Mayor Menino jumps the shark

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Mayor Menino jumps the shark

In this age of doped up, cancer-fighting, cycling pseudo-heroes and Samoan Mormon linebackers with fake dead girlfriends, it's getting harder and harder to take anything at face value. It's damn near impossible to believe that anything is real. And here in Boston, our faith is currently being tested by a 70-year-old man and his very loose grasp of the English language.

In case you missed it, Mayor Menino is back in the news after the latest in a long line of sports-related screw ups. This time, while participating in a public trash-talking session with Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, Menino referred to Vince Wilfork as "Vince Wilcock" (while wearing a Wilfork jersey) and Gronk as "Gonk," and as usual, these mistakes have resulted in an onslaught of media coverage.

"That silly Mayor's up to it again!"

LOLZ

Now before we go on, I should admit that perhaps no one in the entire world has obsessed over Mayor Menino's inability to speak more than I have. Over the years, I've gone to ridiculous lengths to mock him on this blog with numerous "State of Boston Sports" addresses, a tribute to the 10-year anniversary of Mo Lewis injuring Drew Bledsoe and most recently, a break down of the 2012 NBA Eastern Conference Finals.

But right around the time of that last one, I sensed that something was up, and preluded my post with this:

Before we get to his inspirational words, I'd be remiss if I didn't mention that The Mayor's latest sports take has come with a little bit of controversy. Or more, one very interesting and important question: Is there any chance hes faking it?Is it possible that he's doing this on purpose? That he and his team subscribe to the theory that there's no such thing as bad press, and have determined that there's no better way to get Menino in the headlines than by having him repeatedly screw up the names of local athletes? Personally, I think that's giving the Mayor too much credit, but crazier things have obviously happened. Who knows? Maybe it's all a hoax. Maybe he's been playing us like puppets all these years. Maybe Mayor Menino is actually a British actor named Allen. But despite all the conspiracies, I can tell you this: I want to believe it's real. So until further notice, I will.

And with that, this special announcement:

FURTHER NOTICE!!!

I'm sorry, but there's no way this is real. Not anymore, at least. There's no way that he continues to genuinely screw this stuff up. I mean, damn, in this latest video he's even reading from a script! So what are we supposed to believe now, that he's not only a malaprop but also illiterate?

Nah, if anything he's just a miserable actor.

Check him out right before he screws up Wilfork's name. He literally stares down at his paper, then looks directly at the camera, like he's delivering a line in an infomercial for prostate medicine:

"Wilcock?"

No, Mr. Mayor. Not Wilcock. Just lies.

All lies!

Time to do some soul searching and make a call to Oprah.

Rich can be reached at rlevine@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Rich on Twitter at http:twitter.comrich_levine

Big Papi's Papi was taken by surprise at retirement announcement

Big Papi's Papi was taken by surprise at retirement announcement

BOSTON - David Ortiz may be masterful in the clutch and one of the more charitable athletes in the city, but much like anyone else, Big Papi doesn’t always inform his own Papi of news right away -- even if he plans to announce it to the general public.

“He actually didn’t tell me [that he planned to announce his retirement],” Enrique Ortiz, David’s father, said through a Red Sox’ translator on Saturday before the next-to-last regular-season game. “I was in the Dominican Republic when he announced it in the states.

While Enrique would explain -- humbly -- how proud he was of his son, he’s not so sure announcing his retirement before the season was the correct move.

“If I was [in America], I would have told him not to announce his retirement,” the elder Ortiz explained, “just because there’s so many things that can happen in a season. Or you might have a change of heart after the season.

“If I were here I would have told him to stay neutral so his options were more open. So I wouldn’t have told him to retire.”

Although dad wasn’t on board with his son’s announcement, he’s done what any good parent does -- bite their tongue and let things play out.

“I haven’t told him anything about why he's retiring because I know it’s coming from him and it’s his decision,” Enrique said. “But when I look back to 2013, I remember coming here and I see him with what looks like two cats on his feet. And I’m like ‘What happened to my boy? Did he get into an accident or something?’ And what he told me was, ‘This is how you son is making this money, doing all of this stuff before a game.’ So [him retiring] is not a surprise to me.”

Avery Bradley hopes to take next step on D: Defensive Player of the Year

Avery Bradley hopes to take next step on D: Defensive Player of the Year

WALTHAM, Mass. – Prior to Friday night’s Green and White Scrimmage, Celtics coach Brad Stevens made a point of having Avery Bradley honored for being named to the NBA’s All-Defensive First Team.
 
It was a good feeling and an award that Bradley is extremely proud of accomplishing.
 
But he wants more.
 
First-team All-Defense is nice.
 
Defensive Player of the Year?
 
Even better.
 
Prior to Saturday’s practice, Bradley’s case for being in contention for such a lofty award stems from him consistently being among the better perimeter defenders in the NBA.
 
On most game nights, Bradley is usually assigned whichever guard is the more potent scorer.
 
And in that role, Bradley has been able to establish himself as one of the toughest matchups players will face from a defender, all season.

But as good as Bradley may be as an individual defender, he knows any praise or accolades for what he does has to come with the knowledge that his teammates have also elevated their play defensively, too.
 
“Like I said, it’s hand-in-hand with how you play as an individual and your team success,” Bradley said. “How far we can go this year, hopefully I can show and the rest of my teammates can show how good we are on defense.”
 
One of the reasons Bradley was able to garner enough votes to be named to the league’s First-team defense, is due to the ringing endorsements he received from various players throughout the league.
 
Two of Bradley’s biggest supporters are Portland’s explosive backcourt tandem of Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum.

After Boston’s 116-109 loss at Portland on March 31, McCollum tweeted out that Avery Bradley was “the best perimeter defender in the league” and added, “I don’t think it’s close.”
 
In Boston’s loss to Portland, Lillard had 14 points on 3-for-16 shooting while McCollum had 17 points on 8-for-19 shooting.
 
“Hopefully the entire NBA can believe that I’m one of the best defenders,” Bradley said.