Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Red Sox Seek Division Title Without Mookie Or Bennie In Tonight's Line-Up

Well, so much for Mookie Betts feeling good enough to DH today. Both Betts and Andrew Benintendi are out of tonight's Red Sox line-up. Here it is: 1. Ian Kinsler 2B, 2. Steve Pearce 1B, 3. J.D. Martinez RF, 4. Xander Bogaerts SS, 5. Eduardo Nunez DH, 6. Brandon Phillips 3B, 7. Brock Holt LF, 8. Christian Vazquez C, 9. Jackie Bradley Jr. CF On the mound tonight for The Carmine Hose will be Nathan Eovaldi.

MLB Postponement Of July 25th Game Could Impact HR & Triple Crown Races

Back on July 25th, the Red Sox took a commanding 5-0 lead over the hapless Orioles at Camden Yards. The game was just in the second inning when the rains came. Bird hurler Dylan Bundy had already given up home runs to Andrew Benintendi, Mookie Betts and J.D. Martinez. Fast forward two months and Martinez is in a race for the league home run title—trailing Oakland's Khris Davis by just two. The Boston DH also has a shot at the Triple Crown. Both of these could be in jeopardy after that July 25th tilt was postponed—wiping out all the stats. MLB waited 2 hours and 33 minutes, then called the game. Very shortly thereafter, the rain stopped for good. So, a little more patience would have given the Red Sox the chance to win the game and keep the stats intact. If Martinez loses the HR title or the Triple Crown by a mere one dinger—Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred might have some serious questions to answer.

Another Reason Why The Boston Area Is The Greatest Place On Earth To Live

Thornton And Young Fan In 2010 (FN Photo)
We here at FenwayNation are extremely proud to be based here in Boston—the greatest city in America (by far). Another reminder of how amazing this city's people are was demonstrated in an press notification we got today from the great folks at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute. In it, they celebrated the fact that the 2018 WEEI/NESN Jimmy Fund Radio-Telethon raised more than $4.4 million in just 36 hours. But even more special was a listing of the top individual contributors. On the list was a $25,000 gift from the Shawn Thornton Foundation. Shawn Thornton was a player for the Boston Bruins hockey team—and has long been involved in helping various charities across the Greater Boston community. During his seven-year stay in Boston, Thornton won a Stanley Cup, and was beloved by Bruins fans (partly because he was a tough "enforcer" on the ice). The fact that—even after departing to play elsewhere—he stayed connected to Boston says a lot about the city and its professional athletes. It's something that might have gone under the radar—but we thought that story should be told. Thank you Jimmy Fund and thank you, Shawn!

All Hail National Cheeseburger Day! Celebrating One Of Fenway's Best Values

Today, September 18th, is National Cheeseburger Day—something really worth celebrating. For those of us who are still carnivores, a well-prepared cheeseburger is one of life's great treats. And, despite all of our complaining about Fenway's lack of amenities, the Tasty Burger cheeseburgers that are on-sale at the park are one of the best values available to fans. For about $9.00 you get a freshly-grilled, succulent hamburger topped with perfectly melted cheese—and even some crisp lettuce to make you feel less guilty. Somehow, you don't mind shelling out that much dough—as long as you get a truly quality product back in return. So, the next time your at 'America's Most Cramped Ballpark', visit Tasty Burger (FULL DISCLOSURE: we get nothing for this endorsement, not even a serving of their awesome tater tots.).

Red Sox-Yankee Game Moved From 1:05 PM to 7:05 Due To Heavy NYC Rains

The remnants for Hurricane Florence have forced the delay of today's Red Sox-Yankee match-up from 1:05 PM to 7:05 PM. Heavy rains are expected in the New York metropolitan area for much of the day—although things should clear out by the new game time. Boston enjoys a comfortable 11.5 game lead over The Bronx Embalmers—and a win tonight would clinch the American League East division title for The Carmine Hose. The original start time was intended to accommodate for Yom Kippur—the holiest day of the year in Judaism—which begins this evening.

Monday, September 17, 2018

Mookie Betts Likely To Play On Tuesday Afternoon In Bronx—Possibly As DH

Red Sox Nation held its collective breath on Sunday after Mookie Betts left that day's game early with 'left-side tightness'. As you may recall, Betts missed a substantial period of time earlier this year (May 29th-June 11th) with a similar left-side abdominal strain. Red Sox manager Alex Cora indicated that Betts would be fine to play on Tuesday afternoon in the Bronx. Said Cora, "I took him out right away. He’s in the clubhouse right now. He’s saying he’s fine…He’ll get treatment. He’ll go to the stadium. He’ll be there and we’ll go from there. Talking to him just now most likely he’ll DH and we’ll play J.D. Martinez in right field which is good for J.D. He’s happy with that one." We shall see.

Red Sox And Yankees Will Swap Booth Announcers For One Inning Tuesday

Attention Boston fans: during the fourth inning of Tuesday afternoon's radio broadcast of the Yankee-Red Sox game, team announcers will switch booths! So, if you hear Yankee announcer John Sterling call out this: "It's an X-Bomb From The X-Man", don't panic. It's a home-run by Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts. Similarly, if Red Sox announcer Joe Castiglione bellows out, "Giancarlo goes deep...can you believe it?", it's OK (sort of)—just a tater by Giancarlo Stanton. Interestingly, Castiglione grew up in New Haven, Connecticut and attended many games at the old Yankee Stadium (which actually had some character, unlike the mausoleum that's there today). Castig actually dreamt of calling Yankee games someday. Anyway, all this confusion is a gimmicky way to pretend that everything is just hunky-dory between the two long-time rivals. Rest assured—it is not.

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Baseball Gods Comply, Red Sox Win, Empire Loses, Magic Number Now Two

(Getty Images)
Our entreaties to The Baseball Gods apparently worked. The Red Sox beat the Metropolitans and The Evil Ones lost again to the lowly Blue Jays—so the Magic Number to clinch the American League East is down to just two. Thus, as we surmised, your 2018 Carmine Hose can wrap up the division on Tuesday afternoon in the Bronx. Today, Chris Sale started things off with three scoreless innings—allowing just one hit. In the meantime, the so-called 'un-hittable' Jacob deGrom was in fact hit by Boston in a three-run third-inning. A one-out single by Rafael Devers was followed by a perfectly-executed hit-and-run single by Christian Vazquez. Mookie Betts knocked in Devers with a sacrifice fly and then Brock "Mr. Mid-September" Holt unloaded with a two-run home run to put the Sox up 3-0 on the purported NL Cy Young winner. Of course, Dave Dombrowski's Red Sox 'bullpen' gagged-away the lead—giving New York two runs in the sixth (thank you, Drew Pomeranz) and one in the seventh (you, too, Heath Hembree). That simply set the stage for yet another late-inning Red Sox victory. In the bottom of the eighth, Tzu-Wei Lin (in for an injured Mookie Betts) doubled to lead things off. BrockStar flied deep enough to get Lin to third, and Andrew Benintendi knocked him in with a sacrifice fly, resulting in the eventual 4-3 win. Amazingly, Steven Wright came on in the ninth for the save—which he got (the first of his career). Boston has Monday off, then travels to Baghdad-On-The-Hudson for (hopefully) at least two meaningless games.

If The Baseball Gods Allow, Sox Will Need Just One Win In Six Empire Tilts

If things in the Universe go as they should, the Red Sox will win today while The Evil Ones fall again to Toronto. That would reduce the Magic Number to clinch the American League East down to two. What that means is that Boston would need just one win in the upcoming six tilts with The Bronx Embalmers to lock up their third straight division title—and fourth in the last six years (not even counting the games against Tito's Tribe and the pathetic Orioles). Potentially, Boston could wrap it up on Tuesday afternoon. Resting key players in the balance of the series at The Concrete Bunker At 161st Street would seriously tick off The Steinbrenner Brood who run the villainous franchise in the Bronx. How cool would that be? Coasting into the post-season keeping Chris Sale, J.D. Martinez and Mookie Betts fresh—while The Pinstriped Posers battle to the bitter end to beat out Oakland for the top Wild Card spot—would add to the sweet schadenfreude. O, Baseball Gods, hear our entreaties!

Red Sox Inch Closer To AL East Division Title, Beat Out Metropolitans, 5-3

(Getty Images)
For a lot of today's game the Red Sox appeared just as lethargic as they did on Friday night—when they were pummelled by The Metropolitans, 8-0. Behind 3-1 in the bottom of the fifth, the old magic returned. After two were out, consecutive singles by Steve Pearce and Ian Kinsler set the stage for Jackie Bradley, Jr.'s heroics. JBJ doubled off the very top of The Green Monster (initially ruled a three-run-home run) to tie the game at three apiece. Then, after an intentional walk, the decisive blow. Pinch-hitting Brock Holt laced the first pitch he saw deep off the center-field wall—driving in two and providing the margin of victory in the 5-3 win. Rick Porcello went just five innings to pick up his 17th win on the season—giving up three runs on just two hits. Four Red Sox relievers delivered shutout performances—with Craig Kimbrel earning his 41st save of 2018. The win—coupled with an 8-7 loss by The Evil Ones—pushed Boston's lead in the AL East back up to 10.5 games. The Magic Number to clinch the division now stands at just four.

Friday, September 14, 2018

Red Sox Survive Yet Another Bullpen Meltdown, Sweep Away Blue Jays, 4-3

(Getty Images)
The season-long problem of unreliable late-inning relief reared its ugly head again on Thursday night—but the resilient Red Sox overcame that weakness again in a 4-3 win over the Blue Jays. The victory gave Boston 101 wins—five away from setting a new franchise record for wins in a season. The Magic Number to clinch the AL East is down to just six—with the lead in the division moving up to 10.5 games. Eduardo Rodriguez pitched well—going six solid innings and giving up just one earned run. However, both Bobby Poyner and Joe Kelly coughed up single runs in relief. Boston got solo home runs from Rafael Devers (#17) and J.D. Martinez (his MLB-tying 41st). But, the game-winning run was scored in the eighth inning on a Little League-worthy error by Toronto. Both Martinez and Xander Bogaerts (now hitting .291) had two hits apiece for Boston. The Red Sox will look to claim win #102 tonight against Noah Syndergaard and the New York Metropolitans.

FenwayNation Will Return Soon—Affected By Natural Gas Incident In Mass.

Dear readers—please be patient. We've been impacted by the natural gas explosion/fire disaster in Andover/North Andover/Lawrence, Massachusetts. We'll be back online ASAP. Go Sox!

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Red Sox Go With "Mookie-Free" Lineup In Final Blue Jays Tilt Thursday

Here is tonight's Red Sox line-up (certified "Mookie-Free"): Andrew Benintendi LF, Ian Kinsler 2B, Mitch Moreland 1B, J.D. Martinez RF, Xander Bogaerts SS, Blake Swihart DH, Eduardo Nuñez 3B, Christian Vazquez C, Jackie Bradley Jr. CF. On the mound tonight for The Carmine Hose will be Eduardo Rodriguez.

It's Official! Boston's AAA Team Will Soon Be The Worcester (MA) Red Sox

After the Worcester City Council approved a finance package for a new stadium, the move of Boston's AAA franchise from Pawtucket, Rhode Island to the central Massachusetts community has become official. Barring a re-naming, the team will be known simply as the Worcester Red Sox (with the unfortunate diminutive of "WooSox"). On Monday of next week (September 17th), the city will hold a "Grand & Glorious" celebration—including a block party with food, games, entertainment and fireworks. The new stadium will be built in the Kelley Square area of Worcester's hot and trendy Canal District. Reportedly, Red Sox and PawSox legends from the past will be in attendance—as well as AAA franchise President Larry Lucchino and Massachusetts Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. Clearly, the re-location of the top farm team of the Red Sox to its home state is a good thing for local fans—now only the AA Portland Sea Dogs (among the upper levels of the system) reside outside the Bay State. And, even then, a trip to the Maine stadium is a relatively short jaunt for most in the Greater Boston area.

Red Sox Set To Pay $11.3 Million Luxury Tax On 2018 Payroll Of $238 Million

Only the Red Sox and Washington Nationals are on pace to pay MLB's luxury tax for 2018. Luxury tax payrolls are defined as "the average annual values of contracts of all players on 40-man rosters", and also include player benefits. The Red Sox will likely have a 2018 payroll of at least $238.4 million—resulting in a luxury tax payment of around $11.3 million. Washington's luxury tax payroll came in second at an estimated $203.9 million. This puts the projected tax for the Nationals at $2.1 million. At least the Red Sox will be making the post-season for all of their cash outlays—while the Nationals seem destined to miss a trip to October baseball (which, on the bright side, means they won't choke again in the first round of the playoffs). Amazingly, The Evil Ones will likely avoid a luxury tax penalty for the first time since the tax was imposed in 2003. In addition to The Bronx Embalmers, other teams that counter-intuitively will not be making luxury tax payments this year are: the Los Angeles Dodgers and the San Francisco Giants.

VIDEO: Catch Up On All 100 Red Sox Victories In One Easy Sitting!