Now that it appears the New York Yankees won’t be making the Major League Baseball playoffs — thanks in large part to the Red Sox spanking them this year, with six wins in seven games over the last month — Phillipe and Jorge can afford to both salute and ridicule them.

First off, salud to the Yanks’ Mariano Rivera, the best relief pitcher in baseball history (although a tip of P.’s Phillies cap goes to Jim Konstanty, National League MVP when the Whiz Kids won the 1950 pennant). The gracious and lovingly snarky sendoff Rivera got from his BoSox rivals at his final game at Fenway is what fun and sportsmanship is all about. Despite mowing down the Sox like dandelions over the years, it was Rivera’s blown save in the crucial fourth game of the 2004 American League Championship Series that propelled Boston to its purging of the “Curse of the Bambino” as they won the World Series that year.

New York has always had a nice touch with how they treat the national pastime, as seen with former announcers like the late Yankees’ shortstop, Phil Rizzuto. ‘The Scooter” announced games for years for Yankee TV coverage while trying to keep his brain on the same planet as the game, and in doing so made Yogi Berra look like a Nobel Prize winner. (Another a huge tip of the baseball cap to Yogi, whose museum in New Jersey is famous for informing you, “We’re open until we close.”)

Rizzuto was so off the wall on the air that they actually put out a book of his best commentaries called O Holy Cow: The Selected Verse of Phil Rizzuto. P&J came across it as we were cleaning our office recently, and here’s one of our favorites from 1991, as relayed by Rizzuto while the game was going on, talking to his broadcast partner, NY Mets Hall of Famer Tom Seaver:

Ted Williams made this remark now.

And I’m not saying it

Because I agree with him wholeheartedly.

But he said,

“Pitchers are the dumbest of all ballplayers.

Infielders, outfielders,” he says.

’Cause all the know how to do is pitch.

And they only pitch one out of every five days.’

Now I’m just saying.

What?

Bouncer.

And Sax to his left.

Throws him out.

One away.

I’m asking you a simple question, Seaver.

There he is.

He won’t answer me.

How do you like my shirt?

You see my shirt?

Rocky Marciano.

The Cowsills, the Park, and Other Things

You’ll want to stop by Pawtucket’s Slater Park this Sunday, September 22, for a fabulous day of nostalgic music and fun. As part of the Pawtucket Arts Festival — which is ongoing throughout September — Newport’s legendary Cowsills will make a rare appearance, sharing the bill with the Rhode Island Philharmonic. And it’s all topped off by a fireworks display.

While the Cowsills (the ’60s hitmakers on which The Partridge Family TV show was based) do not get together to play often, this is their second show in the Ocean State this year. In April, they performed at their induction into the Rhode Island Music Hall of Fame, which was captured for Meet Me At the Met, the new music program debuting on RI-PBS on October 3 at 10 pm.

The show at Slater Park will be a great event for families and anyone else who likes good music. Our hats go off to Pat Zacks and the folks at the Pawtucket Arts Festival for making it possible.

Send scrapple and Pulitzer-grade tips top&j@phx.com.

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