Color My World
BOSTON – He’ll be dressed in BLUE and it will make me sick.
It was the multi-sport seasons of 1976-77, I believe. I refuse to look it up, as it would be like reviewing film of a wake or funeral.
They were very dark days, the very first times I can remember the colors of the sports spectrum turning my stomach inside-out.
Tom Seaver dressed in CINCINNATI red, not his New York Mets royal blue.
Joe Namath dressed in blue and gold of the RAMS, not his forest green home New York Jets or his white-as-white-can be Jets’ No. 12 uniform.
Walt “Clyde” Frazier dressed in “wine” and gold of the CLEVELAND CAVALIERS instead of the NBA tuxedo that was a New York Knickerbockers uniform.
Julius “Dr. J.” Erving in SIXERS red, white and blue instead of his New York Nets uniform, although with The Doctor, we had seen him in Virginia Squires and UMass colors, so it wasn’t quite so bad.
Can you imagine the heart-ache?
Yes, you can.
Babe Ruth going to the New York Yankees … Bobby Orr in a Blackhawks sweater … Carlton Fisk in White Sox, not Red Sox uniform … Paul Pierce in a Brooklyn Nets jersey?
It will be a very dark day in just a couple weeks, February 22nd exactly, when the Dodgers face the Giants in Scottsdale for their first Cactus League game. Thank God the Dodgers don’t visit Fenway Park this season as they did in 2019.
Editor’s Note: As of publication, the Red Sox and Dodgers had yet to officially “announce” the “Betts-Price” trade, as medical tests called for the Sox to request additional pieces to fulfill the trade requirements. Reports were coming across the wires that the Min nest Twins were pulling out of the trade but others had trade-talks resuming.
Here Now, The Notes: The Boston Bruins in conjunction with TD Bank and the TD Garden are holding two Small Business Takeovers this season, including this weekend’s Boston vs. Arizona Coyotes and the March 28th (Bruins vs. Florida Panthers) game. … For the game this weekend, TD Bank handed over all possible advertising “real estate” at the TD Garden to a local small business for one game. That included the 360 LED screens, the dasher boards, video walls, Blades, the roster card and the TD Bank corporate suite in addition to digital support on Bruins social media channels. … As we’re writing, the TD Garden advertising “real estate” is dedicated to the Bay State Cruise Company which runs ferries from Boston to Provincetown, in addition to other services such as cruises on Boston Harbor, commuter ferry services between North Station and the Seaport District, the Encore Resort Water Shuttle service, and Trolley Tours in Provincetown. … Past TD Bank Small Business Night participants included ad take-overs by Agawam Crossing Dental, Heritage Plumbing, Heating, Colling and Electric and SunBug Solar. … San Francisco 49ers tight end Garrett Celek announced Friday that he is retiring from the NFL, ending an eight-year career. … “Niner Faithful, thank you for cheering me on these past 8 seasons, love y’all, Celek-time is clockin out,” he wrote in an Instagram post. … Celek, 31, said leading up to Super Bowl LIV that he was considering retirement. He played in just five games this season, landing on injured reserve in December with a back injury. … Celek had back surgery last summer to repair a herniated disk, but he does not expect to need another surgery, according to NBC Sports Bay Area. … In eight seasons, Celek totaled 82 catches for 1,104 yards and 12 touchdowns in 91 games (31 starts). … He is the younger brother of Brent Celek, the former Philadelphia Eagles tight end who retired in 2017 after an 11-year career. … In other NFL post-season news, Antonio Brown‘s apology tour continued Thursday with the free agent wide receiver telling the Pittsburgh Steelers he was sorry for being a distraction. … “I apologize to those guys for the distractions, the unwanted attention that I probably caused those guys, to the organization,” Brown told radio listeners when asked if he had anything to say to his former teammates, coaches and employers in Pittsburgh. … “Obviously, you want to clear out any baggage or any disrespect or unintended attention that was brought on to the organization,” he added. “These guys gave me an opportunity when I was 21 years old. I’m forever grateful to those guys, to have the opportunity to not only play with those guys but to be in so many amazing moments. We’ve been through so much. I’m forever grateful and indebted to this organization.” … Brown, who played his first nine seasons with the Steelers (2010-18), burned several bridges both before and after he was traded to the Oakland Raiders in March 2019.
XFL: On the Pro Football front, the XFL begins regular season play this weekend as the league kicks-off with eight teams, divided into two divisions. Washington, New York, Tampa Bay and St. Louis are in the East while Seattle, Los Angeles, Dallas and Houston make up the West. … The clubs will play a 10-game schedule with five home and five road contests with the top two clubs in each division playing off (April 18-19) for the right to the first XFL Championship (April 26). Games are being televised on a combination of ABC, FOX and ESPN.
Diamond Dust: Author Roger Kahn, perhaps best known for his 1972 best-selling book “The Boys of Summer” that nostalgically romanticized the Brooklyn Dodgers of a bygone era, died Thursday at the age of 92. … His son, Gordon Jacques Kahn, confirmed that his father died in a nursing home in Mamaroneck, New York, a northern suburb of New York City. Kahn was a true-blue New Yorker from the day he was born, residing primarily in hometown Brooklyn and Manhattan before most recently living in Stone Ridge, N.Y. … During his writing career, his positions included New York Herald Tribune copy boy, Newsweek sports editor, Esquire magazine columnist and professor at three colleges. … Kahn wrote at least 20 books, and often waxed poetic about baseball, the sport he loved as a child. He also collaborated with Pete Rose for a 1989 book before the all-time hits leader was banned from the game, and wrote a biography of legendary boxer Jack Dempsey. … Yet it was “The Boys of Summer” that made him famous as readers found his story incredibly heartwarming but not smarmy. … He borrowed his book title from a Dylan Thomas poem, and rhapsodized about a team that he worshiped as a child, then covered in the 1950s, including such classic players as Jackie Robinson, Duke Snider, Gil Hodges and Pee Wee Reese. … Retired San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy returned to the Giants as a special adviser. … Farhan Zaidi, the president of baseball operations, confirmed the move on Thursday. Bochy is expected to join the Giants at spring training in Scottsdale this week. … Next month, the 64-year-old will step back into the dugout when he manages Team France in the World Baseball Classic qualifier in Tucson, Ariz., from March 22-27. He was born in Landes de Bussac, France. … Although the team only confirmed his role this week, he’s worked with the team this offseason. He was involved in the selection of Gabe Kapler as his successor.
The Houston Astros’ sign-stealing scheme was an elaborate procedure that extended to road games as well as home games, the Wall Street Journal reported Friday. … In an extensive look into the scandal that cost Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow and manager A.J. Hinch their jobs, the Journal detailed the origins and execution of the plan the Astros front office reportedly referred to as “Codebreaker.” … Derek Vigoa, at the time a front office intern but now the Astros’ senior manager for team operations, reportedly devised an Excel-based program for deciphering the signs of the opposing catcher. … A Major League Baseball investigation found that the Astros illegally stole signs during the 2017 and 2018 seasons. Houston won the World Series in 2017. … Luhnow and Hinch were each handed one-year suspensions by MLB after the probe was completed on Jan. 13, and both men were fired by Astros owner Jim Crane later that day. … According to the Journal, Astros director of advance information Tom Koch-Weser maintained that Luhnow was in the know on the operation, and emails seen by MLB investigators were sent to Luhnow regarding “Codebreaker.”
Outfielder Hunter Pence is returning to the San Francisco Giants, multiple outlets reported on Friday. The deal is pending a physical and hasn’t been confirmed by the Giants. … Pence, who turns 37 in April, was part of San Francisco’s World Series-winning teams in 2012 and 2014. He was a highly popular player during his 6 1/2 seasons with the club and was a National League All-Star in 2014. … Pence experienced a disappointing 2018 campaign with the Giants when he batted .226 with four homers and 24 RBIs and the team wasn’t interested in re-signing him. But, he bounced back with a strong season with the Texas Rangers last season, batting .297 with 18 homers and 59 RBIs in 83 games. He earned his fourth career All-Star berth. … Overall, Pence has a .280 average with 242 homers and 936 RBIs in 1,690 games over 13 seasons. He also has played for the Houston Astros (2007-11) and Philadelphia Phillies (2011-12). … Kendrys Morales is retiring after 13 seasons, ESPN reported on Friday. … Morales, originally from Cuba, batted .265 with 213 homers and 740 RBIs in 1,363 major league games. … “Making the decision was difficult, right? But all things in life come to an end,” the 36-year-old Morales told ESPN’s Marly Rivera. “I spent many years, since Cuba, playing baseball and I gave up a lot of time I would have spent with my family. That is the one of the reasons I have decided to retire, to see if I can recover some of that lost time. … “Also, Major League Baseball has changed and maybe veteran ballplayers such as myself are not valued, so this is the right time to make this decision. It is hard, but it is the right decision for both me and my family.”
Digital Sports Desk posts a once-a-week Sunday Notes column, entitled: “While We’re Young Ideas.” It’s a throwback of sorts to the days when sportswriting and the baseball beat were the best jobs in the entire sports industry, maybe the entire world. One of those sportswriters was named Dick Young and he wrote “Young Ideas” with a “Diamond Dust” section for notes and quotes. … We welcome feedback and suggestions (psst, they call ’em pitches) for mentions within “While We’re Young Ideas” or Digital Sports Desk. Please follow and encourage (at least) another person or two to plug into (@DigSportsDesk) (@WhileYoungIdeas) and (@terrylyons).