Jimmy Garoppolo was traded to the 49ers on Monday evening. I don’t recall a backup quarterback ever having so much intrigue for the Patriots (unless of course you go back to Brady himself, and even with him I don’t remember so much buzz about him in 2000).
Jimmy was a talented quarterback. His performance in the first game and a half of 2015 were very important in keeping the Patriots at the top of the AFC in Brady’s wrongful absence. Some in the media questioned his toughness when he had a sprained ac joint and missed one game, but I never considered that opinion to be likely. I believed he would be the quarterback of the future for the Patriots, but alas.
It’s unusual to see a dramatic shift in opinion on a player from Bill Belichick. It usually takes a drastic event, like Asante Samuel dropping a super bowl interception, for such a shift. From what I’ve read, and what I’ve seem/heard Bill say, he apparently liked Jimmy a lot. Some have claimed it was Kraft who made the choice, telling Bill that Brady must retire a Patriot (which i have hoped for a long time), and since Brady will likely last a few more years Bill saw the writing on the wall. I do wonder what that means for Bill Belichick coaching the team into the future, if this will impact whether he feels Kraft trusts him or will let him run the team as he sees fit.
Speaking of Brady, it also makes one wonder how Brady felt about Jimmy. Im sure he wanted Jimmy to be a successful player, but it must have been a pain to see the guy many people want to replace you throwing the ball on your field. I’ve heard stories that Brady didn’t like these implications, but it’s obvious that it lit a fire under him that made him perform better (which is honestly hard to believe given his immense talent). This move tells me that Brady will be here for at least a few more seasons.
However things go, Jimmy Garoppolo is almost certainly out of the equation for good. I hope he succeeds in San Francisco and has a long career. Not that he beats the Patriots, but I wouldn’t wish I’ll on him. Thank you for your contributions to the team.
On another note, welcome back Brian Hoyer.
Gordon Hayward’s injury sucked.
It sucked for a number of reasons. It was disgusting to see, it happened to a very likeable person, and it happened to a guy who had a lot of potential in a new city on a contending team.
And now that contending team is in a bad spot. Their max contract superstar is hurt. Irving and Horford are very good players but aren’t enough to beat the best of the best. Brown and Tatum are off to a good statt, but rookies, and we don’t know how they’re going to develop. Smart and the rest of the bench are a collectively good bench, but they’re just that- a bench. Marcus Smart isn’t ready to be a primary starter and play all-star-level minutes and put up all-star-level points.
But they’re not done yet. Hayward will be out until at least February or March, likely a bit longer, but there’s a very good chance he comes back for the postseason (and this team is good enough to get at least to the playoffs). Kyrie Irving is a top 15 player in the NBA, closer to top 10. Horford is a very good big man.
Besides their 3 stars, they have a cast of talented role players. Smart is a borderline starter. Brown and Tatum have tremendous potential, and showed that against Cleveland last night. Aron “All of Australia” Baynes showed that they finally have a solid rim protector. Rozier is a good bench point guard. And the team showed a tremendous resiliency in the face of a horrific injury to their best player, as they did last year when Isaiah Thomas got hurt in the playoffs.
So the Celtics will be down, but certainly not out just yet. If Hayward doesn’t come back, theyll get eliminated in the second round or possibly the cinference championship depending on the matchups. But there’s a lot to be hopeful for despite the terrible first quarter injury yesterday.
The Red Sox playoff run kicks off today. It remains to be seen whether this will be a quick exit again.
There’s reason to be excited for the series against Houston. The Astros got off to a phenomenal start in the first half of the year, then sort of coasted to the postseason (losing the top spot to Cleveland after their record streak). They have a way more consistent offense, scoring 111 more runs than the Red Sox. Their starting pitching is also more consistent. Verlander vs Sale will be a great matchup, and hopefully Sale can keep the Sox in the game for at least 6 innings. Keuchel is inconsistent, but has the ability to be a dominant pitcher, while Pomeranz has had an excellent season and should continue to do well in game 2. Beyond that, the Red Sox starters have been downright unpredictable, between Porcello and Rodrigez struggling and Fister’s bipolar swings. As far as a third starter goes, Fister has the best postseason track record. The Red Sox have a better bullpen, especially if David Price can keep it together the way he has in the last few weeks.
To win, the Red Sox will need their two best starters to step up and pitch as well as they have all season. The offense will need to hit much more consistently than their regular season effort, and they will have to manage not to get thrown out on the bases as they have all season. Defense is fortunately something that the Red Sox do very well, and I am very confident that they’re going to continue that.
If the Astros win this series, it will be because the Red Sox can’t hit consistently, and their aggression on the basepaths gets them thrown out (Benintendi). Leaving runners on base has been a struggling point all year, given the style of offense the Sox use (somewhat of a small-ball approach, few consistent power hitters), so that may rear its ugly head if they can’t build offensive momentum. Either way, I look forward to an exciting series against a solid all-around team.
The Sox clinched a spot in the postseason last night with a win and an Angels loss. At the very least, they’ll be a wild card team. They’re in the driver’s seat for the division though, so barring a pretty big collapse they’ll have (likely) Houston, or more likely they’ll be heading to Houston.
I’m not as confident as I’d like to be in the Sox. Their offense is inconsistent. Just look at their last 3 games: two overtime Wins, one going 15 innings, and one blowout win on the back of Chris Sale’s absolutely dominating performance. If they had a consistent showing on offense even for the past month or so they could be contending for home field advantage. I’m still no 100% sold that they’ll be ready to compete in the playoffs with playoff pitching, whether it be Verlander, Keuchel, or even Kluber if things go south for Cleveland.
Pitching is another concern. Sale is Sale, but other than yesterday he kind of struggled (relatively, of course, for the Cu Young award hopeful). Big congratulations are in order on his 300 strikeouts this year, the first time since 1999 that it’s happened in the AL. Drew Pomeranz has actually been consistently very good this year, which is something I wouldn’t have expected to say last year. He has done a tremendous job and has been one of the few cconsistent pieces on this team. Beyond that, what do we have? Rick Porcello, who isn’t even close to what h was last year; Eduardo Rodriguez, who is what you’d expect him to be; Doug Fister, a solid fifth starter with an unfortunate last name who would be exposed as a third starter; and the billion-dollar man David Price, who will probably be a bullpen pitcher (which is good considering that’s the only way he’s ever won a playoff game).
The Sox will most likely play the Astros in the ALDS. I think they can win, but it’ll probably go to at least 4 games if not 5. Houston has been coasting a bit since starting the season like a rocket and burning out after the all star break. After Houston would be Cleveland, a juggernaut who won 22 games in a row and is poised to have home field to defend their pennant from last year. Cleveland looks to have Boston’s number this year, whatever the reason. If I were a gambler, I wouldn’t bet on the Sox in Cleveland. But stranger things have happened, so the Sox shouldn’t be counted out yet.
I see this every damn time someone hits multiple home runs in a game (congrats, JD Martinez). Everyone complains about how they’ll get “random” drug tests, and it’s clearly not “random”. It happens every 4/20 too.
Here’s the answer: it isn’t meant to be random. “Random” only applies to the player. The MLB (and NFL, and NBA, etc.) Have the authority to do it *randomly (I.e. at their discretion, without warning the player in advance) as a way of potentially catching a player in the act of cheating. It’s to deter people from cheating. It isn’t random for both sides because there would be no practical benefit for that.
The final round of my preseason predictions. Here it is:
1. Seahawks: 11-13 wins
Seattle will have another strong year, contending for a high playoff seed. How they fare in the playoffs is a mystery.
2. Cardinals: 6-9 wins
I think Arizona will finish stronger than last year, but their potential isn’t particularly great. They could contend for a wild card slot, but they’ll be a dark horse if anything.
3. Rams: 5-8 wins
Los Angeles’s season is up in the air, especially since their quarterback situation is a little messy. But now that they’re free from the clutches of Jeff Fisher, their future looks brighter than before.
4. 49ers: 4- wins
Oh my. This team is a hot mess. Guaranteed top 5 draft pick.
Another unpredictable division is the NFC South. Here we go:
1. Buccaneers: 9-12 wins
Tampa Bay has the talent to win the division, and Jameis Winston could pull it off this year. They should continue to improve and have a huge impact on the NFC.
2. Falcons: 7-11 wins
Atlanta could have a but of a hangover year after their monumental collapse in the Super Bowl last year. Or they could come out for revenge. Who knows?
3. Panthers: 7-10 wins
Can Newton needs to bounce back. They’ve lost a good chunk of their 2015 postseason team, but Carolina should be competitive for a wild card spot if Newton plays consistently.
4. Saints: 6-9 wins
If they had a defense, they’d be golden. Drew Brees is one of the best passers ever, but he can only carry the team so far.