The Red Sox announced their latest — and I believe last — round of improvements to Fenway Park. I’ve not been there, but I’m told that it’s been a pretty good project, overall. The park is getting nice upgrades. It’s a lot nicer and cleaner and more fan friendly than it used to be. But hey, you gotta pay for that somehow, right?
Three new High Definition video display and scoring systems will be installed this off-season at Fenway Park and will represent a significant upgrade over the existing scoreboards. The Red Sox selected ANC Sports to install three new state-of-the-art Mitsubishi Electric Diamond Vision light emitting diode (LED) video screens.
The largest of the three screens, measuring approximately 38 feet high by 100 feet wide, will be the main video board in center field and replace the existing elements of the structure above the bleachers in center field, which was originally constructed prior to the 1976 season.
Since they never show the replays you really want to see on those big boards (i.e. the disputed calls) they’re mostly for advertising. Such is the way of the world.
Jim Salisbury of CSN Philly reports that the Phillies are close to signing free agent reliever Joaquin Benoit. An announcement is expected before the winter meetings end on Thursday.
Benoit, 39, has quietly been among the better relievers in baseball over the past seven years. This past season with the Mariners and Blue Jays, the right-hander put up an aggregate 2.81 ERA with a 52/24 K/BB ratio in 48 innings. That included a 0.38 ERA in 23 2/3 innings after the Jays acquired him from the Mariners.
Benoit suffered a torn calf muscle during a benches-clearing brawl with the Yankees near the end of the regular season. He’s expected to be healthy for spring training.
The Phillies have now added three relievers this offseason with Benoit, Pat Neshek, and David Rollins.
ESPN’s Pedro Gomez provides a previously unreported detail of the new collective bargaining agreement, agreed to by the owners and the players’ union last week. Players’ meal money for road games is being reduced from $105 to $30 per day. Teams are providing pre- and post-game meals in the visitors’ clubhouse to offset some of the decrease in meal money.
Gomez quotes an unnamed player who said, “I doubt many guys know about the money going down, nor would they have agreed to it.” All of the players Gomez contacted said they were unaware of and unhappy about the change.
Clubhouse attendants are certainly unhappy about this change, too. As Gomez notes, the attendants previously provided food for visiting teams which earned them tips from the players.
EDIT: It’s worth clarifying that chefs are required in clubhouses now as part of the new CBA, so it’s not a complete loss for the players.