Sunday, January 22, 2006

A GREAT PR MOVE

Theo, welcome back. What? You never left? Oh. Whatever. Does it really make a difference? Does it do anything but further relegate the Celtics and Bruins to the back of the sports pages?

I get this image of Theo going into work everyday at Fenway and crunching stats, pulling up charts, and making lists while Lucchino walks by, pokes his head in the office, and wanders off to pull aside the closest person and ask: did he quit, and if so, why the hell is he still here all the time?


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I remember watching re-runs of Rowen & Martins Laugh-in as a kid (imagine having a huge crush on Goldie Hawn as a 13 year old and then realizing in the here and now she was about 40 and doing bad movies with jokers like Mel Gibson and that Kurt Russell and the show you I was watching was 20 years old. I was warped for life right there I tell ya) and they would always do the news (sort of what Saturday Night Live ripped-off for the Weekend Update) and they had one segment called the Quickies. Well, it is time for the quickies, or as I call them in honor of Mr. Jimi, Crosstown Traffic.

CROSSTOWN TRAFFIC:

Now I may not be as big a Bronson Arroyo fan as my wife, Kathy, but I consider myself a fan of his if only for the way he persevered after being cut by Pittsburgh and not only got back to the majors and fills a key role for a playoff team. He has worked hard to get where he is and I admire him and support him for it. Moreso, as a fan, I appreciate him even more for giving up his arbitration years for a long-term contract. Sure, he could have made more money going to arbitration three times, but why? Like Johnny Damon, he became a celebrity in the only city that treats its athletes like they were Hollywood Royalty. Johnny Damon will miss that. Just ask Mo Vaughn.

However, kudos to Bronson for making the smart decision. He has the contract. If he performs well with 13-16 wins a year for the next three years, he can look forward to really breaking the bank. Arroyo, remember is not as young as most pitchers in baseball with three years of arbitration remaining. If he were 23, I would call him a fool. But he is not, he knows what he wants to do where, and I think it is a positive step for all of baseball that a player actually wants to stay somewhere instead of chasing dollars. Plus, you cannot buy that kind of positive PR.

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So Big Perk stepped up and gave Paul Pierce a stern lecture at halftime. About time, I say. Great sign for the Celtics that one of the kids stepped up to the plate and dished some to the sullen superstar. I still remain on board with the fact that Big Perk & Big Al do not play enough, but in no way am I going to pull a Bill Simmons and call for the firing of Doc Rivers. The team underachieves, but that is expected this year. A Boston sports team is rebuilding. Get used to it and get over it. Doc is following the Danny Ainge plan, which sure beats the Rick Pitino, Chris Wallace, and M.L. Carr plans we have been subjected to in the past.

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Finally, I get to mention the Bruins! I have been sneaking peeks at them, if only to see how the nicest guy in hockey, Tim Thomas, is making out between the pipes. Thomas, with a tie (sorry, an overtime shootout loss) and two wins has for some reason given this team a long missing spark. Of course, my father-in-law, Sonny (one of those hardcore Bruins cult members you read about in the papers, y’know, one of those hockey fans who never misses a game), is no doubt pumped and jacked at the development as he has been bitching about the Bruins not bringing up Thomas to play goalie since they got him three or four years ago. Looks like Harry Sinden should have listened to Sonny all along.

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Not that I am a big fan, but the Australian Open is a favorite of mine if only for headlines like: Martina Hingus shows no sign of rust down under. God, I devolve right back to the Beavis & Butthead mode (or as my son calls them, Wheavus & the Butthead. Yes, I let my four year old watch Beavis & Butthead, and yes, hold the emails, I know I am going straight to hell). Of course, you can add Down Under to any headline and it is instantly hilarious. I read it and I hear the voice of Quagmire, the oversexed and overcharged neighbor from Family Guy saying: Oh Yeah!

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Last, but certainly not least, a big welcome to the world to Max Oberacker and the proud Papa (because we dads do the fun work and then hit cruise control for nine months). Obie, congrats to you & Kristen! Welcome to the fraternity of fatherhood, my friend. Eric, Bill, & I all understand the pain & suffering, umm, I mean the joy of parenthood, that awaits you.

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