Picked-up pieces while playing Mitch Miller and the gang’s Christmas hits on my hi-fi stereo system . . .
■ The Red Sox are actively boosting Dwight Evans’s campaign for the Hall of Fame. You knew it would come to this last year when Harold Baines, who was never as good as Evans, was broomed into Cooperstown in a back-room deal brokered by Jerry Reinsdorf and Tony La Russa.
Evans will need 12 of 16 votes cast when the Modern Era committee meets in San Diego Sunday. He should have two big backers in the room — Dennis Eckersley and Dave Dombrowski — but it’s a crowded field (10) of strong candidates, including Ted Simmons, Steve Garvey, Tommy John, Dale Murphy, and Marvin Miller. Voters can vote for no more than four candidates.
This could be the year for the overdue Miller. There’s only one owner on the committee, and it is ownership that has traditionally blocked the late (and Hall-worthy) union leader.
I have used Evans’s sparse All-Star history (named three times in 20 seasons) as an indication that he was perhaps not dominant at his position in his time. To be fair, Robin Yount, a two-time MVP and first-ballot Hall of Famer, was only a three-time All-Star.
■ Tom Brady’s stat line at the end of Sunday’s game in Houston (326 yards, three touchdown passes) was wildly deceiving. It was like Carmelo Anthony going for 35 points in a 20-point loss, with 20 of his points coming in garbage time
Brady presents as frustrated and unhappy. He should have been at the offseason workouts if he wants to yell at his young receivers. Late in his career, he’s getting a taste of what life is like for a lot of quarterbacks — poor protection, receivers not open, etc.
We love Tom, but it’s folly to think he’d be better off in another uniform next year, at 43. That would be ugly, like Johnny Unitas in San Diego at the end.
■ More and more, it sounds as if the Red Sox are selling a “bridge year.’’ Suddenly, the Sox are behaving as if they are Tampa Bay North. I keep reading odious talking points about a “creative” and “cost-efficient” roster. Swell. Finish 19 games behind the Yankees, raise ticket prices, and try selling this to Sox fans.
■ Rob Manfred needs to come down hard on the cheatin’ Houston Astros, and if he does, Alex Cora could be one of those sanctioned.
■ Kevin Garnett pulled no punches discussing Kyrie Irving in an interview with the New York Daily News. Asked if he was surprised that Irving left Boston, Garnett said, “No. Boston’s a tough town, dawg. You got to want that. The people want it for you. That’s why Paul [Pierce] is perfect for it.’’
■ Bill Belichick said something somewhat revealing in one of his Channel 4 Patriot propaganda chats with Scott Zolak. When Zo asked if he watched the LSU-Alabama game, Belichick talked about how he was going to watch every year to keep track of the underclassmen on both teams. That sounds like a man who plans to continue coaching.
■ Belichick stooge Greg Schiano landed on his feet with a big bag of money at Rutgers. Even though Schiano officially worked for the Patriots for only about a half-hour — and I’m not buying his explanation for why he bailed — he should be remembered fondly as an embedded Patriot talent source when he was head coach of the Buccaneers. While failing in his two seasons in Tampa Bay, Schiano traded Aqib Talib and LeGarrette Blount to his pal Bill. There also were Schiano fingerprints on Darrelle Revis winding up in New England.
■ Harvard basketball coach Tommy Amaker knew about Tacko Fall before Fall wound up at Central Florida.
“We did try to recruit him,’’ said Amaker. “He was a kid that fit the profile for us, so we reached out and expressed some interest and followed his progress. It just never found its way.
“We were intrigued and interested. He’s such a bright young man and certainly it didn’t hurt that he’s 7 foot 6.
“He actually came over to Harvard this fall. He and Jaylen Brown and Grant Williams judged the dunk contest at our first event scrimmage.’’
One of Amaker’s 2019 senior leaders is Chris Lewis, son of former Jets linebacker Mo Lewis (the man who blasted Drew Bledsoe and forced Belichick to turn to a young Brady). According to Amaker, Mo Lewis is no helicopter parent. Said Amaker, “He told me, ‘Coach, when you got him, you got him.’ And he meant it. I think the only thing he asked me to do was to tell Chris where to go to get a haircut.’’
■ Quiz: Name the only Red Sox Rookie of the Year who went on to become a Hall of Famer (answer below).
■ Brilliant Brian Bannister, the pitching guru who taught Red Sox hurlers to avoid “the chaos of the ball in play,’’ has taken a job with the San Francisco Giants.
■ Don’t care how easily he can score 60, I will never be a James Harden fan. Ball hog. Always at the line. Clashed with Kevin McHale. Disappears in the playoffs. Never MVP for me.
■ Don’t like the name “Redskins”? You should know that the Washington Redskins were born in 1932 as the Boston Braves and played one season at Braves Field. A year later, when they moved to Fenway Park, owner George Preston Marshall changed the name of the team to Redskins. They relocated to Washington in 1937.
■ It’s embarrassing and shameful that dog-killer Michael Vick is going to be an honorary captain at this year’s Pro Bowl. Vick paid his debt to society, but the NFL does itself no good by honoring the man.
■ Is that a miniature golf pencil Belichick uses when he’s scribbling into his little notebook during games?
■ How can Julian Edelman be so good when he looks like he’s playing with his eyes closed?
■ Worst idea since the Boston Olympics? Major League Baseball in Orlando. Florida already has two big league teams, which is two more than necessary.
■ When’s the last time you heard anyone mention the US women’s soccer team or glory hog Megan Rapinoe?
■ Frank Gore is now the third all-time rushing leader in NFL history. He is officially the Don Sutton of the NFL.
■ Like Game 3 of the 2018 World Series, “The Irishman” is spectacular but lengthy.
■ Why We Love The New York Post: The day after Jacoby Ellsbury was dumped by the Yankees, the Post featured a photo of the outfielder on its back page with the headline, “Worst $135M Ever Spent.’’
■ The premiere of a documentary film on Tony Conigliaro’s life will be featured at an event hosted by Mike Lynch Jan. 17 at the Lynn Auditorium. For tickets, call 781-599-SHOW.
■ When the high school Super Bowls are played at Gillette Stadium this weekend, I’ll be rooting for any school that didn’t tank its Thanksgiving game. You know who you are.
■ Classy of the Red Sox to put Dan Duquette in the team Hall of Fame. The Duke delivered half of the 2004 championship team, including Manny Ramirez and Pedro Martinez, and let’s never forget Jason Varitek and Derek Lowe for the immortal Heathcliff Slocumb.
■ All six MLB divisions have had a World Series winner in the last six autumns.
■ Quiz answer: Carlton Fisk.