Results tagged ‘ Jason Bay ’

Rivalry Weekend starts early

Thursday here in New York, though I have to say it feels like Friday. Big four-game set begins in the Bronx tonight, with Kevin Youkilis starting in left field. This is the first time Youk has started in the outfield since 2006, when he started 17 games.

The reason, of course, is that Jason Bay is unavailable and might be for the entire series. Bay has hamstring woes. In addition, Rocco Baldelli fouled a ball off his left leg yesterday and was placed on the disabled list. Josh Reddick, back in the Minors for all of a day, will resurface in time for tonight’s game.

Greg Bouris from the Players Association confirmed that David Ortiz will address his situation on Saturday. Obviously Ortiz will meet with reps from the PA while he is in New York.

Smoltz vs. Joba tonight. Talk about a big spot for Smoltz.

Sox lineup subtracts Bay, adds Lugo

Jason Bay is out of the lineup for just the second time this season, with the Red Sox facing a pitcher in Javier Vazquez that he is 2-for-12 against lifetime. But it’s more just a chance to get Bay a day off, then the matchup issue.

Julio Lugo is back in the Boston lineup for the first time since June 13.

“Lugey, when he has been called upon, has actually swung the bat real well,” said Red Sox manager Terry Francona. “He got the bunt down last night. Again, I feel about him like I feel about everyone else. I don’t want to just let him not be sharp enough to help us win games. Greenie has played well, I think everyone knows the background there. I just think it’s a good day for him to play.”

The Mets are in the house

It’s a lively Friday night at Fenway, and a nice hot one (84 degrees at game time) with the Mets in the house.

Dice-K and Johan. Good matchup, good way to embark on Interleague. Sheff just hit a moonshot against Dice-K. The always-entertaining veteran is now 7-for-12 lifetime against the Dice Man with two homers.

CF Jacoby Ellsbury extended his 17-game hitting streak after his infield single.

With each home run by Jason Bay, you wonder two things. Is he going to be a top five MVP candidate? And are the Red Sox going to re-sign him?

WEEI.com today reported the approximate contract figures the Red Sox and Bay exchanged during the spring. The Red Sox offered Bay somewhere in the neighborhood of $10 million. Bay and his agent countered were looking for $14 million a year. Also, Bay was hoping for three-four years and the Red Sox didn’t want to go that far by the time the sides decided to break up talks. There has been no rekindling of the talks since then.

Clearly, Bay has hit more like a $14 million to start the year. But will that continue? Can the sides find common ground or is some team going to blow Bay out of the water  In this economy, it is very hard to judge. But I’m sure that Red Sox fans — who are falling in love with Bay — will be upset if he leaves. Perhaps not as upset, however, if Theo pays the freight to bring Matt Holliday to town.

Why no Rocco in right field tonight? Because Ellsbury is on fire, Drew had a day off two days ago, and Santana is every bit as nasty against righties as he is against lefties. Baldelli will make the start on Monday afternoon in Minnesota against Francisco Liriano.

In Jed Lowrie news, the shortstop is doing a great job with his rehab and remains on track to get back in the lineup in late June or early July
.
“I don’t think that’s a surprise,” Red Sox manager Terry Francona said. “He’s young and a very hard-worker and he’s very diligent in what he’s doing. When we were on the road, he was going over to see [rehab trainer] Scotty Waugh at 7:30 in the morning. Things he doesn’t have to do. But I do think young kids heal quicker than older guys. That’s just the way it is. I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s right on time or a little early.”

Lowrie was taking some grounders on Friday. “He’s been out there with Bogey doing the throwing and everything. He’s just doing a little more every day. One day I went down to go to the bathroom in the fifth inning. This is back a few weeks and he had the bat in his hands. He gave me that look like, I got caught. All good players do that.”

Another day, another injury

Continuing the theme of the week, J.D. Drew is out of today’s game with a sore legs, which include a barking quad. In actuality, he might not have played today anyway, as Kazmir is pitching for the Rays. But given Drew’s game-winning homer last night, it might have been nice to see if he could take that momentum into today.

Kevin Youkilis is also out of the mix for the fifth straight game, and likely won’t play again until the start of the West Coast trip on Tuesday. “We’ll try to use the day off to our advantage,” said Red Sox manager Terry Francona.

And in a display of the selflessness that has come to mark this team, Youkilis said this morning that he’d have no problem with Jason Bay continuing to stay in the cleanup spot, even when Kevin is back in the lineup.

“He can hit there,” Youkilis said. “If he’s going to hit the way he is, he can stay there. I’ll hit anywhere in the lineup except for leadoff. I don’t mind. I’ll hit sixth, I don’t mind. I’ve hit there before.”

Jetting back to the Fort

Yes, the return of Brownie Points is coming. When last I was in Fort Myers five days ago, it was a slow camp. It was by the far the slowest Spring Training in my eight years on the Red Sox beat. And then I left and all you know what broke loose.

Lugo, surgery. Pedroia, injured, and out of the World Baseball Classic. Jon Lester, signed for five years. Jason Bay, no contract extension this spring. Josh Bard, out of a job. Kevin Youkilis, now out of the World Baseball Classic.

Wow. Quite literally, there was NOTHING going on when last I left Fort Myers. Now we have an official Red Sox Spring Training in full motion.

I land in Fort Myers after 11 tonight. Back in to blog and story mode tomorrow.

Later,

Ian.

On a different planet

I know a lot of you always think I’m on a different planet, but today I am actually in Jupiter, not to be confused with Mars.

OK, Jupiter, Florida. It was an interesting drive across Lake Okeechobee. Well, not really but I stayed awake for it.

Jason Bay and David Ortiz worked out in Fort Myers today, returning from their respective losses in the World Baseball Classic. They will both be in there against the Yankees on Friday night.

By now, you’ve probably heard that Jonathan Papelbon ripped Manny Ramirez for being a bad teammate in a magazine interview. This isn’ t exactly a news flash. If Manny had been on board with what the Red Sox were doing, he wouldn’t have been traded. They didn’t trade him because of his hitting. As Papelbon said in a text message to his buddies at Comcast SportsNet, “That old news story was four months ago. I’m not saying anything else, but I’m also not taking back anything I have said already.”

Anyway, on to matters that actually happened in Jupiter, Beckett was lights out again. Four shutout innings. Masterson fired zeroes for two innings. It was another tough day for prospect Michael Bowden, who allowed two runs and now has a 13.50 ERA in camp. Bowden has pitched in four games and given up nine runs.

“He just needs the ability to go out and pitch a number of innings,” said Red Sox pitching coach John Farrell. “Right now, with him as a career starter, routines are disrupted. He’s aware of that. Unfortunately he doesn’t have the benefit of being able to start a ballgame and go, here, here’s three or four innings for you and go settle into a rhythm. Even though today, i think he did a much better job getting into that rhythm. His strengs and attributes are certainly durability, being able to pitch a high number of innings and he’s in a situation where he’s trying to make an impression. He’s clearly a depth starter for us. And we’re getting him the work when it becomes avialable.”

Offensively speaking, not much to report today. Outfield prospect Josh Reddick had three hits from the leadoff spot and is hitting .500 this spring. Julio Lugo was 1-for-2, and has a .450 average.  

Dice-K at Dawn

Who are the truest baseball junkies out there? The correct answer is those of you who will set your alarm clocks so you can watch Daisuke Matsuzaka face Korea at 5 a.m. ET on Saturday. This World Baseball Classic encounter from Tokyo will be televised on ESPN2, ESPN Deportes and yes, MLB.TV.

Under tournament rules, Matsuzaka is permitted to throw 70 pitches in his first-round start.

Those of you who need a Dustin Pedroia, Kevin Youkilis and Jason Bay fix can check out Team USA vs. Canada at 2 p.m. on Saturday on ESPN. And Big Papi David Ortiz will be representing the Domincan Republic in an 11 a.m. encounter (ESPN 2) against the Netherlands.

Things are much quieter here in Fort Myers, where a home game Spring Training lineup features Josh Reddick, Jeff Bailey, Zach Daeges, Chip Ambres and Ivan Ochoa.

Ace Josh Beckett is nearing the completion of a three-inning outing. Jed Lowrie and Jacoby Ellsbury will make the trip to Port Charlotte tomorrow — “You’ll see those guys on every trip,” quipped Red Sox manager Terry Francona.

With the Marlins in town today, Alex Speier of WEEI.com used the timing element to write a nice blog entry on how close Manny Ramirez came to being a Marlin. Imagine how that could have changed the course of events? Would Manny still have wound up with the Dodgers this year? Would Manny have even approved a trade to the Marlins?

By the way, how utterly perplexing was Manny’s comment at the presser yesterday: “Sometimes you’re better off to have a two-year deal in a place that
you’re going to be happy than have an eight-year deal in a place that
you’re going to, you know, suffer.”

Suffer? Really? Did Manny suffer while winning two World Series? Did he suffer while earning $160 million in Red Sox dollars? Did he suffer while getting the trophy as World Series MVP in 2004? Did he suffer as fans adored him unconditionally for eight years, many of them who would write e-mails to every sportswriter who had the audacity to dare criticize Manny for one of his indiscretions? Did he suffer while teaming with David Ortiz to form one of the most dynamic 3-4 punches of this generation?

Suffer?!? If Manny ever plays at Fenway again, he will probably be greeted with the loudest round of boos in Red Sox history.

I will say one thing though. I did not “suffer” covering Manny during his time in Boston. He is the best pure hitter I’ve ever seen, and was always amusing to observe and, even when he allowed, to interact with.

Classic Exodus

There was a different feel in the clubhouse at City of Palms Park this morning, as David Ortiz, Kevin Youkilis, Dustin Pedroia and Jason Bay were spending their final few hours in Fort Myers before going to the camps of their respective countries for the World Baseball Classic. Javy Lopez was also leaving camp, but Puerto Rico will train just down the road in Fort Myers for the next few days.

Meanwhile, Dice-K remains in Japan, where he’s been all spring. He pitched for the second time in a game situation yesterday — or is it tomorrow in Japan ??? — giving up a hit and two walks over three shutout innings against the Yomiuri Giants. It was a relief appearance for the Dice Man.

By the way, Mr. Ortiz has a message for his teammate, but possible competitor during the Classic

“I’m
going to take Dice-K deep for sure,” chuckled Ortiz.

But Dustin Pedroia, whose TEAM USA squad will be playing in the same bracket as Canada in the first round, couldn’t resist telling Jason Bay that his squad won’t be around long.

“Pedroia told me to pack one pair of underwear,” said Bay.


Speaking of Bay, he will play center field for Canada to allow his team to generate some more offense.

After those early-morning chats about the Classic, I trucked over here to Hammond Stadium for a tilt against the Twins. The Red Sox trotted out Pedroia, Ortiz and Youkilis in this one, and have a loaded arsenal of pitchers going today, including Josh Beckett, Tim Wakefield, Jonathan Papelbon, Hideki Okajima and Takashi Saito.

Youkilis (photo below) just smashed a homer to right-center, improving a swing that he felt had been “horse manure” in recent days.

youkgoesddeep.jpeg

Beckett had a nice easy stint, mowing down all six batters he faced. He didn’t get to use his changeup because he was so efficient at being ahead in the count. Oh well, that’s a problem Beckett and the Red Sox will gladly take.

Papelbon was impressive in his first exhibition outing, firing 10 pitches and mowing through the Twins in order.

Sox are in Fort Lauderdale tomorrow. I’m not scheduled to go on that trip, but I will pass along whatever updates I get.

Just one game today

It was good to get stretched out yesterday with a doubleheader, but just a mere nine innings here at City Of Palms today!

Jon Lester‘s first start of the spring is in progress.

Jason Bay was a story for the Pittsburgh media this morning, as this was the first time the left fielder has seen his former team — the Pirates — since that July 31 afternoon when he was traded for some guy named Manny Ramirez.

Jason was at his self-deprecating best when a reporter noted to him that he went from unheralded in Pittsburgh to the lead on SportsCenter every night.

“Was it the Canadian SportsCenter?” quipped Bay.

In other news, Brad Penny and Jonathan Papelbon both threw 40-pitch BP sessions on the backfield. Papelpon will make his first appearance of the spring on Sunday at Hammond Stadium in a game that will also include Josh Beckett and Tim Wakefield.

Lugo weighs in; Bay arrives

Julio Lugo, aiming to be the starting shortstop on Opening Day, looks a little more buff this year. But Lugo doesn’t think there’s a big difference.

“Same size. I just
gained like five pounds. Nobody knows because we were in the playoffs. Nobody paid
attention to that. I’m a couple of
pounds more, that’s all,” Lugo said.

If Jed Lowrie beats Lugo out for the job, will the veteran ask for a trade? “We’re going to see
at the end of [Spring Training]. I don’t think like that. We’ll see at the end
of the spring,” said Lugo, who said he know longer feels any pain in the left quad that kept him out of the second half last year. Lugo also confirmed that he would have been back for the World Series, if only the Red Sox had won Game 7.

Today’s new arrival was LF Jason Bay. That leaves  Mike Lowell as the only starting-caliber player not to be spotted in camp. All players will be on the premises tomorrow for physicals.

As for Bay, he was in his typical pleasant mood. Heading into the last year of his contract, he didn’t sound stressed about the situation in the least

“There’s a lot of
factors that go into that,” Bay said. “There’s definitely a lot of positives for me to stay
here. I’m very familiar with it, I love it, as most people do. But it’s not the
end all, be all. Until something concrete comes up in that arena, I really don’t
have much of an opinion on that. I have one year left on my contract. I’m
playing that out and we’ll see what happens. If something comes up before that,
my agent and I would definitely consider it.”

David Ortiz — who is a svelter Papi this spring — will be the headliner later as he holds his first press conference of the year following today’s workout.

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