February 12th, 2010
The unofficial kick off to baseball season happened today–the massive truck filled to the brim with everything the Boston Red Sox need to spend the next 6 weeks in Fort Myers, Florida, departed from Fenway Park today at about 12 noon, and will travel the next 3 days to arrive at Camp by Monday morning.
And even though Pitchers and Catchers isn’t for almost another week, and position players a few days after that, a number of Red Six players have already reported for camp. Most notably: Kevin Youkilis, Manny Delcarmen (who should have showed up in DECEMBER after the crappy 2nd 1/2 performance he had in 09), Jonathan Papelbon and Jon Lester (a perennial early bird) I expect other will be arriving soon–and since the malcontents are gone, there will be no “my grandmother died for the 7th time, so I am going to be late to camp” excuses…
And speaking of Jon Lester–I still cannot believe he is only 26 years old–and I still don’t believe we have seen the very best of him yet–he has been good, but I think he will be phenomenal someday. And I think that if the Sox get rid of Lowell (which SUCKS) my next jersey will be #31, which coincidentally, is the day of my birth…
And it looks like Johnny Damon won’t be unemployed much longer–rumor has it that the Braves have offered him a 1 year deal, and the Tigers are still interested, and apparently the White Sox have thrown their hat in the ring. While I think he will end up with the Tigers, I wish he would just go the NL already, so then we would not have to deal with him anymore….
And the Sox acquired another potential reliever this week, claiming Gaby Hernandez off waivers from the Mariners. He is now part of the 40-man, and will be at Spring Training. From Theo: “Decent scouting reports on him, and those reports pretty consistently indicate that if he’s ever available on the scrap heap to pick him up. Given his age (he’s 23) and the way his arm works and the advanced levels at which he pitched, he has a chance for some upside down the line.” In his last 5 starts in 2009, he was 2-0 with a 1.80 ERA in AAA Tacoma…
Remember Charlie Zink? The knuckleballer that has been in Pawtucket for a long time, and who did not fare very well when he was called up for pitch for the Sox last year (1 start, 4.1 IP, giving up 8 runs on 11 hits, while walking and striking out 1, which left him with an completely ucky 16.62 ERA)? Well, apparently, he wont be getting another chance–he signed a minor league deal with St. Louis, with an invite to Spring Training. I always liked him, and hoped he would eventually stick with the Sox–but I hope he does well with the Cards, and gets to the Show…
Speaking of the show: Here is the projected batting order for your 2010 Boston Red Sox:
1. Jacoby Ellsbury, Left Field
2. 2B Dustin Pedroia, 2nd Base
3. Victor Martinez, Catcher
4. Kevin Youkilis, 1st Base
5. David Ortiz, DH
6. Mike Cameron, Center Field
7. J.D. Drew, Right Field
8. Adrian Beltre, 3rd Base
9. Marco Scutaro, Shortstop
There is a great article in the Herald today, breaking down all the players, including some neato facts about each one…
Did you know that Victor Martinez is not only a switch hitter, but can long toss and throw curveballs with both hands as well?
Or that when Red Sox scouts watched Jon Lester in high school, they considered him a fringe hitting prospect, as well as a pitcher?
One more: Hideki Okajima stare-at-the-ground delivery was modeled off a character in a Japanese comic book.
You can read all of them here…
Finally, The Big Hurt, Frank Thomas announced his retirement today, ending an 18 year baseball career, 15 of them with the White Sox. A career .301 hitter, he amassed 521 homers and 741 RBI’s while collecting a boatload of hardware from back to back MVP’s (93 and 94) to 4 Silver Sluggers (91, 93, 94 & 200) and being a 5-Time All-Star (93-97). The White Sox plan on retiring his number #35 on August 29th–Frank Thomas Day–during a ceremony at U.S. Cellular Field for the 1:05 game…
Coming up: 6 days to Pitchers and Catchers, and 19 until the Sox play their 1st games of the 2010 campaign! Yeah, I know the 1st two are against college teams Northeastern and Boston College, but its real live baseball. Whoo Hoo!