As we approach the holiday season, now is a good time for another Titletown Ten post with some Boston sports holiday wishes. Things are looking pretty good overall in the Boston sports scene. The Patriots remain undefeated as they head into their showdown with the Broncos on Sunday Night. They look to be ready for another Super Bowl run. The Bruins and Celtics are not on top of the world. However, both teams are in the playoff hunt and look poised to have a lot going for them as they head into the middle portion of the regular season. The Red Sox started off the Hot Stove season with a trade for Craig Kimbrel who is arguably the best closer in baseball. The Sox also look to be making a big push for some additional moves specifically in the starting rotation. There’s a lot happening right now and, with a few breaks, we could be in for some exciting times as we head towards 2016.
Here are First Score Boston’s sports holiday wishes!
Wish #10 – That the Red Sox trade Hanley Ramirez. The Red Sox are marketing Ramirez as their first baseman next season. Let’s hope this is a major smokescreen. The Red Sox overpaid for this player and now are believed to be stuck with him unless they can agree to pay a good chunk his remaining $66 million salary. There are big time problems with bringing back Ramirez. For one, he is a defensive liability on an otherwise strong defensive team. He is not the hitter he once was and is often times a liability offensively. Lastly, and mostly importantly, he sets a very poor example to the young players on the team because he has a terrible work ethic. Let’s hope the book can be closed on Hanley’s Red Sox career once and for all.
Wish #9 – That the Bruins win the Winter Classic. The Bruins have lost seven consecutive games to the Montreal Canadiens. Seven straight! Get ready for a week of hearing about this prior to the big game on New Year’s Day. Anyone else sick of hearing about this streak?! Would there be a better way to stick it to Montreal than beating them in tough weather conditions at Gillette Stadium? A home game at Gillette in January working in the home teams favor makes perfect sense!
Wish #8 – That the Brooklyn Nets continue to lose. The Celtics own the Nets first round pick this year. The Nets currently sit at 3-12 which is the third worst record in the NBA. The Lakers and Sixers are worse with the Sixers sitting at 0-16. There appears to be a possible gem in the draft this year in LSU’s Ben Simmons. Simmons is a 19 year-old freshman. He’s a 6’10” forward who can pass like a guard. He’s currently averaging 16.2 points, 14.4 rebounds, and 6.2 assists per game. It’s been speculated that Simmons is the best NBA draft prospect since Lebron James. The Celtics have put a lot of pieces together. However, they lack the franchise player to build the team around. Bingo!
Wish #7 – That Claude Julien keeps his job. The Bruins went into this season with a lot of question marks. A lot of those questions haven’t been answered yet although the team is right in the thick of playoff contention. The defense has been very weak and the roster is littered with defenseman who are not physical players. This is not Julien’s type of team, but he’s making it work with what he has. It seems that Cam Neely and Don Sweeney have hung Julien out to dry with some of the moves that have been made. If the Bruins go on a big losing streak, he may be gone. That would be a shame considering all he has brought to this team over the past 10 years. There are very few coaches who are better that Julien.
Wish #6 – That the Patriots get the #1 seed in the AFC. We all know how tough it is to beat the Patriots at home especially in January. It’s one of the top home field advantages in all of sports. Getting the #1 seed gives the Patriots an excellent chance of reaching the Super Bowl.
Wish #5 – That Tuukka Rask regains his 2012-13 form. Rask has been anything but one of the elite goaltenders in the NHL this year. In fact, Rask isn’t even ranked in the top 30 in the NHL in Goals Against Average (2.94) and Save Percentage (.900). Just about a year and half ago, Rask won the Vezina trophy as the league’s best goaltender. He’s in the prime years of his career at age 28. He should be much better than he is right now. If the Bruins are going to make a postseason run this year, Rask is going to need to start playing at an elite level again.
Wish #4 – That the Red Sox keep their strong young core in tact. Dave Dombrowski likely isn’t even close to being done, folks. There will be more trades. Let’s just hope the young core is still in place. The core includes Xander Bogaerts, Mookie Betts, Yoan Moncada, Andrew Benintendi, and Christian Vazquez. Many fans will have other players on the list, but you need to give up something to get something. This was obviously the case with the Kimbrel trade. If the Red Sox can continue to build their roster for 2016 without dealing any of these players, the offseason will likely be a great one.
Wish #3 – That Danny Ainge has a stocking stuffer for Celtics fans. Ainge has been collecting assets for the past few years in preparation to make some big moves. The Celtics have gotten back to a level of respectability very quickly. They have a boatload of draft picks over the next four years and they now have some young, talented players who are highly desirable to other teams such as Marcus Smart and Isaiah Thomas. Like Dombrowski, Ainge is not afraid to make move. This could be the year a big splash is made. DeMarcus Cousins, anyone?!
Wish #2 – That the Red Sox land David Price. So, David Price has not been a great postseason pitcher. Agreed. Here are his career numbers at Fenway Park: 6-1 record with a 1.95 ERA. This was against what usually was one of the best offensive teams in baseball. This is the best pitcher available and he’s coming off of a season in which he led the Blue Jays to a postseason birth. He could do the same for the Red Sox next year. Adding Price would likely put the Red Sox right in the middle of playoff contention next year. His postseason woes could easily change on a better offensive team.
Wish #1 – That the Patriots win Super Bowl #5. Winning the Super Bowl this year does a lot of things. It puts the Patriots at the front of the best team of all time debate. It puts Brady at the top of the best QB of all time debate. It does the same for Bill Belichick in the coaches debate. It also would be great for the fans after a very difficult offseason. There hasn’t been a back to back Super Bowl winner since that Patriots did it in 2005. This will not be easy, but if they can get healthy and catch some breaks, it’s a very realistic possibility. GOAT discussions all around!
So, there you have it. These are the wishes for the holiday season from a Boston sports standpoint. If all of these wishes come true, the Titletown championship stretch will continue!
Here’s wishing everyone a very happy, healthy, and safe holiday season!