They never told me in Journalism 101 that I'd soon need to provide trucks to interviewees.
If you want to speak with Keith Foulke, apparently that's the price.
As it is, it might involve a sizable donation to Curt Schilling's ALS fund to get any sort of quote out of the Red Sox once and future ace. Soon it will cost you a plasma to sit down with and get a few words out of Edgar Renteria. A Stradivarius to get anything out of Bronson Arroyo.
Luckily, Kevin Millar and Johnny Damon might pay YOU to talk, but they are becoming the exception.
But Foulke remains the highest-priced interview, at somewhere around $20,000. A hemi might even get you permission to shake his hand at the conclusion.
Foulke harkened back to the Dan Duquette era of "spies in the clubhouse" this week when he accused a Red Sox "mole" of confirming the possibility of arthroscopic knee surgery in the offseason to the Globe's Gordon Edes. He doesn't want to talk about it, he said. He just wants to close out games, something he hasn't exactly mastered this season.
''The one thing I love to do is go pitch," Foulke said. "That's the one thing I love to do -- pitch and drive cars."
Well Keith, that's two things, but never mind.
A day later, when a Hartford Courant reporter asked him about his knee, Foulke said that he doesn't talk about his health, and that he doesn't like appearing on TV or in the newspaper. Yet, ironically, there he is every Friday, sitting down for his weekly discussion with "Dale and Holley" on WEEI.
"That's fine," Foulke told the Courant. "That's more answering questions about different things. And I get a free truck. If you give me a free truck, I'll talk to you more."
Not sure if that one's going to fly on the expense report.
Despite struggling mightily this season, everyone wants to give Foulke a free ride due to what he accomplished in October last year. You simply would not believe the number of emails received, shocked that we might suggest at least tinkering with the idea of using Matt Mantei or Mike Timlin as the closer over the struggling Foulke. Fait accompli. First Ted Kennedy, now Keith Foulke.
Despite his 5.40 ERA this season, Foulke has been returning to his old self as of late, allowing just one run in his last nine appearances (nine innings of work) and lowering his ERA from a season-high 7.94 on May 11 to its current mark, which is the lowest it has been since April 17. He hasn't had a save since June 5 though, and quite obviously, has become a little bit abrasive when it comes to speaking with the media.
"I'll talk about cars, motorcycles, the weather, certain politics, that's about it, and music. Those are things I'll discuss the next four months," he told the Courant.
A Jimmy for Foulke's review of the latest Alan Jackson show? Uh, don't think so.
And you can be sure that I won't pony up an F-150 to ask what Foulke thinks of the 40-degree shift we had this week in New England.
What about the trip to Birmingham? What about the BBQ down there? What about this supposed offseason surgery that almost took place? What about his admission to Rick Sutcliffe that his knee has been bothering him? What about his struggles this season? Are they injury-related?
Whoa, slow down there pardner. That's an awfully expensive interview. Besides, there are too many folks who don't want to hear it anyway, basking in the glory of a year past.
I'd love it if someone did indeed get Foulke another precious truck, put it right back in his face and present it to him down at Fenway. Then ask him every single question in the book in regards to his health concerns.
Maybe then we could finally get a straight answer.
Trade winds are starting to swirl for the Yankees. No, we have proof from the Newark Star Ledger, which had the following in today's notebook:
A person who spoke to Cashman recently confirmed Cashman is pursuing a significant deal.
"It sounded like he was close on some stuff," the person said. "He's working it."
Wow. Rest of the East might as well throw it in…
If nobody goes to see "War of the Worlds," would that at least end the "engagement?"...
The Pirates arrive in Boston this weekend on the heels of being swept by the Yankees. At 30-34, the Pirates are only 5 ½ games out of the wild card, but Pittsburgh GM Dave Littlefield doesn't sound like there's much hope on the horizon.
"Believe me, I want to win," he told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. "But the proof is in the pudding.
Which makes no sense. The exact phrase is "The proof of the pudding is in the eating." What proof is in the pudding anyway? And where the hell can a man get those magnificent Jell-O Pops in this day and age?...
A sports auction house in New York yesterday decided to remove parts from the DC-7 that Roberto Clemente died in 32 years ago from auction. Because nothing says "Ultimate Pirates fan" like having the propeller of the plane in which your team's best player died hanging on your living room wall.
"Our clientele didn't think it was in good taste," Josh Evans, founder of Leland's, said. "Enough of them felt that it wasn't the right thing to do."
Ya think? What's next? OJ's last fan bidding on the head of Nicole Brown?
This month's New England Hockey Journal has a great article talking about the hurdles that still must be faced if there is ever to be hockey played at Fenway Park. There's no word on what type of tournament would take place there, but it certainly would not infringe on the Beanpot, officials said.
Why not then a New England Beanpot, with six teams playing for the title? Imagine a three-day tournament with the likes of UMass, UVM, UNH, Maine, Providence College, and UConn playing in the Fens. There would of course be the inevitable issue of switching the teams up every year (and Div. 1 hockey isn't growing on trees in Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Rhode Island, and Connecticut), but I'm not here for logistics, just unsubstantiated ideas…
Bill Plaschke is kicking himself over not speaking out sooner about Eric Gagne's injury in Los Angeles. Keith Foulke would love this guy.