Red Sox Reach for Stars; Patriots Tame Lions
by Alex Hirsch
BU News Service
The Boston Red Sox made one big signing this morning and are on the verge of making a second signing this afternoon. According to ESPN’s Gordon Edes, the Red Sox and prize free agent Pablo Sandoval reached an agreement this morning.
The news was first reported by Jon Heyman of CBS Sports that Sandoval signed a five year pact for around 100 million dollars, but Sandoval’s agent refuted the report as well as Sandoval’s brother. Now, with ESPN reporting the news, it seems more official and no one has refuted it since ESPN reported it.
The Red Sox are also finalizing a deal with shortstop Hanley Ramirez today, worth $90 million over five years. This takes the two best batters in free agency off the market.
The Sox have been courting Sandoval for a while, seeking a third baseman and a left-handed batter. Sandoval provides both and at 28 has plenty of upside and could really explode at Fenway’s hitter friendly park. Ramirez was more a surprise signing and most likely will be moved into the outfield with top prospect Xander Boegarts manning shortstop.
Both players provide an instant upgrade to the teams offense which ranked 22nd in team batting average, .244, and 18th in runs, 634. Sandoval is a career .294 hitter and has 106 home runs. More importantly, he is a career .344 hitter in the post season. Expect those averages to increase at Fenway.
Ramirez, about to turn 31, is a career .300 hitter and is consistently a 20 homer and 90-100 RBI kind of guy when healthy. You can immediately insert him as the teams clean up hitter and Sandoval right after him as the number five hitter, adding some balance into the lineup.
These are the types of moves that Sox fans have been longing for. They have the money to spend, so why be conservative with it? Not this year. They are spending the cash and more names will continue to come as the Sox still have two pitchers to get, including an ace. Jon Lester is next on the wish list and an offer has reportedly already been made to him as well.
The New England Patriots took apart the visiting Detroit Lions yesterday 34-9. The Lions, who boast the best defense in the league, could not handle Tom Brady and his offense, as the quarterback continued his brilliant stretch, passing for 349 yards and two touchdowns and leading them to their seventh victory in a row.
Even more impressive was the defense, who stopped one of the leagues more dangerous offenses from scoring a touchdown. Matthew Stafford completed a career worst 39 percent of his passes, and Darrelle Revis and Brandon Browner held the Lion’s star receivers in check all game. Calvin Johnson recorded only four catches on the day.
Even more impressive than that is the current run the Patriots are on. What was supposed to be the most grueling schedule in league has looked like a cupcake walk. They have faced three division leaders in a row and the Chicago Bears before that, while they were a dangerous team, and have outscored all of them 170-73.
The Patriots have proven that they can beat any team in any area of the game. They take on the Green Bay Packers this Sunday at Lambeau Field in what should be a shoot out, but with the way these Patriots are dominating, who knows?
In Boston University sports, the mens hockey team is now ranked number 1 in both the USCHO and USA Today polls. This comes after a weekend of beating University of Maine and University of Connecticut. Freshman phenom Jack Eichel notched his seventh goal of the season Friday night in overtime to give the Terriers the win 3-2. On Saturday night, UCONN was no match for junior forward Ahti Oksanen who scored two goals and helped the team win 5-2. Eichel added two assists in the contest and fellow junior forward Danny O’Regan scored his seventh goal of the year.