Bill Lee Eyeballing Governorship

It’s not surprising to hear about Bill Lee eyeballing governorship of Vermont. The former Red Sox southpaw recently announced that he’s running for governor of his home state on the Liberty Union Party ticket, running on a platform that includes legalizing marijuana, introducing single-payer health care, and bringing baseball back to Montreal. Lee finished his career with the Montreal Expos in 1982, who have since moved to Washington where they became the Nationals in 2004. This isn’t the first time we’ve seen Bill Lee running for public office in support of such eccentric ideas.

Lee ran for president in 1988 as a member of the Rhinoceros Party, pledging to bulldozeBill Lee eyeballing governorship the Rocky Mountains so that Alberta could see a few more minutes of sunlight every day. While many might see Lee’s eccentric personality as strange, no one can say it’s not entertaining.

Lee is remembered as one of the more colorful members of the Boston Red Sox of the 1970s. During his pitching days with the Red Sox, Lee claimed that he sprinkled marijuana on his pancakes every morning before jogging to Fenway Park to pitch. The marijuana, Lee claimed, immunized him from bus fumes. While Lee hasn’t been shy about his support for the legalization of marijuana, he was also one of the more vocal supporters of Civil Rights in Boston in the late 1970s when the city’s policy to integrate its school system though its busing system was met with backlash. Lee also isn’t afraid to stand up for himself and his team. During the 1975 World Series, Lee berated an umpire for a bad call and threatened to bite his ear off. “I would have Van-Goghed him!” Lee exclaimed later (he didn’t bite anyone that we know of).

Whether Bill Lee eyeballing governorship is something we should take seriously or not is yet to be determined. But one this is for sure, it’s going to be entertaining to see “Spaceman” debate his opponents!

Interview With Doug Wilson (Pudge, pt.2)

In Part 2 of Pudge, Carlton Fisk’s biography by Doug Wilson, we look at his research on the famed Red Sox catcher. By day, Wilson is an ophthalmologist, otherwise known as a eye doctor. By night, however, he’s a baseball writer. Wilson always had aspirations to write about baseball. He played in college, but said that “My GPA was higher than my batting average,” which led him to continue to medical school instead. After his two boysDoug Wilson went off to college, Wilson finally found the time to pursue his passion. He’s already published titles like The Bird: The Life and Legacy of Mark Fidrych in 2013, and Brooks: The Biography of Brooks Robinson in 2014.

Wilson said that his biggest challenge in writing Pudge was presenting both sides of the many conflicts Fisk endured in his career. Wilson didn’t want to make apologies for his conflicts, but wanted to present them from Fisk’s point of view. Fisk himself chose not to be interviewed for the biography because, as Wilson pointed out, he’s a private person and doesn’t particularly like the spotlight, which he said wasn’t necessarily a bad thing. When he was writing Brooks, Wilson grew to strongly admire Brooks Robinson, making it hard for Wilson to write objectively about him. Not interview Fisk helped him write a more objective biography about Fisk.

Wilson discussed how his research led him to view Fisk as a representation of New England. Fisk was born in Vermont, raised in New Hampshire, and grew up wanting to play for the Red Sox. According to Wilson, Fisk was the first to accomplish what he calls the New England Trifecta that every native wanted to accomplish. The first included Fisk making a basket on the parquet floor in the Boston Garden. The second was hitting a home run over the Green Monster at Fenway. The third was when Fisk punched Thurmond Munson,a New York Yankee, during a brawl in 1973. “Fisk’s pride as a New Englander was what endeared him to Boston.”

Doug Wilson’s Pudge Describes Duo of Fisk and “Spaceman”

As much as he loved Boston, Wilson talked about how it wasn’t enough for Fisk to overcome his conflicts with Red Sox executives. In 1980, Fisk asked that his 1981 contract reflect his performance, which was more money than general manager Haywood Sullivan wanted to spend. Citing one of his injuries, Sullivan quipped that “Fisk’s contract bothers him more than his arm” and mailed him a contract after the 1980 resigning deadline, which made Fisk a free agent. This disrespectful gesture led Fisk to sign with the Chicago White Sox for the 1981 season, where he finished his career in 1993. “Questioning [Fisk’s] integrity was absolutely the WRONG thing to do, and he held on those things.”

The best part of the interview was when Wilson discussed the rift between Fisk and pitcher Bill “Spaceman” Lee. Lee hated it when Fisk walked to the mound to talk after each pitch because it slowed the game down. This gesture led Fisk’s teammates to nickname him “The Human Rain Delay.” Red Sox 2nd baseman Rico Petrocelli, who played with Fisk in the 1970s, told Wilson that he and the other teammates got a kick out of watching Fisk walk up to the mound where “Spaceman” would grunt in frustration, turn his back to Fisk, and walk off the mound while everyone on the Red Sox bench laughed.

Look for Pudge by Doug Wilson in your local bookstores!