His last name barely fits on his jersey, he
couldn’t throw the ball back to the pitcher last year, and he’s only hit
twenty-three home runs in his career. Yet, Jarrod Saltalamacchia will be catching Josh Beckett, Jon
Lester, John Lackey, Clay Buchholz, and Daisuke Matsuzaka in 2011.
Jarrod Saltalamacchia was drafted by the
Atlanta Braves with the thirty-sixth pick in the 2003 draft, one pick before
Orioles all-star outfielder Adam Jones.
In 2006 with the braves class A
affiliate, the Rome Braves, Salty had his best year of his young career. He hit
.314, with nineteen home runs, and eighty-one runs batted in. After his
breakout season Baseball America ranked Saltalamacchia as the eighteenth best
prospect in Major League Baseball.
The following year, Saltalamacchia became
the starting catcher for the Mississippi Braves (AA). In twenty-two games,
Salty hit .373 with seven big flies.
The same year, in 2007 Saltalamacchia was
called up on his twenty-second birthday after an injury to Brian McCann and
then made his major league debut.
On July 31, 2007, also in the same year, Elvis
Andrus, Neftali Feliz, Matt Harrison, Beau Jones, and Saltalamacchia were
traded to the Texas Rangers for Mark Teixeira and Ron Mahay.
Fast-forward three years latter and
Saltalamacchia was put on the disabled list after the first two games of the
2010 season. He was then sent down to AAA because he couldn’t do one of the
simplest things in baseball. Eventually and thankfully, Salty learned how to
throw the ball back to the pitcher.
On July 31, 2010 Jarrod Saltalamacchia
was traded to the Boston Red Sox in exchange for Chris McGuiness, Ramon Mendez, a player to be named later (Michael
Thomas), and some money. He was then sent to Pawtucket.
Saltalamacchia was eventually called up after
an injury to Kevin Cash. In his first appearance in the Red Sox starting line
up on August 12, Saltalamacchia went 2-4 with a run scored.
So far, in his time in Bean town, Salty went
just 3-19 (.158), with one RBI, two runs scored, and no home runs. Yet, despite
those stats, the Red Sox are letting Jarrod Saltalamacchia control one of the
best pitching staffs in baseball.
I sit here writing, I am still trying to figure out exactly why the New England
Patriots had to lose to the New York Jets. I mean any team but the trash
talking, cocky, annoying Jets. I would have rather gotten killed by the Steelers
next week, murdered in the Super Bowl by the Packers or Bears, heck even lose
in the divisional round to a team like the Seahawks then lose to the foot
Now I know that when I turn on Mike and
Mike tomorrow, Mike Greenberg will be sitting there saying how much he loves
Mark Sanchez and how good the Jets are.
Any team but the Jets. Any team. Any
team. I would have just loved the Jets to shut up. I mean after the week
thirteen loss, the Jets actually shut up! That was arguably the best two days
of the football schedule, the two days when the Jets were absolutely quiet.
But now though I think I’m beginning to
understand why exactly the Patriot loss still stings so badly and why it is
still keeping me up at night, two nights later. My conclusion is, Boston sport fans have been spoiled since
Name one other city with just one NFL,
NBA, and MLB with stars like Tom Brady, Paul Pierce, and David Ortiz. You just
Since 2001 the Patriots have won three
Super Bowls (2001, 2003, 2004), The Red Sox have won two World Series (2004,
2007), and the Celtics won the NBA Finals back in 2008. That’s six
championships out of the possible twenty-seven, or over 22%, of all the possible
championships in the NFL, MLB, and NBA, since 2001.
No offense to anyone, but many Boston
sport fans, myself included, can be brats when it comes to sports.
Oh this guy isn’t doing good trade him. We have a weakness at
this position, so we have to get the best guy out there. When we don’t get what
we want, we let people hear it. Same thing for New York, Philadelphia, Chicago,
etc. fans. Again, no offense.
However, that’s part of the “beauty” of
large marker sports. In Kansas City and Baltimore fans are more laid back for
the most part. Again, no offense. Fans are so dedicated and passionate about
winning. They accept nothing but the best. Look at the crazy fans at football
games that paint their whole body. They are either Raider fans, or fans of the
Patriots, Jets, Giants, Eagles, Bears, etc. When you grow up around a winning
culture, you don’t know how to deal with defeat. Do you get angry or sad? Does
it last a few days or a few weeks?
Recently though, I’ve been learning how
to deal with defeat (unfortunately). The Celtics lost game seven of the NBA
Finals, the Red Sox didn’t even make the playoffs, and now the Patriots are
potentially “done” with their dynasty.
When you’re a kid, you can’t imagine that
your team will lose. I mean they’re your team.
When your team does lose it teaches you a great lesson in sportsmanship and how
to deal with defeat. I am just now getting that lesson though.
I have a friend who is a Cleveland sports
fan and trust me he has got that lesson . . . big time. Today though, I realize
that when I’m practically screaming at the TV after a Kevin Garnett alley oop,
or a Tom Brady touchdown, or a David Ortiz home run. There is some ten-year-old
kid either upset or mad that that had to happen against his team. But he doesn’t know that he is learning maybe the most
valuable lesson in sports.
Looking back, I wish there was a time
when I was that ten-year-old kid. I wish I had learned that lesson sooner then
latter. The “bad” news is that the Celtics look to be making another title run
and the Red Sox have restocked to win another ring. On second thought, I think
that lesson can wait another year. J
When you don’t know how to deal with
defeat and accept nothing but the best and you don’t get the best it stings more
2.) http://connect.in.com/red-sox-tickets/photos-1-1-1- 72693d71aaca1b6b9cf5cbfeec0dac4d.html
P.S. Rex Ryan owes me for not making the title Dazed, Confused, and De-feet-ed
was born in Northridge, California and raised in Shrewsbury, New Jersey. His
name is probably the second most mispronounced name on the Red Sox behind
Jarrod Slatalamacchia. But, Ryan Kalish (KAY-lish) is making a name for himself
self in Bean town. He may have only eighty-four major league at-bats under his
belt, two home runs (one of which I saw, his first, in New York), a .238
batting average, and just ten RBIs but the outfielder deserves to be starting
in left fielder on Opening in 2011.
off, I’m not turning the page for the year the Red Sox can and will make the
playoffs. I’m simply just looking at the potential roster next year. Both J.D.
Drew and Mike Cameron will most likely be gone after the 2011 seasons is over.
So the obvious choice would be to trade one of those two players in the
offseason. It would make more since to trade Cameron as that allows Ellsbury to
move back to center, where he has played most of his career.
Jacoby does not have the best arm for an outfielder his speed would be wasted
were he to play in left with the Green Monster as his backdrop. Which is why he
never should have moved to left in the first place.
Anyway, while Daniel Nava, Darnell
McDonald, and Bill Hall have had nice seasons there simply is not enough room
and are simply not better then Kalish, Cameron, Ellsbury, or Drew.
The point is though someone is
going to get traded. I doubt Ellsbury would get traded partially because I am
not sure there would be an takers till we know he can still play ball. Cameron
would most likely be a one-year rental as I expect him to retire after his
current deal. As for Drew, he is often regarded as one of the most overpaid
players in major league baseball, meaning the Red Sox would most likely have to
toss in some money.
So what can we expect for Mr.
Kalish in the future? Well, in that very bright future I can see him hit .325
with fifteen homeruns, and 100 RBIs. Eventually, I think he’ll be a line drive
machine and hit doubles off the monster every game. However, next year I think
maybe a .290 average with five-ten home runs with any where from 60 to 85 runs
He could see time in the two, five,
six, or seven holes depending on injuries. He will most likely play all three-outfielder
spots. But at the end of the day the most important thing is that Kalish is
nearly a five-tool player. He can hit for contact, field (he has one error and
44 put outs), he can throw (he has two outfield assists), he has decent speed
(he’s faster then Big Papi J),
and the power will come as he reaches his prime.
He might turn out to be a six-tool
player, meaning he can hit in the clutch. I have said it before and I will say
it again, some players, like Alex Rodriguez just can’t hit in the clutch and
choke up. And for the record I think A-‘Roid last year in the postseason was a fluke.
Kalish’s first homerun was at Yankee
Stadium and the other was a grand slam. In his first game against the Tigers he
had two hits in four at-bats with an RBI and a run. Is that a sign of greatness
in the clutch or just a fluke? I believe the answer is greatness.
was often over shadowed in the minors by prospect Josh Reddick but know with
the opportunity to play full time Kalish is showing he is just as good if not
better then Reddick.
Wednesday Clay Buchholz and Jed
Lowrie returned from the disabled list. And while, Buchholz didn’t do that good
(Lowrie to me looked great) they are playing.
In order to activate Buchholz and
Lowrie Boston designate Ryan Shealy for assignment and sent Dustin Richardson
and Fernando Cabrera to Pawtuckett (AAA). The Red Sox active roster now has 25
With the emergence of Daniel Nava,
Darnell McDonald, and some nice play lately by Kevin Cash, Michael Bowden, and
Atchison, whom do you send down in place for Jeremy Hermida, Jacoby Ellsbury,
Mike Lowell, Dustin Pedroia, Victor Martinez, Jason Varitek and Josh Beckett.
soon as I finished writing Hermida’s name NESN said that Daniel Nava has been
optioned to Pawtuckett. It is a shame that Nava has to go back down after doing
a great job filling in for Hermida but at the end of the day either Darnell
McDonald or Nava had to go down and Boston chose Nava. He will probably be back
up in September unless another outfielder gets hurt.
might not be back as soon as Hermida but unless there is another injury among
the outfielders it looks like Darnell McDonald will be sent down. Obviously, a
shame that he has to be sent down but he will be back in September with Nava unless an injury happens.
Lowell is an interesting case. He will start his rehab Thursday. He has
publicly said that he is frustrated and honestly who could blame him. He has not
gotten many starts at third and with Big Papi stepping up not many at
designated hitter. He has done a decent job in a few starts at first base. I
think he will probably get traded before the deadline so it doesn’t really
matter who gets sent down.
think that Lowell might get Boston maybe a left-handed relief pitcher or a
decent prospect. Eric Patterson will probably get sent down but might get
called up after Lowell’s trade. If Lowell does not get traded then Patterson
will get sent down, designated for assignment, or maybe even get traded.
Lowell just gets traded for a prospect who is not ready yet then look at either
Nava, McDonald, or Aaron Bates to get called up. There are many possibilities
with Lowell so we will just have to wait and see.
What a wild night it was in Philadelphia last night. Every single position player played except all three backup catchers, George Kottaras of the Red Sox and Chris Coste along with Paul Bako of the Phillies. A total of twelve pitchers came in the game and struck out 34 batters. Jon Lester got eleven while Joe Blanton struck out seven.
The final score was five to two but ended in the thirteenth inning when Boston scored three runs in the top of the inning and then Daniel Bard got his first major league save and Takashi Saito got his second win of the season. Youk and J.D. Drew supplied the power as each hit solo home runs off of Joe Blanton.
The lineup was a little questionable and it was not the only questionable thing Terry Francona did. Here is the line up so you can be the judge.
1- Dustin Pedroia, 2B
2- J.D. Drew, RF
3- Kevin Youkilis, 3B
4- Jason Bay, LF
5- David Ortiz, 1B
6- Jason Varitek, C
7- Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
8- Nick Green, SS
9- Jon Lester, P
Of corse playing at Citizens Bank Park there are not any DH’s so Terry Francona put David Ortiz at first base and moved Youk to third. I liked the move because Ortiz has finally broken out of his slump, hitting three home runs in six games. Ortiz though went one for three with a strikeout before being taking out of the game for Mark Kotsay in the sixth.
The other questionable thing Terry did happened in the ninth. Jonathan Papelbon needed the day off and Takashi Saito had pitched a hard earned 1.1 innings against the Yankees and Francona wanted to give him the day off even though he could have pitched in the ninth. Saito came in and got two outs in the 12th and got the win. Anyway so with Boston up by one run in the ninth Ramon Ramirez came in.
Ramirez had given up back to back home runs in his last outing against the Yankees and with Ryan Howard up Ramirez gave up another home run. Let me just say I would have never put him in. I mean sure he has been having a good year but I would have put in either Manny Delcarmen or Justin Masterson. Delcarmen last pitched Thursday and Masterson came in and pitched 2.1 scoreless innings in extra, striking out three. I might have considered Daniel Bard, who later got the save that game but because he is a young kid I can understand Terry not wanting to put him in and then have him give up a home run.
Anyway Ramirez’s ERA is up to 2.10 and he has now given up four home run, seven earned runs, eighteen hits, and has walked ten in 30 innings. I really did not like the Coco Crisp trade even though I agreed he needed to go. Boston could have got a lot more for him. But I am getting off topic. Ramirez is in a slump or whatever you want to call it and before the season started I thought he should be a mop-up reliever. Maybe he should become a mop-up reliever for a little while.
Jon Lester though was the talk of the game though he gave up just two hits an earned run and walked just two. He also struck out eleven including six straight (the record is ten though in case you were wondering set by Tom Seaver) Lester got Chase Utley, Ryan Howard, and Raul Ibanez to strikeout twice.
Lester has been on fire his last three starts striking out 34 going two and zero. His ERA for his last three starts has been 1.23 against the Blue Jays, Rangers, and Phillies. Lester has only walked seven batters and given up seven hits. Against teams with guys like Vernon Wells, Ian Kinsler, and Raul Ibanez.
Lester pitched seven great innings but did run into some trouble in the second. After a leadoff single for Raul Ibanez, Shane Victorino doubled moving Ibanez to third with no outs. Lester then got Pedro Feliz to ground out but Ibanez scored on the play. Carlos Ruiz would ground out for the second out of the inning but Victorino would move to third. Joe Blanton though grounded out to second as the hits to Ibanez and Victorino would be the last hits he gave up.
I thought the Red Sox where having a hard time scoring runs! Well how does eight runs sound along with a pitcher who struck out twelve! Unless your a Blue Jays fan that is awesome. Why did we score eight runs because of this.