Merry Christmas Carroll!

December 25, 2013

From our One Town, Two Places desk

The local dailies published their traditional year-end poems yesterday, and they couldn’t be more different.

First up, the Boston Globe’s annual holidays card to readers, in verse compliments of Joseph P. Kahn.

Greetings of the season, all.

In setting up this conference call

To wish you cheer these holidays

We pray beseech the N.S.A.24poem

To please refrain from scooping data.

(OK, we’ll talk. But maybe later?)

For feeling in the yuletide mood

Our disposition’s not improved

With thoughts of clandestine surveillance

By Santa-suited federal agents.

We’d much prefer the privacy

Of carols trilled around the tree,

Children’s laughter in the air,

Stockings hung with affordable care,

Missives filled with peace and love

And swift access to


And Kahn is off to the races.

Crosstown, the Boston Herald delivers its annual words of good cheer compliments of Track Gal Gayle Fee.

‘Twas the night before Christmas

And on the Fast Track,

Not a creature was stirring

They were all in the sack.

The Track Shack was cluttered

122413TrackToon13With our worn-out Jimmy Choos.

We’d taken them off.

It was time for a snooze.

The Tracklets were nestled

All snug in their beds,

While visions of iPads

Danced in their heads.

The Track was curled up

In our jammies so snug.

After a whole year of gossip,

We were resting our tongues!


Until they weren’t.

What’s interesting is how little intersection there is in the two ditties.

The feisty local tabloid devotes six stanzas to Boston sports; the stately local broadsheet, just this:

First, pour a whiskey, single-barrel,

For all the hirsute Sons of Farrell:

Pedey, Papi, Daniel Nava,

Closer Koji Uehara.

Salud to bullpen cop Steve Horgan,

Donna Tartt, and Freeman, Morgan.


Name-dropping in the Herald: Kim Kardashian, the Wahlbergs, Ben Affleck, Whitey Bulger.

Name-dropping in the Globe:

Among pals we’ve wrapped presents for

Are Chiwetel Ejiofor,

Ivan Klima, Omar Sy,

And brave Malala Yousafzai.

Wassail to you, Jennifer F. Boylan,

Mark Pollock, Ben Cherington,

Mireille Enos, Janet Yellen

And ageless Sir Ian McKellen.


Finally, references to crosstown rivals.


He filled all the stockings,

Winked and pulled on a lobe.

“All the good stuff’s for the Herald.

Coal for John Henry’s Globe!”



What crosstown rival?

And then there’s this from the hardreading staff:

Merry Christmas!

(Bill O’Reilly, eat your heart out.)

P.S. Family lore has it that my old man wanted to name his first-born Mary Christmas Carroll. Cooler heads (read: Jackie’s Agnes) prevailed.

Did Dan Shaughnessy Jinx the Sox? (II)

October 8, 2013

As the hardreading staff has noted,  Boston Globe sports columnist Dan Shaughnessy may have given a kayn aynhoreh (evil eye) to the Red Sox with his Sunday victory dance (headline: “Is it really necessary to go to Tampa?”).

Because it wasn’t just that the Sox lost last night to the Rays, but how they lost.

Exhibit A: The Wipeout at Second Base (via USA Today Sports).

Red Sox infielders collide to botch ground ball in ALDS loss

Dustin Pedroia may have been a little too eager.

A costly infield blunder by the Boston Red Sox in the bottom of the 8th inning of their ALDS Game 3 matchup in Tampa helped the Rays score a go-ahead run on Monday.USP-MLB_-ALDS-Boston-Red-Sox-at-Tampa-Bay-Rays-1024x704-1

With runners on first and second and one out, Rays shortstop Yunel Escobar hit a ground ball just to the left side of second base. Sox shortstop Stephen Drew and second baseman Dustin Pedroia both moved to field the ball. Drew scooped it up as Pedroia dove toward him, and Pedroia’s apparent effort to pull up wound up jarring the ball from Drew’s hand as he prepared to throw to first.


Exhibit B: Jose Lobaton’s walk-off homer in the bottom of the ninth against Sox ace closer Koji Uehara.



Today’s Total Amnesia column from Shaughnessy (headline on the web last night: “A crushing loss for Red Sox against Rays”):

It hurts, but how badly?

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — The Red Sox were inches from a clean getaway. They had mirrors on the ceiling and pink champagne on ice in the visitors clubhouse at Tropicana Field.

And then . . .

The Worst . . .

Loss . . .


OK, that’s an exaggeration. There is nothing devastating about a 5-4 loss when you are already leading a best-of-five series, two-games-to-zero. Jose Lobaton’s walkoff splash blast into the fish tank Monday night against heretofore unhittable Koji Uehara probably will end up being a mere footnote in the Red Sox’ inevitable march to the 2013 World Series.

Still, it hurts. And it gives pause.


As does Shaughnessy, who ditches his former bravado and concludes this way:

After the Sox rallied to tie it off Fernando Rodney in the top of the ninth, Lobaton came up with two out and nobody aboard and found the fish tank in right-center. Ballgame.

“I can’t say enough, the way we came back after giving up the lead,’’ said Farrell. “Just an exciting game. Well-played game. Still, we played a very good game tonight.’’

Perhaps. But it doesn’t feel good at this moment. This was the Red Sox’ first postseason walkoff loss since the Aaron Boone/Grady Little game of 2003.



If that turns into the Big Gulp, you know who to blame.


Funny, Valentine Gives Exclusive to Herald Edition

September 8, 2012

Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine, who sometimes seems to be only half there, gets half the Boston Herald’s front page today (via The Newseum):

Inside, Steve Buckley has the scoop:

Bobby V plans to be back

Choosing to whistle past the Fenway Park [map] graveyard, a defiant Bobby Valentine said yesterday he plans to be managing the Red Sox [team stats] in 2013.

“I expect to be, of course,” Valentine said late yesterday afternoon at Fenway Park before the Sox’ series opener against the Toronto Blue Jays. “Until I’m told that I’m not, why would I expect otherwise?”

Valentine, who is signed through 2013 and will earn $2.5 million next season, said he doesn’t “see any reason that I wouldn’t be in uniform, other than that they figured there’s someone better to do the job than I’m going to do here. Then maybe I’ll be in another uniform.

See your local bookmaker for the odds of that.

The hardreading staff’s favorite Bobby V pronouncement, though, appears in the pull quote:

As good as I am, I couldn’t even create this kind of mess.

Crosstown at the Globe, meanwhile, they seem to have already kissed Bobby goodbye. The broadsheet is all about John Farrell, the one that got away to the equally miserable Toronto Blue Jays. Michael Vega’s game report from the print edition (which led with a focus on Farrell) has largely been replaced, while a thumbsucker devoted to Farrell was added to the website today.

Back in the Herald, John Tomase says Farrell should stay put.

Farrell’s a keeper

No way Blue Jays should let Sox take their manager

The Red Sox [team stats] want John Farrell. Let there be little doubt of that. But here’s a question: If you’re the Blue Jays, why on earth would you give him to them?

The Red Sox are in disarray. Bobby Valentine is 99.9999999999999999999 percent certain to be fired, probably within hours of the season ending. If you’re Toronto, grasping for the tiniest thread of hope in the AL East, this is it:

Let the Red Sox keep flailing.

With Bobby V at the helm, there’s little doubt that’s just what will happen.