Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Jackie Bradley, Jr. Is Back In Tonight's Red Sox Lineup

Here is tonight's Red Sox lineup in the second of four games with the Tampa Bay Rays: Dustin Pedroia 2B; Xander Bogaerts SS; David Ortiz DH; Mookie Betts RF; Hanley Ramirez 1B; Jackie Bradley Jr. CF; Sandy Leon C; Travis Shaw 3B; Andrew Benintendi LF. On the mound for The Carmine Hose is Clay Buchholz.

Red Sox Distantly Trail Patriots As Fans' Favorite Team

The new Channel Media and Market Research Poll of 14,600 local fans has some disturbing findings for The Carmine Hose. Although it shouldn't be surprising that the New England Patriots are tabbed as the area's "favorite" team, the gap between the Pats and Sox is cavernous (49% to 26%—a 23-point spread). While this is pretty distressing for baseball fans, it should be noted that the Bruins and Celtics split the remaining 25% of the "fan pie". So, it could be a lot worse for the local hardball nine. Still, it's a sign that Major League Baseball needs to do way more to broaden the appeal of the sport—particularly among younger people. If one of the sport's most iconic franchises—one with a rabid and committed fanbase—cannot even approach the favorability of the local NFL franchise, there are serious problems.

IF Josh Rutledge Has Season-Ending Knee Surgery

You probably forgot all about him. Red Sox utility infielder Josh Rutledge came to Boston during last year's trade deadline in a deal for Shane Victorino. It was hoped he could turn into a mini-Brock Holt. When he was healthy, he certainly did OK (.265 in 28 games this year), and even got some big hits. Then on June 17th, he was placed on the DL with left knee patellar tendinitis. Now, more than two months later, he's having season-ending surgery to correct the problem. What the heck took Dr. Howard, Dr. Fine and Dr. Howard so long to take this action? Your guess is as good as ours.

Sox To Open World Series At Fenway On October 25th

Good news, Sox fans! Your Carmine Hose—assuming everything goes as planned—will host the opening game of the 2016 World Series right here at Fenway Park on Tuesday, October 25th. In classic MLB fashion, a potential Game Seven of The Fall Classic would also be at Fenway on Wednesday, November 2nd—no doubt after 17 inches of snow have fallen at Logan Airport. The idea that consequential baseball could be played a mere 22 days before Thanksgiving is a disgrace. MLB needs to re-tool their regular season back to 154 games, start the season earlier and end the season in October—the way God intended it!

POLL: Most Think Benintendi And Betts Catches Equal

Early voting in our latest FenwayNation Poll shows that a majority of readers (56%) think last night's Andrew Benintendi catch and last year's Mookie Betts catch were "equally good". As the chart shows, among those choosing one catch or the other, Benintendi's wins by an almost two-to-one margin (29% to 15%). Clearly, both catches were spectacular displays of athleticism—with similar leaping and balance skills coming into play as well. Hopefully we can look forward to many more years of great defensive play from the "Three Killer B's OF" of Benintendi, Betts and Jackie Bradley, Jr. You can still vote in this poll HERE.

Which Catch Was Better, Benintendi ('16) Or Betts ('15)?

Clueless John Henry Looking To Panda For 2017 Help

(Reuters Photo)
One of the most astounding quotes to emerge from the recent Boston Herald interview with Red Sox principal owner John Henry has to do with Pablo Sandoval. When reflecting on the 'Papi-Free' 2017 Red Sox, Henry actually said this, "With Papi leaving we absolutely need Pablo to return to the form we’ve seen in the past." Come again? Are you speaking of that Panda person? The one who comes into Spring Training grossly obese? The one who woefully underperformed for The Carmine Hose? The one who has a crappy regular-season resume that belies his post-season heroics? That Pablo? We guess it all makes sense. After all, Henry is the same man who wants to radically dismantle pieces of a park he supposedly thinks is a 'cathedral' (e.g., 'removable' bullpen walls) to accommodate foreign soccer games. Hopefully, someday, we will get a Boston-based ownership group that actually says and does sensible things. Until then, we have to put up with Henry and The-Out-Of-Towners.

VIDEO: Andrew Benintendi's Brilliant HR-Robbing Grab

David Price And 'Bandit-Tendi' Pace Boston In 6-2 Win

'The Catch' (Getty Images)
David Price pitched like an ace on Monday night. Without an overpowering fastball, he used all of his other pitches to keep Rays hitter off-balance in eight brilliant innings of two-hit ball in the 6-2 win. His effort was help by a stupendous HR-robbing catch by rookie Andrew Benintendi in left-field. Leaping over the wall to save two runs "Bandit-Tendi" kept his balance and made the out. Boston's offense was paced by Xander Bogaerts (2-4, 2 RBIs HR), Hanley Ramirez and Sandy 'Babe' Leon. But it was 'The Catch' that had everyone talking. The win pulled the Red Sox into a first-place tie with the idle Blue Jays. They are now 6-2 on this road trip.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Jackie Bradley, Jr. Out Of Tonight's Red Sox Line-Up

Here is tonight's 'JBJ-Free' lineup in Tampa tonight: Dustin Pedroia 2B; Xander Bogaerts SS; David Ortiz DH; Mookie Betts RF; Hanley Ramirez 1B; Sandy Leon C; Chris Young LF; Aaron Hill 3B; Andrew Benintendi CF. On the hill tonight for The Carmine Hose is David Price.

POLL: Majority Want Encarnacion To Replace Papi At DH

Very early voting in our latest FenwayNation Poll suggests that most readers (55%) prefer that Edwin Encarnacion take over for David Ortiz next year at DH for the Red Sox. As the chart shows, Encarnacion's teammate Jose Bautista is the second choice (17%), while "somebody" not on the list of five reported Boston targets comes in third (14%). Former Red Sox first-baseman Mike Napoli finishes fourth in the running (10%), with current Oriole slugger Mark Trumbo next at 5%. At this stage, no one has yet voted for Carlos Beltran. It's unclear if the signing of free-agent Encarnacion will be affected by today's rumor of a battery lawsuit that has been filed against him by a woman. You can still vote in this poll HERE.

POLL: Who Should Replace David Ortiz At DH In 2017?

Chris Young Activated From DL, Owens Back To AAA

The Red Sox activated OF Chris Young from the disabled list today. Also, Henry Owens (who was shelled yesterday in Detroit), was sent back down to AAA Pawtucket. With the rapid advancement of current left-fielder Andrew Benintendi (.322 BA), it's unclear how much playing time Young will get. It doesn't seem as if the previous plan (platooning Young and Benintendi) makes sense anymore. Stay tuned.

VIDEO: Andrew Benintendi's First Career HR