The Celtics beat the New York Knicks, 109-97. Paul Pierce led the way with 29 points while KG collected 22.
The Red Sox lost to the Mets, 4-2. John Lackey pitched four shutout innings, but Ramon Rameriz gave up a three run homer. Jonthan Papelbon pitched a scoreless inning.
The New Jersey Devils beat the Pittsburgh Penguins, 5-2. Paul Martin scored in his first game after missing 59.
News and Notes: Bruins-Pens tonight. Should be fun. Scroll down for my game preveiw on that one.
Patrice Bergeron will play tonight after taking a slap shot off the knee in Carolina.
Jed Lowrie has been diagnosed with Mono. He can still do physical activity, but will feel tired and fatigued.
JR Giddens was activated after being out six weeks by the Knicks last night vs his former team, the Celtics.
The Celtics return to action tomorrow vs the Rockets. The Red Sox have an off-day today, but return tomorrow in bradenton to play the Pirates. I’ll be there.
Thought #1: Who is the Rays closer? Dan Wheeler? Good luck.
Thought #2: Evan Longoria is so good it’s unbelievable.
Thought #3: The Rays window is closing. They will probally lose Carlos Pena and Carl Crwford after the season. But who knows, maybe Beckham and Jennings could step in.
Thought #4: I am very exited to see Wade Davis pitch a full season. Should be interesting to see how he handles the AL East.
Thought #5: Tropicana field is in a terrible location. It really is.
Thought #6: In the infamous Dan Johnson game at Fenway Park in September of 2008, guess who sat next to me? Dick Vitale. He’s like this huge Rays fan. I just about exploded when Jason bay hit that homer off Wheeler, and then Dan (who?) Johnson homered off Papelbon in the ninth. I still hate thinking about it.
Thought #7: Rays will finish in a tight race for third with Baltimore this year. Mark it down.
Thought #8: Dan Johnson. Ugghh.
Thought #9: Those cowbells give me a headache. What are the point in those? To intimadate other fans? Annoying.
Thought #10: I cant’ hear you, I ahve cowbells ringing in my ears.
The Red Sox beat the Cardinals, 7-6. Josh Beckett pitched three perfect innings. The Red Sox no-hit the Cards through seven innings, but they got the bats going vs Randor Bierd. Che-Hsuan Lin got the game winning single in the ninth inning.
The Cleveland Cavaliers beat the San Antonio Spurs, 97-95. Lebron James and Shaquile O’Neal did not play. Delonte West picked up 16 points.
The New York Knicks beat the Atlanta Hawks, 99-98. The Knicks held on after Al Horford’s basket was reveiwed and revealed to be after the buzzer.
The Dallas Stars beat the Washington Capitals, 4-3. The Stars where down two goals to the best team in the NHL and came back to score three in the third period on six shots. Marty Turco had a career best 49 saves.
News and Notes: Marc Savard has been diagnosed with a grade 2 concussion after the devastaing hit from Matt Cooke on Sunday. Savard was cleared to fly and returned to Boston yesterday for further examination. Savard said he did not remember taking the shot or the hit. The real nature of the concussion will be watched over the next 4-5 days. His timetable for return in uncertain.
Jonathan Papelbon pitched an inning for the Red Sox, a perfect inning.
The Celtics Micheal Finley is expected to join the team in Milwakee for tonight’s game. Marcus Landry was assigned to the NBA D-league.
The Bruins have assigned Dany Sabuan to Providence, and recalled defenseman Jeff Penner. That tells me that Andrew Fernece is not ready to return on the roadtrip, and they need a backup defenseman.
The Bruins play Phil Kessel and the Toronto Maple Leafs tonight, and the Celtics take on the
Thought #1: I love the offense. It is so deep at the bottom of the order. When you have JD Drew batting eighth, you are in good shape.
Thought #2: The Red Sox signed a guy named Boof. That can’t be a good thing.
Thought #3: I am exited about the personality on the team this year. Adding a guy like John Lackey is very helpfull for that. The team is too boring, with Ellsbury, Drew, Lester, etc. Now you have personalites like Pedroia, Ortiz, Papelbon, Lackey. They need that, I think.
Thought #4: The Washington Nationals will have a better record than the New York Mets. They have better pitching, other than Santana, but he’s injury prone anyways.
Thought #5: The Orioles will be out of the cellar this season. The Blue Jays will take their place.
Thought #6: Daniel Bard is changing his number from 60 to 51. I don’t get why. I can understand Ellsbury with 46 and 2, that is a drastic difference. But 51? Really? Is that any better than 60? Fun fact: The last Red Sox player to wear #51 was Enrique Gonzalez.
Thought #7: I like Tim Wakefield’s competitive attitude. He expects to start the season in the rotation, and we all know that’s not happening. But I love the competitvness.
Thought #8: I can not believe that Randy Winn is the starting LF for the Yankees.
Thought #9: It is kind of weird having Lackey, though. I always hated him when he was with the Angels. He was always an annoying loudmouth when it came to the Red Sox. And he nearly no-hit them, which is one of my worst fears. So it’s odd rooting for him, but I’m fine with it.
Thought #10: I can’t think of anything else, so go to BestBostonSports.com for Red Sox coverage all season! Spring Training game preveiws are already up!
This is a full evaluation of the 2010 Red Sox roster as it stands now. I will look at the lineup, defense, pitching, bench, bullpen, and minor leagues, and try to prove to you complainers that this is a good team.
Lineup: I really like the lineup. I’m not trying to be an optimist, I really like the lineup. I love the combination of speed and power. The bottom of the lineup impresses me with Drew-Cameron-Scutaro. I feel speed is going to come from Jacoby Ellsbury (duh) and Scutaro. Cameron can steal a few as can Pedroia. Don’t even say Drew, I believe he was 2-for-8 in the SB catagory.
On the power side, you got Ortiz, Youk, Beltre, Cameron, Drew, and Victor. Each one of them will hit from 15-30 HRs, maybe more for Beltre or Cameron at Fenway. I feel a big year coming from Youk, I really do.He was hurt a lot of last year, and I think it really affected him. The suspension did not help either.
I also liked the way the lineup is built. I thought last year Pedroia struggled leadoff beacuse he missed the presence of Jacoby Ellsbury. Since he is a base stealer, pitchers are going to throw more fastballs to the next batter in an attempt to pick him off. A fastball gets to the plate fatser, and the catcher can gun it down to second faster. I hope Francona keeps Ellsbury in the lead-off spot, that is where he is supposed to be.
More about the lineup, I would like to see JD Drew bat eighth and Cameron bat seventh. Mostly beacuse it strenghens the bottom of the lineup. Here is the lineup I would like to see:
Pitching: No one can deny this staff. Even if I am wrong and the lineup does suck, the pitching will keep you in games. Defense wins(Look how far the Jets got!). Offense is nice, but defense and pitching is more important(Unless you have Teixeira. And A-rod. And Jeter. And Granderson…..). This is no doubt about it the best staff in the game. You can say Seattle with Cliff Lee and King Felix, and I’ll give you that as the top 1-2 punch in baseball. But Lester. Beckett. Lackey. Dice-k. Buchholz. Wake. They have so much depth! I know this happened last year, and everyone got hurt to the point we needed Paul Byrd, and at least two or three of those guys are going to have to stay healthy. Ok, Lackey, out a month. Fine, Lester and Beckett. Lester out a few weeks? That’s ok, Dice-k/Wake/Buchholz might be pitching good, and Lackey might be back soon. Just theories here.
And either way, I expect some sort of reclamation/Theo Epstein projects like an Erik Bedard or Ben Sheets coming.(John Smoltz!)
Every game we are going to get a six-to-seven inning perfomrance or a quality start. Yes, Lackey has had injury problems. So has Beckett, and Dice-k, and every other pitcher in baseball. You learn to deal with it.
Defense: Joe Maddon called Adrain Beltre the best defensive player he has ever seen, and Maddon knows a damn lot about baseball. He took that team to the world series, and I think we all know who that team is. I don’t get to watch Beltre often, as he played for Seattle, but I’ll take Joe’s word for it. So on the right side of your infeild you got “The best defensive player ever” (I thought that was Darrelle Revis?) and Marco Scutaro, who should have gotten the AL gold glove for shortstop. Then on the left side you have two gold glove winners in Pedroia and Youk. In the outfield is Ellsbury, Cameron, and Drew. Pretty sick. Tell me a better defensive outfield? I think the only team that is in the same class is KC(Gasp!) with Ankeil, Posednik, and DeJesus. Fast outfield. Anyways, we have a good defense basicly beacuse Theo could not find another excuse to have a lackluster offense.
Bench: Solid bench. You got Jeremy Hermida, Bill Hall, V-Tek, and either a guy like Josh Reddick, Angel Sanchez, Gil Velezquez, or Aaron Bates. That is, unless another Nick Green type magicaly appears again. Hermida is a decent offensive player. He has some wheels and could be a good pinch running guy. He has a little pop. He was a Marlins top prospect for a while but has not really panned ouy yet. Theo was just taking a chance on some player with potential. Hall is what he is. Good defensivly(Shocker) with no bat. You all know about V-Tek. Can’t hit in the second half. look for V-Tek to have a somewhat of a bounce-back year in a limited role. He has hit well in the first half the last two years. And he may have to be Beckett’s personal catcher.
Bullpen: Who is in this bullpen? Papelbon, Bard, Oki, Delcarmen, Rameriz, the other Rameriz, Shouse, Atchison, Dustin Richardson, Fernando Cabrera, Boof. Meh. I like the top three. That’s about it. I wanted to see the Sox go out and sign either Darren Oliver or Mike Gonzalez, but that never happened. I kinda like Richardson. He dominated the AFL this season. Strikeout lefty. Casey Kelly could be up this year, but I doubt he would be ready to contribute. Shouse is no good. I have no clue who Atchison is. Rameriz is what he is. Delcarmen sucks. I never thought Boof was anything. So yeah, maybe improve the pen a bit. And when I say improve I do not mean Mike Timlin, who is looking for a major league job still.
Triple A: The Pawsox may have better players than last year, where they where awful. The Pawsox finished in fourth in their divison and offered no real MLB ready players. That should change this year, as a lot of prospects shoukd be ready for triple A. Here are some: Micheal Bowdon, Angel Sanchez, Gil Velezquez, Josh Reddick, Travis Denker, Josh Reddick, Lars Anderson, Aaron Bates, Ramon A. Rameriz, Bubba Bell, Darnelle MacDonald, Jeff Natle, Mark Wagner, Zach Daeges, Randor Beird, TJ Large, Kason Gabbard. Decent triple A roster. Bowdon has seen the big leagues, I honestly don’t think he is anything special. Sanchez is a terrific defensive player. Velezquez is the last minute, desprate, there is absolutly no one else in the world who can help, utility player. I like Reddick, but he’s not major league ready. Denker is a career minor leaguer. Lars is the second most overrated prospect in the system to Bowdon. I have a stupid man-crush on Aaron Bates although he hit around the medoza line in triple A last year. I don’t know anything about the other Rameriz, Bubba Bell did well in triple A last year. MacDonald can run, but that’s it. Natle is a 1B-DH type. Wagner is a catcher who should be on the MLB roster beacuse he can throw out base runners. The only thing I know about Daeges is he killed the ball in Spring Training and I never heard of him again. We got Beird for David Pauly, enough said there. TJ Large had an ERA over 6.00 last year, and Gabbard saved us from trading Lester to Texas for Eric Gagne.
Lower-leval prospects: You probally know most of the names. Jose Iglesias, Casey Kelly, Alex Wilson, Reymond Fuentes, Ryan Westmorland, Ryan Kalish, and Dustin Richardson. Some of these guys may be September callups, the most likley being Kalish. I feel these are the players to watch in the minor leagues next year. Alex Wilson is not really known like Kelly or Kalish, but I feel he has a bright future in the majors. He is a righty, and was the Red sox second round pick last year. He is often compared to AL rookie of the eyar Andrew Bailey. His one down swing, he had tommy John surgery two years ago. Has a hard fastball and his out-pitch is his slider. He spent last year with Lowell and I would be surprised to see him with Salem or Greenville next year.
As a Red Sox fan, I am really hoping the Phillies win. Really. I hate the Yankees, but if they win I won’t frett. I have said before that I like the way the Yankees spend money, and I wish my Red Sox did. I think the Yankees will have earned it if they win. They spent the money they had and got a former Cy Young award winner, gold glove winner, and strikeout leader. The Red Sox got a guy with shoulder problems, and a 40-something year old. Any guesses on who went to the World Series? Red Sox, stop pretending to be the Minnesota Twins and that you don’t have any money. You do, use it.
In other news, the Red Sox will meet with Josh Beckett to discuss an extension. This could mean the end of the Felix Hernandez rumors. I like Beckett a lot, but I think signing him to a four or five year extension would be dumb. I say leave Beckett as he is, get Hernandez, sign a Rich Harden, Mark Mulder, and have a rotation of Jon Lester-Beckett-Hernandez-Wakefield/Harden/Mudler- Dice-k. I leave Clay Buchholz out beacuse if they get Hernandez, Buchholz will not be in that deal.
I think the Red Sox should keep Alex Gonzalez. I know he won’t hit like he did last year, but they need his defense. Marco Scutaro is not happening. I just don’t see it. I also don’t see Adrian Gonzalez happening. Just does not seem logical to me. Theo Epstein is not one to empty his farm system full of unproven minor leaguers for a proven 40-HRs-a-year-hitter.
Stop with the trade Papelbon talk. Daniel Bard is not ready to be the closer for this team. I think he will be, but not yet. I think Jonathan Papelbon was shaky last year, yes. Too many walks. But he is still one of the best closers in baseball and I would trust him in the ninth inning over anyone in baseball other than Mariano Rivera. And Red Sox, i don’t care what you told him, pick up Billy Wagner’s option. They need bullpen help. Manny Delcarmen is unreliable, and must go. Ramon Rameriz is shaky. Takashi Saito is gone. All you have is Papelbon, Bard, and Okajima. And whatever happened to Javier Lopez? Where is he? What happened to this guy? He was the Red Sox most reliable middle relif pitcher in 2008, and was absolutly terrable, so bad that Jonathan Van Every replaced him in a game. Think about that, Jonathan Van Every, a 30 year old career minor league outfielder, replaced a career pitcher. I would love to know where Lopez went. They could use him.
Red Sox, why don’t you go out there and spend some cash and get a good baseball player?
There are rumors of Jonathan Papelbon being traded, Takashi Saito’s option was declined, Ramon Ramirez and Manny Delcarmen may not be around next year, Billy Wagner is also a free agent.
And thats just the bullpen.
We know Josh Beckett, Jon Lester, and Daisuke Matsuzaka will be back next year. Will the Red Sox be interested in Felix Hernandez and Roy Halladay? Will Clay Bucholz be that big trade chip? Will they pick up a player like Rich Harden, Ben Sheets, or Mark Mudler? Will Tim Wakefield be back?
Write your opinion in comments.
You can see more of my work at Soxtime.com.