“All I’m askin’ is for a little respect”

Aretha Franklin knew what she was talking about. The definition of respect is a feeling of deep admiration for someone or something elicited by their abilities, qualities, or achievements. Theoretically, we all strive to show people respect, however, just how to show that respect seems to be a moving target. For some, financial gain or promotion, others it’s a pat on the back or being acknowledged for your hard work, dedication or success in any variety of ways. But the professional athlete is a whole different animal. Their definition of respect changes frequently and is very often defined by sports agents, insecurity or a posse that easily influences the athlete’s thought process.

Pablo Sandoval says he didn’t feel respected by the San Francisco Giants and hence signed a deal with the Boston Red Sox. Sandoval said the Giants disrespected his agent but declined going into detail. The Giants were not only willing to match the Red Sox offer this offseason, they were willing to exceed 100 million. Sandoval went on to say “If you want me around, you make the effort to push and get me back”. Sandoval played seven years and won three rings for the Giants and was a fan favorite. He has gone out of his way to bash the Giants and says he will only miss manager Bruce Bochy and Hunter Pence. What else could the Giants have done to show Sandoval respect? No one knows for sure, but athletes often behave like little children because in many cases they are pampered growing up and never fully mature. If Sandoval truly felt disrespected, go to the Giants, communicate the problem and resolve it instead of taking the easy way out and disparaging your former employer and making yourself look petulant in the process.

The AFC East teams have been perennial whipping boys for the Patriots, but I believe the Miami Dolphins are much closer to catching the Patriots than people give them credit for. Adding Ndamakong Suh will give them a toughness and attitude they have sorely lacked and the defensive front for Miami could be the best in football. Ryan Tannehill has been in the league four years and threw for 27 TD’s and 12 picks last season and continues to show signs of improvement. The Jets will be dominant on defense perhaps among the top three units in the league and if offensive coordinator Chan Gailey can work his magic with Ryan Fitzpatrick like he did in Buffalo, things could get interesting. I pick Buffalo for last. As of now, the Patriots look to have the worst defense in the division this year and that should be alarming to everyone because defense wins.

What the heck are the Kansas City Chiefs doing signing receiver Jeremy Maclin as a free agent? No Chiefs receiver has caught a touchdown since 2013 and Alex Smith can’t throw the ball consistently past eight yards anyway. Maclin might stretch the field but Jamaal Charles might have to tip the ball forward for Maclin to catch it.

Why is it DeMarco Murray was only great because the Cowboys had a great offensive line? I don’t remember hearing people saying that when Emmitt Smith played behind a ridiculously good offensive line. As a matter of fact, I would argue that Emmitt Smith has probably been the biggest beneficiary of any running back in the last 25-30 years by putting up amazing stats because of a great O-line. I think the Cowboys are going to very much regret him moving to the Eagles. I’m not thinking Lance Dunbar or Joseph Randle are winning the rushing title any time soon.

Amazing what is happening with the Boston Celtics right now. They are 7-3 in the last 10 and realistically should be 9-1. In two of those losses to Golden State and Orlando, they blew 20 plus point leads and the only other loss was in Cleveland who has the best record in the NBA since Jan. 15 at 21-5. The Celtics starting five for those of you wondering are Tyler Zeller (acquired for nothing by Boston so the Cavs could get cap room to acquire LeBron James), Evan Turner, the second pick in the 2010 draft who was happily discarded by Philly and Indiana, Brandon Bass, who has been a backup on good teams and desperate starter on bad ones and the guards are Avery Bradley and rookie Marcus Smart. Not only is Avery Bradley the highest paid player in that group at a mere seven million, but the total salaries of the Celtics starters is slightly over 22 million which is cumulatively less than Kobe Bryant, Joe Johnson????? And Carmelo Anthony. Coach Brad Stevens had his first winning month in February since taking over by going 7-4 and has every player on this team contributing in one way or another and playing hard. The coaching acumen and motivational skills that Stevens is starting to show are exactly what GM Danny Ainge had envisioned when he lured him from Butler.

The Celtics remaining schedule has 19 games left including two games against Cleveland and Toronto and games against the Clippers, Spurs and Thunder. The other 12 games are very winnable. By the way, prior to trading Rajon Rondo the Celtics were 9-14 and are 18-22 since. Dallas was 19-8 and is 22-17 since.

Montreal, Tampa Bay, NY Rangers, Nashville, Anaheim, and St. Louis all have between 89 and 91 points right now to lead the NHL. There is no clear cut favorite this year heading into the playoffs and the two most consistent playoff performers (LA Kings and Chicago) are lurking. The Kings though would not make it as of now despite their most recent push.

Don’t look now but early reports on Alex Rodriguez look promising.