As Good as it Gets

First of all, Happy New Year! And has there ever been a happier New Year for a Boston sports fan? Seriously, can it get any better than this?

Consider what the Red Sox, Patriots and Celtics have done the last two months. Since Game 4 of the ALCS, when the Sox were down 3-1 to the Indians, here is the combined record of those three teams.

Sox are 7-0
Pats are 16-0
Celtics are 27-3

By my count, that adds up to 50-3. That’s a little ridiculous. New England is positively spoiled right now. This is the opposite of around 1997, when the Patriots were all we had. That year, the Celtics and Bruins were both terrible and the Red Sox had a rare sub.-500 year in which they didn’t contend.

These are, in fact, the Good Old Days.

The best part about it? There isn’t yet an end in sight. The Patriots are three wins away from their ultimate goal and Brady should be in his prime for another five years at least. The Celtics are just starting what should be a golden run of three or four years. The Red Sox are positioned to win now, and for the next several years.

So what do you do? Sit back and enjoy and hope there are no major injuries. And savor this time. One never knows if all the stars will quite be aligned like this ever again.

Ian.

30 Comments

Boston is THE greatest place to live. Enjoy it while we can folks.

Boston College should end up in the top 10.

Celtics will be battling Detroit for the East, like the old days.

I think the Celtics can beat the Pistons in a best of 7 series.

The Pistons have a deeper bench and more playoff experience, so I don’t know if I would necessarily agree. Plus, they are the ONLY team who has come into Boston and beat the Celts.

I also think that the Celtics need to establish their go-to-guy in big spots, because everybody has had a bit of heroics this season. Obviously this isn’t a bad thing, but come playoff time, I think it’s important to have one guy who you know is going to come through for you when you put the game in his hands (ie: Big Papi, Tom Brady).

As for the Red Sox, I have been dying for a new blog/frontpage news so the highlight of my day has been the start of the ‘Around the Horn’ segment. I know this isn’t the popular sentiment (on this blog anyways), but I think the Sox should extend Varitek’s contact another 2 years because as Ian said, good catchers are so hard to come by and although Varitek’s offense isn’t exactly prolific, 17 HR’s isn’t anything to complain about when you have as deep of a lineup as the Sox will have this season.

Clemens, McNamee, Pettitte, Knoblauch and Radomski have all been asked to testify before the House Oversight Committee on January 16th.

It will be extremely interesting to see if Clemens’s testimony to the committee is the same he told Mike Wallace in the interview to be broadcast this Sunday on 60 minutes, which is McNamee, only injected him with the painkiller lidocaine and the vitamin B-12.

I wonder what the Rocket will say after McNamee tesitifies he shot him full of juice-particulary if McNamee testifies before Clemens. I hope it’s televised, I look forward to watching Clemens squirm.

I also wonder what will happen if McNamee nails him, but the Rocket keeps lying. Somehow, I feel McNamee has more proof up his sleeve which hasn’t been made public yet-but will be made in these committee hearings. Clearly, McNamee is not that happy with Clemens calling him a liar and has threatened to sue Clemens if he keeps up that rhetoric.

I expect McNamee will bury Clemens in these hearings.

If he does and Clemens keeps lying, I’d be really disappointed if Clemens isn’t charged with perjury-like Barry Bonds.

I agree about Varitek. People who criticize him because he doesn’t hit .280 and belt 20 dingers and knock in 80 don’t understand his value to this team. As long as hits .255-.260, 10-15 home runs and 60-65 RBI, that is fine because of the defense, play calling and leadership he provides. Often, people are too attached to numbers in baseball. A player’s stats don’t always describe his value to a team. The Sox need Varitek, even in a few years when he will only be able to catch part time. I would like to see Dusty Brown given a chance to win the backup catcher’s job. I really don’t want to see Mirabelli or Kevin Cash.

Jeff

http://www.soxandpinstripes.com

Varitek is still an above average player. He is average offensively, but average from the catcher position. Plus whatever game calling skills and leadership he brings to the table only adds to that. .367 OBP is pretty good. .30 points better than league average.

http://statisticianmagician.mlblogs.com/

Tek is THE MAN. He is the only Red Sox player whom I sport a jersey for. Period.

Let’s see if I still remember how this works, it’s been a while. 1st order of business:
Happy New Year to You all.

2nd: I think that Tek is the epitome of professionalism and class. Even though, as was pointed out earlier, his offense isn’t “stellar” he does things for the team that nobody can deny. He keeps the pitching staff together and also I think is glue on the field and in the clubhouse.

Jeff, I thought that in the few chances that we had to see Cash, he wasn;t too bad. I haven’t seen or heard much about Dusty Brown, tell me more.

Hey guys, Merry Christmas and Happy NEw YEars! Sorry I vanished for so long,lol well I am back from my brief hiatus.

Happy New Year to all!
Since there’s not much of substance to talk about baseball, let’s see what can I say.

Sorry Jeff and smckinny. Steelers were beaten twice by the same team at home. The way the Steelers were playing lately, I wasn’t truly surpised that the Steerlers were knocked out in the first round. It will be interesting to see the Pats – Jac matchup in the divisional playoffs.

What else can you say about the amazing Celtics? They came back beat the team that beat them early in the season…..

thx 007. i had the ketel one on ice early. you could see it coming. r-berger just has issues in games like that. his overall numbers don’t look bad but he ALWAYS manages to forget which color jersey his team wears 2-3 times! given all the players they were without i’m not too disappointed though. they should be better next year.

I’m looking forward to watching Roger Clemens tonight on 60 Minutes. You know, as much as I want the game to go back to “yesteryear” when we worried about pine tar and corked bats, I know its not ever going to happen. While Baseball has always had its scandals, i.e. BlackSox, Pete Rose, amphetamines etc, I don’t think anything can ever make it the Clean Cut sport that it once was. It, I think, will remain America’s Favorite Past time. Just like Mom, apple pie and Chevrolet it will stand the test of time, but can we ever watch the game again with the same dreamey eyed naivete that we once did?? I don’t think so. The question mark of steroids or hgh will be in the back of our mind whenever someone hits 50 plus HR’s, or has a really great year on the mound,or steals a ton of bases.
I hope that Roger tells the truth, (I think he did have the artificial help) but I think that he wont. If he doesn’t come clean, I hope that Petite and McNamee bury him.

007chow, I wasn’t surprised that the Steelers lost. They need to upgrade their offensive line, pass rush and running game. And they especially need to overhaul their special teams. That said, they had a lot of holes and still finished 10-7. I think they will regroup and be a Super Bowl contender next season. I like their core players, and I really like Tomlin as the head coach.

As for the Celtics, I am ecstatic. 29-3. They made a statement with the win at Detroit. I would still like to see them sign a veteran backup point guard and a veteran backup big man.

Ellen, Dusty Brown is a Sox prospect who had a solid season in the Arizona Fall League. He can catch the knuckler, and I think he would hit better than Mirabelli. Cash is awful at the plate, even worse than Mirabelli. The Sox can do much better. They need some offensive production out of the backup catcher because Varitek will need more rest.

I’m ready for spring training, but meanwhile I am excited about Ohio State’s chances tomorrow, and the Celtics chances to win the Eastern Conference.

Jeff

http://www.soxandpinstripes.com

Thanks for the update on Dusty, Jeff, I guess I’ll see more soon!! ps Happy New Year to you and yours!!

I just finished watching Clemens on 60 Minutes. We can now crown the new King. The King of Denial. When they get him in front of Congress, it’s going to get interesting. With Petite already coming forward?? Rogers denials even seemed a bit more thin, transparent if you will. Who knows, I could be way off base on this one, I sure hope so!! TAKE IT TO THE FEDS!!! LET’S GET TO THE HEART OF THIS

Ellen, historically, baseball has never been “Mom and apple pie”. 100 years, or so, ago baseball players were largely thugs and uneducated, unskilled people who could not get a real job. Their baseball acumen kept them from a life of crime. Ty Cobb was famously paranoid, violent, racist and an all-around creep. But he could play! Drink, smoke, gamble and fight were off the field activities.
Even in the great age of innocence–the 50’s, early 60’s–Mickey, Billy Martin and Whitey Ford had detectives following them around, at the behest of the Yankee owner, to watch out for their more outrageous behavior.

I think that if MLB can solve this PED problem this will be the great age of clean baseball. Never have the players been so middle class, heck, aristocratic!

Sorry to burst your bubble about the “good old days”. But in baseball they never existed.

Oh well, find me guilty of wearing those rose colored glasses!!

This rocket thing should be interesting to say the least, Roger’s not a dumb man, there must be something to his story after watching bonds bury himself…you would think he’d come clean if he’s indeed dirty….let us not forget the Bruins…you guys never mention the Big Bad Bruins who are making noise too..they might be way further off then the Celtics, but they have a new lust for the game this year and are winning some games…some big games too.

..about the Bowl Game tonight: My team (Miami Hurricanes) had truly sorry, sorry season. Being a Cane Fan, there is sort of a grudge against OSU, so I ‘m pulling for LSU. GO TIGERS!!

The Bruins are actually having a fantastic season. Although if you check the standing their in third, look at the amount of points they have and they’re second or first in many divisions.
I’m rooting for OSU tonight and hoping for a big game from my boy Laurinaitis and we (Patriots) can get this stud in the draft next year.

ya the bruins are not too many points off of second in the conference….and there playing a tough exciting style this year…hitting everything that moves. I havent seen this style since cam neely was around from them, but it’s fun to watch! Havent seen a real bad game this season yet, although ive only watched maybe 20 of the 40 played.

Haha I don’t think I’ll start watching them religiously again until they make it past the first round in the playoffs.

dbenjamin & jeff,

Stay away from sharp objects!!!

Arnie, your take in response to Ellen was very interesting and right on. Ellen, if you’ve never read Ball Four by Jim Bouton, go get it and read it. It talks a lot about baseball shannanigans and is hilarious. I read it from cover to cover and never put it down.

I think the difference between what Arnie is talking about and what’ going on today is that todays stuff involves on field play. The “old timers” did their thing off the field, but except for an occasional hangover or being half drunk during a game, their on field stuff was pretty honest. Well, except a little gambling and fixing of games here and there.

I have a little story to share that relates to all this performance enhancing stuff going on in baseball.

My very best friend in life went to a doctor about three months ago. The doctor told him his testosterone levels were low and prescribed a regimen of injections. I have even administered a few of them.

We play golf together ever weekend on both days. Now I’m a pretty big guy and I can hit a golf ball a long way (although I have directional issues) and my friend is about 5’7″ and weighs in at about 145. A good drive for him was always about 210 yards, maybe 220 with a tail wind. Over the past couple of months I watched as his drives creeped mysteriously closer to mine. He is now hitting 260 yard drives consistently and while I’d like to think his game is improving, I don’t think you can improve that much two months. I would guess he’s put on about 7 or 8 pounds, which is a lot for a guy that size. I watch him hit golf balls and wonder how much that stuff helped guys like Bonds and Maguire.

Of course, I give him **** about it all the time and call him “Barry” and “Steroid Boy” but the change is amazing.

Im sick of Rice falling short…what gives here? The most dominant player for a decade and he cant get in…meanwhile Goose gets in with 6-7 years of domination and not much else. I would put Rice up against anybody in the hall when he was in his prime and he would kick buttttt! Some of these voters must be on glue! (my vent for the day).

Now that my dotage is coming at me like a runaway freight train, I make a conscious effort NOT to wax nostalgic. Well, except when I am watching TV, and I have 3 remotes in front of me, each with 500 buttons. And of those 1500 buttons I know what 9 are for. Remember “clickers”, when remotes actually made a noise? See, there I go. Or when I needed a new cell phone and the kid at the store asked me what I used my phone for. “Phone calls”, was my answer, and he would not accept that. No internet, no games, no pictures; he couldn’t believe it.

Hmmm…where was I going with this post? I forget, but listen, I think baseball now is just as exciting, just as well played, maybe there could be fewer strikeouts, just as entertaining as ever. In fact, it might be better!

So, I think, soon enough, the present controversy will be over and it will all be good again. Peanuts, Crackerjacks and sushi! Go Sox!

Oh,I heard some of that Clemens phone conversation and I hafta say; it sounded just like the FBI tape of Mafia guys I heard on the History channel once. They both sounded guilty as you-know-what. But honestly the trainer sounded more guilty. Certainly more pathetic.

lol. No need to worry about me being around sharp objects or cliffs, Brian. Ohio State will be back in the title game next year, much to most of America’s chagrin. The Buckeyes have an excellent recruiting class and a favorable schedule. May the third time in a row will be a charm.

Arnie, I agree that McNamee sounded pathetic, but I think that Clemens sounds more guilty by the day. Since he has an inflated ego and no integrity, he likely feels no reason to admit guilt since there is no physical evidence and just McNamee’s word against his. So I have no doubt he will lie to Congress and continue to exhibit this charade of innocence.

Jeff

http://www.soxandpinstripes.com

By the way, congrats to Gossage. It’s about time he was elected to the Hall of Fame. It’s a shame that Rice will not join him this year. Without a doubt, Rice deserves enshrinement. I get the feeling that he will have to wait until he is eligible for voting among the veteran’s committee before he is inducted.

Jeff,

Favorable schedule? I don’t know about that one. Road game in L.A. at U.S.C. ( there’s is a loss for sure ) Of course playing in the weak Big 10 would be considered favorable. Not a very tough conference as we all know.

I do agree about Gossage, the guy should have been in a long time ago. He was just lights out when he came into a game. Of course he was in a different era and pitched more than 1 inning. Imagine how great he would be in this era now. He would rack up 50 saves per season for several years. He certainly was well deserving to get into Cooperstown. Rice will get in eventually ( He doesn’t get my vote though ) I know most on here say he is a hall of famer, I disagree but that is what makes sports fun in my opinion. Alot of different opinions and that is all they are.

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