Monday, August 10, 2020




JUNE 22, 2020


When it comes to sports, COVID-19 has truly become a game changer. As the MLB Players Association votes today on whether to play a 60 game schedule and playoffs, the decision might be out of their hands because of the coronavirus. MLB has had to close spring training sites in Arizona and Florida in order to curb the spread of the disease. They had hoped to play games at those sites. Additionally, the Philadelphia Phillies and Toronto Blue Jays have both shut down their facilities in Florida after an outbreak of COVID-19. There is also a report that the Giants had an outbreak at their facility.

Whatever the Players Association decides today, the decision may be made moot by COVID-19. There is a growing health concern for the players and everyone associated with their teams. What’s the point of risking many baseball people getting the coronavirus and putting their health and possibly lives at stake? All for a ‘season’ that would include a huge asterisk.

Meanwhile, the NBA is hoping to use the vast ESPN Wide World of Sports complex at Disney World in Orlando in order to shelter players, executives and staffs in a ‘bubble’ to prevent any outbreak of the disease. They hope to put people there by early July. In Sunday’s Globe, Gary Washburn listed the NBA’s 6 Phases needed to be met before resumption of games July 30. No problem, right?

The clods in the NFL still think they are going to have a ‘normal’ season and start it right on time. COVID-19 may have a say in that. The Globe’s Ben Volin (6/21) listed some of the questions that teams and players will face: How often everyone will be tested, What happens when a player tests positive (or anyone else involved with a club), What to do with helmets, What to do with fans, How will practices be structured, What to do with players who don’t want to play. It’s about money. Those billionaire owners and NFL executives (Earth to Roger Goodell) can’t stand the thought of losing any money.

The one major sport that has a chance at resuming with a form of playoffs is the NHL, and that too would come with an asterisk. The aim is for the playoffs to return around late July. However, like the NBA, the NHL would be faced with picking two bubble sites to hold those playoffs. Some cities mentioned are Las Vegas, Chicago, and Toronto.

Any fervent fan would love to see the major sports return. However at what price?

If 2020 ends up with no major sports being played or finished, I am at peace with that because the consequences border on the catastrophic.


Sunday I had a choice between watching the last round of the RBC Heritage golf tournament or the 2nd half of the Liverpool – Everton soccer match. I caught a little of the latter which was nil-nil at half. Then I discovered that ESPN was starting to show the 30 for 30 Be Water, the tribute to Bruce Lee. That show was excellent. I like soccer but that Liverpool-Everton match ended scoreless. I made the right choice.

This weekend was the first time that the newspaper listed Sports on TV. A small start. It made me realize that I miss the once daily Transactions/Waiver Wire List.

The PawSox are now doing a Dining on the Diamond (by reservation). The idea of eating great ballpark fare like hot dogs, hamburgers and fries didn’t light my fire. The beer would help. This struck me as a novelty that would wear off quickly. Then I saw a report that the PawSox have an 800 person waiting list to do Dining in the Infield.

Creative minds are also at work with the AA Portland Sea Dogs. They plan on turning Hadlock Field into a golf course. Well, sort of. On 6/18, CBS Sports revealed that the team will have a target golf event in July (9-12). There will be 9 tee boxes in the Skybox level with 9 designated ‘greens’ below. Players have two shots for closest to the cup (low score). It costs $30 a round, and players get a team towel and a sleeve of Seadogs golf balls. Only one player at a time will be allowed on a green. I like Portland, but...

Some baseball writers have speculated that if there is no baseball season that Mookie Betts may never play a game for the LA Dodgers as he’s a free agent after 2020. Peter Abraham of the Globe (6/21) thought that Mookie might sign a one-year contract with the Dodgers for 2021 before going on the open market. Abraham observed that because of COVID-19, and how it affects baseball in general, that Mookie might not get the mammoth salary everyone predicted (fewer patrons, sales, etc.).

It has also been pointed out that if there is no baseball season in 2020 that the Red Sox will not get relief from the Luxury Tax penalty which would carry over to 2021.

Dan Shaughnessy(Globe – 6/21) had the first interview of Alex Cora since he was fired/resigned. Cora is upset that he was singled out in the Astros sign-stealing scandal, declaring that everyone knew what was going on. When asked about a possible future job in baseball, Cora said, “...they are going to have to make up their minds. But, at the end, I’m paying the price. I’m embarrassed. I’m sorry for what happened. And we have to move on.”


Peter, Paul and Mary.

Dennis Doyon

Good guess Dennis, but no not Peter, Paul and Mary. Peter Yarrow wrote Puff (the Magic Dragon) and Paul Stookey wrote I Dig Rock 'n' Roll Music.

I was thinking of 3 different individuals, not a group. Thanks for trying. - Z

Hi, Jim- great zine- 

Regarding music trivia, the trio that popped immediately into my head is Peter, Paul, and Mary. Although they are known for so many songs, it occurred to me that most were traditional hailing from the eras of early Americana…

Mark Allio

Morning Mark,

Peter, Paul and Mary is a good guess. Another reader also suggested them as the answer. However,  Peter Yarrow wrote Puff (the Magic Dragon) and Paul Stookey wrote I Dig Rock 'n' Roll Music.

I was thinking of 3 different individuals, not a group.  - Z

Pavarotti-Caruso-Callas-or maybe Elvis etc.

Ken Forestal

Ken, hadn't thought of opera singers, but you have a valid point. The trivia question was about non-opera singers. Elvis was one of the three. - Z

How about Peter, Paul and Mary?

Thanks for the "Zine". 

David Annese

Hi David, Good guess but No, not Peter, Paul and Mary. Two other readers also suggested them as the answer.

However, Peter Yarrow wrote Puff (the Magic Dragon) and Paul Stookey wrote I Dig Rock 'n' Roll Music.

I was thinking of 3 different individuals, not a group.  - Z

Editor’s Note – It was at this point that I emailed everyone to explain that the two men and one woman that shot to musical stardom without ever writing a song were three different individuals who were not in any group.

This email was received before that trivia clarification email:

Elvis Presley,  Frank Sinatra, Janis Joplin. Matt Dawson (no relation) Matt, Elvis and Sinatra are correct. Not Janis Joplin. She wrote Mercedes Benz. 2 out of 3 is very good. Let's see how many others get. - Z

Since I didn’t know you were gonna have quotes about drinking, I thought I would share this. To quote Dean Martin “I feel sorry for all of you who don’t drink, because when you get up in the morning, that’s as good as you’re gonna feel all day”.  Bob Kumins Thanks Bob, we need as much humor as possible. - Z

Who’s On First? Ken Forestal Thanks Ken. One of the best comedic routines plus it's baseball! They had this in a loop at the Hall the one time I went. Brad made that trip. - Z

Hey Jim,

This may be a good time to get acquainted with Rugby - happening in New Zealand. It's very much alive and well there.

Mike Hunt

Hi Mike, how the heck did you get into rugby? Tough sport.

Thanks for reading and emailing. - Z

Women’s sevens 2016 Olympics turned my attention to the sport. The sevens continue to be my preference.

Mike Hunt

Didn’t know there was a beer discussion! Beer, Beer the musical flute, the more you drink the more you toot, the more you toot the better you feel, so drink your beer at every meal! Combine beer with my wife’s cooking and you toot the music of an entire band, off key!

Thanks for keeping all of us going!

Ted Bates Hi Ted, I remember that song with beans instead of beer, but beer works too.

Yep! Your right it was beans. Although beer does the same thing to me!
Ted Bates

Keep doing what you're doing. I look forward to the 'zine.' It's welcome and entertaining despite the sorry state of our major national sports.

And, of course, the Music Quiz. Always interesting, never easy. Thank you.

B Shea

Thanks Bill. It's a challenge to do the Sportzine with very little sports ongoing. However, slowly but surely we are getting there. - Z

Sportzine is also available at thanks to Buffalo Steve Lenz.


Cap’t. Jack said he had seen the great German movie Das Boot. Last week we had talked about not wanting to be in a tank. I said I wouldn’t want to be in a submarine either. Dr. John said that they gave sailors, who might serve on a sub, a battery of psychological tests. If you were selected, then you had to undergo an elective appendectomy. No operating room on a sub. John said that of about 40,000 Germans who served on a sub, 30,000 died.

Dr. John also mentioned that the British helped invent sonar which they called ASDICS (Anti-Submarine Detection Investigation Committee), and were some of the first to put radar on planes, both of which helped win the battle against German U-Boats. I added that Alan Turing broke the German code during WW II, but was ostracized because he was gay and committed suicide. John added that Tchaikovsky was also gay and committed suicide.

That spurred me to mention J. Edgar Hoover, who kept incriminating secret files so that he could blackmail people. However Hoover was also gay (John remembered his agent/ lover was Clyde Tolson). So the Mafia had pictures of Hoover and he was compromised.

We talked about RI dropping the Plantations part of its name and we agreed it’s time. That recalled the dumb attempt by our Governor to come up with a catchy tourist attracting phrase and used a NY firm to come up with Cooler & Warmer. It was quickly buried. Dr. John says he has a T-shirt that says ‘Rhode Island - 3% larger at low tide’.

LAST ISSUE’S TRIVIA QUESTION ANSWER Last time I asked you to name the two men and one woman who rose to musical stardom yet never wrote any of their songs. I needed to phrase the question better and so sent a trivia clarification (a first) that the 3 were not in a group, but were individual performers. Despite that, Matt Dawson and Ken Forestal got the two men – Sinatra and Elvis – as did Peter B at the Hot Club session. However no one got the woman. The female singer was Linda Ronstadt. I got this from watching the documentary Laurel Canyon: A Place in Time which was on the EPIX channel. That documentary is much better than Echoes in the Canyon which is also about the many musical artists that lived in Laurel Canyon between ’65-’75.

THIS ISSUE’S TRIVIA QUESTION Faithful reader and IT guru Steve Lenz submitted this week’s trivia question: Who was the only musician to ever hit the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 as BOTH a vocalist, AND an instrumentalist? Hint: Not a guitarist! Name the artist. Bonus points for the songs.


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