THE SPORTS WIRE
By Steve Freker
This time they got me.
The World Champion Boston Red Sox, that is.
Despite being deeply involved with the sport of baseball for over four decades, this past World Series was the first that I actually watched that involved the Boston Red Sox. That’s right. Unlike mostly everyone else in this state and probably all of New England, I did not attend a game or watch a single inning of the three previous World Series Championships won by the Red Sox. Not one.
Reason being? I stopped being a Red Sox fan around the mid-1990s, the ending years for former Red Sox Mike Greenwell and the mid-to-beginning years for former Sox Mo Vaughn and Nomar Garciaparra.
Those were not exactly the Boston Red Sox teams you loved to like. Far from it. Greenwell and “No-Mahh” ending up being two of the most surly, negative and self-centered players in Red Sox history. Mo “The Hit Dog” Vaughn was personable enough, it seemed, but there was no question who his favorite player was – The Hit Dog. That’s all well and good, but when you add in the other two, it got pretty unbearable.
So that was it. No more Red Sox for me. No more being a Red Sox fan.
This also was compounded by being the year, 1995, that ended up being the last season for my favorite player of all time, “The Rocket” Roger Clemens. So who ended replacing The Rocket as the Red Sox ace? Pedro Martinez.
I know he was very popular with the fans, and why not? He won and won a lot. But there is no question he was locked into acting, saying and doing whatever he pleased. He managed to show up every manager he was hooked up with while on the Red Sox and never seemed to care at all. Even going out the door when the Red Sox did not want to pay top dollar for an aging pitcher who had shown signs of breaking down as the years piled up. He spoke out against the Red Sox and talked, like they all do, about “being respected” and upset the Sox did not empty the vault to resign him. Never was a Pedro fan and it kept me away from the Sox still.
“The Idiots” of 2004 did not win me over to the Sox side. They accomplished some feats for sure, but not my type of team, not at all. Didn’t watch the 2004 Series. Same for 2007, did not follow the Sox there, either. Hadn’t followed the Red Sox for so long, the unexpected 2013 Series run was just another blip, really.
But this year? This was different. Lots of interesting angles in there and a bunch of players who seemed genuine about their team and performing for the good of the team. I got interested in how the media firestorm was raging against David Price all season and into the playoffs, without really giving him a chance. Superstar players like Mookie Betts and JD Martinez, who seemed like regular guys – Betts even delivers food to the homeless in downtown Boston some nights after home games!
So this year I did join most everyone else in the region, watched the playoffs and the World Series and like everyone else, was happy to see the Red Sox come out on top. Still not saying that I am now a true Red Sox fan, but this year’s team was certainly a team you could root for, that’s for sure.
What a great job Interim head coach Mike Mabee Sr. is doing with the Saugus High football team this year.
Not only did Saugus make it into the playoffs this year after a 0-3 start. With a 27-6 upset win over #3 seed Weston in the first round, it was the first Saugus High football playoff win since the 1950s. Quite the accomplishment!
Running back Marvens Jean, who is just a junior, is turning heads with his stellar performances, this time 266 yards and two touchdowns.
For old-time Saugus football fans, they are reveling in this victory, especially when the ship is being steered by a former Sachem standout himself, as Mabee Sr. was a Saugus High three-sport star and quarterback in the mid-1990s, a 1995 alum. His son, Mike Mabee Jr., also QBed the Sachems for the past two years before graduating in June and moving on to play baseball for Worcester State College this year, recently completing fall workouts for the Lancers.
Everett High boys’ soccer just made the cut for the 2018 MIAA Division 1 State Boys Soccer Tournament with six wins, six ties and six losses, for a .500 qualifying mark and the 16th and final seed in Division 1 North.
Their “reward”? A first-round matchup and road trip to take on top seed Lexington (15-1-1) today at 2:30 p.m. The winner plays the winner of the Chelmsford-St. John’s Prep game, probably on Monday.
How stacked is Division 1 North in boys’ soccer? Present Northeastern Conference (NEC) and former GBL rival Somerville finished with a glittering record of 13-1-4 and is seeded fifth! Two other former GBLers, Medford (13-2-3) and Malden (10-5-3), have solid records and are seeded seventh (Medford) and 13th (Malden).