Ortiz hit this ball in the third inning, when he tries less hard than in later innings.

Hockey holding to its myths

Things are going pretty well this season for the Boston Red Sox. They have 229 runs, averaging 6.0 per game -- both numbers tops in the majors -- and at 24-14 they share the third-best record in baseball.

Boston won three of four over Houston last weekend, including a comeback win Saturday. Down one with two outs in the ninth, David Ortiz tripled in the tying run to force extra innings. In the
Serious football faces!

The Worst Mock Draft Ever

She's back!

My daughter, Garnet, returns with her third annual hardcore look at the NFL Draft. In 2014 at the age of 2, she culled prospect rankings of numerous draft analysts and ranked them herself (OK, with my help) strictly based on aggregrate results. She would have drafted tight end Eric Ebron for the Bills that year, had they not traded up as they did. (After trading up the best
How many fingers am I holding up? What's the number on my jersey? That many.

Five Tyrod Taylor outcomes

How will the Bills handle Tyrod's contract situation?
It's $223 for an autographed Sam jersey, $399 for Jack's.

Here's to Sam Reinhart

The best untold story of this Sabres season, The Year of Jack Eichel, is how good Sam Reinhart is.

You watched Boston University games for the first time to see what Eichel is, and then the World Championships. You spent $300 on his jersey before he skated a professional shift. You (OK me) and Bulldog spent 25 minutes of valuable air time breaking to bits one of his many tantalizing
Tanksutawney Phil saw his shadow so it's only six more weeks of hockey.

Another 'exciting' Sabres finish shaping up

Twenty-two games, at least half of which they'll play without Ryan O'Reilly. Five points up on last-place Toronto, with three games this March against the Leafs. Six days to the trade deadline, which probably will set several bottom-dwellers, somehow, back.

We're headed for another dramatic finish in the land of the Buffalo Sabres.

If it's excitement and drama you want from
Goodbye Dion Phaneuf, hello massive cap space!

Like Sabres did, Leafs making wily chess moves

Hockey games can be interesting. They were more interesting years ago but you still get the occasional wild one, a back-and-forth tussle with a scrap or two mixed in.

The playoffs are fun too but that's usually just on TV.

Regular seasons are so lengthy that too often you have matchups of weary opponents comprised of players just trying to stay afloat.

And top teams focused on the
Ben Hider/NYSE Euronext
Trading may now commence!

Next up for Sabres: Deadline Day

The playoffs are a near-impossibility, and they weren't this year's mission anyway.No one is talking "tank", which became the buzzword for selling off older players and those on expiring contracts for youth and draft picks, something many teams like the Sabres have done and all teams like them should have. As a state of mind tanking is off the table, but if that's your word
Yes, the Bills' playoff drought has lasted this long.

A season's worth of futile finales

WARNING: This article is long, because it should be.


Sixteen years, no playoffs. Bills fans know it well. Some might wear it as a tattoo, like a badge of honor, if it didn't need changing every year.

The scar of the playoff drought looks uglier if you add that only once all these years (2004) have the Bills made it to their final regular-season game
For discussion purposes, Toronto is looking beautiful.

Leaf peeping, enviously

Tuesday night's Sabres-Devils game was so devoid of compelling action that your mind was free to wander, which can be good as long as it's not stumbling again and again over the prices of tickets and Harbour Club German Chocolate cake. 

I had a nice time with my brother-in-law and two friends, not that any of it was because of the hockey game. One friend was excited to hear the
Andrew Campbell
Tom Brady, the perennially elusive standard.

'Quarterback purgatory', revisited

Somehow, a column at good-idea fivethirtyeight.com Monday announced the Bills as, to boil it down, a team with a good quarterback and nothing more. I read it, and there was no disclaimer anywhere about it being an April Fools joke. You need more than a good quarterback to win, Bills, it was declared, presumably to widespread uproarious laughter.

Perhaps some football fans digested that and
At Game Managers, when you order fries they bring you cottage cheese.

NFL quarterback designations, ranked

What's more fun in sports to discuss than NFL quarterbacks? So many versions of this parlor game: eye test vs. statistics, wins vs. yards, personality vs. performance. If it were an actual game you could play with friends surely it would be called Cam Newton, or at least he's the picture on the box.

The Bills this season have merged onto the quarterback highway -- the
Hoping to placate fans upset about finishing 29th, the Sabres gave out balloon rabbits.

Sabres' future not all bad

BUFFALO, N.Y. (MS) -- Dylan Strome's first NHL goal wasn't how he grew up imagining it, but he'll take it.

Drafted third by the Buffalo Sabres in June's draft, Strome centered a pass for teammate Mikhail Grigorenko that bounced in off an opponent's skate, the Sabres' lone goal in Monday's 4-1 loss to Columbus.

Buffalo is 0-3 to start the season, hoping to keep
Other newcomers have gotten more billing but Robin Lehner ranks high in importance.

The Sabres' biggest 'what if'

Here it comes, at last, the arrival of a Sabres era two or more controversial years in the making. Long-awaited and highly anticipated, superstar newcomers Jack Eichel, Ryan O'Reilly and Evander Kane make their Buffalo debuts. The misery surrounding consecutive last-place seasons will have bolted out the First Niagara Center doors faster than Pat LaFontaine.

It's time to have fun
The sun set on Rex in New York. Now he joins our fight for respect.

Rex's spirit just right for the new Buffalo

I don't know first-hand how it's tougher, having never lived in New York City, but I can guess. How many tabloid newspapers cover the Jets, a dozen? Most or all strive for the scandal, hoping to splash an embarrassed face on the back page behind a headline we'll all retweet. When they land it, look out. You lose a game and wake up the next morning with the most important city in the
A large straight could equal LeVeon Bell.

Buckle up, it's September

Sorry to start with a conclusion but September is the best sports month. A couple of other months are loaded with events but September wins because it's about beginnings. You've been looking forward to September for months, and that makes the difference.

Here's my September calendar of highlights.

September 1 or 2, The Brady decision. Because what great sports month doesn't
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Who will you root for in the NBA Finals?
  Cleveland. That city deserves a championship
  Golden State. They're fun to watch and Cleveland cant win before a Buffalo team
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