|Do it like Dewey: Former Red Sox star Evans remembers how Fenway was in his day|
|Written by Admin|
|Thursday, 25 October 2007 14:46|
But almost everyone in baseball acknowledges right field is a much tougher position to play at Fenway, with that short fence curling around from Pesky's Pole to the 380-foot sign in front of the bullpens.
Nobody manned that territory better than Dwight Evans for the Boston Red Sox from 1972-90.
``It's the biggest right field in baseball. The angles, the low fence hits you right around the armpit - it looks lower than that. I'm 6-foot-3, and you go up and your ribs are exposed to that. You don't want to run into that,'' Evans said Thursday before Game 2 of the World Series between Colorado and Boston.
Evans pointed out that playing right in Boston is an easier task now than it was in his day because of the Fenway Park expansions that raised the ballpark roof and blocked out the setting sun.
``What made it tough, and it was a tougher outfield to play than it is now, was how low the stadium was. When that sun would come down, especially early in summer time the sun didn't set as low, line drives would come right into that sun and it made it very difficult to play. Now, the stadium has gotten higher so the sun is not a factor anymore,'' he said.
Nicknamed ``Dewey'' and known for his strong arm, Evans batted .272 with 385 home runs and 1,384 RBIs during his 20-year major league career. He works as a player development consultant for the Red Sox in minor league operations.
LUCKY CHARM: Seth Smith doesn't know a lot of losing. He made his major league debut for the Colorado Rockies on Sept. 16, the night they began their big winning surge that carried them into the World Series.
Although he played in just seven games, he earned a spot on the postseason roster by going 5-for-8 as a pinch-hitter, including a triple in the Rockies' wild-card tiebreaker win over San Diego one day after celebrating his 25th birthday.
Smith went 2-for-4 in the playoffs with a key two-run double in the Rockies' NL pennant clincher over Arizona, Colorado's 21st win in 22 games.
The Rockies' 13-1 loss to Boston in Game 1 of the World Series was just the second time he's lost as a major leaguer.
One of Eli Manning's backups at Ole Miss, Smith hit 17 homers and drove in 82 runs at Triple-A Colorado Springs. The phone call from the Rockies last month wasn't about a promotion but for him to travel to Denver to rehab a shoulder injury.
Once he did that, the Rockies were looking for another bat off the bench and help in the outfield because center fielder Willy Taveras was on the DL with a leg injury.
``I just kind of stuck around, I guess,'' Smith said.
He did more than that - he helped Colorado clinch a playoff berth.
``It's surreal. Nobody thought I would be here, including myself,'' Smith said. ``I didn't expect to be a part of this. I thought I was going to get my two weeks of big league experience and kind of carry that into spring training and kind of know what it was like.
``But fortunately I was able to get some balls in play, get some hits and stick around.''
THE EVIL EMPIRE: The Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees are apparently tired of fighting for the affection of the rest of the country.
Now their taking their competition to the galaxy.
Hank Steinbrenner, son of the Yankees owner, launched the first rocket into space by saying, ``They talk about Red Sox nation. We talk about Yankee universe. As bad as they want it, they'll never be the Yankees with their brand.''
The quote ran in The New York Times on Wednesday, the morning of the first game of the World Series between the Red Sox and Colorado Rockies. It was relayed to Boston owner John Henry on the field at Fenway Park before Game 2.
``As far as I'm concerned, they can have Mars and Pluto,'' Henry said with a laugh. ``We're going to settle for Red Sox Nation.''
And, he was reminded, a chance at a second World Series title in four years.
``We'll settle for this World,'' Henry said.
SWING AND SING: James Taylor says he'd rather be behind the mike, guitar in hand, than on the mound, baseball in hand.
``I can think of no more stressful situation other than parachuting behind enemy lines at night,'' the Grammy Award-winning singer and songwriter said Thursday before performing the national anthem at Game 2 of the World Series.
Taylor has appeared all over the world, but said the acoustics at quirky Fenway Park present unique problems.
``You have to focus on what you're singing and not on what you're hearing back because it comes back to you about five seconds removed,'' he said.
Taylor, a lifelong Red Sox fan, said he wasn't looking ahead to any more easy wins against Colorado. Boston won the opener 13-1.
``I think nothing else could be more stressful or could be more daunting than to take the mound against this team,'' Taylor said.
Taylor seemed relaxed during his time on the field before his sound check, playing with his two young sons and joking with reporters. He even did his own impersonation of Red Sox closer Jonathan Papelbon's Irish step dance.
``As New Englanders, we identify ourselves by a number of things: maple sugar, lobsters, the leaves turning, the Boston Tea Party and the Sox,'' he said. ``It's part of our blood.''