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Wicked Early Sports Report Posts

Happy B-day, Gisele edition

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Red Sox beat the Blue Jays, 5 to 1.

The morning quote:
“We have to find ways to make him uncomfortable. He’s super smart. There’s nothing that schematically that we’re probably going to throw at him that he hasn’t seen. We’ll have to be dialed in.”
—Bills GM Brandon Beane, in a Buffalo News article this morning, “What’s the formula for beating Tom Brady, Patriots?” Good luck with that, Brandon. We think the answer is to wait for the GOAT to retire in 17 years, then try your luck against Garoppolo.

The morning quote, II:
“Paul Pierce has always been my favorite player.”
Newly acquired Celtics forward Marcus Morris, in his introductory press conference yesterday. We like this guy already—though we’re going to miss Avery Bradley. Did we mention that Morris is one of the league’s better defenders against LeBron James?

Tony Dungy must be really, really bitter about losing so much to the Patriots.
ESPN asked a panel of NFL experts to rate the best QBs since 1978, and he ranked Tom Brady as sixth on the list. He spewed some nonsense about how other more mobile quarterbacks were somehow harder to defend than the man who has won five Super Bowls.

A couple of years ago, we would have been outraged…
By Dungy’s ridiculous slap in the face of Tom Brady. But now we have one simple, satisfying reply to all the haters and losers out there: 28-3, baby. We can’t wait for this year’s 19-0 season. Anything less than going undefeated will be a letdown.

Today is a great day for all Americans. 
It’s Gisele’s birthday. She’s 37. Here’s what Tom wrote on his Instagram page: “This has been such a special year, and we all love you more than you could ever know!” We say ditto to that! Greatest. Birthday wish. Ever.

What you need to know about last night’s Red Sox game:
Don’t look now, but Drew Pomeranz is pitching like an ace. He went seven innings and gave up only one unearned run in picking up the victory over Toronto. Dustin Pedroia collected two hits and drove in three, raising his average to .310.

Pedroia’s night wasn’t perfect, though:
He did commit his first error in almost a year.

Rafael Devers watch:
The Red Sox’s third baseman of the future (until Dave Dombrowski trades him for an injured setup man) went 1-for-4 for Pawtucket last night, hitting a homer and driving in two. He’s batting .421, with 8 hits, 2 HR, and 15 total bases in 19 Triple-A at bats.

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What is Trader Danny doing? edition

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Red Sox beat the Astros, 6 to 5.

The morning quote:
“It’s just been terrible. It’s been bad. It’s not me. I can throw the baseball better. That’s the bottom line.”
—David Price, who got the win in last night’s Red Sox game by going a mediocre five innings and giving up three runs on eight hits, while walking three and striking out three. He’s now 2-1, with a 5.14 ERA for the season.

Another first for the GOAT.
He threw a football on the Great Wall of China yesterday, to an avid group of…press photographers, and a couple of mystified onlookers. He also brought the Super Bowl trophy with him, just because. You can see TB12’s dramatic Instagram posts from the scene here.

And what did Gisele do for Father’s Day while Tom was half a planet away?
We’re glad you asked, because the Daily Mail has the answer.  It involved a dramatic Instagram post of her own.

What you need to know about last night’s Red Sox game:
David Price pitched just mediocre enough, and Xander Bogaerts belted two homers, drove in three runs and scored two in Boston’s victory over Houston. With the win, the Red Sox are now tied with the Yankees for first in the division.

Did you see Andrew Benintendi’s pickoff at the plate last night?
He cut down Jose Altuve at home, with a 237-foot, 91 MPH perfect throw to save the game in the eighth inning. You can see it here.

Dustin Pedroia was hit with a pitch in the back last night in the seventh inning, and had to be taken to a Houston hospital for X-rays on his ribs. The previous batter, Mookie Betts, was also hit, and then got nailed on the elbow during a pickoff attempt when he was on first base.

What the heck is Danny Ainge doing?
It looks like he’s selling this year’s #1 pick to the 76ers for the #3 this year, and an unprotected likely lottery pick either next year (traded to Philly from the Lakers) or the year after that (traded to Philly from the Kings).

What about the great Markelle Fultz?
Philadelphia looks ready to take him #1. A little reality check on him, and his “greatness,” though: Larry Bird took a bunch of nobodies at Indiana State to the NCAA finals. Fultz took a bunch of nobodies at Washington, and lost all but two of his conference games.

So what does this mean for the Celtics?
We have no idea. Yahoo Sports runs down the possibilities here. But any way you look at it, Trader Danny has an incredible number of options at his disposal, and the makings of the next Super Team. All from unloading Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett in 2013. Red would be so proud.

Three New Hampshire NHL’ers were made available for the expansion draft.
And the Manchester Union Leader has the list: Tim Schiller of the Bruins, Paul Thompson of the Panthers, and Ben Lovejoy of the Devils. We should add that Boston winger Jimmy Hayes, of Dorchester Mass. and Boston College, was also left unprotected.

Don’t blame Panda edition

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Don’t blame Panda edition

Red Sox lost to the Phillies, 1 to 0.

The morning quote:Don’t 
“I think all pitchers like to hit, and a small part of all hitters likes pitching, too. We don’t get to do it very often, so it’s fun to go up there and mess around a little bit. Would’ve liked to get the win. Trade it in.”
Red Sox pitcher Chris Sale, who doubled in the eighth inning for his first career extra base hit, but was stranded on the bases. He went eight innings, striking out 10 and walking one, while giving up one run in the bottom of the eighth to pick up the loss.

Our favorite headline of the morning…
Comes from “Tom Brady posts adorable photo of his son Benny trying on Patriots ‘armor.” Greatest. Kid picture. Ever.

The “no duh” headline of the morning…
Comes from ESPN Boston: “Tom Brady’s arm strength shows no signs of decline in practice.” Of course it doesn’t! Does the strength of the sun’s rays show signs of decline? Does the strength of gravity’s pull show signs of decline?

Like reading the WESR?
Then pass us along to a friend or two. You’re our marketing department.

What you need to know about last night’s Red Sox game:
Boston was down one run in the ninth, with JBJ on first base and two outs, when manager John Farrell let Pablo Sandoval step to the plate. Three pitches (two of them in the dirt) later, the mighty Panda had struck out, and the Red Sox had lost.

Don’t blame Panda.
It’s not his fault that he’s being embarrassed at the plate and on the field right now. It’s John Farrell’s. If the Red Sox manager kept him on the bench, permanently, he wouldn’t look nearly as bad.

Heckuva job, Dave Dombrowski.
Right-handed reliever Tyler Thornburg, who came to the Red Sox in a trade for two minor league prospects and promising third baseman Travis Shaw, will receive season-ending shoulder surgery.

Travis Shaw update: 
He’s batting .302, with 11 HR, 46 RBI, 7 stolen bases, 68 hits, and 30 runs for the Brewers. This is when young people at home might want to google the words: “Jeff Bagwell for Larry Andersen” and see what fun information comes up.

Look out Red Sox fans:
$72.5 million Cuban mystery man Rusney Castillo is hitting .357 so far this month in Pawtucket. Is he finally figuring things out? Too bad he doesn’t play third base.

The Bruins offered a sneak peek at their redesigned Adidas jerseys yesterday.
And you can see it here. Same black and gold, with just a few minor touches.

On to 2017 edition

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Red Sox beat the Phillies, 4 to 3 in 12 innings.

The morning quote:
“I expect to go out there and dominate. I don’t expect anything less.”
David Price, who went six innings giving up three runs on four hits, while striking out six and walking four against the Phillies. Red Sox fans don’t expect anything less from you, either, David. So where’s the problem?

The morning quote, II:
“I love being a Patriot and we’ll leave it at that. I’m looking forward to the 2017 season.”
Julian Edelman, on his new contract with New England. We, too, are looking forward to the 2017 season. Only 85 days left.

The morning quote, III:
“We need to move on to 2017.”
Bill Belichick, on his team focusing on the future, and not last season’s Super Bowl. The WESR’s seasoned staff of football experts is already there, coach.

What you need to know about last night’s Red Sox game:
Andrew Benintendi’s 12th inning single drove in Xander Boagaerts from third to hand Boston its second extra-inning walk-off victory in a row against Philadelphia. The Red Sox’s rookie outfielder also threw out a runner at the plate in the 8th to keep the score tied.

What else you need to know about the Red Sox game:
Bogaerts and Benintendi both doubled and collected three hits. JBJ had two hits including a double, raising his average to .247. Mitch Moreland went 2-for-5 with his 9th home run. And seven Red Sox relievers pitched six scoreless innings.

The Red Sox concluded their second day of the Major League draft yesterday…
By taking Jordan Wren, son of the team’s senior vice president of personnel Steve Wren, in the 10th round. The junior Wren batted .268 last season for Georgia Southern. We’d like him better if Steve had named him Bird or Parish instead of Jordan. Just saying.

Speaking of the Major League draft:
Ten former Cape Cod League players were taken in the first round, including the fourth pick overall, Brendan McKay, who played for the Bourne Braves. Yesterday the Red Sox took former Harwich Mariners closer Zach Schellenger in the sixth round.

And speaking of the Cape Cod league:
Its season starts today.

Bill Belichick is not a doctor edition

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Red Sox beat the Yankees, 5 to 4.

The morning quote:
“Learn baseball language.”
Red Sox color man Jerry Remy, during last night’s broadcast, to Yankees Japanese pitcher Masahiro Tanaka, who uses a translator during coaches’ visits on the mound.

The morning quote, II:
“Players don’t come to me and I don’t treat them for injuries. That’s not really my job. That’s what we have a medical staff for.”
Patriots coach Bill Belichick, on the subject of Tom Brady and concussions.

The morning quote, III:
“It almost feels like I belong here.”
Markelle Fultz, teh top prospect in the upcoming NBA draft, on Boston after visiting the Celtics facilities yesterday.

Patriots headline of the morning…
Comes from ESPN Boston’s Mike Reiss: “A stop-the-hype practice: Patriots’ offense draws Bill Belichick’s wrath.”

TMZ is on the case!
Everyone’s favorite news outlet has been closely following the Rex and Rob Ryan bar fight incident over the weekend in Nashville, and this morning they’re reporting that the alleged victim is filing assault charges.

Our favorite statistic of the day: 
This offseason, the Jets have released all but three players on their roster over age 30. They’re in full purge-and-rebuild mode.

What you need to know about last night’s Red Sox game:
Drew Pomeranz threw 120 pitches over five innings but gave up only two runs, and closer Craig Kimbrel blew away five Yankees hitters—all on K’s—to end the game and hand Boston the victory. Mitch Moreland and Hanley Ramirez hit back-to-back homers in the fourth for the Sox.

That’s the speed, in miles per hour, that a Joe Kelly fastball to Yankee Aaron Judge hit on the radar guns last night. Three of the pitches in the at bat (which ended in a strikeout) were among the 11 fastest thrown by anyone in the majors this year.

Eduardo Rodriguez update:
The incredibly talented and often injured young Red Sox pitcher said yesterday the prescribed cure for his injured right knee is a lot of rest. Don’t expect to see him back before the All Star break.

Hating the Orioles edition

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Red Sox lost to Baltimore, 7 to 5.
Warriors beat the Cavs, 113 to 91 (video highlights here).

The morning quote: 
“You know, I really hate the Orioles.”
—Timmy, the youngest of the WESR interns, echoing just about everyone in the Boston area’s feelings, after watching Baltimore take a 7-1 lead over the Red Sox in the sixth inning.

The morning quote, II:
“I don’t know if I can tell you. I just threw a pitch and my foot got in a bad position and I went down. But nothing crazy. I just landed a bit different and that’s it.”
Red Sox starter Eduardo Rodriguez, on his strange tumble in the bullpen during pregame warmups (video here). He gave up seven runs in 5 2/3 innings and his delivery never looked quite right all night, as Lou Merloni tweeted.

The morning quote, III
“@stephencurry30 good time to dust these off! @kingjames you got a headband for me?? Good luck champs! #nbafinals #trilogy”
Tom Brady on Instagram, posting a photo of a Steph Curry shoe by Under Armour, before the varsity season of the NBA finally began last night with Game 1 of the Finals. Way to pick a side, Tom.

ESPN may not have any on-air talent left…
In wake of all of their layoffs (so long, John Clayton). But they do have computers, which have calculated power ratings for every NFL team. The Patriots, are at 92 percent odds of winning the division, 50.7 percent of making the Super Bowl, and 34.7 percent of winning the big game.

What you need to know about last night’s Red Sox game:
Eduardo had only allowed one home run in his first six career starts at Camden Yards, but gave up four dingers in last night’s loss to Baltimore. The Red sox were trailing 7-1 in the ninth until Jackie Bradley Jr. hit a three-run home run in the ninth, to shrink the deficit.

JBJ Watch:
Everyone’s favorite center fielder collected two of his team’s nine hits last night, and slammed his seventh home run of the season, raising his average to .226. Sam Travis and Christian Vazquez also had two-hit games.

If you haven’t seen…
The trailer for the two-part “30 for 30” on the 1980s Celtics-Lakers rivalry, here it is. It’s called “Best of Enemies” and airs on ESPN June 13.

Another Tiger Woods police video was released last night.
This one of him struggling to take a breathalyzer test in jail, while handcuffed. How he was able to walk out his front door to his car is a mystery.

September 18.
That’s the date of the Bruins’ first preseason game. (It’s a Monday.) Mark your calendars.

Look out, the Panda is back edition

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Red Sox beat the White Sox, 13 to 7.

The morning quote:
“I”m a friend of Tiger’s. I feel bad for him. He’s struggling…He needs support from a lot of people. I’ll be one of them.”
Jack Nicklaus, on the Golf Channel yesterday. According to the police report, the two front tires on Woods’ car were flat, and damage was sustained to the front and back ends of the vehicle, but there was no sign of a collision anywhere nearby.

The morning quote, II:
“He’s in great shape. I saw him moving around. He’s in the best shape I’ve seen him in years, so he’s moving around well.”
Red Sox president of baseball operations, Dave Dombrowski, on $95-million third baseman Pablo Sandoval, who was activated yesterday. Being in great shape is nice, but can he hit? He certainly didn’t in his rehab stint in Pawtucket where he batted .160 in seven games.

The morning quote, III:
“I got like 120 texts, more than I got when I was drafted, so that was pretty cool.”
Red Sox backup third baseman Devin Marrero, on the response to his two-home-run game that carried Boston to victory over the White Sox. Look out, Panda.

Worst. List. Ever.
Yesterday, ESPN released its list of the most famous athletes in the world. Tom Brady was ranked #21. We’re very, very disappointed in the people of the world today. The top five are: Ronaldo, LeBron, Lionel Messi, Roger Federer, and Phil Mickelson, in that order.

Great question!
Today, Yahoo sports examines: “How special can the Brady to Cooks connection be?” The WESR’s stable of seasoned football experts say it will be the best QB-to-WR combo since Brady-to-Moss, which was the greatest ever.

What you need to know about last night’s Red Sox game:
Chris Sale struggled, giving up six runs (five earned) in five innings but still picking up the win as Boston’s bats pounded Chicago’s pitchers. In addition to Marrero’s two home runs, Mookie Betts and Xander Bogaerts also went yard, and JBJ went 2-for-3 to raise his average to .214.

What you need to know about Anders Bjork.
He’s the 20-year-old standout Notre Dame forward the Bruins signed yesterday to a three-year deal. Last year he led his team as a junior with 21 goals and 31 assists, and was a finalist for the Hobey Baker award. Bjork’s hometown is Mequon, Wisconsin.

Yesterday we erroneously called Dustin Pedroia the Red Sox’s “third baseman.” We apologize not only to Pedey, but to the Panda, who has earned the right to man the position for the next 17 years of his billion-dollar contract. Needless to say, a slew of interns have been fired.

We hate Kyrie Irving edition

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Celtics lost to Cleveland, 112 to 99.
Red Sox beat the Rangers, 11 to 6.

The morning quote:
We’re right where we want to be, we’re locked in.”
Celtics forward Jae Crowder, on coming home to the Garden on Thursday after losing last night’s game. They want to be down 3-1 in the series against the world champions? That’s news to us.

The morning quote, II:
“I think we’re in a position where he’s managed well.”
Red Sox president of baseball operations, Dave Dombrowski, giving the dreaded vote of confidence to John Farrell before last night’s game.

The morning quote, III:
“We do not have any records that indicate that Tom suffered any kind of concussion or head injury.”
Evil NFL arch-villain Roger Goodell, yesterday. We’re still half-expecting him to hire Ted Wells to conduct a phony investigation about it.

What you need to know about last night’s Celtics game:
The Men in Green led by 10 at the half, until Cleveland’s all-world guard Kyrie Irving put on the basketball display of his life, scoring 21 points in the third quarter on 9-of-10 shooting—to go with 42 points for the game—leading the Cavs to victory.

Most ridiculous headline of the day:
Comes from Fox Sports: “The Boston Celtics are proving they’re better off without Isaiah Thomas.” Maybe they watched a different game last night than we did. When the Celtics needed scoring in the third quarter, they had no one.

Speaking of Celtics scoring:
Avery Bradley led the team last night with 19 points, while Jae Crowder had 18 (along with 8 rebounds, 4 assists), Al Horford added 16 and Kelly Olynyk 15. Boston shot 44.3 percent from the field, as opposed to an eye-popping 59.5 percent for Cleveland.

What you need to know about Gronk’s new restructured contract. 
The Patriots and the Greatest Tight End of All Time agreed to a new incentivized deal that won’t reduce his base salary but will give him a huge extra payout if he stays healthy throughout the upcoming season. The WESR interns have asked for something similar, but were denied.

Today’s news you can use…
Comes from Hello Magazine: “How to get Gisele’s chic ponytail.” Kelly Olynyk might have some interest in that one.

What you need to know about last night’s Red Sox game:
Xander Bogaerts notched three hits and drove in three runs as the Boston offense exploded for the second straight game in the team’s victory over Texas. Red Sox starter Rick Porcello went 6 2/3 innings, giving up 5 runs (4 earned) and 11 hits while striking out 4. Video highlights here.

Worst Red Sox stat of the day:
The team has hit only four home runs against left-handed pitching all year.

Look out for King James edition

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The morning quote:
“The troubling thing is, we’re not hearing from NFL players that it’s bad to hide concussions. It’s a terrible message to send to young players. You could not express a worse public health message than this, to tell them to hide a concussion from their team.”
Dr. Chris Nowinski, of the Boston University CTE Center. Well said, doc.

The morning quote, II:
“I was fortunate to be a season ticket holder during Raymond’s entire Patriots career. For the first half of his career, he teamed with Michael Haynes to form one of the best corner tandems in league history. Throughout his career, Raymond was a physical shutdown corner.”
Patriots owner Robert Kraft, on retired cornerback Raymond Clayborn being selected yesterday as the 2017 inductee to the team’s Hall of Fame.

For those of you who don’t know about Raymond Clayborn…
He was consistently one of the Patriots’ best players through some of its darkest seasons of the 1980s. Despite putting on a New England uniform for 11 years, the three-time Pro Bowler only reached the playoffs four times. He’s now rightfully headed for the team’s Hall of Fame.

Who says we never cover soccer? 
Last night Tom Brady shared an Instagram video of his son Ben cheering from the sidelines of his other son Jack’s soccer game. It has already been viewed more than a half-million times and received hundreds of loving comments. Greatest. Kid video. Ever.

To borrow a quote from the immortal Rex Ryan…
We won the offseason! In an article this morning, CBS Sports ranks the top NFL front office performances so far this winter, and puts the Patriots #1 on the list. We’re already counting down the seconds to training camp.

Our favorite headline of the morning comes from the Miami Herald.
“Ndamukong Suh ranked NFL’s 55th best player, has league’s 16th highest salary.” Boneheaded contracts like these are why the Patriots’ AFC East rivals are always fighting for second place. Suh will be getting paid more this year than Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Ben Roethlisberger, Russell Wilson, J.J. Watt, and Julio Jones, to name some examples.

Our favorite Herald article of the morning:
“5 key players who’ve failed to perform for the sluggish Red Sox.” Here’s the list: Rick Porcello, Drew Pomeranz, Jackie Bradley Jr., Steven Wright, and Pablo Sandoval. We personally give Wright a pass, seeing how John Farrell destroyed his career with that pinch-running debacle.

USA today speaks the grim truth:
“Punchless Red Sox—last in the AL in home runs—are picture of mediocrity.” Dave Dombrowski has constructed a team with no depth, and John Farrell couldn’t manage the Red Sox’s way out of a paper bag. Besides that, the future looks bright!

We’re not expecting big things from the Celtics tonight.
After all, LeBron will be very, very motivated. But we’ll still be watching.

Gronk’s special day edition

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Red Sox lost to the Rays, 11 to 2.

The morning quote:
“Happy Mother’s Day to all you wonderful mothers out there, especially to the best momma out there, my mom! I was graced to give her the best mothers day gift ever—myself, 28 years ago when I was born!”
Gronk, on Instagram yesterday celebrating Mother’s Day and his 28th birthday.

The morning quote, II:
“I felt something in warmups kind of similar to what I felt in spring training.”
Red Sox starting pitcher Drew Pomeranz, who was pulled before the start of yesterday’s game with left triceps tightness. He’s getting an MRI today and is expected to make his next start. Pomeranz (5.29 ERA) hasn’t been right all season.

You can’t keep a good man down for long.
ESPN is set to announce that Rex Ryan will be the color commentator alongside play-by-play broadcaster Beth Mowins for one of the two Monday Night Football games to be played on week one. The over/under for times he mentions the word “Belichick” is 53.

Vegas likes the Patriots. A lot.
Westgate SuperBook released its odds for NFL division champions yesterday, and put New England as 1/14 favorites to win the AFC East. The Dolphins are listed at 8/1, the Bills 15/1 and the Jets, 100/1.

Our favorite article of the morning…
Comes from the New York Times: “What was unusual about Tom Brady’s stolen Super Bowl jersey? He got it back.” There has been a string of high-end sports collectible thefts in the past few years, and the crimes have almost all gone unsolved.

What you need to know about yesterday’s Red Sox game.
Good thing rainy Fenway was practically empty yesterday, because the Sox embarrassed themselves on the field. The team gave up seven runs in the ninth inning and 11 overall in its lopsided loss to the weak-hitting Rays. Highlights here.

More than 20 percent of the Major League Baseball season has passed…
Which gives us a decent window into the 2017 Red Sox (19-18). Here’s what we know: they have no pitching depth, they have the worst third-base situation in baseball, they lack a cleanup hitter, and they have no one in Pawtucket offering hope. Heckuva job, Dave Dombrowski.

In case you didn’t know…
Game 7 of the Celtics-Wizards series is tonight. It should be fun.