Tough crowd

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Tough crowd

By Mary Paoletti
CSNNE.com

BREAKING: SARCASTIC REMARK TAKEN WRONG WAY IN SPORTS, JOKESTER ANNOYED

Patriots receiver Wes Welker has a sense of humor.

Unsurprisingly, it has come back to bite him.

In an appearance on WAAF-FM in Boston today, Welker revealed he's unhappy the NFL used one of his lighthearted lockout comments against him in its legal brief. The league's filing -- for a stay of Judge Nelson's injunction from the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals-- twisted player comments out of context to inaccurately support its submission.

Part of the NFL's argument laid claim that players are not bothered by the lockout right now. This is where Welker's quote "Let's do a one every year" was, stunningly, taken as fact. In other words, the guy got hosed.

"I said that as a joke and yet they use it in the court of law," Welker said. "It was a little bit disappointing. It's kind of discouraging they would actually use that in the court of law, and you have to see it everywhere and things like that."

"Shoot, I guess the gloves are off, and they're going after everything," Welker said. "You have to really watch what you say, whether you're joking or not."

It's unknown how Welker, a professional football player with eight years of experience, didn't realize earlier in his career that the sports community constantly misunderstands or abuses humor and sarcasm. Whether it's the fans' inability to laugh at themselves, suits blowing comments and actions out of proportion, or people completely missing the point, the fight for wit has been waged and lost countless times.

Wes Welker is just one more body tossed on top of the heap.

Nothing funny about that.

Bogaerts hitting at a record-setting pace

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Bogaerts hitting at a record-setting pace

A change of scenery is a must for the Red Sox after the rough series in Texas, where they were lucky to walk away with one win.

The pitching staff's struggles were the most apparent, but Xander Bogaerts had arguably his worst series of the season -- 2-for-12 at the plate and two errors in the field.

Although Bogaerts now finds himself three points behind José Altuve (.347) for the American League batting lead, he still leads the major leagues with 108 hits. He has more hits than Daniel Murphy, who’s at .349 in the National League.

And despite his weekend struggles, the Boston shortstop is in position to make a run at history  -- the single-season hits record.

Bogaerts is already in a comfortable spot to break Wade Boggs’ Red Sox record of 240 hits, set in 1985. Through 74 games, Bogaerts has 10 more hits than the Hall-of-Famer had at that point in the season.

He's also ahead of the pace set in 2004 by Ichiro Suzuki, who established the MLB record for most hits in a season with 262 that year. Bogarts has five more hits than Ichiro had through 74 games.

There's no guarantee he'll reach 262, or anything close. Ichiro had a strong finishing kick in '04, batting .418 with 159 hits after his 74th game. In fact, in his final 74 games, he hit .433 with 141 hits. He's left challengers in the dust before: Altuve was equal to Ichiro's pace in 2014 -- both had 105 hits in their first 76 games -- but wound up with "only" 225 hits.

So, admittedly, Bogaerts is facing an uphill battle.

He does have a one advantage over Ichiro, though. In 2004, Suzuki -- still playing for the Mariners -- usually had Randy Winn hitting behind him. Although Winn was a respectable player, he doesn’t command the respect of the hitter who's usually behind Bogaerts: David Ortiz.

Opposing pitchers still don’t plan to attack Bogaerts, but it’d only be worse if pretty much anyone other than Ortiz was coming up next.

And there’s one last set of statistics to consider:

Suzuki finished 2004 with 80 games in which he had at least two hits. That’s 49.7 percent of the games he played in.

Bogaerts has done that 33 times -- 44.6 percent of his games. So he needs to string together some big games if he intends to make an improbable run at the 12-year-old record.

Improbable, yes.

But definitely not impossible.

Lionel Messi says he is quitting Argentina national team

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Lionel Messi says he is quitting Argentina national team

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Lionel Messi says he is quitting Argentina's national team.

Argentina and Messi lost a final for the third year in a row, with Chile winning the Copa America 4-2 on penalty kicks following a 0-0 tie Sunday night.

His nation's career scoring leader with 55 international goals, Messi sent Argentina's first penalty kick over the crossbar.

Messi tells the Argentine network TyC Sports "the national team is over for me. It's been four finals, it's not meant for me. I tried. It was the thing I wanted the most, but I couldn't get it, so I think it's over."

Messi and Argentina lost to Brazil in the 2007 Copa final and to Germany in extra time in the 2014 World Cup final. They lost last year's Copa final to host Chile on penalty kicks.

The 29-year-old Messi has led Barcelona to four Champions League titles.

Perry's Patriots 53-man roster projection

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Perry's Patriots 53-man roster projection

With New England Patriots organized workouts finished until next month, Phil Perry puts together another 53-man roster projection.

View the gallery here