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On Patriots cuts, Bruins newcomers, and more

Posted by Chad Finn, Globe Staff  August 30, 2013 12:22 PM

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Ten free minutes for me, 10 free throwaway lines for you ...

wilson-big.r[1].jpg1. I hope Adrian Wilson makes the Patriots. I don't think he will. And I don't know about you, but I caught myself daydreaming Thursday night, as he spent the fourth quarter on the field with far less accomplished players, about how much of a difference he might have made in the Patriots defensive backfield the past few seasons had they been fortunate enough to have him in his prime. If only they'd acquired him a couple of years earlier rather than a year too late. (Now watch: Bill Belichick will keep him rather than sending him the way of John Lynch and Tank Williams.)

2. The "surprise" cuts are already coming, what with the report that tight end Jake Ballard has been let go. Wonder if he ends up back with the Giants. I suppose it could be taken as a good indication that Rob Gronkowski may be back sooner than expected, or that Zach Sudfeld has the coaching staff's faith. Or maybe it just means Ballard hasn't recovered from his knee injury. This much we are sure of: If you're a veteran player on the field deep into the fourth quarter of the final preseason game, you're probably going to be turning in that playbook soon.

3. I cannot believe the Bruins opener is Oct. 3, barely more than a month away. Chicago feels like yesterday. But I can't recall being as eager for the start of a new season as I am for this one. Nathan Horton will be missed, but I can't wait to see what Jarome Iginla and Loui Eriksson bring. They should be ideal fits.

4. And that's one among the many reasons that Peter Chiarelli's contract extension, announced this morning, is great news. He, along with Cam Neely and Claude Julien, have built more than a team. They've built an organization -- pronounced or-gan-EYE-zay-shun, of course -- in which they acquire and develop players who fit a structure that is already in place.

5. Quick question: Which team has/had more individual talent on its roster, the current Celtics excluding the injured Rajon Rondo, or the 1996-97 Celtics that featured Rick Fox, David Wesley, Antoine Walker, Dee Brown, Dana Barros, Dino Radja, and Todd Day? That team, as mismatched and poorly guided as they were, had some decent talent. And they won 15 games.

.victorinoshane830finn.jpg6. You remember him as a Padre? I don't. Probably because he had a .410 OPS in 83 plate appearances in 2003. He didn't really break through with the Phillies until 2006.

7. Not sure how even the most delusional Yankees fan can defend Derek Jeter's defense after reading -- and watching -- this extraordinary piece by Ben Lindbergh at Grantland. It even demythologizes the value of the jump throw.

8. Sports Illustrated picks the Patriots to win the Super Bowl, beating Pete Carroll's Seahawks. ESPN the Magazine has them going 9-7, losing the division to the Dolphins and missing the postseason altogether. Do with that what you will.

9. I do hope Jerry Remy comes back next year, but it's a heck of a thing when the fill-in is arguably the best color analyst in baseball, national or otherwise. I hope NESN recognizes what it has in Dennis Eckersley.

10. As for today's Completely Random Baskeball Card:

chieffinn825.jpg

Happy 60th (60th!) to The Chief, the unsung member of the Big Three and so essential to those great '80s Celtics teams.

About Touching All The Bases

Irreverence and insight from Chad Finn, a Globe/Boston.com sports writer and media columnist. A winner of several national and regional writing awards, he is the founder and sole contributor to the TATB blog, which launched in December 2004. Yes, he realizes how lucky he is.

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