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The Hanley Ramirez Experiment, In General, Must End

By on September 1, 2015 at 8:08pm
ramirez masslive Hanley Ramirez (Photo Credit: http://www.masslive.com)

When you spend $88 million on a player he better be worth every red cent. Hanley Ramirez is not worth the high-priced contract he signed with the Red Sox.

Hanley Ramirez reminds me of a movie from the 1980s starring a young Tom Hanks, called The Money Pit. A newlywed couple buys what they think is their dream house, only to find that it is littered with bad wiring, poor construction, and a renovation that goes south before it even begins. Ramirez has not lived up to all the hype. Last winter Red Sox Nation hoped that 2015 would be the season of our dreams, only to find it had a lost, injury-prone left fielder that cannot seem to hit over .300.

Continue reading The Hanley Ramirez Experiment, In General, Must End »

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Hanley attempting to play the outfield (Charles Krupa/Associated Press)

There is a noticeable difference between a disappointment and a disaster. Dustin Pedroia missing almost half of a season’s worth of games due to injury is a disappointment; Hanley Ramirez playing Left Field is a disaster. In fact, Hanley playing just about any position is a disaster, and he is effectively a Designated Hitter at this point in his career. The Red Sox are locked into David Ortiz at that spot for 2016, so there is a logjam in the immediate future. It is clear that keeping Ramirez in the Outfield is no longer an option going forward, so it was encouraging to learn earlier this week that the Red Sox will be moving him to First Base going forward. The move sets up the team well both in the near and long term, and eliminates one of the biggest issues with the 2015 Red Sox.

Continue reading Hanley Moving to First! Red Sox Defense is Saved! »

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I believe in miracles: Rick Porcello goes seven shutout innings off the DL to beat Chris Sale and the White Sox. (Getty Images)

Did anyone in Boston see Rick Porcello walk across the Charles River recently? Because if Wednesday’s start against the Chicago White Sox was any indication, something mildly miraculous is going on with the embattled righthander.

Going up against Chris Sale and his now MLB-leading 229 strikeouts, Porcello went pitch for pitch with the White Sox ace for seven shutout innings in his return from the 15-day disabled list. When Sale turned it over to the White Sox bullpen in the eighth, Travis Shaw went deep to break a scoreless tie (who said to move Hanley Ramirez to first anyway?) to give Porcello his first win since May 16.

Continue reading Miracles Do Happen! Porcello, Tazawa Outduel Sale, White Sox in Red Sox Shutout »

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Clay Buchholz (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

If it seems like Clay Buchholz has gone mostly unnoticed since the All-Star break, it’s because he has. The Red Sox’ subpar record and recent youth movement have combined to make Buchholz and his future an afterthought in recent weeks, but that is not likely to continue much longer. Of course it helps that he hasn’t taken the mound since July 10th, and seems to be in no rush to return to it. There is something to be said for a pitcher being cautious with an injury to his pitching elbow, but if we go on recent quotes from Buchholz regarding his health, it seems like he could be doing more to get close to pitching than he currently is. All this really does is continue a trend of Buchholz taking an injury way too far, and continue to prove that he is unreliable in every sense of the word.

Plenty has been made of Buchholz’s health record (or lack thereof), including the popular sentiment that the Red Sox should have traded him earlier in this season while he still had value. That ship has sailed, so we’re not going to dwell on it here. However, we can look at the fact that Buchholz has only topped 170 innings pitched in roughly one third of his “full” Major League seasons. As an outside observer, it is impossible to say for certain that Buchholz could have pitched more than he has in those seasons, but that lack of durability has to be caused, at least in part, by an inability to pitch through discomfort. Many, many players are on the record stating that a Major League season is a grind, so a ballplayer needs to be able to deal with the nicks and bumps that come with that grind. No player is likely going to be at 100% through the course of an entire season, but some are able to persevere better than others.

Continue reading Clay Buchholz Has a Hazy Future with Red Sox »

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jimmy preseason

The Patriots will take on the New Orleans Saints in their second preseason game on Saturday night. The game concludes a week that included two days of joint practices. Tom Brady and the Patriots offense shined throughout the two sessions that both teams called valuable. As with the first preseason contest, tonight will feature limited time by the starters with backups playing most of the game. With that in mind, here are five players to watch tonight:

Chris Harper- The rookie wide receiver out of Cal will likely get a lot of chances tonight with Julian Edelman, Brian Tyms, and Aaron Dobson all dealing with injuries. He has looked solid in camp and has come on strong as of late and was productive in joint practices while working with Jimmy Garoppolo. The 5’11”, 175 pound Harper has also had some punt return opportunities in camp.

Brandon Bolden/ James White- Bolden and White have been battling throughout camp to fill the third down back roll that was left open by the departure of Shane Vereen. Bolden is stronger, but White has more speed and quickness. White played in last Thursday’s preseason opener and looked like a player ready to take on the third down role. Bolden has the advantage that he plays on special teams, but if White has another strong outing he could put himself firmly ahead of Bolden.

Malcom Brown- The rookie first round pick is one of several options to fill the middle of the defensive line after Vince Wilfork signed with Houston this offseason. Pairing Brown with 2014 first round pick Dominque Easley is something the Patriots hope to do for the next several seasons.

Jimmy Garoppolo- The potential of Garoppolo starting at least one game this regular season has been well documented. What the Patriots need is for Garoppolo to have a strong game and continue to build toward his possible regular season action. He looked shaky in the first half against Green Bay last week but improved as the game went on. A more consistent performance will help both the Patriots and the young quarterback going forward.

 

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Hanley Ramirez

Coming into the 2015 baseball season, the Boston Red Sox were expected to have a potent offense, especially with the new additions of Hanley Ramirez and Pablo Sandoval. Mike Napoli, who underwent offseason surgery to repair a sleep apnea problem, tore the cover off the ball in spring training by batting .400 with a team high six homers and 11 RBIs.

Unfortunately, inconsistent play from Ramirez and Sandoval, as well as a steep decline from Napoli that seemingly came out of nowhere, combined with a less than stellar starting rotation has the Boston Red Sox in the cellar of the AL East for the third time in four seasons. To make matters worse, the Red Sox payroll was $150,655,500, the highest in franchise history. Continue reading What Could Have Been: The 2015 Red Sox »

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Matt Barnes (Charles Krupa/Associated Press)

Monday’s start against the Indians at Fenway was supposed to be a positive step in the right direction for Matt Barnes. The team and its fans were hoping Barnes could build on his solid pure stuff and minor league performance as a Major League starter. His results were unimpressive out of the bullpen to start the year, and unfortunately there was not much improvement against Cleveland. This lack of concrete production makes Barnes’s future in the Majors hazy, leaving serious doubt about whether he will make his next start with Boston or Pawtucket.

Continue reading Barnes Struggles in First Start for Red Sox »

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