Monday, November 23, 2015

Dave Roberts Takes Over the Dodgers

Congratulations to 2004 Red Sox legend Dave Roberts, who will be named the new manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers today.

It came down to Roberts or Gabe Kapler, another 2004 Red Sox World Series champion player, who was the head of the Dodgers' farm system.

I have no use for the Dodgers really, but I am happy to see such a good baseball man get his shot to manage in the big leagues.

And it gives me the opportunity to repost this cool picture once again.

 Good luck, Dave.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Next Stop, Cooperstown

David Ortiz announced today that the 2016 season will be his last in an MLB uniform.

And he did it on his 40th birthday.

I won't go over his incredible resume he built up over the last 13 seasons in a Red Sox uniform. It speaks for itself. He is simply the greatest postseason performer in franchise history, as well as the greatest clutch hitter in Red Sox history.

In my mind, the 2013 postseason he had will cement his place in the Hall of Fame. He put the Sox on his back and had a World Series that was one of the greatest any hitter has ever had. Remember when he held that impromptu team meeting in the Red Sox dugout in the sixth inning of Game 4 of the 2013 World Series, with the Sox trailing 2-1 in the Series and 2-1 in the game? (Pictured below.) Jonny Gomes hit a three-run shot that inning that put the Sox ahead to stay, and they never trailed in winning the next two games and another championship.

That is what a team leader does, and Papi has been an extraordinary one.

I don't expect him to get in on the first ballot, as there will be writers who will hold the fact he spent most of his career as a designated hitter. That should absolutely not preclude him from getting in. How many bad fielders are in the Hall but put up spectacular numbers? With rare exceptions like Brooks Robinson and Ozzie Smith, defense almost never enters into it when choosing the worthiness of a position player. It's about time these writers acknowledge that the DH has been part of the rules of the road in the AL for nearly half a century, and put the best ones like Papi and Edgar Martinez in. If relief pitchers can get in, why not DHs?

And then there will be those who will hold the alleged PED test he failed in 2003. Funny, how we still only know the names of three players from that list of 104 to this day, eh? Some writers will probably still hold that against him, but it shouldn't keep him out.

Papi is first eligible in January 2022. In my book, he's in. And his number 34 will be going up in right field at Fenway Park shortly after the 2016 season.

Here is the Large Father with some words about his coming retirement:

 And I wish you could play for 40 more years too, Papi.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

The Remodeling Begins With a Bang

Dave Dombrowski promised big changes to the Red Sox this off-season, and made a big splash last night.

The Sox acquired four-time All-Star closer Craig Kimbrel from the San Diego Padres last night, for four prospects.

The Red Sox parted with blue chip outfielder Manuel Margot, who was at AA Portland in 2015. Also going in the trade were shortstop Javier Guerra, infielder Carlos Asuaje and left handed pitcher Logan Allen.

Margot and Guerra are both top ten prospects in the Red Sox system. Margot is the only one of three that played at AA or above last year. The Padres are rebuilding the farm system and trading away some high-priced talent after their 2015 plan went horribly wrong.

Kimbrel still as three years left on the deal he signed two years ago. It is also now clear the Red Sox are going the way the Kansas City Royals went, in having power arms at the end of the game. Koji Uehara will move back to the 8th inning (he was informed of the deal last night before it happened and is cool with his new role), with Junichi Tazawa going to the 7th.

Here's more on last night's deal from ESPN.

Well, the Sox got one of the game's elite closers without giving up any MLB talent, but had to trade one of their elite prospects. Gotta give to get.

More to come. Much more. Stay tuned.

Thursday, November 05, 2015

Helping Out One of Our Own

My good friend and Governor of Red Sox Nation for New York State, Chris Wertz, brought to my attention very worthy fundraising efforts that are being held for a member of Red Sox Nation named Sean Bunn.

Sean, who Governor of Red Sox Nation for North Carolina, is suffering from a form of cancer called Gliobastoma Multiforme. Sean's friends have held fundraisers to help him with his fight against cancer, and I am spreading the word so that fellow Red Sox fans can help, too. We wish Sean all the best and pray he beats this terrible scourge.

This is a Facebook post that went up the other day by Sean's friends, and explains how you can help:

As many of you may know, our good friend and fellow fan Sean Bunn has been battling cancer for the past several weeks. Many of you have reached out with your time and generosity to call, text, email, and support Sean in so many ways over these past few weeks and though he may not be able to respond to each one, he appreciates all of your kind words to him.

He is currently being seen by Duke battling a cancer known as Glioblastoma Multiforme, and he has had an operation already to remove a tumor the size of a baseball from his brain. It is a grade IV astrocytoma, a malignant, aggressive, and rare cancer with less than 200,000 cases in the US a year. It is not usually just a normal tumor, but it has many fingerlike tentacles that make it very difficult to remove. The tumors themselves are also very resistant to conventional therapies making it hard to treat. The brain is not able to repair itself that well, and is susceptible to damages from the conventional treatments.

The median survival for GBM is around 2-3 years with less aggressive types. Adults with more aggressive forms of the condition treated with chemo and radiation usually live around 14 months on average. However, 10% of that number do live 5 years or longer with treatment, and not only is the fantastic team at Duke fighting for Sean but a fellow member of Triangle Red Sox Nation has spent many years researching this disease and has provided Sean and his family with bountiful information and help.

Sean is currently at home with his family in Raleigh, and his family has been with him every day since his diagnosis. He is currently undergoing chemotherapy in a pill form everyday, and on Monday through Friday he does radiation treatment in Duke's Durham Hospital. He is also currently on leave from work.

He would also like to share with you all that he is having trouble seeing and speaking. He currently cannot see from the right of his nose, something that may not improve. This doesn't mean he isn't able to receive your messages of support and hope, and not only does he appreciate every one of your messages but his family does too. It truly means a lot to see the love from each and every one of you, and is a hand of support and compassion in this tough time.

Sean, his family and the doctors do not know what the future holds. Sean may be with us for just a little bit, signing a short-term contract with an Invitation to Spring Training, or he may sign a Multi-Year deal and be with the club for a long term contract. If anyone can stay positive and fight, it's our Gov'na.

A lot of you have reached out over the past few weeks and asked how you can help Sean. Here are a few ways...

First, we have a SeanStrong Facebook page ( where you can share your favorite Sean memories, send well wishes and follow all events. We'll email and post when events are but for now, put this on your calendar:

Sunday November 8th, the Triangle Red Sox Nation will be holding an event with our sister club the Triangle Patriots Fans. The Tri-Pats are hosting an event at the Backyard Bistro called the Boston Buffett Bunnraiser. The Bistro will have a buffet of Boston food favorites set up for folks to watch the Pats/Redskins game (and all the other 1pm games) with proceeds going to Sean.

Please RSVP at either the TRSN event page ( or .the Tri-Pats event page ( This will help us get an idea of how many folks will be coming, so please RSVP on just one or the other and not both so we don't have doubles.

EVERYONE is welcome, no matter who you cheer for, so spread the word & bring your friends! (There is also a facebook event you can share at

Starting November 15th, we will be holding an auction where all proceeds raised will be going to Sean and his family. We’re in the final phase of getting items, so if you have access to any massages, restaurant gift certificates, photograph sessions, training sessions, golf outings, cigars, sports memorabilia, tickets...ANYTHING! Please contact me directly at to find out more how you can help.

Some items we have so far are airline tickets, hotel and tickets to a Red Sox game in 2016, a Malcolm Butler signed football, a Big Papi signed baseball bat, a Carolina Hurricanes hockey stick signed by all the members of the 06-07 Stanley Cup team plus much, much more!

We are also gathering a list of folks to help bring food over to Sean and his family. Sean is on a strict diet that must be very low in salt and sugar. You can sign up to be on Steve Freedman’s list to do this on facebook for now at

If you’d like to donate cash toward Sean’s medical bills, we have a site set up All donations made through that site are tax deductible as we’re working with a local organization called BHM or Big Hearted Moms. 

Wednesday, November 04, 2015

Back Up The Truck On February 10th

It's never too early to talk about the 2016 MLB season.

The Red Sox announced their 2016 Spring Training schedule yesterday. They will play their first games of 2016 with the traditional doubleheader against the college kids, Northeastern and Boston College, on February 29th. The first MLB game will be on March 2nd at Ft. Myers against the Twins.

The Sox play the National League champion Mets twice, the Yankees twice, and will close Spring Training on April 1 and 2 with games against the Blue Jays at Olympic Stadium in Montreal. Here's the complete schedule from NESN.

Truck Day is now officially February 10th, and pitchers and catchers will report on February 18th, with position players reporting on February 24th.

The Sox also exercised their option on Clay Buchholz for the 2016 season yesterday, and there are now two Red Sox heroes from the 2004 season in the running for the L.A. Dodgers managerial job: Dave Roberts and Gabe Kapler.

Monday, November 02, 2015

Best in the NL. Top Dogs In NYC.

If I had told you back in June that the New York Mets would still be playing baseball on November 2nd, what would you have thought? "Yeah, in Puerto Rico or one of the Winter Leagues?"

It was an amazing run for the Mets to get to play meaningful baseball this late in the season. I got to see my first ever World Series game live and in person this past Saturday night, as I sat in left field for Game 3. It was the thrill of a lifetime, as Citi Field was simply electric throughout most of the game.

A lot of things went right for the Mets to get where they were last night. They made a few shrewd trades, to acquire Yoenis Cespedes, Tyler Clippard, Juan Uribe and Kelly Johnson. Their main opposition in the NL East, the Washington Nationals, did not live up to expectations and faded badly.

The young pitching came through big time. The bullpen did very well, with Jeurys Familia becoming one of MLB's best closers. They took out the Dodgers in five games, and shut down a young and upcoming Cubs team in a four-game sweep.

I thought that if the Mets pitched as well in the World Series as they did in the NLCS it would be the Mets first championship since 1986.

But it was clear this was a determined and focused Kansas City Royals team. They beat the Houston Astros in a five game ALDS, and the Toronto Blue Jays in a six game ALCS. And they kept coming from behind to do it, with an amazing eight wins after falling behind in the postseason, a record since MLB went to the current playoff format in 1995.

Unfortunately for the Mets, they did not pitch lights out they way they did against the Cubs. Matt Harvey was only so-so in Game 1, and Jacob deGrom got lit up in Game 2. Noah Syndergaard was terrific in Game 3, and Steven Matz pitched five good innings in Game 4. The only otherwordly start was Harvey's amazing Game 5 performance. And Terry Collins was absolutely right letting him come out for the ninth inning with the 2-0 lead. He had retired the last six hitters without problem. Familia was struggling in this World Series, having blown two previous save opportunities. Harvey was clearly the best choice to start the ninth. You go with your best.

The Royals simply were not to be denied. Harvey walked Lorenzo Cain, who stole second. You can argue that Collins should have lifted him after the walk, as Eric Hosmer doubled Cain in to make it 2-1.

Familia got three ground outs, but the second one will be talked about for a long time. Hosmer raced in from third as David Wright fielded a grounder and threw to first, and Lucas Duda threw wildly home and it tied the score.

It was a battle of the bullpens, and you knew KC would win that one. Five runs in ninth gave them their second ever World Series title, 7-2. Salvador Perez was voted Series MVP.

This Series will be remembered for Daniel Murphy's error in Game 4 and Duda's wild throw in Game 5. But their offense was held in check, as the Mets hit just .193 in the five games. It should be remembered for a KC team that lost in the 2014 World Series in seven games, with the tying on third in the ninth in the final game. It was a brutal way to lose a World Series, but they came back this year and deserved this championship. They scored 51 runs in this postseason from the 7th inning on. That is pretty damn impressive. If the Mets terrific young starters couldn't stop this Royals team, nobody in the NL would have. They are worthy champions.

Mets fans are heartsick today, but they should hold their heads up high. The Mets are the top dogs in town again, and that is a good thing. (Who's that other team again?) Their future is bright, with a starting pitching staff that is the envy of MLB. The Mets will be back.