I’m angry about the Red Sox and concerned about the Bruins. It’s an emotional time right now…
I can already feel Brendan’s wrath ready to swoop in. As the displaced New Yorker living in the Boston suburbs, entrenched in the heaven that is the hub of the sporting world, the Red Sox demise and dreary outlook for the Bruins have me in an emotional state for my midweek banter. I’ve decided to focus on two Red Sox topics for this week’s edition, so please forgive me. On the rest, well, let’s get to it. Don’t forget to take a look at last week’s column either.
1. David Price’s playoff record speaks for itself, but his attitude is infuriating after another postseason disaster
When the Red Sox signed David Price to the largest contract in baseball history this offseason, I was skeptical. Sure, he was a dominant pitcher, left-handed, with an ability to get under people’s skin. He went toe-to-toe with David Ortiz last year after Big Papi pimped a home run.
But, along with his regular season accolades, Price also carried with him a significant cause for concern. I’ll put it simply. He blows in the playoffs.
And, just like clockwork, Price again crapped his pants in October baseball. With the Red Sox in desperate need of a win in their ALDS matchup with the Cleveland Indians, Price promptly went out and pitched three-and-a-third innings, allowing five runs, including a backbreaking, dick-high fastball to Lonnie Chisenhall, that put Boston in a hole they wouldn’t overcome.
I hate to say I told you so, but I fucking told you so. Make it nine straight starts now for Price that he’s shit his pants in the playoffs. Price defenders are quick to point out how these numbers don’t generate a true sample size, and are an anomaly to his real talent. Well how much longer do you need to wait to see that this isn’t just a fluke. It’s a pattern, and it happened. Again.
All of that pisses me off. But the worst part, is how Price defends the whole situation. He was quick to quip that he has two postseason wins in his career after his latest terrible start. Uh, David, nobody cares. Your first postseason “win” came in 2008, when you pitched a whopping two-thirds of an inning.
His second postseason “win” came last year when R.A. Dickey was pulled with two outs in the fourth inning (one out shy of qualifying for the win) and a 7-1 lead over the Texas Rangers. Sure, he got the W, but he fucked Dickey out of it, and oh yeah, he gave up three runs in three innings to let Texas back in the game.
So sure David, you have two playoff wins, but you don’t have any as a starter. We know that. He says he knows that. He says he was saving all his playoff wins for Boston. He says he wants to make Boston fans love him. I just don’t think it will ever happen.
Editor’s Note: Like so many other playoff pariahs (see: Rodriguez, Alex) Price is hurt by the narrative that surrounds him. Price has been bad in the postseason, undoubtedly, but even if he had happened to pitch well, his reputation as a head case stains his postseason record in the eyes of many, I’d argue unfairly. But that’s sports for you.
2. There’s no way Tony Romo should see the field for the Dallas Cowboys over Dak Prescott
Ah yes, I’m revisiting a take that I had before the football season. I said in my NFL preview column that the Tony Romo injury was the best thing that could happen to the Dallas Cowboys. My logic? That Romo’s inevitable injury would send Dallas into an irreparable tailspin that leads to another year without the playoffs.
While Romo’s injury happened in the preseason this year, it happened nonetheless. And what has rookie QB Dak Prescott done since starting? How about leading Dallas to a 4-1 record and not only committing one turnover. If you can honestly tell me that you believe Romo would have done the same thing, I want you to have your head examined.
And now, owner/GM/assistant head coach/billionaire/crazy person Jerry Jones comes out and says that when Romo returns from his vertebrae injury, he will be the starter.
Jerry. Babe. Stop right there.
How could you possibly take this kid out? He’s not turning the ball over, he’s developed chemistry with fellow rookie Ezekiel Elliot, and he’s making smart decisions. Maybe Jerry Jones forgot about the backbreaking interceptions Romo has thrown over the years. Jones is getting up there in age, so a mental lapse wouldn’t surprise me all that much. But holy shit, Prescott is doing things for this team that Romo could never do.
You can’t take the kid out in favor of the vet. This is Dak’s team. He’s the captain now, and Romo’s return from injury shouldn’t change that.
Editor’s Note: The real answer here? Bring back Romo. He’ll get hurt anway, and then there’s still no pressure on Dak. Why has no one made me a GM yet?
3. I’m genuinely concerned about Sidney Crosby
I know this isn’t one of my usual hot takes. I get that. But let me explain myself.
Here’s the thing: I hate Sidney Crosby. I hate how he whines, I hate how he doesn’t play physical. I hate that he’s the face of the NHL.
But, with all of my animosity aside, I also recognize he’s the best hockey player on the planet, and that his success is also paramount to the success of the league and sport that I love. It pains me to say it, but when Crosby is at his best, scoring highlight-reel goals and leading his team to a second Stanley Cup, the NHL is a better product. God, that sucks.
That brings me back to my original take. Crosby’s recent concussion diagnosis, while it makes me smile knowing that he won’t be playing and the Penguins are inherently a worse team without him in the lineup, it makes me sad because the game is better with him in the lineup.
Concussions are not something to mess around with. They have the short-term ramifications of losing sleep, sensitivity to light, etc. and then the more concerning long-term effects of CTE. Just look at Marc Savard .His life isn’t the same because of concussions. This will be Crosby’s third diagnosed concussion in the past couple years. Once you get one, you’re more likely to get another. It’s scary stuff.
Get well soon Sid. I hate you. But you need to be on the ice.
Editor’s Note: If there’s anything hockey cannot sustain, its the loss of the league’s best player early in his career to head trauma. The league is already considered a fringe sport, and that could really push it to the margins. If concussions could spell doom for the billion dollar NFL, what could they mean for the NHL.
4. Adam Silver gets all this praise, but what has he done about the Derrick Rose case?
All I’ve heard about NBA commissioner Adam Silver is that he’s the best commissioner in sports. He acted swiftly in getting Donald Sterling out of the game. He took the NBA All-Srar game out of Charlotte for their HB2 law. He allows the players to make a political statement during the National Anthem.
I won’t say whether I agree or disagree with those things. That’s not my argument. But with each of those moves, I’ve heard about how great he is and how these moves signal that he’s in touch with not only the NBA but also society as a whole.
Well, Mr. Commissioner, where have you been on Derrick Rose? One of the best players in the sport, on one of the biggest teams in the world, and he’s still preparing for the season despite a damning rape case. Rose is going through the legal process, but Silver has done nothing to reprimand one of the stars of the game.
Seems convenient to not do something when it’s a star player instead of a state or owner. Talk about fucking hypocritical.
Did Donald Sterling get his due process before his team was ripped from him? Did the state of North Carolina get a defense when their state voted for the HB2 law? Nope and nope.
So now Silver is waiting patiently while the legal system decides Rose’s case? That’s bullshit, and Silver is really getting no shit for this. It’s crazy to me that Silver is treating a brutal gang rape as another incident that happened off the court when he’s reacted totally differently in two other occasions.
Editor’s Note: Coming soon: Brendan ranks the commisioners (yes, I’m serious.)
5. The Red Sox bringing John Farrell back makes zero sense
Sorry to close out this blog with another Red Sox take, but like I said earlier, I’m emotional. Why in God’s name is a manager with two last place finishes in the last four years coming back to Boston? It makes zero sense to me.
For those of you who don’t follow the Red Sox as closely as I do, you’re probably wondering why a manager who has a ring and added another division title in 2016 should be fired.
Let me explain. In game managing is not Farrell’s strong suit. That should pretty much be priority number one for a manager of a MLB team. Dave Dombrowski said he doesn’t need a top in-game manager on Tuesday for some unknown reason, and that concerns the shit out of me. The Red Sox should have a manager capable of executing a double switch, or not taking a player on a lengthy hitting streak and switching him up in the order. (Seriously, how the fuck do you let that happen?)
Instead, they have a good “clubhouse guy” that players like playing for. Cool, neat, awesome. Guess what? The team has under performed for three of his four seasons at the helm. That’s not worth another chance, and sure as shit not worth a contract extension, which I’m banking on the Red Sox giving him before Spring Training. That would be a mistake, and I’m already mad just thinking about it.
Editor’s Note: I’m just going to sit back and smile at the ALDS. I’ll keep the rest to myself
6. Camel of the Week: the Denver Broncos
I’ll keep this one short and sweet. The Broncos may have literally cut a miracle worker from their team in Tim Tebow. Elway may have been right to let Brock Osweiler, but Tim Tebow may have some kind of other force on his side.
That’ll do it for us. We’ll be back next week with some more hot takes for your Wednesday reading enjoyment. Follow Tim on Twitter@culvey13 and Brendan at @MurraySportTalk for more, or to tell me us we’re morons. Either way, have at it.