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Posts Tagged ‘San Francisco 49ers’

This week was momentous.  This time of year usually is.  Because this week, my friends, we celebrated Truck Day! On Tuesday, all of our equipment rolled out for the long drive down to Fort Myers.  Spring Training has officially unofficially started! Man, it’s been a long winter.  It still is a long winter.  And we have a long way to go, but we’re getting there.  It’s February already, and since Truck Day has come and gone, Pitcher and Catchers is our next milestone, followed of course by the officially official start of Spring Training and then the season! We’re well on our way.  It may be freezing outside, and there may be snow in the air or on the ground, but we know that in Florida there is baseball to be played.  I can almost taste it, especially since Farrell is already talking about lineups; expect Ellsbury to bat first this year.

Pedro Martinez is back in Boston, in the front office this time; he’s a special assistant to Ben, and he’s basically going to advise the pitching staff.  Kalish had successful surgery on his right shoulder, but we re-signed Sweeney just in case.  We signed Lyle Overbay to a minor-league deal.  Terry Francona won the Judge Emil Fuchs Award, presented by the Boston Baseball Writers, for his service to the game.

Gary Tuck, our bullpen coach, decided to retire and has been replaced by Dana Levangie.  Remember him? Levangie was our bullpen coach for eight years, the last of which was 2004.  After that, he was an advance scout.  And now he’s back where he started.  Tuck was going to be the last man standing from last year’s staff, and he surely was a fantastic bullpen coach.  He expected nothing but the best from pitchers and catchers; he made our staff great, and he will be sorely missed.  Levangie has big shoes to fill, but seems like the logical choice.

Congratulations to the Red Sox and the Jimmy Fund, who celebrate sixty years of partnership this season.  This will be the inauguration of a suite available all season long for Jimmy Fund patients and their families.  A Jimmy Fund Chorus will also perform at the park.  This is one of those occasions when you feel really proud to support this organization.

Okay.  There’s something else that needs to be said, and I’m only going to say it once and then be done with it, because it’s that excruciating.  Kevin Youkilis is now a Yankee.  Like his predecessor, Johnny Damon, he has enlisted in the Evil Empire.  He has committed himself to the aiding and abetting of New York’s success.  Baseball is a complicated business these days; it’s a rare and happy find to discover a player whose sentimental connection with a particular team is strong.  In Boston, we’ve had a long tradition of such sentimental connections, and we still expect that from our players; we give them everything we’ve got, and we like to see the same in return.  So when one of our own, a homegrown farm boy no less, goes to the dark side, it’s extremely difficult to accept.  It was difficult to accept Damon doing it, and it’s no less difficult now.  We salute Youk and everything he has done for this team and this city.  He was a potent combination of hitting and fielding, volatility and versatility.  He had his good moments, and he had his bad moments, but he has left a legacy here of a stellar player.  I already made the tribute when he left, and we all know how awesome he was.  All I’m saying now is that it hurts.  It hurts, and it’s devastating, and we have to go through that pain all over again of seeing one of our own turn away from us.  That’s all I’m saying.

In other news, the Ravens won the Super Bowl, 34-31.  What a game.  It looked like the 49ers didn’t have a chance for most of it, and then it looked like the Ravens would be hard-pressed to keep them down after the power went out.  But alas, they pulled through.  At least now we get to say that it took a Super Bowl champion to defeat us this year.  The Bruins, for their part, have been doing quite well.  Since the shortened season’s first game, the Bruins have beaten the Jets by a score of 2-1, the Isles by a score of 4-2, the Canes by a score of 5-3, the Devils by a score of 2-1, the Leafs by a score of one-zip, and the Habs by a narrow yet satisfying score of 2-1.  We lost to the Rangers, 4-3, in sudden death and to the Sabres by the brutal score of 7-4.

Boston Globe Staff

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Since our miniature spree, if you could even call it that, which I really don’t think you can, we added one more name to the list: Drew.  The other Drew.  We signed Stephen to a one-year deal worth $9.5 million.

His numbers last year were not that great.  He batted .223 with a .309 on-base percentage and hit seven home runs while batting in twenty-eight.  He only played in seventy-nine games; he broke his right ankle in 2011 and had all sorts of issues with it throughout last season.  He started the year in Arizona and ended it in Oakland, where he had an optimistic finish.  He’s an okay fielder; his fielding percentage last year was in the neighborhood of .970.  That’s lower than I’d like for a shortstop, which, as we all know, is probably the most challenging infield position defensively.

This means that Jose Iglesias won’t be our starting shortstop for next year, at least, in case you were wondering.

In other news, the 49ers beat the Pats, 41-34.

I’ll be taking a break for about a week and a half.  Hopefully we’ll have gotten some good, solid things going in that time.

Wikipedia

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I don’t know who was on the mound last night, but it wasn’t Josh Beckett, that’s for sure.  The Josh Beckett I know is a force in the postseason.  He’s unstoppable.  He’s a road block.  He’s not someone who walks in a run in the first, allows a two-run home run in the third, and allows a solo home run in the fifth for the same batter.  I guess the road block that is Josh Beckett wasn’t even a speed bump.  The only other postseason start he lost was his first, in the 2003 NLDS.  He actually didn’t technically lose this one because Lopez got the loss, but you know what I mean.  I’m telling you, I never thought I’d see this day.  He said he was fine, the Red Sox said he was fine, everyone said he was fine.  So if he was fine and that was just his start for the day, it’s a pretty scary thought.  No, it’s not pretty scary, it’s terrifying.

Beckett only lasted five innings and in that time managed to give up four runs on nine hits.  He struck out six and walked four.  By the end of the first inning, he’d thrown thirty pitches.  In the first inning alone.  By the end of the third he’d thrown 65.  There is no way that was the real Josh Beckett.  I don’t think I’ve ever seen him more inefficient.  I mean, he had his moments of brilliance, like when he fanned Juan Rivera with three pitches to start the fifth inning, but those moments were so few and far between that in the long run they didn’t help much.

The relief pitched the last seven innings of the game, which ended in the twelfth.  Delcarmen, Okajima, Masterson, and Papelbon were all perfect.  Spotless.  Delcarmen especially made easy work of the Angels, and Papelbon was in there for two innings and did an excellent job.  But in the twelfth, Lopez allowed a run on three hits and that was the end of that.  We lost, 4-5, and we were out-hit, 7-16.

On the upside we showed our depth by producing more or less the same amount of offense with less than half the effort.  Youkilis collected an RBI when he chased Ellsbury home with a double and went two for five on the night.  But Ellsbury was the big story last night.  The kid went two for five with a walk, a run, and three (count ‘em: three) RBIs.  All of those came on a bloop single in the second inning.  It was a regular routine popup that three Angels were chasing when all of a sudden all three just stopped and let the ball fall between them.  The bases were loaded with two outs, so everyone ran, and Jacoby not only cleared the bases but made it to first as well.  It was the first three-run single in postseason history.  He was caught stealing second, though.  He had it stolen in the seventh but overslid the bag and was tagged out.  It was a real shame.  Crisp recorded a successful steal.  Pedroia is hitless in this series but flashed his leather in the fourth last night to make a play that saved a run, not to mention the fact that he was hit with a nasty pitch that got him right on the edge of his shin guard.  That was painful.  I mean, he went down.  But he stayed in the game.  I know I say this all the time, but this is a dirt dog.  Right here.  It’s been a long regular season, but it’s now the postseason, and the postseason is no time to let pain bother you.  Postseason or not, that’s a great attitude and he’s an MVP all the way.  Drew had the day off, but Lowell was in, and he really needs to mind that right hip when he’s on defense.

Needless to say, that was 2008’s most intense game, hands down.  But it was also the strangest.  Twelve innings in an elimination game at home with Beckett on the mound and we couldn’t close the deal.  True, it’s a bigger win for the Angels than it is a loss for us, but it still doesn’t bode well for us.  It doesn’t bode well for us at all.  We need to get this done and get this done now.  It’ll be a rematch tonight between Lackey and Lester and if Lester wins it I say he’s officially the new ace of our staff, at least for 2008.

In other news, the Rays lost to the other Sox last night, 3-5.  That’s a good sign.  Matt Cassel and the Patriots defeated the 49ers, 30-21, after never having won a single game in San Francisco.  So you win some, you lose some.  You snap a winning streak against the Dolphins, you snap a losing streak in San Francisco.  After that loss to the Dolphins I’ll definitely take this win.

MLB.com Images

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