Pieces of my mind

Boston Globe |  October 15, 2010

Picked-up pieces while mulling how much I’d pay for Tommie Smith’s gold medal . . .

A lot of bad guys wear Yankee garb. Fact, not opinion. This from the Sept. 16 New York Times: “Since 2000, more than 100 people who have been suspects or persons of interest in connection with serious crimes in New York City wore Yankees apparel at the time of the crimes or at the time of their arrest or arraignment.’’

Do not walk — sprint — to the bookstore to get a copy of “The Last Boy: Mickey Mantle and the End of America’s Childhood’’ by Jane Leavy. She wrote the masterful bio of Sandy Koufax in 2002 and has devoted a giant chunk of her life to telling the story of The Mick. It is spectacular. I particularly liked the nugget about young Washington Times-Herald reporter Jacqueline Bouvier being dispatched to Griffith Stadium to ask ballplayers questions when the Yankees played the Senators in the spring of 1953. According to Leavy, the ballplayers “expressed more interest in her,’’ but were told, “She’s going with some senator.’’

I stayed at the same hotel as the Patriots when they played in Seattle in 2008, and I remember Deion Branch hanging out with his former teammates Saturday afternoon, the day before the game.

So many questions regarding the Red Sox’ foray into English soccer. Will John Henry pay a call at the Cavern Club when he goes to Liverpool to watch his new team? Is there a Bill James of soccer stats? Does Heidi Watney report from the sidelines?

I’m not one to make fun of hairstyles, but it’s pretty bad when Justin “Leave It To’’ Bieber is calling you out.

Could they be breaking up that old gang over at Yawkey Way? Larry Lucchino is always a candidate to work for the commissioner, and Tom Werner no doubt will try to buy the Dodgers if they go up for sale after the McCourt divorce case is settled.

Guess the Yankees knew what they were doing when they tanked against the Red Sox on the final weekend, settling for the wild card and a date with their cousins from Minneapolis-St. Paul.

I’d feel a lot better about Brett Favre if he just came out and said, “No, I did not send those texts.’’ It doesn’t appear that he committed a crime, but Favre looks guilty when he evades the question.

Sorry to see Clifford Ray tossed by the Celtics. With little fanfare, Ray was let go after working with the Green big men for five seasons.

On June 17, Reds MVP Joey Votto flew from Cincinnati to Seattle via Los Angeles so he could watch Game 7 of the Celtics-Lakers series. After going 2 for 4 with a homer in a day game, Votto flew to LAX and made it to Staples in time for the second quarter.

Anybody else think Jeremy Renner from “The Town’’ looks like Yankee Nick Swisher?

Manny Ramirez and the late Edwin Newman went to the same high school in New York’s Washington Heights.

Too bad Gillette Stadium doesn’t have a glass house for postgame interviews like the one the Jets and Giants use at the Meadowlands. Fans could see Bill Belichick’s stand-up routine for themselves.

I loved the Boss, too, but the George Steinbrenner plaque at Monument Park is much too big.

It’s one thing for schools such as Boston University, Providence, Vermont, and Wisconsin to kill baseball. But California? That’s right, boys and girls. The University of California, a Pac-10 staple, will be without baseball after the 2011 season. A sad day in the Jeff Kent household.

Wednesday was the 50th anniversary of Bill Mazeroski’s Game 7 homer in the 1960 World Series. Former Yankee publicist Marty Appel points out that there was not a single strikeout in that game. Truly amazing. It’s safe to say that will never happen again.

Ron Artest has worn Nos. 15, 23, 91, 93, and 96. He will wear No. 37 for the Lakers this year. I think.

Baseball’s playoff TV ratings are bad, especially when compared with football. In Minnesota, the Twins averaged 22 percent of households during the ALDS. The Vikings got 45.7 percent for the Favre/Moss show on “Monday Night Football.’’

Speaking of “MNF,’’ Jon Gruden is sensational in the broadcast booth. Even when Walt Coleman is making calls down below.

Congrats to Kendall Burton, daughter of Channel 4’s Steve Burton, who will play basketball at Villanova after she finishes her senior year at Newton South.

No congrats for St. George’s refusing to play big bad Lawrence Academy because kids might get hurt. The game was on the schedule. Lawrence won, 48-15, last year. The decision to pull out of the game was applauded in some corners because it made certain there would be no injuries. No applause here. Take Lawrence off the schedule or play the game. Don’t forfeit. It’s a PC lesson kids don’t need to learn.

Speaking of high school sports, how come all those teams at tiny Cohasset are so good?

Dan Shaughnessy is a Globe columnist. He can be reached at dshaughnessy@globe.com.  

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