Thursday, July 24, 2014

Catching Up With Bob Lobel: The Best and Worst of Boston Sports Media

Join legendary sportscaster Bob Lobel and host Joe Parello as they take a look at the current Boston sports media scene.

Was the backlash to Kirk Minihane's comments about Erin Andrews on WEEI justified, and which local media outlets does Bob pay most attention to?

Plus, who are Bob's all-time favorite Boston sports media figures, and how has the industry changed since he entered it over 30 years ago?

All this, and more, on this week's edition of "Catching Up With Bob Lobel."

The Top-5 Hitters in the American League

Mike Trout has had a lot to smile about in his young career, establishing himself as one of baseball's most feared players at the plate and on the base paths.
By Adam Lowenstein (@StatsAdam)

If you look at the 2014 American League, you'll find a ton of power. There are 14 MLB position players with 20 home runs this season, and 10 of them come from the junior circuit.

Of those 10, two of them – Mike Trout and Jose Abreu – are detailed in these rankings. In addition, Adam Jones, who makes it in as No. 5 in these rankings, is one of four players to slug exactly 19 home runs on the season. So, without further ado, here are my current top five hitters in the AL:

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Tony Dungy Should Just Own His Homophobia Already

By Joe Parello (@HerewegoJoe)

In the least shocking incident of the NFL off-season, football moral compass and former Bucs/Colts head coach Tony Dungy publicly stated that he wouldn't have selected Michael Sam, the first openly gay player in the history of the NFL Draft.

I say least shocking because, if you know anything about Tony Dungy, you know he is a devout Christian who has spoken out in favor of a Gay Marriage ban in Indiana, and taken President Barack Obama to task, albeit briefly, on Twitter for "veering from the Biblical interpretation" of marriage.

Here is Dungy's exact quote on Sam.

“I wouldn’t have taken him,’’ Dungy told the Tampa Tribune. “Not because I don’t believe Michael Sam should have a chance to play, but I wouldn’t want to deal with all of it. It’s not going to be totally smooth . . . things will happen.’’

That's all fine and dandy. The former Super Bowl winning coach is entitled to his faith and his views. This is America, after all.

My issue is that a man who used to occupy what is essentially a hiring position (NFL head coach) outright said he wouldn't hire someone because they are a minority… And we take that as a "stance."

Bob Lobel: Any Hope Left for the Red Sox in 2014?

By Bob Lobel (@boblobel)

The Red Sox are now in the business of selling hope.  

There isn’t much of a difference between what the Sox are selling and that hidden force drags you kicking and screaming into a store that sells golf clubs. You’re there for the same reason you are still watching the local entry in the American League East: Hope on a stick. 

There is that strange, yet unproven belief that walking into a golf store to get a new putter, hybrid rescue club or driver will get you paired with Rory on the weekend. It’s not unlike your strange belief that the Boston Red Sox will somehow find a way to get to the post season, even if it is a one and done, stupid second Wild Card game. 

Monday, July 21, 2014

Why the Perennially Contending Texas Rangers are Baseball's Worst Team

Injuries to star first baseman Prince Fielder and others haven't helped, but the Texas Rangers' problems go deeper than that.
By Adam Lowenstein (@StatsAdam)

After spending 11 years in Washington, the Senators moved to Arlington and became the Texas Rangers.

While the franchise was in the nation’s capital, it spent the bulk of its time in the basement of the American League, including five seasons with sub-.400 winning percentages. Since moving to Texas, the Rangers have finished with sub-.400 records only four times in the 42 years that they have played before 2014.

However, after enjoying great success over the last half decade (four straight 90+ win seasons and two World Series appearances), Ron Washington’s club has fallen on hard times. The Rangers are the league’s worst team, and the club’s eight consecutive losses before the All-Star break doubled the number of the second-longest active losing streak at the time. Buck Showalter managed the team the last time they lost that many games in a row, and the Rangers have currently lost 10 of their last 11.