Tribute to Don Orsillo

Sep 27, 2015; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Red Sox broadcaster Don Orsillo acknowledges the crowd during the eighth of a game between the Boston Red Sox and the Baltimore Orioles at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports ORG XMIT: USATSI-218006 ORIG FILE ID:  20150927_gma_aa6_011.jpg

Sep 27, 2015; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Red Sox broadcaster Don Orsillo acknowledges the crowd during the eighth of a game between the Boston Red Sox and the Baltimore Orioles at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports ORG XMIT: USATSI-218006 ORIG FILE ID: 20150927_gma_aa6_011.jpg

During a summer that was filled with injustice and tyranny from Roger Goodell and the deflategate saga, I didn’t think it remotely possible that any other sports related event could be on the same level in terms of absolute disrespect for one of the all time greats in their respective positions. When the news leaked that NESN was planning to fire Don Orsillo at the end of the season, I was stunned, devastated, and furious all at the same time. In fact, I would go so far as to say it was a Top 3 most upsetting Red Sox moment since I started following the team avidly in 2006.

orsillo remy

What people outside of Boston might not fully understand is how special the dynamic duo of Don Orsillo and Jerry Remy in the broadcasting booth is. I have listened to countless amounts of different broadcasting crews across all sports, both local and national, but Orsillo and Remy are BY FAR the best in the business. It seriously is not even close. They are the complete package in terms of baseball knowledge, chemistry with each other, being well-spoken, having a passion for the Red Sox and baseball, and also being entertaining and hilarious often times. Red Sox fans will tell you that the only reason they tuned in to games late in the season as the Red Sox are heading toward a last place finish for the 3rd time in 4 years is because they can always count on an entertaining broadcast crew that will keep you engaged even during a blowout.

Of course, it is fair to point out that I may be biased, so I will let the reaction to Orsillo’s firing do the talking. First, there was a petition on which over 60,000 people signed in an attempt to keep Orsillo with NESN (

Second, there is the emotional reaction from his partner Jerry Remy who was literally crying as he told reporters “For the last 15 years, it’s been an absolute pleasure to work with Don…I know that he’s going to land on his feet and he’s going to be in great shape. I’m sure they’re going to be lining up for his services. I really mean that. He’s terrific at what he does, he’s been absolutely fabulous to work with. I love him, and he’s going to do just fine.”

Third, there is the fan reaction. NESN head of communications Joseph Marr was straight up bullied off of Twitter for the decision to the point where he was receiving death threats. Fans consistently brought pro-Don Orsillo signs to Fenway and chanted his name at the games alongside chants of Free Brady! That’s right, Don Orsillo is on par with Tom Brady in terms of the honor, respect, and appreciation for being the best at what he does.

save orsilo

Finally, there are the tributes to Orsillo. Name another broadcaster who gets treated like Derek Jeter in the final game of his career with the team. Name another broadcaster who has his own highlight reel of broadcasting moments. Name another duo of commentators that influenced a team as much as Orsillo and Remy did. You can’t. My final piece of evidence is this: New York Yankees manager Joe Girardi approached Don Orsillo during the Yankees last series with Red Sox in September and personally encouraged and congratulated him on a great Red Sox career.

I still can’t believe that Don Orsillo will be gone the next time I watch a Red Sox broadcast. I’ve loved watching and hearing them commentate games for the last decade and I’m still very much upset at how he was disrespected and backstabbed by NESN. Despite having every reason in the world to rip NESN apart, Don Orsillo has taken the high road every step of the way and been humble and grateful to the city and to the fans of Boston for showing him appreciate he deserves. Don Orsillo will truly be missed and Red Sox baseball on TV will never be the same again without him.

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2015 MLB Postseason Preview and Predictions


The 2015 MLB regular season concluded on Sunday, and 10 teams are set to duke it out for a chance to win the World Series.

ALDS: #3 Texas Rangers @ #2 Toronto Blue Jays


Led by MVP candidate Josh Donaldson, the Blue Jays feature a trio of sluggers that have combined for 120 home runs and 348 RBIs to lead Toronto to its first playoff appearance since I was 1 year old (1993). Toronto was mediocre throughout the first half of the season, but after acquiring ace David Price and superstar shortstop Troy Tulowitzki, they surged ahead of the Yankees in the second half to capture the AL East title. Price lead the league with a 2.45 ERA while fellow starter Marco Estrada finished 5th in ERA at 3.13. The Texas Rangers followed a similar path to the playoffs. After hanging out in 3rd place watching the Angels and Astros battle for the division, Texas acquired Cole Hamels at the deadline and finished the last month strong to take home the AL West crown. DH Prince Fielder and 3B Adrian Beltre lead the offense. There is no doubt that Toronto has the advantage on offense, but while Texas has the edge with pitching I think the Blue Jays will ultimately win this series in 5 games.

ALDS: Wild Card Houston Astros @ #1 Kansas City Royals

hou kc

From 2011 to 2013, the Houston Astros lost at least 106 games each of three straight years including 111 losses in 2013. Just two years later, they opened the postseason on the road and defeated the Yankees to reach the ALDS, where they will face the defending AL champion Kansas City Royals. The Astros enter the playoffs with the lowest win total of any playoff team with 86, but the Royals enter the postseason with the highest ERA among starting pitchers for teams in the playoffs. I think the Astros have a great chance to pull off the upset in this series. Keuchel and McHugh have been great all season long, and Kazmir has the postseason pitching experience to make an impact. On the other side, Yordano Ventura has been wildly inconsistent, midseason acquisition Johnny Cueto has been mediocre since the trade, and Edinson Volquez isn’t exactly an ace. Houston has the bats to get the job done as well: Jose Altuve batted .313 with 15 HR this season while Carlos Correa, Evan Gattis, and Chris Carter all belted over 20 homers on the year. Astros win the series in 5 games.

NLDS: #3 New York Mets @ #2 Los Angeles Dodgers

mets dodgers

The New York Mets finally return to the postseason after an 8 year drought. New York is led by a trio of excellent starters – Jacob DeGrom (14-8 2.60 ERA), Matt Harvey (13-8 2.71 ERA), and Noah Syndergaard (9-7 3.24 ERA) – in addition to rookie sensation Steven Matz (4-0 2.27 ERA) to round the best starting rotation in the MLB this season. Despite being among the worst offensive teams for a large part of the season, the Mets stayed competitive and picked Yoenis Cespedes at the deadline to provide a major spark to the lineup. Although the closer Familia (42 saves 1.87 ERA) has been lights out, the Mets bullpen is still their biggest weakness going into this series. On the other hand, the Dodgers have pair of their own aces. Clayton Kershaw (16-7 2.16 ERA) and Zack Greinke (19-3 1.66 ERA) have been the most dominant 1-2 punch in all of baseball. The biggest X factor in this series however, is Clayton Kershaw’s consistent postseason failure. Unless he proves otherwise, I like the Mets to win this series in 4 games.

NLDS: Wild Card Chicago Cubs @ #1 St. Louis Cardinals

cubs cards

The Chicago Cubs return to the playoffs for the first time since 2008 after taking down division rival Pittsburgh, and will now take on another division rival in the St. Louis Cardinals. For St. Louis, it’s become World Series or bust as they put up their 9th 100 win season and seem like a lock to at least make the NLCS every single year. They are probably the deepest and most complete team in the playoffs. The pitching staff features veteran John Lackey, Lance Lynn, and Michael Wacha while the offense is paced by Matt Carpenter and Matt Holliday. Joe Maddon’s Cubs feature great young talent with rookie Kris Bryant, Anthony Rizzo, and Kyle Schwarber in addition to the most dominant pitcher in the game right now: wild card winner Jake Arrieta. The Cubs also have postseason veteran and proven winner Jon Lester starting in Game 1, but I think the Cardinals are just too deep and the only game the Cubs will win is Arrieta’s lone start. Cardinals in 4.

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2015 NFL Season Preview

nfl 50

After an offseason dominated by corruption and lies from a modern day Hitler, justice was partially served and the season finally kicked off. The biggest headline during this entire season is the NFL’s celebration of its 50th season in the modern era culminating with Super Bowl 50 in San Francisco. Past and present Super Bowl champions will be honored and the 50 yard lines will be in gold as the NFL and its fans celebrate this milestone.


After winning an epic Super Bowl XLIX, the question for the New England Patriots is the same question for every Super Bowl champion: Can they repeat? Of course, the Patriots were the last team to accomplish in 2003 and 2004, so it’s not unfamiliar territory to 4 time Super Bowl champion and 3 time Super Bowl MVP Tom Brady. The main concern for the Patriots this season is defense. The losses of Darelle Revis, Brandon Browner, and Vince Wilfork will have a significant impact, but will also give players like Devin McCourty and Malcolm Butler a chance to prove their worth in the secondary. The Patriots got off to a good start with a win over Pittsburgh, and I expect an 11-5 season in an extremely competitive AFC East.

afc east

Speaking of the AFC East, for the first time in the Tom Brady era I legitimately believe this could be the year for someone other than the Patriots to win the division. Tom Brady has the East 11 consecutive times as the starter, and usually it hasn’t been particularly close. I mentioned that there were concerns on defense for the Patriots, but that isn’t the case with other 3 teams. The revitalized Bills led by Rex Ryan looked dominant in shutting down Andrew Luck, the Jets reunited with Darrelle Revis, and the Dolphins added Ndamukong Suh to an already strong pass rush. If I have to pick someone other than the Patriots to win the AFC East, I’m picking the Dolphins because they are the most complete team of the three since they have a decent QB. I think Miami can win 10 games and secure at least a wild card.


The other main storyline in the AFC for me is Peyton Manning. The Broncos are off to a 2-0 start, but Manning has not looked good for the most part and really playing like a 39 year old QB. The question is whether Manning can play well enough with a great defense behind him to still compete for a Super Bowl. This may very well hinge on the run game with C.J. Anderson and Ronnie Hillman, who have not performed to this point and will have to get going to keep the pressure off Manning.

I expect the AFC North to be competitive as usual minus the Browns, while the Colts should run away with the AFC South again. The West will be competitive minus Raiders, and much like the East may be the year for someone other than the Broncos to steal the division.

January 10, 2015; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman (25) reacts after free safety Earl Thomas (29) intercepts a pass against the Carolina Panthers during the first half in the 2014 NFC Divisional playoff football game at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

January 10, 2015; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman (25) reacts after free safety Earl Thomas (29) intercepts a pass against the Carolina Panthers during the first half in the 2014 NFC Divisional playoff football game at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

In the NFC, Seattle will be looking to capture its 3rd straight NFC title. A big obstacle for them this year will be its own division. The Rams acquired Nick Foles and drafted Todd Gurley, and already defeated the Seahawks this year. If Carson Palmer can stay healthy for Arizona, they will certainly be a contender for the division. On the other hand, the Seahawks defense is still great and Russell Wilson and Marshawn Lynch run the offense with addition of Jimmy Graham, so I expect them to win 12 games again this year and take the NFC West.

jordy nelson

The loss of Jordy Nelson to a season ending injury is a huge deal to the Packers, but with Aaron Rodgers, Eddie Lacy, and plenty of weapons at receiver, Green Bay should still take home the NFC North that doesn’t feature much competition.

Dallas and Philly will battle for the East as Demarco Murray looks to take down his former team and Sam Bradford takes the helm as Eagles quarterback. In the NFL’s worst division, the NFC South, the loss of Kelvin Benjamin is a big blow to the Panthers and I think the Falcons and Saints will compete for the division.






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The Trump Effect


The greatest thing the United States of America ever accomplished was managing to convince its citizens that they live in a country ruled by democracy and freedom. We’re only free to live our lives within the limitations of the government – which apparently doesn’t include the right to decline health insurance, the right to put what we want in our bodies, or the right to even spend our own money the way we want, among MANY other things. But the worst illusion currently going on in this country is the idea that the vote of the American citizen matters at all during elections. Your vote only matters by choosing which greedy, corrupt, hypocritical liar will do less damage to our country during the next 4-8 years. But in this current campaign cycle, a new ideology has arisen that might actually make a difference, and that might actually make America great again.


The typical brainwashed uninformed American voter will write off Donald Trump as some crazy, racist, sexist lunatic who is only craving attention with his run at the 2016 Republican presidential nomination. The fact of the matter, and what most people need to actually think through, is not the things that Trump is saying, but the mindset behind them. For the first time maybe ever, we have a political candidate who doesn’t care about money or fame because he has that already. He is speaking his mind and telling the American people what he truly believes in. Whether you agree with his stances or not, you should at least be able to respect that this is something new and refreshing in politics that we have not seen in a long, long time, if ever.


Remember what I said at the beginning of this blog: we don’t live in a free country and that is not going to change even if Trump is President. Many of his seemingly outlandish ideas would never get past Congress or the other dictatorial corporate-funded monstrosities that make up the government. However, voting and supporting a candidate that doesn’t care what other people think about him, and will tell you what he stands for without you having to worry that he is just telling you what you want to hear, would be a major step in the right direction towards making America great again.


This isn’t a blog about Donald Trump, it’s a blog about the Trump effect. I hate politics and I hate how government corruption has poisoned this country. We need somebody to stand up and tell people what they believe in regardless of the backlash that it is going to cause. So if you still think your vote matters, do something smart with your life and don’t vote all of the hypocritical frauds out there that will just tell you what you want to here until they are elected, at which point they will do the exact opposite. Vote for someone who is passionate about what they believe in and will do their best to make that happen, regardless of whether or not it “sounds crazy” or isn’t “the popular decision.”

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Reaction to the Celtics 2015 Draft

nba draft

It has been 24 hours since 2015 NBA draft, and the mood surrounding the Celtics performance has not improved much from the initial reactions, which were not good. Many people expected the Celtics utilize the four picks that they had in this year’s draft to try and trade up, but were unable to do a deal. Boston offered as many as 6 picks to the Hornets for the #9 pick and were still turned down. Therefore, they went ahead and used those selections, so time to take a look at who these guys are.

16th overall pick: Terry Rozier, Guard from Louisville

terry rozier

Terry Rozier is a 6’1″ point guard out of Louisville who averaged 17 pts / 6 reb / 3 ast / 2 stls for the Cardinals during his sophomore season last year. This pick is being heavily criticized from just about everyone, not because he is necessarily a bad player to choose at #16, but because the pick doesn’t make any sense based on what the Celtics need. Rozier is a lockdown defender and mediocre shooter, and if that sounds familiar its because that description also fits Avery Bradley and Marcus Smart. One theory that I have heard is that the Celtics think Rozier can be the same player as Smart, in which case Smart can be traded because he has a higher overall value as the #6 pick from last year. Regardless, I would have liked to see a forward such as Bobby Portis, Sam Dekker, or Montrezl Harrell get drafted in that spot to help fill the rebounding need.

28th overall pick: R.J. Hunter, Guard from Georgia State

RJ hunter

The only reason that most people know R.J. Hunter is for the game-winning three pointer he hit in the NCAA tournament to upset Baylor. Hunter does have good shooting abilities, but again this pick is questionable because the Celtics don’t need another guard. The positive about this pick is that least it’s offensive guard and not a 4th Rozier/Smart/Bradley. This pick does have better value than Rozier did at 16, and will be easier to use in any trade packages going forward into free agency.

33rd overall pick: Jordan Mickey, forward from LSU

This was probably the Celtics best pick of the draft. Jordan Mickey is a 6’8″ shot-blocking forward that can help the Celtics in the front court and has great value as a second round draft pick, since they won’t have to pay him the rookie contract that first rounders get. Of course, he is just as likely to be packaged in a trade as anyone else, but will probably be the most useful of the four picks if the Celtics decide to sign him.

45th overall pick: Marcus Thornton, guard from William & Mary


It really didn’t matter who the Celtics picked here. Once you get this far down in the draft, the expectations are pretty low. Thornton will amount to a role player at the best.

It will definitely be interesting to see what the Celtics do in free agency, but overall it wasn’t the strongest draft so the off-season is not off to the greatest start.

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Is Love a Mental Illness?

love mental illness

One of the most fascinating phenomenons that I’ve witnessed throughout my lifetime is how two nearly identical biological processes are looked upon with nearly polar opposite attitudes. There is, in fact, very little difference scientifically between falling in love and becoming addicted to drugs. In both cases, we experience a dopamine rush when we are involved with the source, and in both cases we can go through withdrawals without it. In both cases, there is great happiness at first, but in both cases it becomes impossible to replicate that initial joy over time. Our brains become biologically dependent on the source, and less dopamine is produced naturally after exposure to the source. In each case, our brains are physically distorted to the reality – whether that is hallucinations in the case of a drug addiction or the inability to see the flaws in someone you love.


So what is the difference? The difference is that people wrongly mistake love as some magical force that can’t be explained. The reality that love is simply an obsession with another person, and more accurately the obsession of a feeling of euphoria, just like doing drugs. Falling in love has the exact same effect on the brain as smoking cocaine. Some people might argue that drugs have more dangerous side effects. Although there is no direct way to measure this, one could also argue that there have been thousands if not millions of deaths caused directly or indirectly by relationships that simply started as “falling in love.” There is a reason that the first murder suspect in any case is always the significant other. Relationships can be equally as dangerous as drug addictions. The latter is only portrayed as worse because we can physically see the direct negative effects that happen to the person. How is drug rehabilitation any worse than marriage counseling? They are both trying to solve a problem stemming from inappropriate treatment of something that once gave them happiness.


The question in the title of this blog is ultimately raised because we consider those who struggle with obsessions or addictions to have a mental illness. We say that they don’t think in a healthy way, they don’t think or act the way they are supposed to. So is love a mental illness? It certainly prevents people from being able to think rationally and logically, and leads to an obsession that becomes a biological dependence. The case can certainly be made. Consider the following quote: “The symptoms of love are many and varied. What’s intriguing is that if we list them- for example, preoccupation with the loved one, tearfulness, euphoria- and check them against accepted diagnostic criteria for mental illness, we find that most ‘lovers’ qualify for diagnoses of obsessional illness, depression or manic depression. And this is no superficial relationship. Neurochemical and brain scanning investigations have shown a considerable overlap between ‘the brain in love’ and ‘the brain in the throes of mental illness’”.


This topic has interested me from a personal standpoint because I am fascinated with how the brain works. I have witnessed right before my very eyes how people in love change their behavior very dramatically, and often are unable to think logically or admit that their partner is anything less than perfect. It truly does look like an obsession from an objective perspective, and unfortunately I’ve seen it become an unhealthy one. I think people need to be extremely cautious entering relationships because they can be overpowering and very dangerous, and the reality is that addiction is not a choice — you can become biologically dependent on someone else.

This is just scratching the surface of the scientific research that has been done on this study. More information can be found in the links below.

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Reflecting on One Year in the Real World


On June 9th, 2015, I hit a milestone as officially one year had passed since my first day of working full time in the real world. I’ve learned a monumental amount of things since then, but looking back on the past year not everything went quite how I expected it to. The first and arguably biggest transition I had to make was my sleep schedule. I quickly realized that it was impossible me to make the 5 hour shift of getting up at 11 am on average to getting up at 6 am every morning during the week, which is why I learned to become a coffee person. Another disappointing realization of having to get up that early was also having to go to bed much earlier, meaning that I couldn’t stay up to watch most sports games that started later than 8:00 PM unless I wanted to be extra tired the next day. Apart from these two things, I actually enjoy the work schedule better than the college schedule. I am very much a routine oriented person, so it was very easy for me to get into the routine of 9-5 each day during the week and then having the weekends off.

I enjoy having an important job and being treated as a professional each day, and it is refreshing to be respected as a member of the corporate world rather than being looked down upon as a college kid who just wants to party. I very much love the freedom and indepedence that comes with working in a corporate environment. No one is checking to make sure you worked exactly 8 hours or looking to see if you took a long lunch break. There is a clear understanding that you have responsibilities that need to get done, and no one is going to tell you what you need to do all the time. It’s your responsibility to ask questions or seek help, and to figure out how you can be best that you can within your position. There are annual evaluations, but you’re not taking tests and getting graded like in college. The challenging part is that work is much harder than what you learn in college. There is a big learning curve, especially in the first year, and it takes a lot of patience to be able to succeed. I expected this coming in, but was anticipating more of a linear curve of consistent improvement. For me, it felt more like I sucked during the first 3-4 months and then all of a sudden things just start clicking around 5-6 months and you make a dramatic improvement.

As for Blue Cross Blue Shield in particular, I think I am very fortunate to be able to work at this company. I realize that the health insurance industry is always looked on as a scapegoat for the recent struggles with health costs, but I really do get the impression that leadership at this company is doing the best they can to improve the situation. I’m sure they are not perfect, but examples like the Alternative Quality Contract which incents providers based on quality rather than quantity have been proven to slow down costs and that is a concept unique to this company. BCBSMA is not afraid to address its weaknesses either. CEO Andrew Dreyfus has said on more than one occasion that we need to adopt more of a retail model when it comes to helping our members. He realizes that the company is still sending out a ridiculous amount of paper statements as opposed to digital, and how confusing those statements can be, and has launched initiatives to try to fix that. This isn’t a criticism of the people who work in those areas, but rather a representation that the health care industry as a whole is way behind when it comes to some important areas of the business. It has been fascinating to see how a health insurance company operates from an internal perspective, and also how hard it is to fix a system that is complicated beyond belief.

From an employee’s perspective, I think BCBSMA is great company for people to work for. One example of this was our recent move from Landmark Center in the Fenway area to 101 Huntington in the Prudential Center. This was a huge upgrade for everyone who worked there and, in addition to some long term cost savings, was exectured primarily to give employees a better working environment. The cafeteria has many more options and emphasizes health eating. The cube walls are lower to encourage more interaction among coworkers. There is natural light and windows everywhere to create a positive environment. On top of all of that, employees have access to over 50 discounts for stores in the prudential center in addition to $275 per month of transportation reimbursement, which is even more convenient in a location that is easily accessible by public transportation. Work life balance is an important part to everyone as well, which I witnessed when the company gave us an extra 2 days off around the holidays in December and frequently lets us out early the day before a holiday or holiday weekend.

Finally, I think I work in the best department in the company, Actuarial and Analytic Services. During my first year, I have had the opportunity to gain exposure to several different areas of the comapny, which has made me appreciate my department even more. Nearly everyone is in their 20s or 30s, and is always very nice and very helpful at all times. It is such a hardworking yet positive atmosphere and has really impressed me since I’ve been there. We often have several social events during each month and the department is very supportive by organizing wedding showers or baby showers during work to celebrate major life accomplishments for its employees. Even when I was an intern, everyone was very nice and very helpful to me and I felt like I was treated just like a full time employee. People in other departments were amazed when I described some of the things that the actuarial department does for fun. Having a group made of young, motivated, hard-working people definitely creates a positive atmosphere both inside and outside of work.

Overall, it has been a very challenging but very rewarding experience during my first year working in the real world at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts. I look forward to gaining more experience and being even better during my second year and for years to come.


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