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Jerry Ballgame is back with more of his Hublets, weighing in on David Ortiz, Wes Welker, Julius Irving and even Brian Cashman.

Maybe it’s all those years of working with high school students (or maybe it’s just all those years) but I find my ability to concentrate on any one topic for any length of time, to not be what it used be. So, in keeping with the situation, I’m bringing back the “hublet”. For those of you who have chosen not to recall what a hublet is; it’s simply a shorter observation or random thought- on a variety of topics- than I usually provide from my perspective in the “HUB OF THE UNIVERSE”. Starting with….

HUBLET #1:  GETTING OFF ON THE WRONG FOOT

What does Ortiz's lingering heel problem mean for the Sox? (Associated Press)
What does Ortiz’s lingering heel problem mean for the Sox? (Associated Press)

To have David Ortiz being “shut down” for a week after eight months of inactivity, because of the starined achilles, is to say the least, disconcerting. I, for one, thought he should have been let go for his part in the Francona fiasco, and certainly didn’t expect to see the 37 year old signed for two more years, so I’m feeling a little bit of  the “I told you so’s…” right now. I get that the Sox have been burned by some big contracts of late, but I can’t help but feel they passed on some big bats this time around assuming Ortiz would provide their lineup with some pop. Now he clearly will not be ready for Opening Day, and at this rate, will likely be out for the entire first month. As he is also a notoriously slow starter, that just doesn’t bode well for the Boston offense. If there is any good news in this, it maybe that the Sox can give Mike Napoli the opportunity to DH and start Mike Carp at first, taking some pressure off Napoli’s potentially cranky hip.

HUBLET#2: WELKER’S WAGES:

Will the Patriots be able to replace Wes? (Scott Halleran/Getty Images)
Will the Patriots be able to replace Wes? (Scott Halleran/Getty Images)

Oh, pay the man already! I get that this may just be another example of what we were just talking about, namely paying a player big bucks after he is no longer capable of performing at his best level; but I feel like the Pats have tried very hard to replace Wes Welker, but have not been able to. I also doubt Welker would be as valuable to a team who had a lesser QB than Tom Brady (which would be most of the them) so he should stay and the Pats should pay him what they owe him. I expect this will be resolved soon, perhaps before I finish writing this even, I just hope they do the right thing. The Patriots, under Bill Belichick’s direction, have been amazingly competive during the regular season, despite salary cap restrictions. But I can’t help but feel that they would have likely won a few more Lombardi Trophy’s if they had just given a few more people, a bit more money. (Like Ty Law, perhaps.) Anyway, the Pats can’t afford to do nothing during this free agency period, I just hope Bill agrees. (NOTE: IT HAS BECOME OBVIOUS IN THE TIME SINCE I FIRST WROTE THIS THAT WHAT COACH BILL CONSIDERED TO BE THE RIGHT THING REGARDING WELKER, DIFFERED SIGNIFICANTLY FROM WHAT I THOUGHT WAS THE RIGHT THING. I AM A LITTLE CONCERNED THAT HE MAY HAVE GONE TO THE ONLY TEAM WHERE HE COULD BE AS EFFECTIVE AS HE WAS IN NEW ENGLAND, AND THAT DANNY AMENDOLA IS GOING TO BE A YOUNGER BUT MORE FRAGILE SUBSTITUTE. WELL, AS LEAST THEY ARE NOT STANDING PAT- SO TO  SPEAK.)

HUBLET#3: GIVING THE DOCTOR HIS DUE:

A quick shout out to an NBA legend. (Sports Illustrated)
A quick shout out to an NBA legend. (Sports Illustrated)

I, for one, feel that in the discussion of all time greats in the NBA, that the good Doctor J. is badly short changed. The 6’6″, 200 pound product of UMASS, aka: Julius Erving, took the drive to the basket to-literally- new heights, and was the first to prefect the windmill dunk. He also managed to perform lay ups from behind the backboard. A performer of incredicble grace and control, I believe that he would have flourished in today’s game. Irving was inducted into the Hall of Fame, in my hometown of Springfield, MA, in 1993.

HUBLET#4: SYMPATHY PAINS:

Brian Cashman's not the only one with plane jumping experience. (New York Daily News)
Brian Cashman’s not the only one with plane jumping experience. (New York Daily News)

When I heard that Yankee GM Brian Cashman had broken his ankle, my first thought was, “Gee, some people will do anything to be like Jeter.” When I heard that he did it skydiving, it took me back to my own experiences jumping out of airplanes. Actually, the first five times I was in an airplane, I jumped out of it. It wasn’t until my first time on a commericial flight that I landed in the same plane I had taken off in. (The authorities tend to frown you leaving your seat let alone the airplane, just ask D.B. Cooper…) In my day, in Massachusetts, you had to make at least five static line jumps from 2500 feet before they would let you free fall. (“From 2500 feet, if nothing happens to slow your descent, in 17 seconds sport parachuting becomes a contact sport.” “More sport parachutists drown than are killed by impact.” Just two of the things I remember my instructor telling me…) They also tell you to not  look at the ground as it rushes towards you and to bend your knees and to roll with the landing. I remember watching a fireman who, along with his buddies had called in sick so he could try parachuting, land straight legged while staring at the ground. He broke both his ankles. I wonder if that’s what happened to Brian. Anyway, after my experiences I took up running. I wonder what Mr. Cashman will do?

Jerry Ballgame

About Jerry Ballgame

The personification of "old school", Jerry Ballgame was born in the shadow of Dr. Naismith's peach basket, and baptized in that "Dirty Water." Designated by his "Uncle" Ted, to keep an eye on things, he's here to tell everyone what his view is like from the Hub of the Universe.

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