Phillipe and Jorge’s Cool, Cool World: The Pope’s Visit, Baseball Shuffle, 38 Studios and Johnny Ray

Frankie Goes to ‘Murica 

With immigration taking a front seat in the GOP presidential debates, P&J were surprised at the lack of reaction to a Hispanic named Jorge Mario Bergoglio slipping into the U.S. last week with a posse of dozens of foreigners, many disguised as women in oversized robes. Where’s that damn wall, Trump?

Oh, OK, it was just Pope Francis and his entourage, so I guess we can make some exceptions, given that he now has a European address and isn’t Syrian.

Phillipe and Jorge won’t try to delve deeply into Pope Frankie’s visit since it has been running live and on daily reruns on every TV show and network from Access Hollywood to Al Jazeera. But while we watched live as he made his way to the altar at St. Patrick’s Cathedral glad-handing the guests, we pricked up our ears when the TV reporter said, “And the Pope just greeted Henry Kissinger in the second row.” Pardon? Henry Kissinger? We didn’t realize that Herr Doktor K was a communicant at St. Patrick’s or that they had reserved a section for Jewish war criminals.

Which brings us to the rub about Frankie’s visit. While P&J have admired the new Pope’s seeming independence and enlightened approach to his job in the ruby slippers, the Catholic church remains the world’s largest corporation, which quite obviously is not above selling box seats, excuse us, pews, to his appearances in places like one of the most famous churches in the universe. And while Frankie’s easing up on the reins a bit or taking on extra-religious issues like the need for climate change (muffled applause from the grave of Galileo Galilei), the Catholic church remains a misogynistic artifact of the past, replete with unpunished pedophiles and bishops evidently too big to excommunicate, and that despite Frankie’s pleas to address poverty, the church is still just a gigantic male-dominated money machine, quietly demanding its entitled tithe from the rich and letting its decisions and access be guided by it.

Going, Going, Gone

In the last two weeks news comes that two figures from the baseball world near and dear to Phillipe and Jorge’s hearts will sadly be with us no longer. One was a national treasure, the other a largely unsung local hero.

The more famous of the two, Yogi Berra, slipped this mortal coil on September 22 at age 90. Younger generations may know of his public popularity only as the name inspiration for the cartoon character Yogi Bear. But he was in fact one of the best players in baseball history (especially in the clutch), a three-time American League MVP, winner of 10 World Series titles with the New York Yankees, and an All Star from 1948 to 1962. To put it in perspective, from when before P&J were born to when we saw him hit home runs in person at Yankee Stadium.

Stories of Yogi’s peculiar view of the world also made him famous, with such P&J fave lines about Toots Shor’s notorious NYC bar/restaurant, a longtime Yankee players’ hangout, “Nobody goes there anymore, it’s too crowded,” and when ordering a pizza and asked if he wanted his pie cut into 12 slices said, “No, make it eight. I can’t eat 12.”

But as we bid him adieu, we recall the valuable information offered up on the website for his Yogi Berra Museum and Learning Center on the campus of Montclair State College in New Jersey: “We’re open ‘til we close.” Thanks for the memories, Mr. Berra.

The second man has fortunately moved on to greener pastures here on earth.

Unless you are a baseball fan, and almost assuredly a Vo Dilun’der, you have probably never heard of Lou Schwechheimer. But Lou was one of the Tinkers-to-Evers-to-Chance front office trio of the Little Rhody field of dreams, along with Ben Mondor and Mike Tamburro, who turned around the Pawtucket Red Sox and made it one of the best franchises in minor league baseball. From virtual oblivion, the PawSox have become near and dear to residents of the Biggest Little and elsewhere, as the huge public outcry about moving the team has demonstrated.

Quietly, like everything else he does, Lou recently announced he’s leaving his position as PawSox vice president and general manager for other ventures, most likely still within baseball at some level. Like the owner he worked for, the late Mondor, and his equally admirable and respected partner in success, team CEO Tamburro, Lou was one of the nicest, generous, most talented and intelligent men you’ll ever meet. He was twice International League Executive of the Year, and while with the PawSox, the team won two Baseball America awards for excellence in minor league baseball operations.

He also, for some God-only-knows reason, treated Phillipe and Jorge like kings. He once asked Jorge to sing the national anthem before a PawSox game, and on another occasion, asked Phillipe to throw out the opening ball on a Memorial Day long ago, but only after agreeing to warm P. up in a game of catch under the stands before he took the mound. And like everything Lou did, it was with a smile on his face.

The only positive thing we can say about Lou’s leaving is that we won’t have to type his ridiculous name again, invariably getting it wrong at the first attempt. We love you, Mr. Schwechheimer, and so do thousands of others who have experienced baseball at McCoy Stadium, whether or not they knew that grinning guy in the parking lot shaking their hands and thanking them for coming. A class act through and through.

Th-th-th-that’s wrong, folks!

Thank all gods that America’s organ of record, the New York Times, is eternally vigilant about getting their facts right. (Although P&J still aren’t sure about how they missed that Tom Brady-Gisele Bundchen break-up shocker.)

In the September 20 edition of the Times, the Gray Lady of 42nd Street bravely admitted a mistake in their reporting that we believe could have had a serious impact on currently chilly U.S.-Russia relations. To wit:

“A news analysis last Sunday misstated the name of a cartoon character displayed at a Moscow diner. He is Porky Pig, not Porky the Pig.”

We can now all sleep soundly once again.

Home to Roost

Now that the information on 38 Studios has been released and is being pored over by all the major media in the Biggest Little, one thing has become abundantly clear: Vo Dilun leads the league in funding bad investments/businesses. Meetings to bail out the (nearly bankrupt at that time) 38 Studios began a year earlier than was originally reported. No one is surprised to hear that. “In on it” from the beginning were the currently imprisoned Gordo the Fox, Michael Corso and the mysterious Zaccagnino. It also appears that Corso may have received money from the state for his failed restaurant on Westminster Street, Tazza. What a mess! What an embarrassment! What a disgrace! Stuffing all that cash in a bloody sock was a pretty stupid idea from the get go.
More Tears
Like they say about cops and reporters, you’ve got to make jokes about some of this stuff or you’ll end up crying all the time. Inspired by more horror overseas is this, the worst pickup line ever: “Didn’t I meet you at the Hajj Stampede?” But occasionally, all the tears end up with a good result. Apparently Speaker of the US House of Representatives, “Johnny Ray” Boehner, has announced that he will retire at the end of October. Johnny Ray really opened up the faucets last week when he met the Pope. A parting gift to the American people. As P&J fight back our own tears, we pause to pour another Pernod & grapefruit.

Kudos and Congrats

With all the big news going on this past week, P&J don’t want to forget the fine reports in GoLocalProv by the talented, lovely and all-around brilliant news editor, Kate Nagle, on the demise of yet another RI-based company, NABsys. This seems to be one of those stories that we will hear more about and, after dining with Ms. Nagle last week, we know that she’s on it like a tiger. For some unknown reason, Ms. Nagle is the only one on this story and it’s an important one.

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