Saturday, August 15, 2009

A Plethora Of Sports Thoughts

Sox Trades, the return of Tom Brady and Jerry Remy to the Boston sports stage, the unveiling of a new FM sports station, whoa…, heady times for New England sports fans. Where to begin?

Let’s start with my favorites, the New England Patriots. I thought the first team looked fantastic, and I was really pleased that they played so long (almost 2 full quarters!). In other years, they haven’t been seen much at all in preseason, but I think it’s really important for them to play as a unit, under live fire conditions, to get back in the groove. Last year they all had to adapt to a different, Brady-less type of offense, and it’s important for them to “recalibrate” with Tom. It’s also important for Tom to take a few hits, stretch that arm out, and get back into the flow and rhythm of the game.

They made some very good off season acquisitions on both sides of the ball, and although it’s too soon to know who will stay and who will go, it’s a good bet that this may be a better team than the ’07 /’08 Pats. Let’s hope the outcome is a little different this time.

One last thing before we move on. How about that Edelman, explosive, or what? I’ve heard him referred to as “Welker Light” already, although I think he’ll prove himself anything but light before camp is over.

Before we get to the Sox, I have to mention how great it was to see Jerry Remy up in the booth again. An amazing guy, and an inspiration to us all. Get well, but get back!

OK, the Sox. Ah, the Sox… wait, where’s my Zantac?

I’m very pleased with the pickup of both Victor Martinez and Alex Gonzalez. Martinez gives you backup at 1st, 3rd and the plate, which is huge, and as we saw last night, he’s no slouch with the bat. Gonzo, shoulda never left. He’s far from a power hitter, but man, can he flash leather.

The team seems to be coming back to life… who knows? The whole Papi thing has been a huge distraction, and probably contributed more than we know to the outcome of this last horrendous road trip. Truthfully, I could care less. Not that I condone juicing in any way, shape or form, but in 2003 it was a different situation. I’d be more interested to see who wasn’t on the list that year. I know for a fact that most of the “health supplements” available at that time were completely unregulated and contained more crap than an outhouse. It’s no excuse; it’s just the way it was.

Anyways, the trades, the bench clearing brawl, and the return of the King (Remy), may be enough to jolt them out of their funk. I hope so…

Hey, I’m a Sox fan, and by definition, that either makes you a pragmatist or a crank. I’ve been following them since the early 60’s, and I’ve learned to take the pragmatic approach to things. I take what they give me each season, and line up for more the next.

Last but not least, there’s the debut of 98.5, The Sports Hub. I must admit, I was a little ticked off that they lead off their opening day with 7 hours of bygone games, even though they were Super Bowls, but things smoothed out as the day went on. How can you miss when you have the whole BCN/Patriots team coming over to your station as a complete and cohesive unit, and your premier is on the same day as the first preseason game?

I’m starting to enjoy the programming. I was a little leery of the projected lineups, but they seem to be working out pretty well so far. I’ve always been a Zo fan, and was pleasantly surprised to hear Jerry Trupiano this morning. The real joy so far though is the sound quality. I was flipping back and forth between EEI and BZ yesterday to contrast the two stations, and the thing that struck me the most was how bad the broadcast quality is on EEI. Static and fades, tinny sound, I don’t know how I ever put up with it.

WEEI’s single biggest mistake, aside from their morning programming, was not jumping to an FM station in the Boston area. They could have at least started pumping out an HD channel on one of their Entercom FM stations (and they will, and soon, mark my words). I just don’t get it.

I guess they were so interested in expanding their signal throughout New England, that they took their eye off the ball here at home.

That is all.

No comments: