October 2012

Well, That's Over...
BLOHARDS Ignore Standings; Gorge on Chicken, Cameraderie

A massive horde of BLOHARDS met at the Yale Club on October 2nd to fraternize, commiserate and speculate on who might have out-managed Bobby Valentine in 2012. (Votes were tallied by each of: Wally the Green Monster; Dexter; Liza Minnelli; and "Anyone who was interviewed for the job in 2011".)

The team's loss to the Yankees on Monday night, combined with the Blue Jays' win over Minnesota clinched last place for the Sox for the first time since Butch Hobson's 1992 train wreck and for only the second time since Thomas Yawkey purchased the team in 1933. More importantly, it rendered sing-along musical number, "Don't Finish Last" (to Bing Crosby's "Don't Fence Me In"), irrelevant. Hopefully we won't have occasion to perform it next year either.

Thanks to the Red Sox and George Mitrovich for putting together an impressive and entertaining panel of team officials; sports columnist and author George Vecsey; and seventeenth-generation season ticket holder, Donna Cohen. Kudos also to the loyal group of BLOHARDS and their guests who disregarded both the rainy weather on the day of the luncheon and the torrential downpour that was the 2012 Red Sox season to attend the festivities.



In other news...

Just the thing for the Jazz fan on your Christmas list

The lost summer afforded BLOHARD VP - Tax Planning Joe Cosgriff, and BLOHARD Crooner Laureate John Pizzarelli time to collaborate on a book on Pizz' life in show business. At lunch, Cosgriff quoted an unidentified reviewer as saying that in World on a String the co-authors have "written a book for the ages. Too bad those ages are between six and ten." You can get it as an ebook now for your Kindle or Nook, or in hardcover starting November 13. Details on BLOHARD book event to follow.

johnpizzarelli.com.


Just the thing for the Red Sox-loving Sci-Fi fan on your Christmas list

We got an email a while ago from the promoters of a book entitled Extra Innings, the premise of which is that, following cryogenic resurrection in the year 2090, Ted Williams rejoins both the Red Sox and the Marines. In the fullness of time, he's evidently afforded the opportunity to make different choices than he did in his first life. Does he? You gotta read the book.

More here.


Kids Captain Lends a Hand

From New Jersey comes word of 12 year-old Sean Bennett who was selected this year as one of a dozen Red Sox Nation Kids Captains. While some in his position might have traded on their status to commit financial improprieties or consort with supermodels, Sean is made of nobler stuff. He instead organized and hosted a fundraiser which secured over $1,000 worth of bedding and linens and a further $300 in gift cards for Veterans Haven North; a newly-opened shelter for homeless veterans in Glen Gardner, NJ.

You can learn more about Sean's efforts, and how you can help, here, or by calling his father, Scott, at (908) 399-4704.

Mitrovich Moderated-Panel Accentuates the Positive

Fenway, Splinter, Pesky, '46, '04 Recalled
George Mitrovich who, among other duties, chairs the Great Fenway Park Writer's Series wrangled up an accomplished cast of characters to talk, among other things, about their favorite recollections of Fenway at our recent lunch. The panel included Donna Eden Cohen, whose family cleverly secured Fenway season tix before the invention of baseball; celebrated New York Times sports columnist George Vescey; Sox EVP and COO Sam Kennedy; Sox SVP and General Counsel David Friedman; and long-time BLOHARD favorite Dr. Charles Steinberg.

Among the highlights:
oVecsey talking about Ted Williams, and specifically about Williams' great catch at an old-timers' game, the recollection of which inspired a proud reaction in Williams years after the fact; and Williams holding court at Ralph Houk's desk in the clubhouse, while Houk himself sat on the floor.
oCohen, whose family has occupied the same location -five rows back on the third base side- since 1493, when Jim Leyland was an up-and-coming young manager, told of the family tradition of carving their names into the seats.
oDr. Charles expressing his pleasure at returning to Boston, and his affection for the BLOHARDS. To hear him tell it, his four-year absence from the Sox was one long pro bono pr campaign on behalf of the organization. So why do we have 10% as many Facebook "likes" as Yoplait "Fruit on top" single-serve yogurt?
oVecsey interviewing Johnny Damon after game three of the 2004 ALCS and having Damon calmly state that, if he (Damon) wasn't mistaken, the Red Sox had run off plenty of four game winning streaks during the year.
oGeorge Mitrovich recounting how, late in the following game he was asked to compose a statment of congratulations to the Yankees. After editing input from both Charles Steinberg and Larry Lucchino, it was presented to John Henry who angrily, and prescently, aborted the endeavor.

George incidentally exhorts all BLOHARDS to subscribe to the Great Writers' email list, which can be done on their website.


Usual Suspects Do Usual Stuff
In his opening remarks, emcee Joe Cosgriff recalled many late nights spent wrestling with team statistics in an attempt to discern the source of the Sox' problems this year. Initally puzzled to find out that the Sox were second in the league in BS, he pondered who might have suprpassed them. His subsequent realization that the acronym stood for "blown saves" merely conpounded his confusion in this regard.

Bobby Jenks may not have provided the Sox with much quality pitching, but he did allow Joe to recycle some circa-2001 Rich Garces jokes, especially the one about being so big the Sox needed to turn him sideways to get him through waivers. And the one about how the when team asked him to eat his contract. Jenks asked if it came with sides. Joe also noted that if Dice-K really did have a gyroball, that evening's game, almost certainly his final one for the Sox, might be a good time to trot it out.

John Pizzarelli performed a medley of songs that won't be heard at his November engagement at the Carlyle: "Patriots' Day" (to The Beatles' "Yesterday"); "Jacoby Ells-Buree" (To "Hooray for Hollywood": "But baby here's the rub/He's always in the tub..."); "My Bobby Valentine," and a stirring finale, "Jenks For the Memories" ("Of toes you couldn't reach/How your forty-seven outs cost us...three hundred thousand each").

Bob Sullivan mused on the nature of fandom and concluded that, notwithstanding recent difficulties, his own kids would carry on the family tradition of rooting for the Sox. At least if they wanted to continue living at home. Ray Duffy closed with a slideshow that hit most of the major food groups, including clubhouse chicken and beer, Fenway Franks, and the BLOHARDS' favorite hot dog, Alex Rodriguez. Best line (paraphrased): "The Joads have a more promising farm system than the Mets."
Carnac Kills

Official BLOHARD troubador John Pizzarelli reprised his Carnac the Magnificent role at lunch, astonishingly discerning the the content of hermetically sealed in envelopes never before seen by him. Among the highlights:

Carnac:"The Expendables"
Envelope:Another name for Alfredo Aceves and all nine of his pitches
.
C:"Hardened criminals"
E:What you call the guys who stole the Viagra from Ed Randall's locker
.
C:"Whassamatta U"
E:Question asked by Ranger's pitching coach to team ace Darvish when he starts pitching like Dice-K
.
C:"Dustin Pedroia"
E:Activity pursued by the owner of an unpolished Pedroia
.
C:"A Kenmore garbage disposal, an Oreck Quest vacuum, and the Boston Red Sox"
E:Two things that do, and one that doesn't, have to be plugged in before sucking.
.

The third one, just to be clear, is a play on words. The coach is asking his star pitcher; "What is the matter, Yu?" You see, the pitcher's first name is "Yu", which is what makes this particular joke go. Based on the precedent set at lunch -the stony reception led to the observation "I got more laughs on my second honeymoon"- we worry that some people may not "get" it. Which would be a shame. Hence the clarification.


The Schedule Maker Taketh, The Schedule Maker Giveth...

Next year's Sox schedule is significantly more BLOHARD-friendly than this one's was. 2013 lunches are scheduled for May 31 and September 6, both Fridays of non-holiday weekends. You can't ask for much better than that.

Mark 'em down in your calendars today.


All the cool kids are doing it!

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We were gonna...
say something snarky about Derek Jeter. Now we're glad we didn't.