How Red Sox’s Alex Cora Silenced Only Concern About Managerial Potential

Alex Cora was knocking it out of the park with the Red Sox before he even landed the manager job in Boston.
In a recent column for Sports Illustrated, Tom Verducci highlighted the Red Sox’s interview process with Cora, who clearly made quite the impression on the team’s brass during the courtship phase. However, there was one aspect of Cora’s approach that the franchise reportedly wasn’t initially sold on upon initial meetings.
While owner John Henry and Co. were impressed by Cora’s confidence, the young skipper’s proposed handling of reducing a star’s playing time wasn’t viewed as a home run.
“We thought he aced everything but that,” a team source told Verducci. “I’ve seen clubhouses torn apart when a star player gets benched and becomes a part-time player. Frankly, his answer came across as naive.”

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Cora’s approach of simply putting the best team out there worked out and then some. The release of Hanley Ramirez in late May paved the way for Mitch Moreland to earn his first career All-Star nod as well as the trade for Steve Pearce, who earned MVP honors in the Red Sox’s World Series win over the Los Angeles Dodgers.
“Well, I guess he did ace the entire test,” the source told Verducci.
It was a coaching masterclass by Cora from mid-February to late-October, leaving little doubt that the Red Sox themselves aced the test of finding the ideal manager.

Here’s Why Jalen Rose Thinks Cavs Did Ty Lue Favor By Firing Him

Could Ty Lue’s firing be a blessing in disguise for the former Cleveland Cavaliers coach?
The team fired Lue on Sunday after an 0-6 start to the season. Lue helped lead Cleveland to the NBA Finals just last season before losing to the Golden State Warriors. And the star of the team, LeBron James, headed west for greener pastures and signed a four-year deal with the Los Angeles Lakers.
Even with players like Kevin Love, Tristan Thompson and J.R. Smith, Lue struggled to lead Cleveland to a win thus far. But one person thinks him being fired could lead to something better for Lue, and that the Cavs actually did him a favor by letting him go.
On Monday’s episode of ESPN’s “Jalen and Jacoby” Jalen Rose made it known that he believes this could lead to Lue’s own greener pastures.

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“Everybody keeps forgetting the fact that you now lose LeBron James, and they got zero compensation in return. So you give Kevin Love a max deal, but you’re still stuck with a lot of contracts,” Rose said, as transcribed by ForTheWin. “J.R. Smith comes to mind, Tristan Thompson comes to mind. And you now need those guys to be NBA veterans and contributors, not necessarily role players. And when that does not happen, somebody has to be the fall guy for a team that’s 0-6.
“In theory, and I don’t speak for Ty Lue, I think he did a really good job with that team,” he added. “I think he deserves another opportunity. So from that sense, I actually feel like they did him a favor. Because now he has time to re-assess the league and put himself in position to get another gig that I think he’s going to deserve, and do a really good job.”
The NBA season is young, so maybe Lue will get a second chance at calling the shots for a team this year.

Colin Cowherd Has Patriots Near Top Of His NFL Power Rankings After Week 8

After a 1-2 start to the season, the New England Patriots have rattled off five straight wins, most recently beating the Buffalo Bills on Monday night to conclude Week 8.
The Pats long have been one of the NFL’s best, and it appears they’ve put their sluggish start behind them and have found their form in 2018.
But are they the best team in league right now? According to Colin Cowherd, not quite. However, the team they trail may come as a shock.
During the season, Cowherd does a top 10 power ranking each Tuesday on his FOX Sports 1 talk show “The Herd.” Entering Week 9, he has the Pats sitting at No. 2, trailing the New Orleans Saints, not the Los Angeles Rams.

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1. Saints2. Patriots3. Rams4. Chiefs5. [email protected] ranks his Top 10 NFL teams heading into Week 9
— Herd w/Colin Cowherd (@TheHerd) October 30, 2018

New England ranking second is about right (though they could be lower), but it’s hard to argue that there’s any team in the NFL better than the Rams. They’re the only remaining undefeated team and are sound in nearly every facet of the game. The Saints, meanwhile, are 6-1 and have won each game since falling in Week 1.
Fortunately, we’ll have a way to settle this pretty soon. The Saints and Rams will meet Sunday in a Week 9 clash of powerhouses.

Kyrie Irving Reveals His ‘Quote For This Year’ To Celtics Teammates

Kyrie Irving is a five-time All-Star and an NBA champion. He’s widely considered one of the best basketball players on the planet.
Yet the 26-year-old is reinventing himself in his eighth season, knowing it’s probably necessary for the Boston Celtics to achieve their ultimate goal of winning the NBA Finals.
The latest example came Sunday night, when Irving scored just three points on 1 of 5 shooting as the Celtics defeated the Detroit Pistons 109-89.
“Even with my family, like, everyone’s used to me scoring this amount of points or doing this at a certain standard,” Irving told reporters in Detroit, according to “And so am I. But at the same time the importance is us winning games and getting to the Finals. So that’s where it is.”

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Irving added seven rebounds and five assists Sunday. He played just 23 minutes.
It would be understandable if Irving felt a bit uncomfortable in his new role, which requires him to spend more time facilitating Boston’s offense and contributing hard-nosed defense and less time scoring in isolation. But the point guard has adjusted mentally, even sharing his new mindset with teammates.
“I was talking to a few of my teammates about this, but my quote for this year is just, ‘Be cool,’ ” Irving said, per “I really just have to stay cool. Because if I start bucking and getting back into the old habits of what I’m used to — and the clear realization is that this is not what I’m used to. So going from being a high-PPG scorer and being stat-dominated, and then coming to this type of environment where the best thing for us is to care about the team, and it’s not going to be everyone’s night every single night. But I know when it gets down the stretch, when I’m needed then I’m going to be ready. So that’s just being a professional.”
We’re not sure if “Be Cool” will become the Celtics’ version of “Do Damage” — the Boston Red Sox’s mantra en route to winning the 2018 World Series — but it’s definitely an admirable approach for an NBA superstar to take to what some might perceive as a diminished role.

Patriots Place Cornerback Eric Rowe On Injured Reserve, Open Roster Spot

The New England Patriots didn’t acquire a player at the NFL trade deadline, but they did make a roster move.
The Patriots placed cornerback Eric Rowe in injured reserve Tuesday with a groin injury, according to the NFL transaction wire. Rowe has missed four games this season with the groin ailment. He missed eight games with a groin injury last season, as well.
Rowe would be eligible to return off injured reserve before the playoffs, though it seems more likely the Patriots will activate rookie cornerback Duke Dawson, who’s eligible to come off IR next week, and running back Rex Burkhead, who could return Week 13.

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Rowe, who began the season as a starter, is a free agent after the season. He’s played 21 games with the Patriots and recorded 50 tackles and one interception after being acquired from the Philadelphia Eagles.
The Patriots have Stephon Gilmore, Jason McCourty, Jonathan Jones, JC Jackson and Keion Crossen left on their roster at cornerback. Dawson could add further depth next week.
The Patriots currently have an open spot on their roster that they’ll need to fill by Sunday when they take on the Green Bay Packers. If rookie Sony Michel isn’t ready to play in Week 9 as he recovers from a knee injury, then it could make sense to sign a running back. The Patriots struggled to run the ball Monday night with James White, Kenjon Barner and wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson.

Xander Bogaerts Hands Out World Series Gear To Kids, Visits Retirement Home

Plenty of people rushed to get their World Series gear after the Boston Red Sox clinched the title Sunday night against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
And while most are expecting a delivery truck to drop off their items, some kids got an unexpected surprise.
Shortstop Xander Bogaerts wandered around a Brighton neighborhood to drop off some World Series attire to kids. While he was leaving one house, the playground across the street started a “Red Sox” and “Xander Bogaerts” chant.
(You can watch the video here.)

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After he finished his delivery routes, the shortstop made his way to a retirement home where he enjoyed a nice game of poker with a handful of women.
(You can watch the video here.)
Bogaerts and the Red Sox landed back in Boston on Monday night with the World Series trophy. They continue the celebration with a parade Wednesday beginning at 11 a.m. ET.

Broncos’ Von Miller Reacts To Demaryius Thomas Trade With Comical Sadness

Demaryius Thomas’ departure from Denver has brought sorrow to his former teammates.
Several Broncos players expressed such sentiment Tuesday following the team’s decision to trade the veteran wide receiver to the Houston Texans during the NFL trade deadline. After news broke of Denver dealing Thomas and a seventh-round draft pick to the Texans in exchange for fourth- and seventh-round picks, Broncos linebacker sent this comically heartfelt message to Thomas via Twitter.

@DemaryiusT ima cry in the car…
— Von Miller (@VonMiller) October 30, 2018

For the uninitiated, that line comes straight out of the 1995 hit movie “Friday”, and the reference is perfect, given that Thomas and Miller were teammates since the 2011 season and won Super Bowl 50 together in 2016.
Miller wasn’t the only one in Denver who publicly lamented Thomas’ trade to Houston. Fellow wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders, cornerback Chris Harris, center Matt Paridis and others joined Broncos officials in honoring Thomas upon his exit.

@DemaryiusT hard to see my Boy go . 8 years of making each other better everyday . Ball out big bro just not next week lol
— Chris Harris (@ChrisHarrisJr) October 30, 2018

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President of Football Ops/GM John Elway on what @DemaryiusT has meant to the #Broncos: #ThankYouDT
— Denver Broncos (@Broncos) October 30, 2018

To the ultimate Bronco …
Thank you, @DemaryiusT.#ThankYouDT
— Denver Broncos (@Broncos) October 30, 2018

The Broncos’ warm feelings for Thomas might subside by Sunday when they kick off their Week 9 game against … the Texans.
The welcoming the Broncos and their fans give Thomas at Mile High Stadium after seven-plus years of service should be a sight to see for NFL fans of all stripes.

Patriots’ Bill Belichick Fires Back At Josh Gordon Tardiness Report

Josh Gordon was supposed to miss a few series of the New England Patriots’ Week 8 contest Monday, but that didn’t prove to be the case.
Prior to the Pats’ game against the Buffalo Bills, NFL Insider Ian Rapoport reported that the wide receiver would miss roughly a quarter as punishment for tardiness. But Gordon was very much an active contributor in the win, even taking part in the opening drive.
So … what was the deal?
After the game Patriots head coach Bill Belichick dismissed the report, and he disputed it again Tuesday during his weekly interview with WEEI’s “Ordway, Merloni and Fauria.”
“I don’t know,” Belichick said, as transcribed by “You’d have to talk to Ian Rapoport on that. I’m not really sure where that’s coming from.”

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Belichick then expounded, claiming misinformation getting spread is fairly common practice.
“(It) happens every day with the media,” Belichick said. “There are things out there every day that I don’t know what the basis is, what it is about. I have a fairly decent familiarity with the team. I see things about our team that I have no idea. I don’t know. You’d have to talk to the people that wrote them.
“… Look, we talk about a lot of things and I would doubt that there is a player on our team that hasn’t been involved in some type of situation like this where something was said that they had to respond to, or maybe didn’t respond to, that was let’s call it, not necessarily accurate.”
Gordon was targeted six times against the Bills, making four catches for 42 yards.

Patriots Stand Pat With No Deals As NFL Trade Deadline Passes

The New England Patriots typically are at the center of the action ahead of the NFL trade deadline, but that was not the case this year.
Bill Belichick’s club opted not to make any trades ahead of the 2018 trade deadline, which came and went at 4 p.m. ET on Tuesday.
The Patriots had completed at least one deadline deal in five of the previous six seasons, including blockbusters involving Jamie Collins in 2016 and Jimmy Garoppolo in 2017.
Though they ultimately stood pat, the Patriots reportedly were involved in extensive trade talks over the weekend, with multiple reports indicating they were pushing hard to land a “premium” wide receiver.
New England was linked to both Demaryius Thomas and Golden Tate but landed neither. The Patriots made an offer to the Denver Broncos for Thomas but were outbid by the Houston Texans, according to multiple reports.

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The Patriots also reportedly showed interest in bringing Collins back to Foxboro to bolster their linebacking corps, but he wound up staying put in Cleveland.
Thomas and Tate, who was traded from the Detroit Lions to the Philadelphia Eagles, were just two of several big-name players who changed teams in the days and hours before the deadline. Others included safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix (Green Bay Packers to Washington Redskins), edge rusher Dante Fowler (Jacksonville Jaguars to Los Angeles Rams) and running back/receiver Ty Montgomery (Packers to Baltimore Ravens), all of whom were dealt Tuesday.
The Patriots’ lone trade this season came more than a month ago when they sent a fourth-round draft pick to the Browns in exchange for troubled wideout Josh Gordon and a seventh-rounder. Gordon since has emerged as a starter in Josh McDaniels’ offense, playing upward of 60 offensive snaps in each of the last three games and despite a report indicating he’d be benched for the start of Monday night’s 25-6 win over the Buffalo Bills.
The victory over Buffalo was the Patriots’ fifth in a row. After dropping two of their first three games, they now sit atop the AFC East at 6-2 entering a Sunday night matchup with Aaron Rodgers and the Packers.

So Long, Afro: Celtics’ Kyrie Irving Gets Haircut; Brad Stevens Approves

Tuesday was a dark day for fans of Kyrie Irving’s Afro.
The Boston Celtics guard got a spiffy new haircut Monday night, as the ‘fro he’d been rocking all season now is a thing of the past. In its place is, well, the same hairstyle Irving used to sport.
(You can click here to view a before-and-after of Irving.)
So fresh. So, so fresh.
Celtics head coach Brad Stevens apparently is a fan of Irving’s new look/old look. Watch him explain in the video below, courtesy of SB Nation’s Chris Grenham.

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Critical breaking news: Brad Stevens does not see himself as a great evaluator of hair and fashion, but he thinks Kyrie’s hair looks good.
— Chris Grenham (@chrisgrenham) October 30, 2018

As you can see, this is a very important topic.
Celtics fans will get their first real look at the new-look Irving on Tuesday night when Boston hosts the Detroit Pistons. The Celtics beat the Pistons on Saturday in the first half of a home-and-home series.