top of page

Stanley Cup Finals, the shelf life of Cinderella, Mookie Betts and Dave Kingman, Red Sox, Bruins

Thursday 6/8/23

It looks like it's over for the Florida Panthers. We will know more after tonight. But it seems as though Cinderella has a shelf life, and that shelf life is no more than three playoff series. She's always been that way.

Don't look now, but Mookie Betts--offensively that is--is becoming more and more like Dave Kingman. Lot of home runs, average in the .250s. Okay, I know .250 was above where Kingman usually was, and I know Kingman was a butcher in the field and not a good baserunner, and the same can't be said about Betts. But you have that low average, and Betts doesn't get much value out of his home runs. His RBI total is always low. He's that kind of guy who can hit 30 plus home runs and have 80 RBI.

(I have very little interest in meeting anyone alive or who has ever lived--in that, "If you could meet anyone" sense--but I would like to meet Kingman and ask him about his great, all-encompassing love of all things home run and the purity of his dedication to home runs. I think my answer would pretty much just be Kingman. I'd go for a walk with Thoreau.)

A couple nights ago I turned on the Red Sox game. There is little reason to do so. It was the eighth inning, and they were up and would go on to win and remain above .500. Hooray?

They are such a lackluster product. I think the analyst must have been Will Middlebrooks. Whoever it was was boring. I assume it was him. Why is it him? Why does this guy have this job? He's not good at it. Nor was he even some Red Sox fixture. He played parts of three seasons in Boston.

Is it because he had 28 plate appearances in the 2013 postseason? This guy was out of the game after his age twenty-eight season. He has a negative WAR. This is the best we can do? Will Middlebrooks? It's not because of his insight, commentary, or personality that he has this job. And it's not because of on-field success. So...what? You couldn't find anyone else to do this job? He was the only person who turned up for the interview?

Speaking of Red Sox analysts, or former ones: I was surprised to see an advertisement for some local event where Dennis Eckersley would be signing autographs. It was some low-level affair. Not a card show, but sort of like that. Not a mall, but mall-ish.

I thought he was in California with family? Then again, sometimes those things can get old fast. At least last year when the Red Sox sucked you could listen because of him. Am I supposed to listen because of Will Middlebrooks? Am I supposed to watch because of this dreck they trot out there?

It's like the early 1990s right now for the Red Sox and Patriots. Ineffectual product. Back then you could watch Clemens. Or Jack Clark? I don't know. They had a thing for end-of-their-career sluggers. The Red Sox were heavily into that in the 1980s and 1990s. I liked Jack Clark. He was pretty good for them one year. But they were such an also-ran team. Like now. The early 1990s Patriots were as boring as these Patriots.

Meanwhile, the Bruins and the Celtics are like the late 1980s Bruins and Celtics. Not good enough! But pretty good. Frustrating. The late 1980s Bruins and Celtics were more likable. The Celtics got injured and old in the sports sense. They couldn't do it anymore. But you know that if time had stood still and bodies had remained intact, they'd have been right there, because those were the guys.

The Bruins, well, what were they going to do? Beat the 1988 Oilers? Obviously not. They were scrappy and had fight. Unfortunately, the current Bruins are not and don't.

I've been rooting for Florida, but it's not going to bother me if Vegas wins, because that will be the perfect capper to what was was wrong with this ballyhooed edition of the Boston Bruins: they were soft as the yogurt I'll be eating later tonight. And that is why they got the coach fired who likely will soon be lifting the Stanley Cup--though let's let it play out first, because you never know--preferring to do cuddles with their new coach, and then getting bounced in the first round after winning 65 damn games.

That is the biggest collapse in Boston sports history, and that is saying something, given that the Red Sox have existed for well over a century.

I dislike defending the meltdown in the 1986 World Series, but at least that team showed you something in getting past the Angles when they were all but done in Game 5 of the ALCS, and things, I guess, can happen fast and fall apart fast. Within a game. Though it was really more than just Game 6 in the 1986 World Series. Game 7 was also pretty abysmal, and losing the first two at Fenway was obviously bad. Were they over-confident by that point?

Whatever. That wasn't some 115 win team, which is what they would have had to have been to be like these Bruins. 120 wins. Because that's what we're talking.

bottom of page