The Red Sox now languish in the nonsensical ramblings of this seasons remains and in their midst owner John Henry denies that he has a “mutiny” on his hands. The whines and boos have reached decibels which are so damn high I can hear them from 1500 miles away.
The Red Sox have stumbled and bumbled their way to 10 losses in their last 14 games and all indications are they are mailing in the remaining 42 games. But hey, Podsednik is back, Crawford’s hitting, and how do you not love Pedro Ciriaco?
Pedro Ciriaco has been a bright spot in a season of darkness.
It seems strangely appropriate that Johnny Pesky should leave us in a season of gloom, for Johnny has seen many of them in the wide range of roles he played on his way to becoming Mr. Red Sox! He participated, he witnessed, he commented and he endured. He endured and he tasted two vintages of the finest of wine, the robust release of 2004 and more mellow 2007 version. He shuffled off this mortal coil a happy man unlike so many Red Sox devotee’s before him.
It is also appropriate that the first event which Fenway witnessed following his passing was not a baseball game but a concert. It was music which rained down upon this entity of the Fenway Faithful, and it came from a most legendary source, “The Boss” himself, Bruce Springteen!
The kid from Jersey and the kid from Oregon, a generation and a continent removed from each other converged on Fenway Park and produced the best of music providing the Fenway patrons with “something to face the world with.”
You see the kid from New Jersey and the kid from Oregon had a lot in common. Both the son of ‘Common Folk”, both driven by an innate passion and love for their chosen crafts and both reaching heights of achievement and success beyond their wildest dreams.
The kid from Jersey.
The kid from Oregon.
The kid from Jersey is the son of a bus driver and a secretary, the kid from Oregon, is the son of Croation immigrants.
The kid from Jersey was inspired to pursue music when, at the age of seven, he saw this man on TV.
The kid from Oregon changed his name from Paveskovich to Pesky so it could fit better in a box score.
The kid from Oregon, kneeling far right.
These two energy forces came together Tuesday night at Fenway Park under a Boston summer sky and the results were electric, poignant and memorable.
The Fenway flag hung at half staff in honor of the kid from Oregon because Fenway was that kid’s ball yard. However the kid from Jersey had also made history there when back in 2003 he kicked off the Fenway Park summer concert series which has become an important staple in Boston’s annual summer music diet.
The kid from Oregon means a whole lot to the folks who patronize Fenway Park and that was not lost on the kid from Jersey. The kid from Jersey gets it and he paid homage to the native Oregonian which made many of the Fenway Faithful grateful and happy.
Long time devotees of Fenway Park, the Red Sox and The Boss, left to right, Paul, Eric, Allison and Marc. (Actually Paul and Allison, not so much on the Red Sox)
The kid from Jersey honored the venerable ball park when he intoned his haunting tune My City of Ruins, saying it was about “living with ghosts….the blood, the heart, the soul it’s all out there in the dirt and it never goes away.”
The kid from Oregon would have liked that for he certainly left his heart, his blood and his soul out there for nearly as long as the kid from Jersey has been alive, and his energy will never ever leave that dirt.
The night took on a mystical tone when a video montage of the kid from Oregon appeared on the screen and the kid from Jersey had the lights dimmed and a spotlight shown upon the kid from Oregon’s Fenway cenotaph.
The kid from Jersey and his band ended the evening with two tunes which date back to the days when the kid from Oregon was managing the Red Sox at Fenway Park. While Dirty Water and Twist and Shout played, fireworks shot skyward from the Green Monster; putting the cap on an evening which now becomes a patch on the quilt of Fenway folklore.
James Sullivan wrote in his review in Rolling Stone that the highlight of the night “may well have come” an hour before the end of the concert when in what
“was another somber moment, with Springsteen singing a sweet, largely unaccompanied version of “Drive All Night.” A slow burner from 1980’s The River, it’s a humble love song that might as well be about his devotion to his audience. It was gorgeous in its rawness, which is what the man, at his best, does.”
It seems most appropriate that a love song, this love song, would be the nights high-water mark; for the kid from Oregon loved, with all his being, the confines of this historic edifice and the kid from Jersey loves, with all his being, his music.
And “baby, baby, baby I swear I’d drive all night just to buy you some shoes
And to taste your tender charms…. And I just wanna sleep tonight again in your arms, oh yea, oh yea.”
Is there a better something to face the world with?
And so it is on this day in Fenway Park history, August 16, 2012.