Friday, March 03, 2006

TV and Radio broadcast schedules 



Spring Training Notes 

Dustin Pedroia sat in the clubhouse with an ice pack around his left shoulder today after he was forced out of last night’s game in the eighth inning with a strained left shoulder. He sustained the injury on an awkward swing while striking out against Jason Miller on a high fastball. Following a "funny" swing, Pedroia said his shoulder went numb. The feeling in the shoulder came back, but Pedroia reports the back of his shoulder is very sore. Pedroia was scheduled to visit with Sox physicians this morning. With Alex Gonzalez off to the World Baseball Classic for Venezuela, Pedroia was due to see a lot of playing time, but his injury has prompted the Sox to bring up former Stanford star Jed Lowrie, a sandwich pick between the first and second round. Alejandro Machado will also see more time at the position.

More than a dozen teams had scouts at last night’s game, including the New York Mets, who may have interest in Tony Graffanino following Bret Boone’s sudden retirement on Wednesday.

Curt Schilling was scheduled to throw between 30-35 pitches against the Boston College Eagles this afternoon. Bronson Arroyo is set to start tomorrow’s game against Pittsburgh. Tim Wakefield is slated for Sunday and Josh Beckett on Monday.

According to Francona thinks it might be about a week before Manny Ramirez gets into games. If Manny's batting practice sessions go well, the process could accelerate. Francona has also offered Manny the chance to take some of David Ortiz' vacated DH at-bats.

Keith Foulke and David Wells are both scheduled to throw on the side today.

Sox downed by Twins 6-3 in spring opener 

It was a very impressive debut for Coco Crisp, who went 3-for-3 with one RBI, finishing just a home run shy of the cycle. Against Twins ace left-hander Johan Santana in the first inning, Crisp batted right-handed and singled to left. Against Twins right-hander Carlos Silva in the third inning, Crisp batted left-handed and doubled to right-center. Against Twins left-handed reliever Gabe White in the fifth inning, Crisp batted right-handed and tripled to right-center. Not too shabby.

Starter Jonathan Papelbon surrendered two runs, both earned, on four hits and one walk in 1 2/3 innings. In the first inning when Twins leadoff batter Shannon Stewart hit a line shot off the pitcher's left ankle. In a postgame interview on WEEI, Papelbon explained that if the ankle had been hit a bit higher, it likely would have shattered, rendering him unable to pitch for 3-6 months.
The Sox struck out 14 times last night. David Murphy owned 4 of them.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Tonight's starting lineup 

1. Coco Crisp -- CF
2. Tony Graffanino -- 2B
3. Kevin Youkilis -- 1B
4. Dustan Mohr -- RF
5. John Flaherty -- C
6. Ron Calloway -- DH
7. Alejandro Machado -- SS
8. David Murphy -- LF
9. Enrique Wilson -- 3B

Jonathan Papelbon -- P

Nice to see Coco making the short trip across town, eventhough he's really the only regular in the lineup besides Youkilis. Obviously the Sox are trying to showcase Graffanino and hope to get him multiple at-bats by having in in the 2-hole.

Again, tonight's game will be aired on WEEI 850-AM at 7 PM. I'm unsure of whether or not WEEI has the rights to air Spring Training games online. If so, the game can be streamed from WEEI.com.

Manny arrives and more... 

I'm sorry I haven't been able to update the past few days. Things around here have been sort of hectic, but should be settling down. As I'm sure everybody knows, Manny has arrived. At 9:01 this morning, Manny arrived sporting a #81 Tim Brown Raiders jersey and a completely new hair-do. I haven't really been a fan of Manny's hair since he had that big bleached puffball back in Cleveland, but I've gotta say, I sorta like this one. I dig the bleached dreads in the back.

Just from reading Manny's quotes, he seems like he's ready to just get down to business and disregard the trade rumors. Asked if he was happy to be playing for the Boston Red Sox, Manny replied, "I’m here. I’m here." 'Nuf said. However, if you look at the multiple pictures of Manny from today's workout courtesy of the Boston Globe, he looks like a little kid playing a giant sandbox.

All I know is that he's finally arrived, he's in great shape, and for the time being he's a member of the Boston Red Sox. Let's face it, he's wanted out of here for years and it hasn't stopped him from producing. He loves hitting the baseball. He's paid to do that and he finds pleasure in it. He's not going to stop hitting the baseball.

"I don't live in the past, I live in the present and that's it. This is a new year ... people want me to come back. People want me here so we're just gonna move on. I'm just gonna come, do my job. I get paid to play baseball. That's [why] I'm here. That's it. What else can I say?"
--Manny Ramirez

In other news, Jonathan Papelbon is set to start tomorrow's Spring Training opener against the Twins at Hammond Stadium. Rudy Seanez, David Riske, Manny Delcarmen, and Craig Hansen are set to make the trip as well. However, don't read too much into Papelbon getting the starting nod in the opener. As Papelbon himself explains, "It doesn’t matter who’s getting the first start down here. We’re all on the same program and this is how the program happened to unfold."

David Wells finally threw his first bullpen session of the spring today. He threw for about eight minutes, and said that his surgically repaired right knee felt fine.

While Wells has avoided interviews all spring, he did sit down to answer a few questions until Jon Miller asked whether Wells was still seeking a trade, to which Wells responded, "That's it guys, I'm done. You asked the wrong question. It's not your fault. You didn't know, but I'm done." Well, that was fun. Perhaps Wells is under a gag order from the Red Sox, so as to not diminish his trade value? In any event, he's days are numbered.

There have been reports recently that Keith Foulke has been receiving injections in each of his knees, but that the injections were not cortisone. It has finally been revealed that the injection is a lubricant, possibly Synvisc, which is designed to minimize the friction that takes place in a joint after cartilage has been removed. Fear not, Randy Johnson has received similar injections with positive results.

Foulke also threw off a bullpen mound after spending a few days throwing off flat ground.

Josh Beckett threw a pair of very strong innings in a simulated game on Field 1. He drew rave reviews from coaches and hitters.

Chicago Cubs scout Ken Kravec was spotted at yesterday’s workout, which may be an indication that the club still has interest in acquiring infielder Tony Graffanino. Todd Walker has been successful with the bat in Chicago (as he was in Boston), but his glove rates near or at the bottom according to many defensive metrics.

The following players will be participating in the World Baseball Classic, starting today:

David Ortiz (Domincal Republic)
Julian Tavarez (Dominican Republic)
Alex Gonzalez (Venezuela)
Jason Varitek (United States)
Mike Timlin (United States)
Alex Cora (Puerto Rico)
Adam Stern (Canada)
Lenny Dinardo (Italy)
Trent Durrington (Australia)

Tomorrow night, 7 PM, Red Sox at Twins, WEEI 850 AM

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Spring Training: Day 7 

The only important note from yesterday's workout pertains to Curt Schilling. Schilling threw his first batting practice session of the spring. He faced Tony Graffanino, Willie Harris and Kevin Youkilis and, according to Steven Krasner of the Providence Journal, the reports were encouraging after his 63-pitch, 16-minute workout.

Schilling explained that he had no idea how many pitches he threw, but that he was more focused on warming up in the bullpen as if he was pitching a game. The twenty minutes in the bullpen and 16 minutes on the mound at a much more rapid than game pace made him wear out a little quicker. This is a method that he learned from Roger Clemens and that he's always tried to do early in camp. He explains, "the quicker you can pitch tired in spring training, the quicker you can start to get a game mind-set for pitching late innings."

John Flaherty, his catcher for the session, explained, "If you didn't know he had surgery you wouldn't even have thought it. He had to throw probably 70 pitches, I would think. In that short period of time, it was incredible. I know I was dying back there, I don't know how he was doing."

"He threw everything. The ball was jumping at the end," said Graffanino.

However, according to the venerable Mike F of SoSH, Curt was less than pleased with his session -- "it was reported to me that he was less than happy with some of his pitches. I heard that a few bombs (f) were loosed after a pitch didn'’t go where or act as it should."

Nothing to worry too much about though, considering it was his first session and the ankle clearly isn't an issue. Just improve that arm strength and be ready to take the mound on April 3.

From here on out, I will also pass along any Sox articles that I feel are worth reading.

With Sox, Hazen reaches home - (Robert Carroll) - Nice article in the South Weekly section of the Globe about the Abington native's return home as the new director of player development.

The eyes of the franchise: Part 1 - (Rob Bradford) - The first in a three-part series introducing elements of the Boston Red Sox organization which, while sometimes going unrecognized, all play integral parts in the team's success.

Manny being Manny: Hyde Park's Delcarmen perfectly at home with Sox - (Steve Buckley) - MDC takes a stroll back through the streets of his old neighborhood, describes the fear of his possible trade to Cleveland, and reveals his future goals.

A bit of Australia in Red Sox Nation - (Gordon Edes) - A look at Trent Durrington and Craig Shipley, two Australians looking for success with the Sox.

2006 Predictions 

I was bored and I figured I'd take a shot at some predictions for this upcoming season. I didn't bother using run differentials or any other method to figure these out; I simply filled out a spreadsheet in about 15 minutes (hey, this method won me a March Madness pool). Here goes nothin'...

Feel free to tell me how wrong I am. Also, I reserve the right to change the projections at any time prior to Opening Day.

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