Trade Deadline News

      Well, the Red Sox did very little at the trade deadline this season, making only 2 noticable moves.

     Jarrod Saltalamacchia was aquired from the Texas Rangers. “Salty”, as his former teammates called him, is a 25-year old catching prospect who has struggles recently with throwing the ball back to the pitcher. He may join the team on September 1st, when rosters expand to 40 players.

    Ramon Ramirez was dealt to the Giants. Good move, Theo, you should have done it sooner.

   That’s all that happened, however the Red Sox are expected to be active in August (waivers).

Draft Evaluations and Updates

    With the 20th pick in the 2010 MLB Draft, the Boston Red Sox select Kolbrin Vitek. While this was a good selection, it was not the best one. Vitek does not have an above-average arm, and it will hurt his value that the Red Sox are unsure of what position he will play. This is the second pick in two years that has been what we could call a “utility player” (Casey Kelly). The Sox did make a good choice, in the end, though. Vitek has a terrific bat and he will fit right in because he’s a very nice guy. He’s athletic and well built. I believe he has a good future with the Red Sox, and there will be no competition or dislike between Pedroia and Vitek. I have come up with a nickname already (maybe someone already invented this, but to me I came up with this first) Tek II (Tek the second if you can’t understand Roman numerals). Vitek and Varitek. Varitek and Vitek. Good first pick by the Sox. With the 36th pick, we took another big bat in Bryce Brentz. The scouting report indicates that he is one of the best hitters in the draft and is a good baseball player that has a future with us. He has only one weakness according to the full scouting report, and that is he can be “overly-aggressive at the plate”. But I have confidence that the coaches in our minor league systems can work with him on that. He’s listed as a left fielder, which could be a potential weakness in 4 or so years, provided we don’t sign a superstar as our left fielder. This was also a good selection. With the 39th pick in the Draft, the Sox selected Anthony Ranaudo, a RHP. This was a big risk. Ranaudo was one of the top arms in the country in the spring, but has since injured his elbow, which caused him to miss significant time. He is now pitching, but is struggling to find the zone. To make matters worse, he is represented by Scott Boras, which means more money will be put on the table. Money that could easily go to waste. I don’t like this selection. We took a long shot here. With the 57th pick in the Draft, the Red Sox chose Brandon Workman, a 6’5, 225 pound righty out of Texas. He has been watched for a while and scouts have seen nothing that has lowered their opinions on him. According to the scouting report, he is an accurate thrower and has a “bulldog mentality.” Where did we here “bulldog”? Oh, that’s right, Ian Browne used that to describe Beckett. Are they similar? Yes, in more ways than one. Both are from Texas, both are competitive, and both have a good fastball. Workman’s only pitch that could be taken advantage of is his curveball, which is mediocre. However, he has good command over that, which will help things. His size, competitive nature, and good control will help him fight his way to the big leagues. With the 110th pick in the Draft, the Red Sox snagged Sean Coyle, a shortstop out of high school. Now here’s what worries me. He’s 5’8. I don’t see much of a future in him. But then again, that’s what people said about Pedroia, so who knows? With the 143rd pick in the Draft, the Red Sox selected another shortstop. Garin Cecchini. I also don’t see much of a future for Cecchini, and if he was picked after a 5’8 guy who plays the same position, then I have a pretty good idea of Cecchini’s potential. And….that isn’t much. Maybe he’ll turn out to be a good prospect for trading, but aside from that I can’t see anything else. That’s all the Sox have picked so far, I’ll update my blog throughout the day on the draft, though.

Disgraceful Umpiring

 Hi all. I want to let you all know that I am FURIOUS with the umpiring this season. I am not exaggerating: This has been the WORST umpiring in the modern era. Simply atrocious. Umps are missing calls that are 6 inches off the plate (DALE SCOTT, what?), throwing out players and managers for no reason, opening their big fat mouths (Mr. Joe West), and blowing games. Most importantly, they’re blowing games.

    The WORST call this season, without a doubt, was JIM JOYCE ******* up a call that would have gotten Armando Galarragga a PERFECT game. Yes, that’s right, a perfect game. If I’m correct, that would mean the first 3-perfect game season EVER. It was so obvious, how could he botch that? No doubt about it, he was out. No bobble, wasn’t even a bang-bang play. Yes, Joyce, I believe you said it: You cost him a chance at history. His name in the record books. NO. Will Galarragga ever get another chance like that? It is likely he will not. I appreciate the remorse Joyce showed, as well as the way Galarragga took it, but it’s simply unacceptable. This is major league baseball, not LITTLE league. It’s not okay to **** up one important call. I don’t think there’s a baseball fan in the WORLD who isn’t enraged about this. This is what pushed me to write this post. Absolute ********. And it’s BS that Selig didn’t overturn that call.

     Joe West. Know him? The loudmouthed, immature idiot who decides to rip the teams he’s umpiring? Yeah….about him…Selig, tell him to shut the **** up. The man has a publicist. Are you KIDDING me? An umpire’s job is to CALL the game, and that’s all. Not talk about it. Freedom of speech? NOT IN BASEBALL. There’s a group on Facebook called “Joe West Must Go”, and I fully reccommend it to anyone. In addition to a big fat mouth he also has one of the most inconsistent strikes zones I’ve seen.

   So what should we do? Simple. FIRE Joyce and West. There is a BIG problem in MLB, and that problem is the umpiring. It’s terrible. A lot of other umpires suck, too. I’m watching every single call carefully. I have a list of umpires that need to be disciplined, fined, of fired. I am SEETHING with fury at these calls.

Here are the umpires:

Tim Welke

Tim Tschida

DALE SCOTT

Brian O’Nora

Brian Gorman

JOE WEST

Fieldin Culbreth

Bill Welke

CB Bucknor

ANGEL HERNANDEZ

JIM JOYCE

Brain Runge

Chad Fairchild

Tim Timmons

These are the idots that have all blown calls and screwed up the game of baseball. The ones in caps are the ones I feel should be fired. I may have left out a couple, so feel free to post any others.

     Something must be done about this umpiring situation. It is simply unacceptable.  

Random Thoughts

Random thoughts:

    Man, was I wrong about the starting rotation of the Rays. I thought they wouldn’t last the whole season and be inconsistent….I was dead wrong. Price is turning into a young ace, and the rest of the rotation is pitching way above expectations. We did sweep the Rays, but those pesky little pains will not go away.

    The Royals fired manager Trey Hillman. So? That’s going to do nothing. They have a terrible team and their franchise needs to be rebuilt…and they need to move. Terrible attendance, and not a lot of baseball fans in Kansas City. Where they could move, I don’t know.

    Carlos Silva of the Cubs is having a great start to his season, starting 6-0 for the Cubbies. It isn’t going to be a factor, though, Chicago doesn’t have a good offense and their pitching is out of wack. Wait another year Windy City fans.

    Ubaldo Jimenez is looking like the best pitcher I’ve seen in years. He is DOMINATING, and he has all the stuff to become the best, yes you heard me, the BEST, pitcher in the majors. A 97 MPH fastball and devastating breaking balls. 0.88 ERA. That’s incredible!!!! He is going to start the All-Star game. I am positive of that. It would be insanity for Charlie Manuel to not select him as the starter.

    The Indians are doing NOTHING to help their cause. Their GM is a genius, but Shapiro’s showing that he can be a complete idiot. They have lost CC Sabathia, Cliff Lee, and Victor Martinez in the last couple of years. And what for? SALARY SPACE? If you want more money to provide salaries to players, make the team better!!!!!! Attendance will rise!!! Come on Shapiro. The Indians deserve to be the last place losers they are.

     The Cincannati Red are one of the 2 surprising teams this year. They have surged to first place and are in a tight race already. Old Dusty Baker must have whipped them into gear after the Edison Volquez suspension. Best of luck to the Reds this season!  

Evaluating the First Month of the Season: Opening Day to May 3rd)

     The first month of the baseball season is complete. The Red Sox finished 12-14, and sit in fourth place behind the Rays, Yankees, and Blue Jays, respectively. They are 6.5 games behind the Rays. We are 4th in batting average in the AL, but 3rd to last in pitching, with an ERA of 4.90, with opponents batting .343 against us. This is DISGRACEFUL. Pitching wins games. With a rotation of aces, we should be able to dominate games. The Red Sox need to start winning games! 

    I’ve decided to analyze every pitcher on the roster. Enjoy!

 

Starting Rotation:

Josh Beckett: 1-0, 6.31 ERA, 26 K, 1.57 WHIP. Not a good start to the season for Josh. He struggled Opening Night, but fortunately our offense picked us up. His only win was against the Royals. At this point in time, I think he is fine. His last start against the Orioles went well: he allowed 2 runs over 7 innings. Beckett’s accuracy is improving and the curveball is much better than it was his first two starts. Varitek is catching Beckett, which is something that you will see for most of this season. Not a good start for Beckett, but it is improving.

Jon Lester: 1-2, 4.71 ERA, 32 K, 1.43 WHIP. Despite struggling in his first couple of starts, Lester has bounced back and begun to pitch like the ace he truly is. He had his usual early-season struggles, but I think those are not a problem anymore. He has lowered the ERA from 8.44 to 4.71. He allowed one hit over 7 innings against the Blue Jays, striking out 11 and earning his first win. Lester is back to the pitcher we need him to be.

John Lackey: 2-1, 4.50 ERA, 17 K, 1.57 WHIP. After dominating opponents in Spring Training, Lackey hurled 6 innings of 3-hit ball against the New York Yankees in his Red Sox debut. Unfortunately, the offense did not pick him up, which was a shame. He suffered a no-decision in that game. The game after that, Lackey pitched 6.2 innings against the Twins, allowing only 2 runs and earning his first win of the season. Lackey’s third game against the Rays was the only game where he struggled. He took the loss in that game. His next two games were against Baltimore, where he pitched 7 innings in both outings, getting the win in his first and a no-decision in his second. Aside from that Rays game, Lackey has been our best pitcher (his ERA went from 1.43 at the start of the game to 5.63) and a workhorse for the Red Sox. Lackey doesn’t have a dominating pitch, but the guy can get outs. He was a great offseason signing. I always say the stats don’t lie, but if you believe John is a bad pitcher because he has a 4.50 ERA, you are out of your mind. John Lackey has been a great pitcher.

Clay Buchholz: 3-2, 2.97 ERA, 24 K, 1.42 WHIP. Clay has been a consistent pitcher this season. His best performance was against the Blue Jays where he threw 8 innings, allowing only one run. I wouldn’t go so far as to say he’s reliable or anchors our rotation, but he is certainly a bright spot in our rotation. He is showing now that he can pitch well in the majors, not just AAA. Keep up the good work, Buch!

Tim Wakefield: 0-1, 6.59 ERA…..I’ll leave it at that. Gotta love Wake, although he has definately struggled this season. He can still go 7 innings. It is really too bad to see Wake move to the BP. He is a great pitcher and has been the anchor of the Red Sox rotation for more than a decade. Wakefield is 4 strikeouts away from 2,000 for his career, and I would like very much for him to achieve that by the end of this season. Good luck, Wake!

Daisuke Matsuzaka (Dice-K): 0-1, 11.57 ERA, 4 K. Dice-K struggled in his season debut against the Orioles, allowing 6 ER 4.2 in 4.2 IP. I really hope this isn’t a sign of what his season will be like, but the way Dice-K has been I wouldn’t rule it out. Hope he bounces back in his next start.

BULLPEN

Middle relief (people with the names other than Bard, Okajima, and Papelbon): Middle relief sucks again, but I’ve come to expect that. Middle relievers are the worst pitchers in the league. Because, if they were good, then they’d be in the 7th or 8th inning roles or even become a closer. None of our middle relievers are reliable. 

Hideki Okajima: 2-1, 6.75 ERA, 4 H, 1 BS, 5 K, 2.13 WHIP: With the exception of the blown save and the loss, Oki is doing what is expected, and what he does every season: Being the best LH reliever in our BP and a solid figure in the “Bridge to Pap”. He has allowed a few too many runs in my opinion, but those didn’t matter (again, with the exception of the BS and the loss), we still won/lost. He is not impressing me, but he hasn’t disappointed me.

Daniel Bard: 0-1, 2.87 ERA, 5 H, 20 K, 0.89 WHIP. Like Okajima, he has a blown save and a loss. But aside from that, it has been a great start for our future closer. His 100 MPH fastball is unhittable, and he has a hell of a slider. I love his stuff, and he has been reliable for us this season. Come on, how many times have you said, “yes, here comes Bard!”? I’ll bet many times! Great start to the season for Bard.

Jonathan Papelbon: 1-2, 2.08 ERA, 9 K, 1.38 WHIP. BUT, Paps also has 9 walks. In the season where he appeared most often (67 appearences in 2008) he had 8 walks in a season. Honestly, I don’t know what to make of this. I HOPE it’s early season struggles, but my baseball instincts make me think there’s another problem. The only other reasonable reason I have for Pap’s struggles is he is distracted by the birth of his son. 2.08 ERA is a little high for Pap if you look at his career ERA (1.85). I am frustrated with Pap. I won’t lie. Pap is loud-mouthed and cocky, and so far hasn’t lived up to expectations. This infuriates me. Paps needs to dominate opponents for the rest of the season. I’m not kidding. I have zero tolerance for this, especially when you have the closer of the future waiting patiently and controlling himself. Paps does not know when to shut up. Over the past 3 seasons, we have seen more immaturity from him than any other prominent baseball player. Milton Bradley is the only possible baseball player that could come close to Pap in terms of immaturity. Step it up, Pap, the pressure is on you! 

   This concludes my evaluation of our pitching staff. I hope you enjoyed reading this. Please leave a comment about your thoughts on this, I would much appreciate it. Thanks!

Changes? Sooner or Later!

     I know, I know, some people may think that it is way too early to make some changes. And, well, that’s ********. The Red Sox are off to a slow start. Our defense is letting us down. Errors, errors, and seemingly more errors. All leading to runs, I’ve noticed. Disagree with me? Guess what—you’re wrong. Remember Scutaro’s error against the Yankees in the 8th inning? That led to the deciding run, and yes, our hated rivals claimed victory in Fenway Park. In the first game against the Rays, Scutaro AGAIN made an error, followed by a Beltre error, that led to a Rays run. In the second game of the series, Clay Buchholz was in a jam, and Carlos Pena hit a line drive RIGHT TO Mike Cameron. And you know what? The bum misses the ball. This leads to 4 Rays runs. Final score? Rays 6, Red Sox 5. It’s ridiculous. Our bullpen has been rusty too, and given up leads and games. Our offense has been up and down. Some players are contributing, some are not. Dustin Pedroia is the only starting player I can think of that has not done something stupid. He’s also the only Red Sox starter hitting over .300. Beltre is a close second, and he has come up with some good hits this season, but the memory of him grounding into a double play in the bottom of the 11th inning with the bases loaded puts him back with the others. Jason Varitek is hitting .455 (at last count), but is the only one hitting as good as that. This is a problem, ladies and gentlemen.

     So what must be done? Simple! Terry Francona, or as my friend Gos appropriately calls him, “Terrycloth” because of Tito’s softness when it comes to players, needs to whip his players into shape. Oh sorry, did you think Francona was a hard-core manager because he chews tobacco and gets ejected? He is not, I’ll tell you right now. Some of his players are not giving their all. Francoma (yes, I did spell it on purpose with an “M”) needs to work the players…..HARD. Fracona needs to establish himself as a DICTATOR. He must take complete control of the team. This means using all means neccessary (with the exception of releasing players) to establish himself as a dictator. Bench players, suspend players, fine players. Tito can bench the whole damn team for all I care! He NEEDS to be a leader, and not just a leader, a dictator. I know I’m repeating myself, but this is IMPORTANT. With his entire team under his control, the Sox should at least win more games than right now. But that’s not all!

     Trades……they’re a beautiful thing. One trade could change a whole season for a team. So, rumors circulate that the Red Sox are looking to aquire Jeff Mathis from the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Now, this could be a great move, or a horrible move. If we get Mathis, our lineup will have to be seriously re-adjusted. But, I do like the trade if it happens. Martinez moves to DH. Now, I love this. I’ve been pushing for V-Mart to move to DH ever since January. His leg health is declining, and he has one of the worst arms in the league. He threw out 14% of baserunners last season. That is atrocious. But, his bat has not lost anything. David Ortiz will not be re-signed by the Red Sox after this season. I am 98% sure of that. It’s a shame to see Big Papi go, but it’s in the better interests of our team. He simply isn’t the Big Papi we saw 3 years ago. But, we have to bench our big slugger in about a month. Either that or platoon Papi with Lowell. So, what would the Mathis trade do? V-Mart would go to DH, Tek would remain the backup catcher (not for long, though, his contract is up after this season and he’s not coming back), and Mathis starts. That being said, I would like this trade to happen after this season. The trade would be perfect for that time. That way we don’t have any big shakeups or problems. V-Mart can replace Papi as a DH, and Mathis can replace Martinez, and I’ve heard Mathis has a good arm. We need that!

     In conclusion, no trades should happen right now in terms of our offense and defense. Terry Francona has to take control and be a dictator.  Let’s go Red Sox! 

Why the Rays want to be in first place by the All-Star Break (and why all AL East teams need to stop them)

     The Tampa Bay Rays. A franchise that first played their first game on March 31, 1998. A franchise that celebrated their 10-year anniversary by coming out of NOWHERE to beat the mighty Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees for the pennant. A team that had been at the bottom of the AL East for years before 2008. But, out of the blue, they surged to beat the Yankees, yes the YANKEES, in the race for the Wild Card. Ever since then, they have been in contention and given the Red Sox and the Yankees real trouble. But this season could be different, and much more important, than 2009.
     Their lineup features Evan Longoria, BJ Upton, Ben Zobrist, Carlos Pena, and the speedy Carl Crawford. This is a team that really looks good going into the 2010 season. But are they really?
     I’ll say it right now—their pitching isn’t enough. Sonnanstine, Price, Shields, Garza, and Davis aren’t pitchers who I feel can carry a team. Their bullpen DOES have Rafael Soriano, but the kid can struggle sometimes. We saw it last year with the Braves. He is not a proven closer. Their starting depth needs improvement. I do think that in a few years the starting pitchers can carry the Rays, but the Rays don’t have 2 years. They have 3 monthes before things could take a turn for the worse.
     The reason being Carlos Pena and Carl Crawford. BOTH have contracts that expire after the 2010 season. Both players will not be able to reach an agreement with the Rays because they will listen to what the other teams will offer them when Pena and Crawford officially become free agents. And because of that, the Rays may be looking to trade their best players if the first half isn’t successful. The Rays figure that they could get a lot of quality players for both Pena and Crawford. But, if the Rays are on top of the AL East by the trading deadline, Pena and Crawford will not be traded. The Rays could not afford to lose such big contributors to their team when they are at such an important spot. Winning a World Series would be in the front offices’ minds, and they are not going to squash that hope by trading their two best players. The Rays could get quality players in return, but those players could not be as big of contributors as Crawford and Pena are. Even if they are a close second or in Wild Card contention, the Rays will not trade either player. It is way too risky.Plus, if the Rays do win the WS, Crawford and Pena’s interest in the team could drastically increase. Playing for the defending World Champions is definately something most MLB players would want to do.
      So the pressure is on. The Rays are feeling pressure to succeed this first half and really for the entire season so they can get their 2 best players back. But, the pressure is not only on the Rays, it is on the Red Sox, the Yankees, the Blue Jays, and the Orioles. They MUST defeat the Rays this first half in order to improve their chances at a playoff spot. The Yankees are inconsistent against them. That must change. The Red Sox have not had consistent success either against the Rays in the past two years. That MUST change. We must find a way to beat the Rays. If we do, we will be rewarded. Pitching, defense, and offense must ALL step up. Our first game is on May 16, 2010. We can do this! Let’s go Red Sox!!! 

The Importance of Jon Lester

    Jon Lester is one of the best left-handed
pitchers in the American League and arguably the best pitcher on our
team. His accomplishments in baseball and in life are beyond
noteworthy. But do most fans realize just how important he is to our
team? I don’t think so.
    A common question asked
about Lester is, “What is Lester’s best achievement?” Many people argue
on whether it was Game 4 of the 2007 World Series Championship or his
no-hitter against the Kansas City Royals on May 19, 2008. But the story
of Jon Lester’s battle with cancer and return to baseball tells the most important part of his life. In 2006, Jon
Lester was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphona, a blood
cancer. The future looked bleak. Every 10 minutes, someone dies
from blood cancer. There is a 50% survival rate for the type of cancer
Lester had. Jon Lester was fortunate—he survived. But the incredible
part had not even started yet. His return to baseball was one of the
most amazing stories in Red Sox history. Within TWO YEARS of Lester
first being diagnosed with cancer, he was pitching in the clinching
game of the 2007 World Series. Oh, did I mention there was a nice big
“W” next to his name? Yes. Jon Lester had won the game for the Red Sox
and sent a strong message to the baseball world—Jon Lester is back!

     But, then came the offseason. Ah, the
offseason. The time when fans lose memory of their beloved team and
focus on football, hockey, and basketball. Fans still remembered the
glory of winning a World Championship, but there were bigger headlines
that lasted longer. Lowell was the MVP. Beckett dominated. Pedroia
winning the Rookie of the Year. Ellsbury showing his speed and future promise. These
stories may have overshadowed Jon Lester’s victory during the
offseason. Some fans may be reluctant to admit it, but it is true. When
Spring Training finally started, the Jon Lester craze was ending.

     In the 2008 season, Jon Lester started as
the 4th starter in the rotation, behind Beckett, Matsuzaka, and
Wakefield. The big story in Spring Training was the competition for the
5th spot: Who would get it, Buchholz or Masterson? The spotlight was
away from Lester. So, come the start of the season, Lester had to
re-establish himself. And, on May 19, 2008, the day came where Lester
would be on top of the world. Facing the Kansas City Royals, Jonathan
Tyler Lester threw the 18th no-hitter in Red Sox history. And he wasn’t
done. He finished the season 16-6 with a 3.21 ERA, numbers that could
earn a pitcher the Cy Young award. Disappointingly, he did not recieve
a single vote. But that didn’t matter. Jon Lester had proven himself to
the world of baseball, and in what a way he did.
     But, what is the importance of Jon Lester?
Could the Red Sox really be fine without him? The answer to that is NO.
A thousand times NO. NO NO NO NO NO. Jon Lester means so much to our
team. I firmly believe he is more valuable to our team than Beckett or
Lackey. Why? For many reasons. One: he was drafted by the Sox. Lester
fought his way through the minor leagues to be in this spot. He is our
homegrown talent. Now there’s something to brag about, considering
Lester is one of the best left-handed pitchers in the majors!! Another
reason is, of course, that he had survived cancer. He brings hope to
other people diagnosed with this deadly disease and defines the Red
Sox’s off-the-field efforts with his charity work.  Three: He is a
role model for young kids who someday have a dream to play baseball. So
many little-leaguers and teenagers look up to him as an example. Lester
has not had a single moment in his career that has gotten fans to
dislike him. He shows determination and courage, and even young kids
can understand that determination and courage leads to success. More
hope is spread to kids aruond the country thanks to Jon Lester. And the
final reason Lester is so important to our team? That’s easy: He is the
true ace of our starting rotation. Lester’s accomplishments on the
field will exceed those of Beckett and Lackey in the next couple of
years. He is a DOMINATOR. And he will be for years to come. Red Sox
Nation will learn how valuable he really is.

     This is Lester’s year to establish himself
as the best left-handed pitcher in the majors, if not the best pitcher
overall. Forget Cliff Lee, Johan Santana, and CC Sabathia. Make way for
Jon Lester!!!!!!!!

Hello

Hey Baseball Fans!

Creating this blog was a lot easier than I thought. I was able to do it in 5 minutes. So, this is it. Welcome to the blog of Jake8907. I hope to update this often, and post my thoughts about baseball whenever I can. Comments are absolutely welcome!

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.