Archive for the ‘Jacoby Ellsbury’ Category

Everything in Its Right Place

Thefoulline.com quick hits:

  • For the record, I wrote a few months ago that the Red Sox should make every attempt to trade for Johan Santana. This included dealing Jon Lester, Clay Buchholz, Jacoby Ellsbury, pretty much anyone. Obviously the Sox front office is smarter than I am.
  • In case you missed it, Jon Lester threw a no-hitter against the K.C. Royals the other night. I’ve always figured that Lester would be a solid contributor for the Sox. He’s a guy that I thought could go out and win 12-15 games a year and be a solid #3 guy in the rotation. After Monday’s performance, I think I’ve underestimated his ability.
  • Watching the Sox as a kid, they were always a slow, prodding team that relied on the long ball. They rarely manufactured runs, and stolen bases were nonexistent. The 2008 team with Ellsbury, Coco, Pedroia, Youk and Lugo stealing bases and playing small ball is a lot more fun to watch.
  • Speaking of Lugo, his tenure in Boston may be coming to an end. What kind of message is Terry Francona sending when Lugo gets a defensive replacement four games in a row? Paging Jed Lowrie…
  • Jacoby Ellsbury stole 25 bases in a row to start his career, two short of the record set by Tim Raines. Ellsbury was thrown out on a pitch-out and a perfect strike from the catcher to second base, and he still was barely out. This kid is scary fast.
  • Manny Ramirez stated that he has stopped hitting home-runs on purpose. He said that fans aren’t excited enough about it, and he is going to wait to hit them on the upcoming west coast trip. The reason fans aren’t excited, Man-Ram, is that you’re hitting .178 with 11 strikeouts over the last 12 games. And you’re an idiot.
  • The Sox have had solid contributions this year from their young players: Jonathan Papelbon, Dustin Pedroia, Jacoby Ellsbury, Manny Delcarmen, Jon Lester, Clay Buchholz, Jed Lowrie, Justin Masterson, and Brandon Moss.
  • The Yankees “top” young players have done the following: Phillip Hughes 0-4, 9.00 ERA; Ian Kennedy 0-3, 8.48 ERA; Jeff Karstens 1-4, 11.05 ERA; Melky Cabrera, .252 batting average; Joba Chamberlain, 10 holds, 2.66 ERA, 700 cheeseburgers eaten. Advantage: Boston.
  • Bartolo Colon is wicked fat, but he pitched pretty well last night. He may make his Fantasy debut for the Yankeehaters next week.
  • Joba Chamberlain is joining the New York Yankees starting rotation. This is going to be just the boost the Yanks need to leapfrog the Blue Jays and seize fourth place in the division.
  • Ex-Sox and current freak show Eric Gagne is being sidelined with a shoulder “injury.” Have you seen this guy lately? Not only is he stinking it up in Milwaukee, but he may be the ugliest human on the planet. 7.45 ERA, multiple blown saves, $10 million… money well spent.

Mama Said Knock You Out

Thefoulline.com quick hits:

  • Jacoby Ellsbury and Dustin Pedroia are the best 1-2 punch in baseball. It seems like every game Ellsbury slaps a single, promptly steals second, and then is driven in by Pedroia. They’ve made the top of the Red Sox order fun to watch.
  • Miguel Tejada promised a sick kid with Muscular Dystrophy that he would hit a homerun for him, and then he went out and hit one. I don’t care how old Tejada pretends to be, that was a classy move.
  • All is right in the universe tonight after the Sox bounced back and swept the Rays.
  • That sound you are hearing is the sound of Rays fans jumping off the bandwagon.
  • Announcers should be biased towards their team, but the Rays’ combo of Dewayne Staats and Joe Magrane take it to a whole other level. Listening to these two idiots go on and on over all the calls that go against the Rays makes me want to cut my ears off. Not to mention, Dewayne’s hair looks like a rat’s nest.
  • Dewayne Staats crazy hair
  • To further prove that Terry Francona reads thefoulline.com, after writing about the Sox’s offensive woes, they went and put up 26 runs on the Rays during the three-game series.
  • Tomorrow is the most popular day of the week, Fantasy recap day! Let’s see if my predictions hold up.

Bittersweet Symphony

Twice this week, I’ve had two of my fantasy pitchers face off against my favorite baseball team. Although I would never wish for a Sox loss, I couldn’t help but to think, If Roy Halladay or Rich Harden could hold Boston to one hit and the Red Sox could win the game 1-0, then it would be a win-win situation. I could get a bunch of fantasy points, and the Sox could get some wins. Is there anything wrong with that?

Thefoulline.com quick hits:

  • After being on the road for 17 days and flying 16,000 miles, I really hope Terry Francona lets this team sleep in tomorrow.
  • Didn’t Boston have one of the better defensive teams last year? The last two games, they looked more like the Bad News Bears, not the World Series Champions.
  • I still think Toronto gets into the playoffs this year. They play solid baseball and have the best rotation in the AL East. If B.J. Ryan can come back from his injury and resemble his old self, they will be a force.
  • A juice-free Andy Pettitte looked lousy the other night against the Rays, with 5 innings, 8 hits, and 5 runs. Maybe a call from Roger Clemens will boost his spirits.
  • Julio Lugo: That image in your rearview mirror is Jed Lowrie. Objects may be closer then they appear.
  • Am I the only one that is ready to see Jacoby Ellsbury lead off? This guy provided a big spark for Boston in the playoffs last year. Why mess with what’s been proven to work?

I’ll post the standings for the first week sometime tomorrow. It looks like a pretty tight race so far.

Checking in from thefoulline.com

Sorry about the lack of post the last few weeks, but it has been quiet in the world of baseball. I don’t want to be one of those bloggers that writes something everyday, just for the sake of writing. I want to keep this a baseball blog, so please be patient and keep tuning in. Things will hopefully heat up soon. With that being said, here are some thefoulline.com news and notes:

  • How about Hank Steinbrenner doing his best George Steinbrenner impersonation. First, giving the Twins a deadline on the Johan Santana deal. How’d that one work out for you Hank? Secondly, New York has just signed Latroy Hawkins to a one year deal. So let me do the math for the 2008 Yankees: One weak bullpen – Joba + Hawkins + re-signing the aging Mariano Rivera = another lousy season for New York.
  • Only in MLB would a team give Eric Gagne a one year, ten million dollar contract. Maybe the G.M. of the Brewers should have watched some American League baseball last year. Gagne was horrible. He blew every opportunity he had last year in Boston. I wouldn’t have given him a nickel. Although with my luck, Gagne will probably win another Cy Young now that he’s back playing in the Junior Varsity. (N.L.)
  • I’m glad to see the Red Sox haven’t re-signed Doug Mirabelli. I know that he catches the knuckleball well. But there are other guys that can catch it also, and hit higher than .202.
  • How about this week for Red Sox Nation’s favorite player Jacoby Ellsbury. First signing with the anti-christ Scott Boras. Then charging $125 for his autograph. What is he thinking? I would never pay more then five bucks for an autograph from someone with 30 games of major league experience. Now that I think about it, there are maybe five athletes/celebrities that I would pay for an autograph. Here they are in no particular order:
    1. Bill Russell
    2. Ted Williams
    3. Larry Bird
    4. Eddie Vedder
    5. Dylan Hamilton

    Maybe it’s time for Jacoby to stop reading about how great he is, and remember that he is still a rookie.

  • The Red Sox Spring training games are going on sale next week. Have you seen the prices for decent seats? Standing room $10, box seats $26-$46. Why would someone pay $46 bucks for a spring training game? The chances are pretty good that you’ll be watching the 2008 Portland Sea Dogs take the field. I would rather take the $46 dollars and buy season tickets to the Tampa Bay Rays. At least this way I’m guaranteed to see major league players… and the Rays.

Thanks for reading, stay tuned….

Anybody but Ellsbury

The Boston Red Sox have seized the momentum in the great Yankees/Red Sox feud with another World Series victory. Let’s hope that they don’t let up. They have a great opportunity to upgrade their already potent pitching staff and drive a stake into the heart of the Evil Empire by finally beating out the Yankees for the best player available. I don’t care if they knock New York off the top of the high-salary mountain; everyone knows that Boston is loaded with cash after their second World Series victory in four years. If I were Theo Epstein, I’d have the Minnesota Twins on speed dial and start giving up players until they agree to give up Johan Santana.

With the exception of course of Jacoby Ellsbury.

Ellsbury has already proven that he belongs in the Majors. He plays the game like a seasoned veteran and should be a lock for the American League Rookie of the Year in 2008. We had the opportunity to see all aspects of Jacoby Ellsbury’s game last season: his speed, great defense, surprisingly potent bat, and most importantly his heart.

In professional baseball, it’s obvious when someone can play. This evaluation is a lot easier with a position player than it is with a pitching prospect, which is more like playing the stock market, where no one is guaranteed to perform. There have been countless “can’t miss” pitchers picked in the first round of the draft that have flamed out faster than you can say “Todd Van Poppel.” Does anyone know which Baskin Robbins former #1 pick Brien Taylor is working at these days? With young pitchers it is never a sure thing.

With that being said, I would give up Lester, Buchholz, Lowrie, Crisp and whichever Minor League pitcher they want. I would make them an offer they can’t refuse. With Josh Beckett, Johan Santana, and Dice K locked into the starting rotation for the next several years, Boston has the opportunity to become a legitimate dynasty and have time to restock their farm system.

The funny thing is, I would prefer it if the Red Sox made a deal for the Oakland A’s Dan Haren instead. I think he is just a notch below Santana in talent but would still fit in well in the Boston rotation. Haren wouldn’t cost as much in terms of salary and prospects as Johan but would still be considered another legitimate staff ace.

But knowing how bad the Yankees want and need Santana makes me want the Sox to push even harder for him, because no matter how many times I see the Yankees lose, it never gets old. Even if it’s just a player they’re playing for.

TheFoulLine.com Hot Stove Report

I love watching Major League Baseball. Some people complain that the 162-game season is too long, but not me. I think they should make it 200 games a year. Baseball is the one sport that can deliver for seven months straight. People say that baseball is boring, but turn on ESPN during the baseball season and you will consistently see the best highlights in all of sports. Huge home runs, acrobatic catches, collisions at the plate.

Think about it: the NFL is fun to watch, but if they were to add more games to the schedule, teams would be so beat up when the playoffs started that nobody would want to watch. Not to mention, everyone already knew the Patriots were going to win the Super Bowl in week one.

This brings me to the other “major”sport, the NBA. Remember when basketball was must-see TV? Back when Jordan, Bird, Magic, Barkley and the Mailman were playing, basketball was worth watching. Now the NBA has turned into which team can dunk the most, or who can shoot the most three-pointers. Bring back some bounce passes and some quality team defense and I might tune in.

There used to be another major sport involving pucks and sticks that I really enjoyed. But then came the lockout, the stupid Versus Network contract, and the Anaheim Ducks vs. Ottawa Senators Stanley Cup final. And just like that, hockey became irrelevant.

The other thing that makes baseball a year-long sport is the Hot Stove League. The World Series ended 10 days ago and we are still reading about MLB in the papers. Why is this? Because every baseball fan in the offseason channels their inner George Costanza and thinks that they can be the General Manager for their favorite team. I certainly do. I have already worked out deals in my head that would add Johan Santana, Alex Rodriguez, and Torii Hunter to the Red Sox. Of course, the Sox payroll would be $300 million a year, but it’s not my money, so who cares. Speculating which players are going where and what your team is going to look like for the upcoming season makes following baseball fun year round.

Which brings me to some quick Red Sox Hot Stove Notes:

  • It looks like Curt Schilling will be signing a one-year deal with Boston. I am really happy about this for a couple of reasons. First of all, Schilling was a solid pitcher once he got himself in shape. Secondly, this gives him another year to tutor Jon Lester and Clay Buchholz. Finally, after being a big part of two Red Sox World Series Championship teams, he should retire as a Red Sox.
  • We all know that Jacoby Ellsbury will be the starting centerfielder for Boston next year. I would like to see the Red Sox get a good, young backup catcher for Coco Crisp.
  • I think that there is a 50/50 chance of Mike Lowell coming back. I don’t see the Sox giving him a four-year deal. I think it’s going to be either 3 years/$40 million for Lowell or the Sox make a trade for Miguel Cabrera from the Florida Marlins.
  • There are rumors that Boston is looking into acquiring Johan Santana. If there is any chance to get this guy, give the Twins anyone they want. Beckett and Santana heading up a rotation would be scary.
  • Also, Dylan “Just Call Me Jacoby Ellsbury” Hamilton went 4 for 4 in his men’s softball league game last night and was one single away from hitting for the cycle. If he keeps this up, Boston will have to seriously consider inviting him to Spring Training.

Breaking news for game six

Great news FoulLiners: Jacoby Ellsbury is getting the start in centerfield tonight for game six. This just proves my theory that Terry Francona reads thefoulline.com on a daily basis. He heard all of your concerns and is doing the right thing to force a seventh game.

If fans at Fenway needed any help getting excited for this game this should take care of that. Like he has done since being called up from Triple A, Ellsbury will do something to impact tonight’s game. Whether it’s a clutch hit, stolen base or great catch, he will make his presence felt. This is the spark the Sox needed.

I have been really excited for tonight’s game since game five. I really believe that Curt Schilling is going to bring his A-game tonight. Schilling can be arrogant, pompous, and cocky, but he can back it up with his impressive postseason record. In game two of this series, Schilling pitched pretty well, but the big home run to Jhonny Peralta took the steam out of him, leading to his early exit. I don’t see Schilling making those same mistakes again. He has been in the role too many times to let his last performance affect tonight. This is what Schilling lives for: the chance to enhance his legacy on the biggest stage, in the biggest game of the season.

Fair or Foul results

With 68% of the vote, readers have chosen Jacoby Ellsbury to be the Red Sox starting center fielder in 2008.

I couldn’t agree more with this vote. Ellsbury has done it all since his call-up to the majors: stolen bases, hustle, great defense. He is the prototypical lead-off man the Sox desperately need. I just wish that it wouldn’t come at the expense of losing Coco.

Stay tuned for the next Fair or Foul Question of the Week…

Cy of relief

It is so much easier to write this blog when the Red Sox are winning. What makes it even more enjoyable is when it coincides with a Yankee loss. The lead is now at a whopping 2 1/2 games, with 8 left to play.

What else can be said about Josh Beckett that hasn’t already been said? This guy is a warrior who never backs down from a challenge. His last two starts, he has put the team on his shoulders and stopped losing streaks. Even when he doesn’t have his best stuff, he finds a way to win. And to be the first 20-game winner in the big leagues since 2005 makes it even sweeter.

Varitek, Papi and Lowell hitting the long ball was a nice change. It’s good to finally see some offense after the debacle in Toronto. Even with Mr. “It takes me 3 times as long as anyone else to heal from an oblique injury” Ramirez on the bench, Boston still was able to score 8 runs. Maybe the Sox play better in America.

Jacoby Ellsbury going all out for a foul ball was once of the best catches I’ve seen this year. Not only did he have to contend with the Boston pitchers and bullpen chairs strewn about, but he tripped over one of the pitching mounds and still made the catch. This reminds of the time Manny hustled and made that great… uh… never mind. Anyhow, it seems like Ellsbury does something significant every game. Whether it’s a great catch, stolen base or timely hit, this kid has been really enjoyable to watch.

I have to admit that seeing Boston’s lineup before the game wasn’t making me very confident that they were going to stop this losing streak. Anytime I see Bobby Kielty batting fifth, I get a little nervous. But even after striking out 17 times last night, the Sox still came up with a huge win.

Quick note: The Yankees lost in a marathon game to my favorite Canadian team last night, with both Mariano Rivera and Joba the Hut pitching, which should make them unavailable for today’s game. They now need to wake up early for a 1 o’clock game today against Toronto and noted Red Sox killer Dustin McGowan. I hope they enjoyed their 4 hours of sleep.

Dylan’s Red Sox Report

Here is a post from my buddy Dylan. I’m sure that you’ll like it. Please comment and let him know what you think. Hopefully, he’ll write for us again soon.

“Here’s a profile, so hard to sum up me in such a short paragraph, but here we go.

Dylan is a simple man. He enjoys firefighting, running his mouth at Yankee fans, running in general, the Red Sox, the 2004 postseason, pretending he’s on the Red Sox while playing in his slow pitch softball league, college football, family, friends, and life in general.”

“We’re in a world where people have a lot of opinions,” Rodriguez said, “and what makes the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox such a great rivalry is that so many people have their own opinions.”

This is the weekend of all weekends. This is Zimmer vs. Martinez all over again. I love games when the hype meets up with even more energy during the game. Sox vs. Yanks, both in the hunt. New York, in a new position, looking up from second place, and Boston, playing their hearts out, as if no one told them it’s ok to cruise. Celebrating like it’s game 7 after a walk-off home run against the Devil Rays. Some say it’s desperate, it’s just the D-Rays, and I say it’s a team willing to put it all on the line, every game.

These past few weeks of baseball, and especially this weekend, have begun to bring up a question that hasn’t graced the presence of my baseball blog mind for a couple of years now, but it’s back. Could A-Rod work out in Boston? Could the best player in the league, possibly one of all time, the almost poster boy of the Yankees organization ditch the pinstripes and become a Bean Town guy? Would it work out? Could it work out?

I think A-Rod is more ready for the switch from the dark side than the Red Sox fans are, and it’s time for the Red Sox loyal to come around on this idea. The beauty of a blog is the meandering opinions, in a stream-of-consciousness format that gets put out onto the internet for all to read. I am in no way a sports analyst, possibly not even intelligent, but certainly passionate about Fenway Franks and Boston Baseball. I am simply a Red Sox fan who is ready to see the greatest move in baseball history take place since, well, let’s get to it.

Reasons A-Rod belongs in Boston
  • Mike Lowell- Yes, Lowell is the Sox MVP for the year. He’s consistent, he’s clutch, he’s reliable, and he’s old. He deserves to be paid for the way he plays, and I do hope for greener pastures for Mr. Lowell, but can he truly be counted on to perform the way he is now for the next however many years? I’ll cheer for him whenever he’s back at Fenway, but it’s time to move on and bring in the best 3rd-base-playing shortstop in the game.
  • Jacoby Ellsbury and Manny Ramirez (This reason may be voided being that it may be next to impossible to find a team that wants to deal with Manny being Manny.) – Ellsbury is the future. We let go of some great players at a young age, and it still breaks my heart. Ellsbury will be a stud for years to come if raised in the right system, i.e. the Red Sox. Manny is old and overpaid, and Manny being Manny is getting annoying. For the record, it wasn’t that funny when he went and took a leak in the green monster during that pitching change. Freeing ourselves of Manny opens up money for A-Rod and gives Ellsbury a spot in left, not in center, because…
  • Coco Crisp – If we keep Manny, it doesn’t look like we’d afford A-Rod. I haven’t researched this in-depth, so correct me if I’m wrong, but by letting go of Manny, as stated before, more money for A-Rod, Ellsbury takes over in left, and we get to keep Coco in Center. Center field in Fenway looks like the inside of the fun house at the Topsfield Fair. An inexperienced guy in center would possibly give up runs at home while learning to play the zigzagged wall we so love. Crisp is a defensive madman who does not appear to be slowing down. Bring on A-Rod, lose Manny, keep Crisp in center, it’s that simple.
  • Wanted to take a pay cut to come here. A-Rod was willing to take a pay cut, granted it was from one of the biggest contracts in sports history, but it’s a cut nonetheless. He wants to be in Boston.
  • Steriods. Barry Bonds is the home run king of all time *******Barry Bonds******* Mr. Asterisk Barry Bonds. The only person seemingly with a shot at taking down Bonds would be A-Rod. That wall in left looks mighty nice to a guy like A-Rod.
  • Jeter – No matter how long A-Rod’s in New York, no matter the numbers, this is Jeter’s team in Jeter’s town. It’s almost laughable to me the season A-Rod is putting up, and still I get the feeling he plays second fiddle to Jeter. A-Rod needs to get out of the shadow cast over from shortstop and prove to New York that he’s a World Series guy. He can get titles. A-Rod has something to prove. He can and will get that done in Boston.
  • Garnett, Moss, c’mon, everyone in Bean Town is going for acquisitions, lets get in on it…
  • The curse of the great Bambino – There is most certainly a fate to the Red Sox. It’s unexplainable. No other sports franchise can match it. The ongoing saga of the ups and downs, the ways that the downs almost always seemed to happen in unthinkable ways. The Red Sox are fate. Fate is not always fun or enjoyable, but it’s fate nonetheless. There was a curse on the Sox in all those 86 years. Skeptics didn’t want to believe, I don’t want to believe, but there was. No franchise suffers like that. Then, to lift the curse off of us in the most unthinkable way, to come back on the Yankees of all teams, down 3-0, you know the story. You can feel the momentum switching now. The Curse of the Bambino involves the Yankees as much as the Red Sox. It’s the Red Sox time. It’s our time to push our weight around. This October has so much say in the future of the rivalry that is Sox/Yankees. If the Sox do what we all hope they will this weekend, and this October, and so forth; then we now have the upper hand. The momentum is switching. We acquire A-Rod, become a destiny, and thus another page in the saga, The Yankees curse of A-Rod will begin…

These are my opinions on A-Rod. I may be wrong on a few of these, and I may not. Who knows? I do know we have not heard the last of the A-Rod and Red Sox talks, and I predict Theo will be looking at this all over again this off-season. When these talks and rumors do resurface, I hope the Dirt Dogs of the world will take my points into consideration. Alex has stated numerous times he likes the city, and again, was even ready to take a pay cut to come over to us. Maybe it’s time for the A-Rod years at Fenway to begin. I know after that one Ruth guy, Boggs, Clemens, etc., it’s time the Sox start pushing their weight around too.

I wonder how the Yankees will react to second place??