Can’t believe I am shoveling snow on Opening Day.
The Red Sox start the season today in Cleveland. So how will they do this year? I see them at best as an 85-win team that will be hovering around the wild card race all season. In the end, their mediocre starting pitching and power shortage will be their downfall.
President of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski has enjoyed a honeymoon period with Red Sox Nation. But the honeymoon could come to an end quickly this summer. If the Sox are in contention, it will be imperative for Dombrowski to upgrade the starting staff. It’s easy to throw gobs of money at David Price and get him to sign a monster contract. It’s much harder to make a deal during the season to get your team to the postseason.
In this age of free agency it’s nice to see the Red Sox starting seven home grown players on Opening Day. The Yankees on the other hand are starting none. This is a testament to the fine job and commitment to draft and develop talent that started under Theo Epstein and continued under Ben Cherington.
Speaking of Theo, his Cubs are the pick of most of the baseball experts to win the World Series. Epstein has done a great job in building the Cubs up from the ground floor. If the Cubs do win the World Series, Epstein will have pulled off the daily double, being the GM who ended The Curse of The Bambino and the man in charge of giving the Cubs their first World Series win since 1908. That’s a sure ticket to the Hall of Fame. The biggest mistake John Henry and Tom Werner have made was letting Theo go.
The Patriots may not have won the Super Bowl this year but they are the Super Bowl Champions of social media. Tom Brady, Julius Edelman, and Rob Gronkowski have been laugh out loud funny on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter this offseason. Add Martellus Bennett to the mix and this group is a must follow. Unfortunately, it looks like their social media hijinks may be coming to an end as the Patriots head back to Foxboro for their offseason workouts. I think the hoodie may put an end to the fun.
Has anyone seen Dustin Pedroia this spring? He has had a very quiet time as the talk has been about Hanley Ramirez, Pablo Sandoval, John Farrell and the young outfielders. This is a good thing for Pedroia who quietly did his work to get ready for the season. I say Pedroia has a big season both at the plate and in the field.
Heads are hanging in Bruins Nation after their poor performance Sunday in Chicago. But with three games to go in the regular season, the B’,s hold their playoff destiny in their own hands. They have three home games left against Carolina, Detroit, and Ottawa. They win all three and they are in the playoffs. If they do not make it to the playoffs it’s their own fault and I think heads will roll on Causeway Street.
The Celtics clinched a second straight trip to the playoffs. One of the key players for the team has been Evan Turner. Turner has proven to be a great signing by Danny Ainge. He came to Boston as damaged good, a former No. 2 pick in the draft who had been labeled as a bust. But Turner has flourished in Brad Steven’s system and has thrived as both a starter and as a sixth man. He is a free agent this summer and I would love to see Danny Ainge bring Turner back. It would be good for Turner who seems to have found a home here with the Celtics, and it would be good for the team to have Turner back as a key member going forward.
How will the benching of Pablo Sandoval affect the Red Sox and free agents going forward? Could it have a chilling effect on other players coming to Boston? Would free agents want to come here after seeing how fast the Sox gave up on Sandoval despite owing him a ton of money? Players talk with other players and agents speak to other agents and the way the Red Sox handled Sandoval is sure to be a hot topic.
How important is good ownership in sports? Look at the Los Angeles Lakers. Jerry Buss was a great owner. Since his death in 2013, the team has had one winning season and has a record of 109-214. If I were a Lakers fan, I would be praying for the Buss kids to sell the team. They have no idea what they are doing.
Former Patriots tight end Scott Chandler announced he will be having major knee surgery that may end his career. Chandler was a major disappointment for the Patriots last season and now we know the reason why. The Patriots treat information on injuries like the CIA treats secrets. While this may be good for the organization, it really hurts players and how they are perceived. Brandon LaFell — once he signed the with the Bengals — admitted he was never at full strength last season. He was another player, like Chandler, who the fans, media, and other teams, thought could not play anymore.
Congratulations to Charlestown’s Matt Grzelcyk who signed a two year deal with the Bruins. The former BU captain will report to Providence to begin his professional career. This is a great local story as Matt’s dad John has been a member of the Garden’s Bull Gang for over 40 years. In the hey day of the old Garden, John was the Zamboni driver, cleaning the ice between periods of Bruins games.