I’m sitting in the press box at City of Palms Park in Fort Myers, as the Red Sox face the St. Louis Cardinals. Not quite as important as their meeting in October of 2004, but I am glad to be here. The Sox have what may be their Opening Day lineup on the field. It is formidable. My interest is coming up now. Maybe the greatest Cardinal ever, other than Stan Musial. Albert Pujols is facing Daisuke Matsuzaka. Pujols lofted a 1-1 pitch to deep right that nestled in the glove of J.D. Drew. The Sox have an array of All Stars taking the field today.
CF- Jacoby Ellsbury
LF- Carl Crawford
1B- Adrian Gonzalez
3B- Kevin Youkilis
DH- David Ortiz
RF- J.D. Drew
C- Jason Varitek
SS- Marco Scutaro
Jarrod Saltalamacchia more than likely will draw the assignment of catching Jon Lester on April 1 in Texas.
Earlier today (Sunday) The Sox assigned Daniel Nava and Mark Wagner to Pawtucket. Certainly, a shame for them, but PawSox fans have to be very excited about the potential Opening Day lineup that Arnie Beyeler will field on April 7 at McCoy.
1B- Lars Anderson
2B- Nate Spears
SS- Jose Iglesias
3B- Yamaico Navarro
RF- Josh Reddick
CF- Ryan Kalish
LF- Daniel Nava
C- Mark Wagner
Certainly, there will be movement, but this a great team on paper. Very exciting!!
My trip down was interesting. On one flight, I sat next to an uncle and his niece. Her father was sitting in the row ahead of us with his young son. This girl was 5 or 6 years old. Obnoxiously sweet, a modern day, female Eddie Haskell (“Google” it if you don’t know Ken Osmond). Problem was, she was much smarter than her adult uncle. This guy thought it would be a good idea to tell the kid that our plane might crash. I swear to you, I am not making this up. Jeff Foxworthy would have no problem identifying this redneck. The guy egged on the little girl so much that she yelled out at one point, “I don’t want to die!” His reply? “Oh, I was just playing with you. We probably won’t die.”
Wanted to watch NCAA March Madness on Saturday night and I am not a big “hotel room” guy. I decided to go to a favorite of mine, although after this experience, I refuse to name them. This is a chain known for its’ chicken wings and waitresses in orange shorts. I have debated the virtues of the place over the years with many women, and I really do like the wings. There were at least 30 TV sets in the place, every single one of them was tuned to some Ultimate Fighting Championship bout. Literally, EVERY one. I asked the manager if he could put one TV on the hoops. He told me that “Our place is known for the UFC. We have to have it on.” “Funny” I sarcastically answered. “How about that ad campaign that you guys are running with College Basketball analyst and Hall of Famer, Dick Vitale?” I felt like I was in a foreign country. He grudgingly changed one set over to the BYU game, so I could channel my “Inner Jimmer”. The smallest set in the place. Luckily I didn’t have to sit on an upside down bucket in the mens room. I was so put off by the fact that he changed it back to the UFC the minute the game was over, that I might only go there ten times this season. I usually hold a grudge longer than that, but a guys got to eat unhealthy foods. Right??
Made it into the Red Sox clubhouse before the game with the Cards. Former PawSox manager Ron Johnson was in mid-season form, insulting me, even before he said hello. Quickly caught up with the entire gang. Lester, Pedroia, Youkilis, Ellsbury, Papelbon, Buchholz, Lowrie, Reddick, Bowden, Atchison. It’s always a good feeling when the guys take time to say hi and acknowledge their old radio announcer from Pawtucket.
Check out this blog all week while I’m in Fort Myers and all season long as the Pawtucket Red Sox take on the International League.