Results tagged ‘ John Farrell ’

A Split in The Electric City

by Will Flemming (@WillFlemming)

In 1880, the Dickson Locomotive Corporation in Scranton, PA illuminated its facility with electric lights.  Six years later, the coal-mining hub built the first network of electric streetcars anywhere in the country, leading the Baptist minister David Spencer to dub Scranton “the Electric City.”

Scranton - It's Electric

In the years since, Scranton has watched the coal industry ebb and flow, and the eastern Pennsylvania town has gained notoriety as the fictional home of “The Office.” Over the last four days, the Pawtucket Red Sox did not go on any paper sales calls with Michael Scott – but they did spend their share of time at the sparkling PNC Field, the renovated home of the Scranton RailRiders.

The PawSox split four games over the last three days after the opener was snowed out.  The series saw another dominant start from Eddie Rodriguez, a three-hit game from Blake Swihart and more impressive contributions from Humberto Quintero.  Garin Cecchini returned off the Disabled List and hit the ball extremely hard three times on Sunday.  You can listen to Humberto’s third big-fly this week below:

Sox manager John Farrell told reporters that Rusney Castillo may DH for Pawtucket as early as Wednesday, according to the Boston Globe’s Pete Abraham:

Given that the PawSox saw the promotion of both Matt Barnes and Heath Hembree to Boston throughout the weekend and that they played their third doubleheader in less than two weeks, the club has to feel fine about splitting the four-game set.

Throughout this 2015 season, we are going to take you on virtual tours of many of the new ballparks in the International League.  With a new yard on the horizon for the PawSox, we’ll highlight some of the wonderful features in parks around the circuit.  From dugout suites to party decks to polished club seating, the International League has vaulted the fan experience into the 21st century.

PNC Field was renovated throughout the 2013 season; the seating capacity was reduced to 10,000 fans.  The revamped seating bowl offers fans a far more intimate setting, improved sightlines and better access to the game.

Fewer seats mean better sightlines in Scranton.

Fewer seats mean better sightlines in Scranton.

The RailRiders built bars in both outfield corners.  As you’ll see in later posts from places like Durham and Indianapolis, these terraced bars are a fantastic option for fans: full service bars and restaurants just atop the outfield wall offer a unique and entertaining perspective.

Fans get food and beers hand delivered - a few feet away from the rightfielder.

Fans get food and beers hand delivered – a few feet away from the rightfielder.

Throughout the concourse, PNC Field offers fans a wide range of concessions options; they’ve got all the basics from hot dogs to hamburgers, but adventurous patrons can indulge in gyros, steak-covered fries (a Josh Maurer favorite as you can see below) and local barbeque.

Decadent food options delight fans and broadcasters alike

Decadent food options delight fans and broadcasters alike

After a chocolate milkshake from a local creamery, I was able to roll myself up to the Mohegan Sun Club level.  Fans find a dedicated entryway:

The entryway is nice....

The entryway is nice….

But it’s only once the elevator doors open upstairs that they see the real prize:

Flat screens, granite countertops and a VIP feel welcome you to the Club level

Flat screens, granite countertops and a VIP feel welcome you to the Club level

On Saturday night, fans took in the ‘Riders game, NBA and NHL playoffs and the Yankees/Mets game with a cold drink in hand at this spectacular bar.  Behind the bar, an expansive restaurant beckons:

club restaurant

The corridors of the entire ballpark are decorated with wonderful Yankees’ memorabilia.  These high-end finishes give PNC Field a truly big-league feel:

Joe D, Yogi and The Mick - the history of the Yankees is everywhere

Joe D, Yogi and The Mick – the history of the Yankees is everywhere

The suites themselves are polished and sparkle.  Indoor/Outdoor seating options, customizable menus and waitress service accompany these luxurious boxes:

A bevy of menu options are just one of the many amenities in PNC's suites

A bevy of menu options are just one of the many amenities in PNC’s suites

And when in the suites, the ‘fridge is never far away:

You never have to go far to find food and drink

You never have to go far to find food and drink

Ten steps away from a personal bar, you can find yourself in some of the best seats in the house:

It's hard to find a better seat than these

It’s hard to find a better seat than these

At the end of the suite level, PNC boasts a massive party deck:party deck

In case it’s cold, the ‘Riders have you covered with heaters built into the deck’s roof:

On a cold night in Scranton, they've got you covered (and heated).

On a cold night in Scranton, they’ve got you covered (and heated).

On my walk back down to the clubhouse, Joe D offered one last smile:

On the way to 56, Dimaggio tied Wee Willie Keeler's 44-game streak

On the way to 56, Dimaggio tied Wee Willie Keeler’s 44-game streak

Even the Yankee Clipper would like the clubhouses in Scranton; big-league stall lockers for every player, with the batting cages immediately adjacent:

An expansive clubhouse welcomes players to Scranton

An expansive clubhouse welcomes players to Scranton

All in all, PNC is a great place for fans to watch a ballgame – and for ballplayers to compete in one.

Josh and I look forward to talking to you from McCoy tomorrow night at 6:00 P.M.  First pitch slated for 6:15, and we’ve got a fabulous pitching matchup between Brian Johnson and Syracuse’s A.J. Cole.

Until the pregame show on WHJJ and the PawSox Radio Network, I wish you a goodnight from somewhere on Highway 84.

PawSox Insider Podcast: Beyeler, MacPherson

From coaching staff changes, to players coming and going through free agency, there seems to be no lack of storylines for the PawSox this off-season. As a result, it seemed like a natural idea to create a podcast version of our PawSox Insider radio show for an in-depth look at all the news.

Twice a month you’ll be able to hear my interviews with players, coaches, and local Boston media members talking all things PawSox. Soon the podcast will be available for download on the iTunes store and will always be accessible at


In the first episode I interviewed former Pawtucket manager Arnie Beyeler about his promotion to Boston as the Red Sox new first base coach. One of the interesting things Arnie talked about was how much his experience as a pro scout for the Detroit Tigers helped his development as a manager. We also chatted about his new relationship with Red Sox manager John Farrell and what he likes about his managerial style.

Arnie was all smiles after guiding the PawSox to their first Governors’ Cup championship in 28 years. (Kelly O’Connor)

Brian MacPherson (@brianmacp) of the Providence Journal then joined me on the phone to discuss why Arnie is a good fit in Boston and who might be his successor in Pawtucket.

I hope you enjoy the first podcast of the off-season. If there is anyone you’d like to hear from in an upcoming episode, feel free to reach out to me using my contact info below.



Reporting From John Farrell Press Conference

Tuesday afternoon the Boston Red Sox introduced John Farrell as the 46th manager in franchise history. Two things were apparent within the first few minutes of Farrell’s opening statement: he clearly defined both his style of baseball and his style of managing.

“I truly believe in an up-tempo, aggressive style of play,” Farrell said from the podium. “To play that style of game does create an attitude which I believe is critical to win at the Major League level, and that’s to be relentless.”

Without any sort of prompting, he then immediately tackled the subject of dealing with players.

“Most importantly, because I’ve been here before, there will be no taking for granted that relationships [with players] exist. I will work my butt off to earn their trust, to earn their respect, and create an environment in that clubhouse that is a trusting one. It’ll be a learning one, and, yes, it’ll be a competitive one and hopefully a successful one at the same time.

“If that’s being described as a players’ manager, then maybe that’s what I am.”

Farrell then commented that his most pressing objective is get the coaching staff in order and he clearly described the type of coaches he’s looking to surround himself with.

“They are guys who are credible. They will have different sets of experiences. But the fact that they will have the players’ best interests in their minds, and as their guides, will be a criteria that I’ll look to include in every guy that’s added to this staff.”

While you can only tell so much from a press conference, Farrell came across as a sound communicator who is confident yet humble about his abilities. He spoke with authority and had almost a calm, fatherly element to him — something he referenced was important to him in a manager as a young player.

Although we won’t know for some time how this decision will turn out, Farrell appears to have the right demeanor and attitude to be successful in Boston.



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