Saturday, March 24, 2018

Chris Sale Leaves Today's Game With Left Hip Contusion

The Red Sox Nation Angst Meter™was revving into the danger zone earlier as Chris Sale was struck on the hip by a line drive in the first inning of today's game. The start was meant to be be the "tune-up" for Sale's Opening Day start against the Rays on Thursday in Tampa. Now, despite typically optimistic spin coming from the Red Sox, that start has to be in doubt. The blast knocked Sale off the mound and seemed to also affect his knee (perhaps twisted in his effort to avoid the shot). The team did say that he will be "further evaluated"—so stay tuned. This could be bad. Or it could be nothing.

Red Sox Trade Deven Marrero To Diamondbacks

During the game at Fort Myers this afternoon, the Red Sox announced that they have traded IF Deven Marrero to the Arizona Diamondbacks for a player to be named and cash considerations. Marrero was selected by Boston in the first-round of the 2012 MLB draft and has spent his entire professional career in Carmine Hose. He has played 109 major leagues games at a variety of positions. This move likely means that Brock Holt and Blake Swihart will both make Boston's 25-man roster.

Friday, March 23, 2018

Steven Wright Suspended 15 Games For Domestic Abuse

Major League Baseball handed down a 15-game suspension today to Red Sox starting pitcher Steven Wright for violating the league's domestic violence policy. The suspension must be served when Wright is fully healthy—and cannot be carried out while the pitcher is on the disabled list. Wright is still recovering from right knee surgery. Last December, Wright was arrested in Tennessee for an incident involving his wife. He was formally charged with domestic assault and released on $2,500 bond.

POLL: Blake & Hanley Seen Most Likely To "Wow" Fans

Early voting in our latest FenwayNation Poll shows that two players lead the list of those likely to "wow" fans by their 2018 performance. As the chart shows, Blake Swihart garners the most votes on this score (31%), followed by Hanley Ramirez at 23%. David Price and Brian Johnson tie for third position on the "wow" list, pulling in 13% of responses, respectively. Carson Smith comes in next at 9%, followed by Bobby Poyner at 4% and Eduardo Nunez at 3%. Another 4% choose players other than those on the poll's list. You can still vote in the poll HERE.

Red Sox Stop 'Un-Stoppable' Evil Empire, Win, 5-0

As Spring Training winds down, games become a little more indicative of how things may go in the regular season. If that's the case, Boston's 5-0 shutout of The Evil Empire today is nothing but good news. Likely fourth starter (at least at the beginning of the season) Brian Johnson was stellar—going 4.2 innings, giving up just two hits and no runs while striking out five Pinstriped Posers. Speaking of the Posers, they notched nine strikeouts—including Aaron Judge who whiffed twice, and Gary Sanchez who fanned once. The Red Sox offense was keyed by the long-ball—as Ivan De Jesus, Jr. (3-4, 2 RBIs) and Sam Travis both went yard. For Travis it was his sixth round-tripper of the Spring—sparking cries of "Where will we play Sammy?". And, Justin Haley turned in another solid bullpen outing—going 4.0 innings of two-hit, no-run ball while K'ing four Bronx Embalmers. Haley's Spring ERA is now 2.12. All in all, a pleasant, nationally-televised win.

Jacoby Ellsbury A Very Expensive Yankee Scratch Today

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Former Red Sox OF Jacoby Ellsbury will be paid $21,000,000 this year by The Bronx Embalmers (and the same amount for the next three years after this). And yet, he will not start for The Evil Ones today against Boston. Why? Because of (surprise!) an injury. Ellsbury has been plagued by injuries throughout his career—in the past complaining that the crack Red Sox medical staff mis-diagnosed and mis-treated his various ailments (which we fully believe, by the way). Many fans forget that Ellsbury was an elite player for Boston—especially during his monster year in 2011 (.321, 32 HRs, 105 RBIs, 39 SBs). Somehow, he finished second in the AL MVP voting to Justin "I'm With Kate" Verlander. People also tend to forget that he's been an All-Star, Gold Glove winner and two-time World Series Champion with the Red Sox (2007, 2013). So, frankly, we can't give him too much grief for not showing up to today's game. Now, willingly signing as a free-agent with The Pinstriped Posers—that's another thing entirely.

POLL: Which Red Sox Player Will Make You Say "Wow!"?

Which ONE of the following Red Sox players will deserve this comment at the end of the year: "Wow, he really surprised me by stepping-up and making a difference"? free polls

POLL FINAL: Seven In Ten Pulling For Swihart On Bubble

Final results to our latest FenwayNation Poll show that fully seven readers in ten (70%) are pulling for Blake Swihart as the 'bubble guy' they want to stick with the team and have a solid 2018 season. As the chart shows, trailing way behind Swihart is Brock Holt at 11%, followed by Brian Johnson (today's starter against the Yankees) at 8%—and a host of other players registering in the low single-digits. Just 1% selected a player that was not offered as a choice in the poll.

Judge To Hit Lead-Off For Evil Ones Against Sox Today

Red Sox left-handed starter Brian Johnson will be facing a 6'7" obstacle when he throws his first pitch today against The Bronx Embalmers. The manager of The Evil OnesAaron "F." Boone—has inserted Aaron Judge at the top of his line-up, something he says he might do often against left-handed starters. Brett Gardner, the normal lead-off hitter for The Pinstriped Posers, hit just .209 against lefties in 2017 with a pathetic .590 OPS. Watching the lumbering Judge whiff on three straight Johnson pitches will be a welcome start to the contest. Be sure to tune in!

David Ortiz Sees Sox As Positive Underdogs In AL East

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Red Sox legend David Ortiz thinks his arch rivals—The Bronx Embalmers—are the favorites to win the American League East in 2018. Don't get him wrong, though, he thinks that's a good thing for his former teammates. Big Papi feels that playing the underdog role will help Boston—and put undue pressure on the over-hyped Pinstriped Posers. Said Ortiz, "They pretty much stacked the lineup with more power. I don’t think anyone else in the division can compete with that. I think the Red Sox are the one team that, as an underdog, is going to be out there exceeding expectations more than usual." Ortiz also sees the addition of J.D. Martinez (essentially as the new Papi) as critical to Boston's success, "The Red Sox always need that one guy in the middle of the lineup who creates a balance by taking a lot of pressure off the top and bottom of the lineup. And J.D. is that one guy." Sage analysis by the best clutch hitter in MLB history.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

John Farrell To Join ESPN's Baseball Tonight Lineup

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Former Red Sox manager John Farrell recently announced that he will be joining the scouting staff of the Cincinnati Reds. So, it's a little strange that today it was announced that Farrell will also be joining the on-air staff of ESPN's Baseball Tonight. Thus, it's hardly likely that Farrell will be dishing out neutral commentary on pitchers on the Cincinnati team or facing the Cincinnati team or ones who might someday become part of the Cincinnati team. Isn't this a rather blatant conflict of interest? Obviously, other managers have taken media gigs in between MLB assignments—like Terry Francona and Alex Cora—but doing both at the same time seems a little sordid. Then again, it's ESPNThe Worldwide Leader In Conflicts of Interest.

Before There Was Brock Holt, There Was Billy Goodman

Billy Goodman (Getty Images)
"He was like the perfect guy to be on a ballclub because he could play so many different positions. As a utility player he was perfect in that way, too. He could go in any time and do a good job." Brock Holt of the Red Sox, right? Actually, that quote was from Bobby Doerr, about his teammate Billy Goodman. Had he lived, today would have been Goodman's 92nd birthday. He played 11 seasons in Carmine Hose, hitting .306 over that span with a .386 OBP. He played everywhere—first base, short, second base, left-field. Wherever he was needed on the Red Sox teams of the late 1940s through the late 1950s, Goodman was your guy. And, while he lacked power, he was a terrific hitter—winning the American League batting title in 1950 with a .354 average. He finished up his his 16-year MLB career at exactly .300. Goodman was also a two-time All-Star and finished second in the AL MVP voting in 1950—unheard of for a utility player. He lost that year to Yankee Phil Rizzuto. So, just remember, the "utility" role did not just show up lately—it's been a Red Sox thing for a long time.