Thinking out loud: Red Sox go all out after winning World Series

John Rooke
November 03, 2018 - 10:27 am

Thinking out loud…while wondering if we should teach a class on TV parade coverage etiquette…

  • Never let it be said that the Boston Red Sox are cheap. Not in the front office, not on the field, and not in bars and restaurants, either. 

 

  • After dispatching the Dodgers last week, the Sox celebrated at a Los Angeles nightclub and purchased more than $300,000 worth of, um, libations while partying.  They also left a tip, according to several sources, of $195,000.  No truth to the rumor it was all left on John Henry’s credit card.

 

  • Favorite clothing item seen at the Red Sox parade, was a sweatshirt that read: “Championship. Parade. Repeat. Boston.”

 

  • We’re experiencing an era that no one – no one – ever dreamed possible around here.  Really.  How could you, if you were a fan of Boston and New England sports before 2001?

 

  • Sure, you had the Celtics’ success of the ‘60’s, but unless you’re as old as I am (or older), you either weren’t around for Red Auerbach’s domination or you were too young to know what was going on. 

 

  • 11 World Championships in 18 years is a remarkable run of talent and good fortune for all of us.  As salaries, rights fees and the overall cost of sports rises to unforeseen levels, we’re lucky to have teams and management willing to pay the price and play this game at the highest possible level.

 

  • Never forget, fans help pay that freight.  It’s fun to be a fan, and yes – fun to talk, write and opine about these teams, too.  ‘Cuz this is Titletown, baby.

 

  • Two impressions from the World Series will last the test of time with me: 1) David Price and his redemption tour; 2) Steve Pearce, whose father grew up in Rehoboth, MA, and his unlikely voyage from journeyman to World Series MVP.  Underdog stories, if there ever were any.

 

  • Were the Sox a flawed team?  Yes.  Every team has flaws.  Overall, the Sox did the best job of covering up and making up for those flaws.  Bullpen woes?  Use starters or break out the bats.  Big bats asleep?  Cue the bench to contribute.  It was consistent, and fascinating to watch.

 

  • Happy to see Ian Kinsler enjoy this.  He came precariously close to putting his name right next to Bill Buckner’s in listing the all-time goats of Boston sports history, with his 13th inning error in the Game Two marathon.  Now – he’s relegated to a mere afterthought, along with that game.

 

  • Say what you will about Sox ownership, but Boston Sports Journal’s Sean McAdam reports they coughed up the quid for office personnel and support staff to fly out to LA for Games’ 4 and 5.

 

  • What’s next – or, what should be next?  Chris Sale’s option is picked up, which was expected.  Price opting in, instead of out, also was expected – and who can blame him?  Nathan Eovaldi, if he’s willing, should become a priority signing. 

 

  • What’s worse?  David Price before the World Series, or David Price ‘holding the trump card?’

 

  • Price really missed his moment.  Exulting in the adulation of the parade crowd, he could have (should have) taken the microphone and said “We won! I’m opting out!  See ya, suckers!”  And then, dropped the mic. 

 

  • Instead, he’s ours for another four years and $127 million.  Uh, thanks? 

 

  • Can’t believe I’m saying this, but Joe Kelly’s return should also be a priority, especially since he could be a candidate to close.

 

  • No, no, no to Craig Kimbrel.  No one can stand the season-long indifference on the mound, and the agita he puts us all through with his careless performances.  But Steve Pearce?  Let his power and pliability compete at 1st base.

 

  • For a team that looked to have as much cohesiveness and chemistry – or camaraderie – as this one apparently had, why wouldn’t you try to keep as much of it together as you can?  Let the offseason debates begin – with smiles on our faces.

 

  • Unless you’re a Yankee.  Still can’t and still won’t help you there.  Good luck with that.

 

  • Now for the bad news. TV ratings for the World Series were terrible, even with the Boston and LA markets involved. 3rd lowest on record, since 1972.  Baseball needs to fix itself, and soon, before the players no longer have David Price-like contracts to come back to.

 

  • Monday Night Football in Buffalo was, in a word, lousy.  But the TV ratings were up over Week 8 a year ago.  The power of football, and the power of the Patriots – compels you. 

 

  • But the spectacle that has been MNF since 1970 has lost its way.  It’s time to put this once-great TV institution out to pasture, like Gunsmoke, M*A*S*H and Happy Days before it.

 

  • Or, reinvigorate it.  Make every Monday a doubleheader, like the season opener.  Move the Thursday Night game to Monday.  Go bi-coastal.  Just give us all something to look forward to again?

 

  • Oh.  And non-crappy matchups.  That would help us all, too.

 

  • If you look forward to the tag team of Tess and Witten on Monday nights, you have issues, my friend.

 

  • Pay little-to-no attention to slow starts.  The Patriots (1-2), the Steelers (1-2-1) and the Saints (0-1, giving up 48 points) are all on winning streaks, and all returning to their perches atop the Tree of NFL Hierarchy.  The Texans have also rebounded from 0-and-3 with five straight wins.

 

  • Aaron Rodgers’ challenge on Sunday?  Not just to beat New England, but also to show the world he’s better than TB12.  That’s a pretty big burden to carry.  I say he accomplishes neither.  You?

 

  • I’m surprised the Pats stood pat at this week’s trading deadline, but also mindful of the fact that it takes two to tango.  And what team in their right mind is going to willingly ‘help’ the Patriots?

 

  • Don’t look now, but the playmakers are coming around, grudgingly.  Kyle Van Noy.  Devin McCourty (and it’s about time).  Trey Flowers.  This defense needs one or two more (Dont’a Hightower, where are you?) in the next few weeks to rise and be effective for the stretch.

 

  • Not for nuthin’, but Flowers is presently the highest-graded edge defender in the NFL by the stat nerds at Pro Football Focus.

 

  • Cordarrelle Patterson as a running back?  When you have options, it’s ludicrous.  When you have no one else, it’s brilliant. 

 

  • Don’t know about you, but I don’t really care if Josh Gordon needs to be punished.  If the team feels they need him to play, there are other ways to keep him in line, you know.  Cue the snide, insensitive remarks here.

 

  • I’m beginning to believe there’s some truth to the wishful rumors that Jimmy Garoppolo winds up returning to New England to replace TB12.  And I thought this BEFORE some guy named Nick Mullens led the 49ers to an obliteration of a bad Raiders’ team this week.

 

  • A little surprised at the league-wide hype surrounding your Friars before the season opener. Usually, PC is picked lower than is believed capable.  This year, they’re higher.  Is this because of Ed Cooley, or because of Ed Cooley’s new kids on the block?

 

  • The jump to the season is a steep one for this team.  After the opener against Siena – traditionally NOT an easy foe – a neutral site game (at the Naval Academy) against Wichita State next Friday night should open a lot of eyes.

 

  • I’m not buying stock in Butler, or in St. John’s.  But I’m thinking long on Marquette and Georgetown.  And Providence, too.

 

  • Did you see where Villanova already has the #2 class in the country for next year coming in?     R-E-L-O-A-D-E-D.

 

  • I keep waiting for that proverbial “shoe to drop” on some of the name programs and name coaches around the country, as it pertains to the FBI investigation.  Someone who knows something still hasn’t stepped up to the podium.

 

  • Kansas, Duke, Kentucky…blah, blah, blah.  Seems like the same ol’, same ol’.  Until it isn’t.  Time for some program to trip up that troika.  My guess for this season?  Old friend and ex-PC coach Rick Barnes and his team at Tennessee.

 

  • What do we know about URI through the preseason?  That Fatts Russell and Jeff Dowtin are more than capable of handling the offensive load in the backcourt.  But for the Rams to be a real factor in the A-10, Cyril Langevine and perhaps freshman Dana Tate will need to show they can control the paint.

 

  • Bryant opens its season Tuesday night at URI, in the first-ever meeting between the two programs.  Did you know that?  Brown, picked for 5th in the Ivy League, opens Friday Nov. 9th at LIU-Brooklyn.

 

  • The entire D.J. Durkin football fiasco at Maryland is a cautionary tale of greed, power and control.  It cost an athlete his life and shows the true power of what public perception and public sentiment can do these days.  It also smears some good people in that school and athletic department.

 

  • Rhody football needs one more win to clinch its’ first winning season since 2001.  Whoa.  And they have a tall task in taking on 8th ranked Elon on the road, where the Rams are 2-2 this year.  Both teams are within a game of 1st place (wait, wut?) in the CAA.

 

  • Bryant football finishes a three-game road swing at Saint Francis (PA) Saturday at 5-3 on the season, 2-2 in the NEC.  Put your money on a special teams’ play being a possible difference-maker in this one – the Bulldogs lead the nation with nine blocked kicks.

 

  • PC men’s soccer holds down the #3 seed in the Big East championships this weekend, playing on campus against St. John’s, while the women lost to Butler this week in the Big East semifinals. 

 

  • Men’s hockey has risen to #3 in the national polls and faces off with Holy Cross this weekend.  Field Hockey is in the Big East semis against 15th ranked Liberty.  Liberty?

 

  • URI men’s soccer finished the regular season 12-4, 5-3 in the Atlantic-10, and tied for 3rd in the league.  The Rams open tournament play as a 4-seed against Fordham, hosting that game Sunday for a chance to move into the semifinals.

 

  • Did anyone notice that the Revolution season ended last weekend?  Just sayin’.

 

  • Changes at the microphones this season, in case you haven’t heard – Jon Meterparel is moving on to do some TV work for ESPN, and Josh Maurer (also the Pawsox radio voice) is moving in to do Boston College basketball on WEEI 850.  Jay Burnham steps in at UMass on 105.5 FM, coming from the mid-Atlantic at William & Mary, Longwood and Richmond.

 

  • And hey, kudos and best wishes to Andy Massua, who recently departed WEEI as a long-time producer extraordinaire.  Andy joined the station not long after I first climbed on board, working with more than 100 different producers, hosts and production assistants.  Andy’s the guy that made the old “Big Show” sound big, becoming a tremendous hit once upon a time.  We’re outta here, Andy!

 

  • My buddy “Big E” sez there was a bit of confusion recently at his neighborhood Bass Pro Shop before he went hunting.  When he was ready to pay for his purchases of gun powder and bullets at the cashier stand, the clerk said, “strip down, facing me!”  Well, he did as she instructed, and when the alarms stopped going off and the shrieking from customers had subsided, he learned that the clerk was only trying to tell him which way to place his credit card into the card-reader.

 

  • Big E has been asked to find another Bass Pro Shop to frequent for his future purchases. 

 

  • Stop with the gushing.  We know the Red Sox won, and yes, it’s exciting.  But it would help, immensely, if some of the parade ‘hosts’ (who will be nameless here, but they know who they are) could do a little homework before hitting the air?  Or to ask the sports guys for a little info, first?

 

  • Most memorable moment?  Jerry Remy, on NESN, proclaiming to the pre-parade crowd at Fenway he’s “kicking cancer’s ass!”

 

  • Man-on-the-street interviews are the worst.  Predictable.  Boring.  “Hey look at me, I’m on TV and I’m saying something stupid!” says anyone ever interviewed at a parade.

 

  • Something tells me Larry Lucchino, who was on one of the Duck Boats Wednesday, wouldn’t be invited to a parade in Rhode Island, would he?

 

  • WBZ Channel 4 did something novel – they used their sports guys as part of their coverage and at least tried to toss a ball to Alex Cora.  It was a wimpy throw, Dan Roche.  NESN also televised the parade, and they’ve got nothing but sports guys (and gals) on staff. 

 

  • And here’s the other problem with televising parades.  We do them a lot, lately.  We should be used to it, and we should know how to produce them.  Our reporters and anchors should know how to host them.  But every parade looks like the last one.  Ho, hum. 

 

  • The Duck Boats are a Boston tradition, of course.  But could we, just for the sake of it, try a little creativity?  Be a little daring?  Be a little unlike every other parade you’ve ever seen in the history of television?

 

  • Thanks.  Now kids, get off my lawn. 

 

  • @acoste0803 tweeted at me this week on Friar radio stuff: “Any plans for @arooke2 to fill in again this year? Was impressive!”

 

  • @acoste0803:  Thanks for your note.  I’ve taken the liberty of informing my son, Austin Rooke, that his services are no longer required this season.  He was too damn good filling in for Joe Hassett (and for me with the call for a half) last week during our stream of the Providence exhibition game against Bowie State.  He’s younger, way cheaper and better looking.  In other words, he’s gotta go.

 

  • Interested in having your questions on local Rhode Island sports (and yes, that includes the Patriots, Red Sox, Bruins and Celtics) answered in a somewhat timely fashion? Send ‘em to me! It’s your chance to “think out loud,” so send your questions, comments and local stories to [email protected]. We’ll share mailbag comments/Facebook posts/Tweets right here! Follow me on Twitter, @JRbroadcaster…and on Facebook, www.facebook.com/john.rooke ...

 

Don’t forget to tune into Providence’s 103.7 FM, every Saturday from 7:00-9:00 am for Southern New England Sports Saturday!  Call in at 401-737-1287 or text at 37937.

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