16 March 2009
It was a busy weekend for the Boston Red Sox.
They finally announced the Jon Lester extension. The deal is reportedly worth $30 million over five years with a $13M option for 2014. Here's some video of the latest homegrown hero to sign with the Red Sox.
Dustin Pedroia strained an abdominal muscle while practicing with the USA team at the WBC... but in typical Pedroia fashion, he told everyone to take a chill pill:
"When you have a physique like this, when you're shredded and everything, something might happen."
When told that Red Sox fans were concerned he might miss Opening Day, he said not to worry and thay the older, wiser Kevin Youkilis suggested he shut it down and get healthy, rather than try to play through it:
"Tell them to calm down," Pedroia said. "We'll handle this. Calm down.
"I don't think it's going to linger. I'll take care of it and get it ready and get ready for the season. It won't be an issue."
"I was taking some flips, and to be honest with you, I just took one swing," Pedroia said. "They did a great job of shutting me down. I kind of felt it, and I grabbed at it. The hitting coach [Reggie Smith] said, 'Don't do anything. Go see the trainer.' So I did. I was going to try to play, you know? And then Youk kind of calmed me down. He said, 'Listen, go shut it down. Get it looked at. We've still got three more weeks. You'll be fine.' I did it that way."
Pedroia has also repeatedly stated that he doesn't blame the WBC for this injury, and even though I believe him when he says it could have happened while in camp with the Red Sox... I can't help but wonder if playing full nine innings in March is the smartest course of action for any player.
Julio Lugo appears to have a torn meniscus and will undergo arthroscopic surgery on Tuesday here in Boston. After a hot start to the spring, Lugo is now worried about missing time in 2009, but the Globe reminds us that Jason Varitek had a similar procedure done in 2007 and missed just three weeks. Theo Epstein seems positive:
"Our expectation is that he's going to be back and available real close to Opening Day," Epstein said. "If he misses time in the season, we're talking days unless we find something that we don't expect to see."
Talks of an extension for Jason Bay have been put on hold due to the uncertainty in the economic market. A month or so ago, the Red Sox said they wanted to see what kind of deals other outfielders like Bobby Abreu, Manny Ramirez and Adam Dunn received before they made an offer to Jason Bay. Bay is a free agent after this season and he and Matt Holiday (OAK) will be the two big names on the free agent market. Because of that, the Sox wanted to lock him into an extension, now rather than get into a bidding war this winter, but it appears the two sides are having trouble finding common ground during these unstable times:
"There's desire to get something done on both sides," Epstein said. "There's just a mutual recognition right now that it's going to be next to impossible to get something done. It really boils down to the nature of the market right now, more than anything else."
On a more positive note, Daisuke Matsuzaka looked very sharp in his start against the Cuban team in the WBC. Matsuzaka threw six shutout innings, allowing 5 hits, walking none and fanning eight. He threw 86 pitches, 61 for strikes and could be in line for his second WBC MVP award...
The U.S. team stayed alive with a gutsy 9-3 win over the Neatherlands lead by Jimmy Rollis and Dustin Pedroia's replacement - Brian Roberts. Kevin Youkilis was 0 for 3 with two walks , an RBI and a run scored.
The United States on Tuesday will play the loser of Monday night's Puerto Rico-Venezuela game. The loser will be eliminated, while the winner will advance to the semifinals, regardless of the outcome on Wednesday, the final day of Round 2 play at Dolphin Stadium.
Lastly, here's a quick recap of the Spring Training games for the this weekend:
On Saturday, the Red Sox fell to the Orioles 9-8 thanks to a walk off home run by Donnie Murphy. The Sox didn't throw any projected MLB starters in this game. Jed Lowrie (1 for 2, 1 R, 1 RBI) and Jeff Reddick (2 for 3, 1 R, 1 RBI) lead the offense... Jeff Bailey had a triple and remains one of the hottest hitters... and Rocco Baldelli went 2 for 3 with a piar of RBI as the DH and cleanup hitter.
The Sox lost to the O's again on Sunday 6-2. Clay Buchholz got the start and looked solid, fanning six and allowing one run through 3 2/3 innings...
"He's not afraid of contact with his fastball," manager Terry Francona said, "and saying that, he actually threw some fastballs by people, got some swings and misses. But was aggressive with it. I thought as he got into the game, started getting a little better feel for his changeup, breaking ball."
Jonathan Papelbon allowed a run in his one inning of work... and Ramon Ramirez took the loss, allowing a run in the eighth... Mike Lowell played third and had one of just 6 hits by the Red Sox in the game... David Ortiz and Jason Bay were both in the lineup - Ortiz was 0 for 2 with a run and Bay went 1 for 2... Jason Varitek was 0 for 3 but did earn an RBI.
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