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Book review

‘They Call Me Oil Can’ by Dennis ‘Oil Can’ Boyd with Mike Shalin

The Red Sox have never lacked for colorful characters, but leave it to Dennis “Oil Can” Boyd to make the likes of Bernie Carbo, Carl Everett, and Manny Ramirez seem like regular guys without much in the way of issues. The same cannot be said for the Can, as any reader will discover just a few pages into “They Call Me Oil Can,” his memoir that doubles as a scream of pain into the abyss.

There are plenty of juicy, tabloid-style revelations, which have been a staple of first-person baseball books since Jim Bouton’s “Ball Four.” Boyd gets up to assorted antics with a gun, has a stint in jail, boasts that he could turn Josh Beckett into an unstoppable ace, while insisting that he could still pitch in the big leagues. After John McNama-ra decided to start Bruce Hurst over Boyd in Game 7 of the 1986 World Series against the New York Mets, the latter gets high on cocaine, claiming that there went the team’s chances because the Can never got beat twice in a row, never mind that he had been lit up in Game 3.

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