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Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Trade Deadline Today

The trade deadline is today. It could either feel like Christmas (landing someone of value to put an optimistic spin on the season), purgatory (nothing of significance happens), or hell (the team becomes “sellers). I’m hoping from anywhere between purgatory and Christmas. Do I see a huge deal happening for the Red Sox? No.

MLBNetwork is having live coverage for most of the day. Unfortunately, I will be at work during this time. I will be relying on Twitter, MLB Trade Rumors, and probably my brother for information. I think I’ve mentioned this before, but my brother would love to be a GM, especially for the Sox. Today is his favorite day of the season because he loves watching the transactions take place.

MLBNetwork has already had some fun with the trade deadline today. Look at the tweets that have already transpired:

Kevin Millar @KMillar15
Breaking news @MLBNetwork has just traded the back hair of @TheMayorsOffice in exchange for the hamburger meat chest hair of @ChrisRose

Billd1530 @Billd1530
@KMillar15 @MLBNetwork @TheMayorsOffice @ChrisRose Just in… Millar’s frosted hair for Trump’s rug and caterpillar eyebrows, and a PTBNL.

Kevin Millar @KMillar15
Well played @Billd1530

Chris Rose @ChrisRose
@KMillar15 @MLBNetwork @TheMayorsOffice hey, I just woke up, where did my chest hair go? And why is my back so itchy?

So what could the Red Sox possibly end up doing today? I think we’ll probably see some shuffling of the bullpen, for one. That seems to happen with every team at the trade deadline. Relievers need to be moved around so opposing players aren’t too comfortable with them.

There has been a little chatter about the Indians looking to trade Justin Masterson, and the Red Sox are supposedly interested. Masterson’s had a down year: 7-9, 4.47 ERA, 1.381 WHIP. But, the Sox are supposedly interested in a 3-4 starter. Wouldn’t Masterson fit that category? Heck, he’d be close to the “Ace” of the team with his ERA!

In all seriousness, I do hope that the Sox can pull off a trade for Masterson. Not only has he become a workhorse since he was traded to the Indians (remember, he was the key piece in the Victor Martinez trade), but he won’t be a free agent until 2015. Plus, he’s relatively cheap, only having a $3.83 million contract this year, his first arbitration eligible year.

There’s been quite a bit of talk about Beckett being traded. Cherington has said that Beckett will not be traded, and I believe him. Billy Ripkin on MLBNetwork last night was saying he doesn’t believe Beckett will be making his start tonight for the Red Sox, that he will be traded. Not buying it. I’ve said it before, Beckett has 10-5 rights and would have to approve any trade; he won’t unless it’s to the Rangers, most likely.

Kelly Shoppach’s been the other player who keeps coming up in trade talks. It makes sense, trade away Shoppach to make room for Lavarnway. However, it appeared that the Mets and Rangers were the two teams most interested. The Mets have seemed to drop out.

It should be an exciting day; and hopefully, the BoSox can pull something great off.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Interesting Turn of Events

I’m not sure who all watched the ending to the Red Sox-Yankees game last night. I, myself, wasn’t planning on watching it after Albers gave up the run in the 7th (credited to Doubront). I really wasn’t planning on watching the game after Miller gave up the tying run. I’ve seen how these sorts of events have gone in the past, and I wasn’t ready to watch the train wreck unfold in front of me.

However, I continued to watch. Aceves pitched a perfect bottom of the 9th, and the game headed into the 10th inning. Salty walked. Middlebrooks squared for a bunt (why he was bunting, I do not know), and was hit on the wrist/forearm area. He crumpled to the ground in pain, and the umpire turned away in pain as well since the ball had hit him in the shin.

During all the commotion, my brother, his girlfriend, and I watched replays to make sure that Middlebrooks was hit on the wrist/forearm area and not the hand, as the hand is part of the bat. It appeared the ball hit the wrist/forearm area, but the homeplate umpire called that the ball hit the bat. How the homeplate umpire could see that when he turned AWAY from the plate when the ball hit him, I do not know.

So, a hit by pitch became a strike in a matter of seconds. Tempers flared, and Valentine was ejected. Truthfully, I think Valentine needed to get ejected from a Yankees-Red Sox game. He’s been going about this season all-too-calm for my liking. Why hasn’t he gotten so upset, especially when his team has straddled mediocrity all season?

After Valentine was ejected, the Red Sox bench erupted. It was very odd to see Adrian Gonazlez, Mr. Cool-and-Collected, going off on the umpires from the dugout. Cody Ross, who’s also seen as a positive influence on this team, was also yelling. Beckett was jawing at the third-base umpire as well, and he was eventually ejected.

Could the Sox response to the call be contributed with Pedroia calling out his teammates for their playing? Pedroia is the heart and soul of the Red Sox, no doubt about it. He’s the leader, even if he doesn’t want to be. He’s the guy the media goes to, even when he’s had a bad game. He’s the player the little kids want to grow up to be like, even if he has a vocabulary like a sailor. Pedroia is the fire, and he might have passed on part of the torch to the rest of the team (nice Olympic referenced, huh?).

The Red Sox eventually won when Middlebrooks hit a single, moving Salty to second. Sweeney hit into a fielder’s choice, moving Salty to third, and Pedro Ciriaco hit an RBI single. Sox win 3-2.

I see this game, and the series at that, as a turning point for the Sox. They are now at .500 again, still 9.5 games back in the Division and 4.0 games back in the Wild Card. However, there is still 2 months left of games. The Yankees are flailing, having lost 7 of the last 10.

In 2004, the turning point of the season seemed to coincide with the Varitek-ARod incident. The Sox reaching .500 against the Yankees in 2012 might be what the team needs at this time. They are still considered “sellers” with the trade deadline approaching tomorrow. Maybe the Sox needed to prove to themselves (and upper management) that they are winners.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Twitter-Mania Friday!!!

Here are this week's tweets:


Nick Punto @Shredderpunto
Nash wants to be covered in Gatorade like @IamCodyRoss but had to settle for bubbles #wishhehadashirttoshredd

Adrian Gonzalez @adriangon28
Cody to the moon!!!

Mike Aviles @Themikeaviles
Can’t even enjoy a movie now a days!!! What is wrong with people!!! Thoughts and prayers to those families involved in the Colorado shooting


Daniel Nava @dnavs33
“he once ran a marathon because it was on his way”….love “The Most Interesting Man in the World” commercials!! #hilarious


Will Middlebrooks @middlebrooks
Bedtime! ZZZZ excited to see all my friends and family the next few days!


David Ortiz @davidortiz
Therapy day getting close to where I want to be feeling better… I can’t wait to be back… 34


David Ortiz @davidortiz
@MacDime54 Hang in there homie nothing is free anymore


David Ortiz @davidortiz
New york here I go to meet up with my boy for the weekend series vs the Yankees…..34

Will Middlebrooks @middlebrooks
@Themikeaviles and I made a stop at Mr. Softee’s!!!


Chad Finn @GlobeChadFinn
Kind of glad to be away from the Red Sox right now. Can’t smell the stench of the season over here.

And the best tweets of the week:


Adrian Gonzalez @adriangon28
At @MLBFanCave today to play #MLB12TheShow against the dwellers. Winner get control of the loser’s twitter account!

Adrian Gonzalez @adriangon28
I just beat A-Gon in The Show #HRDerby. Now he’s gonna plan with me (@iBlogBetter) #PlanBros #FanCaveHacked @MLBFC

Adrian Gonzalez @adriangon28
So @KyleOKC beat me in #HRDerby, & then made me shred! Fun in the @MLBFanCave! RT & follow! #FanCaveHacked #MLBFC

Adrian Gonzalez @adriangon28
@adriangon28 Um, @smashleychavez just stole my phone… !! #FanCaveHacked

Thursday, July 26, 2012

A Change Would Do Them Good

Quick post today as I’m frustrated with the team at the moment. Here’s the line-up from last night with their batting averages:

Ellsbury- CF- .282
Ciriaco- DH- .333
Pedroia- 2B- .267
Gonzalez- 1B- .291
Ross- RF- .261
Middlebrooks- 3B- .297
Crawford- LF- .219
Nava- LF- .250
Shoppach- C- .270
Aviles- SS- .257

Aside from Ciriaco, Gonzalez, and Middlebrooks, no one else really strikes fear into opposing pitchers from this line-up. Gonzalez, who has been hot lately, went 0-for-3 last night. Ciriaco and Middlebrooks are rookies. Everyone else needs to step it up.

I don’t want to make excuses for Beckett’s loss either, but the man really doesn’t get the run support. Yes, they played the Rangers this past game. Here’s a look at Beckett’s last 7 starts this season:

June 6th- Baltimore- L,1-2: 8.0 IP, 5 H, 2R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 5 SO, 0 HR
June 11th- Miami- L, 1-4: 7.0 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 1 BB, 5 SO, 0 HR
June 30th- Seattle- L, 2-3: 6.0 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 4 SO, 0 HR
July 6th- NYY- L, 8-10: 5.0 IP, 8 H, 6 R, 6 ER, 2 BB, 5 SO, 0 HR
July 15th- TBR- W, 7-3: 6.0 IP, 8 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 7 SO, 0 HR
July 20th- Toronto- L, 1-6: 6.0 IP, 7 H, 5 R, 4 ER, 3 BB, 7 SO, 0 HR
July 26th- Texas- L, 3-5: 7.0 IP, 9 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 2 BB, 3 SO, 0 HR

With the potential that the Sox have (on paper at least), the games when Beckett gives up 4 or less runs should be wins for the Sox. In 6 of the last 7 games, Beckett has given up 4 or less runs, and he’s only won 1 of those games. Even if you took out the games when he gave up 4 runs, there are 3 games when he gave up 3 or less runs and only won 1 of those games. Plus, I don’t want to jinx him, but Beckett hasn’t given up a home run since May 10th.

The Sox need a shake-up, but I don’t know if it’s coming.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Less Than a Week Left Until the Trade Deadline

First, I apologize for taking almost a week off from the blog. It was a packed vacation away, and I had a great time. Even if I had decided to take my laptop with me, I don’t think I would’ve had time to write anything. So, for those who follow daily, please accept my apologies.

Second, I am refusing to write about the catastrophe the weekend series against the Jays was. I had very limited cell phone service where I was staying, but the few times I did check the scores to the games, I was a bit embarrassed to be a Sox fan. When the Sox fell below .500 after Monday’s nights’ game, I think the realization for the rest of the season became clear.

A few of my friends and family members who are Red Sox fans are still holding out hope that the Sox can get it going again. They are currently 4.0 games out of a wild card spot, which seems doable with more than two months left. However, there are 7 teams in front of them for the spot, and only three teams in the AL have a worse record (Seattle, Kansas City, and Minnesota). The Sox are currently tied with the Blue Jays.

Yes, a lot can happen in two months. The Sox could go on an amazing winning streak. Our pitchers can remember how to pitch consistently well. Ortiz can heal quickly and hit .350 for the rest of the year. Ellsbury and Crawford could both start hitting around .300 with a combined 50 bases. I think I’ve already posted all this as wishful thinking.

The truth is, the Sox need to make adjustments to this team. Having players come off the DL isn’t enough anymore. There needs to be some changes, and I don’t know if the Sox are willing to make the changes at this point.

The Sox were said to be in on Dempster, Garza, and Hanley Ramirez at one time or another. Ramirez was just traded to the Dodgers. A deal to send Dempster to the Braves is reportedly in place, though he would have to agree to it. Every team seems to be in on Garza. It was reported that the Sox had a scout to watch Greinke last night, but a pitcher with anxiety issues isn’t what the Sox need right now.

The Sox did end up trading Brent Lillibridge to the Indians for right-hander Jose De La Torre. This return may be decent considering De La Torre is 26 and had a 2.91 ERA with 9.4 K/9 and 3.4 BB/9 in 55 2/3 innings for Cleveland's Double-A and Triple-A affiliates this year. There’s at least potential there.

Supposedly, the Sox are scouting Josh Johnson as well, though I haven’t heard a lot of serious talk regarding the Red Sox and Johnson. It seems like the Rangers and the Angels have the most interest.

Personally, I don’t know if the Red Sox have the pieces to make a huge trade that would send them to the play-offs this year. Their talented young players like Middlebrooks and Lavarnway seemed destined to become permanent fixtures at Fenway. Ciriaco and Nava seem to the be two players most likely to go, but I think they’ve both lost stock in the past week.

With less than a week left before the trade deadline, there will be more rumors flying around about who the Red Sox are willing to deal and attain. How many of these rumors will prove to be true is the real question.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Twitter-Mania Friday!!! (on Thursday)

Here are this week's tweets of the week:


David Ortiz @davidortiz
Back to work let have a monster finish so we can go to the playoff god bless every one….34

Mike Aviles @Themikeaviles
Back to work!!! 2nd half starts today #getonthatgrind

Jacoby Ellsbury @JacobyEllsbury
Excited to be back in the lineup against the Rays tonight!


Kevin Millar @KMillar15
I get a kick out of watching people walk in airports. Fast, slow, nevous, cool, and some people got dressed in the dark #badoutfits #gotheeeem


Will Middlebrooks @middlebrooks
Eat a waffle RT @richie_kipp: @middlebrooks what am I supposed to do AFTER I wake?

Kelly Shoppach @ShopHouse10
I want to say thank you to all my old rays fans who still root for me even though I play for the #redsox. Y’all are good people.

Pete Abraham @PeteAbe
As I listen to heavy rain fall on the roof at Tropicana Field, I hope my umbrella enjoyed the afternoon back at the hotel.


Will Middlebrooks @middlebrooks
Woke up feeling really good… iced coffee… music… yep..

Colin Hanks @ColinHanks
Packed for Boston last night & discovered I seemed to have lost a red sox hat I’d had. I’ll just ask @IamCodyRoss if I can borrow his (for those who don’t know, Colin Hanks has been one of my favorite actors for about twelve years)

Nick Punto @Shredderpunto
Let’s keep our fingers crossed @Themikeaviles @IamCodyRoss @adriangon28 @RyanSweeney12 @bflo88 that our big papi will feel better soon!!!


Chad Finn @GlobeChadFinn
Can’t believe the Marlins’ interest in Carl Crawford is anything more than a chance to add some intrigue to “The Franchise.”

Mike Aviles @Themikeaviles
Took the kids to the aquarium earlier today and daddy and the girls had a blast!! #lovemydolls

David Ortiz @davidortiz
2 week of watching baseball during the season; that’s suck but only god know….. I’ll be back34

Jacoby Ellsbury @JacobyEllsbury
Nice win boys!


Kevin Millar @KMillar15
Can’t make this up once again but on way to golf course this morning and a freaking big bear just chilling in the yard!

And the best tweet this week:


Nick Cafardo @nickcafardo
Darnell McDonald had to cut his dreads for what, a little over a week? He was DfA’d by the Yanks.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Good Times, Bad Times

I first apologize for the title. I’ve been listening to a lot of Godsmack lately, including their cover of Led Zeppelin’s “Good Times, Bad Times.” For those who don’t know, at the beginning of Godsmack’s music video for “Good Times, Bad Times” is a shot of Fenway Park and fans wearing Red Sox apparel. There, I made a Red Sox connection.

Anyway, the title of this post is appropriate. Last night, the Red Sox definitely had some “good times” and “bad times.” Since I want to end on a positive note, I’ll start with the negative aspects. They would include Lester’s performance and Ortiz.

Lester was horrible! No, I did not get to watch the game (had to see “Spiderman,” since I’ve heard so much about it lately. It was good… not sure if it was better than the Tobey Maguire version). When I went into the movie, the score was 2-2 in the first inning. When the movie was finished (as the credits were rolling), the score was 7-5 in the bottom of the 9th with no outs. I held out the slightest bit of hope when I saw that the Sox scored 3 runs in the 8th inning. Yeah, that did a whole lot of good.

Lester’s line for last night’s game was 4.0 innings, 7 hits, 6 runs, 3 walks, 4 strikeouts, and 1 homerun. His season ERA is now 4.80. Now, I could spin this positively and say that it was his first start back after the break, but that’s not an excuse. Lester’s supposed to be the ace of the club, and he hasn’t proven that.

I like Lester; he’s one of my favorites. I find him an inspiration for his battle with cancer (as I have had my own skin-related issues in the past and know how scary it is). I even considered naming my dog “Lester.” However, Lester needs to step it up. It seems like he takes a step forward one start and then a step back the next. Hopefully, he can get this figured out… quickly.

Next up, Ortiz. Ortiz is out for at least a few games (more likely anywhere from a week to a trip on the 15-day DL) with an Achilles injury. An MRI yesterday revealed no tear or rupture, which is a good thing. Papi’s in a walking boot. But, he’s getting a second opinion today. Does this mean the Sox don’t trust their own doctors, or is there something else?

I’m hoping Ortiz is okay and will be back soon; it was such a fluke injury. Plus, as much as I like Nava and want him to succeed, he’s not a designated hitter. Sorry. It’s obvious the Sox are showcasing him for a trade. However, his stock might have fallen last night after going 0-for-3 with a strikeout and leaving 3 on. Hopefully, today goes better for him.

And now, the “good times.” Ellsbury and Crawford, the two outfielders that us fans have been waiting pretty much all season to return, produced last night. Ellsbury went 2-for-5 with a run scored, and Crawford went 3-for-4 with 2 runs scored. All four hits were singles, but they were hits.

The most impressive thing about their outing last night were the steals. Ellsbury had one steal, and Crawford had 3. With them running around the bases like mad men, it’ll make the opposing pitchers and catchers more nervous. Plus, these two will be in scoring position more often than most hitters, purely because they can steal 2nd in a snap.

Morales was moved back into the bullpen yesterday, and I’m torn about this. He’s been a reliable starter this past month, only really having one bad outing. But, he’s really flourished this year, and that’s mainly because of his relief help. Last night, he pitched 1 inning, struck out one, and allowed 0 hits or runs.

Tazawa also was impressive last night. He pitched 4 innings, gave up 4 hits, 1 run, walked none, and had 4 strikeouts. (Why couldn’t Lester do this?). Whether or not the Sox are showcasing Tazawa for a trade or see him as a legitimate piece of their own puzzle, it’s nice to see him doing well. His season ERA is at 0.84.

I also must point out that Youkilis had a 3-run home run off Lester last night in the 4th inning. Again, I’m glad Youkilis is doing well on his new team. I just wish he didn’t do well against the Red Sox. Oh well, round 3 is tonight!

One last thing, I’m going to be heading for vacation this weekend. “Twitter-Mania Friday” will be posted tomorrow, and I’m not sure if I’ll have an additional post tomorrow. I’ll be out of town without my computer until late Monday, so I probably won’t post additional articles until Tuesday.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Random Thoughts

* The 45-second standing ovation Kevin Youkilis received in his return to Fenway last night was great. It shows Youk that the fans did appreciate him, and he’ll always be regarded with respect despite playing for the “wrong” Sox. Sometimes, a change of scenery is good. In Youk’s case, I think that’s what he needed.

* Ortiz pulled his Achilles rounding the bases on Gonzalez’s game-winning homerun last night. Ortiz said it was pulled and nothing popped, and Valentine said Ortiz will be out for a few games. An MRI is scheduled for today. Yes, losing Ortiz is tough, especially since he’s been the team’s most consistent bat all season. However, Pedroia will be back on Thursday, and this will allow some other players to get a bit of a rest. The Sox will work with a “fluid” designated hitter for a few days. I’m guessing Shoppach and Saltalamacchia will share duties of catching and DH-ing for at least one game.

* Crawford was 1-for-3 with 2 runs in his return for the season. HE’S HITTING .333! Break out the champagne! In all seriousness, I’m happy for Crawford. I think he needed to come back and produce from the get-go. Hopefully, he’ll continue hitting like he was in the minors (I believe he had a .306 BA), and the mess from last year will be quickly forgotten.

* Aaron Cook continues to impress. Last night, he pitched 7.0 innings, gave up 5 hits, 1 run, 0 earned runs. He walked and struck out 0. His season ERA is down to a very respectable 3.34, even in the limited time he’s pitched. Does this mean the Sox keep him and trade away someone like Morales?

* The Sox are said to be actively pursuing Ryan Dempster of the Cubs. I’m all for this. One, Depmster has a ridiculous 1.86 ERA. Two, he’s Kevin Millar’s best friend. I’ve seen Dempster a few times on Intentional Talk, and he’s hilarious. I think the Sox need someone who can come in and loosen the team up a bit. There’s no one who is said to be the “fun” one on this team, and I think the Sox need that. They need someone to keep the clubhouse light, to have fun with the media. The fact that he’s Millar’s best friend, well that’s just a bonus.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Welcome Back Youkilis... and Crawford

The White Sox are set to play a four-game series against the Red Sox starting tonight, which means the return of Kevin Youkilis. Youkilis is flourishing with the White Sox, something I’m happy about, even if it is against one of my least favorite teams. It’s now become clear that Youkilis needed out of Boston and things were not good between him and Valentine. I’m excited to see him back at Fenway, to see the crowds reaction, and to see which Red Sox players reach out to him.

Youkilis wrote a letter thanking various people, like the Red Sox organization, Terry Francona, his family, and the fans. Click on this link: to view a copy of the letter. It was a classy gesture. I’m sure we’ll be seeing Youkilis in Boston many times in the future, probably at Patriots games.

Carl Crawford is set to make his return to the Red Sox today after spending all season on the disabled list. There’s been a lot of talk about whether or not his elbow will hold up the rest of the year. I hope he’s back and silences the critics. Seriously, this guy was amazing with the Rays for so many years, comes to Boston and has a below average year and is injured for half the second year. He’s bound to bounce back, and I’m excited to see him do it.

Jacoby Ellsbury returned on Friday, and was 6 for 14 with 2 doubles. His average was raised to .275 for the season (I think he has a total of 10 games at the moment). He didn’t have a steal or even an attempt, but that will come. He needed to come and be comfortable at the plate, and he looks like he is just that. I can’t wait until Ellsbury and Crawford are both threats for stolen bases.

Clay Buchholz returned to the Red Sox on Saturday and made a respectable start for a loss. He went 6.1 innings, gave up 4 runs on 3 hits, walked 1, and struck out 8. He also hit a batter. That’s a pretty solid start by for any starter (despite the runs), but especially from coming off the disabled list because he was hospitalized for esophagitis.

But, the important thing was that for the first time all season, I thought Buchholz looked healthy. He looked like he had gained about twenty pounds, which is significant since Buchholz always looks so thin. Buchholz is listed as 6’3” and 190 lbs, but I don’t think he’s every looked like he weighs that much. I have a brother who is 6’3” and is very thin, and he doesn’t weigh anywhere near 190 lbs.

The important thing is the injured Red Sox players are returning; and so far, they are producing. Today brings a whole new batch of Sox players returning, Crawford from the DL and Youk back to Boston as a “rival.” Baseball seems to be fun again for these players, and I think that’s exactly what this team needs.

* I had to note that I knew someone at every game of the Rays-Red Sox series, which is pretty remarkable for living in Iowa and the game being played in Tampa Bay.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Twitter-Mania Friday!!!

And so the second half begins today, with the Red Sox taking on the Tampa Bay (Devil) Rays. I don’t know if it’s the thought of Ellsbury returning today, Buchholz tomorrow, and Crawford possibly Monday, but I am starting to feel a little more optimistic about the rest of the season. Here’s hoping! With that said, please enjoy this weeks tweets of the week:


David Ortiz @davidortiz
I want to thanks all u fans for the love and blessing after I hit my HR #400 thank you….34

Jon Lester @JLester1
Proud to call you a teammate! #NVRQT RT @davidortiz I want to thanks all u fans for the love and blessing after I hit my HR #400 thank you….34

David Ortiz @davidortiz
@JLester1 I love u bro best teammate ever


Nick Punto @Shredderpunto
Wake up #RedSoxNation we got two!

Pete Abraham @PeteAbe
Yankees infield meeting behind mound. Jeter looks worried of losing Hollywood starlets to Ciriaco


Jacoby Ellsbury @JacobyEllsbury
Playing with the @PawSox tonight.

Brent Lillibridge @BSLillibridge
Last game before the break. Excited for a few days off with the wife and kid and then back at it! #gonnawannagetathroatripin #mcgruber

Will Middlebrooks @middlebrooks
Thanks for everyones concern and support! I’ll be back out there very soon!

Kevin Millar @KMillar15
Can’t make it up. Landed in K.C bags lost again!!!!!


David Ortiz @davidortiz
On my way to the ASG my friend see u there!!!!34

Pete Abraham @PeteAbe
Did you miss the wave? It’s awesome! //RT @jgill21: @PeteAbe the lack of energy at Fenway right now is borderline depressing

Kevin Millar @KMillar15
Good times last night hanging with @dfreese23 yes ladies that’s John Ham and my boy Barnes! #Boysclub

Kevin Millar @KMillar15
Jon Hamm damn I’m bad with names and spellingon

Mike Aviles @Themikeaviles
A few days of family time with my 3 beautiful daughters and my gorgeous wife!!!! #trulyblessed #lovinglife

Kelly Shoppach @ShopHouse10
Happy All-Star break!!!!

Will Middlebrooks @middlebrooks
Haha! Everyone have a great day!

Pete Abraham @PeteAbe
David Ortiz: joked “I should be hitting leadoff (for the All-Star team) because I’ve been walking so much lately.”

Pete Abraham @PeteAbe
The kids running around the outfield chasing balls look like a deleted scene from the Hunger Games

David Ortiz @davidortiz
Congrats to Prince. Another great year for the American League #GoAL #Trumbombs #splash

Kelly Shoppach @ShopHouse10
Best part of #hrderby is $400k+ donated to @StateFarm Charity!!!! Congrats to the HR King (Prince)

Nick Cafardo @nickcafardo
So the plan is for the Red Sox to activate Jacoby Ellsbury on Friday and Clay Buchholz on Sat. Trying to deal an OF, preferably Sweeney.


Jon Lester @JLester31
A lot of u have some harsh things to say. No one is more disappointed w/ how the 1st half of the season went than us. That’s why we #NVRQT

Jon Lester @JLester31
Get it all out now. And for those of you who remain positive and supportive, I can’t tell you how much we appreciate it! #NVRQT

Jon Lester @JLester31
Wanted to also thank my boy @davidortiz for making us proud and representing the @RedSox at the #ASG. #NVRQT

Will Middlebrooks @middlebrooks
Keep the hate coming… We fuel off it. We know who the real fans are. We play hard every day for you guy.

David Ortiz @davidortiz
Back home after the ASG. Hanging out with fresee and Gonzales on the way out….34

Kevin Millar @KMillar15
Bag update true story lay over in Dallas so I took an earlier flight they had room on landed in Austin bag not here. 3 for my last 3 no bag

Kelly Shoppach @ShopHouse10
Rain ruined my fishing trip today so I’m finally going to see ‘Ted.’ I hope it’s better than ‘Magic Mike’

Pete Abraham @PeteAbe
Good All-Star break for the #RedSox. Ortiz got a hit, Crawford starting rehab and John Henry didn’t help his wife learn any movie lines.

Jon Lester @JLester31
Guys, I love Boston, very happy here. Nothing better than playing for the @RedSox, hope to be here for my entire career! #dontbelievethehype


Jon Lester @JLester31
Wanted to send a big thank u to all the fans for their support. This is exactly why I love Boston and want to stay here! Love y’all! #NVRQT

Pete Abraham @PeteAbe
Middlebrooks hit me in the leg with a bat tonight and asked how it felt. “You’re always asking me,” he said. Pretty funny for a rookie.

Nick Punto @Shredderpunto
Excited and ready to take on the challenges of the second half! #RedSoxNation Two year old son got me right!

Favorite Tweets of the Week:


Sean Casey @TheMayorsOffice
Heading to KC tomorrow for All-Star game!! Can’t wait to see derby n crush some KC BBQ!! No doubt @kmillar15 will be crushing a pork sand!

Kevin Millar @KMillar15
No @TheMayorsOffice my body is a temple salads with lemon wedges! U on the other hand ur breath will smell like Hot Dog water! #crusher

Thursday, July 12, 2012

In A Perfect World

In a perfect world, Red Sox-wise, the team would be in first place. The players would have minimal injuries. Beckett and Lester would be battling each other for Cy Young contention. Ellsbury would be leading the league with stolen bases with 40-45 already. Crawford would be hitting .300+ with 20+ steals and 15+ home runs. Gonzalez would be hitting .350 with 25 home runs. Pedroia would have just made the All-Star team as a starter.

But alas, the world is not perfect, and neither are these Red Sox. I think everyone can agree that Ortiz is really the only player that the fans are satisfied with, as much as a Red Sox fan can be satisfied. Yes, there have been some surprises like Saltalamacchia, Middlebrooks, Morales and Cook (for the most part), and Atchison.

I know I haven’t concentrated on the positives much lately. It’s so much easier when you see the team in front of you playing to their potential. It’s a lot harder to sit back, try to relax, as you watch a team you know like the back of your hand not playing the way you know they can.

The unofficial second half of the season starts tomorrow for the Red Sox (and I say that because the team has played over half their games). The Red Sox take on the Rays, who have become a rival to them. The pitching match-ups are as follows:

Friday: Morales (1-2, 3.50 ERA) v. Hellickson (4-5, 3.41 ERA)
Saturday: Buchholz (8-2, 5.33 ERA) v. Price (11-4, 2.82 ERA)
Sunday: Beckett (4-7, 4.43 ERA) v. Shields (8-5, 4.17 ERA)

Let’s face it, the Sox need to get off to a good start with this second half. Their 4-10 start to the season really hurt them, much like their 2-10 start to the season hurt them the year before. But maybe, things will start to look up for them.

Ellsbury is supposed to be activated from the disabled list tomorrow. Buchholz follows on Saturday. Crawford will be shortly behind them, as he’s supposed to start in Triple-A today. Pedroia is still about 2 weeks away, but he shouldn’t need much time to rehab. With those core “All-Stars”(they have all made the All Star team at one point) in place, it might just be what the Red Sox need. Yes, trades will be made. The team will change, but it could all be for the better.

In 2004, the Red Sox traded away Nomar Garciaparra, the face of the franchise at the time. All the Red Sox fans I knew were upset. How could they trade away a player who meant so much the team, the fan base, and vendors (seriously, his apparel was the best selling). Maybe the Red Sox of 2012 need something like that to happen now.

With 76 games left to play, the Red Sox are only 2.5 games back from the second wild card spot. Making the post season is very doable, and the Sox could have the pieces to do it. They just need to stay healthy and win persistently. They can’t lose close games. Gonzalez needs to get his swing back (something he seemed to be doing better before the break). Ellsbury and Crawford will need to keep the other teams’ offenses on their toes and constantly get into scoring position. Papi needs to keep doing what he’s doing.

There’s the saying “It’s a marathon, not a race.” That’s true for a baseball season. Yes, in a perfect world, the Sox would be securely in first place without so many question marks. But, we don’t live in a perfect world. We live in a world where there is heartache and miracles.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Trades In The Making

Nick Cafardo of The Boston Globe tweeted last night that Jacoby Ellsbury is supposed to be activated on Friday and Clay Buchholz on Saturday, and that the Sox are looking to trade an outfielder, preferably Sweeney. We all knew this would be happening, even with the rash of injuries that the Sox have accumulated. Darnell McDonald is now a Yankee, and Youkilis is with the White Sox. Change was going to happen, but how much change will happen is the question.

No doubt that Sweeney makes the most sense for a trade. He’s young, shown a lot of patience at the plate, though he doesn’t have much power. He’s a go-getter with fielding, having crashed into walls more than my liking. Though he’s been on the disabled list twice this year (once on the 7-day DL for a concussion and once on the 15-day DL for his broken toe), he’s remained durable for Sox standards, always returning and ready to play at full-force.

I like Sweeney; he’s an Iowa-boy, afterall. But, with the Sox on the borderline of mediocre and playoff-bound, things need to change. Would it make much sense to send Nava (who’s come back from oblivion) back to Triple-A? No. When Podsednik comes back, it wouldn’t make anymore sense to have him in Triple-A either. My guess is Sweeney and Podsednik will be traded, and possibly Nava too depending on how much faith the Sox have in Kalish.

I was on the MLB Trade Rumors earlier this week, and they were discussing teams in need of outfielders. The Reds were listed as one of these teams, with the Sox lining up nicely with them. (Maybe my uncle is a psychic and predicted a Sox trade with the Reds for Arroyo?) Matt Garza’s name has been floated around a lot to, in terms of potential trade targets for the Sox. The Sox need pitching, so they need to go with who’s available.

I fully admit that I don’t like change; I don’t like the unknown. However, I do know when change is needed, and these Red Sox need a change. The Red Sox bigwigs held a meeting on Monday to discuss the season thus far, and they’re supposed to be making some decisions (are they buyers or sellers?). There’s a team workout scheduled for Thursday, and roster moves could come down then.

There’s also been some chatter about the Sox trying to trade Lester and/or Beckett. I think the theme here is that these two, plus Lackey and Buchholz, seem to have formed an alliance and are still regarded as “card carrying members of the chicken and beer brigade.” Yes, I brought it up. Lester and Beckett are supposed to be the top of the rotation, but their pitching performance seems to be regarded more as mid-to-lower order of the rotation. Lester, without a doubt, is pitching way below his normal caliber; and while Beckett has also struggled, his pitching performance is better than his 4-7 record.

(On a side note, another thing to consider with Beckett is that this is an “even” year, as in 2012. If you look at Beckett’s stats, he seems to do better in “odd” years. Seriously, I don’t know why this is, but it’s true. Next year, he should be back to “normal” Beckett. So, do the Sox trade him? I think not, plus he’d have to approve any trade thanks to 10/5 rights.)

I’m sure there will be much more discussion about trades as the end of the month quickly approaches. My guess is the Sox trade 1-3 outfielders for a starting pitcher, relievers will be traded and traded for, Mark Prior will emerge from Triple-A for the first time since 2006, and the Sox will end the year with a winning record, though still a disappointing season.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Injury Updates

I thought since the All-Star Break is the “official” halfway point of the MLB season, I would do an injury update. The Red Sox have had the most players of any team on the disabled list, which is probably why I’ve done way more injury reports that I had wanted to do this season. However, things are starting to look up for these injured players… the team, I’m not so sure.

Andrew Bailey (right thumb)- Played catch from 150 feet on July 1st, possibly returning late July or early August.

Clay Buchholz (esophagitis)- Threw 43 pitches in 2 1/3 innings during Triple-A rehab start July 9th, possibly returning July 14th.

Chris Carpenter (bone spur in right elbow)- Pitched 1 inning in GCL games on July 2nd and 5th, possibly returning in July.

Carl Crawford (partially torn UCL in left elbow, left groin strain)- Tweaked groin in July 5th rehab game, may resume rehab stint July 11th, possibly returning late July.

Jacoby Ellsbury (subluxed right shoulder)- Went 1-for-4 in Triple-A rehab game on July 8th, possibly returning mid-July.

Adrian Gonzalez (undisclosed illness)- Exited game prior to 3rd inning July 8th, more than likely returning July 13th.

Rich Hill (left elbow strain)- Transferred to 60-day DL on July 7th, possibly returning in August.

John Lackey (recovering from November 11 Tommy John surgery)- expected to pitch prior to the end of the calendar year.

Daisuke Matsuzaka (right upper trapezius strain)- placed on 15-day DL July 3rd, return date to be determined.

Will Middlebrooks (sore left hamstring)- ran on July 8th, still listed as day-to-day.

Dustin Pedroia (strained right thumb)- placed on 15-day DL on July 6th, retrospective to July 4th.

* Just a side note, but it concerns the Disabled List. I watched the first-round of the Home Run Derby last night; and by watch, I mean watch without volume because of the commentating. Matt Kemp is currently on the disabled list, yet he participated in the Home Run Derby. That doesn’t seem right. If the Kansas City fans wanted to boo someone, that’s who they needed to boo, not Robinson Cano.

Monday, July 9, 2012

So Close Yet So Far Away

It’s the All-Star Break, which is much needed for the .500 Red Sox. They are currently 9.5 games out of first place in the Division, and 5 games back for the Wild Card. Can they turn this season around for the second half? My guess is no.

If the Sox were 5 games out of the division, it would be one thing. They are not. They are tied for last place in the division, and you know the Yankees will be making moves before the end of July. The Red Sox will too, but who knows what this team will look like by the end of the week… let alone by the end of the month.

Yes, I’m still in my sour mood over the Red Sox and their frustrating season. How could I not? I successfully predicted the Red Sox would win 1 out of 4 games against the Yankees this weekend, and I successfully predicted that Lester and Beckett’s starts were the ones to worry about. Maybe I am a “Red Sox visionary,” as someone told me last week when I successfully predicted Matsuzaka would land on the DL during his start on Monday night.

I don’t want to be a “Red Sox visionary” though; I want to be proven wrong. I guess in terms of “good” things this weekend, Pedro Ciriaco was really fun to watch. He had this energy about him that we haven’t seen since Middlebrooks came up and started tearing it up. *Sigh* I miss Middlebrooks.

It was also “fun” to see Jeter making errors during the games. For the record, I like Derek Jeter, always have. I find him a very respectable player and a classy individual. However, he frustrated me because he has no range yet makes the All-Star team every year and wins Gold Gloves.

So, instead of dwelling on how horribly I thought the Sox looked this weekend, I thought I would do a few random thoughts regarding the team, this weekend, and where they need to go from here.

* I have a feeling two of the following three players will be traded soon: Nick Punto, Brent Lillibridge, and Pedro Ciriaco. I would love Pedro Ciriaco to be the bench player for the rest of the year, as I find his bat more reliable than the other two (though in limited playing time, obviously). It just seems very redundant to have that many bench players for the infield. Once Pedroia is back, two will be gone.

* My uncle informed my family that the Red Sox had acquired Arroyo via trade, and that it was announced during the broadcast before Saturday night’s Fox game (we weren’t receiving feed from DirecTV for some reason at that point). I quickly checked MLB Trade Rumors, The Boston Globe, and Wikipedia websites to confirm this without any luck. I have to admit, I was a bit crushed. I was ready to “un-retire” my Arroyo shirt, since he used to be one of my favorite players on the Sox.

* Adrian Gonzalez had his 18-game hitting streak snapped last night when he was pulled out of the game due to an illness; he was 0-1. It’s really a shame, but my thought was why did he even start if he was so ill? If he felt that ill, he shouldn’t have played, and his streak would still be active. Of course, that would be “selfish.”

* During our local news program Saturday night, the sports announcer called Youkilis “our Youkilis,” as in the White Sox. My brother had the best reaction: “He’s not your Youkilis; he’s our Youkilis.” I hope we always feel that way.

* My brother and I were having a discussion regarding who will be traded from the Sox and who won’t. My brother seems to think that Lester and Beckett are practically asking for a trade with their play this year; I don’t see that happening. Though, he did mention Lester’s performance is similar to Youkilis’s performance with our Sox, and Lester doesn’t appear to favor Valentine.

* “Thank Tek Day” is scheduled for July 21st. Well deserved. It would be great if they would offer him a position with the club at that point and announce it that day. Wishful thinking.

* Do people really put that much stock into the All-Star Game? I usually watch about two innings, then start switching back and forth between channels until I stop watching it all together. This year may be different, since players were not able to “opt out” of the game/honor unless they were injured or had another pressing matter (Yadier Molina being placed on the bereavement list comes to mind). Last year was the worst, since there were about 40 “All-Stars” for each team, as not many of the starters actually wanted to play.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Twitter-Mania Friday!!!

We’ve made it to another Friday, which means it’s “Twitter-Mania” time. Find this week’s tweets of the week, including Fourth of July and Darnell McDonald Departure tweets, below:

Fourth of July Tweets:

Brent Lillibridge @BSLillibridge
America!!!! England sorry bout it

David Ortiz @davidortiz
Happy 4th to everyone in this beautiful country enjoy the great holiday …34

Mike Aviles @Themikeaviles
Happy 4th of July my tweeps!!!! Hope u are all gonna enjoy it today

Jose Iglesias @JoseIglesias_SS
Happy 4th of July! Hope everyone enjoys the day with some baseball!

Daniel Nava @dnavs33
Happy 4th y’all! Be blessed!!

Kelly Shoppach @ShopeHouse10
Happy 4th of July!!! I hope everyone enjoys their day. Have a hot dog for me.

Kevin Millar @KMillar15
Happy 4th of July! Proud to be an American and bless our brave troops who protect us daily!

Ryan Kalish @Ryan_Kalish
Whats everyone’s fourth of July plans?

Ryan Sweeney @RyanSweeney12
Happy 4th of July to everyone! Great day to spend with family and friends.

Adrian Gonzalez @adriangon28
Happy 4th of July to all!

Darnell McDonald Departure Tweets:

Darnell McDonald @MacDime54
Dream come true to play in Boston want to wish my boys good luck the rest of the year! Much love to RSN! #ShowGoesOn

Mike Aviles @Themikeaviles
@MacDime54 stay up my dude!!! Stay the course and catch it out front!!! ##greatteammate #ShowGoesOnBrother

Darnell McDonald @MacDime54
Back to Boston to wait and see where the journey leads S/O to all my followers! #twitterswag #blessed

Darnell McDonald @MacDime54
Just got off the phone w/ Mr. Cashman Happy to announce I’m a new Member of the N.Y.Y. #Happy4th #blessed (not sure if I can continue posting McDonald tweets, since he’s now a dreaded member of the Yankees)



Darnell McDonald @MacDime54
Cookie pitched a gem! 81 pitches! #CG


Nick Punto @Shredderpunto
Way to go #RedSoxNation, @middlebrooks and @MacDime54 just turned a 34 year old into a twitter guy.

Jon Lester @JLester31
How about that @IamCodyRoss catch last night. #Gamer


Darnell McDonald @MacDime54
Congrats to my dog @davidortiz on his all star selection! Uuuugghhhh! Somebody call the brinks truck! Rick Ross voice

David Ortiz @davidortiz
Thanks to all the fans for having me going back to the ASG this year is more than a honor being there thanks….34

Kelly Shoppach @ShopHouse10
Sorry and you’re welcome “@laineymedley: @ShopHouse10 I caught your bat today and you signed it! That made my whole day! Good game Red Sox!”


Sean Casey @TheMayorsOffice
Thanks for the birthday wishes. 38 n I’m thinking about a comeback, just ripped a double off my ten year old in back yard wiffleball!! Lol


Brent Lillibridge @BSLillibridge
I know everyone has the day off tomorrow… Except the @RedSox @MLB Someone has to keep the economy afloat on the 4th #urwelcomeamerica


Kevin Millar @KMillar15
Congrats my brother from another mother @davidortiz on #400! Welcome to the club. Yours is homers mine is 6-3’s! #Wepull

Kelly Shoppach @ShopHouse10
The newest pet in the Shoppach house. Baby hedgehog but no name yet any suggestions?

Kelly Shoppach @ShopHouse10
The girls decided on ‘Oliver Rainbow Sparkles’ for the baby hedgehog. Trust me, I know, but at least I’ve got another man in the house.

Sean Casey @TheMayorsOffice
Congrats to my buddy @davidortiz for hitting big fly #400!! Keep raking brother!

Pete Abraham @PeteAbe
As of 11:30 a.m. today, Ellsbury was playing for Portland tonight. Now it’s just Crawford and Sweeney. #RedSox

Jacoby Ellsbury @JacobyEllsbury
Hey guys..had my scheduled day off today. Looking forward to getting back out there tomorrow!

Pete Abraham @PeteAbe
Boston mourns for him/ RT @TBTimes_Rays: #Rays Luke Scott ties #Rays team record set by Jose Cruz Jr. (2004) as he runs slump to 0-for-37

Nick Punto @Shredderpunto
Good night #RedSoxNation rest up we need the best tenth man in the game for these four battles with the Bronx bombers!!

Favorite Tweets of the Week:


Kelly Shoppach @ShopHouse10
Rain can only mean one thing… MOVIE DAY! ‘Magic Mike’. I’ll let you know.

Kelly Shoppach @ShopHouse10
Easy this is the only movie that fits my day. Plus I might learn something. Haha
“@MyTQ: @ShopHouse10 Sick and wrong… Man card is in question.”

Kelly Shoppach @ShopHouse10
‘Magic Mike’ review… Chicks should love it but it made me feel a little awkward like I hope no one sees me in here. Should have seen TED!

Kelly Shoppach @ShopHouse10
So funny to see all the tweets. Men are asking why? Among other things. Women are saying I’m a real man and its hot that I went. #justsayin


Kevin Millar @KMillar15
Got to fill u guys in on my secret. The pocket square I’m sporting on Fox pre and post game 2nite is a white paper towel folded #howproisthat

Kevin Millar @KMillar15
True story I have never worn a pocket square. Was washing my hands and the smart guy I am NOT thought bam let’s try it #lookspimp #shhhhhhh

Spiraling Out of Control... And the Yankees- Red Sox Series

The injuries are adding up, and there’s a new one to report. The Boston Globe is reporting that Dustin Pedroia is heading to the disabled list because he re-injured his already injured thumb. He was injured trying to make a diving catch during Tuesday night’s game, and it is the other side of his thumb, not the side where his adductor muscle is torn.

With the loss of Pedroia, questions of Middlebrooks availability because of a pulled hamstring, Crawford and Ellsbury still on the disabled list, and on 3/5 of the original starting pitchers still in the starting rotation… the Red Sox essentially will look like a Triple-A team with a few Major League players sprinkled in. Seriously. Here’s the projected line-up is Middlebrooks is still held out:

1B- Adrian Gonzalez
2B- Pedro Ciriaco
SS- Mike Aviles
3B- Mauro Gomez
OF- Daniel Nava*
OF- Cody Ross*
OF- Ryan Kalish*
C- Jarrod Saltalamacchia
* At this point, it’s anyone’s guess where Valentine plays the outfielders, but I feel these are the three who have the best shot at starting.

Ciriaco, Gomez, and Nava all started in Triple-A this year; Kalish started the year on the disabled list but would have most likely started in Triple-A. Here are the potential pitching match-ups for the series this weekend:

Friday: Kuroda (8-7, 3.17 ERA) v. Beckett (4-7, 4.06 ERA)
Saturday (1st Game): Hughes (9-6, 4.29 ERA) v. Morales (1-1, 2.51 ERA)
Saturday (2nd Game): Garcia (2-2, 5.94 ERA) v. Doubront (8-4, 4.42 ERA)
Sunday: Nova (9-3, 4.05 ERA) v. Lester (5-5, 4.33 ERA)

I stated it yesterday, but I have a really pessimistic attitude heading into this series. It’s really make-it-or-break-it time for the Red Sox. Wouldn’t all be great if our replacement/ Triple-A players really stick it to the Yankees? Yeah, it would. But really, I think it is wishful thinking to split the series. Plus, the scary part is I have more faith in Morales and Doubront with their match-ups than I do with Lester and Beckett. Something is seriously wrong with that statement.

I wish I could be my normally positive self regarding the Sox at this point in the season, but I feel any hope fading. The All-Star Break starts Monday. The season is more than half over. There’s always that little bit of hope, but I don’t think hope is enough at this point.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

At This Point, Does a Yankees- Red Sox Series Matter?

This week, the Red Sox were swept by the Oakland A’s. This past weekend, they were 2-2 against the Seattle Mariners. This coming weekend, the Sox have a four-game series against the Yankees, including a day-night double header on Saturday. Added to the drama, Darnell McDonald, who was recently released by the Sox, has signed with the Yankees and is scheduled to play in the series.

After such a dreadful trip to the West coast (which I’ve become accustomed to since the Sox never seem to do well on the West coast), the Sox find themselves tied for last place in the AL East again. They are currently 7.5 games back of the Yankees, 2.5 games behind the Orioles, and a game behind the Rays. They are 3 games back in the Wild Card race.

Sure, the optimist in me is saying “Only 3 games back in the Wild Card race? They can pull that off! All-Star Break is next week!” But, the pessimist seems to be ruling my brain these days because all I can think is “The pitching staff did a great job on this road trip, and they only have 2 wins to show for it. Where’s the offense? Ortiz can’t do everything… and even he seems to be having some issues these days.”

As mentioned, the All-Star Break is next week, which will give this team a chance to catch their breath and go back out there for the second half and play like the team we know they are. However, last year is still a recent, painful memory, and I really don’t know if I trust this team. Our rotation is in shambles, we have back-up-to-back-ups playing outfield (though that may not be a bad thing at this point), Pedroia seems to injure/re-injure his thumb once a week, Gonzalez has a hitting streak going but no power, I don’t trust Punto offensively when he’s in the line-up, they have no real base-stealing threat, other teams seemed to run rampant on them (though, Salty does a nice job holding the runners for the most part), etc.

Yes, there are issues, and the Sox of old are not returning to “throw money at the problem” at the trade deadline. Anyone coming or going will either be to free up a position for a younger player (Lavarnway?), trading away multiple players for a starting pitcher, or a swap of relievers.

The Red Sox will not be fighting with the Yankees for first place this weekend. I think they’d be satisfied with a split of the series. I’d love to see this team come out with some fight and crush the Yanks on Friday night, but I don’t know how realistic that may be. I’m planning on discussing more of the series in a post tomorrow, but I thought I would put in writing what I’m sure most Red Sox fans are feeling at this point. Does the Yankees- Red Sox Series really matter at this point? My gut feeling is no because I think the Sox would have to win at least 3 of the 4 games to make a statement. If they can do that though, the season might finally be able to swing in the Sox’s favor.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy Fourth of July

Happy Fourth of July everyone!  I'm not going to do a typical post today, as I feel today is a time to spend with family and friends.  I will be spending the day with my family, hanging out in the pool, enjoying burgers and hot dogs from the grill, and maybe taking in the Red Sox game on television if the weather gets to hot outside (high today is 100). 

Last night, my hometown did their annual fireworks display.  My family and I went to the local single-A baseball game, which was really hot.  I think when we arrived at 5:30, the temperature was still 95 degrees, maybe hotter.  The local team won, and the fireworks were great.  Whenenver I think of the fourth, I always think of food, fireworks, and baseball.  It's always been that way.

Hopefully, the Sox pull out a win today (they need one).  I'll return tomorrow with the regularly scheduled posting and discuss the upcoming Yankees-Red Sox series this weekend.  Enjoy the fourth and be safe!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Matsuzaka Needs to be the Next One to GO

For six seasons now, the Red Sox has endured the enigma known as Daisuke Matsuzaka. He was awarded a 6 year- $52 million contract without having thrown a pitch in the United States. He had the mythical “gyro-ball.” He was supposed to be the ace of the rotation with un-hittable stuff. It was all a mirage.

For his career, which consists 111 games, Matsuaka is 49-33 with a 4.34 ERA; 33 of his 49 wins came in his first two seasons with the Sox. He’s never had a WHIP even close to 1.00, the closest being 1.324 in his first two seasons. His career strikeout to walk ratio is 1.90. While he averages 8.2 strikeouts per nine innings, he also averages 4.3 walks in those nine innings. He is by far the most frustrating pitcher on the Red Sox staff to watch.

Last week, Matsuzaka one run in the first inning, which we as fans have been accustomed to this season; he has yet to go a game without giving up a run in the first inning. However, he only gave up the one inning. He seemed to be falling into place as a decent number four or five starter. But like we’ve learned with Matsuzaka, one good performance should not make us believe he has changed any.

In the 6-1 loss to Oakland last night, Matsuzaka gave up his typical one-run in the first inning, a home run to Josh Reddick. In the second inning, he gave up 4 runs without managing to record an out. He recorded 0 strikeouts, walked 2, and gave up 2 home runs. Valentine pulled him in favor for Clayton Mortensen, who did a very respectable job (5.0 innings, 2 hits, 1 run, 2 walks, 2 strikeouts).

My guess is Matsuzaka will be buried on the disabled list, possibly going on today. Afterall, he did complain of a stiff neck after his performance last night. He and the team needs to stop making excuses for him. The Red Sox cannot possibly win with him pitching the way he pitches. The Sox are looking to improve, but when the brought back Matsuzaka, things haven’t been pretty.

For the season, Matsuzaka is 0-3 with a 6.65 ERA. Not acceptable. For comparison, Daniel Bard was 5-6 with a 5.24 ERA, and he was shipped back to Tiple-A, where he’s been rocked.

The Red Sox need to own up to their mistake of signing Matsuzaka and continue on with the season. Cherington has already made it a priority to find starting pitching as the trade deadline approaches. Until then, I think a rotation of Lester, Beckett, Cook, Morales, and Doubront is capable of making a statement. If they throw Matsuzaka in there, it’s pretty much a guaranteed loss every sixth game.

Either the Sox need to “create” an injury Matsuzaka, if he doesn’t already have one, and not have him come back until September call-ups, or they need to do something more drastic. Matsuzaka needs to go, the sooner the better.

UPDATE:  Matsuzaka was placed on the disabled list today.  The Sox also released Bobby Jenks.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Goodbye, McDonald

Darnell McDonald was designated for assignment Saturday to make room for Josh Beckett on the roster. Even though I enjoyed having McDonald on the team and was even pushing for him to have a starting position during Spring Training (his numbers were great, if you remember), it really wasn’t surprising to see him go. (Un)Fortunately, it looks like we’ll be saying goodbye to more players in the next few weeks.

For the season, McDonald hit .214 with 2 home runs, 7 doubles, and 9 RBIs. His strike outs (17) were more than his walks (12), and he was caught stealing (1) as often as stealing (1). Minus the players who have seen less than 10 games, McDonald was the worst. It’s a business, plain and simple.

Darnell McDonald is one of my favorite players to follow on Twitter. He always seems to have something positive to say, no matter the situation. Even when he was DFA’d, he tweeted: Dream come true to playin Boston want to wish my boys good luck the rest of the year! Much love to RSN! #ShowGoesOn. Then he was sent back to Boston to learn his fate (traded or released essentially), and he tweeted: Back to Boston to wait and see where the journey leads S/O to all my followers! #twitterswag #blessed. As with many players who have left the Red Sox for other things, I will continue to follow McDonald. I just hope he gets picked up by another team and continues to play.

In 2012, the Red Sox has seen 11 players in the outfield; from most games to least they have been: Sweeney (52), Ross (50), Nava (45), McDonald (38), Byrd (34), Podsednik (19), Kalish (13), Ellsbury (7), Anderson (6), Lin (6), and Repko (5). The outfield has seen way too many players on the disabled list (Crawford, Ellsbury, Ross, Kalish, Sweeney, McDonald, Podsednik, and Repko). Crawford has yet to play a game, and Ellsbury has played a week’s worth of games.

It appears to me that once Crawford and Ellsbury come back (early indications are July 13th for Crawford and July 19th for Ellsbury), other players will either be traded or DFA’d as well. Likely, Ross would bring in the most for a trade, followed by Sweeney and Nava. I don’t believe Kalish will be traded, since he was dubbed “Right-Fielder of the Future” in 2010. Podsednik will most likely be traded as well, possibly in a package to bring in a starting pitcher.

As we learned from Youkilis’s trade last week, no one on this team is untouchable in terms of trades (well, maybe not Pedroia). I’ve stated before that Shoppach will probably be traded in favor of Lavarnway, but as my brother pointed out yesterday, wouldn’t that trade already have happened? The bullpen is fluid, as anyone can be traded in favor of new, fresher arms. Bailey should be coming back at some point, so what do they do with Aceves?

As we say goodbye to Darnell McDonald, I think in the back of everyone’s minds the question remains, “Who else will we say goodbye to?”