Picked-up pieces while comtemplating the pros and cons of tweeting . . .
Elsewhere on these pages today, you’ll find a “farewell” column from the great Bob Ryan. Our commissioner is not really leaving the Globe for good; he’s still going to write for our Sunday section 30-40 times a year, and you’ll be seeing him on all of his regular television gigs. But he is “retiring” as an everyday player in the Globe sports section, which makes this something like the final days of Yaz. Ryan came on board with the inimitable Peter Gammons in June of 1968 when the country was in shock over the assassination of Robert F. Kennedy. For 4½ decades, Bob Ryan has been our sports section’s passion and its institutional memory. He changed the way NBA basketball was covered in America. He can recite every World Series pairing (and winner) since 1903. He is a brilliant writer (Lawrenceville Prep taught him well) and has learned a thing or two about our region even though he’s from Jersey and has “only” been here since 1963. He is the best colleague and traveling companion you could ever have. If you had to be trapped in a car on the road to anywhere, Ryan could entertain with stories and trivia regarding sports, movies, literature, and history.
Count me as one who missed the memo that the Red Sox are allowing beer in the clubhouse on the road after games. It’s a complete contradiction to what we were told by Bobby Valentine in February. The word then was “no beer in the clubhouse.’’ Now we’re all supposed to shrug and say it’s no big deal that the beer is still there on the road? The Sox made absolutely no distinction between home and road clubhouse rules when they made their big announcement in Florida. The notion that it was common knowledge is incorrect and sneaky.
I just love it when Bill Belichick says, “20 years ago, we didn’t have Twitter, Myface, and all that.’’ “Myface”? Clearly Bill and I could use some lessons with Internet Google devices.
Never thought I’d say this, but I’m actually starting to feel sorry for Curt Schilling.
It was difficult to watch Ashton Eaton win the Olympic decathlon without thinking of former US gold medalist Bruce Jenner and what a joke he’s become. Watch Bruce on Kardashian TV. The once-great Jenner is our male Joan Rivers.
The Phillies gave up the ghost with their phony sellout streak Monday. The Phils reached 257 games, third-longest in major league history. The Sox reached 775 (take that, Portland Trail Blazers!) in Wednesday’s series finale against the Rangers, and there is no indication that they plan to admit reality any time this season. It’s like telling us Bobby Valentine hired all his coaches and Terry Francona elected to walk away from two years and $9 million. It just sounds so much better.
Curtis Martin’s Hall of Fame speech in Canton was a classic. I love the fact that Martin was introduced by Bill Parcells, who warned us that Martin was “not ready for Canton yet” after Martin’s inaugural game with the Patriots way back in 1995.
Still waiting for Craig Breslow to throw a pitch in a game to Ryan Lavarnway. You don’t see an all-Yale battery at the big league level very often. The Red Sox owe a tremendous debt to Yale. Tom Yawkey and Theo Epstein are Yalies, and Larry Lucchino went to Yale Law School. Babe Ruth donated his “papers” (hot dog wrappers?) to Yale and made the presentation to Yale first baseman/captain George Bush in 1948.
Don’t believe the Fenway plaque that tells you the Carlton Fisk home run game (Game 6, 1975) was the first night game in World Series history. The first night game in the Fall Classic was played between the Pirates and Orioles in 1971. The Sox plan to correct the plaque.
I guess Aly Raisman is now the most famous Needham Rocket since Robbie Ftorek.
The Mets are considering designating part of their ballpark as a “quiet section’’ next season. The section would feature lower-volume public address announcements, no music, and no cheering. Sounds like some of our Fenway experiences this year.
Colleague Greg Bedard’s daily “Patriots practice report” might be the most thorough, impressive, skull-imploding item in the long, storied history of these sports pages. My head hurts just thinking of the degree of difficulty required for this kind of report. Bet the Patriots hate it.
I, for one, was rooting for Lolo Jones.
The Red Sox are 8-15 in games started by Jon Lester this year. This is astounding. Lester is healthy, in his prime, and came into this season with a 76-34 lifetime record. That represented the third-highest winning percentage of all big league pitchers with more than 50 decisions. Lester will be great again. Do not trade this man.
I love Tom House. He caught Hank Aaron’s 715th homer in 1974 (only because Dodgers left fielder Bill Buckner couldn’t scale the fence — thank goodness Doug Mientkiewicz wasn’t there). The Red Sox acquired House in a straight-up deal for the immortal Rogelio Moret. House was Valentine’s pitching coach in Texas, which is where he first brought footballs to baseball. Now he’s working with Tom Brady.
Told you it was a mistake to give Kevin Youkilis away.
If you love baseball, there’s still reason to believe. Get yourself to St. Peter’s Field in Cambridge tomorrow night for the 19th annual Oldtime Baseball Game, which has raised more than $700,000 for assorted charities (this year’s cause is the Red Cross). Get there on time and you’ll see Peter Frates play first base for the first pitch of the game. Frates, a former star at St. John’s Prep and Boston College baseball captain (2007), has been diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and inspires everyone he meets.
A lot of us will tell you that “family fun” is a contradiction in terms. There is no such thing, right? We have a long list of things that represent themselves as family fun — miniature golf, Disney parks, G-rated movies, trips to Yellowstone — and none of them truly work. Somebody is always bored, hot, or uncomfortable. All that said, I will submit that the Summer Olympics on television qualify as true family fun. The trick is to have everybody in your house at the same time, keep the TV as background noise, and let everybody do what they want. Invariably, people wind up watching the Olympics and offering their own commentary. True family fun.