By David Scott
My first child will now be named HunterWendelstedt and you’d be wise to choose the same nom-de-plume (name of plum). . . Was Ben Affleck serious about complaining about being bumped to a seat near the Yankees dugout? He proceeded to claim the “refs, ah umps” were giving the Sox a hard time. ARodent should’ve gone after him. No one would have stopped a thing. . . Call me old-fashioned, but it’s not a real Beantown Brawl unless Zimmer gets rolled. . .Was that Tom Brokaw leading the “Yankees Suck” chant in the sixth?. . .You gotta figure Larry Lucchino was lobbying for a cabinet position during his second inning tete-a-tete with the pseudo-JFK. . .You know John Glenn would have been right out on the field during Saturday’s melee. He’s still a feisty old astronaut at heart. Just like Clint. . .ESPN’s Jon Miller struggled through his Kerry interview, but did manage to show Senator Flip-Flop’s non-stance on steroids and, more importantly, the DH. Because, as everyone knows, whomever lives in the White House come next January, they’ve got to deal with that pesky DH issue, pronto. It just won’t go away. Osama can wait. . . Miller also managed to suggest that the Globe is still using Sunday baseball notes from Peter Gam,uhm,mons (his Friday WEEI spot was FILLED with more uhms than a high school student). Nope. And this just in, Jon, Will McDonough is no longer writing for the paper either. . . New York Times writer, Murray Chass’s Hall of Fame acceptance speech was filled with more cheap shots than a Golota. Basically Chass lamented his believe that young whipper-snappers are merely focused on climbing the sports desk’s ladder. Not the time, nor the place, for such rantings, but you know how writers are: give ‘em a minute to speak and they think they can change the world. Right Danny Boy?. . . Tim McCarver is like a dusty bottle of wine – that is to say, dusty. He quoted Stan Musial during Saturday’s FOX Sox game and asked, “THIS? is the big leagues?” When Musial asked it, it probably had a bit more oomph than McCarver’s dimsightful query. . .There were about three-to-one Brian Cashman-to-Theo Epstein shots on the two networks over the weekend. Which, when we think about it, isn’t necessarily a bad thing considering the option would have been freakin’ Affleck. . . No more excuses for fellow Peabodian and Marlins’ property, Jeff Allison. If this weekend’s heroin story are true, the kid needs more help than good ole Coach Ed Nizwantowski can offer from behind his dark glasses. Niz, by the way, should be ashamed of his own conduct in the whole sordid tale. It was no problem for Coach Niz to be there by Allison’s side during the Chris Collins’ NECN visit. But this week, Niz was quoted as saying he hadn’t been in contact with Allison for about a month. If there had been another TV camera to look into, you can be sure Niz would have been right there beside his former player. Allison needs serious help, or the next story we read will be his obituary.
Sunday Night Shows
A scary moment took away from the final moments of each of the elongated shows on 4 and 7, when ABC5, at 12:09 a.m., broke into a “West Wing” re-run (SO, so confusing, trust me) with a report that four parachutists had landed on the roof of the Tip O’Neill building just around 12:10 a.m. Several minutes later, 7 interrupted programming to report the four jumpers were taken into custody. And I have no idea which was fact, fiction or the “West Wing.”. . . With the Viagra Sox bumping up against the Sunday night shows, our attentions were divided even more than usual. Thankfully, NBC7’s Sports Xtra featured the Michaels Holley and Smith once again. I didn’t see much, but let me guess: the Mikes ragged on each other, Smith’s feelings were hurt, Holley talked twice as much as Smith, Joe Amorosino and co-host-still-in-training, Christian Fauria combined and, incredibly, Holley didn’t think anything of it. It’s easy enough to avoid Holley by ignoring the pathetic FSN entry, Bye, Max, but somehow he still seeps into the local conversation. He’s got to be “exhausted” from TV by now, wouldn’t you think? I’m exhausted from listening to his contrived contrary opinions . . .Fauria chose wisely in re-joining “Sports Xtra” – he may still be learning the intricacies, but he already is on par with Amateurino. Apparently no one told Fauria to bring his own chair – he was forced to stand during the round table discussion with Mike&Mike, which made for Holley and Smith having to look up to the sky when they answered the big fella’s queries. The funniest part of it all, is that the tight end-happy Pats might not have room for the (overrated) Fauria once camp gets going in earnest. “Sports Xtra” can immediately give him JoeA’s seat – he barely fills it as is. . . Gary Gillis again contributed his usual outstanding package, this time with a Dennis Eckersley feature. . . In part, because they feared not being able to show highlights from a still on-going Sox game (a wise concern, as it turned out with the final out coming after 11:40 p.m.), all three of the “major” Sunday night shows went heavy with the football talk. But none of it was earth-shattering – how could it be, of course, with Opening Thursday Night still seven Thursdays away. It’s mostly just meant to be alternative hype to the Sox hype and contained a heavy dose of Ricky Williams reaction, Roosevelt Colvin speculation and Corey Dillon questions. Ron Bores-us joined Bill Burt on Chris Collins’s NECN’s “Sports Latenight” while Michael Felger and Tom Curran joined Dan Roche for CBS4’s “Sports Final.”. . .Xtra was first to get rolling with Sox highlights from the just-completed game, with NECN following quickly while Final was stuck in commercial. Now, really, who the heck cares about that? I’m boring myself. . . Babbling Bob Lobel and Yellow Boxer Steve Buckley chimed in live from Fenway and suggested the Randy Johnson deal “is not dead.”. . .Lobel held out hope he’d get Larry Lucchino for a “Sports Final” interview and his persistence paid off, but Lucky didn’t tip his – or Theo’s – hat in any way. . . Danny Boy wound up with a guest shot live from Fenway with the makeup man, Dave “Briggsy” Briggs.
Between the Lines of Pages
Last week, Scott’s Shots found a soft spot in its heart to recommend reading Woody Paige’s (sabbatical) farewell in the Denver Post. Little did we know, Paige would wind up writing farewells just about every day since, as well. If you’re going, Woody, than go. Otherwise, quit saying goodbye. . .The Herlado’s best rebuttal to the New York Daily News’s “The Curse Lives” was “Screw the Curse: Go Sox! Kick their pinstriped butts,” in the two papers’ Friday mock war of the full-page ads. Had to be a 20-something, marketing gal who thought of that one. Next time, try something like: “Jeter Sucks and ARod. . . Blows.” What? It stopped being a family paper when they threw Britney’s belly on the cover months ago.
What appeared to have the makings of another classic Arturo Gatti fight on Saturday night in Atlantic City wound up showcasing just one thing for HBO: The urgent need to get Larry Merchant away from the microphone and into an old broadcasters’ home. It’s cruel, we know, but not half as cruel as subjecting Sopranos Network viewers to the rambling, incoherent Merchant of Menace’s warbling ways. When he said, and we quote, “Let me turn to the loser, Leonard Dorin,” it was only for the smirk and kind smile of Dorin that Merchant didn’t find himself on the receiving end of a Dorin body-blow. Dorin, the Bucharest Quitter, was more kind than we would have been. Jim Lampley remains barely bearable and Roy Jones, Jr. is ever-so-slowly improving (camera’s over here, champ!). But Merchant makes every telecast as painful as a Dr. Phil marathon. . .Depending on your vantage, HBO ran into a bit of good/bad timing with its pre-fight feature on the artists known as “Cut Men.” Featured in the Lampley-narrated piece (which he managed to praise coming out of the piece) were Gatti’s blod-clotter extraordinaire, Joe Souza and Al Galvin, another of the respected cut men. Turns out Galvin passed away a couple of weeks ago. Nice tribute to him and other unsung clotters, nonetheless.
DNC-Friendly Sports Talk
Kerry clearly is in cahoots with the Disney People. He gets a prime time slot of free advertising during last night’s game AND an interview in ESPN The Magazine. What’s next? John Kerry The Drink? John Kerry The Weekend?. . .If the Wonkette doesn’t call soon, I’m going to have fall back on old reliable, Doris Kearns Goodwin. That reminds me, Is Lewinksy in town?. . .I’m completely torn between the Bush daughters and the Kerry Daughters. Any chance I could sample all four? That sounds like worthwhile reality TV right there, wouldn’t you agree?. . . Prediction: Traffic Talker Mariellen Burns next job will be as the sexy traffic voice of WEEI’s morning show. Denky and Cranky will love her.
The once-proud LaSalle basketball family has fallen upon hard times with this weekend’s resignations from both men’s and women’s coaches (former Gary Williams’ assistant Billy Hahn and John Miller). My guy, Duxbury’s Big John, has got to be beside himself with all the rumor and innuendo. Big John was parading in the Palestra before the place had bricks in place. . . We expected to hear former UMass coach, Brusier Flint (now at Philly school, Drexel) be mentioned for the job, but so far ESPN.com (read: info man, AK47 Andy Katz) is narrowing the list to current interim, Bill Dooley (whose name was mentioned as a Flint replacement during what turned into the ongoing Lappas Debacle), the Philly-area Frans, Dunphy and O’Hanlon and another Scott’s Shots guy, Niagara coach Joe Mihalich. Without legit ties to the school, Flint probably is an outsider on this one, in which case Mihalich would be the perfect choice, even though the MAAC would be sad to see him go. . . You see, because I control the copy, I can talk about obscure Metro Atlantic coaches and you can’t do a damn thing about it! Freedom of the damn press. Amen. . . And furthermore, it looks like Jeff Ruland has settled on a staff and Scott’s Shots is ecstatic that high-major-coach-in-waiting, Vinny Parise, is now on board the Gaels’ staff and joined by Nick Macarchuk III and Sam Worthen (Hey Pierce! – Ruland’s got a Marquette guy on staff – how do you think Coach Al would like that one?)
Rants and Raves
So, does Outdoor Life Network now sign off until the next Tour de France, or is there some white water rafting show they still need to show?. . .I tried to listen to the NASCAR race on the radio, I really did – but with my adult ADD, I couldn’t remember who they said was the lead car. . .Only one week ’til Alice Cooper at the South Shore Music Circus/Tent/Hidden Gem, which by the way, would also mean no Scott’s Shots Monday edition for a week from today, August 2. It’s fair warning, and to offset it, you can read Norman Chad twice. Pay the man, Shirley. . . Do you think Chad knows how much confusion it causes that my mom’s name is the same name of his accountant? Pay the man again, Shirley. . . Yes, I envy Norman Chad. Aspire to be him, in fact (minus the divorces and the Rolling Rock). And I’m okay with that. I’m a good person, just like Stuart Smalley said I was. . . Oh, Green Boxer Bob Hohler can use Chumbawamba references in a damn game story and I can’t mention a long-departed SNL character??? Buzz off, pal.
David Scott writes from a seaside shanty on the shores of Hull and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org