Monday, August 10, 2020




MAY 18, 2020


Shakespeare probably didn’t care all that much for sports. Nor did Richard III. However myself and millions of others are willing to sacrifice a ‘normal’ sports season for anything resembling a sport. Truncated, with no fans in the parks and stadiums. We’ll take it.

MLB – in the summer. With states, cities and counties having different restrictions? Speculation is that some teams facing those challenges could play in their Arizona or Florida spring training sites. The USA Today- Providence Journal on Sunday listed each baseball team and what obstacles each face (you mean like the health and welfare of its players and staff?). If you went through the whole list as I did, the next to last franchise covered is the Toronto Blue Jays. Currently there is a 14 day self-quarantine for incoming visitors to Canada. You mean like opposing baseball players? The writer, USA Today’s Gabe Lacques, concludes that Toronto would most likely have to play at their training site in Dunedin, FL. Miss the family and other loved ones for a couple months. Sure that will be OK with Blue Jay players.

Then there is the little problem of what the players salaries will be. The baseball owners don’t want to pay them their full salaries, opting instead for a split of revenue. With empty stadiums. Reduced sports paraphernalia sales. Sure, I can see the players welcoming that idea with open arms.

Then there is a little issue that I haven’t seen discussed much – liability. As in, if players become ill with COVID-19, spread it to family and friends, and God forbid, some die, well, can you say law suit? Mr./Ms. Attorney, would you take this case on a contingency basis?

This is in a sport where there is some distance between players (except in the dugout and the space between batter/catcher). What about football where the offensive and defensive lines are shoulder to shoulder facing the faces of the opposing players who are breathing, maybe even expectorating on each other? Might cut down on the trash talk though.


My brother Brad, his wife Dee Dee, my daughter Cara and her companion Brendan shared a Zoom session over the weekend. The subject turned to the Patriots and Tom Brady leaving the Pats for Tampa Bay. Brad asked super Patriots fan Cara if she would still root for Tom Brady. Even Brendan wasn’t sure how Cara would respond. She said that she might wear a jersey with the Patriots #12 on the back and the Buccaneers #12 on the front. Or maybe she’d wear a Tampa Bay jersey with #12 but a TB 12 hat. I said that I could no longer root for Tom Brady. Cara said she hoped to see a Tampa Bay – Patriots Super Bowl. Highly unlikely, but she can dream, right?

So Michael Jordan told Reggie Miller not to mess with the Black Jesus, eh. That’s some serious Ego, which Jordan could back up on the basketball court. Off the court, gambling, not so much. A very interesting auto-biography/documentary The Last Dance.

Michael Jordan with some of his warts. The debate about the greatest basketball players ever will continue forever. Let me ask you a question though. If the greatest players are those that make everyone around them better, does Michael Jordan meet that criterion?

Based on The Last Dance, you would think that Jordan, a shooting guard, was best at just that, especially in the clutch. So I checked (thanks Bob Kumins). In 13 years, Bill Russell, a center, averaged 4.3 assists a game. In 13 years, power forward/small forward Larry Bird averaged 6.3 assists a game. Shooting guard Michael Jordan, in 15 seasons, averaged 5.3 assists per game. LeBron James, in 17 years, playing every position but center, has averaged 7.4 assists a game. Comments?

If there is a major league baseball season, all divisions will use the DH.

Driller Killer and I went to the Patriots-Packers Super Bowl in New Orleans on January 26, 1997 (1996 season). After the Pats cut the lead to 27-21 in the 2nd half, Desmond Howard returned the kickoff 99 yards for the TD that would cement the win.

Special teams ace Troy Brown was injured and didn’t play that game. Brett Favre had a questionable TD run. I still think he fumbled the ball thru the end zone before crossing the goal line. There was a crucial play in the 2nd half when a Packer receiver fumbled the ball after a reception and NE recovered. The ref ruled it an incomplete pass. I bolted out of my seat and screamed ‘That’s a God-damn fumble.’ Two middle-aged women who were Packer fans, turned around and said ‘We don’t talk like that in Green Bay.’ For once I was speechless, but thought these two GB fans need to attend a game in Foxboro.

That Tiger Woods/Peyton Manning vs. Phil Mickelson/Tom Brady charity golf face-off is this Sunday at 3. It’s on TBS and TNT. Brady and Manning are known trash talkers, so it’ll be interesting. Plus, what the hell else is on?

The Sunday New York Times sports section was 2 pages, preceded by 3 pages of obits.

If and when there is an NFL season, it will be interesting to see how well Tom Brady does with his new team, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. His comfort factor of knowing his players and their tendencies is gone. Whether it’s his receivers, his running backs, and his offensive line, Brady is going to need a crash course with his new teammates. Think he’ll lose it if his receivers run the wrong routes and he gets intercepted? Or if he gets sacked multiple times, will he bark at the offending teammate(s)? Brady won’t have the normal training camp/OTAs, etc. to learn about his new teammates.


Hi Jim,

I hope you continue to be well.

I had not planned to watch the Jordan documentary. While I always

respected and admired Jordan as an elite athlete, I wasn't a big fan. My

friend Fred from NJ told me that the 1st 2 episodes were done well. So, I

decided to watch the series. I am impressed with both the quality of the

documentary, and also of Jordan himself. He really opened up far more

than I expected, and more than he needed to. I'm impressed that he did.

I loved his reaction in episode 8 to Gary Payton. That look on his face

was great.

As to Ken Burns' reaction, he can fuck off. Who is he to talk. In The

Tenth Inning sequel to his Baseball documentary, he gave plenty of

screen time to the plagiarist Mike Barnicle. You may not know this, but

Barnicle's wife is or was a very high up VP at Bank of America. BOA was a

major financer of the documentary. Ken Burns being all high & mighty.

Work with me.

Now to more important things. Jim Palmer won WS games in 3 decades, never gave up a grand slam. Bob Kumins If anyone would know that it was Palmer, it'd be you'd, Bob. Over the years I learned that you are the baseball guru. I salute you.
Re the Last Dance, I agree that Jordan has revealed or confirmed things, some to
his detriment. Which is funny.
Last thought - I don't care what Mike Barnicle says because he's a plagiarist. Same category - Ron Borges. - Z

Zine Trivia - Johnny Rivers?

Peter Bortolotti

Excellent Peter! Yes Johnny Rivers. - Z


On Friday, 7 of us did our usual Zoom session. Mark wanted to know the answer to the music trivia question. I told him that Peter had already emailed me with the answer and didn’t need any clues this time. So I read everyone the trivia question. Mark asked if the American version of the British TV spy show was Secret Agent. When I said yes, Mark correctly answered that it was Johnny Rivers who sang Secret Agent Man.

So I asked the assembled gathering what song it was that Johnny Rivers wrote that was his only #1 song since he did a lot of other people’s songs – only Kristin knew the answer - Poor Side of Town.

Dr. John said that he had spent a day this week scraping the bottom of his boat, a 26 foot sailboat. John said he’s close to putting it in the water. Captain Jack said that he had already put one of his two boats in the water. Jack said he was looking forward to the day when he could have us on board the boat enjoying the waters (and some beers).

We discussed the possibility of the return of baseball and football. I noted that there is a disagreement between the baseball owners and players about salaries. The owners want player salaries based on revenue while the players want their contracted salaries. This argument could directly affect whether there is a return to baseball.

In talking about people panic buying food, I mentioned that I live on roasted chickens and Willow Tree Farm chicken pot pies, which are hard to get now. That reminded me of Hartley’s Pork Pies, which my Mom used to get us. So I checked it out and there is a Hartley’s on Smithfield Ave. in Lincoln. Big John and the rest of the group all had fond memories of those little pork and meat pot pies. The place is now on my shopping list.

Captain Jack told us that the Hot Club would re-open this Thursday. With a reservation.


By now you know that it was Johnny Rivers who did many covers, had his only #1 song with one he wrote (co-written by Lou Adler), started his own record label (Soul City), and discovered the 5th Dimension. John Ramistella signed the 5th Dimension to that record label. Alan Freed talked him into changing his name to Rivers (per Wikipedia).


This bluesman once was a DJ. He influenced Clapton and Bloomfield. He had only one song in the pop Top 20. 8 time Grammy winner. He’s in the Rock Hall of Fame. Name?


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