Results tagged ‘ Manny Ramirez ’

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The Red Sox Catching Situation and Brad Penny

This is for you levelboss! 
Josh Bard.jpg

Josh Bard is back on the Red Sox– yes back! He had a short stint with the Red Sox in 2006 when he had 10 passed balls in one month! He was then traded to San Diego in which the Red Sox acquired Doug Mirabelli. Originally, Bard came over from the Indians along with Coco Crisp. I’m sure Kaybee could tell you how “Bard-o” as she calls him, did in San Diego better than I could. And Bigpapi72 had some interesting things to say about the Penny and Bard situations as well. 

Interestingly enough, Bard caught Wakefield fine in Spring Training of ’06. He thinks that he outthought himself, which I noticed happened a couple of times this season with the Red Sox. Take for example, Clay Buchholz who was basically the Red Sox prodigy when he threw that no hitter against the O’s in ’07 but then fell “flat on his face” (like Bard did) this year. What happened? He outthought himself (and he was fine in Spring Training for the record as well, after all, he did earn the fifth spot). Luckily we still have him down in the minors! 
Another one, but this only happened during one game, was Jon Lester in Game 7 of the ALCS. He was outstanding in the ALDS, and in the first game he pitched of the ALCS, but I think that it all got to his head. Everyone chalked up a win for him, but it didn’t work out. He also outthought himself. The Red Sox have got to work on this! 
“I caught him fine in Spring Training and then we had those couple of off-days before the game in Texas, and I think that people were trying to help me and they were trying to help me be a better player,” Bard said, “but I think that it started to get into my head a little of, ‘Why don’t you watch some video of how Doug [Mirabelli] did it and maybe this will help you with some things.’”
Says Bard. So the Red Sox just need to let him be this time… don’t try and change his mechanics or anything. 
Even Theo Epstein himself admitted it was a “short-sighted mistake”. As soon as Bard left Boston, he hit .338 with San Diego. In 2007 he hit .285… not bad. However, in 2008 he was injured and only hit .202. 
On another good note about Bard, he also has experience catching a Cy Young pitcher, Jake Peavy (Kaybee and Hyun Young’s favorite!). 
The thing is, Bard won’t only be catching Wakefield, he’ll have a bit more playing time this time. Hopefully, the Red Sox do retain Varitek… and if they do, I guess he’ll be getting more rest. 
Here is what I would do: 
I would sign Varitek to a two year deal. Varitek wouldn’t have as much playing time as last year, but he would still have more playing time than Bard.
We all know that Varitek will not catch Wakefield, he just never will. Bard will probably be catching Wakefield, as well as others on occasion. 
This pretty much means we’re not getting Jarrod Saltalamacchia. Theo worked this out perfectly in my opinion because now we don’t have to give up any of our star pitchers. 
If we need a back-up back-up catcher (as always) I’d say George Kottaras is the best bet that we have. Teagarden is on the Rangers anyway so if he’s not a free agent than we probably don’t want to look into him.
Brad Penny.jpg
On another note, the Red Sox signed Type-B free agent Brad Penny to a one year $5 million dollar contract with potential $3 million dollar signing bonuses. Hopefully this will work out better than Bartolo Colon (because we all know how THAT ended). Unfortunately this probably means that we won’t be getting Derek Lowe. I’m guessing Lowe will go to the Mets now. Statistically, Brad Penny is better than AJ Burnett (not counting the 2008 season). Penny has a better career record (94-75) as well as more innings pitched, and Burnett has been playing one more year than Penny. Penny actually had back to back 16 win seasons, and I think that he’ll be able to bounce back this season. Plus it’s a low risk deal So Penny will probably be the number 4 or 5 starter, but we’ll see how he does in Spring Training.
Manny Ramirez 4.jpg
And another rumor that came out about our favorite person, Manny Ramirez? The Giants are interested in him and they reportedly offered him a four year contract. If Manny is looking for even a remotely long term contract, this is definitely the best he’s going to get. 
 -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! 

Manny Ramirez to the Yankees?

Manny Ramirez 2.jpg

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:
Johnny Demon.jpg
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. 
Manny Ramirez 3.jpg
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

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

Theo’s not taking any breaks: New Red Sox Acquisition.

Thanksgiving is officially over, and it seems like Jane had the most eventful one of us all. That’s what’s being a baseball fan is all about, when someone bashes your team you don’t just sit by, you take action! 95832c1169_theo_11072007.jpg

Speaking of action, Theo Epstein made an acquisition today, it obviously didn’t take him long to digest his dinner. Today, the Red Sox acquired right handed pitcher Wes Littleton of the Texas Rangers. In exchange, the Rangers will receive either two players to be named (of course) or cash considerations. The question is, which two players? Maybe minor leaguers, maybe pitchers? We all know that it will not be Clay Buchholz, seems like Theo is very protective of him. So who could it possibly be? Perhaps Michael Bowden, maybe Lars Anderson? I wouldn’t think so though, the Sox probably want to develop those players. My guess is that it’s cash considerations. 

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I hadn’t heard of Wes Littleton until today, but here’s what I’ve gathered. In 2008 he spent most of the year in Triple-A Oklahoma, where he went 7-1, with six saves and a 4.01 ERA out of the bullpen. Over three separate stints on the major league level, he combined to throw 18.0 innings, and posted a 0-0 record with a 6.00 ERA. However, his major league career doesn’t start there, he’s been in the leagues since 2006. He is 5-3 with three saves, a 3.69 ERA, and 55 strikeouts in 102.1 innings over 80 career relief appearances. He has limited right handed opponents to a .236 BA. The Sox already have Javy Lopez, a lefty-specialist, so perhaps Littleton could be our righty specialist. In 2006 he went 2-1 with a 1.73 ERA (the tenth lowest in the AL among relievers with at least 30 appearances, and fourth among rookies). In 2007 he went 3-2 with two saves and a 4.31 ERA. Our bullpen could potentially be locked up, and with the addition of Littleton, the Sox have now locked up 38 of 40 men on their 40 man roster. One more thing Theo: re-sign Varitek to make it 39 of 40. 
On a separate note, the Sox have added first base coach Tim Bogar (replacing Luis Alicea), who will also be focusing on infield defense. He has also worked with the Rays as an assistant Major League coach working with infield defense and baserunning. Before this, he was also a minor league manager for Houston and Cleveland. Terry Francona’s staff is now as follows: Brad Mills (bench coach), John Farrell (pitching coach), Dave Magadan (hitting coach), DeMarlo Hale (third base coach), Gary Tuck (bullpen coach), and now Tim Bogar as our first base coach. 
Tazawa is expected to announce to sign with the Red Sox on Monday, even though the Rangers offered him more money. My only guess as to why is because of Dice-K Matsuzaka and Hideki Okajima… Matsuzaka is an “idol” in Japan. 
There haven’t been a lot of rumors on the Hot Stove about Manny. I’m starting to wonder where he’s going to go. Any thoughts? 
-Elizabeth

Thanksgiving Dinner Consisted of… classic baseball games?

Even though baseball season is over, MLB.com/Live helps the baseball fans who are suffering withdrawal, cope with the offseason. Today, they showed Game 6 of the 2004 ALCS, a classic game. curt-schilling-bloody-sock.jpg

It was the bloody sock game, where Curt persevered through seven amazing innings; 

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it was the game where A-Rod knocked the ball out of Bronson Arroyo’s glove, and then claimed that he didn’t do it; and it was the game where Mark Bellhorn hit a controversial three run homer. The umps had to confer twice, once when Mark Bellhorn hit the home run because it was originally ruled a ground-rule double, but replays showed that it bounced off a fan. They conferred again after A-Rod knocked the ball out of Arroyo’s glove, and replays once again clearly showed that A-Rod was guilty. As Arroyo said when he was asked to comment about the situation: “It was desperate measures, during desperate times”. If these calls hadn’t been overturned, the entire series could’ve been completely different. But that’s the beauty of baseball right? I wish I had MLB.com/Live, that would’ve been a great game to watch. 
It was after Thanksgiving dessert, which consisted of apple pie or chocolate cake, and we were just looking through the TV Guide for something to watch. My dad and I were absolutely thrilled when we found out that Sun Sports was broadcasting a Tampa Bay Rays Encore game. It was the game from April 27, 2008, a Red Sox vs Rays game. It was Josh Beckett vs James Shields, one of the best match-ups in the game. You guys might remember this game if you saw the highlight of Beckett’s error on a pick-off attempt, and seeing the ball roll slowly into right field, and then JD Drew’s throwing error. Both errors combined to allow Jason Bartlett to score from first base. Mike Lowell was on the DL, although I don’t exactly remember why, and JD Drew was healthy because he was playing in right field. The way that you could really tell, that it was young in the season was that a) the Orioles were in first place, and b) Manny Ramirez was still on the Red Sox. They skipped through innings, which was kind of annoying, but it was just so cool to watch Pedroia bat and think, wow, that’s the future AL MVP right there, and he doesn’t even know it yet. And to see Jason Varitek behind the plate and be thinking, Theo’s got to re-sign him, no matter what. I didn’t even look up the score of the game, because that would’ve ruined the beauty of baseball a little. The Sox ended up getting swept but it didn’t matter. It didn’t even matter that it wasn’t a huge playoff game, the fact of the matter was, it was baseball, and that’s all that matters. 
Wednesday night, I had watched the Ken Burns baseball movies, 1970-1994 edition, and it was absolutely incredible to watch. Game 6 of the 1975 World Series… Carlton Fisk’s home run. It was so beautiful. And of course, Game 6 of the 1986 World Series. I hadn’t seen “the play” in a really long time. But it was absolutely heart breaking. God do I feel bad for Bill Buckner, but to be honest, it probably would’ve taken me a long time to forgive him, I wasn’t even alive during that time period, so I don’t know how it felt live. Red Sox agony is tough, as Burns put it. Cubs agony is never even getting there, but Red Sox agony is getting so close, but seeing it slip out of your hands. 
Thanksgiving was great here in South Florida, we drove up to see my grandparents in Stuart, FL and we had a huge dinner. We didn’t even have turkey ironically enough, we had a great pot roast, and some apple pie or chocolate cake for dessert. In a way, my thanksgiving dinner consisted of some classic, heart breaking, baseball games as well. 
I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner, filled with plenty of food, and plenty of things to be thankful for. 
-Elizabeth

The bad blood starts to brew (Game 3 NLCS), Game 3 ALCS preview

Jamie Moyer became the oldest pitcher in history (45) to start a LCS game, but he only lasted 1 1/3 innings; his shortest start in 10 years. He gave up 5 runs in the first inning to an explosive Dodgers team. Hiroki Kuroda pitched seven strong innings for the Dodgers to cut their deficit to just a game. The only other run that the Dodgers scored was on an RBI single by Nomar Garciaparra. There was some bad blood between the Phillies and Dodgers thad had been brewing since the beginning of August when a pitch was thrown behind Manny Ramirez’s head. A couple of pitches were thrown tonight, Martin was hit in the knees, and Manny was hit in the helmet, so the Dodgers decided to retaliate by having Kuroda throwing a ball over Shane Victorino’s head. After he grounded out, they both exchanged some words, enough to clear the benches. Although no punches were thrown, Manny came charging in from left field and was restrained by Joe Torre and some of his other teammates. It wasn’t even about him. There’s a big difference between 3-0 and 2-1. The Dodgers came through in a must win situation.

ALCS Game 3: Everyone knows how disappointing Game 2 was. Both Beckett and Kazmir were disappointing. Beckett denies all the speculations and skepticism’s and claims that he is fine. I suppose that pitchers do go through their ups and downs, but this is kind of drastic. After going 20-7 last year and being dominant in the post season, he has reversed that and went 12-10 in the regular season this year and has yet to win a post season start. Even with all the run support, Beckett couldn’t turn out a win. Let us not forget though, that the man who Beckett lost the Cy Young to, C.C. Sabbathia, did not have a good season either. I know that I still have faith in Beckett to turn it around this post season, he just has to concentrate and make his pitches. He should definitely do an extra practice session with the captain. As far as Game 3 goes tonight, the Sox have Lester on the mound, which is very reassuring. Dustin Pedroia turned it around on Saturday night, so hopefully, the slumping Jacoby Ellsbury can do the same. He was amazing in Game 1 of the ALDS, (going 3-5 with 2 steals, an RBI and a phenomenal catch) and hopefully he can bring that to this game. The best part about game 3? We’re back at Fenway. 
-Elizabeth 

ALDS Game 3 (I fell asleep with a broom)

Game 3 was quite intense huh? Beckett was obviously off… so we had five innings of hell (or somewhere around five). Mike Napoli… two home runs? What the hell? That was pretty annoying. Lucky for us, our trusty rookie Jacoby was involved in all four runs. Pretty amazing. And by the way, they were not cheap RBI’s, it’s not my fault if Torii Hunter sucks. That one play had three RBI’s and then in the eighth (I really don’t remember this game too well, way too tired anyway) he hit a double right over the right fielder’s head (whoever it is) and then Kevin Youkilis hit another double to score Jacoby. Unfortunately, Jed Lowrie couldn’t produce with the bases loaded and Jacoby struck out even though the ball was CLEARLY AS **** outside. That could’ve cost us the game right there. But then again, that’s the beauty of baseball. Can’t rely on one man to always score the runs for you. Masterson pitched beautifully yet AGAIN. I’m enjoying that I can rely on him in the post season. Him and Papelbon :D. Ironically, the probable MVP is 0-13 (or something ungodly like that) in the ALDS. He is due! We’ll see about that tonight. David Ortiz is also due for some type of home run. Crazy as I am, I was holding on to a broom from the seventh inning on. So I ended up falling asleep with it, holding it very tightly. Kind of disappointing. 

Other than that the NLCS has been locked up. The Philles beat the Brewers and the Dodgers swept the Cubs. Someone bring out a goat, please. Hopefully the suicide rate in Chicago won’t increase. I’m not even sure of who is winning the White Sox-Rays series… I think it’s the Rays. That’d be an epic matchup, the Rays and the Red Sox. Such a rivalry has erupted this year, it’d be great to see another fight. Plus, I’m going to Tampa if it’s the Red Sox and the Rays. That’d be wicked. It’s annoying to see the Dodgers in the NLCS. I’m very annoyed at Manny Ramirez right now, mostly because I miss him, even though I really don’t want to. He was one of my favorite players and he was a total *** about leaving. But I’m kind of in love with Jason Bay (well, not as much as Jacoby Ellsbury) and I want to babysit his new daughter. We’ll see how it all goes down tomorrow. I want to go into school happy (and well rested tomorrow). It’s Lester vs Lackey tonight. Should be great (:
-Mrs. Jacoby Ellsbury (the future one)
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