Friday, January 18, 2019

Megan Soucy Visits Section 36!

Section 36 has another visitor! Megan Soucy is a dancer, a Red Sox fan, and the current Miss Gate City I'm so glad she was willing to
visit with us to discuss those topics, and a few more. I'm sure you'll love reading what she had to say!

So, let’s see what happens when Megan Soucy visits Section 36!

How did you celebrate winning the Miss Gate City crown?

Right after winning the Miss Gate City crown, I remember all of my new sister title holders coming on stage to hug me and were so excited for me! Miss Gate City is my first title in the program so my family and I were so incredibly excited! I actually had to drive back to school that night due to rehearsals I had the next day, so instead of celebrating with my family, I got back and my roommates and I spent some time together and went out to eat.

Is there a specific goal you'd like to accomplish during your time as Miss Gate City?
During my time as Miss Gate City I just hope to stay confident and focused throughout my year. As I mentioned, this is my first title so everything is very new to me and going to Miss New Hampshire is a new amazing experience. 

What did you learn about yourself at the Miss Gate City competition that will help you at Miss NH in the spring?
During the competition, I learned that it’s better to enjoy the day and have fun rather than worrying about the next phase of competition. At the beginning of the day I was able to relax and tell myself that whatever happens is what is meant to be, and I made sure I was 100% myself throughout the day. 

How did you select your platform, “Dancing for a Change”?
Dancing has been a love of mine for the past 13 years, so when
choosing my platform I knew I wanted to incorporate the art somehow. I also have had numerous experiences dancing at benefit shows to help raise funds for various causes, so I knew I could combine the two and be able to help in a way that was also entertaining to an audience. 

As a talented dancer, what is your favorite part about performing on stage?
My favorite part about performing on stage is being able to tell a story. Whether the piece is an emotional contemporary dance, or an energetic musical theater number, there is always a story to tell. Getting to portray a character and put myself in a completely different mindset is truly magical to me. 

Of your many dancing performances, do you have a favorite that stands out in your mind?
It’s definitely hard to pick a favorite, but if I had to choose I would say Project Green. Project Green is a show at my college that is student run, and helps to raise awareness for mental health. I love this show because you can tell that the choreographers pour out their hearts into their pieces and their dancers portray the message beautifully. I’ve been grateful to me in this show the past two years and hope to be chosen again in the future.

Who's your favorite current Red Sox player? Why?
I would have to say Mookie Betts! I think he has so much talent and since he is still young and it’s early in his career that there’s nowhere to go for him but up!

Is there a feature or activity at Fenway Park that you'd especially like to experience?
I would love to go to a concert that’s at Fenway Park! I feel like it would be a completely different atmosphere after being transformed into stage rather than a ball field. 

What were you doing when the Red Sox won the 2018 World Series?
When the Red Sox won the World Series this year, I unfortunately wasn’t able to watch due to a rehearsal I had. I remember during rehearsal, someone went to check their phone and saw that the Red Sox had won and we all got so excited!

Hate that she couldn't watch the game, but love the dedication to follow along during rehearsal!

As always, I want to give huge thanks to Megan for doing this interview. I also appreciate her providing the fantastic pictures to accompany it. They're really perfect! I also want to wish her the best of luck as she competes for the Miss New Hampshire crown this spring. It would be so much fun to have another former visitor take home that crown.

As Megan continues her time as Miss Gate City, I encourage you to follow her on her official Miss Gate City Facebook. It’ll definitely be worth your time! 

Thanks again Megan, and good luck!

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Letting Pitchers Pitch

Yup. I did it again. I watched the 2018 Red Sox World Series DVD again today. Every time I do, I seem to pick up on something new. Today, it was something I think I probably realized, but just didn't
click until today.

Not only did Alex Cora allow his starting pitchers to pitch on days they didn't start, he actually let them pitch on days they did start too.

In past postseasons, the Sox have been plagued by starting pitching problems. The starters were only going four or five innings at most, taking the bullpen, and spiraling down from there. Hard to win a series when our long reliever pitches more than your starters.

But, that didn't happen this year. Quite a few starters were going six or seven innings during their starts. You might think it's because they were pitching better than in years past. I think it might be something else. Cora was letting them pitch more than in years passed. It was watching David Price's fourth inning of Game 2 that really clicked for me.

Price entered the inning with a one-run lead. While he had pitched well in his last playoff start, he did have that history of not winning in the postseason. This is how the inning started.




Ick. This was the Price people were afraid of. If Farrell were still managing, what do you think would have happened? Would Price have faced the next batter after that "meltdown" with a one-run lead? I'm not sure. 

Price then gave up a flyball. While it got the first out, it also tied the game. Would that have been enough to keep him in the game? I doubt it. If he was still pitching, the strike out of Hernandez may have allowed him to pitch to Puig. But, when Puig hit the run scoring single, I can't imagine Farrell wouldn't be walking to the mound before Price had the ball back in his glove. Sure, there were two outs. But, first and third with a starter struggling in a key game? He'd be on the bench. Heck, Francona might have pulled him there. But Cora doesn't. And, Price rewards him by getting the last out of the inning, and holding the Dodgers to just the two runs.

So, sure the Sox got an extra out from Price? What's the big deal?

The big deal is the fifth inning. Price set the side down in order. Quickly. Easily. Pitching an inning that the bullpen didn't have to.

Then he did it again in the sixth, with a newly minted lead in the game. The sixth was even better than the fifth. Once again, the starter recovered and pitched an inning so the bullpen didn't have to.

By the time Price finally stays on the bench in the seventh, you're into your preferred part of the bullpen. Kelly-Eovaldi-Kimbrel closed out the win. You used the three relievers you wanted to use, and didn't have to pitch together two important innings in the middle of the game. Just because Cora let the starters pitch.

Now, will that work every time? Of course not. Cora let EdRo face one batter too many in game four. And, it almost cost him dearly. But, generally, I like the idea of letter pitchers pitch. Starters can give up three runs and not have terrible games. If the tradeoff is having fresh relievers for when you really need them? I think that's a gamble worth taking.

And, apparently, so does Cora.

Monday, January 14, 2019

Being Spoiled Stinks

This weekend, Boston sports fans got another reminder that they are living an absolutely charmed life right now. Yesterday, the Patriots advanced to their eighth straight AFC championship game. (Say that again. It sounds even more ridiculous the second time.) This comes just months after the Red Sox won their fourth World Series title in the last fifteen years. That means the Patriots are just two wins away from (again) celebrating a Super Bowl title at Fenway during a Red Sox ring ceremony. Add in the Celtics and Bruins titles this century, and you get an embarrassment of riches that may navel be seen by any fanbase ever again.

So, I'm sure nobody outside of Boston wants to hear about the downside of winning so many titles...but there is one.

Well, a couple really. There’s the expense of buying championship memorabilia for all 11 titles. It’s getting to be a lot.

There’s also complacency. Some of it is on my part. “I won’t buy a ticket this divisional round game...I’ll catch them next time." Assuming that there will be a next time, like there has been for the so many years. But it’s also on everyone else’s part too.

I was shopping yesterday, and saw lots of Red Sox World Series stuff on clearance. While I enjoyed grabbing a cup at 75% off, it also meant there probably wasn’t more stuff coming out. I guess companies decided not to make stuff they had in the past. And that’s too bad

While at Target this weekend, they were unloading new boxes of Wheaties. They had Russell Wilson on the front. So they went right from Uncle Drew to Wilson. Guess no Red Sox championship box this time.

Target also didn’t have a commemorative baseball card team set. When the Sox won in 2004, two companies put team sets out. Now? Not worth anyone’s time. (Yeah, there was a ToppsNOW set but that’s not really the same thing)

Newspapers were harder to find. The Sox weren’t on the front page of every newspaper in the country like they were in 2004. They were barely on the front page of sports sections. They weren’t a story anymore.

The one that really got me was the NESN DVD. They didn’t make one. Can you believe that? Remember, they made a video for the 2003 Red Sox. A team the LOST the ALCS. They got a video. But, a World Champion? Eh. Been there, done that. Sure, maybe times have changed. Maybe streaming has made DVD production silly. But, really? Still not worth it?

So, while I’m not about to complain about too much winning...I wish some things hadn’t changed. I miss the buzz.

And I want the stuff.

Friday, January 11, 2019

Lauren Fohlin Revisits Section 36!

You probably remember Lauren Fohlin from her visit with Section 36 just about a year ago. Since that time, a year has passed, she
won a new title, (Miss White Mountains Region), and the Red Sox have had some highlights as well. I was thrilled that she was interested in visiting with us to update us on all those changes...and maybe a few more. I'm sure you'll love catching up with her!

So, let's see what happens when Lauren Fohlin revisits Section 36!

How did you celebrate being crowned Miss White Mountains Region?
Just like most of us do, I went out to dinner with my new director, my judges, and my sister queen, Josie, who also happens to be my best friend! 

What has surprised you during your time with this crown?

The opportunities have been endless with this title! My director, Kendra, makes sure we’re doing as many appearances as we can and keeping us up to date with all the events going on up north here in New Hampshire! I’ve been amazed by the people I’ve met thus far. 

How will having competed for Miss NH last year help you this second time around? 
I like to think your first time competing at a state level is like being
a rookie. You get into the swing of things to prep you for the future! With that being said I believe having been there last year will help me know what to expect moving forward. 

What made you change your competition talent from vocal to dance?
I wanted to try something new and show everyone a different side
of me that they’ve never seen. I’ve been a performer most of my life from singing, to dancing, and acting. My platform is “Keeping the arts Alive: One Beat at a Time” and most of my volunteer work is done choreographing musicals. 

How have you been able to further support your platform in your new role?

This past summer I was hired at the Derryfield Repertory Theatre (DRT) in Hooksett, NH. Through this opportunity I was able to dedicate 500+ hours of community service to my platform alone!  
What is your personal fitness routine? After losing about 80 pounds within the past year and a half I have developed a fitness routine that works well for my body. I try and get to the gym at least 3-4 times a week and do 30 minutes of cardio and 30 minutes of weight training. I get in a workout everyday with the toddlers I teach dance to at the YMCA!

Were you able to watch the Red Sox in the World Series? 
Yes I was! My dad and I have become Red Sox fans since my uncle

passed away in 2004. He was a huge Red Sox fan and I think it’s a way we still honor him!

What did you think of David Price’s postseason performance?
I’m just happy he got his first postseason win after twelve tries!

What was your favorite moment from the 2018 playoffs? 
Who doesn’t love winning? 


I'm sure we all agree with that!

I want to give a huge thank you to Lauren for wanting to come back and visit with us again. It was so much fun to discuss all the changes in the last year! Another thank you to her for providing all the pictures to go along with the interview. They really spruce up the post, don’t you think?

As Lauren continues her time as Miss White Mountains Region, be sure to keep track of her on the official Miss White Mountains Region Facebook and Instagram accounts! That way you won't miss a thing.

I also want to wish Lauren luck at the upcoming Miss New Hampshire competition. There will once again be quite a few members of the Section 36 family on stage with her this year. It would be so fantastic to have another one of them bring home the crown!

Thanks again for the revisit Lauren, and good luck!

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Porcello’s Performance

Like most of you, I assume, I've been spending a lot of time lately watching highlights of the Red Sox 2018 playoff run. Whether that's highlights I can find online or, more recently, the official World
Series DVD I can't get enough. It's fun to watch everything over again without the stress of wondering what it would all mean. The loss in game three, and Eovaldi’s performance, is easier to appreciate when you know it doesn't kill the pitching staff and lead to the Sox demise. (As amazing as the performance was, since the Sox lost all it really did was blow their best reliever and save Drew Pomeranz. Hindsight being 20/20, it would have been better to put Pom in there and let him finish it, and save Eovaldi. But, that's a moot point now.) You can also pick up on things that you may have missed since they weren't as obvious as Eovaldi, Pearce, and Price.

For instance, the number of highlights Rick Porcello shows up in.

I feel like he was a bit of a forgotten man for the Red Sox this postseason. For the whole season, really. For a guy who won the Cy Young just two seasons ago, that's quite a feat. Maybe his two subpar seasons in a Sox uniform caused fans to give up on him. Or, at least give up on trying to figure him out. He can just do his thing, and whatever we get out of him will be great. He's not the presumed ace like Sale, and he's not highly paid like Price. He can just pitch.

And, pitch he did.

Did you know he won 17 games this season? Second most in his career. And while wins don't mean as much as people like to think, it does mean he pitched well enough to keep his team in good position during most of the games he pitched. He then seemed to improve on that in the postseason.

His overall postseason numbers don't jump out at you, but that's because he was too busy being invaluable to the team to worry about things like statistics.

In the very first series, he showed he was willing to do whatever was needed, when he originated the “rover” role. I think most of us were surprised when he got the eighth inning of game one, since that meant he probably wasn't starting game three. All he did was get the two outs the Sox needed. He then came back and pitched well enough in his start to get the win in the game four series clincher.

Next series? More of the same. He got the key outs and a hold in game 2 in relief, and still took his turn as a starter. Now, I think he stretched himself a bit too thin, and his start suffered from it. But, the Sox still won the game.

I think by the World Series, he was getting spent. He didn’t appear in the first two games of the series. So, he was much fresher for his game three start...and it showed. He only made it into the fifth, but he was much sharper only allowing the single run. Of course, we all forgot about that after Eovaldi finished the game out.

It was also evident from the World Series DVD that his teammates respect the heck out of him, which isn’t something I quite realized. He’s clearly a leader of that staff...if not the clubhouse itself.

I’m glad watching these highlights brought me to this appreciation for him. Some other players may have been flashier, or had better stories. But, the Sox aren’t world champs without Rick Porcello.

It makes me even more excited for 2019.

Friday, January 4, 2019

Alexis Ferreira Visits Section 36!

Section 36 has another visitor! Alexis Ferreira is a dancer, a Red Sox fan, and the current Miss Bristol County. I’m so glad she
was willing to visit with us to discuss those topics, and a few more. I'm sure you'll love reading what she had to say!

So, let’s see what happens when Alexis Ferreira visits Section 36!

How did you celebrate winning the Miss Bristol County crown?
I celebrated with family, friends, and also my 2 teen queens who had just titled as well. I ate mini cheese burgers and fries from TGI Friday’s…….I was starving by the end!

Is there a specific goal you’d like to accomplish during your time as Miss Bristol County?
Holding the title as Miss Bristol County gives a lot of locations for service. I have a goal to try to serve in every city under Bristol County before my year is up!

What did you learn about yourself during the Miss Bristol County competition that will help you at Miss Massachusetts?
I went into this competition with no expectations, I enjoyed getting ready with my friends, eating pizza and snacks and didn’t over think. I think I learned that when the time is right it will happen, and if things do not go the way you thought or had hoped, the world will NOT end. I still have a lot of learning to do throughout my year!

As a talented dancer, what is your favorite part about performing on stage on stage?
I love the rush of happiness and energy it brings to not only myself,
but to whoever is watching. Once you step on that stage all eyes are on you and I have learned over the years (especially if you are the only dancer there) that even if you know you messed up the audience doesn’t.

How did you select your platform, "Unplug and be Present"?
From observing customers at my job to my younger cousin and students that I teach. I noticed that a lot of people are glued to their phone, tablet, etc. In high school I was obsessing over social medias as newer ones were being created, and I do still use them, but I have had more realizations that technology is not the end all be all. I realize that our world is becoming more technologically advanced as the years go by, but I feel that children/teenagers are focusing more on how many likes they get or would prefer to watch a video of a girl playing with toys rather than playing with friends or making memories face to face.

Who is your favorite current Red Sox player? Why?
I would have to say Mookie Betts because we share the same birthday, and he has been a great asset to the team since he has been with the Red Sox!

Is there a feature or aspect of a Red Sox game at Fenway that you’d like to experience?
I would love to experience throwing the first pitch. For them, the field is there stage and I would love to experience it from their point of view!

The Red Sox were honored at Gillette before a Patriots game recently to celebrate winning the World Series. What are the chances the Patriots will be able to return the favor by celebrating a Super Bowl win at Fenway next season?
I think that would be fantastic!! It just shows that even though they are two individual sports with different rules and way of play, we can still come together and celebrate as they both represent the same area! The odds are in their favor for a Super Bowl win so maybe the Sox can pass on the good luck!


That would be great to see!

As always, I want to give huge thanks to Alexis for doing this interview, and for providing the amazing pictures to accompany it. They're really perfect! I also want to wish her the best of luck as she competes for the Miss Massachusetts crown this summer. It would be amazing to have a former visitor once again take home that crown.

As Alexis continues her time as Miss Bristol County, I encourage you to follow her on her official Miss Bristol County Facebook. It’ll be worth your time! 

Thanks again Alexis, and good luck!

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