Tag Archives: Boston Red Sox

Red Sox Bandwagon Has Plenty of Open Seats

If September of 2011 didn’t leave a bad taste in your mouth as a Red Sox fan, then you just weren’t paying attention.  I’m sure there were plenty of fair-weathers (the old school term I prefer instead of pink hat) turning on their flat screens on September 30th wondering what the hell channel the Red Sox game was on.  My bet is those are the same fans that jumped off the bandwagon and are currently trashing the team whenever prompted today.  Truth be told I don’t really care if those fans come back.  Sure they may have had something to do with the Red Sox payroll ballooning up over $150 million, but it has been proven time and time again that it doesn’t take that kind of money to have the honor of raising the Commisioner’s Trophy so I am good with the faux-fans disappearing.

As I read content from other blogs and sports websites, there seems to be a great deal of Red Sox bashing going on.  I am not going to sit here and defend what happened in September, but what I will say is this team is still stacked.  I will be doing plenty of roster posts during spring training, but for a quick pragmatic synopsis; the Sox had to replace their closer, number 7 and 8 hitters, and number 4 and 5 starters from opening day last year.  I wouldn’t say that is completely detrimental to what was being touted as possibly the greatest team ever assembled going into last season.

Sure the bandwagon had to stop for gas and everyone had to get out and stretch their legs, however when it came time to get rolling again it seems a large number of folks decided not to continue the voyage.  I’m okay with this, it gives all of us die-hards a little more leg room.

Even the greatest of Red Sox fanatics’ patience was tested  last fall.  Nobody liked what went down, but the fact of the matter is the team as constituted is still very talented.  There are questions with health, the bullpen, and the back end of the rotation, but find me a team in baseball that doesn’t have any of these issues…you can’t.

So sign me up for another 162 game grind.  The AL got stronger in the off-season, so it will be a battle for the Sox, but that doesn’t mean the season is lost.  Hell Vegas has them at 8-1 only behind the Phillies, Yankees, and Angels.

Maybe with the fair-weather Red Sox fan population decreasing I can actually buy a weekend game ticket for a June game without having to go to the secondary ticket market.  Unfortunately they will be crowding up The Cask N’ Flagon again by then if the Sox are in first place.


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Buchholz To The 60-Day DL; How Does It Affect The Red Sox


Clay Buchholz was moved from the 15-Day DL to the 60-Day DL yesterday.  Buchholz had thrown a couple of mound/bullpen sessions the latest being on Monday of last week.  He was able to get threw the sessions, some even said he looked good, but felt pain after each one.  It was announced Wednesday that he would miss his mound session and then later in the week that he would be going to another specialist, Dr. Robert Watkins.  Watkins is a renowned spine specialist out of LA.

In a prudent manner, the Red Sox did not announce the extent of his diagnosis until after they had acquired Erik Bedard (LHP fromSeattle) just before the trade deadline on Sunday.  MLB general managers would have certainly leveraged Buchholz’s stress fractures in his back against the Red Sox, assuredly hiking the price of any possible deal.

As it were the Red Sox were able to get Bedard at a fairly reasonable price, not unloading any major league talent or even any of their top tier prospects.  And now that Sox fans know that there is a good chance they will not see Buchholz until February 2012, the Bedard trade looks that much better.

I could really care less about all of the media strife that Bedard has encountered to date.  The fact that he was quoted as not wanting to be in the spotlight or that he doesn’t like talking to the media, or he doesn’t know how long he would last inNew York, is a little more concerning than if he hadn’t said them.  But, as far as I’m concerned I want to see it.  I want to see how he pitches, he’s had stretches of brilliance in his career and you just can’t predict any subjective effects on results.  Here are a couple of those quotes from 2009:

“I don’t want to reveal anything about myself,” says Bedard, who’s revered by teammates. “If you want a quote, don’t come to me. I won’t give it to you. Anything baseballwise, that’s fine. Other than that, don’t ask me any other questions. I don’t want my life to be out there.”
“I don’t know how long I would last [in New York],” he says, with a sheepish smile. “I would probably be the same, and I don’t know if the media would embrace me or reject me. … Maybe I’ll need a clause in my contract saying I won’t have to talk to them.

Coming into the season the sentiments on what the pitching staff was were pretty consistent.  Most Sox fans expected Lester to be Lester, Buchholz to have a slight regression, and no one knew what we would get from Beckett, Lackey, and Daisuke.  With Beckett returning back to old form, I would suggest that if you told most Sox fans what the rotation now looks like on August 2nd, they would be pleased.

When you have two guys going like Beckett and Lester to go along with 66 wins at the beginning of August, you need to be happy about your prospects for the rest of the season.  Throw in the leagues top offense and two guys that have potential to be really nice number threes and that is a recipe to make some noise in the post season.

All that is really on the minds of the Sox fans these days anyways is do they have enough to win the whole thing?  That got me to thinking about what the pennant winning teams have run out to the mound in games 3 and 4 of the World Series.  Below is a list of all of the game 3 and game 4 starters from the last ten World series:

Game 3 Starters
2010 Colby Lewis Jonathan Sanchez
2009 Andy Pettitte Cole Hamels
2008 Matt Garza Jamie Moyer
2007 Daisuke Matsuzaka Josh Fogg
2006 Chris Carpenter Nate Robertson
2005 Roy Oswalt Jon Garland
2004 Pedro Martinez Jeff Suppan
2003 Mike Mussina Josh Beckett
2002 Ramon Ortiz Livan Hernandez
2001 Brian Anderson Roger Clemens
Game 4 Starters
2010 Madison Bumgarner Tommy Hunter
2009 Same as game 1 Joe Blanton
2008 Andy Sonnestine Joe Blanton
2007 Jon Lester Aaron Cook
2006 Jeff Suppan Jeremy Bonderman
2005 Freddy Garcia Brandon Backe
2004 Derek Lowe Jason Marquis
2003 Roger Clemens Carl Pavano
2002 John Lackey Kirk Reuter
2001 Same as game 1 OrlandoHernandez

















Now, this is all highly speculative obviously.  I could have looked at Wild Card play but that didn’t really interest me as much.  Not to mention the quality of Game 3 starter would have gone down significantly due to more teams of less quality being added to the mix.

I do not think by any stretch of the imagination that it is a forgone conclusion the red Sox make the World Series, or even the playoffs for that matter at this point, crazy things can happen. With that disclosure I will say, I really only give a shit whether or not they can win the whole thing.  So humor me.

If Lackey and Bedard suck for the next 8 weeks it would not surprise me if the lesser of the 2 sucky guys got the ball in game 3 and Lester or Beckett, depending how it would line up, would go in game 4 on short rest. That has only happened twice in the last ten Series, 2001 Curt Schilling, and 2009 CC Sabathia.  Both of those teams won the Series.

Overall, these lists are not that impressive.  Talent wise I would take a John Lackey start over about half of the guys that started game 3s.  I would take a good Bedard over three quarters of them, and yes I know Bedard has never started a playoff game.

I think with Buchholz, the Red Sox had everything they needed to win a World Series.   I think where they stand today they are no worse off than the balance of teams that have participated in the fall classic over the last ten years on the pitching side.  And don’t forget… they have what could potentially be a historical offense.



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Kevin Youkilis Back In The Red Sox Lineup


This picture was just tweeted by the Boston Red Sox Twitter account, stating that Kevin Youkilis will back in the lineup against the Royals tonight.  Youk apparently did not hurt his hammy as badly as most thought.  It did look really bad when he pulled up lame legging out an infield single the other night. Stick to the wall balls Youk.

Great news for the Sox!

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Trade Deadline Looming; What Should The Red Sox Do?

Take a look at the Red Sox active roster today:



























Where in that 25 man roster do you see a reasonable, substantial upgrade.

Now remember you have Lowrie (swinging a bat) and more importantly Buchholz (Just threw 30 pitches of a mound but did feel soreness afterwards) coming off the DL.  With Reddick as hot as he is, he is not coming out of the lineup.  Unless the Sox can make a blockbuster for a guy to play right field for the remainder of this season and years to come I do not see anything terribly exciting on the horizon. 

Carlos Beltran is really the only premier outfielder on the market.  Reports say that no one is biting on the Mets high demands for what is said to be at least two if not three top tier prospects.  All things are pointing to him entering free agency in the off season so he is just a rental without any compensation picks, which explains the lack of desire from teams that could use him, but do not want to pay that price.

 Here is the list of guys that may be on the move at the end of July:

Player Team
Brad Ziegler  Athletics
Andrew Bailey Athletics
Derek Lowe  Braves
Aramis Ramirez  Cubs
Carlos Pena  Cubs
Kerry Wood  Cubs
Geovany Soto  Cubs
Hiroki Kuroda  Dodgers
Ricky Nolasco Marlins
 Leo Nunez  Marlins
Jason Isringhausen  Mets
Carlos Beltran  Mets
Ryan Ludwick  Padres
Heath Bell  Padres
Ubaldo Jimenez  Rockies
Wilson Betemit  Royals
Jeff Francoeur  Royals
Melky Cabrera  Royals


As far as the Red Sox are concerned, I would think they are looking at middle relief and utility/back-up players.   

That is of course if they are content with Reddick’s play.  Theo has been tentative in saying that he is ready to call Reddick his everyday starter.  That position is understandable since this is the best Reddick has played in his professional career at any level.

Some Sox fans may covet a right handed bat like Cabrera(switch hitter), Francoeur, or Ludwick.  All three of those guys would certainly be capable defensively in right field and offer some pop from the right side.  The big question with those guys would be how much do they cost and then how much do they play.

Middle relievers are always available, but the cost can be steep.  And if you ask me I don’t really see any major issues with the Red Sox middle relief.  They are in the middle of the pack for ERA and anyone you bring in here is going to be a crap shoot.  Jenks and Wheeler’s starts to the season, to go along with the performances of Atchinson and Okajima, are large factors that weigh down that ERA.  Of late the boys in the middle have been pretty filthy and, if you go on track record, that should continue.

With Iglesias in the wings for the SS position I really do not see the need for the Red Sox to make a splash.  I know that sounds boring, but you tell me where they have a major need. 1-6 in the lineup at this point are set before the sunrises every day, and 1-4 in the rotation is locked in for the next 3 years. 

I hope Red Sox nation does not have too high of hopes come July 31.  In all reality I would suggest that the Sox will get a bigger name via the waiver period than before the non-waiver deadline.  But, you never know, there is always that possibility that you can get a name off that list at a reasonable price, or someone that has yet to be mentioned.

No matter what happens I like composition of the 25 man right now, especially considering that there are still internal options to get lefties out, fill top of the rotation slots, and field multiple positions more than serviceably. 

It’s hard to improve on a team that has performed at 109 win pace deep into July.


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A word on Scoot

by HurricanePT

As you guys may have noticed from on-site reaction to my piece praising J.D. Drew, not everyone on this blog has the same opinions. (As with life, diversity makes things interesting.) For instance, in Satch’s “10 Observations” piece from a few days ago he says the following:

9. What the hell can we do at Shortstop?

Jose Reyes? Hanley Ramirez? We need to do something, but I don’t know how much more in money and in prospects that we can send anywhere this year. Scutaro can’t reach first base anymore. I think it safe to say that we can hit Lowrie with the “injury plagued” tag now. It may be time to bring Iglesias up.

Leaving aside the fact that, even playing as badly as he is right now, there is no way Florida would trade Hanley, that Reyes would cost more in prospects and cash than Theo will be willing to spend, that Iglesias just hit his fifth extra base hit of the season last week, and that Lowrie has been effective when not injured, let’s focus on Scoot.

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