The 2011 All-Turkey Team


The 2011 All-Turkey Team

Before the SRO offices close down for the holiday, I'm required by Internet law to offer you a commemorative Thanksgiving-themed post.

So please enjoy. And everyone have a great day.

Boston's Five Biggest Turkeys of 2011

The Big Gobbler: Shaquille O'Neal

There are rumors that, as a child, this turkey was dropped in a vat of radioactive waste, resulting in the 7-foot, 400 pound, mutated turkey beast that you see today.

But we won't hold that against him.

It should also be noted that during his time in Boston, The Big Turkey (as he likes to be called) performed an extraordinary amount of charity. In fact, he celebrated last Thanksgiving by delivering more than 400 of his own kind to the Boys & Girls Club of Boston.

Sadly, more than half of those turkeys were ultimately eaten by Glen Davis but it's the thought that counts. And on that level, this particular turkey's head was in the right place.

But when it came to basketball and the Boston Celtics, the Big Drumstick (as he likes to be called) had nothing. He can blame Danny Ainge for trading Perk, he can blame the President for ruining Rondo, he can blame Big Baby for being selfish, Nate Robinson for being immature and Father Time for messing with the Shaquilles tendon. Bottom line is this:

By the end of last season, the Big Gizzard (as he likes to be called) was in a perfect spot:

He had the spotlight; everyone begging for his return. The table was set for this turkey to become the hero he always claimed to be.

But he was cooked.

The Reluctant Turkey: John Lackey

This turkey will have you believe that he's not a turkey at all. "I'm a stallion!" he'll gobble. "I'm only here because of every one else! They did this to me!"

Don't believe him. He's a turkey.

For sure.

And from what I hear, he's not very happy with your cooking strategies for Thursday: "The guy doesn't know what he's doing!" Lackey said in a recent interview. "He's pre-heating the oven to 350, when he knows I prefer 355. He's got this nasty old baster that he's trying to stick up my butt. And would you believe that his roasting rack isn't even stainless steel You believe that crap? Goddamn amateur!"

Hmm... You know what? Screw it. Nothing's worth that kind of headache. Put Turkey Lackey on the shelf until Thanksgiving 2012. Maybe by then he'll be a little easier to deal with.

The Texas Turkey: Josh Beckett

This is one tough Texas turkey. He waddles to the beat of his own drum. He plays by his own rules. He cares not for your portion control!!

He's one of the most talented turkeys on the farm, which makes his baggage all the more frustrating but also far more forgivable. Make no mistake, if the Texas Turkey returns to his previous form, the world will move passed his September gobble job. Of any turkey on this list, he's the one with the best chance of escaping with his head still connected to his body.

But he'll have to get in shape.

Maybe he thought those extra pounds would increase his market value. Instead, it just made him more ripe for the picking.

The Boss Man Turkey: Larry Lucchino

This product comes with a specific label: Not 100 real turkey.

That's because he's also part sly fox and slippery snake. His great, great grandfather was a spotted hyena. The Boss Man's a little bit of all things nasty, but at this time of year, it's his "turkiality" which shines brightest.

The sad thing is that it doesn't have to be this way. The Boss Man Turkey's actually unbelievably smart and capable. Even by human standards. He could be a hero in Boston; in many ways, he should be. But that ego leaves a disgusting taste in everyone's mouth.

Tip for consumption: Use extra salt.

The Tweeting Turkey: Chad Ochocinco

The Tweeting Turkey is a sympathetic figure.

He thought this was going to be heaven; and he, one of Brady's Angels. Instead, he's been a disaster. A frustrating, confusing and seemingly irrevocable disaster.

Still, it's hard to stay particularly mad at this foul fowl. After all, he doesn't want it to be this way. He's tried hard to avoid it. Unlike these other guys, Ochocinco's struggles and shortcomings have cut to his core. He's genuinely affected. All he wants are more and more chances to prove he's worth keeping around.

But Thanksgiving's not a very forgiving time for turkeys.

Especially when they don't know the plays.

Rich can be reached at Follow Rich on Twitter at http:twitter.comrich_levine

Eduardo Rodriguez strong, Red Sox down Mariners for 5th straight win

Eduardo Rodriguez strong, Red Sox down Mariners for 5th straight win

BOSTON (AP)  Eduardo Rodriguez pitched six scoreless innings and the Boston Red Sox took advantage of a sloppy performance by the Seattle Mariners to earn their season-high fifth straight win, 3-0 on Friday night.

It was the third consecutive win for Rodriguez (4-1), who went six innings, gave up just five hits and struck out four while throwing a season-high 112 pitches. Craig Kimbrel earned his 13th save.

Rodriguez has pitched at least six innings in his last seven starts, going 4-0 in that span.

The only run support Rodriguez needed came in the second inning, when Hanley Ramirez scored on Josh Rutledge's RBI groundout. Boston added two more runs in the sixth, scoring on a wild pitch and passed ball.

Yovani Gallardo (2-5) took the loss. He lasted 5 1/3 innings, gave up seven hits and was responsible for all three of Boston's runs. Seattle has won just one of its last seven.

Meanwhile, Boston gave Rodriguez got lots of help from his defense. Jackie Bradley Jr. had a pair of nice plays, getting an outfield assist in the second and running down another ball on the warning track in the sixth.

In addition to the pitching miscues, the Mariners had all kinds of issues in the wet conditions, committing two fielding errors.

The Red Sox left 11 runners on base, leaving the door open for the Mariners to get back in the game. But Seattle couldn't capitalize, going 0 for 6 with runners in scoring position. The Mariners also left seven runners stranded.


Mariners: LHP James Paxton (strained left forearm) was slated to make a rehab start Friday night in Double-A Arkansas. He has been on the 10-day disabled list since May 5. He could be activated for a start at the end of the month against Colorado.

Red Sox: Infielder Marco Hernandez will be out the remainder of the season after undergoing stabilization surgery on his left shoulder on Friday. Hernandez was placed on the disabled list May 4 with a left shoulder misalignment. The 24-year-old hit .276 with two RBI in 21 games. ... A night after he left the game with left knee pain, 2B Dustin Pedroia was held out Friday for what manager John Farrell said was "precautionary reasons" because of the wet playing surface.


Mariners: RHP Rob Whalen (0-2, 4.09 ERA in Triple-A Tacoma) will be making his major league start since last season with Atlanta. He will be 12th different starting pitcher the Mariners have used this season.

Red Sox: LHP Brian Johnson (1-0, 7.20 ERA) will be making his second major league start this year and third of his career.


More AP baseball: