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With the foreword out of the way, here are four thoughts on each of the Big Four sports teams in town. The Celtics are making Danny Ainge look smart -- It looked like Ainge had erred when he failed to pull the trigger on a trade at the deadline that would jumpstart the inevitable rebuilding process.
But now Danny the Dealer looks shrewd for standing pat. The Celtics have won five straight and nine of their last 12 to jump from seventh in the East to fourth with a real chance to catch Orlando for the third spot.
The best part of the Celtics' recent renaissance has been the emergence of guard Avery Bradley, who has been a revelation while Ray Allen has sat out with an ankle injury.
Patriots - Christopher Gasper's Blog - Boston sports news - tomofumi.info
In his last five games, Bradley is averaging He has given the Celtics a much-needed boost of athleticism in the starting lineup and a running mate for Rondo. Even if the Celtics don't get beyond the second-round of the playoffs this stretch has been of enormous benefit, as it has turned Bradley from an NBA unknown into an asset. This is what Ainge does best -- turn late round picks into assets he can either hold on to Rondo or dangle out to attract better players Al Jefferson.
Since taking over in here are the late-round players that Ainge has obtained through the draft either by selection or draft-day deal: Not dismantling his team has been a strategic success for Ainge. It has made the pieces on his roster look more enticing to other teams, and it has made his team look more enticing to potential free agents, who may look at the Celtics now and realize that they could be a quick-fix, not a tear-down.
The Red Sox' standard operating procedure hasn't changed -- So, I created quite a stir with my piece on the dynamics between new general manager Ben Cherington and new manager Bobby Valentine.
I think some may have missed my point, which wasn't that Cherington and Valentine were stabbing each other in the back with every sharp object they could find, only spoke to each other to spew invectives and were locked in a "The Hunger Games"-style battle for control of the team.
By the way, why is it "news" that a manager and general manager text and talk to each other frequently? The point was that the decisions on how to employ Daniel Bard and Jose Iglesias were going to tell us something about the Sox' organizational structure and whether it had changed with Theo Epstein's departure.
It would appear not. It's still a collective process spearheaded by the GM. Perhaps, making Bard a starter was a move that Valentine unwaveringly supported all along, but that seems even more dubious when taking into account the thumb injury to closer Andrew Bailey. This nugget from colleague Peter Abraham in which Alfredo Aceves, who really should think about starting his own Red Sox blog since he seems to break every story, said that Valentine told him Bard got his spot because the organization wanted him to is particularly telling.
Testing out Bard as a starter this season has always been particularly important to Cherington. It was something he was committed to. That's fact, not opinion.
A first-year manager on a two-year contract at risk of losing the closer from an already suspect bullpen to injury wouldn't be leading the charge to turn one of the game's best late-inning relievers into a starter, not when he has other viable options for the rotation. He has to win now. Nothing undermines a team faster or produces more second-guessing of a manager than uncertainty in the late innings.
Valentine knows how much Bard can help him the back end of the bullpen. No one knows yet how much he can help him in the back end of the rotation.
Yes, Valentine is on board with the idea of Bard being a starter, but that train had already left the station. He hopped aboard, but he'll claim he was the conductor.
The Bruins' hibernation is over -- Perhaps, the Spoked-B on the Boston sweaters stood for boredom and that was the explanation for the two-half month malaise -- that culminated in an ugly four-game losing streak. Whatever it was, the Bruins are back and at the perfect time. They've taken points in five of their last six games and are in their last nine. It's not a coincidence that the Bruins renaissance dovetailed with that of their goalie, Tim Thomas.
The Bruins stingy netminder hasn't allowed more than two goals in his last seven starts and has a. Which happened first, better defensive play in their own end or stouter play in their own net? Either way this is the type of hockey the Bruins are going to need to defend their Stanley Cup crown against a much tougher field than last year. What is a little bit concerning about the Black and Gold this season though is that despite their propensity for scoring goals --trailing only tonight's opponent, Pittsburgh, and the Philadelphia Flyers -- they're front-runners.
The Bruins are this season when going down and when trailing by two goals at any point in a game. The Bruins are unquestionably built to play with a lead, but two of their signature wins last spring came when they trailed by two goals, Game 4 of the first-round against Montreal and Game 2 of the conference semifinals against the Flyers.
You would think a team with six goal scorers would be a little bit better at digging out of holes. They might have to be because they're not going to have the same distinct goaltending advantage they enjoyed last season.
This draft should be about quality not quantity for the Patriots -- Over the last three drafts the Patriots have selected 33 players. The draft is seven rounds, so a team with one pick per round would have taken 21 players. This year the Patriots have only six picks, but all are in the top The Patriots have done an excellent job of building depth, but what the Super Bowl proved was that high-end talent on defense takes the day.
It's time to find the Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez of the defense. I stored three cards on the Fob: I felt fairly secure in doing all that because Loop's founders previously built ROAM Dataa major player in mobile point-of-sale technology. You pick one card to be your default card, and that card's information gets loaded onto the Fob.
Then you can disconnect the Fob and put it into a little rubber case that connects to a keychain. See the photo above. When the waitress came over, I explained that she had to press a button on the side and just touch it to the credit card reader. The Loop generates a magnetic field that relays the information to the reader without actually doing a swipe. She tried, but came back and said it hadn't worked.
The Fob worked fine at Dunkin'. I plugged the Fob into my phone and switched to the personal card when I went to McDonald's, and then switched to the debit card when I dropped by a different CVS at the end of the day. With my small sample size of four merchants, I had a 75 percent success rate.
I tried using the Fob at my neighborhood Starbucks this morning. It didn't work, even after three tries, which was a pain, since I didn't have the gargantuan wallet with me and there was a line behind me.
The kindly barista told me I could take my drink, and bring payment later. That takes my success rate down to 60 percent. Every time you access the Loop app on the phone, you need to punch in a PIN number.
That's designed to keep others from peeking at your credit card numbers. And you can also set the Fob to deactivate after a set amount of time whenever it's unplugged from your phone. But there's still a lot that Loop doesn't do. It can't replace a bank card, because that needs to be gobbled up temporarily by the ATM.
You can't even be sure that it will always work with the credit and debit cards you've loaded onto it, which could create an embarrassing situation if you aren't carrying cash or plastic.