Xander Bogaerts had a team-defining at-bat in the bottom of the seventh against Detroit’s All-World Max Scherzer.
With Jonny Gomes standing on second base after a Green Monster double and down 1-2 in the count, the camera zoomed in on Bogaerts’ face, and his expression was almost a complete lack of an expression, except for something that almost looked like a smirk. It might just’ve been the way his face naturally rests, but regardless, it displayed an absolute lack of fear or panic at the situation. The Red Sox were losing 2-1 in the bottom of the seventh inning of an American League Championship Series game with one perhaps the best pitcher in the league on the mound, and Boegarts was unmoved. Continue reading
For the first time in 19 years, a pitcher has been properly recognized as the most valuable player in his league. So congrats go out to Justin Verlander, the American League Cy Young winner and MVP. It’s been a long time coming. Continue reading
Jacoby Ellsbury has had a season to remember, even if the Red Sox aren't.
When I returned to my unseasonably hot apartment last night, the Red Sox were locked into an extra-inning affair with the New York Yankees, the second half of a doubleheader courtesy of Friday’s rain. With a loss, they would be tied with the Tampa Bay Rays in the race for the American League wild card, unthinkable just three weeks ago, when the Sox, along with the Yankees and Philadelphia Phillies, were the titans of baseball.
Obviously, Red Sox fans are not pleased. As a group, they’re looking for answers. But too many are just looking for someone to blame. Is it starting pitching? Does Theo Epstein need to be fired? What about Terry Francona?
Others are casting blanket statements around, calling this entire team unlikeable and flawed from the start. Certain Boston columnists (who won’t get the benefit of a link in this space) are saying that, should the Red Sox manage to advance to the playoffs, they won’t deserve their slot.
It’s a lot of passion mixed with hot air, arrogance and entitlement. And it really demonstrates how losing can bring out the worst in a fan base. Continue reading
As will often be the case, Jacoby Ellsbury leads off for the 2011 Red Sox.
Shortly, Jacoby Ellsbury will step into the batter’s box and face the first pitch of the season, from Texas lefty C.J. Wilson. The Texas ballclub (nicknamed the Rangers, I’m told — it never says so on their jerseys) won the American League pennant last year, and with all due respect, the hope remains that the Red Sox will rip that from their sun-beaten hands this season.
Whether or not that actually happens remains to be seen. But it all begins today, the 2011 season and, hopefully, the slow march to the World Series in October. Until then, here are today’s lineups for Game 1 of 162:
Boston Red Sox:
CF — Jacoby Ellsbury 2
2B — Dustin Pedroia 15
LF — Carl Crawford 13
3B — Kevin Youkilis 20
1B — Adrian Gonzalez 28
DH — David Ortiz 34
RF — Mike Cameron 23
C — Jarrod Saltalamacchia 39
SS — Marco Scutaro 10
P — Jon Lester 31
2B — Ian Kinsler 5
SS — Elvis Andrus 1
LF — Josh Hamilton 32
3B — Adrian Beltre 29
DH — Michael Young 10
RF — Nelson Cruz 17
1B — Mike Napoli 25
C — Yorvit Torrealba 8
CF — Julio Borbon 20
P — C.J. Wilson 36
First pitch: 4:05 p.m. EST. TV: NESN/ESPN. Radio: WEEI 850 AM.
Opening Day is here. Thank God, Allah, Buddah, Hari, Lemmy, Clapton, or whomever your deity of choice may be.