Pieces have all the fixin’s
ANAHEIM, Calif. — Picked-up pieces while rounding up investors to help me buy the Dodgers . . .
So now it turns out that maybe the 1918 World Series was fixed. I guess this means the Red Sox haven’t won a World Series on the level since beating the Brooklyn Robins in five games in 1916. The Chicago History Museum just released a portion of the 1920 court deposition of Black Sox hurler Eddie Cicotte and Cicotte said he and his White Sox teammates talked about one or more Cubs players who were offered $10,000 to throw the 1918 World Series, won by the Red Sox in six games. A purist or a wise guy could take this information and taunt Red Sox fans, claiming the BoSox haven’t won a legit World Series in 95 years. Sure, the Sox won in 2004 and 2007, but those teams were led by 3-4 hitters David Ortiz and Manny Ramirez, both of whom turned up on the list of players who were using performance enhancers in 2003. Manny went on to fail drug tests in 2009 and 2011. So, if ’04 and ’07 amount to “our cheaters were better than your cheaters,’’ and 1918 was in the bag, it’s 95 years and counting.
Long live the immortal words of Alfredo Aceves, who said, “Now we flip the tortilla,’’ . . . after the Sox finally won . . . before he was optioned to Pawtucket.
Not to be negative, but when does Adrian Gonzalez start hitting home runs? Back in the days when the Sox were the Best Team Ever, Yo Adrian was touted as the American League MVP for 2011. We all love that sweet swing, but Gonzo’s pedestrian performance thus far (.267, 1 HR, 9 RBIs in 19 games going into last night) has gone under the radar due to the avalanche of analysis regarding Carl Crawford’s horrid start.
When do the Sox admit they need another catcher? When it comes to Jarrod Saltalamacchia, there is what the Sox say about him, and then there is what your eyes tell you. Among other things, the sight of Salty lobbing the ball back to his pitcher is alarming. How long before somebody steals home while one of Salty’s parabolas is descending from the sky?
It was embarrassing seeing Crawford batting eighth last night. We are 20 games into the season and poor Carl has already batted first, second, third, seventh, and eighth. He’s certainly the first $142 million No. 8 hitter in baseball history (not counting Alex Rodriguez in the 2006 playoffs). Crawford has left an astounding number of runners on third base, but got a break Friday night when the Angels’ flossy center fielder, Peter Bourjos, dropped a sky-high shot with runners on second and third and two out in the fourth.
Speaking with Tom Werner Thursday, I asked about the popular notion that the Sox signed Crawford in large part as a reaction to NESN’s big dip in TV ratings in 2010. Even with Gonzalez on board, the Sox still needed more splash. Werner disagreed with the theory. He also disagrees with the characterization that he’s been marginalized in the John Henry ownership.
Would it be ironic if Jon Lester was found listening to Beach Boy Brian Wilson’s iconic “Smile’’?
Count Dustin Pedroia among those who want the Kings to remain in Sacramento. Pedroia is still bitter about the Kings losing the 2002 Western Conference finals to the Lakers. Game 6 of that series is the NBA’s distant cousin of the 1919 World Series.
It kills me when I hear young people talk about Jerry Remy not being a good ballplayer. The Rem Dawg’s self-deprecating style disguises the fact that he played 10 years in the big leagues, hit .300 twice, had three seasons with at least 34 steals, and was an All Star in 1978. When the Sox picked him up in a trade at the 1977 winter meetings, Don Zimmer said he’d gladly drive Remy to Boston from California. Oh, and let’s not forget Remy’s big hit in the ninth inning off Rich Gossage in the 1978 playoff game.
The first time the Dodgers played in Fenway Park was in 2004 when new owner Frank McCourt brought his team to Boston for a weekend interleague series (the 1916 World Series was played at Braves Field to accommodate more fans). After the Saturday afternoon game, Frank threw a whopper party at Eastern Standard in the Commonwealth Hotel. Sandy Koufax attended. Four years later, Frank and Jamie were gracious hosts when the Red Sox returned from Japan and played the Dodgers in a Friday night exhibition at the Coliseum, which drew the largest crowd in baseball history: 115,300. Those were the days when longtime Sox maestro Dr. Charles Steinberg was Jamie’s choreographer (Dr. Charles now is Bud Selig’s right-hand man). That was also the night the Dodgers went with a five-man infield because of the Coliseum’s weird configuration and Jacoby Ellsbury was thrown out stealing second with Dodgers center fielder Andruw Jones taking the throw. That’s caught stealing, 2-8, in your program.
Steve Garvey is teaming with billionaire Ron Burkle in an attempt to buy the Dodgers. The Burkle/Mario Lemieux tandem worked pretty well for the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Memo to Bud regarding franchise transactions: cash buyers only from now on.
This is J.D. Drew’s 14th season. I know you’ll find this hard to believe, but Drew has never been ejected from a big league game.
Dan Shaughnessy is a Globe columnist. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.