By WGBH News | Friday, April 20, 2012
April 20, 2012
BOSTON — Fenway's one-of-a-kind charm has inspired no end of literary giants, including such as Stephen King, poet Donald Hall and perhaps most famously John "lyric little bandbox" Updike. Today, Dick Flavin is carrying on the tradition as the official poet laureate of Fenway Park. Sure the pay is low — but that keeps competition for the spot down, he joked. This is his special verse for the Fenway centennial, as heard on The Callie Crossley Show. Listen to the rest of the conversation above.
By Danielle Dreilinger | Friday, April 20, 2012
By Bob Seay | Friday, April 13, 2012
By Danielle Dreilinger | Thursday, April 5, 2012
April 5, 2012
BOSTON — This week, Christians observe Easter, Jews Passover and 80-plus percent of Massachusetts voters of all creeds celebrate Opening Day.
One year ago, all the on-lookers forecast a banner (or … pennant) year for the Sox. Before the first game, the Boston Herald declared them the "Best Team Ever!"
That was then. After the team's historic September collapse, followed by unsavory revelations about beer and fried chicken in the clubhouse and the departure of both general manager Theo Epstein and manager Terry Francona — predictions for this season are dire. (Except that hope springs eternal.)
Scott Lauber, Red Sox beat writer for the Boston Herald, said the pendulum of public opinion might have swung too far. "The core of the team is the same so probably expectations ought to be a little bit higher than they are," he said. Names on the starting roster Thursday include offensive stalwarts Ellsbury, Pedroia, Ortiz and Youk. Their bats were part of a 2011 lineup scored more runs than any other team, Lauber pointed out.
"Really the big new name" is manager Bobby Valentine, Lauber said. "He's very outspoken, he's got an opinion on just about everything and he's not afraid to share it. Which is great for us in the media … but it can provide some problems in the clubhouse."
He added that even Valentine's enemies consider him a very astute strategist with an unparalleled knowledge of the game.
Can they beat the Yanks? Maybe. "The Red Sox have got issues with their pitching in particular," Lauber said cautiously. "They can certainly hit with the Yankees."
In the end, despite a ninth-inning rally, the Sox fell to the Tigers 3-2. But it's just the first of the 162 games that will be played over the course of a long season.
By Edgar B. Herwick III | Tuesday, February 21, 2012
Feb. 21, 2012
BOSTON — The 2012 Red Sox season officially got under way Monday as pitchers and catchers completed their first workout at the team's new spring training facility in Fort Myers, Florida. Sox president/CEO Larry Lucchino talked to WGBH News about the team's prospects, players and new management.
One player noticeably absent from camp is longtime team captain Jason Varitek. Varitek's last two seasons were cut short by injuries: He played in just 39 games in 2010 and 68 last year. The soon-to-be 40-year-old free agent has been offered a minor league contract and a chance to make this year's team. However, sources close to the catcher say he's leaning toward retirement instead.
Red Sox president and CEO Larry Lucchino said that either way, he sees Varitek in the Red Sox' future.
"He's been a tremendous leader on this team, a guy who bleeds Red Sox red," he said. "His loyalty to the organization is second to none and whatever he does, we're going to try to keep him a part of the Red Sox organization going forward."
While some have lowered their expectations for the home team in the wake of the turbulent off-season, Lucchino is not one of them, saying today that his expectations for this year's club couldn't be higher.
"Last year we were everybody's heavy favorite but this year we are a bit of an underdog and I think our players have something to prove. I think our whole organization has something to prove," he said. While some would be cowed, Lucchino was quite the opposite: "I anticipate this season more than any I can remember."
The Red Sox open the regular season in Detroit on Thursday, Apr. 5, in an afternoon game against the Tigers.
Hear further thoughts from Lucchino on "The Emily Rooney Show."
By Frannie Carr | Thursday, January 19, 2012
Jan. 20, 2012
BOSTON — With the question of whether the Patriots make the Super Bowl resting on the result of this weekend’s high-stakes match-up against the Baltimore Ravens, the local sports news is pretty much all football, all the time. But baseball fans know that it's just a month until pitchers and catchers report to spring training — and veteran Red Sox infielder Kevin Youkilis is thinking ahead.
True, he acknowledges, "It was definitely a shock with a lot of the things that transpired in September, all different kinds of things that were happening," Youkilis said on Jan. 19.
He could be referring to a number of “things."
Could it be that the team, considered in the early summer to be the best in the majors, failed to win even one-third of its games in September?
Or the revelations that players were drinking beer and eating fried chicken in the dugout during games?
No: “Youk” said that for him, the most upsetting “thing” was the end of manager Terry “Tito” Francona.
"Tito’s the only manager I’d ever played for in the major league, so I don’t know any new manager or how to handle it," he said.
Still, Youkilis said he’s optimistic about his new boss, Bobby Valentine.
"Managers just want you to play the game the right way," he said. "You all have your different personalities on your team and not everyone’s going to be best friends with everyone, but you have to respect each other and play the game right — and I think that’s the biggest thing going in. As long as you play hard and with control, I think it’s going to be great with myself and with Bobby."
Despite this player's rosy outlook, and despite the many weeks to go before Opening Day, some observers have already counted the Sox right out.
That didn't bother Youk at all.
"People are still saying we’re not good enough. And we kind of like that. We kind of like that ability to say — You know what? We’ll prove you wrong. We’re going to win."
In the meantime… go Pats.
Hear more from Youk, including his thoughts on his charity Youk's Kids, on "The Emily Rooney Show."