Friday, February 12, 2016

Will Middlebrooks And Jenny Dell To Wed On Weekend

Middlebrooks & Dell
Former Red Sox third-baseman Will Middlebrooks and former NESN reporter Jenny Dell will get married this weekend in Arizona. The couple have been engaged for a couple of years now, and finally found a wedding date that would accommodate both of their schedules. Dell was removed from Red Sox broadcasts once the relationship with Middlebrooks went public. She has gone on to cover football for CBS Sports. Middlebrooks—who was traded to the Padres for Andover's Ryan Hanigan—has signed a minor-league deal with the Milwaukee Brewers. The two will live in Arizona where the Brewers have Spring Training. We wish the happy couple much luck in their lives together and their respective careers!

MLB Network Pegs Mookie Betts As #4 MLB Right Fielder

The infamous MLB Network "Shredder" has placed Red Sox OF Mookie Betts as the fourth best right-fielder in all of baseball. Not surprisingly, Bryce Harper topped the RF list, followed by Giancarlo Stanton, Jose Bautista, Betts, J.D. Martinez, Nelson Cruz, George Springer, Yasiel Puig, Miguel Sano, and Ryan Braun. Ironically, the play featured on the network to show Mookie's talents has him playing center field and robbing the #1 ranked Harper of a HR during last year's Home Opener.

Red Sox Sign 6'4" 18-Year Old Aussie Hurler To Pact

Deebie And Inglis (Baseball Australia Photo)
The Red Sox have signed 18-year old right-handed pitcher Brad Inglis out of Australia. He will report to Spring Training at Fort Myers. Reportedly, the kid throws in the 86-90 range on his fastball and is mixing in a curve and change-up as well. Interestingly, the Red Sox beat out The Evil Ones and the Reds for Inglis' services—mostly because of a personal connection with Sox scout Jon Deebie. Said Inglis, "I don’t care what I have to go through as long as I’m playing professional ball I’ll give it my all." He will be interesting to follow in Camp.

Red Sox And Empire Join Forces In NYC For Charity

(AP Photo)
Although he is new to the dynamic, Dave Dombrowski gets it, "I know there's a longtime rivalry between the Red Sox and Yankees, everybody's aware." But the long-standing franchise feud did not prevent the sides from getting together for charity last night in New York. Dombrowski joined Yankee GM Brian Cashman for "A Conversation with Baseball Rival Clubs"— benefiting both the New York Yankees Foundation and the Red Sox Foundation. Said Cashman, "Both fan bases are obviously well invested in the history, the past and the present, but there's a huge respect factor on both sides, a lot of success on both sides. We look forward to doing battle going forward." Indeed.

BoSox Club Approaches 50 Years Of Service To Fans

After yet another disappointing season in 1966, some loyal Red Sox fans began organizing a new group to celebrate The Olde Towne Team. Some of the names were a little more high-profile than others —like Dom DiMaggio (who would have celebrated his 99th birthday today) and Ken Coleman—but most were average fans who simply loved the team. Not long after, The BosSox Club was born—and it remains the official booster club of the Boston Red Sox. Over the years, the club has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for worthy causes like: The Jimmy Fund; The Red Sox Foundation; The Foundation to be Named Later; Kevin Youkilis Hits for Kids; Little League Organizations throughout New EnglandCurt's Pitch for ALS; Local amateur baseball and softball camps; and The Pan Mass Challenge. In addition, the Club sponsors luncheons and BBQs for its membership at a variety of locations and with special guests—including Red Sox and visiting players. Your humble Editor-In-Chief was honored to serve on the BoSox Club Board of Directors (2004-2008, 2009-2010), so I know exactly how special this organization is. For more information about the BoSox Club, email info@bosoxclub.org. And if you want to truly expand your Red Sox horizons, join the BoSox Club. It's easy, just click HERE.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Red Sox Are Still Searching For Lefty Bullpen Depth

So far, the Red Sox have Robbie Ross, Tommy Layne and Roenis Elias as port-siders in the 'pen. However, according to multiple reports, they are still looking for more. Among the pool of available lefties are former Carmine Hosers Craig Breslow, Matt Thornton and Franklin Morales. Other possible options are Neal CottsManny Parra, Brian Duensing and Eric O’Flaherty. Stay tuned!

ESPN's Law Has Four Red Sox Prospects In The Top 100

ESPN.com's Keith Law ranks four Red Sox prospects in the Top 100 for 2016. Law places Rafael Devers (No. 7), Yoan Moncada (No. 17), Andrew Benintendi (No. 18) and Anderson Espinoza (No. 38) among the best one hundred—with the first three in the Top 20. This is a real recognition of the quality of the team's lead prospects. Maybe the biggest surprise is that Law has Devers ten spots higher than Moncada—who most observers see as the prime Boston prospect. And, Law compares the 17-year old Espinoza to Pedro Martinez and Aroldis Chapman. The Top 5 prospects—according to Law— are Corey Seager (LAD), Byron Buxton (MIN), Lucas Giolito (WAS), J.P. Crawford (PHI) and Julio Urias (LAD).

Red Sox Truck Made "Goodwill" Stop In Pawtucket, R.I.

(SunChronicle.Com Photo)
The Red Sox equipment truck made an unusual stop on it's way down I-95: McCoy Stadium in Pawtucket, R.I. Why, you ask? How about the shabby way the team has treated loyal PawSox fans by dangling a move to an upscale waterfront stadium in downtown Providence? That move is in limbo (if not totally dead), but the wounds are still there. "Several hundred fans" turned out to ogle the 53-foot big rig during its brief 30-minute rest stop. John Henry seems to be in Apology Mode lately (see the recent cave-in to Liverpool soccer fans), but this "visit" seemed a little lame.

Former Red Sox OF/1B Brian Daubach Turns 44 Today

(Getty Images)
It was a little difficult choosing a Red Sox birthday to honor today—there were so many good choices. For example, Ben Oglive and Todd Benzinger were tempting—but we decided on Brian Daubach. The "Belleville Basher" had an amazing stretch of four years with 20 or more home runs for Boston (1999-2002). He spent five of his eight big-league seasons in Carmine Hose—hitting .265 with 86 HRs and a .341 OBP. More importantly, he always seemed to have a knack for getting the big hit. And, his defense was more than adequate—both in the outfield and around first base. He was a valuable piece on some pretty good Red Sox teams. Happy birthday, Dauber!

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

ESPN Ranks Red Sox Farm System As 10th In MLB

ESPN.com's Keith Law has ranked the Red Sox Farm System as 10th in all of baseball—after ranking them 5th last year. Most of the drop is due to promotions of key talent—although the trade for Craig Kimbrel cost the team a potential elite player in Manuel Margot. Even with the lower evaluation, the Sox still have the top-ranked minor league system in the AL East—and the third best in the entire American League. For perspective, The Bronx Embalmers' system is ranked 13th, the Rays 14th, the Blue Jays 25th and the Orioles 27th.

John Henry Backs Down On Liverpool Soccer Tix Hikes

Friendly Message To John Henry
Wow, if we only knew! John Henry caved in to Liverpool ticket holders and nixed planned price hikes for next season. After fans walked out of the dismal club's last game (they are mired in 9th place), the Red Sox owner sent a letter saying, "A great many of you have objected strongly to the £77 [or $112] price level of our most expensive GA seats and expressed a clear expectation that the club should forego any increased revenue from raising prices on GA tickets in the current environment. Message received." Really? Hey, we've got an idea......

Is Travis Shaw Setting Up 'Animal House South' In FL?

Red Sox part-time 1B Travis Shaw had a pretty good year last year—he hit .270 with 13 HRs in just 65 games. So, you'd think he'd be living in luxury digs this Spring Training, right? Wrong, Pine Tar Breath! Shaw announced yesterday on TWITTER that he'd be joining Blake Swihart, Deven Marrero and Mookie Betts "under one roof" for seven weeks—somewhere in the lovely Greater Fort Myers/Sanibel area. That's four guys with an average age of 24—rich and fancy-free in Florida. Yikes! Hopefully the landlord is getting a hefty security deposit in advance!

How The Boston Globe Got Ruben Amaro To The Sox

There are lots of benefits to a baseball team owning a major newspaper in its hometown. One is that you can send not-so-subtle messages to the public and the sport through your hired hands in the Sports Department. It turns out that Boston Globe columnist Nick Cafardo just happened to mention that former Phillies GM Ruben Amaro wanted to be back in uniform with an on-field position. And new Red Sox President of Baseball Operations Dave Dombrowski just happened to see that blurb in his boss's boring rag that day. And it just so happened that 2015 first base coach Arnie Beyeler had just been fired by Dombrowski that same day—so it just so happened that there was as an on-field opening. Voilà! Amaro is your new 2016 Red Sox first base coach. Isn't that special?

Herb Pennock—Another Red Sox-Yankee Deal Gone Bad

Herb Pennock And Babe Ruth—1917
Today is the 122nd birthday of former Red Sox pitcher Herb Pennock. His story highlights yet another blunder in Boston's dealings with its rival 250 miles to the south. After acquiring Pennock from the Philadelphia A's as a free agent, the lefty helped the Red Sox in eight solid seasons. He went 62-59 with a 3.67 ERA. He threw over 1,000 innings for The Carmine Hose. Then, in 1923, Boston traded Pennock to the Yankees for Norm McMillan, George Murray, Camp Skinner and (of course) $50,000. Gee, what do you think happened then? Well, Pennock went on to deliver eleven stellar seasons in pinstripes—going 162-90 with a 3.54 ERA. In 1923, 1926, 1927 and 1932, he pitched in the World Series for those juggernaut New York teams. At the end of his career in 1934, he returned to the Red Sox mostly as a bullpen guy—but still logged a respectable 3.05 ERA. Just another sordid chapter in the transaction history of Boston and New York.

It's Here! Red Sox Truck Day Has Finally Arrived!

You've been waiting for this since the final out of last year's horrific season. Now, it is finally here: Red Sox Truck Day! That big, lumbering tractor-trailer will load up this morning and rumble down the Mass Pike, get on I-95 South and pull into Fort Myers in a few days. This should be a watershed season for The Carmine Hose—for better or worse. They either turn the corner on three-out-of-four last place finishes, or not. They've certainly made a lot of the right moves. Hang on, it will be a rocky (but, hopefully, successful) ride!

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

David Price Reports Early To Red Sox Spring Training

(AP File Photo)
Well, this is a good sign. New Red Sox pitching ace David Price has arrived at Fort Myers and reported to the Fenway South Spring Training facility. Technically, the lefty has arrived at jetBlue Park ten days early—as pitchers and catchers aren't required to be present until February 19th. The new $217 million Sox hurler seems to be hitting all the right notes in his very early Boston career. In a TWEET this afternoon, Price wrote: "First day at #JetBlue was great!! Wow what a complex we have here!!" David's dog Astro could not be reached for comment. Other notable early Sox arrivals include: Rick Porcello, Clay Buchholz, Eduardo Rodriguez, Jackie Bradley Jr., Christian Vazquez, Blake Swihart, Tommy Layne, Brian JohnsonHenry Owens, Matt Barnes, Steven Wright, Brandon Workman and Deven Marrero.

Get 'Retro' At The FenwayNation Online Throwback Store

FenwayNation.com has been around for a while—more than 16 years to be exact. Over that span, we have gone through many logos, mastheads and looks. So, to inspire the nostalgia in all of us, we have a FenwayNation ThrowBack Store on CafePress.com. In the store, you can purchase a wide array of branded items—from cool hats to coffee mugs to car stickers. We even have a really tacky wall clock and a mousepad—remember those? Just think, when you travel to Baghdad-On-The Hudson, you can annoy countless Yankee fans with your stylish attire. That possibility alone is worth a visit to the store. You can revel in it all HERE.

'Chase Utley' Rule Likely For Slides Into Second Base

(AP Photo)
After the horrific injury to Ruben Tejada in last year's playoffs, Major League Baseball and the players union are finding common ground on a new second-base sliding rule. According the ESPN's Buster Olney, the consensus may center on making sure that a runner makes a clear attempt to tag second base. While the union does not want to discourage aggressiveness on the base paths, both sides see this compromise as acceptable. Look for the new 'Chase Utley Rule' to take effect as early as this year.

Las Vegas Sees Red Sox-Cubs Match-Up In World Series

With just under two months until Opening Day in Cleveland, odds makers are elevating your 2016 Carmine Hose into lofty territory. According to VegasInsider.com, the Red Sox are second only to the Cubbies as favorites to win the 2016 World Series. Boston slots in at 8-1 odds to win it all—trailing only the Cubs at 7-1. Fittingly, The Bronx Embalmers are way down the list in ninth position at 16-1. Frankly, we think this grossly overstates the Red Sox true chances of another ring—but we'd rather see them in this spot than that of The Evil Ones.