Not Quite, Bobby V . . .

He’s no September historian, either . . .

Bobby Valentine’s bicycle seems to spend more time backpedaling than anything else when he’s aboard. And he has no better sense of direction than when he’s trying to pedal forward.

A few days ago, when a reporter had the audacity to ask in which if any areas the Red Sox needed improvement, Valentine delivered yet another remark the kind that has Red Sox Nation and Red Sox critics alike wondering when, not if, Valentine gets pinked. Not because he’s wrong, necessarily, but because he has a need, apparently insatiable, to take the low road, implying he can do nothing much past playing what he’s been dealt.

A Writer Apologises to the Kid

It still takes a big man to say he thinks he stuck the needle into the wrong vein.

Jeff Pearlman, the Sports Illustrated writer who seems never to have met a controversial athlete he couldn’t analyse nigh unto death, is proving himself a very big man these days. The news that Gary Carter’s brain cancer has taken a far more grave turn, news his daughter (Kimmy Bloemers, Palm Beach Atlantic’s softball coach, where her father is baseball coach) disclosed several days ago, has prompted the author of The Bad Guys Won, his remarkable retrospective study of the 1986 Mets, to issue a prose prayer with a mea culpa tucked inside:

The Thrilla's Three Victims

It is appropriate to set aside this journal’s customary business now and then to pay tribute to class and loss away from baseball. If you think that boxing is a profession, if not necessarily a sport, to which class is an unwelcome intruder, you may not have known Joe Frazier, who died of liver cancer at 67 on Monday. Or, at least, you may not really think that class was beaten out of the profession once and for all by the third and last of his showdowns with Muhammad Ali.

Ali won in the ring . . .