* Justin Upton talks heated up in the GM meetings, with conculded yesterday. The team we heard the most were the Boston Red Sox, but according to Sports Illustrated’s Jon Heyman, the Arizona Diamondbacks are looking for Daniel Bard and Jacoby Ellsbury. The Red Sox are unlikely to part with those two, when they can sign Jayson Werth for just money.
Other teams interested are the Yankees, Rockies, Padres, Dodgers and Rays.
* Derek Jeter was reportedly offered a 3 year $42 mm contract by the Yankees. If I were him, I would jump on that. But according to sources, Jeter is looking for at least a four year deal, and maybe up to six.
* The Tigers began talks with Adam Dunn yesterday, and even thought reports origanlly indicated they were deep into talks, they were just preliminary. The Tigers are also known to be targeting Adrian Beltre, Victor Martinez and Manny Rameriz. It is possible they could sign Martinez and Dunn
The Rockies are interested in both Upton and Gavin Floyd and Kevin Millwood
Jonathan Papelbon is unlikely to be traded
Rangers, White Sox, Blue Jays, Red Sox and Rays interested in Miguel Olivo
Orioles interested in De La Rosa
Josh Willingham getting trade interest
Yeah remember that article I wrote bitching to Theo? I may need to remove that. I am Theo’s biggest critic, but I must say so far his moves look good. Marco Scutaro so far for me has been a very pleasant surprise. Solid in the field and is hitting all over the place. John Lackey has been better of late as well. Adrian Beltre- wow. I did not like the pick up as much as first, but he has been great. He may even be an MVP canadate right now.
One thing that worries me is the overuse of Daniel Bard. He is very good, but he is on pace for the scond most appearences in the AL. That worries me. They need another bullpen guy to rely on. I’d love for that to be Hideki Okajima, but they may need to look elsewhere. Maybe Matt Thornton or Phil Coke could be options. Or calling up Robert Manuel.
Last night the Red Sox beat the Diamondbacks 6-2. Dustin Pedroia and Kevin Youkilis hit two run homers.
The Yankees lost to the Phillies 6-3. Jayson Werth and Ryan Howard went back to back.
The Rays lost to the Atlanta Braves 6-2. Our old friend Eric Hinske had an RBI.
Tonight is game seven. Read all about it a BBS.
Here we go:
Red Sox: Contenders
I like the team they have. They are scoring as I thought they would, and their bullpen is getting the job done for the most part. If Beckett can return and give you number three stuff, thats one solid rotation.
A very solid team that is aging, reminds me a bit of the Celtics. They need Teixiera to heat up if they want to go anywhere though. Their bullpen is better than the Red Sox, and so far the rotation has been too. They just need consistency.
Hard to say, they looked great to start the season. But with Boston and New York on their heals, they cannot afford any letups by their pitching, or injuries. Their offense is not as good as the other two teams, especally with Jason Bartlett out. Longoria, Crawford, and Zovrist are their only real options for offense with Upton and Pena slumping. Their bottom of the order is horrendous with Rodriguez and Brieniac. Do they scare anyone?
Blue Jays: pretenders
They ain’t going nowhere, not enough pitching
Hey, I’m still here, I’ve just been busy running NLL Blog lately. But anyways, I’m sure you wanna know my take on the season so far: I’m not ready to panic. Yes, they lost to the Phillies last night, Lackey was bad, and they are only one game over .500. But the team is hitting, and Ellsbury is coming back. Beckett is on the DL, so we don;t have to deal with his crap for a while. Lester is just plain awesome. Youkilis and Ortiz are hitting. I think this interleague crap has come at a terrible time, where all Beltre, Youk and Ortiz are hitting.
Onto by daily Theo bashing, what the Hell was he thinking signing Beckett? I mean, use that money to go out and sign a guy like Jayson Werth, or Carl Crawford. I’m not thrilled with Francona either. In that Tigers game that went extra innings, Daniel Bard was not available. Why? Beacuse he pitched 1.2 innings in a complete blowout.
Onto some good news, I will be going to the entire series vs the Tampa Bay Rays this week. So I’ll have updates about that.
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.
The Celtics lost to the San Antonio Spurs, 94-73 . Paul Pierce appeared to hurt his right shoulder, but stayed in the game. Kendrick Perkins missed his second straight game with a left knee injury. Rasheed Wallace was in the starting lineup.
The Red Sox beat the Twins, 11-5. Clay Buchholz pitched 4.2 innings, giving up four runs in the first two innings, one a two run homer from Joe Mauer. Buchholz also striked out seven batters. David Ortiz and Tug Hullet both his three run bombs. Victor Martinez went 4-5 and Dustin Pedroia went 3-4 with three runs. Scott Atchison, Jonathan Papelbon, Ramon Rameriz, and Hideki Okajima also pitched.
The Flyers beat the Devils, 5-1. They now move ahead of the Bruins by two points, and trail Montreal by two points. The Devils loss keeps them in fourth place.
The Penguins beat the Leafs, 5-4 in a SO. The Maple Leafs now trail the Panthers and Hurricanes by only two points. The Penguins stay in second place.
Duke beat Baylor, 79-71. Duke completes the Final Four, along with Michagin State who beat Tennessee. Butler and West Virgina are also in the final four. Prediction: Mounteneers win it all.
News and Notes: The Penguins will host the 2011 Winter Classic. Who else? They will probally play the Capitals, seeing those are the only NHL teams that are relavant. The Pens already played in the Classic, give somebody else a chance. Have Washington host it at Camden Yards and play a team like Toronto, or Ottawa. Or maybe have Toronto host it. Maybe a team like Minnesota at Target field.
The Mailbag is today! Get your questions in by 5:00 pm!
Congrats to the BC Eageles, going to the Frozen Four!
Today the Bruins play the Buffalo Sabres in a critical game. The Red Sox play the Rays at 7:00 pm. I will be in Port Charlote tomorrow to see Casey Kelly and the Red Sox.