Results tagged ‘ mccoy stadium ’

Homestand Recap (9/1-9/5): The Finale

by Ryan Young

We’re already a week removed from the final game of the 2016 season. It’s hard to believe. But they did save the best for last. Before the goodbyes, it was time for call-ups, awards and more shenanigans.

The Call-Ups

The Red Sox delayed their first round of September call-ups by a day because they had an off-day on September 1. When they announced them, the best story of the 2016 season unfolded. This was the only season I have spent around a Triple-A team, but I don’t think anything more fulfilling can happen than witnessing Robby Scott get the call to the show.

There were indications that Scott’s call-up would come. Manager Kevin Boles and pitching coach Bob Kipper were pushing for him to get an opportunity and he was being used in shorter outings and against more lefthanded batters as August progressed. Such a role replicated what he would do in Boston, different from how he was used (mainly in spot starts and long relief) for much of the season.

Regardless of his role, Scott was terrific on the mound and thus was Pawtucket’s most valuable pitcher in 2016. Sensing what could be on the way, I had an extensive conversation with Scott on August 31 in Allentown (about 30 hours before he got the call to the Red Sox). Here’s the entire interview, where we talked about the reason for his success, his various roles this season, the potential of playing in the big leagues and much more. I even quizzed him on the four PawSox players who remained on the active roster from the beginning of the season through the end of August.

 

The following night (after the first game of the homestand), I was able to speak again with Robby after he found out the news.

Listen to Robby’s first three words again. “Dreams come true.” Sound familiar?

“PawSox Baseball, where dreams come true.” Those are the lyrics to our theme song, that the great Charles Steinberg created for this season. It’s almost too perfect, but that’s what this level of baseball, and for that matter, sports, are all about.

All of us at the PawSox and many people in the Red Sox organization could not be happier for Robby. Not only did he have to climb his way up the ladder from Independent ball, but along the way he has been such a great asset to the community. In fact, he won this year’s Sullivan Tire PawSox Spirit Award for his work off the field. (He’s the only player in PawSox history to earn that honor in addition to being named Most Valuable Pitcher.)

Scott then struck out the first two batters he faced in the majors!

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In addition to Robby, both Joe Kelly and Deven Marrero hopped on a flight to California on the morning of September 2nd. Being the wizards that we are at the PawSox Radio Network, you can listen to interviews with all three call-ups from that weekend’s PawSox Insider:

While Deven Marrero discussed his recent play on the field and the challenge of playing a bench role in the big leagues, he also talked with me about the ping pong antics that took over the PawSox clubhouse in August.

 

Meanwhile, Kelly pulled no punches in his final Triple-A appearance of the season.

Big congrats to Christian Vazquez, Noe Ramirez and Heath Hembree on getting the calls to the Red Sox as well. Certainly no surprises there.lmz_7979

Slugging Through the End

There was no surprised when it was revealed that Chris Marrero won team MVP honors this season. He was the team’s iron man (played
131 of 142 games), while he hit .284 with 23 home runs and 71 RBI. I spoke with him about receiving such an awa
rd and his entire season.

 

Three men (who played 10+ games) batted at least .300 for Pawtucket this season:

Marco Hernandez hit .309 and looked terrific at this level offensively. He deservingly earned a call to Boston a week before September arrived.

Dan Butler hit .3lmz_830208 and he was absolutely remarkable in his various catching roles throughout the season. He was the starting catcher in between Sandy Leon’s call to the bigs and Christian Vazquez’s return to Pawtucket. But otherwise, he was incredibly consistent off the bench. As a PawSox veteran, Butler truly deserves to be commended for his season.

Ryan LaMarre hit .303 with a career high-tying 10 home runs. Without having to worry about injuries last offseason, he was able to make adjustments that delivered him the best season of his professional career, which included a team-high 27-game hitting streak and a month up in Boston. I spoke with Ryan about his season and if was recognized on the streets of Boston during his time up in the majors.

One Last Celebrationimg_5177

Following the final night game of the season, over 1,000 of our fans set a world record on the field for the largest game of catch!

Not to be outdone, our baseball team set some records on the field as well the next afternoon.

Fortuantely, Hurricane Hermine stayed away long enough and we were able to play the season finale on Labor Day at McCoy. The PawSox won their third straight game to end the season with stellar pitching in each game.

In fact, the Sox allowed their fewest runs in a season ever (512 runs), a full 30 runs less than the previous record set by the 1975 squad. Additionally, the 3.36 team ERA was Pawtucket’s best mark since the club sported a franchise record 3.30 ERA in 1981.

All that great pitching, mixed with solid hitting and defense led the PawSox to the ninth-best record in Triple-A. (It’s possible that if they played in any other Triple-A division, they would have been a playoff team.) Thus, there was plenty to celebrate after the season finale.

First came the final out.

Then, after I spent all season talking about the team’s celebrations, Chris Marrero and Chris Dominguez pulled a fast one on me as I tried to interview Bryce Brentz to cap the season.

Sigh. Next, the PawSox players stepped over the puddle they created as they lined the third base line one last time.

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Finally, they participated in a McCoy tradition to close the season.

And then it was goodbye. The players quickly filed out, and only packages to be sent to their various destinations remained. Here is a small fraction of them in our offices:

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What a way to end a fantastic season at McCoy. More reflections coming later this September. Hope you enjoyed the “homestand recaps” and thanks for reading.

PawSox Announce 2013 Schedule

On a cold and rainy day at McCoy Stadium, there’s no better time to announce the PawSox 2013 schedule.

The defending Governors’ Cup Champion Pawtucket Red Sox will play their 2013 home-opener at McCoy Stadium on Thursday, April 11 against the Rochester Red Wings at 7:05 pm.  The PawSox 2013 season will actually start one week earlier on April 4  when they play the inaugural game at the newly-renovated PNC Field in Moosic, PA against the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees.

The PawSox and Yankees will play a four-game series from April 4-7 in a rematch of last year’s International League semi-final playoff round won by the PawSox.  Pawtucket will then move to LehighValley for a three-game set from April 8-10 before making their 2013 McCoy Stadium debut on April 11.  Pawtucket’s home-opener will begin with a celebration of the 2012 Governors’ Cup team as PawSox players will receive their championship rings as part of special pre-game ceremonies.

VIEW COMPLETE SCHEDULE

The initial homestand will feature several special events to honor the first PawSox team to win the Governors’ Cup in 28 years.  Pawtucket’s 8-game homestand runs from April 11-18 and includes a four-game series vs. Rochester followed by a fpur-game set vs. LehighValley.  The series vs. the IronPigs will be highlighted by a pair of weekday matinee games at McCoy during school vacation week on Tuesday, April 16 and Thursday, April 18, both at 12:05 pm.

Pawtucket’s home schedule consists of 54 night games and 18 day games with the following breakdown by month: April (12), May (13), June (17), July (13), August (17), and September (0).

2013 Ticket Prices

Box Seats will be priced at $12.00 apiece.  Adult General Admission tickets will be $8.00 while General Admission tickets for both Children (aged 12 and under) and Senior Citizens will be $5.00 apiece.  Box Seat and Adult General Admission prices reflect a $1 increase from last season.  Child and Senior General Admission tickets remain the same at just $5.00.

PawSox Box Seat Season Tickets are priced at $625.00 each (a significant savings of 28% off the box office price) and include a number of exclusive season ticket holder events.  The PawSox also offer a variety of Flex Ticket Packages that allow fans the convenience of choosing from among several games at a substantial savings.

Flex tickets can be purchased in quantity amounts of 25, 50, and 100.  The price for 25 flex tickets is $175 (general admission) & $300 (box seats).  The price for 50 flex tickets is $325 (GA) & $525 (box).  And the price for 100 flex tickets is $600 (GA) & $1,000 (box).

Season tickets, group sales packages, suite rentals, barbecue reservations, and gift certificates are currently on sale at the PawSox Office or by phone with any major credit card by calling (401) 724-7300.  For more information please click here.

Individual game tickets will go on sale at the PawSox Box Office at McCoy on Saturday, December 1 at 10:00 a.m.  Tickets will also be available beginning that day on-line at www.pawsox.com.  Beginning on December 3, orders can be charged by phone by calling the PawSox at (401) 724-7300.

-AG

@aaronmgoldsmith
agoldsmith@pawsox.com

Monsoon at McCoy

After a 5:30 a.m. bus ride to the airport in Indianapolis Saturday morning to close out an eight-game road trip, a rainout isn’t the worst thing that could happen.

Follwing a delay of slightly over an hour, the PawSox and Yankees were postponed because of a virtual flood at McCoy Stadium Saturday evening. Here’s how things looked after roughly 30-45 minutes of constant downpour.

This was the view from inside the home dugout with water over ankle-deep.

If you’ve been to McCoy, you know the vast amount of foul territory on either side of the infield. It was all completely flooded Saturday night.

Right with you thought there was a chance the downpor might let up, it just rained even harder.

After the game was postponed, that’s when the real fun began. I had to take off my shoes and socks, roll up my pant legs, and walk through shin-deep water (no joke) to get to my car! In certain parts of the parking lot, water was coming up to almost above the tires of some smaller cars.

The PawSox and Yankees will play their regularly scheduled Sunday game at 1:05 p.m. with a doubleheader yet to be scheduled in the near future. They’ll be back at McCoy August 14-18 and August 31 – September 3 to close the regular season.

-AG

@aaronmgoldsmith
agoldsmith@pawsox.com

PawSox By the Numbers

We’re a whopping four games into the 2012 season, so why not break down the numbers. Some of them are serious, others are more for fun. Here you go …

Aaron Cook tossed the PawSox first complete game of the season yesterday. He used 89 pitches to work through seven innings. (Boston Globe/Jim Davis)

33 – Runners the PawSox have left on base.

2 – Home runs hit this season.

13,219 – Attendance at McCoy Stadium.

14 – People who found this blog yesterday by searching “Katy Perry.”

2 – Quality starts from PawSox pitchers.

9 – Pitches it took Rich Hill the strikeout three batters in his rehab game last night with Greenville.

.986 – PawSox fielding percentage (second-best in the International League).

1 – Complete games thrown by a Pawtucket starter (7.0 IP, Aaron Cook). The PawSox had just one all last year.

2 – Times Ryan Lavarnway has already been intentionally walked.

50.5 – Average first pitch temperature.

1966 – The last year the Red Sox and Yankees both started a season 0-3.

16 – Reese’s Peanut Butter Eggs I’ll eat today.

Happy Easter!

-AG

@aaronmgoldsmith
agoldsmith@pawsox.com

PawSox Picture of the Week

Now that we’re under a month away from Opening Day here at McCoy Stadium, it’s amazing how much things are really beginning to ramp up around the ballpark.  Our sales team is staying later each night and are constantly making phone calls throughout the day.  Our maintenance crew is giving a face-lift to some of the field level suites, and our graphics team of Kevin and Bonnie are clicking, highlighting, dragging and dropping like a couple of crazed computer programmers.

Despite the recent frenzy, PawSox President Mike Tamburro took some time this past weekend to celebrate Dr. Seuss’ birthday by reading some classic storybooks to some young PawSox fans.

Although it appears as though Mike is reading a storybook, I’m willing to go out on a limb that Mike is actually telling these kids, “McCoy Stadium is the most affordable, family-friendly entertainment experience in New England.  Do any of you like soda and popcorn?”

All joking aside, Mike, who was recently elected to the International League Hall of Fame, is one of the hardest-working, most well-respected executives in all of minor league baseball.  It says a lot about your organization when the team president makes appearances like this.

Report from the Fort

  • Early indications are that PawSox third baseman Will Middlebrooks has really impressed new Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine:

“His offensive acumen is well beyond his years,” said Valentine. “He’ll see a pitcher that he’s seen before and be able to pull down that menu of pitches he throws, understand the speed, the angles, the programs that a pitcher uses to try to get a hitter out.”

Read the rest of what Valentine had to say in this article written by Alex Speier.

  • Speaking of Speier, he conducted a terrific interview with future PawSox outfielder, Alex Hassan.  Here’s my favorite quote from Hassan during their conversation:
“When my eyes tell me that’s a pitch to hit hard, that’s when I swing.”
Listen to the full interview.
  • It was a thrill for me to get to interview the great Joe Castiglione. (Boston Red Sox)

    In case you missed it, Episodes 2 and 3 of PawSox Insider is now available for your listening pleasure on iTunes.  We’ve already received over 500 downloads from our first two shows of the year and hope that you continue to listen “on demand” via iTunes as the season approaches.  You can listen on your computer or download the shows to your phone, iPod, or other portable .mp3 player and take us wherever you go.

          In the latest episodes Steve and I chatted with:
  • Joe Castiglione – “Voice of the Red Sox”
  • Ryan Kalish – Red Sox outfielder
  • Ben Crockett – Red Sox Director of Player Development
  • Arnie Beyeler – PawSox manager
  • Brian MacPherson – Red Sox Beat Writer, Providence Journal
  • Alex Speier – Red Sox Reporter, WEEI.com
  • Thanks to my most recent subscribers: clemson28, jws02673, and kenfish1.  We’re up to 48 subscribers now and I just might have to conduct a brief email interview with my 50th subscriber.  Just think, world-wide fame could be yours if you happen to be lucky No. 50.  Subscribing is easy: just enter your email address in the empty box in the top-right corner of this screen and click “Subscribe.”
  • Along those lines, thanks to all my loyal readers who have helped to get this blog off the ground.  In two months you’ve given me over 11,000 hits and made this the top-read minor league blog during the month of February.  I’m so grateful for your continued support.

-AG

@aaronmgoldsmith
agoldsmith@pawsox.com

Baseball is Back

There are many notable dates leading up to baseball season, but one that certainly ranks near near the top of the list is today, March 1st.  With March comes Spring Training games, players competing for jobs, and reporters dashing around trying to get the latest scoop on such topics as Carl Crawford’s new-found bunting skills.

The first pitch of 2012 came yesterday at 1:07 pm. The Phillies' Austin Hyatt to Florida State's Sherman Johnson. (Jayson Stark's cell phone)

Sure, Spring Training games are exhibitions, but they give major leaguers the chance to get back into the routine, and minor leaguers the opportunity to absorb a major league atmosphere.  For fans, Spring Training signals a return to the ballpark, collecting autographs, and enjoying overpriced hot dogs along with the novelty that never seems to wear off, Dippin’ Dots.

In case you missed it, there was already an “exhibition” game played. Yesterday, the Phillies topped Florida State University’s baseball team, 6-1. Jason Stark (@jaysonst) of ESPN even did the baseball world a favor by snapping this high-resolution cell phone picture of the first pitch of the 2012 season.

For those PawSox fans who enjoyed rooting for Hector Luna last season when he manned third base at McCoy Stadium, you’ll be especially happy to learn that it was Luna – who now plays in the Phillies’ system – who hit the first home run of 2012.  I wonder if Vegas saw that coming?

Baseball is back, and we couldn’t be happier.

-AG

@aaronmgoldsmith
agoldsmith@pawsox.com

Treasure Buried Beneath McCoy Stadium

I keep learning more interesting facts and trivia about my new office, McCoy Stadium.  The home of the PawSox was built in 1942 and turns 70-years-old this year.  One of the things that makes this ballpark’s history so fascinating is that it was literally built on a swamp/landfill.  As a result, over the years some interesting objects have surfaced in and around the ballpark while doing off-season construction.

No surprise, one of those objects was found this week by the PawSox construction crew.  Their recent project has been installing new drainage lines under the warning tracks so that our rain delays are a little shorter this season.  They’re installing drainage lines about every 30 feet and are digging about three feet deep despite the ground being frozen.

Earlier this week while digging up the track in right field, the guys stumbled upon this gem roughly two and a half feet underground:

I know it doesn’t look like much, but this beauty is the primary crank/gear mechanism for an Alaska Freezer ice cream maker circa 1913.  Can you say Antiques Road Show?

According to Mick Tedesco, the PawSox Vice President of Operations, everything from an old license plate to cork-top bottles (with liquid remaining) has been found beneath the surface of McCoy Stadium. Maybe it’s because this is the first treasure found since I’ve started working here that I’m particularly fascinated with it.

This is what it used to look like:

If you’re really into iron-flavored ice cream, this piece of history can be yours for only $30.  And why wouldn’t you want it? According to the old newspaper ad pictured below, “the Alaska Freezer turns plain and inexpensive ingredients into the most dainty and delicious deserts.”

It goes on to say that the Alaska Freezer “is the American housewife’s most satisfying purchase” and that it “freezes ice cream in three minutes.”  Are you kidding me?  I tend to make homemade ice cream once or twice a year and my ice cream machine (that actually plugs into the wall) takes at least 20 minutes to get the ice cream mixture to a “milkshake” consistency.

Now that I read the ad a little closer, maybe the best line is in the first paragraph where it states that “your family will be made happier and healthier” by incorporating the Alaska Freezer into your diet.

I think we can all at least agree on the happier part.

-AG

@aaronmgoldsmith
agoldsmith@pawsox.com