Friday, July 31, 2020

Sox Show Signs Of Life With Two Straight Wins In Baghdad On Hudson

(AP Photo)
After dropping four if its first five 2020 games (due mostly to crappy pitching), the Red Sox rebounded with two impressive wins against the New York Metropolitans—in large part due to decent starting pitching. The other key factor in the wins was one Christian Vazquez, who has continued his torrid offensive display of 2019 into the new season. The Boston backstop homered three times in Flushing—and is rapidly becoming recognized as one of the best all-around catchers in all of baseball. Last night's 4-2 win saw new starter Martin Perez go an impressive 5.2 innings to get his first Boston win—giving up just two runs on two hits. He moved to greater use of his change-up in Thursday's win. Alex Verdugo and Michael Chavis (two hits apiece) also contributed to the Boston offense—but it was Vazquez who lead the way. The Red Sox now head to the Bronx for a three-game set against The Evil Ones.

Saturday, July 25, 2020

Red Sox Go Bird-Hunting On Opening Day, Pummel Baltimore, 13-2

(Getty Images)
As Eck so eloquently put it last night, "You have to take care of business" with egregiously crappy teams like the Baltimore Orioles. And the Red Sox did just that on Opening Day—destroying the avian visitors from the Chesapeake Bay, 13-2. This one got late early, as Yogi Berra might say. The Carmine Hose put up four runs in the third inning—highlighted by four doubles. Then, one inning later, they scored six more times. Despite 17 total hits, not one left the old yard. New Red Sox second-baseman Jose Peraza collected four hits in his Boston debut. Another newcomer, Kevin Pillar, made a stellar defensive play and notched three hits and three RBIs. J.D. Martinez also had three RBIs. Nathan Eovaldi was superb through six innings of work—giving up just one run on five hits and notching 100 MPH on the gun several times. All in all, a satisfying night at the empty ballpark.

Thursday, July 16, 2020

UPDATED POLL: Favorite Red Sox Positional Player (New Choices Added)

Which ONE of the following Red Sox positional players is your favorite?
 
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Wednesday, July 15, 2020

FenwayNation POLL: Favorite Red Sox Positional Player?

Of the following non-pitcher positional Red Sox players, who is your favorite?
 
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Monday, July 6, 2020

FenwayNation POLL: 7 In 10 Think Red Sox Will Be AT Or UNDER .500

Early voting in our latest FenwayNation POLL shows that fully seven in ten readers think the 2020 Red Sox will finish with either a .500 record or worse. As the chart shows, the plurality (48%) think Boston will get about 30 wins (.500) in the truncated, 60-game 2020 season. Another 22% believe that The Carmine Hose will underperform that break-even mark—getting fewer than 30 wins. Thus, a combined total of 70% think the team will be .500 or less. Having said that, a fairly substantial three readers out of ten (30%) think the team will reach the 40-win plateau—which translates to a "devilish" .666 winning percentage. Nobody in the poll believes the Sox will do better than the 40-win range. You can still vote in the poll HERE.

FenwayNation POLL: Realistically, How Will The Red Sox Do In 2020?

Being as objective as you can be, where will the 2020 Red Sox end up?
 
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Saturday, July 4, 2020

Sunday, June 28, 2020

FenwayNation POLL: Almost Six In Ten Will Not Watch All 60 MLB Games

Early results to our latest FenwayNation Poll indicate that readers are equally divided between those who will watch all 60 games in the truncated 2020 season (42%) and those who will only watch some games in a "bogus" season (42%). As the chart shows, about one reader in seven (15%) won't watch any games, believing the entire season should have been cancelled and re-started fresh in 2021. Thus, almost six in ten readers will not watch all 60 games. If our readers are in any way representative of the national fanbase, MLB should be worried. You can still vote in the poll HERE.

Saturday, June 27, 2020

FenwayNation POLL: You And The 60-Game MLB Season

For the truncated, 60-game 2020 MLB season, I will:
 
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Thursday, June 4, 2020

FenwayNation POLL: Slim Majority Oppose New 50-60 Game MLB Plan

Early results to our latest FenwayNation Poll show that a narrow majority of readers (53%) oppose the new MLB plan to play 50-60 games in the 2020 season. As the chart shows, 47% favor the plan. Major League Baseball countered with the 50-60 game idea after the players' union proposed a 114-game season. The new owners' plan does provide fully-prorated salaries for players—which would amount to about one-third of a full year's pay in a normal 162 game-season. You can still vote in the poll HERE.

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

FenwayNation POLL: Favor Or Oppose New MLB Plan For 50-60 Games?

MLB has now proposed a 50-60 game 2020 season—with players getting full pro-rated salaries (equal to about one-third of a full year's salary). Do you favor or oppose this new MLB proposal?
 
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Monday, May 25, 2020

FN POLL: Readers Support Baseball In 2020—But Only By 55%-45% Margin

If the early results to our FenwayNation poll are representative of all baseball fans, Major League Baseball had better tread carefully with any plans to play baseball in 2020. As the chart shows, while a majority (55%) do support some form of baseball being played this year, a substantial minority (45%) oppose it. That's hardly an overwhelming endorsement. We posed our survey question after two guest columnists (Bill Collins for the 'Yes' side; Gary Morgenstein for the 'No' side) laid out the cases for each position. MLB has floated multiple plans for having some sort of abbreviated 2020 season—from playing all games in Arizona and Florida to a re-configured 'home stadium' division system based on geography and limited travel. In addition, it's unclear whether owners and players can agree on a host of thorny compensation and revenue-sharing issues. In the meantime, 2020 is rapidly slipping away. You can still vote in our poll HERE.

Sunday, May 24, 2020

FenwayNation POLL: Should MLB Baseball Be Played In 2020?

Now that we've presented both sides of the issue, should MLB baseball be played in 2020, or not?
 
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Saturday, May 23, 2020

FenwayNation Point/Counterpoint: Just Say "YES" To Baseball 2020

by Bill Collins

As we enter what feels like Day 900 of this pandemic’s social distancing and self-quarantining, the absence of all sports, especially baseball, is glaring. Perhaps now might be just the right time to begin the steps to bring back our National Pastime. With all of the torment and upheaval that COVID-19 has brought to all of us, we can all use a nice, ongoing distraction. And baseball would be that perfect distraction. Just look at the online success of Taiwanese baseball to understand that we need to have it back with us.

But there are people who don’t want to bring baseball back until the world has once again retained its normal orbit. That might end up taking a while. A popular argument against bringing baseball back is that it won’t be anywhere near the same thing we’ve been enjoying for almost 150 years. Well, the game has changed over the years, and it’s had to adapt a bit since it’s humble beginnings. It’s time for that to happen again, even if it’s for a hopefully short while.

Friday, May 22, 2020

FenwayNation Point/Counterpoint: Just Say "NO" To Baseball 2020

by Gary Morgenstein 

The Lords of Baseball have assembled an ambitious and complicated plan for the 2020 season that’s rich in safety measures. Thank goodness for that. Not a single player or anyone associated with the game should be exposed to coronavirus. Make that points 1-10. So let’s play ball.

I say no. Presenting a season which makes a mockery out of the essence of the game will only hasten its demise. Baseball’s leisurely pageantry makes it different from all other sports. Now before I’m trolled, I have the utmost respect for the athleticism and the fandom of all sports. But they ain’t like baseball.

Because baseball is slower, it has time for the dramatic human pauses. For the runner and first baseman to exchange pleasantries. The manager to run onto the field and argue jaw-to-jaw with the umpire. The infielder to dart closely behind the baserunner at second. And yes, what is baseball if not a geyser of sunflower seeds.

Thursday, May 21, 2020

To Be Or Not To Be?: Should MLB's 2020 Season Happen, Or Not?

Gary (L); Bill (R)
In the next few days, FenwayNation will be addressing the existential question of 2020: "Will there be some form of MLB season, or not?". We will be presenting advocates for both sides of the issue—in an effort to give our readers the reasoned (or not so reasoned) arguments for and against any baseball in 2020.

Advocating the "pro" side will be Bill Collins—a longtime friend of FN and a true baseball aficionado. This guy loves baseball so much, he actually rode in a car with your humble Editor-In-Chief to Cleveland and Baltimore just to watch the Red Sox play on the road. If you've ever seen me drive, you'd know that's real dedication on the part of Mr. Collins. Bill is a world-class chef and operates Chef Bill, Inc. which offers personal chef services, cooking lessons and 'romantic dinners for two' in the wiles of Western Massachusetts (actually Amherst). You can contact him at this email address: bill@chefbill.com or call him at (413) 230-3773. Look for his article advocating for the return of baseball (in some form, at least) in 2020.

On the other side of the ledger (the "no" side) will be renowned author Gary Morgenstein. Gary's fantastic novel "A Mound Over Hell" combines science fiction and baseball in the dystopian world of 2098. You can buy it on Amazon HERE. Gary is also a playwright—with his latest piece a play about racial harmony called "A Black And White Cookie". We're letting Gary do this even though he is a die-hard New York Yankee fan. Hey, think of it as penance—you'll get into heaven a lot sooner by letting Gary do this. Actually, I've met Gary in person, and I can tell you he is a terrific guy—despite his team allegiance. Look for his "anti" article soon.

Sunday, May 17, 2020

Four Red Sox Make MLB's List Of The Best To Never Win An MVP Award

Getty Images
Major League Baseball's internet arm—MLB.com—recently selected the 15 best players never to win an MVP Award. More than a quarter of the players identified (26.7%) wore a Boston Red Sox uniform. The four Carmine Hosers were: David Ortiz, Manny Ramirez, Wade Boggs and Adrian Beltre. Three, of course, were long-time residents on Yawkey Way—while Beltre had only one (albeit spectacular) season calling Fenway Park home. It's amazing that none of these four brilliant players ever brought home the MVP iron—though each had the requisite "excuses" applied to them as "non-winners". You know, Papi was "just" a DH; Manny couldn't field; Boggs was just a "singles" hitter; and Beltre—well, actually, I can't imagine why this guy never won at least one. For the Red Sox in 2010, Beltre hit .321, with 28 HRs and 102 RBIs—and led the world in doubles with 49. He had an OPS of .919 and made the All-Star team. After leaving the Red Sox (who inexplicably did not sign him), he played eight more seasons for the Rangers—and the made the All-Star team four more times. Over his 21-year career, Beltre hit .286 with 477 HRs—finishing in the Top Ten in MVP voting six times. But, somehow, he never won it all.