Manny Being Manny
While Manny Ramirez is still my favorite player (primarily because of his godlike hitting abilities and his one-two combination with David Ortiz), I question his recent behavior off the field. He's doing his flip-flop with the trade again, and he backs out of the WBC but shows up late for spring training anyway. He's also one of the most expensive players around, and it may very well be that it has all gone to his head. However, we must play along with Ramirez, as once he gets it together mentally, you can just let his bat do the talking!
I'm just starting to come out of off-season hibernation, but I'm getting excited about the World Baseball Classic! For those who haven't heard, the World Baseball Classic features sixteen teams in a championship face-off for bragging rights and a cool trophy. Red Sox players Mike Timlin and Jason Varitek will by playing for Team USA, barring any last-minute changes.
Merry Christmas, Everyone! (I'm blocking centerfielders out of my mind)
In this time of giving (which, at least for one team to the south of here, is also a time for taking), I would like to wish all my viewers a safe and merry Christmas and a happy brand-new year. (For those of you who don't celebrate Christmas, have a great day off anyway!) December 25 also carries special significance in the baseball world as it is one of just three days in the entire year that the Baseball Hall of Fame is closed. (The other two are Thanksgiving and New Year's Day.) Remember, there's still winter ball and the World Baseball Classic to keep us busy in the off-season. Happy Holidays!
The Hot Stove really started to heat up when the Red Sox reportedly signed Jed Hoyer and Ben Cherington, both natives of my home state New Hampshire, to share the powers and responsibilities of general manager, with the possibility of Theo returning to an advisory position. To the best of my knowledge, we have never had a two-man GM like this before. (Any baseball historian who knows otherwise, please post a comment with the details. Upon verification, I will post it in the main article and credit you if you so desire.) I can see potential "de-generalization" of "general" management, where one GM focuses on duties as they pertain to on-field performance, collaborating with the other, who primarily concerns himself with the business of baseball. Then again, maybe these two new guys will simply be "talking heads" for Theo, who will be the brains behind the club when he comes back. As I have said countless times in the past, only time will tell...
Public Service Announcement
Now, I rarely post any non-baseball topics to my blog, but I feel that, as a blog owner, I have a certain duty to warn the computer-using population of virus threats.Recently, a friend, who shall remain nameless, advised me of emails appearing to be from the FBI. If you receive such an email, DON'T OPEN IT! Instead, press the Delete button to purge this virus-carrying email from your inbox. (If you have a "Secure Delete" feature, use that.) It's not worth the risk of attempting to report this as spam. (Whoever sent this will pay in the long run)If the FBI REALLY wanted to contact you, they would visit you in person. Also, ALWAYS ask to see the badge of any uniformed officer who visits your home, even if you think you know him or her.We now return to our regularly scheduled programming.
THEO TO GO
As you may know already, Theo Epstein (aka Young Theo) has resigned the position of GM for the Red Sox. Now, before you accuse him of being another greedy exec, keep in mind that his business decisions helped us break the Curse. What will Young Theo do next? Some say that he will take a year off since no other team is hiring right now. Only time will tell.
Thanks for a great season
Well, if we won the World Series every year, it wouldn't be so special now, would it? Hey, the White Sox haven't won it all since 1917! Still, this doesn't mean that the White Sox are BETTER, just HOTTER. Any team can go through streaks (both winning and losing) at any time. It's just that it counts in the playoffs. On a lighter note, the Bruins are back. Time to find out what this hockey hubbub is all about. Go Bruins!
We are exactly tied with the New York Yankees for the AL East right now. Anything could happen at this point... perhaps this entire race will come down to the final games against the Yankees! Talk about a climactic race! (Of course, it ain't over 'til it's over. Comebacks, after all, make up the excitement of the Sox and the Sox-Yanks rivalry.)Get ready for some action!!!
David Ortiz: The Key to Team Batting
Where would the Red Sox be right now without David Ortiz? Ever since Game 4 of the 2004 ALCS, Ortiz has been famous for his power hitting in tight situations. When we are down by a run or two, we're often saved by a trademark Ortiz walk-off homerun! That's exactly what happened during the 11th inning last night at the Rogers Centre against the Blue Jays. Now, this is very special, because if Papi hits another one out of the park tonight, he will have tied his career season high of 41 (set last year). That would be a big thing for the big slugger!
SCHILLING IS STILL SCHILLING
Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling has once again proven his dominance over the Yankees. He pitched 8 innings of five-hit, two-run ball today, and the Sox won 9-2, putting them 4 games ahead of the Yankees in the AL East. Interestingly, the last time he pitched against New York as a starter was during the ALCS that made him a legend!
Bellhorn to Yankees
Mark Bellhorn has declined an option to go to the PawSox and has left the team. The second baseman now plays for the Empire. Personally, I'm surprised that the Yankees even wanted Bellhorn, considering his notorious strikeout numbers. I guess one team's trash is another's treasure!
Curt Schilling finally pitched a start after all this time in the bullpen. Even though we lost that game, give the guy a break! It's been a while for him, and he will undoubtedly fall back into place very soon. Until then, keep an eye on "Little Schill"! Jon Papelbon! For a rookie, Papelbon has done extraordinarily well and definetly has a future.However, in order for the pitchers to help us win games, we need run support. This means than we have to stop leaving runners on base. Far too many times, I have seen bases-loaded, no-out situations only to have everyone strike out. The best Red Sox triple is worthless if nobody gets a hit to score him.
YAY! He's back in the rotation! Today is an off-day (have a safe flight!) but tomorrow Schilling is scheduled to pitch against the Kansas City Royals! (BTW, KC finally broke their 19-game losing streak the other night!) Now, as Red Sox fans, we must remember that we are still susceptible to jinxes, so we must be careful...CARDINAL RULE: UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES IS ANYONE TO SAY ANYTHING ABOUT SCHILLING'S PERFORMANCE UNTIL THE SCORE IS FINAL.Warmup comments such as "Get ready to throw some HEAT!" are OK, however.
When I went to the Fisher Cats-Sea Dogs game, the Sea Dogs won. I personally think that both teams are great, even though thr Fisher Cats were the home team. I noticed an up-and-coming Red Sox prospect wearing number 2 at shortstop. His name is Hanley Ramirez. I have confirmed with Fenway Ambassador Drew Thurlow that he is NOT related to Manny Ramirez, although both are from the Dominican Republic. Hanley made some amazing plays look routine! I've even heard rumors about moving Renteria to 3B and putting Hanley in as a shortstop next year! Keep an eye on Hanley...
THE RED SOX OF THE FUTURE
Tonight I am going to a New Hampshire Fisher Cats game in Manchester, NH. The Fisher Cats will be facing the Portland Sea Dogs, AA affiliates of the Boston Red Sox! These players are the big-leaguers of tomorrow, and now I have a chance to see them today! (I will take pictures to post soon!)