Joy of Broken Ribs Part 2 – Embracing my Peruvian Olympic Brother

In Solidarity -- For

In Solidarity — For Roberto Carcelen (Rib by Darren Garnick).

Anyone who’s ever suffered a broken rib knows how useless the medical profession is in that scenario. You can’t put a cast on a rib. And you can’t “rest” it since lung expansion is constant and vital.

The doctor’s advice is essentially “Suck it up.”

Peruvian cross-country skier Roberto Carcelen just finished last at the Sochi Olympics, but he did so with the weight of a million cinder blocks on his chest. He trudged 15K with a broken rib, earning the respect of the race’s Swiss gold medalist Dario Cologna, who waited 28 minutes to give him a hug.

What the media didn’t report is that Carcelen earned my respect as well.

I finished the Warrior Dash with a broken rib. That’s my rib in the X-Ray above. My crappy health insurance company didn’t think that X-Rays were important enough to cover, so I am getting my $200 worth now.

When I crawled across a rope net bridge with my broken rib, I had no idea it was broken. I thought my earlier fall was like a football injury I could brush off.  Had I known it was broken, I probably would have been smart and gone straight for the beer tent.

But if I were in the Olympics, I hope I would have done what Roberto did.  And his guts was matched only by the Swiss guy’s class. You don’t see that happen often in sports at any level.

That hug must have hurt though.

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Filed under Broken Rib Solidarity, Mud Racing

Coming to a Dollar Store Near You: A Lego-like Stephen Drew

Want to mingle Red Sox Shortstop Stephen Drew With Your Other Lego Superhero Minifigures? Double click Drew’s face for details.

I can say this as the owner of a Curt Schilling figurine, a Weeble-like Manny Ramirez, a Pedro Martinez Jack-in-the-Box and the Mike Lowell and Johnny Damon autobiographies:  This $13 Stephen Drew toy will be selling for a dollar next September.

Maybe even earlier if the Sox don’t resign him.

I’m not slamming Drew. I think his outstanding defense still saved enough runs to justify his atrocious 0-for-whatever batting average before Game 6 — and I was thrilled for him when he hit that World Series homer.

But I’m going to pass on this round of Red Sox World Series souvenirs. Being in the bleachers for Big Papi’s grand slam in Game 2 of the AL Playoffs and seeing Dustin Pedroia in a hotel lobby is enough for me this time!

As an aside, I’m still smitten by Jake Peavy’s World Series souvenir, his $75,000 Boston Duck Boat!

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The Man Who Made Me a Baseball Fan

Abraham "Bob" Tubin with Red Sox second baseman Mike Andrews at Fenway Park in the early 1970s. Tubin was making a donation to the official Sox charity, The Jimmy Fund, on behalf of his fellow Boston Herald truck drivers.

Abraham “Bob” Tubin with Red Sox second baseman Mike Andrews at Fenway Park in the early 1970s. Tubin was making a donation to the official Sox charity, The Jimmy Fund, on behalf of his fellow Boston Herald truck drivers.

To my Grandpa Bob Tubin, every Red Sox player who wasn’t Ted Williams or Yaz was an overpaid bum or “primadonna,” but the TV was always on Channel 38.

I used to fall asleep on his couch and get woken up when Butch Hobson or George Scott would go deep.

Awesome that he got to see the 2004 Sox win the World Series before he died. Here he is with 1967 second baseman Mike Andrews, making a donation to The Jimmy Fund from his fellow Boston Herald drivers.

Andrews went on to become president of The Jimmy Fund and my grandfather went on to turn his grandson into a baseball fan. He would have LOVED the World Series victory last night!

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David Ortiz Ate Here: Confessions of a Grown-Up Red Sox Fanboy

Read "I Am a Red Sox Fanboy," my opinion column for, by double clicking Dustin Pedroia's beard.

Read “I Am a Red Sox Fanboy,” my column for, by double clicking Dustin Pedroia’s beard.

Journalism has brought me close up with political leaders, CEOs, inventors, scientists, actors, musicians and even Squiggy from “Laverne & Shirley” fame.

But only baseball players can make me feel 12 years old again.

Timed for the World Series, I wrote a fun column for about the thrill of spotting Red Sox players out of uniform — without the help of baseball cards.

Here’s a sneak peek:

“Is baseball hothead David Price right? Are the millions of us who never pitched beyond Little League just a bunch of starstruck wannabes?

During the American League Divisional Series, the Tampa Bay Rays star lashed out at the media after giving up seven earned runs in seven innings. “Nice questions, nerds!” he hissed at reporters. Then Price got mean. On Twitter, he called Sports Illustrated scribe Tom Verducci a nerd who wasn’t even a water boy in high school.” He stopped there, passing up the temptation to mock Verducci’s prom date or how much he can bench press.

Price’s snotty attitude exists for one reason. Many of my fellow baseball nuts DO think players are cooler than the rest of us. The fact is, no matter how successful we may be in our professional lives, many of us would instantly trade in our careers for a (your team here) uniform.”

Oddly, a tongue-in-cheek column like this has attracted some angry comments directed at Boston and Bostonians. I know writers are advised to NEVER read the anonymous comments beneath their stories, but I always touch the Third Rail.

Check out my column, “I am a Red Sox Fanboy,” and please share it with fellow baseball fans. Even though it’s focused on the Sox, you really could fill in the blanks with players from your favorite team — or characters from any celebrity watching endeavor for that matter.

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Filed under Celebrity Watching, CNN Columns, Red Sox, Red Sox Schlock, Sports

Undeniable Evidence of My Undeniable Role in the 2013 Red Sox Turnaround

My first cover story for New Hampshire Magazine explores the die-hard subculture of Red Sox fans in the Granite State -- and their state of mind after one of the worst seasons in Sox history. (Cover design by J Porter)

April’s NH Magazine explored the die-hard subculture of Red Sox fans in the Granite State — and their uncrushable faith after one of the worst seasons in Sox history. (Double click to read the story)

Why yes, I am taking credit for the success of the 2013 Red Sox. Back in April, my New Hampshire Magazine story foreshadowed the Redemption, the Faith and the Realignment of the Baseball Universe.

Be sure to read the story as part of your pre-World Series rituals!

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Filed under New Hampshire Magazine, Red Sox, Sports

Special Thanks From The Garnick Justice League

Superhero Cousins from the Garnick Justice League and Super Friends team up at the CHaD Hero Fun Run for Children's Hospital.

Younger members of the Garnick Justice League & Super Friends team up at the CHaD Hero Fun Run for Children’s Hospital.

Special thanks to all the generous friends, family and co-workers who supported our Garnick Justice League and Super Friends teams to raise funds for the Children’s Hospital at Dartmouth last weekend. It was our third straight CHaD Hero Race — and a place where DC and Marvel characters could set aside their differences for the day and support a great cause.

The magic of CHaD is captured by this charming tribute video:

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Filed under Excuses to Dress as a Superhero

What I was doing when the other kids played with Star Wars figures*

Carney Lansford: The Batting Champion Who Needed Glasses

Lansford: The Batting Champ Who Needed Glasses

File This Under “Stories That Make Me Sound Like My Grandfather.”

I used to spend a TON of time clipping box scores and newspaper articles about Red Sox games and glue them in a thick homemade construction paper scrapbook. It looked like an overstuffed wallet exploding with receipts and bank statements.

A significant portion of that scrapbook was devoted to new Sox third baseman Carney Lansford, who replaced my beloved Butch Hobson in 1981, but quickly won me over.  Beyond his clutch hitting, I think I identified with him because he wore big clunky glasses like me. I was not thrilled with the idea of having to wear them.

I remember reading a column about Lansford’s vision and how his hitting dramatically improved after he could actually see the ball.  But for some reason, this gem wasn’t glued down for posterity.

So I tried tracking the down the story from the source: Lowell Sun sportswriter Chaz Scoggins. I naturally assumed that all writers kept a personal archive of everything they wrote — and that they had meticulous filing systems.

In my childhood view, Scoggins had the best job in the world. Talking to Carney Lansford and getting paid for it. But he wasn’t in love with his own byline. At the end of the day, he threw his newspaper stories out.

I recently stumbled across a letter from Mr. Scoggins, expressing regret he could not help fill the gaping hole in my scrapbook. “Unfortunately,” he wrote. “like you I don’t save newspapers.”

The Sun didn’t index their stories in the pre-Internet era. He suggested I visit their offices and skim through the microfilm, even giving me the name of their librarian.

Here’s the letter from Chaz Scoggins in its entirety. So impressed that he took the time to type out such a detailed letter to a kid.

How We Looked Up Newspaper Articles Before The Internet (Double click to enlarge)

How We Looked Up Newspaper Articles Before The Internet (Double click to enlarge)

Scoggins, a highly respected sportswriter, went on to become the official scorer of the Boston Red Sox.

(*As an aside, I played with Star Wars figures, too!)

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