December 2008

Penny – Heads or Tails?

 

Brad Penny.jpgAccording to some reports, and depending on how much weight you want to put in those – I never put any weight into them until I see our official release sent to me, we could be signing 30 year old pitcher Brad Penny.  Penny struggled last season with the Dodgers (to the tune of a 6.27 ERA), but his upside looks something like this: a 3.03 ERA in 2007, a 4.33 ERA in 2006, a 3.90 ERA in 2005, a 3.09 ERA and a 3.15 ERA in 2004 (while spliting the season between the Marlins and Dodgers).

Penny has some postseason experience, and although his performance was a bit shaky, he did earn a World Series Ring in 2003 with the Marlins, during which he had a 2.19 ERA in 12.1 innings pitched. 

How would you feel about all of this?

Bard.jpgAlso, on a far more substantiated and confirmed signing front, we have agreed to a contract with catcher Josh Bard.  As you may recall, Bard was with us briefly, before he and Cla (pronounced “Clay”) Meredith were sent to the Padres in the trade that brought Doug Mirabelli back to Boston.

Do you think Bard will have a bounce-back season this year?  Do you think he will get his confidence to catch the knuckleball?  How well exactly do you think he will do?  I want to hear your predictions for Bard’s batting average, home runs, RBI, and passed balls for 2009.

I’m curious as to what all of you think…dare I say, “a penny for your thoughts?” (sorry…that was really bad, I know.)

All the best from the Insider’s Home Office (gotta love the holiday break!),

“The Voice of the Nation”

 

No Tex? No problem?

This guy seems to be headed to the Bronx…(so instead of picturing him in a Sox uniform, does anybody have a good caption for this photo they’d like to share?)

teixiera.jpgIf you believe the reports that have been coming in today, it sounds like Mark Teixiera has agreed to an 8year contract with the New York Yankees.

I wish I could give you the Front Office reaction to this news, but alas, I had already left for the holidays.  Buuuut…if I had to imagine what the reaction would have been, it would have gone something like this, “well, it would have certainly been nice to have him, but heck, we have Mike Lowell!”  Lest anyone forget, Mike Lowell also goes by the title of “2007 World Series MVP.”

To be quite honest with you…I’m ok going into the 2009 season with him at 3rd base, and Youk at first base.

Here’s some food for thought…Can you name who Player A and Player B are?:

Player A:

.312 Batting Average

29 Home Runs

115 RBI

.390 On Base Percentage

Player B:

.308 Batting Average

33 Home Runs

121 RBI

.410 On Base Percentage

Here’s the big hint – One is Mark Teixiera and the other is Kevin Youkilis (both of whom coincidentally, happen to be Gold Glovers at first base).  Still thinking about it?  C’mon, give it your best guess.  Guess now.  Ok, now look at the bottom of this entry for the answer.  Kudos to those folks that knew off-hand which was which.  Now even if you guessed right, did you really think it would be that close?

Which begs the question – do you think Youk will get this same kind of contract?

And also,now that Teixiera is seemingly getting fitted for pinstripes…where would you like to see us direct our attention (and dollars)?  Somehow, I feel like I might get a lot of “TEK!!” responses.  With that said, who else do you think we should go after??

All the best from a Front Office on Holiday Break (though, to be honest, we never really stop working),

“The Voice of the Nation”

STATS ANSWER: Player A is Kevin Youkilis.  Player B is Mark Teixiera. 

(more…)

Fenway Park Yard Sale!

Wow…I was just at our first-ever Fenway Park Yard Sale.  People are getting some great gifts for their friends and family down here today…The yard sale was open today for citizens of Red Sox Nation who were selected at random. 



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Megan LaBella/Boston Red Sox

Basically, we opened up a whole bunch of items that we either found deep inside Fenway Park, or that were removed during construction/renovation of the Park.  There are some really great peices of memorabilia down there.  There are framed pictures of players, game worn player jerseys, game used player bats, bricks from Fenway Park, actual seats from Fenway Park, tables chairs, media guides, etc. etc.

 

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Megan LaBella/Boston Red Sox

Everything is actually really resaonably priced (way under what they would sell at any memorabilia store).

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Megan LaBella/Boston Red Sox

 

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Megan LaBella/Boston Red Sox

 

Good times at the Great Fenway Park Yard Sale!

All the best from the Front Office,

“The Voice of the Nation”

To clear up any confusion…

When I came into the office this morning, a lot of people said they heard incorrect information about the uniforms today.  So, just to clarify a couple of things, I wanted to state the following:  The “B” logo hat (which we all know and love), will be worn every time we don our home white primary uniform.  It will also be worn every time we wear our new primary road jersey (seen below in gray).  The hanging sox hat (modeled quite well below, by an unnamed member of the Front Office) will ONLY be worn as part of the alternate red and blue uniforms.

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Mike Ivins/Boston Red Sox

If you have any questions about the uniforms, just let me know!  insider@redsox.com

At this point, I think I’m officially a registered expert in the field of Red Sox uniforms (I’ve been doing a lot of research on the topic today, so that I’ll know what I’m talking about).

All the best from the Front Office!

“The Voice”

Here they are!

Let me know what you think!  I’d be very curious to hear!

Here’s the new “primary road jersey.”  This is the one you will most often see the team wear on the road.  It has a little flair for the 1980’s jerseys (for those of you that remember them).  Though it is different in a couple of different ways. The font on the front is in “Red Sox Font” as opposed to the ones from the 80’s where it was a little more of a “block” font.  This new one also has the “hanging sox” logo on the sleeve (the one closest to the heart – how poetic!)

 

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Mike Ivins/Boston Red Sox

Now, here is the “alternate road jersey.”  This one has a similar feel to the Batting Practice jersey’s you sometimes see the team wear.  In my opinion, it’s good.  It’s classic.  No harm done.  Joseph Abboud said it was his favorite of the jerseys.  So take that!

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Mike Ivins/Boston Red Sox

Now, here is a familiar one, with a slight change…This is the “Alternate home jersey.”  To most, this will look exactly the same as the red jerseys we’ve worn in recent years.  The only real change is that the navy blue “piping” that went down the middle of the jersey and edge of the sleeve, has been removed.

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Mike Ivins/Boston Red Sox

And lastly, we have a new “alternate cap.”  This cap will be worn only with the alternate blue and alternate red jerseys.

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Mike Ivins/Boston Red Sox

And a nice artsy one courtesy of the Big I…

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Mike Ivins/Boston Red Sox

 

Oh, and don’t worry, no changes to the classic white home primary jersey.

Tell me, tell me.  Do you like them?  Which is your favorite?  What would you do if you could design them?  Of course, you can always email me and let me know: insider@redsox.com

All the best from a very fashionable Front Office!
“The Voice of the Nation”

PS – Today, all around Boston, members of the Front Office will be sporting the new duds.  If you see one of them, and compliment them on it, they’ll give you their new shirt, right off their back!  Keep them eyes peeled!!

As promised…

I’ll have the new uniform pictures to you in minutes…just uploading them now!

“The Voice”

New Sox Uniforms, and new Sox logo

Ok, I’ll admit it.  I was a little scared when I heard we were going to have some new uniforms this season.  You see, I’m a bit of a baseball traditionalist.

But being the nosy Front Office person that I am, I managed to get a sneak-peek of the new uniforms, prior to their official unveiling tomorrow (Thursday).


2007 Road Uniform - close up.jpgAnd I have to say, I’m pretty excited about the road uniform in particular.  For reference, the picture to the left is of Kevin Youkilis rounding the bases in a 2007 road uniform.

Some lucky Red Sox Nation citizens will be the first to see the uniforms, which will be modeled by Manny Delcarmen, and Terry Francona.  The Red Sox Nation citizens were chosen at random from a drawing held earlier this week.  Just one more reason if you aren’t a citizen of Red Sox Nation, you should probably look into it for this year.  Ok, sorry about that gratuitous plug, but it’s               Mike Ivins/Boston Red Sox                                           true..there are a lot of cool  .                                                                              benefits/perks to the program. 

Also in attendance at the event will be Red Sox Nation President Jerry Remy, and Red Sox Hall of Famer Jim Rice.

Note: While I’m tempted to go off on it now, I’ll leave my “how the heck is Jim Rice not in the Baseball Hall of Fame?” rant for another day…

The unveiling event starts at 6pm (open by invitation only).  This means you will probably get a chance to see the new uniforms on the news tomorrow night (for those living in our local market).  For those of you living outside of the area, you can always check back here, or on redsox.com for the pics. 

So, my question for all of you is this…

If you had the ability to make a new Sox uniform, or change the existing ones, what would they look like?

Also, there will be “design changes” to our team logos.  I’ve seen these changes as well, and can confidently say, you have nothing to worry about there.

I’ll be sure to post photos of the new uniforms and redesigned logos as soon as I can, so stay tuned!

All the best from a very busy Front Office,

“The Voice”

PS – According to reports, CC Sabathia is headed to the Yankees in a 7-year, $160 million deal.  And as great as a pitcher as he has been, I still feel really good about our team, and especially the way we have been grooming our young pitchers.

Welcome to Boston, Junichi Tazawa!

The Big I” comes through again!  Here’s our first glimpse of Tazawa as a member of the Red Sox.

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Mike Ivins/Boston Red Sox

I’m happy to report that we have just announced the signing of Japanese righthander Junichi Tazawa.

Now, granted, for many of you this probably comes as no surprise, as it had been reported that we were the leading contenders to land the young (he’s 22years old) pitcher, but nonetheless, it is great to see us continuing to scour the globe for the best possible talent.

Tazawa was introduced today at a 3pm press conference.

Sayonara from the Front Office!

“The Voice”

PS – For everything you ever wanted to know about Tazawa…see our Press Release below:

 

For Immediate Release

December 4, 2008

 

RED SOX AGREE TO TERMS WITH RIGHTHANDED PITCHER JUNICHI TAZAWA

ON THREE-YEAR CONTRACT

 

tazawa.jpgBOSTON, MA–The Boston Red Sox today announced that the club has signed righthanded pitcher Junichi Tazawa to a three-year major league contract extending through the 2011 season. No further terms were disclosed.  

 

The announcement was made by Executive Vice President/General Manager Theo Epstein.

 

The 22-year-old joins the Red Sox organization after a four-year amateur career with the Nippon Oil ENEOS of the Japan Industrial League. With the addition of Tazawa, Boston now has 39 players on its major league roster.

 

This past season, Tazawa was 13-1 with 5 saves and a 0.80 ERA in 21 games/11 starts. He struck out 114 batters and walked just 15 over 113.0 innings pitched. In November he led the ENEOS to the semifinals of the league’s corporate championship and in his last start of the competition, a quarterfinals match-up in Osaka on the 21st, Tazawa allowed just four hits and struck out 10 in a complete-game shutout, one of four during the 2008 campaign.  

 

In September, Tazawa helped Nippon Oil win the 32-team Intercity Baseball Tournament for the first time in 13 years. He appeared in all five of the ENEOS’ games from September 1-9, and earned the event’s Most Valuable Player award going 4-0 with one save and a 1.27 ERA. He tossed 8.0 innings or more with double-digit strikeouts in each of his first two tournament appearances, including a complete-game, five-hit effort on September 4.

 

Overall, the righthander fanned 10 or more batters on four occasions in 2008, and earned MVP honors in the Sports Nippon Tournament after a career-high 18-strikeout performance in a quarterfinals start on March 23.

 

The Yokohama native spent each of the previous three seasons with Nippon Oil after making his Japan Industrial League debut in 2005. Tazawa graduated high school from the Yokohama College of Commerce and was a member of the 2003 team that played in the Koshien Tournament, though he did not appear in a game.

 

— RED SOX —

 

 

Pedroia signed to Six Year Extension!

Hot off the presses…courtesy of your friendly neighborhood photographer (the Big I)


Pedroia extension.jpg       Mike Ivins/Boston Red Sox

First of all, this picture is ripe for a caption contest.  A penny for your caption (minus the penny of course)…

No, but seriously, I would love to hear what your caption for this photo would be…the possibilties are endless.  Secondly, you won’t find this photo anywhere else (at least for a while.  This was just taken, downloaded, and uploaded in record time).  Bravo, Big I, Bravo…

I have to admit, when I think of Dustin signing his extension, I picture him sitting down at a desk, signing the contract, while quoting Lauren from the Hills (season 1, episode 1),

“This is my chance to make it all happen, in the one city, where they say dreams come true.”

No, really…I could actually picture him saying this.

And although, this doesn’t really qualify as another “piece of hardware” that Pedroia can add to his mantle following his MVP, Gold Glove, Silver Slugger season, I still gotta think he’s pretty happy about this one.

Earlier today, we announced that we inked Dustin to a new six year extension that will keep him in a Red Sox uniform through the 2014 season, with a club option to keep him with the team for the 2015 season as well.

How do I feel about this?  As a fan?  As a member of the Front Office?  As a baseball enthusiast?

So good!  So good!  So good!!!

Dustin plays the game hard every single day.  You can tell he’s giving his all on every pitch and on every single ball that comes his way.  He’s gritty, he’s scrappy, he’s (plenty) confident, and his spirit is infectious.

We’ve gone through many secondbasemen in recent Red Sox history.  Now, thanks to some great scouting, player development, and a heck of a lot of hard work and determination on Dustin’s part, we can take a deep sigh of relief in knowing that it will be one position we won’t have to worry about for quite some time.

Congratulations, Dustin on a well deserved extension!  I’m so glad we’ll all have front row seats to six more years of the “lasers show.”

All the best from a very happy Front Office,

“The Voice of the Nation”

Tickets here! Get your tickets here!

I know, I know…inquiring minds want to know what’s going on with Tek and Tazawa and all the rest, but unfortunately, I have no official news on either of those fronts today.

I can report however, that I successfully avoided binge-drinking the Hood Golden Egg Nog this year (a first for me – thank you very much).  I did unfortunately, subsequently over-compensate with increased quanities of Apple Pie and ice cream.  The way I think I’m going to justify it to myself is that I just have more fatty tissue to keep me warm during the cold winter months.  Too much information??

But seriously, I do have some very exciting news…

Tickets for the 2009 season are going on sale!

I’ve included the full release here below, but in case you’re on your way out, and just want the headline, here goes: Tickets go on sale Saturday, December 13 at 10 a.m.!

Now, while Red Sox tickets obviously make a great holiday gift, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that we’re also doing something brand new that same weekend.  On Sunday, December 14th, we’re hosting the Inaugural Great Fenway Park Yard Sale! 
For any fanatics out there in Red Sox Nation (I know I have at least 14 in my immediate family alone) you can find all sorts of unique items ranging from authentic bricks from Fenway Park to other assorted items and furnishings previously in the ballpark.

sox ornament.jpgSo, if you want to be able to attend the Great Fenway Park Yard Sale, or the ever-popular  Christmas at Fenway Event (which takes place on Saturday the 13th), you can begin registering for your chance to attend, by visiting redsox.com at noon tomorrow!  Registration ends at noon on Monday, December 8.

If you’re in the Boston area, I would definitely recommend registering.  If you’re not in the Boston area (and I know that’s a lot of you), be sure to get online, or on the phones on Saturday the 13th, for your chance to purchase tickets for the 2009 season!

Also, be sure to stay tuned…I have a feeling there are many more announcements to come!  And yours truly will be happy to give you the latest!

All the best from a very thankful Front Office,

“The Voice”

PS – See below if you want to learn more about the aforementioned events.

 

For Immediate Release

December 2, 2008      

 

TICKETS FOR SELECT 2009 RED SOX HOME GAMES

AND POPULAR “SOX PAX” GO ON SALE DECEMBER 13

Fans Invited to Enjoy a Weekend of Events including 6th Annual Christmas at Fenway Presented By Stop And Shop and Inaugural Great Fenway Park Yard Sale

Online Registration for the chance to attend Christmas at Fenway and the Great Fenway Park Yard Sale starts December 3

 

BOSTON, MA – Tickets for the 2009 season will go on sale on December 13, 2008 both online at RedSox.com and at the 6th Annual Christmas at Fenway presented by Stop and Shop, which will be held the same day from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at Fenway Park.  Fans who go online or attend the event will have the first shot at purchasing 2009 tickets through the always popular “Sox Pax”, which are four-game ticket packages with a variety of seat options, or by electing from 15 games in April and May.  Tickets will continue to be on sale as long as supplies last.

 

As in the past several years, due to the ongoing Year VIII Fenway Park Improvements, the Red Sox are unable to accommodate a large number of fans at the ballpark.  Single-game ticket sales will primarily be handled online at www.redsox.com beginning at 10:00 a.m. on December 13th.  Fans who do not have internet access or who require ADA accessible seating may also call 1-877-REDSOX9.  Hearing impaired fans may call the Red Sox TTY line at (617) 226-6644.

 

In addition, the first-ever Great Fenway Park Yard Sale will take place the following day on Sunday, December 14th from 10:00 am to 5:00 p.m.  The Yard Sale will give fans the opportunity to purchase Red Sox memorabilia, collectibles and souvenirs that can become their own cherished keepsakes and unique holiday presents.  The selection of items will include physical parts of the ballpark such as authentic Fenway Park bricks and signage along with other items such as game-worn paraphernalia, game programs and other miscellaneous items.  Additionally, fans attending the Yard Sale on Sunday will be given a unique online code that will guarantee them the ability to purchase tickets for the 2009 season online at www.redsox.com.

 

The online registration processes for both events will begin at noon tomorrow, Wednesday, December 3, 2008, and will continue through noon on Monday, December 8, 2008 on RedSox.com.  Fans must register for each event individually and selections will be made separately for Saturday and Sunday event admittance; however, a selection of Yard Sale items will be available for sale on Saturday for fans selected to attend Christmas at Fenway presented by Stop and Shop.

 

For both events, the attendees will be selected and contacted from a pool of registrants and winners will be invited to come to Fenway during a selected time frame.  Each winner will be sent an email confirmation, which includes their pre-selected arrival time.  This confirmation must be presented at check-in with a photo ID for admittance to Fenway Park.

 

Christmas at Fenway presented by Stop and Shop will give randomly selected fans a chance to enjoy the festivities at the ballpark and a guaranteed opportunity to purchase tickets for the 2009 season.  The list of ten different “Sox Pax” available for sale, all of which feature at least one game against the Rays or the Yankees, is attached.  The single games that are available for sale include the Rays games on April 8 and 9, the Orioles games on April 17, 18 and 19, the Twins games on April 21 and 22, the Indians games on May 6 and 7, the Rays games on May 8, 9 and 10 and the games against the Blue Jays on May 19, 20 and 21.  There is a maximum limit of two Sox Pax packages per customer of up to four tickets per package for a total of 32 tickets.  Fans can also purchase a maximum of eight tickets from the single game sales with any combination of games.

 

The inaugural Great Fenway Park Yard Sale will take place in the Third Base Concourse and Absolut Clubhouse.  On Saturday, fans who attend Christmas at Fenway presented by Stop and Shop will have an opportunity to view and purchase a selection of items, including authentic Fenway Park bricks and other miscellaneous furniture and items that previously resided in the ballpark.  On Sunday, a full complement of Yard Sale items will be available for sale.  Fans will be able to purchase a shopping bag, which will include two authentic Fenway Park bricks.  They will then be invited to fill the bag to capacity with items that fit in the bag such as game programs, pictures, schedules, etc, subject to availability.  Large items such as completely intact ballpark seats, authentic jerseys and bats, large posters and signage and other high-value items will be sold separately.

  

–RED SOX–