Wednesday, February 20, 2019

A Spring Training Sale!

Spring Training is underway! Pitchers are pitching, catchers are catching, and hitters are hitting. There's actually baseball activities going on, and soon there will be honest to goodness baseball being played. If you're anything like me, you're thinking about warm summer days...and the clothing that goes with it! I bet you're thinking that this is the perfect time to stock up on some Section 36 gear to make sure you're ready for opening day. And, as you may have guessed, I'm here to help. Because there's a sale!!

Today through Sunday, the Section 36 will be on sale! Don't miss this opportunity to show your support for the blog! You definitely want to be one of the cool kids this summer, right?

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!

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 27% off!

Or Phil did.

This tank is also 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!

Or like Allison did!

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?

Monday, February 18, 2019

Are the Red Sox Arrogant?

That was the claim I heard made on talk radio the other day. The Red Sox are arrogant if they think they can do as well this year as
they did last year, while not making drastic improvements.

This is a bizarre take, even by talk radio standards.

To be fair, expecting to win 119 games again is probably a bit unrealistic, just from a numbers standpoint. It’s just hard mathematically to win that many. So, when Cora suggests that if we thought last year was fun wait until this year...if he means the team will win 120 games that’s a bit of a reach.

But, that’s not what he means. What he means is that the team will be really good, and have a great season. A division title should be well within their reach, if not the top seed. Anything less than a championship would be a letdown. That’s what Cora’s talking about.

Which is fine, because that’s not the argument the talking heads were making. They weren’t haggling over 120 vs 115 wins. They felt that none of that was possible since they didn’t fix their flaws in the offseason.

Because they didn’t listen to talk radio hosts and still thought they could win, the Sox are arrogant.

Because those same radio hosts have been screaming about the bullpen for over a year. It was going to be their flaw. You can’t win a division with this bullpen Mike! Make a deadline trade! Well, you won the division, but it’ll hurt you in the playoffs! Well, you made the World Series, but this is where the flaw shows up! Ok, you won the World Series. You were lucky! You need to fix the hole this offseason or you’re doomed next year!

That’s where the hosts are coming from. They claim the Sox were lucky to win in spite of their bullpen. It was a weakness that got worse after the season. So when the Sox say they’re comfortable with the bullpen they have, and that it worked last year, they claim it’s arrogance. Sort of a “I can beat you with one hand tied behind my back...again” claim.

But, here’s the thing. Every team has a weakest portion. By definition practically, one portion of a team has to be weaker than the others. If your outfield is Betts-Trout-Martinez, one of them is the weak link. That doesn’t meant that weakness will haunt you. So, the Sox admit that the bullpen might be their weakest element (like most teams). They just feel that it’s good enough to compete with. Just like they thought it was last year...correctly. So, even if the Sox had signed the top four bullpen arms this offseason, compared to the rotation and the lineup, the bullpen would probably still be the weakest part. It still wouldn’t make it a fatal flaw.

The radio hosts are again falling victim to a fatal flaw of their own. They feel every weakness will derail the reason. They also see weaknesses in their own team, but not others.

They ignore that every team has a weak bullpen. The Dodgers have a closer with one of the biggest contracts in baseball. How many runs did he give up in the World Series? How many saves did he blow? How many times did the Red Sox come back against the “vaunted” Yankees bullpen this season?

So the Sox aren’t a fantasy owner trying to win their league while punting saves. They’re not Inigo Montoya trying to win left handed. They just feel that the worst part of their team is still good enough to let them win a championship. Just like last year.

Why can’t we trust them yet?

Friday, February 15, 2019

Emily Spencer Visits Section 36!

Section 36 has another visitor! Emily Spencer is a talented dancer,
a Red Sox fan, and the current Miss Bedford. I'm thrilled she was able 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 Emily Spencer visits Section 36!

How did you celebrate winning the Miss Bedford crown?
Right after I won the title of Miss Bedford I celebrated with my biggest supporters, my family! I actually live in Bedford along with
almost my entire family, including my ten cousins!! My parents and I went out to eat at 1750 taphouse and enjoyed some pizza and laughs:) It was funny because a lot of people who came to the pageant were there so the pictures never stopped! I also had on my new crown and sash so lots of people were asking me questions, I had never felt so famous!!!

As a former Miss Bedford’s Outstanding Teen, what makes you most excited about representing Bedford again?
As a former Miss Bedford’s Outstanding Teen, I am most excited to
represent my hometown again! I love representing my town because at each event, friends and family come to show their support! I recently had a fundraiser at my work, Table 8 Pasta, and so many people I knew came to support! I love sharing this amazing program with the people I love most! I feel that since I am from this town, people become even more engaged in the program because I can talk to them about it directly. I also have many connections because I am from Bedford which makes outreach and fundraising very easy to do! This town is extremely generous and I am so lucky to represent again! I was also very excited to have Emily and Melissa as my directors again!! They are the best :)

What part of the upcoming Miss NH competition are you most nervous about?
If I am being honest, I am actually not nervous about any of the Miss NH competition! There have been many changes with the Miss America 2.0 so I am excited to be a part of that change! I am so thankful and lucky to have the opportunity to compete for this title at such a young age. My intention is to go in and try my very best! I want to enjoy this year and learn more about what this program is all about! This program is not necessarily about winning, but about the connections you make, the skills you gain, and the experiences you have from this incredible program! I have already learned so much and have met some amazing people, I am excited to see what my future holds in this program! I still cannot believe I am going to be on that stage competing for such an honorable title!

How did you select your platform “adaptive sports: everyone gets into the game”?
I actually began working with my platform three years before I
became involved with this program. My platform, “Adaptive Sports get Everyone into the Game” is all about inclusion awareness and getting students with disabilities learning new skills and making new friends! I was a part of the launch of the first Adaptive Cheer Team in New Hampshire in 2013. Being involved with the cheer team for six years taught me a lot about life and the people in it. This team is so inspirational and proved everyday that they are so much more than their disability. From 2013 to now, they have grown into beautiful people and amazing cheerleaders. Our first year we did not do much but wave and cheer, but this past year we were able to do numerous stunts, tumbling, and even perform at
nationals! Seeing the growth of this team has filled my heart with so much joy and has inspired me to create a similar program through my school! I was so grateful and humbled to be able to have had this experience of working with this team for six years and now having the chance to share it with this program!

You recently performed the role of Clara in The Nutcracker. What was your favorite thing about that performance?
Performing the role of Clara in the Nutcracker was an absolute
dream come true. I have many passions in my life but dance is easily my biggest! My favorite part about being this role was seeing the faces of younger dancers as I rehearsed for my role. It brought me back to when I was young and dreamed of being Clara but never thought it would be possible. Being Clara this past year reminded me that the possibilities in this world are endless and there is always a reason to have hope!

If you could be any Disney character for a week, who would you choose?
Wow, this may be the hardest question because I am a big disney fan!! If I had to choose I would be Moana! She has a very spunky personality and is not afraid to be herself. I think that is the most important lesson a person can learn, to always be yourself and to not fear what people may think of you. She is adventurous and is not afraid to try new things! Plus I would love to live on an island for a week :)

Who is your favorite current Red Sox player? Why?
My favorite Red Sox player is Chris Sale! He is a pitcher on the Boston Red Sox who made his major league debut in 2010! He has set numerous strikeout-related records in the MLB! This pitcher is extremely talented and it’s still pretty early in his career, I am excited to see how he will continue to get better and hopefully contribute to more wins for the Red Sox!!

Is there a feature or activity at Fenway Park that you'd especially like to experience?
I would really love to attend a Boston Red Sox game at Fenway Park! I have actually never been to a game in Boston! My Dad and sister went last year and absolutely loved it! They said the energy there was electric so I would be so excited if I ever had the opportunity to attend a Red Sox game in Boston!

What were you doing when the Red Sox won the 2018 World Series?

When the Red Sox won the 2018 World Series I was actually on my way home from a college audition in Indiana! I was able to catch the end of the game though! There is always time to cheer on the Red Sox!!


So glad she was able to catch the end of the game! Hate to miss that.

As always, I want to give huge thanks to Emily for doing this interview. I also appreciate her providing so many 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 an honor to have another former visitor take home that crown.

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

Thanks again Emily, and good luck!

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Baseball Season is Here!

We have reached the next in the series of very important unimportant dates. First it was Truck Day. Now we have reached the day when pitchers and catchers report!

It's important because it's another checkbox on the way to the 2019 season! It's unimportant because it doesn't really mean anything. Most of the pitchers and catchers were already in camp anyway. Heck, most of the position players are there by now. But it means that spring training has officially started.

Most years in recent Red Sox history, the start of Spring Training hasn't meant much of anything. It just means that the Sox were going to be hoping nobody gets hurt for the next month and a half. But, this year is slightly different.

The position players are pretty much set. Barring a crazy blockbuster trade, the Sox know who they want to have in the starting lineup. Those players will be going through the motions just trying to get themselves ready. Nobody unexpected can win a spot. Nobody is going to lose their spot based on their Spring Training performance. It's just prep time.

The rotation is also pretty well set. Assuming health, Sale, Price, Porcello, EdRo, and Eovaldi are pretty secure in their rotation spots. Even the order will probably be decided by something other than performance. I suppose EdRo could potentially lose his spot, but that would be a bit of a stretch.

Now, the bullpen. That's another story altogether. The Sox are entering Spring Training without an assumed closer for the first time since...since I don't even know when. That means that there's an honest to god positional battle that will be decided by performance during Spring Training...I assume.

So, assuming that the Sox don't have something unconventional in mind (which I certainly hope they do) that will be something to watch. Which player will grab the closer role? Which player will lose the role? Will it be a tough call? Will it be obvious right from the beginning? Is there a leader going in, or is it truly up in the air?

It will be interesting to watch. It's been a while since we Red Sox fans have had a reason to pay close attention to Spring Training. It will be fun.

I hope I remember how to do it.

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

World's Greatest Card Chase Repack

My local Target hasn't had blasters of 2019 Topps yet. I had to resort to going to Targets farther away in order to get cards for myself. But, I keep checking...almost out of curiosity at this see if the shipment finally arrived close to home. At this point I was starting to wonder if someone had swooped in and bought the store out before I even saw cards on the shelves. 

But, when I got there today, the 2019s had arrived. The shelf was full of blasters waiting to be purchased. I reached for one, but just wasn't feeling it. I had been able to get my fix already...and it seemed like piling on at this point. That's when another blaster caught my eye.

Yup. The World's Greatest Card Chase! If I had ever seen those types of repacks before, I didn't remember them. Today, for some reason, they called to me. For one thing, they promised twice as many packs as 2019 Topps for the same price. (I had no delusions of getting a Cy Young) I generally enjoy repacks. They fit my style of collecting to get bulk packs. It allows me the chance to get stars and Red Sox players from brands I don't often buy. And, since they're packs, I still have a chance at some hits. I've gotten 1 of 1 and chrome parallels out of repacks just like I can from standard blasters. So, today I decided it was worth a try. Even though I've pretty much hit my limit of 2012 Triple play.

Here's what came out of this box.

I don't really know what I was expecting, but it certainly wasn't this! One pack of 2018 Big League, and 13 junk wax packs? What an odd collection. I also noticed that the box lied. It said I would get cards from the last 30 years of collecting. But, you'll notice, the 1987 Topps packs is 32 years old. So, what was the tally?

1987, 1989 Topps
1988, 1989, 1990 Fleer
1990, 1991 Upper Deck
1988, 1989, 1990 Donruss
1991 Studio
1992 Babe Ruth Collection
1990 Score
2018 Topps Big League

Now, it's sort of fun to be able to open packs that old. After all, there are a couple chances at a Griffey rookie, or other cards that were fun to pull at the time. But, I bet I have every Red Sox card from this era. And, the other cards aren't exactly in high demand by others. So, it's kind of a bust. But, still fun.

I'm sure you all know what these cards look like by now, but here are the Red Sox that were in the packs just to show.

Realy only the Greenwell would have been cool to have pulled even back in the day. I didn't get a Griffey, but I did get a Sheffield and Ramon Martinez rookie. So, those were fun trips down memory lane.

I was also interested in this pack.

I have no idea what these are. But, they claim they were only available in 1992. ( did I get one in 2018...?) They look just the the Conlon Collection cards that I actually collected in 1992. But, they're all Ruth. Interesting. Anyone have any of these?

So, there's the box. Nothing to write home about. But, something to write here about. Has anyone else opened this style of repack?

Did you get anything different?

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