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What makes Fenway Park special?Each stadium in the MLB has its own particular icon that makes their venue unique. Fenway Park is home to one of the MLB’s most recognizable stadium features that truly separates it from any other stadium in the league. Not only is Fenway Park the oldest ballpark in the MLB, but it is home to the famed leftfield wall, The Green Monster. The Green Monster was part of the original construction of Fenway Park, which opened in 1912. It is currently the tallest wall among MLB fields, standing at thirtyseven feet, two- inches, and its scoreboard is still to this day updated by hand from behind the wall.
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Boston Red Sox Details
2016 Red Sox OutlookThings are looking up for the Boston Red Sox in 2016 as they acquired one of the best pitchers in baseball, David Price. The Red Sox surprisingly finished last in the AL East in 2015 but will look to be major contenders in 2016. This season is also big for the Red Sox and fans because Red Sox icon, David Ortiz, announced that 2016 would be his last. With a solid roster, Boston may once again be a strong playoff contender.
Boston Red Sox Ticket InformationA Boston Red Sox game at Fenway Park is a must-see live experience. You will be in a historic ballpark that has seen a ton of exhilarating baseball throughout its existence. The Red Sox play an entertaining style of baseball that includes a high-powered offense and stellar pitching performances. Come join the thousands of ecstatic baseball fans at Fenway Park. Get your tickets today!
The Red Sox treat every game as a battle and they have a never-say-die attitude. Their gutsy performances have captivated the city of Boston and won them many loyal fans. Their lineup is mixed with talented youth and veteran leaders as they continue their success in the difficult AL East division. Don’t miss your chance to see this thrilling MLB action for yourself!
While the Red Sox entertain you on the field, the legendary Fenway Park will complete your amazing experience. Home of the Red Sox since 1912, it is the oldest ballpark in Major League Baseball. It has many famous features including The Triangle, Pesky’s Pole, and the Green Monster. The electric atmosphere in the crowd is also known throughout the league as being one of the best. Pick up your tickets to Fenway Park now!
Power hitting, spectacular pitching, and an amazing ballpark are all staples of Boston Red Sox baseball. Join the passionate Boston crowd as the “Bo Sox” take on some of the best competition the MLB has to offer. This entertaining team is always a popular subject to discuss, from their storied history to their outstanding current lineup. Be a part of Red Sox baseball and get your tickets right away!
Sockin’ it in Beantown: A Brief History of the Boston Red SoxThe Boston Red Sox began play in 1901 as a charter member of the American League. Originally referred to as the Boston Americans, the team would adopt the name Red Sox in 1908. The club can lay claim to one of the most passionate fan bases in all of sports, home games at Fenway Park are consistently sold out. The franchise has contributed several of the most memorable moments in all of MLB history, captured thirteen AL Pennants, eight World Series Titles and has had twelve players enshrined in the Hall-of-fame.
The club and their fans would enjoy early success, winning five of their eight World Series in their first eighteen years. Early stars included Cy Young, Tris Speaker and a young Babe Ruth. Following their victory in the 1918 World Series, the club would make one of the most infamous transactions in all of sports history. Babe Ruth was sold to the rival New York Yankees, going on to become one of the greatest baseball players of all-time. The transaction would set the club back drastically and it is widely believed to have cast a pall over the entire organization.
The club entered a dark period in their history and would endure a postseason drought that would stretch until 1946. From 1922 through 1932, the Sox would finish in last place nine times. Ted Williams would join the club in 1939 and begin his prolific career. Williams is regarded as one of the best hitters of all-time and the last Major Leaguer to bat over .400 for a season – finishing 1941 with a .406 batting average. The Sox would return to the World Series in 1946, losing to the St. Louis Cardinals in seven games.
Boston would fail to capitalize on their AL Pennant winning season of 1946 and begin another postseason drought. For the next twenty seasons, the Sox would have only two second place finishes to hang their hats on, finishing largely out of the running in most of the campaigns. 1961 would see the debut of another franchise icon as Carl Yastrzemski would join the club. Yaz would go on to win the triple crown in the magical season of 1967. The Sox would finally return to the World Series that season, again losing to the St. Louis Cardinals in seven games.
The red Sox would remain competitive throughout the 1970s but would have several heartbreaking near misses that would see them out of the postseason each year except for one. The 1975 squad was able to catch lightning in a bottle, winning 95 games and sweeping the Oakland A’s in the ALCS. A potent Sox offense that included Jim Rice, Fred Lynn, Dwight Evans and Carlton Fisk would head to the World Series to face the Cincinnati Reds. One of the most memorable series in history would follow as the clubs battled to a decisive seventh game, won by the Reds 4-3. The talented Sox squad was unable to achieve a postseason berth for the remainder of the decade.
The 1980s would see the Sox fall to the back of the pack and the retirement of Yastrzemski in 1983. Wade Boggs and Roger Clemens would join the club and the Sox would again develop into a contender, returning to postseason play in 1986. After defeating the California Angels in seven games to win the ALCS, the Sox would head to the World Series to face the New York Mets. Boston and their faithful would find themselves involved in another thrilling World Series. After an epic collapse in extra innings of Game 6 when they were one out away from winning the game and the series, the BoSox would fall to the Mets in Game 7 and prolong their World Series Title drought.
Boston would return to the ALCS in 1988 and 1990 and be swept both times by the Oakland A’s. Three more playoff appearances would come in the mid and late 90s, none were successful as the Sox lost in the 1995 and 1998 opening rounds and fell to the New York Yankees in the 1999 ALCS. The club would finish in 2nd place each of the next three seasons and fail to reach the postseason. The Sox would qualify as a Wild Card in 2003 and make it back to the ALCS, falling again to the Yankees – this time in seven games.
The 2004 squad again qualified as a Wild card team, defeating the Anaheim Angels in the ALDS to set-up another meeting with the Yankees in the ALCS. The Yanks pounded the Sox unmercifully to open the series, including a 19-8 drubbing in Game 3, and jumped out to a 3-0 lead. The Sox were left for dead, but a dramatic turnaround beginning in Game 4 returned hope to Red Sox Nation. The bat of David Ortiz would secure victory in Games 4 and 5, while the arm of an injured Curt Schilling would pitch the Sox to victory in Game 6, setting up a dramatic Game 7 with their rivals. The historic comeback was completed with a decisive 10-3 victory in Game 7, sending the Sox to the World Series and vanquishing the supposed ‘Curse of the Bambino’ in the process. The Sox would ride the momentum into the World Series and sweep the St. Louis Cardinals to earn their first title in 86 years.
Times are different in Beantown, with that comes heightened expectations. The Sox have since added World Series Championships in 2007 and 2013, Red Sox Nation expects to be in contention each year. Franchise stalwarts Ortiz and Dustin Pedroia have welcomed the bats of Hanley Ramirez and Pablo Sandoval to the lineup, while the veteran rotation led by Clay Buchholz promises to keep the BoSox within striking distance throughout the year. Sox faithful continue to pack Fenway Park, drawing over 2.8 million fans each season since 2004 and the venue remains as one of the last of the old-time ball parks.
RECENT RED SOX DISCUSSION
Boston Red Sox | Episode 301CROWD: Happy birthday, Fenway Park.
Announcer: Boston Red Sox. Wouldn’t it be great if you could get a PhD in life through baseball? Welcome to Baseball PhD, a tour company for your brain. Thirty major league teams, 100 places to see. Let’s touch them all as we make the road trip of a lifetime. It’s a beautiful day for baseball.
ED: Hi, I am Ed Kasputis.
FARLEY: I’m Farley Dillinger.
MARK: And I’m Mark Rantilla.
ED: We’ll park the car in Harvard Yard and sit back as we say happy birthday to Fenway Park. Welcome to Baseball PhD.
MARK: Fenway is only 103 years old.
FARLEY: Well, welcome to season 6. This year, we’re releasing each weekly podcast every Monday instead of every Friday. Guys, what a difference a year makes. Last year, we saluted the Boston Red Sox as the defending world champions. Then in 2014, they laid an egg and only won 71 games. The million dollar question for 2015, will they resurrect themselves and be a great team now that it is an odd numbered year and the San Francisco Giants are not eligible to win the World Series? Term limits for champions.
ED: That’s right. Since you picked them, I suspect you think that that’s what’s going to happen.
FARLEY: I’m praying to Boston every day. Now, Professor Bukiet, he’s predicting that they only win 79 games. That’s how I catch the evil mathematician. I have a gut feeling that Big Pop A, the Panda, Hanley Ramirez and other key players are going to, if they don’t win the AL East, they will make the playoffs. That is my hope. We’ll see how that evolves. The Yankees aren’t the Yankees. The Orioles, I just keep, I don’t know, I get it wrong and I guess I want to stick to my lie. I don’t think they’re going to win, but last year they won 96 games.
MARK: Right, right.
FARLEY: Which was very, very impressive.
MARK: Professor Bukiet thinks the Yankees are going to outperform the Red Sox this year, and I have a hard time imagining that. I think the Red Sox will do better than his predicted 79, in the low 80’s, but I don’t think low 80’s gets them into the playoffs.
ED: I agree with that.
FARLEY: Well sure, low 80’s doesn’t get anybody into the playoffs. But your assumption is wrong. They’re not going to be in the low 80’s.
MARK: Well, we’ll see.
FARLEY: I think they’ll be in the low 90’s.
MARK: No, no, no, no.
ED: Wow, you’re dreaming big dreams.
FARLEY: Red Sox rule, OK. Fenway Park rules. Baseball PhD listeners, if you have not been to Fenway Park, mortgage the house, sell the youngest kid, go to Beantown and see. You know how Mark talks about Kansas City compensating pure baseball? Fenway Park is pure baseball.
MARK: No, no, no, no.
FARLEY: Pure baseball.
ED: No. Except that it’s an American League team.
MARK: No, not only that, it’s got a wall in left field. I mean, how is that pure baseball?
FARLEY: Learning to play off the wall.
ED: That’s right. You got to play the karem. And now they’ve got a garden.
MARK: This is not billiards.
FARLEY: You’ve got Pesky’s Corner in right field.
ED: Right, right.
FARLEY: You got all kinds of character. And Baseball PhD.
MARK: That’s quirky baseball, not pure baseball.
FARLEY: They made the quirky at AT&T Park. They reinvented what they had at Fenway by doing kooky outfield dimensions at AT&T. And I like it. I like it.
MARK: That’s why I like Kansas City, because it’s pure baseball.
ED: No. It’s the way the game should have been played.
FARLEY: Baseball PhD’ers, if you want to be in touch with Grandma or Grandpa, go to Boston, go to Fenway Park, sit in the seats. If you don’t fit, that’s Grandma and Grandpa saying you’re eating too much processed food. You got to get thinner. That’s the one thing. It’s like holy smoke, they were a different breed of humans in 1912 when they opened.
ED: That’s a good question. Do all ballparks have a uniform seat size?
FARLEY: They don’t have a uniform outfield size or a seat size. And, I want to live in a country where they can have that variance. I don’t want the government mandating that they got to have a 32 inch wide seat.
ED: I’m going to guess, well, I don’t know if there’s maybe just one manufacturer, but I’m going to guess that the Midwest seats are wider then.
FARLEY: No, they can make them any size they want any place they want. It’s just formed plastic.
ED: And the great people of Boston, they look like the great people of Cleveland. It’s not like we got skeleton people or anything in Boston. Boston, I would say it’s the greatest college town in America. Harvard, MIT, Boston College, I mean premiere institutions. Wouldn’t you say that, Mark?
MARK: I think it’s right there
ED: It edges New York City.
MARK: Oh no, New York isn’t a college town at all.
ED: Other than Columbia.
MARK: Yeah, there’s Columbia and NYU and Fordham and stuff, but there’s no concentration of college campuses that New York is not even remotely a college town. But Boston certainly is, and I really don’t know where else you would go that would match that. I mean, people might say Columbus and Ann Arbor and, you know, those are great college towns, but they’re not great college towns in the same way Boston is.
FARLEY: Right, no I agree. I have no problem putting that mantle of success or honor upon Boston.
MARK:No, hey, we’re standing here in Cleveland. I’m a diehard Ohio State fan. But if any of my children could go to MIT or Harvard, even though I think it could be left-leaning, I would say
FARLEY: Wait a minute. Could be?
MARK: It is, it is. I would say
FARLEY: Not left leaning, left falling over.
MARK: OK. I would give them like a 3-month intense course on how to fight liberalism, but I would say you still need to go to either MIT or Harvard, because those are world class learning institutions. And you can still watch the Buckeyes play sports, but Harvard or MIT, I’d give my right arm to have been able to attend that. Maybe not my right arm to pay for someone else to attend it, but you know. A couple years ago when I was at Princeton doing research on the Moe Berg podcast, I ran into a man, we were walking down the street. I go, what’s your allegiance to this institution? He’s like, I pay this place $55,000 a year for my kid. That’s it, this place is killing me. So Ivy League educations are pretty darn expensive. Now, Farley, who won the first World Series?
FARLEY: Boston Red Sox.
MARK: Who’d they beat?
FARLEY: The Cubs.
FARLEY: No, sorry.
MARK: Pittsburgh Pirates.
ED: Beat the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1903. Just like the Cubs, the Red Sox were one heck of a team from 1901 to 1918. And then they went on a drought. In fact, their drought at one time got to 86 years, which was longer than the Cubs, no, now the Cubs are over 100.
FARLEY: Something like that.
ED: OK. I mean, what are the odds, Professor Bukiet? Get out the beads, let’s figure it out. And then there was the curse of the Bambino. And who’s the Bambino?
FARLEY: Babe Ruth.
ED: Babe Ruth. And in my mind’s eye, he is the greatest Major League baseball player of all time. Does anybody disagree?
ED: So they got rid of, I won’t say his name, but they got rid of that guy of that generation. Alright. So you’ve never been on a Fenway tour, Farley. For our Baseball PhD listeners, normally, when the Rolling Stones aren’t in Boston, they do tours like every hour on the hour while the sun’s up. Pretty good. Part of your Fenway experience, do that. I also did the Green Monster tour, where they let you watch batting practice sitting at the Green Monster. The Green Monster, Mark, on my bucket list I’ve got to buy a Green Monster ticket. They’re a little, they’re pricey, but it is actually kind of intimate sitting up on top of that wall for a game.
MARK: I’d like to sit there, too.
ED: OK, well then you and I will figure out how to do it and then we’ll send pictures to Farley and Farley’s in Chicago wondering when his Cubs are going to play the Red Sox. So what the. Alright, enough teasing of Farley. What’s Fenway Gardens, Farley?
FARLEY: So this is interesting. This is something new. They’ve opened up a rooftop garden to serve home grown concessions. All of these ballparks are really doing some focus with their food now, and so right here, let’s see, I’m not exactly sure what part of the stadium this is, but it’s kind of, this is over in the back side behind the green wall, right?
ED: I would hope.
FARLEY: Yeah, there’s a nursery there where they grow regularly, they grow seasonal stuff, but the staples are arugula, green beans, broccoli, carrots, cucumbers, eggplant, kale, lettuce, pea shoots, sweet peppers, tomatoes, basil, chives, cilantro, mint, oregano, parsley, rosemary and thyme.
ED: Are they just growing stuff to be politically correct?
FARLEY: No, but they’re using it, they’re using it on their concessions. I mean, it’s kind of cute, it’s something kind of nice to look at.
ED: You know what I think? I’ll take my hot dog with stadium mustard.
FARLEY: It’s gimmicky for sure, but I don’t think it’s bad.
ED: You’re not offended.
FARLEY: I am not.
ED: OK. Mark is offended.
MARK: No, I just think it’s pretty much a non-starter. It’s pretty much a useless exercise.
ED: I agree with Mark, and I’m going to have to abide by my Baseball PhD contract to be controversial. I’m offended.
FARLEY: Well, I will say that it does say here that they plan to use it to help serve home grown concessions during games and Fenway events, but also use it to educate local youth on healthy eating and the importance of environmental preservation. Well, who could be against that? Holy cow. Get it? Sorry. See what I did there? It was funny.
ED: Alright. Now, in the daily mail, just when you think you’re doing good and you’re being healthy.
FARLEY: Right, here’s the transition, right here.
ED: There’s a new
ED: Eating disorder, and what is it called, Farley?
FARLEY: It is called orthorexia nervosa.
ED: It sounds like Harry Potter.
FARLEY: Orthorexia nervosa!
ED: Or a sophisticated Greek swearing at you. But anyway, what is orthorexia nervosa?
FARLEY: It’s a health food eating disorder. You can only eat health food and you become obsessed with only eating healthy foods.
ED: So if we abducted somebody with orthorexia nervosa, put them in a van and made Mark hand feed them hot dogs with stadium mustard
FARLEY: They’d rather die.
ED: Or be water boarded.
FARLEY: It would be torture. It would be probably equivalent to water boarding.
ED: I guess what we’re learning in life as we measure everything is everything in balance. In the past year, I’ve lost 50 pounds. I’ve become very nutritionally aware. But, taken to an extreme, you can get paralyzed. When I go to a ballpark, there’s nothing healthy to eat at a ballpark. And you just have to
FARLEY: They have the field of greens at Progressive Field now. The field of greens. And they have veggie burgers. Did I not mention those? They have veggie burgers and green salads and healthy eating stuff there.
FARLEY: Yes, it’s called the field of greens.
ED: Well, I’m going on April 15th, so I’m going to look for the field of greens. Will I be able to look at my deceased dad and ask to play catch with him?
FARLEY: I don’t think so.
ED: Hey, dad. This is not an Iowa cornfield.
MARK: Oh my God.
ED: I’ll call the catch, and he’ll go son, how about some Thousand Island dressing? OK. But alright, in this article
FARLEY: Well, here. Somebody who has it is quoted as saying, “All I could think about was food. But even when I became aware that scrambling in the dirt after raw vegetables and wild plants had become an obsessions, I found it terribly difficult to free myself. I had been seduced by righteous eating.”
ED: I think maybe they got seduced by leftist eating, you know?
FARLEY: There you go. He grew up in New England and now lives in San Diego.
ANNOUNCER: Up next, Ed interviews Mr. Sports Travel about Beantown. Baseball PhD is now on YouTube and Flicker. View our videos on YouTube. The address is simple: YouTube.com/baseballphd. You can see our road trip pictures on Flicker. Our Flicker address is just as simplED: Flicker/photos/baseballphd. You can find the links to both of these sites under the My Links section of our website, www.baseballphd.net.
ED: Hey, great Baseball PhD hello to Mr. Sports Travel, as he stands in San Diego. He grew up in Fenway Park. Let’s talk about Fenway Park. How magical is Fenway park?
SPORTS: Well, I’ve been lucky to see baseball in more than thirty countries on six continents, pretty much every minor league, independent league ballpark, tons of college ballparks, every MLB park, and there’s nothing like Fenway Park. So I think that answers it right there.
ED: I agree. In fact, Baseball Phd listeners, I think the last time I was there was August 2012. Fenway Park is so magical, don’t go for just one game. Go there and go see a couple or three games in a row. It’s that special. The fans are that knowledgeable. The neighborhood is that great. Take a tour. Go up on the Green Monster, see capitalism at its finest as the Red Sox are selling tour tickets like every hour on the hour and the tours are packed.
SPORTS: Yeah, I agree. If you can see a three-game series, you get as close to being a local person as possible. And you know, during those three days there’s so much to see in Boston that that would be the ideal situation if you could do it.
ED: And let’s talk about the things to see in Boston. What are your favorites, especially if you’re going to be there for three days, and let’s emphasize you don’t need a car.
ED: Don’t buy a car. Just fly into Logan and then take the subway. Where would you even stay? I mean, I think historically I’ve stayed at that Howard Johnson’s that is so close to Fenway that if there’s a night game, the lights are just shining in your windows. But that’s about the only hotel that I see that’s like touching the edge of Fenway.
SPORTS: Right, right. And that’s because, you know, Fenway is a neighborhood. It’s pretty much a residential neighborhood. Two options, basically. If you, if budget is no object and you want to be in the heart of the city, stay in the Boston Commons downtown area. The benefit of that is you’ll be in the heart of the city, it’ll be easy for you to get around, and you’ll really be retracing Boston history. If you don’t have those funds and you want to save some money, then you’re going to have to probably stay a little bit out of town. And depending on how far out of town you are, you might need a car. Although I don’t recommend it because obviously, the big joke growing up was Fenway no Park, because there is, there’s no parking practically anywhere. And so when you do park, you got to pay out the nose.
ED: I think when I went I actually got a nice Embassy Suite room for a deal at the airport. And I didn’t mind taking the subway. In fact,
SPORTS: Right, so that’s an option, that’s an option.
ED: What’s the official name of the subway in Boston again? Refresh my memory.
SPORTS: The T. They just call it “the T.”
ED: The T.
SPORTS: Capital letter T. T as in Tom.
ED: The T, right. So you know, and I had a great time. I went whale watching and retaught myself that I get seasick and that I could never get in the Nina, Pinta or Santa Maria and discover a new world. But it is amazing. When you’re out there and you’re surrounded by whales, it’s like wow. I didn’t know these guys were having this much fun. This is more than just a National Geographic video. They’re right here. They were grey whales, and you know, to stir our patriotism, go to Boston Harbor and say wow, there were men here that were ready to fight for like a 2 percent tax. And we’re paying like 50 percent of what we make and we’ll never
SPORTS: Right. I mean, when you go to Boston, especially if you’ve not been there before, in addition to getting a baseball history lesson, you’re basically getting an American history lesson.
SPORTS: And you know, if you’ve been to Boston before you may have seen these sights, but if it’s been a number of years it’s always nice to go back and see the sights again, because you do get a sense of patriotism when you’re in Boston because of all the tremendous events that happened in the early history of the country.
ED: Right. Now, let me test your knowledge on if you’ve really been everywhere. Have you been to a Boston Marathon?
SPORTS: I have not been to a Boston Marathon. That is actually one of the things I’d like to go to at some point in my life. I certainly won’t be participating in the Boston Marathon, although I was a good athlete growing up. I did letter in cross country. I’ve never run 26 miles nor, frankly, do I have any interest. But I’d like to see the event.
SPORTS: And I’d like to go see a Patriots’ Day game.
ED: I agree.
SPORTS: So that is one of the things, amazingly, that Mr. Sports Travel has not done.
ED: Well, I haven’t done it either. It’s on my bucket list. Six months ago I would have told you I was going to do it this month. No, I’m not going to do it this month. But I’ve got to go. And, if it’s summertime, June, July, August, you know, Patriots’ Day is always in April. If it’s summertime, now that I know what I know, I got to get to the Cape Cod League.
ED: And see a great collegiate summer baseball wood bat institution.
SPORTS: Yep, yep.
ED: How far do you think, because you’ve been to the Cape Cod League, correct?
SPORTS: Yes, many times.
ED: And I have not. How far is that from Boston?
SPORTS: Well, a lot of it depends on when you’re leaving, especially in the summertime, because the traffic can be quite horrendous.
ED: No, no, no, like my iPhone says, as the crow flies. How far is it from Boston to Cape Cod?
SPORTS: It’s a good couple of hours.
SPORTS: So there’s two recommendations. One is you could take a bus to the Cape, and then rent a car. You’re going to need a rental car while you’re on the Cape. Or you could get your rental car and then drive it out to the Cape and drive it back. The biggest thing is, understand the traffic patterns. Don’t drive on Fridays, that’s the worst day to do it, especially in the summertime, and on the weekends. Because all the Bostonians are going to the Cape. And if you’re going to go out to the Cape, you know, make the investment. Spend at least three or four days there, because beyond just the baseball, the beaches are very nice. It’s a very historic part of the state, and it’s very pretty. Also, watch your wallet, because in the summertime it’s very expensive. So, but it’s worth seeing, it’s definitely worth seeing.
ED: And refresh my memory, Martha’s Vineyard, that’s on the Cape, correct?
SPORTS: No. Martha’s Vineyard is an island off the coast of Massachusetts that has a team in a different summer collegiate baseball league, the NECBL, which is like the next tier down or a couple tiers down from the Cape. But Martha’s Vineyard is beautiful to see, as well. I think if you’ve never been to the Cape and the islands, and that’s where Martha’s Vineyard is referred as an island, and Nantucket’s another island, I would go to the Cape first, and then if you go back to Boston in the future then you go out to Martha’s Vineyard or Nantucket. Unless you have a lot of time on your hands.
ED: And if my memory serves me right, isn’t there a famous poem about Nantucket? Not that I know.
SPORTS: Well, Nantucket’s very historic just like Martha’s Vineyard is.
SPORTS: When you’re talking about that part of the United States, New England, you know, this is the oldest part of the country.
ED: Right, the Pilgrims.
SPORTS: So you’re getting, again, not just a baseball lesson but a history lesson. Here’s another thing I’ll throw out at you, and this would really probably be only for folks that rent a car and they’re doing a ballpark trip through the Boston area. And I’m going to stump you, Mr. Baseball Phd.
SPORTS: What is the oldest field, not ballpark, field still in use in the United States of America, and where is it located?
ED: Oh, I think it’s in Boston. In my memory I’m saying to myself, are there some statues of famous ball players there? Did the Red Sox at one time play there, and then they moved?
ED: Alright, so educate me.
SPORTS: It is in the Boston area, but it’s in the suburbs and it’s in the town of Clinton, just like our former President who liked interns.
SPORTS: And its first baseball game was in 1878. Now, it’s not a field with stadiums and you know, it’s just a field, OK? They play Little League there now. They’ve been playing baseball on that field in the same dimensions since 1878. It’s in Clinton, Massachusetts, a suburb, it’s called Fuller Field. And the Guinness Book of World Records has recognized it as the oldest baseball grounds in the United States of America.
ED: Wow, baseball folklore says that should be in Cooperstown.
SPORTS: Right, folklore.
ED: Yeah. But the folklore doesn’t line up sometimes and we got to go from there.
SPORTS: Well, you know also, out in the Berkshires in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, the town of Pittsfield, which also has a summer league team, they had one claim that they were the first place baseball was founded and all that. So there’s the issue of debating when the game started, but as far as an actual field, the same field, the dimensions haven’t changed, home plate’s at the same place, Fuller Field in Clinton, Massachusetts.
ED: Now, would you agree that Boston is the greatest college town in the universe?
SPORTS: Yes, I would. But you know, I’m biased, because I grew up in Hartford, Connecticut, which is not the best college town in the United States of America, and I had a good friend of mine that went to BU, and BU is one of the great party schools in college. And I would go up there and party my butt off, and BU is right in the heart of the city. But yeah, I would say so. I’d say Madison and Austin are also among my two favorites.
ED: OK. And our condolences to Madison, Wisconsin, for just having lost the NCAA championship game. And Austin
SPORTS: Choke would be a better word. But anyway.
ED: What’s that now? Go ahead, Mr. Sports Travel, I missed your joke.
SPORTS: I was going to say they choked. They should have won. But anyway.
ED: Yeah. I perceived that they were a very, very good team, and I can’t write a term paper on why Duke is the champion. They just didn’t look it. Maybe they won the French bicycle race way. Everyone focused on Kentucky, then when Wisconsin beat Kentucky, everyone forgot about Duke, and now Duke kind of like won and they didn’t have any spotlight on them. I don’t know. But have you ever been to any sporting events at Harvard? Or is that an oxymoron?
SPORTS: No, no, I have, I have. I’ve been to, and that’s something that also is great about Boston, is because it is a college town and because it is one of the older parts of the United States, you have so many beautiful campuses. Harvard would definitely be the number one campus to see. I’d say Boston College would be second. Harvard, right across the river in Cambridge, the T will take you there. I’ve been to a football game, which is one of the oldest football stadiums still around, the Harvard is in the football subdivision, and then I’ve also been to a basketball game at their basketball venue, which is not as nice. And then I’ve been to a hockey game. But one sight to see is the football stadium. Because again, it’s part of American history and how stadiums have changed so much. So that would be something to see at Harvard. And then second from Harvard, go out to Chestnut Hill and go to Boston College, which is just a gorgeous campus. I mean, they have a football stadium there but it’s nothing terribly unique. But the campus is beautiful.
SPORTS: And it’s right off the T, as well.
ED: And let’s not forget about MIT.
SPORTS: Right, MIT is in Cambridge as well, near Harvard.
ED: Right. And they’re so smart they don’t have a football team, because they understand what head injuries are all about.
ED: They’re ahead of their time. They’ve been cutting edge for a hundred years. Any last thoughts on the great city of Boston? If I’m going there for three, four days, what else should I do? Boston Commons, isn’t that the Central Park of Boston?
SPORTS: Pretty much, yeah, pretty much. And that’s the one that’s advertised pretty heavily in the tourist brochures. I’ll throw out two things that may not be advertised if you’re a sports fan. The first one is that if you’re a fan of basketball or hockey and you want to see an old, historic venue, go to Northeastern University, it’s right in the heart of the city, you can take the T to get there or buses, and it’s called Matthews Arena. It’s a really old, historic arena. They don’t build them like that anymore. And the second thing you could do would be there’s a museum, a sports museum on New England sports, heavily focused on Boston, at the current home of the Bruins and the Celtics inside there. It’s called the New England Sports Museum or something to that effect. And that’s worth a couple hours of your time. Especially if it’s raining outside or it’s kind of overcast. So those would be two other things that probably aren’t as advertised in the tourist brochures that I would see that are right in the heart of Boston. You can get to these on public transit.
ED: And let’s not forget, we’ve got to honor the Super Bowl champions. I might be tempted to go and what, is Gillette Stadium also in Foxborough?
SPORTS: Right. No, the challenge, well, here’s the good thing. The good thing about where the stadium is for the Patriots is that it’s right off of the public transit system. The downside is it’s going to take you a while to get there from Boston, even if you use public transit. It’s going to be an hour each way, and then you got to weigh in your time to, you’re there, now what do you do? And there is a Hall of Fame there and there’s some other things. I think unless you’re a big football fan or a Patriots fan, if you’re just a baseball fan it’s not a must see. You can skip it.
ED: It’s too much effort to get there.
SPORTS: It is. And again, if you’re not a football fan, you’re not going to, in other words, if there’s a choice between hey, I haven’t been to the Battle of Bunker Hill, the harbor area, I haven’t retraced Paul Revere’s steps, versus going to the Patriots, I mean forget the Patriots. I don’t care if they won thirty Super Bowls. You know, you got to be a football fan and really be into it. But, if you’ve seen all the sights in Boston before, they do have a museum out there and it is easy to get to. And, if you want to go to Providence to see the State Capitol of Rhode Island, you know, that’s on the route to Providence in between. So there’s some options there. But first timers, I’d say you can skip it.
ED: And if you’re in Providence, I’d go to Newport and I’d see Newport. And lastly, since I’m a sports fan and you told me hey, if you are in Boston, do you know that you’re only 89 miles away from Springfield, Massachusetts? The Cooperstown of basketball?
ED: It’s like, you know what? I’ve got to go to Springfield. In fact, they have a wonderful basketball Hall of Fame museum there, correct?
SPORTS: They do, they do. And if you’re going to go out that way, there’s the Cape Cod summer league, but then there’s also another league as I mentioned earlier, the New England Collegiate Baseball League. And there’s some really quaint parks. And there’s a third league, the Futures League, another summer league, in North Adams and Pittsfield, which are in the Berkshires. And the Berkshires are a beautiful wooded area. It’s a ski area of Massachusetts that’s worth seeing. But that’s if you have a rental car and you have more time.
ED: Right. And lastly, you know last week we were in New York. If I’m a Baseball PhD fan and I can only see one stadium between the two in New York or the one in Boston, which one would you recommend?
SPORTS: Well, I’m biased of course, but I think even if you polled baseball fans that have been to most of the ballparks that we’ve been to or all of them, they would say that the new Yankee stadium is not in the same league as Fenway Park. Now the old Yankee Stadium, you could make a debate that atmosphere, tradition, history was in the same league as Fenway. But now, you know, and it’s not because it’s new, it’s because the new Yankee stadium just doesn’t have the same life. And just ask Derek Jeeter, just ask some players that play there.
ED: Yeah. I mean, it’s not intimate.
SPORTS: Fenway is the one to see.
ED: Fenway is intimate.
SPORTS: They don’t make them like that anymore. Fenway Park and Wrigley Field are national institutions. I mean, these are, if they were able to preserve Yankee Stadium, and it’s sad they weren’t able to, and I don’t know why they weren’t able to, I’m going to assume that they just, it would be too expensive to renovate it. But it’s gone now, there’s nothing we can do about it. But Fenway and Wrigley Field are a part of America, are American institutions. They’re like the Smithsonian Museums of baseball. And so you can’t compare them with, and this is not knocking PNC Park or AT&T Park in San Francisco, those are beautiful parks, but they’re not in the same, they can’t carry the jockey strap of Fenway and Wrigley. They can’t. They’re just not in the same league.
ED: Right. And you know, I first went to Wrigley, and then when I went to Fenway, I said holy smokes, this is even a better experience than Wrigley. And I’m not trying to put Wrigley down.
SPORTS: Right. Well, you know, the thing about the Red Sox is that, you know, generations and generations have, it’s not the Boston Red Sox. It’s the New England Red Sox. And New England is six states. You know, it’s Boston, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Vermont, Maine, New Hampshire. And you know, Chicago has a nationwide fan base, but it’s not the Illinois Cubs. It’s the Chicago Cubs. And there’s two teams in Chicago.
SPORTS: There’s the Cubs and the White Sox. There’s only one team in New England, and that’s the Red Sox.
ED: I agree. Mr. Sports Travel, someday I’m taking you to Boston. I want a police escort by the guy that really understand Fenway Park, and you can still show me that picture that we talked about last podcast where you’re standing next to Mickey Mantle. But who was your, last question. Who was your childhood Mr. Red Sox?
SPORTS: Fred Lynn.
ED: Fred Lynn. And that’s your
SPORTS: Fred Lynn played center field, and I played center field as a little leaguer.
ED: Ooh, did not know that.
SPORTS: My batting stance, my batting stance, the batting stance, you know, we all would imitate our favorite players growing up, the batting stance, right? And I was, I had not really grown until I got into high school, so I wasn’t very tall when I was 12 years old, my best year as a little leaguer. So Jerry Remy and I batted left handed until I learned how to be a switch hitter. So Jerry Remy was, I batted left handed when I was 12, I was a leadoff hitter like Jerry Remy. But I threw left handed, so I wasn’t a second baseman, so I played center field. So Fred Lynn overall, and Jerry Remy I just modeled his batting stance.
ED: Wow. You know what? You’ve painted a new word picture for me, Mr. Sports Travel. You roam the world like a world class center fielder.
SPORTS: I like that, that sounds good.
ED: You do. You’re in Nicaragua and you’re not scared. You’re in Panama City and they’re saying, “Stick ‘em up, Yankee.” And you think they’re talking to a guy behind you wearing pinstripes. They say no, you’re the Yankee. Mr. Sports Travel, thank you for the goosebumps and thank you for being on Baseball PhD.
SPORTS: Any time.
ANNOUNCER: Can the Sox make the playoffs? We’ll learn as Ed interviews baseball beat writer Jason Mastrodenato about the Boston Red Sox.
ED: Say, Boston Red Sox Baseball Phd, hello to Jason Mastrodenato from the Boston Herald. Boston strong. How goes it?
JASON: I’m doing well, Ed.
ED: You guys are a very tough city.
JASON: Tough city indeed.
ED: You’re putting your football players away for life, too. It doesn’t matter if they win the Super Bowl or not. And isn’t the jury still out on the Boston Marathon?
JASON: Well, he was found guilty. They’re just, they still haven’t decided the punishment yet. But he was found guilty of every count.
ED: Right, right.
ED: Let’s talk about someone that’s not going to be found guilty on every count. The Boston Red Sox. Now, last year was a disappointing year, correct?
JASON: Oh, totally. I mean, you know, the team they had last year, they expected so much more from them considering it was pretty close to the same team that had won it all in 2013, with a few minor changes. And they turned out to be really big. I think they underestimated the loss of Toby Ellsberry a great deal. Not having a leadoff hitter, and not having a guy that you could count on to steal bases. Really, they didn’t have anybody who could run. It just kind of changed the whole dynamic of that team, I think. And injuries, and nobody performed up to their standards, and of course on July 31st they traded half their team away.
ED: Well, I think that the Red Sox are in a parallel universe to the San Francisco Giants. The Giants had great years on even numbered years, and the Red Sox have been having great years in odd numbered years. And it’s kind of like the baseball equivalent of Bush Clinton, OK? Someday the two titans will finally look at each other and say our park is better than your park, let’s get it on. But is it realistic for a guy like me to think that the Red Sox again can go from worst to first in the AL East?
JASON: Oh, absolutely. I pick them to win the AL East. I actually picked them to go to the World Series and lose to the Los Angeles Dodgers, who I think have the best team in baseball. But I mean, listen, right now as we know, runs are down, right? Nobody’s scoring.
JASON: And the safest thing to do in baseball is to bet on offense, because it’s the most consistent thing to bet on. It’s obviously going to be a more predictable outcome than to bet on pitchers who could get hurt at any time. They seem to have down years all the time.
JASON: So the Red Sox have set themselves up for, to have a really nice offensive season. They’re already scoring about six runs a game early on here. And that includes Mike Napoli hitting 129 without a home run. David Ortiz is hitting about a buck eighty. Shane Victorino is hitting 130. I mean, they’re scoring six runs a game without anybody really doing that well. And once this offense gets clicking, I think it’s going to be really tough to stop. As long as their pitching can be mediocre, that’s really all they need.
ED: Now how old is David Ortiz?
JASON: He’s 39.
ED: OK, alright, alright. I thought he’s got to be like 39. So OK, but he’s hanging in there strong as a good DH.
JASON: Yeah, absolutely. And you know, I don’t know, to me he looks like one of these guys that’s just ageless. I’m sure one of these years he’s going to have a bad year and he’s going to be done. But you know, I can see him going out on top, at least with a decent year. I just have a hard time envisioning David Ortiz being really bad. Like I think he’s always going to be decent and if he has, you know, an average year, then maybe he’ll hang it up. But I never think he’ll be that bad.
ED: No. In my mind’s eyes, I stand here in Cleveland, he’s looked the same for about the last five years.
JASON: Yeah. I mean, last year wasn’t his best, and he still had 35 home runs. But that lineup was horrible. It’s actually a miracle he hit 35 home runs, because nobody pitched to him. They didn’t have to. I mean, Mike Napoli hit behind him, didn’t have a great year and missed half the season. And other than that, nobody was really having a great season offensively. So if he has 35 home runs in that line up, I thought was really impressive.
ED: Right. Were you surprised that the Red Sox did not keep Cespedes?
JASON: No, no. I figured they would trade him. I mean, he was one of their trading chips this off season, and they had long coveted Rick Porcello. They thought that Porcello’s season that he had last year, his 3.4 ERA season, the best of his career, was a guy that he could beat consistently. They think that he kind of figured some things out where he decided to use his curve ball a little bit more. He’s trying not to be just a sinker ball pitcher. He’s trying to be a complete pitcher.
JASON: And last year it worked for him. I think when they saw the opportunity, the Tigers obviously wanted an outfielder, and when the Red Sox saw an opportunity to give up Cespedes for Rick Porcello, I think they were very happy to do it. And clearly, they loved Porcello so much they already gave him a 4-year contract extension for $82.5 million.
ED: Right. So alright, in their big picture, ironically, as offense seems to rule, they wisely traded Cespedes for another good pitcher. Now, one thing that I saw on opening day for the Cubs was John Lester. And I heard a stat I’d never heard of before. He basically never throws to first base. I was like, are you serious? Are there little league pitchers that have more fear. I mean, was that something noticeable when he was pitching for the Red Sox, that he would never throw to first base to make the runners go back?
JASON: Yeah, oh yeah. And you know, they didn’t care. They just told him not to at one point, because it was ugly. I mean, he was so uncomfortable with it, it really is like, it’s like the Yips, when the catcher can’t throw back to the pitcher, Chuck Knoblauch can’t throw to first base. It’s very similar to like that. For some reason, he just, he can’t throw to first. So they told him just to stop altogether, and he had one of his best seasons of his career last year when he didn’t throw over. And I don’t think he threw over in 2013, either. I’d have to double check that. But you know, it wasn’t an issue. I mean, people stole bases on him sometimes. It wasn’t an issue. I think the Cubs are going to ask him to change a little bit, we’ll see how this goes. But I really think it could throw him out of the rhythm, so I don’t know if I would do that.
ED: Wow. I know, when I heard that stat, it’s like that cannot be for a Major League pitcher. No way.
ED: That’s kind of crazy, alright. Let’s talk about the additions. Hanley Ramirez. What’s your impression as he still has the new car smell at Fenway Park?
JASON: Yeah, he does. Well, I mean left field at Fenway is not easy to play.
JASON: And he’s old enough where I think he understand that being healthy and being in a lineup is the number one thing for him to be successful. And I think the Red Sox understand that, too. They don’t want him running into the wall, they don’t want him getting hurt out there. So I think, already I get a lot of emails about him. People say hey, why is he not hustling in left field? Why is he not, you know, going a little harder after balls? Well, I think it’s just for the best of the team that he doesn’t get hurt. Maybe sometimes he could do a little better out there, I don’t know, but he’s hitting, and that’s what he’s being paid to do. The Red Sox want him to stay on the field and hit. And he’s already had four home runs. I mean, watching him take batting practice, there’s only a few guys who when you watch take batting practice where they really stand out.
JASON: And he’s one of them, because he’s just unbelievably strong. He came into camp looking like a running back this year.
ED: Oh, good.
JASON: I’ve never seen someone so big as an outfielder. I really haven’t. So he, I picked him to win the LMVP, which I know is a little crazy.
JASON: But the hitting force in this lineup, if he’s healthy with the Green Monster at his disposal, I think Hanley’s going to do some damage.
ED: Wow. Unless the Green Monster damages him, you know. I saw him trying to catch a ball that I thought he could have caught. It hit the Green Monster, and then I said to myself, in spring training, isn’t the Red Sox facility a direct clone of the Green Monster? Did this guy like get to play like 20-some games with the Baby Green Monster in Florida?
JASON: Yeah. It is different. I talked to Johnny Gomes about that, because Johnny Gomes was one of the better left fielders that the Red Sox have had in some time, who really mastered the Monster. And he said it’s really not that similar. Like the dimensions are a little off, and of course the material’s different. The ball’s just going to bounce a little bit differently. There’s this big netting in the fake one down in JetBlue Park that starts and it kind of, obviously there’s no netting in Fenway. So it’s just a little bit different. And you know, again, I don’t think that, I don’t think Hanley’s really concerned with trying to be a gold level outfielder. And that’s not a knock against him, it’s just, that’s not what he’s being paid to do and I don’t think the Red Sox have a problem with it.
ED: Right. No, he’s a running back with a bat.
JASON: Right. Exactly.
ED: OK. So Tony Dorset with a bat. Alright. Now, let’s talk about your fullback. Your new third baseman, formerly from the World Champion San Francisco Giants, also known as the Panda. His full name is?
JASON: Pablo Sandoval, of course.
ED: Now, didn’t he just get hurt?
JASON: He got hurt but he’s OK. He fouled a ball off his foot and came out of the game. He’s alright, he actually should play tomorrow.
JASON: But yeah, he’s fun to watch, I’ll tell you. There’s a lot of people getting on him about his weight when he showed up for spring training, because I think, for whatever reason, some media members seem to be surprised that he was a big fellow. I think we all knew that, and the Red Sox knew that when they signed him. Which, maybe later in his career, is an issue. But from age 28 to 33, when he signed, usually the guys don’t slow down no matter how big at that time.
JASON: So I don’t know if that’s going to be an issue or not. I’ll tell you what, he runs pretty good for a big guy. He covers third base really well, too. I was surprised how good he is as a third baseman. And that’s the area where the Red Sox really struggled last year is third base. They had some of the worst production offensively in baseball out of their third basemen. And Sandoval’s the guy they wanted from the start, and now they got him. I think he hasn’t clicked yet this year so far, but it’s still early.
JASON: And for a left handed hitter with an opposite field swing, I mean, talk about the Green Monster being friendly, it should be real nice to him.
ED: Who do you think’s a bigger addition, Hanley Ramirez or the Panda? Panda helps you more defensively, correct?
JASON: Right. That’s a good question. I thought, I think Pablo Sandoval’s probably a more important addition because they really needed a third baseman.
JASON: And he’s a really good third baseman and he’ll hit pretty well. I thought Hanley was the better signing, because you’re paying him $88 million over four years, so you got him from age 31 to 35. And again, you’re putting him in a position where you’re hoping he can be on the field much more frequently than he has been over the past four years.
ED: Right. That’s what you’re gambling on. You would not pay him those big bucks if he’s only going to play half the games.
JASON: Exactly, exactly. And when you have a chance to sign somebody who could be one of the best hitters in baseball for four years and $22 million a year, I think that’s a no-brainer, you do it. And if you look at what some of these guys are making, what’s Miguel Cabrera going to make this year? 35 million bucks?
ED: Wow. He might be worth $35 million. I’ve been watching him destroy the Cleveland Indians, and to my beloved Cleveland Indians, here’s my little tip. Pretend he’s Barry Bonds. Keep walking him. Quit letting him beat you. And then you scratch your head. Talk to me about your rotation. Lester’s gone, you guys brought in Justin Masterson, who we thought was kind of done in Cleveland. What’s Justin Masterson doing in Boston?
JASON: Yeah. Well, the Red Sox obviously took a gamble on him because he sure looked done in Cleveland. I think, you know, it’s funny, because talking to him a little bit, he said there was even a point where he thought he might be done.
JASON: He told himself, you know, if I’m done, I’m done. I had a great career. But he said, he worked with some new trainer this off season. He thinks he got himself back to being healthy. The problem is his velocity’s still not there, so some people are still not sure if he’s totally healthy, or maybe he’s just still building arm strength. Because obviously with the knee injury last year, his pitching mechanics are all out of whack.
JASON: He’s throwing about 80, 89 miles an hour right now, and as you guys know in Ohio, when he was at his best two years ago he was averaging about 94 miles an hour. Really, all he needed was that fastball. It’s like a sinker. He was a one-pitch pitcher and it worked great for him. So now he doesn’t really have the fastball going all that well. He’s using the slider a little bit more, he’s getting a little crazy. He almost blew the game two days ago because he hit two batters and gave up five runs in the fifth inning. He doesn’t look great. It’s still early.
ED: Right. He’s on the bubble.
JASON: Yeah. I’m not sure how he’s going to do. I really, I’ll be surprised either way.
ED: Yeah. No, what a difference a year makes, because last year at opening day in Cleveland, the scuttlebutt was the Indians refused to sign Masterson to a long term contract. Here we go again, we won’t pay CC Sebathia, we won’t pay Cliff Lee, and we end up losing him. And then he had a bad year. And what a difference a year makes. Last year I’m talking to you romantically about Grady Sizemore? In center field? A former Indian? We thought he was dead, dead, dead. How long did he last with the Red Sox last year?
JASON: Yeah, it wasn’t long. He, you know, it’s a shame because he was a good guy, a really hard worker, everybody liked him. But he just, he never really could get the bat going with the Red Sox. He hit 216 in 52 games. But then he went to the Phillies and hit decent. I think he hit 250. So you know,
ED: He fits in better with the Phillies, they’re older.
JASON: Yeah, right. And he’s over there right now. I think he’s playing a little bit with them. We’ll see how long he lasts. But you know, the game shortens up on some people’s careers due to injury.
ED: Right, and he’s an example. He was a young old man.
ED: And it’s like wow, if he just had. But you know what? That’s how we value race horses. Which ones break down and which ones keep running like Jim Brown, and those are the ones that you salute. And it’s like I don’t know why, but God gave you a body that you didn’t break down. Part of the history of our sport is talking to all the guys that broke down.
ED: And they would have been Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig and all that. And it’s like well, the reason why God made Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig, they didn’t break down.
ED: Every day they came like you do with the Boston Herald, they did their job wonderful and all that. Lastly, let’s talk about the American League East. My perception is that the next team to compete against the Red Sox will be the Blue Jays. What’s your perception? Who do you worry most about in the AL East?
JASON: You know, I’m with you. I think it’s the Blue Jays and the Orioles. If Marco Stroman didn’t get hurt, I really like the Blue Jays’ chances. Because that guy, I mean, I thought he was going to be a legitimate number one starter. He was so good last year. So I thought that was a huge loss for them. So now they got Daniel Norris, the rookie that was so hyped. He’s the guy that lives in his van. And he’s supposed to be pretty good. I don’t think he’s been great through two starts. And just kind of a middling starting rotation, probably even worse than the Red Sox I would say. And their offense should be pretty good, but I don’t, to be honest, I think the Red Sox are just better than every team in the American League East. And I don’t think that anybody’s going to come too close to them unless they make some moves or unless the Red Sox fall off. But yeah, I’d say the Blue Jays are probably my number two team.
ED: Yeah, and you know, I’ve sinned the past two or three years. I have shown the Orioles less respect than they deserve. You know, last year by them winning 96 games, even if you were to analyze our podcasts in the past couple years, we’re kind of talking about things to see in Baltimore and kind of mumbling in the early part of the season about the Orioles. And then come October, it’s like the Orioles made the playoffs! We apologize, Baltimore. Professor Bruce Bukiet, who does a predictions contest with us, he actually thinks that the Orioles will be last year’s Red Sox and be a below 500 team. I don’t know. I mean, what’s your gut on the Orioles?
JASON: Well, I mean if Chris Davis keeps striking out of 50 percent and doesn’t hit any home runs, then yeah, they could be in trouble very easily. I think, you know, it’s the Buck Showalter factor, isn’t it? It’s the thing that us guys who like to look at numbers can’t really put our finger on it. But Buck Showalter seems to get the best out of some players, and it’s worked for them over the past couple years. Yeah, I can see them falling apart. I mean, they have a deep starting rotation. I think that helps. They had five starters last year with an ERA under 3.6, which is ridiculous.
JASON: So you know, they should be able to win some games. I don’t see them coming in last place, but if Chris Davis doesn’t have a big year, I think they’re going to have a hard time competing.
ED: Alright. And the Yankees, I know you hate them. You’re supposed to hate them. I know you had a 19-inning game with them last week. Are the Yankees not our dad’s Yankees? They’re kind of like when CBS owned them before Steinbrenner bought them? Are they going to be like that where they’re in purgatory for five, six years without any post-season appearances?
JASON: Well, probably, yeah. But I will say that watching the Yankees/Red Sox last weekend, it felt closer to the old Yankees/Red Sox games to me for some reason. I think probably because the Red Sox had some newer faces that are kind of imposing now, right? Hanley Ramirez has kind of taken the spot of Manny Ramirez, both in the same position and batting order. And Ortiz is still here. And then you look at the Yankees, and they’re full of old, proven guys. They can hit. I don’t know if they will, they can, though. I mean Alex Rodriguez coming back is just such a, it’s an interesting story. It’s really entertaining to see how well he’s doing. I mean, they batted him third one game against the Red Sox. They obviously think very highly of him still. So they can score runs. It just, when I was watching Tanaka pitch, it was not very encouraging. I mean, the guy can’t throw his fastball right now. It’s coming in at about 90 miles an hour. It was 93 last year.
JASON: And he’s clearly got no confidence in it, because he barely uses it, and when he does, he’s using it only like high and outside to try to set up guys with the amazing splitter that he has. So if he’s not great, then what? Because Sabathia’s not going to be a race anymore. Michael Pineda is good when healthy, but he’s an injury risk, too. And that’s really all they have. So people say the Red Sox don’t have pitching, I say the Yankees really don’t have pitching.
ED: Right. And that’s just amazing, but they’ve decided not to spend a billion dollars on payroll anymore. And whatever, but no, I now kiddingly say that the L.A. Dodgers are the Yankees of the west. This is their generation with their TV deal and all that, to spend some obscene amounts of money. And then as we look north, and it’s like the Giants won the World Series last year? It’s like, yes they did. So the Yankees are the only team that I remember that has really bought a championship. Everybody else, they kind of misspend, and it’s a little harder than you think. Because you can buy Secretariat, and next thing you know, Secretariat is limping in game three. And it’s like, how we going to play him for another 150 innings? You’re not, but you got to pay him.
ED: So that’s that. So I’m very glad, Jason, you and I are in agreement. Go Red Sox! Win the AL East. And Jason Mastrodenato, I think this is your third or fourth year, as always, thank you for renting your brain to Baseball Phd.
JASON: It’s a pleasure. I thank you.
ANNOUNCER: Thanks for listening to Baseball PhD with Ed Kasputis. If you like this podcast, tell your friends and family to go to Baseballphd.net. Be sure to check our archive section for previous podcasts. If you have any brilliant ideas or comments, you can email the show. This has been a Baseball Phd production.
Boston Red Sox Lineup
- Burke Badenhop
- Matt Barnes
- Craig Breslow
- Drake Britton
- Clay Buchholz
- Rubby De La Rosa
- Ryan Dempster
- Edwin Escobar
- Heath Hembree
- Joe Kelly
- Tommy Layne
- Edward Mujica
- Anthony Ranaudo
- Junichi Tazawa
- Koji Uehara
- Allen Webster
- Alex Wilson
- Brandon Workman
- Steven Wright
- Dan Butler
- Ryan Lavarnway
- David Ross
- Christian Vazquez
- Xander Bogaerts
- Garin Cecchini
- Jonathan Herrera
- Brock Holt
- Will Middlebrooks
- Mike Napoli
- Dustin Pedroia
- Carlos Rivero
- Jemile Weeks
- Mookie Betts
- Jackie Bradley Jr.
- Bryce Brentz
- Rusney Castillo
- Yoenis Cespedes
- Allen Craig
- Alex Hassan
- Daniel Nava
- Shane Victorino DL60
- David Ortiz
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Boston Red Sox Ticket Prices
Cheap Boston Red Sox TicketsThe events below have been the cheapest of the season. We've listed the starting (lowest) price for any ticket to the event.
|$1.00||Boston Red Sox at Los Angeles Dodgers — 08/06/2016|
Dodger Stadium; Los Angeles, CA
|$2.00||Boston Red Sox at Toronto Blue Jays — 05/10/2015|
Rogers Centre; Toronto, ON
|$2.00||Boston Red Sox at Chicago White Sox — 08/26/2015|
U.S. Cellular Field; Chicago, IL
|$3.00||Boston Red Sox at Baltimore Orioles — 09/14/2015|
Oriole Park At Camden Yards; Baltimore, MD
|$3.00||Boston Red Sox at Baltimore Orioles — 06/10/2015|
Oriole Park At Camden Yards; Baltimore, MD
|$3.00||Boston Red Sox at Chicago White Sox — 05/04/2016|
U.S. Cellular Field; Chicago, IL
|$3.00||Boston Red Sox at Toronto Blue Jays — 08/29/2017|
Rogers Centre; Toronto, ON
|$3.00||Boston Red Sox at Los Angeles Angels — 07/31/2016|
Angel Stadium of Anaheim; Anaheim, CA
|$3.00||Boston Red Sox at Baltimore Orioles — 09/16/2015|
Oriole Park At Camden Yards; Baltimore, MD
|$3.00||Boston Red Sox at Baltimore Orioles — 09/15/2015|
Oriole Park At Camden Yards; Baltimore, MD
Best and Most Expensive Boston Red Sox TicketsThe events below have been the most expensive of the season. Their starting prices are listed to the left.
|$11,477.00||Boston Red Sox at Toronto Blue Jays — 04/08/2016|
Rogers Centre; Toronto, ON
|$8,463.00||Baltimore Orioles at Boston Red Sox — 04/13/2016|
Fenway Park; Boston, MA
|$4,410.00||World Series: TBD at Boston Red Sox — 10/25/2017|
Fenway Park; Boston, MA
|$4,410.00||World Series: TBD at Boston Red Sox — 10/24/2017|
Fenway Park; Boston, MA
|$3,977.00||World Series: TBD at Boston Red Sox — 10/31/2017|
Fenway Park; Boston, MA
|$1,010.00||World Series: TBD at Boston Red Sox — 11/01/2017|
Fenway Park; Boston, MA
|$803.00||ALCS: TBD at Boston Red Sox — 10/21/2017|
Fenway Park; Boston, MA
|$407.00||ALCS: TBD at Boston Red Sox — 10/20/2017|
Fenway Park; Boston, MA
|$372.00||ALCS: TBD at Boston Red Sox — 10/14/2017|
Fenway Park; Boston, MA
|$191.00||Boston Red Sox at Tampa Bay Rays — 07/09/2017|
Tropicana Field; St Petersburg, FL