April 2021

Pretty, Pretty Good...

23 Games In, 4½ games up on the Yankees.

Yes, We Have No Opening Day Bus Trip This Year

Fear not, the BLOHARDS have got you covered...

click to enlarge

Happy news for BLOHARDS lamenting their inability to attend the Sox’ dreary opening-day loss to the Orioles. After extensive research and field-testing, we’re pleased to announce a four-step “virtual reality” simulation which is almost indistinguishable from the real thing:

Step 1: On a cold day, situate an uncomfortable chair in a shaded, and windy location;

Step 2: Sit on same; download MLB.tv opening day stream on phone;

Step 3: Run piece of masking tape lengthwise across phone;

Step 4: Launch stream and hold phone at arm’s length.

Voila!  It’s just like being there. 

Be sure to check in our next BLOHARDS' newsletter for our proprietary bus-ride-back-from-opening-day simulator. 

Randall on the Move

Ed Randall's Talking Baseball, an "award-winning" radio show with a laser focus on baseball, has moved to WABC Radio 770 from WFAN. The time slot for the near term will be 1:00 to 2:00 p.m. on Sundays.

For those still herding the family into the station wagon (or SUV) for a Sunday ride to nowhere in particular, we strongly recommend incorporating Ed's show into the ritual.  

Ed also tells us that his prostate cancer charity, Fans for the Cure, has taken its outreach programs online. If you or anyone you know might benefit from a support group -- one for men and another for women/caregivers -- go to fansforthecure.org.

Lunch is on the menu

June 4 set for virtual get-together

Never ones to leave well enough alone, the BLOHARDS' "braintrust" proposes to follow up on its boffo performance last October with a second virtual lunch on June 4, prior to a 7:05 tilt with the Yankees.  Among the likely highlights: John Pizzarelli singing about Franchy Cordero, Ray Duffy with the Henry Berry slideshow, and heretofore unimagined breaches of sanitation and decorum by lunch "attendees" who haven't left their apartments in fifteen months. 

Details to follow.   

Did you know...

that simultaneously holding the "Ctrl" and "+" keys down makes the letters bigger? It also makes it look like we produced more copy. Win-win.

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While We've Been Awaiting the Return of Baseball...

NESN programming guide for the Evening of March 17, 2021

7:30  Keeping up with the Arauz-Arozarenas (Series Premier) This situation comedy, set in 2043 imagines the misadventures of Rays slugger Randy Arozarena’s daughter Rose, and her husband, ex-Red Sox Jonathan Arauz’s son, Aaron.  In this episode, their daughter Susie rues employing a ruse.  Hilarity ensues. 

8:00 Beat the Clock – Alumni Edition – Contestants are given an individual task and race to finish it before their fellow ex-Sox can finish theirs.  In this episode, Daisuke Matsuzaka throws five pitches in a game situation; Manny Ramirez spells “Daisuke”; Pablo Sandoval runs a marathon.

9:00 Who wants to be an almost-millionaire?  Phillips Valdez v. Colten Brewer for the final slot in the Red Sox bullpen.  Winner gets $600,000 salary, pension contribution, first class travel, per diem.  Loser gets $1,500 per month, post-game bologna sandwiches.

10:00 60 Minutes:  June 9th, 2017 fourth inning 13-pitch at-bat, between Yankee pitcher Tyler Clippard and Red Sox hitter Eduardo Nunez.  Featuring two mound visits by Bomber catcher Gary Sanchez, four consecutive opposite-field foul balls and nine out-of-the-box glove-tightenings by Nunez, and a rarely-seen slider from Clippard, this classic is sure to elicit fond memories.   

Rob Manfred, Polymath

Commish turns attention to other tedious pastimes

Having "fixed" baseball through a number of innovations which principally serve to provide consumers with less of it, MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred has kindly suggested comparable improvements to a number of other insufficiently frenzied activities.  Some of these are described below:

Chess: "The exploding pawn."  One black and one white pawn are modified to incorporate a small explosive device which may go off an any point after 20 minutes of play.  All pieces knocked over by the blast are removed from the board, and any which are displaced must remain in their new locations. 

Golf:  "The ghost drive."  If match is tied after 72 holes, each playoff hole will start with the ball in the middle of the fairway, 100 yards from the pin. 

Opera: "The disappearing diva."  One character is eliminated by lot every five minutes after the show has gone on for two hours.  Remaining performers are to improvise as best they can.  

Ballet: "The 20 battement rule."  In an attempt to eliminate time-consuming shifts of attention from one performer to another, having having made a single move, dancers are required to jump or pirouette for a minimum of twenty consecutive times, or until the end of the scene if sooner.      


Two Christians, two Taylors and two Garretts walk into a barů

Does it strike anybody else as odd that fully 24% of the Red Sox 25 man roster consists of players with the three abovementioned names, none of which is in the top 65 in terms of popularity? The guessing here is that the Sox' analytic team discovered an inefficiency in the market for players named Garrett and leapt in with both feet. Considering the performance of, at least, he younger of the Garretts, who's to argue with them?

Dues due...

We have been touched and gratified by the more-than-a-few BLOHARDS who have ponied up their 2021 dues. The support is essential for keeping the organization, such as it is, operational. Others who would like to touch and gratify us (wait -that didn't come out right) may remit by check to Julie Killian at 42 Forest Avenue in Rye, 10580, or pay online.

$20 for a year or $150 for a lifetime.

Vicente Romo's Inside Pitch

Greetings, beisbol fans and literature buffs – Thank you to those who sent birthday greetings on April 12. Hard to believe it has been seventy-eight trips around the sun for Vicente. Always available for an inning or two to even up the lifetime record, which now stands at 32-33.

For the forgetful, I was 14-12 for the Red Sox in 1968 and 1969, with an ERA of 3.59. Those 14 wins put me at 178th on Red Sox all-time win list, tied with Koji Uehara and Jim Willoughby. Vicente would be 20th in ERA but not enough innings.


Did I mention I am available? 

Ed Randall packed his bag of baseball nostalgia and moved over on the dial to WABC 770. That means 50,000 watts, can get the signal in parts of Africa. Current slot is Sundays 1-2 p.m. Ed’s first show featured Bob Costas and Phil Simms (talking about his college knuckleball). Good start for Ed, hour passed too quickly….Great story from Joe Castiglione about the massive HR hit by Bo Bichette of the Blue Jays at Fenway last Tuesday. It landed outside a building on Lansdowne Street that once housed a Gold’s Gym. It was where Bo’s father Dante, as a visiting player for the Brewers in search of a workout, met his future wife Mariana on her first day of work in the summer of 1991. With the encouragement of Don Baylor, he returned later in the day to request contact information. Seven years later Bo was born. You will recall that Dante finished his career with the Red Sox, where he hit 19 HRs and batted in the .290 range in 2000-2001….I still don’t understand a big-market team allowing Mookie Betts to walk. Never will….Did not like Tatis, Jr. peeking in for the sign. No need to tell you what would happen to the next batter if Huevo was out there….Old friend Dave Sims was terrific company on the visiting team broadcast over the weekend. Fifteenth season for Dave with the M’s, and partner Dan Wilson (the former M’s catcher) keeps the broadcast informative and entertaining….If I am seeing things correctly, the Red Sox are 26-6 in ERod’s last 32 starts. He has gone at least five innings in all 32…. Will Jennings is clearly communicating two things on WEEI broadcasts – a) Shaw’s is the place to shop and b) he believes Tanner Houck should be in the pitching rotation….Umpire Angel Hernandez seems to be battling the strike zone this season. Not that he didn’t call some doozies in seasons past. But this season he seems intent on being Exhibit A for robots calling balls and strikes….I seem to recall Frank Viola being thrown out of an Atlantic League game for arguing with an umpire for not overturning TrackMan (robot’s name) on a few borderline calls. Like arguing against the ball hitting the strike-zone chair in Wiffle Ball….If a robot is going to call balls and strikes, which famous robots would you nominate? Vicente’s #1 pick would be Hymie (played by Dick Gautier) of Get Smart….Vicente venturing to socially-distanced Citi Field on Wednesday to see Mets vs. Sox. DeGrom on the bump for the Amazin’s, wouldn’t be my first choice of opposing pitchers….Kiki Hernandez is an excellent defender. Plan was to have him come in late and games to play 2B for defense, but Arroyo has been solid in the field….Do yourself a favor and watch Call My Agent. You’ll thank Ol’ Huevo….I also recommend the book Blackout by Chris Lamb. About the spring training in 1946, the year when Jackie Robinson was preparing to play for Montreal. Nuanced and worth your time….Whatever adjustments J.D. Martinez has made have been genius. Has hit about 2x more opposite-field HRs over the past three seasons than anyone else in MLB….We are fans of Matt Andriese. Reminds me of younger Vicente with that changeup. Look for him to get more leverage innings should Ottavino not find his stuff in a hurry….We love Lou Merloni on the Sox radio broadcasts…..Ever wonder why there are no mosquitoes in Disney World when the place is essentially built on a swamp? Will tell you next time. 

That’s it for now. Stay safe, amigos. Best wishes from Enrique.


There is breaking news about troubador and BLOHARD favorite John Pizzarelli, last seen singing about the Dodgers' rightfielder at our October 27, 2020, luncheon:

* He won a Grammy Award for co-producing James Taylor's latest album, American Standard. John's first Grammy can only stand him in good stead as he vies for re-appointment as "Official Crooner of the BLOHARDS."

* Pizzarelli has also recently released Better Days Ahead, an album of solo guitar takes on the music of Pat Metheny. It's available on most streaming sites and, soon, via CD.  The recent double issue of The New Yorker magazine couldn't say enough nice things about it, and John.