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Jerry Ballgame muses on the future of Gronk, as well as the Bruins.

My Mother had the habit of starting a sentence in the middle of a thought. The thought usually had little to do with the context at hand, so you were often left with a puzzled expression until you were able to trace events and/or the conversation back to a point that made it make some sense. I got to be pretty good at it. Of course, now I find I do it, so bear with me as I make a few extra random connections.


Have we seen all we're going to see from Gronk? (Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
Have we seen all we’re going to see from Gronk? (Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

I had a friend back in junior high school who had a hook where his left hand should have been. He had his arm amputated while in ninth grade after he had broken it a number of times. For years, I had assumed that the numerous breaks had led directly to the loss of the arm, before realizing that the breaks were the result of a more serious condition that made the amputation necessary. Rob Gronkowski‘s repeated issue with his arm has made me think of “Matt” a great deal of late, as I find it disconcerting that six months after the initial injury, he is still not healed and continues to have problems with it.

Granted, I am not a doctor, nor have I ever played one on TV, but I am concerned that the issues that Gronk has, although not life threatening, could most certainly be career threatening. When you combine that with the reoccurring back problem (the same one he had in college), then you can understand why there is a growing concern in these parts that the Pats’ offense could have some serious problems to overcome next season. In addition to all that, many people are questioning whether or not it was wise of the Patriots to tie Gronkowski up with the six year, $53 million dollar extension that he signed last June.

I’ve been assured, however,  that the Pats have written protection into his contract, involving a buy out over health issues, so at least they can get some of their money back.  But, let’s face it. Everyone, including the Krafts, would much rather have a healthy and well behaved Gronk ready and able to go for the duration of the season and playoffs. They are not worried about the money. The Pats have not had an effective Gronkowski for their last two playoff runs, and the results have been less than satisfying. Let’s hope that, if he’s not ready to go, that Jake Ballard is. Time will tell…


He might be tiny, but the kid from MSU can play. (Elsa/Getty Images)
He might be tiny, but the Torey Krug can play some hockey. (Elsa/Getty Images)

Speaking of time, I remember exactly when and where it was when I realized I was not going to be a professional baseball player. I was 12 years old and it was my big brother who delivered the bad news. (It was funny, I could hit the curve, just not the inside fastball, so I didn’t see too many curves…) He was right, of course. I just didn’t want to hear it. Flash forward 28 years to my 40th birthday, and how upset I was to realize that I was officially too old, and that the Red Sox really weren’t going to call and ask me to come out of “retirement”, to help them win the World Series. (Obviously, before 2004.)

So I had to settle for watching ever increasingly younger men put on the uniforms of my beloved Sox, Celtics, Patriots, and Bruins. But at least they looked, for the most part, like men and not Justin Bieber. Enter Torey Krug, and all that has changed. The 22 year old former Michigan State Spartan stands a less than impressive 5’9″, and tips the scale at a mere 180 pounds, but he has brought a spark to the B’s that has helped them jump out to 3-0 series lead over the New York Rangers.

Even in the midst of the celebrating over the comeback game 7 win against the Maple Leafs, there was real concern that the Bruins would be seriously shorthanded defensively for their next series. Veteran defensemen Dennis Seidenberg, Wade Redden, and Andrew Ference were all lost with injuries, so an emergency call was sent to the Providence Bruins for help, and  now it looks like the trio will have a tough time winning their jobs back. Krug, who had 2 goals and an assist in the first two games, has played with a real poise, handling the puck like a veteran, and shown every indication that he’s here to stay. I’m afraid to back off of my original prediction of the Bruins in seven, because recently they’ve had a tendency to need to play seven games to win a series, but I’ve seen nothing to indicate to me that the Rangers have the stomach for the kind of fight it’s going to take to achieve that. With any luck at all, it will all be settled before you even read this, and it will be on to Pittsburgh.

Stay tuned…

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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