SRO Exclusive: Fenway Sellout Streak

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SRO Exclusive: Fenway Sellout Streak

The Fenway Sellout Streak was born on May 13, 2003, in the shadow of a 5-4 victory over the Texas Rangers. And in the months and years since, the FSS has been blessed with a life that most streaks can only dream of.

Nine years. Nine long years, over which the streak has experienced two World Series wins, six trips to the playoffs and one AL East crown. All things considered, its the longest and perhaps most decorated sell-out streak in U.S. sports history.

But as youre well aware, the Fenway Sellout Streak is dying.

Even worse, its suffering. For the last 16 months, the FSS has been hooked up to a ventilator in Larry Lucchinos attic. There, the streak is barely fed. Never sees the sunlight and has shriveled up into a barely recognizable clump of its former self. Those around Lucchino (as well as members of FSSs immediate family) have begged him to pull the plug, but he refuses.

Larrys lost his mind, a source close to the situation says. Hes torturing that poor streak.

Here at Standing Room Only, Im committed to telling the whole story. If nothing else, I dedicate my life to giving a voice to the voiceless. So with that, through a series of moles in the Red Sox organization, and with the help of a team of MGHs finest, I was able to coordinate an exclusive interview with the Fenway Sellout Streak.

It's the first and, Im told, last time that the streak will be speaking on the matter.

What follows is the transcript of our secret conversation:

Standing Room Only: First of all, Fenway Sellout Streak, thank you for taking the time to speak with me today.

Fenway Sellout Streak: No, Rich. (cough cough) Thank you. I'm looking forward to the opportunity to tell my side of this tragic story. (COUGH)

SRO: Well then, I appreciate that. It wasn't easy, but I'm really glad that we could set this up.

FSS: (COUGH)

SRO: Just my first question, I guess, is: Why now? Writers and reporters have tried tracking you down for years. Some have even called you the J.D. Salinger of sellout streaks. Why the sudden change of heart?

FSS: (Cough cough) I was scared, Rich. And I'm still scared. But I don't want to . . . (cough cough) I uhhh . . . I'm sorry. Please, what was I saying? (COUGH!)

SRO: You were talking about being scared.

FSS: Oh, right. I just don't want to be scared anymore. This has gone too far. People need to know what's (COUGH COUGH) happening over here.

SRO: So, please. Just tell me. What's happening?

FSS: I'm a (cough cough) damn joke! That's what happened. I was the greatest, Rich. I was the pride and joy of one of the best sports, ehhh, (cough cough) sports franchises in the world. I was the face of so much happiness among a (COUGH) fan base that struggled to be happy for so many years. I was on top of the world.

SRO: Do you still think about those times?
FSS: Think? I can barely stay conscious for more than 15 minutes at a time. I'm in so much pain. But I'm strong and smart enough to realize what I've become. I'm (cough cough) the face of everything the fans (COUGH) hate about this team. I don't want to be that streak, Rich. I deserve better. The fans (cough cough) deserve better.
SRO: OK. OK, streak. Listen, we've only got a few more minutes before Larry's bodyguards make their rounds, so let me just ask you one more question. Larry and the owners obviously don't know that you're giving me this interview, but they'll obviously see this once it's published. So, is there anything you want to say to the owners?

FSS: Please, just let me die. I don't know want to do this anymore. No one wants to (COUGH) do this anymore.
SRO: OK. And lastly, do you want to say anything to the fans?

FSS: . . . Just tell them I (cough) understand.

SRO: Thank you, Fenway Sellout Streak. And good luck.
Rich can be reached at rlevine@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Rich on Twitter at http:twitter.comrich_levine

First impressions: Royals' five-run first inning dooms Red Sox in 6-3 loss

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First impressions: Royals' five-run first inning dooms Red Sox in 6-3 loss

First impressions from the Red Sox' 6-3 loss to the Kansas City Royals:

 

Steven Wright recovered nicely after the first inning, but the damage was done.

Wright's last five innings featured just three hits allowed -- one in the infield. But the first inning did the Red Sox in -- two walks followed by a three-run homer, then a single and a two-run homer.

Whether this was a matter of rust for Wright -- who last pitched three weeks ago Friday night -- or an early inability to command his knuckleball is uncertain.

The fact is, Wright dug an early hole for his teammates, and he had the misfortune to do so against a team with the best bullpen in baseball.

To his credit, Wright kept the game somewhat within reach thereafter, but the five-run head start proved too much of a jump.

 

It's time to worry a little about Jackie Bradley.

Bradley was just 7-for-40 in the just-completed road trip, and things didn't get any better on the first night of the homestand.

In the first, he came up with two on and two out and struck out swinging to strand both baserunners. In the third, he came to the plate with runners on the corners and, again, struck out swinging.

We're seeing the same kind of slump that Bradley fell into in previous seasons, where even contact is hard to find, with nine strikeouts in the last 16 at-bats.

Problem is, with Andrew Benitendi on the DL, there aren't a lot of options for John Farrell with the Red Sox outfield.

 

Trying to get Fernando Abad and Junichi Tazawa back on track in low- leverage mop-up didn't work.

Tazawa had a perfect seventh, but gave up a monster shot into the center field bleachers to Lorenzo Cain to start the eighth.

Abad entered, and while he did record a couple of strikeouts, also gave up a single, a walk and threw a wild pitches before he could complete the inning.

Getting some work for the two was the right idea, given that the Sox were down by three runs at the time. A good outing might help either regain some confidence and turn the corner.

But not even that could be accomplished Friday night.