Tony Massarotti

Mazz: Kyrie Irving is nothing but a big baby

And so this time, Kyrie engineered his own operation, recruiting Kevin Durant and signing with his favorite team as a child, the Nets. And he’s not happy now, either. Not long after Kyrie went AWOL for reasons only Kyrie understands, the Brooklyn Nets this week acquired the ballooning James Harden, adding fat to an escalating grease fire.

Mazz: Trade Andrew Benintendi? Sure, but the Red Sox had better get it right

Now, is it possible that Benintendi is a victim of launch angle and analytics? Absolutely. What Benintendi was, out of college, was a true, bona fide baseball player, which is something that isn’t really valued much anymore. If the Red Sox took that and tried to change it – unsuccessfully after taking Benintendi with the seventh pick of the 2015 MLB draft – that is entirely on them.

Mazz: Even Theo Epstein thinks the MLB product stinks

I’ve said this before and I’ll undoubtedly say it again, albeit in far louder and more annoying terms and tones: the quality of the baseball product stinks. It’s unwatchable. And more important to Major League Baseball, it’s unsellable. If you have disagreed with me on this, you’re certainly entitled. But we now have one of the most accomplished executives in baseball history telling us the game is being ruined – and that should count for something.

Mazz: As Chaim Bloom begins to rebuild the Red Sox, expect to be underwhelmed

Before you start fantasizing about quick-fix moves the Red Sox can execute this offseason with the hopes of becoming relevant again, here’s a tip: get real. Yes, the Red Sox have money to spend, but Bloom isn’t likely to throw around stupid money or forfeit draft picks and/or international signing money, both of which he would have to relinquish if the Red Sox were to sign a free agent who obtained a qualifying offer.

Mazz: Tom Brady, Jimmy Garoppolo and the succession plan that never came to be

In the span of roughly two years, after having what Belichick himself called “the best quarterback situation in the league,” the Patriots effectively lost both Brady and Garoppolo for a second-round pick in 2018 and a compensatory selection in the 2021 draft, which feels like one of the worst examples of roster management in the history of all professional sports.

Mazz: The 2020 season proved that baseball should implement changes

But this isn’t about the Dodgers, the Rays or the World Series, per se. It’s about the state and future of baseball – assuming there is one. If 2020 just proved that 60 games is all we need, then maybe it’s time for baseball to take a good, hard look at what it can do to improve its product and adapt to the times.

Mazz: Mookie Betts continuing to star as Mr. Ought-tober

Meanwhile, Betts is now 2-for-14 in the NLCS (a .143 average). This postseason, in 40 plate appearances including 33 official at-bats, he has no home runs. The Dodgers have hit nine home runs in their current series and 11 in the postseason overall – but the man who tied teammate A.J. Pollock for the team lead with 16 during the regular season does not have a single one of them.

Mazz: Are the Red Sox worth the effort anymore?

Is Bloom the next Epstein – or at least something far closer to it than Ben Cherington or Dave Dombrowski? Maybe. Let’s hope so. Because while the Red Sox actually have won one more title than Epstein since his departure, they’ve lived an elevator existence that has brought their fan base to the exhaustive point of emotional detachment. At the end of the day, they’re just getting too hard to live with anymore.