Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Red Sox early morning digest 14 Feb 07
Happy Valentines Day!

Every morning before work I go through the online papers and pick out the best of the Boston Red Sox related articles in the Globe, Herald and many others so you can just sit there, point, click and read. Considering I am five hours ahead of the East Coast of the USA, I am posting this as most of your alarm clocks go off over there. Enjoy.




Straight to the news.

The Globe and Herald seem ready to completely devour themselves whole with this Matsuzaka thing that's going on. There's hype and then there is this special brand of hype which is approaching religious fervour in intensity.

The Globe has a picture gallery of Matsuzaka's first official Red Sox workout and each picture is accompanied wtih a little statement akin to the following;

''After a lead vehicle, a gray Nissan, Matsuzaka pulled in, driving a black Cadillac Escalade, presumably the same one that whisked him away from the Tampa airport last night.''

and..

''By 12:35 p.m. on Tuesday, the pitcher had reached the field, where he dropped his bag to the ground, and swung his arms to get warmed up.''

''...at 1pm, he sneezed...''

A nice aspect to the Gordon Edes piece 'Catching a lot of attention', which details the same first throwing/workout session, is the quotes from bemused prospect catcher George Kottaras. He came to Boston last summer in the Wells to the Padres deal. Right now he is just trying to stick, whilst the guy he was throwing too is about to earn countless millions of dollars.

As a Red Sox fan I liked this part too;

''Matsuzaka would later tell Japanese reporters he was pleased to learn that his locker was next to that of Varitek, his favorite player, with Hideki Okajima, Boston's other Japanese import, on Matsuzaka's other side.''

Seems to me everything is certainly in place to work out just fine.

Edes is at it again with 'Lester: From patient to eager'. Nice piece on how Jon Lester is simply slotting right back in to the Red Sox clubhouse.

"When I first saw Jon today, I almost didn't recognize him because I didn't expect him to look that good," said teammate Jonathan Papelbon''

More promising news that comes from Gordon's piece is that Lester is scheduled to start throwing bullpen sessions along with every other pitcher in Red Sox camp.

Edes is a busy man, with the RED SOX NOTEBOOK also penned by him. Highlights include Big Wily Mo's arbitration hearing details, current roster details and stuff on Johnny Pesky, Julio Lugo and Gabe Kapler.

Just in case you haven't had your fill on Matsuzaka you can read all about his actual arrival in the Globe right here. ''So, here it is, the step-by-step account of Matsuzaka's first appearance at spring training.'' (They aren't kidding, it really is step by step)

Before I move on to the Boston Herald, two nice pieces in the New York Times. First off, looks like Pedro is going to be ready to go in 2007.

''Martínez said his range of motion in his arm was strong enough to pitch now.''

and..

''He looks toned and chiseled, and at 193 pounds, he is at his highest weight, he said, since 2002.''

I, for one, hope he wins the NL Cy Young

Also, a fantastic piece by Jack Curry on Matsuzaka. Really well worth a read it documents the pitchers amazing outing in the Koshien high school tournament over eight years ago when he threw 250 pitches as a 17 year old to lead his team to victory. Even if you are a little tired of all the hype this piece, written behind 'enemy lines' as it were, is one of the best I have read in a long time.

On to the Boston Herald. Interestingly much of the Herald's Wednesday Red Sox section is devoted to Yankees news. Never thought I would hear this from Mariano Rivera;

”if they don’t give the respect that I deserve, I have to move on,”

However that's what the Herald bases this piece on Rivera basically warning the Yankees to pay up to keep him around in '08. Hard to imagine Mo pitching for anyone else, but he is at the very least issuing serious warnings;

”The Yankees always give me the respect,” Rivera said Monday. ”When the time comes, if they want me back, they want me back. Otherwise, I’m not going to sit in my house crying. I have to move on.”

The Herald sticks to Yankees news with ''Status of William dominates Yanks camp''


Heck, if that isn't enough Yankees news for you there's always ''Torre thinks he’ll want to manage beyond this year''


The Herald does actually have some Red Sox news though, don't worry. Tony Massarotti reports with ''Plenty to chew on: Managing Sox presents challenge for Tito''


Finally, as if not to be left out of the crowd, the Herald and Jeff Horrigan report ''Say hello to Dice-K mania: Arrival attracts a crowd''


All in all, that's a whole lot of Matsuzaka

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Irish National baseball team
Team Ireland at the European Championships, Croatia, 2000.

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