Celtics

If Ron Karkovice wasn't a jerk

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If Ron Karkovice wasn't a jerk

By Mary Paoletti
CSNNE.com

The Diamond Hoggers blog attempted to do an interview with former MLB catcher Ron Karkovice. Despite DH's best efforts to give fans an insightful look into the guy's mediocre career, Karkovice was a total jerk.

Need an illustration? When I searched "Ron Karkovice" on apimages.com, this photo came up:

Take that however you'd like.

Anyway, we felt badly for the Diamond Hoggers and so decided to fill in Karkovice's answers a little bit. It was a wrong that needed to be made right.

The questions are DH's inquiries, completely untouched. Original Ron Karkovice answers are in red. Our non-idiot stuff is in black.

DH: Who was your best friend in baseball or did you have a teammate that you enjoyed playing with most?
RK: Alex Fernandez was probably my dearest friend in baseball -- hell of a guy. Did you know that he's now the director of baseball operations at Archbishop McCarthy High School in Southwest Ranches, Florida. Whitney Houston was so right: "I believe the children are our future. Teach them well and let them lead the way."

DH: What was it like playing with Frank Thomas?
RK: It was great to watch Frank Thomas hit every day. He had such tremendous power. But the guy is actually a great big Teddy Bear. You should hear some of the pranks he played in the clubhouse. That rascal!

DH: Who was the toughest big league pitcher you ever faced and what made it so tough?
RK: The toughest pitcher I ever faced was Dave Stieb, hands down. Stieb's stuff was so good, I could not pick up the ball. He made me want to be a better hitter. I owe him a lot. That 20 home run season? Stieb motivated me. Falling off -- way, way off -- was kind of a bummer.

DH: Do you still follow the Sox or watch a lot of baseball? Whos your pick for the World Series this season?
RK: Yes, I do still watch the White Sox when I can. That old nostalgia always seems to creep in when the weather gets warmer. Smiles I'll be interested to see how they do against the Yankees. Everybody thinks New York will win. Do they have a tough team? Every season. Are they champions this season? I don't think so.

DH: Do you have any good Carlton Fisk or Tom Seaver stories? both former teammates of yours?
RK: You know, it's funny, but even though Fisk was such a character, I don't have any stories about my former teammate. Isn't that weird? And, no, nothing about Tom Seaver either. I know that it's bizarre -- seemingly impossible, even. Oh, well! Laughs

DH: You played your whole career in the Windy City, what did you like most about Chicago?RK: I consider myself so lucky to have spent my entire career in Chicago. The city is amazing, really, with all the restaurants, shops and culture. Have you ever been to the Museum of Science and Industry? Phenomenal. And the fans, of course, are a huge reason why I enjoyed my time there so much.

DH: What was your favorite road city to play in?RK: I know it's not a city, but back when the Angels were "The California" Angels, I loved playing out there. The Pacific ocean is incomprehensibly beautiful. Makes you believe that God exists, you know?

DH: Would you vote for Roger Clemens to get in the Hall of Fame?RK: Wow. That's a tough question; I would have to think about that. The things Roger accomplished are amazing, but the steroids issue makes this decision more like a battle. It's truly sad what the controversy has done to the game of baseball.

DH: What are your interests other than baseball?RK: Call me romantic, but, it's just baseball! It's my life; I was but a willing servant to the sport. Sometimes when I think about how lucky I was to play ball for a living... well.... I get a little emotional.

DH: What is the thing you miss most about being a big leaguer?RK: Well, can I say 'everything?' Chuckles ruefully That's probably too simple of an answer. I'd have to say that I miss the camaraderie the most. My team mats coughs, clears throat-- pardon me, teammates -- were my brothers; I miss them terribly. You can never understand the bond of a baseball team unless you're blessed enough to live it.

Blakely: High expectations now make a rare blowout worse

Blakely: High expectations now make a rare blowout worse

BOSTON – As I watched the Celtics melt into a big old puddle of who-knows-what-the-hell-that-was last night at Chicago, I was angry.

This should not be happening.

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Sure, it’s just one of 82 games.

But there is no way they should be getting throttled like this to Chicago, the team with the worst record in the NBA (now 6-20) for whom, let’s be honest...losing advances the Bulls' goal this season, which is to be in the best position possible to land one of the top picks in the draft.

The more I thought about it, the loss wasn’t what upset me the most.

I was pissed off mainly because they got beat down by a bad team, which says more about my expectations for this team and the expectations of most Celtics fans, than anything else.

Those expectations are sky high these days, and for good reason.

Boston (23-6) has the best record in the Eastern Conference after owning the league’s best record overall following a historic 16 consecutive wins, which is the fourth-longest winning streak in franchise history. 

Kyrie Irving has been a one-man highlight reel all season. Jayson Tatum has been better than anyone predicted. Jaylen Brown is a more rounded offensive player, Aron Baynes has been awesome, Daniel Theis...the list of reasons why optimism for this team is so high is a long one.

That kind of success, with such a young core of players, is rare.

So, to see them get thumped 108-85 by the Bulls was jarring to say the least.

But as I skimmed the calendar to see how many more days could I blow off Christmas shopping before rush delivery wouldn’t get to places in time, I was reminded that the Celtics season is more than a third of the way complete.

And we’re talking about their first blowout loss of the season?

It was disappointing for all involved, for sure.

But the fact that we’re this far down the road in this season before having to overreact to a bad loss, speaks to the growth of this team under Brad Stevens.

Let’s put it this way.

Boston’s first beatdown this season came in Game No. 29 if you’re keeping track at home.

The latest the Celtics’ first loss by 15 or more came under Stevens prior to this season? Game No. 14 in the 2015-16 season.

They got crushed 121-97 in that game by an Atlanta Hawks team led by some dude named Al Horford.

If there’s one characteristic of Stevens teams that has carried on from one team to the next in his five seasons in Boston, it's their competitive spirit.

They may not have been the most talented teams, but you knew his guys were going to scrap and claw while suffering through a few setbacks – some worse than others - along the way.

But this season is different.

Even with Gordon Hayward going down with a season-ending (we think) left ankle injury, Boston has shown itself to be a resilient bunch by winning at a ridiculously high clip.

And in doing so, their success being undermanned has created a set of expectations that they can come back from any deficit and find victory.

But the real comeback for fans was the sobering back-to-earth reality of Monday’s loss, a game in which a team that has been as successful as the Celtics this season can lose if they’re not careful.

Still, we’re talking about the team with the best record in the East getting handed its first blowout loss of the season - in December.

Since 2008, only three other Celtics teams went this deep into the season before suffering their first loss by 15 or more points.

And of those three teams, two of them (2008 and 2010) went on to the NBA Finals.

Disappointed with the loss to the Bulls still?

I am.

But knowing how the Celtics have finished in recent years when they’ve avoided the big beatdown for as long as they have this season, it’s a little easier to move on from whatever-the-hell-that-was we saw last night in Chicago.

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