Someone once suggested that I would be doing my son a favor to let him become a Yankees fan; that was never going to happen.
Baseball was, is and always will be the best game in the world. – Babe Ruth
The day after a crushing Game Seven loss in the 2003 American League Championship Series for Red Sox fans, I arrived at work to find a youth-sized Yankees cap on my chair. One of my co-workers, an unabashed New York fan, had pinned a note to it: “Give this to your son so that he’ll know what it feels like to root for a REAL team!”
Needless to say, I was less than happy – no, actually, I was pissed – and I threw the hat and the note into one of the bottom drawers of my file cabinet, knowing well enough that my then six-month-old son would NEVER be a fan of any team other than the Boston Red Sox.
Continue reading “15 Years Later, There Are No Regrets”
Why shouldn’t we use proven technology to help the men in blue call balls and strikes? Shouldn’t that be part of “the integrity of the game?”
Every time I watch a Red Sox ball game on NESN, as every pitch crosses the plate, projected on the lower right corner of the screen is a graphic that shows the location of that pitch relative to the strike zone, defined as the area over the plate below the armpits and above the knees of the batter when in his natural stance. In fact, a very similar graphic appears in almost every MLB broadcast, be it on the MLB Network, FOX, ESPN, TBS, or otherwise.
In 2006, the league launched the use of PITCHf/x, a technology that tracked the velocity, position, and break of every pitch in real-time. Last year, PITCHf/x was phased out in favor of Statcast, which had initially been installed in all 30 major league stadiums in 2015. Though there have been questions about the pitch velocity being reported by the latter (data suggests that it’s about two MPH higher), the accuracy of the pitches, measured using Doppler radar and high-definition video, is nearly perfect.
Continue reading “Bring On The Robots, and (Most) Everyone Will Be Happy”
Just nine shy of 500 career home runs with 48 games left to play, David Ortiz has an opportunity to become the 27th player in Major League Baseball history to reach that mark before the season ends. So how likely will that happen?
Just nine shy of 500 career home runs with 48 games left to play, David Ortiz has an opportunity to become the 27th player in Major League Baseball history to reach that mark before the season ends. With little to play for other than pride, this may be the only thing left for the Red Sox to champion in 2015. Having reached the required number of plate appearances this season to guarantee his return in a Boston uniform in 2016, chances are excellent that number 500 will come with the Red Sox. So how likely will it happen this year?
In franchise history, only one player, Ted Williams, has hit at least 500 home runs in a Boston uniform. Jimmie Foxx and Manny Ramirez are the only other two players to hit number 500 with the club. “Big Papi” has 433 home runs with the Red Sox, second most in team history; he hit his other 58 with the Twins over his first six seasons in baseball. Whether he can hit another 67 home runs with the Red Sox, thereby finishing with 500 in a Boston uniform, is another story for another day.
Continue reading “Will David Ortiz Hit Career Home Run Number 500 in 2015?”
As 2014 draws to a close, we look forward as always to another season of Boston Red Sox baseball, hopefully ending as it did in 2013 with another World Series title for the local nine.
The 2014 Red Sox baseball season was one of disappointment as Boston was unable to repeat as World Series champions and finished last in the American League East for the second time in three seasons. Even so, as this year draws to a close, we look forward as always to another season of baseball, hopefully ending as it did in 2013 with another World Series title for the local nine.
Some dates to mark down on your calendar:
12 February: Truck Day
20 February: Pitchers and catchers report to Fort Myers
25 February: All players report to Fort Myers
05 March: First official spring training game (versus Minnesota)
06 March: First spring training game at JetBlue Park (versus Miami)
06 April: Opening Day versus Philadelphia at Citizens Bank Park
10 April: First game versus New York at Yankee Stadium
13 April: Opening Day at Fenway Park (versus Washington)
01 May: First game versus New York at Fenway Park
Continue reading “Closing The Books On 2014”
What Big Papi said from the heart at Fenway Park last season sums up everything related to how Boston has responded over the past year to the Marathon bombing.
Everything related to how Boston has responded over the past year to the Marathon bombing may be summed up by what David Ortiz said from the heart five days later in the first Red Sox game at Fenway Park.
This jersey that we wear today: it doesn’t say Red Sox, it says Boston. … This is our f**king city, and no one is going to dictate our freedom. Stay strong!
We are #BostonStrong.
For one final time, we will look back and salute what was an amazing accomplishment by the Boston Red Sox in 2013.
Does anyone recall what happened at last year’s Opening Day ceremonies at Fenway Park? Neither do I…
The only thing that might be memorable from that day were two things: one, the Red Sox won 3-1 over the Orioles, extending their home opener win streak to nine, and two, it proved to be the last game in the consecutive sellout streak. The next night, the streak ended at 820 games, which included postseason games at Fenway Park.
Today, that does not matter. After taking two-of-three in Baltimore, Boston returns to its home field for a celebration that should match or perhaps surpass the celebrations held at the home openers in 2005 and 2008. After the defending World Series champions were showcased at the White House earlier this week, now comes what should be the final mention of last year’s success: a pregame ceremony complete with all the trimmings (gold, to be specific) and the presentation of rings to players and team personnel.
Continue reading “One Last Hurrah”
No more talk of what happened last season; the Red Sox must now focus on reaching October this season.
The slate has been wiped clean and, save for Friday’s pregame ceremony at Fenway Park that will celebrate Boston’s 2013 championship season one last time, the Red Sox must now focus on the task at hand, which is to navigate through another 162-game schedule in the hopes of making the postseason for a second consecutive season.
It was a relatively quiet off-season for the local nine. The one notable subtraction was the loss of Jacoby Ellsbury to free agency, who agreed to sign with Boston’s division rival, the New York Yankees. Also gone from the team are two other key cogs from last season’s machine: catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia (signed with the Miami Marlins) and shortstop Stephen Drew (currently unsigned). There were also a few notable additions, too, including catcher A.J. Pierzynski, outfielder Grady Sizemore, and reliever Edward Mujica, all of whom made the Opening Day roster.
Otherwise, the team taking the field this afternoon at Orioles Park at Camden Yards is for all intents and purposes the same one that we saw playing for postseason glory this past October. The starting rotation carries over from last season, as does the right side of the infield, the corner outfielders, and the key bullpen components.
Continue reading “Five Thoughts On The Red Sox Heading Into The 2014 Season”
Ten years ago today, I finally stopped procrastinating, purchased the fenwayfanatics.com domain name, and debuted the “home to Boston Red Sox baseball fans everywhere.”
I’m never gonna leave you. I never gonna leave
Holdin’ on, ten years gone
Ten years gone, holdin’ on, ten years gone
— Led Zeppelin, Ten Years Gone
What a wonderful journey these last ten years have been.
On 17 March 2004, I finally stopped procrastinating, purchased the fenwayfanatics.com domain name, and debuted a new web site, which I tagged as the “home to Boston Red Sox baseball fans everywhere.” My intent was to share my interest in this team and its rich history from the perspective of an “everyday fan.”
Continue reading “Ten Years Gone”
Adrian Beltre’s brief time with the Red Sox was just a microcosm of what has been a truly remarkable baseball career.
Like all sweet dreams, it will be brief, but brevity makes sweetness, doesn’t it?
— Stephen King, 11/22/63
Two weeks ago, I posted a study of the top “one-and-done” positional players in Red Sox history and the player who rose to the top of every statistical category we studied – WAR and OPS+ – was Adrian Beltre. It was almost no contest, as the former third baseman prove himself valuable at the plate and in the field.
Continue reading “One Season With Red Sox A Microcosm Of Beltre’s Career”
The time is right to let bygones be bygones and give one final honor to one of the best players to ever wear a Red Sox uniform.
The Red Sox employ a rather strict policy related to the retirement of uniform numbers; to be considered, you need first to have played a minimum of ten years with the team and you must also be elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame.
To date, only one person has received this honor who has not met these criteria; Johnny Pesky, whose number 6 was retired in 2008, was recognized for more than 60 years of nearly uninterrupted time with the franchise as a player, a manager, coach, and instructor.
There is also one player who meets these criteria but whose number is absent from the façade in right field: former third baseman Wade Boggs.
Continue reading “Time Is Right To Retire Wade Bogg’s Number”