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Friday Four-Pack 3.3.23
More winning! Lou is great in the Red Sox booth and Big Derby Preps.
How about some hockey to start the Four-Pack?
If you’re betting on the Bruins this season, you’re doing okay.
This was before the Bruins thrashing of the Sabers Thursday, so just add to the above tweet.
B’s are now down to 3.5-1 to win the East and 5.25-1 to win the Cup at BetMGM. Feels like hockey is the least formful of the four major sports as is relates to regular season success and winning a Cup. Bruins will test that theory after what has been a dominant stretch here.
They’re going to be a major talker on Boston sports radio the next few months.
Because not only are they good…they have this last hurrah thing going for them. One last run with Bergeron and Krejci. The old guys and the new stars all on the same team. The stand-on-his-head goalie. The nostalgia of the previous Cup runs mixed in with the future look of this franchise. A wildly passionate fanbase.
Hockey talk does not really happen across the country on sports talk radio. Even here during some of the Bruins playoff runs they’ve been a B-topic. Not this time.
It will not be shocking when the Bruins and Celtics playoff games are similarly rated on TV. Again, that would not be the case in every big market.
And if you happen to be a sports radio station that carries both the Bruins and the Celtics, well, you’re in for a very big spring.
On Jayson Tatum…
Rough stretch for the Tatum haters - and there all still some out there.
Tatum’s 41 points Thursday - his final game at age 24 - lock him in at No. 7 on the list of all-time scorers before turning 25. The guys in front of him are pretty good - Lebron, KD, Carmelo, Kobe, T-Mac and Devin Booker.
He’s clearly the face of Boston sports. He’s also the best Celtics player since Larry Bird. And if he keeps this up…
Scores at will. Defends and rebounds. This season averaging a career high in free throw attempts and assists - which represented a few of his “weaknesses” right? He needed to get to the free throw line more and show a willingness to defer on nights when he was not locked in. He’s doing that.
Here’s the BUT… BUT he’s gotta win here. He’s one of the reasons why the Celtics are under more pressure to win this year than the team they share the Garden with - even with the monster success of the Bruins.
Can’t miss with players in their prime. Top 5 players. Of which Tatum is one.
That list above is nice…but you want to be Kobe or LeBron not T-Mac. Kevin Durant knew that and made sure to get his titles out in Golden State. Idiot sports talk show hosts like myself love to point out WHEN A GUY NEVER WON ONE!
I love watching Tatum play. He was playing hurt in the Finals last year when everyone wanted to pounce. Those people have been awfully quiet this season.
But they’ll have their social media accounts and microphones ready if the Celtics fall short again this spring.
Two other random notes from Wednesday’s Celtics win over the Cavs
Did not enjoy the Scal/Perk duo with Mike Gorman on NBC Boston. Eventually made the move to ESPN. Let Mike Gorman speak.
How about the DNP-CD for Grant? Batman left on the bench. I’m all for it. Poor Batman.
On the Red Sox TV booth…
As someone who admittedly does not go out of their way to watch or listen to a lot of spring training baseball, I made an exception last weekend with Lou Merloni making his NESN debut.
It took all of a couple of innings to confirm what I thought - he’s NESN’s best guy for the job already.
I know in talking to people involved, last year NESN had reached out for Lou to do games and he passed. Tony Massarotti ended up doing 20 or so games or so - maybe those were ticketed for Lou? I’m not sure.
He’s insightful without making you feel like he’s talking down to you as a viewer/listener. He’s willing to make fun of himself. He’s also willing to be critical of the team when he has to be - something most of the ex-Sox that NESN employees just will not do.
I can’t imagine NESN is going to go into a third season with a rotation of guys next year. Feels like this is year two of an open audition to pick one or two guys to build around with Dave O’Brien next season.
BUT…NESN is cheap. Do they want to pay Lou what it would take to get him to commit to 150 games? Does he even want to do that?
If he does - he could do it for the next 30 years.
Then there’s the radio side - did WEEI make a push to put Lou on the games as full-time as possible? Now that’s he’s going to get the TV bump, it’s going to be a lot harder (and more expensive) to keep him doing radio games.
You can book it now - the vocal Sox fans who comment on these things online are going to love Lou on TV. And there will be a fan push to get him in the booth fulltime next season. I’ll be at the front of that charge.
We’ll see if he and NESN are interested in that for 2024.
On a big Kentucky Derby Prep Weekend…
Four Derby preps this weekend, headlined by the Gotham at Aqueduct (which drew 14 entries!!!) and the Fountain of Youth at Gulfstream.
The Fountain of Youth holds a special place in my degenerate heart as the race that made me fall in love with racing/handicapping.
I was spending the afternoon in the Mohegan Sun Racebook waiting for my then-girlfriend/eventually my wife to get done working so we could go to Valentine’s Day dinner.
I think I bet like $10 on Read the Footnotes to win at 2-1. So it wasn’t a lot of money. But my opinion was he would beat the 3/2 favorite Second of June. And when that happened I was hooked.
The stretch run of the race was was thrilling. Vic Stauffer nailed the call. Still gives me goosebumps to watch it.
So two big prep races this weekend - plan is to deep dive handicap both and publish a post here Saturday around lunchtime. Maybe some other spot plays on the card.
So make sure you’re subscribed (ITS FREE) and you’ll get some handicapping in your inbox Saturday around lunchtime.
Just add your email here. It’s free. We will not clutter your inbox. Promise.
We’re 0-1 with picks here after Tapit’s Conquest was wider than wide at Fairgrounds two weeks ago. We’ll hope to do better on Saturday.
And you can (and should) watch the race that got me hooked, the 2004 Fountain of Youth below…I think I even figured out how to start the video right at the top of the stretch! Progress!
On mobile betting being one week away…
A good, clean week if you’re counting down the hours until mobile sports betting launches in Massachusetts.
Still on pace for a 10AM launch next Friday, March 10.
The ads on radio, TV, Twitter, Spotify… well it’s the title wave we predicted a few weeks back. To the point where I has had someone involved in this whole process tell me Thursday they think Massachusetts eventually will try to limit the volume of the ads. Not sure how but there are concerns by people around the MGC about the ads reaching teenagers and kids under 21.
Sorry - kids are seeing these ads. Especially if they’re online for any amount of time.
Reached back out to DraftKings and FanDuel about sign-up bonus vs. launch bonus and clarification but as of Friday morning no response from either.
In other States you could get both as long as you pre-registered but don’t know 100% if that is the case in Massachusetts.
It sounds like you’ll have a lot more choices on where you’ll see sign up bonus opportunities. The Mass Gaming Commission decided at the last minute to allow affiliate programs.
Basically it allows the sportsbooks to team up with content providers. Those content providers then push you to bet at a certain site and if you sign up, they get paid.
Sites like The Action Network and Sports Handle already do this - so not a huge deal. Just know if you sign up through one of these links you’re essentially supporting that content provider, radio station, etc.
So say … well some would call it an Independent Voice in Boston Sports … lets say their substack or whatever had links. You’d be helping them out by signing up through them.
Just as an example.
Happy Morgan Wallen Release Day to those that celebrate.
Thanks for reading.