Photo: ‘El Tiante’ uses el teléfono

David Brown

FORT MYERS, Fla. — Yes, even former pitching great Luis Tiant is capable of succumbing to an obnoxious byproduct of the digital age — the Bluetooth earpiece/microphone thingie for his mobile phone. That's the device where you'll hear someone talking, and it appears they're either talking to you or themselves, and both freak you out for a moment until you realize there's an alien tentacle crawling out of the person's ear. Oh, they're on the phone.

But for a brief moment of terror, it's: "Why would Luis Tiant be talking to me? Is my epidermis showing? Did I brush against him without saying 'excuse me'? Now I'm talking to myself —Luis Tiant will think I'm crazy! Where's my phone? Gee, I hope that really is Luis Tiant."

No, none of the above. Just some personal business on the phone. Other than that, he's still just "El Tiante," hero of the 1975 World Series season for the Red Sox and one of the best pitchers not in the Hall of Fame. He's an instructor with the Red Sox during spring training, so presumably he'll be working with new closer Andrew Bailey on his colorful and patented turn-his-back delivery. Most windups are so boring these days.

There's nothing blah about Tiant. Except for ... well ... the phone slug.

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