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Tuesday, July 09, 2013

From Brad to Worse...


First, I gave the Clippers credit for not trading valuable draft picks for essentially a useless commodity in Doc Rivers. Then, they went and did it anyway. Mortgaging their future for a guy that was the bounce of a ping pong ball away from losing his job. Now, the bizarre and delusional world of NBA coaching has produced yet another strange turn of events. Brad Stevens leaving Butler for the Celtics? Yeah, can't say I though that coming. And while this is totally my problem, I can't say it's a move I really understand, either...

I'll give you that, along with some Red Sox notes. Not too many, mind you. Because I'm on my version of "vacation". I'm still working, just not nearly as hard. You know, because of the string of nice weather we've been having and that whatnot. And especially because it seems like that good stretch is about to come to a screeching halt...

Freaking nature...

Enjoy...




At this point, I can't help but want to lump Danny Ainge in with Isaiah Thomas. Not as one of the premier guards of the 80s, or as a successful player turned GM. But as someone who must have pictures of countless numbers of influential and important people in basketball in which said people are doing unspeakable things to farm animals and/or family members. I mean, how else do you explain this guy's good fortune?

He gets Rondo because NBA talent evaluators are incredibly inept (not to mention obvious 2nd round talemts like Ryan Gomes or Glen Davis that he's scooped up). He gets Kevin Garnett (and essentially a championship) gifted to him by a former teammate, in Kevin McHale. And now, he's convinced the hottest name in the college coaching ranks to leave his cushy perch in order to likely serve 3 years of a 6 year deal, and  be fired when the latest rebuilding plan doesn't come to fruition. OR, in a best case scenario, Stevens follows the Doc Rivers' plan, and benefits from an influx of Hall of Fame talent. A plan that will undoubtedly unfold in the same manner with or without the former Butler coach stalking the Boston sidelines...

I just don't get it. I don't get why Stevens would want to leave, and I don't get why anyone thinks that hiring someone that doesn't have any NBA experience is a good idea. And to take it one step further, I'll beat that familiar drum and again and say that I still can't believe that anyone that pays even the slightest attention to the NBA thinks that there are still head coaches out there that make a difference in the performance of their team. To me, it's just so blatant that Stevens, a well established teacher and motivator, is now going to a place where neither of those admirable and  impressive traits are going to do him any good.. And yes, I understand that "money" or "the chance to make it where MANY others have failed" may indeed serve as part or most of Stevens' motivation. But for me, those explanations don't hold much water. I think he's taking this job because he thinks the tactics he used in building Butler will serve him well in the NBA. I just also happen to think he's borderline delusional for thinking that's the case in spite of such overwhelming evidence...

Hey, I'll be the first one to admit that I'm mostly bitter because my NCAA is losing one it's most gifted and promising leaders to a league full of insubordinate crybabies who only play defense in the playoffs. But what's more bothersome to me is that someone that, at least from afar, seemed like one of the smartest guys around, made a decision that I just have a hard time believing that he thought was the best one for either his present or his future. I mean, someone like Stevens has gotta know that this is a player's league, right? And that no matter how good of a coach he actually is, that unless he someday turns into a coach/GM that his impact on his squad will at best be extremely limited. Right?!? Meh, apparently not. But that doesn't mean I'm going to stop shaking my head in confused disbelief anytime in the near future...

Sorry, Mike Hopkins...
Guess I'll give ole Brad the benefit of the doubt. For whatever reason, he thinks this is the right step to take in what's already been a wildly successful career. And I wish him the best. Besides, if everything goes to plan. He'll probably be getting the boot from the Bean around the same time a certain ornery legend is calling it a career over in upstate New York...

Hey, a kid can dream, can't he?


Speaking of dreaming, that's all any Red Sox fan could have been doing had they predicted the Sox would be in 1st place more than a week into July. But, here we are. Some notes:

*Deadspin recently did a great piece on the resurgence of John Lackey. Yeah, that's right. John Lackey. He's lighting it up, right now. And virtually nobody has seemed to notice. It's all good though. Boston fans have now perfected the art of cheering for something they first hated, and then ignored. As evidenced by the fact that the Red Sox still haven't become the main topic of discussion on local sports talk radio...

Really? More Bruins talk on July 8th when you haven't talked about the Sox all season? Seriously, what the Hell is goin' on up there?..

Oh, and a quick side note to that. I really appreciate all of the people that have suggested that I try out for 98.5 The Sports Hub's "dream job" contest in which you get to co-host a weekend show. I'm humbled by your support, and you're right. I'd probably tear those Teds to shreds. But all that really is, is a slashing of payroll disguised as a "prize". Essentially, they want someone to do that job for a much lower price than is standard, all while feeling grateful in the process. Pretty standard radio play, really. And a sad commentary on the industry at large. But what can you do?

I did feel all of the love, though. And I continue to be grateful for all of your support...


*I've been very hard on Jacoby Ellsbury, and I feel justifiably so. But there's no denying that he's playing much better now, even recently showing flashes of the power that set him up to be one of the premier free agents heading into next year's market. So, you know. Just wanTed to give him some credit where credit is due. You know, before he gets injured again...

OH!

Nah, but can you imagine? ( I can, now. Out for the 2nd straight game tonight (7/9)) #reversejinx?


*Speaking of injuries, they've almost completely decimated the entire pitching staff. Andrew Miller is the latest to hit the shelf, with a season ending foot injury. Leaving the Sox just one lefty in the bullpen (Breslow). Then there's Buchholz, who continues to meander his way back from the DL. And Jon Lester, who seems to be meandering towards it...

Lester's the one that worries me the most, too. Because Clay? Well, Clay is fragile. I mean, just look at the guy. He looks more the part of Florida Meth smurf than he does Major League pitcher. However, he's also proven to be one of the best in the AL when he's what he deems to be "healthy". Maybe that's giving him unfair pass, but either way. Lester just doesn't have it, right now. Even when he's "good", he's only just that. Good. And I'm beginning to wonder if he's ever going to pitch at the Cy Young caliber level again. Something I'm still of the belief he OR somebody will have to do in order for this team to have a legitimate shot come September. OR, Hell. At the rate these injuries are piling it, it's something that he or somebody will have to do sooner rather than later if the Red Sox hope to hold on to a playoff spot...

I certainly hope that will happen, but being the cynical bastard that I am, I highly doubt it...


Well, there you have it. That's it for me. Now get out there and enjoy your Summer. You know, before it's gone. And don't forget to checkout out Gasland Part II, which recently debuted on HBO. You know, before all of your drinking water is gone too...

Enjoy the rest of your week, friends. And I'll catch you next time...


#BagsMunman

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