Web Analytics and Web Statistics by NextSTAT The Boston Sports Nut: August 2008

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Sox win behind Pedey and Bay 11-3

Aug 27. New York. Jason Bay drove in four runs, Dustin Pedroia hit a grand slam and Boston routed the listless Yankees 11-3 on Wednesday night, putting an emphatic dent in New York's dwindling playoff chances.

"I never write the Yankees off until the season's over and the standings are set," Pedroia said. "They've been around too long and been in the playoffs for such a long time that we're definitely not counting them out." Paul Byrd beat the Yankees in a crucial game for the second consecutive year, and David Ortiz reached base four times for the second straight night. In their final regular-season trip to Yankee Stadium, the Red Sox have outscored their longtime rivals 18-6 in the first two games of this three-game series.

"We just dug ourselves a bigger hole," New York's Johnny Damon said. "This is definitely a tough time for us." Pedroia's first career slam capped a seven-run eighth inning and sent hordes of booing Yankees fans shuffling toward the exits. With co-chairman Hank Steinbrenner in attendance, New York dropped seven games behind Boston, which leads the AL wild-card race by 2½ games over Minnesota.

Still using his old-fashioned windup, Byrd allowed two runs and five hits in six innings. He struck out five and improved to 2-1 in three starts since Boston acquired him from the Indians this month. Also a Red Sox newcomer, Bay hit a two-run double in the first and an RBI triple in the eighth when Boston battered relievers Jose Veras and David Robertson. Bay has six RBIs in his first two games against the Yankees.

The Yankees haven't missed a postseason since 1993.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Yaz out of hospital

Hall of Famer Carl Yastrzemski, who had triple bypass surgery Aug. 19, was discharged from Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston on Tuesday. Yastrzemski, who turned 69 on Friday, was admitted to the hospital after experiencing chest pains early last week. A statement from the family said the surgery was "a complete success."

After trade from Red Sox, Hansen moves again, this time to Indy

PITTSBURGH -- Right-hander Craig Hansen, struggling with his control since being traded to Pittsburgh last month, was optioned to Triple-A Indianapolis on Wednesday.
The Pirates picked up the contract of right-hander Jesse Chavez from their top farm club.
Hansen, obtained from the Boston Red Sox in the three-team trade that sent outfielder Jason Bay to the Red Sox on July 31, was 0-2 with a 8.10 ERA in nine games with Pittsburgh.
On Tuesday night, he walked in the tying and go-ahead runs during the Cubs' seven-run, eighth-inning rally. Chicago won 14-9.

The 25-year-old Chavez was 2-6 with 14 saves and a 3.80 ERA in 51 relief appearances at Indianapolis. The Pirates acquired him in the 2006 trade that sent right-handed starter Kip Wells to Texas. To make room for Chavez on their 40-man roster, the Pirates transferred left-hander Phil Dumatrait (left shoulder surgery) from the 15-day to the 60-day disabled list.

Sox beat Yankees 7-3; ARod being ARod

August 26. NEW YORK - When Alex Rodriguez strode to the plate in the seventh inning, the bases full and a rookie on the mound, the four-run Yankee deficit must have been echoing in his ears. With one good stroke, Rodriguez could lift his team, lift its playoff hopes, lift the 55,058 (always) ready to boo their third baseman.

Tim Wakefield won in his return from the disabled list and the Boston Red Sox moved a step closer to squashing New York's playoff hopes, beating Andy Pettitte and the Yankees 7-3 Tuesday night. Rodriguez flopped in crucial spots all night. He grounded into two double plays -- one with the bases loaded -- and whiffed for the final out

Playing his first game in the rivalry, Bay had an RBI single in the third and a sacrifice fly in the sixth.
Even without Manny Ramirez batting behind him, Ortiz tormented the Yankees as usual with two doubles and two walks. "I like playing here," he said. "I was taking my walks and doing my thing." Coco Crisp got three hits and dashed home from second on Jeff Bailey's two-out infield single off the third-base bag in the fifth. First baseman Jason Giambi held onto Rodriguez's throw as Crisp scored. Bailey was credited with two RBIs, chasing Pettitte and capping a three-run rally -- all with two outs.

Two sinkers from Justin Masterson, and Rodriguez had grounded to Alex Cora for the double play that ended the inning. A-Rod had it in his grasp, had the chance, and couldn't do it. All chances of a sweep over the Red Sox vanished in one ground ball, and the Yankees fell, 7-3, last night in the Bronx. "It was obviously maybe the biggest pitch in the game," manager Terry Francona said. "We got ourselves in a position where one pitch can turn the game around, and Masterson comes in and makes one pitch and gets out of the inning. That was huge."
Coming in after Manny Delcarmen loaded the bases, Masterson knew his best pitch would be needed to get Rodriguez out. So there it was - sinker, sinker, ground out. That is, after all, exactly what that pitch is designed to do. "That's what the game's about," Masterson said. "In my respects, he's a good righthanded hitter, and when I'm called upon, I'm supposed to get the job done. I won that time.

Friday, August 22, 2008

J.D. Drew has herniated disk

August 22, 2008. TORONTO -- The Red Sox received an unpleasant surprise Friday afternoon when they learned outfielder J.D. Drew is suffering from a herniated disc in his back.
Drew has suffered from chronic back pain throughout his career and had a flareup last Sunday at Fenway Park against Toronto. He missed all three games of a series in Baltimore earlier this week, but it was thought he'd be able to return to action Friday night here in the opener of a weekend set against the Blue Jays.

The original lineup had Drew in right field, but he was scratched soon after the clubhouse opened. He was sent to a local hospital for an MRI, where it was learned he had a herniated disc.
"I hope I won't have to go on the disabled list," said Drew, who said he felt good Thursday and thought he'd be able to play Friday. On Friday morning he was a little stiff and took a hot bath in attempt to loosen the stiffness. After the bath his back locked up, and Drew said he felt "progressively worse" during the day. He was having difficulty walking in the locker room.
There's no word on how long he'll be sidelined.

The problem is similar to an injury he had earlier in his career with the Cardinals. While in St. Louis, Drew tore the sheath three-quarters of the way around his spine in the same area where he now has the herniated disc. The Red Sox are expecting a full medical report sometime Friday evening.

Celts ink Darius Miles

BOSTON -- The Boston Celtics signed forward Darius Miles, who missed the last two NBA seasons because of knee injuries. Celtics general manager Danny Ainge said Friday that Miles worked out twice for the team before signing.

Miles played for Portland in the 2005-2006 season. Portland waived Miles after it was determined his right knee was damaged enough to qualify as a career-ending injury. Miles signed a six-year, $48 million contract in 2004. By waiving him, the remaining two years and $18 million on his contract came off the Blazers' salary cap. If Miles plays in 10 games in any one of the next two seasons, his salary would go back on Portland's books.

The Los Angeles Clippers drafted the once high-flying Miles out of East St. Louis High School with the third overall pick of the 2000 draft. Kenyon Martin and Stromile Swift were the first choices. Miles played six seasons with Los Angeles, Cleveland and Portland, averaging 10.7 points in 412 games. The forward appeared in 145 games for the Trail Blazers after arriving from Cleveland in exchange for Jeff McInnis and Ruben Boumtje-Boumtje on Jan. 21, 2004.
With the Trail Blazers, Miles averaged 12.9 points. He scored a career-high 47 points against Denver in 2005, but also earned a two-game suspension that season for a verbal confrontation with then-coach Maurice Cheeks.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Jason Lane Signed to Pawtucket Contract

The Sox have signed veteran outfielder Jason Lane to a Triple-A contract. The 32-year-old, who has hit .241 with 61 homers and 189 RBI in 497 major-league games with the Houston Astros (2002-07) and San Diego Padres (2007), was granted free agency by the New York Yankees after batting .236 with 15 homers and 51 RBI in 97 games for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Lane’s best season in the majors was 2005, when he helped Houston capture the National League pennant by hitting 26 homers and driving in 78 runs. He should definitely be under consideration for a September call-up to Fenway.

Will Joba Chamberlain return?

Wednesday, August 20th 2008, 4:00 AM
TORONTO - Joba Chamberlain hopes to be pitching for the Yankees within the next two weeks, but Joe Girardi isn't ready to declare that a possibility just yet. Chamberlain played catch Tuesday, the second consecutive day he has tested his injured right shoulder on the field. He made 20 throws at 70 feet, 20 more at 90 feet, then, after a three-minute break, made 20 final throws at 75feet. "It gets loose, it gets going; it feels a lot better than it has," Chamberlain said, estimating his throwing at 80-85%.

If all goes well, Chamberlain will throw off a mound in Baltimore on Saturday. "We'll see how he feels on Sunday morning, then we'll go from there," Girardi said. "We have to see how he feels after each step." Pressed for details on what Chamberlain's next step would be after Saturday, Girardi got testy. "We don't have a date," Girardi said. "When he's ready, he's ready. I'm not getting too far ahead." Chamberlain was more than happy to look into the future, saying he believed he could be back Sept. 1.

Red Sox sign Ross to minor-league deal

The Red Sox, adding catching help for the stretch drive, have signed David Ross to a minor-league contract, according to major-league sources. Ross, 31, drew interest from the Red Sox and Phillies after getting released by the Reds. He will report to Class AAA and eventually become the Sox's third catcher behind Jason Varitek and Kevin Cash.

The Sox would need to promote Ross by Aug. 31 to make him eligible for their post-season roster. Ross also could be added for the playoffs if Varitek or Cash were injured. In 52 games with the Reds this season, Ross batted only .231 but produced a robust .381 on-base percentage.
The Red Sox will be his fifth team, and first in the American League.

End of season

It's Monday, September 29 and we just concluded our season with a 3-game set against the New York Yankees. We were long eliminated from the division when we visited Tampa Bay earlier and had been battling the Twinkies for the Wild Card spot and lost out by two games. I know that I am not being optimistic about our chances, but let's face reality people, the Red Sox are not a World Series team and if we are indeed the wild card team, it will take a miracle to get past the Angels who have been whipping our butts. But then, the Sox have carried around a pocketful of miracels for the past 4 seasons.

Hopefully prematurely, I am listing in order, the main reasons for the failure of the Red Sox this season:

1. Manny Ramirez. Attitude, distractions. Killer of team morale.
2. The inability to win on the road. Never thought this would happen in baseball.
3. The power outage and wrist injury to Big Papi. Not hitting them out the way he has in the past. Maybe Manny protected him, but Youk is having a monster year
4. The injuries to Mike Lowell. We really miss his bat and fielding at 3B.
5. Failures with middle relief from bullpen; inconsistency of set up man Okajima.
6. Clay Buccholz. Team was expecting big things from him....12 wins at least?
7. Injuries to pitching staff...Dice-K, Wakes, Schilling(?), and now, Beckett
8. Contributions from the center field position. Ellsbury lit up the place for awhile, but we have not had much from Jacoby and Cocoa Crisp. Flashy fielding at times, but should have gotten 20 home runs and 80 RBI's from that position.
9. The White Sox and Twins battling it out for the division and wild card. Neither one of them is going to roll over and play dead and this does not sit good with the Red Sox's chance.

So, there you have it. Sox failures point to some/all of the 8 reasons above. Tomorrow, I will list the reasons why we woke up on September 29 and made the playoffs.

September call-ups

Boston will likely add eight to 10 players in September, but the most intriguing possibility may not get a look. Top pitching prospect Michael Bowden isn't likely to be used as a reliever, and there's even less chance of him getting to join the rotation after Boston's addition of Paul Byrd. Bowden, who turns 22 next month, is 9-6 with a 2.59 ERA, 103 H and 121/28 K/BB in 132 IP between Double- and Triple-A this year. He's a potential No. 2 or No. 3 starter, but he probably won't contribute until the middle of next year. ... Other likely callups are catcher Dusty Brown, outfielder Jonathan Van Every and pitchers Chris Smith, Hunter Jones and Eric Hull. ... 2006 first-round pick Daniel Bard has the numbers to qualify for a callup, with a 2.28 ERA and a .184 average against in 43 1/3 innings in Double-A, but he probably doesn't throw enough strikes to help out right now.

Buchholz sent down to minors

Red Sox manager Terry Francona said after Wednesday's game that the team will send Clay Buchholz to Double-A Portland.

Buchholz is 0-4 with a 9.64 ERA in his last five appearances, and he hasn't made a quality start since April, so the team will send him down to get "a renewed start." Boston is off on both Thursday and Tuesday, so Tim Wakefield could be ready the next time Boston needs a fifth starter

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Dice-K, Youk, Tek Beat Orioles 7-2

August 19, 2008: Baltimore, MD - On a night in which he struggled to get through five innings, Daisuke Matsuzaka got offensive support from an unlikely source: batterymate Jason Varitek.
Matsuzaka won his fourth straight start, the Boston Red Sox got homers from Varitek and Kevin Youkilis in a 7-2 victory over the Baltimore Orioles on Tuesday night.

Matsuzaka (15-2) gave up two runs, six hits and five walks. The right-hander failed to retire the side in order but stranded nine runners, including five in scoring position, before being lifted after 105 pitches. Whether I allow hits or I allow walks, I always think that the important thing is not to allow the runners to score," Matsuzaka said through an interpreter. "That's the way I thought last year and it's still the same this year."

It was Matsuzaka's 30th career win, most ever by a Japanese-born pitcher in his first two major league seasons. Hideo Nomo had 29 in 1995-96. "He finds a way to win. That's all you can ask from a starting pitcher," teammate Dustin Pedroia said. "He's not giving in and we know that. Sometimes it's frustrating, but it keeps you on your toes."

Varitek's second homer in two games put Boston up 3-0 in the second inning. The drive enabled Boston's captain to become the first Red Sox catcher to hit at least 10 home runs in nine seasons, breaking a tie with Carlton Fisk.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Did you know that.......

In 1910 the Chalmers auto company had promised one of their cars to the major leaguer with the highest batting average that season. After a scandal in which Napoleon Lajoie was allowed to go 8-for-8 on the last day of the season to overtake ther unpopular Ty Cobb in the batting race, the Chalmers people awarded both players cars. To avoid such problems in the future, they decided not to base subsequent awards on raw statistics (which at the time, were of dubious accuracy anyway). Instead, they set up a panel of respected sportswriters, one from each major league city. Using a weighted ballot on which first place was worth seven points, and so on through eight places, one writer per team in each league voted on that league's best player. Upon winning the car, a player was no longer eligible in later years.

The Chalmers Award lasted only four years (1911-14) but when the American League revived the idea in 1922, they used the same voting system, and many of the same writers. This was the first award to use the title "Most Valuable Player"; rather than awarding a car, they planned to build a monument on which winners' names would be carved. The National League joined in two years later, awarding a trophy and a $1,000 bond, with these changes: There would be ten places on the ballot, and there could be repeat winners. Rogers Hornsby would be the first to repeat, winning in 1925 and 1929. The AL discontinued their award after 1928, and the NL dropped the idea after 1929.

In 1931 the BBWAA took over, using the voting structure the NL had used. In 1938 they switched to three voters per team and a more heavily weighted ballot on which first place counted for 14 points. This basic structure has lasted to the present day.

Schilling leaning toward retirement

BOSTON—Curt Schilling says he's leaning "very heavily" toward retirement and is waiting until spring training approaches to see if he wants to try to pitch again. The Boston Red Sox right-hander, who underwent season-ending shoulder surgery on June 23, said in his most recent blog entry that his shoulder "is getting better fast" and "I've still got a rather lengthy amount of time before I decide anything."

Still, he said on 38pitches.com that "the pendulum is swinging very heavily in the direction of it just being over. I've never sat around and not gotten ready to head to Florida, well not in 23 or so years anyway, so to me that will likely be the last real test for me and whether or not I want to put the time and effort into getting after it one more time." Dr. Craig Morgan, who performed the surgery, estimated a few hours after it ended that Schilling could be throwing a ball in four months and throwing from a mound within seven months, by late January.

Schilling said that a few weeks ago he thought of trying to get ready to pitch in the World Baseball Classic, a 16-country event scheduled for March with the championship game March 23 at Dodger Stadium.

"But I just don't think that's in the cards," he wrote in his blog Friday. "Next I started thinking about the original plan of pitching the 2nd half of next season. Thing is, that urgency just is not there. I miss some things I didn't think I would, and don't miss many things."

Schilling, a six-time All-Star, is signed only for 2008 at $8 million. He finished last season, his 20th, ranked 14th on the career strikeout list with 3,116. His career record is 216-146 with a 3.46 ERA. He is 11-2 in postseason play and was co-MVP of the 2001 World Series with Randy Johnson for Arizona.

August 18, 1967 The Day Tony C got beaned

Yesterday went by with nobody mentioning that this date was the 41st anniversary of one of the greatest tragedies in Red Sox and baseball history. The beginning of the end of what should have been a promising career. I was in Holyoke, MA listening to the game on the radio when it happened.

Tony Conigliaro hit .290 with 24 home runs in 1964, but broke his arm in August; Tony Oliva won the AL Rookie of the Year award. When the 20-year-old Conigliaro hit 32 HR in 1965, he became the youngest home run leader in AL history. The hometown hero was enjoying another standout year in 1967 when, on August 18, he was struck by a Jack Hamilton fastball that broke his cheekbone and so damaged his eyesight that he missed the entire 1968 season. He returned in 1969 to win Comeback of the Year honors, and in 1970 hit 36 HR. But his vision was still impaired, and he left the majors in July 1971, returning for a short comeback try in 1975. Further tragedy befell Conigliaro at age 37, when he suffered a heart attack (while riding in a car with brother Billy) that left him severely incapacitated.

This Day in Red Sox History

August 21: 1986: Spike Owen has four hits and becomes the first major leaguer in 40 years to score six runs in a game as the Red Sox rout the Cleveland Indians 24-5.

August 20: 1960: Ted Williams picks up his 2000th career walk, as the Red Sox split a doubleheader with Baltimore.

August 20: 1967 At Fenway, Red Sox Reggie Smith joins the ranks of Mickey Mantle, Pete Rose, and others by hitting home runs left- and righthanded in a game with California. Yaz adds two three-run homers, one in each game of the doubleheader. The Sox win the nitecap, 9–8 after trailing 8–0.

August 19: 1934: Julius ''Moose'' Solters hits for the cycle in the first game of a doubleheader at Detroit. The Red Sox win the game 8-6, but lose the nightcap 4-3.

August 18: 1967: In the 4th inning, Tony Conigliaro is hit in the face by a Jack Hamilton pitch. He is out for the remainder of the season, and has problems with his eyesight for the rest of his career.

August 17: 1904: Jesse Tannehill pitches a no-hitter, beating the Chicago White Sox 6-0.

August 16: 1978: The Red Sox beat the Angels 4-2, as Luis Tiant wins his 200th career game

Numbness and tingling fingers for Beckett

Josh Beckett says that the numbness and tingling in his right ring and little fingers has been an on-going issue this season, indicating that it wasn’t something that just cropped up prior to Sunday’s poor start at Fenway Park. Manager Terry Francona, in announcing that Beckett would be bumped from his next start, indicated that it cropped up after sleeping on his right arm on Saturday night.“It’s just something I’ve been dealing with,” he said. “At some point, you’ve got to figure out what it is. It’s now what I want but at this juncture, it’s something that needs to happen.”Beckett said that he is not dealing with any pain.“I have some numbness in fingers I’m not used to having,” he said. “As far as pain goes, there’s pretty much no pain at all. It’s just that we’ve got to figure out what the hell it was … It’s something we’ve dealt with but I’ve never had to deal with it on that level.”Beckett said that trainer Mike Reinold has been running him through a series of tests that seem to indicate that he is not dealing with aneurysm or circulation issues.“That’s what we’re trying to stay away from,” he said. “Anytime there’s something wrong with your arm and you’re a baseball player – especially a pitcher, you obviously think the worst first but I’ve kind of been reassured by people that it’s not that.”For now, he said he’d prefer to a stay away from any type of tests that involves shooting dye into the blood stream to check for circulation issues.“I’m not a big fan of those arthrograms,” he said. “They cause a lot of unneeded soreness but if it gets to that point, we’ll do whatever we need to do.”He said that returning Tuesday at Yankee Stadium isn’t a certainty.“It’s still seven days away, so we’ll see,” Beckett said.

Red Sox great Carl Yastrzemski hospitalized

BOSTON—Baseball Hall of Famer Carl Yastrzemski was hospitalized for tests Tuesday after experiencing what his spokesman called chest pains. The spokesman, Dick Gordon, said Yastrzemski went to Massachusetts General Hospital in the morning. "He had experienced some chest pains and he's in for testing," Gordon said.

When asked if it was serious, Gordon said: "Any time you are in the hospital, it's got to be pretty serious."

According to a statement released by the Red Sox this afternoon, Yastrzemski was admitted to Massachusetts General Hospital this morning after experiencing discomfort and chest pains. He is undergoing evaluation and testing, and no further information is available at this time.
The 68-year-old Yastrzemski was baseball's last player to win the Triple Crown in 1967 and was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1989.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Bay and Lester beat the O's 6-3

BALTIMORE (AP) -- Before he came to the Boston Red Sox, Jason Bay didn't know much about Jon Lester. Bay likes what he's seen. And, to be sure, the Red Sox are also pretty pleased about what they've witnessed thus far from their new left fielder. Lester outpitched Jeremy Guthrie, and Bay homered twice and drove in four runs to help Boston beat the Baltimore Orioles 6-3 on Monday night.

Lester (12-4) allowed one run, four hits and a walk in seven innings to improve to 5-0 lifetime against the Orioles. The left-hander is 9-1 since May 25. "I'll be honest, I didn't know a lot about him before I got here," Bay said of Lester. "But it's pretty obvious to me after being here that he's one of the better pitchers in this league." Bay, meanwhile, is quickly becoming one of the AL's most dangerous hitters. In 16 games with the Red Sox, Bay is batting .348 with three homers and 16 RBIs.

Dodgers acquire Greg Maddux

Dodgers reach agreement to acquire veteran right-hander, a future Hall of Famer with 353 career wins, in a trade with San Diego. He also pitched for the team in 2006. The Dodgers today reached agreement with the San Diego Padres on a deal to acquire veteran pitcher Greg Maddux, according to a person familiar with the deal, speaking on condition of anonymity because the deal had not been announced.Dodger spokesman Josh Rawitch and General Manager Ned Colletti said no deal was in place, and declined to say whether the club was even in discussions about Maddux. Major League Baseball forbids club officials from discussing possible trades involving players who have been placed on waivers.

It was not immediately known who would be sent to San Diego in exchange for Maddux, a future Hall of Famer who is 6-9 this season with a 3.99 earned-run average.He has 353 career victories. The Dodgers acquired him before the trade deadline in 2006 from the Chicago Cubs, and went on to reach the playoffs that year. Maddux, 42, signed after that season with the Padres. Maddux, whose salary this year is $10 million, was placed on waivers earlier this month and no team claimed him. Maddux is expected to arrive in time for Tuesday's game at Dodger Stadium against the Colorado Rockies. He probably will fill the rotation spot of Brad Penny, who was put on the disabled list last week because a shoulder injury that could sideline him for the rest of the season.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Red Sox - coping with all those injuries

The defending World Series champs are currently without the services of third baseman Mike Lowell (strained oblique), knuckleballer Tim Wakefield (shoulder), right-hander Bartolo Colon (back), and shortstop Julio Lugo (quad). Of those, Lowell's and Wakefield's absences are the most significant. Fortunately for the Red Sox, they've got the depth to withstand the injuries. Kevin Youkilis can slide over to third, and Sean Casey, who's been raking this season, can spot Youkilis at first, at least against right-handers. In the rotation, the Sox can get by with a gumbo consisting of the newly acquired Paul Byrd, the struggling Clay Buchholz, the close-to-returning Colon, and perhaps down the line the recently optioned Charlie Zink. In a related matter, Wakefield's shoulder is inflamed and not structurally damaged, and he was disabled retroactive to Aug. 7. So it's possible his absence won't be a lengthy one.

Elsewhere, the Red Sox improved in going from Lugo to youngster Jed Lowrie, and the highly useful Alex Cora is still around to fill in anywhere in the infield. Offensively, much depends upon Casey's ability to continue hitting until Lowell returns. On the other hand, perhaps a trip to the DL was just what the struggling Lowell needed (he's "hitting" .187 AVG/.253 OBP/.253 SLG since the break). Consider the Sox your AL Wild Card favorites.

'They Blackballed Bonds' claims his agent

Barry Bonds' agent Jeff Borris said that "Major League Baseball has been successful in their pursuit in blackballing Barry [Bonds] out of the game." Borris apparently reached out to the Rays this week, but they didn't respond to his text message. Bonds hasn't found a taker despite an apparent willingness to play for the league minimum, and the players' union is investigating possible collusion. Bonds' criminal attorneys have asked that the investigation be put on hold, though, because they don't want to draw more attention to their client, who is facing 15 felony counts for perjury and obstruction of justice


The Pedey and Papi Show

August 14. Boston. MA. The Red Sox will quickly learn if they are in a hitting groove or if all the runs they racked up against the Rangers was thanks to Texas' pitiful pitching. David Ortiz hit a three-run homer to highlight a nine-run second, and the Red Sox used their second big inning in three games against the Rangers to help Daisuke Matsuzaka win 10-0 on Thursday night for a three-game sweep.

"I don't know," Boston's Dustin Pedroia said of what led to the three-game outburst. "We'll find out the next couple of games." The Red Sox go from facing the team with the worst ERA to playing the team with the best, Toronto, which had a league-high 3.64 ERA entering Thursday.

Matsuzaka allowed six hits in seven innings for the Red Sox, who scored 37 runs in the series and won their fourth straight to remain three games behind AL East-leading Tampa Bay. The Rays beat Oakland 7-6 in 12 innings. Boston scored its most runs in a three-game set since getting 45 against the Florida Marlins from June 27-29, 2003.

Boston topped its nine-run inning with a 10-run frame in the first inning Tuesday -- a 19-17 victory. Ortiz had a pair of three-run homers in that inning and has driven in 20 runs against the Rangers in seven games this season.

Power Rankings

1 (1) Cubs 74-47 Rich Harden is 2-1 with a 1.80 ERA in his first six starts with the Cubs. He has 49 strikeouts in 35 innings pitched.

2 (2) Angels 75-44 After hitting .286 in the first half, Vladimir Guerrero is hitting .319 since the break.

3 (3) Rays 73-47 Edwin Jackson is 4-1 in five starts since the break, but in that time, he has compiled a 4.67 ERA and allowed seven home runs.

4 (5) Red Sox 71-51 Knuckleballer Charlie Zink is back at Triple-A Pawtucket (perhaps forever!) after his awful debut against the Rangers on Tuesday.

5 (8) Brewers 70-52 CC Sabathia's free-agent value is soaring; he is 7-0 with a 1.55 ERA in eight starts with the Brewers.

6 (7) White Sox 68-52 The White Sox are 14-12 with a 5.06 ERA since the All-Star break.

Giddens agrees to Celtics deal

Celtics draft pick J.R. Giddens agreed to a two-year guaranteed deal with an option for another two years with the club on Thursday. The 30th overall pick in the first round of this year's NBA Draft will begin working out in Waltham at the team's training facility next week. The former New Mexico star averaged 16.3 points and 8.8 rebounds as a senior last season. The Celtics also still have a second round pick that's unsigned in guard Bill Walker."He's pretty darn excited to be a part of their team," said Aaron Mintz, Gidden's agent.

Good Going Kid!!!!

The New York Times reports that Yankees' first-round draft pick Gerrit Cole will attend UCLA instead of signing with the team. He's a Scott Boras client, but has reportedly decided to attend college no matter what the Yankees offer. That's the story, at least. Cole grew up a Yankees fan and hung around in their hotel lobby in Arizona during the 2001 World Series, but apparently he'd rather go to UCLA. The Yanks will get a compensatory pick in next year's draft.

MY TAKE ON THIS: I am speechless on this matter. The kid has guts, I can say that much for sure. Scott Boras...NY Yankees? Probably would rather play for a top-flight organization... The Red Sox?

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Waivers placed on Ibanez and Washburn

Waiver claims made on Raul Ibanez and Jarrod Washburn both expired Thursday without a deal being made. Both players will stick with the team for the rest of the season. The Tigers were the team that put in a claim on Ibanez, and Minnesota made a claim on Washburn - likely to block the White Sox, who were thought to be interested.

I like this picture

Tek Files for Divorce

Sox catcher Jason Varitek is splitting with his wife, Karen. The team captain filed for divorce July 28 in Gwinnett County, Ga., where the couple live in the offseason. They were married in 1997 and have three daughters, ages 8, 6, and 3. Varitek is in the final year of a four-year, $40-million contract he signed after the BoSox won the World Series in 2004. He'll be a free agent at the end of this season, though he turns 37 in April and is hitting just .216. Neither Varitek's attorney, Pamela Tremayne, nor his wife's attorney, Jonathan Levine, returned our phone calls yesterday.

MY TAKE ON THIS: Oh gosh. I guess that's probably why he's been slumping at the plate.

Red Sox hang on again. Beat Rangers 8-4

August 14, 2008. Boston, MA - With his shaved head and hustling style, Kevin Youkilis will never be mistaken for Manny Ramirez. But there is one similarity, at least lately -- the power Youkilis has brought to the cleanup spot held by Ramirez until he was traded July 31. Youkilis doubled in each of his first three at-bats Wednesday night, leading another hitting outburst that gave the Boston Red Sox an 8-4 win over the Texas Rangers.

"You can't worry about where you hit," Youkilis said. "When you go up there it's not like they put a number on you saying you're hitting fourth today." He delivered a day after his three-run homer gave the Red Sox a 19-17 victory, a win that came after they blew a 10-run cushion. Youkilis homered twice in that wild win. Youkilis "has had a phenomenal offensive year," Boston's Jason Varitek said. "We've known about him as a hitter, but now he's added some power."

In seven games batting fourth since Ramirez left, Youkilis is 10-for-25 with two home runs, five doubles and eight RBIs. His 22 homers are six more than the career high he set last year, his 83 RBIs match his best total and he's only two points behind AL batting leader Johnny Damon.

Texas trailed 8-0 in the eighth inning, but Milton Bradley's three-run homer made it 8-4. The Rangers then put their first two batters on base in the ninth before Ian Kinsler -- leading the majors in hits -- grounded into a double play and Texas fell short of another big comeback.

Jon Lester (11-4) held the top-hitting team in baseball to seven hits in 7 1/3 innings. He left shortly after Kinsler's solo homer, and the Red Sox got a mini-scare later in the eighth when Mike Timlin allowed Bradley's 20th home run. "We made it a little more interesting than we needed to," Boston manager Terry Francona said. Javier Lopez got the final two outs of the inning and Justin Masterson worked the ninth.

Bailey up; Pauley down

Quick call-up and send-down for David Pauley. He sat in the Sox bullpen tonight and was then sent back to Pawtucket and DH/1B/OF Jeff Bailey was recalled.
Don't know if this is the final move on this roster spot. The Sox might be scouring the waiver wire for another solution and perhaps a corner infielder who may protect them with Mike Lowell on the DL. Stay tuned.

MY TAKE ON THIS: Probably should have gone with Bailey to begin with. I guess that Pauley just wanted to make sure that Boston looks the same as it did last time he was up. Will go with Bailey until they see how Lowell's injury is in two weeks. I think that Mike is out for the duration. What a shame. The 'Youk' looks like he's going to finish with Lowell-like stats for the year (last season). Kevin and Dustin are really sparking the club right now.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Youk' Field Goal Edges Rangers 19-17

August 12, 2008. BOSTON, MA - Terry Francona watched Boston's 10-run lead disappear and was searching for a new strategy as the numbers on the scoreboard started to resemble a football game. "At some point," the Red Sox manager said, "you're thinking about going for a field goal." That's the type of night it was -- it was hard for anyone to keep track of anything.

In one of the wildest games of the season, Youkilis' go-ahead homer sent Boston to a 19-17 win after the Texas Rangers fought back from a 10-run first inning Tuesday night that included a pair of three-run homers by David Ortiz.

Youkilis drove a three-run shot over Fenway Park's Green Monster in the eighth inning for his second homer of a dizzying night, bringing fans to their feet as he circled the bases with uncharacteristic speed. "I also felt the emotion of the boos today," after two strikeouts, he said. "So the roller coaster ride in Boston's always fun. Luckily, we got the cheers at the end."
The combined 36 runs tied in AL record set on June 29, 1950, when the Red Sox beat the Philadelphia Athletics 22-14. The teams totaled 37 hits.

The 19 runs were the most scored by the Red Sox this season and ruined a Rangers comeback that matched the greatest ever against Boston. The Red Sox also squandered a 10-run lead on June 4, 1989, against Toronto when they lost 13-11 in 12 innings after they led 10-0 through six.

Hideki Okajima (3-2) got the win in a game that lasted 3 hours, 58 minutes. The Rangers, who lead the majors in batting average, put on another hitting display after their 15-7 win over Baltimore on Sunday. "If they didn't quit tonight. I don't think they're ever going to quit," Washington said. Ortiz's first homer followed a leadoff walk to J.D. Drew and a single by Pedroia. His second came after RBI singles by Drew and Pedroia. The other runs in the first inning scored on Jed Lowrie's two-run double.

Charlie Zink made his major league debut for Boston, pitching in place of injured Tim Wakefield-- a fellow knuckleballer. Zink was lifted with one out in the fifth after giving up a run-scoring single to Josh Hamilton, an RBI double to Byrd and a two-run double to Frank Catalanotto.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Red Sox Trade for Paul Byrd

CLEVELAND, OH—The Cleveland Indians today announced the club has completed a trade with the Boston Red Sox, sending RHP PAUL BYRD to Boston in exchange for a player to be named or cash. The player to be named must be agreed upon on or before January 15, 2009.Byrd made 22 starts with the Indians this year going 7-10 with a 4.53 ERA (131.0IP, 146H, 70R/66ER, 24BB, 56K, 23HR).The Indians will not make a move today to replace Byrd on their active 25-man roster. The club’s 40-man roster now stands at 39. The Indians are now undecided for the start on Thursday, August 14 vs. Baltimore.

Here we go again...Manny episode #1

Out of left field: Manny goes missing, Dodgers win

August 11. LOS ANGELES. CA - The ninth inning was about to start and left field was empty. Manny Ramirez was missing. Here we go again. Let's see, there's no Green Monster for him to hide in at Dodger Stadium - so where in the world was Manny now?

In the dugout, several Dodgers peered down the tunnel toward their clubhouse as Monday night's game against Philadelphia was held up. They looked as though they didn't know whether to laugh, scream or simply shake their heads. Then, finally, the enigmatic slugger reappeared and jogged swiftly out to his position, dreadlocks dangling and a wry half-smile on his face.
"I just went to the bathroom," Ramirez said with a chuckle after Los Angeles' 8-6 victory. "All the guys said, 'Hey, we play nine in here.'"

This time, there was a plausible explanation - sort of - for Ramirez's brief but conspicuous absence: He thought he had been pulled from the game. Dodgers manager Joe Torre explained that there was some miscommunication between he and Ramirez, acquired from Boston at the July 31 trade deadline. After Ramirez was forced out at the plate in the eighth inning, Torre pointed to him from a distance as a way of congratulating the slugger for his single. But Ramirez thought that meant he was being taken out of the game for defense, so he headed up the tunnel.

Just another curious moment for one of baseball's most baffling characters. "When he came out, his jersey was half undone," teammate Jeff Kent said with a smirk. "So if he was going to the bathroom, he takes his jersey off to do it." "I just went to the bathroom," Ramirez said with a chuckle after Los Angeles' 8-6 victory.

MY TAKE ON THIS: Not a very good liar, is he? So, he went to the bathroom.... I don't think so. Just typical Manny being Manny. They can have him. We do miss him, but it got to the point where he wasn't going to produce. Time to go and move on. Look at his stats the past couple seasons. His skills weren't reducing...his brain was just shrinking. I think that the most hilarious part is when the players said 'Hey, we play nine in here.' Now, don't forget, this is Los Angeles, people...where the fans make an exit after the 7th inning, even sooner.

CEO Larry Lucchino Heading for L.A.?

Lucchino, Epstein headed for breakup in Boston? One big part of the Red Sox championship teams has already moved from Boston to the Dodgers. Could another be on the way?
People in high places in baseball are starting to speculate about whether this could be the last season together for the highly successful yet increasingly uncomfortable front-office tandem of GM Theo Epstein and president/CEO Larry Lucchino, and one logical ending would have Lucchino joining Manny Ramirez in Los Angeles. It's all speculation now, but it's not all that farfetched.

Despite the well-documented difficulties and differences of Epstein and Lucchino -- Lucchino is said by people familiar with the just-departed Ramirez soap opera to have been much more committed to keeping Ramirez, no matter how badly the man-child superstar behaved and how much he risked undermining the clubhouse -- the two innovative Yalies have engineered this Red Sox renaissance and combined to bring two World Series titles to the previously star-crossed and storied organization. Yet there is burgeoning talk among baseball's elite that the end of their baseball relationship could be at hand.

Epstein's rise in stature from boy wonder to one of baseball's best GMs has brought him considerable cache and clout. So it's no surprise that baseball people believe he's more likely to be in position to win any potential power play if he desires, especially with his three-year contract expiring after this year. When Epstein's previous contract ran out after the 2005 season he was very nearly gone for good -- and he did actually leave for a few weeks, exiting Fenway Park disguised in a monkey suit to avoid reporters the day he announced his resignation -- but club owner John Henry lured him back for three more years with a seven-figure salary and the promise of greater autonomy.


Sox Bats Sputtering Again; eek out 5-2 win

Monday, August 11. CHICAGO, IL. Finally, it was Josh Beckett who did the outdueling.After running into hot pitcher after hot pitcher this season, Beckett found himself on the wrong end of another gem for six innings Monday.But the Red Sox finally broke through against White Sox lefty John Danks in the seventh, turning a no-hitter into a one-run lead and eventually a 5-1 victory before 32,634 at U.S. Cellular Field.Beckett (11-8, 3.92 ERA) went eight innings, allowing one run on seven hits with eight strikeouts. Four times previously, Beckett allowed two runs or less and lost, three times with the Red Sox being shut out.

Danks (9-5, 3.18) allowed just two hits over seven innings and matched a career high with nine strikeouts, pitching a perfect game for 5 2/3 innings and a no-hitter for 6 1/3.But Kevin Youkilis broke up the no-hitter with a broken-bat single, then J.D. Drew gave the Red Sox a 2-1 lead, driving in a pair of runs with a double to left-center. The Red Sox iced the game with three

Red Sox picked up a half-game on idle Tampa Bay and trail by four games with 43 to play. The Red Sox increased their lead in the wild card race to two over the White Sox, who fell a half-game behind Minnesota in the AL Central. The Twins shut out the Yankees 4-0 Monday, dropping them five games behind the Red Sox.Dustin Pedroia went 0-for-4, snapping his 29-game road hitting streak, leaving him in second place in franchise history behind Tris Speaker, who hit in 32 straight in 1912. Speaker also had a 29-game streak in 1913.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Varitek and Boomer Scott

With Varitek approaching Mondoza'ism, I recalled that George Scott was under .200 one year. I checked it out and found that in 1968 he batted .171 but only played in 124 games with 350 AB. He was coming off two pretty good first seasons with the Sox. However, as we (some of us) 1968 was the year of the pitcher. That was probably the most dominating year for pitchers since the early days, before batters learned to hit.

That was Bob Gibson's greatest season. In 1969, they lowered the mound from 16 inches to 10 inches,.

Arizona acquires Slugger Adam Dunn from Reds.

PHOENIX (AP) — The Arizona Diamondbacks acquired slugging outfielder Adam Dunn from the Cincinnati Reds for a minor-league pitcher and two players to be named later on Monday. The 28-year-old Dunn was batting .233 this season for the Reds with 32 homers, tied for tops in the majors.

The trade gives the first-place Diamondbacks, who entered the day with a 1 1/2-game lead over the Dodgers in the NL West, a boost to an anemic offense. The Diamondbacks rank 20th in the majors in runs scored. Arizona (60-58) tried to acquire Mark Teixeira from the Atlanta Braves at last month's trade deadline before he went to the Los Angeles Angels.

The Diamondbacks sent right-hander Dallas Buck to the Reds in Monday's trade.
Dunn has a career .247 batting average with 270 career homers and is eligible for free agency at the end of the season. The Reds are last in the NL Central and on a six-game losing streak.
The Dunn trade comes after a July 31 deal that sent outfielder Ken Griffey Jr. to the Chicago White Sox for relief pitcher Nick Masset and a Triple-A player. On Sunday, the Reds designated veteran catcher David Ross for assignment and called up catcher Ryan Hanigan from Triple-A Louisville.

Red Sox Minor League Pitcher of the Month

RHP Brock Huntzinger logged a 4-0 record over five July starts with a 0.67 ERA, allowing two earned runs on 16 hits and striking out 18 (five walks), capping off a highly successful run with the Lowell Spinners (he was promoted to Greenville July 30) and being named SoxProspects.com Pitcher of the Month of July. In eight starts with the Spinners, Huntzinger was 5-0 with a .064 ERA, allowing three earned runs on 25 hits over 42 innings pitched, striking out 32, walking seven and holding opposing batters to a .168 BAA. Huntzinger, 20, was the Red Sox third-round pick in 2007. He is currently the #16 ranked prospect in the organization by SoxProspects.com.

Charlie Zink Bio

Scouting Report: Zink was signed as an undrafted free agent on the recommendation of Luis Tiant, his former coach at Savannah College of Art and Design. Tim Wakefield has tutored Zink on the fine art of the knuckleball. Zink understands what he needs to do to get hitters out. Good athlete. Also throws mid 80s fastball and cutter for strikes, using the same delivery as his knuckler. Fearless with his knuckleball, even behind in the count.

2003 Sarasota Pitcher of the Year
Eastern League Pitcher of the Week (June 18-24, 2007)
2007 Eastern League All StarInternational League
Pitcher of the Week (April 14-20, 2008)
2008 International League All Star


More on Charlie Zink. Pawtucket Times

Wakefield put on Disabled List

CHICAGO - The Red Sox lost Tim Wakefield, one of their top starters, for at least two weeks and possibly into September because of tightness and stiffness in the back of his right shoulder.
That is the same area that forced Wakefield to be left off last year’s Division Series and World Series roster, but this time the club believes after a cortisone shot and rest period, he should be ready to resume his so far successful 2008 season.

Wakefield was supposed to start tomorrow’s homestand opener against the Texas Rangers, but instead will go on the disabled list. A replacement has yet to be named, but Michael Bowden, today’s scheduled starter for Triple-A Pawtucket, is a top candidate with Devern Hansack a possibility as well.

NOTE: I believe that the Red Sox are recalling Charle Zink from Pawtucket. His record is 13-4 with a 2.89 ERA. It would be nice to see Bowden, a top prospect, come up. David Pauley's record is similar to Zink's.

Zink to take injured Wakefield's spot
The Red Sox have placed RHP Tim Wakefield on the disabled list (right shoulder) and will promote knuckleballing RHP Charlie Zink from Pawtucket to start Tuesday against Texas. Zink, 28, is 13-4 with a 2.89 ERA for the PawSox in 2008. In 25 starts, Zink has allowed 49 earned runs on 129 hits (.228 BAA) over 152.1 innings pitched, striking out 94 and walking 43. He was selected as an International League All Star in last month's AAA All Star Game. As a 28-year-old, Zink is ineligible for the SoxProspects prospect rankings, but he is ranked #5 on the
Post-Prospects list. Tuesday will be Zink's major league debut.

More stats on the PAWSOX:

Pedroia's Road Hit Streak reaches 28 games

August 10, 2008. CHICAGO, IL. With slightly more than seven weeks still remaining, it’s already been a special season for Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia.

Last night, Pedroia extended his road hitting streak to 28 games. With a hit this afternoon, Pedroia can tie Hall-of-Famer Tris Speaker, who holds the franchise record with a 29-game streak in 1913.

The hit last night meant that Pedroia now has the second-longest road hitting streak for a second baseman since 1956. He eclipsed Luis Castillo (27 games in 2002) last night and now trails only Cleveland’s Johnny Temple (33 games in 1961).
Meanwhile, Pedroia’s 10th homer of the season Friday night made him only the sixth Red Sox second baseman in the last 57 years to reach double figures in homers in a season.
The others: Felix Mantilla (twice), Mike Andrews (twice), Mark Bellhorn, Ted Lepcio, and Todd Walker.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Limping Lowell

Mike Lowell is still being bothered by a hip flexor injury, though he won't blame the injury on his current slump. Lowell first injured his hip in late June, and he's batting just .163 with no homers over his last 19 games and had a cortisone shot on Monday. Lowell nor manager Terry Francona is blaming the slump on the injury, but it's clearly affecting him at the plate. Teammate Jason Varitek added, "Michael is playing in a lot of pain, too. I’m not going to make any excuses for him, but he is."

MY TAKE ON THIS: Can't contribute very much with this injury. Bad time to DL him, need a solid bat and a capable third baseman. Probably put Youk at third and Casey at first? With Papi's wrist hurting, we are playing on the edge.

Red Sox owner's hush-hush divorce

Posted: Friday August 08, 2008 08:29AM ET
The hush-hush divorce of Boston Red Sox owner John Henry is coming to a close. According to documents filed in a Palm Beach County court last week, the 58-year-old Henry and soon-to-be-ex-wife Peggy Sue Henry, 46, have reached a marital settlement agreement. Few details have leaked so far, including whether Henry's baseball team will be affected. The bookish Boca Raton-based commodities trader bought the team for $690 million in 2002 -- nearly 10 years after marrying Peggy Sue in Hawaii. The net worth of the Mr. Rogers-lookalike is believed to be in the $800 million range. No word on who's getting the 164-foot yacht.

Manny Wants to be a Yankee?

Posted: Saturday August 09, 2008 07:47AM ET
Having successfully orchestrated his divorce from Boston and his landing in with the Dodgers, Manny Ramirez would like to make life miserable for the Red Sox during the next few seasons. According to people who have spoken to the eccentric outfielder since he was dealt to L.A. on July 31, Ramirez wants to sign a free-agent deal with the Yankees this offseason and get 19 chances a year to punish Boston. "He wants to play for the Yankees so he can get at the Red Sox," a close friend of Ramirez's told The Post.

MY TAKE ON THIS: Great distraction for the Yankees. Only a few teams can afford him for a whole season. Boras doesn't care.... he's going to make millions off him where ever he goes. The only way he wouldn't stand to make money would to have had the Red Sox pick up Manny's option for the next two years.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Red Sox socked 5-3; Rays win; Yank's lose

August 8, 2008. CHICAGO, IL. The way Mark Buehrle had been pitching, this looked like a mismatch. It turned out to be just that, only with a twist his team welcomed.
Buehrle took a shutout into the eighth and the Chicago White Sox handed Jon Lester his first loss in 2 1/2 months, hanging on to beat the Boston Red Sox 5-3 Friday night.

The AL Central leaders saw the Buehrle of old and hung on after Dustin Pedroia hit a three-run homer off Octavio Dotel in the eighth. Carlos Quentin led off the bottom half with his AL-leading 31st homer off Manny Delcarmen and his second in as many games, while Bobby Jenks pitched a scoreless ninth for his 23rd save in 26 chances.

The Red Sox embarrassed the White Sox the last time they met, outscoring them 46-7 while taking four games at U.S. Cellular Field last Aug. 24-26. It was a different story this time.
Lester (10-4) suffered his first loss since May 25 after going 7-0 in his previous 11 starts. He allowed four runs and six hits in seven innings.

C.C. and Ziegler are both smoking!!

Two pitchers that we should be keeping an eye on are C.C. Sabathia, who is 6-0 with the Brewers and it looks like he might possibly help lead them into the playoffs and Brad Ziegler, a relief pitcher for the Oakland A's who has now thrown 37 consecutive scoreless innings to start his major league career.

Sabathia pitched a 5-hit complete game shutout against Washington, improving his record to 6-0 with his new club. He struck out nine and walked one, while lowering his ERA to 1.58. The Brewers are 5 games behind the Cubs, but are 3 1/2 games in front of the Mets for the wildcard sport.

Brad Ziegler closed out the game for the A's against the Tigers, pitching scoreless 8th and 9th innings, giving him a total of 37 consecutive scoreless innings, eclipsing Mike Torrez's A's record. Still quite a way from Hershiser's all time record of 59 innings. Quite amazing indeed because this is his first year in the big leagues and he has yet to allow a run. Let's see how far he can go.

INFO: The same Mike Torrez that gave up the HR to Bucky Dent in 1978. He was known for gopher balls, wasn't he. Who would have thought that Torrez would hold a record (A's) for consecutive scoreless innings pitched.

An Over-optimistic Joba Chamberlain

TAMPA, Fla. -- Joba Chamberlain plans to start a throwing program next week and expects to rejoin the New York Yankees' rotation this month. Chamberlain was placed on the 15-day disabled list Wednesday due to rotator cuff tendinitis in his pitching shoulder. The right-hander saw Dr. James Andrews on Wednesday, one day after an MRI on the rookie's ailing shoulder.

"I'll be throwing in a week. I'll probably throw the beginning of next week," Chamberlain said Friday when he arrived at the Yankees' spring training complex. "Everything feels fine now."
The 22-year-old was removed from Monday night's start against Texas in the fifth inning with stiffness in his shoulder. He never thought the problem was serious. "No. Not at all," Chamberlain said. "It would have been different if I wasn't still throwing 99 [mph]. It was a different feeling that I never had, so I just wanted to make sure.

MY TAKE ON THIS. Sounds like the kid is over-anxious and could further damage his arm, etc. . We play the Yankees on Aug 26-28 and it looks like he's shooting for that series. I don't know the severity of his injury, but if he was part of OUR kiddie-korps, he would be shutting it down for the remainder of the season. There has been quite a bit of pressure on this kid and he is trying very hard to succeed. Whatever role he plays...starter, set-up or eventually closer, he will be good. He has the makeup of a closer.

SCHILL: Keeping Manny could be a problem.

Interesting article on Boston.com. Read what Curt has to say on a number of issues regarding Manny, Boras, etc. Believe what you may. Sometimes Schill has too much to say at times, but he pretty much puts it on the line.

Giles Nixes Sox Deal; will stay with Padres

San Diego Padres right fielder Brian Giles officially exercised his veto power and blocked a waiver deal Friday that would have sent him to the Boston Red Sox. Giles, 37, was claimed on waivers by the Red Sox, and Boston and San Diego had 48 hours to make a deal. But the Red Sox are one of eight teams listed in the limited no-trade provision in his contract, and Giles had the right to veto the deal.
It is not unusual for older players such as Giles to turn down such deals. Among the issues that came up was location -- Giles, who grew up in San Diego, did not want to leave family behind -- and there was the concern about playing time with the Red Sox. The Red Sox and Padres had been hopeful that a deal could be worked out -- Boston wanted Giles because of the offensive depth he would provide, and San Diego could have saved at least $6 million if the All-Star right fielder had accepted the move.

The deadline for a deal to be worked out was 1:30 p.m. ET Friday.
Giles is hitting .296 with a .391 on-base percentage, 61 walks and 44 strikeouts this season.

Selig's Investigation.

This Bud's for you!! Don't really know where this thing is going to lead. We all pretty much know the circumstances leading to his departure. Let's review it for a second:

Here's why Selig's office is looking into the matter: The Red Sox had an option to retain Ramírez in 2009 for $20 million. They had the same option for 2010. Ramírez, who will turn 37 next season, wanted to be a free agent at the end of this season. His agent wanted the same thing. Boras inherited Ramírez's old contract and stood to earn nothing until Manny signed a new one. It was in the interest of the player and the agent to have the options dropped. Manny's only leverage was withholding services and playing at half speed. So that's what he did. Sitting out games against Seattle and the Yankees, jogging down the first base line (and maybe even looking at those three strikes against Mariano Rivera), he sent the message that he wanted out. He made sure the Sox knew he could not be trusted to play hard if they kept him until the end of the season with the options intact.

MY TAKE ON THIS. Manny played dirty pool with us and tanked it occasionally. So, if they determine that he did indeed do all this stuff, what can they do?Obviously, they can not suspend him and stick it to the Dodgers. They can't send him back to the Red Sox. However, they can fine him some ridicuously low amount...$25,000, which would mean nothing to him. Or they can suspend him for the first 60 games of 2009. He's going to be a free agent and this will definitely effect his negotiations. Steinbrenner can afford it. Probably where he will end up....3 years, $90 million? What would Jeter and ARob think of that?

What's fair is fair. Actually they should impose sanctions on Boras. This is a very touchy situation because we have a number of players under Boras.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Worst seats in baseball

Shea Stadium, New York Mets. That has got to be the worst seat in all of baseball. In the loge boxes at Shea Stadium, the foul pole is actually IN the Loge Boxes.
Mind you, that seat comes with a built-in object a Mets fan can bang his head against when the Mets blow the NL East lead. So it’s not all bad. Wanna know why they’re tearing the crap-hole known as Shea down? There’s one reason. Is it the same in left field? If so, there’s two reasons.

If you want to check out some of the worst seats in baseball, go to http://homerderby.com/archives/2382

Rays acquire Chad Bradford.

The Tampa Bay Rays acquired right-handed reliever Chad Bradford from the Baltimore Orioles today to bolster their bullpen for the pennat chase. Bradford, a submariner, has pitched for five teams in his career, including the Red Sox in 2005.

Bradford has had a solid season this season, with a 2.45 ERA, but opposing hitters are batting .279 against him (considerably higher than his career-worst of .260). The Rays claimed him off waivers and then acquired him from the Orioles for the proverbial “player to be named later”.

Bradford was very attractive to teams fighting for the post-season in large part because he has pitched more playoff innings without allowing a run than any active relief pitcher in baseball — he has a 0.00 ERA in 17 playoff games spanning 15 1/3 innings.

A Manny Moment

Manny Ramirez had another Monster moment against the Orioles, climbing into the wall to sip on a sports drink during a pitching change in the seventh inning. When he was done, Ramirez tipped his cap to the Fenway faithful.
During a sixth-inning pitching change in a game against the Twins, Manny Ramirez climbed into the Green Monster and could be seen talking on a cell phone as Javier Lopez entered for Josh Beckett.

Manny Manny Manny - Investigation!!

LOS ANGELES - Manny Mania is all the rage in Southern California. Manny Ramírez is crushing the ball. He says he wants to finish his career in California. The Dodgers are getting ready to market Manny caps complete with dreadlocks. The local media love Manny. Agent Scott Boras is smiling. It's enough to make a Red Sox fan's blood boil.

Manny is hitting .565 (13 for 23) with four home runs and nine RBIs in six games since being traded by the Red Sox. He initially said he was going to cut his hair, but that seems unlikely now. When the Dodgers return home next week, fans will be able to purchase brown and/or blue dreadlocks from stadium stores. The team will also sell blue skull caps and Dodger caps with sewn-in dreads. It's the Full Manny. "He's kind of brought a new life to our team," Dodgers catcher Russell Martin told the Los Angeles Times. "Everybody on the bench is looser and having more fun

ESPN's Jim Rome? Reporting "live from Los Angeles," Rome said Man-Ram coming to SoCal might be the happiest moment of his life, other than his wedding day and when his children were born. The network's poll of memorable images from the past week put Manny's opening press conference photo at No. 1 - ahead of all the Brett Favre stuff.

Feeling a little duped, Red Sox Nation? Still wondering if this whole thing was on the level?
You are not alone. The commissioner's office is investigating the circumstances of Manny's final hours with the Red Sox. The Globe has learned (from a source with direct knowledge of the inquiry) that Bud Selig directed Major League Baseball executive vice president Rob Manfred to contact all parties for an explanation of how things unfolded around last week's trading deadline. According to the source, Manfred has yet to report back to the commissioner.

Here's why Selig's office is looking into the matter:
The Red Sox had an option to retain Ramírez in 2009 for $20 million. They had the same option for 2010. Ramírez, who will turn 37 next season, wanted to be a free agent at the end of this season. His agent wanted the same thing. Boras inherited Ramírez's old contract and stood to earn nothing until Manny signed a new one. It was in the interest of the player and the agent to have the options dropped.

Manny's only leverage was withholding services and playing at half speed. So that's what he did. Sitting out games against Seattle and the Yankees, jogging down the first base line (and maybe even looking at those three strikes against Mariano Rivera), he sent the message that he wanted out. He made sure the Sox knew he could not be trusted to play hard if they kept him until the end of the season with the options intact.

MY TAKE ON THIS: This Bud's for you!! I don't care what Manny is doing in LA. They probably might not even make the playoffs. Mud in your face. Manny pulled this garbage all the time and everybody was tired of it. He was the one bringing the whole team and franchise down. He wanted to hold us hostage and he did. Luckily and fortunately for us, he shot his way out of town, but I do believe that he has shot himself in the foot. Every week, we had several issues with the man with the ugly hair. He will come down to earth. The guy has some kind of mental affliction and he is not seeking psychiatric treatment, so it's a matter of time before he goes bananas again. Perhaps when the Dodgers get eliminated from the race, he'll come up with one of his patented 'Manny being Manny' phony injuries and then we all can say together...."we told you so."

Red Sox attempting to acquire Brian Giles

The Boston Red Sox have placed a waiver claim on San Diego right fielder Brian Giles, and are negotiating to acquire the 14-year veteran from the Padres. Giles, 37, is hitting .296 with a .391 on-base percentage, 61 walks and 44 strikeouts this season.

Boston's interest in Giles might be spurred by concern about the health of third baseman Mike Lowell, who is battling a sore hip, and designated hitter David Ortiz, who has spent time on the disabled list resting a torn tendon sheath in his left wrist. Giles is earning $9 million this year, and his contract with the Padres has a club option for $9 million for 2009 that would climb to $11 million in the event he is traded.

Giles has a limited no-trade clause, and Boston is among the teams to which he cannot be traded without his permission. Joe Bick, his agent, declined to discuss the situation

NBA Champions open against Cavs Oct 28

New York.... Greg Oden's debut and the Boston Celtics banner raising ceremony will highlight the opening day of the 2008-09 National Basketball Association season, the league announced Wednesday.

There are also five games scheduled for Christmas day and an all star game February 15 in Phoenix. The Celtics will unveil their 17th championship banner in an October 28 game against LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers. Boston defeated the Cavaliers in a seven-game quarter-final series last year. Also on October 28, the Los Angeles Lakers, who lost to the Celtics in the Finals, host the Portland Trail Blazers in what is expected to be Oden's NBA debut. The first overall pick in 2007 missed his rookie season after undergoing knee surgery.

Christmas will feature five games, highlighted by the Celtics visiting the Lakers.
The Christmas festivities begin when the Orlando Magic host the New Orleans Hornets.
The first full slate of games take place on October 29, headlined by the league's return to Oklahoma City, when the former Seattle franchise welcomes the Milwaukee Bucks to the Ford Center.

Royals Knuckle under to Sox 8-2

AUGUST 6, 2008. Kansas City, MO. Wakefield's floating, tantalizing signature pitch shut down the Royals on four hits through six crisp innings. Jacoby Ellsbury hit a three-run homer and also turned in a great outfield catch to spur an 8-2 victory that made the Red Sox 6-1 in their seven-game season series against Kansas City.

"It's happened before," said the 42-year-old right-hander (7-8), who had six strikeouts and no walks. "When I faced the Braves in '92, Bruce Dal Canton threw knuckleballs to the guys in batting practice." Jed Lowrie and J.D. Drew drove in two runs apiece for the Red Sox, whose only negative note on the night was the bruised and swollen right hand of first baseman Kevin Youkilis Luke Hochevar (6-10) hit Youkilis with a pitch in the first inning, loading the bases. After trainers inspected the hand, Youkilis stayed in to run, but left the game when he was doubled off first to end the inning.

"It hurts like hell still," he said. "It's swollen and bruised up."
Youkilis said he hoped to play in Chicago on Friday after an off day on Thursday.
"If I feel good, I'll play," he said. "Bottom line." Wakefield threw knuckleballs almost exclusively, tossing practically each delivery toward the plate in the 63 mph range while winning for the first time in four starts.

Ellsbury, who appears to be breaking out of a prolonged slump, was 3-for-4 with two runs and the three-run homer off left-handed Ron Mahay. He also made a diving, tumbling head-over-heels catch of Mitch Maier's popup into shallow center after Ross Gload's two-run double shaved the lead to 3-2 in the fifth.

"Unbelievable," said Wakefield. "That was a key catch to get the two outs with a runner on second. The homer wasn't bad either." If Ellsbury lets the ball fall, the Royals have two in, runners at first and third and only one out. "I got a great read on the ball," he said. "I was running in. I wasn't sure I could get to it. I dove for the ball. I'll take a great catch any day. But a three-run homer to center, I'll take that, too. The home run was pretty neat."

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Player News

AUGUST 6, 2008. Kevin Youkilis-1B- Red Sox
Kevin Youkilis left Wednesday's game after one inning because of a right hand contusion.
Youkilis was hit by a Luke Hochevar pitch. He stayed in to run, but Sean Casey replaced him on defense. Youkilis is day-to-day.

Joba Chamberlain-R- Yankees The Yankees said Joba Chamberlain was diagnosed with rotator cuff tendinitis and that he's been told to rest his arm for a week. The smart move for the Yankees would be to try to get by without Joba for the rest of the month and bring him back when rosters expand. They'll definitely be careful with such a big piece of their future.

Jason Isringhausen-R- Cardinals The Cardinals said they're going to a closer-by-committee following Jason Isringhausen's poor outing on Tuesday. Izzy still hasn't blown a save since returning from the disabled list, but neither has he done anything to inspire much confidence. The Cards could go back to giving save opportunities to Ryan Franklin for now, and they still haven't ruled out bringing Adam Wainwright back as a closer.

Chris Britton-R- Yankees Yankees recalled RHP Chris Britton from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Britton has a 3.38 ERA in 10 2/3 innings for the Yankees this season. He'll get another chance to pitch in middle relief.

Brian Giles-OF- Padres Brian Giles has been claimed off revocable waivers, according to FOXSports.com's Ken Rosenthal. Giles and dozens of other players, but this one qualifies as news for some reason. It's highly unlikely that Giles will be traded. The Padres intend to pick up his option and keep him for 2009.

Tim Lincecum-S- Giants Tim Lincecum allowed just two runs in eight innings to lead the Giants past the Braves on Wednesday afternoon. Lincecum allowed just five hits while striking out eight, although he did issue four walks on the afternoon. Still, he picked up his first win since July 13 and lowered his ERA to 2.68 on the season. He'll pitch in Houston in his next outing.

Eric Chavez-3B- Athletics thletics transferred third baseman Eric Chavez from the 15-day to the 60-day disabled list. Chavez is out for the season after surgery on his right shoulder.

Jeff Karstens-S- Pirates Jeff Karstens took a perfect game into the eighth inning and complete a two-hit shutout to defeat the Diamondbacks on Wednesday. Karstens, who gave up 18 earned runs in 14 2/3 innings for the Yankees last year, is unscored upon in 15 innings for the Pirates. The fast start practically guarantees that he'll remain in the rotation for the rest of the season, but it barely alters his long-term outlook. The poor man's Bronson Arroyo shouldn't last as more than a fifth starter or be a particularly good one of those.

Joba Chamberlain goes to DL

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Joba Chamberlain has been placed on the 15-day disabled list by the New York Yankees, who have not yet revealed the extent of his injured pitching shoulder.

Yankees manager Joe Girardi said before Wednesday night's game against Texas that he had no updates regarding Chamberlain's examination by noted orthopedic surgeon Dr. James Andrews in Alabama. Chamberlain was sent to see Andrews after undergoing an MRI on his ailing right shoulder Tuesday. The 22-year-old right-hander was removed from Monday night's start against the Rangers in the fifth inning with stiffness in his shoulder.
Ian Kennedy was set to take Chamberlain's turn in the rotation and start Saturday against the Los Angeles Angels, the New YMork Daily News reported.

MY TAKE ON THIS. Looks like Chamberlain will eventually be relegated to the bullpen and middle relief until Mariano goes. However, I think that he will be shut down for the season and any ideas to use him would be senseless. I don't think that Yankees are going anywhere, especially with another arm biting the dust. They had him in middle relief, but got greedy. Lesson Learned? Yankees just plain out SUCK. Take that!!!

The John Hancock Building

I was never aware of the following information regarding the color lights on the John Hancock Building in Boston.

The Berkeley Building (also known as the Old John Hancock Building) is a 26-story, 495-foot (151 m) structure located at 200 Berkeley Street, Boston, Massachusetts. It is the second of the three John Hancock buildings built in Boston; it was succeeded by the John Hancock Tower. The building is well-known for the weather beacon at its summit, which broadcasts different light patterns as weather forecasts. The Berkeley Building is currently the 18th-tallest building in the city.

The older and shorter of the two John Hancock buildings uses red and blue lights in its beacon to give a local three-hour weather forecast.

Flashing bIt is topped by a weather beacon with red and blue lights, which use a code to present the local weather forecast, using a popular rhyme as a mnemonic:
Steady blue, clear view.
Flashing blue, clouds due.
Steady red, rain ahead.
Flashing red, snow instead.

During baseball season, flashing red means the Boston Red Sox game has been called off on account of weather.


The beacon was first lit on March 15th 1950 and was controlled using forecasts from a meteorological agency located on the 26th floor. It was kept lit until 1973 when it was shut off to set an example during an energy crisis which also temporarily shut off the famed Kenmore Square Citgo sign. The beacon was re-lit in 1983 and has continued to display the weather forecast ever since.

In October 2004, the beacon flashed red and blue to commemorate the Boston Red Sox World Series victory. This was the first time the color scheme changed since the beacon was lit in 1950. A new line was added to the poem accordingly:
Flashing Blue and Red, when The Curse of the Bambino is dead!
The beacon again flashed red and blue when the Red Sox won the 2007 World Series. Blue and red, the Curse is dead!

This Day in Red Sox History

August 9 1960: Ted Williams hits home run #511 to tie Mel Ott for fourth place on the all-time list.

August 8 1914: Tris Speaker makes an unassisted double play, the second time he has done so in the season. That's a record for an outfielder.

August 7 1988: Bruce Hurst becomes the 26th Red Sox pitcher to throw a complete-game, extra-inning shutout, with a 3-0, 10 inning win over Detroit.

August 6 2001: Scott Hatteberg hits into a triple play in the fourth inning against Texas, and then hits a grand slam in the sixth, as the Sox go on to win 10-7.

August 5 1947: Bernie Carbo is born in Detroit, Michigan.

August 4 1962: Roger Clemens is born in Dayton, Ohio.

August 3 1980: LHP Tom Burgmeier moves to left field with two outs in the ninth, as RHP Skip Lockwood comes in to retire the final batter in a 6-4 Sox win.

August 2 1940: Joe Cronin hits for the cycle in a game at Detroit. The Red Sox win 12-9.

August 1 1962: Bill Monbouquette pitches a no-hitter to beat the White Sox 1-0 in Chicago.

Joba Chamberlain out for year?

ARLINGTON, Texas - New York Yankees pitcher Joba Chamberlain will be examined by noted orthopedic surgeon James Andrews today after undergoing an MRI on his ailing right shoulder.
Chamberlain returned to New York for tests on his shoulder yesterday. The team said before its game against the Texas Rangers last night that it would not reveal the results of the MRI exam until Chamberlain is seen by Andrews in Birmingham, Ala.

“He’ll take his test results with him,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. “Until I hear from Dr. Andrews, that’s all I’ve got.” Chamberlain was removed from Monday night’s start against the Rangers in the fifth inning with what the club announced was a stiff right shoulder.
Yesterday, Chamberlain flew back to New York and underwent a series of tests, including an MRI, at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital in Manhattan.

The Yankees already are without No. 1 starter Chien-Ming Wang and right-hander Phil Hughes. Subtracting Chamberlain from the rotation would be a huge blow to the team’s postseason chances.
“I think we’re all hopeful,” Girardi said. “I hope we don’t miss him for very long. “But you think of a guy of Joba’s caliber and you know he’s going to miss a start; that doesn’t mean the guy who replaces him can’t pitch well.” Girardi said the 22-year-old right-hander probably would miss his next turn in the rotation. Anything longer would be a setback for the injury-riddled Yankees pitching staff. “I envision him not making his next start,” Girardi said. “Beyond that, I can’t say.”

Girardi said his options for replacing Chamberlain include moving right-hander Darrell Rasner back into the rotation or recalling a pitcher from Triple-A Scranton. Girardi said the Yankees will be cautious with Chamberlain, even though the team is in a close playoff race.

Ellsbury back on track

August 5. KANSAS CITY, MO. Jacoby Ellsbury entered last night’s game against the Royals having gone 34 days without a stolen base. Even with the extended drought, he began the day tied with Seattle’s Ichiro Suzuki for the American League lead in steals with 35, and he picked the perfect time to add to his total. Ellsbury was 2-for-4 with two stolen bases in the Sox’ 8-2 rout. He swiped second base twice, once after a leadoff single in the fifth inning and again after an RBI single in the sixth.

“He got in a situation where he could use his legs,” manager Terry Francona said.
With 37 swipes, Ellsbury is in sole possession of ninth place on the club’s single-season steals list. It was his 23rd multihit game of the season and first since July 27 against the Yankees.
Lowell returns

Bay and Beckett get Royal win for Sox 8-2

August 5, 2008. KANSAS CITY, CA. Jason Bay narrowly missed out on a home run against Kansas City on Tuesday night. He was fine with a four-hit night and a Boston win, though.
Bay drove in two runs and scored twice, and Josh Beckett pitched effectively into the seventh inning to lead the Red Sox to an 8-2 victory over the Royals. Jason Bay went 4-for-5 with two RBIs and two runs. He is now 9-for-21 (.429) with six RBIs and eight runs in five games since joining the Red Sox.

The Red Sox sent 13 men to the plate in the sixth and seventh innings and scored five runs -- two unearned because of two errors by third baseman Alex Gordon. One of the runs scored on a double by Bay that glanced off the glove of center fielder Mitch Maier, who leapt at the fence. The ball rolled several feet on the top of the wall before left fielder Ross Gload came over and knocked it backed into the field. "The center fielder almost caught it, so we'll take what we can get," Bay said. "I'm not going to look a gift horse in the mouth. That's one of the most interesting plays I think you'll ever see. "While I was running to second, I watched the whole thing transpire. It was kind of weird because everything is happening that fast, all at once. You can't really tell what's going on and you're just waiting for it to end to really take a look. The ball rolled on the wall for 10 feet and he came in and pulled down the offensive board. It was even more amazing to see it on the replay."

"The biggest thing is you look around and nobody is counting on you to be that guy," Bay said. "You're just a complementary piece of that puzzle. Since I've been here, I've had two guys on base every second or third time I get up there. That's a testament to the lineup.
"Just coming over here, I'm trying to be comfortable and trying not to do too much. I think that's probably helped simplify it. Obviously some success early helps you relax a little bit."

Important Info

Hi People. I have been unable to update this blog the past week because we have been selling our merchandise (sorry, not baseball related... got to make a living) in Oregon for several weeks at county fairs and my internet connections have been extremely poor. Will be trying to post more info soon, but we return home on Sunday, August 10 and try to catch up on things. I am relieved that the Red Sox got rid of Manny and acquired a great ballplayer in Jason Bay. The kid has lit a fire