When in god’s name did the city of Boston become so freaking cool? It’s seems as though every year, four new movies are set in Boston. The market is officially flooded for Boston in popular culture. You have the smartest people, your sports teams kick butt, you have unique (some may say annoying) accents and now every movie that wants to get an Oscar nod throws a script together and shoots the film in Beantown…ENOUGH IS ENOUGH. But I digress, here are your 2011 Boston Red Sox.
Left field: Carl Crawford. 2010 splits: .307 average, 19 home runs, 90 RBI, .851 OPS. Brief: A great signing for the Red Sox no doubt. Although don’t give the front office too much credit considering only three to four teams in the league could afford to pay for his services. Nonetheless, Crawford is simply a freak who possesses more tools than the Jersey Shore house (sappy joke I know, I’ll pick it up).
Center field: Jacoby Ellsbury. 2010 splits: .192 average, 0 home runs, 5 RBI, .485 OPS. Brief: Go ahead and chalk the 2010 season for Ellsbury, who was injury-riddled since jump street. When healthy, he provides another speed demon to go along with Crawford and another bat that should flirt if not cruise past the .300 plateau.
Right field: J.D. Drew. 2010 splits: .255 average, 22 home runs, 68 RBI, .793 OPS. Brief: If I’m not mistaken, Drew is a player that occasionally makes Sox fans want to scratch out their retinas. With new acquisitions Drew should be able to fall into a more comfortable role which will allow him to do his thing without catching as much flak: produce at an above average rate.
Third base: Kevin Youkilis. 2010 splits: .307 average, 19 home runs, 62 RBIs, .975 OPS. Brief: What a great, consistent hitter Youkilis is. He was a steading force in a 2010 lineup that was up and down for a majority of the season.
Also, what an attractive batting stance. (Which one of these sentences was sarcastic?). How will Youkilis handle the move to third base? Does he have the mobility? Does he have the quickness? Will his Civil War beard block his visibility on sharp grounders to the hot corner? Only time will tell.
Shortstop: Marco Scutaro. 2010 splits: .275 average, 11 home runs, 56 RBI, .721 OPS. Brief: Everytime I see a Scutaro highlight I sing “Su-su-sudio” by Phil Collins in my head, but that’s neither here nor there. Scutaro seems to be a great fit in this powerful Boston lineup. A nice bat that can consistently put the ball in play and good range at shortstop. The dude just needs to find a way to stay healthy this season.
Second base: Dustin Pedroia. 2010 splits: .288 average, 12 home runs, 41 RBI, .860 OPS. Brief: Hard to match his MVP season in 2009 and this year, with the potent lineup, he won’t have to. He’s coming off of foot surgery so it should be interesting to see what kind of start he gets off to. Still, the little man is one of the best in the business.
First base: Adrian Gonzalez. 2010 splits: .298 average, 31 home runs, 101 RBI, .904 OPS. Brief: Another newly minted superstar acquisition for the BoSox. They desperately needed another power hitter and the Red Sox got one in Gonzalez. The question all the blow hard baseball writers will ask is how will he do coming to the American League? I think this is an overrated statistic. Then again, I could have no idea what I’m talking about.
Designated Hitter: David Ortiz. 2010 splits: .270 average, 32 Home runs, 102 RBI, .899 OPS. Brief: Remember at the beginning of last year during Big Papi’s struggles when ESPN and the like made us feel like the sky was falling and that Ortiz couldn’t make contact playing tee-ball? Please, people don’t overreact, the baseball season is a marathon. One day you’ll wake up in the middle of July with a broken air conditioner and sweat soaked sheets that make you feel like you wet the bed and you’ll turn on the TV and see Ortiz is yet again putting up monster numbers…and you can run tell ‘dat homeboy.
Catcher: Jared Saltalamacchia. 2010 splits: .167 average, 0 home runs, 2 RBI, .625. Brief: I have a special place in my heart for Salt. I read a story last year that the only reason he was stuck in the minor leagues is because he struggled mightily throwing back to the pitcher. Now this conjures up memories of Rube Baker repeating Playboy articles to himself in Major League II. But, as a former high school catcher and neurotic head case, I can tell you that, that mental block is real and it can be one of the loneliest feelings on earth. Can I have a hug please?
Ok, we’ll be back next week for a report on starting and relief pitchers. PEACE.
April 30, 1918 at Fenway Park
Red sox 8, Senators 1 (11-2)
The Red Sox closed out a spectacular month with their most lopsided win of the season. Babe Ruth did it all and he not only held the Senators to a run on six hits, but he also singled, stole a base and scored two runs.
Sam Agnew was the hitting star in the win. He went two for four with a double and he scored two runs.
April 27, 1918 at Shibe Park
Red Sox 4, Athletics 1 (10-2)
Bullet Joe Bush held the Athletics to just a single run as the Red Sox won their third straight game. Bush gave up the run on seven hits and he struck out three in the contest.
Amos Strunk tripled and he scored two runs in the contest. In all, the Sox managed just five hits but they helped themselves out with five walks.
April 26, 1918 at Shibe Park
Red Sox 2, Athletics 1 (9-2)
The Red Sox got their share of breaks in this one as they guaranteed themselves at least a split in their four game series with the Athletics. The Red Sox didn’t get a hit in the first six innings but they did their share of damage in the seventh. Amos Strunk broke that up and on a steal attempt of third base, Strunk scored when Athletics starter Scott Perry threw a wild pitch. Dick Hoblitzell then doubled and he moved to third on Everett Scott’s single before Hoblitzell scored on an error by Kopp out in leftfield.
Dutch Leonard picked up the win with a shaky start. He gave up one run on seven hits and ten walks with one strike out.
April 25, 1918 at Shibe Park
Red Sox 6, Athletics 1 (8-2)
The Red Sox drew eleven walks and picked up twelve hits as they dismantled the Athletics in the second game of their series in Philadelphia. Amos Strunk had a team high four hits with a run while Wally Schang crossed the plate twice.
Lost in all of the offense was a solid start by Carl Mays. He gave up one run on nine hits and a walk with six strikeouts and the win pushed his record to 3-0 on the season.
April 24, 1918 at Shibe Park
Athletics 3, Red Sox 0 (7-2)
Babe Ruth threw seven shutout innings to start this one but he was tagged for three runs in the eighth as the Red Sox lost their second game of the season. It was their first road game and Ruth gave up just five hits, unfortunately one of them was a three run homer by George Burns. He walked three and struck out one.
The Red Sox were held to just six hits in the contest. Harry Hooper was a perfect three for three with a double and he also stole two bases.
April 23, 1918 at Fenway Park
Red Sox 1, Yankees 0 (7-1)
The Red Sox were two outs away from being no hit in this one before Amos Strunk singled to break it up. Babe Ruth followed that up with a pinch hit single to put runners at the corner and after an intentional walk before George Whiteman hit a fly ball that was muffed to score Strunk to win the game.
Bullet Joe Bush threw a fine game and he improved to 2-0 on the season. He gave up three hits and four walks with a strikeout in the shutout.
April 22, 1918 at Fenway Park
Yankees 11, Red Sox 4 (6-1)
Dutch Leonard and Sad Sam Jones combined to give up eleven runs on thirteen hits as the Red Sox took their first loss of the season. Leonard took the loss and he pitched just 3 1/3 innings. He gave up six of those hits along with five walks in a tough outing.
Stuffy McInnis was the hitting star. He was the only Red Sox with two hits and he also scored one of the runs.
April 20, 1918 at Fenway Park
Red Sox 5, Yankees 4 (6-0)
Catcher Sam Agnew picked off three different baserunners to help the Red Sox win their sixth straight game to open the season. Give some credit to Carl Mays in this one too. He was hit hard for three runs in the first inning but he buckled down and gave up just one run the rest of the way to let the Red Sox come back. In all, he gave up four runs on seven hits and two walks with five strikeouts.
Harry Hooper was the star of the game. Not only did he go two for three with a double, a stolen base and two runs but he also made the defensive play of the game. With two outs in the ninth and two runners on, Hooper made a nice leaping catch to stop what would have been a triple but ended the game.
April 19, 1918 at Fenway Park
Red Sox 2, Yankees 1 (4-0)
Two errors resulted in the two Red sox runs as they took the first game of their doubleheader on Patriots Day. It also helped that the Red Sox played flawless ball and they got some nice pitching from Bullet Joe Bush. He gave up just a single run on four hits and five walks with four strikeouts.
Amos Strunk and Everett Scott each had a pair of singles i the contest. Dave Shean singled, stole a base and he scored on the Red Sox two runs.
April 19, 1918 at Fenway Park
Red Sox 9, Yankees 5 (5-0)
The bad news is, starter Babe Ruth gave up more runs by a starting pitcher then any other starter to date. The good news was, The Red Sox scored nine runs and they once again capitalized on Yankees’ errors to walk away with their fifth straight win to open up the season. Ruth gave up five runs on thirteen hits and three walks with four strikeouts.
The big inning for the Red Sox was a five run fifth inning. Harry Hooper went two for three with a stolen base and two runs while Amos Strunk went two for three with one run.
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