It’s been a tough few days at Boston Sports. The “City of Champions” is suffering a series of blows, with fans gnashing their teeth and wailing for the state of the team.
On Monday, the Boston Celtics hosted their annual preseason media day. When it was originally scheduled a few months ago, the day was supposed to be the starting line for coverage of a season of optimism. The Celtics stunned the basketball world last season with a stunning second half and a run to the NBA Finals. With their young core intact, this team should be the favorite for the Eastern Conference champions.
Instead, the Celtics are battered by disgraced coach Ime Udoka’s year-long suspension after an investigation determined he entered into a consensual relationship with a team staffer in violation of team policy. Shock.
“This is an unfortunate situation for everyone involved,” said interim coach Joe Mazura. “You have to give people time and space to feel, and time and space to heal.”
While the Celtics answered questions about Udoka, the New England Patriots struggled with an injury to quarterback Mike Jones in the fourth quarter of Sunday’s crushing loss to the Baltimore Ravens.
“There is no certainty at this point,” coach Bill Belichick said during a meeting with reporters on Monday. The report said Jones suffered a severe ankle sprain and will have to miss time.
That means Brian Hoyer — who is approaching his 37th birthday — is likely to be the team’s starting QB heading to Green Bay this weekend. This will be Hoyer’s first start since 2020.
Putting Hoyer at center isn’t an ideal situation for a team against Baltimore on Sunday. In the home opener at Gillette Stadium, turnovers and interceptions killed any chance of winning.
Losing Jones won’t help the Patriots win, but a bigger loss could lie in developing a second-year quarterback who shows potential. Jones’ first three weeks of the year have been shaky at best, and losing him in any significant period will no doubt set him back.
In the midst of it all, the Boston Red Sox were eliminated from the playoffs after being swept in a four-game series at Yankee Stadium in New York. The Yankees’ playoffs usually make headlines in Boston, but Sunday night’s loss was almost a blip on the local radar.
The playoffs are a foregone conclusion for the Red Sox, who are destined for a penultimate finish in three years. Most fans are probably surprised that this team is still alive in the playoff chase when it comes out. After an hour and 38 minutes of rain delays, playoff hopes were officially dashed.
The game officially started at 10:45 p.m., with Aaron Judge hitting the deck with 60 home runs this season. He never did that on his next bat, and now he’ll try to tie Roger Maris’ American League record in Toronto.
It’s a small consolation that the Red Sox were able to keep Judge in the yard for a four-game series. However, that’s what happened at the end of this final season. Losing four straight but preventing the home run leader from making history is the closest the Red Sox has come to winning.
It’s another disappointment, but we’ve all seen it. Not as heartbreaking as the disappointment oozing from the parquet floors and grill as we approached in October.
Tom Caron is the studio host of the Red Sox radio on NESN. His column appears every Tuesday in the Portland News-Herald.
Interim coach says Celtics ‘can’t rush recovery’ after Udoka ban
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