Pinky Higgins, Rudy York, Billy Jurges, Del Baker, Pinky Higgins (again), Johnny Pesky, Billy Herman, Pete Runnels, Dick Williams, Eddie Popowski, Eddie Kasko, Eddie Popowski (again), Darrell Johnson, Don Zimmer, Johnny Pesky (again), Ralph Houk, John McNamara, Joe Morgan, Butch Hobson, Kevin Kennedy, Jimy Williams, Joe Kerrigan, Grady Little and Terry Fancona; twenty-one names, twenty-four regimes who represent the answer to a very esoteric trivia question. Which is…….Who has managed the Red Sox since 1959? (the year I made my first trip to Fenway) Oh wait and now introducing, drum roll please………
Bobby “Sweetheart Chosen Or Greeted On This Day”
Number 22 is the man chosen to pilot the Red Sox during the historic 100th birthday season of Fenway Park. In a push button poll conducted by the Boston Globe, 60% of the 8000 members of Red Sox Nation who participated, are happy with the choice of “Sweetheart Chosen Or Greeted On This Day.” Boston sports talk shows seem to concur, professing the need to get tough with those of chicken and beer fame and “Sweetheart” is just the guy to do it. Even Hall of Fame pundit Peter Gammons is on board and thinks “Sweetheart” and the Red Sox can work, “as long as it doesn’t become a media show.” Frankly this has me wondering if perhaps the cheese has not slid off of Peter’s cracker, I mean really, not become a media show? This is Boston, this is the Red Sox and this is “Sweetheart Chosen Or Greeted On This Day”, each entity a media show unto itself!
Today at 5:30, the media show will begin as Fenway Park will welcome the man who will be Chosen and Greeted On This Day. Optimism will abound as the excitement of new beginnings will be felt in the Fenway air and I will wonder if the new skipper will use this same gathered media to “call out” any boys who behave badly this season or will he treat them as men? Will the new skipper subjugate the huge letter “I” that seems to permeate his being? And as it all unfolds ponder this, if the Red Sox had won but one more game, one more game, none of this would be happening.
Twenty two men in 53 years and as number twenty two takes the helm he does so amidst the rumor that number twenty one will replace him behind the mike at ESPN. Hey, does that mean it was a trade? Hmmmm, ESPN got the better of the deal! Twenty two men in 53 years, an average of 2. 4 years each. Sorry to say, I think today another era of average leadership begins, but don’t fret for at least in this era, every day will be Valentine’s Day.
And so it is, this day in Fenway Park history, December 1, 2011…..