LONGSHOTS: Random thoughts and big refrigerator magnets
by Dave Long
Here are some rambling thoughts that came to mind while I was counting up all the fall football schedule refrigerator magnets I’ve gotten in the mail from a vast array of local retailers in the last few weeks.
Anyone know where NESN came up with Frank (20 strings) Viola to fill in for Jerry Remy in Texas and Toronto last week? For him I’ll say, what he lacked in polish he made up for in likability and he’s a dead-on-the-mark sound-alike for South Shore Long Island-born Plymouth State hoop coach Jon Schienman.
Speaking of NESN, while RemDog is the rock star to Red Sox Nation, after seeing Don Orsillo get the best from, what, 122 analysts on broadcasts this year, I think he’s the star. He’s got a knack for making people better and broadcasts fun to watch no matter who’s with him.
Not that his crime wasn’t serious, but let me get this straight: Plaxico Burress accidentally shoots an unlicensed gun in a New York club and gets two years in the pen, and Donte Stallworth runs someone over and kills him while he’s DUI and on pot and he gets 30 days? What am I missing?
But wouldn’t it have been nice if Burress had pulled that stunt one year earlier? Because if he had, Pats fans would still be saying 19-0 Bay-bee.
And you know life in the real world is screwed up when Stallworth got a stiffer penalty from NFL Commissioner Roger (blood and guts) Goodell than he did from a court in Miami.
I know he’s hurt, which only makes it worse, but the Celtics’ desertion of Leon Powe, after he came back for the playoffs while still hurt and then kept playing AFTER he tore his ACL, was disgraceful.
For what it’s worth — I think Twitter is a fad. And I can’t tell you how much I HATE guys like Shaq tweeting to “fans” at half-time of a game. Maybe that’s why the Big Fella won about four fewer titles than his dominance could have let him get.
If they are a true fan of the art of baseball, even the most fervent Red Sox fan has to respect Derek Jeter. He’s in my top seven all-time Yankees — which is saying something. Here’s my list in order: Ruth, Gehrig, Berra, DiMaggio, Mantle, Ford and Jeter.
Here’s how stupid beliefs become trends in baseball as a result of overthinking an issue — rather than using common sense to come up with the answer — like 100 being the number in the almighty pitch count. Sunday night ESPN’s Steve Phillips, who you may recall had a failed tenure as GM of the Mets, was trying to say the reason Josh Beckett gave up three homers in his previous start in Toronto was because his regular catcher, Jason Varitek, was out with a neck issue and pitching coach John Farrell was away from the team to tend to a personal issue. He was saying this as Beckett gave two more homers to the first five Yankee batters he faced and FIVE overall with Farrell in the dugout watching and the captain was behind the plate. Earth to Steve — the real answer is that after being lights out since May Beckett had no curve ball to speak of and two bad games. It’s as simple as that.
And speaking of the almighty pitch count, who came up with 100 as the be-all and end-all number? A doctor, scientist, trainer, manager, agent, GM, Bill James or a math teacher who liked it because it’s a round number? It sounds like an arbitrary number because 100 is a nice round number.
Let’s put Rick Pitino in the group in the first paragraph from my column a few weeks back about hypocrites who talk a good game and then don’t do as they say at the moment of truth. In Rick’s case it’s the way he wore his Catholicism on his sleeve. I haven’t been to church in a while, but the last time I was there sex on the table in the Italian Restaurant with the wine glass was against the 7th Commandment and what they still call a mortal sin.
And then we’ve got Coach Cal for the Kentucky two-step. Memphis gets the penalty and the guy running the program when the rules were broken gets rewarded with one of the top three jobs in the country and MUCH more money. That makes perfect sense to me. Not to mention it was the second time a final four club had to vacate its spot for serious rules indiscretions.
The best of my detractors from my last Mt. Rushmore column was from someone who loved Joe Namath and was appalled, insulted, ticked off and I think downright disgusted that I said he was on my Mt. Rushmore of overrated New York athletes. It was a good give and take over a couple of weeks and believe me he knew his football. For some reason he loved Joe Willie’s footwork, but I ain’t giving in. When a guy has 220 interceptions and 173 TD passes and was 63-64-2 as a starter I say he’s overrated.
Here’s another one for him. I’m betting Matt Cassel makes the Pro Bowl within two seasons. Any takers?
Given his work ethic and a recovery time that was longer than most, who out there didn’t think Tom Brady would be ready for the season?
But I admit it that I gave up on David Ortiz sometime toward the end of May. Good for him for proving me wrong. But I’m still not cheering for him until next year over the PED thing even if he wins the Series with a walk-off in Game Seven.
On the other hand — given my opposition to letting him walk at the time — after watching Alex Gonzalez play shortstop the last week, is it OK now if I say to Theo I told you so?
Theo also get a pass for the BIG mistake of letting Carlos Pena walk to Tampa Bay for NOTHING that same year. All he’s done in the three seasons since he left is hit 46, 31 and 34 homers, with the 34 leading the AL this year.
And by the way, the best of all the refrigerator magnet schedules I got came from my friend the real estate mogul Bill Weidacher, of (plug, plug) Keller Williams. With the likes of the Pats, BC, UNH and Monday Night Football on it, the only schedules that seem to be missing are the Bedford Jaguars and the Central JV. The only problem is that for it to work you’re going to need a really big ice box, otherwise its sheer weight may pull it over.
And if you’re a lawyer — check out the haircut and then you may want to send him your card, ’cause he’s got to be thinking about suing the barber!
Dave Long can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. He hosts Dave Long and Company from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. each Saturday on WGAM – The Game, 1250-AM Manchester, 900-AM Nashua.