A. J. Burnett credits Bruce Lee, whose likeness is tattooed on Burnett’s left triceps, for protecting him when he was struck by a liner from John McDonald. Word.
Friday, March 20th, 2009
Wednesday, March 18th, 2009
The latest injury news from Team USA:
When it seemed as though the injury news could not get any worse for Team USA, manager Davey Johnson announced that Kevin Youkilis has left the team because of a sore left ankle on Wednesday.
Youkilis has returned to Fort Myers, where he is being examined by the Boston Red Sox.
Johnson said the injury happened three or four days ago, and that Johnson noticed Youkilis was in pain during Team USA's 6-5 comeback win over Puerto Rico.
Teammate Brad Ziegler said Youkilis was in such pain that after the game he could barely walk through the training room.
"He wasn't going to miss last night's game for the world," Johnson said. "We've been devastated by some key injuries."
Monday, March 16th, 2009
And we do mean spectacular:
- Josh Beckett: 9 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 4 K
- Justin Masterson: 9 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 6 K
- Clay Buchholz: 8.2 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 9 K
- Jon Lester: 6.1 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 5 K
- Daniel Bard: 5 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 8 K
- Jonathan Papelbon: 5 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 4 K
- Takashi Saito: 5 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 3 BB, 6 K
- Junichi Tazawa: 5 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 7 K
And of course:
- Daisuke Matsuzaka: 10 IP, 9 H, 2 R, 2 BB, 9 K
That's five potential Sox starters (Beckett, Lester, Dice, Buchholz and Masterson) with a combined line of:
- 43 IP, 29 H, 4 ER, 8 BB, 33 K, 0.84/0.86/.184
Now if we could only get Tim Wakefield (11 ER in 13.1 IP) on board.
Sunday, March 15th, 2009
A lot of happenings in Fort Myers all of a sudden:
- Julio Lugo will undergo surgery for a possible torn meniscus. You certainly don't wish injuries on anyone, and I've been a bigger Lugo defender than most, but this is certainly a blessing in not much disguise for the Sox, who have insisted on having a tryout for a job that was clearly won last season by Jed Lowrie, whose chances of being a downgrade from Lugo's performance on offense and defense are below zero (don't ask how, they just are).
- Dustin Pedroia should be OK after tests show he actually has a strained ab, not a strained oblique, which is currently the Most Feared Injury in Baseball. This is another piece of ammo for those who think the WBC is at the wrong time. Sure, it's an injury he could have gotten in spring training, and he pulled the muscle hitting soft tosses (not exactly swinging from his heels at a live pitch), but he also said he maybe tried to get to 100 percent too soon to play in the tournament. Love this quote though: “When you have a physique like this, when you’re shredded and everything, something might happen.”
- Talks between the Sox and Jason Bay have been put on hold because of the "unusual marketplace" for corner outfielders. This makes no sense to me, except as a convenient way of blaming the market for the two sides simply being unable to agree on a dollar figure. The Red Sox don't really have much room for wiggling here. Either they sign Bay now for presumably less than he would get as a free agent (surely he understands there would have to be some discount, right?) or they sign him in the offseason at a premium because he'll be the only quality hitter on the market after the Yankees sign Matt Holliday. Unless they want to move Youkilis to left and debut Lars Anderson at first.
- Oh, and Jon Lester's extension is finally official. No formal word on the terms yet.
Puerto Rico torched the USA 11-1 in WBC play yesterday, a drubbing so darn bad that it invoked the dreaded mercy rule, surely intended more for teams like South Africa, China, and the surprising Netherlands, who the Yanks (not the New York variety) face tonight in an elimination game. Exciting! We're all for honkball, but patriots that we are we must insist the Dutch run end this evening. "Buy me some broodjes and pickled herring…."? Just doesn't sound right. So let's stick with peanuts and cracker jack. USA! USA! USA!
Saturday, March 14th, 2009
Friday, March 13th, 2009
That's right folks, the rivalry resumes again this evening, in what promises to be a year-long fight for supremacy. Forget the distractions: MannyCancerGate, A-Roid, the WBC. It's back to basics. The homestanding Sox get their first peek at rehabed Yankee ace/4rd starter Chien-Ming Wang. The Yanks will start the game against the ageless wonder Tim Wakefield. Bring a glove, kids! Paps will also throw for the Sox. Enjoy! Baseball is back! Hooray!!!
Although he made an admonition that the Yankees are dissing the Magic-8, Mike Lupica congratulated Alex Rodriguez on his surgery.
The good news for Alex Rodriguez, who was due for some, is that the first of the surgeries on his hip was classified a success by his doctors. The even better news for Rodriguez, at least for the time being, is that he has now managed to change the subject, from steroids and Cousin Yuri to his rehab.
That “time being” eight seconds, which is how long it took for me to read that paragraph and also is the length of a successful bull ride, as long as we’re prosaically straddling Alex’s hips.
Our sources within the Sox' clubhouse have emailed us indicating that Dustin Pedroia, in a rant after today's heartbreaking split-squad loss to some other team's compendium of soon-to-be AAAers, followed up Jonathan Papelbon's interview by calling Manny Ramirez "not only a cancer, but also a clubhouse Argyriatic". In a rambling tirade, Pedroia also rattled off several of the world's oddest diseases, calling Kevin Youkilis a "dugout walking corpse", and Hideki Okajima a "bullpen jumping frenchman". Our source couldn't tell if Pedroia was serious or just venting following his fourth atomic wedgie from David Ortiz in the last three days.
Thursday, March 12th, 2009
Paps interviewed in Esquire (which apparently loves the exclamation points!)!
“It just takes one guy to bring an entire team down, and that’s exactly what was happening,” Papelbon told Esquire. “Once we saw that, we weren’t afraid to get rid of him. It’s like cancer. That’s what he was. Cancer. He had to go. It (stunk), but that was the only scenario that was going to work. That was it for us.” …
He was on a different train!” Paplebon said of Ramirez. “And you saw what happened with that. We got rid of him, and we moved on without him. That comes from the manager, and it comes from guys like Jason Varitek and Tim Wakefield and David Ortiz. Nobody is ever going to be allowed to do that. Even a guy like me, just heading into my fourth year in the big leagues – if David Ortiz gets a little, you know – I’ll tell him what’s up! I’m not afraid to do that. I’m not afraid to put him in his place, because I think everybody needs that.
“And if somebody does it to me, I understand that. I most certainly understand that. Varitek tells me all the time, ‘Just shut up. Do what you’re supposed to do.’
“So Manny was tough for us. You have somebody like him, you know at any point in the ball game, he can dictate the outcome of the game. And for him not to be on the same page as the rest of the team was a killer, man!”
Was Papelbon screaming at the reporter? Anyway, my hatred for exclamation points aside, something tells me Varitek might be saying something like, "Just shut up," to Papelbon right about now.
Wednesday, March 11th, 2009
The unthinkable in the wee hours last night: the Netherlands defeated the DR for the second time and in dramatic fashion, knocking one of the favorites from the WBC. The tournament, as with the original 3 years ago, is once again a major success–exciting games, cheering stadiums, general good feelings—-even if the play on the field has been somewhat less than stellar. Team USA has already advanced to round two, but they play Venezuela, a team they have already crushed once, tonight for seeding. Al Spalding would be very proud indeed.
Tuesday, March 10th, 2009
This tidbit from yesterday's Boston Globe spring-training live blog:
Nick Green, currently the leading hitter on the Red Sox, just blasted a home run to straight away center. Green, who did not play in the majors at all last season, has been destroying the Grapefruit League this spring; he came in with a .526 batting average, and he's got 11 hits now. That homer must have gone about 435 feet; it was an absolute bomb. In his career, Green, 30, has an OPS+ of 72.
What's so amazing about this? Not that AAAA player Nick Green is rocking the exhibition games, which is great and all – but that a reporter for the Globe just used OPS+ as a stat without referencing someone's mother's basement. Adam Kilgore, stick around a while. Please.