Written by The Staff
Monday, 02 July 2007 06:23
The Boston Red Sox and Portland Sea Dogs today announced the extension of their Player Development Contact (PDC) for an additional four years. The extension keeps the Red Sox Double-A affiliation in Portland through the 2012 season. Red Sox Vice President/Player Personnel Ben Cherington and Sea Dogs’ President and General Manager Charlie Eshbach made the announcement in a Monday afternoon press conference at Hadlock Field.
“We are thrilled to extend our PDC with the Portland Sea Dogs through the 2012 season," Cherington said.
"The most important ingredient in an affiliate is the people involved, and we are very fortunate to work with some of the best people in Minor League Baseball here in Portland. Dan Burke, Charlie Eshbach, and the entire Sea Dogs’ staff have consistently gone the extra mile to provide support to our players and staff over the last 4 ½ years. This support translates to performance on the field over the course of a long minor league season.
"The planned clubhouse improvements will make Portland an upper echelon Double-A facility, benefiting our players and staff for years to come."
(Select Read More to see more details on the extended agreement between the Red Sox and Porland)
The Sea Dogs began their relationship with the Boston Red Sox on September 18, 2002 after nine years with the Florida Marlins. The Sea Dogs and Red Sox originally entered into a two-year Player Development Contract that ran through the 2004 season. On May 14, 2004 the Sea Dogs and Red Sox announced a four year extension keeping the Red Sox in Portland through the 2008 season. Today’s extension will keep the Red Sox in Portland for an additional four years. Player Development Contracts can be extended in either two or four year increments with a four-year extension being the longest extension permissible.
"We are thrilled with the extension of the PDC with the Boston Red Sox,” said Eshbach. “When we joined with the Red Sox in September 2002, it was with the intention of establishing a long-term relationship. The extension of the PDC for an additional four years helps to further strengthen that bond. “The caliber of the people we work with is for us the most important part of the PDC. Working with the Red Sox ownership, Ben Cherington, Mike Hazen, the coaching staffs and the entire Red Sox organization has been a wonderful experience. We look forward to continuing to work with them as a member of Red Sox Nation."
Upon changing affiliations in 2003, the Sea Dogs erected a likeness of Fenway Park ’s famed Green Monster in left field. The skyboxes at Hadlock Field were also renamed in honor of former Red Sox legendary hitters. Other improvements to Hadlock Field that have taken place since the Red Sox arrived in 2003 are the installation of a new playing surface for the 2006 season and the U.S. Cellular Pavilion seats in right field, which are modeled after the Monster Seats at Fenway Park. The addition of that seating area made Hadlock Field the fourth largest ballpark by seating capacity in the Eastern League. Each season the Sea Dogs have been affiliated with the Red Sox a new attendance record has been set, the latest coming in 2006 when the Sea Dogs averaged a franchise record 6,358 fans per game.
The most significant and rewarding moment of the affiliation came on September 17, 2006, when the Portland Sea Dogs captured their first Eastern League Championship in the franchise’s 13-year history. The Sea Dogs have made two straight playoff appearances with the Red Sox affiliation.
Sea Dogs alumni currently with the Red Sox include Josh Beckett, Manny Delcarmen, Jacoby Ellsbury, Kason Gabbard, Jonathan Papelbon, Dustin Pedroia, and Kevin Youkilis. Overall, 29 former Sea Dogs have gone on to play for the Boston Red Sox.
Portland is one of Boston ’s six minor league affiliates, joining Triple-A Pawtucket (International League), Single-A Lancaster (California League), Single-A Greenville (South Atlantic League), Single-A Lowell (New York-Penn League), and Rookie Gulf Coast Red Sox (Gulf Coast League).