Red Sox

Rex Ryan is handling this all wrong

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Rex Ryan is handling this all wrong

By Adam Hart
CSNNE.com

The internet is flooding with allegations Rex Ryan and his wife, whom Rex once compared to Tom Brady's bride, produce foot fetish videos. But the big guy only had this to say Wednesday:

"I know you need to ask, it's a personal matter."

What in the what? That's not the Rex Ryan we know and like as a friend. There's no need to be coy. Be yourself; make a joke out of the whole thing.

Until he gets his plan of attack figured out, here's a bevy of situations creating a conflict of interests for Rex. Actually, it's more a merger of interests:

Ed Hoculi: The Jets player was stopped short of the first down. There is no penalty on the play, but I figured it appropriate to explain the Jets need a foot to move the chains. Does this. Repeat: the Jets need a foot.

RR: That's EXACTLY what we need.

Team Statistician: Coach, you do know there's three feet in a yard, right?

RR: Expletive right I do.

Mike Westhoff: Look, we've got the Bears this week. They might try that surprise onside kick crap, so everybody be on your toes!

RR: All ten of your beautiful toes.

Jim Nantz: And Santonio Holmes is out with a foot.

RR: Wish I was out with a foot right now. Heck, who am I kidding. One foot won't cut it anymore -- I need two.

Woody Johnson: Still can't believe I'm footing the bill for that sexual harassment training. Should've just denied, denied some more and pawned it on Belichick.

RR: You're doing what to the bill?!

(O-Coord.) Bill Callahan: Coach, remember when you said we'd win the Super Bowl? Well, the Patriots have taken over the top spot in the AFC East.

RR: Are you saying there's a mutiny afoot? . . . Please say there's a mutiny afoot.

Mark Sanchez: Hey, Coach. Just bought a new car. It's one of those hybrids.

RR: Ha! Nice move, Nacho. Pretty soon they'll be selling those Flintstones cars again. You know, the ones they power with their big, neanderthal feet. Actually . . .

Training Staff: Tomlinson has a slight case of turf toe.

RR: Ooo, I like the sound of that. . . . Wait, what's turf toe?

Mark Sanchez: Coach, I watched this great movie this weekend, Happy Feet.

RR: Not what you thought it'd be, right?

Mark Sanchez: . . . Uh, not sure what you mean. It was really good, fun for the whole family.

Team Equipment Manager: Coach, we're traveling to Soldier Field this week. They've got shaky turf, so I'll be advising players on their spikes. Got to have good footing.

RR: I'm all about good footing. All day every day.

Braylon Edwards: For the team flight, we were thinking of switching it up a bit. We want to watch Footloose instead of 300.

RR: I'm listening. . .

Reporter: Coach, any word on new sponsorship deals with with golf product supplier FootJoy and athlete's foot medication Tinactin.

RR: Can't comment. But I'll say the Jets organization would be proud to be associated with companies doing great work in the field of foot pleasure.

That's more like it.

Why the Red Sox should sign not one but two relievers

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Why the Red Sox should sign not one but two relievers

BOSTON — There is a world outside of Giancarlo Stanton. 

Stanton, at this point, simply doesn’t appear likely to end up in Boston. That should feel obvious to those following along, and so should this: it can change. 

But there are other pursuits. Besides their search for a bat or two, the Red Sox have been actively pursuing left-handed relief options. Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski is a fast mover, but this year’s market has not been.

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Robbie Ross Jr. and Fernando Abad are both free agents, leaving Robby Scott as the lone incumbent southpaw from last season's primary group. Brian Johnson is bound for the pen, with Roenis Elias as a depth option too.  Still, even if Johnson’s transition pans out, the Sox still have an opening for a late-inning reliever with the departure of free agent Addison Reed. 

Reed is a righty, but between Matt Barnes, Joe Kelly, Heath Hembree, Carson Smith, and Craig Kimbrel, the Sox have more right-handed choices than left. Coming back from surgery, Tyler Thornburg, should be in the mix eventually too, but it's difficult to expect too much from him.

What the Red Sox should do: sign one of each for the bullpen, one righty, and one lefty. And then trade a righty or two. Turn some of that mishmash into an addition elsewhere. Be creative. 

Because inevitably, come midseason, the Sox will want to add another bullpen arm if they sign just one now. Why wait until you have to give up prospect capital when you can just add the piece you want now?

Go get a near-sure thing such as Pat Neshek, a veteran who walks no one and still strikeouts a bunch. At 37 with an outgoing personality, Neshek also brings leadership to a team that is looking for some. He walked just six guys in 62 innings last season. Entering his 12th season in the majors, he’s looking for his first ring.

All these top of the market relievers may be handsomely paid. But relievers are still something of a bargain compared to position players and starting pitchers. One of the key words for this winter should be creativity. If there’s value to be had in the reliever market, capitalize on it. 

Comeback kid Mike Minor, Jake McGee and Tony Watson headline the crop of free agent lefties available. Brad Hand of the Padres could also be had by trade but his market isn’t moving too quickly (and he won’t come cheaply).

Minor, 29, who posted a 2.55 ERA in 2017 after health issues kept him out of the majors in 2015-16, is expected to be paid handsomely. He is also open to the idea of potentially starting if a team is interested in him doing so. The Royals reportedly could give him that shot.

McGee’s American League East experience could be appealing.

He's 31 and had a 3.61 ERA with the Rockies in 2017 and has a 3.15 ERA lifetime. He’s not quite the strikeout pitcher he was earlier in his career — he had an 11.6 K/9 in 2015 — but a 9.1 K/9 is still very strong, particularly when coupled with just 0.6 homers allowed per nine.

For what it’s worth: McGee has also dominated the Red Sox, who have a .125 average, .190 on-base percentage and .192 slugging against him in 117 regular-season plate appearances. 

McGee throws a mid-90s fastball with a low-80s slider. He can operate up in the zone, and he actually has been even more effective against righties than lefties in his career, including in 2017. McGee’s been a closer, too, with 44 career saves.

The Sox had the second-best bullpen in the majors by ERA in 2017, at 3.07. Yet, come the postseason, there wasn’t a sense of great confidence or even a clear shape to the pecking order behind one of the absolute best relievers in the game, Kimbrel. 

Patriots missing Brady, Gronkowski from start of Wednesday's practice

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Patriots missing Brady, Gronkowski from start of Wednesday's practice

FOXBORO -- Tough day in terms attendance at Patriots practice. 

Several starters were missing from the start of the session, including two of the team's most important players, that took place in the rain on the fields behind Gillette Stadium. 

Tom Brady, Rob Gronkowski, Chris Hogan, Marcus Cannon, David Andrews and Patrick Chung were all absent from the start of the practice. 

Hogan (shoulder), Cannon (ankle) and Andrews (illness) were all unable to play against the Raiders last weekend. Chung left the Raiders game briefly with an undiclosed injury but returned later in the game and met with media afterward. The reasons for Brady and Gronkowski's absences are unknown. 

Matthew Slater (hamstring) did not play last weekend in Mexico City, but he was back on the practice field. Newly-acquired defensive lineman Eric Lee -- who took Cassius Marsh's spot on the 53-man roster -- was also present. 

It appeared as though new practice squad return man Bernard Reedy was on the field as well. P-squad defensive lineman Mike Purcell was missing from the session so it looks like he was released in order to make room. 

Finally, Malcolm Mitchell was not on the field for Wednesday's workout. He's eligible to come off of injured reserve and begin practicing, as is defensive lineman Vincent Valentine, but both remain out. 

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