Results tagged ‘ Terry Francona ’

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)

PHOTOS: Red Sox vs. Yankees at JetBlue Park

Well before Bobby Valentine created a stir by saying he was upset by Joe Giradi’s decision to end Thursday night’s game in a 4-4 tie, it was a circus at JetBlue Park for one reason: Terry Francona.

The former Red Sox manager was part of the ESPN broadcast team covering the game and the media went crazy over Tito’s return to Red Sox Spring Training.  Below are some pics I took throughout the day.

Every reporter in the house wanted to talk with Tito before the game.

Francona looked like he enjoyed seeing some familiar faces from the Boson media. 

Bobby Valentine talking with David Ortiz during batting practice.

PawSox manager Arnie Beyeler throwing BP before the game.

The view of batting practice from the dugout.

A single Rawlings MLB baseball on the Shop costs $16.99. Maybe this is why parking at Fenway costs so much?

Red Sox super-shortstop-prospect Jose Iglesias taking some infield during batting practice.

Bobby Valentine chatting with Dan Schulman and Orel Hershiser of ESPN. Buster Olney is sitting to the left.

This was taken about two hours before first pitch. Gates open at JetBlue Park 90 minutes prior to the start of the game. One security guard told me that there were people who camped out overnight!

This was a real thrill for me to be able to see these three great broadcasters: Joe Castiglione, the “Voice of the Red Sox,” Don Orsillo, the TV voice of the Red Sox on NESN, and all the way at the end is Dan Schulman of ESPN Sunday Night Baseball.

The Monstah.

There is seating on top of the Monster and in the Monster.  You can’t see it well in this picture, but there is netting in front of the seats in the Monster to protect the fans.

Pesky’s Pole in right field already getting some signatures.

The view from on top of the Green Monster. 

Today I’m off to the Twins’ complex for a 1:00 first pitch between Pawtucket and Rochester with my good friend and “Voice of the Portland Sea Dogs,” Mike Antonellis. More on today’s game coming later tonight.



Meeting Joe Castiglione

“Swing and a ground ball, stabbed by Foulke. He has it. He underhands to first, and the Boston Red Sox are the world champions! For the first time in 86 years, the Red Sox have won baseball’s world championship! Can YOU believe it?”‘ – Joe Castiglione 

In my short time with the PawSox, I can already tell that they’re all about the community. From banquet dinners, to chamber events, to last night’s gathering in Providence put on by WEEI, my social life has boomed since arriving in Pawtucket (am I the first person to say that?).

No doubt the highlight for me last night, along with everyone else in attendance, was meeting the “Voice of the Red Sox,” Joe Castiglione.  I had the pleasure of meeting Joe in the booth at Fenway Park at the end of the 2010 season, but he was on the mic and I only had time to say a quick “hi” in-between innings.

There’s no doubting Joe’s dedication, knowledge, and passion.  Can you remember what you were doing professionally 30 years ago?  If you’re like me, you weren’t even alive 30 years ago.  Well, I can tell you what Joe was doing.  He was beginning his first year calling games on radio for the Boston Red Sox.  Before that, Joe called play-by-play for the Cleveland Indians on television and broadcast the Milwaukee Brewers on TV as well.

When talking with him last night I was surprised to learn that Boston was his first actual radio job.  I also found it interesting that Bobby Valentine will be the 10th Red Sox manager Joe has worked with while in Boston.  Can you name the other nine?

1. Ralph Houk (1981-84; 312-282)
2. John McNamara (1985-88; 297, 273)
3. Joe Morgan (1988-91; 301-262)
4. Butch Hobson (1992-94; 207-232)
5. Kevin Kennedy (1995-96; 171-135)
6. Jimy Williams (1997-2001; 414-352)
7. Joe Kerrigan (2001; 17-26)
8. Grady Little (2002-03; 188-136)
9. Terry Francona (2004-11; 375-273)

Joe was very gracious with his time, answered everyone’s questions, and posed for countless pictures (I wasn’t the only one).  My hope is to have more of a “sit-down” style interview with him at some point during Spring Training this year and will post that conversation on the blog.

Speaking of Spring Training, the Sox first game against major league competition is March 3 versus Minnesota.

36 days.

In the meantime, Joe’s second book, Can You Believe it?: 30 Years of Insider Stories with the Boston Red Sox, will soon be available at and at local retailers.  You an currently pre-order it through Barnes & Noble.  Should be a terrific read.






PawSox 2012 Coaching Staff

Over the weekend the Boston Red Sox formally announced their 2012 minor league coaching staff.  The Sox have added three new individuals for assignment in the 2012 field staff alignment, most notably Gerald Perry as the hitting coach here in Pawtucket.

In a situation that resembles Terry Francona and Bobby Valentine switching offices, Perry is part of an identical exchange with Chili Davis.  

Perry, the Oakland A’s hitting coach in 2011, was not resigned at the end of the season and was thus on the open market.  Who did Oakland replace him with?  2011 PawSox hitting coach, Chili Davis.  Who replaces Davis in Pawtucket?  Gerald Perry, of course.

And around and around we go.

The new job for Davis reunites him with former San Francisco Giants teammate, and current Oakland manager, Bob Melvin.   A three-time All-Star, Davis had a career batting average of .274, while belting 350 home runs and batted in 1,372 runs.  Despite a 19-year major league career, the Jamaican-born 52-year-old is relatively inexperienced as a coach:

2003-04: Australian National Team Hitting Coach
2010: Dodgers’ Instructional League Hitting Coach
2011: PawSox Hitting Coach

Perry is a familiar face around McCoy Stadium, previously spending four seasons in the Boston organization as a minor league hitting coach with Single-A Michigan (1997) and Pawtucket (1998 and 2010), and was the club’s minor league hitting coordinator in 1999.


Perry enters his 29th season in professional baseball after being selected by the Atlanta Braves in the 11th Round of the 1978 draft.  A 13-year major leaguer and 1988 National League All-Star, Perry’s career was spent predominately at first base.  The video above is Perry with our very own Steve Hyder at Media Day in 2010.  Below is the complete minor league field staff list for this upcoming season.  -AG

Pawtucket (Triple-A, International League)
Manager: Arnie Beyeler
Pitching Coach: Rich Sauveur
Hitting Coach:
Gerald Perry
Athletic Trainer: Jon Jochim

Portland (Double-A, Eastern League)
Kevin Boles
Pitching Coach:
Bob Kipper
Hitting Coach:
Dave Joppie
Athletic Trainer:
Brandon Henry – Begins his first year with Portland after spending the last two seasons as athletic trainer for Salem. He enters his sixth season with the organization having also served as athletic trainer for Greenville (2009) and Lowell (2008-07).

Salem (High-A, Carolina League)
Billy McMillon – Will serve as Salem’s manager after skippering at Greenville from 2010-11. He led the Drive to the South Atlantic League Championship Series in his 2010 managerial debut.
Pitching Coach: Kevin Walker
Hitting Coach:
Rich Gedman – Joins Salem after serving last season as hitting coach for Lowell in his first coaching position in affiliated ball.
Athletic Trainer: David Herrera – Moves to Salem from Greenville, where he was the Drive’s athletic trainer from 2010-11. He also held that position for Lowell (2009) and the GCL Red Sox (2008).

Greenville (Single-A, South Atlantic League)
Carlos Febles – Moves to Greenville after making his managerial debut with Lowell in 2011. He was Salem’s hitting coach from 2009-10 and held the same role for Single-A Lancaster in 2008.
Pitching Coach: Dick Such
Hitting Coach:
Darren Fenster – Joins Greenville in his affiliated coaching debut after spending six seasons on the Rutgers University baseball staff, including three as an assistant coach (2009-11). He also served as an assistant coach for the Cape Cod Baseball League’s Orleans Cardinals in 2008. Selected by Kansas City in the 12th round of the 2000 First-Year Player Draft, Fenster spent five seasons in the Royals minor league system and was named a Carolina League All-Star in 2002 and 2004.
Athletic Trainer: Mauricio Elizondo  Enters his fifth season in the Red Sox organization and his first as athletic trainer with Greenville. He previously served as athletic trainer for Lowell (2010-11) after joining the system as an intern with the GCL Red Sox (2008-09).

Lowell (Short-A, New York-Penn League)
Manager: Bruce Crabbe – Returns to Lowell after serving as Salem’s manager in 2011. This will be his third season at the helm of the Spinners (also 2006 and 2010).
Pitching Coach: Paul Abbott
Hitting Coach: Nelson Paulino – Joins Lowell as hitting coach after serving in the same capacity for the Dominican Summer League Red Sox over five seasons from 2001-02 and 2008-11.
Athletic Trainer: TBA

Gulf Coast (Rookie, Gulf Coast League)
George Lombard
Pitching Coach:
Goose Gregson
Pitching Coach:
Walter Miranda
Dave Tomlin
Hitting Coach:
U.L. Washington
Noah Hall – Makes his coaching debut after playing parts of 13 seasons as an outfielder in affiliated minor league baseball from 1996-2009. He also played parts of five seasons in independent leagues (2001, 2007 and 2009-11).