Monday, December 11, 2017


DECEMBER 11, 2017

OK so Gronk is out and Chris Hogan is in. That should help the passing game, which is short of wide receivers already. But what about the running game? Gronkowski is huge in run blocking and will be sorely missed for that attribute.

So what will the Pats brain trust do to offset that loss of a great run blocker? TE Dwayne Allen hasn’t helped the passing attack, but his run blocking has been decent. Rookie TE Jacob Hollister doesn’t have enough meat on his bones (6’4”, 239 lbs.), but could get in the way to slow down rushers. Allen weighs 255. Gronk is 265.

What McDaniels and Belichick may do is have an extra offensive lineman in as a tackle eligible. If LaAdrian Waddle plays RT then that could be Cam Fleming or even Ted Karras. Where is Suh? That’s where you want the guy – to that side.

The last meet up, the Patriots used their running game to take out the Dolphins. They’ll want to do the same. It may be necessary to keep Tom Brady upright. But the Patriots have a habit of doing the unexpected. They could come out and unleash an air attack. Just so long as that OL protects Brady.

If you saw the Eagles-Rams game yesterday, you saw Philly QB Carson Wentz get hit in the knee and tear his ACL. Wentz had been outplaying rival QB Jared Goff. When Wentz got hurt, Philly fell behind and their fate was in the hands of Nick Foles, a decent journeyman quarterback. Foles did well enough to get his team two field goals which won the game. But the other key to LA’s loss was that the Rams’ Trumaine Johnson, after knocking away a 3rd down pass, wouldn’t stop trash talking to Alshon Jeffery and got an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty. The drive continued and Philly got 7. The other key play was ex-Pat Chris Long’s strip sack of Jared Goff. The Rams should have won.

Now can Nick Foles do enough with that Philly defense to get them deep into the playoffs? Losing your starting QB can be the make or break point of your season. That’s why I hope that the Patriots offensive line is firing on almost all cylinders tonight.

The NY Times crossword (12/9) had this: ‘Former Red Sox slugger’Tony (5 letters) Answer? (See bottom of Bullets column)

So the Yankees stole (were aided and abetted by Derek Jeter) Giancarlo Stanton from the Marlins. If you thought that the Yankees mashed last year (most HRs in MLB - 241), then wait until this season. Giancarlo doesn’t always play a full season. In 2013, 116 games. In 2015, 74 games. In 2016, 119 games. If he’s healthy, there will need to be a 20-run mercy rule in Yankee games.

The Boston Herald’s Michael Silverman (12/10) had stats on sluggers JD Martinez, Jose Abreu, Carlos Santana and Eric Hosmer, guys of interest to the Red Sox. From 2015-2017, Martinez had the most HRs (105) to Abreu (88), Santana (76) and Hosmer (68). Martinez played the fewest games (397). Playing DH might help there. Martinez and Abreu led with BA’s of .296. Abreu had 303 RBI to JD’s 274. JD led OBP and SLG.

The Patriots have scored 125 more points than they’ve allowed going into the Miami game. Buffalo, Miami and the Jets have all scored fewer points than they’ve allowed.

Hope you saw that Army edged Navy 14-13 on a snowy 29° field in Philadelphia Saturday. On the last play, Navy’s kicker had a 48-yard attempt go wide. It might have helped if Navy hadn’t committed two false start penalties to push the FG try back. Both teams run a triple option and rarely pass. There were 3 passes total in the game. Army, having beaten Air Force, won the Commander-in-Chief trophy. (Source- Sunday Herald)

Speaking of missed field goals in the snow, 44-year old Adam Vinatieri missed two, one from 43 and one from 33 in Buffalo Sunday. Can’t blame Vinatieri wanting to end his career playing in a dome. That 45-yarder to tie Oakland was the best I’ve ever seen.

The Jimmy G saga continues as he led the 49ers over the Houston Texans who were down to their 3rd string QB TJ Yates at game’s end. 20 of 33, 1 TD pass, 1 INT. Next week’s game is in SF but against Tennessee, a stiffer challenge for Jimmy G and group.

Abby Chin and Brian Scalabrine were discussing the Celtics win over Detroit. Scalabrine at one point said to her ‘Didn’t know you knew alley oop.’ Faux pas, Scal.

The Red Sox slugger that the NY Times wanted was Tony Armas. Not Perez or Clark.

Thanks Jim. Answer: Bob Marley? Garry Gillett
Yes, Garry,The late great Bob Marley. I love Reggae. I was fortunate to see Bob Marley at the Brown hockey rink many years ago. In fact I also have seen Jimmy Cliff, Peter Tosh (sadly gone), and Toots and the Maytals. Reggae got soul. - Z
That would have to be Bob Marley. February 6th is the holiday.
The Wizard
Wiz, quite right. Bob Marley. And now we know the holiday/birthday. - Z

Jim great stuff as always....thank you. Quiz answer..... Bob Marley mon.
Tom Robinson
Tom, you are right - it's Bob Marley from Jamaica, Mon. - Z

Bob Marley. One of my favorite songs is Redemption Song.
Glenn Dewell
Glenn, you are correct - it's Bob Marley. My two favorites have always been Get Up, Stand Up and No Woman, No Cry, and Is This Love? has become one. - Z

Hi Jim,
Guessing at the quiz... Bob Marley.
    -    He died of cancer in something like 4 yrs
    -    He's in the R&R H of F
    -    Hero in homeland
    -    Still an influence
    -    Don't know about the holiday or his dad.

All the best from stormy Npt.
Bill Shea
Bill, good guess and you are correct. I was very fortunate to see Bob Marley and his back up singers The I Three with a band (not the Wailers) at Brown's hockey rink - Meehan Auditorium. - Z

Bob Marley should be the quiz answer I believe.
Fleet Feet Pete
Ya Mon, you be jammin’. It’s Bob Marley. - Z

50 years ago “sock on the doorknob” meant stay out until your roommate and his or her partner are done doing what everyone knows they are doing!
Dave Burlingame
You are exactly right. We just had never heard of that. For us, it was a sign that said ‘Stay Out’ taped to the door or a ‘Do Not Disturb’ sign liberated from a hotel. - Z
Sportzine is available at thanks to Buffalo Steve Lenz
You might have seen that the Providence Journal listed a contest in which the winner would get 2 tix, flt and hotel to the Patriots at Miami game Monday night. The connecting site was so I guess the airport was behind the giveaway. Well, the Hot Club’s own Kelley won that trip. Seems she may have to pay some taxes on the value of the trip, but I’m sure it’ll be worth it. Go Patriots! Go Kelley!

Kelley was also kind enough to point out some of the new happenings at the Hot Club. Mondays are now Moscow Mule Mug night. You order any kind of liquor with ginger beer. The drinks come in a silvery metal mug. Nurses get drink discounts on Mondays.

Kelley said there’ll be live music on Thursdays soon from 6:30-10:30. I wonder if we’ll see our faves Tanya McIntyre and the Professors on one of those Thursday nights? And I believe that Kelley said that on Thursdays there will be board games from 5 to closing.

Last week’s craft beer (for the $50 Hot Club gift card) was Barrel House Z brewery’s Adeline, a Russian Imperial Stout that has an ABV of 9.0. The brewery is in Weymouth, Mass. And yes, I had one.

Fleet Feet Pete read me this year’s 5 selections for the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame: Bon Jovi, the Moody Blues, Dire Straits, the Cars and Judas Priest. Check Glad to see Mark Knopfler and his band get in. Cars and Moodys too. Knopfler could be in as a solo artist.

Last week you were asked to name the great performer who was virtually abandoned by his father, survived an assassination attempt, then a year later was diagnosed with cancer from which he died 4 years later. His musical influence is felt to this day. He is in the Rock ‘N’ Roll Hall of Fame. His birthday is a national holiday in his homeland. Name? Six people knew it was Bob Marley (a new record). Sadly Robert ‘Bob’ Nesta Marley died at age 36 of acral lentiginous melanoma on May 11, 1981. Contrary to urban legend, Marley did not get the cancer after playing soccer (football). The foot cancer developed under the nail of his big toe. It later spread to his brain. His music lives on.

This band has an unusual name and their music sounds like it’s from a different part of the country than from where they hail. They have the distinction of having the most #2 hits on Billboard’s Hot 100 without ever having a #1 hit. Name?