Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Boston Pro Sports Roundtable

Why are we having this discussion?  Well, Boston is the center of the pro sports universe, right?  Or, we're having this discussion because there are things to talk about with every New England team and I'd like to hear your thoughts on these topics.
First, of course, because they are first in our hearts, is the signing FINALLY of Bobby Valentine as the Red Sox new manager.  There should be no shortage of opinions regarding this signing.  Is he the right fit, just for a while or over the long haul?  I certainly have my concerns that he can still be a loose cannon and take things too far, thus upsetting too many fragile egos and not being able to bring chemistry to this team; BUT I feel a big personality, big energy guy is what's needed right now.  He is also a very bright baseball guy who knows his Xs and Os.  Will he handle Dice K, given that he speaks Japanese and managed in Japan, the way he should've been handled all along?  Now that he's signed, we can also get on with the job of putting the pieces together with this team.  Would you like to see David Ortiz stay?  For the right price and length of contract, yes; but I'm certainly concerned, given some of his childish antics last year, that he won't get along with Valentine.  Do you go out and make some splash in the free agent market or do you get some complimentary pieces and see what you really have in the farm system?  I know I'd like to get the focus more on the farm system than relying on building the team with free agents.  Are you concerned about having a young, first-time general manager between a forceful manager and team president?

Let's talk about the Celtics, now that apparently there will be an NBA this year.  The Celtics have an aging Big 3 plus Rondo and only a couple of other guys currently on the roster.  The big talk in the last day or two is that Danny Ainge might be actively trying to trade Rondo.  How do you feel about that?  Well, if it's Chris Paul we'd be getting, in my mind that's a no-brainer.  We do need to start looking beyond the Big 3 Era.  Do you let those guys' contracts run out, field a bad team and try to rebuild through the draft over a few years or do you trade the one tradeable guy you have, which, again if it's Paul you get in return, would give you another run at a title and he'd be the keystone piece to build around once at least Garnett and Allen's contracts expire.  Do you want to bring Big Baby Davis back?  Talk about the Celtics any way you'd like.

The Patriots are currently 8-3 and have a cupcake schedule the rest of the way.  The bad thing about that schedule is that it'll be very difficult to gauge whether this defense is truly improving and whether it'll be good enough to get us to the Super Bowl.  Personally, I have no interest going to the Super Bowl if it means losing.  If somehow the Packers get upset in the NFC playoffs, then it's wide open and I'll take my chances.  The patchwork secondary has improved but I'm concerned we've already hit the ceiling with that bunch.  I'm still not sure we have a consistent pass rush, which we will need to take the pressure off that secondary.  I'm concerned, as great as this offense is, that the offensive line has looked vulnerable and teams are only having to cover half the field because there's no real deep threat, which does make it possible for teams to contain this offense.

The Bruins are back to looking like the best team in the league.  They're not there alone, of course, but I like their chances.  (I used all 3 theres in one sentence)  Any concerns at all?  Maybe the fact that David Krejki is always going to be inconsistent.  His contract runs out at the end of this year.  I would like to have one more guy on this team who can consistently bury the puck, which is most helpful when the Bruins are outplaying their opponent but can't score.  Come playoff time, especially on special teams, that kind of guy can make all the difference in a tight series.  I will be at the Bruins' game against the Leafs this Saturday night.  So I won't say anything more here, plus I have covered the Bruins more than the other teams lately.
UPDATE 12/2/11:  The Bruins signed David Krejci to a three-year extension yesterday.  So that locks up another key piece of this deep, young team.  Although it'd be easier to trade him now that he's signed, I think the Bruins want to keep him.


mamajoan said...

Valentine sounds like who the Sox need right now. But it will be a tough job trying to keep everyone reasonable happy. Not sure on Ortiz. Although he had a good year, it didn't seem as though his heart was quite in it. Hopefully the regulars will stay healthy this year and it looks like some good prospects in the minors.

Don't pay enough attention to the other sports - just like to see them win. I would say that it looks as though the Celtics need some younger player

NottaJohn said...

Good post, Zeb and lots to think (and when time permits, maybe comment)about. I'm excited about Valentine, but do worry about the chemistry a bit. Maybe it's time to blow this thing up and start over...

dasnake said...

valentine will be a good fit for this year, then, i don't know, bobby knows his ball, bobby knows how to win, bobby's people skills are a little suspect. with him announcing baseball on mainstream tv he was the epitome of cordial, but during some games i could see the real bobby come through. with the much needed revamping at the helm of the sox he will be exactly what the doc ordered, we shall see after they season is over and there is no meltdown because they won't be there in the final, and my guys (yankees) better do some figuring because this first round baloney is to much, at least that is imho.