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Author: @bigmike7772

Who Should Be the Red Sox 8th Inning Guy?

The Boston Red Sox are the best team in baseball right now. They are 10 games ahead of the second best team in baseball at the moment, and it seems like nothing can go wrong. The Red Sox lead the league in batting average, runs scored, hits, and many more. They also are second to only Houston in ERA with 3.48. However, there are a few questions for the Sox heading into the postseason. One of those questions is who is the setup guy in the 8th inning for the Red Sox before Kimbrel comes in. This article will look at three candidates to be the 8th inning guy for the Boston Red Sox. Matt Barnes #32 The first candidate for this role is right-handed pitcher, Matt Barnes. Barnes has been with the Red Sox since 2014, and has a career ERA of 3.93. He has the lowest ERA for any qualifying reliever on the Sox with a 2.60 ERA. Barnes also leads all Red Sox relievers, other than Craig Kimbrel, in WAR with 1.7. In the first half of the season, Barnes was a solid option in the bullpen with a 2.36 ERA through 42 IP.  July was the best month for him, with a 1.46 ERA while holding opposing batters to a .188 batting average. He’s also good with men in scoring position, allowing only seven hits...

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BIG3 Boston Recap and Exclusive with Nate Robinson

The BIG3 was in Boston this past Friday with a slate of four games. This was the second to last week of regular season games, so their was a lot of playoff implications. I was able to go to TD Garden and cover this event and ask guys like Dr. J, Rick Mahorn, Glen Davis, and Nate Robinson questions. Entering this week the BIG3 standings looked like this: 3 Headed Monsters (6-0) Power (5-1) 3’s Company (4-2) Tri-State (4-2) Killer 3s (2-4) Ball Hogs (1-5) Ghost Ballers (1-5) Trilogy (1-5) Those standings changed a lot this weekend with a lot of crucial games. Game 1: Ball Hogs VS Trilogy The first game of the week had no implications on the playoffs. However, the game featured the return of a Boston fan-favorite. Brian Scalabrine made his return to the TD Garden, and played in front of the fans that he won a championship for. During this game the Trilogy looked to bounce back from an awful season, and the Ball Hogs hope to get a win for Scal in front of the Boston crowd. It would be tough for the BIG3 defending-champions, Trilogy, to get a win here with no Kenyon Martin, and their leading rebounder, Al Harrington. Scalabrine started the game, and whenever he did something, TD Garden erupted in cheers. The Ball Hogs led the entire first half,...

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Recapping The BIG3 Conference Call

With the BIG3 coming to Boston this Friday, a conference call was held to preview the games and answer questions from the media. I had the privilege of being on this call, along with NBA Hall of Famer and BIG3 commissioner, Clyde Drexler, Co-Founder of the BIG3, Jeff Kwatinetz, and Chairman, Amy Trask. The call started with Clyde Drexler recapping the night of games in Toronto the week prior. Drexler announced that Andre Emmett from 3’s Company was player of the week with 23 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists, and 4 steals. Emmett is a good example of the BIG3 having relative unknowns sometimes outplay the former all-stars. He also talked about the Young 3, which is something the BIG3 does in every city they go to as they help the communities grow. Amy Trask also explained that over four dozen countries are represented in the BIG3, and they look to expand in the upcoming seasons. The call was then open to questions from the media. The first question was what the people of the BIG3 think of some of the comparisons to the BIG3 and the old-time games that were played in the NBA during all-star break. Clyde Drexler: “This is not old-time basketball. These guys are young and fresh out of the NBA. Most of them can still compete in the NBA. If the NBA put together...

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BIG3 Boston Preview

The BIG3 is a basketball league created by rapper, Ice Cube, in 2017. The league consists of mostly retired NBA players, including some former all-stars. Rules for the BIG3 are different than rules in the NBA or FIBA-sanctioned 3-on-3 games. There is a four-point shot, 14 second shot-clock, hand-checking, and more. Also, there is no time-limit as halftime starts when a team reaches 25 points, and the winner is the first to 50 (win by two). In the second season for the BIG3, things have changed from the first season. The defending-BIG3 champs are now last in the league, and many new players have been added. For example, guys like Baron Davis, Carlos Boozer, Nate Robinson, Amar’e Stoudemire, and Metta World Peace all join a stacked group of retired NBA players. With all the changes from last season to this season, the standings have changed too. Standings 3 Headed Monsters (6-0) Power (5-1) 3’s Company (4-2) Tri-State (4-2) Killer 3’s (2-4) Ball Hogs (1-5) Ghost Ballers (1-5) Trilogy (1-5) Only one team remains undefeated, while three teams already said goodbye to the playoffs. With Boston hosting the second-to-last regular season week of the BIG3 this year, there are major playoff implications in some of the games. 3’s Company (4-2) vs. Ghost Ballers (1-5) In the first game of the night, third-place 3’s Company takes on seventh-place Ghost Ballers. 3’s...

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Patriots Training Camp Preview: Special Teams

There are many new faces on the Patriots compared to last year. The Pats acquired four guys from trade, fifteen from free agency, and nine from the NFL Draft. They also lost nine players from trade and free agency and had three players retire. In this new series, I will be looking at every player from each position leading up to training camp. For this installment I will talk about the special teams. The Pats special teamers have not changed that much over the years, but it could be different this year. They did not lose any key special teamers, but they added an undrafted rookie punter. Stephen Gostkowski #3 (2006-Present): Stephen Gostkowski is the second longest-tenured Patriot player behind Tom Brady. He is entering his thirteenth year for the team this upcoming season. Gostkowski was drafted in the fourth-round in the 2006 NFL Draft and was immediately expected to replace Adam Vinatieri. Over his career, Gostkowski has played in 184 games. He has 340 FGM on 388 FGA, and 593 XPM made on 599 XPM. He holds the all-time record for most consecutive extra-points made with 479. Gostkowski is a four-time pro bowler, two-time first team All-Pro, one-time second team All-Pro, and is 18th in all-time scoring in NFL history. Gostkowski drilled this from SIXTY-TWO yards out. It may have had the distance to go 72. pic.twitter.com/njK1mhDFTA — CBS...

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Patriots Training Camp Preview: Safeties

There are many new faces on the Patriots compared to last year. The Pats acquired four guys from trade, fifteen from free agency, and nine from the NFL Draft. They also lost nine players from trade and free agency and had three players retire. In this new series, I will be looking at every player from each position leading up to training camp. For this installment I will talk about the safeties. The Pats have kept their main group of safeties in tact while adding two via free agency. Devin McCourty #32 (2010-Present): Devin McCourty is the leader of the Patriots defense. He is now heading into his ninth year in the NFL and for the Patriots. McCourty started his career in New England as a cornerback. In his rookie season he had 73 tackles, 17 PBUs, and 7 INT. The next season saw McCourty start in all 16 games, all the while earning a pro-bowl nod and second team All-Pro honors. McCourty spent his next two seasons at cornerback where he had 159 tackles, 25 PBUs, and 7 INT. He was selected as a second team All-Pro in 2012. McCourty changed his position to free safety in the 2013 offseason due to the departure of Patrick Chung. He spent his next six seasons at his new position, playing and starting in 77 games. In those games, McCourty had 393...

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Patriots Training Camp Preview: Cornerbacks

There are many new faces on this Patriots team compared to last year. The Pats acquired four guys from trade, fifteen from free agency, and nine from the NFL Draft. They also lost nine players from trade and free agency and had three players retire. In this new series, I will be looking at every player from each position leading up to training camp. For this part of the series, I will take a look at the cornerbacks. The Patriots lost a key-piece to their secondary this past off-season with the departure of Malcolm Butler. New England then went on to add one CB via trade, two by draft, and one as an undrafted FA. Stephon Gilmore #24 (2017-Present): Stephon Gilmore is entering his seventh year in the NFL and second for the Pats. Gilmore was the 10th overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft by the Buffalo Bills. He played five seasons in Buffalo, recording 225 tackles, 62 PBUs, and 14 interceptions. Gilmore’s final season in Buffalo was his best; he started 15 games and had 5 INT. He was voted as a Pro-Bowler for this season. Gilmore then signed a five-year, 65-million dollar contract with the Pats. His career in New England started off rocky and he missed three games due to a concussion. Once he came back to the Pats, he played like the elite corner he...

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Patriots Training Camp Preview: Linebackers

There are many new faces on the Patriots compared to last year. The Pats acquired four guys from trade, fifteen from free agency, and nine from the NFL Draft. They also lost nine players from trade and free agency and had three players retire. In this new series, I will be looking at every player from each position leading up to training camp. For this installment I will talk about the linebackers. The linebacking core last year for New England was very depleted due to injury. They managed to maintain their depth while also drafting two linebackers this year. Dont’a Hightower #54 (2012-Present): Dont’a Hightower is now in his seventh season in the NFL and for the Patriots. Hightower was the 25th overall pick by New England in the 2012 NFL Draft out of Alabama. In his rookie year, Hightower was playing with guys like Jerod Mayo, Rob Ninkovich, and Brandon Spikes. In 2012, he played in 14 games and had 60 tackles, four sacks, and one TD. The next three years saw him appearing in 40 games, and racking up 279 tackles and 10.5 sacks. Hightower’s 2016 season saw him playing in 13 games and having 65 tackles and 2.5 sacks. This season got Hightower recognized by the NFL, as he was named to the AP All-Pro Second team. Hightower has also shown up in a big way in...

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Patriots Training Camp Preview: Defensive Tackles

There are many new faces on this Patriots team compared to last year. The Pats acquired four guys from trade, fifteen from free agency, and nine from the NFL Draft. They also lost nine players from trade and free agency and had three players retire. In this new series, I will be looking at every player from each position leading up to training camp. For this part of the series, I will take a look at the defensive tackles. The Pats acquired one DT via trade, and two as undrafted free agents. They also were able to keep their main defensive tackles from last season. Malcom Brown #90 (2015-Present): Malcom Brown is entering his fourth year in the NFL and for the Pats. He was New England’s first-round draft choice in 2015, as he was taken as the 32nd overall pick. Brown played all 16 games in his rookie season while starting 12. In those 16 games, Brown had 48 tackles, 3 sacks, and 2 fumble recoveries. He also played in the two playoff games that year where he recorded six tackles. Brown’s 2016 season saw him play all 16 games while starting in 13. He had 3 sacks, 50 tackles, and a safety, over the course of that season. Brown played in 13 games and started 12 last season. He suffered an ankle injury which made him miss three...

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Patriots Training Camp Preview: Interior O-Line

There are many new faces on this Patriots team this summer. The Pats acquired four guys from trade, fifteen from free agency, and nine from the NFL Draft. They also lost nine players through trade and free agency and had three players retire. Plenty of questions remain on the offensive line, wide receiver corps, and defensive backs. In this new series, I will be looking at every player from each position leading up to training camp. For this part of the series, I will take a look at the interior offensive linemen. The Patriots have added two new interior linemen while keeping their main core intact. Shaq Mason #69 (2015-Present): Shaq Mason is entering his fourth season in the NFL with the Pats. Mason was drafted out of Georgia Tech in the fourth round of the 2015 NFL Draft. His college career consisted of being first-team All-ACC and Second-team All-ACC. He started 39 out of the total 41 games in his career, including every game in his junior and senior seasons. As a rookie, Mason appeared in 14 games and started 10 of them. The 2016 season saw Mason play in all 16 games while starting 15 of them. He also started in the Super Bowl 51 victory over Atlanta. The next season was the first year that Mason started every single game. This was his best season yet,...

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