Saturday, February 24, 2018

REPORT: Martinez Fiasco Is "Thorough", "Cooperative"

The Red Sox spin machine is in full swing. In the fifth day of the "Where's J.D.?" saga, they are leaking out word that the delay over medical tests is simply the team and player being "thorough" and "cooperative". Yeah, that's it. They're doing this on purpose. What balderdash! The "party line" goes something like this. The team wants to be sure that any maladies do not manifest themselves in the first two years—before the "opt-out" process kicks-in. The player wants everyone to know that any medical concerns would not affect his ability to play now. If you believe all of this malarkey, we have a bridge in Chelsea we'd like to sell you.

Friday, February 23, 2018

Ex-Sox Anthony Rizzo Reflects On Shooting At His HS

Rizzo At Parkland, FL Vigil
Former Red Sox prospect and now three-time All-Star Anthony Rizzo has had a very difficult week. To learn why, you have to go back eleven years. In the 6th round of the 2007 MLB Draft, the Red Sox selected Rizzo out of Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. Yes, that school. In the aftermath of the tragic shooting that took seventeen lives at his alma mater, Rizzo has gone back to try to comfort the community. As he stated, "My first instinct was just kind of numb. The more I sat and thought about it, I felt helpless here. That's where I grew up in Parkland. I got in trouble there, I succeeded there, I learned how to be who I am because of Parkland, because of Stoneman Douglas. To be across the country and not be there and to find out some very close people have lost loved ones, to be there to help them and support them was very important to me." Rizzo knew Aaron Feis—the heroic football coach who lost his life saving others. While still young, Rizzo has been through a lot of tough times in his 28 years, but this was one of his toughest.

Tyler Thornburg Will Likely Start 2018 On The DL—Again

(Getty Images)
We're trying real hard not to be overly critical of the Red Sox medical team—but, damn! Today we get word that relief pitcher Tyler Thornburg will most likely start the 2018 season on the disabled list. What else is new? He landed there last April and had surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome in June. As you may recall, Thornburg was acquired from the Brewers on December 6, 2016—and has yet to throw a single pitch in a Red Sox uniform. Oh, and we gave up Travis Shaw in the deal—who only hit .273 with 31 HRs and 101 RBIs for Milwaukee last season. Heck, he even stole 10 bases! The Red Sox medical staff thought Thronburg would be fine for the start of Spring Training. Wrong, witch doctor breath!

No Friday Update On J.D. Martinez's On-Going Physical

Chase (L), Franco  (R)
Still no definitive word on the J.D. Martinez physical—and Generalissimo Francisco Franco is still dead [EDITOR'S NOTE TO MILLENNIAL READERS: This is an obscure Saturday Night Live reference from 1975]. In what has to be the longest-running medical procedure in history, the Red Sox claim to still be administering tests in Fort Myers. Which, of course, begs the question: If the Red Sox were so concerned about medicals, why the heck didn't they just ship him to Boston for the physical? Presumably, that's where all the "second-opinion" specialists are that need consulting. This is turning into a major fiasco—embarrassing the team, the player, the media, the fans—and, of course, the crack Red Sox medical staff. What a joke.

Manfred Going Power-Mad?: New Baseball Storage Rules

Esposito (L); Manfred (R)
Frankly, the first thing we thought of when we heard this story was the classic scene in the Woody Allen film, Bananas. Esposito, the new dictator of San Marcos, realizing that he is now all powerful, issues the following decree: "From this day on, the official language of San Marcos will be Swedish. Silence! In addition to that, all citizens will be required to change their underwear every half-hour. Underwear will be worn on the outside so we can check. Furthermore, all children under 16 years old are now...16 years old!" Enter MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred. Today—a few short weeks from the start of the 2018 season—we learn that all 30 teams will be mandated to store baseballs in an "air-conditioned and enclosed room" this season. Undoubtedly, the Air-Conditioned And Enclosed Room Trade Association is positively giddy at the news! Let's just hope that the official language of baseball will not become Finnish.

Sox Medical Team At It Again With Marco Hernandez

Seriously, if meteorologists and Red Sox team physicians were graded on competence—they'd be canned in a minute. Once again, the crack medical team of your Carmine Hose has "discovered" that the pins inserted into Marco Hernandez's shoulder last May now need to be removed. This, after the player complained of serious discomfort so far this Spring. Did these guys get their medical degrees at K-Mart? This is like a scene from the Three Stooges' "Men In Black" when they leave the surgical tools inside the patient. So, it's a good thing that: 1.) Boston re-upped Eduardo Nunez; 2.) Brock Holt seems to be healthy and hitting again and 3.) Blake Swihart is back and healthy as well. Calling Dr. Howard, Dr. Fine, Dr. Howard!

Mookie And Bogie Top Sox Order Against Twinkies Today

Now that the Red Sox begin play against actual professionals, both Mookie Betts and Xander Bogearts will be in today's game—at the top of the Boston batting order in the one and two spots. The rest of the lineup is composed of: Hanley Ramirez 1B, Christian Vázquez C, Blake Swihart DH, Jeremy Barfield LF, Rusney Castillo CF, Ivan De Jesus 2B, Chad De La Guerra 3B—with Hector Velázquez RHP on the hill. The game will take place against the Twinkies at 1PM Eastern time. As per usual, NESN will not be broadcasting this game—after all, why would Red Sox fans want to see their team in real Spring action for the first time? Bring on more "Charlie Moore Outdoors" and infomercials for mops. Now, that's what the people want!

"J.D. Watch" Enters Day Four With Continued Confusion

More than likely, we will all forget about this little blip in the J.D. Martinez saga by Opening Day—or even sooner. It will all probably seem very silly in due time. Still, as we enter Day Four of this fiasco, things are not really getting all that clarified. In fact Dave Dombrowski did his best double-speak in the following "explanatory" text: "All I can say is that he continues to take his physical." Oh, that's helpful. The crux of the issue is that Martinez has suffered a couple of fairly substantial injuries over the past several years (foot, right wrist)—and, apparently, the tests do not definitively rule out their recurrence. We guess. Since the Yawkey Way Kremlin is not really being too forthcoming. Stay tuned!

Sox Wearing Special Caps To Honor FL Shooting Victims

At today's game against the Minnestoa Twins, the Red Sox will be wearing special caps to honor the victims of the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland, Florida. The caps—with an interlocked "SD" logo—will also be auctioned off at a later date to benefit victims and families. Several other major league teams will also be wearing the Stoneman caps today.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Still No Resolution To The J.D. Martinez Physical Fiasco

Nothing to see here—move along, Red Sox fans. Well, there was supposed to be a press conference today announcing that the "logistical" issues surrounding the J.D. Martinez signing had been ironed out. Not quite. It was announced late this afternoon that—in fact—there will be no Thursday presser to that effect. And, obviously, Dave Dombrowski's earlier prediction that Martinez would be fully in camp on Friday is also in jeopardy. The "specialists" attached to the Red Sox medical team apparently have not had enough time to review tests related to past injuries—like the ones to the right foot and elbow of Martinez. This is probably still OK—but it's beginning to spiral into the fiasco zone. Stay tuned!

Empire GM Brian Cashman: 'We Haven't Caught Red Sox'

(Getty Images)
He is nothing if not the master of the understatement. Pinstripe Poser GM Brian Cashman has made the biggest splashes in the off-season pond—and yet he refuses to say his team has passed Boston. Said Cashman, "They are the American League East champs so we are not on equal footing. We were a wild card. They are the American League East champs and we are not. We are not on equal footing until we take it away from them." Did he mention that the Red Sox were the 2017 American League East Champs? Oh, yeah, I guess he did. Of course, this is just the hardball version of not wanting to put a hex on your chances by being too bold, but it is a bit much—don't you think?

JBJ Leads Off Today Against Northeastern U. Huskies

At 1:05 Eastern time today, the 2018 baseball season officially begins for your Boston Red Sox. That's when they square off against the Northeastern University Huskies at JetBlue Park in Fort Myers, Florida. The Boston line-up (at least for the first inning or so) is: Jackie Bradley Jr. CF; Andrew Benintendi LF; Rafael Devers 3B; Mitch Moreland 1B; Blake Swihart C; Brock Holt 2B; Deven Marrero SS; Steve Selsky RF; Austin Rei DH. Hot pitching prospect Jalen Beeks will start the game on the mound for the Red Sox.