Old conventional wisdom: Thank goodness Terry Francona won’t be at the Fenway Park 100th Anniversary celebration because it would be too much of a distraction.
New conventional wisdom: Thank goodness Terry Francona will be at the Fenway Park 100th Anniversary celebration because, man, with the way things are going, we need a distraction!
Former Boston Red Sox manager and current ESPN analyst Terry Francona has changed his mind and says he will be attending the Red Sox’s 100th anniversary celebration of Fenway Park on Friday afternoon.
Francona had originally said he would not attend because of the way things ended between him and the Red Sox after the collapse of 2011.
Actually, I’d like to think that he’s going to be there to gloat. That he’ll soak in the cheers of the fans as cameramen are all over Bobby Valentine and team brass as they try to act like nearly 40,000 people aren’t cheering their heads off and wishing desperately that Tito was still in charge.
Perhaps there are a few who still miss the slope of Tal’s Hill rising from center field, but George Springer isn’t one of them. He lassoed a 403-foot fly ball from Todd Frazier in the seventh inning of Game 6, reaching nearly to the top of the wall to prevent the Yankees from gaining on the Astros’ 3-0 lead.
According to Statcast, a fly ball with an exit velocity of 103.6 MPH and a launch angle of 29 degrees lands for a home run 72% of the time. That wasn’t going to fly with the Astros, who were facing runners on first and second with one out and saw Justin Verlander‘s pitch count rapidly approaching 100.
It wasn’t long before the Yankees tried for another home run, however, and this one sailed far above the heads of all of the Astros’ outfielders. Aaron Judge lofted a 425-foot shot to left field in the eighth inning, destroying a first-pitch fastball from Brad Peacock and finally getting New York on the board.
The Yankees currently trail the Astros 4-1 in the bottom of the eighth.