Saturday, March 15, 2008

Dumbass Hank Now Whines About Small Market Teams

Hank Steinbrenner spoke with reporters about the mix up between the Yankees and Rays this week and said the following:
"I don't want these teams in general to forget who subsidizes a lot of them, and it's the Yankees, the Red Sox, Dodgers, Mets. I would prefer if teams want to target the Yankees that they at least start giving some of that revenue sharing and luxury tax money back. From an owner's point of view, that's my point."

Since Hank is now all about giving money back, I am sure he will return th $58 million taxpayer dollars paid to bail out his father's shipbuilding company.


Red Sox Bats Come Alive

The Red Sox had 18 hits and 16 runs in today's win over the Reds in Fort Myers. Two of last year's much maligned players had great days; Julio Lugo who had been out with a back injury had 3 hits and J.D. Drew went 3-3 with 2 RBI's. Tek and Moss had a homahs.

In other good news for the Red Sox: Josh Beckett is expected to resume throwing on Sunday.


Dice-K Will Go On Japan Trip

Daisuke Matsuzaka's wife had a baby this morning. There was concern that Dice-K would not make the Japan trip to be with his wife. He is now scheduled to to travel with the team on Wednesday and will likely be the Red Sox starter for game one of the series against Oakland.


Papelbon and Dumbass Hank Trade Barbs

Jonathan Papelbon had some words for Yankee owner Hank Steinbrenner in response to Hanks recent stupid comments about Red Sox Nation.

"I don't know if he's trying to stir things up or not," Papelbon said. "I sure as hell don't care, because he sure as hell hasn't stepped on a baseball field. He needs to just stick to pencil-pushing, I guess."

Yesterday Dumbass Hank responded: "Being insulted by Papelbon is like being attacked by a mouse. John Henry and I traded a couple of jabs good-naturedly, so now, all of a sudden, this player, this 20-something kid who really doesn't know his way in the world, comes out with a personal insult. There's no excuse for that."


Friday, March 14, 2008

Injury Update

Julio Lugo is scheduled to make his return tomorrow at shortstop, he has been out for 12 games.

Coco Crisp is still out with the groin injury and may have lost his job to Jacoby Ellsbury. Coco needed a more than a season to find his swing after the finger injury and the Red Sox may not be willing to wait him out again. Coco said the following when asked about his return and if he would make the Japan trip: "I have no clue, I would love to go out there. I always wanted to go out there, so it would be nice to go out there and see that. We have two games out there, too, so it would be nice to start the season off with the team. We'll have to see. I'll take it slow. I can't rush, because like I said, I go out there and play banged up and it's been unfortunate for myself.

Josh Beckett has not resumed baseball activities and will miss the trip to Japan.


Manny and Drew Go Yard

The new "Mystic Manny" seems to be a good thing. He hit a long ball today against Baltimore. J.D. Drew also went yard. Baltimore is going to be one of the worst teams in baseball this year, so we should get used to Red Sox hitters putting up big stats against the O's.

Dice-K got the start today. He pitched 4 innings, giving up 4 hits and 2 earned runs.

Papelbon pitched 1 inning giving up no hits and striking out 2. He's looking like he is in mid-season form.


Thursday, March 13, 2008

Manny Talks About His New Age Philosophy

Manny is now a full fledged New Ager after reading "The Secret." He spoke with reporters today and said the following: "My uncle, he likes to meditate. He does a lot of yoga classes last year, I started doing it with him."

Big Papi said the following about the new Manny: "He's taking some meditation class now. He thinks that might help him to get his spirit going around so he can go to different places. Some crazy stuff, you know how it is."

Manny, some advice from Fenway West: when you are done with the New Age fad why don't you look into some Jobu Voodoo.


El Gordo Takes the Mound

Bartolo "El Gordo" Colon made his debut in a Red Sox uniform today in Ft. Myers.

He gave up two hits and one run over two innings. Colon struck out one and gave up one walk throwing 26 pitches in total.

Not bad for his first outing after recovering from injury. We are going to need Colon to pitch well and earn a spot as one of the Sox starters.

Okajima continued to pitch well, throwing another scoreless inning.


Mirabelli Released

It seems like it was just last week that the Sox brought back Doug Mirabelli from San Diego to make sure that Wakefield had his personal catcher. Remember the police motorcade? The hero's welcome back in Beantown?

Well it now seems that Mirabelli is expendable. His glove catching the knuckleball has always been great. There's just one problem; he hasn't been hitting the ball.

The ProJo has the details on the guys who will catch Wakefield from here on out.

Thanks for the memories Dougie. We, the fans in Red Sox Nation, are thankful for your years on the roster.


Somewhat Better Outlook on Sox Injuries

Things are looking a little better on the Sox injury front. Julio Lugo took batting practice and may be back in a game tomorrow. Coco Crisp took swings from both sides of the plate yesterday. He's still hurting a little, but this is progress over last week. Get well quick Coco, so you can produce in Spring and the Sox will get more for you in a trade.

Pedroia will be back in the lineup after recovering from the flu. The seriousness of Beckett's injury remains a question. It's unlikely he will accompany the club on the Japan trip. The question here is: Is Beckett's injury really serious, or are the Sox using an abundance of caution to protect their ace?


Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Red Sox Game On April 2 Time Change

The second game against the Oakland A's in the U.S. on April 2 has been changed from 7:35 to 12:35 pm after the Players Association made a request to change the start time. The Red Sox want more time to adjust to Eastern time before playing Toronto on April 4. The A's are not happy with the decision by MLB to make the change. Michael Crowley the president of the A's spoke to the SF Chronicle about the time change: "We would prefer not to change the time, obviously, it's not ideal."

Looks like some of you are going to have to come up with a good excuse to miss work.


Cape Cod League gets plunked by MLB

Money-strapped Major League Baseball (note sarcasm) is going after the Cape Cod League, a regular nuturer of major-league talent. MLB is targeting six of the 10 teams that share monikers with major-league teams, seeking to receive royalties on apparel bearing the teams' names. The teams are the Chatham Athletics, Bourne Braves, Harwich Mariners (whose name predates the birth of the Seattle team with that name), Hyannis Mets, Orleans Cardinals, and the Y-D Red Sox. The Cape Cod League presently runs on a meagre budget of less than $2 million. The teams are debating whether to change their names instead of paying what would be a costly expense.


Buchholz Pitching Great Against Twins

Clay Buchholz got the start today in Fort Myers. He's pitched great so far, throwing 3 perfect innings including 3 strikeouts.

The Sox are leading 3-0 thanks to an HR by Tek. Ellsbury has a stolen base.


Royals Fear Colon's Appetite

The Kansas City Royals are bringing back a popular promotion to fill the stadium at home games: "All you can eat seats."

According to the KC Royals: "With All-You-Can-Eat tickets, fans enjoy covered Club Level seats featuring unlimited ballpark fare that includes hot dogs, nachos, peanuts, popcorn and soft drinks for one all-inclusive price. Fans will also receive a souvenir cup, which can be used throughout the game at the self-service beverage station."

It doesn't appear that the "All you can eat seats" will be available during "premium" games. This includes the Red Sox series on August 4-6th. I'm guessing that the Royals feared the financial implications of "all you can eat seats" when Bartolo "el Gordo" Colon was in the house.


Greenwell Considered Using Steroids In Boston

Mike Greenwell spoke to Howard Ulman of the AP about his consideration of steroid use in the late '80's.

"I was very, very tempted as a player to do it," he said yesterday. His wife convinced him not to. "My wife's a nurse, and basically told me she'd kill me if she caught me doing it," Greenwell said. "I think there's many, many players out there that were tempted to do it. Probably if I didn't have my wife, I would have done it to try to perform at that level."

Greenwell finished second in MVP voting to Jose Canseco* in 1988.


Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Beckett Will Miss Japan Trip

ESPN is reporting that Josh Beckett will not make the trip to Japan for the opening series against the Oakland A's. Terry Francona told ESPN the following : "we're certainly not going to rush him back to pitch a game March 24 if he's not ready. And I think if you look at it with common sense, he's not going to pitch over there." Dice-K may also miss the trip since his wife is due to give birth. Since Schilling is also injured, Jon Lester or Tim Wakefield may be the opening day starter.


Injury Update and Today's Lineup

From Projo SoxBlog:
Beckett-feeling better today, still no word on Japan Trip
Lugo-will take some swings in the cage today
Crisp-still out, no word on return
Pedroia-has the flu
Ortiz-out of the lineup to continue to rehab his knee

Today's lineup vs Mets:

Jacoby Ellsbury, cf
Kevin Youkilis, 1b
J.D. Drew, rf
Manny Ramirez, lf
Mike Lowell, 3b
Sean Casey, dh
Jed Lowrie, ss
Doug Mirabelli, c
Joe Thurston, 2b
Tim Wakefield, p


Yankees "Jump The Shark" With Crystal Stunt

Have the Yankees really dropped this far? This week the Yankees announced they have signed Billy Crystal to a 1 day minor league contract so he can play on Thursday against the Pirates. You might expect these type of promotions from smaller market teams (think Padres and Garth Brooks) but if this is really Yankee Nation as Hank believes, then why do they have to do lame marketing stunts to get people to pay any attention to them? It's official, the Yankees have "jumped the shark."


Bright Spot in Camp is Sox Pen

While much of the news out of Fort Myers this Spring has focused on the injuries of Schilling and Beckett, the struggling young guns, and the battle for the 5th starter spot, the Sox bullpen has stayed out of the spotlight. But it's the bullpen that seems to be the Sox most dependable asset so far.

Things are looking very good in the Sox pen, especially with the guys slated for the late innings. Hideki Okajima, coming off a great season, is working on a new pitch. He's pitched well lately and seems to be on par to start the season strong.

Manny Delcarmen is looking like he's going to be a breakout star this year. The Bangor Daily News has an in-depth story on him today. He tells the Daily News, "I don’t seem tired, like I have some springs, I feel like I’ve got an extra gear to the ball and right now, I feel great. I could probably throw back-to-back days right now. Everything seems easier right now — the running, the workouts."

Additionally, the recent contract renewal inked with Jonathan Papelbon ensures that the closer will be able to focus on pitching and not contract negotiations.

The pen looks ready to hold on to leads and secure wins. The question remains, who's gonna get us to the 7th?


Monday, March 10, 2008

Chris Carter Looks Good This Spring

Chris Carter came to the Red Sox in the Willy Mo trade with the Nationals last season. Carter went 2-3 today and his average is now .360 for the spring. He can play both the infield and outfield but his arm strength and speed limit his defense. So far he has been a bright spot in a bleak spring for the Red Sox. Even with his great performance this spring it is unlikely he will gain a spot on the team with Kielty and possibly Coco as backups in the outfield and Cora, and Casey as backups in the infield.


Finally Some Good News

The Red Sox did not win today but they did not lose either. Lester pitched well going 4 scoreless innings only giving up 2 hits while striking out 5. Okajima came in and pitched 2 more scoreless innings. The Red Sox pitchers only gave up 1 run in 10 innings. Ellsbury had 2 hits including a lead-off single off of Johan Santana. The rest of the team's bats were still silent but at least they were facing a good pitcher. The ship may be righted and there may be smoother waters least from the West Coast perspective where it is sunny and 72 degrees today.


Injuries, Poor Pitching Plague Sox Spring

It's only March 10th, but there is still an unsettled feeling in Red Sox Nation.

First there are the injuries: Schilling is out for who knows how long, maybe forever. Then there are Beckett's back woes. Sure he's listed as day to day, but back injuries have a habit of sticking around. Speaking of back injuries, Julio Lugo is set to see team physician Thomas Gil about his own back problems. Then there's Coco. I shouldn't worry about Coco's injury because he's on his way out of Red Sox Nation, right? But who wants to trade for damaged goods? According to Tito, Crisp, has trouble running straight forward. He told the ProJo, "the burst forward is still not in a position where we want him to try to do something in a game. He’s just not ready.”

Injuries are part of baseball. They are to be expected. I wouldn't be too concerned with the injuries if the uninjured guys were performing well. But they are not. The Sox are 3-8 so far this spring. The main reason for the poor record? Pitching. Buccholz has been shaky, so has Lester, Snyder, Hansen and Tavarez. (each with Spring ERA's over 7.50) Additionally, Dice-K struggled yesterday.

The Sox bats have been pretty quiet also. Pedroia is the only Sox starter from last year with 3 RBI's this Spring.

With the gloomy mood in Fort. Myers resulting from the recent poor performances, there are some bright spots: Wake, Delcarmen and Masterson have looked good so far.

Things aren't likely to improve much today the Sox face the Mets and their newly acquired ace, Johan Santana.

It's only March 10th, but I'm feeling a little nervous.


Sunday, March 9, 2008

Sox Don't Want Marquis

Extra Bases is reporting that the rumored deal with the Cubs is not what the Red Sox are looking for.
"While major league sources indicate the Chicago Cubs have Coco Crisp on their wish list, the Red Sox have no interest in expendable starting pitcher Jason Marquis or Arizona League MVP outfielder Sam Fuld. Both of those names have made the rounds on the airwaves in Chicago, but major league sources indicate the Sox have no interest even with Josh Beckett's back injury potentially creating a need for depth in the starting rotation."

The Coco drama continues....


El Gordo To Pitch Thursday

Bartolo "El Gordo" Colon will take the mound this coming Thursday against the Devil Rays.

Colon likely will get in an inning or two of work. Given the Sox Spring pitiching woes, we need El Gordo to get in to shape and make the roster this spring.

According to Jeff Goldberg at the Hartford Currant, Colon will be limited to 30 pitches. I suggest they limit him to 30 tacos as well.


Beckett Update and Today's Game

Extra Bases has a post saying Tito thought Beckett was way better than expected but he would not speculate on being ready for game 1 in Japan. Goldblog quoted Tito before the game: "He’s termed day to day. In other words, it’s probably best-case scenario of what could have happened yesterday. … I don’t think that it’ll be terribly long, and when you say day-to-day. As soon as this thing settles down, we’ll get him back moving in the right direction. Again, I think we’re all relieved to see him moving around the way he was. I think he was even surprised."
Here is today's lineup:

Jed Lowrie - SS
Alex Cora - 2B
David Ortiz -- DH
Manny Ramirez - LF
Mike Lowell - 3B
J. D. Drew - RF
Sean Casey - 1B
Doug Mirabelli - C
Joe Thurston - CF
Daisuke Matsuzaka - P

Still no Coco, still no Lugo


Coco To The Cubs?

The rumor mill has heated up for Coco and today's rumor has Coco headed to the Cubs for Sam Fuld and Jason Marquis. Do the Sox need this much pitching? Coco is starting to be a headache for Boston so they may just want to get some players they can trade later on. The Herald reported the following about Marquis today:
"Marquis fell out of favor with manager Lou Piniella at the end of the season and recently told Chicago reporters that he would just as soon be traded if he does not win a spot in the Cubs rotation this season. “You know, that galls me about Marquis. It really does,” Piniella said. “I’m not pleased with that comment at all. We’ve had a good camp over here. Everybody’s getting an opportunity. Go out and win a spot in the rotation. Nobody’s going to stand in your way if you do it. That’s the easy way out.”

Do the Red Sox want to trade one headache for another?



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