Friday, October 21, 2016

Ugh! Wally And Tessie Throw Halloween Party At Fenway

Tessie (L); Wally (R)—We Think
Hey, the kids like it. Nevertheless, the Red Sox announced today another in the endless line of goofy events around their twin mascots—Wally The Green Monster and his little sister, Tessie The Green Monster. (Editor's Note: We're trying real hard not to lose our lunch while writing this). On Sunday October 30th, between 11 AM and 2 PM, the Kid's Concourse will be open to a "Halloween Party"—with things like mini-pumpkin painting, trick-or-treating, and...whatever. The event is free (there's a shocker!). Perhaps the best line in the team's press release, though, was this: "Costumes are encouraged." As they always should be.

Scar Tissue Was Real Cause Of David Ortiz's Foot Pain

(Getty Images)
In a fascinating article by's Rob Bradford, former Red Sox coordinator of sports medicine services Dan Dyrek reveals the extent and nature of David Ortiz's foot-related injuries over the years. While it was always described as an "Achilles" issue, it was actually much more complex. Said the 63-year-old Dyrek, "The pain was at the insertion of the Achilles, but that in a sense was a secondary diagnosis. The primary problem was really the scar tissue in the joints, ligaments, capsules, muscle and even his skin affected on two different bones in the area." Ortiz's battle started in July of 2012 and the rigorous treatment routine lasted right through the 2016 season. Dyrek made it clear how difficult it was, "There was no question he was pushing. He felt an obligation to the fans. He would say, 'People come to see me play so I want to get out there and keep playing.' But eventually it took its toll. He had to have treatment essentially every day because the problems that were in there you can't resolve them 100 percent. He was never 100 percent pain-free. He had days of no pain, but over the course of every week there were always a few days he had pain." So now, in addition to having witnessed a Hall of Fame career, we now know about the hard work and pain that went into creating it.

Cubbies Should Welcome Home Scape-"Goat" Bartman

Let's see, a 3-2 NLCS series lead. Returning back to Wrigley to win just one of two games to advance to the World Series. Where have we seen this before? Oh yeah, 2003! What was that guy's name? Imagine what Steve Bartman must be thinking right now. Banished from his home town (presumably, since he's fallen off the face of the Earth), unable to attend games of his beloved team, and scorned by millions. That is the life of The Bartman. We've seen various writers call for a big "forgiveness" party if the Cubs advance to The Fall Classic. We disagree. Theo Epstein and the Cubs organization should reach out now, today to heal the Bartman rift. Give him a prominent seat in the owner's box tomorrow night. Have him throw out the first pitch—to Moises Alou, of course. Something! Give this poor dude his life back! And, all that good karma will surely propel the Cubbies to ultimate victory—ending that 108-year drought.

POLL: Most Readers Want 'Outside-The-Box' GM Choice

Continued voting shows that FenwayNation readers reject all five prominent choices for new Red Sox GM. As the chart shows, almost half of respondents (49%) want someone else other than the most-often mentioned candidates. While we made the suggestions of Jason Varitek or John Farrell for that "other" category, there's no way for us to know any other suggestions (except through the poll's 'comments' section). Among the known contenders, current Assistant GM Brian O'Halloran leads with 26%, followed by VP of Amateur Scouting Amiel Sawdaye (15%), Sr. VP of Baseball Operations Frank Wren (5%), Dir. of Professional Scouting Gus Quattlebaum (3%), and VP of International Scouting Ed Romero (2%). You can still vote in the poll HERE.

Reserve That Jersey Number Ten For Edwin Encarnación

From all accounts, Red Sox honcho Dave Dombrowski will have around $30-$40 million of John Henry's spare change to spend this Winter. Of course, Henry might decide to spend some of that on fake injury training for his foreign soccer team. Even so, let's say 'DD' has 'only' $30 million—we all know where he's going to spend most of it, right? The vast hole in the lineup created by the departure of 40-year old David Ortiz needs to be filled. The most logical candidate is soon-to-be 34-year old Edwin Encarnación. He's clearly sent signals that he wants to be here—and he worships Papi. Plus, he must salivate at the prospect of lining up The Green Monster 81 times a year. So, let's dispense with the charade and just measure Edwin for a number ten Red Sox uniform jersey (his number in The Great White North). I don't think Andover High School's Ryan Hanigan (the current #10) will mind—if he's still here on Opening Day.

Red Sox 2011 'Choke-Pocalypse' Impacts 2016 Playoffs

(Getty Images)
As's Mike Axisa rightly points out, the fallout from the epic 2011 Red Sox collapse directly led to a bevy of moves that impacted the MLB playoff picture five years later. OK, take a deep breath and try to remember the Robert Andino walk-off hit that (along the the Rays walk-off over the Empire) eliminated The Carmine Hose from the playoffs in Game 162. Amazingly, with just 29 games left to play, Boston had enjoyed a nine game bulge in the Wild Card race. Pure and simple, they blew it. The meltdown resulted in the departure of Theo Epstein, Terry Francona, and Adrian Gonzalez (who, among others, fled Boston the following August). All three have been important reasons why their clubs—Theo's Cubbies, Tito's Tribe and A-Gons's Trolley Dodgers—are still in the championship hunt this year. Epstein patiently crafted a five-year plan—that actually came to partial fruition in year four. It may propel the Cubs to their first World Series Championship in 108 years. Francona has taken a listing Indian ship and turned it into a confident, winning ballclub. They could eliminate a 68-year championship drought. And, Gonzalez has been the steady, consistent team leader on a weird Dodger ballclub that last won it all in 1988—a 28-year hiatus. (As an aside, it seems astounding that the Dodgers have only won 6 World Series titles—two fewer than the Red Sox). In any event, despite the Red Sox early departure from the 'tournament', there's plenty of Boston-connected baseball left to watch.

Iconic Kenmore CITGO Sign May Still Be Removed

Well, a story we reported on last July is back in the news. Boston University appears to be moving ahead with plans to sell the building upon which the iconic Kenmore Square CITGO sign sits. As we said last Summer, we have no love for the socialist thugs who run the state-owned CTIGO oil company in Venezuela. Every decent person should boycott their stations and their products. But the sign is a decades old symbol of Boston, Fenway Park and the Red Sox. It needs to be saved. Click HERE to add you name to a petition (now almost 6,000 strong) to save the sign.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Mauricio Dubon Finds His Way In Arizona Fall League

(Photo By Richard Shiro)
Early on, the top Red Sox performer in this year's Arizona Fall League was Yoan Moncada (still hitting .333). But, after last night, a new prospect may be emerging—one Mauricio Dubon. Normally a shortstop, Dubon has been playing the outfield recently, and came through with a big night on Wednesday—with three hits and two steals. He also scored the winning run in the 2-1 victory for the Surprise Saguaros. Dubon is now hitting .318 on the AFL season and is looking to hone his skills further. Said the 22-year old, "I trust what I'm doing. I felt good at the plate. I did the same thing I've been doing, I just saw the ball a little better." Keep an eye on this kid!

Cubs, Bucs, Cards, Phils Make Fenway Stops In 2017

Well, we might as well look ahead to 2017. In addition to the moronic World Baseball Classic (March 9-22), we will have another year of idiotic inter-league intrusions at Fenway Park in 2017. The Chicago Cubs, Pittsburgh Pirates, Philadelphia Phillies and St. Louis Cardinals will be searching for some marginal bench player to be 'DH' for a few games when they wander into Boston. Similarly, the Red Sox will lose the services of their new DH when they traipse to the National League cities on their schedule. Dumb. Dumb. Dumb. Please, Commissioner Manfred, end our long 'national pastime nightmare' and ditch inter-league play!

POLL: Tito's Tribe Surging As FN Readers' Favorite Team

Early voting in our latest FenwayNation Poll shows that Terry Francona's upstart Indians are passing the Cuddly Cubbies as the favorite remaining team in the MLB playoffs. As the chart shows, fully 65% of our readers pick The Tribe as their new rooting target, followed somewhat distantly by the Theo Epstein-led Cubs at just 29%. Only 6% say they are now fans of the Dave Roberts-skippered Dodgers. You can still vote in this poll HERE.

Sox, Texas, Empire Likely Spots For Edwin Encarnación

'Flap-Down' At Fenway In 2017?
Multiple reports suggest that the Red Sox are the likeliest landing spot for free-agent Edwin Encarnación. Now that the Blue Jays failed to match Boston as the only team to recover from a 3-0 deficit, the real speculation can begin on the potential new Carmine Hose DH. According to's Jon Heyman, it looks as if The Evil Ones and the Texas Rangers are the main competition for Encarnación. Given his closeness with David Ortiz, and his positive comments about Boston, it would not be a shock to see the soon-to-be 34-year-old at Fenway soon.

POLL: Which Remaining Team Are You Rooting For?

Which ONE of the remaining heavily Boston-connected teams are you rooting for? free polls