Yesterday’s Sunday Boston Globe was AWESOME.

If you’re into marveling at a lack of self-awareness, I guess.

We’ll start with the top story:

Baseball pitchers want a better grip, not a competitive advantage

Oh, the irony. baseball players would rather not cheat, but they’re FORCED to because of the slickness of the ball. Everyone does it. They joke about it.

The column (by Peter Abraham) ends like this:

Uehara smiled when asked what he uses.

“I do what everybody else does,” he said. “But I’d rather not talk about it.”

Now, when Tom Brady wants a better grip on the footballs, and requests that they are at the bottom end of the legal limit for inflation, he is CHEATING. It’s the end of the world. It’s the biggest scandal since…well, ever.

Abraham admits the contrast:

It’s a speck on the scandal meter compared to the lingering question of whether Patriots quarterback Tom Brady ordered footballs deflated before the AFC Championship game in January.

The difference apparently is that baseball players are not seeking a competitive advantage when they bring a foreign substance to the mound, or doctor up the ball in some way, they are just innocently trying to grip the ball better. Tom Brady is a cheating fraud whose entire legacy is on the line and he and the Patriots have been tendered the biggest punishment in the history of the NFL for this atrocity.

Moving to Ben Volin’s Sunday Football Notes, Volin proudly shows off his discovery of a Patriots fan statistician who agrees with the Wells Report!

Well, not really. Volin originally tweeted out the email he received from the statistician, who is not agreeing with the Wells Report, but is letting AEI know that he was able to replicate the results of the Wells Report when they could not. He still disagrees with the Wells Report and agrees that the data set used by Wells is flawed and the results were cherry picked.

That’s a far cry from PATRIOTS FAN STATISTICIAN BACKS WELLS REPORT SCIENCE, which is what it seems like Volin was going for. He somehow uses this as a way to wag his finger at Patriots homers:

The Wells Report was attacked viciously and thoroughly in New England, home to some of the most brilliant scientific and legal minds in the world, as well as the most rabid and passionate fans in the country.

It’s millions of Patriots fans vs. one Ted Wells, and Wells has gotten clobbered.

But when anything pro-Patriots is released — such as the AEI report or the Patriots’ Context Report — every word is taken as gospel. There’s been very little critical analysis of their work, and anything that doesn’t fit the “Patriots are innocent” story line is ignored.

Awww, poor Teddy got clobbered!

That last bit is just classic. Volin does realize that outside of New England, it is the EXACT OPPOSITE. It would be written like this – But when anything anti-Patriots is released — such as the PSI report or the Patriots’ Staffer Tried To Introduce Illegal Ball Report — every word is taken as gospel. There’s been very little critical analysis of their work, and anything that doesn’t fit the “Patriots are cheaters” story line is ignored.

(Props to Jerry Thornton for this – Wells Report ‘science’ firm Exponent gets whacked by court order – a judge is ordering Exponent to turn over documents related to their work on another case, saying “Methodologically sound science has nothing to fear from full and open disclosure.” Remember though, that according to Roger Goodell, “Ted Wells’ integrity is impeccable.”)

Let’s head over the Sunday Baseball Notes. Nick Cafardo is an unabashed Jose Iglesias fanboy. He is also Scott Boras’ local mouthpiece. So what is the lead section of the notes yesterday? Iglesias vs Xander Bogaerts – who also happens to be a Boras client! So he gets to compare (and promote) two Boras clients! Nick searches far and wide to get a source that agrees with his take on things:

“With all due respect to Bogaerts, he’ll never be Iglesias,” said a National League GM. “I haven’t seen anyone like that in years. I saw a lot of [Omar] Vizquel, and I think this guy [Iglesias] is better. To do something extraordinary like he does . . . I know that even though you have a good player like Bogaerts, when you trade away a guy like that you’d better have a great reason.”

I hope the GM is only talking defensively, because that is a bunch of nonsense. Bogaerts’ ceiling is much higher offensively than Iglesias, and he’s improved dramatically in the field.

Then we have Dan Shaughnessy talking with Larry Lucchino! (Anti-Shaughnessy linking policy prevents us from bringing you this content.) Hey guess what? The Red Sox have marginalized Larry, and the team is struggling! Lucchino gives canned answers and Shaughnessy has an easy, mail-it-in Sunday column. All is good.

Finally, we’ll look at the Sunday Basketball Notes. Gary Washburn grades each team’s draft. OK. Kind of expected, even if the grades mean absolutely nothing. My gripe with this column is not with Washburn, but with Celtics forward Jared Sullinger. The guy has struggled with his weight and conditioning during his time here, even to the point where Danny Ainge publicly called him out on it. Sullinger is reportedly working hard this summer, but this quote doesn’t do him any favors:

“I think I’m going on a personal feel,” Sullinger said. “If I’m able to move the way I want to move and make the moves I want to make, I think the number [weight] doesn’t really matter. It’s all about how long I can stand out there and be able to put the work in that I put in in the first quarter all the way through the 48 minutes of the game.”

Ugh. I’ll paraphrase Shaughnessy on this one. Get. Him. Gone.

Finally, from today, it must be summertime – WEEI suspends morning show host Kirk Minihane

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26 thoughts on “Just Another Sunday For The Globe

  1. Lets flip some variables:

    Say the Patriots or Brady/Kraft employed or even quoted Exponent for any element of their defense in the Deflategate saga.

    How fast would Ben Trollin, F&M, Shaugnessy, Tomasse, Borges, ESPN, NFLN, etc. point out what an absolute joke Exponent is?

    What Jerry Thorton posted today would be above the masthead on page one of the Boston LOLbe this morning.

    Just think about that for a second.

  2. Listening to F+M on D+H commercial at 3:23.

    Of course, F+M bring up Trollin’s Sunday Notes item..

    “Hear that Patriot’s fans?” I applaud Volin for doing this.. A new low in local coverage is this deflation story in terms of coverage. You can get a scientist to tell you anything (referring to AEI’s report). Ever apply it to the other end?

    (Felger)

    And he goes off on Patriots fans and Jerry Thorton types. I’m sure they don’t do a general circumspection of the coverage but I’d say it’s about 50/50. If I had to tip the scale one way, I’d even argue it’s against the team.

    Of course, to them, anything for the team is bias. Now, normally I’d agree because half the media in town is bought/paid for/has direct ties to one of the teams in town (or, they’re shilling for a job with a team).

    Again, see my post below. Agenda/bias, anyone?

    1. I actually don’t think it’s so much “agenda/bias” as it is “these people just aren’t very smart”.

    2. The lost respect for Adam Schefter but they applaud Ben Volin. We’ve officially crossed over into BananaLand

  3. Sally Jenkins gives Goodell a way out of the Deflategate mess in her column today. Basically, he could say there’s just not enough concrete information to penalize Brady. Given what’s gone on, I’d place the odds at around -20000 he does not take it, but still an interesting read:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/redskins/roger-goodell-has-one-credible-option-pardon-brady-blame-lax-protocols/2015/06/29/b2c12e28-1e76-11e5-bf41-c23f5d3face1_story.html

    1. It’s a shame we have to go to the nation’s capital to find a reasonable point of view on this whole mess. Outside of a select few in our own region, how many share Jenkins’ stance that this is a mess? What I hear on the major national outlets, on twitter, on national radio makes it sound like the majority think Brady should be suspended even more than four games. I don’t get it, but, in the imortal words of Gil Santos during the review of the fumble vs the Raiders, “of course we’re biased…”

    2. Florio gave him another out: convert the 4-game suspension into a “4-game fine”. Under the theory that Brady would be more likely to let things drop if he’s allowed to play. Well, maybe. Food for thought, at least.

      Accepting that any of these “outs” would occur requires one to assume that (a) Goodell has the wisdom and intelligence to realize he needs to navigate himself out of this situation for the greater professional good (i.e. to avoid extensive litigation that could jeopardize the commissioner’s power vis a vis players under the CBA), or (b) he is being competently advised by someone who has such wisdom and intelligence. I don’t think either of those are present.

  4. What exactly happened? I turned on EEI today around 930 and heard a shouting match between Kirk and Fauria with Fauria shouting that Minihane was a liar? Was this a replay of Friday’s spat about…?

  5. Bruce:

    I am not as sold on Bogarts being better than Iglesias, at least not to the point you are. It seems to me Iglesias is the far more instinctual player. He was young when he was in Boston and I think being the athlete that he is he will learn to hit. Bogarts to me seems like an athlete in search of instincts. I don’t think SS is natural for him even if he has played it since he was a kid. I think he thrived a 3B in 2013 because he did not have as much responsibility or thinking. I never liked the Iglesias trade. He was the best fielding SS I ever saw in Boston (that includes Alex Gonzales). At the time I thought the right move was to make Bogarts the 3b of the future and move Middlebrooks either to 1B or trade him. Of course that all made too much sense.

    I think my larger point is we have a bigger sample size of Bogarts now. I don’t see him yet becoming a breakout star. On this Sox team he is one of their better player…but they are 10 games under .500 so what does that mean. I think that were Iglesias playing SS and Bogarts playing 3b the Sox pitching staff would be appreciably better than it is now without a large drop off in offensive production. With Iglesias learning to hit as he has matured…the Sox might have been able to carry Bradley in Center as well…making the pitcher significantly better than it is now.

    I could go on a SABRMETRIC rant right now but I will leave it at this…there is more to putting together a roster than simple numbers. There is something to be said for instincts, non quantifiable fielding observations and for the ability of the moving parts to mesh. Its clear to me John Farrell does not understand the second part of that statement. I also think it is becoming more clear that either Ben Cherington or whoever is making the baseball opps decision does not understand this either.

    I know the counter argument…this management/ownership team has won 3 championships in 14 years. I just can’t figure out if it was because of brilliance, cheating (Manny, PEDS, Ortiz etc) or in spite of the moves they made. As a counter to the championship argue I would argue that they are well on their way to their third last place finish in 4 years which is a far more ignominious accomplishment.

  6. Sorry, this comment really should’ve been in the last post but I was not able to get my thoughts on the Celtics draft up in time. I truly believe now that the Celtics have actually done themselves a disservice by acquiring all these draft picks. If you look at NBA trade value charts, which are not as gospel as NFL but are still out there, the Celtics had more than enough in capital to move up into the top 10 in this year’s draft picks alone. But because all the other GM’s know how many picks we have and that we are unlikely to use them all they want more out of the Celtics, in what comes down to an unfair deal. The crazy thing is that by some accounts the Celtics were willing to take a bad deal to move up and it still didn’t work out.

    It reminds me a lot of the Sox in 05 when they were getting killed for not making moves because every other GM wanted Papelbon or Pedroia. I wanted to move up as much as the next guy but once WCS came off the board at 6 the only other pick that made any sense to me was Miles Turner at 11, and by all accounts Indiana was looking for the same thing that we were a big man rim protector, so that wasn’t going to happen. To be honest I’m kinda glad we didn’t pay a king’s ransom for Justice as it seems like we drafted a similar play in Rozier. Good defensive player who gets to the rim, but doesn’t have a good jump shot. I want to acquire the best talent as possible but at the end of the day I still don’t think you should over pay just because you have more than the next guy.

  7. For some laughs today:

    Criticizing the NFL Players Association’s recent strategy of going
    through the court system to challenge commissioner Roger Goodell’s
    ability to suspend players, NFL executive Troy Vincent said “millions
    and millions of dollars” could have been better spent on players who
    desperately need it.

    In an interview with ESPN.com’s Ashley Fox, Vincent alluded to
    high-profile cases involving Tom Brady, Adrian Peterson, Ray Rice and
    Greg Hardy, all of whom appealed harsh penalties levied against them by
    Goodell and the league office.

    http://espn.go.com/nfl/story/_/id/13171906/nfl-vp-troy-vincent-criticizes-nflpa-spending-legal-action-challenging-roger-goodell-authority

  8. I have no idea how this new crop will work out, but Ainge doesn’t have the best track record in the draft. I know he was drafting at the end of round (or not at all) in the Big Three years, and that trading picks landed RAllen and Garnett, but he has one very good draft (2004 – AJeff, Delonte and Tony Allen), one very good selection (2006, Rondo) and that’s pretty much it (sorry Bradley fans). He’s drafted no true franchise player, but has a bunch of 1st round stiffs: Marcus Banks, Fab Mello, Gerald Green, JaJuan Johnson JR Giddens (Jordan, Asik and Chalmers still on board at end of 1st). It doesn’t look great for Sullinger right now.
    But the local media mostly gives Ainge a pass, while Belichick gets hammered for any pick that doesn’t work out despite four titles and a very good draft record (with a little soft spot in middle years). Belichick gets hammered for trading down and accumulating picks that actually produce. Danny’s being innovative when he makes trades and accumulates picks that apparently no one wants to trade for and deliver players of suspect value.

    1. I whole heartedly agree on the BB comparison. Bruce made the point a few years ago that Doc blatantly lied to the media about KG’s availability toward the end of the year in 09, but because he’s a nice guy and considered media friendly he gets a pass.

      As far as Danny goes, I think it’s really been more about luck than anything else. Be it unlucky, best chance to get Kevin Durant and got the 5th pick, or lucky having Sullinger fall to them at 21, there’s a ridiculous amount of chance involved. I think he’s identified enough good players at the end of the first round for me to believe he knows what he’s doing, hell most GM’s can’t identify a great player at the top of the first round. And I know that there really is something to having good stability in the front office, but in my mind the clock is ticking. Things could get really crazy in the NBA in the next couple of seasons and if he doesn’t play his cards right the Celtics are going to get left behind, and considering where we are now, that would be unacceptable.

      1. I was stretching the criticism of Ainge a bit for comparison’s sake. And you are right that luck certainly matters. Ainge was hit by bad luck in the draft lottery and still built a team that could have won 3 titles if things went their way. That’s hard to criticize. And i think Danny is trying to hedge his bets on these guys making it by stockpiling picks and assets, a la Belichick. The only real example of good luck the Celts have had in the past 30 years was Pierce falling to 10. But the bad turns — Bias and Lewis dying, missing out on Duncan and Durant — are pretty remarkable.

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