Bob DeChiara/USA Today Sports

Thinking out loud: Some pressure for Red Sox coming

John Rooke
September 14, 2018 - 11:17 pm

Thinking out loud…while wondering who remembers Bob Starr?

 

  • Love the idea.  Joe Castiglione and John Sterling swapping out press box seats and sitting in with the enemy radio station for an inning next Tuesday?  Brilliant.  Don’t hold it against Joe, however, for going over to the Dark Side.  And Sterling?

 

  • If you’ve never heard him before, Sox fans, you’re in for a treat.  Like a ‘trick or treat.’  And remember, the now-80-year-old Voice of the Yankees once spun records at Channel 63, WPRO many moons ago.

 

  • Only 17 teams in MLB’s modern era won 99 of their first 145 games, like Boston. Nine of those squads have gone on to win the World Series. 

 

  • Nothing like a little extra pressure to greet your success.

 

  • 100 wins, 101 wins, 105 wins?  It’s a cool accomplishment, done only thrice previously in Red Sox history, and not done in 72 years.  But I keep thinking Seattle once won 116 games (in 2001), and they couldn’t reach the World Series.  Ultimately, number of wins means squat.

 

  • Cora will probably baby his starters down the stretch, especially when the division is clinched, so will they be ready for the postseason?  Depends on how much babying he does.  And isn’t that the stated goal – to win in the postseason? 

 

  • This should be a great test of Words vs. Actions.  Cora will either be dutifully praised, and rightfully so – or unmercifully hammered.  And rightfully so.

 

  • Mood.  Bullpen = Bad News.

 

  • Mood.  Starters = Only Hope.

 

  • Mood.  Hitters = Swing the bat.  Please.

 

  • Tweet of the Week, from @SoxNotes: “David Price’s AL rankings since the All-Star break: 1.78 ERA-1st, 0.89 WHIP-1st, .524 opponent OPS-1st, 0.36 HR/0.0 IP-1st (Minimum 50.0 IP)

 

  • Price’s resurgence is great and all, and is way better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick, but can he be dependable in the playoffs?  Can he win?  He hasn’t yet.

 

  • Anyone else find it strange that after five years in Pawtucket, and ten years in the Red Sox’ organization, manager Kevin Boles left of his own volition from the Pawsox?  A more loyal foot-soldier there wasn’t, within the Sox’ minor league system.

 

  • Sports economist Victor Matheson, who also teaches at Holy Cross, says the new “WooSox” stadium is set to receive more in public subsidies than the Patriots, Bruins, Celtics, and Red Sox combined.

 

  • “I think Worcester just really, really, really, really, really wanted a baseball team,” he told Deadspin this week. “I think the city council and the mayor and the city manager had a gigantic inferiority complex, and they wanted to create an identity for the city, and didn’t care what it cost them.”

 

  • I still feel badly that Rhode Island, and more specifically the City of Pawtucket, got played here.  But this is precisely what Pawsox ownership was hoping for.  Someone to not just flirt with them, but also show them love in return.  And they got that, $70 million worth of love, from Worcester.

 

  • This is, after all, not personal.  It’s just business.  You have to spend it to make it – which is ironic for a “spend it first, worry about it later” mentality like the one that has existed among most RI politicians for decades.

 

  • The City of Worcester will hold a celebration of the team’s arrival and the new stadium-build this Monday at 5:00 pm in front of Worcester City Hall.  Get ya’ pom-pons ready.

 

  • Hey Dunkin?  What happened to the 87-cent coffee promotion after a Patriots win?  Not your best move. 

 

  • New NFL head coaches went 0-7 in Week One.  Is it a tougher game these days, or are the new coaches not tough enough?

 

  • Much has been made over Bill Belichick assistants being 156-227 in their careers as head coaches entering this season.  Is Bill all that?  Or are his assistants not all that?  Both.

 

  • It’s likely they’ll have more (and future) success provided they aren’t “just like” Bill.  Having other organizations and coaches to learn from is the real secret to longevity and having success.  There’s only one Bill Belichick, he learned much from Bill Parcells, and they both broke the mold. 

 

  • The J-E-T-S rookie QB, Sam Darnold, threw a pick-6 on his first pass as a pro, then led his team to 31 3rd quarter points – the most points scored on the road in team franchise history.  And blasted Detroit.  Already a candidate for comeback of the year after just one week.

 

  • I have no words for the Buffalo Bills.  From the penthouse (and the playoffs) to the outhouse (a 47-3 opening week loss to Baltimore)?  Or did they ever really leave the outhouse?

 

  • The Patriots’ win over the Texans was notable in the trenches – the O-line protected TB12 well against potentially the most-talented D-line in the league.  And the D-line put pressure on Deshaun Watson by rushing four. 

 

  • But the rush D?  Gave up chunks of yards, especially in the 3rd quarter.  Why?  They were spread out in their defense against Watson.  Now, if they’re still giving up chunks of yards in a few weeks, we’ll have a problem.

 

  • With the Jags next – Belichick was asked this week about Jalen Ramsey’s penchant for trash talk: “We know when the game starts. We’ll be ready to go. I’m sure they will, too.”

 

  • Ramsey vs. Gronk?  Yes, please.  And then throw him out of the club.  Just sayin’.

 

  • Why Corey Coleman, and not Dez Bryant?  You can engage in a back-and-forth argument over their respective merits, of course.  But the only one that matters is, the Patriots have had the time to visit with, talk to and sign Dez, and chose Coleman instead.  Why do you think that is?

 

  • 45 days ‘til the official season opener at the Dunk for the Friars.  Official practice starts in two weeks.  And the exhibitions are earlier than ever, with the first one on Oct. 19th.  It’ll be here before you know it. 

 

  • Mark your calendars, Late Night Madness is October 13th at Alumni Hall on campus.

 

  • Freshman guard David Duke was called out as one of the “15 Freshmen to Watch” nationally this week on NCAA.com.

 

  • Not for nuthin’, but the PC schedule may be a bit tougher than Ed Cooley’s young guys really need it to be this year.  The question is, can they rise to the challenge or does the Big East – as it has often done throughout the past 40 years – swallow the young ‘uns whole?

 

  • Great that they get to start league play with two at home, and probably favorable that they’ll catch Villanova in Game Two.  But that stretch of four-out-of-five (and six-of-eight!) on the road is the pivotal point in the season.  Make-or-break.  Survive it, they might just advance to a 6th straight NCAA Tournament.

 

  • The last day of the Big East regular season, March 9th, features the 5-game and 10-team quintuple-header.  As evenly matched as some teams appear to be, that day alone may decide the seeding for the league tournament the next week.  Getcha’ popcorn ready.

 

  • No matter how bad you think you have it, someone else always has it worse.  Take St. John’s.  Probable contenders for the first time in years, the Red Storm open with three of four on the road – and Creighton gets this years’ Friar treatment and begins with their first two away.  One at PC on New Years’ Eve.

 

  • Did you see the 9/11 story from The Athletics’ Seth Davis about Ed Cooley’s near-miss with fate?  PC alumnus and Hall of Famer John Thompson’s, too.  Makes you appreciate what we have today even more. 

 

  • It will continue to be a long, laborious process, but the financial advisor pegged in last fall’s FBI investigation into college basketball corruption has pleaded guilty to three charges related to bribing coaches.  Think he’ll sing like a canary if they offer him reduced prison time?

 

  • As much as the football program has been maligned for much of the past 30+ years, hats are off today to URI.  Two-and-oh after beating Albany last week, the Rams received enough votes to crack the STATS FCS Top 25 poll, coming in at 25th.  It’s their first football ranking in 13 seasons.

 

  • And the next step comes against former rival UConn, now in FBS and smarting from two blowout defeats to UCF and Boise State.  Rhody has 34 all-time wins against the Huskies, their second-most against any opponent, and their lone win against an FBS school came in 2000 against UConn.  Could be interesting.

 

  • Brown kicks off Friday night at Cal Poly.  It’s the first time in 102 years for the Bears to play on the West Coast, since the 1916 Rose Bowl.  Brown was scheduled to play at the University of San Diego in 2001, but had the game cancelled because of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

 

  • Bryant plays Marist in the first home night game in program history Saturday night, a 6:00 pm kickoff at Beirne Stadium in Smithfield.  The Bulldogs lost to 24th ranked Stony Brook last weekend, and are 0-2 all-time against the Red Foxes.

 

  • URI’s other football team – men’s soccer – opened the week 5-0, and received a national ranking.  The Rams are one of five teams starting the week undefeated so far on the season.  Next up, at Providence on Sept. 18th.

 

  • Don’t look now, but Boston College is 3-0 on the gridiron after whuppin’ Wake Forest Thursday night, its best start since ‘07.  Two things really stand out about these Eagles – 1) A.J. Dillon is perhaps the best running back in the nation, and 2) the Eagles’ special teams may be the worst in the nation. 

 

  • Especially when it comes to punting.  Three punts have been blocked in the past two weeks, two against Holy Cross and all were recovered for touchdowns.  By the opponent.

 

  • 13 Providence Friar hockey alumni will be taking part in NHL training camps beginning this next week.  Not bad.  Not bad at all.

 

  • The largest sports “crime” in history happened 46 years ago this week, as the USA was robbed in Olympic hoops by the USSR.  The American team has yet – to this day – to claim their silver medals after “losing” 51-50 to the former Soviet Union.  I remember the day back in ‘72, and the game, well.  It was a robbery in front of the entire planet, and one of the true travesties in Olympic sport history.

 

  • Uh, Sir Paul?  Too Much Information.  Said every Beatles fan in the history of the world, this week.

 

  • Warner Studios released a report this week that Henry Cavill is out as Superman.  With all due respect to George Reeves, Christopher Reeve and Dean Cain he’s been the best one yet.  But if you want to make a splash within the DC Universe for the next one?  Hire ‘The Rock’ to play the role.  If you smell what I’m cookin’.  

 

  • One you’ll want to watch – ESPN’s latest “30 for 30” film on Junior Seau premiers this week, September 20th.

 

  • Serena Williams was wrong to do what she did during the US Open, but what tennis needs is more John McEnroe-like moments.  The story has been talked about all week long – brow-beating an umpire – which is also what the sport of tennis needs…people to talk about tennis all week long.

 

  • My buddy “Big E” sez he saw a sign posted in a neighbor’s yard that read “Talking Dog For Sale.”  He wasn’t going to pass this one up.  He walked up to the house, saw the dog on the porch and asked, “So what have you done with your life?”  The dog replied, “I’ve lived a very full life. I lived in the Alps rescuing avalanche victims, I served my country in Iraq and now I spend my days reading to the residents in the retirement home down the street.”

 

  • Big E was flabbergasted. The owner came out onto the porch after hearing the conversation, and Big E asked him “why on Earth would you get rid of this dog?”  The owner said, “because this dog is a liar. He never did any of that.”

 

  • Bob Starr was, technically, the last Red Sox play-by-play announcer in the “#1” slot before Joe Castiglione assumed the role in 1993.  After starting in Peoria, Illinois, he began his career in New England by calling the Patriots’ and BC Eagles’ games in the mid ‘60’s before he moved onto Oakland, St. Louis and Anaheim.  A return to Boston followed in 1990, to replace Ken Coleman in the radio booth for the Sox broadcasts.  His voice was booming, as was his presence at times.  But I loved listening to him, because he always had that ‘big league’ sound.

 

  • Starr left Boston to return to the left coast for Rams’ and Angels’ broadcasts, retiring from the Angels’ radio booth in ’97.  He passed away the following summer, in 1998.  But he was big time in my book, as his name might indicate. 

 

  • @HenryKinchJr tweeted this week on the Pawsox stadium debacle and move to Worcester: “I live in Pawtucket, so I do care. But I also know that my city never had the money to make this deal work, and I was not willing to put my city in bankruptcy so (Larry) Lucchino can have a playground at our expense.” 

 

  • Henry:  Be proud of your city.  And while I understand your sentiments and the facts here, understand this – this is just the way the game is played these days. Either you (and your city) are in, or you’re not. And “not” playing the game anymore is fine, too. But you will never really know what you had, until you start to miss it.  And it isn’t coming back.

 

  • 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 jrooke@weei.com. 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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