Category Archives: The Boston Herald

Jon Lester’s thoughts on pizza with Hanley Ramirez say absolutely nothing (unless you are an idea-starved Boston Herald sports columnist)

Here’s hoping the financially strapped Boston Herald pays Steve Buckley by the word rather than by the magnitude of his idiocy.

After last night’s All-Star game, a reporter attempted to extract a throwaway quote from Jon Lester regarding his days in the minors with former Sox farmhand-turned-superstar Hanley Ramirez. As Buckley puts it, “If, by some miracle…had they perhaps gone out for pizza one night and talked about someday playing in the All-Star Game…”

Lester’s response: “I’d have a better chance of being struck by lightning than me and him getting a pizza together,” he said. “You can take that for what it’s worth. But there was no chance on God’s green earth that I was getting a pizza with him.”

Translation: OK, then. Clearly, the two weren’t buddies. They played a few seasons together in Portland and Augusta, but perhaps had little in common other than the uniform they wore at the ballpark every day.

Time to investigate other possible story angles.

Unless you’re Steve Buckley. If you’re an old Boston sports columnist, this is a good time to write about how guys like Lester are “throwbacks” in the Bob Gibson mold because, in Ramirez, the Sox ace “saw somebody with whom he’d never step out for a pizza. And there’s absolutely nothing unusual about that. What is unusual is that Lester would say so.”

Is it really unusual? Maybe some enterprising reporter ought to take a survey of who is eating pizza with whom. What if guys are lying about who they eat pizza with? Would the Players Association agree to some sort of testing procedure to find out?

This is an embarrassingly stupid premise for a column. At best, it is a lame, backwards attempt to point out that Jon Lester is having a pretty good season. People already know this. At worst, this is the type of silly anecdote that twists an innocuous answer to a lame question and trivializes the hard work put into perfecting the cut fastball.

About the only saving grace for this “column” is that is wasn’t written by Gerry Callahan. Because everybody already knows that only white guys eat pizza and care about winning.

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Herald’s Silverman: If not this year, Sox won’t win until 2093

Boston’s professional sports columnists love to pretend every game, every season, every tiny parcel of history they happen to be covering is bigger than it really is. Bearing that in mind, this is either poorly constructed sarcasm or extreme hyperbole from the Boston Herald’s Michael Silverman:

The Red Sox went two whole seasons without winning a championship between 2004 and 2007.

Beginning next week in Fort Myers, we get to find out if the 2010 team looks capable of sticking to that same schedule — or plunging this region into another unimaginable 86-year swoon. We all know there is no in-between.

The fact that  Silverman’s angle isn’t clear here goes a long way in explaining the rift between intelligent readership and local newspaper sports coverage. At the very least, failed sarcasm (the lowest form of humor) should be buried somewhere below the lead graf. This is obviously meant as either a dig at fellow media members or a shot at a passionate, reactionary fan base. Neither helps sell more newspapers.

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
  • WEEI.com, June 17, 2009: Penny’s worth
  • Providence Journal, June 17, 2009: Penny shines again for Sox
  • Boston.com, June 15, 2009: Penny in demand
  • NESN.com, 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 
  • NESN.com, 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?