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Jerry is back with some observations about the Pats, the Sox and even the Yankees.

I was searching for one of those clever phrases that just about every sports writer and/or commentator has for whenever they want to revisit events, clarify past statements or just use up leftover ideas that never quite fit in a column. “Empyting the Bench”, “Clearing Out the Notebook”, “Cleaning Off the Desk” , are a few examples that jump quickly to mind. Since I already tend to evoke more than a little randomness in my blogs, it’s probably not necessary, but because I wanted to revisit my last two submissions, and then throw in a few new odds and ends, I came up with a variation on the old reminder from video stores of the past.  “So, Let’s all be Kind, and Rewind…”

REWIND NUMBER ONE: The Patriots Preview:

Looks like it’s gonna be Brady and Mallett in 2012. (Charles Krupa/AP)

I figured that I was jumping the gun somewhat when I chose to attempt a definitive preview of their 2012 season with two more preseason games and major cutdown decisions to be made. For one thing, although I thought it unlikely that the trio of returnee veteran receivers (Jabar Gaffney, Donte’ Stallworth, and Deion Branch) would all survive training camp, I was still taken somewhat by suprise when all three were cut. I should not have been. Stallworth really has not shown much on the field since the tragedy in Miami in 2009, when he killed a pedestrian while driving impaired. Gaffney’s injured hamstring pretty much stopped him from showing anything in preseason and Branch, although still a apparently a favorite of Tom Brady, no longer possesses the speed to be the deep threat they need and got Brandon Lloyd to be. (They also picked up Greg Salas as a WR, and at 24, is substantially younger than the trio.)

The release of OL Dan Koppen also should not have been a surprise. When a veteran lineman hits free agency without as much as a nibble, then the handwriting is on the wall. Belichick has been so successful at mixing and matching O-linemen that I thought he might just hold onto him for another season. What has been a suprise to me is that they haven’t thrown more money at Brian Waters to get him to leave his home and family in Texas, for the relatively chilly fall and winter of New England. He was, after all, a pro-bowl lineman last season, just the type you want protecting Tom Brady.

The cut that has probably generated the most reaction on the local sports talk circuit was the release of backup QB Brian Hoyer in favor of second year pro Ryan Mallett. People have not been that impressed with the 6’6″ Mallett, and generally felt that Hoyer had enough experience to at least keep New England competetive, should Brady go down for a few games. Apparently the Pats are intent in finding out just what Mallett is capable of and figure that the extra work he’ll get with the first offense and scout teams will make a difference.

Let’s hope Tom stays on the field….

REWIND NUMBER TWO: The ‘Thank, Frank’ Edition:

Even getting rid of Beckett didn’t help the sox improve. (AP Photo)

(AKA- the Red Sox since The Trade.) I honestly believe that many members of Red Sox Nation envisioned the Sox performing at a lofty level once freed of Josh Beckett’s attitude and the quarter BILLION  dollars in bad contracts. Those of us who were a little more realistic realized that removing Adrian Gonzalez’s bat from a line up that was already missing David Ortiz, Will Middlebrooks, and Ryan Sweeney (yes, I said Ryan Sweeney!) was not exactly a recipe for success. Throw in a couple of  struggling, auditioning youngsters like Jose Iglesais and Ryan Lavarnway, factor in pitchers like Franklin Morales and Felix Doubront who have clearly run out of gas, and the result is a  1-8 road trip.

Speaking of gas; Bobby Valentine seems to be able to throw more gasoline on smoldering media embers than anyone I have ever seen. He just seems incapable of letting things die a natural death. I’m still amazed that someone who spent so much time as a member of the media has so much trouble communicating in a clear and meaningful way. Although the argument can be made for giving him another year, I don’t think it’s going to happen, nor do I want it to.


Is CC healthy? That will be a key to the Yankees September. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)

I have to admit to getting a certain amount of pleasure out of watching the Yankees struggle to the finish. Although earlier in the season I would have thought them so stacked as to be impervious to a prolonged stretch of bad baseball. I apparently was wrong. It appears now that they really don’t have enough pitching to make a deep run into the playoffs, and could be in serious trouble if C.C.’s elbow is not 100%. All I can say is, I wouldn’t suggest standing too close to Yankee Stadium should they have a repeat of last year’s one and done. But the good news is, you have A-Rod tied up for another six years!


Nyet, these are not the Red Sox. (WWE)

People, please stop with the comparisons between the problems the Red Sox are having and the collapse of the USSR. For one thing, the USSR had something like 40 million more people than the USA at the time of its collapse, so casting Boston as the Soviets and NYC as the USA, doesn’t quite fit. Also the Sox did not go bankrupt, they tied themselves up with a series of  poorly thought out and expensive signings. In the end, they were less trying to keep up with the present day Yankees as much as the ’04-’07 Sox. At the risk of repeating myself, if the Yanks don’t win it all this year, I think there’s a real likelihood things get very messy in ‘The Big Apple’, followed by an outbreak of stories about the failure’s of big payroll franchises.


There seems to be an eerie similarity between Penn State’s refusal to take action against their long time winning football coach in Joe Paterno, and BU’s protecting of veteran hockey coach, Jack Parker. The Boston TV stations have their news people on this so it’ll be intersting to see how it plays out. Stay tuned…..


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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