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It's never too early to talk Red Sox Baseball

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WZON hosts its 10th Annual Baseball Hot Stove Night

BANGOR - The Boston Red Sox don't start spring training for a few more weeks, but fans came out to the Bangor Civic Center Monday Night ready to talk about how the team will fare in the upcoming season.

Six hundred baseball fans came out for the 10th Annual WZON Baseball Hot Stove Night. This was a night where fans were treated to the presence of Red Sox radio personalities Joe Castiglione and Dave O'Brien. During this two hour event, fans were given the opportunity to ask questions to Castiglione and O'Brien regarding the Boston Red Sox.

Before the question and answer period got underway, the crowd in attendance was treated to a special appearance by Maine's own comedian Bob Marley. He entertained the crowd for a half hour and before leaving the stage said, 'The Red Sox will have a great season.'

Red Sox radio announcer of over 30 years Joe Castiglione and broadcast partner Dave O'Brien then came on stage to talk about the terrible 2012 season and how the Sox look going into this year. Both could agree that the Red Sox were in trouble right from spring training and that Bobby Valentine was not the manager they thought he would be.

'Bobby was a very honest guy, saying whatever was on his mind, which got him in trouble at times,' says Castiglione. 'Bobby seemed like a great guy during the times we ate dinner with him. As the season went on though, he became very tight and defensive,' added O'Brien.

As for new manager John Farrell, O'Brien referred to him as the 'anti- Bobby Valentine.' He thought Farrell was the perfect fit given his relationship with pitcher John Lester and the overall need for the pitching to improve. Other topics spoken about were the new players signed over the off-season, Pedro Martinez joining the Red Sox organization, and if Jacoby Ellsbury would re-sign after the season is over.

As for how the Red Sox would fare this season, neither Castiglione nor O'Brien could confidently say this was a playoff caliber team. 'As competitive and wide open as the division is, I am not able to predict an American League East winner this year,' said Castiglione.

The Hot Stove Night also featured free food and a silent auction for autographed Red Sox items, with the money going to the Jimmy Fund. WZON director Toby Nelson has attended seven of the 10 events and says he has been very happy with the growth of the event. 

'You would see 250 people at the first few events and then it kept on growing. This is a great family event that has some of the same faces showing up, new kids, and great fan anticipation.'

The Red Sox first full team workout takes place on Feb. 15, and the team opens up the regular season April 1 against AL East rival the New York Yankees.

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