Ohio Wesleyan University junior basketball player Caroline Welker was hit by a police officer in Delaware, Ohio as she crossed the street. The officer was making a left hand turn onto another street when he ran into Welker, and it was all caught on the dashboard camera of his car. On Delaware Police Chief Bruce Pijanowski […]
The MLB saw a flurry of deals on Friday as still a precursor to the Winter Meetings next week. Who says that baseball is slow in December? Like a heavy-weight fight with boxers trading punches back and forth, just as one deal was announced, another quickly countered.
Overall, much of the day was centered around the “Evil Empire” New York Yankees, with players coming and going from the Bronx. The Seattle Mariners and New York Mets also got in on the act, both signing former Yankees to deals. From the Mets’ perspective, Curtis Granderson is a nice signing for that franchise. Granderson is one of the good guys in the game with all of the off-field work that he does. On the field, Granderson will give David Wright a much needed boost in that lineup.
Not to be forgotten out east, the World Champion Boston Red Sox are not sitting ideally either. They have already added Edward Mujica to the bullpen and signed A.J. Pierzynski to be the new starting catcher. Boston’s latest move was resigning Mike Napoli to a two-year, $32 million deal. Napoli will head back to first base for the champs and be the primary right-handed protection in the order for David Ortiz.
The Red Sox’ attention could now potentially turn to the shortstop position and Stephen Drew. Drew is the last of the core free agents Boston had at the start of the winter. Will they considered bringing him back, or entrust the everyday left side of the infield to youngsters Will Middlebrooks and Xander Bogaerts?
In terms of Napoli, he could arguably have been a more important piece for Boston to resign ahead of Ellsbury. For starters, Napoli does not have the same injury risk as Ellsbury does. In addition, Napoli has a considerably less of a price tag, allowing money to be spent elsewhere.
While Ellsbury is a tremendous lead-off hitter, the Red Sox can fill that void with Shane Victorino, Dustin Pedroia or even Jackie Bradley Jr. However, losing Napoli would have been very difficult to replace. Having his bat hitting behind Ortiz makes the order balanced and longer. Napoli will provide consistent power and drive in runs in the middle of the Red Sox order.
As Napoli posted on his Twitter account, “The beard is coming back to Boston.”
Nick Schaeflein is a sports writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @ptchr2424 or add him to your network on Google.
With the Green Bay Packers‘ playoff hopes hanging on a thread as tight and thin as a piece of floss, the team must rally around quarterback Matt Flynn one more time this Sunday at Lambeau Field and find a way to win against the Atlanta Falcons.
The offense must try to make some plays with Flynn behind center, but the defense can make Flynn’s job easier if they can get off the field and finally start to make some plays. One guy I think will light a fire under the defense is Pro-Bowl linebacker Clay Matthews.
Matthews must try to create havoc in the pocket for Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan. It won’t be an easy task. The Falcons come into this week ranked in the middle of the pack for the league in protecting the quarterback. They have only allowed 30 sacks this season and have, for the most part, kept Ryan upright.
The Packers’ defense has been putrid over the past few weeks, and has been a reason they find themselves 5-6-1 and on the outside of the playoff picture. Dom Capers is on the hot seat, and he must be able to find a way to get this defense back to a defense that can create turnovers and get after the quarterback.
This is a huge week for the Packers. They must win their final four games to have a chance at the playoffs, and it starts against the Falcons. In order to be successful, the defense must play big. I believe it all starts with Matthews!
Projected stats: 9 tackles, 2.5 sacks, 1 FF