Picked-up pieces while watching NESN’s Franchy Cordero highlight reel …
▪ No thanks, Jaylen Brown.
Again Wednesday, you spoke about continuing to “do what I’ve been doing, trying to uplift my community, spreading kindness, spreading love, trying to be the best version of myself, but also help any and everybody around me. That’s what I’ve been since I came into this league and that’s what I’m gonna continue to do.”
Sorry, Jaylen, but I have no interest in reading or hearing your well-intentioned words promoting social justice and spreading love. You’ve had three chances in the last month to denounce antisemitism and in each instance you balked, or chose to support your misguided friends, Kanye West, a.k.a. “Ye,” and Kyrie Irving.
When you were first asked about dumping your affiliation with the hateful Ye’s Donda Sports Agency, you said you planned to stay with the agency because Ye was “dealing with a lot of adversity.” It was only when Adidas dumped Ye that you followed.
Next you defended pal Kyrie and told us that he merely “made a mistake” by retweeting a link to a hate film about Jews. You told us Kyrie was being unfairly punished. You called out Brooklyn Nets owner Joe Tsai.
When Kyrie finally was allowed to return to the court, and a hate group (Israel United in Christ) chanted slogans outside the Barclays Center, you tweeted a video of the group’s demonstration and wrote, “Energy.” Later, when you learned of the hateful message of the demonstrators, you wrote, “I was not aware of what specific group was outside of Barclays … I was celebrating the unification of our people welcoming the return of Kyrie to the court.”
And yet you didn’t delete the post until four days later, telling the Globe’s Adam Himmelsbach that deleting it would be removing your support for Kyrie. You also said, “Anybody that’s trying to misconstrue that has an agenda.”
Swell. I have an agenda, and it calls for a local star athlete and self-proclaimed social justice warrior to stop being selective with anti-hate messaging and putting personal loyalty to Ye and Kyrie ahead of hate speech supported or spoken by your friends. That’s my agenda. And the Boston Celtics — an organization built by Red Auerbach, owned by Wyc Grousbeck and Steve Pagliuca, and led by Brad Stevens — should teach Brown some history and explain how this organization has been run for 75 years.
I reached out to Stevens about this, and he responded Friday with, “We regularly speak to the players about the responsibilities of their platforms.
“Jaylen has explicitly stated that he is against antisemitism and hate speech. Jaylen also has a strong history of using his platform to contribute positively to causes both local and national.
“Regarding the Kyrie Irving suspension, Jaylen has stated that he feels that in his role as vice president of the union he should protect and support players’ rights.”
Understood. But in this instance, Brown’s support of his friends brought him into conflict with his platform, and put him on the wrong side of universal issues of right and wrong.
▪ Quiz: Name five Cy Young Award winners who also were felons (answer below).
▪ Remember Thanksgiving 2003 when the Red Sox were hungry to win, willing to spend, and their young, unproven general manager from Yale made the trip to Curt Schilling’s home in Paradise Valley? It took $38 million guaranteed cash, and a few “prospects,” but Theo Epstein hammered out a deal over Thanksgiving dinner that landed an ace postseason pitcher who would help lead the Sox to a pair of World Series championships.
Contrast that with the Red Sox’ latest insulting message to fans, announcing another dumpster-dive acquisition on the eve of Thanksgiving 2022, signing vaunted lefty reliever Joely Rodríguez to (try to guess …) a ONE-YEAR CONTRACT.
Rodriguez is 31 years old, has been with six organizations (Pirates, Phillies, Rangers, Orioles, Yankees, Mets), has been released once, traded four times, and granted free agency three times. I hear he pitches to a lot of soft contact and held batters to an exit velocity that was 14th lowest among qualifying pitchers last season. Oh, let’s not forget that he’s coming off shoulder surgery and might not be ready.
Wake up, people. These are your 2023 Boston Red Sox.
▪ Thursday’s Patriots loss in Minnesota was much more entertaining than their ugly wins over the Colts and Jets. Speaking as a sports fan, I’d rather spend three hours being entertained and see a Patriots loss than endure those rock-fight victories over the Colts and Jets.
▪ I love my soccer-watching friends but still can’t stomach a game where only one person in the world actually knows how much time is remaining in the game. It will never make sense to me. Seeing the clock tick down to 0:00 is one of the thrills of game-watching.
▪ Having said that, reading Rory Smith’s World Cup coverage from Qatar in the New York Times is like reading Peter Gammons covering the 1975 World Series for the Globe.
▪ Thanksdad Dept.: According to USA Today’s analysis of 79 NFL father-son coaching pairs, 37 of the sons had their first NFL job on the same staff that employed their dads. On average, sons worked 34.4 percent of their NFL coaching careers on the same staff as their fathers.
Bill Belichick’s sons, Steve (11 years in the NFL) and Brian (seven), have spent their entire NFL careers on the staff of the Patriots.
▪ The death of former Celtics owner John Y. Brown Wednesday brings to mind his important role in team history. Auerbach did not like Brown and threatened to quit when Brown traded for Bob McAdoo without telling Red in 1979. It turned out to be a great move for the Celtics.
McAdoo played only 20 games for the last-place Celtics in 1979. When the season ended, Brown sold the team to Harry Mangurian and Red went to work, trading McAdoo to Dick Vitale’s Pistons for Detroit’s first-round pick in 1980. Red turned that pick (No. 1 overall) into Kevin McHale and Robert Parish for Joe Barry Carroll.
Brown went on to marry Miss America, Phyllis George, and he became governor of Kentucky. Red went on to win three championships with McHale, Parish, and Larry Bird.
▪ NESN would do itself a favor by bringing back “The Nutty” for Bruins coverage. Rarely has a song been identified with a team like the Ventures ditty that Channel 38 played when televising the Golden Age Bruins of the 1970s.
▪ The Bruins Black Friday matinee at the Garden is a nice tradition.
▪ Danny Ainge is good. Remember when we all thought the Jazz would tank this year? Led by rookie coach Will Hardy (selected over fellow 34-year-old Celtic assistant Joe Mazzulla), Utah went into the weekend with a 12-8 record in the Northwest Division.
▪ Kevin Durant ranks 18th on the NBA’s all-time scoring list, one spot below John Havlicek. Durant is on pace to crack the top 10 by the end of this season.
▪ Appearing on Sportsnet’s “How Hungry Are You?” with Bucks center Serge Ibaka, Toronto ace Alek Manoah was asked to identify the worst cheater in baseball history and answered, “Gerrit Cole. He used a lot of sticky stuff to make his pitches better, and he kinda got called out on it.”
▪ The New York Times did a lengthy article on the type of wood being used by big leaguers for baseball bats in 2022 and concluded that not a single ash bat was used by any of the 12 teams in the 2022 playoffs.
Hillerich & Bradsby, batmakers to the stars for generations — once producing 800,000 ash bats per season — has been reduced to an afterthought among big league sluggers. San Francisco’s Evan Longoria is one of the few hitters still using a Louisville Slugger.
An invasive insect has damaged thousands of ash trees in North America, and Marucci’s maple bats are the order of the day.
▪ When the late, great Clark Booth worked on a Harry Agganis documentary for PBS, Booth’s producer tried to interview Agganis’s girlfriend from the mid-1950s, and she turned out to be Miss Jean of “Romper Room” fame. When producer Ken London requested an interview from Miss Jean, she agreed to do it if he could answer one question: “Are you being a good doobie today?” London said yes, and Booth got the interview.
▪ This is the 50th anniversary of high school Super Bowls in Massachusetts. The Globe’s Marvin Pave and the Herald’s Bill Abramson were co-founders, and Pave covered Swampscott’s first EMass Division 2 Super Bowl at Nickerson Field.
▪ No doubt there are family dynasties in which more than one child wins a state championship in the same public high school sport as his/her sibling. I am guessing this has happened with Walpole or Watertown field hockey families.
This year, it happened for the Simmons family in Newton’s Hunnewell Hill neighborhood when Newton North beat Lincoln-Sudbury in the Division 1 volleyball championship at Worcester. North junior Katelin Simmons is a state champ, just like older sisters Chelsea (Class of ‘19, state champs in ‘17 and ‘18) and Tess (Class of ‘15, state champ ‘14, Globe Division 1 Player of the Year).
▪ Quiz answer: Denny McLain, Ferguson Jenkins, Vida Blue, LaMarr Hoyt, Dwight Gooden.