Thursday, February 21, 2019

Longtime Red Sox Baseball Writer Nick Cafardo Dies At Age 62

Nick Cafardo, who has covered the Red Sox at various publications for more than three decades, collapsed and died today at the Red Sox Spring Training facility in Florida. Cafardo, just 62 years of age, had covered the Red Sox for The Boston Globe since 1989—after beginning his journalism career with The Quincy Patriot Ledger. He wrote the iconic 'On Baseball' Sunday notes column in the Globe, which was a destination piece for thousands of Sox fans every week. Cafardo reportedly suffered an embolism while walking from the jetBlue Park field to the batting cages. It was his day off, but he still reported to the Spring Training facility today. We express our condolences to his family.

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Ellen Adair's Rules for Cheering Part III: How to Cheer Like a Stat Geek

Ellen wearing proper laundry
by Ellen Adair

Stats, be they traditional or advanced, are extremely central to baseball, so it’s high time fans made them central to their cheering. “Let’s go [Home Team] clap, clap, clap-clap-clap” wouldn’t do for the back of a baseball card, much less an analytics department, so we need to give stats their due respect in the stands.   

I believe that both traditional stats and sabermetrics have a place here. Granted, the more all-encompassing the stat, like wins above replacement or skill-interactive ERA, the harder it is to make it specific to the situation. But, although I’ve mentioned before in part one and part two of this series that specificity is an excellent first step, I like to think that citing an advanced stat gives a cheer specificity regards the stat, rather than the situation, even if it can ultimately be applied to many situations. Did you need another reason to love WAR?   

You don’t need to know anything about a player to cheer them on using the traditional stats readily supplied to you by the jumbotron. Use that jumbotron, my friends. Use whatever information it gives you. For example:

Thursday, February 14, 2019

WEEI Moves To A Red Sox Broadcast Booth With All Known Available Humans

In a ridiculous move that smacks of all-out panic, the "flagship" station of Red Sox radio broadcasts (WEEI) is enlisting a strategy that throws a boatload of voices against the wall to see what sticks. The station announced that, in 2019, long-time play-by-play guy Joe Castiglione will be joined (at various points in time) by: Sean McDonough, Chris Berman, Dave O’Brien, Lou Merloni, Dale Arnold, Tom Caron, Josh Lewin, and Mario Impemba (who?). The bottom-line out of all of this is mass listener confusion. One of the cool aspects of baseball on the radio is hearing a familiar voice recount the fortunes of your favorite team. Castiglione, for all of his flaws, at least meets this minimum qualification. But all of these new voices will result in a mindless cacophony. A wiser move would have been to assign one person—like the estimable (and familiar) McDonough—as "second-person in". But, for some odd reason, WEEI has chosen this clown-car version.

Friday, February 8, 2019

NESN To Telecast 18 Red Sox Grapefruit League Games This Spring

New England Sports Network (NESN)—perhaps the worst regional sports network in America—will broadcast 18 Red Sox games this Spring. NESN announced the schedule today—and yet only actually lists 11 games in the story (which goes up to 15 if you count four games simulcast on WFXT-TV, Channel 25 in the Boston metro area). After an initial telecast of a February 11th game against the Northeastern University Huskies, the first MLB telecast will be on February 23rd against The Evil Ones. Still no word on whether NESN will finally incorporate SuperSlowMo replay into their coverage—something every other MLB-affiliated regional sports network already has. Stay tuned!

Thursday, February 7, 2019

One Of the Greatest Ever, Frank Robinson, Passes Aways At The Age Of 83

(Getty Images)
by Ernie Paicopolos, Editor-In-Chief

Clearly, this website is dedicated to all things Red Sox, but your humble Editor-In-Chief was—for a brief, fleeting moment—a fan of the Baltimore Orioles. In was in the pre-Impossible Dream era when rooting for the Red Sox was a real chore—especially for a young kid. So, after a friendly encounter with some Orioles players at Fenway in 1965, I started rooting for the Birds in 1966. It was Frank Robinson's first year with the Orioles as well, after being traded over from the Reds at an 'old 30' years-of-age. Not only did Robinson lead the Orioles to a World Series Championship over the mighty Dodgers in 1966—he also won the Triple Crown and the AL MVP (the only player ever to do that in both leagues). He was also the first African-American Manager in Major League Baseball—achieving that with the Cleveland Indians in 1975. His greatness as an athlete was foreshadowed by his performance on his Oakland, California High School basketball team—which he captained. That in and of itself was impressive, since his teammate was the legendary Bill Russell. The great Frank Robinson passed away today at the age of 83. No matter which team you root for, if you are a fan of baseball excellence, you should mourn his passing today. He was a true giant of the game.

POLL: Overwhelming Support For A Universal DH In Both The AL And NL

Voting in our latest FenwayNation Poll shows that an overwhelming percentage of readers (84%) favor a proposal to make the designated hitter universal in both the American and National leagues. As the chart shows, just 16% oppose the idea of DH universality. Reports indicate that both major league baseball and the players union support the idea—with some speculation that it could actually be implemented for the upcoming 2019 season (since de-bunked). Nevertheless, this would be one of the biggest changes to the game in decades. You can still vote in the poll HERE.

POLL: Favor Or Oppose Making The DH Universal In Both The AL And NL?

Do you favor or oppose the proposal by MLB and the players union to make the DH universal for both the American and National leagues? free polls

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

MLB And Players Union May Adopt 'Universal DH' Rule As Early As 2019

In a shocking departure from previous positions, both Major League Baseball and the Players Union (MLBPA) may soon agree on the adoption of a Universal Designated Hitter Rulewiping out the stupidity of pitchers hitting in the National League (and in inter-league games in NL parks). There are other rules being seriously considered as well—like a three-batter minimum for each pitcher—but it's the DH news that is truly exciting. Moreover, multiple reports suggest that the Universal DH might actually happen as early as this season. This could be the best thing to happen to baseball since Mookie Betts broke into the league. Another intriguing possible new rule change—proposed by the union—would be for teams' draft positions to be lowered if they do not win a certain number of games during two straight seasons. Clearly, this would be an attempt to correct the obvious hesitancy of team owners to spend big on long-term free agent contracts for the likes of Bryce Harper and Manny Machado—not to mention the hundred or so other un-signed free agents. Stay tuned!

Monday, February 4, 2019

VIDEO: In Honor Of Tom Brady's Sixth Ring And His Wicked Boston Accent

Ellen Adair's Rules for Cheering Part II: How to Cheer Like a Sports Announcer

Ellen Adair w/ Scott Franzke—requested to be shown at her funeral
by Ellen Adair

Welcome to part two in my suggestions on how to be a more creative spectator at your favorite sporting event! If you haven’t read part one, you can read it HERE, unless you’re one of those people who likes to show up in the bottom of the third inning. In which case, you may have a little more work to do than the rest of us.

In taking inspiration from sports announcers, specificity is key. Tailor your cheers to the circumstance and a particular desired outcome. Personally, I rarely request a home run because it’s pretty obvious. Your team can pretty much always use a home run. How much better to suggest, given a particular situation:
—Hit a soft single to the gap!
—Gimme a wall-ball double!

No Rest For The Championship Weary: Sox Equipment Truck Heads Out Today

(Red Sox photo)
No sooner had your 2018 Super Bowl Champions hangover subsided than you find out that the 2018 World Series Champions' equipment truck is headed to Florida today. That's right, it's Truck Day. The 1,500-mile journey from Yawkey Way (AKA Jersey Street) to Fort Myers begins this morning. Of course, a local guy (Al Hartz of Milford, Massachusetts) will drive the truck—as he has for the last 21 years. Not a bad Winter gig. The haul includes: 20,000 baseballs; 1,100 cases of bubble gum; 60 cases of sunflower seeds; 1,100 bats; 400 t-shirts and pairs of socks (among a lot of other cargo). All aboard!


Saturday, February 2, 2019

Red Sox Continue To Collect 'Wretched Refuse' For Sub-Par 2019 Bullpen

Dan Runzler and Brian Ellington will now potentially help your World Series Champs to a repeat title in 2019. Who? Exactly. The Red Sox signed two relievers who even the most avid baseball fans have probably never heard of. And for good reason. Runzler was almost decent last season for the Sugar Land Skeeters of the independent Atlantic League. Since 2011, he's pitched a grand total of four innings in the big leagues—four! Ellington has not pitched in an MLB game since 2017—and in his three years with the Marlins he delivered a breathtaking 7.25 ERA. Is Dave Dombrowski serious? More than ever we need to sign Craig Kimbrel and stop this inane bottom-feeding escapade.

Friday, February 1, 2019

Price To Switch Uniform Numbers From 24 To 10—Kimbrel's 46 Still Available

New Red Sox post-season hero David Price will switch his uniform number from 24 to 10 for the 2019 season. Now, those sharp-minded among you are probably thinking—aha, they're about to retire number 24 for Dwight Evans (worthy) or Manny Ramirez (jury still out on worthiness). Well, it looks as if the Red Sox are not planning any such retirement on the right-field façade this year—so why the switch by Price? Nobody is really sure. When he arrived in Boston, Price could not use his Vanderbilt/Rays/Tigers 'uni' number 14—some guy named Jim Rice had retired that one in Boston. So, he took 24 for the last three seasons. This new switch is an odd circumstance—but, hey, he's always been an odd guy. On a separate note, Craig Kimbrel's uniform number 46 has not been taken as yet by any players or non-roster invitees. Is there a message in this? Calling Dave Dombrowski!