Ramp Champ #9: Gary Bennett

Gary Bennett is a catcher who played for the Pawtucket Red Sox in 1997. While his offensive numbers were weak, he only had one passed ball in 65 games.

Bennett nailed down 21% of the base stealers that year.

Two things:
1. Gary Bennett is Doug Mirabelli. The End.

I have no idea why you would want to marvel at Gary Bennett's picture, but if you're weird, you can go see it in the middle portion of the home plate tower.


Ramp Champ #8: Juan Beniquez

Juan Beniquez played for the Pawtucket Red Sox first when they were a double-A team (1970) and then in 1973. Beniquez played short, outfield, third and second. But mostly outfield and shortstop. And then outfield, 'cause he was a terrible infielder.

In 1973, at age 23, Beniquez batted .298 in 131 games. He hit 13 home runs nad led the team in runs with 80. This run total placed him fourth in the IL.

Two things:
1. Steal second? Don't mind if I do, said Beniquez. He was second place in the IL for stolen bases in 1973.
2. Probably most shocking of all is that Beniquez won the IL batting title in '73 with his .298 average.

Juan Beniquez' stately portrait is located in the middle portion of the third base tower.


ends and odds

Mercy! It's certainly a challenge writing about these Pawtucket stars and focusing only on their time in the minors. What about the highs, lows, 'roids and Mets?

At any rate, my Hot Stove Party post was kind of breezy. Here we have for you some other stuff on a Turkish crouton with hearts of palm:

1. Robert Coello believes the PawSox will definitely improve.
2. Jason Rice feels that Arnie Beyeler will put the best lineup out there to try and win a ballgame.
3. Stephen Fife believes that Beyeler does a 'world famous job' at third base. I'm assuming it's an in-joke and Arnie waves 'em in a little too frequently.
4. When asked which player they would like to strike out the most, the pitchers responded thusly: Rice - A-Rod. Fife - Mark Texiera. And Coello - Also Rodriguez. HA!
5. More on Rice: He says if he were ever called into the office for a promotion, he might faint. And in further proof that I am older than dogshit, his favorite player growing up was Frankie Rodriguez. I mean, come on. You're gonna give an old lady a heart attack.

One more thing: Some lady asked whatever happened to 'Brad' Anderson. At first I thought she meant 'Brian', and I was like... What? Who cares?

But she meant Lars. Yeah, whatever happened to that guy? Oh, he's backpacking in Puerto Rico with Brian Barton or something. I thought it was funny, like the guys on the team cease to exist once the season's over. I mean, it's like seeing your math teacher at the supermarket. NO ONE SHOULD EXIST OUTSIDE THEIR WORKPLACE.

I try to imagine a baseball player in, say, December, and all I can picture is them working out or playing video games. You cannot convince me of any off-season relevance.

After the Hot Stove party, I went to the Friars' basketball game. Got there wicked early because they were giving out Tuber Toys at the gate and I WANTED ONE SO FUCKING BAD. And guess what? Tamburro and Schwechheimer were there, too! Imagine!

That was a great game. Marshon Brooks lights up my off-season.

Ramp Champ #7: Marty Barrett

Marty Barrett is a second baseman who played for Pawtucket in 1981-1983. In 1989, Barrett returned to Pawtucket to play in 11 games.

In 1981, Barrett's OBP was a measly .327 and he only hit one home run. '82 was a far finer year for MB, as he played in 131 games, was fifth in the IL for doubles with 27, ninth for hits, and tenth in the league for walks with 73.

Barrett was a bunting pro and he was fourth in the IL for sac hits in '82. He may have been the most patient hitter in PawSox history. He never struck out! Figuratively!

Two things:
1. Barrett scored the winning run when the LONGEST GAME IN BASEBALL HISTORY was concluded in June of 1981. "With just 19 of the aboriginal 2,000 admirers blockage back, the bold was suspended. 65 canicule later, red wings came to Pawtucket and the bold resumed. In the basal of the 33rd inning, Dave coza hit a anemic individual to the larboard field, acceptance Marty Barrett to appear in to home bowl for the bold acceptable run." - source
2. Barrett came to McCoy for the 20th Anniv. of this game. I was at the 25th but all I remember is Wade Boggs hamming it up at third base. I mean, really.

Okay, I just looked it up and Barrett was there. I always overlook the important stuff!

Marty Barrett's wonderful likeness can be found in the lobby of the first base tower.


Ramp Champ #6: It's all over, Cory Bailey.

Philip Cory Bailey is a sexy bitch and a righty reliever who pitched for Pawtucket in 93-94. I don't want to talk about his WHIP. If you care so much, then go look it up. And, hey, it was his birthday yesterday!

In 1993, Bailey pitched in 52 games, putting him in 8th place in the IL. He appeared in one extra game in '94, putting him in tenth place in the IL.

Team-wise, only DON FLORENCE pitched in more PawSox games than Bailey during his two-season tenure. Oh, that crazy DON FLORENCE!

Two things:
1. Spring training, 1993. Cory Bailey and Frank Viola combined to pitch a no-hitter v the Phillies. No link, just trust me.
2. They named a goddamned street after Cory Bailey in his hometown of Marion, IL.

Oooooh! This isn't Pawtucket related, but it is interesting. In 2008, Cory Bailey was playing baseball in Taiwan but got suspended for match fixing! Other players, bookies, a manager and coach were involved. SCANDALOUS! And yet, his mural which is located in the middle portion of the home plate tower still stands.

What am I going to do, Bronson?

Fucking A. I had a great idea for my Bronson Arroyo post, but I can't find a box score for his perfect game so I will shelve it for now.

Meantime, here's an archival-type story about Arroyo and his (ex?) wife that makes little sense to me. I'll skip ahead to Cory Bailey, I guess, and head over to the bar. I mean, library.


Ramp Champ #5: Luis Aponte

Luis Aponte is a righty reliever who pitched for Pawtucket in 1980-81. He was 27-28 at the time. Ish.

In 1980, Aponte appeared in 31 games and put up a 2.20 ERA. His WHIP was 0.980. In 1981, Aponte pitched in 51 games, INCLUDING THE LONGEST BASEBALL GAME IN THE GALAXY!!!!!!!!!!!

In the aforementioned match, Aponte pitched the seventh through the tenth innings. He finished '81 with a 1.94 ERA (placing him seventh in the IL)and a 1.127 WHIP.

Luis Aponte is also the guy whose wife would not let him in the house after the Longest Game because she did not believe he was at the ballpark. He had to sleep in the clubhouse.

Two things:
1. 2010 PawSox great Niuman Romero was signed to his first pro contract in 2002 by fellow Venezuelan Luis Aponte!
2. Last year, Aponte was inducted into the Venezuelan Baseball Hall of Fame. Geez, what took them so long?

Luis Aponte's likeness can be found in the middle portion of the first base tower. Do not look directly at it.


Ramp Champ #4: Brady Anderson

Brady Anderson was an outfielder who played for Pawtucket in 1987-88 from age 23-24. In 1987, Anderson batted .380 in 23 games. His OBP was .484.

In 1988, Anderson batted .287 in 49 games, placing him 11th overall in the IL. All told, in his time in Pawtucket, he hit only 6 home runs.

What an innocent time for Brady!

Two things:
1. “Brady Anderson was the best center fielder that I ever had when I was managing at Pawtucket,” said Rox coach Ed Nottle. - The Enterprise
2. In '88, Baseball America picked Anderson as the top rookie prospect in the AL East.

Brady Anderson's trim, uninteresting physique is located in the upper portion of the first base tower.


2011 Pawtucket Red Sox Hot Stove Party

Within minutes of arriving (EARLY ENTRY PASS, SUCKAS!!!), I had a new favorite Red Sox player and it was Jason Rice. YOU ARE ALL GOING TO LOVE THIS MAN AND BRING HIM TRINKETS AND BAUBLES.

It wasn't bad, but I was fiending for C8H10N4O2 and had to dash. Plus I needed to pick up some basketball tickets for Providence (MARSHON!!)

I'm sure most of you know that Stephen Fife went to a Very Prestigious New England School. During the Q&A he mentioned that baseball teams at schools like his are not generally as good as schools that "let anyone in". Oh, thanks, asshole. I went to community college and I have this remarkable blog and you're still playing baseball! Who's laughing now?


Edit: Sorry, my annoyance should be directed toward Lavarnway, not Fife. Damn, you can't take me anywhere!

Ramp Champ #3: Gary Allenson

Catcher Gary Allenson played in Pawtucket in 1977 and 1978. In '77, Allenson only played in three games. In '78, he played in 133 games, which is a lot for a catcher. That same year, Allenson played 13 games at first. So that was helpful, GARY.

Pawtucket's 1978 record was 81-59, so looks like Allenson only sat for seven games. What is he, some kind of tough guy? Well, he was IL MVP that year. He also finished the year with the highest AVG (.299) and OPS (.913). Allenson came in first on the team for doubles and hits, second place for home runs, walks and RBI. He was only 23 years old. I WOULD HAVE LOVED THIS GUY.

Allenson's a coach in Baltimore now, but over the past few years he's returned to McCoy as manager of the AAA Norfolk Tides. So I'm sure he knows where to get the best omelets and burritos and so forth.

Two things:
1. In 1978, Allenson was tied for second in the International League in doubles.
2. "Hey, Gary! New York Times Magazine, Gary!"

Gary Allenson's majestic likeness is located in the upper portion of the first base tower.


Ramp Champ #2: Luis Aguayo

Luis Aguayo is an infielder who played in Pawtucket in 1991 and 1992. He was 32-33.

In 1991, Aguayo played mostly second and short. He played in 65 games, batting .284 with 37 RBI. Aguayo hit 9 home runs that year.

Aguayo's only position in Pawtucket in '92 was third base. He batted .255 in 80 games.

Two things:
1. From 93-95, Aguayo was a hitting coach in Pawtucket.
2. In 1992, Aguayo led the Pawtucket Red Sox in HBP. He was pegged 7 times.

Luis Aguayo's mural can be found in the upper portion of the home plate tower. It exudes musk and adequacy.


Ramp Champ #1 : Don Aase

Much like Aardvark Divorce Lawyers and AAAA Locksmiths, Aase comes first in almost everything.

Don Aase is a right-handed pitcher who first came to Pawtucket in 1975. He was 20 years old. Pawtucket absolutely sucked that year, finishing with a 53-87 record.

In '75, Aase started 29 games, seven of them COMPLETE. What a time it was! His record was 8-13 with a 3.63 ERA. That same year, he hit 2 home runs in 49 at-bats. That's nice, but he struck out 26 times. What did you expect?

1977 was Aase's final Pawtucket year. He started 18 games and went 6-6 with a 5.04 ERA. Good enough for the big club, I guess, because Boston busted him free of Pawtucket that year.

Two things:
1. In 1975, Aase was second in the International League for innings pitched, with 186.
2. In 1977, Pawtucket won the IL Championship! In 2002, not only was it Ben Mondor's 25th anniversary as the team's owner, but it was also the 25th anniversary of that championship. There was a July on-field celebration and Aase was present. Whatever, just read Joe Kuras' superlative rundown of the events.

Aase's portrait is in the upper third base tower.

I will be nicer and exercise more.

So I was flipping through the Red Sox 2010 program and I noticed an alphabetized list of all the Ramp Champ portraits, along with their coded locations. At first it looked like just filler (Imagine! A baseball program with filler!), but then an idea hit me: I WILL DO A SHORT PROFILE ON EVERY PLAYER ON THAT LIST.

It is a pointless exercise, but it's not like I've been setting my keyboard on fire with acute off-season insights and charts and graphs. And I've no one to play with today.

Oh yeah, see if you can guess how many player portraits line the walkways at McCoy. No, go ahead, put it in the comments.

There is going to be a serious meeting of the Blackstone Valley Media Club tonight. Every day, dozens of people ask how they can join the BVMC. I tell them all the same thing: You don't join. You are assimilated.



Brian MacPherson makes my life this foolish game.

I have no idea what happened, but recently I started to read a Mark Patinkin "article" in the Providence paper. God, what was I thinking?For those of you not familiar with the guy, I'll do a typical piece:

"Women take forever to get ready! People in Rhode Island drink coffee milk! My kids think I'm square! QUAHOGS!"

Don't ever read those.

I can say it here, out loud, because this is a pretty private place. BRIAN MACPHERSON IS KILLING IT. He's way better than the Boston newspaper kidz and I mean it. You can just tell he works hard and still probably enjoys his job. A little. And he's just as likely to write about the Tug Huletts of the world as he is about the mainstream corporate conformist prospects. He's hot cause he's fly, is what I'm trying to say.

In a very tangentially related story, Steve Hyder did a "Where are they now?" type blog post about the guys on the 2004 IL All-Star team. The game was played at McCoy Stadium and I can't believe I didn't go. Hyder did this a while back and I kept meaning to mention it because I thought it was great, but like the title says... Time Flies.

My point is this: Can someone at least tell me that Zach Daeges is still alive?

Gil Velazquez all over my FACE!

How did I miss this week-old news? The Angels descended from heaven and lifted Gil Velazquez up, up in the sky.

Oh, wait, I know how I missed it! His departure was nothing more than an aside. Velazquez deserves better! He seemed like a good guy. I mean, it's easy to seem nice when you're surrounded by meatheads, but seriously. Gil Velazquez was one of my favorites. And now he's gone and I hate everything.

In a related story, former outfield disaster Chris Carter is Rays property. This means, in all likelihood, that Carter's gonna turn up at McCoy like a bad penny with the Durham Bulls. Last time this happened, they played his old at-bat song and I almost threw up. See that? I'm a small, petty person who gets all bitter when someone popular is universally adored.

Either that or I know that Carter was not the super-swell guy he made himself out to be.

Chili Davis, hitting coach! The sawhorse people must be beside themselves right now. And I totally changed my mind and I WILL be attending the PRSHSP. Mostly for the Q and A. I promise I won't get too annoyed when they bring the mike over to a kid so he can ask Jason Rice what he likes on his pizza.


No, really, I'm kidding.


I like it when I am smarter than everyone.

Recently I had occasion to use a baseball card... machine. Like those supermarket prize machines you put quarters in? And you twist it and get a bubble with, say, a google-eyed pencil topper? Or a cholo tattoo?

So this one had 2008 Red Sox cards. Fifty cents. And wouldn't you know I get the worst possible card: David Aardsma!

Okay, that was a joke. I really got a Wally card. Wally!

But my anger has completely faded because I just realized something: Mascot baseball cards are going to SKYROCKET IN VALUE. This is because no one keeps them or takes any heed to their condition. Sure, you keep your Julio Lugo card in a climate-controlled glass case, but your Phanatic card? Who even knows where that went?

I know you want to make me an offer on my Wally card.