CRANK UP THE HOT STOVE

     It has been cold around here. Very cold.  Snow and ice on the ground, wind whipping, teeth chattering, people shivering.  Winter…it stinks.  The holidays are over and thankfully we have the Patriots and Celtics (and Bruins too, Joe) to keep us interested.  Good news.  Baseball can’t be that far off if it is time again for the annual Pawtucket Red Sox Hot Stove celebration at McCoy Stadium.  It’s coming this Saturday January 22 from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. and it is absolutely FREE.

      “Hot Stove” conjures up the image of a couple of old-timers gathered around a wood burning stove, speculating and prognosticating about their favorite teams.  That may be the old image of the Hot Stove.  Come to McCoy on Saturday and you will see thousands of fans pack into the home clubhouse and indoor batting cage to get a glimpse (and a photo and autograph) of their “Boys of Summer”.  Men, women, young, old.  All races and walks of life.  Great PawSox fans who are the faithful ones.  They’ll line up early Saturday morning, clutching their photos, bats, baseballs and anything else they want to get signed.  I am usually in the hitting cage, conducting the session there, hosting and fielding questions for the guys, while P.R. guru, Bill Wanless does the same thing in the PawSox clubhouse.

     Once we get this event on the calendar, the countdown to Spring Training and Opening Day begins.  The PawSox open April 7th at home against Rochester.  Can’t wait.  Given the talent the Red Sox should have in Boston, Pawtucket should be loaded.  The PawSox look for their first playoff berth since 2008.  It’s a long season and a long way off, but the playoffs would be great again.

     Fans will be getting their first up close and personal look at new manager, Arnie Beyeler.  He most recently managed in Portland.  I know that Maine is part of “the Nation”, but I think he’ll be pleasantly surprised at the knowledge and fervor of Pawtucket Red Sox fans.

     Fans who are chomping at the bit, will be able to buy tickets at the box office and purchase the latest PawSox merchandise in the team store.  Food and drinks will be available to fans, absolutely free.  It is a great day and there’s no way to beat it.  Whoever told you that a “robin” is the first sign of spring obviously was not a baseball fan.

     Incidentally,  the PawSox will be accepting donations of non-perishable food items on Saturday to help benefit the Rhode Island Community Food Bank.  PawSox fans have always been notoriously generous and I’m certain this Saturday won’t be any different.  I look forward to seeing you!

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