You're Joshin' if you think he's great


You're Joshin' if you think he's great

By Michael Felger

Three nuggets to chew on as we come out of the dog days of summer.

Are you beginning to get the picture on Josh Beckett yet? Hes pretty good. But hes not great -- and those who think otherwise are simply ignoring the facts.

Beckett is completing his fifth year with the Red Sox this season and has made 134 starts in the American League. That's a good sample size, more than enough to accurately pass judgment. And over that time his ERA is 4.22. That's it. 4.22. That's what he is.

Obviously, Beckett has had some stellar postseasons (7-3, 3.07 lifetime). I'd take him in October -- no question about it. But getting there has become a problem. His failure in New York on Sunday versus Dustin Moseley wasn't all that hard to predict. Beckett's last five starts against the Yankees have produced an 0-3 record with a 10.54 ERA and 32 earned runs over the last 27 13 innings. Brutal.

So that's the deal with Beckett right now. Hes a guy who will bully the dregs like Cleveland and Seattle, but will get lit up by the iron. Sunday should have been a clear advantage for the Sox, and if Beckett had done his job the Sox would have walked away from the weekend with three out of four wins against the division leaders, setting themselves up for a very interesting final seven weeks.

But he wasn't up to it.

The chatter surrounding possible movement on Tom Brady's contract is increasing heading into Thursdays exhibition opener against New Orleans, which makes perfect sense. The Saints game is a meaningful threshold.

Without a new contract, Brady is assuming a huge amount of risk by playing football this month. His next contract will probably include around 50 million in guarantees, and since he's set to make just 6.5 million this year, that means Brady's exposure is north of 40 million. This is where his situation is dramatically different from that of Peyton Manning, who is making 16 million this season and has earned around 30 million more than Brady since the two signed extensions in 2004-05. There's just more at stake for Brady.

Which is why it would behoove the Patriots to mitigate that risk for Brady prior to Thursday's game. If a long-term extension is too complicated in the current labor environment, then a one-year raise should be in order, something to tie Brady over until the CBA comes into focus.

It's one thing for Brady to be participating in training camp practices wearing the red (non-contact) jersey. It's another for him to be lining up against the defending champion Saints, who will be hitting him for real. Taking care of him before that point is just the right thing to do.

Maybe that's what he and Bob Kraft were discussing on the golf course the other day.

So it turns out that the same year a sketchy Canadian doctor by the name of Anthony Galea is charged with trafficking in performance-enhancing drugs, two of his highest-profile clients Alex Rodriquez and Tiger Woods suffer the worst seasons of their careers. Hmmm. Just a coincidence, right?

Woods certainly has other factors at play in his slump, but he still deserves the speculation. No one would be surprised if it turned out PEDs were a big part of his story.

Then theres the case of the NFLs reigning defensive rookie of the year, Houston's Brian Cushing, who is claiming his positive test last year was the result of over-training. It turns out, according to Cushing, that he suffers from a rare syndrome called "over-trained athlete syndrome," which can trigger hormonal spikes after breaks in training. And thats why he tested positive for a female fertility drug.

Right. Thats it.

E-mail Felger HERE and read his mailbag on Thursday. Listen to him on the radio weekdays, 2-6 p.m., on 98.5 the Sports Hub.

Morning Skate: Tempered expectations for Bolts' rookie Sergachev


Morning Skate: Tempered expectations for Bolts' rookie Sergachev

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while simply shaking my head at David Price. What a typically soft, boorish ballplayer not meant for a big market where more is expected of those wearing the Red Sox uniform.

*There are tempered expectations for rookie defenseman Mikhail Sergachev as he gets things going with the Tampa Bay Lightning.

*Keith Yandle believes that Dale Tallon being back in charge of the Florida Panthers is going to bring unity and solidarity to the Panthers once again.

*Kevin Shattenkirk believes that the New York Rangers are right on the cusp of challenging for a Stanley Cup title.

*Here 20 thoughts from the just-concluded Chicago Blackhawks prospect camp, where there’s some pretty strong, young talent.

*Even as the highest-paid player in the NHL, Connor McDavid is underpaid for what he brings to the table, says Ron MacLean.

*Interesting look at the Matt Duchene and Gabriel Landeskog situation in Colorado, where both players have watched their performance fall off a bit. This is why I’d be very nervous about giving up the farm to trade for either of these players if I’m the Bruins. The jury is out on whether they’re in decline as players, or if it’s simply the mess in Colorado getting them down.  

*For something completely different: What a sweet interaction between "Wonder Woman" Gal Gadot and a young, emotional fan all decked out in WW gear.  


Report: Celtics have called Cavaliers about potential Kyrie Irving trade

Report: Celtics have called Cavaliers about potential Kyrie Irving trade

Celtics fans aren’t the only ones thinking of ways Kyrie Irving could end up in Boston.

Even though it would be hard to imagine last season’s No. 2 seed in the East trading one of the best players in the league to last season’s No. 1 seed in the East, ESPN’s Zach Lowe wrote Monday that the Celtics have indeed called the Cavs about the 25-year-old point guard. 

Wrote Lowe:

Most teams, including the asset-rich Celtics, have placed the obligatory call letting Cleveland know they would like to be kept in the loop, sources say. Boston could offer Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder and one of their golden picks -- Brooklyn's pick next season, or the Lakers/Kings pick they got from Philly in the Markelle Fultz deal. It's unclear if they would dangle all of that, but those picks could represent the young stud Cleveland needs. Regardless, a deal between the East's two best teams seems unlikely.

While nobody’s counting on Irving joining the Celtics, a trade of Irving elsewhere could still swing the balance in the East in Boston’s favor depending on what Cleveland gets back. Irving reportedly requested a trade from Cleveland earlier this month.