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Leading off . . .

Posted by Tony Massarotti, Globe Staff  September 4, 2008 09:14 AM

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In the immortal words of The Admiral, James Bond Stockdale:

Who am I? Why am I here?

For the moment, we'll spare you the resume and get to the greater (and far more relevant) point. These are fascinating times in the history of Boston sports and the ways we learn about them - and definitely in that order. The Celtics are NBA champions. The Patriots somehow have turned Foxborough into a Disney World-like destination. The Red Sox are playing their best baseball of the season, fueled by a tank engine (Dustin Pedroia) who might very well lead them to their second straight World Series title and third in five years.

09042008pedroia215.jpg
Dustin Pedroia (AP)

Even the Bruins are preparing to enter the coming season with that greater of all things: Hope.

And yet, the more things change, the more they remain the same. Boston always has been a place with an insatiable appetite for sports and competition, particularly at the highest levels. What the Celtics have reclaimed means more because of the depths to which they had sunk. What the Patriots have built means more because the franchise was once the laughingstock not only of the NFL, but in all of professional sports. What the Red Sox have accomplished means more because they have overcome their demons in this age of self-reflection and intense psychotherapy.

Along the way, the one thing that connected them all (and connects the Bruins now) is that we always have cared, for whatever reason, even if some of the seats might have been empty. On the occasions we didn't show up, we wanted to.

We just needed a better reason.

And so now the games are perpetually sold out, from Causeway Street to Route 1 to Yawkey Way, which brings us to this: The morning paper alone is not enough anymore, and truth be told, hasn't been for some time. The game of life (pardon the cliche) moves far more quickly than the games in our local arenas, and you do not merely want to know now. You need to know now. Wireless devices have become our connection to the world.

(Please note that neither this space, nor this entire site, has yet to be equipped with Bluetooth technology.)

The goal here, in this specific nook of a wildly expanding galaxy, is a fundamental one: To further add to what is already the most intense and thorough sports coverage in the country. You can (and should) continue to read Bob Ryan, Dan Shaughnessy and the entire stable of thoroughbreds under the care of sports editor Joe Sullivan. My role is to augment all of that, primarily during the middle of the day, that time where newspapers formerly gathered their information before congregating to dispense it.

We're a 24-hour store. And thanks again to the Internet, we even have drive-thru.

Nonetheless, we're not interested in serving solely chicken nuggets here, and not everything will come packaged as a happy meal. Compared with many other sports markets, one of the true beauties of being in Boston is that we feel empowered to speak our minds. We have the right to second-guess, to criticize and to speculate, and rest assured that we will implement those rights. The good news for you is that you have a much stronger voice, too, and you are encouraged to use it.

These days, you don't need to grab paper and a pen, write a letter, address the envelope and make a detour to the post office.

Like Jerry Maguire, you merely have to fire off a missive. Then hit "send."

In recent years, as the Internet has continued to grow and informational distribution has changed, a predictable and indisputable chasm formed between old media and new media. Our hope is to bring you the best of both worlds -- the accountability and access of the old school with the speed, ingenuity, and interplay of the new. Certainly, we are going to make our mistakes along the way. Unfortunately, failure is almost always a side effect of development and growth.

Me? I'll spare you the boring details other than to say I am a 40-year-old lifelong Bostonian who has been writing about high school, college, and professional sports here for nearly 20 years. Even when it might not seem like it, I truly enjoy what I do. On this side, all you can ever ask is that people care enough to read what you write.

Clearly, you care.

Now let's see if we can start filling in some of those gaps.

Tony's Top 5

Favorite blog entries

5
The final chapter on Teixeira and How Red Sox pitchers work the strike zone Jan. 7, 2009 and July 17, 2009. Some actual reporting – an obsession with Mark Teixeira and the art of pitching.
4
For 2011 Red Sox, there was plenty of blame to go around Oct. 1, 2011. The disgraceful collapse of the Red Sox stoked the fire in all of us.
3
Behind Garnett and James, Celtics and Heat are digging in June 4, 2012. Improbably, the Celtics pushed the Heat to the limit.
2
Thrill is back for Patriots Jan. 30, 2012. Another Super Bowl has even Bill Belichick musing.
1
You’ve got to believe June 15, 2011. On the morning of Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals, we all had reason to believe.
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Updated: Mar 1, 07:24 AM

About Mazz

Tony Massarotti is a Globe sportswriter and has been writing about sports in Boston for the last 19 years. A lifelong Bostonian, Massarotti graduated from Waltham High School and Tufts University. He was voted the Massachusetts Sportswriter of the Year by his peers in 2000 and 2008 and has been a finalist for the award on several other occasions. This blog won a 2008 EPpy award for "Best Sports Blog".

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