March 2009

Beckett named Opening Day Starter!

For Immediate Release

March 28, 2009



Jon Lester and Daisuke Matsuzaka to Follow


FORT MYERS, FL–Righthander Josh Beckett will start for the Boston Red Sox in the team’s 2009 regular season opener versus the Tampa Bay Rays on Monday, April 6 at Fenway Park. 


Lefthander Jon Lester will take the hill for the Red Sox on Wednesday, April 8 followed by righthanded pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka on April 9.  Manager Terry Francona made the announcement today.


The Rays will start righthander James Shields on Monday, lefthander Scott Kazmir on Wednesday, and righthander Matt Garza on Thursday.


Francona also announced the club’s starters for the two exhibition games against the New York Mets at Citi Field.  Lester will take the mound on Friday, April 3 with Matsuzaka starting Saturday’s matinee.


Great news announced yesterday…if you haven’t heard yet, check out the official press release my co-worker Marty sent out yesterday!

mmmm….cheap food….

For Immediate Release

March 26, 2009



New ‘Fenway Family Hour’ will provide fans with lower-priced food, beverages and souvenir items during Opening Month


BOSTON, MA – The Boston Red Sox and ARAMARK, the Fenway Park food and beverage concessionaire, today announced that prices for all menu items available last year will be held at 2008 prices for the 2009 season.  This marks the first Fenway Park concession price freeze since 2002.


The Boston Red Sox also unveiled a series of initiatives for the 2009 season that will provide fans with new and discounted opportunities at the ballpark. The effort begins on Opening Day with the launch of “Fenway Family Hour”, a month-long celebration featuring discounted concessions and souvenirs, and special entertainment.  


“Our goal has always been to provide value and quality service to our fans every time they enter Fenway Park.  This year, we worked together with ARAMARK to find more creative and pocketbook-friendly ways to enhance the fan experience,” said Red Sox President/CEO Larry Lucchino.  “Thanks to partners like ARAMARK, we can offer initiatives like ‘Fenway Family Hour’ and a concession price freeze.  Our hope is to create opportunities for as many families as possible to enjoy coming to Red Sox games this season.”  


During the month of April, fans are invited to come out to the ballpark during the first hour after gates open to enjoy the new Fenway Family Hour.  A joint effort between the Red Sox and ARAMARK, Fenway Family Hour will feature nine popular food items at up to 50% off in price.  Themed “The Starting Nine”, the offerings include: Fenway Franks, pizza slices, pretzels, popcorn, cotton candy, fruit cups, veggie cups, bags of burgers (3 sliders), and Hoodsie ice cream Cups.  The discount is available at all locations throughout the ballpark and there is no limit on the number of items purchased. The Red Sox Team Store on Yawkey Way will also have select merchandise, including Red Sox hats and T-shirts, available at a substantial discount during the family hour period.


“We recognize the important role food plays in the Red Sox game day experience and the importance of offering innovative and value-packed menu options,” said Rich Roper, Regional Vice President, ARAMARK Sports, Entertainment and Conventions. “By working closely with the Red Sox to create the Fenway Family Hour, we’re able to offer a dining experience that ensures fans, and especially families, continue to enjoy their time at Fenway Park.”


This year the Red Sox will host a series of special sessions once a homestand where fans attending games can meet and take photos with a player or coach.  The photo sessions, which will take place after the end of Red Sox Batting Practice for approximately 30 minutes, will begin during the second homestand and continue throughout the regular season.  Individual session dates will be announced prior to each home stand. 


A number of fan-focused amenities have been enhanced for the 2009 season.   Fenway “First Timers” – fans on their inaugural ballpark visit – can now go to any Fan Information Booth to receive a special First-Timer sticker, a FanFoto voucher for a free personal or family photograph at the ballpark and sign up for a free welcome message on the Fenway Park scoreboard.  The Best Buy Players Club has been fitted with flat-screen televisions, video game consoles and other amenities to provide fans with a comfortable place to relax and seek shelter from the weather.  Located in the Big Concourse behind the Bleachers, the Club is available to all ticketholders once the game commences.


Fan-favorite activities will continue throughout the ballpark this season.  Fans of all ages can enjoy watching batting practice from as close as the first row of seats around the field.  For a 7:10 p.m. game, Red Sox batting practice is from 4:30 – 5:30 p.m. and Visitors Batting Practice is from 5:30 – 6:15 p.m.  From the time gates open through game time, the Big Concourse offers plenty of picnic tables and stand-up tables where fans can gather to enjoy live entertainment, face painting and balloon artists, or catch some of the pre-game show on one of the many televisions in the area.  The festive Yawkey Way atmosphere will again be punctuated by a stilt walker, musical entertainment, and the NESNHD Yawkey Way stage. 


A collection of photographs highlighting the 2009 family-friendly events and amenities is available on the photo gallery section on


The Doors

This week Red Sox pitcher and 3-time World Series Champion Curt Schilling retired from the game of baseball.  We may all remember Curt for his heroics in the 2004 and 2007 playoffs, but he decided the time had come to hang ’em up and end his incredible career.

As they say though…as one door opens, another opens!  Literally…a new door is opening this year.  As you may or may not have noticed in your travels to Fenway Park in the past, the address and main entrance to the Red Sox Front Office stands at 4 Yawkey Way – has been for quite some time.  Anyhow, this famed address and entrance got a big remodel this offseason as part of our continuing efforts to make ballpark improvements.  Below is a shot of the new door (as taken by the Big LaBellski just an hour ago).  In case you’re wondering, the fine young gent posing in front of the door (helping to give us some idea  of the scale of these new doors), is one of my Front Office co-workers, known fondly throughout the Front Office as T-Pain.

Let me know what you think! (of the doors, not T-Pain)


Megan LaBella/Boston Red Sox


And if you’d like see what the old door used to look like, you can reference the photo in my last post.

Hope this brings you all a little closer to Fenway!

“The Voice of the Nation”

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

For no particular reason, to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, I’m posting some photos showing the new windows that have been installed at Fenway Park this offseason.  Just one of a bunch of ongoing renovations to the America’s Most Beloved Ballpark.  Enjoy!

Ok…first, here’s the BEFORE…

Fenway Park old windows.jpgNow here’s the AFTER (taken by the Big I a few days ago)…



DSC_0061.JPGMike Ivins/Boston Red Sox 

We’re just classing the joint up!  What do you all think??

All the best from inside the Front Office,

“The Voice of the Nation” 

Lester officially signed!

SO happy to hear this news (as I think everybody else here in the Front Office is)!  You can look at this deal and say that it is great that we have locked-up yet another young player.  I think it may be even more impressive however to look at it as the next chapter in Lester’s remarkable journey.

Congrats, Jon!

Annnnd…here’s the official release:

For Immediate Release

March 15, 2009





BOSTON, MA–The Boston Red Sox have agreed to terms on a five-year contract with lefthanded pitcher Jon Lester with a club option for 2014. Terms were not disclosed.


The announcement was made by Executive Vice President/General Manager Theo Epstein.


Lester went 16-6 with a 3.21 ERA over a team-high 33 starts in 2008, his first full season at the major league level. The 25-year-old finished among American League leaders in shutouts (T1st, 2), ERA (4th), starts (T5th), innings (T7th, 210.1) and wins (T8th) and was named the Red Sox Pitcher of the Year by the Boston chapter of the Baseball Writers Association of America.


Cleveland‘s Cliff Lee (22) and the Angels’ Joe Saunders (17) were the only A.L. lefties with more wins than Lester’s 16 in 2008, the most by a Red Sox southpaw since Bruce Hurst’s 18 in 1988. The Tacoma, Washington native joined Babe Ruth (1916) and Lefty Grove (1937) as just the third lefthanded Boston hurler ever to record 15 wins, 30 starts, 200 innings, 150 strikeouts and a sub-3.50 ERA in a single season.


Lester threw the 18th no-hitter in club history in a 7-0 win over Kansas City on May 19, 2008 at Fenway Park. He allowed just two base runners on walks in the second and ninth innings and retired 20 consecutive batters between the free passes. He was the first Red Sox lefthander to toss a no-hitter since Mel Parnell against the White Sox on July 14, 1956.


A lymphoma survivor, Lester was given the 2008 Hutch Award for “fighting spirit and competitive desire” by the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, and in 2007 received the Tony Conigliaro Award for overcoming adversity.


Boston‘s second-round pick in the 2002 draft owns a 27-8 record with a 3.81 ERA in 60 career games/59 starts in the majors since making his debut in 2006. His .771 career winning percentage is the highest in the majors since 1900 among pitchers with at least 30 decisions. He is 2-2 with a 2.25 ERA in seven career post-season games/five starts including a 1-2 mark and 2.36 ERA in four playoff starts in 2008. He was the winning pitcher in the decisive fourth game of the 2007 World Series and his 1.95 ERA as a starter in the postseason is the third-lowest in club history (minimum 30.0 innings).




Does it strike anyone else as odd…

Beckett.jpgThat we have so many player’s whose names start with the letter J?  I realize this is a totally random thought…but for whatever reason, it dawned on me this morning whilst dining on my raisin bran…

For example, we could conceivably have a lineup at some point this year that went as such (and let’s say this is an away interleague game since our DH’s name obviously doesn’t begin with a “J”):

Starting Pitcher: Josh Beckett or Jon Lester or John Smoltz

Catcher: Jason Varitek or Josh Bard

First Base: ok…I’ll give you this one…no “J” here…

Second Base:  same here…

Shortstop: Julio Lugo or Jed Lowriejason bay.jpg

Third Base: Jed Lowrie (assuming it was Lowell’s off-day)

Left Field: Jason Bay

Center Field: Jacoby Ellsbury

Right Field: J.D. Drew


Bullpen: Javier Lopez, Justin Masterson

Closer: Jonathan Papelbon


Admittedly, I haven’t done the research, but I HAVE to imagine that this is the greatest preponderance of “J” names in all of Major League Baseball…

Anyhow, that’s my random thought over Raisin Bran for the day…



All the best from the Front office,

“The Voice of the Nation”

(and no, I’m not telling whether or not my real name begins with a “J”)

While we’re stuck in the snow…

I figured I’d provide an update from Sunny Florida.  Although, word from my Front Office co-worker who is down there now, is that it is actually pretty breezy and cool in Ft. Myers today.

I know, I know…don’t worry, I let him have it for complaining about it being “breezy” whilst we’re stuck in a foot of snow.

Anyhow, he did have an interesting story to report from our Minor League Complex.  He said he was watching the Puerto Rican World Baseball Classic team workout (we’re allowing them to use our facilities to train), when Bernie Williams (who is on the Puerto Rican WBC team) ran over to one of the other Red Sox fields at the facility and started taking BP with our minor leaguers who were praciticing there.

I thought that was a pretty funny story.  Must have been quite a sight seeing uber-Yankee Bernie Williams surrounded by Red Sox, taking BP at a Red Sox field.

I have to say though (and I don’t think I’m alone here) – Bernie has always seemed to me to be the classiest of ballplayers.

That’s my “sunny” Florida update for today!

All the best from the home office (the Boston Front Office was closed today due to the snow)!

“The Voice of the Nation”