BUSY WEEK AT THE YARD

     This has been a very busy week at McCoy Stadium.  Aside from baseball, we enjoyed team President, Mike Tamburro unveiling Mondor Gardens outside the leftfield wall at the park.  The serene setting, complete with statues of children playing baseball, park benches and lovely landscaping, is dedicated to the memory of the late Ben Mondor, the PawSox owner, who passed away last October.  “Ben bought these statues over a year ago.  It was just a question of where to put them.  We were putting in this walkway at the time and he kept asking me when the walkway was going to be done.  He just wanted to find a place for these.  We thought that the perfect tribute to him would be a garden.  that’s why we did it.  It’s in a great area betwen the ticket office and the berm.  All fans will walk by here.  It’s going to be a real special place.  I can see him sitting on this bench and looking at the kids.”

     Mondor was a man who brushed aside fanfare and accolades. Ben was never interested in having a stadium named in his honor.  That’s why Tamburro feels that the Garden is the perfect tribute to the longtime PawSox owner.  “We always talked about some type of “park” setting at the Stadium.  This is perfect.  It’s a great day.  It’s a special day”.  After the brief ceremony ended, I told Mike what I pictured in my mind.  Ben sitting in the Garden on a bench and jokingly telling us.  “Alright you guys, I’m not paying you all to sit around and look at flowers.  Now get back to work!”  It would be nice to hear him one more time.

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     I’m not surprised that Matt Fox made the All Star team.  The right handed pitcher clearly deserves the nod.  It was interesting that he was the sole representative for the PawSox, however.  We’ve compared Fox to a “Swiss Army Knife.” One night he’s the screwdriver, one night he’s the bottle opener and on yet another night, he’s the little pair of scissors.  His versatility is what makes him so valuable.  He has pitched well all season- 4-2, 3.73 in 18 games,(11 starts)  Fox is second on the team in both strikeouts (62) and innings pitched (72.1).

     I am surprised that Yamaico Navarro was promoted to Boston.  Since coming off the disabled list for his oblique injury, Navarro has struggled, going 5-43 (.116)  That’s not going to “play” at Fenway.  Navarro was on the shelf from May 7-June 16.  I don’t understand a lot of things the Red Sox do.

     Still thinking about the masterful performance turned in by Kyle Weiland on Wednesday night at McCoy.  Eight innings, 12 strikeouts, 1 hit, 1 run.  It was truly a thing of beauty.  Weiland tried to explain his success.  “The last couple of times out, I didn’t have my fastball command.  I just tried to establish it.  Usually when I do that, the other pitches follow.” Weiland also showed appreciation to his catcher, Luis Exposito.  “I gotta thank Expo too.  He stuck with me and called a great game behind the plate.”  Weiland told me that his work between starts was also a big factor in his success.

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