Straight outta Pawtucket
Your superior correspondents happened to be talking on the phone a couple of weeks ago with Lou Schwechheimer, the GM/vice president of the Pawtucket Red Sox, thanking him for a favor he had done P&J when we mentioned how impressed we were with the game pitched by Clay Buchholz (whom we kept referring to as “the Kid,” since we long ago lost our short-term memories) against the LA Angels in his Major League debut a few weeks back. “He’s the real thing,” Lou noted.
Jump ahead a bit and here’s Buchholz tossing a no-hitter Saturday night, in only his second big league start, electrifying the Fenway faithful with the biggest thrill of the season (the only thing vaguely close was the Mother’s Day come-from-way-behind victory, also against the Orioles).
More satisfying than the memorable once-in-lifetime no-hitter is the sense one has had all year of a first-rate Boston farm system, the pinnacle of which is right here in Pawtucket.
Just look at the gang from straight outta Pawtucket this year: scrappy Dustin Pedroia, kicking ass at the plate and in the field virtually all season long (a tip of the sombrero to Tito, who stuck with Petey when things looked grim for the rookie); speedy Jacoby Ellsbury, who’s been banging the ball, running like a deer, and making some great catches; and Brandon Moss, who’s also looked good.
When you consider that Jon Lester, Jonathan Papelbon, and Kevin Youkilis were also playing in “the Bucket” just a couple of years back, you realize what a great job the folks in Pawtucket (in the entire BoSox farm system, really) are doing in terms of talent development, churning out the stars of the future. So the PawSox ain’t kidding when they beseech you to come to McCoy and see the “stars of the future today.”
The coolest thing about the young (23 years old) Mr. Buchholz is how, rather than looking like his namesake, the late, not-so-great German film star, Horst (the James Dean of Germany) Buchholz, Clay bears a striking resemblance to American indie-film icon Steve Buscemi.
We urge young Clay to check out Buscemi’s directorial debut, Trees Lounge, in case he’s ever tempted to give up being a multi-millionaire pitching star for driving an ice cream truck in a rapidly dying small town.
The laugh test
For brass balls, Phillipe + Jorge have to hand it to the folks at the Twin River casino — er, excuse us, almost-full service gambling destination — for trying to pass off interactive blackjack as the gaming equivalent of a video slot machine. This doesn’t even pass the laugh test. (Sorry, CS, but you know that as well as we do. Good try, though.)
What P&J particularly liked was all the commotion about the sexy blond virtual dealer having a great set of hooters, as doctors, we believe, say. Trust us, from past experience, when you are dealing to die-hard gamblers, Jenna Jameson or Brad Pitt could be wearing nothing more than a thong while turning over the cards, and all eyes would still be on the cards. Still, what a show as people hand over that weekly paycheck to a video-tron image!
Danke Schoen, Wayne Newton.