Picked-up pieces while planning a rare October vacation . . .
■ I’ll be shocked if Dave Dombrowski is back with the Red Sox next season. Boston’s president of baseball operations has increasingly isolated himself with pals Frank Wren and Tony La Russa and has few friends inside Fenway’s walls. Dombrowski is under contract for just one more season.
When you have the top payroll in baseball and don’t make the playoffs, somebody has to go. Alex Cora isn’t going anywhere. Dombrowski has been exactly what we thought he would be. He delivered a championship. But he gets the blame for the Chris Sale and Nathan Eovaldi contracts and for failing to address the bullpen need. He’s clearly not the guy to oversee a much-needed farm system rebuild.
Candidate to replace Dombrowski: Eddie Romero.
■ Hope we’ve heard the last of the annual fake news story on our sports calendar: Tom Brady’s contract. The man is 42. He’s infinitely wealthy. He is the fifth Kraft son. He is never going to play for another team. He is never going to hold out. He is your quarterback until he and the Krafts agree that it’s over. And his level of compensation will never be commensurate with his contributions to the franchise — not until he eventually gets a piece of the team or whatever post-retirement deal he strikes with ownership.
■ Fans who don’t think Bill Parcells should be in the Patriots Hall of Fame are irrational, immature, or just too young to know anything.
The Krafts want you to think they are the ones who turned the franchise around. No. Everything changed when Parcells was hired by then-owner James Orthwein. Parcells delivered instant credibility and got a 2-14 team into a Super Bowl in four seasons. He brought Bill Belichick to New England. He drafted Lawyer Milloy, Tedy Bruschi, Ty Law, Curtis Martin, and Willie McGinest.
Parcells left on bad terms after Kraft betrayed him, instructing Bobby Grier to make a first-round draft pick behind Parcells’s back.
Ask yourselves this, Parcells haters: How would Belichick have handled things if Kraft ordered Nick Caserio to overrule Belichick on draft day — without informing Belichick of what was going to happen?
■ Many fans overuse the “how many rings did he win?’’ argument. It does not apply in every situation. Sam Jones was great. He won 10 championship rings as a player, second most in NBA history. But that does not make him the second-best player in NBA history.
The “ring argument’’ would hold that Jonny Gomes did more for Boston than Ted Williams. Sorry, but “how many rings did he win?’’ rarely tells the whole story.
Tony Renda has a ring. He made one appearance with the 2018 Red Sox, pinch-running for Sandy Leon. He scored a winning run in Boston’s four-game sweep of the Yankees last August. He is Boston’s Moonlight Graham. And he has more rings than Carl Yastrzemski.
■ One of the more underrated stats that explains the Patriot dynasty is turnover differential. The Patriots are plus-189 since Brady became Belichick’s quarterback in 2001. The Patriots take care of the football.
■ Circle Sept. 17 on your calendar. That’s when Mike Yastrzemski and the San Francisco Giants come to Fenway for a three-game series.
Yaz’s grandson has been playing right field for the Giants, but here’s hoping manager Bruce Bochy puts him in left for the first inning of the first game.
Sept. 17 also marks the return of Pablo Sandoval, who is making all his money from the Red Sox while doing good things again for the Giants. Sox officials inform me there will not be a Panda video tribute (belt buckle exploding in mid-swing?) to celebrate his return.
■ When Jim Bouton died, Jim Palmer tweeted, “Boyhood idol cause he was a Yankee. Hit a homer off him in 1965 in 1st ML win. Reading his classic ‘Ball Four’ on the spring training team bus to Pompano Beach, Frank Robinson saw me, wouldn’t talk to me for a month.’’
■ Fans of the Kansas City Chiefs embarrassed themselves when the nefarious Tyreek Hill reported for duty on the practice field at Missouri Western State University. Nitwit Chiefs fans chanted “Ty-reek, Ty-reek!’’ when Hill appeared.
Hill, who has been embroiled in a child abuse controversy, bragged, “Cheetah’s back!’’
This is the same guy who pled guilty to punching and choking his girlfriend while in college in 2014 and most recently admitted that he punches his 3-year-old son to toughen him up.
■ I feel badly for Dana LeVangie, the hardest-working man in baseball, who is almost certain to lose his job as Red Sox pitching coach. LeVangie, the pride of Whitman-Hanson, deserves to be reassigned by the Sox. He has been with the Sox organization since 1991.
■ Bobby Valentine and Marty Barrett spoke at Bill Buckner’s memorial service in Boise June 22.
■ Quiz: Who was the last baseball MVP winner who was over 30 on Opening Day? (Answer below.)
■ This will be the 12th consecutive major league season in which we will have a record for strikeouts. More than a third of all plate appearances now result in a home run, a walk, or a strikeout. Zzzzzzzzzz.
■ New pet peeve: seeing Red Sox pitchers step off the rubber, take off their hat, and look inside for information. That’s where the nuclear codes are hidden. It’s part of the Sox paranoia about having signs stolen.
■ A couple of days before the death of Nick Buoniconti, Keith Lincoln died at the age of 80 in Pullman, Wash. Lincoln, a running back/receiver with the San Diego Chargers, accounted for a whopping 329 yards of offense when the Chargers slaughtered the Boston Patriots, 51-10, in the 1963 AFL Championship game. Lincoln rushed for 206 yards and caught seven passes for 123 yards against Mike Holovak’s Patriots at Balboa Stadium in San Diego.
■ Alex Rodriguez told the New York Post that the five best hitters from his day were Barry Bonds, Ken Griffey Jr., Manny Ramirez, Edgar Martinez, and Albert Pujols. Five best pitchers: Randy Johnson, Roger Clemens, Curt Schilling, Pedro Martinez, and Mariano Rivera.
■ Lookalikes: Patriots Hall of Famer John Hannah and Attorney General William Barr.
■ Wonder when NESN will feature Eck and David Price in the “Heat Zone’’?
■ Raise your hand if you knew that former Red Sox pitcher John Burkett is competing on the Pro Bowlers Senior Tour.
■ Fanboy federal judge Richard Berman, who was overruled in the Deflategate saga, is presiding over the Jeffrey Epstein sex trafficking case.
■ Clemens will pitch at the annual Oldtime Baseball Game at St. Peter’s Field in Cambridge Aug. 22.
■ Jay-Z is the Pumpsie Green of the Fenway Park concert series. Since the Sox started using the ballpark as a concert venue in 2003, they have booked more than 55 acts, only one of which included an African-American headliner: Jay-Z with Justin Timberlake in 2013.
■ Folks in Dalton have created a Sports Hall of Fame, with the first induction ceremony scheduled for Sept. 15. Among the inductees: Former big league pitchers Jeff Reardon and Turk Wendell, and MLB executives Dan and Jim Duquette.
■ She’s never been ranked higher than 32, but I always check the tennis scores to see how Ukraine’s Dayana Yastremska is doing.
■ Doesn’t it feel like the Mets and Knicks have become the same team?
■ Nothing’s official, but it looks like the Nets are coming to TD Garden Nov. 27. That should be your first chance to boo Kyrie Irving.
■ Haven’t heard much about women’s soccer since glory hog Megan Rapinoe came off the float after the ticker-tape parade in New York City, grabbed the live microphone, and exclaimed, “New York City, you’re the [expletive] best!’’
■ The Red Sox were the one and only franchise to host a literary series. The “Great Fenway Park Writers Series’’ was run by San Diego native and former Robert Kennedy political operative George Mitrovich, who died last month at age 83. Mitrovich brought a legendary cast of authors to Fenway in this century.
■ Speaking of authors, be sure to order or pick up “Homegrown: How The Red Sox Built A Champion From the Ground Up’’ by the Globe’s Alex Speier, which is in stores next Tuesday.
■ Quiz answer: Alex Rodriguez, 2007.