The road trip to Syracuse ended with a thud. The PawSox fell 4-1 to the Chiefs. Lackluster in just about every respect. Daniel Bard was a bright spot striking out 4 in 2 innings. The super prospect has fanned 22 in 12 and two thirds innings. He is 1-0 with a 1.42 ERA and has looked truly remarkable.
While having lunch in Syracuse on Tuesday, I had a brush with greatness. Seated at the table next to me was former U.S. Senator, Al D’Amato. I hold Senator D’Amato in high esteem for his support over the years for radio personality Howard Stern. D’Amato has always been a proponent of free speech. I said hello to him and he was cordial smiling and acknowkledging me with a nod. Stern is, in my opinion, easily the greatest broadcaster in history. Like Frank Sijnatra, Stern did it “his way”. He battled the F.C.C., the religious right and non-thinking, fearful lemmings to become the most successful radio entertainer in history.
I am a fan of Bill Reynolds of the Providence Journal. I would go so far as to call him a friend His book “Fall River Dreams” is one of my favorites. I was surprised (pleasantly) to open the Syracuse Post Standard on Wednesday morning to find his column on Lebron James on the front page of the sports section. Billy is as good as anyone out there. I had “Rhode Island Pride” when I saw it.
Speaking of proud- congratulations to my long-time partner on PawSox broadcasts, and long-time friend Dan Hoard. Dan has been invited to fill in for Hall of Fame broadcaster Marty Brenneman on this weekends broadcasts for the Reds. Cincy will be in Pittsburgh to face the Pirates. Hope Dan has a chance to catch up with our old pal, Brandon Moss, one of the top 10 nicest people, ever. Dan is getting a well-deserved trip to the “Bigs”.
As usual, the highlight of the trip to Syracuse was a visit to “The Change of Pace”. If I were going to the electric chair, I would have the chicken wings from the “Pace” on my last meal menu. I had the chance to catch up with Steve Grilli, the owner and keeper of the secret recipe. Like Brandon Moss, Steve is on my short list of nicest people, ever. Grilli pitched in the Majors for 5 and a half years for Detroit and Toronto. He was with Rochester in 1981 and was the losing pitcher when the PawSox won the longest game in baseball history. Grilli wasn’t with Rochester when the game began in April, but was traded in time for the conclusion. Grilli has quipped ” What it took them 32 innings to do, took me about 5 minutes to undo.” Steve’s cap, worn in that game is on display at the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown. His son Jason, is a reliever for the Colorado Rockies.