Tony Massarotti

Mazz: You know what? Baseball sucks right now

Think about it: the NFL, NBA and NHL all have instituted changes in recent years to shorten delays, making the games faster, more entertaining. Meanwhile baseball can’t even get the pitchers to throw the ball. If pitchers like Price and Justin Verlander are going to give Manfred the finger when he talks about a pitch clock, what chance does the commissioner possibly have of getting the positional players to stop stealing signs?

Mazz: Cora has Red Sox, Henry, Bloom backed into a corner

Obviously, there’s a lot to address here, particularly as the Red Sox look to shed payroll under a first-time general manager who must think he just bought a ticket on the Hindenburg. David Price is chronically unhappy. Mookie Betts probably wants out. Your $80 million starting rotation remains an unknown and your manager is in the eye of a historic cheating scandal.

Mazz: Upon further review, Cora has to pay

Let’s make something clear here: organizational penalties are great and all, but they’re impersonal. The penalties always mean a little more when someone specific is paying the price. This brings us to Hinch and, more specifically, Cora, who is now starting to look downright devious.

Mazz: Is meeting with Buffalo another beginning or The End?

So here we are now, in Week 16 of what could be Tom Brady’s final season in New England, and the Patriots have one final hurdle to clear in the regular season: the Bills. Buffalo might effectively sit between Brady and The End, between New England and a final Super Bowl run or the Patriots and an ominous appearance on wildcard weekend.

Mazz: Unfortunately, size matters for Celtics

In the fourth quarter last night, Joel Embiid torched the Celtics for 16 points, eight of which came from the free-throw line. Embiid made shots from the perimeter and in the paint, and the Celtics really couldn’t do a thing about it.

Mazz: Why the Patriots don't look like the Patriots

On offense, especially, New England has had far too many fundamental breakdowns this year, the result of which has been uncharacteristically poor play, particularly in the red zone. That flaw – along with some bad officiating – helped do them in Sunday against the Kansas City Chiefs.

Mazz: Belichick, Patriots still searching for answers to stop Reid, Chiefs and Mahomes

The Patriots and Chiefs have played five times since Reid took over the Chiefs, and while the Patriots are 3-2 in those games, Kansas City has scored an average of 34.8 points per game that has made the New England defense look like the French army. And with Patrick Mahomes at quarterback, Kansas City has scored 71 points in the last two games against the Patriots, including 40 in Foxboro last year.

Mazz: With Patriots, 10-2 is a good news-bad news proposition

Upon closer inspection, one can’t help but wonder if the Patriots defense is a little overrated. Against Baltimore and Houston, the Pats allowed 65 points while opponents went a combined 12-for-22 on third and fourth downs – a whopping 55 percent. Kansas City steps up to bat this week - in Foxboro.

Mazz: How baseball is ruining Christmas

While other sports launch free agency with a frenzy of moves, news leaks and announcements, baseball is still delivering its mail via the Pony Express. And meanwhile, you end up spending Christmas focusing on something else.

Mazz: Tatum Goes 1-for-18 ... And Makes History

While the Celtics were defeating the upstart Dallas Mavericks for their eighth straight win last night, Tatum was having arguably the worst shooting night in Celtics history. Let me repeat that: Last night, TATUM HAD ARGUABLY THE WORST SHOOTING NIGHT IN CELTICS HISTORY. And if that sounds like an exaggeration, it isn’t.

Mazz: For Chaim Bloom, a tough job just got tougher

Somebody - or somebodies - must go. And we mean somebody (or more than one) from the group of Nathan Eovaldi ($17 million), David Price ($31 million), Chris Sale ($25.6 million) and, yes, Mookie Betts, the last of whom has a projected salary of $27.7 million next summer and will be a free agent at the end of the 2020 season.

Mazz: Brady vs. Garoppolo? Now That Would Be Super

Does that mean the Patriots erred in trading away the man whom many (including Belichick) deemed Brady’s successor? No. Garoppolo still comes with lots of questions, durability first among them. But if there’s anyone out there still suggesting that Garoppolo was some sort of flash in the pan … stop. Don’t embarrass yourself. He can play.

Mazz: Perfect Time To Wonder About A Perfect Patriots Season

The Cleveland Browns are the next victims, who are scheduled to face the Patriots at Gillette Stadium late Sunday afternoon in what may very well the greatest coaching mismatch in NFL history. Once that happens, we can earnestly begin talk of another undefeated Patriots season because what the Patriots are doing right now is making a mockery of the entire NFL.