Yo, Adrian

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Yo, Adrian

Who's to blame for the Red Sox awful start?

The debate will rage on until the Sox turn this thing around or the whole organization implodes leaving a giant hole in Kenmore Square. But the truth is that there's no clear cut answer. Well, unless your answer is: Everyone.

The owners for being delinquent jerks, the players for being overly entitled brats, Bobby V. for being unable to find a way to break down the wall between his own ego and the team. Everyone deserves a little bit of blame.

But here's one guy who's remained generally and undeservedly unscathed. A guy who could go a long way in helping turn around this mess. A guy who has a worse OPS than Mike Aviles, fewer RBI than Cody Ross and fewer doubles than Kelly Shoppach. A guy who also happens to be earning 21M this season and was supposed to be a threat for the Triple Crown.

Of course, I'm talking about Darnell MacDonald.

Nah, it's Adrian Gonzalez.

Obviously Gonzalez isn't entirely to blame for this fiasco. Not even close. But seeing how we can all agree that the only thing that will change this season around is for the Sox to actually start winning some games, then Gonzalez is a good candidate to lead the charge.

Since opening weekend in Detroit, AG has hit one home run, and that was in the eighth inning of an 18-3 loss to the Rangers. He has one game with more than one RBI, and on that night, two of his three RBI were knocked in during the ninth inning of a 7-3 loss to Toronto. He's been non-existent when it matters most. And that needs to change.

It's one of many things that will need to go right for the Sox to salvage this season, but it's a start.

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

Wednesday's Pats-Bills practice report: Jimmy G., Brissett both 'limited'

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Wednesday's Pats-Bills practice report: Jimmy G., Brissett both 'limited'

FOXBORO -- The highly-anticipated first Patriots injury report of the week was released on Wednesday afternoon, and it was fairly predictable. 

Both injured quarterbacks were active but limited in their practice participation, the report indicated. That comes as little surprise as both Jimmy Garoppolo (shoulder) and Jacoby Brissett (thumb) were spotted throwing passes early in Wednesday's practice. Neither appeared to be experiencing any significant discomfort as they made their warm-up throws. 

Patriots linebacker Dont'a Hightower (knee) and tight end Rob Gronkowski (hamstring) were also limited. Gronkowski admitted that the team was taking it slow with him in his first game back on the field last week -- he played just 14 snaps in New England's win over Houston -- but he said on Wednesday that he hoped to go "freakin' crazy" on the field soon.

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS

LIMITED PARTICIPATION
QB Jacoby Brissett (right thumb)
OT Marcus Cannon (calf)
G Jonathan Cooper (foot)
LB Jonathan Freeny (shoulder)
QB Jimmy Garoppolo (shoulder)
TE Rob Gronkowski (hamstring)
LB Dont'a Hightower (knee)
CB Eric Rowe (ankle)

BUFFALO BILLS

DID NOT PARTICIPATE
TE Charles Clay (knee)
OL Cyrus Kouandjio (ankle)
OL Patrick Lewis (knee)
WR Sammy Watkins (foot)

LIMITED PARTICIPATION
DB Colt Anderson (foot)
DB Ronald Darby (hamstring)
QB Cardale Jones (right shoulder)
DB Jonathan Meeks (foot)
WR Greg Salas (groin)
DB Aaron Williams (ankle)
OL Cordy Glenn (ankle)

Garoppolo: Not pressured by Patriots to return last Thursday

Garoppolo: Not pressured by Patriots to return last Thursday

FOXBORO -- Jimmy Garoppolo spoke Wednesday for the first time since getting his shoulder separated by the Dolphins’ Kiko Alonso. Standing by his locker, Garoppolo was predictably vague about the status of his arm, unless you consider, “Getting better day by day,” as being insightful. 

The only two responses offered that were worth a damn came when asked if he could have done anything different when he got squished by Alonso while retreating and buying time.  

“Just have to be smart I guess,” said Garoppolo. “I mean, it’s football and stuff’s gonna happen like that, but have to be smart in those situations.”

Asked if he regretted holding the ball as long as he did on a third-down play with the Patriots up 21-0, Garoppolo replied, “After it’s all said and done it’s easy to say that, but it’s one of those things, you’re in the heat of the game. But bottom line I have to be smarter than that.”

Agreed.  

Meanwhile, as he worked last week to get back for Thursday night’s game against Houston, The Boston Herald reported that the Patriots were “putting pressure” on Garoppolo to be ready for the game. Working hard to get key players ready for upcoming games is standard operating procedure for a medical staff. Trying to force a player to perform is not. 

I asked Garoppolo if he felt unduly pressured. He replied, “No.”