RIP MikeF

Marbleheader

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Sep 27, 2004
11,905
Mike helped us transition from the bleak winter to the hope of spring for many years. Happy to have had the opportunity to meet him. Rest in peace, legend.
 

BoSoxLady

Rules Red Sox Nation with an Iron Fist
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Apr 24, 2003
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Before SoSH...before the DTFC…there was this hodgepodge of online baseball forums called Fastball that I’m sure some of you remember. Anyway – at one point on there around 1997 or so, Mike & I figured out we both lived in Burlington and decided to meet for a pint at the VT Pub & Brewery. We became fast friends and over the years we probably ended up having over a hundred meals together at that pub (including Game 5 of the ’04 ALCS as @yecul noted above).

We took in a bunch of games together at Centennial Field where the VT Expos/Lake Monsters play. Mike had season tix right behind where the next day’s pitcher’s always sat charting pitches. When the 50/50 raffle folks came buy hawking the $5 for an arm length deal – Mike always pointed to the tallest pitcher in the radar gun box and said “use his arm”. Never got old, and even paid off a couple times.

We roadtripped to many a game at Fenway (the first few in his old wood panel LeBaron convertible) – and took longer trips to Detroit and Atlanta and Baltimore together – Mike had enough old baseball stories and terrible jokes at his disposal to make even the longest ride seem too short, damn we had fun on those trips. He was the kindest, most generous man you could imagine and a great friend. I’m going to miss him terribly. RIP my friend.
Beautiful. You met us at that pub once when we picked up Deb and drove to VT to
visit Mike in the hospital. He was close to being given last rights and after we all visited, he recovered and made many more trips to spring training. We miss him so much.
 

Ale Xander

Hamilton
SoSH Member
Oct 31, 2013
76,318
RIP Mayor of Fort Myers

His spring training and other posts were what inspired me to go down to Spring Training in 2019 and 2020.
 

BoSoxLady

Rules Red Sox Nation with an Iron Fist
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Apr 24, 2003
3,449
From Breakfasts at the Farmer's Market to games at City of Palms and beyond, we will miss our times with Mike.

We will pour out a bottle of REAL Vermont Maple Syrup in his memory
He was a Vermont maple syrup savant among his numerous other talents.
 

edoug

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
6,007
Baseball is about traditions and MikeF's spring training reports were amongst the most special of them. They are going to be greatly missed. But not as as much as we will miss him. RIP
 

pokey_reese

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SoSH Member
Jun 25, 2008
16,368
Boston, MA
Damn. Nothing to add to what others have already said better, but at this time of year (and especially THIS year), missing those ST reports will hit a little differently. RIP Mike.
 

Ferm Sheller

Member
SoSH Member
Mar 5, 2007
21,544
I'm terribly sorry to hear this. Like others, I always enjoyed his ST reports. He's SoSH royalty.
 

MyDaughterLovesTomGordon

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SoSH Member
Jun 26, 2006
14,690
Before SoSH...before the DTFC…there was this hodgepodge of online baseball forums called Fastball that I’m sure some of you remember. Anyway – at one point on there around 1997 or so, Mike & I figured out we both lived in Burlington and decided to meet for a pint at the VT Pub & Brewery. We became fast friends and over the years we probably ended up having over a hundred meals together at that pub (including Game 5 of the ’04 ALCS as @yecul noted above).

We took in a bunch of games together at Centennial Field where the VT Expos/Lake Monsters play. Mike had season tix right behind where the next day’s pitcher’s always sat charting pitches. When the 50/50 raffle folks came buy hawking the $5 for an arm length deal – Mike always pointed to the tallest pitcher in the radar gun box and said “use his arm”. Never got old, and even paid off a couple times.

We roadtripped to many a game at Fenway (the first few in his old wood panel LeBaron convertible) – and took longer trips to Detroit and Atlanta and Baltimore together – Mike had enough old baseball stories and terrible jokes at his disposal to make even the longest ride seem too short, damn we had fun on those trips. He was the kindest, most generous man you could imagine and a great friend. I’m going to miss him terribly. RIP my friend.
This is everything I love about baseball and this place. Thanks for sharing and love and light to you and everyone lucky enough to know him who now feels his loss.
 

Sille Skrub

Dope
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Mar 3, 2004
5,984
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Very sorry to hear of his loss - I too greatly admired MikeF's spring training posts and looked forward to reading them every day for many a February and March. Part of what truly made this board and community an incredible gem.

I just tried to take a quick search to see if I could discover a few old reports, but couldn't find any with my admittedly rudimentary SOSH search capabilities. I'd love to read through a couple of old reports if anyone happens to have any saved or access to the old board.
I think this will do it.

(or at least get you to some of his old posts)
 

Gash Prex

Member
SoSH Member
Apr 18, 2002
6,918
One of my favorite times of year was reading the MikeF spring training reports. I hope his family knows how much joy he spread around the world.

Wishing the best for his family in this difficult time.
 

AZMaineiac

New Member
Jul 18, 2005
2
I've been lurking here since 2001 and always enjoyed MikeF's spring reports; may he RIP, and best wishes to his family and friends. If there were a SOSH HOF, he'd be a first balloter.
 

TheDeuce222

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 19, 2005
387
I think this will do it.

(or at least get you to some of his old posts)
Thanks, SS. I had landed there this morning, but there are no posts older than 2014 within the 10 pages of results that come up, and it doesn't look like any spring training reports are on there. Mike may have stopped doing it before then. Regardless, I remember the reports fondly, and am so grateful Mike took the time to do them for us. It is so greatly appreciated.
 

Mugsy's Jock

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Dec 28, 2000
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Man, I well up a little just thinking about those spring training reports. The joy and humor he took from the Red Sox just always put me in a good mood, and ready for a World Series season no matter what anybody else had to say.

Appreciate you, MikeF.
 

ookami7m

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Jul 15, 2005
5,823
Mobile, AL
RIP Mike - the King of Fort Myers - like many others have said his reports from Spring Training were one of the reasons I stuck around SoSH when I was new. My thoughts are with his family, both blood and those of you who are his family here.
 

TedsColdHead

Member
SoSH Member
Dec 23, 2002
113
RIP Mike. I have missed the Spring Training reports the last few years and thought of Mike. It truly was a pleasure to read his reports.
 

Ramon AC

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Apr 19, 2002
3,267
What?
Mike F was our eyes and ears on the ground, he was invaluable to helping us understand how the team was coming together, and what the atmospherics were like. I’m sad to have lost a SoSH legend and a good Vermonter. Love from me and my family to all who loved Mike.
 

nayrbrey

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Jul 20, 2005
2,614
Driving somewhere most likely
I will echo others in saying his reports were the big excitement for spring training for me as a lurker all those years ago. It meant spring was just around the corner here in New England, and we could dive into the lineup minutiae and pitching decisions soon enough. Rest In Peace sir and condolences to his family and those that knew him.
It looks like some of his reports still live on in the old tapatalk website:

https://www.tapatalk.com/groups/sonsofsamhorn/mike-f-s-spring-training-reports-f74/

On days like today in the early 2000 I’d be itching to read his reports.

edit: for that link it shows the last post/poster, just click and it will take you to Mikes OP.
 
Last edited:

Dotrat

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Jul 11, 2002
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I'm so sorry for your loss. Like many have said, I never met Mike but always looked forward his spring training reports.
 

Dinkleberries

New Member
Jul 13, 2011
25
West Newbury , MA
I've been lurking with one account or another here since 2000 or 2001 - I was living in Seattle then and terribly homesick. I splurged on the NHL package so that I could follow the Bruins and Bourque in Colorado but was missing out on all of the other Boston teams and found SoSH via Simmons, I think. I very rarely post here but have no words for the astounding quality of content, discussion, and knowledge here and am very lucky to have found it when I did - I feel, after all of these years, like I know many of you as ridiculous as that might sound.

I never met Mike, but looked forward to his reports every year - it signaled spring for me, a return to baseball and optimism and the wonderful camaraderie that he and those who knew him clearly shared. I am very sad to hear that he has passed and will miss his effortless enthusiasm for our Sox.
 

Deathofthebambino

Drive Carefully
SoSH Member
Apr 12, 2005
42,420
Such sad news, and it sucks getting older around here some days. Cheri and the other spring training folks, Cumby, Lose, etc., my thoughts to all of you and Mike's family. His spring training reports were as good as anything you could find anywhere on the state of the team. The man loved him some Jimmy Pearsall, and may be one of the few SoSH'ers besides me that likes the tv show, NCIS.

I still use a line in daily life that Mike once said around here. "Close only counts in hand grenades and drive in movies" (everyone else has heard horseshoes instead). Whenever someone says horseshoes and hand grenades, I always reply "and drive in movies." Usually met with a look of confusion, but it works. RIP MIkeF, hopefully you can put in a word and get MLB back on the field soon.
 

bankshot1

Member
SoSH Member
Feb 12, 2003
25,250
where I was last at
Mike's post from Ft Myers was part of our spring training to get us ready for the season ahead, and he was good at it. My sincerest condolences to his family and friends, here and globally. Mike's contributions made this place special.

RIP Mike
 

jmcc5400

Member
SoSH Member
Sep 29, 2000
5,580
I will echo others in saying his reports were the big excitement for spring training for me as a lurker all those years ago. It meant spring was just around the corner here in New England, and we could dive into the lineup minutiae and pitching decisions soon enough. Rest In Peace sir and condolences to his family and those that knew him.
It looks like some of his reports still live on in the old tapatalk website:

https://www.tapatalk.com/groups/sonsofsamhorn/mike-f-s-spring-training-reports-f74/

On days like today in the early 2000 I’d be itching to read his reports.
Here's one from March 2005 that Mike entitled "World Series redux." It brought a tear to my eye for myriad reasons - the discussion of young Hanley as a middle infield prospect made me particularly wistful:

Wednesday 3/16/05

Wednesday was a wonderful day and a wonderful game for a Sox fan to watch. It was like October, the Cards, the Sox and the thunder rolling all over Jason Marquis. SoSH member Amy in the South was in the house with a couple of college friends.

With a wind gusting to 30mph essentially from right to left, Tim Wakefield pitched four innings allowing four hits and but one run. He was aided by the throwing out of one base stealer and a snappy 6-4-3 to end the fourth inning. The 1st hit was a respect single to CF by Pujols. Payton playing a little deeper respectfully took a half-step back before charging the liner and it fell in front of him.

Foulke tossed a nice inning allowing one walk and one K. The inning started with a grounder to Hanleys right. He backhanded the ball, bobbled it, regained control and on the cocking of his arm lost it again. The next pitch was a quick 5-4-3 DP. An interesting duel between Foulke and Pujols resulted in a walk but the next hitter flailed at a change to end the inning.

Matt Mantei blew a FB by John Mabry but on the 2nd pitch Mabry swinging way late lined out to Left. A walk, a single to RF and a single to CF had a run in with two on. Mantei then Ked the #9 hitter and induced a routine 6-3 to escape. He seemed to be really popping some fastballs, which should be a good sign. He didnt seem to get many low strikes and I dont mean that he wasnt getting close calls, he just didnt throw a lot of down pitches for strikes. If you get to see him from the TV camera in CF perhaps someone can help as to whether he was throwing some kind of quick breaking pitch of just missing low with not so fastballs.

After a routine 4-3, was charged with 4 successive singles. To be fair the 1st three were all short pops to the OF and diving catches were just not made and the 4th successive single was hit off Embree and changed direction so that Hanley couldnt corral it in time to make any play. So Embree now with the bases loaded and a run in induced a foul pop to 3rd before surrendering the hardest hit ball of the inning, a line drive to CF. Adam Hyzdu made a star diving catch absolutely stretched out to save the inning. Alan, buy that man a steak dinner.

Cressend threw a zippy 1-2-3.

Lenny got a pop to CF, walked the next guy and quickly got a 6-4-3, "say goodnight Gracie."

Offensively, Billy Mueller absolutely smashed the ball in all three ABs. He homered, prolly with a little wind aid (it was a Fenway single) to the opposite field in the 1st. Lined out to RF and lined a sharp single to CF.

Manny singles to CF whacked a long solo homer to LF and Ked before retiring to ST things.

David, he of the not as happy to be batting 4th as Manny is to be hitting 3rd Davids) sandwiched a long homer (hit 20 feet above the 410 mark to CF) between 2 well earned walks. Apparently until the #5 guy starts heating up David will not see much to hit in key situations, but then he hasnt for 2 years now.

Renteria, of whom Dave heard some folks say Ren Tear ia (accent on the 2nd syllable) managed a single between a 4-6-3DP and a K.

Millar reached on a dropped 3rd K, and dropped is generous as it rolled almost to the backstop. Rapped into a 5-4-3 and later doubled only to victimize himself on a weird play. Standing on 2nd base with a leadoff double, Millar got trapped twixt 2nd and 3rd as Belli smashed a swinging bunt that went about 15 in front of the plate. He was tagged out on the rundown trying to get into 3rd and Belli trying to stretch his good luck got gunned down about 10 short of 2nd base. The play went 2-5-6-5---4.

The Subs: Youk drew two walks, quelle surprise. Hyzdu homered and took a K. Hanley flied out to RF and walked and Lombard walked and flied out.

Defensively Hanley didnt have the best of times. In addition to the backhander and bobble, he failed to get to a high bouncer up the middle. Now I will acknowledge that Dave and I was hard markers, but in this instance Hanley seemed to be not taking the most direct route to the ball. It appeared as if he was bounding beautifully rather than moving in a straight line. Perhaps picky-picky and maybe someone who has the play on tape can check us out.

Thursdays game with the Marlins will be played Friday because of thunderstorms and a quick tornado lookout. So maybe the green uniforms will get used a day late or saved for next year. If the later, no doubt because Craig Riley couldnt make it this year.

* I was thinking about old age and decided that it is when you still have something on the ball but you are just too tired to bounce it.
The sun is shining, the temperature is usually above 70F, Soft but cooling breezes prevail. Spring Training has started, God is in Heaven and all is right with the world.
You can feel the warm breeze DeJesus described.
 

Harry Hooper

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Does anyone know how to find his old reports? Now would be a nice time for a trip down memory lane. RIP, MikeF.
Skrub posted some links upthread.

Very sad news. I had a blast watching the Sox in Ft. Myers and chatting with MikeF.
 

Leskanic's Thread

lost underscore
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Jul 16, 2005
2,864
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I started lurking here sometime between the Thanksgiving Day meal and the A-Rod "ALIVE" roller coaster. For many years, seeing his reports roll in helped soothe the jittery winter feeling that, somehow, maybe, baseball just wasn't coming back ever again. I never met him but definitely had a para-social relationship with him fueled by the joy and jealousy his spring training sojourns gave me. It's been nice to read in this thread all the reports that he was somehow even a better person than his reports made him sound.

RIP to him and my condolences to his loved ones. While I know it's not true, I'm going to let myself believe that the looming threat of baseball actually not coming back this year is because they need to dim the lights for Mike F.
 

soxfaninyankeeland

Magic Johnson of Bird AIDS
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Nov 29, 2003
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I’m one who stopped by to meet Mike at ST. He was gracious, kind and much more interested in learning about me than he was in being thanked for his funny, informative and at times irreverent ST posts. Those posts were a first robin of spring for me and I’m sure many others. Condolences to his family and his legion of friends. RIP.
 

Norm Siebern

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May 12, 2003
7,170
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Condolences to his family and to those on SoSH who were his extended family. Just as so many others here I lived spring training vicariously through his reports. Reading the posts about him by those who knew him personally makes me appreciate the hole his passing creates. Peace to all of you. And Godspeed and RIP to Mike.
 

AlNipper49

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Apr 3, 2001
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Mike and Stiffy - the bookends of class and delight.
I’m not a heaven guy but I’d like to think those two polar opposites in personality (but both super guys) are hanging out tonight. There is absolutely no way that Stiffy hasn’t taken that place over by now, and can probably offer Mike a premium seat looking over us assholes.
 

Manramsclan

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Jul 14, 2005
3,385
MikeF was one of the people who made this place special when I first started to lurk on SoSH around 2002. Thanks for the passion and I am so happy he got to see four(!) World Series Championships before he passed on. Love to his friends and family
 

John Marzano Olympic Hero

has fancy plans, and pants to match
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Apr 12, 2001
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I’m not a heaven guy but I’d like to think those two polar opposites in personality (but both super guys) are hanging out tonight. There is absolutely no way that Stiffy hasn’t taken that place over by now, and can probably offer Mike a premium seat looking over us assholes.
This is nice. I think that Mike would have liked the sentiments. RIP to a great one.
 

philly sox fan

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Mar 7, 2000
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Damn it, the world needs more people like Mike, not fewer. Had a chance to catch a game with him down in Ft Myers many years ago. As you'd imagine, it was a great way to pass an afternoon.

When it came to signaling the coming baseball season Truck Day had nothing on Mike's first report from the Fort. Such fond memories of those days, it can't help but bring a smile even on such a sad day.
 

taxmancometh

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Jul 15, 2005
331
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The loss of MikeF to his family and friends is tremendous. I didn't know MikeF personally, but it saddens me deeply that I'll never read one of his reports from Spring training