Veteran right-handed starter Clay Buchholz enters his ninth season with Boston as one of several potential front-end rotation candidates. He is the longest tenured pitcher on the Red Sox and has logged nearly as many innings (915) in a Boston uniform as all of the other pitchers on the team’s 40-man roster combined (970).
As such, the former ladies’ man is now a mentor of sorts for younger players. Even though his swinging bachelor days are behind him, the wealth of knowledge he gathered along the way has made him a Yoda-level sage when it comes to matters of love and relationships.
Just in time for Valentine’s Day, Clay sat down to answer a few readers’ questions earlier this week.
With Valentine’s Day coming up, are you going to take some extra precautions to make sure sexually explicit photos of your wife Lindsay that are meant for your eyes only don’t fall into the hands of cyber-hackers again?
– George from Wellfleet
Boy was my face red after that whole thing, George. This is the first time I’ve really talked about this, but I’m sure incidents of sexting will spike what with V-Day coming up and all. So a little social and technological awareness may be beneficial to some. I’m sure everyone knows by now that my wife, bless her soul, occasionally sends me some photos of herself that I can look at while I’m alone eating room service in my hotel room during those long road trips in the middle of the summer. Unfortunately, they wound up in some wrong hands last year. The real embarrassing part of what happened for me was the hour-long lecture Lindsay and I got from Mr. Lucchino regarding the risky nature of habitual digital erotica. He said he was just looking out for our safety, but I thought it was a little over the line when he asked me if there were any reciprocating photos floating around that the team would need to scrub from the Internet. Damn! Thanks for making it weird, Larry.
The Boston sports scene is swimming with rising stars who may make the leap to local sex symbol, following the trails you blazed back in the mid-and-late-aughts. Who’s winning the race right now?
– Greg from Kingston
Julian Edelman seems to be carrying the torch pretty well right now, Greg. I tip my cap to him. But he’s still making some dire mistakes, surprisingly. For example, there are some compromising photos that recently surfaced of Edelman in some “morning after” type situations. Falling asleep in a broad’s bed is a written invitation to winding up on some strange’s Twitter feed, Tinder or Pinterest page. Maybe the dude just hit the drinks with a bit too much verve and passed out. But back in my day, I was always careful to cover my tracks. I wiped fingerprints, paid off limo drivers, ripped up receipts, deleted files on phones, etc. I’ve “confiscated” rolls upon rolls upon rolls of film taken on dames’ cameras that otherwise would have been destined for the Internet. Instead, they’re all disintegrating at the bottom of the Charles River. That’s how I rolled, Greg.
Anyway, Edelman is a bit too preppy to pull off the party animal thing. Meeting broads at a Harvard party pre-stocked with BU sorority chicks is basically cheating the system. Gronkowski’s seems more spontaneous and is probably a bit more akin to my style, which leads me to the next question this week.
How is it that there is Rob Gronkowski fan fiction erotica out there but nothing like that for you?
– Shelley from Plympton
Shelley, there is a lot of absurd, fantasy-based lit out there. I guess this whole Fifty Shades of Grey thing has something to do with it. I’m not at liberty to say who the publisher is, but I was approached about a Fifty Shades of Clay sort of spinoff not too long ago. I read some samples from the book and it sounded pretty unexciting and underwhelming. Most of the letters I receive from female Red Sox fans are far racier than that drivel. I’m not ready to compromise my personal brand with an inferior product.
Don’t you think the team ought to be trying to get that No. 1 guy for the starting rotation?
– Myra from Millis
I’m insulted Myra. The depth chart on RedSox.com has MY name and headshot listed next to that No. 1 slot. Check it out – the front and center of it all. Sorta nerve-wracking but I think I’m ready.
Why would that pic of my face be there if I weren’t the head honcho? Fine print says not subject to approval by the Red Sox, but it’s good enough for me. I’m already long-tossing at 150 feet, so these other guys they brought in are going to see what’s up down here in FLA.
Thanks for the questions, guys. See you all at Spring Training.
CARVER, Mass.–I know everybody in the New England area is all up in arms over how cool it was that Rob Gronkowski chugged a few beers while on the Pats’ victory parade route yesterday. It’s amazing what a couple Natty lites’ll do for ya rep. The guy is a freaking hero for what he did this year. And he obviously knows how to have a good time.
But I gotta say right now honestly and truly – Gronk has got a ways to go to become a party legend in my town. A long way.
Unknot yah panties and let me explain.
Let’s start off with the most obvious problem with annotating Gronk with the Greatest Boston Boozehound of All Time monikker. He can’t even burn a candle near Wade Boggs. We all know by now how much Wade drank back in the ‘80s. A buddy of mine taped that episode of Always Sunny in Philly with him in it and there was an entire storyline about Boggs and how he’d drink about two thirty racks on airplanes. Think about that – an entire episode of a TV show, aired two decades after he retires, talking about how much Wade Boggs could drink.
Not for nothing but those 50 to 60 beer estimates people talk about are real numbers. They stood the test of time. And Wade’s drinking came from a lonely, dark, disturbing, and depraved place Rob’ll probably never have to deal with. Boggs didn’t pound beers while celebrating any World Series titles by rolling down a duck boat on Boylston Street. He was sneaking them on road trips, in his hotel rooms and in the clubhouse to quell his constant need for sex. Wade wasn’t dancing on stage at some nightclub with broads hangin off his arms like Gronk. He was drawing the shades in some seedy hotel to – lemme not get too graphic here – throw a quick one into a married woman.
Put it this way. We all knew he slammed ’em back when he was a Red Sox, but the only visual evidence Wade liked the sauce was in cartoon form. That’s frigging eerie.
So while I don’t doubt Rob parties harder than Wade did, let’s not get carried away by a few token acts of shotgunning. Wade treated every Marriott and Hilton room he stayed in from sea to foaming sea like it was his own private Duck Boat parade with beers.
There are a few other guys that’ve passed through town that could probably drink Gronkowski under the table.
Larry Bird? That guy drank like a fish and played 82 games a season, not 16. That’s a lot more running and it’s a lot harder to sneak a quick puke in during a timeout on a basketball court. Larry was the first (of many) high-profile stars to tell Dan Shaughnessy to fuck off because Shank wouldn’t stop asking him about some bar fight he got in.
The Boston Bruins, 1970-present. There’s a big difference between a fun drunk and a mean drunk. Guess who’s who when you talk about comparing Rob with just about any Broon?
And let’s not forget Bobby Lobel, Channel 4 sportscaster extraordinaire. The entire CBS network couldn’t have supplied enough on-air make-up to hide that guy’s gin blossoms. But he always kept it ultra professional and was always real functional. By the end of his career he got smart – he just started doing his shows in bars. Made things easier I bet.
Koji Uehara. That’s right! Koji. We totally sure this guy doesn’t have some sort of stomach of steel like his Japanese brethren who are always winning those hot dog eating contests?
Some former Sox pitchers from a few years back? Yeah, guh, think I heard a thing or two about that. The horror. And well, hell, even Jonny Gomes was publicly treating beer cans like footballs a year and a half before Gronk was able to get around to it. Just saying – this is not open and shut. I’m sure I’m forgetting a few.
In closing, I just wanna say Rob’s great. Love the guy to death. But let’s make the guy pay his dues here. He’s been here for five years. The guy’s got a chance to be a legend, but longevity and durability count. Let’s hold off on naming any tunnels after him just yet and see how quickly this guy gets back at it once that hangover sets in.
Lifelong Massachusetts resident Francis Flynn and site contributor is an avid Boston sports fan. He is known for his affinity for Heidi Watney and his occasional game stories. Flynn has agreed to take time out from his life’s work maintaining his cranberry bog to answer one pressing question per week for Fenway Pastoral.