Time Out For Sports Talk: It’s All About ‘Sports’
Todd: We opted to each take some vacation before returning to promise you all fresh new content in this space every week throughout the football season. During my time off, I decided to show my age (and perhaps to some of you readers, my taste in music) and attended a Huey Lewis and the News concert. I have to go back in time over two decades to recall the last time I saw them live.
This year marks the thirtieth anniversary (yikes) of the release of ‘Sports’, HL&TN’s most commercially successful album (again, showing my age using the word ‘album’), which the band performed from start to finish in the exact order as the songs originally appeared on said album. Three decades later, they still know how to crank out great pop music while proving that it is hip to be square (ironically they didn’t play that song despite several requests for it from the enthusiastic crowd).
Speaking of sports, how about those first place Red Sox? They sure looked like they were walking on a thin line earlier this month during that grueling 16-of-19-road-games stretch, but finished strong by taking two out of three games from the previously white-hot Dodgers, who had not lost a series in over two months (14-0-4 in 18 straight series). Then the Sox finally found a home back at Fenway, beginning the final 30 games of the regular season with a series win over the Orioles to widen their lead in the AL East.
When it comes to the Sox, I know what I like. Every time they appear to stumble, they bounce right back (the Sox remain the only MLB team to not lose more than three straight games this season), playing with the heart and soul of a team that could be some kind of wonderful come October. While I would still prefer another veteran arm in the bullpen, the expanded September roster should give John Farrell the opportunity to continue auditioning guys like Brandon Workman, Drake Britton and others in high-leverage pitching situations and see how the kids respond.
Another question the Sox have going forward is whether Clay Buchholz (remember him?) will be a factor this season. The Texan with the (still) 9-0 record will likely have two more rehab outings before returning to Boston, but does Clay have enough time to build up his arm strength so he can be an effective starter? Then while watching a recent Sox game, it hit me like a hammer—maybe Clay could be part of a solution for the bullpen. Perhaps that might be a stretch, but I wonder where he fits in on this staff, if at all.
Speaking of fitting in, how exactly does Tim Tebow fit on the Pats 53-man roster? We’ll save our full-blown Patriots preview for next week, but I do have a brief thought on the QB after watching some the Pats’ final exhibition game.
Bad is bad when it comes to describing some of Tebow’s throws throughout this preseason. But yet last night he managed to throw a pair of touchdown passes and lead the Pats to a come-from-behind win over the Giants, something even Tom Brady hasn’t done recently (tongue firmly planted in my cheek while typing that last part). If this is it for Tebow in a Patriots uniform, at least he got to finish on a high note. It’s also conceivable that if Tim does get cut, he could go unclaimed by the rest of the league and become another player on Belichick’s speed dial when the roster goes through its annual attrition later in the season.
That’s all I got. Time for me to take a couple days off before the Pats and the NFL kick off another exciting football season!
Mike: Wow, I can’t believe ‘Sports’ is that old! Great album!
Anyway, getting to non-musical sports, like you Todd, I really like this edition of the Red Sox, last night’s loss to the Orioles notwithstanding.
They have consistently pulled out wins this season when they have needed to, and this week, they have been doing it with absolutely no contribution from David Ortiz, who has gone about a week without a base hit. When your best hitter is that cold, and you are still winning games, you are in good shape!
I hate to get ahead of myself here, but I keep getting the feeling that this team is going to be in position to have a very special October. Sure, they could use some help, but they still have time to get Buchholz back in the rotation, and having him come in for the September stretch run will be as big of a boost as any trade that they could make. I think he does have a place on the staff Todd, there’s always room for a pitcher of his caliber, and the Sox are going to welcome him back with open arms.
Now, on to the Patriots, and the big question, will Tim Tebow still be a Patriot when the 53-man roster is announced this weekend?
I think he will be, though he has done absolutely nothing to earn a roster spot. He has been terrible in the preseason. Sure, he looked a little bit better in the fourth quarter against the Giants, but one of the touchdowns he threw was in total garbage time, and the other one was scored on a nice catch and long run.
Bottom line is, I think offensive coordinator Josh McDaniel, who drafted Tebow when he was with the Broncos, sees something in Tebow that nobody else sees. I don’t know what that could possibly be, because I’ve seen a bunch of his plays this preseason, and he is constantly overthrowing receivers and getting sacked out there.
But in the long run, I guess it really doesn’t matter, even if he makes the team, Tebow will not see the field in any meaningful way in the regular season. Because if he does take snaps at quarterback, that means Tom Brady is out of the lineup, and that means the Patriots are in big, big trouble!