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dan shaughnessy

Electing to share a few thoughts on the sports world …

When the Patriots and Bills meet up, it's usually the Bills who go down.
When the Patriots and Bills meet up, it's usually the Bills who go down.Matthew J. Lee/Globe Staff/The Boston Globe

Picked-up pieces while wondering if Billy Beane somehow comes out of all this being sports editor of the Globe …

▪ If the Red Sox are looking for the All-Time News Dump opportunity, Tuesday would be a good day to raise ticket prices, or perhaps bring back cheatin' Alex Cora.

▪ Have you given up on the Patriots for Sunday? Not me. This isn’t “We’re on to Cincinnati” in 2014, but the third-place Patriots will beat the first-place Bills in Orchard Park. I don’t care about injuries, or players putting their homes up for sale, or how bad the Patriots have looked the last two weeks.

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The Bills forever will be the Bills, and Bill Belichick’s 35-5 record vs. Buffalo in the last 20 years distorts my vision. New England has won 17 of its last 20 games against Buffalo. Believe the history. For at least one more week.

▪ Bobby Orr, perhaps more revered than anyone who ever played a sport in Boston, rarely puts himself in the middle of things, so it did not go unnoticed Friday when Orr submitted a half-page, paid political endorsement of President Trump in the New Hampshire Union Leader.

Universally loved, Orr works tirelessly (and anonymously) for multiple charities and has earned his impeccable image and reputation.

“This just shows you how strongly Bobby feels about the situation," said an Orr confidant.

Orr joins Belichick and Curt Schilling, both of whom backed Trump in 2016.

▪ Tom Brady’s unnatural obsession with Antonio Brown is offensive on multiple levels. Feels ego-driven. Good luck with AB, Tom. Hope Brady and the Bucs get what they deserve.

▪ Is there a collection of entitled, tone-deaf, tunnel-visioned dopes worse than the fraternity of Division 1 college football coaches? Doubt it. They make ridiculous money off the backs of unpaid players and are almost universally out of touch with the real world.

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Back in 2016, insufferable Alabama coach Nick Saban took pride in claiming he didn’t know there was a presidential election going on, saying, “We’re focused on other things here.”

Now we have Buddy Garrity wannabes who are annoyed that they can’t practice on Election Day.

“I think it’s a little more showy, honestly — I’ll just say it like it is — than it has purpose,” Duke’s David Cutcliffe told USA Today. Clemson’s Dabo Swinney chimed in, saying he “didn’t really understand the day off thing.” (Dabo’s All-America QB Trevor Lawrence has COVID-19 and was shelved for Saturday’s Boston College game.)

Let’s not forget Florida’s Dan Mullen, who got angry after a loss in front of fans at Texas A&M and said he wanted to “pack The Swamp” for a home game against LSU in Gainesville. Three days after Mullen’s statement, the Gators paused their season for two weeks because of a COVID outbreak, which included Mullen testing positive. Yahoo.

▪ Is it piling on the Red Sox to point out that 22-year-old Dodgers righty Brusdar Graterol, who has a team-friendly contract and throws 101 miles per hour, would look better than most of what we saw on the Fenway mound last summer? Graterol was part of the original Mookie Betts salary-dump deal, but the Red Sox didn’t like his medical reports.

Brusdar Graterol appeared in three World Series games for the champion Dodgers.
Brusdar Graterol appeared in three World Series games for the champion Dodgers.Maxx Wolfson/Getty

▪ Quiz: Name the Red Sox player who set an AL rookie record for longest hitting streak. How many games? (Answer below.)

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▪ If Tuesday’s election is contested, let’s all agree that Ed Davis is the perfect guy to take charge and clean things up.

▪ Seventy-six-year-old Tony La Russa was named manager of the White Sox Thursday. La Russa was an unknown when he was first named manager of the White Sox on Aug. 2, 1979, the same day Thurman Munson died in a plane crash, also the day Edward Bennett Williams bought the Orioles and brought Larry Lucchino into baseball.

La Russa’s new job violates a Hall of Fame standard that a person is supposed to be permanently retired when he is first eligible. La Russa (2,728 managerial wins) is likely to catch John McGraw (2,763) and become the second-winningest manager in history. Connie Mack (3,731) is another matter.

▪ Minneapolis Tribune columnist Sid Hartman, who was still writing three columns a week when he died last week at the age of 100, served as personnel director of the Minneapolis Lakers while he wrote his column in the early days of the NBA.

Hartman was with Red Auerbach and Celtics owner Walter Brown in 1950 when Red made Chuck Cooper the first African-American player drafted by the NBA.

“They immediately called a recess,” Hartman told me in 1993. “Everybody knew that Abe Saperstein [of the Harlem Globetrotters] would cut out all the doubleheaders … That was the [NBA’s] biggest gate of the year. Sure enough, Abe pulled out, and Walter Brown stood up to him.”

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▪ I will never understand animosity fans aim at Joe Buck. The guy is the best in the business at two sports. Baseball should, however, be embarrassed that Fox took Buck off Dodgers-Braves Game 7 to have him work a Packers-Buccaneers Sunday afternoon game.

▪ Johnny Bench is selling much of his memorabilia, including his 1975 World Series ring and 1970 NL MVP award, through Hunt Auctions Nov. 14.

▪ Not surprised to learn that shameless Jim Gray did not ask Brady about losing track of downs in their weekly Monday night Westwood radio interview/infomercial after the Bucs' loss to the Bears.

▪ Local sports media talent Courtney Fallon, host of Bad Signal podcast, posted this tweet when the Astros failed in their quest to become only the second baseball team to dig out of a 3-0 series hole: "Why do I feel like Mercury Morris and the ’72 Dolphins? Pop the champagne, the famed and historic 2004 Red Sox still stand alone.”

Wish I had thought of that.

▪ The Rays are still one of six teams to have never won the World Series. The other five are the Brewers, Rockies, Rangers, Padres, and Mariners.

▪ Jacob Kraft, freshman wide receiver for the Boston College Eagles, is the grandson of Bob Kraft.

▪ Do you remember your last handshake? Mine was March 11 in Fort Myers, Fla., with Red Sox second baseman Jose Peraza, who was released by the Sox Thursday.

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▪ Arlington resident and former Patriots quarterback/punter Tom Yewcic died Oct. 20 at the age of 88. How many guys can say they won a Rose Bowl and earned MVP in the College Baseball World Series?

One of 11 children raised in Pennsylvania, Yewcic went 27-1 as the starting quarterback for Michigan State and beat UCLA in the 1953 Rose Bowl. He also was MVP of the 1954 College World Series and was a big league catcher for one game with the Detroit Tigers.

Yewcic raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for local charities. He and Brady are the only Patriots players who have thrown a TD pass, run for a TD, caught a TD pass, and kicked a punt.

▪ Belichick’s defending Super Bowl champion Patriots lost four in a row in 2002. Belichick’s first Patriots team (2000) had two four-game losing streaks.

▪ The full name of Brett Phillips, Tampa Bay’s anonymous hero in World Series Game 4, is Brett Maverick Phillips.

▪ Anybody like the Jets at Arrowhead Sunday afternoon? They are 19½-point dogs.

▪ Quiz answer: Nomar Garciaparra hit in 30 straight games in 1997.


Dan Shaughnessy is a Globe columnist. He can be reached at daniel.shaughnessy@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @dan_shaughnessy.