Sox head back home

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Sox head back home

The last time the Sox walked off the field at Fenway, they'd hit rock bottom.

Blowing a 9-1 lead to the Yankees on National TV will do that to a team.

But in the nine days since, the Sox have somewhat quietly caught their balance. They left at 4-10, losers of five straight. They return tonight against the A's at 10-11, winners in six of their last seven and clamoring to make the final push past .500.

The fact that they've only beaten the Twins and White Sox is somewhat of a buzzkill, but at this stage in the season, a win's a win; and the Sox are finally putting a few together.

Over this stretch, we've seen Bard and Lester throw back-to-back gems. Alfredo Aceves convert three one-run saves. Franklin Morales settle into the set-up role. Josh Beckett make two very good starts (if you don't count the first inning). Meanwhile, the offense (despite being silenced over the last two games) finally clicked, scoring 10 runs in three of the first five games on the trip, and Nick Cafardo made reference to Cody Ross "jerking out" a home run. Amazing!

On the flip side, Carl Crawford's recovery hit another snag, and Bobby Valentine continues to do things that make you wonder how closely he's paying attention, but when you think about where this team was on April 21 (giving up 14 runs in the last three innings against the Yankees) and where they are now (coming off a seven-game trip where they gave up 23 runs, total), why not be a little optimistic? At the very least, it's something for this team to build on.

After three against the A's, Boston has three against the Orioles (the Buffalo Bills of the American League) who should be ready to come back to Earth. After that, the Sox face Kansas City, Cleveland and Seattle. There are some solid teams on that list, but those are all winnable games for the Sox. In fact, they don't have another big time test until they head down to Tampa on May 16. These next two weeks put the Sox in a position to finally find some real momentum.

Tonight, Clay Buchholz is on the mound, looking to turn around his awful season and kick start the home stand.

Here's hoping he stays away from Yoenis Cespedes.

Or if not, that you didn't park your car in the lot behind the Monster.

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

Curran: Jets' 2015 tampering with Revis more extensive than NFL revealed

Curran: Jets' 2015 tampering with Revis more extensive than NFL revealed

The Patriots obviously got it right when they pushed away from the table during the Darrelle Revis bidding war in 2015. 

The once-great corner spent the 2016 season languishing on the field. He’s spending the early part of the offseason reacting negatively to backpack journalism after midnight. 

But the alleged double KO by Revis and his buddies isn’t what prompts this submission. 

It’s the revelation from Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News that the tampering the Jets engaged in when they were prying Revis loose from the Patriots was way, way more involved than what the NFL fined them for. And that Jets owner Woody Johnson knew all about it. 

Mehta leads his piece revealing that, long before free agency opened in 2015, Revis “was ready to squeeze more money out of [Johnson] who he knew would be willing to overpay for his services again.”

Mehta reports that, “back-channel discussions with the Jets in February set the foundation for a Revis reunion . . . 

“Team officials in stealth mode communicated with Revis, Inc., through private cell phones and face-to-face covert meetings at the 2015 Scouting Combine rather than make calls from the team's landlines at their Florham Park facility. No paper trails were a must.

“Johnson, the driving force behind bringing back Revis to right a wrong in his mind, endorsed all of it.”

The Patriots -- who were in the midst of the Deflategate colonoscopy that resulted in absurd-level discipline -- lodged a complaint with the league over the Jets tampering after Revis signed with the Jets in mid-March of 2015. 

The Jets were fined $100,000 but weren’t docked any draft picks.. The tender wrist slap came, ostensibly, because Johnson moronically stated at a December press conference that he’d “love” to have Revis return to New York. 

Maybe Johnson wasn’t being a dummy. That comment provided cover for the league office -- which has a documented history of treating the two NYC franchises with kid gloves -- to let the Jets off easy. 

Mehta’s article is the latest offering from him since completing his heel turn against Revis. 

Mehta did everything but fly the plane to bring Revis to New York once the 2014 season ended. And this is what he wrote the day the Jets penalty came down: 

The NFL’s attempt to uncover any dirt was an exercise in futility, a witch hunt driven by nonsense from a hypocritical organization with no reason to feel threatened by its competitor. 

You may wonder what’s the point? 

Clearly, the Patriots got it right while the Jets cheated, got what they wanted, and are now getting what they deserved. 

And everyone already knows the league office’s investigations and operations arms under the brutally incompetent leadership of Troy Vincent are a laughingstock. 

All true. But if I don’t write this now, I may have no recollection of this particular instance of league corruption given the absolute avalanche of other incidents
 

Thomas says NBA 2K wouldn't accept Cousins trade, NBA 2K confirms it wouldn't

Thomas says NBA 2K wouldn't accept Cousins trade, NBA 2K confirms it wouldn't

The Kings have not exactly been celebrated as geniuses since news of Sunday’s DeMarcus Cousins trade broke. 

The deal, which sent Buddy Hield, a top-three-protected 2017 first-round pick, a 2017 second-rounder, Tyreke Evans and Langston Galloway to Sacramento for Cousins and Omri Casspi, has been widely mocked for how little the Kings fetched for the All-Star center. In handing out trades for the deal, SI gave the Pelicans an A and the Kings an F.

One team that could have easily beaten New Orleans’ offer was the Celtics, who seemingly did not participate in Sunday’s trade talks. On Monday, Isaiah Thomas tweeted his thoughts on the trade: 

Just as good as Thomas’ tweet was the fact that NBA 2K confirmed that it would not allow the trade to happen.