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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

2-26-24 PDF
February 26, 2024
An inside look at Bobby B. Beacon’s insides. Illustrated by Bianca Oppedisano/ Mass Media Staff.
Bobby's Inside Story
February 26, 2024

Wick’s Two Cents

There are always topics to ponder and opinions to take in the expanse of Boston sports. Every week, the Mass Media will talk to Alan Wickstrom, UMB’s Sports Information Director, and get his opinion on a relevant Boston sports topic.

This week, Alan tells us whose single-season turnaround is more impressive, the Tampa Bay Rays or the Boston Celtics.

I’d say the Tampa Bay Rays and this is why. The Celtics added bonafide superstars. Now that being said, you don’t know how they’re gonna gel with their new teammates, but also, looking at it, the Celtics were playing in a conference that you can argue was not that difficult to win.

I don’t feel like they had the obstacles the Rays have, meaning that they (the Celtics) had fan support, they had history and tradition in their city, they had people behind them. [The Rays] didn’t have any bonafide superstars. They didn’t bring anybody in where people said ‘oh the Rays are gonna [be great].’ Before the season began, everyone had the Rays finishing maybe fourth in the Al East, whereas the Celtics were expected to finish probably no lower than fourth in the Eastern Conference.

In terms of facilities and support, the Celtics had it easier than the Rays do. The Rays weren’t set up for success. Joe Maddon had a lot to do with it. The fact that they had a rookie who came and just said ‘screw all this losing stuff, I’m gonna go out and be one of the best players in baseball,’ speaking of [Evan] Longoria.

I just feel like what the Rays did is much more impressive because no one expected them do to anything. Going .500 would have been a huge deal for them. They went worst to first.