Wednesday, December 30, 2009
I have one person in my family that gives us those awful gifts every single year; and not just for Christmas. She is married to my grandfather, and NO she's NOT my grandmother! My grandmother was and is one of the most important people in my life. She was a strong woman of compassion, caring, wisdom, and faith. I always think about her this time of year, or whenever I need strength in life's most difficult situations. She died in 1995 from Lou Gehrig's Disease. After my grandmother was diagnosed with ALS, Grace entered my grandfather's life. She was my grandparents' neighbor who used to bring meals over as a "gesture" to my grandfather and grandmother. Chicken Tertrazini was her favorite dish to bring by. My grandmother couldn't eat of any of it of course because she had lost her ability to chew from the disease. After Gram died, Grace and my grandfather became companions and married two years later in 1997. This was Grace's first marriage at age 68 and my grandfather's second at age 80. Now that I've given a little family history of how she became a part of our lives, I can talk about the gifts she gives.
Over the years I have received the following gifts from Grace at the holidays: a pen shaped like an exclamation point, a sweater that was 4 sizes too big, and a plastic penguin that walks after you wind it. This year we received a wreath from William Sonoma that fell apart right out of the box. For our wedding, rather than pay attention to pointless little things like gift registries, she sent a lamp to an old address. We never received the lamp, but we did receive 2 calls from the store she bought it from at 4AM Hawaii time while we were on our honeymoon, asking why we hadn't received this special gift. I wonder if it was like the "Leg Lamp" the father won in "A Christmas Story". Regardless, it's always entertaining to see what she sends on these occasions. I just keep in mind that it's the thought that counts, and it did provide material for this blog post.
Thursday, December 10, 2009
Belichick is the best because he knows he has a team with a ton of weaknesses, but he still doesn't stand for lack of effort, discipline, subpar performance, and bullshit. Unlike a certain baseball manager in this town, he doesn't allow the inmates to run the asylum. He doesn't allow players to quit on the team like Manny Ramirez did on the Red Sox in 2006 and 2007. I admire Belichick's decisions even if I don't always agree with them. He could probably draft a little better, but even the best GMs only hit on half of their draft choices at best. These players have nothing holding them back to attend an 8AM practice. If they want to buy a $90,000 SUV to drive through the snow, they can do it. If they want to buy 6000 square foot house next to Gillette, they can do it. Their wives don't have to work and they can hire a nanny to take the kids to school and pick them up. There's nothing keeping these players from doing anything. Take your punishment like a man Thomas, and shut your piehole. You love eating humble pie, I'll give you one guess of another thing you can eat. It rhymes with HIT: another thing you haven't done since you've been in Foxboro.
Monday, November 16, 2009
Are these examples not enough for people to realize that Belichick made the right move trusting the game to his Hall of Fame QB and offense, and not a week defense. In response to you Rodney Harrison and your ill-advised, maybe if you actually made the play you should have made on David Tyree in the Super Bowl, Coach Belichick wouldn't worry about whether his defense can make stops at the most important times. Tell NBC to add a mirror to your wardrobe on Sunday nights. Maybe then you'll realize why Belichick didn't have faith in his defense. Let's look at the facts Pats fans, and stop looking for the easiest answers. The Patriots have nobody on D that makes plays or presents any matchup problems for opposing offenses. Kudos to Belichick for not worrying about players' feelings, and taking a risk to win an important game.
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Could Plaxico Burress stay out of trouble considering the fact that not even police carry guns in London?
Would the Gatorade buckets be filled with strawberries and cream?
Would British players wear two mouthguards because they have bad teeth?
Would the parking lots smell like fried fish?
Would fans buy beer even though its warm and called bitter?
Do the bloody players have to clean the bloody blood off their own bloody uniforms?
Could teams like the Cowboys and Bengals(the All-Convict Teams) deal with pubs closing at 11PM?
I think we can all agree, sarcasm aside and NFL owners excluded, that the NFL in London is a bad idea. For starters, travel would be a 12 hour flight each way for teams like Seattle, Oakland, San Diego, and San Francisco. Not only that, if they do have an afternoon game in London, say 1PM, people on the West Coast would have to be ready for kickoff at 5AM on a Sunday. Yeah that'll get good ratings. There's no benefit for players either. The only ones, who benefit? Surprise, the owners. And even Bob Kraft is pushing the NFL in London idea, despite the fact that he won't give up a home game. Could that be because every game since 1994 in New England has been a sellout, and Kraft would also lose over 1 million dollars in parking revenue? Having lived in London myself, I love England's grandest city. Not for American football though. Try something else NFL.
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
You can eat oysters in just about every way possible at this festival: grilled, fried, on the halfshell. There's oyster stew, oyster fritters, and Sam Adams even created an oyster stout specifically for this event. Unfortunately for those of you who like your oysters at the bottom of a shot, I didn't see them serving oyster shooters at this open air party. Head over to the Bookstore Cafe by the harbor, and I'm sure the bartender will hook you up. I like mine stright from the cold water, high salt beds of Wellfleet Harbor. There is no substitute for the briny, salty, ocean flavor of a Wellfleet oyster. Add cocktail sauce, champagne mignonette, or tabasco if you'd like; but for me it takes away from the fresh flavor. Thousands make the trip out from all over the country and the world. Crowds can make the weekend feel an upscale version of Harpoonfest, and northeastern rudeness can make it's way into this quaint little village on the Cape. But if you enjoy oysters, chowder, and everything seafood, this is the place to be in the middle of October. Why? because as it says on a number t-shirts for sale, "Eevryone can use a good shuck."
Monday, October 12, 2009
Recently, officiating in professional sports has hit an all time low. The baseball playoffs have been a prime example. CB Bucknor gave the Angles two extra outs in Game 1 of the ALDS against the Red Sox with two missed calls at first base. In the Yankees-Twins series Joe Mauer hit a double that was ruled foul, when you clearly see at full speed that ball was about 8 inches fair. The Colorado Rockies lost a game last night where the umpires blew two calls on ONE PLAY.
During yesterday's Pats game, an official through a flag on Brandon Merriweather for Pass Interference, and then changed the call to Taunting. The problem was, the official threw the flag before Merriweather taunted the Broncos receiver. In other words, he knew Merriweather would taunt the opposing player before it happened, or he didn't want to pick up yet another ill-advised penalty flag. So they made something up. These calls even happen on the tennis court. The famous incident where Serena Williams verbally abused a line judge happened when that line judge called a foot fault at match point. I don't excuse Serena's behavior, but making that call at match point is like passing gas during the blessing at Thanksgiving Dinner; not an appropriate time.
I did a little searching on MLB.com on how to get an umpires job, and how much they get paid. This is what I found.
Professional umpires currently begin their Minor League career at $1,800 per month. At the Major League level, salaries range from approximately $84,000 to $300,000 per year.
Even more disturbing is the job description I found on MLB.com for umpires. It's listed below. Look at the second question asked. This is where the problem lies.
How to Become an Umpire
Have you ever stopped to think about what it would be like to be an umpire? To know the fate of a game rests in your hands? What would it be like to suit up and call the shots each day?
I always thought the fate of games should be left in the hands of players. But if you like control and 300,000 dollars a year, you too can be an umpire. Not a bad gig.
Friday, July 17, 2009
Cronkite rarely voiced his opinions on the air. When he did however, he articulated them better than anybody else, and he supported them with irrefuatble facts and images. No event in American history was this more evident than his assessment of the Tet Offensive during the Vietnam War in 1968. He spoke of a standoff, not a victory or defeat, but a stalemate in which our political leaders suffered from an excess of optimism and stubbornness, despite huge losses of American troops, prestige and morale. "To say that we are closer to victory or defeat, is to believe in the face of evidence, the optimists who have been wrong in the past. To suggest we are on the edge of defeat is to yield to unreasonable pessimism," Cronkite said. "To say we are mired in a stalemate seems the only realistic, yet unsatisfactory, conclusion. On the off chance that military and political analysts are right, in the next few months we must test the enemy's intentions, in case this is indeed his last big gasp before negotiations. But it is increasingly clear to this reporter that the only rational way out then will be to negotiate, not as victors, but as an honorable people who lived up to their pledge to defend democracy, and did the best they could." Ladies and gentlemen, this is why as a child I was required to watch and listen to this man, even though I was only 9 years old when he left the anchor desk. As it turned out, President Johnson announced one week later that he would not run for President in 1968. "If I've lost Cronkite, I've lost middle America," Johnson said. I only wish reporters had questioned and criticized the last administration in the same manner.
Today's news, at least local television news, has become a dog and pony show. Fancy voiceovers, dizzying graphics and special effects, stupid headlines, and young eye candy newscasters don't really cut the mustard when it comes to good reporting. Don't get me wrong, I like to look at most of the young female newscasters, I just can't seem to get any substanital facts or stances on the issues that affect us the most. This is where Cronkite separated himself from everyone else. Even his replacement Dan Rather screwed up by not checking his facts and sources before reporting a story. Nowhere was this more evident than when he presented documents that were possibly forged of George W. Bush's National Guard service, as authentic. We all know George Bush has dodged many resposibilities in his life, and there is nobody that enjoys a derogatory George W. Bush story more than me. But if you're going to report a story, make sure your sources and your facts are authentic. Nobody knew this better than Cronkite which is why his signoff of "That's the way it is" is so appropriate.
I even heard Hugh Downs say that Cronkite told him you have to be liberal to be a good reporter. I know what you're all thinking. But what he meant was people should draw conclusions based on facts and evidence without fear of questioning the establishment. RIP Walter Cronkite. You're the best. And that's the way it is.
Monday, July 13, 2009
However, things have not exactly gone swimmingly for the Nationals since the start of the season. GM Jim Bowden was forced to resign amid FBI allegations that he was skimming bonuses from Dominican players coming to the US. They had a prospect lie about his name and his age. Apparently the prospect they signed known as Esmailyn Gonzales born in 1989, is really Carlos Lugo, who was born in 1986. Oops! I guess there is nothing the Nats did wrong, but a little embarrassing nonetheless. As of tonight's All Star Game the Nats have the worst record in baseball (26-61) and fired manager Manny Acta today.
Probably the funniest thing I've seen however, was this incident in April where Nationals name was spelled wrong on Ryan Zimmerman's and Adam Dunn's uniform jerseys. No this is not a joke, but feel free to insert one if you like. See this link to Dan Steinberg's blog in the Washington Post. The link to the pictures of the uniform is: http://voices.washingtonpost.com/dcsportsbog/2009/04/nationals_uniform_fail.html. He also comments on it at http://voices.washingtonpost.com/nationalsjournal/2009/04/washington_natinals.html Apparently they need more than one copywriter. Unbelievable.
I wonder if Dan Steinberg knows that his blog is called "DC Sports Bog" I wonder if that is a typo.
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
I will always have a certain amount of loyalty to the PawSox. Ben Mondor and Mike Tamburro have owned and run the franchise since 1977 and have revolved their product around affordable baseball for families. I had the privilege of interviewing Ben and Mike a year and a half ago for Rhode Island Home Living and Design magazine. The link to this article is at http://rhodeislandhld.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=652&Itemid=122. Ben and Mike gave me 4 hours of their time and could not have been more accommodating. They also gave me 7 free tickets behind home plate to the July 3 game with fireworks to follow. McCoy Stadium is a great place to watch a ballgame. There are no bad or expensive seats in the house. If you bring the kids I recommend you sit out on the centerfield berm with a blanket or beach chairs. Pawtucket is less than an hour away, and it won't force you to take a second mortgage on your home. There is all kinds of room for kids to roam in case they get restless too. I'll be recommending other venues soon, but Pawtucket is great for an affordable night for everyone, and it also gives the best opportunity to see Major League ready talent. Almost every home grown Red Sox player has played on Ben Mondor Way. With the All Star Game approaching, don't miss your chance to catch future Red Sox All Stars.
Wednesday, July 1, 2009
Stanley was also a central part of the WORST moment in Red Sox history. In the 1986 World Series the Mets were down to their final out and final strike against Calvin Schiraldi with no one on base. Somehow Schiraldi managed to give up 3 straight singles and leave the tying run at third. To add to the situation the diamondvision at Shea Stadium said "Congratulations Boston Red Sox 1986 World Champions". Here is where they bring in Bob Stanley. He throws a wild pitch that Rich Gedman arguably could have stopped, and then induces a ground ball(exactly what he needed) that goes thru? Well you know the rest. There is no worse situation in baseball history, and Bob Stanley did that sooo many times for the Red Sox. He wasn't the best, that's for sure, but he certainly took the biggest hit for his team. Today I salute you Bob Stanley.
Friday, June 26, 2009
HOK Architecture created another masterpiece in Coors Field. Just about every detail was carefully planned in this ballpark from the landscape in centerfield with pinetrees, waterfalls, and fountains, to the spectacular view of the Rocky Mountains in left field, and a sunset that is unmatched by any MLB park. The main entrance at the corner of 20th and Blake Street is reminiscent of Ebbets Field in Brooklyn. It is constructed of hand-laid brick with an old fashioned clock at the top. Adding to Coors Field's history is the fact that 66 million year old dinosaur bones were discovered beneath the Blake Street location. They do have a silly looking mascot named Dinger the Dinosaur that resulted from this discovery. Most of the seats at Coors Field are dark green, but there is a row of purple seats in the upper deck in right field that marks the exact point that fans are 1 mile above sea level. Coors has one of the larger capacities(50,449) of the new ballparks due to the fact that the Rockies were regularly selling out 80,000 seat Mile High Stadium in their first two years of existence in 1993 and 1994. The Rockpile is the bleacher section in centerfield that was first conceived at Mile High and brought over to Coors Field. They are a ways from the field, but if you are 55 are older or 12 and younger, you can buy these tickets the day of the game for A BUCK!!! Try doing that at Fenway!
Even with some of the features that bring fans back to 1940's era of open air ballparks, Coors Field has a number of amenities necessary to accomodate modern day baseball. The field can drain over five inches of water in one hour, and the grass is heated to melt snow from the unpredictable weather months of April and October. There is even an area to bring fans to safety in case of a tornado. Yes they do happen, and the day before my tour, the tornado siren sounded at Coors Field for the first time.
Food and drink choices are endless at Coors Field. The Blue Moon Brewery is attached to the ballpark with their signature Belgian wheat beer and pub grub. The Mountain Ranch Bar and Grille is located in right field with casual and fine dining options. There's a good view of the field and a lot of memorabilia and references to the 2007 World Series. This is one of the aspects of Coors that Bostonians will enjoy more than any other, as we celebrated a sweep of this World Series right on the field. I enjoyed a "Rockie Dog", a giant hot dog with peppers, onions, sourkraut, relish, and mustard. There are also Buffalo burgers, gourmet pizza, Denver Cheesesteaks, and even Rocky Mountain Oysters. These are good, if you have the BALLS to eat them. There is a kids area called Buckaroos that serves kids sized portions in case your child doesn't want to eat a 2ft hot dog. The longest line for food that I saw was for tornadoughs. These are pretzels covered with cinnamon sugar, powdered sugar and other toppings; fantastic. There's even salad stand for those men who want a beating for eating a salad at a ballgame. Believe it or not, you can bring food and water into the ballpark. Make sure while in CO to drink water as the altitude can give you a headache or worse. After the game, the LoDo area (Lower Downtown) has a number of great bars to tie one on after the game. I recommend one of the bars with an outdoor patio or the Chophouse(great steaks!)
I know many of you think that the scores at Coors rival those of Bronco games. Not so much anymore. The humidor where they store baseballs before the game has considerably cut down on home runs. Coors has altitude 6% higher than any other park in baseball, so the outfield is 4% larger. What hasn't changed is the fact that a curveball does not break as sharply at Coors. This would explain why pitchers Mike Hampton, Darryl Kile, and Denny Neagle did not succeed despite huge contracts. Pitchers from the Rockies farm system have fared better from learning to pitch in nearby Colorado Springs. Keeping the ball low is key. For the record, there were no home runs in the game I saw. If there is a Rockies Home Run, the 40 foot fountains in centerfield erupt.
My seats were 15 rows up from the field with a view of the sunset in left field and the Rocky Mountains. A hundred bucks got me two field level seats; pretty good considering you could pay $150 a seat to sit in front of a poll at Fenway vs. the Yankees. Not that I ever did that.The Rockies completed their 10th straight win, and I might gave seen my last glimpse of Ken Griffey Jr. as the Mariners visited Colorado. The ushers and police officers are helpful and actually want to answer your question. Convenience is the rule at Coors Field as it is located right off I-25 and close to a light rail public transit station. There is also plenty of parking for $5!!!!! In Boston you can park 1/8 of a car for 5 bucks. In short, for those of you who plan your vacation around the Red Sox travel plans, or you just want to see a ballgame in a great facility, with perfect weather, and a friendly atmosphere, do not miss Coors Field.
Friday, June 19, 2009
We had one of the best meals we have ever had at the Riverside Hotel. Local Rocky Mountain asparagus wrapped in prosciutto and fontina cheese was our appetizer. I had a ribeye fired directly over wood coals and finished with a balsamic glaze for the right mix of smokiness and sweetness, phenominal!!! Holly had swai fish, which is similar to Tilapia, but more flavorful and less expensive. Side dishes included their fantastic seasonal vegetables, and out of this world gratin potatoes. We finshed the meal off with bread pudding covered in chocolate sauce, and Holly had a strawberry dessert finished with grenadine and whipped cream. We polished everything off, and we don't even like bread pudding, except at this place. Did I also mention we got a table with a window that had the best view of one of the nation's most important rivers, the Colorado River? Afterwards, the Paradise family turned on their big screen TV so we could watch Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals. What a great place. Reasonable too! Stay here instead of the Hot Springs Spa and Resort if you go. The Paradise family will welcome you with open arms, particularly if you're a KU Jayhawk fan.
Also that weekend was the celebration of Hot Sulphur Days. It's a small town summer celebration with events such as fireworks, a pie baking contest, street dance, craft fair, parade and more. The signature event is the Texas Charlie Shootout which re-enacts an Old West story of a high-rolling outlaw that meets his match in Hot Sulphur Springs trying to confront the long arm of the law. The body of Texas Charlie(the actor) is put on pallet and displayed and shown to onlookers in the Hot Sulphur Days Parade.
There is a lot of "white knuckle" driving on the way to Hot Sulphur Springs. US 40 climbs many mountains and ledges and winds through Winter Park, the highest city limits in the entire country. Believe me, you feel it. Winter Park town center is located more than 9,000 feet above sea level, as opposed to 5,280 in Denver. Drink lots of water and be prepared if you are afraid of heights.
Thursday, June 18, 2009
My wife and others ask me why I do the things I do; like drive any distance up to 1000 miles. As I sit on a plane waiting for our flight to take off for Boston after a 4 hour delay, I will tell you. Flying sucks, pure and simple. I can think of a number of things I like better than flying such as:
1) Having my wisdom teeth pulled without anesthesia.
2) Having a meat thermometer hammered in my ear.
3) Contracting bird flu.
Well, you get the idea. Maybe if I'm lucky by the time we arrive at Logan and get our bags, I can go right from the terminal to work. Good times. All this after paying $75 to check our bags roundtrip, $200 in cab fare, and $80 in meals and magazines to keep my brain occupied while I act thankful that we arrive home safely. But there is hope. Now that they delayed our arrival time to 1AM, they're allowing me to turn on my cell phone for the next 45 seconds and check the Sox score. Hope nobody has to take the T home. By the time I get home, the Rockies, who start their games 2 hours later, will have finished their game. Oh and there's more. They're coming around with snack boxes that sell for a mere $6. Complete with the finest snacks found on the floors of taxi cabs everywhere! Scrumdidlyicious! We are also apparently sitting next to a surgeon wearing a mask. He looks to be younger than Doogie Howser. Maybe the youngest surgeon ever! I suppose he could be worried about swine flu or sars. Maybe he is carpenter who is going to sand down a cabinet in his seat, and he doesn't want to inhale the sawdust. If that's the case, the least he can do is offer us a mask. Maybe at this point I'll pay $6 for an eye drop of vodka to go with my 40 oz. can of tomato juice. That'll put me to sleep, or at least make me regular again. We are apparently circling around the airport for the next 40 minutes. Hey look kids it's Big Ben... Parliament. Stay tuned....
10PM Eastern. We're in the air and I just got sassed by a male flight attendant.
1:30AM- We landed, and now we know why the guy next to us was wearing mask. He was farting enough to wilt all the corn crop in Iowa.
It's too bad Denver is 2000 miles away. Great city. Great vacation. You just have to fly there.
Thursday, June 11, 2009
Golden is a great little town about 15 miles west of Denver. There are rafting and kayak lessons right in the center of town on Clear Creek in addition to tours of the brewery. After the tour we took a walk on Clear Creek path, and then drank $1.50 Coors Light Drafts on the outdoor patio at the Buffalo Rose Bar. This bar has the best wings I've ever had, and has great live music to boot(look for acoustic guitarist David Risk, phenominal musician).The people are friendly too. Being from MA, I'm still trying to figure out how to handle being treated with respect at a restaurant on a regular basis. The only thing that surprised me, noone was watching the afternoon Rockies game in any of the bars. They're on an 8 game win streak! I could not find the game on TV either; Not like Boston. The weather was great though! Unlike the fog and rain I saw tonight at Fenway. Great place to spend the day. Stay tuned for the Hot Spring Spas and Coors Field!
Friday, June 5, 2009
Duck Tours can be fun on a nice day. It's an 80 minute tour that takes you through one of the most aesthetically pleasing cities in the country. You learn to appreciate Boston's skyline after seeing places like LA, Buffalo, and Detroit. The World War II amphibious vehicle travels along Boylston, Newbury, and Tremont Streets by land, and the Charles River between the Museum of Science and the Longfellow bridge. Quick drives through Charlestown, Government Center, the West End, and the Back Bay are also made. Boston is a city of firsts as we all know. Boston has the oldest public botanical garden, the first subway system in the country, the oldest university in the country, the nation's oldest restaurant(Union Oyster House), the first commissioned naval vessel in the world, the first American public school, and the first public park in the US.
Unfortunately the Duck Tour focuses more on bad jokes and saying the word duck in every sentence, than giving facts on our great city. I would liked to have learned something I didn't know before, like why Boston is called the Hub. Colonel Duct Tape was our guide. He hands out a lot of duck stickers, makes numerous bad jokes about ducks, and yells at pedstrians on Boylston and Newbury streets. He's a good tour guide, but I wish they allowed him to focus on why people are on the tour: to see Boston. It would have been nice of them to reference the other neighborhoods in the city too: Brighton, Alston, West Roxbury, Roxbury, Dorchester etc.It's not cheap either. $70 for 2 tix on the internet. In short, Leave the Duck Tours to the out-of-towners.
Thursday, May 28, 2009
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
Saturday, May 23, 2009
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
Thursday, May 14, 2009
As far as the game goes, it ended the worst possible way with the series villain Scott Walker scoring the winning goal. Apparently he does more than punch Aaron Ward in the face when he's not looking. BTW, way to go Gary Bettman and Colin Campbell for not suspending Walker when he should have been kicked out of the rest of the playoffs. What he did do however, was crash the net, something the Bruins don't do. Otherwise the Bruins would have been sneaking a rebound shot past Cam Ward. The Bruins have been the same for 30 years, they have good team, but nobody like a Joe Sakic, Mark Messier, Mario Lemieux, Wayne Gretzky, Henrik Zetterberg that can create chances at the net and score needed goals at crucial times. Cam Neely is the only legit offensive threat during the last thirty years - and he's only one guy. They have a good base, but they need a star goal scorer like Crosby, Ovechkin, or Rick Nash. 37 years and counting........
Let's look at some of the other things he missed out on. He never won a postseason MVP award despite pitching in more postseason games than any starting pitcher in baseball history(6 World Series too!!). He did win 2 World Series rings as a tag-along with the Yankees in '99 and 2000(after his steroid use). He won 7 Cy Youngs. Pretty impressive. Although he won four of them after he took a liking to long needles.
He has now opened his mouth again, never a good thing for him, to reiterate that he never took performance enhancing drugs. I think my favorite part of his stance is that he vehemently denies using steroids and HGH, but tells everbody that his wife and best friend(Andy Pettite) used them. They're must be a lot of love in that marriage!
When you really look at it, the move that changed the Red Sox fortune for the better and put 2 championship banners on Yawkey Way was blasting the Rocket out of town. He is the classic example of how the reputation doesn't match reality. The best way to size up the Rocket - One word - LOSER.
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
In light of this recent development, I hope the Red Sox do the right thing and retire the #24 in honor of the greatest right fielder to ever to patrol the land by the Pesky Pole - Dwight Evans. Dewey won 8 Gold Gloves, hit 385 home runs(more than Jim Rice), played in three All-Star Games, and had more home runs and extra base hits than ANY player in the 1980's. He is a consummate professional and should be in the Hall of Fame. I don't know what it will take to get him there, but the Red Sox can start by retiring his number and closing the book on Manny.