Monday, August 10, 2020




MAY 11, 2020


Spanning the globe...The thrill of victory, and the agony of defeat.

While I wouldn’t call the absence of sports ‘agony’, it sure sets you back, as escapist sports fare is so much harder to come by.

Let’s see – no MLB and only the possibility of a start up in July per the Globe’s Peter Abraham (5/10). Abraham notes that MLB will make a proposal to the Players Association this week. Wouldn’t hold my breath that there will be baseball in July, even with the AAA Pawtucket Red Sox.

The NFL just had its draft and sports starved fans set a TV viewing record watching the first round. Now the NFL has put out its schedule and remarkably (or idiotically), they think that they can still have a 16 game season with 4 exhibition games preceding it. This is goofy even by Goodell standards.

Then I see that Dr. Anthony Fauci was interviewed by Peter King of Football Morning in America (5/11), and Fauci is quoted as saying that NFL games could be the ‘perfect setup for spreading’ COVID-19. Fauci notes that players would need to be tested at a minimum Saturday night and then Sunday morning before the game. Only players that test negative could play. Your QB tests positive – quarantined for 14 days. Any players who tested positive wouldn’t be able to play, only those who tested negative. Fauci also emphasizes how easy it would be for one player who was unknowingly positive to spread the virus because of proximity to many others. Yeah, I’m really solid with that 16 game season.

Forget the NBA and the NHL. Doubtful that they will return in 2020.


So what do we sports junkies do? There have been some good documentaries like the 10-part The Last Dance about Michael Jordan even if Ken Burns didn’t think much of its objectivity and credibility since Jordan’s company was involved in the making.

NESN had the 1970 Bruins Stanley Cup playoff games hosted by Tom Larson. Bobby Orr and the Big Bad Bruins were magical as was this Cup win. Back then (50 years ago!), only the Bruins regular season home games were on TV. I was stationed at Scott AFB in Belleville, Illinois just across the border from St. Louis. I wasn’t able to see any of the Bruins playoff games until they played the St. Louis Blues. Happened to be dating a local woman who invited me to dinner on Mother’s Day. We watched the Bruins win Game #4 and sweep the series to win the Stanley Cup. I was the only one in the room rooting for Boston.

Good news – NESN will show the Bruins 1972 Stanley Cup playoffs.

ESPN showed Game #4 of the 2004 Divisional Series between Boston and New York. While Mariano Rivera didn’t blow many saves, the announcers noted that at the time, Rivera had blown 7 of 22 opportunities vs. the Red Sox. When Rivera blew the Game #4 save, it was the first time that the Red Sox had done that vs him in the playoffs. So 8 of 23. That’s pretty good against the best reliever in baseball.

That game which went 12 innings before David Ortiz’s 2-run homer ended it (6–4) took 5 hours and 2 minutes to play. ESPN’s re-broadcast went from 7-midnight. Yup, a 5 hour replay! Loved every minute of it.

NBCSportsBoston showed Game #7 of the 2008 playoffs between the Celtics and the Cavaliers. A young LeBron versus Paul Pierce and company. The Young King against The Truth. LeBron had 45 points. Pierce had 41 in the win.


For me, the best outlets are music and humor. Besides WRIU from 4-6 weekdays, there’s AXS TV with its music concerts, documentaries and interviews (if you have Verizon). On Sundays at 3 pm, You Tube is showing Rolling Stones concert footage. It’s called Extra Licks. My thanks to Jim Dwyer for the heads up.

As for humor, I just started watching SCTV’s 5 DVD collection. That will be followed by the 13 episodes of Fawlty Towers. Plus I still have the 5 seasons of the also great In Living Color.


Baseball quiz #1: So who were the winning pitcher and the losing pitcher in that Game #4 matchup in 2004 between NY and Boston? Answer at bottom of Bullets.

R.I.P. Little Richard. Richard Penniman, from Macon, Georgia was 87. He was one of the founding fathers of Rock n’ Roll. I was fortunate to see Little Richard at Lupo’s Heartbreak Hotel. Mayor Buddy Cianci went on stage to give Richard the keys to the city. It was a tossup as to who was wearing more pancake makeup.

Baseball Quiz #2 (answer next issue). This pitcher won a World Series game in 3 different decades. He also never gave up a grand slam in his career. Name?

Did Joe Judge, the new NY ‘Football’ Giants head coach, steal the Safety that the Patriots really wanted? They grabbed Xavier McKinney one pick before NE.

Craving Sports? Tiger Woods will team with Peyton Manning against Phil Mickelson and Tom Brady in a golf match on May 24. For charity. It’s on TNT.

Baseball Quiz #1: Curtis Leskanic was the winning pitcher. Ex-Red Sox Paul Quantrill was the losing pitcher.


Thanks for a bit of normalcy. RE: Thaddeus Moss – played as freshman starter for Lincoln High School when Randy was with the Pats. I was retired from LHS by then, so never got to see him play, but I’m told by former colleagues that he played well above the league that year before Randy got traded.

Roger Boudreau

Thanks Roger, good info on Thaddeus Moss. He should have stayed at LSU. - Z

As much as we like to rag on Shank (Ed: Dan Shaughnessy), gotta love this blurb from today's column:

"Cancellation of the 2020 Baseball Hall of Fame induction ceremonies means that we will have to wait another summer to honor the late Nick Cafardo. There is one side benefit however. Pushing the 2020 induction into 2021 means Curt Schilling won’t have the podium to himself when he darkens Cooperstown’s doorstep next summer. Schilling was possibly going to be the lone honoree in 2021, but now he’ll be joined by this year’s class of Derek Jeter, Ted Simmons, Larry Walker, and the late Marvin Miller." Bob Kumins Hi Bob, while I don't like Schilling's politics, he was a very good pitcher and helped the Red Sox win their first World Series in 86 years. In the bit I did on Shaughnessy in Sportzine last week, I tried to refrain from my personal take on him.

However I sent Shaughnessy an email when he criticized Patriots fans for not voting Bill Parcells into the Pats Hall of Fame. Parcells, Vrabel and Seymour are up for it this year, and I still don't want to see Parcells elected. I know that Parcells took a bad team and changed the culture getting NE to the Super Bowl vs Green Bay. However he 'abandoned' them before that game was even played, didn't fly home with the team and gave his buddy Will McDonough the scoop. In the email to Shaughnessy, I made the point that McDonough, because of his friendship with Parcells, had made himself part of the story, and that's not what good sports writers do. He went ballistic and argued that McDonough had never made himself part of any story.

Would be interested in your take on this. Should Parcells get into the Pats' Hall?

Did McDonough make himself part of the story? - Z

I agree with you about Parcells and the whole McDonough episode. He made himself not just part of the story, but a major part. Never should have happened. I'm not surprised that Shank reacted the way he did. McDonough was treated like a god at the Globe Sports dept. Part of the reason is that McDonough told them all to treat him that way. Or else! Even in death, they still fear him.

As for Parcells in the Patriots HOF, he should be in at this point. He did change the Patriots culture. Belichick took it to the Nth degree, which has allowed us, me at least, to soften the stance about Parcells. Super Bowl rings can heal old wounds. Don't wait until the guy dies. (Editor’s Note – the Pats fans just elected Richard Seymour into their Hall)

Bob Kumins

Jim, I hope you are well and healthy.

I still enjoy the Zine and read it religiously.

With regard to the retirement of James Devlin, and the statement he was the only NFL player from Brown, I beg to disagree.

Brown has a long football history that includes several NFL players, Currently, Zak DeOssie, son of Steve, is the long snapper for the Giants. He played linebacker at

Brown, and has had a long career in the NFL 

There was a TE by the name of Steve Jordan who had a long career with the Vikings. I believe he played for 12 years. He played at Brown.

But, the most famous Brown football player was Fritz Pollard. He was the first black man named to the All America Team, and the first black man to play in the Rose Bowl. He went on to play in the NFL. He became the first African-American NFL player, playing for the Akron Pros who would win the NFL title in 1920.

I hope this note brings a smile to your face and sets the record straight on the proud Brown football tradition.

All the best.

Peter Goodwin

Hi, Peter, good to hear from you. Yes I should have remembered at least Zak DeOssie and maybe Jordan as coming from Brown. Thanks for setting the record straight on Brown football players in the NFL. And this from a PC grad!

Hope you are well and handling this strange scenario that seems like something out of one of my horror movies. - Z

Subject: KBO

Watched 3 innings today.

Ken Forestal

Ken, I love the fact that it was announced that ESPN2 will start showing 6 games a week from South Korea's KBO League. However the games are listed as being on at 1 am, 5:30 am and 4 am. Even a night owl like me isn't watching games at those times.- Z

(Editor’s Note – ESPN is re-broadcasting these games at better times. I don’t care.)

We out here in Colorado land recognize the profile of a local boy: Henry John Deutschendorf Jr.

Johnny Aspen, Johnny Starwood, Johnny Windstar....John Denver.

He always said that he wrote Western music; not C&W, not pop, not folk. I'll give him that much in that he composed a few good songs, but his schmaltz caught up with him when he went on TV. He should have just stayed on the stage and recorded; he would have been held in better stances had he done that, I feel.

A big wish upon a star for baseball to fire up in late summer and early fall; outside will be good for the soul.

50 games would be fine with me.  A sprint.

Yesterday, MLB network was 2004 Sox vs. Yanks (phtuha); still a great feeling after many years watching that game.  What a team.

Bill LaPlante

John Denver is an interesting choice, Bill. However the person I'm looking for only had one #1 song, and never another in the Top 40. Denver had multiple #1's: Thank God I'm A Country Boy, Sunshine on my Shoulders, Annie's Song and I'm Sorry.

Another great who died in a plane crash - an experimental kit plane that he had just bought. If you read the Wikipedia bio, there are some other aspects at which you''ll shake your head.

While stationed in Turkey with the Air Force, I used to go to bed while the turntable played Peter Paul and Mary's 1700 album. The second song was Leaving on a Jet Plane. PPM recorded it before Denver, who wrote it. - Z

Jimmy D : I always thought Yaz was the first Little Leaguer "abducted" into Cooperstown. Was it Barry McGuire's "Eve of Destruction" that derailed the Beatles? I believe he was also in the cast of "Hair".

Tom Wallis

Tom, you got 'em all. And mentioning McGuire in Hair- the trifecta. Well done. - Z Sportzine is also available at thanks to Buffalo Steve Lenz


So the Friday Zoom sessions for several Hot Club regulars continue and are a nice outlet and respite from isolation. This week, Peter discussed seeing Robbie Robertson’s documentary about The Band, Once Were Brothers. Peter admitted that it’s basically Robertson’s take (based on his bio Testimony), especially since Levon Helm, Rick Danko and Richard Manuel are dead. I asked if Garth Hudson has much to say. Peter said there were some words from Hudson, but Robertson’s ex-wife is quoted a lot more.

So I mentioned seeing Dan Rather’s interview on AXS TV with Robbie Robertson, which was OK, but I thought Rather’s questions and followup were lacking. Mark, who said he has all The Band albums as well as all of Robertson’s solo efforts, felt that initially Robertson came off as glib and overly self-assured, but as the interview progressed, thought he was very articulate and not necessarily full of himself.

We talked about Governor Raimondo starting Phase 1 of returning to normalcy or whatever you want to call it. Raimondo has issued an executive order that if people go out to places where there will be significant numbers of others that they must wear a face covering or mask. Some have suggested that those who don’t wear masks should be confronted and shamed. We unanimously agreed that this was not wise. Sparking a confrontation would be a mistake. The consensus was just to avoid non-mask wearers.


Last time I asked you to identify the one-time folkie who had a million selling single that displaced a Beatles song at #1, and then never had another song in the Top 40. This person helped the Mamas and Papas get a record contract, switched to a different type of music, acted in two movies and appeared in a musical on Broadway. Tom Wallis was the only emailer to get the answer (Peter got it in the Zoom session after a couple clues) – Barry McGuire, whose Eve of Destruction (written by PF Sloan) was a huge hit in 1965. McGuire came out of the New Christy Minstrels which had a hit single in Green, Green which McGuire co-wrote with Randy Sparks. He switched to Christian music later. McGuire was in The President’s Analyst and Werewolves on Wheels. He was in Hair.


This musician/singer/songwriter/producer had success doing covers of others’ songs, though he wrote his only #1 song. He discovered the 5th Dimension, wrote a theme song for the American version of a British spy show and started his own record label. Name?


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