Baseball Bats

Red Sox may have tougher time filling most important needs

Floating down a lonesome stream of consciousness, wondering if Carolina Panthers tough guy Brian Burns really does have the psyche of an 8-year-old …

The Red Sox officially welcomed the news that JD Martinez will stay for another season. Here’s betting that if Chaim Bloom were given a dose of truth serum, he’d admit that paying Martinez $19.35 million for 2022 is not exactly how he plotted out his overall spending plan.

It isn’t that Martinez deserves a swift kick out the door. From this distance, he seems like an OK guy who goes about his business and hasn’t been infected by the behavioral malady that has found a higher gear than could ever have been foreseen.

And his numbers weren’t exactly wretched: .286, 28 homers, 99 RBIs. But in June, July and August his average came in at .253, .244 and .276. Maybe that was due to his playing through a wrist injury and an aching back. While a sprained left ankle kept him off the roster for the wild-card playoff game, he logged 148 games.

Before a flood of numbers submerge an anti-analytics scribe, the reality is that his 34th birthday awaits him next August. Some big-leaguers are fully capable of clearing that hurdle and more. Some aren’t.

Maybe the Red Sox are willing to go without any sort of self-imposed salary cap, regardless of what happens with the new collective bargaining agreement. A member of baseball’s financial elite can spend whatever it wants to spend.

But at the moment, Martinez’s return may complicate their ability to improve their infield defense and pitching deficiencies. …

Speaking of the labor strife that looms over Major League Baseball, it is not difficult to believe that the owners and players are willing to take a big-time gamble by marching off a cliff for the first time in 26 years.

Whatever strides MLB has made in rekindling interest in its product – and they have been baby steps – would be wiped out of the sides dawdle over making a deal before pitchers and catchers are due arrive at spring training.

At some point bickering over the allocation of billions of dollars is going to be a suicide mission. Someone may want to school both sides on that reality. …

Bonehead of the week – or month, or year – must go to Aaron Rodgers. In testing positive for COVID-19, after failing to get vaccinated, the Packers quarterback missed a game (what a team players) and publicly dismissed the vaccine itself with a platter of moldy rhetoric.

That’s just what we need during a pandemic – a high-profile nitwit who was fortunate enough to dodge a diseased bullet telling his fandom that this vaccination stuff is a myth conjured by the “woke mob.” Whatever the hell a woke mob is. …

Brian Burns is waiting for an apology Mac Jones after Jones held him by the ankle so he couldn’t retrieve a fumbled football.

Acknowledging that the chances of receiving such an apology are zero, Burns cheered on the defensive ends who will play against Jones the rest of this season.

“Happy hunting,” Burns said.

Is there a vaccine out there to ward off idiocy?

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