ESPN Bottomline 2.0

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Sunday Notes - BC Basketball, Mike Lowell and the Pats

About a foot of snow has fallen in the Boston area but that has not stopped the intrepid Sports Chutney reporting staff from making it to Chestnut Hill to cover the Boston College v. Bryant University basketball game this afternoon. BC needs a bounce back game after tough losses to Harvard and Rhode Island and the 0-10 Bryant Bulldogs may just be the thing needed for the Eagles to regain some mojo.

A couple thoughts on the Mike Lowell for Max Ramirez trade falling through. Lowell is going to need thumb surgery which he will have later this week and keep him from doing baseball related activities for the next 6-8 weeks. This is bad news all around. The injury will keep Lowell (and his $12 million dollar salary) on the Sox payroll for the foreseeable future which will make it all the more difficult to acquire a third baseman as a defensive upgrade at the position. As it stands right now it looks like Boston will move Kevin Youkilis over to third and have Casey Kotchman play first base with Lowell as the first man off the bench for the most part. Thumb and wrist injuries are not good for batters (especially infielders) and if it saps Lowell of power at the plate he will become basically useless to the Sox until he proves that he can drive the ball. 

In turn the Sox miss out on catching prospect Max Ramirez. Of the stable of Texas catchers, Ramirez has been buried behind Taylor Teagarden and Jarrod Saltalamachia and as such he remains viable trade bait if the Rangers want to go get a power bat, as they attempted to with Lowell. The Sox were concerned about his wrists, a common injury for young hitters (see Dustin Pedroia and Jed Lowrie) and if the injury causes Ramirez to lose his power stroke than he is also completely worthless to the Sox as his defense behind the plate is average at best. The trade would have been a decent way for the Sox to get Lowell out of town and add potential and depth at the backstop position. Alas, it is not to be. For now at least. Do not be surprised if there is a move concerning Lowell during Spring Training though.

As of this moment the Patriots are leading the Buffalo Bills 17-10 with 3:02 left in the fourth quarter. I like to see the Patriots forget the fact that they are supposed to have a high and mighty offense and go back to winning games of the 17-10 variety. Before Tom Brady became Tom Freaking Brady the way the Pats won was with decent defense and the ability of the offense to score just enough points. As far as I am concerned, that is Patriots football. This incarnation of the team does not have the same defense that the teams earlier in the decade had, but it has been good enough against the mediocre teams of the last two weeks and it looks like the Pats will be inline for a division championship in the next couple of weeks. Once the playoffs start, who knows what will happen?

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