Every so often when it comes to Boston sports, I feel the need to follow up, while getting caught up, but trying not to get too fed up, with the general state of affairs. This is one of those times.
Following up on the Red Sox:
When I started my look at the Sox back in early June, I was trying to determine who was for real versus who might be best included in a deal to move them out of town. Although Boston had started to slow after what had been a very hot start, they were still within shouting distance of first place Baltimore. Since then, however, they have suffered through a 10-16 month, (3-7 in last 10) falling 5.5 games back and into a statistical tie with Toronto, and worst of all, only 3.5 ahead of the fifth place Yankees. Although Hanley Ramirez has picked up the pace, hitting .375 with 2 HRs and 5 RBI in the last 7 games, Mookie Betts (.265/1/3), Xander Bogaerts (.231/0/3), and Jackie Bradley (.192/1/4), have fallen off considerably.
To make things worse, they are getting little quality from their starters, with ace David Price coming off two very bad starts against the red hot Rangers, as well as the last place Rays. Steven Wright‘s stats are still attractive at 8-5, 2.18, but his last outing, also against the Rangers, was less than successful, with a line of 4.2 innings, 7 hits and3 ER. At this point, only Rick Porcello, 9-2, 3.78 ERA, seems to be showing any consistency. Although there are trade rumors galore, it’s far too early for most teams to give up on quality pitching, so the Sox are going to have to work through it on their own. If they don’t turn it around, and quickly, it could soon be too late for the Sox, and it may finally cost manager John Farrell his job.
Catching up with the Celtics:
I woke up to my Boston Globe sports section this morning to find that apparently both Kevin Durant, AND Dwight Howard, might be coming to town. Not just to catch up on American history, but to actually play for the Celtics. Of course, two years ago it was Kevin Love who was coming to town, and we all know how that turned out. (Maybe it’s just guys named Kevin….) Although Durant is clearly the priority here, signing the soon to be 31-year-old Howard seems a stronger possibility, especially with the right two-year deal. The fact that Durant even put the C’s on his short list is certainly a very big deal, and likely a tribute to the young potential that resides here. Fortunately we will not likely have to wait too long to find out, which is a good thing as the suspense is killing me.
Fed up with the Celtics:
Over the past two months or so, just about every other article in the sports section or topic on talk radio, was about all the draft picks the C’s had and what they should do with them. When they didn’t do anything with them at the trade deadline, people were disappointed but understanding. No one wanted to just “rent” a player, not at this point, not for this squad. When rumors persisted that Boston and Philadelphia were in talks about the number three pick, fans were hopeful we’d end up with an established player rather than an untested rookie who wasn’t likely to improve our lot. Apparently they wanted to give up Jahlil Okafor, while Danny Ainge wanted Joel Embiid. Nothing happened. The C’s drafted Jaylen Brown, a 6’7″ SF from Cal, who apparently had an impressive workout, Guerschon Yabusele, a 6’8″ PF from France, as well as the 6’11” Ante Zizic from Croatia. I suppose I should have more trust in Ainge’s evaluation skills, but I lost most of that when he traded Kendrick Perkins about five years ago at the deadline, costing the Celtics, in my mind at least, a chance at another title.
Well, I think you can get the general idea of why people are feeling a bit fed up, and just a tad impatient with the Celtics. There is a sense that with a bold move or two, Boston could challenge Cleveland for dominance in the East, and take back the championship. Maybe Howard and/or Durant will be part of that. I doubt it, but maybe… At any rate, and as I said above, I don’t imagine we’ll have to wait too long to see if Ainge has it in him.
- The “Roger That” Edition - February 28, 2017
- The “Nice Ring To It” Edition - February 3, 2017
- The “Shaken, Not Stirred” Edition - January 17, 2017
- The “Malcolms in the Middle” Edition - January 11, 2017
- A “Catching Up, Following Up, and Weighing In” Edition - December 31, 2016
- The “Cannon and Flowers” Edition - December 21, 2016
- The “Farm, for Sale” Edition - December 10, 2016
- The “Tebucky Jones Tribute” Edition - November 13, 2016
- The “World, Serious” Edition - November 1, 2016
- The “Easy Come, Easy Go” Edition - October 18, 2016