And Thank You for visiting Sonoma Dave's Giant Red Sox Blog! This blog is an archive of most of my posts on Fenway West. Effective immediately, I will be be including posts about the San Francisco Giants, MLB, and on occasion, stuff that has nothing to do with baseball at all.

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Monday, February 28, 2011

Best picture ever?

I have no idea what I plugged into Google Images when this photo came up, but I liked it so much I had to save it for our readers. Enjoy!


Say bye-bye to the Red Sox home run little Yankee outfielders.

Quote of the day

“Did anyone watch the Super Bowl?’’

Alex Rodriguez opened his first news conference of the spring with that line. In case you're not into football, he was referring to cameras catching Cameron Diaz feeding him popcorn at the Superbowl.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Seth Lasko of NESN hits the nail right on the head of A-Rod

Seth Lasko of NESN writes about A-Rod and his admiration of Jose Iglesias. His 1st paragraph of his post today:

New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez took a few minutes away from admiring himself in the mirror this offseason to take note of Red Sox shortstop prospect Jose Iglesias.

It's a short post, but I just had to share that paragraph with all of you.

HankWatch- Monday, February 21, 2011

Hank Steinbrenner continues to make my job easier. Today we get this post from Nick Cafardo of Boston.com:

TAMPA, Fla. - Yankees co-chairman Hank Steinbrenner shares Red Sox owner John Henry's view that something needs to be done about revenue sharing in baseball.

Steinbrenner revealed the team contributed about $130 million between revenue sharing and luxury tax, the most of any team in the league and the most, according to Steinbrenner that the team has ever had to contribute. A few days ago, Sox CEO Larry Lucchino indicated the team contributed $86 million. This is obviously a sore subject for the Yankees and Red Sox.
"We've got to do a little something about that and I know Bud (Selig) wants to. There's a way. Obviously we're very much allied with the Red Sox, and Mets and Dodgers and Cubs, in that area. At some point if you don't want to worry about teams in minor markets, don't put teams in minor markets or don't leave teams in minor markets. Socialism, communism is never the answer."
When asked about Boston's spiraling payroll and spending spree this offseason, Steinbrenner said, "John (Henry) is committed to winning as we are. He'll do what he has to do."

He added, "The Red Sox are always gonna be there with the Yankees along with five or six other teams who can win the World Series. This year it's the Phillies. The AL East is an SOB."

Concerning his own team, Steinbrenner said that he sees a hunger returning to the team, the same hunger he saw in 2009.
"In 09 I saw it. Sometimes they celebrated a little too much last year. Some of the players too busy building mansions and concentrating on other things and not concentrating on winning. I have no problems saying that. They've come into this spring with a new hunger and that's what it takes to win."
The one player who built a "mansion" was Derek Jeter.
"I'm not singling anybody out. This year, from what I've seen by our coaches they've come in with a real new drive and determination, the kind they had in '09. I think they felt embarrassed last year. It bothers them."
Concerning the team's inability to acquire a starting pitcher:
"We did. We got Soriano. Everybody's missing the point. We didn't get Lee, but we got the second-best relief pitcher in the American League and now he's the set-up guy."

I tell ya, these Hank posts just seem to write themselves.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Box score from the past (10.15.46)

Poor Johnny Pesky. Last week I posted about how the Pole came to bear his name, and the tale of him hitting a walk off home run around his pole to give Mel Parnell the victory. But he has a more dubious claim to Red Sox history. In game #7 of the 1946 World Series against the St. Louis Cardinals, the Red Sox went up 1-0 in the top of the 1st inning, but fell behind 3-1 by the end of the 5th. They stormed back with 2 runs in the top of the 8th to tie the game. In the bottom of the 8th inning, the Cardinals' Enos Slaughter led off with a single. The next 2 batters were retired, and their manager called for the hit and run. Walker then hits a line drive to Leon Culberson, who had replaced Dom Dimaggio who left the game with an injury. Culberson throws to Pesky for the relay. Pesky either checked Walker at first before firing home, or he was so shocked to see Slaughter dashing for home that he hesitated long enough for Slaughter to make it into home safe. The play has been dubbed 'Slaughter's Mad Dash.' It would be 21 years before the Red Sox made it back to the World Series, and another 37 years after that before a World Series trophy would land in Boston.

Slaughter's Mad Dash

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Quote of the Day

Terry Francona responding to Mark Teixeira's claim that the Yankees are the underdogs in the AL East:

"I don't care. They have a $200 million payroll. They’re not gonna be too underdoggish."

Thanks, and a tip of the cap to Peter Abraham, Boston.com

Monday, February 21, 2011

'Best Red Sox Blog Award'

The 'Best Red Sox Blog Award' goes to Jared Carrabis and Sox Space for the 2nd year in a row and also won the 'Best New England Sports Blog' as well. The Awards were presented by Comcast SportsNet New England. Carrabis is the Massachusetts Governor of Red Sox Nation. Rafe Anderson of TruFan put the awards night together which was held at Remy's.

Being 3k miles away from the mother ship, I don't think I or Matt or any of us at Fenway West saw this nomination coming. We are honored to have been nominated for 'Best Red Sox Blog,' and mentioned in the same breath as other noteworthy and esteemed Red Sox blogs such as Sox Space, Surviving Grady, and Sox & Dawgs.

Many thanks go to all our readers, too! Thank you all very much for coming back. I can't really say where Fenway West fits in the grand scheme of all things Red Sox, but for me personally, this is strong motivation to continue to write intelligent posts whether they are human interest stories that may fly under the radar elsewhere (or above), Horatian satire, or the daily line-ups and box scores.

I would also like to thank Alex Rodriguez and Hank Steinbrenner for providing Red Sox pundits from the major media all the way down to the last blog with an endless supply of fodder. Gotta give credit where it’s due, eh Hank?

Hank Steinbrenner~ 4000 words

The Mouth of Hank

Hank posts just simply write themselves! You can’t make this stuff up!
From ESPN:
"We're gonna be in it every year, every single year. You can't say that about any other team, except maybe the Red Sox. But they weren't in it last year. And the Phillies seem to be keeping it going but how long will that last? The only team you can be assured as long as we own them is going to be in it every single year is going to be us. We're gonna be a major contender to win the championship every year."
"We're in the AL East and anything can happen, but we got a shot. I'm not gonna pick who the best teams are but we're one of them. We got the best bullpen in baseball, we got the hitting, we're gonna be good defensively and the starting pitching hopefully will come around. We think A.J. Burnett will turn it around and all our baseball people like this kid [Ivan] Nova. And Boston's got a lot to prove, too, after last year."

However, when asked if he thought the Yankees were better this season, Steinbrenner hesitated.

"I really don't know. I certainly hope so. We're going to find out. But you can't predict. You just play the games and hope you don't have injuries."

He had been asked about the likelihood that his ace, CC Sabathia, would invoke the opt-out clause in his seven-year, $161 million contract after this season.

"I don't think he will, he's very happy there. He's been very happy there. Now he really knows what it's like to be a Yankee. He's here to stay."
Earlier in the day Sabathia had refused to rule out the possibility, an option that Alex Rodriguez exercised after the 2007 season, only to be rewarded with a contract extension and a raise after Hank Steinbrenner took over the negotiation from his general manager, Brian Cashman, who had advised against it.

File this one under famous last words, folks! Check back for all the Hank-isms that will spew from Da Bronx all season long! Thank you, Hank! You make our jobs s-o-o-o easy!

1958 Red Sox Spring Training West Coast Tour

1958 saw the Giants and the Dodgers no longer playing in New York, as they had both headed west to San Francisco and Los Angeles. The Red Sox went on a west coast trip that spring to play them in their new homes. (Those 2 new west coast teams would not get new stadia until 1960 for the Giants and 1962 for the Dodgers.) Seal Stadium in San Francisco had been the home of the Red Sox minor league affiliate which won the 1957 Pacific Coast League Championship, and served as the temporary home for the Giants. Harry Hooper and Joe Cronin were on hand to welcome the Red Sox to San Francisco. The Red Sox and Dodgers would play in LA Memorial Coliseum. In 2008, the Red Sox returned to Los Angeles to mark the 50th anniversary of the arrival of Major League Baseball in that city. On March 29, 2008, the Dodgers and the Red Sox played in an exhibition game before 115,300 fans in the LA Coliseum, the largest turnout ever to watch a baseball game. The last stop on the Red Sox west coast trip was in Phoenix, AZ, which was the new home of the Giants AAA affiliate and took San Francisco's place in the Pacific Coast League. NESN provides us with this video highlighting that west coast trip.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Box score from the past (06.11.1950 game 2/2)

Johnny Pesky is a Red Sox legend. In 2006, the Red Sox officially renamed the right field foul pole "Pesky's Pole". In 2008, the team retired his number, #6, but they broke one of their own rules regarding retired jersey numbers. In order to have one's Red Sox number retired, one must have played 10 seasons with the Sox, be voted into the Hall of Fame, and finished one's career with the Sox. He has 2 of the 3 qualifications, but because of his lifetime commitment to them, he was rewarded by having his number retired.

Although the pole was officially renamed in 2006, the name of "Pesky's Pole" had been coined years earlier. The story goes that Mel Parnell called it that name after Pesky hit 1 of his 17 career home runs in extra innings for a walk off win. But if you dig deeper, you will find that Pesky hit only 6 of those homers were hit in Fenway Park. Dig deeper still and you will find that he only hit 1 home run that he hit while Parnell was pitching, on June 6th, 1950, the 2nd game of a double header that day. If you go just a little bit furthur you will find that that home run was hit in the 1st inning.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Lost in Space

The year was 1965. "Lost in Space" made its debut on national TV that year.

And the Boston Red Sox pondered building a domed stadium in the South Station area.

The site does not provide any information about this plan other than what appears on the card in the middle picture, nor could any info found on other sites about this plan. Tony Lee of NESN stumbled upon these photos again. All I can say is thank the gods of intergallactic space travel this thing was never built! It makes the Yurt in Florida look good!

Quotes of the day

Derek Jeter on the Red Sox:
"They added some good players, I would assume that everyone over there is excited. It’s our job to try to beat them."

Master Yoda:
"Try not. Do, or do not. There is no try"

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Box score from the past (07.14.56)

Last week I posted Jon Lester's no-hitter in Box score from the past. We have to go all the way back to 1956 to find the previous no-hitter at Fenway Park pitched by a Red Sox southpaw. Mel Parnell was the last one to do it on July 14 that summer, and it was his last season before retiring. Parnell had an impressive 10 year career spent entirely with the Red Sox. He was a member of the broadcasting crew from 1965 to 1968.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Have you voted for "Best Red Sox Blog" yet?

Don't forget to vote for Fenway West for 'Best Red Sox Blog' in the New England Sports Blog Awards Presented by Comcast SportsNet New England. You can vote once a day in between now and February 14th. Thanks from Fenway West!


For Dice-K

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Pettitte retires

NY Yankees  pitcher Andy Pettitte is hanging up his spikes. Pettitte cited a strong desire to be with his wife and 4 kids as the motivation for his decision. Although his body may be ready for 1 more season, his heart said he no longer wanted to pitch for the Yankees.

"I will not pitch this season, I can assure you of that, and I do not plan on pitching again. I think taking the mound every fifth day is over. I am looking forward to this next chapter in my life, and figuring out what that is. I don't want it to be anything except hanging out with my family."

Pettitte announced his decision today in New York. He has 240 regular season victories to his credit in a career that spanned 16 years, as well as 19 post-season victories.

Pettitte after Ellsbury stole home

Monday, February 7, 2011

A-Rod and Cameron: cough! gag! hack!

Awwww, now ain't that cute... NOT! Fox captured this puppy love shot of Cameron Diaz feeding popcorn to A-Rod at the Superbowl. I'm not a football fan (bunch of oversized genetic freaks of nature), but the 1 game of the year that I might watch, I get to watch Cameron Diaz in all her hotness slumming at the Superbowl. Aren't you glad the Sox got Manny and not this buffoon?

At the House of Fenway West Superbowl Fest, the VW/Darth Vader commercial was voted best commercial.

And now for some more hotness from Cameron Diaz.

Thanks and a tip of the cap to Red at Surviving Grady for the gratuitous jpeg swipe of the A-Rod photo.

VOTE! Don't forget to vote for Fenway West for 'Best Red Sox Blog' in the New England Sports Blog Awards Presented by Comcast SportsNet New England. You can vote once a day in between now and February 14th. Thanks from Fenway West!

UPDATE: Watch the video before it gets flagged.

Fenway Park Snow

Like you really any more of the white stuff, but if you do, RedSox.com home page has a short video of Fenway Park snow right now.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Quotes of the day

Theo Epstein on the early days as GM of the Red Sox: The one game losing streaks we have in Boston get a little tough sometimes.... I wouldn't' trade it for anything.

Terry Francona on the early days as manager of the Red Sox: "When we weren't playing very well, I thought my name was 'you suck,' that's all I heard."

Theo Epstein on Francona's early days as manager of the Red Sox: "I didn't think you heard that."

Thanks and a tip of the cap to Steve Silva of Boston.com

Where are they now- Alex Cora

Alex Cora played a vital role for the Red Sox from 2005-2008 when he played at all 4 infield positions at least once. Prior to 2005, he was the starting 2Bman and back-up shortstop for the LA Dodgers from 1998 to 2004. His batting average ranged from .238 to .270 and his OPS ranged from .609 to .719 during his 300+ games with the Sox. His value wasn’t so much with his bat as it was his glove, as he registered a .982 fielding percentage. He played with the Mets in 2009 and 2010 and signed as a free agent with the Texas Rangers in August of last year after the Mets released him.

Alex Cora’s role with the Sox was not unlike that of what Jed Lowrie’s role may be in 2011 as a super-utility player. During his time in Boston, it had been mentioned that Alex Cora would make a good MLB manager some day. He just turned 35, so he may have a couple of years as a player left before he tackles that goal. For now, Alex agreed to terms on a minor league contract with the Washington Nationals and has been invited to spring training.

Here’s wishing Alex good luck on pursuing a roster spot with the Nats this year.

You can watch MLB videos of Alex here, here and here.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Sizing up the bullpens

A couple of days ago we heard that Brian Cashman had conceded that the Red Sox are a better time right now, but that the Yankees have a better bullpen, a remark that I thought would "send Red Sox beat writers and bloggers everywhere scurrying to analyze and compare both fire crews." Well, Brian MacPherson of the Providence Journal has offered up his analysis of the 2 bullpens with the help of The Bill James Handbook for the 2011 season, which issued these projections for the top 4 relievers on each team:

Jonathan Papelbon, Boston: 69 IP, 2.61 ERA, 76 K, 20 BB
Daniel Bard, Boston: 76 IP, 2.72 ERA, 90 K, 34 BB.
Bobby Jenks, Boston: 49 IP, 3.12 ERA, 48 K, 17 BB.
Dan Wheeler, Boston: 47 IP, 2.87 ERA, 46 K, 16 BB.

Mariano Rivera, New York: 62 IP, 1.89 ERA, 58 K, 11 BB.
Joba Chamberlain, New York: 76 IP, 3.79 ERA, 81 K, 30 BB.
David Robertson, New York: 68 IP, 3.04 ERA, 89 K, 35 BB.
Rafael Soriano, New York: 62 IP, 2.03 ERA, 68 K, 18 BB.

Before ProJo published this, I had been looking into this comparison and had compiled the 2010 statistics of each of those pitchers:

Click on graphic to make larger

I don't think Daniel Bard will pitch 70+ innings in 2011 as James forecast. With Wheeler and Jenks in front of him, he will have a reduced work load this year. I also think that Tito and Theo will want to keep Bard for many years to come, and the best way to do that is to not overwork him in this early part of his career.

Mo is good, great even, but at some point he will start to decline. Will it be in 2011?

Maybe, maybe I give the Yankees a slight edge, but as Cashman himself pointed out, championships aren't won in the winter.

Quote of the Day

Theo Epstein on the early days as GM of the Red Sox: "The one game losing streaks we have in Boston get a little tough sometimes.... I wouldn't' trade it for anything."

Terry Francona on the early days as manager of the Red Sox: "When we weren't playing very well, I thought my name was 'you suck,' that's all I heard."

Theo Epstein on Francona's early days as manager of the Red Sox: "I didn't think you heard that."

Thanks and a tip of the cap to Steve Silva of Boston.com

Friday, February 4, 2011

Turning the page on the Red Sox - Yankees rivalry

The signing of Adrian Gonzalez marks the beginning of a new chapter in one of pro sports most fiercest rivalries. Although the Red Sox have won 2 World Series Championships to the Yankees 1 WSC since 2004, it seems as if the Red Sox have always been looking up at the Yankees whether it was in the AL East standings, or in the off season trades.

Looking forward to the 2011 campaign, the Red Sox have managed to rattle the Yankees’ cage with all the talk of offering a contract to Derek Jeter, which would have never happened, but still managed to elicit posts from major media outlets to insignificant fan blogs.

Chad Finn of Boston.com said it best:

All semi-serious snark aside, you know what the best-case scenario is for Red Sox fans? What's happening right now.

To top that, the Red Sox did indeed offer Mo Rivera a 2 year contract forcing the Yankees to sign him to a 2 year deal, what Mo wanted, rather than the 1 year contract initially offered by the Yankees.

And now the Adrian Gonzalez signing has the Yankees talking about chasing Carl Crawford in an attempt to drive up his price when negotiating a potential contract with him. The Yankees have no need for a left fielder. Brett Gardner is a Yankee home groan left fielder that Brian Cashman does not want to give up. If I know this, certainly Theo knows it, as does every baseball writer of any worth across the land.

If the Red Sox land Crawford, the Opening Day line-up could look something like this:

CF Ellsbury (L)
2B Pedroia (R)
LF Crawford (L)
1B Gonzalez (L)
3B Youkilis (R)
DH Ortiz (L)
SS Lowrie (S)
RF Drew (L)
C Salty (S)

(I said ‘could.’ I’m no baseball manager by any means, and I’m sure that this will not be the exact line up, but ‘could’ be close.) In any event, it will be a formidable offensive line-up, better than the 2010 offense which produced XXX home runs and XXX runs scored.

Lester and Buchholz have come of age and will only get better. Beckett, Lackey, Dice-K and Papelbon are due for bounce back years. The Red Sox won 89 games with basically a AAA roster for much of the year. With a healthy roster and 2 wins from Beckett, Lackey, Dice-K and Papelbon, and 1 win from Ellsbury, Pedroia, Gonzalez, and Youkilis puts this line up winning 101 games.

Theo had to give up 3 highly touted prospects and a PTBNL, but the Red Sox farm is quite fertile right now as it is, and only stands to get better with all the draft picks he’s managed to pick up along the way.

A new decade, a new order to the AL East.

Quote of the Day

Terry Francona on all the snow: “It’s a bit much. The drivers here don’t do good with all four lanes. When it’s down to two, they’re really nasty.”

Thanks, and a tip of the cap to Peter Abraham, Boston Globe

UPDATE: The nominees for the New England Sports Blog Awards were announced last night and Fenway West was nominated for "Best Red Sox Blog." Voting takes place from February 2nd to February 14th and fans can vote once each day. Please take a moment and show your support for Fenway West by following the link below and casting your vote. Thank you for helping make this nomination possible and for your continued support.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Box score from the past (05.21.08)

Jon Lester, cancer survivor, pitches a no-hitter, May 19, 2008.

Theo on the roster- set

Theo Epstein told Rob Bradford of WEEI, 'We're more or less set,' when asked about the spring training roster. Since the roster is all set, here's a (sort of) funny youtube I found with some Sox content to bide a minute of your time while we wait for P&C .