Category Archives: manny ramirez

Baseball Writers Association of America Dinner

Great time at the Baseball Writers Association of America awards dinner in Boston.

It was my first time, but my father, Hubert Kelley, had been to it way back, because his cousin, Joe Kelley, was a sports writer for several Boston papers. Dad got several autographs on the program, including Joe Cronin (the retired #4 at Fenway Park) who wrote, “God bless you, Hubert.” Autographs these days are reserved for 18-and-under only, and that’s fine.

I did have a great time talking with Dan Shaughnessy about the new Terry Francona book. Dan told me that he’d been working on since 2008 and Tito read it seven times before approving it. One of the funnier stories is about Manny Ramirez. During Game 4 of the 2004 World Series Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina accused Manny of stealing the Cardinals signs. Francona came out of the dugout to straighten things out with the home plate umpire and said. “There is no way Manny is stealing the Cardinals signs. In fact, he probably doesn’t even know our signs.” Tito then turned to Manny and asked if he knew the Red Sox signs. Manny replied, “No.”

I had a nice chat with Joe Morgan about “Morgan Magic” in 1988, when he took over as manager in July and the team was 10-1/2 game out. Morgan reeled off 12 straight wins and the Red Sox wound up winning the AL East.

I also had a lengthy conversation with Red Sox PR guru Dr. Charles Steinberg and with Larry Lucchino. Both of them were very interested in my World Ballpark tour. I told Larry that I’ve been to games at 39 Major League ballparks. His response surprised me. (If, say, a neighbor said this I would understand.) He asked me how it was possible to see games at 39 Major League ballparks when there are only 30 teams? I pointed out that some of the ballparks are no longer around, like Memorial Stadium in Baltimore that he helped replace with Camden Yards. When he asked me if I’d been to Fenway I responded that I’m a Season Ticket Holder and he gave me a big hug and said, “Thanks – we love you guys.”

Catch a wave and you’re sittin’ on top of the world

This isn’t the best Fenway wave I’ve ever seen, but I happened to be in the State Street Pavilion last week and recorded it. Then I felt like writing about waves. Why do people try to start a wave when the other team is up? It usually makes no sense, but this past Saturday night it did.

I was watching the Red Sox game in Baltimore in my mini sports bar setup downstairs. Three HD TV’s with Surround Sound with the Sox game filling the room, plus a laptop with MLBTV showing the Angels-Rangers game. My wife was in the family room watching Lonesome Dove for what seemed like 8 hours.

The game was tied 3-3 at the time, and over the TV’s I could hear a nice loud “Yooouuuuuuk” from the crowd of 39,000 as #20 stepped into the batter’s box. Okay, he stepped halfway into the batter’s box. I have a great view of home plate from Section 29 at Fenway, and in the first or second inning – before the chalk lines are obliterated – it’s easy to see that Youk’s back foot is well out of the box. He never gets called on it, though.

Back to the game. Youk has a chance to put the Sox ahead, and the crowd starts up a very decent wave. The best I’ve ever seen outside of Fenway. I should point out that in my ballgame experience, which includes seeing games at 35 Major League parks, you hardly ever see a wave anywhere but at Fenway. I saw a half-baked one last year in Seattle, but other than that nothing would qualify as even quarter-baked. This one in Baltimore was completely baked (see footnote below), and the reason was that probably 70% of the fans were Red Sox fans.

Why not? It’s a great ballpark, you can fly on AirTran or Southwest for very little money if you book a couple of weeks out, and you can get great tickets directly from the Orioles web site. No need to pay the scalper rates they charge at Stub Hub.

Youk got a hit and drove in a run that put the Sox up 4-3. It eventually turned into what looked like a laugher, with Boston leading 11-3 in the 9th. Things did get a little squeaky in the bottom of the 9th, as the Manny-Ramirez combo (Manny Delcarmen and Ramon Ramirez) proceeded to give up back-to-back home runs and then load the bases on walks. Suddenly it’s 11-5, and the tying run is in the hole. Remember, these Orioles were down 10-1 to the Red Sox in the 7th inning back on June 30th and wound up winning the game. Not to worry, though, a double-play ended it and the Sox Magic Number to make the playoffs dropped to 9.

Footnote: The “completely baked” line was lifted from “The Graduate.” When Ben tells his father that he’s going to Berkeley to marry Elaine, his father says, “That’s fantastic. When did you two decide this?” Ben says that Elaine doesn’t actually know yet, and his father responds that the idea sounds half-baked.” Ben’s comeback: “No, it’s completely baked.”.