To the delight of sports yapmeisters everywhere within listening distance, the molehills are reaching for the stars.
The Mount Everest of the moment concerns Tom Brady, which is hardly stunning. If Brady’s heart skips a beat, the ensuing blizzard of news bulletins will inspire speculation of his name appearing on a transplant list.
Over the weekend, we learned that Brady and the Patriots had come to terms on a contract extension. The wind gusts Sunday evening were New England’s collective exhale.
By Monday, word came that Brady wasn’t all that thrilled with the deal. Trying to expertly decipher the NFL’s rules concerning how much players are paid and how all that dough is distributed is far too mind-bending for at least one English major. Depending on others who are capable of both writing and ciphering, while Brady gets an $8 million raise this season, the following two years on the deal are pure salary cap voodoo.
Then it was discovered that Brady had put his $40 million mansion in Brookline, Mass., on the market. (Will realtors let anyone wander in for an open house or does admission require at least a million-dollar keychain?)
Cue the widespread panic – BRADY IS SELLING HIS HOUSE! THE DYNASTY IS OVER! HE’S GOING TO THE GIANTS! THE PATRIOTS ARE GOING TO MOVE BACK TO FENWAY PARK AND WIN THREE GAMES A YEAR!
Fortunately, if that hyperbole becomes overbearing, we have Dave Dombrowski to kick around. The Red Sox’ Vice President In Charge of Winning is feeling the heat as baseball’s highest player payroll becomes increasingly irrelevant in what looks to be a wide open field of American League contenders.
A pretty solid case can be made that Dombrowski has put the club in a precarious long-term position.
The farm system is barren and there may not be a bottomless pool of money to satisfy the core of talent that is approaching free agency.
Since the Pats are still in training camp and look quite well equipped to make another Super Bowl run, let’s focus on the Dombrowski Watch for the next few weeks.
TIME TRAVEL: Aug. 8, 1989 – “STAMFORD, Conn. – As Middletown traveled back up I-95 to Rhode Island today, it can ponder the reality that makes its early departure from the 15-and-under New England Regional Babe Ruth Baseball League Tournament especially cruel.
“Two Middletown pitchers combined to one-hit Nashua on Monday night at Cubeta Stadium. Yet Nashua came away with a 5-4 victory to advance to today’s 8 p.m. contest with Brattleboro, Vt.
“… A five-walk second inning allowed three Nashua runs to cross the plate. Then came New Hampshire’s only hit, and it was well timed. With the bases loaded, Dan Rioux lined a two-run single to center to give Nashua a 5-0 lead. Rhode Island fought back but could not overcome the one disastrous inning.”
Nashua eventually lost to Taunton, Mass., in the losers bracket finals. But everyone had a chance to absorb the most valuable pitching lesson there is: Throw strikes.
AND FINALLY: Lost in the rhetorical rubble of Brady, Dombrowski and the rest, Dustin Pedroia’s big-league career receded deeper into the shadows Wednesday.
A brief press release issued by the Red Sox reported that Pedroia had “successfully undergone a left knee joint preservation procedure” Tuesday. “Pedroia will begin his rehabilitation in Arizona.”
Anyone who appreciates a true ballplayer who plays the game as it should be played has to be rooting for Pedroia’s return to big-league competition.
But those hopes and expectations are on widely separate parallel tracks. At age 35, with multiple knee surgeries, the odds of Pedroia being Pedroia again are immeasurable.
Contact Alan Greenwood at 594-1248, firstname.lastname@example.org, or @Telegraph_AlanG.com.