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  • February 14th, 2011

    February 14, 2011:
    Happy Pitchers and Catchers, + 1…

    Posted by Christine E. at 5:35 pm in Baseball,Random Thoughts,Red Sox No Comments

    Let the Games Begin!

    I know, I know, there aren’t any games (even the meaningless ones) for about  2 weeks, but one of the surest signs of Spring Training happened yesterday for the Boston Red Sox–Mandatory reporting date for all pitchers and catchers!

    Then, today were physicals, with the 1st full squad workout happening tomorrow…

    And, in honor of all this, it’s a BALMY 45 degrees here in NE Pennsylvania…Hey, it was SEVEN here last week–45 is balmy!

    And what about Jonathan Papelbon? For YEARS he has been bragging about how he is going to “set the standard for elite closers everywhere” or something like that. But, he has been declining in recent years, most notably his suckage of 2010 (8 blown saves, and an ERA of nearly 4…). So the Sox bring in a guy (Bobby Jenks) who, even though he has had struggles himself, could very well step in and be a closer. Add to that the fact that Daniel Bard is heir apparent for the Sox closing job–and now, all of a sudden, Papelbon is all perplexed that people don’t think he’ll be with the Sox after this year. C’mon Paps, everyone knows you will go where the money is–and if you regain your form, (and even if you don’t, you’re still not that awful—at least to teams other than the Sox) you’ll go to the highest bidder–loyalty means nothing… So, you’ll either have a monster year, and bail to the highest bidder, or not, and then maybe have to settle for a little (or a lot) less…It will be interesting to see how it all plays out…

    But Bobby Jenks is being all kinds of diplomatic with regard to his role for the Red Sox: “…I didn’t come here to step on anybody’s toes. I know what my role is…” Ah huh…

    The Sox made another minor signing over the weekend, coming to terms with Japanese lefty Itsuki Shoda with a minor league contract. The 29 year old was the 2002 Pacific League Rookie of the Year in Japan, but has struggled since then, pitching in Taiwan for the last 3 seasons… There is no chance he’ll make the bigs at this point, and was only signed for some depth on the minor league level…

    What a difference a year makes. Remember last year when everyone thought (ok, ME) that Tim Wakefield should get the 5th starter slot, and Clay Buchholz should go back to the minors for some more seasoning? Yeah, I was an idiot–That Clay Person stepped up, and is pretty much the #2/ #1B starter for the Boston Red Sox…He weighs in: “It feels good to have a full season under my belt knowing that feeling that I belong in this position and the team has a little bit of confidence in me going into spring training and going into the season being healthy…getting work done, and then expecting big things during the season.” Can he be as good as, or, perish the thought, improve on, his 2010 campaign of 17-7, with a 2.33 ERA? It’s been almost 4 years since his no-hitter…I’m just saying is all…

    OK, who had before Spring Training begins in the pool? It’s not even March and JD Drew is complaining of “nagging” hamstring injuries, and has ALREADY made the visit to orthopedic guru Dr. James Andrews in Birmingham. Two Words: Ryan Kalish….

    Coming up: Thursday is the mandatory reporting date for everyone not a pitcher or a catcher, with physicals Friday, and the 1st Full Squad Workout on Saturday the 19th…

    And then, a week later, the Sox play some games, a day-night doubleheader against the college boys of Boston College and Northeastern University, whom they will, as they do every year, beat the snot out of–but its BASEBALL!’

    And from all of us at Boston Red Thoughts: Happy Valentine’s Day!

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