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Boston Celtics

Red Auerbach- the Last of a Generation

By C. Eric Lincoln

My first impression of Red Auerbach will be my lasting impression of Red Auerbach. Red Auerbach was a New York guy who grew up on tough New York streets, a guy who might well have been a character created by Damon Runyon. Red would have been a Runyon race track guy with a racing form rolled up in his pocket and a dead cigar in hand, always looking for angles — always looking for a winning edge. And for the better part of his 89 years Red Auerbach always found a winning edge.

Categories
Boston Red Sox

20 Years Later- Bill Buckner is Still the Wrong Guy

By C. Eric Lincoln

Two months ago I sat down to write much of the following column about Bill Buckner after a conversation with Tim Teufel, an old Met and an old friend. We had talked about anything and everything, and then our chat turned to Game Six— that Game Six— 20 years ago on October 25, Mets versus Red Sox. I asked Tim Teufel about Bill Buckner and Tim said he felt “terrible” for the guy “since it wasn’t his fault anyway.”  

Bill Buckner is a good and decent man who was caught standing in the way of history which threw him under its oncoming, intractable path. History has somehow blamed Bill Buckner for the Red Sox loss of that World Series, and for one of the biggest blunders in Series history. So 20 years later, crawl back in time with me once more, and examine the images of that moment. The truth is out there. There may be goats and villains. But Bill Buckner isn’t one of them.

Categories
New York Yankees

The Marcus Thames Affair- or why the Yankees are Dead

By C. Eric Lincoln

Dim the lights on the greatest sporting franchise in American history. Say Goodnight, Babe. Thanks for the memories, Mr. October. And even though its crowded. Yogi,  no one wants to play there anymore. The Detroit Tigers —bless you boys— are in the World Series, proof that a new day has come to baseball, and the Yankees and George Steinbrenner`s  money don’t count for much any more. The king is dead. Long live parity. Long live Marcus Thames.

Categories
Minnesota Twins

The Twins’ Secret to Their Success

By C. Eric Lincoln

It’s autumn, and along with falling leaves around the Midwest, you can almost be sure that if there’s a pennant race the Minnesota Twins are in it. They are like a good hunting dog that smells the scent of wounded prey —  Detroit Tigers slipping, Chicago White Sox stumbling out of sight. If it’s September, it is likely that the beloved Twinkies will be here. The secret to their annual success may well surprise you.

Categories
Indianapolis Colts

Bill Polian: Horatio Alger Resides Here

Bill Polian may well hold the secret to the success of the Indianapolis Colts, whether or not Peyton Manning is pitching or Marvin Harrison is catching. No matter, Polian might well be the last living testament to the idea that Horatio Alger can still succeed. Maybe the Colts will follow?

Categories
General Sports

After 9-11: A Bright Shining Moment

There is a row of hats all dating from 2001 that hang above my desk. Mets and Yankee and Football Giants hats all bearing an American flag on the side, reminding me that for a brief shining moment, sports did something very right in the autumn of 2001.

Categories
Boston Red Sox

It’s Time to Free Bill Buckner

By C. Eric Lincoln

The New York Mets have had a weekend-long celebration marking the 20th anniversary of the team that defeated the Boston Red Sox in seven games to win the 1986 World Series. This was the World Series that truly gave rise to Red Sox Nation, one grieving and often surly nation under a futile and unfair baseball god. A Series that raised the question of whether or not the Red Sox were cursed by the great Bambino or Harry Frazee or a cadre of otherwise bit players who toiled for the evil empire, the New York Yankees. The only person cursed, however, as a result of the 1986 clash, was Bill Buckner. And its time to free his name of a terrible lie once and for all.

Categories
MLB General

Red Sox vs. Yanks: The Good- Bad and the Ugly

By C. Eric Lincoln

As a New Yorker, born and raised, I’ve decided to see what it is that makes Red Sox Nation such a unique cultural attraction. Join the Fenway faithful, share a smile and some baseball chatter. So far? As soon as the locals discover that you were raised in the land of Mantle, Mays and Snider, smiles fade and handshakes disappear. These people genuinely seem resentful that your life has been filled with such baseball gems, such good memories. You’ve got to feel sorry for people who believe in a Curse and were subject to the whims of owner Tom Yawkey, a cheap man who never cared about any rivalry.