West Coast Trip Continues Against The Rockies

After taking on the San Diego Padres, the Red Sox continue their West Coast trip in Denver. Unlike in the past, the Red Sox did well this Player’s Weekend, taking 2 of the 3 games from San Diego. Game one was a 11-0 slug fest for Boston, and game 2 saw the Red Sox win 5-4. Sunday’s game, however, ended in a 3-1 loss to the NL East Padres.

They now look to take on the Colorado Rockies in the second part of the west coast trip.West Coast Trip After splitting the two games in Boston back in May, the Red Sox look to take both games in Denver against the Rockies. Prior to welcoming Boston, the Rockies hosted the Atlanta Braves, and won on a walk off. Ryan McMahon hit a 2 run home run in the bottom of the 9th to win it, 3-1. The game was a make up game from earlier in the season.

Players Weekend in San Diego

After a walk off win in the suspended game on Thursday, the Red Sox traveled to San Diego to face the Padres at Petco Park. Eduardo Rodriguez pitched 7 solid innings, allowing only 5 hits, and striking out 6 batters. JD Martinez hit 2 home runs to propel the Red Sox to the 11-0 win over the struggling Padres.

Game 2 was a bit of a challenge for Boston, as the squeezed out a 5-4 win on Saturday. Nathan Eovaldi made the start for Boston, but only lasted 3 innings, allowing two runs off of 4 hits. Matt Barnes picked up the win, and Brandon Workman earned his 8th save of the season. The game was tied 4-4 until Brock Holt’s 3rd home run of the season in the top of the 9th off of Kirby Yates.

The Red Sox were looking for the sweep in game 3. The Padres had other plans. Brian Johnson was the starter, and only pitched 3 innings until turning it over to the bullpen. Manny Machado hit a 2 run home run in the first off of Johnson, and Francisco Mejia hit a run scoring single for the Padres. JD Martinez hit his 31st home run in the fourth, but the offense fell short, as the Red Sox lost 3-1.

Continuing the West Coast Trip in Denver

After splitting the series in Boston 1-1 back in May, the Red Sox look to take both games in Denver. Rick Porcello will be the game one starter in the west coast trip, and Eduardo Rodriguez will be the game two starter. The Rockes haven’t named a game one starter, but Peter Lambert will be going in game two of the series.

The last time the Red Sox faced the Rockies at Coors Field was in September 2013. That west coast trip saw the Red Sox split the series 1-1. For Alex Cora, coming back to Coors Field will bring back some good memories, as he was part of the 2007 World Series team that beat the Rockies 4-0.

It was reported that fellow 2007 World Series Champion, Dustin Pedroia, will join the team in Denver. The last time Red Sox Nation heard from Pedroia was back in May, when he announced that he was taking a leave from baseball. Pedroia has been in touch with Alex Cora and other members of the Red Sox. It’s reported that he has about two more weeks on crutches, as he underwent another surgery not too long ago.

Closing out the Trip in Anaheim

The Red Sox will close out the West Coast trip in Anaheim against the LA Angels. The last time the Red Sox faced the Angels was at Fenway Park in the beginning of August. The four game set was split 2-2, but the Red Sox are looking to take all three games.

Player’s Weekend Begins In San Diego

As the Red Sox begin their road trip, their first stop is Petco Park in San Diego. This weekend is also the annual Player’s Weekend, in which the players will be wearing special uniforms with a nickname on the back. Instead of the usual Little League uniform style, MLB introduced a new style for this weekend. Players will either wear black on black, or white on white jerseys.

In the past, the Red Sox haven’t done so well during the Player’s Weekend. They’replayer's weekend looking to turn it around this weekend, as they begin a three game series against the NL East San Diego Padres. This will be their first trip to Petco Park since September 2016, when they went 2-1 against the Padres.

The Baltimore Sweep

After taking the last two games in Cleveland, the Red Sox felt pretty confident heading back to Fenway Park to face the Baltimore Orioles. The first game was just what Red Sox Nation needed. The offense brought in nine runs, and Rick Porcello pitched six solid innings, earning his eleventh win of the season. Both Andrew Benintendi and Mitch Moreland tripled, and Mookie Betts hit his 21st home run of the season.

Eduardo Rodriguez got the ball in game 2 of the series. Rodriguez went 7.1 innings, allowing only four hits and striking out four. Both Brock Holt and Rafael Devers homered, and the Red Sox took the second game, 4-0.

Game three proved to be a challenge for the Red Sox. After taking the first two from the Orioles, and riding a four game winning streak, Alex Cora sent Nathan Eovaldi to the mound to start the game. After allowing six runs in three innings, the Red Sox offense went to work. Devers hit a grounder to the second baseman, which scored Chris Owings. Sam Travis hit a solo home run, and Devers hit a two run home run in the game. The final was 13-7, and allowed Boston to ride a five game win streak.

The Philadelphia Invasion

The Red Sox welcomed the Phillies for their annual matchup at Fenway Park. This two game set didn’t go as planned for Boston, as they lost both games. Pitching in place of the injured Chris Sale, Brian Johnson got the ball in game one against Aaron Nola. Despite a home run by Jackie Bradley Jr, the Red Sox couldn’t come back from the 3-0 deficit with a final score of 3-2.

Game two of two didn’t go so well for Boston either. The Red Sox sent Rick Porcello to the mound against former Tampa Bay Ray, Drew Smyly. Boston started off the scoring, carrying a 2-0 lead into the top of the fifth. From there, the Phillies, led by a Bryce Harper two-run home run, scored three runs in the fifth. From there, the Phillies added on two more runs. The final score was 5-2.

Brockstar Walks It Off

After a two week wait, the Red Sox finally finished off the Royals. For those who don’t remember, the Red Sox had the lead in the last game against the Royals, until Darwinzon Hernandez and Nathan Eovaldi allowed a run each to score. The rain, of course, was another factor in the delay. As the ninth inning started, the rain slowly came down. Rain eventually delayed the game, which was postponed to August 22nd.

Anyways, in a game that wasn’t deemed to last long, the Red Sox walked it off in about 12 minutes. With one out, Christian Vazquez doubled to center field. Chris Owings came in to replace Vazquez as a pinch runner. Sam Travis was intentionally walked, leaving Richard Lovelady to face Brock “Brockstar” Holt. Sure enough, Holt hit a single to left field, allowing Owings to score. The Red Sox finally won, 5-4.

Player’s Weekend – San Diego Edition

Eduardo Rodriguez has the ball in game one against rookie Chris Paddack. Game two will have Nathan Eovaldi going up against Donelson Lamet. Cora has yet to name a starter for the final game, but the Padres will be sending Joey Lucchesi to the mound.

The Red Sox will be seeing some familiar faces in San Diego this weekend. The most notable is Manny Machado. Lucky for him, Machado will not be facing Chris Sale this weekend. Another is former Royal Eric Hosmer. During the 2017 off season, Hosmer signed an eight year deal with San Diego. Former Red Sox prospect Manuel Margot is also with the Padres. Margot was acquired by San Diego in the 2015 off season that saw Craig Kimbrel come to Boston.

Mookie Betts Contract Extension: What Will it Take?

The last two off-seasons have been sour for many free agents, but a change appears to be on the horizon. Players have been outspoken about the level of talent left on the market well into March, including Mookie Betts. Are fears of failing to find mega deals in free agency causing players to sign extensions? Is a Mookie Betts contract extension next on the docket?

Elite players around the league are starting a trend

In recent weeks some of the top stars in the game such as Mike Trout and Nolan Betts Contract ExtensionArenado have signed massive contract extensions that eliminate them from their impending free agencies. Eloy Jimenez of the Chicago White Sox has not registered a single day of service time, yet just agreed to a six-year, $43 million deal.

Jimenez joins a list of names that also includes Ryan Pressly, Alex Bregman, Aaron Hicks, Aaron Nola, Whit Merrifield, and Carlos Carrasco. Studs like Bregman, Nola, and the aforementioned Severino are signing away arbitration and free agency years to make better money now.

Despite Bryce Harper and Manny Machado eventually getting the mega deals they so desired, many quality players have been left behind on the free market well into March and beyond. Would a move to get extended before the murky waters of free agency make sense for Betts, too? He does not seem to think so.

Where does a Mookie Betts contract extension come into play?

When asked in a media scrum about his openness to an extension, Betts had this to say: “Why not? You should definitely keep your ears open and see what is said. But that doesn’t mean you necessarily have to agree on or take whatever is given. Like I said, I love (Boston). I think this is great place to be to spend your career here. But that doesn’t mean you should sell yourself short.”

While Betts certainly does not close the door on a future deal, his stance has never wavered. As questions mount, with contract totals and AAV records being shattered, many believe the Red Sox outfielder is next in line for a huge pay day.

In terms of trying to set a price, the Red Sox already set the baseline. Betts confirmed a report by the New York Post’s Joel Sherman that he was offered an extension last offseason. He turned it down. The verdict? An eight-year, $200 million beast of a deal. But given what has transpired in recent weeks, Mookie Betts seems to be one step ahead.

Trout’s colossal deal of $360 million over 10 years might be a good measuring stick for Betts. In 2018, Betts won the AL MVP award, the AL batting title, a gold glove, silver slugger, and made his third consecutive All-Star team. If Trout can command a deal of that size, then Betts surely can. Betts might even be able to land more.

What might a Mookie Betts contract extension cost?

If Betts continues to level himself with Trout for the rights to be baseball’s alpha dog, he might hit it big. Let’s say Betts puts up comparable numbers to his 2018 MVP season, with some expected drop off. The native Tennessean led the league in average (346), slugging (.640), runs (129) and WAR (10.9). With that in mind, it is not farfetched to think Betts could be MLB’s first $400 million man. It seems likely the Betts will seek a 10-year deal in the neighborhood of Trout’s $360 million. If he continues to produce at this pace, Betts might blow us all out of the water.

Is Manny Machado the Missing Piece?

Red Sox fans know that July 31st is always an important date on the baseball calendar. It is the non-waiver trade deadline. The big prize this year will presumably be Baltimore Orioles shortstop Manny Machado. Machado is having his usual MVP caliber year hitting over .300, with more than 50 runs batted in at the halfway point. He will be a free agent this offseason and will inevitably demand a big payday. The Orioles are already 29.5 games back and will likely look to get assets for their current star this summer.

Orioles general manager Dan Duquette wants a current promising major leaguer in anyMachado package. Usually, the Red Sox have a lot of assets and clout at their disposal during this time of year, enough to make a generous offer for such a player. However, most of those prospects have been either promoted or traded. Top prospects Michael Chavis, unfortunately, is suspended for PEDs and Jason Groome is rehabbing from Tommy John surgery. Therefore, the main pieces in any deal would probably be from the big league club.

With young star players such as Mookie Betts and Andrew Benintendi seemingly off the table, the logical name becomes Red Sox third baseman, Rafael Devers. Devers gives the Orioles some young pop, the talent now and for the future. Meanwhile, Machado, who has third base experience, could slide to the hot corner and not only improve the offense, but the defense. He’s a gold-glover at that position, meanwhile, Devers currently leads the position in errors.

Manny Machado Could Be the Missing Championship Piece

The problem with Machado is the impending free agency. Devers is under team control and the Red Sox will be risking taking on the free-agent to be and him not signing long-term with the team. However, that risk may be worth it considering how much he would improve the team this season. Dombrowski would want to have an initial talk with Machado about a framework of an extension, before dealing Devers. Devers is too good to let go for a rental.

The other caveat, of course, is Machado’s recent disdain for the Red Sox organization. Last year he was involved in the Red Sox-Orioles second base, year-long confrontation with Pedroia. This could be an issue. Many thought Machado went in too strong at second and Pedroia wasn’t happy. That caused a back and forth between the teams, with pitchers throwing at different batters, causing Machado to say “I’ve lost respect for that organization”. Now that seems to be a distant memory. The Orioles are almost irrelevant and Machado probably wants a shot at playing for a title. Also, Alex Cora is now at the helm for the Red Sox, not John Farrell. This could change Machado’s thoughts on the franchise.

Who Will Be the Red Sox Rivals This Year?

Everyone in Red Sox Nation took a collective sigh when the New York Yankees signed Giancarlo Stanton. As much as Sox fans hate to admit it, the Yankees are now an offensive threat to all other American League teams. Along with Stanton, the Yankees also have 2017 Rookie of the Year Aaron Judge, as well as Gary Sanchez, Didi Gregorius, and Brett Gardner, all 20+ season HR winners. But is it time for another team to replace the Yankees? If the Red Sox rivals aren’t the Yankees anymore, then who?

The Baltimore Orioles Could Be The New Red Sox Rivals

The Red Sox rival this season could be the Baltimore Orioles. Bad blood erupted betweenred sox rivalry the two teams last season when the O’s Manny Machado slid into Dustin Pedroia in a mid-April game. While it didn’t look intentional, it sparked a string of near-brawls. The following day Red Sox pitcher Matt Barnes almost hit Manny Machado in the head. A few weeks later, the Baltimore Orioles travelled to Fenway Park where outfielder Adam Jones became the target of bigots who allegedly shouted racial epithets at him. While Red Sox Nation showed respect by giving him a standing ovation at his first at-bat the following game, it did little to quell the intensity.

It Could Also Be The Rays

The Boston Red Sox fell to the Rays in their first game of the season 6-4 despite a masterful pitching performance by Chris Sale. Many in Red Sox Nation, including me, have often taken the Tampa Bay Rays for granted given that they haven’t been real playoff contenders for a while. The Red Sox pulled off a win in their home opener on April 5th, but it was a 13-inning nail biter that probably shouldn’t have lasted as long as it did. Think about it for a minute. Every time the Rays come to Boston, or the team goes to Tampa Bay, it ends up being a tougher series to win than anyone initially thought. So the Rays could potentially be the Red Sox rivals in secret. (This rivalry isn’t likely anymore though after Xander Bogaerts’ grand slam in during the second inning of the April 7th game at Fenway Park).

Regardless, the 2018 season is shaping up to be one of the best for the Red Sox. They’re on a hot streak, and this could potentially be a World Series year for them.

Petty Baseball Rivalries Hurt the Game

Rivalries in baseball have existed as long as the game itself. You don’t need to look too far back to find examples of rivalries between players, teams, and even owners. My favorite involves legendary NY Giants manager John McGraw. Before becoming a manager, petty baseball rivalries McGraw was a hard-running hitter for the Baltimore Orioles. During a game in May 1894, McGraw slid into the Boston Beaneaters’ third baseman. McGraw’s slide touched off a fight between the two. The brawl intensified so much that by the next morning the ballpark, and 114 houses in the surrounding neighborhood had burned to the ground. Long story short, fans became so excited they didn’t pay attention to their dropped lit cigars. These rivalries are what make baseball so great. But today’s petty baseball rivalries are hurting the game because they’re based on personal insults instead of fierce competition.

Where Are the Genuine Rivalries?

Baseball rivalries aren’t what they used to be. The Brooklyn Dodgers had one with the New York Yankees, who beat them all but once in the World Series. Brooklyn had one with another National League team, the New York Giants. Bobby Thomson’s “Shot Heard ‘Round the World” set a standard for game-winning home runs. Johnny Podres’ brilliant performance in Game 7 of the 1955 World Series won Brooklyn its only title. The rivalry between the Red Sox and Yankees needs no introduction. These fierce battles made the game fun to watch. But now they’ve turned into anger over flipped bats, unintentional slides, and other ridiculous incidents that exemplify pettiness instead of honest competition.

The rivalry between Carlton Fisk and Thurmond Munson is the stuff of legends. It all started during a 1973 game that would decide who’d move into first place. In the 9th, Munson broke for home on a suicide squeeze and crashed into Fisk. Munson tried to keep Fisk down so Felipe Alou could advance. Fisk overpowered Munson before both teams cleared the benches. When you look at the details of this brawl you don’t see anger over a flipped bat or a slide. You see two teams so destined to win at any cost that they revert to creative methods to overpower one another. It was their skill and strategy that made the rivalry so legendary. They reflect a tremendous amount of skill that goes towards its execution. Like The Roman Empire, greatness wasn’t built in a day. Petty baseball rivalries, however, are created in a short time.

Today’s Petty Baseball Rivalries Are Born Out of Bruised Egos

Last month the Orioles’ Manny Machado slide into second and spiked Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedrioa. Footage of the play clearly shows that it wasn’t intentional, but that didn’t stop the Red Sox from retaliating. The Red Sox Matt Barnes threw at Macho’s head a few days later that led to his ejection. This petty baseball rivalry intensified two weeks later when Baltimore came to Boston. In a series marked by racial taunts, fights over nothing continued that distracted both teams from playing as well as they could have. The players on each team weren’t trying to win the game to secure first place. They were understandably coming to one another’s defense like teammates should, but it was still petty and childish. It wasn’t about winning to them, it was about being macho.

Impulsivity doesn’t involve planning. There’s no real strategy to it. Anyone can throw at a batter’s head and say it’s all about rivalry. But those who think the current rivalry between Boston and Baltimore is a real one should read up on their baseball history.