They Pay Me For This?

Fenway Park.


Fenway_Park resize.jpgIt is the world’s best-looking 97-year-old (and yes, that includes Dick Clark) and today, the Pawtucket Red Sox have the incredible privilege of calling it home.


You never forget your first time right?  My first trip to Fenway was on a high school band trip in the early 1980’s.  Growing up a baseball fanatic near Buffalo, NY, I couldn’t wait to see The Green Monster in person.


The entire Southwestern High School band was scheduled to attend a game against the Chicago White Sox.  Unfortunately, it got rained out!  I was devastated, but somehow convinced Ray Pappalardo – the band director – to allow me and 3 friends to skip the scheduled group activity (Faneuil Hall I think) the following day and go to Fenway on our own for the make-up doubleheader.


Yup, three high school punks were allowed to leave their group on an out-of-town trip to attend a baseball game.  Mr. Pappalardo probably would have been fired in this day and age, but we hopped in a cab at headed to Fenway.


From what I’ve read, Roger Clemens and I apparently had the same experience when we saw Fenway for the first time.  We both climbed out of a taxi in front of a short brick building that blended into the surrounding neighborhood and said, “Where’s Fenway?”


In Clemens case, the cabbie pointed out the light towers as proof that he had taken him to the right location.


I’ve been to Fenway dozens of times since and have the sense of awe and wonder every time I walk through the gates.


The broadcast booth high above home plate is not a great place to see the action – imagine trying to describe a baseball game from the Space Shuttle – but Saturday’s game will be the highlight of my summer regardless of what happens.


We’ll have a magnificent view of the Green Monster, the Citgo Sign, the skyline of Boston, and that beautiful green field.


Don’t tell Ben Mondor or Mike Tamburro, but they don’t have to pay me to do my job for this game.  In fact, I would gladly pay them.


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I can’t thank you enough for reading my blog and sending me your observations to


The July numbers are out for mlb bloggers, and thanks to you, “Heard it from Hoard” has climbed 9 spots in the ratings to #34 in the MLB pro category.  As far as I can tell, that’s #2 in that category for blogs related to the minor leagues.


It’s awesome to know that you’re checking it out.


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After Friday’s dramatic 6-2 win over Norfolk in front of 10,000+ at McCoy Stadium, the PawSox have a 50-61 record with 22 games to go.


That means they would need to go 17-5 to finish with a winning record at 67-66.


Let’s face it, that’s unlikely, but with a lineup that started with Jeff Bailey, Jeff Natale, Chris Carter, Brian Anderson, and Mark Wagner in the top 5 spots, the PawSox are suddenly looking formidable offensively.


And I’m really hoping that John Smoltz elects to come to Pawtucket to work out of the bullpen for a few weeks with the goal of pitching in relief for Boston in September.  As badly as he pitched for the Red Sox, Smoltz was usually effective on his first trip through the order.  I don’t know that I’ve ever met a star athlete whom I respect more than Smoltz, and I hope his Hall of Fame career can still end on a positive note.


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Don’t forget to tune in early for Saturday’s “Futures at Fenway” game.  The PawSox are scheduled to begin at 4:05, but it all depends on the length of the Portland-Bowie game.  The 2nd game of the doubleheader will begin approximately 45 minutes after the first game ends.


One comment

  1. Fenway Bleacher Creature

    Fenway is truly a magical place. Nice stories, an interesting similarity between you and “The Rocket”.


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