Dan Shaughnessy

Pieces of his mind

By Dan Shaughnessy
Globe Columnist / December 18, 2010

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Picked up pieces while listening to Mitch Miller Christmas carols . . .

When the Patriots were auditioning kickers they called retired Revolution star Taylor Twellman. Now with Comcast SportsNet, Twellman turned down the opportunity, telling the team, “I can’t take another hit to the head.’’ Twellman would not have been the first to go from the Comcast sky box to the NFL. Former BC quarterback Brian St. Pierre was on the set taking questions just a week before the Panthers brought him back to the NFL.

Radio legend Eddie Andelman says his WTKK (96.9 FM) Sunday night show Dec. 26 will be the last one of his career. By his count, Andelman has done more than 13,000 shows. He practically invented the genre.

The UConn women go for win No. 88 in a row tomorrow against Ohio State at Madison Square Garden. If they succeed, they’ll tie Bill Walton’s UCLA squad, which was stopped at Notre Dame in 1974. Sorry, but it’s just not the same. Former Notre Dame coach Digger Phelps agrees. When asked to compare, Phelps says, “It’s women’s basketball.’’ It’s hard to root for the Huskies when you see UConn beat Holy Cross, 117-37. Geno Auriemma must have needed to run it up to impress the BCS.

My favorite Bob Feller story? Easy. In Bob Ryan’s stellar appreciation Thursday we learned that Feller barnstormed for decades and allowed local wannabes to bat against him. ES PN’s Tim Kurkjian batted against Feller when Feller was in his 60s (Kurkjian was 22) and remembers receiving a certificate that stipulated that if he’d batted against Mr. Feller in the pitcher’s prime, “the result probably would have been different.’’ “No kidding,’’ exclaimed Kurkjian. “I’m sure I would have lit him up in 1940!’’

I get a little nervous when I read that Red Sox baseball ops prepared a 2-inch thick report on Carl Crawford. Really? They needed all that data to uncover the fact that Crawford is fast, plays a nifty left field, and can beat you in a lot of different ways?

Hope Christian Bale wins the Oscar for his portrayal of Dicky Eklund in “The Fighter.’’

Not only did the Sox bid on Mariano Rivera, a source told the New York Daily News Boston made a seven-year low-ball offer to Cliff Lee just to make things more difficult for the Yankees.

Hope you saw the powerful and disturbing story on Page One of the New York Times, disclosing details of Scott Boras’s company providing thousands of dollars to families of Dominican teen prospects. Wonder if Boras has met John Calipari.

When I played high school basketball, one of the varsity perks was going to the Converse factory outlet and picking out a pair of Chuck Taylor white high-tops. Something tells me they’re a little more pricey today at the Converse Store at 348 Newbury Street.

If you’re an “In Treatment’’ fan, you ought to know that one of the program’s executive producers is Anya Epstein, Theo’s sister.

The Tarvaris Jackson era came and went quickly, didn’t it?

The season is done, but is anybody else uncomfortable with boys crashing high school field hockey teams? It’s MIAA legal, but it’s still a little cringe-worthy.

San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy has a big head and not just because his Giants won the World Series. Bochy wears an 8 3/4 hat, making his dome baseball’s biggest since commissioner Fay Vincent was sent into retirement by MLB owners.

Congrats to Mark Fayne of Sagamore Beach and Providence College. Fayne scored his first NHL goal for the New Jersey Devils Wednesday against Phoenix.

Watching Boston College’s Kristie Mewis play soccer is like watching Bobby Orr in his first couple of years in the NHL. Congrats to coach Alison Foley for taking the Eagles to the Final Four.

Fanboys must be lining up for new software that can take game statistics and crank out a full college basketball game story. A North Carolina company, StatSheet, is working on eliminating all storytelling and analysis. Just the facts, ma’am.

You can make a case that UMass’s Anthony Gurley and Corey Lowe, a four-year starter at Boston University, were the greatest high school guard tandem in state history. Newton North went 57-1 and won back-to-back state titles with the Gurley-Lowe backcourt.

Reggie Jackson was master of ceremonies when the original “Soup Nazi’’ cut the ribbon on his new location at 6th and 38th in Manhattan.

Do yourself a favor and pick up “Rise of a Dynasty’’ by Bill Reynolds, the story of old Boston and the 1956-57 Celtics.

In a letter to Sports Illustrated, lead prosecutor Chuck Rosenberg joined the chorus of those rooting for Michael Vick. Forgive me if I don’t celebrate Vick’s “comeback.’’ The Philadelphia QB deserves his props for playing better than ever, but he’s not returning from something that was out of his control. He’s not Ted Williams coming back from two wars and he’s not Mike Lowell or Jon Lester coming back from cancer. This is a “hold your nose’’ comeback story.

On the BC basketball roster you’ll find Chris Kowalski, a 6-foot-6-inch senior forward from Roxbury Latin. Kowalski was a four-year relief specialist for BC’s baseball team and switched to the hardwood this year as a walk-on. On Dec. 4 against UMass at TD Garden, Kowalski scored his first basket since 2006.

Remember Wayne Kreklow? He wore No. 20 (Ray Allen) and was a member of the 1981 world champion Celtics. Today, he and his wife Susan coach the University of Missouri’s nationally ranked women’s volleyball team.

No matter how many times you read it, it’s still astonishing that Shaquille O’Neal has missed more than 5,000 free throws in his NBA career.

We do a lot of carping about how Marvin Miller should be in the Hall of Fame (and it’s true), but let’s not forget that Miller deserves a lot of the blame for the steroid era. He set the tone for Don Fehr and still preaches against drug testing. He also committed a rare faux pas when he recklessly misidentified Sports Illustrated’s Tom Verducci as a committee member who failed to vote for him. The estimable Verducci did vote for Miller.

NFL Films ranked the top 100 players of all time and came up with Jerry Rice and Jim Brown as Nos. 1 and 2, respectively. Fraud Deion Sanders managed to be annoyed with his place at No. 34.

The once-great Holy Cross men’s basketball team is 0-8, the worst start in the 92-year history of the program.

How come nobody complains about Theo Epstein’s acquisition of Mike Cameron and the insistence on putting Cameron in center field at the start of last season? Cameron will make more than $7 million this year as a backup outfielder.

Charlie Baker looks a little like Roger Goodell.

All these years, I never knew that Luke Walton was named after Bill Walton’s former teammate, the late Maurice Lucas.

Condolences to Red Sox CEO Larry Lucchino, who lost his mom last week. Rose Lucchino kept a scorecard for every game and was still in a bowling league at age 94.

Where do I get that T-shirt that says, “I don’t normally punt, but when I do, I prefer Zoltan Mesko’’?

Dan Shaughnessy is a Globe columnist. He can be reached at

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