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?


Post a Comment

<< Home