Some times you’re forced to assess things in different ways. I have stopped trying to judge this PawSox season based strictly on wins and losses. At 53-74, the Sox are guaranteed a losing record for 2009. With 16 games remaining on the schedule, there is a possibility of a “Bizzaro” stat. In 2008, the PawSox were 85-58 in the regular season. Finish this season 5-11 and you’ve got the 58-85 mark all sewn up. (I obviously have enough free time to figure things like this out.) I really want to emphasize that while I know this year is a bust- 2010 will be better. The young players that are feeling their way through the I.L. for the first time, will be the nucleus of the ’10 squad. Names like Bates, Wagner, Bell, Mills, Large, Johnson and Richardson are the next wave of Sox prospects that project to be Major Leaguers. Throw in veterans like Jeff Bailey and Chris Carter and the PawSox will again be poised for battle. Sunday, (loss not withstanding, of course) was a great day at McCoy. We broadcast the game from the stands, behind home plate. Thanks to Michael Gwynn, Mick Tedesco and his staff, Eric Petterson and everyone else who made it possible to broadcast the game. It provides us a different perspective and it was a breath of fresh air. It is a great feeling to meet our listeners and e-mailers and blog readers and to put a face with a name. Also, I have to thank a guy I have admired for years, PawSox General Manager, Lou Schwechheimer, “Schwech” is the consumate good guy. The always congenial G.M. rolled out the red carpet for us, even though we have worked for the PawSox for years. He has a knack for making anyone feel welcome at McCoy Stadium, even his own guys. Lou fed us like he was our grandma. He dropped off trays of the delicious concession items available at the park. Kind of made it tough to concentrate on the game. Lou, a fellow UMass grad is one of the best, ever. Also got a thoughtful gift from the team store. The lovely Kelsey Albair brought us really nice black and green PawSox caps, with a shamrock on the side. I appreciate the gesture, although there has never been a more useles gift to me. I am not being ungrateful. It’s just that there has never been a hat created that would fit my freakishly large head, comfortably. Dan and I have a long-running recurring gag on the air about me and Marfan Syndrome. Although it is medically inaccurate, we joke about the size of my noggin and the fact that President Lincoln had the same affliction.
After the game, my wife Sue and I went to the Comcast Center in Mansfield, Mass. to enjoy the Bruce Springsteen concert. It was my third such show and the only difference between this one and the first one I saw in the early ’80s was that this one was shorter. It still lasted approximately 2 and a half hours. “The Boss” can still get it done! He absolutely rocked the joint. Amazing for a guy his age. (He turns 60 on September 23) Nils Lofgren, Clarence Clemons and Max Weinberg were all there. (Yes, Weinberg from the Conan show) although the veteran drummer gave way to a younger percussionist for the latter part of the show. I got the biggest kick out of seeing Steven Van Zandt. “Little Stevie” with kerchief on head, banging away on his guitar. To an entire generation, Van Zandt is best-known as Tony’s underboss, Silvio Dante, in the mega-hit TV show “The Sopranos”. The HBO show ranks second on my all-time list of favorite television programs. Only M*A*S*H* ranks slightly higher. At one point, Springsteen referred to Steven as “Silvio” – my favorite moment. They sang just about every hit you could imagine, except, and to me these are 2 big exceptions- “Born in the USA” and “Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out”. It was a great night. Comcast, like McCoy, offers free parking. The beers are very expensive- $9 a pop- but, what the heck. If you have never seen or heard Springsteen- GO! On the way home we continued to rock out to the Boss on Sirius radio, on The E Street Channel.
Come and watch the PawSox on Monday. Jed Lowrie is scheduled to start a rehab assignment and Paul Byrd is on the mound for Pawtucket. Don’t forget to bring your non-perishable food items for the drive benefiting the R.I. Food Bank.
Happy 27th Birthday to the the third member of our broadcast team. Infielder Jeff Natale is blowing out the candles today.