He's baaacck!


He's baaacck!

By Michael Felger

Oh, goody. Bretts back.

Hey Felger,We have Sunday, Oct. 31st circled on OUR calendar. DO YOU????You know who's gonna come in here and kick Brady's ass?RichNorth Providence, RIUm, Jared Allen? Adrian Peterson?

Felger:First, let me say I in no way suffer from uncontrollable Favre love. That said, while some people don't acknowledge the bad that goes with all the positives of his career, I think you are going a bit too far the other way. He still is much better than you are giving him credit, and there is no doubt he makes the Vikings better than any other player they could have picked up. Sure, they could have drafted a QB and prepared for this the way Green Bay did, but they didn't.Cy Young is the all-time leader in Wins, but also the all-time leader in losses . . . do you put him in the same category as Favre?Dave Woburn

Do I put Favre (is that who Rich was referring to?) in the same category as the one of the greatest pitchers in the history of major-league baseball? Definitely not. Favre is not among the greats of all time in his sport. He belongs in a large second tier behind Joe Montana, John Elway, Dan Marino, Johnny Unitas, Tom Brady and Peyton Manning.

I talk about the following numbers all the time, and I think they bear repeating here: Since Favre last went to the Super Bowl following the 1998 season, hes played in 11 playoff games. Hes won just four of them. Thats right, kids. He's 4-7 in the playoffs over the past dozen years, throwing 21 touchdowns and 20 interceptions in those games. Included in that sample are two NFC title game defeats (in 2007 and 2009) in which he threw interceptions on either the last play of regulation or his first pass of overtime. Included in that sample is a four-interception game against Minnesota in 2004, a six-interception game at St. Louis in 2001 and a 2003 NFC divisional game at Philadelphia in which he threw an interception on the Packers' first play of overtime.

So, then, here are the facts (not opinions): For over a decade, Favre has been nearly TWICE as likely to lose in the playoffs as win. In postseason football, he has played terribly as often as he's played well. For every playoff touchdown he's recorded, hes thrown a pick.

So, no, I don't think I've gone too far.

As a postseason, big-game quarterback, he sucks.

Consequently, I find the helicopter coverage a bit much.

Felger,What is Favre's interception PERCENTAGE, not number of interceptions? Obviously, by definition, if he's played the longest of any player in the NFL he's going to have the most interceptions, but also the "most" of all other q-back stats (good and bad). So percentage is a more accurate reading. Of course if the percentage negates your point, then of course I don't expect you to mention this fact -- not opinion.Thanks,BFBoston

Who cares what his interception PERCENTAGE is? In his last 11 playoff games hes thrown 20 picks. Thats brutal. I dont care if he throws 55 times a game. You can't win throwing two interceptions every time you hit the field in the postseason.

What am I missing here?

Felger,No disagreement on anything you've said on the Favre front, but doesn't he make the Vikings a playoff contender as opposed to a No. 1 draft pick with Tarvaris Jackson?Mike Riley

The sad truth. No question about it. But does that mean he warrants wall-to-wall coverage?

Felger,Do you think Brady wants to play behind a weak offensive line? That line of "fat cows" should keep him off the field because he's bound to get creamed. Also, does he want to sign with a team that may not be competitive every year? Doesn't look like they'll be playoff bound this year.Tom

I think the Pats are a playoff team this year, Tom. Maybe not a Super Bowl team, but they should be a postseason one. And if Brady signs an extension this summer, we'll have to say that hes comfortable with his offensive line and his teams chances.

But if I were Brady I'd be careful about going too far with this yelling and screaming business with his teammates. Applying the same scrutiny on him as we do Favre shows that, since Bradys last Super Bowl win, he is only 5-4 in nine playoff games, with 17 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. Certainly not Favre-like, but not exactly Brady-like, either.

Felger,Tony Dungy is the most overrated coach ever. He failed in Tampa for years with the best defense in the league. The very next year after he's gone, they win a Super Bowl.Then in Indy he keeps falling short with one the best quarterbacks ever, until Reche Caldwell hands the Colts the game on a silver platter.And now Tony Dungy is going to go around telling grown adults how to act? I'm so sick of these self-righteous, Christian zealots pushing their agendas down our throats.Meanwhile he has no problem with "Ron Mexico." Kill as many dogs as you want, but heaven forbid if you swear?Dan East Providence RI

Agreed. Dungy is a (bleep)ing fraud.

Felgy,I have a theory on Josh Beckett, which is two-fold: 1) He gives up a lot of home runs because the rhythm in his delivery is so predictable. When he mixes his pitches, that consistent delivery can be deceptive -- causing hitters to be frozen on called third strikes. But when major league hitters are able to predict a fastball, and know the cadence to his delivery, he gets shelled. Pay close attention next time he pitches.2) His quick, explosive delivery causes wear and tear on his body that results in perpetual injuries (even blisters). He starts very slow -- slower, I think, than most -- then explodes towards home plate during his stride. If you're not in the greatest of shape, and have a taxing pitching motion, you're going to sustain injuries.The irony is that Beckett's delivery -- in addition to great stuff -- seems to have made him the great pitcher he is. The ability to keep the same delivery, with the same cadence and explosiveness, can be effective insofar as you mix your speeds and are in shape. But Beckett doesn't throw his curveball much as and isn't in the greatest of shape. That's why this guy's delivery is making him prey to fastball hitters and a constant visitor to the DL.Thank you,
Greg Manchester, NH

I'll buy that. The bigger issue is that he hasn't really improved as a pitcher. Most of the great pitchers who stay great into their 30s do so by getting craftier, or developing new pitches or reinventing themselves in some way. Beckett throws roughly the same stuff he did when he came into the league 10 years ago, only his curveball isn't as reliable. When he gets in trouble, he responds by trying to throw harder. Is he stubborn or just unable to diversify his game? Whatever it is, the needle is pointing in the wrong direction.

Felger,As far as the "Radio Host" Tito quoted regarding Ellsbury, how many local muckrakers will imply it was them he was referring to? I know Gresh already implied it. It's like a pathetic badge of honor for you guys. OOOOHHHH, Francona was talking about my daily negativity! OOOOHHHH, I have media-viability!I know you chuckleheads live off of this vitriol but when it comes down to fighting over who Tito is bitching about I ask, who is the bitch?ArtCambridge

Tanguay. Definitely Tanguay.

Michael,My daughter had a opportunity to serve you and your lovely wife at a restaurant in Nantucket this summer. She thought that you and your wife (who she called very sweet) looked great wearing the same-color coordinated outfits. She also said you treated her very well and were very generous. I wanted your fan base to know that behind that guff exterior lies a good-hearted and generous, wife-matching guy.Bob

So I tipped her well? Phew.

As for the outfits, thats all on the Wood, I swear. She gets a glimpse of what Im wearing and tries to match it up. Its really pathetic.

She has trouble with the Tebow jersey, though.

Felgers weekly column appears on Tuesdays. E-mail him HERE and read the mailbag every Thursday. Listen to him on the radio weekdays, 2-6 p.m., on 98.5 the Sports Hub.

Royer's late goal rallies Red Bulls past Revolution, 2-1


Royer's late goal rallies Red Bulls past Revolution, 2-1

HARRISON, N.J. - Daniel Royer finished a nice sequence in the 74th minute, Luis Robles made a diving save in the closing minutes and the New York Red Bulls rallied to beat the New England Revolution 2-1 on Saturday night.

Felipe sent the ball left to Kemar Lawrence alongside the box and he put a cross to Royer on the back post for an easy finish on his fourth goal.

Robles, who only allowed Lee Nguyen's penalty kick in the ninth minute, preserved the win with his fourth save, diving to his left to block Diego Fagundez's shot from outside the box.

Bradley Wright-Phillips tied it for New York (6-6-2), which was winless in its last four matches, when he pounced on a loose ball and backheeled it into the net. New England goalkeeper Cody Cropper had pounced on a cross by Kemar Lawance, but Cropper could hold on and Wright-Phillips was there to clean up for his sixth goal.

Damien Perrinelle fouled Fagundez in the penalty area after a great pass from Kei Kamara, allowing Nguyen to step up for his sixth goal. New England (4-5-4) had won two straight and lost just one of its previous six. It is 0-5-2 on the road.

Brian Johnson: 'Awesome feeling' after five-hitter vs. Mariners


Brian Johnson: 'Awesome feeling' after five-hitter vs. Mariners

BOSTON - Brian Johnson had quite a turnaround in his second time on Fenway Park's mound.

Johnson pitched a five-hitter in his first big league appearance at Fenway, and the Boston Red Sox stretched their winning streak to a season-high six games with a 6-0 victory over the Seattle Mariners on Saturday.

The 26-year-old left-hander became the first Red Sox pitcher to throw a shutout in his first Fenway start since Pedro Martinez on April 11, 1998. In Johnson's first start in Fenway - his fourth as a professional - he sustained a season-ending facial fracture when he hit by a line drive while pitching for Class A Lowell in 2012.

"The last time I walked off the mound here was 2012 and I made two pitches," Johnson said. "Today I went nine innings. Today was pretty cool."

Johnson left Triple-A for a little over a month last season to get treatment for an anxiety issue.

"Obviously with some stuff that I've been gone through in my career, it's an awesome feeling" he said.

But despite the stellar outing, Johnson was optioned back to Triple-A after the game.

"That's the reality of the game," Red Sox manager John Farrell said. "We had a chance to congratulate him and yet option him back to Pawtucket, with David Price coming here Monday."

Brought up from the minors for the start, Johnson (2-0) gave up five singles, struck out eight and walked none. His only previous big league starts were at Houston on July 21, 2015, and at Toronto on April 18 this year.

Johnson was helped by a semi-leaping catch by center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. at the wall in the sixth, Bradley's diving grab of Nelson Cruz's sinking liner in the ninth and Bradley's game-ending running catch of Kyle Seager's drive.

Xander Bogaerts' RBI single triggered a three-run first inning and Bradley hit a two-run homer in the sixth

Shut out for the second straight day, Seattle has lost seven of eight.

"Their guy threw the ball over the plate. He threw strikes," Mariners manager Scott Servais said. "I won't take anything away from what he did, but we're not swinging the bat very well."

Rob Whalen (0-1) gave up five runs and seven hits over 5 1/3 innings in his Mariners' debut, his first big league start since Aug. 23 for Atlanta. He is Seattle's 12th starting pitcher, the most in the major leagues.

Andrew Benintendi and Sandy Leon also had RBI singles in the first, when the Red Sox had two batters hit by pitches, two walks and two runners thrown out on the bases - Dustin Pedroia at third for the first out and Hanley Ramirez at the plate for the last.