Sports 07-04-2018


East Boston Knights to face the Revere Rockies this Friday

By Jonathan Chang

The East Boston Knights have yet to find their groove this season, but they’ll face Revere in a rubber match on July 6 that promises to have all the fireworks expected of a City Line battle.

In their second “rebuilding” year, the Knights (5-9-0) currently hold the third worst record in the 10-team Yawkey League. However, the patience has yielded fruit, General Manager Eric Bellavia said, and when East Boston faces the Revere Rockies this Friday, the young team will continue build on its recently found identity.

“The record really isn’t showing it,” Bellavia said. “Our pitching’s pretty solid. Our defense is solid. I just wish that the bats would get going. We hit well, but we just haven’t been able to get that really big hit with timely innings with runners in scoring positions.”

What the game cannot show is the franchise’s plan for the future. Bellavia said he now has a better sense of which lineup will work for his team and the players the team wants to retain and build around.

Among them are the new third baseman Grofi Cruz, who had MLB experience with the Cleveland Indians, and Xavier Feliz. The team is certainly with veteran presence as well: Jose Paulino, Mike Oliveria and Kenny Luongo are among those who have stuck with the team through the thick and thin, Bellavia said.

“The machine is a sum of its parts, so if everybody does their job, this thing can run like a machine, but when you put new players together, whether they’re good players or bench players, you have to play together a little bit to find out who you are. That’s what we’re banking on.”

The Knights have faced Revere once this season on June 11, when Revere beat East Boston, 9-2, but the game remained close until the end, when a Knights’ error led to a six-run final inning for the Rockies.

“Revere, to me—they’re probably the favorites to win everything along with the Brighton Braves,” Bellavia said. “Any team can beat any other team in the Yawkey League. That’s what makes it such a great, competitive league. Even the bottom teams that are having a hard time, you don’t just show up and win [against them]. You’ve got to play a game, and it’s very difficult to win a baseball game.”

Revere’s 12-4-1 record places them on top of the Carl Yastrzemski Division and the second overall in the Yawkey League. The Rockies lead the league in several offensive categories, including hits (182), RBIs (121) and batting average (.353).

In order to win, Bellavia said his focus is to be patient at bat.

“We just have to disciplined at the plate. We can make any mistakes defensive, and we definitely can’t give them extra outs,” he said.

Undefeated Nationals win Revere Youth Minor League Baseball

By Jonathan Chang

While some competitions in Revere Youth Baseball and Softball (RYBS) continue—the All Stars and the Major League playoffs, among others—its Minor League finally crowned its championships this past week.

After a perfect 12-0-0 regular season, the Nationals remained unstoppable during the postseason. Battling the White Sox (13-1-0) in a best-out-of-three series, the Nationals swept their opponent to finish an undefeated season and capture the RYBS Minor League title.

“These two teams … mashed all season, played finesse ball against each other,” said RYBS Vice President Jason Smith.

While the Nationals completed the clean sweep, the journey itself wasn’t so easy. Both wins had to be earned, as each game finished a single run differential. After a 2-1 game one win, the Nationals saw themselves down 2-1 before turning the script around for a 3-2 comeback win.

  • Elsewhere in the league, the 11U All Stars finished their district play undefeated. “Behind the lights-out pitching of Matthew Lewis and Jarred Pacitta and the timely hitting of Brendan Sack and Phil Boncore, Revere had their way in District 7,” Smith said.
  • Notes from RYBS VP Jason Smith:
  • 12U All Star team has begun their ride in the state tournament, and boy has it been a bumpy one. After taking a 1-0 lead into the 5th off Andrew Leone’s monster mash out of the park, they fumbled the wheel and left with a 3-1 loss. They look to even their record as this entry is being typed, stay tuned for more updates as they come in.
  • AAA playoffs are down to the last possible game as the defending champion Brewers face the upstart Angels in the final game of the double elimination tournament. Sunday at 5:30 p.m. is D-Day for these two squads.
  • T-Ball finished with a bang, and amazingly enough, we had a 12-way tie for first place for the 10th year in a row.
  • Major League softball saw the opening round start and finish quickly as the Lightning dispatched the Patriettes, and the Jazz beat the Jets. The next round sees two series winners stepping up to take on the top two teams, the Titans and the Flyers.
  • Plenty of great ball still ahead. “I’ll see you down the Park,” said Smith.

2018 World Cup is unusual both on and off the field

By Jonathan Chang

The 2018 FIFA World Cup has been rather strange.

Historically and currently elite teams struggled in the group stages—Portugal and Argentina barely squeezed through, while Germany was ousted after a major upset against South Korea.

In the Round of 16, which began Saturday, June 30, host-country Russia eliminated powerhouse Spain. After barely squeezing through the group stages, both Argentina and Portugal, starring Lionel Messi and Christiano Ronaldo, respectively, were eliminated.

However, this year’s World Cup has been unusual off the field as well.

“It’s a strange World Cup because the games are in the morning,” said Roy Avellaneda, Chelsea City Councilor and avid fan of Argentina. “Having it in the morning, in these time zones, that negated the previous benefits of this and the gathering.”

The time difference is particularly impactful after the 2014 World Cup held in Brazil, which has very similar time zones compared the U.S. With games being played at times like 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., there’s simply no time for people to gather for games during work hours, Avellaneda said.

There’s no denying that the World Cup remains a popular event, however.

“It’s something that’s on 24 hours at this point,” Avellaneda said. “It’s very pervasive that the World Cup is going on. Whether you go to a restaurant, whether you go to a bar, there’s a promotion going on.”

“Particularly in the Latino community, there’s a lot of attention,” said Avellaneda, who has Argentinian roots and runs Pan Y Café, a Latin American style cafe.

While his store doesn’t see as significant of a benefit as a sports bar would during a major sporting event, Avellaneda said he certainly doesn’t mind the additional customers who watch the games at his café in the mornings.

The 2018 FIFA World Cup continues this wee.

The quarterfinals begin this Friday, and the semifinals begin Tuesday, July 10. The event will conclude on Sunday, July 15.

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