OK, as baseball season approaches, us at Total Bases hope to start writing daily. There is a chance the blog moves to a new address, but that is still up in the air.
Main point is, I will continue to write about Boston sports with some national news also. Hopefully I can be at some live events for you too. But for lacrosse stuff, read inlaxwetrust.com
The Boston Bruins blew their second straight game after leading by two goals with a 4-2 loss to the New York Islanders. This is the first time the Bruins lost in regulation after leading by two goals. They have three OT losses, one to Montreal and two to Buffalo. Zdeno Chara and Nathan Horton scored for the Bruins. Look for full recap tomorrow.
Meanwhile, the Celtics also lost to the Philadelphia 76ers, their second straight loss after Wednesday’s loss to the LA Clippers. The Celtics were down most of the game, and made a nice little comeback in the fourth, only to blow it. Will probably also have a recap of this also.
In other relevant scores, The Washington Capitals defeated the Carolina Hurricanes, 2-1. The win keeps the Caps in second overall in the east. As I write this, the Ottawa Senators are leading the Tampa Bay Lightning 2-1 in the third.
As far as spring training goes, the Red Sox split their split squad games. They lost 3-2 to the Minnesota Twins, while Jon Lester pitched a good game and Jonathan Papelbon struggled. They did defeat the Houston Astros, 9-3. Kyle Weiland got the win for Boston, and Brett Myers took the loss.
Meanwhile, the NFLPA decertified. Shocker. So we miss out. Does the MLL take advantage of this? We will have an article up on ILWT at some point on this.
So to all our loyal followers still here, thanks for sticking around, you will see more action hopefully. Maybe some more youtube videos too.
The Astros are a team going in no direction, I can tell you that right now. But what do they have if they decided to rebuild?
They may have started a rebuilding process, acquiring Brett Wallace and trading Roy Oswalt. So, without Oswalt, what does the Astros rotation look like? Wandy Rodriguez has turned himself into a good pitcher, with a 3.60 ERA this season. Brett Myers had a very good year, with a 3.14 ERA. JA Happ, acquired from Philadelphia for Myers, had an ERA of 3.40. Nelso Figueroa had an Earned Run Average of 3.29, and Bud Norris 4.92. To me that looks like a very good Astros rotation. So, where did their problem lie?
In the bullpen, Wilton Lopez had a good season, with a 1.06 WHIP. Tim Byrdak had an ERA of 3.49. Mark Melancon, a former Yankee, 4.22. Brandon Lyon 3.12. The only relievers who had bad seasons were Matt Lindstrom and Jeff Fulchino. So, it looks to me like the pitching on the Astros were not the reason for their bad record. Now let’s take a look at some offensive players.
Carlos Lee had an off year, hitting only .246, with only a .291 OBP while playing left field. However, he did hit 24 home runs. Micheal Bourn hit .265 with only two home runs and 38 RBIs. Hunter Pence did have a good season, hitting .285 with 25 home runs and 91 RBIs. So that was their outfield, and it did not look too productive. How about the infield?
Chris Johnson had a surprise year at third base, hitting .308 with 11 home runs. One thing to be concerned about is he did make 18 errors. Tommy Manzella had a tough go of it at shortstop, hitting only .225 with one home run. Angel Sanchez, who was acquired from Boston, split time at shortstop and second base and did a nice job for himself. A career minor leaguer, Sanchez hit .277 for Houston. Jeff Keppinger had a pretty good year at second base, hitting .288 with six home runs. At first base, top prospect Brett Wallace has had a tough time, hitting only .222 with 2 home runs. Jason Castro ended up the teams starting catcher at the end of the year, but his season average was only .205.
So it seems to me that it was the Astros’ offense that did them in. If I had any one move they could make, it would be to trade Carlos’ Lee’s contract and get a few prospects.
I made my before-Spring Training predictions, here are my Opening Day Season predictions. Plus, check out the player to watch feature which gives you a player to watch on each team during the reaguler season.
AL East Player to watch:
Boston Red Sox (Jacoby Ellsbury)
New York Yankees (Marcus Thames)
Tampa Bay Rays (Ben Zobrist)
Baltimore Orioles (Nolan Reimold)
Toronto Blue Jays (Adam Lind)
Minnesota Twins (Orlando Hudson)
Chicago White Sox (Jake Peavy)
Kansas City Royals (Rick Ankeil)
Detroit Tigers (Austin Jackson)
Cleveland Indians (Micheal Brantly)
Seattle Mariners (Chone Figgins)
Anaheim Angels (Kendry Morales)
Texas Rangers (Neftali Feliz)
Oakland Athletics (Brett Anderson)
Philadelphia Phillies (Jayson Werth)
Atlanta Braves (Jason Heyward)
Florida Marlins (Mike Stanton)
Washington Nationals (Nyjer Morgan)
New York Mets (Kiko Calero)
St.Louis Cardinals (Colby Rasmus)
Chicago Cubs (Randy Wells)
Cincinatti Reds (Aroldis Chapman)
Milwakee Brewers (Alcades Escobar)
Houston Astros (Hunter Pence)
Pittsburgh Pirates (Garrett Jones)
Colorado Rockies (Jason Hammel)
Los Angeles Dodgers (Clayton Kershaw)
San Fransisco Giants (Madison Bumgarner)
Arizona D-backs (Justin Upton)
San Diego Padres (Clayton Richard)
1. Evan Longoria
2. Joe Mauer
3. Kendry Morales
1. Albert Pujols
2. Chase Utley
3. Ryan Braun
AL Cy Young
1. Jon Lester
2. Cliff Lee
3. Zack Greinke
NL Cy Young
1. Roy Halladay
2. Chris Carpenter
3. Tim Lincecum
1. Brain Matusz
2. Austin Jackson
3. Desmond Jennings
1. Jason Heyward
2. Mike Stanton
3. Madison Bumgarner
1. Don Wakamtsu
2. Ron Gardenhire
3. Joe Maddon
1. Bobby Cox
2. Tony LaRusa
3. Freddi Gonzalez
AL Comeback Player
NL Comeback Player
Those are my predicitions. My Internationl League predictions will be sometime next week.
Spring Training has come and gone for me. I went to my last game yesterday when I saw the Phillies and Pirates square off. But I decided to make this list for anyone who wants to go to Spring Training in the future.
Best Stadium: The best stadium was a tossup between Port Charlote and Clearwater. I like the Port Charlote Stadium beacuse of the boardwalk in the outfield. They have the “Baseball Boardwalk” in the outfield, with an outdoor bar and Philly Cheesestake stand along the Berm. The best atmosphere for sure. The best part was being able to stand above the bullpen and watch the pitchers warm up.
Best Food: Kissimee, where the Astros play. They had this chikin on a stick that was awesome, the best food I had at Spring Training. Close seconds are the Itailian Sausages at city of Palms and the Cheesestakes and Port Charlote.
Closest Seats: The closest seats to the field was the ones in Dunedin. The game was rained out that I went to, but the seats where so close that there was protective netting around the dugout area.
Best Seats: The best seats I sat in where in Port Charlote. Right next to the dugout. So close I could hear Dave Magaden give Kevin Frandsen a scouting report on Andy Sonnenstine. The dugout was very big, and you could see in it from seven rows back.
Best game: The best game I went to was actully a Red Sox loss. They where down 11-1 and came back to cut it to 11-9.
Most Fun: The most fun I had at any game was in Port Charlote.
I also got a few balls at games. victor Martinez flipped me a ball after an inning in Sarasota, and in Bradenton Jorge Jimmenez gave me a foul ball.
I got autographs from Terry Francona, Chuck Tanner, Ron Johnson, Mike Cameron, and Dave Trembley.
Over the last three days, I have been to
three different Spring Training games in three different
ballparks. I was in Ft. Myers to see Red Sox-Twins, than at
City of Palms Park, also in Ft. Myers for Red Sox-Orioles. I
capped it off today with Red Sox-Astros. The Red Sox won the
first game, with Ryne Miller getting the start over Josh
Beckett, who was ill. Miller got rocked pretty hard. But, he
is just a single-A player. Aaron Bates, my player to watch
this spring, (Last year it was Jeff Bailey) doubled and
scored in the game. I pick a player every spring to watch,
this year it’s Bates and Josh Reddick. Reddick homered in the
home game vs the Orioles. Tim Wakefield pitched that game,
and was pretty shaky. David Ortiz also homered. Mike Lowell
made his spring debut, to an aplauding crowd. Rumor says that
Marlins scouts where in the crowd to watch the newly
converted first baseman. Today in Kissimee, the Red Sox lost
3-0 to the Astors and Roy Oswalt. Jon Lester pitched for
Boston, and looked good. The only negitive of his outing was
a run scoring on a wild pitch. Bates came up as the tying rin
in the ninth vs Wesley Wright, but grounded out to shortstop.
My next game is in Bradenton on Friday to see the Red Sox
play the Pirates.
Last year I went to roughly 15 spring games. I’ll go to about the same amount this year, I’ve seen Ft.Lauderdale, where the Orioles used to play. Ft.Myers, home of the Red Sox. Bradenton, where the Pirates play. Orlando, with the Braves. In Viera beach for the Nats. Lakeland, home of the Tigers. I’ve seen the Cardinals and Marlins in Jupiter. And Pt.Charlotte for the Rays. This year I will go to games in Ft.Myers(Red Sox and Twins) Pt.Charlotte(Rays), Dunedin(Jays), Kissimmee(Astros), Bradenton(Pirates) and Sarasota(Orioles). My first game is this Friday at Twins. It’s the first time I’ve seen that park. After this year the only parks I won’t have seen in the grapefruit league are the Yankees, Mets, and Phillies. I am right behind the Red Sox dugout for most games. Best seats I;ve ever had at any sporting event. I hope to get some player autographs. Last year I got Joe Maddon in Ft.Myers, and Cesar Cedeno in Viera.
I will see Lester/Wakefield Friday, and I’ll see Buchholz Sunday in Sarasota. I really want to see Kelly pitch this year. That would be so awesome! Anyways, I love spring training games. It gets you so pumped for the reaguler season. Go Red Sox! Remember to ask questions on the mailbag! I’ll post any pictures I get here at the blog! I had some I wanted to put here, but the computer is not coroperating!
New York Yankees
Boston Red Sox
Tampa Bay Rays
Toronto Blue Jays
Chicago White Sox
Kansas City Royals
New York Mets
San Fransisco Giants
San Diego Padres
AL MVP Top 3:
Evan Longoria- Rays
Joe Mauer- Twins
Kendry Morales- Angels
Red Sox MVP:
AL Cy Young Top 3:
Jon Lester- Red Sox
Zack Greinke- Royals
Cliff Lee- Mariners
Red Sox Cy Young:
NL MVP Top 3:
Albert Pujols- Cardinals
Jayson Werth- Phillies
Ryan Braun- Brwers
NL CY Youn Top 3:
Josh Johnson- Marlins
Tim Lincecum- Giants
Carlos Zambrano- Cubs
Desmond Jennings- Rays
Jason Heyward- Braves
The Baltimore Orioles will compete with the Rays for the #3 spot in the AL East
The Royals will have a record around .500
Mike Cameron will hit 25 HRs
The Reds will finish over .500
The Blue Jays will have the second worst record in baseball, ahead of only the Mets
I will be right about at least one thing here(I told you, bold predictions)