In this April 20, 2015 photo, vendors hawk sausages outside Fenway Park before a game between the Red Sox and Orioles. The city decided to lift a temporary ban on vendors outside the ballpark. Michael Dwyer/Associated Press

Fenway Park’s street vendors will be safe at home around the historic ballpark come Opening Day after city officials quickly reversed course on a temporary ban on the sausage slingers.

“The vendors are very, very happy,” said Glen Hannington, the attorney who’s representing the people who sell sausages, peanuts and the like outside the 109-year-old park. “You don’t fool around with the vendors. They’re sacred – they’re like the American flag and apple pie.”

The city confirmed on Tuesday that the vendors were good to go.

A public works department spokesman said in a statement Tuesday, “After careful consideration and understanding where the city of Boston stands in the re-opening process, the decision to allow Fenway Park vendors to begin on opening day was made. As we continue to follow COVID-19 protocols, our Inspectional Services Department will provide additional guidelines specific to these vendors and we look forward to another great season of Red Sox baseball.”

The city had found itself caught in a pickle after it emailed the 10-or-so vendors suddenly on Friday, writing, “The city has decided that they will place vending at Fenway Park on hold for the next two months due to COVID concerns. The city will revisit that decision in June and decide at that time the safety of opening Fenway vending activities with COVID guidelines for customer distancing.”

The vendors called Hannington, who’d represented them 23 years ago when the Sox told them right before Christmas that they couldn’t come back. Hannington phoned at-large City Councilor Michael Flaherty, and the two went to work, telling the city it had committed an error.

Speaking on the phone on Tuesday, Hannington said he had been ready – and had the go-ahead from the merchants – to file a lawsuit in Suffolk Superior Court and seek an injunction against the city.

“It should never have happened,” he said. “These are hardworking men and women, and that’s their livelihood.”

He said the vendors are part of the famed ballpark’s mystique – and that the Sox were very cooperative this time around in supporting them. The vendors will be ready to go for the Boston’s home opener on April 1, he said.

Flaherty said in a statement that he was happy to help the vendors after they and Hannington reached out.

“City officials will be working with the vendors to implement guidelines for their safe operation, ensuring that the appropriate social distancing and proper health protocols are in place and strictly enforced,” he said.

EDUARDO RODRIGUEZ appears to be going through a dead-arm period, but Manager Alex Cora remains unbothered by it with just 10 days to go before Opening Day.

Rodriguez was checked out by the trainers on Tuesday, one day after looking gassed in his spring training outing. Head trainer Brad Pearson gave Rodriguez the go-ahead to continue on his five-day schedule as normal.

“I’m comfortable,” Cora said. “Everything is going the way it’s supposed to.”

IN THE BULLPEN: There’s a new reliever in the mix for a spot in the bullpen.

Kevin McCarthy, 29, signed a minor league contract with the Red Sox in November, but has appeared to work his way into the reliever competition. He has a career 3.80 ERA over five seasons with the Kansas City Royals. And he’s yet to allow an earned run in six innings this spring.

“He’s been efficient,” Cora said. “He keeps the ball down. We talk about expanding sometimes up in the zone, but you can actually expand down in the zone. He’s done that. He’s a veteran who knows what he’s doing on the mound. We like him.

“We’ve got what, eight days, seven days to make decisions? He’s a guy we really like a lot. His stuff is different than others we have in camp, and that’s always good, being versatile, having something different. We’ll see where it takes us.”

FOR CHRIS SALE, the goal remains to pitch in games at some point during the 2021 season.

The lefty is returning from Tommy John surgery he underwent last March. He initially began throwing in early September. He has not yet thrown off a mound.

“I would hope so,” pitching coach Dave Bush said about Sale pitching in 2021. “I don’t know exactly what time he’s going to be (ready). … But we (know) it’s never going to follow the plan you lay out. But yes, the goal is to get him back sometime this year. I don’t know exactly what that’s going to look like or when, but that’s the goal right now.”

Sale posted a 6-11 record with a 4.40 ERA, 1.09 WHIP and 3.39 FIP in 25 starts during 2019. He missed time with elbow inflammation in 2019 and shoulder inflammation in 2018.

The ace underwent Tommy John surgery March 30, 2020.

TOP PITCHING prospect Bryan Mata has been shut down since early March after an MRI revealed a slight tear in his ulnar collateral ligament.

The medical staff is trying to treat it without surgery. Mata might begin a throwing program relatively soon.

“He’s in a rehab protocol right now,” said Bush, Boston’s pitching coach. “Certainly he’s not throwing, not on the mound. But I still see him every day. He’s in here every day doing his rehab work and working back towards the throwing program.”

Mata sat at 96-98 mph with his fastball at the alternate training site last summer. He was considered one of the top starting rotation depth options before the injury. He underwent an MRI after feeling right triceps soreness.

Swingman Matt Andriese, who will begin the season in Boston’s bullpen, and Tanner Houck, who will begin 2021 at the alternate training site, remain the two depth options.

Related Headlines

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.