First Things First

First Things First ...

Who's throwing out the first pitch?

(Boston Globe File Photo)

Is One of These Guys Throwing Out the First Pitch?
Or Will Someone Else Tingle Fenway's Spine Today?

The rings! The rings! Barks and Bites: Sox chairman Tom Werner was on sports radio WEEI this morning and spoke a bit about the Fenway Opening Day ceremony. On the surprise "goosebumps" guest that is expected to throw out the first pitch, Werner revealed that it would be "somebody who has not been to Fenway Park recently, and who will be a very nice homecoming ..." Some of the suggestions sent into 'EEI included Bill Buckner, Barack Obama, Mo Vaughn, Dave Roberts ... Werner also said that "a special rock star guest would be performing God Bless America" today. It sounded like he said rock star singular, so that may leave out the reborn New Kids on the Block. Werner revealed an interesting tidbit on the just-unveiled 2007 World Series rings: The rings have a picture of the trophy on the side and the 8 players from the '04 championship team will get special rings with two trophies on it." Schilling also called in to WEEI's Dennis and Callahan show this morning and talked a bit more about how the trip to Japan affected the team and how he's not sure what the benefit to baseball was. "We were dragging ass a little bit. ... Are more people now baseball fans because we played in Japan for a week? I don't think so. The people who came to see us are baseball fans. They're not going to like the game any more of less because we played over there as opposed to over here, but I guess in some ways it had to be good for the game, I'm hoping. ... The hardest part to me about the trip is the short timeframe, that seven days is just not enough. It's enough to just start to get yourself acclimated, but the second you're acclimated, you've moving 16 hours again back to California ...". Werner's take: "The fact is we're 2-0 in the United States and we're playing most of our games in the United States going forward. I will say this, it was a great trip but we will be gracious and let somebody else go on the trip next year. ... All of us have to do things in life that's good for the business that you're in. This was good for Major League Baseball and it was good for the Red Sox because we showed our flag in Japan. I wish that our relief pitching had been a little bit better in Toronto, I don't know if that was affected by the long trip or not. In retrospect, I'm glad we went. ... We were fascinated with the warm toilet seats... a couple of players were trying to find out who manufactured them. ... The Commissioner asked us (to go to Japan)... the players voted for it, and I go back to the fact if we had one of those games in Toronto we wouldn't be having this conversation."

Boston Sports Blog: The Mystery Guest Is ...
Opening Day Notes | The Rings

BDD is a feature of Boston.com. All posts are by Steve Silva unless otherwise indicated.

Boston Globe:

Red Sox end losing streak > Shaughnessy: Debunking myths about the 2014 Red Sox > Cherington: Everyone needs to get better

Boston Herald:

Ortiz, Red Sox bats break out to end losing streak > Buchholz still bewildered > Memory loss haunting Red Sox

ProJo:

Lester was once a good hitter, now heading toward dubious record > Travis Shaw brings hot bat to Pawtucket > Ranaudo shines > Betts not a candidate for Boston, yet

NY Post:

St. Louis lets Ozzie Smith bid Jeter goodbye > Yanks prevail in extras again > Nonsense leads off in MLB broadcasts > Beltran elbow on mend

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The "Curt’s Pitch for ALS" program is a joint effort by Curt and Shonda Schilling and The ALS Association Mass Chapter to strike out Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease.

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