Results tagged ‘ Jacoby Ellsbury ’

The Governors’ Cup Returns to Rhode Island

After waiting 28 years, PawSox fans have been rewarded. With a 4-1 win over the Charlotte Knights Thursday evening, the Pawtucket Red Sox proved they were the best team in the International League in 2012 and won their first Governors’ Cup in nearly three decades.

Not only was the win over Charlotte the club’s first championship since defeating the now defunct Maine Guides in 1984, it was also the first post-season series sweep in franchise history. You could make a strong argument that the PawSox played some of their best baseball of the entire season during the playoffs. Here’s the proof:

  • Pawtucket finished the post-season with a 6-1 record.
  • The pitching staff combined for a sparkling 2.01 ERA (14 ER/62.2 IP).
  • In the last six games, Pawtucket starters combined to go 4-0 with a 1.37 ERA (6 ER/39.1 IP).
  • In seven playoff games, PawSox batters combined for 10 home runs, 10 doubles, and three triples.
  • The PawSox outscored the Knights 13-3 in three games.

Here’s what it looked like on the field Thursday night following the final out.

Enough can’t be said about the work of manager Arnie Beyeler. The second-year PawSox skipper constantly dealt with a changing roster that, in total, featured 69 players — one shy of the franchise record.

In two years in Pawtucket, Arnie has won a North Division title and now a Governors’ Cup. From my time spent around Arnie and our 1-on-1 conversations (both on-air and off), I can tell you that he is the perfect example of how hard work pays off.

After more than five months and 150 games, it’s awfully difficult sum up a season and fully appreciate all that happened. Let’s face it, there has been plenty to celebrate in 2012 in addition to a Governors’ Cup championship:

  • Mauro Gomez was named International League MVP.
  • Jose Iglesias and Ryan Lavarnway were named post-season All-Stars.
  • We were able to watch Will Middlebrooks crush it for all of April.
  • People in Pawtucket fell in love with Pedro Ciriaco before anyone else.
  • PawSox team president Mike Tamburro was inducted into the International League Hall of Fame.
  • Lars Anderson and Jason Repko each made SportsCenters’ Top-10 Plays.
  • The beautiful statue Ben Mondor was unveiled inside Mondor Gardens.
  • Big Leaguers like Jacoby Ellsbury, Clay Buchholz, Carl Crawford, and Cody Ross all wore a PawSox jersey.

The remaining members from the PawSox Opening Day roster (left to right): Tony Thomas, Che-Hsuan Lin, Alex Wilson, Will Inman, Alex Hassan, Jason Repko, Nate Spears, Tony Pena, Jr.

The PawSox have a chance to add another highlight to the list with a win Tuesday night in Durham in the Triple-A National Championship Game against either Reno or Omaha.

Both on-air and in this blog, it has been a pleasure bringing PawSox baseball to you in 2012. Your loyal readership always gives me a reason to type and constantly reminds me how fortunate I am to be in this position.

Over the years you’ve listened to some of the most talented broadcasters in baseball come through Pawtucket, and living up to the standards they set has been the greatest — and most fulfilling — challenge of my career.

Thank you for making PawSox baseball on the radio part of your summer and for bringing me with you in the car, in your home, and everywhere else in between.

What a way to start my stay in Pawtucket.



Arnie Beyeler, Mike Tamburro, and PawSox general manager Lou Schwechheimer getting drenched during the trophy celebration on the field.

Reactions on Twitter to Johnny Pesky’s Passing

As a baseball fan from St. Louis, I won’t pretend to fully comprehend what the beloved Johnny Pesky meant to Boston and Red Sox fans around the globe. That said, when I first heard the news of Mr. Pesky’s passing Monday afternoon at the age of 92, I stopped in my tracks.

I’ve never heard a bad word spoken of Mr. Pesky, and, judging by the chatter on Twitter, many feel the same way. Here’s a small sample:

Jacoby Ellsbury (@JacobyEllsbury): RIP Johnny Pesky. You will be missed in the clubhouse and by #RedSoxNation.

Keith Olbermann (@KeithOlbermann): Words cannot adequately describe the loss of Johnny Pesky, who has died after a lifetime of being genuinely, generously terrific to people.

Jared Carrabis (@Jared_Carrabis): The most impressive thing about Johnny Pesky has to be that not one bad thing has ever been said or written about him. And this is BOSTON.

ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo): Via ELIAS: Red Sox Johnny Pesky died today (age 92). He is only player in MLB history to lead league in hits in each of his 1st 3 seasons.

BostonTweet (@BostonTweet): Roses outside Fenway Park for Johnny Pesky.

The “Teammates” statue, located outside of Gate B at Fenway Park, depicts the longtime friendship of Ted Williams, Bobby Doerr, Dom DiMaggio, and Johnny Pesky. (@BostonTweet)

Mike Lowell (@mikelowell25): My prayers go out to Johnny Pesky, a true “man” of baseball. Your stories & attitude always made me smile. Rest in peace. We all love you.

Pete Abraham (@PeteAbe): Sad as the Johnny Pesky news is, the man served his country, was a heck of a player, made so many friends + lived to 92. What a life.

Jon Lester (@JLester31): Just heard we lost one of the good ones today. A great player and an even better man, rest in peace Johnny, thank you for the memories.

Mark Feinsand (@BloggingBombers): The Yankees remember the late Johnny Pesky before the game.

A classy move by the Yankees last night prior to first pitch in the Bronx against Texas. (@BloggingBombers)

Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN): Not many people in baseball history have given more to the sport than Johnny Pesky did, through his lifetime.

Lou Merloni (@LouMerloni): Johnny Pesky thank you for always being there for me, making me a better player and a better person. I’ll never forget you. RIP

Peter King (@SI_PeterKing): RIP Johnny Pesky. One of the great baseball players and personalities of our time.

Mia Hamm (@MiaHamm): Johnny Pesky, a true gentleman. RIP # 6

Over parts of his eight seasons playing for the Red Sox (through June 1952), Pesky hit .313 with 196 doubles, 46 triples, 13 home runs, 361 RBI, and 776 runs scored. He remains among Boston’s career leaders in batting average (7th), on-base percentage (7th, .401), runs scored (10th) and at-bats per strikeout (3rd, 21.61). (Getty Images)

Although it’s not listed at the top of his resume, Mr. Pesky managed the Pawtucket Red Sox in 1990 from June 27 – September 3.

The PawSox send their condolences and prayers to the Pesky family, and are honored to have been associated with not just a terrific baseball player, but also an outstanding man.



Buchholz, Ellsbury Rehab with PawSox Sunday

After seven innings of work last night, Jacoby Ellsbury finished 0-for-4 with a strikeout looking, two ground-outs, and a foul pop-out. Today the All-Star outfielder will once again lead off for the PawSox and play center field.

He’s joined this afternoon by Boston teammate Clay Buchholz who, according to, “is on track to return to Boston’s rotation during a three-game series on the road vs. the Rays that begins on Friday.”

In 35 career appearances (34 starts) with the PawSox, Buchholz is 12-7 with a 2.77 ERA with 61 walks and 189 strikeouts. (Kelly O’Connor)

Scheduled to start and pitch three innings today, Buchholz last pitched for the Red Sox on June 19 before suffering a stomach illness which resulted in a short stay at the hospital and being placed on the disabled list.

Similar to the last day of school, today is the final game before the three-day All-Star break and will also be televised on NESN. First pitch this afternoon from McCoy is set for 1:05, radio pre-game coverage kicks off at 12:50.

Talk with you then.



Jacoby Ellsbury Rehabs with PawSox

Following two rehab outings with Double-A Portland, Red Sox All-Star Jacoby Ellsbury begins a rehab stint with the PawSox tonight from McCoy Stadium where he will leadoff and play center field.

Friday night Ellsbury went 1-for-4 with a double and scored a run in what turned out to be a play at the plate. Prior to a scheduled day off Thursday, Ellsbury went 1-for-5 Wednesday night with the Sea Dogs. Before his time with Portland, he played in seven games in Ft. Myers with the Gulf Coast League Red Sox.

Ellsbury, who hasn’t played since April 13, finished second in the 2011 A.L. MVP voting after hitting .321 with 32 homers and 105 RBI. (Kelly O’Connor)

It seems like forever ago, but in a two-hit effort on Fenway Park’s Opening Day, Ellsbury suffered a dislocated shoulder after Tampa Bay shortstop Reid Brignac landed on his shoulder. He’s been sidelined from Boston ever since.

Carl Crawford was speculated to join Ellsbury in Pawtucket, but a tweaked left groin has delayed his rehab assignment. According to, Bobby Valentine has “characterized the decision to stop Crawford’s current rehab stint as preventative.”

Meanwhile, yet another All-Star, Clay Buchholz, is scheduled to start Sunday’s game at McCoy against Syracuse. According to the same article,  Buchholz “is on track to return to Boston’s rotation during a three-game series on the road vs. the Rays that begins on Friday.”

Buchholz last pitched for the Red Sox on June 19 before suffering a stomach illness which resulted in a short stay at the hospital and being placed on the disable list.



Red Sox Farmhands Selected to Futures Game

The Red Sox will be represented by two young promising prospects at the 2012 SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game held on July 8 at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City.

Right-handed pitcher Matt Barnes (U.S. Team) and shortstop Xander Bogaerts (World Team), both with High-A Salem, have been selected to represent the Red Sox organization at the game. The PawSox will also be represented at the event by manager Arnie Beyeler who has been selected as one of the coaches for the World Team.

“I’m very excited,” Arnie said from the visiting clubhouse in Syracuse today. “I feel honored to be selected. It should be a lot of fun to get to a big league ballpark and spend time with some real talented young players.”

Barnes, 22, was taken by the Red Sox with the 19th overall pick last June out of the University of Connecticut. He began the season with Single-A Greenville where he flat out dominated. He went 2-0 in five starts and compiled a microscopic 0.34 ERA (1 ER/26.2 IP) while walking four and fanning 42. Numbers that resembled a video game more than anything else, he allowed just 12 hits.

Barnes has struck out 95 batters in 72 2/3 professional innings pitched (Kelly O’Connor).

Barnes was then promoted to High-A Salem where in eight starts he’s gone 5-1 with a 1.37 ERA (7 ER/46.0 IP) with eight walks and 53 punch outs.  With the Salem Red Sox he’s been paired with the 19-year-old Bogaerts who hit .293 over the first half of the season.

One of only two 19-year-olds in the Carolina League, some argue that Bogaerts should be the Red Sox No. 1 prospect because he may have the highest ceiling. At 6-foot-3, he could wind up being too big for a shortstop, but for now that’s the only defensive position he’s played in his young pro career.

Ranked by Baseball America as the Red Sox No. 2 prospect, Bogaerts clubbed 16 homers as an 18-year-old with Single-A Greenville in 2011. (Kelly O’Connor)

For the complete rosters, click here. Current Red Sox players to suit up in the Futures Game include:

  • Josh Beckett
  • Clay Buchholz
  • Aaron Cook
  • Carl Crawford
  • Jacoby Ellsbury
  • Adrian Gonzalez
  • Kevin Youkilis
  • Will Middlebrooks

Enjoy the game, and keep an eye out for Arnie who will probably get an inning or two coaching third base.



Cape League Gets Going, So Does Ciriaco

Although it seems like forever ago, I’m not all that far removed from my summer on the Cape broadcasting games for the Bourne Braves in 2008. Last night, the Cape Cod Baseball League kicked off yet another season that promises to be a success.

When you really think about it, the Cape League might be the best blend of talent plus love for the game on display anywhere in the country. Every young hopeful is playing for free in hopes of either being discovered or further increasing their stock.

Partially funded by Major League Baseball, the Cape League has produced such stars as Jeff Bagwell, Jacoby Ellsbury, Normar Garciaparra, Tim Lincecum, Frank Tomas, Evan Longoria, Buster Posey, Kevin Youkillis, and hundreds more.

As you keep up the with PawSox this summer, you might want to spend a couple of minutes each week checking in on what’s happening along the Cape. You never know who might be the next star to make a name for himself.

PawSox Notebook:

  • Impressive work last night by Doug Mathis, Daniel Bard, and Garrett Mock. The trio of right-handers held the Bisons scoreless over nine innings and combined to allow a mere four hits. It marked the sixth shutout win of the season for Pawtucket.
  • Despite walking the first man he faced, Bard saw the minimum over two innings and struck out the final four batters – one looking. Last night marked Bard’s first outing without allowing a run, and pitching more than one inning.
  • Pedro Ciriaco is now riding a 10-game hitting streak (13-for-45), and is nearing his club-best streak of 12 games he set in May.
  • Although we have not received official word confirming the move, is reporting that outfielder Cody Ross “plans on starting a Minor League rehab assignment on Friday for Triple-A Pawtucket.” Ross fractured a bone in his left foot when batting.
  • Former PawSox pitcher, and current Red Sox reliever, Andrew Miller, is part of the Cape League’s 13th Hall of Fame class, scheduled for induction on November 10 at the Chatham Bars Inn. Miller pitched for Chatham and posted a 2-0 record with a 2.03 ERA in 2004 and a 6-0 mark with a 1.65 ERA in ’05. That year, Miller was named the league’s outstanding pro prospect, co-pitcher of the year, and college summer baseball’s player of the year.

The PawSox and Bisons continue their series tonight from Buffalo with righty Justin Germano (7-3, 2.56) getting the start for Pawtucket. Coming off a nine-inning complete game shutout, Germano will be opposed by right-hander Dylan Owen (3-3, 5.19).

First pitch tonight from Coca-Cola Field is set for 7:05, pre-game coverage begins at 6:50.

Talk with you then.



Miller has spent parts of seven seasons in the Major Leagues, the last two with Boston, after being drafted sixth overall in 2006 by Detroit. (Kelly O’Connor)

Darnell McDonald Rehabs with PawSox

After straining his right oblique earlier this month, Red Sox outfielder Darnell McDonald joins the PawSox and tonight starts his rehab in Pawtucket.

Maybe most known this season for taking the mound – and the loss – in the Red Sox 17-inning affair with Baltimore on May 6, McDonald is batting .179 with two home runs and eight RBI in 26 games for the Sox this season.

A former 1st Round selection by the Orioles in 1997, McDonald hit soft toss on Tuesday, followed by batting practice Wednesday. He’s eligible to come off the disabled list as soon as Sunday.

When McDonald suffered the loss to Baltimore DH Chris Davis, it marked the first time two teams used position players to pitch in the same game since Oct. 4, 1925. Then, Hall of Famers George Sisler of the St. Louis Browns and Ty Cobb of the Detroit Tigers worked in the second game of a doubleheader on the final day of the season. (Steven Senne/AP)

Although no Red Sox or PawSox fan ever wants to see a Boston player placed on the disabled list, one bright spot surrounding McDonald’s injury was that it resulted in Pawtucket first baseman Mauro Gomez receiving his first career Major League call-up. Recently back with the PawSox, Gomez went 0-for-2 in two games with Boston.

The Red Sox outfield has been saddled by countless injuries this season. Jacoby Ellsbury (shoulder), Carl Crawford (wrist/elbow), Cody Ross (foot), and Ryan Sweeney (concussion) are all currently on the mend. Don’t forget about fan-favorite Ryan Kalish who continues to work back from neck and shoulder surgeries as well.

The PawSox play Game 2 against Toledo tonight from McCoy where righty Justin Germano (4-3, 2.98) will be opposed by Mud Hens’ righty Jacob Turner (0-0, 4.76). First pitch is set for 7:05, pre-game coverage begins at 6:50.

Talk with you then.



VIDEO: Interviews with Jason Repko & Will Inman

The news of today (and last night) is the call-up of PawSox outfielder Che-Hsuan Lin to Boston to replace Jacoby Ellsbury who dislocated his shoulder and could miss up to six weeks. At this time we have not received any official confirmation from the Red Sox that this move has happened, but Lin’s agent has confirmed the move.

The PawSox open a brief weekend sereis in Buffalo today following last night’s 4-3 series win in Rochester. The victory marked the first series win for Pawtucket and the club’s first win in a 1-run contest.

We’ve been in our hotel rooms for less than 10 hours before we need to soon jump back on the bus and head to Coca-Cola Field for today’s game against the Bisons. While I’m doing some quick prep and getting ready to leave, here are two video interviews I did recently in Rochester with PawSox outfielder Jason Repko and reliever Will Inman.


First pitch this afternoon from Buffalo is at 1:05, pre-game coverage begins at 12:50. Following the game we’ll have an hour of PawSox Insider as well.

Talk with you then,



Gomez Goes Deep as PawSox top Durham, 6-5

Forget Opening Day, my first PawSox game of 2012 is in the books.  So maybe a Spring Training minor league game isn’t quite the same as a regular season affair, but it was still a blast to see live baseball again and get my first taste of Fenway South.

The most obvious storyline about today’s PawSox game was that Red Sox right-hander Alfredo Aceves got the start for Pawtucket.  Having an established big leaguer who can really pitch start a minor league game played on a nondescript backfield is definitely a contrast, but one that’s fun to watch. Aceves picked up the win despite getting knocked around: seven hits including four doubles.  Overall he gave up three runs and left some pitches up, but he was still a pleasure to see live.

(Above) Aceves warming up prior to the fifth inning.  He worked with catcher Matt Spring who appeared in three games with the PawSox last year. While in the dugout following the sixth inning, Spring complimented Aceves on his communication.

Kevin Bloes, the manager of the Double-A Portland Sea Dogs, is doing the managing for the PawSox games while Pawtucket manager Arnie Beyeler is assisting the Red Sox coaching staff in big league camp.  I talked with Boles after the game this afternoon and when I asked about Aceves he described him as a pitcher with “plus commanded who has life to his fastball and who can change speeds well.”

Offensively, the biggest eye-opener for me was the bat of Mauro Gomez.  The former Gwinnett Brave connected on the first pitch see saw today and blasted a no-doubter over the left field fence.  Now the new PawSox’ first baseman, Gomez was a force last year with Gwinnett, finishing the year batting for average and power (.304/24 HR/90 RBI).

While it was Gomez’ bat that initially opened eyes today, he made an outstanding play at first in the early innings.  The Durham batter hit the ball sharply to Will Middlebrooks at third base and, as a result, Middlebrooks’ throw to Gomez at first was high and slightly down the line.  Gomez – wh0 has a thick, stocky build – sprung into the air, stretched his arm above his head to make the catch, and then slapped the tag on the runner a split-step before his foot hit the bag.  I asked Boles about the play and, as impressed as he was with it, he said he hasn’t seen enough of Gomez to know if that type of play was out of the ordinary for him.  Nevertheless, in the nine innings I’ve seen him play, he’s better defensively than I initially thought.

(Above) Will Middlebrooks at bat in the first inning.  The Red Sox No. 1 Prospect (Baseball America) finished the day 1-for-3 with a single.


  • Che-Hsuan Lin, the track star from Taiwan and current Red Sox outfield prospect, is pretty impressive up close.  I had never seen him in person and was surprised to see that he’s well built and doesn’t have the slim build we imagine most speedsters having.
  • I had a chance to speak with newly acquired right-hander John Maine during today’s game (he was in the stands).  He’s very well-spoken and describes himself as an “East Coast guy.”  John and his wife make their off-season him in Charlotte and one month ago they welcomed their first child, a baby girl named Reese.
  • Harper has proven to be an asset for the Red Sox and spends Spring Training scouting, among other things, the pick off-moves of opposing minor league pitchers. (AP)

    One of the highlights for me today was speaking with Red Sox base-stelaing legend, Tommy Harper.  Now in his 10th season as a player development consultant with the Sox, Harper held the Red Sox’ single-season record for stolen bases in a season (54 in 1973) until 2009 when former PawSox outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury set the new club mark with 70.  Mr. Harper gave me a 20 minute crash course in the art of base stealing which was a really fun moment for me.  He left me with this piece of knowledge: “a good base stealer reads [the pitcher] – he doesn’t guess.”

  • While I was writing my first blog around noon today from the press box at JetBlue Park, I looked to my left and spotted Jonathan Mayo, the (great) minor league writer for  He was kind enough to let me interview him for about 10 minutes after the PawSox game and I plan on posting that audio interview here later this evening/early tomorrow.  He was very kind and humble to talk with and had some terrific insights on the Red Sox minor league system.

Time to grab some dinner and prepare for my “road trip” to Port Charlotte tomorrow where I’ll watch the PawSox play Durham at their place.  We’ll chat again soon.



Marking My Calendar

Now that I’ve gone 48 hours without meeting another member of Pawtucket’s finest, I can begin to set my sights on some upcoming events surrounding the PawSox that I’m looking forward to.

1. Baseball Writers Association of America Dinner

This will be a first for me and I can’t wait to take it all in.  The Baseball Writers Association of America, which has chapters in each Major League city, was formed in 1908 to work with baseball officials to improve working conditions for writers at the nation’s big league ballparks.

On January 19, the 73rd annual Boston Baseball Writers Dinner will be held at the Westin Copley Place Hotel in Boston.  The Red Sox award recipients include:

  • Jacoby Ellsbury — Thomas A. Yawkey Memorial Award (Red Sox MVP)
  • Alfredo Aceves — Red Sox Pitcher of the Year, Unsung Hero Award
  • Jonathan Papelbon — Red Sox Fireman of the Year
  • Dustin Pedroia — Jackie Jenson Award (Spirit and determination)
  • Josh Reddick — Harry Agganis Memorial Award (Red Sox Rookie of the Year)
  • Jarrod Saltalamacchia — Tommy McCarthy Memorial Good Guy Award
  • Ryan Lavarnway  — Greg Montalbano Memorial Minor League Award
  • Ken Ryan — Former Boston Red Sox Player Award
  • Tommy Hottovy — Lou Gorman Award (Passion and Persistence)

Others being honored that I have interest in include Texas Rangers’ GM Jon Daniels and former St. Louis Cardinals manager Tony La Russa.

I’ll be sure to take plenty of photos and dedicate a blog post following the event.

2. Hot Stove League Party at McCoy Stadium

On Friday, January 13th from 6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. the PawSox will hold the 35th Annual Pawtucket Red Sox Hot Stove League Party at McCoy Stadium.  I’ll be in attendance and hope to see you there as well.  This event is FREE to the public and will be held inside the hallowed confines of the McCoy clubhouse and batting tunnels. No RSVP is necessary.

PawSox manager Arnie Beyeler will give fans a preview of what the 2012 club will look like. Several PawSox players and top Red Sox prospects like RHP Alex Wilson, C Luis Exposito, OF Alex Hassan, and RHP Brandon Duckworth are expected to attend the party and will be available for photos and autographs.

Food and drinks will be served.

3. Media Day at McCoy Stadium

Unlike the Hot Stove Party, this event in early April is not open to the public.  Local Rhode Island and Boston media will descend on McCoy Stadium and will have their first chance to meet the 2012 PawSox players and staff.

If the weather is nice all the players will be dressed in their home whites and will be interviewed on the field.  If we get rain, the event will move inside the clubhouse.  No matter the weather, I’ll get plenty of pictures and post them here on the blog.

4. PawSox Welcome Home Luncheon

Now an annual tradition created by team president Mike Tamburro, the Welcome Home Luncheon is open to the public and will be held the day before Opening Day on April 4.  The site will be announced soon.

The event, which is largely put together by the Northern Rhode Island Chamber of Commerce, will run from approximately noon – 1:30 p.m. and will feature all of the PawSox players, manager Arnie Beyeler, and a featured speaker that has not yet been announced.

Information about the event can be found on our website next month, but tickets can only be purchased through the Chamber.

5. Spring Training

I saved the best for last.  I’ll have the great opportunity to get a first-hand look at JetBlue Park, the new $78 million Fenway South complex.

Two instantly recognizable features at the new ballpark are the Green Monster and manual scoreboard – the exact one that was once at Fenway Park. It was replaced before the 2001 season and held in storage in South Dakota (where else?).

I’ll be in Fort Myers for a week near the middle or end of March and promise to not spend all my time at the beach.  I’ll be outfitted with a digital audio recorder and a Flip video camera to gather plenty of interviews to share both on here and at

Mark your calendars, Opening Day is exactly three months (91 days) away.



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