Business rules different for Red Sox, Patriots


Business rules different for Red Sox, Patriots

On page B2 of Thursday's Boston Globe, tucked neatly under the "New England in brief" headline was an interesting piece of business news.

Boston City Councilor Michael Ross filed for a hearing to "examine the lease of public streets near Fenway Park to the Red Sox."

That lease, which costs the team 186,000 per year (or roughly 100 times less than they'll pay Josh Beckett this season) has netted the team 45 million over the nine years of the agreement, according to an investigative story in the Globe last November.

It is the sweetest of sweetheart deals and credit to the Globe for pulling the rug back on it.

The streets leased - Yawkey Way and Lansdowne Street - were labelled "urban blight" back in 2002 by the Boston Redevelopment Authority.

The reason? The Globe explained in November that it was, "To legally justify taking them from the city and handing control to the Red Sox. This is a common tool the authority uses to take destitute property in the city for redevelopment, though it is unclear how these prosperous streets fit the definition."

Now that the negotiations are moving forward though, the news is wedged in the "New England in brief" section?

We'll see where the Globe goes with this going forward but it is interesting to see the indignation expressed over a far-less-expensive proposal put forth on behalf of the Patriots.

Exactly two years before the Globe wrote its expose of the lease deal, the Globe wrote about about stimulus funds that were being ticketed for a pedestrian bridge over Route 1 in Foxborough.

The article dripped indignation that the 9 million bridge would be financed by federal funds given that Patriots owner Robert Kraft was 468th on the Forbes list of richest men.

Given the Patriots built their 325 million stadium, which opened in 2002, and have since added Patriot Place -- which includes restaurants, shopping and a hotel -- the impact there on the regional economy and jobs is surely comparable to what the Red Sox generate around Fenway for the city of Boston.

Consider this: If the city had pushed to get a portion of the revenue those leased streets generate for the Red Sox they'd have certainly made as much as - if not more - than the 9 million the federal government was to have spent on the proposed bridge which would have been maintained by The Kraft Group.

The state has since denied the proposal by The Kraft Group. Twice.

We'll see where the Red Sox lease deal goes. And the attendant flavor of the coverage the Globe brings to it.

WATCH: Boston Celtics vs. Orlando Magic


WATCH: Boston Celtics vs. Orlando Magic

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Bruins put finishing touches on reeling Canadiens


Bruins put finishing touches on reeling Canadiens

MONTREAL -- The Boston Bruins weren’t about to dance on any Montreal Canadiens’ graves after it was over and done with, but they effectively closed the door on any flickering playoff hopes for the Habs this week. It all ended with Saturday night’s 4-1 win over the Canadiens at the Bell Centre that finished off the sweep of all three meetings between the two arch-rivals over an eight day span, and with the reeling Montreal a stunning 13 points out of a playoff spot in the Atlantic Division.

It was a close game nearly all the way through in Montreal until David Pastrnak and Riley Nash scored in the final few minutes of the third period, but the Bruins outscored the Habs by an 11-5 margin while clearly establishing they were the better team in all three contests. It all makes sense given the opposite directions that the two hockey clubs are headed at this point in the season, and because of that the Bruins were playing it pretty cool after burying the Habs.

“It was kind of a crazy week because we were playing them three times, so we obviously wanted to play good hockey,” said Tuukka Rask, who won all three games vs. the Habs while improving his lifetime record vs. the Habs to 10-15-3 in the process. “[We wanted to] get as many points as possible, and won all of those games along with the one on Long Island. So it was a great week for us.”

Certainly it seemed like there was more genuine emotion from the Bruins in Claude Julien’s return to Boston midweek, and perhaps a little more adrenaline in last weekend’s first game at the Bell Centre where rookies like Jake DeBrusk, Charlie McAvoy and Danton Heinen were dipping their toes into the storied rivalry for the first time.

But on this Saturday night it was more about a complete dismantling of the Bleu, Blanc and Rouge even as the Bruins initially fell down by a goal after a bad McAvoy turnover. Instead it was Boston’s Perfection Line that went to work with an efficient, dominant performance as David Pastrnak scored the game’s first goal and insurance third goal in the third period. They also accounted for the game-winner when Marchand-Bergeron-Pastrnak hemmed Montreal’s fourth line in the defensive zone, and Torey Krug eventually stepped up and rifled one short side on Carey Price.

Marchand, Bergeron and Pastrnak combined for two goals, six assists and a plus-8 in the resounding victory over the Habs, and had a dominant 12 of Boston’s 31 shots on net when the final horn had sounded. They simply overwhelmed Montreal with their depth, the high end quality of their lineup and the fact that Boston was rested while the Habs had to play in Washington DC on Friday night in a three games in four days stretch.

All of that allowed the Bruins to drive the final nail into Montreal’s coffin when the game was over, and it furthermore allowed Boston to keep worrying about the teams they’re trying to catch (ahem . . . Tampa Bay Lightning) rather than Eastern Conference bottom-feeders like the Canadiens.

“We talked about doing the job against them and finding a ways to push teams down while gaining ground on the teams above us,” said Patrice Bergeron. “I thought it was a great effort again. We knew that they would be ready for us, but we also knew that they had played last night. So maybe if we had a good start we could jump on them. I thought we had a good game.”

Clearly there have been ebbs and flows to the Bruins/Habs rivalry over their long history together, and both Boston and Montreal have been in the catbird seat at different times even in the recent editions of their history. But right now Boston is beating the Canadiens badly at their own skill and speed game and dominating thing with pure hockey rather than bullying, and that’s got to sting for a Habs group that simply couldn’t compete with the Bruins in three different chances to do so this week.