Tuesday, December 11, 2012

You old bastards got a lot of nerve

                                         Back around 1999-2000, I had a job delivering flowers at a place called "Bow street flowers" in Harvard square.  The job had it's good and bad points. One of the better perks was I was able to listen to the radio most of the day, and Boston then, as now, had great radio... Lots of college stations, on top of the already good regular ones on FM...Even the AM stations were good, especially the sports ones; my favorite being WEEI. I used to listen to a show on the weekdays called "The Big Show", hosted by Glenn Ordway, which was always enjoyable, mostly because no one on the show would ever take themselves too seriously.

                         However, I happen to be working on a Saturday, and was listening in to another show called "Rico and the Monster", which was hosted by former Red Sox players Rico Petrocelli and the late Dick "The Monster" Raditz.  Rico was the shortstop for Boston's 1967 "Impossible Dream" team... He was a rarity back then; a power hitting shortstop, who actually held the American league records for homers by a shortstop in 1969 with 40, that held until A-rod broke it in the late '90s.  He switched to third base in the early '70s to make room for Luis Aparicio and then Rick Burelson in 1975; He retired after the next season.

              Raditz was the original "intimidation" closer...a big, hulk of a man, whose giant hands would have fit better on a basketball court than a baseball field.  He pitched for the Sox in the early '60s and, unlike closers today, would pitch 4,5, or more innings for a save.  He was traded before the '67 season, and retired soon after.  Dick was known for his outspoken opinions on the matter of closers today, and would bring it up often on the show.  That particular day, Rico had a sore throat that made him sound like Super Dave Osbourne meets Brenda Vacarro...coupled with the fact that the Monster himself had a booming voice, it made for a strange sounding show that day.  Things were about to get stranger....

                        During one of his anti-closers -today rants, the phone lines were open, and Raditz said, "Dennis in a car, you're on with Rico and the Monster"...what followed next was a voice on the other line saying: "You old bastards got a lot of nerve"...right away, both radio hosts knew who it was...Dick asked knowingly, "Is this Eck"?, meaning former Red Sox pitcher Dennis Eckersley, who identified himself as such and started defending himself. With the Indians Sox,and Cubs he was a starter, but, under Tony Larussa with the A's and Cardinals, he became one of the great short inning relievers of all time (as you all know).  Now my memory is a little cloudy, and I can't find a clip of this exchange, but I remember Eck saying something like "Dick you don't think my 1992 season should have won me the CY Young, do you"? Raditz said  no, he didn't think it should have, and Eck lost his shit, saying something to effect of, "You're outta your league, pal"!..

                           While the heated exchange of words was going on between the two closers, Petrocelli, sore throat and all, finally defended his partner, sounding like Tom Waits doing a Carvel commercial..."Listen Eck, you can't talk to the Monster that way, show some respect" (Again, I'm paraphrasing)...this only made Dennis more upset, as he felt he was being ganged up on.  I can't remember how it ended. All I can recall is that after it was over, and I was wiping the tears of laughter off my face, I get a phone call; It was my brother Sean, who was listening in his car at the time...he didn't say hello...All he said was..."Looks like Eck's off the wagon again...

1 comment:

  1. Hi, I think what you heard was on 'The Big Show.'