Monthly Archives: June, 2015

Patrice Bergeron is the #1 Guy to Feel Bad For on the Bruins

June and July 2013 were busy months for Patrice Bergeron.  In June, he scored the game winning goal in the thrilling over the Penguins in Game 3 of the Conference Finals, and then had a great Stanley Cup Finals against the Blackhawks.  He played that way against the Hawks in Games 5 and 6 with, I don’t know, a punctured lung, broken nose, a broken rib, torn rib cartilage, and did I mention a HOLE IN HIS LUNG?

Then, Bergeron signed a much deserved extension in July that was kicked in this past season.  Because he’s Patrice Bergeron, he signed it for just $6.85 million per year over 8 years.  The term was on point, but he was and is worth wayyyy more than that.  His skills aren’t gonna slow down anytime soon because his intelligence won’t decline, and the only real risk in signing him is his concussion history, but, as horrible as concussions are, there is no chance nowadays that a player would play through concussions like it was a nagging injury and drag down his play — if Bergeron was out for awhile because of his concussion problems, the Bruins would get LTIR cap relief. The point is, the contract was very team friendly, and Bergeron took it to help the team win, of course.

And now, the team is not gonna win for a good long while.  Bergeron is a winner, and he sacrificed the money that he had earned in order to keep winning for the only organization that he’s ever played for.  But now the Bruins won’t win, or at least not the kind of winning that we have expected since the Spring of 2009 when the Bruins were 1st in the conference.  Sure, they might make the playoffs and get bounced in the first or second (if they’re lucky) round a few times in the next chunk of years, but that’s not what Bergy took the discount for.

As sad as this situation is for us fans, we aren’t professionals in this game.  We didn’t leave our own money on the table because we expected the Bruins to win, and we still have the Super Bowl Champion Patriots, the Celtics and their 1250 “future assets,” and the Red Sox (just kidding) to root for.  As sad as the past few days have been for Bruins fans, they’re more sad for Patrice Bergeron.

Bruins Will Not Be a Good Team Again for A Long Time

Don Sweeney officially doesn’t know what he’s doing.  The Bruins just acquired career goon Zac Rinaldo for a 3rd round pick in 2017.  There is no reason to give up a draft pick for a goon in today’s NHL, but I’m just done talking at length about these moves.

Just know that, after trading future Norris candidate Dougie Hamilton for 50 cents on the dollar, giving Adam McQuaid $11 million over 4 years when he’s worth $4 million over 11 years, not drafting any of the 3 top 10 prospects still on the board with their THREE draft picks in Friday night’s draft, and now trading a legitimate asset for a guy who can barely play hockey, the Bruins are screwed for years to come.

And the main reason why is because their GM isn’t making sensible moves, and has already set the team back awhile.  And a bad GM can set a team back for a long, long time in any sport, but especially one with a hard cap.  After all, McQuaid’s horrible contract won’t be up until 2019 and Dennis Seidenberg’s deal won’t be up until 2018.  The Seidenberg deal of course isn’t Sweeney’s fault, but Peter Chiarelli was on a streak of some pretty bad moves , only hurting the team more now.

Get used to this, unfortunately.  Until Sweeney and maybe Neely are gone, the team isn’t gonna be good again.  Don’t put too much emotional stock into this team going forward.

And Now Milan Lucic is Gone

This is gonna shock you, but Don Sweeney made a good move today.

The Bruins traded Lucic to the Kings for the 13th pick, Martin Jones, and prospect Collin Miller.  They now have the 13, 14, and 15th picks in one of the deepest drafts in memory and maybe the deepest since 2003.

it was time to go for Lucic, who has a year left on his deal and will defeinitely not be worth the $7ish million that someone would give him next summer per season.  He just turned 27, and while he’s not known as a scoring forward, the scoring numbers for forwards tend to peak around 25-26.  Glad to move on from him for a good price, even if it was just the 13th in a deep draft.

And then the fact that they got Jones and Miller also helps make the trade look better for Boston.  The fact that Jones is in there is intriguing because of Tuukka, and I don’t know what the Bruins are gonna do with Jones or any of their goalies.  Svedberg is an RFA, and Malcolm Subban was due for some time this year based on the progression that the B’s want him to have, even if he’s not the actual backup this season.  So what to do with Martin Jones?  For now I guess he’s just a good backup, because it’s a buyer’s market for goalies because there are so many on the market.  The Bruins are gonna have trouble trading him or anyone else, so I don’t think they’re gonna be able to flip him for a lot.

Colin Miller is a 22 year old who should get some time for the B’s this season given how much their blueliners suck after Chara now with the horrendous Hamilton trade, and he was a 5th rounder in the draft 3 years ago.  Not a bad pickup given that he’s just a throw in.

The B’s may now be trying to get the #3 pick with all of the picks in the top 2 rounds that they have with the Hamilton and Boychuk trades, and hopefully that works out.  But given how deep the draft is, I don’t want them giving up all 3 of those, even is hometown kid Noah Hanifin is an absolute stud.  But we’re gonna have to stay tuned.

Bruins Re-Sign Adam McQuaid

FUCK AGAIN

$11 million over 4 years.  They couldn’t pay Dougie somewhere between $5-7 million but they can pay McQuaid 3 times what he’s worth? I don’t have any energy to add more analysis here, this is just a huge gut punch from Don Sweeney.  Guess we better get used to Bruins not contending for at least 5 years.

Dougie Hamilton Traded, Screw Everything

FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK!!!!

How could Don Sweeney do this?  How could he possibly trade Dougie Hamilton, a stud defenseman who just turned 22 and is probably 3-4 years away from being a serious Norris candidate, for the 15th overall pick and 2 2nd rounders????!!!!! Any way that you slice it, this trade is terrible.  Some people are saying that, because the Bruins are trying to do a lot of stuff tonight at the draft, that we need to be patient and see how this move fits into the others that they are gonna make.

These people are stupid.  No matter what happens with this team before the start of the season, this trade is horrendous.  Dougie Hamilton is worth way more than the 15th and 2 2nds.  I can’t come to a defense any way that I look at it.  Dougie was drafted 9th overall 4 years ago and surpassed even the expectations that come with being a Top 10 pick.  Now that the Bruins are really getting his best years, and now that he’s proven that he probably should have been higher than #9, they trade him for a #15 and 2 much lower picks??? There is a huge dropoff in the NHL after the first 3-7 picks in any draft, depending on how deep it is.  Well the Bruins got that kind of value with #9, and now they trade him for picks that won’t net the same kind of value because of where they are in the draft and because of how the NHL draft is inherently structured.

And if the Bruins are trying to get more veterans, then why trade Dougie for draft picks?  And if the team is trying to get younger in general, then why not keep the stud 22 year old???

And contract talks are the worst excuse ever.  I don’t care if they’re cap strapped, you pay a guy like Hamilton and trade someone like Lucic or Kelly or just about ANYONE ELSE on the team.  The fact is the Bruins don’t have a ton going forward, and guys who have just ended their ELC usually provide a ton of value because they don’t get paid correctly what they’re worth.  Even if Dougie wanted an “expensive” bridge deal of, let’s say, 3 years at $6 million per, that’s still the same terms that Milan Lucic signed 4 years ago! Dougie is easily worth that kinda cash.

Or at least trade him for a lot more.  I know that you can’t always look at a trade from the opposite perspective because each team is in a different situation, but it says something here that the Flames are over the moon about this one.  They just got a stud defenseman for 3 draft picks that they won’t see for a few years.

It’s amazing how fast Don Sweeney completely lost my trust in him as a General Manager.  Now, the Bruins are gonna be caught finishing between 6th and 10th in their conference every year and maybe, if we’re lucky, getting to the 2nd round of the playoffs.  Given the fact that there’s such a difference in the draft picks in the Top 5 of the draft and everything after, NHL purgatory is exactly where you don’t want to be.  What a joke of a trade by Sweeney.

Bruins Trade Carl Soderberg, Highlight Earlier Mistake They Made

How I wish the Bruins (and every other team I root for) had Bill Belichick for a General Manager.

The Bruins today traded the negotiating rights for Carl Soderberg to the Colorado Avalanche, who are apparently in the business of getting scorers from the 2014 Presidents’ Trophy winning team.  The B’s got back a 6th rounder, and while I am happy with the trade that Don Sweeney made today, it also highlights a mistake that his predecessor, Peter Chiarelli, made in March.

In March, I asked a few of my friends hypothetically, “Would you trade Carl Soderberg and all of Dennis Seidenberg’s horrible contract to a team for nothing in return?”  Many of my friends answered no, and I was one of the few who answered yes.  To be fair to my friends and anyone who would have said no, at that time, the Bruins were holding onto one of the Wild Card spots and we thought they’d make the playoffs, where Soderberg and mayyybe even Seidenberg (but probably not) would be helpful in a playoff series.  But I feel very happy with the benefit of hindsight that I answered no to that question, because the team missed the playoffs and Chiarelli should have gotten whatever he could for Soderberg as a rental at the time.

Even without dumping Seids along with the One Eyed Swede, we can now say for sure that Chiarelli should have made the move.  I may be forgetting someone, but I think that Derek Roy was the best center traded at the deadline this year, and he was traded for Marc Acobello, who I’ll admit to not knowing a ton about.  But if David Perron can get a 1st round pick and a prospect from the Penguins when he plays left wing and had 19 points in 38 games for Edmonton, Chiarelli could’ve gotten a mid 1st round pick from a hopeful contender.

While I understand the mindset that you should never mess with a chance to make the playoffs, especially when the Bruins are a team with a pedigree and a ton of injuries last year, meaning they could be a sleeper playoff team, it shouldn’t have changed the trade for Soderberg.  There were only about 20 games left in the season, and in a sport that is so much more defined by variance than anything else, Soderberg’s presence probably wouldn’t have cost the Bruins much at all.  And they had options like Ryan Spooner, Alexander Khoklachev, and Chris Kelly to put in for Soderberg at 3rd line center.  Krejci was injured at the time, but they still had the options to deal with the absence of Soderberg.

And maybe now that Soderberg’s gone, we can admit that Loui Eriksson and sheltered minutes also made him the beast that he was late in the 2014 season.  Playing 3rd line minutes when you’re behind 2 first lines and alongside a hell of a 2 way player will boost anyone’s minutes, and Soderberg wasn’t nearly as good without Eriksson of when facing 1st line minutes this season when Krejci was out.  This was the ultimate sell high case, and Bill Belichick would have known to trade a guy before you lose all of his value in a few months.

And what makes the decision more obvious is the Johnny Boychuk trade.  Ignoring sunk costs is always a good mindset, but trading Boychuk on the eve of the draft instead of trying to send Chris Kelly anywhere for anything signaled that Chiarelli was willing to sacrifice a guy who was only gonna be here fo ra year, a year when the Bruins wouldn’t have been at their best from the start, as shown by the losses of Iginla and Boychuk.  If you’re already in that mindset, trade the guy who’s only there for another 20 games for a 1st rounder and get a lot more value going forward.

Hindsight is 20/20, but in this case it’s fair to use it and look back on a mistake Peter Chiarelli should have made that he didn’t.  He probably didn’t even consider it because he was trying to save his job, and no good moves in sports come from that kind of mindset.

Don’t Think Too Much About Marcus Smart Rumors

Yesterday, the LA Times reported that the Danny Ainge offered Marcus Smart and the number 16 and 28 picks 2 days ago for Nerlens Noel and the number 3 pick from the 76ers.

I don’t buy it.  For 2 reasons.  First, there’s no way the Sixers would do that, and Danny Ainge knows that.  Sam Hinkie would laugh at Danny for making that offer.  The Sixers are looking for their best chance at a guy who can be a leader of a championship team, because that’s Hinkie’s bible on how to get a championship.  Nerlens and that number 3 pick both have a shot at becoming that guy, and Smart is the only thing coming from the Celtics in the trade that has a realistic chance at becoming that guy.  And frankly, Smart is probably gonna wind up the 2nd best player on a contender, not the best.

Second, the same exact LA Times piece that you can read here said that both the Celtics and Sixers are trying to trade quantity for quality in terms of their draft picks.  Both the Sixers and Celtics.  And again, Danny Ainge knows that the 76ers are thinking the same way because Philly has approximately 37 2nd round picks this season.

So I’m not buying at all that the Celtics and Sixers ever seriously considered Marcus Smart and 2 later 1st rounders for Noel and the 3rd.  Maybe Danny offered it just to see if Hinkie was on drugs at the time, but even that I doubt.  Instead, my guess is that Ainge has kicked the tires on the 3 pick, which has also been reported, and maybe Noel, and smart got involved into the trade in some way.  But I’m just not buying that it was real, because the LA Times seemed to contradict their own rumor mill column by saying that there was ever real consideration.

This is the kinda BS you have to see through during the NBA Draft.  And let’s remember, Danny Ainge’s biggest moves haven’t been seen ahead of time.  When he got Ray Allen, nobody say that coming.  Kevin Garnett?  We all thought that the deal had fallen through a month before when a possible 4 team deal didn’t work out.  How many people expected the Kendrick Perkins – Jeff Green trade?  Like negative seven people.

For what it’s worth, 90% of my reasoning for making that last point is because it’s true.  The other 10% percent is to convince myself that Danny Ainge is sitting on a DeMarcus Cousins blockbuster trade tonight.  Book it.

Red Sox Place Dustin Pedroia on DL

FUCK!!!

Sportscenter is showing now that Dustin Pedroia has been placed on the disabled list because of a hamstring injury, because that’s exactly what the Red Sox need right now.  The guy who’s been hitting .306/.357/.452 and already has 2.3 WAR per Fangraphs through less than 3 months and (HOT TAKE alert) looks to be one of the few guys on the team who gives a shit every single inning is now out for at least 2 weeks.

The only silver lining here is that Brock Holt gets into the lineup every day.  Deven Marrero will also get called up and will get his first big league action due to the injury, probably as a utility player who should be able to suit up at second, third, and short.

In other news, Joe Kelly was optioned down to Pawtucket, and Jonathan Aro and Jackie Bradley Jr. were called up, so the Sox are making serious moves today.

But the biggest move is putting Dustin Pedroia on the sidelines for 15 days.  That’s gonna be a loss, but you already knew that.  Hopefully Ortiz’s mini resurgence continues.

DeMarcus Cousins Is Available!!!!

Last night, Boogie Cousins tweeted emojis saying “Snakes in the Grass,” and rumors are flying today that he wants out.  George Karl apparently wants Cousins, who hasn’t spoken to Karl in months, out of Sacramento, but owner Vivek Ranadive knows that a superstar like Cousins in the NBA is a gold mine, and he won’t let Boogie go anywhere.

At this point, Cousins, his agent, and the Kings are at an impasse.  It seems almost impossible to me that Boogie would return to the Kings after the coach/GM want him traded, and if he does return, it’s only a matter of time until he can be traded in February at the trade deadline.  Ranadive should smarten up, see the writing on the wall, and realize that he can get the most for Boogie in the summer, when draft picks are the most available and teams, including his own, have more cap space and roster spots to make a trade like this one happen.

Since yesterday, the Lakers have been the team that the rumors have centered around, with the LA Times trying so hard to make these rumors a reality.  Somehow, I’m not buying it, becuase Ranadive won’t trade Cousins for nothing, no matter how badly he wants out — especially not in the Summer, when the rosters and cap sheets are more open like I just mentioned.  For assets, the Lakers only have the number 2 pick, Julius Randle (coming off a huge injury and maybe not the most potential in the first place), and Jordan Clarkson, the promising young point guard who should be pretty good someday but by no means a centerpiece in a deal for DeMarcus Cousins.

The number 2 pick, which should be either Towns or Okafor, would be a pretty good consolation prize for losing Boogie, but I still don’t think it would be enough if the Kings are trying to get a fair price for the best center in the NBA (since Anthony Davis often plays power forward now).  The Celtics will obviously try to do everything under the sun to get Boogie without giving up Marcus Smart, and it might be possible.  Maybe James Young, Jared Sullinger, Kelly Olynyk or Jae Crowder, both Brooklyn picks, and some of the Celtics’ picks this season for Boogie, if the trade happens before the draft.  Or if Ainge is able to trade 16 and 28 for, let’s say, pick no. 9, as has been rumored, then that could definitely be thrown in the deal.  I have no idea if any of that would work, and it might come down to how much Boogie specifically wants the Lakers.  If he does, and if his thorn-in-the-side agent Dan Fegan says he’s only signing in Los Angeles, then the Celtics would have to beat the Lakers offer.

If Boogie has said that he will only sign in Los Angeles, but if the Celtics can get Boogie without giving up Smart, i make the trade all day every day.  Usually in these kinds of cases, the player has only a year left on his contract, but not now.  Boogie has 3 years left on his deal, and that’s more than enough time for the Celtics to take him in, impress the living hell out of him, and then get him to re-sign here.  Remember, the cap is going up after next summer, so if Boogie re-signs in 2018, he’ll be able to get wayyyy more money with the C’s than with anyone else.  And state taxes are becoming more and more of an issue for athletes, but Massachusetts isn’t terrible.  We can’t compete with Florida’s lack of state taxes, but both Sacramento and Los Angeles are in a state that charges over 13% for anyone in that income bracket, while we have a fixed tax rate of 5.5% no matter their income.  So if we get Boogie to play here and he sees that the Celtics will be competitive for a long time with an organization with a lot of structure, two things that he’s never had in his career, I doubt he’ll leave.

It’s times like these when I’m quite happy that we have a GM as smart as Danny Ainge.  He understands that the reason for collecting assets is to get superstars, as he showed in the summer of 2007.  Let’s see if he can do it again.

Max Scherzer’s Lost Perfect Game Shows the Need for Replay in Everything

Yeah, I hate what Jose Tabata did too.  And let’s be real, what he did was no different than flopping or diving, the same as Maxim Lapierre on every play ever to every European soccer player ever to the fact that flopping has become a huge part of the NBA to this absolute disgrace by PK Subban.

But here’s the thing: It’s not gonna stop anytime soon.  As LeBron once said, players flop “because it works.”  Jose Tabata is an ultra competitive guy, and i say that not because I know much about him other than that he was a promising Pirates prospect but his stats haven’t lived up to it, but because he’s a professional baseball player and that’s a requirement for the job.  His mindset is to get whatever edge on the opponent that he can, and if that means ruining Max Scherzer’s game in the most weasely way possible, he’s gonna do that.  I have every right to hate him for it, and I do, but he’s still gonna lean in and make sure he gets hit.

So what’s the solution?  Make everything reviewable.  If I can tell that Tabata leaned in by watching one of the 429420234 Vines of the HBP on my Twitter timeline that night, then it shouldn’t take too much time or effort for someone in the MLB offices to do so and alert the umps.  Flopping needs to be reviewable, because just about everything should be reviewable in 2015 with the technology that sports league have now, as Bill Belichick ranted to the NFL owners and coaches this offseason.

Of course, replay needs to be faster, and by “faster” I mean “like 99% faster.”  It takes way too long, but that’s no reason to not at least try and go forward with this.  Get someone in the MLB offices looking at each play right as they happen, and they can alert umps quickly.  The league office can call down, say “Tabata clearly was trying to get hit,” and then Scherzer gets his perfect game.

Also, another tweak in all sports should be a rule that Jeff van Gundy loves to promote, and he’s totally right.  If a guy flops on a play, the punishment from that should undo whatever punishment the opponent deserves from whatever he did on the play.  if a guy clearly flopped on a play where his opponent charged, the charging call is undone.

Players are always gonna try to flop.  The only way to make sure that flops don’t have too big a place in games is to put rules in place strictly outlawing them.  Some would say that such rules would make the player more like robots, and that trying to get ahead of your opponent in little ways is part of sports.  But I couldn’t disagree more when it specifically comes to flops, because I like seeing sports competitions determined by athletes doing athletic things.  Flopping simply doesn’t qualify.