March 11th, 2014
Holy Buckets! It’s in the 60’s here in northeastern PA, daylight savings time has happened, and Red Sox baseball is less than 3 weeks away.
Opening Day. On my Birthday. WHAT a present. Whoo Hoo!
So Jon Lester made his first start of the 2014 campaign yesterday, and he delivered 3 strong innings of 1 hit ball with 4 strikeouts against Tampa Bay.
Shane Victorino, recovering from his thumb surgery in the offseason, also made his 2014 debut in yesterday’s contest. And he weighs in on how things went: “I felt great. It’s nice to be back out there with the guys. It was a good runaround. Get a ball on defense, run the bases. And obviously being back out on the field. That’s what it’s all about. This is what you prepare for. I’ve been itchy and antsy to get out there.” He went 0-1, with a strike out, was hit by a pitch, and scored a run.
The Sox actually won this one (They are 5-8 so far this season), with a little help from Big Papi and Mike Napoli., who both hit homers in the 8-2 win. And it was pretty much the first time we saw how the Sox will look on Opening Day. I expect the cuts will start happening soon…
And I know, I know, the season isn’t won in Spring Training (they were 17-17 in 2013, and look what happened) But it’s still aggravating to see the text messages pop up on my phone “Sox lose…blah blah blah”
And…In no surprise whatsoever, Jon Lester is all but guaranteed to be the Opening Day Starter when the Sox take on the Oreos on March 31st. This wil be his 4th Opening Day start, and the only other pitcher who has more for the Sox (7) is a pitcher you may have heard of: Pedro Martinez.
And speaking of Jon Lester, we all know that his contract is up at the end of this season, and he will become a free agent. We also know that he is willing to take a hometown discount to stay with the Sox, because a couple dollars to start over somewhere else is just not important to him. So then, what SHOULD the number be? He is an upper echelon starter who has logged at least 200 innings in the last 6 seasons, and led this team to its 3rd World Series in 10 years–with a .212 ERA.
My thoughts? 4 years, $85 million, with a vesting option for year 5.
And Jake Peavy really dodged a bullet in terms of the damage inflicted when he cut himself at the beginning of the month. Fortunately it was his left hand (index finger), and fortunately it wasn’t bad enough to stop him from making his first start of the season this coming Thursday. And it looks like either him, or That Clay Person will be making the first Fenway start on April 4th–which is also Ring Day…
Coming up: Grady Sizemore played in his 2 games in a row this season, as the Sox took on the Oreos and the Marlins today, winning the contest against the Cookies, and losing the one against the Fish. The Sox get their only off-day of Spring Break tomorrow, then its Jake Peavy in his 2014 debut against the Twins on Thursday. 1st pitch: 1:05pm