August 2008

So far…. So Good! So Good!! So Good!!!

Aside from Sox fans, his Sox teammates, his father (who is a huge Sox fan), and Jason Bay himself, the happiest people over this trade have got to be the folks at the Souvenir Store on Yawkey Way…Everywhere I turn today, I see Sox fans with a #44 Bay jersey on.  It’s great!

And the (very) early returns are in…Jason Bay can handle the pressure of Boston.  Now I ask all of you: Can he keep it up??

Let me know what you think!

“The Voice”

PS – It’s “Rhode Island Day” here at Fenway Park today!  So today we’ll be celebrating “Lil’ Rhody” with pre-game ceremonies, etc.  If you’ve never been to Rhode Island, you’re missing out…Narragansett, the Paw Sox, and of course home of Wright’s Chicken Farm…one of the best all-you-can-eat restaurants around.

Whole new reason to call Massachusetts the “Bay State”…

Is this one of those “remember where you were moments?” 

I definitely remember where I was when the Nomar deal went down.  Do you?  I have a feeling I won’t soon forget about this moment either.  In any event, I was up late last night, reflecting on Manny’s time as a member of the Red Sox and trying to put my feelings into words.  So I came up with this poem…see what you think.

 

How do I say goodbye to what we had?

 The good times that made us laugh

Outweigh the bad

 

I thought we’d get to see forever

But forever’s gone away

It’s so hard to say goodbye to yesterday

 

Ok, I admit it, that’s not a “Voice” original… I stole one (or truthfully, all) of those lines from the sweet musical stylings of Boyz II Men.  But you get the point…

I think I just lost half of my readership by sending them to that Boyz II Men youtube clip.  And no, I have no idea what it says on the bottom of the video…but I did laugh a lot imagining what it might say…

Thumbnail image for 6-17 This week in Red Sox History.jpgAnyhow, all his craziness aside, part of me will probably miss Manny. I was here for Manny’s first game at Fenway Park as a member of the Red Sox.  Till my dying day, it will go down as one of my best baseball memories.  By the bottom of the first inning, we were already down 3-0, but with two men on and Manny Ramirez making his Fenway Park debut as a member of the Red Sox, the crowd errupted in a “MANNY! MANNY! MANNY!” chant.  And while the crowd was still chanting the team’s new acquisition, Manny hit a game-tying homerun over the left field wall on the very first pitch he saw.

I remember thinking at that point, that the Red Sox as we had previously known them, were no more.  Everything had changed.  Manny had equalized the game, gave the fans hope, and made everybody feel like we suddenly had an edge (two really when you count Pedro) on every other team in the majors .

Two World Series titles later (and one WS MVP for Manny), everything around here has changed.  We are suddenly the odds-on favorites almost every year.  We’re about to break the MLB record for consecutive sell-outs (knock-on-wood).  Fenway Park is no longer too old. 

But so too has the perception of Manny Ramirez changed.  The general consensus that I’ve gathered from talking to fans around town and from the emails and blog comments that I’ve received is that it we had a great run with Manny, but it’s time to move on.

So move on we shall…Welcome to Boston, Jason Bay!

jason bay.jpgI’m sure the trade (or the days leading up to it) sent a lot of you scrambling to mlb.com to find out exactly who this guy is.  I’m sure many of you left pleasantly surprised after taking a look at his accomplishments (in a less than stellar lineup nonetheless).

I don’t know about the rest of you, but I’m VERY excited to see him play here everyday and see what kind of an impact he is going to have on the lineup and in the clubhouse.

Playing in a much smaller market, he hasn’t gotten a ton of national attention, but Bay, who won the 2004 NL Rookie of the year, is a very solid player.  He’s also a two-time all-star and should be hitting the prime of his career.  Don’t expect Manny Ramirez, but I think it is fair to expect to see a really good baseball player.  From all accounts I’ve heard, Red Sox Nation will really take to Bay’s hard work and gritty style of play.  Very exciting stuff! 

It will certainly be different not seeing Manny’s name in the lineup.  But in Bay, we get a younger, faster, and offensively talented outfielder who will be a hardworker in every sense of the word.

So as we head down the stretch here, what are your thoughts on this deal and our overall chances??  But before you answer that, riddle me this?  Over the past 3 years, who has more homeruns, Manny or Jason Bay? (spoiler alert – the answer may surprise you) 

Do you think the team will now be re-energized? How do you think Bay will fare in a vastly improved lineup, and playing half of his games at Fenway Park?  Everyone’s got an opinion on this one, and I don’t expect any of you to be shy!  Send me an email (insider@redsox.com), or post a comment here on the blog!

All the best from inside the Front Office,

“The Voice”