Monday, August 24, 2020


BY JIM DAWSON AUGUST 24, 2020 BRUINS The Bruins eliminated Carolina and now face off against the Tampa Bay Lightning, a much stronger opponent. Last night, Boston took Game #1 by 3-2 though they nearly blew a 3-0 lead in the 3r d period after Victor Hedman scored twice, the last with 1:14 left after the Lightning pulled their goalie. Both Hedman shots deflected off Charlie McAvoy so goalie Jaroslav Halak had no chance. Halak stopped 35 shots. Ironically, Hedman had gotten a 2nd period penalty which led to a Bruins power play goal by Pastrnak, who was set up by Kreji who found Pasta in the left dot. Charlie Coyle scored the first goal on a redirect of a Carlo shot. The Bruins got their 3rd goal early in the 3rd period as Bergeron stole the puck from Ryan McDonagh, got it to Pasta who then fed Marchand for the goal. So the #1 line of Marchand (goal and an assist), Pastrnak (goal and an assist) and Bergeron (assist) did their usual damage. Halak was excellent. The next two games are back to back – Tuesday and Wednesday. That could be asking a lot of the 35 year old Jaro Halak, but Tim Thomas did it in the 2010-2011 playoffs when the Bruins won the Stanley Cup. Thomas was 37 at the time. Will Bruce ‘Butch’ Cassidy go to young backup goalie Dan Vladar, who is 23 and never played in the NHL in that Wednesday game? The Bruins also face Game 6 and 7 being back to back. Go Bruins! (Source for the Tim Thomas information – Wikipedia). CELTICS The Boston Celtics did not let up against the 76ers Sunday and beat them 110-106 to sweep the series 4-0. The Boston D was strong once again and got contributions from the usual suspects – Kemba Walker (32), Jayson Tatum (28) and Jaylen Brown (16). They also got 15 points from Daniel Theis who did a good job against the 7’ Joel Embiid though undersized at 6’8”. With time winding down and the Celtics up by about 14 points, they started taking quick shots which allowed Philly to shave the lead to 6. Brad Stevens was clearly not pleased. ABC’s next game was scheduled for 3:30 and it was past that mark when Theis was called for a foul on ex-Celt Al Horford. Stevens challenged the call and won as replay clearly showed Horford hooking Theis’ arm. Then when the 76ers got it to 6 with about 16 seconds left, Stevens called a timeout to remind his team to finish. Around this time ABC analyst Doris Burke said “The end of this game feels like a bad date. It is taking forever.” Doris Burke is a great NBA analyst and you wonder why it’s taken this long to get her on telecasts of the men’s NBA games. She is a true gem. RED SOX Being the eternal optimist, I took heart when the BoSox ended their 9 game losing streak by beating the Phillies and then bested the Orioles in the first two games of a 4 game set. Then they reverted to form, losing Saturday despite a fine 7 inning effort by Martin Pérez who left with a 3-1 lead (Josh Taylor gave up a tying 2 run home in the 8th and yes he walked a man before the HR. Sunday was a bullpen game started by Zack Godley (5 walks) who didn’t get out of the 3rd inning, and was ‘relieved’ by Jeffrey Springs who allowed all 3 inherited runners to score. New guy Robert Stock helped the Sox’s demise by allowing 2 runs in the 7th in a 5-4 loss. So the pitching auditions continue. I’ve seen enough of Springs that he should be sent packing and not back to Pawtucket. Lefty or no lefty. BULLETS • After Mike Milbury criticized Tuukka Rask for leaving the NHL bubble to join his family, it was revealed that a reporter had interviewed Rask before he left and Rask admitted getting a call from his wife about one of his daughters having a medical issue. Milbury was not done putting his feet in his mouth. After co-analyst Brian Boucher commented on the bubble being a great environment for the players, Milbury said: “Not even any women here to disrupt your concentration.” That resulted in NBC suspending but not firing Milbury, who then decided it best to leave the bubble and go home. • Then there’s the case of Thom Brennaman, the play by play man for the Cincinnati Reds and for Fox NFL games. Brennaman was doing a Reds game when a hot mic caught him referring (reportedly) to a city or place as “the fag capitol of the world”. (Source - Karma Allen and Tony Morrison/ABC News). That got him suspended. • Chaim Bloom didn’t wait for the trade deadline as he sent closer Brandon Workman and reliever Heath Hembree to the Phillies for RHPs Nick Pivetta and Connor Seabold. The Phils are also owed a player to be named or cash. 27 y/o Pivetta is in Pawtucket and we’ll see him at some point. The smart thing would be to work with Pivetta on his mechanics, pitch selection etc. before rushing him to the parent team. While he is projected as a starter, he may end up in the bullpen. The real key may be the 24 y/o Seabold as he has impressed at the minor league level and Arizona Fall League. Workman is a free agent at the end of the season. Interestingly, the Phillies got Pivetta from the Nationals for Jonathan Papelbon. • Reports are that the Patriots are bringing back K Nick Folk. Rumors are that rookie draft pick Justin Rohrwasser has an injury. EMAIL Hi Jim - According to my Sportzine archives, the last issue WAS labeled as SZ725, so this one should be SZ726. I just renamed this issue SZ725x in case something else changes. 😂 STILL laughing at Robin Williams' Scottish accent, and what a screwed up family Clifford Roberts came from - sounds like in-breeding to me... Could the quiz answer possibly be Kris Kristofferson? Still love the 'Zine - it definitely brightens my Tuesdays! Best, Buff Steve Hi Steve, what happened is that when I returned, I started with SZ716 after ending with SZ714a. I should have checked. So I should have returned with SZ715 and that's why the change in #'s. Glad you liked the Robin Williams Golf bit. Good guess on the quiz but no, it's not Kris Kristofferson. - Z Hey Jim, If you read your paragraph about the numbering of the Zine, I think you compounded your problem. You said it should be SZ715. But then you called it SZ725??  So which are we at??  LOL. Jim Dwyer Jim, the last Zine I did before my sabbatical was SZ714a. When I resumed, I started with SZ716. So it should have been numbered SZ715. I had done Zines from 716 to 725. But they weren't correct because I left out naming one SZ715. So I changed each one from SZ716 to SZ725 to a number one below. 716 became 715, 717 became 716, all the way to the last I had done which was SZ725. - Z I’m enjoying the Zine as always Jim. However, I can’t even watch the Red Sox this year. The level of play is almost below preseason quality. Nice win by the Bruins last night….at least they’re coming alive. Is the answer to this week’s trivia question Kris Kristofferson? If so, you can list helicopter pilot among his many talents. Legend has it that he actually landed one in Johnny Cash’s front yard to hand deliver a song that he had written. Keep up the good work! Tom Robinson  Hi Tom, yeah the Red Sox are difficult to watch given their poor play. I keep waiting and hoping they will bust out. That offense should be much better, but you can see that they all are pressing. Good guess on the quiz but no, it's not Kris Kristofferson. I like the bit about him helicoptering in to give a song to Johnny Cash. - Z. Darn….I could have been a winner! My average is right down there with Andrew Benintendi’s. PS….second stab – Glen Campbell? Tom Robinson Tom, also a good guess, but no, not Glen Campbell. - Z My colleague Jay Turner, who enjoys the FANZINEs I print out for him and another colleague, writes... “I’m wondering if the answer to Jim Dawson’s trivia Question is Phil Collins “Land of Confusion” ...” Richard Flinn Richard, good guess but tell Jay Turner, no, not Phil Collins for the music trivia. - Z Jim: I remember Chuck Connors as a commentator on "Monday Night Baseball." He played in the NYY organization & later starred in a TV series called "Branded", about a Civil War soldier, unjustly accused of treason. The Rifleman's son was Johnny Crawford and I think he had a hit song or 2, in the late 50's, or early 60's.  Can't remember the name(s) of his hit songs.  Tom Wallis Yes Tom, when I was checking on the 6'6" Chuck Connors, who played for the Celtics from 1947-48, I was surprised to see he played for the Cubs in 1951. Kevin Joseph Aloysius 'Chuck' Connors (4/10/21 - 11/10/92) had a 40 year career in film and TV. Don't need no stinkin' baseball and basketball! Johnny Crawford had 4 songs in the Top 30, and I don't recognize any of them. In 1962, he did Cindy's Birthday which reached #8. He then did Your Nose Is Gonna Grow #14, Rumors #12 and in 1963 did Proud #29. He was better as Mark McCain. - Z Crazy Heart has a R.I. connection to RIC professor Thomas Cobb, who wrote the book that the movie was based on. Terry Nau Thanks, Terry, for that local connection to Crazy Heart. As for A Quiet Place, I did not know that John Krasinski went to Brown. - Z Thanks for the movie tips I am looking for something to watch.  Although, it will be hard to top one of your previous “classic” suggestions – The Hills Have Eyes!!  Lol   Lori Spooner Hi Lori, hope that my suggestion on The Hills Have Eyes was the original and not the remake. And the sequel wasn't very good either. I also liked Crawl which is a fun horror movie with a Florida hurricane and alligators in the basement. Crawl, A Quiet Place and Knives Out are all on Amazon. - Z Hi Jim, I know it’s a bad season for baseball! The players are lethargic at best and totally unable to have interest in the game. I can feel their pain! Sure they should always try to do their best, but in this case dead silence allows the mind to think about many things. Think about it the next time you find yourself in dead silence. Do you concentrate on one thing, probably not. These players are used to noise and I mean lots of noise! Now there is pretty much silence and perhaps a 3rd baseman is suddenly thinking about something else when the ball comes, and that player is charged with an error? Possible? Probable? You tell me. This damn virus has been a thorn in my side since day 1. Oh well, we all know that depending on the outcome of this election, it will all go away the first of November! Ted Bates Ted, last night with Gardner on 1st and no outs, a ground ball was hit to Devers and he didn't go to 2nd to get the lead runner and maybe even a double play. So yes the quiet is getting to Devers who needs to concentrate more. - Z Jim Well, my Canadiens couldn't pull off a second major upset and exited the playoffs against the Flyers.  The effort was there, but this kid Hart played as well as his counterpart and boyhood hero, Carey Price. Price kept Les Habitants in five out of the six games and pushed Philly to the limit. They just couldn't get the equalizers past Hart in three games, the last one being the elimination game last night. Kirk Mueller did a commendable job as interim coach; I believe that Claude Julien should retire and the reins handed to Mueller for next year. Canadiens are a couple of quality players short of a championship team and Price's clock is ticking along Now, I put all my eggs into the Avalanche basket to bring the Cup to Colorado once again. They will have to get by Dallas, which they have beaten several times this year.  If you have the chance to watch tonight's game, you'll see that these guys have bought into Bednar's system; they remind me of the Canadiens of the heyday when they were just flyin' from the first puck drop and never taking their foot off of the accelerator.  Fun to watch, especially MacKinnon. Stay cool, the heat out here is relentless every day.  We shall welcome fall with a Snoopy dance under the falling leaves. Bill LaPlante Sportzine is also available at thanks to Buffalo Steve Lenz THE HOT CLUB Kristin expressed surprise and (mock?) indignation that I hadn’t included her email about the trivia concerning the first video to be shown on MTV (The Buggles’ Video Killed the Radio Star). So here is what she wrote: “I know this one 100% so I will not throw my answer in the game. I worked for Rollins Cablevision and was in NYC for the MTV launch. Prophecy. - K”. There you go Kristin. We were talking about Restaurant Weeks which began August 16 and runs to September 12. The ProJo listed the participating restaurants and among them was one of my favorites: The Heritage Tap and Grille in Pawtucket which has been closed since the pandemic started. That got me excited that this small place with excellent seafood might have reopened. But since it was the unreliable ProJo listing it, I had my doubts. So I went to the Heritage on Grand Ave. in Pawtucket. Alas it has not reopened. On leaving the Hot Club, I ran into old friend Dale Rogers, who used to be a PawSox season ticket holder. Dale used to work for the Post Office. I mentioned to Dale and his 2 buddies that one day the HC personnel told me that I had a package sent to me c/o the Hot Club. A first! In it was a photo that Dale took of my then very young daughter Cara and me at our seats at McCoy Stadium. An act of kindness I never forgot. No one had gotten this week’s trivia by Friday, so I pressed Mark A and Peter B for an answer. When I gave them 2 clues, one got the answer. The singer songwriter is from the Midwest and he was born in Indiana. Peter quickly knew it was John Mellencamp. Dr. Jack has been here and there in his boat this summer. He showed us a sign from Chappaquiddick. It read “Warning: Seals attract sharks. Do not swim near seals.” Dr. John said that when he gets up in the morning, he reads the obits. If he’s not in them, he has his coffee.. ANSWER TO LAST ISSUE’S TRIVIA QUESTION That singer/songwriter/guitarist with at least 22 Top 40 hits who is in the Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame and the Songwriters Hall of Fame? Only Peter Bortolotti got it (with help) – John Mellencamp. Starting in ’82, he had at least 9 songs in the Top 10 thru 1986. THIS ISSUE’S TRIVIA QUESTION This singer/songwriter, record producer, arranger and talent scout is considered a seminal artist in soul and R&B. One of his best songs did even better on the charts when covered by a female singer. He’s in the Rock Hall and the Songwriters Hall. Name?


BY JIM DAWSON AUGUST 17, 2020 ERRATA Last issue, I wrote that the Bruins top line of Bergeron, Pastrnak and Marchand only had 1 goal in the 3 seeding games played prior to the playoffs. I erred. They did not even have a goal. That line had 1 assist – by Bergeron on a McAvoy goal against Tampa Bay. Last week, I posted the Sportzines that I have done since my return in June on It was then that I discovered that I went from the last done before my sabbatical, SZ714, to the first on my return which was labeled SZ716. So I skipped SZ715. I have since re-named those Sportzines. So this is SZ725. Honest! BOSTON BRUINS It has been my contention that the NHL has the best chance of the major sports in finishing their season and playoffs during this pandemic. Of the local teams, my belief is that the Bruins have the best chance of winning their playoffs. That got a lot harder over the weekend when starting goalie Tuukka Rask decided that he would opt out and go home. Rask’s wife just had a baby and he has 2 other young daughters. I have no problem with this. Wanting to protect your family in the face of this COVID-19 scourge is understandable. The Bruins backup goalie, Jaroslav Halak, is an A-1 goalie, though he is 35, two years older than Rask and didn’t play in any of last year’s playoffs. Rask played all 24 playoff games. The Bruins are up 2-1 versus Carolina and play tonight. A win would put them in great shape to move on. However they are missing the dynamic David Pastrnak, who will not play in today’s game. Saturday, the Bruins, without Pasta, still won 3-1. They played their best game since their return. They overcame 5 Carolina power plays and would have held them scoreless had Halak not had a brain fart and ‘cleared’ the puck right to Nino Niederreiter, who deposited the puck in the empty net. No problem as from the 2nd period on, the Bruins beat the Hurricanes to loose pucks and won their share of faceoffs. Marchand’s empty netter settled it. + and - Anders Bjork played wing on the 1st line with Pasta out. Bjork had 3 penalties and was pulled from the line late in the game and replaced by Chris Wagner. I doubt that Bjork sees the ice again unless there is an injury, and it won’t ever be on the #1 line. Charlie Coyle had a great game scoring the 1st goal by batting the puck out of mid air into the net. Coyle then set up linemate Sean Kuraly for a short handed goal. On the same line, young Jack Studnicka (making his playoff debut) was buzzing around and got shots on goal in limited ice time. Go Bruins! BOSTON CELTICS The NBA playoffs start tonight and the Celts play the 76ers. Philly’s size has hurt Boston in the past, but they have been playing well in the games leading up to these playoffs. Boston has Enes Kanter and Daniel Theis to battle big man Joel Embiid. A possible plus has been the return to health of Rob Williams. It is hoped that he can help and give some quality minutes in the battle vs. Embiid and the other 76ers. Go Celtics! BOSTON RED SOX OK so we knew that the Red Sox had no real chance of getting into the playoffs, never mind winning a World Series, but no BoSox fan could have dreamt this nightmare of a 60 game ‘season’. As I write, Boston is 6-16. That’s the worst record in baseball. They lost to NY last night, their 7th overall loss in a row, and it was their first ‘competitive’ game in that stretch. By competitive I mean they only lost 4-2. In the previous six games, the Sox gave up 11 runs, 10, 17, 9, 8 and 8. That’s getting annihilated. We knew that the Sox would struggle with no Chris Sale and Eduardo Rodriguez. So it’s been Nathan Eovaldi and Martin Pérez and a cast of characters. Eovaldi has 1 win, Perez 2. Perez will go tonight in the final game vs NY. What is mind blowing to me is the number of walks that Sox pitchers have allowed – 92 in 22 games (4.18 per game). Equally troubling is the number of errors being made by the positional players – 20 in those 22 games. Now while those errors have resulted in 9 unearned runs (128 earned runs out of 137 given up), the real effect is making your staff throw more pitches plus missed plays (like double plays) that could have gotten the team and the pitcher out of the inning. The team ERA is 6.03, the worst in baseball. Rafael Devers has made 8 of those errors. His defensive shortcomings have hurt his batting as well and he looks lost at the plate. Roenicke should sit Devers down for a few games to try to get his head straight. Other offenders: Peraza has 5 errors, Verdugo 3, Arauz 2, Bogaerts 1 and Moreland 1. The trade deadline is August 31. Will Chaim Bloom make any moves? You would think that if he does, it should be for pitching, especially starting pitching. NE PATRIOTS Starting today, the NFL enters Phase 3 which means allowing full-speed practices. The Patriots have not had a player test positive for COVID-19. Fingers crossed, let’s hope that continues. Interestingly, Oakley has designed modified face shields for players. Reports are that it will be up to each individual Patriot to decide if he wants to use it. BULLETS • While Chaim Bloom hasn’t fared too well so far with his pitching pickups, he may have a steal in inf. Jonathan Arauz. Bloom stole Arauz from the Astros as a Rule 5 pick. Arauz has never played above AA but doesn’t look nervous in the bright lights of MLB. • While watching the NBC broadcasts of the Bruins, there have been times when I wanted to scream at analyst and ex-Bruin Mike Milbury. Milbury took Tuukka Rask to task for leaving the team while they’re in the playoffs. Milbury’s take was that Rask should have opted out before the team went into the bubble in Toronto (OK I did scream at the TV when he said it). To me it’s a cheap shot. Rask tried but felt he needed to opt out for the safety of his family. That should not be questioned giving this pandemic. • One of the few bright spots among the relievers that Chaim Bloom has brought in is Phillips Valdéz. Valdéz’s physique reminds me of ‘Oil Can’ Boyd. So I looked it up. Valdez is 6’2”, 160 lbs. Boyd is 6’1”, 155 lbs. Both are righties. • Here’s a prediction: some baseball pundits who think they know everything, Michael Felger and John Tomase come to mind, will start blathering soon that the Red Sox are tanking the season so they can get a high pick in next year’s baseball draft. Peter Abraham (Globe – 8/16) cited Alex Speier’s observation that in the agreement signed with the Players Association, Commissioner Rob Manfred can modify the draft order if the season doesn’t go 81 games. • While all these professional athletes are being tested for COVID-19, there was a concern that people who really need to be tested might miss out. This week it was revealed that Yale University has developed a saliva test for COVID-19 which has been approved by the FDA for emergency use authorization. • If you are looking for a couple movies that might provide a little escape from the current pandemic, here are two I suggest; Knives Out, an old school whodunit, and A Quiet Place, directed and starring John Krasinski (Boston born, Brown grad). EMAIL Last issue in sending out the email with the Sportzine, I wrote: “Yes Sportzine is back. Will try to hang in there as long as there are sports about which to write.” I received an email from Chuck Doherty: “It’s a situation up with which we should not put!” My reply: “Very funny Chuck. I was taught not to end a sentence with a preposition.” Chuck then explained where he got that quote: Winston Churchill. Chuck wrote: “The official source (quite possibly apocryphal, as are most Churchill quotes)”:  When criticized for occasionally ending a sentence on a preposition, Winston Churchill replied, "This is the type of errant pedantry up with which I will not put."  MUSIC TRIVIA ANSWERS Jim, no worries about a skinny zine- you will always be able to put together a great issue. Regarding music trivia, this one I am fairly certain since I actually tuned in back in ’81 to watch the launch of MTV. It was “Video Killed the Radio Star” by the Buggles. What a great era and art form. Kind of miss those days (;) Mark Allio Yes Mark, it's The Buggles and Video Killed the Radio Star. - Z The Buggles, Video Killed the Radio Star. Matt Dawson Matt, man you are red hot. Yes, The Buggles and Video Killed the Radio Star. Quite prophetic too. - Z I know that one !! Video killed the radio star. the Buggles ! Jim Dwyer Yes Jim, it's the Buggles and Video Killed the Radio Star (turned out to be prophetic). -Z After writing about golf last issue, I sent out an email to a number of people with the following: “Sensed that we could use some more humor. Tracked down this very funny and very profane comic bit by Robin Williams on Golf. R.I.P. Robin.” If you are offended by profanity, you should skip this one. You have been warned – Z When one of my readers requested that I re-send that Robin Williams link because he lost it, I added the following about Clifford Roberts who ran the Masters at Augusta National Golf Course for many years as its chairman (1931-1976). Here's the Wikipedia account of Clifford Roberts, the man who didn't want blacks to play Augusta. They could only caddy. Note this timing. Lee Elder is the first black golfer to play Augusta (1975). Roberts steps down as Chairman of Augusta in 1976. He commits suicide in 1977. The one thing I got wrong was he didn’t hang himself, He shot himself. On the course – on the banks of Ike’s Pond at Augusta. THE HOT CLUB Professor Peter was talking about a Western that he liked called Crazy Heart with Jeff Bridges who won a Best Actor Oscar for it (2010). Peter said that the subject matter was similar to A Star Is Born. Mention of Jeff Bridges reminded me of his father Lloyd who starred in the TV series Sea Hunt (‘and then I cut his air hose’) and Jeff’s brother Beau. Peter mentioned that Jeff Bridges even has a band. So we talked about TV Westerns like The Rifleman with Chuck Connors (who played for the Celtics!), and Johnny Crawford. I said that one of my favorites was Wanted: Dead or Alive with Steve McQueen. My Dad sawed down the barrel of my Daisy air rifle so I could shoot from the hip without taking it out of the holster, just like Josh Randall. Dr. John said he liked a Western called The Big Country with Gregory Peck and Charlton Heston. John said that there’s a horse in it that should have won an Oscar. Mark brought up a possible music trivia question which was about Peter Green, the great British Blues guitarist who co-founded the original Fleetwood Mac. Green recently died (July 25 at age 73). Mark raved about a Green penned song called Albatross and he and Peter noted that Green also wrote Black Magic Woman. Peter remembered a quote from the great Blues Man B.B. King about Peter Green. B.B. said : “he was the only one who gave me the cold sweats.” I think it was Peter that also mentioned that prior to Fleetwood Mac, Peter Green joined John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers after Eric Clapton left that group. ANSWER TO LAST ISSUE’S TRIVIA QUESTION So what was the group with the #1 UK hit and Top 40 US song that was the first video ever shown on MTV? Matt Dawson, Mark Allio and Jim Dwyer all knew that the group was The Buggles and the song/video was Video Killed the Radio Star. Wikipedia notes that two of that British group, Trevor Horn (singer/bassist) and Geoffrey Downes (keyboards) were more into producing but actually joined Yes for their album Drama. THIS ISSUE’S TRIVIA QUESTION This singer/songwriter/guitarist, who also is a painter, actor and film director, has had at least 22 Top 40 hits in the US. He has won a Grammy. He is in both the Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame and the Songwriters Hall of Fame. Johnny Cash called him ‘one of the 10 best songwriters” in music. Name?

Monday, August 10, 2020




SOME SEMBLANCE OF SPORTS Sports as we know it in the present pandemic causes me consternation, but still I watch. Sunday, like last Sunday, had the Bruins, Red Sox and Celtics all on TV. The Bruins are about to start the NHL playoffs against the Carolina Hurricanes on Tuesday in a best of 7 series. The goal is the Stanley Cup, which eluded them last year in Game 7 of the Finals with the St. Louis Blues. Based on their play in the 3 games to determine seeding, (Boston went 0-3), they might not be ready for prime time in those playoffs. The first line of Bergeron, Pastrnak and Marchand didn’t do much in those 3 games (1 goal). They won’t go far without that line producing. Does it matter?’s all we have.

The Red Sox pitching has been a bit better of late, but at 6-9, they’ve dug themselves a big hole in a 60 game (if they play them all) season. The team that was supposed to hit hasn’t. Only Bogaerts (.319), Moreland (.323, 6 HRs) and Pillar (.310, but not playing every game) have come through, though Rafael Devers (great scoop and throw yesterday) hit a homer to dead center Sunday, and may have finally found his stroke. JD Martinez and Andrew Benintendi look lost. Vazquez (4 homers and 10 RBI) has cooled off and is hitting .260. Alex Verdugo has shown some power of late, hitting 2 homers Friday to give him 3 for the ‘season’. Verdugo also made a great play stealing a home run from Travis Shaw on Friday.

The starting pitching has been Nathan Eovaldi and Martin Pérez and pray for rain. Ron Roenicke is still searching for a couple other arms that can give him 4-5 innings. Zack Godley may help. Tonight will be a relief pitcher start. The relievers have been very good for the most part. Newcomer Phillips Valdéz (0.00 ERA in 4 games, 6.1 innings) has been a pleasant surprise. Valdéz was plucked off waivers in February. Another newbie that has shown promise is Austin Brice, the only Hong Kong born player in MLB history. Brice was obtained in a January trade with the Marlins for 2B Anguedis Santos. However they are relievers, not starters. Some of the Red Sox games have not been pretty, but it’s baseball, so still I watch.

The Celtics, meanwhile, are about to start their own playoffs. Before that, Boston has two more games, Memphis on Tuesday and Washington on Thursday. Then the NBA playoffs begin. You can expect the Celts to start those playoffs next weekend. One bright spot in recent games has been the play of C/F Robert Williams. After not playing in the first three games in the bubble, Williams sparkled in the next two games averaging 14 points and 4.5 rebounds. With only Kanter and Theis to play center, Williams could supply some needed minutes. On Sunday against Orlando, Williams played 14:47 with 8 points and 3 rebounds.

BULLETS Due in part to the early sparsity of sports, I have been watching more golf than I ever have (my Dad would be proud). Sunday, 23 y/o Collin Morikawa won his first PGA Championship as a pro. Rory McIlroy, Tiger Woods and Jack Nicklaus are the only others to do that at age 23. (CBS Sports). The UCal-Berkeley grad won by 2 strokes in what had been a crowded field. Morikawa had beaten Justin Thomas a few weeks back.

Sunday, the Globe’s Ben Volin explained how the Patriots ended up with $4 million in cap space. NE settled a grievance with Antonio Brown and a settlement with Aaron Hernandez’s estate. Brown got to keep his $5 Million signing bonus (played 1 game), but gave up $4 Million he was due on Jan. 15. Hernandez’s estate got $3.45 Million, part of the final installment of Hernandez’s signing bonus which the Pats had not paid.

Peter Abraham (Globe – 8/9) noted that Sunday was Bill ‘Soup’ Campbell’s 71st birthday. I recall Campbell signing a Sox contract for 1 million dollars, earning another nickname – ‘Million Dollar Bill’.

EMAIL The Waiting, Hard Promises. For Tom Petty fans....that was too easy (I hope...since I'm only 95% sure). Kristin Sorry Kristin. Incorrect. - Z

I’ll go with Refugee on Damn the Torpedoes. Many of his earlier hits, Breakdown and American Girl, have become classic rock staples but I don’t think they charted when released. Refugee is a classic, note the production value on that song. Great tune. Purchased the album at Ann & Hope with money I made pulling weeds. I was 11. Matt Dawson  Good guess but not the right song. The right album though. - Z

Don’t Do Me Like That. That does surprise me. Great tune but not the classic Refugee is.

I think that if you asked music fans to name Tom Petty’s biggest over his 40+ career American Girl would win the poll. Didn’t get a sniff when it came out. Matt Dawson  Yes, Don't Do Me Like That. Got it from an AXS show on Petty. I was surprised. And I agree that most Petty fans would say that American Girl is their favorite though it's a tie for me with Don't Come Around Here No More. - Z

Jim, Imagine if Lou Schwechheimer had been successful in buying the PawSox. They’d still be playing in Pawtucket, and Lou might still be alive. It’s not unreasonable to believe that the 2nd would be true had the 1st happened. Bob Kumins Bob, if only Schwechheimer had been successful in buying the PawSox, the team might have stayed in Pawtucket, and yes Lou might still be alive. Sad. - Z

Ken, Watched the Once Were Brothers DVD last night. It was excellent. Sad in a lot of ways, but a real keeper that I'm sure I'll watch multiple times. There's a lot of info there. - Z


It tells "A" story-I don't know if it tells "The" story--would have liked to hear Garth Hudson’s story. Ken Forestal

Yeah all the others are dead and can't tell their sides. Garth just turned 83. - Z

If I'm not mistaken, Garth still lives in Pink House?

Quote-"Robbie didn't want to go on the road with a suitcase full of Heroin".

Ken Forestal Don't know if Garth still lives in Big Pink.

An oddity: Richard Manuel died in 1986. 13 years later Rick Danko died (1999). 13 years after Danko's death, Levon Helm died (2012). - Z


Great 'Zine...Thanks!

Some of the pro athletes with wives who are pregnant, or have families to think about, are at a more mature stage in their young lives and are realizing that opting out (of their respective sport's season) is the absolute smartest plan right now.

My fear is that the young single athletes, with love of the sport they're playing (and the money to be made), will be the ones who are more apt to hang in there and be 'loyal' to their teams and their leagues. They are also more likely to be the ones you'd end up finding out about....partying...going to bars....or strip clubs. Young lads, especially athletes, tend to think of themselves as bulletproof. Instead, they are Covid risks. 

You would hope that the older, more mature (?) team owners and more importantly...Commissioners......of the four major professional sports leagues in North America would 'Do The Right Thing' and shut their respective sports down. These older guys are supposed to have more wisdom. They are supposed to have better judgment. They should be making decisions to protect those who have less experience (like the young players who bring money to their leagues). But we are talking about Goodell, Manfred, et al.   $$$$.      

Your "As much as I love sports, I love life more"  says it all.

Brad Dawson

Sir James,

A thoroughly enjoyable "zine" this week; you are in true form with genuine opinions about the state of sport (to be or not to be) during the pandemic.

As of today, I am wishing for Carey Price to steal another one from Kid Crosby and his Penguins tonight; he's everything that my Canadiens pin their hopes on to make it out of the first round qualifiers with a stunning upset in the best of five games.

Frankly, I believe that all high school and college sporting events nationwide should be postponed until the public health numbers are in an acceptable place, that the participants are not harmed by the virus.  The long-lasting detrimental effects are becoming more evident as the cases mount.

Some of us lived through the relentless polio onslaught as kids back in the 1950's until an effective vaccine was found and mass immunizations of the population were completed in several years' span.

Our dad had a family on the milk route whose son was confined to an iron lung in their living room after contracting polio, without it he could not breathe.  An indelible scene remains in my memory to this day of that kid who was just a few years older than I and my brother.   No running around.  Once you've been around them for any length of time, it leaves an audible and visual picture that you won't ever forget.

There is a lot more to this movie that we are yet to see.

To a better place...musicland.

Well, my answer to this week's trivial music pursuit is thus:  "Don't Do Me Like That" as the top selling single from the Heartbreaker's "Damn the Torpedoes" album.

Always a great showman, Petty was at the magnificent Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Colorado for a 1979 concert to support it.  Didn't miss that one...a fine night under the stars and clear skies on the hill just outside of Denver.

Gotta admit though, my favorite song on the LP has always been "Refugee".

Take care of yourselves out there, Mouseketeers.

"Big White" LaPlante

Thanks for the kind words, Bill.

That story about the youngster with polio and being in an iron lung was hard hitting. Then they came up with a vaccine.

One major difference between then and now is that when a vaccine for COVID-19 is found, there will be anti-vacciners who won't take it. We have too many people who think that they know more than the scientists. Sad.

As for your Canadiens, hope they make the next round. As long as they aren't playing the Bruins, I'm OK with it.      

As for your trivia guess, you are spot on as it is Don't Do Me Like That from Damn the Torpedoes. Bravo! - Z

Another great 'zine, Jim! Yah, COVID is definitely not playing well with sports.
Thanks for all the info on the great Ben Mondor. I knew him from the stadium when I was working on their computer network, but did not know about the Canada connection. He had a GREAT sense of humor - loved a good joke!
Was so glad to see all the interest in the Herb Alpert trivia question. Happy to hear he's on Matt's playlist! Guesses ran from Billy Preston to Louis Armstrong - wow! Here's a link to Herb playing "Rise", the instrumental #1:  h
ttps:// After watching Mr. Alpert do his thing, he is definitely in competition with Miles for coolness. It's a trumpet thing... Still laughing at Peter's "Siss Boom Baa" joke - only Pete could come up with that! Stay well my friend. Buffalo Steve

Thanks for the kind words, Steve,

The Ben Mondor piece took on a life of its own.

PawSox fans are eternally grateful to him.

Your trivia question sparked a wide range of guesses which speaks to its effectiveness.

As for the siss, boom, bah Carnac joke, I should have credited that to Bob Kumins (who reminded me of that) rather than Peter. - Z

Good Zine, Jim. Spectator sports need fans to help make it exciting but not a good time to have fans in the stands. Glad we opted out of the Pats tickets for this year. I agree with you. Close down sports, now!

Walt Dzialo

Sportzine is also available at thanks to Buffalo Steve Lenz.


We were talking about the English language and how it changes over time. I expressed my dislike for the decision to try and make the past tense of every verb end in ‘ed’. Professor Peter remarked that only in English, could you have this: “Park your car in the driveway. Drive your car in the parkway.”

Peter then added: “If your nose runs and your feet smell, you were built upside down.”

Dr. John told us about a urologist who hired a plumber. The plumber presented him with a bill for $1,000. The urologist said, “Wow! That’s a lot!. The plumber responded “That’s more than I made when I was a urologist.”.

Someone was talking about llamas and then camels. I said that when I was stationed in Turkey, I visited a place that had camels. The camels had big teeth, drooled a lot and had face guards on, because they will bite. The setting was a huge open expanse of dirt. The locals were about to have two camels fight without the face guards. I added that when camels fight in the wild, one will sit on the other until it dies.

Dr. John, who belongs to a ski lodge in New Hampshire was talking about the Swiss Alps. He brought up the James Bond movie On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, which was partially filmed in the Swiss Alps. It’s the one with George Lazenby as Bond and the Bond girl/love interest is Diana Rigg. John said his favorite line in the movie comes when bad guy Telly Savalas and his men are chasing Bond on skis. Savalas tells his men, “We’ll head him off at the precipice.”


The question was: What was the first Top Ten song by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers and on what album was it? The answer: Don’t Do Me Like That which is on the Damn the Torpedoes album. Matt Dawson and Bill LaPlante knew the song and album. It is surprising that it wasn’t until the 3rd album that Petty and the Band had a Top Ten hit.


This band had a #1 song in the UK which also made it to the Top 40 in the US. While the song was from 1979, it was the first video shown when MTV premiered August 1, 1981. What was the name of the band and their song?




AUGUST 3, 2020


MLB, the NBA, and the NHL have all returned to the delight of many sports starved fans. Sunday, three of our major league teams were in action and on TV. However, as I watched the Red Sox (baseball is my favorite sport), the Celtics and the Bruins, I was struck by the very real danger of these players contracting COVID-19. For what? For me and others to have an escape from the pandemic?

MLB is a mess. Half the Miami Marlins team tested positive for COVID-19. There are reports that on a trip to Atlanta, many of the Marlins went out on the town.

18 games (and counting) have been postponed already. Now some St. Louis Cardinals have tested positive. All MLB commissioner Rob Manfred can say is that he’s not a quitter. He should resign or be fired. It’s COVID-19 that won’t quit.

The NBA is using the Disney World ‘bubble’ in Orlando to keep players safe. Already Lou Williams of the Clippers was found to have left the bubble for a pre-approved trip to a funeral but veered off to a strip club in Atlanta. He is about to end his quarantine. It only takes a couple selfish players to spread the disease.

In fact, when I watched the Celtics-Trail Blazers game, I was struck by all the high fives, hugs, helping hands to lift a player who fell, and the close proximity of players to each other. This is a recipe for disaster.

The Bruins looked lost as they lost to the Flyers. The NHL’s ‘bubble’ is two cities in Canada – Toronto and Edmonton. All the players, coaches and staff are staying in one of those two cities. The Canadian government made an exception for the NHL as US citizens are barred from entering Canada. In fact, the Toronto Blue Jays were denied permission to play baseball at the Rogers Centre in Toronto. What’s the difference? Well, you’d have whole teams flying in from the US. The Blue Jays will use their AAA field in Buffalo.

We haven’t even gotten to the NFL where greed runs rampant. Roger Goodell and the owners have tried to change the last day that players can opt out of the season. Seven Patriots, including starting right tackle Marcus Cannon and middle linebacker Dont’a Hightower (their best at that position), have opted out.

Yet Goodell and the NFL owners think that they are going to have a 16 game season and then the playoffs. They have had to cancel the four pre-season games that they wanted, but the players didn’t.

As much as I love sports, I love life more. I don't want to see anyone get the disease. Reports of damage to the lungs and hearts of some of those affected most seriously are frightening. And then there's death.

Eduardo Rodriguez, who was the Red Sox best pitcher with 19 wins last year, contracted COVID-19 and has inflammation of the heart muscle (myocarditis). Health authorities have found that some individuals who contract COVID-19 are left with permanent damage to their lungs and hearts. Red Sox fans hope Eduardo is not one of them.

So ask yourself, is it worth having players get a disease that can kill or leave them with permanent damage to their bodies so that you can watch what has become meaningless sports? Stop the insanity. Close down sports.

BEN MONDOR Recently in an email with Zine reader and NAPS English Department Head Rich Flinn, I noted that my Dad was born in Accrington, England and was brought to the US by his mother when he was two. Because he fought in WWII, they made him a citizen (unlike poor Ben Mondor). So Rich asked for the background on Mondor, a Canadian, fighting in WWII but not receiving citizenship for doing so. After trying to research it online (unsuccessfully), I turned to my friends.

My friend Paul related the following: “Mondor was a good man and benefactor to many. My father worked for him in at least 2 of his textile mills [I worked in one as well in a dye house]. When my father fell ill and had to stop work for medical reasons- some were military complications- Mondor kept him on the 'medical list of employees' so my dad would have full coverage. He also made McCoy a totally family oriented facility for everyone to go to.”

Then, my friend Bill LaPlante, a transplanted Rhode Islander now living in Colorado, sent me the following link to a book that has a chapter on Ben Mondor:

Lo and behold the book Reluctant Soldier...Proud Veteran was written by Terry Nau, who used to be the Pawtucket Times Sports Editor and who gets the Sportzine by email.

So I emailed Terry to see if he could confirm that Ben Mondor was never made a citizen despite fighting in WWII. Terry responded: “My book quotes Ben saying he finally received his citizenship papers in a private ceremony in 1957 in Woonsocket. Ben told me the lone govt. there officially apologized for the delay. I originally wrote that story for the Times/Call in 2008.”

So Ben Mondor did get the US citizenship that he richly deserved. It just took a while.

Terry Nau also wrote a book called They Heard the Bugle’s Call. It is about the 21 men from Pawtucket who died in Vietnam, including two of my classmates from St. Ray’s. Terry was instrumental in getting Pawtucket to erect a monument to those 21 men which now stands on a hill next to the Armistice Street entrance to Slater Park.

You can get a signed copy of Reluctant Soldier...Proud Veteran for $10 from Terry by emailing him at: The book is also available via Amazon. Terry’s other book They Heard the Bugle’s Call is also available via his email for $15.

I salute Terry Nau for all he’s done for those 21 Pawtucket natives and writing these two books.

I also salute Ben Mondor, who took a dank, deplorable dungeon and made it into a vibrant jewel of a ballpark that was a beautiful treat for many baseball fans, including this season ticket holder.

BULLETS R.I.P. Lou Schwechheimer, the long time former Pawtucket Red Sox General Manager, who died of complications from COVID-19 at age 62. After Schwechheimer was unsuccessful in buying the PawSox after Ben Mondor’s death, he purchased an A team and a AAA team in New Orleans. Through his efforts a new stadium was built in Wichita, Kansas for that AAA team. That new stadium was to open this year. Lou always had a warm smile and greeting for PawSox fans.

Intrepid reporter Ken Forestal, writing from New Mexico, informed me that the bass player for Charlie Daniels (R.I.P. Charlie) was Joel DiGregorio. So Ken was at a Charlie Daniels concert and afterward asked Joel if he was related to Ernie DiGregorio. Yup, Ernie is his cousin. Ken mentioned that he had grown up in Pawtucket.

A shout out to Bob Kumins, who was the first person to tell me that, for him, watching sports now was meaningless given the dangers to players’ health. Quite right, Robert.

One other salient point that Bob Kumins made – with all the players from the major sports being tested for coronavirus, how many people are being deprived of getting that very same testing despite many being at a greater risk to get the disease?

Per Ben Volin of the Boston Globe (8/2), the NFL had Oakley design a face shield for players. Only thing – the players don’t like the face shield.

At one point, the Red Sox had Yoenis Cespedes on their team (2014). Boston traded LHP Jon Lester and OF Johnny Gomes for him. Bad trade losing Lester! In December of 2014, Cespedes and 2 others were traded to Detroit for RHP Rick Porcello. Sunday, Cespedes, now with the Mets, decided to opt out of the rest of the season. Only trouble – he never told anyone on the team. He just didn’t show up for the game vs. the Braves.

Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe is always a great read. On Sunday 7/26, Abraham noted that RHP James Karinchak, who pitched for Bryant, made the Cleveland Indians Opening Day roster. Karinchak is only the 2nd Bryant player to make the Majors. The other? Keith MacWhorter who pitched 14 games for the Red Sox in 1980.

Ex-BoSox 2nd baseman (and SS) Jody Reed turned 58 recently. Reed played for the Red Sox from 1987-1992. He was left unprotected in the 1992 expansion draft, and was taken by the Rockies who immediately traded him to the Dodgers. Reed played well for LA in 1993 and was offered a 3 year $7.8 million extension. On the advice of his agent and good friend J.D. Dowell, Reed turned down the offer. Over the next 4 seasons, playing for 3 different teams, Reed made $2.8 million. Wonder how long it was before Dowell became Reed’s ex-friend and ex-agent? (Source – Peter Abraham/Globe – 7/26).

EMAIL MacArthur Park? The way my mind works is one of God’s little mysteries, had that stuck in my head. Garry Gillett Hi Garry, not sure what instrumental Richard Harris ever did, but MacArthur Park only made it to #2. Know who wrote it? - Z

No, just remember Richard Harris and Donna Summer singing it and remember the instrumental. Had no freakin’ idea what it was about. Garry Gillett It was written by Jimmy Webb. And yes the lyrics are strange. - Z

Jimbo: I was tardy last week, although I did know that Turn, Turn, Turn was the ancient lyrical masterpiece, but I wasn't positive about Aretha. This week I'll go with Beatles pal, Billy Preston. The instrumental was "Outta Space", correct? Oh, yeah, the other big hit was " Nothin' from Nothin' leaves nothin').
Wallis Billy Preston is an excellent guess, Tom. Nothing from Nothing reached #1 on Billboard's Hot 100. Outa-Space reached #2 on Billboard's Hot 100. Steve Lenz's framework for the trivia question was #1 for both the instrumental and vocal on Billboard's Hot 100.

So technically Billy Preston is not the correct answer though you should know that Outa-Space was #1 on Billboard's R&B charts, but again #2 on Billboard's Hot 100.

Close but no cigar. Great answer, though. RIP Billy Preston. - Z


Hot as hell down here (Ed.: New Mexico) 111 yesterday-about 12 straight days of 100+-Baseball is a shit show at moment as is NBA-Florida off charts with new Covid cases-these are strange times we live in! My only guess to trivia is Louis Armstrong-"Hello Dolly".

Ken Forestal Ken, agree about baseball. Not sure who's dumber - Tony Clark or Rob Manfred. Methinks this will not end well for those involved. I want to see what happens after the first outbreak of COVID-19 on a team. You can't spend your money if you're dead.

Louis Armstrong is a good guess. Hello Dolly made it to #1 on the Billboard Hot 100. However since much of his music was jazz, I doubt that there is an instrumental that he did that would have been #1 on that Billboard Hot 100 list. - Z

Right off the top of my head I think it’s Nat King Cole.   Matt Dawson Matt, what would have been the instrumental? Sorry, Nat King Cole is not correct. - Z

After I sent a clarification that both the instrumental and vocal went to #1:

Then I say Herb Alpert. Matt Dawson Very good Matt, you're on a roll. Yes it's Herb Alpert. Care to guess the two songs? - Z

He’s on my regular play list I know it’s This Guy’s in Love With You on vocal.  I’ll guess Spanish Flea. Matt Dawson

Hi Jim, How about Herb Alpert? Thank you. David Annese David, you are absolutely correct - the trivia answer is Herb Alpert. - Z


Also, my oldest brother had a slew of mid-50's 45's, many of Elvis's hits. I thought he wrote "Love Me Tender". Am I wrong? Back in about 1980, I saw Otis Blackwell at Lupo's. I believe he is credited with a number of Elvis's hits. Am I wrong (again)?

Tom Wallis

Tom, Otis Blackwell wrote Don't Be Cruel, All Shook Up and Return to Sender for Elvis. This amazing man also wrote Fever, Great Balls of Fire and Handy Man. Lucky you got to see him perform live. He died in 2002.

As for Elvis, research shows that you are right about Love Me Tender. Elvis was given co-writing credit for the 1956 song with Ken Darby who instead gave his songwriting co-credit to his wife Vera Matson. Bet she got some hefty royalties from that #1 song. 

The song was adapted from the melody for Aura Lee, a Civil War ballad.

So congratulations. You just destroyed the myth that Elvis never wrote any of his songs.

At the end of the documentary Laurel Canyon, a Place in Time (2nd episode), a male voice (forget who) says only Ronstadt, Sinatra and Elvis never wrote any of their songs. 

Thanks for all the input. - Z

Report: Cam Newton agrees to one-year deal with Patriots.

Ken Forestal Ken, this is a shocker to me. Never underestimate Bill Belichick.

This is an incentive laden contract with Newton for a possible $7.5 M. I still haven't learned how the Pats got around the salary cap which was supposed to be about $600,000 left.

I did spot that the Pats lost a 3rd round pick in the 2021 draft over that stupidity of videotaping the Bengals sidelines. As if they needed to do that vs the bumbling Bengals. If Newton signs with another team after the season, guess what - they get a 3rd round pick back in the 2021 draft. Belichick loves competition. Now he has it at QB. It'll be interesting to see how it plays out. - Z

Worth reading:

I felt Mookie was never going to stay.  This article by Michael Holley makes a good case for why I felt that, and adds in a lot more.  The Adam Jones part was my main reason.  You can't hear the n-word every day at work and say to yourself that this is where I want to stay for my whole career.

Bob Kumins

Thanks Bob. Very good piece by Michael Holley whom I've always liked.

Holley lays it out there pretty clearly what factors may have played a role in Betts not wanting to sign with Boston. - Z

Sportzine is also available at thanks to Buffalo Steve Lenz.


We were talking about favorite performers on the Johnny Carson Show. Like Jonathan Winters and Robin Williams. Dr. John said he liked a show with Jack Benny who said: “If you can fake sincerity, you’ve got it made.”

Then Peter B added a Carnac the Magnificent bit: The answer: ‘Siss, Boom, Baa’. The question: ‘What sound does a sheep make when it explodes?”

The Atlantic Coast has another threat of a hurricane (Isaias). We started musing on when weather people started calling them by women’s names and then switched to men and women’s names. So I decided to tell an old joke about it (despite protestations from Kristin): ‘Why do they use women’s names for hurricanes? Have you ever heard of a himicane?’ Ba-boom.

So between Mark and Peter, we learned that the weather service first used women’s names for hurricanes in 1953. In 1978, storms in the North Pacific were called by either a man’s name or a woman’s, and in 1979, North Atlantic storms were added as male and female. There are apparently 6 lists of men’s and women’s names for hurricanes and when exhausted are then used over again. However in cases of very severe hurricanes, the name, whether male or female, is retired.

Peter ordered some onion rings and when they came, I suggested that he put ketchup on them, as I do. The group seemed to think that this was a bad idea. Dr. John said “Ketchup is the neutron bomb of foods.”


So I used a trivia question submitted by Buffalo Steve Lenz: Name the artist who had #1 Billboard hits with both a vocal and an instrumental. Extra credit for knowing the songs.

Matt Dawson and Dave Annese knew that the artist was Herb Alpert and Matt knew that the vocal was This Guy’s in Love With You. The instrumental was Rise (1979). Per Wikipedia, Alpert has had 14 platinum albums, 15 gold ones and has sold over 72 million records worldwide. He also co-founded A&M Records (with Jerry Moss).

My thanks to Steve Lenz for the excellent trivia question.

THIS ISSUE’S TRIVIA QUESTION What was the first Top Ten hit for Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers and on what album did it appear?