Monday, June 06, 2016


JUNE 6, 2016

A workhorse that can go 6-7 innings every start and give the Red Sox a chance to win each time. Whence will that workhorse come? Will Buchholz get another chance? Probably. Though I notice that Buchholz has given up 12 home runs in 62 innings pitched. Joe Kelly, banished to Pawtucket for being clueless, has a 8.46 ERA (4 homers allowed in 22 1/3 innings). Oh and while Rick Porcello is 7-2 (4.00 ERA), he has allowed 11 home runs in 69 2/3 innings. The only starters that are trustworthy are David Price and Steven Wright. Maybe Eduardo Rodriguez can make that three.

At the beginning of the season, I thought that horse might come from Pawtucket. My bet was on Henry Owens but Henry is a wild horse. The 6'6” lefty is 4-2 (3.86 ERA) but has given up 30 walks in 44 1/3 innings (and 6 HBP). The soon to be 24 y/o (7/21) may yet turn himself around. The last time I saw a pitcher this wild with a similar frame was 6'7” Andrew Miller. In 2011, in 12 starts (65 2/3 innings) Miller had 35 walks and 3 HBP. Converted to a reliever in 2012, Miller had a 5.73 ERA with 14 walks in 11 innings and 1 HBP. Miller was older. The mechanics of tall pitchers takes a while to get in sync. The advantage Miller had was that he has a fastball. Owens barely breaks 89.

LHP Roenis Elias (obtained from Seattle in the Miley trade) is 3-3 (4.00 ERA). The soon to be 28 y/o (Aug.) Elias beat Norfolk Sunday striking out 8 and throwing a complete 9 inning game. The last PawSox to do that (and win) was Steven Wright in 2013. Elias struck out 13 when he faced Norfolk in May. The Tides, however, are 19-38.

Other candidates for the stud role are RHP William Cuevas (9 starts) 4-2 (2.98 ERA). Cuevas is 25. RHP Aaron Wilkerson (27 y/o) was picked up from an independent league and is 1-1 with a 3.18 ERA. Stranger things have happened (see Wakefield, Wright). LHP Brian Johnson is being treated for anxiety in Florida. He got hit in the face when with Lowell in 2012 (multiple orbital fxs), and had an ulnar nerve problem in his left elbow last season. Do these contribute to his current woes? Doubtful he helps.

The bullpen needs shoring up too. Uehara is looking his age. Barnes has the heat but walks too many (16 walks in 27 2/3 innings). LHP Tommy Layne should never ever face a righty. Kelly may end up in the bullpen (could improve his focus). Hembree is back
from Pawtucket (2-0, 1.93 ERA in 23 1/3 innings in Boston) and LHP Ross has been decent 0-1 (3.15 ERA) in 20 innings. Help from Pawtucket could come from Anthony Varvaro 2-1, 2.70 ERA, 1 save, Pat Light 0-1, 2.79, 3 saves or Wesley Wright 0-1, 2.12, 3 saves. Also Brandon Workman, recovering from Tommy John surgery (June 2015), is working out in Florida and may be back by late July or August. He was expected to be out for the entire 2016 season, but a Globe Rotowire story (5/29) says he'll rehab with Lowell when their season starts June 17.

Those are some of the inside the organization possibilities. Otherwise Dave Dombrowski will have to trade for a starter (and maybe a reliever).

My grandfather Jim Cullen (for whom I'm named) and I used to watch the Friday Night Fights together with my gramp throwing haymakers in the air at various points. I remember Benny 'Kid' Paret and Emile Griffith (you may know that connection) and many others. Burma Shave was a sponsor. The greatest heavyweight fighter I ever saw was Muhammad Ali. I wasn't old enough to see Rocky Marciano whose last fight was on 9/21/55 vs. Archie Moore (per Wikipedia). I would have been a 9 y/o.

I remember Cassius Clay winning Gold in the Olympics, beating Sonny Liston for the title and then defending it (as Muhammad Ali) in Lewiston, Maine in 1965 when Liston was dropped in the 1st round by the 'phantom punch'.

Ali's conscientious objector status was not a problem with me since I was against the Vietnam War. Ali's combination of remarkable grace and powerful punches was never matched. However Muhammad Ali stayed too long in the fight game and the accumulation of punches taken reduced him to a shadow of his former self by the 1980's when he was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease. Does anyone doubt that Ali probably had CTE (chronic traumatic encephalopathy)? It's a wonder that Ali managed to live to 74. It's tough for me to watch prize fights now, having read League of Denial, and being aware of what sports like boxing and football can do to a man's brain. R.I.P. Muhammad Ali, you were the greatest heavyweight boxer that I ever saw.

Per Jim Barron (NY Times – 6/5) Sports Illustrated will use a photo of Muhammad Ali on its June 13 issue. It will be the 40th time that Ali has appeared on the cover.

The College World Series starts June 18. URI and Bryant made it to the NCAA Regionals but were ousted. Congrats to both for making it.

My brother Brad calls the Red Sox offense 'relentless'. If you saw Sunday's game against Toronto you know that word is apt. Down 5-0, no hits until a homer in the 8th and a 9th inning rally down 5-1 that got them within 5-4 with the tying and winning runs aboard. Well, that's why this team is so much fun. Now about that pitching...

Per Nick Cafardo (Globe-6/5) comes the reminder that Boston got Steven Wright from Cleveland in 2012 for 1B Lars Anderson. Cafardo also notes that Orioles' catcher Francisco Pena (who homered against the Sox last week) is Tony's son.

Michael Silverman (Herald /– 6/5) quoted Bill James as noting that only two players age 40 have ever had 100 RBI – Dave Winfield (108 in 1992 for Toronto) and Harold Baines (103 in 1999 for the Orioles and Indians). Ortiz may make it three. Silverman adds that the record for homers by a 40 y/o is 34 by Darrell Evans (with Detroit, 1987)

The MLB draft is this week (June 9-11). The NBA draft is 6/23.

Hey Jim,
I have two guesses gotta be either stairway or intro to
Hotel California. I think I remember it being Hotel California. Also have a thought on NBA draft. Back in the day without the trickery of Red Auerbach would you ever had made a bet that Philly, LA , and Celts would have top 3 picks in NBA draft ?
Jim Dwyer
You are right, it's Hotel California.
Your point about Philly, LA and Celtics drafting 1-2-3 is well taken with the understanding that the Celts are doing it with the Nets pick, and
Boston went to the playoffs. - Z

Hotel California, Don Felder - guess for the quiz.
I was at a double header in Fenway in either the '77 or '78 season in which the Sox or maybe both teams set some kind of record for home runs. can't remember who they played. I tried to look it up but couldn't find it, but I instantly thought of those two games when I read your
Sportzine. The Boomer had a couple of them for sure.
Andrew 'Left Coast' Wright
Yes, Andrew, it's Don Felder and Hotel California.

Joe Walsh, Hotel California.
The Boud
Right song, wrong artist. It was Don Felder who did that lead (with help from Walsh).- Z

Hotel California, with Don Felder on 12 string (accompanied by Joe Walsh). 
Glenn Dewell
Yes it's Felder and Hotel California. - Z
Sportzine is available at thanks to Buffalo Steve Lenz
Two young women sidled up to the bar a few feet away from me. They debated on what drinks to order. One said, “Well, it's National Wine Day.” So I said to them “Is that wine with an 'h'. They both laughed and said no it was the wine that you drink. Then one added, “The other whine is every day that ends in a 'y'.

Talked to the Regal Eagle about the chances that the full 13 judge Circuit Court will hear Tom Brady's appeal. The Regal One said of course they'll hear it. These judges are all egomaniacs and want to see their names in the paper. We shall see. Hope he's right.

FootJoy asked me if I knew the 4 stages of male senility. Naturally I didn't. FootJoy said – forget names, forget faces, forget to zip up and forget to unzip. On reflection, I realized that I was guilty of two of these but not the last one (and I hope I never do).

Talking to fellow Irishman Mike Module, I asked him if he knew what Irish amnesia was (thanks to Peter Goodwin for the insight). He didn't so I told him what Peter had said: “You forget everything but your grudges.”

Professor Pete and I were decrying the state of affairs in the US based on the political primaries and the nastiness and incivility. Pete said: “We're wondering what kind of world we're going to leave Keith Richards.”

So who did the guitar solo (and what was the song) rated the best rock 'n' roll solo of all time by readers of Guitarist magazine in 1998 and the best 12 string guitar solo ever by Guitar World (2015)? It's Don Felder of the Eagles on Hotel California. Jim Dwyer, Andrew Wright and Glenn Dewell knew it. If you saw the 3 hour documentary about the Eagles, you know that Felder was kicked out of the band when he complained about Don Henley and Glenn Frey getting a larger share of money. Felder, by the way, is from Florida and guess who he taught how to play guitar? The prized pupil was fellow Gainesville, Floridian, Tom Petty.

The most CDs by any one artist that I own are those of Emmylou Harris. So what CD on which she appears was her biggest commercial success?


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