Tagged: Mike Lowell

What To Do With The Organized Mess That The Red Sox Are

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
players.

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.

Jeremy Hermida

            As
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.

Jacoby Ellsbury

            Ellsbury
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.

Mike Lowell

Red Sox third baseman Mike Lowell (File)

            Mike
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.

            I
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.

            If
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.

Continue reading

I’m Back . . . . . Again!

* I have been working on this entry this whole week and have been very busy this whole week with baseball camp and other things so the stats are a little messed up*

Man camp was awesome again. It just always seems to go by waaaaaaaay to fast. Anyway I was hoping to make baseball all-stars and made it! Along with basketball and archery all-stars. 

Also I have obviously decided to keep blogging just not once a day. I am going to do a week in review plus extra entries for events like the trading deadline and other things.
Anyway well this year the all-star game rosters just seemed different. Why? Well a few players did not deserve it.  Which players did not, and which players should have been there? Well you’ll find out!
The voters, players, and managers got it right mostly in the American League. But there where still a lot of mess ups. For example Chone Figgins only made the team after Evan Longoria pulled himself out due to an infected ring finger. And while at the time Figgins lead the league in runs scored and was tied for the league lead in triples with seven. In an unbiased opinion Mike Lowell might have been better choices. However Figgins and Lowell are three very different players. Also at the time of the all-star game Lowell had not played in an MLB game since June 27th. 
And even though Figgins has played more games then Lowell even if the had played the same amount of games the only stats Lowell would lead in would probably be doubles, home runs, RBIs, intentional base on balls, slugging percentage, and maybe if he got on a tear total bases. However Lowell is more of a veteran which might have calmed some players emotions. Figgins though has been in the league since 2002 only four less seasons then Lowell.
chone_figgins1
Now if I was Joe Maddon I would have picked Figgins. Because he of the fact that the American League team only has about six speedsters besides Figgins. Of corse some people do not consider Derek Jeter, Jason Bartlett, and Ben Zobrist speedsters even though they have a combined total of 47 stolen bases.
Brandon Inge is a question mark. He hit in the home run derby despite having just 21 home runs (tied for fifth in the American League). He won the all-star final vote becoming the first Tiger to do so. Of the five players on the American League ballot three ended up making the team. Yet Ian Kinsler who was ahead of Dustin Pedroia for most of the voting did not make it despite having more runs, hits, total bases, doubles, triples, walks, and less strikeouts.
 
Detroit third baseman Brandon Inge
Inge is a better fielder and has a higher batting average, on base percentage, slugging percentage, and a higher on base plus slugging percentage. Inge is also a candidate for comeback player of the year which might have given him some what of an edge. 
This vote could have gone either way. Heck Blue Jays left fielder/DH Adam Lind could have won  it. But what it came down to between Kinsler and Inge was the popularity vote. The Tigers have more of a fan base then the Rangers even though the Dallas/Fort Worth/Arlington area is a larger city then Detroit. The Dallas area is a football town and well Detroit does not have much to root for with the 0 and 16 Lions. That is the sad part about sports these days. Most of the time the teams with the larger fan bases tend to have their players win more honors. 

Hunter%20Pence.jpg

In the National League well lets just say there where a lot of players deserving to be in St. Louis that did not get to go. Hunter Pence of the Houston Astros is a five tool player. Yet another five tool player should have been there instead of Pence. That player is Dodgers right fielder, Andre Ethier. Ethier has more runs, doubles, home runs, RBIs, walks, intentional base on balls, and a higher slugging percentage then Pence. Both have nearly the exact same stats though. For example they have the same number of total base and have played in the same amount of games.
Yet their teams are very different. The Dodgers have the best record in baseball while the Astros are trying for a second half push yet again. But think about it this way look what the Dodgers and particularly Ethier has overcome this year. Remember last year when Manny came over and Ethier exploded? Remember this year at the start of Manny’s suspension when Ethier went into a slump. Well yah look at him now.
The fact that Pence made the all-star game and Ethier did not is a joke. There is no doubt that Pence is a good player and very similar to Ethier but look at it this way. For Pence he has Carlos Lee, Lance Berkman, and Ivan Rodriguez to drive him in which would give him more runs. Ethier has James Loney and Matt Kemp to drive him in. Obviously Pence has the advantage. Pence also gets some added RBIs with speedster Michael Born to score. So instead of having Casey Blake stop at third Pence would get an RBI.
Okay still do not think it matters a lot. Okay well look at it this way. In the Astros versus Dodgers game today through the bottom of the eight with no outs and Ethier on first Pence has gone one for four. Ethier is three for four. Yes it is just one game but lets look at it one more way.
The Dodgers have the best record in baseball yet only had three all-stars and Jonathan Broxton is hurt. The Astros are just now playing good. I mean all the facts are there Ethier is having a better season the Pence and deserves to be there. He probably would be there to if it was not for Manny “stealing” his votes even though Ethier probably would not have started.
Two players on the same team probably would not have made it if it was not for Cole Hamels. Shane Victorino and Jason Werth should be thank Hamels today. Victorino won the National League all-star final vote and Werth made the team as Carlos Beltran’s replacement. Yet both got lucky. Ethier could have had either of their spots and so could have Matt Kemp or Mike Cameron, and maybe Carlos Lee, Michael Born, and or Adam Dunn. 
Look at the stats as of Jul 22. . .
                AVG.   HR   RBI    R    H    SO   SB    OBP    2B    3B      Errors       F. %tage 
Werth       .266     21      61    63   88   88    12     .378     15       1           0          1.000%
Victorino  .307       6      43    67  115   43   15     .374     25       6           1           .995%     
Ethier       .257      19      58    52   88    71     4     .341     19       1           3           .982%
Kemp       .323      13      55    55  110   81    20     .390     12       6           2          .992%
Cameron   .260     14      43    44    82   87     4      .366     19       2           3          .988%
Lee           .307     15      57    40  107   30     3      .357     17       1           2          .984%
Born         .285       3      26    62  101   79    35      .357      17      8          1           .995%
Dunn        .268      24     65    45    87   106    0      .401      17      0           7          .950%
So based on my formulas Victorino should have made it but Werth should not have. Matt Kemp should have. Here are the rankings . . .
1. Victorino 
2. Kemp
3. Werth
4. Born
5. Lee
6. Ethier
7. Dunn
8. Cameron
Phillies center fielder Shane Victorino is congratulated by right fielder Jayson Werth after making a leaping catch at the wall to rob Dodgers third baseman Casey Blake of an extra-base hit with two men on and two outs in the seventh inning of Game 2 of the NLCS on Friday night in Philadelphia.
The last player who should not have made it was the replacement to Matt Cain, Zach Duke. How does a player who has a losing record at the break (8-9) make the all-star team! His ERA at the break was 3.38 which is good but when your team even though they stink has a great defense not to mention a speedy outfield that could be a little lower.
So lets say the fact that Duke’s ERA was the reason he made the team. As of July 26th his ERA was 3.42, .04 higher then at the break. As of July 26th fourteen players in the National League had a lower ERA then Duke, ten of those players did not make the all-star team including Javier Vazquez.
Duke had eight wins and as of July 26th he has nine wins. As of the 26th eighteen players have more or the same amount of wins as Duke. Of those eighteen players eleven of those players did not make the all-star game including Derek Lowe, Bronson Arroyo, and Yovani Gallardo.
Duke also had 70 strikeouts at the break today he has 74. Lets just say he did not make it because of his strikeouts. There are 37 players with more strikeouts and of those players 31 did not make the team. 
So just a few players who could have taken his spot? Well Adam Wainwright, Wandy Rodriguez, Yovani Gallardo, and Jair Jurrjens all had the same or better stats in ERA, strikeouts, and strikeouts. So even though I do not think they deserved it congrats to all the all-stars. 
Photo Credits
1- gohalos.com
2- news.bbc.co.uk.com
3- blog.kir.com
4- bostonsports.mlblogs.com
5- baltimoresun.com
6- mlb.com

Change Red Sox Nation Can Believe In

*- Sorry this could have been up Monday night but I have been super sick. Today I had to go to the hospital with a temp of 104.9 F. The doctor thinks I might have mono. So if I don’t blog for a few days do not worry.

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.

1. Dustin Pedroia- 2B
2. J.D. Drew- RF
3. Kevin Youkilis- 1B
4. Jason Bay- LF
5. Mike Lowell- 3B
6. David Ortiz- DH
7. Jason Varitek- C
8. Jacoby Ellsbury- CF
9. Nick Green- SS
Yep Pedroia batted first, J.D. batted second, Bay batted cleanup, Mikey batted fifth, and Jacoby batted eight. If I remember correctly Pedroia batted first for most of his 2007 year in which he won the Rookie of the Year award. Jacoby just had a twenty-two game hit streak snap the other day and now is batting eight.  And Big Papi is still batting sixth.
Overall I love the line up. It is spread out so every three batters there is at least one guy who could hit a home run (Youk, Bay, and Tek) along with fast guys who can turn singles into doubles (Pedroia, Bay, and Ellsbury). 
Yes Pedroia and Bay only have thirteen combined stolen bases but they are players who are super fast but do not steal that much. For example look at Andre Ethier and Hunter Pence. They only have eight combined stolen bases but can turn singles into doubles easily.
Anyway I am getting off topic. Now Tuesday after the off day or the next time Julio Lugo plays I would bat Ellsbury last. Yes call me crazy whatever. Jacoby batted behind Varitek so if Varitek is say at second and Ellsbury at first Ellsbury cannot steal. Lugo is another guy with speed but he never really steals much. 
But look at it this way Lugo’s on base percentage is .345 which yes is .010 points higher then Jacoby’s but Lugo has 21 hits in 23 games. Ellsbury has 64 hits in 49 games. Lugo has eight walks while Ellsbury has eleven. Lugo’s batting average is .276 while Ellsbury’s is .299. So maybe OBP is a messed up stat. Or maybe Lugo gets a little more lucky and more errors happen when he is up.
Anyway it is better then having your catcher hit in front of a speedster. Of course though I wish Jed Lowrie started and not Julio Lugo started at shortstop.
My favorite change in the lineup was Pedroia batting first and J.D. Drew batting second. Drew should not have batted third at all. Yes he has seven home runs but he is not a third batter. Pedroia could bat anywhere in the lineup as he gets on base, can steal, rarely strikes out, and one some days (like yesterday) he can hit for power.
Your first and second guys have to have a high OBP so you big guys can drive them in. Drew seems like he always gets on base as his OBP is .359 this year and his carer OBP is .391. Pedoria’s OBP is .416 for this year. 416 which is tied for fifteenth in baseball. (Youk has the highest with .478.) Then if Youk gets on base (and he probably will) Jason Bay is tied for the most RBI’s in baseball with Adrian Gonzalez with 49 in just two months!
Now there are a few ways to get Big Papi going so he can turn back into the feared slugger he is. One is you could drop him to the seventh spot or even last. Then after Big Papi has say a four hit game or gets two doubles or whatever Terry would move him up one spot as at and Ortiz would say, “Finally Something Good Happened,” and Ortiz would slowly move up till he becomes the slugger he is. However with Jason Bay having an MVP season maybe he will stay at fifth.
The other thing that has the highest risk would be if he gets voted into the Home Run Derby. If I remember correctly Ortiz was third in fan home run derby voting in the A.L. Which  I think would put him in the derby even though he only has one home run. 
That could be good or bad. That could have Ortiz swing for the fences more which as everyone knows makes guys strikeout. Now the good news about the bad news (If that makes since) is that that would be in the first half of the season. If Big Papi hits a ton of home runs in the derby (which he will) I believe he will start hitting again just in time for the playoff run.
I like Ellsbury batting eight because like I said before it spreads the “wealth” of the lineup. So when whoever is batting it is not going to be a one-two-three inning because Ellsbury’s OBP is .335 and his batting average is .299 like mentioned previously.
So how did the lineup end up doing? Well they scored eight runs and had eleven hits. Pedroia went one for four with a home run and three RBIs. J.D. Drew went one for four with one RBI and two strikeouts along with a sacrifice fly. Youk had a great game as he went two for four with three runs two RBIs. He also had two home runs.
Jason Bay went two for three with one run, RBI, strikeout and he hit his fifteenth home run of the year. He also had two doubles. Mike Lowell went two for five with an RBI and three strikeouts. He did have a double though. But maybe The Red Sox should consider moving him if he has a few more bad games. Big Papi went one for five with a run a double and a strikeout.
Jason Varitek went zero for two with three walks and a run. Jacoby went one for three with a walk. See he could not use his speed with Varitek in front of him. Nick Green (who should start at shortstop till Jed Lowrie gets back) went one for four with a run. Nick had a double but got picked off at first after his walk.
So hopefully this lineup will score more runs. I believe it will. Facing Detroit Tuesday their pitching has to be good but Detroit does not have the best starting pitchers besides Justin Verlander. I am predicting they sweep the Tigers.

Ten Years Changes A Team- Infield And DH

I was playing MLB 2K8 the other day on my Wii. I was the Royals and I was trying to make them a good team. In the game they are the 29th best team. The worst team is the Marlins but that would be to easy to make them good. I went to 2015 and won a World Series with guys like Ryan Zimmerman and Zack Greinke winning the MVP and Cy Young. I played four more seasons till 2019. I actually played one of the games against the Red Sox. Most of the games I just sim. It showed Michael Bowden on the mound for Boston. That got me thanking. What would the Red Sox be like in ten years . . .

I see a very young team that is like the Marlins in some ways. The rotation would be great, young, with the experience needed to go all the way. The lineup would have guys all over who could hit the ball every where. There would be homers around the Pesky Pole, doubles off the monster, and singles that would fall for base hits. Players like Jason Varitek, Mike Lowell, and Tim Wakefiled would be a thing of the past. Jeff Bailey, Lars Anderson, and Luis Exposito will be the present.
At first base will be Lars Anderson. Anderson will make his major league debut in 2011. His first three seasons will be from the bench but then when Mike Lowell turns 40 and retires Anderson will get the full time spot at third. Over time his home run totals will go up from ten to twenty to thirty to thirty-five in 2019. Most of Anderson’s home runs will be line drives. Unlike some players who golf when they swing Anderson has a very smooth swing. Anderson will improve his eye and will lead the league in walks sometime around 2017. He will not win Rookie of the Year due to the fact that his first few seasons will be played from the bench. However in 2019 he will be in MVP talks. Anderson will have a pretty good OBP and a decent average around .285 in 2019. Anderson will be a lot like Justin Morneau of the Twins once he gets called up.
At second it is a no brainer. Dustin Pedroia will still be there. He will be 35 but will still be standing strong. Over the next ten years his home run numbers will increase to twenty in 2014. They will stay like that till 2017 when they will start to decrease. Pedroia will steal more stolen bases as he gets older. In 2017 he will start to decline in that stat along with hits, RBI’s, and OBP. Pedroia will still be the same Pedroia and will be a leader on and off the field. While I am highly doubtful there is a chance that he could become captain of the Red Sox once Jason Varitek retires. Pedroia will make numerous all-star teams and will be the starter at most of them till 2017. Pedroia may have already won an MVP but will still improve till 2017 when he will exit his prime and Boston will probably draft a good talented second baseman. One that will have to follow up a Hall of Fame carer.
Shortstop will be Jed Lowrie. Lowrie will never be a power hitter but like Pedroia will get younger legs as he gets older. His carer high for home runs in a season will probably be fifteen but will have an average higher then .300 for his carer along with a high OBP. He will improve his fielding skills and will start to become a leader. Jed will be 35 like Pedroia. He will not though have a Hall of Fame carer like Dusty though. Even though Jed is not the best fielder and could improve his arm he will win around two Golden Gloves sometime around 2013. Lowrie will probably make four all-star games and will start at one. Jed will be a franchise player who will play only for Boston. He will get into the Red Sox Hall of Fame but will not have 3,000 hits or 500 home runs. He will probably have 2,500 hits and 200 home runs for his carer.
At third is Youk. Mike Lowell will retire in 2014 when he turns 40. Youk will move across the diamond and Boston will put Anderson at first. Youk will have a great carer. In 2011 he will win an MVP. By the time he turns 40 (which would be in 2019) Youkilis will have had 475 home runs and 2,500 hits. Youkilis will win around five SIlver Sluggers and eight Golden Gloves, six at first and two at third. Youk has a chance to break Ted Wiliams’ all-time care OBP which is .4817. However by then it could be held by Albert Pujols. Youk also has a chance to break Barry Bond’s single season record for OBP which is .609. Youk gets on base what seems like every time. Youk’s offensive carer will be a lot like Jim Rice’s just better and it will only take him thirteen tries to get into the Hall of Fame.
Catcher is a problem. Jason Varitek will most likely retire after 2010 which is the last year of his contract. Boston could have George Kottaras become the everyday catcher. Luis Exposito is promising but is only in A ball. Jarrod Saltalamacchia was nearly traded to Boston this offseason. I believe all three will get the chance the next few years. I believe Boston will traded for Saltalamacchia this offseason. Kottaras will stay as Tim Wakefield’s catcher till Wakefield retires. Exposito though will be the catcher in 2019.
Luis Exposito will be 32 in 2019. Exposito is pretty balanced but that is not much of a good thing as he does not hit a ton of home runs but will have a higher average. However he could hit twenty-five home runs in his prime. His arm could use some work when trying to throw out base stealers but is  great at blocking pitches. He has a strong arm but could work on his accuracy. From what I know and I do not know much about him he is very popular in the clubhouse and seems to be a fan favorite. He will probably make his debut in 2013 and will start at catcher in 2014. I am not so sure about him but he has five years to prove himself to me. 
Big Papi will retire at the age of 43 which would be in 2019. Big Papi by then will have made seven all-star games and will have won six silver-sluggers. Big Papi will have hit nearly 500 home runs by then and will hit number 500 in 2019. Big Papi will have had 2,500 hits when he retires. Ortiz will continue to be a fan favorite and after Varitek retires he has a chance to become the captain. However I believe Pedroia is more likely to become captain. Papi will retire with 515 home runs which will be good enough for twenty on the all time home run list. Big Papi will be just like “The Hit Dog” just he is going to get into the Hall Of Fame.
After Big Papi retires the job is up in the air. I think Boston will draft a D.H. in the next five years. If he is not ready Jeff Bailey will take over for one season. However I do not think that will be a problem. Whoever does follow Big Papi will have to follow someone who is the greatest D.H. of all time.

Guess Who’s Back . . .

I would like to thank everyone who has guessed but no one has gotten it yet. I am going to give you guys till Friday then I will tell you.
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MikeLowell.jpg

Finally, At Last, and Yes were my first words said after I learned that Mike Lowell would start playing again today. In today’s game he was the Designated Hitter and not third base, his primary position. He went one for three before Lars Anderson pinch ran for him in the seventh. Lowell had surgery to fix a torn hip labrum which is what Alex Rodriguez has. He underwent the surgery on October 20, the first day of the Red Sox’s offseason. His last a-bat berfore today was Game three of the 2008 ALDS against the Angels. Lowell has had a heck of an offseason all ready with the surgery and the trade rumors. When the Red Sox showed interest in signing Mark Teixeira which would move Kevin Youkilis to third Boston thought about trading Lowell. At first I hoped Teixeira would sign with the Red Sox but then I thought about it one day a decided I wanted him to stay. Many of my friends say he is washed-up and overrated but how does a guy only make ten errors in 113 games and hit .274 which is higher then B.J. Upton (.273 and talk about overrated), Evan Longoria (.272), and Robinson Cano (.271 another guy who is overrated). 



Lowell was drafted by the New York Yankees in the 1995 MLB player draft in the 20th round. He made his MLB debut on September 13, 1998. He played in eight games and in the offseason was traded to the Florida Marlins. On February 1, 1999 he discovered he had cancer and underwent surgery on February 21.He returned to the lineup on May 29. In 2003 Lowell was having a fantastic season but in late August hit by a pitch from Montreal Expos’ pitcher Hector Almonte. He missed 32 games and was replaced by Miguel Cabrera. He still had 32 home runs and 105 RBI’s and came back in time to lead the Marlins to the franchise’s second World Series victory. Lowell earned his only Golden Glove in 2005. On Novemeber 21, 2005 he was traded to Boston as an “add on” for the Josh Beckett deal. 2007 was a great year for Lowell. He hit .324 with 21 home runs, 120 RBI’s, and 191 hits.  Lowell also made his forth all-star game. Then in the postseason he was yet again fantastic in route to winning the 2007 World Series MVP. He placed fifth in MVP voting that year and signed a three year contract worth $37.5 million. On May 6, 2008 Lowell’s autobiography, Deep Drive: A Long Journey To Finding The Champion Within. was released. You can find it on one of my link list  to the right. Lowell wanted to participate in the 2009 World Baseball Classic but was unable to  because of his injury. Hopefully this year Lowell can prove to my friend’s that Lowell is not washed up and is still underrated.
Capitol gain: World Series MVP Mike...

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All right the standing trivia is, “Who threw the first no-hitter under lights.” So far the hints are . . .
1- It can be any league in any country.
2- I have know the answer my whole life.
3- He does not have a wikipedia page.
4- He has a common last name.
5- He played for the Kansas City Blues and the Indianapolis Indians.

Today’s hints are that he was in the Yankees’ and Mets farm system at the same time, he played for two different Yankee farm system teams, and he stopped playing in 1935 to work on a railroad so he could make money during the great depression.


Photo Credits
1- redsoxgirl46.mlblogs.com
2- askville.amazon.com
3- bostonherald.com

Pitchers, Catchers, and the Rest of the Team

Today, Friday the 13th was the first full day of pitchers and catchers camp. It came just in time although it could have been earlier. Today there are two college basketball games, seven hockey games, a golf tournament, four women’s basketball games, and the 2009 Rookie Challenge. Some could argue that today is the loneliest day in the history of sports. It would be the loneliest day in sports if the NBA Rookie Challenge wasn’t today at nine P.M. eastern. I’m getting off track though. I know that all the first few days of pitchers and catchers camp is just conditioning, stretching, and throwing the ball around. The real work doesn’t start until Monday when position players report to camp. The only problem is Kevin Youkillis and Chris Carter will not arrive at camp . . . because they are already there. I think it would be kind of boring to be the only two position players (besides catchers) to be there. Like all of the drills would be mostly related to the pitchers and catchers. I’m sure they have someone else training Youk and Carter though. Everyone seems healthy or better. It looks like Brad Penny and Jon Smoltz or doing great but Mike Lowell might need a little extra time maybe till the end of spring training but he should be able to practice Monday. Josh Beckett is also looking great. When he threw yesterday he seemed like when he had his 2007 form according to reports. Jed Lowrie who got a left wrist sprain and an unknown fracture should also be ready to compete for the starting spot at shortstop. Julio Lugo also will be after recovering from a torn right quad. David Ortiz looks healed and should have a Big Papi type season smacking 40 homers out of the yard. Mark Kotsay looks to be the only Red Sox position player not ready for spring training. He underwent back surgery and looks like he will be ready in May. Another big question for the Red Sox in spring training is will Josh Bard be able to catcher knuckleballer, Tim Wakefield? I think he will. There will be a few rough spots, most of them coming in spring training but I think he will. Sure he stunk last time he tried t catch him but he saw a guy catch a knuckleballer in San Diego with the Padres and that must count for something. Spring Training is where champions are made. Prospects get called up, players meet new teammates, and baseball starts again.

P.S.- Sorry for no pictures extra ones tomorrow.

World Baseball Classic- Red Sox Style

First- I’m sorry I didn’t blog yesterday I am taking this boring five day test over math, writing, reading comprehension, science, and tons more.
Second- The real news in baseball isn’t the World Baseball Classic, it is Barry Bonds! Click here to read this shocking story about him.
Third- Jeff Kent the legendary second baseman retired today. Kent has a pretty good shot at getting into the baseball hall of fame. More on that soon hopefully.
Forth- Jonathan Pabelbon avoided arbitration by signing a one year, $6.25 million dollar deal. Boston also signed Javier Lopez. Theo Epstein has yet to go in to arbitration with any player since becoming G.M. of the Red Sox. More on that soon.
Fifth- The Dodgers signed Jonathan Broxton and Russell Martin avoiding arbitration.
Sixth- The Red Sox traded David Aardsma to the Mariners for Fabian Williamson.
The Boston Red Sox have eleven major league players and five minor league players on the World Baseball Classic provisional rosters.
Jason Bay- Bay played for Canada in the 2006 World Baseball Classic. In three games Bay hit .455, with zero home runs, drove in none, and had five hits. Last season Bay hit .286, with 31 home runs, drove in 101, and had 165 hits. Bay will be a great move for team Canada. While he didn’t have great stats in 2006 I think he will have a good 2009 World Baseball Classic. 
George Kottaras- Kottaras will join Jason Bay on team Canada. Kottaras didn’t play in the 2006 World Baseball Classic. Last season in three games with the Red Sox he hit .200, had one hit, with no home runs, RBI’s, or stolen bases. The Red Sox will watch Kottaras carefully as a test to see how he does against major league talent.
Javier Lopez- Lopez will play for team Puerto Rico. Lopez did not participate in the 2006 World Baseball Classic. Last season with Boston he had a two and zero record, with a 2.43 ERA, and 38 strikeouts. Lopez should help team Puerto Rico. He would give team Puerto Rico a pretty good relief pitcher.
Mike Lowell-  Lowell will join Javier Lopez on team Puerto Rico. Lowell will play in the World Baseball Classic for his first time. Last year with Boston he hit .274, with 17 home runs, 73 RBI’s, and had 115 hits. The Red Sox will watch Lowell closely to see how his hip is. If it gets bad they may tell Lowell to sit out a game or sit on the bench for the rest of the tournament. I think his hip will be fine though.
Daisuke Matsuzaka- Dice-K will play for team Japan. Dice-K played in the 2006 World Baseball Classic. He had three wins no losses, an ERA of 1.28, and ten strike outs. Dice-K was a vital part in helping Japan win in 2006. He also won MVP in the 2006 World Baseball Classic. Last year with the Red Sox he had a record of 18-3, with 154 strikeouts, and an ERA of 2.90. I think Dice-K will do fine in the 2009 World Baseball Classic.
Hideki Okajima- Okajima will join Dice-K on team Japan. Okajima didn’t play in the 2006 World Baseball Classic. Last season he had a three and two record, with an ERA of 2.61, 60 strikeouts, and one save. Okajima will be great playing for Japan. he could help them to win another title, but the USA will win.
David Ortiz- Ortiz will play for team Dominican Republic. In 2006 while playing in the 2006 World Baseball Classic he hit .150, with three home runs, five RBI’s, and three hits in twenty at bats. Having three hits and three home runs means that all of his hits were home runs. In 2008 with the Red Sox he hit .264, with 23 home runs, 89 RBI’s, and 110 hits. Ortiz has a hurt wrist so he might not be able to play. He also is listed on the list of Red Sox players in the classic but not on the list of players for team Dominican Republic on MLB.com which is strange.
 Designated hitter David Ortiz of the Dominican Republic celebrated after hitting a home run in the second inning against Venezuela during the first round of the World Baseball Classic at The Ballpark at Disney on March 7 in Kissimmee, Fla.
Dustin Pedroia- Pedroia will play for my favorite team, team USA! Pedroia did not play in the 2006 World Baseball Classic. Last season he hit .326, with 17 home runs, 83 RBI’s, and stole twenty bases. He also won a golden glove, a silver slugger, and a MVP. Pedroia should be a  upgrade for team USA. In 2006 the USA had Chase Utley at second base.
Ramon Ramirez- Roman Ramirez will possibly join David Ortiz on team Dominican Republic. Ramirez didn’t play in the 2006 World Baseball Classic. Ramirez was traded from Kansas City to Boston for Coco Crisp this offseason. While with the Royals last year he had a record of three and two, with a 2.64 ERA, one save, and 70 strikeouts. The Red Sox will look at him if David Ortiz plays to see if any chemistry forms between them. As we all know ( Well not the Y*****s) chemistry wins championships.
Kevin Youkilis- Youkilis will join Dustin Pedroia on team USA making the left side of the infield all Red Sox. Youkilis did not play in the 2006 World Baseball Cassic. Last season Youk hit .312, with 115 RBI’s, 29 home runs, and stole three bases. He also started at first base in the 2008 all star game at Yankee Stadium. Youk will be a great ascent to team USA in 2009.
The World Baseball Classic is a time where Cubs and White Sox, Dodgers and Angels, and even Red Sox and Y*****s (Hey I’m serious about not putting the Y word in my entries) unite and cheer for Pedroia, Jeter, Derrek Lee, Carlos Quentin, Joe Saunders, and Jonathan Broxton on team USA.

Ortiz watched his second inning home run clear the fence as his team faced Venezuela in their World Baseball Classic first round game. At left is Venezuela's catcher Ramon Hernandez.Team USA shortstop Derek Jeter blew a bubble after throwing to first for a double play while forcing out Mexico's Luis Alfonso Garcia. Team USA won 2-0 on Tuesday.