The Red Sox will get the services of knuckleballer Tim Wakefield for at least one more year because they picked up his $4 million option. Wakefield had a rough, injury plagued year in 2006 after an outstanding year in 2005.
Wakefield is one of those guys you like to have on your staff. He can start and relieve, sometimes in the same week. And $4 million is dirt cheap these days so it’s not much of a risk. Even if he bounces back to his 2004 numbers (4.87 ERA, 1.38 WHIP), it’ll be a bargain.
The Red Sox inked Mike Timlin to a one year deal for $2.8 million. That’s not too far out of line even with Timlin’s rough season last year. He is 40 but they got him for less then he made last year ($3.6 million). I’m just hoping they go out and get some solid relief help. With Jon Papelbon headed into the rotation, that leaves a hole. Craig Hansen showed he’s not ready to take on that closer role, at least not yet. And it’s also unlikely that Keith Foulke will be back to his dominating days anytime soon.
Red Sox centerfield prospect Jacoby Ellsbury has been tearing up the Arizona Fall League. You can click on that link to see how the Red Sox prospects are doing in the AFL and the Hawaiian League.
I know, it’s been a while but I was in mourning. Things improved when the Yankees got stomped but I figured now is as good a time as any to come out of hiding.
So far, the Red Sox are being quiet as to what they’ll be doing with the 2007 payroll. Alfonso Soriano sure would look good in a Red Sox jersey, as would Barry Zito. I was happy to hear that Jonathon Papelbon will be in the rotation next year. It would be a huge waste of his talent throwing an inning every other night.
Also, the Red Sox hired a new pitching coach. John Farrell replaces Dave Wallace, who had been the pitching coach since 2003.
I’m going to help out with a Baseball Historians group project. I’ll be one of five blogs documenting the 1967 American League Pennant Race, which we all know the Red Sox won. Barely. Should be fun and I’ll be working on player bios for the site during the offseason. I’ll let you know when the first one is finished so you can check it out.
Third place. After a season where expectations are sky high, it’s hard to swallow that the Red Sox didn’t even finish ahead of the Blue Jays. At the All Star Break, the Red Sox were on top of the World and as late as mid-August, they were in the mix. Now Red Sox fans will be forced to watch their hated arch-rivals in the post season while the Red Sox it on the side lines.
Julian Tavarez had a fair final start and he gave up only two runs on six hits on Friday. He did walk five in five innings though, so that’s some cause for concern. Mike Lowell drove in three runs in the 4-3 win.
Kevin Millar came back to haunt us on Saturday. His two run single in the ninth off of Mike Timlin cost the Red Sox a sweep over the Orioles. A decent start by Tim Wakefield went to waste and Manny Ramirez hit his 35th homerun of the season in the 5-4 loss.
The Red Sox finished things up with a win in a rain shortened game. After a three and a half hour rain delay, they finally got the game in for the fans. Devern Hansack pitched five no-hit shutout innings (they’re calling it a complete game) in his first major league win. Mike Lowell, Eric Hinske and Mark Loretta all went deep for the Red Sox and Lowell and Gabe Kapler drove in three runs in the 9-0 blowout.
I’d do playoff predicitions but I don’t really care. My favorite team will be whoever is playing the Yankees. I do have some things planned for the off season, but I probably won’t start that stuff up until the World Series is nearing completion. In the meantime I’ll probably be posting some random thoughs on what I see during the playoffs.
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