Fenway 100th Celebration: Pretty sweet

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Was tuned in to the Fenway Park 100th celebration going on right now.  This was the scene, as scores of former Red Sox players, in uniform, made their way out to the field from the big garage door in center, each of the players taking their customary position on the Fenway Park field.  Very cool:

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The best moment: Johnny Pesky and Bobby Doerr’s entrance. They’re in wheelchairs and where pushed out to second base by Tim Wakefield and Jason Varitek. You don’t have to be a Red Sox fan to get a little misty at that.

Sadly, MLB.com’s feed of it had no crowd noise at all, the proceedings being drowned out by John Williams music. It felt like I was watching a pre-taped cinematic moment, not a live event.  Poor form, MLB.com.

But maybe the most notable thing — which people there in person tweeted to me and which made me wonder if perhaps it was the reason MLB.com tuned out the crowd noise — was when Terry Francona entered the field.  The crowd gave him the biggest ovation of the day and began chanting “TITO, TITO, TITO!”  So, yeah.

Happy 100th, Fenway Park.

2017 Preview: The American League Central

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For the past few weeks we’ve been previewing the 2017 season. Here, in handy one-stop-shopping form, is our package of previews from the American League Central

Do the Indians have a weakness? Do the Tigers and Royals have one more playoff push in them or do they have to start contemplating rebuilds? The White Sox and Twins are rebuilding, but do either of them have a chance to be remotely competitive?

As we sit here in March, the answers are “not really,” “possibly,” and “not a chance.” There are no games that count this March, however, so they’re just guesses. But educated ones! Here are the links to our guesses and our education for all of the clubs of the AL Central:

Cleveland Indians
Detroit Tigers
Kansas City Royals
Chicago White Sox
Minnesota Twins

2017 Preview: The National League East

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For the past few weeks we’ve been previewing the 2017 season. Here, in handy one-stop-shopping form, is our package of previews from the National League East

The Washington Nationals crave a playoff run that doesn’t end at the division series. The Mets crave a season in which they don’t have a press conference about an injured pitcher. The Marlins are trying to put the nightmare of the end of the 2016 behind them. The Phillies and Braves are hoping to move on from the “lose tons of games” phase of their rebuilds and move on to the “hey, these kids can play!” phase.

There is a ton of star power in the NL East — Harper, Scherzer, Cespedes, Syndergaard, Stanton, Freeman — some great young talent on ever roster and, in Ichiro and Bartolo, the two oldest players in the game. Maybe the division can’t lay claim to the best team in baseball, but there will certainly be some interesting baseball in the division.

Here’s how each team breaks down:

Washington Nationals
New York Mets
Miami Marlins
Philadelphia Phillies
Atlanta Braves