Tag Archives: Fenway

A Month and the Sox

April 14, 2016 – My Dad was taken home by his Lord and Saviour. There are bunches of my words that you can read if you so wish, regarding my Dad’s death found in the following links. DadThe Man is Gone. A Dad and This BoyI miss him.

May 14, 2016 – We took the twins and their older brothers to Fenway Park to see the Red Sox play. It is the 6-year-old twins’ first trip to the old ballpark in Boston.

Oh the old ballpark, that Ruth, Foxx, and Williams called home.

Oh the old ballpark, that Ruth, Foxx, and Williams called home. (c) 1inawesomewonder

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The Red Sox have Boston singing in the streets

Unlike the at bats of a Red Sox hitter, I will keep this short and sweet. But then, I may just foul off a few pitches, lay off a tough pitch just outside the zone, and work the faithful into a frenzy with a timely hit.

It occurred to me recently, as I sang along with the words that I think I know from “Tessie”, that Boston loves to sing.

From McGreevey and the Royal Rooters from more than 100 years ago all the way up to the Fenway Faithful belting out “…every little thing is gonna be alright…“. Quite often I will sing the National Anthem with the twins to start our day on the way to school. Boston loves to sing the anthem too. In the wake of the Boston Marathon bombings, Boston sang. The Garden sang. These still bring tears to my eyes. Okay, actually they make me cry, completely.

Then for fun, I sing, “Take me out to the ballgame” with the kids all the time. And, for fun, Boston sings some more. Then there’s “Sweet Caroline”. A lot of people don’t like that Boston fans sing these songs. But, then I remember, it’s a game, it’s fun, and letting moments wash over me in my favorite ballpark ever, are better for me than had I not experienced them. Boston, all summer long, nightly, sings. Then there’s “Dirty Water” and “Shipping up to Boston”, and even “God Bless America”. Then there are fans who sing on the field. This video has been seen around the world. There are so many more.

Last night Boston was treated to something that had not been seen in 95 years, the home team winning the World Series on their home field. The Red Sox won their 3rd Championship in ten seasons and there was singing in every corner of Red Sox Nation through the night.

Last night I sang from my family room with the Dropkick Murphy’s as they sang the National Anthem. I shouted along with my TV when Victorino came to the plate. I participated in singing “Sweet Caroline” during the 8th inning. I celebrated and strained to hear The Standells above the roar of Fenway after Carpenter went down swinging. I watched the celebration and listened to player after player talk about, team, work, approach, belief, trust, and the will to win. Then I dozed off, smiling, and respectfully thinking of the players, fans, and generations that never saw any such thing in an 86 year span.

This morning started like most others do. Everyone scurrying to get to where they need to be, on time. On the ride to school the twins asked me to sing my special song, which is the National Anthem. I sang it, they filled in words where they knew to, or copied me. I smiled a little brighter and a little longer between words this morning, because I am a Boston Red Sox fan, and my favorite team won the World Series. Later today, if the mood strikes me, and I think it will, I may just bust out a few lines of “We are the Champions”. #bostonstrong

Francona makes one final move, can you blame him?

I know there are a lot of people out there who think Terry Francona carries as much or more blame than the players, Theo Epstein, or the front office do for this season’s epic collapse. I honestly don’t know how to slice the blame pie, and who should get what piece. I do know that Francona, Theo, and the front office never won a single game of the 744 wins Francona managed for Boston. Should we really even need to have this conversation? I mean nobody was ‘blaming’ Francona for the 72 wins Boston posted between May 1st and August 31st this year. I find it odd that at the press conference after game 162 and the interviews in the following 36 hours that Tito looked more tired and worn down than anyone on his roster. Shouldn’t that tell you something?

Terry Francona, came to Boston in the off season between Grady Little (2003) and Reverse the Curse (2004). In 2004 everything went right after game 3 against the Yankees and 86 years of suffering ended. People felt in the depths of their hearts for their loved ones who never lived to see a baseball championship in Boston. Thousands of graves were visited so we could be close to the ones who never got to see the 2004 banner. Many of these folks were the ones who introduced us to the Red Sox, the mesmerizing, green of Fenway, the smells and sounds, the curse, and all things that are unmistakable about our national pastime. Those that came before us and had the passion they couldn’t wait to share with us, to take us to Fenway for the first time, to point out the heroes wearing the home whites, with those red numerals that reflect light at the correct angle. They even explained to us how we should approach the beloved Sox, believe it can be and will be, but look out for the unexpected. It reminds me of the scene from “Field of Dreams” when ‘Shoeless’ Joe shares some wisdom with ‘Moonlight’ Graham, a rookie in the corn field, and says, “he’s not gonna wanna load the bases, so look low and away … but watch out for in your ear.” Be optimistic but don’t get carried away. Well that all changed in 2004 when Terry and ‘The Idiots’ won it all. I would be willing to bet the Sox would have played in Texas today or maybe even hosted the game tonight had this year’s team played with the effort and attitude of the 2004 squad.

So here we are now, 8 years later, winners of 8 consecutive World Series games, and the year known as The Epic Collapse or something to that effect. Terry is leaving town, and we’re not sure who will come in next. I do hope it’s someone who will win and restore order among the 25 players asked to do their job day to day. I hope they’re not worn to the bone from getting lackluster effort out of assets worth tens of millions of dollars per year. I try not to make this about money and I don’t know where else to turn though. Are the playing conditions so tough in Boston that showing up and giving one’s best effort every day is too much to ask? If it is too much, then you’re getting paid too much because at some point on the way to the Bigs you would have played anywhere, anytime, for any reason, and no money because you loved it! You had nothing but the dream of making it to where only very few get too trod. Now you’re there, so show up and play! It’s a game and isn’t that supposed to be fun even if there’s travel, night games, and even fans in other cities cheering against you. How many games would be missed by this squad if it was the 1940’s and every weekend included a double header? Ernie Banks always wanted to play two and this team seemed like weren’t sure they wanted to play even one at times this year.

I have Terry’s enjoyed honest and open approach to the game and the media since he got here. The dozens of interviews and hundreds of press conferences tell me that I do like him and wish his contract was extended. In this age of instant gratification I think we give up on things that are just fine but don’t give them the time fully develop, mature, or come to fruition. Players almost never play their whole career with a single club anymore. Their every move is scrutinized by their own organization while the player being scouted to replace them looks good on paper, in the computer, and the few times they were seen in person. So management makes the move. Or the player has their big year in their ‘contract’ year and signs elsewhere not realizing how good they had it in the lineup they just left or in the city they just represented. So, Terry, what have you done for us lately? I love all the “look yourself in the mirror” stuff the last two days. Give me a break. How about this team, to a man, look themselves in the mirror and tells Terry and management where the problem lies? Lay it on the line; leave it all on the field. This group needs look no further than their clean-up hitter (at times), the strapping lad, Dustin Pedroia, for the right answers and the right way to play the game. This guy thinks he can do anything on a ball field and it doesn’t matter if it’s a road game, cold, wet, a night game or the 10th game in 10 days, and you know what? He can do almost anything on the ball field. Imagine what 25 guys with this mentality could do; oh that’s right we know what they can do. We saw it in 2004 and again in 2007 when that second squad just accepted nothing less than a title. I wonder who managed those clubs.

I for one will miss Francona next season. Unfortunately the last 4 weeks right through today tell me the Red Sox have become largely one of those organizations where the manager is driven out as a result of the passionless group he tries to rally. For some reason this collection of immense talent clearly lacked the passion and spine tingling excitement that comes with lacing them up and coming out of the foxhole on the first base line and battling for one another. Man, I get jacked up just thinking about it. Maybe these guys will find it again for themselves and for the wide eyed excited youngsters that will make their way to Fenway 100th season, led by the hand, with a lesson being taught passed down in every direction they look. Then again, maybe Terry is making the right move as he has so many times over the last 8 seasons.