Thursday, January 19, 2017

More Good News: Mookie Betts Is Not Playing In WBC

According to's Rob Bradford, Red Sox right-fielder Mookie Betts will not be competing in the upcoming World Baseball Classic. Given the risks involved in playing in the tournament (smack-dab in the midst of Red Sox Spring Training), this is very good news. In our view, the fewer the number of Red Sox players that participate in the WBC, the better.

Sox Not Allowing Eduardo Rodriguez To Pitch In WBC

According to The Providence Journal's Brian MacPherson, the Red Sox are not allowing Eduardo Rodriguez to pitch in the upcoming World Baseball Classic. In 2016, Rodriguez injured his knee and could only pitch 107 innings that season. Recently, he re-injured the same knee and the Red Sox are understandably cautious about his recovery process. E-Rod—if healthy—will likely compete for the fourth and fifth rotation spots along with Steven Wright and Drew Pomeranz.

Red Sox Sign RHP Kyle Kendrick To Minor-League Deal

Apparently to provide pitching depth to their minor leagues, the Red Sox signed right-handed starter Kyle Kendrick to a one-year, minor-league deal with an invitation to Major League Spring Training. Reportedly, the deal is worth $1 million and carries multiple opt-outs points. Kendrick has been on a serious down-slide in his career, spending most of 2016 at Anaheim's AAA affiliate and posting only middling numbers (4.72 ERA). This signing is nothing for fans to get excited about—just another "insurance" move.

RemDawg Signs Multi-Year Deal For Red Sox Telecasts

Remy (L); FN Editor-In-Chief (R) In 1992
There's one off-season deal that will not be controversial with fans. The Red Sox and their NESN television network signed a multi-year deal with legendary color analyst Jerry Remy. Reportedly, The RemDawg will appear on 115 Red Sox telecasts each year over the span of the pact, a role he has played for NESN since 1988. Remy was a second baseman for The Carmine Hose from 1978-1984—hitting .286. Battling health and personal issues over the last few years, Remy has missed substantial chunks of those seasons. Now healthy, the 64-year-old Somerset, Massachusetts-native is eager to get back in the booth, "I’m very excited and pleased to be able to continue doing the job that I love, now heading into my 30th year and beyond with NESN. I want to thank NESN and the Red Sox for all their support in the past and going forward." Best deal of the year!

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Raines, Rodriguez And Bagwell Make It to Hall Of Fame

Former Red Sox farmhand Jeff Bagwell was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum—along with Tim Raines and Ivan Rodriguez. Bagwell got a huge 86.2% of the vote—while Raines very close behind at 86.0%. 'Pudge' Rodriguez received 76%. Trevor Hoffman narrowly missed with 74.0%. Roger Clemens got 54. 1% and Curt Schilling garnered 45.0%. Lee Smith got 34.2%.

Internet Baseball Writers: Guerrero & Rodriguez For HOF

Guerrero (L); Rodriguez (R)
The Internet Baseball Writers Association of America (IBWAA) today selected Vladimir Guerrero and Ivan Rodriguez as their Hall Of Fame selections—both with 84.54% of the vote (175 votes). As with the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, selection by the IBWAA requires a 75% threshold. Mike Mussina came up one vote short of selectionfinishing in third place with 74.88% of the vote. Here are the results for some players on the ballot with Red Sox connections: Roger Clemens (71.50%), Curt Schilling (57.97%), Manny Ramirez (52.66%), Billy Wagner (40.58%), Lee Smith (31.40%), Tim Wakefield (3.86%), Jason Varitek (3.38%), Matt Stairs (2.90%), Edgar Renteria (1.93%), J.D. Drew (0.97%), Mike Cameron (0.48%), Freddy Sánchez (0.00%) and Orlando Cabrera (0.00%). Jeff Bagwell (2015), Edgar Martinez (2016) and Tim Raines (2015) did not appear on the 2017 IBWAA Hall of Fame ballot because they have already been honored in previous IBWAA elections. With those exceptions, the IBWAA ballot was identical to the one used by the BBWAA. All voting is done electronically. FenwayNation's Editor-In-Chief Ernie Paicopolos and International Editor Mark Lawrence are both proud members of IBWAA.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Benintendi Switches Uniform Number From 40 To 16

He's worn uniform number sixteen in Little League, High School and as an Arkansas Razorback. Now, Red Sox left-fielder Andrew Benintendi will be reunited with his old number at the major-league level. Somehow, we believe Benintendi will look even faster by dropping twenty-four numbers off his back. The 22-year old had a breakout year in 2016 before getting injured—and is viewed by many pundits as a top candidate for 2017 AL Rookie Of The Year. Interestingly, Deven Marrero was the previous owner of the number sixteen—so there may be a really nice watch coming Deven's way soon. We're sure they will both work things out at Spring Training.

Fifty And Ten Years After: The 1967 And 2007 Sox Teams

This year, the Red Sox organization gets to celebrate two championships from the past—the 50th anniversary of the 1967 'Impossible Dream' AL Pennant winners and the 10th anniversary 2007 World Series champs. It's not a stretch to say that 'Red Sox Nation' as it exists today was born during that magical 1967 season. It was the first time in over two decades that fans truly felt that The Carmine Hose could win. And, the team had lovable characters: Carl 'Yaz' Yastrzemski (actually, beloved, but not lovable); George 'Boomer' Scott, Ken 'Hawk' Harrelson, Rico Petrocelli, Jim Lonborg and Tony Conigliaro. By contrast, the 2007 champs were almost clinical in their style. They led wire-to-wire and mowed down opponents with a cold efficiency that almost seemed too easy. Don't get us wrong, 2007 had its characters, too (Curt Schilling, Kevin Youkilis, Manny Ramirez, David Ortiz), but it was a different vibe. Fans—after expiating the ghosts of the past in 2004—were kind of blasé about it all. Two anniversaries—two quite different sets of players. Enjoy the celebrations!

Monday, January 16, 2017

David Ortiz: My Playing Time Has "Already Expired"

OK, people, you can stop lighting candles in the hopes of David Ortiz returning to the Red Sox lineup in 2017. It ain't happening! In an interview with ESPN Deportes, Big Papi made it clear—againthat he is fully in retirement mode. Said Ortiz, "My playing time has already expired. Baseball is not something that you wake up today and you say, 'I'll play tomorrow'. Baseball is something that carries a lot of sacrifice, a lot of preparation, and there is a reason why we train the entire year to play it, practice every day, especially during the season, because it is a sport of consistency." Now, can we please get on with life on this particular planet? Thank you.

Former Red Sox 1B Dave Stapleton Turns 63 Today

Dave Stapleton, who John McNamara did not insert into Game Six of the 1986 World Series, turns 63 years old today. "Stapes" had been the late-inning defensive substitute in every other post-season win that year. But McNamara—wanting to finish the World Series Championship with the "guys that brought us this far"—kept Bill Buckner in the game at first base. 'Nuff Ced. Stapleton had a pretty decent career in Carmine Hose—hitting .271 over seven seasons in Boston. Most people forget that—in 1980—Stapleton finished second in the American League Rookie-Of-The-Year voting (to Smokin' Joe Charboneau). Happy birthday, Stapes!

Bautista About To Re-Sign With Jays On 2-Year Deal

Well, Red Sox fans, you can pretty much start getting used to the Mitch Moreland Era at Fenway. Multiple reports indicate that the Blue Jays and José Bautista are very close to inking a 2-year, $37 million deal. So, Dave Dombrowski probably could have gotten Joey Bats for around $18 million a year. The huge lineup void left by the departure of David Ortiz could have been effectively filled. But no, we need to keep under the salary cap. Right?

MLB Network Has Pedroia As 4th-Best Second-Baseman

Recently, we reported that Baseball Essential had ranked Dustin Pedroia as the seventh-best second-baseman in the game. Now, MLB Network has deemed The Muddy Chicken as the fourth-best second-sacker right now. The only current MLB second-basemen ranked ahead of The Laser Show were: Jose Altuve, Robinson Cano and Daniel Murphy. After Pedroia, the rest of the list includes: Ian Kinsler, Jason Kipnis, DJ LeMahieu, Brian Dozier, Logan Forsythe and Ben Zobrist. Pedroia is coming off an outstanding, injury-free year and will be a vital cog in the 2017 Red Sox offense.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Benighted Carl Crawford To Retire From Baseball At 35

(Getty Images)
Tell the truth. When you first heard that perennial Red Sox nemesis Carl Crawford was coming to Boston, you were excited. An athletic, speedy outfielder who could hit would make The Carmine Hose a much more entertaining team. Almost immediately that hope faded. In his first season here, Crawford hit a disappointing .255, with just 11 HRs and 56 RBIs. And, it seemed, he wilted under the bright lights of Fenway Park. In 2012, injuries limited him to just 31 games. Then, he was gone—unloaded in The Great Punto Trade with The Denizens Of Chavez Ravine. Predictably, Crawford was horrible in La-La Land as well. In fact, since leaving Tampa, his WAR dropped from 6.8 to 1.2. Now, we learn that Crawford is retiring. Probably best for all concerned.