It’s not easy being “cheesy” , so what’s up with the Boston Red Sox and Boston Celtics ?
One year on , though not necessarily one year the wiser , as we have now seen with the Boston Red Sox this past season . In what can be best described as one of their worst in recent memory as the franchise fired Bobby Valentine. The beleaguered manager, was dismissed after a woefully inept season and where there was an upheaval in the team’s roster . Carl Crawford , Adrian Gonzalez and Josh Beckett were jettisoned as the front office sought to bring some semblance of normalcy to the organization.
Speculation had been rife , as to who would succeed Valentine , and the presumptive favorite was said to be the Toronto Blue Jays’ manager John Farrell, a former assistant manager with the Boston Red Sox. Now it is official, and Farrell has been hired by the renowned franchise, but a public statement and the manager’s formal introduction to the public has yet to be made. It would be remiss to suggest that many of us did not see this coming , the firing of Bobby Valentine . From my own perspective , all along , I felt the hire of Valentine was a monumental mistake ! The former ESPN baseball analyst brought little to the table by way of his managerial acumen , but yet somehow GM Ben Cherington and team President Larry Lucchino saw the often opinionated Valentine as the right successor to Terry Francona . It is extremely hard to explain how an organization with so many resources could have failed so miserably , but somehow this was on display throughout the course of the Red Sox’s season. Bobby Valentine sought to use excuses as to the team’s failures, not once ever admitting that either he or his managerial staff had once failed in their responsibilities but such are the vagaries where the hire was made purely on Valentine’s character , rather than his ability as a manager. Truth be known, he was simply lacking in as the Red Sox quite possibly one the worst seasons in recent memory concerning this baseball franchise.
Looking back on many of the issues of this team , but specifically Bobby Valentine’s failed return to the role as a manager of a big league franchise, and you simply knew that the plotline for this melodrama was doomed, and would end in disaster. The fact that the ball-club finished at the foot of the AL East with a 69-93 (.426) mark , simply explains a great deal as to why the team failed so miserably . The team’s pitching was lackluster , as too was the offense . In a nutshell, with their being little to offer the fans by way of encouragement on the field , there was more drama to be found off the field , with Bobby Valentine’s repeated pratfalls and his hostile relationship with the press but specifically the print and television media within the New England market. And nowhere was this more evident than with the former manager’s combustible and volatile relationship with local sports’ talk radio network WEEI.
With the installation of John Farrell to succeed Bobby Valentine , it remains to be seen how many , and what changes might or will be made to resurrect the franchise’s fortunes. In season where everything about the Red Sox suggested failure , as in stark contrast we saw why the team failed so miserably in comparison to last season .Granted, the team imploded on the last day of the season in their 4-3 loss to the Baltimore Orioles, and thereby bring about one of the most surreal endings to a season within MLB for the Boston Red Sox. Needing only a victory to gain a playoff berth , with that defeat suffered at the hands of the Orioles, it allowed the Tampa Bay Rays to gain that lone AL wildcard berth with their 8-7 victory over the New York Yankees. The challenges may well have been there with the outrage and criticism leveled at Terry Francona, but the reality was the very fact that the players failed to live up to expectations during the season. Franconia’s contract was not renewed and the fallout from it all unquestionably led to the decision made by Ben Cherington and Larry Lucchino to seek what they felt was a suitable candidate to succeed the manager who took that organization to their most recent successes in the World Series in 2004 and 2007.
If John Farrell is to succeed in 2013 , then a number of changes are likely to be made beyond the existing coaching staff. A number of the team’s likely free agents will be allowed to leave as the franchise will seek to assess a number of their top prospects and a number of players within their farm system . If those players are able to step up to the plate and lead by example where so many of the players in 2012 simply failed to do so adequately.
There is no denying in the off-season but there was so much dislike , by way of the fallout within the Boston Celtics’organization. As fallouts go, there was much to feel displeased about . Ray Allen , an unrestricted free agent departed, to join the Miami Heat , perhaps one the Celtics’ most heated and hated rivals in recent years . The loss of Allen, though not thought to be severe , it certainly led to Kevin Garnett voicing his displeasure concerning his former teammate’s departure , which Garnett felt was a betrayal. However, what is known, is the very fact that the relationship between Allen and the team’s point guard , Rajon Rondo , was said to be often contentious and heated. With Allen gone, Celtics’ general manager Danny Ainge looked to replace the renowned sharp-shooter. The front office executive along the franchise’s senior managing partner Wyc Grousbeck , knew that to replace Allen , they needed someone with equal experience and some would suggest leadership skills. The team found its man in , Jason Terry , a former Sixth Man of the Year and NBA titlist with the Dallas Mavericks in 2011 . Whether or not Terry can add to the team’s offensive prowess and defensive capabilities will be dependent upon the role which he is asked to fill by head coach , Doc Rivers.
Now while the Celtics in recent seasons have had their success in the postseason , wherein the that success was built around what was known as their ” Big Three” , of Garnett, Allen and Paul Pierce , with the additional contributions of Rajon Rondo. In the preseason so far the Boston Celtics are 3-4 in their schedule, with one more preseason game due today , when they face the Philadelphia 76ers at the TD Banknorth Gardens , in Boston , Massachusetts,. In bolstering the team’s roster , Doc Rivers signed seasoned veteran, Leandro Barbosa , with a view to having the player platoon in a backup role. The head coach seeks to get the best possible out his roster as the team embarks upon their 2012-13 schedule. The team’s three picks from the 2012 NBA Draft are Jared Sullinger , Fab Melo and Kris Joseph , three players seeking to establish themselves within the NBA.
With the regular season not set to begin until 30th October , 2012, it will be interesting to see how this new look Celtics’ roster will acquit themselves over the course of this season . Doc Rivers’ players will be the guests of the Miami Heat at the AA Arena , in Miami , Florida , as the defending champions embark upon defending their title . The Heat’s head coach Erik Spoelstra , with his own stable of stars , led by three-time league MVP and Finals’ MVP , LeBron James, will seek to send an emphatic sign to the rest of the NBA that all signs to the title will be met by with a stern message that they will not relinquish their grasp on the Larry O’Brien Trophy without a fight.
The Boston Celtics are likely to be sternly tested by the occupants of the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference . Of the teams likely to seek dominance within the division are the Brooklyn Nets , whose recent move from New Jersey back to New York City , gives the nation’s biggest ad-market a second NBA franchise in addition to the New York Knicks. Also looking to make life difficult for the Celtics will be the Toronto Raptors, another resident within the division alongside the Knicks, 76ers, all of whom are thought to be in with a chance to have their shot at the divisional title. In terms of the conference overall , with a view to a playoff berth, and a great deal for those teams will be there to play for. Based on last season’s conference and divisional standings , we are liable to a number of changes , as the 2012-13 schedule unfolds.
I have long been a great admirer of Doc Rivers as a head coach , but my own feelings towards Kevin Garnett have gradually gone from a healthy respect of future Hall of Fame inductee, to one where it has become complete disdain ! Garnett when he is on a winning team , can be one of the most affable of characters , but his comments after the departure of Ray Allen, shows the seasoned veteran to be an immature ingrate ! Care to offer up your thoughts on that analysis ?
Picture gallery for your perusal.
What thoughts if any do you have with regard to salient points within this piece ? By all means do take time to offer up a comment as you see fit.
Picture and slide show gallery details below.
(1) FILE – In this Sept. 7, 2012, file photo, Toronto Blue Jays manager John Farrell sits in the dugout before the Blue Jays’ baseball game against the Boston Red Sox in Boston. The Red Sox reportedly have reached an agreement to bring Farrell to Boston to replace Bobby Valentine. Red Sox spokeswoman Pam Kenn said early Sunday, Oct. 21, 2012, the team had no announcement to make. Comcast Sports-Net New England reported that the deal was agreed to. AP Photo/Michael Dwyer …
(2) New Cleveland Indians manager Terry Francona laughs during a news conference at Progressive Field Monday, Oct. 8, 2012 in Cleveland. Francona has returned the Indians , succeeding his fired predecessor Manny Acta . AP Photo/David Richard …
(3) Boston Red Sox President and CEO Larry Lucchino , left, and general manager Ben Cherington appear during an interview at Fenway Park in Boston, Thursday, Oct. 4, 2012, hours after announcing that manager Bobby Valentine will not return in 2013. The Red Sox finished their baseball season in last place for the first time in 20 years . AP Photo/Elise Amendola …
(4) Boston Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine watches his team play the New York Yankees during the fourth inning of a baseball game, Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2012, in New York. Having been fired by the Red Sox on the 8th October , it remains to be seen whether or not he will return to the analyst’s booth with ESPN , a position he held with the broadcast outlet before being hired by the franchise in 2012. AP Photo/Frank Franklin II …
(5) Head coach Doc Rivers and Executive Director of Basketball Operations Danny Ainge of the Boston Celtics celebrate after defeating the Los Angeles Lakers in Game Five of the 2008 NBA Finals on June 17, 2008 at TD Banknorth Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. Getty Images /Elsa Amendola ….
(6) Corrine Grousbeck , left , seen here alongside her husband , Wyc Grousbeck , center , managing partner of the Boston Celtics , who is seen here speaking with New England Patriots’ owner Robert Kraft , at a Celtics’ game at the TD Banknorth Center in Boston , Massachusetts,. AP Photo/ Tony Thompson …
(7) Philadelphia 76ers’ Lavoy Allen (50) , left, tries to get around Boston Celtics’ Kevin Garnett (5), right, in the first quarter of an NBA preseason basketball game at the TD Garden, in Boston, Sunday, Oct. 21, 2012. AP Photo/Steven Senne ….
(8) Los Angeles Clippers’ Matt Barnes, left, drives around Ray Allen of the Miami Heat during their NBA preseason basketball game in Shanghai, China, Sunday Oct. 14, 2012. Allen left the Boston Celtics as a free agent after a contentious season with his former team, where his relationship with Rajon Rondo had deteriorated . As a result of his departure the player was berated by Kevin Garnett , who indirectly referred to Allen, as a traitor. While the controversy ensued over much of last season , it should be noted that neither Garnett , Doc Rivers or the front office sought to derail the animus within their midst. AP Photo/Kin Cheung …..