Friday, February 26, 2016

Getting to Fenway

Elise Amendola / Associated Press
Since this is a blog partially about my fandom, I'm going to start writing about it a little.

I try to get to a Red Sox game once a year. At least that's my plan now. Unfortunately last season, I wasn't able to make one, but I did in 2014 and 2013, and had quite the experience back in 2011. 

My family took a trip to Boston in 2011. The day of the game, it was warm and sunny, as you can see in the picture below.

That was about the only time we were that dry. Hurricane Irene came through almost as soon as the game started. It was brutal. There were multiple delays throughout the game.

 It even got to the point where the bleachers flooded and all fans sitting there had to go into the concourse. The stairs to the concourse were basically a waterfall at that point as well. 

When we were eventually let back to our seats, we moved under an overhang to keep from getting completely soaked through. While the grounds crew worked to get the field playable, the Patriots pre-season game against the Lions was put up on the video board and fans were actually cheering for them.

It was a great environment. Everyone who stayed through the first game was offered free admission to the second leg of the double header that day. The Red Sox won both games against the Oakland Athletics as well.

In the summer of 2013, a buddy and I took a road trip to see the Red Sox battle the Yankees. It turned out to be an amazing game.

Originally, Jon Lester was supposed to pitch against CC Sabathia, which would have been an epic match up, but Lester went down with an injury shortly before the game and Ryan Dempster started instead.

After 11 innings and four hours of battling it out, Mike Napoli hit a shot right next to where we were sitting in the bleachers. That'll be one of the best games I've ever been to.

The game two seasons ago was against the Orioles, and I was lucky enough to see another walk off. Dustin Pedroia scampered home and scored on an error.

So after two walk offs in a row, I'm hoping to get back to Fenway soon to see more Sox wins. It's a place every baseball fan should visit.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Is Pablo Sandoval Serious About Baseball?

John Barash / Associated Press

Scott Lauber went on a bit of a rant today about Pablo Sandoval. Saying he's not concerned enough about his weight or accountable about the terrible season he had.

I can't totally disagree with Lauber. Even though Sandoval does look thinner, he said he didn't know how much he weighed and that the Red Sox didn't ask him to lose any weight.

As everyone knows, Sandoval has always had issues with his weight. The Giants were always asking him to slim down, and the Red Sox, apparently, haven't done the same yet, with hopes that he will produce anyway. That hasn't exactly worked.

Lauber went on to call out the Red Sox for not asking Sandoval to lose weight. He talked about how it's definitely affecting his play. I can definitely understand this as well.

Sandoval just seems to be a bit sluggish at third base. He doesn't seem to have as much range as he should. Sandoval is also a contact hitter that won't hit a lot of homeruns. He's only ever topped 20 homers twice, and it's been five seasons since he's done that.

Contact hitters, like Sandoval's numbers suggest he is, aren't overweight. He needs to get it together and put himself in the best situation to earn that $95 million contract he has.

In a tweet, Lauber stated, "If he plays well, nobody mentions it. Last year, he didn't play well."

Friday, February 19, 2016

Highlights from Week One of Spring Training: All the Information I Could Find

So everyone has finally reported to Fort Meyers for Spring Training, and things are looking pretty good for the Red Sox right now, but it does for everyone in Spring Training.

Right now, I'm honestly just hungry for any kind of information I can get and any pictures or videos I can get. The Red Sox are posting on their Snapchat account a couple times a day, and beat reporters are putting out some pretty cool stuff as well.

Here's some other news from this week:

Pablo Sandoval looks a bit thinner in his Instagram posts, which is promising.

Hanley Ramirez sounds excited about switching to first base. He even was quoted by Buster Olney saying he wanted to win a gold glove.
David Price also seems to be assimilating nicely into the team.

I'm looking forward to seeing how the players that aren't stars will be in the coming weeks.

Friday, February 12, 2016

The Hanley Project: How Much Can We Really Expect?

Michael Dwyer / Associated Press

Hanley Ramirez came to the Red Sox last season on a four year, $88 million contract to add some more power to the Sox lineup. With already having signed Pablo Sandoval earlier that morning, Hanley wouldn’t be playing third base. Xander Bogaerts will be manning shortstop for a long time. That’s all Hanley had played up until then in his career with any consistency, coming up as a shortstop through the Red Sox farm system.

The first part of the experiment, as you know, failed. Hanley proved to be an utterly awful left fielder. He finished with negative fielding numbers in pretty much every defensive statistic available on Every ball that was hit his way had me worrying.

 So with a four year contract and little to no trade value, Hanley has to play somewhere, so they’ll try to move him to first base.

Hanley looked stiff, not all that athletic and a bit overweight last season. He already sounds like a first baseman to me. I have some high hopes for him over there, but I honestly don’t see it starting out all that smooth. There will be some growing pains. 

Now there is some upside to having Hanley over at first. It will fill that hole in the infield and opens up a spot in the Sox crowded outfield. 

 And who knows, Hanley could even turn out to be a pretty good first baseman with some dedication and hard work, which we didn’t see last season in left field. 

He’s also a decent hitter, in case you forgot.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Truck Day: The Pre-Pre-Beginning of the Season

It's finally Truck Day! I couldn't think of a better day to start this blog.

I'll be writing about my experiences being a Boston sports fan in New York, some Red Sox analysis, and just my thoughts on what's going on in Boston sports.

With the season about to start, the Red Sox have a lot of questions. The first being if they can get out of last place in the AL East for the first time in the last two seasons.

I'm also eager to see how the "Hanley Project" will turn out. If Pablo Sandoval can turn out to be worth the $95 million the Sox forked over for him. How will the starting pitchers will look with David Price at the helm? Can the young guys like Bogaerts, Betts and Rodriguez keep progressing?

It's going to be a fun season, and I'm going to dive further into it in the coming weeks.

The Red Sox packed up all their gear onto the jetBlue sponsored truck which will make its way down to Fort Meyers, FL to prepare for Spring Training.

The first real Spring Training game will be against the Minnesota Twins on Mar 2.