After the dust of the 2009 PawSox season settled, there were a few items of business to still be conducted. The PawSox held their annual season ticket holders and sponsor appreciation days at the park. Hundreds of PawSox supporters lined up for a chance to take batting practice, field some ground balls and roam the grounds where their heroes play. In the end, they were treated to a barbecue feast under the red and white tent. All you can eat- burgers, dogs, chicken sandwiches, salads and soft drinks. I’m positive everyone had a blast. Watching the look on the faces of the folks was priceless. From the youngest child to the most successful CEO, these fans were given an opportunity that not many get. Some came in full uniform, others arrived in street clothes. Regardless, it was a chance to dip into the fountain of youth and be a kid again. One gentleman summed it up and probably echoed the sentiment of most of the participants. “I’ve played on the field of McCoy. I actually got some hits. I can cross this off my “Bucket List”. What a day!” Fans were given PawSox caps and T-shirts as souvenirs of the visit and the photos taken were made available on pawsox.com, so suffice to say no stone was left unturned. Just another reason to love the PawSox. Employees of the club were also treated to a great outing. In fact, the second of the season. You may recall my blog entry “Partyin’ with the PawSox” from early August. Last week, we sailed on the “Majestic”, also out of Newport Harbor. It was a cabin cruiser that took us on a moonlight sail around Narragansett Bay, under the Newport Bridge and among the remarkable vessels owned by the rich and famous. The dinner was beyond compare. As good as any meal you’d get in any restaurant. Steak, fish, chicken, salad, potatoes and vegetables, capped off with an assortment of incredible desserts. It was a relaxing way to cap off the season. Mike and Anna Tamburro were gracious hosts and saw to it that everyone had a good time.
In the recent Red Sox series with the Orioles at Camden Yards, they cut to a shot in the dugout and young pitcher David Hernandez was being mentored by a familiar face. Former PawSox pitching coach Mike Griffin earned a September call-up from Norfolk and is on Dave Trembleys’ staff for the remainder of the season.. (Incidentally, could Trembley look any more like William Shatner? Denny Crain, not Captain Kirk) Hernandez pitched against Pawtucket this season and in fact, we attended the same showing of the movie hit “The Hangover” later that night.
Congratulations to Hunter Jones. The lefthander was promoted to Boston on Wednesday. Jones went 4-3 with an ERA of 4.25 for the PawSox. Jones was back home in Florida and was surprised by the move. It was necessitated by Junichi Tazawa going on the disabled list (groin). Jones had been warned to stay in shape in case such a need arose. It’s Hunters’ second stint in Boston this year. He made 8 appearances out of the bullpen earlier in 2009. Last season, infielder Gil Velazquez received a similar call, late in the game.
The Durham Bulls are the 2009 I.L. champs and the winners of the annual meeting between the champion of our league and the Pacific Coast League. The Bulls beat Memphis 5-4 in 11 innings to claim the Triple A crown. The Bulls prevailed despite losing 10 players to the Rays or Team USA since August 31. By the way, the hitting coach for Memphis, the Triple A affiliate of the St. Louis Cardinals is former Pawtucket batting instructor, Mark Budaska.