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.

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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.