McAdam: No more outside help for Red Sox

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McAdam: No more outside help for Red Sox

By Sean McAdam
CSNNE.com Red Sox Insider Follow @sean_mcadam
Somehow, in this bizarro September, the Red Sox lost Wednesday night -- again -- and still managed to gain ground in the American League wild card race.

For that, the Red Sox can thank, the New York Yankees, who beat the Tampa Bay Rays twice in a day-night doubleheader.

That sort of gift-giving, however, is likely to stop Thursday. After clinching the American League East title with their nightcap win over the Rays, the Yankees are out of the competition business.

They've clinched. They've done their part. The rest is up to the Red Sox, which is hardly encouraging news.

While the Yankees were doing all the heavy lifting Tuesday and Wednesday, beating the Rays three straight, the Red Sox were busy twice losing late-inning leads, as if they couldn't be bothered to do any of the work themselves.

Why break a sweat when the Yankees were doing it all for you?

The Rays have one game remaining with the Yankees Thursday night, but the rules have changed. Now that the Yankees know they've clinched, their motivation has changed.

It doesn't matter how many more games they win over the next week -- the Yanks are going to finish first in the division no matter what, and in all likelihood, with the best record in the American League (they have a five-game lead over fellow division-leaders Detroit and Texas), giving them home field advantage in the ALCS, too.

Joe Girardi is as old-school as they come and no doubt will take into consideration the integrity of the game. Girardi's Yankees won't roll over Thursday night, over the weekend when they host the Red Sox or in the final three games of the season when they travel to Tropicana Field.

But they have their priorities, too, and winning isn't necessarily at the top of that to-do list. The Yankees are more interested in resting some veterans and getting their pitching staff in order for the postseason. And they've earned that right.

The Red Sox? They've earned nothing except the mess in which they currently find themselves.

They finished the final homestand of the season with a 3-7 mark, including an embarrassing final series that saw them drop three-of-four to last-place Baltimore.

(Don't think that Buck Showalter didn't enjoy every minute of the last three days, given his comments in Men's Health, published during spring training, in which he said he took particular satisfaction out of beating the deep-pocketed Red Sox.)

In the last two games, the Red Sox had leads in the seventh and eighth innings respectively -- and lost both. Wednesday night, they went down without much of a fight. After the Orioles went ahead in the top of the seventh, the Red Sox went in order, no fuss necessary, in each of their final turns at bat.

As they left the field Wednesday for what should have been a sendoff to the post-season, they were instead booed lustily by the frustrated fans.

It was hardly a storybook ending to the home half of the season.

What happens from here on out is anyone's guess. Thanks to the Yankees, the Red Sox' Magic Number was reduced to five games with six to play.

Should they figure out a way to win five of their last six games, the Sox could clinch the wild card outright. By winning four of their last six, they would assure themselves of no worse than a tie.

But given the way they've been playing, the Red Sox will probably need some help. And here's where things get tricky.

The Yankees have no responsibility to the Red Sox Thursday night or next week in St. Petersburg. And while the Red Sox were fumbling through the last two weeks -- and the Rays, the last few days -- the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim joined the wild card race, pulling even with the Rays with seven games remaining.

After one more game in Toronto Thursday night, the Angels return home to host Oakland, then have Texas for the final three games.

Not long ago, that series was supposed to determine the A.L. West title, but the Rangers have a five-game lead over the Angels for the division crown. That means that the Rangers will have likely clinched the division before Monday. And that means the Rangers won't have much motivation for the final three games, either.

Like the Yankees, they'll have their own agenda: resting position players and putting their post-season pitching in order.

So, if the Red Sox know what's good for them -- and frankly, there's little evidence of that -- they'll take care of business for themselves over the weekend.

"We're going to have to fight for everthing we get the rest of the way,'' acknowledged Terry Francona, "and make it happen to get where we want to go . . . We have our work cut out for us.''

And, obviously, no one to blame but themselves.

Sean McAdam can be reached at smcadam@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Sean on Twitter at http:twitter.comsean_mcadam

Morning Skate: Another setback for Flyers top pick Nolan Patrick

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Morning Skate: Another setback for Flyers top pick Nolan Patrick

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while wondering what Melissa McCarthy is going to do now that Spicey is gone.

*The debut for Philadelphia Flyers top pick Nolan Patrick has been scratched due to “an infection in his face.” Boy, this kid can’t get healthy, can he?

*Detroit Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill is 100 percent sure that the Winged Wheels will be making a return to the playoffs this season.

*PHT writer and FOH (Friend of Haggs) Jason Brough has hope returning to the city of Houston that they might get an NHL franchise one of these days.

*Travis Yost delves into shooting percentage and some of the nuances when properly trying to break it down statistically.

*There are new season ticket charges for Habs fans in Montreal, and boy are they pissed off about it. Feels like the kind of thing that could push them to riot in the streets or flood 911 emergency lines if the Canadiens aren’t too careful about it.

*Young Blues defenseman Colton Parayko signs a five-year deal with St. Louis to avoid salary arbitration while the D-man taken exactly one pick before him by the Bruins in the draft, Matt Grzelcyk, is going to be hard-pressed to move past the AHL level this season.

*For something completely different: What would Ivan Drago have been doing with his life after his showdown with Rocky in Mother Russia?

 

 

Bean: Nobody should ever compare Love Actually to the Warriors

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Bean: Nobody should ever compare Love Actually to the Warriors

I’ve never met Jemele Hill. I think she and Michael Smith are great and I completely respect her bravery in voicing the unpopular (but correct) opinion that “Bad and Boujee” is good, but not great. This isn’t about Jemele Hill. It’s about a question she asked and an attempt to answer it. 

Hell no it is not. Know why? Because the Warriors are awesome. Know what’s not awesome? Love Actually. 

All that these two things share is that they’re both loaded with stars. The Warriors have Steph, Draymond, Klay and Durant. Love Actually has Liam Neeson, Bill Nighy, Hugh Grant, Colin Firth, Emma Thompson, Alan Rickman, Billy Bob Thornton, a child who kind of looks like Satan, etc. They’re both loaded. 

Yet the Warriors won and there is no debating their greatness. There is absolutely debating Love Actually’s greatness, since it isn’t great.  

It’s at this point that I should disclose that Pete Blackburn and I had a collective two-hour meltdown about all the reasons why Love Actually is terrible. There were lots. That’s why it took two hours. 

Here are some things about the Warriors:

- They won their second NBA title in three years. 

- They went 16-1 in the postseason. 

- Steph Curry made 56 more three-pointers than anyone else in the playoffs.  

- They led the NBA with 115.9 points per game. 

Here are some things about Love Actually:  

- The movie starts with a weird 9/11 reference. 

- Casual homophobia is rampant. 

- A widower gets mocked for his sexual inactivity very recently after his damn wife died. 

- The movie likely birthed thousands of eating disorders. 

- A guy decides to cross his best friend and make a run at that guy’s wife just so he can break it off immediately. The much coveted lose-lose-lose to ensure a weird life for everyone. 

- Somebody whose job it is to be a people person sexually harasses every woman in his office. 

- The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom has a woman fired because he wants to have sex with her. 

- The writer whose wife cheats on him storyline is literally the most boring thing in the history of the world. It makes The Steps of Knowledge in “Legends of the Hidden Temple” look like “Mad Max: Fury Road.” 

So no, Jemele Hill, “Love Actually” is not the Golden State Warriors of romantic comedies. Know what is? “Crazy, Stupid, Love.” That movie also has a loaded cast (and a better one, at that) with outstanding execution. 

Steph Curry is Cal. Six teams passed on him, but he made them rue the day. Draymond Green is Jacob, as he pulls a lot of stunts but he’s as lovable as lovable gets. Kevin Durant is David Lindhagen: He’s got his detractors, but he’s what makes the team the best. 

Love Actually stinks.