January 2010

NOT THE ADRIAN I WAS HOPING FOR

Ever since Sylvester Stallone (Rocky Balboa) bellowed for Talia Shire (Paulies’ sister) after his first fight with Carl Weathers (Apollo Creed), every time I hear the name “Adrian” I want to shout it out like he did in the movie.  That became a problem for a while in the nineties when I broadcast Syracuse Univesity basketball and one of their guards was a talented fellow named Adrian Autry.   Anyhow, I have a feeling I’ll get over this thing pretty soon.  All offseason, we’ve been dreaming of Adrian Gonzalez and his prodigious production coming east to Fenway.  Would the cost be prohibitive?  Must have been, because the Sox went out and signed Adrian “Lite”.  Adrian Beltre is in the fold and will apparently play third base for Boston in 2010.  Beltre has a couple of Gold Gloves at third and once was the runner up for National League MVP.  In 2004, with the Dodgers, Beltre hit .334 with 48 homers and 121 rbi.  Never came close to those kinds of numbers again in the next 5 years with Seattle.  Boston will pay Beltre a reported 9 million for his services in ’10.  They are also on the hook for 12 million to Mike Lowell.  You remember him, don’t ya?  MVP of the 2007 World Series.  Thats a ton of dough allocated to one position for a couple of guys well past their prime.  Oddly enough, the 21 million set aside for the “hot corner” barely comes close to the 28 million Alex Rodriguez will make this season in the Bronx.  Beltre and Lowell have had fine careers.  Grudgingly, I admit, A-Rod is good.  I hate him, but he is good.  Saw his empty-headed girlfriend on David Letterman just before the holidays.  Kate Hudson has one interesting thing to talk about, her relationship with Rodriguez, and she clams up.  Letterman tried to get something, anything out of her.  Absolutely nothing!  Archie Bunker used to refer to his son in-law, Mike as a “meathead, dead from the neck up.”  That’s all I could think of as Hudson giggled and made faces on the Late Show.   Maybe she and Rodriguez deserve each other, though.  Vanity has to come into play when you have paintings of yourself commissioned.  Especially when you have the artist portray you as a Greek centaur.  Word is, that is what adorns the wall of Rodriguez’ bedroom.  I remember the half man/half horse creature from the old Hercules cartoons I watched as a boy.  Boy! do you have to have a high opinion of yourself to do something like that.  I do find it somewhat apropo that he used the hind end of a horse in the paintings.  That fits.  I suppose when you make 28 mill a year, you can splurge.  Just a hunch, but I’d be willing to bet that neither Lowell or Beltre have such artwork hanging in their boudoir.  Come to think of it, I do have an empty wall in my bedroom.  I wonder how it’d look if I…………Nah!!!

HAPPY NEW YEAR

It is 2010.  The first decade of the new millenium is in the books.  I spent the better part of the last 10 years (6 seasons, to be precise) as the voice of the Pawtucket Red Sox.  It is a part of my life that is a pleasure, day in day out.  I’ve recounted many times how I enjoy the pace of a baseball season.  Each day is a chapter in a 5 or 6 month saga, connected to each other by the previous days games.  If all goes well, I’ll be at McCoy for as long as they’ll have me.  Went to bed early on New Years Eve.  Partly because I was worn out from spending the day with my 7 year old nephew (remember the “Duke”? He hates Joe Nelson) Partly because like a lot of us, I looked forward to the start of anew year.  2009 wasn’t a great year for many, for various reasons.  I was ready to put it behind me and get a fresh start.  Woke up on January 1, and darn it all, it felt a lot like the previous 365 days.  We keep hoping the war in the middle east will end.  We pray for a better economy.  We wish researchers and doctors find cures to dreaded diseases.  The safety of our children, paying our bills, health.  There are so many distractions that could keep us awake at night.  Times like that, I chuckle to myself.  I have good friends who are teachers, who work very hard trying to make life better for their students. They go largely unrecognized.  We thank the police and fire personnel whenever we’re reminded of the tragedy of September 11, 2001.  With unrest in Afghanistan and Iraq raging on, we seem to appreciate our military.  The start of a new year gives us pause to take inventory.  What can we do better?  What can we start doing? What can we stop doing?  Personally, I’ll keep going to the gym.  Try to eat better all the time.  Maybe a few less beers, (but probably not)  Be a better father, a better son, brother, uncle, friend.  Even a better broadcaster.  I’d like to believe we all are doing the best we can.  I don’t know if we can improve, but if we at least think about it, there’s a chance.  A couple of things that won’t change, I promise,

1) My devotion to the PawSox and Red Sox.  It is as embedded in me as anything I know.

2) My hatred for the Yankees.  So is that.

3) Never taking for granted the job I have.  While it may not be as important as some of the other jobs I previously mentioned, I know we provide listeners and fans an outlet or escape, so they may forget about their problems for a little while each day.  It may or may not be true, but that’s how I can sleep at night, thinking that we may have helped someone get through a day by providing some entertainment, some information.  I hope they are comforted by a familiar voice.  I know I have been over the years by people like Al Michaels, John Madden, Chris Clarke and Joe Castiglione.  They provide the soundtrack to your lives.

New Years Day is over and we are into 2010.  No one knows what lies ahead.  We hope it is good health, prosperity and some good times.  Another World Series win or a Govwernors’ Cup wouldn’t be bad, either.  Happy New Year.

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