Steve Pearce, World Series MVP, Would ‘Love’ To Re-Sign With Red Sox

Steve Pearce is ready to run it back.
Pearce is set to become a free agent after earning World Series MVP honors for the Boston Red Sox in their five-game victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers, but he made it clear Wednesday before the team’s championship parade that he’d interested in returning for the 2019 season.
“That’s something I leave up to my agent to do, but myself personally, I would love to come back,” Pearce said, per MassLive.com. “This has been a fun year. And I’d love to do it again next year.”
Pearce hit .279 with seven home runs, 26 RBIs and a .901 OPS in 50 regular-season games with Boston after being acquired from the Toronto Blue Jays near the Major League Baseball non-waiver trade deadline. He saved his best work for the postseason, though, delivering several clutch hits, including three huge home runs in the Fall Classic.

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“I’m soaking it all in and loving every minute of it,” Pearce said Wednesday.
“It’s overwhelming and fun,” Pearce added. “And just being here with my teammates celebrating right now, this is what you dream about.”
Pearce, who has played for seven teams over the course of his 12-year MLB career, grew up a Red Sox fan. Maybe that’ll factor into his free agency decision this winter.

Soccer Player Proposes To Girlfriend In Loving Goal Celebration

Eduard Bello might never score a bigger goal on, or off, the soccer field.
The Antofagasta striker produced one of the best goal celebrations of the year Sunday during his his team’s Chilean Primera Division game against Everton. Instead of communing with his teammates after scoring a second-minute goal, Bello darted straight toward the stands where his girlfriend was seated and proposed to her. She said yes, drawing applause from and fans of both teams.

Antofagasta’s Venezuelan striker Eduard Bello makes it 1-0 and celebrates by jumping into the stands to ask his girlfriend to marry him. Probably gets booked by the ref straight after. pic.twitter.com/PkdUUmsA1t
— MUNDIAL (@MundialMag) October 28, 2018

But the referee gave Bello a yellow card, offering yet another reason why officials are unpopular.

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Bello’s stunt also provokes a few questions, namely:
— Where did he stash the box in which he kept the ring?
— How long did he expect to play with the box on his person?
— What if she said “no?”
— How would rejection have affected the rest of his game?
I guess we’ll never know the answer to these questions.
Nevertheless, Bello’s outing grew more eventful. Everton scored twice later in the first half, but Bello notched another goal on the stroke of halftime. He suffered an injury in the second half after receiving a hard tackle and had to be substituted out of the game. He then had to watch in agony after Everton scored a late game-winner.
But at least she said “yes,” right?

Patriots’ Lengthy Injury Report Includes Julian Edelman, Sony Michel

FOXBORO, Mass. — It might easier to list the healthy players on the New England Patriots’ roster after Wednesday’s injury report.
Here’s the full list:
DID NOT PARTICIPATE
WR Julian Edelman (ankle/illness)
TE Jacob Hollister (hamstring)
OL Shaq Mason (calf)
OL Brian Schwenke (foot)
DE Deatrich Wise Jr. (illness)
LIMITED PARTICIPATION
P Ryan Allen (ankle)
OT Trent Brown (ankle)
OT Marcus Cannon (concussion)
LS Joe Cardona (shoulder)
WR Josh Gordon (hamstring)
DE Geneo Grissom (ankle)
TE Rob Gronkowski (ankle/back)
LB Dont’a Hightower (knee)
RB Sony Michel (knee)
DE John Simon (shoulder)

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The Patriots held a walk-through Wednesday, so it’s possible they were simply giving players an extra day of rest after a Monday night game.
Edelman was limited in practice prior to Week 7 with a heel injury. He was off the injury report last week and played 96.1 percent of snaps Week 8 against the Buffalo Bills.
Michel returned to practice Saturday on a limited basis. That he was back at practice Wednesday could be a good sign for his availability Sunday, though it’s too early to tell.

Aaron Rodgers Has Immense Respect For Tom Brady: ‘He’s A Unicorn’

FOXBORO, Mass. — Speaking in a WEEI interview Tuesday morning, Tom Brady said he consistently is inspired by watching Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
Rodgers’ response? Ditto.
“The feeling’s mutual,” Rodgers said Wednesday in a conference call with New England reporters. “As a young player, I watched a ton of his film. I had a great guy to watch every single day in Brett Favre, but Tommy’s been at the top of his game for a long, long time.”
Rodgers, who entered the NFL five years after Brady in 2000, has squared off against the legendary Patriots QB just once in his career, yet the two frequently are mentioned in the same breath, widely regarded as two of the greatest ever to play the game at their position. They’ll meet at Gillette Stadium this Sunday night in one of the most highly anticipated quarterback matchups of the 2018 NFL season.
Neither has anything but the highest of high praise for the other ahead of that matchup, with Rodgers marveling at Brady’s production and longevity.
“I watched most of his snaps from the ’07 season, and I’ve always been a big fan of his,” Rodgers said. “Just the stuff he does on the field is phenomenal, and then to see him, as he’s gotten older in his career, just continue to reinvent himself year after year and play at a high level every season, obviously winning championships, he’s a phenomenal player.

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“But he’s a pioneer as far as taking care of his body and rewriting the longevity books for players of his caliber. It’s been really impressive to watch, and whenever I get a chance, whether he’s on Thursday night, Sunday night, Monday night, I’m for sure tuning in.”
Asked what he’s been able to learn from all that film study, Rodgers immediately pointed to Brady’s “pocket movement.”
“Just watching him in 2007 especially, (I noticed) his smooth nature in the pocket,” Rodgers explained. “He’s able to make subtle movements — and has been for his entire career — to create space for a throwing lane and a throwing platform. That’s one thing — not looking at the rush and being able to find that soft spot in the pocket — is something he’s just been incredible at.
“It’s an innate sense but something you can really work on, as well, and that’s something I definitely took from him. And just like Favre, Tom has always been great with his eyes — being able to manipulate defenders and move them out of zones that he wants to throw into and move safeties to be able to get to spots down the seam. He and Brett are the best two I’ve seen on film.”
On Brady’s ability to play at a high level at age 41, Rodgers remarked: “He’s an outlier. He’s a unicorn. There’s not many like him.” He went on to praise Brady’s diet and workout regimen and said he shares Brady’s desire to play until his mid-40s as long as his health and love for the game hold up.
“If I still love it the way I do now and my body feels good, I think all of us would love to be able to pick the time that we go out,” Rodgers said. “It’s obviously different in this day and age, and not everybody can stay in the same spot and be able to kind of write their own final chapter, but that’s definitely the goal.”

Calgary Stampeders Stumbling Toward Playoffs

What is wrong with the Calgary Stampeders?

This would seem like an odd question to those just glancing at the CFL standings. The Stamps find themselves sitting atop the West Division and continue to be the benchmark of success in the CFL. With a win this Saturday they will be guaranteed a first round bye in the upcoming playoffs. It would also give them a home playoff date for the West Final. One might think it is all rainbows and lollipops in Cowtown right? Well, not so fast.

The Stampeders find themselves mired in a three-game losing streak. For a team struggling to get back on track, a date this weekend with one of the league’s hottest teams doesn’t exactly scream optimism. The Stamps limp into B.C. Place to take on the Lions who have been remarkable on home turf this season. The Lions boast a 7-1 home record and are winners of six of their last eight games.

Fortunately for the Stamps, the Lions are guaranteed a fourth-place finish in the West and won’t have a lot to play for. This is a game in which the Lions could rest some starters. That said, this will be Lions head coach and CFL legend Wally Buono’s last home game on the sideline. Buono is set to retire at the end of this season, so there may be a little extra motivation for the Lions to win this one for their leader. This contest could be another tough test for the sinking Stampeders.
Success in the John Hufnagel Era
There is no denying that the Stampeders have been the class of the league since 2008. It is no coincidence that the current President and GM John Hufnagel rejoined the Stamps that year. Hufnagel spent the first eight years as head coach of the Calgary squad before embarking on his current position.

In this time, all Hufnagel and the Stampeders have done is amass a 142-52-3 regular season record including this season to date. In these 10 years, the Stamps have made the playoffs every year, have been to five Grey Cups, winning two of them. An amazing record of success in any league and by any standards. Simply put, the Stampeders in the Hufnagel era are winners.

But will they be winners this year?
Stamps Facing Uphill Battle for Playoffs
If recent history shows us anything, it is important for teams to be on a roll heading into the postseason. In the last 10 years, only two teams have won the Grey Cup with a losing record in their last five regular season games. Both the Toronto Argonauts (2012) and the Ottawa RedBlacks (2016) were able to accomplish this feat with a 2-3 record respectively heading into the playoffs. Coincidentally, the team that both the Argonauts and RedBlacks beat for the Grey Cup championship those years were the Calgary Stampeders.

It’s not only history that is against the Stamps right now, however. The team has faced its share of diversity via the injury bug that has swept through the Stamps roster. The receiving core has taken most of the hits all season. Currently, the Stampeders have four receivers on the six-game injured list. None of which will likely be returning to the field this season.

Turnovers have also been a telling tale for this team in recent weeks. The Stampeders are a +10 in this category for the season. However, in their last four games, the Stamps have committed a whopping 13 turnovers. Unacceptable for any team, but certainly for a team that is gearing up for a long playoff run.

It is plain to see that the Stampeders are not playing their best football at this point of the season. Not by a long shot.
The Last Word
So do the Stampeders have time to turn their season around, or will they fade away as the playoffs approach?

This CFL season has been like no other. Momentum really hasn’t been a factor for any team. Long losing streaks have been followed by long winning streaks, teams have rebounded from blowout losses to win the following week, and so on. This year in the CFL, a case can be made for any playoff team to win the Grey Cup. There is no clear-cut favourite.

The Calgary Stampeders are a well-coached team, with an elite quarterback, and a rock solid defence. Despite not playing well in recent weeks, it would not be a stretch to see this team rebound and go on a winning streak. A win this weekend at B.C Place in Vancouver would go a long way in doing just that.

It would be a mistake to count out the Stampeders as the playoffs approach. This is still a very good football team that has fallen on some recent difficult times. However, there is enough leadership, experience, and motivation in that room to become champions at seasons end.

So, can the Stampeders overcome their latest stumble and win the Grey Cup in 2018?

There should be absolutely no doubt.

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Aaron Rodgers Brushes Off Idea Of Battle With ‘Rolling’ Tom Brady

FOXBORO, Mass. — In case you haven’t heard, Tom Brady is 41-years-old. But he’s certainly not playing like it.
Fresh off an MVP season at 40, the New England Patriots quarterback hasn’t slid an inch in 2018. Through eight games, Brady has thrown for 2,200 yards, 16 touchdowns and seven interceptions while completing 67.5 percent of his passes. At this point a season ago, Brady had accumulated 2,541 yards, 16 touchdowns and two picks with a completion percentage of 66.6.
Brady continues to stave off Father Time each week, and his consistently high level of play at age 41 has impressed Mike McCarthy, whose Green Bay Packers face Brady and the Patriots on Sunday night at Gillette Stadium.
“Well, you just see the consistency,” McCarthy told reporters on a conference call Wednesday. “I mean he’s had total command of the offense for forever, seems like 20 years, but just their ability to get in and out of personnel groups, just the awareness of everything going on around him, he’s competitive, so competitive. He just keeps rolling so we’ve been very impressed with the tape.”
The story for Sunday night’s showdown naturally will be the matchup of two Hall of Fame quarterbacks — Brady and Aaron Rodgers, but the Packers star isn’t paying attention to that.

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“It’s never been (an individual matchup), you know,” Rodgers said Wednesday. “Obviously, I’m leading my offense, he’s leading his offense, but my focus in my film is on their defense and thinking about how their coaching staff is going to try and take away what the do best like they always do. So that’s kind of where the focus is, you know the me and Tom stuff is for media fodder and to get people to tune in, but it’s ‘Sunday Night Football’ and we know there’s going to be a ton of people watching and a tough place to play up there.
“Obviously, they are rolling and we’re trying to get things going here.”
Brady and the Patriots have won five games in a row since starting the season 1-2 with embarrassing losses to the Jacksonville Jaguars and Detroit Lions. Rodgers and the Packers, on the other hand, have struggled with consistency so far, amassing a 3-3-1 record while failing to win a game away from Lambeau Field.
They’ll have another opportunity to get off the schneid Sunday night, but it won’t be a walk in the park with how locked in Brady has been over the past five weeks.

Patriots Coach Praises Josh Gordon When Asked About Tardiness Report

FOXBORO, Mass. — Hours before the New England Patriots played Monday night, a report surfaced, via NFL Media, that wide receiver Josh Gordon would be disciplined during the game for tardiness.
Ian Rapoport reported Gordon was “expected to be kept off the field for several series — about a quarter.” Gordon then started the game and played 84.2 percent of snaps. His play-time percentage was down from Week 7 (95.3 percent) but up from Week 6 (80.8 percent).
Patriots wide receivers coach Chad O’Shea was asked about the report Wednesday and had nothing but effusive praise for Gordon.
“In regards to Josh, Josh has done everything we’ve asked him to do here,” O’Shea said. “He’s worked very hard. He’s done a great job of learning our offense, which at times can be difficult with the multiplicity of it and working with a veteran quarterback. I think he’s done a great job of being a good teammate and certainly, there’s a lot to improve on, but he’s continued to make progress and really done everything we’ve asked him to do.”
Patriots head coach Bill Belichick also dismissed the report.
O’Shea said his initial impression of Gordon has been a “positive experience” overall. Other teammates and coaches have seconded that notion.

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“He’s done a great job of spending extra time with not only Tom but our other receivers that have been helpful to him,” O’Shea said. “And learning not only our offense but learning the way we do things here.”
Prior to Gordon, the Patriots struggled to acclimate receivers acquired at the start of or during the regular season. Among those wideouts, Doug Gabriel, who caught 25 passes for 344 yards with three touchdowns in 2006, had the most production, and he was actually released before that season was over. In 2017, for instance, Phillip Dorsett caught just 12 passes for 194 yards during the regular season.
So, it’s a testament to Gordon’s talent and effort that he’s already caught 17 passes for 266 yards with a touchdown in five games with the Patriots.
“I think he’s done a good job of allowing his teammates, specifically the receivers and the other players who work with the passing game, to help him in learning the offense,” O’Shea said. “But he’s definitely worked hard and done everything we’ve asked him to do to try to learn as quickly as he can.”
The Patriots will need Gordon to keep producing moving forward. The offense as a whole took a jump when Julian Edelman returned from a suspension and Gordon began receiving more snaps.

Here Was Patriots’ Simple Strategy Behind Cordarrelle Patterson’s Position Change

FOXBORO, Mass. — The opening play of Monday’s New England Patriots-Buffalo Bills matchup featured a sight rarely seen on an NFL field: a player wearing No. 84 lining up as the tailback in an I-formation.
That was Cordarrelle Patterson, the playmaking wide receiver/kick returner who, on this particular night, was filling in as the Patriots’ unlikely starting running back.
Patterson has been involved in dozens of trick plays throughout his NFL career, but this was no gimmick. With Sony Michel sidelined with a knee injury and James White and Kenjon Barner both lacking the skills of a traditional between-the-tackles runner, the 27-year-old wideout led all Patriots ball-carriers with 10 rushing attempts for 38 yards in New England’s 25-6 victory at New Era Field.
That effort included a 22-yard run early in the fourth quarter that helped set up the Patriots’ lone offensive touchdown of the game.
What went into getting Patterson — who had some running back experience but had never carried the ball more than three times in an NFL game — ready for such a drastic role change? According to Patriots running backs coach Ivan Fears, not much at all.
“Just hand him the ball,” Fears said Wednesday. “Just hand him the ball. It’s really not a process. Just hand him the ball. If you’ve got guys that make plays, you’ve got to find a way to get them the ball.”
Really? It was that simple?

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“What’s the best way to answer this?” Fears asked, rhetorically. “Just hand him the ball. Tell him how we’re going to block it (and say), ‘Hey, go get it.’ ”
Patterson is a big-bodied receiver at 6-foot-2, 228 pounds, and though his running style is far more upright than that of most running backs, the Patriots were confident his prodigious talents as a kick returner would translate into success in the backfield. Patterson returned a kickoff 95 yards for a touchdown two weeks ago in a win over the Chicago Bears.
“The guy’s been running kickoff returns forever,” Fears said. “You know he can see — he’s got awful good vision — and he can run off of what he sees. That’s what you want him to do. Don’t try to make it too complicated. Really, don’t. You give a good athlete the ball and let him make a play for you.”
Fears said Patterson was “very receptive” to the position switch. That much was clear from his postgame media scrum, during which he said he hopes to carry the ball 25 times this week against the Green Bay Packers.
That’s not likely to happen, and Patterson could wind up returning to his usual receiving duties if Michel, who practiced Wednesday, is healthy enough to play or the Patriots sign another running back. He’s staying prepared, though, continuing to work with both Fears and wide receivers coach Chad O’Shea.
“What we’ve done with him because of his role now expanding is that he works closely really with our entire staff right now,” O’Shea said. “Coach Fears will work with him at times, I’ll work with him, of course (offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels) really is heavily involved in working with him. Really, it’s kind of all hands on deck in working with CP. He’s very coachable, and it’s been enjoyable for all the coaches, including myself, to work with him.”

Red Sox Parade: Did World Series Trophy Get Damaged By Errant Beer Can Toss?

This may not be what the Boston Red Sox had in mind with that “Do Damage” mantra.
The Red Sox’s World Series victory parade Wednesday through the streets of Boston was by most accounts a glorious celebration of one of the best baseball teams ever.
But the festivities apparently got a little too rowdy at one point. According to those in attendance, a fan threw a full can of beer that struck a World Series trophy on one of the parade’s duck boats and caused some slight damage.

World Series trophy takes 'direct hit' from beer can during Red Sox parade https://t.co/94l5KAH2SF pic.twitter.com/mxzoiFxSDj
— WCVB-TV Boston (@WCVB) October 31, 2018

Welp, damage was done… in more ways than anticipated. #RedSox #WorldSeries #DamageDone https://t.co/Rm72ovQ3nf pic.twitter.com/2er4Fwd4rQ
— WCVB-TV Boston (@WCVB) October 31, 2018

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Chronicle news anchor Anthony Everett, who witnessed the incident, said the trophy was on the duck boat carrying Red Sox outfielder Mookie Betts, utilityman Tzu-Wei Lin, hitting coach Tim Hyers and assistant hitting coach Andy Barkett, among others.
“The World Series trophy took a direct hit,” Everett told WCVB-TV. “It got bent out of shape. They brought it back down into the truck and it looked like they fixed it pretty well, but there’s going to be some repairs involved with at least one of the World Series trophies.”
The above photos do show some noticeable damage to the miniature flags on the trophy, but as Everett mentioned, there was a repair team at the ready.
Fortunately, most of the other beers used as projectiles found human targets — although Mookie Betts may want to work on those hands.

That Mookie Betts can't catch ANYTHING… pic.twitter.com/fMYm4kIhc1
— NBC Sports Boston (@NBCSBoston) October 31, 2018

Aaron Rodgers, Packers Present ‘Incredible Challenge’ For Patriots’ Defense

FOXBORO, Mass. — The Kansas City Chiefs have been lighting up the NFL this season, leading the league in points per game (36.2), while ranking in the top five in both yards per game (425.2) and passing yards per game (310.4).
Despite those gaudy numbers, the Chiefs, who scored 40 points on the New England Patriots in Week 6, won’t be the toughest challenge New England’s defense faces this year.
That comes Sunday against Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers, according to linebackers coach Brian Flores.
“Um, where do I start?” Flores said Wednesday before practice when asked about Rodgers. “You know, great command of the offense. This is as big a challenge that we’ve had since I’ve been here, which is a long time now. He’s an incredible leader, tough. You see him get carted off in the Chicago game, come back and bring them back from 20 points down. You know, they are never out of the game with him leading the charge.
“It’s an incredible challenge for us. We’re going to have our hands full for sure. It’s not just Aaron Rodgers, you know, their entire group: the O-Line, backs and tight ends, you know, everybody makes plays on this offense. It’s going to be a great challenge for us, we’re going to have to be at the top of our game. ”

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While the Packers don’t have the number of playmakers Kansas City possesses, Green Bay’s offense has been no slouch this season.
The Rodgers-led offense ranks fifth in the NFL in yards (412.1) and passing yards (308.1) while putting up 25 points per game which is good for 13th in the league. The only teams New England has played this season that rank ahead of the Packers in points per game are the Chiefs and Chicago Bears, who rank first and ninth, respectively. Both eclipsed their season average when they played the Patriots.
Green Bay’s success Sunday at Gillette Stadium will, obviously, be tied to whether or not the Patriots can contain one of the greatest quarterbacks in NFL history. The 34-year-old Rodgers has had a phenomenal 2018 campaign, despite being hobbled by a knee injury suffered Week 1 against the Bears. On the season, Rodgers has thrown for 2,283 yards, 13 touchdowns and only one interception.
Bill Belichick only has faced Rodgers once, a 26-21 win for Green Bay in 2014, but he remembers it well and the challenges the Cal product presents.
“He killed us the last time we played him,” Belichick told reporters Wednesday. “I mean he’s a great player, he does everything well. Reads coverages well, very accurate throwing the ball. Got great touch down the field, short, intermediate, they get a lot of catch and run plays and a lot of that is because of his great accuracy. He puts the ball right on his receiver, doesn’t have to break stride, can just keep running with it. Very mobile in the pocket extends plays, really good vision down the field, uses the cadence well, is a good situational player. One of the great quarterbacks in the National Football League, no doubt about it.”