Welker regrets, Rex doesn't -- Who's right?

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Welker regrets, Rex doesn't -- Who's right?

By Mary Paoletti
CSNNE.com

If Wes Welker could go back in time, he wouldn't make fun of Rex Ryan.

If the Patriots receiver could rewind to the happy days before Jan. 16, he wouldn't mention feet once in his press conferences, let alone 10 times.

If Welker could return to the schoolyard where Ryan and Antonio Cromartie were pushing around his buddy Tom Brady and coach Bill Belichick, he wouldn't push back. He'd walk away.

"It's just not worth it," he said.

Not after losing to Ryan's team in the playoffs, anyway. No, Welker has officially joined the wave of second-guessing that's washed over New England.

Belichick might regret benching Welker; Vince Wilfork does regret the benching of Welker, Patrick Chung regrets the fake punt; Brady regrets the pass that David Harris intercepted; Brady should regret the hair and the Uggs; the Patriots all now regret their lack of urgency.

Pretty standard stuff after getting pushed off the road to Dallas.

Except the Jets don't regret a damn thing.

Rex Ryan burdened his team with such lofty expectations that they could only end up owners of the ballsiest Super Bowl prophecy in recent history, or inevitable failure. He boasted, he joked, he taunted, he made threats, and he promised a Lombardi Trophy to the city of New York.

They beat the Patriots, sure. But then they beat themselves.

On Sunday, the Jets lost to Pittsburgh in the AFC Championship. There are plenty of things -- not just on that day, but throughout the season -- that the heartbroken Ryan could have regretted. But he never backed down, not from anything.

"Our goal for next year, Ive got news for you, it wont change," the coach said. "It will never change. Were going to chase that Super Bowl. Were going to chase it until we get it. Then, well chase it after that again.

"I would change the outcome of this game and thats the only thing I would change. We dont need to apologize to anybody. Well be back, youll see."

So the contrast between franchises followed both teams to their graves this season.

And who would you rather be? The guy with the hangdog mug, spilling regrets during his presser? Or the guy who hides failed promises under new vows more pressure-laden than the last?

With both teams bounced from Super Bowl dreams, there's really only one answer: Everyone regrets Uggs. Everyone.

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