Red Sox make series of front-office appointments

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Red Sox make series of front-office appointments

Red Sox press release:

BOSTON The Boston Red Sox today announced a series of personnel moves in the organizations baseball operations department. Executive Vice PresidentGeneral Manager Ben Cherington made the announcements.

BASEBALL OPERATIONS
Jared Banner has been promoted to Assistant Director, Player Personnel after serving as Coordinator, Amateur Scouting from 2011-12. Banner joined the organization as Red Sox Fellow in baseball operations in 2007 and served as Assistant, Player Development in 2008-09 and Assistant, Amateur Scouting in 2010.

Mike Murov has been promoted to Coordinator, Baseball Operations. Murov previously served as Assistant, Baseball Operations from 2011-12 after joining the Red Sox as an intern in the baseball operations department in 2010. He was also a baseball operations intern with the Reds (2009) and Marlins (2008).

PLAYER DEVELOPMENT
Duncan Webb has been promoted to Assistant Director, Player Development. Webb had held the role of Player Development Programs Coordinator from 2010-2012. He joined the Red Sox organization as an intern at the Red Sox Academy in the Dominican Republic in 2006 and also served as Latin Education Coordinator from 2007-09.

Laz Gutierrez has been promoted to Coordinator, Player Development Programs. Gutierrez was an amateur scout for Southern and Northeast Florida beginning in 2006 and also served as Short-A Lowells pitching coach in 2007 and 2010. A former left-handed pitcher, he spent three seasons in the Detroit and San Diego minor league systems from 1998-2001.

Tim Hyers has been promoted to Minor League Hitting Coordinator after previously serving as the club's area scout for Georgia over the last four years (2009-12). He was hitting coach at Single-A West Michigan in the Tigers minor league system in 2002, and played parts of four seasons in the Major Leagues with the Padres (1994-95), Tigers (1996), and Marlins (1999).

George Lombard has been promoted to Minor League Outfield and Baserunning Coordinator. Lombard had served as manager for the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League Red Sox from 2011-12. He joined the Red Sox organization as a hitting coach for Short-A Lowell in 2010. A former outfielder, he played parts of six Major League seasons with the Braves (1998-2000), Tigers (2002), Devil Rays (2003), and Nationals (2006). He also spent two seasons in the Red Sox farm system, appearing at Double-A Portland (2004) and Triple-A Pawtucket (2004-05).

AMATEUR SCOUTING
Mike Rikard has been named National Scouting Coordinator. Rikard served as national crosschecker with the Red Sox from 2010-12 and was a regional crosschecker from 2005-2009. He previously served as a scout in the Padres organization.

John Booher has been named National Crosschecker after spending the last three seasons with the Texas Rangers as a southeast crosschecker (2012) and professional scout (2010-11). Booher returns to the Red Sox having previously served as a scout for the club from 2003-09. He also spent 12 years scouting for the Florida Marlins.

Quincy Boyd has been promoted to Regional Crosschecker after serving as an area scout for North Carolina and South Carolina from 2007-12. He was a scout for the club in the Midwest region in 2006.

Jim Robinson has been promoted to Regional Crosschecker. Robinson joined the club in 1999 and served as an area scout for North Texas and North Louisiana.

Tom Kotchman has been tabbed as an Area Scout in Northern Florida. Kotchman was also recently named as a coach for the Red Sox Rookie-level Gulf Coast League club. He is a veteran of 34 years as a minor league manager and scout, including the last 29 seasons in the Angels system.

Brian Moehler has been hired as an Area Scout in Georgia after a professional career as a right-handed pitcher. He spent parts of 14 seasons in the Major Leagues with the Tigers (1996-2002), Blue Jays (2002), Reds (2002) Astros (2003, 2007-10), and Marlins (2005-06).

John Pyle has joined the organization as an Area Scout in the Ohio Valley. Pyle played parts of two seasons as a catcher in the Texas Rangers minor league system from 1993-94.

Willie Romay has been hired as an Area Scout in Southern Florida. Romay spent 14 years as a scout for the Major League Baseball Scouting Bureau following five minor league seasons as an outfielder in the Mariners (1989-91), Dodgers (1992), and Marlins (1994) systems.

PROFESSIONAL SCOUTING
Steve Peck has been promoted to Special Assignment Scout. Peck joined the Red Sox organization as a professional scout in 2009 after 13 years as a member of the Seattle Mariners coaching and scouting staff, including serving as an advance scout from 2004-2008. He also worked with the Mariners as a minor league pitching coach (1996-2001) and as an amateur scout (2002-03). A former left-handed pitcher, Peck spent seven seasons in the Athletics (1988-90), Angels (1991-93) and Brewers (1994) systems.

Dave Klipstein has been promoted to Major League Scout after serving as a professional scout from 2007-12. Klipstein joined the Red Sox from the Texas Rangers, where he served as a national and central crosschecker in the amateur scouting department from 1997-2006. He also served as an area scout with Pittsburgh from 1993-96 after seven years as a minor league outfielder with the Brewers (1982-87) and Reds (1988) organizations.

Anthony Turco has been named a Professional Scout after serving as an amateur scout for the Red Sox in Northwest and West Florida from 2007-12.

INTERNATIONAL SCOUTING
Victor Rodriguez Jr. has been promoted to Area Supervisor and Dominican Republic Crosschecker after serving as a scout in the Dominican Republic from 2011-12. Selected by Boston in the 2003 June draft, he interned with the Red Sox Florida Operations in 2008 and served as an associate scout for the club in Florida from 2009-10. He is the son of Red Sox Assistant Hitting Coach Victor Rodriguez, Sr.

Wilder Lobo, Ramon Mora and Alex Requena have been hired as a Scouts in Venezuela.

Carlos Lugo has been hired as a Scout in the Dominican Republic.

Dennis Neuman has been hired as a Scout in Curacao and Aruba after a professional career as a right-handed pitcher in the Red Sox minor league system from 2007-11. Named a mid-season South Atlantic League All-Star in 2010, Neuman had a 3.40 ERA through five seasons and 145 minor-league games.

David Tapia has been hired as a Scout in Mexico.

Patriots named Super Bowl LI favorites despite Brady suspension

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Patriots named Super Bowl LI favorites despite Brady suspension

Is the Patriots roster so loaded that Tom Brady can be suspended for four games, and they're still the favorites to win it all? 

Apparently so, according to odds released by the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook.

Not long after the completion of this year's draft, the Patriots were favored at 6-1 to win their fifth Lombardi Trophy even though their quarterback is scheduled to miss the first month of the season after his Deflategate punishment was recently reinstated by the Second Circuit Court of Appeals. Brady plans to appeal that ruling. 

Next on the list of favorites are the Seahawks, Steelers and Packers, all of whom are tied at 8-1. The Panthers, who fell in Super Bowl 50 to the Broncos, have 9-1 odds to redeem themselves after last season's defeat and walk away winners. 

The Patriots are, of course, favored to win the AFC (3-1) and the AFC East (4-9), and their season win total projection has been set at 10.5.

Felger: Is the praise for Jacoby Brissett too good to be true?

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Felger: Is the praise for Jacoby Brissett too good to be true?

Three mid-week thoughts for your perusal . . . 

-- I was 100 percent behind the drafting of quarterback Jacoby Brissett. And then I read comments about the kid from Charlie Weis and Bill Parcells in Karen Guregian's excellent story in the Boston Herald on Tuesday.

Now I'm down to about 80 percent.

"He's a Curtis Martin-, Willie McGinest-, Troy Brown-type of player,'' said Parcells. "That's the kind of guy he is. That's what New England is getting. Those kind, those Tedy Bruschi types, those players who've been successful -- he's very similar in his personal life to those kinds of guys.''

"Let me tell you,'' added Weis, "this kid, from the time he was in high school, is the Pied Piper . . . He was definitely the leader of the pack. In the quarterback position, I think that's a critical factor. And that's what he was.''

Added Parcells: "He has zero personal issues.''

So why would glowing reports cause me to like the pick less? File under: Too good to be true.

I read those quotes and get the feeling I'm being sold something, which shakes my confidence a bit. Plus, it's a little too much on the intangible element. Character is certainly important at the position. In fact, it's crucial. But if intangibles were the only thing that mattered, Tim Tebow would have been an NFL QB. And we all know how that turned out.

Bottom line: I still like the pick. I still want the Pats drafting and developing quarterbacks. I just smell a bit of bull crap.

-- Chris Mannix nailed it regarding what it would take for the Celtics to lure Kevin Durant to Boston.

"Boston's ability to lure him is going to come down to who else they can get. You can't walk into a meeting with Kevin Durant and say, 'We've got Isiah Thomas and 97 draft picks; we're going to be good in a few years','' he told Toucher and Rich Tuesday morning. "Kevin doesn't want to hear that . . . What he wants to hear is that we're ready to win now . . . They have to come to the table with a Jimmy Butler, with a Bradley Beal, with an Al Horford. They can't just come with Brad Stevens, Danny Ainge and a bunch of draft picks.''

In other words, the pieces on the current roster aren't nearly as good as they looked in the regular season. And, no, Thomas is not a franchise player. And, finally, don't get too attached to those picks, no matter where the ping pong balls land.

-- I wonder if the Bruins look at the current landscape in net across the NHL playoffs and consider how wise it is to pay their goalie, Tuukka Rask, $7 million a year.

Still alive are guys like the Islanders' Thomas Greiss ($1.5 million cap hit), the Blues' Brian Ellliott ($2.5 million), the Sharks' Martin Jones ($3 million) and Penguins rookie Matt Murray ($620,000). Out are 8 of the top 10 highest-paid goalies in the league, a list including Henri Lundqvist, Carey Price, Cory Schneider, Ryan Miller and, of course, Rask.

Please note: No one is saying you can get away with shoddy goaltending in the playoffs. It's an unassailable fact that you need elite play in net to contend for Stanley Cups. The question is what you have to pay for it. 

And in that regard, this year is no aberration. Sometimes you have to pay through the nose for it, and sometimes it just falls in your lap.

Can the Bruins get away with trying to survive in that second camp? Good question. This much I know: Paying Rask $7 million a year to miss the playoffs two straight years isn't doing anyone any good.

Email Felger at mfelger@comcastsportsnet.com. Listen to Felger and Mazz weekdays, 2-6 p.m. on 98.5 FM. The simulcast runs daily on CSN.