These Celtics are the most disappointing Boston team since the chicken and beer Red Sox

Boston MA 3/16/19 Boston Celtics Kyrie Irving complains to the referee about a traveling call against the Atlanta Hawks during fourth quarter NBA action at TD Garden. (photo by Matthew J. Lee/Globe staff) topic: reporter:

Matthew J. Lee/Globe staff

Their distasteful performance this season merits comparisons to the infamous 2011 Red Sox, though there is time for salvage.


// NFL coaches aren’t sad to see Rob Gronkowski retire

For nine seasons in New England, Gronkowski was a nearly unstoppable force.


// Bill Belichick didn’t have a lot to say at NFL coaches breakfast

The Patriots coach used the phrase “we’ll see” 21 times and “I don’t know” 13 times.

// Red Sox’ David Price declares himself ready for regular season

The World Series hero had a rough final spring outing against the Cubs on Tuesday but left the game feeling “strong.”

// Patriots alleviated their salary cap problem, but it still comes at a price

They lost Rob Gronkowski, which will hurt on the field, and restructured Stephon Gilmore, increasing future numbers.

// Bruins learn a lot from two-game Florida swing

Only one of Boston’s six remaining opponents — Columbus, which hosts the Bruins April 2 — have a strong shot at the postseason.

// What are the Patriots’ options for drafting a tight end?

This is supposed to be a great year for tight ends, with three elite talents and several midround prospects available in the draft.

02-05-19: : Boston, MA: The New England Patriots were feted with a Duck Boat Parade through the streets of Boston following their victory over the Los Angeles Rams in Super Bowl LIII. In Copley Square, team owner Robert Kraft howled at the crowd chering below him, while clutching the Lombardi Trophy. (Jim Davis /Globe Staff)


Robert Kraft avoids the spotlight as he awaits fate from Roger Goodell

Three owners told the Globe that they don’t expect Kraft’s legal issues to come up during the NFL owners meetings this week.

Fort Myers, FL - 2/21/2019 - Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Rick Porcello (22), Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Nathan Eovaldi (17), and Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Chris Sale (41) share a laugh on Day 10 Red Sox Spring Training at JetBlue Park in Fort Myers, FL.. - (Barry Chin/Globe Staff), Section: Sports, Reporter: Peter Abraham, Topic: 22Red Sox, LOID: 8.5.480462370.

Barry Chin/Globe Staff file

Red Sox set rotation to start the season

Chris Sale starts Thursday on Opening Day in Seattle, followed by Nate Eovaldi, Eduardo Rodriguez, Rick Porcello, and David Price.


// Rick Porcello was hit in the head by a line drive, but he laughed it off

Porcello stayed in Monday’s game against the Cubs and tested negative for a concussion.

Peter Abraham

// Red Sox clarify their catching situation by putting Sandy Leon on waivers

Christian Vazquez and Blake Swihart will start the season on the major-league roster, and Leon is expected to be in Triple A Pawtucket.

// Rob Gronkowski takes a beating at WWE event in Boston, and he wasn’t even there

The former Patriots tight end’s name came up in a taunt by wrestler Lio Rush directed at another wrestler.

Spring training report

// Monday’s spring training report: Andrew Benintendi continues to rake

Benintendi went 2 for 3 with a homer in the Sox’ 3-2 loss to the Cubs, and he is 6 of his last 12.

AFC PLAYOFF Patriots/Jets 01/14/2012 Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski #87 scores New England's 2nd touchdown in the 1st quarter trailed by the Broncos' CB Andre Goodman #21. The New England Patriots play the Denver Broncos in the 2012 AFC Divisional Playoff Game at Gillette Stadium, in Foxborough, MA, Sunday, January 16, 2011. (Barry Chin/Globe Staff Photo)

barry chin/globe staff file

Jim McBride

Rob Gronkowski was a highlight machine. Here are some of his best plays

The Patriots’ big tight end produced many memorable moments, but some feats stood out more than others.

// What are the Patriots’ options for replacing Rob Gronkowski?

Here is an assessment of the talent on the roster, in free agency, on the trade market, and in the draft.

Tampa Bay Lightning center Steven Stamkos (91) celebrates his goal against the Boston Bruins with defenseman Victor Hedman (77) and defenseman Mikhail Sergachev (98) during the first period of an NHL hockey game Monday, March 25, 2019, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

Chris O'Meara/Associated press

Lightning 5, Bruins 4

The Bruins had the Lightning on the ropes, then they blew a 2-goal lead

Tampa Bay rallied with three third-period goals, and won on Anthony Cirelli’s shot with 52.2 seconds to go.

Patriots notebook

// Patriots will open 2019 season on Sunday night, Sept. 8

New England’s Week 1 opponent is to be determined. The Packers and Bears kick off the NFL’s 100th season on Thursday, Sept. 5.

Conor McGregor previously announced his retirement on social media in 2016.

Timothy A. Clary/AFP/Getty Images

Retiring UFC star Conor McGregor under investigation in Ireland for sexual assault

The Irish fighter has not been charged with a crime, and his retirement is not related to the probe.

// Here’s how Tom Brady and other Patriots are reacting to Gronkowski’s retirement

“Love u man!! The [goat]!! Couldn’t be a better person or teammate!!!!”

// NASCAR shuffles 2020 schedule; Loudon, N.H., date is July 21

NASCAR made the first significant changes to its schedule in years to meet the wants of its fans.


// Final playoff run was a perfect ending for a pivotal Patriot

An uneven season ended with Rob Gronkowski showing his every facet on the way to another championship, a final act far better than most.


// Rob Gronkowski retires as nothing less than a football folk hero

The Patriots tight end didn’t even play a decade, but on and off the field, his was a career like almost no other.

1-13-18: Foxborough, MA: Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski is greeted by members of the End Zone Militia as he takes the field for pre game warmups. The New England Patriots hosted the Los Angeles Chargers in an NFL Divisional Playoff Game at Gillette Stadium. (Staff Photo/Jim Davis)

Jim Davis/Globe Staff

Gronk’s legacy: How does he stack up among the best to ever play tight end?

A look at Gronkowski’s statistics and how they compare to other all-time greats.


// Brad Friedel is having trouble getting the most out of Revolution players

In MLS, teams seem prepared to battle, but players don’t always know when to turn things up or tone things down.

Chad Finn

// Holding out hope that Rob Gronkowski’s retirement is brief

Even though we knew it was a possibility, news of Gronkowski’s retirement over the weekend hit hard.


// From tiebreaks to catching breaks, a look at the Celtics’ playoff picture

The first round is certainly shaping up as a 4-vs.-5 series with Indiana, but some things still need to be sorted out.

// BC’s Logan Hutsko expected to make a full recovery

The Boston College forward hit his head on the ice in the Hockey East championship game and was taken from the game on a stretcher.

Bruins notebook

// Brad Marchand has a big fan in one of his idols

Hall of Famer Martin St. Louis, another diminutive winger, appreciates the Bruin star’s abilities and hockey sense.

HARTFORD, CONNECTICUT - MARCH 23: Carsen Edwards #3 of the Purdue Boilermakers is defended by Eric Paschall #4 of the Villanova Wildcats in the second half during the second round of the 2019 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at XL Center on March 23, 2019 in Hartford, Connecticut. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)


Here’s where things stand in the NCAA men’s basketball tournament

After two rounds, it’s clear that some highly regarded teams need to play better or will face elimination.

UCLA guard Lindsey Corsaro, left, and forward Michaela Onyenwere celebrate after a second-round game against Maryland in the NCAA women's college basketball tournament Monday, March 25, 2019, in College Park, Md. UCLA won 85-80. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)


UCLA women top Maryland to face UConn in Sweet 16

Michaela Onyenwere scored a career-high 30 points to lead sixth-seeded UCLA past No. 3 Maryland, 85-80.

// Here is the schedule of Red Sox radio announcers for April

Sean McDonough, Josh Lewin and Lou Merloni will join Joe Castiglione on a rotating basis in the first month.

New England Patriot coach Bill Belichick, center, watches Jayson Stanley run a football drill during Georgia Pro Day, Wednesday, March 20, 2019, in Athens, Ga. (AP Photo/John Amis)



On the road with Bill Belichick: an education in scouting and football

Tuscaloosa, Ala., was the first stop on a trip through SEC country that took Belichick to Athens, Ga., the next day.

alex speier

It’s a little house, a man cave, a private lab: Here’s what goes on in the Red Sox’ batting cage

The batting cage has shifted from a place to just get loose to a key part of the Red Sox’ pursuit of victories.

NCAA Hockey Tournament

// UMass to meet Harvard, Northeastern takes on Cornell in NCAA hockey tournament

It’s the first postseason match for UMass, which was seeded No. 1 in the Northeast Regional, and Harvard.

2019 Baseball Preview


An appreciation of the Red Sox’ dynamic outfielders

Andrew Benintendi, Jackie Bradley Jr. and Mookie Betts are still carving their place in Sox history.

Boston Red Sox rookie sensations Fred Lynn, left, and Jim Rice, in Boston, on Aug. 4, 1975, both outfielders with exceptional hitting ability. It has been 25 years since rookie teammates drove in 100 runs apiece. Lynn and Rice appear sure bets to do it with the Red Sox. Boston manager Darrell Johnson said,


Peter Abraham | 2019 Baseball Preview

‘They’re special kids’: The last great Red Sox outfield on the new great Red Sox outfield

Jim Rice, Fred Lynn and Dwight Evans agree that each star trio have one thing in common: chemistry.

// How and where to watch the Red Sox this season

If you can’t simply turn on your TV to NESN, there are streaming options available.


// Here are some key dates in the 2019 Red Sox schedule

The defending World Series champions begin their season on March 28 against the Seattle Mariners.

Boston, MA - 10/23/2018 - James Taylor sings the National Anthem before Game 1 of the World Series. The Boston Red Sox host the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 1 of the World Series at Fenway Park. (Stan Grossfeld/Globe staff)

stan grossfeld/Globe staff

Alex Speier | 2019 Baseball Preview

How the Red Sox outfielders play their positions at Fenway

Space is the primary defining feature of Fenway Park, which features many idiosyncrasies.

Tara Sullivan | 2019 Baseball Preview

// These Red Sox deserve to be confident as they try to repeat. But they should also be wary

The first step in repeating is to forget your accomplishments of the previous season, which took the ’99 Yankess all year to do.

Chad Finn | Sports Media

// Sean McDonough is back where he belongs — calling Red Sox games

It’s been 15 years since McDonough called games as a Red Sox broadcaster.


// A player-by-player breakdown of the Red Sox roster and lineup

A look at who the Sox have and what they have to offer as the club tries to repeat.

Los Angeles, CA: 10-28-18: Manager Alex Cora (left) hoists the trophy as (left to right) David Price, Rick Porcello, Chris Sale and Eduardo Nunez look on while the Red Sox celebrate their World Series victory. The Boston Red Sox visited the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game Five of the World Series at Dodger Stadium. (Jim Davis/Globe Staff)

Globe Staff predictions

Here are the Globe staff predictions for the 2019 baseball season

Red Sox are not the staff’s favorites to repeat as World Series champions.

Fort Myers, Fl- Feb 18, 2019-Stan Grossfeld/Globe Staff--Red Sox Spring Training at JetBlue Park. Postcard from Spring Training: Mookie Betts is in love. His three month old daughter (cq) Kynlee reported to camp in the late morning, while Betts was taking batting practice. He immediately rushed over and gave her a kiss. “I was a little nervous about her coming here,” he said. “But not too nervous.” The sleep deprived MVP says he is dutifully dealing with “stinky diapers” and has a greater appreciation for his mom and his girlfriend Brianna Hammonds.

file/stan grossfeld/Globe staff

Peter Abraham | 2019 Baseball Preview

Mookie Betts’s style stands out, on and off the field

The MVP right fielder is carefully cultivating his growing celebrity.

Tara Sullivan | 2019 Baseball Preview

// No worries in center field, because Jackie Bradley Jr. is always in position

The even-keeled Bradley, who his first Gold Glove in 2018, is among the best center fielders in the game.

Dan Shaughnessy | 2019 Baseball Preview

// Andrew Benintendi is a noble heir to the monster throne in left

Benintendi, at 24 the youngest of the Sox outfielders, has every tool required to be a perennial All-Star.

Alex Speier | 2019 Baseball Preview

// J.D. Martinez is the designated sitter in the Red Sox outfield

“I can play outfield, Martinez said. “It’s tough with this outfield, obviously.”

Boston, MA - 5/22/1983: Boston Red Sox Wade Boggs sits in the dugout after his team's loss against the Minnesota Twins at Fenway Park in Boston, May 22, 1983. (Stan Grossfeld/Globe Staff) --- BGPA Reference: 180109_ON_004

file/stan grossfeld/Globe staff

Dan Shaughnessy | 2019 Baseball Preview

What happened to the bad old days of the Red Sox?

Clubhouse culture and team karma have changed for the better since Alex Cora arrived.

FILE - In this March 11, 2019 file photo Philadelphia Phillies right fielder Bryce Harper walks in the dugout before a spring training baseball game against the Tampa Bay Rays in Clearwater, Fla. Harper came to Philadelphia to do the one thing he didn't accomplish in Washington: Win in October. The Phillies gave him the biggest contract in baseball history to deliver. The 26-year-old slugger was a six-time All-Star, 2012 NL Rookie of the Year and 2015 NL Most Valuable Player during seven seasons with the Nationals. But he couldn't help Washington win a postseason series in four tries. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara, file)


League-wide story lines to watch this season, plus some superlatives

Despite a down 2018 season, Bryce Harper signed with the Phillies for an unfathomable 13 seasons.

Kevin Paul Dupont

/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2014/03/05/ More from Dupont

Read his recent “On Second Thought” columns and more features from the longtime Globe writer.