Monday, April 30, 2018

Closing it Out

I love the idea. I really do. The concept of using your closer in situations other than starting the ninth inning with the lead is a long time coming. It really makes too much sense. I always scratch my head when someone other than the "closer" is used to get out of a bases loaded jam in the eighth inning of a tie game, only to bring in your best pitcher to start off the ninth when your team has grabbed a three run lead.

Which situation do YOU think requires your best pitcher? By using the closer in this manner, aren't you pretty much admitting that saves are some made-up statistic and you're just using a player with the expressed purpose of inflating his numbers in that statistic? If you trust the guy to escape a jam in the eighth, isn't he your best pitcher?

So, I loved it when Cora said he planned on bringing Kimbrel into games whenever the situation called for it.

I just didn't know that yesterday's situation called for it. A runner on first with two outs in a tie game is an intense situation? Could most any pitcher figure out a way to sneak out of that one? When I first saw Kimbrel trotting to the mound, the first question I had was, why was he even warming up? That situation just screamed of having Kimbrel throw fewer than five pitches, and then go sit down. Sit down for (as it turned out) what could be a long time. That's not an easy thing for any pitcher, let alone one not used to it. Also (as it turned out), perfection clearly wasn't needed. Kimbrel did not blow away the first batter he faced. He actually allowed a double. Really, I bet most pitchers on the staff could have done that or better. Sure, he then struck out Miller to end his self-inflicted threat. But, by then he was in average territory.

Of course, it all worked out since Kimbrel finished the game off in the ninth when the Sox got him the lead. Although, was the awkward use the reason for the singles he gave up to the first two batters?

So, I love the idea. Use Kimbrel whenever he can help you the most, whether it's the ninth inning or the fifth inning.

I just didn't love the implementation yesterday.

Friday, April 27, 2018

Meghan Sinisi visits Section 36!

Section 36 has another visitor! Meghan Sinisi is a talented twirler, an all-around baseball fan, and the current Miss Laurel Highlands.
Photo by Two20Studios
I'm so glad that she 
agreed to visit with us as the first titleholder to visit from the commonwealth of Pennsylvania. I'm sure you'll love what she has to say!

So, let’s see what happens when Meghan Sinisi visits Section 36!

How did you celebrate winning the Miss Laurel Highlands title?​ 
My family, close friends and I have an unspoken tradition for celebrating after pageants, and if you know me, it wouldn’t surprise you one bit (I LOVE food!). We always head to the nearest Applebee’s, and I celebrate by treating myself to some really yummy fried foods that I have taken a break from while preparing for the Lifestyle and Fitness in Swimsuit competition. At the Miss Laurel Highlands pageant, I won the Lifestyle and Fitness in Swimsuit award for my first time ever in a pageant, so I was extremely happy, but knew I had to reward myself for my hard work. Spiritually, though, I celebrate by thanking God for the opportunity He has given me to make a difference in the lives of others. I accredit a lot of my success to my faith in the Lord and I thank Him daily.

After winning a few MAO titles in New York, how did it feel to win a crown in your home state of Pennsylvania? 
Photo by Mrs C Photography
Since I attended Syracuse University in New York, but my permanent residence was in Pennsylvania, I was technically eligible to compete in either NY or PA. When I first got involved, I debated on which state to compete in: the one I was born and raised in, or the one where I was a full-time student. Ultimately, I came to the decision that I wanted to represent a title and a place where I could make the most impact. Since I was in NY studying for 9 months out of the year, that made the most logical sense for me. I had an incredible 3 years serving as a local titleholder in NY and it introduced me to many people and places that I otherwise would never have experienced as a normal, every day student at Syracuse. NY and its people became my home away from home. However, when I decided to finally compete back in PA after graduating, I knew it would be something really special. I was asked in my interview at Miss Laurel Highlands, that if I was so successful in NY, why Miss Pennsylvania
now? There is no feeling to describe the honor of representing the community that raised me. So far, it has been nothing short of incredibly rewarding in so many different ways. After winning a crown in my home state, I’ve had an overwhelming feeling that there was a reason God only let me be as successful as I was while competing for Miss NY. I firmly believe that He has a plan greater than anything I can imagine and that everything happens for a reason, but I never believed in it more than I do now after winning Miss Laurel Highlands. It has been a dream come true and it is extremely humbling to see and feel all of the support from the people who have watched me grow up throughout the years.

What lessons have you learned from past pageant experiences that will help you at the Miss Pennsylvania competition?​ 
I have learned so much and am so grateful for every little part of my pageant experiences. I absolutely would not be the person that I am today without this organization and all of the experiences it has awarded me. I’ve learned about mentoring and leadership through the people who have adopted me as their own and dedicate so much of their time to helping me achieve my goals. I have learned what it means to be a servant in my community for causes that affect a wide-range of people of all ages and from all walks of life. I have learned the value of honesty and integrity, to uphold good standards, and the importance to serve as a positive role model for others in my community. I have learned to love myself for who I am,
and that it is so silly to compare yourself to your competitors when every single young woman has something so special, unique, and valuable to contribute to this organization. I have learned time management, but to also make time to have fun even when working tirelessly towards your goals. Most importantly, I’ve learned that if you have a dream or a vision, no one else will make that happen other than yourself, because, “Dreams don’t work unless you do”.

How did you select your platform, “From a new Perspective - Inspiring Autism Acceptance”?​ 
In my senior year of high school, I was crowned Homecoming Queen. After winning, I knew I wanted to do something special with the crown, so I asked my aunt who worked for the school if I could
visit the special education department and share my experience with the students. I met a young man that day who had autism, but in that moment, I realized how little I actually knew about the disorder. I gained an interest in learning about autism and disabilities, and eventually I chose a major and career path that would allow me to improve the lives of individuals with disabilities (I’d like to be a Speech-Language Pathologist). When I decided to compete for my first local pageant and had to choose a cause to promote as my platform, it was a no-brainer that I start advocating for autism awareness. Back then, my platform was titled “Different Pieces to the Same Puzzle”, but as I have learned more about the disorder and adopted new viewpoints and opinions about how those who have it should be treated and talked about, I changed the name to “From a New Perspective” and I decided that it was more important for me to advocate for acceptance of autism. I, myself, went through a transformation of ideas about autism, and I hope to inspire others to go through a similar transformation as well to become more accepting, caring and compassionate towards their peers who may have autism.

You were the featured baton twirler for Syracuse University. Does that experience make your baton talent performance less stressful at pageants?​ 
I have always loved the adrenaline I feel when performing, no matter what type of performance it is, but I definitely do get more nervous performing on a stage at pageants. A majority of my
experiences performing have been on football fields or basketball courts, so, believe it or not, it’s less stressful for me to perform in those types of venues, even though there may be thousands more people watching. When performing on a stage, there is much more to worry about for twirlers because of the height of the ceiling, the lights hanging above, and the audience (and judges) being much closer. Although I do get more nervous when I perform in pageants, twirling has been a passion of mine since I was just 3 years old, so I’m just thankful to be involved in an organization that allows me the opportunity to continue performing for others.

Fun Fact:​ I performed on the 50 yard line during the pregame show
at Super Bowl XLVIII with the Syracuse University Marching Band and the Rutgers University Marching Band. This was in 2014 when it was held at MetLife Stadium.

You had an exciting trip to the 2016 Final Four. What do you remember from that experience?​ 
Oh my gosh, SOOO much happened on my trip to the Final Four. It all began when I watched our team win the Sweet Sixteen. After that win, I instantly texted my friend Lorna (also a Syracuse Alum) and told her “If we make it, I want to perform at the Final Four”. Now... If you’ve met me, you would probably pin me as “overly-
ambitious”, but I was very determined to try to make it happen, especially since Syracuse took themselves out of the eligibility for the tournament the year before. I knew this could be a once in a lifetime opportunity - AND I was the current Miss Syracuse at the time, so how more perfect does it get? After talking with the band director, the athletic department, other student-athletes and A LOT of research, I found that there are extremely strict NCAA rules for the number of athletes/spirit team members that are allowed on the court at a time, and since I wasn’t considered part of athletics, the spirit team, or Sitrus Society (Syracuse’s pep-band), I wasn’t included in the roster to go or perform. After that, someone actually started a petition to get me to perform as the Orange Girl at the Final Four. I didn’t get the OK, but I still I ended up boarding a school-provided bus on a 31 hour bus ride to Houston, Texas. I was also asked by Syracuse local newspaper - The Post-Standard to cover the student experience as their Social Media Correspondent for the Final Four. My friends and hundreds of other students camped out outside the library to get the limited tickets for the bus, loaded the buses, and 31 hours later, we finally arrived in Houston around 4:30am the day of the Final Four Game. I only got about one hour of sleep, then I was back up to
twirl in the Lone Star Veteran’s Association Final Four 4 Miler Race. There, I met a Syracuse Alum who was the first woman to finish the race that day, a former titleholder from the MAO, and I performed on the concourse in Downtown Houston after the race. So I ALMOST performed at the Final Four (lol). At the game, the students waiting to sit in the student section were asked to stand behind a gate until the Oklahoma vs. Villanova game was over. Once their student sections cleared out, the ushers opened the gates, and it was literally mass hysteria while students sprinted to get seats closest to the court. I was wearing my Miss Syracuse sash, so fortunately some really kind fellow Orange students let me move to the front of the student section right behind the basket, which was just incredible. At one point, Vice President Joe Biden walked by with his secret service
team and was giving out some high-fives as he walked by. I wasn’t expecting for anything to happen, so I just had my phone out to record him walking by. As he was passing me and giving me a high five, he spotted my sash, took my phone out of my hand and turned it around to take a selfie. COOLEST MOMENT OF MY LIFE... and an epic picture, at that. The rest of the game was unbelievable and I just couldn’t even believe that I was actually there to support our team. Although I was disappointed that I didn’t have a chance to perform, in the end I was so happy to have that experience as a fan and a student. I didn’t get many moments like that throughout my time at Syracuse, because I was always on the move and performing at different events on campus. I never really had a moment to just sit back and enjoy them. It was probably the most exciting trip I have ever made in my life, and SO worth spending 62 total hours on a bus traveling half-way across the country! It was also really neat because NRG Stadium, formerly Reliant Stadium, is where the Final Four was held, and that is also where I performed with the “Pride of the Orange” Syracuse University Marching Band when our football team played in the Texas Bowl against Minnesota my Freshman year (2014).

You grew up in Altoona, PA, home of the Altoona Curve. Red Sox all-star Brock Holt spent a few seasons there. Do you remember seeing him, or any other stars, play in Altoona? 
​I don’t remember Brock Holt so much, but I do remember Andrew McCutchen and Josh Bell playing for the Curve and going on to play for the Pirates - I’m SOOOO sad that McCutchen is with the Giants now :( . Going to Curve games was always one of my favorite things to do in the summer while I was growing up, and it continues to be my favorite today. I’ve watched my brothers play on the same field at the minor league ball-park throughout their high school careers, too, which makes it even more special. It’s pretty amazing to go to these games every summer right here in my home town and watch the players work so hard toward their dream of developing a professional career and making it to the big leagues. You get to see a lot of really talented athletes get their start and I think that’s pretty awesome.
Fun fact​: There is also a Minor League team for the Washington Nationals in Syracuse - The Syracuse Chiefs. I’ve performed fire baton at multiple Chiefs games before they would set off the fireworks after the game, and I even threw the first pitch at a game last summer. These were some of the coolest performances because there normally isn’t a lot of opportunity to twirl fire because of safety regulations in certain venues, but it’s my favorite type of performance!

Who is your favorite current Red Sox player?​ Why?​ 
I’d probably have to say Dustin Pedroia. He’s a great athlete and since my brother played second base throughout college, that’s always a position I’m watching closely.

What about the upcoming 2018 baseball season excites you the most?​ 

Since I went to college out of state for the past four years, I’m
really looking forward to finally being back in PA for a summer so that I can make it to more Pirates games at PNC. I’m privileged to live so close to one of the most scenic baseball stadiums in Major League Baseball and I absolutely love the atmosphere in Pittsburgh on gameday, especially while walking over to get to the stadium and seeing the streets flooded with black and gold. It gets you so hyped up to watch the team.


A flood of black and gold at PNC must be quite a sight!

As always, I want to thank Meghan for visiting. It was clear she had lots of great things to talk about! I also don't think I've every had so many pictures that went along perfectly with the questions, so I want to give her a big thanks for sending them along!

As Meghan continues her time as Miss Laurel Highlands, I encourage you to follow her on their official Facebook page, Instagram, and Twitter. Also be sure to check out her official Children's Miracle Network donation page! Of course, she also has personal accounts I highly suggest you check out. Her Instagram and Twitter accounts will let you keep track of her this year, and beyond. She also has her own website to help you follow along with everything she does!

And, of course, I want to wish Meghan luck when she competes for the Miss Pennsylvania crown. She could become the first Miss Pennsylvania to have visited Section 36!

Thanks again Meghan, and good luck!

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

36 Pack Wax Match: Pack 16

The Stage has been set. The Match is underway. Who will come out on top? There’s only one way to find out.

Keep going, and open that sixteenth pack!

As we dive into this pack, 1988 continued to chip away at 1990's lead with a victory in pack 15! Can it keep closing the gap? Let's see!

Yankees -2
What's the only thing worse than getting a checklist card? Getting a Yankees team checklist card! 1988 immediately finds itself in a hole. 

Red Sox +2
 This helps. The cool and collected Bruce Hurst gets the score of the pack back to zero, so it can start things off again.

Hall of Famer +1
 Too bad he's wearing the wrong color Sox. It's also too bad that this picture is cropped too tightly. (See? It's not just a recent Topps problem.) I bet the whole shot with the ball, runner, and next batter giving the "get down" sign would have been incredible.

That's where the scoring ends for 1988. It is able to sneak into positive numbers, and has to hope for the best.

Yankees -2
1990 falls into an immediate hole with this Yankees card. Not even a particularly good Yankees card.

And that's the end of the scoring for this pack! 1988 is able to hold onto the lead, and extend it's winning streak.

Box Bottom: 1988 +1 (1-0)
Pack 1:  1990 +6 (1-1)
Pack 2:  1990 +4 (2-1)
Pack 3:  1988 +3 (2-2)
Pack 4:  1990 +1 (3-2)
Pack 5:  1990 +1 (4-2)
Pack 6:  1988 +2 (3-4)
Pack 7:  1988 +3 (4-4)
Pack 8:  TIE   +0 (4-4)
Pack 9:  1990 +2 (5-4)
Pack 10: 1990 +4 (6-4)
Pack 11: 1990 +4 (7-4)
Pack 12: 1990 +1 (8-4)
Pack 13: 1990 +5 (9-4)
Pack 14: 1988 +3 (5-9)
Pack 15: 1988 +2 (6-9)
Pack 16: 1988 +3 (7-9)

What will happen next time?

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Just Like We Expected!

All the EEIdiots were saying it. The Red Sox record was a bit of a house of cards. Once they played some serious competition, they could be in some serious trouble. As a test to this, I'm sure they all circled the Oakland series as that serious test. Forget the Yankees, or the Angels. Wait until the Sox play Oakland. That's when we'll learn something.

Yeah, I didn't say that either. I bet nobody did.

So, what happened?

Basically, that's why they play the games. I have no idea how the Red Sox and their potent line-up managed to get no-hit. (Although, they were probably actually two-hit.) Sometimes a pitcher just happens to have your number. The Sox find that a lot when they face a pitcher without a lengthy scouting report. Did Cora go a little Jimy Williams while resting both Betts and Ramirez in the same game? Maybe. Perhaps all his moves just didn't all work for the first time all season. It happens, and you move on.

It could end up being good for the team. They faced their first bump in the road. Then, the left town and headed to Toronto. Now they get to refocus on a surprisingly good team, and take care of business. If they can do that, it makes the losses in Oakland a learning experience. A lesson in not panicking. A lesson in bouncing back. A real team-building experience. Even more than going to a hockey game together.

Because this will happen again. I don't think I belong on talk radio by thinking the Sox might lose two in a row again at some point this season. So, learning how to deal with it will be good for the team, and their new manager.

I can't wait to see how many runs they score tonight.

Friday, April 20, 2018

Jillian Zucco Visits Section 36!

Section 36 has another visitor! Jillian Zucco is a singer, a Red Sox fan, and the current Miss Massachusetts. We've been trying for
some time to get schedules to allow her to visit with us. I'm glad we were finally able to make it work, and I hope you enjoy what she had to say as much as I did!

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

After finishing as the runner up in the previous two Miss Massachusetts competitions, what was going through your mind this year when it was down to just you and Summer Foley in the final two?
Actually, we don’t narrow the winner from a Top 5 in Mass. We announce the runners-up and winner from the top 11. (It’s nice because the 1st runner-up still gets her moment. It’s an important position!) After they called the first runner up, I just kept telling myself that what’s meant to be will be. Regardless of the outcome, I was truly so happy with my run in the Miss Massachusetts program. I found best friends, earned loads of scholarship money,
and had so many incredible experiences. It would have all been worth the 5 years of competing even if I hadn’t won. However, I was hoping to fulfill my dream of performing on the Miss America stage. I believed I was ready and that I could do it. I had faith that this would be the year I won. Then I did, and I was elated!!!

How did you celebrate winning the Miss Massachusetts crown?
My family and I went out for sushi the next day. I love my family, and I love sushi. I couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate. 😍

As a talented singer, you have been able to perform the national anthem at many venues, including Fenway Park, Gillette Stadium, and the TD Banknorth Garden. Of all the anthems you’ve sung, which one stands out the most?
Singing at the iconic and historic Fenway Park stands out the most
for me. The energy in Fenway is unlike anything I’ve ever experienced. The fans are one big family. I felt that energy tenfold while standing out on the field before singing. There’s something special about singing "The Star-Spangled Banner” to kick off America’s pastime in the birthplace of America. 

We were all so excited to see you compete for Miss America. What is your best memory from that experience?
I cried when I walked onto the Boardwalk Hall stage for the first
time. I’ll never ever forget that moment. I’ll also never forget every second I spent laughing, eating, and lifting weights with my Miss America roommate, Chelsea Dubczac. She is Miss Iowa and is now one of my best friends!

Your platform is “Choose a Cause, Make a Difference.” Why is that important?
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the United States’ volunteer rate has been steadily declining for over a decade. With tight budgets, nonprofits and charities cannot afford indifference by the public. Volunteering is an American core value. The “right to form voluntary associations” is actually included in the US Constitution. Volunteerism builds communities, strengthens a volunteer’s skills, offers networking opportunities for the volunteer, and is FUN when you involve your friends and family. We need to inspire MORE people to volunteer before this becomes a serious national issue. 

You work full-time as an Registered Nurse. Is it difficult to balance that career with the duties of being Miss Massachusetts?
I’d be lying if I said that it has been easy.  Thankfully, my
supervisor  has been so supportive and understanding, recognizing that this is a once in a lifetime opportunity!  To keep up with my responsibilities and projects, I make a ton of lists, keep a paper calendar, and try to get to bed at a decent time when possible.

What is it like for you to watch Chris Sale pitch?
When I watch Chris Sale pitch, I know I’m watching history in the making. Incredible. Also, his teammates AND opponents have made positive comments about him as a person, not just as a player. That says a lot. 

Is the Benintendi-Bradley-Betts outfield the best you’ve ever seen?
I loved Johnny Damon, Manny Ramirez and Trot Nixon together.
They were so great. I was 10 in 2004 and remember being glued to the television screen or in awe going to games with my Dad. I’d say this outfield is the best we’ve had since 2004.

Last season, the Red Sox seemed to miss David Ortiz’s presence, much like fans did. What is your favorite Ortiz memory?
Every walk-off hit! 

How will the Red Sox do in the 2018 season?
They’re going to be World Series contenders, for sure!!


That sure makes sense to me!

As always, I want to give a huge thank you to Jillian for taking the time to visit with us. I also want to thank her for setting me straight on how Miss Massachusetts is awarded. Ashamed to say I even watched her crowning, and still missed the fact that the stage was full of people. Another big thank you to her for providing the wonderful pictures to go along with the interview. There are plenty of them, and they definitely made the post much better.

As Jillian finishes her term as Miss Massachusetts, be sure to keep track of her on all the official Miss Massachusetts social media accounts: TwitterInstagramFacebook, and even Snapchat

Thanks again for the visit Jillian!

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Real Competition

It's a pretty standard argument for the EEIdiots. Sure, things are going well now...but when they face "X", their weakness will be a problem. "X" can be a specific threat, like a lefty starter, or a general overriding doom, like a playoff team. I don't really know where this constant counterpoint comes from.

Are they just trying to be negative? Is that just easier? After all, there's always something to pick on somewhere. "I'm concerned about the inconsistency of their fifth starter. In September that could come back to bite them." Of course, ignoring that every fifth starter is inconsistent. That's why they're fifth starters. Or, are they just playing the odds? After all, chances are that in any given year, the Red Sox aren't going to win the World Series. Only one team gets to. So, if you keep saying that the Sox aren't a championship team, chances are you'll be right more often than you're wrong. Heck, even the Patriots have "only" won the Super Bowl 5 times in the last 20 years. So, if you point out a flaw every year and say "this makes me nervous about their chances..." you'll be right three times as often as you'd be wrong. Those are good odds.

Which is why they do it all the time, even to the Patriots. "Sure, they won, but an elite quarterback will chew them up." Of course, ignoring that there are, like, three elite quarterbacks in the leagues, and they have one of them. Honestly, most teams don't have players talented enough to take advantage of any Patriots weaknesses. But there's always that flaw radio hosts can hold over their heads. "If they face a crushing running back." "If they face a fast secondary." They just ignore that those things they fear don't really exist.

Which is what's happening to the Red Sox and their amazing start to the season. Sure, they're 15-2. But, who have they played? Will they be in trouble when they face actual competition?

Now, I'll be the first to admit that starting the season with nine games against the Rays and Marlins was an incredible gift. And, if they were 5-4 after those games, I wouldn't be crowing about their winning record. Even if they were 6-3. But, 8-1 is pretty dominant no matter who you're playing. Still, people were cautious. Let's see when the "real" season starts against the Yankees. 

Then, the Sox took 2 of 3 from NY.

Ok, so one series. They won one series at home against a good team that's been struggling a bit. Let's see if they can keep this up.

Then they beat the Orioles in a winter storm. Geez, it was just the Orioles. Wait until they face the Angels and their 13 wins. This'll be the test!

Then the Sox outscored the Angels 19-1 in the first two games of the series. 

Well, maybe the Angels aren't that good. After all, they've played Oakland a lot early in the season. Maybe their record is inflated. They're not the measuring stick they thought they were.

So, the Sox are still waiting to see what happens when they play this mythical "good" team. 

But, which team is it?

Certainly not the A's this weekend. Toronto? The Astros at the end of May?

It seems to me that if you're waiting until the end of May until you're facing your "real" competition, that's not a flaw in your team. It's because you have no real competition.

It's because you're a really good team.

We knew this going in, because last year they were a really good team that battled some injuries. This shouldn't be shocking anyone. Oh, sure, the sheer level of domination is surprising. But, they're a first place team.

No matter the competition.

Travel Team

After tonight’s game the Red Sox will travel north to prepare to play the Oakland A’s. Traveling to the Bay Area, of course, reminds me of this blog’s favorite Bay Area travel agent. You may remember Bernadette from the many pictures she has submitted to the blog. 

Naturally, as a travel agent, she’s taken many pictures while traveling. Like these. 

Of course, while in town the Sox might have the opportunity to attend a special event. Which is perfect since another one of Bernadette’s talents is as an event planner! 

Bernadette also writes a wonderful blog detailing her life. Her life, her travels, her fitness. It’s all covered and most definitely worth the read. 

So if you’re looking for a travel agent, or are hosting a Bay Area event, get in touch with Bernadette. You can find her on twitter here or here. Or on Instagram here or here. And read her blog as much as you can. Be sure to tell her you saw her on Section 36! 

It won’t do anything for you, but it’ll be more fun for me!

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Feel Good About Looking Good

Many of you will recognize Bryanne from her many contributions to this blog. She’s always been willing to send in pictures for me to post, whether she’s watching a game in Fenway or climbing New England’s highest mountain. The sheer volume of quality pictures she’s sent in has definitely been a godsend to this blog. In many of those pictures she has been shown sporting a Section 36 tank top. Again, she seems to wear it everywhere which is just awesome from my point of view.

As it happens, Bryanne will be running in Muckfest Boston next month. If you don’t know, Muckfest is a five-mile obstacle course that raises money for MS research. As part of that, Bryanne is raising money to donate through her team, the Lucky Muckers.

With such a great cause being supported by such an asset to the blog, I felt Section 36 should try to help. Taking my cue from her willingness to frequently wear her Section 36 tank top I’ve decided that all my profits from sales of Section 36 gear for the rest of April will be donated though her Muckfest team. That’s 15% of the purchase price!

Even better for you, the Section 36 store will be having a sale starting today and running through the weekend! It’s the perfect time for you to get the gear you’ve been thinking about getting at a lower price, and help support a great cause at the same time!

So head on over (HERE) and get a tank top of your own. Or a tee. Or a hoodie. Or even a sticker or coffee mug! You can feel good knowing that 15% of that purchase price will be used to support Bryanne in her efforts to help find a cure for MS. (You should also check out her Muckfest team page to find other ways you can help.) It doesn’t get much better than that.

You really can feel good about looking good.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Way Out West

Usually I like West Coast games. Well, at least I enjoy them more than Midwest games. For games in California, I know there's no way I'm staying up for the whole thing. There's not much chance I'll be up for more than an inning or two. So, I don't even have to try. I can just go to bed, and wake up to find out the score. It's nice to have all the decisions made for you like that.

But, this week it's different.

For one thing, the Sox are on fire. I hate the idea of missing a chance to see the bludgeon another team into submission. They're just too much fun right now to be happy about missing a game or two.

Second, David Price is on the mound tonight. I hate missing a chance to see one of the Sox aces do his thing. Especially after I was robbed of a longer outing by him last time he was on the mound. I hate the idea of missing this one too.

Third, Shohei Ohtani is on the mound tonight. There's lots of excitement around him right now, so I wouldn't mind seeing him before it fades away. Which I can only assume it will. Right now, Ohtani reminds me of Randy Moss. When he was drafter, he had some character questions that caused him to slide lower in the draft than you'd expect for a guy with his talent. Minnesota took a chance on him, and he went out to have a massive rookie season. People started crowing about how the Vikings had taken the gamble and won. No. Everyone knew he had the talent, and could have a good season. The issue was spending a first round pick on a talent that may wear out his welcome. The first year wasn't a win. The tenth year was. The same, I feel, goes for Ohtani. Yes, he's playing well. Everyone know he could play well. The question that stopped teams from offering the big bucks was the long haul. Can he keep up the pitching performance over an entire season while he's hitting three times a week? Can he hit when he's spending so much time not hitting? The April numbers weren't the question. (Well, weren't as big of a question.) It's the September numbers that people wondered about. That's when the Angels can brag about being right. 

But, I'd still like to see what all the fuss is about.

So, I'm actually disappointed about missing tonight's game. 

I can't wait to read all about it in the morning!

Monday, April 16, 2018

36 Pack Wax Match: Pack 15

The Stage has been set. The Match is underway. Who will come out on top? There’s only one way to find out.

Keep going, and open that fifteenth pack!

As we dive into this pack, 1988 finally started to chip away at 1990's lead with a victory in pack 14! Can it keep closing the gap? Let's see!

Yankees -2
Well, that's a bad start for 1988. Frankly, it's just a bad card overall. A picture of Bill wearing an unmarked blue jacket? Geez, he could be me sitting around posing for pictures. 

Hall of Famer +1
The Wizard of Oz gets a point back. At least his shirt has a logo on it! 

Red Sox +2
This Red Sox card allows 1988 to finish in the black. A nice action shot too...if his left arm wasn't cropped out of the photo.

And that's where the scoring ends for 1988. Can 1990 perform better?

Yankees -2
Not like that it can't! Sure, it's a nice picture. Most of everything even shows up in the frame. But, it's still negative points for the pack.

Hall of Famer +1
1990 Gets one back with this great dual shortstop card. Not the world's most creative title for this Superstar Special. Even with both players playing for "bird" teams, Fleer went the boring route.

Unfortunately for 1990, that's where the scoring ends! That allows 1988 to take the pack, and continue chipping into that lead. 

Box Bottom: 1988 +1 (1-0)
Pack 1:  1990 +6 (1-1)
Pack 2:  1990 +4 (2-1)
Pack 3:  1988 +3 (2-2)
Pack 4:  1990 +1 (3-2)
Pack 5:  1990 +1 (4-2)
Pack 6:  1988 +2 (3-4)
Pack 7:  1988 +3 (4-4)
Pack 8:  TIE   +0 (4-4)
Pack 9:  1990 +2 (5-4)
Pack 10: 1990 +4 (6-4)
Pack 11: 1990 +4 (7-4)
Pack 12: 1990 +1 (8-4)
Pack 13: 1990 +5 (9-4)
Pack 14: 1988 +3 (5-9)
Pack 15: 1988 +2 (6-9)

What will happen next time?

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