Tagged: Tim Wakefield

“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”
 
* follow me on TWITTER   @fenwayfruitgirl  or  on   FACEBOOK  (fenway fruitgirl)
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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”
 
 

Musical Chairs 101

Adrian is not a name you hear every day, yet this week…the Boston Red Sox have lost one Adrian, and gained another. 

 

Wake To VMart.jpgWe are amid an offseason full of drama, intrigue…..and a boatload of cash being spent. 

Preparing for the 2011 Major & Minor league baseball season is certainly no joke. The “best” players are demanding serious money and some real long-term commitments for the use of their abilities on the field. The better the ability, the higher the pricetag.
When your fiercest competitors get wind that your team office is in need of a player to become an important piece in your lineup and a threat to them on the field next season and beyond, then they suddenly want that same player….at all costs! Driving-up your offer in the process just to make things more fun, adds the necessary intrigue. This kind of “cat and mouse” business play can easily bankrupt smaller teams, and turn others that try to stay in the game…into “non-contenders” if they do not wisely and frugally stick to their Needs List. 
Pride and bravado have no place in the business world. And if you think that Baseball and the entire Sports World is not a business…you are very wrong. General Managers have many things to consider (year-round) in selecting which players will play on their field in April. Quite a bit of analysis goes into the selection of each position’s player prior to the “Offer” being made. Scouting reports, age, personal & medical history, all must be considered prior to talks of money & contract time.
Something that must never be ignored (something many GM’s have yet to learn) is “What will the fans think?”  No one should forget who puts up the money to fill those ballparks and watch their players all Spring & Summer…….not only ticket sales, but massive expenditures on food & beverage on gameday, parking (for those ballparks who provide parking) and tours, and souveniers and all types of player jerseys & memorabilia. Just a small core of veteran favorites can severely-impact game sales & player-related expenditures in any given season. It will be extremely interesting to watch baseball team giants like the Red Sox and Yankees when their veteran players retire. (Ortiz, Wakefield, Varitek, Jeter, Rivera,etc…)
 
 
WS Beltre Growls.jpgMoney does make the world go around, and even though Baseball is our national pastime, money dictates who will play where in our beloved game of baseball.
All-Star, Silver Slugging Adrian Beltre was hopeful to return to the Red Sox organization, but the Boston front office decided to go in a different direction. Instead of giving a proven 100+ RBI slugger a 4 year deal to return, they spent 3 times more money to get a younger NL slugger in Adrian Gonzalez from the San Diego Padres for 8 years. Adrian cannot play right now because he just had surgery and may not even start Spring Training on time with his new team mates. Hopefully, he will be a strong and productive player for the VERY LONG 8 years that he will play for us in Boston.
 
Martinez Next.jpg 
The Hot Stove season is certainly not over, and the Managers’ Meetings continue in lovely Lake Buena Vista Florida. There will be additional moves made, and money will be shuffled-around – and when the offseason is done, just like in Musical Chairs…….most major league ball players will have their seats when the music stops.
Play Ball !!!
– fenway fruitgirl 2010   “BEHIND THE NET”

2010 ROBERTO CLEMENTE AWARD WINNER: TIM WAKEFIELD

 

 

May 2010 262.jpgRed Sox Nation has shown it’s colors once again. The MLB will present it’s 2010 Roberto Clemente Award to Boston Red Sox’s senior pitcher tonight during World Series’ pre-game ceremonies at AT & T Park in lovely San Francisco. Bud Selig & company will make the prestigious award’s presentation to Timothy Wakefield for his many years of public service, far and beyond the norm….and very-well-deserved.

Tim is a resident of Melbourne Florida, and raises funds for children’s charities in his spacecoast town, as well as here in his team’s Boston-area. In New England, the Wakefields are major fundraisers for the FRANCISCAN HOSPITAL FOR CHILDREN and PITCHING IN FOR KIDS (Boston-based Children’s Charitable Foundation) www.pitchinginforkids.org

In his free time during the hectic baseball season, Tim always makes time to visit children in area hospitals, and he and his lovely wife Stacey dedicate their time to fundraising for New England children’s charities.

Tim is the senior player on staff in the Boston Red Sox clubhouse, and is very well-respected by the entire crew. A beloved veteran player who commands respect on the mound, as well as off the field. All of Boston is pleased to see one of our own recognized for such an admirable cause. Roberto Clemente stressed the importance of charitable giving, and so does Mr. Tim Wakefield. It is a proud moment that Red Sox Nation can share tonight…together.

Well-done Mr. Wakefield. We tip our hats to you.

 

 

Wakefield Family.jpg– 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)*

July 4 Ortiz Swings.jpg

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)

 

Ella.jpg   

PITCHING

 

 


STRIKE.jpgLet me begin by paying proper homage to our most veteran active player…..Mr. Tim Wakefield.

It is possible (but not likely because of injuries & an extremely long season) that our Knuckleballer has pitched his last official start of his career on Sunday April 25, 2010.

For now, he will pitch from the bull pen. And believe me, he’s needed there…and will mess-up our opponents sufficiently after dealing with our starting pitchers’ fastballs….dealing with a slowing, sinking knuckleball mid-game, then onto Bard & Pap’s rockets afterwards.

Wake has had  1,995 Career Strikeouts  (only 5 shy of the Over 2,000 Club who’s active members are: Jamie Moyer, Javier Vazquez & Andy Pettitte).  Tim’s  189 Career Victories place him 3rd among active pitchers in the MLB…175 of them were playing for Boston-3rd in Red Sox records. Not Bad Mr. Wakefield !!

Now to the Sox Bull Pen’s Musical Chairs Saga…

Veteran pitcher Scott Atchison has been optioned to Pawtucket to make room for Fabio Castro to come up and join the team in Toronto. He will wear # 55. Best Of Luck Signor Castro.

 

pap.jpgJonathan Papelbon is tied for 1st place in the AL for saves. He has 275 relief appearances, only 1 shy of Ellis Kinder at 276 (4th place in Red Sox history). Maybe tonight ??

Now onto other things….

Boston is currently tied for 3rd place in the AL East, and is also in 3rd place for Homeruns in the AL. (Toronto Blue Jays, Chicago White Sox, Boston Red Sox)

Current best Averages On The Boston Red Sox:  Captain Jason Varitek .379, Darnell McDonald .375, and Kevin Youkilis .372      (very nice guys)

Dustin Pedroia’s 5 Homers are tied for 8th place in the AL, and Most Ever by a Red Sox 2B in the month of April.  (Boston runs on Dustin)

 

 

Kids Day Pedroia.jpgRealistically, Sox fielding is horrendous (Bill Hall Needs To Go Away) and the Bull Pen needs to do better……..and so does our collection of Aces.

Things will get better and more consistent, it’s only April, after all.

Peace, Love & Baseball.

– fenway fruitgirl  (behind the net) 2010

 

hot 041.jpg 

     

Welcome To Boston Darnell


Green Monster Wall 2010.jpg

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 !!!

McDonald.jpg
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


baseball heart.jpg