Red Sox Update

The Boston Red Sox celebrating one of their 20 wins this season.
Picture Courtesy of bleacherreport.com

Sensational Sox- After an absolutely astounding start to the season, the Boston Red Sox were swept over the weekend by the red hot Texas Rangers. Boston finished the month of April at 19-8 with the best record in the big leagues.

In this month of May though, things have not been so merry for the Sox, as they are 2-3 in their last five games. Nevertheless, let’s take a look at what’s brought Boston to a 20-11 overall record thus far:

Pitcher Perfect- Ok, so some of the Sox pitching hasn’t exactly been perfect, but Clay Buchholz’ certainly has. Take a look at his April numbers: W/L Record: 6-0 ERA: 1.01 WHIP: 0.96 SO: 47. Buchholz is pitching like a man possessed, more importantly, it would seem he has finally tapped into that potential the Red Sox clubhouse saw in him a few seasons ago.

Jon Lester has also been a monster on the mound this year with a 4-0 record, a respectable ERA of 3.30, a WHIP of 1.17, and 40 SO. Anchored by both Lester and Buccholz, the Sox rotation finds itself ranked in the top ten in the majors at eighth overall.

Boston starting pitcher Clay Buchholz has been on fire this year for the Sox.
Picture Courtesy of usatoday.com

The Red Sox have a solid team ERA of 3.60 and rank second in the MLB in strikeouts with 287. Boston also ranks fourth overall in batting average against with a .233. While those numbers are impressive, the back end of the rotation and the bullpen need to improve if the Sox want those stats to stick around.

Side Note: I claimed before the season started that Boston’s bullpen would be a strength. Boy was I wrong…dead wrong. However, that’s not to say the pen hasn’t had bright spots in the form of Koji Uehara and Junichi Tazawa, (say both their names five times fast) but improvement is important moving forward this May.

Breaking Out The Bats: The Sox have been simply slugging the baseball so far this season. Boston ranks in the top five or higher in the MLB with a .269 team average (5th), 149 runs (5th), a .347 OBP (3rd), and a .443 SLG (3rd) which lands them fifth overall in team batting.

Newcomer Mike Napoli has had a big impact on Boston’s lineup this year. Nap is currently batting .268 with six home runs and ranks third in the majors with 31 RBI. Meanwhile, the regulars: David Ortiz, Dustin Pedroia, and Jacoby Ellsbury, have all been contributing as usual.

Red Sox 2B Dustin Pedroia (Left) high-fiving C Mike Napoli (Right). Both have had big bats for Boston this season.
Picture Courtesy of sports.inquirer.net

Ortiz is batting for a .440 average with four home runs and 17 RBI in 13 games this season. Pedroia is putting in another fine season batting .294 with 12 RBI and a team high .396 OBP. Ellsbury is batting .279 with 12 RBI and leads the team in hits with 38.

Also, second year stud Will Middlebrooks continues to shine as he is tied with Napoli for a team high six home runs and has 12 RBI on the year. Middlebrooks batting average of .195 could see improvement, but with “great power comes great responsibility”. The young-gun thirdbaseman just needs better plate discipline.

Side Note: Even more surprising than the Sox stellar start to the season, is the at-bats by Daniel Nava. Nava has spent the majority of his time with Boston as a platoon-type player in the outfield.

This season though, he has been one of the better bats in the lineup. Nava has posted a .286 average, which ranks him second for team average behind Pedroia. He also has five home runs with 19 RBI, which ranks him second in team RBI, right behind Napoli.

Final Thoughts: Despite the recent sweep by the Rangers, Boston remains in first place in the American League East with a game and a half lead over the New York Yankees. More importantly, it would appear after an amazing April, the Red Sox have put the past (2012) behind them and are playing towards a bright future. How do you feel about the Sox start? Where do you see room for improvement? Can they keep this up all season? Leave a comment below.

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An Unlikely Fan

Neil Diamond is becoming a Boston Hero. First, he comes over to Fenway Park a few days after the Marathon Bombings to sing his “Sweet Caroline” song that we all know and love between innings at the park.  Yes, he was a little off key, but hey, he’s 72 years old. The thought was still there.  Don’t forget, he grew up in Brooklyn, NY. He is not a Red Sox fan.

Now, Neil Diamond is donating this week’s sales from this hit song to the victims. The track sold 19,000 times. Even the Yankees and Toronto Raptors played this song in honor of Beantown in recent days. It’s nice to see everyone loving Boston, and loving our country. Too bad it had to happen like this! Have a good Thursday everyone.

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Class Act

Just one day after the attacks at the Boston Marathon finish line, the country was still hurting—and will be for some time. I do not want to get into details about all of the events that occurred on April 15th, because we all know what happened.  I would like to point out a Class Act last night. The New York Yankees played Fenway’s classic “Sweet Caroline” song in their third inning to honor those in Boston for what they had to go through. They also issued the following statement (ESPN):

Our thoughts and prayers go out to the victims and the families who were affected by the bombings and our respect and admiration go out to the police, medical personnel and first responders who acted so heroically,We stand united with the participants, volunteers, staff and spectators of the Boston Marathon and the people of Boston.”

Also, before the game even started they were showing their support. Instead of just having their trademark logo on the big screens around the stadium, they had both their logo, and the Red Sox emblem on it with the words “United We Stand”. Even if you hate the Yankees, you have to respect this.

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HOF Ballot 2013

Starting today, the Baseball Writers’ Association of America will begin voting for MLB Hall of Famers which will be announced in early January. However, it is projected to be the most controversial ballot since Pete Rose was ruled ineligible for betting. The reason is simple: Steroids…. Continue reading

Red Sox Sign Backup Catcher David Ross

ImageDone Deal: The Boston Red Sox inked career backup catcher David Ross to a two-year 6.2 million dollar deal this Wednesday. Ross spent the last four seasons with the Atlanta Braves, backing up All-Star catcher Brian McCann, where he compiled 24 HR, 84 RBI, and a .268 batting average in that span. Ross is a career .238 hitter with 84 HR and 248 RBI. BoSox fans may not remember Ross, but he has played in Beantown before. He made 8 game appearances back in 2008.

ImageRoss Can Be Resourceful: Ross gives the Red Sox a viable back up option to help give starter Jarrod Saltalamacchia a break during the regular season (pending the Sox don’t try to ship Salty elsewhere this offseason). Ross, a 10 year veteran, can also help give a few catching pointers to the Sox young catcher Ryan Lavarnway (1 year of MLB experience). This inexpensive move helps bolster the position and brings flexibility to the catching depth chart.

Your Thoughts: With the Red Sox recent off-season move, what do you think their next one should be? Leave a comment below.

Should the Sox Take a Shot at Landing Hamilton?

With one of the more forgettable seasons in Boston Red Sox history well in the books, attention can now be turned to the off-season. One of the big question marks (of the many) for the Sox resides in their outfield and Texas Rangers right fielder Josh Hamilton might just have the answer for Boston.

Let’s compare Hamilton’s numbers to the internal option guys for Boston:

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Red Sox Get Their Way

Just 17 days after Bobby V was fired, the Red Sox have hired former pitching coach John  Farrell, who is 50 years old. The other day, I wrote an article asking who everyone would want as their next manager. Most people chose Demarlo Hale who was also in the organization before. However, all along, most people knew that the Sox were going to try to get the Blue Jays to allow Farrell out of his last year on his contract. We had to trade shortstop Mike Aviles, but most don’t seem to mind.

Jon Lester welcomed him back through a tweet, David Ortiz proclaimed his love for his “main man”, and I think most fans are okay with this choice. Don’t be fooled, the Sox are far away from being the team that they have been in recent years. Farrell had told the Blue Jays GM that it was his dream job, and that if someone contacted them, he would like the opportunity to speak with Boston. Shortly thereafter, Red Sox owner John Henry called Toronto’s CEO and got things moving.

While John Farrell was the pitching coach in Boston from 2007-2010, including one World Series Championship, the Sox Pitching Staff was first in the American League in strikeouts, Opponents’ Batting Average, and Shutouts, and 3rd in ERA. You don’t need to be a genius to figure out that those numbers are far above and beyond what they were this past season with Bobby Valentine at the helm.

Do you like this choice?

Loving the Yankee Struggles!

This is not only a Boston sports site, this is an Anti-Yankee site. That being said, what is happening with Alex Rodriguez is just hilarious to me.  Joe Girardi sits him and then has to make up excuses like, he is only bad against right-handers.  While riding the pine, A-Rod put a note on a baseball trying to get a woman in the stand’s phone number. She was an Australian Bikini Model, but still.

Now, there is a rumor going around that the Marlins and Yanks may be in talks of a A-Rod trade. But will A-Rod actually take his talents (or lack thereof) to South Beach?  A source said that Yankees President Randy Levine told his good friend, the owner of the Marlins, Jeffrey Loria, that “he can have him.” It is expected that Miami is the only place that Rodriguez would consider accepting a trade to. He has 5 years and $114 million left on his contract.

Do you think Miami would be stupid to trade for him?

Red Sox Manager Search

As the search for a Red Sox Manager continues, many people believe that the Sox have already interviewed their best option. Although most people want John Farrell, that is very unlikely due to the fact that he is still the head coach of the Blue Jays for one more season. So far, the team has interviewed four candidates:

LA Dodgers third-base coach Tim Wallach: 55 years old, played 3rd base for 16 seasons, 5 time all star. He has only been a minor league head coach, but has been a hitting coach and third-base coach in the majors.

NY Yankees bench coach Tony Pena: 55 years old, played catcher for 18 seasons (with Sox from 1990-93), 5 time All-Star as a player, 2003 AL Manager of the Year

SD Padres special assistant Brad Ausmus: 43 years old, the only candidate without experience as a coach or manager. 1-time All-Star in 1999, 3-time Gold Glove winner.

Baltimore Orioles third-base coach DeMarlo Hale (Pictured): 51 years old, only played 4 seasons (split between Oakland and Boston), left the Sox when Francona did. He is the most popular choice of the candidates so far. He is known for his down-to-earth coaching style and knows how to treat and adapt to each player, unlike Bobby V did last season. He was a minor league coach in our organization for years as well, this guy could be the best choice to keep the job ‘in the family’.

Who do you think the Red Sox should choose as their next manager to rebound us from our horribly disappointing season?

 

Oh Hey, Sox-Yanks Game

As much as I’ve been trying to pretend it’s offseason for the Sox, it’s hard to ignore completely when the Yanks are in town. ESPN and sports analysts have been talking about the expected lack of interest in the Red Sox-Yankees game tonight at Fenway for the obvious reason being that the Sox aren’t in the picture. Earlier today there were a couple thousand or so tickets still available on StubHub starting at just $17, an unheard of price for a game against even the worst of teams. On the other hand, they’ve also brought up how the Sox could play spoiler to the recently struggling Yanks who are close to losing their playoff spot as well. It’s a weird situation, one we’re certainly not used to dealing with. So it begs the question, does it matter to you at all?

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