Boston’s Other Sports Stars

Boston’s contributions to sports history are hard to ignore. Names like Bill Russell, Larry Bird, David Ortiz, Bobby Orr, Tom Brady and Ted Williams have set records and made contributions to their respective games that will endure forever; in doing so they have made Boston sports fans some of the most loyal in the world.

The superstars of Boston sports have set the bar for other local competitors incredibly high; yet that does not mean they are undeserving of recognition. [Read more…]

Just Another Sunday For The Globe

Yesterday’s Sunday Boston Globe was AWESOME.

If you’re into marveling at a lack of self-awareness, I guess.

We’ll start with the top story:

Baseball pitchers want a better grip, not a competitive advantage

Oh, the irony. baseball players would rather not cheat, but they’re FORCED to because of the slickness of the ball. Everyone does it. They joke about it.

The column (by Peter Abraham) ends like this:

Uehara smiled when asked what he uses.

“I do what everybody else does,” he said. “But I’d rather not talk about it.”

Now, when Tom Brady wants a better grip on the footballs, and requests that they are at the bottom end of the legal limit for inflation, he is CHEATING. It’s the end of the world. It’s the biggest scandal since…well, ever.

Abraham admits the contrast:

It’s a speck on the scandal meter compared to the lingering question of whether Patriots quarterback Tom Brady ordered footballs deflated before the AFC Championship game in January.

The difference apparently is that baseball players are not seeking a competitive advantage when they bring a foreign substance to the mound, or doctor up the ball in some way, they are just innocently trying to grip the ball better. Tom Brady is a cheating fraud whose entire legacy is on the line and he and the Patriots have been tendered the biggest punishment in the history of the NFL for this atrocity.

Moving to Ben Volin’s Sunday Football Notes, Volin proudly shows off his discovery of a Patriots fan statistician who agrees with the Wells Report!

Well, not really. Volin originally tweeted out the email he received from the statistician, who is not agreeing with the Wells Report, but is letting AEI know that he was able to replicate the results of the Wells Report when they could not. He still disagrees with the Wells Report and agrees that the data set used by Wells is flawed and the results were cherry picked.

That’s a far cry from PATRIOTS FAN STATISTICIAN BACKS WELLS REPORT SCIENCE, which is what it seems like Volin was going for. He somehow uses this as a way to wag his finger at Patriots homers:

The Wells Report was attacked viciously and thoroughly in New England, home to some of the most brilliant scientific and legal minds in the world, as well as the most rabid and passionate fans in the country.

It’s millions of Patriots fans vs. one Ted Wells, and Wells has gotten clobbered.

But when anything pro-Patriots is released — such as the AEI report or the Patriots’ Context Report — every word is taken as gospel. There’s been very little critical analysis of their work, and anything that doesn’t fit the “Patriots are innocent” story line is ignored.

Awww, poor Teddy got clobbered!

That last bit is just classic. Volin does realize that outside of New England, it is the EXACT OPPOSITE. It would be written like this – But when anything anti-Patriots is released — such as the PSI report or the Patriots’ Staffer Tried To Introduce Illegal Ball Report — every word is taken as gospel. There’s been very little critical analysis of their work, and anything that doesn’t fit the “Patriots are cheaters” story line is ignored.

(Props to Jerry Thornton for this – Wells Report ‘science’ firm Exponent gets whacked by court order – a judge is ordering Exponent to turn over documents related to their work on another case, saying “Methodologically sound science has nothing to fear from full and open disclosure.” Remember though, that according to Roger Goodell, “Ted Wells’ integrity is impeccable.”)

Let’s head over the Sunday Baseball Notes. Nick Cafardo is an unabashed Jose Iglesias fanboy. He is also Scott Boras’ local mouthpiece. So what is the lead section of the notes yesterday? Iglesias vs Xander Bogaerts – who also happens to be a Boras client! So he gets to compare (and promote) two Boras clients! Nick searches far and wide to get a source that agrees with his take on things:

“With all due respect to Bogaerts, he’ll never be Iglesias,” said a National League GM. “I haven’t seen anyone like that in years. I saw a lot of [Omar] Vizquel, and I think this guy [Iglesias] is better. To do something extraordinary like he does . . . I know that even though you have a good player like Bogaerts, when you trade away a guy like that you’d better have a great reason.”

I hope the GM is only talking defensively, because that is a bunch of nonsense. Bogaerts’ ceiling is much higher offensively than Iglesias, and he’s improved dramatically in the field.

Then we have Dan Shaughnessy talking with Larry Lucchino! (Anti-Shaughnessy linking policy prevents us from bringing you this content.) Hey guess what? The Red Sox have marginalized Larry, and the team is struggling! Lucchino gives canned answers and Shaughnessy has an easy, mail-it-in Sunday column. All is good.

Finally, we’ll look at the Sunday Basketball Notes. Gary Washburn grades each team’s draft. OK. Kind of expected, even if the grades mean absolutely nothing. My gripe with this column is not with Washburn, but with Celtics forward Jared Sullinger. The guy has struggled with his weight and conditioning during his time here, even to the point where Danny Ainge publicly called him out on it. Sullinger is reportedly working hard this summer, but this quote doesn’t do him any favors:

“I think I’m going on a personal feel,” Sullinger said. “If I’m able to move the way I want to move and make the moves I want to make, I think the number [weight] doesn’t really matter. It’s all about how long I can stand out there and be able to put the work in that I put in in the first quarter all the way through the 48 minutes of the game.”

Ugh. I’ll paraphrase Shaughnessy on this one. Get. Him. Gone.

Finally, from today, it must be summertime – WEEI suspends morning show host Kirk Minihane

Area GM Criticized For Selecting Player In Draft

I’ll be honest. I didn’t see guard Terry Rozier (Louisville) as the Celtics first pick last night. I didn’t see them staying where they were in the draft. I didn’t see them making all four picks, and none of them being stashable Euros.

Then again, I am not the president of basketball operations for the Boston Celtics. Danny Ainge is, and he made the decisions last night.

The draft felt eerily Patriots-like last night with the Celtics pick coming up, and players available on the board which many of the draft analysts had projected as good fits for the Celtics, and then the team going with someone who many felt would’ve been available much later in the draft.

Their next two picks – shooter R.J. Hunter (Georgia State) and shotblocker Jordan Mickey (LSU) seem to fit team needs, and then the team went back to point guard with Marcus Thornton from William and Mary.

Ainge says that he tried mightily to move up in the draft, but was unable to. So he had to make the picks he had.

Next up is free agency, and the Celtics again face a difficult task in trying to convince teams to deal with them and for star players to come to Boston.

Celtics can’t move up, so they draft three guards, a forward – Adam Himmelsbach looks at the night for Boston.

Celtics fans left to hope projections are correct – Steve Bulpett has Rick Pitino gushing over Rozier.

The Bruins are up tonight with pick #14 in the NHL draft, and there is plenty of trade talk around them as well.

First draft: With limited time on job, Don Sweeney hopes to pull a Jeff Gorton with Bruins – DJ Bean has the new GM looking to hit big in his first draft in charge.

Bruins open to trading No. 14 pick in draft – Amalie Benjamin looks at possible moves for Sweeney.

The Wells Report continues to get smacked around. WellsReportContext.com has another scientific debunking of the methods used by Exponent.

This one found that Exponent incorrectly used a starting temperature of 67 degrees in order to produce a worse result for the Patriots and a better one for the Colts.

Although Wells claimed that Exponent had considered  “all permutations”, the simulations and transients of Figure 30 (and 27) were carried out at 67 deg F – the temperature most adverse to the Patriots – rather than 71 deg F. (Exponent purported to justify this adverse assumption, but their justification does not stand up, particularly to the gauge assumption, as discussed later.)

And

However, the pre-game temperature was set at 67°F because this was the only temperature that allowed the Colts balls to subsequently reach their average pressure during the simulated Locker Room Period. Any pre-game temperature that was higher than 67°F resulted in the Colts balls reaching the Game Day halftime average pressure later than 13.5 minutes into the Locker Room Period.

Yet clowns like Emmanuel Sanders still want to spout off about the Patriots being the cheaters.

Of course, Sanders is just another cheating hypocrite himself.

There were major holes in Fox’s coverage of US Open – Chad Finn looks at the FOX’s Golf Major debut, which could’ve gone better for them.