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Hot baseball teams, Patriots culprit, ship-jumping fans, primed Celtics, some college hockey

Tuesday 10/17/23

Wow are those Rangers and Phillies hot. Losing that last game of the season to get knocked into the Wild Card round might have been the best thing to happen to the former.

I would say that it was after Sunday's loss to the Raiders that Patriots fans, and even former Patriots players, at last accepted that this is the end for Bill Belichick. I saw where things stood and wrote about it on here back in 2020, but it's only now that others are saying it's time for a change. Yesterday, though, I still heard people saying, "No one expected it to be this bad." I did.

I can't see Belichick getting his all-time wins record. How could he? That'd have to be somewhere else, right? Who would hire him? If he even wanted to start over. Move. I think he likes it here out on Nantucket. He's in his seventies. I just don't see it happening for assorted reasons. His ending will be ignominious. I think that's the best word for it. He's being humbled right now. If you stick around and you don't work as hard as you can, you run the risk of undoing your reputation. People aren't going to think with nuance. All they're going to say in this case is that Patriots won because of Tom Brady, and Bill Belichick didn't have much to do with a dynasty and twenty years' worth of success. Belichick's legacy has taken a beating, and Brady's has been burnished even more.

But it's been very obvious to me for three years that Mac Jones couldn't play and Belichick wasn't a good coach anymore, and definitely not a competent team-builder. At this point, the person I view as most responsible for this situation is Robert Kraft. He's let it go on. He's in charge, even more than Belichick is in charge. They could have turned everything over after 2020 and been at the end of a rebuild by now, or at least two years into a rebuild. All of that time, gone and wasted. That's Robert Kraft's doing more than anyone else's.

My guess is that Kraft is behind how it's gone with Mac Jones. Belichick picked Cam Newtown because Cam Newton sucked, and I think he wanted to show he could win with a quarterback who sucked, having won with the best quarterback there's ever been. Something weird and petty like that.

Kraft has forced Jones as this would-be face of the franchise. He made up his mind that he'd be the fair-haired boy, and he's tried to make something happen that isn't there. First by drafting him, then standing by him, then probably telling the coach to run him out there, then by bringing in Bill O'Brien. I blame Kraft for a lot of this. I think he wanted Tommy Redux, even if was a poorer man's Tommy.

They won, yes, but the Raiders as led by Josh McDaniels seem hapless to me. They're not good, and he's not cut out to be an NFL head coach. He isn't a fit for the position.

Patrick Mahomes hasn't even played that well by his standards yet and the Chiefs are 5-1. His health could end up being an issue--he's not in the best of shape--but Andy Reid might have surpassed Belichick anyway even if he had overtaken Don Shula.

I know people personally who were Patriots fans--pretend Patriots fans--who don't watch the team now. They were fans of winning. It's all the same for me with the teams I root for. I'm along for it all.

I think the Celtics have the floor right now, really. It's their time to have that major season that gets all of the attention and adulation. The Bruins had it last year and they blew it. The Red Sox had it in 2018. The Celtics now have that opportunity, very much like in 2007-08, but there was a surprise factor back then with how quickly that team came together. This could well be their year, and it should be, whatever "should" means in these conversations.

BU lost against UNH the other night and dropped from first to sixth in the national rankings, while BC went up to third. They play Denver this weekend at Conte, which should be a great game. I may go.


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