Having changed his mind to attend Fenway’s 100th anniversary bash, Francona got a standing ovation, along with a “Tito! Tito!” chant, when he stepped onto the field during the pregame ceremony.
“Well-deserved,” designated hitter David Ortiz [stats] said. “He earned that. Tito was here for, what, eight years? Won two World Series. Got us to the playoffs lots of times. What else can you ask from a manager? Well-deserved.”
“That was great,” third baseman Kevin Youkilis [stats] said. “I know there’s a lot of controversy about him not coming, but it was great to see him out there. I know it meant a lot to him. The fans love him. As players, we love him, too. He did amazing things here.”
Francona's appearance at the 100th anniversary celebration was much larger than any spat between the ownership group and himself.
It was the first chance that Red Sox fans have had to thank him for his amazing eight year run as manager. You can hear the "Tito!" chant in the embedded video above. A fantastic moment, albeit a little short.
The other great thing about Tito showing up was that we can all have some closure on his tenure with Boston. It ended badly. The aftermath was infinitely worse, and has dragged on for over half a year. The Red Sox never gave him a proper sendoff and the fans never got to say goodbye. All that was remedied yesterday with a simple stroll through the Fenway outfield.
Now Francona can focus on his announcing gig and/or finding his next bench job. We can turn our attention to trying to figure out how the Red Sox are 3.5 games behind Baltimore 13 games into the season. And Sox brass can focus on trying to find a way to make this team competitive.
On Page 2, old friend Anthony Rizzo is on a tear
No one expected this bunch to contend for a playoff berth in 2012, but a fan can always hope that his or her team won't be intolerably bad. And yet here we are. The Cubs are weapons-grade bad. Almost unwatchable.
As often happens when a team reaches such a low point, calls have begun for minor league reinforcements. First base prospect Anthony Rizzo, 22, is off to another torrid start at Triple-A, hitting .393/.433/.786 with seven homers through 14 games, so his name has become increasingly popular in Chicago. You'll note that Rizzo's current home run total actually exceeds the combined efforts of all Cubs hitters. He hit a pair of bombs on Thursday, his third multi-homer game this season.
You read that right: Rizzo has more home runs himself than the entire Cubs major league roster, averaging a home run ever 2 games.
If you don't remember, Rizzo was one of the key players the Red Sox flipped to San Diego for Adrian Gonzalez. When the Padres called him up last year and Rizzo batted .141 over 49 games with a single home run, which is definitely impacting the Cubs decision to leave him in the minors for a while longer despite his hot bat.
But it'll be fun to see how he produces when the Cubs do finally promote him.
Every morning, we compile the links of the day and dump them here... highlighting the big storyline. Because there's nothing quite as satisfying as a good morning dump.
The last Red Sox [team stats] manager to receive the kind of booing that was rained upon Bobby Valentine yesterday was Don Zimmer.
And that was more than 30 years ago.
But here’s the thing: While there...
As you may have heard by now, Fenway Park is celebrating its 100th birthday on Friday when the Red Sox kick off a three-game series against their rivals, the Yankees. To honor the historic ballpark, NESN's Jenny Dell will don a 1912 Red Sox throwback jersey. Dell's uniform will be a replica of the ones worn by the likes of Hall of Famers Tris Speaker and Duffy Lewis in the...
BOSTON –– Through 11 seasons, Marlon Byrd has never reached the postseason. Acquired in a trade for Michael Bowden and a player to be named later on Saturday, the former Cubs outfielder is eagerly awaiting the chance to contribute to the Red Sox and end streak of October days at home. "I went through a building mode in Philly, a rebuilding mode in Washington, a rebuilding...
Boston Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine said Daniel Bard will stay in the starting rotation, but may be available to pitch in relief early in the week.
The Red Sox will skip Bard's scheduled start in the rotation after Sunday's game against the New York Yankees was rained out.
There was speculation that Bard could be moved to closer after a spectacular meltdown Saturday...
The Boston Red Sox are moving Daniel Bard to the bullpen - temporarily, at least.
With rain washing out Bard's scheduled start against the New York Yankees on Sunday night, manager Bobby Valentine said Bard will skip his turn in the rotation and be available in relief. But when the Red Sox need a fifth starter, it will be Bard.
''As the plan is now, he's our fifth...
So good, so good, so good. Or is it? The Boston Red Sox ownership wants you to feel that way, masking the Red Sox miserable 4-8 start behind the 100th year ceremony of Fenway Park. Today, they will make their best efforts to make you think about the past, and not the present. But then Terry Francona will step [...]
As much as I'd like to lay the blame for the 4-10 Boston Red Sox start on Bobby Valentine, it's not is mess. He's had exactly 14 games to reverse the dysfunction of the September collapse, hardly enough for a litmus test. Look at the mess he's inherited:Josh Bard and the bullpen dilemma: It wasn't Valentine that moved Bard to the starting rotation. That's...
Last night, Squawker Lisa and I went to the Tribeca Film Festival for the premiere of the baseball documentary "Knuckleball!" The movie celebrates the tiny fraternity of MLB knuckleballers, with the main focus on the only two knuckleballers active in 2011 - the Mets' R.A. Dickey and the Red Sox' Tim Wakefield (who retired after the season).There probably wouldn...
Via Sorry Bro: Sports Through Houser
April 21, 2012
Only $34.99 for this vintage 1912 looking Boston Red Sox hat? You're god damn right I'll tip the cash register guy an extra $2 just for having it in stock by the time I get there. [Follow me @TravisHouser]
In what can be seen as a panic move by the Red Sox to bolster their defense with the injury to Jacoby Ellsbury and Carl Crawford still on the DL, the team has officially announced that they have acquired outfielder Marlon Byrd from old GM Theo Epstein’s Chicago Cubs. Here is the official announcement posted [...]
Via Mike Silva's New York Baseball Digest
April 20, 2012
It’s Bobby Valentine vs. Joe Girardi this weekend. We all know that Valentine needs a big weekend, but the manager opposite of him might need to come away with a series victory, as well.
Valentine’s controversial comments about Kevin Youkilis‘ commitment rankled Red Sox Nation- specifically Dustin Pedroia- but the struggles on the field shouldn’t be a surprise. Coming back...
The Cubs reportedly have completed a deal with the Red Sox which will send Marlon Byrd and some cash to Boston for RHP Michael Bowden and a player to be named later. Theo and Jed have been firm on their plan to be patient with prospects Brett Jackson and Anthony Rizzo, but in the aftermath of this deal, one has to speculate if their timetables will be altered. At .242/.342/.484...
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