Thursday, May 28, 2015

David Ortiz 'Working Things Out'—Not In Lineup

An ominous comment by Red Sox manager John Farrell has some wags wondering what's going on behind the scenes with The Carmine Hose. Appearing on WEEI's Dale And Holley Show, Farrell stated that David Ortiz would not be in the Red Sox lineup for "a couple of days". The explanation was that the DH needed "to try to work some things out". Hello!

Daniel Nava Placed On 15-Day 'Disabled' List

Call if the Fenway Flu—or, since they're on the road, Texas Trichinosis. Anyway, slumping Daniel Nava has been placed on the 15-day "disabled" list. No particular injury. No particular reason—other than a dramatic drop-off in performance. So far this year, the 32-year old Nava is hitting just .159 in 27 games. Partly a victim of the crowded outfield, Nava has had fewer chances to prove his worth this year than in the past. Neverthless, the acquisition of the immortal Carlos Peguero from Texas may have signalled the end for Nava. Stay tuned.

Cast Your May 2015 Dalton Jones Average Vote!

It's that time again—another month's end and another chance to vote in FenwayNation's exclusive Dalton Jones Industrial Average. The DJIA (honoring the Red Sox all-time pinch-hit leader) gathers four key metrics from FN readers scattered around the world. Through the DJIA, readers assess the fortunes of the team on: starting pitchingrelief pitchingoverall offense and overall defenseFenwayNation will publish the DJIA Index Score each month during the season—and the fluctuation up or down from the previous month's reading. You can now cast your May DJIA vote HERE.

Worcester Says 'No': Are PawSox Homeless?

Larry Lucchino's grand scheme for a AAA waterfront ballpark in Providence didn't exactly send a thrill up the legs of Rhode Island lawmakers. Somehow, they didn't see the value of spending $120 million of taxpayer money to make the Red Sox even richer than they already are. So, the "homeless" PawSox next turned to New Bedford. But now their Mayor says a stadium deal is a "non-starter". How about Worcester? After a brief dalliance with that central Massachusetts community, their City Manager is saying he has "no intention" of using public money to finance Lucchino's minor league empire. Hey, here's an idea: stay in Pawtucket!

Red Sox Under The Radar: 3B Rafael Devers

He's only 18 and he's still at Single A Greenville, but Rafael Devers is getting a lot of attention. So far this season, Devers is hitting .331 with 2 HRs and 20 RBIs in 37 games. Obviously, the kid has a lot of maturing to do, but he is a natural hitter—with plus power potential (30+ HRs) at a corner infield spot. His progress is particularly important given the drop-off of another third base prospect—Garin Cecchini. The 24-year old Cecchini is hitting just .191 this year at AAA Pawtucket, with a HR and two RBIs in 35 games. Devers is adequate at third—although he is not a pure athlete. So, he might profile better at first base—allowing Xander Bogaerts to (down the road) move to third, with Deven Marrero at SS. We'll keep the radar on.

The Aberration That Was The 2013 Red Sox Title

Rock Bottom: 2012
Talk about your outliers! It's becoming increasingly clear that the magical 2013 season was just that—something a wizard would pull out of his hat. If you look back over the last eight years of NOG (New Ownership Group) stewardship, you find a shockingly sub-par organization—that somehow cobbled together one ring. Starting in 2008, your Carmine Hose: lost the ALCS ('08); lost the LDS ('09); finished third in the AL East ('10); finished third again in the AL East ('11); finished fifth in AL East ('12); won it all ('13); finished fifth again in the AL East ('14) and currently sits in last place in their division ('15). That's three playoff appearances in eight years—only once making it to the World Series. Is this an acceptable record of achievement? Over their last 209 regular season games (all of the 2014 season through today), they have a .440 winning percentage. Even factoring in the 2013 championship year, over their last 533 regular season games, their wining percentage is a dismal .484. The hard truth is that—since 2007—this ownership and management have (for the most part) under-performed. And, if they hadn't won in 2013, their normally cranky fanbase would be far less accepting of this mediocre product.

POLL: Plurality Want to 'Wait And See' On Sox

Very early voting in our latest FenwayNation Poll shows that most readers (45%) prefer to take a "wait and see" attitude before making any drastic moves among upper-level Red Sox management. However, as the chart shows, one-quarter each want to: fire John Farrell (25%) and fire both Farrell and Ben Cherington (25%). Moreover, about one reader in twenty (5%) wants to just sack the GM. So, while a plurality want to wait until August, fully 55% want some type of drastic action taken now. You can still vote in the poll HERE.

Red Sox Are 'Eyeing' Potential Trade Targets

All those 'untouchable' prospects may not be as safe as they once were. Red Sox General Manager Ben Cherington told MLB Network Radio that Boston is "keeping an eye" on the trade market to try to improve what has been a dismal start to 2015. Of course, the most often mentioned target is LHP Cole Hamels of the Phillies. Nevertheless, according to Cherington, the team's first option is to look within to upgrade—the most recent case in point being the elevation of LHP Eduardo Rodriguez to start today's game in Texas. Cherington said the Red Sox will try to "get things better internally before...we can consider moves to supplement the team." Mired in last place and five games under .500, it's unclear who at AAA or AA (aside from a couple of pitchers and Jackie Bradley, Jr.) is going to provide a big enough jolt to make a real difference.

POLL: How To Deal With Red Sox Free-Fall?

How To Deal With Red Sox Free-Fall?

Which ONE of the following actions should be taken?

  Current Results

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Porcello 'Pitches In' For Today's 6-4 Sox Loss

(AP Photo)
Another day, another dismal starting pitching performance. Today, we were treated to a "matinee" defeat (6-4) thanks to Rick Porcello—who went seven innings and gave up six earned runs. Three of the runs came on two HRs—the 10th and 11th Porcello has given up this year. The loss came despite the best efforts of Dustin Pedroia—who clouted two two-run HRs to account for all of Boston's scoring. Not surprisingly, Brock Holt (filling in for the Rusney Castillo in RF) had two hits as well—including a double. The advent of 22-year old lefty starter Eduardo Rodriguez cannot come soon enough (Thursday), as The Carmine Hose sink to five games under .500 through their first forty-seven contests. Bobby Valentine—all is forgiven.

Eduardo Rodriguez To Start For Sox Thursday

(NESN)
We've been lobbying for this since at least March 18th—bring up phenom left-handed starter Eduardo Rodriguez! While the Red Sox are not committing to anything beyond this Thursday's start against the Rangers, don't be surprised if Rodriguez sticks and someone else (Joe Kelly?) heads to the bullpen. So far this year, the 22-year old Venezuelan is 4-3 with a 2.98 ERA at AAA. He's walked just seven and struck out forty-four in 48.1 innings for the PawSox. Rodriguez could turn out to be a major steal—after being picked up in the deal last year with Baltimore for Andrew Miller. Stay tuned!

'Unoffensive' Red Sox Drop Another To Twinkies

(AP Photo)
Apparently, the Red Sox need longer rain delays—or maybe just flat-out cancellations. After a one hour and twenty-minute delay (hey, why should Minnesota have a retractable roof?), Boston eked out a 2-1 loss to the Twinkies. On this night, it was not the pitching that failed them—although Clay Buchholz did give up two maddening early runs. No, it was once again, "Raiders Of The Lost Offense"—with Mike Napoli's broken bat bloop single the only RBI The Carmine Hose could muster. When Sandy León is your offensive stud (2 hits), you've got issues.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

The Kelly File Not-So-Prime Time; Sox Lose, 7-2

(AP Photo)
Joe Kelly had made two good starts before yesterday. But, in the typically inconsistent manner of this team, he was horrific on Sunday. Kelly didn't make it out of the second inning—giving up seven earned runs in an eventual 7-2 loss. Dustin Pedroia, Mookie Betts and Mike Napoli each had two hits for Boston, but the team couldn't overcome the huge hole created early by Kelly. Clay Buchholz goes to the hill at 8PM Eastern to try to right the good ship Carmine Hose.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Wade, Nap And Bogie Pace Red Sox To 6-1 Win

(Associated Press)
Good thing Mike Napoli's back is broad—because he's carrying the Red Sox offense right now. The burly first-sacker knocked in four runs today—including another 2-run HR as the Red Sox took the series from the Angles, 6-1. Quick-working Wade Miley was highly efficient—retiring the first 14 Angels he faced. He ended up going eight solid innings, giving up just one run on four hits. Red-hot Xander Bogaerts had his second career 4-hit game—and is now hitting .290. This is the type of team we were told we had for 2015. Could it finally be materializing two months into the six-month campaign? Your Carmine Hose—despite being two games under .500—are just 2.5 games out of first place. Boston heads to Minnesota to—amazingly—face the Twins for the first time in the regular season. This after seemingly meeting the Twinkies every other day in Spring Training. Go figure.

Nap And Wright Lead The Way In 8-3 Sox Win

(AP Photo)
Mike Napoli may be the guy that puts this under-achieving team on his back. The first-baseman clouted two homeruns and drove in three to pace the Red Sox to an 8-3 win over Napoli's first team, the Anaheim Angels. Steven 'World's Largest Seashell Collection' Wright hurled six impressive innings, after coughing up two in the first frame. He "knuckled-down" and retired 18 of 19 batters at one point. Xander Bogaerts delivered a clutch two-out, two-run double to help the cause, and Mookie Betts (subbing for an injured Shane Victorino) also knocked in two runs. Blake Swihart executed a perfect hit-and-run play that scored Brock Holt from first base. A rare confluence of good pitching and timely hitting.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Red Sox Succumb To A Heavenly Pounding

(AP Photo)
Rick Porcello was getting along just swimmingly. Through three innings, he was "dealing" with good stuff and his team up, 1-0. Then, he went to the deep end of the pool—or should we say the deep end of the Pujols (Albert Pujols, that is). The veteran slugger led off the fourth by lining a hanging slider into the Monster Seats and the Red Sox lead was gone. Another run in the fourth put Boston behind. The Red Sox gave the lead back to Porcello (3-2) on a two-run Brock Holt double—but the die had been cast. In the dreaded fifth inning, nine runs scored—and by its end, Porcello was showered and out of the ballpark. The Red Sox made a limp attempt at a "comeback", but this game was over after that Pujoils at-bat. Final—12-5 Halos. Are the Revolution still playing?

Friday, May 22, 2015

Rusney In Red Sox Lineup For First Time In '15

Rusney Castillo is in tonight's Red Sox lineup—for the first time in 2015. After spending some time on the disabled list and playing in 18 games for the PawSox, Castillo will play right field tonight and bat eighth. Here is tonight's full lineup: Betts CF,  Pedroia 2B, Ortiz DH, Ramirez LF, Bogaerts SS, Napoli 1B, Holt 3B, Castillo RF, Swihart C. Rick Porcello gets the start for Boston.

Texas Waves It's Magic Wandy, Sox Lose, 3-1

(AP Photo)
After dropping another low-scoring game at home to the pathetic Texas Rangers, the Red Sox are now proud owners of the worst run differential in the American League (-35). Managing just one run in last night's 3-1 loss to the immortal Wandy Rodriguez, Boston now sits just one game out of last place in the AL East. David Ortiz knocked in the only Red Sox run, but, again, huge "squander opportunities" littered this game. If they can somehow align the resurgent good starting pitching (even Clay Buchholz wasn't horrible last night), and timely hitting, they might start winning.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Sox Edge Texas 4-3 On HRs By Papi And Nap

(AP Photo)
The Red Sox began their homestand on a positive note by getting long-ball offense and solid starting pitching to grab game one 4-3 over the Rangers. David Ortiz and Mike Napoli each homered, and Wade Miley turned in seven impressive innings in the win. Pablo Sandoval injured his knee, but appears to be fine—as tests came back negative.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Local Sox Ratings Crush NBA and NHL Playoffs

It's probably not surprising that Red Sox telecasts on NESN outpaced NBA and NHL playoff games this year—since the Bruins and Celtics are playing golf. Nonetheless, local baseball broadcasts across the country are smashing round ball and puck playoff action—even in cities where you'd expect the opposite. Take hockey-mad Pittsburgh (please!). A Pirates-Phillies game out-rated a Rangers-Caps Game 7—unheard of! In fact, in 14 of the 24 major media markets, regular season baseball games destroyed the NBA and NHL playoffs—not to mention nationally televised MLB games on ESPN. Local baseball is thriving—reports of its death have been greatly exaggerated.