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Top5

Mazz Top 5 columns

Posted by Matt Pepin, Boston.com Staff March 1, 2013 07:24 AM

Tony's Top 5

Favorite blog entries

5
The final chapter on Teixeira and How Red Sox pitchers work the strike zone Jan. 7, 2009 and July 17, 2009. Some actual reporting Ė an obsession with Mark Teixeira and the art of pitching.
4
For 2011 Red Sox, there was plenty of blame to go around Oct. 1, 2011. The disgraceful collapse of the Red Sox stoked the fire in all of us.
3
Behind Garnett and James, Celtics and Heat are digging in June 4, 2012. Improbably, the Celtics pushed the Heat to the limit.
2
Thrill is back for Patriots Jan. 30, 2012. Another Super Bowl has even Bill Belichick musing.
1
Youíve got to believe June 15, 2011. On the morning of Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals, we all had reason to believe.

Top 5 NFL story lines

Posted by Matt Pepin, Boston.com Staff January 4, 2013 08:08 AM

Tony's Top 5

NFL story lines in 2012

5
Replacement referees Think they had a negative impact? Take away that Hail Mary against Seattle and the Packers have a bye, the Seahawks are out, Bears are in.
4
The Colts They released Peyton Manning, drafted Andrew Luck, temporarily lost their coach to cancer. And they made the playoffs.
3
Rookie QBs Along with Luck, Robert Griffin III and Russell Wilson are in the playoffs. Maybe the best QB draft since 1983.
2
Adrian Peterson Fine, it's a quarterback league. But his story is almost every bit as good as Manning's.
1
Peyton Manning So why is Manning No. 1? Because he changed teams. Many thought he was done. He's not.

Mazz Top 5 Red Sox offseason moves

Posted by Matt Pepin, Boston.com Staff November 9, 2012 01:02 PM

Tony's Top 5

Best offseason moves in recent Red Sox history

5
Signing Johnny Damon From 2002-05, Damon averaged 149 games, 16 home runs, 115 runs and 25 steals. His OPS was .803. Rock solid.
4
Trading for Curt Schilling The piece that put the Red Sox over the top in 2004. Most guys go to New York to win titles. Schilling came here.
3
Signing David Ortiz In 10 years, he's hit more homers than anybody but Albert Pujols, Adam Dunn or Alex Rodriguez. Jackpot.
2
Signing Manny Ramirez Find another $100 million free agent contract that lived up to this one. Anywhere. He was worth it.
1
Trading for Pedro Martinez Since he came in November 1997, only the Braves and Yankees have won more games.

Mazz's Top 5 most detestable Red Sox teams

Posted by Matt Pepin, Boston.com Staff August 29, 2012 08:55 AM

Tony's Top 5

Most detestable Red Sox teams

5
2006 It was starting to come apart after a five-game sweep at the hands of the Yankees in August before Terry Francona intervened. Adios, David Wells.
4
1996 Mike Greenwell cleaned out his locker. Kevin Kennedy got fired. Roger Clemens left. Dan Duquette's purge.
3
1989 With Joe Price on the mound, Devon White stole second, third, and home. Asked by manager Joe Morgan for an explanation, Price said, "Go [expletive] yourself."
2
2012 The end of the 2011 season also qualifies here. Overpaid, underachieving, discontented. Thank heavens it's over.
1
2001 Still No. 1 on the Most Wanted list. Even in the wake of Sept. 11, they bickered. Might never be supplanted.

Tony's top 5 baseball teams at midseason

Posted by Matt Pepin, Boston.com Staff July 3, 2012 08:41 AM

Tony's Top 5

Baseball teams at midseason

5
Washington Nationals Stephen Strasburg and Bryce Harper alone make them one of the most compelling teams in the game. But can they hit enough?
4
San Francisco Giants Is there an NL that can hit and pitch? If Tim Lincecum ever gets right, look out.
3
New York Yankees Injuries to C.C. Sabathia and Andy Pettitte are an obvious concern. And remember, Mariano Rivera and Michael Pineda were hurt, too.
2
Los Angeles Angels Give it a little more time and they might very well be No. 1. Pitching. Speed. Defense. Power.
1
Texas Rangers Best team in baseball thus far might be suspect in the starting rotation. Time will tell.

Mazz Top 5 things to do after Achilles surgery

Posted by Matt Pepin, Boston.com Staff May 7, 2012 11:38 AM

Tony's Top 5

Things to do after Achilles surgery

5
Watching sports. Before, I told my wife this was "work." Now, I tell her it's therapy.
4
Bossing people around Of course, this is done in a passive-aggressive fashion by playing up any and all perception of helplessness.
3
The drugs. If I play my cards right, maybe I can even make a few bucks?
2
Sleep. Never realized that lounging could be so exhausting. Won't be long now before I'm a hoarder, too.
1
Eat. Maybe it's just me, but this seems like the perfect time for fried chicken and beer. Eat, drink and be merry!

Tony's Top 5 Things about April

Posted by Gary Dzen, Boston.com Staff April 2, 2012 01:07 PM

Tony's Top 5

Things about April

5
The NBA playoffs Later than usual this year, but can't help but wonder now if the Celtics actually plan to make a little noise.
4
The Masters A tradition unlike any other, or so we're told. And it looks like Tiger Woods has his groove back, too.
3
The NFL Draft The Patriots have two selections in the first round and two more in the second. The wage scale is in place. Might they actually trade up?
2
Major League Baseball Yes, the season is too long. But the baseball season in Boston, specially, suddenly means something again.
1
NHL Playoffs Maybe the bruins will make another run. Maybe they won't. But the postseason in hockey does not disappoint. Ever.

Mazz Top 5 Red Sox story lines

Posted by Matt Pepin, Boston.com Staff February 15, 2012 08:34 AM

Tony's Top 5

Red Sox spring training story lines

5
Shortstop Apparently, it's reached the point where the Red Sox have to trade their shortstop to trim payroll. Anyone feel good about that?
4
Carl Crawford After a poor debut season in Boston, he had wrist surgery. And now we know the owner never wanted him.
3
The bullpen No small story here. Jonathan Papelbon is gone and Daniel Bard is in the rotation. Welcome, Mark Melancon and Andrew Bailey.
2
Bobby Valentine The last time the Red Sox changed managers, they won the World Series. Will history repeat?
1
Josh Beckett By the end of last season, Beckett seemed to lose his focus and his fire. Can he bounce back - and stay healthy, too?

Tony's Top 5 NFL story lines this season

Posted by Matt Pepin, Boston.com Staff December 7, 2011 09:47 AM

Tony's Top 5

NFL story lines this season

5
Cam Newton In his first year as a starter, the No. 1 pick in the draft leads the NFL in rushing touchdowns. Entering Week 14, Newton had more rushing TDs than 26 of the 32 NFL teams.
4
The Harbaugh brothers OK, so it's a little corny. The Niners (and Jim) are obviously a better story than the Ravens (and John). But imagine if these teams meet in the Super Bowl? Good stuff.
3
The Jets Overall, they've been a disappointment. But under Rex Ryan, the Jets seem to creep back into the conversation every December and January. It's that time.
2
The Packers Since losing to the Patriots last December - a game Aaron Rodgers missed - they've won 18 straight. Remaining: Oakland, at KC, Chicago, Detroit. Then the playoffs.
1
Tim Tebow Maybe it's nothing more than a fad. But a quarterback who can't throw - and still wins? If you believed before this, may God bless you.

Tony's Top 5 managers in Red Sox history

Posted by Gary Dzen, Boston.com Staff October 4, 2011 01:15 PM

Tony's Top 5

Managers in Red Sox history

5
Joe McCarthy Former Yankees great had a .606 winning percentage in three years with the Red Sox. But he chose Denny Galehouse in 1948 playoff game.
4
Joe Morgan Averaged 86 wins in three full years from 1988-90, but team stunk before and after his tenure. Like he said, they werenít as good as many believed.
3
Joe Cronin Before Terry Francona, he was the last man to manage at least five full years here. His 1946 Sox won 104 games, most in team history.
2
Dick Williams Skipper of the `67 Impossible Dream team has been immortalized. Ironically, this club could have used his demanding influence.
1
Terry Francona In eight years he averaged 93 wins a season and went 28-17 in the postseason. In World Series play, his teams were a perfect 8-0.

Tony's Top 5 picks in fantasy football

Posted by Gary Dzen, Boston.com Staff September 7, 2011 12:16 PM

Tony's Top 5

Picks in fantasy football

5
Andre Johnson, WR, Texans. Someone will put up better numbers in 2011, but Johnson is virtually guaranteed for 8-10 touchdowns and 1,200 yards. The others have their ups and downs.
4
Drew Brees, QB, Saints. In the last four years, Brees has thrown for between 4,300 and 5,000 yards with 34, 34, 33 and 34 touchdown passes. He plays indoors. Money.
3
Chris Johnson, RB, Titans. So he missed training camp. So what? The injury to Peyton Manning softens the division and the Titans will be, at worst, decent. Freakish talent.
2
Adrian Peterson, RB, Vikings. OK, so maybe the Vikings will stink. Maybe they'll be mediocre. Regardless, he's the best running back in the league. Write in 1,400 yards and 13 touchdowns
1
Aaron Rodgers, QB, Packers. What, were you expecting Michael Vick? Rodgers doesn't run as much, but he's a far better passer. Don't be shocked by a career year.

Tony's top five acquisitions of this trading deadline

Posted by Gary Dzen, Boston.com Staff August 1, 2011 02:40 PM

Tony's Top 5

Acquisitions of this trading deadline

5
Francisco Rodriguez, Brewers.. K-Rod's career comes full circle - from setup man to setup man. Solid move by Brewers to fortify back end of bullpen.
4
Carlos Beltran, Giants. Offense was an issue for the Giants - and that was true before they lost Buster Posey. With Beltran and that pitching staff, they could repeat.
3
Mike Adams and Koji Uehara, Rangers The names aren't sexy, but the Rangers just made a serious upgrade to a bullpen that ranked 11th in the AL in ERA. Look out.
2
Ubaldo Jimenez, Indians. Price was high, but the Indians were in position to pay it. With Jimenez, Indians are now a factor in the Central for years to come.div>
1
Hunter Pence, Phillies. The Phils get Jayson Werth's replacement for the stretch drive and beyond. If this doesn't scare you as a Red Sox follower, it should.

Tony's top five memories from the Stanley Cup playoffs

Posted by Gary Dzen, Boston.com Staff June 22, 2011 10:53 AM

Tony's Top 5

Memories from the Stanley Cup playoffs

5
Tyler Seguin's coming-out party. Game 2 against Tampa Bay, second period, two goals and two assists. Anyone else get the feeling it was the stuff of lore?
4
Nathan Horton's overtime heroics. Prior to Game 2 of the Final, the Bruins were 4-0 in OT. Horton had two of the game-winning goals and assisted on another.
3
Brad Marchand's short-handed rush. It was a 2-0 game in the second period of Game 2 when the Canucks went on the power play. Maybe the goal that altered the series.
2
Tim Thomas' grand theft. Game 2 in Philly, 54 shots, 52 saves. The Bruins won in overtime while the Flyers were changing goalioes as if they were underwear.
1
The Game 7s. Yep, all `of em. The win over Montreal, the win over Tampa Bay, the win over Vancouver. In the last two, the Bruins didn't allow a goal.

Tony's Top 5 baseball players to watch

Posted by Matt Pepin, Boston.com Staff March 30, 2011 06:25 AM

Tony's Top 5

Baseball players to watch in 2011

5
David Price, LHP, Tampa Bay. Blossomed into a front-line starter last season. Now may be ready to take the next step to positively dominating force.
4
Hanley Ramirez, SS, Florida. A dynamic talent with never-ending maturity, heís entering the big-money phase of his contract. Think the Marlins would ever trade him?
3
Alex Rodriguez, 3B, New York Yankees. Say what you will about the guy, but heís in great shape and had a huge spring. Could be a huge year for him.
2
Adrian Gonzalez, 1B, Boston. On paper, he looks like the perfect fit for Fenway Park and he finally has a lineup around him. The imagination runs wild.
1
Albert Pujols, 1B, St. Louis. In 10 years, he has 10 seasons with 30 homers, 10 with 100 RBI, nine with 100 runs scored (and one with 99). And now itís a contract year.

Tony's Top 5 ...

Posted by Gary Dzen, Boston.com Staff February 15, 2011 11:15 AM

Tony's Top 5

Biggest cliches at spring training

5
"I'll do whatever the manager asks." How generous of you. Ultimately, do you really have a choice? You can either do what he says or grab some pine. You just work here.
4
"I just want to stay healthy." That's funny, because the rest of us were hoping for malaria or, if we're lucky, tuberculosis. Knee and elbow injuries are also on the list.
3
"I don't set goals for myself." Sure you don't. Meanwhile, your agent has been putting together a portfolio based on stat projections because arbitration is fast approaching.
2
"He's in great shape." Well cue the band. He has millions guaranteed. He's in his 20s. He had the winter off. If he didn't work out two hours a day, he'd have spent the whole time playing Wii.
1
"I'm not really thinking about my contract." The ultimate nose-grower. Everyone thinks about his contract, especially in a contract year. We're all playing for the next deal.

Tony's Top 5 ...

Posted by Steve Silva, Boston.com Staff January 19, 2011 07:09 AM

Tony's Top 5

Worst losses of the Bill Belichick era

5
Ravens 33, Patriots 14 Until Sunday, it was the worst home loss of the Belichick era. The Pats were never in it. At home. And in the 2009 playoffs.
4
Colts 35, Patriots 34 The infamous fourth-and-2 game. The Pats led 31-14 in the fourth quarter and were on their way to 7-2 during the 2009 season. The beginning of the end.
3
Jets 28, Patriots 21 Roughly six weeks after beating the Jets 45-3, the Patriots self-destruct in the 2010 playoffs. How to kill a 14-2 season in one easy step.
2
Colts 38, Patriots 34 In the 2006 AFC Championship Game, the Pats led 21-3 late in the first half. This was the first title that got away.
1
Giants 17, Patriots 14 The defeat by which all others will be measured. In Super Bowl XLII, the Pats entered 18-0. They haven Ďt won a postseason game since.

Top five stories of 2010

Posted by Matt Pepin, Boston.com Staff December 23, 2010 08:00 AM

Tony's Top 5

Sports stories of 2010

5
The Bruins collapse. They led the Flyers, 3-0, in a best-of-7 Eastern Conference semifinal series. Then the roof caved in. That is a truly historic development that cannot possibly be overlooked by anyone anywhere.
4
The Saints, Lakers, Blackhawks and Giants. In this country, we celebrate greatness. We celebrate champions. Appropriately, Drew Brees and the Saints were first on the list. Good for New Orleans.
3
The return of Michael Vick. OK, so it's not a comeback in the most traditional sense. But out of nowhere, Vick has returned to prominence as one of the most dynamic athletes in sports. Fun to watch.
2
The LeBron James saga. A negative story, to be sure, but James has become the poster boy for the spoiled, self-indulgent and egomaniacal athlete, and that's quite an accomplishment. The verdict is in. The Decision was a joke.
1
The demise of Tiger Woods. Granted, his fall from grace started in late 2009. But in 2010, we learned that the robotic Mr. Woods was actually human, that he could fail. He didn't win once. And his invincibility is gone.

Tony's Top 5 ...

Posted by Tony Massarotti, Globe Staff December 7, 2010 02:26 PM

Tony's Top 5

Candidates for the NFL MVP Award

5
Clay Matthews, Packers. In the interest of fairness, we felt compelled to include one defensive player on the list. Matthews has been an absolute beast in Green Bay this year. Yes, the Pats could have had him.
4
Aaron Rodgers, Packers. OK, now back to reality. The last 25 NFL MVPs have been a quarterback or running back. Eighteen of those have been quarterbacks. Rodgers has been one of the best in the NFC.
3
Matt Ryan, Falcons. Along with the Patriots, the Falcons have the best record in the NFL. Seemingly, a week does not pass without a fourth-quarter, come-from-behind win orchestrated by Matty Ice.
2
Michael Vick, Eagles. Beyond being a great story, Vick has been the second-best quarterback in the league this season. Take him away and the Eagles look rather ordinary. With him, might they be in Dallas?
1
Tom Brady, Patriots. Let's be honest. If someone more ordinary were the quarterback of this team, the Pats might be, say, 7-5. Maybe even 6-6 or worse. But with Brady, they're now Super Bowl favorites.

Mazz top 5 teams in NFL

Posted by Matt Pepin, Boston.com Staff November 17, 2010 08:30 AM

Tony's Top 5

Teams in the NFL

5
Eagles. Michael Vick could be both the Comeback Player of the Year and the Most Valuable Player. If the D holds up, look out.
4
Ravens. Of three losses, one came at New England and another came at Atlanta. Still, theyíre sliding down the list.
3
Packers. All three losses this season came by three points. Donít forget about this team. Pack could win the whole thing.
2
Patriots. All aboard the party train! In Bill we trust. Pass the Kool-Aid. Patriots Reign and the Patriot Way. No I in team, baby.
1
Jets. A win is a win is a win, dude. Jets beat Pats in only meeting this year by a 28-14 score. But check back again in a few weeks.

Tony's Top 5 ...

Posted by Tony Massarotti, Globe Staff October 8, 2010 10:02 AM

Tony's Top 5

Dumbest arguments in sports

5
"It was an aggressive mistake." Maybe so. Or maybe it was a stupid mistake. Frequently, discretion is the better part of valor. Think a little.
4
"Thereís no I in team." Technically, this is true. But there is a (it)me(end). Lots of winning teams have had selfish players. You just canít have too many of them.
3
"They lack leadership." Good one. Generally, good players are leaders. If you donít have enough leaders, it probably means you donít have enough good players. Get it?
2
"Defense wins championships." Wrong. Defense keeps you in it. Balance wins championships. Someone made this up because no one likes to play defense.
1
"Heís never won a title." Maybe this works in golf Ö or in tennis Ö or in bowling. How can we preach T-E-A-M and then blame individuals? Dumb.

Tony's Top 5

Favorite blog entries

5
The final chapter on Teixeira and How Red Sox pitchers work the strike zone Jan. 7, 2009 and July 17, 2009. Some actual reporting Ė an obsession with Mark Teixeira and the art of pitching.
4
For 2011 Red Sox, there was plenty of blame to go around Oct. 1, 2011. The disgraceful collapse of the Red Sox stoked the fire in all of us.
3
Behind Garnett and James, Celtics and Heat are digging in June 4, 2012. Improbably, the Celtics pushed the Heat to the limit.
2
Thrill is back for Patriots Jan. 30, 2012. Another Super Bowl has even Bill Belichick musing.
1
Youíve got to believe June 15, 2011. On the morning of Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals, we all had reason to believe.
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Updated: Mar 1, 07:24 AM

About Mazz

Tony Massarotti is a Globe sportswriter and has been writing about sports in Boston for the last 19 years. A lifelong Bostonian, Massarotti graduated from Waltham High School and Tufts University. He was voted the Massachusetts Sportswriter of the Year by his peers in 2000 and 2008 and has been a finalist for the award on several other occasions. This blog won a 2008 EPpy award for "Best Sports Blog".

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