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Dan Shaughnessy

Pickup and delivery service here

Picked up pieces while wondering if the Sox might like to revisit their opening contract extension “offer’’ to Jon Lester . . .

■  If you were at Fenway Park Saturday you can tell your friends about the electricity at the ancient yard when Hub fans tracked the Bruins’ amazing comeback while watching Lester whiff 15 Oakland A’s. That’s why ours is the best sports town in America. And it feels like our High Renaissance is still unfolding. We’ve seen eight championships since 2002. The 2013-14 Bruins could make it nine.

■  When did anonymous Twitter trolls become a representation of the collective thought of any region? Tough-guy social media cowards are the same folks who used to write on the bathroom wall in high school. It’s a mistake to give them voice and there’s no need for a franchise to apologize for anonymous nitwits who could be spreading hate from anywhere. Stop the madness.

■  The Red Sox pretty much got what they deserved when they were swept by the Tampa Bay Rays Thursday. The Sox cleverly figured they could take advantage of a depleted Tampa pitching staff and made them play two Thursday even though Tampa comes back to Boston two more times. Tampa balked at playing two, but the Sox exercised their tiny-ballpark clause in a thinly disguised attempt to beat the Rays while they are down (not that there’s anything wrong with that). The Sox also wanted to distribute 40,000 Dustin Pedroia bobbleheads taking up space inside the already cramped ballpark. The angry Rays responded on the field. “I hope everyone enjoyed their bobbleheads,’’ Tampa’s Ben Zobrist said after the satisfying sweep.


■  Nothing against Ty Law and Raymond Clayborn, but Bill Parcells deserves to be in the Patriots Hall of Fame ahead of anyone else currently drawing a breath. Newcomer fans and Kraft worshippers need to remember that the Tuna is the guy who changed everything here. The Patriots were an NFL joke when Parcells came on board, which was a year before Bob Kraft bought the team. Parcells gave the Patriots instant credibility and also assembled the core of players who ultimately won the Patriots’ first Super Bowl. Those who bash Parcells for going to the Jets after losing Super Bowl XXXI need to remember that Bob Kraft once announced he was moving the Patriots to Hartford. Fan voting ends May 15. Vote Tuna.


■  The Celtics went 25-57 this year. So why do I keep hearing that just about all of the players are coming back? There seems to be consensus that Brandon Bass is gone. Big whoop. Why is everybody safe when they had the third-worst season in franchise history? Memo to Danny Ainge: Please get something of value for Jeff Green before he frustrates us for another season.

■  If the 2014 Red Sox return to the basement, they would not be the first team to go from worst-to-first-back-to-worst. The San Diego Padres turned the trick as recently as 1996-97-98. Just sayin’.

■  Charles Barkley was applauded for telling the TNT audience, “We are a black league,’’ in the wake of the Donald Sterling fiasco. What would happen if Mike Milbury, Don Cherry, or any other hockey analyst said, “We are a white league,’’ as part of serious commentary?

■  Surprised there was so little commentary last Sunday when John Farrell elected to “rest” David Ortiz against the Blue Jays. The Sox had a scheduled day off Monday. Walking to the plate to face a knuckleballer is hardly taxing for Ortiz. The Sox are having trouble scoring runs. Ortiz owns R.A. Dickey (.333 lifetime).


■  No Celtics, Lakers, or Knicks and the NBA playoffs are better than ever.

■  Sterling and the infamous V. Stiviano went to the same high school, 48 years apart. At East Los Angeles’s Boyle Heights, Donald Sterling was Don Tokowitz and V was Vanessa Perez. Class of ’52 and Class of 2000, respectively. He was class president.

■  It’s too bad the Sterling debacle overwhelmed the celebration of the worthy life of Dr. Jack Ramsay, who died last weekend. The good doctor coached Saint Joseph’s to the Final Four, helped assemble the 1966-67 world champion 76ers (the team that stopped Boston’s run of eight straight championships), coached 21 years in the NBA, and brought out the best pro game in Bill Walton with the 1977 championship Blazers. Ramsay went on to become a respected television broadcaster and remained Navy Seal-fit until the age of 89. His was a life well-lived.

■  Here’s Larry Lucchino mocking the Yankees in Fort Myers Feb. 21: “We’re different animals. I’m proud of the difference. I always cringe when people lump us together, other baseball teams sometimes do that. They are still, this year at least, relying heavily on their inimitable old-fashioned Yankee style of high-priced, long-term free agents. I can’t say I wish them well, but I think we have taken a different approach. If you compare what we did last year in the offseason with what they’ve done this year, there’s quite a difference.’’


■  It’s forever shameful that Major League Baseball did not include black players until Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in 1947. That said, the current well-documented lack of African-American players in the big leagues is not predominantly the fault of MLB. As ever, follow the money. Baseball has made significant efforts to generate involvement in inner-city communities and enthusiastically encourages talented black players, but the shrinking number of black big leaguers is probably owed to a dearth of college scholarship opportunities more than anything else. College baseball has become the domain of affluent white players from suburban communities. The NCAA allows only 11.7 scholarships for a college baseball team (football gets 85), which means that programs with rosters of more than 30 players are cutting almost all scholarships into partial packages. Skilled high school athletes have betters odds of acquiring full scholarships if they play football or basketball.

■  Last year the Bruins played three Original Six teams in the playoffs (Maple Leafs, Rangers, Blackhawks). This year we could get Detroit, Montreal, New York, and Chicago. How’s that for retro?

■  Telling nugget in the Los Angeles Times last month when Dodgers public relations director Joe Jareck talked about the team getting news out on the in-house website. While in Australia, Jareck spoke of feeding items to Dodgers.com, saying, “We can spin it any way we want. You can tell the writer, ‘Here do this,’ and they’ll do it.’’ This is the trend. Control the message. Grips are overlapping (John Henry, for instance, owns the Globe, in case you had not heard), conflicts abound, lines are blurred, and true independence is hard to find.


■  Notice how the AL East has morphed into the AFC East?

■  Nice of the Patriots to host “Moms football safety clinic” on May 29. The clinic is designed for “moms” who have a son or daughter playing youth football. According to the official release, “This event will help provide mothers whose children are interested in playing tackle football with the latest information about the safety of the game.” Swell. But what about the dads?

■  Do Theo Epstein and Terry Francona get invites when the Sox bring back the 2004 world champs May 28?

■  Alert to sports journalists: Time to stop with the “how” questions. They’ve become epidemic even though they are lazy and largely unanswerable. Example: “How frustrated are you by tonight’s game?” Or “How great was last year?’’ Or “How much difference does it make having Shane Victorino in the lineup?’’ An athlete or coach should not be asked to quantify the level of frustration. What is Farrell supposed to say? “Well, I’d say Victorino makes a 40 percent difference”? We’ve all done it. But this is a bad way to frame a question. And it’s spreading like a computer virus.

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