BLEED BOSTON:

Yes it’s Bobbys fault for putting our closer in, in a save situation. He also has 8 blown saves. Damn you Bobby V!!! Oh Please.

Originally posted on HardballTalk:

It sure appeared as though Bobby Valentine was more interested in proving a point than winning a ballgame on Tuesday night.

With a 5-4 lead after seven innings, Valentine sent Alfredo Aceves out to earn a two-inning save against the Angels. Aceves got through the eighth unscathed, but he lost the game on an RBI single and a sac fly in the ninth.

Aceves, of course, had just returned from a three-game, team-imposed suspension. He hadn’t pitched since Thursday, when he was left in to give up five runs in one-plus innings in a loss to the same Angels team.

Aceves pitched a one-two-three eighth inning tonight. Leaving him in to start the ninth was certainly defensible, but there should have been someone warming up behind him. Valentine didn’t bother getting anyone up until two men reached with one out. By then, it was too late; Aceves gave up a…

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Boston: New Directions

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The end of 2012 and the beginning of 2013 will bring about a new time in Boston sports. Since the deflating defeat at the hands of the Miami Heat the Celtics look to begin a new era. The Red Sox have sent almost all of their problem children packing with the Departure of Beckett, Gonzalez, and Crawford most recently. The Patriots even seem to have restarted a back to basics approach with some defensive look changes and by bringing back Josh McDaniels. The Bruins have moved on from Tim Thomas the mouth that divided their locker room. It seems as fast as the Boston market was inundated with Championships, Executive trophies, and Coach of the Century nods they have fallen back into a cycle where teams: took on bad contracts, took chances on the wrong players, and thought the system was too pure to be corrupted by a few.

Smart minds always knew Bill Belichick and Chad Johnson had great respect for each other, but the logical fan said that would never work in New England, we heard the same kind of grumbling when Albert Haynesworth came to town. The same was true when the Sox broke their mold to get Lackey, Crawford, and Boby Jenks. Gonzalez was a Pipe Dream Theo had long before Adrian ever came to Boston. All that came crashing down with the crack of thunder and in the flash of lighting and we are left with our pants at our ankles, in the dark, and wondering where our wallet is.

The resulting black outs might have seemed sudden but any solid Boston fan knew that his teams had been lead astray and spoiled. Larry Lucchino thought he knew more than Theo long before Theo Epstein ran to the Cubs; remember when Theo came back from his hiatus as GM in Boston; all that he talked about was a shift in focus on how to develop our farm system, develop a more thorough approach to scouting, not buying into the hype and marking smart moves. Well the team abandoned that approach when it was afraid it would lose fans if they did not make offseason splashes and now even the most die-hard fans are not watching because they hate the team and the messages the team sends to it’s fans.  We fell in love with a team of idiots who worked for everything they got and persevered through everything! and somehow upper management thought the city of Boston wanted to watch over priced, entitled, cry babies; who blamed umps, the weather, schedules, the media, and God for why they did not win after being dubbed “Greatest team ever.” When in reality they will only be remembered for being the “worst team in September ever”! Well fans have endured over a year of September and it appears light has dawned on marble head (or ego) and Lucchino and other Red Sox management needed to be reminded by their new boy wonder that, Ugh guys you are doing it wrong. Let’s see if they learn their lessons and save your money for the right talent and listen to you baseball ops people, they know what they are talking about. Theo did and so does Ben Cherington.

Bobby V was not a mistake, taking away all his power and not embracing what he brings to the table was a mistake.  Mr. Lucchino is a legend for finding the right people for the job, but what happens when you hire the right guy and tell him how to do his job.. thats just not smart business. Allowing the players (Dustin Pedroia) to announce that holding players responsible in the media and in public is not how we do things here. Well, maybe Dustin is confused that is ALL we do in Boston. Fans and media appreciate Dustin for the style of play he has, but please do not lie to our face and tell us the 2012 Red Sox were a team full of Dustin Pedroias. An important message would be last place and bitching about the manager is not how we do things in Boston. It’s about time athletes realized that fans identify with teams that represent their region. If Boston fans may be loud, obnoxious, over-proud, angry, drunk, stupid and ugly but we sure as hell will not listen to anyone(let alone an athlete) complain about his situation. In this town we pull ourselves up by our boot straps and go to f*cking work. That is how we do things here. Get it straight.

The Red Sox and the rest of the Boston sports teams seem to have lost their collective way since success so kindly paid our commonwealth a visit but the honey moon is over and it’s time to stop making excuses and start building something. At least it seems that as day broke from the storm that we are headed in the right direction but let’s hope we can navigate better once we get there, again.

End of an Era?

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With the Celtics fading fast as a dynasty they need to take a page from San Antonios’ playbook. The Spurs have been able to bring in free agents, add good youngsters and resign key veterans.                                                                                                   If we can resign Garnett and possibly Bass we have two good starting points for defense and a knock down shooting big man. Taking stock of what we have after that, I think Jujaun Johnson can score and rebound, I wonder about his confidence and attitude toward basketball. Avery Bradley is a defensive stopper and scoring threat; if his jumper is as consistent as it was at Texas he can be a dominant off guard. Add in Pierce who we should start to see some decline from based on his age, seems to be the perfect guy to keep around and see what is left in his tank or for a possible trade during next year.                                                                                                               Then we consider the fact that Rondo made himself a franchise player in this years playoffs; this is both positive and drives the Celtics fans crazy. Rondo plays when he wants to play, but when he plays well.. watch out. The key now will be how much of a motivator and how much patience Rondo has to work with some players who are not hall of famers and if it can get his juices flowing to create. If we could add a strong two guard like Mayo or Gordon, hell I might even take a chance on Nick Young and see if Doc could be a good influence on him. I think we need a strong wing scorer not just a bench guy to help shoulder the offensive load, someone who distracts defenses and opens up the rest of the court. Pietrus and Doolig did not help as much as we had hoped and overall were pretty disappointing. Both are great personalities, but we need more then personality to win a championship. The biggest X-factor is Jeff Green, I think he should be a great addition to the C’s as a flexible guard forward combo who can be a dynamic threat. I think we saw a shadow of what he is capable of and he will be better in a return to the C’s. The other guys I think would fit in well with this group are Spencer Hawes and JJ Hickson. Both men are strong defensively and have not completely lived up to potential yet but can score and rebound well also. I do not think we have a shot at Hibbert who is restricted and Indiana ain’t that dumb. That would leave a team of Rondo, Bradley, Mayo, Hickson, Green, Garnett, Bass, Johnson add in a back up point and a solid center and you have group of 10 who would put the C’s right in the Eastern Conference with a good mix of defense, scoring, creativity, flexibility and grit. The Celtics are at a major crossroads with the way their organization is headed, I do not think resigning the exact team is good enough, and completely scrapping this team is plain stupid. We have pieces and if we trust Doc, Danny and Wyc we should be back a lot sooner than if we rebuilt from scratch.

“a grizzly bear fighting a wolverine on an island surrounded by lava.”

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Wow, this series has been a heavyweight boxing title fight thus far and Saturday is shaping up to be quite the final round. In the last round the fighter who had been winning on the cards was knocked down by 45 pts on 19-26 shooting. Paul Pierce didn’t even get off as many shots as Lebron hit. Rondo scored 21 and was a non factor. Kevin Garnett.. looked old and tired. Ray Allen looked like his ankle hurt but Celtics fans are too smart to get on their team after a loss like this. After watching the last 10 rounds of this battle play out we have realized that this team is feast or famine, and we are hoping for about 5 more feasts. The aging and wounded Celtics team has defied every expectation placed on them and they alone believed that they were the best all season long. It will take all the strength and wisdom this Celtics clan can muster if they are to survive and see another finals appearance come to fruition. If Lebron scores 50 and the Celtics shoot 1-14 from the 3 point line.. we are in trouble and it will be ugly and the wrong way to send off the Boston Three Party. The final round of this ECF cannot be just a bar fight, it can’t just be grit and balls, this has to be a grizzly bear fighting a wolverine on an island surrounded by lava. The grizzly bear is bigger and stronger but if the wolverine wants it bad enough, the wolverine can win. There needs to be bodies laying on the floor, spit flying, cursing and general mayhem and by that I mean more than just Garnetts pre game routine. The is about legacy. This isn’t about one game or one championship. It is about how will Lebron be remembered, how will this group of Celtics legends be remembered? Will the grizzly bear ultimately be too much for the C’s or will the men in green whos’ numbers 5, 9, 20, and 34 will one day grace the rafters of the Garden be too much for the King? If we know anything about these Celtics it is that they play their best when their backed into a corner and must fight their way out, and everybody knows you do not back a wolverine into a corner.

Doc Rivers is the man.

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There were many factors I thought coming into the series that could decide the outcome of the series, the one I did not place much stock in was coaching. I have always felt Spoelstra was a bad coach with a “great pedigree”, and one could say, the only impressive fact about him is that he is believed to be Riley 2.0. I find this strange because I have never seen one characteristic aside from being head coaches, that is similar between the two. Riley commanded respect and knows basketball, Spoelstra is a push over that knows about basketball. That is not the same thing. Doc Rivers was not a well respected candidate for the job as far as Boston fans were concerned coming in, many heralded his ability to bring a terrible Magic team to the playoffs, but few thought he was the right man for the job. I believe if the Celtics win this series and the Spurs cannot I would go as far as to slide Doc in front of Popovich for best coach in the NBA. Yes Pop was more dominate for a time period, but if you look back over the period the Celtics have had with Doc and the Big Three; I would argue that Doc overcame more, Doc invented more, and Doc dealt with it all in Boston with grace and sophistication. Doc recreated his team mid-season, picked up Hollins and lost Bradley at the end of the year, and other then that this is the same team we saw playing horrible basketball in December and the same team many thought would not get out second round. Not to mention it is supposed to be a year that an old team would have no chance and look at 2 of the four teams left.. old. Doc is respected, smart, and knows how to get his best from players, and knows the right time to push buttons. That cannot be taught or learned over time, it has to be natural and you have to feel it. I do not care who taught you about basketball Phil Jackson or Red Auerbach, there is some aspect of the job you have to have instincts for and a feel for and no matter how good of a coach Riley was he cannot teach Spoelstra to have the right traits. People smarter than I say leaders are born and not made and it appears Spoelstra was not born to lead, if he was now would be the time to show it.

I am learning what is true in football may also be true in basketball; good coaching obviously can make your team better but who knew it could make up for many of a teams deficiencies. Pats defense looks better because BB is moving the pieces behind the curtain and the Celtics look better because Doc makes the perfect move at the perfect time. That is the real factor here that makes the biggest difference; Doc Rivers knows his team, what makes the heart beat, blood flow and how to outsmart the brain. Eric Spoelstra may know who his team is but he cannot make the heart beat or the blood flow and as far as the brain well it does what it wants and yells at the coach when it goes bad. Spoelstra may have the respect of Riley, which may only keep him safe for a few more months if the Heat lose this series, but respect and admiration will not save his job or win over his players. Only victories will vindicate Spoelstra and continue his Miami miracle job run (miracle that he got the job and finds ways to keep it). Perhaps if they lose, he should look at some video of Doc out coaching him in this series when he is fielding interviews for his next position, because these players are not going to shoulder the blame, and you cannot teach resolve. If you add up all of those factors the answer is not a championship formula or a contract extension.

Jonathan Papelbon: home plate umpire “sucked”

BLEED BOSTON:

SO what happened against the Orioles last September Jon?

Originally posted on HardballTalk:

Jonathan Papelbon is gonna get a nice big fine.

Last night, he thought he had Dee Gordon struck out looking. Home plate umpire D.J. Reyburn, however, thought differently.  After the inning was over — and after Gordon had come around to score the winning run — Papelbon sought out Reyburn and jawed at him.  But that was nothing compared to the jawing he did in the clubhouse after the game.

Upon being informed that Reyburn was a Triple-A callup ump, Papelbon said:

“Doesn’t surprise me. He probably needs to go back to Triple A … You’re up in the big leagues to do a good job and when you don’t do a good job you should be demoted or fired. It’s just like anybody’s job. If I don’t do my job, I go down to Triple A. There’s no room for that up here. It’s not a knock on the umpires…

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Dustin Pedroia set to return from thumb injury tonight

BLEED BOSTON:

If Pedroia ends up being mediocre and injured all year because he was too tough to take a few weeks off for his injury sox fans should be pissed..

Originally posted on HardballTalk:

UPDATE: As expected, Pedroia is back in the Red Sox’s lineup tonight, batting second and playing second base.

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So much for Dustin Pedroia missing 3-4 weeks with a torn thumb muscle.

Pedroia has remained on the active roster without playing since May 28 and now Rob Bradford of WEEI.com reports that the Red Sox second baseman will be back in the lineup for tonight’s game against the Orioles at Fenway Park.

So instead of missing a month he’ll end up missing just six games, although how Pedroia performs while playing through the injury is another issue.

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Tim Thomas go away.

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With all the crazy action going on in Boston since I started writing there has not been much time to talk about the Bruins and the never ending story of Tim Thomas and his big mouth. It tainted the locker room last year after the Stanley Cup and it is why I felt as a fan that the team could not win this year because they did not have the same chemistry as the year before in their run to the cup. Don’t get me wrong Tim Thomas is a great goalie and I loved watching him dominate in the 2011 run, but when he started talking about politics during the season and posting all of this nonsense that had nothing to do with hockey, him being a goalie or that even directly could be impacted by him, that was when I lost all respect. And then the BS routine he developed with the media in Boston where he would storm off when someone mentioned his comments! If you do not want to talk about your FB comments don’t make any FB comments. Pretty simple. But no, Tim wants to be a big mouth and have no one hold him accountable in his real life, AT HIS REAL JOB! Does he think talking about politics is going to change politics in this country? Does Tim Thomas think anyone really cares what he thinks? The only reason there is a mic in your face is because you are good at hockey, so stick to what you know. I might be in the minority on this one but I do not care what athletes or celerities think about politics. Whether it is Sean Penn, Tim Thomas or anyone in between, Republican, Democrat, Libertarian, or Socialist, anyone who cares what Tim Thomas thinks about politics is an idiot. I think he is stupid for “taking a year off” … retire or do not retire, enough with trying to make yourself a story and messing with fans. I’m not sure if it is to feed his ego or because he thinks he is more important than he is but one thing is for sure, we should not hear from Tim Thomas again for awhile. Let’s go Tukka!

Celtics-Heat Game 4: Rajon Rondo punks Heat in halftime interview on whining about officiating

BLEED BOSTON:

All these full grown men should just play basketball. If you are mad at the Heat whining, why whine?

Originally posted on ProBasketballTalk:

Rajon Rondo, after dropping 10 assists in the first half of the Celtics’ Game 4 win over the Heat, spoke to ESPN reporter Doris Burke for the standard halftime interview. And took a shot at the Heat right off the bat. 

[nbcsports_video src=http://www.youtube.com/embed/T1EcWWlbYEA service=youtube width=590 height=443]

“They’re complaining and crying to referees in transition.”

That’s pretty succinct. 

Rondo’s correct in that assessment. He was able to get out and slice through the defense at will, because the Heat were stunned at how the game was being called. Unfortunately for Rondo, the Heat responded in the second half, closing an 18-point lead to take the lead in the fourth quarter. They didn’t hold on, but definitely responded. But Rondo got the win, and the Heat were left whining about officiating after the game when LeBron James fouled out. The call was bad. Many of the calls were bad. 

Nothing changes the…

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