Wednesday, February 28, 2007

The Start Of Something...Something Big????

Tonight's (Wednesday) Red Sox lineup for the Mayor's Cup opener..........
Julio Lugo (ss), Kevin Youkilis (1b), David Ortiz (dh), Jason Varitek (c), Mike Lowell (3b), Peña (rf), Dustin Pedroia (2b), David Murphy (lf), Jacoby Ellsbury (cf).

And I say...PLAY BALL!!!!!!

Trot Nixon......News...Happy News!!! So Stand Up And........And.......READ!!!

Do we, or WILL we miss him? Hey, Trot, I already am! Bigtime. Dirt Dog? Trot IS the one who that phrase was written about! Read this, from the Acron Ohio Beacon Journal....and click on the title if you comments follow on this warm (36 degrees F.) Wednesday afternoon....

"After being plagued by injuries for three years, Nixon feels healthy.
``Nothing hurts,'' he said. ``I don't know any player who is absolutely healthy for a whole season. Most guys don't have to go on the disabled list, but they have lots of bumps and bruises. But 2003 is the last time I felt this good.''
Nixon's ailments have included a strained biceps tendon, staph infection and a herniated disc (2006); a strained oblique (2005) and a strained quadriceps (2004). Nixon underwent surgery during the winter to correct the back problem.
``I am still working on my strength,'' he said.
``But once I get to be 100 percent, it will be the best I've ever felt.''

Peter here. And Trot, I KNOW YOU WILL be a force in the AL Central! And you'll catch the ball too! OOO, a diss, WMP... I am sorry! And that brings a smile to MY face! We'll see Trot in Fenway's right.....soon! And we will stand and cheer and shower love. And for the entire article, which is a great and quick on the title. And here, in Connecticut, the temperature is ROCKETING upwards. It's already 36.4 degrees F. And I was being a little facetious...when the temperatures ROCKET up, they shouldn't stop until 50 degrees is reached. And I'll wait. I'm patient......but not when it comes to the Sox search for a closer. The sooner the better, and there is NO such thing as TOO soon!!!!!!!!!! SO.....

On NESN tonight, Curt Schilling and the Boston Red Sox will be shown as they open their spring training schedule. Are the Red Sox on their way to heights unknown since 2004? It all depends on the bullpen, doesn't it? I have faith...and maybe Faith Rewarded! I think so! Oh, and I DID want to say hi to our 2007 closer. Please, my readers, let me know who to say hi to!!!!

Thank for reading....the sky is the limit once our late inning guy is known to ALL of us.

Hurry Up And Wait!

So it seems that the length of modern day baseball games have resulted in a new set of rules by MLB. New rules for our oldest and most loved game. Read this, from the Courant, and my comments will follow. You can read the whole thing by post title clicking.....well written, by Jeff Goldberg, our Sox guy from the Hartford paper....

"It is the essence of baseball. The pitcher stares in at the batter, twirling the ball behind his back. The hitter returns the glare, his bat rocking back and forth as the anticipation of the next pitch builds.
It is that tension and drama, repeated over and over during the course of nine innings, that makes baseball unique among all professional sports. And Major League Baseball says that's all well and good ... but guys, could you maybe hurry it up a little?
For the first time since 1996, major rule changes have been enacted in baseball. They are designed, in part, to speed up games. Most notable is the reduction in time between pitches with no men on base, from 20 to 12 seconds. Violators will be charged with a ball."

Peter here. 12 seconds! Not fifteen? That sounds so much more reasonable. Enforcement of this one could cause mayhem and chaos in the upcoming season. Enforcable? Sure, just like the "no talking on cell phones while driving" law here in CT. and other states. It's up to the discretion and the mood of the officer. And the same thing goes for the umps. Having a good day, Ump? Yes, and OK, I'll let it go, for now. Bad day? BALL!!! The entire article also goes into the growing TV networks' "between innings" time needed for the networks to make their money. That's why I recommend reading the entire Courant article. So enjoy! And I'll be back later on this Hump Day of sun, but no fun (not yet).

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

OUR Hideki.....

From the Big Apple Times...about our lesser-known and way less publicised but just as important Japanese pitcher....Hideki Okajima..and the Times' article is linked when you click on the title......

"Okajima’s fastball does not exceed 88 miles an hour. If he sputters in Boston, it will hardly be as notable (Peter Daisuke's sputtering would be). Still, the bullpen he will join was a fragile one last season. The Red Sox will be delighted if he can frustrate left-handed hitters the way he did last year in Japan, when he held them to a .186 average with no home runs in 70 at-bats while pitching for the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters.""

Peter here. And he's OUR Hideki...bullpen bound and trying to stifle and silence the opposing teams' lefthanded batters. We wish him well, whether he's pitching to the Yankees' Hideki Matsui, or any darned lefthanded batter in either league. Will he be a key to the Red Sox potential success? I think so!
RSN eyes, and Japan's eyes, will be riveted. And that's so great!
Red Sox Forever!

More Manny Mutterings

Oh yes. Manny indeed stays in shape. He proved that to RSN yesterday. Read this, from the Herald.....and I have linked the Globe's Shaughnessy article here, so after reading my stuff, click on the title of this post for a different take on this happy Mannyness......

"For his first time in a batting cage at spring training, Manny Ramirez [stats] looked particularly sharp as he sprayed line drives to left, right and center field yesterday.
One big reason, according to one of his confidantes, is that Ramirez took batting practice five days a week from December until now. In previous offseasons, the source said, Ramirez never picked up a bat. This time around, the extra work came from a desire to show more production early in the season.
Ramirez has a career .312 batting average in March, April, May and June, with 214 homers and 736 RBI. In July, August, September and October, he has a .316 average with 256 homers and 780 RBI.
Ramirez’ agents, Greg Genske and Gene Mato, said that Ramirez has the green light to play baseball at full speed after rehabbing the sore right knee that sidelined him for most of September last season. Ramirez’ condition is neither chronic nor arthritic, Mato said."

Peter here, and that's good news about Manny's knee. Maybe the time between the beginning of October and the start of his daily batting practices in early December, and the rehab involved during that span, did wonders for his knee. We have to hope so. Why? The Red Sox, WITH a healthy, full-time, pedal to the metal Manny AND with the successful ending of our search to find the closer to be named later, will make this team that we love a formidable club, and that's putting it mildly. The Sox will be the favorites to win the AL East. And that's just the start. Again, that prognosis would be for a Sox club WITH a closer. The names are out there in the bullpen. One, Mike Timlin, is already injured. He's over 40, and I don't think his body will allow him to be a season-long force as a late inning guy.
But I stray from the subject at hand. Welcome back Manny. Way to stay in shape!! And I KNOW that YOU know exactly what the home opener will be like......a full house of Manny fans-pure ecstacy with constant standing ovations, screaming voices and just general zaniness. Such is the life of a Red Sox fan. When it's good, it's REALLY good. And early April of 2007? REALLY GOOD!
My faithful readers, there is no more to say! Thanks, as always, for stopping by. I don't know what I'd do without you. And some have voiced the thought that we've already heard enough about Manny, as well as the closer situation and Daisuke. But they are all vital subjects as we members of RSN search for another World Championship. Three years after our hopes and dreams were rewarded by reality. Remember? Of course you do. We all rose as one, united by nothing more than a baseball club. And we roared. And it felt good!!! I want that feeling back. Don't you? Please comment, if you can.

As the snow falls gently outside, making my backyard worthy of a picture postcard, I am drawn to Fort Myers, to my baseball club. The Boston Red Sox. I love them. And I love you also, every one of you who stops by to read my words. So take well...always.

Monday, February 26, 2007

MANNY Shows Up In Camp...EARLY!!!!!!!!!

This, "minutes ago" news....

"Though he said he wasn't going to arrive until March 1, outfielder Manny Ramirez showed up at Sox camp in Fort Myers this morning with agents Greg Genske and Gene Matos."

Peter here, and I have just one comment, said in different ways..."Yes, oui, yay, yipee, way to go Manny, shalom, I can't believe it!'s TRUE!"
But this says it all, for every one of us. I AM SO HAPPY!! RSN is happy.......WOW!

There Is NO Such Thing As Too Much Pitching...Think '06!

This from Steve Buckley of the Monday Herald, and then a word from me......the entire article, only a little of which is seen here, can be read by clicking on the title.

"It was just some cramping of the lower back that drove Mike Timlin off the practice field yesterday morning. He didn’t take a line drive off the head. Timlin, though, offered the kind of damn-the-torpedoes take on this injury that we’ve come to expect from this hardened veteran of many teams, many seasons, many spring trainings.
“It cramped up. What am I going to do?” he shrugged. “It’s not like I’ve torn anything, and I’m not dead. I’ll be OK.”
While it has become sacrilegious to say or write anything remotely cautionary about the 2007 Red Sox - what with their brilliant new Japanese starter, their beefed-up lineup, their promising new double-play combination, their glittering array of talented and hungry minor leaguers and their additional renovations to Fenway Park - let’s not forget that the Sox will open the campaign with three pitchers who are age 40 or older.
There are, in other words, no givens. Did not Red Sox fans learn this painful lesson last year?"

Peter here, and YES WE DID! That is why Theo and company resisted the urge to trade young pitching for an established closer, a move that might doom us in the long run, or seem like a bolt of lightning, a stroke of genius, a heaven-sent gift of the gods. Only time will provide the answer to that. And as for Mike Timlin, Curt Schilling and Timmy Wakefield, we ALL have to hope that the '07 season, young and filled with all the possibilities there can be as we near March 1st, will be kind to them, AND their bodies. As we saw last year, an injury bug CAN turn into a widespread teamwide plague, with disastrous consequences. We know that all too well.
Enjoy your Monday, my readers. And just an hour ago I learned I had an email from the Daily News sportswriter Mark Feinsand, a talented man and writer whose article I praised but whose article's TITLE I panned, putting the onus on the author himself. Well, I was dead wrong, and I urge you to go back to my post of a few days ago, titled "Where does it say the word IDIOT?" In THIS case, it was me! Take a look! And Mark's Daily News blog, a Yankee one and a well-written one, is linked right over there, three inches to your right!!!! A cannot-miss daily read!! So thanks, as always, for stopping by. And Mark, thank you for making me wiser!

Sunday, February 25, 2007

One Plus One Equals.........

You be the judge. First, from Tito......on Jon Lester......

"Francona was impressed with Jon Lester's live batting practice effort and said Lester "is doing everything everyone else is doing."

And now, in THIS CORNER,, Jonathon Papelbon, Paps, with HIS thoughts on pitching as a member of the rotation, or...or....well, read on.....and both blurbs were from today's Globe, accessed in full with a click of the title.......

"While the Red Sox go about looking for a new closer, Jonathan Papelbon continues to say he'll go back to the bullpen if the club makes such a request. Papelbon, recovered from a shoulder injury, is almost certain to start the season in the rotation, but he remains a great alternative if the closer search comes up empty.
"I'll definitely miss closing," the big righty said yesterday. "It was a joy for me, but I've got to turn the page. I'll help out any way I can. I know I said last summer that I'd love to close for the next 12 years, and I'm not going to deny that I said that, but the manager came to me with a decision he made and we're going to go with it.
"If they ask me to go back, we'll have to sit down and go over the pros and cons and do what is best for the team."

What's best for the team, or what's best for YOU, Paps, shoulder and all? That's where it becomes vitally important to make the right decision, and Jonathon's long major league future hangs in the balance. Some of us would say that the Sox HAVE five great starters-to-be (with Jon Lester.) Others (me included) would rather have the search within the bullpen for a closer continue until there is a certainly of our future closer being out there, or a certainly that the Sox will HAVE to look elsewhere. To me, Paps, even with all his brilliance in the closer's role of 2006, should be a last resort, for if his shoulder indeed can not take the up, up and down and up yet again stuff that makes a closer THE closer, then why risk it? Especially if there's a certain someone, a man who can adapt to the role exacly the same way that Paps did last year, who is out there and ready to be the lights-out late inning guy. I do not expect miracles ala Paps THIS year, not yet, but it's early and hope abounds. Caution is the way to go.. that's the right path for right now.....
Everyone, my readers, enjoy your well and be happy. And thanks for being here. As always, I'd love to respond to your comments. And click on the title for the entire's a good one.

Mariano Says No To Pitching In Boston Next Year.....

I read this with a chuckle, a little laugh this Sunday morning. Here, from the NY Times, and then a comment. The whole article is linked when you click on the post's title.......

TAMPA, Fla., Feb. 24 — "Mariano Rivera, the Yankees’ closer, smiled while he was told some of the recent developments regarding the Boston Red Sox. Curt Schilling will become a free agent after the season. Manny Ramírez is not yet in camp. Daisuke Matsuzaka is a pitching machine.
Rivera also said he would test free agency after 2007. Mariano turned serious when he was asked if he could envision himself pitching for Boston.
“I don’t think so,” Rivera said. “I respect the players and I respect the organization, but we’ve had so much happen between us. I don’t think I could do it."

Another old pitcher? No thanks, although if anyone is an exception to his age, it would be Mariano Rivera. And make NO mistake...he's the best in the business. I can never imagine him in another uniform next year, and the same goes for Schill. If they pitch, they'll pitch for their current right-now teams in '08. That's just the way I feel, and I'm paid the big bucks (yeah, right!) to voice my opinions here. But don't get me wrong. Every time one of my readers, new or old, clicks here to read my stuff, that's all the payment I'll EVER need. And that's forever!

Saturday, February 24, 2007

When Johnny (That's Right!) Damon Comes Marching Home...

Johnny Damon haters out there. And I know there are plenty of you...I was too up until I read this about him. So please, read this, and maybe you'll change your minds. After all, baseball is JUST a game. But this? This is as far from a game as it gets........

TAMPA, Fla. -- "Johnny Damon has reveled in the fruits of life in America. He plays baseball for $13 million a year, and he wears fame comfortably.
The shoulder-length hair is long gone, but Damon is not shy about wearing patriotism on his sleeve.
"I know we're [divided] about the war," Damon said of the U.S. involvement in Iraq. "But we need to take care of these soldiers who've made the sacrifice for our freedom. ... It's about our country. It bothers me when people dog the country. We're free, we have the ability to make millions of dollars, and people are complaining."
For Damon, his new passion is not about politics, but people. He became a national spokesman for the Wounded Warrior Project last September, and has taken a personal interest in helping wounded veterans rebuild their lives.
His father, Jimmy, was a career Army officer who served in Vietnam. Johnny Damon, 33, spent much of his early life on Army bases, and often wears military-themed attire; it's part of him.
"My father's told me things in the last few years that he wouldn't tell me as a child," Damon said. "The thing that really inspired me is when I went to Walter Reed hospital last year, for the second time, and I saw the progress people were making."

Peter here. I feel so much better about Johnny Damon as a human being and a citizen of this great country. A country right now burdened by our President's baffling and stubborn idiotic ways, but as for Johnny Damon? WAY TO GO. Please don't confuse life with the game that we love called baseball. The entire article is linked when you click on this post's title. So please read it. And ask yourself this. Do you still feel the same way about him? I'd love to read what you have to say. Dad too served his country well. And I know this will bring out the Damon hatred in some of you, but I don't give a damn. Read the entire article if you can. Thanks....and disagree if you want. We all need our voices to be heard. And I'm waiting to hear yours! Right or wrong...weak or strong. Bush or (I wish) no Bush.

Just HOW Good Was Our Paps Last Year?? ESPN Answers. And A Little Mikey Lowell News/Views Here Too!

Well, whada'ya know! I found what I was looking for. A fun and informative article from ESPN...I'll run a couple tidbits here, and the entire article is recommended reading. And I linked it in the usual way. The subject? Our Jonathon sit back, put your feet up for a minute, and marvel at the year of Jonathon Papelbon....2006............

"When he walked off the mound Sept. 1, Papelbon had 35 saves and a 0.92 ERA. Just to put that record in perspective, that was merely the lowest ERA in Red Sox history by any pitcher with as many innings as Papelbon had worked (68 1/3). In fact, it was the second-best single-season ERA for any team in the live-ball era.
And it made Papelbon only the second closer since the invention of the modern save rule to save at least 30 games and have an ERA under 1.00. (The other: Dennis Eckersley, in 1990.)
That's an amazing résumé for a rookie pitcher -- a résumé so good, says Curt Schilling, that the guy who compiled it should have been "the Cy Young and the rookie of the year, [except] he got hurt at the worst possible time."

So Jonathon will start off as a member of the rotation, and barring an emergency, a TOTAL lack of anyone stepping up in the bullpen, well, I don't even want to think about that, but that is where he will stay. For if the Sox front office has to consider sliding Paps back into the closer's role, the bullpen would have had to be on its way to mediocrity. This club cannot have that! In Pap's own words....

"When I dreamed as a kid, I dreamed of being a pitcher in the big leagues, regardless of what I was doing," Papelbon says. "I just wanted to pitch in the big leagues, and I'll take what I can get."

Jonathon, so will we. We'll dream with you every step of the way, and we'll watch you MAKE IT HAPPEN! Just one favor...please....BE HEALTHY, from March through the end of October. My readers, what else can we ask of him? Thanks for reading! And ESPN? Thank YOU for such a great article.....and as always, comments are welcome, needed, even enforced!....Paps rules!

And speaking of ruling, our beloved third baseman, up for an Oscar this coming Sunday for outstanding supporting role in an American League infield, is none other than...Mike Lowell! Read this...from the Herald, and then my comments.....

"Among major league third baseman with at least 1,000 career games played, Lowell has the highest fielding percentage of all time. (Yes, including Brooks Robinson.) And while there is no way of telling whether or not Lowell will be here next year - his contract expires at the end of the season - let there be little doubt as to how his teammates and manager feel about him.
Said Francona: “Regardless of what his numbers are at the end of the day, you know he’s going to give you everything he has.”
And in every way imaginable."

Peter here, and what better way to conclude and put to rest this multi-subject early Saturday morning post than to mention our vacuum cleaner, Mr. Doubles? Mike Lowell. Good 2007 luck Mike...and stay healthy. Thank you, from my heart, for being the rock on the left side of Fenway's newly groomed infield. Our infield, your territory. You're the guy we want up in the six spot of our potent batting order so we can hear that beautiful THWACK sound, as a line drive hits fair, off the Green Monster. And into double territory. And three runs score! How sweet it is!!! And WILL be......

Exhibition Game Rotation...The First Five

With each passing day we get that much closer to spring training baseball. Here's how the rotation for the first few games will play out. This from the wire services.......via the Saturday Hartford Courant.......and the entire article, including Matt Clement (remember him?) news, is available when you click on the title of the post. So, leading off and playing shortstop........

"The Red Sox announced the rotation for its first five exhibition games, with righthander Curt Schilling starting the opener Wednesday against the Twins at City of Palms Park.
Kason Gabbard will start against the Blue Jays Thursday in a split-squad game in Dunedin, while Josh Beckett goes against Northeastern in Fort Myers. Kyle Snyder will start against Toronto Friday in the first game of a day-night doubleheader at City of Palms, with Daisuke Matsuzaka pitching against Boston College at 6 p.m.
Tim Wakefield and Jonathan Papelbon will both face the Phillies in Fort Myers March 3.
All starters will work two innings, with a ceiling of 35 pitches."

Peter here once again. and it's nice to see the pitcher's names and the days of their appearances matched together. Makes it feel more structured, more, well, baseball-like! And I know we're all chomping at the bit for baseball to begin. But there are questions to be answered.....bullpen questions, Manny questions, questions that aren't even questions yet! So as long as there are no pre-season injuries, bring on the games, be they exhibition contests or regular season ones. And with them, warmer weather would be nice. It feels like 2 degrees F. out there this morning with the wind.
Everyone, have a great weekend....and I'll be back in a matter of minutes when I find what I'm looking for. We're ALL looking for something!

Friday, February 23, 2007

It's Up To You, Curt........

This is from today's (Friday) Globe, and then a comment on this sudden turn of events, a turn that makes sense to me, AND to the club....somewhat. I'll explain after this, and the entire article is up there when you click on the title........

"Schilling is wounded the way Pedro Martínez was wounded throughout the 2004 season. He also loves pitching and playing in Boston. He's starting a business in our region and his busy wife seems to have found Boston to be a good fit for her numerous charity causes. Schilling made a bold play to get another year, but the Sox called his bluff and said, "Show us you can still do it." If he pitches well, the Sox still have a chance to sign him for 2008."

Peter here, and this is to Curt, the portly looking, at least at this stage of spring training, ace of our staff. Anyone who thinks otherwise, who thinks Schill is too old or too stomach-heavy to be our number one guy is least until we see the rotation 3 to 5 times in action. So, us, RSN one and all, that you can duplicate 2006's sparkling and totally great 3.97 ERA. There's plenty of time to hone your stuff and slim down while making sure all the 40 plus year old parts are working together. Lame duck? Not to us you still "have it," and the Boston roots that you and your wonderful charity oriented wife and family have established won't be going anywhere. Good health, get that extra zip on your fastball, the extra movement on the cutter, and generally do not let this bother you. If you shine, we shine, and I wouldn't be surprised if the club settles this whole thing well before September. And readers, ya know what? I think that is EXACTLY what will happen.
So everyone....enjoy this grey Friday. My back, which I wrote about in post number one on Thursday, is a little better, but sleep last night was seriously disturbed because the frequent needs to turn over or shift positions resulted in a stabbing, "broke or cracked your rib" type of pain. OUCH!!!!!! And that's what I think is the problem. How did I do it? That's what bothers me the most, because I have no idea. It's OK when I'm sitting or generally upright, but the usual haven of comfort, my bed, has become something out of the Twilight Zone. Thank you Vicodin, although even "you" hardly take the edge off this unknown enemy and its best friend, PAIN. But readers, you know me....I'll be back later, after shopping for me AND my wonderful cat. Food for two, coming up! Thanks for reading. Love ya all! And another Friday post? You never know.......

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Dennis "DJ" Johnson DEAD At 52...Celtic Great...

Larry Bird today said that DJ was the best basketball player he ever played with. Sadly, at 52 years of age, Dennis Johnson is dead. Everyone who ever loved or loves the green team is suddenly saddened. He collapsed in a practice game today, and his loss is ours. WE MISS YOU DENNIS. Rest in peace. Too young to go, and wow, did you shine in the 1980's....McHale, Bird, Ainge, Parish and...and.....DJ. We are diminished without you, and I am reduced to tears. Above everything, you were a GOOD person.
You will always be a World Champion, forever. And I mourn.

FROM ESPN...The Red Sox Will NOT Offer Schill A Contract For 2008....Not Now...

Hello's Peter. And....does this make sense to you? Does what make sense? THIS.... for the club to come out and say this us, to the media, to every baseball lover, blog reader, every breathing American (my back might hurt, but I sure am breathing!!!!)........and the world, that Curt Schilling, on the eve of this oh so promising 2007 Sox season, has to wait...he's out of luck, FU, and, well, I'm out of words. Way to go SOX. It's almost as if your wallet, John Henry, has suddenly and without warning been zipped shut! Nope..I do not get it. And I hope I misheard the ESPN LEAD STORY! Fat chance. But maybe? I so so hope so! I am shocked...........

Where Does It Say The Word "IDIOT?"

I'm used to trash such as this from the Daily News, of New York City. But the headline, which you will soon, very soon, see, mentions the word idiot. But IN the article, which contains Johnnie D's. comments, that particlar "I" word does NOT appear. I guess that might be called "author selective editing." I call it BS! Here you go, and if you'd like to see the entire post, click on the title. But to tell you the truth, just keep reading! Thanks, my faithful readers.............



TAMPA - A little more than a year after the Red Sox allowed Johnny Damon to bolt Boston for New York for a paltry - by baseball standards, anyway - $12 million, the question remains: Why did Boston allow the heart of its team to leave for its biggest rival?
Damon, now in his second spring with the Yankees, believes the Red Sox had the money to sign him, they just decided he wasn't worth it.
"I knew they had the money back when they were negotiating with me; they just took their stance," Damon said. "I was probably the only guy who never begged them to sign me."
In Damon's mind, he had done everything possible to earn a new deal from the Red Sox, who offered him four years and $40 million. If they didn't want to give him one, he would find what he wanted elsewhere.
That it was the Yankees who gave it to him was simply a bonus.
"They had a chance for a month and a half after the season, but when they don't talk to you or offer you a contract in that time, it tells you they don't want you," Damon said. "That's fine with me. I wasn't going to be in a situation where they didn't want me. I think they just looked at it as, 'Johnny loves it here.' It was great, but this suits me a lot better. I'm a happier person because of it."

Peter here. And I had to chime in. You know me...I HAD TO...what is your point, little Johnnie? Poor baby...are you happy now? Then why pout?? Do you miss the more favorable, more laid-back and "it's ok to smile" clubhouse atmosphere that our players enjoy? Aww, poor boy. OK, back to the article.....

"Damon hit .285 with 24 homers, 80 RBI and 25 steals in his first season with the Yankees, giving the Bombers their first true leadoff hitter since Chuck Knoblauch left after the 2001 season.
Epstein never mentioned Damon by name, but a Boston source said the Red Sox regret allowing the center fielder to skip town and sign with the Yankees.
"I think they'd like a do-over on that one," the source said. "That's safe to say. If they knew what the market would do, I'm sure they would have sweetened the pot a little for Johnny."

Peter here.......message to Mark Feinsand, author of this article for the Daily News. HHMMMM, I've read this twice, and no where, not anywhere, and no place in print did I see a hint of Johnnie Damon (spelling intentional for his first name...always since he left, or we let him go, more accurately) uttering that word "idiot." So I must commend you on your journalistic skills. NOW I know what it takes to be a New York Daily News reporter/writer. Key words?? NOT MUCH. Thanks for the laughs, the unintentional hilarity! (PETER here...I erred...see addendum below..thanks Mark)
And to my readers, if you had the time to read his article, I hope you enjoyed. There are so many of my readers who are Johnnie Damon lovers! Speak up with a comment or three, for me!!! I'll read every one of your responses, and comment on them, too. The entire NY Daily News article is linked when you click on the title. So do it!!!
But for now, that's enough from me!! My back doesn't hurt any longer (thank you Vicodin), but my verbality is apparent. In plain old English, right now, I'M TALKING TOO MUCH!!! So take care, and have a great Thursday, as I say with a smile, a grin, a suppressed laugh, a............I had to cut this guy off! Bye.......

This is Peter on Monday morning, the 26th of the month. And the author of the above Daily News piece, Mark Feinsand, was nice enough to write to me yesterday. He brought to my attention one HUGE point. Yes, he wrote the article, an article that I found informative and entertaining. But he DID NOT write the "idiotic" title of said post. That was up to someone this case, a boob! Mark, thank you, and readers, look for Mark's name when you are reading the Daily News. I know I will! PN

NESN Comes Through For Us! And JD Drew Speaks......

This, from the wire services, and then a word from me.....

"NESN will televise the first hour of the March 2 game against Boston College, from 6-7 p.m., in order to show Matsuzaka's Red Sox debut. He is expected to pitch two or three innings."

Peter here, and GREAT JOB NESN! Our first look at Daisuke Matsuzaka in a Boston Red Sox uniform in game conditions. Sure, the opponent will be college kids, but imagine what a thrill of a lifetime it will be for them. And for us! I now know what I'll be doing at the dinner hour on March 2nd...that's only 8 days from now!

And this from the Hartford Courant as JD Drew speaks about his shoulder. More good news? Read on....

....."Drew, who replaces the popular Trot Nixon in right field, reported no issues with the shoulder, a full season removed from surgery in September 2005.
"It feels wonderful," Drew said. "I've been throwing and hitting and doing all the things I need to do to get ready to be here."

Peter back once again. I hope he's being honest with us, because it sure would be nice to see him play 130 plus games this year. Manny too! So this Thursday, cloudy with some snow on the way, seems to be going well. Now if only my aching back would let me blow my nose, I'd be all set! But nooooooooo! Not yet. I'll survive.
And that's MORE than you need to know, right here at Peter's Red Sox Forever. Be well. Oh, and the entire article, headed by Big Papi stuff, is right there when you click on the title of this post. See ya!!!


I must have pulled something in my mid-back, for when I woke up from a wonderful and uninterrupted sleep (I have a great bed!), there was a hot-knife sharp type of pain to the left of my spine midway from my neck to my waist. It only hurts when I move, breath, cough, sneeze or just generally exist. I'll have to avoid all those activities. However, sitting here early on this 19 degree F. morning, I'm OK. I'm worried about getting up, which I have to do as soon as I finish this abbreviated post. A pain pill might be necessary, for the Tylenol did as much good as a fly swatter in the rain forest. I've been to one...I know! So for my next post, something Soxish, I should be feeling better. I need a pair of experienced hands, female, for an intensive backrub! Help!
As the Terminator said, "I'll be back" (no pun intended).

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Hello Julio!!!!

This from the Fort Myers News-Press.....and then a comment. And as always, check out the ENTIRE article by clicking on the ya go......

"The Red Sox don't expect Lugo to field as well as Gonzalez did last year. They don't expect anybody to field that well.
"Maybe the best shortstop we've ever seen," Red Sox manager Terry Francona said of Gonzalez. "The best shortstop I've ever seen. Nobody else is going to do that again unless Gonzalez does it again in Cincinnati. That's how good he is. This guy (Julio Lugo) brings some different things. Lugo is more of a hitter. He has a career .277 average, with 68 homers and 139 stolen bases.
"He plays with a ton of energy," Francona said.
Francona believes Lugo will benefit from the Boston baseball passion.
"He's got that type of attitude that I think in Boston will make him a better player," Francona said. "The full house every night and the atmosphere we have I think will bring out the best player he can be.

Peter here...and no one, I repeat no human with two hands could do defensively what Alex G. did last year, just as no one could repeat Jonathon Papelbon's last year achievements either. But in Julio Lugo, of the Dominican Republic (where else?), we have a guy who will field his position just fine, thank you, AND be the spark plug that the Sox need at the top of the order. There has been talk of Coco Crisp batting in the second spot, but I think the ideal fit, a guy who is pitch selective AND gets on base so much, would be Kevin Youklis. So don't be surprised to see Kevin batting second, and Coco, with his speed, nearer the bottom (7th or 8th) of the order. Either way, we are WINNERS!
Thanks for reading, and the entire article is one click away, on the title of this post. Comments. C'mon, I'd love 'em!!

Theo: Schilling Will Stay For 2008.But.........

In an appearance on WEEI radio, Theo had this to say about Curt Schilling........

"I have little doubt in my mind that if Curt wants to pitch in '08 that he's going to be a member of the Boston Red Sox."

Peter here. BUT, (there's always a but, isn't there?), this from the Herald....

"Sox chairman Tom Werner said the team is more likely to wait and see how the 40-year-old looks on the mound this season before issuing an extension.
“It’s understandable that a player would be wanting to talk to management about extending a contract,” said Werner, who arrived yesterday with fellow owners John Henry and Larry Lucchino. “It’s also understandable for us to take a peek before giving him more of a ‘yes’ answer.”

Peter here. So, where does that leave us? In limbo, but not for long. Of this I am sure. Curt has to be more flexible. This thing WILL GET DONE in the first couple months of the season. I know it! But to expect the club to give him another $13 million year without being able to see him pitch two or three games, real games, not spring training games, is not fair to the team. I cannot imagine Curt wearing another uniform next year. And neither can Theo and company. And let us all remember this...his ERA last year was a sparkling 3.97. So, what do you think, my opinionated readers? I'd love to read and respond to your comments.

I'll be back later with more Sox comings and goings a little later.There's certainly plenty of both! Take your pick.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

ESPN's Eleven Biggest Position Battles....Sox Number One On Their List!

I just came across this article at SI dot com. It listed the top eleven position battles/question marks for major league baseball teams. And heading the list, at the top, number one with a bullet? The Boston Red Sox, and, of course, their search for a closer. Here's what SI had to say. And it's a great on the title for the entire piece. And I'll be back with a word or two, even though the 2007 Sox bullpen has been a topic of interest and verbage here at PRSF for a long time. Read on, from SI.....

"Spring training lasts a scant six weeks, so it's a tad unreasonable to expect that teams come up with all the answers before Opening Day. Simply figuring out what needs to be figured out is hard enough to do.
Still, there are teams with deficiencies so glaring (and, possibly, so damaging) that addressing them at the start of spring training, head on, is the only chance these teams have at ever finding the right answer. Here are 11 potholes on 10 different teams that need some urgent attention as teams begin their first full-squad workouts this week: (Peter here...and I'm printing only number one. Click on the title of this post for the entire informative article)........

This is the most high-profile position battle on any roster. With last year's closer, Jonathan Papelbon (35 saves in '06), pegged for the rotation, the Sox are searching for a capable replacement. This spring, they'll be looking hard at veterans Brendan Donnelly, Mike Timlin, Joel Pineiro and Julian Tavarez. But if either Craig Hansen or Manny Delcarmen (or longshot Devern Hansack) can pull a Papelbon, the Sox will have a deep, dangerous 'pen. Hansen, a closer at St. John's with a mid-90s sinking fastball and a nasty slider, projects as the closer sooner rather than later."

Peter shattering news? No...for every up-to-date Red Sox fan, it's almost old news. But the if's and the who's are so important to our '07 chances. As SI said, "deep and dangerous." With our rotation, that combination would be irresistable and lethal for other AL teams, catapulting us into the post season as a favorite on ANYONE'S list of teams to beat. And's going to happen! I have a feeling someone will shine out in the 'pen, and with our 6 guy (right now) rotation and the set-up men already in place, that's the ONLY missing piece....the "shut 'em up and then we'll shut 'em down" guy who will take care of any ninth inning woes.
Thank you Bruce Springsteen for your words, 1978 words, from the song RACING IN THE STREET. You'll find it on his DARKNESS ON THE EDGE OF TOWN album. A revelation, and his first after his 1975 nationwide calling card, BORN TO RUN. Enough about Bruce.......this is about our Sox!
Enjoy this warmer (yes!) Tuesday, my friends. FAITH! Sox faith!

A Long Year Of Manny Being Manny??

This from today's Hartford Courant. Why am I not surprised? The entire article is linked with the title. Click on it.......

" Today is the reporting date for position players at Red Sox spring training camp. So, naturally, there is almost no chance Manny Ramirez will be seen around here for at least a week.
His close friend, reliever Julian Tavarez, said Ramirez will arrive March 1, the last day players can report to spring training without penalty under the collective bargaining agreement."

Peter here, and this news came down from Manny's personal media spokesperson, none other than Julian Tavarez, who is the only member of the club or the media to have spoken with Mr. Ramirez. He assured all that Manny, who is taking care of his Mom, who had an operation to remove a non-cancerous mass, will be IN CAMP on March 1st. We have to believe him. Manny being Manny before the season starts? It's happened before. I have to hope one thing. With the tremendous make-up of the 2007 club, all it would take is one key player whose heart is not in it, who isn't ready to go 100% on the field and off, to derail everything. Manny being Manny? Looks like it, but Manny, come March 1st, be ready to play. The team needs you.

Monday, February 19, 2007

5 Questions About Our Sox '07...From CBS Sportsline Dot Com

A nice article on this still 3 degree Monday morning from CBS Sportsline dot com. Five questions concerning our team. I'll list three of them here, with my comments after each.....for the entire CBS Sportsline piece, click on the title.....

1." By far the most important issue looming over the Red Sox this spring is who will pitch the ninth innings. The great hope is that the experiment of converting Joel Pineiro, who consistently disappointed as a starter in Seattle, has what it takes to succeed as a closer."

Peter here, and you've read my many words about the importance of the eighth and ninth innings, and who will be our "late inning" hero for '07. THERE HAS TO BE ONE!

2."Last year's closer, Jonathan Papelbon, is moving to the rotation -- where the Red Sox originally had him slotted before chance and necessity caused him to become an ubercloser last summer until a sore arm sidelined him Sept. 1."

Jonathon will be fine as a member of our talented rotation. And lastly...oh, and for the entire article, click on the title!

3. "Another young pitcher, Jon Lester, is healthy again after battling lymphoma last season. He dropped below 200 pounds while undergoing chemotherapy and was significantly weakened. He's strong again this spring, and he'll need everything he has to crack a solid rotation that will line up with Curt Schilling, Daisuke Matsuzaka, Josh Beckett, Tim Wakefield and Jonathan Papelbon..."

Peter here, and thanks for reading. And numbers two and three (out of five, but space prevents me from running the entire know how to get there), go directly back to our number one concern...the bullpen, and who will be where and in what role. I cannot see the future, but if all the 'pen pieces do not fall into place, I might not like what that future might look like. But then again, if all those pieces interlock seamlessly and form a formidable bullpen, well, hold on to your hats, for the world is possible! The baseball world in the palm of our hands. And then...we close our fist! I have faith! Do you?

Schill Is Ready For Quite The Season

There was a good article on the early preparations of our ace, Curt Schilling. Here's a taste, and then a few comments. As usual, the entire Hartford Courant article is available by clicking on this post's title.......

"I feel good. I'll be ready to go Opening Day," said Schilling, 40. "This is absolutely a World Series-caliber ballclub, and we need to be ready right out of the chute. I feel like I am.
"It takes more time to do things now than it did in the past. Warming up is just one of them. It takes me a little longer to get it cranked up and going, but it will evolve over the spring."
Schilling, who was 15-7 with a 3.97 ERA last season, reiterated his desire to pitch in 2008."

Quotes such as that warm my heart and really make me optimistic for Red Sox 2007. Daisuke or no Daisuke, Schill is our ace, the guy you hand the ball to for game one. The guy you count on for seven quality, 3 runs or less innings. The guy who will do exactly that 16 or 18 times over the course of the season. He'll set the tone for the rest of our talented group of, for now, six starters. And yes, of course I'm including Jon Lester. He's showed remarkable determination and courage to make it back from the horrors of cancer and its life-changing possibilities. The good Lord looked out for him, and now it's OUR turn........Red Sox fans with hearts as big as Cyn's (Red Sox on your right). You have to remember this is a guy who was 7-2 as a starter before and while he was sick. His upside is unimaginable. And so is our club's!
So from Curt to Jon, and the other four guys in between, we look damn good. Now if only a closer will make himself known as the go-to guy, the Paps of '07. When (or if) that happens, I'll start thinking World Series. As the Beatles said, "Yeah yeah yeah!"

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Put Your Trust In TEK

Sunday's Herald had a nice article on our captain, Jason Varitek, catcher supreme. Read this excerpt. The entire article is linked when you click on the title, and then I have a few things to say about his value to our club, and its pitchers.......

"Two seasons into a four-year, $40 million contract, Varitek is coming off a season during which he batted .238 and spent a month on the disabled list, the kinds of things that inspire people to suggest that a player is getting, you know, old.
With that comes the obvious question:
Can he still do it?
“That’s a thing I have to go out and still be able to prove,” Varitek admitted yesterday at Red Sox [team stats]’ spring training facility. “I believe in myself and in my ability to accomplish things. I see no reason why I can’t continue to perform.”
A word to the wise here: Don’t count this guy out just yet. First, Varitek is built like a truck driver and could easily turn the average skeptic into road pizza. Second, he is in positively phenomenal shape, seemingly chiseled from the block of granite that produced, among others, the David."

Peter here. Last year his average dipped to .238. He'll get those numbers up this year, but his real value is in how he handles his pitchers, the way he calls a ballgame. Beckett said that this year he will put more trust in Tek, and shake off far fewer pitches. And that's good, for many times last year the result of a shaken-off pitch by Mr. Beckett was a ball into the Monster seats. Too many times! And Josh has already said to Daisuke to put his trust in Tek. Good advice indeed.
Jason Varitek knows the opposing team's hitters. He constantly studies each and every at bat of all the opposing batters to be faced. His computer is filled with every Red Sox pitcher's best friend- a virtual road map of which pitch to throw when and in what situation. He is truly the brains of the pitcher-catcher battery. And that's why his pitch selection, much like a quarterback calling the plays for his offense, is vital. He's not our captain for nuthin'! Have a great season Tek. And don't worry, Daisuke is learning English.

And I must say this...welcome back Julie. She's back! And her writing and her take on the baseball team we love is listed on the right side, under the aptly titled blog SCARLET FEVER. Try it, you'll like it! I know I am an everyday reader of her blog, when she has time between school and'll see why when you stop in. In a nutshell, SHE CAN WRITE! She makes you care. Again, it's Scarlet Fever. Welcome back Julie. We have Julie Fever!!

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Tito And Theo, Unplugged.....

Well, actually, the mics WERE plugged in yesterday in sunny Florida, as the duo answered questions on a number of subjects near and dear to our inquiring brains. Here are a few of them, with my comments directly after. And yes, the entire non-sliced and diced piece is right there when you click on the title. But read my excerpts and comments first, if it suits your without further delay, one of the hottest duos since Simon and Garfunkel, Sonny and Cher, Martin and Lewis.....give it up for Tito and Theo, live and unplugged.......

1) The bullpen....
"The biggest questions that could not be answered revolve around the bullpen, as both men acknowledged.
"The bullpen is the biggest issue," Epstein said. "Identifying the closer, sorting out the roles. You all know the names," Francona said when asked about the closer.
For now, Epstein maintains the stance that converting Jonathan Papelbon to starter is the most advisable course. "Right now, our medical people feel the best thing for his health is to be on a five-day program," Epstein said.
But there were enough qualifiers to reinforce the notion that the Sox will change course with Papelbon if they deem it best for the club. Papelbon has worked hard, Epstein said, on building the muscles around the shoulder joint that had allowed it to slip out of the socket on the first day of September last season, and they were optimistic about him staying healthy all season."

Peter here, and yes, we DO know all the names and all the what-if this and what-if thats. I'm confident while a little nervous. And Paps has NOT been ruled out as our go-to guy, but if it comes to that, it would mean that all the arms in the bullpen failed in their "becoming the closer" ambitions. Not a good thing. So we wait for the spring games. Next.......

2) Jon Lester...
"The Sox sounded more cautious about lefthander Jon Lester, whom Francona plans to meet with this morning (Sat.) as part of the solo sessions he intends to conduct with each pitcher on the staff. As splendid as Lester feels in the aftermath of four months of chemotherapy for a rare form of blood cancer, the Sox are of a mind to let him continue to build up his strength. Francona said he'd reserve saying more until after talking with Lester, but it seems Lester would have to be lights out all spring if he wants to break camp with the club."

Me again...sorry I won't leave you alone, not when I need to say something (!). Just the fact that Jon is in camp, healthy and strong while approaching his in shape "fighting" weight bodes well for him and for the Sox. I am so happy that he took the reigns and eradicated (for now, and hopefully forever) this dreaded disease that in SOME way has touched us all with its evilness. So go Jon...there's a place for you. And YOU know it as well as we do.
And lastly on the trio of subjects from this duo's revealing yet softspoken interview, sure to zoom up the Billboard charts, I bring you..........

3) His Mannyness
"Still looming as a potential distraction is Manny Ramírez, who as of late last summer had informed the club he really, really, really wanted to be traded this time. Neither Ramírez nor his agents have said anything publicly on the club's failure to do so this winter. Neither Francona nor Epstein has spoken with Ramírez, they said yesterday. But Ramírez has been in touch with "medical people, things like that," Francona said. "Manny's all set."
The Sox have heard from Ramírez's agent, Greg Genske, and have been assured their cleanup hitter, who starts the season 30 home runs shy of 500, is in a positive frame of mind and intends to report to camp."

Peter here, and thank you for reading these excerpts and my take on each of the revealing three matters at hand. As for Mannny, countless number of words and print space will be devoted to our quirky yet supemely gifted leftfielder/cleanup hitter. If he WANTS to give his all, and his body lets him, AND we find a closer in our midst, then the sky is the limit for this Red Sox team that we love. Oh, and please check out the original Boston Globe article by clicking on this post's title. I linked it for you. And most importantly, thank you for spending a few of your Saturday minutes with me...I REALLY appreciate it!

That's it for now. And let's give Tito and Theo a big hand for a great SHOW. "T and T," as they'd like to be known, and as their upcoming single identifies them on the label. A hot new twosome! On your way out, the DVD is available for your purchase, as well as posters and tee shirts.................RSN FOREVER! T and T? Maybe they'll stick to baseball.
Enjoy your weekend, my faithful readers...and as always, your comments are digested and devoured with love. By me!

Theo's Arbitration Avoidence Record Remains Intact

Literally on the couthouse steps, the Red Sox and Wily Mo Pena agreed to a one year $1.875 million contract, avoiding an arbitration hearing. Theo's perfect record of no arbitration hearings is still intact. WMP could earn an additional $100,000 in incentives, And so the 2007 Boston Red Sox is spring training ready.
I'll be back in a bit with more Sox selections.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Beckett In DENIAL?????? Seems So!

This from the Salem MA. sports page, today, Friday! I'll be back after a few select words from Mr. Beckett, and when you finish reading, and after commenting, PLEASE click on this post's title for the entire illuminating, "sour grapes" (??) article. And by sour grapes, I'll explain. Here you go...........and he's speaking about our captain, Jason Varitek!!!

"I don't think it was a communication problem, but it was one of those deals where I just wanted to get along. I was trying to get a comfortable feeling of being around him while getting to know him," Beckett said of his early dealings with Varitek.
"I see how much work he puts into that stuff. It's one of those deals where you want to trust him, and I wish I would have done that more often because I probably would have thrown more curveballs in different counts. I almost felt like I was cheating myself by not saying anything." (Peter here...hey Josh? Speak up if you knew you were sucking!)

"Most thought his curveball was missing when he struggled last season, in which he posted a 16-11 record with a 5.01 ERA. But as he explained, it was actually the changeup which really ailed him throughout the 2006 season.
According to Beckett, the Red Sox were quick to classify their new potential ace as a fastball and curveball guy, with the changeup used as option No. 3. Yet, even though he initially didn't admit to it, the pitcher knew otherwise. (Peter, and AGAIN, Josh, speak up....and I've lost SO much respect for!)
"They were drilling into my head about (the changeup) being too hard," Beckett recalled. (Wa Wa Wa...that's me!) "I don't know if I started believing it or what. It was one of those deals where you come to a new place and you want to get along with everybody. It took me half the season to feel comfortable to the point where I had to say something. But it's definitely something I want to focus on this year."

Peter here, and I couldn't wait to comment, as you saw by my "in the middle of his rant" this called denial on Josh's part? Or do you think every one of us will remember his mini-rant come April? The answer is a resounding YES! He should have KEPT HIS MOUTH SHUT and proved it in his first few starts. Who better than the person on the mound to know that something is NOT right? And you, Josh, you're blaming YOUR team (ours too, idiot) AND its captain? Oh man, you, right now, seem to be to all of us, every member of RSN.... well, I'll try to tell you. You seem like a pitcher whose heart is there but who wanted to blame his bloated (oh yeah!) ERA on our captain, and your team. You see, that's my, shut your mouth and pitch, vary speeds and movement, and do not be so predictable with your fastball. Oh, one other thing? GROW UP. We need you this year...without the attitude and the denial.
Thanks for reading, and my anger was NOT misplaced. I'd love to read your comments, and the entire article is right there, by clicking on this post's title. GO FOR IT. And you're comments? Directly to Josh. My goodness, I have to read 'em!!!

In closing, and this is for you, Josh, pitch the way you know how...and the enevitable result of each batter? AN OUT. I used to call you "Josh Baseball" you have an entirely different nickname. And I won't type that gem. You see, I have readers under 18. And I love them. So.......SHUT UP AND PITCH, with an ERA under 4.00.

Thanks for reading, and my anger was NOT misplaced! My readers, I'd love to see your comments...and I feel better letting off all that steam. Thanks.......oh, way to go Josh! IDIOT.

Foukie Retires!

This from Fox Sports, and I just heard this!

"Right-hander Keith Foulke, the leading candidate to be the Indians' new closer, is retiring, has confirmed.
Foulke, who signed a $5 million free-agent contract this off-season, experienced physical discomfort and questioned his desire to continue playing, according to a source.
His decision, first reported by, leaves right-hander Joe Borowski — who signed as a free agent this off-season — as the front-runner to be the Indians' closer."

Peter here. Keith was not the nicest guy, but he as much as ANYONE was responsible for our four game sweep of the woeful Cardinals, and he should have been the MVP of our magical 2004 World Series miracle. And that's exactly what it was!!!!!! To borrow a line from Paul McCartney, it was a Magical Mystery Series......and we won! Going away!!!!!! And that made us stand up and cheer. And you know what? It will happen again...I KNOW it.

Daisuke's Florida "International" Press Conference

Yes, Dice-K, or as I like to call him, Daisuke (that's his first name!), had his first American press conference, down in Ft. Myers, which is one of the nicer places to be weather-wise. At least right now. Up here I'm already used to morning lows in the upper single numbers, and afternoon highs in the mid-twenties. After all, right up to and through January 15th, we were a toasty bunch here in Connecticut. But I'm off the track. Mr. Matsuzaka endeared himself to tens of thousands of fans here in the States, and further reinforced the love that abounds with his millions of fans in Japan. The press conference was "breaking news" televised live on NESN, and also beamed back, LIVE, to four Japanese networks. And after watching the forty minute show, I can see why he is such a media star in his native land. And I'm talking about all the things that have NOTHING to do with his on-the-mound skills, and boy, he sure has those. In addition, he's not camera shy, he has a great on-air camera presence and a quick wit, even when burdoned with a translator, a translator light years ahead of the one provided, in the early on-going negotiation days, by his agent, Scott Boras(s). In other words, he has that "SHINE" that is necessary when on TV. Wait until we see him on the mound at Fenway, in game number two of the home schedule. Oh, and there is this, from ESPN dot com.....a taste of a very nice article that can be yours for the reading by clicking on this post's title.....

"After all the dollars and all the yen and all the fascination with what pitches this man does and doesn't throw, we may very well be about to witness an international baseball phenomenon unlike anything we have witnessed before. Or, at the very least, anything witnessed since Fernando Valenzuela."

Peter here, and Fenando Valenzuela backed up the hype with brilliant pitching. And you know what? I think our Daisuke has the ammunition, ready to go, and when the time comes, in early April, we here in beloved RSN will like what we see. Oh, about 35 times each year. And that thought makes me smile, and yearn for early April. You too? Comments would be great! Happy Friday everyone.

Wily Mo's Day "In Court...."

This from the wire services.......

"Outfielder Wily Mo Pena is scheduled to have his arbitration hearing in Arizona today. Pena, 25, is seeking $2.2 million after hitting .301 with 11 homers and 42 RBI in 84 games last season. The Red Sox are offering $1.725 million."

Peter here. The clubs have won all the arbitration hearings held so far this year, so this is not a biggie. If WMP DOES win his case, I hope he gives the club and us, the fans, their money's worth. And this relatively small matter has been overshadowed by Daisuke's first press conference, down in Florida. More on that later, same Sox time, same Sox web site. Right here!

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Baseball Prospectus FORGOT Someone!!

Their top five '07 3rd baseman............with one GLARING emmision.....their words, NOT mine!

"Top 5 2007 AL Third Basemen, by PECOTA Projected VORP

Player, Team, EqA, VORP..............

Alex Rodriguez, NYA, .319, 48.0
Alex Gordon, KCA, .301, 34.2
Troy Glaus, TOR, .302, 31.6
Adrian Beltre, SEA, .284, 25.4
Eric Chavez, OAK, .293, 24.0"

Peter here.....ummm, forgetting someone, Baseball Prospectus? I know your publication is based solely on stats........and I say YOU'RE MISSING OUT on the beauty of the game by looking at only stats rather than the human part of the game, the game that lives in our hearts. My heart. So sometimes it's tough for me to digest your view of the game that I love so much. But I DO know that you base your entire publication on stats...and that's good for so many baseball fans. So, hmmm, that's good with me, too.
And of course, Mike Lowell, third baseman for the 2007 Boston Red Sox, who meant so much to the Sox last year, is who I meant. The anchor of the left side at Fenway Park. Last year AND this......

Wouldn't That Be Nice?

From the Herald's Horrigan, today, comes this take on our closer-to-be, name to be announced sooner than we think, and his opinion is a feeling I've echoed here at PRSF. Read this blurb....the entire article is linked with this post's title. Click on it.......

"Publicly, the Red Sox are saying that they expect Jonathan Papelbon's successor at closer to emerge from a veteran group that includes Joel Pineiro, Mike Timlin, Brendan Donnelly and Julian Tavarez. (Peter here...a BIG "BUT" COMING! An implied one disguised as the words "privately, however")..........
Privately, however, some important members of the organization are quietly hoping that Craig Hansen or Manny Delcarmen steps forward this spring to seize the job, never to relinquish it for years to come."

Peter here..."seize it, for years to come." Boy, that sounds nice. As Mo Rivera might be entering his last year doing what he does best for the New York Yankees, the Red Sox, our Sox, are in need of a closer. Hansen, all 6 foot 5 inches of him, shows so much promise. What a perfect time for him to mature, to blossom into an elite force for a pitching staff that many teams are in awe of. He had difficulties with a changing arm angle last year, changes that affected his fastball and killer slider.

Said Tito...."This kid needs to pitch a little," Francona said Feb. 6. "If we were convinced he could do it [close] -- and I hope we do reach that decision -- we would have a heck of a decision to make. I hope that happens."

I hope that happens too! And read the Horrigan article for all the details by clicking above, and then hope one of the most pleasant surprises that RSN will enjoy is Craig Hansen....or Little Manny. Or both. One a set-up guy, one the man who we will call on in the ninth. "The buck stops here" guy. Much like Paps last year. And yes, that would be so sweet.

It's Official........

From the AP......

"The Red Sox added outfielder JD Drew to their roster yesterday after the lefthanded pitcher Lenny DiNardo was claimed off waivers by the Athletics."

Peter here. Number seven is dead. Long live number seven. Trot, we'll see you during the season. We'll be standing and screaming our lungs out with love. There will never be another Trot, just an adequate, if not better, rightfielder. At the plate AND in the field. It's like when Dewey left. Manny wears number 24, but number 24 means Dewey to me. To so many of us. 24..a number that I think should be retired. But that's another story, another post. J.D.? Have a healthy year...stay away from the injury list. PLEASE! Your backup is WMP, a nice guy who supports diabetes research, but a man who STILL has trouble defensively, especially in Fenway's right. He is much more effective in center, with the ball angle easier to pick up and with less movement needed to track the ball right into the glove.
So good luck, Trot AND J.D. Red Sox Forever, and the pre-season is approaching at warp speed. Scotty, beam me to Fort Myers!! There's a great rib place called Michelbobs, with a sister restaurant in Naples that shares the same name. My parents lived in Naples after Hurricane Hugo blew our St. Croix USVI home into the heavens. And they have the best baby back ribs, the BEST onion rings, and their pitchers of Michelob will start out your dining experience with a smile. Michelbob's....if you go down to the Ft. Myers area to see some spring training games, ask how to get there. And when you have BOTH hands full of wonderful ribs and the lightest flakiest onion rings this side of Saturn's rings, sipping a cold beer, or their famous root beer, remember me, the person who steered you there. And yes, even though it's before 9AM here in CT., the thought of just waiting in line for a table at Michelbobs makes my mouth water, and my face smile. If you find yourself in the Ft. Myers/Naples area, remember my recommendation. You'll say....."Yumm, thanks Pete!"...............I miss that place so much!

Wednesday, February 14, 2007


This from today's Herald....keyword BULLPEN. A word from me about the Nor'easter that has no snow follows, and the entire article, as usual, is available by clicking on the title. Here you go....

"During his time as manager of the Red Sox, Grady Little frequently shared the same anecdote. Just before the start of spring training each year, Little said, his wife would assess her husband’s chances for the coming season with a single question:
“How does your bullpen look?”
At the start of 2007, the answer is obvious:
Shaky at best.
Following a year in which Jonathan Papelbon [stats] emerged as one of the most dominating closers in baseball, the Sox will open spring training this week without a true closer. Going into this spring, Francona is under no illusions; the Sox need to find a closer. Any suggestion that the club will try to make do with a closer-by-committee is summarily dismissed by the manager, who believes that there is a closer among veterans Donnelly, Pineiro, Julian Tavarez and Mike Timlin [stats].
The Sox just have to find him."

Peter here, and AMEN to that. The arms are there, with six (6!) solid guys competing for the five spots that make up the '07 starting rotation to be. This is what spring training 2007 is for......defining bullpen roles. The lack of a closer, or the failure to find one, could ruin the season. Do I think that scenario is likely. NOT ON YOUR LIFE!
About this coastal storm. It's cold at ground level, cold enough to snow. Right now at 8:20 AM EST, it is 12.2 degrees F. The storm has traveled from Virginia, hugging the coast the whole way on its trek northeast. Right now its center is just east of New Jersey, and will pass near or over eastern Rhode Island. If it had passed about 100 miles to the east, over Cape Cod, we'd be on the way to a foot and a half of snow. Instead, pinging sleet, precipitation that melts on its way through the narrow layer of warmer air in the lower levels of the atmosphere, is the norm. And when it hits the ground, the cold air already in place and still streaming south from Canada, it freezes. I like snow, and would love to see it piling up. Right now. But it ain't going to happen.
OK, that's enough weather talk. Care to see the local, or ANY, radars?? Click on the WVIT NBC 30 link box, on your right. And follow it to the Weather Desk. Thanks for reading, yet again......


This morning, amidst the ice and sleet that is pouring down here in north central Connecticut, an article in the Hartford Courant caught my eye and made me smile. Bigtime. Here is a portion. The entire article can and should be read by clicking on the title of this post.

"His cancer is gone and his curveball is back.
"I surprise people," he said. "They're expecting to see the cancer patient here instead of me, and it's just good to get that feeling that I've prepared well and came in, in shape."
Lester's weight, down to 190 during chemotherapy, is up to 212, about five pounds less than his playing weight. His left arm is powerful and his legs are gaining strength.
When Jonathan Papelbon saw him for the first time Monday at spring training, he was stunned at how good Lester looked."

Stunned, happy, proud, just plain old overjoyed. Peter here, and all those feelings went through me like a bolt of lightning on a warm summer day. Where will he pitch? As a member of the rotation? In the bullpen? Dare I say, closer? Tito and his coaches have their work cut out for them. But the most important thing for Jon? Clean and clear check-ups from the doctor on a regular basis. And you know what? I could not be happier! Go get 'em Jon!!!

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

I NEED HELP... From Where? YOU, My Readers...

Hi...My blog continues to be in Japanese, at least for the clickable buttons that say, "write new post, edit post, and comment". I need to know if any of you are having a problem. THANK YOU!! All fixed, thanks to ***Dawn***.

The Valentine's Day Nor'easter 2007

Yes, all the elements are coming together. Cold air filtering in from Canada, a storm to the west moving eastward, and a soon-to-develop storm off the eastern seaboard. What does that mean for us here in Connecticut? A lot. For the coastal areas, 6 inches or so of snow. For north central Connececticut (me), about a foot of snow. And west and north of Hartford, up to a foot and a half. Mother nature is making up for the early warm bliss that we experienced before January 15th. In a big way.
I'll keep you up to date. And if you can help me, my blog is now multi-lingual. Most of the language, such as new post, edit post, etc. are now in Japanese. If someone knows how I can go back to English, I'd love your help! Thanks. So please help??

Daisukemania In Florida

Daisuke Matsuzaka arrived in Florida early Monday night amid the throngs of reporters, American and Japanese, who were there to catch a glimpse of baseball's newest superstar in the making. He plans to hold a formal press conference in Fort Myers on Thursday. First workouts are scheduled for Sunday. And the excitement begins!
I'll be back a little later on this eve of the first major snowstorm of the season for us. More on that later too.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Massarotti On "THE STARTING NINE......."

Tony Massarotti of the Herald wrote an article that appeared in this morning's (Monday) Herald. It addresses some of the most important questions surrounding the 2007 Boston Red Sox. I'd like to comment on three of them, and the entire article is linked when you click on the title of this post. So........

"What is the biggest concern with this year’s club?

That’s an easy one:
The bullpen.
As much emphasis as has been placed on the absence of a closer, the Sox’ problems in this area could run much, much deeper. Among right-handers Mike Timlin [stats], Brendan Donnelly, Julian Tavarez and Joel Pineiro, only Donnelly finished 2006 with an ERA under 4.00. Left-hander J.C. Romero is coming off a miserable year. Lefty Hideki Okajima has never pitched in the big leagues.
The Red Sox also will have youngsters like Manny Delcarmen and Craig Hansen in camp, but remember: They need reliable middle relievers and set-up men as much as they need a closer. Among teams in the American League East, the New York Yankees, Toronto Blue Jays and (gasp) Baltimore Orioles all appear to have better bullpens than the Red Sox..."

Peter here, and I've written so much about our bullpen-to-be. This is a good two paragraph analysis.......the bullpen's success will hinge on who has what role, in what inning and with what numbers. And our competitor's pens ARE, at least on paper, formidable. Next.......

"What can the Sox reasonably expect from Daisuke Matsuzaka?

Start with a dozen wins and go from there.
When the Sox formally announced the signing of the Dice Man in December, Sox president Larry Lucchino went out of his way to stress patience. Matsuzaka obviously is regarded as a world-class talent, but he never has pitched in the big leagues and never has lived in the United States. Those are major life changes that will require a significant period of transition."

Peter again.....Daisuke will work as hard as anyone ever has to prepare himself for not only the cultural transition but also for the differences between baseball here in America and baseball as he's known it in Japan. We do not have to worry about that, for his every move will be instantly reported back to his native land and his countless fans. I'm not worried about Daisuke Matsuzaka....he's 26 and will adapt. And we'll be happy......very happy.
Here's the last Massarotti question and answer. Remember, the entire informative article is up there at the title for the clicking....

"How do things stand with Manny Ramirez [stats]?
Same as always:
For a guy who wants out, he sure does produce."

Peter back once more. Haha...great question. Manny, keep making those almost impossible numbers possible. This year there's a big difference. Batting behind you and protecting your back is JD go to town!

Thanks everyone, and enjoy your Monday. I did leave out many intriguing questions and answers, and I recommend reading the entire piece as run in Monday's Herald. Take care, as hints of an impending coastal storm for Tuesday night and Wednesday, possibly into Thursday morning depending on the development of a secondary storm soon to form off Florida, traveling up the coast, will soon become headline news here in the northeast. The exact track? Pivotal. Until tomorrow night, the meteorologists will be jumping and guessing. And I'll keep you up to date, right here. Promise. As always, thanks for spending a portion of your Monday right here, with me. And the Red Sox. NICE!

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Simply Daisuke.......

An amazing story of our pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka when he pitched a 17 inning himself. From the NY Times. I recommend reading the entire article. You'll be blown away! Click on the title of this post. I'll be back with a few things to say.

"Daisuke Matsuzaka had dirt on both knees of his gray uniform pants, dirt splattered on the front of his jersey and dirt smudges near his right elbow. He had pitched 16 innings, thrown well over 200 pitches, and now this stained, resilient athlete was warming up for inning No. 17. Yet here was Matsuzaka, throwing pitch after pitch and barely resting between innings. With the 17th looming and Matsuzaka needing to get his 49th, 50th and 51st outs of the game, he stayed loose by tossing a ball along the left-field foul line.
Of the countless details that can be culled from analyzing a videotape of Matsuzaka’s performance that day in Japan’s prestigious Koshien high school tournament, the sight of him warming up when many pitchers would have been falling down was as revealing as any. There would be no rest for this 17-year-old.
After he unleashed his 250th pitch, he kept his right leg dangling in the air at the end of his delivery to see if his slider would finally end the game. When it was called a strike, when Matsuzaka had secured Yokohama’s 9-7 victory over PL Gakuen, he simply lowered his head. It might have been his only option, a gesture of relief."

Peter here, and WOW! Over the four days of the high school tournament, he pitched every game, going 535 pitches! (thank you BFW for the correction...I don't know what I'd do without you!) That's right! Five hundred thirty five pitches. And two days later Daisuke pitched his team to victory with a complete game. Oh, it was a NO HITTER!
What Daiske will do in this country will be known and known soon by fans of MLB all over the country. For those of you who have heard enough of the media hype and want to hear no more until he goes into his first windup on an American pitching mound, hold on to your hats. Daisuke is coming!

I heartily recommend reading this article in its entirety. I was amazed. Click on the title of this post, and if you're not smiling by its end, I'd be surprised. VERY surprised! And you KNOW that I know you well enough to KNOW you'll be smiling EAR TO EAR. So trust me on this one, and click on the title. Your thanks can be left in the comment section.

P.S. That was a little tounge in cheek humor, but it was MY of way saying, "Read the article. You WILL enjoy it." And there's a money-back guarantee! Enjoy your Sunday...every one of you! Thanks for reading.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

SI's Pre-Season Red Sox Preview

It's that time of the year, a time when not a single pitch has been thrown in practice, spring training or a regular season game. We'll have our fill of that soon, and I can't wait. But mid-February is also the time of the winter when those "in the business" of writing about sports do exactly that. Pre-season previews of your favorite MLB teams. SI has come out with theirs. I'll just give you a sample here: their Red Sox preview. Their "final analysis" portion of the piece follows....but I implore you to click on the title and read the entire article. It's a quick and informative read, with much to like about the team we love to love.......

"Clearly, a third-place finish did not sit well with the Boston Red Sox. So after finishing one game behind the Toronto Blue Jays last year, the Red Sox embarked on a shopping spree during which they increased their payroll to roughly $160 million. As a result, big things are expected in Boston this year, though that is obviously the case every season."

Final Analysis.............

"After going to the playoffs for three straight seasons from 2003-05, the Red Sox slipped up in '06. Despite a $135 million payroll, the Sox finished with an 86-76 record, good for only third place behind the New York Yankees and Toronto Blue Jays in the American League East. On paper, this club looks a good deal stronger, particularly in the lineup and starting rotation. If the Red Sox can get their bullpen situation straightened out and settle on a closer, they should be back in the mix for a postseason berth."

Peter here, your ever ready Boston Red Sox Energizer Bunny type of guy. Bullpen? Closer? Yes, I THINK I've written a word or two about what will eventually make or break our season. Postseason? Oh yeah, I expect it. An injury spate like the one that hit us last year does not happen often. Or at least we hope it doesn't. So read the entire's only a 2 minute read, and then comment on it. I'd love to hear your thoughts on this greyish and cold Saturday. We here in southern New England, north central Connecticut to be exact, have a chance for a coastal storm Tuesday night and Wednesday, but as is the case for a storm not yet formed, the computer projections are all over the place. We'll know much more by Sunday evening. You'll read about it here. Promise.
Now go click on the title, and after reading it, do you agree, disagree? Are they entirely wrong on one thing or another?? My comments will follow yours. Thanks for being here, and for reading. I hope you enjoy this blog, my little slice of heaven. Stay well!

A Bernie-less Yankee Team In '07?

Bernie Williams was in Connecticut last night, where he played his guitar, something he does SO well, at a church gathering. Of course, there was a contingent of reporters there, and Bernie had a few words with them. This from The Big Apple Times.....

"Meeting with reporters before the concert, Williams said he would not accept the team’s current offer to come to spring training as a long shot on a minor league contract and perhaps play himself onto the roster if another player got hurt.
Instead, Williams said, he would maintain a waiting game of sorts by staying home, staying in shape, spurning offers of guaranteed contracts from other teams and waiting for the Yankees to change their minds and offer him a guaranteed spot on the roster. He spoke in his usual calm demeanor.
“I think if they wanted me, they would have signed me already,” said Williams, who has spent 16 seasons with the Yankees, the only team he has played for. “The option to go to spring training and see what happened — I don’t think at this moment it is something I want to consider.”

Peter here, and this is not a huge surprise given that the Yankees have four solid guys to play the outfield. But it will be strange, much like it will be strange to gaze out towards the Pesky Pole at Fenway Park and not see familiar number 7 in all his glory ready to catch anything humanly possible. Time flies, I guess.

The entire article can be accessed by clicking on the title, and I'll be back a little later with something Soxy.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Wily Mo Pena.......and Diabetes...

First and foremost, thank you Trot 7. My readers....please click on the title of this post. I beg you. It means so much to me. And T7, thank you so much. George Bush might be oblivious to all of the stem cell cures that are right here, right now, but I'm not!... And Wily Mo Pena is trying to do something for those of us who are too familiar with diabetes. My type one, or others with the less serious type 2. So please, PLEASE, read the article by clicking on this post's title....and again..thank you are a life saver! I'm so proud of you. I really am!!!!!!!! Peter


Thank you WMP..And The Blogger We Know As Trot 7....

" Red Sox Slugger Wily Mo Pena on Base for Joslin Diabetes Center" this, please!!!

BOSTON, Jan. 17 (AScribe Newswire) -- "Boston Red Sox Wily Mo Pena is teaming up with Joslin Diabetes Center's Latino Diabetes Initiative for the Beisbol y Salud Diabetes Awareness Project. Pena will host this program in the Dominican Republic on Jan. 20-21 and in Boston this spring to raise diabetes awareness in the Latino population. Several other Major League Baseball players will join Pena in the Dominican Republic for the project, which includes a softball game that is sure to be a highlight of the event. The two-day program is being coordinated by Wily Mo Pena's newly formed MoPeace Foundation, which aims to give back to those in need. This particular project will focus on the Latino community, which is at an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes.".....
"Combating diabetes is a cause close to my heart and to my family's because so many of us have been touched negatively by this horrible disease," said Wily Mo Pena. "Any strength we can lend to the fight is our privilege, and we are honored to work with Joslin Diabetes Center."

Peter here, and OH YES, I have to say some things!
Trot 7...thank you so much. I WISH I had type 2 Diabetes...I have type one. But what you wrote, and what I replied to, is special !!! So special. You made me see a different side of WMP. And he is a good person. For that, I thank you.

I'll sign this Peter, humbled and happy!!!!! And a Red Sox fan forever. That goes without saying. But now I'm a fan of thank you....I wish you knew how much that meant to me.....

And WMP? WAY TO GO!!!!!!!I'll never say a bad word about you again!!!

Barry Makes Bud's Life Tough? Well, Think Of Us!

And this is from the San Francisco Chronicle. One of the best cities with a major league team AND a great home newspaper. And one of the best cities no matter what.....with one of the most disliked ( I could have said hated) players in MLB... Read on..I'll be back....

"Commissioner Bud Selig's life would be much simpler if Barry Bonds were out of the game. (Peter here...ours too!)
Not just because Bonds is a face of the steroid era but because Hank Aaron is Selig's close friend and Bonds' final obstacle for the all-time home run title.
Asked if the common belief is true that he'd prefer Bonds gone, Selig said during a Thursday visit to Treasure Island, "It's not true."
Selig never mentioned Bonds by name in his address as the keynote speaker at Fox Sports Net's annual baseball luncheon, but he said afterward Bonds' return for a 15th season in San Francisco is a "matter between the Giants and Barry ... as long as things are being done in the best interest in the sport and being done correctly, whether it's contractual or anything else."
The Bonds contract is incomplete, though the Giants still expect it'll get done."

Peter here, and I'm sure the Giants' contract with Bonds will get done. And Bud Selig? I went out with his daughter...not the one that you know, and that has NOTHING to do with the game we love. I do have to hope he has the chutspa (yiddish), for....well, courage, and I could have phrased that so differently...but you ALL know the exact word. I hope he has the ability to examine Bond's quest, and of course, if the powers that be agree, then someone should do something. Before that magic number becomes a statistic. It's up to Bud.
Are we in good hands? I'll leave it up to you, my readers. I'd love to hear your thoughts.
We're Sox fans..and I know this 2007 will make us ALL smile.

Have a great weekend, everyone! I'll be here stirring up the conversation....if I can. And thanks!!!


The Reds Lock Up Bronson With A Nice Extention

I heard about this early yesterday (Thursday) but I wanted to wait until I saw the monetary figures. This is from today's Globe.....

"Arroyo, 29, went 14-11, started 35 games, pitched a league-high 240 2/3 innings, had a 3.29 ERA, and made the National League All-Star team.
The Reds got Arroyo from Boston for outfielder Wily Mo Peña during spring training last year.
"Last year in the beginning of the season, I was still watching a lot of Sox games and I was kind of still caught up in the middle emotionally about being traded," Arroyo said. "After being here a year and going through what we went through last year with having a chance to make the playoffs, I'm a Red through and through."
Arroyo gets base salaries of $4,125,000 this year and $3.95 million in 2008, figures set under the old contract. The extension includes a $2.5 million signing bonus that will be paid next year. Arroyo will get salaries of $9.5 million in 2009 and $11 million in 2010. There is a club option at $11 million for 2011 with a $2 million buyout. The option can escalate to $13 million, based on innings."

Peer here...not bad, huh. As the piece said, he led the NL in innings pitched. His ERA was a sparkling 3.29. Bronson had a fast start for the Reds, but as he went around the league for a second and then a third time, batters who had seen him before were able to knock him around a bit more, and his lightning fast start soon evened out to a near .500 record. But the innings he pitched? WOW! There and exactly there is his biggest plus, other than being a super guy who the ladies love. But that doesn't win games. Could the Red Sox have used a pitcher like Bronson last year to eat up innings and win 12 or 13 games? Oh yes, and we wouldn't have to be dealing with the defensive liablility whose name is Wily Mo Pena, who has forced to Sox into an arbitration hearing coming up later this month. Bad trade. OH YEAH!!!!!!
Good luck, good health Bronson. You are truly "one of the good guys!"

Thursday, February 08, 2007

And from Fox Sports Dot Com...This Look At The Sox....

Interesting stuff the entire article by clicking on the title...and I'll be back with a comment or two.....

"Other than getting on base, Boston did nothing particularly well in 2006. Over the last three seasons, Fenway has increased run scoring by roughly 6.0%, so that tends to make the pitching staff look a little worse than it really is and, conversely, the offense look a little better than it really is. With that said, run prevention — i.e., the rotation, the bullpen and the defense — was the primary shortcoming in 2006.
To the end of improving the run-prevention corps, the Red Sox have, of course, imported Matsuzaka. Any player making the leap stateside is a bit of an unknown quantity, but Matsuzaka figures to be a certifiable force. Expect 200 or so innings and a comfortably sub-4.00 ERA. He's just what the Sox need. Rounding out the rest of the rotation will be Curt Schilling, Josh Beckett, Tim Wakefield and, in all likelihood, Jonathan Papelbon. Beckett was never an ideal fit for Fenway, but he figures to improve on that 5.01 ERA he posted last season.
Schilling should be effective, Wakefield as a starter is a reliable purveyor of league-average innings, and Papelbon has enough of a repertoire to pass muster as a member of the rotation. The keys will be getting improvement (and health) from Beckett and getting a smooth transition (and health) out of Papelbon. Overall, expect a much better rotation in 2007."

Peter here, and I agree! The rotation should make us proud.....back to Fox Sports.....

"As for the bullpen, Hideki Okajima should provide reliable innings from the left side, and Joel Pineiro, provided he concentrates on the pitches he throws well (four-seamer, slider), should be a capable closer. Mike Timlin and Julian Tavarez return, Brendan Donnelly will bolster the right-handed depth, and one-time closer of the future Craig Hansen should improve on his awful 2006 campaign. The additions of Pineiro, Okajima and Donnelly will be offset to a degree by the loss of Papelbon's innings, but overall expect a modestly improved relief unit."

Peter again....a modest improvement will be the worst I expect. If all the roles are set and the guys in the bullpen know what is expected of them, AND they perform up to the expectations we ALL have.....well, you do the math. We'll be fine!

The offense? Not a problem. And the defense, with the exception of shortstop, will carry us much like last year. So all in all, I like the 2007 Boston Red Sox, as our hopes are high. As they always are before spring training. But this year? This year might be special. And I can't wait. The days count down as we yearn for that special two word phrase..."PLAY BALL!" Let's do it!!!!

Youk Coming Back Healthy, And Happy!

It seems that our first baseman and number two hitter in the lineup was playing hurt for the last month of 2006. The Herald had a great article in their Wednesday edition, excerpted here and available in its entirety by clicking on the title of this post. And I'll have a couple things to say, after this.......

"Already dealing with a neck strain and a sore knee, the Red Sox [team stats] first baseman assumed that it was just another nick that was contributing to a sluggish finish to his first full season in the majors. Only when the offseason arrived, however, did Youkilis come to realize the severity of the injury.
“Usually, I just take a month to rest and then I get right back at it,” said Youkilis, who primarily resides in the Phoenix area in the offseason. “The month passed and it was still there in November. I could do some cardio work but I couldn’t do any sprints or anything like that. I was worried that I had a sports hernia, but I checked out OK. They said it was just a lower abdominal strain. Even so, it’s nothing that I’d want to go through again.”
Youkilis, who batted only .216 in September and didn’t hit a home run in his final 127 at-bats, was prescribed a rehabilitation program specific to the injury in December, which only recently led to the dissipation of discomfort.
“This week was really the first week I started feeling normal again,” he said. “Luckily, I’m feeling great now, just in time for spring training.”

Peter here. And those words have to bring a smile to every member of RSN. He's feeling great! We all saw the production drop off that Kevin went through last September. He usually is an on-base machine, but he was struggling late last year....struggling to even make contact with the ball. He is one of our best contact hitters, and he doesn't strike out much. And that's huge........a contact hitter who will thrive batting second, after leadoff guy Julio Lugo and before the power trio (wow...that's nice to say!) of Papi and Manny and J.D.D. 5 tough outs...five guys who will be on base all year. And with Mikey Lowell and Tek to follow in the order, well, you get the idea. We should score a ton of runs this year, taking pressure away from a yet-to-be-finished project that is called the Red Sox bullpen. If the pieces fall into place there, the sky's the limit for our Sox. And a healthy Kevin Youklis, with his solid glovework at first and his selective eye at the plate, is a vital cog for the team we love.
Enjoy your Thursday, my readers, and read the entire article by clicking on the title. Thanks for being here. As always.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

The Bullpen As Tito Sees It...In A Nutshell

This is from the Wednesday Herald, continuing the theme of the earlier post. The subject? What many feel is THE glaring weakness of our 2007 Boston Red bullpen.

"In all likelihood, former Seattle Mariners starter Joel Pineiro will end up as the closer but Francona said the decision will be made in spring training, with the choice most likely coming down to Pineiro, Mike Timlin [stats], Julian Tavarez or Brendan Donnelly.
“Those are the four guys we want to see throw some innings late in the game,” he said. “As we go into the spring, we’ll tell them how we feel, what we’re looking for and then we’ll put it together. The hope would be by the end of camp we’ve got roles for everybody. It doesn’t always work that way but if they pitch well and throw strikes, it will work that way. Then there’s (Craig) Hansen and (Manny) Delcarmen. Where they fit in, we honestly don’t know. The way they pitch will tell us.”

Peter here. "..we honestly don't know..." Honest words from an honest guy. Our skipper. The entire article can be found by clicking on the title. Tito is incredibly forthcoming in his assessment of what might be the Achilles Heel of our '07 Sox. I for one cannot see Mike Timlin as a season-long answer to the role of closer. Yes, there is a surplus of arms, good arms, young AND old. In Mike Timlin's case, too old to remain healthy throughout an entire 162 game schedule...up and down, 3 or 4 games in a row and then maybe a week or so of sitting. Nope, uh uh. He has to be used more carefully...and there would be nothing worse than having to rely on MORE than one guy who will come in and NAIL DOWN a one run victory in the ninth. 2003 proved that that is a recipe for disaster and mayhem.
Jonathon Papelbon set the bar last year with his unbelievableness. And that's what it was. Can we expect someone to reach those heights this year? To be realistic, NO! But can someone step up and approach his numbers? Our entire season depends on it. Read the full on the title. And thanks for being here. As always.

Tito On Manny And Paps......

Tito spoke about two premiere Red Sox players. First up, Jonathon Papelbon. And this is from the Hartford Courant.....

"If I had my druthers, he would be our closer," Francona said Tuesday at Fenway Park, before heading to Fort Myers today. "It's not happening. We have to respect the medical people's advice, and I do. I'm not fighting it."

And then he mentioned Manny, almost as an aside....

"I think he's talked to [assistant equipment manager] Pookie [Jackson] and the clubhouse kids lately, but I haven't been part of that," Francona said. "I think he's OK. I don't think there's any problems."

Peter here. Not a very definitive comment about Mr. Ramirez. I guess we have to hope all is well and he'll be ready to play. For there would be nothing worse than having a player, any player, who does not wish to play. If that is to be the case, we would have been better off trading him rather than lug a piece of dead wood around throughout the season. Would Manny do that to his teammates? Before last year I would have said no, never, not in a million years. But now? We'll have to wait and see. And that's too bad.
The entire article can been seen if you click on this post's title.

We Want To Forget Barry, Not Praise Him

A little Shakespeare there in the title....and this, from NBC sports, is a small excerpt from an article I'd like you to read. Right here...and my comments, harsh they may be, will follow.........and of course, this is about Major League baseball's least liked person (Wily Mo Pena is up there too for Red Sox fans!)......

"The truth, quite simply, is that nobody really wants him. Not his bosses. Not his teammates. And certainly not the powers entrusted with the care of our national pastime.
Yet Barry Bonds continues to turn up like the proverbial bad penny.
The start of spring training is now just days away, baseball followers, and here is the disturbing reality: We essentially have spent an entire winter talking about a man who is stuck to the bottom of baseball’s shoe as if he were a stale wad of Juicy Fruit.Nine years ago this approaching summer, when Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa engaged in a pursuit of Roger Maris’ single-season home run record, we all followed the story with great anticipation. At the time, we really didn’t know better. We were all ignorant and naïve, and maybe we wanted to be. We look back now and see how foolish it all was.
Now comes Bonds and his pursuit of Hank Aaron, and you would think that we might all know better. Bonds really is not chasing a record at all, not the way he has done it, not with what we have learned. From the fans and media to the players, officials and owners, what we say and what we want are two very different things, and the latter is simply indisputable.
Sooner rather than later, we all want Bonds to just go away."

Peter here, and the two magic words? GO AWAY! I used to like Juicy Fruit gum. Never again! And I say yessss...go away, or retire when you tie Hammerin' Hank's record. For your name is filth, and your reputation in the future? I'm just glad it's not mine. Barry, you sh*t on everything that is good about the game we

Thanks for reading, everyone. You're my readers, and nothing could be better! How lucky am I? Well......this Barry is not a person who I'd want my sons or daughters (if I had them...and they'd be so great!) to look up to. Comments??? Please! Thanks for being here.......Barry might go, but I'm staying right here!! Following in HIS footsteps is not a part of my life plan. AMEN!

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

A Big Fat Goose Egg

The title refers to the outside temperature as I strike these keys. Zero...nothing...five minus five....0...anything you call it, or write it, it's COLD!!! So I thought I'd bring you a little baseball news, Caribbean Tournament style.....this is from today's Herald, and concerns a guy who will be pitching for the Boston Red Sox soon.......the entire article is linked when you click on this post's title.

"Julian Tavarez pitched three-hit ball into the sixth inning and the unbeaten Dominican Republic eliminated defending champion Venezuela from title contention in the Caribbean Series with a 7-1 win Monday.
Tavarez, a reliever and occasional starter for the Boston Red Sox [team stats], tossed four perfect innings before giving up a leadoff single in the fifth......"

Tavarez was all over the map last year, bruised and battered for much of the season. But when the club was in dire need of starters, he found something. Who knows what? Maybe he is better off starting than coming in from the bullpen, for he had some strong starts in September. This year is a different story, however. The club has six strong candidates for the starting rotation. I am of course including Jon Lester in the mix. Jon is already working hard to build up his strength and is near 210 pounds on his way to his goal of 215. So Tavarez will be a member of the role-less (for now) bullpen, still an entity to be formed and molded into a cohesive powerful unit. But I thought you'd enjoy the Caribbean Tournament news while imagining the warm and gentle trade winds that gently caress the lucky ones who are down in that wonderful part of the world, beautiful islands surrounded by light green coral-filled water. 86 degree water, with visibility of 50 feet or so, teeming with ocean life and sunlight reflecting from every gentle wave. Sounds nice, doesn't it. Reality strikes as I shift my gaze a foot or so to my indoor/outdoor themometer perched just to the right of my computer. 3.6 degrees F. Oh well. It was a nice daydream. For all of us.
Spring training approaches, and I'm sure if we could, we'd follow Kaylee's suggestion and just HIDE until the start of baseball spring training style. And NESN will be televising a nice portion of the pre-season schedule.
Oh, I'll be back. And if you are a reader of baseball nooze, linked on your right, resubscribe to my blog by going to the "mynews" page on the baseball nooze homepage, and pick out Boston Red Sox from the list of teams on the left side of your screen. And then click on my blog, and click on subscribe. Actually, it says "add this feed to my page." Do the same for ANY other Sox blogs, or any other team's blogs, and you'll have your very own "my news" page with everything there! Walter runs the place, and I recommend it. If you already were a baseball nooze subscriber of my blog, resubscribe as per the above instructions. For a while, things were not updating properly, but Walter fixed everything. From the list of baseball teams on the mynews page, click on Sox, and then Peter's Red Sox Forever, and then the subscribe (add this feed to my page) button. You will then have assembled on your very own "MYNEWS PAGE" all the blogs of your choice. And that's so nice.
Gotta go! I'll be back when (not if) I find something else that will suit your fancy baseball-wise. Take care, my readers, my friends. Forever, as the title says.