Jerry Ballgame checks in with all four of the major Boston sports.
Although technically only two of the Hub’s four major franchises are actually in season at this moment, they are all pretty active in one way or another, so let’s take a quick look at all of them. (I’m leaving the Revolution out of the discussion for now, but I promise to take a closer look at them soon for you followers of the true football. (Futbol?)
Anyways, let us start with the suddenly punchless Bruins. Although they are still in fourth place in their conference, five points back of the leading Pittsburgh Penquins (with 2 games in hand), they seem to be struggling with, as Keith Olbermann used to say, “putting the biscuit in the basket.” Only Brad Marchand with 13 and Tyler Sequin with 10, are in double digits in goals. Against the Maple Leafs on Monday night, Milan Lucic bagged his first goal in 15 games, and only his second in his last 20. When you combine the less than inspiring play of Tuukka Rask (not bad, just not good enough) and a growing injury list that includes David Krejci, Adam McQuaid, Johnny Boychuck, and Chris Kelly, than you can understand why there is growing concern for the rapidily approaching post season. (I believe there are about 17 games left in this shortened season.) I don’t remember anyone feeling overconfident back in 2011, so maybe history can repeat itself this Spring. But I still wouldn’t fire up the duck boats just yet….
Roller Coaster Ride
Nor would I fire them up for the other occupants of the Garden anytime soon for that matter, either. The Celtics’ season has been somewhat of a roller coaster ride this year, certainly emotionally if nothing else. There were great expectations early on that were quickly dashed when the C’s got off to a shakey start, even further shaken when Rondo went down, only to be buoyed back up when they played well without him. It feels like we’ve been up and down on a weekly bases ever since. Now with Kevin Garnett in a walking boot (I’m sorry, but I can’t help but hear Tina Sinatra’s voice everytime I say “walking boot”.), it’s difficult to imagine a post season that generates much excitement. No one expects the Celtics to win the East, but we have convinced ourselves that we are the team no one wants to play, at least in the first round. I know Celtics’ officials are saying that the boot is just “precautionary”, but I think that bad knees and ankles are just things that happen to old people. Believe me, I know.
Bigger and Better?
Although I’m still bothered by the loss of Wes Welker, I am in general, pleased with the Patriots’ free agent dealings so far. I am particularly hopeful that the 33 year old safety Adrian Wilson, at 6’3″ and 230 pounds, will bring some extra toughness that position hasn’t really had since Rodney Harrison retired. Signing cornerback Aqib Talib to a one year deal seems like the ideal way to keep the sometimes troubled young man motivated. The Pats teamed him with the resigned and improving Kyle Arrington. The secondary is certainly shaping up to finally be an area of strength for the Pats. Now if Donald Jones can provide them with the deep threat Brady needs, they could make it back to the Super Bowl, where ever it may be.
As Spring training comes to a close, the biggest qustion surrounding the Red Sox seems to be whether or not they bring Jackie Bradley north with them. He certainly has earned it. After all, he’s been their best (.444) and most consistent hitter all Spring, so it’s not a matter of perfromance. The question seems to be around control. If they bring the 22 year old, Scott Boras client with them and keep him in Boston, then the 6-year clock on free agency starts. I suppose if you are building for the future, and don’t believe that the future is this year, then keeping him down on the farm makes some sense. It certainly didn’t hurt Harper and Trout last year. (Although I do wonder if the Nationals and Angels would do it again if they had the chance?) One way or another, we won’t have to wait too long to find out what they’re going to do. It’s supposed to be a pleasent 55 degrees in New York on Monday, and I’m guessing young Mr. Bradley will be there to bask in the warmth of his first opening. The first, let’s hope, of many in a Red Sox uniform.
- 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