The Red Sox had a very good stretch leading up to the All-Star break, the Celtics summer league schedule got underway and the Bruins made some moves in free agency in a busy week for Boston sports. I suppose it’s a good thing that we have all the news here in one place for you.
Boston Red Sox
After a horrible weekend in London, the Red Sox needed to play well in their last two series before the All-Star break in order to regain some confidence and momentum. That is exactly what they did, winning five of the six games and four straight including a sweep of the Detroit Tigers. At this moment, the Red Sox sit at a season-best eight games above .500 at 49-41. They are only nine games behind the New York Yankees in the AL East now and only two games behind the Cleveland Indians for the second wild card spot. At the unofficial halfway point of the season, this team absolutely still has playoff potential, and if they solve some of their bullpen issues, they could be a dangerous team down the stretch.
This week they played really good baseball, starting with a 10-6 win on Tuesday against the Toronto Blue Jays. Rafael Devers hit two home runs and drove in six in an unbelievable performance. On Wednesday, they lost their only game of the week 6-3 when Chris Sale let up three home runs. The team bounced back on Thursday though and rallied from down 6-1 to win 8-7. They hung a six spot in the sixth inning, and Marco Hernandez hit the game-winning homer in the ninth to lead the Red Sox to victory on the Fourth of July.
Then, the Red Sox went to Detroit and continued their great offensive production there with a 9-6 win on Friday and a 10-6 win on Saturday. Both games were affected by rain with long delays, but the offense never fell asleep, registering 14 hits on Friday and 17 on Saturday. On Sunday, David Price earned his 150th career win with a 6-3 defeat of the Tigers. Christian Vazquez and Xander Bogaerts drove in two runs each in the milestone win for Price.
Speaking of Bogaerts, the Red Sox will have another representative in Cleveland for the All-Star game, as Bogaerts was selected as an injury replacement. Originally one of the biggest snubs, Bogaerts certainly earned his second All-Star selection this season. He will join Mookie Betts and J.D. Martinez as the Red Sox’s three invitees to the Midsummer Classic. It is definitely a shame that Devers was not selected though after the tremendous first half he has put together.
For the three All-Stars, it is off to Cleveland. For the rest of the roster, it is a much-needed week of rest. The season will resume next Friday with a World Series rematch against the Los Angeles Dodgers, who have the best record in the MLB at 60-32.
In the aftermath of the free agency madness, the Celtics had another busy week that included the beginning of their summer league schedule in Las Vegas. The C’s won their first game 96-82 on Saturday over the Philadelphia 76ers. Carsen Edwards was the standout for the Celtics, scoring 20 points with three steals. Grant Williams and Javonte Green added 12 points each in the winning effort.
Off the court there was other news, like the final terms of the sign-and-trade between the Celtics and the Charlotte Hornets, which were released on Saturday. The Celtics acquired Kemba Walker and the least favorable of Brooklyn and New York’s 2020 second round picks, and the Hornets acquired Terry Rozier and a future protected second round pick. So it is official that the former UConn star will be making waves in New England yet again. He will wear No. 8 with the Celtics.
The Celtics also announced that they added Brandon Bailey, Joe Mazulla and Kara Lawson to Brad Stevens’s coaching staff. Lawson was the most notable addition because she is the first female coach in franchise history. She played college basketball at Tennessee for the legendary coach Pat Summitt, and she played 12 seasons in the WNBA as a point guard. Since retiring, she has been a basketball analyst for ESPN as well as the Washington Wizards broadcasts. Lawson now becomes one of eight women in prominent coaching or front office roles for NBA teams, and that number will hopefully continue to grow.
The Bruins are in an interesting situation this offseason with not a lot of cap space to play with and quite a few free agents. When free agency started last week, they signed some new players but also let some guys get away. Here are the players that they have signed or extended so far:
- Defenseman Connor Clifton signed a three-year extension worth $1 million per year.
- Forward Brett Ritchie signed a one-year deal worth $1 million.
- Forward Par Lindholm signed a two-year deal worth $850,000 per year.
- Forward Brendan Gaunce, goalie Max Lagace, forward Ryan Fitzgerald, defenseman Josiah Didier and forward Peter Cehlarik all were signed to one-year, two-way deals worth $700,000 at the NHL level.
Fitzgerald and Cehlarik were re-signed as restricted free agents, while the others came from other organizations. These players are expected to split time with Boston and the Providence Bruins.
Perhaps bigger news than who the Bruins signed is who they didn’t sign. They lost both Noel Acciari and Marcus Johansson to other teams, and they’ve yet to re-sign any of their notable restricted free agents. Acciari signed with the Florida Panthers, and Johansson signed with the Buffalo Sabres.
None of the trio of Charlie McAvoy, Brandon Carlo and Danton Heinen have been re-signed yet, and Heinen has opted for salary arbitration. The Bruins have right around $10 million in cap space, which does not appear to be enough to keep all three players without shedding some payroll. It will be interesting to monitor how the Bruins continue to deal with this situation as the offseason progresses.
New England Patriots
The only Patriots news this week is that legend Tedy Bruschi suffered a stroke on Thursday. He reportedly is recovering well, which is great news. Of course, this is not Bruschi’s first stroke. He suffered one as a player back in 2005, but returned to the field just eight months later and played another three seasons. He is certainly a warrior, and all of Patriots Nation wishes him the best in his recovery.
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