Standing Room Only Grab Bag

Standing Room Only Grab Bag
February 11, 2014, 1:30 pm
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I had this grab bag column planned for Monday, but then Michael Sam made some news on Sunday night, and pushed that column to today.
 
On that note, here it is.
 
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Stinking: The Celtics are doing it wrong. They’ve now won four of five games, and have the NBA’s eighth worst record — which only gives them a 9.9 percent chance at a top-three pick.
 
They’re now closer to the three seed in the East than they are to the last-place Bucks. And as we saw last night, the Bucks have completely given up; they’re in full on tank mode. Not to be outdone, the 76ers have lost their last two games by a combined 88 points. Eighty-eight points! This is the time of year where the boys separate from the men, and the Celtics are in danger of being left behind.
 
Listen, I know Danny Ainge is a proud man, and that he’s not looking for any help. But at this point, you have to wonder if it might be worth bringing ML Carr back on as a consultant.
 
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You know who loves Michael Sam?
 
Marcus Smart.
 
(Not because he diverted all the attention from the pushing incident. Smart’s just very supportive of gay rights.)
 
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Speaking of college sports, Jabari Parker made his first trip to Boston last weekend, and scored a career-high 29 points in Duke’s blow out win over BC.
 
After the game, Parker was asked if he could ever see himself playing in Boston, and gave a somewhat peculiar answer:
 
“Uhh… I don’t know,” he said. “You know, it’s up to that team if they want me. At the end of the day, it’s still all about Duke.”
 
There are two ways to take this quote.
 
1. For some reason, Parker doesn’t want to play in Boston.
 
2. For many reasons, Parker really doesn’t want to talk about the NBA.
 
I’m going with No. 2.
 
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You might want to plan on heading back to BC on March 28-30. That’s when the Florida State University baseball team — and closer Jameis Winston — comes to town.
 
This will be the first time we see a former Heisman winner on a baseball field in Boston since Matt Leinart got drunk and streaked the field at Fenway last summer.
 
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Can you name the last time the state of Massachusetts had two March Madness teams in the same season?
 
The answer is 2007, when BC and Holy Cross both made it. Before that it was 2002 (BC and BU) and before that it was 1997 — which also marks the last time three teams from Massachusetts danced on the same year.
 
Anyway, it looks like we’ll have at least two again in 2014 — with Harvard and UMass both on track. Plus, BU and Holy Cross each have a decent shot of emerging from the Patriot League.
 
I’m sure this all makes Boston College incredibly happy.
 
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Aaron Hernandez achieved another mini-victory over the weekend, when the court denied the prosecution access to a series of phone calls Hernandez made from prison. This comes only a week after the news that Carlos Ortiz — who was in the car with Hernandez that night, and was once considered a star witness against him — is no longer considered a witness at all. His story changed. They no longer trust him.
 
That means the case against Hernandez now lacks a murder weapon and an eyewitness, which means there’s a very good chance that the former Patriot walks on this murder charge.
 
Of course, they still have him on the gun charges, and who knows what will happen with that other double murder, but for now, it looks like we’re headed for another high-profile disaster for the American court system.
 
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I’m not a big hashtag guy, but #PicsWithZdeno is fantastic. It’s what Olympic greatness is all about. But who says that it has to die with the Olympics? #PicsWithZdeno works anywhere. All you need is a camera and a Zdeno.
 
It also helps if you’re under 5-5, and he’s wearing something festive, but really, anything goes. Let’s make this happen Boston.
 
YES WE CAN.
 
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Now that he’s dropped his lawsuit against MLB, keep an eye out for Alex Rodriguez on the new #PicsWithARod.
 
It’s just A-Rod posting mirror selfies.
 
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Hank Aaron turned 80 years old over the weekend, and it got me thinking: Who’s Boston’s greatest living athlete? Less than two seconds later, I remembered Bill Russell and then decided to turn it into a Top 5 list.
 
Boston’s Top 5 greatest living athletes:
 
1. Bill Russell
2. Larry Bird
3. Tom Brady
4. Bobby Orr
5. Carl Yastrzemski
 
Went back and forth on Yaz and Ortiz, and I’m sure that thought alone is considered sacrilegious by a certain sect of Red Sox Nation. But ultimately, I still went with Yaz out of respect for age, his nearly 3500 hits and his Triple Crown.
 
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Like most people, I believe that Pedro Martinez, Roger Clemens and Nomar Garciaparra all deserve a place in the Red Sox Hall of Fame. Like most people, I don’t like the idea of all three of being inducted at the same time (which they will be in August). Pedro deserves his own night, as opposed to being used as a happy distraction from the drama that surrounds Clemens (and to a certain extent, Nomar).
 
But it will be worth it for that moment in Pedro’s speech when he brings up steroids and/or other PEDs. You know he will. He should. He has to.
And the best part is that Roger will have to stay in character and give Pedro’s anti-steroids rant a raucous standing ovation. Meanwhile, Nomar’s the one who will look most uncomfortable.
 
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Jonny Gomes revealed his new Red Sox tattoo last week, and as you can imagine: It’s awesome.
 
It’s probably my second favorite ink in Sox history after Tom Yawkey’s famed tat of Jean seductively posing in a Johnny Pesky uniform.
 
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I know nothing about Shunsuke Watanabe other than this video.
 
But that’s enough to convince he belongs on the Opening Day roster.
 
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Over the weekend, Rajon Rondo picked up his 4,000th career assist. Today, he has 4,010, which ranks sixth all time in Celtics history.
 
Rondo’s currently 90 behind Bill Russell for the fifth spot, and will likely get there this year. He’s 295 behind Paul Pierce for No. 4, and will likely get there next year. But if Rondo wants to crack the Top 3, he’ll need to sign that extension.
 
He’s 1686 assists behind Bird for third, 2104 assists behind John Havlicek for second and 2935 behind Bob Cousy for first on the all-time Celtics list.
 
At that point, Rondo will only be 8,861 assists from tying John Stockton’s NBA record.
 
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Hey, you made it too the end. High five!
 
Oh God no. Not like that, Tommy.
 
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