Angels vs Nationals: Week 21's prediction for the World Series

The final month of the season is here, and teams have just 25 or so games left before the postseason. No team has yet to be mathematically eliminated from playoff contention, though Texas can not win their division. The Angels, Orioles and Nationals are all in stable spots, but all of the other contenders still have close races on their minds. In fact, divisions not led by the aforementioned teams are led by no more than two games. It will certainly be a hectic September, so let’s look at what would happen if the playoffs started as Tuesday, September 2, before the day’s games: Continue reading If the Playoffs Started Today – MLB Week 21 »

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Red-Sox-Fans

It’s true. The 2014 season has been a complete nightmare for the Boston Red Sox. As the team’s winning percentage hovers around .440 with a dismal 29-40 record at Fenway Park, it’s no secret that 2014 has already been dismissed as a lost cause.

However, this should only make the 2013 World Series Championship taste even sweeter.

The reason?

This implosion could have easily have been what happened last season as well.

Aside from the departure of Jacoby Ellsbury, the 2014 Red Sox roster ended up looking almost identical to the 2013 Red Sox roster. However, when all is said and done, the 2013 Red Sox will have won around 30 more games than their 2014 counterparts. Continue reading Why 2014 Should Make Red Sox Fans Smile »

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Red Sox Manager John Farrell (Source: Jared Wickerham/Getty Images North America)

In 2013, it seemed like everything Red Sox Manager John Farrell touched turned to gold.  2014 hasn’t nearly been the same, and Wednesday night’s loss to the Blue Jays was no different.

Joe Kelly and the Red Sox were up 2-1 in the 7th in Toronto when Edwin Encarnacion hit a lead off double on Kelly’s 86th pitch.  Farrell had seen enough.  Instead of letting the former Cardinal to work his way through the inning, Farrell called in lefty reliever Tommy Layne to face switch hitting Dioner Navarro.  After a base hit, Farrell opted to make another pitching change — this time for Junichi Tazawa.

Tazawa, whose career ERA against the Blue Jays is now 6.87 with 7 home runs, allowed the fairly predictable to happen: a three-run pitch hit home run off the bat of Danny Valencia. Continue reading John Farrell’s Second Season Unlike his First »

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Rusney Castillo

After losing out on the Jose Abreu sweepstakes and then plummeting to last in the American League East, the Red Sox and their fans needed the acquisition of Rusney Castillo simply for morale’s sake. With Victorino’s injuries and Jackie Bradley Jr.’s sudden inability to hit a baseball, the Red Sox’s outfield grew desperate for reinforcements and Rusney Castillo presented himself as the perfect answer.

Castillo the Player

The 27-year-old Cuban center fielder, inked for 7 years for $72.5 million, is a bit of an enigma when you look into his game, especially when comparing him to the likes of fellow-Roc Sports Nation player, Yasiel Puig, or fellow-Red Sox outfielder Yoenis Cespedes. Of the Cuban outfielder trio, Yasiel Puig is the freak athlete, capable of excelling in all five major facets of the game, while Cespedes is the archetypal power-hitting left fielder. While Puig and Cespedes are 3 and 4 hitters, Castillo is marketed as a leadoff hitter, with his base-stealing ability and line drive producing swing.  So once Castillo makes his entrance into the starting lineup, a lineup with Castillo at leadoff, Pedroia batting second, followed by Puig, Ortiz and Napoli, is actually pretty formidable with all of that firepower. Ideally, Castillo can fill the massive void in centerfield left by Jacoby Ellsbury’s departure. Continue reading Who is Rusney Castillo? Examining Castillo’s Future with Red Sox »

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After getting drilled in the helmet by a R.A. Dickey knuckleball, Mike Napoli follows through on his monstrous 451-foot home run at Rogers Centre. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Chris Young)

Tuesday night’s game against the Toronto Blue Jays started off reasonably well for Mike Napoli, with a first inning single that allowed him to eventually score on a double by Will Middlebrooks.

Then the game took a turn for the worse for the Red Sox first baseman, as he struck out swinging in the third, then was beaned by Blue Jays knuckleballer R.A. Dickey, who uncorked a wild knuckler that struck Napoli in the brim of the helmet.

Ouch.

Napoli would ultimately get his revenge (though he would have to wait until extra innings to do so), when he unloaded on an 0-2 fastball from Toronto reliever Sergio Santos in the 11th inning for a three-run blast that gave the Red Sox a 9-4 lead at the time (good thing, too, as the Blue Jays came back to score three runs in the bottom of the frame). Oh, and did I mention his home run landed in the fifth deck at the Rogers Centre?

So that’s what 451 feet looks like…

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Xander Bogaerts striking out (Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports)

There is no better literal representation for the headache of a season Xander Bogaerts has had for the Red Sox this year than the 89 mile-per-hour changeup the 21-year-old took off the head Friday night.

Bogaerts’ night at the plate said it all, really.  His first at-bat he crushed a Felix Hernandez pitch well over the Monster, but inches foul.  It was close enough for Manager John Farrell to challenge, but much like the Red Sox season as a whole, it didn’t go their way.  Bogaerts struck out later in the at-bat.

In his next time up, King Felix came up and in, beaming Bogaerts in the head and knocking his helmet off.  The one thing the rookie had going for him this season was his health, and now a trip to the 7 day concussion disabled list will change that. Continue reading Struggling Season Continues for Xander Bogaerts »

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Jon Lester (Ezra Shaw, Getty Images)

It’s been three weeks since the infamous Jon Lester trade that sent him and outfielder Jonny Gomes to Oakland for outfielder Yoenis Cespedes, and the Red Sox starting rotation really hasn’t been the same since.

Lester, the team’s best starter and home grown talent, was dealt at the trading deadline in an attempt to bolster the lineup for next year.  Reports are saying that the team is planning to make a hard run at Lester in the off-season, but doing so would likely go against their relatively new philosophy that refuses to sign a pitcher over the age of 30 to a long term contract.

Will the Red Sox sign Lester?

Assuming the team sticks to their business model, Jon Lester will probably be pitching for one of the 29 other teams in baseball, and the Red Sox will rebuild their rotation without Lester for the first time in seven years.  Should they decide to break their previously stated plan, the team would likely be paying over $20 a year for at least five years to keep Lester, who turns 31 in January. Continue reading Red Sox Have Decisions to Make and Money to Spend this Off-Season »

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