... at Fenway.
In recognition for earning the "W" in the Boston City Championship Game, one of my student athletes hurled Saturday's first heater. He won't start high school until later this week, but made the catcher's mitt pop while showing flawless composure on the big league mound.
(Attention Halos' New England area scout: you're going to see a tall, lanky, projectable kid with plenty of natural cut on his fastball take the field for East Boston High. He will be draft eligible in 2014).
I'll grudgingly admit that the 'Sox showed plenty of class towards the student, his family,and his coaches, and my hope is that they continue to support the Play Ball! Foundation and Boston middle school sports generally in the coming years. I even forgot, for a moment, the decades of antipathy I've felt for that team; putzing around Fenway's dirt was the most religious experience I've had in recent memory.
Yesterday also happened to be Manny Ramirez' first visit to Fenway as a member of the White Sox, providing the afternoon's most raucous entertainment. He was alternately booed and cheered, while clearly enjoying the attention and agelessly going 2 for 4.
As Chicago finished off the 'Sux in the ninth, I got this shot framing a hodge-podge of almost-Angels: Bobby Jenks and his bad habits blew an opportunity with LA, while Manny (visible just above our former bad boy's orb) and Paul Konerko were both nearly Angels at various points. Personally, I'm very glad Manny never donned the Halos' red, but Konerko and Jenks looked mighty useful out there, haunting me for the afternoon as ghosts of the Angels' past. Later, something even more sinister occurred to me: could this pic show a ghost of the Angels' future... an offseason, blockbuster trade that sends Mike Napoli to Boston in exchange for #12 -- versatile, light hitting, middle infielder Jed Lowrie? The perfect coup de grace to the 2010 season. You heard it here first.
The new school year is upon us, so I'll shamelessly end this with a solicitation: any of you web surfers out there have a spare laptop that you're no longer using? I'd love to put it to use in one two ways: first, I'm always trying to integrate more technology in the classroom, because that's one area of education in which my school (and Boston middle schools generally) falls criminally short. Second, I'm experimenting with technology as an incentive. Last year, I promised a group of same-ability-level seventh graders that I would give the highest scorer among them a used laptop. All but one boosted their scores this year (over all, the school's scores jumped 14% last year, but my kids were just a tiny slice of that)... I'd like to continue the pilot program in 2010/2011, but have no more computers to give.
I'm not talking ancient machines that started smoking the last time you booted them, but 2005 or later models that are still in working order. Maybe you phased it out for a new toy with more more mojo and a bigger screen; maybe circumstances delivered a new machine into your lap; or maybe you just got sick of the old one. Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you think you can help out.
Again, apologies for the solicitation, because I know that folks don't come to this site for that sort of thing. However, as a vibrant, online community with plenty of tech savvy (and, I imagine, plenty of gadgets underlying that savvy), I figured this would be the ideal forum to ask for help. Thanks in advance!