Sunday, December 30, 2007


We've been talking about it for months. Since the Pats started the season annihilating their opponents it was obvious that they had a chance to go 16-0. And, last night they did.

Many Thommies were on hand (including myself) at the Meadowlands to witness history. The game was much closer than any of us imagined (i.e. I lost money), but in the end Tom Terrific marched the Patsies downfield for 22 unanswered points and the lead, for good. It's playoff time again at Thom's! More game photos below.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Break out the Guinness (Book of Records)

As the sage once said: "Saturday night's alright for fighting.'" And fight we will. The Patsies will attempt to be the first team to go a perfect 16-0 against the visting Giants. Visiting? That's right, there'll be more Pats fans at the Meadowlands than a Building #19 7/8 Black Friday sale in Lynn. (It should be less dangerous too.)

And, it's only on at Thom's! That's right the NFL Network-ah, ok the NFL Network caved and you can conceivably get the game on 4 channels in NYC. So, I guess we'll have to lower our beer from their price gauging levels. How about this? Everytime the Pats break a NFL record (Brady TD's, Moss TD's, 16 wins) we'll lower the price of Guinness $1 (while supplie last). We should still have a great crowd of Patriot loyalists, so get there early if you're not going to the game. But, if you are going to the game, let me know.

In case you haven't heard, Boston fans travel. Fitzy of Townie News will be shooting tailgaters for his ESPN show and he needs you. (You can also catch his game preview filmed at Thom's).

Boston College does battle against Michigan State tonight in the traditional Champs Sports Bowl. The game starts at 5 pm, so start hinting at how sick you are and why you have to leave work early. And, if you are thinking of coming late, know that Happy Hour ends at 7pm.

More Thom's Foolery

Just when you thought that Brady was getting a bit too big for his britches he brings it down a notch with this embarrassing ad. Good for you Tom. Way to keep it real.
There are still tickets available for the January 21st Celtics game at MSG. This is an holiday 1pm game and there is already a good contingent of Thommies going. Let me know if you'll be there.

It's getting late have you seen my mates
Ma tell me when the boys get here
It's seven o'clock and I want to rock
Want to get a belly full of beer
-Bernie Taupin

Friday, December 21, 2007

Me and Youk and a Dog Named Boss.

Here we go again...

It wouldn't be a Red Sox World Series win without a final out baseball controversy. (I guess it's better than that other controversy surrounding a certain dynastic team.)

Jonathan Papelbon is claiming that his dog Boss (pictured) ate the ball used in the final out of the World Series against the Rockies. According to the Hattiesburg American, Papelbon said, "He plays with baseballs like they are his toys. His name is Boss. He jumped up one day on the counter and snatched it. He likes rawhide. He tore that thing to pieces."

That's strange. He knew that his dog liked to play with baseballs and left the World Series baseball just sitting on the counter!

Sheila Papelbon, Thom's regular (seriously) and Jon's mother said, "That boy ain't right in the head. But, he means well."

When asked what punishment the dog received, if any, the Red Sox closer said, "I hit him on the snout with my glove which he caught in his mouth and chewed to pieces like it was leather or something. It's a shame because that was the glove that I used when I threw the ball that was the last out of the World Series. So, I grabbed one of my cleats and dang it if the same thing didn't happen. So then, I took him to be neutered again."

"Boss used to have quite a bark", Sheila added. "But, since this second neutering he just sits around and mumbles to his sons. It's sad really."

What's Gong Om at Thom's

The holiday parties continue to invade the New Towne saloon that is Thom's. Last night Gareth and the boys brought by 100's of suited imbibers that rocked the bar till the wee hours of this morning.

But that should be nothing compared to the crowd we get for the record setting game against the Dolphins this Sunday at 4pm. The Pats are trying to set the all-time record for wins to start the season against the team that has said record, the Miami Dolphins. The wayback machine has been set to 1986 and "Squish the Fish" will be heard to Houston St. Just for added measure I've been wearing my Celtics hooded sweatshirt that I won for raising money for JV hoops in 1986. It's got to work.

Me and you and a dog named Boo,
Travellin' and livin' off the land.
Me and you and a dog named Boo,
How I love bein' a free man.
-Kent Lavoie

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Can I Get an Amen?

I got this from Josh, a regular at the bar:

from eric wilbur's Boston Sports Blog on

Since Game 5 of the
ALCS, your Boston teams (Red Sox, Celtics, Bruins, and Patriots) are a combined

Take away the Bruins, that record is 41-2, which is eerie in itself.
Not to get all Biblical on you, but let's read from the Book of Isaiah,
shall we? Chapter 41, Verse 2, reads: “Who has raised up from the east someone
to whom the Lord gives victory with every step he takes?”

Friday, December 14, 2007

The Mitchell Report List of Players.

For what it's worth the actual list of players from the Mitchell Report is below. (The previous list was bogus, as suspected by many.) There's not a name on this list that surprised me or should surprise anyone. For the most part all of these people have been tied to investigations before. And, this report only serves to finally allow the journalists and analysts to discuss the alleged steroid users without fear of repercussion. Strangely, there have been very few denials thus far.
The list:

Allen, Chad

Ankiel, Rick

Bell, David

Bell, Mike

Bennett Jr., Gary

Bonds, Barry

Brown, Kevin

Byrd, Paul

Cabrera, Alex

Caminiti , Ken

Carreon, Mark

Christiansen, Jason

Clark, Howie

Clemens, Roger

Conseco, Jose

Cust, Jack

Donnels, Chris

Donnelly, Brendan

Dykstra , Len

Franco, Matt

Franklin, Ryan

Gagne, Eric

Giambi, Jason

Giambi, Jeremy

Gibbons, Jay

Glaus, Troy

Gonzalez, Juan

Grimsley, Jason

Guillen, Jose

Hairston Jr., Jerry

Herges, Matt

Hiatt, Phil

Hill, Glenallen

Holmes, Darren

Hundley, Todd

Jorgernson, Ryan

Justice, David

Knoblauch, Chuck

Laker, Tim

Lansing, Mike

Lo Duca, Paul

Logan, Exavier

Manzanillo, Josias

Matthews, Jr. Gary

McKay, Cody

Mercker, Kent

McGwire, Mark

Miadich, Bart

Naulty, Daniel

Neagle, Denny

Morris, Hal

Palmeiro, Rafael

Parque, Jim

Pettitte, Andy

Pratt, Todd

Randolph, Stephen

Rocker, John

Riggs, Adam

Rios, Armando

Roberts, Brian

Santangelo, F.P.

Santiago , Benito

Schoenweis, Scott

Segui, David

Sheffield, Gary

Sosa, Sammy

Stanton, Mike

Tejada, Miguel

Valdez, Ismael

Vaughn, Mo

Velarde, Randy

Villone, Ron

Vina, Fernando

White, Rondell

Willaims, Jeff

Williams, Matt

Williams, Todd

Woodard, Steve

Young, Kevin

Zaun, Gregg

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Here It is.

The Mitchell Report

December 13, 2007
These are players connected to the Red Sox that were named:
Mo Vaughn, Mike Lansing, Kent Mercker, Mike Stanton, Eric Gagne, Brendan Donnelly, Steve Woodard, Jose Canseco, Manny Alexander, Mike Spinelli (minor leaguer), Paxton Crawford, Jeremy Giambi, Josias Manzanillo (minor leaguer), Roger Clemens, Chris Donnels

Leaked List?

This is the list of players on the Mitchell report that WNBC is claiming was leaked to them. Take it for what it's worth:

Brady Anderson, Manny Alexander, Rick Ankiel, Jeff Bagwell, Barry Bonds, Aaron Boone, Rafael Bettancourt, Bret Boone, Milton Bradley, David Bell, Dante Bichette, Albert Belle, Paul Byrd, Wil Cordero, Ken Caminiti, Mike Cameron, Ramon Castro, Jose and Ozzie Canseco, Roger Clemens, Paxton Crawford, Wilson Delgado, Lenny Dykstra, Johnny Damon, Carl Everett, Kyle Farnsworth, Ryan Franklin, Troy Glaus, Rich Garces, Jason Grimsley, Troy Glaus, Juan Gonzalez, Eric Gagne, Nomar Garciaparra, Jason Giambi, Jeremy Giambi, Jose Guillen, Jay Gibbons, Juan Gonzalez, Clay Hensley, Jerry Hairston, Felix Heredia, Jr.Darren Holmes, Wally Joyner, Darryl Kile, Matt Lawton, Raul Mondesi, Mark McGwire, Guillermo Mota, Robert Machado, Damian Moss, Abraham Nunez, Trot Nixon, Jose Offerman, Andy Pettitte, Mark Prior, Neifi Perez, Rafael Palmiero, Albert Pujols, Brian Roberts, Juan Rincon, John Rocker, Pudge Rodriguez, Sammy Sosa, Scott Schoenweiss, David Segui, Alex Sanchez, Gary Sheffield, Miguel Tejada, Julian Tavarez, Fernando Tatis, Mo Vaughn, Jason Varitek, Ismael Valdes, Matt Williams, Kerry Wood.

According to a friend of mine that has seen the report there are inaccuracies to this list. Varitek, he said is not in the report.

I Want a New Drug

We did not want to take such drastic measures but you forced our hand. Mandatory testing will begin at Thom's immediately. Before you are allowed to pay your bill you will be tested for sobriety. If any trace of sobriety is found in your system you will be asked to stay and poured another drink. The reputation of the bar is at stake! I also have to state that this will not be a urine test, so please stop doing that at the bar. (You know who you are.)

The field sobriety test that will consist of naming Roger Klemens' kids, spelling "Mientkiewicz", and doing a Jim impression. The names of those found to be sober will be released in these pages.

In case you haven't heard, MLB's study of steroid use in baseball dubbed "The Mitchell Report" comes out today. Many doubt the integrity of the report due to the fact that George Mitchell is involved with the Red Sox and reportedly there are many Yankees on the list: Clemens, Pettitte, Giambi. But, according to a "leaked" list of players on WNBC several former and current Sox will be listed: Varitek, Trot Nixon, Jose' Offerman, Mo Vaughn, Rich Garces, and Nomar. We won't know if this list is at all accurate until the real report is released at 2pm today. Rich "El Guapo" Garces (pictured above) is the only accused player who began taking steroids after his baseball career. MLB is claiming that his list has errors.

But, there are no errors in the fact that we've extended our Celtics "Big Three Special". Celtics fans will get $3 Thom's Ale through the end of the season. Wow! That's like a good deal on steroids.

Don't forget to be at Thom's this Saturday at 7 pm to celebrate our 2nd anniversary. As a token of appreciation we're going to have a 2 hour open bar. Warning: this will not be a sobering experience.

And finally, to all you Boston fans that think you got it so good, this guy is here to keep you in check.

When the door came crashing down
And billy turned around
He felt the heart and soul inside him fall
He stood face to face
With the long arm of the law
You cant out run the long arm of the law
No, you cant out run the long arm of the law
You can hide out for a while
He says with a smile
But you cant out run the long arm of the law
-K. Rogers

Monday, December 03, 2007

The Hits Keep on Coming!

Alright, it wasn't enough that the Sox, the Celts, and the Pats have brought endless joy this season. No, there just had to be more from the most unlikely of sources. My hometown Brighton Bengals went undefeated (12-0) and won the Division 4, Massachusetts state football championship. Brighton High! This is incredible, because when I grew up in Brighton, The Zoo (as it was called) was only known for dropping out and a threat by your parents and teachers to do well where you went to school or you'll wind up there.

In addition to winning on the field apparently their academics have improved too. US News and World Report recently gave B.H.S. a bronze star in its evaluation of America's high schools.
No, I didn't go to Brighton High (My alma mater ranked 19th in the nation in the report.) but it was the first team I supported. When I was 5 years old my brother pitched in the state championship for Brighton High. That is my earliest memory of rooting for sports. Of course, through the eyes of a five-year-old the park I remember was enormous. I remember chasing foul balls that flew behind us out of the park. And, I remember looking around and seeing all of our neighbors there. I didn't understand then that they were all there just because they were from Brighton and Brighton never won anything. They eventually lost in that championship.

Go Bengals!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

The NFL Network is om at Thom's.

Tonight at Thom's

The higher powers at the NFL have decided that only those with NFL Network may watch the Dallas/Greenbay battle for the NFC tonight. Don't they realize that like no one in NYC gets the NFL Network? Sheesh! Well, I have good news. The game will be on at Thom's. So, don't worry about going home after work; come straight to Thom's, have dinner and enjoy the game. As a bonus we'll also be showing the Celtics against the clown princes of the court, The NY Knicks.

Let's see. Is there anything else going on in Boston Sports?

Well, where do we start? Bobby Orr is nude. How's that for an opening? Just when you thought the public was losing interest in the sport. Now that's what I call Old Time Hockey.

The Spaceman Bill Lee isn't allowed in America and frankly is ok with it. According to The NY Daily News he said, "I never thought the U.S. government would send me to heaven prematurely, but maybe I'm destined to live in Canada." (Does this mean no more Spaceman visits to Professor Thom's?)
The Patsies got all the haters out in full force when they almost lost to the Eagles last Sunday night. The pundits are dubbing the loss a "Blueprint to beat the Patriots." But, will super genius Brian Billick follow that plan Monday Night when the Pats take on the Ravens? Or, will he eschew it in favor of his own genius? I 'spect the latter. Either way come out Monday for Clamapalooza V: The Clamcake. We'll be serving our version of Rhode Island style clamcakes during the game. So, everybody wins.

Dr. Charles "The Dentist" Steinberg, former head of PR for the Sox has announced that he will not return to the team next year. Steinberg is heading out to LA "to accept a top front-office position with the Los Angeles Dodgers".

With the doctor out can Larry be far behind? Some are already speculating that Steinberg's exit might signal an eventual exit by Lucchino too. One would think that this would leave Theo squarely in charge to run the team how he wishes.

Also in the rumor mill is talks of Johna Santana going to Boston for a slew of Sox. How are the New York media reacting to this? Apparently it would be"[T]he end of baseball as we have come to know it around here." I got news for you Mr. Matthews, that happened years ago.

Speaking of NY media, have you ever wanted to meet Michael Kay? For the 3 of you that answered yes you can catch him at Hooters next week during the Jets/Miami supermatch.
And finally, the rumor to end all rumors: I have it on good authority that the Red Sox 2007 World Series trophy will be making a stop at Thom's in the near future. details to follow.
That calls for a pot shot at Kay:

If you see Kay,

Tell him he may.

See you in tea,

Tell him from me.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!

Well the impossible happened. Just when you thought you understood this crazy, mixed up world of sports, a wrench gets thrown in the works. Are you sitting down? The Celtics have lost a game. I know it’s tough to handle, but it was inevitable. Luckily, just as Paul Pierce’s last ditch effort to win with a 3-pointer back rimmed Brady threw his 50th TD of the game to Randy Moss. It was that small distraction that we Boston fans needed. Thanks Tom.

And speaking of distractions: As if this winter hasn’t been wonderful enough with Pedroia winning ROY, Jacoby’s homecoming, and Bonds indicted, and the Yankees thinking they’ve made all the right moves by re-signing the team that lost this year for more money than last year. The Red Sox are reportedly signing World Series MVP Mike Lowell to a three year deal. Now, the Sox have their team back that won it all this year. This is a time to be thankful.

Ah, Thanksgiving. Normally, I’d be spending Thursday morning freezing my two pairs of socks off at Harvard Stadium (It rained like a bastard last year.) watching my high school alma mater play in its annual Turkey Bowl exhibition with arch rivals English High. Sure, the match up of the oldest public school and the oldest high school in the oldest high school football rivalry has been a laugher since the Boston public school system fell apart in the 70’s. Still, the tradition and homecoming has drawn me to it lo these many years. But, this year, the Old Lady has to work and so do I. So, if you’re around the night of Thanksgiving swing by the bar. There’s an 8 o’clock football game and I’ll need leftovers to nosh on. You can expect a little egg nog and cider and holiday cheer. Try to give me a head’s up if you’re coming.

If you can’t make it, Happy Thanksgiving to you all.

Saturday night, I’ll be out in Boston meeting some friends. Let me know if you’re around.

Looking Ahead!

BU Hockey: BU and Cornell square off this Saturday at MSG in a sold out event. Thom’s will be hosting an after party for some former players and personalities from BU like paly-by-play man Bernie Corbett. It’s open to anyone, so get to the bar after the game.

UMass Basketball: The first televised game of the season will be on at Thom’s on Wednesday, November 28th. Travis Ford had a great time at the bar last month and promises to come back.

Clamapalooza V: Clamcakes. There is much debate about what a Rhode Island clamcake is, especially from those that hail from the Buzzard’s Bay area of Mass (shout out to Fall River!). Well, we’ll be serving our very own version on Monday Night December 3 during the Pats game. This will, of course close out the Clamapalooza season.
Turkey for me
Turkey for you
Lets eat the turkey
In my big brown shoe
Love to eat the turkey
At the tableI once saw a movie
With betty grable
-Adam Sandler

Thursday, November 15, 2007

7 Down.

I watched my first Celtics game of the year last night. I liked it. The defense was much better than I expected and it seemed like they could score from every position. But, judging from their fast break, it didn't appear the team had completely gelled yet. That's scary. They're 7-0 and have room to improve.

What impressed me most was the the role players. Perkins played the center position well, defending the inside, grabbing boards (8), and disrupting shots (4 blocks). He even kicked a few out for easy baskets. His offense wasn't so pretty, but it didn't have to be; we have plenty of guys that can score. Still, I'd like to see the Chief teach him a few upfakes so he could draw some fouls.

It feels so good to root for this team again. Look for the Celtics' crowds to get big at the bar.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

The Undefeated Celtics

With their win last night the Celtics (6-0) are taking a run at the Patriots record (9-0). Paul Pierce led scorers with 31 and reportedly even did push-ups between free throws to taunt the crowd. If anyone has a picture or video of this, please send it to me. As the Celtics roll, so do the Knicks.

After being told that he would not be starting, Marbury left the team on Tuesday then told a source who told the NY Daily News :
"Isiah has to start me. I've got so
much (stuff) on Isiah and he knows it. He thinks he can (get) me. But I'll (get)
him first. You have no idea what I know."
Blackmail! I love it. This is the most ridiculous franchise in sports.

More blackamil: Because of the success of the Big Three Thom's is now offering Thom's Ale during Celtics games for $3.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Baseball Book Preview

As we used to say around Rogers Park in Brighton, "I'm pretty stoked." I got a galley proof of the book I worked on this Summer and it looks great.

The book is "Change Up: An Oral History of 8 Key Events That Shaped Modern Baseball" by Larry Burke and Peter Thomas Fornatale with Jim Baker. Basically, it's an exploration of the changing dynamics in baseball since the 1960's in the words of the people that were involved in those changes. The 8 key events outlined are as follows: Expansion (told by way of "the 1962 Mets"), "The Latino Wave", "Ball Four" by Jim Bouton, "The Birth of the Players Union", "The Designated Hitter", "The First African American Manager", "Cal Ripken's Streak", and "Ichiro Comes to America".

My job included interviewing former players like Dennis Eckersley, Luis Tiant, Rico Carty, et al. In addition to the players I interviewed executives Bud Selig, Fay Vincent, and Lou Gorman. They were all extremely cooperative. It takes talking to these people to understand just how much the love the game of baseball.

Look for the release in early March and a release party at Thom's.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Across the Bar with Bill Nowlin

Bill Nowlin is a true renaissance man of Red Sox Nation. A native of Lexington, Mass. he has conducted tours dressed like a Minuteman, co-founded Rounder Records (and later Rounder Books), served as a professor of political science at the University of Lowell, traveled the world visiting some 130 countries, sits as VP of SABR (the Society for American Baseball Research) and has somehow found time to write no less than 17 compelling, informative books about the Boston Red Sox. His newest book co-authored with Chuck Burgess “Love That Dirty Water: The Standells and the Improbable Red Sox Victory Anthem” documents the history of the music associated with the Red Sox.

1. To date, you have published 17 books about the Red Sox. Why do you think one team has been so well covered in literature?

The Red Sox are based in Boston, which has a large number of colleges and universities. And which also used to like to think of itself as the "Athens of America", too. For a long time, there's been a more literary aspect to coverage of the Red Sox. The Boston newspapers may have led the way. There were really rather few books about the Red Sox until the later years of the 20th century, though - really, but a handful in the 1940s - 1960s. (After all, what was there to write about the Red Sox of the 1920s?) I really think the reason the team captured the imagination of so many writers was a reason that would likely elude aspiring authors today: the team's living out of a "Greek tragedy." To have come SO close so many times, only to fall short. The years roll right out of memory: 1946, 1948, 1949, 1950 (save for Ted's injury....), 1967, 1972, 1975, 1978, 1986, right up through 2003! It was a great story that now is the prelude to something else, something we might consider Uncharted Waters.

2. I am so grateful for your new book "Love That Dirty Water". So many Sox and non-Sox fans ask me why certain songs are associated with the team. I finally have the answers. What made you want to delve into this subject?

It was a "who" not a "what." Chuck Burgess is the answer. The book's co-author. It was all Chuck's idea. I thought it was way too narrowly focused an idea at first. The idea percolated for a while, and grew on me. I'd already done a lot of research on music in the history of the Red Sox. Finally, we just started doing it. That I'm in the record business made Chuck think I might be interested in a whole book linking music and the Sox, but it took me a while to come around - and then had a blast working with Chuck on it.

3. You have been producing music and writing about the Red Sox for many years. Is this the first time you've combined your love of the two?

Yep. Though I very much enjoyed writing an article for Red Sox Magazine this season on the very self-conscious use of music to accompany a ballgame as practiced these days to good effect under the leadership of Dr. Charles Steinberg and his colleague Megan Kaiser. Rounder Records turned 37 in October. My writing about the Red Sox began about a dozen years ago. I've really enjoyed looking at the team through so many different perspectives - writing books about some key players (Ted Williams and Johnny Pesky), about the park itself (Fenway Saved), about the people who work there (Fenway Lives), etc.

4. What does this second World Championship in 4 years mean to Sox fans? Will literary interest wane now that the "suffering" is over?

I do think there's a real risk that literary interest will wane. For years, we all wondered what it would be like if the Red Sox ever won it all. Would it rob Boston of its very soul? My answer was: I'd sure like to find out. Let's put it to the test. Well, it felt great, and I think all of us still enjoy remembering how 2004 played out. What could any team ever do to top it? First of all, they'd have to build up 80 years of suffering. OK, the Cubs are primed. But even the Cubs haven't had all those last-minute losses (1946, etc. etc.) Then to have a chance to beat the Yankees and go to the World Series in 2003 - and have that all snatched away at the very last minute by one admitted steroids user hitting two home runs (which I still want disallowed), and to have Pedro taken out of the game, congratulated, and then sent back in! Hollywood couldn't have written a better ending - and didn't! (They had to re-shoot the ending to Fever Pitch!) It could hardly have been better. And then, just three years later, to do it again - well, it wasn't the same, though they did stave off a late Yankees threat, and did have to win three sudden-death games in a row to win the pennant.

To me, the main thing 2007 means is: this ownership, this leadership knows what it's doing. Maybe there is a "Red Sox Way." It also means I am very much looking forward to 2008. Unlike 2004, there are many more reasons to think we could see a repeat. Am I getting greedy? Yes. What am I supposed to do - hope the Red Sox lose? I don't think so!

5. What do you think of all of the "Red Sox bars" that exist outside of Boston? Do other fan bases have such a phenomenon? Could they?

There are dozens of them, as best I can tell. Certainly New York has quite a few, and I'm aware of others in Santa Monica, Denver, Tokyo (pre-Daisuke, even). There is really something very special about Red Sox Nation. I don't know just what it is, nor how long it will endure ("will success spoil Red Sox Nation?"), but it's really a nice phenomenon that seems to be uniquely Boston.

6. 17 books and counting, what's next in your exploration of the Red Sox?

Two books this coming year will be on special teams from the past. One will be on the 1918 Red Sox, done in collaboration with 20-plus members of the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR). The book - like the ones we've arleady done on the 1967 and 1975 teams - will largely consist of biographies of the men who made up the team. Another will be on the TWO Boston teams of 1948 - the Braves, who did make it into the World Series, and the Red Sox, who fell one game short of playing the Braves. Again, that's a SABR project.

There will be one other book that will gather together all sorts of bits and pieces about various oddities and tangents from Red Sox history. I already had a section on Native Americans who had played for the Red Sox. There have been a lot of them, including ones with such unlikely "Indian" names as Gary Waslewski. Now that we've had a great debut by Jacoby Ellsbury, I've extended that section a little further. Stay tuned....

7. What are your duties as VP of SABR (the Society for American Baseball Research)?

I'm one of the members of the Board of Directors of SABR and have very much enjoyed helping give whatever guidance I might offer as part of the board to this 7,000 member all-volunteer organization that really sets the "gold standard" in baseball research, from stats to stories to depths of database building. There are some very exciting things going on in SABR at the moment, which will begin to be unveiled in the next couple of years that will help researchers interested in deeper and deeper research.

8. Legend has it that when the Sox won the pennant in '67 you were the first to the mound to congratulate Lonborg. Could you describe that moment? Do you miss the days of fans rushing the field?

It's true. My sister Lisa (15 at the time) and I (22 at the time) went to the game and as the last couple of innings played out, we worked our way down into the lower box seats - crouching in the aisle - on the third-base side. There was no security to stop us, so at the final moment - I don't recall planning this; it was purely spontaneous - I jumped over the low wall and sprinted to the mound along with about 20-30 other people, getting there in time that I actually clapped Lonborg on the back (not my usual style, but I'm not sure I was entirely in my right mind). Then I saw hundreds of people headed toward us, and I got out of there quickly. I pulled up a handful of grass and shoved it in my pocket. Wish I still had it today, even if was only dust, but I have no idea whatever happened to it. It truly was "pandemonium on the field." Sure, I miss it in a way - but I do admit to rushing the field in a way as recently as 2004. It was a different situation. I was in the park with my son and a friend and his son. We were watching the players board the duck boats to head out on the parade. I noticed that there were maybe a couple of hundred people walking around on the dirt alongside the first base area near where the tarp is, and there didn't seem to be any security paying particular attention so, once again, I climbed over the wall and the four of us walked along as the boats began to move and head out. A minute or two later, I saw that a couple of hundred other people had followed and then the grounds crew started becoming concerned - not that there was going to be another game for five months. People strolled around out to the scoreboard in left, etc. The new ownership has been wonderful about extending the hours of the tours, welcoming charitable groups onto the field before the game, and working in so many ways to help people enjoy Fenway Park more. I think people today have plenty of contact that way - and I'm glad that it's still possible, even for the World Series, to line up outside the park and have a pretty good chance at a ticket. I did it three times myself this year when I'd already passed on my tickets, but then decided to go to the game. It was great that Mike Lowell and Dustin Pedroia brought tacos to fans waiting in line before the World Series. I've got some nice memories of waiting in line overnight in 1975 and again in 1986. Folks that show that level of commitment are real fans.

The Schill Still

It's done. Schilling will be pitching for the Boston Red Sox next year according to I think this is a great move by both parties. It will probably be a while before Clay settles into his role as starter. Schill gives them some insurance. Even if he only pitches in the playoffs and deal will be worth it. Schilling will get a one year deal worth $8 million plus incentives that could bring him to $10 million total.

Travis Ford

It was a great night at Thom's Monday. The coach of UMASS basketball, Travis Ford broadcasted his weekly radio show from The Loft. Afterwards he was greeted by eager UMASS alumni who hosted the event. This was the first time we broadcasted a live show from the bar. But, judging by the success, more will come.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

The Celts Cruise and The Sox Sign

The unveiling ceremony went as planned. The Big Three performed perfectly on the new Red Auerbach floor at the Boston Garden beating Washington 103-83. In attendance were Patriots' owner Robert Craft and wide receiver Wes Welker, and line backer Junior Seau. But, the star of the night was the World Series trophy brought by John Henry and Tim Wakefield who has just been extended another year to play for the Red Sox.

In other signing news the Sox picked up their option on Julian Tavarez and got confirmation from pitching coach John Farrell that he would be returning. Also, the Sox completed the Joel Pineiro deal with the Cardinals by acquiring the player to be named later Sean Danielson. No surprise, Danielson was a leader among Cardinal minor-leaguers in on-base percentage.

Kevin Cash filed for free-agency.
The Patriots have announced that Sammy Morris, their leading rusher, will be out for the rest of the season with a chest injury he sustained during the Dallas game a few weeks ago.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Fitzy's Back!

Fitzy has been busy helping ESPN make Monday Night Football watchable, so it's understandable that he hasn't had time to lead the Nation in a while. But, he's back big time with his World Series wrap-up and his mid-season Superbowl preview. (This is a must listen. Don't be tricked into clicking the Frank DeFord link.) Fitzy takes on NPR's audience in this clip in an audacious defense of all things Patriots.

It's obvious that the NPR (National Patriots Radio) reporter has had enough of Fitzy's beautiful boondoggle of his show so he rolls the "get him out of here" music and once out of earshot says, "Fitzy alleges he's a sports expert." The joke's on you, jackass. Fitzy already GFY'ed you in his sign off.

Line of the show?
Fitzy to a Colts' fan caller: "Gimme a break Nell Carter."

Here's Eric Wilbur's great take on the Pats' runningituppyness.

And, don't blame the Pats for their lopsided victories, blame the Colts. Judy Batista of the NYTimes does.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Have You Seen My Baseball?

I finally got "that song" out of my head. Well, it's not really out of my head it's been transformed into a folk version more in tune with Woody Guthrie or a ditty by Pete Seeger circa 1944. It makes more sense, but it's far more annoying. Think the old Old Spice theme.

By the way, Paul Shaffer did a fine version of "that song" last night in introducing Papelbon on Letterman (If that doesn't work, try here.) The cavalcade of stars continues Friday with Papi on Conan and "Bad Man" Manny Ramirez on Leno. (They should have them both as contestants on "Jay Walking".)

It took a whole two days for me to miss the baseball season. Tuesday night, I grabbed my computer to check the score and quickly realized that there was no score. The party's over. Or, is it?

The Green Team

Just as one circus is packing up another is coming to town. The new and improved Boston Celtics kick off their season Friday night and there should be a great crowd of the dusty jersey wearing faithful on hand. Pundit after pundit has picked the Celts to win the East. Will they live up to the hype? If you're a huge Celts fan let me know. There might be a film in the works.

The Showdown X (that's a ten not an eks)

The bigger and badder Patsies visit their only real rival this week at 4:00 in Indianapolis. Tom Brady has faced Manning 9 times. He won the first 6 and lost the last 3. He's hoping number 10 will be a blowout, but he's not counting on it. I'm hoping they run up the score.

More Thom's Foolery

Have you seen my baseball? Here we go again. No one can blame Eyechart for this disappearing act. The final out has gone missing again. the last suspect seen with it was Varitek who caught the last strike, but he insisted that he gave it to Papelbon who, when asked, gave the reporters a bit of the who struck Jon.

Sign the petition to keep Mike Lowell.

Check out more photos from the World Series at Thom's here and here.

The party's over

The candles flicker and dim

You danced and dreamed through the night

It seemed to be right just being with him

Now you must wake up, all dreams must end

Take off your makeup, the party's over

It's all over, my friend

-Betty Comden and Adolph Green

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

The Death of Lancelot

As one star falls, another rises.

News came down yesterday of the sad death of Robert Goulet. A native of Lawrence, Mass., Goulet was a huge Red Sox fan who considered his performance of "Impossible Dream" at this year's home opener his greatest thrill.

Goulet died in the hospital awaiting an heart transplant. According to his wife Vera, among his last words were, ""Just give me a new pair of lungs and I'll hit the high notes until I'm 100."

Meanwhile, the new popstar of sports is Seamus McPapelbon. The kilt wearing, jig busting closer of the Red Sox will appear on David Letterman tonight Muddy River Dancing.


According to the Globe, Schilling has likely pitchedd his last game in a Red Sox uniform.

There was the chapel, at a brooklet's side.
I galloped downhill to it with my guide.
I was too late, for Lancelot had died.
(Click post title for full text.)

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Pictures from World Series Game 4

The Love

The People

The Joy

The Bunting

The Celebration!


Around the Bar.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Time to Dance

It's all over. They won. They dominated. I really don't have much to say yet except that I'm exhausted. I get one night of rest then back to the bar tomorrow at noon for a parade party. That's right, the duck boats will be waggling through the streets of Boston tomorrow loaded with champions and we'll have all of the NESN coverage at Thom's. I've gotten lots of queries, so there should be a nice crowd. I hope I see all of those faces that have become so familiar to me over the last few weeks. Honestly, I was overwhelmed by the general air of geniality and cooperation in the bar. Instead of people in the back row fighting through the crowd to get beers all they had to do was shout their order and they were duly passed through, hardly ever sipped. Thank you all.

I realize many of you are shipping up to Boston to see it live, but if you're in town take a long lunch and join us at the bar.

I have a bunch of pictures from last night that I'll be posting here. If you have some too, please send them in.

Friday, October 26, 2007

A Roamin' Holliday

There wasn't much cheering last night at Thom's until the fourth inning when Jacoby Ellsbury gave America a free taco by stealing second. The crowd was warmed up and jumped into to full fan mode. When Schilling left the game he got a standing ovation in the bar. Horton lead each and everyone in "Take Me Out To The Ball Game". And then Okajeemer got a riot out of us for every big K. It was the perfect set up for the biggest roar of the night.

Papelbon entered the game with 2 outs in the eighth to face the leading contender for NL MVP, Matt Holliday. A line drive up the middle nearly put a hole through Paps and was gloved by Pedroia who rolled over his wrist without making a throw. The trainers came out to check both players and they both stayed in the game. But, now one of the best hitters of the last decade, Todd Helton, was at the plate down one and a man on first. Paps stared into the plate puckered his lips and lowered his head. He set his glove and suddenly twirled to first ending the Rockies' roamin' Holliday who probably had it in mind to steal second but, instead, ended the inning.

Papelbon went on to close out the closest game the Sox have had this whole postseason. It's on to Coloroado.

A Thommy Abroad
Check out the blog of Thom's regular Ken Eng as he films in China.

...If You Ain't Got That Ring.