Tagged: Mike Cameron

“Most Feared” Status

The cowboys, the dirt dogs, the idiots…….are now “Big Brother”.

Toss Across.jpg Who would’ve thought that letting two outstanding All-Star players go would lead us not to the bottom of the AL East, but to “Most Feared” status in the MLB. Losing Beltre and Martinez sent Red Sox Nation into a screaming tailspin this offseason, and the front office brought us Crawford and soon-to-be-signed Gonzalez, making us the favorite to finish in the top spot in October baseball. The prospect of that has temporarily silenced a nation of New England sports fans.

Francona has uttered numerous times that he prefers to keep his boys “under the radar”…but that will be near-impossible this season. All eyes seem to be focused on the Boston Red Sox.
Will they, or won’t they? This time last year, there was tremendous optimism in the national sports media for the Boston Red Sox to give the reigning champs (NY) a real run for their money. One injury after another in the disasterous 2010 season nixed that plan, and the boys were left out of the postseason. This season brings increased media attention and fan expectations to the doorstep of the 99 year old clubhouse.
New Red Sox boy wonder Adrian Gonzalez (set to be signed in early April) has just begun hitting after major surgery, and our jack rabbit in centerfield has not played much yet in this preseason. It is likely that veteran pitcher Tim Wakefield will stay on in 2011 and reach his desired milestones to make his esteemed mark in Red Sox history, and that “Smiling” Mike Cameron will be the Go-To outfielder for Left and Center – even though there are numerous reports of scouts circling the BP’s like hawks. (Lots of whispering about Daisuke being shipped-off too.)
BP March 20.jpgI am unashamed to say that my thrill meter is set to high for this season to begin. I will be there from day one to the last Fenway game to bear witness to the action.
Stay Tuned.
– fenway fruitgirl 2011  “BEHIND THE NET”
 
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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”
 
 

Night At Harpoon Brewery For YOUK’S HITS FOR KIDS

 


June 2010 004.jpgSunday evening’s very creative fundraising event held by Red Sox Slugger and 1st baseman Kevin Youkilis and his foundation had a wonderful turnout. It was a beautifully-organized adult mixer that featured (in random order) the large and lovely HARPOON BREWERY in all it’s glory – hosting tours & tastings on the Boston waterfront, entertainment by Boston’s DJ FELIX Q (Felix Quinones) and his tunes & Celtics game updates, the Boston Red Sox HARLEY DAVIDSON FATBOY presented by Jennifer Gohra & Philip Brault, a very festive live auction, followed by a great and unique silent auction (with great sports memorabilia). About 100 people filled the Seaport venue from 6-9pm Sunday night for delicious Beer and Wine along with a delicious variety of party foods.

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It was a classy, fun event for grown-ups that flowed seamlessly from one event slice to the next. Some noteable guests at the event joining Kevin and his crew were: Patriots’ Tedy Bruschi, Larry Izzo, Wes Welker, Comedian/actor Mike O’Malley, Red Sox Outfielder Mike Cameron, and NESN’s Heidi Watney.   


 Silent auction items included: All Star Game merchandise, Vacation Getaways, Spa Days, Golf Outings, Game Tickets, Autographed Balls & Memorabilia, Collectable Guitar, Cleats, Patriots Jersey, Fishing Expedition, and more! Live auction items featured a party with Celtics player, Red Sox team signed jersey, a day on the set of Good Morning America, a Youkilis Meet & Greet with Sox Tickets, and a delicious Dinner Served At Home by Chef Brian Poe (Rattlesnake Restaurant).

Kevin is a gracious host and a caring individual, and it pleases me to give this event a top rating. A wonderful time was had by all attending, and I most certainly recommend this as an annual event. 

The staff at Youk’s Hits For Kids (www.youkskids.org) along with their great volunteers, the informative and friendly staff at Harpoon Brewery made the night a pleasure. 

– fenway fruitgirl  “BEHIND THE NET”  2010


June 2010 012.jpg      

10-Day Homestand


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After a tough game yesterday in Minneapolis, the Sox came home last night to cold, raw temps and the possibility of rain and snow for Friday night’s game.  What would’ve been a 190th win for veteran pitcher Tim Wakefield, in his 16th year in the major leagues….turned-out to be a shutout win for the Twins, and a disaster for the Sox.


Center fielder Mike Cameron had to go to the hospital in Minnesota for an abdominal strain & did not travel home with the team. Left fielder Jacoby Ellsbury is being examined by Boston doctors on his recent injury (left rib section). He may be placed on the DL today, so the team can bring up replacement(s) from Pawtucket for the homestand.

Welcome back to April / Spring baseball in Boston…..Tampa Bay Rays!  It’s cold and raw and drizzly. If I remember correctly, last September they experienced similar weather (but warmer) when they visited. And games had to be re-scheduled too (Double-Header) !! Hope that does not need to happen this time around.

Whether you are watching the game in the warm comfort of your living room, or with friends at a neighborhood sports bar, or at lovely Fenway Park….keep your fingers and toes crossed for some decent weather for the games this weekend. And for the bats to come back to life to support our Ace Beckett tonight.
 
Oh yeah, and Mr. Jason Varitek…you are oficially an old man now.  His 38th birthday was Sunday April 11th (glad your daughters came to visit).

Boston Red Sox   vs.   Tampa Bay Rays    April  16-19  (Beckett/Buchholz/Lester)

Boston Red Sox   vs.   Texas Rangers       April   20-22

Boston Red Sox   vs.   Baltimore Orioles  April  23-25

Peace, Love & Baseball

– fenway fruitgirl 2010

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