With all of the success of Boston's sports teams, are they becoming "Title Town, USA"?
knocked off the Hawks and are now tied with the Sixers in their 2nd
round playoff series. The Celtics pride
themselves on being a veteran team with championship experience but in Game 2
against Philadelphia they looked lethargic offensively until they rallied back
in the 4th quarter only to fall in the waning minutes with a brand
of basketball that can be best described as befuddled and confused. When Rajon Rondo was asked what he was
looking for when he chewed up the clock late in the game only to settle for a
long range jumper that clanged off the iron, Rondo shrugged and said, “I don’t
even know.” Really Rajon?
will have to go back to basics and dictate the pace and flow early instead of
mounting a surge late as they are prone to do if they want to take a game on
the road in Philly. If they fail to
execute and get down 3-1, Boston fans can already start thinking about next
Boston has finally
exhibited a pulse by winning four straight with shaky ace Jon Lester slamming
the door shut on the Mariners last night 8-0. While all signs indicate that Jon Lester may be rounding into form, the
same cannot be said of his beleaguered counterpart Josh Beckett. Beckett lit up the sports talk shows around
Boston when he played 27 holes on an off day during a week that manager gave
him off to rest his sore lat. Beckett
then trotted onto the Fenway diamond amid a chorus of boo's from the
disenchanted home crowd only to be lit up for seven runs on seven hits and did
not even make it out of the 3rd inning.
While Boston is about as tough a sports city as
there is, only one thing that irks the fans more than failure is what Josh
Beckett epitomizes…indifference. Fans in
general cannot stand it when their emotional investment is far greater than the
players’. While virtually all athletes
are more concerned with their own interests above the teams, the least they can
do is play the game. Josh Beckett has
yet to learn this and doesn’t seem willing to try. Perhaps a change of scenery is in the offing
but the Sox will want him to make a few good appearances before shipping him
elsewhere in order to get as much value as possible.
After years of
futility, the 2001 New England Patriots ended the drought with a world title
and in subsequent years the rest of the teams followed suit. Boston currently houses the defending a Stanley Cup champion, the NFL odds 2012 Super Bowl favorite, two teams gearing up for the playoffs, and another starting their quest to clinch the World Series. As a proud Bostonian, it makes me happy to say that Boston is now becoming "America’s Title Town".
The Boston Bruins
Stanley Cup champions are now poised for the playoffs and looking to defend
their crown. As the curtain closes on
the 2011-2012 season the Black and Gold are firmly ensconced as the #2 seed and
will have home ice advantage against either Ottawa or Washington.
pick (and second overall) Tyler Seguin is coming of age. He has rebounded from a mediocre rookie
season to lead the team in goals and points but just as importantly is finally
buying into coach Claude Julien’s mandate that back checking is not a choice
but an absolute necessity if he wants to continue playing with a spoked B on
and defense have been the hallmarks of the Bruins success. Zdeno Chara is a beast on the blueline and
Tim Thomas has bounced back from a mid-season funk to return to his All-World
self. But what about the back-up?
think much about second stringers, but they become the most important player on
the team if something happens to the main man. Tukka Rask seems to be the heir apparent but he’s on the shelf with a
groin pull. Marty Turco, signed straight
from the Austrian league (was he really that shot that he couldn’t make an NHL
roster, a former All-Star with a record tying three shutouts in a playoff
series?) struggled in his debut but has looked sharp since, is ineligible for
the playoffs because he was signed after the deadline.
So now the B’s have turned to the 25 year old
Russian Anton Khudobin as Timmy T’s postseason back-up. The kid looked sharp as a razor in his Bruins
debut, registering 44 stops on 45 saves en route to a 3-1 victory and giving
the Ottawa Senators something to think about if they play the B’s in the
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The Boston Celtics
Ray Allen a
super-sub, a sixth man? That’s what
happens when a young stud blows it up while you’re ailing. Avery Bradley is the new gun in town and the
kid has looked tremendous. But will the
starting assignment, with a deposed Hall of Famer sitting and watching, give
the kid the jitters? Only time will tell
but the Green has looked sharper as of late and the Big Three, well, the Big
Two anyway are playing inspired ball.
But how far
can this team really go? Sure they beat
the Heat but seriously, as much as we’d love to see the Dream Team go down in
flames at the hands of our boys, do we really and truly believe they can beat
them in a playoff series? Before we
consider that, right now they would play Atlanta, and even the Hawks have a
better record (as of this writing) as a lower seed than the Celtics.
I’m afraid the championship window has closed
and Danny Ainge will need to put on his thinking cap if he wants to resurrect
this team in a hurry. Paul Pierce is still
an upper echelon player while Kevin Garnett can, on occasion, still be the
monstah that he was and Ray Allen has shown flashes of the silky smooth
assassin that propelled him into the rarified air of the all-time great
shooters from beyond the arc. However
old legs are tired legs and in order for the Shamrocks to hoist another banner
anytime soon, they need to get younger.
ignored the calls to blow up the team and parcel off his aging superstars at
the trading deadline for a bucket of balls and a shiny new rim. Trading players is not an easy task in the
NBA as the contracts have to match up and a host of other rules must be adhered
to. Nevertheless, it’s not impossible
and Ainge decided he would live and die with the players he has. A good decision this season but what he does next
season may affect the franchise for years to come.
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The Boston Red Sox
surrounding this team is re-tahded (I’m allowed, I’m from Boston). Sure they broke down like an old Chevy last
year but everything is all shiny and new but still the questions linger. Beckett’s thumb, Bailey’s thumb, Carl’s
wrist, Valentine’s mouth, all these body parts reminds me of an autopsy
room. The Sox dropped their first game
of the season to the Tigers and sure there’s a lot of trepidation on Yawkey Way
but what fun would it be without all that drama?
it comes to the Red Sox, the only thing that counts is beating the Yankees
because as we all know, the Yankees suck…even if they have won 27 world titles
and 40 pennants. The Sox are simply too
talented not to win their fair share of games and for the luvva gawd, Bobby
Valentine if you’re reading this, make sure Crawford bats second when he comes
back. Pro athletes are creatures of
habit and none more so than baseball players. He’s a number two hitter, not a seven or a nine. He’s a friggin All-Star and Francona
shattered the guy when he lost patience early last season and batted him all
over the order.
AL East is loaded. The Yankees are
always going to be the team to beat, the Rays are pesky despite their limited
payroll and even the Blue Jays look tough. Playing those teams on a regular basis will put a dent into the Red Sox
total wins. But the good thing is every
other team in the East has the same problem. They will all beat each other’s brains in until late September and into
October. Then the fun really starts
unless you’re the team on the outside looking in.
is that Bobby Valentine will go on a New York sports show and kibitz with the
enemy. Red Sox Nation is up in arms and
cannot fathom why the Sox skipper would consent to such a thing. Here’s a clue, it doesn’t matter. Maybe Valentine broke some unwritten rule of
Boston sports, but if his Red Sox start notching wins, nobody will remember what
he did or what he said. The only thing
that counts in Title Town is winning world championships, because in Boston,
getting to the playoffs just isn’t enough anymore.
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