This past weekend I was lucky enough to get to go to the LA and see the Sox game in person. It was a great night for baseball and the Sox.
Before the game David Ortiz was honored as the Dodgers donated $10,000 to the David Ortiz foundation. Along with that Vin Scully talked about the amazing career David has had as the big slugger finishes out the final season of his career.
Meanwhile the performances were pretty solid too from the team.
Wright had a tremendous game going the whole nine innings and getting the shutout. Along with that the knuckleballer allowed only three hits while getting nine strikeouts as he continues to be dominant. Wright’s first complete game shutout shows just how well of a pitcher he’s turning into.
Leon managed to block the knuckle ball with runners on base which is not an easy job and had a monster night at the plate with four RBIs including a two run blast to left and a sac fly. Leon has certainly been a surprise as a force at the plate, but I’m sure not complaining.
The Sox had even more offense including a homer by Mookie Betts who went 3-5 and an RBI single in the Sox five run 8th. Also an emotional home run by Travis Shawwho was playing in the same park that his dad Jeff Shaw played in when he pitched for the Dodgers from 1998-2001.
That night was also Andrew Benintendi’s first win dance as the Sox had lost the previous two games started by the young rookie, Dave Dombrowski and all Sox fans certainly are looking forward to seeing a lot more of those throughout his career.
Bad news coming from the game is that Dustin Pedroia went down after fouling a ball of his shin. Pedroia left the game in the fourth with a left shin contusion however x-rays came back negative and he is only day to day.
With the Sox win they are now 60-48 this season and have a better record than LA who’s 60-49 on the season. The Sox still 2.0 games out of the division and hanging onto a slim lead for the second wild card spot but if they can keep playing the way the did tonight they can certainly catch up to the O’s and Blue Jays at the top of the division.
We’re in June so don’t even think about telling me it’s too early to vote (well it may be, but who cares), I just voted for the All Star Game and here are the Sox I feel should be represented this summer. We’ve had quite the turnaround from last season when Brock Holt was picked as the obligatory one player to rep the Sox, as this season we very may well have three or four men on the field, which is pretty darn exciting.
Anyway, here are my picks:
Duh. If you don’t vote for Bogey then you’re just stupid. Bogaerts has been stellar at the plate and in the field as he is emerging as a truly dominant shortstop; at 23 years old he leads the league in hits and average posting a .359/.405/.527 line while mashing eight homers, 20 doubles, and driving in 44. He’s been elite in nearly every sense of the word and the fact that he can only get better gives me the warm fuzzies.
He’s gone under the radar a bit, but Pedey has had a very nice bounceback year for the BoSox. In 60 games played the veteran second baseman has batted .311 (highest average in eight years) with a .317 OBP and .474 SLG. He’s smacked seven homers, along with a triple and 18 doubles while driving in 27 and stealing four bases. Not to mention his .987 fielding percentage as he has been slick as ever at second.
Betts had a bit of a slow start this season, but has since really picked up the pace. The slim outfielder stands with a .289/.339/.524 line with 14 homers (had 18 all last season), four triples, 14 doubles, and 47 RBIs out of the leadoff spot. Not to mention his 11 stolen bases and solid play in the field, the kid can mash, run, catch–he really can do it all!
Jackie Bradley Jr
Either you think JBJ is the best thing to happen to baseball or you’re wrong. At 26 Jackie seems to have found a groove as he is hitting .311 on the season with a .391 OBP and .579 SLG–all career highes by a wide margin. He’s smacked 10 homers, leads the league with five triples, swiped five bases, and has displayed masterful play out in center. It’ll be tough, the AL has a lot of great outfielders, but I think Jackie deserves it.
I really don’t need to say anything here. It’s his last season, which earns Papi big sympathy points, but also look at his stats:
.340/.423/.708, 16HR, one 3B, 27 2B, 55 RBIs, bolded are league leading. Papi is on pace for a 40HR season with 140+ RBI alongisde a career high in average, he’s a f*cking monstah.
It’s not the first time a knuckleballer took the mound in the summer classic. Wright is easily the best pitcher the Sox have, and one of the best in the AL. He’s 7-4 this season (career high in wins), with a 2.09 ERA (leads the AL) over 82 innings of work. During that span he’s allowed 60 hits and walked 33, while striking out 70 as he has been a rock in the rotation and the savior of many a bad stretch. Not saying Wright should start, but he deserves to make it.
There ya have it, my All Star picks. Be sure to vote this year, I can’t go through another one-team All Star game again watching the Royals take the field (gags).
We’re now two months into the season and the Red Sox appear to be hitting their first significant rough patch of 2016.
After taking the first two games from the Orioles to take a three game lead in the AL East, the Sox got their teeth punched down their throat in the next two games in Baltimore and then the next game against Toronto as well, erasing the Red Sox’ lead in the division entirely. We always knew this season wasn’t going to be a cakewalk, but these past three games have been a serious cause for concern.But more than anything, it’s made me question just exactly how much credit Dave Dombrowski deserves right now.
Dave Dombrowski has received an absurd amount of credit for the early success of this season. But even more ridiculous is how little criticism he’s gotten for his moves, by everyone, including myself. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been very quick to give Dombrowski all the credit in the world. He supplanted the plagues that were Ben Cherington and Larry Lucchino, so f*ck me if I loved him immediately and without thought. The problem now, is that when you actually do think about it, that knight in shining armor turns back into a pumpkin (that’s how the story goes right? Whatever I’m not an English major).
The point is, we’ve all said that Dombrowski has saved the Red Sox, but when you take a closer look, you realize he really hasn’t done that much. And more than that, I’d argue his moves have actually hurt this team.
Look we all know Craig Kimbrel is a good closer, but the Sox gave up a blue chip prospect in Manuel Margot for a guy who’s currently posting the worst ERA of his career at a position which is prone to dramatic fluctuation and unpredictable downfalls. And even with the high risk of this trade, it was still by far the best thing Dombrowski did all winter.
The other trade Dombrowski orchestrated this offseason was the acquisition of relievers Carson Smith and RoenisElias from Seattle for starter Wade Miley. Carson Smith proceeded to snap his rubberband arm and will miss the entire season, whereas Elias failed to pitch his way out of a paper bag in March, and failed to make the Major League roster. And while Miley hasn’t been great this year, He would still be preferable to either Joe Kelly or Clay Buchholz who were both abysmal as starters this season.
So his trades have been a mixed bag, but what about free agency and signings? Chris Young has done diddly sh!t, and David Price has yet to live up to his contract. He chose to let Rich Hill walk to Oakland for $6-million, where he’s currently out-pitching everyone on the Sox staff by a fairly wide margin. He also picked up Buchholz’s option year (internally screaming) AND retained John Farrell as manager (screaming intensifies).
Look I’m not calling for Dombrowski’s head here. He’s a seasoned executive and a true professional, something that was sorely lacking in the Larry Lucchino, Tom Werner, and John Henry Three Stooges operation of the last few years (For those of you wondering, Henry is Moe, Werner is Larry, and oddly enough Lucchino is Curly not Larry, don’t ask me why). I’m not saying Dave Dombrowski isn’t good for this team, but if he doesn’t make a move to improve this team this summer, this season will end in failure.
Alright guys it’s Memorial Day weekend which means two things. One, if you’re over the age of 21 (or 18… Or 16… Or 12 whatever, I don’t know what middle schoolers do anymore) you’re probably a little bit buzzed right now, and two, it’s about time to do a quarterly evaluation of our boys down at Fenway.
At this point, it’s fairly safe to say that the Red Sox have been markedly better this year than they have been in the previous two. The lineup is setting the world on fire, the bullpen has been dominant and the starting pitching has been just able to keep its head above water, getting the Red Sox out to a 29-19 record, good for first in the AL East.
Now a lot of people want to point to manager John Farrell as the catalyst for the Red Sox success. And why wouldn’t they? With the exception of RubenAmaroJr. the coaching staff is exactly the same as last year. A lot of the same players are back too. They all have another year under their belts and they’ve all figured it out right?
So wrong. Sooooooooo f*cking wrong, Farrell should be fired, Jimmy Stewart is right and you are WRONG. “They all” haven’t figured it out, some of them have, but John Farrell just isn’t one of them.
I am wholeheartedly convinced that the Red Sox thought long and hard about sh!tcanning Farrell after last season and promoting ToreyLovullo. And if he didn’t have lymphoma, I bet they would have without a second thought. But you can’t fire the guy with cancer. That’s like… Like… No there isn’t even an analogy for that, that is the analogy. So now Red Sox are stuck with Farrell as manager for another season.
“But Nick, things are way better now, why should we get rid of the manager?”, you ask very stupidly. Well stupid, it’s because I don’t want “better” I want “best”. Call me spoiled or call me right I don’t care which. This team in this town should be contending for the World Series, not for the over on an 86.5 win Vegas line.
Even though things are better right now, Farrell is still making the same boneheaded calls that cost us games over the last 2 years. The only difference is the rest of the staff is mitigating more of those mistakes now.
Torey Lovullo (who should be the manager right now) has brought in a stylistic change that has helped tremendously this season. Last season we wrote that Lovello drew a lot of similarities between the Sox and the World Series winning Royals. Well “coincidentally” this year the Sox are doing some classic Royals sh!t.
They’re stealing more bases, going first to third, second to home, and generally forcing the other team to execute perfectly to beat them. And with – and I can’t believe I’m saying this – Ruben Amaro Jr. as the first base coach, the Red Sox are better prepared to run more. Look I liked Arnie Beyeler, he was a great fielding coach, but that was his primary focus and baserunning was an afterthought. Amaro appears to be jelling well with Brian Butterfield and the baserunning has improved dramatically, and in turn, the Red Sox are scoring more runs.
Unfortunately while the coaches are doing their part to improve the team, they can only do so much with the manager f*cking it up. Need proof? Just look at the last two games. Last game of the Rockies series, he decides to hit Jackie Bradley Jr. – in the middle of a month long hitting streak – lead off for the first time all season and he went 0 – 4 snapping his streak and the Sox lost the game. And then the next game in Toronto, in the ninth down 2, he leaves David Ortiz on the bench and the Sox go down in order with freaking Marco Hernandez and Christian Vazquez making the last 2 outs.
Am I saying those decisions singlehandedly lost those games? No. But I am saying they were bad decisions, and that Farrell consistently makes decisions like them. Even when things are going well he’s messing up. For f*ck sake he couldn’t even execute a simple double switch correctly in the goddamn World Series back in 2013. He screws everything from pinch hitters to sideline reporters (sorry I couldn’t help myself).
Look I don’t know how reasonable all this Farrell hate is but I do know this team would be better off with Lovullo at the helm. He lead a significantly inferior team to an identical record in the last 2 months of 2015, and I’m willing to guarantee he’d have a few more wins this season than Farrell does.
At the end of the day, all that matters is whether or not the Red Sox can make a run deep into October. And if they do that under Farrell, then that’s fan-f*cking-tastic. But as long as John Farrell is the manager, I just can’t really see us playing a lot of postseason baseball in 2016.
Boston Red Sox President of Baseball Operations Dave Dombrowski has become a familiar face to Sox fans. If the Red Sox have a shot at playoff baseball in October, it may come down to the moves he makes.
Here we are: after today’s series finale match-up against the Tampa Bay Rays, the Red Sox – along with 29 other teams – will enter into the All-Star break and await the second half of the 2016 season. Seems like just yesterday the season opener against the now red-hot Cleveland Indians kicked off another season of high hopes.
A few nights ago, I met up with some fellow Red Sox fans (hard to come by in the state of Florida) at a neighborhood bar near my home to watch the series finale against the Texas Rangers. Five minutes into sitting down and cracking open my first ice-cold Sam Adams, my friend Carl asked me, “Clint, what are your thoughts on the first half of the season?” As I sat on an old wooden stool, spinning the cap from my beer across the bar top, all I could reply with was a, “Um, it’s been … decent, I guess.”
Like many Sox fans this season, I’ve gotten used to b’ing and moaning about the pitching staff (Hey, Clay!) and praying that the usual consistent bats pull us out of a jam. Luckily for us, the bats have certainly come through and put up some wins, but to myself the 2016 campaign for our beloved Red Sox has felt decent, at best.
With the exception of a rare losing streak recently, the Baltimore Orioles have certainly been winning some ball games. When the Red Sox first dropped to second place in the AL East, I pep talked myself into being okay with it because at least it was better than the basement that we had unfortunately gotten used to the last couple of seasons. It was one of those, “Well, it could be much worse” type scenarios that I kept repeating to myself, but if you’re a diehard Red Sox fan you know all too well that being content with second place isn’t in our makeup. We can leave that to other ball clubs and their fans, but this is the Boston Red Sox and it’s either be the best or it’s a wasted season.
It pains me to admit because truthfully Boston has played pretty dang good all factors considered, but it feels a little like they are just kind of hanging in there. Normally, “hanging in there” would not bother me all that much, but the Red Sox roster has way too much talent to be receiving participation medals from us fans.
So, what can happen to ensure the Red Sox moving forward into the second half of the season are not hanging on by a thread and keeping their fingers crossed each night that a stroke of good luck and hot bats pull them out of a hole? Boston’s President of Baseball Operations, Dave Dombrowski, appears to be well aware of the source of some issues and on the path to correcting them.
Three days ago, while most of us were sleeping, the Red Sox traded for the Milwaukee Brewers’ 34-year-old infielder Aaron Hill. In the series opener this past Friday night against the Tampa Bay Rays, Hill made it an immediate impact in the 6-5 win by knocking in a couple of RBI’s. By trading for Hill, the Red Sox proved to us that depth in a lineup is crucial, especially as we inch closer to October and a playoff run.
Mr. Dombrowski has been outspoken about some of the obvious pitching woes for Boston and took the opportunity to add closer Brad Ziegler, who came from the Arizona Diamondbacks. Ziegler does not look to be a direct replacement for Craig Kimbrel, who is currently out for a few weeks from a knee surgery, but to work as someone that will once again add depth and hopefully stability as the season progresses.
Dombrowski has also talked about that he is looking for another starter to add to the rotation, but many teams are looking for quality starters as well and there are so few to choose from currently. The Red Sox rotation currently sits at 23rd in the majors, but fingers crossed that Dombrowski is able to land a new starter to right the ship. Given his track record, I’d say his chances are quite high.
The recent moves the Red Sox front office have made to set-up for the second half of the season is a solid step in the right direction. I would love to see them continue to chip away at the stone and strategize on where to add more depth. A lot of factors need to align in Boston’s favor, but if they can stay consistent and keep the win’s coming, see y’all in October.
Cleveland, OH, USA; Boston Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz (34) hits a two-run home run against the Cleveland Indians during the ninth inning at Progressive Field. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports
As you all know the Red Sox and Yankees finished their first series of the season and oh my god are we witnessing a WWE style smackdown. But after watching David Ortiz make Dellin Betances pee down his leg with game winning homerun on Friday, and then smack another one off some schmuck named Johnny Barbato on Saturday, it made me realize something: I’m gonna miss that big Dominican mother f*cker.
Seriously, like I’ve known for months he was going to retire at the end of this season, but something about watching him terrorize a cellar dwelling Bronx bummers squad, makes it really sink in. He’s really gonna be gone…
How did this happen? And more importantly, what the f*ck are we gonna do next year?
There’s nothing that can replace the void he’ll leave (emotionally – Pablo Sandovalcould fit the physical hole… twice… maybe three times). I don’t know if anybody else in the world could give Lisa Swan over at the Subway Squalor night terrors the way Big Papi has for the past 13 years.
I think what makes it hardest to accept is that he’s not performing like it’s the last year of his career. The man is 40 and he’s playing like he’s 30. He’s first in the American League in doubles and OPS, third in RBIs, ninth in walks and average, and is 3 HRs off the league lead. Those aren’t “last season of your career” numbers, those are “prime of your career ape-sh!t-f*ck-jacked” numbers. That’s not how it’s supposed to go. Right now he looks like he could play another 10 years. This truly is his swan song, because like the swan, he’s a vicious goddamn animal and nobody can mess with him right now.
I mean, when Derek Jeter retired, he looked like an old horse limping to a glue factory. Like a dying star imploding on itself. Like a… like burnt cheese getting scraped off a plate and into a trash can… He looked like sh!t you get the idea. Last years are supposed to be sad because a once great player looks like a AAA dog trying to make it in the majors. But Big Papi looks like he’s in the prime of his career.
It’s just not right. It’s too soon. I need more time dammit.
Unfortunately there’s nothing we can do to stop it. These are the last games we’ll ever get to see David Ortiz play in. And we have to live with the fact that all we can do as fans is sit in the bleachers and watch as he inches ever closer to the end of his career and weep silently into our $8 beers. So enjoy it while it lasts. Because Fenway won’t be the same without David Ortiz in 2017