I spent about a half-hour in and around the Red Sox clubhouse, and I should tell you the Red Sox have a great vibe about them. Kind of like the old Braves, only a tad livelier, and nothing like the new Yankees, who come across as spoiled and surly. The Red Sox, I can report, have a splendid mix of guys.
And now you’re wondering: Amid this splendid mix, did I encounter My Favorite Pitcher in said clubhouse? Not really. (Nor did I go looking for him, or he, I feel sure, for me.) My Favorite Pitcher and I almost crossed paths when the Sox were preparing for batting practice, but we both turned our heads. (We’re really good at this, as you may know.)
I can also tell you I’m writing a little something for Sunday print — and for posting here later today — on Red Sox manager Terry Francona, whom I see as the New Bobby Cox. (And I mean that, Larry, as the highest possible compliment.) Francona is a delightful conversationalist, and we media types got to talking with him about Michael Jordan — whom Tito, as he’s known, managed in Birmingham in 1994 — and then we got around to Michael Jackson and Anna Nicole Smith.
And I’m thinking, “Gee, Bobby Cox never has that sort of conversation with the media.” But lo and behold, I walk across to Cox’s Batcave and he brings up Michael Jackson, and then John Schuerholz, who’s sitting there, asks Cox what was the first record he ever bought, and Cox says he never bought a record in his life and Schuerholz says his was “Rock Around the Clock” by Bill Haley and the Comets. And there we went.
I brought up the Temptations and the Supremes as my first recorded purchase. Dave O’Brien mentioned Wild Cherry. (I swear.) Then we got going on Kiss — O’Brien’s first concert, you should know — and Mark Lemke said something about Gene Simmons that I choose not to reproduce here.
And now you’re up to date on all essential baseball matters. And if you’d care to share your feelings about Michael Jordan or Michael Jackson or Anna Nicole Smith or Gene Simmons or even this afternoon’s Braves-Red Sox game … well, I’ll be happy to chat back all afternoon long.