Craig Calcaterra

David Ortiz

Red Sox President notes that beer is “wildly popular”

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Boston Red Sox president Sam Kennedy was on the Toucher & Rich show yesterday and was asked why the cost of beer at Fenway Park is much higher than any other stadium in Major League Baseball. Last year, anyway, it cost $7.75 for a 12oz beer, which was by far the most expensive entry-level price for beer in baseball on a per ounce basis.

Gotta give credit to Kennedy here for not going into businessman cliches about how “well, we think consumers are getting value . . .” or “well, actually-ing” the whole thing up in a way that would make us think that he thinks we’re fools. Nope, he was pretty straight forward. People like beer, you see, the Red Sox are in the business of making money, and as long as the demand holds for beer at the price point they’re charging, the price point is working pretty well for the club.

Indeed, why would they lower beer prices?

“It’s probably not something we’ll do. We’ll probably continue to take slow increases on products that are wildly popular like beer. We don’t seem to have too much pushback on the beer prices.”

Kennedy laughed when he said that, as I probably would too. Because explaining to someone that, you know, sports fans like beer, is kind of funny when you think about it. It’s like explaining that water is wet and pie is tasty.

He did go on to talk about the good things coming from concession revenue, of course, and that did skew a bit businessy, but it was likewise pretty straight forward:

“We tried to balance the need to generate as much revenue as possible at Fenway to invest in really two areas, and that’s the product on the field—as you know, we’ve had one of the highest payrolls in all of baseball in our time here—number one. And number two, we’ve invested revenues to the tune of $300 million-plus into the preservation and protection of Fenway”

It’s a small ballpark which, high seat prices notwithstanding, still has some revenue challenges compared to other newer, larger parks. We should not be so naive to think that, if the Red Sox had built some 50,000 seat mallpark in the late 90s, they wouldn’t still have high beer and ticket prices, but his points do stand.

It’s Red Sox baseball. People love it. People likewise love beer. And the Red Sox are a business, not a public trust.

And That Happened: Wednesday’s scores and highlights

New York Yankees Starlin Castro reacts trotting toward home plate after hitting a second-inning, three-run, home run in a baseball game against the Houston Astros in New York, Wednesday, April 6, 2016. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)
Associated Press
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Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Yankees 16, Astros 6: If Martians came down to Earth, threatening war, but we somehow managed to enter into delicate peace talks with them which, the president decided, would be capped off with a ceremony in which we showed them our national pastime featuring our most famous baseball team, and if this was the game to which we took them, the treaty would be torn up and the world would be annihilated by angry Martians. Seventeen runs were scored in the first three innings which took approximately 83 hours to play. Amazingly these teams managed to bring the whole game in under four hours, but that either had to do with everyone freezing their butts off late and mailing the last few innings in or else a Martian time warp kinda deal is happening, prelude to the full invasion.

Tigers 7, Marlins 3: Jarrod Saltalamacchia drove in four, including a homer off of Jose Fernandez. Fernandez had a crazy line. Five runs on five hits suggests a guy who didn’t have anything. Thirteen strikeouts in fewer than six innings (and only one walk), well, that suggests a guy who had some great stuff. I dunno. Weird things happen sometimes. Like Saltalamacchia being the hero against the club that’s paying most of his salary this year.

Indians 7, Red Sox 6: Speaking of old friends, Mike Napoli broke a 6-all tie in the seventh with his solo shot against the Sox, which ended up being the game-winner. Clay Buchholz started the game by allowing four runs in the first. While Boston tied it up eventually, you really don’t put your team in a good position to win when you do that. Boston has a lot of people who are high on them. For those expectations to be met, they need someone besides David Price to be a solid, reliable starter. Buchholz is the most obvious candidate. Maybe he will be, but like he did in this game, he has started off poorly.

Rockies 4, Diamondbacks 3: Trevor Story, like Robinson Cano (see below) has four homers in his first three games. Since he’s a rookie that’s a little more notable and record breaking. It also leads to a lot of fun. The AP headline I saw for this game was “Amazing Story.” If he keeps this up we’ll see a “Neverending Story” or something eventually. Really, the guy’s name, if nothing else, is a gift to headline writers everywhere. If he kills the Phillies in a road game it’ll be “Philadelphia Story.” If he goes on a terrible skid it’ll be “American Horror Story.” He’s already something of a “Cinderella Story,” but if he does this for 18 years he’ll be “The Greatest Story Ever Told.” For right now, to Colorado fans, he’s a “Love Story.”

Rays 5, Blue Jays 3: Steven Souza homered twice. Josh Donaldson homered once. Souza didn’t leave the game with a strained right calf the way Donaldson did, though, so he comes out even farther ahead. Looked like a tough break for the MVP, but he said after the game he won’t miss time. Worth watching.

Brewers 4, Giants 3Jeff Samardzija scares some people because they think that he got that $90 million deal based on his name and rep and not where he is as a pitcher anymore. They worry that the bad 2015 they saw from him was not a blip but the beginnings of a decline. One start will not determine that, obviously, and he battled through trouble pretty well yesterday, but his first start of 2016 —  three runs on eight hits in five and a third — probably made some people make the weird signing noise Tina makes on “Bob’s Burgers.” Chris Carter hit a homer for Milwaukee. That’s what he does.

Mariners 9, Rangers 5: Robinson Cano homered for the third and fourth time in his first three games. The guy is on fire. I was pessimistic about Seattle’s chances this year but those who were less pessimistic based it on their belief that Cano had a superstar comeback season in him. Given that he really bounced back fantastically in the second half last year it’s not a crazy thing to believe. If he does look like the elite Robinson Cano we’ve seen in the past, it would go a long way toward changing the shape of the Mariners’ season from that which the more pessimistic observers expect.

Reds 4, Phillies 2: The Phillies’ bullpen fails to come through again, this time with a two-run ninth capped off by a Scott Schebler bases-loaded double off of Dalier Hinojosa, who allowed three singles before that. Tough stuff. Oh well, Phillies fans, I have this for you. Feel free to use it whenever you need to. I feel like you’re going to need it all season long.

Orioles 4, Twins 2: Chris Davis homered in the third to put the O’s up 2-1. They’d never trail thanks to a solid outing by Yovani Gallardo. Davis has two hits and two walks in two games. Which isn’t Cano-Story sexy or anything, but the Orioles have to be happy.

Pirates 5, Cardinals 1: And with that we have the first three-game sweep of the year. Juan Nicasio pitched allowed one run over six innings and Francisco Cevelli hit a two-run double. It doesn’t matter yet obviously, and this is just a case of fun dumb numbers in the first week of the season, but the 2015 Cardinals were never farther than 2.5 games out of first place last year. They’re three out now. TIME TO PANIC?! WHO CAN SAY?!

Dodgers 7, Padres 0: And with that we have the second three-game sweep of the year. This one a lot more decisive, as the Dodgers outscored San Diego 25-0 in the first three games of the year. Only silver lining is that the Padres now get to travel to Colorado. Which means the pitchers will still be scared but it basically guarantees that the offense will come out of its coma. Oh, fun stuff here: Kenta Maeda made his big league debut. In addition to getting the win with six scoreless, he hit a homer. It was the Dodgers’ first homer of the year.

Nationals 3, Braves 1: Down 1-0 in the seventh, the Nationals rallied, with the rally capped off by a Matt den Dekker two-run double. “Matt den Dekker” is probably the most fun name to say in major league baseball right now.

Athletics 2, White Sox 1: Better late than never. Sonny Gray, sidelined with either food poisoning or a stomach bug or whatever, was supposed to go on Monday. Two days of recouperation did the trick, however, and he went seven innings allowing only one run. He got the lead thanks to a Mark Canha homer in the second and never looked back.

Robinson Cano is on fire

Robinson Cano
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The Mariners-Rangers game is still in progress, but Robinson Cano has already done a couple games’ worth of work. Cano has two homers on the day, a two run homer in the first and another two-run homer in the ninth, driving in Kyle Seager both times.

That gives Cano four homers and seven RBI in 13 at bats over three games so far. Indeed, those four homers are all four of the hits he’s had on the year. He’s walked once too. That puts him on pace for . . .

[Craig has been fired for making an on-pace joke. All of the on-pace jokes have already been made and are forever banned — Management]