Friday, July 06, 2007

Hammerin' Howell

Jim Rice mentioned tonight that he remembered a play at Fenway where he was in left, and Hank Aaron, then playing with the Brewers, was at bat. Aaron lifted a ball to the left side, and Jim Ed headed over to the side wall, but figured it was out of play. Before he knew it, the wind had blown the ball back onto the field.

He didn't say what happened after that. I checked retrosheet and saw that Rice played in the same game as Aaron at Fenway a few times in 1975, as well as once in 1976. None of the '75 games give clear evidence of this play. In the '76 game (August 7th), though, there was one in which Aaron was credited with a single, and a runner (who was on first) got thrown out at the plate, left to short to catcher. Couple this with the fact that says there was a 32.22 MPH wind gust reported at Boston Big Papi (then called Logan) Airport, and we may have our game. There was also rain, thunder, and fog that day. And three errors were made.

If this is the game, though, it would be odd that Rice wouldn't have added "...but I picked up the ball, and we got the runner at the plate." (Then again, Jim always claims to not remember things from his playing days.) And it also could've been a wall ball with a normal throw-out at the plate, where Aaron didn't quite reach second when the tag was made at home. Also, at this point, Rice had more experience in left than he had in '75, obviously, so that's another case against it being the '76 game. Who knows, this could be another example of a baseball person recalling something that didn't happen. I feel like Rice knew what he was talking about on this one, though. My bet is 8/7/76. We may never know.

He brought this up because they were again talking about Ellsbury, what with all the left field he's been practicing and playing. Tonight, Jim was impressed at how he played the wall. Now, he heads back to Pawtucket. That guy'll be back, as we know.

Season-high in runs and hits tonight, and the D-Rays are now a full 20 back. Drinkwater was mighty excited when Coco swung on that grand slam. Terrible job by that pitcher, giving up more hits to Drew than he got outs. That's rough. Great job by all of us for getting Okajima into the ASG. And by the Fenway crowd for giving him a huge Oka-vation.

The only Red Sox players to ever have the names Julian, Kason, and Daisuke pitch this weekend in Detroit. I'd say the goal is a double digit lead at the break. One win clinches that.

In the first, Varitek was up, bases loaded, one out, 1-0 us. Lefty on hill, Tek could've wailed away on him. But he's patient, and takes a walk. A double play ball lets that guy off the hook, and maybe he settles down. For that, Varitek is the JPotG winner. And if you don't buy that, he called a great game, too.

Lovin' the "Big Papi" airport. Much better name than "Logan".
I'm hoping it catches on...

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Location: Rhode Island, United States