A heavy heart (and a happy giveaway!)

::brushes away cobwebs::

Hi folks! Long time, no see!  Though in fact there’s been plenty to see… I just haven’t been that good about writing about it. Got a couple of things on my mind today, though–not least a terrific giveaway from the folks at Tickets-For-Charity!  But first…

… well, but first, I’m feeling a little heavy-hearted about the start of this season. And I think I have good reason to.

No, I’m not talking about the Red Sox record, which I firmly believe is an aberration that we will all be sick of hearing about come October when the Sox are playing in the postseason and every writer begins the story with “Not a single Red Sox fan still believed in the team in those dark days in early April…”

I’m talking about the saddest aspect of the business of baseball: the players released at the end of Spring Training. This year, for whatever reason, the cuts felt more personal, because many of them were guys I enjoyed watching and shooting in the minors (and some in the majors). This won’t be an exhaustive list, but guys like Aaron Bates


March 22, 2011

T.J. Large


March 23, 2011

Ryan Khoury


March 23, 2011

and Adam Mills


March 22, 2011

Thanks to commenter soxfc for pointing out that though he might have a hard time fighting back onto the roster, longtime favorite of sittingstill’s camera Mark Wagner is still with the organuization, somewhere!


March 21, 2011

The PawSox open at home tonight, and I’ll be there, shooting, but it won’t just be Ben Mondor whose presence will be missed.

Of course, the Red Sox home opener is tomorrow, and after the game there’ll be a Welcome Home Party at the House of Blues. Tickets for this event are sold out… but thanks to the folks at Tickets-For-Charity I have a pair of passes to give away! Tickets-for-Charity is an initiative where buyers can get great seats to sporting events, concerts, etc. and benefit charities at the same time. The face value of your purchase goes to the team/concert venue/etc…. and everything over that goes not into a scalper’s pocket but to charity! With the Red Sox, it goes to the Red Sox Foundation, but often with other tickets you actually get to specify the charity you want to benefit! It’s not an auction site, so you do get to see up front how much money would come out of your pocket. So let’s see… leave me a note in the comments, here or on Facebook, about your favorite former or current PawSox player, and I’ll draw an entry from those who participate. Quick turnaround on this… comment BEFORE 3:00PM TODAY, APRIL 7, TO BE ELIGIBLE. (I’ve got to get to Pawtucket tonight!)

As always, find all my shots at SmugMug… and don’t miss the new (and still being updated) Player Name page!

8 Comments

Casey Kelly. Such a sweet kid, very optimistic and a hard worker. He is a gifted pitcher with such a bright future in baseball, I know that it killed Theo and many others in the organization to deal him to San Diego….but they wanted Gonzalez so damn bad. (I secretly hoped they would keep Beltre on & keep Casey too) I hope that his career blossoms, and perhaps dare to hope that he (like JUSTIN MASTERSON) finds his way back to the Red Sox organization later on.
Fingers-crossed that this crappy start is through, and the boys snap out of it & get on a roll. Not a good time for the MLB to stop chewing tobacco in the dugouts!

There are so many that we’ve seen in Boston; Nava and his story are a favorite of mine – but this year I’m watching Linares. I like his story, I like that he seems like not a superstar in any way, but an all-around player with a good work ethic. I can think of one current hard-working Boston player who never looked like a superstar, and he’s grown past anyone’s expectations – and I swear I liked Linares before I heard how he admires Youk. ;) I also like what I was fortunate enough to see from him in Spring Training. P.S. Unless I’m mistaken, I believe Wagner cleared waivers and is back with the team.

My favorite current PawSox player is Andrew Miller. He showed flashes of brilliance in Spring Training along with some flashes of not so good stuff. I am hoping that he can really turn things around in Pawtucket and get his control issues straightened out. Wouldn’t it be great to see him in the bullpen in Boston by July? I am going to a PawSox game in May and I’m crossing my fingers he’ll be pitching!

Justin Masterson!!!! Masterson has so much potential and always looked like he was having fun out there. I would love to get him back but until then I will always cheer for him on the mound.

I have a huge soft spot for (2008 IL MVP) Jeff Bailey, but the former PawSox player who repays my love with pain most often is the incomparable David Murphy (which is to say that I am thrilled for him that he’s getting opportunities in Texas that he just wouldn’t have had here, but, man, I would not mind an 0-4 from him when facing Boston once in a while).

Oh, man, you folks are good. I already told Fruitgirl I’d give her a pass on naming a guy who didn’t quite make it to the PawSox; I’m not sorry we made the trade, necessarily, but I would have enjoyed seeing how Casey and Anthony Rizzo would have developed. Casey’s going to LOVE pitching in Petco when he gets there, of course, and I think Rizzo’s power was just starting to explode. I was lucky enough to shoot Linares a fair amount last year–the three Cuban Sea Dogs in the cornfield on Field of Dreams day was one of my favorite shots!–and I’ll be excited to see him in Pawtucket. Looking forward to seeing how Andrew Miller develops–I LOVE his attitude, that he’s ready and willing to go to the minors with a club that believes in him and will put the time in to help him reach his potential. Can anybody ever say enough about Justin Masterson? I’ll go to the end of my days hoping he’ll come back someday. I’ll see Jeff Bailey tonight, albeit in the wrong uniform… and I hear you on Murph, I really do! (He has to be particularly happy to be in Texas as his family grows, too, though!)

First, I have to say I’m very excited for this year. Lots of great prospects – this team is stacked. Paw Sox!

Secondly, the guy I’m watching (rooting for) is Mike Bowden. I’ve always been a fan of Mike’s since his Portland days. This guy came up as a star, was pushed into the back of the picture and seems to have become potentially the forgotten guy. He has good (not dominating) stuff but has a better work ethic than anyone I’ve ever seen. He is good with all the fans and media as well. This kid is a good model for kids and only needs an opportunity in my humble opinion.

Between this blog and its link on Facebook, I had 8 submissions. I numbered you in order of entry, then used random.org to select a number. It gave me 8, corresponding to Soxy Lady’s buzzer-beater over on Facebook!
https://www.facebook.com/kellyoc

Thanks to you all for playing!

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