The Red Sox will face off against the Orioles tonight, bringing Robert Andino to Fenway for the first time since he ended Boston's season in 2011.
Andino will actually lead the game off for the Baltimore Orioles, batting first in what seems likely to be one of the louder welcomes a player will get in Fenway in 2011. Or at least it will if the seats are full enough both that early on and for the game to outdo your typical at bat by a member of the New York Yankees.
"But wait," you say, "there's a sellout streak! Surely the seats will be completely filled!"
Alright, I know you don't actually say that, but allow me my lazy cliched segue.
You see, Bob Hohler and Seth Lasko of the Boston Globe have taken it upon themselves to investigate the legitimacy of the streak that has seen some 723 straight "full houses" at Fenway. The results pretty much confirm what most of us either knew or expected: no, Fenway is not completely sold out on most nights. Tickets are available late into the game, and can be acquired for free at the gates right before closing.
Others end up being sold at lower than face value on the online resale market. While companies like AceTicket likely more than make their money back with jacked up prices on the better seats in the house and the bigger games, there's no doubt that they're eating a few here and there when they likely have to buy large packages of seats to get the real choice offerings.
Less questionable is the distribution of free tickets to charitable organizations and their like. While you'll have to take Sox VP Sam Kennedy's word for it that they give away fewer tickets than most teams (really, that's not surprising since most teams can't expect anything close to a sellout on any given night), that's not something a team should ever really be called to question on.
Frankly, in the end, who cares? Obviously the Fenway brass do because of the way a sellout streak suggests that everything's all right, but it's not going to distract fans from what's on the field. Sellout streaks aren't enough to make a losing team good, and losing said sellout streak isn't actually going to hurt the Red Sox any.
Per Alex Speier, the Red Sox have pushed Daisuke Matsuzaka's next rehab start back a few days to Monday. Before you start bemoaning the inability of anyone on this team to get healthy, however, you should know that for once it's actually not a setback!
Instead, it's weather that's keeping Daisuke off the mound. Rather than risk having Matsuzaka bounced around waiting for rain to clear out, the team has decided to just take a few days and make sure everything is set in stone so that his rehab can continue to go as smoothly as possible.
With Daisuke already working in Triple-A, it might not be long until he's ready to start again in the majors. The question becomes, with Aaron Cook already pushing for one spot, how does the team make room? These things do have a way of working themselves out, but hopefully that doesn't end up being due to injury.
Finally, some bad news from the minors as the league announced today that Mathew Price, Boston's 8th round pick from 2010, has been suspended 50 games for a second violation of the Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program for a drug of abuse.
We don't know what the drug in question is--only that it's not a PED--so we won't open that can of worms here. Hopefully Price can work out any problems he might have, but at least for the team, callous though it may be to say, this is no big hit. Price has thrown all of three innings with them since being drafted.