The Ides of March Madness


The Ides of March Madness

Goal: Paoletti (1, 1)
Assisted by: Hart (1, 1), Shakespeare (0. 1)

ACT I, SCENE II. A public place. Like a Denny's.

Flourish. Enter CAESAR; BRUTUS, CASSIUS, and CASCA; a great crowd following, among them a Soothsayer: ZOLTAN MESKANOV.

Whaaaaat? I'm in the middle of a Grand Slam over here.

Beware the ides of March.


A soothsayer bids you beware the ides of March.

That wasn't a "Huh" like, "What did he say?" It was a "Huh" like, "What the hell is he talking about?" Is "ides" a type of cholesterol? . . . Get that crazy punter out here.

It means March 15th. Beware March 15th -- today. And, I'm not the Patriots punter, our names are just really similar.
Whatever you say, weirdo. I'm outta here; I gotta lock everybody's brackets in the safe.
Exeunt all except BRUTUS and CASSIUS

Hey. So, what's up with you this week?

Just having a hard time with the March Madness this year. Florida a No. 2 seed? Are you kidding me? Pat Forde putting Kansas State in the Final Four threw me off, too. I'm conflicted.

And it doesn't help that Caesar thinks he's Jay Bilas and gets all cocky about his picks. His rules are ridiculous; does he really have to lock our brackets in a safe? I'm not going to back out of the pool. He's just a jerk.

You're totally going to beat Caesar.

I can't beat that guy. Caesar rules, man.

Naw. You're gonna kill him. Seriously.

ACT 3, SCENE I. CASCA's crib.

A crowd of people; among them, the Soothsayer, ZOLTAN MESKANOV. Flourish. Enter CAESAR, BRUTUS, CASSIUS, and a bunch of other guys. There's beer everywhere. Ev-ery-where.

To Meskonov It's March 15th and I'm fine, sucka!

Whatever, dude. Still some daylight left.

Hey, Caesar, I'm on my knees here. Can you please let my bro, Publius Cimber, back in our group? That was a dick move to kick him out of the pool.

No way. Listen. The rules of our March Madness pool have been the same for 10 freaking years. I have never -- not once -- bent those rules for anybody. I'm like the North Star of bracket challenge commissioners. I'm consistent like Gary Bettman. I'm fair like Tim Higgins.

As the great MC Hammer once said: "You can't touch this." Cimber shouldn't have tried to white-out that Princeton upset over Kentucky. That's cheating. Your brother stays OUT.

Caesar, you dick. Come on.


For real, dude?


Enough of this.

CASCA first, then the other Conspirators and BRUTUS kick CAESAR in the testicles.

Et tu, Brute! Aw, God, what the HELL!


ONIONS! Ahahaha! That was NOICE! The March Madness tyranny is OV-AH. Tell eeee'rybody!

He had it coming. Looks down at Caesar, who is clutching his groin The bracket challenge is supposed to be about fun. And money. Not you being a bigger jerk each year.

What'd I say?! What. Did. I. Say?! But did you take me seriously? Nooooooo.

Pedroia (knee) out of lineup again after leaving game early Thursday

Pedroia (knee) out of lineup again after leaving game early Thursday

Dustin Pedroia is out of the lineup again tonight after leaving the Red Sox game Thursday night with knee pain in the fifth inning.

Josh Rutledge will start at second base as the Sox open a three-game series with the Seattle Mariners at Fenway Park.  

The weather and sloppy field conditions were a factor in John Farrell deciding to get Pedroia out of the game Thursday and conditions haven’t improved significantly Friday. 

Pedroia (.288, two homers, 21 RBI) had surgery on that knee in October. It's the same leg that was hurt when Manny Machado slid into Pedroia at second base in April, the slide that sparked the plunking war between the Orioles and Red Sox.

The full lineups: 

Jean Segura SS
Guillermo Heredia CF
Robinson Canó 2B
Nelson Cruz DH
Kyle Seager 3B
Danny Valencia 1B
Taylor Motter LF
Ben Gamel RF
Mike Zunino C

Yovanni Gallardo RHP

Mookie Betts RF
Andrew Benintendi LF
Xander Bogaerts SS
Hanley Ramirez DH
Mitch Moreland 1B
Josh Rutledge 2B
Jackie Bradley Jr CF
Christian Vazquez C
Deven Marrero 3B

Eduardo Rodriguez LHP


Source: Celtics offseason focus is an All-Star frontcourt addition

Source: Celtics offseason focus is an All-Star frontcourt addition

WALTHAM, Mass. – No matter how an NBA team’s season ends, change is inevitable.
And while there’s no doubt that the Celtics are on the right track in terms of their ascension in the NBA, it's too soon to tell how many players on the Celtics’ 15-man roster that Danny Ainge, the president of basketball operations, will bring back next season.


“One thing I do know. He’ll make the best decisions for the team and if players don’t end up being back here, I wish the best for them,” said Avery Bradley.  “Those are my brothers. We all had a special year. I appreciate everything, all the time I had with them. I’d love for all those guys to be back. We’ll see.”
And with Boston coming off its first trip to the Eastern Conference finals since 2012, adding just any player won’t cut it.
The Celtics’ mindset now isn’t just to improve, but get good enough to where they can better compete with the likes of Cleveland, which just ended the Celtics’ season with a Game 5 thumping.
The most significant move made by the Celtics last offseason was the signing of Al Horford to a four-year, $113 million contract.
Like most of his Boston teammates this season, Horford is eager to see what changes are in store this summer.
“We just have to wait and see,” Horford said. “We had such a good year. A lot of positive things. It’ll be interesting to see what Danny, the organization feels is going to be the next step.”
Multiple league sources have told in recent weeks that the Celtics are focused on landing an All-Star caliber talent in the frontcourt.
That makes sense when you consider how guard-dominant the Celtics were this season and how that had a negative impact on the team’s rebounding and, to a lesser degree, their defense as a whole.
Gordon Hayward has emerged as a target, but all indications – for now at least – point toward him returning to Utah.
The Celtics may pursue Los Angeles Clippers big man Blake Griffin. Although like Hayward, he too is expected to re-sign with his current team for a max contract (for Griffin that would be five years, $175 million).
While trades are certainly in the cards for Boston, at this point the Celtics seem more inclined to improve their overall talent base via the draft and free agency.
“It’s always a good thing when you have the opportunity to add value to your team and don’t have to change your team too much,” said Celtics’ reserve Gerald Green, who will be a free agent this summer. “I’m going to be very interested to see what they do as far as building a team. We’re in a good place right now as far as being where we want to be organization-wise. I feel like we’re one or two steps away from actually being at the Finals. I think Danny has some things to think about, but I’m sure he’s going to do the job. I’ve seen Danny go to work in these situations. He always makes the team better. I’m pretty sure he’s got something planned that, at the end of the day, is going to make this organization better.”
Indeed, the Celtics could very well strengthen their position for next season by simply locking up some of their core players who may hit the free agent market soon.
Boston may look to work out an extension with Isaiah Thomas before the start of this season. Because if he hits free agency in the summer of 2018, he will be poised to command a salary that in year one would be worth more than the entire four-year, $27 million deal he signed with Phoenix in 2014.
“Boston’s changed my career, changed my life,” Thomas said. “I would love to be here long-term and win championships here. But as you guys know, it’s a business and anything can happen. I know that and understand that. But I would love to be here. This has been everything to me. This city, this organization … it’s been good.”