Red Sox Chick/Toeing the Rubber

Because you always need a backup plan

Come on Up!

I hope you get to use your time well, Nate! (Photo courtesy of Kelly O'Connor and used with permission)

Labor Day is one of my favorite days of the year. I love the fall and have always looked forward to things like the new school year beginning, the new television season starting and things just, generally, changing from a long summer. My love of autumn doesn’t mesh that well with my love of baseball given September is the beginning of the end of the regular baseball season but even still it’s my favorite time of year.

Children going back to school and television fans getting new shows aren’t the only people who enjoy a fresh start in September.  Thanks to the call-ups, there are many players in the minor leagues who get their first taste of the bigs in September.  Just this morning, with the final regular season game in Pawtucket being played tonight, Ryan Lavarnway, Nate Spears and Kyle Weiland all got called up and will be in Toronto this afternoon.  Ryan and Kyle have been called up before, but this is the first time for Nate.  After playing in Portland in 2010 and helping Pawtucket make it to the playoffs this year, Nate will most likely see his first Major League at-bat in Toronto. (Nate isn’t currently on the 40-man roster so a move will have to be made before he gets officially activated.)

I’m always happy for the guys who get called up and given how much I’ve learned about Nate from Kelly O’Connor, who has been following his career much more closely than I (or probably ANYONE)  for a few years now, I’m especially happy that he gets his shot this week.  But the one thing that always interests me is how the fans of the Minor League teams react to losing players once the playoffs begin.  I know plenty of people who follow the SeaDogs the PawSox and even the Spinners who don’t pay that much attention to the Red Sox.  They live near the MiLB parks, they go to the MiLB games and aren’t concerned with what the “big” team is doing and they’d rather see their guys in the Minor League uniforms for the playoffs.  If your team gets into the playoffs and then suddenly players start being plucked out to join the parent team (only to be sent packing for home once the regular season ends) it has to be frustrating.  I imagine it’s frustrating for the players who don’t get called up as well given that they’re being left behind to take on the playoffs without their teammates.  The playoffs for the PawSox begin on Wednesday and by all accounts Kyle Weiland was going to start the first game.  Now he’ll most likely be sitting in the Red Sox bullpen in Toronto while Matt Fox gets the start for Pawtucket.  While getting the big league time is what they are working for, I wonder how they feel about missing out on the playoffs (especially since they won’t be in the playoffs with the Red Sox this year)?  I’d imagine for someone like Nate getting the call for the FIRST time, the excitement about actually getting called up outweighs any disappointment there might be in regard to missing the playoffs.

The PawSox play their final regular season game today at 1:05pm (all the women fans in attendance get a rose) and the Red Sox play their first of a four-game series against the Blue Jays at 1:07 this afternoon.  In Toronto, Josh Beckett will be on the mound to,  hopefully, put an end to the two-game losing streak.  The Yankees just finished beating up on the Jays…I’m hoping this doesn’t encourage them to take out their frustrations on the Red Sox.  I’d like a bit of carnage coming from the Sox this week.

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

The Future is at Fenway Today

I'll definitely miss moments like this today (Photo courtesy of Kelly O'Connor and used with permission)

I would so love to be at Fenway Park today.  Watching minor league players get to play on the Fenway field is definitely a thrill.  Even more exciting is seeing those young players wandering the field, slamming up against the Green Monster and going into the scoreboard like they were just your average fans with an opportunity to go on the field.  The excitement is contagious and this will be the first time since they started doing the Futures games that I’ve missed it; so I’m a bit bummed about that.

Fortunately, I know many people who will be there representing and, of course, Kelly O’Connor will be there so we’ll be sure to get some fantastic photos!

It surprises me that more teams don’t do this.  It’s a great way to not only let the fans get in the park and enjoy it when they might otherwise not be able to afford a day at a ballgame (premium seats don’t cost a premium today) but it also is a wonderful way to get the average fan interested in Minor League Baseball.

So if you make it to Fenway this afternoon, I hope it doesn’t rain on you (according to weather.com between 2 and 3 o’clock today we run the highest risk of rainfall) and you not only enjoy the games but they encourage you to support Minor League Baseball.

August 20, 2011 Posted by | 2011 | , , , | Leave a comment

Yesterday in the Pacific Coast League

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Photo from MiLB.com/taken by Wendy Egan

 

This is Ryan Roberts.  He plays for the  Pacific Coast League on the Oklahoma RedHawks.  I was reading MiLB.com and this wonderful photo was on the front page…and it made me take notice (Kudos to Wendy Egan).  So I read on.

Roberts is a 27 year-old third baseman who’s been in the minor league system for six years.  Yesterday, in one inning, he hit a three-run homer and then a grand slam.  He’s the first PCL player since 2000 to knock in 7 rbi in one inning.  And before 2000, only two other players in the PCL ever had such an inning – one in  1939 and one in 1932.   Not too shabby.

A quick Google search tells me that Roberts’ first major league hit came in his second major league game, and was a  home run for the Toronto Blue Jays off of Cory Lidle at Yankee Stadium in August of 2006.  Also, he has over 30 tattoos.

I find one of these things infinitely more interesting than the other.

This is the kind of information that grabs my attention when I’m trying to find out the latest news on Kyle.  🙂  I sense today, with my lazy attitude and an 8pm Sox game, will be a bit of a postapalooza.

July 27, 2008 Posted by | MiLB | , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Day o Fun

Today is my family reunion.  It starts relatively (see what I did there?) early and ends around the time the Sox/Yanks game will be an hour or so old.  I’ll be bringing technology to get updates, but will, most likely, miss a good chunk, if not all of the game.

For the record, this date was set a couple of years ago – no one knew we were planning the day on a Sox/Yanks weekend. 🙂

Rob Bradford reporting that if Manny doesn’t play the team might take disciplinary action against him.  Bradford says it, then I believe it more than if any other writer in New England wrote it.  Good for the team.  I, sadly, have no problem with this.

Shout out to Keith Thibault for responding to one of my Kyle inquiries – thank you!  Unfortunately, the best he had to offer was “It is still unclear when he will return to Pawtucket…..  

PVs to Kyle for better  health and a return here soon.  (MiLB.com still has him on the Spinners roster…but I don’t know what that’s worth in regard to being accurate.)

Day two of Sox/Yanks.  This time Wake v Pettitte.  Run support, fellas.  Say it with me:  RUN SUPPORT.

Have a great day, folks!

July 26, 2008 Posted by | Miscellaneous | , , , , , , | 1 Comment