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The Official 2009 Boston Red Sox Thread

Discussion in 'Other Sports Forum' started by Ray Finkle, Feb 11, 2009.

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  1. Ray Finkle

    Ray Finkle Member

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    Welcome one and all whether you're a fan of the Sox or a hater, everyone and anyone is welcomed here....

    Pitchers and catchers report on Friday so we might as well start up the thread. The Sox came within 1 game of reaching the World Series last year and didn't really lose any key guys while adding a few.

    Key additions:
    RHP- John Smoltz
    RHP- Brad Penny
    RHP- Takashi Saito
    RHP- Junichi Tazawa
    RHP- Ramon Ramirez
    C- Josh Bard
    OF- Rocco Baldelli

    Key losses:
    1B- Sean Casey
    RHP- Curt Schilling
    RHP- Mike Timlin
    RHP- Paul Byrd
    OF- Coco Crisp

    The key to this season will be the health of the team, specifically David Ortiz, Mike Lowell, Rocco Baldelli, Josh Beckett, John Smoltz, Brad Penny and Saito. If those guys can stay healthy than this team will be very good especially pitching wise as the team looks to have a very deep rotation and pen with guys like Clay Buchholz, Michael Bowden, Daniel Bard and Junichi Tazawa waiting in the minors.

    Overall I like this Sox team, I think they will make the playoffs (probably via the Wild Card), I think Josh Beckett will have a big year as well as Brad Penny if he can stay healthy. I think both Jacoby Ellsbury and Jed Lowrie will improve and Justin Masterson will give the team a lot of innings out of the pen. I also think we'll see the continued development of Jon Lester into an ace.

    Well boys, here's to a good 2009 season with a lot of memories. Let's go Red Sox!
     
  2. GreenMonster

    GreenMonster New Member

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    Can't wait to spend another season talking Sox with everyone. The AL East is going to be fireworks all year long, I can't wait.
     
  3. Rocky Raccoon

    Rocky Raccoon Greasepaint Ghost Staff Member

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    Maybe this is the year the Orioles take the division?

    Anyone but the Yankees is fine by me. Good luck guys!
     
  4. unluckyluciano

    unluckyluciano For My Hero JetsSuck

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    goodluck guys see you in the series :escape2:
     
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  5. Nappy Roots

    Nappy Roots Well-Known Member

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    awe so you think my boys will repeat as division champs eh? good to know..good to know..:lol:
     
  6. Ray Finkle

    Ray Finkle Member

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    Hey anything can happen (minus Baltimore winning the East), but I think the Yankees will win the division with the Rays coming in 3rd. I'm not hating on the Rays, I just think both the Yankees and Sox got better while the Rays will take a few steps back this season.

    But it's just my opinion.
     
  7. Brown42000

    Brown42000 Chillin

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    I had no idea the Sox acquired Takasi Saito. Don't know how I missed that.

    Looking forward to the new season and to be honest I'd feel a whole lot more comfortable going into the season if the Sox signed Teixera.
     
  8. FaninPatsyLand

    FaninPatsyLand The Truth

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    You list injury concerns and don't mention Nancy Drew? :lol:

    Should be a great year, really looking forward to Opening Day.
     
  9. Nappy Roots

    Nappy Roots Well-Known Member

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    trust me, i know you saying the rays finishing 3rd isnt hating. we have the yankees and red sox in our division. hell i thought we had a chance to make the playoffs and i picked us to finish 2nd. im realistic, do i think the rays can make it back to the WS? sure, do i honestly expect it? no. its to tough now adays to go back to back. but i believe we will be extremely competitive for a playoff spot.

    although i could see where your coming from as far as Rays taking a step back, i wouldnt count on it. even if we dont take a step back, we could still finish 3rd. last year we had a lot of timely hits that arent likely to go all the rays way again, but we also struggled in a few areas we are definitely going to improve on this season.


    Honestly i see the division breaking down

    1. Yankees
    2. Rays
    3. Sox
    4. Blue Jays
    5. Orioles.

    if Sox stay healthy i could easily see them winning the division. but i dont, they have FAR to many injury concerns IMO. and honestly, a lot has to go right for the yankees to make it.

    the yankees OF is bad IMO, not hitting, but overall. defense included. will posada stay healthy? with Cano bounce back? will ARod be destracted? will Jeter continue to decline? who is their 5th starter and if its Joba, how deep is their bullpen? will CC and Burnett be able to stay healthy?

    Yankees have a lot of question marks as well. i would love nothing more then for them to finish last, but i could see a scenario in which they finish 3rd very easily.


    heres to a good tough season with all teams staying healthy free! :ffic:


    btw, im probably going to be in this thread a lot because im sure im the only Rays fan on here and im not going to start a thread for myself
     
  10. FaninPatsyLand

    FaninPatsyLand The Truth

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    Good to see you around Nappy.

    Its belated, but congrats on an unbelievable freakin' year last season. As much as I hated those stupid cowbells (I really hope Rays fans don't break them out again this year), that team was tremendously resilient in the playoffs, especially after blowing that huge lead in Fenway. And, oh yeah, David Price is going to be a freakin' nightmare for the rest of the AL East for a long, long time.

    Really looking forward to this year, as the AL East is going to be a slugfest all season long.
     
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  11. FaninPatsyLand

    FaninPatsyLand The Truth

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    Teixeira is overrated and way overpriced. I've been saying it forever.. he will not put that Yankee team over the top. What could potentially take that group to the next level is Sabathia, but we all know (See: 2007 ALCS) that he has sucked in the postseason. So let's hope that trend continues.
     
  12. Nappy Roots

    Nappy Roots Well-Known Member

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    thanks! definitely unbelieve season and quite a ride. it still hasnt all the way kicked in. im sure it will when during opening day we raising our AL East Champions and AL Pennant banners! :)
     
  13. charlestonphan

    charlestonphan Junior Member

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    with the addition of John Smoltz comes a portion of my allegiance. on the bandwagon i jump!

    i will always be a Braves fan first and foremost, but some players have my total respect. he is one of them. so for this season at least, i'll be tuning in to BoSox games alot more often too.

    Pitchers and Catchers report!
     
  14. GreenMonster

    GreenMonster New Member

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    I agree with all that, although he will rake with all those good hitters around him. He is not clutch though, people in Atlanta basically called him the A-Rod of the NL.

    Any read about Casey Kelly. Apparently he will pitch 100 innings to start the year and then play the rest at SS. Interesting to see how that goes.
     
  15. Ray Finkle

    Ray Finkle Member

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    I actually shouldn't have mentioned Baldelli, I was aiming more towards the pitchers because I think that's really going to be the strength of the team. And let's be real we all know Drew will be hurt this season just as long as the guy is in the line up in October.
     
  16. Ray Finkle

    Ray Finkle Member

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    Obviously the Rays have talent and a lot of it and guys like Upton, Crawford and Longoria should have even better years than last, I just don't trust the pitching this year for them and that's why I think they will take a step back.

    Let's be honest I think we'll all agree that pen was rock solid and probably won't come close to the 2008 production, that was a huge key to that team. I think a lot of those guys overachieved and had career years. Also the rotation was pretty much healthy all year since May when Kazmir returned, which again was a huge reason for their success but I think the high innings count, the injury bug and guys falling back to earth is going to hurt the Rays this year.

    I also do think the Rays snuck up on a lot of teams who didn't take them seriously and now teams will be gunning for them. And most importantly it's hard to make the playoffs, especially in the AL East. Any of the 3 teams (Sox, Yanks, Rays) could win the East or WC, it's going to be a hell of a dog fight. My only hope is that the Rays move out of that crappy dome into a nice new stadium and also get rid of the cowbells.

    And Nappy, come in here anytime to talk baseball, it doesn't matter if you're a Rays fan, Yanks fan, Sox fan or one of the 4 Washington National fans in the world. Anyone is welcomed.
     
  17. DonShula84

    DonShula84 Moderator Luxury Box

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    Looking forward once again to your trip to the Big A. Not sure what to expect this season so I wont say I'm looking forward to our annual playoff match up this early lol.

    Gl this year, I'll be pulling for you guys in the East. Really anyone but the Yankees to tell you the truth :wink2:
     
  18. Ray Finkle

    Ray Finkle Member

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    Just got back from Ft. Myers yesterday. Went down to the Sox ST parks to watch the practices/drills a few times.
    Just some thoughts/observations:
    -Ortiz has definitely lost some weight from last year
    -Ellsbury looks jacked (I've seen the pictures from boston.com but the guy is solid muscle I'm just hoping he's not trying to be Willie Mays Hayes in Major League 2)
    -Varitek looks like he lost some weight also
    -It always amazes me to see just how small Pedroia is in person
    -Saw Beckett, Lester and Masterson throw
    -Penny is big, very fat/thick
    -It looks weird seeing someone wearing #5 (Baldelli) now and #24 (Saito) for that matter too
    - I didn't get a chance to see Bowden or Buccholz throw

    All in all it was a pretty quiet camp, not as many people there as usual but they still drew a lot. Can't wait for the season to start already.
     
  19. Nappy Roots

    Nappy Roots Well-Known Member

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    Starting pitching should be better honestly. Edwin Jackson was traded to detroit and he was extremely inconsistant and helped mostly by our incredible defense(which is a main reason i dont believe our pitching will regress). Hes going to be replaced by David Price, so thats an upgrade. Our rotation is

    Kazmir - Should be better then last year as well. after the first couple months his delivery was out of wack and he struggled with command after that. with a spring training to work on it, he should get it back under control. remember he was hurt at the beginning of last year
    Shields - Started slow last year and after he got it going was great. he will most likely stay about the same production as last year. hes a work horse
    Garza - Should be better overall then last year. he had issues that were worked out after the first few starts and then he got a little fatigued toward the end of the year since he had never pitched that many innings before. his ERA from May-August was 2.52, 3.73, 3.12, and 3.44.
    Price - Monster? yes, yes he is. hes is going to be better then Edwin Jackson barring an injury. there is 0 doubt about that.
    Sonnanstine - a little to hittable, and could regress slightly, but hes very clutch and an innings eater. very good #5 starter.



    Grant Balfour and JP Howell had unbelievable years, and will likely slip somewhat, but after that? a lot of what guys had career years. we had a really shaky bullpen after those 2, specially in that back end. Percival was not reliable and i had a heart attack everytime he was on the mound. Wheeler was pretty good in the set up role, but a disaster at closer. Trever Miller was a LOOGY with a 4.15 ERA. that is not very good. Jason Hammel had a 4.70 ERA out of the pen and Al Reyes was a batting practice pitcher until we got rid of him. overall our bullpen was good, but definitely not great. we went out and picked up Joe Nelson to replace Al Reyes, who if he has anything close to the season he had last year it would be a improvement by 10 folds. We went and picked up Brian Shouse to be our LOOGY and thats a gauranteed improvement over Trever Miller. and Jeff Nieman will likely replace Jason Hammel out of the bullpen this year, which im not to sure if he will be better then Hammel out of the bullpen, but its probable, he most definitely will be able to fill in as a starter without much drop off if one of our starters does get hurt like he say is likely(which isnt much of an arguement). Id definitely say the Sox rotation has a much higher chance of injury then the Rays. but its hard to predict injuries.


    i could understand that point of view in football, and during the first part of the baseball season. but not after the all-star break, and we certainly didnt sneak up on anyone later in the season and agaisnt the White Sox or Red Sox in the playoffs. Before i end this post to, i want to say, our pitching may slip, but if they do its not going to be by much. Our defense and hitting will be better however. so we will see.

    Will do. Also, i think your under estimating the Natioals "fan base". with that new stadium they may be on the brink of double digit fans.

    although true non bandwagon rays fans are hard to find as well.
     
  20. Ray Finkle

    Ray Finkle Member

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    Before I respond to your post I just want to go on a little rant about David Price. I like the kid, I think he's extremely talented and if he stays healthy there's no reason to think the kid can be a very good to great pitching for his career. With that being said I think people need to sit back and wait and see what he does this year. He's going to be 23 years old to start the season and while I can easily see him winning 10 to 15 games this year I can just as easy see him lose 10 games too. Pitching in the MLB is extremely hard, especially for a young pitcher and for every Joba and Tim Lincecum there's a Hughes or Buchholz who gets knocked around in their first go around. Again not saying Price will get knocked around but I don't think people should count on him being a savior for the rotation (for this year at least). Again I'm not saying he won't be great right off the bat but I wouldn't be surprised if he struggles. Again he's 23 years old with less than 20 innings pitched and will be a pitch count and inning limit this year. I'm not trying to single out Price but just young pitchers in general and hey I'm guilty of doing it last year with Buchholz.

    I'll throw out these numbers to you: 27, 33, 30, 32 and 32. Those numbers are the starts of Kazmir, Shields, Garza, Jackson and Sonnanstine. That's why the Rays were so good last year, their starters were mostly healthy the whole year and pitched. Common wisdom says that probably won't happen again this year as one or two pitchers will probably hit the DL this year and also factoring in Price won't make 30 starts (most likely 20 to 24 with probably 160 innings pitched) the Rays will need to find another pitcher(s) to fill in. Again while I like Kazmir, Shields, Garza and Price it's not likely all of them will be healthy the whole year or all get better. It's no knock on them as they have talent but the Rays were very fortunate they didn't have any major injuries to their starters last year.

    I was only talking about Balfour, Howell, Wheeler and Percival (who pitched pretty well before he got hurt). The other guys weren't real factors day in and day out. But I do think those 4 guys I mentioned pitched better than they are in '08 and are closer to their 2007 numbers than '08. I think Niemann is a huge wild card this year, so he should help.

    Again my whole point was I think the Rays will slide a bit only because it's just so hard to make the playoffs, especially in the East. Obviously the Yankees got better and if the Red Sox can stay healthy, they got better as well. I also think the high innings the young guys on the Rays staff pitched last year and their luck with the health it might come back to haunt them in '09. Honestly to make the playoffs, you need a lot of things to go your way, I don't want to say get lucky but your team almost has to have a lot of luck on your side along with obviously talent. The Sox had that in '04 and '07 just like the Rays had in '08. The injury bug, high expectations and other distractions hurt the Sox and other playoff teams in the past therefore I'm just saying that common wisdom says it could happen to Tampa this season.

    The National comment was more of a joke to the message board here because between this one and the old board we posted on I honestly can't remember seeing more than 1 or 2 Nats fans. It wasn't a knock on them or the fan base, more of just welcoming anyone to come.
     
  21. Nappy Roots

    Nappy Roots Well-Known Member

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    lol, i know. i was jokin. thats why i said "on the brink of double digit fans" meaning close to 10. :tongue2:
     
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  22. Ray Finkle

    Ray Finkle Member

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    Big news, word is the Sox and Jon Lester have agreed to a 5 year $30 million extension, with an option for year 6 for 13 million.

    Hopefully this is indeed true as Lester is already one of my favorite Sox players and anytime you can sign a young ace left hander for 6 million per year you have to do it. The Sox front office have done a great job locking up their key guys for pretty good deals.

    I'd like to see the Sox next focus on Papelbon and Jason Bay. I also wouldn't be against trying to work out some sort of extension for Beckett too as well.
     
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  23. FaninPatsyLand

    FaninPatsyLand The Truth

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    You gotta love the idea of having Lester locked up long-term. I'd love to get a deal with Papelbon done, but there's no way that guy is signing a long-team deal at anything less than market value.

    I could very easily see him playing out his deal and then walking in FA to the highest bidder. I certainly hope the FO doesn't allow that to happen.
     
  24. GreenMonster

    GreenMonster New Member

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    From Peter Gammons:

    So as the Red Sox prepare to sign Lester for five years and $30M, they will have Beckett, Lester, Daisuke Matsuzaka, Tim Wakefield, John Smoltz, Brad Penny and Clay Buchholz for less than $36M; including two $3M bonuses CC Sabathia will receive during the 2009 season, Sabathia and Burnett will make $36.5M. Boston has 2009 obligations to Beckett, Lester and Matsuzaka for $21M.

    Boston's bullpen of Jonathan Papelbon, Takashi Saito, Hideki Okajima, Justin Masterson, Javier Lopez and Ramon Ramirez will make approximately $11.7M in 2009.

    Incredible job that Theo has done with Boston pitching.
     
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  25. Ray Finkle

    Ray Finkle Member

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    I think the Sox are going to take their time with Papelbon because I do think there is a fear he won't hold up in the long run. He's I believe still 2 or 3 years away from hitting the market, if he stays healthy this year and next I wouldn't be shocked if they locked him up. But really there's no reason to rush signing him.
     
  26. FaninPatsyLand

    FaninPatsyLand The Truth

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    So is it safe to assume that the proposed Lester deal was a complete fabrication?
     
  27. Nappy Roots

    Nappy Roots Well-Known Member

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    as in the extension? what happend, did i miss something?
     
  28. FaninPatsyLand

    FaninPatsyLand The Truth

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    According to MLB Network's baseline, Lester was one of 19 players to sign one-year deals, but has no knowledge of a proposed contract extension from the team.
     
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  29. FaninPatsyLand

    FaninPatsyLand The Truth

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    It also appears that our bullpen heading into next year could be even deeper than originally anticipated. Apparently, Daniel Bard has really impressed this spring.

    Here's a piece from CBS Sportsline:

    http://www.cbssports.com/mlb/story/11488237
     
  30. Ray Finkle

    Ray Finkle Member

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    While it's a little weird the Sox haven't announced the deal yet I'm not overly worried as quotes from Theo, Henry and Lester himself all have said 'they won't comment, comfirm or deny' makes me think a deal is probably very close to getting done. Maybe there's a few small details needed to be worked out but I'll be shocked and disappointed if a deal isn't reached by April.

    And Lester signing that one year deal means nothing. I believe yesterday was the deadline to offer contracts to guys on the 40 man roster.
     
  31. FaninPatsyLand

    FaninPatsyLand The Truth

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    I understand that. But my point remains that the long-term deal reported is not official.
     
  32. Ray Finkle

    Ray Finkle Member

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    No it's not official but reports are he's going to take a physical this weekend and the deal will be announced after that. The Sox just want to take a look at his shoulder and elbow (which they expect to fine nothing wrong with him but because he's signing a 5/6 year deal it makes sense) before they sign off on the deal.

    EDIT: The deal is going to be announced Sunday.
     
  33. Ray Finkle

    Ray Finkle Member

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    Julio Lugo might have tore his MCL in his knee. He came out of the game last night in the 1st inning and got a MRI. Results are expected back today. Kind of sucks, Lugo was having a nice spring and looked like he was trying to prove that he deserved to start at SS. But hey having Jed Lowrie as the starting SS isn't a bad thing either. Now if Lugo is hurt for awhile it looks like Nick Green will probably make the team, which weakens the bench a bit.
     
  34. Ray Finkle

    Ray Finkle Member

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    By the way Daniel Bard is really impressing everyone this spring with the way he's just blowing his fastball by people with ease, he apparently hit 100 mph on the radar gun a few times (which probably isn't true but bottom line is the kid throws heat with ease and doesn't have a violent motion like some of the other hard throwers). If he can control his pitches a little better and continue to work on his slider and change up he should be up with the team in July/August and could be a huge wild card out of what looks like an already deep pen.
     
  35. Roman529

    Roman529 Senior Member

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    Rut Roh......

    MIAMI -- When it seemed as though the injury news could not get any worse for Team USA, manager Davey Johnson announced that Kevin Youkilis has left the team because of a sore left ankle on Wednesday.
     
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  36. Ray Finkle

    Ray Finkle Member

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    While I can't entirely blame the WBC, it just goes to show the players that it's not worth the risk of injury to a meaningless tournament. Hopefully when the next WBC rolls around guys like Pedroia and Youkilis will be smart to say no thanks.

    I realize that guys can get hurt just as easy in a ST game but I'd rather have a player get hurt wearing his own uniform.
     
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  37. Ray Finkle

    Ray Finkle Member

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    Curt Schilling officially retired today. The guy was nothing short of a warrior and I consider myself lucky to have seen him pitch these 4 years with the Sox. He came to Boston and promised a championship and he delivered two. Say what you want about the guy but in a big spot he got the job done.

    Should be interesting to see if he'll get into the HOF. I'm on the fence but I'm thinking he'll get in because of his post season success and especially winning the WS with the Red Sox in 2004 with that injury.
     
  38. GreenMonster

    GreenMonster New Member

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    "I want [my teammates] to say, when I'm done playing, 'If I had to win a game -- life or death, one game -- that's the guy I'd want to have the ball.' And I want the guys in the other dugout to say, 'Oh [no]. It's Schilling's turn to pitch.'"

    When I asked Damon if that's how he'd remember Curt Schilling, he said: "Absolutely. He wasn't going to be afraid of that moment."
     
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  39. Clark Kent

    Clark Kent Fighter of the Nightman

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    There is no better post-season pitcher. His regular season stats are not going to blow anyone away, but what he did in Boston (and his career in the post-season) is nothing short of amazing. No better pitcher around when you needed a clutch performance. It's going to be hard to deny him, I think.
     
  40. Ray Finkle

    Ray Finkle Member

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    Not much news lately. Masterson will be in the pen this year (as we probably already assumed). Smoltz threw again off the mound today and was happy with the results so far. And not sure if anyone is paying attention to the way Clay Buchholz is pitching this spring but he's been pretty impressive. I don't pay any attention to spring stats but it's said he's really attacking the zone and using all of his pitches and throwing them for strikes. I bet he'll make a few starts for the team this year. Again the pitching depth right now is unreal.
     

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