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Alan Greenwood: Bill taking serious gamble with petulant Brown

Alan Greenwood

Since lifting the bulging dossier on Antonio Brown is a hernia waiting to happen, let’s boil it down to its core:

The cheese has slipped off this man’s cracker.

Since Brown burned, repaired and reburned his bridges with the Oakland Raiders of Las Vegas, speculation on his next landing spot has universally listed Foxborough, Mass., as one that makes oodles of sense. The theory, well rooted in history, is that one of Bill Belichick’s greatest knacks is the care and feeding of NFL bad boys.

So there was no great shock when Belichick took on his most challenging restoration project. If he can coax a Pro Bowl season out of Brown while keeping the worst side of his nature under lock and key, Belichick should be considered the Greatest Personnel Manager of All Time.

His standard method is simple enough. Belichick signs them, focuses them on winning a championship and putting together a season that will result in gigantic dollars in free agency.

One might argue that Focus No. 2 is really No. 1 in the eyes of these reclamation projects, but no one will care if a championship is won.

In the early years of the dynasty, some of these men liked New England – and the winning – so much that they hung around for another Super Bowl run. Recent recovering pariahs are happy to win one and declare their time in New England done.

But none of those problem-players were in Brown’s league when it comes to volcanic sideshows. His final two days with the Raiders will be dissected by amateur football psychologists for as long as there is football.

Brown’s undeniable talent is negated by the greater risk of his being a self-absorbed, braying jackass the first time he perceives a slight. And he isn’t someone who will simply stop talking and brood his way along.

One might argue that Focus No. 2 is really No. 1 in the eyes of these reclamation projects, but no one will care if a championship is won.

In the early years of the dynasty, some of these men liked New England – and the winning – so much that they hung around for another Super Bowl run. Recent recovering pariahs are happy to win one and declare their time in New England done.

But none of those problem-players were in Brown’s league when it comes to volcanic sideshows. His final two days with the Raiders will be dissected by amateur football psychologists for as long as there is football.

Brown’s undeniable talent is negated by the greater risk of his being a self-absorbed, braying jackass the first time he perceives a slight. And he isn’t someone who will simply stop talking and brood his way along.

TIME TRAVEL: Sept. 8, 1959 – “Dr. Marion Fairfield and Dick Dion successfully defended their Nashua Country Club golf championships by turning down two formidable challengers, Bette Tirrell and Dr. Danny Murphy,

yesterday.

“Both champs were pushed right down to the wire before they notched victories in two of the most thrilling matches ever staged for the local men’s and women’s club

championships.”

AND FINALLY: The odds-on favorite for this season’s worst decision by a third-base coach belongs to the Red Sox’ Carlos Febles for the final out of Thursday night’s loss to the Twins.

Down one run with Rafael Devers on first base and two outs, J.D. Martinez skies a ball to left-center that, on a warm summer’s evening, may have made it to Lansdowne St. Instead it scraped The Wall.

Devers said later that his intention was to score from his first stride. Febles saw Twins left fielder Eddie Rosario take the ball and figured Rosario would have to make a perfect throw to nail Devers at the plate.

Well, the throw was perfect and Devers was out by plenty.

The decision boils down to this: Did the Red Sox have a better chance of pushing across the tying run, and perhaps the winning run, with two out and runners on second and third, or by trying to score the tying run from first on a Wall double?

There is a fine line between aggressive and foolish. That call was clearly over the line.

Alan Greenwood can be reached by phone at 594-1248, via email:

agreenwood@nashuatelegraph.com or follow him on Twitter: @Telegraph_ Alan.