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Some things to believe in

Posted by Tony Massarotti, Globe Staff  June 15, 2012 07:14 AM

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Today, on the one-year anniversary of the Bruins' Game 7 victory over the Vancouver Canucks in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup finals, I believe that Boston is still the best sports town in America, that no one else really compares, that even in the absence of a title since then Boston has played for one championship (in the NFL) and came within a whisker of playing for another (in the NBA).

I believe that despite similar records since Sept. 1 of last year, the Red Sox are not at all like the Chicago Cubs and that comparing the plights of the two franchises is a convenience of mathematics and an obvious thing to do given the goings and comings of Theo Epstein.

I believe the Patriots are loaded, with a deep and talented roster, and that they are about to prove that losing the Super Bowl does not jinx your chances for the next one.

Rather, I believe the loss can improve them.

I believe that Kevin Garnett is going wake up one day and retire, that an impending departure from the NBA is what fueled him, and that Danny Ainge now faces perhaps his greatest challenge as the Celtics' basketball architect.

Because when Ainge rebuilt the Celtics the first time, we didn't have the expectations we do now.

I believe that as baseball detaches from the steroids era, pitching throughout the game has improved while the pitching in Boston has deteriorated.

And I would like to know why.

I believe that Tim Thomas is sticking it to the Bruins, at least on some level, though I believe there is probably a whole heck of a lot more to the story.

I believe that Aaron Hernandez is really a wide receiver, that Daniel Fells and Bo Scaife are now behind Rob Gronkowski on the depth chart, and that Tom Brady has more toys to play with this year than his children.

I believe that if Rajon Rondo can continue to improve as a shooter, that people like me will have to admit that we were wrong and that Rondo could become an indisputable force for years to come.

Because when Rondo made his jumpers in Game 2 of the Miami series, that is exactly what he was.

I believe that Theo Epstein was a good general manager here, that he inherited a good team from Dan Duquette, and that if media people could put aside their personal and professional biases they would have seen that a long time ago instead of seeing it now.

Because I believe that Epstein was responsible for, among others, Daisuke Matsuzaka, Julio Lugo, Edgar Renteria, and J.D. Drew, and that he wanted Jose Contreras as badly as he wanted Matsuzaka.

I also believe that Epstein never wanted anything to do with John Lackey, that the Red Sox player development system generally flourished during his tenure, that Red Sox ownership should have coughed up the extra dough and listened to him when he wanted to sign Mark Teixeira.

Because I believe, in the event you have not noticed, that the balance of power in the American League East shifted when Teixeira ended up in New York, that the Red Sox have not won a playoff game since, that Boston ultimately had to give up basically the same money and highly regarded prospects to get Adrian Gonzalez.

I believe the Bruins need to add a top six forward because both Milan Lucic (restricted) and Nathan Horton (unrestricted) are free agents at the end of next season, and that a salary increase for either seems unwise.

I believe that Roger Clemens is guilty.

I believe the same of Jerry Sandusky.

And the same of Lance Armstrong.

I believe that LeBron James is getting closer, that he is maturing as a player and person, that he is finally starting to understand that all the world ever wanted was to see a little humility.

But I also believe that he is going to lose again this year.

I believe that the Miami Dolphins signed Chad Ochocinco almost exclusively for "Hard Knocks."

I believe that Tim Tebow will work out far better with the New York Jets than anyone imagines.

I believe that Devin McCourty should remain at safety unless or until the Patriots have injuries at cornerback.

I believe the Red Sox should do everything in their power to start making the transition now to younger players like Will Middlebrooks, Ryan Kalish, and Ryan Lavarnway, because I think the Sox will be far better off in the long term as a result.

I also believe the Red Sox will be better off in the short term.

I believe that summer is now an underrated time of year in the world of professional sports, what with the major league trading deadline, free agency in the NHL and NBA, and the start of training camp and personnel evaluations in the NFL.

And I believe, finally, that Boston will somehow be among a group of cities in the middle of it all, that administrators for the Red Sox, Celtics, Patriots and Bruins will looking to further extend what is already one of the great runs in professional sports, the local teams now having produced a stunning 16 trips to the league semifinals or better since the start of this millennium.

I believe that has to be some kind of record.

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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