Tag Archives: Boston Red Sox

In defense of Jackie Bradley Jr.

I’ll admit that I took a flying leap onto the Grady Sizemore bandwagon Monday night. What’s not to love? A 31-year-old three-time MLB All-Star and two-time Gold Glove winner who hasn’t played a game of professional baseball in over two years makes his return with the Boston Red Sox and goes 2 for 4 with a solo home run his second at-bat. Sizemore was a force to be reckoned with in the mid-2000s. He hit over 20 home runs and stole over 20 bases every year from 2005 to 2008, making the All-Star team three of those years. In 2008 he became the 32nd player in MLB history to hit over 30 home runs (33) and steal over 30 bases (38) in one season. By comparison, David Ortiz hit 23 home runs and Jacoby Ellsbury stole 50 bases that same year.

So when Sizemore stepped up to the plate for the first time in 2 years, 6 months and 9 days and got a base hit to right field, Sox fans began to nod their heads in agreement with the front office for picking up the injury-riddled, ten-year veteran. And when he sent the ball out of the park to tie up the game his second at-bat? Jacoby who? And forget Jackie Bradley Jr., Grady’s still got it.

Not so fast.

Bradley Jr. may not have had the best Spring Training numbers and he certainly didn’t help his cause when he struck out looking in his only at-bat Opening Day in the top of the 9th with two runners on and the Sox only trailing by one, but the 23-year-old has quite a lot going for him. Sizemore may have had a great game, but he also struck out with men on in the eighth inning to help the Orioles cling to their one-run lead. Sizemore isn’t the player he was back in 2008. He played only 33 games during the 2010 season before micro-fracture surgery on his left knee put him out for the year. He came back to play 71 games in 2011, but only put up 10 home runs and didn’t steal a single base. He then missed the entirety of the 2012 and 2013 seasons because of back and knee injuries.

He impressed John Farrell down in Fort Meyers and landed the starting center fielder position for Opening Day, but one 2 for 4 performance shouldn’t be enough to send Bradley Jr. down to Pawtucket for good. After missing most of the 2010 season, Sizemore came back to the plate for the Indians on April 17, 2011 where he went 2 for 4, including a double and a home run. He know how to excite a fan base. But he went on to put up the worst numbers of his career in home runs and stolen bases that season. Fast forward to Wednesday night when he went 0 for 4 in the Sox 6-2 win over the Orioles. Then to Thursday night when he was rested because of an early day game on Friday that he’s slated to start. Grady Sizemore is a ticking time bomb that’s reached its expiration date.

Jackie Bradley Jr., on the other hand, is just getting started. He took his first start on Thursday night and proved to the city of Boston that he was there to play. He hit an infield single to lead off the third inning and came around to score off an Ortiz single to put the Sox up 2-0. He had a sacrifice fly to push Will Middlebrooks to third base in his second at-bat and sent Middlebrooks all the way home with an RBI single his third time at the plate. This would end up being the winning run in a 4-3 decision at Camden Yards to give the Red Sox the series.

Sizemore gets the start Friday afternoon at 2:05 P.M. against the Milwaukee Brewers in the Fenway Park home opener. He’ll need to continue to bring some of that Monday night magic to the plate to prove himself over a young, rising player like Bradley Jr. This could still be the miracle season for Sizemore that Sox fans started daydreaming about the second they saw his 345-foot blast into the left field bleachers on Monday night. The ultimate comeback kid.

But if he fails to live up to this dream or is plagued by injury once again before he even gets the chance, there’s a young, promising player waiting down in Pawtucket who is more than ready to take his place.


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A belated tribute to the 2013 Boston Red Sox

Can you believe it’s been almost a month since the Boston Red Sox won the World Series?

One year after a 69-93 season. Two years after a September collapse of epic proportions. On their third general manager in the three years. A team that literally started at rock bottom.

I still can’t believe it.

This was a season that started merely weeks before the attacks on our city and it has carried the city of Boston on its shoulders ever since. We finally got our parade down Boylston Street and proved that absolutely nothing could hold this city back from coming out in droves to celebrate the wonderful triumphs of the athletes in this town.

Wednesday, October 30 was a pretty ridiculous night. It’s a pretty significant miracle that I did not get arrested that night. I travelled many miles on foot between the hours of 11pm and 2am. I was watching the game at one of my friend’s apartments right next door, but of course once they won we kind of all collectively decided that ‘when is this ever going to happen again when we’re all here?’ (Hopefully soon, but you know…) So we joined hundreds of other crazy people sprinting down Comm Ave. toward Kenmore. We even ran into some of our Yankee fan friends decked out in their gear screaming GO YANKEES! Good times.

We realized pretty soon that obviously Kenmore was very well blocked off. And luckily, we never thought of this or we probably would have been the people arrested for running down the B line tunnel to get into Kenmore.

We ran all the way around the outer perimeter of the Square trying to find a way in, were escorted out of a BU dorm after trying to cut through there and eventually finally got through the barricades, but not after losing my phone. (Did I mention this was a brand new iPhone I had gotten a couple of weeks prior? My first smartphone.) And I just drop it in Kenmore Square. Which means that the only picture I have is this:


Just me and my friend running down Comm Ave. None of the crazy crowds. None of the GO SOX sign on the Prudential center. None of the crazy celebrations. Just selfies. I kill myself sometimes.

(And as a side note: I did end up getting my phone back because the city of Boston is full of wonderful, honest people and I was very, very lucky! The man who picked up my phone called the number under Dad and woke (and scared the crap out of) my stepmother in the middle of the night to say he found my phone and I ended up being able to arrange a time the next day to pick it up. Seriously, I was mad lucky.)

So after a lot of screaming LET’S GO RED SOX! and other celebratory cheers and songs we managed to get on the T and I just ended up spending the night at my friend’s house because we got on whatever T came first and we could get packed into and it went way closer to his apartment than mine and at that point I would’ve slept on the asphalt in Kenmore Square and still been the happiest person in the world. (Except for the fact that I still thought I had lost my cell phone forever.)

All in all, it was a pretty amazing night.

And I was beyond thrilled to find out that I could actually go to the duck boat parade! I had work at 11, but I woke up at 7am to get a good spot by 8am, watched the parade come out of Fenway at 10am and was too work on time at 10:55pm. And then drove to Providence that night for a BU hockey game. What a week!

Here are some of the pictures I grabbed from the rolling rally:


A new flag on the block.


I got us an awesome spot where we could see the scoreboard and could watch everything going on inside the Park while we waited the two hours for the parade to start.


A glimpse of the trophy.


In Farrell we trust.


Peddy was literally adorable in that hat.


Gomes and Napoli.




How far we’ve come Lackey.


And Lester.


Papi looking completely badass. And Victorino MIA.




Packed in like sardines, but totally worth it!

I still need to see a Bruins parade in order for my life to be complete, but this was still an amazing experience and it makes me beyond happy that one team could bring a championship back to Boston after the year we have had. And the fact that the day went off without a hitch is even better.

The Red Sox will always have a special place in my heart as my first favorite sports team. My grandparents are from Boston and if there is one thing that I was taught from a very young age, it was to always, always support the Boston Red Sox. My first professional sporting event was to Fenway Park. My first sports gear was a Red Sox shirt and baseball cap. My first undying allegiance will always belong to the Red Sox and I will always hate the Yankees more than any other sports team. I’m so lucky to have witnessed three World Series wins in the past decade. And while nothing will every compare to the 2004 ALCS, actually being in the heart of Boston for a World Series win is a feeling that cannot be compared to anything else in the world.

Thank you, Red Sox! Beard on.

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Hell yeah!!!!

I haven’t been this happy after a hockey game in a long time. Okay, maybe since Game 7 against the Maple Leafs. But still.

What a beautiful night to be a Boston sports fan!

The Red Sox crush the Yankees 11-1 and the Bruins pull off the improbable with a 3-0 shutout win against the freaking Penguins!

So many fan bases that I hate and they all went home crying last night. Yankees. Penguins. Hell, even the Heat!

I don’t even know where to begin on my favorite moments from last night. It started with Hughes intentionally walking Ortiz to load the bases counting on an easy double play from Napoli, but oops…he hit it into the stands!

And then the Bruins kicked in.

That was one of the best games of hockey I’ve ever seen.

I’m not going to lie, I was so nervous going into this game! The Penguins were possibly the best team in the league. They had the best offense, averaging over 4 goals a game in the Playoffs. They had this kid named Sidney Crosby who apparently is the second coming of Christ. Maybe you’re heard of him.

And then something beautiful happened.

It was a scary start to the first period, but then Krejci tacked one on the board. And then absolute chaos/beautifully played hockey ensued for the next 40 minutes with no goals in what should have been a 6-4 game at that point, not necessarily in favor of the Bruins.

Sidney Crosby’s inner 12-year-old came out as he took a cheap shot at Rask on his way to the bench at the end of the period! Seriously? Who does that? Between him, Cooke and Malkin I don’t even know which one I want to get laid out more by the end of the period. Take your pick, Thornton.

And then Krejci, Czech beauty, struck again. (The ACTUAL leading scorer of these Playoffs, in case sports media led you to believe that it was Crosby). Needless to say, Vokoun and the entire Penguins team were rattled. And that was that.

For the first time, I feel really good about this series!

The Bruins got into their heads in the best possible way right off the bat! We were scoring goals, killing off penalties, playing killer defense (welcome back, Sir Chara!), and um…Tuukka. Rask.

He deserved every ounce of that shutout. A gorgeous performance by Tuukka (and the goal posts) against a team  that’s used to scoring 4 goals a game.

Okay, our power play was a little more than lacking, but hey. If that’s the only complaint, I’ll take it. And speaking of thing’s that are lacking…can I go back to bitching about Sidney Crosby?

Yeah, that guy who spent the last minute and a half of the game sitting on his ass in the penalty box after whining his entire way there.

The guy who tried to pick a fight with Chara. Please. I would LOVE to see that! He could step on your head!

The most overrated man in the world of sports right now. Tuukka was certainly put to the test last night, but not by Crosby! He was almost nowhere to be seen. And I loved every minute of it. Watching Pierre interview Horton at the end of the game instead of Crosby was the icing on top of a perfect night! I just wish I could have gotten a close up of the tears running down his face.

Now can we talk about Pierre? And the NBC announcers in general? Think you could show a little more bias?

I think NESN’s Jack Edwards said it best after the Bruins pulled into a 3-0 lead.

Screen shot 2013-06-01 at 11.25.13 PM

Screen shot 2013-06-01 at 11.24.38 PM

But actually.

And don’t even get me started on this SportsCenter tweet:

Screen shot 2013-06-01 at 11.21.17 PM

Excuse me, what?

Were we watching the same game?

That was NOT steal! That was a shutout. A 3-goal game. A complete shutdown of “the best current player in the NHL.” That was no steal, sirs, the Bruins EARNED every inch of that!

My #BruinsIn4 hashtag doesn’t seem like just a funny joke anymore. We can do this. And hopefully as we move on to Game 2, the entire sports world will have had some time to reflect and pull themselves out of Sidney Crosby’s and the rest of the Penguins’ asses.

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A final farewell to the 2012 Red Sox and Boston musings

Well, at least now we’re done with that.

I know I’ve bid the Red Sox farewell about 6 times this season, but now we have all finally been put out of our misery!

And it had a fitting train wreck ending for a train wreck of a season.

But that’s about all i have left to say about that.

Oh, and a HUGE thank you to Mr. Dustin Pedroia. He is the only person on that team who deserves a thank you. No matter the score or the standings, he put one hundred percent of his heart into every game and every inning. And for that, I thank you. Best of luck in the offseason and enjoy your time with your wife and new baby!

Also, here’s a cool Thought Catalog article about you learn from being a Red Sox fan…we all may need a reminder of some of these things now: http://thoughtcatalog.com/2012/what-i-learned-from-the-boston-red-sox/

Okay so, I haven’t done anything that exciting lately. Well besides working two 20 hour/week jobs and attending classes and doing homework and having a social life. But yeah. But my mama’s coming this weekend!! So I should have all sorts of touristy and food-related posts for next week. I’m so excited! I love showing people around Boston. And I feel like it’s one of those cities where you don’t have to “do” anything to enjoy your time. It’s fun enough just to walk around and look at everything. I love it.

I have recently started walking home from my internship every afternoon. I can get in some exercise, save $6 a week on T fare and enjoy beautiful Boston. It’s pretty great. And that’s what I love about Boston, the ability to walk from end to end. It’s only about 3 miles from the harbor all the way to Kenmore. Perfectly walkable. And it’s going to be even prettier once there’s snow on the ground and the Christmasy lights starts going up in the Commonwealth Mall.

My favorite time of year.

Well that’s all for now, but here’s another Thought Catalog article for you: 11 Things You Should Know About Living In Boston. (I’ve kind of developed an obsession with Thought Catalog lately) And I’d just like to add to Number 9 that Pizzeria Regina is, in fact, the best pizza place in Boston. Not Santarpios.

This is all.

Everyone have a great rest of your week!

One last thing: If I never have to see Bobby V’s face again, it will be 7 months too late.

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Is it over yet?

One more game. That’s all. So close.

But seriously? 10-2. A 14th inning loss? Why couldn’t we have forfeited the season a month ago?

I’m praying for a miracle tonight. If you can hear me, Red Sox Gods, please take note.

One win. That’s all I ask for.

The Yankees have the rest of October to look forward to.

We have tonight. And then it’s all over. 162 games. 92/93 of them ending in disappointment. 67%.

If we could end tonight with a miracle win against the Yankees, then at least we could head into what is sure to be a hellish offseason with some semblance of dignity.

Completely humiliate the Yankees in their own park…there’s no better way to end a season than that.

So if you hear me sports Gods…listen up! You let the Pats win this weekend. You couldn’t give Tynes an extra 5 yards on his would-be winning field goal. You took away the NHL! You owe me this.

It’s been fun Bobby V. Have a nice life!

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Farewell Red Sox…Until Next Year

Something strange happened last night on the T. I left my internship around 5:00pm as usual and made the trek to Government Center. I swiped past the turnstiles without a problem and proceeded downstairs to the outbound track. I stood and waited for the train with room to breathe and stretch my arms. When the train arrived, I got on the train without getting punched in the face or shoved aside or slammed into the door. I took one of the many open seats and enjoyed a rather brief and uneventful ride home. I got off at Kenmore with a couple other people and easily made my way to the escalator and rode it up to ground level.

And that was it.

This, my friends, is what a T ride is like without Red Sox fans. Well, let me rephrase, as I’m sure a hefty percentage of the people on board were indeed Red Sox fans and I even saw a couple of hats, but this is what a T ride is like without Red Sox fans going to Fenway.

It is a glorious thing.

The Red Sox season is over…in all ways that really matter. (Please oh please oh please do not let the last series against the Yankees be a complete disaster. At least give the Rays a good chance at beating those bastards!)

We now head into an offseason that will probably be more full of more drama and finger-pointing than ever before.

I must say I enjoyed this stress-free ride. Without having my face shoved into other people’s various body parts. Without people stepping on my feet or inadvertently whacking me in the face. Without 87 tourists shouting across the train, “HEY JOHNNY, WHERE YOU SAY WE’RE GETTING OFF AGAIN?” “KENMORE!” “WHATMORE?” “KENMORE!” “HOW MANY MORE STOPS IS THAT?”. Without little kids whining to their fathers, “When are we going to get there???”

And the knowledge that the rest of my rides for the next several months will be equally roomy.

It is a wonderful thing. Wonderfully bittersweet.

I want to pretend that I don’t really care. I mean, our season’s been over for months now. We knew we wouldn’t make it to October. We knew we didn’t deserve to. But now it’s really here.

The yellow HAWT DAWG, pretzel and PEAnuts guys who roam Fenway (with killer calves and arm strength) are heading home to their families to enjoy extended periods of having the night off.

Jerry Remy’s is trying to figure out how to keep bringing people into the bar Monday-Saturday.

The souvenir shops along Yawkey Way are catching their breaths.

The cab drivers are probably angry that the Patriots don’t actually play in Boston, think of all the business they’d get!

And the Red Sox and company are going home to think “What the hell went wrong?”.

This is the current state of Boston.

Sure, the Patriots are just getting started (and are elated at the news of the real refs finally coming back!) But that’s about it right now. It’s a quiet time in the sports capital of the world. Because even when the Red Sox weren’t worth watching, Fenway was still worth visiting.

And now we’re in a lull. The Bruins won’t be starting. The Celtics regular season is a good month away. And we’ll stand by watching (or more likely for me, hear in passing) the results of the World Series Playoffs and let out a sigh of contempt. It’s been so long since we’ve enjoyed that feeling. Sure, we had 3 playoff appearances (all losses) this year with the Pats, Bruins and Celtics. But when’s the last time you could feel the buzz around Fenway Park as we entered into Game 7 with the Rays or the Yankees?

It’s been a long time.

And I don’t foresee it happening again in the near future. Who knows what next season has in store for us, but dear God please let it be better than this one. It’s been a rough 390ish days for Red Sox Nation and we still have another 180 days to go before we can put it all behind us and start over fresh.

I’ll be spending the next 180 days enjoying my evening ride on the T, praying for the end of the NHL lockout, trying extra hard to care about the Celtics before the Playoffs, and wearing my Giants jersey with pride. I don’t care who stays or goes over the next 6 months, but please!

Bring back the Red Sox we know and love. The Red Sox that were 3 outs from being swept in the ALCS Championships when they came back to win 4 games in a row against the Yankees. And eventually the World Series.

I want them back.


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Another Tuesday Night at Fenway

I know I should’ve let the last game I went to be the last one of this pathetic season. So I could’ve ended it with watching the Red Sox beating the Yankees in the bottom of the 9th.

But alas, when someone gives me tickets to a Red Sox game I just can’t turn it down. Especially one of the last home games of the season. So I went. And cheered for the Red Sox on the outside, and kind of wanted the Rays to win on the inside just because they still have a chance to beat the Yankees. So I’m not too upset by the outcome.

And I went with one of my very good friends who didn’t really know anything about baseball at all…so I was thoroughly entertained throughout the entire thing.

“Wait, so if they throw 4 balls, does he actually get to walk to first base?”

Ohhh dear. Shaking my head.

At least I got her into a Red Sox shirt, seeing as she’s from New York City!

The really cool thing, though, was that right before the game, they did a special tribute to the 2004 World Series champion team. There was a nice nostalgic recap video which made me think back to my 11-year-old self begging my mom to let me stay up late to watch the games (which she wouldn’t agree too…or maybe I would just always fall asleep anyway…the details don’t matter).

I remember the disappointment of falling behind 3 games to none. Me and the one other Red Sox fan in my Northern New York high school were the laughing stocks of the school.

But we never stopped wearing our Red Sox stuff day after day after day.

And then something happened. I’d like to give myself some credit for this because I recall a phone call with my aunt the night of Game 4 where we both predicted that we would come back and win the next 4 games.

And guess what?

I slept through Game 4. Only to wake up the next morning to my mom shaking me saying guess what happened?? Ortiz had saved the day with a walk-off homer in the 12th after an RBI by Mueller in the bottom of the 9th to tie it up.

I also slept through Game 5. Only to wake up the next morning and guess what? Big Papi again. This time in the 14th.

Game 6 was less exciting, but still unbelievable.

And I did somehow manage to stay up for Game 7 and watch Damon hit the grand slam that all but solidified our place in the World Series.

And then it got kind of boring. I didn’t even watch the actual World Series. Beating the Yankees was better than the championship.

Ahhh, memories.

So yeah,  the whole team (well those who could come) rolled in in the Duck Boats (as they were the last time we saw them all together) and paraded around the outside of the field. It was pretty cool. The World Series trophy was there too. And they were throwing out free baseballs galore, but unfortunately we were too far back to nab any.

See the big Sox mural in the middle of the field?? Yeah, it took me 4 innings to notice that. And when you say “Hey, look at the pair of socks in the middle of the field!” people start looking for something totally different than what you are actually trying to point out.

It was very cool. The only real exciting thing about the night, but hey. I still had a good time. You always do at Fenway.

Oh, and of course I got a pretzel…

Because I refuse to go to any sporting event without getting a soft pretzel.

Oh, and of course this happened:

Always my favorite part!

So there it is…second to last home game of the season. And oh what an interesting season it has been. If you had told me a year and a month ago that I would be at a Red Sox game against the Rays in the last week of September and it wouldn’t mean a damn thing, I probably wouldn’t have believed you. But alas. It’s been real, Red Sox. Get your crap together over the off-season and let’s start over with a clean slate, alright?

And dear replacement refs, without the Red Sox infuriating New England fans almost every night as well, all eyes are now solely on you.


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