Losing season makes Colts appreciate Manning

600536.jpg

Losing season makes Colts appreciate Manning

FOXBORO -- As if the Indianapolis Colts didn't appreciate Peyton Manning already.

Everyone knows just how good he is. And so far this season, everyone knows just how bad the Colts are without him.

Just ask Indianapolis center Jeff Saturday.

"It definitely makes me appreciate winning more," said Saturday in a conference call on Wednesday. "But Peyton, obviously man, you can't respect a player more than I respect him anyway. So, I've been with the guy 13 years. I know how hard he works. I know what a good player he is, and how valuable he is to our football team.

"On top of all that, to see a player face this type of injury, this isn't something you get over in a week or two. This has been a major process. And so, anytime you're watching a player goes through something as substantial as this, your heart goes out to him. This is the way God created us, to play this game. And he loves playing it, and he couldn't have more fun doing it. I feel for him in that regard, as much as a teammate."

The Colts enter Sunday's game in New England with an 0-11 record. It was supposed to be the Sunday night game of the week. Instead, it was flexed out to a local 1 p.m. start time.

Not because of the Patriots, of course. But because of, well, Curtis Painter.

It's made for a season that, without Manning, has been awfully tough to deal with.

"We've had a number of vets, myself included, who have encouraged the guys to understand that, you're putting your resume out there every time you walk on that field," said Saturday. "And every time you take this role, you better be playing as good football as you possibly can. That's what a professional does. Pros stand up, even when it's the worst times.

"And that's what we're in. We haven't won a game. We've done a lot to ourselves to hurt ourselves, with making mistakes, and we take full responsibility for that. Nobody in this league feels sorry for you. Nobody's going to help you get better. You've got to go out there and put forth an effort to win a football game. And that's what we're hoping we do."

Chances are, that won't happen on Sunday at Gillette Stadium.

The bigger question is, will it happen at all this season? Will the Colts win a game? And it's also apparent that an even bigger question is, will Manning return this season, which he's been reportedly wanting to do, if medically cleared.

"I sure hope so," said Saturday. "People ask me over and over. If he's healthy enough, he'll be on the field. I can guarantee you that. Records, put all that stuff aside. Because we all, every player in this game, we're made to play on Sundays. And so, if he's healthy enough, I think he'll be out there ready to rock and roll."

Sunday, Sept. 25: Has Connolly found home with Caps?

cp-morning-skate.jpg

Sunday, Sept. 25: Has Connolly found home with Caps?

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while wondering what a crap shot this Presidential debate is going to be on Monday night.

*Brett Connolly has hooked on with the Washington Capitals, and the Caps hope they’ve found a “gem” in the former Bruins winger.

*John Tortorella is putting his Blue Jackets through an absolute boot camp thus far in Columbus. Bold strategy…I wonder how this will play out.

*The Pittsburgh Penguins appreciate the gifts of defenseman Kris Letang, even if Team Canada didn’t for the World Cup.

*FOH (Friend of Haggs) Ken Wiebe has the details on Jacob Trouba asking to get moved from the Winnipeg Jets.

*PHT writer James O’Brien has Saturday night’s World Cup of Hockey showdown between Russia and Canada as another chapter in the Alex Ovechkin/Sidney Crosby rivalry.

*It’s sad to see respected veteran player Clarke MacArthur have to be helped off the ice after a vicious hit in a training camp scrimmage. What a dumb move by a guy that’s never going to crack the Senators roster.

*For something completely different: a good father/son piece on learning to appreciate things that your kids are interested in, and how rewarding it can be in the end.

 

Ortiz, Red Sox express shock, sadness over Fernandez's death

boston-red-sox-david-ortiz-jf-16.jpg

Ortiz, Red Sox express shock, sadness over Fernandez's death

Like the rest of the baseball world, the Red Sox expressed shock and sadness over the tragic death of Marlins ace Jose Fernandez, who was killed in a boating accident in Miami. 

David Ortiz tweeted his thoughts before the game Sunday in St. Petersburg, where the Red Sox played the Tampa Bay Rays.

There was a moment of silence for Fernandez - who attended high school in the Tampa area after defecting from Cuba at 15 - before the game at Tropicana Field, and before all major league games on Sunday. 

There was to be on-field ceremony for Ortiz before his last game at the Trop, part of his retirement farewell tour, but it was canceled at Ortiz's request. A video tribute to Ortiz was shown during the game and the Rays gave Ortiz his retirement gifts privately.

Ortiz wiped away tears during the moment of silence. He wrote Fernandez's intitals and his uniform number 16 on his cap.

Fernandez had joked about how he wanted to give up a home run to Ortiz when he faced him as an N.L. pitcher in the All-Star Game this past July. 

"I told him yesterday that I am going to throw him three fastballs down the middle. I want to watch him hit a home run," Fernandez had said. 

Ortiz ended up walking against Fernandez, prompting this response from Big Papi:

First baseman Hanley Ramirez, who played for the Marlins, as well as other Red Sox players, also tweeted their reactions after hearing the news of Fernandez's death Sunday morning. 

https://twitter.com/mookiebetts/status/780057024344256512