Saturday, July 18, 2009

Haggs Was Right, Penny Should Have Been Traded

Last month Joe Haggerty of called for the Red Sox to trade Brad Penny while his stock was high and if you look at the comment section, I agreed with him. After Buchholz's good outing last night and Penny's subpar performance today it looks like the Sox might be in a pickle. Penny gave up 8 hits and 6 earned runs today agains the Jays, getting his 4th loss of the season and raising his ERA over 5. As the trading dealine quickly approaches Penny's value has plummeted. Now the Red Sox would be lucky to get a reserve player for him and fans will only give him a short leash with Buchholz waiting in the wings.

The Jays scored in the 2nd, 4th, and 5th off of Penny. The Red Sox offense took and early lead with an RBI by Balelli but in the top of the 2nd but failed to plate another run until the top of the 7th when Lowrie hit a tater in his first game back since wrist surgery.

Red Sox Lose 6-2 BOX SCORE

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Red Sox 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 2 6 1
Blue Jays 0 1 0 3 2 0 0 0 0 6 8 0


Ever wonder what goes on in your old hometown? (continued)

Red Sox Sonoma here (aka Dave), sitting at the ol' homestead in RI visiting the folks for their 65th anniversary along with my 3 brothers. I got to watch the game last night on NESN which is quite a treat after suffering through TBS, Ken Rosenthal, and Fox. Late after the game had ended, we got to experience a good old fashioned New England lightning and thunderstorm, of which there are very few of in coastal California. Woke up late (I'm still on CA time), went downstairs, had breakfast and picked up the Providence Journal. (I still prefer paper to digital newspapers.) Mark Patinkin is an entertaining columnist for the paper who writes about the Sox on occasion. He wrote a story in today's ProJo called "License plates Rhode Islanders will love." Sounded interesting, so I read it. He recites a list of new RI license plates now available for an additional fee. There was one plate design that he described that confounded him, me, and I am sure all of RSN as well.

A RI Yankee license plate.

Huh? WT........ ?

I understand that the General Assembly of RI, as well as every other state in these dire economic times is trying desperately to find new sources of revenue, but a Yankee license plate?

Puh-leeze! We're only 50 miles from Fenway! What did you guys put in your pipe?! After all the reports of violence between Red Sox and Yankee fans, the State Legislature proposes this?! Now I know there are Yankee fans in RI (my father is a Yankee fan), but putting one of those plates on your car would be kin to lathering yourself up in bacon fat and walking into Grizzly Bear country in Montana!

Money's tight everywhere, but this proposal should garner a Darwin Award for whomever the brilliant public servant is who submitted it. Then again, Yankee fans aren't that brilliant either, (with just a few exceptions, such as my father, and Jimmy, the guitarist I work with.)


Today's Red Sox Lineup 7/18 vs Toronto

J.D. Drew, RF
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
Kevin Youkilis, 1B
David Ortiz, DH
Jason Bay, LF
Mike Lowell, 3B
Rocco Baldelli, CF
Jed Lowrie, SS
George Kottaras

Brad Penny, SP


Mike Lowell Talks About His First Game Back -Video

Mike Lowell talks about how he was feeling after last night's game. Watch below:


Friday, July 17, 2009

Buchholz Gets the Second Half Started Right

Clay Buchholz had a solid outing in his brief time with the big club; going 5 2/3minnings while giving up 1 earned run on 4 hits and 3 walks. Youk gave Buchholz an early lead with a 2-run homer in the first and Ortiz drove in 2 more in the 5th. The bullpen looked rested and pitched well. Bard struck out 3 of the 4 batters he faced and did not give up a hit. Oki gave up 1 hit in a scoreless inning and Paps was perfect in the 9th to pick up his 24th save of the season.

Red Sox Win 4-1 BOX SCORE

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Red Sox 2 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 4 6 1
Blue Jays 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 5 0


Happy Buchholz Day for Me! P.S. NO TRADE CLAY!

I think people know how I feel about Clay. To say I am a HUGE fan is an understatement. So, matter why or the circumstances or what shady motives might be behind it, I am CELEBRATING!


CLAY BUCHHOLZ IS PITCHING FOR THE MO FO RED SOX! At least for a day, he's going to be up with the big boys and pitching from that mound. I am super duper crazy excited.

Plus, Lugo got DFA'ed today. Lowell is back in the lineup. Lowrie is coming back tomorrow. It's basically like Christmas morning for me over here....Red Sox style.

Of course, I am also terrified. It may not be rational, but I say it often...say it loud....NO TRADE CLAY. I want to see Clay's development continue with the Red Sox and not another team. I think the kid is crazy talented and want to see him smoking away people on the mound for us and not some competing ball club.

Theo Epstein has been slapping hands of other ballclubs when it comes to Clay for years, but the idea of snatching Roy Halladay might be just enough to make Theo not so willing to say "no way no how" when it comes to pitching away his hot prospects.

I am crossing my fingers and wishing Clay LOTS of luck tonight. He's been waiting for this moment all season long. No pressure buddy.


Tonight's Red Sox Lineup 7/17 vs Toronto

Drew RF,
Pedroia 2B,
Youkilis 1B,
Ortiz DH,
Bay LF,
Lowell 3B,
Varitek C,
Ellsbury CF,
Green SS,

Buchholz SP


Red Sox DFA Lugo

Nobody wanted to take Lugo away from Boston so now he must choose if he wants to report to the PawSox or become a free agent.


Clay Buchholz's Start Doesn't Answer Lingering Questions

No matter how Buchholz pitches tonight he will be sent back down to the PawSox to make room for Lowell. If he pitches great it only causes more frustration since there is no room in the rotation right now. If he pitches poorly it could further delay his full time return to the team and lowers his trade value. The Red Sox are letting him pitch tonight as a sort of a test to see how he can fare against major league hitters, but even if the Red Sox were to trade Penny they still would not have a spot for Buchholz once Dice-K comes back. Are the Red Sox trying to showcase Buchholz for a deadline trade or do they have plans for him to be a member of the rotation for the second half? Unfortunetly tonight's start does not answer any of those questions.


Contract Talks With Bay Are On Again

UPDATE: The talks were not productive and the Red Sox have chosen to wait until after the season to negotiate with Bay.

The Red Sox and Jason Bay's agent talked about an extension during the All-Star break. The two sides are still not close but are both willing to work for a deal during the second half of the season. The Red Sox really need to keep his bat and he will be among the best free agents available in the offseason, so it is likely that he gets locked up before the end of the season to avoid a bidding war with teams like the Yankees.


Thursday, July 16, 2009

Lugo Misses Mandatory Team Workout

Julio Lugo missed a mandatory workout with the team in Toronto today. Is this a sign that he is about to be traded? Aaron Bates was with the club for the workout when he was the player most assumed to be sent down to make room for Buchholz on the roster. All signs are pointing to Julio's departure.


You Won't Have Lugo to Kick Around Anymore

Julio Lugo's time in Boston is about to end. The Red Sox are trying to deal him to anyone that will take him, they are even willing to pay his salary. If they can't get anything in return he will be released to make room for Lowrie. Lugo followed in the path of Renteria by being grossly overpaid and not producing up to fans expectations. He was part of a World Champion team and acted as a professional throughout his time in Boston. I think Lugo will be happy to land somewhere else where he can play and does not have a fan base that has given up on him.


Don Orsillo on WEEI

Watch this at WEEI


Red Sox Fans Turn to On Demand to Fill Baseball Void

With no baseball yesterday Sox fans in New England went to On-Demand to get their fix:

more than 100,000 programs already watched one month after the new service launched exclusively on Comcast. The incredible popularity of Red Sox On Demand makes it the number one category of locally produced On Demand programming in New England....This week, Red Sox On Demand programming includes profiles of pitcher Justin Masterson and Red Sox legend Dom DiMaggio, a special on the history of the iconic Citgo sign overlooking Fenway Park and features of Mike Lowell playing monopoly with Red Sox Foundation supporters and David Ortiz golfing during his signature fundraiser in the Dominican Republic. Red Sox On Demand also gives fans a closer look at the Cape Cod League, the Salem Red Sox and the Greenville Drive.

Too bad the program is not available outside of New England for the rest of Red Sox Nation.


Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Jacoby Ellsbury SB Contest

Time for another contest here on Fenway West. Jacoby is getting close to breaking the Red Sox single season stolen base record. Correctly pick the game and inning in which Ellsbury breaks the single season Red Sox stolen base record of 54 held by Tommy Harper since 1973 and win a Red Sox key chain courtesy of This is a real leather key chain like the one pictured with the Red Sox Logo. Put your guess in the comments section of this post to enter. You can see the remaining Red Sox schedule here to help with your pick. Good luck!

If you are interested in buying Boston Red Sox Keychains enter promo code FenwayWest for a 10% discount.


Jason Bay Blogs About His All-Star Experience

Jason Bay has a blog post up over at where he talks about some of the highlight of the All-Star experience in St. Louis this week. Here are a few of the highlights:

So I become an American citizen and a week later I meet the President. That’s how it works for everybody, isn’t it?....from the time we went on the field one thing I couldn’t take my eyes off were the snipers on top of the stadium. Even in the fourth inning, I couldn’t stop looking at them because from where I was it looked like a video game, with the dark silhouette and with the sun setting. I’m thinking, “These are snipers! That’s so cool!”....Put it this way, you know you’re probably going to get fastballs from the best pitchers around, so you aren’t preaching patience. There’s no ‘Moneyballing’ it in this game.

We can only hope that he keeps on blogging for the rest of the season and for years to come when the Red Sox lock him up.


Tuesday, July 14, 2009

A.L. Continues Winning Streak in ASG

The American League won the All-Star Game again and secured home field advantage for the World Series. There were 6 members of the Red Sox on the A.L. All-Star Team but only 3 of them saw action. Jason Bay went 1-2 with a walk in the game, Youk was 1-1 as a pinch hitter and Papelbon earned the win even though he almost gave up a home run that would have tied the game. Carl Crawford made a great catch to preserve the victory for the A.L. and save Paps' bacon. Wake and Beckett did not get into the game.

A.L. Wins 4-3 BOX SCORE


You Ain't Seen Nothin' Yet

Jason Bay says Sox fans have seen nothing yet. Interesting tidbits from "Bay is the first Red Sox player to reach base five times without recording a hit since Ted Williams on May 23, 1951, vs. the St. Louis Browns -- five walks for Teddy Ballgame. ... Rehabbing shortstop Jed Lowrie (left wrist) went 1-for-3 with a double and a run scored on Sunday for Triple-A Pawtucket. ... With a stolen base in Sunday's 6-0 victory over the Royals, center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury became the second player in Red Sox history to record 40 steals in multiple seasons, joining Hall of Famer Tris Speaker (1912-14). ... Boston enters the second half of the season in first place in the AL East for the fifth consecutive year, dating back to 2005."


Pedroia Talks About His Decision to Skip All-Star Game

Dustin Pedroia will not be in St. Louis tonight and fans should all support him in his decision. His wife went into premature labor and was admitted to the hospital to postpone the delivery.

“It was pretty tough, obviously,’’ Pedroia said. “I’ve got to be with my wife right now. It’s more important. Obviously I’m extremely honored to be selected by the fans. I wish I could be there, but I hope everybody understands....She’s kind of the same right now,’’ Pedroia said. “That’s one of the reasons I was hoping she’d get better. That’s why I put it off to the last minute. But hopefully the next few days she gets better.’’

Jason Bay, Youk, Beckett, and Papelbon will all be there to represent the Red Sox and ensure home field advantage this October.


Monday, July 13, 2009

One More Post on Wake

My last one, I promise (yeah, right, Dave.) There's another great story on Wake's 1st ASG selection on MLB.COM, with a great video of an interview with him. Check it out.


Starting Lineups for the All-Star Game

National League
1. Hanley Ramirez-SS
2. Chase Utley -2B
3. Albert Pujols-1B
4. Ryan Braun-RF
5. Raul Ibanez- LF
6. David Wright-3B
7.Shane Victorino-CF
8.Yadier Molina-c
9.Tim Lincecum-SP

American League
1. Ichiro Suzuki, RF
2. Derek Jeter, SS
3. Joe Mauer, C
4. Mark Teixeira, 1B
5. Jason Bay, LF
6. Josh Hamilton, CF
7. Evan Longoria, 3B
8. Aaron Hill, 2B
9. Roy Halladay


Weekend Wrap Up: Fenway Edition

I posted this over on my personal blog, but wanted to double post it over here as well since it is very much Red Sox related. Enjoy!

Hey all out there in the internets....I'm a lucky duck and off work today. I was smart enough to request a day off to recover from my weekend.

I had to work until noon on Saturday because I am an idiot and scheduled to teach a class on the same day I was heading to Fenway Park. Brilliant planning on my part there. Luckily, it worked out. I worked from 8am-12pm...changed into my Red Sox attire and jetted down the Northway to get on the bus and go to Fenway Park.

Fenway Park

That is the pic I took walking up to Fenway for the first time. I've been a Red Sox fan for a long time now...but never been to a game at Fenway. Now that I've been, I can't believe I waited that long. I went with a dear friend of mine. She's a fan as know, not crazy obsessed like me, but a fan none the less. She got to witness my crazy obsession first hand.

Here is my top 5 list of my first trip to Fenway Park:

1. Great game. The Sox went out to a 9-0 lead and it looked like the game was well in hand. Then almost the whole bullpen drank a case of the suck and before we knew it the Sox were clinging to a 9-7 lead. Luckily the Sox offense was still on a tear and the Royals didn't believe in something called defense...and the boys won the game 15-9. John Smoltz got his first win in a Boston uni....and I believe I brought him luck.

2. The Kansas City fan on our bus. Almost everyone on the bus was a Sox fan...everyone but one guy. He and his lonely self boarded the bus wearing a Royals jersey. He had the most angry body language while he was watching the game. He was in the last row in the bleachers and stood the whole time, arms crossed with a huge scowl on his face. I kept looking back and checking on him because he amused me. My friend and I...and the couple sitting next to us joked that KC guy looked so pissed that he planned on killing us all on the way home as we fell asleep. And umm...I was only half kidding. The guy not only rode a bus for 3 hours to watch his team lose...but he also had a major creeper vibe to him. I almost took a pic of him while he was stewing during the game, but that just seemed mean. Still funny though...and on Monday morning, I wish I did.

3. Jason Varitek looked at me. I feel like such a dork that this brings me such happiness. I walked around with my friend for a good while and then walked around a little by myself to take some pictures and what not. I went down to the bullpen since Smoltzie was warming up with Tek. This nice couple...well, I don't think they were technically a couple since the woman was a nun and all...but they let me stand in front of them to take pictures. They were darling sweet. Anyways...back to Tek. So, I was taking pics of Smoltz and Tek...and Tek was actually really close to me. He was turned away, so I wanted to get a pic of him and his adorable face, so I yelled his name...and he turned and looked at me. I know...hand me my dork card. I almost forgot to take the pic since I was startled, but I would not be denied. Here is my close up Tek pic:

Jason Varitek

4. Yelling at JD Drew haters. I know he's not the most popular Red Sox player, but he's on the top of my list. Some of the crowd around me was heckling or booing JD as he came up to bat. Ugh. Expected, but still annoyed me none the less. Later in the game, JD made a spectacular throw to home that stopped the Royals from scoring another run. It was a genius play and I didn't think anyone could make that throw...but JD did. After the play...the crowd cheered and I yelled..."Yeah, who hates JD Drew NOW?" No one really responded to my yelling...which is probably better, but still happy I let people know about JD, his awesomeness and how wrong they all were. Just sayin...

5. The rain. The words Boston and rain have been permanently linked this summer. The weather report indicated no rain for the day. They were almost right. The skies stayed clear...until the top of the 9th inning. It started with a few drops here or there. By the time Saito took the mound, the rain turned from a few drops to a pretty steady rain. Saito had a 1-2-3 inning and as we were leaving the park the skies opened up and it started pouring. By the time my friend and I made it to the bus.....we were soaked from head to toe. There was not a dry spot on my body. And...I had light khaki pants on, so let's just say the world or at least my bus was aware of what color undies I was wearing. Good times, good times....really, it was. At least the rain gods waited until the game was almost over. I didn't get home until 4am as it was so a rain delay would have made me super cranky.

And one more for good measure...

This girl knows something something about baseball. I am used to most people thinking women who like baseball are there to watch cute boys and don't really know much about the actual game. I spent a good deal of time during the game explaining some things to my friend and just talking about the game and the players. Yes, I mentioned some of the players hotness....but more time was spent watching the game and commenting on said game. At one point during the game...while my friend was gone getting a drink and a hotdog...the guy sitting next to us had a question about Justin Masterson. So, he immediately turned and asked me. Of course I knew the answer. Later he wanted to know about Bates...what his story was, etc. So, we chatted about Bates and then both CHEERED when Bates got his first major league hit. It was just nice to see someone actually seeing a female is a fan...not just there to watch pretty boys run around.

I have some pics up over at the Facebook. If you and I are friends at the Facebook...feel free to check them out. There is no one on facebook who is not completely aware of my trip to Fenway, how excited I was about it....and what a great time I had.

I gotta figure out how to get back to Fenway and SOON.


Beckett Talks About His 100th Win

Josh Beckett spoke with reporters after last night's shut out victory over the Kansas City Royals. Watch below:


Sunday, July 12, 2009

The Heavy

It's no secret that Tim Wakefield has been my favorite Sox player for a long time (followed by Pesky, DiMaggio, Pedroia, Yaz, Tony C, and yes Manny, too.) I thought Wake should have been on the All Star Team last year, as he had a formidable stretch in his last 7 games before the ASG (7+ innings each game, 1.98 ERA), but since Tito was the manager, and there were several Sox already on the team, he had to pass on Wake. (He had to pass on Lester, too, who was also having a monster year.)

In today's Boston Globe, Adam Kilgore tells the great story of Wake's success and difficulties in Pittsburgh back in '92 and '93. Pittsburgh released him after going 6-11, with a 5.61 ERA in '93. Dan Duquette, as GM of the old Montreal Expos, had seen him pitch in his rookie year of '92, when he went 8-1, 2.15 ERA, and snatched him up on opening day '94. He firmly believed that Wake was the difference in Pittsburgh making it to the post-season that year and not the Expos. Wake has been with the Sox ever since, quietly going about his business. Kilgore tells of Wake learning from Charlie Hough, his friendship with another well respected Sox, Mike Timlin, his team leading community appearances, and his charitable work for The Franciscan Hospital for Children.

Wake has had some up years and some down years along the way, and while his numbers may not get him into the MLB HoF, he most certainly be will be in the Red Sox HoF. He is bearing down on a couple of notable milestones: he has 189 career wins right now, 2910+ IP, and 1968 K's. Knuckleballers historically have pitched well into their mid and late 40's, so here's hoping that we still see Wake in a Sox uni for a few more years to come.

As an aside, my brother in RI, yard sale and flea market wiz that he is, gave me a Wakefield Pittsburgh shirt years ago, but my ex-wife.....

Ah, what are exes for anyhow? Who knew? Who could have known?


Beckett pitches a complete game shutout against Royals

The final game of the Red Sox homestand before heading into the All Star Break, Josh Beckett reminded all of Red Sox Nation and Major League Baseball why he is well deserving of a spot on the AL's All Star Team.

Josh Beckett's 100th win

A game after the Red Sox used more of their bullpen than they would have liked (I'll looking at you Masterson and Delcarmen), the Red Sox really could have used their starter going late into the game. Josh Beckett gave them that and then some.

Beckett pitched a 94 pitch complete game shutout of the Royals to get a 6-0 win. It was a thing of sheer beauty to watch. He was a strike out machine in the first few innings and later flew through innings barely throwing any pitches at all. Josh was dealing, no doubt. This was also a career 100th victory for Josh Beckett bringing his 2009 record to 11-3.

"It's pretty memorable" to post his 100th win, Beckett said, "and the way I did it is cool."

Beckett (11-3) retired the first nine batters, five on strikeouts. It was his second shutout and complete game of the season following his 3-0 win over Atlanta on June 20. He finished with seven strikeouts and no walks.

After Aaron Bates got his first major league hit in last night's game, he picked up right where he left off. He went 3-4 in the game with an RBI. I wasn't too familiar with Bates before he was called up, but he sure is on my radar now.

Jason Bay was on base 5 times tonight, but none of them as a result of getting a hit. He was walked during his first 3 plate appearances and then reached with hit by pitch in his last two at bats. It took until his 4th at bat for the Royals pitchers to throw him one strike. It was an interesting and good day for Bay's OBP at least.


In related AL East news today:

The Angels beat the New York Yankees 5-4 to complete a series sweep. That leaves the Yankees trailing the Red Sox by 3 games heading into the All Star Break.

The Athletics beat the Tampa Bay Rays 7-3 to take that series 2-1. That leaves the Rays 6.5 back in the hunt for the AL East.



Buchholz to pitch for the Red Sox on Friday!

I am a happy happy camper. Wanna know why?

Is it because I went to my first game at Fenway Park on Saturday? Possibly. (I'll post a more in depth post on this soon).

Is it because Josh Beckett just pitched a 94 pitch complete game shutout and recorded his 100th career win? Possibly.


Could it be because at the post game interview Terry Francona made an announcement that has me doing cartwheels and jumping for joy?

What did Tito say? Well, he said that on Friday, the first game after the All Star Game, the starting pitcher for the Boston Red Sox will be.....

Clay Buchholz


Cannot contain excitement. I have waited to see him on the mound for the Sox all season long. I don't have more info on the they are dealing with the roster to make this happen...if this is a one time start or if Clay is going to hang with the rotation for a while. It's hot off the presses...and something that makes Shelley aka HUGE CLAY FAN very happy.

Of course, it also makes me suspicious. I know that there were Toronto scouts at the PawSox game today when Buch was pitching. I do fear that they are bringing Clay up to showcase him pitching on the major league level to whoever out there might be watching.

I'll say it once. I'll say it again. NO TRADE CLAY.

But, for right now...I am just going to bask in the excitement that I am going to see Clay pitching with the Red Sox in less than a week. WOOT! WOOT!


The Globe has an article with a little more info on Clay and the decision to have him pitch on Friday. Tito said they were concerned about rest of their starters who are participating in the All Star Game. They did not want to change the rotation for their starters, so they are bringing Clay up on Friday and then will send him back down to the minors and return to their regularly scheduled rotation of Penny, Lester, Smoltz, Beckett and Wakefield.

Francona said Buchholz was selected for a variety of reasons, but part of that is rewarding him for his fantastic performance in the minor leagues so far.

“That’s part of it,” Francona said. “He’s very important to what we’re doing, obviously, in the future. I don’t that we would just do that. It lines up real well. It should benefit him and us.”


Today's Red Sox Lineup 7/12 vs K.C.

Ellsbury CF
Pedroia 2B
Youkilis 3B
Ortiz DH
Bay LF
Varitek C
Baldelli RF
Green SS
Bates 1B

Beckett SP


Smoltz Earns His First Win

John Smoltz had his best outing of the season going 5 innings and giving up just 4 hits and 1 run while striking out 7. He had plenty of run support from the Red Sox offense and left the game with a 9-1 lead.

The bullpen that had been the best part of the team for the first 1/3 of the season, again showed signs of fatigue. Masterson came in to relieve Smoltz and was awful; he gave up 5 earned runs in 1/3 of an inning. Okijima also had an off night giving up a home run and 2 other hits in 1/3 of an inning.

The bats were on fire with 2 homers by Youk and additional homers by Big Papi and Tek. Every batter but Kotsay (who had 2 walks) had a hit in the game.

Red Sox Win 15-9 BOX SCORE



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