Results tagged ‘ Athletics ’

Red Sox get their slugger

Though trading ace Jon Lester is undoubtedly hard for the Red Sox and their fans, it becomes a little easier when you factor in the return. By packaging Lester and Jonny Gomes, the Red Sox get Yoenis Cespedes, an outfielder with the type of power the club currently lacks beyond David Ortiz.

Though the arrival of Cespedes is probably too late to salvage Boston’s postseason hopes this season, he gives them a cornerstone for 2015, and perhaps beyond.

There’s at least a chance Cespedes will debut for the Red Sox on Friday night at Fenway Park in a rivalry matchup with the Yankees.

Cespedes, who is mainly a left fielder but has also started three games in center this season, came over from Cuba in 2012. The Red Sox had interest in him at that time before he signed with Oakland.

The 28-year-old Cespedes signed a four-year, $36 contact when he went to the Athletics. Per terms of his original contract, he can become a free agent if he isn’t re-signed by October 31, 2015, or five days after the last game Boston plays that season.

Though the Red Sox have long valued Lester as a pitcher, a teammate and a leader, his contract expires at the end of this season and the club feared losing him for nothing more than draft compensation.

To this point, Boston had been unable to find common ground on a contract with the lefty, who was masterful last October in helping guide Boston to a World Series title.

A few days ago, Lester told reporters he would still be open to re-signing with the Red Sox even if he got traded.

So there’s at least a chance Boston could have a 2015 roster that features Lester as the ace and Cespedes as a key bat.

For the short term, Lester and Gomes have a legitimate chance to play in the World Series for the second straight season. The Athletics own the best record in the Majors at 66-41.

The sight of watching Cespedes take aim at the Green Monster should bring some joy to Red Sox fans, who have been disenchanted at watching the defending World Series champions get off to a 48-60 start and fall 13 games out in the American League East.

Red Sox gear up for the ALCS

For the first time since 2008, the Red Sox are playing in the ALCS. And for the first time since 2007 — and just the second time since 1986 — the ALCS opens at Fenway, with the Red Sox holding homefield advantage.

The first game is on Saturday. The time has not been announced. We won’t know the opponent until the conclusion of Thursday’s A’s-Tigers game in Oakland.

Which opponent are Red Sox fans rooting for? Both teams provide unique challenges.

The Red Sox went 3-3 against the A’s this season, but haven’t seen them since the All-Star break. There would be a lot of familiar faces at Fenway come Saturday if Oakland is the opponent.

Coco Crisp, Josh Reddick, Jed Lowrie, Brandon Moss and Bartolo Colon all spent time with the Sox.

The Tigers have star power, with Justin Verlander, Max Scherzer, Miguel Cabrera, Prince Fielder and even a start manager in Jim Leyland. Oh, and there would also be the reunion with Jose Iglesias, a fan favorite earlier this season for the Red Sox.

Bobby V. doesn’t buy Jeter’s legendary ‘flip’ play

One of the most memorable plays in Yankees history, without question, came on October 13, 2001. It is now known simply as the flip play. In Game 3 of the Division Series between the Yankees and A’s,  it was the bottom f the seventh inning, the Yankees clinging to a 1-0 lead and down 2-0 in the best-of-five series.

Terrence Long belted a double into the right-field corner, and right fielder Shane Spencer air-mailed two cutoff men. Somehow, Derek Jeter was standing on the first base side of the pitcher’s mound, and caught the errant throw, and then http://mlb.mlb.com/video/play.jsp?content_id=19792193&c_id=mlb flipped it (as you see here in the video) across his body to catcher Jorge Posada. Jeremy Giambi inexplicably never slid, and was tagged out. The Yankees won the game, and the series.

And more than 10 years later, new Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine pretty much considers the play to be blind luck.

Valentine had his team work through just about every type of cutoff and relay during Tuesday’s workout, but he didn’t incorporate a version of the Jeter ‘flip’ play.

“We’ll never practice that,” Valentine said. “And I think he’s out of position. And I think the ball gets him out if [Jeter] doesn’t touch it, personally. The Jeter-like simulation today is that idea of what the first baseman and third baseman [are doing] as the ball is coming in because they have to read and maybe change the position where the shortstop is when the ball is coming in from right. He does have to react to the ball. When you see the ball in flight, you have a chance at those positions to adjust. He was out … it was amazing that he was there. I bet it was more amazing to say they practiced it. I don’t believe it, personally.”

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