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From today’s Boston Globe Sports section:
Really? The Red Sox have been feeling the heat of the postseason scramble? But now they don’t?
As the redoubtable Bob Ryan would say:
From our It’s Good to Leave in a Two-Daily Town desk
Former Red Sox hurler Jon Lester is getting a nice sendoff today in the local dailies.
The Boston Herald has him co-starring in this nifty charticle:
Crosstown at the Boston Globe, the redoubtable Bob Ryan ranks Lester among the great Red Sox lefties.
Jon Lester is a very good contemporary pitcher. He may once again wind up starting Game 1 in a Division Series, an ALCS, and a World Series. He has proven that he can handle the spotlight. There were no, “Yeah, buts . . . ” He is low maintenance, thoroughly professional, and eminently rootable. I wish the Red Sox had found a way to keep him.
And he certainly has a place in Red Sox history.
He is, however, not the best lefthanded pitcher in Red Sox history, as some have been saying these past few days.
I’ve got him slotted at No. 4.
Regardless of the third-runnerup slot, Lester ran this full-page ad in the Globe’s Sports section today.
Here’s the text:
Very sweet. But back at the feisty local tabloid, Lester had nothing for Herald Nation.
What’s up with that, Jon and Farrah, Hudson, Walker and the Lester family!
Forty-six years ago today, Red Sox homeboy and Hall-of-Fame sureshot Tony Conigliaro had his baseball career turned inside out.
From Bob Ryan’s terrific Boston Globe column today:
I was there. I was there, and I was pretty close, too.
I was there the night of Aug. 18, 1967, when a Jack Hamilton fastball hit Tony Conigliaro in the face. I was sitting in a box seat not far up the third base line from the screen. I went to 27 Red Sox games that summer, and I seldom had a better seat than I did on that Friday night, the start of a four-game series with the California Angels. I had intended to buy my standard bleacher seat, but a guy sold me a box seat for face value down at Kenmore Square, and so I was hobnobbing with the swells in the $3.50 section that night rather than my usual cronies in the dollar bleacher seats (No, kiddies, I’m not making those numbers up).
I saw a lot of Red Sox history made that summer, but there are some historical events you can do without, this one being quite near the top of the list.
Ryan says, “I have not yet been able to let an Aug. 18 go by without thinking of Tony Conigliaro and the night when his life changed irrevocably.” And it certainly did, although Tony C fought back as best he could. As Ryan notes:
Tony Conigliaro was enormously talented. Please remember, when he came back in 1969 after missing the final six weeks of the 1967 season and all of the 1968 season, he was fooling us all. He hit 20 homers and drove in 82 to become the logical winner of the Comeback Player of the Year Award, and he followed that up with 36-116 production in 1970. And then the Red Sox traded him! Don’t get me started on that one.
Just be glad he did get started on this one. It’s an excellent read.
(P.S. The Boston Herald had nothing on Tony C’s anniversary today. We’re guessing Joe Fitz tomorrow.)
Interesting split decision in today’s Boston Globe sports pages over Baseball Hall of Fame balloting, which is currently underway.
Commissioner Emeritus Bob Ryan makes his position clear from the get-go.
I’m not voting for Bonds, Clemens, or Sosa
I am in possession of the toxic ballot.
It is the Hall of Fame ballot voting members of the Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA) have dreaded for the last five years. Our feet are finally being held to the bonfire. How will we as a body judge the candidacy of the all-time home run leader, the only man to win seven Cy Young Awards, and a man with 609 career home runs who is the only person to homer 60 times or more in three seasons?
Absent, shall we say, a complicating factor, Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, and Sammy Sosa would be ultra-mortal locks. Based on the numbers, there wouldn’t be the slightest hesitation in checking the box next to their names.
But what sports fan doesn’t know there is a complicating factor?
The rest of the piece has Ryan wrestling with/explaining his choices. The final score:
Summing it up: Yes to [Jeff] Bagwell, [Craig] Biggio, [Edgar] Martinez, [Jack] Morris, [Mike] Piazza, [Tim] Raines, and [Curt] Schilling. Sorry to anyone else not named Bonds, Clemens, Sosa, McGwire , and Palmeiro.
By contrast, Globe baseball scribe Nick Cafardo skipped the Hamlet stuff and just included this in his Sunday Baseball Notes column:
Roger Clemens, Barry Bonds, Sammy Sosa, Mike Piazza, Jeff Bagwell, Craig Biggio, Alan Trammell, Tim Raines, and Jack Morris were all checked on my Hall of Fame ballot.
Reasoning, we hope, to come.
Crosstown at the Boston Herald, meanwhile, no mention whatsoever of the Hall. It’s not like there are no BBWAA voting members at the feisty local tabloid – Steve Buckley, Jeff Horrigan, and Michael Silverman are listed on Wikipedia‘s BBWAA roster.
We’ll let you know if they let us know.