Now that the Super Bowl is behind us, we’ve hit a bit of a rut in the sports world. The Celtics and Bruins watched their trade deadlines come and go with nary a significant move being made. As for the Red Sox, Spring Training has been Camp Tranquility with little drama as virtually every position has already been determined.
But there are a couple of Boston sports athletes who have caught my eye in recent weeks, and not in a good way. It’s not because they have performed in an epically bad, but when you look at how much money they are currently making, there’s no way to feel like they’re living up to their contracts…at least not yet.
First on my radar? Al Horford. The Celtics are paying him a cool $28.25 million each of the next four years. It’s called a max contract in the NBA. He has all the tools. He can shoot, rebound, and play defense. But you know what? He’s not really great at anything.
In a recent five-game stretch, he didn’t score more than ten points in any game. But what’s more troubling is he didn’t even attempt ten shots in those games. His defenders say he does a lot of little things that don’t show up in the scorecard. To be fair, in a big game against Lebron and the Cavs he almost had a triple-double with an odd line of 9 points, 10 assists and 10 rebounds. But in other big games he’s disappeared, actually going for an entire half without shooting.
His game centers around the three point line, instead of under the basket which means he doesn’t help on the offensive glass. For 28 million a year, I need a guy who does the little things and some big things too. Sorry, Al. I need more.
But Big Al is not alone. There’s another highly-paid Boston superstar who still has much to prove, especially with the $30 million a year contract attached to his services. So tell us, David, will the Price ever be right?
Again, remove the contract, and David Price didn’t have a bad year in his first season in Boston. 17-9 with an ERA of 4.00 is a good year. A WHIP of 1.20 is good. 230 innings pitched is excellent. But is it $30 mil/year for seven years worthy? Not a chance.
Let’s not forget that we haven’t even discussed the playoffs yet. His legendary level of failure in the post-season is astounding…2-8 with an ERA of roughly 4.50. That is flat out horrific. Last year, the Red Sox needed a big start from him in the ALDS against the Indians. Instead, he wilted like a water-starved flower on a hot and humid day. Three innings pitched and five runs allowed is a pathetic performance, no matter how many zeroes are on your paycheck.
But what is so infuriating about Price is that not only does he acknowledge his poor playoff performances, he jokes about it on Twitter. He also engages trolls who take him to task for his lack of playoff prowess. Even this week, while Red Sox nation was awaiting word on his ailing elbow, Price joked about working out at the NFL combine in Indianapolis. How about a little more focus on the task at hand, and a little less on his daily social media conversations?
There’s a WWE wrestler by the name of Enzo Amore. Each week he taunts his opponents and proclaims he has one word to describe them and he’s going to spell it out! S-A-W-F-T! Soooooofffttttt!!!! Right now, I can’t think of a better way to describe Big Al and the pricey Price. Let’s hope they prove me wrong this year.