Readers of this little corner of the bloggapokahchucklefest may remember Very Josie and her attempt to April Fool you by saying that she was writing for a Red Sox-themed site, Red Sox 101. The April Fooliosity was that she would stop blogging at her personal blog; but the RS101 thing was real. It's actually my site, it will be up and running hopefully in a week or so, and it's going to be cool as hell.
I have some experience in the sportswriting arena; I blogged about the Boston Bruins but was an actual reporter for the Red Sox' and Bruins' minor league franchises, the Pawtucket Red Sox and the Providence Bruins respectively. Somehow I managed to obtain press credentials for both organizations, and from many perspectives it was quite a learning experience: For one thing writing game stories is tough enough; if you don't do it well they're nothing but boring recitations of statistics and who scored and when. For games that almost nobody cares about, invoking names no-one has ever heard of ("The P-Bruins scored again with 4:30 left in the second when Jay Leach fed Pascal Pelletier with a perfect tape-to-tape pass, which Pelletier rang against the post before it tumbled into the net for a 4-3 tiebreaker and the eventual win" - yawwwwn), it's torture, for writer and reader both.
I wrote for several web sites from 2005 to 2008, the most popular of which was Boston Dirt Dogs, for whom I provided their farm report. When the old man died I shied away from ballparks, the memories being a little close. But the passage of time, plus the prospect of making actual money doing this, has got me back into the swing. So I recently requested, and received, a media credential for the PawSox and today was my first day back. Lots of smiles and welcome-back-where-ya-beens, and ten minutes in it was like I never left. Hopefully it will provide a good atmosphere to write and provide me with some good stories.
For a quick example, one day some years back I was in the pressbox, covering a game, and chatting with some scout, an African-American dude who looked to be about 60. We talked for some little while, and he told a bunch of stories that were amusing and engaging.
When he left the box to do his radar gun thing behind home plate the official scorer asked me, "do you know who that is?"
"No," I answered truthfully.
"That's Tommy Harper," he said, and I almost shit myself. Tommy Harper was a member of the Sox in the middle '70s, who would steal bases by the carload. In fact he held the record for bases stolen by a member of the Sox for almost 40 years - until Jacoby Ellsbury came along.
Just some guy I was chatting with.
I was able to meet, and speak with (and be largely disliked by) Dustin Pedroia, Kevin Youkilis, Jon Lester, and many more players like David Murphy and Manny Delcarmen who are no longer with the Sox (why disliked? Baseball players hate reporters, period). I got access to their clubhouse, a sacred place where even family is not allowed. Players, management, and media only. It was an experience that not many fans ever get to enjoy. And now I'm back, baby!
I'll let you all know when Red Sox 101 goes live. Auntie Jo is going to be a contributor as well. Her Red Sox mojo is deep, and her writing skills are - well, you know how they are. Couldn't think of anyone else I'd rather have helping me meet my 14 post per week minimum (holy sheeeeeeeet, what have I gotten myself into). I hope when it hits the tubes that you'll visit, maybe click through an ad or two - that's how we're getting paid. And no, I'm obviously not above making a shameless plug for the site.
Further details as events warrant.
Also, remember, Badugimania is tomorrow at 9:30. Josie suggested that I should be known as the Badugi BaJewgi. I laughed until I stopped.
Also also, you remember how I mentioned I didn't wear glasses? Well that's no longer true, alas. I've bought my first pair of readers:
So until next time, remember that I don't care if you're a Red Sox fan or not. Visit my Red Sox blog. We thank you.