Friday, October 21, 2016

Cubbies Should Welcome Home Scape-"Goat" Bartman

Let's see, a 3-2 NLCS series lead. Returning back to Wrigley to win just one of two games to advance to the World Series. Where have we seen this before? Oh yeah, 2003! What was that guy's name? Imagine what Steve Bartman must be thinking right now. Banished from his home town (presumably, since he's fallen off the face of the Earth), unable to attend games of his beloved team, and scorned by millions. That is the life of The Bartman. We've seen various writers call for a big "forgiveness" party if the Cubs advance to The Fall Classic. We disagree. Theo Epstein and the Cubs organization should reach out now, today to heal the Bartman rift. Give him a prominent seat in the owner's box tomorrow night. Have him throw out the first pitch—to Moises Alou, of course. Something! Give this poor dude his life back! And, all that good karma will surely propel the Cubbies to ultimate victory—ending that 108-year drought.

POLL: Most Readers Want 'Outside-The-Box' GM Choice

Continued voting shows that FenwayNation readers reject all five prominent choices for new Red Sox GM. As the chart shows, almost half of respondents (49%) want someone else other than the most-often mentioned candidates. While we made the suggestions of Jason Varitek or John Farrell for that "other" category, there's no way for us to know any other suggestions (except through the poll's 'comments' section). Among the known contenders, current Assistant GM Brian O'Halloran leads with 26%, followed by VP of Amateur Scouting Amiel Sawdaye (15%), Sr. VP of Baseball Operations Frank Wren (5%), Dir. of Professional Scouting Gus Quattlebaum (3%), and VP of International Scouting Ed Romero (2%). You can still vote in the poll HERE.

Reserve That Jersey Number Ten For Edwin Encarnación

From all accounts, Red Sox honcho Dave Dombrowski will have around $30-$40 million of John Henry's spare change to spend this Winter. Of course, Henry might decide to spend some of that on fake injury training for his foreign soccer team. Even so, let's say 'DD' has 'only' $30 million—we all know where he's going to spend most of it, right? The vast hole in the lineup created by the departure of 40-year old David Ortiz needs to be filled. The most logical candidate is soon-to-be 34-year old Edwin Encarnación. He's clearly sent signals that he wants to be here—and he worships Papi. Plus, he must salivate at the prospect of lining up The Green Monster 81 times a year. So, let's dispense with the charade and just measure Edwin for a number ten Red Sox uniform jersey (his number in The Great White North). I don't think Andover High School's Ryan Hanigan (the current #10) will mind—if he's still here on Opening Day.

Red Sox 2011 'Choke-Pocalypse' Impacts 2016 Playoffs

(Getty Images)
As's Mike Axisa rightly points out, the fallout from the epic 2011 Red Sox collapse directly led to a bevy of moves that impacted the MLB playoff picture five years later. OK, take a deep breath and try to remember the Robert Andino walk-off hit that (along the the Rays walk-off over the Empire) eliminated The Carmine Hose from the playoffs in Game 162. Amazingly, with just 29 games left to play, Boston had enjoyed a nine game bulge in the Wild Card race. Pure and simple, they blew it. The meltdown resulted in the departure of Theo Epstein, Terry Francona, and Adrian Gonzalez (who, among others, fled Boston the following August). All three have been important reasons why their clubs—Theo's Cubbies, Tito's Tribe and A-Gons's Trolley Dodgers—are still in the championship hunt this year. Epstein patiently crafted a five-year plan—that actually came to partial fruition in year four. It may propel the Cubs to their first World Series Championship in 108 years. Francona has taken a listing Indian ship and turned it into a confident, winning ballclub. They could eliminate a 68-year championship drought. And, Gonzalez has been the steady, consistent team leader on a weird Dodger ballclub that last won it all in 1988—a 28-year hiatus. (As an aside, it seems astounding that the Dodgers have only won 6 World Series titles—two fewer than the Red Sox). In any event, despite the Red Sox early departure from the 'tournament', there's plenty of Boston-connected baseball left to watch.

Iconic Kenmore CITGO Sign May Still Be Removed

Well, a story we reported on last July is back in the news. Boston University appears to be moving ahead with plans to sell the building upon which the iconic Kenmore Square CITGO sign sits. As we said last Summer, we have no love for the socialist thugs who run the state-owned CTIGO oil company in Venezuela. Every decent person should boycott their stations and their products. But the sign is a decades old symbol of Boston, Fenway Park and the Red Sox. It needs to be saved. Click HERE to add you name to a petition (now almost 6,000 strong) to save the sign.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Mauricio Dubon Finds His Way In Arizona Fall League

(Photo By Richard Shiro)
Early on, the top Red Sox performer in this year's Arizona Fall League was Yoan Moncada (still hitting .333). But, after last night, a new prospect may be emerging—one Mauricio Dubon. Normally a shortstop, Dubon has been playing the outfield recently, and came through with a big night on Wednesday—with three hits and two steals. He also scored the winning run in the 2-1 victory for the Surprise Saguaros. Dubon is now hitting .318 on the AFL season and is looking to hone his skills further. Said the 22-year old, "I trust what I'm doing. I felt good at the plate. I did the same thing I've been doing, I just saw the ball a little better." Keep an eye on this kid!

Cubs, Bucs, Cards, Phils Make Fenway Stops In 2017

Well, we might as well look ahead to 2017. In addition to the moronic World Baseball Classic (March 9-22), we will have another year of idiotic inter-league intrusions at Fenway Park in 2017. The Chicago Cubs, Pittsburgh Pirates, Philadelphia Phillies and St. Louis Cardinals will be searching for some marginal bench player to be 'DH' for a few games when they wander into Boston. Similarly, the Red Sox will lose the services of their new DH when they traipse to the National League cities on their schedule. Dumb. Dumb. Dumb. Please, Commissioner Manfred, end our long 'national pastime nightmare' and ditch inter-league play!

POLL: Tito's Tribe Surging As FN Readers' Favorite Team

Early voting in our latest FenwayNation Poll shows that Terry Francona's upstart Indians are passing the Cuddly Cubbies as the favorite remaining team in the MLB playoffs. As the chart shows, fully 65% of our readers pick The Tribe as their new rooting target, followed somewhat distantly by the Theo Epstein-led Cubs at just 29%. Only 6% say they are now fans of the Dave Roberts-skippered Dodgers. You can still vote in this poll HERE.

Sox, Texas, Empire Likely Spots For Edwin Encarnación

'Flap-Down' At Fenway In 2017?
Multiple reports suggest that the Red Sox are the likeliest landing spot for free-agent Edwin Encarnación. Now that the Blue Jays failed to match Boston as the only team to recover from a 3-0 deficit, the real speculation can begin on the potential new Carmine Hose DH. According to's Jon Heyman, it looks as if The Evil Ones and the Texas Rangers are the main competition for Encarnación. Given his closeness with David Ortiz, and his positive comments about Boston, it would not be a shock to see the soon-to-be 34-year-old at Fenway soon.

POLL: Which Remaining Team Are You Rooting For?

Which ONE of the remaining heavily Boston-connected teams are you rooting for? free polls

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Curt Not Happy With 'Bloody Sock'/Bauer Comparison

(Getty Images)
If case you wanted to engage Curt Schilling in some banter about the similarities between his 'Bloody Sock' game and Trevor Bauer's "DroneGate"fuggedaboutit! Schilling does not like the comparison, tweeting, "Please don’t tweet at me about Bauer. He cost himself a start, likely more, AND his teammates, and fans, (messing) around with a drone. #stupid." Exactly twelve years ago today, Schilling took the mound at Yankee Stadium in Game Six of the 2004 ALCS with a leaking torn tendon sheath that soaked blood through his white sock. He hurled seven innings with the injury—giving up just one earned run for the victory.

POLL: Majority Still Support Trading For LHP Chris Sale

Results to our latest FenwayNation Poll show that readers continue to support the idea of trading away up to three Red Sox players for left-handed pitching ace Chris Sale. As the chart shows, a majority (55%) favor the transaction (sending Jackie Bradley, Jr., Yoan Moncada or Rafael Devers, and Eduardo Rodriguez to Chicago in exchange for Sale. On the other side of the ledger, 45% oppose the deal. You can still vote in the poll HERE.

Don't Forget About Boston's Pitching Prospect Pipeline

Groome (L); Kopech (R)
With all the emphasis on position player prospects Yoan Moncada, Rafael Devers and Andrew Benintendi (who may be beyond prospect-level now), it's easy to forget about Boston's lurking stating pitching prospects. Specifically, they have two 'studs-in-waiting'—port-sider Jason Groome and righty Michael Kopech. Groome, you may recall, was stolen with the 12th overall pick in last year's draft—after being rated as the #1 overall choice a few months earlier. After some haggling, he was signed for a sizable bonus. He is compared to Madison Bumgarner because of his sick fastball-curveball repertoire. Kopech—taken late in 2014's first-round, has topped out at 105 MPH in the minors. He has a troubling "Ebby Calvin 'Nuke' LaLoosh"-type personality, however, that's already gotten him in trouble. With any luck, though, he could become the wackiest Red Sox pitcher since Bill Lee. In any event, there are two blue-chip starting pitching prospects not far away from Fenway—which could allow Dave Dombrowski to be a little bolder in his off-season mound-related moves.