Results tagged ‘ Jim Rice ’

PawSox Face Some Big-Name Orioles in Sarasota

by Josh Maurer

Oftentimes during spring training, when established Major League players want to get in some extra work on the mound or take extra at-bats to work on some things at the plate they go take part in one of the minor league games.  On Monday, Will chronicled how David Ortiz and Junichi Tazawa (and others) played in the PawSox game at JetBlue.

Tuesday afternoon when the PawSox headed north to Sarasota to take on the Norfolk Tides (Orioles Triple-A affiliate), they ran into some important pieces of the Baltimore  big-league roster in a game played at the Buck O’Neill Complex at Twin Lakes Park (about a 15-minute drive from the Os spring home Ed Smith Stadium).

outside of Buck O'Neill complex

The Buck O’Neill Complex is a bit of a drive away from the Orioles MLB spring training home in Sarasota

Ubaldo Jimenez pitched 5 2/3 shutout innings against a lineup that feature PawSox infielder Sean Coyle, among others. Baltimore catcher Matt Wieters, infidlers Chris Davis and Pedro Alvarez and outfielder Hyun Soo Kim all batted against a Pawtucket pitching staff that included William Cuevas and Edwin Escobar.

Will and I were fortunate enough to be at the contest in Sarasota, and here is a photo/video recap of the afternoon:

Jimenez pitches closeup

Ubaldo Jimenez and his familiar funky delivery started the game for the Norfolk team.

Ubaldo Jimenez pitches

Jimenez shut out the PawSox for 5 2/3 innings on Tuesday afternoon.

Sean Coyle on deck

Sean Coyle was in the lineup playing 2nd base for Pawtucket against the Tides.

Ron Johnson on back field

Former PawSox manager and current Norfolk Tides skipper Ron Johnson presided over the festivities for the Orioles side.

Pedro Alvarez and Kim

Several big-name Orioles played big roles in the contest on Tuesday, including Hyun Soo Kim and Pedro Alvarez.

Chris Davis batting

Chris Davis takes a cut in the middle innings against PawSox reliever Mike Augliera.

Edwin Escobar, a man who has spent a large portion of the past two seasons pitching for the PawSox, entered the game in the middle innings and got to face both Davis and Wieters.  Here is a video clip of Escobar retiring Davis on a fielder’s choice:

And here is Wieters lining a single to right against Edwin in the same inning:

-We have been very fortunate to get the opportunity to interview some great guests during our time in Fort Myers this spring.  On Monday, I sat down with new Red Sox pitching ace David Price and talked about, among other topics, his impressions of Henry Owens and Brian Johnson.

Tuesday morning Will caught up with PawSox Hall of Famer-to-be Jim Rice, and chatted with the Red Sox great about his impressions of the current Boston outfield situation.

Finally, here is a video interview with Red Sox reliever Noe Ramirez, who has had a strong spring and is in the mix for a big-league bullpen spot to start the season (especially after the injury to Carson Smith on Monday).

-Earlier on Tuesday back at the JetBlue Complex, Rick Porcello threw a bullpen session with Pawtucket pitching coach Bob Kipper standing in the batter’s box as a “dummy” hitter.

Porcello pitches to Kipper

Bob Kipper standing in the batter’s box as he worked with Rick Porcello during a bullpen session on Tuesday morning – good form!

Porcello is expected to pitch on Wednesday during the PawSox game on the backfields.  We will bring you a recap of his outing, as well as the rest of the game information, tomorrow afternoon here on “45 Miles From Fenway.”

Thanks so much for reading, we will talk to you again on Wednesday from The Fort!

Josh M

Hernandez and Travis Making Waves

Sure, it’s only the second week of Spring Training.  But day after day, two unlikely names are making some of the biggest headlines in Red Sox camp: Marco Hernandez and Sam Travis.  Every time they get in a Grapefruit League game (which is to say, every time the Red Sox have taken the field thus far), those two have made noise.  This afternoon in Bradenton, the pair combined to produce the Sox’ final run: after Hernandez doubled to lead off the ninth, Travis singled him home.  It marked the sixth time Marco has crossed home plate, and the sixth RBI for Travis (which leads the Red Sox thus far in Florida; Hernandez is second on the club with four driven in).

Marco Spring

Marco Hernandez has been a revelation in camp 

Before the Sox’ game against Tampa yesterday, John Farrell was asked about Hernandez’s development at the plate.  “Any time you’ve got a left-handed hitting middle infielder seemingly their value just immediately is more,” Farrell said.  The skipper also commented on the increased power Hernandez has displayed over the past two seasons (he had 30 doubles and nine homer between Portland and Pawtucket a year ago) and praised Marco’s ability to “impact the baseball.”   Hernandez – who was the player-to-be-named-later when the Red Sox’ sent Felix Droubont to Chicago – may well have begun a transition from an interesting prospect to being regarded as a kind of player the Red Sox could depend upon for years to come.  A natural shortstop, Hernandez played second in Pawtucket a year ago (Deven Marrero maintained a firm grip on the shortstop role), and Farrell said he believes that Hernandez has sometimes been guilty of trying to prove too much on the defensive side.  With the bat, meanwhile, he is six for his first nine with four doubles and a video-game OPS of 1.838.  It’s only a week, but if you ask me, Red Sox fans could look back on this month as the first chapter in the emergence of a budding star. With Brock Holt and Travis Shaw squarely above Hernandez on the infield depth chart, it is safe to assume that he will start the year in Pawtucket; if he continues on his current development path, he may not stay there long.

Sam Travis, meanwhile, is in the midst of a yearlong burst.  The Red Sox’ reigning Minor League Offensive player of the year, Travis led the organization in a host of categories last season – and has picked up right where he left off.  And he’s impressing the Sox brass with his makeup, too: almost every time I ask someone in camp about Travis, “gamer” or some variant comes up.  People see the former second round pick from Indiana as a flat-out ballplayer – a kid who competes in every single at-bat, and seems to be getting better right before their eyes.   Since I arrived in Fort Myers, I have seen four of his at-bats – and he has squared up the baseball in every single one of them.

Sam and Shaw

Fans can be forgiven if they are confused about these two, both of whom have been on a tear in the Grapefruit League. Courtesy: The Boston Globe 

Josh and I were thrilled to do the first of five broadcasts yesterday at JetBlue; here’s a highlight of Josh’s call when David Ortiz logged his first hit and RBI of the Spring:

I will be back on the air Thursday for David Price’s Red Sox debut against the Twins at 1:05; Josh (who has UMass basketball duties) will be back and we will be together for the games on the 17th, 18th and 24th.

Between now and first pitch on Thursday, buckle up for a barrage of content.  We’ve lined up conversations with Kevin Boles, Ben Crockett, Brian Johnson and plenty of other big names.  After all, JetBlue Park is the kind of place that you can see Luis Tiant driving Jim Rice around in a golf cart…so you never know who we might grab.

Until tomorrow morning from the Fort,


JetBlue Park Retired Numbers Courtyard

Just because I’m back in Rhode Island doesn’t mean I can’t still write about my time in Ft. Myers. One of my favorite features of the the new ballpark is the Retired Numbers Courtyard outside “Gate E.” I took some photos of the display before I left and wanted to make sure you had a chance to see them.

Joe Cronin

Carl Yastrzemski

Johnny Pesky

Jackie Robinson

Ted Williams

Bobby Doerr

Carlton Fisk

Jim Rice

Flower Bed Next to the Numbers

Outside “Gate E”

My broadcast partner Steve Hyder is now in Ft. Myers for the entire week. You can check out Steve’s updates by reading his blog.



PawSox & Red Sox News on National Pancake Day

When I was a senior in college, I purchased the first hot dog sold at the new Busch Stadium in St. Louis and sold it for $300 on eBay – seriously. Although my $296.50 profit was impressive, it was nothing compared to the woman currently auctioning off a “rare President George Washington Chicken McNugget.”  Never mind that this delicious delicacy has been in her freezer for three years, what’s important is that it currently has 57 bids and is up to $4,350.  Since I know you’re curious, here is the actual eBay auction page.

Assuming you haven’t stopped reading because you’re suddenly craving McDonalds, we can move on to baseball.

  • Little known fact: Tek was a member of the 1992 U.S. Olympic team (Globe Staff Photo / Barry Chin)

    There haven’t been many captains in major league baseball history other than Jason Varitek.  As you no doubt have heard, the two-time World Series champion will officially announce his retirement on Thursday in Fort Myers.  Although his future role has not been disclosed, word is that he is expected to remain with the organization in some capacity.  “Tek” suited up for the Sox from 1997-2011.  During that time he hit .256 with 193 home runs and 757 RBIs. In the 103 -year history of the Red Sox, only Hall of Famers Carl Yastrzemski (23 seasons), Ted Williams (19) and Jim Rice (16) had longer playing careers  without suiting up for another team.

  • The Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees, an International League North Division foe of the PawSox, will play every game on the road this season because of renovations to their home ballpark, PNC Field.  Lackawanna County is in the middle of negotiating the sale of the team and which has cause a bit of a hold-up in the ballpark renovation process.  No sale, no renovation.  The end of the story is that there’s a chance the SWB Yankees could be on the move.
  • Over the Monster did a nice interview today with Jason Parks of Baseball Prospectus and asked him his thoughts on PawSox catcher Ryan Lavarnway.
“I’m not sure about the bat; legit pop, but can he make enough contact for it to matter? Once the book gets written on his weaknesses at the plate, major league pitching will be able to manipulate those weaknesses for their own gain. I think you can attack Lavarnway up and in and dare him to generate enough bat speed to beat you. If he does, tip the cap and try another approach. But I’d dare him to hit quality velocity around the letters, especially if you can bust him inside. I don’t think he has the bat speed to handle it.”  Read the rest of the article here.
  • As one fan suggested on Twitter early this morning, how great would a Varitek/Tim Wakefield first pitch be on Opening Day at Fenway Park this year?
  • A total of 87,253 fans registered for the approximately1,000 available tickets in lottery for opening night at the new Marlins Park
  • Thank you to my latest subscriber, dentalguy.  Although that’s a bit of a nerdy name, nerdy is a good thing when you make more money than everyone else.  You can be just as cool as dental guy by typing your email address into the empty box in the top-right corner of this screen and clicking “Subscribe.”  It’s so easy, even a dentist can do it.
  • One thing every dentist loves is sugary maple syrup.  That means every dentist should love today, National Pancake Day.  Eat up!

PawSox Insider: Joey Mac and Ben Crockett dentalguy

Mike Tamburro on Joining the IL HOF

Earlier this week the International League announced that PawSox team president Mike Tamburro has been inducted into the IL Hall of Fame.

Tamburro joins Ben Mondor, the late owner of the PawSox, Joe Morgan, the former PawSox manager, Jim Rice, the former PawSox outfielder who is the last player to win the IL Triple Crown (in 1974), and Wade Boggs, the former PawSox third baseman who won the IL batting title in 1981, as members of the Pawtucket Red Sox in the IL Hall of Fame. Mike will be inducted in special ceremonies prior to a PawSox home game at McCoy Stadium this season.

I recently had a chance to sit down with Mike and chat with him about joining the Hall of Fame and how things have changed since he joined the club in 1977.  -AG


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