Friday, March 20, 2015

Red Sox Rotation Issues Will Hurt, But Not Until Playoffs

The Red Sox rotation is a cause for much concern, however the cracks won't really appear until when and if Boston makes the playoffs

Probable Sox rotation
The Boston Red Sox made things interesting this off-season by opening up their wallets and bringing in some serious heavy lumber in the form of Pablo Sandoval and Hanley Ramirez. The Sox look set to score runs aplenty in 2015. Pitching? Boston went for a very interesting group of free-agent hurlers to back up proposed ‘ace’ Clay Buchholz. Joining the Sox veteran will be Rick Porcello, Justin Masterson, Wade Miley, and Joe Kelly. That group is not without its talents however is not what you would call exciting.

They have also been underwhelming this spring.

Frankly however, Spring Training pitching stats are not worth the paper they are printed on. It’s hot, the pitcher are not conditioned as yet and perhaps most importantly, arms aren’t stretched out as yet. I don’t care if Wade Miley gives up 10 runs in an inning, or Joe Kelly gives up back-to-back-to-back dingers, Spring is the time to get arms stretched out more so than getting actual ‘outs’.

Spring, for pitching, is basically like starting a car. It won’t cruise straight away, you have to let it get on the road and get some miles under it before you are cruising.

The regular season itself isn’t that much of a concern for Red Sox pitching either. Even if this rotation crumbles, they will find guys to plug in and take up the required starters-innings. The Sox lineup looks so ferocious that pitching just isn’t going to be an issue, during the regular season. My guess is the Sox will win a lot of games 10-6 and 9-5. Scores like that. Further to that, the AL East looks like a very winnable division right now. It’s there for the taking. Every single team has issues, and compared to the rest, the Sox look relatively settled, again particularly when it comes to the big bats. The Sox are going to mash.

That’s the end of the ‘good’ news.

Getting to the playoffs is something the Sox shouldn’t find too much issue with (barring an unforeseen injury crisis). Doing anything positive at all, progressing in any shape or form during said playoffs would be a much, much tougher proposition with this proposed pitching rotation.

You are not going to make it through the minefield that is the MLB playoffs without at least one but preferably two stud starters. You have to have a guy who the opposition feel beaten by before the first pitch is even thrown. Look at the Sox rotations from their recent World Series wins. The ’04 rotation has a Hall of Fame starter in it, and the other guys weren’t too shabby either.

Good things happen when you gather good pitchers together

Josh Beckett was as-advertised in ’07 and Jon Lester was superb in ’13.  The recurring theme is, there’s always a couple of guys who are almost unhittable come October. Can you honestly see that from anyone in this current Sox rotation? God bless you if you can, ‘cause I can’t see Joe Kelly mowing down the best bats in all of baseball on a frigid October night in Fenway. I WANT to see it, but I can’t really see it.

This Red Sox team is built to win, look at the expensive acquisitions of Sandoval and Ramirez for starters. Winning is great, but winning is also pointless if you are not somewhat built to succeed when the playoffs start.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m excited about this forthcoming ’15 season for Boston, it’s looking to be an enjoyable ride. I simply don’t see them winning the World Series unless Wade Miley discovers some kind of talent level he didn’t know about before, or unless Clay Bucholz unearths some Iron Man like physical stability to go with his undoubted talent. Both of those things could happen, of course, a far safer bet would be bringing in ‘that’ guy, that guy that rounds the whole rotation out, lets everyone pitch to their level comfortably and puts the fear of God in opponents before the game even starts.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Des Bryant Video Reportedly 'Worse Than Rice' Recording

Rumours have been swirling for days and now the first meatier morsels are falling, things are about to get very, very complicated for Dallas star Dez Bryant.

For years the NFL neglected to tackle the thorny issue of domestic abuse and violent behaviour amidst its ranks. The Ray Rice situation exploded on them and the NFL front office scrambled to put process in place, years too late of course. The fall-out continues to land in their laps, however.  Now it appears Dallas star Dez Bryant is about to become a major headache for the Cowboys and indeed the NFL.

Rumours have been circulating for days about a very serious video existing, purporting to show Bryant doing something naughty. Finally some noted reporters are confirming that the tape does indeed exist, and more details are emerging as to what’s going on in same.

It appears that some nefarious dark characters from Bryant’s past have video footage of him punching a woman, and they are offering that video around to the highest bidder. Essentially Bryant appears to be caught in the middle of an extortion sting. This does not make him a victim, we should remember. If Bryant did punch someone, this is all on him. People need to remember that as they rush to defend the Dallas star.

Back to the video.

As per Terez Owens, a sports rumor blog, allegedly there’s video surveillance footage of Bryant punching a woman at a Dallas-area Wal-Mart. While Bryant’s former friends (and current extortionists) shop the video around, several screen grabs have been sent to sports media outlets. Many of those have confirmed they exist, and they show exactly what they are reported to show. Adam Schefter of ESPN has been working on this story since last September and although he won’t confirm the video exists, he is telling people to 'check back later' with him on the story. He certainly isn't denying the story outright.

One of those media outlets who have been sent the screen grabs has said;
“it’s five times worse than the Ray Rice video.”

So far the NFL and Dallas have denied they know about the video. That tactic didn't work out so well for the NFL during the Ray Rice situation, so you can bet that if anything does turn up they will change their tune faster than you can say 'Life time suspension'

Naturally Cowboy Nation is up in arms defending its star player, attacking anyone online who even suggests there might be a video about to come out. To those star-crossed Bryant lovers we would ask, if there is no video, then why all the smoke? If there is no video, why have Dallas withdrawn rather visibly from contract negotiations with Bryant? If there is no video why doesn’t Bryant come out and defend himself, instead of posting cryptic social media messages such as the below (a couple of days ago as rumours of the video began to swirl).

If Bryant is being shaken-down, that's bad, sure. However, it's still not as bad as a grown man punching a woman, whatever the circumstances. Bryant would be doing himself a huge favour if he were to come out and deny the accusations.

The fact he won't leave the situation wide open to interpretation, and leaves Bryant very exposed. As Adam Schefter suggested, stay tuned to this one, it's about to explode.

Wednesday, February 04, 2015

Bill Belickick Baited Pete Carroll Into 'That' Play

The focus on the amazing finish to the Superbowl has been on how poor a play call Seattle chose. Perhaps we should be looking more closely at the other sideline, and a possible reason as to why the Seahawks ended up choosing that final, fateful play

He didn’t, did he? Or, did he?

Is it possible Bill Belichick baited Pete Carroll into selecting that pass play, and thus securing the win in the most unusual of fashions? It may sound crazy but, it’s really not that big a mental stretch if you think about it. As my friends and I watched, standing, barely able to contain ourselves, Seattle’s second to last play was a run that the Patriots D is not getting enough credit for stopping.

Immediately as the play ended, my friend Lorcan started preaching ‘Let them score’ like a religious mantra. He, and many others, thought the Patriots should just let Seattle walk the ball in, thus preserving a minute to play with and try and mount one more seemingly impossible comeback for the ages.

Grantland’s Bill Barnwell goes into this in great detail in this excellent post Superbowl article. In the same piece he mentions the following in regards Belichick and the time-out that never was.

If Belichick had really wanted to let Seattle score and conserve as much time as possible, he would have also used one of his final two timeouts after the first-down run. It was downright baffling that he chose not to do so. Given that Seattle had the ball inside New England’s 1-yard line with a minute left, extending the clock mattered far more to New England than it did to Seattle; that’s why the Seahawks were milking as much clock as possible.

Here’s the thing, I believe firmly that Belichick stood firm and didn’t call a time-out because he wanted Seattle to try and pass in that situation. Watch the tape. Belichick doesn’t flinch. As my friends and I stood, jumped and generally acted like bemused chimpanzees, Belichick stands, almost impassive, like a stone-faced poker player. He. Doesn’t. Flinch.

Take a second and imagine you are Pete Carroll, looking over from the opposite sideline. Your are fully expecting New England to take a time-out, at which stage you can setup your nice little running play and basically walk the ball in, potentially against a defence that wants you to do just that (had the Patriots chosen that route). Imagine Carroll’s bemusement as the clock ticked.

50 seconds.

40 second.

Think about it, as New England didn’t call a time-out, Seattle must have thought all their Christmases had come at once. They could afford to try something different and they still had a time-out in the bank. Carroll and his coaching staff must have thought ‘Great, he won’t call a time out, fine, we will pass, if it’s dropped (the most likely worst-case scenario) the clock stops, we still have plenty of time to run the ball twice after that on third-down and indeed fouth down if it comes to it’.

I put it to you firmly, Bill Belichick knew exactly what he was doing as he stood, stone-faced, on the Patriots’ sideline. He deliberately didn’t take a time-out. He wanted the potential chaos of a passing play, and boy did he get exactly what he wanted.

The Patriots rolled the dice as they have done so often under this head coach.

Bill Belichick baited Pete Carroll, and, it worked beautifully.

Tuesday, February 03, 2015

Have You Heard The One About The Two Irish Lads That Snuck Into The Superbowl?

This sounds like the start of a bad joke, but, did you hear the one about the two Irish lads that snuck into the Superbowl? It’s true, and it’s as simple as it sounds, at first sight anyway. Two young Irish lads basically snuck into the Superbowl on the weekend. They enjoyed the game from various VIP areas, met a few interesting people (including Patriots legend Lawyer Milloy) and even got a VIP bus back to their hotel after. 

''Hey did you hear the one about the two Irish guys...?''

All 100% free. No tickets. No nothing.

Lovely, good for them.

There are a couple of problems with this, however. First of all, they might be enjoying their 15 minutes of fame and having a great laugh about this, however there will be ramifications with their actions. Not just for them (more on that shortly) but for the people they are busy showing up on the talk show and other interview circuits.

In their quotes, which I’m not going to give air-time to but you can read here, they are very detailed as to how and who they slipped by to gain entry. Hilarious, sure, but you can bet your bottom dollar that the people that have been referred to in great detail by these two ‘lads’ are going to pay for their fun-time with their jobs. You can bet the NFL security heads will sack everyone and anyone who allowed these idiots entry into the game.

Idiots? Yes, idiots. By all means, go for it, you want to have a great time, for free, at the Superbowl, and you are willing to take the extensive risks these clowns took, go for it. However, for the love of God, don’t spout on about it after the event, don’t go showing people up and causing problems for them after you have gone and had your good time.

Further to this, you think the NFL are going to take this lying down? Let’s just say, it will be interesting to see what happens the next time these two clowns try to board a flight to the USA. The NFL is a powerful and sometimes vindictive organisation. They have friends in high places.

It’s great these two guys had such a blast, and everyone’s having a good giggle about it today.

It’s just a shame they have to mouth off about it now, and endanger people’s livelihoods in the process.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Hate, deflated footballs and the NFL

The Patriots may or may not have tampered with some footballs before Sunday night’s demolition of the Colts. That’s under debate right now. What’s not under debate is the Patriots are the USA’s most hated football team. Could this explain why Ballgate, Ballghazi or whatever you want to call it is exploding so loudly?

On a more alarming note than any of the below, what faith do you have in humanity making it out of this century intact after the Internet reaction to Ballgate? Minimal, right? What’s going to save us from this out-of-control, freight train like downward dash towards complete and utter stupidity? You would think basically an alien invasion is about the only dramatic event that might snap us out of our current funk.

We’re just pathetic at this stage.

If mankind is wiped out and in the distant future another race finds a few Internet comment sections, well, the mystery of the Earth’s downfall will be solved right there and then.

On to Ballgate and the Patriots’ status as the most hated team in the NFL.

This thing has just been blown way, way out of any kind of proportion. It's simply ridiculous. Look, if Deadspin is among the voices of calm reason, well you know something has escalated beyond silly all the way to bat-shit stupid.

''The more context that emerges, the more it feels like messing with footballs is akin to pitchers doctoring baseballs: everybody does it, and nobody looks too closely until an opponent publicly complains.''

As Deadspin says, lots of QBs doctor balls.  We're not excusing it, by the way, we're merely saying, here are all these other guys who also mess with their balls, and yet there isn't a gigantic Internet explosion about these incidents.

Aaron Rodgers apparently likes the balls to be inflated past the league directed digits. It's widely detailed that he has discussed this openly. Peyton Manning actually lobbied the league to allow QBs 'inspect' the game balls pre-game. Gosh, I wonder why they would want to do that. Eli? Oh, no big deal, his crack special forces balls team spends hours on end scouring, rubbing up and otherwise doctoring footballs for him to use. But, again, no big deal, right?

Within that article, written in 2013, the following stands out;
''For every N.F.L. game, each team has 12 to 20 balls that it has meticulously groomed and prepared according to the needs of its starting quarterback. The balls, brushed and primed using various obvious and semisecret techniques, bear the team logo and are switched out from sideline to sideline depending on which team is on offense.''
I mean, C'Mon, Man, right? 'Semisecret techniques'? Oh that sounds totally legitimate! Why did the Internet not explode after this article was printed, pretty much documenting how Manning likes to have his balls doctored (stop grinning!).

Of all the non-issues currently clogging up the Internet, this has to be one of the dumbest of all time. The referees supposedly caught this ‘issue’ at half time, and even if the Patriots did indeed do something to the balls, something along the lines of many NFL QBs (Manning by two and Rodgers, as mentioned already) then it certainly didn’t have any effect on the outcome as the Patriots went on to win the second half 28-0, with, ahem, clean balls.

So why is this being treated like Darth Vader himself just came down from space and executed everyone on the Internet’s puppy?

Because it is the Patriots. Oh, everyone loves to hate the Patriots. Popularity and indeed success breed contempt.

In the eighties everyone hated the 49ers. In the 90s everyone hated the Cowboys (now we just laugh at them). In the 2000s, that mantle, American’s most hated NFL team has been passed on to New England. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that grouping of teams.

I talked to good friend and Sports Psychologist David Mullins about this, and he offered up clear, simple logic as to why everyone hates the Patriots.

 ''I said to a guy before playoffs started that I'd love to see a Patriots v Seahawks Superbowl as for me they are the two best teams and best run clubs. He couldn't understand that I would want that. He despised the idea of either doing well. It comes down to a lack of personal success and seeing others success as highlighting their own failures. So then they have to come up with reasons why the successful are lucky or cheating etc to excuse their own failings.''

Everyone hated the 49ers, everyone really hated the Cowboys. Today everyone hates the Patriots.

The only difference, and it is a major one, thanks to the Internet, people are getting really good at ‘hating’, really loud, and really good. ‘Hate’ is going to a new level of vitriol and indeed volume. Hate is eventually going to consume us completely, and all that will be left is some Internet comment sections for future alien races to recognize exactly where we, literally, fell off the map.

American Sniper: Eastwood's Biggest Lie

Director Clint Eastwood has taken great liberties with Chris Kyle's book, and presented a very distorted view of the facts, and a very convoluted depiction of the subject of 'American Sniper'.

To start, it is very sad to see that any kind of criticism of the movie ‘American Sniper’ is being met with incredibly aggressive threats from the movie’s supporters. The irony is simple, the more knuckle-headed of those supporters often laud the film’s subject, Chris Kyle, for defending ‘freedom’, however they are threatening people like Seth Rogen and any number of movie critics for daring to exercise their freedom of expression. The obvious irony is that those people so aggressively supporting Clint Eastwood’s movie are acting exactly like the angry, religious fundamentalists depicted as target practice for Eastwood’s hero, Kyle.

The backlash against Rogen, in particular, is scary in its volume and sheer anger, to the point where Rogen has had to apologise for having an opinion. What is this, the 1950s?

With the movie, one of the most important and perhaps more obvious points, watching the movie without reading the book is basically trying to understand maths without knowing what a number is. The book is essential to this, as it was straight from the mind of Kyle, and what a dark place that was. Maybe Kyle started life as some kind of loving, caring, conscientious gentleman, however his book is essentially a list of his favourite confirmed KIAs in a brutal war zone. That’s about it. Unless you have a particularly grim fascination with understanding how people die when shot by a sniper bullet, it is a morbidly boring read.

Eastwood takes that book, and turns it into something completely different. He doesn’t as much embellish the story as take a Soviet era paint-brush and apply suitable, rabble-rousing propaganda liberally. Eastwood takes a stone cold killer, who, if you read the book, clearly enjoys his work, and instead gives us this soft, doughy, caring man who only wants to protect US infantry from the hideous infidel. That’s Eastwood’s biggest lie to the audience. Kyle was not a man put in a tough position, trying to decide whether to put a bullet in the head of a 9 year old or not. Kyle enjoyed killing people.

Normal human beings carry the weight of death heavily. Normal humans who have taken other lives carry that weight for the rest of theirs. Kyle was from that group of human beings that very much enjoyed taking away the lives of others.

Read the book.

Kyle did not agonise over pulling the trigger, even when a child was in his scope-sights. He said, and this is straight from his book; 

“I hate the damn savages”

Now, before you go un-following me on Twitter, in an angry, patriotic haze of hate for my even suggesting Kyle said something like that, first remember Kyle actually wrote that. Second, I am by no means telling you anything was wrong with Kyle. He is what he was. A trained killer, who enjoyed his work.

I am however suggesting Eastwood’s rosy, cosy depiction of him, thoughtfully carrying around the weight of those people he killed, is a complete and utter lie. A far more accurate movie would have been Kyle gunning down men, women and children, and listing his kills like an accountant.

Should you doubt this suggestion, I would once again urge, read the book. It is very close to an accountant’s ledger, but instead of numbers he lists people he has killed. It’s that grim and morbid.

Whatever about Kyle himself, Eastwood’s depiction of war in this movie is nothing short of pathetically simplistic. This is surprising as Eastwood did not shirk from his responsibilities as a director in ‘Flags of our fathers’ or ‘Letters from Iwo Jima’. The true horrors of war are there for all to see in both of those excellent movies, the latter in particular a real triumph of modern cinema.

In ‘American Sniper’, Eastwood takes complete leave of reality and shows us a brave American hero gunning down infidels as they threaten full frontal, slow, laboured US infantry assaults. At one point Kyle even jumps off the rooftops and shows the grunts how to conduct door-to-door street fighting. The reality of urban warfare in Iraq is far nastier than Eastwood allowed us to see. I think it is first important for me to note, US soldiers were put in an almost impossible situation, in that point I agree with Eastwood, no doubt that’s something he’s trying to depict. Urban warfare in populated areas is a messy business. What Eastwood refrained from dealing with is the civilian casualties. We’re not talking about those handful of people who did rush US positions with Improvised explosive devices. In war the most tragic casualties are innocent civilians who get caught in it's web.

If you want to feel bad about the human race or if you want to get to know what urban warfare was really like in the cities of Iraq, do yourself a solid and conduct a simple 10-15 minute research on the topic online. Mainstream Western journalists wrote at length about the horrific numbers of civilian men, women and children who were killed by US forces during house-to-house fighting. Tiny children with sniper rounds to the forehead. Civilian ambulance drivers pulled from clearly marked ambulances with same, clean sniper rounds to the head. Women shot in the back. No doubt many of those were on Kyle’s ledger.

Look, if you want to insist on ‘loving’ Chris Kyle, ‘American Sniper’ and the movie Eastwood has created, go for it, that’s your choice. Just know that Kyle was not sitting there carefully picking off painstakingly selected, approved targets. There is no doubt he killed many civilians, innocent people caught in a horrible war zone. Unfortunately, as happens in war, it is a well documented fact that US forces killed many innocent civilians, much as the subject of their hatred, religious fundamentalists, did in New York in 2001.

The point I am labouring to make is, war is nasty, a messy, horrible business where the worst thing in humanity takes place, the loss of human life. In Eastwood’s frankly ridiculous re-enactment, his war is a tidy, cosy affair where only the correct decisions are made, only infidels, or as Kyle put it, ‘savages’ are killed.

Eastwood saves his final insult to both Kyle and the audience to last.

As you may or may not know, Kyle was ironically killed at a gun-range, by a former soldier who is now being tried for murder. The narrative being put forward is basically that Kyle’s ‘friend’ was suffering from PTSD and killed Kyle in a tragic accident. There are whispers that there are deeper secrets behind the incident, and the murder charges would reflect that. In ‘American Sniper’ Eastwood raises a giant middle finger to both his main subject, Kyle, and the audience, by copping out completely and in a cowardly fashion with a final patriotic montage of black limousines and American flags replacing any controversy.

It is insulting to Kyle to brush over his death like this. It is both insulting and patronising to the audience to take that fact and hide it, bury it under a glossy paint job of pseudo patriotism. I would suggest Eastwood was afraid of allowing his audience the chance to form opinions based on that incident, and instead pushed through his own narrative by leaving the final killing completely out. He had no issue showing us the deaths of ‘savage’ women and children, Eastwood drew the line at showing the complicated and indeed controversial death of his All-American hero.

For Eastwood, it was one death too many, and he wasn’t going to allow us to see that.

It is however extremely important to ask, why did Kyle's former friend kill him on that fateful day? I think Eastwood is a coward for leaving out the how and the why. It's easy enough to take a stab at why. Many soldiers are fucked up mentally for life because they are asked to kill people for a living. The weight of that breaks brains. Eastwood leaving that out is just another lie in a two hour piece that Seth Rogen was absolutely correct in comparing to the propaganda short in 'Inglorious Bastards'.

Now, if Quentin Tarantino had been given the reigns of  'American Sniper', now, that would have been interesting, and potentially a hell of a lot more realistic, too.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

On Terrell Suggs and domestic abuse

I had the misfortune of stumbling across a video posting along with sycophantic comments heaping praise upon Terrell Suggs today. It was on a Facebook page for an English NFL TV show. I made an innocuous enough point in the comment section, which the social media manager for that site then deleted. Fair enough, I ‘Unliked’ the page, and will not be watching their TV show again (Isn't it great how social media reduces us to actions akin to angry 12 year olds?!).

That social media manager is just one of the many thousands who bury their head in the sand when it comes to Terrell Suggs. He’s a nasty, malicious and hateful individual, and it is incredible that the NFL chooses to allow him exist in their World. A strong statement? Consider it yourself after the following facts.

  • Candace Williams, the mother of Suggs’s children, has filed for two protective orders against Suggs in the last five years. On both occasions the Judge presiding deemed Suggs enough of a danger to her and the children that the restraining order was given.
  • According to court details of the first order, he knocked her to the ground and sat on top of her, grabbing her neck and holding an open bottle of bleach over her. Williams wrote that Suggs used an obscenity and said he was going to “drown [her] with this bleach.” She put her hands over the cap, but the cleaner spilled onto her and their son
  • While entering details to describe “past injuries,” Williams lists “busted lips, broken nose, black eyes, bruises’’
  • According to court records, “Baltimore City District Court Judge Ronald Alan Karasic wrote that a laceration was visible on Williams’ chest.”
  • Williams also alleged that “[t]hroughout our relationship since early 2007, [Suggs] has punched me in the face and stomach and threatened to take the children from me if I left him. He stole my ID so I could not leave.”
  • Three years later, Williams asked for yet another protective order. This was again given by the judge, who deemed Suggs, again, enough of a threat to be dangerous to Williams and the children.
  • Williams alleged that Suggs “punched her in the neck and drove a car containing their two children at a ‘high rate of speed’ while she was being dragged alongside.” Williams’ request for a protective order was granted, and as a consequence Suggs was ordered to give up his firearms. Under Maryland law, “a judge is authorized to order someone to surrender firearms if they find there are reasonable grounds to believe the person seeking a protective order has been abused.’’

Translation of all of that? On two occasions, judges deemed that there was grounds to believe Suggs was abusive to his (now) wife and children, and posed a dangerous threat to them.

Think about that for a second.

Twice, Suggs has been in front of a judge and both times the judge has decided that he was abusive and dangerous.

It’s important to note that at no point has Suggs apologized for his acts. I am not going to put the words alleged-acts in there, because his main offence, in my view, is intimidating a woman and a child to the point that the law has had to be involved on several occasions. People, that should be enough. Suggs has never apologized for his acts, and interestingly he has never denied them either. Search through his carefully constructed comments around these sad incidents, Suggs never once actually denies he did any of the things he has been accused of doing to his (now) wife and child.

If you are innocent, you deny the allegations, right?

Suggs can hide behind carefully chosen words, no doubt constructed in the presence of an expensively assembled legal team, but he can’t hide from the trail of damage he’s leaving behind him. Obviously you would hope that he is done abusing and intimidating women and children, you would hope that in the strongest fashion. Maybe he is a changed man. However, next time you see a story lauding this individual, just remember the double restraining orders, and the chilling stories involving bleach and being dragged from cars, which, incredibly, Suggs has never denied.

Then see if you can get excited about whatever bullshit this creep is trying to sell you.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

10 points to make you feel better about the Jon Lester situation

A quick look at some of the reasons that make Jon Lester signing with someone other than Boston easier to handle.

Jon Lester is gone.

That much is true. Maybe it is time to start looking for the silver lining in this situation. here's a look at some of the reasons it may not be as bad as us Red Sox fans initially thought.

  1. Lester didn't sign with the Yankees
  2. Chicago is a nice town to visit. A trip to Chicago to pay homage during one of Lester's starts is not the least appealing idea ever. 
  3. He's now a seriously coveted Fantasy Baseball piece, pitching in the NL will bump his stats exponentially. If you are a Lester owner in a keeper league, you just hit the jackpot.
  4. If Lester regresses to the point where he starts getting shallacked on a weekly basis, at least we don't have to watch that happen on the mound at Fenway. 
  5. In a somewhat related point, we probably won't have to suffer through a 38 year old Lester trying to get outs on the mound at Fenway (and I say that out of love and respect, no fan needs to see that happen).
  6. If you are a Red Sox fan that just moved to Chicago, well depending on your perspective, you either just lucked-out, or it's kind of like moving to a new town and finding out an old girlfriend who dumped you is living next door. Let's go with the former (you lucked-out).
  7. He didn't sign with the Yankees (It bears repeating, as it wasn't a million miles from happening, the Yankees were starting to sniff about as the talks dragged on).
  8. Lester didn't sign with St Louis either (almost as bad as the Yankees at this stage)
  9. The Cubs, who have lost close to 500 games in the last 5 years, probably will not be appearing in the World Series any time soon. Therefore, the Red Sox probably won't be facing Lester in the big show any time soon. 
  10.  Remember, he didn't sign with the Yankees!

Rock on, Jony boy, rock on

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