Rajon Rondo: A Celtic no more.

Rajon Rondo: A Celtic no more.

My thoughts on a few of the region’s professional sports topics before Santa Claus comes to town…

1. Much has been made about the behavior of New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady against the Green Bay Packers. Brady was caught using some colorful language on a number of occasions, enough to cause parents to call the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) complaining Brady was setting a bad example for children.

Fast forward to Sunday’s game against the New York Jets. Rex Ryan, New York’s head coach, was caught using the same phrase Brady used and then some. While fun was had by many on Twitter over CBS catching Ryan’s tantrum, as of Monday no news was made of the outburst.

As a former football player myself, bad language is a common occurrence on the gridiron. Unless your name is Tim Tebow, if you’re a former football player it’s highly likely you’ve said a bad word or two. And swearing is used beyond the realm of football, it’s said in just about every sport, including golf (thanks, Tiger Woods) or tennis (thanks, John McEnroe).

To regulate swearing in a pressure-cooker position like professional sports is not only a ridiculous request, it’s also impossible. For a TV station to do so during a broadcast, they would have to solely focus the cameras to the action on the field instead of the emotions showed on the sideline. Anybody working in TV will tell you the point of sideline shot is to show the emotion — to make the viewer emotionally invested — in the struggle of the athlete on a field. It’s how the National Football League gets the ratings they do and unfortunately in 2014 America, the almighty dollar is beating morality most of the time. If you’re a parent and you don’t like what you see, simply change the channel.

2. By trading away Rajon Rondo, the Boston Celtics officially entered a mode that fans already knew they were in: rebuilding. Rondo has been used as trade bait for years now, and the Celtics knew they only had so many options left with him in the final year of his contract because general manager Danny Ainge knew Rondo would not re-sign with the team next season.

With Rondo gone, the Celtics are officially a young squad. The average age on the team is 25. They only have two on the roster over 30 (Jameer Nelson and Gerald Wallace), three if you include head coach Brad Stevens. Ainge is building for the future on the backs of future stars like Jared Sullinger, Jeff Green, Kelly Olynyk and Avery Bradley. Trading away Rondo was the official statement that the glory years of Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen and Paul Pierce are gone forever, to be cherished for the ages. While the move is not popular, it was the right thing to do in order to have a chance at future success. It will take time and patience, but the current Celtics are not as far off as people think from being a playoff contender again. At this point in the season, the Celtics are 10-15 and just one spot out of the playoffs if the season ended today (they are 1-1 since the Rondo trade). Future draft picks will do, as well as a solid veteran free-agent signing when Ainge feels the team is truly ready to make a push. But for now, it’s about learning, with bumps to be had along the way.

3. I can’t imagine Jon Lester ever had any intentions of re-signing with the Boston Red Sox. The Boston Red Sox never truly wanted him back. The offseason shenanigans between the pitcher and the ballclub was nothing but business tactics and a smoke-and-mirror show.

If Boston really wanted Lester back last season, they would have made a better initial offer than the four-year, $70 million deal they offered during spring training. They certainly would not have traded their ace, a pitcher that had been mostly consistent for the only ballclub he knew over the stretch of eight and a half seasons, to the Oakland Athletics. Especially when you consider it was for a midseason bat like Yeonis Cespedes, a player the team knew was likely to only stay with the club for a year before taking off for another team in free-agency.

One could say the Red Sox helped Lester land his 6-year, $155 million deal from the Chicago Cubs. Owner John Henry made a trip to Lester’s home, showing a somewhat serious approach to negotiations. The Red Sox offered the right years (six) and almost the right amount of money ($135 million), but it was obvious another team was going to offer more and the Red Sox were not comfortable going over their final offer, especially considering Lester is now 30 years old.

Lester took the Cubs deal but in the process gave a final farewell to Red Sox fans for their years of loyalty. It was fine and almost noble until he gave an interview to Boston radio station WEEI last week, saying he “probably” would have stayed in Boston had he been offered 5-years and $120 million.

I can appreciate Lester’s continued attempt at goodwill, but I have a hard time believing what he says. This offseason has showed a major inflation in free agent deals. Chase Headley signed a 4-year, $52 million deal with the New York Yankees. Russell Martin signed a 5-year deal for $82 million with the Toronto Blue Jays. Giancarlo Stanton, the Miami Marlins slugger, signed a 13-year, $325 million contract and he wasn’t even a free agent. All of these deals happened before Lester signed with the Cubs. While the money may have been hard to turn away from if $120 million was offered during spring training, the point of sports agents (Lester’s is Seth Levinson) is to find the market trends in MLB. Red Sox Nation understands Lester trying to get the best deal he possibly can during the prime of his career, he has that right. Most will wish him well, especially since he went to the National League. But this vague idea that he would stay for the “hometown discount” is just wrong and insulting.

Dave Dyer (@Dave_Dyer)

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