Archive for the ‘Boston Red Sox’ category

2008 AL All-Star Snubs

July 7, 2008

The 2008 All-Star rosters have been announced. Here’s the AL version. Way too big and I am still not a fan of each team getting a representative. The voters, coaches, and players got a lot right this year, but as usual, a few mistakes were made.

3B Mike Lowell-Boston Red Sox

Mike Lowell is statistically better than Joe Crede this year, but Crede managed to get the All-Star nod as a reserve. Lowell is batting .297/.356/.517 while Crede is at .261/.338/.478. Crede is winning in one aspect and that is home runs; 15 for Crede and 13 for Lowell. Another stat that makes Lowell a better pick is his defense this year. Only five errors for Lowell and an atrocious 17 errors for Crede. That’s more errors than home runs and Crede is a power hitter.

Any AL catcher who missed the cut

Jason Varitek and his .219 batting average found their way onto the All-Star squad. It seems like if you live in Boston, you can suck as much as you want and still receive positive recognition. I could show my report card or burp the alphabet at Fenway and get a standing ovation. Don’t get me wrong, I think Varitek has been a great catcher and there is no doubt he can handle a staff, but come on. An average of .219, an OBP a smidge over .300, and 7 homers is not an All-Star. It’s not even an All-Average. It’s Paul Bako. There is one catcher in the AL who gets regular at bats with a lower batting average than Vartiek and it’s Angels C Mike Napoli. Napoli’s 12 homers are nice though and his OPS is 119 points better than Varitek.

OF Nick Markakis-Baltimore Orioles

RP George Sherrill will represent the Orioles as their All-Star, leaving a more deserving guy at home. Nick Markakis is a rising star who is batting .297/.394/.486. The Orioles are over .500 right now which has been pretty shocking. 2B Brian Roberts is on the Final Vote ballot which is good news for the O’s. Still, Markakis deserves some press because he is on his way.

P John Danks and P Gavin Floyd-Chicago White Sox

Danks has been pitching like an ace and Gavin Floyd is also pitching well for the AL Central leading White Sox this season. Somehow, his name isn’t on the All-Star roster. In fact, no Chicago White Sox pitcher made the list…

  • John Danks: 6-4, 2.52 ERA, 107.0 IP, 1.17 WHIP
  • Gavin Floyd: 10-4, 3.22 ERA, 109.0 IP, 1.12 WHIP
  • Bobby Jenks: 18 for 21 in saves, 1.95 ERA

It’s harder to make the case for Jenks this year with the good AL relief pitching we have seen, but Danks and Floyd have been having great years so far and deserved some more votes.

AL Final Ballot

  • Jermaine Dye-Chicago White Sox
  • Jason Giambi-New York Yankees
  • Jose Guillen-Kansas City Royals
  • Evan Longoria-Tampa Bay Rays
  • Brian Roberts-Baltimore Orioles

This will be a close race for the last spot on the team. Giambi has been on fire since he grew the stache, Dye has 19 homers and is batting over .300, Jose Guillen keeps making noise, Longoria is helping the Rays to the best record in baseball and has been flashing the leather, and Brian Roberts is one of the AL’s top second basemen. My vote goes to Jermaine Dye because even though his OPS is 19 points lower than Giambi’s, Dye has been much more consistent this season. And a first place team like Chicago deserves more than two all-stars.

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Red Sox-Rays Brawl

June 7, 2008

Boston and Tampa Bay gave us an entertaining brawl the other night. No karate kicks or senior citizens being thrown to he ground, but fists were thrown. The Rays’ James Shields threw at Coco Crisp for his “dirty” slide into Akinori Iwamura the other night. If you were watching, you heard Rick Sutcliffe tear into Crisp, saying whatever Crisp has coming, he deserves (harsh). Crisp’s dodge at :20 and subsequent counter was dexterous.

*UPDATE 6.27.08* Replaced video. Now the fight is set to Papa Roach…sorry.

Suspensions

Red Sox

  • OF Coco Crisp: 7 games
  • P Jon Lester: 5 games
  • 1B Sean Casey (nicest guy in baseball): 3 games

Rays

  • P James Shields: 6 games
  • OF/DH Johnny Gomes: 5 games
  • P Edwin jackson: 5 games
  • OF Carl Crawford: 4 games
  • 2B Akinori Iwamura: 3 games

I understand the Rays wanting retaliation for Crisp taking out Iwamura, but this batch of suspensions hurts the Rays much more than it hurts the Red Sox. Crisp is doing ok this year, but they will live without his services for seven games. Lester will only miss a start, and Sean Casey, while he is a class act, has only appeared in 25 games this year. The Rays lose five of their best players for an extended period. Also, they just lost their AL East lead after the Red Sox swept them. Boston definitely got the best out of this, and with three games series against Seattle and Baltimore looming, look for them to increase their division lead by a few games.

April (and some of March) in review…(AL)

May 1, 2008

The first month of the season has come to a close, so let’s hand out some hardware.

Note: These are for the baseball played since the first series in Japan in late March, through the end of April. Some of these acknowledgments will be completely irrelevant in May (if they are even relevant now)…

Best Team: Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

The Angels are tied with Oakland for the best record in the AL. However, I give the edge to the Angels because the A’s will fizzle. LA just has more star power. Their pitching staff, led by Joe Saunders and Ervin Santana, both have ERAs under 3 and Jered Weaver pitched like an ace the other day against the potent Detroit offense. Santana is stepping it up while Jon Garland is sucking and Kelvim Escobar’s career could be over. K-Rod is 11 for 12 in save opportunities.

The offense is really clicking this season for the Angels. They have scored 140 runs so far with their strong lineup. Casey Kotchman is off to a great start batting .344/.406/.594. Chone Figgins is having an all-star season so far batting .313 with 8 steals. Offseason acquistion Torii Hunter is fitting in very nicely with his new squad and Vladimir Guerrero is batting .271, which is good, but will most likely rise because he is very dangerous. SS Erick Aybar is a young guy to keep an eye on batting .318 so far. He also plays a good shortstop.

Los Angeles is doing just fine without stud pitchers John Lackey and Kelvim Escobar. Though Escobar won’t be back, Lackey should be around soon, and he will only help the Angels pull ahead of Oakland for what looks to be another championship season. (more…)

Opening Day Disappointment

March 25, 2008

You know what was most memorable about Opening Day 2008 memorable for me? A’s Mark Ellis’ first inning homer off Daisuke Matsuzaka. Why, you ask? Because it was the only thing I was awake for this morning, or Japanese evening. I set my alarm clock the night before for 6 AM. So I woke up at 6 AM, scratched myself, watched the first pitch, dozed off again briefly, and was awoken by the crack of Mark Ellis’ bat with a line drive home run to left field. Then I was out for the count until 9 AM chemistry lab. There is something very wrong with this (besides going to class). Opening Day games should not begin before Saved by the Bell reruns start on TBS.

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AL Pennant Race: 5 Players Who Will Make A Difference

March 22, 2008

Travis Hafner, Cleveland Indians

Last year, the Cleveland Indians won 96 games, and Travis Hafner had an awful season. This is a scary fact that American League teams have surely been thinking about over the winter.

Ok, so maybe an “awful” season for Hafner is something that Russell Branyan would settle for. However, Tribe fans are long past the days of Russell ‘The Muscle’. The man affectionately known to Tribe fans as “Pronk” endured a disappointing season that fell well short of his outstanding 2004, 2005, and 2006 campaigns. From 2004-2006, Hafner averaged the highest OPS in the American League, at 1.031. Hafner has been surrounded by talented hitters in the Indians lineup including Grady Sizemore, Victor Martinez, and Ryan Garko. While few would argue that Sizemore is the most complete offensive player on the team, it is clear that Travis Hafner has the on-base and run producing abilities to impact the Cleveland lineup more than any other guy on the roster. The slugging DH figures to play a prominent role in Cleveland’s offensive attack this season. While the struggles of aces C.C. Sabathia and Fausto Carmona in the ALCS undoubtedly led to the disappointing loss to the Red Sox (I fight back tears as I type), the Indians’ most glaring weakness last season was, unexpectedly, scoring runs. The team suffered from long droughts and never ran off hot streaks like many people expected. Hafner hit just .266 with an OBP of .385 and a SLG % of .451. These are by no means “awful” numbers. However, consider the .266 AVG in contrast to an average batting average of .308 the previous three seasons, and the .385 OBP coming on the heels of a season in which he led the league with a .439 OBP and .659 SLG %. If Hafner is able to rebound and put up the numbers that fans and Fantasy Baseball lovers had come to expect from him, the American League could be in for a very tough challenge from an Indians ball club that is returning one of the youngest core group of players in Major League Baseball. (more…)

Division Preview: AL East

March 13, 2008

The AL East has been dominated by the Red Sox and Yankees for these last few years. I am not expecting this to change, but I am expecting some challenges from Tampa Bay and Toronto for the second place spot, and possibly AL Wild Card this season. This division will be closer between the second and third place teams than it was last season. The AL East is a star-studded division thanks to the bottomless pockets of the Yankees and Red Sox. Games between these two teams will be entertaining as usual and will be the only Fox Saturday baseball pairing we will see all season. (more…)