April 28 - BoSox Club Luncheon Report

Welcome back!  Our first luncheon of 2015 was fantastic.  We hosted Red Sox pitcher Joe Kelly, Toronto Blue Jays outfielder Kevin Pillar and broadcaster Joe Siddall.  NESN's Tom Caron and Steve Lyons provided great commentary through it all.  And, there would never be a great lunch without the amazing Dick Flavin, Red Sox poet laureate.  Dick Flavin entertained members with poems about Pedro Martinez and Ted Williams, and recited a short poem in memory of Dick Bresciani.

Joe Kelly talked about how it's good to be a pitcher on a staff that knows that even after a couple of runs, you've got a team that can come back and get you back in the game.  Joe talked about constantly working on his velocity and appreciates having Manager John Farrell almost as a second pitching coach.  "He understands what it's like to go out there.  Have another pair of eyes on you."  Joe finished up by signing baseballs for members.

Next, TC spoke with Joe Siddall, an announcer for the Toronto Blue Jays.  Joe is somewhat of a local, having finished his career playing for the PawSox.  His last game is one for the books.  It was his last season in 2000, and he had just finished his last season with the Tigers.  His first day as a free agent, the phone rings and it's the Red Sox.  He had just decided with his wife that it was time to retire.  He got to the ballpark to tell the Red Sox it was time to hang it up, came in and found out he was in the lineup that day!  Amazing, he caught a perfect game!  He retired the next day.  What a way to go out!  He has a bit of a warm spot in his heart for both the Red Sox and for Pawtucket.

Joe then spent some time talking with Blue Jays outfielder Kevin Pillar, who's been having a tremendous season.  This guy has been a human highlight reel.  He's a great outfielder who plays aggressively.  Growing up, Kevin played all sports, and believes in the importance of playing all sports, of being a tremendous athlete, not just a great baseball player.

TC and Steve talked about how different it is covering this team than what they did last year.  Last year it got to the point where they knew the team wasn't going to win and were just trying to see what we had for the future.  They even stopped looking at the scoreboard to see how many games they were out of first place because it was going to continue to go south.  And it wasn't really about winning.  After the trading deadline, it was about developing players that might be able to help this year.  And then with the addition of a lot of the guys they got this year, this will be a completely different season to watch.  With Hanley Ramirez coming up to the plate after Big Poppy, it's going to be a lot more fun.  And the rest of those guys will start contributing.  The middle of the order has not even started playing yet, and when they do you're going to start seeing the lopsided scores.

Steve continued ... That is the nature of baseball.  Baseball is built on your defeats rather than on your successes. It's so hard to be really good at it.  To see the best players in the world do what they do, and watch them do it really well, it is going to be exciting all season.  If you're playing in another ball park and you're terrible, fans don't come.  If you're terrible in Boston, the fans keep coming.  They just let you know how terrible you are.

See you at the next lunch!

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