Red Sox

Red Sox fans let Astros fans take over Fenway

Red Sox fans let Astros fans take over Fenway

The Red Sox 'pen looked better than the Red Sox fans on Friday night.

Maybe it’s the effect of winning a World Series, for both fan bases. Clearly, the shine has worn off a bit in Boston after three titles this millennium — and that's just the Red Sox. Astros fans, meanwhile, are still basking in the glow of an amazing 2017. 

Certainly, some of Fenway Park’s atmosphere was due to the fact the Texans are in Foxboro on Sunday. A weekend trip to Boston is cheaper for Houstonians if you’re seeing not one, but two teams: the Texans may be the big ticket, and the Astros the bonus. Or perhaps it’s the other way around.

Whatever the cause, the scene was strange on Friday night at Fenway Park, when Astros fans were so much more raucous than their Sox counterparts. The Texans (the people, not the team) were loud and overpowering, the Bostonians stunned, or at least subdued.

Except, of course, when Sweet Caroline played in the eighth inning.

“Dude, that was a trip man,” Astros starter Gerrit Cole said on Friday night. “I couldn’t believe everyone was out there, they’re probably going to the Patriots game, going to double dip. That’s all right. I was talking to the guy at the hotel and he was like, ‘Oh my Gosh, I was over at the park earlier and you guys have so many fans. I’ve never seen anything like this. The Yankees don’t even pull this.’

“He dropped the 'I’ve been working here for 15 years’ kind of thing, so I guess it’s a big deal for Houston fans to be here. It was great to have the support, especially around the bullpen and especially around the dugout.”

Yankees fans do still draw well. But usually, Sox fans give it right back to them. The natural give and take. The Astros fans were everywhere, and maybe they were simply unexpected. They crawled the Green Monster. They were hooting and hollering as they left the park. Orange shirts were pooling in different pockets throughout the night.

Do Red Sox fans not feel the sense of animosity toward the Astros that they should? Did last year’s playoffs not leave a memorable bruise? Everyone saw the American League Division Series, right?

During the game “Let’s Go Astros,” wasn’t some small interruption. Anyone in the park could hear it — coordinated, fluid. Loud. Just odd.

Maybe the noise balance was an aberration. Maybe it was just an off night for the Sox fans in a great season. You know, like the Sox bullpen in a 6-3 loss. 

It was very hot in Boston this week. People may have been tired. Back to school, all that. It doesn’t get too hot in Houston, remember.

Either way, Sox fans can do better. They almost always do. They should rediscover their voice for Saturday. Practice a bit. Tom Brady deserves a lot of love on Sunday, but so does the best team in baseball by record.

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE

MLB Rumors: Yankees, Reds finalizing Sonny Gray trade

sonny_gray.jpg
USA TODAY Sports

MLB Rumors: Yankees, Reds finalizing Sonny Gray trade

The New York Yankees continue to stay active as the 2019 season approaches.

The Yankees are finalizing a trade with the Cincinnati Reds involving starting pitcher Sonny Gray, Fancred's Jon Heyman reported Saturday. The Reds reportedly will send 23-year-old infield prospect Shed Long to New York in a return package.

Gray had an uninspiring tenure in New York, posting an 11-9 record and a 4.90 ERA last season as a back-end starter. The 29-year-old likely would have been the Yankees sixth starter in 2019, so it appears they're trying to get value for him now rather than let him walk in free agency.

The Boston Red Sox will be sad to see Gray leave the American League East; they lit up the right-hander for 12 runs on 15 hits over just 7 1/3 innings in 2018.

New York reportedly also has its eye on Colorado Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado, but Heyman doesn't see a blockbuster trade happening anytime soon.

It's been a busy week for the Yankees, who bolstered their bullpen Thursday by reportedly adding free-agent reliever Adam Ottavino. The Boston Red Sox had targeted Ottavino, as well, but New York clearly has serious plans to upgrade its roster its nemesis ended its 100-win season in the 2018 American League Division Series.

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Celtics easily on your device.

Chris Sale has watched World Series final out "couple hundred thousand times"

Chris Sale has watched World Series final out "couple hundred thousand times"

MASHANTUCKET, Conn. — Chris Sale is you and you are Chris Sale.

He may even have rewatched the final out of the 2018 World Series more times than you.

"I've watched it maybe a couple hundred thousand times,” Sale said Saturday at Winter Weekend. “It never gets old. Those last, even just watching kind of the highlights from the entire series, it's really special. It's cool. I've worked my entire life and we as a team worked from Day 1 of spring training to get there. And we got it. It was everything you can dream of.”

See it again:

Sale was happy to go down memory lane back to Game 5 of the World Series in Los Angeles. 

“Those were the funnest three outs I've ever gotten,” Sale said. “Being able to come back and share that with the fans obviously, with the parade, but even this weekend here, it's going to be special.

"It's like, all right, you got [a lead of] four runs and three outs to get: Don't trip and don't mess it up. It was really special though. I look at the video, I see a couple still shots of guys in the bullpen [cheering] and it'll give you chills. Like I said, it was the funnest three outs I've ever gotten, and the lead up to that wasn't any less. Plus, warming up in Dodgers Stadium is not the easiest thing to do. So it was awesome. I enjoyed it. Hopefully, we get to do the same thing this year.”

Sale, who says he’s healthy now, has long been adamant that winning was his only goal. Now that he has a championship, his outlook hasn’t changed, unsurprisingly.

“Instead of winning a World Series, I want to win another one,” Sale said. “Nothing changes. My wife asked me that same question: ‘You work your entire life to achieve this goal so what do you do once you achieve it?’ [Shoot], you do it again. It’s why we sign up. You win once and you want to keep winning, and when you don’t win, all you want to do is win. Our goal is to continue to keep winning games and win a couple of those trophies.”

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Celtics easily on your device.