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Mashup: FDNY Mets, Fenway Park, Gardner, 2011 Outlooks

January 21, 2011

Less than one month from today players will have reported to Spring Training. The baseball season is finally started to inch closer. As such, let’s take another look at some of the latest news.

  • Four members of the New York Mets – Mike Pelfrey, R.A. Dickey, Bobby Parnell, and Dillon Geetook part in FDNY training on Randall’s Island in an effort to support some of New York’s bravest civil servants. The four pitchers, as well as Chief Operating Officer Jeff Wilpon, spent the day going through numerous drills and extensive training. It was apparently extra meaningful for Gee and Parnell. Gee’s father Kevin has been a fire fighter in Fort Worth, Texas for 28 years and Parnell’s father Bob is the Fire Chief in Salisbury, North Carolina. It was an usual, but pretty cool way for the team to show some support to the men and women who risk their lives to keep New York City safe.
  • Despite largely going unnoticed by most outside of Boston, the current ownership group of the Red Sox have gone to great lengths since taking over operational control of the organization to improve on the historic Fenway Park. They have been responsible for additional seating capacity, adding seats atop the fabled Green Monster, replacing older seats with new ones (with cupholders), replacing the video board in center field, and numerous other improvements that have made Fenway Park one of my favorite places to see a game. The latest endeavor – which reportedly involved expanding the bullpens and potentially moving in the right field fence (which I don’t see why they’d do) – has apparently been cancelled due to some questions presented by the Massachusetts Historical Commission. Owners backed off plans in order to allow the nearly 100 year old stadium to remain a historical landmark.
  • Joe Pawlikowski of River Ave. Blues took a look at some of the rare instances where a player’s on base percentage is higher than his slugging percentage. Moreover, he takes a look at how Brett Gardner, who achieved the rare statistical feat in 2010, had developed into a valuable outfielder and questions whether he can continue providing such value for years to come.
  • Many of the team-specific blogs across the Internet have started shifting gears from offseason mode to preseason mode as bloggers everywhere have started to speculate on how their team’s rosters will shape up. I don’t plan to get into the specifics of trying to predict each team’s 25-man roster as of Opening Day, but I do have some early looks at each organization that I plan to start publishing in early February. The series will take a look at what each team did this offseason and a few other tidbits of information I’ve got up my sleeve. Stay tuned for that and some overall predictions for the 2011 season.
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