Five Ways to Survive the Blizzard

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Five Ways to Survive the Blizzard

It's Friday afternoon and the snow is already falling. Although truthfully, falling might not be the right word. The snow is coming from everywhere. Up. Down. Left. Right. (B A Select Start)

Out my window at this very moment (1:41 pm), the snow hasn't quite started to accumulate, but it's definitely getting closer. (UPDATE: It's now 4:36 and the snow is most definitely accumulating). That means, despite my insistence that this was all just another scam by the local news industry, this storm is real. Winter has officially arrived.

And by now, the White Walkers have probably invaded the city and enslaved us all, but on the off chance that White Walkers don't really exist, here are five ways to pass the time while you're snowed in this weekend

1. Start working on a script for Rob Gronkowski's upcoming film project.

I started mine this afternoon. It obviously stars Gronk and Bibi Jones, and it's tentatively called: "Little Mermaid 2: A Gronk's Tale"
Scene: Gronk is sunbathing on a private beach, when Bibi Jones emerges from the water wearing a cheap mermaid costume. Her and Gronk's eyes meet.

JONES: "What's a mermaid have to do to get some action around here?"

GRONK: "Hi. My name is Rob. What's your name?

JONES: "Ariel."

GRONK: "Hi Ariel. My name is Rob. Did I hear you say something about action?"

And that's all I have for now (aside from one other scene where Ariel tells Gronk that she has crabs followed by Sebastian popping out from under a towel)

2. Brush up on the Salary Cap FAQ

In today's NBA, it's hard to have an informed opinion on potential trades and contracts unless you have a firm grasp on the salary cap. And with the trade deadline fast approaching we could all benefit from a refresher course. So that's why I recommend putting on some coffee, asking Aqib Talib for adderall and plowing through Larry Coon's legendary break down of all things NBA Cap.

Bonus: When you're done, you'll look out the window and it will already be Spring.

3. The Spring Training Prediction Game

Here's how you play:

Match the Red Sox player to his upcoming Spring Training storyline.

1) David Ortiz a) best shape of his life

2) John Lackey b) renewed spirit

3) Daniel Bard c) just happy to be back playing baseball

4) Dustin Pedroia d) not worried about the past.

5) Jon Lester e) relishing his new role

6) Shane Victorino f) something to prove

7) Clay Buchholz g) veteran presence (will also accept: "clubhouse guy")

8) Jacoby Ellsbury h) For sure one of the best pitchers in the American League and anyone who doesn't think so is an IDIOT

4. Re-Live Banner 18
After last night's CelticsLakers reunion, I wasted about an hour YouTubing footage from the 2008 Finals. Post-game interviews and celebrations. Single game and series highlight packages. Super-produced, behind-the scenes features. Everything.

You can also watch full games on there. Unfortunately, each game is broken down into 15 separate videos, but it's a small (and free) price to pay for the entertainment.

Here's a random nine-minute segment of Game 1 at the Garden:

Awesome, right? You can watch the rest of the game, and pretty much the entire series on this channel. (Thanks to keptual for all his hard work.)

5. Go to jail

Governor Patrick has issued an executive order banning vehicles on the roads after 4pm. Penalty for violating; up to 1 year in prison, 500. BostonTweet (@BostonTweet) February 8, 2013
Feeling restless? Cupboards bare? Been a while since you've felt the embrace of hairy, 300-pound hit man?

Jump in your car after 4 pm, take to the streets and wait for Governor Patrick's cavalry to round you up.

Once you get to jail, you won't be able to see a judge until at least Monday. Your family won't be able to come bail you out because that would entail driving, and that's against the law. So you're staying put.

Proceed to kick back, make new friends and eat free meals while all those suckers on the outside are stuck shoveling their driveways.

Also, be safe.

See everyone on Monday.

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

Are Red Sox entering spring training with fewer questions than ever?

Are Red Sox entering spring training with fewer questions than ever?

BOSTON -- Every year it seems like there are major issues or question marks to start spring training where the answers are up in the air.

In 2015, the Red Sox lacked an ace, had Hanley Ramirez moving to left field and Pablo Sandoval coming to town.

In 2016, Ramirez was moving back to the infield, but at a new position, and his bat was in question. Sandoval was coming off a year where he couldn’t hit his weight (he hit .245 and he last weighed in at 255 pounds). How would the starting rotation look after David Price?

This year, there seem to be three questions, but in a way, they’ve already been answered.

How will the Red Sox make up for David Ortiz’s absence?

Well, for one, the Red Sox have three Cy Young-caliber starting pitchers (Price, Chris Sale and Rick Porcello) in their rotation.

And two, Hanley Ramirez is coming off a career year with his highest career output in RBI (111) and second-highest home run total (30). And while Mitch Moreland isn’t the greatest hitter, he’s good for 20 or more home runs. Plus, it seems he’s holding a spot for a certain Red Sox prospect who’s bouncing back well from an injury.

 

Will Sandoval earn the starting third base job back?

The weight loss is a good sign, not only for the physical reasons, but it shows he’s mentally committed to being better.

However, that doesn’t guarantee he gets his job back.

“I’m not going to say [third base] resolved itself,” John Farrell told CSNNE.com, “but you know Panda’s done a very good job of committing to get himself in better shape and we’re looking forward to seeing that play to in spring training.”

Even if Panda can’t put it all together, Farrell told reporters before Thursday’s BBWAA dinner, both Brock Holt and Josh Rutledge would be competing for the job as well.

Holt as plan B -- in the infield? Who wouldn’t take that?

Who’s going to start at catcher?

Sandy Leon, Christian Vazquez and Blake Swihart each have their pros an cons.

Leon did it all last year, but went from hitting .383 in his first 39 games to .242 in his last 39.

Vazquez has Ivan Rodriguez-esque abilities behind the plate, but couldn’t keep the staff under control last year and cannot hit.

Swihart, who turns 25 April 3, is the youngest of the three, has the most potential at the plate, but is far and away the worst of the three defensively at the most important defensive position -- excluding pitcher -- on the field.

They all have their drawbacks, but they’ve all shown at some point why they can be the Red Sox starting catcher in the present and future.

Everywhere else, the Red Sox seem to be in a comfortable position as pitchers and catchers reporting to camp draws ever nearer.

“I think the fact that we’ve got veteran players that have done a great job in staying healthy [and] young players that are getting more establishing in their return, we’re in a pretty good place in terms of the overall status of our position player group,” Farrell told CSNNE.com.

And it seems some players are confident in the team’s options as they ready for camp.

“We’re looking good in a lot of areas,” shortstop Xander Bogaerts told CSNNE.com. “Especially the pitching staff, [since] we just got Chris Sale one of the best in the game.”

“Pablo’s definitely going to bounce back, especially with the weight he’s lost."

Francona, Epstein receive grand ovations at BBWAA dinner

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Francona, Epstein receive grand ovations at BBWAA dinner

BOSTON -- “I didn’t feel that love after I made a pitching change in the sixth inning,” Terry Francona said after a 45-second standing ovation from Boston fans upon receiving the MLB Manager of the Year award from the BBWAA Thursday.

It’s without question the love for Francona runs deep in the city. Why wouldn’t it? He was the leader in breaking the 86-year old curse, and wound up winning another World Series title for Boston three years later.

Actually, he was more of a co-leader, working alongside the same person who won the MLB Executive of the Year honors from the BBWAA for 2016.

Theo Epstein -- who received an ovation 17 seconds shorter than Francona, but who’s counting -- reminisced about the Red Sox ownership group that took a chance on a young kid who wasn’t necessarily the ideal candidate to take over as GM of a team, but now that’s helped him build the Chicago Cubs into a winning franchise and establish a great working environment.

This October marks 13 years since the ’04 championship, 10 years since ’07 and six years since the pair left Boston. Without question they’ve left their mark on the city and forever changed Red Sox baseball.

And while the fans showed their undying gratitude for Francona with an ovation almost as long as his acceptance speech, the Indians manager recognized the favor the current Red Sox brass has done for him.

“I’d like to thank Dave Dombrowski and the Red Sox for getting Chris Sale the hell out of the Central Division,” Francona said.