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Monday, February 20, 2017

Rumors And Rumblings: Swihart Adamant He Doesn’t Have Yips

“You find one clip of one bad throw and put it on the internet,” Swihart said. “I know how you guys are. Make a big deal out of nothing. I had my family and a lot of friends call me (Friday night) and I had them to tell them all it was nothing, just one bad throw.

“Not one person in the organization said a word to me. No one. I’m not concerned. No one is concerned.”

Jim Furtado Posted: February 20, 2017 at 11:05 AM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: blake swihart, red sox

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Remember 1967 and the impossible dream - The Boston Globe

Although I was too young in the 1967 to remember any details, I believe my great love of baseball is directly tied to the Red Sox success that year. After suffering bad teams for years, my father was so excited by the Red Sox that year that he held game-watching parties though most of the summer. All that excitement surely caught the interest of the three-year old me.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 19, 2017 at 11:18 AM | 19 comment(s)
  Beats: history, impossible dream, red sox

Nick Cafardo: Here’s why the Red Sox aren’t likely to trade Brock Holt

Was Nick Cafardo on the Betances arb panel?

Top utility players at the plate
Based on 2016 batting average.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 19, 2017 at 11:08 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: notes, red sox

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Deadspin: Here’s a reminder that Mookie Betts is legitimately great at bowling

Mookie Betts is awesome and the Truth.

Boston Red Sox outfielder Mookie Betts has never made a secret of his love of bowling—he’s said that he watches the game every Sunday when he can, he competed in the 2015 World Series of Bowling and he’s bowled two perfect games in the past four years. The guy has a profile on the U.S. Bowling Congress website.

So it’s not exactly surprising that he won last night’s All-Star Celebrity Clash at Chris Paul’s charity bowling tournament. And he managed to look cool as hell doing it. This smooth turn and stroll after his sixth straight strike is more or less the bowling equivalent to a bat flip after a huge dinger:

Also, this is clearly a better spring training activity for him than driving a golf cart.

The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: February 18, 2017 at 12:16 PM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: bowling, cool and good, mookie betts, red sox

Friday, February 17, 2017

Blake Swihart Appears To Have A Case Of The Yips

The yips are the worst boogeyman in sports, and although it’s not clear that Red Sox catcher Blake Swihart is dealing with that particular beast, but this sure doesn’t look good:....

Masslive reports that this is not a one-time incident, and that Swihart has been struggling with his throws back to the mound throughout the early days of spring training. Despite this, Swihart told Masslive that he is not worried about it:

“I feel fine. I’m not worried. You guys shouldn’t be worried either,” he added. “I’m working on my craft. And I promise the ball’s going to get there.”

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 17, 2017 at 05:14 PM | 19 comment(s)
  Beats: blake swihart, red sox, steve blass disease, yips

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Red Sox boss uses own NBA analogy in response to Cashman | New York Post

Dave Dombrowski is not falling for Brian Cashman’s hype, comparing his talented Red Sox to the Warriors.

“I heard that and it was interesting,’’ Dombrowski told The Post on Tuesday as Red Sox pitchers and catchers officially worked out for the first time this spring at Fenway South. “But you know what? [The Yankees are] probably like the Cavaliers and I remember the Cavaliers beat Golden State last year. I would think they should be probably be thinking of themselves along those lines. I would think that’s what they’re like.’’

Jim Furtado Posted: February 15, 2017 at 08:31 AM | 23 comment(s)
  Beats: brian cashman, dave dombrowski, red sox, yankees

Monday, February 13, 2017

Full Count » Steven Wright still not fully healed from shoulder injury, highlighting concerns at back of rotation

Ugh.

With pitchers and catchers officially reporting and the first workout scheduled for Tuesday, the Red Sox still don’t have a healthy Wright, who continues to work his way back from an injury that didn’t require surgery, but has proven more stubborn than anyone expected.

“He’s making improvement,” manager John Farrell said on Sunday. “This has probably taken longer than he anticipated, than we certainly anticipated. He’s back throwing to 120 feet. He’s throwing flat ground right now. He still needs to continue to build some arm strength at this point in camp. We’ll get a better read exactly when everybody goes through their physicals [Monday]. We’ll get a better read of arm strengths and accurate measurements overall. If we were to take this next week and continue to build that arm strength before we get him on the mound, I don’t want to rule that out, but we’ll get a better read on that tomorrow.”

Jim Furtado Posted: February 13, 2017 at 11:57 AM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: injuries, red sox, steven wright

Thursday, February 09, 2017

Hey Bill: Dick Allen, Terrell Owens, & the 2011 Red Sox Collapse

Dick Allen did all the things that TO did, but was much worse than TO. I know I have mentioned this, but I met TO a couple of times at a convention in Portugal. He was just absolutely charming—as Dick Allen was, to many people—and I certainly don’t want to knock him or to dwell on his past mistakes. I also don’t know enough about Terrell to engage in that discussion. 

But off-the-field conduct is very, very relevant to the success of teams. When teams fall apart at the center—that is, when players decide that they don’t like one another and don’t trust one another—I absolutely believe that that shows up on the field. These things are difficult to explain and at the present time impossible to measure, but many things which are true are difficult to explain and impossible to measure. I have always believed this, and, if I had ANY doubt that it was true, that doubt was ended in September of 2011, when what started as an off-field, irrelevant personal conflict ended in a historic collapse by a team that we believed on September 1 to be the best team in Red Sox history.

Dennis Eclairskey, closer Posted: February 09, 2017 at 10:32 PM | 74 comment(s)
  Beats: bill james, collapse, dick allen, red sox

Wednesday, February 08, 2017

An early evaluation of the Red Sox lineup, minus David Ortiz

The Red Sox offense will be just fine in 2017.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 08, 2017 at 08:28 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: red sox

Sunday, February 05, 2017

OTP 6 Feb. 2017: Curt Schilling, Politics, and the Hall of Fame

Curt Schilling has said that his politics are costing him votes for the Hall of Fame. The other day here at NRO, Aaron Goldstein argued specifically that in the most recent balloting, earlier this winter, baseball writers backed away from Schilling because he supported Trump last year in the presidential election.

A few problems dog that theory. One is that Schilling did better in the 2017 voting than he’s done on average in his five years of eligibility.

(As always, views expressed in the article lede and comments are the views of the individual commenters and the submitter of the article and do not represent the views of Baseball Think Factory or its owner.)

BDC Posted: February 05, 2017 at 10:45 PM | 2003 comment(s)
  Beats: diamondbacks, hall of fame, phillies, politics, red sox

Saturday, February 04, 2017

Peter Gammons: Swihart and the Red Sox catching depth chart - GammonsDaily.com

I still believe Swihart will end up being the best of the Red Sox three options.

“Swihart has that sense, that ability to relate to and build pitchers,” says LeVangie. “He’s a really good worker. He was a good wrestler with the legs that goes with that. He’s obviously an athlete. It’s unrealistic to expect him to be a polished catcher right now. We understand that. Jason constantly reminds us, ‘do not panic.’

“So we’re working with a kid who needs to learn to get more swaying motion in his feet. He needs to learn to slow down back there. To be quieter with his hands, be confident, manipulate his glove north to south and left-right,  confidently make his presentation to the pitcher. It’s all part of being a good catcher, which he will be.”

Jim Furtado Posted: February 04, 2017 at 09:48 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: blake swihart, red sox

Friday, January 13, 2017

Of Andrew Benintendi, Rusney Castillo, and growing pains - Over the Monster

Even if his winter league play this year is a true indication that he’s made an important adjustment, Rusney Castillo probably isn’t an option for the Sox. On the radio yesterday someone (can’t remember who) made the point about Castillo’s contract being an issue for his call-up. Castillo is no longer on the 40-Man so his $11 million contract no longer counts toward the luxury tax. If the Sox recall him, he’d put the Sox over the threshold, which is something they clearly don’t want to do.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 13, 2017 at 07:32 AM | 22 comment(s)
  Beats: andrew benintendi, red sox, rusney castillo

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

David Ortiz Reportedly Hasn’t Expressed Interest In World Baseball Classic | Boston Red Sox | NESN.com

Dear Red Sox fans,

He’s not coming back.

Your friend,

Jim

It seems David Ortiz is enjoying his retirement. The former Boston Red Sox designated hitter has been appearing in a multitude of commercials, and despite his cliffhanger tweet Monday night, it appears he’s not planning on returning to the diamond. Not even to play for his home country.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 11, 2017 at 07:11 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: david ortiz, red sox

Sunday, January 08, 2017

Meet Rafael Devers, the last star prospect in Boston Red Sox’s system - Boston Red Sox Blog- ESPN

Would anyone reading this at ESPN.com not know what a seeing-eye single is?

“All of a sudden, he started getting some seeing-eye singles [one that goes right between two infielders] and some broken-bat hits that weren’t falling for him the first month, and you could see, here comes the confidence,” Oliver said. “Once he got a little more comfortable and started feeling like he belonged at that level and he could hit that pitching, he just took off.”

Jim Furtado Posted: January 08, 2017 at 04:46 PM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: prospects, rafael devers, red sox

Friday, January 06, 2017

Why didn’t the Red Sox pursue Edwin Encarnacion?

By “resetting” this year, however, the team would be able to sign free agents in the solid but less-impressive 2017-18 free-agent classes while incurring the more modest penalties on amateur talent acquisition. For instance, if the team wants to make a run at Eric Hosmer – assuming he spends all year with the Royals and receives a qualifying offer from them – or Rangers catcher Jonathan Lucroy, their ability to land amateur talent would be less severely impacted.

That said, if the team doesn’t sign any free agents who receive the qualifying offer next winter, then there’s no real benefit in terms of amateur talent that the Sox will glean from getting below the threshold this year.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 06, 2017 at 07:32 AM | 26 comment(s)
  Beats: red sox

Thursday, January 05, 2017

Back behind the plate is where Blake Swihart feels he belongs

Swihart will be the last man standing.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 05, 2017 at 09:17 AM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: blake swihart, red sox

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Nick Cafardo: Red Sox may regret passing on Jose Bautista

The Boston Sunday Globe baseball notes column.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 31, 2016 at 06:26 PM | 23 comment(s)
  Beats: notes, red sox

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Thirteen former Red Sox first-rounders, and what scouts had to say at the time

This one includes an off-shoot of the “good face”.

4. Bruce Hurst, lefthanded pitcher
1976, 22d overall selection

Scout: Gordon Lakey.

What he said: “Tremendous natural ability. Premium draft. Mormon religion. Can become above-avg. major league pitcher. Desires to play basketball in JC even if he signs.”

What we say now: Hurst, a star of the 1986 World Series, is tied with Dennis Eckersley for 20th in Red Sox history with 88 wins. One nitpick with the scouting report: Lakey cites Hurst’s “strong facial features.” It’s so offensively absurd that a prospect had to look the part so recently.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 29, 2016 at 05:56 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: prospects, red sox, scouting reports

Ballot 2: Roger Clemens | Joe Posnanski

Roger Clemens and missed opportunity in the draft.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 29, 2016 at 05:52 AM | 43 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, hall of fame, red sox, roger clemens, yankees

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Silverman: Here’s my Hall of Fame ballot with Manny Ramirez on it | Boston Herald

Curt Schilling — I respect but don’t agree with a voting writer’s decision to cite the character clause to vote against any candidate when it comes to PEDs or political beliefs or sense of humor or musical taste. I don’t believe I’ve ever injected partisan politics into my baseball coverage. I fall into the First Amendment absolutist, ACLU card-carrying ranks when it comes to players and ex-players speaking their minds, which must be why I can’t quit the belief that Schilling and Colin Kaepernick have more in common than any of us think. (I know what you’re thinking, but it’s actually in the best interests of our democracy to make peace with this.) Not for nothing, Schilling’s case for the Hall of Fame is even better than Mussina’s.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 28, 2016 at 08:11 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, indians, manny ramirez, red sox

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Silverman: Red Sox trade of Buchholz nothing more than a salary dump | Boston Herald

$13 million is way too much to pay for rotation depth.

Tobias doesn’t make the Sox better now.

And now the Red Sox’ rotation depth is just two, rather than three, tweaked obliques from having to turn to Roenis Elias, Henry Owens or Brian Johnson as a spot-starting savior. The old adage that you can never have enough starting pitching is one that not-new-anymore president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski has not sworn allegiance to.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 21, 2016 at 08:45 AM | 31 comment(s)
  Beats: clay buchholz, phillies, red sox

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Report: Phillies Acquire Pitcher Clay Buchholz From Red Sox

The Phillies have reportedly acquired pitcher Clay Buchholz from the Boston Red Sox, according to multiple reports. The Phillies will send a minor-league Josh Tobias to Boston, according to Jim Salisbury. Buchholz, 32, was 3-6 last season with a 5.86 ERA in just 66.0 innings of work and 10 starts, bouncing back and forth between the starting rotation and bullpen.

 

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 20, 2016 at 11:26 AM | 49 comment(s)
  Beats: clay buchh, phillies, red sox

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Red Sox willing to squeeze fielders for new seats | Boston Herald

Now that teams are screening a larger portion of stadiums, it makes perfect sense to add more premium seats closer to the action.

Patrons with seats in the current first two rows between the dugouts will retain their claim to premium Dugout Box seats in the two new rows. Seventy-eight such seats will be added between the dugouts at a price of $225 each per game, generating $1.4 million in additional revenue per year.

Fourteen new first-row Dugout Box seats will be added adjacent to the visitors’ dugout on the third base side and 32 more seats will be added on the right field side of the Red Sox dugout. Prices will vary, but at an average of $380 each per game, those seats will generate another $1.4 million per season for the team.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 18, 2016 at 09:50 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: fenway park, red sox

Nick Cafardo: Why Chris Sale’s delivery works for him

Brian Kenney gets another supporter.

Cooper, as you can tell, loves Sale and will miss him.

“He’s got 5½ years of Hall of Fame-production numbers,” said Cooper. “We weren’t able to support him [with offense] as much as we would have liked and that happens and that’s baseball. A pitcher should not be graded on wins and losses. If you don’t get runs or don’t catch the ball, there’s nothing a pitcher can do.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 18, 2016 at 09:31 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: chris sale, notes, red sox, white sox

Monday, December 12, 2016

Silverman: Sale, Price, Porcello best Big 3 for now, but pale historically | Boston Herald

The Red Sox trio was pretty good last year. They aren’t as good as other recent trios for other teams.

Based on the most recent measurement available, 2016 performance, unless another top-flight starter switches teams before the start of the 2017 season, the Red Sox trio will rank as the best in the game. Using FanGraphs’ WAR from 2016, Porcello (5.2), Price (4.5) and Sale (5.2 with the White Sox) add up to a 14.9 WAR.
...
Siting atop the recent list is the 1996 Braves, whose best trio of John Smoltz (8.4), Greg Maddux (7.8) and Tom Glavine (5.3) combined for a 21.5 WAR. They lost that World Series to the Yankees in six games. The year before, when Maddux, Smoltz and Glavine led the Atlanta Braves to their first and only world championship, the three aces posted a modest 16.8 combined WAR.

If you’re curious about where the three Red Sox world championship teams checked in according to FanGraphs’ WAR, it breaks down like this: 2004: 14.7 (Schilling, Pedro Martinez and Bronson Arroyo); 2007: 10.1 (Josh Beckett, Daisuke Matsuzaka, Schilling) and 2013: 8.1 (Lester, Clay Buchholz and John Lackey).

Jim Furtado Posted: December 12, 2016 at 08:27 AM | 49 comment(s)
  Beats: chris sale, david price, red sox, rick porcello

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