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.





Players Pack Their Bags for WBC

2 03 2009
BASEBALL/

Dustin Pedroia (left) and Kevin Youkilis will remain teammates with team USA

By Jim Chandley

15 Red Sox regulars left Fort Myers today for various new teams.  Sox fans don’t be nervous, the entire team hasn’t been traded away.

These MLB stars are leaving to compete in the World Baseball Classic.  It has been baseball’s substitute for Olympic play since the sport was removed from the Summer Olympic games after 2004.

The WBC is a 16 team tournament played in seven different cities, from San Juan to Toronto and on either side of the Pacific.  A winning team could play as many as nine games en route to the title.

With the world’s best talent assembled for this tournament, it promises to be high quality baseball.  But with so many games to play and so much traveling to do, MLB managers will watch intently, hoping that all of their players come back healthy and ready for the regular season.

Big name Red Sox who will be playing include Jason Bay, (Canada) Kevin Youkilis, Dustin Pedroia, (USA) David Ortiz (Dominican Republic) and Daisuke Matsuzaka (Japan).