Monday, May 23, 2016


MAY 23, 2016

Don't pinch me. I must be dreaming. This Red Sox crew of 2016 has been laying the
lumber on opponents. They went into Sunday 2 nd in all of baseball in scoring in the 1 st
inning. And, in scoring in the 2 nd inning, they lead MLB.
No sooner than the Globe's Nick Cafardo quoted stat man Bill Arnold (5/22) as saying
that Cleveland starter Danny Salazar was one of 7 pitchers (8 starts or >) who hadn't
given up a 1 st inning run, then the Red Sox scored 2 on Salazar in Sunday's 1 st inning.
No need to go through all the offensive stats, your eyes tell you plenty. This is one of the
best slugging teams in memory since that outfit that crushed people with Butch Hobson
batting 8 th ! That was the '77 Sox who had Rice, George Scott, Hobson (30 hrs), Yaz, Fisk
and Lynn. Their stats (213 hrs and 859 runs were srpassed by the '03 Sox (238 hrs and
961 runs). Reference:
sox-greatest-offenses ( Finn – 5/16)
However we all know that pitching is what will determine a team's fate. The Red Sox
have Price and Wright, and the latter has the best starter ERA (2.52) on the staff. The
Sox now need steady starters in the 3 rd and 4 th roles. Porcello has been more consistent
of late (one bad start after several good ones - he labored Sunday but won). Kelly is just
off the DL and had a no hitter into the 7 th in his 1 st start after rehab. I always thought that
Kelly was the key in the Lackey trade. So far he hasn't justified my faith, but may now if
he can stay healthy and focused.
The missing link is Clay Buchholz. What to do with him? With any luck that knee brace
helps Eduardo Rodriguez in his rehab (he starts Tuesday at McCoy). When Eduardo
returns (here's wishing him good health), then Buch could be odd man out (pun
intended). Last I knew, the Red Sox had a sports psychology coach, former pitcher Bob
Tewksbury (thanks to FootJoy for the memory jog). LHP Brian Johnson, who was with
the PawSox, has been sent to Florida to deal with an anxiety issue. I'd be surprised if
Tewksbury didn't see him. Buchholz may be next. And is it me or does Buchholz look
like Game of Thrones' Theon Greyjoy (Alfie Allen)?The team's ERA is 4.07, which puts them 9 th in the AL and 18 th in all of MLB. That has
to change if they want to go to the promised land – the playoffs and World Series. Right
now Toronto is 6 th in MLB (3.61 ERA), Baltimore is 11 th (3.80 ERA) and Tampa Bay is
12 th (3.85). So three teams in their division have better ERAs. Scoring a boatload of runs
can cover a lot of sins. Pitching inevitably decides whether you go on or go home.

• Tom Brady and the NFLPA appealed the 3 judge circuit court 2-1 decision against
Brady, and asked that the full court of 13 judges hear their appeal in en banc session.
The hope is that Chief Justice Robert Katzmann, who wrote the dissenting opinion
(which I read and uses language and logic similar to Judge Richard Berman's), will
convince 6 other judges to take on the hearing. If the full court declines to hear the case,
it can be appealed to the Supreme Court. Doubtful that it would take it on. But if you see
these appeals as stalling tactics, the process might allow Brady to play the whole season.
• Researching the MLB ERA stats (see above), I went to and to The pitching stats for 2016 were different. ESPN had the Red Sox's
record as 21-11 (not 27-17). Another reason to dislike ESPN. Update your stats, dodos.

Recently while watching NESN, one of their bits attracted my attention so I wrote this:
You ran a story tonight on Sports Today on 'Lucchino's Labor of Love'. In it, the man
doing the voice-over refers to the PawSox attendance in 2015 as being under 400,000.
This is an egregious error. The PawSox (per the MiLB site re attendance) drew 466,600.
The voice-over also said (I believe) that it was the PawSox worst ever attendance. It was
the worst since 1993. Oh and that 466,600 was still close to 65% of capacity.
Please correct this error and inform the public as to the correct numbers.
NESN'S Michael Brown responded:
Thank you for your email. We have looked in to the matter, and found that it has to do
with paid attendance (tickets sold) vs. actual attendance (tickets used).
On, the attendance numbers that are reported reflect the paid attendance. On
the program, the voice-over referred to Larry Lucchino's task to "get the turnstiles
moving," and then referenced that there was an all-time-low attendance of under
400,000 fans for the new McCoy Stadium. The actual attendance in 2015, as reported by
the PawSox in their media guide, was 389,724, while the paid attendance was indeed
466,600. This was the lowest actual attendance since 1998 (360,128), the season before
the renovations that expanded the ballpark. I've attached the transcript of that portion of
the program, as well as the page from the media guide for your review.
Please let me know if you have any questions.
So Mr. Brown makes a good point regarding the difference between paid attendance andturn style numbers. Since paid attendance is still 466,600, that tells me that season ticket
holders and some fans with single game purchases didn't go to the games. Why? Bad
weather. Bad team. Bad karma. As a result, the new ownership didn't get income from
concession stand purchases (and the PawSox store). Maybe with a better team and
weather (finally starting to improve) and positive marketing, attendance will rise.
I exhort Red Sox fans to get out to McCoy this year. We need to keep the PawSox.
Re last issue's music quiz:
I see your staying in the family - sort of - Neil Young to Stephen Stills!
Ken Forestal
Quite right. I couldn't resist. Buffalo Springfield and CSN & Y. How about Stills and
Young erasing the vocals of Crosby and Nash on Long May You Run! Drugs and egos.
But such good music. I still get shivers when I hear Ohio. - Z
The answer to your quiz is Stephen Stills and Neil Young. See you at McCoy for a
Terry Canann
You are correct. Stills and Young. Yes, I'll see you soon at McCoy for a Smithwicks. - Z
Neil Young and Steven
Dave Burlingame
Right you are, Dave - Z
Hi Jim, nice job as always. Could the superstars be Eric Clapton & Duane Allman?
Tom Robinson
Good guess but No. - Z
Don't have any recollection of the storyline you described, but if 'eat a peach' was a clue.
Good guess Bill, but No. - Z
Stanley Cup playoffs are great this year; upsets, multiple overtime games, great
goaltending. My bracket got shredded early on; now I'm looking at Dallas vs. Pittsburgh
for the finals in my crystal ball.
Bill LaPlante
Yeah you had the Caps in the Stanley Cup finals, didn't you? Don't recall who you had
I had picked Anaheim in the west. It's just the breaks of the game that brings a team back
from being down; nature of the game.
Bill LaPlante

This from Jokin' Joe regarding an experience where he and his brother were waiting for
very bad news, but then got not so bad news: “We came here expecting to get kicked in
the balls, and got punched in the face instead. And we're glad.”
So the subject turned to horror movies (I love horror). I told Captain Jack, Dr. John, and
Tom that my Mom took me to my first sci-fi/horror movie Invaders from Mars.
However I started having bad dreams. Captain Jack said “I saw a movie that did that to
me – Deep Throat.”
The aforementioned Tom used a term I had never heard 'bullet loans'. So I asked what
that meant. Tom explained that they were loans with high usurious rates. You had to pay
them back quickly, or if not, you might get a bullet back.
Professor Peter asked me: “So what do you think of the Republican Presidential
candidate?” My reply: “I think that's great for the Democrats.”
Some wag wrote above the men's urinals “This is where dreams are made”. My
immediate thought was “I don't think so. Maybe when the new men's room is finished.”
And when the new renovations are done, the Hot Club will no longer have the smallest
men's room on the East Coast.

So, who were the two former members of not one but two great bands who went out on
tour after the breakup of their 2 nd band and part way through the tour, one decided to
split and sent a telegram to his friend and band mate that said “...funny how things that
start spontaneously end that way. Eat a peach...” If you read the e-mails, you'll know that
it was Stephen Stills and Neil Young. It was Young who left Stills in the lurch.

This guitar solo was rated the best rock 'n' roll solo of all time by readers of Guitarist
magazine in 1998. It was also rated the best 12 string guitar solo ever by Guitar World
(2015). From what song was the solo, and who was the guitarist?
Sportzine is available at thanks to Buffalo Steve Lenz


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