Verdict's in: Thumbs up for Cherington


Verdict's in: Thumbs up for Cherington

Ben Cherington is drawing raves -- on Twitter, at least -- for his acquisition of Andrew Bailey (and Ryan Sweeney) from Oakland for Josh Reddick and a pair of Class A minor-leaguers.
From's Ken Rosenthal:
Love deal for RedSox if Bailey stays healthy. Rival clubs question whether he can. But for Reddick and two kids in A ball, slam dunk. MLB
From's Jon Heyman:
at first blush, looks like redsox got a good deal. closer value not spectacular in market flush with them. bailey
And, referring to Cherington's previous trade of Jed Lowrie and Kyle Weiland to Houston for Astros closer (and now Red Sox set-up man) Mark Melancon, the Boston Globe's Peter Abraham pointed out:
Cherington turned Lowrie, Reddick, Weiland and 2 kids into a closer and set-up man. Not bad. Not too bad at all.
And what now? Well, from's Buster Olney:
Red Sox have an inexpensive bullpen; you wonder if they'll now spend available cash to land a needed starting pitcher (Kuroda? Saunders?)

Raiders creep past Patriots in race for top seed in AFC

Raiders creep past Patriots in race for top seed in AFC

The Patriots and Raiders and neck-and-neck as the race for home field in the AFC turns for home. And, with four games left, the Raiders are ahead by a nose. The tiebreakers between the 10-2 teams in play currently? Common games followed by strength of victory. 

The first tiebreaker – conference record – is a deadlock as both teams are 7-1 in the AFC (the Brady-less Patriots lost to the Bills back in Week 4.

After conference record, it's the teams record in common games. 


So far in common games with the Texans and Bills, the Patriots have gone 2-1 and the Raiders have gone 2-0. The Patriots play the Ravens next week. Oakland beat them. The Patriots play Denver after that. Oakland beat them as well but have one more game against Denver in Week 17.

So if it comes down to common games the Patriots really need to win these next two games.

Or hope the Raiders stub their toe a time or two in their final four games which are at the Chiefs, Chargers and Broncos with a home game against Indy in Week 16.

As for strength of victory, that too goes to Oakland at this point. The Raiders’ strength of victory is at .471. The Patriots’ is at .370.

But the tiebreaker that kicks in after conference record and before strength of victory – common games – is very much unresolved.The remaining picture as it stands right now? The Ravens are the No. 3 seed with a 7-5 record that leads the AFC North. The Texans’ 6-6 record is good enough to lead the AFC South. The 9-3 Chiefs are the top Wild Card. The 8-4 Broncos are the No. 6 seed.

The Patriots play the Ravens and Broncos over the next two weeks. Currently, the Dolphins (7-5) and Steelers (7-5) are on the outside looking in.

The Titans (6-6) will have a chance to get even with the Texans in Week 17 in head-to-head matchups but they host Denver and play at Kansas City the next two weeks so they have obstacles to clear before they get there.

AFC PLAYOFF RACE: Steelers end Giants' winning streak at 6 in 24-14 victory


AFC PLAYOFF RACE: Steelers end Giants' winning streak at 6 in 24-14 victory

PITTSBURGH - The Pittsburgh Steelers ended the New York Giants' winning streak with a familiar formula.

Ben Roethlisberger passed for 289 yards and two touchdowns, Le'Veon Bell rolled up 182 yards of total offense, and Pittsburgh's resurgent defense harassed Eli Manning into a flurry of mistakes in a dominant 24-14 win on Sunday.

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