, Newburyport, MA

April 27, 2013

Lots of lessons to be learned this week

Bill Plante
Newburyport Daily News

---- — “What’s new?” Freddy asked as he wedged into his side of the booth for our weekly get-together.

“Ortiz homered for the first time this year,” I said.

“Long time coming,” Freddy said.

“Lessons to be learned by the rest of the Red Sox,” I said.

“Lots of lessons for everyone in the past couple of weeks,” Freddy said.

“If you’re referring to the marathon, you’re dead on,” I said.

“Watch your tongue; there was too much of the dead already,” Freddy said.

“Figure of speech,” I said. “Anyway, tell me it’s not great that the Sox are leading the pack.’’

“Absolutely right on,” Freddy said. “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. That’s what sports are all about even if you do succeed. It’s the character thing that juices a team no matter what you do.

“It was so bad last year, the Sox went dead sour. Upper management cleans house, keeps Ortiz and the heart of the team and finds some guys who really want to play ball. Result? Cross your fingers, but it’s looking good.”

“What have you made of the two brothers who bombed the Boston Marathon?” I asked.

“Not so good for them,” Freddy said. “The older one’s dead,” Freddy added. “The story keeps coming at us like a novel, page by page, day by day. It turns out he was a pretty good amateur boxer, years ago. But he grows up, so to speak, gets married, has a son — family life doesn’t go down too good, so he goes off and learns how to be a bomb maker.”

“As for what his kid brother’s facing, better he died in the bottom of the boat he was hiding in. It looks like he’s recovering from being a live target because they’ve sent him off to prison at Camp Devens where he’ll be encouraged to tell us more if there’s more to tell.”

“Amazing story,” I said.

“Which a lot of people are helping to write every day,” Freddy said. “Made for prime time with its twists and turns, and not all of it is bad news with thousands doing whatever they can do to ease the pain.”

“A learning experience in more ways than one for most of us,” I said. “Who knew police had a helicopter camera that could see through the canvas covering the boat in somebody’s backyard? Turns out the younger brother was bleeding bad and out of it.

“For that matter, who would have guessed anyone would bomb the finish area of the marathon?”

“Bombing the finish? Brilliant because half the world is watching,” Freddy said. “Deciding to keep the bombing business going? Not so good if they believed they wouldn’t get caught. The older one gets killed and the younger one’s on hold.”

“I’m not so sure about that,” I said. “They didn’t plan to lay low — not with other bombs in their possession. They apparently took time out to party a bit, and then they decided to go off to New York, to go big-time, as though the marathon wasn’t.

“They had to know sooner or later they’d get caught.”

“Who knows what stupidity lurks in the hearts of men?” Freddy said.

“It’s late, but we’re finding out,” I said.

“We’re also finding out about the Sox,” Freddy said. “Let us be thankful.”


Bill Plante is a Newbury resident and staff columnist. His email address is