Thursday, August 25, 2016

'Offense' Wastes Another Solid Pomeranz Start, Lose 2-1

(AP Photo)
They're baaaaack—The Raiders Of The Lost Offense. At the end of a grueling 11-game road trip, the Red Sox today looked like a team ready to pack it in and head home. Scattering six singles and one double, Boston squandered multiple opportunities to score, ultimately falling 2-1 to Tampa. Drew Pomeranz turned in another solid performance—going six innings, yielding just two earned runs and striking out eleven. This time the bullpen was fine (notching two shutout innings), but the bats were clearly ready for the flight home. All in all, The Carmine Hose finished this trip with a 7-4 mark. Not bad, but it could have been so much better. Back home on Friday, the Sox will face the Kansas City Royals to begin a brief, six-game homestand. After that, it's off to Oakland for the beginning of another road trip—this one nine games in three cities.

WEEI Casting Wide Net For John Dennis Replacement

In the wake of John Dennis' medically-related retirement, WEEI radio is aggressively seeking a replacement for the long-time Boston sports anchor/talk show host. The open spot on the drive-time morning show would link the new host with the irascible (but interesting) Kirk Minihane and the opinionated (but also interesting) Gerry Callahan. The station has posted a refreshingly honest 'help-wanted ad' on the Sportscasters Talent Agency of America website. One excerpt states, "Candidates should possess quick reflexes and major-market-caliber announcing skills, be thick-skinned and coachable. You’ll be replacing an iconic, 19-year predecessor in America’s most captivated sports media market, so be prepared for a high level of scrutiny. This is not an entry-level position, and only the best should apply." No kidding! Rumors of tension between and among the three hosts have flourished for some time, so it's probably in everybody's best interest that a new formula take hold. It will be interesting to see if the traditionally high ratings for WEEI in this time slot are maintained with the new host.

Benintendi On DL, Papi And Leon Sit Out Today's Matinée

With word that rookie phenom Andrew Benintendi was placed on the DL (with his knee injury a possible season-ender), two other Red Sox mainstays will sit out today's matinée finale of the 11-game road trip: David Ortiz and Sandy 'Babe' Leon. Here is today's lineup: Dustin Pedroia, 2B; Xander Bogaerts, SS; Mookie Betts, RF; Hanley Ramirez, DH; Jackie Bradley Jr., CF; Chris Young, LF; Aaron Hill, 3B; Travis Shaw, 1B; Bryan Holaday, C. On the hill for Boston is lefty Drew Pomeranz.

White Sox Swap One Dumb Field Name For Another

One thing we can be thankful for is that the NOG (no matter how greedy John Henry becomes) will never sell the "naming rights" to Fenway Park—at least we think they won't. Nah, they wouldn't dare do that. Fans of the other baseball sock team aren't so lucky. Pale Hose owner Jerry Reinsdorf announced that—starting next season—the team will be re-naming U.S. Cellular Field as Guaranteed Rate Field. Oh, that's a big improvement, Jerry! Going from a cut-rate wireless company to a mortgage broker. Nice upgrade! Of course, if Reinsdorf weren't so cash-strapped, he could have kept the original name of the park—New Comiskey Park (or Co-minsky as President Obama likes to call it). Anyway, be thankful for small things.

Speculation And Rumor Surround Benintendi Injury

UPDATE: Docs 'reviewing' MRI results. It looks like the Red Sox may be getting some disastrous news today on the knee injury to Andrew Benintendi. While it's only speculation, a number of medical professionals (most with pro sports experience) are weighing in on what might have happened. One in particular—Dr. David J. Chaothinks it might turn out to be an ACL/LCL ligament tear. If so, that could put Benintendi on the shelf for the rest of 2016. Stay tuned for the MRI results later today.

POLL: Are You Buying The 'New Panda' PR Campaign?

'The New Panda': Hey Red Sox Fans, Are You Buying It?

The "New" Panda
There's something very Nixonian (and Clintonian) about the latest Panda Rehabilitation Campaign being waged by the Red Sox. First, principal owner John Henry told the Boston Herald that it was important that Pablo Sandoval "return to form" (whatever that means) in 2017. Then, golly gee-whiz, the Panda shows up the very next day on the field in Tampa to practice with his teammates. What a coincidence! And, he's lost 22 pounds! Now we're really talking Nixonian/Clintonian! Mindful of the 5-year $95 million contract we owe him, most sentient Red Sox fans (unlike some mainstream media) see right through this PR haze. They will believe a productive Panda when they see it on the field for more than a week. In the meantime, get used to updates on SuperPanda!

Benintendi Suffers Sprained Knee, MRI Performed Today

As if the 4-3 extra-innings loss wasn't bad enough, rising star Andrew Benintendi suffered a sprained left knee on a freak running play last night. According to the crack Red Sox medical staff, Benintendi will undergo an MRI today to determine the extent of the injury. The kid was hitting .325 before the mishap—and also displaying elite defensive skills. Any long-term loss would be a big blow to the team's playoff chances. Stay tuned!

Red Sox Blow 3-0 Lead, Fall In Extra Innings, 4-3

(AP Photo)
Rick Porcello was cruising along with a seemingly comfortable 3-0 lead. Then, the Rays started chipping away—tying the game in the seventh at 3-3. Then, the bullpen took over and—until the 11th—held its own. Sloppy fielding by Heath Hembree on what should have been the third out of that frame, led to the winning score in the 4-3 loss. On the bright side, David Ortiz got his 30th HR and 100th RBI on the same swing and the Blue Jays also lost. So, The Carmine Hose remain in a tie for first place with Toronto as they look to wrap up their 11 game road trip this afternoon.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Dombrowski On Pap: 'We Are Open. He Has To Decide.'

Well, we have a little more insight into The Great Papelbon Disappearance Mystery. Red Sox honcho Dave Dombrowski appeared on MLB Network Radio today and stated the following: "We did express some interest, but he has to decide what he wants to do. We are open, we did call, he has to decide". So, you're saying there's a chance? Stay tuned! The 8-day "24-hour period" is still open!

PowerRankings Guru: Sox Jump Up Three Spots To Six

This week's rankings by The Power Rankings Guru website (which tracks and averages all of the major media rankings) shows that the Red Sox have jumped up three spots this week to the #6 overall position on the list. The Cubbies stay in the #1 spot, followed by the Nationals, Indians and Blue Jays. And, once again this week, the Rangers round out the Top Five. The Red Sox come in with an average score of 5.6—and were placed as high as 5th by some reviewers. The Orioles are now two slots behind Boston at #8, while both the Giants and Dodgers have also fallen behind the Red Sox in this week's rankings. The Bronx Embalmers dropped one spot, and are comfortably ensconced in the number seventeen position. The Twinkies are still viewed as the worst team in the American League (#29 overall).You can see all the Week Twenty-One rankings HERE.

POLL: Strong Majority Oppose Pesky Pole Replacement

Early voting in our latest FenwayNation Poll shows that an overwhelming majority of readers (78%) oppose the New Ownership Group's plan to remove the original Pesky Pole in RF and replace it with a new one. The move is part of yet another renovation project that will also make the bullpen walls removable so soccer games can more easily be played at Fenway (Thank God for that!). As the chart shows, only 18% support the idea of taking down the original Pesky Pole, while 3% are unsure because they are too busy cleaning out their sock drawer (which, to be fair, is a commendable task). You can still vote in the poll HERE.

Where In The World Is Ex-Closer Jonathan Papelbon?

It's been more than eight days since the world was notified that former Red Sox closer Jonathan Papelbon would choose a new team within 24 hours. Now, there is literally no news about his plans, preferences or even his whereabouts. When the Nationals released him, it was surmised that a slew of contending teams would lust after Pap to bolster their bullpens. Eventually, stories leaked out that it was down to the Chicago Cubs and the Red Sox. Each one of these franchises had people tugging Papelbon their way—Theo Epstein and Jon Lester in The Windy City/John Farrell and David Ortiz here. Alas, nothing has transpired and one has to wonder whether Papelbon has any value left at all. Or maybe his 'quirky' personality just isn't worth the risk. If you're out there, Pap, call Fenway!

POLL: Favor Or Oppose Replacing Original Pesky Pole?

Red Sox Will Attend Tim Tebow's August 30th Workout

Tebow As Pat
Why the Red Sox would bother to attend Tim Tebow's workout for MLB scouts is beyond us. The 29-year-old former NFL QB has not played baseball since his Junior year in high school—that would be way back in 2005. The former Jet and Bronco (and—for about 30 seconds—Patriot) is working out with former major leaguers to break into baseball as an outfielder. We're sure this will be nothing more than a sideshow—and more PR exposure for Tebow's other ventures. But, Dave Dombrowski did say this when asked if The Carmine Hose would be there, "Sure, we’ll have somebody there". Why?

Buchholz Shines Again In Red Sox 2-1 Win Over Rays

(AP Photo)
Clay Buchholz is making it tough on the Red Sox regarding the composition of the starting rotation. The lanky Texan delivered another excellent starting pitching performance—going 6 1/3 solid innings and giving up just one earned run in Boston's 2-1 win. He walked two and struck out nine—yielding just five hits. The Carmine Hose only had five hits themselves—with David Ortiz providing hitting and hustle on the basepaths. Mookie Betts gunned down a runner at third to continue the great OF play by 'The Killer B's'. The win kept Boston in a first-place tie with the Blue Jays—and maintained their two game edge on Baltimore.