Things I contemplated about the state of Boston sports while scrambling for the mute button whenever Stephen A. Smith is on my television screen:

• When Danny Ainge was hired by the Celtics, he said the team, as it was currently comprised, was, at best, a second- or third-round playoff team. Now, four years later, the Celtics have come full circle. They are a mediocre playoff contender, and that’s if a 32-year-old Ray Allen can come back from major double-ankle surgery. There’s another move coming, right? Anyone who loves this trade and loves the direction the Celtics are headed in must have really loved the Boston Bruins of the mid-1990s, because that’s what this team is. The 1994-98 Bruins. Enjoy.

• That having been said, Dick Vitale’s got a lot of nerve barking at the Celtics about getting fleeced in a draft-day trade.

• I’m intrigued by the Big Baby Davis acquisition. He might be the steal of the second round. At worst, I get to be the teller of fat jokes for a change.

• The Red Sox didn’t exactly run away with it in June, did they? They played .500 ball and lost a few games off their lead. They also played a tough schedule. July’s schedule? Not so tough, especially the home slate. They have three games with Tampa Bay, four with Toronto, three with Kansas City, four with listless Chicago. If they’ve lost more ground come Aug. 1, then maybe I’ll be a little worried.

• Shutting down Curt Schilling through the All-Star break was the way to go, even if Kason Gabbard can’t locate home plate with a GPS.

• I’d be in favor of doing the same with Julio Lugo.

• Manny’s gonna break out soon, right?

• One month from now, we will be deluged with stories about Asante Samuel not showing up for Patriots training camp. Many of those stories will compare it to Deion Branch’s holdout last year. There is absolutely NO comparison in terms of its on-field impact. Branch was Tom Brady’s security blanket. Samuel’s absence will have zero impact on Richard Seymour’s or Adalius Thomas’ or Rodney Harrison’s ability to do his job. And no, Harrison isn’t going to have to lay back to protect against the deep pass for Samuel’s replacement anymore than he did for Samuel.

• Not that I think they could have or should have re-signed him, but the Pats are going to miss Daniel Graham more than Samuel. Especially his run blocking.

• With Adalius Thomas rushing from the outside, Ty Warren and Richard Seymour are going to have monster years. Career highs in sacks for both, guaranteed.

• Um, I like the Bruins’ new uniforms.


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