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Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Changing Sox: Red Sox Complete Trade for Peavy

Last night, the Red Sox made a three-team deal that landed them starting pitcher Jake Peavy from the White Sox and Triple-A right-handed-reliever Brayan Villarreal from the Tigers.  They sent Jose Iglesias to the Tiger and three minor leaguers to the White Sox.  The White Sox received outfielder Avisail Garcia from the Tigers.

My initial reaction to this trade was Really?

I’m not saying the trade for Peavy is bad.  Peavy brings a veteran presence to the team, which will be beneficial in the next two to three months.  To compete with the stellar Rays pitching, the Red Sox needed to obtain a starting pitcher with experience, and they did that by obtaining Peavy.  Also, Peavy will be reunited with Red Sox pitching coach Juan Nieves.

Peavy won’t be a rental player, which is reassuring since the Red Sox gave up their best defensive infielder (in the entire organization) for him.  Peavy is signed through next season with a vesting option for 2015, and the Red Sox are now responsible for that contract. 

This season, Peavy has pitched 80.0 innings with a 4.28 ERA and a 1.138 WHIP.  However, Peavy was also injured part of the season with a rib fracture and has only pitched two games since coming off the disabled list.

Last season, Peavy made the All-Star team and won the Gold Glove for AL Pitcher.  He had an 11-12 record, but held a 3.37 ERA and a 1.096 WHIP. 

In his career, dating back to 2002, Peavy has a 3.49 ERA, 1.177 WHIP, and won the NL Cy Young Award in 2007, when he was with the Padres. 

So, obviously, my concern isn’t with obtaining Peavy because, as I’ve stated before, the Red Sox needed another starter.  When Buchholz returns from the disabled list, they’ll have the option of going to a 6-man rotation to rest the pitchers for the playoffs.

My concern is with losing Iglesias.  For the season, Iglesias was hitting .330 with a .787 OPS in 62 games.  He showed amazing defense and versatility by moving to third base when Middlebrooks was out/demoted.  For years, we fans had heard how amazing of a player Iglesias was and how he was the team’s “shortstop of the future.”  Well, the future is now the past.

Iglesias was 5 for his last 43 at-bats, which sent his average into a tailspin since it was above .400 for so long this season.  24 of his 70 hits were infield hits, but that meant he had speed on the base paths.  (If you watched the game last night and saw Iglesias’ terrible base running when he tried to stretch a single into a double, you may not consider him a threat on the base paths).

Just throwing this out there: since 2004, the Red Sox have traded away 11 shortstops (Garciaparra, Renteria, Vazquez, Lugo, Lowrie, Scutaro, Punto, Aviles, Navarro, Ciriaco, and now Iglesias).  Other shortstops since 2004: Cabrera, Crespo, Pedroia (for 6 games), Reese, Cora, Gonzalez, Green, and Drew.  The shortstop position really is a revolving door.

With Iglesias moving on to the Tigers, the door is now open for Xander Bogaerts in the future.  If that doesn’t work out, there are still 2-3 more shortstop prospects in the organization that have great potential.  My guess is we’ll see Bogaerts in September; and who knows, he may have the same effect on this team as Ellsbury had on the 2007 team.  And, we know what happened in 2007…

Another possibility would be for the Red Sox to make a trade to get Michael Young.  Young has been linked on and off with the Red Sox for weeks now.  Earlier this week, it was reported Young would only accept a trade to the Rangers; but last night, there were reports that some Red Sox players had talked to Young and he would now accept a trade to the Red Sox.  Young would be a rental player, but he could also be the bat the Red Sox are looking for this season. 

Cherington said last night that someone will be called up from Triple-A to fill the void left by Iglesias, but he wouldn’t confirm who was coming up.  Could this be a smoke screen?

For now, the Red Sox have the established starter they wanted in Peavy.  Workman, who has pitched wonderfully in 3 starts and earned his first win last night, can now work out of the bullpen for the remainder of the season. Once the void at shortstop/third base is worked out, the Red Sox should have a roster that hopefully sends them into the playoffs (first place in the division is ideal).

If there are more trades made today, I’ll try and update the blog when I have some time.  You may want to check back later today and/or tomorrow.

Another reminder, I will be on vacation next week and will not be posting during that time.  I will still do Twitter Friday this Friday though.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Ortiz's Call to the Bullpen

For this post, I could talk about the Red Sox being shut out in Friday’s game and coming back to win the next two against the Orioles.  I could talk about how the Rays held first place for two days before yesterday’s game.  I could talk about how important tonight’s Rays- Red Sox make-up game is. 

No, instead, I want to talk about Ortiz taking out his frustration on the telephone to the bullpen during Saturday’s night’s game.

First, Ortiz had a right to be angry at the calls he was receiving during that at-bat.  He should’ve received his ball 4 and walked to first base.  Instead, the umpire, allegedly, took offense to Ortiz starting to walk to first without the Ball 4 call being made and called the pitch a strike.  The umpire did it again the next pitch, and Ortiz was called out on strikes.

As I stated, Ortiz had a right to be angry at the calls, but he didn’t have a right to take his frustration out on the telephone.  I think we all can agree to that. 

Not only did he destroy property, but he could have (and almost did) injure someone, like one of his teammates or coaches.  Pedroia, who acknowledged he was the smallest member of the team, was the one to get in Ortiz’s face and tell him to “calm down.”  (If that doesn’t speak volumes to Pedroia’s character and why he deserves to be the Captain of this team, I don’t know what will.)

Ortiz has a tendency to go off once or twice a season, usually in the heat of summer, and everything’s fine afterwards.  If this is his one time, then okay.  But, the fact that he destroyed property, could’ve injured someone, and did this in front of thousands of people (and who knows how many more watching on television) concerns me a little.

Look, I like Big Papi as much as the next person; he seems like a big teddy bear 99% of the time.  I agree that every once in a while, people need to blow off some steam.  As a public figure, maybe it would have been best if Ortiz blew off his steam behind closed doors.

In light of all this, I thought I’d post some pictures and Tweets that have been floating around the Internet regarding the incident:

Ortiz went 4-for-4 yesterday with a home run, so I’m sure he’s put the incident behind him.  In fact, the sweetest revenge would’ve been Ortiz playing the way he did yesterday without the phone incident.

As an aside, I will not be posting next week because I will be on vacation, and I’m not sure what kind of wi-fi service I’ll be receiving.  I will be posting Wednesday and Friday this week though, so make sure to come back for more. 

Friday, July 26, 2013

Twitter Friday

Hello, all!  Well, last night's game was postponed to Monday because of rain; so really, there's not a whole lot to report.  The trade deadline is less than a week away, so I'm sure there will be something that comes up for next week.  Enjoy this week's Tweets!







This week's Tweet of the Week:

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Pedroia’s Extension, Braun’s Suspension, and Buchholz to the Rescue in September(?)

 I warned you Monday that I would probably have a lot more to write about for today’s post.  Well, I do, starting with probably the best news the Red Sox have released all season:

Pedroia’s Extension

Yesterday, it was announced that Pedroia would be signing a 7-year/ $100 million extension, meaning he’ll be signed with the Red Sox through 2021.  He’ll be 38 years old at that point.  This is the first $100 million contract signed by a second baseman in MLB history.

I’m thrilled that Pedroia signed the extension, especially the fact that he signed before seeing what Robinson Cano will get in free agency after this season.  Pedroia plays the game well and with a driven spirit; the way every team wishes every player played, and the way fans love to see these men play.  Pedroia has heart, and he wears it on his sleeve.  You can tell he loves playing the game and that he loves playing in Boston.

Pedroia was originally signed through the 2014 seasons with a team option of $15 million for the 2015 season.  With the extension, Pedroia will be paid approximately $14.29 million a season, which is very team friendly, in my opinion.  It’s estimated that Cano could demand about $20 million a season.  Statistically, Pedroia and Cano are comparable; but honestly, I think Pedroia means more to the Red Sox than Cano means to the Yankees.

An interesting note, the Red Sox have only given out four $100 million-plus contracts, including Pedroia’s deal.  The other three players were all traded to the Dodgers (Manny Ramirez, Adrian Gonzalez, and Carl Crawford). 

I don’t see that happening with Pedroia.  In fact, my bet is he gets the “C” put on his jersey sooner rather than later.

I have to add this comment that The Boston Globe included in their article  A television reporter asked Pedroia if his teammates would treat him differently now that he had the hefty extension,  Pedroia delivered a classic response: “Not really.  They still have to look down at me.”

Braun’s Suspension

Ryan Braun was suspended by Major League Baseball on Monday for the remainder of the season without pay for his involvement in the Biogenesis scandal.  It was a total of 65 games.  Suspensions of other players are going to follow, reportedly next season, after appeals are handled.

Braun is essentially losing $3.4 million, a drop in the bucket of his 5-year/ $105 million extension he signed in 2011.  The Brewers are in last place in the NL Central Division and 20 games out of first, so there’s really no hope the Brewers will be making a comeback this season. 

Does the suspension hurt Braun financially?  Not really.  Does the suspension hurt Braun’s reputation?  Yes.  Does the suspension hurt other accused players chances of successfully appealing their own suspensions because of the Biogenesis link?  Definitely.

The fact that Ryan Braun took his suspension without appealing shows MLB had significant evidence against him.  If they didn’t, I’m sure Braun would’ve fought the suspension, especially after he successfully appealed his last suspension.  With Braun serving his suspension without appeal, it’ll also give more credential to the employees at Biogenesis who are cooperating with MLB’s investigation.

Braun’s Suspension’s Effect on Alex Rodriguez

In connection to Braun’s suspension is Alex Rodriguez.  There have been so many rumors floating around about what, if any, suspension A-Rod (A-Roid?) will be serving; I’ve heard anywhere from 150-games to a lifetime ban.

This is for sure, the fact that Rodriguez impeded MLB's investigation shows more guilt than if he just kept quiet.  It’s been widely reported that MLB has more evidence against A-Rod than they had on Braun. 

If I were a part of the Yankees organization (and thank goodness I’m not), I’d be looking for a way to void Rodriguez’s contract.  FAST.

Buchholz to the Rescue in September?

As mentioned on Monday, Clay Buchholz visited Dr. Andrews.  Buchholz was given reassurance by that he didn’t have structural damage to his shoulder, and he just had inflammation.  Dr. Andrews also said that Buchholz wouldn’t cause any damage by pitching with the inflammation.  Good news, right?

Well, Buchholz went on record yesterday saying he hoped to make 4 to 5 starts the remainder of the season.  The guy hasn’t pitched since June 8th, so I understand that he needs to build his arm up again.  But, if he had no damage and it’s taken so long for him to get a second opinion, part of my wonders what would’ve happened if Buchholz had been checked out by Dr. Andrews earlier.  Could he be pitching now?

In my opinion, the Red Sox need to get another starting pitcher.  Garza went to the Rangers on Monday, so that really only leaves Peavy and Norris.  The Sox seem to be more inclined with Peavy, at this point. 

If the Red Sox land a starting pitcher, they can go to a six-man rotation for September.  This, I feel, would be a great thing for the team.  It’ll give the starters more rest between starts to keep them fresh for the playoffs.  Plus, it’ll also have the starters in a sort-of competition for those starting positions in the playoffs.

That’s what I have for today.  It was a longer post, but so much had happened the past couple days, I had to comment on it all.  Let’s hope for another Red Sox win tonight!

Monday, July 22, 2013

Random Thoughts

The Red Sox took 2 of 3 from the rival Yankees this past weekend.  They won last night’s game in dramatic form when Mike Napoli hit a game-winning home run with 2 outs in the bottom of the 11th inning. 

The Red Sox are currently 1.5 games up on the Rays, who they happen to start a four-game series with today.  It’s going to be a battle. 

Today, I thought I’d ease into this week with a Random Thoughts post, since I know by Wednesday’s post, there will be a lot more news to report.

  Clay Buchholz is schedule to visit Dr. Andrews today in Florida.  The Red Sox are saying this is just to give verification that Buchholz won’t cause further damage by pitching on the mound.  Buchholz had been amazing this season, but he hasn’t pitched since June 8th, which has been almost two months now.  If he needs Dr. Andrews to give him reassurance, maybe he needs to visit a sports psychologist as well.  I’m serious; maybe he has a bigger fear of getting hurt than to not pitching again. 

  The Red Sox are said to be interested in Jake Peavy, Bud Norris, and Matt Garza (again).  They reportedly had scouts at Peavy’s start this weekend, and they think Norris’s asking price is too high at this point.  The Red Sox have seemed to be linked to Garza the past few years.  Supposedly, the Red Sox don’t want a rental, so my bet is they make a play on Norris.

  Speaking of rentals, the Red Sox are still linked to Michael Young.  Young would be a rental, especially since the Red Sox have talent at shortstop/third base in the Minors for future seasons.  His bat would be nice to have on the team, but the Sox seemed to be doing pretty well despite a power bat coming from shortstop/third base.

  Lester’s start was pushed back from Sunday to Tuesday.  The reason given was to give him more rest, but it was just the All-Star Break.  How much rest does he need?  Plus, there were some rumors going around that Lester could be traded.  I’m not sure if the Red Sox are to the point of wanting to trade Lester, but it is an interesting thought.

  I’m starting to think we’ll see Xander Bogearts in the Majors before we see Will Middlebrooks again. 

  I’ve been a bad Red Sox fan these past couple weeks.  It’s been over 2 weeks since I watched a baseball game.  Reasoning: they were on the West Coast before the All-Star Break, then it was the All-Star Break, Friday I was in Chicago for a concert, Saturday the game wasn’t on in the Midwest; and last night, I only watched about an hour and a half of the game (and it was a Sox-Yankees game!).  Not good.  I’m definitely planning on watching the game tonight.

  Speaking of the concert I went to on Friday; it was a New Kids on the Block concert.  (Don’t judge, I’ve been a fan for as long as I can remember.)  NKOTB is from Boston, and they wore Red Sox apparel during the concert.  Donnie Wahlberg wore a (sparkly) Sox hat during most of the show, all of them wore (sparkly) Red Sox “Boston Strong” jerseys during the last set of the show, and they played even played “Shipping Up To Boston.”  Unfortunately, they changed the words to “Shipping Up To Chicago,” but I still sang them the correct way.  I wasn’t a fan of the sparkly stuff either; one of them even wore a sparkly Patriots hat.

  The trade deadline is a mere 9 days away.  If the Sox are going to make a move, they’ll be making a move soon. 

  Did you know Jonny Gomes has 5 home runs in his last 19 games?  He’s also hit safely in his last 11 starts. 

And that’s all I have for today.  Make sure to check back Wednesday because I’m sure they’ll be more news to report.  Hopefully, the Sox can put some distance between themselves and the Rays this week.  Go Sox! 

Friday, July 19, 2013

Twitter Friday

Another Friday is upon us, which means another Twitter Friday.  Enjoy this week's tweets!








And this week's Tweet of the Week, a flashback to when some members of the 2004 Red Sox team were on Queer Eye for the Straight Guy!