Who Would be the Red Sox Jeter?

 

Greetings PawSox Fans!

Hopefully everyone enjoyed the sunshine and very warm temps over the weekend..No idea how many of these bright and sunny days left for the season. While traveling on Route 95 you can see the trees are already changing color. It’s somewhat of a pretty sight, somewhat because I myself would much rather see the bright green happy leaves glowing in the sunshine and not worry about getting the ice scraper from out of the trunk.

    The weekend was also full of Derek Jeter. I believe a bit too much. Although not a Yankee fan at all, I am a Jeter fan. I think he is a credit to the game of baseball both on and off the field. Was Jeter the best shortstop, the answer is no. Was Jeter the best hitter to ever step into the batters box? Nope. Let the debate begin. I turned to get answers from the Best in the Business…Radio Broadcaster Jeff Levering and Vice President of Public Relations Bill Wanless. They peppered me with a plethora of info. They agreed Jeter wasnt even close to being the best ever. However, he played 20 seasons with one team, won a truckload of awards, was part of the World Series teams and has 5 World Series rings. He is the epitome of what a pro ball players should be like, a true gentleman who in 20 season in the big leagues was never ejected! He carried himself with class and never was surrounded by any type of scandal. He was The Captain of the Yankees, a very short list with names like Babe Ruth, Lou Gerhig, Don Mattingly and just about a hand-full of other Yankee greats. Jeter was a good leader who led by example.
 
     After this weekend with all the Jeter Hoopla, it was a nice sendoff from a very good baseball player and a man. The discussion came up today when I asked Bill who would the Red Sox Jeter be? Would it be Big Papi who everyone loves and has over the past several years smashed home runs in very clutch situations and always seemed to come up huge when the team needed it most. But Papi wasnt homegrown.How about Varitek? The Dirt Dogs like Trot Nixon? How about the fan favorites like Mike Lowell, Manny Ramirez or even Tim Wakefield? As we went down the list, one name popped out…..How about Dustin Pedroia?
 
     Dustin fits the bill for what a team-player is. He plays hard no matter what. He wants to win plain and simple. Regardless if the Sox are out by almost 30 game, or playing game seven in the world series, he plays the same. He works hard, very hard. He loves the game, has a great sense of humor and is always quick with a joke.
 
     I first met Dustin when he was called up from the Portland Seadogs in 2005 He was here with his Mom, Dad and then girlfriend, now wife Kelli. (They got married in 2006 and make a lovely couple)
 
Wedding
 
 
     When Dustin arrived here at McCoy he was ready to go. He was excited and a bit nervous at the same time. His mom and dad were equally sharing those emotions, and I remember how anxious she was to learn all about the PawSox. She was a very nice lady who was very anxious to find out where to park, where do they get tickets, etc…The time I got to spend with the family was great.
     Dustin would always show up at the ballpark early. He would beg people to smack balls to him at 2nd base and then field them and fire them over to first base. The only problem was, there was no first baseman! He would toss the ball at the screen and practice turning the double play running to the bag tagging it, jump in the air a bit to avoid the sliding pretend runner and toss a missile over to first base screenman. Obviously all that hard work paid off.
Dustin+Pedroia+Boston+Red+Sox+v+Houston+Astros+9ez69Oqe3WUl
    He is a very humble guy with a hard-core work ethic. He has certainly became a fan favorite. At the plate he would never get cheated on a swing! He put everything he had in his swing.
Batting
      Once in the bigs, all the hard work paid off has he won the 2007 Rookie of the Year and followed that up with the American League MVP Award in 2008. As his trophy case filled up with other awards, he remained humble and his popularity grew. How does this little guy do it? Everyone loved this guy for the way he approached the game…
     Pedroia shirts
       When his contract was up he wanted to stay with the Sox and many baseball people will say gave the team a “Hometown Discount.”  When going to a game at Fenway, I would say see his family and you could tell how proud they were of their son and Kelli of her husband. Would you saw him at Fenway before or after a game, he was the same guy that we all met at McCoy stadium
     Several years ago Dustin was the Bobblehead giveaway and Bill and went to see him to have them signed. He was the same guy. I still have one on my desk.
  Petey
      He took the time to pose for a couple of pictures with Bill and I and chatted with us a bit before he had to get ready for the game. He was still that energetic guy that couldn’t wait to play the game. What a nice picture of Dustin and Bill Wanless…
dustin-pedroia-and-bill-wanless
         So Dustin Pedroia, the Italian, Swiss and Portuguese kid is my choice for the Red Sox Jeter. I would love to have some feedback who you would pick if you don’t agree.
      On the subject of Bobblheads, Lil’ Papi and I took The Cup to Sullivan Tire in Newport on Saturday. Mark Sullivan, who is the marketing guy for the family owned and run business is a huge sports fan and is very pleased that The Cup has been returned to the PawSox and plans on it visiting all the stores.
Mark Sully
     While there Lil’ Papi checked out some tires…
Tire
        He checked out all the flowers…
Flowers
      Lil’ Papi wanted to take a ride to Goat Island and check out the beautiful boats.
     
Goat Island
          We also had to stop at Flo’s for a six-pack of clamcakes…
Flos 2
      He couldn’t take his eyes off the cakes!
      Flos
       Sullivan Tire is a sponsor of both the Boston Red Sox and the PawSox. Can you guess who the celebrity spokesman for Sullivan Tire is?  If you guessed Pedroia, You’re Right! They signed Pedroia when he was a rookie!
Sully sully tire
      Also since 1999 Sullivan Tire has made the magnet schedules for the Boston Red Sox.
1999-Magnet
        They have a board with all the years schedules on it.They also do the Schedules for the PawSox..
Magnet-Board-Photos-Only
     Before you know it, our 2015 schedule will be out. You can pick the dates and you’ll be ready to go for the season. Chances are you’ll see the next Dustin Pedroia or the next Derek Jeter…….There is one thing that you will certainly see and that’s all of us being…………….”Here For You!”
       Yours in Baseball,
        Rick Medeiros 

A Visit to The Cup!

 

Greetings PawSox Fans!

   Yesterday while working at McCoy I was told by one of the interns that a couple of season ticket holders had come to see The Cup. Yahoo (Linda) and Turtle (Kathy) came here to take their photo with The Governors’ Cup. They are avid PawSox fans and very rarely miss a game the entire season. They cheer for each player by name and encourage other fans to do the same. They are emotional fans who absolutely love the PawSox and the Staff. Yahoo relayed a story to me and I asked her permission to use it for the blog. She is a Royal Roller and will always tell me what she thinks of the blog.

Yahoo and Turtle posed for several pictures with The Cup. (Yahoo L)

Yahoo & Turtle

 

       Yahoo then told me a story in her southern drawl that reflects how bad she wanted The Cup back at McCoy Stadium. I asked if I could use it for the blog and she gave her consent. You must read the story using your best southern drawl:

     “Rick, I must tell ya, I was at my prayer meetin’ and when I got done with all my prayers I asked the folks if it would be ok if I had a special prayer request.” It was heading to game 5.  “Oh Lord you say you can handle all tasks no matter how big or how small, so may I be so bold to pray to you Lord to ask you to help the PawSox win the Governors’ Cup. I will give you all the credit”  Well by now we all know how it turned out. The Cup will now call McCoy Stadium home for at least a year!

     Yahoo then went on to tell us, “After the PawSox won The Cup I was at my church and the pastor was talking about prayer and asked if anyone had prayers answered.” Yahoo then showed us how she reluctantly and shyly raised her hand. She first raised her hand to her chin, then to her cheek, then to the top of her head and then just slightly over her head and then called out, “I want to rejoice to the Lord that the PawSox have won The Governors’ Cup Championship, Praise the Lord!”  

    Regardless of your beliefs or who you may or may not worship, it’s truly an example of how PawSox fans are wired. Was there a higher power that caused that ball crushed by the Durham Bulls that just floated to the foul side of the foul pole that would have been a home run in the upper deck?  Were there angels in the outfield that assisted Bryce Brentz to cover all that ground and throw a laser-beam strike to awaiting catcher Blake Swihart, (who may have had another angel at the plate) to make a spectacular scoop and tag the winning run out? Who knows?

    What we do know is that The Cup is here and the PawSox are the 2014 International League Champions! Yahoo, thanks for sharing your story and thanks to you and Turtle for being such great fans. Come by and visit The Cup anytime! It will be……………”Here For You!”

     Love hearing from you                              rickm@pawsox.com

     Yours in Baseball,

      Rick Medeiros 

Fenway Park, Lots of PawSox and Big Papi!

`     Greetings PawSox Fans!

Last evening was our annual trip to Fenway Park to get the bobbleheads autographed. What that means, is around this time of year, every year Vice President of Public Relations Bill Wanless and I head to a Red Sox game to have the player autograph their Bobblehead that was given away during the season. In the past there has been Daniel Bard, Dustin Pedroia, Will Middlebrooks Clay Buchholz, etc.. just to name a few.

How it works is we arrive in the early afternoon and bring some bobbleheads with us. We make arrangements with the player and then we head to the family room and set them all up.

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This was Clay Buchholz from a few years back. He then comes in and autographs them.

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When he’s done signing, there is always the pose…

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Those who have come to bobblehead night know how safely and protective these items are packaged. So, before heading up they have to be unpacked from their “Cocoon”

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Mike Lyons gives me a hand with the unpacking and repacking  into the big box…

Lyons

 

 

Now Lil’ Papi is packed back in the box and put in the bigger box to transport, and we’re off to Fenway Park.

 

Lil Papi

 

 

People love bobbleheads and have a collection. Our own Michael Gwynn, Vice President of Sales & Marketing has quite a nifty collection in his office that he has acquired over his many years here.

Collection

 

Parking at Fenway is always a challenge and the way the staff handle the parking of the players vehicles is nothing short of spectacular. I’m amazed every time I go there. It’s like a giant vehicles puzzle using some of the tiny garage, the street and the sidewalks become parking lots.

Parking

 

 

The PawsMobile fits nicely in the mix…

Park Van

Prior to heading up to the game, the Red Sox people let us know that Big Papi has a very busy schedule. We clearly understand. We let them know we would leave the bobbleheads there and when and if he gets a chance to autograph some. They will be used for local charity events and are very limited.

I get there just around 3:30 and chat with some of the staff that I havent seen for quite a while. For the last couple of years, the bobbleheads we gaveaway the players were actually here! Either assigned or on rehab, so its been a while since we had to meet with the player at Fenway.

Ortiz is always being pulled in so many directions. Between the media, the sponsors and of course the game, his time is very, very limited. There’s a few hours before the game so I had a chance to speak with Arnie Beyeler who was the PawSox Manager in 2012 when we won The Cup and is now the first base coach for the Red Sox. Also, had a chance to chat with former PawSox Manager Torey Lovullo who is now the Bench Coach with the Sox.

Then good ol’ Rubby De La Rosa came out and we squared off. He told me it was a disappointing season, but he felt he pitched well and will continue to try to get better.

Ruby

 

    Louis “El Tiante” Tiant heads to the Legends Suite and talks with Pam about some upcoming events.

El Tiante

 

 

      I also ran into my friend the Bullpen Cop Steve Horgan who threw out the first pitch at McCoy Stadium on Opening Night way back in April. He will be taking his spot in the bullpen once again for the game tonight.

Bullpen Cop

 

The McDonough Family came by and were able to get a couple of the Big Papi bobbleheads!

McDonough

 

      Officer Horgan told me about the bobblehead they gave away on Law Enforcement night during the 2014 season…Truly a great guy! I am honored to have met him and get to know him. 

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Big Papi is doing some interviews so we head over to Remy’s to have a pre-game meal. The Shrimp Scampi was pretty good.

Scampi

 

       After the meal we head back to the ballpark and get our media passes that grant us full access. We check with Pam Kenn Senior Director of Public Affairs. Pam is a very nice young lady and lets us know that David has a lot going on with some of the other players about some special ceremonies for the upcoming weekend games. 

     We head to our seats. Senior Advisor Jeremy Kapstein said we could use his seats because its one of those rare times he would not be at the game. I had sat with Jeremy before and the seats are awesome….

Great seat

 

        When they announce the line-up, its like being at a PawSox game! Most of the starting lineup just recently beat the Durham Bulls to win the Governors Cup Championship! ironically, the Tampa Bay Rays are the Major League team for the Durham Bulls, and a couple of the Bull’s players are in the line-up.

     Got a great photo of Garin Cecchini as he stepped up to the plate and blasted his first Big League homerun into the right field bullpen! 

    

 

 

Cecchinif

 

 

      I love old ballparks. I really enjoy the vintage and stadium with so much history. There is just something special about an old arena or stadium that make it special. Several years ago I went to Wrigley Field in Chicago and really enjoyed it.

     As a youngster I remember going with my dad to a Sox game or going with my cousins and uncles and having a great time. I went to my first Red Sox game when I was 8 years old and have been a fan ever since. Little did I know that so many years later working for the PawSox I would get a chance to meet some of the players that were with the Sox in when I was 8!

    I enjoy taking the elevator to the 5th level and watch the game for a bit up there. Although its a bit chilly, the view is fantastic!

Skyview

 

      The press-box offers a terrific view!  

Press box

 

        The Red Sox (PawSox) went on to pound Tampa Bay 11-3 but the night was not done yet………What about the David Ortiz bobbleheads? Well, he remained busy and we left them there for him to sign and let us know when we can go get them. However, we did get a picture of Big Papi holding onto Lil’ Papi!

   

 

 

Papi Big & Lil'

 

 

     Thank you David Ortiz! What a great shot! A night of baseball is always a great time. A night of baseball at McCoy Stadium is where you will see all the hottest prospects playing hard to make their mark and to make it to the Bigs! McCoy Stadium is truly where dreams come true…..Its also a place where we are all…………..”Here For You!”

  Love hearing from you                      rickm@pawsox.com

    Yours in Baseball,

    Rick Medeiros  

Packing it Up!

 

Greetings PawSox Fans!

Hope everyone is doing well and enjoying this mild weather. From my desk I have a perfect view of The Governors’ Cup and it looks so beautiful. Lil’ Papi even posed with The Cup…

Papi Cup

All smiles…

papi close

 

So what happens when the season ends? The player’s head their separate ways. Some got called up to the Boston Red Sox, some will play winter ball in the Arizona Fall League, Puerto Rico and the Dominican. Some just choose to get home and rest. They pack up their vehicles and hit the road, at times driving for days. At times there is so much stuff they have to ship it. Goody and Myles the clubhouse guys, put everything together and get it shipped out. They do a great job and almost everything is on its way. Almost everything….There are still a few items to be picked up today.

Packages

 

Goody and Myles then have at it and the Clubhouse get all cleaned up.

Empty clubhouse

 

The place is spotless! But where did  all the furniture go?

empty
       The Trainer’s Room becomes a temporary storage area for the furniture. It’s like a giant puzzle getting everything to fit.

 

Furniture

 

 

The weight room is spotless!  Never a bad odor…

 

gym

 

The whirlpools are all cleaned out and scrubbed and look brand new!

whirl pools

The Manager’s Office (Kevin Boles) looks so comfy. Can you just imagine the emotions a player must feel while sitting in the chair right in front of the desk? They must wonder, am I’m getting called up?  Released?  Sent down?  Traded?

Skip office

     They will have to get new photos put up in the Clubhouse to replace the ones from the celebration in 2012 to the new one for 2014!

wall pics 2

 

 

       Even my trusted Penske feels lonesome knowing there will be no more trips this season.

    Penske

 

     One thing that will be making more trips is The Governors’ Cup. Hope you can visit The Cup as it makes its way around the region posing with all the fans! One of the first stops to see The Cup will be at Sullivan Tire in Middletown along with the Rhode Island Bloodmobile 11:30 to 2:30.

   If you know of any community event, please give us a call and perhaps The Cup can make a special appearance! You can possibly hear The Cup say…………..”Here For You!”

   Love hearing from you                         rickm@pawsox.com

   Yours in Baseball,

    Rick Medeiros      

 

 

Lil’ Papi

 

     Greetings PawSox Fans!

      Every Sox fan from coast to coast knows the name David “Big Papi” Ortiz. The big slugger in big games with a heart and smile just as big.Perhaps you even saw Big Papi at McCoy during some of his rehab assignments.

   papi mccoy

     Perhaps you attended the game that Big Papi Bobbleheads were given away…(Chris give his best Papi pose)

Chris & Papi

 

    You may recall during the off-season a couple of years ago Will Middlebrooks was the Bobblehead giveaway and it was fun following him around and taking some pictures of his day-to-day doings.

     For example, Bobblehead Will at a hockey game…

will hockey

 

      Or enjoying a game of cards with his friends…

will poker

 

      

     Well we now have Lil’ Papi…..The Bobblehead. Lil’ Papi checked out some pics of himself on his iPad…

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   I’m sure most of us saw Big Papi accept the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge..

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        But did you know that Lil’ Papi also did?

    

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     So stay tuned for some more on Lil’ Papi and whats going on during the off-season as we get ready for the 2015 season to defend The Cup. We can have some yuks as fall turns to winter and spring will be here before you know it and we will be right back at it again.

   The Cup looks right at home in the confines of McCoy. At some point we hope everyone will have a chance to take a photo with The Cup!  It is………….:”Here For You!”

   Love hearing from you                    rickm@pawsox.com

    Yours in Baseball,

     Rick Medeiros

It’s Baaaaaack!

 

Greetings PawSox Fans!

   It’s the moment we’ve all been waiting for! The Governors’ Cup is back at McCoy Stadium!

Cup

 

     When Jeff Bradley placed The Cup on the field of McCoy you could actually hear,  “Aaaaaaaaah, it’s great to be back home.” Although it was a bit disappointing not winning the National Title against the Omaha Storm Chasers, winning The Governors’ Cup is reward enough.  The National Title Game was held at BB&T Stadium, the brand new home of the Charlotte Knights.

    The Knights did a magnificent job in hosting the game. As seen in the previous blog, the welcome reception was terrific and all the staff were great. The game was Tuesday night and just short of 9.000 fans were on hand! Once again the Knights organization did very well at hosting the event. The PawSox staff were we invited to The Diamond Direct Luxury Lounge above the seats on the first base side.

Club

 

      Of course there was great food and a nice looking ice sculpture.

Ice food

 

 

      It started out as being fairly good evening weatherwise…A couple of Paratroopers dropped in to watch the game.

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Para 3

     One of the guys looked like he was going to miss the stadium and land somewhere else in the city!

Para 2

 

       It looked really cool as he circled around and nailed in center field

Paratroopers

      The Line-Ups were announced, and once again it was time to Play Ball! The View from the press box…

Lineups

 

     And the field…

lineup

 

       Some fans were able to score an autograph from Rusney Castillo…

Graph

 

     Suddenly dark clouds moved in. There was thunder and some lightening but no rain. It then started to drizzle, then rain that turned into pouring with drops the size of a Buick.  The game stopped and the tarp was brought out to cover the infield.

Tarp

 

      After the 1 hour and 46 minute rain delay, play resumed. Barry, Triangle Red Sox Nation Governor Sean Bunn and our friend Michelle were able to score some front row seats behind home plate. When the game resumed, all of us got some text messages about being on TV.  They say TV adds 20 pounds….I beg to differ!

home plate

      Now that I’ve seen this picture with Gov. Sean Bunn, I think I’ll start wearing a hat!


Big heads

    Subsequently the PawSox lost the game 4-2 to the Storm Chasers after Brett Hayes belted a 2 run homer in the 7th inning to take the 4-2 lead, The PawSox playing as the home team were unable to stage a comeback and the game was over.

     Personally I am not really a big fan of the 1 game format, however, I get it. The cost effectiveness of a series played in a stadium that usually doesn’t have the home team playing in.

    After the game we head down to the clubhouse to load up the Penske and head home……..Of course we cant wait to transport The Cup back home. Team President Mike Tamburro was hoping to get The Cup back home in time for the rally yesterday at 12:45, however, with the rain delay and the length of the game that wouldn’t be possible.

   The Penske is loaded with all the equipment and ready ton go. We ask the clubhouse guys if they have everything and they reply yes. I asked them if they double and tripled checked and again they replied, Yep, that’s everything!” The clubhouse was now empty…

Empty clubhouse

     Barry and I looked at each other and I then asked one of them, “What about The Cup?” To which one of the guys replies, “Oh S**t!”  However, in defense of the clubhouse guys it’s not something they load all the time, and The Cup was in the blue crate around the corner from the actual clubhouse. We laughed about it and then began our trek back home.

Cup Packed

 

   We pulled out of the ballpark at just about 1:30 am. Along the way we stop for fuel or the Penske and fuel for us. At one of the stops in Virginia Barry chose one of those wrapped sandwiches. I immediately explained to him that it was a mistake as he grabbed a turkey and provolone sandwich.

    However, this is just not a gas station, it’s a bona-fide truck stop with fresh food is being cooked and sandwiches being wrapped. It has showers, a truckers lounge and a great smelling restaurant.

TA

 

    Barry made a good choice and the sandwich was fresh and tasty!

BJ & Sandwich

 

 

     At just about the time the Rally was about to begin we were crossing the Tappan Zee Bridge. I saw the photos of the nice turnout. Many of the players were there, the coaching staff and local dignitaries.

Rally

     Mike Tamburro spoke to the fans, as did PawSox Manager Kevin Boles. Many added their comments about having the Governors’ Cup back home and we wished we were there instead of battling with New York traffic.

MAT

     

        The Penske stopped at the Rhode Island border with The Cup aboard for a nice photo-op!

RI!

 

     Just a shade after 3:00 pm, a police cruiser escorted The Cup to the clubhouse from Division Street…

Escort

 

        The Cup is Baaaaack!

 

 

 

Cup Penske

 

 

         As the 2014 season comes to a close, it will be a terrific off-season as The Cup will visit many places throughout the months ahead! Stay tuned to see where it will be!  You all know you can count on the PawSox and now know you can count on The Cup being…………”Here For You!”

Love hearing from you.                    rickm@pawsox.com

   Yours in Baseball,

    Rick Medeiros  

Work Hard & Play Hard!

 

Greetings PawSox Fan!

Yesterday, Monday was a day that had it all. Some relaxation, some work and some play. For myself it was also laundry day.However, with the laundry I did procrastinate a bit.

We were up relatively early and had breakfast right at the hotel. The team had a workout at the ballpark for around 1:00pm so there was some time to relax. I was looking forward to seeing this brand new ballpark.

It was the perfect time to get the laundry done, but I chose to do it later. We headed over to the teams workout. The ballpark. Right in the heart of uptown its unique dug in beneath street level surrounded by the tall building makes a majestic backdrop.

BBT-Ballpark-Charlotte-NC

Former PawSox employee Mark McKinnon who is now the Director of Stadium Operations shows us around a bit. Everything is brand  new one of the walls has every International League team logo on it.

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The Clubhouse is set up very nicely…

Clubhouse

A great looking entrance…

 

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On the field the PawSox are taking batting practice and going through a workout.

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George Grande was at the field. I met him 2 years ago in Durham, No. Carolina when the PawSox played the Reno Aces in the National Title Game. George has the distinction of being the first host of the very first broadcast of ESPN back in 1979. He will be broadcasting this game.

 

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George interviews PawSox Manager Kevin Boles…

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Garin Cecchini gets interviewed in the dugout…

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The Pitchers gather in the outfield and see who can make a spectacular catch…

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Former PawSox/Red Sox player Pedro Ciriaco now plays for the Omaha Storm Chasers.

Pedro

 

 

I recall when Pedro and the rest of the team returned from Spring Training and a lot of people were talking about how him as a slugger. We were picking everyone up at Logan Airport and I got a look at him and thought how can this small frame guy be a power hitter?  While I watched him the cage,  he crushed ball after ball over the left field wall while his teammates jokingly cheered him on to hit it farther…

photo

 

 

Barry and I head back to the hotel and grab a late lunch. Now’s a good time to handle the laundry. The anticipation is building greater for the game tonight with the possibility of the PawSox taking home two trophies!

Team President Mike Tamburro invited all of us to the Welcome Reception at the roof-top of the Epicenter. The problem with hotel dryers are they are like slot machines. You just keep jamming money in, and instead of more money coming out, dry clothes seldom come out.

You can crank the desired temp to Super Inferno and it takes about 3 cycles to get them dry. This hotel was no exception. We were running late for the reception so I lugged all the damp clothes to my room and spread them all out on the bed. Now we can leave.

The Epicenter is made up of all types of stores and businesses. From a Walgreen, to a Golds Gym to Whiskey River. There are a bunch of clubs and restaurants

Epicenter

 

 

Lest we forget that the vehicle we drive is a Penske truck. Not really a vehicle you can fit in a parking garage or fit in small spaces. Its Monday night and the area is very busy. The area is like a smaller version of Times Square. I saw pictures of this Epicenter bogged down with people…Yikes!

Alive After Five joins EpiCenter At Five in uptown Charlotte, NC

 

We located where the event was being help. Up the escalator, take a right, then a left and take the elevator up 2 floors to the roof-top. But where do we park? We speak with the security guards who patrol the area and they lead me to a loading dock in the underbelly of this Epicenter.

As we walk through darks halls, back doors and kitchens its like a scene out of Goodfellas…When we reach our destination I ask the guard how do we get out of here later? He said just go outside and head to the loading dock.  Ok, thanks!

What an awesome set up!  There is a great buffet, plenty of drink, music and almost every team had a representative. The PawSox players were just relaxing and enjoying some down time.

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Pitching Coach Rich Sauveur and Coach Bruce Crabbe play Corn Hole

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Garin Cecchini plays intensely!

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Some of the 2014 Governors’ Cup Champs pose for a picture…

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There’s a band playing, a ping-pong table, corn hole game, food & drink and two rival teams hanging out with each other……photo

 

There’s even a giant TV set up for Monday Night Football!

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We had a chance to chat with former PawSox/Red Sox Pitcher Clay Mortenson who explained to us what its like playing in the Pacific Coast League.

Clay

 

Clay explained that travel is such a big difference in the league. Its tough with the long flights. A series in Colorado and then off to Vegas the cities are all spread out. He liked the International League better.

It was a fantastic day and night! To see the two teams interacting before they get between the lines and play each other is pretty cool, It seems like somewhere along the line they played each other in high school, college, or pro ball.

Tonight they all come together for the National Title. One Game! One Team the Victor!  Hopefully we will be bringing home the two titles! It’s nice to spend some time down here with President Mike Tamburro and other staff.

Attachment-1                                                                                                                                                Make plans to stop by and visit The Cup! We all will be………….”Here For You!”

love hearing from you                         rickm@pawsox.com

Yours in Baseball,

Rick Medeiros

In Charlotte for a Shot at the National Title!

Greetings PawSox Fans!

After the awesome International League Championship Finals win to take back The Governors Cup is still sinking in, it’s not yet time to get The Cup back home. There is another game to play here in Charlotte.

The Pawtucket Red Sox will take on the Omaha Storm Chasers (Triple A Affiliate of the Kansas City Royals) at BB&T Ballpark the brand new home of the Charlotte Knights tomorrow night at 7:05. The Storm Chasers shut out the Reno Aces, the team that beat the PawSox in 2012 in Durham, last night to take on the PawSox for the National Title.

The ballpark in situated right in the heart of whats known as Uptown Charlotte surrounded by tall buildings and businesses.

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The ballpark’s neighbor is the Bank of America Stadium the home of the Carolina Panthers.

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With Duke, UNC, The Bulls, the Knights, the Panthers and NASCAR, North Carolina is a sports state.

The Triple A National Title Game is a One Game match-up of the best in the International League against the best in the Pacific Coast League. Former PawSox/Red Sox infielder Pedro Ciriaco now plays for the Storm Chasers.

 

Ciriaco

 

 

Yesterday morning we checked out of our hotel in Durham, grabbed the clean laundry and everyone was still chatting about the games with the Bulls and talking about all those certain plays that made such a difference.

How close the Bulls came to going back to back but a Spectacular play by Bryce Brentz in covering a lot of real estate and them uncorking a laser beam that Blake Swihart made an equally spectacular scoop to gun down the runner at home that saved the game!

This after Rusney Castillo was down to his last strike with 2 outs with a man a 3rd, rips a single to tie the game and the PawSox went on to win with a game that will be discussed for a long time!

Then with the deciding game on the line, newcomer Keith Couch in only his 2nd game in Triple A takes the hill and is mowing down the Bulls line-up. Series MVP Ryan Lavarnway blasts a solo home run increasing the lead to 3-0 and the PawSox tack on another run and win the game and the championship 4-1 and the celebration begins.

It was just one year ago the PawSox were beat by the Bulls at McCoy Stadium and taking The Cup to Durham.

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It was now our turn to celebrate and Return The Cup! As I have always mentioned, Louriann Mardo-Zayat the PawSox top-notch photographer takes some awesome pictures that I frequently use for this blog. This is one of those photos that she captures that make you smile, cringe and shiver at the same time as Director of Player Development Ben Crockett gets the ice bucket shower. This is truly an ice shower! I am not sure is Ben ever took the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, but if he hasn’t, this has to count……Its ALL ICE poured over his cleanly shaved head!

Ice

 

It was fun to watch out of range from the champagne spray from the safety of the dugout rail.

 

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As I told you on the previous blog, after the game the celebration continued at the Tobacco Road Sports Cafe after the team showered.

Shower

 

Team President Mike Tamburro told me, “Dont let The Cup out of your sight!” Even while eating some wings at the Sports Cafe I kept my eye on The Cup. It became my dining partner.

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The Sports Cafe patio overlooks the Durham Bulls Athletic Park. Its so peaceful now with just the sound of the sprinklers.

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The Bull is quiet and will get some much-needed rest during the off-season. 

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After the truck was loaded and the celebration ended The Cup was secured in the thick foam encased crate, put back on the Penske and back to the hotel. At the hotel, The Cup was wheeled up to my room to safely spend the night, and Barry took Louriann’s very expensive camera lens to his room. Hotel security kept an eye on the Penske while we settled in for a little rest.

Yesterday afternoon we arrived here in Charlotte which is just about a 2 hour and 15 minute drive. The Panthers are playing at home and traffic is a disaster. We pull the Penske into the garage to get unloaded. They assure me they have a safe haven for The Cup and the players and coaching staff may want it displayed.

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    Today should be a relaxing one with the team practice scheduled around 1:00 and a welcome reception in the evening. Tomorrow its game time! The team wants it all!  The Cup and The National Title! 

    Two tough teams giving it all they got for One Game! Within a couple of days we will be back home with The Cup in tow! We look forward to getting back to McCoy and hopefully bring back two titles. Either way you can count on us being……….”Here For You!”

   Love hearing from you                        rickm@pawsox.com

    Yours in Baseball,

     Rick Medeiros 

 

The Cup Cometh Home! PawSox Return The Cup!

 

Greetings PawSox Fans!

The Governors’ Cup is returning back to McCoy Stadium after the PawSox beat the Durham Bulls 4-1 in a fantastic game. The Bulls are a great team with a lot of remarkable talent who can plate a lot of runs at any moment.

Once again the PawSox scored first, this time in the first inning when Bryce Brentz smacked a RBI single giving the PawSox the lead and they never looked back!

PawSox Pitcher Keith Couch in only his 2nd Triple A appearance was incedible and the Bulls lineup couldnt figure him out. He allowed just one hit in his 6.2 innings of work. With every pitch, the PawSox inched closer to loading The Cup on the Penske and trucking it back home.

The day started off with some heavy rain in the morning and they were calling for possible thunder storms later in the evening. With the deciding game to be played superstitions start to kick in. My driving partner Barry and I decide to make every attempt to duplicate what we did on Friday that resulted in that miraculous win.

We didnt shave, ate the same food at the same place left at the same time, and Barry even attempted to go bowling again but was unable to get a lane. As we arrived at the stadium we parked in the same spot, went to the Triangle Club, sat at the same table had the same soft drink, hot dog and popcorn and then once the game was undeway headed down into the stadium bowl.

Barry headed to the outfield choosing to sit on the right field side because yesterday he was on the left field side and the change would be the right thing to do. I headed to the concourse and stood in the exact spot I had the previous night with my right elbow resting atop the cover of the large trash can.

I look to my left and there is Ben Crockett, the Red Sox Director of Player Development who was also there the previous night. Everything was on order and the game progressed. It felt like at any time the Bulls were going to bust out and plate a lot of runs but it never happened. 

With 2 outs in the bottom of the 9th, the players were anxiously waiting at the dugout rail and were chomping at the bit to rush the field.

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    With the final out recorded, they got their wish and stormed out onto the field and I headed down also being sure to keep my distance from the spraying champagne…

Field celebration

The team donned their brand new 2014 Governors’ Cup Champion shirts, and Ivan De Jesus and Pitching Coach David Joppie posed for a picture.

Ivan

 

 

International League President Rand Mobley is there to make the official presentation of the trophy. After doing so, the celebration ignites and Ben Crockett gets an Ice Water Bucket Shower as they hoist The Cup!

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The huge video wall displays what we all have been waiting to see…

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Of course the celebration continues in the clubhouse…

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And a Team Picture….

Team Pic

 

PawSox Catcher Ryan Lavarnway is selected as MVP and Alexandra interviews him and Kevin handles camera duties.

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The clubhouse rug is soaked with champagne…

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Ryan takes his MVP trophy outside the dugout and it now becomes a very nice champagne cup as he chats with PawSox Team President Mike Tamburro. Mike said that he is staying clear of any champagne/beer spraying this year.

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Mike Tamburro had called me earlier in the day and said that if we win this thing if I knew a place the team could go and celebrate. I told him Tobacco Road Sports Cafe would be ideal. Its right over the Blue Monster, has great food and everyone can walk there.

TobaccoRoad-Patio

 

I called and spoke with the owner who we met a few years ago. He told he would have a private area on the patio and would set up an appetizer type buffet. Perfect! Triangle Red Sox Nation Governor was there and took a photo with MVP Lavarnway.

Varny and Bunn

 

The moment I have been waiting for…The Governors’ Cup Trophy gets crated up.

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The Cup is later loaded onto the Penske

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Mike Tamburro asks me to bring The Cup over to Tobacco Road Cafe and to make sure I always keep an eye on it. We have to ever so gently remove The Cup from the crate and a Durham County Sheriff carries it into the establishment. As soon as the players see it they start whopping it up and all gather around to have a picture taken with it.

Since I only have my camera phone with me I can only take an obstructed view picture with the Floyd Mayweather fight as a backdrop. If you look hard enough you can see The Cup…

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       We now head over to Charlotte where the team will take on the winner of the Pacific Coast League at the new Charlotte Stadium on Tuesday. Just one game for the National Title!

     After that, we get The Cup back home. Make sure to stop by and see The Cup. Take a photo with it and perhaps even pick up the new PawSox Champion Shirt. The Cup will be…………..”Here For You!”

   Love hearing from you              rickm@pawsox.com

     Yours in Baseball,

      Rick Medeiros 

Lucky 13! Going to Game 5 Winner Takes it ALL!

 

 

Greetings PawSox Fans!

At 7:05 this evening its Showdown in Bulltown as the PawSox and Durham Bulls square off to decide where the Governors’ Cup will call home for the next year.

I have seen many baseball games in my life, and the game last night was one of the most exciting games I have ever witnessed! The 13th inning proved to be the lucky inning for the PawSox.

When I got up in the morning I realize that tonight the season may be over. Will the Penske need to be loaded up tonight? The hotel room needs to be confirmed for tomorrow night by 12 noon or we are on the hook to pay for it. It makes for an anxious day.

Although the forecast called for some rain it was a pretty hot day and it doesn’t appear there is any threat of rain. However, today is a different story. Its 6:30 in the morning and raining. The forecast is calling for thunder storms this evening.

My driving partner Barry and I decide that for lunch we will go to Golden Coral. The decision was made not to cancel the room because I had faith the PawSox would pull the game out.

Furthermore to prove I had faith I removed the key from my key ring for the lock on the Penske truck…There was no way I was loading the Penske tonight! Just to be on the safe side I called my Mom who is a very religious woman and asked her to please say a few extra prayers for the team, and she said she would.

We headed for lunch and when we arrived I was offered the senior citizen discount…Was this going to be a bad day because I am not over 62, or was it going to be a good day because we’re getting a discount?

I chose the discount. I’m sure you have heard or perhaps even indulged in a Pu Pu Platter, well I chose to indulge in the Poo Poo Platter. Its one of my favorites that I encourage you to try. From left to right clockwise, a garlic cheddar biscuit, cornbread pudding, homemade meatballs, seafood salad, monster onion ring and watermelon in the center. A winning lunch!

 

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   After lunch we headed back to the hotel to spend some relaxing time. The anxiety is still there about the game. As a fan you get butterflies about the game and you wonder how the players who are actually playing the game are doing. Especially Eduardo Rodriguez who will be making his Triple A debut on the mound.

    As game time approaches we head to the stadium. We go to the Triangle Club when we get there and meet with Kevin our Media Creation guy and the Superstar Photographer Louriann who pictures I always use. Like always, she has some awesome shots from the game. They’re sitting in the PawSox suite.

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   Its dinner time and the Triangle Club is ready to deliver!

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   The PawSox jump out to an early lead in the first inning with an RBI single from Ryan Lavarnway to score Ivan De Jesus. The Bulls brought in 2 runners in the 4th inning to take a 2-1 lead. That’s the score that remained until the 9th inning. At the end of the 6th inning, Kevin and I watched as 2 Bulls staff carried The Governors’ Cup to who knows where and Kevin and I agreed it was too early to start moving The Cup to anywhere for a celebration.

   As the innings went by the PawSox were unable to score. Thankfully, neither were the Bulls. The Bulls fans were cheering loudly and the Sox fans including those from the Triangle Red Sox Nation were cheering just as loud. It was very exciting. When the game goes to the top of the 9th inning Rusney Castillo is at the plate with 2 outs.

    I’m standing on the concourse near Ben Crockett the Red Sox Director of Player Development.  There is some old guy with a long ponytail to the right of us who is all liquored up and just keeps yelling, “You swing like a little girl!”  “Come on Honey, swing that heavy bat!” This guy has been repeating this over and over for the last 3 innings for every batter while every now and then mixing in a solo chant of “Boston Sucks!” Dont get me wrong, I am all for cheering for your team. its a ball game you should be cheering. But, you do need to change your lines now and then.

  The crowd is standing and cheering, some for a hit and some for an out. Castillo has two strikes and my mind stats racing. I don’t have the key to unlock the back door of the Penske, now what? We are on the hook for a couple of hotel rooms now what?  Mr. Screaming you swing like a girl is now louder, now what?

  Castillo then rips a single into centerfield scoring pinch runner Derrik Gibson from 2nd base and the game is now tied up! Red Sox Nation is going crazy!

  In the bottom of the 9th inning, Nick Franklin blast a shot down the right field line and continues rising. It is no doubt going to be out of the ball park but the question is, will it be fair? A couple of us start doing the reverse Carlton Fisk Trot waving the ball foul. The waving must have worked because the ball sailed into the stands to the right of the foul pole.

The game headed into extra innings. Both managers are now involved in a chess match type ballgame. Which pitcher to use and what batter. Every pitch and every at bat makes a huge difference.

In the 11th inning Cole Figueroa was walked and subsequently swiped 2nd base.Mikie Mahtook then smoked a single to left field and Cole who is a great runner rounded 3rd and headed for home, and left fielder Bryce Brentz comes up throwing and guns a laser beam to Catcher Blake Swihart who is able to tag out the sliding Cole! Swihart then thew to first base just missing the double play as Mahhook was able to scamper back just in the nick of time. It appeared that Mahook started a premature celebration between 1st and 2nd base.

Matt Spring donned his rally cap..so did some PawSox players.

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     Now the top of the 13th inning Ivan De Jesus who had his rally cap on

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    Launched a two run shot over the Blue Monster onto the patio of the Tobacco Road Bar & Grill that ended up being the game winner! 

    Tonight Keith Couch takes the hill for just his 2nd appearance in this Winner Takes All Contest! All the best Keith!

   Couch

 

    Send your best wishes to all the PawSox players and coaching staff and listen to the game on 920 AM WHJJ…Lets bring The Cup back home so it can be………….”Here For You!”

    Love hearing from you                    rickm@pawsox.com

     Yours in Baseball,

      Rick Medeiros          

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