Foaming at the mouth…conclusion…

So…I said I was far from done with some random observations.  Here’s some more good stuff!

*I actually don’t mind that the Dallas Mavericks are kind of opposed to that silly little pregame dance that Russell Westbrook and Cameron Payne do.  In all honesty, I haven’t seen much of the actual dance.  But my thought is…don’t you actually have to be good to be doing stuff like this?  Westbrook is one of the better players in the league of course.  But who in the hell is Cameron Payne?  Russ, my friend, if you want to do some dancing with Kevin Durant, by all means please do so.  But do us a favor and keep the scrubs off the floor please.

Side note:  Is this the type of stuff Bryce Harper wants to bring to Major League Baseball?  I’m not old school like Goose Gossage where I don’t want to see any of this type of stuff.  And I am all for celebrating big moments.  I had no problem with the whole Jose Bautista bat flip “incident” last year.  But please do not advocate for these ridiculous dance routines on the baseball field Bryce.  We may have enough already with the handshakes.

*Note to John Farrell:  When you warm up Junichi Tazawa and/or Koji Uehara, please get them in the game.  Do not waste any more of their bullets in the bullpen.  You will already overuse them during the course of the year, so you may as well get their best on the mound as much as you can.  Especially when you are in a tie game and someone named William Cuevas is on the hill.  Thank you.

*Christian Vazquez’ first 6 games for the Red Sox this year has resulted in a .190 average thus far.  Ok, with Vasky (Vazqui?), it’s not about the hitting.  I get that.  But wouldn’t it help to get SOME hits?  He hit .240 as a rookie, helped a little at the end of the year by getting hot against most assuredly a gaggle of minor league callups.  But then he missed all of 2015.  Then was brought along slowly in 2016 Spring Training to the tune of getting 14 at-bats.  Then he got 13 more in Pawtucket.  Is that enough to be “back”?

Listen, I have no issue with Vazquez.  Although I think many catchers are overrated historically for things such as “calling a good game” and the like, the kid very clearly has a defensive presence.  If he can hit even that .240 consistently, he will have a long career.  But what I do feel like is that he was rushed up because the team panicked.

Blake Swihart struggled a little bit defensively the first week of the season.  Couldn’t corral a couple of foul popups where the batter eventually made the pitcher pay after getting the new life.  Among other defensive deficiencies.  All offseason and throughout the spring (and even previous to that), all we heard that he is untouchable because he was a potential All-Star catcher.  His defense still needed some work, but he could hit and he would be a real stud at the position.

Now, 8 games in, he all of a sudden can’t play defense and got shipped back to Pawtucket…to also get reps in left field.  LEFT FIELD?  Wow…seems a little rash, no?  So we hear now, “Well, he is a converted shortstop, so he gives us flexibility in the field.”  And “Well, both Swihart and Vazquez can’t be every day catchers, we are looking at some other options to keep Blake’s bat on the field.”  Etc.

If this was an option, why wasn’t Swihart playing winter ball in the outfield?  Or at least during Spring Training?  Seems like an overreaction.  Last year, when Joe Kelly was going 8-0 down the stretch and when Rick Porcello pitched better after his return from exile, Swihart seemed to catch them just fine.  Now he sucks?  How about the pitching just sucks?  That’s a better explanation.

Or else what is the explanation on how Vazquez caught David Price’s last brutal start with 8 runs allowed against a terrible lineup?  I’m just not sure what the plan is here…and that worries me.

*Note to Marcus Smart:  Please stop your flopping.  Embarrassing.  Pathetic.

*I know this was a couple of weeks ago, but was anyone surprised that Kobe Bryant’s last game featured him firing up 50 shots for his 60 points?  21 threes hoisted (6 made).  I was a little surprised that he didn’t take every shot actually.  Isn’t this vintage Kobe?  Yeah, I know he’s got his championships, but he also had his free rein.  And he was also kind of scumbag, but now we have to celebrate him?

I don’t know.  He is of course one of the NBA’s all-time greats for sure.  But I just had some inner conflict on how to handle his half-season farewell tour.  But that’s me.

*Note to John Farrell:  Please do not cater to Chris Young to make sure he gets enough at-bats.  Try to win the game.  Young is a backup player for a reason.  Let him get the practice in the cages, like other reserves.  And if you publicly say you are trying to keep him ready so he doesn’t sit on the bench for long stretches, then why doesn’t the same logic apply to other bench/back-end of roster guys like Josh Rutledge, Marco Hernandez or Tommy Layne?  Even Rusney Castillo before he was optioned out.  Or Pablo Sandoval before he got “hurt.”  Makes no sense, but not surprising.  Thank you.

*Why aren’t the Carolina Panthers getting skewered for letting high-priced cornerback Josh Norman walk?  You know, like the Patriots would…for being cheap and not wanting to pay guys.  Instead GM Dave Gettleman is being praised as making a smart decision, despite the fact that his current defensive backfield is underwhelming at best.  Sure, Bill Belichick may eventually be lauded for making the right decision if it works out.  But he would be getting blasted right now for not wanting to pay the best players what they are worth.  Not hearing any of that from anyone talking about the Panthers.

*Note to Johnny Manziel:  WAKE THE F UP!!!  I have no love for him as a player.  I certainly have no love for him as a person.  Hey, everyone does stupid stuff when they are young.  Well, I guess most of us don’t do it at the level he does.  And most of us don’t do it with a pro football career hanging by a thread.  Other than Aaron Hernandez, I guess.  Anyway, it’s pretty telling when your agent fires YOU.  And the whole thing kind of seems sad the way his life appears to be falling apart.  But I guess if he doesn’t care, why should I?

*So the Golden State Warriors have the best NBA regular season record of all time at 73-9.  Congratulations.  We will see if it was worth it.  I applaud that you went for it.  And it didn’t seem that you taxed your players in getting there at the end.  But now Steph Curry has a bum ankle?  (And now apparently a bum knee that happened since I initially wrote this paragraph earlier.)  Related?  Probably not.  But there is a reason (besides age) that Gregg Popovich rests his players down the stretch for the San Antonio Spurs year in and year out.  Plus…I still have nightmares of the New England Patriots fading down the stretch and not playing their best ball late in the 18-1 season of 2007.  Including blowing the Super Bowl against the better team that day, but not the better team overall.  Best of luck anyway.  If you win or lose I guess it really won’t affect me.

*Note to John Farrell:  When you are swapping 12th pitchers on your staff, just say that you needed a fresh arm.  Kind of humorous, and ridiculous, to go into detail that you needed Heath Hembree here while optioning down Noe Ramirez a few days back because you needed “a little more of a top to bottom breaking ball than Noe can give us and a different arm angle at this time” or some idiocy like that.  Enough please.  Thank you.

*Can’t ever count out those Chicago Blackhawks, eh?  Down 3-1 in games to the St. Louis Blues, they have rallied to tie it at 3-3.  Not to mention they came back from 3-1 deficits in both of the last 2 games.  Would not be shocked to see them win Game 7.  Chicago seems to be one of the ideal organizations in the NHL, of course winning 3 of the last 6 Cups.  But weren’t they in salary cap trouble at one point recently and climbed quickly out of it?  Shouldn’t the local team be able to do that too?

Of course it helps if you keep your best players.  If Patrick Kane was in Boston, they likely would have shipped him out-of-town long ago because he is apparently a scumbag off the ice (see Seguin, Tyler).  But we don’t need to go back down that road, do we?



About mpdenton

I am a passionate and life long fan of the local teams...and by local I mean New England. I remember the days of Ray Bourque, Larry Bird, Steve Grogan and Wade Boggs...meaning I have lived the highs and lows of the Boston sports scene. With all this pent up Boston sports emotion, I clearly have a lot to say about the local teams and sometimes about sports in general. Maybe even the Revolution... I appreciate you reading my blog and hope you enjoy my rants.

Posted on April 25, 2016, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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