Boy wonder, Boston Red Sox resident preacher and bull pen ray of sunshine Justin Masterson has been traded to the Cleveland Indians on Friday July 31st.
Born in Jamaica, the tall farmboy with a rocket arm and a heart of gold did a post-trade interview with NESN Friday afternoon in Baltimore saying how sad he was to be leaving Boston and his team, but understanding that baseball is a business. He took some pride in the fact that he was traded for the likes of a player of Victor Martinez’s caliber. Masterson is known for his modesty, he has tremendous potential and is only beginning his illustrious career in the majors. I look forward to following his career as a baseball fan, and as a fan of Justin Masterson as an individual.
In my personal opinion, it was a mistake to trade our golden boy for a catcher we did not need. We had the need for pitching and shortstop players, not 1st base and catching. And the scouts for the Cleveland Indians are no dummies, they did not want Buchholz, who we tried to jam down their throats, they demanded more – they wanted Justin Masterson. Why didn’t you just say NO Theo?
My son’s first game at Fenway Park fell on what is called “Kid Nation Day” at Fenway Park. It was a brisk mostly sunny day at the ballpark with lots of pregame excitement, and a good ballgame to follow. We arrived early to take-in Batting Practice down by the Sox dugout, then loaded-up on souveniers and junk food, then sat down to watch the game. Elmo was on the mound to do a pre-ceremonial pitch to start the game. Former Sox reliever Mike Timlin threw out the First Pitch, then it was up to Jon Lester after that. Lester was sharp, his dark cloud had disappeared as fast as it came, and he was the old Jon……even though his battery-mate was not catching for him behind the plate. Sam and I were very sad that our esteemed Captain was not slated to play in today’s game. We did get to see him when warming-up pitchers in the Sox bullpen later in the game.Chatted with Oil Can Boyd down by the Sox dugout while we were watching BP.
The game moved along, without the Sox giving up the lead….ending at 2 to 1. Our 4th straight win in a row !!! Very nice Lester, Ramirez, Saito and all the Sox.
After the game ended, all the kids were invited to “Run The Bases” on the field, so that was both funny and very chaotic. The visiting Team Mascots posed with the kids before we left, where we saw David Ortiz leaving into his brand new cream-colored Cadillac Escalade. Sammy was in baseball heaven.
The drive out of Boston was not so terrific, half the streets in town were blocked-off in preparation for the Boston Marathon on Monday !!!!!
Justin Masterson will be on the mound on the annual Patriots Day early game at 11:05 am Monday. Young Right-Handed number 63 is a budding superstar and is filling-in as the starter for Dice-K (on the DL).
Patriots Day games have been played at home in Fenway Park since 1959. The Boston Red Sox are going for their 6th straight win on Monday vs. the Baltimore Orioles. Good luck boys, sweep those birds !!
I was in an extreme state of Nirvana in Florida for the past week,using my time there very wisely observing Boston Red Sox pitching and catching,as well as Batting Practices. I think I actually made it to the field before the players and coaches did.
OK,so my favorite subject in baseball,especially Red Sox baseball is PITCHING. And after making so many field observations, and speaking to some pitchers and coaches, I will share my Preseason Pitching Ponderings with you. I am fairly straightforward on this subject,and realize that this is a very touchy subject…..and everyone has their favorites – but here goes.
Clay Buchholz started as a bright light, that eventually partially fades in order to join the masses. He is newly buff,and confident and steady, now that’s important!! He is calmer on the mound,and is learning to trust Varitek’s calls more. He wants to be successful this time around, so he is working hard. I still believe in my gut that they are putting him out there to be seen (“Highlighted”) to use him in a trade sometime this year. Clay’s not stupid,he knows it too. Whatever happens,as he ages,he will gain the experience he needs to succeed.
Justin Masterson is a SUPERSTAR. He is the Future Horse of the Boston Red Sox, no question. He is strong and well-grounded, a real clubhouse guy. He will pay his dues and go wherever they want him, starting or bullpen, because he knows it will pay-off in the end. The kid is so powerful, and has so much time to hone his skills and take his aggression down a few steps. I look forward to seeing him pitch for many years to come, and there should be a fat paycheck soon for that boy. I still remember seeing him stare-down A-Rod in September.
Daniel Bard is a lanky kid with a spitfire fastball that you can’t even see!! And it’s consistent too, he will go down to the minors to work hard and put his time in,and I think that they will be using him a bit at Fenway this summer too. The kid has great stuff, very exciting to watch.
Junichi Tazawa is a phenom, a gifted boy that will learn to control his arm and hit his spots in the minors this year. I think he may have been dissappointed to be sent down, but we are so loaded with pitching,we can afford to take our time to get these kids game-ready.
Michael Bowden is an intense power pitcher that has been great as a starter in the minors,but may be used in the Sox bullpen before year’s end. He, like Masterson needs to control the aggression impulse and take things more calmly. He will be extremely valuable.
I cannot speak of pitchers without mentioning my elation of personally observing the gifts that both of our new veteran pitchers on my happy list have to give to us as fans. Watching Takashi Saito pitch in last Friday’s game against the Pittsburgh Pirates was a thrill. The man has some very powerful stuff, and is very healthy and ready to go. I have no doubt that he will be instrumental to us earning a top spot in the AL East in 2009.
And Brad Penny, my other top pick will be another strong addition to the Red Sox starting lineup. What a powerhouse arm, I find myself worrying that he may dislocate something in his pitches!! If he can stay healthy, it will not only be a great year for him, but for our Red Sox.
As always, I enjoyed watching the funky throws of Okajima and Lopez, and it’s a religious experience watching Beckett and Lester throw lights-out stuff. Our Captain surely has his workload full this year wrangling all these studs and colts together to create a winning season. (And I predict that John Smoltz will be quite a handful.)
This year will prove to be a thrilling grind for players and fans alike, so enjoy!!!!
May the Sox be with you all.