Monday, July 18, 2016

Random Thoughts (July 18, 2016)

Once again, Tom Brady has proved to be the ultimate team player.

I wrote about it a little bit last week but the news that Tom Brady will not continue to appeal his four-game suspension for Deflategate deserves a few more lines.

Brady's decision to accept the suspension and end the appeal was the right move from the perspective of the team.  By ending his personal crusade against Roger Goodell's abuse of power, Brady once again has put the best interests of the Patriots above himself.  Brady's unselfishness has always been an integral piece of what makes him so successful and when his career obituary is written, this decision will serve as additional evidence of that.

Tom Brady wanted nothing more than to beat Goodell and the NFL in court and have his name cleared of the stench of cheating that was brought upon him by Deflategate,  He is a competitior that hates to lose and deciding to end the appeal process is, to Brady, a major defeat.  While losing is unacceptable, putting himself before the team is even worse to Brady.

By ending his battle at this point, Brady does get stuck with the stigma of being associated with cheating.  Even though there is no hard evidence that Brady had anything to do with a scheme to tamper with the footballs prior to the 2014 AFC Championship Game and there is scientific proof that it was the weather on that January day that caused the balls to loose air pressure, accepting the four-game suspension will be viewed by some as an admission of guilt. 

To Goodell, this was never about the air pressure in footballs to the commissioner.  It was about exercising his powers under the collective bargaining agreement and the NFL has pushed the Brady case for that single reason.  Goodell effectively sacrificed the reputation of one of his game's marquee stars in order to prove his power over the players.

Brady's decision allows Bill Belichick the opportunity to give training camp and preseason game reps to back-up quarterbacks Jimmy Garoppolo and Jacoby Brisset and the time needed to prepare them for their newly expanded roles for the first four games of the season.  If Brady had continued his appeal all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court and had lost, his suspension would have come in the middle of the season (and maybe carried into the playoffs) which would not have afforded Belichick the time needed to get his young back-up quarterbacks up to speed.


I give Dave Dombrowski credit.

The Red Sox President of Baseball Operations knows his team has a championship caliber offense but needs pitching.  So he went out and got them some pitchers.

After adding reliever Brad Ziegler from Arizona prior to the All-Star break, Dombrowski traded for Padres pitcher Drew Pomeranz right before the start of the second half.  The price for Pomeranz was hefty as it cost the Red Sox their top pitching prospect, Anderson Espinoza.

Dombrowski is taking a major risk with this trade.  Espinoza projects to be a top of the rotation starter but at age 18, no one really knows what his future will bring.  Pomeranz, while an All-Star this year, has a career record of 22-31 and is not considered a top of the rotation pitcher.  It will be interesting to see how the 27-year-old lefty transitions from a pitcher-friendly park in San Diego and the relatively easy confines of the N.L. West to Fenway Park, the A.L. East, and the pressure of a playoff race.

I love that Dombrowski is willing to gamble so much for an unproven commodity because he knows that despite the price, Pomeranz is an upgrade over what the Red Sox currently have in the middle of their rotation and he could be the difference between making the playoffs or not making the playoffs.

Some day, Espinoza could be a Cy Young winner who the Red Sox will lament as "one that got away" but Dave Dombrowski has a team right now that has a shot at the World Series and he made the right decision to try and upgrade his roster.  Pomeranz may not prove to be worth the sticker price but Dombrowski was right to take a shot.


If you did not make it to Fenway Park for the Paul McCartney show last night, you missed out on one amazing concert.


Enjoy the Russell Westbrook rumors.

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