It came to my attention that yesterdays’ photos might not have been viewable. Hopefully, we’ve corrected the issue and you can enjoy the pictures of the PawSox team outing on Tuesday at the Newport Yachting Center. If you didn’t see yesterdays’ blog- the photos (part 1) are still there. Thanks again to technical adviser, Eva Hyder.
”Hydes” with daughters, Eva (Left) and Carly (Center)
Ivan Ochoa and family enjoying the ride on the “Adirondack”
The moon over Newport Harbor
Chris Carter with the Hyder girls
Partyin’ PawSox Style!
John Otness, Billy Traber, Sean Danielson, Jeff Natale, Steve Hyder, Travis Denker, and Rocky Cherry pose for a “team” picture
Kelsey Albair and Drew Bradley take the dance floor
Head of Security, Rick Medeiros, the Iron Sheik discussing his conservative ideals.
On Tuesday, the PawSox enjoyed their annual team outing at the Newport Yachting Center. After a cruise around the harbor, everyone feasted on steak, swordfish, chicken and all the fixings. It was a chance to relax and enjoy each other away from the “office”. Today, Part one of my photo essay, part two comes tomorrow. (When I say “my”, I should really say my daughter, Eva, who provided the technical assistance an old-timer needs.) ENJOY!
Beautiful Newport Harbor from aboard the schooner, “Adirondack”
Your boy, “Hydes” with wife, Sue
Fernando Cabrera and Enrique Gonzalez enjoying the sunset
Jeff Natale and Jeff Bradley in deep conversation
Fernando Cabrera, Gil Velazquez, and the “Skipper”, Manager, Ron Johnson
Cathy Gwynn, VP of Sales, Mike Gwynn, President of PawSox, Mike Tamburro, Anna Tamburro
Travis Denker gettin’ some love!
Jeff Natale, Head of Security, Rick Medeiros, Website “Genius”, Kevin Galligan and son, Nick
Jeff Bailey is the consumate professional and he’s back at McCoy. Bailey hasn’t played since sustaining a high ankle sprain on the fourth of July, while with the Red Sox. He isn’t sure how effective he’ll be, but is ready and willing to lead his club. Thanks to the respect he’s earned from Terry Francona, Bailey is here on a Major League rehab assignment, not optioned back. When I asked Bailey about the situation, eavesdropper Jeff Natale chimed in- “If you’re a Big Leaguer, then buy a spread.” That is a reference to the longstanding tradition of Major League players buying a postgame meal for their “less afluent” minor league teammates.
Author James Grippando is at McCoy for the Monday game with Scranton. Grippando has penned 16 novels, the latest titled “Intent to Kill”. It’s a suspense/thriller that takes place in Pawtucket and McCoy Stadium. To research for the book, Grippando spent many nights sitting in the stands watching the PawSox, among other things. “This is my sixteenth novel and I find that the best research I do is to just go sit and observe. Be the fly on the wall…I wanted to see what it was like to be a PawSox fan and be a part of this family.” A resident of Coral Gables, Florida- Grippando is a transplanted Cubs fan who feels a kinship with Red Sox Nation-”I’m a long-suffering Cubs fan. When I was a kid, you had the Curse of the Bambino, we had the curse of the goat. My father bought me a Carl Yastrzemski bat and I’ve been a Red Sox fan ever since.” Grippando really seems to have caught the essence of what a relationship between a PawSox fan and player is all about. “ PawSox players get the love. I am from Florida and we’re lucky to get 5000 fans to a Marlins game. Here, you guys pack them in. I wanted Ryan (main character Ryan James) to be a player that the local fans here in Pawtucket were really rooting for. It is ultimately a story of redemption with a great PawSox backdrop.” Grippando first came into contact with PawSox owner Ben Mondor after his niece read the book and contacted him. She wrote “My Uncle Ben would love this book. Would you please send him a signed copy?” That lead to a series of letters that eventually lead to Grippando’s appearance at McCoy Stadium. “We got together and just talked baseball, and Ben invited me here. This is the coolest “book-related” thing I’ve ever done.”
We all hoped that when we turned the page on the calendar that August would be better than July. It would have to be. Right?? The once-mighty PawSox stumbled to a 7-19 mark in July, all but eliminating themselves from postseason contention. When the Sox were in Scranton the last time, about a month ago, they were in the chase. Only 3 and a half games out of first place when two games were called off because of poor field conditions. Since then, their fortunes have plummeted. After being swept in the twin bill on August 1, the Sox are a season-hgh 11 games out of first place. This is a stark contrast to 2008, when Pawtucket set a franchise record, winning 85 regular season games. Now 48-57, and losers of 22 of their last 29 games, Pawtucket is playing like the worst team in the league. On Saturday, both starters, Kris Johnson and Randor Bierd failed to get through the third inning. Both Johnson (3-12) and Bierd (0-1) worked 2 and 2 thirds innings. Certainly not a recipe for success. In their last 5 losses (in 6 games) the PawSox have scored a grand total of 4 runs. It remains to be seen how the season plays out. Brian Anderson and Chris Duncan should provide some punch to the most feeble offense in the I.L. Jeff Bailey is scheduled to rehab his high ankle sprain beginning on Sunday or Monday. Bailey hasn’t played in a couple of weeks and will more than likely be rusty. Aaron Bates (.200) Bubba Bell (.160) and Mark Wagner (.219) continue to feel their way through their first stint in Triple A. Duncan and Gil Velazquez are both hitting below the “Mendoza” line. Not one PawSox hitter is near his lifetime batting average. Chris Carter is a career .300 hitter in the minors, and he is leading the club in all three triple crown categories, batting .273, 11, 44. Bottom line is this- play for a September callup, play for a trade or a free agent contract during the offseason. For Gods’ sake, play for pride. You are being paid good money to play baseball. In this day and age, with this horrible economy, there are so many of us out of work or under-employed, you are among the chosen few to be playing professional baseball. If you’re doing your best, so be it. Thank you. But good people are paying good money to come and watch you play. Not slog through nine innings for a paycheck. I know most of these guys pretty well. They are, for the most part, great people. There are about 5 weeks remaining in this season. Play one game at a time. Win one game at a time. Remember the first time you played baseball…for fun, not money. For recreation, not for a promotion. It’s been said before. Baseball is a game. You throw the ball. You hit the ball. You catch the ball. Here’s to a great final five weeks. We can do it.
People will pay for just about anything. Come up with an idea, and the American public will devour it, no matter how stupid. Some people in Scranton are cashing in on the popularity of the Emmy-winning TV show, “The Office”. The fictional “Dunder Mifflin” office supply company is located in Scranton on the show and a group of local residents are conducting tours of places that are mentioned on the program. Coopers ( a fairly good seafood restaurant) is among the spots tourists are plunking down $35 to see. The Office Fan Tours begin Saturdays at noon at the Mall at Steamtown. For the 35 bucks, you get transportation and lunch. I don’t think you’ll run into Steve Carell.