October 2015

And So, It Ends...

Lunch, Youth, Yankee pratfalls salve season's wounds
Cosgriff Pulls Rabbit Out of Hat

Opening remarks make lemonade from lemon of a season

As described throughout this newsletter, we had a little fun at our second and final luncheon of the year at the Yale Club on September 29th.

In his opening remarks, Joe Cosgriff, BLOHARD VP-Internal Audit, struck an artful balance between optimism about the future and realism about the season then concluding. By way of example, Cosgriff noted that the Sox had had the best record, by a good margin, of the four teams in last place on July 4, but acknowledged that this might be seen as being like "the meth addict with the best teeth".

Other commentary included note of the fact that a woman hit by a baseball during a game at Comerica Park was subsequently reported to be "alert and responsive", thereby allowing authorities to concusively determine that she was not a Yankee fan. Having heard that the Phillies are hanging extra nets down the baselines as a protective measure, Joe suggested that any fans worried about being hit by a ball could retire to the outfield seats with complete confidence when the Phils are batting.

And lastly: "It's not enough that they retired Yogi Berra's number; the team must now seriously consider retiring the term 'beloved Yankee'".

Slide Show Synopsis

Speaking slowly and enunciating clearly, Ray Duffy was at the top of his game in narrating the Henry Berry Memorial slide show. Among the highlights:

Noting that the Sox had signed a number of "bat first" players over the winter, Ray reported that the plan evidently was to put one of them in front of a 37 foot wall and hope for the best. What could go wrong?
For his part, when signed, Pablo Sandoval was described a Gold Glove candidate. Ray said he was a "candidate" only in the sense that George Pataki is a candidate for President of the United State.
Ray went on to say that he had a bad feeling about Sandoval from the moment he heard that the Panda had reported to spring training on Fat Tuesday.
Along the same lines, he also feared the worst upon hearing that Sandoval had replied "the one in the parking lot when asked by the KFC clerk what size bucket of chicken he wanted.
The Mets were described as having won the National League East because as was once said about the eighth race at Yonkers: "Someone had to." Three teams tanked, and when we last saw the presumptive favorite, its closer had his hands around the throat of it best player.
Tribute was paid to Don Orsillo who, Ray said, after 15 years had grown on us... in a good way.

The death of Yogi Berra monopolized "The Great Expansion Team in the Sky" portion of the slideshow. Ray quoted Roger Angell in saying that Yogi was a combination of Elvis, Goofy and Chekov and was always "our funny saint". Ray also recounted that the Hall of Famer coined perhaps his final Yogism shortly before his death when he asked old friend Marty Appel what time the 3:30 Mass started at the assisted living facility where he lived his last days.

The slideshow ended with a clarification of a mistatement from the April luncheon. Technically, it turns out, you don't need a parachute to skydive; you need one to skydive twice.
Torey Talks

Randall snags, interviews interim Sox skipper

Torey with BLOHARD brass
For what seemed like the first time since, oh, the term of Patsy Donovan, the BLOHARDS had a little managerial commentary to accompany their potato croquettes at this year's lunch. Mad props to Ed Randall who both secured Torey Lovullo's presence and interviewed him early in the program.

Among the topics covered were Torey's peripetatic playing career (he hit .388 in his first year as a professional and played for the Yakut Swallows in Japan), his 1200-game body of work as a minor league manager, and how he heard the word directly from John Farrell of his boss' illness while attending a Patriots-Packers preseason game. Ed also noted -consistent with Torey's insistence that he be referred to only as the "interim" manager- that Lovullo had declined to use the manager's office at Fenway or on the road since taking over. It was no surprise to any who attended to subsequently hear of Torey's contract extension and commitment to remain with the Sox as Farrell's bench coach.

Berra Death Stymies Margolick Interview
Author/BLOHARDS Historian David Margolick's planned interview of long-time Yankees' PR Director and TV broadcast executive director Marty Appel was upended by the untimely death of Yogi Berra, which requred Marty's attendance at Yogi's funeral, lest, well you know...

We'll try for it again next year. Citing his acquaintences' disproportionate affinity for the Yankees, David also encourages persons with interesting perspectives on Sox history, or persons knowing such persons to contact him for inclusion in future lunch programs.

From WEEI...

Sox/Yanks Fans to Face Off in Early-Spring Showdown

"Baseball As Good Medicine" Plans March 6th Story-Fest. Details Forthcoming

Our friend Annie Levy spoke briefly at lunch about Baseball As Good Medicine and BAGM's plans to hold a Yankees vs. Red Sox storytelling "battle round" this coming March 6 at a location TBA. These events, with different themes, are nominally competitive, and feature people bravely stepping up to the proverbial plate with a five-minute tale celebrating the amazing and magical qualities of the game of baseball. Proceeds from these events benefit the Made Visible Foundation. For more details, you can email Annie or visit the BAGM website. A work in progress, the website will over time feature calls for different themed baseball content and offers visitors the opportunity to sign up for notifications.

Here's a video with a flavor of the events and 2 Sox stories!

Randall Talks... Prostates

Ed Randall spoke about how volunteers for his charity (Ed Randall's Fans for the Cure) visited over 175 minor league parks this past summer. Ed's charity partnered with local hospitals and healthcare organizations to offer prostate cancer screenings to men and educational materials to everyone attending the games.

With the help of Ed's Board Chairman, Steve Garvey, ERFFTC was also able to offer screenings and literature at Petco Park, Dodger Stadium, and at AT&T Park in San Francisco. These venues joined Yankee Stadium, U.S. Cellular Field in Chicago, and Tropicana Field in Tampa on the list of major league parks to which Ed was invited this season.

We eagerly await the resumption of Ed's regular Sunday 9-11 AM gig on WFAN when those annoying "football" people get done colliding with each other in February. In the meantime, Ed can be heard via Sirius/XM's Major League Baseball Network on Saturday mornings with Sox legend Rico Petrocelli.

We missed you...
John Pizzarelli, Dr. Charles, Governor Wertz.

All are expected at our next lunch May 6, 2016.

In Other News...
One of our farflung corresponents, Rich McHugh reports having seen the Fenway Park 100th Anniversary Book on sale at Dollar Tree for, you guessed it... one dollar. A great stocking stuffer if you get your stockings from the Abominable Snowman.

John Quinn did his usual trivia thing at lunch. Among the prizes on offer were gift certificates to the Mercury Bar on Third Avenue and 33rd St. Emcee Joe Cosgriff suggested that said certificates be redeemed at a gathering/try-out for the Sox team at Annie's March 6 event. More on this when and as it develops.

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