Baseball is back and so is cricket!

The Red Sox allegedly outbid 11 other teams to land Cuban prize Yoan Moncada. Some scouts are calling him the next Robinson Cano and the Yankees were rumored to be the top threat to sign him based on their dire middle infield needs. The Sox have now spent over 300 million dollars in the last year on Pablo Sandoval, Hanley Ramirez, Moncada and fellow Cuban Rusney Castillo. It seems like one year ago, Sox executive Larry Lucchino was boasting about how the Sox aren’t like the Yankees and don’t need to spend big money on free agency to build their team after the Yankees had spent close to 400 million on Brian McCann, Jacoby Ellsbury and Masahiro Tanaka. Thanks Larry for setting the record straight.

Not sure I have ever seen a goalie take two minor penalties within six seconds and have a goal scored in between like what happened Sunday when Tuukka Rask accomplished this feat against the Blackhawks. The first penalty was for delay of game and the second was for slashing after he was frustrated when he allowed the goal.

Can’t wait to see the results of the Wonderlic tests from the NFL Combine. Or better yet, who had the fastest 40 yard dash time?

No Patriots fan should feel at ease until they know the fate of whether Darrelle Revis will return.

World B. Free meets Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf meets Kareem Abdul Jabaar. Things are looking up for Braves outfielder Melvin Upton Jr. formerly BJ Upton Jr.  After hitting .226 over the sample size of the last five years, B.J. had identified the problem as having the wrong name which caused his batting average to plummet. Perhaps his brother Justin should change his name to Melvin also.

By the way, when former UCLA running back Sharmon Shah changed his name to Kareem Abdul Jabaar, it was great irritating LA fans by calling the former Lakers center Sharmon Shah so there would be no confusion on who the real Jabaar is.

The NBA trade deadline doesn’t seem to have the same luster when Goran Dragic is the most exciting player being moved.

Austin Rivers had 28 points for the Clippers last Saturday night in their win over Sacramento.

The race for the 8th and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference is ratcheting up so much so though that the NFC South is getting very jealous. Brooklyn is currently holding the 8th spot with a sparkling 22-31 record but have no fear, Charlotte, Detroit, Indiana and Boston are right on their heels at 11 and 12 games under .500. Adam Silver has it right when he talks about revamping the playoff format, as just like Carolina in the NFL, it is embarrassing for a sports league to field a playoff team that is nine games under .500 especially when there are two other teams (Phoenix, New Orleans) that are over .500.

Never thought I would see the day when Golden State was 43-9 and New York was 10-44.

Great to see Kevin Garnett close out his career in Minnesota. After all the acrimony with owner Glen Taylor when he was originally traded, he has the opportunity to mentor a tremendous amount of young talent in Andrew Wiggins, Ricky Rubio and Zach LaVine (slam dunk champion) among others. Hopefully Garnett calls it a career though at the end of this season as he is a shadow of his former self and when his frustration led to head-butting Dwight Howard last month, time to hang it up.

Why would the Celtics acquire a guy that ruined the CBA, dismantled the Knicks organization and threw one of the worst passes in NBA playoff history to Larry Bird? Oh that is the other Isiah Thomas! Seems like a good acquisition on the surface for the Celts, but a little concerning that teams keep getting rid of such a potent sparkplug and scorer off the bench. Specifically, Phoenix who had just signed him to a four-year deal and now looked to get rid of him in year one of that deal.

As Tiger Woods struggles and injuries continue to mount, he might have reached rock bottom when Josh Scobee challenged him to play $100,000 per hole at the San Jose Country Club. For those of you who don’t know who Josh Scobee is (unless you do fantasy football and even then you might not know since he is in the bottom tier of kickers), he is the Jacksonville Jaguars kicker. Is this how desperate Jacksonville is to get in the news? Next thing you know we will see Stephen Gostkowski challenging Michael Phelps in the 100m breaststroke or Ali-Haji-Sheikh (for you Giants fans) challenging Floyd Mayweather.

Watch out for India in the World Cricket Cup. My scouting team tells me they are definitely the favorite.

Can we stop the duck boat parades already for Boston championships? Do fans really enjoy standing for hours in one spot so they can waive to players as they go by? Remember the rallies at City Hall Plaza for the Celtics in the 80’s and the Superbowl rally where Robert Kraft was dancing and goofing with the players in February of 2002. Heck, Larry Bird proclaimed in 1981 that Moses (Malone) does eat bleep! The crowd roared and for a great memory. Fans want to hear from the players. If safety and practicality truly prevent the rallies at City Hall Plaza anymore, than move the Pats celebration to Gillette Stadium or the Sox to Fenway Park or at least end the celebrations at a central rallying point. The Bruins did a version of that in 2011.

Enough about Pablo Sandoval’s weight. Look what happened to C.C. Sabathia when he tried to lose weight. If there was ever a sport where you could get away without being in shape, baseball is it and he has proven himself successful while playing with that weight. Look at Bartolo Colon and Prince Fielder. Ok maybe not Prince Fielder.

Did you see the look on Alex Rodriguez when he wrote his apology?

The win over Chicago doesn’t change the fact that the Boston Bruins are an unmitigated disaster. It has very little to do with injuries and players slumping and what it mostly has to do with is a stubborn coach who the players are now tuning out and a General Manager who has done a below average job drafting, overestimated the players on his roster, and allowed the roster to grow stale by not incorporating the appropriate turnover. Chiarelli is adding insult to injury by putting players like David Pastrnak and Malcolm Subban into a dysfunctional and downtrodden situation which if allowed to linger, can hamper a player’s development. You can survive a lot in sports, but bad team chemistry, lack of confidence among teammates and the coach throwing players under the bus on a routine basis will not work. A blockbuster is needed at the deadline.

Even with the loss of stud goaltender Pekka Rinne, the Nashville Predators still have the best record in hockey. The bad news is the reward for that could be a first round matchup with the defending Stanley Cup champion and all of the sudden red-hot L.A. Kings.

Sports Cheater of the week: Joe Johnson for stealing from Brooklyn Nets ownership.

Johnson is the second highest paid player in the league and is still owed three years and 70 million. All this for the 45th leading scorer in the NBA.