The insanity of the last few months here in Boston has been well documented, and the details have forever changed the course of this city’s sports history. To be honest, at this point, the craziest thing about everything that’s transpired is that none of it feels all that crazy anymore.
Doc Rivers coaches the Clippers? Sure. Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce play for the Nets? OK. Tyler Seguin plays for the Stars? Yup. Tim Tebow plays for the Pats? Uh huh. Aaron Hernandez is in jail on a first degree murder charge?! Of course he is.
That all happened. It’s real life. Throw in the Bruins crushing Cup loss and the lingering effects from the marathon and, yeah . . . it’s been rough.
As a result, the city’s retreated into an emotional bunker. Hell, it’s July, the should-have-been basement-dwelling Red Sox have the most wins in baseball, yet no one’s quite sure how to act; everyone’s hesitant to get too high out of fear of being dropped on our heads.
But you know what? I’m sick of wallowing. So instead, here’s a quick run down of 10 things in the sports world that Boston can actually be thankful for, while cautiously preparing to go all in on the Sox:
10. Playoff Party
Boston is the only city in the country (nay, the galaxy) that was represented in the 2013 NFL, NBA and NHL playoffs. (Yay?) Also, if the Sox can somehow keep this up, 2013 will be the first year since 2008 in which all four Boston teams make the playoffs. (Yay!?)
9. No Red Sox on the Biogenesis list
The list leaked last month, and the suspensions will reportedly be handed out soon, but of the 20 names associated with baseball latest PED scandal, not one is associated with the Sox. In turn, we can now be 100 percent sure that no one on the Sox roster is remotely involved in any kind of PED wrongdoing.
8. Alex Rodriguez is on the Biogenesis list
If he’s suspended 100 games, there will be a few perks for the legion of A-Rod haters. 1) It will cost him upwards of $15 million. 2) It should incite at least one more profanity-laced tirade from Brian Cashman. 3) It will potentially lead to A-Rod shipping himself out to Taiwan to fill the void left by Manny.
Speaking of which . . .
7. Manny Ramirez is back
. . . in the minor leagues . . . and probably has a better chance of getting pregnant off his fertility pills than ever making it back to the Majors. Still, Manny! In the midst of all the craziness of there’s comfort to be found in the knowledge that he’s back playing baseball on American soil. (By the way, if Manny somehow does play again in the big leagues, it won’t take much for his comeback to have a serious effect on the record books. As of today, he’s 18th all-time with 1831 career RBI, but with 14 more he’ll jump over Dave Winfield, Rafael Palmeiro, Ken Griffey Jr., Ted Williams AND Carl Yastrzemski, and into 13th place.)
6. Rasheed Wallace and Brian Scalabrine
Two of the more entertaining characters in recent Celtics history are back in the NBA, both as assistant coaches. Scal will join the Warriors staff, and that’s at least a little bittersweet seeing how it takes him out of the Boston broadcast booth. But it’s still great to have him back in the game, on the fast track to becoming the first head coach in NBA history to call his own number during garbage time.
As for Sheed (who was hired as an assistant by the Pistons this week), for all the jokes to be made, I don’t think enough attention is being paid to what an insane hire this is by Detroit. I mean, it’s one thing if you have a veteran team, but for a rebuilding project with a foundation that now consists of two young, impressionable big men (Greg Monroe/Andre Drummond) and Josh Smith?! Not sure how that works, unless Sheed and Smith find some next level crazy connection.
Either way, like with Scal, it’s great to have Sheed back in the game, on the fast track to becoming the first assistant coach to lead the NBA in technicals.
5. Brad Stevens and Rajon Rondo
I may be one of the few people actually looking forward to the marriage between Rondo and Stevens. Why? Because all the talk about why Rondo won’t respect his new head coach misses the point of Rondo, which is: The one thing he respects more than anything else in the world is brainpower. And Stevens has it in spades. Much like the proposed crazy connection between Sheed and Josh Smith, I think there’s a serious opportunity for Stevens and Rondo to connect on more cerebral level — think Robin Williams/Matt Damon in Good Will Hunting — which is the only way to really do it with the Celtics much maligned point guard.
Also helping matters: The fact that Rondo knows that if he doesn’t fall in line, he’ll be wearing another uniform much sooner than later.
4. The Jim Ed Experience
If you’re looking for a fun way to pass the time before, after or sometimes during Sox games, hold Siri or any speak-to-text program up to your TV whenever Jim Rice is providing analysis. Then laugh yourself silly at the results.
3. Tom Brady didn’t kill anyone
But he’ll be about that angry when he shows up to camp and fully realizes what’s left of his receiving corps. And a fired up Brady is good for business. Don’t forget, this guy once brought the Pats to the doorstep of the Super Bowl with Reche Caldwell as his No. 1 receiver. As long as he’s in uniform, the offense will be OK.
2. No Josh Hamilton
Who knows how close the Sox ever truly were to making a run at Hamilton last winter but — Saturday’s home run aside — it’s scary to imagine what this team would look like right now if they opened their wallets for the current Angels outfielder.
Regardless, with a little more than three months in the books, here’s a fun little comparison:
Josh Hamilton: 85 games, .227 avg, 12 homers, 34 RBI, .691 OPS, 89 Ks
Contract: 5 years/$133 million
Daniel Nava: 82 games, .295 avg, 10 homers, 50 RBI, .822 OPS, 63 Ks
Contract: 1 year/$506,000
1. You don’t live in Cleveland.
Now cheer up and get ready for the rest of the summer.