January 2009

Register for Opening Day and Yankees tickets, Green Monster seats and More!

Thought you’d like to know….While regular season tickets are still available, as on Noon today, you can also begin registering for the Random Drawing for Yankees and Opening Day tickets, as well as Green Monster and the Right Field Roof Deck seats!

Click here to register!

And if you win a chance for these tickets in the Random Drawing, I fully expect you to send me an email (insider@redsox.com) with a picture of you on top of the Green Monster, or some such thing as a thanks for letting you know about this opportunity before you could find out about it anywhere else!

Good luck everybody!

All the best from a very snow-bound Front Office,

“The Voice of the Nation”

Red Sox Nation Governor’s Conference Call!

So, just before the weekend, I was allowed in to observe (well, more like creepily listen in on) a set of conference calls that included the Governors of Red Sox Nation.

ben cherington.jpg

I have to tell you…very very interesting stuff.  Each call began with a representative from our Baseball Operations department giving their insight on the makeup of the 2009 team.  Amiel Sawdaye, Assistant Director for Amateur Scouting, and Vice President/Player Personnel, Ben Cherington both gave the Governors their insight as to how the offseason has gone, and the direction of the team.  For the calls that I was privy to, Ben Cherington gave the Baseball updates.  He was great – running down the direction of the team, goals for the future, he touched on some of our offseason deals and needs.  For example, he detailed how the team has evolved from one that would “bludgeon pitching staffs in ’03 and ’04” to one that now is “much more multi-dimensional (fielding, base running, etc.).

He also pointed out that we can still hit with the best of them (2nd in runs scored in all of 2008), but that one of our greatest strengths is now the “group of young pitchers that we control in/approaching their prime.”

I have to say, it was just really cool to hear his inside perspective.

The two conference calls I was able to listen to were those for the New England Governors, and those for the Southern Governors (Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia).

With the Governors on one end of the conference call and an assortment of Red Sox Front Office folks (multiple VPs), discussion ranged from the new benefits of Red Sox Nation citizenship to the challenges of getting to Fenway.  If you live in one of those states, you ought to be very proud of your Governors, because they came up with some great ideas and suggestions as to how we (the Red Sox) can better serve our fans.

If you are one of the Governors and are reading this, thanks for all your input!  If you are not one of the Governors, I would encourage you to reach out to your Governor as soon as possible.  If there was one thing that they said they wanted more than anything else, it was to hear from the Red Sox fans in their states.  We now have a Governor in every US State, so get in touch with them!  Even just shoot them an email to say hi.  TRUST ME, they’ll appreciate hearing from you!  You can find out who your Governor is, and contact them by clicking right here!

Ok, that’s all I got for now, I just wanted to share the latest here from the Front Office!

Cheers,

“The Voice of the Nation”

PS – To see the Red Sox Nation “watch-parties” that have been held ALL around the country take a look at the photos right here!  And if you’re living in a state and don’t see your picture in the gallery, contact your Red Sox Nation Governor to find out where the next “watch party” will be held!  They’d love to see you there!

No Arbitration!

Hot off the Front Office email…We just agreed to terms with Papelbon and Javier Lopez.

 

RED SOX AGREE TO TERMS WITH RIGHTHANDED PITCHER JONATHAN PAPELBON

AND LEFTHANDED PITCHER JAVIER LOPEZ

 

BOSTON, MA–The Boston Red Sox today agreed to terms with rigthhanded pitcher Jonathan Papelbon and lefthanded pitcher Javier Lopez on one-year, non-guaranteed contracts through the 2009 season, thus avoiding salary arbitration with both players. Terms were not disclosed.

 

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

 

Papelbon went 5-4 with a 2.34 ERA in 2008 and set career highs 67 appearances, 69.1 innings and 41 saves, the third-most in the American League. He also ranked among A.L. relief leaders in games finished (2nd, 62), fewest walks per 9.0 innings (2nd, 1.04), save percentage (4th, 89.1), opponents on-base percentage (5th, .245), and strikeouts (T6th, 77).

 

The 28-year-old is one of four pitchers ever to record 30 or more saves in at least each of his first three full big league seasons, joining Billy Koch (4), Kazuhiro Sasaki (3) and Todd Worrell (3). He trails Bob Stanley (132) for second in Red Sox history with 113 career saves, the third-highest total in the majors from 2006-08.

 

Papelbon is 13-10 in 202 games/three starts over 230.0 career innings. His 1.84 ERA is the second-lowest in major league history since 1900 among pitchers with at least 200.0 innings behind Ed Walsh (1.82). Boston’s fourth round selection in the 2003 First-Year Player Draft is 2-0 with seven saves in 16 career playoff games and has thrown a post-season record 25.0 innings without allowing a run.

 

In 2008, Lopez tossed a career-high 59.1 innings on his way to a 2-0 record and finished fourth in the A.L. among qualifying lefthanded relievers with a 2.43 ERA and tied for fourth with 70 appearances. The 31-year-old limited lefthanded hitters to a .182 batting average, fifth in the A.L. He recorded a 1.98 ERA in his last 58 outings beginning April 25 and closed out the year with a season-high 12.0 consecutive scoreless frames over his final 15 games.

 

Lopez has spent each of the last three seasons in the Red Sox organization after joining the club through a trade with the Chicago White Sox on June 15, 2006. His 2.70 career ERA as a reliever with Boston ranks third in club history among pitchers with at least 150 appearances out of the bullpen, trailing only Papelbon (1.81) and Dick Radatz (2.66). The six-year major league veteran is 11-5 with 4 saves and a 4.38 ERA in 329 games with Colorado (2003-05), Arizona (2005) and Boston (2006-08).

 

Youuuuuk locked up!

And the good news keeps on coming!  We officially have signed Kevin Youkilis to a 4-year contact today – with an option for 2013.

What are your thoughts??  Do you like the team’s strategy so far this offseason?  What would you grade it thus far 1-10?

All the best from a very busy Front Office,

“The Voice”

 




Thumbnail image for Pedroia and Youk.jpgRED SOX AGREE TO TERMS WITH FIRST BASEMAN KEVIN YOUKILIS

ON FOUR-YEAR CONTRACT WITH OPTION FOR 2013

 

BOSTON, MA–The Boston Red Sox have agreed to terms on a four-year contract with first baseman Kevin Youkilis. The deal includes a club option for a fifth year. Terms were not disclosed.

 

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

 

Youkilis batted .312 in 2008 and led the Red Sox with 29 home runs and 115 RBI over 145 games, including 125 appearances at first base, 36 at third base, and two in right field. He received 201 points in the American League Most Valuable Player voting to finish third behind teammate Dustin Pedroia (317) and Minnesota’s Justin Morneau (257). He also collected the 2008 Hank Aaron Award for the A.L. and was the league’s starting first baseman in the All-Star Game at Yankee Stadium.

 

The 29-year-old ranked first among A.L. qualifiers with an RBI every 4.7 at-bats and finished among league leaders in slugging percentage (3rd, .569), extra-base hits (4th, 76), RBI (4th), batting average (6th), doubles (T7th, 43), multi-hit games (T8th, 52) and total bases (8th, 306), all career highs. He also placed sixth in the league with a .390 on-base percentage.

 

In 2008, Youkilis became just the third modern major leaguer (since 1901) ever to bat over .300 with more than 100 RBI during a season in which he spent at least 30 games at both first and third base. St. Louis’ Albert Pujols (2001) and Cleveland’s Al Rosen (1954) are the only other players to accomplish the feat.

 

The five-year major league veteran is a career .289 hitter with 66 homers and 314 RBI in 553 games with Boston. He was a member of both the 2004 and 2007 World Series Champions and has a .333 batting average with six round trippers and 17 RBI in 26 playoff contests. In 11 post-season games in 2008, Youkilis hit .292 with two home runs and seven RBI.

 

Last season, Youkilis finished fifth among A.L. qualifiers with a .996 fielding percentage at first base. His error on June 7, 2008 was his first at that position since July 4, 2006, a major league record span of 238 games and 2,002 total chances without a miscue. Boston’s eighth-round pick in the 2001 draft was selected as the first baseman on the 2007 A.L. Rawlings Gold Glove Team, becoming just the second Red Sox first baseman to take home the award joining three-time recipient George Scott (1967-68, 1971). His .997 career fielding percentage at first base is tops in club history (minimum 350 games).

 

Kotsay officially signed!

Quietly, we are putting together quite the team for the 2009 season.  We may not have made a big-name signing, but our bench and bullpen are looking stronger than they have in years (if you ask me, and yes – obviously I’m a bit biased).

But really, there is some huge possible upside to all the signings this year.  Add Mark Kotsay to that list.  He came up big for us at the end of the year last year and hopefully he’ll continue to add that stability to our bench.  And without further ado…here’s the official release!

 

RED SOX SIGN FREE AGENT OUTFIELDER MARK KOTSAY TO ONE-YEAR CONTRACT

 

BOSTON, MA–The Boston Red Sox today announced that the team has signed free agent outfielder Mark Kotsay to a one-year contract for the 2009 season.  No further terms were disclosed.

 

To make room for Kotsay on Boston’s 40-man roster, righthanded pitcher David Aardsma was designated for assignment.

 

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

 

Kotsay, 33, split the 2008 season between the Atlanta Braves and Boston Red Sox following an August 27 trade for outfielder Luis Sumoza. He combined to hit .276 with 45 runs, 111 hits, 25 doubles, six homers, 49 RBI and 32 walks, his highest marks in all of those categories since 2006.

 

He batted .289 with six home runs and 37 RBI in 88 games for Atlanta and became the fifth Braves player since 1900 to hit for the cycle on August 14 against the Cubs, collecting the 1,500th hit of his career in that same contest. With the Red Sox, the lefthanded hitter posted a .226 batting average and 12 RBI in 22 games. Kotsay appeared in 10 of Boston’s 11 post-season contests in 2008, going 10-for-40 (.250) with two runs, including the game-tying score in the club’s historic come-from-behind victory in Game 5 of the ALCS against Tampa Bay.

 

In the field, Kotsay made just one error in 240 total chances, combining to make starts in centerfield (80), right field (18), and first base (4), his only experience at the position since 2006. His last miscue in the outfield came on July 30, 2007, a span of 112 games and 228 total chances. He ranks second in the majors since the start of the 1998 campaign with 113 outfield assists, trailing only Vladimir Guerrero (115) in that time.

 

Overall, he has a .281 career batting average, 109 home runs and 609 RBI in 1,450 total games with the Marlins (1997-2000), Padres (2001-03), Athletics (2004-07), Braves (2008) and Red Sox (2008).

 

Kotsay was originally selected by the Marlins as the ninth overall pick in the first round of the 1996 First-Year Player Draft. He received the 1996 Golden Spikes Award and was named the 1995 National Player of the Year after leading Cal-State Fullerton to a College World Series title.

 

RED SOX SEND OUTFIELDER MICKEY HALL TO CLEVELAND TO COMPLETE BYRD DEAL: The Red Sox today sent outfielder Mickey Hall to the Cleveland Indians to complete the trade that brought righthanded pitcher Paul Byrd to Boston on August 12, 2008

 

Hall spent the majority of 2008 with Double-A Portland but began the season in Single-A Lancaster, combining to bat .230 with 37 RBI and a career-high 14 home runs over 94 games. He tied with outfielder Bubba Bell for the Sea Dogs team lead with 13 round trippers.

 

The lefthanded batter was selected by Boston in the second round of the 2003 First-Year Player Draft and hit .239 with 47 homers and 222 RBI in 538 games over six seasons in the Red Sox organization.

John Smoltz has been officially signed!

I’m sure this is the sight Braves fans have been dreading seeing, and for that I am truly sorry that I have to be the first to bring it to you.  However, for Sox fans, this is a very welcome sight!  I can’t wait to see him take the hill in a Sox uniform!

Happy Smoltz.jpg

Brita Meng Outzen/Boston Red Sox

Happy to report that John Smoltz will be with us for the 2009 season!  Smoltz was at Fenway for his press conference this morning, and my co-workers who were at the event (I was unfortunately swamped in work and wasn’t able to make it in time) said that he seems like a really nice, genuine, and intelligent guy.  Luckily for us, he also happens to be one heck of a pitcher!  Smoltz has long been a favorite of mine to watch from afar.  He just seems like the consumate professional.  And if he’s able to get back into good health at some point during the first few months of the season, we’ll be in great shape!

Smoltz has always been one of the best – a certain Hall of Famer, and while the press release below does a great job of outlining his great qualities on the field, I would bet that his experience and knowledge will be also serve as invaluable assets to our entire pitching staff – the youngsters in particular.

What are your thoughts??

All the best from a Front Office still glowing about Jim Ed,

“The Voice of the Nation”

 

RED SOX SIGN FREE AGENT RIGHTHANDED PITCHER JOHN SMOLTZ TO ONE-YEAR CONTRACT

 

 


smoltz with jersey.jpg                                      Brita Meng Outzen/Boston Red Sox

 

BOSTON, MA–The Boston Red Sox today announced that the team has signed free agent righthanded pitcher John Smoltz to a one-year contract through the 2009 season. No further terms were disclosed.

 

To make room for Smoltz on Boston’s 40-man roster, righthanded pitcher David Pauley was designated for assignment.

 

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

 

Smoltz, 41, went 3-2 with a 2.57 ERA in six games/five starts for the Atlanta Braves in 2008. He recorded 36 strikeouts and eight walks over 28.0 innings after spending three separate stints on the disabled list.

 

He began the regular season on the D.L. with right shoulder inflammation but was reinstated to the roster on April 6, going 3-2 with a 2.00 ERA in five starts before right biceps tendonitis sidelined him on April 29. He came back for one relief appearance on June 2 but landed on the D.L. with a right shoulder injury the following day. Smoltz missed the remainder of the 2008 season and Dr. James Andrews conducted surgery to repair labrum damage in Birmingham, Alabama on June 10.

 

The 20-year major league veteran has a 210-147 record and a 3.26 ERA in 3,395.0 innings over 708 career games/466 starts, all with Atlanta. He fanned  Washington’s Felipe Lopez on April 22, 2008 for the 3,000th strikeout of his career and ranks 16th all-time with 3,011 K’s, tops in Braves history and fourth among active pitchers behind Randy Johnson (4,789), Pedro Martinez (3,117) and Curt Schilling (3,116). He also ranks among that group in career complete games (4th, 53), innings (4th), opponents batting average (4th, .235), earned run average (5th), shutouts (5th, 16), starts (5th) and wins (8th).

 

The Michigan native has finished among the top 10 in N.L. Cy Young Award voting five times in his career, most recently in 2006 (7th) and 2007 (6th), and received the honor in 1996 when he led the majors with 24 wins. He passed the 200-inning plateau in each of his last three full seasons from 2005-07 and has done so in a total of 10 major league seasons, tied with Jamie Moyer and Andy Pettitte for third-most among active hurlers.

 

Smoltz amassed a Braves record 154 saves as the team’s closer from mid-2001 through 2004, including three straight 40-save seasons from 2002-04. He is the only pitcher ever to record at least 200 wins and 150 saves in a career and one of just seven players ever to make at least 400 starts and 200 relief appearances. Smoltz led the majors with a club record 55 saves in 2002 to earn the N.L. Rolaids Relief Award and join Dennis Eckersley as the only two pitchers in big league history to post at least one season of 20 or more wins and 50 or more saves.  

 

The eight-time All-Star is 15-4 with a 2.65 ERA in 207.0 innings over 40 career post-season games/27 starts. His 15 wins and 194 strikeouts during the playoffs are both all-time major league records. He was named the Most Valuable Player of the 1992 NLCS after going 2-0 with a 2.66 ERA in three starts against the Pirates. In all, Smoltz helped lead the Braves to a World Series title in 1995 and N.L. Pennants in 1991, 1992, 1996 and 1999.

 

In 2007, he posted a 14-8 record in 32 starts. He ranked third in the N.L. with 197 strikeouts and finished fourth in the senior circuit with a 3.11 ERA in 205.2 innings. Smoltz led all major leaguers with 50 quality starts from 2006-07.

 

He has thrown 20.2 career innings at Fenway Park without allowing an earned run, the most of any big league pitcher since 1954, and is 2-0 with four saves and a 0.85 ERA in 10 total games/four starts against the Red Sox. He was originally selected by the Detroit Tigers in the 22nd round of the 1985 First-Year Player Draft and was the 2005 recipient of Major League Baseball’s Roberto Clemente Award.

 

ACTIVE STRIKEOUT LEADERS

Strikeouts       Player

4,789               Randy Johnson

3,117               Pedro Martinez

3,116               Curt Schilling

3,011               John Smoltz

2,607               Tom Glavine

 

ALL-TIME POST-SEASON WIN LEADERS

W-L                 Player

15-4                 John Smoltz

14-16               Tom Glavine

14-9                 Andy Pettitte

11-14               Greg Maddux

11-2                 Curt Schilling

 

ALL-TIME POST-SEASON STRIKEOUT LEADERS

Strikeouts       Player

194                  John Smoltz

145                  Mike Mussina

143                  Tom Glavine

139                  Andy Pettitte

132                  Randy Johnson

Jim Rice is in the Hall of Fame!!!

The results are in!  And he’s in, with 76.4% of the vote!!!

Jim’s in, by a mere 9 votes (if I did my math correctly)…Phew!!

Rice HOF.JPG

Mike Ivins/Boston Red Sox

I can say that folks over here are ecstatic!!  There was a loud cheer that went up here in the Front Office as soon as it was announced.  Dick Bresciani, who has long championed Rice’s case, has his eyes glued on the mlb network, listening to the coverage.  It must be a very happy moment for him, Rod, Debbie and the rest of the gang here who have lobbied the voters by sending them statistical information on Rice’s behalf over the past few years.  Good for them!

What are your thoughts and reactions??  Looking forward to hearing from you!

 All the best from a VERY happy Front Office,

“The Voice of the Nation”

 

JIM RICE ELECTED TO NATIONAL BASEBALL HALL OF FAME

IN COOPERSTOWN, NY

Joins fellow Red Sox outfielder Rickey Henderson in the Class of 2009

 

BOSTON, MA–Jim Rice was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York today, becoming one of 32 Red Sox players to receive the honor. He is the 48th electee to spend his entire career with one team and just the fourth to do so with Boston, joining Bobby Doerr, Ted Williams and Carl Yastrzemski.

 

Rice received 412 of the 539 votes cast by eligible members of the Baseball Writers Association of America, 76.4 percent of the total, a gain of 4.2 percent over his total in 2008 when he finished 16 votes shy of the necessary 75 percent. Also elected along with Rice was outfielder Rickey Henderson, with 94.8 percent of the votes. Henderson appeared in 72 games for Boston in 2002, marking the first time that a pair of Red Sox have earned induction in the same year since Carlton Fisk and Tony Perez in 2000.

 

Number 14 reached the Hall of Fame in his 15th and final year of eligibility on the writers’ ballot, done only twice previously by Red Ruffing (1967) and Ralph Kiner (1975). He and Henderson are the 20th and 21st left fielders to be elected and first since Yastrzemski (1989), the man Rice replaced beneath Fenway Park’s Green Monster in 1975. 

 

Over 16 seasons from 1974-89, Rice batted .298 with 382 home runs and 1,451 RBI in 2,089 games, earning eight All-Star selections along the way. He placed among the top five in American League Most Valuable Player voting six times during his career, more than any other player between 1963 and 2005, and won the award in 1978 when he hit .315 with 213 hits, 46 home runs, 139 RBI, and a .600 slugging percentage. The former Red Sox captain also collected 406 total bases in 1978, still the only A.L. player to reach 400 since Joe DiMaggio in 1937 (418).

 

Rice drove in 100 or more runs eight times, had seven different seasons with at least a .300 batting average, and four with 200 hits or more. He topped the 20-home run plateau 11 times and ranked among the A.L.’s top 10 in that category on seven occasions with first place finishes in 1977, 1978 and 1983. He helped Boston to A.L. Pennants in 1975, when he finished second to teammate Fred Lynn in Rookie of the Year voting, and 1986, as well as an Eastern Division title in 1988.

 

He is joined by Sam Crawford, Ty Cobb, Lou Gehrig, Stan Musial, Hank Aaron, Eddie Murray and Rafael Palmeiro as one of only eight players ever to lead the majors in total hits and RBI over a 14-year span, a feat he accomplished from 1975-88. During that period he also paced the A.L. in runs, round trippers and outfield assists.

 

The South Carolina native is the only player in major league history to record at least 35 homers and 200 hits in three straight seasons, doing so from 1977-79. He also led the A.L. in total bases in each of those three consecutive campaigns, a record he shares with Cobb (1907-09) and Williams (1942, 46-47).  

 

Rice, who was one of the first inductees into the Red Sox Hall of Fame in 1995, ranks among the club’s all-time leaders in at-bats (3rd), hits (3rd), home runs (3rd), RBI (3rd), games (4th), runs (4th), doubles (6th), triples (6th), slugging percentage (8th) and walks (8th). He has been a member of the organization since he was selected with the 15th overall pick in the first round of the 1971 June draft. In 1974, he won the International League Triple Crown, batting .337 with 25 long balls and 93 RBI for Pawtucket.

 

Following his playing career, he was a roving minor league hitting instructor for Boston from 1992-94, a major league hitting coach from 1995-2000, and continues to serve the team today as a special assignment instructor, a role he has held since 2001. He also works as an analyst on NESN’s pre and post-game Red Sox coverage.

 

Rice and Henderson will be formally inducted into the Hall of Fame in ceremonies in Cooperstown on Sunday, July 26.

 

Will Jim get in??? – We’ll find out in a few short hours!

Ok, well the next few hours probably don’t seem so “short” to Jim Rice, but hopefully he’s able to relax and hope for the best.

As for the rest of you, I hope you all have your fingers crossed for Jim!  The announcement is expected at 2pm today, but as soon as we find out, I’m going to post it right here!  Or, if you prefer, you can watch the announcement live on mlb.com

Here’s hoping number 14 finally gets the call!

“The Voice of the Nation”

Saito Signed!

“You can never have enough pitching.”  I’m not sure who first uttered these words, but in all my years in baseball (and watching baseball for that matter) I’ve never seen this statement proven wrong.

So, a day after we signed his former Dodger teammate Brad Penny, on Saturday we announced the signing of Takashi Saito to a one year contract.  He’s a proven veteran arm we can add to our bullpen arsenal.  In his brief major league career, he has been just about as solid as they come as a reliever.  See the official release below for all the details…

 
Saito.jpg 

RED SOX SIGN FREE AGENT RIGHTHANDED PITCHER TAKASHI SAITO TO ONE-YEAR CONTRACT WITH OPTION FOR 2010

 

BOSTON, MA–The Boston Red Sox today announced that the team has signed free agent righthanded pitcher Takashi Saito to a one-year contract through the 2009 season with a club option for 2010.  No further terms were disclosed.

 

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

 

Saito, 38, went 4-4 with 18 saves and a 2.49 ERA in 45 relief appearances for the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2008. He struck out 60 and walked just 16 over 47.0 innings but missed nearly two months on the disabled list.  

 

The righthander began the season going 3-3 with 17 saves and a 2.18 ERA through his first 39 games. He converted 15 of 16 save opportunities from April 29 to July 9, including each of his last nine during that stretch, before landing on the 15-day D.L. on July 18 with a right elbow sprain. On September 3, Saito was transferred to the 60-day D.L., where he stayed until September 13 before making seven more appearances for the Dodgers over the remainder of the season, including one in the NLDS against the Cubs.   

 

In 2007, he tallied a 2-1 record and finished fourth in the N.L. with a career-high 39 saves, earning a spot on his first All-Star squad. He logged a 1.40 ERA, the second lowest among qualifying major league relievers behind Seattle’s J.J. Putz (1.38), and trailed only Boston’s Jonathan Papelbon (.146) among that group with a .151 opponents batting average against.

 

Saito debuted for the Dodgers in 2006, going 6-2 with a 2.07 ERA in 72 relief outings. He led all major league relievers with 107 strikeouts in just 78.1 innings of work and tied for ninth in the N.L. with a club rookie record 24 saves. He finished among the top 10 in N.L. Rookie of the Year (7th) and Cy Young Award (8th) voting.

 

For his major league career, he is 12-7 with a 1.95 ERA in 189.2 innings over 180 games. He has converted 81 of 91 career save opportunities for an 89.0 percent success rate, the fifth-highest in baseball since the save became an official statistic in 1969 (min. 80 saves). He is one of two pitchers ever to record at least 40 relief appearances and an ERA under 2.50 in each of his first three major league seasons, along with Red Sox Hall of Famer Dick Radatz (1962-64).

 

Prior to joining the Dodgers, Saito pitched 14 seasons in the Japanese Central League, going 87-80 with 48 saves and a 3.81 ERA in 339 career games/178 starts for Yokohama Baystars. There he earned All-Star honors four times and was named the 1998 Comeback Player of the Year after undergoing shoulder surgery the previous season. He attended Tottoku Fukushi University before being selected in the first round of the Central League draft by the then Taiyo Whales, which later became the Baystars.

 

Today’s move puts Boston’s major league roster at 40 players.

 

 

A Penny saved, a Penny earned??

Sorry again for the terrible title of this entry. I’m trying to get all of the puns out of my system before the season starts…

Anyhow…Brad Penny is officially a member of the Red Sox…official release below.  Thoughts??

By the way, the boiler in our office still seems to be broken.  Seriously, most of my co-workers are wearing jackets all day long.  One very fragile co-worker has even been seen wearing his winter hat while at his cubicle.

It’s quite the scene here in the Front Office…

All the best from a very weekend-eager Front Office!
“The Voice of the Nation”

 

RED SOX SIGN FREE AGENT RIGHTHANDED PITCHER BRAD PENNY TO ONE-YEAR CONTRACT

 

BOSTON, MA–The Boston Red Sox today announced that the team has signed free agent righthanded pitcher Brad Penny to a one-year contract through the 2009 season. No further terms were disclosed.

 

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

 

Penny, 30, went 6-9 with a 6.27 ERA in 19 games/17 starts for the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2008. He struck out 51 and walked 42 over a career-low 94.2 innings after spending three separate stints on the disabled list with injuries to his right shoulder.

 

He began the season going 5-2 with a 3.19 ERA in his first seven starts through May 2 but lost each of his next seven decisions and was placed on the 15-day disabled list on June 17 with mild tendonitis in his right shoulder. Penny was limited to four games/two starts over the remainder of the season due to two more trips to the D.L., including a season-ending 60-day stint that began on September 24.

 

In 2007, he posted a 16-4 record in 33 starts and set a career-high with 208.0 innings pitched. The righthander led the majors with a .800 winning percentage, tied for second in the National League with 26 quality starts and ranked third with a 3.03 ERA. Penny was named to his second consecutive All-Star team after starting for the senior circuit in 2006 and finished third in 2007 N.L. Cy Young Award voting.

 

Penny is 94-75 with a 4.06 ERA in 249 games/245 starts over nine years in the major leagues with the Florida Marlins (2000-04) and Dodgers (2004-08). He tied for third in the N.L. with 32 total wins from 2006-07 and ranked eighth among N.L. qualifiers with a .600 winning percentage from 2004-07, and 10th during that span with a 3.61 ERA.

 

He has a 3-2 record and 6.26 ERA in eight career post-season appearances and joined Josh Beckett and Mike Lowell on the 2003 World Series Champion Marlins, going 2-0 with a 2.19 ERA in two starts against the New York Yankees in the Fall Classic.

 

Penny was originally selected by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the fifth round of the 1996 First-Year Player Draft. He combined with lefthanded pitcher Luis Arroyo on the first no-hitter in Portland Sea Dogs history on August 8, 1999, his first game in the Marlins organization following a mid-season trade from the Diamondbacks.

 

The Red Sox today also outrighted righthanded pitcher Charlie Zink to Triple-A Pawtucket. Righthanded pitchers Virgil Vasquez and Dewon Day were claimed off waivers by the San Diego Padres and Tampa Bay Rays respectively. With the addition of Penny, these moves put Boston’s major league roster at 39 players.