It's Official


The 'Rese Rice of the Sox is gone
Red Sox trade Coco Crisp to K.C.
Written by: Boston Sports SID

It's a official.

The Red Sox media relations team is at the top of its game again as they officially announced the trade of Coco Crisp to the Kansas City Royals for right hander Ramon Ramirez earlier today.

Since acquiring Crisp for Andy Marte during the 2005-2006 off-season, the Sox former centerfielder has not lived up to the expectations of a lead-off hitter. Along with that, when Jacoby Ellsbury emerged on the season in 2007 and dazzled the Red Sox fans and management with his play at the plate and in the field, it became quite obvious Crisp was the odd man out. He platooned most of the 2008 with Ellsbury and took over the starting position in Game Five of the ALCS, when Ellsbury struggled throughout the playoffs but the position belonged to Ellsbury.

We wish Coco all the luck in Kansas City as the Red Sox welcome 27-year-old right hander Ramon Ramirez to the Hub of the Universe. Ramirez comes to the Sox after spending two seasons with the Colorado Rockies and one with the Royals. In his two years with the Rockies, 2006-2007), he had 6-5 record, a 4.45 ERA with 76 strike outs and 33 walks in 85 innings of work. Last season in Kansas City, Ramirez was 3-2 with a 2.64 ERA, 70 strike outs, 31 walks and one save in five chances in 71 games.

-- Boston Sports SID

Little Big League

11.6.08 12:03PM

Pedroia adds more metal to the mantel
Youkilis spurned by Haverhill native

Dustin Pedroia will have another trophy to go next to his 2007 Rookie of the Year award in the trophy case of his off-season Arizona home. The Sox second baseman took home the 2008 American League Rawlings’ Gold Glove Award winner.

The perennial award handed out to the two best fielders at every position in both leagues is sponsored by the long-time glove manufacture Rawlings. The American League Gold Glove Award recipients were supposed to be named at two o’clock today but Major League Baseball failed to inform Rawlings of the AL winners and the word leaked out to The Sporting News.

Pedroia and first baseman Kevin Youkilis, who won the award in 2007, were leading candidates to win the 2008 award. But due to Youkilis’s ability to move across the diamond, something he had to do more this year than last year, it hurt his chances of winning the award this year.

Do not feel bad Sox fans, Youkilis did not lose out to just anyone you can still congratulate Tampa Bay Rays first baseman and Massachusetts' own, Carlos Pena. And better news neither Derek Jeter nor Alex Rodriguez won the award shortstop or third base, respectively.

2008 American League Rawlings Gold Glove Award Recipients:
P – Mike Mussina, Yankees
C – Joe Mauer, Twins
1B – Carlos Pena, Rays
2B – Dustin Pedroia, Red Sox
3B – Adrian Beltre, Mariners
SS – Michael Young, Rangers
OF – Torii Hunter, Angels
OF – Grady Sizemore, Indians
OF – Ichiro Suzuki, Mariners

Latest Rumors on Jason Varitek

11.4.08 10:06PM

Lastest on Varitek

One of the latest rumors surrounding catcher Jason Varitek is the Los Angeles Dodgers apparently have interest in the 36-year-old, as reported by ESPN baseball analyst Peter Gammons. Even after being acquired by Los Angeles from Cleveland at the trading deadline, Casey Blake made it known that he wanted to return to Cleveland when he entered free agency at the end of the season. According to Gammons, the Dodgers are without a third baseman and have the intention of permanently switching Russell Martin to third in order to acquire the pitching-oriented Varitek.

Here is the flaw in that for the Dodgers. Los Angeles does not need help behind the plate. Martin has already proven he can work well with the Dodgers pitching staff plus provides some pop at the plate – but not enough. One of the main reasons Los Angeles were beaten by the World Champion Phillies in the championship series was because of their inability to up come with the timely hit. Is Varitek the answer to that? No. Varitek came up a plethora times with men in scoring position and two outs in Boston and failed to drive them in.

It is most likely the Dodgers are going to lose Manny Ramirez and will have to replace that bat in the line up as well as another hitter. Signing Andruw Jones to a long term deal last off-season was the biggest bust of the season. Jones spent more time on the disabled list than he did in the Dodger Stadium outfield. The core group of Dodgers – James Loney, Matt Kemp, Russell Martin, Blake DeWitt and Andre Ethier – have been together for three years and have not got past the National League Championship Series. They need a veteran hitter in their line up like Ramirez brought them after being acquired at the dead.

So a Varitek deal with the Red Sox West is probably not going to happen.

Curt-ain Call

11.4.08 6:15PM

Curt Schilling ends a remarkable 17-year career
Potential Hall of Famer???

In his most recent blog stating why he is voting for John McCain, Curt Schilling drew the curtain on a storied 17-year career. Schilling missed all of 2008 due to a degenerative right shoulder condition that forced him to eventually have the surgery, two months into the season, that he should have in Spring Training.

We are three weeks away from Thanksgiving 2008 so let us travel back in time five years when Theo Epstein sat down at the Schilling’s dinner table for Thanksgiving Day dinner and wooed Curt to wave his no-trade clause and come to Boston. Since that time the Red Sox have won two World Series Championships and have become the model franchise of Major League Baseball, most of it because of Schilling. Sox fans will remember their former Ace from his heroic performance, “Bloody Sock” in Game Six of the 2004.

After having a surgical procedure to temporarily repair his injured ankle – which he actually sustained in the ALDS – Schilling went back out for Game 1 of the ALCS, where he was slapped around by Yankee hitters. At that point fans thought they saw the last of Schilling, his season was over, but they had not seen this stoic man in the post-season. He did not get his reputation of being a post-season hero by being timid. Schilling had the procedure done and returned to the mound October 19. He pitched seven strong innings of four hit ball while allowing one run and striking out four Yankee batters on a sutured ankle that was undeniably painful.

Fans should remember Schilling for doing what many former Red Sox players could not do: he followed through on his World Series promise. When he took the mound on that Tuesday, cool October night with the Sox down 3-2 in the series, Schilling knew that he was putting the rest of his career in jeopardy but he was still willing to go out and pitch. That says a lot about the man. To put your career on the line for a team you have been with for one season and teammates you have known for only a year takes a lot of guts. It should be how Sox fans remember him not for his boisterous, out-spoken and, sometimes, ill-timed comments but for the sacrifices he made for the organization.

It is unfortunate his magnificent career had to come to a close in the way it did. After being drafted by the Red Sox in 1986 then traded to the Baltimore Orioles for Mike Boddicker, Schilling played for three other teams and made it to the playoffs five times. In his illustruous career, he has a 216-146 record with a 3.46 ERA in 3,261 innings of work and is a member of the 3,000 strike out club ranking 14th in most strike outs – 86 ahead of Pedro Martinez.

Schilling’s post-season numbers are equally impressive with a 19-19 record, a 2.23 ERA and 120 strike outs in 133.1 innings of work. In the 2001 World Series, he earned co-World Series MVP honors, with teammate Randy Johnson, with a 1-0 record in three starts, 26 strike outs and a 1.69 ERA. Schilling played best when the weather cold down and there was something at stake, very similar to a fellow Boston athlete. Tedy Bruschi and his favorite day of the year: “Hat and Tee-Shirt Day?”

Although he only played in the post-season five times, he made the most of his opportunities to play in October, partially because he understood how hard it is just to get to the playoffs. Schilling’s worst series was the championship series where his record would still make any Major League pitcher jealous, 3-1 with a 3.47 ERA and 44 strike outs in four appearances. His best series was the Division Series where opponents he was most feared with a 4-0 record, 33 strike outs and an ERA under one (0.93). In four trips to the Fall Classic and with the rest of the country watching, Schilling was on top of his game. Against the Blue Jays (’93), Yankees (’01), Cardinals (’04) and Rockies (’07), the right hander combined for a 4-1 record with 43 strike outs and a 2.06 ERA in 48 innings pitched.

Many believe Schilling is not Hall of Fame caliber but there are strong reasons for why he belongs in Cooperstown and maybe in 2013 some of the baseball writers who might have been spurned by the pitcher will come to terms and vote him into the Hall of Fame.

Schilling sacrificed a lot for the Red Sox organization and even if you abhor his out-spoken-ness or disagree with his politics, you still have to appreciate what he did for Boston.

Key Dates for the 2008 MLB Hot Stove Season

October 30 – November 13: Free agency filing period, begins after the last out of the World Series and lasts for 15 days

November 3 – 6: General Managers Meetings in Dana Point, California

November 5 – 18: Awards Week, all the 2008 season awards are given out this week starting with the AL Gold Glove Awards (11/5) to the AL MVP Award (11/18)

November 20: Deadline for Major and Minor League clubs to file reserve lists – players protected from the Rule 5 Draft

December 1: Deadline for clubs to offer salary arbitration to their ranked free agents – the player has six days (12/7) to decide to accept or decline

December 5: Major League Player’s Association Executive Board Meeting, Orlando, Florida

December 7: Deadline for players to accept or decline salary arbitration

December 8-11: Winter Meetings, Las Vegas, Nevada

December 8: Hall of Fame Veterans Committee Voting Results Announcements, Las Vegas, Nevada

December 11: Rule 5 Draft

Early December: Hall of Fame Voting by the Baseball Writers of America

December 12: Deadline to offer contracts to roster players – players who are not offered contracts enter free agency

January 5: Announcement of Hall of Fame election results

January 5-15: Filing period for players eligible for salary arbitration

January 19: Players and management exchange figures for arbitration – usually the numbers between the players and management are close so usually both parties arrive at some form of agreement

February 1-21: Salary Arbitration Hearings in Phoenix, Arizona – for those who could not come to a peaceful resolution

February 14, 17: Spring Training reporting dates for position players, pitchers and catchers on a World Baseball Classic roster

February 22: Mandatory Spring Training reporting date for those players not on a World Baseball Classic roster


High visibility and high movement

High/Low visibility and high/low movement

Low visibility and low movement

Arrogance Needs to Be Earned


Philly fans are the reason their professional sports teams have not won a championship in 20+years

The one bad thing that comes with the Phillies winning the World Series is the entire country gets to see the pompous and arrogant Philadelphia fans. Around the country people complain Boston fans are obnoxious but they are relatively tame compared to Philly fans.

Yes Boston fans will hurl insults and expletives at Yankee fans. They will taunt and tease A-Rod, Eric Gagne, Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens and the rest of Major League Baseball but it is done out of jocularity. Whether it is taunting J.D. Drew for not signing with the Phillies out of high school or hurling batteries and beer bottles at officials during an Eagles game, Philadelphia fans are just down right nasty.

Boston fans are the most knowledgeable sports fans in the country. We are passionate fans that go to the ballpark, stadium or arena and root for our teams not just against the opposing teams. Yes we want to see the Yankees, Rays, Colts, Lakers and Canadiens go down in a ball of flames but it does not stop Boston fans from rooting for their team. In Philly, it seems as if the fans are rooting more against their opponents than for their own teams.

It is general knowledge that if you walk into Fenway Park wearing Yankees garb you will get obscenities hurled your way and maybe even beer poured on you, but there is one thing Red Sox fans do not do. We do not go after the young children unlike some Eagles fans who thought it would be funny to pour beer over a five year old Patriots fan at Super Bowl XXXIX. Pretty classless if you ask me.

Phillies pitcher Brett Myers exemplifies Philadelphia in the perfect way. Everyone in Philly thinks he is funny by the practical joke he played on teammate Kyle Kendrick at the beginning of the season but Boston fans know him for what he really is: a coward. During the World Series, Myers made the remark if the Red Sox had made it to the World Series he would not pitch in Fenway Park.

His statement is from an incident that occurred two years ago after he was arrested by Boston police for domestic abuse but still started for the Phillies the next day. (I have a few things to say regarding that later.) There were at least two eye-witness accounts that said the Phillies pitcher “slapped [his wife] across the face” and “dragged her down by the street by the hair.” The next day, he was welcomed by the Fenway Faithful to a chorus of boos and chants of “wife-beater” just like the infamous Jason Kidd.

Two years later Myers retorts this by saying “he was trying to protect her.” Sorry Brett but punching your wife is not the definition of “protecting.” When two people can confirm you hit her and then dragged her by her hair, it kind of puts a hole on your side of the story. And on that note, he told USA Today he was “pelted by plastic beer bottles in the bullpen” while warming up? Fenway Park does not sell bottled beer. It is all draft and at an expensive $7.50 per cup. Another strike against the compulsive liar.

How can fans root for a team that does not punish a player for domestic abuse? The fact the Phillies organization and the fans turned a blind eye to it and allowed Myers to start the next day was disgusting. By allowing him to start was the organization’s way of saying winning means more to us than the health of a human being.

Do not think for one second, Philly fans, Sox fans would react the same way if it was one of their players because we would not. Remember former Red Sox second baseman/left fielder Wilfredo Cordero. He was arrested for domestic abuse and never heard the end of the wife beater chants from Red Sox Nation. The organization cast him out to sea the following year. Bob and Myra Kraft and the Patriots are the same way. They created the R.O.S.E. Fund (Re-gaining One’s Self-Esteem) to help combat domestic abuse.

Maybe the reason Philadelphia has not won a single a championship, until this year, in the last 26 years is because “the apple does not fall far from the tree.” The values of the owners shape the fans. If the owners are respectable and have a good moral high ground then, more likely than not, the team and their fans are going to be that way. The owners would never have it any other way. They toss any fans to the curb who are casting them and their organization in a negative light.

Behind a championship team there are great owners and it is also the underlying factor why Boston had three teams combine to win six World Championships in the last nine years. The Krafts, John Henry, Tom Werner and Larry Lucchino as well as Wyc Grousbeck and Steve Pagliuca have created a positive environment conducive towards winning from the front office to the fans who, loyally, attend each game. On the contrary, the Phillies might be one of the only championship teams to not have champion quality owners.

Batting Stances

2008 Post Season Batting Stances