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Archive for the ‘MLB’ Category
WEEI FLASH: Reports: Terry Francona to be named Indians manager. Announcement expected on Monday.
WEEI FLASH: Miguel Cabrera wins Triple Crown, finishing .330 BA/44 HR/139 RBI, 1st since Yaz in 1967.
HOME STRETCH: The Red Sox tonight begin their penultimate homestand of 2012 with the 1st of 3 games against the Blue Jays…After this weekend’s series, the Sox will be off on Monday before starting a 3-game set with the Yankees to conclude the stand.
· Of the Sox 24 remaining games, 11 will be played at Fenway Park…Sox batters lead the American League with 387 runs, 369 RBI and 698 hits at home, including a Major League-leading 189 home doubles and 278 extra-base hits…The club is 2nd among AL leaders in AVG (.285) and SLG (.467), and 3rd in OBP (.343) at home.
HIT PARADE: Despite having his season-long 15-game hit streak snapped on Wednesday night, Dustin Pedroia has hit safely in all but 2 of 30 games since 8/5, batting a Major League-best .375 (45-for-120) in that time, raising his overall AVG from .262 to .290.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY MAURO: Mauro Gomez is celebrating his 28th birthday today.
FENWAY FIEND: Scott Podsednik has hit safely in 13 of 14 starts in Boston this year, including 9 multi-hit efforts, and is 23-for-54 (.426) in 16 total games on Yawkey Way this year…His .384 career AVG (38-for-99) at Fenway leads active players in Boston (min. 100 PA).
WEEI FLASH: Yankees acquire OF Ichiro Suzuki & cash from Mariners for pitchers DJ Mitchell & Danny Farquhar.
Tags: Boston Red Sox, Carl Crawford, Crawford, Pawtucket, Pawtucket RedSox, Red Sox
By: Mark Harriman, Senior Editor
PAWTUCKET, RI (July 12) When Carl Crawford was having what was by all accounts a sub-par season last year in Boston, he heard the boo birds. But if they return this year when he gets back to the Boston lineup, he’s vowed not to listen.
In what is expected to be the first of three tune-up games with the PawSox -and the last on a season-long rehab stint that has run him through the Sox’ minor league gamut- Crawford went 2-3 with a run scored in five innings of work.
He helped his temporary teammates take a 5-4 lead in a 4 run fifth in what would ultimately become an 8-5 PawSox loss to the Buffalo Bisons.
He wasn’t put into any particularly taxing situations in left field, though in his second at bat in the third inning he lofted a pop up down the left field line that barely made fair territory. He turned a double into a single when he watched it land rather than take off for the bases.
Crawford admitting to dealing with a round of butterflies in his first plate appearance, but was at a loss to explain the base running blunder. “I was nervous the first at bat,” he said before a large crowd of assembled media after his day had ended. “ The second at bat, you know, that just happened.”
To say the veteran lefty has been frustrated thus far in 2012 is an understatement.
He’s dealt with off-season wrist surgery, then a strained ligament in his left elbow and -more recently- from a left hamstring strain which has set him back further. All of which has left him out of the Red Sox line-up for the their first 86 games.
Adding to his misery, Crawford recently offered publicly that he may need Tommy John surgery on his elbow during the off-season. And tonight he stated that he has come to expect that he might blow out his elbow at some point this season, even before he can make a formal off-season date with a piece of surgical steel.
It’s definitely not an envious cocktail of circumstance for a player who is feeling the pressure to earn that monstrous contract the Boston brass handed him in late 2010.
He’s feeling it from all sides. And that pressure is building.
He and the Red Sox have decided that he will play two more nine inning games in Pawtucket and take Sunday off. Then he’ll likely be in the Red Sox lineup on Monday in Boston against Chicago, probably in a ready-or-not scenario.
Crawford has been encouraged by his recent ability to play in back-to-back games and by the fact that his body has generally responded well. “And I’m really excited about getting about on the field.”
“I’ve been able to run the way I want to run. I threw the ball today the way I wanted to throw it. Pretty much been able to do the things that I normally do,” he said with his left arm heavily wrapped in a few therapeutic ice packs.
He was asked by one reporter about the scheduling of Monday for his return. “Probably because I feel the pressure of everybody wanting me to be out there. So I try to get as many at bats….
“The pressure to play? I want to be out there myself. I know the fans want me to be out there. Management. Everyone wants me to be out there. So it’s kind of a mixture of all that.”
When he’s at the plate, Crawford revealed, his left elbow doesn’t give him any problems. But throwing from his position is another story.
He admitted to recently adjusting his throwing mechanics in an effort to ease the pressure on the elbow. By his own account, he’s anxious to get back on the field. But adopting a new arm motion may not be enough to forestall the inevitable.
“When I’m throwing I’ve just said that whenever it happens, it happens,” he said matter-of-factly of a potential elbow meltdown. “But I’m not going to hold back once I get on the field. If I take the field I’m going to go all out.”
“I mean, you know, it’s a little concerning. But at the same time, like I said, once I cross that white line and get on the field I’m not going to worry about it.”
And if that elbow prevents him from playing at the level which has made him an All-Star throughout his 10 year career, he’s ready to take it from the fans.
He’s accepted the cat calls and boos as “my little theme, everywhere I go now.”
He admitted that it bothered him last year. “This year I’m trying to block all that stuff out.”
As if he‘s got enough to worry about.
WEEI FLASH: Mets pitcher Johan Santana no-hits Cardinals, 1st no-hitter in NYM history.
By: Mark Harriman, Senior Editor
BOSTON (April 19) – No matter your stance on Fenway Park -save it forever or knock it down yesterday- you can’t deny that tomorrow is a special day in Boston.
In case you haven’t heard the constant flogging by the resident Red Sox and its captive NESN -as well as the ubiquitous merch being hawked by bricks and mortar and cyber retailers alike, Fenway Park will be feated tomorrow on the 100th anniversary of the first game played within its quirky walls.
No team in Major League Baseball has spent more consecutive time in its own ball park. And none still standing can claim the mantel of reaching its centennial.Sorry Mr. Wrigley. Your ivy covered shrine will have to wait two more years to join Fenway in this milestone.
Sure there have been iconic parks which were older. The Polo Grounds (1890), Tiger Stadium (1909), Shibe Park (1909) and Sportsman’s Park (1882) became grande dames, but all fell to the wrecking ball prior to become centenarians.
Wrigley Field in Chicago -home of the hapless Cubs- was built in 1914 as a Federal League park and is the second oldest home field in the MLB stable. You have to leap frog from 1914 Chicago to 1962 and Cahvez Ravine (Dodger Stadium) to find the third oldest stadium in use by an MLB team.
1962? There are Chevys still rolling in Havana that are fresher than that.
As the Red Sox brass celebrate the most rarest event in MLB history to date, you can’t deny that the old barn has a great deal of history to tell. So the staff here at the Boston Sports Desk are asking you to share your own experiences at Fenway Park -good, bad or ugly.
Was your first game in the ballyard a memorable one? Did you witness a special moment or care to share your thoughts on Fenway’s continued use? Send along your thoughts to the staff via comments on this news posting or on our facebook page. We only ask that you keep it short and keep it clean.
Tags: Bobby Valentine, Boston Red Sox
By: Mark Harriman, Senior Editor
NOWHEREINPARTICULAR- After sifting through the mixed up files that belong to this muttering sports crank, I just found a note card that reminded me to tell you about my thoughts on newly minted Red Sox skipper Bobby Valentine.
You may cheer this hire by Larry Lucchino -I was on your side, Ben- or view it strictly as a two year experiment. Before the 2012 season commences, anyone can make a case for either side.
But from a sports writer’s perspective, the Valentine administration is going to be deliciously good !
Deliciously juicy. Downright fun. And good for the economy, too.
Why, you ask?
Because this guy can’t help but talk. And talk he does on any number of subjects, from baseball to the real world. And intelligently so.
But while Bobby V may be an articulate intellectual -there’s no doubting that- he’s that buddy of yours who will always have an answer for you whether you need it or not. He just can’t help himself. It’s part of his DNA. And his tenure in Boston -however long- is going to be filled with enough material to single-handedly put an end to the newspaper industry’s tailspin.
Put it this way: One denizen of the keyboard recently joked that Valentine will be saying so much -about his team, about baseball, about ballroom dancing and public safety and other diverse topics – that every news organization will have to hire a full-time writer just to cover The Skipper and his daily offerings.
And I say that if Bobby V and his mouth can create a few more jobs in this tough economy, so be it. I’ll take a hundred more Valentines and their candid, but often ill-timed and controversial remarks. It will get tedious after a time, but think about the jobs, jobs, jobs. That’s what it’s all about these days. And who doesn’t need one?
In Bobby V you are not getting a manager like Terry Francona who would rather eat dirty socks than say anything negative about one of his players in public.
Nope. You’re getting someone who will lay it all out there for all to hear as if the governor switch between gray matter and oral cavity had been extracted by a skillful surgeon. The days of the player protection racket in Boston are over.
And this is going to be an absolute bonanza for us reporters. Slow news day? Stick a microphone or a camera in front of Bobby V and ask an innocuous question.
And Bingo! You’ve got Bingo!
If one is lucky, a week’s worth of material is there for the taking, easy as pie.
Your editors will think you’re a genius. Until they catch-on, of course. Then taking afternoons or mornings off will be by the boards. Those editors always want more.
Here’s how to listen to Bobby Valentine when he gives a standard ‘No comment’ response. Wait about four or five beats. Wait for it. Wait for it.
Then Bang! He’ll expound on the very subject he just tried to avoid. Very un-Tito like.
It won’t matter that someone in his clubhouse will be hacked off about him spilling the beans. It won’t matter what controversy he stirs up. He’s Bobby V and you’re going to hear him roar.
And roar. And roar.
Alert Washington about this impending plunge in unemployment. The stock markets will soar. Greece will be debt free by the time his contract expires.
Oh, this is going to be good.