Results tagged ‘ Jacoby Ellsbury ’
Last night, the Boston branch of the Baseball Writers Association of America held their annual awards dinner last night. At the dinner, Dustin Pedroia picked up his AL MVP Award:
Also, at the awards dinner, Rocco Baldelli picked up the Tony Conigliaro award, along with his BRAND NEW Red Sox jersey.
The Red Sox signed Baldelli, formerly of the AL Champion Tampa Bay Rays, to a 1-year contract. He will see the majority of his work as the 4th outfielder. He could see considerable time in either CF or RF depending on Jacoby Ellsbury’s progress and J.D. Drew’s injury status.
Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon (AL Manager of the Year) and Tampa Bay reliever Dan Wheeler (New England [born] Player of the Year) were also honored. Reportedly, the Red Sox tried to sign those two at the dinner, but were rebuffed.
It was also confirmed that the Red Sox have indeed offered a 1-year contract to former Atlanta Brave Cy Young Award winner John Smoltz. Reportedly, the base contract is for around $5 million with incentives based on time on the active roster that could double the value. John Smoltz is coming off an injury, but hopefully there is still some juice left in the arm.
I was actually hoping that Smoltz and Tom Glavine would both retire. No. Not because I do not think they can not or should not pitch in the major anymore. It is because along with Greg Maddux, who just announced his retirement last month, it would be quite a sight to see an induction ceremony of Maddux, Glavine, and Smoltz 5 years from now in Cooperstown.
How many times do 3 pitchers of this caliber actually pitch for 1 team for a LONG time? Very rarely. How many times have 3 pitchers of this caliber that were teammates been inducted in the Baseball Hall of Fame together? NEVER! That would be quite historic.
I’ve been a Braves fan (they’re my NL team although not as much now), ever since our family first got cable as teen. I actually hated the Braves at first, because their games (and they were terrible), would always interrupt my 2 hours of NWA / WCW wrestling on Saturday nights. However, after watching them play, I grew attached and then enjoyed my wrestling / baseball double feature on Saturdays.
Anyway, now that I returned from detour down memory lane, it will be very strange to see Smoltz in a Red Sox uniform after spending his entire Major League career in a Brave uniform. Hopefully, he will ended up healthy and could be a surprising big contributor down the stretch. Looks like he will also fill the mantle left void by Curt Schilling, as the elder pitching statesmen for this team.
Finally, it looks like Mark Kotsay may return to the team. While normally an outfielder for most of his career, I envision that Kotsay will fill the Sean Casey role on the 2009 club. Mostly, he’ll be the back-up for Youkilis and Lowell (at 1b only, Youk will move over to 3b when Lowell needs a rest), but could see time in the OF depending on the health of Drew and Baldelli. I like Kotsay, he has always be a solid player, but wonder if he will be happy in this role.
Since the Sox recently signed Brad Penny and Josh Bard, it’s nice to see the Hot Stove getting a tad bit warmer.
No, I’m not going to complain about Jacoby Ellsbury not winning the RoY. Congrats to Evan Longoria and Geovany Soto for winning the AL and NL RoY, respectively (I’ve always wanted to write that.)
However, I have uncovered a discrepancy in the NL RoY Voting (and I’m not talking about Soto not winning unanimously, although he should have). What I am talking about is that there was a mysterious “extra” vote cast.
If you calculate all the votes from these results, you’ll find that there were 97 votes tabulated here. Was this voting done somewhere in Florida? The voting is done by the Baseball Writers Association of America. Two writers from each city cast a vote for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place.
So for the 14 AL teams, there would be 2 writers from each city placing 3 votes or (14x2x3) which would get you 84 total votes. In the NL, since there are 16 teams, it would go (16x2x3) for 96 total votes. If you count all the votes from the results above, you get (GASP!) 97 votes. Additionally, 3 voters voted for an ineligible candidate! I am sure this was just a simple mistake by some overworked accountant at Ernest & Young (you know the Oscar and other awards shows are coming up, and I’m sure there too busy prepping for those votes), BUT I demand an investigation!!!
Not only has voter fraud been seen in the political arena, but it has seeped into our National Pastime.
Oh the Travesty!
Am I trying to make up for slacking last week? A second post in one day. Wow!
Anyway, Tonight’s line-up is out, and Terry Francona has made a couple of changes. Let’s take a look at it:
1) JD Drew – RF
2) Pedroia – 2B
3) Ortiz – DH
4) Youkilis – 3B
5) Bay – LF
6) Kotsay – 1B
7) Crisp – CF
8) Cash – C
9) Lowrie – SS
Drew has replaced Ellsbury at the top of the order, while Crisp has replaced Ellsbury in CF. Ellsbury has been struggling, as he was 0 for his last 20 ABs dating back to Game 3 of the ALDS when he doubled in the 5th inning. Obviously, some sort of change was needed, but I wouldn’t call this Panic. It looks like I like to ask questions in my titles and answer no to them. Haha.
Anyway, Drew batted lead-off 8 times early in the season. He batted .172 (5-29) from the lead-off hole. However, he did walk an impressive 10 times, for a respecatble OBP of .385.
We knew that Varitek would be sitting today, as Kevin Cash is Tim Wakefiled’s personal catcher. However, we shouldn’t expect anything from his bat.
Finally, the Sox will be calling in a Dirt Dog from season’s past as the Red Sox Insider is reporting in his blog that Trot Nixon, THE DIRT DOG, will be throwing out the ceremonial first pitch tonight. WELCOME BACK TROT.
It’s been a busy week, both for me and for baseball. Sorry for the absence of posts, however, I was helping the little woman prepare the house for a party in celebration of our daughter’s 1st Birthday / Baptism which took place on Sunday. The event was a success, while the Patriots game later that night was not a success.
Anyway, a lot has happened. The Phillies are on the verge of returning to the World Series for the first time since 1993 (oh Mitch Williams, your redemption may come) after taking a 3 – 1 series lead over the Dodgers. Game 3 of the series provide a weak attempt at recreating the Red Sox – Rays brawl from this summer. It was another humorous square dancing event, rather than a fight.
Meanwhile, our beloved Red Sox started out great, shutting out the Rays in Game 1 behind a great pitching performance by Dice-K. Red Sox fans had visions of a 3 game to zero lead in their head with Beckett and Lester to follow, but the Rays bats through in a monkey wrench. Tampa’s offense came alive with back-to-back games of 9 runs, bashing 7 HRs in the processes, reducing Beckett and Lester to the likes of John Wasdin and Matt Young (minus the walks).
Meanwhile (I feel like the narrator from the old Batman TV series with all of these meanwhiles), the Red Sox lumber have seem to take an extended slumber. Aside from Pedroia (.545), Youkilis (.429), and Bay (.455) not another batter is batting above .250. Ellsbury, Ortiz, and Varitek are all hitless in the series.
Should we be worrying? History says no. We all remember 2004, down 3 games to zero to the Yankees, don’t we? How about 2007 where we were down 3 games to 1 to the Indians and had to face their 2 best pitchers in games 6 and 7? So, being down 2 games to 1 while troublesome, is not worrisome on the whole.
Tonight, we have Tim Wakefield slated to start against Andy Sonnanstine in Game 4. In 3 starts this season versus TB, Wakefield is 0-2 with a 5.87 ERA. The Red Sox have lost all 3 of those games. Sonnanstine, in 2 starts, is 0-0 with a 0.00 ERA. He has given up only 7 hits, 2 walks and 2 Unearned runs in 13 innings while Tampa has won both of those games. So, looking at those numbers, it doesn’t look good for tonight.
However, so far in these 3 games, nothing has really gone as anticipated. I mean, how many people predicted that Jacoby Ellsbury and David Ortiz would combine for zero hits and 1 RBI in the 3 games? Would you be surprised if Wakefield went 8 innings of 3 hit baseball? Well, maybe! There is still lots of baseball to be played, and lots of thing could be happen. That one thing that would truly be surprising, though, is if Ortiz finishes the series still without a hit.
With is defense, at the plate, and on the base paths, Jacoby Ellsbury picked up where he left off last post-season. Ellsbury was 3-5 with a double, an rbi, a run scored, and 2 stolen bases. He lifted his average in the post-season from .360 to .400. However, the play of the night may have been his spectacular catch on Mark Teixeira’s 8th inning blooper. That prevented the lead-off man from reaching, which proved especially important when Vladimir Guerrerro and Torri Hunter followed with singles. More on that later, though.
This could almost be a hockey blog, because the 3rd star of the night for the Sox was undoubtedly Jon Lester. He continued his ascension to becoming a #1 Ace with his performance tonight. 7 innings, 6 hits, 1 walk, and 1 unearned run are the numbers for him. More importantly was the poise with which he performed. Unshakeable, he over came the rare Jed Lowrie error that extended the Angels 3rd, allowing Hunter to knock in the games first run. I thought (if you call yelling at the TV thinking) that Bay could have dove to catch Hunter’s single, as it practically dropped at his feet, but I guess it was smart to be cautious. After that 3rd inning, Lester allowed just 3 singles over the last 4 innings. He retired the last 7 batters in a row he faced, striking out 4 of them. If Lester is going to continue to pitch like this during the post season, Boston is going to be a happy town.
In their returns to the line-up, Mike Lowell and J.D. Drew each went 0-4 with a strike out. A couple of Lowell’s at bats were not typical Lowell at bats. So we’ll see how both of these guys come back after Thursday’s off-day when Daisuke Matsuzaka is scheduled to pitch against Ervin Santana in what should be another pitchers duel. Only a 9:30pm start to that one, so hopefully I won’t be up as late as last night. But it was worth it.
Sundays are great days to be a sports fan in New England. You get a dose of the Sox and the Patriots. Last Sunday was great, because you had the Sox at 1:35, and when they finished around 4:00pm it was almost time for kick-off between the Pats and Jets. You can’t beat a doubleheader like that, especially when it’s a sweep. We all know the difficulty of sweeping a twin bill.
This weekend, though, didn’t go quite as planned. While the Sox help up their end of the bargian, and clinched a tie for the wild-card in the process, that Pats fell flat on their face.
Nobody, except for Chad Pennington’s mother (seems we’ve been hearing a lot from QB’s mothers lately, Hi Mrs. Young, Hi Mrs. Jackson), could have expected this. Luckily, I did not really get a chance to full watch this game, as I was preparing for my son’s 4th birthday party. I got to take a detour and avoid seeing the wreckage. All I can really say is that this is going to be a long two weeks for the Patriots.
Last night was the final game at Yankee Stadium. As a baseball fan, I MUST visit the Stadium before they tear it down this winter. Unfortunately, I will never get to see a baseball game from a seat inside the stadium. However, with the history that has taken place there, I am going to do my best to take a tour of it. I’m actually glad the Yankees were able to win their final game, but how strange is it that Johnny Damon almost went down as the last player to hit a home run in the “House That Ruth Built”?
The last week is shaping up to be a fun one for MLB. With the Rays, Angels, and Red Sox all lined up for the playoffs, we get to watch the Twins-White Sox battle for the Central division starting Tuesday. Meanwhile, we have the Phillies-Mets battling in the East; the Dodgers-Diamondbacks battling in the West; and the Mets-Brewers-Astros fighting for the Wild Card. This is why I love baseball.
Also, we have Dustin Pedroia looking up at Joe Mauer in the race for the batting crown. Ever since appears on WEEI’s The Big Show, Pedroia has been in such a slump. He must have chowed down some of the free food that is always in the studio, thus slowing down his swing. I think Big O was trying to morph Pedroia into the same shape of himself, as Big O was a bit jealous of Pedroia being taller than him. Anyway, Pedroia is at .324 while Mauer has taken over the lead with a .330 average. Pedrioa has also seen Ichiro catch him for league lead in hits, both have 204 coming into the final week.
Congrats to Jonathan Papelbon for becoming the 5th Red Sox closer to reach 40 saves in a season. He joined Jeff Reardon, Ugueth Urbina, Tom Gordon, and Derek Lowe. Quite an accomplishment.
Finally, I’ve noticed that Red Sox seem to have a unique starting OF now and again. I am not sure there has been another one like it, and not even sure how to research it. However, when the Sox acquired Mark Kotsay before the end of August, they were able to put out a starting OF where all 3 OFers last name end in the letter Y. Jason Bay, Jacoby Ellsbury, and Kotsay. I wonder if there has been anything similar with rarely used letters. I bet maybe it has been done with U. Oh well, just a random thought.
Final week of the season. GO SOX!
Well, it’s the day we’ve been waiting for. Big Papi is BACK! After 54 days and 45 games, in which the Red Sox were 26-19, Big Papi is BACK! Tonight, David Ortiz will step back on the field and take his first cracks in almost 2 months, against the hated rival, New York Yankees.
When Papi went out injured in that May 31st game against the Orioles, the Red Sox trailed the first place Rays by 1 game. Today, they are tied for first with them, just percentage points behind.
The Sox did a great job of really not suffering a dramatic slump with Ortiz out. J.D. Drew did an incredible job of filling in Ortiz’s hole in the line-up. However, now with Ortiz back, how is this going to affect the line-up. Here is what my line-up would be tonight:
Now, we know it is unusual to have 2 lefties in a row in a line-up these days. Also, Drew is not a prototypical #2 hitter. However, the Yanks do not have a left-hander in the bullpen. Ellsbury’s production has really dropped, and it seems like this would be the right down to drop him in the order and take some pressure of him, especially with how hot Pedroia has been. By hitting Ellsbury 9th, as the rest of the game goes, you end up keeping the Ellsbury, Pedroia, Drew three-some which may help alleviate the change.
I doubt we will see a line-up like that, and will more likely see the same line-up as usual except with Ortiz back at #3, and J.D. Drew probably back at #5 or #6 and everybody else bumped back down a slot.
I am not sure what the problem Ellsbury is going through. The 1st 2 months, he hit .282 and .281 with a combined 27 walks. The last 2 months, he has hit .245 and .232 with a combined 5 walks. I don’t know what to really attribute that to, but you can see that it has been affecting his confidence, and he is not swinging at good pitches. I love Ellsbury, and believe he can work his way out of this. The first step would be dropping him down, and see if that can get him going.
Finally, WEEI was reporting yesterday the Sox were in “serious” negotiations with the White Sox for Juan Uribe. I am not sure why, as I think Lowrie is more than capable to fill in for Lugo, and hopefully, possibly, take over full-time for Lugo. I don’t even think Uribe is an upgrade over Cora, so I didn’t see where the interest is from the Sox stand point.
It should be a great series this weekend, with some nice pitching match-ups. Tonight’s match-up for Joba vs Beckett could be a good duel. Joba is emerging into the perfect Yankee to hate for us Red Sox fans, which is great for the rivalry. Then we have Wakefield and Pettitte. Both are coming of some quality starts. The final game will see Lester and Ponson. I think the Sox will take 2 out of 3, as it will be tough to get to both Joba and Pettite.