Tagged: Jeremy Hermida

Goodbye 2010 (Year Of The Catastrophy)

 

 

August Beltre Lowell.jpgAs we dwell in the melancholy of the past year, there is much to be pondered, and much to be proud of. The 365 days that comprised 2010 took Red Sox fans on quite a rollercoaster ride of hills and valleys that started with media-pumped optimism, and ended with a lackluster ending of the 3rd spot in our American League East.

The 2010 year began with the loss of LF Jason Bay’s prized bat, and the gain of “Bulldog” John Lackey to our pitching stable. When Spring Training was through, we witnessed the emergence of young Clay Buchholz’s “Year of Legitimacy”, and Adrian Beltre’s rise to Mega Stardom. On the flip-side were the struggling starts of Jed Lowrie and Daisuke Matsuzaka.
New additions to the families of: Lester, Matsuzaka, Buchholz, Beltre & Henry should be noted, for they may be the future of Baseball.
Our team veteran Tim Wakefield began the year as a starting pitcher, and ended it as a reliever…while picking-up a 2010 Roberto Clemente Award. And Darnell McDonald and Daniel Nava had mind-blowing debuts in front of hometown crowds at Fenway Park. (I hope that Manny DelCarmen returned Nava’s Grand Slam ball to him postgame.)
2010 also seemed to be the year of Mike Lowell. While he did not play nearly as many games as he would have liked, and was sadly almost lost to the Texas Rangers in the Spring, our #25 entered the season with a first plate appearance 2-run homer that sent the fan base over the moon….and ended the season with a nationally-televised farewell on October 2nd.
And now to acknowledge the elephant in the room…..the EVER GROWING DISABLED LIST of 2010. Literally a “Who’s Who” of Boston Red Sox star players, the list began with Jacoby Ellsbury and Mike Cameron and Jeremy Hermida, and ended with practically every other player on the roster !! (I wish I were only joking) 
We bid a sad and fond farewell to Manny DelCarmen, Jeremy Hermida, Adrian Beltre & Victor Martinez, and we welcome newcomers Jenks, Wheeler, Crawford and Gonzalez. 
Even with such a train wreck of an injury list in 2010, the Boston Red Sox still managed to squeeze-out 89 regular season wins…..the same as the American League Champion, World Series playing Texas Rangers !!  Let’s not forget that our 2nd string players took 2 out of 3 games against the Evil Empire’s “Superstars” in the regular season finale in October. So Good, So Good, So Good.
 
 
June 2010 077 (2).jpgEach year we venture into the unknown. This upcoming year, the Sox are equipped with the shiniest and sharpest sword in the kingdom.
– fenway fruitgirl 2010  “BEHIND THE NET”
 
 

Record Sellouts & July Baseball

 

600th Sellout Ball.jpgGame 92 of the 2010 baseball season for the Boston Red Sox was at Fenway Park, and happened to be a celebrated milestone in major league baseball history. July 18th was Maine Day at the nation’s oldest major league park, and had a sellout crowd of 37,431 to mark it’s 600th CONSECUTIVE SELLOUT … extending the park’s major league record. Comemorative balls were tossed and given out to the sweltering crowd before and during their game against the Texas Rangers.

Huge congratulations to our designated hitter Mr. David Ortiz for winning the 2010 Home Run Derby in Anaheim California on July 12th. And the National League has won the “Home Advantage” in the World Series in 2010, as winners of the 2010 All-Star Game on July 13th.

*There is an upcoming schedule update for the early August roadtrip to NY. On August 8th, ESPN will cover the game, so the gametime will be at 8pm. On August 9th, the gametime will be at  1:35pm. (Red Sox/Yankees)*

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The Boston Red Sox have 123 home runs overall so far this season, 2nd in the league after Toronto (141).  The boys only have 2 days off in the next 37 days (7/29 & 8/16) ….not much rest for the wounded. Slowly, the injured will return to us and beef-up our lineup (not soon enough) but after seeing Beltre’s struggled jaunt on Sunday after hitting the ball, I have to wonder if they are being rushed. Boston’s boys are certainly plagued with injuries that may prove to be the cause of less-than-anticipated season ending totals in the WINS column at seasons’ end. The remaining 69 regular season games will hopefully prove to the world that Boston can prevail (or at least make the playoffs) even though they have been absolutely bombarded with injuries, and playing with minor league substitutes for a large bulk of the summer.

I eagerly anticipate the day that I sit in my red plastic perch behind home plate and watch my real starting 9 run onto the field to play again at Fenway Park. I miss you Jason Varitek, Dustin Pedroia, Jacoby Ellsbury, Josh Beckett, Victor Martinez and Jeremy Hermida.

 

Mid-Pitch.jpgOn the schedule for the series in Oakland, are Tim Wakefield (Tues) and Clay Buchholz (Wed). After that, Francona may be making a pitching order change just as Josh Beckett is slated to return to the mound.

– fenway fruitgirl 2010  “BEHIND THE NET”

 

(thank you to my little friend ELLA for entertaining me Sunday at Fenway)

 

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Welcome To Boston Darnell


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After a miserable rainy cold weekend, the Boston Red Sox had a streak going, and it wasn’t pretty. A five-game losing streak that was sinking the ship fast. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, it was Boston’s worst regular season start since 1932.


Sox GM Theo Epstein was fuming yesterday, and (since poop flows downhill) he expressed displeasure with the team, including coaches & management & whoever else was in close proximity at the time….not holding back on the language or the tone. I can’t say that I blame him (even though he was the one who ultimately chose each and every player there) for being unhinged….I was disgusted to have paid a new high price for my tickets to Sunday’s game, only to see a half-hearted effort and a loss.

It appeared to have had some impact because right from the start the boys were hitting. Tim Wakefield had plenty of hits off his pitches, but the fielding was fair.
There just was no spark, something needed tweaking. It’s no secret that in the MLB, teams know they can steal off our Sox. And steal they did…..a record 9 steals off Mr. Victor Martinez on Tuesday night vs. the Texas Rangers, and that clearly shook him up. Martinez was replaced in the 8th inning by Jason Varitek, who was a calming effect on Hideki Okajima, and walked and Doubled in his short 2-inning stint. 

Jeremy Hermida (new to the Sox from the Marlins) continues to hit the log ball right when it’s really needed…..the kid’s got a wide swing & can send the ball right up into the Monster Seats ! (Great pick-up Theo) And in came the 32-year old mystery man brought-up from Pawtucket and put into the game in the 8th inning to pinch-hit in the outfield. The crowd behind him was loud, and a bit raucus & demanding to the guy on his very first at-bat in Fenway Park. The kid got a bit annoyed, but concentrated on the task at-hand & executed perfectly to make them all shut the hell up ! He sent that ball up into the second row of the Green Monster and took his victory lap around the bases like a champion, also driving-in Captain Varitek to boost the score and tie the game. That’s exciting baseball !!!

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Got through the top of the ninth inning without Texas scoring to break the tie, Pap was on. Then came on bottom of the ninth, in a newly-tied game and the kid is up again…..too much to ask for him to do it again, right? He takes a swing, and pops a hit hard into the Monster Wall driving-in the winning run in the 9th – like a hero. What a magical ending, with the team surrounding him with excitement and child-like glee. I love happy endings. Stay a while Mr. McDonald, we need you.

Show Of Respect:  Mr. Tim Wakefield surpassed legendary Cy Young’s Record Of Red Sox Innings Pitched last night at Fenway Park, in case you were wondering why Terry left him in that game so long without pulling him out. That’s why. Cy Young’s record was 2,728.1 innings pitched, and was in 2nd place until last night…when he was moved to third place behind Wakefield.* 

– fenway fruitgirl 2010


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Rocky Spring Training 2010

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So far in 2010…spring training has not exactly been outstanding for the Boston Red Sox, competitively. Most players arrived early to the training facility this winter, and are present, and appear to be very physically-fit….at least to my discerning eye. So what’s wrong with this picture ?  


Last night’s game at Hammond Stadium was unfortunately televised on both MLB tv, and NESN (delayed) as well as broadcast live on WEEI radio….too bad. It was a very poor example of a professional baseball game, on Boston’s end. Buchholz was missing his spots and making Varitek run all over the place to pick-up his poorly thrown balls. He was inconsistent, and proved to me that he is no more than a fill-in starter at best. 

The guys were all missing catches all over the field. It was a mess, and I am purging myself of the entire unpleasant outing, and moving on to bigger things.

Today’s game in Bradenton Florida will be against the Pittsburgh Pirates, and our Texas beast Josh Beckett is taking the mound…hopefully and probably to right any of last night’s wrongs. Show ’em how it’s supposed to be done in the big boy world of pro ball today Josh. 

The NY Media (ESPN) is having a good old time being critical of our efforts this spring, and our many recent losses. Maybe they do not think we are paying attention to the hate and utter ugliness they spew about my team….well, I am paying attention. They are so completely biased, it is laughable….do they even take themselves seriously ?

I know that it’s springtime on the Gulf Coast, and the games do not count, and it’s all about the at-bats, and the gametime and workouts….and bonding…and blah, blah….but seriously, I want to see a few straight wins to please my own eyes and brain…and to shut ESPN up !!

10 Exhibition games are left before Opening Night at Fenway Park on EASTER SUNDAY – so lets set a goal of more wins than losses in those 10 remaining games…OK guys ? (You know I love you, I am your cheerleader….so JUST DO IT !!)

Oh, by the way…I am very impressed with Mike Cameron’s speed and agility, and his at-bats. I also am liking Adrian Beltre’s range and speed at 3rd base, as well as Jeremy Hermida’s fielding. Crossed-fingers for Dustin Pedroia on his wrist injury.

I would say: “I can’t wait until they get up here” but, they need more time down in Fort Myers. Opening Day/Night will be here soon enough.



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– fenway fruitgirl 2010

Deep Breath, Another Season’s About To Begin

 

city-of-palms-entrance.jpgAwoke this morning, a bit earlier than the last, and with a springier step than the previous day. Small changes that mean nothing, when melded-together….mean everything. Spring is on our doorstep, we can almost touch it.

The boys have been down in Florida preparing for the grind of daily games in the most intense media spotlight ever seen in these parts. The 2009 season ended abruptly, and not the way it should have….so the team and their fans have a chip the size of Oregon on their shoulder after watching rival team, the zillion-dollar New York Yankees take home the World Series trophy last fall. Closer and obvious fall guy Jonathan Papelbon re-signed with the Red Sox in the offseason, and returns a humbler, more mature and focused competitor. We have a new starting shortstop Marco Scutaro, who I believe will only help the lineup, and should be a great fielder, with young Jed Lowrie still available for play time also. Ortiz showed-up to the Fort Myers Training Facility early, as did Kevin Youkilis, Jacoby Ellsbury, Jed Lowrie, and 2008 AL MVP Dustin Pedroia. They showed-up early to show eachother that they mean business, they want to win (not place or show) in 2010.

 

baseball.jpgVictor Martinez will get the bulk of the time behind Home Plate as lead catcher in 2010, but will rely heavily on direction from team mate Jason Varitek and coach Gary Tuck. Victor is an exceptional bat for the middle of our lineup, but does not throw too many base-stealers out, and does not call a game anywhere near what our Captain is capable of. You can check your stats on that one. But with Varitek only catching 2 of every 5 or 6 games, his strength will be preserved more effectively for the long season ahead. I watched the man play game after game, with hardly a break or day off because Kottaras’ bat was so weak, until he could no longer be effective in his at-bats in August/September of 2009. The man who was hitting home runs like crazy in Spring Training, into April/May/June (including a Grand Slam in late April at Fenway against the Yankees) was not the same man at summer’s end.

The addition of what some consider to be a third Ace in John Lackey, was one of the biggest offseason stories. Lackey has power, and came to Boston to win a championship….and will hopefully be just the addition needed to get us over the large hump and into the final stretch of the post season. You can never have too much pitching. Just ask Theo, he’ll tell you. I am sure that Clay Buchholz was not pleased at the addition of Lackey to the pitching staff, because he felt that he put his time in, and deserved to be lit-up at last. Let’s not forget our very expensive import, Japan’s MVP of the WBC….Mr. Daisuke Matsuzaka….who also needs a spot in the rotation. And oddly enough (and surprising to me) the front office decided to offer a pitching spot to returning veteran Tim Wakefield.

There is lots of talk of young Casey Kelly, the addition of Boof Bonser to the pen and another Ramon Ramirez !! Can’t wait to watch the guys throw for myself. Reliable lefty Hideki Okajima also returned to the team with a contract this offseason. Wagner and Saito are gone, both to the Atlanta Braves. Just hope there’s enough pitching in that pen to last us through a whole season. Any way we can buy-back Justin Masterson ? Young Daniel Bard should be quite effective as a setup guy in the 8th, or as an alternate closer when Papelbon has a night off.

Young Jacoby Ellsbury will become our LF guy, as Mike Siverman predicted in his Boston Herald article way back in late November/early December of 2009. Jason Bay left us for more money from the NY Mets, so we are left with a need that Jack-Rabbit Jacoby will fill at LF, and his previous position of CF will be played by veteran newcomer Mike Cameron. I am not sure if I agree with that move, because Ellsbury was so quick and limber, and jumped and stretched and caught almost everything that was thrown near him in that huge outfield in 2009. How will an aging Cameron do ?  J.D. Drew will return in RF, and be a reliable bat in our lineup once again. I welcome young Jeremy Hermida as a utility outfielder, and effective bat.

2009 3B Mike Lowell is being replaced on an everyday basis by Adrian Beltre. Not a popular move on Theo’s part, but we have to remain competitive, and Mike Lowell’s injuries keep him from playing everyday, whether he wants to admit it or not. Don’t get me wrong, Mikey has a great feel for the game, he is a great 3rd baseman, and an exceptional hitter who knows how to send a ball over the Monster….but he is no longer an everyday player of the caliber that we need to compete for a World Championship title in 2010. The poor guy can barely walk without limping (and he’s not the only one). Sadly, this will be the last full playing year for several of our favorite heroes in the Red Sox uniform.

They will bond as a team this month, and return to us at Fenway Park on Sunday April 4th eager, and powerful, and hungry for another great year. We will cheer, and pray for warmth, and chant as we watch them from our Blackberries, our slingboxes, our expensive HDTV hookups, Direct TV dishes, even 3D televisions !! We will collectively gather on Easter night and each night after in our dens, recreation rooms, corner bars, fancy living rooms, computer screens, backyard radios, social clubs, and everywhere people gather to be amazed and entertained by these amazing and entertaining men….who happen to be in a Red Sox uniform.

 

Panorama.jpgI will make my pilgrimages down to Boston to watch them play, from my little perch behind the net as often as I am able…..because I am a Red Sox fan….and can think of no better way to spend my precious time than to watch them play ball right at my toes, as I scream at the umpire and opposing players….please stop-by and say hello to me whenever you can, you will be greeted with a big smile.

– Fenway Fruitgirl  “Behind The Net” 2010