Yesterday Kyle Snyder learned he will be given a chance for a spot in the rotation during spring training. Besides the center field spot, the #5 spot in the rotation will be one of the most interesting developments for this spring. Now that Schilling is out of the rotation, Buchholz, Tavarez, Masterson, and Snyder will compete to win the postition.
Saturday, February 16, 2008
Curt Schilling is in camp after getting a cortisone shot last week. He is following the Red Sox plan for recovery even though he would rather have surgery. He did not speak with the media yesterday(watch the footage below)and has not posted on his blog since his initial announcement on the injury. Schilling has done what he has been asked so far and he seems willing to go through the motions for the Red Sox. The Boston media will not accept silence from Curt; it will lead to speculation of all kinds. Look at this article from today's Herald as an example. At one point Schilling is going to talk and it is most likely going to be about the media, not his shoulder. Sports writers do not like having negative things to said about them and they always respond. Think about the relationship Ted Williams had with the press in Boston, you can also put Manny in this category. In the end some bad press this year could taint Schilling's place in Red Sox history.
Friday, February 15, 2008
For the first time NESN will broadcast spring training workouts live. You may get to see a few sprints, some long toss, and perhaps a fungo bat or two. Not "must see" TV but it beats watching the truck drive to Ft. Myers. Tito gave his take on the broadcasts:
"I never thought about it until I came here," Francona said. "It doesn't surprise me here. What should surprise me, and it probably really won't, is that people will watch it because they care so much. I think that's a testament to how much people care about baseball in New England."
Justin Masterson was one of the players offered to the Twins for Santana but since that deal is no longer going to happen he could be on the Red Sox for a long time. He is a sinker ball pitcher who was in the bullpen until being converted to a starter last year. He arrived in Fort Myers early to begin working out with the club. Before the Schilling injury there was little chance of him getting a spot in the show at the start of the season but he now could if he has a great spring. According to Soxprospects.com he needs more work on his change-up to be ready. Buchholz and Tavarez are the front runners for the #5 spot but don't count Masterson out.
Speaking candidly in Fort Myers, closer Jonathan Papelbon told WBZ TV where he thinks the Red Sox stand going in to the 2008 season:
Thursday, February 14, 2008
Terry Francona talked about Coco and center field today and said the following:
"I just think, coming into camp, we're not going to forget as an organization that he's(Coco) the incumbent. We also understand, Ellsbury, what he can do. Again, I'm probably going to remind people from time to time what Coco has done for us, and I won't lose sight of that. We'll see how this shakes out."
The way I read this is that CF is Coco's to lose and Jacoby will have his work cut out for him. They may have to revive www.startjacoby.com. This could be a big issue if they both have an average spring. I really think they are going to give Coco the starting job to increase his trade value during the spring and trade him at the deadline. It might be tough to see Jacoby start the season riding pine but it might be best for the club in the long run.
Theo spoke to reporters today and gave his take on the Schilling situation, here are some highlights:
"Curt’s here in camp to work hard and rehab and do everything in his power to get back into position and help this team on the field. It’s way too early to put any kind of timetable on it. It’s just step by step he’s at the very beginning of the process. He’ll be rehabbing and strengthening for at least 6-to-8 weeks and then we’ll see where we go from there...His shoulder was strong at the end of last year at the time of the contract and it didn’t respond when it was time to start throwing. His shoulder was strong and he took an MRI and I wouldn’t put fault on our medical staff at all for that."
Nothing here that can be seen as a positive other than that Schilling is in Fort Myers. It looks as if the Sox do not know how serious the injury really is so it could go either way. The team is lucky to have options for both scenarios.
Terry Francona talks about the off-season, Schilling's injury, spring training, and the Japan trip.
Pitchers and catchers need to report to Fort Myers by 5 pm today, the sign that winter is officially over. It is pretty easy to say that from Northern California where the temperature has been in the 70's this week. For the second time in 4 years the Red Sox go into Spring Training as defending champions but somehow this one feels a little different than 2005. After the 2004 World Series there was not as much pressure on the team to repeat; several of the players were in new locations and fans could hold onto the memories of beating the Yankees in the ALCS for a few years. This year there is more pressure; the team is mostly intact, the bench is deeper than ever, and the young players have high expectations. Boston is no longer the lovable underdog around the country and teams will be looking to knock them down. The Red Sox are in a tough situation where anything short of making the World Series will be seen as a failure. As a reality check just remember how close the team was to losing to the Tribe last fall. The Sox are not going to dominate and win 120 games this year but they are going to be good. There will be the rough losing streaks and the Big Papi walk offs and with pitchers and catchers reporting today the predictions will be coming to an end soon and we get to see what the team can really do.
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
There's no question that Jonathan Papelbon will once again be the Sox go-to guy in the 9th. However, on the days when Papelbon isn't available it's looking like the ball will be handed to Manny Delcarmen.
Red Sox pitching coach John Farrell told the Providence Journal, "“We’ve had a number of conversations already this winter to challenge him with an increased role, increased importance, and not to think that last year’s performance was the Manny Delcarmen. I think there’s still room for improvement, certainly with his fastball command. I’d like to think that at some point we can begin to expose him to the closer’s role.”
Somewhere Sammy Sosa is laughing; all he had to do was pretend he didn't understand english and he walked away virtually unscathed while McGuire went down in flames. If McGuires testimony was a crash and burn then Clemens was the Hindenburg disaster. He rode his BS all the way to the point where Rep. Waxman hit the gavel to silence him, and that is what he will be remembered for. Clemens will join other players who are remembered more for the scandals they were involved in than their performance on the field; he will become the Ty Cobb of his generation. When Ty Cobb died none of his former teammates attended his funeral, will Jeter and Pettitte go to Clemens'? Roger's* days in the limelight are over, he will disappear from the front pages and will not be talked about again until his name is on a Hall of Fame Ballot. Roger is making us "misremember" him; he is not to 20 stikeout pitcher for the Red Sox, he is the lying scumbag Yankee pitcher who threw his trainer, best friend and wife under the bus to try and hold on to something he lost years ago. Thanks for giving us the entertaining TV Roger*, pitchers and catchers report tomorrow so we are moving on, your time in the spotlight is over and HGH isn't going to bring it back this time.
In watching the hearings today I noticed the questioning of Roger* was very different depending upon political affiliation. Republican representatives Burton and Foxx defended Roger* and gave him a few softball questions while the Democrats on the committee went after him. Clemens even said George Bush Sr. had spoken with him and said how wrong this investigation was. I don't know what Republicans are trying to gain by defending Roger. After the hearings McNamee's lawyers called Burton and Foxx's actions shameful and thought they acted the way they did because of Roger's personal lobbying. Watch some of the questioning below.
Roger* is getting grilled in front of Congress this morning, you can watch it live here. After the opening statements Roger's stories seem even less believable. Committee chairman Waxman said this in his opening statement: "“We have found conflicts and inconsistencies in Mr. Clemens’ account. During his deposition, he made statements that we know are untrue.” The longer Clemens keeps up this lie the more damage he does to his career. It is very likely Roger* will face a perjury charge after the testimony is done. Andy Pettitte and Chuck Knoblauch both corroborated McNamee's claims and Roger* said his wife did use HGH. Clemens is doing so bad he is making Mark McGuire look like he did a good job in front of Congress.
Update: New evidence comes out about an MRI Clemens had during his time in Toronto.
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
Lester, who is already in Fort Myers was not taking his projected position in the rotation for granted.
"Penciled in, that doesn't mean anything. You want to be inked into that spot. I have to control what I do on a day-to-day basis and go out and pitch and worry about that.
"Only having a year in the big leagues and winning the World Series is a pretty big deal," Lester said, "and the way that it happened last year, with everything that went on and just kind of the road that I took to get up there, it was very special."
Buchholz talked about being shut down by the Sox before the playoffs. "They were really just protecting me, so I don't blame them for taking me off the roster, but it would have been great to be a part of it (the World Series)."
"This is the best place in the world to be in Boston," he said. "It was unbelievable last year."
Responding to Schilling's injury, Bucholtz said it, "just basically opens the window, the window of opportunity. If I want it I'm going to have to take it. If not, somebody else is going to get it."
It's great to see that Lester and Buchholz are coming in with the right attitude. Both are willing to compete for and earn their spots in the rotation this year. Their youthful enthusiasm will help keep a team that just won the World Series hungry for another championship.
With Schilling done for the 1st half and possibly the year to door becomes slightly ajar for Julian Tavarez to make the rotation. Beckett, Dice-K, Wake and Lester have spots in the rotation before the start of spring training but the 5th spot is up in the air. Most fans think it will go to Buchholz but Sox pitching coach John Farrell had the following to say today: "The two very clear candidates for that are Clay and Julian Tavarez. I think we can't [forget to] recognize what Julian provided for us last year. In the first two-thirds of the season, he was a very key component to our starting rotation. He gave us not only very good individual outings, but when you look at 125 to 135 innings that he pitched for us last year, that's a key role for us." Buchholz has more upside but with limited experience he may stumble out of the gate this spring allowing Tavarez to get the spot. Either way, with the inevitability of injuries both are going to be a part of the rotation at some time during the season.
The Sporting News has released it's "all-overpaid" team. Coming in at #7 on the list...J.D. Drew with his $14 million dollar contract.
The number 1 most overpaid player in sports?... Roger Clemens*
Rich Garces is going to sign with a team in the Mexican League today. Last season El Guapo played with the Nashua Pride for part of the season going 6-4 with a 4.42 ERA before knee injuries sidelined him . The minor league team believes Garces will return in mid summer to resume the closer role on the club. Until that point you are likely to see El Guapo frequenting various Mexican eateries.
Monday, February 11, 2008
Wally, the Sox mascot greeted the U.S.S. DeWert today as it made its homecoming in Mayport, Florida.
“It was unbelievable,” the ship's commander, Bill Campbell said. Campbell treated Wally to a tour of the ship and let him check out the control room.
The Red Sox announced the team to broadcast the 2008 season. Joe Castiglione will be joined by Dave O'Brien for 135 games. O'Brien is a much better announcer than Glen Geffner but he was limited last year because of his schedule with ESPN. Dale Arnold from middays on WEEI and John Rish will also be part of the team.
In the age of reality TV the Roger Clemens fiasco could not get any more intriguing. The best pitcher in the last 20 years is sticking by his story that he never did roids and will do so under oath on Wed at 9:30 am in front of Congress. Just in the last week we have heard about Roger's wife doing HGH, threats of intimidation of federal agents, warnings from a congressmen, possibilities of a criminal investigation, and personal lobbying of members of Congress by Roger* himself. This is going to be some great TV to keep you busy until the start of Spring Training.
Clay Buchholz and Josh Beckett have been seen in Fort Myers joining Jon Lester who arrived earlier. The wait is almost over.
Sunday, February 10, 2008
Theo and the Red Sox have once again avoided going to arbitration with one of their players. Today Boston agreed to a one year $3 million contract with Kevin Youkilis. Youk wanted 3.7 and the Sox offered 2.5 before they agreed at $3 million. Youkilis will be getting a big raise considering he only made $425,000 last season.
Even though the team says they are fine with starting pitching and Curt Schilling will be back at the All-Star break to lead the charge into October, they still need to take a look at the best remaining pitcher on the market. Joe Blanton would be a great pitcher for Boston (Sox fans will remember him as the guy who pitched almost as well as Schilling in his no-hitter attempt last year.) It will take more than Coco to get him but he could be with the Red Sox for a long time to compliment Beckett, Dice-K, Lester, and Buchholz. That would be a formidable rotation that would have a chance at several titles. Wake is 42 and may retire after the season leaving the Sox with only 4 starters. If Boston waits to trade Coco before the deadline they will only get a pitcher for the remainder of the season, not a pitcher for the future.