A PollCo People Poll

Do you or have you ever tipped a Fenway Park usher? Or is that just a season ticket holder thing? Please respond in the comment section.

Travis Hughes Update

Former PawSox closer-type Travis Hughes was released by the Yokohama BayStars last year mid-August. He is currently a free agent.

Meantime, check out what PawSox Keith has to say about the McCoy Stadium press box. In part, it truly recognizes the incomparable genius of Bill Wanless.

Hey, look! It's Gil Velazquez! Glenn Perkins! I heard he's addicted to birth control pills.


Julian Tavarez was one of my favorites.

So here's a picture of him with Larga Cama and potential male model Daniel Cabrera. For some reason, Cabrera has his pants down. YEAH, BABY!

Also, you know how Chris Carter's been spotted around PVD and Narragansett and stuff? He's been living in Rhode Island. His girlfriend goes to URI. That explains everything.

In a related story, I don't think the PawSox could have made it to the playoffs without one special guy... a man who really produced at the plate. A real big, strong power hitter. A 333 BA, a 1.333333infinity SLG. He walked as many times as he hit, too. He really came up big for Pawtucket!

That man was David Ortiz. Ortiz had three hits and they were all home runs. His contributions can not be overlooked.

Ron Johnson is the opposite of Buddy Bailey

Ron Johnson came to the Red Sox in 2000. He was the manager of the Sarasota Red Sox until 2002, when he was promoted to Portland! Except it wasn't Portland back then, it was Trenton. Portland was still home of the Marlins AA team.

RJ hung out with the Sea Dogs when they moved to Maine and wrangled the kids for a couple of years. Kids like Hanley Ramirez!

In 2005, Pawtucket welcomed a new manager. Where Buddy Bailey was a yeller, a bully, a Lou Piniella type, Ron Johnson was friendly and encouraging and supportive. Total Theo-nomics.

The 2005 PawSox (75-69) did not make the playoffs. Kelly Shoppach cranked out 26 home runs. Tim Kester and Abe Alvarez led the team in wins with 11. Cla Meredith was working it out as a young reliever. Adams Hyzdu and Stern roamed the outfield... some guy named Mitch Stachowsky (who?) played catcher a few times. And 21-year-old Dustin Pedroia was called up from Portland, beginning his ascent into Boston history.

2006 was a bad year for the Pawtucket Red Sox (69-75). Forgettable alumni: Mario Pena, Dustan Mohr, Tyler Minges, Barry Hertzler, Brad Baker... so many more. Boston finished third in the AL East that year, too. So many injuries, so many crappy relievers.

Wait, I'm getting sidetracked here... In 2007, the PawSox record under RJ lost a little bit more, going 67-75. Exciting kids like Ellsbury, Brandon Moss, Jon Lester, David Murphy, Jed Lowrie and Clay Buchholz were on the way up and out. So who cares about wins and losses? Oh, wait, me, that's who! I very selfishly wanted the PawSox to be a winning baseball team and not a player development/preparation machine.

Many times I wondered... how does RJ handle this? Doesn't a manager want the team to win ball games? Doesn't it kill him to blow a game by putting in Keith Foulke for a couple of rehab relief innings? BECAUSE IT SURE AS HELL KILLED ME!!! (see also: Rochester).

Someone asked RJ this question during a hot stove Q&A and he responded thusly: Yes, at first it was hard, but now he understands his role and the bigger picture. As in, when Boston wins, Pawtucket WINS! Even if they lose to the Ottawa Lynx or something. That was a very diplomatic thing for him to say... but was it 100% honest? I can't believe that there isn't one particle of disappointment at a team loss... and what do you say to the youngsters who're still balancing competitiveness with development and training and crap?

So, yeah, that's what Ron Johnson said and he's probably telling the truth. I'll bet his job is really hard, maybe just as hard as managing a major league team. In MLB, the goal is winning ball games. How hard is that? Plus you still have to babysit, which is possibly the most irritating part of the job. No matter where you work, dealing with interpersonal conflict never ends.

In 2008, the Pawtucket Red Sox broke the franchise win record when they went 85-58. They also made it to the playoffs, but without some of their best players, they didn't last long. So that was good.

Ron Johnson often asks "Where are we ordering from today?" at work:
1. This year, Ron Johnson won the J. Vincent Cuddy Memorial Award for... being a good manager, I guess? Some Rhode Island sportswriters gave it to him. Maybe it was recognition for have Jeff Bailey bat leadoff.
2. RJ was offered football scholarships to UCLA and Fresno State, but opted to play baseball.
3. RJ's son, Chris Johnson, was promoted to triple-A in the Houston org. last year. CJ plays third base.
4. RJ enjoys horseback riding at Lincoln Woods, which is like around the corner from me. He should watch out for Marsh Monsters!
5. RJ is returning to Pawtucket in 2009. He could be around for a while.

Ron Johnson is loud, gregarious, friendly, smart, witty... loud. Ask him about any player he's ever coached, and he'll describe the guy as classy, terrific, one of his favorite players, a beautiful person. RJ's also a great public speaker...a very funny and self-effacing raconteur.

Damn straight this guy gets a portrait on the McCoy ramp. Right next to Ellis Burks!
John Flaherty returned to the Red Sox in 2006. He was working on catching Doug Mirabelli during spring training, but decided to just retire.

I had forgotten all about that.


February Is Short, But Long 2009

nothing to do today but shine

I think there are only five players in Fort Myers: David Ortiz, Julio Lugo, JD Drew, and Mike Lowell.

That's only four, isn't it?

Can we send someone down there with a little more imagination? I saw a photo gallery where Chris Carter was identified as Jeff Bailey. Twice. GRANDMA TAKE ME HOME!

Maybe I'll do an Andy Dominique update. I have been meaning to.


2008 PawSox players who probably couldn't spell "Pawtucket"

Mike Bowden
Linc Holdzkom
Jeff Bailey
Dusty Brown
Dave Pauley
Van Every
Mike Timlin
Jeff Corsaletti

"Two weeks and we're still alive!"

The last time I saw OCB he was smoking outside McCoy Stadium.

The last time I saw Craig Hansen he was smoking because I set him on fire.

The last time I saw Tony Gonzalez, he was standing in a souvenir shop in his cleats... and damn, he was SMOKING!!!!

God knows I want Boyd to keep on truckin'. Sometimes I get what I want, but I almost never get what I deserve.

Can we start playing baseball, already?

Rick Medeiros is not signing tonight.

In a stroke of genius, one man has designed a Rick Medeiros baseball card.

Rick can be a really nice guy. I don't have a problem with him. He can be overzealous, allegedly, when it comes to player security. As in, really, does Jon Switzer need an armed escort out to his car after a game?


Denney Tomori update

In January of 2005, the Boston Red Sox signed professional Japanese pitcher Denney Tomori to a minor league contract. He split the year between Portland and Pawtucket, both relieving and starting. He was 37 years old and frustrated with his inability to penetrate Boston's pitching staff. Plus there's no good Mexican in Pawtucket. Damn, this guy could be Marc Deschenes!

In 2006, Yui "Larry Denney" Tomori signed with the Chunichi Dragons for 45 million yen/1 YR.

Denney Tomori currently works for... the Boston Red Sox! He was, at first, an assistant to the Japanese scouting/relations person. He is currently a minor league coach.


Boston Red Sox screw over Devern Hansack

So Devern Hansack, patient and kind, had the opportunity to play in Japan for the Yomiuri Giants for 800K.

Ben Cherington exercised his right to resign Hansack, who will play in Pawtucket for $490,000. Hansack's agent tried to negotiate a release for his client, but I guess it didn't work out.

Cherington insists that Hansack could have the opportunity to play in Boston, but that is bullshit and you all know it. It is more likely that DH will be traded or released, sooner rather than later, yes. He has an option remaining, so... yeah, that's always a freaking picnic.

As a matter of fact, I am Hansack's mommy!


Why blame Grady or Pedro?

Jason Varitek was the guy calling the pitches. Maybe it was his fault.


Abe Alvarez update

Abe Alvarez has returned to school at Long Beach State College (must be like Grant College) to work on getting his degree. In Business, I would imagine. He is also planning to play pro ball in Italy for a year. Dude, say hello to Mike Lockwood!

In a related story, Spain has a national baseball team. I can't believe it.

Also, check out the blog "Baseball Over Here: One man's point of view of baseball from the international angle, and exploring how the game is expanding across the globe." Yeah.

Paul McAnulty: pudimos habereselo mostrado a todos...

Chip Ambres is a better outfielder than Paul McAnulty. McAnulty could be your backup outfielder... with the occasional 1B/DH appearance. But can he pitch in blowout games like Trent Durrington?

Padres fans disliked McAnulty. They were disappointed, overall, with the team in 2008. I know this because I read it on the internet. But there were so many injuries and they did what they had to! They were young! They needed the money!

So yeah, McAnulty. He seems kind of thick for an outfielder. He's built more like a catcher or first baseman. Does well in minors (304/.395/.493 lifetime)... less so in the majors (208/.324/.330 lifetime). He has been compared to Matt Stairs. I'll bet he gets mad ladies! He maybe claims that he wanted to go somewhere he felt needed, which sounds like baloney to me... when players say things like that, it's because they're pissed off at their last team... or because they didn't get what they wanted (usually playing time).

P. McAnulty is potentially competing with Chris Carter/Jeff B for a bench spot. And Brad Wilkerson, should he heal up and contribute.

And anticipating search queries: Paul McAnulty probably has a girlfriend/is married.

PS: As much as I dislike Jeff Bailey being considered an outfielder, he did play out there in 34 games for Pawtucket. Bailey covered first base in 68 Pawtucket games. So mathematically, he was at first for EXACTLY TWICE as many games as he was in the outfield. That Ron Johnson... he sure knows his way around a calculator!

Some baseball players are alcoholics.

I think substance abuse should probably be handled the same way you'd handle a frayed rotator cuff or a groin pull.

I understand that this would never happen. Ever. I know that going on the DL for being a drunkard is pretty far-fetched. And you know what? Many, many injuries are kept secret anyway.

You can't prove that someone is an alcoholic with an x-ray or an MRI. But let's say you're Mike Scioscia... damn sure you know who all your drunken fuck-ups are. He might even have to bench a guy!

My point is this: If you're playing fantasy baseball, you might think twice about drafting a guy with a history of arm trouble or something. But no stat website or scouting report is going to say KEVIN CASH SERIOUSLY CANNOT STOP DRINKING AND IT'S AFFECTING HIS CATCHING ABILITY ... or... COKE AND HOOKERS HAVE CAUSED COLBY RASMUS TO BLOW OFF CONDITIONING AND FIELDING PRACTICE!!!


(I'll state the obvious and say these are fictional scenarios.)

Why is it considered poor taste/judgement to say "Boston should not accept a trade for Player X because he refuses to go to rehab"? That sort of thing will get you eviscerated on a message board! And what if you're on the receiving end end of such a trade? Does the originating team have an obligation to report these things?

Should the Mariners say "We agree to this trade; however, be warned that Minor League Sam parties waaaaay too much and he is disinterested in coaching/training advice."?

I'll bet everyone knows who has problems, anyway. Baseball players talk shit about each other endlessly. Word travels.

I asked one person about this situation and they said that substance abuse information can wind up on medical records. Team doctors have access to this stuff even if GMs do not.

Substance abuse can be as much an impediment to performance as a physical injury. If I want to make informed decisions when playing fantasy baseball, that kind of information would help.

Charlie Zink is a non-roster-farian.

Invited pitchers:

Fernando Cabrera
Enrique Gonzalez
Marcus McBeth
Billy Traber
Charlie Zink

Position kidz:

Carlos Maldonado, catcher who I will call 'Candy' more than I should.
Gil Velazquez, racquetball QUEEN!!!
Jeff Bailey, honorary citizen of Rhode Island.
Chip Ambres, welcome home.
Zach Daeges

This list is incomplete. I omitted hyped prospects because they bore me (and Lars Anderson can suck it). I omitted a few gents I need to get to know better. Ivan Ochoa, for example. Paul McAnulty.

McAnulty. I think he taught history at Cumberland High School. What a dump that place was!


Chris Carter has a weight problem.

So it appears that PawSox "fielder" Chris Carter has LOST WEIGHT for the second off-season in a row! (He was in Providence the other day). Last year it was a virus he picked up in Venezuela. This year, I don't know. But he has lost weight... if you want to go ahead and say it has something to do with steroids, go for it. I'm drunk, but I'm not that drunk.

In a related story, it looks like Jeff Bailey's coming back to Pawtucket. You know those commemorative portraits that're hanging up as you spiral your way up the ramps at McCoy? If Jeff Bailey doesn't get one, I'm changing my name to 'Dandelion' and chaining myself to a tree. You heard it here first.


Licensed team apparel is a big rip-off.

If I want a simple t-shirt with perhaps Papelbon's name on it, it's $30. If I want a team hoodie, it's $55. FOR A HOODED SWEATSHIRT!! It's become less and less amusing to me how arrogant this pricing is.

This is not just at the major league level, either. Pawtucket Red Sox mdse is also prohibitively expensive. Forty dollars for a polo shirt with a patch on it! Sixty dollars for a fleece pullover! I once bought a Red Wings hooded sweatshirt for $40, due to beer-impaired souvenir shopping. How fitting that I ruined my beloved sweatshirt by blowing chunks all over it!

There are other expensive team items you can buy, but t-shirts and sweatshirts seem to be the most outrageous. A plain red t-shirt (heavy duty, I guess) can be had for about ten bucks. If you're a branded t-shirt merchant, how much do you think you pay? Three dollars apiece?

The kicker is that YOU'RE paying THEM to advertise THEIR PRODUCT! And guess what? A lot of the crap they sell also contains a second logo on it... an athleticwear brand or sneaker merchant. I'm not naming names, but you know who I mean.

I own quite a few of these items. But that's it, no more. I'm gonna hack up some cardboard and make stencils and make my own damn t-shirts. It's not gonna be pretty, either. It'll be a generic, fabric-painted mess but what the hell.

Come on, everybody! Come to McCoy stadium in a handmade PawSox tee! ALL YOU ZOMBIES SHOW YOUR FACES!! YEAH BASEBALL!!!!


(By the way, the new PawSox web site sucks. The old one is much better.)

Jason Lane was the lead singer of Warrant

Brad Wilkerson, eh? Read all about it here.

Van Every must be shitting himself.

I'm going to start another blog where I can freely talk about things aside from baseball, even though I'm sure baseball will find its way in there somehow. Imagine, two blogs!

Let me tell you something. There is a part of me that would like to write a serious and informative blog about the Pawtucket Red Sox. Sometimes I try! But I just don't think I am capable of it. And so... onward!

I love you guys.


Buddy Bailey will never die... unless Kelly Shoppach kills him.

Former unpopular PawSox manager Buddy Bailey appears to be the manager for Venezuela's Tigres.

I can't believe I am watching baseball. Baseball in which Adrian Gonzalez is considered dangerous. I hope I see Hunter Jones!

Mexican pitcher Edgar Gonzalez was very exciting. I wish I was in Mexicali right now, in a playero, drinking a Heineken.




Although I attended the PC/Syracuse game last week and it was so exciting and marvelous and it brought me closer to god... although I went to my first Boston Bruins game with some Massachusetts kids and wondered WHY there were so many damn New Jersey fans... although I felt a little crummy last night when the Cardinals lost...


Hot, wet, young Pawtucket Red Sox and slutty McCoy Stadium

2008's Triple-A attendance leader was the PCL's Sacramento River Cats at Raley Field. Number two was Nolan Ryan's little park in Texas, also a PCL team.

The third park and the first in the IL was McCoy Stadium! Suck on that, Columbus! Louisville was close behind, though.

Pawtucket's TV Market rank is 49th out of 100 markets.

The average amount of money spent at a triple-A game was $57.90 for a family of four.

other and another:
1. The Pawtucket Red Sox used personalized URLs as a marketing technique in 2007. They directly mailed people who had purchased two or more tickets the prior year. What a great idea! I am one of the people that visited my own URL and entered a first pitch contest or whatever.
2. The Pawtucket Red Sox have gendered, accessible bathrooms.
3. In 2007, $10,408 in defense department contracts was awarded to the Pawtucket Red Sox. For food services and advertising. This is important for reasons I cannot fathom!
4. GM/VP Lou Schwechheimer donated money to a Democratic political campaign. Raul Martinez! Click and see who Werner, Henry, and Lucchino donated money to.
5. The Pawtucket Red Sox have to petition for a license to conduct athletic games on Sundays. Every year? Now that is some excessive Blue Law-ing!
6. Curious about the PawSox logo trademarking process? Here you go.
7. Patrick Kennedy blew 3K at McCoy last year... campaign finances, I guess.
8. With any luck, McCoy will be able to land Kyle Carney on their grounds crew!
9. Mike Gwynn looks exactly like Richard Dreyfuss!!

McCoy Stadium naming rights should be for sale in 2013 or so. Plus I hate their new website, which is flashy and superficial, yet generic. Like Jeff Corsaletti!

Hunter Jones is spared the hammer of justice.

I think it'd be pretty accurate to say that H. Jones is a left-handed Manny Delcarmen. Or a bullpen-style Kason Gabbard, now with 40 percent more brain tissue!

Favorite Food: Red Meat
Favorite TV Show: Family Guy
Favorite Musical Act: Alice in Chains
Favorite Sports Moment: Red Sox fans forgiving Bill Buckner

I'm still a little pissed off about people like Hunter Jones playing winter ball in warm, Caribbean/South American climates while people around here have to take pain killers all day because they've wiped out on the ice that's covering the entire state. The first baseball player that complains about this will be dead to me.


it's hard to find something good to say about JV

OK. I've never really talked much about Jonathan Van Every, mostly because he's an asshole who strikes out way too much. I mean, I hated Chad Spann, but at least I haven't heard about him being a dick to the fans or anything. The worst thing I could say about Spann, aside from his diminished skills, is that his nickname is Hopper Grass and he hangs out with Moss and Lester and goes skeet shooting or whatever.

Jonathan Eugene Van Every was born in 1979. His life prior to being drafted 29th round by CLE (2000)is of little import. He's from Mississippi, so I reckon he spent most of that time drinking Busch by the old swimmin' hole.

JV split 2006 between double-A Akron and Buffalo. In 2007, at age 27, he kicked off the year in AA but wound up finishing it off in Buffalo. I'll bet it's a lot of fun being 27 in double A!

In 2008, Pawtucket was blessed with Van Every as the new center fielder, replacing Mostly Ellsbury. In 380 ABs, JV struck out 157 times. He walked 54 times and stole 6 bases. So? That's striking out 41% of the time.

His batting AVG that year was .263. (OBP=.360)(SLG=.524)

1. A website is selling Van Every's used road pants for $131. Wow! Does he get a cut of that?
2. Van Every was named IL Batter of the Week for W/E 6.22.08.
3. JV attended the 2009 Rookie Career Development Program, which he described as an 'honor'. I'll bet it was wicked boring. You can watch the video if you look around for it. He does pronounce 'Pawtucket' correctly, which is more than I can say for the freaking GM.
4. Van Every also adds that you have to tip pretty much everyone you come in contact with. Drivers and clubbies and handlers and doormen, all of that. I say, just hire a valet! It pays for itself after nine months!
5. On July 13th of last year, Van Every had a home run call reversed in Virginia. It was ruled a foul ball. He hit a for real homer in the tenth inning of the same game, helping his team to a 2-1 victory over the Tides.

Okay, I guess JV isn't such a monster after all. I mean, who among us can say they've never been a jerk at one time or another?

Except me. I'm nice to everyone, every day.