Monday, June 29, 2015



JUNE 9, 2015

Hallelujah, the Red Sox finally swept a series, mounting a 4 run 8th inning comeback to
finish off the Oakland A's. That's the first signs of life we've seen from this moribund
bunch this year.
Now before BoSox fans get too excited, let us pause and remember that Oakland came
into Fenway with the most defeats of any AL team with 33 losses, 10 games under .500.
You know who had the 2nd most losses in the AL? Why our own Fenway Franks
(wieners?) with 31 defeats, 7 games under .500.
And it was only last Thursday that these same Sox had blown their own 4 run lead, and
then given up 4 runs in the 9th to the Twins to lose in revolting fashion. In that game,
Bogaerts got picked off 1st, Hanley Ramirez was out going 2nd to 3rd and no force (he
forgot how many outs there were) – I was about to fine him a case for doing what I told
my co-ed softball players never to do. Oh and Brian Butterfield showed a rare display of
indiscretion by sending Mike Napoli who was a dead duck at home. Sandoval's first
error of the game allowed the tying run on, which then scored. The 9th inning error is on
rookie Blake Swihart who threw in the dirt to third, a toss Sandoval couldn't handle.
So the Sox feel better about themselves as they head to Baltimore. They are still 4 games
under .500. And in case you didn't notice, the Yankees have won 6 straight (7-3 over the
last 10), just got Tanaka back and have Ivan Nova in the wings.
A check of the schedule shows that except for a week where the BoSox play Atlanta 4
games (2 home, 2 away) and 3 in KC, the rest of June is all AL East opponents: Orioles,
Toronto, Orioles, Rays and Jays. Time to win some series if we are to take this team
seriously. What better than against their division rivals.
The starting pitching has been better. The NY Times' Tyler Kepner (6/7) had a piece on
the BoSox in which he noted that Carl Willis has settled them down and the starters have
a 3.34 ERA in a period that roughly coincides with Willis' arrival. Is it Willis? Or are
these guys starting to pitch more like their capabilities? Regardless, we'll take it.
Kepner noted that only the White Sox have a worse OPS than the Red Sox in the AL.
The hitting, especially with men in scoring position, has been horrible. Sunday Boston
was 4 for 9, with Napoli (0-4) and Ortiz (0-2 but a sac fly), the only starters without hits.
Have the bats awoken from their slumber? Can the Sox play focused and reduce their
unforced errors? Can this team rise up and play like they want to win (and beat the
Yankees)? We are about to find out the first part. NY isn't around until July 10.

The PawSox have recently slumped and fallen out of 1st. They are in 4th at 28-30. The
bats have gone silent during this slump. The PawSox site (as of 6/6) has the team batting
.233 (13th, next to last) in the International League.
So despite some good pitching by starters not named Eduardo Rodriguez, the PawSox
have had trouble winning. LHP Brian Johnson 6-4, 2.66 has been the stalwart. Henry
Owens (2-4 but 3.49) has been trying to avoid walks (38 in 59.1 innings). They miss
Steve Wright and Matt Barnes who were starting for them. Keith Couch is a mediocre 3-
6, 4.73 and Jess Todd 1-2, 5.40. Justin Masterson is pitching Wednesday's noon game,
and I'll see if he has any chance of avoiding the waiver wire.
Jackie Bradley Jr. leads the team in batting (.338) and has 3 HRs. While Allen Craig is at
.318, he has but 1 homer and 5 RBI despite batting 3rd or 4th. Travis Shaw's 26 RBI, 5
HRs and Bryce Brentz's 21 RBI and 7 HRs have supplied production but not BA.
Portland is in worse shape with many of the prospects in Pawtucket. The Sea Dogs are
in last place in the EL at 23-34. They were just beaten Saturday by Bowie's Joe Gunkel,
the pitcher the BoSox traded for DeAza. Starter Gunkel (3-1, 2.96) had just been
promoted with much publicity to Portland before the trade. Let's hope DeAza works out
and this isn't like the Anthony Ranaudo for Robbie Ross Jr. trade.
Most of the current Red Sox hitting prospects are at single A Greenville, including
Cuban phenom Yoan Moncado, who has been struggling. 2B Moncado's been in 15
games and has 8 errors. He's at .236 with 1 HR and 5 RBI. Carrying the team are 3B
Rafael Devers (.321, 3 HRs, 26 RBI), SS Mauricio Dubon (.294, 4 HRs, 26 RBI), SS
Javier Guerra (.294, 5 HRs, 23 RBI) and LFs Derek Miller (.293, 29 RBI) and Nick
Longhi (.278, 28 RBI). Expect to see a few at high A Salem and even Portland soon.

• Sepp Blatter, which sounds like a pernicious disease, head of FIFA, has had to resign
amid allegations he's connected with bribes. Blatter has been under fire for corruption,
and recently women's soccer players complained about being forced to play World Cup
games on artificial surfaces, which will contribute to injuries. 3 cheers – Blatter is gone.
• The US women are in the World Cup and in a tough division (Group D). They haven't
won gold in a Cup since 1999. Monday they opened with Australia, winning 3-1. They'll
have to meet up with Sweden (which surprisingly was tied by Nigeria 3-3) and former
coach Pia Sundhage. All games are on Fox.
• The amateur baseball draft started Monday (6/8) and the Red Sox with their #7 pick
took OF Andrew Benintendi of Arkansas. You can see Benintendi perform in this
weekend's College World Series. Last year, the Red Sox used a #7 pick on LHP Ronald
'Trey' Ball, who has not lived up to expectations. He's 4-5, 4.42 ERA at High A Salem.
• Don't forget to catch the Stanley Cup finals with the Tampa Bay Lightning and
Original 6 Chicago Blackhawks. There's nothing like playoff hockey for excitement.
Tampa just went up 2-1 in games.
• All you had to hear was Brandon Spikes, abandoned car, Rte 495 and accident to know
that the Patriots would cut ties post haste with Spikes as they did Monday.
• Congrats to American Pharoah which just won the Triple Crown (last accomplished by
Affirmed in 1978) with 43 year old jockey Victor Espinoza aboard. Espinoza is the
oldest jockey to win the Triple Crown. (George) Eddie Arcaro is the only jockey to win
the Triple Crown twice with Whirlaway (1941) and Citation (1948). [Wikipedia/Google]
• Forgot to mention that on that visit to Fenway, we had to pass through airport style
metal detectors and our Pavilion seats allowed us a wait service. All beers were $10 and
the beer was taxed. When I bought two, it cost me $21 plus (service charge?). Greed!
• A warning sign: Nick Cafardo (Globe- 6/7) stated that while Dellin Betances and
Andrew Miller have a combined 0.50 ERA, the rest of NY's bullpen has a 4.07 ERA.
• The NY Times' Tyler Kepner (6/9) has a great story on David Cone, who was drafted in
1981 and received $17,000 for signing after he was drafted in the 3rd round by the KC
Royals. Cone's high school didn't have a baseball team and he had to have a tryout.

Of course, you misquoted me again! I said “you don’t write letters any better than the
Foot Joy
My hearing is going, going ...- Z
Foot Joy


Sarah told me that the HC renovations will start in October. My understanding is that the
HC will be open during the remodeling except for a couple days (electricity/plumbing).
Julie Lancia stopped by and told me of a trip to Dubai. She visited the tallest building in
the world (Burj Khalifa, 2,722 ft. per Wikipedia). Julie said to go up to the top floor
restaurant/observation area, you had to spend $250 on food and drink. Yes, she went.
Charlie Clancy was talking about extending his football chain gang gig with Boston
College until 2016. Why? Because BC will play Georgia Tech in Dublin in Sept. 2016.
Charlie was also happy that BC will play Notre Dame in Fenway Park on 11/21/15.
Rare Earth told me that he has a friend that owns a brewery in Worcester. It's called
Worm Town. One of its signature beers is 'Be Hoppy'.
I was telling Mr. D that I had read an article in the Science section of the NY Times
(5/19) that gave a good way to lose belly fat. Exercise, especially walking. Mr. D. likes
to do sit ups. I told him, much to his dismay, that it said sit ups don't help with belly fat.

Last time, I asked who the singer/songwriter/satirist is who had a gold record that
resulted in a death threat. The answer – Randy Newman, of course, with 1977's Short
People (got no reason to live). Correct answers came from brother Brad, AF buddy Mike
Curtis, and Jim Raftus. Jim Dwyer had the artist but a different song. (Ref: The Wacky
Top 40 by Bruce Nash and Allan Zullo).
Saw Newman once at Symphony Hall (w/Ry Cooder). Much of Newman's music could
not be played today (Rednecks, Davy the Fat Boy, My Old Kentucky Home). People have
never understood his satire. Even his I Love LA was intended as a spoof. The city made
it their theme song and the Dodgers, Lakers and Kings have used it.

This artist did a memorable song that didn't make it big, but was on one of Rhino
Records' best selling EPs. The artist sold 20,000 copies out of a garage. The song's lyrics
were censored and MTV refused to play the video at first because it was deemed too
violent. Name the artist and song.

Tuesday, June 02, 2015



As Blue Oyster Cult's song of that title plays, I think of similarities with the Red Sox. A deal gone bad. And the line “They couldn't know they weren't going far.” 10-19 in May.

This 2015 version of the Red Sox is sadly lacking chemistry, heart, soul and attention span. I saw the best pitched game of the year by Eduardo Rodriguez, a rookie who may salve the sore point of losing Andrew Miller (what, the Sox didn't think of using him as a closer like the Yanks have?). In Rodriguez's shutout 7 2/3 innings (3 hits), I saw the Sox hit into 5 double plays. These guys have to know that you need a line drive or fly ball, rather than a grounder that will result in a DP. Opposing pitchers aren't that good.

Already I've seen Big Papi picked off 2nd base, and in the Angels game I was at with Driller Killer, Mike Napoli was picked off 1st with runners at the corners and 2 outs. Napoli ignominiously was tapped on the top of the head for the out. Napoli did have 4 RBI on the day. Those transgressions point to a lack of focus and that's from 2 veterans.

At times, the Red Sox are becoming unwatchable (except for Rodriguez's next start). The only thing keeping them in the contest is the weakness of the AL East. In the last 10 games, no team in the AL East has a winning record as I write this Tuesday. Toronto's 5-5 is the best of the lot. However, we need to see the Sox with a semblance of a team.

Red Sox fans can only hope that June doesn't continue the swoon. The switch to Pedroia leading off seems to have helped. Pedey's OBP of .354 is better than Betts' .304. And given that Betts is 2nd on the team in RBI (25) to Hanley's 27, it makes sense. Holt's
.370 OBP leads the active team (the DL'd Victorino's leads at .379).

Either burn the bats or get into a fight. This team needs a spark. Or someone should blow them up and start over. Time to wake up. Play with passion and pride. And pay attention. Or you will lose your fans. I'm going to root for the Cubs. My NL team.

You who are willing to pay $2 for the Providence Journal may have seen my letter to the editor (published Wed. May 20). It was missing crucial lines that had been edited out. After saying that Durham doesn't have as much going on as the Renaissance City, I wrote: “And the opinion that the team would draw a million fans is laughable. Ten thousand seats and 72 home games translates to 720,000 fans if every game is a sellout.”
My next line (left in) then added “Let's hope the General Assembly does not sell out the citizens of Rhode Island.” The Pawtucket Times printed the letter (5/30) as I wrote it.

Pal Al and I were at another PawSox game. He brought me good luck again as I won the Trivia Contest (with the wrong answer). Guess no one got the tough question and they just selected a respondent. The trivia: 'Name the first Red Sox player to hit a grand slam.' I had Babe Ruth The answer was Jimmy Collins, but Big Al said it was someone else. I found that Jimmy Collins hit the 1st inside the park grand slam for the Sox(1902).

At the Angels- Red Sox game, we had South Street Pavilion tickets (thanks Driller). $190 per which is one reason Fenway has the highest baseball stadium prices. Budweiser (this is for you AF buddy Mike Curtis) was $9. We had Goose Island IPA for $9.75. The stand that sells Irish beer (Guinness, Smithwick's, Harp) was closed!

As I mentioned last time, I found that McCoy Stadium had beers for $9. A first in the history of the PawSox and not a good one. If Larry Lucchino and Lackeys get their way, McCoy (and then 'the new park') will have the highest minor league ballpark prices.

A happy 90th to Yogi, a national treasure from the national pastime. "If you don't know where you're going, you might wind up someplace else."
Anaheim vs. Tampa Bay for the Cup...Anaheim in 6 games...they are just too big to move away from the face off circles in to the back boards.
The only person who can tell us if Brady's balls are underinflated and whether or not it affects his performance is Gisele...and I doubt she's talking. Bad Boy, Tom.
Doesn't anyone remember Watergate?  Don't leave a trail (i.e. e-mails) that can be followed!!!!Idiots...the Deflator...and his companion...Bathroom Twit.
Big White "Willie''                                                                                                               Well, you were right about Tampa Bay, but it's the Blackhawks they'll face. You're wrong about Brady though. I don't believe that he had anything to do with the footballs  - Z
Kevin Seifert/NFL Nation ( – 5/7), in discussing the NFL's handling of 'underinflated footballs', described Hanlon's Razor: “Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by incompetence.”

Sarah gave me some great news about the Hot Club: the final permits to renovate the 1983 establishment have been obtained and work should begin in September. My understanding is that the Hot Club will remain open during the remodeling. New bathrooms – Yea!

Foot Joy came into the Hot Club right after my letter was published in the ProJo: On seeing me, he said “You write letters better than the Sportzine.”

Not one, but two people (the Herbster and Rare Earth) told me that the Pawtucket Red Sox are going to end up in Cuba! And they weren't kidding!

A woman on the deck had a shirt on that had the following message on the back:
'Bitches Get Stitches'. Someone needs to explain to me either what this woman might have been thinking or if the world is just going to hell in a hand basket.

Pal Al noted that Blue Oyster Cult was originally called Soft White Underbelly. So I played Cities On Flame With Rock 'N' Roll on the HC jukebox. It was, however, the live version. The studio recording is better.

Dr. John was in the House and toasted us with: “Here's to bad decisions and to friends who accept apologies.”

Who was the American session player/arranger who produced 3 albums by a British super group, wrote one of their songs, left to form his own group and died too early?” Why Felix Pappalardi who produced Disraeli Gears, Wheels of Fire and Goodbye. He co-wrote (with wife Gail Collins and Eric Clapton) Strange Brew. Pappalardi left to form Mountain with Leslie West. Felix had a fight with wife Gail who shot him dead (age 43)

This singer/songwriter and satirist had a song that went to #2 on Billboard's Top 100 and became his first big hit – a gold record. Yet it was controversial enough that he received a death threat. Name the artist and song.