The Boston Red Sox are nearing the end of a woeful season, running last in their division, thirteen-and-a-half out of first, leaving the taste of wormwood and gall in the mouth of every member of Red Sox nation.
All over New England, they have taken to watching something other than the broadcast of games on NESN. Masochism has its limits, even for Red Sox fans.
So management evidently decided drastic steps were in order and earlier this week made a dramatic move. The play-by-play announcer was fired.
Don Orsillo, the affable and popular play-by-play voice on NESN’s Red Sox telecasts since 2001, will not return next year, according to multiple industry sources.
For the faithful, the move came as a shock and resulted in the usual online petitions in support of Orsillo, who gamely managed to keep his own enthusiasm going this season even as the players, and many fans, seemed to have entirely lost theirs.
One wonders if the high priced, underperforming Red Sox expect that the teevee ratings will go up next year if the team’s won/lost percentage does not.
Ah, well, nice to be reminded from time to time that it is a business and that loyalty does not figure in. Not when you are dead last, thirteen-and-a-half out, and running out the string.
The Yankees’s C.C. Sabathia is not having a stellar season. With a 4-9 record and a 5.24 ERA he could be forgiven for feeling a sense of frustration. Even one serious enough to get him into a near brawl with fans in, of all places, Toronto.
The Washington Nationals’s winning streak ended Thursday night in Colorado. After two games. But when recent performance includes a six game losing streak that helped the team fall from first place, by 4 and a half games in their division, to trailing the Mets by four, then you take what you can get. With the loss last night putting an end to a 3-7 road trip, the Nats are plainly a team that is not hitting on all cylinders.
If he were a race horse, then up-to-now the smart play would have been to bet him to show. On six occasions, Jason Day had finished among the top five in the big golf tournaments known as the "majors." But never first.
Washington, D.C.,'s Rock Creek Park Tennis Center—site of the week-long Citi Open tournament that wrapped up Sunday—is more formally known as the William H.G. Fitzgerald Center after its major benefactor, a living monument to success and generosity. Fitzgerald, who died nine years ago at 96, was a Bostonian who made a great deal of money in Washington and gave most of it away for education, and civic improvements, at home and in Africa. A graduate of the Naval Academy, he served in World War II and, past 80, as ambassador to Ireland.
Another big-headed candidate is running for president. And no, this one isn’t vying for the GOP nomination.
Instead, this new candidate raced along the warning track at Nationals Park last Friday night, competing against the likes of George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, William Howard Taft, and Theodore Roosevelt in the Presidents Race.
When he steps onto the first tee today, Tiger Woods will be coming off some of the worst rounds of his career and a last place finish in a tournament that he was accustomed to winning. In golf, as in all sport, anyone can have a bad day. But for Tiger Woods, this was something different. You wonder if he even bothered to pick up the check for his winnings of $12,276.
Assuming the WNBA approves, Isiah Thomas will be part owner and coach of the New York Liberty, the women’s team owned by James Dolan, the man who brought the Knicks to their current position in the NBA. Thomas, general manager of the Knicks, was convicted of sexual harassment in 2007. Not to worry. Thomas assures us the press that he has a daughter, and always respected his mother (both women), while fighting racism. Isiah played the mother and race cards, one jaded reporter wrote.
I used to watch sports on television in the same episodic and grudging manner I would tune in to C-SPAN. The proceedings mattered little, but I picked up useful information. It made me better at water cooler conversation—I got passing references to Monday night’s game.
Then something changed. It happened during the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight, and it’s been converting me into a fan of televised sports—admittedly, a fan with an asterisk.