Thursday, May 10, 2007

Three The Hard Way AKA Dart Adams’ Boston Sports Report Part One

As some of you may know, Boston is a serious sports town...I mean SERIOUS. You can’t go into a convenience store, bar, barbershop, check cashing spot or even a church without the discussion turning to one of Boston’s major sports teams. Living in Boston as a relatively young Black male and a sports fan gives me a different outlook on things, though. I used to write about basketball (I used to a ballaholic) for a couple of sites ( & back between 2003-2005 under the name GrnDynsty and I ended up being banned from for dissing the Celtics organization after the Ricky Davis/Marcus Banks for Wally Szczerbiak trade (read my old thread here ).

As a kid, I loved the Red Sox and I watched their games on WSBK Channel 38, but I knew that it was highly unlikely I’d be taking a trip to Fenway Park...the Yawkey family wasn’t too keen on brown folks back in the days. I remember when Jim Rice was the one Black dude on the roster for a couple of years, we called him the Lone Negro back then...and the Red Sox were referred to as the Red Sux. Around 1987, my big brother Dave got a job working with the grounds crew and he used to take me to Fenway Park with him to pick up his check sometimes. I'll never forget the day he brought me into the stands and pointed out the Green Monster. "It doesn't look that big!" I said to him. "Oh really?" he shot back. Then he brought me down into these tunnels and all around this place until we were in what looked like a garage. A bunch of old guys were smiling at me. My brother Dave said "Go onto the field." I walked out and that grass that all of my favorite players like Dwight Evans, Jim Rice, Yaz, Bill Buckner (still got nothin' but love for him, fuck the haters), Don Baylor, Wade Boggs and Ellis Burks ran on daily. My brother yelled "Now turn around and look up !"..My fuckin' jaw dropped as I saw just how big the Green Monster was and I made a face that had all those old bastards coughin' up dust. I'll never forget it.

The Celtics had a roster full of white dudes, I didn’t really care all that much because they were amongst some of the best players to ever to lace up a pair of Converse (Larry Bird, Kevin McHale & Danny Ainge). Besides, did all of the Celtics detractors miss DJ and Chief out their on the floor..and their Black HEAD COACH (K.C. Jones)? I remember Bostonians hating the Celtics because they had “too many White boys” and instead the rooted for the Philadelphia 76’ers or the LA Lakers...who both had a majority of Black players and those two White dudes that “hustled” (dove for loose balls, set picks or screens and took charges...that kind of shit).

I didn’t realize that much of the animosity came from the fact that back then, few Black folks were willing to make the trek down to the Boston Garden to watch them play as Boston was so segregated back then that there were sections of the city that certain types of people just wouldn’t dare venture to. It also came from the fact that people from all over the country looked at the players on the field for the Red Sox and the players on the court for the Celtics (added in the lack of brown faces in the seats) and assumed that either no Black people lived in Boston or they just weren’t welcome there.

I didn’t fully comprehend the frustrations that Black Bostonians dealt with yet as I was only a kid. Now I look back on things and realize that as bad as things are now they were 20 times worse back in the late 70’s and early to mid 80’s. A lot of those things disappeared with time (and a generation of old, ignorant motherfuckers dying) so now I feel fine going to Fenway Park, the TD Banknorth Garden or Gillette Stadium and rooting for my hometown teams (although Boston sports radio is still on some ol’ bullshit). Enough recollections and introspection...on to the goddamn sports!

The Boston Red Sox are 22-10 1/5th of the way through the season. Starting pitchers Josh Beckett (7-0), Curt Schilling (4-1) and Daisuke Matsusaka (4-2) are a combined 15-3 and the Red Sox have one of the best bullpens in Major League Baseball. The hitters, who started off slow are now coming around as Dustin Pedroia, Manny Ramirez, Mike Lowell, Coco Crisp, Jason Varitek and David Ortiz are all on hot streaks. The Sox lineup has been a veritable Murderer’s Row in their recent series versus the Toronto Blue Jays, knocking out both opposing pictures early on in the game and smacking 4 HR’s in each contest. To be fair, many of the Blue Jays have been injured but a W is still a W. Daisuke Matsusaka had another impressive outing with 8K’s and he didn’t get into any trouble in any of the innings like he has in the past (plus he got some run support). Hopefully, knuckleballer Tim Wakefield can crawl above the .500 mark today as the Sox hot bats face the Blue Jays ace Roy Halladay. Wake has one of the best ERA’s in baseball, but his lack of run support earlier on in the year cause his record to not reflect his brilliance on the mound so far this season. Who else do you know that can strike mothafuckas out throwing only 72 MPH?

The Yankees (what Red Sox update is complete without mentioning the Yankees?) have pulled even at 16-16 and they have signed Roger Clemens to a $28 million dollar contract to pitch this year. The earliest they can expect Rocket to be ready to make appearances is the first week of June...I’ll reserve my comments and judgement at least until something goes wrong (and it will) with this “deal”. As for Curt Schillings comments about Barry Bonds, he’s entitled to his opinion but don’t make it so that it takes away from the team’s goal or accomplishments...He doesn’t talk to the media so now you have Coco Crisp and Wily Mo Pena being asked questions about some shit Schill said about another player they won’t see until June. It’s corny, keep it to yourself until the season’s over (and you’ve won the World heard me! The Brewers are gonna fall off in the next two weeks. Have you seen their schedule?)

As far as the Patriots go, the addition of Randy Moss (seen merkin' shit above) has made them a dominant force in the AFC once again (while the Jets and Dolphins keep loading up in hopes of knocking them off), it seems that quite a few sports fans are nervous about having Randy Moss rocking Patriots blue because he’s supposedly a malcontent...get over yourselves. The dude has cornrows so you’re nervous about what kind of citizen he is? His previous places of employment had problems in their administration whether it be the coaches or the owners, there wasn’t a strong veteran leadership in place and the inmates were running the asylum (Minnesota and Oakland). Randy Moss had everything on his shoulders and everything else around him was falling apart. If you were a competitive person that wanted to win and you spoke your mind could YOU be happy with all of this frustrating shit happening both on the field and off? The Patriots won’t have that problem, the ownership, management, infrastructure, team, coaching staff everything is AIRTIGHT. All Randy Moss has to do is run his patterns and catch the more bullshit. I will be enjoying watching Tom Brady utilize his brand new weapon and wreak havoc on defenses in the NFL next season.

Last, but not least I will talk about the Boston Celtics. Last year was a disaster. Sebastian Telfair was a bust, Wally Szczerbiak got injured, Tony Allen got injured, Kendrick Perkins (who was on his way to being a night in night out double double machine) got injured, and Paul Pierce ended the season with his ongoing injuries (now he won’t be playing for Team USA anymore). The bright side? Al Jefferson has emerged into a superstar, Rajon Rondo may become the Celtics PG of the future and Gerald Green, Ryan Gomes, and Leon Powe look like keepers. Danny Ainge was recently on the Fox Sports New England show “Sports Tonight” saying that it was a deep draft (kinda) and that Greg Oden (seen wreckin' shit above) and Kevin Durant weren’t “special” players yet because they’re only 19. He was saying that they’re not going to be the saviors of a franchise...BULLSHIT! He’s only saying this because he doesn’t want a repeat of 1986 or 1997 (I’m still hurting from both of those drafts) and have fans being all doom and gloom again. Look, the Celtics need and deserve the #1 pick in the 2007 NBA Draft. They NEED Greg Oden. If they get Greg Oden it’s the playoffs in 2008..automatic. Book it. I’ll get more in depth about WHY the Celtics deserve the #1 pick in the upcoming NBA Draft Lottery this May 22nd in a later blog. This has been Dart Adams’ Boston Sports Report, Fuck them Yankees and have a pleasant afternoon (except for the Yankees, fuck all y’all...especially Johnny Damon).


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