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Red Sox Fan

Henry Owens posted by Red Sox Fan

Born July 21, 1992, Henry Owens is left-handed pitcher, currently playing for the Boston Red Sox. In 2011, Owens was selected by Boston in the first round of the MLB draft. At that time, he was studying in California, and attending Edison High School in Huntington Beach. In the same year, Owens was named Pitcher of the Year for Sunset League, and All-American of Louisville Slugger High School. However, his best achievement in that year was winning the State Player of the Year Mr. Baseball award from Cal-Hi Sports. In 91 innings, he struck out 140 batters, and posted 3 saves, earned 1.15 run average, and a 12-1 record.

Professional debut for Owens was in 2012, when he played for minor league low Class A team, Greenville Drive. In 23 games, he managed 47 walks, 130 strikeouts, 4.87 ERA, and a record of 12-5. Additionally, he came fourth for most strikeouts in South Atlantic League. Due to his outstanding performance, Owens was promoted in 2013 to Salem Red Sox, where he managed to post an overall record of 8-5, hitless streak of 19 innings, and 2.92 ERA. With this performance, he was again promoted in July to Portland Sea Dogs, a Double-A team. In the same year, Owens held the 77th rank of the top 100 MLB prospects, and he was considered the eight best prospect by Red Sox.

In 2014, Owens has started with a six-inning no-hitter. In Portland, he has managed a 14-4 record in three full games; he has struck out 126 batters, pitching in 121 innings, with 2.6 as earned run average. This got him a promotion to Pawtucket in August 2014.  Owens is known for his changeup at 80 mph, and fastball at around 92 mph. His curveball is in the lower 70s, and combines well with his fastball. 

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Greg Cunningham

Opening Day 2014 posted by Greg Cunningham

Mitch Albom, in his book The Five People You Meet In Heaven taught us that “…all endings are beginnings. We just don't know it at the time..."  Looking back at the end of the 2012 Boston Red Sox season, little did we know the stage would be set for what many would call the greatest come-back season in Red Sox history.  And without the abysmal ending of 2012, it may never have come to pass.

The season had barely begun, and fans were still trying to learn the names of some of the players, when the character of the 2013 Boston Red Sox was firmly established.  While the echo of explosions could be heard at Fenway Park on April 15th, the reverberations were felt for days, weeks, and months after.  The City of Boston was reminded, and more importantly, reminded itself, that we were strong, we would not cower, we would not give in.  We thanked the real heroes in uniform: the police, fire and EMS departments far and wide who worked tirelessly to provide aid and comfort.  We paused to honor and remember the fatalities: Krystle Campbell, Martin Richard, Lingzi Lu and Sean Collier.  We tried to raise the spirits of those who had lost limbs, and those who almost lost their lives after being wounded.  But Boston refused to act wounded, and rose up as one, unified nation.

In what proved to be a stirring moment of foreshadowing, President Barack Obama provided a call to action: “We come together to celebrate life and to walk our cities and to cheer for our teams [and] when the Sox, then Celtics, then Patriots or Bruins are champions again…the crowds will gather and watch a parade go down Boylston Street…Bet on it!”  The Red Sox did more than bet on it.  They did it.

Continue reading "Opening Day 2014"


Greg Cunningham

Opening Day 2013 posted by Greg Cunningham

I think the Grateful Dead may have put it best:  “What a long, strange trip it’s been.”

The great hope and a 2012 team full of what many called “An All Star Roster” quickly morphed into the team we loved to hate.  The Sox lost a game?  The starting pitcher blamed his golf game.  The manager made some comment about a player to the media?  Such a comment about the manager was returned in kind.  The 2012 Boston Red Sox seemed to epitomize everything wrong with professional sports today: highly paid men playing a game meant to be played by children.

But it was Geoffrey Chaucer, who wrote about the birth of Spring long before baseball was even envisioned as a game: 

When April with his showers sweet with fruit

The drought of March has pierced unto the root
…(So Nature pricks them on to ramp and rage)-
Then do folk long to go on pilgrimage,

Pilgrimages to Fenway Park certainly were not what Chaucer had in mind.  But like salmon returning upstream to start the process of life anew, Red Sox Nation returns to Fenway Park to breathe new life into the stadium.

Players and coaches will tell you they would much rather play as an underdog and not as the favorite.  Underdogs are easier to motivate; favorites can be too sure of themselves.  If this is the case, the 2013 Boston Red Sox must be in the best place they have ever been to begin the season.  Not one Boston Sports Writer picked the team to win the division this year, and only one picked the team to win a wild card spot.  “Underdogs” is an understatement.  And this year, they seem fine with that.

Continue reading "Opening Day 2013"


Charles Bisbee

Seismic Deal Cleans Sox' Slate posted by Charles Bisbee

As you may have heard, Adrian Gonzalez, Josh Beckett, Carl Crawford and Nick Punto were traded to the Dodgers last week for James Loney, pitching prospect Rubby de la Rosa, and an assortment of water-logged baseballs. (I kid, obviously, though baseballs- fresh ones at least- could eventually prove to be more valuable than the players the Sox received).

On paper and from an overall talent perspective, the deal looks atrocious. James Loney is a utility player for a middling squad and the best prospect the Sox received (de la Rosa) projects as a mid-rotation innings-eater. Dan Shaughnessy compared the trade's magnitude to the infamous sale of the Bambino in 1920. 

While the gulf in overall baseball talent is wide, this is a deal that needed to be made. It doesn’t take a chemistry major to have noted the growing toxicity within the Sox clubhouse over the past couple of years, or to understand that Beckett and Crawford in particular were lightning rods for the vitriol directed toward the squad, both from fans and the media. Crawford was always hurt and could never live up to his $142 million contract. Beckett was inconsistent and seemingly lazy. If success were to be reclaimed by these players, it was not going to be in the hub. 

In gutting the nucleus of the squad, the Sox save more than $250 million and give Ben Cherington the opportunity to build his team, instead of continuing to saddle him with Theo Epstein’s band of misfits. This is a clean slate for the Sox. And after the past couple of years, a clean slate may be better than any player the team could have acquired. 

Continue reading "Seismic Deal Cleans Sox' Slate"


Charles Bisbee

Youkilis Trade Needed to be Made posted by Charles Bisbee

Keeping your finger near the pulse of the Boston sports scene while living in Seoul, South Korea is no small task. News is generally filtered through the same outlets, but there is a certain level of detachment. Kevin Youkilis’ departure, for example, didn’t resonate with me in a way it might have were I still living in New England.

Anyway, this trade seemed inevitable for a while. The poorly-disguised bad blood between Youkilis and Bobby Valentine, the emergence of Will Middlebrooks, and the steady deterioration of Youk’s all around game made the decision, if not easy, certainly a clear one for the Sox’ front office. To his credit, Youk handled the situation professionally, thanking the organization and the fans and managing to steer clear of the Valentine topic completely.

Upon returning to Fenway last week, Youk was met warmly by the faithful, who showered him with a chorus of what we know were “Yoooouuuk”s and not “booooo”s. Youkilis doffed his cap in his typically abrupt, all-business way, and proceeded to collect 5 hits and a home run in the three-game series. Youkilis appeared classier next to Valentine, who continued his petulant child routine and blamed Youkilis for their strained relationship.

A change of scenery could do wonders for Youkilis. At 33 years old, he should still have enough lead in his pencil to produce a few more solid years for a surprisingly contending White Sox team. At the same time, it was a move that Boston had to make, given the factors mentioned above. Give new GM Ben Cherington credit for making a difficult decision that, while maybe unpopular, was absolutely necessary. 

Continue reading "Youkilis Trade Needed to be Made"


Richard Kagan

A Tough Loss to Boston posted by Richard Kagan

I was following the score on the internet.  And turned it off with men on 1st and 2nd base with one out in the 9th.

I didn't want to see what could happen.  Now, I know.  Cody Ross, tagged Matt Thornton for a walk-off 3 run shot in the 9th to win it for Boston, 3-1.  I thought, could a 1-0 lead hold up in Fenway Park.  Not likely.  And, this was a wasted performance by the starter, Quintana who threw a 5 hitter and shut down the Red Sox offense.  Till Thornton came out and blew the save.  The Sox then brought in Addison Reed, their closer and he gave up the shot by Ross.  This a tough loss.  It's baseball.  Sometimes you win these type of games, now the ChiSox knows how it feels to be on the other side.  Don't let this happen again.  Close out these type of games.  A team has a few of these losses per season.  Enough.

Continue reading "A Tough Loss to Boston"


Greg Cunningham

Opening Day 2012 posted by Greg Cunningham

Exactly one year ago this week, I wrote the line, “…and if all is well in September, a slow start to the season will be laughed at as the playoffs begin.”  Oh the humanity (and the irony).

It is possible no other team in the history of the Boston Red Sox caused as much heartbreak as did the 2011 team.  A season that began like the Titanic righted itself and sailed along with great promise during a summer that listened to talk of World Series games being played once again at Fenway Park.  But when T.S. Elliot wrote "April is the cruelest month," Red Sox fans would have eagerly agreed, until September brought cruelty that even Elliot could not have envisioned; Fenway Park became a modern day "Wasteland” and lay dormant and barren during the month of October.

As the Fall continued, things didn't get much better in Red Sox nation.  Instead of talk of MVP's and free agent signings, Sox fans spent much of the off season talking about fried chicken and beer; as comfort food may have been the intended scapegoat of 2011, Red Sox Nation watched yet another casualty fall, and bid goodbye to once beloved (and still beloved by many) manager Terry Francona.

Writer and inspirational speaker William Arthur Ward wrote, “Adversity causes some men to break; others to break records.”  We can only hope the men that make up the 2012 Boston Red Sox are more prone to breaking records and not prone to just breaking down.
 

An unfortunate end to a season might be forgiven, as winning often cures all.  But with a lackluster start to 2012, the maelstrom of issues from last season continue to swirl around Fenway like gusts of wind on a cool April afternoon.  

Continue reading "Opening Day 2012"


Joe Halstead

The Detroit TIgers Must Approach This April Like the Playoffs posted by Joe Halstead

It is said- and correctly so- that while a pennant may not be won in April, a pennant may be lost in April.

On this note, the Detroit Tigers have immediate cause for concern. Their early schedule- in the month of April alone- includes two more games against Boston, a three-game home series with the Tampa Bay Rays (April 10-12), a four-game home series against the American League Champion Texas Rangers (April 19-22) and, just to pour a bucket of salt water over the wounds incurred, a three-game series in the Bronx Apr. 27-29.

Tigers manager Jim Leyland is known for using his entire roster liberally. OFers Clete Thomas and Andy Dirks, and 2Bmen Danny Worth, Ramon Santiago and, eventually, Brandon Inge, might see significant playing time.

But, should they?

The Tigers made substitutions in the 2011 post-season out of necessity. They were beat up, and running out of players. Luckily, some of those substitutes stepped up in a big way, such as UT Don Kelly and Santiago.

However, the Tigers are at nearly 100% health, and they need their front line to do battle with the American League's best. 

So, here's hoping that Leyland doesn't tinker with his team too much. Obviously, he wants OF Delmon Young to continue what he's been doing for the Tigers since last August, which is to drive in runs. Surely, Leyland would also like to see one of his second basemen grab the brass ring. So far, all we have are multiple second basemen who play competently enough to hit .250 and turn the double play when necessary.

Ah, maybe, that is, until now. 2B/OF Ryan Raburn had the Spring Training of his life, batting over .400 for a stretch, eventually cooling a bit to a .268 average. However, he still slugged .661, having hit 6 HRs, 2 2Bs and a 3B. That accounts for nine of his 15 hits in the spring.

Continue reading "The Detroit TIgers Must Approach ..."


Joe Halstead

The Detroit TIgers Scratch Out Gutsy Win on Opening Day Versus Boston Red Sox posted by Joe Halstead

It's really refreshing to see the Detroit Tigers win on national televison. Aside from September's telecasts last year, the Tigers usually play just poorly enough to remind ESPN and Fox National to stop carrying Tigers games.

Not so on this chilly but sunny- and sold out- Thursday afternoon.

Justin Verlander cruised along on the strength of a devastating back-door curve ball, mixing in his fastball mostly to keep hitters honest or to get a two-strike count. According to MLB Network's Mitch Williams, Verlander never topped 94 mph.

Cruise control- 8 innings pitched, zero earned runs, 2 hits, 7 strikeouts and a walk. The MVP has returned, although he earned a no-decisoin. Interestingly, it was closer Jose Valverde who notched the win, after blowing his first save opportunity of the 2012 season. Valverde was perfect in 49 save opportunities last year, and in 3 opportunities in the playoffs.

The other Detroit Tiger of note today has to be Austin Jackson, who was 3-5 and, notably, did not strike out a single time. Of course, this is a small sample size, just as small a sample size as if he'd gone 0-4 with 4Ks. It's one game. However, his muted footwork at the plate seems to have led to a faster bat and better pitch selection. AJ looked really, really good.

In fact, it was Jackson who shot a hard grounder just inside third base and past a drawn-in Nick Punto for a walk-off single, scoring pinch runner Danny Worth. The Tigers will need plenty more of this from Jackson if they are to compete in what looks like a more competitive scene throughout Major League Baseball.

Continue reading "The Detroit TIgers Scratch Out Gutsy ..."


Greg Cunningham

Opening Day 2011 posted by Greg Cunningham

Lou Gorman, General Manger of the Boston Red Sox from 1984 to 1993, was asked what he was going to do after negotiations with a player had just broken down.  He replied, “The sun will rise, the sun will set and I’ll have lunch.’’  Somehow, I can hear him saying the same line this week, after one of the worst opening weeks in Red Sox history.  Lou passed away last week, on the morning of the Sox season opener.  What a difference a week makes.  It was just one week ago Red Sox Nation was talking about 100 victories and the best team ever to take the field.  And today, just seven days later, we are looking at a team with a record well below the Mendoza line.

 

This, after so much optimism during the off-season.  As we watched with delight and glee, the Red Sox acquired Adrian Gonzalez, a name so often talked about in these parts, it seems he’s been part of the team for years .  And just when the celebration was winding down about Gonzalez, a late night deal put Carl Crawford in a Red Sox uniform.  Adding to the euphoria was Cliff Lee, sure to sign with the Yankees, until he chose to head to Philadelphia.  Get the duck boats ready!!  Everyone was excited and could not wait for April to arrive.

 

Just a week ago, all this optimism about the Olde Towne Team was enough to bring a smile to even the most pessimistic fan.  And somehow, now six games later, people are worried and scarred.  What if they don’t start hitting?  Maybe the pitching isn’t as good as we thought?  Could the word “Overrated” replace the famous “1918” chant that was finally put to rest seven years ago?    

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Boston Red Sox News

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Dodgers, Nationals are early favorites to win 2015 World Series; Giants rank fifth (Big League

Well, distraught Los Angeles Dodgers fans, here's something that might cheer you up a tad bit after watching your bitter rivals win the World Series — the Dodgers are the early favorites to win the 2015 World Series, according to online sportsbook Bovada . The Washington Nationals share that honor with the Dodgers. Both teams, which were knocked out in the NLDS this season, are listed at 15/2 odds. The San Francisco Giants, whose World Series win hasn't even dried yet, ranked fifth at 12/1. The Detroit Tigers and Los Angeles Angels are just ahead of the Giants, both carrying 10/1 odds. Here's Bovada's complete rundown: Los Angeles Dodgers 15/2 Washington Nationals 15/2 Detroit Tigers 10/1 Los Angeles Angels 10/1 San Francisco Giants 12/1 St. Louis Cardinals 12/1 Kansas City Royals 16/1 Seattle Mariners 18/1 Baltimore Orioles 20/1 Oakland Athletics 20/1 Pittsburgh Pirates 20/1 Atlanta Braves 22/1 Boston Red Sox 22/1 New York Yankees 22/1 Cleveland Indians 25/1 Cincinnati Reds 33/1 Tampa Bay Rays 33/1 Texas Rangers 33/1 Toronto Blue Jays 33/1 Chicago White Sox 40/1 Milwaukee Brewers 40/1 New York Mets 40/1 Chicago Cubs 50/1 Miami Marlins 50/1 San Diego Padres 66/1 Philadelphia Phillies 75/1 Arizona Diamondbacks 100/1 Colorado Rockies 100/1 Houston Astros 100/1 Minnesota Twins 100/1 For context's sake, we'll point out that the Dodgers topped the list when Bovada released its day-after-the-World Series odds last year too. There were listed at 7/1. The Giants were 18/1. We all know how both of those worked out. More MLB coverage from Yahoo Sports: - - - - - - - Mike Oz is an editor for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at mikeozstew@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @MikeOz [read full article]

From Yahoo Sports

Pablo Sandoval dons costume panda head after getting record hit and winning World Series (Big Leag

  KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Pablo Sandoval put the souvenir in his back pocket, the baseball used in the commission of his 26th postseason hit Wednesday night during Game 7 of the World Series. He put the costume panda head over his own head, a symbol of Sandoval going with the flow after the San Francisco Giants beat the Kansas City Royals 3-2 and won the World Series for the third time in five years. Sandoval's double to left in the eighth inning did not figure in the scoring, nor did it make a difference in Series MVP voting for Sandoval or Hunter Pence, who both hit prolifically but couldn't match the contribution of left-hander Madison Bumgarner. "If not for them, my teammates, we wouldn't be here," Sandoval said. "We've put in a lot of work together." Sandoval kept the baseball because it signifies a personal milestone, but it also might be his final hit in a Giants uniform. Sandoval has put in six-plus seasons with San Francisco, and he's hitting the free-agent market at any moment. The Boston Red Sox are said to be interested, but the Giants are, too. It's just a matter of general manager Brian Sabean finding the will and the money to compete with the other suitors. Giants' chief executive officer Larry Baer indicated Sandoval would be a priority. "We'll do the best we can, and up till now, the best we can has been to secure our guys," Baer said. "The guys we've really wanted to re-sign, we have." [read full article]

From Yahoo Sports

Dodgers, Nationals are early favorites to win 2015 World Series; Giants rank fifth (Big League

Well, distraught Los Angeles Dodgers fans, here's something that might cheer you up a tad bit after watching your bitter rivals win the World Series — the Dodgers are the early favorites to win the 2015 World Series, according to online sportsbook Bovada . The Washington Nationals share that honor with the Dodgers. Both teams, which were knocked out in the NLDS this season, are listed at 15/2 odds. The San Francisco Giants, whose World Series win hasn't even dried yet, ranked fifth at 12/1. The Detroit Tigers and Los Angeles Angels are just ahead of the Giants, both carrying 10/1 odds. Here's Bovada's complete rundown: Los Angeles Dodgers 15/2 Washington Nationals 15/2 Detroit Tigers 10/1 Los Angeles Angels 10/1 San Francisco Giants 12/1 St. Louis Cardinals 12/1 Kansas City Royals 16/1 Seattle Mariners 18/1 Baltimore Orioles 20/1 Oakland Athletics 20/1 Pittsburgh Pirates 20/1 Atlanta Braves 22/1 Boston Red Sox 22/1 New York Yankees 22/1 Cleveland Indians 25/1 Cincinnati Reds 33/1 Tampa Bay Rays 33/1 Texas Rangers 33/1 Toronto Blue Jays 33/1 Chicago White Sox 40/1 Milwaukee Brewers 40/1 New York Mets 40/1 Chicago Cubs 50/1 Miami Marlins 50/1 San Diego Padres 66/1 Philadelphia Phillies 75/1 Arizona Diamondbacks 100/1 Colorado Rockies 100/1 Houston Astros 100/1 Minnesota Twins 100/1 For context's sake, we'll point out that the Dodgers topped the list when Bovada released its day-after-the-World Series odds last year too. There were listed at 7/1. The Giants were 18/1. We all know how both of those worked out. More MLB coverage from Yahoo Sports: - - - - - - - Mike Oz is an editor for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at mikeozstew@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @MikeOz [read full article]

From Yahoo Sports

Major League Baseball roundup (Reuters)

(The Sports Xchange) - Kevin Youkilis, a three-time All-Star known affectionately as Yoooouuuuk in Boston and "the Greek God of Walks" in the book "Moneyball," announced his retirement Thursday. The 35-year-old was limited to 21 games in Japan last season due to plantar fasciitis. Youkilis spent most of his 10-year major-league career in Boston, where he was part of World Series champions in 2004 (as a rookie) and 2007. - - The Red Sox re-signed right-hander Koji Uehara to a two-year contract on Thursday. The deal was reported by WEEI.com to be worth $18 million. ... [read full article]

From Yahoo Sports


Red Sox decline option on Breslow (The Associated Press)

BOSTON (AP) -- The Red Sox have declined to exercise their $4 million option on left-handed reliever Craig Breslow. [read full article]

From Yahoo Sports

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