Sorry for my infrequent posts, however, this has been a fairly boring and extremely LOOOOOOOOOOONNNNNNG spring in Red Sox land. Thus, I guess I haven’t really been all that motivated to write.
However, as I stepped outside today into this typical New England spring day (cold, wet, cloudy, and gloomy) one thing popped into my head. It feels like opening day.
Any who lives in this area, is familiar with this weather. It is a normal April for Red Sox baseball. The early teasing of mother nature, allowing us to enjoy a few days in a row of beautiful, sunny, warm spring weather, makes days like this a slap in the face. Especially since we have been craving those warm spring days since January.
Anyway, this year, Opening Day will be somewhat unique. The Red Sox will actually be playing at Fenway on Opening Day. Usually, because of the weather, they usually open up with a small road trip and we get to have the “Home Opener.” I am not sure the last time the Red Sox were at Fenway for Opening Day, but I cannot remember off the top of my head. Looks like I’ll have to look it up. However, I WILL BE THERE for Opening Day. Just one of the benefits at working at the ballpark.
Word out of Hollywood is that producer Garry Marshall (A League of Their Own, Happy Days, Laverne and Shirley, Mork & Mindy) is reviving a sit-com that he had originally adapted from Neil Simon’s award-winning play.
This version starred:
Tony Randall as Felix Unger ~ the neat-freak, a fastidious, hypochondriac professional photographer (portraits a
specialty) whose marriage is ending.
Jack Klugman as Oscar Madison ~ the slob, a slovenly, recently divorced sportswriter.
However, in this reincarnation, Marshall is going to be putting more of a baseball twist on the characters. The setting will move from New York City to Miami, as well. While in the original sit-com, Oscar and Felix lived together after marital woes in this updated version, Felix and Oscar will be rooming with each other during spring training.
So, starring as the updated Felix Unger (neat-freak) ~ the suave, metro-sexual, ladies man, GQ cover boy, bachelor shortstop:
And, starring as the updated Oscar Madison (slob) ~ the gritty, grubby, short and stubby, video-game playing, married second basemen:
Apparently, their agents originally had a Bosom Buddies updated project pitched to them. While Jeter was more than willing to take on that project, especially not minding the cross dressing required for the role of Kip Wilson (originally Tom Hanks), Pedroia said there was no way in hell he’d be dressing up like a chick for the role of Henry Desmond (originally Peter Scolari).
Seriously, though, who would have pictured it? Jeter and Pedroia buddies? A life long Yankee and a life (shorter) long Red Sox buddies? C’mon, would we ever have seen Carlton Fisk and Thurmon Munsion like this:
According to Michael Silverman’s Sunday notes column that appeared in the Sunday Boston Herald:
A budding mutual admiration has been forged between Pedroia and Jeter since becoming teammates on Team USA in the World Baseball Classic. Even Terry Francona chimed in:
“I could have called that one,” Francona said. “They kind of gravitated toward each other last year at the All-Star Game in New York.”
When asked whey they are bonding, Francona answered, “How do you not gravitate toward Pedey? And Jeter, he respects the game so much, how do you not gravitate towards Jeter? You can tell that Jeter likes Pedey’s personality. … That’s an easy one.”
In other Red Sox news:
- Pedroia’s injury is not the dreaded oblique muscle after all, but an abdominal pull. So that’s good news. Apparently, he’ll only miss a few days, now. However, I say, “TAKE YOUR TIME!!!”
- Jon Lester finally signed his long-term deal. Congrats to both Lester and the Red Sox. It’s nice to have another GOOD (not just at the game of baseball) young player locked up.
The big news of the day is the word out of Miami that Dustin Pedroia is headed back to Boston to have the medical staff take a look at his oblique.
Ohhhhhhhhhhhhh, the dreaded oblique. The big unknown of injuries. Some players are out for a few days. Others are out for months. Remember Trot Nixon’s oblique? It seems the best treatment for this type of injury is rest, rest, and more rest.
Let’s take a look at this enigma of muscle:
Is there a doctor in the house to explain this stuff?
Looks like the Madden curse (players who appear on the cover of John Madden football game getting injured) has evolved into the MLB ’09, The Show curse.
Anyway, let’s hope that this doesn’t keep Pedroia out of action for too long. About 3 weeks until opening day, and I’m hoping to see in that starting line-up.
So, I’m just surfing the web, and I land over at this blog:
Actually, I am a
pretty fairly somewhat regular visitor there. Last night, he had an insightful and interesting (others thought pompous and condescending) post about autographs, and some tips on how to go about getting them. Most of it seems like common sense to me and is about just being polite, courteous, and respectful. Anyway, it got me to thinking about autographs.
I have never been big on getting autographs. I don’t see all the hoopla over having somebody’s signature in a book. Plus, I think it is more of a thing for kids. I am not a kid (although my wife sometimes will disagree with that) and when I was a kid, I wasn’t around the ballpark enough to even try to get an autograph. As I kid, I preferred baseball cards. I still do, to an extent.
The first autograph I ever remember obtaining was in the late 70s (1978 I think) and was brought home to me by my mother. It was an autograph of Mike Torrez, who had been taken to the ER of Newton-Wellesley Hospital where my mother was a nurse. I think it was signed on some piece of ripped scrap paper and probably ended up getting lost 2 days later.
Since then, I’ve probably gotten maybe 5 autographs since. Ironically, all of them as an adult. The first one was in 1999. The All-Star game was in Boston that year, and Fred Lynn was doing a signing at a Bob’s Store. After work that day, I went to the store, waited in line a few minutes and met Fred Lynn. Although the sign said he would only sign one item, he actually ended up signing a ball and a photo (possibly 2 photo’s, my memory is foggy). He was very kind and friendly and it was a great experience actually meeting a childhood idol. Oh, if he never got traded to the Angels, but I digress……
Two of the other autographs I was able to obtain were because of being a vendor (vendahhh) at Fenway Park. We are usually in the park before the gates open up to the fans (heaven) and thus are able to see a lot of stuff before then. Such as the players walking from the clubhouse through the concourse to the field (and vice versa) instead of through the tunnel in the dugout. One of these occasions I bumped into Manny Ramirez, who I asked if he would mind signing a ball. He obliged and was friendly, but wasn’t talkative at all as he was on his way back to the clubhouse before the game. Anybody want that ball now? Haha
The other autograph was of Greg Maddux. It was after he pitched a bullpen session. I was watching while waiting to get my assignment for the day. After he finished, I politely asked him to sign a ball, and graciously obliged. This was probably about five or ten minutes before the gates opened. He was then on his way back to the visitor’s clubhouse, as his work was done for the day.
I asked Pedro, but he declined. I was bummed, but really it wasn’t a big deal. He was in the middle to talking to some hispanice workers who worked at the park. A few days later, he signed for a whole throng of people along canvas alley while the visitor’s were going through their batting practice.
The last autograph I remember obtaining, was of Cal Ripken, Jr. It was his last game at Fenway Park. Thousands of fans waited between the dugouts to try and get an autograph. I was attending this game with my wife and sister-in-law, and I asked if they wanted to hang around and try and get his autograph, as it is CAL RIPKEN, and it his LAST game at Fenway before he retires. They were game. My wife has always been a fan of Cal Ripken (I think it was the #8 he wore) and has liked the Orioles for some reason. Don’t worry, she is a Red Sox fan first. So, we waited in the throngs of people and got his autograph twice. My sister-in-law actually got both of them. It must be easier for a cute, young girl to push her way to the front than some older guy. Haha. She got my ticket stub signed and a ball signed. However, I then ruined the ticket stub when I tried to laminate it. Doh!
I have a couple other autographs, but they were Christmas gifts purchased from a memorabilia shop. One is Frank Robinson, but I’m not sure who the other is. I don’t want them. The only way I would collect autographs is if I was the one who got the item signed for me. I think it is pointless to buy an autograph.
There’s probably a couple of players I’d like to get an autograph from. Frank Thomas and Ken Griffey come to the top of my head. Then I could put them with my other autographs which is….Hmmmm, I have no idea where they are.
Anybody out there collect autograph? I’d be interested in hearing your thoughts and about your collection, so feel free to share.
Now, we started with one out spoken Red Sox (former) pitcher and we’re off to another:
Red Sox closer Jonathan Papelbon has spoken out about Manny Ramirez and the leading up to his trade out of Boston. Apparently, this is from an interview that will appear in the April issue of Esquire magazine.
I’m sure a lot of people are going to be critical of Jonathan Papelbon. Just like lots of people are critical of Curt Schilling. Why can’t these athletes just shut up and play? That is the tired old argument the critics use. Personally, I love it. I love hearing what an athlete truly thinks of a situation or a game or another player. I’m tired of the old, “It is what it is” mantra.
I’m sure people will be critical of Pap calling Manny a cancer, but this what the fans and hosts and commentators were saying during the whole Manny trade drama last season. Why can’t a player who actually had to live through it and deal with it say it?
I think the bigger problem with the stories of players like Pap talking, is more in the headline than the actually statement the player has made. For example, last spring there was a headline that stated Papelbon thought he was a better closer or thought he was along the lines of Mariano Rivera? When he was really talking about how he wanted to set the salary standard for future closers that come along. I think Joe Nathan was actually purturbed at Papelbon for this, as well.
Actually, there was a second Rivera / Pap headline controversy when Papelbon stated he wanted to be the guy to close out the All-Star game. The All-Star game happened to be at Yankee Stadium. He did state that he understood that Rivera should and deserves to close out that game, but the headlines slanted the story otherwise.
I love when athletes speak and actually say something. Sometimes they put their foots in their mouths (which is good for us bloggers), but most times they have something interesting to say.
Looks like the Red Sox are going to have a surpise in camp in the next couple of days:
With the BIG upset (twice) by Netherlands against the Dominican Republic, Big Papi David Ortiz, will be back in Fort Myers much earlier than expected.
I have caught bits and pieces of some of the WBC games, but today was the first time I got to see almost a
complete full game. And what a game it was!! I tell ya, I LOVE pitching duels in baseball. I prefer a good 1-0, 2-1, 3-2, game over a 9-7, 12-11 game any day. This 2nd game between the DR and Dutch was exactly a classic pitching duel game.
After 10 innings, the DR and Netherlands were locked in a 0-0 game. A misplay by former major leaguer Eugene Kinsale allowed the Domincans to get on the board. It looked like this would be all that would be needed for a DR victory with Cubs’ closer Carlos Marmol ready to close it out. However, the Netherlands improbably scored 2 runs in the bottom of the 11th (the 2nd on an error by Rays Willy Aybar) to advance to the next round and knock out DR in the process. Unbelievable to watch!
Pedro Martinez looked impressive in 3 shut-out innings. He did hit a batter and strike out a few, but I can’t find a box score yet to see the rest of his line. Hopefully, his WBC performance leads to a team signing him. I loved Pedro when he wore Red Sox uniforms. He is one of my all-time favorite games, and if healthy, I think he can still be a quality starting pitcher.
In Red Sox news, apparently NOT SO FAST with that long-term contact with Jon Lester. While watching the WBC game on MLB, the scroll across the bottom said that Lester agreed to a 1-yr contact and has stated he knows nothing about a long-term contract. Interesting. 90% of time, these reports of contracts and other such that are broken are reliable, but apparently this is not the case with Lester? Hopefully, they do lock Lester up for the next few years, however, I guess we should be careful about counting our eggs.
While the big news in Red Sox nation this weekend is the signing of Jon Lester to a five-year contract extension. There was some other news that is directly related to the backyard of Red Sox nation.
Former Cardinal, Padre, Red, Brewer, Padre, Rockie, Padre, Giant, and Dodger pinch hitter extraordinaire Mark Sweeney hung up the spikes this weekend.
Now, why is this piece of news appearing as a blog on a Red Sox related blog? That’s a good question, with an easy answer.
Mark Sweeney is a graduate of Holliston High School in Massachusetts. This is the town I currently reside in and the school from which my wife graduated (a couple of years after) as well. My high school was/is big rivals with Sweeney’s school. While I never played baseball after the youth level, and have never met Sweeney myself, being that we were of similar age and from the same area (he is a TVL alumni) I began to follow him while he was setting records at the University of Maine. He’s probably one of the most succesful professional athletes to come from are since Howie Long.
While his retirment won’t garner the coverage on ESPN that say Brett Favre’s retirment did, he retires from MLB with the 2nd most pinch hits in MLB history. He also has the most career pinch hit RBIs in history. Quite an amazing achievment if you think about.
Sweeney won’t be out of baseball, though. He has already joined the Dodgers coaching staff as an assistant. Now, I will just have to follow his progress as a coach and see if it ever leads to a managing gig someday. Who know?
Although he never played for the Red Sox, or even in the AL for that matter, I’m sure he dreamed of it as kid, like we all did growing up in this area. That is good enough to make it into my blog.