April 2016

All's Well...

Lunch, Sox Both Awesome. Yankees not.

Cosgriff Steers Lunch Safely Home

Marred by only sporadic fist fights, program concludes in a tidy two hours

BLOHARD Assistant VP - Latin American Scouting (transfer pending) Joe Cosgriff presided genially over a packed function room at Manhattan's Yale Club as BLOHARDS of all stripes gathered for the first of two 2016 lunches.

In his opening remarks, Joe noted that Boston was first in the AL East in slugging percentage, on-base percentage, extra-base hits, and stolen bases. And that the team remained a solid second alphabetically, trailing only Baltimore. Joe also observed that it may have been inauspicious that Pablo Sandoval reported to spring training on Fat Tuesday, but was agnostic on reports that Sandoval's shoulder injury arose when team nutritionists attempted unsuccessfully to tie The Panda's arms behind his back, reportedly for the entire month of January.

Joe concluded optimistically, noting that guests were enjoying "first place, a sold-out luncheon, and a lineup of guests reminiscent of a Jerry Lewis Telethon between 3 a.m. and 4 a.m."

Hat Passed For Splinter Documentary
Acclaimed filmmaker Nick Davis spoke about his attempts to produce, and fund, a documentary on Ted Williams. Intended as a nuanced portrait of a complicated human being, Davis' project has already received the endorsement of, and initial funding from, PBS' American Masters series.

The project is still several hundred thousand dollars short of full funding, and Davis would be grateful for investments and/or contributions. A fuller description of the project can be found here. Investment/donation opportunities are discussed here.

You can also email Nick at nickdavisprods@gmail.com.

Run Julie, Run!
Julie Powers Killian, daughter of BLOHARDS founder Jim Powers and indefatigable collector of dues, mailer of membership cards and organizer of lunches, spoke briefly about her campaign for a seat in the New York Senate. So impressive was her campaign pitch that one wag inqured how much in would cost to buy a house in her district with a view towards thereby being able to vote for her.

You can learn more about Julie's campaign here.

Quinn Did Trivia...
I don't remember the questions, but some of the answers were: Rickey Henderson, Tony Conigliaro and Ray Culp.

From left: Gordon Edes, Ed Randall, John Pizzarelli, Unknown

Margolick, Edes Talk History, Other Stuff

In an evident example of professional courtesy, newly-appointed Official Red Sox Historian Gordon Edes consented to be interviewed by recently-appointed Official BLOHARD Historian David Margolick. The discourse was, well, historic.

Among other things, Edes described the commencement of his journalism career as a hockey reporter for the Los Angeles Times in 1980 and his hearing of -and being the first to report on- the trade of Manny Ramirez to the Dodgers while being interviewed on NESN (and on his final day at the Globe before he left for ESPN).

Regarding David Ortiz, Edes recalled that the Sox' thinking when they acquired him in 2003 was that he'd get 200 or so at bats because "we already have a First baseman/DH: Jeremy Giambi". Gordon also recounted seeing a plaque that the Sox had given to Ortiz, commemorating him as the greatest clutch hitter in team history... in 2005. He seems unlikely to have been overtaken since then.

Edes also described planning for an upcoming 30th reunion for the 1986 team, and gracefully addressed a number of questions, some of which actually had to do with Red Sox history.

Flavin Fantastic
Red Sox PA announcer and Poet Dick Flavin recited a couple of topical verses. He introduced the first in the form of a poem-cum-prayer by noting that, like many New Englanders, he was "born a Red Sox fan and baptized a Catholic." He went on to recount that in his years as an altar boy, one deaf priest could be persuaded that a recitation of the Red Sox lineup was actually part of the liturgy. The poem commenced:

"Oh, Dominic, Pesky, Williams and Stephens,
Please, Lord, protect us from Damn Yankee heathens...

After giving thanks for various miracles in 2004, 2007 and 2013, it ended a little peevishly:

"For that we thank you and we praise you greatly,
But, God, you haven't done much for us lately.

Flavin famously drove to visit a dying Ted Williams in 2001 with Johnny Peskey and Dominic Dimaggio, a trip recalled in David Halberstam's Teammates. He recalled on arriving reading to Ted another poem: "Teddy at the Bat", styled, of course, after "Casey at the Bat". Dick recited that one as well, and, following rapturous applause and the illumination of many cigarette lighters, was prevailed upon to do an encore in the form of "Roberts Stole the Base", which, if you have to be told what that's about, you're probably reading the wrong thing right now.

These, and many other classics can be found in Dick's recently published Red Sox Rhymes: Verses and Curses.

Slide Show!
BLOHARD EVP Transportation Ray Duffy narrated an exceptional slide show. Describing the Red Sox as "the reason we get up in the morning, the reason we know the price of organic celery at Shaw's, and the listed cause of death of the grandfathers of over 65% of the people in this room today", Ray proceeded to celebrate, and poke fun, at this year's edition. The slide show featured a riddle (Q: What do you do with an elephant with three balls? A: Walk him and pitch to the giraffe); defensive commentary (Hanley Ramierz was described "errorless, abeit with the range of a T-Mobile flip-phone" at first base); offensive commentary (some of the comments on Pablo Sandoval's weight would pretty certainly have offended their subject); and a quote about quoting Alex Rodriguez ("Quoting Rodriguez is like dropping a Mento into a Diet Coke. It makes a big whoosh, everyone gets excited, for about three seconds, and then it's just a mess, and you wonder what's been accomplished, besides some stickiness, and maybe a permanent stain.")

In a stunning turn of events, neither A-Rod nor anybody else won the twice-yearly-bestowed Horse's Ass Award. Commenting on Alex's rejection, Ray noted; "This is not to say that A-Rod is not a horse's ass; he is. His body of work overwhelms in quality as much as it does in sheer volume. And I'm confident he will win the award at least one more time before retiring quietly into academia. He just won't win it today."

There was lots of other good stuff too. You shoudda been there.

Carnac is Magnificent. Duh.

In his Carnac the Magnificent personna, John Pizzarelli discerned the answers to questions he had never before heard. It was amazing. Among the "highlights":
A:Hardened criminals.
Q:Describe the guys who lifted the Viagra from Ed Randall's briefcase
A:Giant snails
Q:What would you find at the end of Buster Posey's fingers?
A:Andromeda Strain
Q:Name the only injury Jacoby Ellsbury has managed to avoid this season
A:"Jesus loves you."
Q:What is something you don't want to hear in a Mexican League locker room?

Pizz Sings for His Lunch

Considering that he actually didnt get lunch, I guess he sang for free...

After opening festivities with a rousing "Take Me Out To The Ballgame", official BLOHARD troubador John Pizzarelli debuted a couple of new Sox-themed songs: "Coming Up Brosius" and "Yawkee Way", the latter, sung to the tune of "Thunder Road", features the classic lines:

"Now Wally's no hero, that's understood.
But we have guys in this lineup who might hit the blimp from Hood.
Oh, Oh, Oh, Oh, Oh, Yawkey Way..."

You can watch it all here.

Pictures? We got pictures...

Photographs from the BLOHARDS luncheon held on May 6th are available for both viewing and for downloading through our photographer's website. Everything is free, with all costs - and the facial touch-ups obviously weren't cheap - included in your annual dues payments which can be made here.

The photos are also available on the BLOHARDS' Facebook page.

Use the password "boston7705"to view photos on the site, and the password "7705" (after clicking the download link) to download pix. We will leave the gallery page up until August 22nd, Carl Yastrzemski's birthday. Password is case-sensitive, which means all lower-case letters in "boston."

Randall at top of his game

A tardily-arriving Ed Randall opened his prepared remarks with a trivia question about successful 40+ year old basestealers. Informed that the same query had been posed by John Quinn in his absence, Randall, without missing a beat, rejoined; "I was at Mass."

Also: "Hilary Clinton talks to God several times a day. Never for less than $100,000"

Ed discussd his upcoming (June 28) event at the School of Visual Arts Theater on best practices for developing young pitchers and the truths and myths of Tommy John surgery. Conveniently joining Ed at the event will be Tommy John himself, along with former Braves pitching coach Leo Mazzone, Orioles Director of Pitching Development (and former Mets' pitching coach) Rick Peterson, Yankees' Dr. Chris Ahmad, and Glenn Fleisig, Ph. D., assistant to pioneering surgeon, Dr. James Andrews.

The event benefits Ed's prostate cancer charity Fans for the Cure and tickets ($50 in advance) can be purchased at the Fans for the Cure website. Look to said website, as well, in the coming weeks for updated information about the charity's September 26 gala as such information becomes available.

Randall closed with an exhortation to the assembled masses to tune in to Remember When, a Saturday morning talk show on Sirius XM radio, noting that between them, he and co-host Rico Petrocelli combined to hit 210 lifetime major league home runs.

A late rush on tickets resulted in a sellout for the May 6th luncheon at the Yale Club. We will try to add a few extra tables (and chairs around the perimeter), but prudence dictates that you secure your seats ASAP.

The date of the festivities is September 28th, the anniversary of the final game of the astonishing baseball career of Ted Williams. Throughout the luncheon several special guests will recognize Williams' accomplishments, including our Club's historian David Margolick, writer Harry Bauld, who has written about Williams for Boston Magazine, official BLOHARDS' crooner, John Pizzarelli, whose 1992 album Naturally started off with the instrumental "Splendid Splinter", John Quinn, with Ted Williams-centric trivia questions, and Dick Flavin, who might even regale us with a new poem about what happened on a chilly day at Fenway Park in September 1960.

Tickets are available online or by emailing Julie Killian.

BLOHARDS, Luncheon #2 of 2016
Wednesday, September 28
Yale Club, Doors Open at 11:30 a.m.
(Rosh Hashanah not until October 2)

Channeling Yogi, Edes Provides Coda to Lunch

"Love is the most important thing in the world, but baseball is pretty good, too."

Lawrence Peter Berra