Monday, January 16, 2012
Quick Notes: Sox, Pats, Celtics
It's a very exciting time to be a New England sports fan. The Patriots are heading back to the AFC Championship, the NBA season is young, and baseball season is right around the corner. Here are a few thoughts/ observations I have from the most recent week in NE Sports.
Patriots; loved everything about their game against the Broncos. That was vintage Tom Brady. Calm, cool, efficient. He looked like a surgeon. While I never felt any pulse of fright in playing the Broncos, TB12 and company did everything possible to quell any sense of a Denver upset right from the start. That was (as I complained about earlier in the season), the most complete four quarters of football the team has played all year, with really no let downs from the offensive or defensive end. Now that we're set to play the Ravens, I must confess that I'm feeling very confident. Sure the Ravens have a tough defense, but I simply trust our offensive efficiency to put points on the board while I believe our defense has enough ability to minimize Ray Rice...I like it Patriots 28 Ravens 17.
Celtics; WOAH. They are bad. I usually trust a group of veterans when playoff time comes but this team simply looks ancient. The most valuable asset of the Celtic teams of the past was their great team defense. They were never the most explosive offensive team, but they could shut down anyone. Now, they just look old on defense. They're getting outrun, out-hustled, and out-worked. This team has the mindset that they can simply turn on the effort come playoff time and they will be able to make a run. At this rate they'll be lucky to make the playoffs. Moving forward as well, why would you not trade away all the pieces of this team to rebuild. There are at least 10 teams that would love to get their hands on Ray, Paul, or KG and would be willing to offer premium draft picks to do so. Examples (Ray Allen to the Clippers...Clippers have no 2 guard, Ray Allen with Griffin, Paul, Jordan, etc would be lethal, they would do a deal for him in a heartbeat, so would Chicago). As much as it pains me to say it, would Paul Pierce not fit perfectly into a veteran Mavericks team? This is not easy for me to propose, but the future is not bright here in Boston with these players. I think it's time to start trading these guys and bringing in young pieces who the team can start to build around. This Celtics team is gross, and they need to make changes, fact. (Of course now that I've written this article they're probably gonna go on a tear and go to the Eastern Conference Finals which will give Danny Ainge hope that this team can compete for another year........)
Red Sox; I've been very happy with the moves Cherington has made so far as GM. I wouldn't have touched Papelbon at 50 million with a mile long stick. I love the deal for Bailey as well. Furthermore, the addition of Melancon, which allows Bard to move into the rotation is a great move to further the depth of the rotation while also maintaining the strength of the bullpen. I also appreciate that the organization has not overreacted to making bold changes. Let me put this out there; I love Carl Crawford, I think he's going to rebound and have a great year. I love Jon Lester and Josh Beckett. I think they're going to come back with so much to prove this year and have sensational seasons. I love Kevin Youkilis and what he brings to the team. I think it would have been foolish to trade him (as many people were suggesting because the Sox top prospect is Will Middlebrooks who's a 3b) while he's still an OBP machine and has at least one good year left. I also love what Bobby V has done in his short tenure. He's made a point to build bridges with guys who he formerly alienated while broadcasting and it shows some maturity and foresight from his part (granted I'll reserve judgement on his hiring until the season starts). Recently reports have come out of the Sox's interest in Roy Oswalt. I think that would be a great fit. A proven winner and bulldog on the mound whose stock is low because of injury plagued seasons. If the Sox can buy low on him and he stays healthy a whole year, he might legitimately be the most talented pitcher on the staff before it's all said and done. Cherington's reign has proven to be one of shrewd decision making and patience so far, I excited to see it continue.