There is no doubt in my mind that spring is my favorite season. The sun stays up later, the grass begins to grow, my grill gets more use… above all, though, is the fact that it means baseball and, more importantly, the Boston Red Sox have returned.
Sure, they’ve been playing baseball since late February this year, but that’s spring training, which is like the appetizer before the main course; it’s only meant to whet your palate. We want the main course, regular season baseball, and more importantly, we want regular season baseball in New England. That first week on the road? Simply the aroma of what’s to come.
Continue reading “Opening Day at Fenway Park – There Is No Equal”
With a scheduled off-day today, the Red Sox are just past the halfway point of spring training with a 9-9 record; 17 games remain before Opening Day at Yankees Stadium on 01 April. While Grapefruit League statistics don’t necessarily translate into regular season success, there is always interest in how well players have performed under the Florida sunshine. So, given that batting averages and earned run averages are often skewed at this point, how do you take what is a relatively small sample size and highlight the top performers this spring to date?
Continue reading “Top Red Sox Grapefruit League Performers – Mid-Season Analysis”
After retiring the first eight batters in Boston’s 4-1, rain-shortened win over the Tigers Tuesday night, Josh Beckett allowed an infield single, hit the next batter, then walked two straight batters before calling for the trainers. He eventually walked off the mound with what was later diagnosed as a back spasm, but not before hearing boos from the Fenway Park crowd.
Now Peter Abraham wants to know what the fans think about this atypical reaction. Continue reading “Why Did Beckett Get Booed? Media Should Look In The Mirror”
For New England baseball fans, there is one day that we look forward to every year. After toughing out a long winter in New England, one of the first signs of spring for us is neither the return of the robins nor the sound of lawn mowers starting up in yards in your neighborhood. It isn’t melting snow piles in the mall parking lots or the discarding of winter jackets. It’s Opening Day for the Red Sox at Fenway Park.
Continue reading “Opening Day Renews Our Love For Baseball And The Red Sox”
For those of you ready to jump from the Tobin Bridge, I refer you to the post from the joy of sox (and be sure to bookmark this site).
Yes, losing all three games on Opening Weekend hurt. Five home runs off our number two starter hurt. An embarrassing shutout loss on national television hurt. Two blown saves in one game by the leading candidates for the closer role hurt.
Continue reading “No Need To Panic In Mudville”
When career home run number 500 left the bat of Boston Red Sox left fielder Manny Ramirez on 31 May versus the Orioles in Baltimore, two things were made clear. The first is that he is all but assured a spot in the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown when he makes his first appearance on the ballot; given the likelihood that he will play another four years, in Boston or elsewhere, that places him in line for 2018, so be sure to reserve your tickets now. The only question might be how they are going to design in those long-flowing dreadlocks he wears today, but I digress. The second is that when the time comes for the powers that be at the Hall to chose what cap Ramirez will be fashioned atop those dreads, it’s all but assured that he will be sporting the spoked “B” that he wears on his cap today as a member of the Red Sox.
Continue reading “Ramirez Earns “B” For Baseball Hall Of Fame”
Should baseball institute instant replay for disputed calls on the field? The rash of missed or disputed home run calls this week has only intensified the argument for bringing baseball into the twenty-first century and more in-line with its football and hockey brethren. It isn’t a question of the abilities of the crew in blue; it takes unparalleled focus to handle an intense nine-inning contest that may last well over three hours. More so, the sole purpose would be to give umpires a fifth, unbiased view of the play to ensure that there would be little doubt left on the field.
Continue reading “Should Baseball Have Instant Replay?”
The selection committee for the Boston Red Sox Hall of Fame isn’t due to make a decision on the next list of nominees until more than a year from now, and the next induction ceremony isn’t scheduled to take place until November of 2008, but just whose career as a Red Sox player or manager might be worthy enough to earn enshrinement at that time? (We won’t consider non-uniformed honorees here nor will we consider a “memorable moment” from team history.) To be eligible, players must have played a minimum of three years with the team and have been out of uniform as an active player for another three years; former managers are generally chosen well after leaving Boston, as was the case for “Walpole” Joe Morgan and Dick Williams, two 2006 inductees. We are also going to shy away from more recent candidates who will be eligible when the next vote is expected, like John Valentin, Mo Vaughn, and Ellis Burks, simply because selections usually happen longer than three or so years after leaving the game.
Continue reading “Five Future Red Sox Hall of Fame Inductees”
On Tuesday afternoon, the Baseball Hall of Fame will announce the results of the Baseball Writers of America Association (BBWAA) vote for the newest members to baseball’s shrine of immortals. Tony Gwynn and Cal Ripken, Jr., both first-time candidates, are expected to receive better than the necessary 75 percent of the vote and there are legimate reasons for another first-timer, Mark McGwire, to earn enshrinement, depending on how the voters perceive whether allegations of illicit drug use are enough to keep him out of the hall, at least initially.
Continue reading “Rice Waits For Another Shot at Call to Hall”
Being the designated hitter does not make David Ortiz any less valuable to his team or unworthy of the American League MVP Award.
Six years ago in 1999, former Red Sox pitcher Pedro Martinez pitched the first of two great seasons, perhaps one of the most dominant seasons ever in the history of baseball. On the way to his second Cy Young award, his first with Boston, he won 23 games in 29 starts, threw five complete, struck out a franchise record 313 batters, and led the staff as well as the American League with a 2.07 ERA. After the departure of slugger Mo Vaughn following the 1998 season, the sole reason that the Boston managed, against all odds, to return to the playoffs for the second year in a row was because of the 27-year-old Dominican native who made the opposition look foolish in almost every start.
However, when it came time to award the Most Valuable Player honor, Ivan Rodriguez, then of the Texas Rangers, won it with his .335 average, 35 home runs, and 113 RBI, arguably the best season of his career as his team won the AL West Division. Martinez, who earned one more first-place vote than “Pudge,” finished second by a margin of just 13 points.
Continue reading “Designated MVP”