While Boston’s Paul Pierce managed to score 28 points last night against the Lakers despite an damaged right knee, the LA Times’ Bill Plaschke claims he’s received a barrage of e-mail abuse following his earlier charge Pierce’s Game 1 injury was exaggerated. “Southern Californians may sometimes have disliked my words, but they’ve never threatened my health,” moans Plaschke (above), who seems surprised that his provocative words have, y’know, provoked someone.
Of all the humanity-questioning notes, the most disturbing was apparent from a subject line that contained three words that could not be printed in this newspaper.
Then the writer really got mad.
“I hope you . . . get cancer and die,” he wrote. “Why don’t you just die or quit, you ugly fat (bleep). I’m going to find out where (a relative) is buried and me and my buddies are gonna dig (the) skeleton up.”
Against all common sense, I tracked down the guy who wrote me the e-mail about cancer and skeletons.
I can’t believe he agreed to speak to me, but he e-mailed his phone number immediately.
His name is John Marsinelli. He is 31-year-old baker from Cambridge.
He said for nine months of the year, the Celtics are his life.
“There’s not much else to do around here during that time, either it’s too cold or to hot,” he said.
He awakens every morning at 4:30, arrives at his supermarket bakery by 6, and returns to his apartment and the Celtics.
For the home games, he has a balcony season ticket. For the road games, he has a TV and an empty family room.
“I can’t watch the games with anyone else,” he said. “From pregame to postgame, I watch by myself. I scream at the TV. I throw my hat down.”
And then you send horrible e-mails to guys like me?
“I was just venting,” he said. “I don’t know you personally, I was aggravated about a lot of other stuff in my life, I just got mad.”
I wanted him to apologize.
I stretched out the phone conversation waiting for an apology.
He would not.
It was as if, somewhere in his Celtics soul, he could not.
He hung up the phone, then sent me another e-mail with a pleasant request to mail him two copies of this story to his home address.
So there you have it, ladies and gentlemen. The only persons capable of being baited by Plaschke are crazed loners with dead-end jobs. Funny thing is, I suspect basketball fans on either coast could get by just fine without Bill. I’m not certain, however, Plaschke is ready to live in a world without readers. Or bakeries.