I hate it when people brag about their kids. I’m sure they will some day cure cancer or solve the energy problem, but until then, keep me out of the loop. That being said, I have to tell you about my nephew, Luke, or as he is known, The Duke. I got a chance to go to his T-ball game on Saturday morning. He is the biggest six year old out there and a very good athlete at an early age. He is the only kid in history who had to stop for a haircut on his way home from being born. All man, even at age six. I got a kick out of his game. Everyone hits every inning and even if you make an out, you’re allowed to stay on the base paths. He had two of the best hits of the day (in 2 at bats). I asked him how he’d like to be introduced if I were to talk about him on the radio. “Here comes the hard hitter.” He assured me that would suffice. He is a hard hitter in many ways. He is being raised as a typical guy in New England- loves the Red Sox, Patriots and especially the Celtics. We have our rituals that we do after every New England touchdown, etc. He is LOYAL to the Sox. The other week I was watching the Sox and Tampa with him and his father at their home. Joe Maddon summoned former PawSox reliever Joe Nelson from the Rays bullpen. I told the Duke- “See that pitcher, Joe Nelson? He’s a friend of Uncle Steve. Thinking that he’d be impressed, I waited for his reaction. “You’re a Tampa fan?” “No, no” I promised him. “Joe used to pitch for the PawSox and once he did me a big favor. He’s a very nice man.” Unfazed, he continued his verbal barrage at his uncle and godfather. “You probably like the Yankees, too.” At age 6, the kid can bust chops with the best of them. Then again, we’ve been booing him when he enters the room since he was in diapers. Now, just to get him going, I will tell him that Nelson was asking for him. He does not care. This is a kid who oince proclaimed that he “would never eat cheese and crackers again” just because he was ticked at his father. I have gone against my own rule today, bragging about my “little nephew”. You have to meet him someday. He will crack you up. By the way, don’t tell Joe Nelson that the Duke hates him.
After much ado on Saturday, John Smoltz was ultimately allowed to use Major League baseballs for his six inning stint. Apparently team president Mike Tamburro had to intercede with the umpiring crew to make sure that it happened. Smoltz gave up a hit and a run as he took a big step forward to joining the Red Sox.