Archive for the ‘Mike Lowell’ Category

Let’s make a deal

Am I the only one getting tired of the New York Yankees dominating another offseason of headlines? Every day it’s something new. If it’s not A-Rod opting out of his contract, only to go back and beg for his old job back, it’s Jorge Posada signing a ridiculous 5 year/$50 million contract. (For the record, Posada will be 53 when the contract expires.)

Now I hear that the Yankees have an offer on the table to bring in Mike Lowell as their new first baseman. You read that right, the Red Sox MVP and World Series hero may be joining the Evil Empire. I just vomited a little in my mouth.

It’s common knowledge that Boston is willing to give Lowell a three year deal. It’s also common knowledge that Lowell is insisting on a minimum of four years. I don’t see either side budging. Now, I don’t begrudge Mike Lowell for trying to get as much money as he can. This is the first time that he has been a free agent and he should explore every opportunity. He’ll be 34 when the season starts and has already won two World Series titles, so this will probably be his last contract in the Major Leagues. But Lowell is a career .280 hitter who had a monster season at the most opportune time. His swing is tailor-made for Fenway, and if he goes elsewhere, he won’t match the offensive output he had in 2007 – no matter where he goes. Lowell is a class act, but I agree with Boston on not going to four years on the contract.

Mike Lowell has earned the right to try and maximize a deal. But dear lord, sign with a team like the Phillies. Not the damn Yankees.

This brings me to the World Series Champion Boston Red Sox. It’s time for the Sox to make a big splash. These guys are the world champs, let’s start acting like it instead of sitting back watching the Yankees dictate the market. The Sox need to be proactive and land the biggest player out there. I’m talking about Johan Santana.

If I’m Theo Epstein, I would call the Minnesota Twins and offer a deal of Coco Crisp, Jon Lester and Craig Hansen. Heck, I would even throw in Red Sox Minor League Offensive Player of the Year Jed Lowrie in the deal. I would do any deal possible to land Santana. This would give the Sox two #1 pitchers on the staff. A double-headed monster of Beckett and Santana would dominate the American League for several years. Boston needs to do whatever it takes to make a Santana deal happen.

With the big name settled, it’s time to look at Mike Lowell’s replacement at third. My buddy and loyal thefoulline.com reader Fergie proposed making a deal for Scott Rolen of the St. Louis Cardinals. My initial thought was that this guy is too injury prone and struggled offensively last year. But as I have thought more about it, the idea is starting to grow on me. Rolen is great defensively, and with hitting coach Dave Magadan’s influence, he could regain his offensive prowess. At only $12 million a season, the Sox would have the chance to buy low, and it might only cost a decent minor leaguer or draft pick.

This is not the time for Boston to bask in the glory of their World Series Championship. This team is going to need to make improvements if they hope to challenge for the title again next season.

On to more important matters
Here’s this week’s softball update from Dylan.

“Get your sunglasses on and buy your tickets to the Gatorz Laser Show”

In a game that was a lot closer then the 24-0 score implies, the young lads from Gatorz Bar and Grill improved to 14-2 on the year to close out the regular season in first place, with the claim that they beat every team in the league at least once by over 20 runs. More impressive was that the Gatorz team for the first time in four weeks didn’t get into a fight during the game with the opposing team.

Thefoullline.com’s own Dylan Hamilton had an off night at the plate, going 3-6 with three singles and four RBIs. “The crew at 84 decided to shred my abs to pieces in a workout on Tuesday night,” Hamilton said. “I had no bat speed without a crushing pain. No pain, no gain, I guess.”

Hamilton led the team in average this year, batting .725 for the season, and on paper was tied for home runs, although Dylan feels the team stat keeper may have missed a dinger or two. “I hit a monster shot against D/M Construction, but I think Allison was talking to her husband when the ball was hit. She may be on the trading block this offseason if that keeps up.” But the offseason speculations will have to wait, as Gatorz Bar and Grill starts the postseason this coming week in a grueling two-losses-and-you’re-out tournament. The Gatorz Boys should be the overwhelming favorite to win the title.

~Dylan “I wonder if my softball team can open next season in Japan too” Hamilton

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.

Fair or Foul results are in!!

What started out as a close competition on who was the team MVP has turned into a commanding defeat by Mike Lowell. First a career year, then a World Series MVP award, and now most importantly Mike Lowell has won the Fair or Foul question of the week as voted on by thefoulline.com readers.

This was a really tough decision, as both players played great this season and were the backbone to the team’s success. But like he has done all year, Lowell came through in the clutch to win this prestigious award.

All year long, Mike Lowell has been a great clubhouse guy and a team leader. He is universally respected by the Red Sox players and management, which was reinforced during the World Series parade when several Sox players held up signs to Re-Sign Lowell!! Lowell is also active in the community and has proved to be a great influence on the younger Red Sox players. Mike Lowell is a great player, but I’m starting to think that M.V.P. might stand for Most Valuable Person.

Fair or Foul results are in!

What started out as a close competition on who was the team MVP has turned into a commanding defeat by Mike Lowell. First a career year, then a World Series MVP award, and now most importantly Mike Lowell has won the Fair or Foul question of the week as voted on by thefoulline.com readers.

This was a really tough decision, as both players played great this season and were the backbone to the team’s success. But like he has done all year, Lowell came through in the clutch to win this prestigious award.

All year long, Mike Lowell has been a great clubhouse guy and a team leader. He is universally respected by the Red Sox players and management, which was reinforced during the World Series parade when several Sox players held up signs to Re-Sign Lowell!! Lowell is also active in the community and has proved to be a great influence on the younger Red Sox players. Mike Lowell is a great player, but I’m starting to think that M.V.P. might stand for Most Valuable Person.

Fair or Foul Question of the Week

With the ALCS still a day away, I thought that it would be a good time for the always popular Fair of Foul Question of the Week.

Last week I gave you guys a no-brainer. Everyone knew the Red Sox were going to sweep the Angels. This week, I’m hoping you get your thinking caps on and make a tough choice.

So without further adieu, the Fair or Foul Question of the Week: Who was the Boston Red Sox MVP this season?

This is really a two-horse race, Beckett or Lowell. Both of these guys had monster seasons. I can also appreciate the irony that they both came to Boston in the Hanley Ramirez/Anibel Sanchez trade. After a decent season from both of these guys last year, they have turned it on, and have played unbelievable baseball. Do you think the Florida Marlins are looking for a do-over?

In this corner… Josh Beckett. 20-7, 3.27 ERA, 194 strikeouts, AL All-Star game, 4-hitter in the ALDS. This guy was the ace of the staff. He was the guy that consistently won the big game, and will be the guy the Red Sox look to to lead the team going into the World Series.

In the other corner… Mike Lowell. .324 batting average, 21 home runs, team-leading 120 RBIs. During a season where Manny was an offensive no-show and Big Papi had injured knees and shoulder, someone had to step up and carry this team. Who would have thought it would be Lowell? This guy has always been a great defender and had above average offensive numbers. It’s like he found the fountain of youth, and he may have played his way into a new contract with Boston.

This is a good spot for Sox fans to be in… a team with two legitimate MVPs.

"Yankee Pride" is an oxymoron

The Yankees were hoping to clinch the wild card last night. Unfortunately, Boston and Tampa Bay didn’t cooperate, so I guess we’ll have to play a few more.

The Yankees were up partying early into Thursday morning after their epic playoff-clinching win. It was so bad for New York, they elected not to show up in Tampa for batting practice. To reinforce that the Yankees were content to just make the playoffs, Joe Torre sat A-Rod, Jeter, Abreu, and Posada and replaced them with big game players Wilson Betemit, Alberto Gonzales (the crappy backup shortstop, not the disgraced Attorney General), Bronson Sardinha, and Jose Molina. Can you imagine buying tickets to a Major League baseball game and finding this lineup? Why didn’t New York just trot out their AAA team from Scranton Wilkes-Barre?

Boston, on the other hand, decided to show some pride and play their everyday lineup in hopes to win the AL East. Although the spirit was willing, the Red Sox just didn’t have it last night. Beckett looked un-Cy Young-like, leaving his fastball in the middle of the plate and overthrowing the ball. Mike Lowell hit into two double plays, killing two Boston rallies. And Boston left 12 guys on base. I’m giving Beckett and Lowell a free pass on last night’s loss. They have been the two best Red Sox players this year and are entitled to one bad game. Let’s hope that it’s now out of their systems, and they will go back to carrying this team on the way to the World Series.

The Yankees play in Baltimore tonight, if they weren’t at Mons Venus too late last night celebrating another win against the AL East cellar dwellers.

Sox get offensive

I really like the look of the Boston Red Sox lineup right now. After 158 games of the season, is it possible that Boston has finally found the right combination to put out on the field?

Let’s look at the lineup from the last two nights. Dustin Pedroia has been leading off. Although not your prototypical lead-off batter, this guy has a great eye and consistently gets on base. Pedroia is batting .317 and has only struck out 42 times this season. Even though I could beat him in a foot race, I would leave him hitting first.

Which brings us to Manny in the 2 hole. Everyone has seen Manny’s power numbers drop off this season. So instead of forcing the issue and possibly straining his oblique again, let him continue his recent stretch as a singles hitter. These last two games he looks like he could hit line drives all day long.

Keeping Big Papi and Mike Lowell hitting 3rd and 4th is a no-brainer. These guys are each hitting .325 and have combined for 230 RBIs. J.D. Drew is batting 5th and has been hitting pretty well lately. I would flip-flop Jason Varitek and Kevin Youkilis. Youk is still hurting and has not been the same hitter since coming back from his wrist injury. Crisp and Ellsbury followed by Julio Lugo hitting 9th would round it up.

This lineup changes the look of the Red Sox just a little but has proven to be productive after getting 17 hits last night and putting up 7 and 11 runs the past two games. Let’s hope this continues over the final 4 games of the regular season and into the playoffs.

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??

Fair or Foul: The Results are in!

The most recent Fair or Foul Question of the Week asked, “What should the Red Sox do with Mike Lowell?” The votes have been tallied, and with 59% of the vote Boston fans chose to keep Mike Lowell for the next three seasons instead of going for a bigger name in Alex Rodriguez.

I had really mixed feelings about this question and here’s why: Mike Lowell is one the classiest athletes in all of sports. He plays the game hard and has solidified the third base position for the Sox both offensively and defensively. Lowell is having a career year and is leading the Red Sox in batting average, hits, and RBIs. He is clearly the MVP of the team.

On the flip side, Lowell is 33 years old and had the best season of his career this year. Who’s to say that he can continue at this pace? Also, although he is still a solid defender, his days of being a Gold Glover appear to be over. Is he worth the $13-15 million a year to keep him? Or is it better to put that money towards someone else?

My opinion is that this is Mike Lowell’s last year in Boston. The Red Sox are going to make a big push for A-Rod this offseason. Red Sox owners have been enamored with A-Rod since their failed attempt to trade for him in 2003. He consistently puts up big numbers at Fenway and is still a good defender.

Not to mention, stripping the Yankees of their best player would be pretty sweet.