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.
June 30, 1918 at Griffith Stadium
Red Sox 3, Senators 1 (39-28)
Babe Ruth belted a two run homer in the top of the tenth inning as the Red Sox not only topped the Senators for the second straight game, but they also reclaimed the lead in the American League. The homerun for Ruth was his eleventh of the season and Harry Hooper and Wally Schang each had a single and a double in the win.
Carl Mays threw all ten innings and he definitely got the job. He gave up just one run on six hits and a walk with six strikeouts.
June 29, 1918 at Griffith Stadium
Red Sox 3, Senators 1 (38-28)
The Red Sox snapped their three game skid with three late runs and some solid pitching by Sad Sam Jones and Bullet Joe Bush. Jones threw the first seven frames and held the Senators to a single run while Bush held the opposition hitless in the final two innings.
All three Red Sox runs came in the final two innings. Stuffy McInnis scored two runs while both Wally Schang and Everett Scott had four hits a piece.
June 28, 1918 at Griffith Stadium
Senators 3, Red Sox 1 (37-28)
The Red Sox fell further behind the first place Yankees as they took their third straight loss in an opener against the Senators. The lone hit of the game for the Sox was Babe Ruth’s tenth homer of the season, a solo shot in the seventh inning.
King Bader got the start in what would be his final season in the major leagues. He gave up three runs on six hits and five walks with five strikeouts in the loss.
June 27, 1918 at the Polo Grounds
Yankees 7, Red Sox 5 (37-27)
The Red Sox couldn’t salvage a split with the now first place Yankees as they fell from atop their perch in the American League. Joe Bush had a tough time and he gave up seven runs in seven innings for his fourth consecutive loss.
Harry Hooper, Wally Schang and Sam Agnew all had three hits in the loss. In all, the Red Sox picked up seventeen hits yet only three baserunners crossed the plate.
June 26, 1918 at the Polo Grounds
Yankees 3, Red Sox 1 (37-26)
The Yankees took game three in their series with the Red Sox and the Red Sox lead in the American League once again slipped to a single game despite a solid outing by Carl Mays. Mays gave up three runs on six hits and three walks with four strikeouts and the runs he gave up in the second stopped his scoreless inning streak at 35 innings.
Babe Ruth’s double almost cleared the fence but he did eventually score the lone run of the game anyway. Stuffy McInnis singled and that was the hit that drove in Ruth.
June 25, 1918 at the Polo Grounds
Red Sox 7, Yankees 3 (37-25)
The Red Sox evened up their pivotal series with the second place Yankees in a game where the Sox poured on the offense. Babe Ruth and Fred Thomas both went yard in the game while Dave Shean and Harry Hooper both tripled. Shean had a team high three hits while Thomas was the lone Red Sox with a pair of runs.
Sad Sam Jones threw another solid game. He gave up three runs on seven hits and four walks with two strikeouts in the complete game.
June 24, 1918 at the Polo Grounds
Yankees 3, Red Sox 2 (36-25)
The Red Sox and Yankees squared off in a battle of first and second place teams and it was the Yankees who came out on top in the opener. The Sox offense was held to just two runs on three hits and the loss came despite a solid outing by Joe Bush. All three hits were singles and it was Harry Hooper and Sam Agnew who scored the three runs.
Bush took his third straight loss in the contest. He gave up three runs on seven hits and four walks with three strikeouts.
June 21, 1918 at Fenway Park
Red Sox 13, Athletics 0 (36-24)
The Red Sox put on a show for the home crowd as they salvaged a split in their four game series with the Athletics. Dave Shean had a big day at the plate with a team high four hits and four runs while Harry Hooper had two hits and two runs.
Lost in all of the offense was Carl Mays second straight shutout. This time, he gave up just one hit and he walked one with five strikeouts.
June 20, 1918 at Fenway Park
Athletics 2, Red Sox 0 (34-24)
For the second straight game, the Red Sox were shutout by the opposition and this time they were held to just three hits in the opener of their doubleheader with the Athletics. Harry Hooper had two of those hits while Everett Scott had the other.
A solid outing by Sad Sam Jones went to waste. He gave up two runs on seven hits with four strikeouts in a complete game loss.
June 20, 1918 at Fenway Park
Red Sox 3, Athletics 0 (35-24)
For the fourth straight game, the Red Sox were involved in a shutout. Two of those were on the losing end and two, along with this one, were on the winning side. This time it was Dutch Leonard who got it done on the mound. He gave up just four hits and three walks and he struck out two.
Harry Hooper was the hitting star in the win. He singled, tripled and scored a run. Babe Ruth didn’t get a hit, but he scored once.
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