Thursday, December 20, 2007

Rawhide, Cowhide - It All Tastes the Same

Just when you thought Red Sox closer supreme Jonathan Papelbon couldn't get any zanier, we get word yesterday from Paps regarding the whereabouts of the final-out ball from Game 4 of the series-clinching win over the Rockies.

For set-up purposes, you may recall that the last out was a swinging strike that Paps blew by someone named Seth Smith. In the ensuing delirium, Paps showed his impressive vertical and Jason Varitek raced to the mound for the traditional man-hug. Asked about what he did with the ball later, Varitek claimed that he gave it to Papelbon, who in turn said that he stuffed it into his back pocket. A couple of weeks later, however, nobody knew what had happened to the ball.

Well, it turns out that Pap's dog - named Boss - got ahold of the damn thing and pretty much did to it what the Sox did to the Rockies. He chewed it up until it was nearly unrecognizable, though Paps says that there are some remnants that he's holding onto as a keepsake. Is this guy beautiful or what?

Elsewhere on the local scene, the game last night between the Celtics and the Pistons lived up to the pre-game hype, as the two best teams in the East went down to the wire. Detroit picked up the W, but the Celts let them know that they'll be hanging around for the rest of the season. My uninformed analysis: the last shot should have been taken by Ray Allen, who was en fuego all night, and not Paul Pierce, who was ice cold shooting-wise. Also, when the Pistons got the ball with 1.5 seconds left in regulation (score tied 85-all), even the most uneducated hoops fan knew that Chauncey Billups was getting the ball. So why did Doc Rivers have Tony Allen - he of the recovering ACL - on Billups? That said, it's great to see the excitement back in the Garden. Just like old times.

And finally, one last little item for a snowy Thursday in Boston. If you want to get a feel for what the members of the 1972 Perfect Season Dolphins are up to, check this informative grid out. Mercury Morris' job kills me, and I think I'm jealous of Jake Scott, who lists himself as an investor living in Hawaii. Maybe the 8 Patriots heading to the Pro Bowl in Honolulu in February can stop by and share Perfect Season stories?

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