Boston hasn’t won a pro sports title in four months. In this particular century, there has been no such thing as a title drought. But where is the next title coming from? Metro ranks the teams in order of how soon they could win it all:
1. New England Patriots (Expect next title in 2016)
These are you defending Super Bowl champions, and even though Tom Brady may miss the first four games of the season, and even though you currently can’t name two cornerbacks on the roster, the Patriots always find a way to contend. As long as Bill Belichick is coach and Brady is quarterback, that’s going to be the case. Not that the team needed another reason to come out guns a blazin’ to defend their crown, but they’ll be eager to prove to the naysayers that regardless of what level the PSI is in the footballs, they’re the best team in the NFL. The AFC East has been a doormat for years, and while it’s improved a bit this season, it still offers an easy path for the Patriots.
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2. New England Revolution (Expect next title in 2016)
Ah, the Revs. We could be talking about a club with multiple championships over the last decade, but they always come up short in the big game. The same goes for last season in yet another loss to the L.A. Galaxy. The good news: like the NBA, it appears the MLS Eastern Conference is much weaker than the Western Conference, giving the Revs an easier path to the MLS Cup. The Revs have Team USA hero Jermaine Jones along with Juan Agudelo, Andrew Farrell and Charlie Davies leading the way. But can they finally go the distance? With so much talent right now, they need to cash in soon.
3. Boston Red Sox (Expect next title in 2016)
Well it certainly doesn’t look like 2015 is their year, does it? Sure, the Sox have shown some signs of life on occasion, but for the most part they’ve looked flat at the plate this season. Don’t expect a major overhaul like in 2012, though. Hanley Ramirez and Pablo Sandoval aren’t going anywhere, and neither are David Ortiz (next season, anyways) and Dustin Pedroia. The Sox are extremely high on Mookie Betts, Xander Bogaerts, and Blake Swihart, too. They believe in these guys. Next year’s rotation will feature Eduardo Rodriguez from the beginning, and could also feature prospect Brian Johnson. Unlike last offseason, the Sox may go out and get an ace, too. You may be “stuck” with most of these players for a few more seasons, but there are plenty of worse players to be stuck with. On paper, this team is built to win a World Series – but as the saying goes, they don’t play on paper.
4. Boston Celtics (Expect next title in 2018)
This is probably the hardest team to gauge. Danny Ainge has put the team in position to rebuild quickly, but they are still plenty of pieces away. Those pieces include a cornerstone player. If the Celtics can lure in a serious free agent (think: LaMarcus Aldridge) or trade for one (think: DeMarcus Cousins) then we’re cooking. The C’s clearly aren’t going to land a No. 1 overall pick in these rebuilding years, so they’ll have to really nail a couple mid-round draft picks, or trade them for proven talent. Best-case scenario is they do acquire a star player and bring in a supporting cast. Even if that happens, it will take a few years. The Celtics’ 2007-08 NBA Championship was truly special, and nobody can expect the stars to align that way again. This is a hugeoffseason for the Celtics if they want to be legit championship contenders in the next few seasons, and not just a playoff team.
5. Boston Bruins (Expect next title in 2018)
It seemed like just yesterday the Bruins were the best team in hockey. Now, having just missed the playoffs, it feels like they might get worse before they get better. Cap jail is a cruel, cruel place to be. How bad is the Bruins situation? The future of their defense, Dougie Hamilton, is a restricted free agent, and there’s a fear that the B’s might not match a contract he’s offered elsewhere. If they do, they’ll have next to nothing left to sign anybody else. Imagine that? That’s not the only problem former B’s GM Peter Chiarelli left them with. He also traded away their young star Tyler Seguin for 50 cents on the dollar. There are too many complimentary players and not enough stars – and those complimentary players make too much money. Zdeno Chara suddenly looks old, as does Dennis Seidenberg. This team has some big decisions to make over the next couple of seasons. Expect Claude Julien to be the fall guy this season.