Is everybody a Red Sox fan again?

Would you have predicted that on June 8 the Red Sox would be 37-23, a half game out of first place in the AL East, and winners of five in a row and seven of their last 10?

I doubt it.

Or that 25,000 fans would show up for a 5 o’clock start on a 90-degree Monday for a makeup game against the Marlins? Or that the Marlins wold pound Boston pitching for 12 hits and still lose?

Probably not.

Would you have expected the Red Sox to sweep the Yankees in Yankee Stadium, which they did last weekend?

In your dreams, perhaps.

The Red Sox are up. Way up. One of the big surprises in MLB this season. Let’s enjoy the ride as long as it lasts!


A week has passed since the Celtics lost their first-round playoff series to the Nets and six since they bade farewell to their president of basketball operations, Danny Ainge, and promoted coach Brad Stevens to the position.

I’m still trying to figure out the end game in all of this. Yes, the Celtics disappointed us this season. They had two All-Stars in Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown but managed just a 36-36 record and had to win a play-in game to secure the seventh seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs. The Nets embarrassed them in five games.

So, did Ainge, 62, really want to leave after 18 seasons because of his health — he has suffered two heart attacks — or did the Celtics need a scapegoat? Did Stevens, 44, really want to leave a position he knows well, coaching, for one he knows little to nothing about, general managing? Or did the Celtics promote him because they didn’t want to fire him and eat the five-year extension he signed last summer?

Stevens is taking a crash course in contract negotiation, salary cap, extensions, hiring and firing. The NBA Draft is July 29. First, though, he must find a coach to take his place.

All this drama reminds me of the M.L. Carr Era in Celtics history. No, not the early 1980s, when the smiling, towel-waving Carr helped the Celtics to three NBA Finals and two championships. The mid-1990s, when general manager M.L. Carr named himself coach in 1995 and in two seasons led the Celtics to the worst record in the Eastern Conference, 15-67, an obvious attempt to enhance their chances to win the NBA Draft Lottery. The goal was to select Tim Duncan with the No. 1 pick in the 1997 draft, and return to the glory days of the mid-‘80s..

It did not turn out that way. Rick Pitino replaced Carr, arrived like a savior, and tasted bitter disappointment when San Antonio won the lottery, chose Duncan and became champions. Boston endured three consecutive losing seasons under the impatient and frustrated Pitino, who resigned 34 games into his fourth season. 

Are the Celtics heading down that road again? We’ll see.


Congratulations to old friends Dennis Coleman and Ron Machtley for receiving honorary degrees and delivering excellent commencement addresses at Bryant University in May.

Coleman, a quarterback at Brown in 1973 and 1974 and the founder of the sports law practice at Boston-based Ropes & Gray, told the Class of 2021 that Bryant has prepared them for the real world and now their challenge is to follow their conscience and go out and “do the right thing.”

Machtley, Bryant’s president for 24 years before retiring last summer, reminisced with the Class of 2020 at their commencement, postponed a year because of COVID restrictions. Machtley took a college that was on the brink of financial disaster and through vision, diligence and risk taking transformed it into a thriving university on a beautiful campus in Smithfield. He also pushed Bryant to add football and other men’s and women’s sports and to jump to NCAA Division I. Machtley estimated that he and his wife Kati met 20,000 students along their journey. Those who returned to campus last month gave them a standing ovation.


Condolences to the families of three longtime Rhode Island journalists who died recently.

Andy Burkhardt, 78, was an excellent editor at the Providence Journal for 37 years from 1964 until his retirement in 2001. He played football at Amherst and was also a sailor, a member of the Edgewood and Barrington Yacht Clubs and a familiar figure on Narragansett Bay. When the New York Yacht Club lost the America’s Cup in 1984, Andy led a Journal team to Perth, Australia, to cover the races in 1987.

Gordon “Butch” Smith, 81, held a variety of newsroom positions during his 33-year career at the Journal and was one of those rare individuals well-liked by all. He was a big sports fan and after retiring from the ProJo worked for the Pawtucket Red Sox. He and I played tennis at the old Econo Tennis facility off Airport Road in Warwick a long time ago.

Charlie Joyce, 64, logged 20 years at The Woonsocket Call as a sports writer and editor, news writer and editor and Sunday editor. He spent the last 20 years in the communications office at Providence College. Charlie died while watching a Red Sox game with his family.

Rest in peace, gentlemen.