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2012 Red Sox Opening Day Roster Set

With Jon Lester and the Boston Red Sox set to square off against reigning AL MVP and Cy Young Award winner Justin Verlander and the Detroit Tigers at 1:05 PM this afternoon at Comerica Park, manager Bobby Valentine has announced his Opening Day roster (asterisk denotes starters).

Pitchers (13)
Alfredo Aceves, Matt Albers, Scott Atchison, Daniel Bard, Josh Beckett, Michael Bowden, Clay Buchholz, Felix Doubront, Jon Lester*, Mark Melancon, Franklin Morales, Vicente Padilla, Justin Thomas

Catchers (2)
Jarrod Saltalamacchia*, Kelly Shoppach

Infielders (6)
Mike Aviles, Adrian Gonzalez*, David Ortiz*, Dustin Pedroia*, Nick Punto, Kevin Youkilis*

Outfielders (4)
Jacoby Ellsbury*, Darnell McDonald, Cody Ross*, Ryan Sweeney*

On the disabled list to begin the season are outfielders Carl Crawford (left wrist) and Ryan Kalish (left shoulder) and pitchers Andrew Bailey (thumb), Chris Carpenter (right elbow), Rich Hill (left elbow), Daisuke Matsuzaka (right elbow), and Andrew Miller (left hamstring).  Crawford, Hill, Matsuzaka, and Miller begin the season on the 15-day DL, while Bailey, Carpenter, and Kalish are on the 60-day DL.

Boston Red Sox Star Pitcher Josh Beckett, Local Stars & Athletes Throw Strikes for Children at Fifth Annual Beckett Bowl

Boston Red Sox star pitcher Josh Beckett will throw strikes of a different kind on August 29, when he trades in his cleats for bowling shoes at his fifth-annual Beckett Bowl, a celebrity-studded bowling tournament at Lucky Strike Lanes in Boston benefiting Children’s Hospital Boston, the nation’s top pediatric hospital.

BOSTON — Boston Red Sox star pitcher Josh Beckett will throw strikes of a different kind on August 29, when he trades in his cleats for bowling shoes at his fifth-annual Beckett Bowl, a celebrity-studded bowling tournament at Lucky Strike Lanes in Boston benefiting Children’s Hospital Boston, the nation’s top pediatric hospital.

Beckett Bowl features an impressive lineup of athletes and celebrities joining local corporations and individuals who will bowl to raise funds for children in need. The roster of VIPs will include current and past Boston Red Sox, New England Patriots, Boston Celtics, Boston Bruins, and New England Revolution players, along with actors, comedians, musicians and celebrity chefs with New England ties.

Local corporations and philanthropic individuals are invited to sponsor four-person bowling teams for the event. Each team will be joined by a celebrity teammate and will compete for unique prize packages. For information on sponsoring a team, please call 617.338.2766. A limited number of tickets to attend the event are available for $250 by emailing events@ammteam.com.

Beckett Bowl has continuously attracted some of Boston’s top professional athletes and celebrities, including Beckett’s Red Sox teammates Jacoby Ellsbury, Jonathan Papelbon, Kevin Youkilis, Jon Lester, David Ortiz, Jason Varitek, Clay Buchholz, and Tim Wakefield; HBO’s Entourage star Adrian Grenier; performer Darryl “DMC” McDaniels of legendary hip-hop trio Run DMC; stand-up comedian, actor, stuntman and performer Verne Troyer (aka “Mini-Me”); country music stars Pat Green and Jason Aldean; Boston Celtics 2008 Finals MVP Paul Pierce and teammate Glen “Big Baby” Davis; Patrice Bergeron and Milan Lucic of the 2011 Stanley Cup Champion Boston Bruins; current and former New England Patriots Randy Moss, Wes Welker, Adalius Thomas and Steve Gostkowski; New England Revolution stars Matt Reis and Taylor Twellman; and many more.

“We’re thrilled by the tremendous support we’ve received from the local sports and business community,” said Beckett. “As a result of everyone’s tireless efforts, we’ve raised funds that have made a positive impact on the lives of kids served by Children’s Hospital Boston. This is something that’s close to my heart and a cause I truly believe in. Any time you can touch other people’s lives, your life ends up being touched just the same.”

The annual fundraiser is organized by The Josh Beckett Foundation, which supports community-based programs that improve the health and well-being of children, especially those who are seriously ill, disabled, poor, or otherwise disadvantaged. Since its inception, the Josh Beckett Foundation has donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to Children’s Hospital Boston from the proceeds of the Beckett Bowl. Monies from these efforts facilitated the 2009 opening of The Josh Beckett Cancer Treatment Room at Children’s Hospital Boston which features a miniature Fenway Park scene, giving patients the opportunity to cherish a ballpark-like atmosphere.

“Thanks to the support and dedication of Josh Beckett and everyone at the Josh Beckett Foundation, Beckett Bowl has been throwing strikes for the nation’s top pediatric hospital since 2007,” said Children’s Hospital Boston CEO James Mandell, MD. “Support from generous individuals like Josh allows us to address the hospital’s most critical needs and essential programs including our cutting edge cancer care and research center.”

The Josh Beckett Foundation is also hosting the Beckett Bowl Ultimate Jeep Raffle presented by AFTER FX CUSTOMS, where fans will have a chance to win prizes including an authentic jersey autographed by Beckett and two “Monster Seat” tickets to the Boston Red Sox vs. Tampa Bay Rays game on September 17. One Grand Prize winner will drive away in a 2011 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sport 4-Door, fully customized by AFTER FX CUSTOMS, including: full JL audio sound system with Alpine DVD/navigation head unit, 20-inch KMC wheels with Nitto tires, multiple exterior upgrades, and much more. Winners will be drawn at Beckett Bowl.

Computer World, After FX Customs, Liberty Bay Credit Union, Reebok, Cooley LLP, ProPrint, Improper Bostonian, NESN-TV, and WAAF-FM among others, are working with the Foundation in support of Beckett Bowl.

About The Josh Beckett Foundation

The Josh Beckett Foundation is a charitable organization established in 2007 by Boston Red Sox pitcher Josh Beckett to support community-based programs that strive to improve the health and well-being of children, especially children that are seriously ill, disabled, poor, or otherwise disadvantaged. The Foundation provides Beckett with an opportunity to have a direct and permanent impact on the lives of children throughout New England.

About Children’s Hospital Boston

Children’s Hospital Boston is the nation’s top pediatric hospital, ranked first in more specialties than any other, and the only one in the top three for all 10 areas rated (US News and World Report Best Children’s Hospitals 2011). We’re number one in: cancer, cardiology and heart surgery, neurology and neurosurgery, kidney disease, orthopedics, and urology. Learn more at http://www.childrenshospital.org/usnews.

In 2009, Children’s Hospital Boston unveiled the Josh Beckett Cancer Treatment Room which features Boston Red Sox imagery including Beckett and his teammates, crowd scenes and the historic Fenway Park sign.

Contacts

Keith Gainsboro, Elevate Communications, 617-861-3650, keith@elevatecom.com
Colleen White, Elevate Communications, 617-861-3679, cwhite@elevatecom.com
Katie Largay Dean, Children’s Hospital Trust, 857-218-3193, Katie.dean@chtrust.org

Red Sox Set for Opening Day and the 2011 Season

With great anticipation, the Boston Red Sox will open the 2011 season this afternoon at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington against the 2010 American League Champion Texas Rangers.

With great anticipation, the Boston Red Sox will open the 2011 season this afternoon at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington against the 2010 American League Champion Texas Rangers.  The revamped Sox, who last season missed the playoffs for only the second time under manager Terry Francona, have the baseball world abuzz as they are considered the pre-season favorite by many, including ESPN, Sports Illustrated, CBS Sportsline, FOX Sports, and The Hardball Times, to win the World Series this fall.

The Opening Day lineup includes two of the newest Red Sox players, first baseman Adrian Gonzalez and left fielder Carl Crawford, as well as several familiar faces, including second baseman Dustin Pedroia, third baseman Kevin Youkilis, center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury, and designated hitter David Ortiz.  On the mound will be Jon Lester, who is another pre-season media favorite as the 2011 Cy Young Award winner.

Here is the complete Opening Day roster for Boston (asterisk denotes Opening Day starters):

Starting Pitchers: Lester*, John Lackey, Clay Buchholz, Josh Beckett, Daisuke Matsuzaka

Relief Pitchers: Matt Albers, Daniel Bard, Bobby Jenks, Jonathan Papelbon, Dennys Reyes, Tim Wakefield, Dan Wheeler

Catchers: Jarrod Saltalamacchia*, Jason Varitek

Infielders: Gonzalez*, Jed Lowrie, Pedroia*, Marco Scutaro*, Youkilis*

Outfielders: Mike Cameron*, Crawford*, J.D. Drew, Ellsbury*, Darnell McDonald

Designated Hitter: Ortiz*

Boston Red Sox Pitchers Tim Wakefield and Clay Buchholz 2011 Jimmy Fund Co-Captains

The Jimmy Fund announces today that Red Sox Pitchers Tim Wakefield and Clay Buchholz have signed on again as the 2011 Jimmy Fund Co-Captains. First up: Spokesplayers for the 2011 Jimmy Fund’s Rally Against Cancer. Pitch in against the fight against cancer and learn how to win a visit from one of the players at RallyAgainstCancer.org.

BOSTON — Today, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and the Jimmy Fund announce that Boston Red Sox pitchers Tim Wakefield and Clay Buchholz will continue as Jimmy Fund Co-Captains for the 2011 season. Their first assignment is to be this year’s Spokesplayers for the Jimmy Fund’s Rally Against Cancer.

Buchholz was the 2010 Rally Against Cancer spokesplayer in addition to being Jimmy Fund Co-Captain last year. Wakefield, a strong supporter of the Jimmy Fund for many years, was also a Co-Captain last year, and will be a Spokesplayer for the Rally Against Cancer for the first time this year. Wakefield and Buchholz join the ranks of past Rally Against Cancer Spokesplayers, including Jon Lester, Dustin Pedroia, Kevin Youkilis, and Trot Nixon.

As Jimmy Fund Co-Captains, the two pitchers will be ambassadors for the Jimmy Fund to raise awareness and build support for cancer care and research at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. They will also lend their support to Jimmy Fund events, visit adult and pediatric clinics, thank donors, and more.

Now in its sixth year, Rally Against Cancer encourages Red Sox fans to partner with their companies and schools, and encourage co-workers, classmates, and friends, to each contribute $5 or more to the Jimmy Fund. In exchange, they “Dress for Sox-cess” by wearing Boston Red Sox gear to work or school on Friday, 08 April, when the Sox take on the New York Yankees at Fenway Park for their home opener. The top fundraising company and school (K-12, college or university) are each eligible for a visit from Wakefield or Buchholz, if located within two-hour travel distance from Boston.

This year’s event adds a new twist: up for grabs are two Wild Card visits. Each team that raises $5,000 or more is eligible to win one of two visits from Wakefield or Buchholz (see full contest rules at RallyAgainstCancer.org).

In five years, Rally Against Cancer has raised $1.9 million to support the fight against cancer at Dana-Farber. This year, the program hopes to raise $500,000. For more information about Rally, please visit www.RallyAgainstCancer.org.

The Jimmy Fund supports Boston’s Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, helping to raise funds for adult and pediatric cancer care and research and improve the chances of survival for cancer patients around the world. It is an official charity of the Boston Red Sox, as well as the official charity of the Massachusetts Chiefs of Police Association, the Pan-Massachusetts Challenge, and the Variety Children’s Charity of New England. Since 1948, the generosity of millions of people has helped the Jimmy Fund (www.jimmyfund.org) save countless lives and reduce the burden of cancer.

Bottom Line Apparel Partners with Kevin Youkilis Hits For Kids

Bottom Line Apparel, a designer and retailer of Boston sports fan apparel, donates proceeds from t-shirt sales to support charity.

BOSTON – Bottom Line Apparel, based in Carver, MA announced today that it has teamed up with Kevin Youkilis Hits for Kids to help raise funds for the charity by introducing the new “Yoouuk!” t-shirt.  Bottom Line Apparel will donate $5.00 for every t-shirt sold through their website and through participating retailers like Chowdaheadz.com.  The t-shirts will also be available at select Bottom Line events throughout the baseball season.

The “Yooukk!” t-shirt will be available at participating retailers throughout New England in adult and children’s sizes. The front of the shirt features a unique design, created by founder Rob Munstis, with the Kevin Youkilis Hits For Kids logo on the back.

“Kevin has been kind enough to work with us, answering questions from the readers of The Bottom Line blog for the past few years, and we thought this would be a great way to say thank you”, said Munstis.

The promotion will begin 01 April 2010 and run through 30 June 2010, with the possibility of a second run in the fall.

About Bottom Line Apparel and The Bottom Line blog

Founded in 2006, The Bottom Line blog features daily news and analysis on the Boston Red Sox, including game previews and recaps, player evaluations and Hot Stove coverage all offseason long.

Bottom Line Apparel was founded in 2009 and offers original t-shirt designs for the Boston sports fan. Bottom Line Apparel t-shirts can be purchased on the web and in retail stores throughout New England.

About Kevin Youkilis Hits for Kids

Kevin Youkilis Hits for Kids is a charitable organization focused on raising support and awareness for the health, advocacy, safety, and well-being of children. Rallying the support of individuals and businesses Kevin Youkilis Hits for Kids teams up with existing community-based children’s charities and medical research efforts, which currently lack sufficient funding. Kevin Youkilis Hits for Kids also identifies and partners with businesses that can deliver products and services to children in need, on the behalf of Hits for Kids.

To learn more about Kevin Youkilis Hits for Kids, or to make a donation, please visit www.youkskids.org.

Boston Red Sox Pitcher Clay Buchholz Rallies Against Cancer with the Jimmy Fund

Buchholz announced today as fifth spokesplayer for annual fundraiser

BOSTON – Today, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and the Jimmy Fund announced that Boston Red Sox pitcher Clay Buchholz is the fifth honorary Rally Against Cancer Spokesplayer. He joins the ranks of past Red Sox spokesplayers Jon Lester, Trot Nixon, Dustin Pedroia, and Kevin Youkilis.

Now in its fifth year, Rally Against Cancer encourages Red Sox fans to partner with their companies and schools, as well as their co-workers, classmates, and friends, to each contribute $5 or more to the Jimmy Fund. In exchange, they have the opportunity to wear Red Sox gear to work or school on Rally Day, Tuesday, April 6, when the Sox take on the New York Yankees at Fenway Park. The top fundraising company, school (K-12), and college or university are each eligible for a visit from Buchholz, if located within two-hour travel distance from Boston.

In four years, the Rally has raised $1.6 million in support of the fight against cancer at Dana-Farber. This year, the program hopes to raise $600,000. Buchholz will talk about his participation in the Rally at an upcoming press conference during spring training in Fort Myers, FL.

For more information about the Rally, please visit www.rallyagainstcancer.org.

Founded in 1948, the Jimmy Fund is an official charity of the Boston Red Sox, supporting the fight against cancer at Boston’s Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, helping to raise the chances of survival for children and adults with cancer around the world. Unrestricted support from the Jimmy Fund is an integral part of Mission Possible: The Dana-Farber Campaign to Conquer Cancer, a $1 billion capital campaign to accelerate cancer research, speed development of lifesaving therapies, and expand the Institute’s signature patient and family-centered care.

Pedroia, Youkilis Highlight MLB Awards Season for Red Sox

One year ago, he was American League Rookie of the Year; Tuesday, Boston Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia was named the AL Most Valuable Player as the club was well-represented in the 2008 Major League Baseball award season. Pedroia walked away with three major awards while first baseman Kevin Youkilis earned recognition as one of the top offensive performers.

Pedroia earned 16 first-place votes out of the 28 ballots cast by baseball writers, beating Twins first baseman Justin Morneau, the 2006 AL MVP, by 60 points, 317 to 257. He also became the first AL second baseman since Nellie Fox in 1959 to win the award and the ninth player in team history to take home the league’s top honor. the first since Mo Vaughn in 1995. Pedroia also took home Gold Glove honors at his position as well as the Silver Slugger award as the best offensive player at his position.

Meanwhile, Youkilis, who last year took home a Gold Glove for playing error-free defense at first base, was honored as the Hank Aaron award winner based on ballots cast by broadcasters, analysts, and fans. First awarded in 1999 to commemorate the 25th anniversary of Aaron’s accomplishment of surpassing Babe Ruth’s career home run mark, Youkilis is the third Red Sox player to earn the honor in the ten years of the award’s existence, the first since designated hitter David Ortiz in 2005. Youkilis also earned consideration for MVP honors, receiving two first-place votes and finishing third in balloting.

Pedroia Snags First Gold Glove Award

He may be better known for his discipline at the plate, finishing second in the 2008 American League batting race with a .326 average, but Boston Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia was recognized Thursday for his fielding skills with his first Rawlings Gold Glove honor. Paired on the right side of the infield with 2007 Gold Glove winner Kevin Youkilis, Pedroia appeared defensively in 157 games and made just six errors in 733 chances, one year after making the same number of errors in 625 total chances; he also collected 448 assists and helped turn 101 double plays. Pedroia, who is also a leading candidate for the 2008 AL Most Valuable Player Award, became just the second player in team history to win a Gold Glove at his position; the only other Red Sox second baseman to accomplish the feat was Doug Griffin in 1972. He is also the third Red Sox player to win a Gold Glove in the past four years; besides Youkilis taking home the honor last season playing error-free ball at first base, catcher Jason Varitek earned recognition for his efforts behind the plate in 2005.

Much like Youkilis, who transitioned from third to first in 2006, Pedroia moved from his natural position at shortstop, where he had been named as a first-team All-American by Baseball America playing for Arizona State in 2004, to second to fill Boston’s needs and the change has been near-seamless. Pedroia’s .992 fielding percentage in 2008 was second in the American League only to Oakland’s Mark Ellis and third best in team history behind Mark Loretta (.994, 2006) and Bobby Doerr (.993, 1948). He also became the first Red Sox second baseman since Doerr to finish with as few as six errors in 700 or more chances. At one point this season, Pedroia enjoyed a 61-game streak without making an error, 12 games shy of Doerr’s record 73 straight games at that position, also made in 1948. In the post-season, his defense continued to shine, playing error-free ball in all 11 games for Boston while making 35 assists and taking part in five double plays.

Did You Know? – No-Hitting The Red Sox

Twice in the span of less than two weeks, the Boston Red Sox, whose pitchers have thrown the last two no-hitters in Major League Baseball, have nearly found themselves the victims of one themselves. On 29 July, Los Angeles Angels pitcher John Lackey came within two outs of a no-no at Fenway Park before Dustin Pedroia ended Boston’s drought at the plate with a single to left; Lackey and the Angels eventually settled for a complete-game, 6-2 victory over the Red Sox Then, on Monday night in Chicago, White Sox pitcher John Danks retired the first 17 Red Sox batters he faced and then surrendered his first hit with one out in the seventh to Kevin Youkilis, as Boston eventually won 5-1 to earn a split of the four-game series at U.S. Cellular Field. In club history, Boston pitchers have combined to throw 18 no-hitters, including a perfect game by the legendary Hall of Fame pitcher Cy Young; that is the most thrown by a single franchise. On the flip side, the team has also suffered at the hands of 11 opposing pitchers who managed to keep Red Sox batters from recording a hit over the course of a game.

The first pitcher to throw a no-hitter against Boston was Bob Rhoads of the Cleveland Naps on 18 September 1908. Cleveland actually trailed Boston at one point 1-0 thanks to a walk, a sacrifice, an error, and a wild pitch, but the Naps managed to score single runs in the fourth and eighth to give Rhoads a 2-1 win. The most recent no-hitter against the Red Sox was thrown by Seattle Mariners pitcher Chris Bosio on 22 April 1993. Bosio walked the first two batters of the game, then retired the next 27 Boston batters as Seattle won 2-0 behind his no-no. New York Yankees pitchers hold the mark for the most no-hitters thrown against the Red Sox by a single club; the most recent came in 1983, when Dave Righetti yielded just four walks to Boston batters in a 4-0 for the Bombers at Yankee Stadium on 4 July. The White Sox and the Washington Senators (now the Minnesota Twins) have each managed the feat twice against Boston; one was thrown by Hall of Fame pitcher Walter “Big Train” Johnson on 1 July 1920, the only instance in which the Red Sox lost a no-hitter by a 1-0 score. Also of interest: the last opposing pitcher to manage the feat at Fenway Park was another Hall of Fame pitcher, Jim Bunning, who no-hit Boston 3-0 at Fenway Park in the first game of a doubleheader on 20 July 1958.

A Grand Scheme – Lowell and Drew Clear The Bases with Slams

Besides winning the final game of a home series against the Kansas City Royals at Fenway Park this afternoon, 11-8, to complete a four-game sweep, the game also featured grand slams from Boston Red Sox right fielder J.D. Drew and third baseman Mike Lowell in the second and sixth innings, respectively. Drew’s home run came after Manny Ramirez, Lowell, and Kevin Youkilis hit consecutive singles off starter Brian Bannister, his third career grand slam. Lowell’s base-clearing blast came with two outs after the Royals intentionally walked a struggling Ramirez, who remains stuck on 498 career home runs; it was Lowell’s sixth career slam and his third since joining Boston.

It marked the first time since 2003 that the Red Sox hit two grand slams in a single game when Bill Mueller hit grand slams from both sides of the plate on 29 July, the first player in major league history to accomplish the feat. The last time two separate Boston players hit grand slams in the same game was in 1995 when former infielder John Valentin and first baseman Mo Vaughn did it on the road at Yankee Stadium on 02 May, accounting for the only runs in an 8-0 shutout of New York. The last time it happened at Fenway was nearly 24 years ago when Bill Buckner and Tony Armas each hit one off Detroit Tigers pitcher Jack Morris in the first and second inning, respectively, of a 12-7 win.