Thursday, August 08, 2013

JUNE 25, 2013
Tip your hats to the Chicago Blackhawks, they deserve it Bruins’ fans. And they deserve the Stanley Cup they won with speed, crisp passing, a tough, shot-blocking defense and a goalie, Corey Crawford, who outplayed Tuukka Rask.

There the Bruins were, still smiling about Lucic’s go ahead goal and it was under 2 minutes in the game. They could look forward to a 7th game. Boston had done a good job of penalty killing, down a man. The Blackhawks pulled their goalie and with the man advantage quickly tied the game. Stunned the Bruins were still shaking off that goal when the Blackhawks pressed and got the game winner full strength.

If you like hockey, you had to love this Stanley Cup series. Of the six games, three were overtime, including Game #1 going 3 OTs. Up and down, back and forth. Unbelievable saves by Rask and Crawford. Two goals separated these two teams in their 6 games. Chicago had 17 and Boston 15 for the series.   

Chicago’s speed forced the Bruins into errors (think Chara along the boards not holding the puck in leading to the tying goal by Toews). That speed wore down the gutsy and game Bruins D. And conversely the Blackhawks D shut down Krejci, Horton, Marchand, and Seguin, none of whom scored a goal in the series. Tip your hats to the better team.

Patrice Bergeron reportedly played Game #6 with a broken rib, torn cartilage and a dislocated shoulder. I had told the Hugh-Man that the Bruins had no chance of winning without him. The Bruins were 1:16 away from a Game #7 with a beat up Bergeron, who played 17 minutes. Their leader in faceoff wins, he was 5 of 11. Yet, the Bruins won 36 faceoffs to Chicago’s 28. It wasn’t enough.

Aaron Hernandez has played his last game for the NE Patriots. He faces serious legal repercussions. Because of the death of ‘friend’ Odin Lloyd (who was dating Hernandez’s fiancée’s sister), and because a man who was in a group with Hernandez in Florida says Hernandez shot him in the face in February. Not sure why it took this long to come out. 

Expect Peter Goodell to suspend Hernandez for the season. The Patriots will try to get back some of the guaranteed money owed, but Hernandez has already received $9.25 Mill, and per Ian Rapoport ( – 6/21), his contract does not include ‘failure to perform’ or ‘failure to practice’ clauses. So he might get to keep the money owed.

The death of a ‘friend’? How does this happen? You read Hernandez’s words after the birth of his daughter: “I can’t just be young and reckless Aaron no more.” (NESN/Luke Hughes -11/8/12) As a Patriots’ fan, you have no idea what that ‘reckless’ means.

Shooting people with a gun, well that’s reckless, and killing someone is insane. There have been some strange episodes in the history of the Patriots. Nothing like this though. A sad time in the storied annals of a proud football group who chose team over self. It appears that Aaron Hernandez chose himself over everything in this world. Let’s hope that the truth will out about Odin Lloyd’s death, and who was responsible.

As a Patriots’ fan, you now realize that the team will be without Gronk until Game #2, if they are lucky. Probably PUP list and back after Game #6. No Hernandez. Your tight end offense just disappeared. Tom Brady was already faced with learning new connections among a passel of receivers he’s never seen. No safety blanket Wes Welker. Can you say Offensive woes?

Good thing they stole TE Jake Ballard from the NY Giants. They still have Fells and Hoomy who are more blockers. As a result, a free agent rookie TE like Zach Sudfeld might make the team. How about Tim Tebow as a TE?

The Pats will have to rely on passes to backs like Vereen and the running game to offset this huge loss of firepower. This may be the year that the Defense will step up and win some games in which the Pats don’t score a lot of points. If Tom Brady, Bill Belichick and Josh McDaniels find a way to produce scores from this group, they deserve the Hall.

On last week’s quiz: I'm thinking it's got to be Carole King.  She wrote so many great songs that were covered by others. Go Bruins!
Glenn Dewell
Glenn, good guess but not the right one. This person may surprise you. See last page -  Z 

● Congrats to the Miami Heat for their NBA championship. Ray Allen got another ring. He hit the big 3 to tie Game #6 and send it into OT where the Heat won. In Game #7 Allen did not score. Neither did Chris Bosh and Mike Miller. LeBron had 37, Wade 23 and Shane Battier hit 6 of 8 three’s. I wish the Spurs had won.
● The Red Sox have no closer. Uehara would be OK, but at his age it’s unrealistic to trot him out two nights in a row. A trade? Costly. Use Brandon Workman or Rubby DeLa Rosa in that role? Anthony Ranaudo? No closer help in Pawtucket. No closer no playoffs.
● RIP Bobby ‘Blue’ Bland (born Robert Brooks) who died at age 83. My AF buddy Mike Curtis could tell you a lot about his music. ‘Blue’ Bland had crossover hits with Turn On Your Love Light, Call on Me, That’s the Way Love Is and Ain’t Nothing You Can Do. The NY Times/Bill Friskics-Warren – 6/25 was used as a resource.
● Celtics draft Thursday. Doc is in LA. Pierce and KG are probably gone. Bridge years.
● Who has the best ERA in the AL East? NY (3.78). The worst? Balt. (4.43). Sox (3.91).
● The NY Times Ken Belson (6/22) had this: the commissioner of the Japanese baseball league Ryozo Kato may get fired because the league has secretly allowed a juiced up ball.   
● I’ll miss the Stanley Cup Finals. Would have loved a Game #7. Your team doesn’t always win.

It was the Wizard holding his smart phone who informed us that James Gandolfini had just died of a heart attack in Italy. 51. Too young to die. Everyone knew Gandolfini from The Sopranos, but the Wizard liked him in True Romance and I mentioned 8 MM.
R.I.P. James Gandolfini. Tony Soprano has left the house.

Last Tuesday night the Hot Club TVs were showing the Red Sox game and the NBA Finals. A patron wanted David to change the channel so he could watch the soccer qualifying match (US – Honduras). Dave tried to explain that he couldn’t because of the way the sets are connected. As Dave was relating this story to me, a patron said, “Should have just said ‘No’.” I added, “But he wanted an explanation as well.”

Neal, a friend of Joe Murphy’s, said to check out website Hadn’t seen Mr. Murphy in some time, so it was good to share a Friday on the deck. Joe plays out with a band called ‘Stumbling Murphy’. Catch them if you can.

Peter asked us who was the guy from Fall River who wrote Jet Airliner for Steve Miller. I didn’t know so I looked it up on my android phone and found it to be Paul Peña. Peter was amazed that I knew it until I told him that I used my phone to google it.

In the quiz of last issue, I asked you to name the female rocker who had more charted songs than any other woman in the 1960’s. In fact, only the Beatles, Elvis and Ray Charles had more during the ’60’s. Answer – ‘Little Miss Dynamite’, Brenda Lee. Later Brenda Lee became a country star (she had a ‘country’ hit in 1957 and then not another until 1969 because her management/label didn’t release her rockabilly/pop songs to country radio).

The 4’9” ‘Little Miss Razz Matazz’ did a UK tour in the early ’60’s in which the Beatles opened for her. She did a duet with Willy DeVille on ’92’s Loup Garou and is mentioned on Radar Love by Golden Earring. All this is from (Wikipedia states that Connie Francis had more charted hits in the ‘60’s). Her first album Brenda Lee was the first album that I owned. Sweet Nothin’s, I’m Sorry, and, of course, her version of Jambalaya. Her biggest selling song? Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree.

According to my source, this tune was the shortest rock song to ever reach #1 on Billboard Hot 100. Name the song and who sang it.

JUNE 18, 2013

With a win Wednesday, the Bruins have the chance to put the Chicago Blackhawks closer to the Happy Hunting Grounds. The remarkable comeback in Game #2 and the solid, yeomanly effort in Game #3 puts them in that position. Poor ice kept Game #3 from being a polished game.

The Game #2 win was remarkable and wonderful. The Bruins recovered from a 1st period in which they were out shot 19-4 because Tuukka Rask was up to the task, and did all but stand on his head holding Chicago to 1 goal. It could easily have been 3-0. The only stat in which the Bruins led at intermission was hits.

As brother Brad and I watched the game, it was obvious to us that the Bruins played poorly for a period and a half of Game #2. Chris Kelly didn’t score the tying goal until 5:02 left in the 2nd period.

The Bruins had to slow the speedy Blackhawks down. One way to do that is checking and hitting. The Bruins (especially Lucic) hit Blackhawks at every chance and that wore them down and slowed them down. Of course it helped that Marian Hossa didn’t play in Game #3. Hossa had 5 shots on goal in that 1st period of Game #2, and is tied for the team lead in scoring (with Patrick Sharp and Patrick Kane). That’s a big loss.

An interesting stat from Game #2: the Bruins, noted for their faceoff success (especially Bergeron) won 39 faceoffs in Game #2 and Chicago won 33.

In Game #3 the Bruins won 40 faceoffs and Chicago 16. Patrice Bergeron won an incredible 24 of 28. Chris Kelly wasn’t bad at 8 of 11. Those faceoff wins sure help your goalie.

You have to credit Claude Julien for teaming Daniel Paille with Chris Kelly and Tyler Seguin. The new 3rd line has been huge. Sports talk radio had been hammering Tyler Seguin, but now he has had an assist in Games 2 and 3. The one in Game #2 was on the overtime game winner.

And what of Mike Milbury of the NHL network who went off on Jaromir Jagr after period 1 of Game #2, saying he should be replaced on his line. Jagr played well after those words and Milbury had to eat them (or at least shut up about Jagr).

Brad Marchand needs to control his temper better. Last night, after missing a goal, he broke his stick at the Bruins’ bench near a teammate. Someone could have gotten hurt. Coach Claude was seen saying something in Marchand’s ear after the play.

Kudos to Nathan Horton who is playing with a left shoulder subluxation. That basically means his shoulder pops out of place at times. Which means he’s probably playing with a harness/brace and a lot of painkillers.

This series is not over so don’t count your chickens just yet, Boston fans. If the Bruins continue to check, check, check and Rask continues to Tuukka the Blackhawks, the Cup can be carried away by Boston. Let’s see how they do Wednesday. We want the Cup!

Like you I’m in shock that ‘Doc’ Rivers seems to want out of Boston. However, we don’t know all the details yet, and ‘Doc’ brought a championship to Boston. That should not be forgotten. If he now wants out and Danny can get something for him …
In Terry Francona’s book (by Dan Shaughnessy), it is mentioned that when Janet Marie Smith (who designed Camden Yards in Baltimore and is responsible for the changes to Fenway, including the Monster seats) was let go in 2009, ownership did not call her or congratulate her in any way. Larry Lucchino, who brought Smith to Boston (he did one thing right), was the only one to talk to her and tell her she was being fired. Sportscape says John Henry’s new wife Linda Pizzuti then replaced Smith.
If you’re wondering how the Methuselah’s in New York are staying in the AL East pennant race (2 games behind Boston in the loss column), the NY Times (Tyler Kepner – 6/18) had this about the Yankees’ starting pitching: “no team in the majors had more games holding the opposition to four runs or fewer.”   
Brad and I got to see Xander Bogaerts on Father’s Day. It was not a great day for Xander as he went 0 for 4, hit into a double play and pulled the 1B off the bag with a throw. However the PawSox won 5-3. In an oddity, everyone in the lineup had a hit (10) except Bogaerts and Jackie Bradley Jr. Knuckleballer Steve Wright pitched much better (I predicted they’d need 7 runs to win) going 8 innings for the win (5 hits, 1 run, 7 Ks, no BBs). Dan Butler caught the knuckleballer as Ryan Lavarnway is still a work in progress.  
At the PawSox game, ‘Big Al’ Beaulieu and Ted and Joanne Bates bemoaned the fact that the night before, the Bruins’ game was not on local TV, having stayed home to watch it. Game #1 was on Channel 10 but the rest have been on NBC’s cable channel. NBC is missing out by not having the thrilling Stanley Cup Finals on a station people can see. As ‘Big Al’ said, “I don’t have cable.”
The only win that the BoSox had over the Orioles (Saturday’s 5-4 game) ended with pinch runner Alexi Casilla getting doubled off 1st on a fly out after pinch running for SS JJ Hardy. Think manager Buck Showalter was steamed? But pinch running for your SS? 
Per the Herald’s Jeff Howe (6/16), Tim Tebow enlisted the help of ex-FSU QB Chris Weinke to tutor him on throwing the pigskin after being cut by the Jets. Weinke has provided coaching help to Cam Newton and Russell Wilson among others. 
Chuck Waseleski (Globe – 6/16) had this stat: Daniel Nava is hitting .405 with the tying or go-ahead run on base.
And from Bill Chuck in the same Globe: Lucas Harrell of the Astros has thrown more pitchers out of the strike zone (579) than anyone. He’s followed by James Shields of KC (564) and Jon Lester (562). Lester has gone full count to 99 batters, the most in MLB.
While Anthony Ranaudo is 7-1, 2.15 ERA at Portland, Matt Barnes is 3-3, 5.87 ERA.

I stayed up for the sox, but didn't have to stay up late as one major advantage of the left coast is superior viewing times for all things sports - Monday Night Football starts at 6 PM - nuff said.
Speaking of wife and I watched the Christopher Walken classic SNL sketch "Colonel Angus" on hulu the other night. 10 minutes of double entendres all with a straight face and delivered only as Walken could do it.  "More Cowbell" gets all the glory, but that sketch was writing genius.  We also found the "Cork Soakers" sketch about the Italian wine makers.  Janet Jackson guest host says, can one of you guys teach me how to Soak Cork?
Andrew ‘Left Coast’ Wright 
Andrew, that stuff is great. I'll look for it. I saw the Colonel Angus one but not cork soakers. The Andy Samberg/Timberlake stuff is great too, like the xxx in the box song.-Z

Good job Jimmy....but when did cunnilingus become a sport?  I guess it's kind of a contact sport without the fear of concussions...LOLOL  How about signing Tebow?  That was a bit of a coup de cunnilingus by the PATS.  We shall see..... You should try to use the da word in every Sportzine.  I can help if you want.  I am an idea guy.
David Knudson

Yes and I see where those ideas of yours go, Dave. Cunning linguist that you are.
Tebow (let me kneel while I type this) may not get out of camp. Besides the weird
throwing manner (and a lefty), they say he can't remember plays. That won't fly with Bill Belichick. Tebow's $ is not guaranteed. Let's see how they use him. I think he has a place, but it's going to take some ingenuity.   -  Z
Jim, The answer to your quiz I believe is Steve Cropper of Booker T and the MG's. Scott ‘Beach’ Bishop You are right Scott-o, my Brother. 'The Beach' is still roaring   -    Z

My stab at trivia question: Steve Cropper, lead guitar for Booker T and the MG's. The bass player, Duck Dunn, recently passed away by the way. Great Zine as always.
Tom Queenan.

You’re right, Q, and if you go to Cropper’s own web site, the first thing that you see is his tribute to ‘Duck’ Dunn, whom he calls the greatest bass player ever. England’s Mojo Magazine named Cropper the 2nd best guitarist ever (Jimi Hendrix being # 1).

Jim, gotta be Steve Cropper that you are talkin' about.  You can FedEx that beer. It's killin' me to say this as a boy who bleeds Rouge, Blanc, et Bleu, (the old man would disown me), but I'm picking the Bruins in 7 over the Blackhawks because of two reasons: their bench is showing just a bit deeper and Rask is playing out of his mind in big situations.

Bill (Big White) LaPlante

When a life-long Montreal Canadiens fan picks the Bruins to win the Stanley Cup, you sit up and take notice. High praise.   -   Z
We were talking about the possible uses of Tim Tebow by the Patriots and Mr. D. yelled out “Hail Mary!”

Young Josh (the HC bar back) had a good idea about using Tim Tebow. He suggested that Tebow hold on field goal tries (which he did before). That would give the team another dimension since he could run or pass out of that formation.

Fleet Feet Pete came up with a chant for this year’s Red Sox: ‘Lester and Bucky and hope we get lucky’. Right after Pete said this, Buchholz seemed headed for the Disabled List.

We were talking about the recent movie Kon-Tiki (2012). Buffalo Steve had read the book about Thor Heyerdahl’s great 1947 expedition. Steve said it was a little known fact that Thor Heyerdahl could not swim, and told me to check it out. So I checked Wikipedia, which had this: “…had nearly drowned at least twice in childhood and did not take easily to water…” The Telegraph (UK) says that Heyerdahl was terrified of the water his whole life and didn’t learn to swim until age 22. The Norwegian Heyerdahl died at age 87 in April of 2002.

Fleet Feet Pete pointed out a guy walking the deck at the Hot Club had a tee shirt that read “I didn’t claw my way to the top of the food chain…to eat vegetables.”


The lead guitarist of a great R&B group who also co-wrote some of the best soul songs ever? Steve Cropper of Booker T & the MGs. A few of the songs he co-wrote: In the Midnight Hour, and 99 ½ (Just Won’t Do) with Wilson Pickett; Knock on Wood and 634-5789 with Eddie Floyd; Green Onions and Time Is Tight with Booker T. Jones; and Sitting on the Dock of the Bay with Otis Redding. Cropper, known as ‘The Colonel’ was born in Dora, Missouri (10/21/41). Cropper also helped start the Mar-Keys after being in a band called the Royal Spades with Charlie Freeman. The Mar-Keys referred to the Marquee outside the Stax record studios (Satellite Records at the time).


This female rock ‘n’ roller charted more hits than any other woman in the 1960’s and only 3 others (Ray Charles, the Beatles and Elvis) had more during that time. Name her.