Results tagged ‘ Ben Crockett ’

Off-Season Weekend: Brian Regan Show

Even though there are still a few hours left in the workweek, it’s not too early to start looking forward to the weekend. As a way to celebrate the end of the season, Heather bought us two tickets to see Brian Regan Saturday night in Boston. If you haven’t heard of Brian Regan, and you enjoy laughter, you need to check him out. He’s probably the cleanest comedian you’ll ever hear, and might be the funniest, too.


PawSox Notebook:

  • Former Red Sox catcher Jason Varitek spoke Thursday after being named  special assistant to Red Sox general manager, Ben Cherington.   He mentioned that part of the duties will include working with minor league catchers, so you can bet we’ll see him around McCoy a handful of times in 2013.
  • Watching Twins vs. Yankees highlights on SportsCenter the other morning, I couldn’t help but notice virtually every player in Minnesota’s lineup played against the PawSox at some point this season with Rochester. One Red Wings’ player we won’t see next year (at least in Rochester) is infielder Tsuyoshi Nishioka. The Japanese product asked to be released by the Twins and offered to pay back his 2013 salary of $3.25 million dollars. No surprise, the Twins said “yes.” Minnesota signed Nishioka for $9.25 million after shelling out $5.3 million for Nishioka’s exclusive negotiating rights from Japan. In 71 games with the Twins, Nishioka hit just .215 and was a defensive liability.
  • Speaking of big money, in 2011 the Red Sox cut a $2.5 million signing bonus check to, at the time, 19-year-old catcher Blake Swihart. After finishing his first full pro season in Single-A Greenville, the former 26th overall pick has impressed Red Sox Director of Player Development, Ben Crockett in fall instructional league. “Defensively, it’s been impressive. He’s really taken some strides forward. The athleticism he’s shown behind the plate allows him to pick up things quickly.”
  • Earlier this afternoon I received an ESPN mobile alert on my phone saying Terry Francona will interview for the Cleveland Indians’ managerial job. I know he’ll get back in to managing soon, but I sure will miss him on Sunday Night Baseball.
  • Like most offices, the PawSox staff  has mixed political views. However, no matter what side you fall on, if you’re like us, you’ll have a blast with iSpeech Obama. You type, he speaks! We’ve had a lot of fun with this over the last few days, especially my desk-mate, Rick Medeiros.



Tito has been fun to watch on ESPN Sunday Night Baseball, but already the clock is ticking when he’ll get back into managing. (Reuters Photo)

PawSox Insider: Season 10, Episodes 2 & 3

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After some minor technical issues, our PawSox Insider podcast page on iTunes has been fully updated and now has the two most recent episodes of the show.

Episode 2 Summary

PawSox manager Arnie Beyeler joined us to talk about Spring Training, his early observations of JetBlue Park, and what it ‘s like working with Bobby Valentine. Joe Castiglione, the long-time “Voice of the Red Sox,” spoke to us from Ft. Myers and talked about his excitement for the upcoming season. In the final segment, Alex Speier, Red Sox reporter for, talked with Steve and me about Valentine, Andrew Bailey, Jose Iglesias, and what he watching for in 2012.

Episode 3 Summary

Ryan Kalish phoned in from Spring Training in Ft. Myers and talked about how his rehab from shoulder and neck surgery is coming along. In the third segment of the show, Ben Crockett, the Red Sox Director of Player Development, chatted about how he’s transitioning into his new job and what his day-to-day is like during Spring Training. To wrap up the show, Brian MacPherson, the Red Sox beat writer for the Providence Journal, talked about his recent visit to Spring Training and what he feels are the most interesting storylines to keep an eye on entering the 2012 Red Sox season.

Thanks for listening to the show; we’re really excited to now have it on iTunes.  As always, if you ever have any ideas or suggestions for the program, don’t hesitate to let me know.



Leap Year Baseball Birthdays

Every four years we get presidential elections, the Olympics, the World Cup, and a leap day.

Dating back to the mid-1800s, there have been over 17,400 major league baseball players – 0.0006% celebrate their birthday today.

Pepper Martin, aka "The Wild Horse of the Osage," played third base and outfield for St. Louis.

1. Terrence Long, 1976 (8 seasons)
2. Bill Long, 1960 (6 seasons)
3. Jerry Fry, 1956 (1 season)
4. Al Autry, 1952 (1 season)
5. Steve Mingori, 1944 (10 seasons)
6. Al Rosen, 1924 (10 seasons)
7. Pepper Martin, 1904 (13 seasons)
8. Ralph Miller, 1896 (3 seasons)
9. Roy Parker, 1896 (1 season)
10. Ed Appleton, 1892 (2 seasons)
11. Dickey Pearce, 1936 (7 seasons)

Now that it’s officially snowing here at McCoy Stadium, here’s what’s going on today from Ft. Myers:

  • Nick Cafardo (@NickCafardo) reported via Twitter that “Ryan Kalish did his first throwing since shoulder surgery from 45 feet. About 20-30 throws.”
  • Scott Lauber (@ScottLauber) added, “Ryan Kalish, returning from shoulder surgery, made 20-30 “real light” throws. Everything went well.”
  • Today Sean McAdam wrote about Kalish’s rehab:
“It’s going to be weeks (before swinging), not months … There’s no timeline. I’m at the point where we’re just trying to figure it out. Just consulting with everyone, we think it’s better to have a more conservative rehab rather than pushing it.”  Read the entire article.

Kalish isn't rushing his shoulder rehab (Comcast SportsNet)

  • Like a kid buying school supplies, Rob Bradford reports this morning that PawSox shortstop Jose Iglesias recently received a shipment of new bats at the Red Sox Spring Training training complex:

“… a development [Iglesias] was clearly excited about, partly due to his decision to switch to a new model. Iglesias is using a Louisville Slugger B363 instead of a C271, which means he will be wielding a bigger barrel. It’s a practice he started at the end of last season.”

  • Episode 2 of PawSox Insider should be up on iTunes shortly.
  • Steve and I will be recording the third episode of the year tomorrow afternoon – it airs Saturday.  Our guests will include Ben Crockett, the Red Sox Director of Player Development, Randy Mobley, International League President, and Brian MacPherson, Red Sox beat writer for the Providence Journal.
  • For kids it’s school supplies.  For Iglesias it’s new baseball bats.  For minor league baseball employees it’s new magnetic schedules.  Hours ago, our shipment of 30,000 magnetic schedules was delivered to McCoy.  Now there’s no excuse for not knowing the date of Opening Day (April 5).

Enjoy the snow,


VIDEO: Talking with Alex Hassan & Luis Exposito

Below are two more video interviews I was able to get (along with my trusty camera man, Matt), during last Friday’s PawSox Media Luncheon.

Alex Hassan – OF

A Milton, Ma. native, Alex has enjoyed a productive offseason after suiting up in the prospect driven Arizona Fall League where he played for Scottsdale under PawSox manager Arnie Beyeler. If for no other reason, you should click play to learn about his backyard as a kid.

Luis Exposito – C

After spending all of 2011 with the PawSox, Exposito will return to Pawtucket to begin 2012. Learn what he’s aiming to improve upon this year and how being bilingual helps him catch.

Tonight I’ll be attending the Boston Baseball Writers Dinner at the The Westin Copley Place Hotel in Boston. I’ll be sure to take some pics and post them on the blog tomorrow. My plan is to then post my final two interviews with Arnie Beyeler and Red Sox Director of Player Development Ben Crockett on Saturday.


VIDEO: Meet Alex Wilson & Brandon Duckworth

I had a great time last Friday during our Media Luncheon here at McCoy Stadium and had a chance to catch up with a number of the invitees. As promised, I’ll be posting those video interviews here on the blog this week and today we begin with two of the best guys you’ll meet in the minor leagues:

RHP – Alex Wilson

The 2011 Red Sox Minor League Pitcher of the Year talks about his late season call up to Pawtucket and what it was like working the 5 a.m. shift at Lowe’s Hardware in College Station, Tx. during the offseason.

RHP – Brandon Duckworth

Duckworth, who spent all of 2011 with the PawSox, describes what it’s like to be the veteran in the clubhouse and how he’s learned this offseason that being a mom is the hardest job anyone can ever have.

As you can see, both are great guys and terrific interviews. In the next coming days I’ll be posting my interviews with Alex Hassan, Luis Exposito, Arnie Beyeler, and Ben Crockett.


PHOTOS: Preparing for Media Luncheon & Hot Stove League Party

We might be months away form Opening Day, but there’s no doubt things are gearing up here at McCoy Stadium.  This afternoon we’re holding a Media Luncheon (not open to the public) where local media members can meet and interview:

  • Manager, Arnie Beyeler
  • Red Sox Dir. of Player Development, Ben Crockett
  • RHP Alex Wilson
  • RHP Brandon Duckworth
  • OF Alex Hassan
  • C Luis Exposito

I’ll have a chance to do a video interview with all of the above names as well.  Those videos will be posted here as well as

Despite the large amount of media we’re expecting, the big event is tonight from 6:00 – 9:00.  The 35th Annual Hot Stove League Party will feature all of the players, along with Arnie, and is a chance for fans to collect autographs and interact with the guys.

Below are some photos from around 10:00 this morning preparing for the events.

The media will not only get to interview players, but will be served a terrific roasted turkey lunch prepared by team chef Ken Bowdish.

The PawSox batting tunnel will be used for the Q&A portion of the Hot Stove League Party. Fans will then have the chance to collect autographs.

Just a reminder that while the Media Luncheon is closed to the public, tonight’s Hot Stove League Party is FREE and no RSVP is required.  You can enter the ballpark through the entry tower in left field.  Food and drink  will be served.

As if you needed another reason to attend, the first fan to come into the PawSox Team Store with their autograph sheet signed by each player in attendance (including Arnie), will get a 4-pack of tickets to the April 7th doubleheader vs. Lehigh Valley.

See you tonight!