Red Sox Game Day Connections: Game 61, New York Yankees

Mark Bellhorn at Yankee Stadium. Photo by Kelly O'Connor, Used with permission, see more of her fantastic photos at http://sittingstill.smugmug.com/ and http://www.sittingstill.net/

The Red Sox are tied for first place with the New York Yankees. It’s almost a certainty that most of New England will be flipping over to the Red Sox / Yankees game only during the commercial breaks of the Boston Bruins / Vancouver Canucks Stanley Cup Finals game. A few years ago, tonight would’ve been a huge event in the area, as it meant the Red Sox could take sole place of first place, and continue their early season dominance against the Yankees. Once the Stanley Cup Finals end, I’m guessing the focus will return to the diamond.

Thinking about how things change year to year brings up memories of Mark Bellhorn. In 2004, he was picked up by the club, and I initially though, “What the hell is this guy going to do that Todd Walker couldn’t?”. Turns out, he could do a whole lot. Though Bellhorn had more homers in 2002 with the Chicago Cubs, he had his true ‘career year’ with the Red Sox. He came up huge in the postseason, and will likely always have a free beer offered to him whenever he’s in Boston(if people recognize him!).

In 2005, Bellhorn struggled, and was subsequently released by the Red Sox. He found a new home with the New York Yankees, and appeared in 9 regular season games with them and even made it into 1 game during the postseason that year. His switch to the Evil Empire wasn’t as widely lambasted as Johnny Damon’s defection, and it’s probably because the guy just flew under the radar even when he played in Boston.

If the Red Sox sweep the Yankees this week, will most people remember it in six months? It’ll push them into first, all alone! The distraction of the Bruins makes me think this is almost like a lost series, as far as hype and excitement are concerned. I guess there are worse things that could happen.

The Red Sox are doing well since I started this Game Day Connections stuff!

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