Two important releases went out today: First of all, I’m sure many New Englanders will be pleased to hear that we have officially signed Cumberland, Rhode Island native Rocco Baldelli to a one year deal.
Secondly, and maybe more importantly for fans who might be able to make it to Fenway Park on Friday(TODAY!)…there will be an autograph signing (benefiting the Red Sox Foundation) at the Souvenir Store from 4:30pm – 6:30pm. Signing autographs will be members of the Red Sox Annual Rookie Program. More details and a photo of the Rookies on their visit to Fenway Park today can be found below (after the Baldelli release).
So what do you all think of the Baldelli signing? How ’bout the fact that he will be wearing #5, the first Sox player to do so since Nomar?
RED SOX SIGN FREE AGENT OUTFIELDER ROCCO BALDELLI TO ONE-YEAR CONTRACT
BOSTON, MA–The Boston Red Sox today agreed to terms with outfielder Rocco Baldelli on a one-year contract through the 2009 season. No further terms were disclosed.
To make room for Baldelli on the 40-man roster, righthanded pitcher Charlie Zink was designated for assignment.
The announcement was made by Executive Vice President/General Manager Theo Epstein.
Baldelli, 27, batted .263 with four home runs and 13 RBI in 28 games for the Tampa Bay Rays in 2008. The righthanded batter spent a majority of the year on the disabled list with a mitochondrial disorder. He was placed on the Rays 60-day disabled list on March 28 and reinstated to the roster on August 10 following two rehab assignments. He made 16 starts for the Rays in 2008, 13 at designated hitter and three at rightfield.
In five seasons of major league action, Baldelli has compiled a .281 average, 94 doubles, 52 homers and 234 RBI in 447 games, all with Tampa Bay. He was 4-for-20 with two home runs and six RBI in his post-season debut this past fall.
Baldelli appeared in 156 games during the 2003 season and 136 games during the 2004 season, but has since appeared in just 155 games over the last four years due to injury. After missing the entire 2005 season with knee and elbow injuries, the Rhode Island native rejoined the Rays on June 7, 2006 and led the club in runs scored (59), doubles (24), RBI (57) and home runs (16) over the final 103 games of the 2006 season. In 2007, he appeared in 35 games before suffering a season-ending hamstring injury on May 15.
In 2003, he finished third in American League Rookie of the Year voting after leading major league rookies with 184 hits and ranking tops among A.L. rookies in batting average (.289), stolen bases (27), triples (8) and multi-hit games (53). He also led all American Leaguers with 14 outfield assists.
Baldelli was the sixth overall selection by Tampa Bay in the 2000 First Year Player Draft. During a standout amateur career, he led Rhode Island’s Bishop Hendrickson High School to four consecutive baseball titles.
For perseverance despite his mitochondrial disorder, Baldelli was voted the winner of this year’s Tony Conigliaro Award, presented to a major league player who has overcome adversity through the attributes of spirit, determination and courage that were trademarks of Tony C. The award will be presented tonight at the Boston Baseball Writers’ Association of America’s annual dinner.
Rookie Program Autograph Session
And, as promised, here’s a picture of the members of the Red Sox Rookie program on their visit to Fenway Park today – and before I get all the questions – they’re wearing hard hats because, as has been the custom since the new ownership took over, we’re making improvements to Fenway Park, and well…as they say…safety first!!!
AUTOGRAPH SESSION TO BENEFIT THE RED SOX FOUNDATION SCHEDULED
FOR FRIDAY, JANUARY 9 AT OFFICIAL RED SOX TEAM STORE
Players Participating in 2009 Red Sox Rookie Program Expected To Attend Signing
BOSTON, MA–An autograph session to benefit the Red Sox Foundation will take place on Friday, January 9 from 4:30 until 6:30 p.m. at the Official Red Sox Team Store, located at 19 Yawkey Way, across from Fenway Park.
For a donation of $20.00 to the Red Sox Foundation, fans will have the opportunity to receive autographs from Boston’s top upper level prospects. The players are taking part in the Red Sox 2009 Rookie Program, a two-week session designed to expose the players to the expectations of being in the major leagues for the Red Sox.
The autograph session will be open to fans of all ages on a first come, first served basis. There will be a limit of one autograph of each player attending per person. Fans may bring items to have signed or can purchase merchandise to be autographed at the Team Store.
The players attending the Rookie Program who are expected to take part in the autograph session are pitchers Daniel Bard, Dewon Day, Felix Doubront, Kris Johnson, Richie Lentz, Wes Littleton, Adam Mills and Dustin Richardson; catcher Mark Wagner; infielders Lars Anderson and Argenis Diaz; and outfielders Zach Daeges and Josh Reddick. The list of players is subject to change.
Ok, everyone here is getting ready for the annual Boston Baseball Writer’s dinner tonight. So there should be some good Red Sox related articles in the papers tomorrow!
All the best from a very chilly Front Office (our boiler is broken),
“The Voice of the Nation