Lester shows his stuff


Lester shows his stuff

All anyone wants to talk about these days is Bobby Valentine, and until Opening Day on April 5, that's pretty much how it's going to be. Seriously, David Ortiz could go to four-for-four with two grand slams and the conversation the next morning would be about whether Bobby V. should have pinch hit for Jose Iglesias in the eighth.

But every one once in a while, spring delivers a performance that gives us reason to optimistic, and believe that once the regular season begins, and the obsession with Bobby Valentine simmers to skin-melting boil, we might actually be some decent baseball to talk about.

For instance, take a look at what Jon Lester did today against the Phillies:

Seven shutout innings. Only two hits, no walks and 10 strike outs. He threw 88 pitches and 63 of them were for strikes!

That's an ace right there. And it's nice to see Lester had it in him.

And while we're in Philly, it's nice to see Jonathan Papelbon's still providing the funny.

Here's what Paps said about the controversy that unfolded after he publicly questioned the intelligence of Boston sports fans:

Obviously I wasn't trying to offend nobody, man.

Haha. Nice work, Paps. A little intelligence irony is always a crowd pleaser.

That's what you were going for, right?

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

Quick Slants Podcast: Gostkowski’s woes with Chuck Zodda


Quick Slants Podcast: Gostkowski’s woes with Chuck Zodda

New England Patriots kicker Stephen Gostkowski has now missed five kicks on the year, including field goals against the Miami, Buffalo and Cleveland. 

In an emergency podcast, Tom E. Curran speaks with Chuck Zodda of Inside The Pylon about Stephen Gostkowski’s kicking woes.

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Geno Smith has torn ACL; Ryan Fitzpatrick to start for Jets


Geno Smith has torn ACL; Ryan Fitzpatrick to start for Jets

The Jets’ quarterback situation took a comically typical turn Monday, as Ryan Fitzpatrick will be under center after an MRI revealed that Geno Smith has a torn ACL. 

After starting New York’s first six games of the season, Fitzpatrick was demoted to backup for Sunday’s game against the Ravens. Smith was injured on a sack by Baltimore’s Matt Judon, forcing Fitzpatrick back into action. 

After leading the Jets to a 24-16 win, Fitzpatrick made his dissatisfaction with being benched known. 

“The biggest thing in this game in order to last, is to have belief in yourself,” Fitzpatrick said in his postgame press conference. “Because when the owner stops believing in you and the GM stops believing in you and the coaches stop believing in you, sometimes all you have is yourself. That’s something that I’ve had to deal with before. That’s something I’m dealing with now.”

On the season, Fitzpatrick has completed 136 of 237 passes for 1,561 yards with six touchdowns and a league-leading 11 interceptions.