Saturday, May 30, 2015

MARCH 10, 2015

As we await spring, we can escape the receding snow banks by checking out sunny
Florida as this year's edition of the Red Sox rolls out. What have we here?
Most of the off season moves made by Ben Cherington seemed good. Sandoval, Hanley
(if he's healthy and harmonious), Miley, Porcello, Masterson. I did not like giving up
Anthony Ranaudo to the Rangers for LHP Robbie Ross, Jr. Just because you have a
plethora of pitchers, doesn't mean you give any away. Unless you forget the axiom that
you can't have enough pitching. Let's hope that Ross, Jr. helps out in the bullpen and it's
a good trade for both sides.
The starting pitching is decent and could be good. I still think that they are going to need
a starter from Pawtucket to step in and step up to get to the playoffs. For us sufferin'
PawSox fans, the starting rotation there of Henry Owens, Eduardo Rodriguez (the steal
from the Orioles), Brian Johnson, Matt Barnes and Steve Wright should be one of the
most impressive groups ever at McCoy. And Owens, Rodriguez and Johnson are lefties!
One of those guys may play an important role as a fill in starter in an injury situation
(let's knock on wood that there aren't any, but that'd be way too optimistic). Another
might be in the pen. This year, the playoffs may not be possible without Pawtucket's
Unless, of course, you expect the revamped BoSox lineup to lay the lumber on
opponents and win slugfests. That only works for so long and then you need pitching
and defense.
Here's hoping that Victorino is in RF for Game #1 and Jackie Bradley Jr. finds his hitting
stroke. Except for LF, the outfield defense should be very good. With Sandoval, a
healthy Pedroia, Bogaerts' better range and a vastly underrated Napoli at 1B (especially
scooped throws), the infield should be a lot more solid than last year.
Aah, hope springs eternal. Worst to 1st again? Let's see the Sox do it. Finish the Job.

Congrats on #600. It seems like just yesterday you'd throw an issue on my desk. I
appreciated it (others not so much). I'm sorry about the PawSox situation. A move to
the Providence waterfront is just a money grab by a few wannabees. It will not
revitalize the Renaissance City, nothing can in our lifetimes. (The HC would be a
winner however.) Worcester is sniffing around already.
Cheers to Schilling for exposing the cretins who vilely commented about his daughter.
Exposing those gutless cowards paid off. One was fired (a part-timeYankee ticket
vendor) and another (college DJ) lost his job too. It's easy to hide behind social media
anonymity, but facing reality is painful and just.
Keep up the good reporting! (keep an eye on Bryant - an upcomer in many Div I
Rick Poncelet

Hard to believe that I made it to #600. I feel like I can go on for a bit longer. It
helps to write when there is something going on. After the ProJo deigned not to
print my letter, I sent it to Bill Reynolds. He said that he didn't disagree with
anything I wrote. That made me feel better, especially after some of the debates I
had a couple Fridays ago at the Hot Club. Will keep an eye on Bryant (my 2nd
alma mater). - Z

Congrats Jimmy, the Irish Shamrock, Good for you!!! Sports and writing are an
obvious passion. Keep it up. I thought the Charlie Rose interview with Larry David
was good, but Buffalo Steve interviewing you was better. I just didn't think it was
wise to use BS as his title....LOL
Best wishes, mi amigo.
Dave Knudson

Jim, congrats on your 600th!! The Zine has brought me much joy and laughter over
the years! Also, you have vented many a frustrated moment for me through print.
Once again, congrats.

Much credit to you, Jimmy, for hanging in and hanging on throughout all those
mean and lean years. Rock on.
Glad that you are still having fun doing this for we armchair quarterbacks, armchair
hitters, and armchair goaltenders.
GO HABS GO!!!!!!
Carey Price is a lock for the Vezina, but if the Canadiens win the Cup (they CAN
beat the Blackhawks), he should stand to take home the Hart trophy also. He's been
carrying the team on his back for the past 3 months now. Shot totals every game
usually favor their opponents, but Price keeps them in the games that they shouldn't
be in, and closes the door on those that they are winning.
They love him in Le Centre Bell.
This one will be for "Le Gros Bill"...Mr. Jean Beliveau.
Big White
Yeah I told The Bear (also a Habs fan) that I think Montreal will win the Stanley
Cup. The Bruins will be lucky to make the playoffs and if they do, I think they'd
have to play the Habs right away. How good is this guy they got from Colorado
(Maxime Talbot)? While the Bruins are having trouble scoring, their defense has
been horrible. Guess the price was too high for a D Man. I wish they still had
Boychuk but he seemed more like an offensive D man. - Z

Talbot is a really good third line winger and was a good teammate in his 3 years in
Denver. Good penalty killer and defensive forward. He scored the game winning
goal in game 6 or 7 a few years back for the Penguins when they won the Cup.
He'll be good for the Bruins if they need help on that line and on penalty killing. Looks
like they've been hurt all year by injuries, and they lost a couple of good defensemen
over last summer. Rebuilding is always tough in the NHL. Besides, the league is trying
to remove all the rough stuff and fights from the game in the next 5-7 years in my
opinion, so smaller mobile defensemen are more prevalent these days.
Eventually, they'll go to a one game suspension just like in college or some sort of stiff
fine for dropping the gloves. Virtually all of the designated goons are no longer being
groomed and only middleweights and lightweights are engaging now. The scraps usually
don't go beyond 3-5 punches before somebody goes to the mat. No more donnybrooks
that clear the benches or one-on-ones that go for a couple of rounds. Frickin' Europeans
changed all the rules of engagement...sticks are clubs now and carried too high for my
liking. Anything to the face should be 5 minutes automatic and with blood a 10 minute
Sorry about the PawSox. The voters of the state should oppose any building of a new
stadium at a cost to the taxpayers for the benefit of any ownership. Too many cities are
paying for the lifestyles of the rich and famous. The politicians are in the pocket of the
leagues (as Vito Corleone would say). You're right. If they want to buy out McCoy, then
let them ante up. Otherwise, the fans should stay away and find another way to enjoy the
game. Maybe the Cape League or start a single A franchise that uses McCoy. Folks just
wanna be at the park. Hell, I took in the first game of the season for the local college up
in Grand Junction a couple of weeks ago with temps at 60, no humidity, no wind, and
sun in the stands (of course it snowed a few days later, but what the hell,eh?). College
ball with plenty of hitting, throwing, and catching; what's not to like?
Big White (Colorado)

Jimbo, WOW! 600 issues, I can't believe it. I can remember the beginning when
you were distributing it at the ball park (Ed:McCoy) in hard copy. I have enjoyed
reading each issue and more importantly commenting back to you on one item or
another. One of our biggest differences through those many issues was when the
Red Sox were looking at John Farrell after they discarded that "train wreck",Terry
Francona. I was vehemently opposed to even considering Johnny-B Good. Well, he
turned out to be a far better manager than I ever thought he was, and as you recall I
apologized to the Zine and in person to everyone in the Section 8 family.
Keep up the good work, I truly enjoy each issue. Oh, I won't go into a diatribe
about the purchase of the PawSox but will say this. They are gone! Not just from
Pawtucket but from Rhode Island. Sadly, this will be my final season. I look
forward to seeing you on opening night. Go Braves!
Section 8 Ted
Ted, thanks for the kind words. Sorry to hear this is your last season. I'll be there
until they take me out kicking and screaming. - Z
Hi Jim,

Very well done! Congratulations on your 600th issue. That's dedication!
When did you start?
Jim Raftus
Jim, glad you liked it. To answer your question about when I started, I had to do
some research. Most if not all the Sportzines have been saved on CD.I found that
Sportzine #1 was typed on my computer on 7/30/98. But the first Zine was hand
written on 7/19/93. Every one after that was typed but I didn't number them until
7/30/98. - Z

Congratulations on the 600th Sportzine !!! This numero 600 is great reading, and the
599 that preceded it, have all contained fine insight, humorous nuggets, along with fun
movie and music trivia (in more recent years). Kudos to Buffalo Steve for the excellent
interview, too! Keep the 'Zine' going! 750....800 sound like nice numbers!
I'm in total agreement with you, in regards to the sale of the Pawtucket Red Sox.
The majority of baseball fans attending a Pawtucket Red Sox game, do so, for the love
of the game, and.many probably fall into a group of people who either.(a.) can't get
tickets to see a game at Fenway or..(b.) even if tickets were somehow available, wouldn't
be able to afford to go (think a family of four or more).
Minor league games (everywhere) should be affordable to baseball fans and especially
those not lucky enough to be able to see a 'Big League' game. These new owners are on
a mission to turn a minor league team, into a 'Big League' business. If they are
successful (hate to use that word) , they may just price the average (PawSox) minor
league fan out of going to, what used to be, an affordable sporting event, and kill a town
in the process.
There is the very real possibility that attendance could drop, after the first (novelty)
year or two, in a new stadium that demands more from a fan's wallet and asks that
fan to put up with traffic jams and parking problems.
Attending many Minor League Baseball games, in different cities, I've noticed the
same drawing cards. What they have all had in common was that they were
affordable and easily accessible by the average baseball fan. Sadly, that looks like it
is about to change in 2017 for many PawSox fans.
Thanks Brad, some of the cities that have done well with urban AAA stadia do not have
much else to offer. Providence has a lot to offer.
I never said the names of the new owners. I do not like Larry Lucchino. He's a weasel of
the first order. Theo would never have left but for the interfering Lucchino. And if you
recall, it was Lucchino that overruled Ben Cherington and brought in Bobby Valentine. I
also blame Lucchino for the leaks during the Theo set to, and then the revelations leaked
about Terry Francona. If you read the Francona book that Shaughnessy co-wrote, the
1st page is about Lucchino lambasting a young employee when he couldn't find special
sweatshirts after the Sox won the 2004 World Series. The best thing Lucchino ever did
was bringing in Theo and the architect Janet Marie Smith. There is talk that Lucchino is
involved in a power struggle with ownership. Everyone denies it, but....- Z

Hi Jim,
Congratulations on hitting the 600 mark with your wonderful Sportzines! Looking
forward to the next benchmark of 1000!
John Ballantine
New York

First I had heard about the PawSox potentially becoming the ProSox. The neighborhood
guild in South Kingstown used to have a stack of tickets that they would give to kids
back in the day. As you know, back in the day when teams actually kept their home
grown talent, we got to see nearly all of the future BoSox stars (Rice, Lynn, Evans,
Boggs) come through McCoy Stadium. I remember following Boggs' batting average
every day in the journal, and thinking when are they going to call this guy up? It seemed
like he was in Pawtucket for years.
Can't remember many specifics but the one thing that comes to mind was when my next
door neighbor's dad, who was our elementary school principal, threw my brother out of
the way who was probably 10 or 11 at the time, to get a foul ball that bounced into the
walkway between the seats. Corporate Suites at a AAA stadium? Good luck with that.
Andrew "Left Coast" Wright

There were ducks on the deck last Wednesday. Doorman Peter said that they had fed
them. Peter said that I should be careful of the one with the green head because he was
mean and had tombstones for eyes. Peter called them 'street ducks'.

There was a weird looking bottle on the HC shelf so I asked Bianca what it was. She
said it was 'Ciroc' and was a vodka put out by P Diddy. So I checked and found that a
company named Diageo makes Ciroc from grapes. Sean 'Diddy' Combs is a 'brand
ambassador' for Ciroc.
I recalled the Crystal Head vodka that SNL's Dan Aykroyd has out. A search reveals that
Aykroyd and partner John Alexander are responsible for it, and Alexander designed the
crystal head bottle. Crystal Head is quadruple distilled and 7 times filtered,. The last 3
filtrations are through Herkimer diamond crystals.

So Pal Al reported that ex-Patriot Matt Light even has his own vodka. Sure enough, Matt
Light and a couple partners have a vodka out called Keel.

Jokin' Joe said he had a student in class who thought Buffalo wings were really made
from buffalo. A fellow student responded: “When's the last time you saw a buffalo fly?”

Last week's question: “This multi-talented artist has had a career spanning 6 decades
which has included 79 Grammy nominations and 27 Grammys won. Name?”
Only the Wizard wrote in re the quiz and he had the correct answer – Quincy Jones. Or
to be exact, Quincy Delight Jones, Jr. Per Wikipedia, Jones, a jazz musician, produced
Michael Jackson's Thriller, and was the producer/conductor of the charity song We Are
The World. Among other accomplishments, Jones composed the music for the movie
The Pawnbroker (the 1st of 33 movie scores) and he produced all four million-selling
singles by Leslie Gore. Jones was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2013.

So Quincy Delight Jones Jr. and Alison Krauss are tied for 2nd with 27 Grammy awards
won. Who has won the most? Try not to look it up.


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