Random thoughts on a rainy day

Random thoughts on a rainy day
July 26, 2013, 1:45 pm
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Last night was supposed to be the biggest and most pivotal game of the Red Sox season, and today, you were supposed to read about it. Instead, a storm swept through Boston and ruined everything. Or at least postponed it.

But in its soggy aftermath, the rain left us with this —

A random collection of scattered sports thoughts that may or may not have been ghostwritten by JK Rowling!

(Note: They weren’t ghost written by JK Rowling)

Anyway, here we go:

Did you catch the latest in the Aaron Hernandez saga? Of course you did. You’d have to be in solitary confinement to avoid it. But just in case: Yesterday afternoon, Attleboro District Court released new documents to public, including a series of grainy images that, according to law enforcement “SEEM to show Hernandez with a gun” at his house the night of Odin Lloyd’s murder.

Three thoughts:

1. Seem Shmeem. It’s definitely a gun.

Or maybe a tiny black boomerang? Maybe an extremely rotten banana?

Nope. Stop it.

It’s not a maybe.

It’s a gun.

2. I understand that in today’s media landscape every development in this case automatically qualifies as an urgent and horrifying news story, but for all the commotion, has anything changed with the release of these photos? As far as we’re all concerned, did it bring anything new to light? Did anything really shock you?

Honestly, at this point, given all we’ve learned, I’d be more surprised by evidence of Hernandez walking around his house without a gun.

3. Call it a Zimmerman hangover. Call it jadedness from so many high profile, seemingly cut-and-dry and ultimately infuriating cases that have come before this. But I can’t shake the feeling that Hernandez is going to avoid a life sentence. Unlike Zimmerman, he’ll still do time. There’s too much evidence and too many different charges. But unless authorities can find that gun (which Hernandez reportedly destroyed), or a video surfaces of him actually pulling the trigger and/or the prosecution finds a legitimate witness (other than Carlos Ortiz and Ernest Wallace) who won’t be so easily defiled and picked apart by the defense, then . . . I don’t know. It’s obviously just my opinion, but I see them cutting a deal. Followed by a familiar chorus of “WHAT THE HELL?! HOW COULD THIS HAPPEN?!” outrage.

Even though it happens every time.

Moving on . . .

The city of Boston had a brief panic attack yesterday when it was revealed that the Celtics and Nets will play each other in a pair of preseason games this fall, thus threatening to transform KG and Paul Pierce’s emotional return into an anticlimactic dud.

But fear not. There’s no way that Pierce or KG will let this happen. They both respect the moment and their relationship with the fans way too much. You’re likely to see Aaron Hernandez sitting courtside for that preseason game than you are to catch a glimpse of Pierce or KG. And thank God.

Seeing them in a Brooklyn uniform, for the first time, during a painfully meaningless preseason game, would be worse than accidentally catching your fiancée in her wedding dress before she walks down the aisle (assuming you’re into that tradition). It would be like seeing your fiancée, before the ceremony, in her dress, while she’s making out with the priest. Or something. It would just be wrong. ALL WRONG. But I promise, it will be OK.

Also, before you go lighting a bag of poo on David Stern’s doorstep, just know that the league didn’t do this intentionally. The schedule was finalized before the trade was.

Speaking of the Association….

According to reports, baseball isn’t the only sport that will be affected by the Biogenesis scandal. Porter Fischer, a former Biogenesis employee, says that he’s identified athletes from the NCAA, professional boxing (gasp!), tennis, MMA (GASP!) and yes, the NBA as clients.

According to the same report, there are no big NBA names involved, but either way, it will be very interesting to see where the league goes from here.

As of now, they have a solid set of rules against PEDs: The first offense results in a 20-game suspension, a second offense is 45 games, and a third results in a lifetime ban.

But recently, as a result of the lingering regime change within the player’s union, progress has stalled on the specific issue of HGH testing, and there’s a chance that the league will head into next season without a firm program in place.

Here’s David Stern last week in Las Vegas (he was in town to judge a wet t-shirt contest at the Hard Rock):

"Right now, (the players and union officials are) a little bit hamstrung because they're searching for an executive director,” he said. “It's more difficult to make decisions. But we're optimistic that whatever – we have a great program. Don't get me wrong . . . and we expect to have agreement on HGH whenever the union gathers because we're in this together. The union has always been very forward thinking in this . . . It's on a long list of items that we're hoping to discuss with the players association between now and the kickoff of the next season.”

It was nice to see Stern address the issue, but his approach felt a little nonchalant at the time, and even more so now in light of these new developments. Who knows? Maybe Stern realizes that this ultimately won’t be his problem; that when the crap finally hits the fan it will do so on Adam Silver’s watch. That’s obviously the most cynical way to look at it.

But given everything that’s happening, and everything that’s happened, it shouldn’t be a matter of “hoping to discuss” an HGH agreement — an agreement needs to be made.

The NBA did a fantastic job of burying this 2011 Derrick Rose interview when it happened, but we can’t forget that it did happen. That the NBA’s PED problem — regardless of the names involved and how deeply it runs — is very real. And if it’s not treated aggressively, it will only get worse.

Real quick, also on the topic of PEDs, and in light of the speculation that’s surrounded the Orioles’ Chris Davis during his remarkable break out season, here’s an even more remarkable story that was written about the then-Rangers prospect all the way back in 2008.

Hat tip to Grantland’s Jonah Keri (@jonahkeri) for digging this up, and an even grander hat tip to the author, Peter Bendix, for the unfathomable foresight. No surprise that he’s since moved on from blogging and now works in Tampa Bay Rays front office.

And finally, I didn’t touch too much (or at all) on the Sox today, which is too bad because they should’ve been the focus. It’s just been that kind of year for Larry Lucchino. The only luck he’s had fighting his way into the spotlight was when he was busted parading around as the Metro Cowboy (LINK: http://www.boston.com/sports/baseball/redsox/extras/extra_bases/peteabep...) during this month’s Jason Aldeen concert at Fenway. But moving forward, with this weekend’s enormous series against the Orioles, and Monday’s make-up against the Rays, we’ll have plenty to talk about next week. FINALLY, unless the Pats do something crazy like re-sign Matt Stankiewitch), the Sox really will reclaim sole possession of the spotlight. And they’ve earned it.

But for now, I’ll leave you for the weekend with a uncharacteristically positive take on Lucchino and his fellow FSG honchos.

The Sox made a huge splash this week with the announcement that they’d signed Dustin Pedroia to an eight-year/$110M extension. A deal that all but guarantees that the most admirable and beloved player in the organization will now play his entire career with the Sox. On that note, especially for a team that’s recently struggled with public image, it was a move made in PR heaven; an announcement that any organization would be more than proud to hang its hat on, and more than willing to bask in the glow of all positive press that came with it.

I’m obviously not suggesting that the Sox pulled the trigger strictly for PR purposes, but I certainly expected them to milk that aspect for all that it was worth. After all, that’s what Larry, John, Tom and Dr. Charles do best.

But in this case, that’s not what they did. Instead, they officially announced Pedroia’s extension in a late-Wednesday afternoon press conference. More specifically, they voluntarily did it only a few hours after Bill Belichick had wrapped one of the most buzzed about and anticipated press conferences in recent Boston sports history. They did it on a day and at time where the news was guaranteed to get lost in the shuffle and bumped off the front page. And maybe that’s not an enormous deal, but it was to see. It felt like a step in the right direction. Both on and off the field.

And now, starting tonight in Baltimore, they just have to keep it going.