I was just wondering:
If spring will ever come to Boston. Here we are, ready to move into the last week in April and people are heading to the beach when the temperature nudges past 50 degrees, which it has done only a few times this month. Let's not mince words here: The weather in New England this spring has been miserable: cold, rainy, followed by colder and rainier.
Runners in the Boston Marathon this week, were greeted by snow flakes at the start in Hopkinton and ran most of the marathon course in cold, horizontal rain. The Red Sox (more about them in a bit) finished their first home stand without the wind chill factor rising much above the high 30s.
Conversely, it has been a glorious early spring for Boston's athletic teams. The Celtics are, if not healthy, happy as they hold a 2-1 edge on Milwaukee in their first NBA playoff series. The Bruins are a game away from beating Toronto in their Stanley Cup opening round playoff series
And then there are the Red Sox. They are on a historic run, with a 17-2 start, which just included a 3 game pounding of the formerly sizzling Angels. The Red Sox not only won all three games, but won by a scoring margin of 27-3. They are on their second 8 game winning streak of the season. They have not lost a single series they have played, while displaying great hitting, great pitching and solid fielding. Tough to overcome that combination. Here's a stat to also ponder: the Red Sox, who didn't hit a grand slam home run all of last season, have already hit 5 this season, which is more than the number of WINS for three teams, the Chicago White Sox, Kansas City Royals and Cincinnati Reds.
History and logic says it has to end sometime. But the Red Sox are creating their own history. Although there is still a long way to go, there is already chatter that the Red Sox could make a run at the start of the 1984 Detroit Tigers, who began the season with a 35-5 record (the best in the history of baseball). Significantly, if the Red Sox beat Oakland on Saturday night, they will have an 18-2- record, which was the same start the Tigers had in 1984.
The 1984 Tigers also won the World Series that season.
If there is any joy in Los Angeles this spring about their NBA and NHL teams. It is now April 21 and the Los Angeles Kings, the Anaheim Ducks, the Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers are all done for the season. The UCLA and USC basketball teams flamed out early in their post season ventures.
If Boston College will rise above the 7-6 bar that has been the high water mark for Coach Steve Addazio's teams. The Eagles just concluded spring practice and Addazio, as he should, was full of positive news. But he was talking about the development of the Eagles' back up quarterbacks.
The main area of interest should and will be the health of starting QB Anthony Brown, who went down for the season with a knee injury last November. Until Brown returns to practice, all bets are off on the Eagles' chances. As good as freshman AJ Dillon was last season (he should get Heisman consideration this season if he comes close to repeating his efforts), the Eagles destiny depends on Brown, who also has shown star potential. If Brown is back by training camp in August, fine, but if he is not available for the regular season opener against UMass on Sept. 1, watch out.
If the move by the NCAA to allow the sale of alcoholic beverages (beer_) was a good move. Selling beer at college football games has been going on for a few years, but it has been sporadic. The SEC, for example, does not permit it. But with attendance lagging and using the excuse of "enhancing the college football experience'' the NCAA gave it an official blessing last week.
I view that decision with mixed emotions. My first reaction is this: Isn't there enough time to have an adult beverage at the pre and post game tailgate parties without consuming it during the game? And when the games are played at night--as many of them are---the negatives would seem to out number the positives.
If Brevin White made the right decision. Who, you might ask, is Brevin White? He is a four star QB recruit from Southern California, who committed to Princeton last summer, but was recruited heavily by some big time football schools such as Arizona State, Washington Minnesota....and Alabama. The Tide and Coach Nick Saban did a full blitz on White on a recruiting visit that White agreed to this winter. But it didn't work, White is headed for Princeton next fall. Saban wanted him to enroll at Alabama in February.
White, after consulting many people, including Dallas Cowboys head coach (and Princeton graduate) Jason Garrett, decided to stick with a Princeton education and Ivy League football over Alabama. One bit of advice that White received was significant: If you are good enough, the NFL will find you wherever you play.