Deadspin claims it has bought a baseball Hall of Fame vote

Posted by Matt Pepin, Boston.com Staff November 26, 2013 06:36 PM
Sports website Deadspin claims it has purchased the baseball Hall of Fame vote of a member of the Baseball Writers Association of America.

On Nov. 13, Deadspin posted a callout asking BBWAA members to consider selling their vote. On Tuesday, the day the BBWAA released the Hall of Fame ballot for 2014, Deadspin announced it had succeeded.

"Our idea was to make a mockery and farce of the increasingly solemn and absurd election process, and to take some power from the duly appointed custodians of the game's history and turn it over to the public," Deadspin's Tim Marchman wrote.

Deadspin says it will poll its readers and the vote-seller has agreed to fill out the ballot according to the poll results. The voter will be revealed after the vote has been cast, Deadspin claimed.

Via email, BBWAA secretary-treasurer Jack O'Connell said the organization had no comment on the story.

According to the BBWAA website, Hall of Fame voters must meet the following eligibility requirements:

"In order to be eligible for a Hall of Fame vote, a writer must be an active member of the BBWAA for 10 consecutive years. Once a writer receives a Hall of Fame vote, he is eligible to continue voting even when he is no longer an active member of the BBWAA, provided he becomes a lifetime honorary member."

Peter Gammons apologizes for saying Alex Rodriguez is ‘like the Marathon bombers’

Posted by Steve Silva, Boston.com Staff November 21, 2013 04:53 PM

It's a pitch Peter would like to have back.

Hall of Fame baseball scribe and MLB Network analyst Peter Gammons compared the embattled Alex Rodriguez to the Boston Marathon bombers during a guest appearance on Mike Lupica’s ESPN Radio show in New York Thursday.

Gammons made the ill-advised comparison when he was asked what the endgame is for Rodriguez, who caused a scene and left Wednesday's grievance hearing for his 211-game suspension for alleged PED use before showing up for an impromptu interview on Mike Francesa’s radio show on The Fan.

“I’ve had people with the Yankees say this to me, he is just ... he wants to blow up the world," said Gammons. "You know, he’s like the Marathon bombers. It’s just, he’s going to get them.”

The 68-year-old Gammons was referring to the Tsarnaev brothers, who allegedly set off the two bombs on Boylston Street during the Boston Marathon on April 15.

Shortly after the interview with Lupica, Gammons apologized for the gaffe on Twitter:

Gammons later added in a follow-up tweet: "Stupidly worded comp of blowing up a process. He is owed, and gets my apology for mispeaking."

Jake Peavy's duck boat makes a splash down in Alabama

Posted by Steve Silva, Boston.com Staff November 21, 2013 04:16 PM
From 'Sweet Caroline' to 'Sweet Home Alabama' ... Jake Peavy's duck boat is right at home at the righthander's southwestern Alabama ranch.

"Charlie River," the duck boat Peavy rode on with Jon Lester and purchased for $75,000 after the Red Sox rolling rally, was seen on the banks of the Alabama river in a tweet sent out by Peavy this morning.

Red Sox outfielder Jonny Gomes also took credit for pitcher Jake Peavy’s purchase of a Duck Boat after the parade. “Two months ago, [Peavy] showed me his property in Alabama. I think he owns three-quarters of the state. He’s going through all these pictures and I’m like ‘You don’t have a duck boat,’ so when we go, you like buy the exact duck boat you ride on and you ship that pig to Alabama,” said Gomes earlier this month on the Conan O'Brien show. “And he did. ... Now we can have a World Series parade any time we want at Jake’s house.”

This was the first time a player has purchased one of the duck boats used in a championship parade. Peavy said earlier on Twitter that he hopes the duck boat stays in his family forever.

Get your David Ortiz and Shane Victorino 'Beard Balls' here

Posted by Steve Silva, Boston.com Staff November 21, 2013 03:11 PM
Red Sox beard ballsLooking for the perfect holiday gift? Well look no further, because now you can bid on a Red Sox World Championship Beard Ball.

Gillette announced Thursday that the facial trimmings of Red Sox stars David Ortiz and Shane Victorino, who shaved off their beards in a ceremony at Gillette a few weeks ago, are being put up for bid to raise money for Movember, the charity that encourages men to grow mustaches in November to raise awareness of men's health issues.

Ortiz and Victorino shave“I’m glad that the beard that helped me throughout the series can now help raise funds for a great organization like Movember,” said Ortiz.

This piece of sports memorabilia is a little more unique than your average autographed baseball.

“We’ve never done anything like this,” said Hooman Shahidi, senior brand manager for Gillette. “But their facial hair has been the symbol of the team since spring training and became part of baseball lore. We hope the shavings help raise awareness for important men’s health issues and find good homes with passionate fans.”

The bid for Ortiz's "2013 Championship Beard Ball" on eBay currently sits at $740, while Shane Victorino's shavings can be had for the price of $465.

Watch: Alex Rodriguez states his case on Mike Francesa show on WFAN

Posted by Matt Pepin, Boston.com Staff November 21, 2013 08:07 AM

Here's the video from Alex Rodriguez's appearance on WFAN's Mike Francesa program Wednesday after Rodriguez left his MLB grievance hearing.


Frozen Fenway tickets on sale Tuesday

Posted by Robert Burgess November 18, 2013 03:46 PM

Tickets for the Citi Frozen Fenway games, including both college and high school matchups, will go on sale at noon Tuesday.

Tickets are available at redsox.com/frozenfenway.

The 17-day event, which features an ice rink inside Fenway Park, will run from Sunday, Dec. 28, to Monday, Jan. 13, and features "community skate" days for Boston residents, public and private high school games, as well as men's and women's college games.

Ticket information for the community skate days will be announced in the coming weeks.

The schedule of events:

Dec. 28: Division I men’s hockey, 6:30 p.m., Holy Cross vs. Bentley.

Dec. 29: Mayor Menino’s Community Skate Day
A free, day-long public skating day open to City of Boston residents.

Dec. 31: High school hockey: 10:15 a.m., Lincoln-Sudbury vs. Boston Latin boys; 12:15 p.m., Hingham vs. Duxbury girls; 2:30 p.m., St. John’s Prep vs. Malden Catholic boys

Jan. 1: Mayor Menino’s New Year’s Day Community Skate.

Jan. 2: Women’s college hockey, 3:30 p.m., Northeastern vs. Harvard.

Jan. 4: Men's college hockey: 4 p.m., Merrimack vs. Providence;
7:30 p.m., Notre Dame vs. Boston College.

Jan. 7: Men’s college hockey: 4 p.m., UMass Boston vs. Salem State;
7:30 p.m., TBA

Jan. 8: High school hockey: 1:30 p.m., St. Paul’s School vs. Governor’s Academy, girls; 3:15 p.m., Brooks vs. Buckingham Browne & Nichols, boys;
5:30 p.m., Groton vs. St. Mark’s, boys; 7:45 p.m., Belmont Hill vs. St. Sebastian’s.

Jan. 9: Men’s college hockey: 7:30 p.m., Norwich vs. Babson.

Jan. 11: Men's college hockey: 3 p.m., UMass-Lowell vs. Northeastern; 6:30 p.m., Maine vs. Boston University

Mayor Menino calls Bill Maher's comments on Boston Marathon bombings 'very irresponsible'

Posted by Steve Silva, Boston.com Staff November 14, 2013 08:45 PM

Menino on Maher

Mayor Thomas M. Menino said on Thursday that comments made by HBO talk show host Bill Maher about the Boston Marathon bombings were “very irresponsible" according to WBZ NewsRadio 1030.

On the Friday broadcast of Maher's HBO show, the controversial host/comedian was speaking with guest Anthony Weiner when he brought up the moment when the Red Sox World Series victory parade stopped briefly for a somber ceremony to commemorate the Boston Marathon tragedy on the finish line.

"...It was again, a bad day, three people died, that's terrible," Maher said. "More were maimed, that's horrible, but unfortunately that happens every day, in car accidents and everything else. I mean, you city was not leveled by Godzilla."

The mayor responded to Maher's comments on Thursday.

“It’s very irresponsible,” Menino said. “It's an irresponsible statement and I think he should be taken to task for that.”

Menino invited Maher to come to Boston so he could get a better understanding of the meaning of “Boston Strong" according to the WBZ report.

“It's too bad a guy who wants to make a name for himself takes on, uses the marathon as a place to use that incident, Menino said. "It's very irresponsible... He doesn’t know what he’s talking about, come to Boston, visit Boston and see what a strong city we are.".

Menino said HBO is also irresponsible for airing the episode containing Maher's comments on Boston.

Bill Maher to Boston: 'Your city was not leveled by Godzilla'

Posted by Steve Silva, Boston.com Staff November 14, 2013 08:50 AM

On the Friday broadcast of HBO's Real Time, host Bill Maher was speaking with guest Anthony Weiner when he brought up the Red Sox World Series parade and the moment when the trophy -- or as he calls it statue -- was placed on the Boston Marathon finish line when the parade stopped briefly for a somber ceremony to commemorate the Boston Marathon tragedy on April 15.

afb8932aacb24b948ecb14c2b07d2ce5-568f2ba844bc46de97f04a46165c6e74-0.jpgRed Sox players Jonny Gomes and Jarrod Saltalamacchia demonstrated the special bond between the team and the city when they placed the trophy on the finish line, which is still painted, and then draped a "Boston Strong 617" jersey over the trophy.

The song “God Bless America” was piped over loudspeakers as fans, players, and Marathon survivors sang along.

Fast forward to Friday's episode of Real Time when Maher -- who is no stranger to controversy -- brings up the Red Sox trophy ceremony at the finish line as seen in the video above.

"I also saw, so the Red Sox won the World Series, congratulations Red Sox," Maher said to Weiner. "So the parade, they go to the place where the marathon bombing took place, they put the World Series statue there and they sing God Bless America and they say 'Boston strong' and they chant 'USA,' you know. It was again, a bad day, three people died, that's terrible. More were maimed, that's horrible, but unfortunately that happens every day, in car accidents and everything else. I mean, you city was not leveled by Godzilla."

To which Anthony Weiner, to his credit, replied: "I don't know... such a nice moment, what's wrong with you?"

Report: Rob Gronkowski to play himself in 'Entourage' movie

Posted by Steve Silva, Boston.com Staff November 13, 2013 11:21 PM

gronk_ap.jpg

It was only a matter of time before the big tight end made it to the big screen.

TMZ is reporting that Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski is about to become a matinee idol:

We got word from Gronkowski's theatrical manager Henry Penzi ... the NE Patriots' stud is going to be hugging it out with Jeremy Piven, Adrian Grenier and the rest of the boys from "Entourage" in their upcoming feature film.

The movie begins shooting in January and TMZ reports that Gronk will play himself in the flick about the Hollywood rat pack from the former HBO series.

It's been a busy time off the field for Gronk. His family is pitching an animated TV show. A new rap video debuted on GronkNation.com. On Monday night, he hosted a ladies-only football clinic at Harvard Stadium complete with dancing, doughnuts, and “Gronk-tinis.” And during a question and answer session at a Foxborough bar, Gronkowski appeared to mock a fan wearing his own jersey with a racially tinged joke.

Gronk won't be the first Patriot to appear with the Entourage crew. Superstar quarterback Tom Brady had a brief cameo with Vince and the crew on the golf course back in a 2009 episode.

Rob Gronkowski rap video is as 'Gronktastic' as you'd think it is

Posted by Gary Dzen, Boston.com Staff November 13, 2013 09:34 AM

Rob Gronkowski is everywhere. In a music video posted to GronkNation.com entitled "Game Time", the rapper UNO puts Gronk's heroics into song.

The video is a montage of on-field highlights and Gronk being affable and goofy off the field. Among the lyrics are the lines "We lost a couple players but we still rolling strong" and "It's Gronkowski. It's Gronkowski. Now just imagine how the game would be without me. I proven wrong every single one that doubts me."

You can watch the full clip above.

Indians skipper Terry Francona named American League manager of the year

Posted by Steve Silva, Boston.com Staff November 12, 2013 06:36 PM




Former Red Sox manager Terry Francona, who took over the Indians and directed them to a 92-70 record and a wild-card playoff berth was named the American League manager of the year in an upset over Red Sox manager John Farrell. Francona, a two-time World Series winner with the Red Sox, had never been manager of the year in his career. It was Cleveland’s first winning record since 2007.

Francona received 16 first place votes to Farrell's 12, winning the overall total 112-96. The BBWAA website has a full breakdown of the 30 individual ballots. Balloting is conducted prior to the start of postseason play.

The 2013 Indians showed a 24-game improvement, going from 68 victories in 2012 to 92 wins this year. The 24-victory improvement matched the biggest in franchise history. The 1986 Indians won 84 games after winning just 60 in 1985.

Tampa Bay ended the Indians season with a 4-0 victory in the wild card game.

Farrell, who led the Red Sox to a World Series championship in his first season at the helm in Boston, was perceived to be the favorite before the voting was announced on Tuesday.

Boston pulled a worst-to-first turnaround under Farrell, who was the Red Sox pitching coach from 2007 to 2010. Farrell led the Red Sox to 97 wins and a championship a season after they finished in last place in the AL East with 93 losses under Bobby Valentine.

The Red Sox offense took a major leap, going from fifth in the league in runs scored in 2012 (734) to first in 2013 season (853). The pitching staff's earned runs allowed decreased from 754 to 613.

Christina Kahrl of ESPN.com representing Chicago and Asuka Iinuma Brown of Jiji Press representing Seattle did not include Farrell on their ballots. Mike Rutsey from the Toronto Sun and Tom Maloney of The Globe and Mail in Toronto each voted for Francona first and Farrell second. Farrell was panned by the media in Toronto when he left the Blue Jays after two underwhelming seasons to take the open manager's job in Boston last season.

Athletics manager Bob Melvin was also finalist for the honor, as voted on by the Baseball Writers’ Association Of America.

Clint Hurdle, whose Pirates finished the season 94-68 and captured the NL's No. 1 wild card spot, took home the honor for the National League. Pittsburgh hadn't had a winning season -- or a playoff appearance -- since 1992, the longest such streak in North American team sports.

Francona wins

Watch: Harlem Globetrotters' scary dunk takes down whole basket

Posted by Anush Elbakyan, Boston.com Staff November 12, 2013 10:33 AM

Bull Bullard of the Harlem Globetrotters attempted to make a monster dunk when the hoop in Honduras collapsed. The whole stanchion crashed down on Bullard as the backboard shattered and cut Bullard's forehead.

Fortunately, the Globetrotters' guard only suffered that minor injury and recovered after the accident to watch his teammates finish the game.

Mobile users unable to see the video, click here.

Watch: Red Sox World Series victory (re-enacted by toys)

Posted by Staff November 4, 2013 01:07 PM

The Red Sox defeated the Cardinals on Oct. 30 for the franchise's eighth World Series championship and their third in the past 10 years.

The win also marked the first time the Red Sox won the clinching game of the World Series at Fenway Park since 1918. You have probably seen the replays of this historic night time and time again, but now you can see the top plays of the series re-enacted by OYO Sportstoys brick men. Check out the video above to relive the action played out in stop-go animation.

Also, in case you missed it, you can see the best plays of the earlier playoff series re-enacted using OYO brick men here.

Louisville slugger holding World Series treasure hunt Sunday

Posted by Matt Pepin, Boston.com Staff November 1, 2013 06:22 PM

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Baseball bat maker Louisville Slugger will hold an interesting promotion in Boston on Sunday.

Thirty-one Red Sox World Series championship commemorative baseball bats will hidden around the city, and clues to their locations will be distributed on Louisville Slugger's Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts. The hashtag #wsbathunt will also be used.

The first clue will be posted at 9:30 a.m., and others will follow every 15-20 minutes until all 31 bats are found.

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