The fourth and final spot in the semi-finals of the Boston Baseball Tournament was up for grabs in this week’s episode of the Batter’s Box. (featuring Andy versus Stephen). As a front running Yankee fan, Stephen must not have liked wearing our awesome YOOOOOUUUK!!! shirt, although he did belt out an awesome YOOUUKK chant in the second inning. I know he’s been Tito for a long time, but Terry Fantastic is a way better nickname for Francona. You could see Stephen’s heart sink when he was faced with a question about Rico Petrocelli’s early years for the Sox, but Stephen worked the count, made an educated guess, and scored two runs. However, Andy capped off a well played and exciting first inning by remembering that Rico Petrocelli established the record for most home runs by a short stop in 1969 with forty dingers.
The correct answers continued for both players in the second inning; you can tell when Andy spots the correct answer because his goatee perks up. Stephen’s pinch hitter left him hanging in a key spot, but allowed Stephen more time to remember that John Valentin played with the Hit Dog Maurice Samuel 'Mo' Vaughn at Seton Hall. Andy’s pinch hitter also led him astray, but Andy ended up knocking a clutch triple to score two runs to finish the second inning tied up at five.
Somehow “too many” was not an answer choice for the amount of home runs Papelbon gave up during the 2009 season. Facing a tough single question, Andy took control of the game by remembering that Bobby Doerr spent his entire career with the Sox. Andy ultimately walked off with the win, by explaining the $51 million USD the Sox spent for the bidding rights to Dice-K was a show of respect because it was a round number in yen. And for all the haters out there than think Dice-K was a bust, watch game seven against the Indians and game three against the Rockies in 2007 and get back to me.
This was probably the best played and most exciting game of the tournament so far. Can’t wait to see what happens next week on the Batter’s Box!