Apr 15, 2008:
Captain Crunches One
V-Tek Kicks In, Sox Win Again, 5-3
Kevin is Cash, but 'Tek Was Money Last Night
Deep 6: Wake Pitches in with a Needed Quality Start
Rookie was a Rock: Lowrie Stepped Up to the Big Time
Bat, Glove, and Wheels: Is Jed the Real Deal?
The Hitting Machine: Ortiz Comes Through with 1-for-5
Say It Together: Aardsma in the 8th, Okajima in the 9th
"I can't even describe it. It's one of those moments in your life you are always going to remember." -- 4.15.08, Jed Lowrie, Jacoby Ellsbury du jour, on his 2-RBI first MLB hit for the Comeback Kids in Cleveland
Pinstripe Pitch Slap?
(Boston Dirt Dogs Photo Illustration)
Doc Thinks Curt Could Pitch for New York Next Year...
Dr. Craig Morgan Made More Remarkable Remarks on the Radio
4.15.08, Dr. Craig Morgan on WEEI's Dennis and Callahan: "He (Schilling) called me when he was angry about a month ago and was having recurrent pain, and said 'Listen, I want to pitch again next year,' and the possibility of the New York (Yankees) option, he would consider. He didn't say he was going to do it, he didn't do any of that. I think it was in part of anger... Oh that's definitely possible. He told me, despite this thing, he doesn't think he's done and he wants to pitch next year. And if you read between the lines, that's (pitching for the Yankees) definitely a possibility. I don't think he's going to pitch for Royals next year, if he pitches at all,""
4.14.08, Dr. Craig Morgan on ESPN radio in Philadelphia: "It's my opinion that he's (Schilling) angry enough that it's entirely conceivable, even though he's 40 years old, it's entirely conceivable that he will have the operation, rehab, and pitch for the Yankees next year."
But Schill Still Says No Pinstripes for Him...
4.15.08, Curt Schilling WEEI's Dennis and Callahan: “The first word that popped into my head, is a word that I think is new to the English language, but everybody understands what it means is ‘misrember,’ Schilling said. “I talked to doc probably within the last week. He’s called me a couple of times during my rehab, but I’m not really sure how he got to some of the conclusions he got to. But I think you guys know me well enough to know that me wearing pinstripes, regardless of what point of the season or my career it would have been, is not an option. I can’t remember how or think back to having that conversation specifically or… it’s not an option. Never has been an option. And I’m not really sure where he’s drawn from a conversation standpoint, but from a rehab standpoint, I’m probably as surprised as anyone how well it’s gone and where I’m at.”
2007 archives, Curt Schilling on the possibility of finishing his career as a Yankee: "It wouldn't be in New York. No. I could not make that move." | “That’s not a place I think I could finish my career after what’s happened here." | "When it ended and Boston had become the new team, in my mind, growing up a baseball fan, I had made a choice there was no going back on. I liken it to the Hatfields and the McCoys, once you pick a family, you are in, for life."
Schill Says No Pinstripes; Doc 'Misremembers'
Homecoming King Dinger
Sox Break Free on Ramirez Homer No. 493
Comeback Complete in Cleveland, Sox 6, Indians 4
Big Bloopi: Ortiz Is Back... with a Couple of Well-Placed Singles
The Hits Keep on Coming for Youk, and Now a Home Run
Not Your Average Slow: Joe Borowski Can't Blow One Past Manny
Bunting His Way to the Top: Coco Had Cleveland on the Run
Has Lester Lost It? Another Long Short Stint for Jon
Tip of the Cap to Tavarez: Julian Had a Ball Last Night
Shortstop Spark Plug: Lugo Lit the Fire in the 9th
Papelbon, Indians Gone, Grab a Coffee
"It was fun at the end. There's something to be said for perseverance. Tavarez did a great job. If he stumbles anywhere, we're in trouble, but he gave us a chance." -- 4.14.08, Terry Francona
Apr 14, 2008:
(Getty Images Photo / Jim Rogash)
Actually, It Was More Like a Happy Four Hours
Sox Go Up Big Early, Finish Off Yankees Late
Sox 8, Yankees 5: The Game May End Any Minute Now
Sox Nickle and Dime Yanks with Stinging Singles
It Takes Two These Days: Jacoby and Coco Make Sox Go
The Nibbler Is Back: Dice-ZZZZZzzzzzzzz Puts Nation to Sleep Early
Hold on a Minute...or a Couple of Hours: 'Pen Seals Win
It Was Old Outside: Home Run Mike Timlin is Back
"It was a long, cold night, but it turned into a long, cold good night." -- 4.14.08, Terry Francona
Kudos for Coco
(Boston Globe Staff Photo / Matthew J. Lee)
While the World Is Rooting for Jacoby,
Coco Just Keeps Playing Ball
But Is Crisp Getting Ready to Head Out West?
"Red Sox center fielder Coco Crisp has purchased a $3 million getaway in a gated Rancho Mirage, Calif., community. The home in the Palm Springs area has four bedrooms and seven bathrooms in 8,500 square feet, with a pool, a spa, a waterfall, a two-room master-bedroom suite, his-and-her bathrooms, a wet bar, a media room, three fireplaces and an air-conditioned garage." -- 4.13.08, Hartford Courant
Apr 13, 2008:
(Getty Images Photos)
Manny Made His Point: HR, Double Does In Yanks
Sox 4, Yankees 3: Sox Earn Win Via Decision
A Better Start for Beckett... for 5 Innings Anyway
Top of the Order to You: Ellsbury Gets Sox Started
0-for-4: Ortiz Struggles Continue, Down to .070
Mouse Must Protect This House: Pap Hangs Around to Close It
"I thought they were going to pitch around him, trying to get him to chase, but Manny came out on that first pitch and drove it into the gap. I'm sure that's not the way they wanted it to happen... It was definitely a great at-bat. Manny smells those RBIs, and they come in bunches." -- 4.12.08, Dustin Pedroia on Manny Ramirez
Apr 12, 2008:
(Getty Images Photos / Jim Rogash)
(Globe Staff Photo / Barry Chin)
Sox Take One on the Chien-Ming Wang
Just Two Hits for Still-Japan-Jet-Lagged Offense
Wang Allows Two Hits in Going the Distance in Yankees 4-1 Win
Big Night for Buchholz is All But Forgotten
Earth to Tito: It Was a Terrible Time for Timlin
J.D. Drew Can't Do It All for the Next Four Years
Is Manny Still Going for that MVP?
Coco! or Jacoby!? ... Is Not the Problem
"It was terrible, absolutely terrible. I came back and pitched terribly. -- 4.11.08, Mike "Not ready for prime time" Timlin
(BDD Photo Illustration)
Shaughnessy: Lowly Ortiz is Hitting Rock Bottom
Apr 11, 2008:
Apr 10, 2008:
Belichick Gets a 'Toon Up
Cartman Blasts Pats Coach for Cheating
on Last Night's South Park
More Clips: 'I Misinterpreted the Rules' | 'Let's Win One for Real'
“Just before the last Super Bowl, Bill Belichick gathered his football players and said let’s win this one for real… Just this one time.. Let’s not cheat. You know what happened? They lost. Even if you feel all eyes are on you, you can't give up on cheating!” -- 4.9.08, Cartman, South Park
Bradford: Cora Hurts Arm | Tonight's Sox Lineup
(4.7.08: Adrian Peterson, Brian Urlacher, 50 Cent, Dwight Howard, and David Ortiz. Vitaminwater Photos / Bill Kostroun)
Should a Pooped Papi Have Flown to New York City to Shoot a Spot for Vitaminwater on the First Day of Rest Back Home?
Do We Have a Watered-Down David on Our Hands?
Buckley: Just Say No
Boston Herald, Steve Buckley, 4.10.08: “I just don’t want the Red Sox to come to me and tell me what I can do and what I cannot do,” Big Papi said. “That’s why I don’t even want to talk about it. . . . I don’t want them to think that if I struggle, it’s because of that.”
For Ortiz, it comes down to this: Throughout his tenure with the Red Sox, he has been in the “yes” business. Whether it’s been community outreach activities (speaking with kids, posing for pictures, etc.) or personal for-profit endeavors (such as TV commercials), Ortiz has been able to do it all while maintaining his status as one of the game’s top offensive performers.
As he put it yesterday, “I’ve been doing this for years. I don’t want people to get the wrong idea.”
But when the story of this season is written, it’s now going to be tough for Red Sox players to complain about the burdensome trip to Tokyo, Los Angeles, Oakland and Toronto when one of their own - indeed, one of their marquee attractions - tacked on an extra trip in order to be in a television spot.
Asked about the New York trip, Ortiz said, “Whenever you sign a contract, you’ve got to do it.”
From the Perfect Timing Department ...
Ortiz Sends a Personal E-mail to Sox Fans This Morning
Would David Share Some Thoughts on His Slow Start?
Or a Batting Stance Tip That Will Turn Up His Power?
Nope, Guess Again ...
Forget the Water, Is There Too Much on Papi's Plate?
(BDD Photo compilation)
Does David Need All Those Commitment$?
Too Many Hands on His Time? David Ortiz steps up for fans, charities, "wrote" a book with Tony Massarotti, is featured in advertising for Vitaminwater, Nokona bats, ESPN's SportsCenter, D'Angelo sandwich shops, XM radio, has introduced a new shoe for Reebok ... and even had a plane ...So is all the off-field activity dragging down David's numbers or not?
Bradford: Early Slump Gets Papi Down
McAdam: Time for Sox to Raze the Big Top at Fenway
Sean McAdam, Providence Journal, 4.10.08: On Bucker: "To think that Buckner was, until Tuesday, regarded by Sox fans as some sort of villain is to display an ignorance of the very fans they otherwise venerate. Talk about a tin ear."
On Diamond: "And when Werner was shown raising his arms and swaying to the music, the thing became laughable."
On Red Sox Nation: "Expanding the brand is one thing; relentlessly harping on the team’s appeal is quite another. (It should be pointed out this was not the most egregious co-opting of the Red Sox Nation concept. That came last month when the Henry and Lucchino had Supreme Court justice Stephen Breyer swear in broadcaster Jerry Remy as the make-believe president of a nonexistent fan club)."
On the Green Monster Auction: "But the Green Monster auction was something else entirely. Effectively sold out for the season, the move smacked of greed, which is hardly becoming of the group."
Apr 9, 2008:
Did Someone Tell Rent-a-Wreck 'All Is Forgiven,' Too?
Lester Takes the Loss, Tigers Get Their Win, 7-2
Sox Lost Without Extended Introductions, Pomp, and Circumstance
Too Happy to Be Home: Sleepy Sox Offense Hit the Snooze Button
4th of Goodbye: Thames Takes Lester Deep in 39 Pitch 4th
(Boston Globe Staff Photo / Jim Davis)
Old Friend Todd Jones Nearly Kept Tigers Streak Alive
Good News: No More Talk of 'United States Win Streak' for Sox
Bad News: Lowell Has a Bum Thumb
Did Japan Jet Lag Kick Back In?
(Boston Globe Staff Photos / Jim Davis, John Tlumacki)
'Behind the Bag' is Finally Behind Him
Why Was It Ever In Front of Him?
Buckner's Appearance Marks End of an Error
Video: Buckner's Ovation | Discuss: Your Thoughts on Buckner
Game 6 was gone before Buckner's blunder: "...the game was tied and essentially lost at that point. Blame Clemens, McNamara, deer-in-the-headlights Schiraldi, Gedman, or Stanley, but not Buckner, who if not for him, the Sox would not have even been there, he had a fabulous year in '86." -- July 2001, Boston Dirt Dogs
Buckner Aside, Rotten Roger Was the Real Game 6 Goat Anyway
(AP File Photo / Roger Clemens first pitch 10.25.86)
Maybe Rocket Needed Some B-12 to Finish Off the Mets in '86
Or Maybe McNamara Just Misremembers What Was Said ...
''Roger said he just had enough,'' Sox manager John McNamara on Oct. 25, 1986
Another story Clemens can't get straight: 1986 Clemens gave himself the hook in the game, telling manager John McNamara, “That’s all I can pitch.” Clemens later informs the press: “My blister was at a point where I couldn't finish off my slider. I didn't want to hang my slider and jeopardize the team. But I thought I did my job.” ... 1988 McNamara gets fired. Suddenly, Clemens reverses his story, throwing his old skipper under the bus and saying he never wanted to leave Game 6 after all.
-- Esquire feature: The Wonderful, Despicable Life of Roger Clemens
Eric Wilbur: Buckner Was the Scapegoat... Not the Goat
Jon Keller Can't Forgive | Roche: Get Over It
Apr 8, 2008:
First Things First ...
(Boston Globe File Photo)
Is One of These Guys Throwing Out the First Pitch?
Or Will Someone Else Tingle Fenway's Spine Today?
Barks and Bites: Sox chairman Tom Werner was on sports radio WEEI this morning and spoke a bit about the Fenway Opening Day ceremony. On the surprise "goosebumps" guest that is expected to throw out the first pitch, Werner revealed that it would be "somebody who has not been to Fenway Park recently, and who will be a very nice homecoming ..." Some of the suggestions sent into 'EEI included Bill Buckner, Barack Obama, Mo Vaughn, Dave Roberts ... Werner also said that "a special rock star guest would be performing God Bless America" today. It sounded like he said rock star singular, so that may leave out the reborn New Kids on the Block. Werner revealed an interesting tidbit on the just-unveiled 2007 World Series rings: The rings have a picture of the trophy on the side and the 8 players from the '04 championship team will get special rings with two trophies on it." Schilling also called in to WEEI's Dennis and Callahan show this morning and talked a bit more about how the trip to Japan affected the team and how he's not sure what the benefit to baseball was. "We were dragging ass a little bit. ... Are more people now baseball fans because we played in Japan for a week? I don't think so. The people who came to see us are baseball fans. They're not going to like the game any more of less because we played over there as opposed to over here, but I guess in some ways it had to be good for the game, I'm hoping. ... The hardest part to me about the trip is the short timeframe, that seven days is just not enough. It's enough to just start to get yourself acclimated, but the second you're acclimated, you've moving 16 hours again back to California ...". Werner's take: "The fact is we're 2-0 in the United States and we're playing most of our games in the United States going forward. I will say this, it was a great trip but we will be gracious and let somebody else go on the trip next year. ... All of us have to do things in life that's good for the business that you're in. This was good for Major League Baseball and it was good for the Red Sox because we showed our flag in Japan. I wish that our relief pitching had been a little bit better in Toronto, I don't know if that was affected by the long trip or not. In retrospect, I'm glad we went. ... We were fascinated with the warm toilet seats... a couple of players were trying to find out who manufactured them. ... The Commissioner asked us (to go to Japan)... the players voted for it, and I go back to the fact if we had one of those games in Toronto we wouldn't be having this conversation."
Boston Sports Blog: The Mystery Guest Is ...
Opening Day Notes | The Rings
Apr 7, 2008:
Apr 6, 2008:
D'oh! Canada... The Road Sox Are Swept Away
"There was a 'lack of energy, more than anything,' in recent days, according to J.D. Drew."
-- 4.6.08, Boston Globe
There's No Place Like Home, Apparently
Jays 7, Sox 4: Sox Stumble Back To Boston Below .500
Let's Be Frank: It Was Manny Being Lousy Again in the Pen
Solo Efforts Not Enough as Ellsbury, 'Tek, and Drew Go Deep
Lugo Loses It: 3 Errors On the Day for Sloppy Shortstop
Beckett's Back? Sort Of. 5 Runs in in 4 2-3; 6 K's, Hits 96
If You Haven't Seen Enough... Game Photos
Don't Look Now ...
But Even NESN Knew the Sox Comeback Would Come Up Short
'Rings and Clean Underwear' Coming to a Park Near You
(BDD Photo Illustration / Tommy Surette)
Kyle Doesn't Go Out in Style
Snyder Sparks Jays Rally in 6th; Gets Released
Jays 10, Sox 2: Big Bullpen Trouble in Toronto Continues
On the Bright Side: Buchholz Not as Bad as the Bullpen
Bryan Corey Was Another Story as Thomas Goes Deep
Sean Casey: A Good Guy Just Made a Bad Play
"We don't point fingers at anybody. We win as a team, we lose as a team. When we lose, we all feel like we didn't do the job. They got into our bullpen and did what good offensive clubs do."-- 4.5.08, Terry Francona on the Sox bullpen troubles
FARM REPORT by Gary Jacobs
Making Their Case
PAWTUCKET, RI | April 5, 2008 -- Of course by now you’ve heard of Bartolo Colon’s dominant performance here at McCoy Stadium Thursday, when he worked five sparkling innings against the Indianapolis Indians, striking out five, walking one, and reaching the mid-90’s on his fastball. Certainly he has made his case that if he’s not ready for prime time, he’s no more than one start away.
But Colon was not the only one to make a statement from the mound that day. There are some players here in Pawtucket that are making their case that their ticket to The Show is only an opportunity away.
In Thursday’s opener, Craig Hansen pitched two strong innings, not allowing a hit while striking out three. And well-traveled ex-All-Star Dan Kolb, having signed a minor-league contract after nine years in the Bigs, pitched an uneventful inning.
After the game, Kolb seemed pleased with his performance.
“Not bad for the [cold] weather,” he said with a smile. “It was a little hard to hold on to the ball, but for the most part it went the way it normally goes – I got ground balls, which is what I normally get…everything felt good. Had a little adrenalin, everything is going to be a little off, but I got through it. You always want the first one to go nice and smooth.”
David Pauley, too, acquitted himself well, pitching five strong innings in in the top of Saturday’s twinbill (Friday’s game was postponed due to rain), striking out three, walking no one, and giving up only two hits.
“[Pauley] did a really nice job, first time out,” said PawSox manager Ron Johnson. “He was pitch-efficient, he threw strikes, he [gave] a really good performance…I was really pleased.”
On the other side of the baseball, Brandon Moss is batting .500 thus far, tripling down the right field corner in his first at-bat Saturday, and smoking a double to left in his next one. As unsurprising as that was, one of this season’s early surprises seems to be Jonathan Van Every, who has a reputation of being a light-hitting defensive specialist. Van Every has already hit two home runs while batting out of the nine hole, and making some loud outs as well.
And left fielder Chris Carter, brought over late last year in the Wily Mo Pena trade, has started the season 5 for 9, picking up right where he left off last season.
Johnson: “He came here with a reputation as being a good hitter and he’s living up to it. We saw it in Spring Training. This guy has a really good idea of what he’s doing at the plate…he keeps his hands back, he stays with pitches, he tracks balls well. It’s going to be really fun to watch; we’re going to see some really good things from him this year.”
All in all, the very early verdict is positive for the farm. If the Big Club stays healthy, look for Johnson’s PawSox to pile up wins by the bunch. If not, look for Pawtucket to make a real impact in the continued success of the organization.
Of course it’s a bit early to identify trends (or is it?) but Bobby Kielty is struggling in the early going. Kielty has started the season 1 for 7 for a .143 average…Knuckleballer Charlie Zink got shelled in his 2008 Pawtucket debut, giving up five runs in the second inning of his Saturday afternoon start. Compounding his troubles were two errors made by his defense. “Charlie didn’t have his real good stuff today, but we didn’t really play well behind him either- he’s a guy who [the opposition] will put the ball in play, and we kicked some balls around. It happens,” said Johnson…Jed Lowrie has yet to register his first base hit this year- is expectation weighing down his bat?…Johnson, at his accustomed position as third base coach, is sporting a new look: a shiny batting helmet, required attire of all coaches at all levels since the tragedy last year where Double-A coach Mike Coolbaugh died after being beaned off first base. “It is what it is,” said Johnson. “If I had my druthers I’d wear a [cap] but I’m superstitious…I don’t want to be ‘that guy’ to not wear a helmet and then get drilled.”…umpire Jason Bradley made his International League debut Thursday – welcome to Triple-A, Jason, and best of luck. -- By Gary Jacobs, Boston Dirt Dogs contributor. E-mail Gary
Jays Attack, Too
The Fenway Hawk Isn't the Only Bird with a Bone to Pick
Jays Peck Away at Sox in 7th
Jays 6, Sox 3: Shaky Pen Collapses in Canada
That's Just Manny Being Lousy, Sincerely, Frank Thomas
Tim Was Fine Through Five, But Wacky 6th Sinks Wake
Even Shaun Marcum Can Mow Down the Sleepy Sox
Just 4 Hits on the Night for Tito's Traveling Band
J.D. Comeback Goes Away Quickly
"I keep seeing it as one pitch away the whole time I was up there. One pitch away. That's baseball... As soon as I let it go, I knew. I was like 'Oh no.''" -- 4.4.08, Manny Delcarmen on the one that got away to Frank Thomas
This Just In ...
(Getty Images Photo / Dave Sandford)
Jays Fans Willing to Give Shirts Off Back This Season
Apr 3, 2008:
(Getty Images Photo / Justin Sullivan)
OK, It Was Just the Triple-A's, But Lester Was
Locked and Loaded Yesterday
"I don't think the whole Japanese thing is as big a deal as everybody is making it to be. Take another stride forward and keep working." -- 4.2.08, Jon Lester, a rare Sox lefty getting a win in Oakland
Lester, Big Papi Spark Sox to 5-0 Win Over A's
Lefty Lives Up to His Promise with 6 2/3 Strong
Youk Knocks in Coco(2-for-5) with Run No. 4
Pedroia Knocks DiNardo Out with RBI Single
Papi 2-Run Blast Puts Sox on Top in 7th
'Tek Goes Deep Again, This Time It Counts
Sox Load Bases in 1st... Then Come Up Empty for a While
2-for-1 Special: Ellsbury Sits; Drew Back in Right
Could There Be Less Fanfare About Youk's Errorless Streak?
Is It the Time of Year for Cora-Over-Lugo Talk?
F for A's: Embedded Embree and DiNardon't Get It Done in Middle Relief
Remember Me: Corey, Delcarmen Keep Shutout In Tact
Sox-A's Box | Log | Photos
CSN Video: Paps Pans Japan Trip
Barks and Bites: Former Sox minor league manager Gabe Kapler goes 1-for-5 with an RBI for the Brewers batting out of the 2-hole. Riske solid in relief, Howry not so much. Gabe fans read also: "Kapler's actions earn respect" from the Journal Sentinel. Renteria goes 3-for-4 for Tigers. Arroyo shaky, Brandon Lyon, too. Poor Pedro. Blown save for Cla. Bradford's got more Q&A with Big Schill. The Track has more on Brian McNamee and his eBay offerings. Theeee Yankees lose. And MLB wants to talk to Canseco. More love for Lobel. Don't forget: UMass Minutemen face Ohio State in NIT Championship at MSG at 7 p.m. Speaking of hoops, these guys are threatening to get on the Boston sports radar one of these days. Back to the what's really important: Your Red Sox Pet Photos...
Apr 2, 2008:
Dice-K Strikes Back
(Getty Images and Wire Photo)
Sox Get Past A's in Opening Day II, 2-1
"I had asked my teammates to hang onto the game ball, but I guess the message didn't get through." -- 4.1.08, Daisuke Matsuzaka, who wanted the game ball as a souvenir for his newborn son
Dice-OKKKKKKKKK: 9 K's, No Walks in 6 2/3 Strong Innings
Sox Offense Evaporates But Clutch Hitting Makes a Difference in Nailbiter
Back on the Juice? That's the Question When Jack Cust Goes Deep
Living Up to the Overhype? Jacoby Gets Job Done, Drives in Key Run
The Umpire Strikes Back: 'Tek Homers! ... But They Call It a Double
It's Early, It's Early: That's the Bright Side of 0-for-11 Ortiz
Born Again in the U.S.A.: Paps Got His Groove Back, Enter 4-Out Save
Box Score: Youkilis 2, A's 1
First Ballot Hall-of-Famer Bob Lobel Is Leaving Channel 4
Say It Ain't So: Lobel 'Sad, Excited' to Say Bye to 'BZ
Buckley: Lobie's Still at the Top of His Game
Barks and Bites: Cue up Journey and fade to black… Bob Lobel won’t be coming down for the 6 and 11 sportscasts on WBZ-TV much longer, and local sports will never be the same. Steve Buckley lays out the Lobel era best in his piece today. Lobel was a friend of BDD from the get-go in July 2001, holding up the Dirt Dogs T-shirts during his sportscasts when the Red Sox won, as he promised when he introduced himself outside of Fenway Park. Through the years, Lobel would share BDD headlines with ‘BZ viewers from time-to-time and BDD was happy to share the off-the-cuff thoughts of Lobel received via e-mail… hopefully we’ll be able sharing Lobie’s thoughts here from time to time as he sets out on his next course.
Major league leftovers: Old friend Pedro Martinez made his 2008 debut for the Mets last night and “screamed in agony” when he strained his left hamstring in the fourth inning in Miami.
Wonder if Petey and his 10.80 ERA will be talking extension with GM Omar Minaya today? The other New York team won its home opener last night over the Jays, and leadoff hitter and left fielder Johnny "Or-Is-It-Billy-Crystal" Damon managed to eke out a triple. Also leading off is local hero Dave Roberts, for the Giants, who lost to a solid D-Lowe and the Dodgers last night. Lowe took a line drive off his ankle during the game but is expected to make his next start. More left fielders from the past: David Murphy went 2-for-4 with a double. From the Inside Track: The Senior Bachelor, coming to ABC this spring… John Henry and his posse partied at the Playboy Mansion while in LA. In case you missed it, Boras has Manny appearing in some Macy’s ads. Bradford's got some fan Q&A with Curt Schilling. Alex Spier has the fourth of six part-look look at the Red Sox player development machine. Stop the presses: Curt Schilling called Jose Canseco a "skanky, dirty, scumbag" yesterday and the author called Schill a "hypocrite, liar ... pathetic human being" (video) ... yawn. New York Post headline of the day: ALEX TAGGED MY EX-WIFE: JOSE. In other New York news, the Daily News reports that Brian McNamee is selling all his relics with Roger's name on them. Not sure if the syringes are on the block. How 'bout those Minutemen! Is anyone watching here?
Will Ticket Prices Go Down Now? Sox Drop to 4th in Player Payroll
Another Boycott Coming? Fenway Bartender Seeks Sox Support on Tips
Ace in the Hole: Beckett Throws Five Strong Innings in Fla.
Apr 1, 2008:
B D D E X C L U S I V E:
Roger Clemens Set to
Return to Red Sox
Rocket Will Pitch One Final Season in Boston, Then Retire*
Rusty Hardin to Replace Dr. Charles Steinberg as Maestro
Theo Epstein Stuns Baseball World By Working Behind Scenes
to Strike Secret $40 Million Deal with Roger
Boston Dirt Dogs has learned today that former Red Sox great Roger Clemens will return to Boston and pitch one final season in an attempt to rescue the beleaguered BoSox rotation. Theo Epstein reportedly was sold on signing Clemens after fully digesting the 18,000-word statistical report Hendricks Sports Management issued to rebut accusations that the pitcher's career rebounded about the time he was accused by that scoundrel Brian McNamee of using performance-enhancing drugs.
Epstein is expected to announce the $40 million deal, done completely behind the scenes, later this morning. Red Sox manager Terry Francona will name Clemens as the Red Sox fifth starter. Clemens is tentatively slated to join the team in mid-July after an extended spring training.
The Hendricks report compared Clemens' performance during the second half of his career to those of Nolan Ryan, Curt Schilling and Randy Johnson. Theo was sold. Epstein also referenced Clemens' testimony before Congress, where the Hall of Fame lock denied use of any performance-enhancing drugs. That clear and focused testimony convinced the nation, and Epstein, that the Rocket wasn't fueled by anything illegal during his time in Toronto and New York and that his legacy will remain in tact.
After Clemens speaks to the media at a press conference today, his longtime attorney Rusty Hardin will also be introduced as the man who will attempt to fill the deep void left when Dr. Charles Steinberg bolted for Los Angeles and scored a coup by locking up Marilyn McCoo for the LA Coliseum extravaganza on Saturday night. That's when John Henry made the call to Hardin.
In Hardin's first act as Red Sox Maestro, he reportedly asked Jose Canseco to speak at the Clemens press conference. Canseco is in New York promoting his book "Vindicated," which pretty much all but clears Clemens of any wrongdoing during the steroid era. When reached by BDD this morning to confirm his appearance, Canseco said he would not be in attendance, adding "the time is not right"...
* - Oh, and while you are digesting this story, don't forget to check the calendar. And look back at Sox news on this date in 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004...
Barks and Bites: Old friend and accused performance-enhancer Eric Gagne did what he does best for the Brewers last night and blew a three run lead, but came up with a cheap win as old friend Bobby Howry took the extra-innings loss and David Riske ended up with the save for Milwaukee. Fenway not-such-a-fan-favorite Edgar Renteria hit leadoff for the Tigers but failed to come through in the clutch for his new team in the 11th. Why can’t we keep players like that? Eric Hinske went deep for the Rays and old fan favorite Orlando Cabrera scored two runs in his White Sox debut. Not a good outing for Flash Gordon in Philadelphia. Pedro -- who one blog says he had the greatest individual season in Red Sox history -- goes tonight, so does D-Lowe. Elsewhere, Jose Canseco's interview with Boomer and Carton on The Fan ended rather abruptly this morning. And he didn't fare much better on Letterman last night. Speaking of hot dogs, Kosher franks coming to Fenway. Speaking of dogs, the Sox missed out on Rudy Seanez, Part III.
Mar 31, 2008:
Mar 28, 2008:
Mar 27, 2008:
It's Not a League of Their Own
The Sox Face Some Stiff Competition in Their Quest to Repeat
BDD's exclusive excerpt of the Maple Street Press 2008 Red Sox Annual
Sizing up the Competition: A Look Around the 2008 American League, by Jeff Kuhn
For the second time in four years, the Boston Red Sox are World Series champions. Like 2004, the Sox won while sweeping the Angels in the AL Divisional Series, coming back from the brink of elimination in the AL Championship Series to win the pennant, and then sweeping a National League opponent. Unlike 2004, however, this Red Sox team led the AL East essentially wire to wire during the regular season and tied for the best record in baseball. For the first time since 1915, the Red Sox can boast that they thoroughly vanquished the league.
In 2008, the AL is still violently divided between the haves and the have-nots, with only the previous playoff teams and the Tigers serious contenders for the 2008 World Series from the Junior Circuit. Most of the separation is centered around the dearth of talent moving this past offseason, with only the Miguel Cabrera/Dontrelle Willis trade in, and the Johan Santana Oakland trades out even causing a blip serious enough to overthrow the balance of power. The story of 2008 in the second tier of the league will be how these teams build from within, to prime themselves to take the reins from the current Red Sox/Yankees/Angels triumvirate that have dominated the league over the last six years. The Indians and Tigers have elbowed into the AL’s elite class, but eventually the current power will be old and grey. The spoils will go to those who aggressively improve over the next few seasons, starting with the AL’s 107th season.
A LOOK AT THE SOX COMPETITION IN THE AL EAST
"Don't matter how many times you get burnt, you just keep doin' the same." – Preston “Bodie” Broadus
With the Ravens finishing their latest campaign with five wins, and coachless, no NBA or NHL team to speak of, and the Orioles starting their second decade of irrelevancy, Baltimore’s only real contribution to the entertainment realm is The Wire, HBO’s critically-acclaimed police drama that focuses on institutional dysfunction. In The Wire, a broken system actually prefers to stay broken than to work to fix itself. Charm City looks extremely bleak through this lens.
This dovetails nicely with the state of Baltimore’s baseball franchise. Since the O’s had their run of divisional success after the advent of the wild card, the Orioles have shown no ability to dig themselves out of the hole created by being a member of the American League East. The Orioles have been unable to execute a rebuilding plan over the last decade, and after a year where their major accomplishment was keeping the Rays in last place, the best that can be said for this dilapidated franchise is that it can’t get much worse.
The only problem with that is the bottom is still to come. New honcho Andy MacPhail traded the declining Miguel Tejada and Erik Bedard and is actively shopping Brian Roberts, which leaves Nick Markakis to carry the offense. There is a plan in place, however, with MacPhail signing the Orioles’ first two Scott Boras-represented draftees in the Peter Angelos era, by throwing cash at Matt Weiters and Jake Arrieta. Troy Patton was nice haul for Miguel Tejada too. MacPhail is tearing down the core of the Orioles with an eye towards 2010, and it makes it look like it’s morning in Baltimore. It has just been too long since the new boss has been different from the old.
NEW YORK YANKEES
After the Yankees bowed out to Cleveland in the playoffs last year the Bombers had what one can only describe as a “crisis of confidence.” Gone was George Steinbrenner, stepping aside for his sons, with Hank Steinbrenner overseeing the day-to-day operations of the team, and Joe Torre for Joe Girardi, which means the on-field team is under new stewardship for the first time since 1995. There were drawn-out negotiations with Alex Rodriguez and Mariano Rivera, including Hank doing a good impression of his father’s feisty period by doing his best to make A-Rod cry during the negotiation process.
For all the hysterics that followed the Yankees around this offseason, they didn’t improve the team very much on the field, which puts a huge burden on young players like Melky Cabrera, Robinson Cano, Philip Hughes, and Joba Chamberlain to keep the Yankees a playoff-caliber team. Which is why they made overtures to the Twins for Johan Santana, since the Yankees pitching wasn’t at all that consistent last year. Brian Cashman did a good job of staying the course and not overpaying for Santana by just blowing any rumored Red Sox proposals out of the water and sending Cabrera, Hughes, Ian Kennedy and Jeff Marquez over to the Twin Cities. The Yankees need pitching badly enough that there was pressure (internal or external) to overpay for Santana, but Cashman stood his ground. Likewise, in an effort to save Chamberlain’s arm, the pre-season signs are pointing to a return to the bullpen for Joba, though he would probably have more value to the Yankees in the rotation, where Chein-Ming Wang leads a crew of pitchers, who are either in the death throes of their careers (Andy Pettitte and Mike Mussina) or in their beginning (Philip Hughes).
For the first time since Bill Clinton was impeached, the Yankees are going into a season without the AL East banner, and they’ve been denied entry into the ALCS every year since 2004. The two biggest weaknesses in 2008 are age and rotation quality, and the only way to fight one is to sacrifice the other. Cashman has seemingly chosen youth, which is more risky, but will have the higher reward. It just won’t come in 2008.
TAMPA BAY RAYS
My economics are rusty, but when you have an inferior product in a saturated, inelastic market, one strategy is to re-brand the product. Therefore, exit the Devil, and their aqua uniforms, to be replaced by the San Diego Padres kits with blue replacing sand brown.
The ironic thing is that the newly-branded Tampa Bay Rays are no longer an inferior product. The players they have are developing quite nicely and the farm system is still ripening some pretty tasty fruits, with top prospect Evan Longoria taking a break from Desperate Housewives to take over third base, joining a team already featuring under-27ers Dioner Navarro, Carl Crawford, B.J. Upton, Rocco Baldelli, Scott Kazmir, Edwin Jackson, Jason Shields, and Matt Garza, among others. Garza, in fact, came over in General Manager Andrew Friedman’s shrewdest trade, dealing Delmon Young from the outfield surplus and Brendan Harris to Minnesota for the young hurler and projected starting shortstop Jason Bartlett. This never would have happened under Chuck LaMar, who preferred to stand pat rather than improve the team.
Friedman actually even went ahead and found some capable vets to fill the roster and buy the kids their beer. Cliff Floyd can cover the inevitable Rocco Baldelli injury, and Willy Aybar is a nice backup in case anyone in the infield gets hurt. They even extended Carlos Pena for three years, which might be the first time an effective, young (he’s the gray beard in the starting lineup at 30) player decided to stay with the Rays.
St. Pete’s isn’t desolate anymore. Though the Rays aren’t quite competitors yet (or even good), they are most certainly taking the right steps towards creating a credible franchise. Now all they need is fans to pay attention.
TORONTO BLUE JAYS
Now entering the seventh year of the J.P. Ricciardi Save Our Team Reclamation Project, the Jays are at an interesting crossroads. When Ricciardi took over the reigns of the Jays, they had four straight third-place finishes, averaging almost 84 wins a year. Since then, he has navigated Good Ship Blue Jay to five third-place finishes and has the indignity of being the only team ever to finish lower in the standings than the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. Throwing out that last place finish in 2004, the Jays have averaged 83 wins a year. So despite the free pass Ricciardi gets vis-à-vis the “numbers GMs”, the Toronto squad has at best run in place during his regime, and at worst, wasted a lot of Rogers Communications money.
This trend continued this offseason, with the bizarre Troy Glaus-for-Scott Rolen trade. Without considering injuries, the Jays effectively traded their second or third best hitter to the Cardinals for Scott Rolen, who is a year older, and has hit 35 home runs over the last three seasons combined. Rolen is also due $37 million over the next three seasons (with the Cards picking up $4 million of that in 2010), while Glaus’s obligation is $12.75 million for one more year, which can turn into $24 million over two if Glaus picks up his player option. “No matter”, Ricciardi seemingly said, “I’ll throw in $1.8 million with Glaus!”
Even if you stipulate that Glaus is an injury risk, due to the nerve problem in his foot and the alleged steroid issue, the chances are that Rolen being on artificial turf can only hurt a back that has kept him out of the lineup quite frequently the last few seasons. This is not the Scott Rolen of 2002, which is something that Blue Jays fans will learn quickly.
The Blue Jays were a team starving for offense last year in the bat-rich American League. Ricciardi then traded Glaus for Rolen, and signed light-hitting shortstop David Eckstein. That’s a lot to wager on the continued development of Alex Rios and a prayer that Vernon Wells somehow justifies the $126 million that Ricciardi gave him.
Mar 26, 2008:
(Getty Images Photo / Toshifumi Kitamura)
Breakfast of Champions Is Over Easy This Morning
Sox Bats Hit the Snooze Button in Tokyo
A's 5, Sox 1: Sox Whiff 13 Times as Oakland Takes Game 2
Emil Brown Makes No Mistake on Bases with 3-Run Homer
Lester Finishes Strong, But Is Gone After 4
The Harden Way: Rich Is Finally Paying Off for Oakland
Bright Side: Aardsma Looked Aa-OK, Lopez Stops Bleeding
Too Little, Too Late? Manny Solo Shot Gets Sox Off the Schnide
Even Johnny From Burger King Was Impressed ...
Keith Foulke Takes Care of Papi and Manny in 8th
Game 2 Box Score | Game Log | Photos
(Boston Globe Staff Photo / Barry Chin)
Now It's Two Shaky Tokyo Outings for Sox Starters
Lester Line: 4 Innings, 4 Runs, 5 Hits, 3 Walks
Mar 25, 2008:
Sox Win Tokyo-yo Opener
(Getty Images Photo / Junko Kimura)
He's Still Standing at the Plate Watching the Ball
But Manny's Double Trouble for A's
Final in 10, Sox 6, A's 5: Manny Double Puts Sox Up in 10th
Moss Homer Ties It Up in 9th | Opening Game Log | Game 1 Box Score
Shipping Up to Mosston
(Getty Images Photo / Junko Kimura)
Who's the Moss? Brandon. Clutch Homer Ties It in 9th
Emil Brown, the Clown on the Bases, Saves Papelbon
Play Ball! Throw More Strikes
(Getty Images Photo / Junko Kimura)
Dome Not-So-Sweet Dome for Dice-K
Matsuzaka Comes Unglued in 1st; Settles Down After 2nd
Sox Finally Get to Blanton in the 6th as Manny, Moss Come Through
Dead End Street: Old Friends Embree, Foulke and DiNardo to the Rescue
Is Scott Williamson Hiding Out in the Oakland Bullpen, Too?
Snyder Gives It Up: Hannawho? Homer Put A's Back on Top
Did You See That Catch Jacoby Made?
Did You Know?
If the Sox Go 162-0, and Throw 4 No-Hitters in the World Series,
Jordan's Will Give You a Free End Table? What a Deal...
Mar 24, 2008:
Mar 23, 2008:
Mar 22, 2008:
(BDD Photo Illustration / Steve Garberg)
Papi Pounds One: 514 Foot Blast for the Big Man in Tokyo
Red Sox 6, Hanshin Tigers 5: Ortiz Homers in Sox Win | Photos
Drew Blasts 3-Run Shot | Buchholz Struggles, Again
Meet the 2008 Red Sox
"Overall, I thought it went pretty well. I left a couple of pitches up over the plate, and that hurt. I thought I was able to keep the ball down most of the time. The Tigers hitters stayed back on the ball better than I thought they might." -- 3.22.08, Clay Buchholz on his tough day
Mar 21, 2008:
Mar 20, 2008:
Mar 19, 2008:
Manny Distraught Over Dispute
(Getty Images Photo / J. Meric)
That's Just Manny Being Mama's Boy
Clearly Caught Up in the Coachgate Crisis,
Manny Sends a Message to Mom
And the Cardboard Face Has a Frown
Resolution Reached; Japan Boycott Averted
Dice-K to Pitch in Minor League Game
Sox Voted to Boycott Today's Game and Plane:
Earlier today: Red Sox third baseman Mike Lowell confirmed to the Boston Globe's Jackie MacMullan that the team voted unanimously this morning not to make the scheduled trip to Japan or play its final exhibition game against the Blue Jays this afternoon unless the coaches, training staff, and equipment staff were going to be compensated for making the trip to Japan.
Bartolocation Off, Velocity On ...
(Getty Images Photo / Al Messerschmidt)
... And a Rivalry is in Hibernation
Eric Wilbur: Another Meaningless Sox-Yankees Game
"In case you haven’t noticed, we’re a long way from 2004, when this rivalry hit its apex. Between the Jason Varitek-Alex Rodriguez dustup and the remarkable ALCS comeback, the storied antagonism between the two teams was at an all-time high. It wasn’t fueled in the front offices (although the offseason A-Rod chase might have initiated things), but on the field, where a certain distaste between the teams festered. Since then, it’s stayed afloat, with moments like Johnny Damon’s jumping ship at the forefront. But it’s never been as good. It’s difficult to imagine how it possibly can be." -- 3.18.08, Eric Wilbur, Boston.com
Coco, Kielty, and Curt Are Heading to Japan
Colon Blows Up: Big Man Was Wild Facing Bombers
Rolling the Dice: Matsuzaka Will Kick Off the '08' Campaign
Mar 17, 2008:
Still Not Ready for Prime Time
(BDD Photo Illustration)
Now in the Final Year of His Red Sox Contract,
Craig Hansen Will Start the Season in Pawtucket, Again
Papelbon Apparently Should Have Signed with Boras, Too
Scott Boras picked Theo's pocket on this one: Hansen signed 4-year deal worth $4 million through 2008 on 7/25/05. He received a $1.325 million signing bonus and salaries of $575K in 2005 and then $700K each year in 2006, 2007 and 2008, plus a signing bonus is paid in installments of $441,667 within 15 days of the contract being approved, $441,667 on Jan. 15, 2006 and $441,666 on Aug. 15, 2006. -- Hansen contract, MLB4U