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

Bogaerts continues to battle through struggles with bat

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Bogaerts continues to battle through struggles with bat

BOSTON -- Early in 2016 praises were sung around the league that Xander Bogaerts was the best hitter in baseball.

Rightfully so. For a good portion of the season he led the league in both batting average and hits. But between Mookie Betts’ ascension and Bogaerts’ drop in average from .331 on 7/29 to .306 after Monday night’s game, he’s taken a back seat.

But the Red Sox shortstop’s month-long dry spell hasn’t been a straight decline. Although he was held hitless Monday, Bogaerts went 6-for-13 (.462) against Kansas City.

In fact, the 23-year-old doesn’t even consider the recent month of struggles the worst stretch of his career.

“2014 probably,” Bogaerts said, “yeah I had a terrible, terrible few months -- probably three months.”

That was of course the season a lot came into question surrounding the now All-Star shortstop, so he was pretty spot on. In 2014 Bogaerts went from hitting .304 through 5/31, to .248 by the end of June, .244 after his last game in July, all the way down to .224 by the last day of August.

Bogaerts would hit .313 that September and finish with a .240 average -- but more importantly, an appreciation of what he’d experienced.

“That definitely helped me become a better person, a better player -- and understanding from that and learning,” Bogaerts said.

From that experience, he gained a better understanding of the importance of maintaining a consistent day-to-day routine.

“That has to stay the same,” Bogaerts said without question in his voice. “The league adjusted, they adjusted to me. It kind of took a longer time to adjust to them. They’ve just been pitching me so differently compared to other years.”

Bogaerts has had the point reinforced to him throughout, with Red Sox assistant hitting coach Victor Rodriguez serving as one voice of reinforcement.

“When you have a routine from the mental side, physical side, when you struggle that’s when you really need that,” Rodriguez said. “He’s been so good with his daily preparation, it doesn’t matter the result of the game. He can always go to something that feels comfortable.”

“He’s been so comfortable and confident with his daily routine and preparation that it allows him -- when he doesn’t get the results he wants in the game -- to have some peace knowing that the next day, we’re going to go back to doing that again.”

It’s clear Bogaerts needs to maintain his daily routine to help work through slumps -- and maintain hot streaks -- but Rodriguez made it clear, consistent preparation from a hitter doesn’t magically cure every problem.

“That doesn’t mean that because you stick with the routine you’re going to have results,” Rodriguez said. “What it means is, [because] you know and believe in that routine that you know you’re going to get out of it.”

Which means in addition to sticking to his normal routine, Bogaerts also had to identify flaws elsewhere in order work through his problems. He came to realize the problem was more mechanically based than mental -- given he’d done everything to address that.

“They pitched me differently, and some stuff I wanted to do with the ball I couldn’t do,” Bogaerts said. “I just continued doing it until I had to make the adjustment back.”

Bogaerts isn’t fully out of the dark, but he’s taken steps in the right direction of late -- and is nowhere near the skid he experienced in 2014. He and Rodriguez fully believe the All-Star’s ability to maintain a clear mind will carry him through whatever troubles he’s presented with the rest of the way.

“The more stuff you have in you’re head is probably not going to help your chances,” Bogaerts explained, “so have a clear mind -- but also have the trust in your swing that you’re going to put a good swing on [the pitch] regardless of whatever the count is.”

Nick Friar can be followed on Twitter @ngfriar.

Quotes, notes and stars: Porcello 'the model of consistency'

Quotes, notes and stars: Porcello 'the model of consistency'

BOSTON - Quotes, notes and stars from the Red Sox' 9-4 win over the Tampa Bay Rays

 

QUOTES:

"Rick has been the model of consistency.'' - John Farrell on starter Rick Porcello

"It means that we have a heck of a team, really. The runs we put up, and I don't think anybody talks about our defense.'' - Porcello, asked about the significance of being baseball's first 18-game winner.

"It's cool to be a part of that, but we're in a race right now and that's way more important.'' - Mookie Betts on the crowd chants of "MVP!" during his at-bat.

 

NOTES

* Hanley Ramirez has nine extra-base hit in the last 15 games.

* Opposing baserunners have stolen only 54 percent of the time when Sandy Leon is behind the plate, the lowest figure for any Red Sox catcher (minimum 20 games) since 1987

* Brock Holt tied a season high with three hits, including two with two outs and runners in scoring position.

* Mookie Betts set a career high with 72 extra-base hits.

* Betts became the third player in franchise history to have a 30-homer season before the age of 24. Ted Williams and Tony Conigliaro are the others.

* Betts has five homers and 13 RBI in his last five home games.

* Rick Porcello is just the fifth major league pitcher since 1913 to begin a season 13-0 at home

* Porcello is the third Red Sox pitcher to win 18 of his first 21 decisions after Cy Young (1902) and Daisuke Matsuzaka (2008)

* David Ortiz leads the majors in doubles, slugging percentage and OPS.

 

STARS:

1) Rick Porcello

The righthander became the first 18-game winner in the big leagues and he did it by supplying seven innings for the sixth straight start while improving to 13-0 at home.

2) Mookie Betts

Betts gave the Red Sox an early lead with his 30th homer of the year, becoming the third player in franchise history to reach that milestone before the age of 24.

3) Travis Shaw

Shaw broke out of a month-long slump with a three-hit game, including a double, to go along with two RBI.