Tag Archives: Manny Ramirez

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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Take a Bite Out of Hunger: Boston Urban Iditarod 2013

Boston Urban Iditarod Ghosts of Red Sox Past Trophies

Better Than the World Series Trophies — Youk and Manny, aka Darren Garnick and Chris Hegarty, fantasize about winning the coveted Golden Shopping Cart at the Boston Urban Iditarod. (Full Disclosure: They did not win).

This was the first race EVER in which I stopped in the middle for a beer, burger and fries (at Jerry Remy’s Sports Bar).

But that was a mandatory component of the Boston Urban Iditarod, a 5K charity “dogsled” race in which a shopping cart is the city sled and people are the dogs. The wacky event last weekend was also part pub crawl, part talent show and part parade float/ costume contest. There were 102 teams and 600 runners — only one of whom was wearing a Manny Ramirez wig (my childhood friend Chris Hegarty). More than 6,000 pounds of canned goods were collected for the Boston Medical Center Food Pantry.

Boston Urban Iditarod Ghosts of Red Sox Past 1

Ghosts of Red Sox Past: Dice-K, Manny, Nomar and Youk Together Again!

Our team theme was “Ghosts of Red Sox Past,” which involved a tribute to Red Sox players who were once heroes but later kicked out of town on their asses. A shopping bag ghost — looking like the Unknown Comic from The Gong Show — was our cart figurehead. Decorations also included Whiffle Bats, Whiffle Balls and a T-Ball glove zip-tied to the cart.

In the creativity department, we fell smack in the middle of the pack. Beneath us on the costume food chain were people who just slapped on Scooby Doo costumes from the party store and lots of generic pirates. More dedicated efforts included a UFO Roswell Alien gang, a Swan Lake ballet cart made from toilet paper, a group of exhibitionist gladiators wearing suits of armor made from newspaper (in 40 degree weather), and a funky papier mache dragon.

The Sox thing was an achievable theme at the last minute — and I thought, extremely relevant since the race began at Fenway Park. It was fun to yell “NO-MAH!” at my friend George’s Nomar Garciaparra jersey and to hear random motorists shout “YOOOUUUKKKKK!” at my Kevin Youkilis jersey, purchased at the last minute for a New Hampshire Magazine story about Red Sox fans.


All Five Sox “Ghosts” — Marty Karlon, Kevin Garnick, Chris Hegarty, Darren Garnick and George Austin.

My friend George had TWO Garciaparra jerseys lying around at home so he lent one to my brother Kevin and we had Nomar 1 and Nomar 2 battling it out for Iditarod glory.


Sox Ghosts in Action on the Streets of Boston.

Special thanks to the Whole Foods Market in Bedford, Mass., for lending our team a coveted shopping cart (race organizers don’t provide them) and donating a case of organic canned beans, bringing our team total to 70 pounds for the food bank. Also special thanks to the Lowell Spinners baseball team for loaning us their old Canaligator mascot head for the event.


Cereal Mascots — Reminiscent of the time that Warner Brothers and Disney Cartoons Co-Starred in “Who Framed Roger Rabbit?,” Kellogg’s Tony the Tiger Teams Up with the Trix Rabbit and Lucky Charms Leprechaun from General Mills.

I didn’t go crazy on the pub crawl component of the race, limiting myself to two beers. Much tougher to run on a beer-saturated stomach, although the younger guys in the race seemed to be unaffected.


Spy vs Spy — The Iditarod Organizers Channeling the Mad Magazine of my Youth!

For more colorful scenes from the Boston Urban Iditarod, check out this WBUR story on the race and my full photo gallery of the Sox Ghosts (with our competition) in action!

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Filed under Adventure Races, Boston Urban Iditarod

The Manny Ramirez Salary Comparison Calculator: How poor of a schmuck are you?

Recession-Proof Man: How long does it take Manny Ramirez to earn what you do?

Recession-Proof Man: How long does it take Manny Ramirez to earn what you do?

Want to get depressed?

You already know that the backup shortstop on the Kansas City Royals makes more in a season than you will in your entire life.

But check out ESPN’s new salary comparison calculator to really put things in perspective.

Let’s say you make $60K in a year, certainly a respectable salary if you don’t have an MBA or a decent curveball.

After his first two at bats of the season, Los Angeles Dodger Manny Ramirez is already ahead of you.

Why $60,000 will barely buy you one-third of an RBI or one-tenth of a homer.

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Are the New York Yankees powerful enough to squash (or buyout) the First Amendment?


This ESPN story sounds like it was yanked from one of those New York Yankee-themed Seinfeld episodes. Ripped over the new Joe Torre book, which allegedly characterizes general manager Brian Cashman as a backstabber, the Yanks are reportedly trying to put “non-disparaging” clauses in manager and coaches’ contracts to prevent future tell-all books from conquering Amazon.

Now, making employees sign agreements not to badmouth their companies is standard procedure when offering severance packages, but those employees willingly sell their First Amendment rights. Signing nondisclosure agreements to protect a company’s intellectual capital is also pretty commonplace.

But can a company enforce language in a contract stripping employees the right to shoot their mouths off with no severance package attached? Any lawyers out there who can shed some light on this?

Before I ramble on any further, I should admit that I am prone to find symbolism and universal meaning in the baseball world where it likely doesn’t exist.

Middle East ceasefire negotiations remind me of Manny Ramirez free agent talk. Jason Varitek’s job situation makes me think of Joe Sixpack’s job security. And when Joe Torre was first fired from the Yankees, I was outraged how a loyal organization man with stellar performance could be treated so shabbily.

But I am also a child of 1970s tell-all Yankees books, including Jim Bouton’s classic “Ball Four,” Billy Martin’s “Number One,” and Sparky Lyle’s “Bronx Zoo.” I still am fascinated by the tension between Reggie Jackson and Martin — and every salacious detail of the Rich Gossage-Cliff Johnson fight in 1978.

So even though I have no intention of reading the Torre book, I love the pop culture allusion that was being used in the Yankees clubhouse to describe A-Rod’s jealousy of Derek Jeter. From ESPN again:

Co-written by Torre and Sports Illustrated’s Tom Verducci, “The Yankee Years” is due out Feb. 3. Among other things, the book details how some teammates referred to Alex Rodriguez as “A-Fraud” after he joined the Yankees for the 2004 season, and it compares A-Rod’s supposed obsession with Jeter to the movie “Single White Female.”

So, to satisfy the anti-Yankees gossip addiction deep within me, I tracked down Jim Bouton — the ex-Yanks pitcher who dared to reveal that Mickey Mantle and Whitey Ford weren’t saints — and asked him his thoughts on the idea of management banning tell-all books.

The usually chatty Bouton, who took tremendous heat for being the Jackie Robinson of Tell-All Baseball Books, wasn’t so chatty with me in his e-mail. But not surprisingly, he thinks any Yankees attempt to squash free speech will only make the next author even more powerful.

“It will be like working for the CIA,” Bouton writes. “When one of them does write a book (which is guaranteed to happen), it will be a blockbuster.”

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Filed under Asinine Baseball Analogies, Sports

How is the Mideast cease-fire like a Manny Ramirez contract?

It's just "Manny being Manny" and the "Mideast being the Mideast."

Really the only way to guarantee a ceasefire is to wait until your enemy runs out of bullets. So it’s baffling what the nutcake negotiators from Israel and Hamas are trying to achieve with these “temporary” cease-fire proposals.

The latest scoop from Israel’s Haaretz newspaper:

“Hamas’ Gaza spokesman Ayman Taha, meanwhile, has said recently that Israel has offered his Palestinian Islamist group a 10-year cease-fire in the Gaza Strip.

Egypt is also demanding a truce of a number of years’ duration. But Taha said the group would agree to a cease-fire of anywhere between one year and no more than 18 months. Another Hamas spokesman, Ismail Radwan, said a long-term cease-fire “kills” the right to resistance by the Palestinians.”

OK, so Israel wants to sign a 10-year deal, Hamas wants to sign a one year contract with an option for another six months to re-arm. And Egypt wants both sides to go to arbitration?

Sounds like the Manny Ramirez negotiations, although this horrific analogy stops right here, because I don’t think the Red Sox, the Dodgers or the free agent Manny’s next employer deserve to be compared to Hamas.

Haaretz also reports that Defense Minister Ehud Barak, who once dressed like a girl in a daring commando operation, is now ratcheting up his testosterone rhetoric in a way that should send chills to plumbers throughout the Middle East.

“In a bid to gain the vote of the Russian immigrants in the elections, Labor leader and Defense Minister Ehud Barak will quote Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin’s statement about killing Chechen terrorists “on the toilet.”

“As you people say, they should be wacked when they’re on the toilet,” Barak will say in a radio election broadcast intended for Russian speakers. Labor, which is launching its campaign among the Russian speakers this afternoon, will ask them to support him, as they did when he last ran for prime minister 10 years ago.

The indirect allusion to Putin is Barak’s way of fashioning his image after that of an aggressive leader whom many Russian immigrants see favorably.”

If Barak does win the election over the favored Netanyahu, look for headline writers worldwide to have a blast with “Barack to meet Barak” headlines.

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Filed under Asinine Mideast Analogies, Foreign Affairs, Middle East, politics, Red Sox, Red Sox Schlock