It’s been a few years since we’ve been active here, mainly because so much more work has been put into the general Damox Sports Blog. This Red Sox season is one we’d rather all forget, so there hasn’t been much I’ve wanted to put on the record. Enjoy the new sports blog, and best of luck to the Sox in 2013.
Josh Beckett looked less than magical last night against the Yankees, but his teammates bailed him out and now the organization has decided to help out his bank account. The Red Sox signed Beckett to a 4-year contract today, worth a little more per year than John Lackey’s contract. I’m not going to get into money details as much this year because it bores everyone and it’s not like it’s my money or yours. If John Henry wants to spend millions on a baseball player or for exotic animals for his private circus (unconfirmed), it’s really none of my business.
I think an All Time manager for any franchise has to have a championship ring with that franchise (if the team has any championships). Fans agree. Terry Francona was voted the Red Sox top manager of all time. Francona led the Red Sox to their first World Series title in 86 years, then did it again 3 years later. His cool attitude and willingness to take chances has helped control some teams that can only be described as “wild” with some very unique characters.
1982 Fleer Terry Francona rookie card
The Red Sox have traded 3rd baseman Mike Lowell to the Texas Rangers in exchange for 25-year-old catcher Max Ramirez in a deal that is still pending Lowell passing his physical, which is not a gimme given Lowell’s hip problems. Max Ramirez was seen as the catcher of the future for the Rangers franchise, although he’s got a lot to learn behind the plate. Despite poor numbers in limited time last season, Ramirez is viewed by scouts as a plus bat for a catcher.
It’s not even clear how much playing time Ramirez would get with the Red Sox. They are rumored to be going after Adrian Beltre, who would play 3rd base, which would move Youkilis to first base and Victor Martinez behind the plate. Of course, that assumes a healthy David Ortiz, otherwise you can have Martinez DH and Ramirez catch. And all this assumes Jason Varitek will not be with the Red Sox next season, which is a big assumption considering he is still the team captain. He showed last year that he can’t get it done with the bat and he’s a liability behind the plate with runners on because he can’t throw anybody out. His handling of pitchers and his pitch selection are great, but that’s all he’s got going for him right now.
If the Red Sox All Time Team had to face another franchise’s all time team, they one edge they’d have on just about anyone is pitching. Very few teams would be able to match up well against Cy Young, who had 511 career wins, by the most of all time, and was so good they named the annual award for the best pitching after him, or Pedro Martinez, who put together one of the most dominating 5 year peaks in baseball history, and Roger Clemens, who struck out 20 in a game 2 times during his tenure with the Red Sox and made a hobby out of collecting Cy Young Awards.
1911 D304 Butter Krust Cy Young
In what was pretty much a no-brainer, Sox fans picked Carlton Fisk as the top Red Sox catcher of all time. Fisk played 11 seasons with Boston, hitting .284 with 162 home runs during that time. Second place in the voting was Rick Ferrell, another fine catcher for the BoSox from a bygone era.
1972 Topps Carlton Fisk rookie card
Dwight Evans is one of those underrated players who never gets a fair share of respect when people argue about players deserving of the Hall of Fame. He hit 385 home runs in his career and 8 gold gloves while roaming Fenway’s tricky right field. Some hitters who rank statistically near Evans include Hall of Famers Billy Williams, Tony Perez, and Al Kaline.
1973 Topps Dwight Evans rookie card
In a very close race, Hall of Famer Tris Speaker beat out Fred Lynn as the Red Sox’s best center fielder. Speaker played 9 seasons on Boston, 6 of them pre-Fenway Park. During that time he hit .337 with an impressive 166 OPS+, a stat that measures on base percentage plus slugging percentage adjusted for the league average. 100 is average, 166 is excellent.
1911 Hassan Cigarettes T205 Tris Speaker
This was the hardest position for fans to pin a player to, because the Red Sox have been loaded with some really great left fielders. Some were great fielding their position, while others were great hitters who just happened to play out there against the Green Monster. Ted Williams falls into the latter category. I don’t think I need to explain to you that Williams was perhaps the greatest hitter of all time, and if it hadn’t been for his 2 tours of duty during WWII and the Korean War, he might have even challenged Babe Ruth for the all time home run record 20 years before Hank Aaron surpassed the mark.
Other contenders for the left field spot included Carl Yastrzemski, who won the triple crown, the MVP, and had 7 Gold Glove awards to his credit, and Jim Rice, who was inducted into the Hall of Fame this past summer.
1951 Bowman Ted Williams
The Red Sox have only had a few top quality 3rd basemen during their 100+ years of existence, so this vote wasn’t really that close. Besides Wade Boggs, others receiving votes were Rico Petrocelli and Frank Malzone. As heartbreaking as it was to watch Boggs celebrate a championship with a Yankees cap on his head, his best years will forever remain with the Red Sox.
1983 Fleer Wade Boggs rookie card