SBD/May 23, 2011/Franchises

MLB Franchise Notes: Red Sox Turn Back The Clock At Fenway For Cubs Game

Red Sox donned throwback uniforms for Saturday's game against the Cubs
In Boston, Nick Cafardo noted the Red Sox on Saturday night, in "celebration of their first meeting" with the Cubs at Fenway Park in 93 years, were "trying to re-create a 1918 atmosphere, with no amplified sound and no video." A man with a megaphone "announced batters for two innings, and the teams were decked out in uniforms of the era." The Red Sox planned to "measure the fan response and gauge whether they could incorporate more silence into future games." Red Sox President & CEO Larry Lucchino said, "I do think we have to manage sensory overload. There’s a danger in doing too much and detracting from the game. We worry about that" (BOSTON GLOBE, 5/22). FSN's Andrew Siciliano said, "If you wanted to take the generic uniform from a mid-'80s Nintendo baseball game that didn't have licensing rights, that's what the Red Sox uniforms looked like. Sometimes they should leave the throwbacks in the closet" ("The Dan Patrick Show," 5/23).

SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER
: In Pittsburgh, Colin Dunlap reported the Pirates drew a sellout crowd of 37,958 to PNC Park Saturday night for their game against the Tigers, including 7,000 fans "who decided to walk up and purchase tickets on gameday." Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said, "Great crowd." Pirates P Kevin Correia: "It's awesome, a sellout. It makes a world of difference to have people cheering for you." Dunlap wrote, "It was something to behold, moreso because the game was not on television so you had to be there to see it" (PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE, 5/22).

PAYING TRIBUTE: In Minneapolis, La Velle Neal III reported the Twins are "finalizing plans for honoring" Baseball HOFer Harmon Killebrew, who passed away earlier this month, "for the rest of the season at Target Field." A "black band will be added to Killebrew's retired number that is located on the facade of the Captain's Deck in the left field corner." In addition, Killebrew's signature "will be placed on the right field wall, under the out-of-town scoreboard." Today, a No. 3 flag "will be raised beneath the Twins Territory flag in right field and remain there for the rest of the season," and a No. 3 patch "will be added to all uniforms for the rest of the season" (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 5/22).

PLAY AT THE PLATE: Nationals GM Mike Rizzo on Friday said that the "incident that occurred between him and the umpires" following the team's loss Thursday to the Mets "had 'absolutely nothing to do' with a controversial play that took place in the top of the ninth inning." Rizzo said that he contacted MLB Exec VP/Baseball Operations Joe Torre "immediately after the incident to inform Torre of his version of the events." When asked to discuss the play, Rizzo said, "Not going to answer one question about the incident." He cited the "ongoing MLB investigation as the reason why he could not go into detail on the matter" (WASHINGTONPOST.com, 5/20).

DRESS TO IMPRESS: In Philadelphia, John Gonzalez notes by the end of this season, the Phillies "will have worn six different uniforms -- seven if you count the all-red batting practice tops." That is a "lot of wardrobe changes for one team," but there "isn't a bad jersey in the lot." Gonzalez ranks his "five favorite area uniforms" in his lifetime, led by the Eagles' Kelly green look (PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, 5/23).
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