Skeptics said we couldn’t split this last series with New York. A split would do nothing for the 2010 Red Sox—a team familiar with third place. We needed to take 3-out-of-4 from the Yankees to start making moves in the AL East standings.

So, of course, we were destined to split the series from the very beginning. This outcome isn’t exactly disheartening; especially with the action our disabled list has seen this summer. The Yanks have the best record in baseball right now. To me, the series is less a disappointment and more a synopsis of how the entire season has gone for the Sox.

They can’t do enough to make a serious run at first place (or even the AL Wild Card spot), but they can do just enough to keep the fans hanging on. I know my last post blathered on about how this team excels at being the underdog, but it’s a lot easier to be onboard with that mentality in early June than mid-August.

In a perfect world, the Red Sox would be coasting with less than 50 games to go. But this is the real world, and Boston is part of one of the toughest divisions in baseball. They are going to have to fight for a playoff berth. A battle that could last until the first few days of October.

I have serious doubts about the Evil Empire faltering in the wake of George Steinbrenner’s death. New York wants to win this year’s title for their late patriarch. So for now, the majority of Boston’s hope will have to lie in the instability of the Tampa Bay Rays. From their red-hot April to a sobering 11–14 record in June, Tampa’s offense has been fittingly described by manager Joe Madden as “schizophrenic.”

Kicking off the month of August with a five-game losing streak proves the Rays can lose big late in the season. But as with every team, there are softer spots in their schedule over the next eight weeks.

The Yankees or the Rays choking would sure make things easier on us. Sadly, it looks like the only way we’re making it to the playoffs is by focusing on one game at a time. Hot streaks are nice, but chipping away at a lead is more efficient. The Red Sox just have to be patient.

We may have split the series, but I don’t feel like we’re out of the race. Not by a long shot.

[More photos of Boston red Sox in action]

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A rain-soaked Boston

by on July 10, 2010

Lots of reports of floodings all across the Boston area during today’s torrential downpour. Here’s a picture my wife snapped of the flooded parking lot at Hyatt Hotel at Logan Airport. She was there to say goodbye to a couple of friends who are leaving town – the hotel’s great harbor view of Boston makes it a pleasant place to hang out after checking in – when a hotel employee told her the car had to be moved right away or else it’d be stuck in the flood.

Photo of the Hyatt Hotel parking lot at Logan Airport, which was flooded during the July 10, 2010, downpour.

Plenty of flood updates at Universal Hub.

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I’m not going to lie. I may have neglected my blogging duties after the average April we all experienced in Red Sox Nation. But I’m back! And I’m glad to report our favorite team has turned it around to give us a much more pleasing set of spring stats.

Our 11–12 record in April was offset by an 18–11 record in May, and with a strong start in June—we’re sitting just one game back from the Yankees and April’s super stars—the Tampa Bay Rays. This is a position I’m more than happy to be in, with the post-season still three and half months away.

The crowd at Fenway Park.

Being the underdog has never hurt us in the past, and our explosive offense over the past six weeks reminds me of the most magical Sox seasons (namely, the ones where all our players walked away with World Series rings). One major highlight was David Ortiz’s offensive upswing, going from .154 at the end of April to May’s American League Player of the Month. Year after year, I wonder if he’s just toying with us.

Big Papi hit .363 last month, with 10 home runs, 27 RBIs and 16 runs scored. He also managed a .788 slugging percentage and a .424 on-base percentage that led the majors. Ortiz shared the glory alongside teammate Jon Lester, who was crowned Pitcher of the Month with a 1.84 ERA.

Fenway Park on a beautiful but partly cloudy summer night.

And I can’t forget to mention Daniel Nava’s glorious grand slam during his first major league at-bat last weekend. This is legendary stuff!

Sadly, I was only in attendance for one game in May, and a seat with your back to the JumboTron makes following along a bit of a challenge. I’m not ashamed to admit it, I couldn’t score any play without help from the JumboTron. I need things spelled out for me, and awkward pictures of players to retain what the other team looks like. So instead, I focused on beer.

Were you aware that a premium beer in Fenway Park costs $8.25? It sounds like a lot, but in reality, it’s only 50 cents more than a Miller Lite/Bud Light/other assorted watered-down beer. My friends and I discovered this. And four Blue Moons may have played a part in why we ended up at the Lower Depths after the game ended.

A plate of nachos at The Lower Depths in Kenmore Square.

I spent most of my time on the bar’s patio, where we ordered a heaping plate of nachos and more premium beers for a lot less than Fenway offers. There’s a lot of fun stuff on their menu, and while I didn’t sample the Lower Depths’ tater tots, my friend did. She asked for a taste of someone else’s Kenmore Tots on the patio—they were smothered in bacon, chipotle aioli and cheddar. She was coherent enough to comment on how divine the chipotle aioli was.

And that concluded my research on the Lower Depths. Any bar where a stranger shares his tots with you, no questions asked, gets a big thumbs-up from me.

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On Wednesday, June 2, the Boston Red Sox defeated the Oakland Athletics, 6-4, at Fenway Park. The A’s jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first inning against Sox pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka, who usually struggles early in games. The Red Sox struck back with two runs in the first inning, then took the lead with a two-run homer by David Ortiz in the fifth inning. Below are a few pictures from the game.

David Ortiz hits a two-run homerun in the fifth inning to put the Boston red Sox ahead, 4-3.

Boston Red Sox infielder Dustin Pedroia steps into his swing during an at bat.

Boston Red Sox pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka throws a warm-up pitch.

Boston red Sox first baseman Kevin Youkilis argues strikes and balls with the umpire.

Kevin Youkilis takes a swing at a pitch.

Jeremy Hermida warming up before the game.

A view of the infield and the Green Monster at Fenway Park from the box seats.

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Boston Red Sox’s Average April

by sam on April 28, 2010

April is over, and it’s time to face the facts. The start to this year’s Red Sox season has been utterly and unmistakably average. It’s a word that’s faded from our lexicon in recent years, one that legions of younger Sox fans have never had to face.

I only say average because the team has managed to pull out a few close ones (against arguably not so great teams) in the last week. A lot of people were handing down harsher words around Patriot’s Day. A painful sweep by the Tampa Bay Rays left us with a pathetic 4–9 record, so the fact that we’ve rebounded to 10–11 makes this post slightly easier to write.

Boston Red Sox defeat Texas Rangers at Fenway Park on April 20, 2010.

Still, struggling for a .500 record is not something I am used to seeing our golden team do. Sure, nothing’s ever a sure thing. I witnessed enough blown saves in my youth to realize a lead in baseball means very little. The name Aaron Boone still haunts me, even after two World Series wins helped wash away the dark mark he left on all our hearts.

Bottom line, this latest roster frightens us all. The holes are gaping and everywhere. Our pitching, our hitting, our base running, our inability to stop opponents from rampant base running. It’s all a sad, sloppy mess.

Seven out of 12 pitchers have an ERA over 5.00, which wouldn’t be as much of a problem if we were producing runs. I know stats don’t mean much this early on, but David Ortiz is boasting an average of .154. The man’s lone duty is to hit, and he has the lowest average of anyone on the team. The only upside of this debacle being more face time with Mike Lowell.

To be fair, I know I sound like one of those fools who’s already declared this season over and done with. A lost cause. Too depressing to watch. But you see, I only tear people down to build them back up.

The truth is we still have five months left of fight in us. We’ve proven we can win in the softer part of our schedule, however shoddy those wins have been. I’ve been to two games so far this year—and I was lucky enough to witness two wins. One of which was the April 20 game against Texas. The previously unknown Darnell McDonald stunned us all with a two-run homer in the eighth and a walk-off single in the ninth.

View of the Green Monster from the bleachers at Fenway Park.

Whether this 31-year old from Colorado has staying power, I don’t know. But I do know he reminded me why I love the Red Sox. They can surprise you. It’s the no names who become big names that make Boston such an infectious team. With the inflated payroll and the calmer mentality since winning the 2004 World Series, we sometimes forget—but easy wins weren’t always in the stars for the Red Sox.

It took a team of Idiots to break a crippling curse for this diehard baseball town, and it’s going to take the same kind of passion to save us from the mediocrity we’re drowning in right now. I’m not sure if they will come, but I’ll be watching for the unlikely heroes in 2010.

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The Prudential Building at sunset as seen from Kenmore Square.

The soft light at sunset on the Prudential Building viewed from Kenmore Square in the evening hours on April 2, 2010.

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As Kevin of SupahFans mentioned in a comment on this blog a couple of weeks ago it is SupahFans, the popular street vendor of edgy fan apparel, that has moved into the store that used to host a ticket broker at 470 Commonwealth Avenue. The Boston Red Sox open their 2010 Major League Baseball regular season on Sunday April 4th (against the New York Yankees, on ESPN) so SupahFans is kicking off their season with quite a grand opening party on Saturday April 3.

April 5 update:

Here are pictures from SupahFans store at 470 Commonwealth Avenue in Kenmore Square:

Exterior shot of SupahFans store in Kenmore Square on the days of its grand opening.

A rack of t-shirts in Supah Fans store on Commonwealth Avenue.

Floor-to-ceiling wall photo of Fenway Park in Supah Fans store in Kenmore Square.

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Sunny but still cold

by on March 27, 2010

Photo of BU Bookstore and Citgo sign from Charlesgate West a sunny day

Yes, it’s still cold but at least we got some sun today.

The baseball season is around the corner (literally so in the picture above) and we’re getting a good chunk of material ready. We’ll be posting Red Sox updates throughout the season.

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On January 8, 2010, Boston University Terriers squared off against the Boston College Eagles at Fenway Park in an ice-hockey game event called Frozen Fenway. The crowd at the sold out stadium watched Terriers snag a thrilling 3-2 victory. Below are a few photos from the game and the event:

Photo of large U.S. flag covering Fenway Park's Green Monster wall behind a line of U.S. soldiers at the Frozen Fenway ice hockey game.

The Frozen Fenway ice hockey game between BU and BC was played on a cold and snowy night.

Photo of Fenway Park taken from the bleachers during the Frozen Fenway ice-hockey game between Boston University and Boston College.

Boston University's band in a sea of fans at Fenway Park during the Frozen Fenway game.

A spectator in the bleachers watch the Frozen Fenway ice-hockey game at Fenway park.

A Zamboni exists the field of Fenway Park at Frozen Fenway.

Photo of Boston University Terriers playing against Boston College Eagles in the Frozen Fenway ice-hockey game at Fenway Park

BU Terriers and BC Eagles ready themselves for face off at Frozen Fenway at Fenway Park.
(Download 1800×1350 version)

While watching BU take on BC at Fenway Park was a fun experience I have to say I prefer Agganis Arena, not only because it’s warmer (and parking cheaper and closer to the seats) but also because you get a lot closer to the action. No matter how hard the Terriers and the Eagles played at Frozen Fenway it didn’t feel nearly as intense as a game at an arena.

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Happy New Year! Happy 2010!

by on January 1, 2010

Happy New Year! 2010 is going to be an exciting year in many ways for both Kenmore Square and KenmoreSquareBoston.com. We will add new features, articles and reviews throughout the year.

Lansdowne Street on New Year's Eve, December 31, 2009.

Lansdowne Street on December 31, 2009, awaiting the January 1, 2010, NHL Winter Classic game between the Boston Bruins and the Philadelphia Flyers at Fenway Park.

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