At home at fenway

Keeping an eye on Chaim, Raffy & a few good books

Archive for the ‘Jacoby Ellsbury’ Category

The Papi Slam +1: These guys are human

Posted by athomeatfenway on October 18, 2013

UntitledI am going to make a strong effort to remember that MLB players are just people.   I saw something the other day that made me decide this.

The Papi Slam and victory in ALCS game 2 were rarified highs.  After the game I slept smiling ear-to-ear in a hotel 6 blocks from Fenway.  I snoozed  in a bed of dreams that made all my championship wishes seem possible.

The next morning I decided to walk past the new Yaz statue on Van Ness Street outside Fenway.  It was beautiful and sunny.  Yaz looked great.  So did his bronzed colleagues Ted, Johnny, Bobby and Dom.

There were busses lined up near the corner of Van Ness & Fenway, some labeled Player Bus 1, Player Bus 2, Staff Bus 1, etc..

It was approaching 10 a.m..  Looked like the team would soon be showing up to bus it to Logan, then fly to Motown for Game 3.

I stood with a flock of camera men and TV reporters behind a barrier near the first bus.  Before long, Fenway security placed another barrier behind us ensconcing me and the news folk in a media bullpen between the busses and the players entrance.

The fun soon started.  20 fans lined up in less proximate positions.  Everyone strained to identify the players in street clothes.  Easier said than done when trying to ID a part time player with one of many bushy beards.

Don Orsillo, NESN & MLB talent passed the gauntlet and received warm greetings.  Don drives a 2005 Volvo S60 just like my wife. 

Joe Castiglione walked through, sadly unrecognized by everyone but me, and that only at the last moment.

John Lackey, on foot, strode quickly into the ballpark , mute and surly.  He ignored my call of Go get ‘em, Johnny boy”.

Buchholz soon entered and like Lackey maintained a frozen façade that my Go Get ‘Em quips couldn’t break.

Shane Victorino came through and he too played the Ice King.

I decided to take a different approach with these young millionaires.

Jacoby Ellsbury, toting a drag bag and tailed by a red coated brunette, came briskly through the partition with eyes fixed straight ahead.  “Hey, Ells, GREAT GAME last night!”, I shouted.  Ellsbury looked squarely at me.  He face relaxed and broke into a beautiful smile.  “Thank you.”, he nodded, exuding joy and pride.  Don’t think for a minute that being gifted, young and rich makes you immune to the intoxication of making baseball history.

Pedroia soon scooted through.  “Great Game, Pedey!”, I yelled.  The Boston player with the biggest heart turned to me with a great big smile and said, “Thanks, man.”  He was really feeling it.

PedeyNo question about it.  When your team almost gets no-hit on Saturday, gets no-hit for 6 IP’s and down by 4 runs in the 8th on Sunday, and then pulls it out with 5 runs in the 8th and 9th to avoid going into a 2 games to 0 hole, you feel like your crew is writing one dramatic story.

The exposition goes back to Sept., 2011.  The Sox went 7-17 and were eliminated from the playoffs on the last day, frittering away a 9 game wild card lead.  Francona exited in shame.  Theo hauled ass to Chicago.  Valentine brought his special sarcasm to the mix.  A super storm of injuries hit the team and they went 69 – 93 in 2012.

Picked to finish 4th, these Sox have already written a terrific story with a 97 – 65 WL record.  Even their most loyal fans predicted  75 wins. 

This group of gritty Sox ground out a fairy tale turn around.

Dangling from the ledge of near-elimination on Sunday, they pulled out another crazy comeback.

It’s dramatic.  It will be talked about for decades.  The players know this.

More players arrived.  More softened and responded when praised for the great turn-around the prior evening.

Even the News people noticed and started to yell Great Game.

The scene took a turn for the worse when Jonny Gomes drove up in his uber truck, a big black behemoth with a dozen manufacturer decals.  Jonny’s wife popped out of the passenger side as Jonny rounded the front to her side.

“Why are you taking pictures of my wife?”, Jonny shouted at a TV reporter who had been tweeting photos of the arriving players.

Jonny Gomes, looking not at all chubby as he can look in his baggy uniform, stood ram rod straight, a stack of muscle and fuming testosterone, glaring at the reporter.

“I…..I was absolutely NOT shooting your wife.”, the newsman stammered.

“YES, YOU WERE!”, the outfielder said as he took 3 menacing steps toward the man.

“No, no.  I wasn’t.”, he offered, humbly and softly.

“100%!”, Gomes yelled, indicating his level of confidence that the reporter was a lying dirtbag.

“No, no…, look at the camera, look at my shots.  Your wife is not in them.”

For one stone silent moment Gomes stared at the scribe, seeming to weigh whether or not to pummel him.  Then Jonny Gomes picked up a baby carrier from his back seat, a wee one tucked inside, and walked silently away.

I later chatted with the reporter, congratulating him on getting Gomes to talk.  The tension gone, he offered to show me his photos to prove his innocence.  Still later, when I asked for copies of his shots, he mentioned he was also taking photos with his personal I Phone. 

Gomes may have been right.  Or maybe not.  But I’d like to think it was a simple misunderstanding.

One thing is for certain.  These players are human.  They soar with historic victory, and they bristle when they think that someone they love might be used.

They’re just folks.  I’ll remember that.

As always, I’ll be rooting for the Sox.  And I’ll be thinking about the people on that team.

Go Sox.


Posted in BASEBALL, Boston Red Sox, Dustin Pedroia, Jacoby Ellsbury | Leave a Comment »

Lou Brock to Ellsbury : Be A Panther !

Posted by athomeatfenway on March 10, 2010

Impossible to stop.

STEALING IS MY GAME by Franz Schulze and Lou Brock.  206 pages   1976, Prentice-Hall.

I remember Lou Brock as the daring wheelman of the ’67 Cardinals that bashed my Red Sox in the Series.

In the 80’s and 90’s, Rickey Henderson could burn rubber. Today, Jacoby Ellsbury can get after it.  But Lou Brock was a swift motorman, effortlessly changing from total relaxation to furious energy in a split second.

Here is how the author, Franz Schulze describes Brock’s acceleration:

“Movement now, a flashing of red and white on the baseline between first and second.  I would like to say Brock took off like a shot, but that is not the right metaphor.  One moment he was almost loafing.  The next he was driving down to second, legs pounding like pistons, but if the transition was quick, it was nevertheless too smooth, if you can believe that, for the start of his run to be called explosive.  Catcher Ed Hermann reacted alertly and threw accurately to second.  The fly swatter came down, but the fly makes decisions and moves in just about the same fraction of a second it took Brock to beat the throw.  (Wilbur) Wood looked on helplessly.”

Brock’s base stealing was a skill set and a weapon.  He had the physical gifts and a analytic tendency that enabled him to use visuals, habits and probabilities to deceive and beat enemy moundsmen.

He did the unthinkable in 1974.

As a prelude, Maury Wills surpassed Ty Cobb’s record of 98 steals in a season in 1962 with 104.

At the time, that was considered unbreakable.   Cobb’s record had stood for 50 years.

104 loomed large in the record books until 1974 when Brock shattered it with 118.


Some of the wonderful things this book shares are Brock’s corollaries for base stealing.

Without further delay:

  • Get On Base.

  • Once on 1st Base, DISDAIN 1st Base.  1st Base is nowhere.

  • When on 1st  Base, develop the look of a dozing malingerer.   This appearance helps foment the element of shock.

  • Look like you are not paying attention, but keep your eyes wide open.

  • Be a Panther.  A Panther is slow & easy at the same time  —  except for those moments where it is very necessary to be very fast.  Be a Panther.

  • Stealing bases is theoretically improbable.  If the pitcher, catcher and runner execute their respective   responsibilities perfectly, the runner will be out.

  • The runner can outmaneuver the pitcher.  And vice-versa.

  • Take a modest lead and stand motionless.  When the Pitcher goes home, he will telegraph a great deal of information.  The Pitcher has 2 things on his mind:  You and the batter.   You have just one thing on your mind:  the Pitcher.   Disconcerting the opponent is marvelously complex.

  • As a lefty hitter with dominant left pushing foot, I can’t afford a big lead.  Being Lefty helps when  pushing to 2nd base, but it’s disadvantageous when scampering back to 1st base.  So, no big leads.

  • The only thing the Pitcher doesn’t know about me is the precise moment when I will go.

  • I am fishing in a very clear pool where I can see the fish I’m after and lead him gently and patiently to the bait.

  • Knowing when to go is intuitive.  It’s like knowing what an intimate friend is going to say a split second before they say it.

  • Empathize with the Pitcher.  Empathize with his moves and thoughts.  At one point, he has to commit himself.


This book about Hall of Famer Lou Brock was written 2 years after Brock set that single season SB record in ’74.  At the time of publication, Lou was 37 years old and  88 SB’s short of Cobb’s career record.  He was also 500 hits short of 3,000 hits, a club with only 11 members at the time

We learn of Lou’s upbringing in poop-poor Collinston, Louisiana, fatherless, with 8 siblings .  We see him emerge from poverty with athletic skills and that analytic nature.  He earns and loses a scholarship at Southern University, and accepts up a $30,000 signing bonus in the Cubs organization.  After batting .361 at St. Cloud, Lou hits the majors and never looks back.  But he doesn’t thrive under the Cubs College of Coaches experiment.

First week:  “Brock, pull the ball !”

Two weeks later:  “Brock, why are you pulling it ? Hit to the opposite field !”

Two weeks later: “ Brock, stop going the other way !  You need to bunt, bunt, bunt ! “

Even after the College of Coaches was replaced with a traditional manager, Brock’s mind was in a knot.  He wasn’t a match for the Cubs system of concentrating on personal weaknesses, rather than emphasizing what one does well.

And then in 1964, after 3.5  Cub years, the Northsiders gave up on Lou.  Stan Musial was retiring and the Cardinals needed an outfielder.  The Cubs needed pitching.

The trade essentially was Lou Brock for Ernie Broglio.

Ernie was a very good pitcher.  But his best was behind him.  After a poor 1965 and 1966, he was out of baseball as a player.

Brock went on to star with St. Louis, where he got the green light to run from the get go, for the next 14 seasons.

Funny thing about that 1964 season.  Brock’s average jumped from .251 with Chicago to .348 in St. Louis.  Brock was a sparkplug for the Cards as they won the Pennant on the last weekend and defeated the Yankees 4 games to 3 in the Series.


This great little book takes us through Brock’s background and career, with emphasis on the World Series of 1964, 1967 and 1968.

It’s a keeper.

That said, author Franz Schulze strains my attention.  He’s more poet than prose man.  He inverts sentence structure more than Yoda. (”Right Fielder Mike Shannon it was who attracted the most attention”), and at times assumes we all speak French (“Regardez, L.A.”)

Schulze is an alternatively good and strange read.

But I’ve got to give him props over the summary he offers of the 1960’s.  To paraphrase:

“…even conservative old Baseball, like every other walk of life in America of the 1960’s, was an arena of violent shock and change.  I will simply remind you of Vietnam, the Assassinations, the Counterculture, the Pill, Pop Art and the rise of a new national religion known as Pro Football…..Within Baseball itself Eckert was hired so the owners would have someone they could boss around……There was also the Houston Astrodome, a glass roofed super stadium where they thought of using colored baseballs….Mayor McKeldin of Baltimore urged the taverns of his city to let Negroes watch the 1966 World Series on TV…..Judges argued over whether the Braves belonged to Atlanta or Milwaukee until after everyone who was not a party to it was stupefied with boredom….See the Athletics try to decide whether they should stay in Kansas City or move to Louisville.  See them neatly resolve this by moving to Oakland…….Juan Marichal takes a bat to the head of John Roseboro right in the middle of a game and gets off with and a $1750 fine and an 8 game suspension……Koufax and Drysdale threaten to give up Baseball for the movies….”

This book resonates with the rebellious  60’s and 70’s. It is of that chaotic and experimental time.   One wonders if weed and wine were handy at the keyboard.


As much as I like and respect Lou Brock, I won’t try to hold him up as a greater thief than Rickey Henderson, who played 5 years later in life than Lou and amassed more SB’s.

But it is tempting to do so.

Henderson stole 1406 bases and was caught stealing 335 times.    That is an .808 success rate.  He played his last game at age 45.

Brock stole 938 bases and was caught stealing 307 times.  That’s a .753 success rate.  He played his last game at age 40.

Rickey played in the steroid era but has never been mentioned or connected.

Brock had to face terrific defensive catchers like Bench and Grote, where Rickey simply did not.

Brock played through pain and injury.  He played through a broken shoulder blade that Koufax fractured.  Not to mention numerous incidents in which he ran into an outfield wall.

Rickey had 2,111 more plate appearances playing in an age of uber expansion & weakened competition.

As tempting as it is to make a case for Brock, I believe it is best to simply appreciate the remarkable talents of both men.


Tasty Nuggets

  • Koufax was known for NOT retaliating against hot doggers or batsmen who raked him, but in May 1965, Lou was batting .370 when he was hit by Koufax and suffered a broken shoulder blade.  Lou’s average sunk to .220 before he turned it around to finish at .288.

  • Jose Santiago was the first Puerto Rican to start a World Series game.  (Game 1, 1967,for Boston).  Although Jose lost to Bob Gibson by 2-1 as Brock went 4-for-4, he also became the first Puerto Rican to homer in a World Series game since Luis Omos tagged Joe Page in the 1949 World Series, and Jose Pagan went yard in ’62  against Ralph Terry.

  • Shulze writes one of the best summaries of the 1967 World Series in just 6 pages.  He says it matched one team that won the Pennant by 10.5 games versus one that won its Pennant “by the grace of God, some glue, spit, and a tire patch kit.”

  • The running game is a head game.  It is nettling, worrisome, exploitative, corrosive and havoc wreaking.

  • Before Brock stole 118 bases in 1974, he stole 30 bases in the last 30 games of 1973 to lead a Cardinal offense that had seriously waned.

  • Wonderful stories and insights about and on Bob Veale, Stave Dalkowski, and Dick Allen.


Don’t miss this book, baseball historians.  Check ebay, check the web for it, this entertaining history of an all time great.

Posted in BASEBALL, BASEBALL BOOKS, Jacoby Ellsbury | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

The journey of Bill Monbouquette : from Billy Martin to Jacoby Ellsbury

Posted by athomeatfenway on January 20, 2010

The Ace in his Prime.

Jacoby Ellsbury could act terribly dumb when he was 22 years old.

“You have to be dumb to try to steal a base when your team is winning 14 – 2.”, said Bill Monbouquette.

So, he talked to him about it.

“If you do that again, you’re going to get drilled right in the flippin’ coconut.’”, Monbouquette told Ellsbury that day in 2005.

Monbo was coaching for Oneonta against Ellsbury and his Lowell team mates at the time.

“And when I told him that, this is what he did –“, Monbouquette mimed Ellsbury’s reaction with the drop of a jaw and the jump of both brows.

I imagined that this dose of inelegant but visceral wisdom made a lasting impression on Ellsbury.

You only need to spend 5 minutes with Bill Monbouquette to know that he is thoughtful and rough-edged, like many men were in the 1940’s and 50’s, and quite politically incorrect in 2010.

Honest, working class guys.  Guys who take no shit, but will take prisoners.  They’ll fight you when you are wrong, and stop just short of pounding a stake through your heart.

I am grateful to have spent time with him at the Boston S.A.B.R. meeting on MLK Day.


Bill Monbouquette won 114 games and registered a 3.68 ERA over an 11 year career, 8 of them with the Red Sox.

Ask 10 RSN members under 55 years old who Bill Monbouquette is and they typically will not know.  He doesn’t get his due.

He was the Ace of the Sox staff.  A four-time All-Star, he pitched a no-hitter in 1962 against the White Sox.   He tossed three one-hit games.  He set a club record with a 17 strikeout-game against the Washington Senators in 1961.

He played during an extended period of Sox failure.

He departed Boston after the ’65 season for Detroit, New York & San Francisco, thus missing the Impossible Resuscitation by a mere 2 years.

And that, my friends, is why few know who he is today.  He was not there when Yaz set New England ablaze.


When Fenway was Monbo’s home, the Sox were 581 – 688, finishing in 7th, 8th, or 9th place five times.

There was not a lot to look forward to then.   Ted Williams was there for the first 3 seasons.  The excellence of Dick Radatz was on display for a while.  Yaz was a budding star, a doubles guy, and a hit-for-average man.

Of course, Frank Malzone’s was there, too.  Malzone’s run in Boston parallels that of Monbouquette.  From 1955 to 1965, Malzone starred at 3rd Base.  He went to 6 ASG’s, hit .274, registered 239 doubles, and was cheated out of the 1957 ROY by Yankee fans that complained his 133 At Bats in 55-56 disqualified him.

And every 4th day, Monbo got his start and the Sox had a chance of getting a W.

“I pitched inside.  That’s how I made my living.  And you tried to get ahead of the batter.  What is it with these 2 – 0 and 3 – 1 counts with pitchers today ?  That’s when you’re forced to take something off your fastball and throw it over the plate, which is what they want.  You need to get ahead of the batter so you can get the out on your pitch, not his.”


He made his major league debut on July 18, 1958 against TheTigers.  Billy Martin stole home on him that day.  In  Billy’s third time at bat, Monbo threw at him, flipping Martin over backwards.  The Rookie Righty then induced a pop out.  Next, Billy took steps toward the mound.  Monbo slipped the glove off his hand and made two fists.  Then Billy quipped, “You owed me that Rook.”, turned, and trotted off to his dugout.

Billy The Kid didn’t just steal home on the righthanded Monbo, he did it with two out and the Tiger pitcher, Milt Bolling, at the plate.  Billy must have read the Sox rookie like a book.


This man from Medford was a control pitcher.  He had control of his pitches, and often his temper.

He walked 100 batters in 236 IP in 1961, but it was an aberration.  Typically, he made about 35 starts a year and walked 40 batters.

In 1965, he had a 3.70 ERA and somehow lost 18 games.

In 1963, he won 20 games and asked the Red Sox for a raise to bolster his $14,000 salary.

Even then, he didn’t get his due.

When he didn’t sign the contract for 1964 that GM Pinky Higgins had mailed to him, there was a public confrontation.  The fight ended with just one punch. Pinky hit the ground with his backside when Bill uncorked a right to the forehead.

Pinky got up and ordered Bill to meet him in his office the next day.  Bill reported as ordered.  A bodyguard was present.  Words were exchanged again.  Down to the floor went Pinky for a second time.

The fighting cost Monbo some of his leverage for 1964.

But Bill did negotiate a 33,000 salary for 1965, his last year in Boston.


In 2007, Monbouquette was diagnosed with leukemia.  Chemotherapy and drug treatment didn’t work, but in October 2009, he celebrated the one year anniversary of a successful bone marrow and stem cell transplant.

Monbo is grey now, his face peppered with age.  He walks with a stiff gait. He has lost 37 pounds in his battle with cancer.  He says he feels good.

He pauses before answering a question, and begins to speak in a whisper, his volume rising as he gets to the end of the story.

“I was there for Ted Williams last game.  There was nobody there.  Maybe 4,000. They say it was more than that but there wasn’t.   Everyone thought Ted would probably go to New York for the last series of the season.  But I knew he wouldn’t go.”

“Everyone knows he hit that home run on his last at bat.  I was in the bullpen.  I watched it all the way and thought I’d catch it, but it kept going.  I was nowhere near it where it came down.”

“The thing people forget is that there was a stiff wind blowing that day.  Ted hit three balls HARD into that wind, and the wind knocked down the first two.  The third one got out. But he could have hit three that day.  I saw it.”


Bill Monbouquette didn’t reach the post-season.  He missed the glory of ’67 by a smidge.  He is off the radar track of most Soxaholics.

But what he witnessed was wondrous.  And what he received, he earned.

And in the end, standing anonymously among us at age 73, traveled and wise, he is a strong and righteous man.

Posted in BASEBALL, Boston Red Sox, Jacoby Ellsbury, RED SOX, Ted Williams | Tagged: , , , | 2 Comments »

Michael Bowden impresses with Win #1

Posted by athomeatfenway on August 31, 2008

Aug. 30, 2008

Fenway Park


All of this on Ted Williams’ birthday.



Michael Bowden took the mound today for his first MLB start backed by a makeshift Sox line-up featuring the “strongest 160-pound man in Baseball” batting cleanup.


Ellsbury (CF), Lowrie (3rd), Ortiz (DH), Pedroia (2nd), Kotsay (RF), Bay (LF), Tek (C), Bailey (1b) and Cora (ss).


Pedroia would reach safely for the 10th AB in a row and hear the MVP chant. 



Bowden did not have it easy.


He faced a ChiSox starting 9 that already poled 185 HR this year. 


The 3-4-5 hitters, Quentin, Dye and Thome, have 96 HR between them. 


Add to that the sensational rookie Alexei Ramirez (.310/15/60), a still potent 38-yr-old Junior Griffey, and a few other clutch performers, and this was no team of pushovers facing Mr. Bowden.


Bowden was as advertised in terms of a powerful, condensed pitching motion.  After walking Cabrera on 5 pitches to start the game, he fired four 92 MPH fastballs to Pierzynski, inducing a 1-3 double play.  5 fastballs later, he grounded Quentin out to third to record his first MLB inning, facing the minimum 3 batters.


Bowden would put up only 5 innings this night.   He wouldn’t go unmolested.  But he limited the damage, showing great character and composure in tight spots.


In the second, he worked his fastball and a 77 mph cutter to get 2 strikes on Jermaine Dye, but with the crowd calling for the rookie’s first MLB strikeout, Dye smashed the ball 390 ft. to the Garage Door area in dead center.  It had HR distance but hit the CF wall 10 ft below the fans in Bleacher 36.  Two batters later, Bowden gave up his first run in the majors when Alexei Ramirez stroked a 2-2 fastball on a line before Bay in left and turned on the speed to register a double and an RBI.


With the crowd still waiting for his first K, Mr. Bowden then fed Nick Swisher a fastball and three 78 mph Cutters, striking Swisher out on a cutter in the dirt.   Swisher, a very good player, looked like a bad one.


The 2nd inning damage was 1 run.  Ramirez was stranded on second.  Bowden kept his cool.


Bowden gave up one more run this day.  That run almost never scored because Joe Crede, the runner, almost produced an out instead of a triple.  Crede led off the 3rd by smacking the 8th pitch Bowden hurled 379 ft to the base of the left center wall. There, Ellsbury caught up with it, and on the ball’s descent, tipped the fly up not once but twice before it fell for a triple.  He stuck his glove out at the end and just missed it.  Not an easy catch potentially.  A great try by the centerfielder.


Crede, who could have been out, trotted in two batters later on Pierzynski’s ground out to Pedroia.  1 run.


Bowden fired fastball after fastball over the course of his outing.  He threw about 60 fastballs out of 89 total pitches. 


Power Against Power


Bowden disarmed Carlos Quentin, holding the MVP candidate to personal O-for-three before leaving. 


Bowden displayed his intangibles in the fifth.  After yielding two singles to Cabrera and Pierzynski, and with Dye on deck, he fed the power hitting Quentin four 92 mph fastballs, two of them partially over the plate, two of them not. 


On the second pitch, with a 1-0 count, two ducks on the pond, Bowden was not afraid to pound another fastball in letter high to the White Sox slugger.


Power against power. 


Quentin couldn’t catch up to it. 


Bowden did not get Quentin to chase the pitches out of the zone, but he did make him fly out to Bay on the last pitch.   Then he stranded two ChiSox when the slugger Dye flew out to Bay on a ball with HR height to the track.


Bowden never looked to be in serious trouble.  He surely put runners on base, yielding 4 hits in the 4th and the 5th, but no one scored.


He was aided by one double play, initiated by him self in the first.



More than a fastball


At the end of the day, Bowden had a fine first outing.  His fastball, 5 or 6 mph slower than Manny Delcarmen’s or Josh Beckett’s, had the movement needed to stay away from the heart of the plate and give the White Sox batters conniptions.  Although heavy on the heater, Bowden mixed in an effective Cutter (77 mph), Curve (78 mph), and a Change (85 mph).  He really made Swisher look bad with the curve in particular.


Licking His Chops


Young Alexei Ramirez stood on deck while Griffey made the last out in the 9th.   He was asked what he thought of the kid who started tonight.  Alexei smiled sweetly at the questioner in the second row.  He looked like a cat licking its whiskers after biting the mouse on it’s hind quarter, but somehow letting it get away.  He smirked, but said nothing.


Bowden gets an A+ for cool.  He gets an A+ for getting ahead in the count.  He gets an A for controlling the rythym of his outing.    


He gets a B- for overall performance though, unable to keep the able ChiSox batters off the bases. 


We’ll someday see how he does against the Ginger and Mary Anne’s in Baltimore, Kansas City and Seattle.  


Ellsbury, Pedroia & Kotsay win it 8-2


Mr. Bowden owes thanks to the self-acknowledged “Strongest 160 pound Man in Baseball”, and a few other mates, for notching his first MLB victory on Ted Williams’  90th birthday, by a score of 8 – 2.

Posted in BASEBALL, Boston Red Sox, Charlie Zink, Clay Buchholz, David Ortiz, Dustin Pedroia, Jacoby Ellsbury, Jon Lester, Josh Beckett, Kevin Youkilis, Manny Ramirez, Matsuzaka, Michael Bowden, Mike Lowell, NESN, RED SOX, Ted Williams, Terry Francona, Tim Wakefield, Uncategorized, Youkilis | Leave a Comment »


Posted by athomeatfenway on August 4, 2008


Fri., July 25    Joba outduels Beckett  1-0


Sat. July 26    Wake’s first bad outing since May 18, Yanks win 10-3


Sun. July 27   Lester cruises over Ponson, 9-2.

Posted in BASEBALL, Boston Red Sox, Carl Yastrzemski, Clay Buchholz, David Ortiz, Dustin Pedroia, Fred Lynn, Jacoby Ellsbury, Jim Rice, JOBA CHAMBERLAIN, Jon Lester, Josh Beckett, Manny Ramirez, Mike Lowell, NEW YORK YANKEES, RED SOX, Ted Williams, Terry Francona, Tim Wakefield | Leave a Comment »

Buchholz or Ellsbury for Santana ?

Posted by athomeatfenway on November 24, 2007

The Sox are in the hunt for Johan Santana.  The Twins want two young, cheap, excellent-upside players plus two minor league prospects.  And now, Jon Lester, Clay Bucholz, and Jacoby Ellsbury, and possibly Coco Crisp are in the discussion.  I’d really like to see Theo pull the trigger on this one.  Give Jon Lester a plane ticket.  Lester doesn’t get better with every start, he seems to get worse.  He puts men on and struggles to have a clean inning.   And, give Clay Buchholz a plane ticket, too, because a no-hitter doesn’t make Buchholz a solid major leaguer.  Plenty of kids have had a big day in the spotlight.  Remember Anibal Sanchez, who pitched a no-hitter in his 5th MLB start, then whoops, tore his labrum.  Remember Bud Smith, who pitched a no-no for the Cards in 2000 at the age of 21, and pitched his final MLB game at the age of 22 ?  AJ Burnett was 24 when he no-hit the Padres, but he’s 58W-54L since, with 8 trips to the D.L. in 7 years.  Eric Milton, Jose Jimenez, the list goes on.   Meanwhile, Santana brings a career winning pct. of .679, a 3.33 career ERA, and four sub-3.00 ERA seasons.  He strikes out many and walks few.   He has had just one stint on the D.L .- 6 years ago.  At age 28, he could give his next team a great 5 year run as a #1 starter.  I like a rotation of Beckett, Santana, Schilling, Wakefield and Matsuzaka.   Holy Smokes !  Don’t you ?  Schill, sadly, is not expected to be here in 2009.  Send Lester, Buchholz plus two prospects for Santana.  Just lock up Johan for 5 years before the trade gets done.  And if they insist on Ellsbury in a package w Lester and prospects, do it !  Red Sox fans deserve a long, long extension of this heady era of Soxcess, and Santana will help extend it.

Posted in BASEBALL, Clay Buchholz, Dustin Pedroia, Jacoby Ellsbury, RED SOX | Tagged: , , , , , | 2 Comments »