December 2008

Ringing in the New Year in Canada

Well I hope everyone had a fabulous New Year’s Eve, and that you ringed (rung?) it in well. I was actually in an elevator when the clock struck midnight. I can’t say that I had a “white” Christmas like some of you up north and out west, but I did have a “white” New Years. Nope, it didn’t snow in Miami… come on, the weather NEVER changes there. I’m in Canada with one of my friends, Christina (who is playing the really amusing game, Bubble Trouble), right now. I don’t think we’re anywhere near Homer.. we’re in Mont Tremblent, skiing. Surprisingly enough, I’m not as bad as I thought I’d be. It’s not like I can do those crazy tricks, or go down Black trails yet.. but I’m going down the blues :).

Well, I hope MLB Network had a successful launch… we don’t get it up in Canada, much to my dismay. As soon as I get back though, I’ll be able to watch baseball 24/7/365. Mark has written numerous articles about it, and it sounds phenomenal. He was even kind enough to quote me in one of his articles. 
The New Year seems seems to be all about New Year’s resolutions, and I’ve never really kept any before, so I’ve decided to make a few that will be within my power to keep. 
1. Try and blog everyday. There might be a few shortages… when it comes to the AP US History exam in particular. Also, for a month during in the summer, there’s a possibility that there will be no blogs because I’ll be at camp. Regardless, the moral of this resolution is: blog as much as possible.
2. This is probably the most important one. Get an internship with a sports writer, or maybe just any kind of writer… but sports would be good seeing that the only thing I know anything about extensively is baseball. Any kind of internship would be wonderful though 
3. When I read Julia’s blog the other day, about her resolution, it got be thinking. It was kind of like a ‘Pay it Forward’ type thing. One person can’t change the world, but a bunch of people can by helping those around us.
4. Get a 4 or higher on my first AP exam. AP US History scares the living crap out of me… there’s so much information. But I’d love to get at least a four on the exam. Besides that just do well in school of course :)
5. Alright guys, for this one you’ve got to e-mail me if you want to know what it is. I don’t want to put it up here. elizabethxsanti@aol.com
6. Be the number one blogger of the week just once this year. Maybe it’ll happen, if I can get past people like JeffJaneJimmy, etc. 
7. Go to as many Spring Training games as humanly possible. Regardless of how expensive gas is (even though it’s gone down A LOT).
8. Go to at least three Red Sox vs Rays games this year. 
Now that I have some of my own resolutions down, I have some for the Red Sox too. I know I can’t control anything that happens in the organization, but I’m glad that I have faith in something that I can’t control.
1. Re-sign Jason Varitek for two years. I don’t know if he’ll be finished in two years, but I do want him to retire with the Red Sox. 
2. Sign some of our promising star players to longer contracts. This means Kevin Youkilis, Jonathan Papelbon, Jason Bay, and JD Drew. 
3. Keep the team morale and spirit up. I hope that there are no fights or harsh spirits between the players (like Kevin Youkilis and Manny Ramirez). I think that in order to do well, that everyone on the team has to be working together. Sure players can have special games sometimes, but there’s no way that you can get to the postseason if you don’t work together.
Now that I’ve been on this site for a couple of months… I want to thank absolutely everyone who reads my blog. It really means the world to me when I get those nice comments and what not. It’s such a great community that even fans of rival teams can coexist. I’m glad I’m part of the best blog community on the internet (in my opinion at least). I wish everyone hear a healthy and prosperous New Year!
**By the way, my next entry will be about the new Red Sox acquisitions Josh Bard and Brad Penny, and I will also answer levelboss’ question about what I would do about our catching situation.
-Elizabeth

Best Red Sox Players in History-Your Opinion?

So for the other site that I write for on a weekly basis, MLB Center, as the Red Sox Correspondent, I finally finished the “rough draft” of the article: The Top 10 Red Sox Players of All Time. Not only is it the Top 10 of all Time, but there are some honorable mentions, and some “future stars” as well. I’m sure a lot of you already know some stories about most of these players, but if you have any personal stories (or opinions) that you’d like to share, I think that’d really add to the story. You will of course be quoted in the final story. 

Top 10
Boston Red Sox Players

Elizabeth Dreeson-Red Sox Corespondent

10. Joe Cronin

            Cronin
played for the Red Sox from 1935-1945 with a career .301 batting average, and
2,285 career hits, and the Red Sox retired his number 6. He was an All-Star
seven times, he batted .300 or higher and drove in 100 or more runs eight
times. He was also a manager and general manager for the Red Sox in the ’40′s.
In a memorable fight in 1938, he intercepted Jake Powell when he tried to
charge the mound after being hit in the stomach by Red Sox pitcher Archie
McKain.

9. Tris Speaker

            Tris
Speaker played for the Red Sox from 1907-1914 with a career average of .345.
Speaker got the starting center fielder job in 1909 and was part of the
“Million Dollar Outfield” in 1910 along with Duffy Lewis (LF) and Harry Hooper
(RF). Speaker’s best season was 1912, when Fenway Park opened and when the Sox
won the World Series for the second time. He had 222 hits that season and
scored 136 runs. He set a major league record when he had three batting streaks
of twenty or more games (30, 23, and 22).

 

8. Johnny Pesky

            In
Fenway Park, the foul ball pole in right field is called “Pesky’s Pole”.
According to Pesky, pitcher Mel Parnell coined the nickname because of Pesky’s
legendary, controversial home run in 1948 over the fence near the pole; in
fact, it may have even hit the pole. That home run was one of only six home
runs Pesky ever hit at Fenway Park. He was the first American League player to
score six runs in a nine-inning game. He led the American League in base hits
three times. His career average was .307 and he has been a valuable member of
the Red Sox organization serving as a first base coach in the 70′s (including
the amazing 1975 World Series) and a batting coach to Jim Rice

 

 

 

7. Jimmie
Foxx

            Jimmie
Foxx played for the Red Sox from 1936-1942 with an astounding .325 career
batting average, 534 home runs, and 2,646 hits. He was nicknamed Double X and
The Beast, and he is the second youngest player of all time to reach 500 home
runs at only age 32, and he was the second player to reach that mark. He had a
spectacular 1938 season with the Sox hitting 50 home runs, driving in 175 runs,
batting .349, and winning his third MVP award. He served as the Red Sox team
captain as well.

6. Wade Boggs

            Boggs
played with the Red Sox from 1982-1992 with a career .328 batting average, and
3,010 hits. He played third base, and appeared in 12 consecutive All-Star
games. His best season was 1987 with a .363 batting average and 89 RBIs. He won
five batting titles throughout his career and batted .349 as a rookie. From
1982-1988 he hit below .349 only once, in 1984 when he batted .325. From
1983-1989 Boggs had 200 hits consecutively each year. He also had six seasons
200 or more hits, 100 or more home runs, and 40 or more doubles.

5.  Bobby Doerr

            Bobby
Doerr spent his entire career with Boston; from 1937-1941. He batted .288 with
2,042 career hits. The Red Sox retired his number 1. He led American League
second basemen in double plays five times, he led in put outs and fielding
percentage four times each, and in assists three times. He has an amazing
career fielding percentage of .980. He set Red Sox records for career games
(1,865), at bats (7,093), hits (2,042), doubles (381), total bases (3,270), and
runs batted in. However, these were all later broken by arguably the best
hitter of all time, Ted Williams. Doerr hit for the cycle twice in his career,
and he set a second base record in 1948 by handling 414 chances over 73 games
without an error.

4. Cy Young

            Cy
Young pitched with the Red Sox from 1901-1908 and is revered as one of the best
pitchers, if not the best pitcher, in the history of the game. He holds the all
time records for wins with 511, 7,355 innings pitched, 2,803 strikeouts, and
749 complete games. His career ERA is 2.38, and his lowest ERA of his career
was 1.26. He has 76 career shutouts, which is fourth all time, and he won at
least 30 games in a season five times, with ten other seasons with 20 or more
wins. He pitched three no hitters, and the first perfect game of baseball’s
“modern era”. He earned the AL Triple Crown for pitchers in his first year in
the American League. Baseball honored Cy Young by naming the award given
annually to the best pitcher of each league.

3. Carlton Fisk

            Carlton
Fisk played for the Red Sox from 1969-1980 as a catcher. He had a career
batting average of .269, and recorded 2,356 hits over his career. In 1972, his
first full year with the Red Sox, he won the AL Gold Glove at catcher, and the
AL Rookie of the Year award. He caught 2,226 career games, more than any other
catcher in history, and was an 11 time All-Star. The most memorable moment of
his career came in Game 6 of the 1975 World Series in the 12th
inning against the Cincinnati Reds. He hit a home run that appeared to be going
foul down the left field line so he started jumping and waving his hands,
willing the ball to be fair. The ball struck the foul ball pole, and the walk
off home run carried the Sox to Game 7. Another memorable Fisk moment was his
fight with Thurman Munson of the New York Yankees. On August 1, 1973 at Fenway
Park, the game was tied 2-2 in the top of the ninth. Thurman attempted to score
by barreling into Fisk, which triggered a ten-minute, bench clearing brawl, and
heightening the tension between the classic rivalry. The left field pole is
called the Fisk Foul Pole, in honor of the 1975 game. Ken Burns, who created a
beautiful series on the decades of baseball, considers that game to have
re-triggered interest in baseball.

2. Carl Yastrzemski

            “Yaz”
played for the Red Sox his entire career, 1961-1983, and was part of the
“Impossible Dream Team” of 1967. He played outfield primarily, and was known
for his ability to track down flies, but he also played first base and
designated hitter. He batted .285, with 3,419 hits,  and 1,844 RBI’s. He also served as a Red Sox captain, and is
the last player in baseball to win the Triple Crown (1967). He was an 18 time
All-Star, a seven time Gold Glover, and was the first American League member of
the 3,000 hit club to hit 400 home runs. He shares the record with Brooks
Robinson of the Orioles for longest career with one team, 23 seasons.

1.                
Ted Williams

Ted
Williams also known as the “Splendid Splinter” or “Teddy Ballgame” is arguably
the greatest hitter of all time. He also played his entire career in Boston,
from 1939-1960 in which he batted .344, batted in 1,839, collected 2,654 hits,
and hit 524 home runs. He played left field for the Red Sox, won the AL MVP
twice, lead the league in batting six times, and won the Triple Crown twice
(1942 and 1947). He is the last player in Major League Baseball to bat over
.400 in one season (.406 in 1941). In fact, his career year was 1941 where he
batted .406, hit 37 home runs, batted in 120 runs and scored 135 runs. He holds
the highest career batting average of anyone with more than 500 home runs. In
the 1946 All-Star game he went 4-4 with two home runs and five RBI’s. In his
last at-bat on September 23, 1960, he hit a home run. The Red Sox retired his
number 9. One of Teddy’s final and most memorable public appearances was at the
1999 All-Star game, when he was brought out to the mound in a golf cart.
“Baseball is the only field of endeavor where a man can succeed three times out
of ten and be considered a good performer”.

 

Honorable
Mentions:

·     
Babe Ruth: Every
baseball fan knows the story about Babe Ruth. How in 1918 he was traded to the
New York Yankees for cash to fund the corrupt Red Sox owner’s Broadway show,
and after that year the Sox entered into an 86 year drought in which they came
agonizingly close to a World Series win several time, but never won it. This
became known as the Curse of the Bambino. Babe Ruth was both a pitcher and a
first baseman. He batted a career .342, held the record of 714 home runs for some
time (before it was broken by Hank Aaron) and had 2,873 career hits. As a
pitcher, he had a career 2.28 ERA, with 107 complete games out of only 163
games pitched. Even though he spent the majority of his career with the
Yankees, he is regarded as the greatest player of all time.

·     
Jim Rice:
Jim Rice played for the Red Sox for his entire career, from 1974-1989, with a
career .298 batting average, 2,452 career hits, and 382 home runs. He was a
captain for the Red Sox,
he topped 20 homers 11 times, 100 RBIs eight times,
was an All-Star eight times, hit .300 in seven seasons and he finished in the
top five in the AL MVP voting six times. Also, Rice hit 39-plus homers four
times. During this time most of his stats were leading in the AL. He’s been on
the top ten list in various categories numerous times. This past year he came
sixteen votes away from eternal enshrinement in the Hall of Fame, and he’s on
the ballot for his fifteenth and final at-bat this year.

·     
Tony Conigliaro: Nicknamed Tony C. he played from 1964-1975 with a career batting average
of .264. In his 1964 Rookie season batted .290 with 24 home runs, and in his
1965 he led the league in home runs with 32. On August 18, 1967, in a game
against the California Angels, he was hit by a pitch on his left cheekbone, and
knocked unconscious. He missed the rest of that season; however, in the next
season, he was named Comeback Player of the Year. He was forced to retire
earlier than expected because his eyesight had been permanently damanged.

·     
Jim Lonborg: Jim Lonborg pitched with the Red Sox from 1965-1971. He had a career ERA
of 3.86 with 368 complete games of 425. In 1967, as a part of the Impossible
Dream Team, he led American League pitchers in wins, games started, and
strikeouts. 

·     
Freddy Lynn: Fred Lynn played for the Red Sox from 1974-1979 as a centerfielder. He
batted .283 with 1,960 hits and 306 home runs. He had an amazing 1975 season in
which he won the Rookie of the Year award as well as the AL MVP award. He was
the first player ever to win both in one season. Lynn and Rice were dubbed as
the “Gold Dust Twins”. In 1975 Lynn also led the league in doubles, runs
scored, and slugging percentage, and finished second in batting average at
.331. On top of that he won a Gold Glove Award. When he was with the Red Sox,
he was elected to the All-Star team every year.

·     
Mike Greenwell: Mike Greenwell played his entire career with the Red Sox, from
1985-1996. He batted .303 with 1,400 hits, and played left field. He was
nicknamed “The Gator” because he wrestled with alligators during the offseason.
In 1988, Greenwell hit .325 with 22 HR, and 119 RBIs, and finished second in
MVP voting.

·     
Dwight Evans: Dwight Evans spent his entire career with the Red Sox, from 1972-1991.
He played right field with a batting average of .272. However, Evans was mostly
known for his amazing fielding. He won eight gold gloves and his throwing arm
was among the best in baseball of his time. From 1980-1989, Evans hit more home
runs (256) than any other player in the American League.

·     
Mo Vaughn: Mo
Vaughn also played his entire career with Boston, from 1991-2003. He batted
.293 with 328 home runs and 1,620 hits. He was nicknamed the “Hit Dog” and
played first base for the Red Sox, selected as an All-Star three times, and won
the AL MVP in 1995. In 1995 he established himself the reputation of one of the
most feared hitters in the AL when he hit 39 home runs with 126 RBIs and a .300
batting average. However, his best season with the Red Sox was 1996 when he
batted .326 with 44 home runs and 143 RBIs. From 1996-1998 Vaughn batted .315
or higher, and averaged 40 home runs and 118 RBIs.

Recent Honorable Mentions

·     
Pedro Martinez: In 1999 Pedro finished with a 23-4 record with a 2.07 ERA and 313
strikeouts, which earned him the Pitchers Triple Crown, and the Cy Young Award.
Between August 1999 and April 2000, Martinez had ten consecutive starts with
ten strikeouts. In the 1999 All-Star Game, he became the first pitcher to
strike out the side at an All-Star game. In 2000, he posted a 1.74 ERA, and won
his third Cy Young Award. He finished his career with the Red Sox with a 117-37
record,the highest winning percentage a pitcher has ever had with one team.

·     
Nomar Garciaparra: In 1997 “No-mah” was named Rookie of the Year when he hit 30 home runs
and rove in 98 (which set a new record for RBIs by a leadoff hitter). In 1999
Nomar batted .357, and in 2000 he batted .372. He is one of the few
right-handed batters to win consecutive batting titles. Everyone knows the
tragic ending to this story. We’re sorry Nomar.

·     
Curt Schilling: Schilling was an integral part of the Red Sox 2004 World Series victory.
The most memorable game being Game 6 of the 2004 ALCS where Curt pitched
through seven laborious innings, and blood was visibly seeping into his sock.
He has 3,116 career strikeouts and a career 3.46 ERA.

·     
Jason Varitek: Jason Varitek has played with the Red Sox since 1997, and has been their
starting catcher since 1999. Most importantly he’s been their captain since
2005. He’s one of the best defensive catchers in the game, and he has always
been an important part of the team, and in helping pitchers.

·     
Manny Ramirez: Manny Ramirez had an amazing career with the Red Sox. He’s always had
the reputation of just “being Manny”. His career batting average is .314 and he
hit number 500 at the end of May 2008. He was an important part of both 2004
and 2007 Red Sox victories (he was the MVP in 2004).

·     
David Ortiz: David Ortiz has been Boston’s “Big Papi” since he’s been with them. He
has a career batting average of .287. He also played a major role in leading
the Red Sox to their first World Series in 86 years. From 2003-2005, 20 of his
home runs were clutch–either tying or giving Boston the lead. He hit .400 in
the 2004 playoffs, and hit a memorable walk-off home run in Game 4 of the
ALCS–the definition of clutch. In 2006 he set a new Red Sox record by belting
54 home runs, three of which were walk off.

·     
Dustin Pedroia: This small second baseman of the Boston Red Sox is in the process of
making a huge name for him. He has won the Rookie of the Year Award, a Gold
Glove, a Silver Slugger Award, the AL MVP, and has had a six year contract
extension all within two years.

-Elizabeth

 

A Year in Review

Well to start off, I hope everyone had a fabulous Christmas. Santa brought me some wonderful Red Sox artifacts to decorate my room and car with. I’m pretty sure my room looks like a mini-Red Sox gift shop, which is perfectly fine with me, and not a big surprise to my friends. As far as my car goes, I’m pretty sure people will know who drives it when I park near my school next year (if possible). So if anyone is seeking vengeance on me, all they have to do is look for the Red Sox license plate. And now, to salvage the lack of baseball, I have the amazing 2007 Red Sox playoff run (and special moments). That might be able to carry me through to Spring Training (or at least another week to it). 

Anyway, when I was on the Sox site yesterday, Aiden Gonzalez posted a nice Red Sox Year in Review type article highlighting the major events of each month. Here are some of my favorite memories from each month of 2008.
January:
I’m pretty sure it was January when the Sox were in the Johan Santana sweepstakes with the Mets. I was so nervous during that because I really didn’t want Johan Santana. Sure he’s an incredible pitcher and what not, but we would’ve had to give up guys like Jon Lester, Justin Masterson and Jacoby Ellsbury. Think about how much that would’ve changed the season without those guys! Lester wouldn’t have become the ace of the Red Sox, there wouldn’t have been that beautiful no-no on May 19; Justin Masterson wouldn’t have been able to give the Red Sox life in the late innings of the tight playoff games; and we wouldn’t have the future star center fielder on the Red Sox, who makes incredible catches almost on a daily basis, and can steal any time. 
February:
The Sox signed Youkilis to that one year $3 million dollar deal during this month. That was a relief for sure seeing that he finished third in the MVP voting, batted an incredible .312, and was so helpful when he showed his versatility when he moved to third base. I sure hope that the Sox can sign him to a long term contract. 
Also, one of the most important men during every game, Terry Francona, received a three-year contract extension with options for the next two years. 
During this month the Sox also signed the good guy Sean Casey, who gave us laughs when he tripped over second base, then crawled back; Bobby Kielty, who made an incredible catch during one of the Spring Training games I was at; and Bartolo Colon, who wasn’t much of a help at all. 
March:
The beautiful Spring Training month, in which I was lucky enough to go to two glorious games at City of Palms Park. I met some really great people, and after the games, I would walk down to the player’s parking lot to try and get an autograph. I only got one, but I ran out into the middle of the street to stop Jed Lowrie’s car! It was at these Spring Training games that I knew that Jed Lowrie would come up and be a great help to the Red Sox. It was also at the first Spring Training game I went to that Beckett first started having back spasms. 
April
Tokyo Dome.jpg
One word: Japan! Those games were not at the most convenient times. I made the mistake of getting up at 5:30 am because I thought there would be pre-game. Apparently not. I remember the first game perfectly, at school we had assembly, but a few of my friends and I were sitting in the very back on my friend Nick’s iPhone, watching Game Day very intensly. We had to hush ourselves when Brandon Moss hit the home run and when Manny Ramirez hit the double. Then, we all ran to the closest room with cable (conveniently my next classroom) and watched the game. I led the five minute rebellion in which I refused to let class begin until the last out was recorded. 
A couple of good games I was reminded of while reading this article was the ninth inning go-ahead home run in Clevland by Manny, battling back from five runs to beat the Rangers 6-5, and Youk’s walk off single that ended Roy Halladay’s shutout. 
One thing I remember quite vividly was when David Ortiz came up with the bases loaded in that Rangers game, and I called it. I knew he would come out of the slump right then and there, placement and everything.
May
Jon Lester.jpg
Where to begin but Lester’s beautiful no hitter against the Royals on May 19? I was studying for my finals (while watching the game of course) but when I realized it in the seventh inning, I put the books away, to see one of the most beautiful performances of the year. The Sox won on my birthday in a late West Coast game (which I stayed up for of course even though I had finals the next day), and Manny hit number 500 at my little get together with some friends. 
June
Coco Crisp Fight.jpg
I was away for the last half of June at camp, but I was able to see Jacoby break the rookie record for steals, and see half of JD Drew’s incredible month, and of course most memorably, the Coco Crisp fight. I had seen things get heated the night before, with Iwamura, and I knew that as soon as Shields hit Coco (purposefully of course) that Coco would go after him. 
July
We all saw Josh Hamilton’s memorable Home Run Derby which was absolutely incredible. And we all saw the All-Star game, appropriately at Yankee Stadium. Did any of you get to go? It was so nice to see JD Drew be named the MVP of the All-Star game for helping to lead the American League to victory. Probably the saddest part of July for me, was the Manny Ramirez trade. I was upset at him for being a d-bag the past couple of weeks, but I still loved him to death. He still waved to me at Fenway Park, and he was still Manny! I found out when I arrived at my cousin’s house in Delaware, I didn’t cry though– I was in shock, and I realized that it had kind of been inevitable. 
August
Jason Bay.jpg
I came to love Jason Bay. I remember the walk-off run he scored in his first game, and the home run he hit in his second.He
was really a team player and I loved that about him. I hope the Sox sign him to a long contract. The injuries hit hard this month: Lowell, Drew, Wakefield (even though it was the best month of the season), and Lester got AL Pitcher of the Month honors.
September
My favorite part of this month was September 15. My father and I took the second half of the day off, drove four and a half hours to Tampa to see the Red Sox and Rays. It was nice to see the Red Sox win. What I found funny is that upon walking in, Sweet Caroline was playing! So of course the cluster of Red Sox fans were belting Sweet Caroline! We got back at 3 in the morning, and I had to take a Geometry test the next day. It was all worth it though. 
On September 23, a win against the Indians, the Sox assured themselves a playoff spot, which is always special to watch, and even though we didn’t win the division, the Wild Card was just as good. 
October
JD Drew.jpg
“There’s only one October!” as October Gonzo puts it. This was the month I joined MLBlogs, and I’m sure glad that I did. I’ve met so many great people (more on that next entry). One of my favorite parts of the year, the high stress playoffs! I was in the Bahamas with my friend for the first two games, but luckily we got the games in our room, so I was up late watching them of course. I remember I fell asleep during Game 3 with a broom, and watching the magical Game 4. Jason Varitek making that beautiful play down the third base line, the suicide squeeze, Jed’s walk-off single, and Jason Bay sliding into home! That was so exciting.
The ALCS was even more stressful. Dice-K pitched beautifully at the Trop in Game 1, but it went downhill during Games 2-4. I was so scared during Game 5, especially when it was 7-0. But as soon as Pedroia got that first RBI, I knew. And we all know the miracle that happened. Game 7 was somewhat of a disappointment, but it was still a beautiful season. 
November
Pedroia snagged a couple of awards: a Gold Glove, a Silver Slugger, and the AL MVP Honors. A great first two seasons for him. Coco Crisp was also dealt to the Royals, and I miss his feistiness, but I think we all knew that Jacoby is the future. The Sox also picked up Wake’s option, and signed Wes Littleton. Jacoby Ellsbury finished third in ROY voting, and Francona finished fourth in the manager of the year award. 
December
Pedroia got his six year contract extension, which was a very happy day in RSN seeing that Pedroia essentially “embodies a Red Sox player” as Epstein put it, and Junichi Tazawa was signed. 
It was a great year for the Red Sox, and I hope 2009 is as well! 

A Very Merry Christmas In NY Indeed- Mark Teixeira to the Yankees

Mark Teixeira.jpg

I found out this morning. I was at my friend Cara’s (a friend of mine from over the summer who is visiting) apartment when her father, a Red Sox fan, announced the news. You have to be kidding me, I said. Mark Teixeira, on the Yankees?? They were barely in the sweepstakes. They did it again! They were lurking in the darkness until the last minute, and then they pounced! The deal? 8 years, $180 million with a $5 million dollar signing bonus. $20 million in the first two seasons, 22.5 in each of the final six years. So how much have the “Bronx Bombers” spent this offseason? $423.5 million. Now that I can’t have Mark Teixeria, do I want him? Nope. 

John Henry.jpg
Am I mad at John Henry? Do I think he’s cheap? Nope
 So I started to have a conversation with Cara’s father about the whole situation, here’s how it went down, Jane Heller style. 
Dr. Neel: Did you hear, the Yankees got Mark Teixeria
Me: You’ve got to be kidding me! The Yankees? They weren’t even in the sweepstakes for him
Dr. Neel: Well, they did it again
Me: Great, they have a monstrous starting rotation, and they’ve just bolstered their offense. But… I never wanted Teixeria
Dr. Nell: What? Why not??
Me: Well, we already have Youkilis at first, and I have faith that Lowell can return strongly, I mean, he was the 2007 World Series MVP.
Dr. Neel: Yeah, but that was a year ago.
Me: It’s only a year
Dr. Neel: But this year, Lowell had a torn hip labrum, that’s only a couple steps away from a hp replacement. Do we really want a third baseman who was so close to a hip replacement?
Me: Well, the rehab is going well
Dr. Neel: And he’s 37 (this just in from Julia: he’s 34 years old!!) years old! We maybe have another two or three years out of him, but after that? 
Me: We have two years left with him, the re-signing after 2007 was for three years. I think he’ll be fine.
Dr. Neel puts down a fine argument doesn’t he? Teixeria is 28 years old, Lowell is 37. Teixeria is a hitting machine, Mike Lowell was a hitting machine, “Mr. Double” right? But here’s the thing. I want two more years out of Mike Lowell, I know he tore his hip labrum, but he’s going through some rehabilitation. He’ll have his intense range of motion back, and I have faith that his bat will go back to being the offensive force it was in 2007. 
However, the Yankees needed him much more than the Sox did. They only had two real offensive forces: Jeter and Rodriguez. The Red Sox have: Pedroia, Youk, Papi, Lowell, Drew, and Bay. We know that Lowell is getting old. Future solution after Lowell either retires or leaves: Youk to third, bring up Lars Anderson, the future star. 
Lars Anderson.jpg
It seems like me and Julia are the only Red Sox fans who have been opposed to Mark Teixeria since the beginning. I don’t know why I have so much faith in Mike Lowell, maybe because he’s always been one of my favorite players, and I’ve grown up watching him, but whatever the reason, I’m glad he’s going to stay. 
Now that we’re out of the Tex sweepstakes, I really hope that we sign Derek Lowe. We do actually need a strong fourth slot starter, and Derek Lowe would be perfect for that. Red Sox fans love him! He’s done so much for us, and he loves us too. Remember his no-no in 2002 against the Rays? That would make a great Christmas present. 
But an even better one? Four years ago, on this date, a certain someone re-signed with us. If he does it again, I think a lot of us at Red Sox Nation would be happy. 
Have a great Christmas Eve to those of you who celebrate Christmas. Thank you all for being so supportive. I love this family here (more on that tomorrow). 
-Elizabeth

Manny Ramirez to the Yankees?

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A report surfaced on the Hot Stove a few days ago which said “The New York Daily News cites a source that Manny Ramirez is expecting a deal from the Yankees”. Anther newspaper from the Dominican Republic said that Ramirez is on the verge of signing a three year $75 million dollar contract. 

Whoa back up a second. Remember 2004? We all know the story, the one where the Red Sox came back from being down three games to none to win the ALCS, a seemingly impossible feat, and then went on to win the World Series. Well in that ALCS, the future World Series MVP of that year, Manny Ramirez, said that he would NEVER go to the Yankees no matter what. Does that quote remind you of anyone? 
If not, here he is:
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The guy who embodied the Red Sox, the guy who looked like Jesus, and the guy who many Red Sox fans believed to be Jesus. Well on December 21, 2005, he broke all of our hearts. He betrayed us, he went back on his word, and he went to the Yankees. Well, I was absolutely devestated when that happened. I refused food, and I wouldn’t talk for a while. 
But this could be worse. Manny played with us for seven and a half years. We all loved Manny. We all loved his carefree spirit, we loved how he would go into the Green Monster to eat a sandwich during the middle of a game, we loved him, and he loved us. 
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So I’m going to tell you a story, it happened at my first game at Fenway. It was around the eighth inning, and my best friend and I had moved down to the second row behind the batter’s box (on the Red Sox side). So it was the bottom of the eighth inning, and Big Papi and Manny Ramirez walked out together, smiling. So my friend and I stood up and started screaming, and waving our hands frantically; so both Papi and Manny smiled and waved back. Alright, alright, I teared up a little. 
The second part of the story happened two nights after that, when my friend and I somehow, by the glory of God, got tickets on the Monstah. I have to tell you, walking up there, I was bouncing up and down, so the ticket guy asked me if I was alright. I told him I was better than alright. So we get up there, and of course I’m astounded by the view. Our seats were in the back row, but still that’s only three rows back. We were right above left field, right above Manny’s position! So every inning when he came out, I would stand up, jump up and down, scream, and wave. And every inning, he’d take is glove and wave back. 
Johnny Damon was my favorite player when he was on the Sox, and he broke my heart (and I’m still not over it), and Manny Ramirez was my favorite player. Admittedly, I’m a bit mad at him for leaving the way he did, causing all the trouble and what not, but still, I love him. I defended him countless times against everyone who ever said that he was a lazy d-bag. And now, another one of my favorite players might be going to the Yankees, after he said he wouldn’t? Look Manny, I can take you going anywhere else, but I can’t take you going to the Yankees. 
I’d have to destroy the statue I made of you in seventh grade. I’d have to change everything I have that has to do with you. But the problem is, I can’t really erase the memory of you waving at me, because that has been one of the best memories I have.  
-Elizabeth

The Sox are out of the Mark Teixeria Sweepstakes

It was announced roughly two days ago that the Red Sox are out of the Mark Teixeria sweepstakes. As soon as I heard the news, I was happy. Like I’ve been saying since the second the rumor came out in the first place, we don’t need Mark Teixeria. When you get to Game 7 of the ALCS, there’s not much to improve upon, especially if some of your star players had injuries (Mike Lowell). Teixeria would’ve messed everything up with the Red Sox.

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Kevin Youkilis at first is golden (alright, pun intended…). Earlier in the season he broke the record for most consecutive games at first base without an error. Why would you want to tamper with that? Sure he’s proven that he can play third (and outfield for that matter) but we already have a gold glover third basemen. 
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Plus, he was the 2007 World Series MVP, and we extended his contract in 2007. Sure Mikey had some offensive problems this year, and he couldn’t always make those impeccable backhanded catches when the ball was sharply hit down the third baseline, and then throw it perfectly over to Kevin Youkilis, but he had a hip injury! It can all be salvaged, that’s what rehab is for! 
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And for that matter, we already have a designated hitter, David Ortiz. Sure he didn’t have a great offensive season, he had that horrible slump at the beginning of the season, but his wrist was hurting, and his knee too for that matter. Hopefully he’ll engage in some training program that will make both those areas (which are essential for every hitter) less of an obstacle for him. This upcoming season, I think he’s going to have to step up and be the offensive forces of the lineup. And going back to the David Ortiz slump, in my opinion, a home run gets you out of a bad slump. So when the Sox were playing Texas kind of early in the season, I called his grand slam- placement and everything. I can only call a couple of home runs a year, so that was a nice one. 
Here’s the rotation/lineup that I want for next year:
Pitchers (not in order)
1. Jon Lester
2. Daisuke Matsuzaka
3. Josh Beckett
4. Derek Lowe (I think we should go after him now that we’re out of the Tex sweepstakes)
5. Tim Wakefield *
Relievers
-Manny Delcarmen
-Ramon Ramirez
-Hideki Okajima
-Justin Masterson
-Clay Buchholz **
-Michael Bowden ***
-Javier Lopez
-Jonathan Papelbon
C: Jason Varitek
backup catcher: wishfully thinking, Jarrod Saltalamacchia, but if I have Clay Buchholz up there, then I don’t think that’s happening
1B: Kevin Youkilis
2B: Dustin Pedroia
3B: Mike Lowell
SS: Jed Lowrie
LF: Jason Bay
CF: Jacoby Ellsbury
RF: JD Drew
The actual lineup should look like this
1. Jacoby Ellsbury
2. Dustin Pedroia 
3. Big Papi
4. Kevin Youkilis
5. Jason Bay
6. JD Drew
7. Mike Lowell
8. Jason Varitek
9. Jed Lowrie
*(Tim Wakefield): Depending on Spring Training, we could always move him to the bullpen like in 2003. 
**Clay Buchholz: Maybe the bullpen would be better for him to start off in…
***Michael Bowden: I say put him in the bullpen, but treat him like the Justin Masterson of last year. We add him to the roster in September, and we can bring him up when needed earlier. 
By the way, I think we should keep Tazawa in the minors for the entire year, or maybe bring him up as well in September. 
Player to keep an eye on for Red Sox Spring Training: Lars Anderson. I predicted Jed Lowrie last year since the beginning, this year I’m thinking Lars Anderson. 
Last but not least, like I mentioned in some of my former blog posts, I’m writing for this site MLB Center now as the Red Sox Correspondent (once again, thanks Ben! I found it through your link). So not only am I providing weekly updates, but I have a new assignment:
Top 10 Red Sox players of all time, ranked and everything. So, I would like to ask all of you for any opinions/input you may off. If your input doesn’t make the top 10, I’ll put it in the “honorable mention category” quoting you and putting a link to your URL. 
-Elizabeth

I’m Back- Thoughts on the Latest News in Baseball

I know, I haven’t posted in a week, but that’s within good reason. I was trying to get through this horrible week alive, and now that I have, I’m free for two weeks. I got through five painful midterms, and now that I have, the daily posts will return. The hot stove is still pretty hot from the Winter Meetings. A couple of acquisitions went down, a few non-tenders, and plenty of rumors. 

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Perhaps the Yankees made the biggest acquisition this past week. We all know that they signed Sabathia, but Burnett as well? The two most eligible free agent pitchers are now on the Yankees. They have one hell of a pitching staff. They’re hoping they get lucky with Burnett’s history of injuries, he came off a great season with 18 wins and roughly 231 strikeouts. They’re really hoping he doesn’t become the next Carl Pavano; however, I’m sure a few other teams are.I’m actually hoping that he stays healthy, the Sox and Yankees are going to have some of the best match ups this upcoming year. 
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The next both eligible free agent (I feel like I’m auctioning people off here) is Derek Lowe. It seems like the Yankees would still have some interest in him, but the Phillies, not so much seeing that they recently signed Jamie Moyer. Theo and the Sox have been laying low with all this talk about Teixeria so it’s unclear as to whether or not we’re interested in Lowe. For the Sox, Lowe would be more appealing if his price went down a little bit. Then again, it’d also be more appealing for the Mets as well, who are looking for another starter. So that would lead to another crazy offseason between the Mets and Red Sox (remember Johan Santana last year?). On another note involving the Yankees, Petite was offered a three year deal from an unnamed team. The Dodgers and Red Sox are supposedly interested in him (even though I haven’t heard ANYTHING about Petite and the Red Sox). 
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Not only did the Phillies sign Moyer, they also signed Chan Ho Park, and Raul Ibanez. With the signing of the right handed Ibanez, Pat Burrell will no longer be with the Phillies-after a nine year run with them. 

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Kerry Wood of the Cubs, who had a rough, injury prone season last year, signed with the Indians (I originally thought of the Reds, but I got that resolved…) to a two year $18 million contract. I think that’s a bit much for a guy who didn’t have that great of a season last year. 
Both the Angels and the Cardinals have been looking into Brian Fuentes, and they are both in need of closers. 

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A more interesting story; however, is the one involving Rafael Furcal. Earlier this week, I heard a report that he was returning to the Braves, that Escobar would probably move to second base, etc. Then, yesterday, I heard a report that he signed with the Dodgers! As far as I know now, he received. the contract from the Braves, but did not return it, and ended up signing with the Dodgers. The Athletics were looking into him too so now they need a shortstop. 

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So a sad but possible rumor about Manny? He could be going to the Yankees. He’s asking for a lot of money and the Yankees could be one of the only teams willing to supply it. Personally, I don’t think he’s a good fit for the team. He’s way too much of a free spirit, and the Yankees are kind of uptight. Manny doesn’t like to shave, or cut his hair, he never really runs, he throws his glove up in the air in the outfield, he eats sandwiches during pitching changes, etc. Plus, I’m way too emotionally attached to Manny to have him go to the Yankees. I was absolutely devestated when Johnny Demon went to the Yankees in 2005, because he was my favorite player. Now, Manny, who used to be my favorite player, could be going to the Yankees as well? I don’t even know if I could handle that. 
On my french midterm, which was today, we had to write about our favorite memory, so I wrote about my first time at Fenway Park. I’m really hoping that it’s coherent. I’ll be around here during winter break, reading and analyzing every rumor that comes out of the Hot Stove season. 
-Elizabeth

CC Sabathia to the Yankees

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After roughly three weeks, CC Sabathia finally signed with the Yankees. The Yankees initially offered Sabathia six years at $140 million, but upped their offer to seven years $160 million. That was unnecessary, in my opinion, and a waste of money as well. Sure it had taken Sabathia a long time to respond, but the Brewers offered him $100 million, and there was a $40 million dollar difference to begin with, and no California team had made him an offer. It did not seem like the Yankees needed to increase their offer, but perhaps they did so to make it clear to Sabathia that the Yankees were indeed, the highest bidders. 

So what does this mean for our classic rivalry between the Yankees and Red Sox? Well the Yankees really just bolstered their starting pitching, so that really puts them in contention for the AL East title. Now, that’s not to say that they weren’t in contention this past year… they had a lot of potential, but they were just plagued with injury after injury. The AL East is going to be absolutely crazy this year with the Rays, the Red Sox, and the Yankees. 
I haven’t heard much on the Hot Stove about the Rays, it’d be smart for them to lay low, they don’t really need to make any moves since they did get to the World Series. 
The Red Sox are in the “top four finalists” for Mark Texieria, as well as the Angels, Orioles, and Nationals. Then again, like I’ve said before, I really don’t think that we need him that badly. Sure he’d be a great addition since he’s young, a .300 hitter, and 30 HR hitter, but we got to Game 7 last year! It’s not like we were in last place, dying of run support (well, sometimes run support). We had 95 wins last year, if we don’t get him, it’s not the end of the world. 
The Yankees could be adding more to their starting rotation, they reportedly made an offer for five years to AJ Burnett, and are looking into Derek Lowe as well. The Yankees and the Phillies are reportedly the top two bidders on Lowe right now. Now, I know this probably won’t happen, but can you imagine if the Yankees added Burnett, and Lowe, retained Andy Petite, and had Cheng Meng-Weng (yes, I know, spelled incorrectly)? That would be absolutely insane. 

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So back to the question: what does this mean for the Sox-Yankees rivalry. Well, remember that the Sox have faced Sabathia before, when he was in an Indians uniform in the 2007 ALCS. Sabathia won the Cy Young award that year, but I honestly think that Beckett should’ve won it that year (I’m not saying this as a biased Red Sox fan either). The Beckett and Sabathia matchups were absolutely incredible and beautiful to watch. The two best pitchers in baseball (at that time) going head to head. Beckett prevailed in both of those games, and wound up being the ALCS MVP. Now that Sabathia is on the Yankees, this means more Beckett vs Sabathia matchups hopefully (if the rotations work out that way). This means that the Red Sox vs Yankees games this year are going to be better than ever!

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On to some Red Sox news and rumors (of course). Like I said, we’re in the top four contenders for Teixeria. If he does come to the Red Sox, I am resolved to learn how to spell his name. I can spell Yastrzemski but I can’t spell Teixeria? Anyway, the in the Rule 5 draft, the Sox selected Angels right handed pitcher Miguel Gonzalez. No other team has made an offer to our captain besides the Red Sox… the terms of the deal are unknown. Kevin Cash is available for arbitration, I did not know this, but it could be that he won’t fit into the plans for the Sox next season, he is the most likely candidate to be “non-tendered”. It seems like the Sox would be looking like a “complement” to Varitek with more offensive potential than Cash. 

Winter Meetings Updates-HOTTER HOT STOVE (finally)

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If any of you are subscribed to the Hot Stove news feed, you may have been as overwhelmed as I was when I went online and saw 45 new updates! 

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Varitek declined arbitration, but I think that deep down, we all knew it was going to happen. It seems as if Theo only offered Varitek arbitration so that he would decline, because since he declined, the Sox will get two compensation draft picks should he sign with another team. So if this is the case, is Theo anticipating him signing with another team? 
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The situation is further complicated now that young Rangers catcher Gerald Laird is headed to Detroit. It would be harder for the Sox to acquire catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia, unless they decided to give up Clay Buchholz, which is probably not going to happen. I’m pretty sure “Salty” used to play for the Braves, and I’m pretty sure that he has the longest name in baseball. 
What confuses me is why Varitek would decline arbitration. Sure he wants a multi-year deal… and sure he wants more money I guess, but he is coming off the worst offensive season of his career. If Varitek had accepted arbitration, as some analysts put it, it probably would’ve been the best chance he had at making the $10 million he made in his last contract. Ideally, the Red Sox would want to retain Varitek and find a catcher who would be mentored by Varitek, or a successor if he was to sign with another team. Kevin Cash is definitely not ready to handle that yet. 
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The Red Sox also appear to be right in contention to acquire AJ Burnett. The biggest problems with that would be that he is seeking a five year deal, and the Red Sox would probably only offer him four (like what they did with Dice-K)… perhaps with a fifth year buy-out plan. Also the fact that he was (reportedly) very close to a deal with the Atlanta Braves, who were prepared to offer him a five-year deal. 
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The Red Sox are also stepping up their efforts to acquire the powerful switch hitter Mark Texieria, who is in the prime of his career. As we know, if we acquired him, Mike Lowell would be the most likely to be traded seeing that Youkilis is still under contractual control for the next two years, and Papi is basically the icon of the Red Sox. Then again, Mike Lowell has been a fan favorite since coming to Boston, seeing him go would be heart breaking for many of us. In my opinion, Tex would be great, but we don’t need him that badly, we got to Game 7 remember? Acquiring him would be like a mercantilist policy: there’s only so much wealth in the world (wealth is power in this case… hitting etc.) and you want to prevent others from getting wealth. 
There have been some rumors regarding Derek Lowe, as of now, his top suitors are the Yankees, and Phillies.

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The biggest news in baseball today is the Mets’ acquisition of K-Rod. They needed him since Wagner will be out the next season because of Tommy John Surgery (ouchhhh), and K-Rod is pretty much a perfect fit. 
The Hot Stove went from zero-450 degrees and FAST, it’s flying with rumors, and hopefully more will appear as the Winter Meetings progress. 

Spring Training…Arbitration…Winter Meetings…Exams

Spring Training tickets went on sale yesterday, of course, I was at an AP US History review when they first went on sale, and I wasn’t home all day yesterday. My father printed out the schedule, but he has not purchased tickets yet… the Yankees game is already sold out! There are other games that I’m interested in, well… any game I’m interested in. Specifically weekend games though, so I can go up to Fort Myers for the entire weekend and just finally watch some baseball! Plus, it’s now part of my new “job” to cover Red Sox games. I’m now the Red Sox Correspondent for this site called MLB Center, which I found through Hardball’s blog (thanks Ben!). It’ll be very interesting to see which players we end up seeing at Spring Training, but I won’t get into that… again. 

So honestly, I have absolutely nothing to write about. There is nothing going on right now… I’m just anticipating the Winter Meetings in Las Vegas, I hope those start up something big, maybe bring some excitement this upcoming week. Hopefully not more stress… my midterms are in a week, and I’m getting more anxious with each day. I have five midterms :(
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-Geometry: So, I’m pretty good at proofs, the problem is memorizing the theorems, postulates, corollarys, etc. that I use to prove them.
-APUSH: If you saw my review sheet for the class, you’d probably cry as well. There’s so much I need to know, I don’t know how I’m going to do it all. I have fourteen essay questions that I need to outline, and five short answer question examples to look over. This one is going to end up killing me.
-Chemistry: Surprisingly, this class is my best subject. I walked into that class 99% sure that I would fail. I haven’t done too well lately with dimensional analysis or moles, but I’ve fixed my mistakes. I just need to read the textbook more I guess… and learn my labels. I hope the midterm isn’t too bad.
-French: I barely understand that class… I got screwed over last year. My french teacher thought us French in English… if that’s even possible. I’m pretty good at grammar, and I suppose I can memorize the vocabulary… but when it comes to comprehension… ugh.
-English: My English teacher is absolutely insane. We have to memorize hundreds of vocabulary words, which is the only bad part. We had to read three books, and three short stories. The books were: The Crucible, Huckleberry Finn, and The Scarlet Letter. The three short stories were: The Cask of Amontillado, Young Goodman Brown, and Bartleby the Scrivener. I loved The Crucible and The Scarlet Letter, I read Huck Finn on sparknotes because I really disliked it, and Bartleby on sparknotes. I plan on sparknoting everything for review. 
*Players who were offered arbitration must accept or decline by midnight tonight… maybe that’ll bring some interesting stories to the Hot Stove
**Winter Meetings Start Tomorrow… that will definitely bring some interesting stories. 
Here’s what I have to look forward to in the months before Spring Training
-seeing my friends from over the summer during winter break
-Jane’s book in February!
-HOPEFULLY getting Spring Training tickets within the next week. 
I’m hoping to come up with something interesting about baseball to write about tomorrow… I’ll come up with something tonight. 
-Elizabeth
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