Tagged: Jason Varitek

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. 

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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. 
 
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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 !!

GUEST SPEAKER : CAPTAIN JASON VARITEK

 

 

Captain.jpgThe service clubs of Greater Haverhill: Key Club, Exchange Club, Pentucket & Haverhill Kiwanis Clubs had their annual dinner of the holiday season on Thursday at DiBurro’s of Ward Hill, sponsored by northshore car czars Jaffarian Volvo Toyota Scion. Businesspeople and Movers and Shakers of the Merrimack Valley came out for the holiday business luncheon and were treated to a delightful speech by Boston Red Sox catcher Jason Varitek, followed by a Question and Answer session, all benefiting area children’s sports programs.

 
Sponsors Gary, Mark and Gavin Jaffarian are well-known north of Boston for their many years of philanthropy benefiting various children’s charities, and also have maintained a working relationship with many Boston sports players (Jason Varitek, Felix Dubront, Hideki Okajima of the Boston Red Sox). Also orchestrating the event was Peter Carbone of the Haverhill Kiwanis Club, Peter Shanahan of Haverhill High School/Haverhill Schools, and the DiBurro family (David, Joe & Patrick Sr.).*
 
 
Speech 001.jpgI was sandwiched between Haverhill Mayor James Fiorentini and Matt Battistini Sr. who sang Take Me Out To The Ballgame to honor our Captain. Rabbi Kowniow gave the entertaining blessing and said a few words. Stating that pitchers and catchers report in 67 days, he then asked the Lord to “Strike-Out poverty, disease and Evil Empires”. He also asked: “May he (Varitek) never suffer broken bones anywhere in his body again”.  (Amen to that !!)
Jason is a “captivating” public speaker and got a bit choked-up when recanting his last game of the 2010 season. “I hadn’t thought of how much this team and place mean to me until the last game of the year. My (3) girls were there and really upset and crying, saying: Daddy, why are you going to be gone?” It really hit home and taught him about what it meant to be here. “I’ve never had to sit in the stands (Fenway) and watch a game….and I hope I don’t have to for a while.” 
Varitek’s speech focused on leadership. He spoke of the value of an education (carries his Georgia Tech diploma in his wallet) and outlined his responsibilities as a leader in the clubhouse: being prepared, being accountable, being accessible and communicating. “Do the things that you CAN do to be in control.”
 
 
Speech 002.jpg“I’ve been very blessed to be at the right place (Boston) at the right time.” 
“(Fenway) …. can be a tough place to play when things are not going right” and told us of fans shouting” “YOU JUST CRUSHED MY GRANDMOTHER !” 
The speech and questions afterward were very entertaining.
Q: You caught a record number of No-Hitters, but you almost had one with Curt Schilling, what pitch did he “Shake-Off”?
A: (Varitek) Slider…..and he still can’t let go of it. (he said with a smile)
Q: Most memorable moment as a Red Sox player?
A: (Varitek) The last 3rd out in St. Louis.
Q: What do you say to pitchers/players after a bad game or loss?
A: (Varitek) “They Stink…..Sometimes In Japanese”
Q: Will you coach after you retire?
A: (Varitek) “I focus completely on what I have to do (now)”
Q: What did you say to Alex Rodriguez? (His most-frequently asked question)
A: (Varitek) “nothing………he said enough” 
Tek spoke a bit about some of his team mates. Mentioning outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury’s rib injury “you cannot play when you have an injured torso”, and when asked about young catcher Saltalamacchia “I’ve got to learn about Jarrod”. A reporter from the Eagle Tribune asked about the Crawford & Gonzalez additions, Jason said: “Crawford’s quick and Adrian’s bat speaks for itself.”
The veteran player described Spring Training and “Camp Tuck” as being very tough, and takes pride that his 38 year old body always does well (Top 5) against the 22 year olds. Varitek’s favorite sports to play were baseball and football, and he had this to say:
“If I can leave the game and have the respect of my peers, I will be happy.”
– fenway fruitgirl 2010
 
 
 

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.
 
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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”

Enough Left In The Tank ??

…. to make it to the postseason ?

 

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Some things have to happen, and some things SHOULD happen to lead us in the right direction, and it’s getting pretty late in the season too. As of today, we have only 35 games left to the end of the regular season, and the Boston Red Sox are 5.5 games behind. I am not talking about overtaking 1st place….I am not insane.
But to make a bold move forward to grab the AL East wildcard spot, some things have to be pushed, and some shoving has to be done….and fast!
1. Yesterday we all heard about the Sox claiming Johnny Damon off waivers from Detroit. The deal still has to be made with the Tigers, but if they don’t want him….we could really use a veteran hustler wanting to make an impact to save his reputation in the game. The dude can work the outfield, and yeah, he can hit too. (Theo needs to make him grow his hair back a.s.a.p.) Now, if we could acquire Trot Nixon, Kevin Millar & Pedro Martinez…..the Cowboys can ride-in and get this party back on track!!!!!
2. Our Captain needs to get back to us real soon. Martinez has zero days off & it will start to show soon. Tek needs to hit the ground running and hit the ball like he did this spring. We all know he is an excellent catcher, one of the best in history I’d confidently say. I see him anxiously watching from his perch at the entrance of the Sox dugout…I know you want to be out there Jason.
3. King Beckett needs to regain his confidence and become the “Beast” we all know he can be. I know he is supremely capable of dominating the mound…and so does he.
4. Mikey Lowell and J. D. Drew need to stay healthy, and be dominant in the Sox lineup. Their presence in a game has been and will be KEY for the remainder of the season.
5. Utility Player Bill Hall is now a Key Player in the mix and needs to continue to shine. He has proven that he can hit the longball & play all over the field this season.
6. The kids that have been thrust into the bright lights have to keep it up, and even kick-it-up a notch into overdrive to get us past the Rays. These newbies are so important to our team, they have held things together during this unprecedented season of injuries.
How’s that for now ?? A lot has to go right….but we all know that it CAN HAPPEN.
 
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– fenway fruitgirl 2010   “BEHIND THE NET”

Record Sellouts & July Baseball

 

600th Sellout Ball.jpgGame 92 of the 2010 baseball season for the Boston Red Sox was at Fenway Park, and happened to be a celebrated milestone in major league baseball history. July 18th was Maine Day at the nation’s oldest major league park, and had a sellout crowd of 37,431 to mark it’s 600th CONSECUTIVE SELLOUT … extending the park’s major league record. Comemorative balls were tossed and given out to the sweltering crowd before and during their game against the Texas Rangers.

Huge congratulations to our designated hitter Mr. David Ortiz for winning the 2010 Home Run Derby in Anaheim California on July 12th. And the National League has won the “Home Advantage” in the World Series in 2010, as winners of the 2010 All-Star Game on July 13th.

*There is an upcoming schedule update for the early August roadtrip to NY. On August 8th, ESPN will cover the game, so the gametime will be at 8pm. On August 9th, the gametime will be at  1:35pm. (Red Sox/Yankees)*

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The Boston Red Sox have 123 home runs overall so far this season, 2nd in the league after Toronto (141).  The boys only have 2 days off in the next 37 days (7/29 & 8/16) ….not much rest for the wounded. Slowly, the injured will return to us and beef-up our lineup (not soon enough) but after seeing Beltre’s struggled jaunt on Sunday after hitting the ball, I have to wonder if they are being rushed. Boston’s boys are certainly plagued with injuries that may prove to be the cause of less-than-anticipated season ending totals in the WINS column at seasons’ end. The remaining 69 regular season games will hopefully prove to the world that Boston can prevail (or at least make the playoffs) even though they have been absolutely bombarded with injuries, and playing with minor league substitutes for a large bulk of the summer.

I eagerly anticipate the day that I sit in my red plastic perch behind home plate and watch my real starting 9 run onto the field to play again at Fenway Park. I miss you Jason Varitek, Dustin Pedroia, Jacoby Ellsbury, Josh Beckett, Victor Martinez and Jeremy Hermida.

 

Mid-Pitch.jpgOn the schedule for the series in Oakland, are Tim Wakefield (Tues) and Clay Buchholz (Wed). After that, Francona may be making a pitching order change just as Josh Beckett is slated to return to the mound.

– fenway fruitgirl 2010  “BEHIND THE NET”

 

(thank you to my little friend ELLA for entertaining me Sunday at Fenway)

 

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Fun At Captain Jason Varitek’s Putt Putt Event

 


Putt Putt Course.jpgOn July 1st Jason Varitek’s 5th Annual Celebrity Putt Putt Fundraiser was at the Tsongas Center Arena in Lowell Massachusetts. The fun family event was well-attended and presented by The Celebrities For Charity Foundation (Andover, MA) to benefit JOURNEY FORWARD. *

The Arena was decked-out for the Miniature Golf event with numbered holes, each manned by professional athletes and local celebrities, and a $10,000 50-foot Putt was featured – for anyone skilled or lucky-enough to win it, as well as a band on stage to entertain the crowd. Athletes/Celebrities in attendance were: Jason Varitek, Tim Wakefield, Mike Lowell, David Ortiz, Josh Beckett, Scott Atchison, Cedric Maxwell, Charlie Moore and Cleon Daskalaskis.

 


Close Up.jpgUnlike previous years, this event was held indoors, likely to prevent re-scheduling in case of inclement weather.

There was an extensive sports-themed silent auction and the Boston Red Sox 2004 World Series Harley Davidson Motorcycle on the upper level. Cakes For Occasions (Danvers, MA) supplied treats and a beautiful, custom cake to the Captain for the event…sorry, no photos.

 


Card Tricks.jpgA very entertaining professional magician named DARREN YONG amused and thrilled people with his magic, and Furry Creatures also entertained the young and old in the lobby.

 


June 2010 273.jpgThanks to Cleon Daskalaskis, Erin Murphy, and Adam Benoit of Celebrities For Charity.

 


Cleon & Kids.jpg– fenway fruitgirl 2010

 

email for Magician: darren.yong@live.com

* Journey Forward was created by Dan Cummings, who sustained serious injury when diving off his boat, and had to undergo extensive rehabilitation. www.journey-forward.org

 

 

PITCHING

 

 


STRIKE.jpgLet me begin by paying proper homage to our most veteran active player…..Mr. Tim Wakefield.

It is possible (but not likely because of injuries & an extremely long season) that our Knuckleballer has pitched his last official start of his career on Sunday April 25, 2010.

For now, he will pitch from the bull pen. And believe me, he’s needed there…and will mess-up our opponents sufficiently after dealing with our starting pitchers’ fastballs….dealing with a slowing, sinking knuckleball mid-game, then onto Bard & Pap’s rockets afterwards.

Wake has had  1,995 Career Strikeouts  (only 5 shy of the Over 2,000 Club who’s active members are: Jamie Moyer, Javier Vazquez & Andy Pettitte).  Tim’s  189 Career Victories place him 3rd among active pitchers in the MLB…175 of them were playing for Boston-3rd in Red Sox records. Not Bad Mr. Wakefield !!

Now to the Sox Bull Pen’s Musical Chairs Saga…

Veteran pitcher Scott Atchison has been optioned to Pawtucket to make room for Fabio Castro to come up and join the team in Toronto. He will wear # 55. Best Of Luck Signor Castro.

 

pap.jpgJonathan Papelbon is tied for 1st place in the AL for saves. He has 275 relief appearances, only 1 shy of Ellis Kinder at 276 (4th place in Red Sox history). Maybe tonight ??

Now onto other things….

Boston is currently tied for 3rd place in the AL East, and is also in 3rd place for Homeruns in the AL. (Toronto Blue Jays, Chicago White Sox, Boston Red Sox)

Current best Averages On The Boston Red Sox:  Captain Jason Varitek .379, Darnell McDonald .375, and Kevin Youkilis .372      (very nice guys)

Dustin Pedroia’s 5 Homers are tied for 8th place in the AL, and Most Ever by a Red Sox 2B in the month of April.  (Boston runs on Dustin)

 

 

Kids Day Pedroia.jpgRealistically, Sox fielding is horrendous (Bill Hall Needs To Go Away) and the Bull Pen needs to do better……..and so does our collection of Aces.

Things will get better and more consistent, it’s only April, after all.

Peace, Love & Baseball.

– fenway fruitgirl  (behind the net) 2010

 

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