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.
Here is the third edition of the TB mailbag. I’m doing it today, tomorrow I will be in Ft. Myers.
Q: How far will the cavs go in the playoffs?
A: I can see the Cavs going very deep. Though i won’t say they will go all the way, they seem to have trouble with Orlando. The Hawks are very good, and I think they may knock off a team like Cleveland or Boston. But with the Cavs, the loss of Shaq hurt them. I think Jamison may be out a while too, if I’m not mistaken. The key is, as always, Lebron has to be great. And he will be.
Q: My question for the mailbag is: When will the Sox ever be-knuckle the knuckleball? Tim Wakefield has been pitching for a long time.
When is he going to retire?
Also, does Tom Brady ever make you wanna cry? He seems like a heartbreaker. 🙂
A: I don’t think Wakefield will retire for a few years. He’s a great option for the rotation. And when he’s on, he’s as unhittable as it gets. His problem has been his back. He was an all-star last year, and arguably the Red sox best pitcher, until the end of July. And don’t forget, he wants that Red Sox all-time wins leader.
I love Brady. Last year was an off year from him coming off ACL surgery. It was an all-around odd year for the Patriots. I hope to see the Pats lock up Brady long term, like the Colts did with Manning. Given the option of the two, I’d take Brady all-day. He did make me wanna cry when he got hurt in the 2008 season opener :(. Expect a bounce back year, in a contract year.
Thanks Everybody! The mailbag will be Sunday at it’s reguler time. Submit your questions here or on the Best Boston Sports.com Message Boards. Again, thank you!
Here is a recap of Boston Sports Friday:
The Red Sox lost to the Twins, 5-0. Jon Lester got roughed up in the first inning, but Tim Wakefield looked good. Ryan Kalish and Jose Iglesias got starts.
The Celtics beat the Philadelphia 76ers, 96-86. Kevin Garnett led the team with 22 points, and Rajon Rondo scored 16 in the second half.
The Rays beat the Yankees 12-7. Joba Chamberlain struggled in his 1 1/3 innings, while David Price gave up two hits and a walk.
The Cavaleirs beat the Pistons 99-92. Scary moment as Rodeny Stucky collapsed on the bench and was rushed to the hospital. The Pistons say he is OK.
The Lakers lost to the Bobcats, 98-83.
The Sabres beat the Flyers in OT, 3-2. Ryan Miller made 27 saves while Tomas Vanek scored in OT for the winner.
Today the Bruins play the Islanders, the Red Sox play the Twins (ss) and Rays (ss). Those games will be recapped tomorrow along with news and other games from Saturday.
Hello Total Bases veiwers, and welcome to the first and much anticapted Total Bases mailbag!
Q: Is this the last year that Garnet, Peirce and Ray Allen stay together? It seems that age is starting to take it’s toll on the team. Also, Where would you rather have Victor: first or at catcher?
A: Hello Indains, thank you for your questions! Yes, I would expect this is the last year of the big three. Allen was in trade rumors this deadline, and with his money coming of the books with players like Wade and Bosh avaliable. The Celtics do look very old as of late. I think Rasheed Wallace is a huge problem for this team, and I never wanted him here.
I would rather have Victor at catcher, mostly beacuse the Sox have Youkilis at first. He could play third, but that would mean they would have Varitek as a starter. Having Beltre in the lineup much improves the team compared to V-Tek. I also don’t think Victor’s defense is that terrible. He can catch Wake’s knuckleball, and has helped Buchholz a lot with his development.
Q: Does it worry you that the Celtics split with the Cavs, got swept by the Hawks, and lost the season series to the Magic this year? And also, how old do you think Mike Lowell will be when he retires? The guy is a horse.
A: It worries me a lot. The Hawks are a great team, and I can easily see them go all the way. The Celtics are an old team at this point. They are still one of the best teams in the NBA, but they could struggle with a team like Miami or Charlote in the playoffs. Hell, they lost to the Nets yesterday!
Mike Lowell is 36 right now. I can see him play two or three more years, maybe more. I still think he is a productive player, and I would love to see a Lowell/Ortiz platoon for DH. I don’t think his defense is that bad right now either. He has lost a little range, and that hip is a concern, but he can still get to most balls.
Thank you everybody who answered questions! The next mailbag will be Sunday, and you can submit questions on this post or on the BestBostonSports.com Message Boards. On Wednesday I will have a live post for the NHL trading deadline, and anyone is welcome to add their imut there as well. Thanks again, everybody!
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!
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.