Sunday, March 05, 2006


Kevin Youkilis broke out of his short slump that began Spring Training with a 2 run homer that helped the Red Sox to a 3-0 victory over team Australia last night in Fort Myers. Australia was just one of 5 teams that played MLB clubs yesterday before beginning the WBC this week. The US beat the Giants, Houston lost to the Dominican, the mets fell to Puerto Rico, and the Braves beat the Netherlands.

David Ortiz saw his first action of the Spring in the Dominican Republics 12-8 exhibition win over the NL Champion Houston Astros. Not surprisingly, the homerun came in a critical moment in the 6th inning and broke a 5-5 tie. It also began a 3rd run inning for the Dominicans. Ortiz went 1 for 2 with the solo shot, and he walked twice. He played the DH for the DR with Albert Pujols and Pedro Feliz splitting time at first base. Ortiz probably won't see too much time in the field but it hasn't been ruled out completely.

Julian Tavarez pitched in the game in relief of starter Francisco Liriano. Julian did not impress. In 1 inning of work, he allowed an earned run off 2 hits and 2 walks. He also recorded a strikeout and threw a wild pitch.

Jason Varitek helped Team USA beat the San Francisco Giants 11-7. He went 2 for 2 with a pair of singles. He knocked in a run and scored a run. Tek was also hit by a pitch.

Mike Timlin played in the game, as well. He didn't do as well as Varitek. He pitched one inning in releif of Al Leiter who came in for Roger Clemens. Timlin allowed an earned run off two hits in his first action of the Spring.

Former Red Sox defensive Ace Pokey Reese is in the news. Reese was released by the Marlins after a 2 to 3 day unexcused absence. No-one knows where Reese went or why. He might be the type of player the Red Sox might think about scooping up if everything is OK. He can play great defense at short-stop and second base and would give some speed to the bench. It worked out pretty well the last time he was on the team.

In the first great game of the World Baseball Classic, Korea edged Japan 3-2 in the Tokyo Dome in front of over 40,000 fans. A game like this is what the WBC should be all about. Two all-star teams playing the best baseball in the world. Hopefully there will be more games that are as good as this one. Tuesday's first game, the Dominican Republic against Venezuela, should be a good one.

This was the Red Sox third Spring Training victory, but they are still winless against Grapefruit League squads. They play Tampa Bay in St. Petersburg Monday afternoon.

Sources and Resources for this post:
Yahoo! MLB Photos
World Baseball Classic Home Page


There have been 52 ACC championship men's basketball tournaments in the past. Boston College is now officially a part of that long and storied history. BC received a 3rd seed for their first ever ACC tournament, behind only powerhouses Duke and North Carolina in the regular season standings. BC will face the winner of Thursday's game between 6th seeded Maryland and 11th seeded Georgia Tech. Here's a bracket (you gotta click on it):

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The Eagles are rolling, having won 8 of their last 9 games, and 13 of their last 15. Whoever their opponent is, it should prove to be an interesting match-up. Maryland beat BC in College Park 73-71. The Eagles split their season series with Georgie Tech with a 66-64 win and a 60-58 loss. However, both the loss to Maryland and the loss to Georgia Tech took place in the early part of the season when the Eagles were struggling.

The BC hockey team will also be a 3rd seed for the upcoming Hockey East tournament. However, the Eagles had been on top of the Hockey East standings before their weekend games against UNH. Boston University claimed the top spot, with Maine moving into 2nd. UNH finished 4th, Providence College 5th, Vermont 6th, UMass-Lowell 7th, and UMass-Amherst 8th. Northeastern and Merrimack College finished 9th and 10th and did not qualify for the tournament. The tournament also begins on March 9th. Here are the pairings for the first-round, which is a best of 3 series played at the better seeds' rink:

#8 UMass - Amherst @ #1 Boston University

#7 UMass - Lowell @ #2 Maine

#6 Vermont @ #3 Boston College

# 5 Providence College @ #4 New Hampshire

Speaking of amateur hockey, if you're interested in Massachusetts high school hockey and the Super 8 tournament, you might find this Quick Shot on interesting

Sources and Resources for this post:'s BC basketball clubhouse's high school sports page
Hockey East Online

Thanks to PicTiger for providing
Free Image Hosting.


According to, David Wells has reversed his stance on being traded. Those are the words used by If you ask me, if you reversed your stance on being traded, that means you don't want to be traded and are hoping not to be traded. It seems like Wells is simply accepting that he might not be traded. I think Wells has realized that there is very little market value for an aging player coming off knee surgery. He also said that the Red Sox look to be a better team than they were last season and he doesn't mind going out on top.

I don't see much space on this roster for Wells. We've got Schilling and Beckett, practically assured of spots in the rotation. Then we've got Wakefield, Arroyo, Clement, and Papelbon. That's 6 potential starters as it is. The bullpen doesn't have much room either. Foulke, although his health is questionable, will hopefully be the closer. Riske, Timlin, Tavarez, and Seanez will be out there along with the 6th man out of the rotation (probably Arroyo or Papelbon, although Wakefield is definitely a possibility). That's 11 pitchers right there. The Red Sox could decide to carry 12 for a while, but that means forfeiting position player depth, which we could theoretically do considering the versatility of guys like Cora and Graffanino. But then we couldn't have dedicated backup outfielders because the other two bench spots would be occupied by Youkilis/Snow and whoever the backup catcher is. Unfortunately, the Red Sox don't have much depth in the outfield. Cora and Graffanino have combined to play 4 total games in the outfield in their careers (all in left field). I think the Red Sox need to have a dedicated 4th outfielder, 2 replacement infielders, a spot for either Youkilis or Snow - whoever isn't playing - and a backup catcher. Five bench players means, 11 pitchers.

I guess Wells could go into the rotation and Papelbon and Arroyo could move to the pen, and a player like Seanez could not make the 25 man roster. I guess Wells could pitch out of the pen as a lefty specialist. Of course, if Foulke doesn't start the season on the roster, then there is room for Wells. But then again, there'd also be room for guys like Manny Delcarmen, Abe Alvarez, and Craig Hansen.

The Red Sox lost their 3rd Grapefruit League game in a row, this time to the Twins again. The good news was that Wakefield was good in his first outing of the Spring, going 2 no-hit innings with 2 strikeouts. However, he did walk 3. It will be interesting to see how Wakefield adjusts to not having trustworthy Doug Mirabelli catching him this season. Wake also made this tag out after throwing a wild pitch:

More of the positive news, Manny Delcarmen pitched a perfect inning, striking out 1 batter. Trot Nixon, Mike Lowell, and J.T. Snow all went 1 for 3.

Now the bad news. David Riske and Rudy Seanez continued their struggles combining for 3 innings, 5 earned runs, 7 hits and 2 walks. As a team, the Red Sox only managed 6 hits and 1 run. And this wasn't against Johann Santana like last time against the Twins.

I'm not too worried, though. The Red Sox offense is playing without Manny Ramirez, David Ortiz, Mark Loretta, and Jason Varitek. Granted, these guys would only have 2 at-bats per game, but that is 8 at-bats from top players compared to 8 at-bats from backups. That's usually a quarter or a fifth of a game's at-bats for an offense right there.

The Red Sox are in the midst of playing team Australia. I'll have notes concerning that game later tonight.


The Red Sox lost to the Pirates 7-6 behind a bad Bronson Arroyo outing. Arroyo went 1 and two thirds innings, allowing 5 hits, 3 earned runs, and 2 walks. Abe Alvarez releived him and pitched nicely, going 2.1 innings, allowing only a hit, a walk, and striking out 2. Craig Hansen saw some action but didn't pitch stellarly. He went a scoreless inning but gave up a hit and 2 walks.

Willie Harris started in center again going 1 for 3. David Murphy continues to sruggle, he went 0 for 2. Mark Loretta continued to excel going 2 for 2. Trot Nixon went 1 for 2. Mike Lowell was 0 for 1. Youkilis is still struggling, he went 0 for 2. Alex Gonzalez made his first Spring start, going 0 for 1.

Gonzalez is apparently pissed at Venezuela manager Luis Sojo. Apparently, Sojo told Gonzalez he was definately going to be on the 30 man roster. Then Gonzalez showed up and while asleep, Sojo called his cel phone and left a voice mail informing he was cut from the roster in favor of another pitcher. I can't blame Gonzalez for being upset. If you're going to cut a player, do it before he shows up. Failing that, do it in person, man to man.

Speaking of the World Baseball Classic, the New York Yankees did something hilarious. George Steinbrenner, as we all know, is very much against the WBC because it is taking players from his team, which is a huge investment for him, and putting them in competetive yet somewhat meaningless games. Outside of the Yankees Spring Training facility, before a game, was a notice to fans apologizing for the absence of players like Bernie Williams and Alex Rodriguez. Classic.

Boston College will be the third seed in the ACC tournament thanks to UNC's upset over Duke last night.