The Bronx Bombers Come To Fenway

After a road trip that saw the Red Sox go 3-3 against the Orioles and Rays, they come back to Fenway to face the Yankees. The Bronx Bombers are still sitting in first place in the American League East with a record of 66-35. Last time we saw the Yankees was during the 2 game weekend series in London last month.

Right now, the Red Sox are 11 games behind the Yankees, and 1 game behind Tampa Bay after dropping yesterday’s game in Florida. With this 4 game set against the Yankees,

Red Sox vs Yankees Series

Red Sox vs Yankees Series

and the trade deadline around the corner, one can only wonder how this weekend will play out.

The Invasion of the Bronx Bombers

There is a reason why they are called the Bronx Bombers, and have been for many years. For as long as the Yankees have existed, their line up has consisted of hard hitting batters. From Mickey Mantle to Aaron Judge, there is no way to completely stop the bats of the Yankees. That’s the goal in this series for the Red Sox, and let’s hope that they succeed.

The Yankees seem to have everything clicking for them. From their lineup to their rotation, nothing seems to go wrong for them. When the Yankees come to town, they will be without catcher Gary Sanchez. The backstop was put on the injury list on the 24th. Prior to being played on the injury list, he was batting .229 with 24 home runs and 58 RBI’s.

With the trade deadline looming, the Yankees have a wish list as well. For them, it’s starting pitching. Granted, they traded for James Paxton and kept J.A. Happ this off season, but they still need a little bit of help. One name that they have been linked to is Toronto starter and New York native, Marcus Stroman. It will be interesting to see what the Bronx Bombers do before the deadline to try and increase their success. For now, the Red Sox need to keep them away from doing damage in Boston.

The Match-ups…

Game one has Masahiro Tanaka vs Rick Porcello. The last time Porcello faced the Yankees was the first game of the London series, where he went 0.1 innings, allowing 5 hits and 6 earned runs. The same goes for Tanaka, who also started that game, going 0.2 innings, allowing 4 hits and 6 runs. This time, both pitchers have a very important job to do. For Tanaka, it’s continuing his success on the mound this season. For Porcello, it’s to keep his team in the game, and improve his record to 9-7.

Game two has James Paxton vs Andrew Cashner. For Cashner, he will be facing the Yankees for the first time in a Red Sox uniform. Last time Cashner pitched against the Yankees was back on May 20th as a member of the Baltimore Orioles. He went 6 innings in the game, allowing 5 hits and 3 runs. Paxton last faced the Red Sox on April 16th. He went 8 innings in that game, only allowing 2 hits. Cashner looks to get his first win as a member of the Red Sox, while Paxton looks to continue his success against the Red Sox.

Game three has CC Sabathia vs Eduardo Rodriguez.The retiring Sabathia last pitched against Boston on June 2nd. He went 6 innings, allowing 7 hits and 3 runs as well as the loss. Eduardo Rodriguez was the game 2 starter in the London series against the Yankees, going 5.1 innings, allowing 4 hits and 2 runs. Sabathia is looking to grab win number 6 on the season on Saturday. Rodriguez is looking to continue his remarkable season by going 13-4.

Game four has Domingo German vs Chris Sale. The last time German pitched against Boston was on June 1st. He went 3.2 innings, allowing 6 hits and 3 runs. As for Sale, last time out against the Yankees was May 31st. He went 6 innings, allowing 4 runs on 7 hits. German is looking to grab his 13th win of the 2019 season on Sunday in Boston. Chris Sale is looking to continue his hot streak and get his 6th win of the season.

The Red Sox Need To Send A Message

Boston is currently sitting on a 56-47 record, which is kind of keep them afloat in the American League Wild Card race. There is still many games left to play, and for the Red Sox, a bulk of those games are going to be played at Fenway. That sounds great, right? Well, prior to this game, the Red Sox are 24-25 at home this season. That’s not good, but it’s not bad either.

This team needs to send a message to the American League, and to their fan base that they can win games, and be competitive. Yes, it’s tough to repeat as champions. Yes, injuries are a thing that exists. However, when your home record looks like that, and easy to win games aren’t won, people start to worry.

The trade deadline is approaching, and if the Red Sox want to keep climbing this uphill battle, they’re going to need some help. This series, and the next one against Tampa Bay are really important to this team as we roll into August. For right now, the Red Sox need to keep their focus on defeating the Bronx Bombers any way that they can.

How Young Is Too Young To Consider a MLB Career?

Sunday morning I read about three high school pitchers in Texas who threw consecutive no-hitters last month. Casey Brownlow threw the first. Zach Hahn threw the second. Judson Hudson threw the third. For a high school team like the Grandview Zebras to record one no-hitter is impressive enough. But for three different pitchers to throw three consecutive no-no’s is unheard of. This kind of an accomplishment is sure to make these boys consider a MLB career. The problem is that while such an ambition is inspiring, its also extraordinary difficult to accomplish.

We’ve all read about teen prodigies who made it to the majors. Al Kaline was just 18 whenMLB Career he broke in with the Detroit Tigers in 1953. Mickey Mantle was 19 when he joined the Yankees. Carl Scheib was only 16 when he got his first strikeout for the Philadelphia A’s in 1943.  Considering these feats, it’s easy to jump to the idea that a MLB career isn’t too far away for these boys. But looking at the following numbers will make anyone think twice.

According to chasingmlbdreams.com, only 1 in every 200 high school baseball players are drafted by a major league team into the minors. According to motherjones.com, only about 10% of those players will actually make it to the majors. So if my math is correct (granted I failed math in high school) only 0.005% of high school baseball players will make it to the majors.

Laying the ground work for a MLB career is no small task. In fact, most players miss that window of opportunity by the time they’re of legal drinking age. This also means that high school players like Brownlow, Hahn, and Hudson may have some hard decisions to make. Thinking about a career in baseball is a lot for a high school senior. As a high school teacher, I can tell you that teens already have it harder than any other generation. They don’t need pressure. They need selfless guidance and support.

There’s a Lot That Goes Into Building a MLB Career

The exposure to social media and advancements in technology is making it harder than ever to be a teen. Social obligations, peer pressure, efforts to fit in, and wondering what to do with his or her life all weigh on a teen’s mind. Not to mention their brains haven’t fully developed yet making it harder to make rational decisions (though you could say the same about members of Congress). It’s a real dilemma of you think about it. Giving up time with your friends and family to focus solely on baseball is hard enough. It’s even harder when you consider there’s still no guarantee of making it to the majors no matter how hard you work. But the idea of looking back one day and wondering what could have been can also be daunting.

Whether Brownlow, Hahn, and Hudson are seriously considering a MLB career is unknown. What I do know is that regardless of their decision, as teens they’ll need a lot of help and support. If they want to pursue a career in baseball they’ll need as much support as they can get. They’ll have to recognize what it’ll take and what sacrifices they’ll have to make. But at the same time, whoever is there for them also needs to remember that they’re young. They’re going to make mistakes. They’ll have regrets from time to time. In those instances they’ll need to know that they’ll always be supported and loved. I’m not their coach, nor am I their dad or brother. But I think you’d be hard-pressed to find someone who disagrees with my sentiments.