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Jerry touches upon the status of the four major sports teams in the Boston area.

Probably the best thing about living in a multi-sport, big market region, is that there is always something to talk about. It’s rare not to have at least two teams in season, and with the help of post-season play, there is that occasional magic moment in October when you may actually have all four of your professional teams in action. If not for that silly NHL lockout, and aided by baseball’s winter meetings, this week would be one of those times when all our teams would be vying for time and attention on the sport talk shows, and all the experts and “insiders” would be busy telling you what to expect and what it all means. I know I’m not an insider, and it’s open to debate on whether or not I’m an expert, but I can at least fill you in on how I feel things are playing at the moment.

BASEBALL:

Could Victorino be replacing Jacoby Ellsbury in center? (Reed Saxon)

It seems like just the other day that Jobu and I were expressing our frustration with our respective teams regarding their relative inaction in the off season. Despite coming off a 95 win season, there were certainly lingering questions regarding the Yankees, especially after their offensive collapse in the playoffs, and a sense they should do something. With the Sox, there can be no question that a great deal had to be done and done soon, and that just giving us stories about who they were interviewing for the role of hitting coach was just not very satisfying. When outfielder Jonny Gomes was signed, people were not exactly overwhelmed, but at least pleased that things were beginning to take shape. With the winter meetings and the signings of first baseman/catcher Mike Napoli, and the switch hitting outfielder Shane Victorino, it was apparent that the Red Sox were going for quality guys who should find Fenway a good fit. There is a great deal of speculation in these parts that the still speedy Victorino (39 steals last year) was brought in to replace Jacoby Ellsbury in centerfield, and that Ellsbury would be moved soon. Although the part about Victorino playing centerfield makes sense, the trading of Ellsbury at this point doesn’t. I am with those who believe that the only way to get value for him is to hope he gets off to a healthy start, and then move him at the trading deadline.

One last word regarding the Yanks; it was interesting that with the news that ARod could be lost for up to half a season, that Kevin Youkilis was being mentioned as his replacement at third base. I just find it difficult to picture ‘Youk’ in pinstripes. Besides, wouldn’t this be a good time to move Jeter to third, and make ARod the full time DH? Just a thought….

FOOTBALL:

Can the Pats stop one of the best defenders in the league? (Brett Davis/US Presswire)

Tonight’s Monday Night Football match up between the Texans and the Patriots is certainly shaping up to be an interesting one. Given that Houston’s secondary is suspect (it’s nice to say that about somebody else’s secondary) it could come down to whether or not the Pats’ patched up O-line can slow down the 6’6″, 295 pound,  JJ Watts, and give Brady the time to do his thing. As much as the Patriots’ defense has worried me at times, it’s good to remember that New England is (in theory, anyways) only fours points away from being undefeated. Having said all that, I can’t shake the feeling that this could be a real shootout, with the Pats winning 37-30. Look for Donte’ Stallworth’s only catch of the night to be the game winner.

BASKETBALL:

Can Rondo be the leader the Celtics need him to be? (Mike Ehrman/Getty Images)

I’m still trying to figure out what happened to all the positive vibes and good feelings we all had about the Celtics coming into the new season. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that the rebounding help we thought Danny Ainge had gotten for KG has not been present on a consistent basis, for the 9-8 C’s. (Where did you go Darko?) It’s also not a positive sign that the questions regarding Rajon Rondo’s maturity and leadership skills have resurfaced. Boston is going to have to play with more toughness and consistancy if they have any hope of making noise in the Eastern Conference. Avery Bradley should be back within the next few weeks. Let’s hope that makes a difference.

HOCKEY:

Will the owners, like Jeremy Jacobs, ever let the players back in? (Dina Rudick/Globe Staff)

I majored in Education when I was in college, and not Business, but it still seems elementary to me that any business plan for a professional sports league that includes intentionally not conducting your season, is flawed. This stoppage has been particularly frustrating for Boston fans as this year’s Bruins had high expectations, even without the wayward Tim Thomas in net. There is a growing belief that now that the owners have kept the players from earning about a quarter of their pay, they are ready to begin the season.

And people wonder why we didn’t elect a business man to be our president…

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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