Friday, April 19, 2024

R.I.P. Dave McCarty


McCarty was a member of the 2004 World Champion Red Sox, hitting .258/.327/.404 with four home runs in 89 games as a bench player and even had a 2.45 ERA in 3.2 innings with four strikeouts.  He was a top prospect for the Twins in the early 1990's but just never seemed to find his way into regular playing time.  He also played with the Giants, Mariners, Royals, Devil Rays and A's.  He spent his last three seasons with the Red Sox from 2003 to 2005.  I always liked McCarty and he was a subject of my Unknown Heroes series.  

Thursday, April 18, 2024

Wong Update

The next couple of packages were a couple of the 2024 Topps parallel cards.  This is the Orange Crackle Foil and the Aqua parallels.  Wong has started the year off fairly well.  As of today, he is hitting .342/.333/.605 with three home runs and eight RBIs.  For awhile there it looked like Reese McGuire was going to overtake Wong for playing time, but that has changed this week.  Wong had a really bad game defensively last week, but seems to have come back around.

Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Mailday Madness (Yet Again)

I am way behind.  I have a long way to catch up.  I have spent a bunch of time lately getting all of my Red Sox cards into binders, something I have been neglecting for about the last three years or so.  But recently, my parents gave me the card collections of my brothers (who did not want them) and I picked up three binders that I could use for my cards.  So, here we are.  This is two of the recent TCDB packages.

1.  Ellis Burks.  Burks is one of those players that has much better numbers than I remember.  For his career, he hit .291/.363/.510 with 352 home runs, 1,206 RBIs and 2,107 hits.  Those are some very impressive career numbers.

2.  Dwight Evans.  A lot of Evans's numbers are even better than those of Burks.  He hit .272/.370/.470 with 385 home runs, 1,384 RBIs and 2,446 hits.  Given that he played in a much weaker offensive time period and has eight Gold Gloves to his name makes him a good candidate for the Hall of Fame.

3.  Coco Crisp.  I remember when Boston acquired Crisp, he looked like a younger version of Johnny Damon.  Injuries slowed him down in 2006 and he was basically an average player in his three years in Boston.  Good, but not what he was expected to be.

4.  Alexi Ogando.  Here's a guy that people probably forget spent time in Boston.  He was 3-1 with a 3.99 ERA as a reliever with the Red Sox in 2015.

5.  David Price.  Price's contract is probably largely a bust, but he was a massive part of their 2018 World Championship.  I still believe he should have been the World Series MVP, going 2-0 in three games with a 1.98 ERA, ten strikeouts and six walks in 14 innings pitched.

6.  Garrett Whitlock.  Whitlock is still Boston's greatest acquisition in the Rule 5 Draft even though he has been mostly inconsistent since his amazing season in 2021.  He is a part of the rotation this season and has been pretty good until an injury last night.

7.  David Ortiz.  This is a shot of Ortiz delivering his terrific speech after the Boston Marathon bombing in 2013, an event that solidified Ortiz as a folk hero.  This was one of his greatest moments.

8.  Caleb Hamilton.  Yeah, this card features several other players, but Hamilton is the only one I care about.  This was a short print from last year's Heritage.  Hamilton played in five games in 2023 for Boston and was hitless (though he did walk once) in six plate appearances.

1.  Jon Lester.  Lester will be on the Hall of Fame ballot for 2027.  He has an interesting case, enhanced by postseason success and intriguing storylines such as his cancer fight and helping the Cubs win their first World Series in over a century.

2.  Chris Sale.  Sale's Red Sox stint started off so well, but he has been absolutely wrecked by injuries since 2018.  

3.  David Price.

4.  Xander Bogaerts.  Padres fans are already complaining about Bogaerts.  It's going to be a difficult contract for him to live up to.  

5.  J.D. Martinez.  Martinez is going to be with the Mets this season, but has yet to play a game for them.

6.   Jeff McNeely.  I remember when McNeely was a major Red Sox prospect.  He was going to be the fastest player on the team since Tommy Harper.  Well, he was fast, stealing six bases in just 21 Major League games.  I don't really know why he never got another shot.  He hit .297/.409/.378 in his only shot with Boston, but he had a rough year in the minors in 1994 and then was traded to the Cardinals in the Luis Alicea deal and never made it back.

7.  Julio Lugo.  Lugo was another fast Red Sox player.  He led the team with 33 stolen bases in 2007, but a 65 OPS+ and being an adventure on defense caused the team to look for other options at shortstop.

8.  Adrian Gonzalez.  Gonzalez was definitely the offensive force Boston wanted when they finally acquired him, hitting .338/.410/.548 with 27 home runs, 117 RBIs and a league-leading 213 hits.  But he was not the clubhouse leader he was expected to be and caused some issues that led to him being packaged in the giant Dodgers deal in 2012.  

Friday, April 12, 2024

Zippy-Zapped with a TTM Auto

I am way behind again.  I haven't been posting much because work is busy.  I will try to eventually catch back up.

Up first is a Zippy-Zapping:

This is a TTM auto of former Red Sox prospect Cole Brannen.  Brannen was Boston's second-round pick in the 2017 draft, the one in which current starter Tanner Houck was the team's first-round choice.  Brannen made it to High-A ball, but never hit higher than .231 and never developed any power.  It just did not work out for him and he was released in Spring of 2022.

Thanks for the card Kenny!

Monday, April 1, 2024

Red Sox Opening Day Lineup 2024

I do this occasionally.  Actually, I'm not even sure if I can say that.  I know I have done it before.  Maybe a couple times.  Anyway, here is the Red Sox Opening Day Roster for 2024 along with some predictions.  A lot of my predictions are somewhat positive.  I really do think this team has some good, young talent.  This is a year to determine what it is that they have and supplement it going forward.  I do not think this team will contend, but they will win some games.  I do think they will be active during the trading period, hopefully bringing in young pitching.  

2024 Prediction: Abreu will turn out to be the best player Boston got in the Christian Vazquez deal, becoming the regular right-fielder by mid-season.

2024 Prediction:  Anderson will not even be with this team by May 1.  He will only have a couple of mop-up appearances and a bloated ERA.

2024 Prediction:  Bello will make big strides toward becoming a potential ace and win 15 games.   

2024 Prediction:  Campbell will turn out to be the best under-the-radar pick-up for the team in 2024 and be a valuable member of the bullpen.

2024 Prediction:  Casas will have his first season with 30 home runs.

2024 Prediction:  Crawford will become Boston's #2 pitcher, finishing with 12 wins and an ERA below 3.50.

2024 Prediction:  This year is the end of the road for Dalbec in Boston, and possibly very early.

2024 Prediction:  Ho-hum, just another 30 homer/100 RBI season for Devers.  

2024 Prediction:  Duran will steal the second-most bags in a single season in Red Sox history.  The number to beat is 54.

2024 Prediction:  Houck will be the closer by the end of the season.

2024 Prediction:  Jansen will be traded at the Trading Deadline, but will be an All Star before he goes.

2024 Prediction:  Martin has another ridiculously good season and actually gets his first card since 2020.

2024 Prediction:  McGuire's numbers continue to slide and he is released by the end of the season.

2024 Prediction:  O'Neill has a renaissance season in 2024, but is traded at the deadline.

2024 Prediction:  Pivetta has another solid season, but is also traded at the deadline.

2024 Prediction:  Rafaela contends for the A.L. Rookie of the Year and wins a Gold Glove in his rookie season.

2024 Prediction:  Reyes will be a valuable utility infielder.

2024 Prediction:  Rodriguez will be the first player to be dropped from the roster and Brennan Bernardino will be brought back.

2024 Prediction:  Slaten, a Rule 5 pick, will stay on the roster all season and gradually work into more of a trustworthy arm out of the bullpen.

2024 Prediction:  Story has a 20/20 season and wins a Gold Glove.

2024 Prediction:  Valdez hits well, but his defensive problems make it impossible to keep him on the roster and he is eventually traded.

2024 Prediction:  Weissert becomes a fan favorite and makes the Verdugo trade worthwhile.

2024 Prediction:  Whitlock solidifies his place in the rotation and wins 12 games.

2024 Prediction:  Winckowski becomes one of the team's setup men with another strong season.

2024 Prediction:  Wong is an All Star in 2024.

2024 Prediction:  Yoshida contends for the batting title in 2024.

Sunday, March 31, 2024

2001 Fleer Red Sox 100th Pt. 16: Babe Ruth

NAME: Babe Ruth

POSITION: Starting Pitcher, Outfielder

WHY IS HE HERE?:  Arguably the most famous baseball player of all time.  Ruth started his career in Boston as a starting pitcher, but gradually was moved to the outfield.  He had a record of 89-46 with a 2.19 ERA in 1,190.1 innings with 483 strikeouts.  He had his best season in 1916 when he was 23-12 with a league-leading 1.75 ERA.  In his only full season as a position player for the Red Sox in 1919 he set a then-record with 29 home runs and led the league in runs (103), RBIs (113) and twice led in home runs.     

WOULD I PUT HIM IN IN 2001?:  Absolutely.  

ANY BETTER CHOICES IN 2001?:  The only better choices are already in the set.

WOULD I PUT HIM IN NOW?:  Once again, of course.

ANY BETTER CHOICES NOW?:  Guys like David Ortiz and Mookie Betts are probably among the more popular players since this set came out.  And those players absolutely would be in the set.

Saturday, March 30, 2024

The Worst Red Sox Team of All Time Pt. 34: Howie Storie

Failure is often even more fascinating than success. I am definitely intrigued by the 1932 Boston Red Sox, the worst Red Sox team of all time. The team finished with a record of 43-111, for a winning percentage of .279 and very little went right.

Howie Storie is another one of those ultra-obscure players to play for the Red Sox in 1932.  Storie actually played parts of two seasons for the Red Sox, but that was for a total of 12 Major League games.  During that time, he did not make a single error and he caught one of the two attempted base stealers on him.

Storie was just 20 years old when he made his Major League debut with the Red Sox in 1930.  That year, he appeared in six games, accumulating 20 plate appearances.  He had two hits and three walks against two strikeouts and scored two runs.  That gave him a line of .118/.250/.118.  

He spent most of the 1932 season in the minors, appearing in 34 games with a line of .227/.227/.351.  Of his 22 hits, four were doubles and four were triples.  He made it into another six games in the Majors, but had just eight plate appearances, mostly early in the season.  He had three hits and had a line of .375/.375/.375.  

Storie played in 13 games in the minors in 1933 and hit just .167.  He was released at some point in the season, and that was it for his career.