Red Sox Chick/Toeing the Rubber

Because you always need a backup plan

Good news…

I wouldn’t have written this entry if I didn’t feel strongly about the “It Gets Better” campaign but I will admit to being a little surprised that the Red Sox have agreed to become the third team (behind the San Francisco Giants and the Chicago Cubs) to produce a video for the project.  Little Sam Maden did a good thing and the Red Sox (and their fans, given the almost 10,000 signatures on the petition Sam started) responded in kind.  My surprise comes from what seems to be a natural lean away from anything related to LGBT by the world of sports, and I’m pleased to have been proven wrong.  Also, I’m really looking forward to seeing the completed video! Thank you, Sam, Red Sox fans and Boston Red Sox.

Speaking of thanks, Alfredo Aceves deserves a whole bunch of them from Dustin Pedroia, Jonathan Papelbon and Terry Francona, yes?  Yesterday’s performance was, in my humble opinion, the epitome of clutch and just solidified my belief that he is one person in the bullpen that the Sox can’t afford to lose right now.  When he entered the game, we essentially got another starter just starting later than normal.  How great is that to have waiting in the wings?  Of course, four innings, three hits and one earned run later, it went to JD Drew, he of the Golden Sombrero yesterday, to come up big with the winning hit. Sometimes you just have to shake your head and laugh.

Watching the closer get thrown out of the game in the ninth inning was, to say the least, surreal.  It actually surprised me to find out this is the first time Papelbon has ever been thrown out of a game, even if I couldn’t think of a time when it would have happened.  While I get why Tek was thrown out, even though it stunned me a little, Paps getting tossed was all because the umpire decided to insert himself in the game.  I hate when that happens and I hate even more that they don’t get called on it by the broadcasters or MLB…it’s only the fans (and Tom Caron on Twitter yesterday, hoo-boy).  But we have no time (or reason) to dwell.  They won and today they go for the sweep with John Lackey on the mound and Scott Atchison and Dan Wheeler the only relievers who weren’t used on Saturday.  Today’s game, at 1:35pm, could be a doozy.

I will be at a family event and unable to watch the game live (thanking the technology Gods for my smart phone) but I have no doubt it’s going to be one that we’ll be talking about for a while.

June 5, 2011 Posted by | 2011 | , , , , , | 1 Comment

More Daytime Baseball!

Welcome back, Redd! Photo courtesy of Kelly O'Connor and used with permission.

Very few games are more entertaining than one that begins with your team scoring seven runs in the first inning and doubling that score before the game ends.  Even though I was watching it in my house, having the windows open with the warm breeze…it finally felt like baseball season.  Really nice to watch a game without any fog or grey skies.

Half a game out of first with the Rays now a game and a half out is a nice place to be sitting.  In the 23 games so far in May, the Red Sox have lost seven and since the Blue Jays swept them in a two-game series on May 11th, the Sox have gone 10-2, losing the first game of the Indians series this week and the Saturday game to the Cubs.  Given my violent reaction to the Cubs game, I write this to remind myself as much as anyone else – this team does not stink.

We get another afternoon game today, this one starting at 1 o’clock.  Josh Reddick has been called up and is starting in right field with JD Drew’s strained right hammy and Darnell McDonald going on the disabled list with a quad injury.  After being designated for assignment, both Hideki Okajima and Daniel Nava cleared waivers and will be in Pawtucket.  This could come  in handy.

The Yankees have an off-day today so if the Red Sox and Alfredo Aceves can beat the Tigers the Red Sox will find themselves in another tie for first place.  These small steps care coming fast and furious in May.

May 26, 2011 Posted by | 2011 | , , , | Leave a comment

Out of the Lineup but not the Line of Fire

Keep smiling, JD. I have your back! Photo courtesy of Kelly O'Connor and used with permission.

I received a text message from a dear friend today.  All is said was “Goodbye until Thanksgiving!”.  This friend knows me well.  A little more than an hour before the first pitch of the season!

We finally have an Opening Day lineup for the Red Sox.

Jacoby Ellsbury – CF
Dustin Pedroia – 2B
Carl Crawford – LF
Kevin Youkilis – 3B
Adrian Gonzalez – 1B
David Ortiz – DH
Mike Cameron – RF
Jarrod Saltalamacchia – C
Marco Scutaro – SS
And we all know Jon Lester is the starting pitcher.  Kick some ass, Crabby.

I not so eagerly await all of the wondering about Cameron starting instead of Drew in spite of everyone knowing that CJ Wilson is the starting pitcher for the Rangers and the last thing the Sox need to do is start the season by loading up the lefties against a left-handed pitcher.  Sean McAdam tweeted last night about JD Drew being taken out of the game so early as if we should be worried about him being hurt.

J.D. Drew has come out of game in the middle of fourth, replaced in RF by Mike Cameron. No reason given yet.

You know I couldn’t let that go without a response, which I offered*:

Geez you think maybe “The Red Sox are killing the Astros and this game doesn’t count” might be a good enough reason?

Some day JD Drew will learn of my tireless pursuit of justice for him and say “Didn’t she have anything better to do?”

*As a rule, I usually unfollow most of the Boston baseball media come Opening Day because I don’t like to engage them online since mostly the encounters would be fueled by something negative.  I need to sit down tonight and weed out my follow list in an effort to retain my baseball sanity.

March 31, 2011 Posted by | 2011 | , , , | 1 Comment

My Red Sox Confessions

Kyle Snyder in '06 - Photo courtesy of Kelly O'Connor and used with permission.

I’m not one who complains about Daylight Savings; I dig it being light out at 7, 8pm. But, apparently, it has been messing with my sleep patterns because this week I have gotten up every day at least an hour later than I usually do. So, once again, my post today is late and, this time, more of just a bit of rambling than any one cohesive thought.  How about some confessions that you might or might now already know about me?

*  I like Daisuke Matsuzaka.  Sure it’s convenient for me to say that after he pitched so well yesterday, but I do.  I’ve liked him from the beginning.  I don’t fret over the money the Red Sox put out just to bid on him and I think, as far as making money in the bubble of the world known as MLB, he has been worth the money he’s being paid.

*  I don’t like Jon Lester.  I have my reasons just like everyone has their reasons for liking or not liking a player.  Having written that, if he isn’t the starting pitcher for Opening Day, I will suspect Terry Francona was dropped on his head just before making the announcement.  While I could also see Tito starting Clay Buchholz and being more than happy with that, I think Crabcakes has earned getting the nod first (and next).

*  Ever since Mike Timlin left the Red Sox I haven’t developed a deep down, true favorite player. The seasons between 2002-2008 were magical for many reasons not the least of for me was the abundance of players to fall for.  Kyle Snyder and Mike Timlin are the remnants of those years – both my last “favorite” players who are both no longer playing (hopefully that won’t be the case for Kyle much longer but who knows).  I love the team and if I had to quickly pick the one whose being traded or DFA’d would rip my heart out I guess I’m looking at either JD Drew or Clay Buchholz.  But it still isn’t the same.  Ask anyone who went to a game with me while Mike Timlin was active and they’ll tell you how physically and emotionally involved I got in his appearances.  You can also ask the handful of friends who spent the day texting me to find out if I was all right the Saturday Kyle was designated for assignment (yes, without looking I remembered it was a Saturday and they were in Toronto.  The pain is burned into my memory).  There’s no one on the team I feel that deeply for.  Maybe that’s a good thing?  I do know it changes the way I watch the games just a little bit.+

*  I’ve never not had Bronson Arroyo on a fantasy baseball team and this year he’s on my team in two different leagues.  So, in reference to the confession above this one, were he still on the Red Sox HE’D be the favorite.  (I also still hold out the unrealistic hope of his returning to the Red Sox some day.  I’m an optimist.)

* I’ve discovered (or maybe RE-discovered) that if I have any hard feelings for ex-Red Sox players (and goodness knows I do) they are stronger for Johnny Damon than they are for Manny Ramirez. I know the Yankees thing and the out and out lying thing are big parts of that but it struck me odd that I watched Manny and had NO feelings about how he did at bat (I felt “meh”) but just seeing Johnny holding a baseball bat my first thought was “I hope you strike out”.  In real life, I’m a fairly rational person.  Obviously this doesn’t translate well to my baseball fandom.

+If the Red Sox trade or DFA Tim Wakefield this year, I have no idea how I will handle it.  They can only trade him with his approval because of his time in the league and on the Sox, so I guess I’d be more okay with that than with them just dumping him.  He’s on a different level than a “favorite” player; he’s Tim Freaking Wakefield.  I can’t write any more about it because it’s upsetting me just to think about it.

March 16, 2011 Posted by | 2011 | , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Of Blogging, being Blocked and Batteries

Please don't throw batteries at JD. (Photo courtesy of Kelly O'Connor and used with permission.)

So in trying to get back into regular season blogging shape, I go three days without an entry. Not a good way to start the season!

I’m still a little blocked and hoping to shake the cobwebs off this week.  I don’t normally go this long even in the off-season without writing something.  I need to get my head in the game!  Tonight’s Sox game might help.  The Yankees visit Ft Myers (and Tito is already in mid-season form, sitting Clay Buchholz because he’s already pitched against the Yanks this year) and  NESN is airing tonight’s game (7:05) as is, according to the Red Sox schedule, ESPN2.

I need to put this in the “Wow” file:  According to Peter Abraham, I think I get to label  T.J. Furman of the Philadelphia Inquirer, Ass of the Month.  He wins this for two reasons:  The obvious one, for encouraging Phillies fans to throw batteries at J.D. Drew when the Red Sox visit the Phillies this year for interleague play.  But he gets bonus points for dodging a fellow reporter’s questions and just pointing him to the editor’s note on the piece he wrote.  The editor’s note claims the line about fans getting their “D-cells ready” was “ a regretful attempt at humor”. Not defending his own work to a colleague makes me believe one thing:  Trying to be funny or not, Furman wrote what he meant to wrote.   I need to add a third reason he wins the title…for his bringing up a part of Philadelphia sports fans history that they would like to get over.  Phillies fans, while having done some lousy things, don’t hold a monopoly on being jerky.  Furman comes off as the CHB of Philadelphia…attack your own fan base for having passion for a game that makes it possible for you to make a living.  That is an ass at it’s best (worst).

Abraham hopes that there will be extra security in Philadelphia for those games.  Last year, the Sox visited the Phillies without much incident (there was the booing that is always there and I seem to remember a mention of coins being thrown but I haven’t been able to find anything to validate my memory) so I’m not sure if Abraham forgot that or if he genuinely thinks a line from Furman will encourage folks to go out and chuck batteries at JD Drew.  I know the fans can be harsh but I’m willing to give them some credit here.  If they weren’t throwing batteries at JD last year I don’t think a deleted line (at least from the online version) in a  story in early March will make them do it in June.

Then again, who knows what’s going to happen in three months?  I commend Abraham for not letting it die because I think Furman definitely deserves to be called out on it, but I’m willing to wait until June before I decide JD needs extra security.  I know about their history but I have to admit that any interactions (in real life and online) that I’ve had with Phillies fans have been positive ones, especially when I went with my friend Kay to Citizens Bank Park for the weekend Sox/Phillies series in 2005.  So maybe I give them too much credit.  We’ll find out in June.

For now, we still have 17 games left in March before we get to Opening Day!  Almost there, folks!

March 14, 2011 Posted by | 2011 | , , , | 1 Comment

Do Spring Training Results Matter?

My favorite part of Spring Training is the photos! (JD Drew photo from March 2010 courtesy of

I have a question on this dreary New England morning:

Do people really care about a team’s record during Spring Training?

I’m sure most of the people actually attending the games would like their team to win.  We don’t follow sports to watch our team lose.  But deep down do you worry if they lose?  Does it bother you?  Because, I’m going to be honest here, I pretty much couldn’t care less how often the Red Sox lose during Spring Training.*

There are times I certainly am hoping they’ll win.  When they play the Yankees comes immediately to mind.  Also, the Mayor’s Cup.  It’s silly, I know, but I would much prefer the Red Sox win it than the Twins.   And, of course, there are the games against the college teams which I always end up rooting for the kids instead of the Red Sox but then am relieved when the Sox end up winning.   I DO pay attention to how well or poorly individual players are doing, but even then I don’t freak out over every inconsistency.

All I want, really, is for the team to come out of Spring Training healthy and looking ready for a full season.  It’s the only time of the year when, for me, winning is incidental.

I bring this up because during my morning Internet rounds today I noticed a lot of folks lamenting how poorly both the Red Sox and the Yankees are doing thus far and it surprised me.  (Which itself is ridiculous because nothing should surprise me when it comes to how passionately Red Sox and Yankees fans want their teams to win.)

So far, I’ve only listened to one game on the radio (the first one aired) and watched one game on NESN (also the first one aired). It was fun to hear and see the sounds of the season while looking out my window at the snow-covered streets, but it wasn’t enough to make me arrange my schedule around the games, as I often do during the regular season.

In March, I’m a lazy baseball fan gearing myself up for the summer.

*I’ve had many people ask me why I always capitalize Spring Training.  Honestly?  I don’t know.  I started doing it probably back when then blog began and I kept it up mostly for continuity (or because my brain just automatically capitalizes it and I’m too lazy to change it!).

March 7, 2011 Posted by | 2011 | , | 2 Comments

Just what we needed after all the bad news

Photo courtesy of Kelly O'Connor/sittingstill.net and used with permission.

Photo courtesy of Kelly O'Connor/sittingstill.net and used with permission.

I’m not particularly high-strung (especially for a Red Sox fan) but I would be lying if I didn’t admit that the Thursday night news of Jason Varitek going on the disabled list didn’t set me off just a bit.  I didn’t expect the Sox to fold and from Friday out lose every game they played but it just felt like the universe was telling Red Sox fans to sit tight and enjoy the season without getting any high expectations.  Of course, Friday night the universe poked us in the ribs and said “See?  This is still going to be fun!”.

Thanks to the quick pace of both Tim Wakefield and Baltimore’s Brad Bergesen, the game clocked in at two hours and seven minutes.  If you watched the game on NESN Friday night, by 9:20pm you could have found something else to do.  Bergesen gave the Sox a run for their money but Wakefield did just a bit better, going eight innings and not touching 100 pitches.  Two home runs by JD Drew, a pinch hit, RBI single from Daniel Nava and Papelbon in acting like the Papelbon we love and. poof, game over.  Thanks, in part, to Joba Chamberlain choking up a lead in the 8th yesterday afternoon at Yankee Stadium (our former, beloved Alex Gonzalez hit the single that put the go-ahead run on the board in the 11th inning!) and the Red Sox now sit a half a game out of first place (and a Tampa Bay loss puts them two games out of first).

Congratulations to Tim Wakefield on his MLB-leading 201st start at Fenway last night.  So happy he got a win out of it!

In spite of (or, hey, maybe because of) all the injuries that have attacked the team, last night’s win was doubly exciting.  It might not always be easy but it looks like it’s going to be a lot of fun.

July 3, 2010 Posted by | 2010 | , , , , | Leave a comment

Tito's words of wisdom

Kyle Snyder.  Because I'm still a little too cranky to put up a photo of someone on the current team.  Courtesy of Kelly O'Connor/sittingstill.net and used with permission.

Kyle Snyder. Just because. Courtesy of Kelly O'Connor/sittingstill.net and used with permission.

Not writing about last night’s game.  Won’t do it.   As a matter of fact these few words are the last I will mention that game.  We’re done.  Okay, one thing:  They won the battle (beating Ubaldo Jimenez) and lost the war (losing the actual game).  This doesn’t make me feel as good as I thought it would.  Now, we’re really done.  Let us never speak of this again.

What I wanted to write about and what I meant to write about during the game last night is Terry Francona and the fools he has to suffer.  Yesterday on the WEEI Full Count blog, Sam Dykstra posted the transcript of Tito’s appearance on the Dale and Holley Show.  Now I’m not listening to the broadcast for fear I might break my computer so I don’t know who asked this question, but here it is (in regard to Mike Lowell):

You’re doing really well right now without him so why not release him?

They’re doing “really well right now”?  Someone who covers sports professionally actually phrased a question that way?  The Sox are tied for second place so they should just be happy that the wheels aren’t falling off and give into the wishes of a player because nothing else could possibly happen that would make having Mike Lowell on the team a good backup plan, right?  The stupidity of the question is mind boggling but, as usual, Tito is ready with the response:

Well first of all, I would never talk about that with a player, especially on the radio. I can’t do that. But I think you’re being a little short-sighted. What if Youk twisted an ankle tonight? How good would that look? … It’s something that’s not making Mikey very happy, but it’s a long season and as you kind alluded to a minute ago, we’ve gone through a lot of players. It doesn’t always work out perfect for the players’ personal goals. We understand that, and the timetables are a little different sometimes. That’s why we just do the best we can.

I am genuinely amazed that Tito has yet to begin a response to one of these questions with “Are you a friggin’ idiot?”.    I dig Mike Lowell and I hate the situation he’s in.  Well, I hate some of it.  I get that he wants to play and I get that he feels like he’s good to go but I also get that he’s being paid a lot of money to sit on that bench and possibly make it to the playoffs.  Money shouldn’t always be a factor and I often argue with people who want to say things like “For the money he’s making…” but it’s tough to garner sympathy (although Lowell has said straight out that he is NOT looking for sympathy) for a guy who spends his days at a park and pockets lots of cash to do so.  On the other hand, Lowell has done a lot for this team and seems to be a good guy so I feel sorry that he’s seemingly so miserable.

Having written all of that, I think anyone who suggests the Red Sox should just give him his release or trade him in a package that would benefit him more than the team (there is no reason I can think of that it would be a good idea to get rid of him just because he wants to go) is out of his or her mind.  Why should the Red Sox do anything that would benefit him more than the team?  It’s only June.  The season has already been insane with injuries…why put the team in a position to be short a decent back up infielder and/or DH just because he’s a nice guy and wants to leave?  Also, if the Sox lose another player they end up paying to play somewhere else, I just might have to visit Fenway Park and set it on fire.  It is not my desire to see Mike Lowell wither away during what is most likely his last season in MLB.  It is ALSO not my desire to see the Red Sox hamstrung because they took the feelings of a beloved player into consideration over what was best for the team.  Sometimes, as lousy as it is to acknowledge, we have to remember that baseball is a business.

Tito showed he is also on the side of the people I don’t want to punch when he answered the question about Stephen Strasburg being in the All Star Game:

Oh my goodness, no. Maybe the Triple-A All-Star Game. I understand what this kid means to the game and what his potential is, but no, that’d be so disrespectful to a lot of good players. This kid’s made three major-league starts. I think that’d be setting a horrendous precedent. Again, no disrespect for the player, he’s got a chance to be one of the best pitchers in the game, but he’s got a chance. He’s got three starts under his belt. You can’t do stuff like that.

Strasburg has now made 4 starts in the majors (he took his first loss last night against the Royals). He has pitched 25.1 innings in the Bigs. While his numbers are impressive there are plenty of other pitchers who have put in more time this season (I know he’s good, but 25 innings is still a bit of a small sample size, IMO).  I think Tito is spot on here as well.  It’s a terrible precedent to set just because MLB wants to use this kid to help repair their image.  I don’t see it happening but if it does it’ll just give me another reason to root against the National League.

Roster change will be happening tonight.  Daisuke Matsuzaka will be coming off the DL and starting tonight’s game.  There is much speculation over at WEEI.com (the site is oddly obsessed with the Mike Lowell situation.  I know coming from the woman who is still holding out hope that Kyle Snyder gets one more shot at playing baseball talking about someone else’s “obsession” is the pot calling the kettle black, but still…) that Mike Lowell could be involved in the roster move.  Me?  Unfortunately, I think it’ll be JD Drew to the DL…but I’m hoping I’m totally wrong.

EDIT at 2:40pm:  I’m really off my game.  Never saw them putting Lowell on the DL as an option.  This makes my brain hurt. I suppose I get why they’re doing it and I still stand behind what I wrote about the needs of the team coming before the wants of any one player but it’s almost to the point where it feels like they’re purposely torturing this guy and it’s becoming painful to watch unfold.

June 24, 2010 Posted by | 2010 | , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

More important than the return of Manny…

Watching JD Drew play makes my heart happy.  I hope he's not too badly injured.  Photo courtesy of Kelly O'Connor/sittingstill.net and used with permission.

Watching JD play makes my heart happy. I hope he's not too badly hurt. Photo courtesy of Kelly O'Connor/sittingstill.net and used with permission.

…is the major league debut of Felix Doubront ending with his getting his first “W” in the bigs!  Felix pitched his five innings to be in line for the win and gave up six hits and five runs (three earned thanks to an error by, of all players, Felix Doubront!) in his debut.   He matched his walks and strike outs with two each.  Those strike outs?  Andre Ethier (he of the .330 average) and Matt Kemp.  Not too shabby, Felix.

As impressive was the work Scott Atchison did in relief.  (A brief side note:  Boof Bonser, we hardly knew ye.)  Last night, Atchison threw three perfect innings and struck out a career-high five batters (including, yes, Manny Ramirez watching strike three go by to end the 7th inning).  Atchison came up big for the team on national television last week when he was the literal last-minute starter replacing Daisuke Matsuzaka and I’m sure more than a few fans expected to be in the hole 10-0 when his work was done.  They weren’t.  Against Philly, he pitched the first three innings, struck out two and gave up two runs on two hits (the Sox went on to with the game 10-2).  Lately, he’s been a solid, go-to guy out of the bullpen and it pleases me to see the Sox using him like they did last night.

Another home run from Papi, the third of the “hitting the knee” homers from Adrian Beltre and a Green Monster home run that was originally called a double but overturned after watching the replay for JD Drew.   These things also made the game a fabulous one to behold.  There’s no word yet on JD Drew and his hammie (pulled while making a catch to put out Manny) but all in all not a whole lot to complain about is there?

The Yankees and the Rays both cooperated last night by getting beaten by the Mets and the Marlins, respectively.  This means………wait for it…………that the Red Sox are one game out of first place.  The Red Sox have the exact amount of wins that both the Rays and Yanks do and have two more losses.  Exactly a month ago today the Sox were 8.5 games out of first place (with not only the Yankees and Rays ahead of them but the, currently, 4.5 games out of first place Toronto Blue Jays ahead as well.

Back then, I posted a quote on my Tumblr page from Mitch Williams (currently working on the MLB Network) as told to Dan Patrick for Sports Illustrated:

You cannot win the division in April but at the end of the year the Red Sox are going to be able to testify that you can dang sure lose it in April because I think their season is over.

That a former baseball player could so easily fall into the trap of becoming a knee-jerk reacting talking head is sad.  The Red Sox certainly haven’t won the division in June but they ‘dang sure’ didn’t lose it in April did they, Mitch.  Say goodbye to your credibility.

Sox go at it again at 4:10pm ET today.  Yankees play at 1:10pm and Rays at 7:10pm.  Today could be the day the Sox sit atop the division after so many said it was over in May.  Make them all eat their words, BoSox.

June 19, 2010 Posted by | 2010 | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

In spite of the loss, a really good day

Bill Hall and Darnell McDonald greeting the fans yesterday (the rest of my photos from the day are over at my Flickr account - accessible using the button at the top right of the blog!)

Bill Hall and Darnell McDonald greeting the fans yesterday (the rest of my photos from the day are over at my Flickr account - accessible using the button at the top right of the blog!)

First things first:

Lights on the field so the teams can play night games

Artificial turf

The designated hitter

Interleague play

The All Star Game’s outcome having meaning

(Many others)

None of these things were in the original game that was major league baseball but they all are now because things change and MLB needed to grow with the times.  (You’ll notice I didn’t include minorities playing.  To me that goes way beyond MLB having to change with the times and gets into the ugliness of the world back then and is a separate subject for another entry.)  We have the technology available to make sure the correct calls get made and we should be using it.  Don’t give me the “purity of the game” crap or the “human element is what makes it fun” stuff.  I don’t care if it means longer games, what’s more important to me is that it would mean games that were actually called correctly.  Maybe we don’t need robot umpires just yet but instant replay on close calls or maybe more specifically calls that affect the outcome of the game (like, say oh the last out of the game).  If you don’t want to allow it for every play or call make specific rules but expand those rules to the entire game not just home runs.  Why is it such a big deal?  Just use the damn replay and get the call right.

Okay, I’m done for now.

Yesterday was a great day at the park and I have the sunburn to prove it!  Sure it didn’t end the way we wanted but it was still a really good game and a lot of fun to watch.  Since that three-game losing streak that ended with that horrible extra innings game in New York, the Sox have split a series with New York, won each series against Minnesota and Philadelphia, swept Tampa Bay, split with Kansas City and won the series against Oakland.  They won 12 out of those 17 games with half of those wins being on the road.  So, sure, it was a little disappointing that they didn’t sweep the A’s but I’ll take the series win any day.

It was the last day of the Red Sox fan appreciation homestand and the Sox ended it on a high note with “picture day”.  Some of the players, coaches and Tito walked around the field shaking hands, posing for pictures and interacting with the fans.  John Lackey seemed genuinely excited to get to meet folks and talk.  Darnell McDonald, Bill Hall and Adrian Beltre posed with, I’m guessing, every person in the park.  Mike Cameron not only posed for photos but was taking them for folks as well.

A digression:  I wanted a hug from Mike Cameron.  I didn’t know this until I saw him across the field.  There is something genuinely dynamic about his personality and I asked Kelly if it was odd that I didn’t want a picture with him, I just wanted a hug.  He ended up being the last player on the field and security was rushing him away but he was trying to get photos in with those fans who were left.  As he turned to finally walk away Kelly called out to him and asked if “we could get a hug”.  He came bounding over to us and gave me a big hug and I got to wish him well.  It was teenage fun for a few minutes and I really appreciate the Red Sox doing it.

I know many other teams do stuff like this a lot, but the Sox don’t so it was pretty special.  I also got a picture with JD Drew which made for a nice start to the day.  Drew was great.  Engaging the kids in conversation, posing for everyone, talking to folks.  I know I favor him but yesterday proved that favoritism well-placed.  It really was a great way to begin the day and I hope they consider making it an annual event (this is the second year they’ve done such a thing at Fenway).

Wanting to be at another weekday afternoon game, I bought the ticket for yesterday’s game last week and did something I never do – I bought a standing room only ticket.  Cost me $8.  I figured that, at the very least, I’d be in the park and I could worry about where I might possibly sit later.  I ended up sitting on the aisle in the first row of the grandstand behind the visitor’s dugout.  Good seat and, aside from the woman who had a two year-old she let play in the middle of the aisle so people walking the stairs had to step over or around the kid, had a good crowd around me.  By the fifth inning, I was sitting in what was an empty seat in one of the field boxes thanks to a text from Kelly alerting me to the open seating.  It never rained until well after the game, the team was doing it’s best to come back and win, I had a good seat and friends all around the park…a win would have made the day perfect but it was damn well close to perfect anyway.

Now the Sox are on the road and can hopefully build on their good record.  In spite of the absolutely obnoxious and embarrassing promo on NESN calling the Orioles the “doormats of the AL East”, playing the Orioles is always tough for the Sox, so I don’t automatically assume anything, I just hope for a good series!  Sadly,  at 9:30 this morning, the Orioles are scheduled to announce the firing of their manager Dave Trembley.  Along with my hating to see folks lose their jobs, I hate seeing a team lose their manager mid-season, regardless of the state of the club.  This wrinkle will certainly make this weekend in Baltimore a bit more interesting.  Juan Samuel, Baltimore’s third base coach, will be the interim manager.   In the time that Peter Angelos has become the principal owner of the team, the O’s have gone through eight managers.  Samuel will be the 9th in 17 years.  I wonder if it has occurred to Mr. Angelos that maybe the managers aren’t the problem with this team?

I leave you with this:  Do you know what the JD in JD Drew’s name stands for?  If you didn’t, would you pretend you did and yell it at him when you were in field box seats and close enough for him to possibly hear you?  I’ll give you a hint before you Google, it isn’t Jason David.  Hell, his initials aren’t even JD.  I thought this was, relatively speaking, common knowledge among baseball fans.  The guy didn’t even sound like he was being ironic or funny.  That coupled with the guy behind me calling him and Fred Lynn over-rated and soft (“Fred Lynn wouldn’t play if he had a hangnail”) AFTER he complemented them both on how fluidly they run/ran through the outfield,  proved that even sitting in the good seats brings out some, let’s say “interesting” folks.

Ooh, wait, one more JD story!  During the pre-game fan photo thing, some guy kept yelling to Drew “Ruben Amaro is waiting for your call!” He said it at least 3 times.  Made a point of addressing JD and getting his attention so he could make sure JD heard him.  JD responded by telling him that he didn’t know who “Ruben Amaro” was and the guy scoffed (I swear he really scoffed), said “Of course you do, he’s the GM for the Phillies!”, laughed and walked away.  I need it explained to me why you would waste such a unique opportunity to taunt one of the players.

Beat B’More!  (Seems more appropriate than chanting “Beat LA” at a Sox/A’s game.)

June 4, 2010 Posted by | 2010 | , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments