Taking NHL, Red Sox to task – Boston Herald

Welcome to Kvetch of the Day, your chance to ask us your burning questions.

Sox fans have a lot of questions (another one is below) but we also have a question about the NHL from reader Larry Fraticelli of Leominster: “While Russia is destroying the Ukraine and its people, the USA along with most of the free world nations are boycotting Russia including athletic events and organizations. Where is the National Hockey League? There are over 40 hockey players from Russia and Belarus stuffing their pockets with American and Canadian dollars to spend in Russia and Belarus while world athletic tournaments and organizations are banning Russian and Belarus athletes from competing in their events. Even Russian ships are no longer allowed to dock at American ports. An American athlete, Brittney Griner, is being held captive in Russia and we have yet to hear a word from the NHL about Russian hockey players participating in our North American hockey League. Again money rules the sporting world. ”

Boston Bruins beat writer Steve Conroy responds: “Dear Larry, the Canadian Hockey League has decided to ban Russian and Belarusian hockey players from the import draft. I believe this is the wrong move and sends a bad message. I feel the same way about any potential ban on Russian and / or Belarusian players in the National Hockey League. These athletes are not responsible for the heinous acts of their government and the dictator at the head of it. By contrast, we are a free and open society and the more these athletes see it, the better chance we have of breaking through to the citizens of those countries who are not getting an accurate picture of what is happening in Ukraine. However, I do believe the league should stop promoting an athlete like Alex Ovechkin, who has given full-throated support to Putin for many years. Companies have no obligation to use Ovechkin as a spokesman. In fact, I believe the MassMutual Insurance ad featuring Ovechkin was indeed taken off the air. That’s a good step. ”

Sal Giarratani of Eastie has not been impressed so far by what he’s seen of the Red Sox. He writes: Hi Gang, here’s my flu. The Sox as of yet have not jelled in any good way. Our starting pitchers are at best a C or C-. Nate (Ed .: Eovaldi) has been good as he probably can get. Good in early innings but by 5 or 6 innings, he starts to melt. The rest of the starting rotation is pretty much not that good. Pitch counts determine everything along with aggressive analytics. Our number one starter keeps getting deGromitis just like the real Jake deGrom down at Citi Stadium.

As for our bullpen, What BULLPEN? Matt Barnes came in last night to close his Barnes door and it wasn’t pretty. Is he a closer, middle innings relief or mop up guy? Isn’t this the question for the entirety bullpen too where no one as of yet is recognized as a Closer in the bunch. Can’t win games without a real closer ready to go at a moment’s notice.

It only seems right that the acting manager is named Venerable (Ed .: Will Venable) but there’s nothing venerable about how this team is doing both on the mound and at-bat. Where are the bats? Everyone is waiting for Chris Sale to return but I don’t quite know what happened to the Sale we paid those big bucks to be the rotation ace.

Am I just being too optimistic about the future for the Red Sox this season? Should I just relax and wait for next year? I have a feeling Alex Cora may have caught the COVID on purpose just to stay away from the dugout during this sad period of play.

I guess I am just an old sarcastic baby booming Red Sox fan who longs for those old days when at least the Sox were entertaining during those losing seasons of my youth.

Between “ghost runners” at second to start extra innings, ridiculous pitch counts and a group closer team, it’s a wonder why we have won as many games to date as we have. Baseball is killing itself into boredom and irrelevance and the Red Sox look like Exhibit A.


Red Sox columnist Jason Mastrodonato replies: “I don’t even know where to start with this, Sal, as you seem to be annoyed with just about every aspect of the Red Sox (and MLB in general). The ghost runners aren’t making the Red Sox lose. You should be grateful the rule exists, because this team is ill equipped to handle games that go into 12 innings and beyond. The bullpen isn’t deep enough. But it’s not terrible. Despite your keen observation that former closer Matt Barnes is not looking himself this spring, the bullpen actually ranks 10th in MLB with a 3.20 ERA. In total, the Sox ‘staff entered Saturday with a 3.43 ERA, 11th-best. Moving Garrett Whitlock to the bullpen while Tanner Houck chose to take an unpaid vacation for the Toronto series cost the Sox two games this week, but getting Whitlock back into his versatile relief role will help. Otherwise, it’s no secret Alex Cora needs to find a few more relievers he can rely on, or the Sox will need to start testing their depth in Triple-A, where Connor Seabold, Durbin Feltman, Darwinzon Hernandez and Josh Winckowski have shown promise. The offense is the clear problem with this team right now, and they’ll need their pitching staff to keep them alive until they figure it out. It’s not the most exciting start, but there’s still plenty of talent here. Too soon to give up. The weather hasn’t turned yet. ”

Something bugging you? Grinding your gears? Got you worked up?

We want to hear about it. And we’ll try and get you a good answer from our sports staff. We know you’re irked about… something. Hey, this is Boston. We love talking about the Bruins, Celtics, Red Sox and Patriots. There are millions of unemployed general managers and coaches in the metaverse.

So ask away. Send your flu or question to kvetch@bostonherald.com.

Air it out, let ‘er rip. You’ll feel better. And check in every Sunday for our Kvetch of the Day.

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