Monthly Archives: April 2012

It's Never Too Early: A look down at the Farm

Good evening, Red Sox Nation! Although it’s still early April, all of us here at thought that it was a great time to provide our readers with a quick update on how a few key guys are doing down in Pawtucket right now. With the Red Sox in a bit of a funk to start off the 2012 campaign, it’s never too early to look around and identify which players could be providing reinforcements in the not-so-distant future. Here are the statistics for a few key players:

Will Middlebrooks: .377/.429/.792 with 9 Home Runs and 27 Runs Batted In
Ryan Lavarnway: .271/.403/.407 with 2 Home Runs and 6 Runs Batted In
Jose Iglesias: .206/.295/.221 with 0 Home Runs and 5 Runs Batted In

Aaron Cook: 4 starts, 27.0 Innings Pitched, 3-0, 1.33 ERA, 8 Strikeouts, 1.11 WHIP
Clayton Mortensen: 5 appearances, 8.2 Innings Pitched, 2-1, 1.04 ERA, 1 Save, 9 Strikeouts, 0.69 WHIP
Mark Melancon: 3 appearances, 3.1 Innings Pitched, 0-0, 0.00 ERA, 1 Save, 6 Strikeouts, 0.90 WHIP
Rich Hill: 3 appearances, 3.0 Innings Pitched, 0-0, 3.00 ERA, 5 Strikeouts, 1.00 WHIP
Andrew Miller: 6 appearances, 6.1 Innings Pitched, 0-0, 5.68 ERA, 1 Save, 12 Strikeouts, 1.89 WHIP

Obviously, those are some incredibly impressive numbers from Will Middlebrooks. It has become increasingly difficult to see his talents being wasted in Triple-A while Kevin Youkilis continues to hover around the “Mendoza Line.” Ryan Lavarnway, who impressed many Red Sox fans with his power at all levels in 2011, has had mixed results at the plate thus far, although his .403 On-Base Percentage is rather impressive. Sadly, the offensive side of Jose Iglesias’ game has continued to disappoint, as his lackluster numbers indicate that he is in no way ready to face Major League pitching.

Aaron Cook, who came close to earning a spot in the rotation during Spring Training, has excelled at the Triple-A level in April, and should definitely get a shot with the big club at some point in 2012. Clayton Mortensen, the pitcher who was acquired from the Colorado Rockies in exchange for Marco Scutaro, has looked great coming out of the pen. Like Cook, Mortensen could very well be getting a call from the Red Sox very soon. Mark Melancon, who didn’t exactly win over Red Sox fans with his performance since being acquired from the Astros, seems to be calming down with the Paw Sox. If he can get his head screwed on straight, there might be hope for the Red Sox bullpen yet.

Rich Hill and Andrew Miller, who both saw action for the big club last season, have put up some inconsistent numbers thus far in 2012. Needless to say, however, it’s safe to assume that one of them will be taking Justin Thomas’ roster spot in due time. If these players find a way to continue to perform the way they have thus far down in Pawtucket, it’s a matter of time until their name is called. One final thing worth noting: Mauro Gomez is hitting .347/.398/.720 with 7 home runs and 20 runs batted in on the young season. He’s 27, and far from a prospect, but numbers like those definitely warrant a close eye. In the meantime, we’ll keep a close watch on the farm for you!

Red Sox Nearing a Deal to Acquire Marlon Byrd From Cubs

Major league sources have stated that the Red Sox and Cubs are very close to making a deal that would bring Marlon Byrd to Boston. The Red Sox outfield has been devastated by injuries early this season, with Jacoby Ellsbury and Carl Crawford both on the Disabled List. The only active outfielders on the roster currently are Ryan Sweeney, Cody Ross, Darnell McDonald and Jason Repko.

Marlon Byrd has been…. embarrassingly awful to start 2012. How awful you say? He has the worst WAR of any player in the league at -0.7. He’s gone 3-43, all of which have been singles.

Byrd will likely have an awkward moment when he first meets Aceves in the clubhouse. Aceves hit him in the head with a pitch in May of last year.

UPDATE:  Deal is done. Marlon Byrd to the Red Sox in exchange for RHP Michael Bowden and a player to be named later. Cubs will eat most of Byrd’s remaining contract.

Top 10 Greatest Moments in Fenway Park History

#10: Game 6 of the 1918 World Series

The Red Sox captured their last World Series until 2004 in game 6, where the Red Sox prevailed 2-1 Only 15,238 people attended this game, but it was symbolic as the Red Sox would go on to not win another World Series until 2004. The 1918 Red Sox team included Babe Ruth, Carl Mays, and Harry Hooper. The manager of the Red Sox then was Ed Barrow. The Red Sox went 75-51 that season.

#9: Jon Lester’s No Hitter

Lester’s no hitter against the Kansas City Royals on May 19, 2008 wasn’t just another no hitter. Jon Lester is a cancer survivor and that added an extra special element to his no hitter. Jon Lester’s no hitter still serves as a beacon of hope for those who have cancer, showing that you can beat cancer and go on to achieve great things. The Red Sox have 18 no hitters in their history, and this no hitter was the most memorable of all for Red Sox fans everywhere.

#8: Fisk/Munson Brawl

Both Thurman Munson and Carlton Fisk were iconic catcher for the Yankees and the Red Sox, and they had a brawl at Fenway Park that’ll never be forgotten. The brawl occurred on August 1, 1973 and apparently Thurman Munson hated Fisk because he got all of the attention and Carlton Fisk hated Munson because he played for the Yankees (He was born in New England). (more…)

Red Sox vs. Yankees Comparison/Series Preview

As we approach the biggest series of the year so far, it’s time to do a good ol’ Red Sox vs. Yankees comparison and series preview. If you don’t want to hear any Red Sox bias, you should probably just stop reading right now. (Kidding)



Jarrod Saltalamacchia vs. Russell Martin.

This is a tough one as both catchers are off to a rough start, but Russell Martin has actually been walking at a high rate this year and he’s better at defense. And Martin is better because Salty sucks. Also, Martin has more walks than Salty has hits and walks combined. My overall message is: Salty sucks.

Advantage: Yankees

1st Baseman

Adrian Gonzalez vs. Mark Teixera

This isn’t even a debate anymore. Teixera is on a sharp decline where AGon is in his prime. Gonzalez is a better hitter and defender, the only thing Teix has on him is that he’s faster, but then again so am I. Both first baseman are off to less than stellar starts, but they’re both too good to keep hitting like this.

Advantage: Red Sox

2nd Baseman

Dustin Pedroia vs. Robinson Cano

According to Yankees fans, Robinson Cano is better. According to people who actually look at the stats and defensive ratings other than fielding percentage, Dustin Pedroia is better. The tough question is, who do you trust more? Yankees fans say that Cano is better because “He is a better all around hitter (even though he never walks), hits more home runs, could win a batting title some day, and has a cannon arm.” Red Sox fans say that Pedroia is better because he’s an elite defender, works the pitcher better than most batters in baseball, gets on base at an elite level, is a doubles machine, and is still a great all around hitter even though the most home runs he’s hit in a season is 21. I’ll take the stats argument over the eye test any day of the week, so…

Advantage: Red Sox


Game 13: Boston Red Sox vs. New York Yankees

Red Sox (4-8)
Mike Aviles SS
Ryan Sweeney RF
Dustin Pedroia 2B
Adrian Gonzalez 1B
David Ortiz DH
Kevin Youkilis 3B
Jarrod Saltalamacchia C
Cody Ross LF
Jason Repko CF
Yankees (7-6)
Derek Jeter SS
Curtis Granderson CF
Alex Rodriguez DH
Robinson Cano 2B
Mark Teixeira 1B
Nick Swisher RF
Raul Ibanez LF
Eric Chavez 3B
Russell Martin C

Happy Birthday, Fenway!

It’s finally here!  Fenway’s first game was 100 years ago today, and who better to play the 100th anniversary against than the vaunted Yankees? It’s youngsters Ivan Nova and Clay Buchholz squaring off on this historic day, which will be full of choked-up former players and managers in the pre-game celebration. Even Terry Francona has changed his mind and will be attending tonight!  Red Sox fans, he better receive a standing ovation for everything he’s done for the Sox, and for coming in spite of his ongoing feud with ownership.

Speaking of accomplishments, let’s take a moment to reflect on all of the Fenway Favorites that played and historic moments in this ballpark: Carlton Fisk waving the ball fair; the Pesky Pole; Manny being Manny; The Green Monster, with it’s manual scoreboard. The Red Seat.  Ted Williams’ illustrious career, followed right up by Carl Yastrzemski. Nomar Garciaparra; Pedro Martinez; Dave Roberts stealing second; David Ortiz’s walk-off after walk-off.  The 4 no-hitters Jason Varitek caught (Hideo Nomo, Derek Lowe, Clay Buchholz, and Jon Lester).  Jim Rice.  Wade Boggs, and for that matter, Roger Clemens and his 20-strikeout game (presumably before he was “allegedly” doing steroids).  So many memories, so much passion.  I, personally, will never forget the first time I heard “Sweet Caroline” belted in the middle of the 8th inning, a tradition only the Fenway Faithful carry out.  I’ll be a Royal Rooter until the day I die, and I hope to have many more years of celebrations in this historic ballpark.  Happy Birthday Fenway, and cheers to another century of history and success!


To conclude the celebratory post, here are some pictures taken by me, Nick DiBattista, from my visit to Fenway last weekend.  Enjoy!



The Funny Thing About Commitments

By Nick DiBattista

In my last year of school, I’ve found myself with more free time than I’d ever had before.  I use a lot of this time wisely, creeping other Facebook pages, tweeting obsessively, and remembering the bitter taste in my mouth between 10:00 PM on September 28th and 12:05 AM on September 29th, where I saw my Red Sox blow a lead in the 9th inning (they were 77-0 when taking a lead to the 9th this season), and the Rays pull off an epic 7-0 comeback from the EIGHTH inning on, capped off by Evan Longoria’s walk-off homer, merely 3 minutes after Robert Andino walked off the Sox, giving Tampa the wild card and Boston a one-way ticket to an early offseason, chock full of typical turmoil and controversy.

Now I tell you that story so I can lead you into this story.  Graduation is a little over a month away, and right now, I’m set up to have more free time since before I had NESN (yes, there was actually a time my cable company denied me NESN—horrible, right?).  I’ve decided to utilize that extra time to sit down at 7:05, grab myself some chips and something to drink, and watch my Red Sox all summer.  For the first time in my life, I can say I’ve seen at least two innings of every Sox game this year so far, something I’m real proud of.  Unfortunately, I can’t say the same about the team I’m rooting for.  It’s funny, I finally made a commitment to be a better fan to my favorite team this year, and that team has repaid my undying loyalty with knots in my stomach and a rising blood pressure every night.  Why, you ask?  Allow me to explain!

This may be all fun and games to you, Bobby, but there's a very unhappy Red Sox Nation right now..What are you gonna do to fix it?