Roger Angell is the greatest of all baseball writers. Today, the game has recognized the fact. This July, along with Joe Torre, Bobby Cox, and Tony La Russa, Roger will be celebrated in Cooperstown, New York, the site of the Hall of Fame. He will receive the J. G. Taylor Spink Award, which has previously gone to the likes of Grantland Rice, Red Smith, Ring Lardner, and Damon Runyon. [more inside]
Fenway Park, in Boston, is a lyric little bandbox of a ballpark. Everything is painted green and seems in curiously sharp focus, like the inside of an old-fashioned peeping-type Easter egg. It was built in 1912 and rebuilt in 1934, and offers, as do most Boston artifacts, a compromise between Man's Euclidean determinations and Nature's beguiling irregularities. So wrote John Updike in his moving tribute to Red Sox legend Ted Williams -- an appropriately pedigreed account for this oldest and most fabled of ballfields that saw its first major league game played one century ago today. As a team in flux hopes to recapture the magic with an old-school face-off against the New York
Highlanders Yankees, it's hard to imagine the soul of the Sox faced the specter of demolition not too long ago. Now legally preserved, in a sport crowded with corporate-branded superdome behemoths, Fenway abides, bursting with history, idiosyncrasy, record crowds, and occasional song. [more inside]
After beating the Texas Rangers on Sept. 3, the Boston Red Sox were 84-54. Although half a game behind the Yankees in the American League East, the Red Sox had a nine-game lead over the Tampa Bay Rays for the wild card and roughly a 99.6 percent chance of making the playoffs. Fast forward one excruciating month to a dead heat with Tampa coming into tonight's bitter imbroglio. Boston struggles ahead of laughingstock Baltimore by a single run until a rain delay clears the field, leaving them in the surreal position of rooting for the hated Yankees playing down in Florida. They can only watch from the sidelines as the rival Rays, tied with Boston in the pennant race but down 7-0 against New York, roar back to life with six runs in the eighth inning and a tie run on the final pitch at the bottom of the ninth. And then, after blowing two different strikes that would have salvaged the game, Boston loses to Baltimore, completing what is arguably the worst late-breaking collapse in the history of major league baseball.
22 years after letting a ball roll through his legs in extra innings to lose game six of the 1986 World Series, Bill Buckner returned to Fenway Park to throw out the ceremonial first pitch on Opening Day. Here's a post on the Curse of the Bambino and the 2004 World Series [more inside]
Underdog to NY Yankees --> "Who's YOUR Daddy?"
Seats...On the Green Monster? It seems that the Boston Red Sox have finalized the plan to make changes to one of Major League Baseball's most famous curiosities, the Green Monster - if not *the* most famous, as this article suggests. The stadium has the lowest amount of available seating, and is definitely, in the realm of the other stadiums in major markets, out of date. But it has a classic sort of feel to it. Here are some of the proposed plans for this and other changes to the stadium. I can't wait to see if someone falls off the back of the 'Monster trying to catch a homerun ball.
Goodbye Trust (Hello Shyster?) After 60+ years of Yawkey ownership and a year's worth of politicking, the Red Sox have been sold to a group headed by the current Florida Marlins owner and the man who presided over a fire sale as owner of the Padres (and is pals with Satan). The local heroes dropped out of the group today after a spat. The new owners' remaining local talent consists of former senator George Mitchell and Les Otten, a man who had trouble making money in the ski business. And staying out of trouble.
This ruined my day. The Yankees are going to buy another World Series. If I ever hear that the Yankees do not buy championship again I am going to poop my pants. They do buy championships. Man, do they suck.
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.... for Boston Red Sox fans. This story from espn.com's Page 2 about Game 6 of the 1986 World Series is well-written and fills me with sympathy and empathy for Sox fans. See, as a Yakee fan, I was rooting against them at the time, but I feel sorry for them now. What a cruel punishment that game must have been. So close, and yet so far. (Please pardon my sports digression and shameless use of cliches.)