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Spring things: Notes and observations

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  • While waiting in the luggage screening line at Logan Airport before departing for Fort Myers, I heard the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) agent say "nice to see you Mr. Bucyk." Sure enough, it was old No. 9, Bruins legend Johnny Bucyk, taking off his shoes. When I asked him if was going to be taking in some spring baseball games, he replied, "No, I'm heading up to Halifax where it's cold."

    Turns out it was probably colder in Fort Myers when we landed last Thursday, but you don't need to be hearing that in Boston. While the TSA agent proceeded to scour my camera bag, she went off on a tangent about hockey players: "These guys should try working for a living. Some people here work like hell for $30,000 a year."

    When I told her I was heading to Florida to see some spring baseball, she chimed in out of the blue, "Do you think that Pedro is worth $30 million a year?" I didn't bother correcting her on the annual figure for Petey. And you can probably guess my answer.

  • Walking into City of Palms for the home opener was exciting. Even before the game you could hear yelling and screaming in the stands. Was the cheering for Manny Ramirez as he popped his head out of the dugout? No, the horrific sound was the Dropkick Murphy's version of "Tessie." It's back. They play it at every game. Sigh. And it's probably returning to a Fenway Park near you.

  • I went to get a haircut (yes both of them) at Cricket's in North Fort Myers. The woman cutting my hair, Jody, said Red Sox pitching coach Dave Wallace was in for a trim earlier in the week. She said he couldn't have been a nicer and more interesting guy as he talked to her the whole time (which was much longer than my two-and-a-half-minute sit down). You have to like a pitching coach who treats the spring training stylist who cuts his hair like the major league professionals he interacts with daily.

  • There's a local sports radio station down here -- WWCN-AM 770 ESPN Radio. They will only broadcast about a half dozen Sox games (too bad for the Fort Myers fans), but they always broadcast a Sox pregame show that features some decent guests, including Peter Gammons, Francona, and other national guests. Even the Boston Herald's Tony Massarotti has been on airways down here.

    Dave Moulton, the 770 play-by-play guy, has an annoying signature call of "oh by the way." As in "oh by the way Dunwoody went 3-for-4 for the Twins today," and "David Ortiz is a good clubhouse guy and oh by the way he had a pretty good year for the Red Sox who oh by the way won the World Series last year." Yeesh. And "oh by the way," when you're not hearing the play-by-play on 770, you have to listen to 417 ads for Dr. Lewis Chaikin trying to be funny about erectile dysfunction. Must be a lot of that in Southwest Florida.   Continued...

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