The Gutsy Boston Red Sox

Originally, the headline on this was going to be “A-Rod and the Yankees Deserve Each Other”.  I decided to go in another direction because I am really tired of all the negative stories associated with the two of them.  I will let that one line speak for itself.  Feel free to comment on it any way you see fit.  So I move on to one of the best stories of the 2013 Major League season and I can’t believe I am about to write these words:

The Boston Red Sox are really impressive.

Dustin Pedroia has a new $100 million dollar contract and his team is in first place.  What could be better?  Image:  masslive.com

Dustin Pedroia has a new $100 million dollar contract and his team is in first place. What could be better? Image: masslive.com

Let’s face it, one of baseball’s most storied franchises was absolutely terrible from September 2011 through all of last season.  I figured the epic collapse and the Bobby Valentine experiment would keep the Sox out of contention in 2013.  However, I suppose you can say the one positive about the Bobby V season was the unloading of the bloated contracts of Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford and Josh Beckett.  We didn’t know it then but it set in motion the chain of events that have landed the Sox in first place today.  Former pitching coach John Farrell, who was forever the manager-in-waiting finally got his shot at managing the team and it is obvious he has done a tremendous job leading the club in the most competitive division in the game.  Shane Victorino and Mike Napoli have proven to be nice additions.  Napoli is second on the club in home runs and RBI’s and Victorino is hitting .287 with 14 stolen bases.  David Ortiz continues to put up excellent numbers with 19 home runs, 65 RBI’s with a .323 batting average.  Dustin Pedroia is back among the best second basemen in baseball and has a nice new contract to go along with it.

It has not all been smooth sailing for Boston.  Clay Buchholz, he of the 9-0, 1.71 ERA mark has been out with a neck injury since June 8th.  Jon Lester has 9 wins but a high 4.50 ERA.  Closer Joel Hanrahan, acquired this offseason is out for the year with an arm injury.  Jon Lackey has provided a much-needed boost to the rotation with a 2.95 ERA but only a 7-7 record to show for it.  While the starters have been shaky, it is the bullpen, despite the loss of Hanrahan that has flourished.  Koji Uehara and Andrew Bailey have combined for 25 saves with Uehara posted a sparkling a 1.59 ERA.

Even with all of the injuries, the Red Sox have been in first place for 86 days.  It is a testament to their resiliency that they have met and conquered every challenge so far this year.  They are by far my biggest surprise team of the year and are in excellent shape to make the playoffs. ***************************************************************************************************************************************************** If you haven’t played mlb.com’s “Beat the Streak“, I suggest you do so today.  You have a chance to win $5.6 million dollars.  All you have to do is pick one player per day to get one hit….and you only have to do it for 57 consecutive games, a nod to beating the 56 game hitting streak by Joe DiMaggio.  You can use the same player more than once.  I have been playing it for about four weeks now and so far, none of my streaks have gone on past two games.  You may not win as much as the top prize in the lottery but you may have a better chance winning big money and more fun playing this game. **************************************************************************************************************************************************** Everyone knows that yesterday, July 24th, was the 30th anniversary of the infamous George Brett Pine Tar Game.  Since that got a lot of attention, I decided to see what significant events happened today, July 25th.  I found three items courtesy of baseballdeworld.com.  Here they are:

1930-The Philadelphia A’s pulled off a triple steal twice in one game as they defeated the Cleveland Indians 14-1.  It was the only time in baseball history this feat occurred.

1941-Lefty Grove won the 300th and final game of his Hall of Fame career as his Red Sox beat the Indians 4-1.

1977-While playing for the Cincinnati Reds, Pete Rose sets the all-time record for hits by a switch hitter with number 2,881 during a 4-1 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals.  Rose broke the record that was held by Hall of Famer Frankie Frisch.

Follow me on Twitter @ltj41 and covering the Arizona Diamondbacks at http://venomstrikes.com

4 Comments

As a Sox fan, I’ll believe when I see it in September.

In your wildest dreams, did you think this was posible? At least enjoy the ride.

As a Sox fan, there is no such thing as enjoying the ride. When your team has a long term history of great starts with the inevitable flameout, as well as a short term history of one of the worst collapses of the history of the sport, the only way to protect yourself is to be cynical about the Sox and wait for the other shoe to drop. In this case, it’s Buchholz, out, Bailey gone, Miller gone, a flash in the pan closer, a shaky set up man, a shaky Lester, and a first half performance from Lackey that will be tough to duplicate.

The Sox’s success this season has been impressive, but it is still indicative of the sad state of the AL East that with all their issues they still are in first place with good indication that they’ll be in contention down the stretch.

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