It sure was nice to see an almost real Red Sox game on TV. I almost forgot how much I missed it. Just one more day…
If this is what we can expect from the 2011 Red Sox, sign me up, brother! In the final tune up before the real thing Friday afternoon, the Boston Red Sox dismantled the Houston Astros, 10-0. The Sox dropped a five spot on Houston in the top of the first ending the competitive portion of the game before it could begin. Sox starter Josh Beckett threw four hitless innings and the Sox showed a patient approach at the plate in allowing Astros starter Nelson Figueroa to hang himself with four walks. Kind of a shame this one wasn’t for real.
One thing that was for real was the beautifully executed faceplant an Astros fan managed while trying to field a ground ball near the stands in the bottom of the sixth inning. Surviving Grady has your video. This doesn’t come close to The Great Pizza Beaning of ’07, but it’s a nice start to what should be a fun year.
The Sox tie with the Marlins two days ago was indeed their last game as the home team in beautiful City of Palms Park. The Boston Globe’s Nick Carfardo has a history of City of Palms, how it was built, and some of the interesting and funny memories generated there.
Speaking of spring training parks, yesterday I referred to the Sox new spring training ball park as looking kinda “like an airport” based on this rendering. And, yes, I did just quote myself. Anyway, I stand by my assessment of that image, but I’ve come across some new renderings which, to the Red Sox credit, look less airport-like, which when you really sit and think about it for a long long time, can only be a good thing.
Allan at Joy of Sox has done yeoman’s work in assembling just about every prediction on the planet concerning the 2011 baseball season. All the following links are his. 33 of the 45 writers for ESPN picked the Sox to win the World Series with nine more predicting Boston gets there but loses. Only the picks of Jim Caple (White Sox over Phillies) and Eric Karabell (Phillies over Rays) excluded Boston. 18 of 21 writers for Fox, SI, and CBS picked the Sox to win the Series, and in fact SI predicted the Sox will win 100 games in addition to the World Series. The writers at The Hardball Times are on board as well, though to their credit they aren’t nearly as unanimous. Only 7 of their 22 writers predicted the Sox to win the World Series. Other predicted winners (number of writers in parentheses) include the Braves (4), Rays (3), Phillies (2), Dodgers (1), Yankees (1), Tigers (1), Giants (1), Brewers (1), and incompetently but bordering on humorously, the Indians (1).
In the interest of completeness, here are Hardball Talk’s staff predictions, and yes, three out of four of their writers predicted the Red Sox to win the World Series.
Chip Buck at Firebrand of the AL has a player by player preview of the 2011 Red Sox.
My friend often jokes – at least I think he’s joking – the Red Sox are on TV more than the President. At least over the next few weeks that will likely be true. Eight of the first eleven Red Sox games are on national TV, so you have some time before biting the bullet and buying MLB.tv. Over the Monster has the schedule.
Tim Britton of the Providence Journal has a nice piece about new pitching coach Curt Young titled, “Red Sox pitchers appreciate Curt Young’s easy-going approach.” It seems Young is quite the laid back guy and everyone seems to be getting along well.
Finally, this season Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal will unlock the hidden power of the bow tie to cure the world of its ills. Normally I’d make a crack about bow ties here to show off my incredible comedic chops (who but me could come up with a bow tie joke!) but it seems Rosenthal is actually doing this for a good cause, or even a number of good causes, so I’ll just have to keep my comedic chops to myself. For now.