Saturday, May 30, 2015

APRIL 21, 2015
As luck would have it, I was talking to Tom Wallis (recently in a ProJo interview re the
proposed move of the PawSox to Providence) and his buddy Adam when PawSox
President Mike Tamburro stopped by. I had one question for him – the team drew over
515,000 fans last year. Given stadium maintenance and overhead was that enough
attendance to make the PawSox a 'going concern' or economically viable at McCoy
Stadium? Mike Tamburro said that it was that and more.
As I was heading to my seat, 5 guys in suits were walking towards me. James
Skeffington, Larry Lucchino, Charles Steinberg and two young men, who could have
been body guards, walked by and settled into front row seats behind home plate. The
game was on NESN (no Red Sox game), so I guess they were there for face time as they
didn't stay long after the game actually began. I resisted confronting Skeffington or
Lucchino (this time).
So then I saw long time season ticket holder Al Beaulieu, better known as 'Big Al'. The
first thing he said was that the new ownership had raised the prices of the concession
stand food. So much for invoking Ben Mondor's name and keeping everything the same.
Soon after when I went for a beer, I found that ownership had also raised the price of
Heinekens and Smithwicks to $7.25. Yep, not going to change anything, going to keep it
fan friendly, keep it the way it was with Ben Mondor. That's the first big lie.
Then I heard the women that sit behind me, Linda and daughter Melissa, comment that
the signage in left field had shrunk. Someone asked how they knew. Because they could
see the car lights behind left field which had been blocked by the bigger signs. Smaller
ad signs will mean more signage and more money for the coffers of the new owners.
The quiz was 'Who was the only Red Sox player to hit for the cycle twice?' As I walked
up to give my answer to an usher, Big Al said “Bobby Doerr”. I said I thought it was Ted
Williams. Later I heard Big Al yelling 'Dawson'. I climbed the stairs to his seat. He told
me that it was Bobby Doerr. I then deeply bowed toward him 3 times arms stretched out.
I told season ticket holders Rick and Lesley that Big Al is right even when he's wrong.
It was 43 degrees when I left and felt more like 34. PawSox starter Steve Wright
struggled with his knuckleball control, and the home plate umpire who, to be kind, was
'inconsistent'. After the PawSox had rallied from a 3 run deficit to tie, Wright gave up 4
runs, 2 of which he walked in.
However the PawSox rallied on homers by Devin Marrero and Sean Coyle and a 2 run
double by Blake Swihart to tie it again. In the 9th Bryce Brentz (who played RF like he
was wearing cement shoes) homered to win the game. What a start! Baseball wise.
As I write this, the BoSox are in 1st place at 8-5 having beaten Baltimore 7-1. After
winning 3 straight series, the Sox split their 4 game series with the Orioles. The starting
pitching has been spotty to be kind, though Masterson did well enough Monday even if
only going 5 innings. Meanwhile the relief staff has been excellent.
A check via shows that Sox starters have a 6.24 ERA while their relief staff
comes in at 2.72 and that's with Alexi Ogando's 5.40, Tommy Layne (now in Pawtucket)
at 5.79, and Robbie Ross, Jr 's 6.35 (I did not like trading Anthony Ranaudo for Ross).
Interestingly (per, the Red Sox team ERA of 4.54 ties them with Seattle for
23rd. But Toronto is 22nd at 4.50, the Orioles are 21st at 4.33 and Tampa Bay is 25th at
4.56. Yes, the Yankees are 1st in the AL East in team ERA at 3.65 (with all those ?'s).
However when you look at overall hitting stats, you find some surprises, even though
the BoSox are 15th in batting average at .239. The Red Sox are tied for 1st (in all of
MLB) in runs scored with Toronto (70) and are tied for 2nd with KC in RBI with 65
(Toronto is 1st with 67). There was the sense from the start that the BoSox might have to
club some teams to win games.
Boston has also shown an ability to pounce on teams when they make errors. They have
4 wins when the opponent has had 3 errors. They beat the Yanks 8-4 (4 unearned runs),
the Nats 8-7 (3 unearned runs) and the Orioles Monday 7-1 (5 unearned runs). They beat
the Phils 6-2, but there were no unearned runs though SP David Buchanan had a
throwing error in a 6 run 3rd (and there were some charitable 'hits').
Anyway, it's on to Tampa Bay and then the Orioles in Baltimore.
• The Cubs brought up 3B Kris Bryant (after 7 games in AAA - 3 HRS 10 RBI), and
batted him cleanup. Wow! That's a lot of pressure for a 23 year old kid. The 6'5, 215 lb
Bryant had 43 homers (AA/AAA) in '14 and 110 RBI (.325). He's made 2 errors (21 last
year) in 4 games, but is hitting .429, with 4 RBI, OBP .579. He was born in Las Vegas.
• Jon Lester is off to a slow start (0-2, 6.89 ERA in 15.2 IP). My brother Brad was
watching the Cubs – SD game with Chicago up 2-0 when Brad informed me that Will
Middlebrooks had just hit a tying 2-run homer off Lester.
• Providence goalie Jon Gillies, who led the Friars to this year's NCAA hockey
championship, has signed a contract with the Calgary Flames and will skip his senior
year. Gillies is with the Flames who are in the playoffs. Calgary already has 2 goalies,
but Gillies provides insurance if there is an injury. (ref: Gary Washburn/Globe 4/19)
• According to the Globe's Ben Volin (4/19), only 16% of players in the NFL are 30 or
over. Does old geezer Tom Brady, soon to be 38, have 1 more Super Bowl win in his kit
bag? Hope you noticed that wife Gisele Bundchen just retired from modeling at age 34.
• If they don't put Aaron Hernandez in solitary, I have a very bad feeling that someone
will 'off' him just to say that they killed an NFL star.
• Per Nick Cafardo (4/19), Cardinal manager Mike Matheny used 6 different pitchers to
face 6 successive batters (over 2 innings), breaking his own record of using 5 for 5. It
was against the Reds 4/11. FootJoy would call this over-managing.
• While I, unlike Mike Gorman (Celts in 6), don't think that the Green will beat the
LeBron Cavs, Boston is well positioned with draft picks and cap space to make even
more strides next year. Kevin McNamara (ProJo – 4/18) observed that Evan Turner had
3 triple doubles this year, a feat accomplished by only 4 other Celts: Bird, Antoine,
Pierce and Rondo.
Who would have bet that the Celtics would be in the playoffs and the Bruins out?
See new proposed NFL rule:
Andrew 'Left Coast' Wright
Andrew, not many would have made that bet. The Jacobs' canned Chiarelli. They won a
Stanley Cup not too long ago. Hasty move. Claude Julien could be next. There will be
Bruins' trades.
Wish the Celts drew someone other than the Cavs, but the experience will be good for
this young team.
Hadn't seen that NFL outlawing Patriots' victories. I noticed that it was done on April 1.
Still waiting for Deflategate verdict. - Z

I was living in Rhode Island back in April 1971, and although I didnt have a ticket, I
decided to cruise on down to the now demolished R.I. Auditorium to see if I could get in
to see the Grateful Dead on the night of April 21st. My dad had season tickets for years
to the R.I. Reds AHL hockey team who played at the Auditorium, so I knew the layout
pretty well. I had seen the Beach Boys there in 1966, and also saw The Jimi Hendrix
Experience, The Jefferson Airplane, and Cream`s final U.S. appearance there.
I parked my ’59 VW bug and started to walk to the entrance when a really clean `55
Chevy Bel Air with New York plates pulled up next to me. “Hey man, do you know
where the service entrance is?”, the dude in the passenger seat asks me. To my shock,
it`s none other than Ron McKernan, better known as 'Pigpen', keyboardist for The Dead.
“Sure, follow me!” I managed to blurt out at my good fortune. I ran down the sidewalk
as the good looking blond driving the Bel Air followed in pursuit.
I got to the service entrance, and Pigpen exited the Chevy with a briefcase. When he
reached me I thought it was perfect timing to ask for my reward: “I don’t have a ticket,
so can you get me in?” I pleaded. He nodded and we approached the service entrance,
guarded by a uniformed Providence Police officer. “He’s with me” he told the cop after
flashing his pass. The cop checks me out and lets both of us in.
From the entrance we enter the old dressing room where The Reds team used to suit up
for games. Pigpen and I sit on a bench next to the lockers, and he opens the briefcase.
He pulls out one of 2 unopened bottles of Old Granddad bourbon and opens it. “Wanna
swig”, he asks. There`s no way in hell I’m gonna turn down this request so I reach out
and comply. I look out the door to the stage and eye the sparsely occupied front row.
“Thanks man, I’m gonna try and grab a good seat”, I say. “Enjoy the show”, says
Pigpen. I pick out a seat in the front row and sit there all night for the whole show. Their
amps were covered in tie-died grill cloth. I’ll never forget that, and how clean and crisp
their sound was. Sad footnote: McKernan passed away from complications of liver
disease on March 8, 1973.
Rick Pearlman
Costa Mesa, CA 92627
Rick,enjoyed your description of the Dead concert at RI Auditorium and meeting
Pigpen. When I was married (1983-1993), my wife Maria called into a radio show and
won 2 tix to the Dead concert at the Civic Center. The Deadhead fans had taken over the
city of Providence. As we walked outside the Civic Center to the entrance, we got many
$ offers for our tix. Maria was willing to sell them, but not me since I had never seen
them live. It was a great concert. - Z

The same day that Jim Donaldson of the ProJo wrote 'Sorry to say, but the Celtics are
already losers' because he felt it was better to get a higher draft pick than the playoffs,
Dan Shaughnessy had this to say about those who decried the Celts making the playoffs:
“To you, I say, take a flying leap into Lake Erie.” (Boston Globe – 4/19) Amen! - Z

Charles Barkley (Gary Washburn/Sunday's Globe) was asked about criticism of his
NCAA coverage and replied: “If they don't want to watch, turn off the television. Being
famous is like being the beauty queen, all the ugly girls hate you.”
Stevie 'Sauce Pan Hands' was in the house and told me that the Netherlands has an
unusual social program. The government provides prostitutes for disabled people. 12
visits are allowed per year, which comes out to once a month. So it's Hookers for the
Handicapped in Holland. And as a result, it has been shown that the disabled people
have reduced their depression. Stevie did note that Holland has no army so that they can
re-direct the money to a better use.
Pal Al noted that the first song ever shown on MTV (back in 1983, same year that the
Hot Club opened) was Video Killed the Radio Star. After a while I recalled the Ruggles.
So I played it on the HC jukebox, and it's the Buggles. Wherefore art thou, memory?
Around that time, there were great videos like Thomas Dolby's She Blinded Me With
Science. And a song near and dear to this writer and his then significant other – I'll Melt
With You by Modern English.
Don't forget that in a change up, Peter's band The Professors will be playing this
Thursday at the Hot Club from 6-9. Bring your dancing shoes.
So, what was the Top 10 hit that wasn't written by its singer or his band and which
became sadly ironic when the lead singer died after it's release? Why, I Fought the Law
and the Law Won. Recorded by the Bobby Fuller Four in 1966, the song was written by
Sonny Curtis of the Crickets (Buddy Holly's band). Bobby Fuller was found dead in his
mom's car in July of 1966, and some stories had his death being a result of fighting 'the
Law'. Not true according to Sex, Drugs and Rock 'N' Roll by Jim Driver; who notes that
an autopsy showed that Fuller had died from asphyxiation from forced inhalation of
gasoline. Driver notes that Fuller was seeing a woman whose ex-boyfriend had reputed
mob links.
The song was also recorded by the Clash, Hank Williams Jr, the Dead Kennedys and
Mike Ness of Social Distortion (Wikipedia was also used for this info)
This #1 hit went gold and was the top selling record in the year it was released. However
the band credited with doing the song didn't exist. The song's main voice was a man who
was dubbed on different tracks. Name that tune.


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