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Nov
08

Help Wanted

Joe Kerrigan, Dan Duquette

Aug. 16, 2001: On the short list of the franchise's lowest moments of the past 10 years not involving fried chicken. (AP Photo)

LinkedIn, it would be fair to say, is the social network most people belong to because they feel like they should. It is billed as the “world’s largest professional network,” and I have no doubt that many people have used it to achieve great heights in business and personal development. However, you can’t play “Family Feud” on it, and it’s far more satisfying to look at party pictures of that person you’re stalking than one postage-stamp image above their curriculum vitae.

My general stance with my own profile is to look at it every few months when somebody adds me as a “connection,” notice there’s a couple more people I could add, then not look at it until the cycle begins again. It’s this active stance that’s led me to being followed on Twitter by WEEI’s “Big Show” and an account that posts nothing but photos of celebrities in Red Sox gear.

“Spam Twitter accounts” are definitely high on the list of Internet things I don’t understand. But, shockingly, I digress.

Former Red Sox GM Dan Duquette does not feel the same about LinkedIn as I do, however. Yahoo’s Big League Stew noted, on the occasion of the Orioles letting him back in the MLB door, that Duquette has a thorough profile there. While there’s certainly a lot to talk about regarding a rather successful GM finally getting another shot after a decade out of the game’s highest level, the LinkedIn thing became all I wanted to talk about.

There’s any number of fascinating things to see there. His listing all the players he signed and his MLB Executive of the Year award the same as I list my … well, I probably should list my lone national writing award there. The lack of mention of his involvement with summer league college baseball, which somehow led him to New Bedford for a day, then to TractorGate.

And yet, I found myself drawn to Duquette’s recommendation of former Red Sox pitcher Aaron Sele:

“After I traded his contract to the Rangers Ted Williams used to call me up and say ‘How in hell can you trade a pitcher that has a curve ball like that?’ Ted was right we should have kept Aaron Sele; pitchers with that type of overhand breaking ball that can throw it for strikes behind in the count like he could are valuable and hard to replace!”

It’s like the story of every elderly person who calls the Herald nightly to complain about something. (Unlike the Herald people, though, Ted was calling to complain about something the person he was calling had actual involvement in.) I feel like I’ve stumbled into the professional sports version of this site, a combination of banality, professionalism and “are we really doing this” spirit. But how deep does the proverbial rabbit hole go?

Deeper than I went, I’m sure. But I went pretty deep. Here’s a sample:

— Duquette’s Red Sox time has one recommendation: From former Red Sox broadcaster and WAAAAAAAYYY BAAAAAAAACK connoisseur Jerry Trupiano, who rightly declares Dan “put together a consistently competitive ballclub that regularly appeared in the post-season,” then lies and says he “was able to oversee a staff that saw the Red Sox minor league system become a very productive entity.” I mean, I guess it was productive in the sense that Carl Pavano and Tony Armas Jr. were worth a lot more as Pedro Martinez bait than actual pitchers, and I guess I’d rather have had Pavano than John Lackey in 2011 …

At least he's got experience with the phrase "Damn Yankees." That will probably come in handy in Baltimore. (AP)

— Trupiano, whose dismissal from the Red Sox was somewhat onerous, is missed in the broadcast booth by Jeff Idelson, who’s none less than the president of the Baseball Hall of Fame. He’s definitely on the short list of the most successful people that list four-plus years spent as a Fenway Park vendor on their resume.

By the way, want an easy way to convince people that you’re a monster? Tell them you took your wife to Utica, N.Y., on your honeymoon. The look of disgust is such that they’re not even listening by the time you bring up Oneonta.

Curt Schilling, on his time as a player with the Red Sox: “Won a few games here and there, did some nice things in October, good group of guys to work with.” The whole thing is sadly lacking in earned bravado, but does include work experience as a “#1 Fan……” of John McCain since January 2000 and feature a recommendation from … well, I better just quote the whole thing:

“I rewrote this recommendation because it was hard to indicate connection. I was a sports/baseball fan and Curt was a service provider -Player for the Diamondbacks/ Red Sox. He provided excellent service as a pitcher. I wish it had been for my teams. As a first generation American, born and raised in Brooklyn New York, and with an immigrant father that kisses the ground of America and of New York City, Curt Shilling hurt me as a Red Sox and as a Diamondback.I am a life long Yankee, Met, Jets, Giants, Rangers, Knicks, Islanders etc. fan. But, as a “professional fan” I commend Mr Schilling. A man, a family man, an outstanding athlete, a fierce competitor (I know this too well) and in his profile he mentions the Lord. I am honored to be connected. Cheers to you Curt Schilling.”

Et cetera? What’s left after you list every non-New Jersey sports team in New York? The colleges? The Brooklyn Cyclones? The subway system? Christ, I get ancy when the Patriots and Giants play every four years.

Rico Petrocelli‘s work experience lists running six Massachusetts gas stations in the 1970s under the title “Sports Oil Company.” The fact that the company existed for nine years probably means this isn’t the reality, but if you trying to define for me a case of a professional athlete getting talked into dumping money into a bad investment idea, something called the “Sports Oil Company” would be what would pop into mind.

“Rico! It’ll be great! Your face will be on the pumps! People love you! They’ll be lining up for hours just to get gas!”

Well, given it was the ’70s, at least part of that happened.

— I am extremely disappointed Bill Lee hasn’t recommended anybody, or listed his career. Talk about people whose Twitter accounts would be pure gold. I want to read him offer kudos to the cab driver that hit him in Montreal.

— On the football side, John Hannah recommends Andre Tippett as “a competitor with a heart!” One Hall of Famer to another … there’s something downright reassuring in that. Hannah’s profile actually led me to his (former?) blog, where it appears he’s one of the alarming percentage of Americans who thinks that the word “lose” is spelled with two o’s.

There are conflicting pieces of evidence on there, and it appears he may simply have let a typo slip. (Like this immaculately edited thing would ever allow that to happen.) Still, I remain perplexed about who out there is preaching the “lose is actually loose” gospel. It’s too prevalent to just be happening on its own. There’s little insight on the first page of a Google search about it, so I’m stumped.

— Dan Duquette’s profile has more references to his own football career than Gino Toretta‘s does about his. He still won the Heisman Trophy, for goodness sakes.

— No matter which quarterback the Patriots took with the No. 1 pick in the 1993 draft, they would have ended up with a guy who’s today making wine.

— From the hockey world, Bill Clement is teaching people how to walk tightropes. (That may be a metaphor but, hey, you never know.) He sadly only makes a general allusion to telling young right wing Jon Couture of the video game Oshawa Generals that he turns the puck over too much.

— Alexei Yashin recommended Mike Milbury’s time as general manager of the New York Islanders, terming him “generous.”

Alexei Yashin

Sept. 5, 2001: 10 years, $90 million. You'd be smiling too, and that's before you knew you'd only actually play five of the years. (AP)

That was a tough few weeks for executive competency.