Bill Belichick Clarifies What Alex Guerrero’s Role With Patriots Is

Monday reignited some flames in the Alex Guerrero-Tom Brady-Bill Belichick saga.
After losing privileges to travel with the New England Patriots last season, Guerrero, Brady’s trainer and business partner, was given them back, as evidenced by the fact he flew on the team plane last week en route to a preseason game against the Carolina Panthers.
That led to questioning during Brady’s weekly hit on WEEI’s “Kirk and Callahan” on Monday, which after three questions led Brady to abruptly end the interview.
For better or for worse, Guerrero has become an interesting figure surrounding the Patriots, with plenty about his direct involvement with the team remaining unclear.

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Later Monday, Belichick shed some light on the Guerrero situation during his weekly interview on WEEI’s “Ordway, Merloni and Fauria.”
“He’s not a member of the organization,” Belichick said. “He works at TB12. I think we’re all aware of that. We have people in our traveling party, some are in the organization, most are, and some aren’t. We have people in various capacities that work with us on gameday, and again, every team has that. We have that too.
“Again, you need some extra people on gameday, Belichick added. “Video department, there could be specialty people on the medical staff, security and so forth. We have other people who are — some are full-time, some are let’s call it gameday-type employees because of just higher demands of certain areas on gameday.”
While Belichick’s comments aren’t a full-fledged outline of what Guerrero does with the team, it provides at least a little bit of insight into his involvement.

MLB Odds: Red Sox Heavy Betting Favorites Vs. Marlins On Tuesday

The Boston Red Sox will be looking to avoid their first four-game losing streak of the season Tuesday night when they open a two-game series against the visiting Miami Marlins as -240 home favorites on the MLB odds at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.
Boston returns home after getting swept in a three-game weekend series with the Tampa Bay Rays, capped by a lopsided 9-1 loss as a +103 underdog on Sunday that dropped the club to 2-6 in eight outings ahead of Tuesday’s Marlins vs. Red Sox betting matchup at Fenway Park.
The team now has lost three in a row on three occasions this season, twice over the past eight days, and has seen their once commanding lead atop the American League East standings dwindle during their current slide. However, the Red Sox continue to dominate on the AL East odds, with short -4000 odds of winning a third straight division title, while the second-place New York Yankees trail at +1200 on those futures.
The Red Sox have struggled to contain opposing offenses over the past week, surrendering 24 total runs in their three losses to the Rays, and have been outscored by a 37-12 margin over their six recent losses. But the club now has managed to avoid a four-game losing streak for over a year, and has continued to play solid ball on home turf, going 22-6 in its past 28 games at Fenway Park.

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Boston also has been a consistent performer in interleague action this season, going 9-3 overall, and also owns a 9-2 record in its past 11 overall meetings with the Marlins, including a perfect 5-0 run at home.
While the Red Sox look to break out of their shakiest stretch of the season, the Marlins look to build on a modest 5-3 run as they arrive in town pegged as +205 underdogs. Miami hits the road after dropping a 4-0 loss to Atlanta at +169 on the MLB odds on Sunday, which forced them to settle for a split with the National League East-leading Braves.
However, the Marlins are now unbeaten in each of their past three series, and have found new life over their past eight outings after posting wins in just two of their previous 17 games to fall deeper into the NL East basement.
The Marlins’ recent dismal run included a 12-game road losing streak, but the club took two of three in Washington in their last road series, and have compiled a respectable 8-7 record against AL opponents this season, including a 5-3 record on the road.

Should Patriots Consider This Hypothetical Trade For Golden Tate?

Dez Bryant probably isn’t on his way to New England, but is there any chance the Patriots pursue another veteran wide receiver prior to Week 1 of the 2018 NFL season?
The Patriots haven’t shied away from high-profile trades in the Bill Belichick era, and ESPN’s Mike Reiss suggested continuing that trend when he pitched a hypothetical trade involving Golden Tate and a pair of young defenders.
“I don’t know if the Lions would consider it, but receiver Golden Tate is the type of trade target I’d inquire about for the Patriots. Playing fantasy GM, a package of defensive tackle Malcom Brown and linebacker Elandon Roberts would be something I’d float out there to see if there was a bite. Something tells me Lions fans would tell me I’m not realistic, even though Tate is entering the final year of his contract and the Patriots might have to do some cap maneuvering to bring him on.”

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Tate has been a highly productive receiver for the Lions, catching at least 90 passes in each of his four seasons in Detroit. The ninth-year pro did turn 30 at the beginning of the month, but a deal for Tate, even if for just one season of his services, could provide another above-average weapon for Tom Brady.
As for Brown and Roberts, neither player appears on pace to be a pillar of the Patriots defense moving forward, so Belichick and Co. likely wouldn’t have many reservations in parting ways with the duo. But considering Tate’s importance to the Lions’ offense, the package might not satisfy Detroit.
So while it’s fun to mess around with hypothetical trades, it’s tough to imagine New England swinging a deal prior to its first game of the regular season.

Should Tom Brady Continue To Dodge Questions About Alex Guerrero?

You’ve probably heard by now that Tom Brady cut his weekly interview with WEEI’s “Kirk and Callahan” short Monday morning.
The New England Patriots quarterback was asked about his trainer and business partner Alex Guerrero after he was seen on the team plane last week traveling to North Carolina. Guerrero was stripped of traveling on the team plane and being on the sidelines last season.

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After co-host Kirk Minihane pressed Brady on the trainer three separate times after the 41-year-old said he didn’t want to talk about, he hung up.
Former Super Bowl champion Jermaine Wiggins and WEEI’s Rob Bradford, who was on K&C on Monday, weighed in on the matter, giving their opinions as to whether Brady should have just answered the questions. To hear from them, check out the “NESN Sports Today” video above, presented by People’s United Bank.

Who Will Replace Riley Nash, Tim Schaller? Bruce Cassidy Provides Some Insight

The Bruins lost a couple of key players this offseason, but Boston isn’t without options to fill those voids.
Bottom six forward Riley Nash departed for the Columbus Blue Jackets, while Tim Schaller joined the Vancouver Canucks. Nash had a career year centering the B’s third line during the last campaign, and Schaller solidified himself as an important fixture on the fourth line.
But with those two spots now vacant, the Bruins will have an exciting competition brewing during training camp, which opens to the full team Sept. 10.
In addition to signing veteran bottom six forwards Chris Wagner and Joakim Nordstrom, the Bruins are loaded with young talent. Ryan Donato was impressive during the regular season and got some run in the playoffs, while Anders Bjork saw time on the varsity before a season-ending injury. The list goes on and on.
With that in mind, what exactly is head coach Bruce Cassidy going to do? In his first full season behind the bench, Cassidy proved he’s not afraid to throw youngsters into the fold if they’re ready, and he may have to do that again this year.
While attending the Bruins Fan Fest in Providence, R.I. on Sunday, Cassidy shed some light to the Providence Journal’s Mark Divver on how he views the forward competition heading into camp.

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“We were able to do that and our older guys were able to pull them along,” Cassidy said of utilizing the young guns. “Going into this year, there’s a little bit of that, still. There’s a couple of spots open.”
“We’ve left a little bit of competition open up front. I put Donato in that group with Bjork, JFK (Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson), (Trent) Frederic. Then guys that aren’t being talked about as much — Zach (Senyshyn) and Fitzy (Ryan Fitzgerald). Maybe they push through.″
So what about Wagner and Nordstrom? Both seem tailor-made to fit right into the vacant roles, however it’s never that easy and camp is sure to say a lot. As such, Cassidy is keeping an open mind.
“We hope those two guys can give us what (Nash and Schaller) gave us,” Cassidy said of Nordstom and Wagner. “We feel they can. Then it’s a matter of the younger guys — can they push one of the more established guys? That’s what it comes down to. That’s when you know your team is good, when the younger guys push the older guys and if they are better, then we make room for them.″
Any way you slice it, the Bruins’ depth is a great problem to have. And while that may lead to some difficult decisions for Cassidy as we get closer to opening night, he certainly must be taking solace in the fact that he has options.

Blake Bortles’ Foundation Provides Meals For Jacksonville First Responders

Tragedy struck in Jacksonville, Fla. at a Madden ’19 tournament Sunday, as a gunman opened fire, killing two (including himself) and wounded several others. In response to the event, Blake Bortles did what he could to help those who give to the community day in and day out.
The Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback, who grew up in Florida, and his foundation teamed up with Mambos Cuban Café in order to provide meals to the first responders who have been working tireless in the aftermath of the horrific event.

In collaboration with #MambosCubanCafe we invite all first responders to come to 501 E Bay St for a hot meal today. Food will be available at 1:30pm & again for a 2nd shift at 5:00pm. Thank you to all for your service to our wonderful city! #TheLandingMassShooting #Jacksonville pic.twitter.com/Kbiiuseuwj

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— Blake Bortles Foundation (@BB5Foundation) August 27, 2018

Along with the meal, Bortles included a hand-written note showing his appreciation for the work of the first responders that read, “Thank you for everything that you do! Your service today and every day is greatly appreciated!”
Certainly a thoughtful touch by the signal caller.

Compilation Of Celtics’ Best Post-Timeout Plays Shows Brad Stevens’ Brilliance

We’re not exactly breaking news when we say Brad Stevens has one heck of a basketball mind.
The Boston Celtics bench boss has proven during his time as an NBA coach just how skilled he is. Whether it’s from play calling and scheme designing, or getting the most out of players regardless of circumstance, Stevens’ work constantly is turning heads.
That couldn’t be more apparent when you see the sheer wizardry he comes up with on inbound plays out of timeouts.
The NBA on Monday threw together a compilation/breakdown of the C’s best post-timeout plays from the 2017-18 campaign, and it is pretty impressive seeing how some of his plays come together and go off without a hitch.

Breaking down the BEST of the @Celtics After Timeouts! #NBABreakdown #BESTofNBA pic.twitter.com/rlDayCG8EX

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— NBA (@NBA) August 27, 2018

Impressive.
Despite a slew of injuries last spring, the C’s managed to make an impressive run to the Eastern Conference finals, taking the LeBron James-led Cleveland Cavaliers to seven games.
And with Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward both set to return at full health, one only can imagine the field day Stevens will have coaching the 2018-19 squad.

Why Stephen A. Smith Has No Problem With Tom Brady Dodging Alex Guerrero Questions

This might be hard to wrap your head around, but the sports world had a very strong reaction to something Tom Brady did Monday morning.
During his weekly interview on WEEI’s “Kirk & Callahan,” Brady dodged a few questions about his trainer and business partner, Alex Guerrero, before abruptly ending the conversation. While many were irked by the New England Patriots quarterback evading questions pertaining to Guerrero, Stephen A. Smith didn’t have much of an issue with it.
Smith’s “First Take” co-host Max Kellerman, on the other hand, took great exception with how TB12 handled himself.

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You can see Smith and Kellerman debate the matter at hand in the video below:

Regardless of how you feel about Brady declining to answer questions about Guerrero, Smith is correct in pointing out that the veteran signal-caller didn’t do anything wrong. So while it never hurts to ask, it’s becoming increasingly obvious that trying to dig up answers about anything related to Guerrero is a fool’s errand.

Red Sox’s Eduardo Rodriguez Tosses Another Solid Rehab Outing Monday

Eduardo Rodriguez made his second rehab start Monday, and for the second time he was sharp.
The Boston Red Sox left-hander is working his way back from an injury that caused ligament damage in his ankle during a collision at first base July 14. He made a start with Double-A Portland last Monday and was tremendous in every sense, and that mostly was the case again this time around.
In four innings of work, Rodriguez allowed two hits (both singles) with two walks and six strikeouts. Maybe the biggest knock for E-Rod is his pitch efficiency — something he’s long struggled with at the big league level — as he threw 76 pitches, but 47 of them went for strikes.
Voice of the Sea Dogs, Mike Antonellis, gave a little bit more insight into the start.

The command is outstanding tonight for Eduardo. Keeping the fastball down almost every pitch. https://t.co/Y3JRrv4Ya4
— Mike Antonellis (@seadogsradio) August 28, 2018

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Here’s what the southpaw had to say after the start.

Eduardo Rodriguez press conference. pic.twitter.com/P5uy5qzn43
— Portland Sea Dogs (@PortlandSeaDogs) August 28, 2018

This start very well could be a tune-up for the 25-year-old. If he comes back from this start feeling well, it is quite possible he returns to the Red Sox rotation, which currently is missing Chris Sale and Steven Wright.
Speaking of Wright, he’s making a rehab start for Triple-A Pawtucket on Tuesday. If things go well for him, the Red Sox pitching staff may soon be getting more and more bodies back.

Why Adrian Wojnarowski Believes Kyrie Irving Will Re-Sign With Celtics

Kyrie Irving is poised to lead the Celtics to a deep playoff run in the 2018-19 NBA campaign.
Beyond the upcoming season, however, the star point guard’s future in Boston is uncertain.
Irving is expected to opt out of his current deal next summer and become an unrestricted free agent. The 26-year-old undoubtedly would generate tons of interest on the open market, but one NBA insider feels Irving ultimately is going to stay put.
During a recent episode of “The Woj Pod,” ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski explained why he believes Irving will re-sign with Boston next offseason.

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“I still would take Boston against the rest of the field (in Kyrie Irving’s free agency next summer) because I still think, in the end, there comes a moment of truth when you look around and you have to make a decision about somewhere else,” Wojnarowski said, as transcribed by CelticsWire. “And when you really start inspecting the questions that are in almost any other circumstance you’d go to, you’d say, ‘Boy, it looks pretty good here.’”
The future is beyond bright for the Celtics. Both Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown are on the verge of superstardom, and the green could end up with a top-five pick in the 2019 NBA Draft courtesy of the Sacramento Kings.
Money, of course, will play a role in Irving’s free-agent decision, but in terms of fit and opportunity to win, the five-time All-Star will be hard-pressed to find a better situation than the C’s.