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THE RIVER - AUGUST 7, 2015
As Baseball Season Reaches The
Final Two Months, The Roles Of Twins
And Red Sox Have Flip-Flopped
by Ed Frank
In baseball lingo, we have entered the “dog days of summer”
as the six-month grind of the baseball season dwindles down
to its final two months – August and September.
It’s appropriate, therefore, to examine and analyze our two
“local” Major League teams, Boston and Minnesota, just as we
did when they left here in early April at the end of spring train-
Clearly, the Red Sox have been one of the most disappoint-
ing, if not the most disappointing, team in baseball this year. A
heavy favorite to reach post-season play at the beginning of the
season, it now appears the team will finish the season in last
place in the American League Eastern Division for the third time in the last four years.
As the week began, Boston was 47-59, trailing the first-place New York Yankees by
At the beginning of the season, the Red Sox were given a 63 percent chance to
reach the playoffs. Those odds now have dropped to one percent, according to Major
Did the 2015 demise of the Red Sox prompt this week’s announcement of the
retirement of Larry Lucchino, the team’s president and CEO? Apparently not, accord-
ing to various sources inside the Red Sox hierarchy. But it will result in likely changes
in the front office.
However, the jobs of General Manager Ben Cherington and Field Manager John
Farrell appear safe.
After spending more than $200 million in the off-season to sign nine new players,
including All-Stars Hanley Ramirez and Pablo Sandoval, the 2015 season appeared
bright. It dimmed to disappointment almost from the start.
Now we will turn to the Minnesota Twins, one of the biggest surprises in the cur-
In early April, the Twins, according to MCB.com, were given only a six percent
chance to make the playoffs. Those odds have grown to 32 percent as of Monday of
Despite losing Monday to the Toronto Blue Jays when newly acquired pitcher David
Price limited the Twins to three hits in a 5-1 loss, Minnesota, 54-51 for the season,
was tied with Toronto for the first wildcard slot in the American League. Remember,
this was a team that had lost more than 90 games in each of the previous four sea-
Just four months ago, the baseball experts predicted a last-place finish for
Minnesota in the AL Central. They were holding to a second-place division standing,
trailing Kansas City by eight games.
With the 2015 season two-thirds completed, it’s been a flip-flop for the Red Sox
and Twins as had been expected. But that’s baseball.
Finally, we know there are huge numbers of Chicago Cubs fans in our area just as
there are throughout the country.
Riding a five-game winning streak and 10 games over .500 for the first time in
seven years, the Cubs were tied with the San Francisco Giants for the second wild-
card in the National League. MLB.com rated the Cubs at 62.6 percent to reach post-
Miracle Face First-Place Palm Beach Six of Next Nine Games
The Fort Myers Miracle Advanced Class A baseball team began the week in third
place in the Florida State League South Division with a 21-17 second-half season
record. They trailed first-place Palm Beach by four games.
The Miracle, however, has the opportunity to close the gap on Palm Beach during
the next 10 days as they face the Cardinals six times in the next 10 games.
Fort Myers is on the road this week at Palm Beach and St. Lucie before returning
home to Hammond Stadium next Thursday for a three-game series with the Cardinals.
The Thursday and Friday games have 7:05 p.m. starts and Saturday’s game begins at
6:05 p.m .
The 11th annual Fillet & Release
fishing tournament will benefit
Hope Hospice, a nonprofit health
care organization dedicated to provid-
ing care and comfort to every individual
and their loved ones as they fulfill life’s
More than 50 boats will participate
in a one-day, light tackle, inshore fishing
tournament featuring cash payout based
on the number of entries. Anglers will fish
for redfish and snook.
Additional prizes will be awarded to
the angler that catches the largest slot
redfish and the mystery fish that weighs
the most. The female angler who catches
the largest redfish will also receive a cash
The tournament will be held Saturday,
September 12. Registration is from 6:30
to 7:30 a.m. Fishing hours are from 7
a.m. to 3 p.m. Dinner, awards and raffle
prizes will follow at 4 p.m. at Matanzas
Inn, 414 Crescent Street on Fort Myers
Cost is $250 per team, maximum of
four anglers per boat. To register, contact
Amy Andrew, event chair, at 940-4473
or go to www.hopehcs.org/Fish.
FPL Installs New Grid To Enhance
Electric System Serving Fort Myers
Florida Power & Light Company (FPL) has planned a number of system
upgrades in the Fort Myers area, including the deployment of new smart grid
technology as part of its ongoing work to provide customers with affordable,
reliable electric service. In 2015, FPL will install 15 automated switches along its
main “feeder” power lines and 444 automated switches along smaller “lateral”
lines serving neighborhoods in Fort Myers as part of the company’s electric system
upgrades in the area.
“FPL is investing to build a stronger and smarter grid our customers in Fort Myers
can count on in good weather and bad. This includes a number of new projects in the
area, starting with the installation of smart, automated switches that provide greater
visibility across the electric system and allow us to restore power for our customers
faster when there is an issue,” said Manny Miranda, FPL senior vice president of
The automated devices detect and prevent potential problems along the electric
grid, as well as restore and reroute power, when necessary, to reduce the number of
customers affected by an outage.
2015 Work In Fort Myers
In addition to the installation of the automated switches, FPL will upgrade the
power lines serving community thoroughfares along Winkler Avenue, and key facilities
such as the Florida Dept. of Transportation’s Southwest Interagency Facility. The proj-
ects strengthen the electric system to better withstand major storms and allow for fast-
er service restoration following power outages. The work includes installing stronger
utility poles, including in some projects, concrete poles that are designed to withstand
wind gusts of up to 145 mph.
Overall, FPL is upgrading two main power lines in Fort Myers in 2015. Other
improvements in Fort Myers this year include: inspecting 2,270 utility poles for
strength, clearing vegetation – a common cause of power outages – from 250 miles of
power lines and inspecting five main lines with advanced infrared technology.
Strengthening The Grid
When the planned 2015 work is completed, FPL will have made the following
improvements in and
near Fort Myers since
the last major hurri-
cane season in 2005:
• Reinforced 12
main power lines,
including those serv-
ing critical local
facilities such as the
Lee County Port
Authority Page Field
facility, two Tice
Fire Protection &
Hospital, Health Park
Medical Center, Shell
Coast Hospital and
the City of Fort
• Inspected 24,220
utility poles, restoring
or replacing those that no longer meet the company’s standards for strength.
• Cleared 1,960 miles of power lines of trees and vegetation, a major cause of
• Inspected 67 main power lines and equipment using the latest infrared technol-
ogy, helping FPL address issues before they cause outages.
Since 2006, FPL has invested more than $2 billion across its 35-county service
area – in addition to its other ongoing system maintenance and improvement work –
to make the electric grid stronger and smarter.
Florida Power & Light Company is committed to building a
stronger and smarter grid to provide electricity customers can
count on in good weather and bad. Last week, crew members
installed new smart grid devices in Fort Myers, including auto-
mated switches designed to improve service for customers in
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