« May 29, 2008
May 31, 2008 »
May 30, 2008
Pregame notes: Drew not playing
By Joe McDonald
Journal Sports Writer
BALTIMORE -- Red Sox outfielder J.D. Drew is out of the lineup tonight with a bout of vertigo.
Drew first felt something Thursday night and he was put on medication this morning. This is the second time he's had it. Fellow outfielder Coco Crisp had it earlier this season, too.
“I’ve had it a couple of times before,” said Drew. “It’s just one of them things that you hope doesn’t stick around for a while. Fortunately, it hasn’t stuck around in the past.”
**With Daniel Cabrera pitching for the O’s, Alex Cora will play short tonight. He’s had success against Cabrera, going 11-for-23 (.478) with one home run.
**When Jeff Bailey walked into the clubhouse this afternoon, almost every Red Sox player and coach went out of their way to say hi. Bailey is one of the most respected players in the Sox' organization, and the players in Boston are very happy he's been called up for the weekend.
The right-handed hitter is clearly locked in at the plate for the PawSox. At the time of his recall, he was hitting .318 with 16 homers and 44 RBI in 50 games for Pawtucket.
“He’s doing great,” said Francona. “He knows this could be short term. When we send guys down we always tell them that if they do good there’s a chance they’ll get called up. He’s a great kid and has always made a good impression on the staff during spring training. He does his work, goes about his business and doesn’t complain.”
Bailey, a catcher by trade when he first began his pro career, has played mainly first base and the outfield for the PawSox. It will be that versatility that will come in handy for the Red Sox this weekend, especially with J.D. Drew out with vertigo.
“There’s not much more I can ask for,” Bailey said. “I had to earn it, and I feel like I have. It will probably be only three days, but that’s fine. It’s just nice to be recognized.”
The 29-year-old made his major-league debut with the Red Sox last summer, and went 1-for-9 in three games. His one hit was a home run at Detroit.
Posted by Joe McDonald at 5:09 PM | Permalink
Posted by Joe McDonald at 5:03 PM | Permalink
Matsuzaka placed on 15-day DL with 'mild rotator-cuff strain'
BY JOE McDONALD
Journal Sports Writer
BALTIMORE -- The Red Sox have placed Daisuke Matsuzaka on the 15-day disabled list with what they're describing as "a mild rotator cuff strain."
Jeff Bailey, as was reported earlier today, has been recalled from Pawtucket and will take Matsuzaka's roster spot for the weekend. On Tuesday, the Sox will recall a pitcher -- Justin Masterson is the likeliest candidate -- to take Dice-K's spot in the rotation.
Dice-K was examined by team doctor Thomas Gill earlier today and he underwent an MRI in Boston.
"The real good news was there is no structural changes, which is really good news The final diagnosis is a mild deltoid rotator cuff strain,” said Francona. “The best way we can see to attack this is to take the time to strengthen it and get him ready to pitch the rest of the season.”
Francona spent about a half hour with his office door here at Camden Yards closed during a conference call with GM Theo Esptein and Matsuzaka.
Francona was asked if the right-hander, who was removed from Tuesday's start in Seattle due to fatigue, tried to fight his trip to the DL.
"A little bit, which is good," Francona said. "That's good news because that means he feels good about himself. That's what good pitches and good players do. That's part of the reason they're good."
Posted by Art Martone at 4:19 PM | Permalink
Bailey called up to Boston
PawSox first baseman/outfielder Jeff Bailey has been called up to Boston. He's expected to join the team in Baltimore today. It's likely he'll remain with the Red Sox through this four-game series against the Orioles and then be sent back to Pawtucket come Tuesday when Boston will need to call up a pitcher.
Bailey is hitting .318 with 16 homers and 44 RBI for the PawSox. He's second on the team with 27 walks. He's been on a tear of late. Three times on the team's last home stand he produced a two-homer game. In fact, he had four in the month of May.
Posted by Joe McDonald at 12:17 PM | Permalink
Red Sox named 2008 Professional Sports Team of the Year
The Boston Red Sox were bestowed with the award for 2008 Professional Sports Team of the Year in the inaugural Sports Business Awards. Other sports franchises nominated for the award include the Buffalo Sabres, Hendrick Motorsports, Phoenix Suns and Toronto FC.
The Sports Business Awards, presented by Street and Smith’s Sports Business Journal and Sports Business Daily, were initiated to recognize the best that the sports business has to offer. The award ceremonies, held at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in New York City Thursday night, recognized the Red Sox for being "baseball’s gold-standard operation” and “the game’s unofficial organizational leaders”, for the ballclub’s efforts “to expand internationally”, “build a sponsorship base that has tripled during (this) six-year ownership tenure” and “successfully renovate storied Fenway Park”. Principal owner John W. Henry also received a nomination for Sports Executive of the Year.
The 2008 season is the 108th season in the illustrious history of the ballclub and the 7th for the current ownership led by Henry, chairman Tom Werner and president/CEO Larry Lucchino. Under their stewardship, the franchise has won two World Series championships while selling out Fenway Park for 414 consecutive games dating back to May 15, 2003, second only to the 455 by the Cleveland Indians and a record the organization hopes to surpass later this season.
Posted by Art Martone at 11:35 AM | Permalink
Projo SoxTalk with McAdam: What impresses us about Masterson
Click here to listen to Sean's daily audio report, which is audio only today (if we get someone freed up later today, we might be able to add pictures later). The topics: What impresses Sean about Justin Masterson, teams' inability to catch Jacoby Ellsbury clean on stolen-base attempts, fan voting for the All-Star Game, and Sean's favorite road stops.
Here are some excerpts from Sean's comments:
On Masterson: "I think he's remarkably poised and mature. That's one of the things I think that impressed the Red Sox so much even from the first start, where he didn't seemed rattled at all in making his major-league debut, having not pitched above Double-A for more than half a season, on the mound at Fenway against a pretty good team in the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. It was like he was facing another team in the Eastern League, and it was the same thing when he made his second start. So I think the poise and composure and maturity -- all those things, and you know, those things are fine, but you have to be able to get hitters out, and he can do that too. He's got that three-quarter kind of whip-it-like delivery that reminds some people of Dennis Eckersley, and he's got a nice heavy sink to his fastball that makes him very tough, combined with his delivery, on right-handed hitters, and gets him a lot of groundballs. So there's not much not to like about Justin Masterson."
On the All-Star voting by fans: "I think we can go through this and do go through this every summer, where we point to some player who's deserving of an All-Star starting bid and who doesn't get one. You mentioned Josh Hamilton and some guys on the Rays. Certainly Carlos Quentin of the Chicago White Sox would be another person in there. There's some guys in the National League having surprise seasons. Those kind of things you can't anticipate. I think in general, you know, fans are going to vote for players who they recognize, and who have established themselves a little bit. And furthermore, they're going to vote for guys who are on high-profile teams. That's why the Yankees dominated so much of the balloting in the '90s, when they won four World Series in five years, and now that the Red Sox have sort of perhaps eclipsed them as the national team, if you will, with two World Series wins in the last four seasons, their players are benefiting from that. It's never going to be perfect. I think even if the players or coaches and managers did the selecting, there'd be some oversights there. So I think that in general this is a game for the fans, and they get to determine who they want to see, and I think that there's nothing wrong with that."
Posted by Mike McDermott at 10:21 AM to Projo SoxTalk with Sean McAdam
Baseball Today: Friday, May 30
Journal photo / Glenn Osmundson
ONE AND DONE? Justin Masterson's stay in Pawtucket might not be a long one, not with the Red Sox probably in need of another starter next Tuesday. If so, his first appearance at McCoy Stadium -- which he made last night against the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees (above) -- might be his last, at least for a while. And he made it a memorable one, reports Shalise Manza Young, throwing six strong innings in what everyone assumes was a tuneup for a start against the Rays at Fenway Park next week. Masterson and PawSox manager Ron Johnson review the performance (favorably, of course) and Johnson, for good measure, also gives a thumbs-up to a batch of butterscotch-oatmeal cookies baked by Masterson's wife. She apparently enjoys delivering cookies to the clubhouse of whatever team her husband is with; she could be dropping some off in Boston in five days.
IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE: Rumors are flying that Jeff Bailey might be joining the Red Sox for their weekend series in Baltimore; Joe McDonald reported them Wednesday and the Boston Globe's Gordon Edes repeated them today. We'll find out this afternoon sometime whether or not they're true, and if they are Bailey made his farewell to McCoy -- temporary though it may be -- one for the books. Young relates he had his second two-home-run game of the homestand in the PawSox' 5-2 win, and also had two pitches thrown behind his head by Scranton/WB starter Dan McCutchen. That little bit of Red Sox/Yankee nastiness earned McCutchen and his manager, Dave Miley, the 'ol heave-ho.
NOT SO MIGHTY 'PEN: Both the Globe's Amalie Benjamin and the Boston Herald's Jeff Horrigan look at the Red Sox' bullpen deficiencies. Benjamin's story is centered entirely on the relief corps, while Horrigan examines them as part of a review of the entire pitching staff.
SPEAK FOR YOURSELF: Javy Lopez, however, has been doing his job as a LOOGY -- Left-Handed One-Out GuY, for those of you unaware with the term (though I doubt many people here fit that description) -- to perfection. (Not that Terry Francona only uses him for a batter at a time, but he's been much better against left-handers this year than he was in 2007.) He talks about his season with Joe Haggerty on the Hacks With Haggs blog.
NO JOSHING AROUND: The Herald's Michael Silverman says now that Daisuke Matsuzaka may be sidelined for a while, it's time for Josh Beckett to step up and start pitching like an ace again.
WRONG COUNT: Baseball Musings' David Pinto examines Matsuzaka's game logs and concludes the Red Sox are "more interested in limiting his innings than his pitches," since Matsuzaka's highest pitch-count games have come in those instances when he's walking a lot of batters. Pinto sees walks as a sign that a pitcher's mechanics may be off; bad mechanics, he adds, may be a sign of fatigure, and fatigue can lead to injury.
HOP ON BOARD, BREWERS FANS: You may have seen this yesterday on this very blog, but Julian Tavarez forgot his World Series ring in his locker at Fenway Park after being let go by the Red Sox (Madison Times). Deadspin's Will Leitch, who's a Cardinals fan, says Sox and Cards fan alike have "ridden the Julian Tavarez crazy train."
UNFRIENDLY CONFINES: Baltimore -- where he hasn't hit a home run since May 16, 2006 -- might not be the best place right now for Manny Ramirez as he sits one homer away from No. 500. (Boston Herald)
'OUR JOB IS KEEPING THEM QUIET' That's new Orioles president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail challenge to his players since "so many people [come to Camden Yards] rooting for the Yankees and Red Sox." (Baltimore Sun) So far, so good; the O's are 6-2 against the Sox and Yanks in Baltimore this year, with Boston in town for a four-game series starting tonight.
BETTER SAFE THAN SORRY: Word came down yesterday that Troy Percival's hamstring injury isn't considered serious. But the Rays placed him on the disabled list anyway (St. Petersburg Times), and the Tampa Tribune's Joe Henderson says it's a good idea "because that's what a team looking at the long haul does".
WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU SAW THIS? Trying to figure out when national baseball columnists, like the Philadelphia Daily News' Paul Hagen, were writing about the Rays at the beginning of June? "Never" would be my guess.
OR THIS? The blog Rays of Light is guiltily, but giddily, looking ahead to potential playoff previews.
NOT TO ME, THEY'RE NOT: The Hardball Times' Geoff Baker doesn't include the Rays in his look at early-season surprises.
TAKE YOUR PICK: You can either choose to believe that the Yankees' pilot light has been extinguished (Minneapolis Star-Tribune) or that they're just a hot streak away from another late playoff run. (New York Observer) The Star-Tribune's case, I have to say, would carry more weight if it hadn't described the Horace Clarke Era as being in the mid-1970s. As we well know around here, Clarke was long gone by then and the Yankees won the pennant in 1976 and the World Series in 1977 and '78.
CURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM: The New York Daily News' Mark Feinsand warns that Joba Chamberlain won't "rule their starting rotation - at least not yet."
STOKE YOUR ENTHUSIASM: Jorge Posada says he's almost ready to rejoin the Yanks. (New York Daily News) And Hank Steinbrenner says he still has high hopes for Phil Hughes and Ian Kennedy. (New York Post)
KID TROUBLES: The Yankees are having more disciplinary problems with 19-year-old Trenton outfielder Jose Tabata. (nj.com)
'RUE-LESS JOE': Love that New York Post headline about Joe Torre, who's back in the Big Apple with the Dodgers and who couldn't have made it clearer that the Yankees are in his rear-view mirror. The blog River Ave. Blues makes it just as clear that the feeling is mutual on the other side of the fence: "I loved Joe in New York, and I think it’s too bad that he couldn’t still be around to manage the team into the new stadium. But I still think it was the right move for him and the Yanks to part ways."
WAKE UP, SMELL COFFEE: It appears Willie Randolph may be ready to pull the plug on Carlos Delgado, at least as an everyday player. (New York Post)
WAVING THE CAP: In a fascinating look at the salary-cap structure in the four major sports, Mark Cuban concludes MLB and the NFL can survive without a salary cap, but it's necessary in the NBA and NHL. (blogmaverick.com) Why? Because for a sport to survive without a cap "it must be a [sport] where it takes more than 1 or 2 players to lead a team to a championship. Otherwise, the richest teams can just buy those 2 players, with a 3rd as insurance, which means the competitive balance of the league is purely dependent on finances. That is not a good position to be in." While you may dismiss these as simply the musings of an NBA owner, ShysterBall's Craig Calcaterra thinks Cuban may end up owning the Cubs when all is said and done.
LOSS LEADER: It's now 11 losses in a row (and counting) for the Royals, and as a result Joe Posnanski is back writing for the Kansas City Star. (His editor is one smart cookie; I'll have to remember her tactics.) The losing streak has resulted in Billy Butler being sent to the minor leagues and Jose Guillen offering to step into the role of Team Leader, which must have heads shaking and tongues wagging from Anaheim to Washington to Seattle. (Both stories Kansas City Star.)
THE RACE IS ON: It appears Jake Peavy will get back to the mound faster than Chris Young as the two Padre aces recover from their respective injuries. (San Diego Union-Tribune)
SO WHO'S WILLIE AND THE DUKE? The Dallas Morning News' Tim MacMahon says Josh Hamilton is the modern-day Mickey Mantle, from his on-field talents to his substance-abuse problems.
LOCAL BOYS: Pinto fingers the struggling Paul Konerko as one of the reasons that offense in the American League is down. But he had a good game last night against the Rays, and if he begins to hit more like Paul Konerko that bodes very well for the surprising White Sox.
HERE AND THERE: Time to start a Chipper Jones Watch? He's now hitting .420 after going 2-for-4 yesterday (mvn.com) . . . John Smoltz says his rehab is coming along nicely (Atlanta Journal-Constitution) . . . Wrigley Field is one of the spots under consideration for an outdoor NHL game between the Blackhawks and Red Wings (Chicago Sun-Times) . . . Aaron Harang's four sterling innings in the 17-inning game at San Diego Sunday came back to bite both him and the Reds yesterday (mlb.com) . . . Randy Johnson tied Roger Clemens for second place on the all-time strikeouts list last night (mlb.com) . . . The Mariners eventually plan to put Brendan Morrow in the starting rotation, but his bullpen success so far means in probably won't happen this year. (Seattle Times)
OLD FRIENDS: Phil Dumatrait pitched what was, perhaps, the game of his career as he led the Pirates over the team that released him last year, the Reds (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette) . . . Rudy Seanez may not have pitched forever -- it only seems that way -- but it's been 17 years in the big leagues now and he credits martial arts for his longevity. (Philadelphia Daily News)
-- ART MARTONE
Posted by Art Martone at 6:51 AM | Permalink