When a team starts to hit a nose-dive like the Red Sox have this year, the first people to leave are the “pink hats” or bandwagon fans. Eventually the die-hards will switch from “I’d skip my mother’s funeral for this game” mode to “sure, we can eat there, they’ll have the game on” mode. It takes A LOT to get to the point where the mascot doesn’t even want to be around the team anymore but have we reached that point already? Maybe.
The Boston PD tweeted this earlier: “Missing: Wally the Green Monster, If seen please call Boston Police” and the theories started running wild. Did our mascot stolen get stolen by a Yankees fan? Did Wally tie a rope around his own neck and jump off the Zakim Bridge after watching Josh Beckett’s new warm-up routine? Are we going to have to sign up for accounts at partybingo.com to raise money to pay off his kidnappers? Is Theo Epstein back in town and itching for another costume to put on? Could Wally possibly be involved in a 4 team trade to get Anthony Rizzo back to Boston?
We don’t have an answer yet but the Police Department has tweeted that Wally was found. My bet is that he was just sleeping off an extended binge from the thrashing the team received from the Rangers. Hell, that’s what I’M doing!
When it comes to collecting stamps, I know nothing. In fact, I just recently sent my first snail-mail letter in a long time and I had to use Wikipedia to figure out why the lady at the post office gave me stamps that say ‘FOREVER STAMP’ on them.
When it comes to collecting Red Sox merchandise, I don’t really know too much either. I’ve got a mint condition John Valentin rookie card in a plaque next to a photo of Mike Greenwell driving a go-kart that I picked up at his ‘Bat-A-Ball & Family Fun Park‘ in Florida.
Neither my stamp nor my merch ignorance will hold me back from buying these baller Ted Williams stamps from the USPS:
Yep. ‘The greatest hitter that ever lived’ is now immortalized in a stamp and it’s about damned time. Not only did Ted Williams put up some of the best offensive numbers EVER but he also took time out of the prime of his career to join the U.S. Marine Corps and help fight for his country. If there is a ballplayer that deserves a stamp, it’s Teddy friggin Ballgame.
I’m not sure what I’m going to do with the 3 sets of stamps I bought but after speaking with the people at the post office, I think I understand how ‘FOREVER STAMPS’ work now. It doesn’t matter how much the price for a standard stamp rises because these Ted Williams badboys can be used to send a letter regardless of what the current price is. Ladies and gentlemen, I think that’s called an investment.
See? I’m learning!
The Sox farm system has been pretty quiet lately. There haven’t been many Charlie Zink AAA-domination ‘heart warming tales’ or stories of Ryan Lavarnway hitting a HR so far that NORAD tracked the flight pattern of the ball. Don’t get me wrong, things are still progressing like usual with guys playing well and other guys NOT playing well.
Shaq Green-Thompson falls in the latter category. While looking at his Gulf Coast League stats, keep this in mind: Shaq is a football player at heart, the #1 safety prospect in the nation, and a top 5 high school pick that is going to attend Washington on a full-ride this fall. He is a tremendous athlete with speed, strength, and the build of a man just waiting to dominate the NCAA. What Shaq Thompson is NOT, is a good professional baseball player.
That didn’t stop the Red Sox from deciding to take a chance on him anyway (because of that skill-set previously mentioned) so they snagged him in the 18th round to see if anything panned out..
These are his numbers as the Gulf Coast League has drawn to a conclusion:
0-39, 37 strikeouts, 1 RBI
The 37 strikeouts in 39 at-bats make Adam LaRoche look like a patient hitter so the next time you think to yourself, “I could probably get a lucky hit or two off that guy” .. you’re wrong. I don’t doubt that Mr. Thompson will have a successful football career but if we learned anything from Michael Jordan’s stint playing minor league baseball, it is that being athletic doesn’t automatically make you a good baseball player and he proved that in a big way.
I can only hope that as he left the Gulf Coast League, one of his coaches gave him a ball inscribed with one of my favorite Ted Williams quotes:
“I think without question the hardest single thing to do in sport is to hit a baseball.”
Good luck out there Shaq Thompson.
One of the quieter moves made by Ben Cherington over the offseason was to snag outfielder Cody Ross away from San Francisco (where he won a championship in 2010), and then slide him into an outfield already brimming with potential. Ross had shown flashes of high-caliber offensive play and he was always an above average fielder so his propensity to pull the ball in a park with a short LF could make him a bargain at only $3mil.
That leads us to tonight when ‘Ross the Boss’ crushed a 3 run shot over the monster for a walk-off win against the White Sox. The game winner was an encore to last night’s performance when he absolutely RAKED, hitting TWO 3R HR over The Monster and almost had a third until the wind from that night’s thunderstorms knocked it down just shy.
In fact, Ross has done nothing BUT rake at Fenway Park. Before tonight’s game his home splits were nothing short of silly: .281 AVG, .633 SLG, 13 2B, 10 HR, 31 RBI
It’s been a while since we’ve seen someone take advantage of the wall like this. To make things even better, he plays the game with the grit of Trot Nixon and the childlike joy of a Little League ballplayer. Cherington’s 3 million didn’t just get the team some Fenway offense but it got them a player that is just flat out fun to watch. It’s official, I’m a Cody Ross fan.
Tomorrow night marks Kevin Youkilis‘ return to Fenway as a member of the wrong-colored Sox. It’s going to be tough to see (and even tougher if he does well which is likely considering he is raking in Chi-town) but the cathedral will likely be rocking with YOOOOOOUK chants and there may even be a few tears. In an effort to get ahead of the emotion, Youk wrote a thank-you letter to Boston fans that blows Ray Allen’s goodbye out of the water:
What an amazing run I have had these past 8 1/2 years in Boston!
It has been an honor and a privilege to play every home game of my career in Boston before a sold out Fenway Park. I would like to thank everyone who gave me an opportunity in Boston, and stood behind me through all these years. To the Spinners, the Sea Dogs, the PawSox, and to all those teammates on the Red Sox since 2004, I am forever grateful.
I want to thank the Red Sox ownership for all the hard work and dedication to making the Red Sox and Fenway Park a special place to play. They have always supported me on the field, and have helped out in many ways off the field. I can’t thank them enough for my time in Boston.
To Terry Francona, who led us to 2 World Series championships in 2004 and 2007, I thank you for your support and personal guidance through my career with the Red Sox. I thank you for being there for me not just as a manager but as a friend off the field. Thank you for the opportunity to play in 3 All-Star Games, winning 2 World Series, winning the Hank Aaron Award and a Gold Glove. I could have never accomplished all this without all my great teammates and coaches who made me a better player.
I want to thank my parents and brothers for all their support from the day I got drafted. Without my Dad’s hard work building that batting cage, and my Mom tirelessly schlepping me around to all my games, I would never have lived my dreams in Boston. I want to thank my beautiful wife Julie and all her family for all their support. We will always cherish Boston since it was the city in which we met and married.
I also want to thank all the philanthropic people around New England and across the country who supported my charity in the past and continue to support Youk’s Kids. Since its inception, we have raised over $3 million to support the neediest of children in Red Sox Nation. While my days of playing for the Red Sox have ended, I am still committed to serving the New England area through my charity. I thank all the charity’s sponsors for all they have done, and their continued support going forward.
And, last but no means least, to all the Red Sox Nation, the home of the most dedicated and knowledgeable fans in baseball, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. That final game at Fenway was the most emotional day of my life on the baseball field. It could not have been scripted any better. And to all those kids out there in Red Sox Nation, I can give you my Dad’s advice. “Life is like a throw to first base, always aim high.”
I love you all, and thanks,
*gulp* We love you too Youk. Don’t be a stranger.
I’ve run out of fingers trying to count the amount of times David Ortiz has complained about his contract over the past 5 or 6 years. It usually pops up around the middle of the season (aka now) and again as soon as the season is over. He often mentions it in a few sentences and it gets blown up to massive proportions. Not this time..
In an extensive interview with USA Today, Ortiz said “If you go crazy and give contracts to whoever comes along despite not knowing how they’re going to do, then you don’t give me my due consideration, even though I do my thing every year, (expletive) that.” It is a massive pet peeve of mine when players getting paid millions of dollars to play baseball complain about their contract but Ortiz has a bit of a point here. In the past few years the Red Sox have thrown A TON of money at mid-level ballplayers like John Lackey and Carl Crawford.
Things probably came to a head when the Red Sox recently released Bobby Jenks from his contract. Jenks signed a 2-yr $12m deal with the team after the 2010 season. Since then he managed to pitch a miserable 15.2 innings with an absurd 6.32 ERA and he managed to do all of this PLUS a drunk driving hit-and-run during spring training. This means (depending on how much they were stuck with after releasing him) the team paid $765,795 per inning worked, and $40,816 for each pitch he threw while still managing to be a PR nightmare with his DUI. Can you see why Ortiz was a little bit pissed off when he had to go to arbitration with the team for a 1 year deal?
On the other side of the coin, there are very few players in baseball that only play DH. This makes it unbelievably hard to put a value on the position. Even guys like Adam Dunn (paid slightly more) and Edwin Encarnación (paid A LOT less) have played over 20 games at first base. Ortiz is kind of blazing a new trail for designated hitters so the club understandably isn’t sure how to proceed. If Ortiz stops hitting well (like he did in 2009), the team is stuck with a player that can’t even be a late-game defensive replacement. He becomes a 100% liability and it makes sense that Ben Cherington didn’t want to give him a multiple year deal, especially when he turns a 38 years old in November. That is 38 in Dominican Republic years so he could possibly be older than that.
The truth is: we just got SWEPT by the Oakland Athletics after losing 2 out of 4 to the Seattle Mariners. These are two of the worst offensive teams in baseball and while the Athletics have good pitching, the Mariners are middle-of-the-pack at best. This puts the team at a miniscule 2 games above .500, 7.5 games behind first place, and disappearing from the Wild Card race. Big Papi and the media know damn well that there are far more important things that need to be discussed and mid-season contract talk is nothing but a distraction.
Knock it off.« go back — keep looking »