Time Out for Sports Talk: File Maintenance, Long Weekend Edition
Todd: Back again with plenty to clear off the ol’ sports hard drive while trying to determine whether an amicus brief filing trumps an en banc hearing?
Remember when the Patriots offseason was all about OTAs and minicamps? Now you need at least two years of law school to figure out what’s happening, and it’s all because Commissioner Voldemort craves ultimate power the way former Saturday Night Live character Goat Boy craves the 1980’s. So when will John Jastremski be a guest on The Joe Pesci Show?
Lucky the Leprechaun must be on leave from the Celtics. First, the Green get the third pick in next month’s NBA Draft in what is considered by some to be a rookie crop of two potential stars and then everybody else. Right now the best deal Danny Ainge might pull off is landing Jahlil Okafor from Philadelphia. Those hoping beyond hope Kevin Durant might consider Boston as a free agent landing spot have seen their hopes dashed by a thunderous playoff run for KD and his OKC tag-team partner Russell Westbrook.
Golden State might have staved off elimination Thursday , but the way they were hanging on at the end of Game 6 makes me think the Warriors are about to die. The Thunder should close out this series in Game 6 on Saturday night, which would give the Warriors six postseason losses. That’s only three fewer than they had during the regular season, a feat which means little now. Stephen Curry is not playing at 100 percent, but you have to give credit to Durant and Westbrook who have elevated their play this postseason.
Similarly, not much has gone right for the Bruins during their offseason. Some of that is because last offseason, Milan Lucic was dealt to the LA Kings for a package that included a nondescript goalie named Martin Jones, who was B’s property for all of four days before getting flipped to the San Jose Sharks for a 2016 first round draft pick. Should be a decent pick because the Sharks are the Sharks, right? They’ve never played in the Stanley Cup Finals over the 24-year history of the franchise…until now.
To add two other insults to injury for B’s fans, Jones’ annual salary ($3M) is less than half of Tuukka Rask ($7.5M). If that’s not enough to grind your gears, remember Joe Thornton, the scapegoat for all that was wrong with the Bruins a decade ago? Fast forward ten years after the Bruins traded him to San Jose, and the now 36-year old is finally playing in his first Stanley Cup Finals after playing in over 1,500 career NHL games. How about a third insult? If Thornton doesn’t win his first Cup, Phil Kessel will with the Penguins.
Let’s close on a high note with those first place Boston Red Sox! A solid April (14-10) has been followed up by even a better May (15-8 so far) with the club hitting the cover off the ball. Their .296 team batting average is the best in baseball, and prior to last night’s loss there were six batters in the everyday lineup hitting over .300. Did you know the Sox even lead the American League with 15 triples?
Included in that group of hot hitters is Jackie Bradley Jr. His hitting streak might have ended last night at 29 games (tying Johnny Damon), but there are now only three players in team history who have hit in more consecutive games than Jackie (Dom DiMaggio 34, Tris Speaker 30 and Nomar Garciaparra 30…NOMAH!!)
Flying under the radar of Bradley’s hitting streak has been Xander Bogaerts, who last night extended his hitting streak to 19 games (currently the longest in MLB) and leads the AL with a .347 batting average, proving that last year’s .320 BA was not a fluke. And for those wondering when the power will come, keep in mind that his 5 home runs this season are almost as many as he had all of last year (7). This kid is something special to watch, one of many good young players to watch on this team.
Staying on the subject of hitting (if only to avoid bringing up the enigma that is Clay Buchholz) congratulations to Wade Boggs on having his number 26 retired by the Red Sox this week. Yes, I know he left the Red Sox and won a World Series with the Yankees. And yes, I know he had weird superstitions and compulsions both on and off the field. But his .338 career average with the Sox is second only to Ted Williams in team history and he’s also ranked amongst the top five Red Sox all-time in doubles, walks and on-base percentage. Not to mention he’s the only Boston athlete to ever get ‘pantsed’ on Cheers.
Want even more good news? Heading into this long holiday weekend, the baseball teams with the best records in their respective leagues are the Red Sox and the Chicago Cubs. I know it’s early, but how about a potential World Series matchup with Theo Epstein trying to end the Cubs’ 108-year championship drought against many of the Red Sox players he drafted? Dare to dream!!
Mike: A Cubs/Red Sox World Series, I don't want to see it. I mean, it could only lead to this:
I mean, I know the Red Sox broke the cures, but I still don't think the world could take the Cubs playing the Red Sox. It is two of the most cursed franchises in sports, there is no way fate would allow a winner. All sorts of things could happen.
Danger to world leaders attending the game:
The return of Enrico Pallazzo:
Brawls on the field:
Breakdowns in the bullpen:
Or maybe we'd just get to Game 7, bottom of the 9th in a tie game, bases loaded, and we're finally going to see who would win, and this would happen:
Oh well, to end on a high note- enjoy these baseball bloopers!
Happy Memorial Day!