Tuesday, May 3, 2016

My daughter WILL be a Red Sox fan

On Monday morning, I received a phone call telling me I was about to have a baby. After rushing to the hospital, I got into the room in time for the baby to be born. Three hours after finding out I was having a baby, I was holding my beautiful daughter Karen Audrey.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Another podcast with my father

This time, my father and I discussed some more current Red Sox news and stories. We began with the 2007 World Series, moved to the 2013 Series, which was probably some of the most intense baseball I'll ever see, and eventually to this season's players.

A podcast with my father

For my first podcast, I talked to my father, a lifetime Red Sox fan and the person that got me interested in baseball.

In the podcast, we talked about how he became a Red Sox fan, stopped watching baseball, and began again years later. Originally this was supposed to be an interview with a lot of back and forth, but my dad actually took over and did a great job describing his fandom.

This whole conversation easily could have gone on for hours, and 10 more minutes of it will happen in the my next conversation with my father.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Sox shake things up and it looks good

Mary Schwalm / Associated Press

The Red Sox have shaken up the roster a little bit in the last few days. Blake Swihart was sent down to AAA and Christian Vazquez was recalled.

The rest of the moves were with pitchers. Noe Ramirez was sent down and Heath Hembree was called up and pitched well in his first appearance, throwing 3.2 innings and striking out four. Joe Kelly was also added to the 15 day DL with a shoulder injury.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

The 2016 Red Sox: Fun and Frustrating

Ron Schwane / Associated Press

Two weeks into the 2016 season and all I can really say about this iteration of the Red Sox is that they're fun to watch. Frustrating, but fun. I am actually yelling at my TV as I write this during today's game.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Red Sox Opening Day has many positive implications

Tony Dejak / Associated Press

It's finally Opening Day for the Red Sox! I'm happily writing this as I watch the game. After a postpone due to snow and cold weather on Monday, the Sox took the field this afternoon against the Cleveland Indians.

The game-time temperature was still pretty cold, at 33 degrees,  the players are all bundled up, David Ortiz was even wearing a hoodie at the beginning of the game. 

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

The Red Sox have some tough roster decisions coming up

Tony Gutierrez / Associated Press

Opening Day is on Sunday, April 3. It's one of my favorite days of the year, and I plan on watching baseball all day long. Starting pitchers are being announced throughout the league, and roster moves are being made.

The Red Sox had a pretty easy decision when announcing the Opening Day starter in David Price, which we knew since the day he was signed.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Travis Shaw is the least hyped young player on the Red Sox

Chris O'Meara / Associated Press

Travis Shaw is one of my favorite players this spring. It seems like every time he comes to the plate or makes a smooth-looking play in the field, the announcers call him the "red-hot Travis Shaw."

He's had an exciting big league career so far, too. He finished the 2015 season with 13 home runs and 61 hits in just 226 at bats.

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Clay Buchholz is inconsistent: 2016 will be his year

Kathy Willens / Associated Press

Clay Buchholz started Sunday's Spring Training game, along with quite a few other Red Sox probable Opening Day starters. Xander Bogaerts, Dustin Pedroia, David Ortiz, Hanley Ramirez, Pablo Sandoval and Rusney Castillo all started as well.

The Sox ended up winning the ballgame despite a ninth inning push by the Orioles. Travis Shaw stood out when he subbed in for Ortiz. Shaw went three for three with a run and two RBI's.

Buchholz was the most interesting part of the game to me, though. I thought he pitched pretty well and just didn't get a lot of help from the defense. Bogaerts bobbled a would-be double play, and the sun and wind were an obvious reason the Sox' outfielders had trouble in the outfielder.

Buchholz started on Opening Day last season, but he'll be the number two starter this season behind the obvious choice in David Price.

As we all know, Buchholz is a streaky pitcher that can't stay on the field. He's had his moments of dominance, like in 2013, when he went 12-1 with a 1.74 ERA. He's also had his bad spurts, like his 2014 season when he went 8-11 with a 5.34 ERA.

Buchholz also has never thrown 200 innings in a season, and that's my biggest worry about him. The closest he came was in 2012 when he threw 189.1 innings.

Hopefully he can stay on the field this season. I think with less pressure to be an ace, he can have a great season.

Friday, March 4, 2016

Spring Training should be boring, but the young players make it exciting

Brynn Anderson / Associated Press

I was having a conversation with a friend yesterday about Spring Training. The games really don't matter. The starters go out after a few innings or at bats. A veteran like David Ortiz took three games to even make an appearance.

So why do we still watch? Why do we care? I'm watching a Baltimore Orioles v. Toronto Blue Jays game with maybe three players I recognize still playing in the sixth inning as I write this. Games only started on March 2, and I've already heard announcers tell viewers not to pay attention to performance or numbers in these games.

Spring Training is interesting because we, as fans, get to see players working to win a spot and we get to see the future of our team.

You will often see young hitters hustling for an extra base on an outfielder's bobble. You don't see that kind of thing from veterans. So that in itself is fun to watch.

Then there's the future of our team. Yoan Moncada, who won't be playing in the MLB for a few years in the best case scenario and didn't even get a big league invite for Spring Training, made an appearance earlier this week.

He entered as a pinch runner and went two for two with a single and a double.

Another reason Spring Training is interesting for the Red Sox this season is Hanley's move to first. The Red Sox game against the Rays today wasn't aired on television, but Twitter told me how that seems to be going.

Friday, February 26, 2016

Getting to Fenway

Elise Amendola / Associated Press
Since this is a blog partially about my fandom, I'm going to start writing about it a little.

I try to get to a Red Sox game once a year. At least that's my plan now. Unfortunately last season, I wasn't able to make one, but I did in 2014 and 2013, and had quite the experience back in 2011. 

My family took a trip to Boston in 2011. The day of the game, it was warm and sunny, as you can see in the picture below.

That was about the only time we were that dry. Hurricane Irene came through almost as soon as the game started. It was brutal. There were multiple delays throughout the game.

 It even got to the point where the bleachers flooded and all fans sitting there had to go into the concourse. The stairs to the concourse were basically a waterfall at that point as well. 

When we were eventually let back to our seats, we moved under an overhang to keep from getting completely soaked through. While the grounds crew worked to get the field playable, the Patriots pre-season game against the Lions was put up on the video board and fans were actually cheering for them.

It was a great environment. Everyone who stayed through the first game was offered free admission to the second leg of the double header that day. The Red Sox won both games against the Oakland Athletics as well.

In the summer of 2013, a buddy and I took a road trip to see the Red Sox battle the Yankees. It turned out to be an amazing game.

Originally, Jon Lester was supposed to pitch against CC Sabathia, which would have been an epic match up, but Lester went down with an injury shortly before the game and Ryan Dempster started instead.

After 11 innings and four hours of battling it out, Mike Napoli hit a shot right next to where we were sitting in the bleachers. That'll be one of the best games I've ever been to.

The game two seasons ago was against the Orioles, and I was lucky enough to see another walk off. Dustin Pedroia scampered home and scored on an error.

So after two walk offs in a row, I'm hoping to get back to Fenway soon to see more Sox wins. It's a place every baseball fan should visit.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Is Pablo Sandoval Serious About Baseball?

John Barash / Associated Press

Scott Lauber went on a bit of a rant today about Pablo Sandoval. Saying he's not concerned enough about his weight or accountable about the terrible season he had.

I can't totally disagree with Lauber. Even though Sandoval does look thinner, he said he didn't know how much he weighed and that the Red Sox didn't ask him to lose any weight.

As everyone knows, Sandoval has always had issues with his weight. The Giants were always asking him to slim down, and the Red Sox, apparently, haven't done the same yet, with hopes that he will produce anyway. That hasn't exactly worked.

Lauber went on to call out the Red Sox for not asking Sandoval to lose weight. He talked about how it's definitely affecting his play. I can definitely understand this as well.

Sandoval just seems to be a bit sluggish at third base. He doesn't seem to have as much range as he should. Sandoval is also a contact hitter that won't hit a lot of homeruns. He's only ever topped 20 homers twice, and it's been five seasons since he's done that.

Contact hitters, like Sandoval's numbers suggest he is, aren't overweight. He needs to get it together and put himself in the best situation to earn that $95 million contract he has.

In a tweet, Lauber stated, "If he plays well, nobody mentions it. Last year, he didn't play well."

Friday, February 19, 2016

Highlights from Week One of Spring Training: All the Information I Could Find

So everyone has finally reported to Fort Meyers for Spring Training, and things are looking pretty good for the Red Sox right now, but it does for everyone in Spring Training.

Right now, I'm honestly just hungry for any kind of information I can get and any pictures or videos I can get. The Red Sox are posting on their Snapchat account a couple times a day, and beat reporters are putting out some pretty cool stuff as well.

Here's some other news from this week:

Pablo Sandoval looks a bit thinner in his Instagram posts, which is promising.

Hanley Ramirez sounds excited about switching to first base. He even was quoted by Buster Olney saying he wanted to win a gold glove.
David Price also seems to be assimilating nicely into the team.

I'm looking forward to seeing how the players that aren't stars will be in the coming weeks.

Friday, February 12, 2016

The Hanley Project: How Much Can We Really Expect?

Michael Dwyer / Associated Press

Hanley Ramirez came to the Red Sox last season on a four year, $88 million contract to add some more power to the Sox lineup. With already having signed Pablo Sandoval earlier that morning, Hanley wouldn’t be playing third base. Xander Bogaerts will be manning shortstop for a long time. That’s all Hanley had played up until then in his career with any consistency, coming up as a shortstop through the Red Sox farm system.

The first part of the experiment, as you know, failed. Hanley proved to be an utterly awful left fielder. He finished with negative fielding numbers in pretty much every defensive statistic available on baseball-reference.com. Every ball that was hit his way had me worrying.

 So with a four year contract and little to no trade value, Hanley has to play somewhere, so they’ll try to move him to first base.

Hanley looked stiff, not all that athletic and a bit overweight last season. He already sounds like a first baseman to me. I have some high hopes for him over there, but I honestly don’t see it starting out all that smooth. There will be some growing pains. 

Now there is some upside to having Hanley over at first. It will fill that hole in the infield and opens up a spot in the Sox crowded outfield. 

 And who knows, Hanley could even turn out to be a pretty good first baseman with some dedication and hard work, which we didn’t see last season in left field. 

He’s also a decent hitter, in case you forgot.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Truck Day: The Pre-Pre-Beginning of the Season

It's finally Truck Day! I couldn't think of a better day to start this blog.

I'll be writing about my experiences being a Boston sports fan in New York, some Red Sox analysis, and just my thoughts on what's going on in Boston sports.

With the season about to start, the Red Sox have a lot of questions. The first being if they can get out of last place in the AL East for the first time in the last two seasons.

I'm also eager to see how the "Hanley Project" will turn out. If Pablo Sandoval can turn out to be worth the $95 million the Sox forked over for him. How will the starting pitchers will look with David Price at the helm? Can the young guys like Bogaerts, Betts and Rodriguez keep progressing?

It's going to be a fun season, and I'm going to dive further into it in the coming weeks.

The Red Sox packed up all their gear onto the jetBlue sponsored truck which will make its way down to Fort Meyers, FL to prepare for Spring Training.

The first real Spring Training game will be against the Minnesota Twins on Mar 2.