Saturday, March 7, 2009

WBC/Sox Roundup

Today was a busy day for following all of the baseball action with Red Sox players scattered around for the World Baseball Classic and spring training. Here's a breakdown of how things went:

Dice-K - got the W for Team Japan but was not great
Youk- scored three runs for team USA with two walks and a homer.
Pedroia- 1-5 4LOB
Bay 0-2 3BB 1 run scored for Team Canada
Big Papi 0-2 2BB for DR

In the Grapefruit League the Red Sox lost to the Rays 15-7. Wake gave up 4 runs in 3 innings (2 earned) and Hansack gave up 5 in 1 2/3 (none earned). Kottaras and Van Every both had home runs in the game.


New Injury for Baldelli

Rocco Baldelli has a new reason for being out, he missed today's game and may miss tomorrow's as well:

"Maybe. We ll see," said Francona. "He's a little tight in his groin, so I really didn't want to push that. It's been the last couple days. So it makes sense to stay away until he's not feeling it anymore."


Today's Red Sox Lineup vs. the Rays

Ellsbury, CF
Lowrie 3B
Carter, 1B
Wilkerson, RF
Bailey, LF
McAnulty, DH
Bard, C
Green, 2B
Diaz, SS

Wakefield, SP


Dice-K Gets the Win for Team Japan

Defending World Baseball Classic Team Japan earned a win last night by beating South Korea 14-2. Dice-K went four innings giving up 4 hits and two runs. Not a great outing for Matsuzaka as he had two walks and gave up a homer, but he did get the win.


Friday, March 6, 2009

Where Are They Now: Dave Roberts

Every real Red Sox fan knows who Dave Roberts is. Just the mere mention of his name makes a Sox fan giddy with glee.

Roberts spent 2 seasons with the Padres, hitting .293 and stealing 49 bases in 2006. He then signed a lucrative 3 year contract with the Giants, but only managed to play in 166 games for them in two years. Sadly for Roberts, in the Giants pursuit of youth, he was released yesterday in a move that may cost the them over 6 million.

While this move may cost the Giant's some long scratch, it does give Roberts time to hook up with another team. However, should this not come to pass, this scribe thinks it would be a most befitting honor were Theo to sign Roberts to a 1 day contract. It has been suggested that Theo is not a GM prone to give out such deals, but this is Dave Roberts we're talking about! His name will live on in Red Sox history forever, with or without such a contract. He changed the course of Red Sox history. If he decides to hang up his cleats, his last game without a doubt should be in a Red Sox uniform. Give him one more chance, one last chance to steal one last base. Against the Yankees.


What a Difference a Year Makes

One year ago Josh Beckett came up with a strange injury that seemed to dog him all year long. In his third start of spring he has shown that the injuries are behind him and he is ready to regain the spot as the ace of the Red Sox staff. Beckett spoke with reporters after the game:

"I felt good today," said Beckett. "When you go into those games, I think sometimes, especially in the first inning, it's always been a problem for me whenever I have a lot of energy. I have to kind of harness it and remember the things I need to do on those days. One of those things I try to remember is that less is more.

"It's going to be easier to locate the ball if maybe I don't try as hard. Sometimes that's one of the tough things for me, because I do consider myself a max-effort guy. There's not a whole lot of pitches I've ever thrown that I went 80 percent at."

Beckett pitched three scoreless innings giving up three hits in today's win against the Marlins.


Today's Red Sox Lineup vs. the Marlins

J.D. Drew is back in action.

1. Josh Reddick, RF
2. Julio Lugo, SS
3. Jason Varitek, C
4. J.D. Drew, DH
5. Jeff Bailey, 1B
6. Jed Lowrie, 3B
7. Zach Daeges, LF
8. Chip Ambres, CF
9. Ivan Ochoa, 2B

Josh Beckett, SP


Youk and Pedroia on Letterman

Kevin Youkilis and Dustin Pedroia participated in the Top Ten list on Letterman last night. View the video here.


Thursday, March 5, 2009


Ok, so as most Red Sox fans do as the start of the season nears, I find myself comparing what we’ve got to what the Yanks have. This year, as we all know, with the Yanks adding possibly the two best free agents (CC and Tex) and then some, I find myself in a position that I haven’t been since 2002. I think the Yankees are better. Please don’t yell. Let’s just think about it OK? Who doesn’t think the Yankees under-achieved last year?
Be honest. So, this year, what if Wang stays healthy and Cano remembers how to hit. Sure both the SOX and the Yanks have a lot of questions going into the year, but, and I HATE TO SAY THIS, I fear the Yanks have more answers.

C - Tek vs. Jorge : I love Tek, his defense leaves no doubt, but he just can't hit anymore and Jorge hits like a madman, if he is healthy. Bard has the ability to tip this in our favor a bit, but not enough
Edge Yanks
1B - Youk vs. Tex: Again, love Youk and his sweat glands, but are we supposed to think he is going to hit 30 HRs? We KNOW Tex will (at least), and they are a wash in the field (except Youk's versatility to go to 3rd)
Edge Yanks, but not by much, almost a push but the power number tilt this one.
2B - The Destroya vs. Cano: Cano can be good, but with no indication that Dusty is going to slow down and Cano's recent struggles.....
Edge - SOX
SS - Lugo/Lowrie vs. Jeter: As much as I love the POTENTIAL of Lowrie and the fact that Jeter is getting older, no one comes through more when the Yanks need a hit than Jeter.
Edge - Yanks
3B - Lowell vs AROID: This really isn't fair to Lowell, he is great and defensively he gets the nod, but come on, AROID going to hit 40+ HRs and we don't know if Lowell is even going to be healthy......
Edge - Yanks
LF - Bay vs. Damon/Matsui: Bay is younger and more comfortable in the clubhouse now, I think he has a great year at the plate, he may approach 35 HR and 110 RBI’s depending where he hits in the lineup. Defensively - he is better all around than both of the Yanks, plus I wouldn’t give the traitor an edge in anything.
Edge SOX
CF- Ellsbury vs. Swisher/Cabrera: Swisher has power and Cabrera is really good, but Ellsbury beefed up in the off season putting on some muscle, I don't even think this one is close
Edge -SOX
RF - Drew vs Nady: - If Drew is healthy, Drew is better, but that is a HUGE IF. Drew is better defensively and they are close at the plate.
Edge - SOX
SP - Beckett vs. CC: #1 and #2 from Cy Young two years ago. CC struggled a bit in the AL first half last year and was a stud in the NL. Becks struggled with injuries. I’m predicting an injury or arm fatigue for CC and a comeback year for Josh, but since that is just a prediction.
Edge - Push
SP - Lester vs. Wang: Lester was AWESOME last year, but a career high in innings could affect him this year, lets hope not. Wang is very, very good.
Edge - Push
SP - Dice K vs. Burnett: Health is always a question with Burnett, but we saw what he did with the Blue Jays last year, now give him what should be a very good Yankees offense and he could have a career high in wins, IF HEALTHY. Dice K pitching in the WBC worries me, remember two years ago?
Edge - Push
SP - Wake vs. Chamberlain: Look, I know we can pencil Wake in for 15 wins, but it is the 15 or so losses and his ERA in those losses that worry me. Joba is unproven, but could be very good.
Edge - Yanks
SP - Penny/Buchholz/Smoltz/Masterson vs Pettitte: Again, health is huge here. Penny is good when he wants to be, Smoltz was a stud, Buchholz and Masterson, we’ll see. Pettitte is Pettitte.

CP - Paps vs Rivera: I'd say dead even, unless Rivera decides to get old this year, but haven't we been waiting for that for years? Both of these guys are great.
Edge - Push
Bullpen: After Marte, the Yanks do not have much proven talent there, and the Sox may have the best pen in baseball
Edge - SOX
Bench: They look pretty even, both will have some veterans, but the key in this whole thing is Baldelli. If he is healthy, he tips the edge to the SOX
Edge – SOX
Manager – Tito vs Giradi: Tito has his challenges with in-game decisions and when in doubt, I always go with a former catcher.
Edge – Yanks
So what does any of this mean???? NOTHING. That is why they play the game. Who would have thought that the Rays would win the division last year (put your hands down, I mean, would you have put money on it, come on)? This year has the potential to be very special. When I look at the SOX, I think that they are capable of winning it all again, but that will require some luck and good fortune. All I can say now is, PLAY BALL.


A-Rod* To Miss First Month of Season

Looks like those steroid injuries are starting to surface; A-Rod* will miss April.


Good News on Smoltz, Bad News on Penny

We all know you can never have too much pitching, and the old adage rings true today. The Red Sox had to move Brad Penny's first start of spring back due to shoulder fatigue:

“I just don’t think the shoulder strength is quite where it needed to be yet,” Penny said. “It was better to take it easy right now rather than have it flare up on me. I’m staying on the shoulder program and I’m still going to play catch to build shoulder strength.”

Great, he is going to play catch....see you in July.

The news is much better for John Smoltz:
Smoltz had surgery on his shoulder last June and his rehab has gone very well to a point where the Red Sox have had to put the reins on the veteran right-hander so he doesn't push it too much.

But there's a chance he could be ready before the originally scheduled return date of June 1.

"If he's ready to pitch we're not going to hold him back," said Francona. "It's going to end up being pretty close."

With all of this it looks like Masterson could end up in the starting rotation on opening day.


Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Rolling Green Monster Update

Rocky Rhodes & his 'Rolling Green Monster' (RGM) have arrived in California. He's been travelling XC in his rolling monument to the Red Sox, while raising awareness for The Jimmy Fund and cancer research. He's currently in San Jose and will be visiting San Francisco Thursday, albeit without the RGM. Current plans have him returning to The City on Friday or Saturday in the RGM for a visit to CT Yankee Sports Bar & Grill at 17th & Connecticut. I will see him tomorrow and will update here with more details of his Northern CA itinerary.


Red Sox National Games on Fox TV

For those of you without NESN or MLB Extra Innings, here are the date the Red Sox will be on Fox in the upcoming season. Unfortunately McCarver and Buck are still on the broadcast team.

Saturday, April 11, 2009
Boston Red Sox at Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

Saturday, April 25, 2009
New York Yankees at Boston Red Sox

Saturday, May 9, 2009 (*3:30 PM ET)
Tampa Bay Rays at Boston Red Sox

Saturday, June 27, 2009
Boston Red Sox at Atlanta Braves

Tuesday, July 14, 2009 – 8:00 PM ET
2009 MLB All-Star Game
Busch Stadium – St. Louis, MO

Saturday, August 22, 2009
New York Yankees at Boston Red Sox

Saturday, September 5, 2009
Boston Red Sox at Chicago White Sox


Red Sox Sonoma

Introduction time, folks! Entering my second season writing for Fenway West, I thought I'd introduce myself, and give you a little background into my Red Sox history. Last year I discovered, a social networking site for Red Sox fans, not unlike myspace, except that it's devoted totally to all affairs Red Sox. Someone there questioned my fandom? fanhood? so in response, I wrote my Red Sox bio, as it were. I've already written about my father and his baseball history, so here goes my story as we find ourselves about to start a new season!

My name is Dave, & I am a Red Sox fanatic.

Can I remember the starting line-up of the ’79 Sox? No. The ’98 Sox? No. I don’t have the Green Monster painted on the wall in my living room, and I don’t have any Yankee TP (but I’d like to.) It’s been years since I’ve been to a game at Fenway Park. I can count the number of games I’ve been to there on one hand. (I have managed to go on a tour of the park since my last game.)

I do remember, however, the sofa I was sitting on at the summer house as I watched in horror as Tony C. got beaned 41 years ago. Eight years later, I was sitting on the same sofa watching Fisk wave the ball fair. In 1978, I was driving up the Florida Turnpike listening to the radio when Bucky Fn Dent….

I found myself in a bar in Death Valley National Park in 1986, when Buckner…

I got so unbelievably shit faced that night after the game that I couldn’t get out of bed for the next three days. Not even to puke.

Could anyone ever forget the R-O-G-E-R chant in October of '99? I remember the look on Wake’s face after Boone hit his shot in ’03. The following October, I was home from work for 6 weeks after knee surgery, watching the whole post-season. That’s why I planned the surgery for mid-October! How about the pair of 17-1 games against the Yanks? And then of course there were the 4 back-to-back-to-back-to-back home runs against the Yankees in 2007. I can still hear Jon Miller: "And that one's headed for New Hampshire!!!"

There were several years I didn’t pay much attention to the Sox and baseball. For many years I had been actively involved in competition water skiing at the amateur and intercollegiate levels, thus tying up all my summers during that time span. I also spent three summers in Sequoia and King’s Canyon National Parks, where there was no TV or radio. We considered ourselves lucky if we saw a 3 day old newspaper maybe twice a week. However, the box scores, recaps, and standings were read in every newspaper I ever did get my hands on in all those years.

Somewhere around 1966 or 1967, this dorky, unathletic, 8 or 9 year old kid growing up about 50 miles south of Fenway, tried to emulate his older brother who was playing Little League and high school ball. I picked up a bat and a glove, and played sandlot ball with the other neighborhood kids. I usually played right field as most of the hits went to left, and I usually was at the bottom of the order. The Sox had gone from worst in ’66 to first in ’67 and there was a baseball buzz in New England that hadn’t been felt in years, although I didn’t know it at the time. I remember sometime in the late ‘60’s laying on the aforementioned sofa not feeling too well watching the Sox win and then feeling better. Of course I attributed feeling better to the Sox winning and not to whatever medicine my mom might have given me. I was hooked. 40 years later, I’m still here, I’m still a Red Sox fan.

Yaz, Tony C., Reggie Smith, Joe Foy, Rico Petrocelli, Mike Andrews, George Scott, Jim Lonborg, and damn if I can’t remember the catcher’s name!* No, I did not look those names up. Flashy Hawk Harrelson came in to replace Tony C. Do you remember that rocket that Jose Tartabull fired into home from right field and got the runner out? I still have my old copy of "The Impossible Dream" vinyl LP.

Thanks again to Matt O’Donnell, owner of the blog for inviting me to be a contributor to his blog. I had been active in on-line music discussion groups, and started a small Red Sox group for Sox fans in the Sonoma (CA) area. Matt saw my writings in that forum and liked what I wrote. I’m home a lot these days and writing about the Sox has been very enjoyable and therapeutic during this uncertain time of change, as well as rewarding in its own right.

The Sox won’t win every World Series in 4 games, they won’t win every World Series, nor the pennant, not even their division. (Same goes for the Yankees. Get used to it, Evil Empire.) Who knows, we may even see Pittsburgh and Kansas City squaring off in the Series someday!

Someday the Sox may lose 90 games in a season, or experience the turmoil the Yankees are experiencing right now. Hopefully this will not happen in my lifetime, but if it does, I’ll still be a Red Sox fanatic.

*Russ Gibson (RIP) & Elston Howard


Manny Heads Back to La La Land


Tuesday, March 3, 2009

J.D. Drew's Back is Still a Problem

Not surprisingly J.D. Drew is in the news again with his reoccurring back problems. Yesterday he went to Boston for an injection:

"The reason we did it was kind of -- I want to explain this right -- kind of precautionary," Francona said. "We have some time right now because it's so early in March, and J.D., through getting looked at by some different people, though this could be a benefit to him. If it worked, we think we thought OK, good. If it didn't seem to do anything, OK, well it's March 3 or March 2.

The Red Sox have an injury clause in their contract with Drew so it will be interesting to see how they deal with him if he misses significant time this season.


Monday, March 2, 2009

O's Beat Red Sox

Baltimore got the best of the Red Sox in today's game but there was some solid play members of the Sox. Nick Green continued to swing a hot bat with two more hits and Lars Anderson had a solid game with a hit and a walk. Lowrie did not do himself any favors in winning the starting ss position by getting an ofer on the day. Masterson pitched 2 innings of one-hit ball.

Red Sox lose 5-3 BOX SCORE


It's All Working According to Manny's Plan

Think Manny Ramirez is in a major jam right now? Think again. Manny left Boston because he wanted more than the $20 million he would be getting for each of the next two years. He has already had offers for more than that and turned them down. If Ramirez would accept a 2 year deal at $27 mil per year he could be playing tomorrow but he is doing what he wants now. He gets to miss spring training, play hours of video games, go to a few car shows and arrive at camp when he is ready. Ramirez will sign with a team before opening day with a deal better than what he would have had if he stayed in Boston. Everyone who thinks Manny is crazy for not taking the last Dodger's offer doesn't realize that Manny is still being Manny and doing exactly what he wants.


Sunday, March 1, 2009

Red Sox Pitchers Shut Down Twins

The Red Sox had a big advantage going into today's game with the Twins because they needed to get some work for the best pitchers on their staff. The advantage paid off as the Sox staff dominated the Twinkies holding them to 5 hits and 1 run. Beckett continued to show he is not longer bothered by the oblique injury by pitching two no-hit innings. Wake, Papelbon, Okajima, and Saito also looke good today. Youk went yard and Pedroia had the other RBI as the Red Sox won 2-1. BOX SCORE


Today's Red Sox Lineup vs. the Twins

  1. Julio Lugo SS
  2. Dustin Pedroia 2B
  3. David Ortiz DH
  4. Kevin Youkilis 1B
  5. Rocco Baldelli RF
  6. Paul McAnulty LF
  7. Josh Bard C
  8. Angel Chavez 3B
  9. Jonathan Van Every CF

Josh Beckett SP


Red Sox Roll Over Northeastern and the Reds

The Red Sox crushed Northeastern 14-0 in the first of 2 split squad games yesterday. Angel Chavez had 2 homers and 6 RBI's in the game while Tazawa continues to impress everyone with two more scoreless innings. Lars Anderson showed patience at the plate with 3 walks. BOX SCORE

In the second game the Red Sox picked up their first Grapefruit League win by beating the Reds 16-5. Two much malagined players from last season helped get the team going; Buchholz pitched two scoreless innings, giving up just one hit, and Tek drove in 4 runs. Wilkerson had his first homer of spring in the game. BOX SCORE

Not a bad day when you can put up 30 runs.



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