of the best prospects in Major League Baseball has disappointed in his five seasons in the league.

But Theo Epstein and the Boston Red Sox like the versatility and skills that Hermida’s possesses and think that some fine tuning may do the 26-year-old some good.  The left-handed, smooth swinging outfielder will provide depth for the Red Sox in the outfield and give them another potent bat from off the bench.

He also serves as a backup/insurance policy for the Sox if they cannot reach an agreement with Jason Bay or free agent outfielder Matt Holliday.  He also comes at a relatively low cost making in between $2-3 million per season.  

The Red Sox hope that trading prospects Hunter Jones and Jose Alvarez in exchange for Hermida is a steal as Epstein and company are already busy re-tooling for next years squad.