Tagged: Red Sox

A Young Canadian Sox Fan Comes To Fenway

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We’re passing along a great story for all Red Sox fans to enjoy:

Did You Ever Witness Your Son’s Dream Come True?

by Nancy Marto (Aidan’s Mom)

When you live in Toronto, and personally live and die (mostly die post 1993) with the Blue Jays, making your son’s dream of seeing his Beloved Boston Red Sox play at Fenway Park isn’t easily attained. But thanks to my trusty credit card and a gem of a website called Stub Hub the tickets were purchased and plans for Aidan’s baseball pilgrimage were underway.

It began with a visit to Cooperstown, which is practically en route from Toronto to Boston. What better place to start this baseball odyssey than with a walk back in time through the hallowed halls of this great shrine? Aidan lingered over the exhibits dedicated to Red Sox stars from early last century to today. But at the same time he was exposed to the great men and women who for more than a century have helped make baseball great.

Full of facts, figures and images of the game of baseball, we were ready for the trip’s main course: Fenway Park. Yes, it’s America’s most beloved ballpark, but it’s also beloved to a 12-year-old Canadian boy. I didn’t think his eyes could get any bigger as we toured Fenway the morning of August 28, 2009. Aidan, however, was quiet during the tour. It was almost as if he couldn’t quite believe what his eyes were showing him. The Pesky Pole, the Green Monster, the red outfield seat. It was all there in front of him. And he was really there. In Fenway Park!

The tour being over, it was time to visit the Red Sox store on Yawkey Way. T-shirts, hoodies, coffee mugs, red socks, new cap, and for our Canadian winters, a Red Sox “touque.” (Knitted winter hat for those south of the 49th parallel.)

If you are a regular FenwayNation.Com reader, you may already know Aidan. More than a year ago his school speech about being a Red Sox fan in a Blue Jays family was posted. And recently the editor posted a picture of Aidan at Fenway. Well, as a result of that speech, Aidan made friends with a fellow Red Sox fan, 13-year-old Adam, who also holds a soft spot for the Toronto baseball team. The two boys, who both pitch for their respective baseball teams and play hockey were finally able to meet and sit together as the Jays came to town to play the Red Sox.

What a game. There were home runs over the green monster. There were leads and there were come backs. There was a rain delay. And there was the singing of Sweet Caroline, which we had practiced in the van on the way to Boston. The Fenway Franks were delicious. And what is this delicacy called Fried Dough? Surely we should be able to get this on the menu at the Rogers Centre!!!

It was sad when the game finally ended, but still Aidan’s face beamed with joy. His dream of sitting at Fenway Park with his friend Adam and watching the players he loves in an exciting and nail-biting game had come true. And as his mother, on this night, I didn’t even mind that the Jays lost the game by one run.

Time To Cut The Smoltz Cord

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For the record, this writer was as enthusiastic as anyone about the prospect of inserting future Hall-of-Famer John Smoltz in the 2009 Red Sox rotation. I supported Theo’s judgment in getting him, supported the reasoned rehab schedule and bought into the notion of having one of the best ever post-season pitchers in history ready for October.

However, with a more than representative sample size of eight starts (most against the dregs of baseball), it’s clear that the post-arm surgery John Smoltz is not what we had hoped for. With an ERA north of 8, it is no longer prudent to keep running him out every fifth day to get smoked. I know that guru pitching coach Leo Mazzone feels his “stuff” is still there–but we just can’t wait for the magic to come back (if it ever will). 
It was a good gamble, but it just didn’t work. Thank Smoltzie for the effort, and bring Michael Bowden into the fray. Let’s sink or swim with the future, not the past.

Ray Culp–Warrior Of The Interregnum

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Raymond Leonard Culp turns 68 on August 6th. All of us in the Nation should pause and reflect on his remarkable career with the Red Sox. Culp’s stay with the Sox coincided with the  championship “Interregnum” between the 1967 and 1975 American League flags–so he never 

tasted champagne glory.
Nevertheless, Culp delivered for us. In his 6 seasons in Boston, Culpy went 71-58 with a 3.50 ERA. He completed exactly one-third of his games with the Olde Towne Team (51) and gave us two 17-win seasons and one with 16-wins. And, on what I think is the most important pitch stat, he yielded 134 fewer hits than innings pitched for us.
In a time when we are trolling for re-treads to fill our previously over-abundant starting pitching depth (hello again, Paul Byrd), we can be forgiven for wistfully remembering a guy the Red Sox could count on–even in a non-championship era. Thanks, Ray.

Some Honesty, Red Sox Fans

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The revelation that David Ortiz tested positive for a performance enhancing substance in 2003 (confirmed via the Players’ Union by Papi himself) is a body blow to the Nation. No matter what explanations come out in the days and months ahead, the sad truth is that Papi was a cheater. As Red Sox fans, we have to be honest enough to deal with this simple fact.

If we self-righteously castigate A-Rod, Clemens, Giambi, Tejada, McGwire, Sosa and, yes, even Manny, we also have to admit that Big Papi has let us down. Every fan, every kid who idolized him and the team ownership itself should feel betrayed.

And, most devastating of all, the two World Championships that were helped so much by the Manny/Papi conglomerate, are this morning a little less lustrous. Not meaningless, because there were too many other great players who made it happen. But, those banners behind home plate at Fenway will evoke a little less pride in this fan. Papi, we deserved better from you.

Attention V-Mart Shoppers!

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I think we can all agree that your Boston Red Sox have a greater need for a quality bat than another rotation arm (although the “need gap” between the two seems to be narrowing by the day).

It seems that the best two lumber-based options on the market are Adrian Gonzalez (the young slugging first baseman of the Padres) and Victor Martinez (the not-quite-as-young, switch-hitting catcher/first baseman/DH of the Cleveland Indians). Based on the latest rumored information–right up to the nano second–the Tribe is not going to deal both Cliff Lee and Martinez and the Padres are loathe to part with the one legitimate star who can appeal to the Latino fans in their market (although they continue to draw miserably in a stunning park).

So, it looks like the more realistic path is for Theo to make a deal for V-Mart alone. Cleveland has reportedly already turned down a swap for Masterson and Bowden, so the Sox will need to sweeten the deal with something more. The Indians just traded Ryan Garko (their only other real first baseman beside Martinez), so the suddenly Ruthian Adam LaRoche would look nice at the Mistake By The Lake, wouldn’t he? This deal would make sense for both teams, except for the logjam it would cause in the Boston clubhouse. Someone would have to sit some with the addition of V-Mart–most likely a merry-go-round of Mike Lowell, Papi and Tek. Good, luck dealing with that issue, Tito!

History has shown that Theo is not shy to pull off a major overhaul that he sees improving the team in a weak area. This year, that is clearly offense. Do it, Theo!

Harris Poll: Sox 2nd Most Popular MLB Team

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A Harris Interactive (online) Poll of 2,177 people (41% of whom “follow” MLB), shows that the Red Sox are the the second most popular MLB team-trailing only the Empire. The Sox moved up from 3rd position in last year’s ranking.

The poll also found that more people (21%) think the Red Sox will win this year’s World Series than any other team.