Some random thoughts while waiting for spring to get here.
Bill Belichick never gives us an inside look at his thought process of why the Patriots have been so successful.
The coach was the keynote speaker Thursday at the 2016 Salesforce World Tour Event in Boston. WEEI.com reports that Belichick told the audience that Tom Brady is the greatest quarterback of all time and the key to the Patriots success is that they think “out of the box.”
“One of the things we’ve tried to do is to be a little bit of an outlier in some respects,” Belichick said. “When I came to the Patriots in 2000, as the head coach, we played a 3-4 defense, and we only had really two teams in the NFL- us and the Pittsburgh Steelers — that ran the 3-4. We had quite a bit of success, won three super bowls in four years, and by 2005 half the league was playing a 3-4 defense.”
This is some of the best insight we have ever heard from Belichick. He talked about taking chances; using different schemes with different players. Wish we could get more of this from him during the season.
So if the Bruins make the playoffs, does that mean they keep Claude Julien? Now I think he is a very good coach but it’s been two years in a row that his team has folded down the stretch. If the Bruins brass do not believe in Julien, they should fire him whether they make the playoffs or not. He should be judged on his entire body of work not on a rash emotional decision if they miss the playoffs.
Wednesday was a good day for basketball people and a bad day for the analytics crowd. Sam Hinkie resigned as general manager of the Philadelphia 76ers. Hinkie treated the rebuilding of the team as some type of lab experiment. He never tried to win, as he was more concerned in getting the most ping pong balls rather than wins. He took tanking to a whole other level. Hinkie was a numbers guy who treated the game and his team as his own personal experiment. He resigned in a bizarre 13 page letter to the Sixers owners. In the letter he even made a reference to Bill Belichick’s decision to go for a first down when faced with a 4th and two against Peyton Manning and the Colts in 2009. The Patriots failed to convert but Hinkie wrote that it was a good decision.
Craig Kimbrel is one of the best closers in the game. And a very genourous young man.
— Noé Ramirez (@NOERAMIREZ24) April 5, 2016
Kimbrel bought personalized Red Sox Movado watches for his teammates. Not sure if it was all the team’s pitchers, guys who made the roster for the first time, or just the bullpen — but whatever it was, it was a great gesture by Kimbrel.
I agree with my colleague Steve Silva that the Red Sox are making a big mistake in holding David Price for the Fenway opener on Monday. When you pay $217 million to a pitcher you want him to pitch as much as possible. Farrell should have pitched him Sunday on his normal rest against the Blue Jays instead of waiting an extra day to pitch him against the Orioles. Toronto looks to be the best team in the division and you want your ace going against the best. Decisions like this could cost the manager his job.
Red Sox president Sam Kennedy is a great guy. And has done a tremendous job in helping to generate revenue for the team. But Kennedy took the spin on why the Red Sox have the highest beer prices in the major leagues to a new level. Kennedy told 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Toucher and Rich that the Sox use that money to help them with the payroll and for improvements to Fenway Park. I am not buying it. It’s a total money grab. And it’s not just the Red Sox. You have to re-mortgage your house to be able to buy food and drinks at TD Garden and Gillette, too. At some point, fans just have to say enough is enough [read: Liverpool] and wine and dine before and after they get to the games.
I’m hoping that the Warriors go for the NBA record of 73 wins. Coach Steve Kerr hinted that he may rest some of his players for the final three games after they clinched the league’s best record on Thursday. The Warriors are a special team and seem to have embraced the goal of 73 wins all year. Their last three games are at Memphis and San Antonio on Saturday and Sunday then home against the Grizzlies on Wednesday. Come on coach, go for it.
It’s been a tough start of the season for Xander Bogaerts. He is 0-for-9 with three strikeouts and has not looked good at all at the plate. During his fantastic 2015 season, Bogaerts had his lowest batting average of the season — .274 — in April. Look for him to heat up when the weather does.
I am not a golfer but I love watching The Masters. The course is beautiful and the players seem to step up their games in the first major tournament of the year. As I write this, Jordan Speith has a three shot lead. His spectacular play the last two years, especially in majors, has most golf fans not missing You Know Who at all.
Every time I see Mel Kiper spout off about some college player on ESPN, I wonder if he knew so much why is he not making million of dollars working in the personnel for an NFL team.
Here is the only race Celtics fans should be watching the next week. It’s the race for the third worst record. Right now, the Brooklyn Nets and the Phoenix Suns are tied with 21 wins each. The Celtics own the Nets No. 1 pick so every Green Teamer should be rooting for Phoenix. Brooklyn has four games left, at Charlotte, at Indiana and then at home against the Wizards and Raptors. Phoenix has three games left, at New Orleans then home against Sacramento and the Clippers. Looks to me like Phoenix has a better chance to get a win or two.
It looks like old friend Theo Epstein has built a powerhouse on the north side of Chicago. The Cubs are the pick of most experts to win the World Series this year. They started 3-0 and have outscored their opponents 29-7 so far. I know it’s early, but Cubs talent level is second to none in baseball.