Dear John Henry:
This is my souvenir ticket stub from Tuesday night, Jon Lester’s second-to-last game in a Red Sox uniform.
I went to Fenway Park expecting no issues getting a seat to watch a last place team. I was so wrong. Unlike other evenings when I’ve purchased Standing Room tix, this game really was sold out. Wall to wall people — a wonderful sign of a faithful fan base.
The line at the Game Day ticket office on Lansdowne Street extended the full length of the Green Monster, meaning that I was guaranteed to miss an inning or two. I didn’t care. I was meeting a childhood friend who I don’t see often and the ballpark is my favorite place to hangout.
But Fenway’s charming atmosphere shattered the moment I handed over my credit card. After I signed the receipt and put the pen down, I heard the ticket agent behind the bulletproof banker’s window mumble something I couldn’t understand. I smiled at him, said “thank you” and started to walk away.
“I SAID, PUT THE PEN BACK UNDERNEATH THE WINDOW!!!” he yelled through the glass.
His angry facial expression and tone would be appropriate if I had been trying to steal something from the Red Sox gift shop. I told him to chill out and walked away, trying my best to forget this unfortunate “Welcome to Fenway.”
Oh, I still had a good time and have a thick skin, but even if I had tried to steal your employee’s 10-cent pen, do you think this is the first impression Red Sox fans should get when they go through the turnstile? Continue reading
The Red Sox Facebook tribute to the players they kicked out the door at yesterday’s trading deadline: Jon Lester, John Lackey, Jonny Gomes, Stephen Drew, Andrew Miller — and two guys they dumped earlier with little remorse: Jake Peavy and Felix Doubront. (Double click to enlarge)
Dear Boston Red Sox: These players were traded. They were not killed serving their country.
Don’t act as if you’re going to retire their numbers tomorrow.
P.S. You made a HUGE mistake getting rid of Andrew Miller. He would’ve made the perfect closer next year.
I was a Red Sox fan growing up, but how could I NOT love Kansas City Royals closer Dan Quisenberry, the guy who led the league in saves throwing underhand!
Handwritten letters are endangered species.
About the only places they live on are birthday cards, thank you notes and summer camp letters, which kids are forced to write because nostalgia keeps their parents signing those checkbooks (another endangered medium).
On the occasion of one of my favorite childhood baseball players, Dan Quisenberry, missing out on the Baseball Hall of Fame, I just wrote a column for The Atlantic reminiscing about the thrill of receiving a two-page letter from him in 1981. (“How Athletes Ensure Immortality: Not all greats make the Hall of Fame. Not all Hall of Famers are remembered. But a player who forges personal connections with fans with live on.”)
You can read the story here, but I’d also like to share the full text of the letter for the benefit of the world’s Kansas City Royals fans — or anyone who still cherishes the power of handwritten letters.
The idea of a professional athlete, let alone the American League’s best closer, taking the time to write a two-page letter to a kid he thought was “creative,” is unfathomable to me as a jaded adult. Sadly, Quisenberry died of brain cancer at age 45 — younger than the age that many of the kids watching him pitch would be now.
Here’s Dan’s letter for you to read for yourself:
Dan Quisenberry Letter – Page 1 of 2 (Double click to enlarge)
** Continue reading
Dramatic action scene of the most critical moment in the T-BONES Steak vs. Cactus Jack’s Restaurant Mascot Race. (Photo courtesy of New Hampshire Fisher Cats)
So perhaps you’ve heard of the 1919 Black Sox scandal? Pete Rose betting on baseball? Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa using steroids?
Hold on to your seat cushion, because I am about to reveal the most outrageous sports scandal in the history of outrageous sports scandals.
But you’ll have to read all about it in New Hampshire Magazine!
That’s a “Wizard of Oz” reference with visions of the Green Monster landing on the Wicked Witch’s ankles.
Last night, as my friend Mark and I were enjoying dinner before the Red Sox-White Sox game, we were told there was a tornado warning in effect for Fenway Park. As we walked from the Prudential Center to Lansdowne Street, the skies got darker and there were a few flashes of lightning.
I LOVE rainstorms and enjoy getting drenched — especially during or after exercising — but tornadoes are a different story.
Mark and I ducked into Jillian’s pub and bowling alley and watched the pregame show on TV until they announced when the game would start. I had a root beer float.
Surprisingly, Fenway was still packed on a rainy tornado-ridden weeknight, but we managed to find seats in the last row of the grandstands behind home plate (with our bleacher tickets).
The weather hysteria was far more enjoyable than the game itself. The anemic Red Sox only managed to get two hits all night.
Here’s the best commentary on the situation:
Sprintin’ Sirloin — Making a dash for the finish line in the New Hampshire Fisher Cats T-Bones vs. Cactus Jacks Mascot Race.
Why is this steak smiling? Proud that New Hampshire has its very own meat mascot in the tradition of the Milwaukee Brewers Famous Racing Sausages and the Pittsburgh Pirates Racing Pierogis, I recently got inside the T-Bones restaurant costume to find out.
I’m sworn to secrecy about the outcome of the race until the August issue of New Hampshire Magazine hits the newsstands later this month. But I can tell you why the steak’s (my) hand is in front of his mouth below. It’s not because he’s bashful or because he’s burping.
It’s because that mesh screen above the steak’s eyebrows — the costume’s only ventilation and visibility window — kept bouncing up and down as I ran, leaving me blindfolded if I didn’t pull the costume taut over my face.
Rock Cats outfielder Eduardo Nunez, on a rehab assignment from the Minnesota Twins, watches his turf get invaded by a steak, a cactus and a fisher cat — all of them in running shoes.
Thanks to the New Hampshire Fisher Cats for humoring me with this athletic opportunity. For baseball trivia buffs, that’s Minnesota Twins “Super-Utility Man” Eduardo Nunez watching the race action above as he pretends to be focused on his warmup tosses. We also ran straight past Twins outfielder Aaron Hicks, who was on rehab with the Rock Cats as well.
More to come…
Biggest Loser Celery in the produce section of my local Walmart.
Are YOUR vegetables endorsed by a reality TV show?
I tried contacting the American Celery Council for statistics on celebrity-endorsed celery, but that trade organization tragically appears to have fizzled out in the early 1990s.
Walmart’s celery bullet points, however, are very helpful.