Results tagged ‘ Mark Kotsay ’
Shocking, I know, but position players aren’t even due to report to spring training, but J.D. Drew is already injured. I don’t understand how somebody can be so fragile, it is mind boggling. Rocco Baldelli and Mark Kotsay (edit: since Kotsay had back surgery, insert Brad Wilkerson) better get ready for a lot of at bats and time out in RF this season.
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.
I get my son into bed and back downstairs ready to watch the game at about 8:40 or 8:45. I turn on the TV, flip over to TBS and it is the top of the 2nd and the Rays already have a 2-0 lead. Christ! I sit down at the PC and head to ESPN.com to see how it happened. Iawmura hit followed by another Upton HR. Damn!
The Sox get a couple on against Kazmir, but can’t deliver. Kazmir seems to be pitching okay. Certainly not the Kazmir of old, but definitely not the Kazmir of recent either. However, it’s just a matter of time before the Sox get to him…right?
Top of the 3rd, and Upton gets another hit. Can we get this guy out yet? Pena HR, next. Longoria HR next. Gawd! Well, when 1 team is hitting on all cylinders and out pitching the opponent, what are you going to do? You just have to give credit to the Rays. It’s not going to be the year this year.
I check with the wife, see if she wants to watch a show. We’re both tired (my wife works nights, and worked Wed night, so she’s way more tired than me. But you know how it is with kids, your ALWAYS tired.), but I pull up the DVR and see what we have waiting to watch. How about Survivor? Great! We watch the Fang tribe (which could be like the Rays of old, or the Pirates, always losing) lose both challenges and GC get voted out.
The wife’s ready for bed, so she curls up on the couch with a blanket and is off to dreamland as I turn the game back on. It is the Top of the 7th, and Delcarmen just walked the 2nd of two batters, so the Rays have 1st & 2nd with nobody out and Upton (him again?) coming up. Francona, in a desperation moves, brings in Papelbon. However, after a double steal, runs are at 2nd and 3rd. Papelbon works back to a full count on Upton, but gives up a wall ball double that extends the lead to 7-0. That just about sealed up the MVP for Upton.
I get back on the PC, as I’m thinking about going to bed, and type up a little blog to congratulate the Rays, as I’ll probably type up more in the morning.
However, even though I am tired, it is a bit early for me to go to bed. I am a night owl. I like to stay up late. Not sure why, but I’ve always been that way. Sometimes I regret it in the morning, but most times I’m fine.
So, I start surfing the net, checking out some other blogs. I went to a message board that I frequent. I played a few games, all as the game was still on.
Maddon decides not to bring Kamir out for the 7th, and goes with the flame thrower Grant Balfour. Lowrie crushes a ball to RF, that just misses a HR. However, that gets you to take notice. Then when Varitek and Kotsay fly out, oh well. However, Crisp lines a single, but too hard for Lowrie to score. Pedroia then singles, and the Sox are on the board. At least they won’t be shut out.
Now, up comes Papi. He crushes one deep into the night.
Papelbon comes out and gets the Rays 1-2-3 in the 8th. Sweet!
Then, a 4 pitch lead-off walk to Bay, and you can just see how tightly Wheeler is squeezing that ball. Drew crushes a HR to right, and WOW! But, your still thinking how HUGE those 2 runs the Rays got in the top of 7th are. Walks will kill you. But, the Sox are now down a run. If you’re going to lose, if you’re going to get eliminated, this is the way to go out. Not some pathetic 7-0 loss. Wheeler gets Lowrie and Casey, and is almost out of the inning. But here is where some “weird” things happen:
- Kotsay’s line drive goes off the glove of B.J. Upton in CF )who has been tracking down EVERYTHING) for a double.
- Gabe Gross’ throw to home goes straight into the ground, allowing Kotsay to score on Crisp’s single to tie the game.
- Carlos Pena (who had ground into only 2 DPs all season) grouned into an inning ending DP with the leading run on 2nd.
- Evan Longoria, one of the best fielding 3B in the league, makes an error. That runner ends up scoring the winning run on J.D. Drew’s game winning hit.
There I am, dancing around the living room while my wife is fast asleep on the couch. Haha. But, who would have thought? Seriously!! Down 7-0 in the 7th?
We go back to Tampa. There is still a lot of work to be done, but ANYTHING can happen, as we just witnessed. There are lots of questions though:
Can Beckett be Beckett?
Is the offense back?
Should Francona swap Lester to game 6 (on normal rest) and Beckett for game 7 (on extra rest)?
Saturday can’t get here fast enough for me.
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!
Wow! A month since my last post. Work and vacation can do that to you. To all my loyal readers (all zero of you, I guess), I apologize for that.
However, the Sox were busy in August. Aside from playing .667 (18-9) ball, they acquired Paul Byrd and Mark Kotsay in trades, while signing David Ross and Jason Lane to minor league deals to bolster their depth.
Despite their great August, they went from 3 games behind the Rays to 5 1/2 games behind as Tampa played an amazing .750 ball in August, winning 21 out of 28 games.
With one month left to play, the Sox will definately have their work cut out for them, to catch the Rays. A lot of “experts”, are expecting the Rays to fold under the pennant race limelight. However, I do not think that will happen. The Rays have solid pitching (in both their starters and bullpen) along with a solid defense. Even if their offense does cool down, their all-round ability should be able to carry them through to the end.
The Sox and Rays are pretty much a lock for the playoffs, as I don’t think the Twins or the White Sox will overtake Boston in the wildcard. That leaves just the Twins and White Sox to battle it out for the Central Division and last AL Playoff Berth.
How about Dustin Pedroia. What a month!!! .374 average, 1.060 OPS, 43 hits, 10 2Bs, 6 HRs, 20 RBIs, 5 SBs without being caught. AL Player of the Week, and likely Player of the Month. Clean up Hitter?? Who would of thunk it.
Pedroia on fire. David Ortiz is heating up. Coco Crisp is almost as hot as Pedroia. Beckett and Lowell back soon from the DL. Youkillis, Bay, Kotsay, Varitek all playing well. Going to be a wild September and October.