Monday, August 24, 2020


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?


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