Tag Archives: red sox

Ron Blomberg Was The First DH 40 Years Ago Today

Ron Blomberg (Getty Images)

Ron Blomberg (Getty Images)

He may not be a household name but he has become a great trivia fact.  On April 6th, 1973 New York Yankee Ron Blomberg became the first Designated Hitter (DH) in baseball history.  This first came in game against the rival Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park.  Blomberg was walked in his first home plate appearance against pitcher Luis Tiant.  Blomberg finished the season with a .321 batting average in 301 plate appearances.  His career ended with the Whit Sox after the 1978 season.

To this day the DH remains exclusive to the American League.  The DH position has caused mush controversy and excitement over the years.  Many have debated through the years that the DH position hurts the game.  Most feel that in the game of baseball the pitcher should be in the hitting lineup.   The DH has been criticized for taking away from baseball’s tradition.  40 years later I think it is safe to say that it has become apart of the tradition, at least in the American League.

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Babe Ruth: Hall Of Fame Pitcher?

Babe Ruth is by far the greatest Icon in American sports history.  Some would even argue he is the greatest American Icon period.  Everyone from Grandma to your 5 year old niece or nephew knows who Babe Ruth was.  Most people associate Ruth with his legendary slugging days with the New York Yankees.  Ruth even held the Home Run record in Major League Baseball until Hank Aaron broke that record in the 1970’s.  What many people don’t know is that Ruth had a history before the all of those home runs and before the Yankees.

Babe Ruth while he was with the Boston Red. Getty Images

Babe Ruth while he was with the Boston Red. Getty Images

Babe Ruth made his Major League debut on July 11th, 1914 for the Boston Red Sox.  Ruth won that game; it was the beginning of Ruth’s pitching career.  His pitching career spanned from 1914-1919, all of those seasons with the Boston Red Sox.  Ruth did however pitch 5 games with the Yankees years later and won all 5.  He made the starting rotation for the Sox in 1915 and won 18 games in his first full season.   Ruth started batting in the lineup when not pitching halfway through his time with the Sox.  He had signs of being a great offensive player but was still used primarily as a pitcher.
He went on to have a very respectable pitching career.  He helped pitch the Red Sox to 3 World Series Championships in just 6 seasons.  When Ruth retired he had 94 career wins and a career ERA of 2.28 with 488 strikeouts.  Babe Ruth would be sold to the Yankees in a deal that changed the face of American Sports history.
The Yankees played Babe Ruth in the Outfield and all but ended his pitching career.  There are many people who feel that Ruth could have gone into the Hall Of Fame based on his pitching stats alone.  There is no arguing that Ruth was a great pitcher, but his time in that position pales in comparison to his slugging years.
It really makes you wonder how American Sports would be different if Babe Ruth had not gone to the Yankees and become a baseball hero.  The fact of the matter is as big of an icon Ruth became there would have been no way he would have become so without his years with the Yankees.  The Yankees gave him a grand stage and opportunity to become the Icon he became.  They also surrounded him with other legendary players.

It should not be forgotten just how great Babe Ruth was as an all around baseball player.  While not the most athletic player to grace a baseball field, he was by far the most dynamic.  Ruth was and forever will be America’s first sports legend.

Red Sox Ready To Dump $262.5 Million In Contracts

The Red Sox are finally ready to face reality.  That reality is that they need an overhaul to rebuild the team into a contender.  The Red Sox had been ridding the spending train for a long time now.  They won 2 world series titles in the last 8 years while spending crazy money.  This year will be the 3rd year in a row the Sox will not make the playoffs.  The Red Sox currently have a record of 60-66 and are 13.5 games back in the American League East.

The Red Sox and the Los Angeles Dodgers are set to make a blockbuster trade at a time of the season you usually never see trades happen.  The deal would have the Dodgers receiving Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford, Josh Beckett and Nick Punto.  While the Red Sox would receive the Dodgers top pitching prospects Allen Webster and Rubby De La Rosa, offensive prospects Jerry Sands and Ivan DeJesus and current Major Leaguer James Loney.  The deal would free up a tremendous amount of money for the Red Sox, $262.5 million to be exact.  It would be a record contract dump trade.  It has been rumored as of Saturday that the Red Sox might be reconsidering giving up Adrian Gonzalez in the deal.  Gonzalez has been the best performing of the players that could go to L.A.  The Dodgers will be more accepting of a trade that includes Gonzalez.

The Red Sox would have no problem letting go of Carl Crawford who the team sign right before the start of the 2011 season.  Crawford had been a great star in Tampa Bay and the Sox gave him a 7 year $142 million contract.  Crawford had career low numbers in the 2011 season and has only played 31 games this year due to injury.  Josh Beckett is another star who’s time has come to go for Boston.  Beckett once was the best pitchers in the Majors but has now become a pitcher who might get you a win if your lucky.  Beckett has only won 1 game in his last 13 starts and appears to be on the decline in his career.  Its surprising but that is how things appear for Beckett still not at the dreaded 38 years of age where most pitchers fall off.

The Dodgers are ready to play big money ball and do it like other teams in their market have.  The Dodgers are a really good team and are only 3 games back from 1st in the National League West.  The Dodgers will be hoping that the change of scenery will benefit the players they will acquire from the Red Sox.  It likely could, it has worked for Hanley Ramirez who they recently required from the Miami Marlins.  The Dodgers are getting ready for September and a chase for the playoffs.  They look like a team that is going to be a strong contender if they make the playoffs.

Where do the Red Sox go from here?  That is an easy question to answer,  they go for the free agents available in the off season and develop their prospects.  With all of the freed up money they can pursue impact players that can start their franchise back on track towards the playoffs.  The team has a recent history of signing top free agents and this deal allows them to do it again in a way that has brought them success.  It is time for a fresh start for the Sox.  The prospects they would land in this deal would help their future just as much if not more than possible free agents.

Both teams have until the early afternoon on Sunday to finalize this deal.  It is very likely this deal will go down and when it does it will make history.  How much this deal will effect both franchises is the most interesting part of this deal. While the Dodgers could get a boost now while the Sox might be setting up a bright future in this trade.  Only time will tell how this story of the August blockbuster trade will end up.

Bryce Harper Headed to The All Star Game

The rookie phenom that is 19 year old Bryce Harper will continue his whirl wind season by going to the All Star Game.  Harper was not originally slated to attend the game which takes place this week in Kansas City.  Harper will be taking the spot of injured Marlins star Giancarlo Stanton.  Harper will be the 3rd youngest player to play in the MLB All Star Game.  While Harper will be playing off of the bench the eyes of all of the fans will be on him for sure.

Harper has had a solid start to his MLB career since his debut in April.  He is an excellent outfielder fielder with a rocket arm.  His offensive play has been very good for his experience level.  Harper has a batting average of .283, hit 8 home runs and had 25 RBI’s and scored 43 runs in just 62 games for the 1st place Washington Nationals.

Harper going deep at Fenway Park earlier this season.
(Getty Images)

Harper came in with a lot of hype and has been living up to it.  He has displayed a maturity on and off the field, the later many thought he would be able to do.  He has shown a lot of personality and has a charisma that a lot of players don’t have.  He has created great moments already in his young career, like when he hit a home run in the historic Fenway Park during his first game on that field.  He is in the right spot now to really display his skills in front of a national audience.  Harper is a strong contender for Rookie of the Year in the National League.

Harper will probably get at least 1 at bat and play 2 innings or so.  Many players have created unforgettable moments in All Star Games.  I have a feeling Bryce Harper will have a chance to make one of those moments.  When he gets he will more than likely take advantage of it.  If Harper continues to play the way he has been and develop into the player that he has been billed to be than this is just the beginning.

 

Can David Wright Finish Above .400?

The baseball season is about to complete its second month.  There is a potential story brewing that could dominate the sports media this summer.  David Wright and the possibility that he could end the season with an above .400 batting average.  While the New York Mets have been average this season and have not had a great season in a couple of years,  David Wright could vault the team into the sports media mainstream for the next few months.

New York Mets Third Baseman David Wright
(Marc Serota/Getty Images North America)

Wright has played in 38 games as the Third Baseman for the Mets this year, and  as of May 22nd is batting .415.  Wright has been incredibly hot and extremely valuable for a Mets team that has fallen down a bit over the last couple of years.

The Mets are currently 22-20 and are 3.5 games back in the very tough N.L. East.  Whether the Mets will contend this year is hard to say but based on the recent past looks unlikely.  The Mets caught a lot of flack last season after it was found out the their new stadium might have been paid for by many people who’s live were ruined by the fraudulent financial scams of Bernie Madoff.  Wright could help the team move on and put that in their past this season.  The New York Mets need a player like David Wright at this point and need him to do well and that is exactly what he is doing.

The .400 single season batting average is one of the most elusive marks in all of sports.  The last man to hit above .400 in one season was Boston Red Sox legend and Hall of Famer Ted Williams.  Williams hit .406 in 1941.  Since then no one else has done it,  Tony Gwynn did come close in 1994 when he finish with .394 in 1994 but that is a mute point given the fact it was a strike shortened season.  Royal’s Hall of Famer George Brett finished with a .390 batting average in 1980.

Wright will have to continue to be hot through what is  a very long and grueling baseball season.  As Wright continues toward the .400 mark and the season gets further along the media pressure will heat up.  That could be and has been something that has affected many players going towards not only this mark but all records in baseball.  The Mets are positioned in one of the biggest sports markets in the country and you have to know it will be like a zoo towards August if Wright can still be close to the mark by then

Not very many players have had a batting average this high at this point in the season.  So it is definitely time to start watching the Mets and David Wright to see how this progresses.  David Wright is an amazing player and really deserves to reach such a mark.  His stock has already risen and we are not even half way through this season.  So as the season moves along into the summer keep an eye out for David Wright he might just shock the sports world.