WATERCOOLER CHAT: END OF ERA FOR RED SOX, VICTORY FOR HEAT, WALLACE A STEELER?

BASEBALL

It was the end of an era for Red Sox fans.  For baseball fans, one of the biggest relationships is a fan base with a catcher.  Catchers usually become the backbone of a team, because they are really the ones calling the game.  They know what the best strategy is in different situations, and know the habits of many batters.  They’re the ones who get to know the pitchers on a deeper level, and understand what the pitcher should throw in any given situation.  So when a team finds a good one, they usually remain behind the plate for at least a decade.  In Boston, that guy was Jason Varitek, and yesterday… he officially retired from the organization.  It was a tearful speech, and Varitek said he would miss his teammates and the fans.  A great player, no matter what team you like.

BASKETBALL

Elsewhere, the surging Miami Heat were looking for their 9th straight win.  These guys have been killing teams this season.  Why?  A few reasons.  1) This team has 2 of the best 5 players in the NBA (LeBron and Wade), 2) They also have an amazing Chris Bosh.  3) The compressed schedule can make teams tired, so a team with a fast pace style like the Heat can run you off the court if you can’t keep up.  So, could they take out a pesky Blazers team?  LeBron James had a monster night with 38 points and 11 rebounds, and the Heat easily rolled to their 9th straight victory.  It’s hard to imagine anybody getting in this team’s way down the stretch.  But… you never know.  Miami 107, Portland 93.

FOOTBALL

Finally, in the NFL, the Pittsburgh Steelers have said they will NOT place the franchise tag on star wide-receiver Mike Wallace.  Wallace looked to be a Steeler for a while, but with the emergence of Antonio Brown, the Steelers may be thinking they don’t need Wallace.  Or, they think they can make a couple strategic draft picks at wide receiver.  This doesn’t mean that Wallace won’t be a Steeler, it just means that other teams can make him an offer.  If the Steelers “tender” Wallace, that means that they would reserve the right to match another team’s offer and keep Wallace.  In response, Mike Wallace said publicly that in the event that he isn’t a Steeler next season, the Steeler faithful would still be in his heart… but he has to do what he has to do.

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