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Ten absurd things Oil Can Boyd says ...

Posted by Chad Finn, Globe Staff  July 3, 2012 08:45 AM

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... in his book that don't relate to drugs or Wade Boggs.

1. [Quoting his father, whose viewpoint he seems to share] Jackie Robinson was a modern-day Shaka Zulu -- he was the King who sold his own people into slavery -- so all Jackie did was sell us to Major League Baseball the same way. (pg. 28)

2. [On getting passed over for Bruce Hurst as the starter for Game 7 of the 1986 World Series] Bruce would tell you right now that I would have won that ballgame. I was a better pitcher than he was. I didn't pitch behind him in the rotation. He pitched behind me. (pg. 85)

3. If I was talking to [Josh] Beckett -- and he would listen to me -- I'd make him a great pitcher overnight. Not a really good pitcher, a great pitcher. He'd go out there overnight and turn unhittable. And if he let me call pitches from the dugout, he'd throw a no-hitter. (pg. 135)

4. Best teammate I ever had was Eddie Jurak. (pg. 137)

5. Ellis Burks was not a better baseball player than Lee Graham. (pg. 149)

6. Ellis Burks was not a better baseball player than Chico Walker. (pg. 149)

7. Sammy Stewart -- can't get a better guy. (pg. 167)

8. Wes Gardner -- can't get a better guy. (pg. 167)

9. It astounded me when I met Johnny Pesky. He knew the dap handshake, the whole soul-brother handshake, tapping on your and and all that. (pg. 158)

10. [On Bill Lee] Right now, at 65 years old, he could walk out there in the major leagues and he could do what Jamie Moyer did. (pg. 167)

Actually, I completely buy that one. And the one about Pesky, too.

I'm not sure whether to file "They Call Me Oil Can'' under fiction or non-fiction, and The Can, as memorable and charismatic as he was, isn't accountable for much of anything.

It's not "Ball Four'' or Dirk Hayhurst's "The Bullpen Gospels,'' but it's a fairly enjoyable read.

About Touching All The Bases

Irreverence and insight from Chad Finn, a Globe/Boston.com sports writer and media columnist. A winner of several national and regional writing awards, he is the founder and sole contributor to the TATB blog, which launched in December 2004. Yes, he realizes how lucky he is.

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