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7.9.09, 2:05 AM Like Wine, Wakefield Gets Better With Age
T-Wake picks up 11th win, Drew homers, Ortiz drives in 4 By: Jared Carrabis
Roy who? Tim Wakefield now stands alone with the most wins the American League and is tied for the most wins in Major League Baseball this season with eleven. Did I mention he was 42?
When Wakefield took the mound at Fenway Park on Wednesday night, it was his 38th time he stood on the mound to face the Oakland A's in his career. His opponent, Trevor Cahill, was facing the Red Sox for the very first time. In the bottom of the sixth, it appeared as if though youth was going to prevail over experience, but oh, how quickly things can change.
Clinging to a 1-0 lead, Cahill served up a leadoff bomb to JD Drew, who swatted his twelfth home run of the season over the fence in right to tie the game up at one. Dustin Pedroia followed up Drew's longball with one of his three hits on the night. A Kevin Youkilis walk put two men on for David Ortiz.
Ahead in the count, 2-1, Big Papi got a 91 MPH fastball that was right in his wheelhouse. The ball did not miss an inch of the sweet spot on Ortiz's bat, as the left-handed slugger stood and home plate and admired his towering blast. When the ball finally came down and Ortiz did his signature point to the sky at home plate, the Red Sox had themselves a 4-1 lead to work with.
"David just mashes one right through the wind, so it gave us a chance to play with a lead, and we needed it," said Red Sox manager Terry Francona. "He hit that ball -- that's as good as he's hit a ball. The wind was pretty strong tonight."
The three-run lead provided Tim Wakefield with the chance to earn a victory, as he started the seventh inning. Unfortunately, back-to-back singles would chase the knuckleballer from the game before an out could be recorded. However, in six-plus innings, Wakefield struck out a season-high, eight batters while allowing one earned run after scattering ten hits.
"I've faced him a lot, but he threw some tonight that I'd never seen move like that before," A's second baseman Mark Ellis offered. "It was like he had a remote control, or a joystick. It was incredible."
Manny Delcarmen took over for Wakefield, as the Sox looked to get out of a jam. Delcarmen retired the first two batters he faced in order. On that second out, a fly that was snared by Mark Kotsay, Kotsay had the opportunity to double-off Bobby Crosby at second base. Crosby had wandered too far off the second base bag, assuming that Kotsay wouldn't be able to retrieve the second out. Kotsay's bullet to Nick Green beat Crosby back to the bag, but Green was unable to locate the bag with his foot. As a result, Crosby was safe, Green was charged with a tough error, and the inning was allowed to continue.
After walking a batter to load the bases, Kurt Suzuki ripped a line drive into left-center that brought both Crosby and Adam Kennedy around to score, making it a one-run game. The two inherited runs were charged to Tim Wakefield, officially closing his line.
In the bottom half of that inning, David Ortiz found himself in a situation with two runners in scoring position with a vacant first base. It's beyond me why A's manager, Bob Geren, would elect to pitch to Ortiz in this situation with first base open, but nevertheless, the Sox' DH grounded out to the right side of the infield, allowing Boston's fifth run to score.
Hideki Okajima continued his impressive stretch of pitching by recording an inning and a third of hitless baseball to preserve Boston's two-run lead. Jonathan Papelbon made things interesting in the ninth, by allowing a walk and two singles, which led to a run scoring. But in between his 30-pitch performance were two strikeouts, the second being the final out of the game before Oakland could inflict any further damage. The save for Papelbon is his 22nd on the season, which provided Wakefield with win number eleven in his final start before the All Star break.
Things you'll need to know to impress your friends:
After dropping game one of this three-game set, the Red Sox stormed back to take the next two. Their victory on Wednesday night sealed the deal to take the series from the Oakland A's. With the series win, the Red Sox have now won eight of their last nine series.
David Ortiz blasted his tenth home run of the season as part of a 4 RBI night at Fenway Park. The home run put Ortiz in double digits, a statement Red Sox fans never dreamed possible back in May. When his dinger landed way out in right field, that marked his eighth home run at Fenway Park this season.
David Ortiz's next home run will be the 300th of his career.
Had it not been for David Ortiz tonight, the Red Sox offense would be taking a beating in tomorrow's papers. The last time Ortiz had himself a 4 RBI game came back on September 15th against the Tampa Bay Rays. If Ortiz had started the season this way up until this point, he wouldn't be missing his first All Star game since the 2003 season. But the second half of that 2003 season for Ortiz was the beginning of his living-legend status here in Boston. If he can mirror that, we're in for quite a second half. Although Ortiz isn't All Star-bound, he is very excited for his teammate, Tim Wakefield.
"Unbelievable," said Ortiz. "I'm really happy for my man. He's going to the All-Star Game. I'm going to park myself at home and I'm going to watch when he comes to pitch. I think it's going to be really fun and I'm wondering who's going to be the catcher at the time. Good luck."
Also, a couple quick notes: Dustin Pedroia might skip the 2009 All Star Game to be by the side of his pregnant wife, Kelli. For those of you who haven't followed the story, Pedroia was out of the lineup for first game of the Oakland series, because Kelli was experiencing complications with her pregnancy. If Pedroia chooses to remove himself from the AL All Star roster, it's more than likely that Ian Kinsler will start in his place. Be sure to keep Dustin and his family in your thoughts and prayers until we are notified of a healthy birth.
And last, the Red Sox designated Jonathan Van Every for assignment on Wednesday. Van Every was not expected to play any more baseball in 2009 after going under the knife to repair damage in his knee. In 11 at bats with the Sox, Van Every sported a .364 batting average with 3 RBI and a game-winning home run in extra frames. The Red Sox hope that the outfielder makes his way through the bumpy ride that is the DFA process, so that he can remain the Red Sox' property and return back to Pawtucket.
Thursday's pitching match-up:
Brad Penny gets the start on Thursday as the Red Sox welcome the Kansas City Royals to Fenway Park for a four-game series, their final series before entering the All Star break. Penny's last outing was a quality start, in which the right-hander turned in six innings, giving up two runs on six hits. Penny's ERA continues to shrink, and he will look to get it back below the four and a half mark against Luke Hochevar. In his career against Boston, Hochevar is 0-2 with a 6.94 ERA.
Editor's note: This is the second time I had to write this blog. My computer crashed right when I was about to hit submit. So, after I uttered some unrepeatable words, I sat back down and wrote this again so that you, the reader, would be in the know. No need to thank me, that's just how you win the Best Red Sox Blog at the New England Sports Blog Awards, that's all. No excuses, just give the people what they want.
Josh Beckett picks up AL-best, 10th win By: Jared Carrabis
Tonight, 42-year-old Tim Wakefield welcomed Boston ace, Josh Beckett, into the 10-wins club.
"Huge," said Red Sox left fielder Jason Bay. "They couldn't be two more different guys. Wake has been our most consistent guy the whole time, and Beckett, other than the first few starts he struggled, he's been one of those ace shutdown guys. There aren't too many in the league and he's one of them when he's on -- and he's on."
Just 24 hours after Nomar Garciaparra re-entered the hearts of Boston fans far and wide, it almost went under the radar that the Sox had a complete game shutout thrown against them and needed to get back to their winning ways. Enter: Josh Beckett. In Beckett's last 12 starts, the right-hander has a record of 8-1 and his team is 10-2 in the last twelve games that Beckett stood on the mound.
"Josh, he's been our bulldog," said Red Sox catcher Jason Varitek. "When he's healthy, he can really do a lot with the baseball."
Entering Tuesday night's middle game between the Sox and A's, Beckett was 4-0 at Fenway Park, holding opponents to a minuscule .205 batting average.
"I love pitching here," Beckett said. "It doesn't have a whole lot to do with the dimensions of the park. I like pitching in front of our fans. It's definitely a different feeling than when I came from Florida, obviously. So it's awesome to pitch in front of a full house every night."
Before the Sox could even put a bat in their hands, they were already trailing by a run after Scott Hairston ripped a 96 MPH fastball over the wall in left for a two-out solo shot.
"Hairston tomahawked one that's probably still going," said Red Sox manager Terry Francona.
In the bottom of the second, the Red Sox would retaliate in the form of Jason Bay. Bay, who hadn't homered since June 23 against the Washington Nationals, cranked home run number twenty on the season and his first as an American citizen to tie the game up at one.
"Today was probably the most comfortable I've felt in a while. The last two weeks, it's just one of those things where you're a little uncomfortable and you're not seeing the ball and you're swinging at pitches I normally don't, and today I kind of felt like I slowed down a little bit again."
Later in the inning, the Sox would load up the bases on a double by Ortiz, a single by Jason Varitek and a five-pitch walk to Jacoby Ellsbury. Oakland starter Dana Eveland faced a bases loaded, no outs, situation and got Nick Green to ground into a double play. But sneaking in through the back door was Ortiz to put the Sox out in front, 2-1. No RBI for Green for those of you scoring at home.
The very next inning, the Boston bats were back at it. JD Drew led off the frame with his sixteenth double of the season to put a man in scoring position. Dustin Pedroia, who returned to the lineup after a day off on Monday, took a free pass to first base to put two men on. Later in the inning with two outs and the bases loaded after a David Ortiz walk, Jason Varitek hit a chopper back up the middle and into center field that plated two runs for Boston, upping their lead to 4-1.
In the top of the fifth, Oakland closed the gap after a pair of doubles to get the A's within two runs. Reigning American League MVP, Dustin Pedroia, ripped a base hit into left field in the bottom of the sixth inning that brought Jacoby Ellsbury around to score Boston's fifth run.
The three-run cushion would be more than enough for Beckett, who pitched into the seventh inning, before departing with two outs. The right-hander fired 107 pitches and gave up two earned runs on six hits. His four strikeouts were the second fewest he's racked up so far this season, but his command was on par to secure the win.
"I think he's one of the best," Francona spoke of Beckett. "He's fearless. Our guys look up to him. I think he enjoys that responsibility."
Hideki Okajima (0.1 IP, 0 H, 0 ER) and Justin Masterson (1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 1 K) helped build the bridge to Jonathan Papelbon, who hasn't been called upon since appearing in Boston's frustrating 7-6 loss to the Seattle Mariners on Friday night. 15 pitches was all the Sox' closer needed, as he struck out the side to pick up save number 21, moving Boston into the half-century mark for wins in 2009.
Things you'll need to know to impress your friends:
With their win on Tuesday night, the Red Sox became the first team in the American League to reach 50 wins this season.
The Red Sox are now officially in the second half of the 2009 season. After completing their 82nd game of 2009 in a winning fashion, the Red Sox have an AL-best 50-33 record. Through 82 games in 2008, the Red Sox had a record of 50-32; talk about consistency. The only difference in 2009 is that in '08, the Sox held a half-game lead over the Tampa Bay Rays after 82 games. Here in 2009, the Sox are clinging to a one-game lead over the New York Yankees who won big on Tuesday, 10-2.
Josh Beckett was 5-0 when pitching the day after a Red Sox loss entering Tuesday night's game. With his tenth win of the season to move into a tie for first place in the American League in wins, six of Beckett's ten wins have come the day after a Red Sox loss. The guy's clutch. Still not convinced? In seven of his last nine starts, the right-hander has allowed just two runs or less. That, my friend, is what you call dealing.
Even after having a sluggish June in which Jason Bay batted just .230, the outfielder's 20th home run of 2009 boosted his RBI total to a league-leading 71 runs knocked in.
Wednesday's pitching match-up:
In the rubber game of this series, the Sox will send their other ten-game winner to the mound. Tim Wakefield will continue to extend his Red Sox record for most starts in the history of the team, all while looking for win number eleven before the All Star break. In arguably Wake's best start of this season, the knuckleballer tossed a complete game, four-hit victory against the A's in Oakland. Trevor Cahill will be facing the Red Sox for the first time in his career. In his last two starts, Cahill has lasted 3.2 innings in both outings, allowing 12 earned runs in both starts combined.
Final Score: Athletics: 2, Red Sox 5
Editor's note: If you didn't read Monday's piece on Nomar Garciaparra, it's a must read for any true fan of Nomah.
The legend of Nomar Garciaparra through the eyes of a fan By: Jared Carrabis
In the 1994 draft, the Red Sox used their first round draft pick (12th overall) on a model student-athlete out of Georgia Tech by the name of Anthony; Anthony Nomar Garciaparra.
After spending the first three years of his professional career in Sarasota, Trenton and Pawtucket respectively, Garciaparra made his Major League debut with the Boston Red Sox on August 31, 1996. The very next day, Garciaparra croaked a home run off of John "Waaaay Back" Wasdin. Garciaparra's first longball in the bigs was the very first hit in his soon-to-be legendary Red Sox tenure.
At the time of Nomar's burst to the big leagues, John Valentin was not only Boston's starting shortstop, but he was one of the premiere names on the Sox roster. Valentin had finished in the top ten (ninth) in the AL MVP voting the season just prior to Nomar making his big league debut. Just a year after Valentin had collected some MVP votes, he watched as Nomar Garciaparra took over the job of full-time shortstop in late 1996, while Valentin himself made his new home at third base.
in 1997, Garciaparra began to stake his claim as one of the best, if not the best, shortstop in Red Sox history. In his rookie campaign, Garciaparra launched 30 home runs and drove in 98 runs out of the leadoff spot. The 98 runs knocked in by Nomah set a new Major League record for most RBI by a leadoff batter. Although his power numbers were impressive, Garciaparra hit for average--high average. His 30-game hit streak in '97 stands as an AL Rookie record and is the second longest in Red Sox history behind the late Dom DiMaggio's 34 gamer he strung together in 1949.
The year after Garciaparra won Rookie of the Year by a landslide, the Boston shortstop batted .323 with 35 HR, 122 RBI and a .946 OPS. His incredible numbers earned him the runner-up to the American League MVP Award and propelled Boston into the postseason where Garciaparra batted .333 with 3 HR a double and 11 RBI in the Sox' four postseason games. Although the Sox couldn't advance, Nomar did all he could to force his team past Cleveland.
In 1999, he would get that chance to force his team past the Cleveland Indians in October after boasting a .357 average during the regular season to go along with 27 HR and 104 RBI. In that magical season of 1999 when Fenway Park was the host of the 70th All Star Game, Garciaparra's teammate, Pedro Martinez was named the MVP, as Boston rejoiced in their superstar's glory.
That October, Garciaparra one-upped himself in his second chance in the October spotlight. Taking Cleveland to the full five games, Garciaparra elevated his performance by hitting .417 with 2 HR and 4 RBI, along with six runs scored. Although Boston would later lose the ALCS to the eventual World Series Champion Yankees in five games, Nomar batted .400 with two more home runs and five more RBI.
As Nomar embarked on his fourth full season in Boston, the fans were wondering if they had ever seen a player of Garciaparra's caliber since the great Ted Williams. In fact, Williams himself even drew a comparison of Garciaparra to one of the all-time baseball greats, Joe DiMaggio. With a comparison like that, there wasn't a Red Sox fan out there that didn't believe that Nomar Garciaparra was going to be the franchise player that finally brought a World Series title to Boston. Well, he did...sort of.
The 2000 season soon would take away the comparison to DiMaggio, but for a good reason. On July 20, after game one of a double header in Baltimore, Garciaparra went 3-for-5 with a triple. At the end of that game in the second half of the season, Nomar was batting .403. His comparisons quickly changed from Joe DiMaggio to the greatest hitter who ever lived, the last man to ever hit .400, Ted Williams. After finishing the season with a .372 batting average, Garciaparra won his second consecutive batting title. Who was the last right-handed hitter to accomplish that feat? Joe DiMaggio.
2000 was Nomar's best season of his Major League career, as his worst would follow in 2001 when his ailing wrist limited the Boston shortstop to just 21 games. In 2002 when John Henry along with former Padres owner, Tom Werner, and former President and CEO of the same organization, Larry Lucchino, formed an ownership group at the last minute to purchase the Red Sox, the trio of baseball minds inherited a clubhouse in shambles and turned it into a model baseball organization.
Prior to the 2003 season, the new management still viewed Nomar as one of the centerpieces of their franchise and wanted to keep him in a Red Sox uniform well past the 2003 and 2004 options that Garciaparra had included on his contract. Things may have looked all well and good on the field for Garciaparra, but behind closed doors, the face of the Red Sox franchise was getting caught up in the business side of baseball. Which brings us to the 4-year, $60 million contract extension that the new Red Sox management extended Garciaparra's way.
"You look at your teammates, what they are making," Garciaparra said in reference to his teammate's contracts, "Manny's making $20 [million a year]. Pedro's making $17 [million]. You see where you fit in, you see what you do. Alex [Rodriguez] is making $25 [million], Jeter's making $19 [million]. I mean, where do I fit it in? Let's figure it all out."
Personally, as a fan, I hate the business side of baseball. I can't stand it, I hate that the days of seeing a player spend their entire career in the same uniform died when Cal Ripken Jr. retired, but Nomar Garciaparra was of the same breed of Ripken where he was made to spend all his days in Boston. Although, from the common man's standpoint where we're fighting for every dollar we make, players do sound greedy when they bark over millions. But in all fairness, he was putting up similar, if not greater numbers than both Jeter in Rodriguez throughout the duration of his contract. It was only fair to put him on the same pedestal as those two, and unfortunately, players can't just be told they're on the same pedestal as the rest of the greats, the money has to deliver that message for them.
Garciaparra liked the idea of a 4-year deal worth $60 million, but "What I would like, though, I asked for a signing bonus for $8 million." Which would have dished out $17 million annually to the shortstop, as opposed to $15 million. While Nomar was in search of an extra $8 million on top of the initial proposal, Larry Lucchino thought, "We just weren't doing a contract for that kind of money."
So both sides entered the 2003 season with no extension to agree upon.
Looking to keep his value just as high as it was entering the season, Garciaparra was provided with a supporting cast of players who were under-valued by other general managers in baseball, but couldn't sneak past the eye of the, then, youngest GM in baseball history, Theo Epstein. In 2003, Garciaparra was surrounded with an entirely new infield, with names such as Bill Mueller, Todd Walker, a slugger with "promise" by the name of David Ortiz and a clubhouse favorite that was on his way to Japan before Theo had something to say about it, Kevin Millar.
That season, the Red Sox claimed the Wild Card, as Nomar again batted over .300 (.301) with 28 HR and 105 RBI. Garciaparra was selected to his fifth All Star Game as a member of the Red Sox, which certainly was a plus when it came to re-visiting contract negotiations in the winter--or so he thought.
The timing for Nomar's contract negotiations couldn't have come at a worse time. When the Red Sox' season was ended in brutal fashion after a heart-crushing walk-off home run by Aaron Boone in Game 7 of the 2003 ALCS, not one, not two, but six crucial pieces to the Red Sox roster were headed into their last season of their contract with the Red Sox. Pedro Martinez, Jason Varitek, Trot Nixon, Derek Lowe, David Ortiz and Garciaparra were all going to watch their contracts expire after the 2004 season, so things were going to get interesting.
During the 03-04 offseason, the Red Sox were the talk of the sports world, as they tried to pull off one of the biggest blockbuster trades in baseball history. The Red Sox made their best effort to acquire superstar shortstop, Alex Rodriguez, from the Texas Rangers in exchange for Manny Ramirez. The trade would require Boston to then move Garciaparra to the Chicago White Sox to bring Magglio Ordonez on board to replace Ramirez in the outfield.
The Red Sox-obsessed media in Boston leaked the details of the trade talks between both sides to the point where it was impossible to go anywhere and not hear someone talking about it. A-Rod coming to Boston was such a big story that the New England Patriots were in the Super Bowl, and a picture of A-Rod was on the front page of Boston newspapers. Thankfully, that deal was shot down by the Players Association after their refusal to approve A-Rod's contract to be restructured.
Nomar began the 2004 season at shortstop for the Boston Red Sox, with Manny Ramirez over his shoulder in left, as Garciaparra batted .321 in 38 games for the Red Sox leading up to the July 31 trade deadline. It was made public that Nomar was upset at the fact that the Red Sox attempted to move him after all he had done for the organization, but the Red Sox had a chance to bring one of the best players in the game on board, and when you're trying to win a World Series, you have to do what you have to do.
The Red Sox were in Minnesota on the last day of July when manager Terry Francona submitted a lineup card with Garciaparra's name on it. Moments later, Francona submitted a second lineup card without Nomar's name. His name was gone from the card, and not much later, so would Nomar from Boston. In the final minutes of the trading deadline, Theo Epstein pulled off a trade that sent shockwaves throughout Red Sox Nation. In a four-team deal, Nomar Garciaparra was sent to the Chicago Cubs in exchange for Orlando Cabrera and Doug Mientkiewicz.
There are some bitter fans out there that say Garciaparra "quit" on his team, that he "didn't want to be there", but Nomar himself described the experience of his being traded by saying, ""I just felt empty. Just like, no way." He described leaving Francona's office and facing his teammates for the last time, "I go to my locker and I see D-Lowe there, and I go, 'Don't worry, it's not you, it's me. See ya, bro.' And word starts spreading around and I'm just trying not to cry." Really sounds like he wanted out of there, huh?
The Red Sox recieved two lesser-known players in exhange for Nomar. If you stacked up both Cabrera and Mientkiewicz compared to Nomar, it was 5-0 in favor of Boston's former shorstop when it came to All Star appearances. The trade was all the buzz around baseball, and it didn't even strike the general manager who made the gutsy move until he saw his former franchise player in his new uniform.
"[That's when] it hit me for the first time, emotionally, that there would be real consequences to the organization and to me personally if it didn't work out [well]," Epstein said.
You must feel like the loneliest man in America," Red Sox principal owner told Epstein. "It was the right trade, but no one likes it," Epstein replied. Well, we all know the rest of the legend. The Red Sox go on to win their first World Series in 86 years. O-Cab becomes a fan-favorite and Mientkiewicz gloves the final out of a game that Red Sox fans thought would never come.
The players in the Red Sox' clubhouse who had brought Boston fans their first World Series title since 1918 all voted, and the decision was a no-brainer. Nomar Garciaparra was voted by his former teammates as a player worthy of a 2004 World Series ring, and Curt Schilling even said that if it were not for Nomar, the Red Sox might have not even been in a position to win that World Series.
Nomar Garciaparra finished his Red Sox career with a .323 batting average and 178 home runs. Garciaparra's final game in a Red Sox uniform came just one day after the "brawl that started it all" on July 25, 2004. At the time, the fans didn't even know to say goodbye, neither did he. Nomar went 1-for-5 in his final game at Fenway, packed his bags for the Sox' roadtrip, and never came back.
Four years, 11 months and 12 days later, he finally came home. Now with the Oakland Athletics, and now a teammate of Orlando Cabrera's, Nomar Garciaparra made his return to Fenway Park for the first time since his days with the Red Sox. Batting sixth as the A's designated hitter, Garciaparra made his way to the plate in the top of the second inning. Fenway Park erupted into cheers as both Garciaparra and the Fenway Faithful made their long-awaited return to each other. It was Nomar thanking the fans, it was the fans thanking Nomar. It was a very special moment in Red Sox history, and I am honored to have been a part of it.
The standing ovation seemed like it lasted forever, and I never wanted it to end. If you didn't get chills watching Nomar achknowledge the fans, then you either have no pulse, or you have no idea what a half-full Fenway Park looks like in person.
Being that Nomar was my childhood hero, it meant a lot to me to finally get to see him return to Fenway Park. I always had a feeling that something was missing in my being a Red Sox fan, and it turns out that saying goodbye to Nomar was that missing piece. As it turns out, Nomar appreciated the moment just as much as the fans did, if not more. It was a moment that I will always cherish as a Red Sox fan and a moment that will live on forever in the hearts of each and every Red Sox fan who ever got to see Nomar Garciaparra grace the infield dirt of Fenway Park.
Garciaparra's abrupt and bitter end in Boston will soon be overshaddowed by everything that he has done for the Red Sox, the city of Boston and of course, the fans. Nomar gave Boston something to cheer for when October wasn't the annual event that it has become these days. Nomar gave the Red Sox fans everything he had each and every night he took the field. He was a rolemodel for children everywhere, a hero to many and above all, he was proud to do it all in a Red Sox uniform.
So in closing, maybe it's not goodbye afterall. Maybe, just maybe, it's see ya later. -Jared Carrabis
"The minute I put that uniform on I dreamed I was gonna start my career in Boston and end my career in Boston. I still have that dream. The only difference from the original dream is that I wasn't supposed to put another uniform on. But that dream is still there." --Nomar Garciaparra
Final Score: Nomar, we love ya.
I want to thank my friends at Ace Tickets for hooking me up with the seats to see a moment that, as a fan, I will never forget.
I was hoping he was going to play last night as well. If I had known we would have gone to monday's game sigh. My grandson wanted to see him as did I. A man in front of us had a Nomar Jersey and sold it to us for 20 bucks.Troy was happy he had grown out of the one he had.Nomar was his first favorite.They come and go so fast now as you said. Yaz was mine and I'm so glad he was there to the end.I'd like to see Pedro back to,I loved him. ...View More...View Less
If anything I've said today about Nomar sulking, spurning their contract offer and quitting on the team is at all accurate then he has about as much chance of returning, with Theo as GM, as Manny does! If he returns then I will eat crow and take back everything I've said here today because it would prove I was wrong.
07/07/2009 6:31 PM
The issue of Nomar sitting in the dugout in NY in July '04 and refusing to play does not question that he quit, but states a point of fact! I'm sorry but if you were watching Sox games back in 2004 while he was still a Red Sox, you would have noticed the dramatic attitude switch. This too is fact not speculation!
So to wrap it all up, and in your eyes, poor Nomie was wronged by the FO as they traded him before he could accept their new contract offer (like that makes any sense whatsoever) and that he was the good soldier as usual and his attitude toward the team and media was all a mirage!
Based on last night's reception, I am in the minority, but I know what I saw, and heard, and read, back then and I am not ready to give the guy a free pass like everyone else has.
BTW, what's he going to say about all this?? I was a jerk and deserved to be traded?? I think not! ...View More...View Less
this is probably the best piece of writing you've ever written. Nomar will always be a piece of Boston history, and i wanted to thank you for reminding all of us of that and how special he was and always will be to Boston sports fans. great blog Jared, someone get this kid a job.
07/07/2009 2:37 PM
Very, Very good Blog. Very emotional. This definately deserves ^5! Reading this, alot of emotions ran through me from his first season rising to the top of the ladder. Finally being able to brag about someone to all the Stankee fans that live around me. To the feeling of disbelief when finding out he was gone and relizing that I was at the last game he played at in a Sox uniform.
07/07/2009 2:09 PM
HE SULKED MORE THAN QUIT-REGARDLESS TIME HEALS ALL WOULDS-IT'S BEEN FIVE YEARS AND TWO WORLD SERIES CHAMPIONSHIPS LATER. IF WE HAD NOT WON I DON'T THINK HIS RECEPTION WOULD HAVE BEEN AS GREAT AS IT WAS, BUT HE WAS A FAN FAVORITE AND A GREAT PLAYER FOR SEVERAL YEARS.
07/07/2009 2:04 PM
He clearly said he didn't want to leave. Usually people that want to leave quit on their team cough Manny cough so there's your answer. Why would he quit on his team if he wanted to stay? Makes no sense. Clearly, as Nomar stated, there's a lot more to the business side of what went on that we don't know or that we don't understand, so that's why you can't go around making assumptions and false accusations that he rejected the offer (because I proved that wrong) and that he quit on the team (because you can't prove that). Done and done. Cut the guy some slack, he gave us seven of the best years we've ever seen out of one player in our lifetime and he did it all while loving the city of Boston. Maybe not the management, but from the fans standpoint, which both you and I are, we have no reason to dislike Nomar. He honored the uniform each and every night. His beef wasn't with the fans, it was with management, which leaves both of us out of it. ...View More...View Less
I just watched the video and he says nothing about what happened to the offer, so I assume he was traded while the $60 million was sitting on the table! What Merloni didn't ask is why he came to spring training with a negative attitude and why he quit on his team in July??
Hey, I was as big a Nomar fan as anyone until the 2004 season, his actions (or lack thereof) were what stick in my memory. In my opinion, the guy couldn't get over the business aspect that the team tried to bring in someone (AROD) to replace him. After that fell throguh, the 4 year deal was an attempt to show him that the organization still wanted him, so WHAT HAPPENED then?? ...View More...View Less
So WHY did the FO pull the offer off the table then?? What precipated that?? Was it a now you see it now you don't magic trick pulled by Theo??
The Sox were attempting to bring him back after the AROD fiasco by offering the contract and he was too far gone to handle it!
07/07/2009 11:51 AM
That's where you're wrong....Whatever the situation, Garciaparra insists that he still thought the $15 million-a-year, four-year deal was on the table. When, immediately after the spat between Henry and Tellem erupted in public, the Red Sox leaked to the Globe that Garciaparra had turned down the $60 offer million the team had made in spring training, Garciaparra was shocked.
Garciaparra's defense had slipped to the point where GM Theo Epstein thought he needed an upgrade.
"I was like, 'Whoa, what is going on here?'" Garciaparra says. "Since when did I turn it down? At what point did I reject this? I'm scratching my head." ...View More...View Less
I too was at the game last night, but apparently I am one of those bitter fans who was appalled by the fan reaction because I did not forget that the guy quit on his teammates and "REFUSED" a 4 yr/$60 million contract from the Sox (which indicated how much he really wanted to be here) because his feelings were hurt by the AROD trade discussions that offseason.
The FO was forced to trade him because of his attitude in 2004 and they went on to win a championship because he was gone!
I guess in a few years the fans of Boston will welcome the other quitter, Manny Ramirez, back at Fenway with a standing ovation as well.
Apparently, if you play well in Boston for a few years you get a 'get out of jail free' card from the Boston fans when you disrespect them and your teammates.
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Update on One Fan's Story: If This Hat Could Talk By: Jared Carrabis
On Jerry Remy's official website, The Remy Report, the NESN broadcaster provided his fans and concerned listeners with an update on his status. The update from Remy was first released on his daily newsletter, which you can subscribe to by clicking here.
"Many "Today in Sports" subscribers have been asking about my health and when I expect to return to the booth. I appreciate your concern very much.
I am happy to say that I am doing very well. In fact, I have even gone back to my gym routine. Most of the weight that I lost due to the pneumonia has been re-gained (looking pretty buff I might add!). To sum it all up, I am very fortunate to have no health issues at all. I have not set a return date yet, but I assure you that I am anxious to get back.
Thanks again, Jerry"
Surely, Red Sox Nation is thrilled with this news that the Rem Dawg is feeling more like himself. We'll all be anxiously anticipating your return!
Now for an update on my book: I know I've said many, many times that it was coming out at a certain point, but I am almost certain that a July release date is the most likely. The book is in its final stages of being prepared to be sent to print. As of right now, we're on the final stage of converting the Word Document into a book format. From there, the new format is converted into a PDF file and BAM, Jared Carrabis becomes an author; very excited!
I also hinted that Jerry Remy might be writing the foreword to my book, but I can now confirm that the foreword has been written and will be included in the first edition of One Fan's Story: If This Hat Could Talk.
Although I can't leak what his foreword says, I will, however, leak the teaser that appears on the back cover of the book, which was written by the editor, Jane Osgood (the only living human being who has read my highly-guarded project!).
"One Fan’s Story is just that – the story of one Boston Red Sox fan, Jared Carrabis – but it’s everybody’s story, really. Through Carrabis’ experiences we get to live out our fantasies as a fan of the Sox, the game of baseball, and even the game of life. From the first time the author walks up that ramp as an eight year old boy and gets his first view of the green grass and the Green Monster that are synonymous with Fenway Park, right through the 2008 American League Championship Series, we all feel the exquisite thrills as well as every agonizing disappointment that the Red Sox have to offer the Fenway Faithful. But don’t be fooled into thinking that this book is exclusively for students of the game of baseball or readers of Carrabis’ own generation. This is a coming of age story that goes beyond the confines of any baseball field or age bracket; for Carrabis has a way of creating universal life lessons out of every tale he spins for his readers.
The author was a finalist to become the first President of Red Sox Nation and is the official Massachusetts Governor of Red Sox Nation, appointed by the Rem Dawg himself. Yet whether he is rubbing elbows with Larry Lucchino while the President and CEO is on a cell phone discussing the Manny trade, or simply mingling with the masses at the Bleacher Bar, Carrabis never loses sight of the average baseball fan’s perspective in recounting all the joys and sorrows that this great game of baseball has to offer. His multitude of website followers has been clamoring for his titillating tale since December of 2007. Carrabis doesn’t disappoint. Not only has he stepped up to the plate in response, he has hit it out of the ballpark."
I will keep you all posted as to when the book is released, as well as when Jerry Remy is set to return to the NESN booth!
thats all cool.thanks for the update.we had a very long lived and famous book store here burn and it just reopened.They had alot of red sox book.I bought Mikeys book there one summer.I went back the other day after their new opening and looked for your book,no luck.But ill hang in and wait till further notice.
07/03/2009 6:33 PM
SoxSpace pays homage to the greatest closer in Red Sox history By: Jared Carrabis
On the night of October 27, 2004, Red Sox closer Keith Foulke stood on the mound in St. Louis, where he recorded the final out that sent Boston into a winter of ecstasy and bliss.
In 11 appearances for the Sox that October, Foulke was a force. He struck out 19 batters in 14 innings of work, racking up three of the biggest saves in Red Sox history to go along with a 0.64 ERA. While Manny Ramirez was named World Series MVP, many believed that Foulke should have gotten the honor...even Foulke himself.
"Do I think I should have been MVP?" said Foulke. "Absolutely. I mean, 'cause I did everything humanly possible that I could've done."
His October heroics took a strong toll on his health. His knees began to ache worse and so were the heads of Red Sox Nation as Foulke's ERA sky-rocketed over six during the 2005 season.With Foulke's health an uncertainty in the Red Sox organization, Theo Esptein added a pitcher by the name of Jonathan Papelbon to the Red Sox' 40-man roster on the day of the trading deadline, July 31, 2005.
In 2003, Epstein had selected the right-handed closer from the Mississippi State Bulldogs, where Papelbon boasted 13 saves and a 9-6 record to go along with his 2.90 ERA during his three-year tenure at the back of Mississippi's bullpen. Papelbon was drafted in the fourth round (114th overall) and while the Red Sox were battling deep into October in both 2003 and 2004, Papelbon spent his time with the Lowell Spinners and the Sarasota Red Sox respectively.
Though Papelbon spent his time as a closer in college, the Red Sox were grooming his lively arm into that of a starting pitcher. Papelbon was 13-10 in his first two seasons in the Red Sox organization before being promoted to the Portland Sea Dogs to start 2005. The right-hander posted better numbers as the competition got better, going 5-2 in 14 starts while on the same roster as Hanley Ramirez. Later in the year, Papelbon was bumped up to Triple-A Pawtucket, where the then starter racked up 21 strikeouts in 22.1 innings.
On the fast track to the Majors, Papelbon made his Red Sox debut on a day that was clouded with controversy. Manny Ramirez was making his annual plea to get out of Boston, so without Boston's most dominant bat in the lineup on the day of the trade deadline, Papelbon made his Major League debut as a starter for the Boston Red Sox. Papelbon pitched into the sixth inning, giving up three runs (two earned) on just four hits, while striking out seven Minnesota Twins after 100 pitches.
After his no decision against Minnesota, Papelbon would make just two more starts before being converted into a relief pitcher in the Red Sox bullpen. That October, Terry Francona trusted the young Papelbon in do-or-die situations and number 58 did not falter. In his first taste of October, which he would later become addicted to, Papelbon tossed four innings in two appearances without allowing a run and striking out two against the eventual World Series Champion Chicago White Sox. Had the Red Sox not been swept, Papelbon would have had more chances to shine in the October light, but those moments would come in time.
In 2006, with Keith Foulke's role as the closer in jeopardy after the emergence of Jonathan Papelbon, all eyes were on the bullpen gate in the later innings. When Opening Day finally came on April 3, 2006, Curt Schilling departed after seven innings of work and a Nation turned its eyes to the pen and out came Jonathan Papelbon in the eighth. While Papelbon hurled a perfect eighth inning, Keith Foulke got knocked around for a run in the ninth. Regardless, no harm, no foul, the Red Sox won by a 7-3 score.
So just when it seemed as if Terry Francona was going to groom Papelbon into Foulke's set-up man, the closer from Mississippi State was the man that was called upon on April 5, 2006 when the Red Sox held a 2-1 lead in the ninth. Papelbon retired the side in order, complete with a strikeout of Brad Wilkerson to end it. With that final strikeout, Jonathan Papelbon had earned his first Major League save.
Papelbon went on to convert his first 20 Major League saves before blowing his first against the Texas Rangers on June 9, 2006, but he later earned his first Major League win after the Red Sox battled back to bail their closer out, 4-3. Papelbon went on to close out 35 games for the Red Sox in 2006, which stands as a Major League record for most saves by a rookie closer. Had it not been for Papelbon pitching his arm out of its socket (literally) he would not have had a season cut short by injury when he made his last appearance on the first of September.
The Sox went on to miss the playoffs in his magical season of 2006 when Boston's closer posted an ERA of 0.92 and struck out an eye popping 75 batters in 68.1 innings, holding opposing hitters to a .167 average.
In 2007, when there was debate as to whether Papelbon was going to be a starter or a closer for the Red Sox that year, it was Papelbon, not Foulke, who stood on the mound on October 28, 2007 for the final game of the 2007 World Series in Colorado. Unlike Foulke, who got a chopper back to the mound in 2004, in true Jonathan Papelbon fashion, the Red Sox closer blew a fastball by Seth Smith to put a World Series ring on his finger. Once you win a World Series, everything else seems second rate, but he did walk away with the DHL Delivery Man of the Year Award in 2007 as well, after saving 37 games in 40 opportunities.
In 2008, Papelbon further established himself as one of the best closers in the game, if not the best. Now, 2008 may have been the season that K-Rod set the mark for most saves in a single season, but he was not as perfect as the record made him to be. When October came around, K-Rod once again coughed up a crucial game to the Red Sox in the ALDS, and Jonathan Papelbon extended his streak of scoreless postseason innings to start a career to 35, a Major League record. Call me crazy, but I'm giving the advantage to Pap.
"He's been so good since he's come into this role," Francona said. "He's growing up, he's getting stronger. He knows his body better, [and] when he gets into the game, he's ready to pitch."
Papelbon's career high, 41 saves, propelled him to becoming the first closer in Red Sox history to have three consecutive 30+ save seasons. On July 1, 2009, after the Red Sox had stormed back from being down four runs in the ninth and scoring the go-ahead run in the eleventh, Jonathan Papelbon notched a perfect inning to place him atop the all-time saves list in Red Sox history with 133. Moving past Bob Stanley, Papelbon has inserted himself among the all-time great relievers in the illustrious history of the Boston Red Sox. With 20 saves before the All Star break, Papelbon is well on his way to his fourth consecutive 30+ save season.
"Obviously, it feels good," Papelbon said. "When I set out to do this -- to be the closer for the Boston Red Sox -- there was definitely a lot of goals in sight, and this (the Red Sox all-time saves record) was one of them. So to get there and to kind of finally get it and to kind of get it out of my head and stop thinking about it is definitely good for me."
50 years from now, we may remember his insane personality, his hilarious beer box mask, his Irish dance moves or maybe even his blazing fastball, but it's crazy to think that Jonathan Papelbon has accomplished all of this by the age of 28, when in baseball, 30 is considered being in your "prime." It should be interesting to see what the future holds for our talented closer. Whether it be with the Red Sox or not, Papelbon surely will be dominating the game of baseball for years to come.
"He's been really good," said Jason Varitek of the Red Sox closer. "If he maintains his health, he's going to have a long career. And he's been able to really stabilize our bullpen, where, when we've had years of struggle, you don't have that means to an end -- a guy at the end of the bullpen."
Here's to the past, present and future success of Cinco Ocho, -Jared Carrabis
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Ive always loved this guy since he started playing.Sense of humor and talent all rolled into one.He deserves everything he has gotten and more hopefully to come.Thanks for writing such an inspiring article on my all time fav player.
07/03/2009 7:19 AM