Lugo On Manny...Spring Pitching Schedule
Red Sox shortstop Julio Lugo, who was out most of last season due to injury, apparently misses Manny Ramirez. I have a quote from him on that subject and then I'll tell you what I think. You probably already know how I feel about that quirky and unpredictable leftfielder...
“It’s a big hole,” Lugo said. “Whatever he (Manny) does, people call it stupid. But he can make a team go from bad to good. When a team expects Manny to do something stupid, like everybody says . . . when it comes to the last inning he hits a three-run homer to put us ahead. Some people weren’t happy with him here,” Lugo said. “He had a misunderstanding with some people. So you move on. You let it go and move on. There are other teams out there where he could be a good fit.”
OK, ok. What Lugo didn't say speaks louder than what he did say. Sure, Manny can improve a team immensely...if he wants to. If he doesn't want to, he can be a devisive force, just as he was in 2008. If you poll the Red Sox players from last season, you'd find that most of them wanted to shed Ramirez like an unwanted wart, a pimple on the face of near perfection. From fisticuffs in the dugout with Youk to his altercation with the Red Sox travel guy to faking injuries, once even forgetting which knee to favor in a completely made-up injury, to taking a couple days off while the Yankees were in town, he was, in a word, despicable. No ifs, ands or buts. I hope Jed Lowrie is our starting shortstop, but he and Lugo will duke it out in the spring training games, which start Wednesday. Here is the tentative starting pitching rotation for the first few games, starting this Wednesday. Hey, that's only three days away. The following paragraph is from the Sunday Boston Herald. They have my thanks...
"Josh Beckett will be on the mound for the Red Sox’ spring opener against Boston College on Wednesday at City of Palms Park. Later that night, Tim Wakefield will be on the mound for the Grapefruit League opener against the Minnesota Twins at Hammond Stadium. Jon Lester will face the Pirates on Thursday, followed by Michael Bowden against Tampa Bay on Friday. Chris Johnson will face Northeastern on Saturday afternoon, and Clay Buchholz is set to go against the Reds later that night.
Brad Penny is tentatively scheduled to make his first start March 5."
That's four out of five of our regular starters. Daisuke Matsuzaka is playing for his country in the World Baseball Classic and will join the team later. But baseball games are just that...baseball games, and even though NESN will be televising just a smattering of the Florida games to come, it's an exciting time of the year, a time when wishes are wished and faith and hope blooms. Here are the preseason games scheduled to be televised by NESN...
Wed, Feb 25 7:05 PM Red Sox @ Twins (SS) Fort Myers, FL NESN
Sun, Mar 1 1:05 PM Red Sox @ Twins Fort Myers, FL NESN
Sun, Mar 8 1:05 PM Red Sox vs Rays Fort Myers, FL NESN
Fri, Mar 13 7:05 PM Red Sox vs Yankees Fort Myers, FL NESN
Tue, Mar 17 1:05 PM Red Sox vs Twins Fort Myers, FL NESN
Sat, Mar 21 1:05 PM Red Sox @ Marlins Jupiter, FL NESN
Tue, Mar 24 7:05 PM Red Sox @ Yankees Tampa, FL NESN
Sat, Mar 28 1:05 PM Red Sox vs Twins Fort Myers, FL NESN
Sun, Mar 29 1:05 PM Red Sox @ Phillies Clearwater, FL NESN
So tune into NESN Wednesday at 7:05pm EST for your first taste, your first look at the 2009 Boston Red Sox. Please understand that the preceding list is not the entire spring training Sox schedule, just the games that will be televised on the New England Sports Network, better known as NESN. I don't know what I'd do without Comcast Cable's NESN and NESN-HD feeds. HD is just like being there, or as close as you can get.
Enjoy your Sunday, the second half of the weekend. Mike Lowell is getting a day off after four staight days. Big Papi was back in there full steam yesterday, Josh Beckett has looked great so far and the camp is calm and focused. Let's hope that bodes well for the 2009 season. The Red Sox will only get stronger as the season progresses. John Smoltz comes immediately to mind...what a shot in the arm he will be. If you'd like, leave a Manny comment or a comment about anything. Or you can simply click on this post's title for more on that team from Boston. As always, BE WELL. L'chaim, cheers, ciao. See ya. Be happy.