BDD is a feature of Boston.com. It is not produced by The Boston Globe Sports Dept.  More


BDD Home

Most Recent


Boston Dirt Dogs home



Rotoworld News for Boston Dirt Dogs:


38 Pitches

Baseball Almanac

Baseball America

Baseball Prospectus

Baseball-Reference.com

BLOHARDS Blog

Bradford Files

BoSox Club

Boston Sports Blog

El Guapo's Ghost

ESPN Red Sox Clubhouse

Gammons

Hit and Run

The Joy of Sox

MannyRamirez.com

MLB Players Association

RedSox.com

Red Sox Reality Check

RedSoxStats.com

The Remy Report

Retrosheet

Rotoworld.com

Sawxblog.com

Seth Mnookin Blog

Show Me the Money

Soxfan vs. Yanksfan

Sox Nation.Net

Sox Prospects

The Soxaholix

Sports Illustrated Sox Page

Surviving Grady

Touching All the Bases

Keeping Up with
Old Friends

Bronson Arroyo

Josh Bard

Mark Bellhorn

Orlando Cabrera

Scott Cassidy

Tony Clark

Roger Clemens

Wil Cordero

Rheal Cormier

Johnny Damon

Jorge De La Rosa

Brian Daubach

Andy Dominque

Adam Everett

Carl Everett

Cliff Floyd

Casey Fossum

Chad Fox

Nomar Garciaparra

Tony Graffanino

Shea Hillenbrand

Adam Hyzdu

Byung-Hyun Kim

Sunny Kim

Damian Jackson

Derek Lowe

Brandon Lyon

Matt Mantei

Pedro Martinez

Lou Merloni

Ramiro Mendoza

Cla Meredith

Doug Mientkiewicz

Kevin Millar

Bill Mueller

Matt Murton

Mike Myers

Trot Nixon

Jose Offerman

Jay Payton

Roberto Petagine

Hanley Ramirez

Edgar Renteria

Dave Roberts

Freddy Sanchez

Scott Sauerbeck

Jeff Suppan

Ugueth Urbina

Todd Walker

Scott Williamson

Other Characters

Barry Bonds

Jason Giambi

Randy Johnson

Carl Pavano

Mariano Rivera

Alex Rodriguez

20/20

Barks and Bites

Baseball and Football

Bob Lobel Chat

Catching the Bus

Cowboy Up!

The Critical Moment

Dirt Dogs History

Don't Blame Buckner

Edesdropping

Evil Empire

Grady's Defense, pt. 2

Hench's Hardball

The Lucchinos

Millar Time!

The Nation Speaks

Nine Eleven

Sale of the Century

Second Page

Theo Epstein Chat

Theoretically Speaking

Yankees Suck?

Yesterday's News

2002: Strike Out

2001: A Sox Odyssey


Most Beloved Since '67:
BDD All-Beloved Team


Most Beloved Since '67: BDD All-Beloved Team


go-redsox.com, a Japanese-language Red Sox blog
What is this?


Discussion Boards

Dirt Dogs
Sox Board

Playoff Bound in '07?

On the Front Burner

Off the Field / Fodder

Game-by-Game

Major League Matters


Sons of Sam Horn

The Remy Report

NYYfans.com


 ARCHIVES

Most recent news

July 2007

June 2007

May 2007

April 2007

March 2007

February 2007

January 2007

December 2006

November 2006

October 2006

September 2006

August 2006

July 2006

June 2006

May 2006

April 2006

March 2006

February 2006

January 2006

December 2005

November 2005

October 2005

September 2005

August 2005

July 2005

June 2005

May 2005

April 2005

March 2005

February 2005

January 2005

December 2004

November 2004

October 2004

September 2004

August 2004

July 2004

June 2004

May 2004

April 2004

March 2004

February 2004

January 2004

December 2003

November 2003

October 2003

September 2003

August 2003

July 2003

June 2003

May 2003

April 2003

March 2003

February 2003

January 2003

2002

2001


If You're Going to Fort Myers, Go Here First:

Spring Training Guide


A Look Back on the
2004 Regular Season

BDD XMLBDD My Yahoo

Please email for more information or questions.

Contents Copyright 2001-2006 Boston.com, except logos used in accordance with the Fair Use provision (section 107) of US Copyright Act.

Photographic images published with full rights from The Boston Globe and Associated Press unless otherwise indicated.



Boston Dirt Dogs Home

Boston Globe: Sox-Yanks pitching matchups > Sox do it again > Wake Comments were doctored > Robinson's legacy set in stone >  Thumbs

Boston Herald: 'Tek good in pinch > Heckuva first game > Cora corralled > Schilling offers a far-from-Curt response > Chamberlain to miss Sox

ProJo: Varitek's 9th inning homer fuels comeback > Ailing Cora could be put on the DL > Schilling insists: I won't play for Yankees > Wrapup

Hartford Courant: Farnsworth comes up big in Yankees win > ESPN settles with Reynolds > Phillies beat Astros > Tigers rally past Twins

It's Red Sox vs. YankeeZZZzzzzz: Rivalry's Buzz Takes a Beating
38Pitches: 'Umm, no.' | Wilbur: Space Shot | Yankee Swap
Video: Big Papi Explains Reason for Hitting Woes

Aug 26, 2006:

20/20 Commentary

FARM REPORT by Gary Jacobs

'The Look'

August 26 | FENWAY PARK - You could see it from the first toss of BP.

The Look.

If you're around major-leaguers for any length of time, you know the look I'm talking about. It's a combination of the swagger, the "thousand-yard stare" they give the media, and the sense of athletic superiority that oozes out of every pore.

It's a look that is shared beyond the Bigs, as well; most of the PawSox have The Look displayed proudly, broadcasting machismo and Alpha Dog status like a peacock strutting its tail feathers in front of the females. And why not? If you've made it to Triple-A, you've earned The Look. You've survived rookie ball, Short-A, Long-A, and Double-A. It's been usually three or perhaps four years and you're still playing baseball for a living. You're used to big games and bad games, of being ignored by and sought by the media, you've perhaps even done some TV. There are places you go where you're recognized. People ask you for your autograph. The Look is yours by right.

But last Saturday at Fenway Park, watching the Lowell Spinners, the Sox' short-season single-A affiliate, take BP as the front half of the Futures at Fenway promotion, The Look was on every face, the swagger on every set of hips.

What have these kids done to merit The Look?

Maybe it's the venue: there is something undeniably cool about playing before 34,000 fans at Fenway. A fellow scribe of my acquaintance who plays the annual game between members of the New York and Boston media agrees: "Come on. You're playing at Fenway," he says. "Of course you have The Look."

My friend has a point. Certainly this is not an ordinary game; the Fenway mystique has to count for something. After all, if by rough estimate 5 percent of all NY-Penn leaguers make it to the bigs, this is the career highlight for 19 out of 20 of these players. And one of the cardinal rules of playing professional sports is, act like you belong there. So maybe these guys cement The Look on their faces to prevent wide-eyed wonder from taking over.

And as one watches this game unfold, one finds it easy to believe that only five percent of all these players are going to make it: the baseball lacks a certain crispness that Fenway is used to hosting. It's good, the baseball we're watching - but it's definitely not great. Pitchers sometimes fail to cover first quickly enough; close plays in the infield are hits instead of outs. But it's single-A ball. No blame to the participants; they're kids. For some of them this is their second - or even first - professional season. They don't have the hundreds of games under their belt that it takes to do the right thing every time.

But they all have The Look.

* * *

We find the answer to the question after the conclusion of the front half of the Futures twinbill (Spinners win, 3-1, Josh Papelbon pitches a perfect ninth for the save). As the players lined up for high-fives, The Look vanished from the Spinners' faces, replaced with a rosy-cheeked enthusiasm for the experience they'd just undergone.

Spinners shortstop Ryan Khory, who went 0 for 2 with a sac fly and an RBI, was typically effusive after playing Fenway.

"Yeah, I was really excited to be out there," he said immediately after the game. "Obviously you can't really imagine it until you're here, but it was exactly what I expected."

Papelbon, brother of Big Club phenom and Rookie of the Year candidate Jonathan Papelbon, was equally as pumped.

"It was unbelievable," he said with a yard-wide grin on his face. "I didn't want to leave. I wanted to stay here forever."

Even though their baseball journey has brought them closer to the Show, the Fenway atmosphere was not lost on the PawSox players, either.

"I don't think they realized it until they got here," said their skipper, Ron Johnson. "Even me. I walked through the center field door [the double-wide garage door near the triangle] and I said, 'whoa!' To play in front of all these people…the atmosphere is just electric."

Somehow it's comforting to know that The Look isn't a permanent condition; that sometimes the men playing a boy's game can, for one final time in their lives, be boys, and let sheer wonder live on their faces for just this one game.

* * *

The Futures at Fenway was as well-received by the fans as it was by the players; the paid attendance was 33,394, a sell-out of Fenway. It presented a great opportunity for families who aren't in the highest income bracket to come out to the ballpark and soak in the ambiance of America's greatest ballpark.

For some perspective: Suppose Dad wants to take his three kids to see the Red Sox play. Let's further suppose that four together could be had at the box office (I know, I know - but this is hypothetical). He picks up a decent set of ducats, say, Loge 148, right around third base. At $85 a pop, that's $340 in tickets. Add $30 to park, $60 in souvenirs (a conservative $20 per kid), a couple of beers for Dad, hot dogs and sodas all around - call it another $50 for food and drink. Now you're looking at the better part of 500 bucks to watch three hours of baseball (baseball that, it needn't be mentioned, isn't the finest that The Nation has witnessed recently).

Let's compare that with the Futures at Fenway price schedule: $10 to park. $20 for each ticket for the same seat. Most of the concessions sold at a $1 discount. Bottom line, that family of four now pays $80 for tickets, $10 to park, $40 for food and drink, and the same $60 in souvenirs. And all of a sudden $480 turns into $190. For two games, not one.

Josie Catino, who attended with her husband Dave Smith, and their son Evan, viewed the Futures at Fenway Day as a godsend.

"I think it's great," said Catino in between games of the doubleheader. "It means I get to bring my son to Fenway Park without blowing $200. We get to see the minor-league players we've been following and hearing about. It's definitely a family day."

Over and above the atmosphere of Fenway there was some decent baseball played as well. "I was thrilled to see Josh Papelbon pitch," said Catino. "They seemed pumped up as well. I think it's good equally for the players and the fans."

Mike Hazen, Director of Player Development for the Red Sox organization, couldn't agree more. "I don't think you can underestimate what this means, to the players as well as the fans. Look around [gestures to the crowd]. Look at all the children here. They're the next generation of Red Sox fans. We're really fortunate to enjoy the support of Red Sox Nation and we're fortunate to be able to put on an event like this."

So - all in all the Futures at Fenway day was a complete success. The fans certainly embraced it. For some of the players that participated it was a harbinger of their future, but for most of them it'll be the opportunity they had to tell their grandchildren the day they played at Fenway Park. They can affect The Look all they want - we know better.

Gary can be reached at gary@soxfarmreport.com.



Get BDD Gear Here

Get the BDD women's T's, tanks, and more


Get Frank Galasso's 2007 Red Sox Lithograph

Frank Galasso Litho


Rally Against Cancer
Start a team today to win a visit from Dustin Pedroia


Dana Farber license plate


Hot Stove, Cool Music

Get the CD. Support Paul and Theo Epstein's Foundation to be Named Later.


The Gabe Kapler Foundation


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, more commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease.

Curt’s Pitch Goes Global!


Run for SHADE!

For the fourth consecutive year, SHADE Foundation of America will be represented at the Boston Marathon by a team raising funds for SHADE. SHADE is currently seeking marathon runners to join the team . For more information on running with Shonda Schilling on SHADE’s team or sponsoring runners, please visit SHADE's marathon page here. The SHADE Foundation thanks Red Sox Nation for joining in their fight to save future generations from melanoma.


Get a Danny O Fenway Litho, as Seen in the Cooperstown Catalog

Danny O


Why Not Us?
Chasing Steinbrenner
One Day at Fenway


Home

Box Score and Schedules

Yesterday's News

Barks & Bites

Second Page

20/20

Hardball