Friday, October 13, 2017

Amanda Ledoux Visits Section 36!

Photo by Katrina
Bernard Photography
Section 36 has another visitor! Amanda Ledoux is a dancer, a Red Sox fan, and the current Miss Winnipesaukee! With all that going on, she was nice enough to visit with us to discuss those topics, and more. I’m sure you’ll be glad she did.

So, let’s see what happens when Amanda Ledoux visits Section 36!

What made you decide to compete for Miss Winnipesaukee?
Being a part of the Miss NH program was always something in the depths of my mind, I had many friends tell me how great their experience in the program was, but I never saw myself in that role. It was always a dream of mine, but never one I thought would come to fruition. After graduating with my degree in May, I knew I needed a new adventure, something to commit my newly found free time and efforts to. Seeing our amazing Miss NH Lauren Percy represent the state and witnessing the success and happiness of so many other young women in the program ignited something in me. I quickly decided to begin competing in June and just one short month later, on July 9th, I was crowned the 93rd Miss Winnipesaukee. Now I know it sounds cheesy, but I can honestly say that deciding to join the Miss NH organization was the best thing that has ever happened to me and I only wish I realized this dream of mine sooner!

How did you celebrate being crowned?
The night I was crowned was a whirlwind! I can honestly say that I had no idea that I would be walking away with the title, let alone the many new friends and sisters I had suddenly gained. After packing up the gowns, heels, and makeup, I piled in the car, crown still firmly planted on my head and headed straight for Wendy’s (the only establishment open in Tilton at that hour!). Believe me, something about a sparkly crown makes a frosty taste extra sweet, I highly recommend trying it sometime!

How did you become interested in your platform, S.A.A.S-Staying Active at all Ages and Stages?
Growing up as an avid dancer, I was fortunate to have always had a way to stay active. I quickly fell in love with the benefits and mechanics of exercise. So when it came time to decide my college major I knew Exercise Physiology was the perfect fit. It allowed me to pursue an interest that I have always loved while learning how to share that with others. Through my time in college I learned that it is possible for people of any age or physical fitness ability to experience these benefits. Too often we see the typical fitness types and think “I could never do what they do”. But the point is that anyone can do something! Through my platform I hope to raise awareness and provide opportunities for those who may not think physical activity is attainable for them, while encouraging those of all ages and stages to come together to enjoy the benefits of staying active!

Is there a specific goal you’d like to accomplish during your time as Miss Winnipesaukee?
There are so many things I’d like to accomplish during my year, so finding just one is not an easy task! I really just want to take my year and live every minute of it to the fullest. Participating in as many events as possible, supporting my Miss NH sisters, raising awareness for my personal platform, and of course preparing for Miss NH in April! One particular goal I have set for myself is to participate in one Miss Winni related event per week, whether that be our Miss Winnipesaukee Bingo at Funspot, attending the many local competitions to support my sisters, or anything else I might be able to fit in. I am proud to say that so far I have kept up with this goal and hope to continue as my year goes on!

Your talent is Jazz Dance. What do you like most about dancing onstage?
Dancing onstage is an experience like no other. As a dancer, I have always felt comfortable onstage. Now, that’s not to say that there haven’t been times that I have been nervous because oh my goodness, let me tell you, there have been plenty of those! But when stepping on the stage, I have always felt at home. Dancing makes me feel at home. I don’t think I ever fully realized this until college, when I did not have the opportunity to perform as often. Onstage I can tell a story, entertain, or simply move to the music, all the while sharing that experience with the audience. For those moments, for both me and the audience, it feels as though there is nothing else to worry about or focus on and I love that about the arts. Being onstage is so special to me and I wouldn’t trade the feeling for anything.

If you can’t sit in Section 36, where do you (or where would you) like to sit to watch a Red Sox game?
I would have to say behind home plate. There is something about being right in the action and experiencing the heat of the game up close. Nothing like it!

Which young Red Sox player are you most excited about?
I would have to say I am most excited about Benintendi. At all of the games I’ve been to he has had some amazing hits and plays. Being only a year older than myself, playing on the Sox is a pretty great accomplishment!

Who was your favorite Red Sox player growing up?
My favorite Red Sox player growing up had to be Nomar
Garciaparra. He was the first real jersey that my grandfather gifted to me (the pick one, obviously), one of the first players I could recognize on the field and I loved watching him play. Going to Fenway was a tradition my Grandfather introduced me to at a very young age. He would bring my brother and I to games and answer every question an excited kid might have, and I mean every question, without hesitation. ( “Who’s at bat? Was that a strike? What inning is it?” “Does that mean we win?!?”)  I will always remember the hustle before the game, finding your way through the turnstiles on Yawkey Way, and finally getting settled in your seat with a Fenway Frank ready to watch the Sox throw that first pitch.  I credit all my baseball love to him and am thankful to this day that we can always bond over a Sox game. Thanks Bumpa! 

The Red Sox just finished their first season in a while without David Ortiz. What’s your favorite Ortiz memory?
Oh my! Ortiz has been a part of my Red Sox experience as long as I can remember. He has brought home many wins, and many memories for Sox fans. I would have to say that my favorite memory of Ortiz isn’t one of his baseball accomplishments, but rather the day he walked out on the field days after the tragic Boston Marathon bombings and declared his gratitude and love for the city of Boston. In a time where we were unsure, scared, and looking for hope, Ortiz did what he does best and gave Boston a reason to smile. I will always remember what he did, on and off the field, for Sox fans!


That was definitely a powerful memory for all of us. I also enjoyed Amanda's vivid recollections of Red Sox games with her grandfather. What great moments.

As always, I want to give huge thanks to Amanda for doing this interview. She did a wonderful job. I also want to thank her for sending along the pictures to accompany the interview. They definitely spruce up the post. I love the fact that one of them included Section 36!

As Amanda continues her time as Miss Winnipesaukee, I encourage you to follow her on her official Facebook page, as well as on Instagram. The Miss Winnipesaukee organization also has a Facebook page you should definitely check out.

And, of course, I want to wish Amanda luck in April as she competes for the Miss New Hampshire crown. Will she be the first Section 36 visitor to go on and win that crown?

Thanks again Amanda, and good luck!

Thursday, October 12, 2017

What's so Great about Alex Cora?

Well, as we all know by now, the Red Sox went ahead and did it yesterday. For no particular reason, they fired the manager that just led them to two consecutive division titles. Since that moment, much of the discussion has centered on one thing.

Who's next?

A few names have been tossed around. Brad Ausmus used to work for Dombrowski in Detroit, and is a local boy. So, he's a choice. Ron Gardenhire was fired by the Twins, so he's a name. Jason Varitek is always mentioned. Gabe Kapler managed in the Red Sox organization, maybe him.

But, frankly, most of the choices have been met with a collective "meh". Now, that could be because there was no particular reason to fire Farrell. So, you can't say "I need a guy who works a bullpen better, and this guy is amazing at bullpen usage!" The Sox made a change just to make a change, and now really just need a warm body. 

Which makes my wonder why everyone seems to circle back to Alex Cora. I'm really not sure why. Now, that's no knock on Cora. He could very well do a fantastic job. But, what exactly are the qualifications that make him above everyone else? People mention that people always said he'd be a good manager. But, people said that about Jason Varitek too. (And, I imagine, they said that about Farrell.) He's been a bench coach in Houston for a couple seasons. So, I guess that gives him an edge over Varitek. People mention that he's young. Which I guess is his advantage over Ausmus and Gardenhire? But, that's the goal here? To hire a guy who has two years of coaching just because people said he'd be a good manager? Maybe he will be, but maybe not. Just not sure that's a reason for the hunt to start and end with him.

The guy I wondered about is Portland Sea Dogs manager Carlos Febles. I seem to remember him being a real up and coming manager prospect. He's young too. Younger than Cora even. He's even been a coach or manger in the Red Sox organization for 10 years. He started as a hitting coach, and then managed at four levels in the organization. In that time he managed players like Mookie Betts, Andrew Menintendi, and Rafael Devers. So, if you're looking for a guy who can manage the kids...I'd say you're looking at him. I'm guessing he's also well versed in the "Red Sox Way" of doing things. Using statistics, and the like. He seems to have an awful lot going for him. 

I'm not saying he'd clearly be a better choice than Cora. I don't know how either would handle being the manager in Boston. I'm just saying he has a pretty decent resume.

Which is why I wonder why everyone thinks Cora is such an obvious choice.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Shopping can be Therapeutic

Which is great news for you, because this week the Section 36 store is having a sale!

That's right. Today marks the start of limited time sale prices at the Section 36 store! Today through Friday, you'll have the chance to buy the items you love at discount prices!

I know you've been looking at all the great items offered in the Section 36 store, and thought that you really should have something yourself. Well, get something now during the limited time sale!

So, head over right now and select something that you like. But, don't delay. Remember, the sale only runs through Friday! That's right only a couple days before prices go back to their regular levels.

And, as always, when you do get an item, send me a picture wearing it for me to share with the world! The blogFacebook, and even Instagram!

Like Kylee did to show off her amazing new tank top.

This tank is 27% off!

Or Holly did with her cozy new hoodie.

This hoodie is 21% off!

Or Nicolette did with her great t-shirt!

This t-shirt is 30% off!

But, first you need to buy something you like. There's a lot to choose from.

What will you get?

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Farrell's Future

With the end of the 2017 Red Sox season comes a time for reflection. There comes a time for looking ahead. There comes a time to spend an entire offseason overanalyzing every little stupid detail. Trust me, we'll be doing plenty of that here at Section 36. Starting with one topic that seems to be on everyone's minds at the moment.

The future of the manager, John Farrell.

Now, I've been saying for quite some time that I don't really understand all the anti-Farrell sentiment. It seems that every time the Red Sox lose more than two games in a row, people want his head on the chopping block. Maybe that's just lazy reporters. Team losing? Fire the manager! Maybe people actually think they have reasons for it. I just don't see them.

I've heard some people say he overthinks things. Maybe. But I re-watched "Do Your Job 2" last night. Apparently the Patriots just won the Super Bowl because they called a play based on the tendencies of an opposing team, their offensive line, the officiating crew, and a specific official. After that, I'm not sure "Hits well against lefties" is overthinking it. That's not to say that you can't misuse statistics. Jimy Williams was always taking out Nomar and replacing him with some guy who was 2 for 4 against a pitcher, so had better numbers than Nomar who was 36 for 100. The sample size didn't seem to jive. But, I don't think that's the case with Farrell. He'll sometimes make a move where the most immediate stat seems backwards but I tend to think he has other stats he's using.

Which is another complaint. That he doesn't seem to manage by the book. Or, he's inconsistent. Again, it may seem that way when he uses Kimbrel for four outs one day, but then says he can't go four another day. The WEEIdiots certainly harped on that one. But, the truth is, he did manage by the book. It was just a much larger book. When Kimbrel was used for four outs, it was an important game when he hadn't pitched in a few days and there was an off day following and all the batters fared poorly against Craig. When he didn't use him for four outs, it was following two appearances the previous three days, and there was another game the next day, and all the batters hit Kimbrel relatively well. Hypothetically speaking, of course. So, sure, there's some gut involved. And a complete analysis of the situation. But, it's not like he's flipping a coin out there.

Does he have some faults? Sure. All managers do. He tends to play favorites a bit. He pulls his starters too soon in the postseason. But, all managers do goofy things sometimes. 

So, I don't see how you can fire Farrell. If you do that, you're making a move for the sake of making a move. You can't expect it to make any real improvement. Your'e just hoping different is better. Somehow three division titles (including a World Series title) in five years will be improved just by chance. 

That's kind of a big risk, isn't it? Is that the way you want to run a ball club? Making random moves on the off chance that they work? 

Should they trade Chris Sale just in case a new guy does even better?

Monday, October 9, 2017

Well, That's That

The Red Sox season came to an abrupt end this afternoon when their game against the Houston Astros slipped away. While I'll have many more mosts in the coming days and weeks discussing the past season, I wanted to take this opportunity to spew out some quick thoughts.

I have an odd feeling. It's not quite disappointment. I think it's the realization that this was a good team that happened to run inot a slightly better one. It's not like I can absolutely hang my hat on a particular fault or flaw, at the moment. Nothing is gnawing at me like leaving Pedro in or anything. It just didn't work out.

From the final game, my only question is Chris Sale. I don't know if Farrell has given any explanation for his usage in today's game. So I don't know if I agree with it. But, I don't understand what the point of his was today. When the Red Sox won game five of the 2004 ALCS, many people questioned Torre's use of Mariano Rivera. Torre had said he wasn't available for two innings that night. So, with a two run lead in the eighth, he brought in Tom Gordon. A homer to Ortiz made it a one run lead, and in came Rivera, for what ended up being two innings. So, was he available for two, or not? Similarly, Sale wasn't starting this game today. He was being saved for game 5. I can't really argue with that sentiment. But, he was available in the bullpen. That's not completely unusual. Starters are often available on their throw days in the playoffs. So, I assumed this was something similar. He was under glass, but could give them an inning or two if needed in an emergency. The Sox decided that emergency was the fourth inning. Again, that was too soon to pull the starter...a problem Farrell seems to have in the playoffs. But once he was in, I guess it was ok to get the inning or two out of him right then. Sale was wonderful. He got through his two innings with ease. Then a third. Then a fourth. He did it. He was the bridge to a well rested Reed and Kimbrel. The Sox got their dream. A lead in the eighth to be handed off to their strength. But, they didn't do that. The sent Sale out to start the eighth. So, what was the plan? Did they decide they needed to use Sale the rest of the way? Had they given up on his game 5 start? Why? Once they blew his next start, did they figure they would just use him up completely? It was such a departure from the usual bullpen usage that it made me curious. What was the plan?

I was glad to see the offense wake up. They scored in the first, fifth, and ninth. They scored big runs. They were clearly trying. Hopefully the games at Fenway put to rest the tired notion that they hadn't wanted it enough. They wanted it. They just didn't get it.

Hanley doesn't get enough credit for his October performances. Sure, his Red Sox teams are 1-6 in the postseason. But, that hasn't exactly been his fault.

Like I said, I break this all down further as the days go buy. But, those are some things I wanted to get off my chest.

What are your immediate thoughts?

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