Posted on: July 21, 2009 8:05 pm
Edited on: July 27, 2009 9:37 pm

Current NBA Draft

Me and Sportsfans team in the Current NBA Draft

Starting Lineup

PG: Baron Davis
SG: Joe Johnson
SF: Ron Artest
PF: Elton Brand
C: Al Jefferson


BE: Shawn Marion
BE: Marcus Camby
BE: T.J. Ford

This is has to be the best team in this.

Category: NBA
Posted on: June 26, 2009 3:35 pm

Week 11 Boston Red Sox Update

The Boston Red Sox are playing like they usually do during interleague play by continuing their dominance.  They have gone 6-3 in their last nine games, and are in the midst of an easy road trip. They just took two out of three against the Washington Nationals on the road, and travel to Atlanta followed by Baltimore to conclude the road trip. The Sox have had a rough go of it on the road thus far, and this schedule gives them an opportunity to turn it around. Washington is the worst team in the Majors and Baltimore is by far the worst team in the AL East. Atlanta has been in a slump, and the Sox are catching them at the right time. Atlanta is four games below .500 so the Sox shouldn’t lose a series on this trip.

John Smoltz made his long-awaited start last night, but it didn’t go as planned. We were all hoping he would go out and throw six innings of two or three run ball, but that dream was lost when he allowed four runs in the first inning. It appeared he didn’t want to throw his fastball forcing him to throw too many breaking balls, which he couldn’t find the strike zone with. He did manage to settle down after the first, and only allowed a run in the next four innings. We were setting high standards for a guy that hadn’t pitched in the majors all year, but for him to get that first start under his belt is key. I think he will be a key pitcher for us in the playoffs (if we make it) and the fact that he settled in nice after a rough first, shows that after a little time Smoltz will be back to his old self.

Dice-K has had a dreadful year thus far and the Sox can’t send him to the minors because of his contract, so they were forced to put him on the DL. We all knew it was coming eventually and it was needed. After a couple of weeks rest he will get back into the swing of things by starting his whole preseason over. He will be going through the whole spring training experience in hope that it will bring last years Dice-K back. The Sox were going to go to a six-man rotation for a little while, but they will not have to do that with Dice-K gone. This also rules out any possible trade with Brad Penny for now, because I think the Sox would like to keep Clay Buchholz down in the minors as an injury replacement.

About a month ago Terry Francona moved the order around in hope to get some guys hot. It did seem to get David Ortiz back to his old self, but Dustin Pedroia has been in a slump since the day he was moved to the top of the order. I was never a big fan of this move because I don’t like J.D. Drew batting second. Jacoby Ellsbury is still batting around .300 in his new spot towards the bottom of the lineup. With his speed and ability to get on-base, I don’t think he should be batting seventh. Pedroia bats much better at the second spot and I think the Sox will produce more runs with Ellsbury and Pedroia one two.

Going into Thursday night’s game the Red Sox had their biggest lead in the division all year of 5 games. The Blue Jays and Yankees were both 5 GB of the Sox, but after a sox loss the Yankees are now 4 games back. The Sox know that the Yankees are the team they need to worry about and every game matters. It is likely that the division will be decided by just a few games and the Sox need to keep building on this lead so that if and when they have a key player out for 15 games for injury then dropping a few games won’t lose them the division. This road trip consists of some easy teams and hey need to take advantage of that.

Category: MLB
Posted on: June 16, 2009 10:48 pm

Week 10 Boston Red Sox Update

The Boston Red Sox finally get an easier team in the Florida Marlins, after facing four straight division leading teams. They went 9-3 overall during that stretch and swept the New York Yankees, making them 8-0 against their rivals this season. They are now in the midst of interleague play, which they are 3-3 in so far. They are playing the NL East, said to be the second best division in baseball, and the Sox have already played the NL East’s top two teams.  What really matters is that they have dominated the Yankees this season. We may only be leading by a couple of games in the division, but the fact they don’t know how to beat us is great. Not to mention being able to rub it in all of the Yankee fan’s faces.

John Smoltz is officially scheduled to start June twenty-fifth for the Red Sox. Smoltz was acquired over the offseason by the Sox, but didn’t get to much publicity because of the Yankees big money moves. He has been on the disabled list since opening day, but he is finally ready to give it a go. The Sox new he wasn’t going to be ready till around the all-star break, so it was a bonus that he is ready to start next Thursday. He has had multiple starts in the Sox farm system and has pitched very well down there. The Sox have had great starting pitching other than Matsuzaka so far. They aren’t ready to abandon ship on Dice-K so the sox will go with a six-man rotation.

I will admit that I ragged on David Ortiz very bad during my last blog entry, but you have to admit that you were hoping the Sox would add another bat to replace him. Big Papi hadn’t been batting well for two months straight and it really did look like he couldn’t hit the ball out of the yard anymore. He homered twice against the Yankees and he just hit another in the Marlins game, after just missing one in his first at-bat. He is also finally batting over .200 after hitting around .180. It looks like he is finally seeing the ball like he did last season. He may not hit forty this year, but I think he will continue to hit the ball out of the yard as he is now. Once again I have to give it to Terry Francona for sticking with a guy who looked bleak. He stuck with Dustin Pedroia who was batting below .200 for the first couple of months but finished the season with the Rookie of the Year.

Jon Lester started the season with one of the worst ERAs in the majors. He now has three straight unbelievable starts in a row. With his last start, he became the only left-handed Red Sox pitcher to strike out more than 10 batters in three consecutive starts. He has done this and almost thrown no-hitters in a couple of them. He has allowed only a few runs and has looked just as good as he did when he threw a no-hitter last year. This kid fought cancer and didn’t know if he would live, better yet set records for the Boston Red Sox. He truly is a great pitcher and could easily become one of the best Red Sox pitchers ever.

The Red Sox are always talking about signing a big money guy over the offseason. I know it is very early considering we aren’t even to the all-star break, but the Sox need to sign Joe Mauer this offseason.  He is going to be a free agent next year and the Sox could use a long term catcher especially of Mauer’s caliber. The Sox have money, but I am wondering if they have enough money to sign Mauer and Jason Bay this offseason, who is also a free agent. The Yankees have already shown interest in Bay and we all know they have the money to take him from us. If we sign those guys then its game over, but I don’t know if Theo will do it.

Category: MLB
Posted on: June 8, 2009 10:25 pm
Edited on: June 16, 2009 10:47 pm

Week 9 Boston Red Sox Update

Since last Tuesday, the Boston Red Sox have gone 4-2. This includes their very nice three game sweep in Detroit. The Red Sox have had a dreadful road record, but a big sweep of Detroit put them up around .500 for the year. Dice-K finally got his first win of the season, but didn’t manage to escape the fifth inning, which he has still yet to do a third of the way through the season. The Red Sox paid 51 million dollars just to talk to the guy, and he has an ERA of 7.33 so far this season. He has been outstanding in both World Baseball Classics, but I am afraid it is because other countries don’t see him as often and he gets longer rest during the WBC. His funky delivery and assortment of pitches were good early, but now Major League teams have figured him out. Not to mention the help he gives to teams with all of his walks. If Dice-K can’t pull it together in the next few starts, the Sox may be forced to send him down or move him to the bullpen, because they have plenty of starting pitchers waiting on the doorstep for a job.

On the other hand, they have their two best starting pitchers back. Yes, I am talking about Jon Lester and Josh Beckett, who both took no-hitters into the seventh inning during the past week. Of pitchers that qualify, they had the two worst ERAs at one point during the season. They seem to have finally begun showing their capability, with Lester having pitched fifteen innings in his last two starts, with 23 strikeouts and only two earned runs. Josh Beckett has thrown 14.2 innings in his last two starts, allowing just one earned run and striking out seventeen. These are amazing numbers for anyone, but to bounce back the way they have is just phenomenal. If they keep anything like this up, then playoffs here we come.

What a relief it is to have Mark Kotsay back. I will admit I had kind of forgotten about him, but he is such a versatile player, and it is great to have him back from the DL. He plays first base and can play all three outfield positions. J.D. Drew has been banged up, and Kotsay has provided a good backup for him. He has homered once in his absence and is batting .286 in his very short time back. Kotsay will be nice to have late in the season with his thirteen years of experience. Assuming he can stay healthy, he should get the occasional start, although he does bat lefty so he doesn’t have that over Drew.

The Red Sox will probably make at least one trade before the deadline, but the question is who it will involve. Right now I think their biggest priority is the DH spot with David Ortiz, who even after his second home run does not look like he is about to hit fifteen home runs in his next fifty games, worse yet maybe his career. I feel horrible saying it, but Ortiz is done in my opinion. Anyone else batting below .200 would be out of the lineup and down in the minors. Yes, respect means a lot, but honestly you can’t just keep a guy in the lineup because of what he did in the past. All that matters is what he is doing now and sadly that is not much. I think if the Sox make a trade, it will be to upgrade the shortstop position or improve the DH spot. There have been rumors that the Sox are trying to trade Brad Penny, which would open a spot for John Smoltz, or Clay Buchholz if Smoltz isn’t ready by then.

The Red Sox play the division leading Yankees next, followed by the red hot Phillies. This is a tough stretch for the Sox, especially with Ellsbury and Drew banged up. If they can manage to go 3-3, I would be more than fine with that, especially if two or more of those wins came against the Yankees. New York is playing their best baseball right now, and if the Sox can win that series, they will have the lead in the division. It is going to take the Red Sox best, but this rivalry always seems to bring that out in both sides. 

Category: MLB
Posted on: June 2, 2009 10:54 pm
Edited on: June 3, 2009 10:36 am

Week 8 Boston Red Sox Update

The Boston Red Sox are in the midst of a ten-game road trip, and have gone two and four in their last six games. They have only allowed more than five runs once in their past seventeen games, although they have only gone eight and nine in those games. This means the hitting has been really bad in that stretch, but they have the talent to turn that around. If the Red Sox pitching can keep this kind of ERA up, then the Sox will easily make the playoffs because the hitting will come. Even if giving up five runs in a game isn’t great, they have generally been less than that, not to mention their hitting should produce five or more runs a game anyhow.

Terry Francona realized the hitting needed a boost, so he switched up the lineup on Sunday, resulting in an 8-2 win. The new look lineup features Dustin Pedroia leading off, followed by J.D. Drew, Kevin Youkilis, Jason Bay, Mike Lowell, David Ortiz, Jason Varitek, Jacoby Ellsbury, and Nick Green. I was surprised to see Ellsbury moved out of the number one spot, but I had been calling for Youkilis followed by Bay and it finally happened. I think it provides more power and a better on-base percentage towards the top and some speed at the bottom. I think this lineup will feature some changes later on, but for now it will produce runs better than the old lineup did.

I talked about how the Sox pitching has been doing well as of late, and that is largely because of Josh Beckett’s and Jon Lester’s last starts. They were supposed to be the Sox number one and two starters, but they had two of the worst ERAs in baseball through the middle of May. Jon Lester threw six innings, striking out a career-high twelve and allowing only one run. It looked like he finally had his stuff back, and this could be the beginning of his dominance like last year. The ace of the squad, Josh Beckett, threw seven innings, allowing one run and striking out eight. If the Red Sox want to repeat their performances of 2004 and 2007, they will need Beckett and Lester to pitch a lot more like their last starts.

Jason Varitek was a free agent last year, and there was some debate over whether the Sox would sign him or not. They finally did agree to a deal, though many Sox fans had been hoping for a change at the catcher position, considering Tek’s prior year performance. But he is the Sox captain, and he has shown it this year. He is second among AL catchers in home runs, only behind Joe Mauer of the Minnesota Twins. Varitek is not known for his batting average, so it is nice to see him bring up his power to counter his batting average of .239. If he can continue hitting ten home runs every fifty games, I will be more than pleased.

The Red Sox sit a half game behind the rival New York Yankees, and after getting some players back from injuries they should take control of the AL East. They have two series at home against division leaders before starting interleague play with Philadelphia on Friday, June 12th. Including their current series with Detroit, they will be facing 4 straight division leading teams. They have a three-game series at Fenway against the Yankees, which will most likely determine the division leader for a little while. You better believe the Sox want to keep this good stretch against the Yankees going and take sole position of first place in the very tough AL East.

Category: MLB
Posted on: May 26, 2009 10:29 pm

Week 7 Boston Red Sox Update

The Boston Red Sox fared pretty well in their last two series. After one game against the Minnesota Twins, the Sox find themselves in first place in the AL East. They have a one game lead on the rival Yankees, and 1½ game lead on the Toronto Blue Jays, whom they swept in a three game series at Fenway. The Sox are fortunate that they will miss Roy Halladay in both series against the Jays. Following the Jays, the Sox welcomed the other team from New York, the Mets. They lost the series after Jonathan Papelbon blew his fist save of the season.  The Rays are still below .500, and sit a solid five games out.

David Ortiz finally hit his first home run, but it didn’t save him from sliding down in the lineup. On probably the best team in the league, someone batting .195 shouldn’t be in the lineup, especially not third. Not only is he hitting under .200 with one home run, but his only job is to hit. Don’t get me wrong, I love Big Papi, but he is bringing the team down, and moving him down was the right decision. I am a little disappointed that J.D. Drew was the one moved up to third, though. I would have liked to see Jason Bay moved up to that third spot, allowing the first four hitters in the lineup to be batting over .300. If that isn’t going to produce runs then I don’t know what will. I know Francona loves his lefty right alternation throughout the order, but when you can bat four guys that hit like they do in a row, then you need to do so. I also would like to see Ortiz be put at first base for a few games, if he continues to struggle at the plate. It will take his mind off hitting and hopefully get him into a groove.

Kevin Youkilis is back from his injury, and started right were he left off.  I would like to see the lineup be Ellsbury, Pedroia, Youkilis, and then Bay. Jason Bay has knocked in 47 runs with thirteen home runs. Ellsbury is riding a 21-game hitting streak and can keep it going with his speed. Pedroia and Youkilis get on-base over 40% of the time. Those four guys are just destined to score many runs, and the rest of the lineup isn’t bad, either. The next three would be Drew, Lowell and then Ortiz. They also can produce runs, especially if the top four have got some guys on for them. Don’t forget Jason Varitek, who has surprisingly hit eight home runs this year. The Sox are most likely going to make the playoffs, and this is the time to try out lineups that might improve your team.

People are starting to get a little worried about Jonathan Papelbon. He has given up a two run homerun in each of his last two appearances. It isn’t good, but don’t all of a sudden start throwing the guy under the bus. He has produced for the Red Sox over the past few seasons, and two outings aren’t the end of the world.  The only thing I am worried about is his fastball. Yes he throws it at 95-96mph, but that’s all he has been throwing. If you are a fastball hitter, and a good one, you can hit off of him. If you know what he is going to throw every time, it makes it a lot easier to get hits. He has a splitter but has been scared to throw it this year, forcing him to resort to fastball after fastball. He will still be a very good closer if he doesn’t throw a splitter, but he won’t be the guy he was last year, and the guy he can be.

The Sox added John Smoltz to the roster over the offseason, but he has been on the DL sine then. He is on schedule to return to the team on June 19th, forcing a good problem for Terry Francona. The Sox already have six starting pitchers, if you include Justin Masterson, who has moved back to the bullpen with the return of Dice-K. When Smoltz is back, the Sox will have six very good starting pitchers, and are going to be forced to move one of them to the bullpen. Coming into the season, I figured it would be Tim Wakefield, but after he has pitched like an ace, it will probably come down to Brad Penny or Smoltz.  Penny has been pitching better, and has already been starting for the Sox, so he probably has the edge as of now. I am sure the Sox will face more injuries to starting pitchers, but when all six are healthy, they will be forced to move someone to the bullpen.

The Sox are in a four-game series with the Minnesota Twins, and will stay on the road to face the Toronto Blue Jays, who seem to be coming back to Earth. I will admit they are much better than I had suspected, and I think they will stay in the hunt for awhile. If the Blue Jays can win the series with the Sox, they might find themselves back on top of the division again.

Category: MLB
Posted on: May 17, 2009 11:15 pm
Edited on: May 18, 2009 7:15 pm

Week 6 Boston Red Sox Update

Coming into this Red Sox season, if I told you that Jon Lester and Josh Beckett’s combined ERA was over six; Dice-k, Jed Lowrie, and Kevin Youkilis are all on the DL; and David Ortiz hasn’t hit a home run in the first 38 games, what would you think their record would be? Maybe 5-33 or 8-30, not much higher, as well as mentioning I am completely crazy. Well after those 38 games and all of that actually happening, the Sox are 2<sup>nd</sup> in the AL East, at a record of 22-16. Although the Sox have hit a little rut, after going 2-4 on their last West Coast trip of the season, it seems like nothing is going right for the Boston Red Sox. Yet they are ahead of both the Tampa Bay Rays and the New York Yankees in the standings, which is why I don’t think they have too much to worry about. Once we get back to full strength and everyone starts to play like they can, then we should only get better.

The Toronto Blue Jays currently sit at the top of the AL East, with an American League best record of     26-14, though I don’t think we need to worry about them staying up there for too much longer. Eight of their 26 wins have come from Roy Halladay, who won’t get the same amount of run support for the next 122 games they will play. Not only that, but they have only played six of their 72 games that they will play against the AL East, which is said to be the best division in baseball. The Rays don’t scare me much, considering they are below .500, even after Carlos Pena and Evan Longoria combined for 24 home runs and 79 RBI’s in their first 39 games. If that isn’t getting it done for them, I don’t know what will. The Yankees, on the other hand, scare me a little more than the Rays or Blue Jays. The Yankees, who have won three straight games in walk-off fashion, are finding ways to win. They also have Alex Rodriguez, who we all know has the power to carry the lineup throughout the regular season. At least we know      A-Rod and CC won’t be a problem in October.

I don’t know if Francona has been reading my blogs or what, but he finally sent Javier Lopez down to the minors, and added Daniel Bard. This young relief pitcher, who was Boston’s minor league pitcher of the year in 2008, throws the ball 100 mph. He has looked good in the three innings he has pitched, and can very easily lock up a job in the bullpen if he keeps it up. I don’t get tired of talking about the Sox bullpen, which has pitched outstanding so far this year. They have four guys who can come in for the eighth inning and hold the game for Jonathan Papelbon. They have the best bullpen ERA in the American League, which is helping offset the fact that the Sox have the worst starting pitcher ERA in the AL.

I don’t think Jacoby Ellsbury is being talked about enough, probably because the guy next to him in the outfield has eleven home runs and 40 RBIs. The young center-fielder is batting .303, with twenty runs and sixteen stolen bases.  He makes great plays in the field night in and night out. If he can keep hitting well and get on base like he is now, then he could steal sixty or more stolen bases with ease. The Sox haven’t had a guy that can create runs like Ellsbury, such as his stolen base of home against the Yankees. He is riding a thirteen-game hitting streak, and could keep it going for a while, with the speed to create hits many different ways.

The Sox have to face two division leading teams this week, but they are at home in those games. They are struggling as of late, and could either turn it around, or they could put themselves well behind the Jays, considering they play them six times in the next two weeks.  The Sox are banged up, and some of their stars aren’t playing to their potential, so if they don’t turn it around quickly, we could be have a long road ahead of us to get to the playoffs. It’s very early, but games in April and May count just as much as games in September.


Category: MLB
Posted on: May 8, 2009 10:16 pm

Week 5 Boston Red Sox Update

Over the past fourteen games, the Red Sox have only faced the Indians, Yankees, and Rays. Their next three games are also against the Rays. I have to say I am sick of these teams, but we have managed to go nine and five in those games so I guess we can’t complain too much. In Thursday night’s game, the Sox were missing Kevin Youkilis, David Ortiz, Jacoby Ellsbury, and Jason Varitek, but that didn’t stop them from scoring twelve runs without an out in the sixth inning. That tied a major league record for most runs in a single inning without recording an out. That just goes to show how much depth this 2009 Red Sox team has.

The first thing I would like to talk about is Jason Bay. Theo Epstein, please sign this guy right now. He will become a free agent after this season, and the longer they wait to sign him, the more money he is going to demand. This year he is batting .316 with eight home runs. He has a team leading 29 runs batted in along with 26 runs. With Youkilis banged up on Thursday, and Ortiz getting a night off, he was batting high in the order and he delivered with five RBIs. Every day this guy plays, the Manny Ramirez trade looks better and better, especially after Ramirez has been suspended for the next fifty games.

Tim Wakefield just seems to be getting younger. Each time he goes out to pitch, he looks like a “young” ace. With Lester and Beckett still not looking like themselves, along with Dice-K on the DL, they needed someone to step up, and he did just that.  He is 4-1, with an ERA of just under three. It seems like every time he is set to pitch, the bullpen needs a rest, and he goes deep into the game for them. The veteran knuckleballer does exactly what he is asked, and it feels like he might pitch forever.

Kevin Youkilis has been a bit banged up and Jeff Bailey has been getting the start in place of him. Bailey is hitting a little over .100 in the games he has played in so far this year. The Red Sox number one prospect, Lars Anderson, is also a first baseman. He is currently playing for the Portland Sea Dogs and I would love to see him get a chance to play a few games while Youkilis is resting. His numbers aren’t great at Portland so far, but a chance in the majors may give the kid an idea of what he is playing for. I am sure we will see Lars play at some point this year, but I doubt it will come anytime in the near future.

The New York Yankees were the talk during the offseason with their big money moves, but the Red Sox got no credit for the moves they made. No, they didn’t sign CC Sabathia or Mark Teixeira, but they made some smaller moves that are going to be big if/when they make the playoffs. The additions of John Smoltz, Brad Penny, Ramon Ramirez, Takashi Saito, and Rocco Baldelli have added tons of depth to the Red Sox team. They now have the best bullpen in baseball, and a nice utility outfielder that can fill in at anytime for Terry Francona. Penny has not had great stuff yet this year, and Smoltz is still on the DL, but when September rolls around, these are going to be two great pitchers to have in the rotation.

Category: MLB
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