Sunday, November 4, 2018

2018 World Series Parade in Photos

So now it's all over. Baseball is gone until February.

We'll have to do without hearing the crack of a bat or the pop of a glove until Spring Training, but this year Red Sox fans have the ultimate memories to keep us warm over the long winter.

For the fourth time in the last fifteen seasons, the Boston Red Sox were the last team standing, dominating in the playoffs the same way they had dominated in the regular season, dispatching the Yankees in the ALDS 3-1, the defending World Champion Astros in the ALCS 4-1, and the 2017 and 2018 NL Champion Dodgers in the World Series 4-1.

And that was that. The best Red Sox team in history won it all, and all that was left was the parade. Despite not sleeping for most of October, I decided to make the trip to Boston to watch. On Halloween morning, I left my New Jersey apartment at 3am, made the drive to the Riverside T Station, and (following the mayor's pleas) took the T to Fenway.

I was in my spot by 8:30am, and settled in to wait for the parade to start, making small talk to with the other fans around, some of whom were attending their first ever championship parade.

Below are some of my favorite pictures I took of the festivities - it was hard to narrow things down, as I snapped over 600 shots, but hopefully they do it justice.

At around 9:45am, police told us to make a space, that a car would be coming through on the way to Fenway. We obliged, of course, though some of us wondered why the driver would come over the curb instead of just taking Ipswich Street.

That driver was J.D. Martinez. I should note that J.D. navigated the screaming crowd expertly, not even coming close to clipping one of the many fans surrounding his car and making it to Fenway in plenty of time.

A guy standing next to me asked a police officer, "How many cops you guys got out today?" The officer laughed. "Too many," he told us.

Of course, I felt extremely safe with the all-time best police dog ever on the job. Who's a good boy???

Once the parade started, the owners got a healthy cheer, though we couldn't really see them from my side of the street. Thanks for paying for everything, guys! Also, you're literal billionaires, so I don't want to ever hear you (or fans) talk about staying below the luxury threshold again! You could pay Bryce Harper (or any other free agent out there) with the change from the couch cushions in your third yacht, so pony up and maybe we can do this again next year!

Dave Dombrowski gave us a hearty thumbs up, which seems understated for the architect of the World Championship team, but I'm not here to judge...

Mookie Betts was allegedly on this duck boat, but since he never ventured over to my side, I have no photographic proof of that.

Wally really captured the spirit of the moment once the confetti began to fall.

I wouldn't have blamed David Price if he wanted to thumb his nose at every fan who ever doubted him, but of course he's much too awesome for that.

The only person I care about in this photo is Red Sox legend Jason Varitek.

Craig Kimbrel appeared to be having a normal level of fun at first glance...

But then, he found this giant cardboard cutout...

of Joe Kelly, who was (obviously) extremely excited about it.

But not nearly as excited as Kimbrel, who found the entire situation hilarious.

Christian Vázquez gave fans a lot of love as he took photos of us in turn.

Rick Porcello (also known as Fred-Fred because his full given name is literally Frederick Alfred Porcello III) and Chris Sale got huge cheers from the assembled masses.

 And Sale responded with a lot of emotion.

You can't beat an appearance by absolute warrior Jerry Remy, unless you pair him with Hall of Famer Jim Rice - that is a power duck boat if I've ever seen one.

Jackie Bradley Jr., Andrew Benintendi, and Brock Holt seemed pretty casual at first... to be fair, I was in the first hundred yards of the parade route, so things were just getting started.

 But Holt picked things up quickly, feeding off the energy from the fans.

Alex Cora was mostly looking at his phone as he passed my section, but honestly he can celebrate however the hell he wants to.

Can't have a World Series parade without a special edition of the L.L. Bean Bootmobile!

All wrapped up in this beautiful banner. 

I don't know about you guys, but I'm already counting down the days until Spring Training.

Sunday, April 1, 2018

Power in Unexpected Places

Raise your hand if you thought the first two Red Sox home runs of 2018 would come from Eduardo Núñez and Xander Bogaerts.

Now put down your hand, you liar.

This shouldn't be construed as anything against either Núñez or Bogaerts: they're both extremely talented, fun players.

But if we're being honest, neither is known primarily for his power. Both players had their career highs in homers back in 2016, Núñez with 16, and Bogaerts with 21. Decent numbers, sure, but not mind-blowing, and they average 11 and 13 HRs per year, respectively.

If you're the betting type, you likely would have put your money on new slugger JD Martinez, or maybe one of the youngsters like Mookie Betts, Andrew Benintendi, or Rafael Devers (who, after all, hit the final home run of 2017 for the Red Sox).

But baseball's funny that way. The first Red Sox home run of 2018 was Núñez's, in spectacular inside-the-park fashion, and the first traditional round-tripper went to Bogaerts, who is on an absolute tear to begin the season. 

If the Red Sox can keep getting this kind of production from their middle infield, 2018 should shape up to be a pretty great season.

Saturday, March 31, 2018

Statement Start to 2018 for David Price

I'm sure yesterday's game was an uncomfortable experience for David Price doubters in Red Sox Nation. Price pitched a gem, going seven innings, with five strikeouts, scattering just five hits and allowing zero (!) walks.

That dominating performance led to the first win of the young season for the Red Sox, even with the minimum possible run support provided by an RBI single from Rafael Devers.

I know some Red Sox fans hoped David Price would opt out at the end of this season, given his less than stellar performances during the first two years of his deal. But the odds were never in their favor, given his age and the truly mind-boggling amount of money he'd be leaving on the table.

Prior to this offseason, you might have wagered that Price could chase an even higher payday with an out-of-this-world 2018 (setting aside that Charlie Morton, Adam Wainwright, and Dallas Keuchel will also be free agents, plus Clayton Kershaw could also opt out after this year, and no one wants to compete with him on the open market).

But you can bet that Price was watching the trajectory of last offseason with the rest of us: the days of behemoth contracts for aging players seem to be behind us - at least for now. Even if Kershaw opts to stick with the Dodgers, teams have been saving up for the likes of Bryce Harper and Manny Machado, and might not have a hundred million dollars to spare for a 33-year-old pitcher.

So whether you're a David Price fangirl like me, or a serial doubter, buckle up. The David Price era in Boston is just beginning - and I have a good feeling about the 2018 chapter, given how beautifully it started.