Monthly Archives: June 2009

Great Moments In Recurring Headlines About Brad Penny

  • Cape Cod Times, June 28, 2009: Penny hard-luck loser 
  • Boston Herald, June 27, 2009: Penny has earned his keep 
  • Lawrence Eagle Tribune, June 18, 2009: Be Penny wise
  • Boston Globe, June 18, 2009: Penny in their thoughts
  • Boston Herald, June 17, 2009: Worth every Penny
  •, June 17, 2009: Penny’s worth
  • Providence Journal, June 17, 2009: Penny shines again for Sox
  •, June 15, 2009: Penny in demand
  •, June 14, 2009: One-cent decision time: Save a Penny, or spend it?
  • Boston Herald, June 13, 2009: Brad Penny adds two cents on Joe Girardi flap 
  •, June 12, 2009: A Penny saved: Red sox might want to hold on to righty 
  • South Coast Today, June 5, 2009: Penny pinched in fifth, Sox fall to Rangers
  • Boston Herald, June 4, 2009: Penny for his thoughts; Tops trade talks again 
  • Boston Globe, May 26, 2009: No hurry to flip him, but Penny has value
  • Boston Herald, May 14, 2009: Penny could buy help
  • Boston Herald, May 4, 2009: Penny shines; Strikes out eight in 6 encouraging innings
  • Boston Herald, May 3, 2009: Penny needs a new angle
  • Boston Globe, April 29, 2009: It certainly wasn’t shiny Penny outing

Analysis: The Globe and Herald are clearly in the midst of a ferocious tug-of-war battle at the midpoint of the 2009 season for the Pulitzer Prize for Petty Penny Puns. Meanwhile, just like the olden days, regional dailies and online sites are lagging far behind. Would a ‘Give a Penny, Take a Nick[el] Johnson’ headline be too much to ask for at some point over the next four weeks?

Boston Police reportedly used money slated for mounted unit to buy Papelbon replica jerseys

BOSTON–The debate over the possible disbandment of the Boston Police Department’s 11-horse mounted patrol unit took an unusual turn earlier today with news that funds for the brigade may have been misappropriated toward the purchase of limited-edition Jonathan Papelbon No. 58 jerseys for cops. 

According to sources inside the BPD, hundreds of expensive, hand-stitched replica jerseys of the popular Red Sox closer were purchased using funds earmarked for the embattled mounted unit.

With the city’s stricken budget, cops all over the city were given the jerseys as a non-monetary bonus this past spring, said the source. “The whole thing is kind of blowing up in their faces now. The BPD obviously didn’t think shutting down the mounted unit this year would wind up generating such strong protests from city residents.”

As of this writing, the BPD planned to disband the unit at the end of June as a cost-cutting measure.

“It is a blatant lie to suggest they don’t have the resources to keep the unit up and running,” says a department member speaking on the condition of anonymity. “Take a look around the city some time. Those Papelbon jerseys are everywhere and they aren’t cheap.”

The jerseys given to Boston police have a minimal retail value of over $175 each, with some pricier styles containing limited edition patches commemorating the team’s 2007 World Series Championship. 

Meanwhile, City Hall held a hearing on Tuesday afternoon to discuss the mounted unit’s fate. According to attendees of the hearing, several off-duty Boston police officers made statements while wearing Papelbon jerseys, including one officer decked out in a special edition green jersey.

“Yeah, I don’t know if they bought those things themselves, but it certainly seems like a heck of a coincidence considering there wasn’t a game at Fenway [Tuesday night]. Now all of a sudden they don’t have the resources available for a mounted unit anymore?” said Francis Crawley of the Back Bay Neighborhood Watch Coalition. “Those horses leave big piles of dung all over the place, but it’d be a shame if they shut down the entire operation because these guys couldn’t just buy a $20 Papelbon T-shirt like everyone else.”

For their part, BPD spokesmen would neither confirm nor deny authorizing purchases of Papelbon jerseys. However, several sources insinuated that team apparel is obtained for plain-clothes cops when needed.

“As a safety measure, our undercover officers occasionally utilize popular clothing and team gear as a way to camouflage themselves in the style of a certain demographic,” said one spokesperson. “It’s possible Papelbon jerseys have been worn by some of our men as a means of blending into atmospheres in which uniformed officers would be met with hostility.”

City council members approached about the story declined to comment. However, several councillors appeared to be wearing semi-transparent white dress shirts which revealed outlines of No. 58 Papelbon jerseys being worn as undershirts.

That’s enough, Dennis Eckersley

Please. No more. You’ve cussed on air. You’ve jinxed potential no-hitters. You’ve refused to expand your third-grade vocabulary. You’ve made it genuinely difficult to listen to an entire Red Sox game on television.

Even Tim McCarver is laughing at you. Poor Justin Masterson is still waiting for an apology for your confusing his namesake with a well-known verb for autoeroticism.  

Face it. You’re just not cut out to be sitting in a broadcast booth for a full nine innings. The Red Sox play a lot of long games and you lack the requisite stamina. Sure, you’ve gotten some national gigs for TBS in the past, but consistently providing insightful color analysis in a two-man booth isn’t for everybody. Take a cue from your brilliant pitching career and go back to closing out game broadcasts with your short, energized spurts of post-game analysis. Tell your NESN bosses you’re out of gas.

You often become noticeably annoyed by relief pitchers who refuse to throw fastballs down the middle of the plate during mop-up duty and non-save situations. You’ve apparently forgotten that these guys are pitching for their livelihood, facing professional hitters constantly trying to pad their stats. Some of these guys could hit a home run out of Dodger Stadium with half a swing of the bat. (Sorry, we didn’t mean that, bear with us.)

Your chemistry with play-by-play man Don Orsillo is unnatural—if not blatantly rife with unspoken tension. At first you were a novelty. It was cute the way you continuously used words like cheese and paint and salad over and over again. But poor Don has increasingly had to carry you to the finish line, leading you with questions about pitching in which you might respond with something intelligent, all the while keeping a cupped hand close by in case he has to muffle your latest F-bomb.

It must be tiresome for Don to hide his frustration as you struggle through reading mid-inning promotions, often sounding like a high schooler who forgot to take his Ritalin before English class. This is not meant to disparage you. We all get it. Any youngster with a talent to throw a baseball like you did would have had, at best, a casual relationship with phonics.  

Please do not worry about us viewers. As NESN awaits the return of Jerry Remy, Orsillo can do his best Vin Scully and man the booth alone. Orsillo already boasts some experience as a solo act, namely when Remy renders himself speechless during one of his classic, tangential giggle fits. Not that we’ll ever complain about Remy again… 

Absence makes the heart grow fonder and Remy’s time off as he recovers from cancer has certainly made us all appreciate his consistent presence over the last 20 years. We long for a five-minute tirade about the inability of today’s players to execute a proper sacrifice bunt. We yearn for an explanation of how middle infielders decide who will cover second base in the event of a steal attempt. Heck, we’d be downright giddy to hear him predict yet another hit-and-run with Jason Varitek at the plate. We simply took for granted those little insights, too often tritely griping about Remy’s forced self-promotion of a persona contrived by publicists and marketing execs.

Now, karmic forces have left us with you, Dennis Eckersley. Please do not take this as ingratitude. Dave Roberts wasn’t exactly Bob Uecker in the booth, either. But let’s just say we won’t be too disappointed if you decide you want to head back to the Oakland A’s should a job opening become available. For old time’s sake, maybe the Coliseum will even blare George Thorogood’s Bad to the Bone as you make your return.

Boston Herald Inside Track columnist conquers 19-oz. ‘Beckett Burger’ at McGreevy’s

BOSTON—Patrons of a Boylston St. bar owned by popular local band The Dropkick Murphy’s were stunned earlier this week to witness Boston Herald columnist Gayle Fee methodically ingest a gigantic cheeseburger promoted by Red Sox pitcher Josh Beckett.

Fenway Pastoral snitches saw the whole thing unfold and first-person reports from People Who Were There varied from troubling to downright hilarious.

According to eyewitnesses, Fee and colleague Laura Raposa entered McGreevy’s at around 8 p.m. Monday evening. Fee proceeded to order the $30 “Big Mouth Beckett Burger,” described to be roughly the size of home plate, with all the fixings.

Molly McDougal, 31, a regular at the Irish bar, was surprised to see the woman attack such a ridiculous feat by herself. “She looked like John Candy in The Great Outdoors eating ‘the Old 96er’ sitting there. We were all waiting for her to break out in meat sweats.”

Fee’s Herald gal pal Raposa sat idly by sipping a milkshake, watching her fellow giggly gossiper devour the monstrosity.

“We kept yelling to her that Ben Affleck was across the street getting a drink at the Mandarin Hotel bar, but she was focused on that burger,” said Ethan Yates, 21, a junior from nearby Emerson College. “The fact that she finished all her fries too made it all the more impressive in my mind.”

Fee becomes the first customer to actually finish both the entire burger and all accompanying French fries since the burger was added to the menu last month, according to bar employees. Proceeds from sales of the burger go toward The Josh Beckett Foundation, a charitable organization devoted to improving the health and well-being of ill, disabled and disadvantaged children. 

“We had a bucket ready for her in case she got sick, but she didn’t need it,” said busboy Gregory Powers, a locally-raised homey who lives in Brighton. “It’s really just a heck of an accomplishment.”

Powers’ awe turned into visible disgust when told that Fee was later spotted at J.P. Licks on Newbury St., licking an ice cream cone and bragging of her Beckett Burger binge.

Other bargoers were said to be equally as horrified even before the burger met its ultimate demise.

“That was awful. She absolutely inhaled that thing. I’m disgusted and honestly, I don’t think I can hang out here anymore,” said Vanessa Thicke, 21, who claims she initially started frequenting the establishment several years ago when it was known as The Foggy Goggle. 

Given the number of local enemies the petty gossip columnists have made over the years, some patrons expressed surprise that either woman was still willing to risk such public humiliation.

“I guess they’re just used to it all by now…Once word got around the bar and people realized who she was, they were really letting her have it,” said one unidentified man.

As for Beckett himself, restaurant personnel said he failed to finish the burger. After dousing it with mustard and taking a number of unnecessarily large bites in the early going, the Red Sox pitcher threw in the towel with about one-third of the burger left.    

File Under: Un-Herald-ed Pigging Out in Boston.