Where Is The Uproar For Hanley Ramirez’s Slump?

While the Red Sox still sit in first place in the East, they have had their fair share of disappointments this year. Injuries, unfulfilled contracts, and astronomical ERA’s have low- lighted 2017. Not to be lost in these disappointments is Hanley Ramirez’s slump, although you won’t hear too much about it.

Ramirez’s brutal 2017 season so far has been swept under the rug. Whether it be Pablo Hanley Ramirez's slumpSandoval’s contract, John Farrell’s questionable managing or a pitcher blowing up on a reporter, there has always been something to talk about. If you don’t quite understand the severity of Ramirez’s ineptness, I won’t blame you. I’m here, however, to enlighten you. Buckle in.

It seemed Hanley Ramirez would finally be comfortable in a Red Sox uniform this year. He is finally the DH and would feasibly only play first base about twice a week. With all this time to focus on hitting, it makes you wonder how much Hanley’s got going on up there. Ramirez is hitting .241 with just a .747 OPS. You want to argue he’s just a power hitter? What power hitter do you know only has 17 extra base hits (7 doubles and 10 homers) and 29 RBI in June? That’s your DESIGNATED HITTER Red Sox fans.

Might I remind you, this is the American League. We (usually) don’t have to go through the bore every night of watching a pitcher trying to hit. With Ramirez, however, you may as well be a National League team. Sometimes, I’d rather see Chris Sale in the lineup than Hanley Ramirez. No matter where John Farrell has put him in the lineup, he just can’t hit. They’ve tried so hard to make Ramirez comfortable I fear he may be too comfortable to play baseball on a high level.

Hanley Ramirez’s Slump Is At The Plate And On The Field

Speaking of comfortability, I assure you there are guys playing in the field who are much more uncomfortable than Hanley Ramirez. Ramirez’s phantom shoulder injury has kept him out of playing first base, even in NL parks. Who is playing first base over him? Mitch Moreland. Yes, the Mitch Moreland who has a fractured toe and is still playing Gold Glove caliber defense. Since Ramirez refuses to gut it out and play, Moreland is forced to be a wounded duck out there. On that topic I leave you with this: how many throws do you see a first baseman make?

Luckily for Ramirez, he will never be the worst Red Sox acquisition of 2015. Pablo Sandoval may be the worst Red Sox signing ever and Rick Porcello has massively underachieved this season. This isn’t even on pace to be his worst season of production in Boston. In 2015, he had 12 doubles and 19 homers. This year, he’s on pace to smash that with a whole 14 doubles and 20 homers. That is NOT the production of a DH on a playoff team.

So I urge you Red Sox fans: pay attention to this clown. Boo him, put for sale signs on his lawn, I don’t care. Do something to convince me you aren’t a bunch of pink hats and actually know something about this team. I thought he was going to get it together, but time’s a wasting Hanley, David Ortiz isn’t gonna save you now.

Harrisburg Senators Win Series on Sunday

Portland, Maine – The Harrisburg Senators (32-41) led wire-to-wire and defeated the Sea

Harrisburg Senators Dogs (32-39) 11-4 in the rubber match of the series on Sunday afternoon at Hadlock Field.

 

Harrisburg scored in the top of the first for the second straight night. Darian Sandford led off the game with a walk, then Alec Keller doubled and Jose Marmolejos singled to score Sandford.  Raudy Reed followed with a sac fly to put the Senators up 2-0.
Elih Villanueva (1-3) received the loss and allowed five earned runs on seven hits in 3.1
innings.
Taylor Hill (3-1) allowed three runs (two earned) on eight hits in six innings to pick up the victory for Harrisburg. RC Orlan worked a scoreless seventh while Brady Dragmire pitched the final two innings and allowed a run on a single in the ninth by Danny Bethea.
The Senators had 15 hits in the ballgame, including a three-run homer by Mario Lisson off of Jacob Dahlstrand and a two-run shot by Drew Ward off of Jake Cosart. Five Senators finished with multi-hit games.
Michael Chavis went 2-for-3 or Portland with a double and a home run, his second of the season. Henry Urrutia had three hits and an RBI, Rafael Devers finished 1-for-2 with a single and three walks.

The Road Ahead

The Sea Dogs’ homestand continues as the N.H. Fisher Cats come to Portland for a four-game series beginning Monday night. LHP Trey Ball (1-6, 5.60) makes his 13th start of the season for Portland. Tickets are available at seadogs.com or 207-879-9500.
Eduardo Rodriguez will rehab with the team on Thursday.
Listen live on the U.S. Cellular Sea Dogs Radio Network beginning at 6:45 PM and watch on MiLB.TV starting at 6:55 PM.

Are the Red Sox Retiring Jersey Numbers Too Soon?

Red Sox Nation saw David Ortiz’s number 34 retired during a pre-game ceremony Friday night. His number retirement came eight months after his actual retirement. It also marked the third time the Red Sox retired a number in as many years. So are the Red Sox retiring jersey numbers too soon?

Three years ago I thought it was strange that the Red Sox hadn’t retired many numbersred sox retired with its long and rich history. In fact, they only started the practice in the early 1980s. Before 2015 the Red Sox had only seven retired numbers. Since 2015 they’ve retired three. In fact, the Red Sox broke their own jersey retirement rules to induct the last three. So what does this mean? Are they trying to play catch up, or are they trying to make up lost revenue?

Is Attendance A Factor In The Decision To Retire Numbers?

According to Baseball-reference.com, the Red Sox averaged 3,008,355 fans per season between 2007 and 2013. Between 2014 and 2016 the Red Sox averaged 2,930,739 fans each season. That’s a drop off of 77,616 over three years. According to an April 2016 article on Fortune.com titled “Here’s How Much a Baseball Game Will Cost You This Year,” it costs a fan about $78.50 to attend a game at Fenway Park in 2016. That includes tickets, food, beverages, and parking. So let’s say for argument’s sake that the 77,616 drop in attendance equates to a loss of $78.50 per fan. That comes to a loss of $6,092,856 over three years. Of course, it’s easy to manipulate those numbers, but no matter how you crunch them it’s bad for the Red Sox.

Seeing The Red Sox Retiring Boggs’ Number Was A Little Awkward

It made sense to retire Pedro Martinez’s number. He helped carry the Red Sox to their first World Series championship in 2004. But Wade Boggs? Yes, his time with the Red Sox made him a legend. But Boggs left Boston for New York where he won his only World Series Championship in 1998. In fact, he wore his Yankee World Series ring to his jersey retirement ceremony at Fenway Park much to the irk of many. While fans liked seeing the much-beloved Boggs’ number retired, it made other wonder why now? Why him? Was it an effort to bring older fans back to the ballgame so they could reignite their love for the game? Was it an effort to get its younger fanbase to tap into the rich history of the Red Sox? No matter how you dice it retiring Boggs’ number came off as awkward.

Are the Red Sox Retiring Numbers Too Soon?

So are the Red Sox retiring numbers too soon, or are they truly trying to honor their legends? Or are they trying to make up for lost revenue? The Red Sox have a staggering payroll and losing $6 million equates to about six or seven of their players making between $500-600,000 a year. No matter how you look at it, the frequency in retiring numbers does give true fans pause about how sincere the intentions are.

Michael Chavis Promoted to Double-A Portland

According to sources from The Boston Globe and SoxProspects.com, Red Sox infield prospect Michael Chavis is being promoted to Double-A Portland. Infielder Chad de la Guerra is also being promoted to the Sea Dogs, who begin a homestand Friday.

In Salem, Chavis was hitting .318 with 17 home runs, 17 doubles, and 55 RBI in 59 games. De la Guerra was hitting .294 with 5 homers and 36 RBI.

Michael Chavis

Both will join a Portland infield that already includes top prospect Rafael Devers, Nick Longhi, Tzu-Wei Lin, and journeyman Mike Olt. Many speculate that this move is a precursor to the promotion of Devers (.297, 14 HR) to Triple-A Pawtucket. However, it remains to be seen what the Red Sox plan to do with their top talent.

Chavis and Devers could end up splitting some time short term, much like they did in 2015 with Greenville. There is no question that these two are special players, but their long-term development is ultimately the most important goal.

Prospects on the Move

This move follows what has already been a dynamic spring for the Red Sox farm system. So far, the Sea Dogs alone have seen the likes of Jalen Beeks, Ty Buttrey, Aneury Tavarez, Jamie Callahan, Austin Maddox, and Heiker Meneses move up to Triple-A and beyond. Likewise, Travis Lakins, Josh Tobias, Bobby Poyner, and now Chavis have left Salem for the Pine Tree State. Sam Travis made is major league debut as well.

These moves are also in the foreground of what could be an interesting trade season for the big league club. While it’s unlikely the Red Sox would trade someone like Devers or Jay Groome, other prospects could be on the move.

Despite all the ambiguity, one thing is certain. Michael Chavis, Chad de la Guerra, Rafael Devers, and others have performed exceptionally this season. And as many Red Sox fans worried about the longevity of the farm system, a renaissance has been born.

Pete Rose Denied Induction Into Hall of Fame For Final Time

Pete Rose, the all-time hits king at 4256, was denied eligibility for induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame for likely the final time. Many applauded the decision handed down by the Baseball Hall of Fame’s Board of Directors. In their mind, Rose accepted, and must abide by, a lifetime ban he received in 1989. Others say it’s too stringent. With Pete Rose denied induction into the Hall of Fame for likely the final time, baseball fans will surely become more divided over the issue.

Then-commissioner Bart Giamatti banned Rose in 1989 for placing betts on baseballPete Rose Denied Induction games. Rose denied any involvement in gambling for many years before finally admitting it in 2004. Despite his confession, which he thought would exonerate him, the path to Hall of Fame induction only narrowed. In fact, it’s Rule 3(E) that continues to block Rose’s path to Cooperstown. The Baseball Writers Association of America election rules state that anyone who is permanently ineligible by Major League Baseball may not be considered for election to the Baseball Hall of Fame. This is the rule the Board of Directors cited in their decision to shut the door forever on Rose’s induction.

But is the Board of Directors being too stingy? Yup!

It’s Hypocritical To Deny Rose Induction

There’s no denying Rose gambled on baseball. It’s a crappy thing to do. Some say it’s no big deal but keep something in mind. You’re profiting off the hard work of your teammates. Then there’s the whole being illegal thing. But if the writers inducted Rose into the Hall of Fame then he would be in good company. Legendary New York Giants manager John McGraw allegedly threw games after the Giants were eliminated from the playoffs. Rumors about Ty Cobb and Tris Speaker’s connections to gamblers continue to this day.

Then there’s Hall of Famer John Clarkson. Clarkson won 50 games in 1885 (Yes, you read right) for the Chicago White Stockings. He’s in the Hall of Fame despite the fact that he murdered his wife with a razor. Let’s not forget Cap Anson and Kenesaw Mountain Landis, two more inductees who are directly responsible for introducing, and maintaining, respectively, segregation in baseball. So we can let other gamblers in, along with murderers and bigots, but not Pete Rose? That’s definitely a double standard.

Pete Rose Denied Induction For Final Time

Seeing Pete Rose denied induction is disappointing. It’s also somewhat hypocritical. Of course, Rose is no saint. But there are very few in the Hall of Fame whose character can’t questioned (Brooks Robinson comes to mind). This isn’t to dismiss what Rose did. But 25 years is enough.

Let Rose into the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Home Runs Fuel IronPigs in 5-0 Win

PAWTUCKET, R.I. — The IronPigs impressive horde of home run hitters drilled a trio of solo shots en route to a 5-0 win over the Pawtucket Red Sox on a rainy Monday night IronPigsat McCoy Stadium. The PawSox (34-33) were held to just five hits. Including three singles from designated hitter Allen Craig and dropped the opener of the three-game set with the IronPigs (46-24). Lehigh Valley began the night with the third-best record in all of full-season Minor League Baseball.

 

Pitching Performances

PawSox starter Shawn Haviland (L, 3-5) worked six-plus innings and yielded five runs on seven hits with six strikeouts. Lefty Josh Smith, in his second appearance since being promoted from Double-A Portland, added three shutout stanzas.

Lehigh Valley starter and former No. 1 overall pick Mark Appel (W, 5-3) delivered 8.1 shutout innings in the longest outing of his professional career, which now spans 75 starts. The 25-year old fanned eight, walked three and gave up five hits before leaving after 119 pitches with a 5-0 lead and runners at the corners with one out in the bottom of the ninth.

Additionally, IronPigs slugging first baseman Rhys Hoskins hit a pair of solo home runs, moving into the International League lead with his 16th and 17th long balls.

Lehigh Valley leadoff man Cam Perkins ripped a solo shot to left field to begin the ballgame, and Hoskins started the second with a blast to center to make it 2-0.

Following zeroes over the next four frames, Hoskins led off the seventh by vaulting the third pitch he saw to left field to extend the gap to 3-0. Then, after a trio of consecutive singles, IronPigs No. 9 hitter Angelo Mora and Perkins lofted sacrifice flies to make it 5-0.

The Road Ahead for the PawSox and IronPigs

Pawtucket continued its three-game series against Lehigh Valley on Tuesday at McCoy Stadium at 7:05 p.m. Jalen Beeks squared off against Jake Thompson.

Radio coverage on of PawSox games can always be found on WHJJ (920 AM) and throughout the PawSox Radio Network beginning with the PawSox Pre-Game Show.