Tagged: Fenway Park

Busy Busy Busy

With only 14 games left to the 2011 baseball season, the Boston Red Sox have to hold onto their slight lead for the Wild Card spot with a death grip. I sat in my seat at Fenway Park, facing the American League East Standings for the entire game.....the Yanks have won 90 games so far, and well, we have not. David Ortiz had a back brace on Wednesday, and it was announced that he is one of the nominees for the 2011 Roberto Clemente Award, given at the World Series by Chevrolet and the MLB. Ortiz also made an apprearance on the Good Morning America show (ABCtv) today. Slugger Kevin Youkilis has a sports hernia, among other health issues and Adrian Gonzalez was taken out of Wednesday's game for a health issue also. Josh Beckett is scheduled to start on Friday night's game against the Ray's "Big Game" Shields, so he needs to pitch, well.....like JOSH BECKETT. The Sox are still missing JD Drew and Clay Buchholz, in addition to some bullpen pitching (Bobby Jenks) and oh yes........Daisuke Matsuzaka. Health and injuries were the team's downfall in 2010, we can only hope that it will not be so for the tail end of the 2011. The postseason is in reach, so take out your lucky charms & cross those fingers Red Sox Nation. The 2012 regular season baseball schedule has been released, and I will highlight a few noteable games:

 

Game One:    Red Sox @ Detroit April 5th

Home Opener:     Tampa Rays @ Boston   April 13th

CENTENNIAL CELEBRATION GAME:     NY Yankees @ Boston April 20th

* * Some Interleague Play:     Phillies (road) May 18-20

Nationals (home)  June 8-10

Marlins  (home)   June 19-21   (now Miami Marlins)**

Braves  (home)  June 22-24

 

– fenway fruitgirl 2011 “BEHIND THE NET”

Opening Day At Fenway Park

 

 

Opening Day 006.jpgApril 8th, 2011 It was finally the day to open the big gates of Fenway to let in the masses. The home opener was scheduled for a 2:05pm start time in the 1st game of the series against the New York Yankees. 

It was a large, but slightly subdued crowd on this particular Opening Day. The area bars were packed, the parking lots full, and the police were out in full force. But it was a reserved and cautious bunch that came to the ballpark on this sunny spring day to welcome the team back for the season.
Even Yankees fans (from both NYC and Connecticut) told me that all the fun seems to be “pooped-out” of the Sox fans today.
 
Well, we had something even more pressing than taunting Yankees fans to tears….we needed our energy to create a WIN vacuum of hope for our team. Something had to be done proactively to assist the team (if even in our hearts and minds) into a winning mode, and fast.
 
Opening Day 004.jpgThere was an newly revamped Fenway waiting for me (and all the others) on Friday afternoon, with it’s ballpark upgrades, it’s added menu, it’s festive decorations…and it’s three beautiful new big screens. But it certainly was not the Opening Day ceremony of 2010. There was no Neil Diamond to sing Sweet Caroline, no Steven Tyler singing, no fireworks (day game) and certainly no Pedro Martinez to throw the Ceremonial 1st Pitch. It was in a word….
Subdued. 
 
Opening Day 017.jpgOnce the opening ceremonies were through (Mayor Menino giving John Henry something or other, 2 Moments of silence, Playing of Taps, etc…) Joe Costiglione introduced Boston Red Sox legend Carl Yastrzemski as the greatest Red Sox player before Yaz came out and threw the ceremonial 1st pitch. He was a very good choice, a legend…and no controersy. 
After the mostly booed introduction of the Yankees (except for Mariano Rivera..who got a thunderous applause) and a great Sox introduction…..the game began. John Lackey was on the mound to start vs. NYY Phil Hughes. 
 
Opening Day 014.jpgI am not here to relay everything that went on in the game, but to say that it was a good game, and I was in no way disappointed. The Boston Red Sox came to play on Friday, and trounced on their foes….ending in a nice first win to start the homestand. Final score, 9-6 Red Sox. Onward and Upward we go!

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 * I want to thank my awesome and generous friend Kim for an excellent adventure! 

Opening Day 079.jpgThe boys let off some steam after the game at the Annual Welcome Home Dinner & Celebration at the House Of Blues. 

– fenway fruitgirl 2011  “BEHIND THE NET”
 
 In Memory Of A Dear Lady, A Friend…..And Beautiful Member Of Red Sox Nation…..
    may you rest in peace  Terry White…..you will be fondly missed.
 
Opening Day 142.jpg 

Snap Out Of It !!!!!

After playing their first five games of the 2011 regular baseball season, it is crystal-clear to fans and players alike….

the Sox are in a slump. (Big Time)
The sportsworld is watching, making excuses and jokes and diagnoses on the affliction.
And in a week that should be full of joy and unbridled anticipation, we scratch our heads and toss our hands up in frustration….hoping the losing streak ends before the boys hit home soil.
You see, Fenway Park turns 99 years old this month, and that’s a really big deal in these parts. It makes her the Grand Old Lady of baseball, and she has been prettied-up for the occasion too. Ownership has invested big bucks this offseason to lay down a new smooth floor in the grand concourse, added new seating to replace some sections, new food choices for the finicky visitor and uptown crowd, and of course, added new cupholders!
Why lobster rolls and sushi had to be added to a blue-collar ballpark, is beyond me. Did they take a survey of fans from Nantucket, or Newton or Marblehead and leave the rest of us out of it? (maybe so) One truly miraculous and wonderous thing did change…..they will serve liquor at the park this season, and for that, I am truly grateful. (especially on the days they are losing)
Enough sarcasm and silliness, we must all wake up from this NIGHTMARE. It is no longer Spring Training (another horror show) and it’s time to start pitching, hitting and catching the ball like the big boys do. Plain and simple. Act like your jobs depend on it, because in many cases, it does!
“Maybe they’re homesick…”   and  “Dr.Evil stole their Mojo”  are cute, but no longer funny to this girl. I want to see the guys talk with their bats, and make their opponents cry.
Perhaps the green walls of the park is the power force needed to get them started, or maybe the fans do the trick…..I’m not sure who’s been sneaking KRYPTONITE into the visitor’s clubhouse in Arlington Texas and Cleveland Ohio, but……
SNAP  OUT  OF  IT !!!!!!!
– fenway fruitgirl  2011  “BEHIND THE NET”

“Most Feared” Status

The cowboys, the dirt dogs, the idiots…….are now “Big Brother”.

Toss Across.jpg Who would’ve thought that letting two outstanding All-Star players go would lead us not to the bottom of the AL East, but to “Most Feared” status in the MLB. Losing Beltre and Martinez sent Red Sox Nation into a screaming tailspin this offseason, and the front office brought us Crawford and soon-to-be-signed Gonzalez, making us the favorite to finish in the top spot in October baseball. The prospect of that has temporarily silenced a nation of New England sports fans.

Francona has uttered numerous times that he prefers to keep his boys “under the radar”…but that will be near-impossible this season. All eyes seem to be focused on the Boston Red Sox.
Will they, or won’t they? This time last year, there was tremendous optimism in the national sports media for the Boston Red Sox to give the reigning champs (NY) a real run for their money. One injury after another in the disasterous 2010 season nixed that plan, and the boys were left out of the postseason. This season brings increased media attention and fan expectations to the doorstep of the 99 year old clubhouse.
New Red Sox boy wonder Adrian Gonzalez (set to be signed in early April) has just begun hitting after major surgery, and our jack rabbit in centerfield has not played much yet in this preseason. It is likely that veteran pitcher Tim Wakefield will stay on in 2011 and reach his desired milestones to make his esteemed mark in Red Sox history, and that “Smiling” Mike Cameron will be the Go-To outfielder for Left and Center – even though there are numerous reports of scouts circling the BP’s like hawks. (Lots of whispering about Daisuke being shipped-off too.)
BP March 20.jpgI am unashamed to say that my thrill meter is set to high for this season to begin. I will be there from day one to the last Fenway game to bear witness to the action.
Stay Tuned.
– fenway fruitgirl 2011  “BEHIND THE NET”
 
* follow me on TWITTER   @fenwayfruitgirl  or  on   FACEBOOK  (fenway fruitgirl)

HIBERNATION NATION

 

Snowbanks outside can be measured with yardsticks, not rulers. The days are short and blustery and the nights are long and frigid……but deep-down in our hearts and memories is the bright green of springtime and the countdown to our national pastime’s most-awaited time:

                             
                                      ” OPENING  DAY “
 
 


TRUCK DAY.jpgWhile the cold Boston wind is howling through my green plywood fortress, January fades and Truck Day (2/8/11) approaches. I anxiously await my cell to start beeping, vibrating & ringing throughout the day with updates and watching the boys in their red unis stretching, jogging, throwing and hitting by the Florida palms. But the most eagerly awaited of all February milestones remains the official utterance of the most precious words ever expressed on a sporting field (or press box):

                                        ” PLAY   BALL “
 
 

Sox March 22.jpgGametimes have been added to the Red Sox game schedule as of today. And I do NOT want to see empty seats in 2011…..got that RSN !!!!!!  The guys need your support, they want to look up into the stands to hear and see the fans from all 6 New England states (& all over RSN) go nuts. The players will bring their game, and reminiscent of when the SSWW (Sox Suits With Wallets) went out and spent the Big Bucks to beef-up pitching with Matsuzaka, they again polished-off their wallets in December to bring us a killer team that should rule the 2011 postseason. And as an added bonus, it looks like a “Bridge Year” for Tampa and NY.
THIS  NATION  HAS  VERY  HIGH  HOPES.

*Most 2011 Regular Season Home Games will be on sale Saturday January 29th.*
(excluding Opening Series, Cubs games & Yankees games & certain seating areas)
– fenway fruitgirl 2011   “BEHIND THE NET”

Fenway’s Festivities Of The Season

 

Christmas Fenway 042.jpgOn a beautiful brisk and sunny December day in Boston, the Boston Red Sox front office celebrated holiday season by giving back to some of the lucky fenway faithful. The annual Christmas At Fenway celebration was held on Saturday December 11th at the grand old 98 1/2 year old ballpark’s warm upper levels. 

Christmas Fenway 006.jpg
 
Attendees were allowed to bring guests, and some brought buddies, co-workers, spouses, and children. The gates opened at 10am, and admittance was distributed throughout the day according to your invitation. Player appearances and activities were spread-out from 10am-5pm, and included Tours of the Park’s Improvements, Viewings & Photos with the 2004 & 2007 World Series Trophies & American League Trophies in the Pavillion Suite, visits from Santa and Mrs. Clause, as well as Wally the Green Monster & several other Boston Sports Mascots. Candy and Popcorn were complementary and well-received by young and old. Wally’s World was set up on the lower level near Gate E for the children to play games, and the visitor’s batting cages were open for challengers. Up in the EMC Club was an outstanding view of the ballpark & it’s many ongoing renovations….as well as the most beautiful bathrooms in the ballpark. Also in the massive suite was a Wii Video Game area, and up on the stage, a Fenway-style gameshow. (Who Wants To Be A Red Sox Millionaire)
 
On the upper large State Street Pavillion Deck area were magicians, face painters, artist, and Curious Creatures to entertain the visiting families throughout the day. 
 
Christmas Fenway 029.jpg
 
Interviews with Jason Varitek, Carl Crawford, Daniel Nava, Luis Tiant, Terry Francona, Frank Malzone and coaches Ron Johnson and DeMarlo Hale were ongoing on the stage all day.
(Varitek finalized his contract for 1-year, and Crawford was officially introduced as our new Left Fielder early in the day.)
 
Christmas Fenway 004.jpgWhile all this was going on, tickets for the 2011 season were being sold on the lower level ticket windows by wristband # and timeslot. Tickets were also being sold by redsox.com website in a limited capacity beginning at 10am. Only certain games in April, May and September were available for individual game purchase, and a variety of Sox Pax were also available. There was a limit of 8 tickets per invited attendee. The remainder of the games will be released for sale in mid-January of 2011.
 
– fenway fruitgirl 2010   “BEHIND THE NET”
Have a happy, healthy & safe holiday season Red Sox Nation !!

Musical Chairs 101

Adrian is not a name you hear every day, yet this week…the Boston Red Sox have lost one Adrian, and gained another. 

 

Wake To VMart.jpgWe are amid an offseason full of drama, intrigue…..and a boatload of cash being spent. 

Preparing for the 2011 Major & Minor league baseball season is certainly no joke. The “best” players are demanding serious money and some real long-term commitments for the use of their abilities on the field. The better the ability, the higher the pricetag.
When your fiercest competitors get wind that your team office is in need of a player to become an important piece in your lineup and a threat to them on the field next season and beyond, then they suddenly want that same player….at all costs! Driving-up your offer in the process just to make things more fun, adds the necessary intrigue. This kind of “cat and mouse” business play can easily bankrupt smaller teams, and turn others that try to stay in the game…into “non-contenders” if they do not wisely and frugally stick to their Needs List. 
Pride and bravado have no place in the business world. And if you think that Baseball and the entire Sports World is not a business…you are very wrong. General Managers have many things to consider (year-round) in selecting which players will play on their field in April. Quite a bit of analysis goes into the selection of each position’s player prior to the “Offer” being made. Scouting reports, age, personal & medical history, all must be considered prior to talks of money & contract time.
Something that must never be ignored (something many GM’s have yet to learn) is “What will the fans think?”  No one should forget who puts up the money to fill those ballparks and watch their players all Spring & Summer…….not only ticket sales, but massive expenditures on food & beverage on gameday, parking (for those ballparks who provide parking) and tours, and souveniers and all types of player jerseys & memorabilia. Just a small core of veteran favorites can severely-impact game sales & player-related expenditures in any given season. It will be extremely interesting to watch baseball team giants like the Red Sox and Yankees when their veteran players retire. (Ortiz, Wakefield, Varitek, Jeter, Rivera,etc…)
 
 
WS Beltre Growls.jpgMoney does make the world go around, and even though Baseball is our national pastime, money dictates who will play where in our beloved game of baseball.
All-Star, Silver Slugging Adrian Beltre was hopeful to return to the Red Sox organization, but the Boston front office decided to go in a different direction. Instead of giving a proven 100+ RBI slugger a 4 year deal to return, they spent 3 times more money to get a younger NL slugger in Adrian Gonzalez from the San Diego Padres for 8 years. Adrian cannot play right now because he just had surgery and may not even start Spring Training on time with his new team mates. Hopefully, he will be a strong and productive player for the VERY LONG 8 years that he will play for us in Boston.
 
Martinez Next.jpg 
The Hot Stove season is certainly not over, and the Managers’ Meetings continue in lovely Lake Buena Vista Florida. There will be additional moves made, and money will be shuffled-around – and when the offseason is done, just like in Musical Chairs…….most major league ball players will have their seats when the music stops.
Play Ball !!!
– fenway fruitgirl 2010   “BEHIND THE NET”