First of all, I’d like to apologize for the lack of posts lately. Technical difficulties hindered my ability to get online, but now hopefully I will be able to continue blogging worry free.
With that, I’d like to introduce a new feature to the blog: Maza’s Daily Musings. Everyday I will give a quick musing on three big things the world of sports the day before. As always, feel free to chime in by commenting on the blog or sending me email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
With that said, here we go.
The Red Sox have agreed to a one-year, $2 million deal with Jason Varitek that includes $300,000 in incentives, further compounding the mistake of not signing Victor Martinez. The Detroit Tigers’ publicly expressed plans to use Martinez as a DH this season shoots down any theories people may have had about Martinez not being amenable to moving to a different position if the Red Sox felt his catching skills were diminishing in the final years of a two or three year contract. I still think Varitek can be an effective backup catcher if he’s limited to 35 to 40 games. However, you can only do that if you have a guy that you can count on in front of him. A guy like Victor Martinez. Instead, the Red Sox are counting on a catcher in Jarrod Saltalamacchia, who has never played more than 83 games in a season at the position and as recently as May, was in the minors because he couldn’t throw the ball back to the pitcher. Theo Epstein is playing with fire and most likely will get burned.
It seems like a million years have passed since the last time the Patriots played, but all the anticipation is leading up to arguably the biggest game of the season. The Patriots and the Jets are both different teams since the last time they faced each other, but the biggest changes have been to the New England locker room. Danny Woodhead is a serious part of the Patriots’ offense out of the backfield and adds a very good compliment to the north-south power running style of BenJarvus Green-Ellis. Often overlooked is the dominating play of Logan Mankins since his return. It has not taken the Pro Bowler long to get right into the thick of things and a strong offensive line that is tied for third in the league in sacks allowed with just 15 through 11 games, while helping the running backs to a 4.5 average. But the biggest difference is the look of the passing game. Without Randy Moss, the Patriots have been able to actually do more offensively by stretching the field horizontally instead of vertically. Tom Brady was averaging 10.71 yards per completion with Randy Moss at wide receiver. Since he’s been gone, he’s averaged 11.87 yards per completion. While I didn’t think so when the trade was made, but the offense may, in fact, be better without Moss than it was with him. Would anybody have thought in Week 12 the Moss-less Patriots would be leading the league in scoring?
With eight goals in Thursday’s game against the Tampa Bay Lightning, the Bruins seem to have shaken off the bad habits they fell into in the rough stretch last week. This week, the Bruins have outscored opponents 11-1 and with the return of Marc Savard, the Bruins now have three very good centers that can set up terrific scoring opportunities. Savard didn’t look 100 percent, but he did not look nearly as bad as I thought he might coming out of the gate. He showed good vision and passed well. Once he gets his legs under him a little bit more and he’ll be a tremendous addition to the team. As for Marco Sturm, while TMZ’s report that Marco Sturm has been traded proved to be false, the odds of him being traded are still very high. Sturm needs to either be traded or be sent to Providence in order to keep his $3.5 million salary from going against the cap and the latter is not a desirable place to be for a 32-year-old veteran. He’s already waived his no-trade clause (which the Bruins seem to hand out like candy) for certain teams, so look for movement to happen sooner rather than later.