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.

photo

The Clubhouse is set up very nicely…

Clubhouse

A great looking entrance…

 

final_entryview

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

photo

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.

 

???????????????????????????????

George interviews PawSox Manager Kevin Boles…

Attachment-1

 

Garin Cecchini gets interviewed in the dugout…

Attachment-1

 

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

Attachment-1

 

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.

photo

Pitching Coach Rich Sauveur and Coach Bruce Crabbe play Corn Hole

photo

Garin Cecchini plays intensely!

photo

 

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

Attachment-1

 

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!

photo

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.

BBT-Ballpark-Charlotte-NC

 

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

bank_top2

 

 

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.

bulls-celebrate

 

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.

 

Attachment-1

 

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.

photo

 

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

empty field

 

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

bull

 

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.

photo

 

    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.

photo
    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!

Attachment-1

  

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

conrats

 

Of course the celebration continues in the clubhouse…

photo

And a Team Picture….

Team Pic

 

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

photo

 

 

The clubhouse rug is soaked with champagne…

photo

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.

photo

 

 

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.

photo

 

The Cup is later loaded onto the Penske

photo

 

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…

photo

       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!

 

photo

   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.

photo[1]

 

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

photo

 

   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.

Attachment-1

 

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

Attachment-1

    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          

This is It!

 

    Greetings PawSox Fans!

    This is it! After the PawSox loss last night here in Durham 4-3, it’s now do or die..Despite a late game rally, the PawSox fell just short. We watched some of the game from the Triangle Club at the stadium..

Club

 

      The Governors’ Cup is on display in the Club. Triangle Red Sox Governor Sean Bunn and I point to the name of Arnie Beyeler when the PawSox won The Cup ion 2012!

Sean and I

 

     PawSox longtime Official Photographer Louriann Mardo-Zayat came down to Durham and always takes fantastic pics.  He is some of her shots. Rusney Castillo signs some autographs before the game.

 

      castillo signing

 

   PawSox Pitcher John Ely finds a little time to relax in the stands…

ely 

The teams Managers exchange line-up cards at home plate.

     skips

     The Line-ups are introduced and its time to Play Ball!

lineup

 

    Louriann gets an awesome shot at a play at the plate…

   play at plate

 

 

      Hopefully many PawSox players cross Home-Plate tonight and win the game! Game time is at 7:05 pm tonight! Never Give Up! You can listen to the game on 920 am WHJJ or one of the many other radio stations in your area. Keep the Faith and lets Bring The Cup back to Rhode Island for all the Fans to enjoy! Lets once again display The Cup proudly which will be at McCoy and…………..”Here For You!”

      Love hearing from you                             rickm@pawsox.com

     Yours in Baseball,

     Rick Medeiros 

In Durham all Tied Up and a Farewell to a Pitching Coach.

 

Greetings PawSox Fans!

   First and Foremost we would like to thank every single fan that came out to a game to support the PawSox during the 2014 season. Last evening was a hard-fought contest that went 11 innings with the PawSox just coming up short and losing to the Durham Bulls 4-3. The PawSox jumped out to a quick 3-0 lead, but the Bulls battled back to make it a one run game.

   In the top of the ninth with the PawSox hanging on to a 3-2 lead, Belnome blasted a No Doubter Homerun over the right field wall to tie the game. With the PawSox unable to score the game went into extra innings and the PawSox ended losing the game in the 11th.

   It was a very loud and exiting crowd last evening with many of our loyal season ticket holders in attendance. It was a gorgeous night for baseball. After the game the Penske was loaded up and my new driving partner Barry Clark headed south. Of course we made sure there was enough room in the truck to return with The Governors’ Cup.

   Barry and I traveled overnight like always, leaving at just about 1 in the morning and arriving here at just about 1 in the afternoon. As expected, a 12 hour drive. As always we packed sandwiches, water, soft drinks, snacks along with the jelly beans provided by the Pannone Family for almost every trip. However, while stopped for gas in the early morning in Virginia, they had some breakfast sandwiches. 

  With a fresh coffee already i hand, what would go better with the coffee than the advertised “Fresh Breakfast Sandwiches!?” If you recall on a road trip in the past I bought a “Fresh Tuna” sandwich. When I unwrapped the thing, the stench was horrible! Like dead fish heating in the sun at low tide at Island Park. It was that awful! With such a sandwich in my possession if someone had attempted to TruckJack the Penske, this sandwich could have been used as a self-defense tool smashed in the face of the would be criminal. 

  Not only would the stench render the criminal unconscious, but he could easily be located by law enforcement authorities by following the stench. I don’t believe in littering, however, I also don’t believe in being gagged by a tuna sandwich. I flung the sandwich into the median of the highway hoping that a poor deer didn’t come along and ingest it.

   I asked the lady behind the counter if the breakfast sandwich was indeed fresh and she assured me it was. I shelled out $2.98 for my road breakfast. Barry was now going to drive and during the stop we both had a chance to make our “Bladder Gladder.” For those of you that dont get it, with all the water we drink on the trip some of it needs to be released. So in layman terms, we both peed.

   We chatted a bit as I drank my coffee and was going to try to doze a while but not before munching the delicious looking breakfast sandwich with egg, cheese and bacon on an english muffin.

   As I peel off the outer wrapper I was quite surprised to find it was also wrapped in the cellophane. Once I was able to wrestle the plastic wrap off again there was a bit of a stench! Could this really happen twice? How could this be possible? after opening the top part of the english muffin there was these three slabs of what looked like old shoe leather. I took a whiff and the odor did resemble that of bacon. However, it also had the odor of two old sweaty gym socks dipped in chilli and then sprinkled with grated cheese! 

   No way was I going to let this happen again! The shoe leather smelly bacon was tossed out the window, the cheese was scraped off the best it could be, and the Fresh Sandwich was ingested. It’s always said that hindsight is 20/20 and it is true in this case. I should have unwrapped this thing at the counter! Its asked that you learn from my mistakes and if you ever buy a gas station sandwich, please check it before leaving the premises!

    While driving to Durham I got a call from PawSox Pitching Coach Rich Sauveur in the wee hours of the morning. Rich told me he was also diving to Durham and will be heading home right after “We win the whole thing.”  He had left earlier than we had but had stopped to get something to eat and rest a bit. (He did not eat a gas station sandwich)

    While somewhere in North Carolina, there was a honk of a horn and Rich passed us with a wave. Rich will be leaving the Red Sox organization at the end of the season. I’ll miss him and his humor. I have gotten to know him and his family over the last seven season and always looked forward to traveling down the Georgia where his wife would prepare a feast for the team and coaching staff. Look at this spread his wife laid out for us!  Everything was made from scratch!

??????????????????????????????? 

     Rich wants to pursue his dream as a Major League Coach. Here is an excerpt from an article written by one of my all time favorite sports writers Joe McDonald of ESPNBoston.com 

  “I’m moving on,” Sauveur said. “My dream is to be a big-league pitching coach. I’ve enjoyed my time here, but I still want to be a big-league pitching coach. In seven years here, it was great, I enjoyed it and the organization is fantastic, it really is. But a time comes when you have to make a decision and that time came for me.

Rich

 

     You can read the entire article by copying and pasting the link

http://espn.go.com/blog/boston/red-sox/post/_/id/40387/pawsox-pitching-coach-sauveur-to-move-on

     We arrived in Durham and Aaron the Bull was waiting there with his large crew. Within moments, the entire truck was unloaded.

   These guys and gals really had at it!

durham 2

 

durham

 

     Game time is just about 30 minutes away with Henry Owens scheduled to be on the hill. ou can listen to the game on 920 am WHJJ. GO PAWSOX!  Hopefully we can win the whole thing and bring The Cup back to Rhode Island and being…………..”Here For You!”

   Love hearing from you                                 rickm@pawsox,com

    Yours in Baseball,

    Rick Medeiros

One, Won

 

 Greetings PawSox Fans!

    I know some of you were at the game last night and I thank you for the kind words and reading this goofy blog. Just as we thought it was a very exciting game. Every pitch, every hit and every play is so important. 

   Prior to the game both teams were introduced and it was Game On!

lineup

  The PawSox won the first game of the best of five series against the Durham Bulls 3-2. All the scoring occurred during the first three innings on an absolutely beautiful night as the sun set.

Cup 2

 

 

    Paws and Sox took in the beauty of the game

Cup

 

      Edwin Escobar pitched another gem, going 7 strong innings.

escobar  

     In the ninth inning Heath Embree was able to pitch his way out of a one out bases loaded jam that caused some anxiety for everyone. Cuban sensation Rusney Castillo made his Triple A debut playing centerfield. Before the game he signed some autographs for the fishing fans.

castillo

 

      Castillo also recorded his first Triple A hit!

    

 

 

 

castillo hit

 

 

    The Championship Series continues tonight at 7:05. It’s the last PawSox game at McCoy for the 2014 season. After the game, we will load up the Penske and head south to Durham, North Carolina and meet up with the Triangle Red Sox Nation.

     Last night the scoreboard said it all! We Want The Cup!

scoreboard

 

 

    Call 401-724-7300 to order tickets by phone. Visit pawsox.com to get your tickets online that you can print at home or you can get them right at the PawSox box office. It doesn’t matter how you get ‘em, just get ‘em! See you at the game later tonight. We look forward to being…………”Here For You!”

   Love hearing from you                             rickm@pawsox.com

   Yours in Baseball,

    Rick Medeiros

 

 

Return the Cup and Red Sox Nation…….Down in Durham!

Greetings PawSox Fan

It’s Time! Bring Back The Cup! The PawSox make a run at Bringing Back The Cup starting tomorrow night right here at McCoy Stadium. The Durham Bulls head to town for the best of five series. This is the third year in a row the PawSox have made it to the finals for a shot at The Cup. In the history of the International League only 9 teams have accomplished such a feat!

This is what all the teams play for, they play for the Championship! Last season the Durham Bull broke my heart as they celebrated winning The Governors’ Cup on our field.

bulls celebrate

 

We all had grown very fond of seeing that Trophy everyday. The Governors’ Cup made its way around the New England area even spending a night at the Mohegan Sun Casino just around Christmas time.

Cup @ the Sun

 

It was absolutely heartbreaking to box up The Governors Cup and ship it out to Durham. The Cup didn’t want to leave Rhode Island and made it very difficult to lock up the crate. Every time the crate was latched, the latches would mysteriously pop open again!   The Cup wanted to stay!

 

 

trophy-box

 

Durham wants to Keep The Cup and we want to Return The Cup to Rhode Island. On the Durham Bulls website they have #KeeptheCup posted. Last season we had the same tag-line on posters.

cookie1

The PawSox play the first two game of the series here and the last 3 (if needed) in beautiful Durham. Durham, North Carolina is a remarkable city. They have great people there and I have made some friendships that will last a lifetime. The Visiting Clubhouse Aaron the Bull is one of the best in the business, and I always enjoy seeing him on every trip. He has a great sense of humor and for this series the ribbing has started. Will there be another arm wrestling go with this brute? The Pull with The Bull!

 

???????????????????????????????

 

Last season during my visit to Durham during the regular season, I left a change of clothes in the clubhouse with Aaron and told him I would be back to get them during the post season. Just as planned, when we returned for post-season play, Aaron had them ready. Aaron has a strong belief to never smile during a photo-op, not even when he hands over my clothes. Look forward to seeing him and the crew again.

The Bull

 

Durham Bulls Athletic Park is a wonderful place. At the end of the 2012 season, the park went through a very nice renovation. There are now colorful water fountains outside the main gate.

New Park

 

Part of the renovation is the huge Hi Def Video board right in the fence!

Video wall

 

 

It’s an awesome ballpark with awesome people..

DBAP

The Bull was moved to the new park, and if a batter hits the bull he will win a steak!  For every homerun hit by a Bulls player smoke comes out of the nostrils, his eyes light up red and his tail moves up and down.

bULL

The Ballpark was built in 1995 moving from the old Durham Bulls Field a short distance down the road. The old ballpark is where a lot of the movie Bull Durham was shot.

Old park

 

 

 

 

 

old park 2

 

I hung around at the ticket booth but nobody ever showed up…

???????????????????????????????

One of the best things about going to Durham is seeing all the great folks of Triangle Red Sox Nation! Durham is part of the Triangle along with Raleigh and Chapel Hill. I met the Triangle Red Sox Nation several years ago and found them to be very loyal and friendly Sox fans` from the Rookie League to Fenway Park.

Nation sign

 

I met the members of TRSN several years ago and learned what a fantastic group they are. Not only are they very loyal Sox Fans, but they’re also very generous in donating to charities with one of their favorite is the Jimmy Fund. It truly is a group of fantastic people, young and old who love the game and the Sox! These folks even had a Whiffle Ball Fundraiser for the Jimmy Fund!

TRSN Whiffle Ball

 

The Governor of the TRSN is Sean Bunn. Sean is always looking for ways to raise money for charity. A great guy who has a passion for the game, and more importantly people. Sean and Wally the Green Monster are good friends!

Sean and Wally

 

The Triangle Red Sox is all about the Northern Attitude and Southern Hospitality.

???????????????????????????????

 

Here is Sean at Spring Training chatting with Jason Varitek.

SEAN AND TEK

 

While with the TRSN in 2012 at a game, Ryan Lavarnway leaped over the wall to meet with the crew and signed autographs for them…

???????????????????????????????

 

Lavarnway also posed for pictures with the toddlers of the Triangle Red Sox Nation…Ryan also let everyone there know of a secret that he asked everyone not to post on twitter and/or FaceBook. Ryan told everyone that in a short period of time he was going to propose to his very lovely girlfriend Jamie.

???????????????????????????????

 

Now husband and wife and not a mention of the proposal from the TRSN. His wife Jamie has a wonderful blog:  http://www.cookinginredsocks.com/

 

 

 

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

Former Red Sox Infielder Kevin Youkilis was with the PawSox on a rehab while in Durham

 

 

???????????????????????????????

 

 

Governor Seanster had Youk sign some memorabilia and then auctioned the items off with all the proceeds going to the Youk’s Kids Foundation!

???????????????????????????????

 

Channel 10 was at the field today to interviewed Team President Mike Tamburro. Mike is very excited about playing for The Cup. He encouraged all fans to come out to McCoy and be part of the excitement and fun cheering on the these young men as they dig in to return The Cup to McCoy!

Mike TV

 

 

We can all celebrate the feeling we had just 2 short seasons ago when The Cup was hoisted in Charlotte, North Carolina after sweeping the Knights.

Mike & Arnie with Cup

 

The action starts tomorrow night right in your backyard! With just two home games left at McCoy Stadium for the 2014 season, don’t miss any of them!  If you have left over Flex Tickets, they can be used for the two games!  Ignore where it reads the flex tickets are only good until September 1st and redeem them for the Run to Return The Cup! We will be at McCoy, and we will be…..”Here For You!”

Love hearing from you                      rickm@pawsox.com

 

Yours in Baseball,

Rick Medeiros

PawSox Sweep and Through the Eyes of the Vision Impaired~!

 

    Greetings PawSox Fans!

Ok, The PawSox brought out the broom last night and battled back from a 4-0 deficit to beat the Syracuse Chiefs 7-6! It was a real nail biter and the PawSox pressed on for the win. When listening to the game while driving I found myself arguing strike calls. Although, you can’t actually see it you argue the call anyway yelling at the radio.

 

sweep

 

 

    The Durham Bulls and the Columbus Clippers had a close game also last night with the Bulls taking a 2-1 series lead with a 3-2 win in Durham. If you recall Durham took The Governors’ Cup from McCoy, and we want it back in Rhode Island!

    If you havent made it out to a PawSox game this season, if you havent been in a while, if you’ve never been to a PawSox game and even if you hate baseball you have to come out and cheer on Your Team to win Your Cup!

   The PawSox will begin the Quest for The Cup in game 1 against either Durham or Columbus on Tuesday, June 9th and Wednesday, June 10th. By Plane, train or automobile we assure you it will be a fantastic time! Playoffs in any sport are always exciting…When its your home team, the team you love, it multiplies by at least 10! 

   Gather up your family, friends, neighbors and perhaps a baseball game would be just what’s need to have you and enemies patch things up while rooting for the PawSox! You’ll love the true family atmosphere.

   As for the Fans with some challenges or disabilities, McCoy stadium has plenty of Free Handicap parking, and inside the park its very easy to maneuver around to the handicap seating with elevators on both sides of the stadium. 

   Many years ago I met a great guy named Carl who was coming to Opening Night with a fine-looking lady Marita. I soon learned that Carl was legally blind so we made sure they were assisted in every way in typical PawSox Style. Within minutes we had become friends and that friendship has grown since. Now called “Carlo” he is a flex season ticket holder and adds a few more games to his PawSox Opening Night tradition!

   Carlo works at the State House for the State of Massachusetts for the American disability Act. I have contacted him many times with questions about the best way to ensue McCoy Stadium is up to handling those with challenges or disabilities.  Carlo sent us some great info on using proper terminology for the disable fans and how to make it as easy and comfortable for the fans.

   During this season Carlo, who is a reader of this blog, let me know that he and some of his blind friends will be coming to a game using public transportation from Boston!  Having been to Boston using the T more times than I can count, I can’t imagine being blind and getting around the train stations. The Red Line, Green Line, Orange Line, etc…I still don’t have it figured out!

    I asked that when they do use public transportation please write about it so I can post it on the blog, Below is the Carlo and Friends Journey to McCoy:

 

    BUILD IT AND THEY WILL COME …YES EVEN BLIND PEOPLE AND EVEN WHEN THEY HAVE TO TAKE PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION

Yes, my friends and I are blind baseball fans; in fact there are many of us out there. Blind people may not be able to see the game as well as others, but we can feel it, we can sense it, we can hear it, and we can smell it. I do not know about you, but I do not go to the game just to watch the game. Rather, I go for the whole atmosphere, an atmosphere that no other sport provides. This is particularly true of the PawSox organization and McCoy Stadium.

I used to go every year to opening day in Boston, but one year I could not get tickets. I was a little down about that so I thought to myself why not the next best thing? Why not go see the Paw Sox? Now my wife Megan is not a baseball fan; yes I am still married to her despite this, but there is no way I could get her to drive to Pawtucket from Boston to see a baseball game. So I called my baseball girlfriend, Marita; yes, I have a baseball girlfriend. My wife does not care as long as she does not have to go to the game, and I guess I should be totally honest here: my baseball girlfriend, Marita, and wife are lifelong friends. I asked Marita if she wanted to go to opening night of the Paw Sox season. She said yes, and from the moment we entered McCoy Stadium parking lot, it was apparent to us that this was a fan friendly place. A man in a golf cart pulled up to us and asked if he could help. We were looking for a parking spot. He said “follow me”, so we did. We parked, and he got off his cart and came up to us to say hello. This man turned out to be Rick Medeiros, Director of Security for the Paw Sox organization; yet he was helping two visitors to find a parking spot and get into the park. I am proud to say I have gotten to know Rick over the many years as we attend the game and I am proud to call him my friend. I still remember walking to my seats for the first time and seeing the wall inside the concourse that shows the boss score for the longest game in professional baseball. When we got to our seats, I could not believe the proximity of the seats to the field. There is not a bad seat in the house. The concessions were cheaper than Boston, and the lines were not as long. The game was action packed; our first game was actually a come from behind win in the bottom of the ninth inning with the final play at home plate. We won; it was a very exciting night. Since then Marita and I have not missed an opening night. We mark it on our calendar and go every year; we always have a great time.

As I mentioned earlier, many blind and visually impaired people are baseball fans. They may not have all have baseball girlfriends, but they all love the game. I have gone to many games with a motley crew of fans over the years. Sometimes this crew and I come to a McCoy Stadium directly from a casino in CT where we lose all our money. Yes, blind people gamble too; we are an interesting bunch aren’t we? In the past this motley crew and I have always gone to McCoy with the help of a driver, but recently those of us who go to the Paw Sox more for the game wanted to figure out a way not to lose money and to go to a game without the help of a driver. We wanted to go strictly to enjoy the game and the fan friendly atmosphere of McCoy stadium on our schedule. We all live in the Boston area, so we had to figure out a way to do this using various forms of public transportation.  Joe Yee and Carl Richardson waiting to head to South Station

Carlo 1

This summer we planned to do it for two different games; one on July 7 for Star Wars night at McCoy and the other on my birthday, August 16th. I could not think of a better way to spend my birthday than going to see a baseball game with my friends. These friends include Rick Morin, a retired project manager from HP; Brian Charlson, who is Director of Computer Training at the Carroll Center for the Blind; Joe Yee, who works for Harvard and even plays in a blind baseball league; and Jim Denham, who is in charge of Information Technology for Perkins School for the Blind. And then there is me, Carl Richardson, a big baseball fan.

After doing research we figured out that the MBTA Commuter Rail leaves from South Station going to Providence. Then it was only a matter of getting to McCoy Stadium from there. So we all agreed to meet at South Station to catch the train. All of us took many ways to get there; Joe and I took the Red Line from Harvard Square to get there; Rick and Brian took paratransit to South Station; and Jim took both the bus and Red Line to get there. Of course, since we were all at South Station without ours wives and significant others, we stopped off at the food court before boarding the train to start our trip. We all had slices of sausage and pepperoni pizza!

Carlo 2

We then got on the train to South Station. Below is a photo I took using my iphone. Yes blind people, with the help of assistive technology, even take pictures. While on the train I used my phone to look up the stats and relevant information about the PawSox using the First Ptich app. Brian used the GPS to tell us where we were and the names of the points of interest as we passed by them on the train. There was even a bar we passed called the Man Cave; now that is a bar I want to go to. I bet it is a real dive.

Carlo 3

When we got to Providence, we exited the train station and activated our Uber app on the phone to summon a driver to take us to McCoy Stadium. We arrived just before the opening of the park. As we were walking to the front gate I head a familiar voice and a golf cart was approaching. The driver exclaimed “Carlo!”; it was my friend Rick Medeiros, whom I had met several years earlier and who now is my good friend. He told all of us to jump into the golf cart, and he drove us to the front gate and told us to wait while he opened up the park. This was exciting as none of us had ever heard the opening of the McCoy Stadium gates before. After he opened up the gates, he called a man over and introduced us to the President of the team, who thanked us for coming to the game and for supporting the Paw Sox. My friends and I were very humbled that the President, Mike Tamburro, took the time out of his busy schedule to say hello to us and to make us feel welcome.

Rick then handed us off to Barry who took our tickets and escorted us to our seats. We had great seats on the third base line. LeAnn then checked in with us to see if we were all set and to ask if there was anything we needed. When you attend the PawSox, it becomes very apparent that customer service is very important to the organization, whether you are dealing with the President of the team or the usher in charge of your seating area or the person at the concession stand. The Paw Sox organization is one of the most customer friendly organizations my friends and I have ever been to which is why we keep coming back.

Now you may wonder: how does a blind or visually impaired person watch the game; they can’t see it after all. As I mentioned at the top of this piece, we enjoy the games with all of our senses. We can smell the freshly cut grass, and smell the concession. We can hear the crack of the bat hit the ball or the ball hit the catcher’s glove, and we can hear the crowd roar when a homerun is hit; we can also hear the disappointment when an out I made with the bases loaded. We also watch the game while listening to the PawSox on the radio. We all came with our radios and listened to the game live play by play while sitting in the stands. It added to the already vibrant atmosphere of the baseball stadium. Think of the radio broadcast as an enhancement to one’s viewing experience; it is a form of audio description for the game. Since the broadcast is synched in real-time with the action on the field, I almost believe I am actually seeing the game with the help of the broadcasters. Sometimes, I have other fans in the stands who ask me what happened, because they either missed it with their own eyes or I am able to give them background information I can get from the radio that they cannot get by simply watching the games with their own eyes.

Now since the August game we attended was on my birthday, I of course did not have to pay for any of the food or concessions I chose to consume. My friend Rick Morin went to get me fried dough, and when he came back, he handed me the fried dough and said “Happy Birthday”. All I could smell was cinnamon spice; apparently, when he put the powder on the fried dough, he shook the container so hard the top fell off, and he put a lot of cinnamon spice on the fried dough. Although blind people do gamble, watch baseball, and travel independently, they do not put powder on fried dough very well! I literally had to tip the fried dough to the side to shake all the spice off, and it still left a burn in my mouth from the powder, powder I could smell it for the rest of the night. I still have not forgiven my buddy Rick Morin for that. Wait until I get him fried dough next time!

We enjoyed watching the boys of summer make their run for the playoffs, and we had a great evening. At the end of the game, Leann escorted us down in the elevator and Barry escorted us out of the park. We activated our Uber app., and then we waited for our ride to the Providence train station where we took the train back to Boston. We all then parted ways, as we took various modes of transportation back to our homes. All in all, it was a great day. We all agreed that we will be doing this more often next year, and that we will split a package of tickets as we love going to see the Paw Sox and enjoying the game with good friends..(L-eft to right Rick Morin, Brian Charlson, Jim Denham, Rick Medeiros, Carl Richardson.)

Carlo 4

 

 

    Carl and his crew enjoyed another great time at the PawSox game. So will you! Be part of the excitement of playoff baseball! Be here! See that we are all…………….”Here For You!”

  Love hearing from you                                             rickm@pawsox.com

   Yours in Baseball,

   Rick Medeiros

 

The Run for The Cup and the 5K Run!

 

Greetings PawSox Fans!

Well the PawSox took game one in the best of 5 series Wednesday night right here at McCoy Stadium. It was a hard-fought game with the PawSox leading 1-0 from a solo blast by Travis Shaw. With 2 out in the top of the 9th inning, the Chiefs’ Brandon Laird plants a homerun over the left field fence on the berm! Now its all tied up and you can hear the groans around the stadium.

Starting pitcher Edwin Escobar pitched a gem going none strong innings.

EDWIN

 

His battery mate catcher Blake Swihart was up to the task of grabbing a pop fly that was getting away from him. Great action shot!

sWIHART

No need to fear!  With the bases loaded with no out up steps Garin Cecchini who rips a hit up the middle and the wining run scores and Garin is the hero of the night!

garin

 

Wednesday  former PawSox/Red Sox player Steve “Psycho” Lyons was at McCoy and took a photo with his mural on the ramp.

lYONS Mural

 

 

          He was then busy signing autographs…

Lyons Signing

 

      Lyons 2

      Last night the PawSox scalped the Chiefs winning 8-2 and now own a 2-0 series lead in the best of 5!  Right after the game they loaded the two busses and headed to Syracuse, New York to take on the Chiefs on their own turf. The Tall Henry Owens takes to the hill tonight to try for the sweep of the Chiefs. 

Owens

    The playoffs are always exciting and we really want to see The Governors’ Cup back in Rhode Island and it looks like the PawSox are ready to take a run at it!

   Speaking of taking a run, last Saturday was the Annual PawSox 5K RoadRace/Walk. It was very well attended with a lot of great runners traveling in from out-of-state. The starting line is a small example of all the runners…

Start

        Within no time after the start, the first and second runner are neck and neck! (The Overall winner was #499 Julian Saad winning at 14:28 making it an average 4:40 per mile)

      winners

        They all ran down George Bennett Highway…. PawSox Broadcaster Jeff Levering takes a poke at me!

 

LEVO

 

              Season Ticket Holder Ron Dalton is all smiles when he runs!

 

Dalton

 

      PawSox General Manager Lou Schwechheimer, Team President Mike Tamburro and his sister Tanna have a very impressive stride! 

      

THE BOSS

 

 

       PawSox Superstar Usher Graham “Cracker” Watkins owned the course and finished first of every wheelchair male in the race to cross the finish line.

GRAHAM (2)

 

          Cracker and Lou pose for the victory shot

Graham

 

        Everyone had a great time for a great cause! There were about 100 more runners than last season and hopefully it keeps growing. There were many categories of winners. It makes a great photo!

 

 tEAM

        Now its your turn to run! Run to the phone, the computer or the PawSox Ticket office….Wherever you decide to run to get your tickets, do it right now!  The PawSox could sweep the series tonight…Once its wrapped up RUN to get your tickets for the Governors’ Cup Finals! See you at the Ball Park and we will be waiting to be……………”Here For You!”

   Love hearing from you                            rickm@pawsox.com

   Yours in Baseball,

    Rick Medeiros

 

 


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 301 other followers