Terry Francona: ‘They’re All In For This Year’

Terry Francona still believes the Boston Red Sox have a chance, despite their 52-51 record! (Photo Credit: Matt Noonan for NoontimeSports.com)

By Matt Noonan 

Following Monday’s contest against the Detroit Tigers, ESPN analyst and former Boston Red Sox manager Terry Francona expressed his outlook toward the local nine.

“They’re all in for this year,” exclaimed Francona on ESPNBoston.com. “With the payroll they have, the players they have, they have to try and win. That’s the way they’re geared, [and] their fans won’t let them do anything different.”

The Sox have won three consecutive contests, but remain locked in fourth place in the American League East. They’re eight and a half games behind the New York Yankees, as well as four games behind Oakland for the Wild Card.

However, despite the distance between them and New York and Oakland, Francona believes that their current winning streak may be exactly what Boston needs to propel them toward the playoffs.

“This is the timing. They’ve got nine more games left at home, they’ve finally fought their way over .500, they need to stay there and gain some ground,” added Francona.

Boston is 26-28 at Fenway Park this season, and will attempt to continue their current trend for the next few days against Detroit, Minnesota and Texas.

Keegan Bradley Discusses 2012 Deutsche Bank Championship

Keegan Bradley is excited about playing at the DBC in August! (Photo Credit: USA Today)

By Matt Noonan 

NORTON, MA – It’s been a few days, weeks and months since Keegan Bradley captured the 2011 PGA Championship by defeating Jason Dufner in a three-hole playoff. And ever since his dramatic victory, the Vermont native has enjoyed a great deal of success in his sophomore year with three top-10 finishes and 10 top-25s in 19 events.

In a few weeks, roughly four, he’ll be returning to New England to compete against a variety of the game’s best golfers at the Deutsche Bank Championship, which will be held at the TPC of Boston at Great Woods.

On Monday, he discussed his season thus far with reporters at the tournament’s media, and below are a few highlights from his interview.

On his year thus far: “It’s been a pretty great year so far. It started off very, very well, [and I’m looking] forward to the end of the year a lot because of the Deutsche Bank [Championship] and the playoffs, and one more major left, so there’s a lot of great tournaments still to play.”

On his 2011 campaign: “It was a really amazing season, [but] it’s been nice to kind of look back on it. One of my main goals was to win rookie of the year, and I was able to do that, and it just did everything that I did worth it. I really enjoyed my first year on the PGA tour, and it just was a great time, really fun to look back on. To talk about winning the PGA just made it kind of a dream season, and it still kind of feels like it was a dream.”

On his experience playing at the Deutsche Bank Championship: “It was remarkable. The people in Boston really treated me unbelievably. Being able to throw the first pitch at Fenway [Park] and flip the coin with the [New England] Patriots, and do all that stuff was something I’ve always wanted to do, [especially being] a huge fan of all Boston sports.”

On his outlook for the 2012 Deutsche Bank Championship: “Last year, I was just a little bit worn out at that point because I had just won a PGA, I was very busy, and I think this year I’ll be able to play that tournament a lot better. I love the golf course, it’s a great tournament to play in and it’s one that I’ve been looking forward to going back and playing.”

On playing golf in front of New England fans: “I was blown away with how I was treated last year at the Deutsche Bank Championship, and I hope it can be like that again. It would be so great to get it going in front of the Boston fans because they really – I don’t think any tournament that I’ve ever played in – they were extremely behind me, and it felt really good to have that and I think I put too much pressure on myself last year, so this year I’d love to get it rolling up there and it would be really great to win that tournament.”

On returning to New England to play golf: “Before the tournament I think it’s not going to be that big of a deal [returning to New England], and then once I get there, I’m on [route] 495 or on a local road, and I’m thinking, ‘Wow, I really am home, great,’ I start to put a little more pressure on myself. Last year, when I got to that first tee and the crowd started cheering before they announced my name, [which was] unbelievable, so I expect it to be pretty exciting again this year, and I just got confidence that I’m going to play well because I love that golf course and the Deutsche Bank Championship is a great sponsor along with a great tournament.”

Question of the Day: Do You Believe In The Red Sox?

By Matt Noonan 

OK… OK…OK… After Friday’s awful performance against the New York Yankees, the Boston Red Sox currently reside in the American League East basement. They’re 49-51 overall, and have lost seven of their last 10 games.

If they’re going to make a so-called, “run,” they’ll need to win at least 42 games to conclude the season with 91 wins. Yet, can they do it? Do you believe in this team? Does this team have what it takes to earn a Wild Card spot in the American League?

Post your thoughts below or continue the conversation on Twitter (@NoonSportsBlog) or Facebook (Facebook.com/NoonSports).

New England D3Sports Links

By NoontimeSports.com 

The summertime can be a rather quiet period, especially in the college sports world. However, thanks to our friends from the various D3Sports websites, we’ve decided to compile a few links of press releases and news from the past week, which you may have missed.

Here are some links pertaining toward the various New England Div. III conferences:

* UMass Boston junior Reyn Johnson has something to look forward to after the upcoming 2012-13 school year. The midfielder from Guam will represent his home country as part of the 18-player squad that will compete at the 2013 East Asian Cup in South Korea

* Colby College announced on Thursday that Matt Hanold, who spent the past four seasons with the University of Buffalo, was named as an assistant coach for the Mules football team.

* The NEWMAC reported on Tuesday that MIT and Springfield College women’s volleyball teams were cited for academic success by the American Volleyball Coaches Association.

* Nichols College’s Steve Carella, who is a tennis player, was recently featured on page 19 of the Summer 2012 edition of NCAA Champion magazine.

* Fitchburg State announced on Wednesday the hiring of the baseball program’s 10th head coach, Keith Brouillard.

* The Westfield State athletic department announced on Wednesday the resignation of men’s soccer coach Matt Noyes, and promotion of assistant John Edwards, who will lead the Owls this season.

* The Little East announced on Tuesday its Inaugural Hall of Fame Class, which features five athletic administrators, four former student-athletes, and two coaches.

VIDEO: Curry College Football Profile of Skubie Mageza

By NoontimeSports.com 

Courtesy of our good friends from Curry College — Colonels junior wide receiver Skubie Mageza was recently profiled in a YouTube video about his athletic career, but also in regards to his decision to attend a small college, too.

“Obviously every athlete wants to make it to the pros, but as you get older you realize that’s a lot harder than it actually seems, so with that I wanted the next best thing, so I chose to try and be a sports broadcaster,” Mageza stated in the college’s video. “I wanted to make sure the school I went to had [a] communication program that could offer me a chance to get myself ahead of other people.”

The Revere native, who wasn’t recruited to play for the Colonels, concluded last season with 21 catches for 245 yards and two touchdowns.

Curry finished the year 5-5 overall, and 3-4 in New England Football conference play.

For more information on Curry College’s football team — CLICK HERE. Also, to access other videos from the college’s YouTube page — HOP HERE.