Is This the End for Dustin Pedroia?

ESPN – Boston Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia has doubts about whether he’ll be able to return this season as he continues to recover from major reconstructive knee surgery in the offseason. Pedroia, 34, returned to the lineup on May 26 but was back on the disabled list on June 2 with soreness in his knee. He is headed to Arizona to continue his rehabilitation treatment.

The Red Sox have not ruled Dustin Pedroia out for the year. In fact Alex Cora even said he expects to see Pedroia back on the field this year, but Pedey himself was much more cynical when asked about his return date.

“I’ve healed quick with every other injury I’ve had. But this is obviously different,” Pedroia told reporters Wednesday. “You can’t risk it. If I come back too early and the graft fails, then that’s it.”

That is scary. That sounds like a guy who is seriously concerned about his ability to recover from an injury. Forget returning to previous form, that is a guy who sounds like he might be done entirely.

It all goes back to the ominous quote from Dave Dombrowski last year when Pedroia injured his knee.

“The problem for Dustin is and will be, he has a bad knee. He’s had it for years. He’s going to have to deal with that and he does…but he has a bad knee that he’s going to have to watch and we’re going to have to watch for the rest of his career.”

At the time it was kind of out of left field. Sure we all knew Pedroia was constantly battling injuries, but I thought they were just an undersized dirt dog getting banged up from various ailments. Turns out it was a chronic knee issue and Dombrowski let it slip before any of the fans in town even realized.

So Pedroia seems to now be in wait and see mode as there’s not really much you can do to speed up recovery from a knee injury other than flying to Germany to get the A-Rod/Peyton Manning special sauce. For now he’ll chill out in Arizona and rehab at his own speed, but I doubt we see him back on the field at Fenway in 2018.

So if he does miss the rest of the year then what are the prospects for a 35 year old coming off a knee injury regaining his form next season? Can’t be great, right?

It’s something we discussed on The 300s Podcast on a recent episode; the days of Dustin Pedroia as your starting second baseman may be gone. Because when healthy, Pedroia can still absolutely mash and is one of the toughest outs in baseball, but therein lies the problem; Pedroia is rarely healthy anymore. Not even including the lost season that is 2018, in the past 3 years he’s played 105, 154, and 93 games. So in the past 3+ seasons he’s played more than 105 games once. Not a great trend.

The best option for Pedroia may be to accept a utility role and even then the Red Sox may be less than thrilled paying a guy $12-$15 million per year to play 75 games. But, hey that contract of 8 years for $110M was a fucking steal at the time he signed it and anyone who says otherwise is just lying to your face. Pedroia can still hit so slip him into the DH role a couple nights a week and maybe you squeak 100 games out of the former MVP. It’s not ideal, but it’s better than the 3 games he played in 2018 (so far).

PS – Let us never forget that Pedroia’s knee injury flared up and has refused to heal since one very specific incident and that was when that dirtbag Manny Machado spiked him sliding into second last year. If you want Machado on this team then you can’t drink from my canteen.

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Coming Soon: The 300s Goes to Portland

The 300s took a trip north of the wall to imbibe the finest craft beers and take in some $12 baseball. We’ll have some highlights coming soon.

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Taunton Jackasses Taunt Goat

Three Taunton men have been arrested after police said a video circulated on social media of them blowing marijuana smoke into a goat’s face… [The goat] is now in the care of Animal Control, and is expected to be okay.

Image result for what the hell is wrong with you people gif

I have so many questions about this case. How high were these morons? How high do you have to be to think this sort of thing would be funny? Why did they have a goat in the first place? Are people keeping goats as pets these days? I will be very interested to see how this one plays out in court.

I’m glad to hear the goat will be okay, but I do wish it had kicked someone’s teeth out. That would’ve been the best form of justice in this case.

On a more upbeat note, this story reminded me of the goat on the classic Adam Sandler album What the Hell Happened to Me? If you didn’t have that album in middle school then you missed out. Do yourself a favor and give it a listen to start your Friday. I hadn’t heard it in a decade, and it still cracks me up.

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Today Marks the 5 Year Anniversary of the Infamous Boston Celtics Brooklyn Nets Trade of Pierce and Garnett for ALL the Draft Picks

So Facebook reminded me that today marks the 5 year anniversary of the Celtics-Nets trade of Paul Pierce and KG for a BOATLOAD of draft picks. At the time I was a young’n living in Allston still holding onto the heyday of the Celtics. Hell, that 2012 NBA playoffs commercial for the Celtics is still my favorite NBA commercial to this day.

Young, athletic teams are exciting, but in my opinion nothing is more fun to watch than the old, proud, savvy veterans making a last stand.

I still vividly remember when the trade was first announced on ESPN because I was sitting at White Horse crushing some $2 Coors Lights. At the time I was pretty bummed because I loved Paul Pierce and KG is my favorite Celtic of all time. Cue the Facebook memory!

This was the best Celtics squad of my lifetime finally broken up, and probably a couple of years too late. But don’t tell that to former Nets GM Billy King, who was more than willing to pay top dollar for guys entering their age-36 and age-37 seasons in Pierce and Garnett.

Just look at the fucking quotes from King and former Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov.

Honestly, did I think we could pull something like this off? No,” Nets general manager Billy King said during a Friday conference call. “… But (Celtics GM) Danny (Ainge) and I just kept working at it and got to the point where we both were comfortable.”

“Today, the basketball gods smiled on the Nets,” team owner Mikhail Prokhorov said in a statement. “With the arrival of Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce, we have achieved a great balance on our roster between veteran stars and young talents. This team will be dazzling to watch and tough to compete against.”

Laugh out loud funny looking back.

Obviously that trade has been roasted in the years since and while it seemed like an overpay at the time, it wasn’t completely outlandish. People, Sports Illustrated included, thought the Nets were going to be awesome.

So the thinking was, “welp whats a few late first round picks?”

As we joked on the podcast the other day, the Celtics drafting this year at No. 27 overall is house money — just draft an absolute scrub or roll the dice on an asshole. Late first rounders in the NBA are rarely game changers.

Except, as we all know, the Nets experiment bombed miserably. Historically bad. I joke with my buddy who is a Nets fan that this is going to be the greatest 30 for 30 ever.

For the price of FOUR first round picks the Nets got 75 games out of Paul Pierce and 96 games out of KG. In those two years the Nets went 44-38 and 38-44.

The Nets then blew it up and proceeded to go:

  • 21-61 (2015-16)
  • 20-62 (2016-17)
  • 28-54 (2017-18)

Holy. Shit. What a bad deal.

Meanwhile, with those Nets picks the Celtics went on to draft and/or acquire via trade:

  • James Young – No. 17 overall (2014)
  • Jaylen Brown – No. 3 overall (2016)
  • Jayson Tatum – No. 1 overall (2017) *Celtics traded down to No. 3 to take Tatum and in the process picked up the following piece below
  • Kings 2019 1st round pick
  • Kyrie Irving – via trade of the Nets’ No. 8 overall pick, Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic, and a second round pick

So we actually get one more bite at the apple due to Danny’s draft day trade last year. As long as the Kings don’t get the No. 1 overall pick it goes to the Celtics and that will officially wrap up this debacle of a Nets trade.

Thanks again to Mikhail, Jay-Z, Billy King, and the borough of Brooklyn for fast tracking the Celtics rebuild and putting us back on the brink of the NBA Finals in just 5 years! If Jayson Tatum becomes the 1st-Team All-NBA player like I think he will then Nets fans probably have no choice but to become full blown Celtics fans. I mean when you think about it, this is basically the Bizarro Nets. God its good to be a Boston fan.

 

PS – Oh yea, Jason Terry was part of that deal too, but the Jet only played one season with the Nets as well. Terry is *still* playing by the way as he just wrapped up his 18th season with the Bucks.

Double PS – Lets go back and look at some of the reactions to this trade when it was announced because with hindsight being 20/20 these are some of the worst takes you’ll ever see.

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The 300s 2018 Celtics Summer League Update

Editor’s Note: I’m sure you’ve all seen him on The 300s Podcast with such hot takes as “Uncle Drew was good,” but this is the first of many posts for the one and only Mattes. Lets gooo!

Now that we’ve reached the end of the 2018 NBA Summer League “regular season,” ya boy Mattes is here to update you on what’s been going on with the Boys in Green on the day of their MUCH ANTICIPATED (catch the sarcasm?) matchup with the New York Knicks’ summer squad in the first round of the league’s playoff tournament.

New Bird in Town

Larry Legend he is not, but youngster Jabari Bird has continued to make a name for himself this summer. I say that he has “continued” to do so because this guy isn’t actually entirely “new” – Bird was selected by the C’s with the 57th pick in the 2017 NBA Draft and has already made his NBA debut, which came as early as last October.

Bird then snuck onto the court quite a bit at the end of last season as well, averaging 16.0 minutes, 6.8 points, and 3.0 rebounds per game over the team’s final five regular-season contests, on 63 percent shooting from the field.

As if those numbers aren’t impressive enough, I was actually there, in the flesh, at the TD Garden on April 6, when Bird went off for 15 points in 24 minutes against the Bulls – with three rebounds, three assists, one steal, and one block, to boot. Bird was freakin’ relentless with his energy and intensity throughout the entire game, wowing the crowd with his quickness and INSANE athleticism (seriously, this kid can FLY and throws down some pretty gnarly dunks!), leading me to keep looking over at my nephew and asking the question: “Seriously, WHO THE FUCK IS THIS KID??!!” (Relax. He’s 14. He’s heard profanity before, all right??!!)

Though he didn’t receive any burn in the playoffs, Bird has undoubtedly been one of the stars of the summer league, averaging 18.0 points and almost five boards per game through three contests. Coach Jay Larranaga, Brad’s top assistant who was chosen to lead the team’s summer league squad, has continued to rave about Bird’s play and seemed to imply the other day that the 23-year-old could potentially see some more action this fall if he works a bit more on his defense.

That is…if Bird is actually on the roster.

Bird is currently a restricted free agent this summer (that was fast!) and has already garnered some interest from teams like Minnesota and Philadelphia, per the Boston Globe’s Gary Washburn. The Celts, though, may be unwilling to pony up anything more than the $77,250 qualifying offer they’ve already extended to Bird earlier this summer.

Also, particularly if Marcus Smart does return, there may not even be a whole lot of minutes available for Bird in the rotation this upcoming seasonRegardless of what happens, this kid deserves some recognition, and here’s to hoping he can be a nice end-of-the-bench secret weapon for the Green in 2018-19.

Bad Start for Bob

If you listened to Sunday’s podcast, you heard Red and I briefly discuss the Celtics’ newest member and only 2018 draft pick, Robert Williams, to whom I am affectionately referring as “Bob” for the time being.

You see, Bob is super talented. He is a 6’10”, 240-ish-pound athletic freak who could really serve as a force the team has been lacking down low for quite some time. In fact, ESPN thought so highly of Williams as a player that he was ranked as their 12th overall prospect (ESPN Insider subscription required) in the draft, which is amazing because the Celtics got him with the TWENTY-SEVENTH pick in the first round, leading many to believe Danny Ainge has duped the league again and obtained the steal of the year.

But, Mattes, why would a guy who supposedly should’ve been a lottery pick fall all the way to the end of the first round, just three picks away from missing out on being drafted in the first round entirely?

Well, my friends, that is because perhaps we should be more aptly referring to him as “Fred,” or rather “Forgetful Fred,” as the kid seriously needs to start getting his shit together.

After already being flagged by many scouts for effort and motor issues – hence the fall from grace on draft night – he then missed what was supposed to be his first conference call as a Celtic the very next morning after he was drafted because he overslept. Oh, AND THEN he missed the team’s flight out to Vegas a week later, subsequently missing the team’s first summer league practice.

Way to start off with a bang, Bob!

He was able to play in the team’s first summer league game on July 6, piling up four points and two rebounds in seven minutes of action…before exiting the game in the first quarter with what is being considered a knee contusion. Williams then sat out the rest of that game, and he was not able to play in either of the team’s two other summer league contests so far.

NOW, we get the news, first reported by Fred Katz at MassLive, that the rookie has an artery condition in his legs which can cause cramping, fatigue, and calf pain when being active. It’s being described as “not too serious,” and apparently the team was aware of the condition on draft night. However, it’s still not the most comforting thing to hear about your 20-year-old rookie stud.

Woof!

Look, I’m not saying to sound the alarm yet. I’m just saying it hasn’t been the most glorious start for the young fella.

But hey, I wasn’t completely ready to start adulting at 20 years old either, and at least he’s not getting in brawls or being a creep off the court. Also, the team doesn’t seem too worried about the other health-related stuff, so I won’t sweat it too much yet either.

You got the talent, Bob, and we’re all sure as hell rooting for ya. It can only go up from here.

Smart STILL Waiting

After a WHIRLWIND first few days of free agency throughout the NBA – which included the King choosing to flee Cleveland for the Land of Angels, Paul George deciding to stay put in OKC, and DeMarcus Cousins effectively ending the point of even watching the NBA next year by joining the damn Warriors – it seems as though some of the other premier free agents slipped through the cracks a bit, which includes our friend Marcus Smart.

I, for one, am a BIG Marcus Smart fan, and I believe his tough, grit-and-balls style of play WILL win us a championship in the next year or two. While his offensive numbers don’t pop off the stat sheet – and while he has taken maybe one-too-many three pointers (or 90) in his career – there are very few players in the league that can make as much of an impact on a game defensively as Smart. The guy gives a MILLION-percent effort every night, every play, and I think people are really overlooking the value he brings to this team.

Alas, the NBA is a business, as they say, and poor Marcus feels a bit slighted that he isn’t receiving the type of offers he expected to get once he hit the market as a restricted free agent this summer. Even worse, he claims the Celtics have barely tried to work with him at all throughout the negotiation process, and now he feels unwanted. (Considering the fact that Dante-FREAKIN’-Exum received a three-year, $33 million deal for being pretty mediocre on the bench in Utah for the past four seasons, one of which he missed entirely, I can’t really blame Smart for being so butthurt.)

It seems as though the Celtics aren’t willing to offer anything more than a one-year qualifying offer at this point, and if Smart wants to remain in Green this year then that’s what he’s going to have to accept. He could then simply play his balls off this year and hope that the market’s better for him next summer, when he’ll also be unrestricted and have way more freedom to go wherever the hell he wants.

However, per NBC Sports Boston’s A. Sherrod Blakely, perhaps Sacramento is interested in paying up for Smart after offering Zach LaVine almost $80 million this offseason (barf!), only to see Chicago match the offer and bring LaVine back to the Windy City. If the Kings were to offer the same, or even $20 million or $30 million less than that, for Smart, the Celtics would have a very difficult time matching and would most likely end up losing a key rotation piece.

I understand that money rules the world, and if the Kings offer that much money then the Celts are going to need to let Smart walk.

But come on, Danny, figure something out. And quick. We can’t lose this guy.

So there you have it! Your mid-summer report on the Green. Be sure to keep checking in with The 300s for more updates throughout the rest of the offseason, and subscribe to The 300s Podcast on iTunes, Google Play, and now Spotify!

Till next time…

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The 300s Podcast: The Dog Days of Summer Mean It’s Officially Red Sox Season

Start your weekend early with The 300s Podcast + it only takes 2 minutes before the first “Homer at the Bat” reference. Listen, subscribe, rate and review on iTunes, Google Play, and The 300s Podcast is also NOW ON SPOTIFYYYYY

Seeing as its the dog days of summer and there’s no other Boston teams playing, unless you count the Revs and the Cannons, pretty much everyone’s attention has shifted towards the Red Sox finally. So that’s what we’re gonna focus on today.

BONUS: If you catch the obscure reference 37 minutes in and tweet us a GIF from that movie, you win a prize.

-The Death of Baseball has been Greatly Exaggerated
-Outlaw the Shift?!
-Why Does the Media Insist Nobody Cares About the Red Sox When Ratings Are in Fact UP?
-JD Martinez may legitimately challenge for the Triple Crown this year.
-The 300’s Top 3

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LiAngelo Ball Signs with Los Angeles…in the League LaVar Ball Started

Yahoo – After working out with a number of NBA teams ahead of the 2018 NBA draft, LiAngelo Ball has found a home — in the Junior Ball Association. Per a release sent Monday, LiAngelo Ball will indeed play in the league started by his dad, LaVar Ball. He will also play on the Los Angeles Ballers team with his brother, LaMelo.

I would be doing a disservice to our fans if I didn’t chime in on the latest Ball family news. To be honest, I’ve fallen off on my viewership of Ball in the Family, which ain’t terrible. The show does a good job of painting LaVar as a guy that just wants the best for his family at all costs more so than the overbearing asshole we see popping off in the media piggybacking off his son’s fame. Thats probablyyy the exact intent of the show though so I won’t be putting LaVar into the parenting hall of fame or anything, but its worth checking out. Plus it is produced by Bunim and Murray so if you’ve watched just about any reality TV show in the past 20 years then you’ll feel oddly at home watching this on Facebook of all places.

Now with all the niceties out of the way, lets get to the latest Ball family news. Remember when LaVar Ball screamed from the rooftop that there should be a league where young guys can play and develop their game while also getting paid, without having to go to places like, oh ya know, motherfucking Lithuania?? Well he actually went and made that league; the Junior Ball Association. We actually blogged about this a while back and as we said, its not the worst idea.

“The modern day Vince McMahon just continues to roll along with his idea du jour; an alternative basketball league to compete with the NCAA. It’s geared at top players who don’t want to go to college, or ya know shit holes like Lithuania. Ya think LaMelo and LiAngelo might prefer playing in this league rather than taking trains and ferrys to Baltic League games in Kiev?

I gotta admit, this guy is COCKY, and it is contagious. Because on its face, its not a bad idea. If the NBA is so stuck on its “One and Done” rule (which it may actually get rid of sooner than later) then whats the point of a guy going to Duke for 8 months and showing up to a handful of classes posing as a college student like he’s in Never Been Kissed?”

With that being said LiAngelo Ball signing with and getting paid to play in the JBA, after failing to get drafted in the NBA or latch on with a summer league team, is downright laughable.

“At age 19, Ball was not selected in the 2018 NBA draft, nor did he sign on with an NBA Summer League team. Weeks ago, in an interview with NiceKicks.com, Ball said he was not going to play in the JBA. “I feel like that’s taking a step back for me,” he said June 27 to Nice Kicks. “If I have to play in the G-League then that’s what it’s going to be. I’m not running away from the work.”

Whoops.

This was to be expected as Woj said he had “no shot” of getting drafted and literally quoted GMs as laughing about the thought. Ouch.

So now we turn to the league that dad started. For anyone buried in student loans who has friends or coworkers that are buying houses and leasing out condos they’ve bought because they came from a well off family — this shit has to drive you insane.

LiAngelo seems like a nice enough dude besides the whole nearly starting World War III between the US and China because he needed to shoplift some fresh shades. Still to this day, avoiding an international incident after all that is DT45’s greatest accomplishment.

But I just cannot see this news without laughing at how soft it comes off. Just think about every rich kid you know, its hard to truly respect someone that has had it that easy.
Imagine you couldn’t get a job at the company you wanted to work for so your dad just up and makes a company for you to work at and get paid? That sounds like something out of a sitcom.

Like Ray Romano’s kid doesn’t make the baseball team so Ray and Robert start their own team and put all their own money into it. Sure, Debra would probably bitch and moan about it for the whole 22 minutes, but Ray doesn’t give a shit about Debra, hasn’t for years. Hilarity ensues.

But hey, play the hand your dealt I guess. Lonzo was a legit NCAA stud and top NBA draft pick. LiAngelo probably only got recruited to play at UCLA because of his brother. Meanwhile, the youngest of the three, LaMelo, has some potential to make the NBA. So if you’re the middle brother who’s stuck in no mans land, might as well take dad’s money, play ball in Los Angeles, all while still getting to put “Professional Athlete” on your LinkedIn page.

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