Morning Sports Update

Matthew Slater optimistic after Patriots’ offseason, but knows ‘spending money doesn’t equal results’

Despite the "exciting" signings, Slater noted that "excitement only gets you so far."

Matthew Slater
Matthew Slater before a Patriots-Jets game in January, 2021. AP Photo/Elise Amendola

The Red Sox defeated the Blue Jays 2-1 on Monday night thanks to a walk-off single from Rafael Devers. Boston split the four-game series with Toronto, and now face Atlanta in a two-game set starting at 7:20 p.m. tonight.

And the Patriots continue mandatory mini-camp today after Monday’s opener.

Matthew Slater’s take on the Patriots’ offseason: Following a bevy of offseason additions, the Patriots look poised to bounce back from a 7-9 season in 2020.

But as special teams ace Matthew Slater pointed out on Monday, winning the offseason means nothing if it doesn’t translate onto the field.

“It was an exciting time because I think we acquired some fantastic football players,” Slater said of the offseason during a video press conference. “More importantly, we got some great men that are going to be great assets to our locker room. But I understand just as well as anyone else that spending money doesn’t equal results.

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“For us, it’s going to be about coming together, executing, respecting the process of trying to get better, of trying to work with one another, and winning each and every day,” Slater added. “So it is exciting, to an extent. But excitement only gets you so far. At some point you have to go out there and work and earn it and prove it.”

New England continues with mini-camp practices through Thursday. The team’s training camp will open in July.

Trivia: Matthew Slater is the son of NFL Hall of Fame offensive lineman Jackie Slater. Jackie was selected by the Rams in the third round of the 1976 draft. Which future Hall of Famer did the Patriots pick that year in the first round?

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(Answer at the bottom).

Hint: He won Super Bowl XVIII with the Raiders.

More from Boston.com:

Incredible content: A fan caught a home run during the Dallas Baptist vs. Virginia college baseball matchup on Monday and filmed it in real time.

Kawhi Leonard’s emphatic dunk on Derrick Favors in the Clippers’ Game 4 win: Philadelphia’s Joel Embiid even stopped his press conference to marvel at Leonard’s slam.

On this day: In 1976, the Red Sox briefly purchased All-Star outfielder Joe Rudi and future Hall of Fame relief pitcher Rollie Fingers from the Athletics for $1 million each.

Oakland owner Charles O. Finley sought to cash in on his dynastic baseball team (winner of three straight World Series titles from 1972-1974), selling Rudi and Fingers to Boston while simultaneously selling starting pitcher Vida Blue to the Yankees for a reported fee of $1.5 million.

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Though it appeared to be a pennant-winning pair of moves for the Red Sox, it proved a short-lived coup. On June 18, Major League Baseball commissioner Bowie Kuhn announced that he had voided Finley’s sales, stating that he was acting in “the best interests of baseball.”

Finley challenged Kuhn in court, but lost in a 1977 decision in which U.S. District Court judge Frank McGarr sided with the league’s interests.

Rudi eventually ended up in Boston in 1981 after he was traded from the Angels to the Red Sox as part of a deal that sent superstar outfielder Fred Lynn to California following one of the more bizarre contractual disputes in team history.

Red Sox Rollie Fingers Joe Rudi
The Boston Globe’s front page story on the short-lived Red Sox-Athletics deal from June, 1976. – Via Globe Archives

Daily highlight: If you missed Patrik Schick’s stunning half-field goal for the Czech Republic on Monday, check that out in yesterday’s Morning Sports Update.

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But Schick wasn’t the only one scoring highlight goals on Monday. A more familiar name made his mark in Argentina’s 1-1- draw with Chile in each team’s Copa America opener.

One more look at some Lionel Messi magic:

Trivia answer: Mike Haynes

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