June 2010

Sweetest swing ever?

Obviously the big news in baseball tonight is the retirement of Ken Griffey Jr., effective immediately. It has been a while since Junior was in his prime, but when he was, I can’t think of a player I enjoyed watching more.

His swing was so fluid and pretty to watch. If you could invent a baseball player, it would probably be Ken Griffey Jr. in the mid 1990s. He was that good. Remember how tremendous a center fielder he was? He would just glide back and make spectacular leaping catches. Though he wasn’t known for his baserunning, he also did that with grace. Who could ever forget his mad dash around the bases in Game 5 of the 1995 Division Series against the Yankees, scoring the walkoff run against the Yankees on Edgar Martinez’s walkoff hit. That was by far the best moment in the history of Seattle baseball.

A generation of kids like to wear their caps backwards becuase of Junior. He is one of the few players who could give you chills just thinking about how great and gifted a player he was.

I’m glad I watched him in his prime. He was a magnificent player.

Optimism on Cameron; Brakes on Beckett

Good news and semi-bad news on the Red Sox’s injury front today.

Mike Cameron was examined by a specialist today, and there are no significant problems with his lower abdomen. Instead, he has normal soreness that is to be expected considering the time he missed with the injury in the first place. Cameron won’t play tonight and tomorrow is a day game, so that could be a stretch. Friday in Baltimore? That might be pretty realistic.

“Good update,” said Red Sox manager Terry Francona. “He was seen this morning. We ruled out any of the things that happened on the other side. There’s certainly some inflammation. It’s actually kind of deep. I think Cam feels a lot better knowing that, when this subsides, and it already is, it will be to the point where he can do everything he wants, he’s not going to hurt himself. Already, you see a little different look in his eyes. That was really good news. He’s not going to play tonight. I don’t know if he’s going to play tomorrow. And when he does play, like we talked about before, we’ll keep an eye on him. But that was really encouraging news.”

As for ace Josh Beckett, he likely won’t even pick up a baseball again for at least 10 days. Beckett had thrown an abbreviated side session last Friday, but the club didn’t like the execution of his delivery, and they are determined to be conservative with his lower back strain.

“We’re going to slow him down a little bit,” said Francona. “By that, probably, I don’t know if we’re going to have a firm timetable, but probably about 10 days. What we talked about the other day in the bullpen, the inconsistencies in his delivery, all of a sudden, when he’s doing that, we’re running into some lat discomfort, which we’re not comfortable with. We lean on this guy too much, or we need to. So until we can completely get back where he’s going through his delivery, we’re going to make him take it easy. I think he understands it. I don’t think he probably loves it.

“I think he realizes this is where his best interest ends up probably being our best interest, so we’re going to be pretty firm about this. He can do a lot of things, but when we get him back out there throwing, we don’t want him making any adjustments to his delivery, to his arm slot, because that’s where we run into problems.”

Victor Martinez is on the bench despite going 5-for-5 last night with four doubles. The reason? He still is recovering from that badly bruised big left toe and the Red Sox need Martinez to catch Tim Wakefield in Thursday’s day game.

In other news, the Red Sox won the daily double when it came to the American League’s Player and PItcher of the Month. David Ortiz was Player of the Month and Jon Lester earned pitching honors.

Getting shallow again in the outfield?

Just when it looked like Mike Cameron was getting healthy again after his big day at the plate on Sunday, he experienced recurring soreness during Monday’s off-day and was not in tonight’s lineup.

Cameron was examined before tonight’s game by Red Sox medical director Dr. Thomas Gill. Hopefully we will have more information after the game.

With Jacoby Ellsbury back on the DL, the Sox can ill-afford to lose Cameron again.