Boston Herald Inside Track — A group of Big Papi fans and a Sox website are launching a campaign today to get David Ortiz his own statue — by no later than next Opening Day — to celebrate the Sox slugger’s retirement and to bronze his place in Boston sports history.
The #BronzePapi effort is collecting signatures to present to the Sox, the city, the State House and MLB, asking them to commission a statue immediately, “not 20 years from now.” …
“Boston has not really led the way on statues,” Kevin Phelan of SoxLunch.com. … “We think that based on what Papi means to the city and the game, he should get a statue ASAP.”
Phelan said there are 250 statues of ball players in and around stadiums around the country and that “you would not put some of those players on the same level as David Ortiz.” …
The #BronzePapi peeps are holding an event at 5:30 [Wednesday] at the Baseball Tavern to unveil their concept for the statue and to collect signatures.
To review the Thornton Levels of Athletic Greatness:
7. All-Star/Pro Bowl
6. First-team all-league/All-Pro
5. League MVP
4. Team Hall of Fame/Ring of Honor
3. League Hall of Fame
2. Number retired
Now, some might flip 2 and 3 and argue that there are players whose numbers are retired but aren’t in the Hall of Fame like the Patriots with Gino Cappelletti and the Celtics with Reggie Lewis, for example. But to me, the standard of retiring a number should be higher.
What cannot be disputed is that there is no greater honor than a statue. Which is why we as a society need to be judicious in giving out so great a tribute, in all walks of life. You build statues to giants like Ben Franklin, not Bill Weld. Which is why I find it shocking that there are 250 athlete statues in the United States. Guys like Paul Konerko and Jeff Bawell barely merit a plaque, let alone a life-sized, fully-rendered bronze piece of immortality worthy of a Michael Jordan or a Stan Musial.
That said, Kevin Phelan, SoxLunch.com and the other good people behind #BronzePapi are on the side of the angels on this one. David Ortiz most definitely qualifies as statue-worthy. For being a transformative figure on the field, in the city and on the facade that holds the championship banners, there’s no debate about it. So why make him wait 20 years the way Bill Russell had to. It’s like that old saying about how you shouldn’t wait until someone is dead to give them their flowers. If the city of Baltimore can waste no time casting a graven image of a lunatic who was involved in covering up a double homicide, we should do likewise for the man without whom we’d be two seasons away from the 100th anniversary of the last Red Sox championship.
Let’s get this thing done, and let’s do it five minutes ago.
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WEDNESDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
MLB: Rockies at Red Sox, 7:10 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Mets at Nationals, 1 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Blue Jays at Yankees, 7 p.m. (MLB Network)
NBA playoffs: Raptors at Cavaliers, 8:30 p.m. (ESPN)
NHL playoffs: Blues at Sharks, 9 p.m. (NBCSN)
Soccer: Exhibition, United States vs. Ecuador, 8 p.m. (ESPN)
AROUND THE WEB:
— Deflategate has been a comedy of errors on a number of levels, so it’s only appropriate that a comedian has injected himself into the controversy.
Jim Breuer, a former “Saturday Night Live” regular, told Sports Illustrated that he ran into Patriots equipment staffer John Jastremski at a comedy festival in Mexico a few months ago and had an interesting conversation with the man at the heart of the accusations that the Patriots deflated footballs.
Breuer said he was working out in a resort gym while watching Deflategate coverage on TV when Jastremski introduced himself and asked Breuer’s opinion of the story.
“He was there with his wife,” Breuer recounted. “They were actually trying to get away because they were being so harassed in the Massachusetts area, his family’s being harassed.”
Acccording to Breuer, Jastremski expressed frustration with the Patriots organization for “holding me down” and not letting him comment publicly. Breuer said Jastremski wouldn’t answer the question of if he deflated the footballs for Tom Brady, insisting, “Tom’s my guy, Tom takes care of me.”
“All I remember is that guy would not throw Tom Brady under the bus,” Breuer said. “He said Tom Brady does so much for him.”
Breuer added that Jastremski’s wife eventually joined them and complained about the Patriots organization as well, while Jastremski explained that he had no other employment options.
“He said he can’t get [another] job, either,” Breuer said. “This is all he knows, all he does.”
Sager, 64, has been working the NBA playoffs despite a recurrence of his cancer. He is scheduled for eight days of chemotherapy next month, after TNT’s playoff coverage concludes.
The 34-year veteran reporter known for his flashy suits became close with Valvano when they worked together at the 1991 Pan American Games in Cuba, according to an ESPN story. Two years later, Valvano gave his now-legendary speech about living with cancer, shortly before his death.
“He fought until the bitter end,” Sager said on TNT’s pregame show Tuesday night. “That speech he made on March 3 of 1993 resonates as strong today as it did that day. I have it on my cellphone. I can play it at the hospital when I’m feeling down. ‘Don’t give up. Don’t ever give up.’ That’s pretty much what I’ve tried to follow. Don’t give up and don’t give in.”
ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On May 25, 1984, the Red Sox traded Dennis Eckersley and Mike Brumley to the Cubs for which player?
Kirk Minihane has your daily headlines, with Bill O'Reilly filing lawsuits against her ex-wife who he accuses of having an affair and Hillary appearing on the Ellen DeGeneres show to talk wacky VP candidates.
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The guys open the show by discussing the latest news in the killing of an Auburn police officer and the news that Bill Cosby will be forced to stand trial against one of his accusers
[0:08:40] ... like it wherever they Georgette appetite or wherever our primary wherever unionized weddinggift you guys in and he'll feed you some stuff. To make it right now police right now has got some info that ... [0:17:32] ... and good news in that order the good news is rape as BillCosby stand trial. The bad news is he's looking at a maximum sentence of ten years Michael McCants is probably much much less ... [0:18:23] ... sea island is defense to be okay. Bill Clinton's headed to the whitehouse on the foot yet first First Lady. Male. With a Wiener burst. You have expressed resident or sex offender from sex yep in the York QB that is the place you're canceled residents. Carolina with a vehicle that he's that he does not be tells friends he does not to be apart the WhiteHouse too so that. Orders up a lot. It's a quote I don't distance myself as far as I can from the WhiteHouse's point of security that EE parties up. He raped women in the WhiteHouse what's what's the Blair house that their house but like the Blair house and damsel helicopters on plane is he's gonna Jeffrey ... [0:24:28] ... night's sleep. See you can go and I'll Christian are at 6177797937. CurtSchilling will join us not o'clock talk little baseball. And speaking of Kirch. Auction item from the Jimmy Fund to tell you about ...