|Ciao Bella! Celtics Open Pre-Season with win in Milan, Italy||Drew Brees Joins Tom Brady as Members of the 400 Club||Red Sox Season Finale Sees Orsillo’s Last Call, Farrell, Lovullo Announcement||Connelly’s Top Ten: Season Over, Bye Over, Old Restaurants|
Now that it’s finally clear the Mayans didn’t bring about the end of the world, SoB can get down to business making some predictions for the new year.
What sort of predictions, you ask? Fearless ones. Bold ones. Zero regard for possible Patriots playoff jinxes. Projected presidential candidates running on the Papa John’s platform. Celtics trade rumors and roster shakeups (or shakedowns, as the case may be). And the Red Sox. Oh, the Red Sox.
Unlike the Mayans, though, our writers’ predictions are going to come true, if only because none of them were stupid enough to crown the Red Sox 2013 AL East Champions. So read on to say you saw it here first on SoB: the crystal ball revealing the rest of 2013.
1) The New England Patriots will win Super Bowl XLVII by a score of 31-24 over the Seattle Seahawks. They will only pull out the victory after Gronk celebrates a 2nd quarter TD by spiking a ball so violently that it ricochets off a Seahawks defender and bloodies Russell Wilson’s nose.
2) Boston will try to solve their big-man woes by signing Greg Oden before next season, giving him a chance to resurrect his career. However, Oden will slip in a kiddie pool and be forced to retire without playing a minute for the Celtics.
3) Once hockey is played, Tuukka Rask will make everyone forget about Tim Thomas, and Dougie Hamilton will be a second line defender by the end of the season.
4) Manny Ramirez will admit to steroid use, but excuse himself from wrongdoing by saying that he “never really understood what the word ‘banned’ meant.” Everyone will believe him.
5) The Red Sox will still fail to make the playoffs, but prospects Xander Bogaerts and Jackie Bradley will perform well in brief September call-ups.
6) Ryan Hall will win the Boston Marathon, becoming the first American to win since 1983.
– Shane O’Neal
The Patriots will win Super Bowl 47 on February 3rd in New Orleans over the Green Bay Packers.
I will not attend work February 4th, and Rob Gronkowski will marry a Patriots cheerleader for approximately six hours.
Avery Bradley will continue to stay in front of his man on defense, Rajon Rondo will not, and the Celtics will lose in the first round of the playoffs.
The Red Sox will win the second wild card but lose the play-in game. John Lackey will drink more than he pitches.
The Revolution will continue to have double digit fans.
If the Bruins have a season, Adam McQuaid will be a fan favorite before the end of the year.
Sports of Boston will reach 1000 Likes on Facebook and slowly take over the world…
– Dan Connors
The Celtics will trade for DeMarcus Cousins. Even if it means giving up Rajon Rondo…
Look, this team isn’t going to knock on the door of the NBA Finals like it did last year. Danny Ainge has to be coming to the realization that the window for this team has closed in Year 6 of what was a three-year plan. Ainge also sees that Rondo is the player he is going to be. Rondo can dominate games with his passing and his activity in the passing lanes. Rondo won’t ever be a 20-point per game scorer, nor will he commit to locking down his opponent consistently the way Kevin Garnett does.
Cousins, on the other hand, is four years younger than Rondo, can dominate a game in all aspects (see his triple-double against the Celtics last week), and is 7 feet tall. Sure, he’s a huge pain in the ass, but the Celtics organization firmly believes in Garnett’s ability as a molder of men. Ainge has shown that he isn’t afraid to swing for the fences, and his back (and job) may be up against the wall. If Ainge can get Cousins and a starting caliber point guard or high lottery pick for Rondo, I think he pulls the trigger.
– Nathan Hodge
1) The Red Sox sellout streak will come to an end. Ownership will have a memorial and sell shirts, hats, bricks, sweaters, blankets, bats, balls, gloves, bumper stickers, binders, books, refrigerator magnets, rugs, coasters, koozies, towels, beach balls, stamps, socks (bloody is optional), and assorted non-vital organs to commemorate the longest sellout streak in MLB history.
2) The Red Sox will not win a series against Cleveland. New Indians manager Terry Francona will grace the New York Times best seller’s list with his new tell-all book.
3) The Patriots set a franchise record for rushing yards in a season. In response, Bill Belichick drafts a stud WR with their first pick in the draft. And Welker gets his contract.
4) The Pro Bowl will (finally) be reformatted. Here are some changes that will be made:
a. No contact – instead it will be two hand touch using Nike’s new handprint jersey technology.
b. Offensive and defensive lines will sit in motorized LazyBoys with their beverage of choice in hand.
c. Events will include: FG/Punter kicking power & accuracy, QB accuracy, RB/WR obstacle course, O & D Line eating competition, LB tackling course, and DB commit-a-pass-interference-without-getting-caught competition.
5) Tim Thomas will instagram his bomb shelter in Colorado, and the Bruins will trade away Thomas along with cash considerations. To anyone.
– Matt Vitello
The Red Sox woes continue in 2013 with a 4th place finish. Somehow, the blame falls on Bobby Valentine.
Josh Beckett will not exactly be a positive veteran influence on Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke. The “Beer, Fried Chicken, and Pirates club” opens a Western campus in LA.
The Celtics will pull it together and challenge the Heat to seven games in the Eastern Conference Finals. Their hopes will ultimately fall short due to an incident in Game 6 when Dwayne Wade literally detaches Rondo’s arm from his body, prematurely ending the point guard’s season. Wade will remain incredulous when he is, yet again, accused of being a dirty player.
The NFL and national media will do everything in their power to set up an AFC Conference Finals showdown between the Patriots and Broncos. After defeating the Patriots and routing the 49ers in the Super Bowl, Peyton Manning will immediately announce his intentions to run in the 2016 Presidential election.
A cartoon in which Aqib Talib, Zoltan Mesko, and Pat Patriot solve mysteries with their talking dog will air Sunday nights on Fox. Critical reception will be mixed.
– Josh Segal
NBA: Trade rumors continue to surround Rajon Rondo all year long, and still, nothing happens. The Celtics still get ousted in the first round by the 1 or 2 seed in the East.
MLB: Jacoby Ellsbury follows by way of Beckett and has a filthy first half in a contract/odd numbered year, and is promptly traded to a contender. Red Sox get back over .500 but come in fourth in the division, missing the playoffs again, besting only Baltimore in Buck Schowalter’s third season (notably worse than his second seasons).
NFL: Patriots beat the 49ers in the Super Bowl in a ridiculous grudge match. Colin Kaepernick chokes it away and people around the sports world finally question Jim Harbaugh’s decision to bench Alex Smith when the team was playing extremely well. Following their title, the Patriots trade out of the first round, even with evident team needs at WR after they can’t get a deal done with Wes Welker. He signs elsewhere for significantly more money than he should probably get, but good for him. The Pats pick up some late round picks and take two second round guys; one contributes to next year’s team (think interior offensive lineman) and the other disappears into the mist.
NHL: One key Bruins player – don’t know who – will suffer a major injury, prompting a New England-wide call for Jeremy Jacobs’ head on a platter.
– Dan McCarthy
1 John Farrell ejection
2 players from Opening Day 25-man roster traded
3 different pitchers with at least one save
4 batters with .300 averages
5 game losing streak–the longest of the season
6 batters with 15 home runs
7 starting pitchers used by the end of April
8 DL stints by players from Opening Day 25-man roster
9 errors at shortstop by Stephen Drew
10 wins by both John Lackey and Ryan Dempster
11 wins in 19 games against the Yankees
12 games missed by Jacoby Ellsbury
13 postseason games
And a partridge in a pear tree.
– Matthew Bond