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Posts Tagged ‘Dave Magadan’

We officially have our new manager, and this shouldn’t be a surprise either.  It’s John Farrell! Honestly, it was supposed to be John Farrell all along, but last year he had two years left on his contract and the Jays instituted that rule that their employees couldn’t make lateral moves to other clubs.  Now, he already managed the Jays for two years and had one year left on his contract so we’ll have to compensate the Jays; look for Mike Aviles and Adam Lind to be included in the deal.  There isn’t much to say by way of introduction because we already know him.  Over the last two years, Toronto’s record has been 154-170.  Obviously that’s not great.  But if the whole Bobby Valentine fiasco taught us something, it’s the value of the intangible factors that come into play when one is managing.  Farrell has been with us through plenty of good, bad, and ugly, and if we can’t have Terry Francona, then Farrell is probably the next-best thing.  Obviously he has a ridiculous amount of work to do, but I believe that he can take the first step down the long road of recovery that’s facing us right now.  It won’t be easy, and it won’t be quick either.  It’s not going to happen overnight.  But it’ll be that much better with the right man on board.  Welcome back!

Unfortunately, Dave Magadan was lured away by the Rangers; he’s now their hitting coach.

Speaking of the Yankees, the Tigers swept them right out of October.  That was pretty sweet.  It still hurts that we weren’t the ones doing the sweeping, but at least somebody did it.

In other news, the Pats experienced another nailbiter loss, this one to the Seahawks, 24-23.

AP Photo

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The coaching staff has now officially been finalized.  Tim Bogar is the bench coach.  Jerry Royster will take his place as the third base coach.  Alex Ochoa is the first base coach.  Dave Magadan will remain the hitting coach, and Gary Tuck will remain the bullpen coach.  Our new pitching coach is Bob McClure.  The Royals let him go after finishing in fourth place in their division last season, and then we hired him as a minor league instructor and special assignment scout.  Obviously on the surface, this doesn’t exactly bode well.  However, it’s worth mentioning that his professional profile is similar to John Farrell’s; like Farrell, he’s been a player as well as a coach, and he has a knack for evaluating talent.  But by now I have learned how fruitless it is to delve analytically into anything that Bobby V. does before I actually see how it shapes up in action.  Regarding McClure, I’m not sure I know what to think at this point.

We now officially have a closer, and it turns out that it isn’t Mark Melancon.  Melancon will obviously be in the mix, but we traded first baseman Miles Head, right-handed pitcher Raul Alcantara, and, yes, even Josh Reddick to the A’s for outfielder Ryan Sweeney and, more importantly, Andrew Bailey.  Bailey has a career 2.07 ERA and 0.95 WHIP with seventy-five saves and only nine blown saves in his three seasons in the Majors.  He has been injured, which restricted him to less than fifty innings in his last two seasons.  But because we expect him to own the ninth only, I don’t see a problem.  The Bailey-Melancon one-two punch shows considerable promise.  Like Paps, Bailey tends to induce his fair share of fly balls, so Melancon serves as a nice complement to that; in his career, Melancon has induced double the amount of ground balls as fly balls, and only three pitchers last season had a better ratio.

So, to put it lightly, he’ll do.  Now let’s look at Sweeney.  His hitting stats obviously don’t match up well with Reddick’s, but he’s got a solid OBP and he can play all three outfield positions, which we know is incredibly useful.  However, I’m still not happy about that part of the trade because, while Sweeney has obvious upsides, he technically doesn’t even come close to Reddick.  I mean, Reddick has the makings of a Major League superstar.  Of course, we have to moderate that a little by accounting for the fact that he’s young yet and hasn’t seen much action relatively speaking, but still.  I see this trade as addressing our short-term needs rather than considering our long-term needs.  There is a time and place for doing so, but I’m not convinced that this was it.  Again, we’ll have to wait and see.  It’s important to remember that this is Ben’s team now, and he deserves a chance to prove that he has as much foresight as anybody.

Ryan Kalish will miss the start of the season; he just had surgery on his left shoulder to repair a torn labrum.  In all likelihood, so will Jenks, who had another surgery.

The Yankees signed Okajima to a minor league deal; oh, how the mighty have fallen.  The Cubs hired Bill Buckner as a minor league hitting coach.  I hope Theo has fun with that.  Incidentally, in case you didn’t notice, that was sarcastic.

In other news, the Pats have been on an absolute tear.  We beat the Redskins, Broncos, Dolphins, and Bills.  We’ll see if we can convert that into anything of note when it counts.  The B’s have been similarly dominating; we beat the Habs, Panthers (eight-zip shutout), and Coyotes; we dropped our game against the Stars.  We womped the Devils and Flames (seriously, a nine-zip shutout) and lost to Vancouver in a very eventful matchup in which Vancouver was obviously trying to make a statement.  I’d say it was grasping; they may have beaten us by a goal, but the last time I checked, we are still the reigning Stanley Cup champions.  The benches cleared, though.  Five Canucks charged Shawn Thornton for defending a hit teammate, and then all the gloves dropped.  Vancouver coach Alain Vigneault says we’re too physical, probably because the Canucks can’t match us.  By the way, Milan Lucic did indeed take the ice legally on a line change.

AP Photo

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Jon Lester is now 8-0 against the O’s.  8-0.  The O’s find out he’s pitching and don’t even bother dressing because at this point it’s an automatic loss.  Excellent quality start last night; five his allowed during seven innings.  That’s it.  No runs.  No walks.  He doled out seven K’s.  He was efficient, and he was versatile.  He was very versatile.  In Adam Jones’s at-bat in the sixth, he used all four pitches: changeup, curveball, fastball, cutter.  And he whiffed him right out of the batter’s box.  The hitters had nothing to sit on, and he mixed his pitches perfectly.  It was like watching a veteran, except that he’s only twenty-five years old.  So in ten career starts against the O’s, he’s got eight wins, two no-decisions, and no losses.  He entered last night’s contest with a 2.45 ERA against that club, so that’s probably dropped nicely.  With last night’s win, he surpassed Pedro Martinez in the ranking of longest winning streak ever by a Red Sox pitcher against the Orioles.

Delcarmen, Okajima, Ramirez, and Papelbon combined to pitch the next three.  Since 2007, Okajima has accumulated sixty-five career holds, good for second in the Majors.  He’s having a good season, and I think this year, much more than last year, he’s getting back to what he was in ’07.

4-0 was the final score, and the story of the night was JD Drew.  He was one double shy of the cycle.  He went three for five with a single, triple, and two-run homer in the fourth that barely squeaked out of the ballpark.  But a home run is a home run is a home run.  Later he said he’d run through the infield straight to second if he had to.  The interesting thing about him is that he never changes his approach or style.  When a guy is in a slump, he usually tries something different.  Take David Ortiz, for example.  When he was slumping, we heard everything about how he and Dave Magadan were working to make every adjustment that could be made.  Same with Jason Varitek in the offseason.  But I honestly think that Drew could be in the biggest slump of his career for an entire season, and he still wouldn’t change his approach.  He could be at bat with a two and two count and two out in the bottom of the ninth during Game 7 of an ALCS and he still wouldn’t change his approach.  Oh, wait.  But hey, that’s what makes him the player he is, and just like that’s responsible for some big whiffs, that’s also responsible for nights like last night.  Sometimes you have to take the good with the bad, even if the bad is really bad.  Interestingly, he batted leadoff last night with Pedroia batting second.  Tito probably wants to give Pedroia a change of scenery, so to speak, but I think I liked it better the other way around.  For one thing, even with Pedroia’s bat cooling off, the team did well with him in leadoff.  For another, the one-two punch of Pedroia and Drew batting first and second, respectively, is deadly for pitchers.  The two like to work lengthy at-bats, and the end of which they usually do make contact.  But swapping them isn’t that bad because it keeps that intact.  Kotsay and Varitek both went two for four.  Varitek and Pedroia each batted in a run.  Pedroia stole second, and Ellsbury scored second twice.

Lowell did indeed receive the Synvisc injection to lubricate the joint.  He also had some fluid drained from his hip, which should help a lot.

We’re still first in the American League.  We’re in the top ten in batting average, and we’re in the top five in on-base percentage, slugging percentage, and run differential.  We’re atop everybody with a record of seventy and one when leading after seven frames.  We’ve won our last six series, including our last four road series, we lead the Major Leagues in road strikeouts, and we’re one of only three teams (the other two are the Yanks and Angels) with a winning record away.  And that’s something to smile about, because that’s a whole lot better than our performance on the road last season.  Point being, we are awesome, we continue to be awesome, and we increased our first-place lead over the Yanks by half a game.  Smoltz will pitch tonight against Rich Hill.  His first official American League start.  We’ll see how this one goes.

The Boston Red Sox Blog

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Four years ago last night, a team was redeemed and a Nation was delivered.  Four years ago last night was the greatest day in the life of an entire region.  Four years ago last night the Boston Red Sox won the World Series for the first time in 86 years, snapping the Curse of the Bambino like a twig and becoming the team of the decade.  I believe Joe Buck said it best at the time:

Red Sox fans have longed to hear it: the Boston Red Sox are world champions!

Saying that was a great day would be the understatement of the century.  That was a win for the team, the city, the Nation, and all the players and fans who came before that great year in history.  Congratulations again to the 2004 Boston Red Sox on completing the greatest comeback in the history of sports and taking it all the way.  I still can’t think about ’04 without getting chills.  And to think it all started with a stolen base.

Unfortunately the 2008 World Series is out of our hands.  To recap, the series stands at 3-1 in favor of Philadelphia.  Last night, with rain pouring, the field absolutely drenched, and a one-run lead, the Phillies managed to play long enough to get the game in the books.  But the conditions on the field were so bad (the infield was basically mud) that Bud Selig had to call it after the Rays tied it, 2-2.  Questioned afterwards, Selig stated he would’ve definitely called the game eventually.  This begs the question of why he waited until right after the Rays tied it up.  I mean Jimmy Rollins was making error after error, so it was pretty clear that play couldn’t continue.  I’m not one to play around with conspiracy theories, but something just doesn’t seem right here.

In other news, the Pats defeated the Rams, 23-16.  You have to admit, Matt Cassel is improving and improving fast.  The Bruins played their best game of the season against the Oilers last night.  Tim Thomas was Superman in goal.  No score through regulation, and we went on to win it in sudden death, 1-0, courtesy of Dennis Wideman’s power play goal.  Not bad for our first overtime victory this year.  Not bad at all.  Aramis Ramirez of the Cubs and our own Kevin Youkilis received the Hank Aaron Award, and Dustin Pedroia was named to “The Sporting News” All-Star team.  We’re bringing back five coaches: John Farrell, Brad Mills, Dave Magadan, DeMarlo Hale, and Gary Tuck.  Luis Alicea was not offered a new contract and will not be returning in 2009.

Sons of Sam Horn

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