Friday, June 21, 2019

Jillian Fisher Visits Section 36!

Section 36 has another visitor! Jillian Fisher is a singer, a Red Sox fan, and the current Miss Vermont. (She is also the sister of former
Jillian and Gretchen
visitor Carly Fisher.) I’m excited that she took the time out of her busy schedule to discuss those topics, and a few more. I’m sure you’ll enjoy reading everything she had to say!

So, let’s see what happens when Jillian Fisher visits Section 36!

How did you celebrate winning the Miss Vermont crown?
After I was crowned Miss Vermont 2019, I spent the night with my family and friends. There were about 30 people who came out on June 1st to cheer me on. I was surrounded by love and never ending support and that meant the world to me!

What part of the Miss America experience are you most excited about?
Photo by Jon Adams Photography
I'm looking forward to meeting all of my accomplished and power house sisters at Miss America! After seeing the bond that the class of 2019 had, I'm so excited for those friendships myself!

Is there a specific goal you’d like to accomplish during your time as Miss Vermont?
There is a club amongst former Miss Vermont's known as the "251 Club" and in order to join Miss Vermont must attend an event in every city and town in the state during her year of service! I would love to join the ranks!

How did you select your social impact initiative “Fighting Addiction”?
Since I have two uncles who have battled addiction, this is something that is very close to my heart. Not only did I watch the pain they went through, but also the devastating effects it had our entire family. As Miss Vermont, I plan to travel around the state and reduce the stigma that surrounds addiction. The language we use, the perceptions we hold and the biases we have all contribute to the stigma and it can be damaging to those who are searching for recovery. I also plan to help on the ground and find ways to get Narcan, the overdose reversal medication, in the hands of more Vermonters and help find and fund more resources and recovery programs.
Photo by
Jon Adams Photography

As a talented singer, what’s your favorite part about performing on stage?
Thank you for the compliment!! It may come as a surprise but I haven't been singing publicly for long at all. That being said, I enjoy finding new confidence in myself and my ability every time I step on stage!

You’re currently working on a degree in Animal Science. What drew you to that field?
Jillian and Jupiter
I can't remember a time that I didn't want to be a veterinarian. As I grew older my love for animals also developed into a love for science and medicine so I knew I wanted a course load that was as hands on as possible. The University of Vermont had just that! The Animal Science program at UVM is highly ranked, has many courses where students get to interact directly with animals, and is amazing preparation for vet school! My favorite course so far has been CREAM, where I ran the dairy herd with 15 other students. We learned how to milk cows, birth calves, make business decisions and so much more!

Who is your favorite Red Sox player? Why?
Carly and Jillian
My favorite player is Mookie Betts! His energy is incredible and fans can always count on him at bat.

Is there a feature or activity at Fenway Park that you’d especially like to experience?
I would LOVE to be able to sing the National Anthem at Fenway! Singing in one of my favorite spots in New England and in front of so many people would be absolutely unreal.

What were you doing when the Red Sox won the 2018 World Series?
This is so dorky but I was sitting in my apartment with the game on
Carly, Wally, and Jillian
as I was studying for a biochemistry exam. I may have had a test but I had to watch my Sox take home the trophy!


Sounds like the perfect reason to multi-task to me! Glad she was able to do both.

As usual, I want to give huge thanks to Jillian for doing this interview. I also want to thank her for providing the pictures to accompany the interview. They definitely make the interview a lot more fun.

As Julia continues her time as Miss Vermont, I encourage you to follow her on the official Miss Vermont social media accounts: FacebookTwitterInstagram, and Snapchat

I also absolutely want to wish Jillian luck this fall as she competes for the Miss America crown! Once again there will be several Section 36 visitors gracing the stage in Atlantic City. It would be incredible to have her take home the title! 

Thanks again Jillian, and good luck!

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

It's Sale Day!

OK. It's actually "sale several days", but you get the point.

It's finally summer out there! The last time I went to a game, I didn't have to wear my winter clothes. I was actually...what's that! I think this is how it's going to be from now on. So, be prepared! And, that means having the proper wardrobe! It's time to go shopping!

Thankfully, Section 36 is here to help!

Today through Sunday, the Section 36 store will be on sale! Don't miss this opportunity to show your support for the blog all season long! 

So, head over right now and select something that you like. But, don't delay. Remember, the sale only runs through Sunday! That's right...only a few 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! Not only would it be a great way to show the world your amazing outfit, but if you have a business or cause that needs promotion, it's an easy way to get a mention on Section 36!

Like Bridget did! (With some help from K. Garcia Productions)

This sweatshirt is on sale!

Or, like Bernadette did to show off how amazing this tank top looks on her.

This tank is on sale!

Or Phil did.

This tank is also on sale!

Or Holly did with her cozy new hoodie.

This hoodie is on sale!

Or Nicolette did with her great t-shirt!

This t-shirt is on sale!

Or like Allison did!

This t-shirt is on sale!
But, first you need to buy something you like. There's a lot to choose from.

What will you get?

Monday, June 17, 2019

A Sweep is a Sweep

The Red Sox are on a roll. Their sweep of Baltimore this weekend extended their winning streak to five games. It feels different already. You expected them to come back yesterday, and didn't expect them to blow it.

Christian Vazquez even commented to reporters, “We're back,”

How great is that to hear? A big part of winning is believing you can win. Not always looking over your shoulder for the loss that's “sure” to come. Play loose. Play fun. Play well. It was great to hear. The Red Sox had their swagger back, and were ready to start acting like champions.

Of course, that’s not good enough for some people. A majority of the replies to the tweet reporting the Vazquez sentiment went something like, “sure, against Baltimore. Let's see how you do against Minnesota!”

Seriously? We're doing this again?

We're still doing this?

Because we had to spend all last season hearing people discount every win, saying they couldn't beat real teams, certainly not in the playoffs. Pretty much right up until they hoisted the trophy, people were convinced they couldn't win. Same thing with the Patriots. Sure they were winning games. But they’d be in trouble when they face a supposed “good” team. I saw a comment that only in Boston could beating the Chiefs not be evidence that you can beat the Chiefs. Again, right up until they held the Lombardi people were saying they couldn't do it.

I don't know why people haven't learned yet.

Because you know what good teams do? They beat bad teams. That's how it works. The 100 win teams don't win 100 games by sweeping all the other playoff teams. No, they do it by beating the bad teams. A lot. Sweeping the Orioles isn't some sign that they can only beat bad teams. It's a sign that they're doing what they need to do. Do people think the Yankees haven't been beating the Orioles? Sure they have. Lots. Do people think the Yankees have been sweeping the Red Sox? I hope not. We know they haven't. So, why this insistence that the Sox have to beat every team every time every place?

Why do the Sox have to sweep Minnesoto in order for you to believe they can win? Because, I have news for you. They probably won't. My guess would be they lose tonight. They went extra innings in their third road game, then traveled to Minnesota to play a game today against a first place team. That doesn't scream “easy victory” to me.

Of course, they could win. If “they're back” they could just keep on rolling. But, if they don't, it doesn't define the team and more than it defined the Yankees when they lost to Baltimore.

Right now, the Red Sox are rolling, and sit just 5.5 games back in the division. Their magic number to clinch the division has fallen to 97. Things are looking up.

It's good to have them back.

Friday, June 14, 2019

Alicia Capone Visits Section 36!

Photo by Rob Hare
Section 36 has another visitor! Alicia Capone cofounded a girls empowerment workshop, is a Red Sox fan, and a current member of the New England Patriots Cheerleaders! I'm thrilled that she was willing to take some time out of her busy schedule to talk to us about those topics, and a few more. I know you'll love reading what she had to say.

So, let’s see what happens when Alicia Capone visits Section 36!

You recently started StrongHER, a girl empowerment workshop, with your sister. How did that come about?
Daria and I wanted to make a positive impact in the community and realized there was no better way than to empower young girls. We noted there were many women empowerment workshops, but not many geared towards the youth and we wanted to change that! We did our research, started brainstorming and strongHER was born!

What are the goals and target audiences of StrongHER?
Our goal is to empower girls ages 11-18 years old to have the self confidence and mental toughness to achieve their goals and tackle any obstacle that comes their way!

If someone hosts one of your StrongHER workshops, what sorts if presentations/activities/etc can they expect?
Photo by Dwight Darian
In the 2 hour workshop we have, girls practice positive mindset, words of affirmation, visualization and goal setting. We like to make this fun so it’s taught through interactive lectures and activities!

You were recently selected to your second season as a New England Patriots Cheerleader. What do you think will be different about your experience this year?
I’m so grateful for another season cheering on the best team in the NFL! This year being a veteran I hope I can lead and guide the rookies through the season and help make their first year one they will never forget.

How did you celebrate making the squad?
This year I was lucky enough to be with some of the men and
Photo by Dwight Darian
women who participated in bootcamp. We got lunch and shortly after the team was announced. I was celebrating in Patriot Place with my new teammates. It was awesome!

What was the experience of cheering at Super Bowl LIII like?
I don’t even think I can put it into words as it still doesn't feel like real life! It was simple amazing and the whole experience in Atlanta is one I will never forget!

Who is your favorite current Red Sox player? Why?
I played softball for many years and I was a catcher so of course one of my favorite players on the current roster is Christian Vazquez.

Is there a feature or activity at Fenway park that you'd especially like to experience?
I really want to catch a ball at Fenway Park. Catching a homerun ball in the Green Monster or even in section 36 would be so cool!

What were you doing when the Red Sox won the 2018 World Series?
Well this is embarrassing... I was sleeping, BUT I can explain. I was watching the game Sunday night and the Sox were winning so I said to myself, "I have to be at work tomorrow morning at 6:30 AM. I should probably go to bed soon". So my plan was to set my alarm for midnight to watch the 9th inning and the celebration (since every game in the series has ended past midnight). Well of course the game got over before midnight so when my alarm woke me up I missed the 9th inning, but I was able to watch the team celebrate.


I guess we can forgive her for sleeping through the ending. I hope she catches that ball someday!

As always, I want to thank Alicia for visiting with us. It was great hearing everything she had to say! I love the ability to combine two New England sports teams in one interview like this too.

As a way to follow along with Alicia, I suggest you visit her New England Patriots Cheerleaders bio page. It's full of great information and pictures. You should also follow her on Instagram. It's a great way to follow her journey through the season, and hopefully another Super Bowl!

You should also be sure to check out the StrongHER website and Instagram account to see more of what the program is all about!

Thanks again for the visit Alicia, and Go Pats!

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Was Dustin Pedroia Any Good?

With the recent news that Dustin Pedroia is taking a break from his rehabbing, and questioning whether he'd ever play again, I thought it would be a good time to look through my scorebooks and see how Pedroia performed while I was keeping score. Was he the little spark plug superstar people seem to get no he is? Only one way to find out.

Here are his stats!

They may be hard to read, but they're a pretty solid “meh”.

It looks like I saw Pedroia come to the plate almost 200 times while I was keeping score. He reached base in 32% of those appearances.

Projected over an entire season, he would have ended with a .260-7-51 stat line while slashing .320/.365/.685. Not exactly the stuff of legends.

It's also a significant step down from his career averages. So, it's safe to say that I didn't see Pedroia at his best. It's interesting, though, because I saw him for a good chunk of time, throughout his career. You would think that I'd get a good cross section. But, alas, I got a weak hitting middle infielder.

That's too bad.

How was Pedroia while you were in the park?

Friday, June 7, 2019

Molly Andrade Visits Section 36

Section 36 has a new visitor! Molly Andrade is a dancer, a Red Sox fan, and the current Miss Rhode Island. I was thrilled that she
was willing to visit with us to discuss those topics, and a few more.

So let's see what happens when Molly Andrade visits Section 36!

How did you celebrate winning the Miss Rhode Island crown?

I was fortunate to have 25 family and friends attend the competition and celebrate with me at the after party! To be honest, I’m still celebrating! I am still trying to take it all in and embrace the experience.
What’s something you learned about yourself at the Miss Rhode Island competition that will help you at Miss America?
After competing for three years for Miss Rhode Island, I am grateful for the many lessons I have learned from the Miss America Organization. I have gained confidence, developed leadership skills, and frankly, sometimes learned the power and lessons of failure. These lessons will help me not only at Miss America but throughout my life. No matter how what obstacles I face, I will always get up and be ready to overcome them.

What part of going to Miss America are you most excited about?
Photo by Daniel Gagnon
I have watched Miss America since as far back as I can remember. At first, it was the beautiful dresses and the talent that amazed me. As I grew, I began to appreciate the role models these young women were and the difference they were making, and I aspired to follow in their footsteps. Now, being Miss Rhode Island, competing for Miss America and being a positive influence on others is not a role I take lightly.

How did you select your social impact statement “self-defense for women”?
One of the best decisions I’ve ever made was taking a self-defense class. The course was so empowering and encompassed so much more than just basic self-defense. After someone close to me was sexually assaulted, the reality hit that no one is invincible. To see what may be for her, a lifelong trauma, I felt compelled to do something. I chose for my school capstone’ to get the self-defense program implemented into my high school curriculum so that every female would be required to take it. My goal is to continue to work towards implementing self-defense programs and educate people about sexual assault.

As a talented Irish step dancer, what is your favorite part about performing on stage?
Perhaps being half Irish helped, but ever since I was a young girl, I
Photo by Daniel Gagnon
was mesmerized watching Irish Step Dancing. It did not take long for me to realize that Irish Step requires hours of training, stamina, and dedication, and I have loved every second of it. Dancing on stage is second nature to me as I have competed in Irish Step Dancing for the past 10 years. One of the highlights of my career was competing at two World Championships and being able to dance on a world stage doing what I love! I am so excited to showcase my talent on the Miss America stage!

You were recently able to walk in a fashion show at Rosecliff Mansion. What was that experience like?
I had the pleasure of walking in the, A Night to Remember fashion show this year for the third time! I love modeling and being able to step outside my comfort zone and try new fashion styles. This event supports students at Rogers High School in Newport and their Career and Technical Center. Being in the beautiful Rosecliff Mansion while wearing designer clothing and helping students makes this event such a fun and fulfilling evening.
Who is your favorite Red Sox player? Why?
Photo by Daniel Gagnon
My favorite player is J.D. Martinez because of his offensive power. He was a key free agent pick up for the Red Sox in the pre-season before capturing the world series the following year. I love how dedicated he is to his craft and his passion for the game!

Is there a feature or activity at Fenway Park that you’d especially like to experience?
I have been fortunate enough to attend many Red Sox games in the past few years. There is nothing like the Boston Fenway Park experience! One day I hope to be able to watch a game from the Green monster! Additionally, I have always been fascinated by the manual scoreboard and I would love to be able to see and learn how it operates!

What were you doing when the Red Sox won the 2018 World Series?
I am a sophomore at Endicott college in Beverly, MA and on October 28th, 2018 my friends and I were in our dorm eager to watch the Red Sox take home the title for the 9th time! There is nothing better than having our home team win the championship! There was so much excitement and pride, we were blaring Sweet Caroline!


That sounds like a fun time to me!
As always, I want to thank to Molly for doing this interview. I think it's so much fun learning more about amazing titleholders. I also want to thank her for sending along so many fantastic pictures. They really show what the words can't.
As Molly continues her time as Miss Rhode Island, I encourage you to follow her on her official Miss Rhode Island social media outlets, including her official Facebook page and Instagram account. 
Of course, I also want to wish Molly luck this fall as she competes for the Miss America crown! I'm sure we'll all be watching her up on that stage!
Thanks again Molly, and good luck!

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Building a Bullpen

The Red Sox bullpen was involved in a lot of discussion this weekend. Mostly, because bullpens are always being involved in a lot of discussion. It's the nature of the beast. But, this weekend specifically the Sox bullpen was getting press because the Red Sox were playing the Yankees.

You see, last offseason, many people thought the Red Sox bullpen needed major additions. When the Sox didn't add a big name, people were upset. Apparently they want a bullpen of eleven closers, and the waste of money that goes along with that. It was made even worse when the Yankees did add a big name. Although, admittedly one I did not know until last offseason. The Yankees signed Adam Ottavino to a three-year $27 million contract. People were mildly upset at the time. Fast forward to this weekend, and Ottavino has been pitching well thus far, and the Red Sox are not in first place. Although, the Sox bullpen has been a bright spot...that people ignore.

Not only were the Red Sox playing Ottavino, the one that got away, but he even admitted that he had interest in coming to Boston but it didn't happen. Suddenly things went crazy. He wanted to come here! The Sox didn't want him!

There are a few problems with those rants. First, Ottavino didn't finish his sentence. I'm guessing that he wouldn't finish with “I had interest in playing there...for free.” My guess is he meant, “I had interest in playing there...if they offered me the most money.” And it's not that the Sox “didn't have interest”. The Sox “didn't have interest at his price”.

Because, let's look at that deal. Ottavino is 33 years old. He just had a season in Colorado with a 2.6 WAR. Not bad. But, it was his highest WAR since he was 27 five years earlier. Since then? 1.3, 0.8, 1.0, and 0.3. For everyone who screamed that the Sox signed Rick Porcello after a fluke good season, this was ten times worse. For comparison? Last season Craig Kimbrel was 30, with a 2.3 WAR. His previous four? 3.6, 0.8, 1.4, 2.5. Hard to see any other conclusion than Kimbrel being younger, and better...and people were running him out of town.

You know who else people can't wait to get out of town? A couple other Dave Dombrowski bullpen additions. The Sox traded for Carson Smith a couple years ago. At the time, he was 25 and coming off a 2.5 WAR season. Similarly, Tyler Thornburg was acquired by the Sox. He was just coming off a season where he was 27 and put up a 2.5 WAR. Are people in love with those deals at the moment?

Both of those deals were significantly smarter acquisitions than signing Ottavino would have been. Both are used as examples of why Dombrowski is terrible at building bullpens.

So, yes, Ottavino is pitching well at the moment.  It would have been far more likely for him to not. Imagine if the Sox spent $30 million on a reliever with his track record who went out and played to a 1.0 WAR. The Sox would be rightly trashed for it.

So before we get all mushy eyed over what might have been, maybe we need to consider what has happened. Sometimes good moves don't work.  Sometimes stupid moves aren't as bad as they could be right away. It's the choice you make.

The Sox made the right choice in this case.

Friday, May 31, 2019

Ashlyn Manuel Visits Section 36!

Section 36 has a new visitor! Ashlyn Manuel is a dancer, an advocate for the homeless, and the current Miss Fairfield County’s
Photo by Catherine Fiehn
Outstanding Teen. Next week, she’ll be competing for the Miss Connecticut’s Outstanding Teen title. I was thrilled that she wanted to visit with us before that to discuss those topics, and a few more! I just loved everything she had to say, and I’m sure you will too.

So let’s see what happens when Ashlyn Manuel visits Section 36!

How did you celebrate winning the Miss Fairfield County’s Outstanding Teen crown?
I was so unbelievably excited because I realized I would have the opportunity to have another year full of incredible opportunities and to have another chance to compete for the title of Miss Connecticut’s Outstanding Teen! My family was thrilled for me and have been so supportive of my journey throughout my past 2 years in the Miss Connecticut Organization.

What’s something you learned about yourself at the Miss Fairfield County’s Outstanding Teen competition that will help you at Miss Connecticut’s Outstanding Teen?
Throughout competing I have learned so much more about myself. I have learned that I should trust myself when it comes to choosing aspects of my wardrobe and talent. I have become more confident in my own self and my choices. I have grown so much and I am so thankful to every person who has helped me get this far. I know that no matter what happens at the Miss Connecticut’s Outstanding Teen pageant on June 8th 2019, I went out on the stage and truly gave it my all. I have been working so hard for this and I am so proud of myself for that.

Is there a specific goal you’d like to accomplish during your time as Miss Fairfield County’s Outstanding Teen?
My goal for my year as Miss Fairfield County’s Outstanding Teen is to spread my platform “Homeless NOT Helpless” throughout Connecticut and to be able to share my story with as many people that will listen. A goal I set for myself at the beginning of my year is that I wanted to attend more events than I did last year as a local titleholder. I work hard to be able to attend every single event and appearance because I truly want to have an effect and make a difference in as many peoples lives as I possibly can throughout my year. I told myself that I only have one year to create change and that I am in control of what type of year I have. I already have accomplished some of my huge goals that I set for myself this year. I was able to create my event, Benefit Concert “For the Kids.” It was such a rewarding night to see how many people came out to support Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals and to see some incredible artists perform that night. This night would not have been as successful without the help of my mom, Scott, Papa, my sisters, Savannah Giammarco, Maia Dobbs, Jill Duffy, Maria Pellegrino, and so many other wonderful people!

How did you select your platform “Homeless NOT Helpless”?
My platform “Homeless NOT Helpless” is so incredibly important
to me. I chose this as my platform because my family and I were forced to experience homelessness first hand due to a fire that destroyed our home. I knew that I never wanted other people to experience what I did no matter the reason that they got to their situation. My platform is called “Homeless NOT Helpless” because it is my goal and passion to get rid of the stereotypes that people have about the homeless that the population is just addicts or abusers. I want people to understand that homelessness can happen to anyone, at any point in their lives. It can be due to a family not being able to afford their bills, a natural disaster, domestic violence and the list goes on. I want people to understand that although they are homeless, they are still human beings. They deserve kindness and respect just like any other person does. I am proud to share that I was able to create my “Necessity bag program.” I began this in December of 2018 and it has grown so much throughout the past seven months. These bags are filled with the most important items a homeless citizen needs which are nutritious snacks, water, socks, and basic hygiene items. I have been able to give these bags to many people on the streets and just knowing that I am a small part in their journey to finally getting off the streets and out of their situation is such a great feeling. I know that all of the help that people gave my family and I when we were in this situation was greatly appreciated, so I want to be that help for someone else.

As a talented dancer, what is your favorite part about performing on stage?
My ultimate favorite part about performing on stage is that incredible feeling you get while performing when you know you are killing it and then when you come off stage and feel so great! Being able to dance at Triple Threat Dance Company with some of my best friends is something I will never take for granted because it is such an amazing opportunity!

If you could be any Disney character for a week, which one would you be?
I would love to be Alice from Alice in Wonderland because she is very curious about the world around her and has a very positive outlook on life! One of my favorite quotes from the movie is, “If everybody minded their own business, the world would go around a great deal faster than it does.” This quote relates to everyday life because people are so caught up in what other people are doing, instead of focusing on their own lives.

Who is your favorite Red Sox player? Why?
Although I am not too big of a baseball fan, I think that Matt Barnes is a great player. I think that his position on the team of the pitcher is really awesome! And if I did baseball/softball I would consider being a pitcher.

Is there a feature or activity at Fenway Park that you’d especially like to experience?
I think it would be pretty awesome to be able to get a tour of Fenway Park! There is so much to see such as the roof deck and the Fenway Park museum which includes over 150,000 photographs and 170,000 stadium artifacts! There is so much history apart of the museum and it would be amazing to have the chance to see it in person!

What were you doing when the Red Sox won the 2018 World Series?
To be completely honest the Red Sox won the 2018 World Series right before Halloween. Which means that I was planning for my Halloween party with my friends, rather than watching the World Series! But I am excited to see who will be making it to the 2019 World Series!


The series really does occur at an annoying time, doesn’t it?

As always, I want to thank Ashlyn for taking the time to visit with us. Especially with her next competition coming up so soon. I also am glad she was able to provide so many great pictures to go along with the post. It’s always so much better that way.

As Ashlyn continues as Miss Fairfield County’s Outstanding Teen, I suggest you follow along on her official MFCOT Facebook and Instagram pages. That way you won’t miss out on anything she’s up to!

Of course, I also want to wish Ashlyn luck next week as she competes for the Miss Connecticut’s Outstanding Teen crown! It would be wonderful to have a Section 36 visitor claim that title!

Thanks again Ashlyn, and good luck!

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