January (and February for me) is a time for looking back at the prior year, our wins and losses. Favorite Episodes is a way for me to look back at what I’ve written in 2015 that was well received by my readers while diving into my blog stats and editorial calendar. Over the next few weeks, I will be posting little or no new original content. Instead I am reblogging some of my most popular posts from 2015 and developing a Favorite Episodes Season Three page in the process.
January is a time for looking back at the prior year, our wins and losses. Favorite Episodes is a way for me to look back at what I’ve written in 2015 that was well received by my readers while diving into my blog stats and editorial calendar. Over the next few weeks, I will be posting little or no new original content. Instead I am reblogging some of my most popular posts from 2015 and developing a Favorite Episodes Season Three page in the process.
We need to talk. Continue reading
To say it has been a rough winter in the Greater Boston area would be the gross understatement of the year. It was a winter that brought us what seemed like endless snow events as the meteorologists began calling blizzards, snow northeasters, and regular old snow storms; caused 8 or 9 days of school closings depending on the school system; countless school and business opening delays; a state of emergency or two where all non-essential vehicles were banned from our roads; the breaking of a record for the most snowfall and the delay of our local St. Patrick’s Day Parade. Continue reading
We need to talk.
We need to talk about #Race and #Racism in America. My Twitter feed is on fire over #RoxburyShooting. Please do not turn the Roxbury neighborhood of Boston into another #Ferguson. I see so many tweets that are attempting to do just that on both sides of the battle. Continue reading
Here in the northeastern United States, the Boston area in particular, snow pretty much cancelled everything for the month of February. With snow days 8 or 9 depending on the school system (definitely a record amount for the short month of February) plus February vacation our children spent more days out of school than they did in school during late January and February. Businesses closed, there were several days where the state declared a state of emergency prohibiting travel for non-essential purposes. Continue reading
As I sat at my desk in the campaign office reaching out to volunteers to make a final push to get voters out in the state representative’s race I am working on, the news of former Boston Mayor Tom Menino’s death flashed across the television screen in the reception area. In spite of the announcement the prior week that the Mayor had decided to stop treatment for his aggressive cancer and cancel his book tour so that he could spend quality time with his family, I like thousands of other Bostonians was shocked and brought to tears.
Throughout the day, as the non-stop coverage continued, I found myself choking up over the Mayor’s passing and fighting back tears as I continued emailing and calling volunteers. I thought about closing the office and retreating to my couch where I could wrap myself in a blanket, drink a cup of Harney’s Cinnamon Sunrise tea while gluing myself to my twitter feed and local news. There was however only five days until Election Day.
Today, when I woke up to a cold New England morning I knew that the rain and snow would not stop thousands of Greater Bostonians from standing in the cold to pay respects to Boston’s longest serving mayor, his wife Angela and their family as Mayor Menino lay in state in historic Faneuil Hall.
For the most part when a celebrity or politician dies I am inclined to not stand outside the funeral service or attend any ceremonies because I feel like to do so is imposing myself like an unwelcomed house guest upon the grieving families. But, I must admit that on occasion there are people who have given so much of themselves to a community that the community members feel like part of the person’s large extended “family”. I have only felt this twice in my life – when Senator Ted Kennedy passed away in 2009 and now with Mayor Tom Menino. In 2009, I stood in the hot summer sun outside the Kennedy library with thousands of others whom Ted Kennedy had touched for my moment to say goodbye to the senior Senator from Massachusetts and thank his family. Today, I would have stood in the cold and precipitation outside of Faneuil Hall to pay my respects to the Mayor and his family.
In the end, I decided with two days left before Election Day that the Mayor, a stalwart of the Democratic Party, would have admired the choice to continue campaigning for a Democratic candidate in a too close to call race for State Representative. So I campaigned and reached out to voters and volunteers while just as I had done on Thursday when the announcement was made about his death, I periodically checked my twitter feed to feel connected to the news and the public farewell to Boston’s longest serving mayor, Tom from Hyde Park.
Summer ended abruptly shortly before 5 p.m. on this sunny Sunday evening with the temperature soaring in the 80s and a RBI infield single and the Yankees’ 9-5 victory over the Red Sox ending Derek Jeter’s career and less than luster filled seasons for the rival teams.
For many, summer begins and ends with Memorial Day and Labor Day. For others, summer directly aligns with the summer solstice and autumnal equinox. For me and many other Fenway Faithful, summer begins and ends with the crack of a bat. Summer begins with the first crack of a bat in April at Fenway Park on Opening Day and ends with the silence that soon follows the last crack of a bat come October in the years the Red Sox advance to the post season or in September when the season and summer end all too soon.
This summer there was a drought at Fenway Park and Red Sox Nation was left feeling like we had not experienced much of a summer at all. Last summer with our beloved Red Sox going from worst to first, we let ourselves believe that this was going to be another memorable season. Some, including myself, even dared to think that we could win back to back World Series.
At times, this summer was so painful I couldn’t bear to watch. What happened to our team that made baseball history and helped heal a grieving city after the Boston Marathon bombings? What happened to our team that united its reeling city and answered Big Papi’s rallying call when he proclaimed last April to a cheering crowd at the first game at Fenway after the bombings, “This is our fucking city! And nobody is going to dictate our freedom. Stay strong.”
Ironically all through the summer of 2013, the Fenway Faithful watched on in awe and amazement waiting for the other baseball cleat to drop. And through the summer of 2014, we watched on in despair and disbelief waiting for the season to turn around. It never did.
It was incomprehensible that we could start a season with essentially the same World Series winning roster and perform so badly. Losing only outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury to the evil empire also known as New York Yankees and infielder Stephen Drew to free agency for just over a month at the start of the season should not have impacted the team. Neither player could be considered the glue that held the 2013 team together. Essentially our 2013 Boys of Summer were seemingly unscathed but appeared not to show up to play in 2014.
Then, we stood by in shock as management cleaned house at July’s trade deadline. By the time July was over, gone were Peavy, Lester, Gomes, Lackey, Miller, Drew and Doubront. The fans, Big Papi and what remained of the 2013 roster looked around the dugout and said “Where the heck did everybody go and who the F are you?”
There were good moments. The ring ceremony was definitely the highlight. Ortiz hit his 400th home run as a Red Sox player on August 16th. But, this season was not meant to be so the Fenway Faithful patiently and sometimes not so patiently waited for the season and our collective suffering to end.
All season long I kept thinking of the Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore movie, Fever Pitch when Uncle Carl says to young Ben who started to like the Red Sox after his first game, “Careful, kid. They’ll break your heart.” And that they did this year. I like so many Red Sox faithful couldn’t wait for the season to end and just stop the bleeding.
So on this last day of summer, the Red Sox and the Yankees gathered at Fenway’s Cathedral to play one last game and send the Captain off in style.
And as the season ended the team and fans turned their attention to next summer, opening day is only 189 days away and our beloved Red Sox have a lot of work to do this off season.
And as we are known to say in Red Sox Nation, wait until next year!