Posts Tagged ‘Boston’

Image

The Yankees made a big free agency splash this week, and it wasn’t to bring back star 2B Robinson Cano. The Yankees reportedly signed CF Jacoby Ellsbury to a 7 year, $153 million deal. While on the surface it seems like the Yankees win this move, by gaining a star CF while stealing the Red Sox’s most valuable free agent, Looking closely tells us another story.

While Ellsbury has been good in his time in Boston, he hasn’t been the superstar the Yankees are expecting him to be, or better yet, paying him to be. Ellsbury is coming off a year in which he hit .298, had an OBP or .355 and slugged .426 while hitting 9 home runs and driving in 53 RBI, and stealing 52 bases. All while playing very solid defense in a park that’s difficult for many players to field in, in Fenway Park. Seems like a player you’d want, right?

Well, yeah, but not in the capacity the Yankees want. In the past 4 seasons, Jacoby Ellsbury has missed 264 games. Nearly 2 out of 4 seasons, lost. Ellsbury has reached the point where he has been red flagged as injury prone in the baseball community. Ellsbury just turned 30 in September. Meaning Ellsbury’s body has become injury prone in his 20, the time when he’s supposed to hit peak performance. Now he’s 30 coming off another season in which he was hurt. Granted, he only missed 28 games, a relatively healthy year for him.

But the Yankees are giving 7 YEARS? To a guy who’s now turning 30? At the back-end of the prime of his career? If Ellsbury’s body has suffered this much damage in his 20s, how much more can his body withstand? Not 7 years, or at least 7 fully healthy productive years that the Yankees are paying for. Plus, they gave him $153 million dollars. Presumably, instead of the neighborhood of $200 million for Cano over 10 years.

The Yankees reportedly would only offer Cano 7 years at $180 million. While I wouldn’t give Cano 10 years at $200 million+ he wanted, I’d rather pay the extra 3 years and $80 million or so to take Cano from Seattle. Cano’s 31 and 10 year deals to guys on the downside of their career never work,  but getting 7 really good years out of Cano, who never misses a game, plays at a premium position, providing stellar defense and hitting, and wins the head to head matchup at 2B every single game you play, is worth way more than the $27M difference in pay the Yankees would give Ellsbury over Cano.

All the while, the Yankees had Brett Gardner slated to play CF. He is coming off a year in which he hit .273, had an OBP of .344 and slugged .416, while hitting 8 home runs and driving in 52 RBI while stealing 24 bases. Sound familiar? Well those numbers are pretty comparable to Ellsbury, and they come from a guy who’s played over 145 games 3 out of the past 4 seasons. Now, the Yankees have a crowded middling outfield with immovable expensive pieces such as Vernon Wells and Ichiro, who now don’t even have pronounced roles on the team.

I know it’s all early speculation, and we can’t predict Ellsbury getting hurt again and not living up to his deal, but after taking a hard look at the deal, I can’t be happy as a Yankees fan at the end of the day.

GRADE: C

Gary & Jeremy talk about the hall of fame, Devils, Rangers, and Stamkos

Image

On October 30th 2013 the Boston Red Sox defeated the St Louis Cardinals in six games to win their first World Series at home in 95 years. At the same time, the Alex Rodriguez arbitration meetings have begun. The two events represent the good and bad sides of baseball respectively. However, there have been people lately (cough cough Mike Francessa cough cough) claiming that Rodriguez and World Series MVP and Boston Hero David Ortiz are one in the same. These comparisons are asinine in a multitude of ways.

Before showing the differences between the two, lets see the similarities. Rodriguez and Ortiz both showed up in the formerly confidential 2003 steroid report.

Now that were done were the single comparison between the two, lets look at the differences.  Firstly, there approaches to the accusations were different. Ortiz vehemently denied any steroid use. Rodriguez, while initially denying it, did admit to taking steroids. In our society it would seem like A-Rod would get bonus points for this, while Ortiz would be shunned. This would have been the case if it were not for something called Biogensis. After connection was established between A-Rod and the PED clinic, his credibility, likability, and credibility were all destroyed. Meanwhile, Ortiz it was never proven to have taking steroids and has never had any accusations against him since.

The differences don’t stop there. Ortiz has been a local hero in Boston. Nicknamed “Big Papi” Ortiz has shown up constantly and consistently in the playoffs. From hitting two walkoff homeruns in games 4 & 5, to being crowned MVP of the 2013 World Series, Ortiz has shown his value early and often.

Rodriguez on the other hand hasn’t. In fact, he has done quite the opposite.  A-Rod opted out of his already monstrous contract very early into the deal, in order to make even more money. This polarized many fans. In addition, his on field play hasn’t helped. In the playoffs, Rodriguez has hit only .263 in 11 playoff series. These are not the numbers of a $250 million player.

In conclusion, Rodriguez is stuck in a catch 22 that is symbolic of the entire steroid era. He could have saved his name had he been clean, but would he have been any good if he were clean. To be fair, Ortiz has had a bit of a bias towards him due to his postseason heroics, but is that valid? If a player proves to be clutch and never tests positive again, should he be forgiven? The unfortunate thing is that’s what this era has become. We question everyone and don’t like to believe anyone. There has been a dark cloud created by steroids and it doesn’t seem to be lifting anytime soon.

Image

With Tip-Off fast approaching here’s an in-depth look at the league, Team by Team.

Boston Celtics

 

Where They Have Been:

One of the most storied franchises in any sport, the Boston Celtics took a big step back when they traded future hall of famers Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett to the Brooklyn Nets. In return, the Celtics received a package of expiring contracts and three first round picks in 2014,2016, and 2018. The trade was met with criticism for the Celtics’ lack of loyalty, but analysts have commended both teams on working out a fair deal. Going forward, Boston may be facing a subpar year ahead of them.

Who They Have: Starters

The Celtics opening day starting five will consist of SG turned PG Avery Bradley, SG Courtney Lee, SF Jeff Green, PF Brandon Bass, and C Kris Humphries. Bradley (who is playing for injured PG Rajon Rondo) is terrific defender, but is still lacking a bit on the offense side. Lee is a good shooter, particularly from three, but doesn’t contribute much else. Green is a solid 15 PPG and 5RPG guy who will also give you solid play on defense, particularly in the middle. Bass and Humphries are both Power Forwards who are lacking defensive prowess.  Humphries has been a disappointing player ever since his short-lived marriage with fame whore Kim Kardashian.

Who They Have: Bench

The Celtics surprisingly have a nice mix of veteran leadership and young potential on their bench. Gerald Wallace and Keith Bogans (both came over from the trade) have good leadership qualities in them. In particular, Wallace recently called out his teammates for playing with a lack of heart. While upper management was not a fan of this, the decision voice his displeasure could end up paying dividends for Boston. As far as the young guys, PF Jarred Sullinger and SG Jordan Crawford and Marshon Brooks have shown flashes in the true NBA talent on both sides of the floor in their young careers. In addition, the Celtics 1st round draft pick, Kelly Olynyk, can provide some much needed size on the floor for the Celtics.

What to Expect:

The addition of Brad Stevens was both shocking and smart for Boston, but there’s only so much he can do with a roster that just lacks talent. The future of this team is looking bright, but this season may be a little darker than Celtics fans are used to.

Final Record:

30-52