Flaherty starts on field of childhood dreams

Flaherty starts on field of childhood dreams

BOSTON -- Maine native Ryan Flaherty joked that he was going broke given the wealth of tickets he has left for family and friends over this weekend's three-game series in Boston. But the approximately 30 people who had passes for Sunday afternoon's game got to see him make his seventh start of the season and first career start in left on a Fenway Park field he grew up watching on television.

"It's pretty special," Flaherty said of getting to start in front of his friends and family against the team he cheered as a kid. "I'm not sure if I'm going to get a lot of time to take in the moment [of playing in front of the Green Monster], but it's exciting."

"You can't come to Boston for three days and not play a guy named Flaherty," manager Buck Showalter quipped. "Plus, the passes he's been leaving. [Didn't] want to disappoint anybody. No, he needs to play. So does Nick [Johnson]. We need to keep them involved in the game, keep them active on both sides of the ball."

Flaherty, who hit leadoff, grounded out in his first two at-bats before connecting on a single. He also made a great grab in front of the Green Monster in the fifth.

A Rule 5 Draft pick, Flaherty was one of this spring's final roster decisions, and the magnitude of him playing in the series finale wasn't lost on Showalter.

"I'm sure at some point he will look at that sign in left field and go, 'Really?'" Showalter said. "But guys like him, they get over that quickly and get on with the competition. You kind of live it through his eyes, too. I'll glance down [at] him a couple of times today and go, 'That's pretty cool.' It's fun to watch. I hope he has a good day. You kind of realize what a big day it is."