Sunday, February 28, 2010

Jacoby In Left Is A GOOD Thing

Hello on this sad (for some) Sunday morning, the last day (already?) of February. Chile is devastated despite their strict building code. They're used to earthquakes. They live on a fault line, a crack deep inside the earth. But an 8.8 quake is an 8.8, 1000 times more powerful than the devastating earthquake in Haiti. I wish them the best. My God, two major earthquakes in six weeks. Now, less important stuff...

Jacoby Ellsbury will be just fine playing left field for the Sox. His manager, Terry Francona, said this...

"Nobody’s going to be able to score on Jacoby in left field. He’s quick. If you’re quick to the ball here (Fenway), you can’t send base runners. You just have to get it in the air. He’s fast enough to get back to the Wall and for short balls, he’s going to cut balls off coming in; and for groundballs through the hole, he’s going to get to and get it in the air. We’ve actually altered our cutoffs and relays. Jacoby will be a Carl Crawford,” Francona said. “That’s the best example - Tampa Bay center fielder B.J. Upton and left fielder Crawford - you hit a ball and you think you have a rally and you’re out."

OUT! I'll say it again...OUT!!!! We'll see a lot of them this year when the opposing teams hit the baseball to the new and improved Boston Red Sox outfield. I wish Boston would enable Jacoby to practice his left field skills with a Green Monster down in Florida but that might be too much to ask. It doesn't matter. With his throwing arm, left field is a perfect fit. Remember, he catches the ball with his gloved RIGHT hand. In left, that's ideal, especially with Cameron in center.

Have a great Sunday. My heart goes out to those in Chile and I hope the aftershocks have ended. But there are people under the rubble. God bless them, please. As always, BE WELL.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

OKIE DOKIE...Horrible Chile Quake

One of the best acquisitions the Boston Red Sox have ever landed is their premiere lefty, a guy who comes out of the bullpen, Hideki Okajima, Okie for short. I call him THE DARKMAN. I know that nickname came from me but, as he said more than a couple years ago, he will always be in the shadow of teammate Daisuke Matsuzaka. Let me put it this way...his light shines brighter than the sun. He is one of the best lefthanded relievers in all of Major League Baseball. For the last three seasons with the Red Sox, he has had 66 appearances and given up only 155 hits over 192 innings. Okajima allowed only 16 percent of inherited runners to score last season, the third-best mark in the American League. Opponents hit .138 against him with two outs and runners in scoring position. Sox manager Terry "Tito" Francona put it this way...

“He’s been so good. I would have never been able to tell you his first year here that he would be able to handle the responsibility,’’ manager Terry Francona said. “Now we want him to have the ball, sometimes too much.’ His command is flawless with a delivery that you wouldn’t teach people. But somehow that ball goes right where he wants it to.’’

Okie has a unique delivery that makes it almost impossible for opposing batters to pick up the exact moment when he throws the baseball to the plate. At the last moment, he directs his gaze downwards. The hitter he is facing is somewhat helpless unless they guess correctly, in which case anything could happen. It usually does not. Have a great season, Darkman!

There was a horrible earthquake in Chile just a couple of hours ago, a shake 1000 TIMES more powerful than the one in Haiti. Tsunamis are occuring and will occur as I type this at 6:19am EST. Here is the latest from the Associated Press...

"SANTIAGO, Chile – A massive 8.8-magnitude earthquake struck Chile early Saturday, collapsing buildings, killing at least 16 people and downing phone lines. President Michele Bachelet declared a "state of catastrophe" in central Chile and said the death toll was rising.
Tsunami warnings were issued over a wide area, including Chile, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Panama, Costa Rica, Antarctica and Australia.
"We have had a huge earthquake, with some aftershocks," Bachelet said, appealing from an emergency response center for Chileans to remain calm. "Despite this, the system is functioning. People should remain calm. We're doing everything we can with all the forces we have. Any information we will share immediately."

There are no words I can say. Have a safe weekend and as always, be well. Click on the title of this post for the latest from the BBC. Thanks.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Do The Red Sox Have Enough BOP?

The Boston Globe's Dan Shaughnessy wrote an interesting piece that was published in today's newspaper. His subject was the 2010 Boston Red Sox offense, or lack there of. I've received various comments in the recent past about exactly that. The sportswriters have chipped in, too. Oh, no, we've lost Jason Bay. Woe is us. Big Papi doesn't "have it" anymore. Oh, the humanity! I say BAH HUMBUG. Kevin Youkilis seems to feel the same way about these preseason predictions, if that's what you want to call them...

“Predictions are predictions. You’ve just got to go out and play your game and you can’t really worry about it."

So take that! Here's Pedey Pedroia and then I'll type a few thoughts of my very own. I almost always do. You know that. Here's Pedey...

“We’ll be fine,’’ said Pedroia. “We’ve got a lot of good offensive players. I don’t think anybody can judge our offense until we get out there and start playing. I don’t even know what our lineup’s going to be, but wherever we’re at, we’re going to hit. We were third in the league in offense last year and we only had Victor (Martinez) for half the year. I know we lost Jason Bay, but everyone’s going to have to pick up the slack and we’re confident we’re going to do that. We’re going to have guys that grind out at-bats and work the counts,’’ said Pedroia. “That’s been our strength for a long time."

I agree with Pedey in every way. Our hitters will make the opposing teams' pitchers wear themselves out after five innings, unless, of course, someone is spinning a beauty. Our starting rotation will spin more than a few of 'em too. The hitting? Look at the post just below this one as I go hitter by hitter, in approximate order. Jacoby Ellsbury will improve his on base numbers every year. He has lightning speed. Pedey Pedroia, who I would like to see in the two spot, makes solid contact as well as anyone in Major League Baseball. V-Mart and that's offense, as are the next two hitters, JD Drew and the hopefully much improved Big Papi David Ortiz. That's the top six. Cameron, Beltran and Scutaro will round out the potent enough lineup. Don't worry about the Boston Red Sox offense. That's all I can say. If the pitchers, every one of them, stay healthy, the Sox will be at or near the top and will be playing deep into late October. I've got a feeling about this team. I really do.

You can click on this post's title for all the Winter Olympics coverage from SI dot com. The USA is doing just fine, thank you. Have a great Friday as rain might change to snow here in north central Connecticut. What a weird storm. Right now it's moving east to west. Hey, for a low pressure system, that's backwards! What is falling as snow in Phillie and New Jersey is rain here. To the west of me, parts of eastern New York State have approached 3-4 FEET! Wow. Holy you-know-what.

Hey, as always, BE WELL. Click on that title if you wish. Your comments are always welcome and always answered. See ya.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Marco Scutaro...Starting Boston Shortstop

The man who will start at shortstop for the 2010 Boston Red Sox is happy to be here. Very happy, in fact. He knows he'll be playing the majority of Boston's 162 games and the Sox know he'll be a vast upgrade at the plate and more than capable defensively. In the past, he's had to work his way into the lineup. Not now. He said this from Florida (thank you Boston Herald)...

“Pretty much every year I had to probably make the team or something like that,” Scutaro said after arriving yesterday. “This year it’s a little bit different. I know I’m going to be there every day. It makes it easier for you. I just wanted to come here (Boston) because we had a chance to win. That’s what it’s all about. As a player, you want to win. That’s why you prepare the whole year.”

I personally have never seen him play and I'm looking forward to it. He'll probably bat in the 8th or 9th position of the order. Hey Marco, have a great season. Match your 2009 numbers.

In other news from spring training down in Ft. Myers, Florida, Jonathon Papelbon cut back his workout a couple days ago because of slight back pain. He has been troubled by his back in the past, most recently last year. He's feeling better and he will pitch batting practice today. The club is being cautious with everyone because it's early in the preseason.

Lastly, there has been talk that second baseman Dustin "Pedey" Pedroia will bat fifth in the Sox order...maybe. This is what the lineup will probably look like should he move from second to fifth (thanks, Boston Herald once again)...

1. - CF Jacoby Ellsbury (1)
2. - SS Marco Scutaro (9)
3. - C Victor Martinez (3)
4. - 1B Kevin Youkilis (4)
5. - 2B Dustin Pedroia (2)
6. - DH David Ortiz (6)
7. - CF Mike Cameron (7)
8. - RF J.D. Drew (5)
9. - 3B Adrian Beltre (8)

I don't know if I like the change. I'd rather see him bat second behind Ellsbury and move Scutaro to ninth. You can see that proposed batting order to the right of the player's names, in parenthesis. But there's one thing I DO like. The 2010 Boston Red Sox look solid, top to bottom. With their pitching prowess, all I can say is this...WOW!

It's a wet Thursday and Friday coming up for us here in north central Connecticut. If you go about 40 miles west and/or southwest, the upcoming snow will be measured in FEET. This has been a really weird winter for us. You can click on this post's title for all of the latest Winter Olympics news. Boy, the US men's hockey team looked great yesterday when they prevailed over the Swiss team 2-1. The UCONN national champion women's basketball team won it's 67th straight game, all by double digits. They whupped Syracuse IN Syracuse by a score of 87-66 up in the Carrier Dome. It was a physical game but junior Maya Moore proved exactly why she's the best player in the country by scoring 38 (!) points and grabbing 20 (!!) rebounds. They are amazing and only need three more wins to tie their own record of 70 straight conquests, all by ten or more points. They'll do it, too.

I'll see you...soon. As always, BE WELL. Stay safe. Be happy.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Mike Lowell Wants To Play...Every Day

Mike Lowell, the Boston Red Sox (ex?) third baseman who is recovering from thumb surgery, met with the media yesterday down in Ft. Myers. He had much to say and I thank the Boston Globe's EXTRA BASES for bringing it to my attention. Mike's off season thumb surgery was successful but he still is hobbled by his hip when he runs. All in all, he's in much better shape than he was last year and that's a good thing. Why? The Red Sox will be forced to trade him to another ball cub. You see, he wants to play every day and there is no room for him in the Boston infield. Beltran and Youkilis will be taking care of the infield corners. Big Papi will again be our DH. If Mikey stayed, he would be spending major time warming the bench, something he simply does not want to do. I can't say as I blame him, not one bit. Here he is...

“I think if I was on the trading block before, I can’t imagine that all of a sudden I’m not now."

You are, Mike. It's what YOU want and it's what the club needs to do. As for the fans, he made his feelings perfectly clear...

"I love the fans," he said, saying he has his wife check out what people say on web sites about him. "She says, 'You know how many people are really on your side in all of this? But I don't want to discount the fact that I feel like I've had tremendous support. and I think the fans appreciate the way I played the last four years in Boston. I think they appreciate someone who comes to play every day. I think I showed that I played hurt. That's a good feeling when you have the fans on your side."

We're on your side because we love ya, Mikey. Here's GM Theo Epstein with his summation of the entire enchilada, the whole kitten kaboodle...

“Mike’s intelligent, so he knows the situation,’’ Epstein said. “He knows that coming off last season if we felt like he physically could go out and do the job and be our every-day third baseman that we wouldn’t have made these moves. But we felt like, taking a look at all the factors, that it was something that we had to do for the sake of the team, so we did. The team always comes first. Now trying to put myself in Mike’s shoes, yeah, it’s a tough situation for him, someone who’s always been an every-day player his whole career. But things have changed. We had to take a look at all the factors, the physical capabilities at this point for him to go out and do a job every day and do what’s right for this team. That’s all we did, and he understands that."

Unfotunately, Theo's words make all the sense in the world to me. It's no secret...I love Mikey and cannot imagine the Boston Red Sox without him manning the hot corner and smashing line drives off the Green Monster as only "Mr. Doubles" can do. But what's done is done. Barring a sudden injury (God forbid) to Youk or Beltran, there simply isn't any place for Mike to play on a regular basis. And that's EXACTLY what he wants. I'll miss him but it's all too clear that he'll be gone by the start of the season. Good health, good luck and best wishes to you, Mike Lowell. You gave us SO very much. Thanks.

That's a wrap for this inclement Wednesday. Connecticut is a small state. I, here in north central Connecticut, received a slushy inch of the white stuff, if that. But if one travels 30 (that's it!!) miles to the north and west, you'd encounter about a foot of heavy and wet snow. That's the type of snow that is dangerous to shovel because it's so full of water.

You can click on this post's title for all the Olympic coverage you'd ever need from SI dot com. Thanks for stopping in and as always, BE WELL.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Big Papi David Ortiz Speaks From Florida

David Ortiz, a player who the Boston Red Sox are severely counting on to add punch to their 2010 offense, has spoken out from Ft. Myers, Florida. People who have seen him there have noticed that he has lost about ten pounds (it's hard to tell...he's a BIG guy) and he's in better shape. If all the aches and pains from last year are behind him, there should be NO slow start for his 2010 season. It's vital that he remain an offensive rock capable of sometimes carrying the club. He loves his team. Here, he speaks about just that...

“This is a game that has a lot of opportunities,” he said. “This is a ballclub that I carry with me as long as I’ve been here, and I keep on telling you media guys that I would like to see my career over on this ballclub. I’m going to be the same guy. I might get stronger, I might try to stay away from injuries. I ain’t going to look any different."

I hope Papi spends the rest of his playing days right here in Boston, too. Here he speaks of his slow 2009 start, a time when so many people surmised that he was past his prime. Guess what. He wasn't...

“I just turned the page and put that in the past. This is a new season. I just put that behind me. I think people gave up on me too early too fast, started talking about age and all that kind of stuff,” he said. “You listen to it for a minute. It was the same people that were clapping for you a year before and saying good things about you. Their minds changed that quick? I don’t believe in that. It seems a lot of times like there’s a lot of negativity floating around,” he said. “It’s a situation I guess that’s where people make their money out of it. That’s too bad."

I have faith in the newly (sort of, I think, I guess, hmm) remodeled Big Papi David Ortiz. Remember, if he has an outstanding 2010 offensive season with the pitching staff the Boston Red Sox have, the sky's the limit for them. I expect the sky. I expect Boston to play deep into October. I expect them to eliminate the NY Yankees. I expect a World Series appearance. I expect a lot. It's called faith, faith in my team. Faith, hope and dreams. I thrive on those three things. I really do.

That's it for this snowy early morning Tuesday. The weather forecast calls for snow, some light and some heavy, through FRIDAY. That's perfectly fine with me, as long as we don't lose power. You see, it'll be a heavy wet snow, the kind of white stuff that sticks to trees and power lines. Luckily, I live where the power lines are underground. My kitchen is fully stocked with all the essentials. I drive an all wheel drive car which is great in the snow but I ask you this...why go out if one doesn't have to?

You can click on this post's title for all the lastest Winter Olympics news from SI dot com. The USA will play for the gold medal in women's hockey tomorrow against our northern neighbors, Canada. I can't wait. As always, BE WELL. See you soon. Bet on it.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Beckett On Boston

The quotes in this post and the subject matter itself were gleaned from Dan Shaughnessy's Boston Globe article today. I thank him. Now, let's talk about Boston Red Sox ace Josh Beckett, who unless the Sox do something, will test the free agent waters after the 2010 season. THAT CANNOT HAPPEN. Beckett has seen what other premium starting pitchers (Sabathia, Lackey and more) are being paid for their services. At $30 million for his three year contract extension, right now he's a Boston bargain. John Henry must shell up the dinero to keep him on this always contending club for the NEXT three years. Here's Josh on the subject...

“That stuff is going to work itself out and I’m really not too concerned with it and I don’t really have anything to say about contract stuff,’’ he started. “I really don’t have anything to say right now. I don’t think I’ll have anything to say at all during spring training. I don’t want that to be the focus on what I’m trying to do."

Knowing Josh the way I do, he will focus on pitching his team into the post season. I just know it. And how does Beckett enjoy playing in the city some call the "hub of the universe?"

"It’s a blast. Playing in Boston is fun. You’ve got 50,000 people plus another 2 million watching you every night whether you’re pitching or not. That’s fun. There’s not too many places like that."

As every pitcher does, he has his four or five bad starts every year but the others, most of 'em, are things of beauty and dominance over the contending club. The Boston Red Sox would not be the Boston Red Sox without Josh Beckett toeing the rubber EVERY FIVE DAYS. We need you, Mr. Beckett. Josh, I know from Dan Shaughnessy's piece that Theo Epstein called you after the eighty plus million dollar signing of John Lackey. He'll be great, tremendous in fact, but NOBODY can take your place. Stay with the Boston Red Sox. Please. WE NEED YOU.

The Winter Olympics have been simply fantastic. Click on this post's title for Sports illustrated dot com's unique and terrific coverage of all the weekend events and medals. A piece of heaven on Earth from me to you. Enjoy and as always, BE WELL. See you tomorrow.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Timmy Wakefield Wants IN!

When I say in, as the title says, I mean into the rotation as the number four or five guy. I agree with him 100%, 200% if that was possible. He's been with the team longer than anyone and does whatever he can to help the Boston Red Sox. The Sox without Wakes wouldn't BE the Sox. Period. Here's the man himself, freshly off back surgery. His disc problem crippled him last season. He tried to go out there but with a sciatic nerve being pinched by a bulging disc (I've been there before), one of his legs was useless. Helpless. Crippled.

“It was a hard winter for me, going to therapy five days a week, but my therapist in Florida did a great job getting me back to normalcy,” he said. “Being on the field today for the first time everything feels good. I was able to cover first and run around and throwing off the bullpen mounds. Everything feels great. No hiccups. Hopefully I can continue spring training on that same path. I think Theo Epstein, Terry Francona and pitching coach John Farrell all feel like we’re a better team with me in the rotation. I eat up innings. I do whatever it takes to help us win, and I think we agreed on that aspect. Obviously, they want to make sure I’m healthy. If I need some extra time I can take extra time. We have six weeks down here. I’ll be ready to roll by the time the season opens.”

As Timmy said, he's been going through helpful therapy and should be fine. Once the disc is removed and doesn't hit that sciatic nerve, the relief is instantaneous. The therapy is to strengthen the muscles in the affected leg. The pain he must have gone through is indescribably horrendous. BELIEVE ME. I KNOW!

I've always loved Wakes and I hope we'll see him every five days on the mound, where he belongs. Someone won't make that impressive rotation and I don't have a clue who that might be. Do you??

The national champion University of Connecticut women's basketball team trashed and thrashed Providence yesterday at the XL Center in Hartford and continued their dominance in the world of NCAA college basketball. They've won 66 games in a row, all by ten or more points. Well done, ladies! By the way, simply click on this post's title for all the Olympic coverage you'd ever want from SI dot com. Have a great Sunday and as always, BE WELL.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Damon To The Motor City? UCONN Women Go For 66th Straight Double Digit Victory...Winter Olympics All Weekend!

It's a mixed bag on this Saturday in the latter stages of February. I don't need to comment on Tiger Woods' (heartfelt?) statement yesterday. Most likely you've all seen or heard it. 'Nuff said about that. Period.

It is said that the Detroit Tigers have offered ex-Yankee Johnny Damon a contract. They are vying with the Atlanta Braves for his services. He's still a force at the plate but he shouldn't go to a team whose park has a huge outfield. He has an air gun for a throwing arm. I hope he'll go to Hotlanta. If so, we won't see much of him at Friendly Fenway, a place NOT "friendly" to him no matter who he's playing for. Never will be, too. No way, no how.

The University of Connecticut national champion women Huskies basketball team, the best in the land (by far) go for their 66th straight double digit victory today at 1pm at the XL Center in Hartford, Connecticut. I'll be there and it will be a rout...make no mistake about it. That won't stop me from yelling. Happy yells! They're the best kind.

That's all I have for you. Short but sweet, I guess. NBC's coverage of the Winter Olympics has been mesmerizing and if you click on this post's title, Sports Illustrated dot com will give you all the latest news from Vancouver, Canada.. Click away! As always, BE WELL.

Friday, February 19, 2010

A Healthy Lackey Is A Happy One

John Lackey, the newest addition to the Boston Red Sox rotation, has had troubles at the beginning of the past two seasons, arm and shoulder problems. This year, pitching for a new team, he is determined to avoid those late starts. It all comes down to spring training preparation. Here's the pitching coach of the Sox. My thanks go out to the Boston Herald's John Tomase for the quotes...

“We’ve become familiar with what his offseason routine has entailed,” said pitching coach John Farrell. “We’ve adjusted it to focus more on incorporating our shoulder program into his arm care. That’s not to say what he was doing before (with the Angels) was wrong. It’s just that as time goes on and careers lengthen, different needs emerge.”

Once Lackey gets going, he's an unstoppable force on the mound. The key for the Red Sox is to enable him to be healthy, 100% ready to pitch starting with the third game of the season and every five days thereafter. That's one of pitching coach John Farrell's skills. To tell you the truth, he could be a manager in either league...he's that good. But he prefers to stay put right here in New England. Lucky for us is all I can say. And now, here's John Lackey himself...

“For sure, I think I’m definitely going to be a little more careful this year,” Lackey said yesterday after his first full workout with the Red Sox. “I definitely want to start on time, get out of the gate strong, and help the team as much as I can."

A healthy John Lackey will make us ALL happy. Now if only Matsuzaka can get his act (and his back) together. Thank goodness for six starting rotation pitchers. I've said it before and I'll say it again right now...YOU CAN NEVER HAVE ENOUGH PITCHING. Case closed.

Tiger Woods will talk to the world at 11 am EST on most media outlets. I couldn't care less. Sex therapy? What a crock of sh*t.

I hope you have a terrific Friday. Simply click on this post's title to be zapped to Sports Illustrated dot com's coverage of the mesmerizing 2010 Winter Olympic games. They've been totally amazing and the television ratings have shown exactly that. NBC will still lose a couple hundred million dollars for their wall to wall coverage but I think they think it's worth it. For name recognition and viewers tuned in, IT IS. Click on that title and as always, BE WELL.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Boston's Daisuke Matsuzaka Has Setback

OK, let's not panic. There's no need to. Daisuke Matsuzaka, the projected number four starter in the Boston Red Sox rotation, is currently ailing. He has had pain on both sides of his upper back. This discomfort is most likely due to his off season conditioning program in Arizona. Matsuzaka, whose favorite motto is REVENGE, did not want a repeat of 2009, a lost season by his standards. Ours, too. He tried too much too early to be ready for the World Baseball Championship and now wants to be in tip top shape for 2010. Boston will be patient...after all, it's only February 18th. Here, let Theo Epstein explain it...

“I know he’s worked really hard this winter to make up for last year and come out and have a big season,” general manager Theo Epstein said. “That’s what we’re all hoping for him. We want to slow this thing down so we don’t turn something small into something big. Last year, he never really was able to get into condition to pitch in part because of the way things went early in spring. We want to make sure we avoid a repeat of that. We’re two months away from when we’ll need his rotation spot anyway, so we’ll just slow it down, let our doctors look at him, not make something we think is really small into something big. He was open with us, full disclosure,” Epstein said.

Communication is a good thing, something that was lacking between Daisuke and the club at times last year when he hid an injury (or two) from trainers and his manager. If Matsuzaka can revert to a 15 win season, that would be quite a shot in the arm for a rotation that is so deep and talented. That's why the Red Sox will proceed with caution. Daisuke will have plenty of time for spring training...I just know it. What's a couple weeks off to settle his back muscles? In the long run, NOTHING.

Wednesday night up in Vancouver, Canada was a memorable one for the United States of America. Three gold medals were won and if you click on the title of this post, you'll be able to watch all the highlights and read about them, too. Sports Illustrated dot com has it all. Enjoy and have a great Thursday. As always, BE WELL. See ya.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Josh Beckett & Victor Martinez...Two Musts For The Future of the Boston Red Sox

There are two big question marks surrounding the 2010 Boston Red Sox. They concern the future and they center on Josh Beckett and Victor Martinez. In my opinion, the Red Sox MUST come to terms with them before the 2010 season is over. If not, the two are eligible to become free agents. If that happens and Joe Mauer resigns with the Twinkies, VMart will be the best and most sought after catcher available. That's a certainty. Here is his agent speaking on the subject...

"It's nice that Victor says he wants to stay with the Red Sox,'' agent Alan Nero said, "but in reality it doesn't really change anything. The reality is that the Red Sox are going to have to want him. They're going to have to be willing to pay for value to get value.''

And here's the man himself, the full-time catcher for the Boston Red Sox, now and hopefully in the future...

"Maybe the Red Sox want to see me play a full year as catcher, but remember this. My whole career is as a catcher,'' Martinez said in the interview. "Everything I've done is as a catcher. If they want to see it, they're going to see it. I've got nothing against that. But I don't know what's going to happen. Like I said, I don't really want to be a free agent. If they give me a chance to be a free agent, I don't know what's going to happen."

Red Sox General Manager Theo Epstein, who did a tremendous job of improving the club in the off season, had this to say...

"With both him and Josh, the two guys we've been asked about, we're going to stick to our policy of not talking about it,'' Epstein said. "The more clubs talk about free agents-to-be, the less likely they are to get a deal done."

So mum is the word, a standard practice for the Red Sox. Maybe that's smart. It probably is. But deep down I hope that both players will be signed to multi-year contracts before the upcoming season ends. Am I being worried WAY too soon? No way.

Thanks for popping in. You can click on this post's title for Sports Illustrated's complete Olympic coverage and as always and forever, BE WELL.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

No Six Man Rotation For The 2010 Boston Red Sox

People who have seen Clay Buchholz down in Ft. Myers, Florida have noticed that he has gained weight and strength and bulked up by 10 plus pounds. In short, he looks good as he tries to swipe the fifth spot in the rotation from Timmy Wakefield. Here he is...

“I weigh as much as I’ve ever weighed and feel good. Still agile and everything,’’ he said. “It took a little bit of work to get there. I think it’s going to be even more work to stay here.’’

Clay has always had a problem gaining weight. I have a hint...milk shakes! Last season he compiled a 7-4 record, finishing strong, with an ERA of 4.21. Respectable numbers indeed. The Sox will keep Matsuzaka in their impressive starting quintet because they're paying him $8 million for him to be there. Buchholz clearly has the talent and the stuff to be a member of ANY team's rotation but Wakefield has been around longer than just about anyone on the team. Here's Clay once again...

He (Wakefield) gets the benefit of the doubt if you ask me,’’ Buchholz said. “Either person is going to have to win the spot and I’ll go with what they give me if that is not the case.’’

And Theo's take on Buchholz...

“He has prepared himself and is at an advanced stage compared to where most guys are,’’ general manager Theo Epstein said.

I love Timmy Wakefield...after all, he made the All Star team and has dedicated himself to the Sox for ages. But I also want to see Clay Buchholz pitch every five days. This entire situation might turn extremely awkward, much like the lack of a playing position for Mikey Lowell. Deep down, if Mike regains his health after his thumb surgery (which I KNOW he will), Theo will do his best to trade him to another team, a team where he'll be able to play just about every day. I wish him the best. It's hard to imagine the Boston Red Sox without him. As for Clay Buchholz and Tim Wakefield, may the best man win and may the Sox have one guy ready to come in should a starter falter in a game or go down with an injury. I think that's the only way the chips can fall. We'll see.

Another day, another post. I thank you for stopping in. If you'd like, please leave a comment. You can also click on this post's title to be linked to Sports Illustrated's coverage of the Winter Olympics and everything else sports. As always, BE WELL. Thanks.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Victor Martinez..Boston Red Sox Catcher For A LONG Time

The Boston Red Sox full-time catcher, Victor Martinez, had a sit down with the Boston Herald's great sportswriter Michael Silverman and was outspokenly adamant about this. He wants to avoid free agency and STAY with his Boston club. Hey, that's just fine with me. Here are a few of his syllables, in fact, a lot of 'em...

“A lot of guys like to be free agents, but I’m going to be really honest on this answer,” Martinez said last week. "I don’t want to be jumping around, I don’t want to go somewhere else,” Martinez continued. "I came to the place where a lot of players dream to come and a lot of players wish to play here in Boston. So I’m here, I do really want to stay here and hopefully end my career in Boston. Maybe the Red Sox want to see me play a full year as catcher, but remember: my whole career is as a catcher. Everything I’ve done is as a catcher. But I don’t know what’s going to happen. Like I said, I don’t really want to be a free agent. If they give me a chance to be a free agent, I don’t know what’s going to happen.”

And then he spoke of the team's captain, Jason Varitek, with glowing words...

“He was generous,” Martinez said. “To be honest again, I never thought that he was going to be that helpful for me. I started taking a little more of his playing time, little by little. I got more comfortable with the pitching staff because of him. He was a guy who came to me and said, ‘If this guy struggles, call this pitch, that will relax him a little bit.’ Man, he was great.”

Hey VMART, you're great! Expect Victor to catch roughly four or five out of every seven games with 'Tek handling it a couple times per week. After all, Martinez batted .336 with eight homers and 41 RBI in his 56 games with the Red Sox. Not shabby, not shabby at all. The guy can hit AND he can play his position. With Varitek there to share his knowlege, well, that's a winning combination for the Boston Red Sox and Martinez. I predict (gulp) that Boston will agree with him on a contract extension well before free agency looms. They're NOT going to shell out the big bucks for Minnesota's soon-to-be free agent catcher, Joe Mauer. Quite possibly, Mauer is the best player in all of baseball and he'll command huge piles of thousand dollar bills after the 2010 season.

That's it for this President's Day, Monday, February 15th, 2010. If you have the day off from work or school, ENJOY IT!. You can click on this post's title to be zapped to SI dot com's coverage of the Olympics and as always, BE WELL. I'll see you soon and if you'd like (please), leave a comment.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Daisuke Looks Good..A Comment Response

Boston Red Sox pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka, who was only able to start 12 games last year with limited success, apparently has worked hard to get back into tip top shape during the off season. Those who have seen him say it's obvious. Here's one of them...

“He worked hard this winter, that’s evident,’’ general manager Theo Epstein said. “He has lost weight. Obviously we want to see him pitch well, but everything has gone the way we hoped,’’ he said. “Daisuke is important to us.’’

Matsuzaka is a vital part of the 2010 Red Sox. Don't forget, his favorite saying is "revenge." If we see the Daisuke of 2008 reemerge this season, watch out AL East even without a surplus of hitting.

I received a comment from "cejkwo" in response to my yesterday's post telling me what he thinks of the current Red Sox hitting prowess. I love receiving comments and respond to every single one of 'em. It read like this...

" prevention my ass. It's going to be the same old story...get by the 4th hitter and you're home free. This has to be the worst offensive team in my lifetime."

I don't know how long your lifetime has been but here's my response. Boston has improved their pitching and their defense spectacularly but their ability to smash the ball took a hit to the chin with the departure of Jason Bay. I would not go as far as "ceikwo," however. Mike Cameron and Adrian Beltre will thrive in cozy Fenway Park. Youk and Pedey will be Youk and Pedey. We're all hoping for the real Big Papi to show up at the START of the season, not one third of the way through. HE WILL. They improved their shortstop offense big time...don't forget that. To sum up, with Boston's super improved defense and their star-studded pitching rotation, I think they'll be fine. They and the Yankees, barring significant injuries, will take home the AL East and/or the AL wild card. That's just one guy's opinion, someone who cannot tell the future until it becomes the present and then sadly, the past.

Enjoy the Olympics on this still-dark Sunday. The UCONN women were tested by number 25 St. Johns yesterday but won their 64th game in a row, all by double digits. The final score was a low one for the Huskies, who are averaging 80 plus points. That score was 66-52. In UCONN women's terms, that's a close game. Center Tina Charles shined on the afternoon her uniform and number were uncovered on the Huskie's Wall of Honor. It was a great two hours for me.

That's it for this February 14th, Valentines Day 2010. I hope you're happy, healthy and with your loved one(s). I'm not but I'm sure Nadia will call from Minnesota when she awakens. She always does. To wake HER up is dangerous, so I don't! Click on this post's title for SI dot com's coverage of the 2010 Olympics and as always, BE WELL.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Theo Epstein On His Boston Red Sox

John Tomase of the Boston Herald had an interesting conversation with Boston Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein. As most of you know, the Sox added a new shortstop (Scutaro), centerfielder (Cameron), third baseman (Beltre) and starting pitcher (Lackey), who is one of the best hurlers in the major leagues. Epstein stressed run prevention, something that was sorely lacking last year due to defensive liabilities. Here he is...

“We knew if we just brought back the same club, we probably weren’t going to be a good enough run-prevention team to get back where we needed to be. If we pitch up to our capabilities and catch to our capabilities, we could be a pretty darn good run-prevention club,” Epstein said. “Nothing’s set in stone, nothing’s to be taken for granted. You’ve got to go out and prove it. There’s really no such thing as a surplus of starting pitching at this time of year,” Epstein said. “We’ve all been around teams that had, quote-unquote, too many starting pitchers, then struggled to find someone to take the ball. We’re going to prepare all our guys to get ready as starters, and see if we can find five healthy guys come April.”

A huge boost to Boston's offense would be a great season from Big Papi David Ortiz. He is said to have lost weight and bulked up during the off season. He obviously wants to avoid the type of start he had last season, a time of frustration and trepidation for him (and Red Sox Nation) in a big way. Theo on Papi...

“When he’s performing consistently as an elite hitter, as he’s done for almost his entire time with the Red Sox, he makes us a different team,” Epstein said. “He’s a guy that we lean on. We’re a different team when he’s carrying our offense.”

Carry us, Papi...once again. Also, spring training will be a time that Mike Lowell can show everyone what he can do after his thumb surgery. Theo said this about that...

“We’re looking forward to playing games in March when he (Mikey) can prove himself healthy and effective, which we expect to happen,” Epstein said. “Once we get to that point, if other teams have an interest in Mike as an everyday player, I think we’ve proven a willingness to listen to a trade that makes sense for both teams.”

I think trading Mikey would be a good thing for him. I'm a tremendous fan of his and I would hate to see him play elsewhere but with the acquisition of Beltre, who is absolutely the best defensive hot corner guy in all of baseball, Lowell would see little playing time. I'm sure there's a club or three who need a DH who can once in a while play third base. Mikey can still hit the round ball. That's for sure. His defensive range is limited but he can hold his own at the hot corner...three or four times a week.

I'll do a full player by player synopsis of the 2010 Boston Red Sox, the team I love to love, during the latter stages of spring training. Theo Epstein did a great job of turning the club into a defensively excellent team with a pitching staff that is elite in either league. They'll score runs, too, and they WILL be playing in October. You can bet your bippy on that (or your bottom dollar, if it suits you). Have a great Saturday and a terrific weekend, click on the title of this post for more on the Red Sox from the Boston Globe and as always, BE WELL. Thanks. Your comments are always welcome and always answered. See ya.

Friday, February 12, 2010

TRUCK DAY...Jerry Remy's New Restaurant

Today, Friday February 12th, is TRUCK DAY, a day that to marks the beginning of the 2010 season. The following is from the Boston Globe's EXTRA BASES, with my thanks...

"The New England novelty that is Truck Day is today. The team equipment truck is scheduled to leave Fenway Park for Fort Myers, Fla., at approximately noon Friday from Van Ness Street and Gate D. Keep this to yourself, but much of the equipment was already shipped out to create extra space for the NHL’s Winter Classic Jan. 1. But that won’t spoil the fun."

It's just a couple months until the start of real baseball circa 2010. Will high hopes turn into magic reality stuffed with memories that will last forever for every one of us? Only the SHADOW knows. I sure hope so. So do you.

Jerry Remy is healthy now, thank God, and he has a wonderful restaurant in the making literally in the shadow of Fenway Park. If you click on this post's title, you will know all about it. It's nice to see Jerry smiling and happy and most importantly, healthy. He went through SO much with his recent illness, an ailment that is GONE. GOD bless him. He'll be doing the NESN broadcasts with Don, too. Click on that title and as always, BE WELL. Thanks for stopping in.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

A Treat! No Kidding...

Click on the title of this post with your computer sound on for a VERY entertaining treat. Rated R...sound on and GO!

"I'm not sure American Audiences are ready for this commercial yet! (But I loved it! PETER.)
Fleggaard Holding A/S, through its subsidiaries, markets electronic appliances. The company specializes in selling televisions and radio sets.
Fleggaard Holding is based in Krusaa, Denmark. Just across Germany's northern-most border with Denmark you’ll find an incredible superstore called Fleggaard. There, you can buy everything you need – tubs of gummi bears, cases of wine, industrial strength dishwashing soap – at prices 30% cheaper than you’ll find in Denmark.
The 100+ women do stunts in the air – while free-falling – holding hands to spell out “Half-off on Dishwasher soap at Fleggaard.” You’d be hard-pressed to find a man in Denmark who hasn’t seen and fallen in love with that commercial. It was geared strictly to men. The ad is real!"
Here is a link (click on the post's title) to see one of the best advertisements ever made. Honestly. It's awesome.

(Peter's SO funny). ENJOY WITH your sound on...loud. Now, right now, click on this post's title. See ya!!

Youk On Boston...Damon To Atlanta?

It seems that Boston Red Sox first/third baseman and fan favorite Kevin Youkilis, though he grew up in Cincinnati, loves living in suburban Boston. He does so year round. Sure, people recognize him on the street but it's usually with a hearty hello or a vocal "YOUK." The important thing is this...HE WANTS TO STAY. Here are some of his comments with my thanks to the Boston Herald and Steve Buckley...

“I see myself, if everything goes well, retiring as a member of the Red Sox,” said Youkilis earlier this week, following a morning round of batting practice at the team’s minor-league complex in Fort Myers. “That’s my goal. I want to finish my career with the Red Sox, and that’s not something that a lot of players do. I like it here,” he said. “I like living here. It’s a cool town,” he said. “It’s a cool city. I don’t want to knock any city when I say this, but there’s a lot of cool stuff about Boston. And not just the city. You can get in your car and drive to Vermont, and that’s a whole other world. Or Portland, Maine, where I played. Look, I play baseball because I love baseball, not because 30,000 fans are cheering me on. But that’s part of it. And once you understand that, everything is fine."

Kevin Youkilis is an important part of the Red Sox team. He's essential...a Gold Glover at first base and a potent force at the plate. I wouldn't even want to THINK about him playing elsewhere. Youk, we love ya! Retire here!!

Speaking of playing elsewhere, Melky Cabrera, the ex-Yankee who was traded to Atlanta, might play next to a former teammate in the Braves outfield this coming season. Who? Johnny Damon. Damon hit .286 and smacked 24 taters last year with the pinstripers. Not shabby numbers, are they? He would bat leadoff for the Braves and would make a fine addition to that club. I'm happy he won't be playing for the Yankees and batting second behind Jeter. New York is astoundingly better with him in the lineup. He's a tough out whose swing is catered to Yankee Stadium's short right outfield porch. See ya Johnny.

The expected snowstorm that I posted about yesterday decided to advance its snow shield only to the southern Connecticut shoreline. We ended up with only 3 inches while the coast were covered with six to twelve inches. The jackpot? Again, unbelievably, was Washington DC, a land of buried cars, caved-in roofs and general mayhem. I wish them luck. They've received more snow in the past ten days than they ever have. Would you believe 50 (!!) inches of the white stuff? It's true.

On that cold note I must take my leave. Have a great Thursday, stay warm and as always, BE WELL. Click on this post's title for the latest on the injury to US skier Lindsey Vonn's shin, something that might keep her out of the Winter Olympics. So sad. Thanks for stopping in. I appreciate every one of you. I really do. Click away.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

John Lester Speaks Up From Florida

Michael Silverman, who writes for the Boston Herald, had a chat with Boston Red Sox starter Jon Lester. Jon has already arrived in Ft. Myers and had a great workout yesterday. Some people think he's the Sox' number one guy but I like to think that Boston's six man rotation has three number ones...Lester, Beckett and Lackey. Here's what Jon had to say to those who call him the ace of the team...

“If people want to say that, that’s great, but we’ve got five aces, six aces on this team,” said Lester. ‘Everyone here is capable of going out there and helping this team win. I’m ready to go. For some reason this offseason was a little different,” he said. “I don’t know if it’s because it ended early or what, I guess those couple extra weeks help you get that itch a little sooner, get excited about coming down here. I’m pretty excited about this team this year and getting it going. There’s nothing to lack confidence about,” said Lester. “Hopefully I can go out there and maybe not get off to that slow start like last year but I’m confident.”

I'm excited too. I think this Red Sox team, playing in an American League East that is vastly tougher than last year, will be in it to the very end (Baltimore and the Yankees improved themselves immensely and don't forget about Tampa Bay). Will they win the division or will they snare the wild card? That doesn't matter to me. As long as they qualify for post season play. THEY WILL.

Here Mr. Lester on newly acquired pitcher John Lackey...

“I think he’s going to be another Josh, another bulldog out there, another guy giving you quality starts,” said Lester. “He’s going to go out and compete every five days and that’s what we need. We need somebody to go out there and compete.”

Hey Jon, will the Sox offense be able to score enough runs??

“Run production’s fun, don’t get me wrong. You like to see our offense go out there and put up six runs in the first two innings. It makes our job a hell of a lot easier,” he said. “But, at the same time, those games that you run into where you’re pitching against CC Sabathia, or A.J. Burnett or Felix Hernandez or Cliff Lee, those 2-1 games are just as important to be able to prevent those runs from being scored. Somebody being able to make a great play, it definitely helps us out just as much as scoring six or seven runs.”

And lastly, on teammate Mike Lowell...

“Mikey has kind of been in a bad situation,” said Lester. “I hate to say it because he’s such a good guy and such a good teammate, but that’s the business side of baseball and it sucks to lose a guy like that. But if you throw in a guy like Adrian Beltre in there, it’s not going to be too much of a gap defensively or offensively.”

I, too, love Mikey but Beltran's defensive ability is far and away better than any other third baseman in all of Major League Baseball. He is, quite simply, the best. That goes for the Boston Red Sox defense as a whole. So things are looking up for Red Sox Nation. You and me and the Fenway Faithful are gearing up for an exciting 2010.

That's it for this soon-to-be-snowy Wednesday morning. The snow is on our doorstep and will start before 7am EST. Here we're expecting about a foot. The howling winds will also be a major problem this afternoon and evening as the storm, still developing off the eastern seaboard, deepens and intensifies. There are BLIZZARD WARNINGS out for New York City and Long Island. I'll keep you posted. You can count on it.

Click on this post's title for Red Sox questions answered by the Globe's Amalie Benjamin and remember, TRUCK DAY is Friday, only two days from right now. Hard to believe, isn't it. As always BE WELL. Wait, I can hear a faint cry of "play ball" getting louder and louder day by day.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Schilling On Beckett..SIGN HIM! Super Bowl Ratings Soared To New Heights

The Boston Globe pointed me to a post on Curt Schilling's blog 38 PITCHES that made SO much sense to me. Its subject was this...the Boston Red Sox should re-sign their ace, Josh Beckett. NOW! Here's a bit of that post. I've linked 38 Pitches to the title of this post. Simply click on it. OK, here goes...

"Here’s why, barring some freakish medical issue which I assume he doesn’t have or there would be bigger problems, you sign Josh now...
I know Josh as well as anyone knows Josh. There is not a sliver of a chance that you get anything less than his total focus, concentration and effort for every day he’s under contract, no matter what his uniform says. He pushes himself with an internal bar and set of values that not many kids have. That isn’t going to change, in fact I’d argue that it’s only gotten ‘better’ over the past few years. He’s getting to a stage in his career where the mental work, the prep work, is going to meet and surpass the physical effort. I do believe Jon Lester is an ace in the making, he’s going to be a legit #1 very soon, if not this year, the only thing stopping that is his command, when that comes he’s as good as there is, combining that with Josh, with Dice, with Clay and Lackey, there aren’t many deeper or more talented rotations anywhere. You lock Josh up you lock up the top 3 spots in your rotation (well 4 if you don’t trade Clay) for the next 3-5 years, and each of those spots is occupied by a 1 or a 2. In the AL East you go into each season with a legitimate shot at winning it all with that mix."

My Constant Readers, John Henry and Theo Epstein, listen to Schill. PLEASE! Do not let Beckett have the chance to become a free agent. Do not wait until the end of the season to lock him up with a multi-year contract. It might cost you a ton of money but look at the return on those dollars. With Lester and Lackey, there are three number one starters in the Red Sox rotation. Throw in Buchholz and Matsuzaka and you have, as Curt said, just about the best rotation in all of major league baseball. This is a no-brainer for me...sign him now!! Of course, it's not MY wallet.

CBS scored big in terms of viewers for the 2010 Super Bowl. The Sunday night telecast surpassed the ratings of 1983's final M*A*S*H episode. That was 1983...this is now and the Super Bowl drew 106 million people. That's simply amazing. I'm just happy it was a great game and my pick, the Saints, won it. Great job, CBS. Great job, New Orleans.

I'll have a snowy post first thing tomorrow morning. The forecast for southern New England, including me, calls for a foot of snow (or more) starting early Wednesday morning. I'll let you know the numbers then. Coastal storms, known here as nor'easters, are hard to predict. Many of them explode when they reach the eastern seaboard waters, bombarding us with heavy snow and winds. On the other hand, many go south and east out to sea and others pass to the west, bringing in warmer air and rain. It looks like this one will remain close and give us a heavy and deep blanket of the white stuff with near blizzard conditions. Stay tuned.

You can click on this post's title to be zapped to Curt Schilling's blog. Thanks for stopping in and as always, BE WELL.

Monday, February 08, 2010

New Orleans Wins It All 31-17 Over Colts..The UCONN Women Roll On

After falling behind by a score of 10-0, the New Orleans Saints, the NFL's consistent also-rans, caught fire on the strength of two HUGE plays and beat the Indianapolis Colts by a score of 31-17. Saints cornerback Tracy Porter stepped in front of a Peyton Manning pass intended for Reggie Wayne and returned it for the back-breaking score. And how about that onside kick that started off the second half? From there, the Saints were just that...Saints, unstoppable. Here's Tracy Porter...

"Words can't describe what this means for New Orleans," said cornerback Tracy Porter. "I am a Louisiana native, and this is real big."

New Orleans showed the world who the best team in the NFL is. Their quarterback, Drew Brees, was named most valuable player. He certainly captained his ship the right way. Way to go, Saints. Thanks for the thrills.

The University of Connecticut national champion women's basketball team recorded its 62nd straight double digit (!) victory as they humbled and embarassed Louisville on the Cardinals homecourt by a score of 84-38. This one was over mercifully quickly. Louisville, who played UCONN in the 2009 national championship game, has lost too many players to injury and graduation and in meeting the 2010 women Huskies, they simply could not compete. Hey, I like a close nail biter with the best of them. THERE IS SIMPLY NO ONE GOOD ENOUGH TO GIVE UCONN A CLOSE GAME. Not this year. I'm taking the ride and I'm loving it! WEEEEEEEEEE!

That's it for this Monday morning. Believe me, in five years I believe the Super Bowl will be played on Saturday evenings to give enthusiasts a day off to recover. I was only able to make it through the halftime show with the WHO before I hit the hay. I guess I've turned back into a lightweight. Hmmm. I'm glad I DVR'd the second half in all its full HD glory. That's called thinking ahead, I guess, or blind luck.

Click on the title for SI's coverage of the game and as always, BE WELL. Thanks.

Sunday, February 07, 2010

A Super CBS Sunday Coming Up

The 2010 Super Bowl will air on CBS and CBS HD this evening and CBS will be doing everything to hit a viewership of 100 million pairs of eyes. That number is unprecedented in television history. Here's CBS News and Sports president Sean McManus. He started out sarcastically...

"This year we're going to do nothing interesting or surprising. It will be the same old crap you see on pregame shows."

Of course, he was joking. He continued in a more serious vein...

"If we get a close game, I think we will get an extraordinary rating," said McManus. "And if we get just an OK game, I still think we get a really good rating with the storylines involved. Our game is going to do a record number."

I think he's exactly right. This is the New Orleans Saints' first Super Bowl appearance and we all know the troubles and hardships that city has been through. Indianapolis? That's another story. On the strength of Peyton Manning's right arm and his ability to put the ball exactly where he wants to, they're an every-year post season club. This year was no different but someone who goes by the name of Drew Brees will have something to say about that.

Have a terrific Super Sunday. Be careful out there if you're on the road because some people aren't exactly sober on days like this. Soon, the Super Bowl will be moved to Saturday...mark my words. You can click on this post's title for more on the game and why the New Orleans Saints will win in an upset (I did not bet on the game, by the way). 24-21 Saints and the marching will start. After all, when the Saints go marching in. As Neil Young wrote and sang, "tonight's the night." Let it be, let it be.

Saturday, February 06, 2010

Nomar No More? Boston Red Sox Non-Roster Invitees

Five and one half years after the Boston Red Sox traded the troublesome but talented Nomar Garciaparra, the San Francisco Chronicle is reporting that he will soon retire. But Nomar's friend, Lou Merloni, stated that Garciaparra wants to play one more season. One thing is for sure...he always loved the fans in Boston. He recently said this about the Fenway Faithful and Red Sox Nation...

"I love 'em. I love the way they treated me,"

Nomie went through a series of injuries in the later stages of his career but his bulked-up body was NEVER linked to the use of performance enhancing drugs of any kind. I'll always remember him as a force at the plate and in the field...a fan favorite who was also close to the late Ted Williams. Good luck, Nomar, in whatever you might do. Thanks for the memories.

The Boston Red Sox announced the list of non-roster Invitees to spring training 2010. Here they are...

Pitchers (10)

Randor Bierd
Fernando Cabrera
Kris Johnson
Casey Kelly
Adam Mills
Edwin Moreno
Joe Nelson
Brian Shouse
Jorge Sosa
Kyle Weiland

Catchers (2)

Luis Exposito
Gustavo Molina

Infielders (4)

Lars Anderson
Yamaico Navarro
Angel Sanchez
Gil Velazquez

Outfelders (4)

Zach Daeges
Ryan Kalish
Che-Hsuan Lin
Darnell McDonald

Pitchers and catchers will participate in their first on-field workout in Fort Myers on Saturday, February 20. The first full workout of the Red Sox Spring Training camp is on Wednesday, February 24. I can't wait for those Florida games to begin in earnest. April will not be far behind.

It's the day before Super Bowl Sunday. I hope you enjoy the game, a game the Saints (gulp!) will win in an upset. If you're going to be on the road tomorrow, watch out for the "other" guy. Super Sunday usually features many people driving drunk. Click on this post's title for more on the Sox and as always, BE WELL. Have a great weekend.

Friday, February 05, 2010

Takahashi Boston Bound? Hankie Steinbrenner Predicts...

I found this little ditty in today's Boston Globe Extra Bases. I wanted to pass it on to you...

"Patrick from NPB Tracker passes along word from Japan that the Red Sox have offered a minor-league contract to lefthander Hisanori Takahashi. He'll be 35 in April and is swingman type. Takahashi had a 2.94 ERA for the Yomiuri Giants last season. The Dodgers, Giants and Padres also have made offers."

He's on the ancient side but he's a lefty and he had a great ERA last year. Boston could always use another arm in the bullpen. They're stocked at every other position as we approach the days of pitchers, catchers and players reporting to Ft. Myers. I like what I see.

Hank Steinbrenner of the New York Yankees has boldly predicted that he expects his team to win it all again in 2010. He very recently said this...

“The two trades that GM Brian Cashman did I was really pleased with and very proud of,” said Steinbrenner, a team co-chairman. “I think that is going to make a big difference for us. We needed another top-notch starter and got one in Vazquez."

He's right about the fact that the Yankees did improve themselves but I predict they are going to miss Johnny Damon batting in the vital number two spot behind Derek Jeter. Just a thought. And one other thought, if you please. The first article in the Boston Herald's Red Sox home page was all about Adrian Gonzales and how much the Boston Red Sox could use his bat in the middle of their lineup. Ummm, there's only one problem. WHAT POSITION WOULD HE PLAY?? We have Youk at first and can no longer move him to third because that will be Adrian Beltre territory. He's the best in the business. Much ado about nothing.

Have a great Friday. If you live on the east coast south of New England and north of South Carolina, boy, you're about to be dumped on. DC, Baltimore, Philly and others should receive two feet (!!) of the white stuff. Washington will be snow-crippled for the second time this year. Why hasn't the same thing happened in Southern New England? I asked, I'll tell. There have been ice cold high pressure systems to our north all winter long that block any low pressure systems and their accompanying precipitation from moving north of Long Island, New York. I'd love one big storm, preferably on a weekend but this monster will not be the one. When you watch the national news Saturday, take a look at DC. What might have been...not.

Don't forget to click on this post's title for a repeat of a link that has come in SO handy for me. It's called ALL MY FAVES and it virtually eliminates your need to search for vital and entertaining web sites. It will knock your socks off and it's a must boolmark! As always, BE WELL.

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Back With A Bullet...GONZALEZ Still A Mid-Season Possibility For SOME Team

I came across an article in the Thursday Boston Herald (thank you Herald) that I wanted to run by you. I'll follow the gist of the story with my non-expert opinion on why it makes NO sense for the Boston Red Sox.

San Diego Padre's CEO has more than hinted that his club will be shedding power hitting first baseman Adrian Gonzales, who the Red Sox at one point a few months ago coveted badly. Youk would have moved over to third and the club would have been better than it was at the time. Gonzales can and will become a free agent after the 2011 season...unless. Here's part of what Moorad had to say...

“While I’d be thrilled to have him part of the organization for the long term, the early signals indicate his cost will be greater than our ability to pay,” Moorad said.

Look for the Padres to entertain serious trade offers by the July 31 deadline. What an addition Adrian would be to, say, the NY Yankees star-studded lineup...but NOT the Boston Red Sox crew. With newly acquired third baseman Adrian Beltre, Boston has no place for another first baseman. Youk will be there, with Beltre at third and Pedey and Scutaro in the middle. To put it simply, THE INFIELD IS ALL SET. Period.

From the Boston Globe's EXTRA BASES comes this. Fox is considering doing a few Saturday night regular season games in primetime, beginning shortly after 8pm. Here are two of the dates being considered (thank you Boston Globe)...

Saturday May 22: Yankees-Mets, Red Sox-Phillies, Cubs-Rangers or Tigers-Dodgers.

Saturday June 26: Yankees-Dodgers, Red Sox-Giants or Cubs-White Sox.

Uhh, inter-league games...but I'd watch 'em. Let's face it, Fox has nothing stronger ratings-wise in its Saturday 8-11pm schedule. They would not be losing any ratings points...hey, they might gain a few. Go for it, Fox. And pick the Sox.

It's nice to be back from my one day self-imposed "vacation." I just didn't HAVE it yesterday. But I'm back with a bullet and God willing, I'll keep on doing what I do best. And that's this...give you all the Boston Red Sox news that I can. You can click on this post's title for more Sox stuff and as always, BE WELL. Thanks.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

A Rare Day Off...

No post today. I'm a little down. I'll be back bright and early tomorrow. Thanks.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Red Sox & UCONN Women

Hello on this still dark Tuesday, a bitterly cold beginning to what should eventually be a nice and sunny day. I just heard that the Boston Red Sox have signed reliever Joe Nelson to a one year deal. The money value has not been made public. Joe's best recent season was in 2008. He had a sparkling 2.00 ERA with 60 strikeouts and 27 walks. Last year was not even close. His ERA was 4.02. 'Nuff said. Boston's bullpen is well stocked but another arm can only help. Here's Joe...

"They (Boston) pretty much have five spots in the bullpen locked up, barring injuries, and there's still two spots," Nelson said in a phone interview with on Monday night. "But they're not bringing in a whole bunch of guys to spring training. For me, I had multiple teams making multiple offers, and they just seemed like the best fit."

This is another low risk/low cost option that the Sox have taken. There's nothing wrong with that. And's UCONN basketball time.


This is from today's Hartford Courant. It's about the best team in the land, the University of Connecticut women's national championship basketball team. They've won sixty straight games, all by ten points or more (most of 'em by 30 plus). Here it is...

"Connecticut now stands alone at No. 1 in every way.

UConn was the top choice in The Associated Press women's basketball poll for a record 37th straight week, surpassing Louisiana Tech (1980-82) for the longest streak atop the Top 25. The Huskies again were the unanimous choice as the top team, receiving 40 first-place votes from a national media panel Monday.

"All these things that happen always mean more at the end than during," Connecticut coach Geno Auriemma said on Saturday after his team beat Pittsburgh for their 60th straight victory. "You know, the test of your program and how good you are, how great you are, is the test of longevity. How long can you do it to that level of excellence."

Great job, Geno. Have a great Tuesday and as always, BE WELL. Click on the title for something Soxy.

Monday, February 01, 2010

John Henry..It's Time To Pay Beckett

Let's face the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Boston Red Sox ace Josh Beckett is in the last year of his contract and COULD become a free agent (no, NO!) after the 2010 season. He is a respected clubhouse leader and he pitches his ass off for the Sox. I want to implore John Henry, the guy with the wallet and Theo Epstein, the general manager, to sign him to a four year contract before the looming free agency possibility becomes a reality. Here is Clay Buchholz, an up and coming star pitcher for Boston...

“He’s gone through things no one else has dealt with,” Buchholz said recently. “He’s seen it firsthand. When he talks, I listen.”

I WANT HIM BACK. What kind of money will he make and how much moolah does he deserve? Quite frankly, tens and tens of millions. Tripled with John Lester and John Lackey, they are the three most formidable starters in all of MLB who are in the same rotation. Will he sign for $137.5 million as did Johann Santana? How about the $161 million that the pinstriper's paid CC Sabathia? I don't know and it is the unofficial policy of the Boston Red Sox NOT to discuss salary contracts during the season. This is the time for an exception to that "rule." GET IT DONE! DO IT NOW, as my Nadia would say!!

OK,ok, my mini-rant is over. Have a great Monday as many of us await the two hour season premiere of LOST tomorrow night on ABC and ABC HD. There will be a one hour recap show starting at eight and the real deal begins at nine. It's the final season of the show and there are SO many questions left unanswered. I hope they answer every one of 'em.

Click on this post's title for something very special that you will want to bookmark and as always, BE WELL.