Bunting for a Hit 2013: Week 10

NFL free agency begins today, after the legal tampering period, which is an oxymoron because if its legal its not tampering, but “legal tampering” sounds edgier and is a better sound bite than “early negotiating” period, so the NFL sticks us with that term. On the other end of the spectrum in terms of edgy news, soon some white smoke will emerge from the Vatican and the Catholics will have a new Pope. How do they top the last guy who was a Hitler Youth Alum? Beats me.

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josh-cribbsjpg-541938702de8c45aThe Patriots are reported to be hot on the tail of Josh Cribbs the 29 year old former Kent State QB, and Cleveland Browns kick returner/wide receiver. This makes sense as the Patriots have been trying to improve their kick returner for the last few years. The logic is simple enough, the closer you are to the end zone, the easier it is to get to the end zone. Sure he could be used as versatile receiver in an offense where versatile receivers excel, but this move is particularly about kick return as Cribbs was 4th in the league in 2012 in average yards per kick return.

imagesAlfredo Aceves needs to go. Now. Not at the end of spring training. Not when something else happens. Now. He needs to be gone and out of Boston as fast as Jay Payton was a few years ago when he threw a hissy fit about playing time. Aceves was reportedly a bad influence last year and was just seen at the World Baseball Classic throwing haymakers in bench clearing brawl. There are enough arms in the bullpen and at Pawtucket that the Sox end up kicking themselves because they don’t have Aceves in 3 to 8 weeks. So be decisive, set the tone for this new regime, get rid of Aceves.

If you’ve seen any sport highlight the last few days its this one.

The way Brandon Kinght, the poor gentleman who tried to block the shot, responded though was perfect.

For those who don’t know, The Los Angeles Clippers, the team dunker Deandre Jordan plays for, is nicknamed Lob City after their fondness for the lob pass resulting in a dunk.

Percy_Harvin_Trade_Vikings_SeahawksFor a league that doesn’t trade much, especially “stars”, there have been 3 significant trades officially announced at the start of free agency. Percy Harvin to the Seahawks, Anquan Boldin to the 49ers and Alex Smith to the Chiefs. This and many of the cuts show how desperate some of the teams have struggled with keeping their players and staying under the salary cap. Which would seem to fit the rumored Patriots plan to sit and wait during free agency and get quality talent at job lot prices.

PREDICTION ALERT: David Ortiz will not don a Red Sox uniform in an actual game until May 15th.

bos_a_claybuchholz1_400Clay Buchholz is having a great spring having allowed zero runs so far. This bodes well for his 2013. I don’t put a lot of stock in spring training stats. I put a lot of stock in how a pitcher looks with his delivery, his comfort and comportment on the mound, and how his attitude after the outing is. If he had bad stats in his outing and talks about how he was specifically working on getting his fastball over the outer third of the plate no matter the situation and I remember seeing a lot of fastballs on the outer third of the plate, I’m ok with it. If he talks about not having command of this pitch which caused him to go to another pitch, I’m worried. The first scenario tells me the pitcher and the staff were prepared and had a plan. The second scenario tells me the pitcher and staff were winging it. My best example is the first time Derek Lowe imploded with the Red Sox. I talked all spring about how awful I thought he looked, how he didn’t look comfortable and how the sink on his pitches just wasn’t the same. He had a miserable season in which Tom (my dad) and I ended up at Derek Lowe poster night and watched as 15,000 fans littered the Fenway field with Lowe posters after yet another miserable performance. Seriously I’m positive every single one of those posters ended up on the field. Hey at least it wasn’t Derek Lowe signed ball night.

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