Tagged: New York Yankees

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”

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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 

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”

Thank You……Mr. Mike Lowell

 

 

August Lowell Up.jpgToday, Red Sox fans all over the country will tip their hats to a real class act, one that will never be closely followed. Our beloved #25 will be honored for his service and dedication in a Boston Red Sox uniform on the field of Fenway Park on a beautiful October afternoon, on national television….for all his fans to see. Saying goodbye to someone is never easy, and the ceremony will no doubt have eyes watering in both dugouts….around the bleachers, grandstands, field boxes, luxury boxes, and even press boxes.

The softspoken man has many accomplishments to fill himself with pride. Mike is a three-time All-Star player (2002,2004,2007) and won a Gold Glove in 2005, and was our 2007 World Series MVP. Lowell also wrote a book with Rob Bradford titled  DEEP  DRIVE  A Long Journey To Finding The Champion Within.

Going back, Michael Averett Lowell (born February 24, 1974 in Puerto Rico to Cuban parents Carl & Beatriz Lowell) moved to Miami Florida at the age of 4. He graduated from Coral Gables Senior High School in 1992 where he met his wife Bertha. After high school, he went to Florida International University and graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Finance in 1997. During his college years, he played for the Chatham A’s baseball team in the Cape Cod Baseball League in 1994.

In 1995, Mike was drafted by the New York Yankees in the 20th round, and later made his major leaguedebut for the Yankees in 1995. He was later traded to the Florida Marlins, and shortly after…discovered that he had Testicular Cancer. After having surgery, and treatment in 1999, he returned to baseball. Mr. Mike Lowell helped his team win the 2003 World Series, then was traded to the Boston Red Sox in 2005.

Mr. Lowell lives with his lovely wife and two children, Alexis and Anthony in South Florida.

We honor you today, and will remember you fondly always. Come back often to visit!

please visit:     http://www.redsox.com/thanksmike.

 

– fenway fruitgirl 2010  “BEHIND THE NET”

 

 

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WINDING DOWN

 

August Victor Throw.jpgThe Boston Red Sox have had 52 players this season….so far, the most in the American League and only 3 behind the Pittsburgh Pirates with 55. (The Sox had 52 players last year too.) The team has used 25 pitchers so far this season, tied for the most in the American League with the Kansas City Royals.

There are currently 35 players on the Red Sox active roster: 17 pitchers,  4 catchers,  6 infielders,  7 outfielders,  1 Designated Hitter  (5 on the DL).
 
Tuesday night’s Sox/Orioles’ game at Fenway Park was Hideki Okajima’s 250th career MLB appearance. And our # 41 catcher Victor Martinez tops the American League for catchers with 73 RBI for the season (NL has Atlanta’s Brian McCann with the # 1 spot overall for catchers with 75 RBI so far this season). 
Hideki Okajima.jpgRed Sox 3B Adrian “The Enforcer” Beltre is only 1 shy of reaching 100 RBI this season. (He is 10th in the American League so far in 2010).
Cy Young candidate RHP for the Boston Red Sox’s Clay Buchholz is having a spectacular year on the mound. His ERA is 2.39 as of today, 3rd in MLB, 2nd in the American League. Tuesday’s game was his 9th start allowing ZERO earned runs….tied for the top spot in MLB this 2010 season !!
The 2010 is wrapping-up, and the Red Sox are currently still in the 3rd place spot in the American League East …. 8 games behind the leader (Yankees) and 6.5 games behind the Wild Card leader for the American League (Rays) with only 10 games left to be played in the 2010 regular season.
 
Clay's Ready.jpg 
Enjoy the remaining 10 games, for the sake of watching live baseball….cheer for your team and realize that this has been an extraordinary year of injuries and complications for the guys.
 
– fenway fruitgirl 2010  “BEHIND THE NET”    

PULL-OUT ALL THE STOPS

 

August Bull Pen.jpgThe time is here, no time to waste…..the stakes are about as high as they can get in baseball for our Boston Red Sox.

It’s Do-Or-Die time in the next 10-12 games. Simple as that…..nuf ced Red Sox Nation !!

No-way are the Sox contenders for the top spot in the American League East, so the Wild Card race is our ONLY OPTION. Now we must rely on a familiar foe to assist us in this chess match, we need the New York Yankees to kick Tampa Bay butt in their next 7 games with them. The Yanks are going to keep winning, because they can. We need Tampa to lose. It’s not just enough for the Sox to win anymore, that’s not enough for us to get the job done. The Rays have to go down, and that’s all there is to it. Oh, and the Chicago White Sox need to lose a few and back off on this Wild Card race to the finish.

Asking a lot…..yeah, but it can happen….we’ve seen all the pieces miraculously come together before…..and it can happen again!

Lester and Beckett need to stablize, they’ve got to focus and get these wins. Buchholz needs to keep shining bright…there may be quite a reward at the end of this rainbow for him! Lackey and Matsuzaka need to show Red Sox Nation why they are being paid so much money, time to show what you’re made of & step-up! Wakefield needs to go back to the bull pen, no time left in this super-tight race to play honorary veteran….maybe on October 3rd.

Ortiz and Beltre need to stay healthy & keep eating their Wheaties, they are quite the Dynamic Duo & I hope to see them both on the 2011 roster. Varitek’s back and needs to hit the ground running (sorry, Captain…you are REALLY needed to hit like you did this spring) and Martinez has to hold it together and try to stay healthy-enough to get through these games in the home stretch….you’re not in Cleveland anymore! (Did not impress in 2009 postseason games vs. the Angels) Drew and Hall have to improve their at-bats, and make quality strategic hits more often…and we love those HR’s too. Lowrie and Scutaro need to keep chipping-away and focus on fielding. First Base….we need someone at first base!! Whether it is Martinez, Ortiz or Anderson…if Lowell cannot return….someone’s gotta do it!

The rest of the outfield…well, Terry will surely earn his pay this year, won’t he? Kalish and McDonald are my picks, but Patterson isn’t too bad either. The Bull Pen….geesh! Bard is not the super pitcher people make him out to be, he can cave-in a game just as much as his buddy Papelbon can (but for a lot less pay). I am liking Atchison, Bowden & Okajima, the others should pay attention!

New York and Tampa both also had a day off on Thursday, and are also playing games on the road – but they have tougher matchups than the Red Sox do. NY plays the Rangers in Texas, and the Rays play the Jays in Toronto while we (play well on the road in 2010) play the Oakland Athletics, then the Seattle Mariners on the West Coast.

The Time Is Now….We Have Our Fingers-Crossed For The Boston Red Sox. GO SOX!

 

Painted Dirt.jpg– 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)*

July 4 Ortiz Swings.jpg

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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