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How the Red Sox beat the Yankees again, and other observations

Christian Vazquez launches a home run at Yankee Stadium in the clinching Game 4 of the Division Series.
Christian Vazquez launches a home run at Yankee Stadium in the clinching Game 4 of the Division Series.bill kostroun/AP

Picked-up pieces while reminding you that Truck Day is Feb. 4, the day after the Patriots win the Super Bowl . . .

■   Here’s one more thing to like about your World Series-winning Red Sox: They beat the Yankees every way possible this year, including in decency and generosity.

We all know the Sox finished eight games ahead of the Bronx Bombers and wiped out the Steinbrenner AC in four games in the Division Series. Now it turns out that in addition to being losers in the AL East, the Yanks were also cheap and petty.

In late-season share meetings, when players had to decide how many full shares would be doled out after the playoffs, the Red Sox authorized 66 full shares while the Yankees agreed to only 45. This is life-changing money for support staffers working for a major league team.


A full share for the world champs amounted to $416,837, which may not mean much to David Price but is a gigantic deal to a clubhouse worker, a part-time pitching coach, or perhaps a traveling secretary.

According to the New York Post, the Yanks stiffed “the little people,’’ which makes them little. Share the gold, fellows. Sox win again.

Related: Paul Pierce, Deion Branch, and the best stories told at ‘The Tradition’

■   I love it when ever-sensitive Patriots fans (no slight shall go without vicious reply on Twitter or talk show) try to tell me there is actual competition in the AFC East. No. There is not. The Dolphins, Bills, and Jets stink every single year. Winning the AFC East is like signing up for Facebook.

It’s OK to admit. It does not diminish the Patriot greatness. But every other division has teams that rise and fall. Only the AFC East has three hopeless teams with new quarterbacks and coaches just about every other year.


The Bills and Dolphins have not won a playoff game since Tom Brady took over at quarterback for the Patriots in 2001. The Jets are an annual dumpster fire. Don’t push back and pretend it’s not true, Patriots fans. Just sit back and enjoy the free ride.

Related: Gasper: Not much has come easy for the Patriots this season — except the AFC East

■   OK if I sit out this round of “Where is Josh McDaniels going to coach next?’’? McDaniels weaseled out of his commitment to the Colts at the last second last year, leaving assistants he’d hired holding the bag. Now the Cartel is floating his name everywhere. No, thanks.

■   Is it my imagination or does it appear that Jaylen Brown and Gordon Hayward have problems being on the court at the same time?

■   Tuesday’s printed editions of the New York Times and USA Today both had lead sports stories with the headline: “What’s Wrong With The Celtics?’’

■   Memo to Wyc Grousbeck and Steve Pagliuca: Time to retire Danny Ainge’s No. 44. Truly.

I know the Celtics have gone a little overboard in this territory, but Ainge belongs because of his long service as basketball boss on the heels of a strong 7½ seasons as starting guard for a two-time world champion team in the mid 1980s.

Four of the five starters from 1984 (Larry Bird, Robert Parish, Dennis Johnson, and Cedric Maxwell) had their numbers retired; same with four of five from the 1986 team (Kevin McHale in place of Maxwell).


Ainge also was the architect of the 2007-08 champs and has built a terrific roster with a great future with his deals leading into this season. This is his 23rd year of service to the team. Time to hang No. 44 from the rafters.

■   You will not see many big league sports franchises sold over the next few months — until everybody finds out how much dough there will be in legalized gambling. Major League Baseball announced its partnership with legalized gambling this week. When do we hear from Pete Rose?

Oh, and all that baloney about pace of play? Baseball’s snail pace is just great for gambling. So having 35 seconds between pitches and using 11 relievers in a 1-0 game will be good things again. Swell.

■   Dave Dombrowski hasn’t gotten enough credit for his gigantic role in the 2018 Red Sox championship. Dombro was brought in to win now and he won. He depleted the farm system and overpaid for a few players, but he assembled a monster team.

His midsummer pickups of Steve Pearce and Nathan Eovaldi were critical. We mocked him when he said the Sox could win with their bullpen. They did. We were wrong. Folks wanted to build a statue for Theo Epstein when the Sox won in 2004. Why so little love for Dombro?


Related: This is how Dave Dombrowski is working toward a Red Sox repeat

■   If Dombrowski is listening, he can count me in on Seattle’s closer, Edwin Diaz. The guy is nasty and seems to have an appropriate measure of crazy to go along with his stuff.

■   Former Celtics forward Willie Naulls died in California last week at the age of 84. Naulls is no small figure in NBA and Celtic history. He was on the floor for the Knicks, scoring 31 points against the Philadelphia Warriors, on March 2, 1962, in Hershey, Pa. But he didn’t get much attention that night because he was outscored by Philly’s Wilt Chamberlain, who dropped 100 points on the heads of the Knicks.

Naulls became part of NBA and Celtics lore in December of 1964 when he started against the Hawks alongside Bill Russell, Tom Sanders, Sam Jones, and K.C. Jones. Red Auerbach was the coach, and that was the first time an NBA team introduced five black players at the start of a game.

Naulls won three championships with the Celtics, in 1964, ’65, and ’66.

■   George Steinbrenner is up for the Hall of Fame this winter (veterans committee vote) and absolutely belongs in Cooperstown. Say what you want about The Boss, he figured out free agency before anybody else (Catfish Hunter, Reggie Jackson, Goose Gossage) and was ever-accountable to his fans. Did he commit a few crimes? He did. But Steinbrenner changed baseball at a critical time and Made The Yankees Great Again.


■   Speaking of The Boss, did you know that his grandson, George Steinbrenner IV, 22, is the youngest IndyCar Series team owner in history?

■   The Celtics get another shot at the Knicks in Boston next Thursday. The low point of the Celtics season thus far was the Thanksgiving Eve home loss to the Knicks — a defeat that inspired the most heartfelt, insightful, dignified, and classy postgame press conference of Brad Stevens’s six-year Boston career.

Related: What’s different about the Celtics? Here’s what the numbers say

■   Jane Leavy wrote two of the greatest baseball books of all time — biographies of Mickey Mantle and Sandy Koufax. Now she’s back with “The Big Fella,” a bestseller on the life and times of Babe Ruth. You can meet Leavy, hear her speak, get dinner, and get a signed book Dec. 13 at “Wheels Up” at Fenway Park. Information is at fenwayparkwriters.org. Leavy’s appearance is part of the The Great Fenway Park Writers Series.

■   We continue to be amazed by the bravery and generosity of the Frates family. While Pete Frates continues his long struggle with ALS, Team Frates has launched the Peter Frates Family Foundation to help other ALS families afford home care for their loved ones. Check it out here.

Dan Shaughnessy can be reached at dshaughnessy@globe.com