The 2011 All-Turkey Team

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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 rlevine@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Rich on Twitter at http:twitter.comrich_levine

Quotes, notes and stars: Ortiz goes 0-for-5 in loss to Yankees

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Quotes, notes and stars: Ortiz goes 0-for-5 in loss to Yankees

NEW YORK -- Quotes, notes and stars from the Red Sox' 6-4 loss to the Yankees:

 

QUOTES:

"I went 0-for-5 today, so I ain't got (anything) to talk about.'' - David Ortiz after turning around and seeing a small army of reporters waiting for him in front of his locker.

"To have a chance to clinch the division for us here (and come up sort), it's not acceptable. If my offense scores me four runs, I feel like I should be able to go out there and win.'' - David Price.

"The bottom line story to this one was (Price) mislocating within the strike zone.'' - John Farrell.

 

NOTES:

* Boston's season-best 11-game win streak was snapped with the loss.

* David Price took his first loss since Aug. 7.

* Price is 1-3 with a 7.89 ERA against the Yankees this season.

* Aaron Hill contributed his first pinch-hit homer in his career.

* Mookie Betts saw his streak of reaching base in 38 straight road games stopped.

* Dustin Pedroia posted his third straight multi-hit game.

* For the 20th time this season, Xander Bogaerts enjoyed a three-hit game.

* In his last 12 games, Andrew Benintendi has eight extra-base hits.

* Hill's pinch-hit homer was the third by the Red Sox this month.

 

STARS:

1) Tyler Austin

The rookie first baseman snapped a 4-4 tie in the seventh with a two-run homer and also added two more hits in three at-bats.

2) Gary Sanchez

The first-year catcher continues to amaze, hitting his 20th homer in only his 51st game, sending the Yanks out to a quick 2-0 lead in the first inning.

3) Luis Cessa

Cessa took a big step forward from his last start against the Red Sox by keeping them scoreless through the first five innings before allowing two runs in the sixth.

 

First impressions: Yankees power their way past Price, Red Sox

First impressions: Yankees power their way past Price, Red Sox

NEW YORK -- First impressions from the Red Sox' 6-4 loss to the Yankees.

 

* As the postseason gets closer, David Price needs to do a better job of keeping the ball in the ballpark.

Price gave up three homers Tuesday night -- a two-run shoot to rookie sensation Gary Sanchez in the first; a solo shot to Didi Gregorius in the sixth; and another two-run belt in the seventh to Tyler Austin.

That's six homers in the last three outings and 29 for the season. It's also the sixth time this season that he's given up multiple homers in the same start, with the three on Tuesday representing a season-high.

Prior to this year, Price had never allowed more than 25 homers in a season. Last season, splitting time between the cavernous Comerica Park in Detroit and the hitter-friendly Rogers Centre, he yielded just 17.

Worse, twice Tuesday the homers came at inauspicious times. In the sixth, the Sox had just closed to within one at 3-2; in the seventh, the Sox had worked t tie the game at 4-4.

 

* For all of the offensive brilliance shown by Mookie Betts, it's easy to forget how good he's been in right field.

Anyone who plays in the same outfield with Jackie Bradley Jr. runs the risk of having his defensive play overshadowed and that's likely the case with Betts.

He's played a Gold Glove-caliber right field, showing good range and instincts -- especially for someone who never played the outfield professionally until about 2 1/2 years ago.

And while Bradley has the stronger arm, Betts has 14 assists, including one Tuesday night.

That took place on a ball in which Betts was initially fooled. With one on, Chase Headley lined a ball to right that Betts seemed to lose in the lights. He went to his knees, fighting the lights, and managed to reach back to make the catch, sprawling. He then had the presence of mind to set himself and fire a throw to first, doubling up Starlin Castro for a mind-blowing double play.

 

* Expanded rosters make a mockery of the game.

In the eighth inning, Joe Girardi and John Farrell combined to burn through six players for one plate appearance.

Righty Blake Parker was set to face Aaron Hill, but Farrell had lefty Travis Shaw announced. Girardi then countered by bringing in lefty Richard Bleier to face Shaw.

Of course, Farrell countered by having righty Chris Young hit for Shaw. Young reached on a fielder's choice, and because Young can't play third, Farrell had insert Deven Marrero at third in the bottom of the inning.

Four position players and two pitchers in one spot. That couldn't be done in any other month during the season.

So why is it allowed in September?