February 15th, 2011
There were 30 pitcher and 7 catchers on hand for today’s workout–and at the end of it all, 2 catchers and 11 or 12 pitchers will head to Boston (by way of Texas) to kick off the 2011 Campaign…
I just wish that the 2 catchers who are more than likely going to break camp (Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Jason Varitek) had a little more help…’Tek will be a superb backup catcher, as he was last year, but giving the starting reins to someone who is less than 2 years away from the yips? And is a career .248 hitter? UGH….
The Starting 5 I feel a bit better about: We have Ace Jon Lester (who absolutely NEEDS to be the Opening Day Starter), That Clay Person, who has definitely jumped into the 2nd slot in this rotation–then you have Josh Beckett and John Lackey, who at this point, are pretty much interchangeable for me as #3 and #4, and then we have Daisuke, who can throw a 1-hitter complete game one day, and the next give up 7 earned runs and not get out of the 4th inning…Will he put up or shut up in his FIFTH contract year? We’ll see…
And of course, if any of the 5 struggle or get injured, the Sox have Tim Wakefield (who is still trying to break Cy Young and Roger Clemens’ club record of 192 wins–he needs 14) and rookie Felix Doubront, who has shown some flashes of brilliance in the past…
Well, John Lackey arrived about 10 lbs lighter, after spending the off-season doing cardio like a freak. Let’s hope the better conditioning, plus the fact that he now knows what its like to pitch in a pressure cooker known as Boston, will help him improve to the pitcher deserving of the $82.5 million he signed for last year. I personally think he’ll win a couple more games, maybe go 16-8, with a 4.05 ERA–I don’t expect an ace of the staff–but I do expect him to chew up alot of innings, like he did last year, and get somewhat better….
As part of MLB’s breast cancer initiative that they do every year for Mother’s Day, Red Sox Ace Jon Lester (and cancer survivor himself) will be part of the selection committee to choose honorary bat girls. Coordinated with Susan G. Komen for the Cure, the world’s largest breast cancer organization, Red Sox fans ages 18 and older can go online between now and April 14th to share inspirational stories about themselves or loved ones. Then on Mother’s Day, May 8th, one bat girl will take part in pre-game activities, be honored during an on-field ceremony at Fenway Park, and receive pink MLB merchandise and two tickets to the game. Winners will be based on: originality, quality of writing, demonstration of commitment to breast cancer awareness, and public appeal as determined by online fan votes. Good Luck!
Despite playing through most of last season with a HOLE in his abdomen, Mike Cameron, who eventually had to have season ending surgery to repair the herniation, is 100% and raring to go–as raring to go as a 38 year old baseball player actually can be… Tito weighs in: “He feels terrific. But the idea is to keep him that way. He’s so excited about how he feels, I’m kind of looking forward to that, because last year was tough for him.”
Finally, Out of the Park Baseball has announced that Pre-Orders are being accepted for OOTP 12 for just $29.99, which is $10.00 off the regular price. And that is not all: you’ll get to download a full 2 days before everyone else (expected release date Opening Day 2011) AND, if you order before the end of this month (Feb 28th) your name will be entered to win an iPad–and not just any old iPad–the 2nd Generation iPad, the one Apple has not even announced its release date yet…and you could be the 1st on your block to own one!
And for those you who are fans of OOTP 11 (We here at Boston Red Thoughts ran the simulation last year, and hope to do it again this year), 12 is even better: with the latest and greatest rosters, including last year’s draft picks, a revamped financial system, greater immersion and realism in the game, and much much more! For more information, check out OOTP’s latest newsletter…Good luck, and I hope you win the iPad!
Coming up: Day after tomorrow is mandatory reporting day for all remaining players, and since Manny and Pedro are no more, I don’t expect there to be any shocking surprise no shows….