Monday, May 13, 2019


MAY 13, 2019

The last Sportzine was February 4, 2019, and it covered the Patriots’ Super Bowl win.
It was important after that Zine for me to take time off and try to write a Tribute honoring my companion Victoria Troxell. It went out April 24. Thanks to everyone who emailed me after Victoria’s Tribute. Those responses were much appreciated.

Glad that I took off April from doing Sportzine as the Red Sox were dreadful. Between March 28 through April 28, the Dread Sox went 11-17. It didn’t help that a perverse scheduler (a Yankee fan?) had the Red Sox start the season on an 11 games in 11 days road trip at Seattle, Oakland and Arizona. They went 3-8 on that trip.

Part of the slow start was that road trip, the short off-season and the babying of the Red Sox starters in spring training. Foot Joy had observed that April was the real spring training for the starters, a quite cogent point. When the starters began pitching better, the offense was still erratic. There weren’t many 2-out rallies.

Then from April 29 (they would sweep 3 from Oakland) until yesterday, the Red Sox went 11-2. The offense, which had stagnated, got a shot of adrenaline when Michael Chavis was called up. In 20 games, Chavis is batting .282 with 20 hits, 6 of which have been homers (bombs). Chavis is listed as 5’10” and 216 lbs. His OBP is .407, partly because he knows the strike zone, and has had 14 walks versus 23 K’s (all stats – Chavis has 19 RBI in those 20 games and he has played decently at 2B (16 games), 1B (2 games) and 3B (2).

Chavis didn’t do it alone as the Red Sox core players JD, Mookie, Rafi Devers and Bogie started contributing more. And speaking of ‘more’, that’s what the BoSox have gotten from Mitch Moreland. Although hitting only .231, Moreland leads the team with 12 homers and 29 RBI. So when he has hit, it’s had a huge impact.

So it’s safe to watch the Red Sox again. The season began like unrelenting rain, but sunshine has burst out (at least on the ball field). Let’s enjoy the Sox’s season.

If you are a Bruins fan, their post season success has been a giddy treat. There looms the possibility, if they can get by Carolina (up on them 2-0 as I write), of a Stanley Cup championship.

The Bruins have a good mix of experienced veterans and young precocious players like Charlie McAvoy, Matt Grzelcyk (the #1 defensive pair at BU), Jake DeBrusk, and Brandon Carlo.

The Black and Gold are battle tested having come back, down 3-2 in games to Toronto, and down 2-1 to the Columbus Blue Jackets. The team began its comeback vs. the Maple Leafs (Leaves?) in Game # 6 at Toronto when they scored 2 power play goals and Tuukka Rask stood on his head (take that Joe Haggerty). Rask did the same in the Game 7 clincher as the Bruins ousted Toronto in its 5-1 win.

The return to form of the #1 line of Bergeron, Marchand and Pastrňák has also been huge as has the Bruins’ power play and penalty kill. So far in the playoffs, Marchand leads the team with 15 points (5 goals). Pasta is tied for 2nd with 12 (6 goals) and Bergeron has 10 points (6 goals, 5 of them on the power play). Overall the Bruins have scored 14 playoff power plays. Stats via

Besides the excellent job coach Bruce ‘Butch’ Cassidy has done, credit also goes to General Manager Don Sweeney, who traded for Charlie Coyle and Marcus Johansson. Coyle has 12 points in the playoffs (6 goals!) and Johansson has contributed 9 points (6 assists). Coyle was obtained for Ryan Donato, a fledgling talent. What mattered here was Coyle’s size (6’3” and weight 220). Coyle is very strong on the puck where Donato was not (6’, 193 lbs.). It also was experience over youth.

So let’s root on these Bruins, who last won Sir Stanley’s Cup in 2011. A championship would put the Boston area in rarefied air, tying the Detroit area which won 3 major championships (Lions, Tigers and Red Wings) in 1935.

The less said about the Boston Celtics the better. How did they play so much better in the playoffs last year without Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward? Some would say better team play. I have heard the rumors about Kyrie being a diva. You have to ask if Irving made those around him better. Doubtful that he re-ups with the Celtics.

A shout out to reader Bruce Irwin, who lives in the Detroit area: we are coming for that Detroit record of 3 major championships in the same season.
Sportzine is also available at thanks to Buffalo Steve Lenz
Count me as a viewer of the Bruins playoffs on NBC/NBCSN who was angry at Mike Milbury’s game analysis. The ex-Bruin sounded like he was rooting for the other team. He complained about the Bruins using Marcus Johansson on the power play, referring to Johansson as soft, like a marshmallow. Glad that Ed Olczyk has replaced him this series.

Dan Shaughnessy/Globe (5/12) had this stat: the Red Sox, after losing to the Yankees (April 16-17), had the worst run differential in MLB. Since, they are 132-72 in that stat.

Ben Volin/Globe (5/12) did a nice piece on John Urschel, who played OL for the Ravens, but quit at age 26 to pursue a Ph.D. in Math at MIT. Loved this quote from Urschel: “Bill Belichick might not have an expert understanding of, let’s say, game theory, but he’s certainly doing a fantastic job of finding out how to optimize performance in light of suboptimal decisions by other teams and coaches.”

Trivia: I know his name is Davis, is it Jim Davis? He played with Gene Clark of the Byrds.
Garry Gillett
Very good, Garry, it's Jesse Ed Davis, a Native American who died way too early. - Z

Jesse Ed Davis. Native American as well.
Matt Dawson
Excellent, Matt. Yes, Jesse Ed Davis. Hope you get to see the PBS documentary called Rumble which explores the influence of Native Americans on music. - Z

I would have to guess Jesse Ed Davis.
He played with John Lee Hooker and Jackson Browne in 2 different shows that I saw.
The Wizard
Wiz, good guess - yes it's Jesse Ed Davis, a Native American, who was featured in the doc Rumble. Hope you saw it. - Z

Jim, not fair for me to answer this one since I just viewed this documentary on Native American music and musicians. Have you seen it? It is a fine story being told. A little long, but worth all the time to absorb it.
The opening is great. I voted for Link Wray to be inducted in last year’s HOF choosing of who got in (I just can't stomach the Bon Jovi's of the world). The guy deserves to be there for his unique style, original playing, and influence on young guitar players.
A segment in there on Jessie Edwin Davis, my answer to your question, that has some personal touches from those who knew him well. Hoping you enjoy it.
Bill LaPlante
Thanks Bill, a friend sent me the DVD of Rumble, the PBS documentary about the Native Americans’ contribution to music. I too voted for Link Wray for the Hall. Maybe next year. His album with him on the cover in Indian gear is excellent.  - Z

Title No. 6! While that ties Pittsburgh for most Super Bowl victories,
the Steelers did it in two different eras (Bradshaw and Roethlisberger), the Patriots 6 titles all with one coach and one QB. Hate to see Flores go.....Edelman could share the MVP trophy with the Pats' Defense if such a thing was allowed.
Brad Dawson
Brad, here is a link to Sports Illustrated/Andy Benoit's excellent breakdown of the Pats defense in the Super Bowl win over the Rams. - Z

We don't get Bruins as much as we do Sox/Celtics and Pats - only have chance to watch them 1 or 2 times before playoffs - interesting fact about Tampa Bay sports-they raise prices for certain teams - Hockey- Bruins/Canadians - saw Canadians play twice - forget Bruins tickets – Baseball-RedSox/Yankees - Joan and I went to see Blue Jays on a Thurs. afternoon - Good seats-$45 - Joan told guy she wanted same seats for Sox, who were coming in for the weekend - he told Joan same seats were $145 for Sox!-at that time Toronto was in 1st and Sox in last-Tampa is more supportive of hockey than baseball or football. Ken Forestal
They may all hate us up here in Boston/New England for winning but when it comes to playing on their home fields/ice/court they love us and all the money they can charge to watch us play. Then boo us too.
Paul Beaudette
Guys, 6 Super Bowls in 18 years. Now 6-3 in SB's in Brady-Belichick era. I have been outspoken that the Pats defense needed to help win this Super Bowl. Did they ever.
I just watched a replay of the SB on nfl network. 8 consecutive stops leading to punts. This was Bill Belichick and his coaches best defense since the 1st Super Bowl win vs St. Louis Rams. This defense didn't come together until the end of the season. Then Belichick and Co. throw in a defense that LA hasn't seen (BB took part of it from Matt Patricia/Detroit game vs Rams). This is so satisfying given the too old, dynasty dead talk. Take that pigskin pundits and haters! And the Pats may get 7 next year.

The Bruins have had a lot of injuries, especially D Corp. Cassidy still playing with defense pairings. If the puzzle pieces fall in place, they have a chance to surprise. The Celtics have a far better chance of going deep (ED. - Oops. Wrong, Ducko.). I'd love to see Boston tie that Detroit record of winning 3 of the 4 major sports championships in the same season. That would really get the haters of this region waxed. Let's whack them. - Z

Making his Mark introduced me to a woman named Meghan, who said she used to bar tend at the Hot Club. She recalled a night when Bruins players came in with the Cup and drank from it. I asked when this was, and she said in the 1990’s. So I checked and the last time the Boston Bruins won the Stanley Cup was 2011, and before that they had not won it since 1972. So it was the Providence Bruins and the season was 1998-99 when they beat the Rochester Americans 4-1 to win the Calder Cup.

Current bartender Renée told me that some of the Patriots players recently visited the Hot Club. She wasn’t sure who the individuals were but said that they were tall and huge. Renée said that they had all shaved their heads for a charity.

Captain Jack went to Mohegan Sun for the Kentucky Derby. I can’t reveal his betting strategy, but he sent me a pic of him and his wife with red roses in their teeth and Jack was flashing a wad of cash. Making his Mark noted that the disqualification of the ‘winner’, Maximum Security, was the first ever in the history of the Kentucky Derby.

Last issue I asked you the following: This session guitarist played on Taj Mahal’s first 3 albums. He played the solo on Jackson Browne’s Doctor My Eyes. He played on 3 of the 4 Beatles solo albums. Name?
Gary Gillett, Matt Dawson, the Wiz and Bill LaPlante had the answer: Jesse Ed(win) Davis, who was a Native American guitarist, who died too early (9/21/44 - 6/22/88). Jesse Ed is featured in Rumble, a documentary on the influence of Native Americans on our music. It’s a must see.
With help from Leon Russell, Jesse Ed was introduced to session work. Besides playing guitar and piano on Taj Mahal’s first 3 albums, Davis was part of George Harrison’s Concert for Bangladesh. Jesse Ed also played lead guitar on John Lennon’s Walls and Bridges and Rock ‘n’ Roll, and was a guest performer on Ringo Starr’s Goodnight Vienna and Ringo’s Rotogravure. He had 3 solo albums: Jesse Davis, Ululu and Keep Me Comin’. (Source – Wikipedia).

This singer/songwriter was born in Hollywood. He was a multi-instrumentalist whose first band appeared on an episode of F Troop and Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. Frank Zappa helped get this performer’s 2nd band a record contract. By their 3rd album, he was producing them. He was also known for his session work, especially slide guitar. Name?