Tag Archives: Mike Napoli

This Week in Boston Baseballing, Dec. 6 – 12

A very quiet Winter Meetings session for the Red Sox. Boston’s front office flew down to Disney World in relatively good shape and left Orlando yesterday in essentially the same state. The team’s most significant activity over the past few days was a reported minor league deal with 37-year-old Japanese submariner Shunsuke Watanabe.

The AL Managers Luncheon Photo
Check out Joe Maddon’s hair hat.


Mike Napoli Re-Signs with Boston
As it turns out, failing his physical last winter will net Mike Napoli some extra cash. The 1B/DH re-upped with the Red Sox for two years and $32 million, a $3-mil per year raise over his initial three year, $36 million deal originally signed at the end of the 2012 season.

It’s hard to fault the front office for being overly cautious when Napoli was first diagnosed with a degenerative hip condition when he went in for a physical last winter. With a year’s worth of intel to work with and little else on the market, the Red Sox pay extra for their caution, but have a better knowledge of how Napoli fits on the team in 2014-2015. Everything turned out pretty well for both sides in the end.

Japan’s Rakuten Golden Eagles Want to Play the 2013 Red Sox
From BostInno’s Hayden Bird:

Hiroshi Mikitani, the owner of the Rakuten Golden Eagles, is apparently a little taken aback by the claim from the Red Sox that they are world champions. Given that Major League Baseball teams are based in only two countries, it is admittedly difficult to claim such an international prize as the title “world champions” implies. And since Mikitani’s Golden Eages won the Japan Series earlier this year, he feels that the two champions should meet to decide the rightful world champion.

In January 2006, MLB’s 2005 World Series champion White Sox actually did play Bobby Valentine’s Chibe Lotte Marines in a seven game series and dispatched their Japanese counterpart in five games.

Schilling To Provide Color on ESPN Sunday Night Baseball
Aw fuck.

The Team Expands Its Fenway Liquor License
You’ll now be able to buy beers up until the end of the 7th inning no matter how damn long the game has already been under way. The ruling is of course a landmark for fans attending Red Sox-Yankees games, which typically run longer than any other matchup in the majors.

From MassLive:

The Red Sox will now be allowed to sell alcohol until the conclusion of the 7th inning, regardless of how long the innings last. Prior to the ruling, alcohol sales at Fenway concluded two hours after first pitch or at the bottom of the 7th inning, whichever came first. The commissioners said that the 7th inning stoppage of alcohol sales would create more consistency in the sale of alcohol because the two-hour mark in some games can come as early as the 5th inning.

The Matt Kemp Rumor Mill
In his preview of the Winter Meetings on Grantland, Jonah Keri broached the subject of Boston meeting with the LA front office in Orlando to discuss a Matt Kemp trade:

Boston is the team most frequently linked to Kemp. The Red Sox lost Jacoby Ellsbury to the Yankees, and might not yet be willing to give Jackie Bradley Jr. the starting center field job. Of course, one big reason the Red Sox just won the World Series is that they dumped a quarter-billion dollars in contracts on the Dodgers in August 2012; it might be counterintuitive for Boston to turn around and take a huge contract back from the same trade partner.

Kemp is reportedly off the market as of this writing. Which definitely means he’s still on the market.

Jon Lester and a Contract Extension
The Herald’s Scott Lauber has Cherington publicly acknowledging that the team is exploring a contract extension beyond 2014 for Jon Lester. Lester turns 30 in January and, since he’s a pitcher, it’s not unreasonable to think his best years are still ahead of him. Using Philadelphia’s six-year, $144 million deal with Cole Hamels in 2012 would be by far the largest contract for a pitcher in team history.

Frozen Fenway Will Include a Sledding Hill
Obviously the proceeds from this endeavor will help the Sox pay Masahiro Tanaka, right? MLB didn’t take into account the unbalanced profitability of the offseason sledding hill paradigm when it implemented a $189 million luxury tax threshold. This is a market inefficiency that Boston is poised to exploit.

fenway sledding hill

Artist rendering from Boston.com, as supplied by the Red Sox.

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This Week in Boston Baseballing, August 23 – 29

The Red Sox took two of three from the LA Dodgers last weekend, finishing a stretch of 16 of 19 games on the road with a record of 9-10. Boston began the stretch on August 5 with a half-game lead over Tampa Bay and finished its trip on the West Coast up one full game over the Rays. The lead has since expanded to two and a half games as Boston’s winning four of its last five games coincided with the Devil Rays losing four of their last five.

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DEVELOPING: Shane Victorino Is NOT Carl Crawford
Shane Victorino paced the Red Sox with a gigantic offensive week that included a two-homer, seven-RBI performance on Tuesday night. GIFs of the HRs here, courtesy of Over the Monster. Coincidentally, some time late Tuesday night and also well into Wednesday morning, a bunch of fellows in the baseball media came to the conclusion that Shane’s been a pretty good signing for the team. (For example: here, here, here, here and here). His 3 HRs, 9 RBIs and 7 runs since Monday probably make him a favorite for AL Player of the Week honors.

Koji Uehara and David Ortiz Get Slap Happy After Wednesday Night’s Win
Click on photo for GIF animation, courtesy of @CorkGaines:

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Is This The End of Jerry Remy’s Television Career?
In a statement on Thursday night, Jerry Remy said he will sit out the remainder of the 2013 season. It isn’t fair to speculate too deeply about his future in the NESN booth, but Remy’s statement included reference to returning next season. Sadly, though, his days logging full seasons as Red Sox color commentator may be over. Meanwhile, NESN has quite a bit more than the requisite “two weeks’ notice” to find an adequate replacement not named Dennis Eckersley. Hopefully, it does the right thing. 

A beard-oriented, photographic retrospective of an exciting, productive week for the Red Sox:

From ESPN.com

Look! They made the trainer grow one too! (From ESPN.com)

victorino and dustin

From RedSoxLife.com

From PressHerald.com

From PressHerald.com

BostonHerald.com Photo

BostonHerald.com Photo

Boston Globe Photo

Boston Globe Photo

bos_g_mike-carp_mb_300_espn

From ESPN.com

Other potential freak injury threats that the Red Sox ought to guard against

By and large, the 2013 Boston Red Sox have been pretty lucky in terms of games missed due to injury. Disabled list stints have been relatively limited compared to the myriad ailments the team dealt with during much of the 2010 and 2011 seasons.

Freak injuries, though, are a storied part of nearly every baseball team’s past. In fact, Clay Buchholz’s AC joint ailment is hardly the first time a Boston pitcher has supposedly suffered an injury in a bedroom.

Rumor had it years ago that former Sox pitcher Paxton Crawford fell off his bed and onto a glass in Toronto, losing a couple pints of blood. (Whether you’d like to believe that a hooker “helped” him find his way onto that broken glass is a matter of personal slant that we won’t judge in this here space. However, just to be safe, it never hurts to pay for a woman’s escort service in the currency of her choosing.)

Anyway, it may be useful for the Red Sox to be mindful of the potential for these types of injuries in the future. For instance, any of the scenarios described below could easily sneak up at any given time and derail a promising 2013 campaign.

Uehara

Shane Victorino: The bubbly, rambunctious Koji Uehara takes things too far when he incorporates brass knuckles into his normally playful post-inning dugout rough-housing routine. Predictably, Shane Victorino bears the brunt of the damage. Wary of ruining the team’s newfound camaraderie, Victorino puts on a happy face and is a good sport about the whole thing, even through multiple plastic surgery procedures. (For what it’s worth, Uehara had struck out the side on nine pitches.)

J Dell

Mike Napoli: A pop up is lofted into right-field foul territory at Fenway, directly over Canvas Alley. First baseman Napoli assumes he can sell out and goes after it headfirst because it looks as though the natural cushioning provided by NESN reporter Jenny Dell’s amply-sized breasts will catch his fall. However, the NESN reporter’s bosoms wind up dealing Napoli a boulder-like blow to the skull and he suffers a concussion.

Applebees

Jackie Bradley, Jr.: Pumped up about his recent promotion back to the big club, Bradley once again visits the Applebee’s in Times Square prior to the finale of Boston’s three-game set at Yankee Stadium on Sunday. Good ol’ standby, “intestinal turmoil,” lands poor JBJ on the 15-day DL and he is asked to take a separate plane back to Logan.

Stephen Drew: A witch sneaks into Stephen’s hotel room in the middle of the night and swaps his spinal column with that of his older brother, J.D., which recent MRIs have indicated is comparable to an 85-year-old.

Boras

Jacoby Ellsbury: After going 5-for-5 with a pair of homers and three stolen bases against Houston in August, Scott Boras sends in some cronies to kidnap Ellsbury so that he ends his season on an positive note heading into unrestricted free agency. The ransom price is set high enough that the Red Sox can’t afford it without exceeding the luxury tax threshold for the year. Ellsbury is forced to laminate all 300 pages in his Boras Binder while holed up in a small cage somewhere in Mexico.

Alfredo Aceves: An enterprising blogger creates a GIF animation overlaying replays of all 1,746 pitches thrown by Aceves throughout the first half of the season leading up to the All-Star break. Alfredo becomes so mesmerized by the animation that he cannot stop watching it. He becomes convinced that he has the ability to recreate a moment in which he actually throws all of his pitches at the same time. The project quickly proves a massive failure and Aceves retires from the sport.

David Ortiz: Due to a bookkeeping error, Major League Baseball tests Big Papi for PEDs a record 15 times over the course of three days and Ortiz is eventually so depleted of blood and vital nutrients that he is checked into Mass General. Boston Globe columnist Dan Shaughnessy waits patiently at Papi’s bedside to ask the tough questions.

MLB: Boston Red Sox at New York Yankees

Jonny Gomes: Sporting a shaved head and beard almost identical to Mike Napoli’s, Gomes wakes up one morning and becomes confused as to his true identity. The Red Sox roll with the whole thing for a while, but with Gomes sporting a sub-.200 OBP well into June, Boston decides to place him on the disabled list with avascular necrosis (the condition Napoli was diagnosed with this past winter). Gomes doesn’t complain.