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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Diary of A Crazed Boston Sports Maniac: Sox and Bruins build for future and let the present work its

Last week, there was an article about how the Celtics and Patriots approach their team. The Celtics go for the win now and bring the occasional younger player along while the Patriots look for depth, value, and consistency. The Patriots look for an all-around good team instead of making the Super Bowl then fading to mediocrity. Both approaches have their positives but also can have their downsides as well. Value has got the Bruins nowhere except early playoff exits and epic collapses. Depth and consistency has led to two World Series titles and six playoff appearances in eight years for the Red Sox.

However, after the seasons the Bruins and Red Sox both had, fans are left bitter and unsatisfied. Both teams had high expectations; both failed to live up to them. This leads to the question: is the approach the Bruins and the Sox take the right way to run a team? The simple answer is ‘yes’, because it keeps your team competitive each year and keeps the fans happy. But the truth is, no. The answer is ‘no’ because it’s due to the successes the Sox, Celtics, and Patriots have had in championship games that the fan base has become spoiled. Losing early in the playoffs, or simply not making the playoffs, has become inexcusable instead of a luxury.

The Red Sox get a little bit of a pass. The team spends plenty of money but not always in the smartest ways. For example, the Sox can afford to spend $82.5 million on a number three starter in John Lackey but cannot afford to re-sign their number five hitter in Jason Bay for $60 million. Instead, the Sox gave a 2-year $20 million deal to Mike Cameron. Cameron missed most of the season with assorted injuries. As it is, the Sox had three above-average starters in Jon Lester, Josh Beckett, and Clay Buccholz. That being said, why spend money on Lackey when Bay was much more important to the team? Up until this year, the highest-paid player on the team was their number seven hitter, JD Drew. That’s right, Victor Martinez, David Ortiz, Adrian Beltre, Dustin Pedroia, and Kevin Youkilis all were paid less than JD Drew. How does that make any sense whatsoever? This upcoming off-season is big for the Sox as Martinez, Beltre, and Ortiz are all free agents. Considering Pedroia, Youkilis, Martinez, Beckett, and speedster Jacoby Ellsbury missed significant time last year, it is vital that at least two of the Martinez-Beltre-Ortiz trio be re-signed.

As for the Bruins, their whole operation makes little to no sense. Sure, the Bruins are very talented with players like Marc Savard, Patrice Bergeron, David Krejci, Milan Lucic, Tyler Seguin, Tuuka Rask, Zhedno Chara, etc. The team has all these players who are no slouches as hockey players, but for some reason when the playoffs come around, they collectively blow. Go back a few years. The Bruins were the number one seed not only in the Eastern Conference but overall in the NHL. What happens? They lost in the second round. This past season. The Bruins squeak into the post season as a sixth seed, beat the heavily favored Buffalo Sabers and lose yet again in the second round to the Philadelphia Flyers after leading the series 3-0 and winning in Game 7 at home 3-0. The Bruins have not made it to the Conference Finals since 1992 or the Stanley Cup Finals since 1990. Everyone in this town is making an excuse for them because they are young, inexperienced, injuries, blah blah blah. But for Peter Chiarelli and company, it is time to put up or shut up. What the Bruins have been these last couple of years were the Red Sox pre-2004. It is time to spend your money wisely, get another defenseman and/or goal scorer and put up some results. Hockey is irrelevant in this town until the Bruins at least make the conference finals. End of story.

About the Contributor
Andrew Otovik served as the sports editor for The Mass Media the following years: 2010-2011