Friday, April 09, 2004

It's been a busy couple of days. Last night I went to my first baseball game of 2004. It was the Pawtucket Red Sox opener against the Buffalo Bisons. I always love going to McCoy Stadium, as I always think of it as my "home" park - even more so than Fenway. Growing up a couple of miles from the ballpark, I practically spent my summers at McCoy, watching players like Bruce Hurst, Oil Can Boyd, Wade Boggs, Marty Barrett and others develop before going on to successful major league careers. My first vivid memory of attending a baseball game was seeing Jim Rice hit a home run for the Pawsox 30 years ago.

The game itself was very entertaining, with the Pawsox rallying from a 2 run deficit in the bottom of the 9th to win the game on a bases loaded walk by Andy Dominique. Two of the Red Sox hot prospects are playing at Pawtucket this year: catcher Kelly Shoppach and third baseman Kevin Youkilis. Shoppach is considered to be Jason Varitek's eventual successor. Youkilis is best known as "The Greek God of Walks", as documented in the book "Moneyball". Billy Beane, the Oakland A's general manager, was very hot to get Youkilis during the 2002 season as part of a three way trade with the Expos involving Cliff Floyd. Theo Epstein intervened with John Henry before he became general manager, and of course the Sox ended up getting Floyd anyways.

April nights can be brutally cold at McCoy, but it was actually relatively pleasant last night. The wind was blowing out, so the worst of it was blocked by the stadium. When the wind blows in from the parking lot over the outfield fence, it can get really uncomfortable.

I didn't manage to get my hands on any Boston opening day tickets today, but I did see a good portion of the Sox loss to Toronto today on TV. They looked pretty tired after after last night's 13 inning loss to Baltimore, and then their charter flight was delayed due to mechanical problems.

Tonight we went to our Temple to see J.'s Sunday School kindergarten class participate in the Friday night Shabbat service. J. had a little part of a prayer he had to say and he did a great job with it.

Saturday is another full day. After J.'s swimming lesson, we're going out car shopping. It's finally time to replace my almost 10 year old Pontiac Grand Am. It has about 106,000 miles on it, and I don't really want to put any more money into it. We're looking at small SUV's - Honda Element or CR-V, Toyota RAV-4, Subaru Highlander and Jeep Liberty are the short list. I've always been a fan of the Element, but we'll see how the test drives go before I make a decision.


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