Monday, October 22, 2018

FenwayNation POLL: Majority Now Prefer Jerry Remy To Toss Out First Pitch

Further voting in our latest FenwayNation Poll shows that a majority of readers (52%) now would prefer that Red Sox legend Jerry Remy throw out the first pitch before tomorrow night's World Series Game One at Fenway Park. As the chart shows, David Ortiz finishes second on the list—garnering 29% of the vote. In third spot is Carl Yasztremski at 7%, followed closely by Pedro Martinez at 6%. Jason Varitek gets 4% of reader votes, while Nomar Garciaparra tallies just 1%. Only Nomar and Pedro also played for the Dodgers. You can still vote in the poll HERE.

FenwayNation POLL: RemDawg Is Top Choice To Toss Out First Pitch In WS

Early voting in our latest FenwayNation Poll shows that nearly half of readers (48%) think Jerry Remy should throw out the first pitch tomorrow night at Fenway before Game One of the 2018 World Series. As the chart shows, one-third of readers (33%) would choose David Ortiz to do the ceremonial first-pitch honors on Tuesday night, while Carl Yasztremski comes in third on the list with a total of 12% of the vote. Nomar Garciaparra and Jason Varitek each draw 2% of the remaining vote, while 2% specific someone not appearing on the poll's list. As yet, no one has voted for Pedro Martinez. You can still vote in the poll HERE.

FenwayNation POLL: Who Should Throw Out First Pitch At WS Game One?

Who should throw out the first pitch at Game One of the World Series at Fenway Park on Tuesday night?
 
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FenwayNation POLL: Most See Red Sox Winning World Series In Six Games

Very early voting in our latest FenwayNation Poll shows that a plurality of readers (44%) think the Red Sox will prevail in six games in the 114th World Series—meaning another clinch (as happened in 2013) on the field at Fenway Park. As the chart shows, the next highest percentage of readers (36%) see Boston winning in five games—meaning yet another road celebration for The Carmine Hose in 2018. Just 8% see either a four-game sweep by the Red Sox, or a Boston win in seven games. Just one voter so far projects a Dodger victory—in five games. The 2018 World Series begins on Tuesday night in Boston, with Red Sox ace Chris Sale likely to face-off against his Dodger counterpart, Clayton Kershaw. You can still vote in the poll HERE.

New York City Sports Bar To Name Burger In Honor Of NESN's John Martin

John Martin
Foley’s NY Pub & Restaurant—right across the street from the Empire State Building—is renowned as one of the best sports bars in America. Dubbed the "Irish Bar with a Baseball Attitude" it is the definitive place to watch an event like the World Series (even if the Red Sox are in it). Foley's owner Shaun Casey has announced that the restaurant will be naming a special burger in honor of late NESN cameraman John Martin, who recently passed away after a long struggle with ALS (also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease). The John Martin Burger will be stuffed with Irish Bacon and Irish Cheddar Cheese—and topped with mayonnaise and ketchup. All the money from the sales of the burger will go to ALS research in Martin's name. Said Clancy, "Two years ago, we learned John had been diagnosed with ALS. We were devastated for John, his loving wife and two young girls. It hit home earlier this month, when the Red Sox were here for the ALDS and some of Johns pal’s from NESN were here. I want to extend my deepest sympathies and thoughts and prayers to his widow Adrienne and his young daughters Kaia and Gabby. We will always remember fondly the fun times we had with John at Foley’s." In a time when there is so much animosity between the fan bases of the Yankees and Red Sox, this wonderful gesture by Foley's is an expression of true class. If you're in the city, please stop by and catch a Red Sox World Series win—and a John Martin Burger.

FenwayNation POLL: 2018 World Series Prediction—Red Sox Or Dodgers?

2018 WORLD SERIES PREDICTION:
 
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The Three Big 'World Series Storylines' That Will Not Matter One Bit At All

The mainstream sports media is all agog about the upcoming Red Sox-Dodgers match-up in the 114th World Series (Editor's Note: It's not the 115th because the National League representative New York Giants refused to play the American League representative Boston Red Sox in 1904). Anyway, the media party line is that there are three main storylines that will define this year's Fall Classic. They are:

1.) Will Clayton Kershaw and David Price redeem their post-season funks?;
2.) Will Chris Sale recover from his (probably fake) belly-button-ring malady and be dominant?;
3.) Will Boston put Mookie Betts at 2B in LA to keep J.D. Martinez, Andrew Benintendi and Jackie Bradley, Jr. in the line-up as well?;

A careful study of past World Series prognostications reveals that they have mostly been dead wrong. Each World Series tends to produce its own unique scenarios that could not possibly have been envisioned beforehand. And, the players who end up mattering most are often the least likely pre-series suspects. So, here's what we think will happen:

1.) Kershaw and Price will both pitch respectably well—not dominant, but not pathetic;
2.) Sale doesn't have a belly-button-ring and his flu-like illness is long gone, so he will pitch as well expect him to in Games One and Five;
3.) Alex Cora will not risk Mookie's health and the degrading of overall team defense at two spots by moving Betts to 2B. Depending on match-ups, he will bench either JBJ or Benny and put Mookie in RF or CF.

There you go—three "critical" storylines that will have little or no impact on the outcome of the World Series.

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Red Sox Will Take On The "Denizens Of Chavez Ravine" In 2018 World Series

In a FenwayNation Poll, just about two-thirds of our readers (65%) said that they preferred the Milwaukee Brewers as an opponent in the upcoming World Series. Well, folks, Travis Shaw is not walking through those visiting clubhouse doors. And neither is the immortal Erik Kratz, or Christian Yelich or even Mike Moustakas. Instead, a far more unlikable crew will be defiling Fenway Park come Tuesday night—the Los Angeles Dodgers. After the well-deserved standing ovation that Red Sox legend (and Dodger manager) Dave Roberts will get at the Game One introductions, all bets are off. This La-La Land group is the easiest to detest since The Bronx Embalmers came to town. Between Manny "Spikes High" Machado and Yasiel "Look At Me, I'm A Buffoon" Puig, there will be multiple reasons to send these guys back to Malibu with their pretentious tails tucked firmly between their legs. Beating these guys will be so much more satisfying—with millions more watching than a Brewers-Sox series would have produced. In all honesty, this is the better match-up. Glitter versus Grit. Hubris versus Hard Work. Magic versus Bird. Bring it on.

Saturday, October 20, 2018

HOAX! Belly-Button-Ring-Gate Exposed As Deadpan Fraud By Chris Sale

Multiple reports now indicate that Chris Sale's deadpan explanation of his "stomach illness"—that he had an irritated belly-button-ring—was a complete hoax. An unidentified teammate outed Sale (or maybe he was "in-nied"). The fact that a player can completely punk the entire media hoard—without anyone asking a follow-up question—suggests that Sale has a second career in Las Vegas as a high-stakes poker player. Stay tuned for the real explanation of the lanky lefty's stomach ailment.

POLL: Should Mookie Play 2B In The National League City In World Series?

Should Mookie Betts play 2B in the NL city during the World Series—allowing JBJ, J.D. and Benny to also play?
 
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Red Sox World Series Wild Card: Mookie Betts At Second Base In NL City?

The Red Sox have floated the following trial balloon: play Mookie Betts at second base in the National League city games where the DH is not allowed. This would allow manager Alex Cora to play all of his top players in every game—with J.D. Martinez, Andrew Benintendi and the red-hot Jackie Bradley Jr. joining Betts in the line-up. Otherwise, one of Benny or JBJ would have to sit. Said Cora of the unorthodox option, "I don't know, man. He already played second in the regular season. There's always a chance, I guess. There's a reason (he's) the right fielder. He feels that he's great at second. I don't know. I never saw it. If you ask him, he'll say, 'I'm great.' If you ask Pedroia, he'll say he sucked. There's a lot that goes into it. We've got some pretty good second basemen, we've got some pretty good outfielders. Like I said, we're in the World Series. That conversation was gonna come up. One thing for sure, J.D. will play. That's clear. We'll see which alignment is better, which lineup is better and we'll make decisions accordingly." This option clearly carries some risks—but the potential up-side seems much too tempting to pass up. We say: go for it!

On 'Sale': Irritated Belly-Button-Ring, Bizarre 'Stomach' Ailment Even Weirder!

Be honest, you figured Chris Sale's "stomach illness" was some kind of intestinal bug, right? Hey, we've all had that—it is no fun. Well, this is the Red Sox, folks—so nothing is what it seems. In fact, Sale admitted today that the cause of his problem was an 'irritated' belly-button ring. You heard it right—an irritated belly-button ring. Hey, he's only 29 year old—so why wouldn't he have a typical Millennial appendage? Said the lanky lefty ace: "I had irritation from a belly-button ring. Constantly taking it in and out caused irritation. Doctors and nurses at MGH (Massachusetts General Hospital) were awesome. Things happen. You handle them. And keep moving forward." Folks, you just can't make this stuff up!

Friday, October 19, 2018

Eric Gagne Was The Unlikely Source To Stop Kimbrel From Tipping Pitches

OK, we might have to stop naming our yearly "booby prize" award after Eric Gagne (FN's Eric Gagne Memorial 'Most Disappointing' Award). It appears that Gagne was the main source helping to solve the "pitch-tipping" problem of Red Sox closer Craig Kimbrel. Kimbrel's postseason was starting to resemble Gagne's performances in his one-year tenure with The Carmine Hose (6.75 ERA). Then, after the Gagne-inspired adjustments, Kimbrel had a pretty efficient ninth inning in the closeout game of the ALCS. Folks, you just can't make this Red Sox stuff up!

POLL: Margin Narrows, Most Still Want Sox To Face BrewCrew In World Series

Continued voting in our latest FenwayNation Poll shows that—while the margin has narrowed from earlier readings—a solid majority of readers still want Milwaukee as Boston's World Series opponents. As the chart shows, 63% would prefer the Brewers as the Fall Classic opponent, while 37% would opt for the Los Angeles Dodgers. Thus, by a little more than a 60/40 margin, readers still would rather face The Sons Of Craig Counsell than The Sons Of Dave Roberts. You can still weigh-in on this poll HERE.

MLB Announces Start Times For All Seven Potential World Series Games

Major League Baseball has announced the starting times for all seven potential 2018 World Series Games. Here is the information (all times are Eastern, all game are on FOX network):

GAME ONE, Tuesday, Oct. 23—Fenway Park: 8:09 PM
GAME TWO, Wednesday, Oct. 24—Fenway Park: 8:09 PM
GAME THREE, Friday, Oct. 26—NL Park: 8:09 PM
GAME FOUR, Saturday, Oct. 27—NL Park: 8:09 PM
GAME FIVE, Sunday, Oct. 28—NL Park: 8:15 PM
GAME SIX, Tuesday, Oct. 30—Fenway Park: 8:09 PM
GAME SEVEN, Wednesday, Oct. 31 (Halloween)—Fenway Park: 8:09 PM

Babe Ruth Letter Thanking Globe Writer For 1923 MVP Vote Up For Auction

A 1923 handwritten letter by Babe Ruth is being auctioned off for a reserve minimum of $5,000. The Bambino wrote the letter to thank Boston Globe baseball writer James O'Leary for his MVP vote. Ruth won his only MVP award in 1923 as a member of the New York Yankees. The letter has a touching reference to Ruth's time in Boston. The text of the letter is as follows: "Dear Mr. O'Leary, Thank you for voting for me in the 1923 Baseball Contest. I tried hard all the way and especially for a whole lot of Boston friends from the old days. I'm not going to quit trying, there's a lot of years ahead and I'll do my best to make them good years. Sincerely, Babe Ruth." Ruth started his career in Boston in 1914—at the tender age of 19. He won three World Series Championships as a member of the Red Sox. Even though The Babe was mostly a stellar pitcher in his six years in Boston, he still managed to hit .308 in his time here—with a total of 49 home runs (11 of those in his final Red Sox season of 1919). He also won 89 games on the mound for Boston in that span—with a 2.19 ERA. Most of what is known about Ruth centers on his time in New York (and justifiably so). But, it's still nice to see that he had some lingering affection for his time in Boston—which this letter clearly shows.

This 2018 Edition Of The Sox Needs A Suitable (And Wicked Cool ) Nickname

The Boston Red Sox are the 2018 American League Champions. Let that phrase roll off your tongue a few times—and savor it. This aggressive, yet humble, edition of The Carmine Hose has done some historic things this season—a third straight division title, the franchise mark in wins, five straight postseason road victories. But as The Wizard Of Oz might say, "What you don't have is a good nickname". What do we call this bunch? We've had the 2004 Idiots and the 2013 Bearded Band Of Brothers—but nothing readily leaps to mind for this group, does it? Basically, this 2018 team is more akin to the 2007 World Champions—solid, efficient, professional—but not really easily labeled. We can't really call this 2018 crew The Humble Hammers, can we? Then what is a proper sobriquet? If you have a suggestion, please send it along to us at: fenwaynation@comcast.net. We will post the best suggestions and pass them along to the Red Sox.