All They Want For Christmas

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All They Want For Christmas

It's a miserable day in Boston, but I've got some good news.

Or maybe we should just call it goodish, depending on your religion andor how little you can stand your family:

Christmas is officially one week away.

But with all the holiday goodness, comes a sense of urgency. The realization that you only have a week to do your holiday shopping. Only a week to follow through on your pre-holiday diethunger strike. ONLY A WEEK TO WRITE ALL YOUR HOLIDAY THEMED BLOG POSTS.

So I won't waste anymore time.

For the last month or so, I've been compiling holiday wish lists from various athletes and other sports personalities in the city. The question was simple: "What do you want for Christmas?" And here are the answers (which please don't anyone take seriously)

All I want for Christmas is . . .

Tom Brady: "Protection. In the name of winning ring No. 4, and preventing baby No. 4."

Rajon Rondo: "Thinking about asking for a spaceship . . . . . . Nah, I don't know. No one ever gets me anything good anyway."

Tyler Seguin: "My 21st birthday, so I can finally get a drink in this city."

David Ortiz: "Papi doesn't ask for much, man. But I think it's time to talk about another extension."

Bill Belichick: "Welllll, what I really want is . . . Yeah, right. We'll worry about the holidays when we get there. For now, I'm just focused on Jacksonville. I know they haven't won many games, but that's a competitive team down there. And if we play like we did in the first half on Sunday, we'll lose every time we play."

Kevin Garnett: "Listen. All I can tell you is that building team chemistry is just like unwrapping a present, man. I don't know if any of y'all have REALLY unwrapped a present before. But if so, you know what I'm talking about. It's like you're unwrapping and unwrapping and getting closer and closer, and then you get to the end and it's like, 'Damn, look what I got here.' Now you just want to use it and play with it. You just want to have fun. You know what I mean? Also, as for your question: I'd like a new loofa for the shower. Period point blank."

Tim Thomas: "I want to buy the world a Coke, and furnish it a firm understanding of the immediate dangers that are threatening our way of life. (Thomas' statement has been translated from Morse Code.)

Larry Lucchino: "I want the same thing that any self-respecting Red Sox fan wants a renewable Red Sox Nation membership card and the 2013 Bikini Wally calendar."

Rob Gronkowski: "Just want to get healthy and everything. And by everything I mean stuff."

Jeremy Jacobs: "I object to this question. Not as a Jewish man, but as someone who doesn't believe that people should be happy. Ever."

Alfredo Aceves: "Three live scorpions. Two slices of bread. One bottle of Tabasco sauce."

Wes Welker: "Hmm . . . how about a contract? Nah. Haha. Just kidding. No, but seriously. So are you saying that Grinch Belichick hasn't canceled Christmas yet? Haaaah. Just kidding again."

John Henry: "Hi, Rich: Thanks for reaching out. Thought it might be easier if I just responded via e-mail. To answer your question: The only thing on my mind is an English League Championship! Cheers, JWH"

(Five minutes later)

"rich, hey this is john again. totally thought you were with the british press. i meant to say world series. WORLD SERIES. please don't print that first one. please. you want headphones? you want three years39m? come on, i'll give you anything!"

Danny Ainge: "I don't really want to commit to a present yet, but let me just say that I'm looking at this thing from every angle, and there are a ton of possibilities that I'd be more than happy with. But for now I think I'll just keep my options open."

Tony Massarotti: "You know, I thought about this today. And you know what I think? In and of itself, here's the thing about the concept of presents. It just sucks! Am I right? To put another way, as a matter of fact, IT JUST SUCKS!"

Stevan Ridley: "I just want what's best for the team."

Shane Vereen: "I just want what's best for the team."

Aaron Hernandez: "I just want what's best for the team."

OK, no more Patriots.

John Lackey: "Errr. Lackey want pizza."

OK, no more anyone.

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

First impressions of the Red Sox' 11-9 loss to the Twins

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First impressions of the Red Sox' 11-9 loss to the Twins

BOSTON -- First impressions of the Boston Red Sox 11-9 loss to the Minnesota Twins:

David Price was once again disappointing.

Minnesota is a team opposing pitchers should long to face.

Their No. 3, 4 and 5 hitters all have averages below .250 with average to below average home run totals.

The only hitter who poses and all-around legitimate threat is Eduardo Nunez, who would probably bat seventh in Boston’s lineup.

While there were other factors at play, Price once again left the ball up in the zone too much. That’s a big problem when nature’s playing a factor in the game.

Either way, with the Twins in town, Price has to be better.

Saturday marked the second time of the season where Sandy Leon registered back-to-back hitless performances.

The previous pair came back on June 29th and July 2nd with a layoff between the two contests.

In his last five contests, Leon is 3-for-17. His power numbers are also down in that stretch, with only two extra-base hits that came on the same night.

It could be a small rough patch given Leon was 7-for-19 with a home run and a double (in separate contests) in the five games preceding this dry spell.

Either ay it’s something to watch as Leon plays more and more.

The wind played a factor in the high-run total.

The second hit of the ball game seemed like a medium-depth fly to right, and nearly carried out of the ballpark.

Michael Martinez was twisting and turning on fly balls changing direction all night -- and there’s evidence it wasn’t just him.

David Ortiz reached on a pop up that Nunez went after, which never left the infield.

Trash and dust were flying everywhere in the first inning. While that intensity didn’t maintain all night, it was definitely an issue players had to consider throughout the game.

The bullpen mop-up crew couldn’t get the job done.

While some of the hits in the five-run seventh were luck, Clay Buchholz and Tommy Layne flat out couldn’t get the job done against a rough lineup.

Neither is a terribly great option -- so the Red Sox might want to reconsider using either one in those situations.

Even Heath Hembree couldn’t put together a decent night. Someone has to stop the bleeding when things get out of control.

The Red Sox pitchers can’t keep throwing away nine-run performances.

With Friday night serving as evidence, the offense will not always have great nights.

So when they do, the pitch has to be decent -- but they couldn’t even do that Saturday.

Nick Friar can be followed on Twitter: @ngfriar

Je-Vaughn Watson scores late, Revs beat Fire 1-0

Je-Vaughn Watson scores late, Revs beat Fire 1-0

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Je-Vaughn Watson scored on a header in the 85th minute and the New England Revolution beat the Chicago Fire 1-0 on Saturday night.

The Revolution (6-7-8) had a flurry of attempts leading up to the goal and Fire (4-10-5) goalkeeper Sean Johnson made three saves in the 2 minutes prior.

But Johnson came off his line to defend Chris Tierney's corner and failed to clear it with his outstretched hand while Watson connected and sent the header into the empty net.

Bobby Shuttleworth earned his fifth shutout of the season for New England.

Could Chris Sale's altercation open the door to get him at a lower cost?

Could Chris Sale's altercation open the door to get him at a lower cost?

Chris Sale -- this year’s American league starting pitcher in the All-Star game -- was a late scratch and sent home before his scheduled Saturday start.

This of course comes after the White Sox have begun to listen to offers for their bonafide ace -- including the Red Sox.

Preceding the game, the White Sox released a statement from senior vice president/general manager Rick Hahn explaining that Sale’s removal was “due to a clubhouse incident before the game.”

After ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reported the altercation was with staff from the front office and had nothing to do with his teammates, there was another report that the issue pertained to the throwback uniforms the White Sox planned to wear for Saturday’s game.

Fox’s Ken Rosenthal has additionally been told the issue “was bigger than that.” 

Sale is a huge addition to any starting rotation -- never mind the Red Sox staff.

His stats are without a doubt impressive. An All-Star every season since 2012 thanks to his career 2.95 ERA and 10.1 K/9 -- this year posting a 3.18 ERA and 8.7 K/9.

But numbers can be deceiving -- especially with players playing for a small market club. That’s not the case with Sale though. While the White Sox haven’t contended in the postseason with the lefty, there’s no denying that Chicago isn’t a small market by any means.

The jump from Chicago to Boston is nothing compared to players coming from places like Miami or Atlanta -- or San Diego. So Sale presents a good fit in terms of approach -- in addition to having good stuff.

The incident makes Sale come across as a prima donna, the fact that the issue went past the uniforms shows there could be a deeper issue at hand -- and not so much an indictment of his mental make-up.

Additionally, this altercation could open the door to get Sale at a lower value. If it was that bad that he was sent home, it could take a lot more than a stern talk and hand shakes to resolve the issue, giving interested teams a much better chance to obtain the Cy Young candidate.

However, if the Red Sox do manage to strike a deal with the White Sox, they’d be wise to throw someone else on throwback nights.

Nick Friar can be followed on Twitter: @ngfriar