Tuesday, May 29, 2018

I like David Price

Typical EEIdiots this afternoon. 

They were discussing David Price. Apparently Red Sox fans don’t like him. That on its own was surprising enough. Hard to imagine Red Sox fans don’t like a good pitcher on their team. But then they went all-in. Red Sox fans don’t like him because of him. They WANT to like him, but Price makes it too hard. 

What the dickens is that?

Apparently Price isn’t allowing us to like him because he talks. They pointed that following his most recent start, he called himself the softest guy in the clubhouse. So, apparently Red Sox fans are now forbidden from discussing his fantastic start. The HAVE to talk about his comments.


Why are the EEIdiots claiming they have no choice but to talk about the negative comments (if you can call them that) as opposed to his positive start. Do they have no free will? Can’t they talk about whatever they want to talk about? 

And, while we’re on the subject, since when are self-deprecating comments a negative? Didn’t Dustin Pedroia literally build his entire career on making comments like that? 

So Price’s comments aren’t making it impossible for me to like him. I actually like him quite a bit…at least as far as I can like someone i’ve never been in the same room with. He seems like a good guy, and can be funny. That’s really all I’m looking for from a player off the field.

On the field? Even the EEIdiots agree there’s a lot to like there lately. He could team with Chris Sale to be a pretty potent 1-2 punch. It should be a lot of fun to watch as the season progresses. Apparently, you just need to allow yourself to enjoy it.

I’d suggest doing just that.

Monday, May 28, 2018

Our Nation Turns its Lonely Eyes to You

With the Celtics ending their miracle run last night he Red Sox find themselves all alone on the sports landscape. 

So far this season, they've had to compete with two other teams for attention. And, has been the case lately, those teams did quite a bit to try and draw the attention to themselves. The Bruins finished the regular season with one of the best records in the league, before bowing out in the second round of the playoffs. The Celtics countered by also finishing with one of the best records, before losing Irving for the season. Even so, they made it to game seven of the Eastern Conference Finals before the injuries finally caught up with them.

So, in 2018, Boston sports teams have lost games in the finals, semi-finals, and quarter-finals of their leagues. Even thought they all lost their final game, they all made deep playoff runs. 

No pressure there, Red Sox.

So, with the stage to themselves, how do the Sox look. Well, they oddly dumped their #3 hitter in order to find room for an overrated and overpaid second baseman. But, that hasn't hurt them yet. They sit atop the mountaintop with baseball's best record. They have four more wins that the second place team in their division. They have two players tied for the league lead in home runs.

I'd say they're ready for prime time.

Unfortunately for them, they're hitting a tougher stretch in their schedule next month. So when they don't win at a .700 clip the next 30 days, fans who haven't been watching may start to wonder if this team is for real.

They needn't worry. 

This team is ready for their close up. They have pitching. They have hitting. They took a team that won the division last yead, and tweaked it just enough.

If the new fans can hold on for a few weeks, the rest of the ride will be worth it.

Provided they don't turn their attention away once the patriots season begins.

They'll regret that. 

Friday, May 25, 2018

Alexandra Coppa Visits Section 36!

Section 36 has another visitor! Alexandra Coppa is a Red Sox fan, and the current Miss Rhode Island. In addition to following the Sox, she'll be spending her summer preparing for Miss America in
September. Thankfully she was nice enough to take time out of her schedule and visit with us to discuss her short time as Miss Rhode Island, blogging, the Red Sox, and much more. 

So let's see what happens when Alexandra Coppa visits Section 36!

How did you celebrate being crowned Miss Rhode Island?
After the pageant, the board, judges, formers, families, and of course my Teen and I, went to a restaurant in Newport to celebrate. It was really nice to be under the same roof as everyone after the chaos of the pageant died down to celebrate with all of those who made my dream a reality! It was also special to sit down with my family, who has supported me through everything I've done, as we are all pretty busy and don't get opportunities like that too often. 

You’re a former Miss Rhode Island’s Outstanding Teen. Do you think the experience of competing on a national stage will help you at Miss America?
Absolutely! I think one of the greatest lessons I learned at MAOT is
to believe in yourself and never give up. I remember being disappointed after my interview and giving up on myself before the rest of the competition, only to find out that October that I had been top 5 in the interview portion. It taught me that we are our own worst critics and to persevere regardless of how you think you performed. This is definitely an extremely important lesson that applies to most things in life and I'm glad that I am going to Miss America with the mindset that I am enough and that I should always believe in myself. It sounds so cliche but it's so true. 

What aspect of the Miss America competition are you most excited about?
I have wanted to compete for Miss RI since I gave up my title of Miss Rhode Island's Outstanding Teen but life got in the way for a while. First, I was assimilating into college, then I struggled with an eating disorder. The next year I was recovering, and when I finally was ready, the pageant fell on the day on my graduation. I'm just really excited to finally live out my dream and have the opportunity of a lifetime. Also, my best friend from college is our current Miss America, so I am excited to see her doing big things and living out her dream as well. I am so proud of her and was not able to attend the competition last year, so I am so happy that I can be there for her this time.

How did you select your platform, “HEALing Souls: Eating Disorder Treatment and Awareness”?
My platform is extremely personal to me. I suffered from an eating
disorder during my freshman and sophomore years of college and was in a very dark place in my life until I completed residential treatment. Recovery was hard and almost felt impossible, but I did it, and now I am an advocate for those who are in that very same place. I think it's important to be transparent and open about my experiences to let those who feel the hopelessness that I felt that recovery isn't as far-fetched as it seems. The word HEAL in the title of my platform represents Project HEAL, a national nonprofit of which I began a chapter at Brown University upon my return. I was in treatment over the summer between my sophomore and junior years and I felt like I needed a support system if I was going to continue to be okay. Project HEAL aims to
raise money for a treatment grant program to provide treatment for those who cannot afford it (treatment can get up to $5,000 a DAY), and to raise awareness of eating disorders. I became a mentor for others who watched me recover and flourish, and it showed me that if I wanted to help others, I had to be in charge of my own health. I've been in recovery for three years now, and I couldn't be happier to spend my year as Miss Rhode Island proving that it is okay to ask for help and that asking for help is truly worth it.

As a talented dancer, what is your favorite part about performing on stage?
I have been dancing since I was two years old, so dancing is a part
of my identity. I starting competing when I was 8 years old and found a love for performing. I was quite the ham on stage as a kid and it's cool to see my progress through the years, while still having that same passion for the stage. I think the thrill of performing comes from all the hard work I put in over the years. I was the girl who always had to work extra hard to prove to others that I was worthy and that I could keep up. I remember being told that I would never be a titleholder, so I put my mind to it and I
ended up winning titles from that point on. Being on stage reminds me that I can do anything I set my mind to and that I have come so far in my life because I never listened to the doubts around me. If you believe it, you can achieve it!

You’re a fellow blogger. What can you tell me about “Sparkles and Synapses”?
I began my blog while I was in treatment. This started because I
was so confused about people telling me to journal. I was thinking, why should I tell myself how I feel? I know how I feel and writing it down isn't going to help me work it out. So instead, I decided to tell others how I felt. In having to explain it to others to the extent where they could feel what I felt was a lot harder than writing, "I'm sad and today is hard," in a journal. I had to dig deep, and honestly, it was pretty painful. I uncovered a lot about myself that contributed to my eating disorder, such as the pain of being bullied my whole life, and a deep need for perfection because of all the doubts I experienced through my life regarding my talents and abilities. I was shocked to find that people started reaching out to me, opening up about their struggles and supporting me through my time of need. I realized that I had a voice and I could inspire others by sharing something that was deeply personal. Trigger

warning for anyone who wants to read it: it is VERY detailed and I do not hold back about any of my thoughts or feelings. It is highly emotional and can be hard for people to read if they are going through it, but it is really wonderful to read from least to most recent and see my growth and how much more positive my posts become as my journey through recovery continues. It shows that darkness that I was in and the light that I found in my life and I think if those who feel alone read it, it can be very eye opening. You are not alone and you are enough. Recovery is possible and it is worth it regardless of the intensely hard work that goes into it. 

Who is your favorite current Red Sox player? Why?
I don't have a favorite! I've been a part of a team/company as a dancer and I know that everyone is just as important as the other. I love the dynamic of sports teams, and how close they must be in order to read each others' plays and movements. Being a part of a team is a blessing and each person on the team makes it what it is.

If you can’t sit in Section 36, where would you like to sit to watch a Red Sox game?
I've only been to one or two games, so honestly, put me in any
section! The environment is so exciting and being there is a cool experience. If I could be anywhere though, I would like to be on the field throwing the first pitch! 

How will the Red Sox finish the 2018 season?
Oh that's an easy question. Boston sports are the best sports. I think all your readers know the answer to this question! :) 


She’s right. That’s should definitely be an easy question!

As always, I want to send a huge thank you to Alexandra for visiting with us. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did. Another big thanks for supplying the great pictures to go along with the interview. They really make the interview pop. (And thanks to the photographer: Daniel Gagnon Photography)

If you'd like to keep up with Alexandra during her time as Miss Rhode Island, check out her official Instagram account. You can also follow the Miss Rhode Island Organization itself on both Facebook and Instagram. And, be sure to check out her wonderful blog! Often!

And, of course, I want to wish Alexandra luck at the Miss America competition in September! It’s always exciting to see members of the Section 36 family on that stage!

Thanks again Alexandra, and good luck!

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

36 Pack Wax Match: Pack 19

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 nineteenth pack!

As we dive into this pack, 1988 went back to its winning ways with a victory in pack eighteen! Can it continue to trim 1990's lead? Let's see!

Hall of Fame +1
1988 Starts out with a point from this very disinterested Goose Gossage. He didn't exactly have a rookie's enthusiasm at this point.

Or, maybe he was less than excited about the fact that his card was the only point 1988 would get. They'll have to hope for a shutout from 1990.

Yankees -2
Or, you know, maybe a negative total? This card of Greg Cadaret drops 1990 two points. Yup. Greg Cadaret.

And, believe it or not, that's the end of the scoring today! So, 1988 and their measly one point carry the day, and cut even more into the 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)
Pack 16: 1988 +3 (7-9)
Pack 17: 1990 +3 (10-7)
Pack 18: 1988 +2 (8-10)
Pack 19: 1988 +3 (9-10)

What will happen next time?

Monday, May 21, 2018

Leading the Majors

You asked for it. You got it. 

Last season the Red Sox were lacking power. Their home run totals were the worst in the league. Despite their division championship, their lack of power (well, lack of home rubs) was going to be their downfall. It was a flaw that couldn’t be ignored. 

And they didn’t ignore it. The Red Sox went out and bought the best power bar they could. They signed JD Martinez to a big contract, and hoped he would bring his power with him.  

And, that he did. He is currently tied for the major league lead in home runs. 

Who is he tied with, you might ask? His teammate, and holdover from last year’s powerless Red Sox team, Mookie Betts. 

The two of them have helped vault the Red Sox to the top of the home run leaderboard. The Six are hitting home rubs in bunches. 

This power surge has been incredible for the Red Sox team. They got off to a fast start, and currently find themselves...

Second in the division. 

Huh. It’s almost like your team’s rank in home runs is not the same as your team’s ranking in the standings. 

Oh, sure. The Sox have the most wins in baseball. I’m not here to say home runs are a bad thing. I’m just saying that they’re not the only thing. 

I’m also not going to say signing Martinez was a bad thing. But, remember, the Sox already had a guy who could lead the league in home runs. JD was a wonderful luxury. And, frankly, none of the other options seem to have panned out nearly as well. So it was a great move, and looks like it will be a lot of fun as we go along this season. 

Just don’t get caught up in all the home runs. 

Friday, May 18, 2018

Sabrina Ponte Visits Section 36!

Photo by Justin Hammond Photo
Section 36 has another visitor! Sabrina Ponte is a singer, a Red Sox fan, and the current Miss Cranberry Country! I've always regretted not getting in touch with her much earlier, so I was thrilled when she agreed to visit and discuss those topics, and a few more.

So, let’s see what happens when Sabrina Ponte visits Section 36!

What made you decide to compete in the Miss Cranberry Country pageant?

I have a passion for the Miss America Organization, what it stands for and how it encourages me to be the best version of myself. I wanted to be able to promote my platform "Fit and Full: Promoting a Healthy Lifestyle" as well as have the opportunity to compete for Miss MA. With charity events I always found myself driving to the south shore so I found the job of Miss Cranberry Country to be very doable.
Massachusetts is known for its cranberry bogs, especially down the Cape where I have spent a good amount of my summers so having the title of Miss Cranberry Country sounded like a great representation of Massachusetts that I personally could connect to and be proud to represent.

How did you celebrate winning the Miss Cranberry Country crown?
The night off with my incredibly supportive family!

As an amazing singer, what is your favorite part about performing your talent on stage?
(Thank you) haha and there are so many things that just light a fire inside of me when it comes to performing but my favorite part about performing my talent on stage would have to be how it makes other people feel. For Miss Cranberry Country and for Miss Massachusetts I have and will sing Whitney Houston's "I Have Nothing" which is quite a powerful song, so knowing that it can make people feel something
and hearing their reaction is not just my favorite part of performing my talent but probably the best feeling in the world to me.

How did you select your platform?
My platform’s intention is to educate young adults how to be the healthiest and to love themselves for it.  Approximately ninety one percent of American children have poor diets, in addition, more than eighty percent of children and young adults do not meet the guidelines for daily physical activity. It is crucial to teach a healthy lifestyle at an early age to bridge the gap when there is a lack of education on nutrition and fitness.

You spent some time as a Bruins Ice Girl. What was that experience like?
It was an amazing experience and if the Bruins still had the program I would still be a part of it! It was extremely rewarding getting to work with the Boston Bruins Foundation, I was able to travel to cities across New England and set up fitness events for children to engage in, especially with hockey. I was also able to work the Bruins games and engage with fans doing activities like 8-spoke Salute, fan of the game, and Patrice's Pals.

You appeared on NESN as part of Dirty Water TV. What challenges did that present?
I had a great experience hosting and interviewing on NESN's Dirty
Water TV, I was the youngest host so it was a lot of putting myself in new situations and needing to challenge myself.

Which of the four young B’s (Betts, Bogaerts, Bradley, and Benintendi) are you most excited about?

Is there a feature or activity at Fenway park that you’d especially like to experience?
I would love and be honored to one day sing the national anthem at Fenway Park

How do you think the Red Sox will finish the 2018 season?
World Series!


That sounds good to me!

As usual, I want to thank Sabrina for visiting. I was glad we were finally able to make it happen. I also want to thank her for sending along the pictures that accompany the interview. They always make for a better post!

As Sabrina continues her time as Miss Cranberry Country, I encourage you to check out the official Miss Massachusetts website as a great way to keep tabs on what's going on.

Also, you should take the opportunity to make a donation to Sabrina's personal Children's Miracle Network donation page! Every little bit helps, and I know she'd appreciate your efforts!

And, of course, I want to wish Sabrina luck next month when she competes for the Miss Massachusetts crown. There will be several Section 36 visitors on stage with her, and it would be amazing to have another one take home the crown!

Thanks again Sabrina, and good luck!

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Ease Up on Carson Smith

Yes. Carson Smith was an idiot. No, he didn't exactly do himself any favors. But, let's ease up on the team-killing distraction stuff,
shall we?

Since the Orioles are in town this weekend, let's play a little game. Remember when David Ortiz went nuts and smashed up a bullpen phone in Baltimore? What if he had sprained his wrist doing that? What if he said, I don't understand...I swing a bat every day. Our response would have been...not hitting a solid object you buffoon! And we'd be right. Or when a pitcher punches a wall with his pitching hand and breaks it. He's a moron. Of course you don't hit a solid wall! What the heck were you expecting?

Carson Smith was embarrassed. He said it was a fluke thing. But, he wanted to convey that his actions weren't "that" stupid. Every day he picks up a glove, and goes through his pitching motion with it. No, it's not the exact same thing as whipping it at the ground. But it's still using your shoulder to move a glove very fast. He's trying to convey how dumbfounded he is. This shouldn't have caused an injury. It's like if Ortiz had swung his bat at the air in frustration and pulled his shoulder. Would that have been stupid? 

So, yes, he was awkward. I'm guessing it wasn't a comfortable situation. I didn't see him reading from notes. Would it have been easier and better PR wise to just say I was stupid, and leave it at that? Maybe. People probably still wouldn't have left him alone. But, he felt he wanted to go one step further. He wasted to show that of all the ways he could vent frustration, he picked the one that he never imagined would cause him harm. He didn't punch a wall. He didn't break a bat on his knee. He didn't kick a water cooler. He threw something. 

A man who is paid millions of dollars to throw something, threw something. He threw something he often throws...or at least pretends to throw. How could he have known he would get hurt?

He was just trying to save face, a bit. It was clumsy. It was probably unnecessary.

It wasn't clubhouse wrecking.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Summertime Gear On Sale!

I know what you're thinking! We're finally getting some summertime weather, and I'm completely unprepared! I have nothing new or fun to wear this summer. 

Lucky for you, the Section 36 store can help you! As it happens, the store is in the midst of a sale! You can take advantage of the opportunity to stock up on wonderful gear you can show off all summer long!

So, head over right now and select something that you like. But, don't delay. 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 Kylee did to show off her amazing new tank top.

This tank is 27% off!

Or Holly did with her cozy new hoodie.

This hoodie is 21% off!

Or Nicolette did with her great t-shirt!

This t-shirt is 30% off!

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

What will you get?

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

36 Pack Wax Match: Pack 18

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 eighteenth pack!

As we dive into this pack, 1990 went back to its winning ways with a victory in pack seventeen! Can it close the gap even more? Let's see!

Red Sox +2
That's the way to do it! This great action shot of Al Nipper gives 1988 a quick two points!

Hall of Fame +1
New Hall of Famer Jack Morris gets 1988 another point, whether he deserves to be in the Hall, or not!

And, that's where the scoring ends. 1988 winds up with a great total of 3 points. How will 1990 fare?

Red Sox +1
1990 grabs a point, with this slightly awkward shot of Mike Boddicker. I can't quite put my finger on it, but something just seems off. In any case, it's worth a point!

But, that's all for 1990 today. Some days one point would be enough, but not this time.

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)
Pack 17: 1990 +3 (10-7)
Pack 18: 1988 +2 (8-10)

What will happen next time?

Monday, May 14, 2018

When Should Mookie Bat?

The media doesn't do well with good times. I don't really know why it is. Why is it better or easier to write so and so don't get along than the write that they do? Both are pretty repetitive over and over. But, for some reason the negative one keeps getting play.

So, when the Red Sox are flying along with the best record in baseball, the media needs to make up controversy. Last week, they were into Mookie and his spot in the batting order. The best player in the game bats leadoff for the Red Sox. Exactly where the so-called math geeks say he should bat. But, that's not good enough for the EEIdiots. When Alex Cora joined their show, Rich Keefe asked why Mookie wasn't batting later in the line-up. (I've been a fan of Keefe since the Mut and Keefe days in Nashua, but his manager interviews have been nothing but him trying to stir things up where nothing exists.) After all, everyone in Little league knows that your best hitter bats fourth, in the "clean-up" spot. That way he can "clean up" all the runners on the bases. So, obviously, Mookie should be batting fourth...or at least third...so more people would be on base for him to drive it. Unfortunately, Cora gave a canned answer with too many holes. He answered that nobody could guarantee him a runner would be on base in front of him if he batted fourth, so he's keeping him leading off. Naturally, instead of just keeping in the throwaway answer it was supposed to be, the EEIdiots  pounded on the "guarantee" portion, and that no, there wasn't a guarantee...but there was a better chance.

But...how much better? And is it enough to move Mookie? It's a pretty complex problem, unfortunately, dealing with lots of numbers...but let's try the middle school level here.

The higher a batter hits in a line-up, the more times he comes to the plate over a season. That makes sense. If a pitcher throws a perfect game, everyone bats three times. If he gives up one baserunner, the first guy gets an extra at-bat. So, the number nine hitter comes to the plate around 610 times a year. If your number nine hitter is, say, 2017 JBJ...that means he'll reach base 32.3% of the time...or 197 times. So, as the lead-off guy, Mookie would bat (at least) 197 times with a runner on. (yes, some of those are HR that don't leave a guy on base, and sometimes the #8 batter will still be on base even if the #9 guy makes an out. But, keeping it simple...)

What if Mookie hit second, instead, behind Benintendi? The first batter comes to the plate, say, 750 times a year. Tendi reaches base 35.2% of the time...or 265 times. So, that's almost 70 more times that Mookie will bat with a runner on if he hit second than if he leads off.

Ahh, but that's just the first level of analysis.

Because, now you're screwing Tendi. With Mookie hitting first, he was batting with a guy on base 331 times. Now he's batting behind JBJ, meaning he only sees a runner on base those 197 times. 


So, add the two together. If the line-up goes Mookie-Tendi, those two batters will hit with runners on 589 times a season. If the order goes Tendi-Mookie, they'll combine to bat with runners on 590 times a season. 

So, if you look at those two batters, it doesn't really matter if it's Mookie-Tendi or Tendi-Mookie when it comes to combined at-bats with runners on base.

So, advantage to hitting Mookie first? He gets up more. Not a lot, but about 15 times more a year than batting second. I assume you want your best hitters to hit the most, even if it's just a little bit, right? It also puts a better hitter following JBJ. So, when JBJ does reach base, there's a better chance of taking advantage of the situation (about 10 percentage points better). Cora also said he liked the idea of Mookie being able to start the game off with a bang, and get the pitcher on his heels immediately.

Sounds good so me.

So can we drop the idea of moving Mookie? I'd leave him there for  superstition purposes alone. But, when you have the numbers to back it up as well, it becomes a no-brainer. 

Now, if you want to ask why JD Martinez isn't batting second...

What people are reading this week