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Sunday, April 27, 2014

Red Sox's Key To Success- Being Healthy?

This sounds simple enough.  A healthy team equals a better overall team.  Middlebrooks and Victorino have spent the majority of this young season on the disabled list.  Once they returned to the line-up, the Red Sox seemed to play with more grit, with better defense, and with more heart.  This would seem to equate that the Red Sox needed Middlebrooks and Victorino in the line-up to play better baseball.

When the Red Sox called up Victorino on Thursday, it would seem that the Red Sox would get the much needed spark that they seemed to be lacking this season.  Victorino provides the team with energy, on the base paths and in the outfield.  Despite going 1-for-5 in his return, the Red Sox lost to the Yankees in a 14-5 massacre that saw Mike Carp, the pitcher.

Photo from NESN
However, Middlebrooks returned to the line-up for Friday's 8-1 win against the Blue Jays.  Middlebrooks went 2-for-4 with a double and 2 RBIs.  Victorino went 1-for-6 with a double.  To make room for Middlebrooks, Daniel Nava was demoted to Triple-A.  The Red Sox would go on take 2 of the 3 games against the Blue Jays, which would indicate that having Middlebrooks and Victorino in the line-up is more beneficial to the Red Sox.

As mentioned before, the Red Sox demoted Daniel Nava to Triple-A.  Nava has struggled this season, hitting .149 with 2 home runs, 3 RBIs, and 1 stolen base.  Yes, it doesn't look good for Nava, and maybe he does need to go back to Triple-A for a bit.  But, if there's one thing we know about Daniel Nava is that he's a fighter.  By now, all of Red Sox Nation knows Daniel Nava's story of being his college team's manager, hitting a grand slam in his first at bat in the majors, and becoming a key member of the 2014 Red Sox World Series Championship team.

Photo from ESPN.Go.Boston

In 2013, in 134 games, Nava hit .303 with 12 home runs and 66 RBIs.  He was a big reason the Red Sox played as well as they did last season.  I understand that the fact that Nava had options that played a major role into sending him down to Triple-A, but let's say he didn't.  Would the Red Sox have released him to make room for Victorino?

The Red Sox seemed to think pretty highly of Grady Sizemore, a player who hasn't played in the major's since 2011; that season, he hit .224 in 71 games.  In 2010, he hit .211 in 33 games.  In 2009, he played 106 games and hit .248.  He hit .268 and played 157 games in 2008.  Sizemore is currently hitting .221 in 19 games with 2 homes runs, 1 triple, 7 RBIs, and 2 stolen bases.  Yes, small sample size, I know.

Photo from

I guess what I'm trying to point out is the Red Sox were considered to have gotten "healthier" with the addition of Victorino and Middlebrooks and sending Nava down to Triple-A.  These moves may be important and necessary at this time, but they also have a player on their team who hasn't been considered "healthy" since 2008.  The Red Sox took a chance on Sizemore; and hopefully, that chance pans out for them.  With about a month into the season, I'm still uncertain about this move the Red Sox made.

Only time will tell...

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

It's Been Awhile...

A wonderful birthday gift
It's been awhile since I have last posted.  I admit, this off season I haven't felt as "into the blog" as I would have liked.  Not that I didn't still love writing the blog because I do.  Things changed drastically over the winter, and I'm learning that things are constantly in motion.  I won't get into every detail, but here are a few of the things that went on that helped contribute to me not writing for months:

  • Most important, my brother's diagnosis with leukemia.  When I first moved to Connecticut, my youngest brother was diagnosed with leukemia (I mentioned it here and how I bought the #GetBeard shirt in honor of him).  I'm happy to report that my brother is officially in remission and will be getting married in about five and a half weeks.
  • I started a new job.  I started working at a law firm in Hartford in December.  With working, I no longer had my days to write the blog.  This is no excuse, I know, since I wrote the blog while I was living in Iowa.  But, this was a huge adjustment to me.  I had been at my job in Iowa for years before I started the blog, and I was comfortable with the pace and then writing.  Working in Hartford is a much faster pace, and the type of working I'm doing is different.  It was a huge adjustment for me, and I'm still adjusting to it months later.  
  • My original plan was to start blogging again once a week when the season started.  Unfortunately, the Friday before Opening Day, I received devastating news that my cousin had passed away.  It hit me very hard, especially since I was not with my family and would not be able to attend the funeral.  I won't get into all the details, but my cousin suffered from addiction.  His brother set up A Go Fund Me Account in my cousin's honor, and I highly recommend everyone to check it out, especially if you've ever known anyone who has suffered from addiction.
I wanted to start writing this past Sunday, but I've been fighting a sinus infection.  I'm actually home from work today with it, so I thought I'd do a little blogging.  But, we're not here about what's going on in my life; we're here about the Red Sox.

For my birthday, my wonderful boyfriend got me a Fenway Four-Pack; tickets to four Red Sox games.  There were tickets for a game in April, May, June, and September.  My parents are coming to visit in July, and we got tickets for a game when they're back.  We also got tickets for a Yankees game in August.  That works out to a game a month for six months.  Not bad.

A beer in honor of my cousin

We went to our first game April 5th against the Brewers.  It was a bitterly cold night (seriously, the temperature was around 35*, and it was windy).  I hate to admit it, but we didn't last past the 6th inning.  I blame Buchholz.  Everyone around us left, which made the wind hitting us that much worse.  There was no coffee and little hot chocolate available.  The Red Sox ended up losing 7-6 in 11 innings.

Since we're a few weeks into the season, I thought I'd just do some random thoughts on the season so far:

  • I am not in panic mode...  yet.  There's been a lot of talk on the radio and television about whether people should be panicking about the Red Sox, since they are currently in last place and have a 9-11 record.  Season is still early.  The past two games have showed the Red Sox still have fight in them.  Victorino and Middlebrooks coming back from the DL will make a huge difference.  
  • Buchholz needs to get his act together.  Every year, it's the same thing.  He shows these flashes of brilliance then falls down the wormhole again.  My guess is if he has another bad outing in his next few starts, he'll be making a trip to the DL and Workman will be brought up.
  • Not impressed with AJ Pierzynski.  I don't think I'm being biased here.  He's batting .235 with a HR and 6 RBIs.  I don't think his defense has been stellar either; I'd rather Ross be back there.  I know it's still early, but I don't know how this move will benefit the Sox.
  • Anyone else get really annoyed with the ESPN commentators Sunday night during the game talking about how much the Red Sox missed Ellsbury?  Wow!  I'm sure I've mentioned it before, but I'm not a big fan of ESPN; and I try not to watch things on ESPN, if I can help.  Sunday night, ESPN could not let up on their admiration for Ellsbury.  Honestly, I think once Victorino returns from the DL, the Red Sox will be more of a threat on the base paths.  Sure, Victorino doesn't steal bases like Ellsbury, but he has confidence running the bases.  The Red Sox just need some confidence.
I'm hoping to post again this coming Sunday.  Make sure to follow me on Twitter at BornIntoItInIA.  You can also check the side of the blog for Tweets.