Boston, Philly, and St. Louis Pass Flying Colors On Deadline Day

1 08 2009

Phillies Giants Baseball

By Brendan Tyman

The Boston Red Sox, Philadelphia Phillies, and St. Louis Cardinals all pulled off major coups before the Major League Baseball trading deadline at 4 P.M. yesterday.

Yesterday, the Sox shipped left-handed pitcher (LHP) Nick Hagadone, right-handed pitcher (RHP) Justin Masterson, and pitcher Bryan Price to the Cleveland Indians for catcher/first baseman (INF) Victor Martinez. Then they traded for first baseman Casey Kotchman of the Atlanta Braves for first baseman Adam LaRoche. Boston did not need to give up their top pitching prospects in Clay Bucholz and Michael Bowden. Martinez can provide some pop even though he has struggled for the past couple of months with a .193 batting average.

On Wednesday, the Phills sent RHP Carlos Carrasco, INF Jason Donald, RHP Jason Knapp, and C Lou Marson to the Tribe for LHP Cliff Lee and outfielder (OF) Ben Francisco.Ruben Amaro got an ace even though it was not Roy Halladay.

Meanwhile the Cards had been busy plucking OF Matt Holliday from the Oakland Athletics for third baseman Brett Wallace, OF Shane Peterson, and RHP Clayton Mortensen. In addition, they received Julio Lugo from Boston for Chris Duncan. Lastly, they got INF Mark DeRosa for RHP Chris Perez and RHP Jess Todd. Now, they have another bat in the middle of their order in Holliday. St. Louis also added a versatile infielder (DeRosa) and a middle infielder who can hit at the top of their lineup (Lugo).

The most surprising thing was the Toronto Blue Jays did not trade Roy Halladay even though he only has a year and a half left on his deal. They will not get as much after this season for him as they would have now. Apparently talks with the Red Sox broke down because they were not willing to give up both Bucholz and RHP Daniel Bard.

The New York Yankees did not make a big splash as they do not have depth in pitching. The only move that was made was getting Jerry Hairston Jr. from the Cincinatti Reds.


Manny Suspended 50 Games

8 05 2009
Manny Ramirez's suspension will end July 3, in time to propel the Los Angeles Dodgers to a playoff berth. (Kirby Lee/US Presswire)

Manny Ramirez's suspension will end July 3, in time to propel the Los Angeles Dodgers to a playoff berth. (Kirby Lee/US Presswire)

By Brendan Tyman

Yesterday, Los Angeles Dodgers and former Boston Red Sox left fielder Manny Ramirez was suspended 50 games by Major League Baseball for testing positive for an illegal substance.

There was a prescription for a female fertility drug.  According to a source, the drug, human chorionic gonadotropin or hCG, is used by steroid users to begin their testosterone levels as they end a steroid cycle. Ramirez will forefit $7.7 million of this season’s $25 million salary

This brings into question how long has Ramirez been utilizing banned substances and whether his numbers are tainted. If he took these drugs during his tenure in Boston, then the World Series titles in 2004 and 2007 are cast with a cloud.

In “The Recruit,” Al Pacino tells Colin Farell’s character, “Nothing is what it seems.” This line can define the steroid era and its aftermath. After prominent players such as Alex Rodriguez and Ramirez have admitted and been suspended for using performance-enhancing drugs, people do not know how to classify the great athletes of the 90s into the 21st century.

Nobody will know the full extent of who used what and when. Questions will constantly arise.

Exciting Weekend

27 04 2009
A fan holds up a broom as the Boston Red Sox swept a three game series against the New York Yankees last night. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

A fan holds up a broom as the Boston Red Sox swept a three game series against the New York Yankees last night. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

By Brendan Tyman

This past weekened provided several highlights and the only downside for Boston sports fans was the 121-118 loss suffered by the Celtics in Game 4 of their Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series versus the pesky Chicago Bulls.

The image that will stand out the most is not the NFL Draft or the last second treys knocked down by Ray Allen and Ben Gordon to send the contest into another frame for their respective teams, but Jacoby Ellsbury stealing home with 15-year veteran Andy Pettite on the mound.

Things could not get better as Boston has become the center of the sports universe. Many analysts declared the New England Patriots as having one of the best drafts and being set for 2010 with 3 second round selections. The Boston Red Sox just swept the New York Yankees and the 9-game homestand. The Boston Bruins finally got revenge on the Montreal Canadiens and are currently relaxing while their future opponent is battling. The Boston Celtics are the defending champions and looking to repeat as world champions. Two Boston College players were just chosen on the first day of the Draft (B.J. Raji was the first defensive tackle taken by the Green Bay Packers and Ron Brace was taken by the Pats).

If you are a Boston sports fan, you can be thankful for living in this glorious renaissance in sports history. Enjoy weekends like this past one because they do not come along very often.

MLB Mourns Another Tragedy

14 04 2009
Mark Fidyrich was a character on the mound in his playing days. (frank o'brien/1996 File/The Boston Globe)

Mark Fidryich was a character on the mound in his playing days. (frank o'brien/1996 File/The Boston Globe)

By Brendan Tyman

After losing Los Angeles Angels pitcher, Nick Adenhart, Major League Baseball lost another member of its elite fraternity. Mark Fidryich was killed yesterday in an accident on his farm in Northbourough. He was just 54 years old.

Fidryich was found by close friend, Joseph Amorello, at 2:30 P.M. He was under his dump truck.

Known for his on-field antics as he would talk to the baseball and clean the dirt on the mound while on his knees, Fidryich always delighted  the crowds. He was on the cover of Sports Illustrated. In 1976, he won American League (AL) Rookie of the Year as he won 19 games  for the Detroit Tigers. His other stats were impressive: ERA (2.34), complete games (24), and he started for the AL in the All-Star Game. He finished second to Jim Palmer in the Cy Young voting.

On June 28, Fidryich got his moment in the sun. He pitched on ABC’s “Monday Night Baseball” against the New York Yankees. The crowd was sold out at Tiger Stadium. Fidryich threw a complete-game and allowed just 7 hits in a 5-1 victory. This was when America got their first look at Fidryich. He settled in Northborough.

After 1976, Fidryich suffered torn knee cartilage in Spring Training and then he had shoulder problems that he never recovered from. He won just 10 games. In 1983, after attempting a comeback with the Boston Red Sox, he retired.

Due to his grin and curly hair, Fidryich was nicknamed “The Bird” because he resembled the Sesame Street character.

Opening Act

7 04 2009
Boston Red Sox players Jacoby Ellsbury, J.D. Drew, Dustin Pedroia, and Jason Bay celebrate the first of what should be many triumphs this season. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

Boston Red Sox players Jacoby Ellsbury, J.D. Drew, Dustin Pedroia, and Jason Bay celebrate the first of what should be many triumphs this season. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

By Brendan Tyman

There is nothing like a home opener in Boston. Food tastes delicious, the air smells fresh, and there is always something to make fans drop a tear. This year it was Senator Ted Kennedy being driven around the warning track on a cart with newly elected Hall of Famer, Jim Rice to throw the first pitch.

Once the game got started, Josh Beckett flashed the form he had in 2007 when he finished 2nd in the American League Cy Young voting. Beckett recorded 10 strikeouts in 7 innings. He only gave up 2 hits in leading the Red Sox to a 5-3 victory over the defending American League Champs, Tampa Bay Rays at a raucous Fenway Park.

Reigning American League MVP, Dustin Pedroia homered in his first at-bat to put the Sox ahead 1-0. He also began the bottom half of the 3rd inning with a walk. Eventually, J.D. Drew drove him in on a groundout to first base. This would give Boston a lead that they would never relinquish. Left Fielder Jason Bay brought in a run on an RBI single to right field.

In a sign of good things, Varitek had some nice swings, including a solo shot in the 6th to take Rays starting pitcher James Shields out of the contest.

The only negatives on this day was Jacoby Ellsbury snapped his 18-game hitting streak (continued from last season) and Hideki Okajima allowed 2 runs to score after Justin Masterson gave up a two-run single to Evan Longoria.

Even rain could not prevent this excitement to a new year. The win was worth the wait.

So You Want to Know How It’s All Going to Play Out?

5 04 2009

Check out the sports staff’s preseason MLB picks.  Everything from MVP’s to the World Series Champions (guess who we picked for that).

You can see the picks on the sports page!!!

Jacks Americana

9 03 2009
US Venezuela World Baseball Classic

Kevin Youkilis (right) is congratulated by teammates after his two-run bomb in the 6th last night against Venezuela

By Jim Chandley

Team USA advanced to the second round of the World Baseball Classic yesterday with a 15-6 beat-down of team Venezuela.  As the winner of their own pool, they await a match-up with the runner-up in pool C.  That spot is wide open and could be filled by the Dominican Republic, the Netherlands or Puerto Rico.

The United States is riding a set of very hot bats at the moment.  They are first in the tournament in total bases (50) and are second only to Korea in run production.  The attack has come from all different angles; Adam Dunn has two HR in two games, Kevin Youkilis (with two bombs of his own) has scored seven runs, Brian McCann drove in three runs in only two at-bats in game one.  Dunn is a force, slugging an impossible 2.2450.

The pitching has been solid as well.  Each team only plans to start two different pitchers.  While some would say Jake Peavy and Roy Oswalt have left something to be desired at the front end, USA’s bullpen has been too much.  Johnathan Broxton and J.J. Putz are just two of the Major League stars who are devastating teams late in games for USA.

Now Team USA has five days off before the second round.  They sit five wins away from international bragging rights.  Will the starting pitching be good enough?  Will the offensive onslaught continue?