Red Sox Shopping For A Shortstop

Could Boston Be Looking To Land A New Shortstop?

All of Red Sox nation knows that the Boston Red Sox have a problem at shortstop.  Julio Lugo and Nick Green are not the answers for the proverbial hole at the shortstop position, so what can Theo Epstein and the Boston Red Sox do before Jed Lowrie returns in a month?

Wheel and deal baby, wheel and deal.

There are many possible options that are known to be on the radar screen of Boston as it’s no secret that the Sox are looking for a shortstop, with the most pressing issue being defense up the middle. Lugo is showing his age and lack of range nowadays and even with a solid bat, he has become a liability.  Although Green is a good story, he just can’t cut it in the big leagues consistently and that’s why he has been a minor league veteran.  So what do the Red Sox exactly have in mind to fill this void?

Oh, there are many possibilities.

Names have been flying around like peanuts at a baseball game.  If you pay too much attention to the rumors, you might get dizzy.  But let’s simplify the rumors and put them in lamest terms.  Theo Epstein has his eyes on Jack Wilson, Jhonny Peralta and old friends Orlando Cabrera and Alex Gonzalez.

Wilson would be a great fit for the Sox both offensively and defensively, but his price tag would be too high as it would take a pitching prospect or two to land the Pirates captain who also will make about $8 million in 2009.  Peralta has been relegated to third base duties for the Cleveland Indians which proves that the Indians don’t think the 27-year-old can cut it at shortstop.  We stop the discussion on him there.  Cabrera is batting a mere .232 and looks older than Edgar Renteria, ouch.  Last and certaintly not least is Alex Gonzalez.  Gonzalez is a defensive guru and is younger than everyone other than Peralta.  He used to play at Fenway Park and the Red Sox loved him, just not enough to keep.  But it’s because his bat wasn’t as good as former shortstops Nomar Garciaparra, Orlando Cabrera and Edgar Renteria.

So with all the names laid out on the table, who would be the best fit in Boston?  Jack Wilson and Alex Gonzalez make the final cut because they both make the most sense. Boston needs solid defense and character at the shortstop position to help solidify the infield.  Adding a Wilson or Gonzalez could help ease the anxious minds of Red Sox fans who cringe every-time a ball is hit to shortstop.

But be careful what you wish for Red Sox fans as a solution at shortstop would likely divert all attention back to David Ortiz, which could spell bad news for the beloved Big Papi.

Youkilis, Lester Lead Sox To Victory Over Jays

Francona’s Lineup Shakeup Propels Sox Past Blue Jays

With left-hander Ricky Romero on the mound for the Blue Jays, Terry Francona decided that Sunday was a perfect day for a lineup shakeup.  With Dustin Pedroia leading the new-look lineup, the Boston Red Sox took the final game of the series 8-2 at the Rogers Centre.  

Pedroia batted leadoff for the Sox as Boston’s second basemen hit a pivotal three-run home run in the fourth inning to give Boston a 4-1 lead.  It was Pedroia’s first home run since Opening Day as Kevin Youkilis added two blasts of his own to give Youkilis his sixth career multi-homer game as the Boston first basemen batted third in the unique Francona lineup.

Jon Lester (4-5) pitched six strong innings, allowing one run and striking out 12 Blue Jays. Justin Masterson pitched the seventh and eighth as Ramon Ramirez finished off Toronto in the ninth.  Jason Bay also went deep for the Sox as the local nine accumulated four home runs on the afternoon.

The Sox avoided a three-game sweep and now find themselves a half-game back of the Yankees for top spot in the AL East.  Boston now heads to Detroit as Daisuke Matsuzaka looks to get back on
track against the Tigers.

(AP Photo)

Varitek’s Homeruns Lead Sox Past Twins

Sox Win Despite Francona & Varitek Ejections

The Boston Red Sox were riding the bat of Jason Varitek and the arm of Josh Beckett on Thursday afternoon as the Sox took the final game of their series with Minnesota by the final of 3-1.

Varitek hit two home runs for the Sox and that’s all the offense Boston would need as Beckett allowed three hits and one run through seven innings as Boston’s ace struck out eight Twins hitters.  Varitek’s two solo blasts give him ten homeruns for the season as the Boston captain hit 13 homers last season.

The Sox captain was also ejected in the seventh inning after arguing a call from home plate umpire Todd Tichenor.  Tichenor then proceeded to eject Terry Francona in the same sequence after tossing Minnesota’s catcher and manager earlier in the game.

Hideki Okajima settled the Sox down in the next inning by pitching a scoreless eighth as Jonathan Papelbon shut the door in the ninth to record his 13th save of the season.

Boston now heads north of the border as the AL leading Sox take on the Toronto Blue Jays on Friday. Boston knuckleballer Tim Wakefield takes the mound as he will square off against Toronto’s Casey.

(AP Photo)

Clay Buchholz Call-Up On The Horizon?

Red Sox Prospect Pitching Well In Minor Leagues

Clay Buchholz was the topic of trade rumors throughout the offseason and was also the topic of discussion in Spring training.  So now with the 2009 Major League Baseball season almost a quarter of the way complete, what does Buchholz’s future look like in 2009?

I don’t think anybody knows.

One thing is for certain, however, as the 24-year-old is tearing it up in Triple-A Pawtucket. The right-hander took a perfect game into the ninth inning on Monday for the PawSox. 

So with the starting rotation struggling for Terry Francona and the local nine, Red Sox nation should look out for a minor league call up for the right-hander as Buchholz could be donning a Sox uniform in the near future.

Red Sox fall short against Twins

One inning changed the game when Justin Morneu hit a 3 run shot to put the Twins up 5-2.

Ellsbury extended his hitting streak to 21 games and made a dazzling catch in center.

Lester actually pitched pretty well if you take away the 3 run HR.

Twins do in Sox 5-2

Red Sox Hold On To Win At The Metrodome

Joe Mauer & Twins Cannot Complete The Comeback

Mike Lowell and the Boston Red Sox have won five of their last seven games as Brad Penny and Boston held onto a victory at the Metrodome on Memorial Day by the final score of 6-5.

Jacoby Ellsbury extended his hitting streak to 20 games as Boston pounded Francisco Liriano of the Twins early on to stake a 5-1 lead.  A late surge by Joe Mauer and the Twins wasn’t enough as Boston takes the first game of their series in Minnesota.

Full recap.

(AP Photo)

Ortiz Gets First HR of Season

The Sox brought their bats and Ortiz can sleep easier after an 8-3 victory that included HR’s by Tek (2), Ortiz, Bay, & Lowell.  Not to mention Ellsbury caught 12 fly balls tying a major league record for putouts in a 9 inning game.  Brad Penny was good going 6.2 and letting up 2ER on 9 hits.

Sox Win Completes Boston Sports Trifecta

                                 All Three Boston Sports Team Win On Sunday

Thanks to Jason Bay and David Ortiz, the Boston Red Sox mustered enough offensive firepower to take a lead going into the top of ninth as Jonathan Papelbon escaped a tight jam to preserve the Boston 4-3 victory.

Papelbon struck out the side after the Tampa Bay Rays put base runners on first and third with no outs.  Boston took two out of three from their series at Fenway Park as the win on Sunday completed the Boston sports trifecta.

The Boston Celtics, Bruins, and Red Sox all won on Sunday providing fans of the hub with some sore clicker fingers.  All three teams were playing games simaltanouesly as the Bruins won first, followed by the Celtics, and eventually by Papelbon and the Red Sox.

Lester And Sox Get Pounded By Rays

The Tampa Bay Rays continued their dominance of the Boston Red Sox on Saturday as Evan Longoria and company compiled 17 hits through nine innings in order to secure a 14-5 victory over the Sox.
Jon Lester (2-3) couldn’t find the mark against the Rays, especially Longoria, as the 25-year-old southpaw pitched 4 1/3 innings giving up 10 hits and eight runs while striking out six.  Tampa Bay’s third-basemen went 2-for-4 with a homerun and five RBIs to expand his league lead in RBIs to 44.
Rocco Baldelli went 2-for-5 with a homerun for the Sox but it wasn’t enough against Scott Kazmir and the Rays as Tampa’s lefty recorded his fourth win of the season.
Tampa Bay will look to win its seventh straight with Matt Garza on the mound tomorrow night against Boston’s Josh Beckett.

Manny Suspended For Failed Drug Test

          Manny Ramirez Faces 50-Game Suspension

According to ESPN and The Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Manny Ramirez has tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs.

The former Red Sox slugger faces a suspension of 50 games as the penalty is expected to be announced later on Thursday.  The earliest date Ramirez could return from his suspension is July 3.

The times reported that Ramirez is expected to say the positive test results were a result of medication received from a doctor for a personal medical issue. Full story.

(AP Photo)

Masterson And Sox Lose To Pavano And Tribe

Indians Snap Red Sox 9-Game Home Winning-Streak

Just Masteron (2-2) gave up six runs through 6 1/3 innings of work to hand Boston its first loss at home in ten games.  Carl Pavano led the Tribe with a six innings of two-run ball as Aaron Laffey pitched the last three innings for the Indians allowing only two hits to the Bo-Sox hitters.

Tim Wakefield will take the hill for Terry Francona and the Red Sox tomorrow, squaring off against Cleveland’s Jeremy Sowers.  Here’s a full recap of tonight’s game.

(AP Photo)

Sox Complete 2-Game Sweep Of Yankees

Red Sox Enjoy First Visit To New Yankee Stadium

Jason Bay and the Boston Red Sox completed a sweep of the New York Yankees on Tuesday night beating New York 7-3 in their first trip to the new Yankee Stadium.

Bay’s three-run blast in the first inning helped set the tone for Josh Beckett (3-2) and the Sox (17-10) to improve their season record against their rivals to 5-0. 

Beckett allowed three runs and 10 hits over six-plus innings of work. Beckett’s only costly mistake in the outing was a Johnny Damon three-run homerun in the third.  Boston held a 4-3 lead going into the eighth inning when a Jason Varitek sacrifice fly and a Nate Green single helped Boston stake a 6-3 lead.

Jeff Bailey added one more run for the Sox in the ninth with a bases loaded walk.

Hideki Okajimia pitched two innings of hitless and scoreless relief and Takashi Saito shut the door on the Yankees with a scoreless ninth. 

Terry Francona and the Red Sox go-ahead with their treacherous streak of games without a day off as they host the Cleveland Indians at Fenway Park on Wednesday night.

(AP Photo)