Here are the 10 most pressing questions in Boston sports entering 2022

Tomase: The 10 most significant concerns in Boston sports going into 2022 initially appeared on NBC Sports Boston

The previous year addressed a great deal of concerns in Boston sports. The Red Sox are, in truth, headed in the best instructions under Chaim Blossom. The Patriots appear born-again with Mac Jones. The Bruins have actually been up to the middle of the pack after one a lot of years of riding their 2010 core. And the Celtics? Ooof.

A brand-new year suggests an entire brand-new list of concerns, and we’re here to position 10 of them. Just the passage of time will offer responses.

1. Can Mac Jones take the next action?

There’s no larger concern in Boston sports, and while 2022 is not likely to offer a conclusive response, it must a minimum of point us in the best instructions. The novice quarterback has actually been mainly nails this season while leading the Pats to the verge of their 19th double-digit win overall of the Costs Belichick period.

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However there’s a lot we still do not understand. Will he get the arm strength to make a few of the larger, tighter tosses that presently aren’t part of his accuracy collection? When will the Patriots have the ability to count on him to win video games rather than handling them? Will he accept the aspects? This will all belong to the enjoyable of enjoying him grow.

2. Will the Red Sox ever invest once again?

It may not matter, due to the fact that Blossom seems a master deal hunter. However long-term, there’s a ceiling on what the Kiké Hernández’s and Nick Pivettas of the world can achieve.

Nobody wishes to see a go back to the days of offering out for Carl Crawford or John Lackey or David Rate even if they exist, however there are gamers worth $30 million yearly, and the Red Sox will be doing themselves and their fans an injustice if they prevent them. Huge market dollars represent a considerable benefit, however just if you invest them.

3. Do the Celtics tank or attempt?

The idea of tanking — purposefully losing to acquire a leading draft choice — is repugnant. And it’s a credit to what Danny Ainge and Brad Stevens constructed that the Celtics never ever needed to do it while putting together the club that became a legitimate competitor in between 2016 and 2020.

However times have actually altered and with no clear course to enhancement in the short-term, it’s reasonable to ask if the C’s must focus on obtaining draft choices in advance of the Feb. 10 trade due date and after that let the remainder of the season play out with a plainly flawed lineup.

Celtics Talk Podcast: Forsberg and Tomase look for anything favorable about this Celtics group | Listen & subscribe | See on YouTube

As we sit now, the C’s are just 3 video games out of the No. 5 area in the lotto. Simply keep doing what they’re doing, and they might arrive without attempting.

4. Do the Bruins have one last run?

It’s astonishing to believe that the very best gamers on the Bruins in 2011 — Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand — stay the very best gamers on the B’s today. Quickly they might invite back Tuukka Rask, who tape-recorded his very first conserve in 2007 and enabled his very first objective to Mats Sundin, who has actually remained in the Hall of Popularity for almost ten years now.

Bruins deal with some huge choices in 2022 after eventful 2021

The Bruins presently sit outside the playoffs, however with more video games in hand than anybody, there suffices time to rejoin that race. With Zdeno Chara gone, David Krejci house in the Czech Republic, and Rask trying to return from hip surgical treatment, the previous generation is lastly stating its goodbyes. We’ll see if there’s any magic left.

5. Mentioning generations…

Who will take the management baton on the Patriots? If the very first title window was specified by Ty Law, Rodney Harrison, Tedy Bruschi, Ted Johnson, Willie McGinest, and Richard Seymour, and the next group led by Julian Edelman, Devin McCourty, Dont’a Hightower, Rob Gronkowski, and Matthew Slater — with a fella by the name of Brady naturally connecting everything together — where will they turn for the next perform at splendor?

Tom Brady took reams of institutional memory with him to Tampa Bay, and while Costs Belichick isn’t going anywhere, the variety of regulars with Super Bowl experience is currently diminishing. A brand-new generation needs to advance to keep connection with a fantastic past.

6. Is Brad Stevens the right long-term decision-maker?

It’s okay to confess the idea crossed your mind when Ainge left and Stevens rose — Brad will be training someplace once again in a year, right? Stevens expressed his commitment to running a team and he’s done nothing to dissuade us that that remains the case.

And yet … with the Celtics embarking on what could be a decade-defining stretch of decision-making, they need to be absolutely sure they’ve got the right person calling the shots.

Just as we evaluate players on a yearly basis, the front office shouldn’t avoid the microscope, either. With the C’s below .500 and the roster devoid of shooting, an overhaul is in the works, and that should mean examining every level of the organization from coach to roster to front office.

7. What is Chris Sale?

The Red Sox received an instant boost when Sale made his long-awaited return from Tommy John in August. They won seven of his nine starts, and even without his vintage 96 mph fastball and boomerang slider, he still posted a 3.16 ERA. Then came the playoffs.

After spitting the bit in the must-win regular-season finale which the Red Sox rallied to take anyway, Sale was lit up in Game 2 of the Division Series vs. the Rays. He followed by failing to complete the third inning in Game 1 vs. the Astros before delivering 5.1 so-so innings in a Game 5 loss.

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The Red Sox are counting on Sale to contend for a Cy Young Award once again, and there’s a history of pitchers excelling in Year 2 after Tommy John. There’s every incentive for Sale to do so, since he can opt out in the fall. If he pitches well enough to make his departure an option, the Red Sox will take it.

8. Does anyone want Josh McDaniels?

For the architect of one of the league’s most unique and consistent offenses, McDaniels doesn’t get very much love. The initial list of candidates for Jacksonville’s opening, for instance, included a dozen names, including an assistant that McDaniels hired in Indianapolis (Matt Eberflus) before leaving the Colts at the altar.

Clubs are clearly holding that runaway bride moment against him, and every offseason that passes without McDaniels even receiving an interview increases the likelihood that his best chance of assuming a head job will be waiting to replace Belichick, which isn’t necessarily a plum assignment.

You’d think his success with a rookie QB this season would make him a hot commodity, but so far, crickets.

9. Is it time to split up the Jays?

The Celtics surrounded Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum with proven veterans and then watched them all race out the door, from Al Horford to Kyrie Irving to Gordon Hayward. This is their team now, and it’s not going well, with the C’s approaching two years of mediocrity since their conference finals run in the bubble.

It’s hard to see how trading either one makes the club better in the short- or long-term, but Stevens possesses few options. The best hope is adding a third star this summer, but the C’s can’t open max cap space without trading Marcus Smart, among others. Needless to say, this is a conversation no one wanted to be having.

10. Is this it for Xander Bogaerts?

We started this discussion with the loss of institutional memory in Foxboro, and no one represents that better in Fenway Park than Bogaerts. With Dustin Pedroia retired, the Silver Slugging shortstop represents the last continuous link to the 2013 championship.

He has delivered and then some on his six-year, $120 million extension, but he can opt out next fall and would be crazy not to. He need only look at the seven years and $175 million the Rangers just bestowed upon 31-year-old second baseman Marcus Semien to recognize that there’s a monster payday in his future even if he moves off shortstop.

Bogaerts is everything the Red Sox might ask for in the face of a franchise — homegrown, talented, committed, dignified. But if they desire him to remain, they’re going to need to dust off their checkbook.

Jobber Wiki author Frank Long contributed to this report.