Notes from the BoSox Club Luncheon - November 4, 2019

Club President Jim Parker opened the luncheon welcoming three members of the United States Navy, all three of whom serve aboard the USS Constitution.

In a brief business meeting, the Club welcomed Bob Roussel back for another two-year term, welcomed back Paul Marotta for another term, and added Alex Gray for a first term.

An autograph session followed, and then the meal.

After the meal, Mike Monaco introduced Sam Kennedy. Sam let us know that his first time on the field at Fenway Park was as a young boy, brought onto the field by his father Tom Kennedy – active with the BoSox Club at the time. He had the opportunity to meet Dave Stapleton and other Red Sox players.  "These are the kid of memories you never forget," he said. "Let's keep the club going!"

Sam expressed his appreciation to the quartet of executives – Raquel Ferreira, Zack Scott, Eddie Romero, and Brian O'Halloran – who have run the baseball operations side of the Red Sox since Dave Dombrowksi left the team's employ.  He said the team was pleased to have brought in Chief Baseball Officer Chaim Bloom, from the Tampa Bay Rays – knowing that they had a "in" with his family, since his wife is from Lexington, Massachusetts. He says that Chaim brings a true intellectual curiosity and collaborative spirit to the team.

The consistent refrain from people all around baseball was that Chaim Bloom is an executive who will fit like a glove here in Boston, he reported in response to a question about the job search.

He also thanked Theo Epstein, Ben Cherington, and Dave Dombrowski for their work over these past 18 years, which have resulted in four World Championships.

Setting up the introduction of Brian O'Halloran ("BOH" to those who work with him), Sam talked briefly about his legendary work ethic. He's a model of putting the good of the organization first, and above every other consideration.

"It sounds foreign to me," said Brian, when Mike Monaco asked him what it's like to be introduced as the General Manager of the Boston Red Sox. He began as an unpaid intern with the Padres, though was very glad to come back to Boston and his Weymouth roots – and, though he didn't mention it, he now had four World Championship rings to his credit.

He considers himself fortunate to have gotten into baseball at a time when a strong playing background was not a prerequisite for a position with a ballclub.  He mentioned a self-deprecating statistic regarding the success of his Little League team in Weymouth. His internship work began as an unpaid intern charting PawSox games working in tandem with Jed Hoyer.  Within a couple of months, he was offered a position on staff.

"We have a very talented team," he said. Acknowledging some injuries in 2019, he also noted a couple of real highlight seasons by Rafael Devers and Christian Vazquez. Regarding the need to build up the farm system, he said, "We need to keep one eye on the present, and one on the future."

Craig Breslow talked about life after his playing career. He had understandably defined himself by his playing career, but has now shifted to focus his thinking of the impact he could hopefully still have on a ball team. He is working with Theo Epstein as Director of Strategic Initiatives for the Chicago Cubs.

After reminiscing a bit about the 2013 World Championship team, sandwiched as the World Series win was between two last-place finishes, but inspired by being in Boston in the wake of the Marathon bombing, he talked about becoming – in effect – director of pitching for the Cubs. The old model of minor-league pitching coordinator is now outmoded. There is an evolution in the post-Moneyball era, and different techniques are now being used and proving successful in developing pitchers, with the help of current technology.

The highlight of the Hot Stove Luncheon is the presentation of the Bruce Donahue/Brad Jernegan Award. This year it was presented to Roseanne Alvino, who was flown up to Boston with her husband to receive the award. She had been the spring training contact with the Red Sox for the past 18 years. "She is the best problem solver during the spring training season. She is most deserving of this award for her dedicated service to BoSox Club members."

Two students at St. Anselm's College were awarded Dom DiMaggio Scholarships – Shannon Colson and Blaine Johnson III.

Scott Cyr then hosted the annual raffle, and a number of Club members went home happy with winnings, from dugout seats for a 2020 Red Sox game to an in-game visit in the booth with Dave O'Brian among the items raffled off.

~ By Bill Nowlin

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