Tony Massarotti

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.

Mazz: Celtics have nowhere to hide this time

The youngest and most talented of the Celtics are now being schooled, plain and simple, and they look soft and weak. They build sizable leads and blow them, and now, behind closed doors after another demoralizing loss, their locker room is erupting.

Mazz: The Chaim Bloom Era? It's off to a boring start

If you’re looking for any sort of narrative on the Chaim Bloom Era so far, this is it: he hasn’t exactly come out guns blazing. Bloom’s moves as Red Sox GM thus far have been small, conservative and boring … which is precisely what you’d expect from a team like, say, the Tampa Bay Rays. Whether those kinds of deals can pass muster in Boston over the longer term remains to be seen, particularly if the Red Sox remain relatively invisible on the Boston sports landscape.

Mazz: How to fix the Red Sox

Is there any way the Red Sox can address their problems swiftly enough to improve in both the short and long-term? The answer is yes. But it won’t be easy. The answer is yes. But it won’t be easy.

Mazz: Trading Andrew Benintendi would tell us something ... about Chaim Bloom

Given the Red Sox’ predicament – few if any prospects, bad free agent market for pitching after the season – they are in a weak position. Benintendi shouldn’t be given away. But given the emergence of Alex Verdugo, Benintendi is an obvious piece to deal for good pitching, something the Red Sox desperately need as they try to rebuild their wretched organizational pitching pool.

Mazz: The Chaim Bloom Era starts now

Are they this bad? No. But they’re not going to be championship-caliber for a while, either. And Bloom knows it. So do Henry and everyone else in the organization. They’re just not going to say it because they still want you to pay attention. But the upcoming free agent market stinks for starting pitching and the Red Sox are in no real position to deal prospects, which leaves Bloom with decidedly few options.

Mazz: Pasta - not Tuukka - should be the object of any scorn

If Rask’s absence was unavoidable – and by all accounts, it seems directly or tangentially related to the pandemic – Pastrnak’s might have been. He has a physical injury, after all, and one can’t help but wonder if it has been the direct result of poor preparation. Don’t forget that Pastrnak was late to report for the start of training camp and then had to be quarantined, something which even Bruins president Cam Neely openly questioned.

Mazz: Now in contention for No. 1 pick, Red Sox should tank

The Red Sox are a mess, folks. And there are no simple fixes here. Even if Chris Sale and Eduardo Rodriguez come back healthy next year, the Red Sox are woefully short on young talent overall and young pitching, in particular. The best way to get it is through the draft, which brings us back to the idea of tanking, whether you want to call it that or not.

Mazz: Did J.D. Martinez quit on the Red Sox?

Martinez? Unless or until we find out more in a world with limited media access, he has no defense or excuse. It sure feels like Captain Video pulled a Manny Ramirez in New York last weekend, refusing to hit in one of the few games where the Red Sox have had a chance this season. Whether they won or lost the game is irrelevant. The whole point, this year especially, is to try.