December 14, 2006


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LONGSHOTS: Mail bag open for business at a time filled with questions
by Dave Long

With the Red Sox in flux, the Patriots looking like a little something is missing from their recipe, UNH football done for the year and many other things of note on the hot seat, itís time to go back into the mail bag.

Dear Dave: What do you make of the who-ha about UNH football ďlosingĒ $1 million as described in the stateís largest newspaperís copycat story of one the Globe did on U-Massís costing $2.9 million more than they took in? Jon Linch, University Drive, Hopkinton, NH

Dear Jon: Did they lose a million, or did the university elect to spend a million? Itís a fair distinction. The term ďlosingĒ implies mismanagement or that they were expecting to get it all back through ticket sales, alumni giving and sponsorships. Spending means it was a line-item expense for enhancing student life, strengthening alumni relations and building national name recognition, to name three things. You can debate the merits of spending that much for those things, but to say they lost the money is an incorrect characterization. No one from here to Montana expected that money to come back, thus itís an expense. And as a nitpicking aside to John (too) Whitson, who wrote the piece, Sean McDonnell did not revive a moribund program. He took over one with a rich tradition under Bill Bowes, which it did not emulate in his first few years on the job. Now it does and then some.

Dear Dave: If you were Danny Ainge and had the chance would you do a deal for Allen Iverson? Red Ourback 16 Championship Drive, Del Boca Vista Phase II, Heaven

Dear Red: It certainly would make some excitement wouldnít it? Like Manny, he does bring along a boatload of issues. But, unlike Manny, he plays hard every second. So depending on the asking price, Iíd think about it. If it includes Gerald Green, Kendrick Perkins or Al Jefferson, no way. Iíd really like to see Delonte West stay, but Iíd reluctantly include him. Youíve got to give up something to get something and Green will be better down the road. But at the right price, Iíd do it in a heartbeat.

Dear Dave: What do you make of Jaguars coach Jack Del Rio wearing a suit on the sidelines during games? George Aparail, Elm Street, Manchester, NH

Dear George: I love almost everything retro. And in the olden days Tom Landry always wore a suit. So did Lombardi, Halas and the rest. But for some, seeing Tommy Hilfiger, er, Del Rio decked out brings to mind Wilt Chamberlain deciding to lead the NBA in assists. He did it to show everyone he could passónot because it was best for the team. And while itís not the same, it seems more like heís doing it to say ďHEY LOOK AT ME.Ē So I guess my answer is who cares?

Dear Dave: Given the transfers of three D-I players from the ballyhooed Trinity team of a few years ago, how do you think Tyler Roche will do at BC? Carmen Giampetruzzi, 23 Never Saw A Shot He Didnít Like Lane, Auburn Pitts, NH

Dear Carmen: Iím not the best guy to ask, since judging how good a high school junior would be three years later was the toughest thing for me as a coach. But I look at it this way: along with Scott Drapeau and Matt Bonner heís among the three best high school players Iíve seen in New Hampshire. We know what happened to Matt. After some movement of his own, UNH won 17 in Drapeauís senior year and was back to the usual single digits the year he left. In Tylerís case, while the competition will be fierce at BC and in the ACC, based on what Drapeau and Bonner turned out Iím betting he has a solid career.

Dear Dave: The Patriots sure didnít look like a dynasty in progress Sunday in Miami. What do you think their chances are to claim title number four? Cleve Rush (to judgment), 1970 Electric Drive, Foxboro, MA

Dear Cleve: I hope this doesnít shock you, but Iíve been saying all year something seems to be missing. Most say itís consistency, but I think itís mental. I canít quite put my finger on it, but itís somewhere in the offense with all the turnovers, excessive penalties, lackluster outings like vs. Detroit and a so-so year from Tom Brady. So, unless the offensive malaise is eliminated I canít say Iím brimming with the same high confidence I had the day they beat the Rams to win their first Super Bowl.

Dear Dave: Daisuke Matsuzaka? Andrew Dice Kay, 1532 Foreletterword Drive, Blue Language Texas

Dear Andrew: EVERYONE in the Nation was sure Josh Beckett would win 20. That was based on seeing him blow away the Yanks in the 2003 series. Instead he won 16 and his ERA was over 5.00. Dice-K has never pitched in the majors, but neither did Hideki Nomo and that turned out well. So I really donít know. But at his price, it had better turn out great.

Dear Dave: What do you make of whatís been happening with the Red Sox? Manknee Ramirez, 130 RBI Lane, Ozone, Florida

Dear Manknee: Theoís turned into Dan Duquette before our very eyes. He spent wildly with no one bidding against him, so he probably overpaid for JD Drew and Julio Lugo. Since money doesnít seem to be an issue, I guess that doesnít matter. But, Iím skeptical about downside issues with both guys, so Iíll wait and see. But I will say this: the attempt to put four big-time starters in the rotation is a very good intention.

Dave Long can be heard on Sports Night with Dave Long nightly from 6 to 7 p.m. on 610 WGIR-AM

12/07/2006 Lions and Gators and Bears, oh my

11/30/2006 Does Fenway frankness roll to the negative side?
11/23/2006 Turkeys and thanks as the big day arrives
11/16/2006 Green-around-the-gills Celts looking to earn some respect
11/9/2006 Blame game reaches new local low
11/2/2006 A week of highs and lows in sport
10/26/2006 Curses! The U is foiled again
10/19/2006 Time for a trip to the sports mailbag
10/12/2006 U turns Granite Stare around on football
10/05/2006 James' gang riding into town to face the Celtics
09/28/2006 Words to describe a lost Red Sox season
09/21/2006 Football Friday can't stack up to Saturday
09/14/2006 A lesson to be learned in remembering a somber day
09/07/2006 Usual pat choice to win AFC East questioned
08/31/2006 Whining won't yank AL East away from NY
08/24/2006 Spring forward or fall behind for Sox
08/17/2006 Trash talking abounds in the Empire over Sox and Pats
08/10/2006 Monarchs call press conference to crown new leader
08/03/2006 Deadly Fenway duo leave mark on history
07/27/2006 Word of the wise gets lost in sports translation
07/20/2006 Looking beyond the Big Three
07/13/2006 Cream rises to the top of baseball talk at the Dot
07/06/2006 Greetings and salutations toThe Nation at mid-year
06/29/2006 Being dealt is a consequence of the trade
06/22/2006 A year later, Boudreau's cup runneth over
06/15/2006 See dogs and cats battle for a different fan experience
06/08/2006 Not Bad Anymore league makes a comeback
06/01/2006 Luck goes Sox way with Lowell in Massachusetts
05/25/2006 Pitching in to help the Sox trade a few places
05/18/2006 Going to school by cutting Red Sox payroll
05/11/2006 Columnist blows his mind; here are the results
05/04/2006 Yanks stormed Manchester 37 years ago this week
04/27/2006 Regular crowd nowhere to be found come playoff time
04/20/2006 Questions and answers from the mailbag
04/13/2006 Local sports teams spring into action
04/06/2006 Predictable Red Sox season lies ahead
03/30/2006 Analyzing this and that as Pats roster shrinks
03/23/2006 A week of following the bouncing balls
03/16/2006 The beginning of four days of basketball bliss
03/09/2006 Many miss the central point of the story
03/02/2006 Better late than never to jump through local hoops
02/23/2006 Celtic green means raw, not envy as it once did
02/16/2003 An issue that is all black and white
02/09/2006 Nomar curses from the UL's Sullivan
02/02/2006 Super memories from 40 years of watching the big game
01/26/2006 A certain uniformity to the inquiries in the mailbag
01/19/2006 Sudden end to Pats' season leave just one thing to do
01/12/2006 Pats on the back for the football team
01/05/2006 Predictions for Manchester Sports 2031
A lesson for Leo the Lip and nice guys everywhere

Chop House opening is Berra of good news
Event-filled weekend missed en route to evil empire
Heroís death lays to rest misuse of the word
Saint Theo ascends to new heights in The Nation
Santa sack filled to the brim with sports
Patriots march through injuries toward threepeat
Sports talk should be on the air
Stars shine brightest when winning is in the mix
The†Demonization of Johnny Damon
Thirty-seven topics and so little space
Too many holes in Sox for repeat
Trip to the injured list makes it a long weekend for local scribe
Turkeys and giving thanks take center stage this week
Yanked from the edge of your seat