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.
The Red Sox definitely have the best one-two punch in all of baseball. Manny Ramirez would be the best hitter on at least 20 other team but on the Red Sox, he’s met his match in David Ortiz. Both were crediting for their offensive exploits this week with Silver Sluggers. Ramirez won his eighth straight and ninth overall while Ortiz won his third straight. Hopefully they’ll be able to match what they did, without the injuries, next year.
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.
The Red Sox are now down to their final series. They’ll host the Orioles for three games and just like that, the season will be over with. Sigh.
The Red Sox moved temporarily back into second place on Tuesday with a win over the Devil Rays. Curt Schilling made his final start of the season and he improved to 15-7. He struck out nine in seven innings of work. Big Papi, David Ortiz hit homerun number 54 and he drove in three runs in the 5-1 win.
Yesterday was plain ugly. Josh Beckett was hammered for eight runs in 6 2/3 innings. In the meantime, the offense was held to a measly five hits in the 11-0 shutout.
It’s come to this. Just two years removed from a World Series and the Red Sox find themselves in third place in the AL East and not even ten games over .500. In the meantime, our archnemisis is rolling into the post season and has a chance to win their first World Series since 2000.
Friday’s game was encouraging. Juan Tavarez threw a complete game seven hitter as he improved to 4-4. Mike Lowell had the big hit. His two run shot in the second inning set the stage for the 7-1 win.
It all went downhill from there. We had a close game on Saturday, a blowout on Sunday and the Red Sox were shutout on Monday. While I love baseball, I kind of want this season to end. Just five more games and none of them are against contenders. Next up is two against the Rays.
Well, the Red Sox are down to their final nine games. No playoffs, but they finish the season in the friendly confines of Fenway Park next week. Hopefully the fans come out and cheer on this team that’s given them a lot to cheer about the past three seasons. And don’t forget, the Red Sox will be back next year.
Tim Wakefield was hit hard and early on Tuesday. He gave up six runs in only 3 1/3 innings. On offense, Doug Mirabelli and Eric Hinske both had two hits and an RBI in the 7-3 loss.
Wednesday was more of the same. David Ortiz hit his 50th homerun and that was about the only highlight of this game. Curt Schilling pitched five great innings but the bullpen (i.e. Craig Hansen), let the game get out of hand. There’s no doubt that Hansen’s rookie season has been a disaster. This is supposed to be the guy who’s our closer of the future so hopefully he works on things in the offseason.
Finally, Josh Beckett picked us up. He threw eight shutout innings and David Ortiz hit homeruns number 51 and 52 in the Red Sox 6-0 win. Ortiz broke Jimmie Foxx’s Red Sox single season homerun record (50) that stood for almost 70 years. And most of the damage was done against probably Cy Young winner Johan Santana.
Next up is a four game wrap around series against the Blue Jays in Toronto.
It’s sad that it’s come to this. The Red Sox rolled into Yankee Stadium in a September series, and it didn’t mean anything for either team. The Red Sox won’t be playing once the regular season ends and the losses were just a road bump for the Yankees in what will be another division title.
Friday’s game was rained out so that forced a pair of doubleheaders over the weekend. Game one went to the Red Sox. Josh Beckett threw a solid game and he won his 15th game of the season. Mark Loretta had two hits and two runs and David Ortiz reached base five times with two hits and three walks in the 5-2 win.
Game two was the lone loss. Julian Taverez was bounced after five mediocre innings and the pen didn’t hold on to the lead. Alex Gonzalez and Coco Crisp each had two RBIs in the 7-5 loss. Craig Breslow took the loss and he’s now 0-2.
Sunday, things went even better. David Ortiz hit his 49th homerun of the season and Kevin Youkilis had two hits and three RBIs in the 6-3 win. Kyle Snyder pitched five solid innings but he didn’t get a decision. The win went to Bryan Corey.
The Red Sox came from behind to beat the Yankees in the series finale. The game winner came in the top of the tenth when Mark Loretta drove home Alex Cora to make it 5-4. So goes the final game against our hated arch rival.
Next up is three against the Twins so the Red Sox could still play spoiler.
I know, maybe I’m just slow but I’m getting used to the fact that there won’t be October baseball for the Red Sox this year. Even finishing in second place isn’t a certainty. The last time the Red Sox didn’t finish in at least second in the AL East was 1997.
I think the voters are going to use the Red Sox second half struggles to job David Ortiz again for the MVP, but we’ll see. At the very least, it’ll be a lot closer then it should have been.
Would it mean anything if the Red Sox beat the Yankees this weekend? I say it will, at least it will to me.
Man, I kind of wish this season would end because every week brings worse news. This weekend, the Royals scored ten runs on the Red Sox not once, but twice.
Friday’s game almost had a happy ending. Down 8-3, the Red Sox scored six runs in the eighth inning to make it 9-8. The inning was capped off by by David Ortiz’s two run single that gave the Red Sox the lead. Unfortunately, with Jon Papelbon on the shelf, the ninth inning is no longer safe. Mike Timlin gave up two runs in the ninth and just like that, the Red Sox lost the game. Ortiz finished the 10-9 loss with four RBIs.
Yesterday’s game was just as bizarre. The Red Sox scored two runs in the seventh to tie the game at 4-4 and the game eventually went into extra frames. Then in the top of the twelth, the Royals scored six runs to blow the game out. Craig Breslow took the loss but most of the damage came against Manny Delcarmen. Dustin Pedoria hit his first career homerun in the 10-4 loss.
Finally the ship righted itself today. Wily Mo Pena had three hits and two RBIs and David Ortiz was two for two with three walks, two RBIs and three runs. Ortiz also hit homerun number 48. Julian Tavarez wasn’t great, but he picked up the win because of the solid run support.
The Red Sox get tomorrow off then they head over to Baltimore for three.
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