Sox minor leaguers feeling effects of Hurricane Sandy


Sox minor leaguers feeling effects of Hurricane Sandy

Every young player knows its important to have an offseason routine with scheduled workouts to prepare for the upcoming season. It doesnt matter if hes a first-round pick or a 41st-round pick. Theres always someone hoping to take his job.

While players take some requisite downtime after a season to rest and recover from the long grind, its necessary at a certain point to get back onto a schedule. But, when a storm of historic proportions nearly wipes out all that is familiar, any sense of routine or normalcy is gone.

Pat Light was the Red Sox third pick in the first round (37th overall) this year out of Monmouth University in West Long Branch, NJ. His hometown of Colts Neck, NJ, was hit hard by Hurricane Sandy. But he knows it wasn't hit as hard as some areas were hit. He considers himself fortunate that his house survived the storm. His mother is from Staten Island, one of the areas most devastated by the storm. Light got power back in his home Tuesday night, nine days after Sandy knocked it out.

Id go to bed and wake up in the morning freezing because it was about 32 degrees in the house. Its been tough, Light said.

The last nine days I couldnt do anything, unfortunately, because no one had power, electricity, heat. So its kind of hindered my workout program a little bit.

Traffic lights are still out. Itll take a little bit, but its been nice to see people helping from all over. It was nice to see power companies coming from Georgia, Alabama, Ohio, Wisconsin. Its nice to see people helping out. Well get back to normal eventually. Itll just take some time.

It also puts life into perspective.

Well, yeah, absolutely, said Jayson Hernandez, the Red Sox 41st-round pick in 2010 out of Rutgers and a native of Jackson, NJ. Wednesday is the first time Im getting into the weight room since Oct. 27. There was no power. The gym that I work out at, the power just came back yesterday. its been really tough.

I also give lessons at Frozen Ropes baseball clinic in Tinton Falls, NJ, and I work there in the offseason. We havent had work for a week now. But theyre doing something pretty cool as well. The town of Tinton Falls still doesnt have power but Frozen Ropes does. So what theyre doing every day is running camps from 10 3 for the kids so the kids can kind of get away from the stresses of this storm and just go out there and have fun. I think thats very important.

Mike Augliera was taken by the Sox in the fifth round this year out of SUNY-Binghamton. The right-hander lives in Old Bridge, NJ. He was just starting his offseason program when Sandy hit.

It was pretty rough last week, Augliera. Luckily my family, we had power within two days. So we were very lucky. But I know some of my friends in town still dont have power. In our town, were lucky that were inland. Were not near water. But I have friends who live in those towns and their cars were washed away. Some of their houses were flooded. So its amazing that the worst our town had was no power. But even just 15 minutes away people lost their homes.

With the storm, I had to put my offseason workout on hold, which isnt a terrible thing when all this stuff is going on.

New Jersey was getting hit again by a noreaster on Wednesday.

Hopefully, when this storm passes and the state gets back up and running, Ill continue working out, Augliera. Ill get on my offseason program and begin throwing. And when that time comes, Ill come back for spring training in good shape and ready to go wherever they assign me.

Haggerty: So what exactly has happened to the Bruins-Habs rivalry?


Haggerty: So what exactly has happened to the Bruins-Habs rivalry?

BRIGHTON, MASS -- It didn’t take last season’s embarrassing Winter Classic result to figure out something has been missing from the storied, legendary Bruins-Canadiens rivalry over the last few years.

The last traces of the latest, great incarnation of the B’s-Habs rivalry were clearly still there a couple of seasons ago when the two hockey clubs met in the second round of the playoffs. After falling short the last few times the teams met in the postseason, Boston was summarily dismissed by Montreal in Game 7 on their own home ice during that series. The following season the B’s simply had so many of their own players struggling to put out a consistent effort, so the games against the Habs didn’t really register highly on the importance scale, and last season both Boston and Montreal suffered through subpar seasons that saw them each fall short of the playoffs.

Since the second round loss to the Habs in the 2013-14 playoffs, the Bruins are 2-7 while being outscored by a 31-18 margin in nine regular season meetings over the last two seasons in an incredibly one-sided chapter in the two teams’ shared history. The real lack of competitiveness has been a noticeable lack of deep emotion or ill will on the ice between the two hockey clubs, and that is very different from the recent past when signature players like Milan Lucic, P.K. Subban and Shawn Thornton were card-carrying members of healthy hate that regularly spilled out on the ice between the two rival NHL organizations.

Instead it will probably be new blood that breathes glorious, hard-edged life into the history between the two Original Six teams, and new personalities like David Backes, Shea Weber and Andrew Shaw are likely to do just that. Certainly the Canadiens wanted to be much more difficult to play against in recruiting players like Shaw and Weber, and, their presence along with the offensively explosive Alex Radulov, could make it a tough matchup for the Black and Gold.

Either way, the Bruins are curious to see what the matchup looks like this season with the electric P.K. Subban removed from the mix as one of the classic Habs villain-type characters from a Boston perspective.

“It’s always fun to play Montreal at home, or in Montreal. This will be our second time counting the preseason, and our first time at the Garden. It’s going to be pretty cool,” said David Krejci. “When you say any NHL team there are a few names that pop out for that team, and [P.K. Subban] was definitely one of them [for Montreal]. But P.K. is gone, and now it’s Shea Weber. So it’s going to be a little different, but he’s a hell of a player as well so it isn’t going to be any easier.

“It’s a big game. It’s a division game. We don’t want to take any game lightly within the 82 games because you don’t know what can happen at the end. When those games against [Montreal] are done you always feel like you’ve played two games, and not just one. It’s high intensity, and it’s obviously a rivalry that you get up for.”

As Bruins head coach Claude Julien would say it, things are a bit too civilized between the two enemy teams when thinking back to the days of Georges Laraque chasing Milan Lucic around the ice challenging him a fight on the Bell Centre ice, or the awful epoch in B’s-Habs history when Zdeno Chara clobbered Max Pacioretty with a dangerous, injury-inducing hit into the stanchion area.

Nobody is looking for players to get hurt on borderline plays when the two teams suit up on Saturday night, but something to introduce a new chapter into the Boston-Montreal rivalry would be a good thing for both teams, a good thing for the fans and a potentially great thing for an NHL that prides itself on good, old-fashioned rivalries.

“We need to make sure that we’re ready to play [on Saturday]. I like the way that we’ve played so far, and except for Toronto we’ve managed to compete with all of the teams that we’ve played against,” said Julien. “I don’t know if it’s going to stay that way, but I’m going to use the word that [the rivalry] has been more civilized for the last few years. There hasn’t been as much of the sideshow as there has been [in the past].

“I think there’s still a lot of hatred between the two organizations when they meet, but I think the way the game is trending, and how costly that penalties can be in a game, both teams are a little cautious in that way. I still think there is great intensity and both teams get up for the games, so hopefully that happens tomorrow, and the fans get to see a good game.”

One thing that should ensure a good, familiar showdown with plenty of hard-hitting and honest-to-goodness rivalry-like behavior: both the Canadiens and Bruins are off to strong starts at the top of the Atlantic Division in the first couple of weeks this season, and there are some new faces that are undoubtedly going to want to announce their presence for these Bruins-Habs tilts with authority.

Let’s hope this happens because last season’s Bruins-Habs games needed a pair of jumper cables and 1.21 jigowatts of electricity to shock them back into their elevated level of intensity, and that’s when hockey is served best after all.