When most people think of the Red Sox roster they think young, young, and younger players. You got Jacoby Ellsbury, Dustin Pedroia, Jonathon Papelbon, Victor Martinez, the list goes on of the youngsters that have already made their mark in the league in Boston. As inportant as these guys are to the team and to Red Sox Nation, the veterans in the clubhouse play just as vital of a role.
At the end of the 2009 season the Red Sox did not hesitate one bit to resign their two oldest players: catcher Jason Varitek and pitcher Tim Wakefield. Anyone will admit that if you look at those guys’ stats they’re not the best and they do not look to be getting any better. So many people ask themselves why the Red Sox would resign them again. Well, these two have been with the club since the middle 90’s and they have witnessed the agony and the triumph. They have paid their dues and now it is time for them to play a bigger role.
They not only get their fair share of playing time, but they also serve as mentors for the younger players such as Martinez and Clay Buchholz. The presence of players like Varitek and Wakefield in the dugout and the clubhouse really eases some tention and clears up any confusion a young player might have.
Along with the resigning of their contracts the Red Sox also brought in center fielder Mike Cameron from Milwaukee. Cameron will start in center and the Sox will move Ellsbury to left field, but he also was brought in to play the mentor role. Cameron might be in his mid-30’s and nearing the nd of his career, but the Red Sox needed a veteran presence in the outfield and they couldn’t have gained a better pick-up.
Krimp back for your blogging pleasures. Tonight I wanna focus on the big moves that the Red Sox have been making this past winter. Specifically on one certain move, the aquisition of right handed starting pitcher John Lackey.
As the majority of Red Sox Nation would agree, we have made some pretty big moves this offseason, some for the worse, but more for the better. We improved our infield defensively and added a veteran in Mike Cameron to the outfield to replace the most likely missed bat in Jason Bay. But when We signed Lackey in the winter, I along with many other Nation members widened our eyes a little bit.
Coming off an 11-8 season with a 3.83 earned run average in Los Angeles, Lackey didn’t throw his BEST year last season, but with this guy you gave to look deeper than just the statistics. Lackey on any given day or night is hands down one of the best pitchers in the Major Leagues. His command is great, his change of speeds and movement is unpredicatable, and if that isn’t good enough, he wants to win just as much if not more than anyone else out there on the mound.
I will be the first one to admit that when Lackey was with the Angels, I HATED facing him. He was the only pitcher that I can think of off the top of my head that would give the Red Sox a work out everytime out against us, especially in the postseason. Also, if you look at his stats in Boston at Fenway Park, there’s not too many better within the past few years.
Adding Lackey to the rotation of Beckett, Lester, Dice-K, and the young gun in Clay Buchholz, it is pretty self explanitory that if they pitch well (like they should) we will WIN and WIN BIG. As much as I hated Lackey in LA, he’s on our side now! Go get ‘em!
So I was watching my daily episodes of Sportscenter on ESPN today, and the Baseball Tonight crew made their stop at Ft. Myers in Florida for their Grapefruit League tour. Who did they stop to see? The Red Sox of course. During their stay at the Red Sox’ March home they gave us a pretty good evaluation. They spoke to our skipper Terry Francona about the upcoming season, and he had great things to say.
Terry was very optimistic about our line-up this year, and even more so towards our dominant pitching rotation. He said that the team was very healthy at the time being and he had only the best things to say about his expectations this season. He mentioned how Big Papi has been getting his swing back after an off year in ’09, and he said he is going to give him more at bats during spring training in order to KEEP that swing.
He also stated that with the new left side of the infield being Beltre and Scutaro, he is excited to see how they produce. He also stated how he feels our pitching rotation is going to do some work and if we can stay healthy (cross your fingers), then we should win A LOT of games.
The Baseball Tonight crew also interviewed 2007 Rookie of the Year and 2008 MVP Dustin Pedroia. When it comes to stepping onto a Major League baseball field you can tell that this guy feels like a kid in a candy shop. He is a pure work horse and will do whatever possible to give his team any advantage. Gotta love it! When asked how he keeps his ambition on the field and his “sparky” attitude he simply just stated, “I have a lot of energy. . .”
The spring training season is just beginning and shortly it will be all over and the new season will be upon us, so bring on the Yanks on opening day!
Krimp here. So as I was sitting here getting ready for the new season, I was thinking, “What would be a great lovemark for our beloved Red Sox?” I thought about it over and over again and then it hit me like a low and inside fastball to the bat of David Ortiz. The Citgo sign and the Coke bottles!
You are watching the Sox on TV or if you are lucky enough in front of your own eyes at Fenway Park, and what is the first thing you notice. You would be lying if you said anything but the gigantic thirty-seven foot two inch “green monster” of a wall in left field. That bad boy had been the trademark of the Red Sox since Fenway opened back in the black and white days of 1912.
Right above the Green Monster seats in left field is the light pole with the infamous Coke bottles strategically place around the pole. The bottles play the role of the gatekeeper of the left field wall. It looks over the field through the good and the bad, the rain and the shine, and it keeps an eye over the sacred ballpark all year long. It is there through great times like thew 2004 and the 2007 World Series championships and it is there during punishment like during the home run derby in 1999 when Mark McGwire tatooted the bottles with a couple long balls. The bottles are there to represent some sort of father figue to the sacred home of the BoSox.
Then you got the Citgo sign. Way out in the yonder beyond the left field wall you have the Citgo sign that technically is not even a part of Fenway Park, but serves as the nucleus of Boston at that point. We see it all game long and all year long and it lets us know that it is watching over us all season long. When I went to Fenway in ’04 the first thing I saw on my way up to the ballpark was the Citgo sign, and I knew i was home. The bottles and the sign are the baseball God’s way of telling us that they got our back this year!
So the unspeakable team from the slums of New York City won the ’09 World Series..good for you! Our beloved Red Sox have been making some major moves in order to prevent that event that left an awful pit in all of our stomachs last October. We’re ready to get back where were were 3-5 years ago.
Remember 2004? I do, and I’m sure Mariano Rivera does too. He’s still brushing the dirt off of his behind from falling on his back after Bill Mueller’s hit up the middle in game 4 of the ALCS, which scored Dave Roberts. You all remember what happened after that :). So we do it again in 2007 and win two World Series in four years..DYNASTY. The Bean Town Bombers have been making some HUGE moves this offseason to bring that feeling back to our heart this coming October. John Lackey, Adrian Beltre, Mike Cameron, Marco Scutaro, even Bill Hall are names that are putting smiles on all of Red Sox nation’s faces..and if they don’t then they should. Lackey is bringing more depth to our already powerhouse rotation, and Cameron is that verteran presence we need in the outfield with Bay being shipped out to New York (but at least its not to the team with the “Y” word!).
Since we’ve had a new shortstop EVERY year since Nomar went to Chicago in ’04, Scutaro should and will get the job done. And lets face it, our beloved Mike Lowell is gettin old and he’s already fragile. A bat like Beltre and an arguably better glove than a bat at the hot corner, the batting order is going to make the opposition sweat! Then you got Bill Hall, who can play anywhere and that is always good. Oh yea, don’t forget the young guns: Pedroia, Vic Martinez, and my boy Jacoby.
So think about it, is this the team you want on the field for our boys in red come this spring? I thinkkk soooo! So lets bring in the spring training, watch us triumph, and go out there and show the “New York Stankees” who is the new new dynasty! GO RED SOX!