Archive for the ‘Boston Red Sox’ Category

Boston Red Sox's Ortiz greets crowd from dugout after hitting two-run home-run against Detroit Tigers during MLB American League Baseball game in Boston

“They don’t make ‘em like they used to” is a common refrain, one often originating from an aged member of our youth-driven society. It isn’t as though acknowledging planned obsolesce is a great or noteworthy insight, but it bears mentioning from time to time. Things aren’t built to last because it is hard to sell a new laptop or television to a person satisfied with the performance of the one they already own.

They don’t make’em like David Ortiz any more. More accurately, they never really made them like David Ortiz. He is one of the best designated hitters of all time and certainly the best DH in the game right now. David Ortiz is making noise for a new contract again. David Ortiz and the Red Sox know all the words to this three act play, having performed it in public many times before. They always manage to come together on a deal, one that seems to treat both player and team fairly. This was the story last winter when they agreed on a two-year deal worth $29 million, a deal that expires at the end of the 2014 season.

As David Ortiz gets closer to 40, the Red Sox must ask themselves the same questions over and again: is David Ortiz a luxury they can still afford?

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MLB: Seattle Mariners at Pittsburgh Pirates

If there is one consistent thread running through the long, storied, history of Getting Blanked, it is a befuddled appreciation of A.J. Burnett. Always one of the most entertaining pitchers in the game, Burnett is now something of a marvel. Injury-prone strikeout artist dogged by overrated and “.500 pitcher” claims for years, Burnett figured it out for a while. His walk year with the Blue Jays was tremendous, working on short rest when needed (or “needed”) and putting up a career year. Then he played a central role for the World Champion Yankees in 2009.

Then he was bad (so bad) for a year. Then he was a Pirate. And he was born again! Two years in Pittsburgh, one good and one very good, leading the Pirates back to the playoffs for first time in a generation.

Now he’s a free agent. He’s also 37-years old and contemplating retirement. The Pirates want him and, frankly, need him if they hope to return to the postseason again before 2033, at which time Andrew McCutchen will be the disgraced all-time home run champ if history teaches us anything.

But with this need and a waning desire to play in more places than just Pittsburgh and near his Maryland home, Burnett gets to be choosy. Which means the Pirates need to go on something of an offensive.

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MLB: World Series-St. Louis Cardinals at Boston Red Sox

A very special edition of the Getting Blanked podcast, featuring a conversation with Red Sox advance video scout and bullpen catcher Brian Abraham about preparing a World Series champion for battle. We talk about his day-to-day duties, catching Koji Uehara, World Series memories and also CATCHING KOJI UEHARA.

Brian provides some really interesting insights about what made the Red Sox work as well as the kind of stories you can expect from somebody so close to the action. It was a lot of fun just taking in these tales, we hope you feel the same.

RSS/MP3 Link here

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New York Yankees v Boston Red Sox

The Yankees don’t have fun beards and don’t have sexy blue chip prospects lining their rotation like some teams. Instead, the Yankees pay top dollar for established stars and known commodities.

In signing Carlos Beltran to a thre-year, $45 million contract, the Yankees now have a glut of aging outfielders who are mostly DHs. The difference between Carlos Beltran and Vernon Wells or Ichiro or Alfonso Soriano is Carlos Beltran remains very, very productive. While his body might betray him, he can still provide value in right field.

The former center fielder showcased some defensive chops during the World Series and the RF job at Yankee Stadium is not the most challenging place to play. More so thanks to Ellsbury & Gardner gobbling up fly balls in left and center.

Beltran put very nice numbers for the Cardinals in 2013 and should take advantage of the short porch in the Bronx when hitting left-handed. The Yanks can pay somebody like Soriano to play for someone else or trade Brett Gardner for a starter if they so desire.

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MLB: Philadelphia Phillies at Atlanta Braves

The Boston Red Sox made hay this year by hitting on a bunch of free agents signings and creating a team that appears, or is at least credited as being, greater than the sum of its parts. Platoon guys and character guys who didn’t quite look like they would be the great team Fenway Park eventually produced.

The Red Sox are now thought to be in pursuit of Brian McCann, the long-time Braves catcher testing free agency for the very first time. A lot of what McCann offers appeals to the Red Sox and their sensibilities. One Sox fan laid out his personal list of reasons for the Sox making a move on McCann. It’s hard to argue with many of the points.

The more I think about it, the more I feel like all these points are related. And the more closely related the points are, the more important it becomes for teams to not only target good players but targeting the correct players.

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Detroit Tigers v New York Yankees - Game Two

A lot was made yesterday over the unwelcome realization that the Yankees and Red Sox, by virtue of their raft of potential free agents, stand to earn a whole lot of compensatory draft picks. This hardly seems like the intended consequence of the new C.B.A. Rather than compensate smaller market teams unable to retain the services of the their free agents, we see the same old rich clubs nabbing extra picks.

Firstly, anyone who reads the qualifying offer arrangement as anything other than a mid-level salary tax is wholly misguided. Stripping signing teams of a draft pick doesn’t change the way top free agents are valued but it certainly gives concerned teams pause when it comes to more middling players.

Which brings us back to the Red Sox and Yankees, apparently reaping added benefits from the latest CBA. To just throw up our hands and blame the East Coast bias or claim the league is in the cahoots with the Yankees. It is a symptom of long-held factors that existed long before the current CBA.

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MLB: World Series-St. Louis Cardinals at Boston Red Sox

Writing about baseball in one capacity or another for the better part of five years, I have come to learn one thing – many baseball fans don’t care about the World Series. At all. I don’t know that this makes baseball fans any more provincial than other sports fans but the bulk only watch if their team is involved.

While the St. Louis Cardinals and Boston Red Sox both have very, very large fanbases, there exists a deep-seated antipathy towards these clubs and their collective fanbases from a vocal segment of other fans. As such, the just-finished World Series was greated with a disheartening mix of indifference and outright hostility.

But no more. The World Series is over and the Boston Red Sox are champs. But now begins the most favorite season for all baseball fans, transactional conjecture season.

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