Friday, May 25, 2018

Reflections On The Always Interesting Hanley Ramirez Era With The Red Sox

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All indications are that the Hanley Ramirez Era in Boston has come to an end. With today's designation of the 1B/DH by the Red Sox, the team has seven days to either trade him or release him outright. Hopefully, someone will agree to a trade for a useful player—which would mean John Henry will still likely pay the bulk of the $15 million left on Hanley's 2018 contract (but do you really care about Henry's wallet?) Perhaps more importantly, the Red Sox will be out from under any automatic vesting option for next season—for which $22 million would kick-in after he reached 497 at-bats this year. Let's take a look at the fullness of Hanley's Red Sox career. I can vividly remember watching the 21-year-old Hanley (clad in green on St. Patrick's Day) playing in a 2005 Spring Training game for the Red Sox. Aside from a two at-bat "cup of coffee" in the 2005 regular season, all of his meaningful playing time came in the four (plus) years between 2014 and last night. In 431 games in Carmine Hose, Hanley hit .260 with 78 HRs and 255 RBIs. He posted an OBP of .326, with a .450 slugging percentage and a .776 OPS. In the rest of his career (nine seasons with the Marlins and Dodgers), he hit .300 with 191 HRs and 654 RBIs. His non-Red Sox OBP was .373, with a .500 slugging percentage and an .873 OPS. Clearly, as he aged (he's now 34), his production declined. He did, however, bring an energy and spirit to the team that will be missed. We wish you the best, Hanley!

BREAKING NEWS: Red Sox Designate Hanley Ramirez For Assignment

In a shocking move to make room on the roster for Dustin Pedroia, the Red Sox have designated Hanley Ramirez for assignment. Stay tuned for more details. By this move, Boston can now walk away from the $15 million or so left on Ramirez’s contract through the rest of the season. The Red Sox have seven days to trade or release Hanley. This transaction also lets the team off the hook for any automatic "re-up" of his $22 million vesting option for 2019 based on getting 497 at-bats in 2018.

'Ugly Ricky' Returns! Has Another Bad Outing, As Red Sox Fall To Rays, 6-3

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Rick Porcello was all over the place last night—missing locations, walking batters, and getting smoked when he did get the ball over the plate. From the very first batter of the night, it was clear that Porcello had nothing. It was another curiously bad outing by the only right-hander on the starting staff—as he went just 3.2 innings, giving up all six Rays runs (four earned). Boston struggled to generate offense all night, finally breaking through in the seventh on an Tampa error. In the ninth, the Red Sox added two more runs—including a homerun by Mitch Moreland (his 7th). The 6-3 loss reduced Boston's lead in the AL East to just one game over the idle Evil Ones. The Red Sox return home tonight against the former Boston Braves—who now reside somewhere in the Old Confederacy.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Rays Error Gift-Wraps 4-1 Victory For Red Sox, Move 1.5 Games Up In Division

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A tight 1-1 ballgame became a comfortable 4-1 win after a rookie Tampa shortstop made a critical throwing error in the ninth inning. The miscue put J.D. Martinez on second base—and the Red Sox capitalized by plating three runs. After that, Craig Kimbrel delivered a "rocking-chair" ninth inning for his 15th save of the season. The key hit in the ninth was a stinging double to the left-filed corner by Xander Bogaerts that scored Martinez with the eventual winning run. David Price delivered another solid performance in the aftermath of his carpal tunnel diagnosis—going six strong innings, giving up just one run on three hits and striking out nine. The Boston win pushed their division lead in the AL East to 1.5 games—as The Evil Ones blew a 10-5 lead and lost to the Rangers, 12-10.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Mookie, Raffie And Sale Propel Red Sox Into First Place In 4-2 Win Over Rays

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Mookie Betts clouted a three-run homer, Rafael Devers smacked a solo shot, and Chris Sale pitched 7.2 strong innings as Boston reclaimed sole possession of first place with a 4-2 win over the Rays. Betts' blast was his MLB-leading 16th and he is now hitting .368. Perhaps the rest of baseball (and John Henry's wallet) will begin noticing that this is the best player in the game. Sale got his fifth win of the year, yielding only four hits and one earned run, while striking out nine. Jackie Bradley, Jr. showed signs of breaking out his season-long slump—smacking two hits and scoring a run. Boston's win coupled with a loss by The Evil Ones, shot the Red Sox into first place in the AL East. They own the most wins in baseball—33.

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Red Sox Go Yard Three More Times, J.D. Twice, Pummel Lowly Orioles, 5-0

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J.D. Martinez launched his 14th and 15th homeruns on Sunday—and Andrew Benintendi hit his fifth—as the Red Sox took three out of four from the struggling Orioles, 5-0. Martinez tucked one around the Pesky Pole and the other into the CF seats to account for three of Boston's runs. Benintendi went 3-4 on the day—including a two-run HR. Eduardo Rodriguez pitched 5.2 solid innings—striking out seven Birds and walking none. The Red Sox stayed in a first-place tie with the win, as The Pinstriped Posers were also victorious. Boston also maintains its position as the team with the most wins in all of baseball—32—two ahead of The Evil Ones and Astros and ten more wins than the Central Division-leading Cleveland Indians.

Almost One-Third Of All Who Wear Sea Dog Laundry Reach "The Show"

Want to make it to the major leagues? Make sure you stop off in Portland, Maine. An analysis by the Portland Press Herald reveals that nearly one-third of all players who reach Boston's AA Portland Sea Dogs (31.8%) make it to the big leagues. And, quite a few of them excel. The paper estimates that by the end of this season, 8.6% will have played in at least 1,000 MLB games. The Portland franchise has been in existence for 25 years now—and became affiliated with the Red Sox in 2003. Thus, 97 of the players who went on to 'The Show' were from the Marlins organization (does Kevin Millar ring a bell?), while the rest (118) were wearing Carmine Hose. Some of the stellar alums from the Red Sox organization are: Dustin PedroiaAndrew Benintendi, Jackie Bradley Jr.Mookie Betts, Jacoby Ellsbury, Jonathan Papelbon, Brandon Moss, Jed Lowry, Xander Bogaerts and Hanley Ramirez. So, if you have your heart set on an MLB playing career, ask your travel agent about booking you into Portland. Plus, the seafood is damn good.

Red Sox Go Yard Three Times, Thrash Orioles To Stay In First Place, 6-3

(USAToday Sports)
Mookie Betts clouted his 15th HR—and Andrew Benintendi (4th) and Rafael Devers (8th) also went 'yard', as the Red Sox thrashed the lowly Baltimore Orioles 6-3 On Saturday night. Rick Porcello got himself back on track—going six innings and giving up three earned runs while striking out nine. The bullpen delivered three scoreless innings—including Craig Kimbrel's 13th save. Boston broke the game open in the fifth inning, when Betts and Benintendi hit back-to-back round-trippers. The Red Sox maintained their tie atop the AL East as The Evil Ones also won.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Not The Way The Red Sox "Drew" It Up, As They Fall To Lowly Orioles, 7-4

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Drew Pomeranz can't seem to get out of the fourth inning lately. The lefty last just four last night in a depressing 7-4 loss to perhaps the worst team in baseball—the Baltimore Orioles. The tone was set by the very first Bird batter—who drew a four-pitch walk from Pomeranz. Game. Set. Match. Down 5-1, Boston Battled back, but Steven Wright gave up two more runs in relief and the comeback trail was just to steep. Mookie Betts had another epic night in the loss—clouting his 14th HR and notching two doubles in a 3-5 effort. He is now hitting .371. Boston also got multiple hit games from: J.D. Martinez (2-5), Eduardo Nunez (2-4) and Christian Vazquez (2-3). Luckily, The Evil Ones also lost, so the two teams remain tied atop the AL East.

Friday, May 18, 2018

Non-Discounted Price Fires Complete Game In Sox 6-2 Victory Over Orioles

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Bring on the carpal tunnel, and give it to the rest of the staff! David Price threw a complete-game five-hitter—striking out eight—in Boston's 6-2 win over the hapless Orioles. The lefty nearly threw a shutout, but that was spoiled by a 9th-inning 2-run HR. The Red Sox were in cruise control for most of this game—gliding through with a 6-0 lead. The offense was again paced by Xander Bogaerts (another 3-run HR), J.D. Martinez (another 2-run HR)—with Hanley Ramirez (2-4, R), Mookie Betts (3-4, BB, 2 Rs) and Sandy Leon (2-4) all contributing multiple-hit games. The win moved the Red Sox back into a tie for first place—and gave them the distinction of being the first MLB team to achieve 30 wins in 2018.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Red Sox Look To Become The First MLB Team To 30 Wins In The 2018 Season

Here is tonight's Red Sox line-up—as they try to become the first MLB team to 30 wins in 2018: Mookie Betts RF; Andrew Benintendi LF;  Hanley Ramirez 1B; J.D. Martinez DH; Xander Bogaerts SS; Rafael Devers 3B; Brock Holt 2B; Sandy Leon C; Jackie Bradley, Jr. CF. On the hill tonight for The Carmine Hose will be David Price.

First Red Sox Alumni Game In 25 Years To Be Held May 27th At Fenway Park

The Red Sox have announced their first Alumni Game since 1993—to be held this May 27th at Fenway Park. The three-inning game will start that Sunday at 10:30 AM—before the 1:05 PM game against the Atlanta Braves. Fans with tickets to the afternoon game can also attend the alumni contest. The two Red Sox Alumni teams that will compete against one another include the following players: Wade Boggs, Oil Can Boyd, Orlando Cabrera, Scott Cooper, Jim Corsi, Lenny DiNardo, Alan Embree, Rich Garces, Jonny Gomes, Mike Greenwell, Sam Horn, Chris Howard, Bill Lee, Darren Lewis, Steve Lomasney, Derek Lowe, Mike Lowell, Julio Lugo, Steve Lyons, Keith MacWhorter, Pedro Martinez, Lou Merloni, Rick Miller, Mike Myers, and Troy O'Leary. The 1993 game featured Jim Lonborg, Jim Rice, and Carl Yastrzemski—playing a star-studded team that included the great Ernie Banks, Vida Blue, and Cesar Cedeno. Speaking for us—in addition to Boggsie, the biggest thrill of this year's Alumni game will be seeing El Guapo on the mound!

Please Help Support NESN Videographer John Martin's Battle Against ALS

In October of 2016, John Martin, a highly-skilled videographer with NESN (New England Sports Network), was diagnosed with ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease). For 19 years, John worked on both Red Sox and Bruins broadcasts for NESN. He is a great man who is loved throughout New England for his positive personality, work ethic, and commitment to others. Please support John's battle against this awful disease by purchasing a hat with the logo you see in the picture accompanying this post. YOU CAN BUY A HAT TO SUPPORT JOHN HERE.

Ex-Sox First-Baseman And NU Star Carlos Pena Turns Forty-Years-Old Today

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He graduated from Haverhill (MA) High School and went on to become a baseball star at Boston's Northeastern University. But it wasn't until he was 28-years-old that he got to play for his hometown team. Carlos Pena had a pretty darned good 14-year MLB career—mostly with Tampa (5 seasons) and Detroit (4 seasons). He was signed by Boston as a free agent after a very brief stint as a Pinstriped Poser. In his one year with the Red Sox (just 18 games in 2006), he hit only one HR—but it was a game-winner. He complied 286 career home runs—clouting an American League-leading 39 in 2009. But that wasn't his best dinger output. After leaving the Red Sox For Tampa in 2007—perhaps his best overall season—he clouted 46 HRs and knocked in 121 while hitting .282 with a 1.037 OPS. He finished ninth in the AL MVP voting that year. Today, Pena turns 40 years-old. Happy birthday, Carlos!

'Discount' Sale Hurls Well Enough To Win, Red Sox Power Up Over A's, 6-4

Sale delivers (FenwayNation Photo)
This was not your vintage Chris Sale. Boston's left-handed ace delivered a perplexing start—throwing only 12 of 21 first-pitch strikes, compiling 102 pitches in five innings, and yet striking out nine batters. All in all, it was good enough to give Sale his fourth win of the season in the 6-4 Red Sox win over the A's. Boston's offense was primarily driven by the long-ball—a two-run shot by J.D. Martinez (his 12th) and a game-changing three-run HR by Xander Bogaerts (his 5th). On an unseasonably cold night at the ballpark (53F throughout with a brisk breeze), Sale worked in his signature short-sleeves. Hanley Ramirez continued his clutch hitting—going 1-4 with an RBI and Boston saw multiple hit games from Mookie Betts (2-4, R) and Andrew Benintendi (2-4, R). The win allowed The Carmine Hose to avoid the sweep—which would have been a bit embarrassing considering the talent level of this Oakland ball-club. Now, just one-half game back of The Evil Ones, the Red Sox will face-off four times against the Baltimore Orioles at Fenway—Thursday through Sunday. Tonight's game is the make-up of the rained-out Patriots Day game.