Results tagged ‘ Mark Kotsay ’

If I were a General Manager…

I’d be willing to bet that a lot of us our familiar with the musical: Fiddler on the Roof. At one point, the main character, Tevye day dreams about what he would do “if he were a rich man”. I’m starting to get the feeling that it may be a bad thing if I don’t remember the ending of the play considering I was a villager (with no lines) in the play when I was in seventh grade. I’m getting the feeling that he doesn’t become rich, but everyone ends up happy. 
Maybe the same can I apply as I share with you my daydreams about what I would do if I was Theo Epstein for a day. I doubt that I’m cut out for the general manager business though. I can only imagine the amount of stress and responsibility Theo has with putting together a team like the Red Sox each season. Nonetheless, it is a fun idea to entertain considering I’m constantly making suggestions as to what should be done. I wonder if I have enough stamina to be a general manager, a journalist, and a broadcaster (or even enough time). 
Before I talk about my fantastical crusade as a general manager, I have a few other things to get to. 
Casey Kelly.jpg
I realized that I neglected to mention my thoughts on Casey Kelly in my last blog. For those of you who are unfamiliar with him, he was drafted by the Red Sox in 2008 not only as a pitcher, but as a shortstop as well. He spent the first half of this season pitching, and he will be spending the second half as a shortstop (from what I can remember of the report). I would actually be completely okay with him training as a shortstop, and holding off on the pitching aspect. The Red Sox organization is already full of great pitchers with a lot of potential. Shortstops? Not so much. 
I’m pretty convinced that ever since Nomar Garciaparra left in 2004, that there is a minor curse when it comes to shortstops. Hanley Ramirez, the star of the Marlins, was homegrown talent, but he isn’t playing for the Red Sox. Was it a mutually beneficial trade? Yes. Would I do the trade again? Absolutely. 
We signed Julio Lugo expecting him to be a pesky leadoff hitter like he was with the Rays. Unfortunately, that did not work out as he was designated for assignment and traded to the Cardinals a couple of days ago. Jed Lowrie is homegrown talent, but he has barely had a season. Nick Green (who must have been thoroughly exorcised considering he came from the Yankees) has been a pleasant surprise, but nothing outstanding, though I shouldn’t try to compare anyone to Nomar. 
Shortstop is currently our weakest position in my opinion, catching (I will address this later) coming in second. We need to have a legitimate “shortstop for the future” developing in the minors. 
Mark Buehrle.jpg
I really wish I had seen Mark Buehrle’s perfect game live, but as I am not a fan of the White Sox or Rays, I didn’t have some sort of crazy premonition that compelled me to watch the game. To put this feat in a historical context is really incredible, all of the statistics that come up amaze me. It’s kind of funny how people consider perfect games to be so exciting, yet technically speaking, nothing happens since the opposing team is literally shut down. It’s the beauty of the pitching though, and the fact that it is so rare and precious that makes it beautiful to me. 
I don’t have to be a White Sox fan to appreciate this, I think that every baseball fan should find this to be beautiful and stunning. I can understand that it must have been embarrassing for the Rays to be shut out like that, but it’s really just something you tip your cap to. It is something that I will always remember. 
Rice and Henderson.jpg
I would be remiss if I failed to mention the Hall of Fame inductions, which I was delighted to watch on MLB Network. I was in absolute awe to see 50 living legends all in one place, and I’ll be completely honest with you: there was a good portion of them that I hadn’t heard of, but that just makes me even more excited to go to the Hall of Fame in a few weeks. 
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It was really inspiring to see Rickey Henderson and Jim Rice give their speeches. Henderson was so humbled by it, and I loved the way that he got into the game, and the part about following your dreams. Jim Rice just looked euphoric– it was great to see him drop his usual demeanor and just laugh. 
Watching the whole Hall of Fame induction ceremony inspired me even more to begin my crusade to enshrine Pete Rose there. I will save my argument for another post, but I would really like to have a makeshift plaque made for him, and bring it to Cooperstown myself. Believe me my friends, I am getting him in there. 
So with the trade deadline coming up, there are plenty of trade rumors going around. I nearly spit my water everywhere when I read that Bronson Arroyo may be headed to the Yankees (this rumor has been squelched for the record). I couldn’t imagine my Arroyo in pinstripes. But this brings me to my main point (I guess?), what I would be doing if I was Theo Epstein. 
I am actually very happy with the Adam LaRoche trade, not because he is adjusting extraordinarily well to Pittsburgh, but because he is a significant upgrade from Mark Kotsay. I never thought Kotsay was anything unique, in fact I was a bit upset when we re-signed him because I thought Chris Carter or Jeff Bailey would be sufficient, if not better. Plus, we didn’t lose any significant prospects (if I don’t talk about them, they aren’t significant). 
We all knew that we had to get Julio Lugo off of our hands. Nice a guy as he may be, he just simply hasn’t been living up to the organization’s expectations, and regardless of his contract, it was for the greater good of the team that he is gone. Chris Duncan is in Triple-A right now, and I am dying to scout him. 
I am actually perfectly content with our roster right now. We don’t need to be involved in a break-the-headlines trade like last year because our left fielder isn’t complaining
about his lifestyle. Poor Manny, $20 million a year and adored by fans– tough life. Yet we still are involved in trade talks. 
I have heard the Roy Halladay rumors, and I was not attracted to him for a second (same thing happened with Mark Teixeira). I know what kind of pitcher he is, but I know what kind of pitching we have in the minors. Would Halladay solidify what has been perhaps a somewhat disappointing rotation (specifically Dice-K and Penny’s lack of depth)? Sure, and I’m pretty sure his contract is locked up for a few years. 
Think about what we might have to give up for him though. They asked the Yankees for Joba, Phil Hughes and two more prospects. I am very protective of our bullpen, and even more so of our prospects because the good ones (that are likely to go in a trade) are my projects. Roy Halladay may be the ace of the American League, but I’d be willing to say that Michael Bowden is the next Roy Halladay. That is how much I believe in our prospects. Think about how important Clay Buchholz and Michael Bowden could be in the future. 
I have also heard the Victor Martinez rumors. When I said that I think catching is our second weakest position, I do not mean currently. Most of you know how hard I lobbied for Jason Varitek’s return, and I for one have not been disappointed. When I say catching is our weakest position, I mean for the future. George Kottaras is only around because he can catch a knuckleball, and I personally prefer Dusty Brown. I’d rather stick around and wait for Joe Mauer to become available. Victor Martinez and Jason Varitek are both legitimate catchers, who both deserve a lot of playing time. Should Martinez come to the Red Sox, I would think that someone’s playing time would be significantly impacted. 
I think we should stay right where we are right now. We are still very legitimate contenders, but we have to look to future acquisitions too. 

#17– Cecil Cooper

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Continuing in the tradition recently established here by Jimmy, I have decided to dedicate my latest rank. After some research, I have come to the conclusion that #17 goes to Cecil Cooper. 

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Cecil Cooper was nicknamed “Coop”, so immediately I wondered if the fans chanted “Coooooooooooop” like they chant today for “Youuuuuuk”, or maybe even how the Yankees cheer for “Moose”. Cooper has statistics similar to Jim Rice (the average at least), and played for 17 seasons, six of which were with the Red Sox, the others with the Milwaukee Brewers. He has a career average of .298 with 2,192 hits and 1,125 RBIs. He was a five time All-Star, and went on a run from 1977-1983 in which he hit .300 or higher. His career year was 1980 in which he batted .352. In fact, Youkilis is even more similar to him because the both of them are Gold Glover first baseman. He has also won the Roberto Clemente award, was inducted into the Brewers Walk of Fame, and has been the manager of the Astros for the past two years. 
I added that ‘Statistic Counter’ to my blog, unfortunately I set it to start at zero so I have absolutely no idea how many “hits” I really have. 
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Daily Dosage of Baseball

Today’s dose of baseball came in my second period American History class. We are currently learning about the 1920′s and we were talking about pop culture icons. We all know that baseball was popular in the 1920′s and so the icon that we talked about was none other than, George Herman Ruth, better known as Babe Ruth. As soon as I saw his picture come up on the powerpoint, I cringed.
Dr. King [teacher]: And there was Babe Ruth, the baseball icon. Elizabeth, would you like to talk about him? [I wonder how he knew that I would know about him....]
Me: No… I mean… Well, he was the home run king for a while… But, he actually came from no where really. He lived at an orphanage for a while, he was both a pitcher and a hitter… He’s probably the greatest player all time. 
Well, as soon as Babe’s picture came up on the powerpoint, the guys in my class jumped on the opportunity to bring up the most infamous trade in baseball history. Their snickering and mockery began! Here are some of the low-lights that they centered on: 
Babe Ruth used to play for the Red Sox didn’t he? Oh wait, what happened? Oh yeah! He was sold to the Yankees so your manager could finance a play right? 
Me: Get over it! 
I would go see that play, wouldn’t you?
Me: Never… 
It went on and on to the World Series titles, and then back to Babe Ruth with many hushes, shushes, ‘get over its’, ‘don’t start with me’s’ and more. I know that he is probably the greatest baseball player of all time, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t cringe every time that I hear his name. 
Mark Kotsay.jpg
Apparently, Mark Kotsay is having back surgery. Our backup first baseman is having back surgery less than a month before Spring Training is beginning. The Red Sox re-signed him a couple of weeks ago to a $1 million dollar contract, and he’s getting back surgery?? Did we know about this upon signing him? 
Still, the Red Sox don’t expect him to be missing much time. This explains the recent signing of Brad Wilkerson, another veteran first baseman who happens to also be a left handed hitter. It was a minor league deal for a “base salary” at $400,000 with incentives (my favorite!!) up to $2.5 million. 
What about Jeff Bailey? What about Lars Anderson? Those are two very capable first basemen. I know Anderson needs some more time to develop down in the minors, but Bailey did relatively well with the Red Sox. Couldn’t Bailey be the back up first baseman? 
Jeff posted a comment on my recent Prime 9 blog about Julio Lugo and Jed Lowrie. He asked if Lugo even deserves an opportunity to “battle” it out for shortstop. Here is what I think:
I know that Jed Lowrie proved himself, I know that he can field well, and that he can hit in the clutch. I got tired of Julio bobbling the ball and over throwing first base, I got tired of him striking out on the low and outside pitches every single time! I liked that young face of Jed Lowrie, plus, he was my project! However, if the Red Sox made a pretty big investment with Lugo. It didn’t really turn out they way that he wanted it to, but if we were to put him on the bench, wouldn’t that be kind of wasteful? 
If Lowrie does prove himself in Spring Training, then by all means, he deserves a starting spot, regardless of Lugo’s contract. 
Thanks again for helping me come in at 17! 
-Elizabeth

John Smoltz out of a Braves uniform?! And Baldelli’s Homecoming

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There are a couple of players in baseball that we absolutely cannot imagine out of their uniform, and John Smoltz fell under this category for me. He was with Atlanta for twenty years! From 1988-2008, and he was incredible! His career record is 210-147, he has 3,011 career strikeouts, and a 3.26 ERA. The strikeouts is definitely the most impressive, he reached 3,000 against the Nationals if I’m remembering correctly. Anyway, he’s been with the Braves for SO long, it’s still hard for me to imagine him outside of a Braves uniform.

Hardball and Darion are pretty upset about it, and about the entire Braves offseason. They lost out on Burnett, Peavy, and Fucal (the Furcal situation being the most annoying in my opinion). 
Interesting thing about Smoltz is that he probably won’t pitch until around June 1. He’s going to be like the Curt Schilling of last year, only he’ll actually pitch! According to his now former manager Bobby Cox, he looks “incredible” pitching.
Rocco Baldelli.jpg
The Red Sox also acquired Rhode Island native Rocco Baldelli. The cool part is, he grew up rooting for the Red Sox **okay, no he didn’t as I just found out. Just a rumor I heard! Thanks to Julia for the correction!**, and probably dreaming about hitting home runs over the green monster (like he did in the ALCS–only he wasn’t on the Red Sox). Rocco Baldelli not only has a great name, but he also had a great start to his career. In 2003 he came in third for the Rookie of the Year awards and batted .289 with 184 hits. However he didn’t even play in 2005, and his playing time was limited from 2006-2008 because of injuries. Originally he was diagnosed with mitochondrial disorder, which causes excessive fatigue. Now, he has been re-diagnosed and has channelopathy (more on that later). Baldelli will serve as the fourth outfielder the Red Sox have been looking for. This will still let Jacoby almost everyday because Baldelli obviously can’t play everyday. Theo said that he’s been in talks with Baldelli since November! Theo, you’re so sneaky! 
Mark Kotsay.jpg
And now, Mark Kotsay could be back on the Red Sox. Kotsay will probably serve as the backup first baseman again for the Red Sox. This is good because if anyone else in the infield gets injured, Youkilis can go play their position (I am convinced that he can play anywhere–he can probably pitch too) and Kotsay can stay over at first. 
So with these two acquisitions, tons of trade rumors popped into my head, so I had a mini-panic attack yesterday. Here are a few, and why they can’t happen
1. Jacoby Ellsbury could be traded for more catching depth
This could not happen because not only has Theo made it clear that Jacoby is meant as the future, but Baldelli obviously can’t play everyday, so getting rid of Ellsbury would leave not only a serious hole in the outfield, but a serious hole in the lead off spot, and with base stealing! 
2. It is now safe to send Clay Buchholz to Texas for more catching depth now that we have Penny and Smoltz
This could not happen because Smoltz and Penny are only one year deals, and Clay Buchholz is obviously the future of pitching. I have now deemed Clay Buchholz my “project”. 
Being my “project” is a very special thing. Last year, Justin Masterson and Jed Lowrie were my projects and look how well they turned out! So now that I’ve officially decided that Buchholz is my project and that I will invest my faith in him, hopefully he will do better. 
One more thing before we go. Scott Boras really screwed Jason Varitek over. I’m not saying that he’s not coming back because I truly believe that he will. But we all would’ve been at ease by now if Boras didn’t convince Varitek to reject arbitration. It was pretty much his only chance at making $11 million per year. I’m pretty furious with Scot Boras but I realized something today. If I have even a little doubt that he’s going to come back, then he won’t, but if I put every ounce of faith that I have into Jason Varitek’s return, then I think he’ll come back. I’m not even going to doubt it anymore. I’m going to will it to be true just like Fisk and everybody willed that ball to stay fair. 
Just a quick shout out to my friend Steph. She’s one of my only friends who have looked at and read my blog, and I just wanted to thank her for that! Means a lot!
-Elizabeth

“I don’t believe what I just saw” Miracles Can Happen

Tessie, “Nuf Ced” McGreevey shouted
We’re not here to mess around
Boston, you know we love you madly
Hear the crowd roar to your sound
Don’t blame us if we ever doubt you
You know we couldn’t live without you
Tessie, you are the only only only


We were down 7-0 after the sixth inning. People were quite literally leaving Fenway Park, a lot of them. What they didn’t realize though, and what they don’t have, is the magic of the Red Sox. Miracles CAN happen. We just can’t stop believing. And trust me, we didn’t. Dustin Pedroia started it all off with an RBI single, and Big Papi followed with a 3 run homer that you knew was gone the second that he hit it. It was 7-4. Could miracles happen… again? Next inning, JD Drew hits a towering two run homer, Mark Kotsay hits a double and Coco Crisp gets an RBI to tie the game. We TIED the game. The greatest comeback in Red Sox postseason history (in a single game), perhaps in baseball postseason history. We scored eight runs after almost all hope was lost. We really did focus on just game 5, we really did just focus on all nine innings, and we really did focus on pitch by pitch. The middle relief, was outstanding. Justin Masterson, is absolutely incredible. That double play that he got Carlos Pena to ground into, it kept my faith going. Jonathan Papelbon came in for two solid innings of relief before that. In the bottom of the ninth inning, Kevin Youkilis and Jason Bay are on first and second with JD Drew up to the plate. JD Drew lines one into right field over the Rays’ head and Kevin Youkilis comes around to score! 
It’s not over yet, we’re going to Tampa Bay and it’s time to look forward to Game 6. There will be no champagne celebrating for the Rays tonight. One of the TBS commentators mentioned that the Rays fans were dancing in the streets of St. Petersburg. Well, I think he got that backwards. The fans of Fenway were dancing in the streets of Yawkey Way. We’re going to Tampa.
Miracles can happen baby
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