Box Score Bank: Manny comes to Fenway

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Box Score Bank: Manny comes to Fenway

The Sox are in Cleveland today to kick off a four-game series with the Indians, aka the only team in baseball having a worse summer than Bobby V's boys.

Before last night's win over Minnesota, Cleveland had lost 11 straight, and in the process had taken themselves from borderline Wild Card contenders to American League punchlines. They're currently nine and a half games back in the Central, nine games back in the Wild Card and look poised to miss the playoffs for the 10th time in 11th years.

See . . . it could be worse.

Anyway, since both teams are in a bad place, let's look at the past and celebrate the greatest gift that Cleveland has given Red Sox fans over these last 2012 or so years.

Manny Ramirez.

Setting the Box Score Bank for . . . May 26, 1994.
The cinematic masterpiece Ace Ventura: Pet Detective was No. 1 at the box office. I Swear by All-4-One was in the first of its 11-week run atop the Billboard charts. It was two months after the death of Kurt Cobain, two weeks before the deaths of Nicole Simpson and Ron Goldman, and two months before the death of the 1994 season . . .

And here in Boston, Manny Ramirez was stepping into the Fenway batter's box for the first time in his legendary career.

Final Score: Red Sox 13, Indians 5

Ramirez was actually called up to the majors in September of the '93 season and appeared in a three-game series against the Sox (he went 4-for-12 with one RBI) that year, but it wasn't until May of 1994 that the then-21 year old made his Fenway debut.

Batting seventh, he drew a walk from Joe Hesketh in his first at-bat, then flew out, singled, struck out and flew out in four subsequent ABs. That's 1-for-4 if you're counting at home.

And in the backdrop of Manny's debut, the Sox had themselves quite an afternoon, lighting up Cleveland starter Julian Tavarez for eight runs over 1 23 innings, and scoring 11 runs over the first two innings total, in a 13-5 win. Otis Nixon was 2-for-4 with an RBI. Mike Greenwell was 2-for-4 with three RBI. Damon Berryhill hit a solo homer off Tavarez in the second.

But in the end, none of it really mattered, as the season was canceled on August 12.

Six years later, Ramirez fled Cleveland for the Sox.

Eleven years later, and here we are. Getting ready for a relatively meaningless summer series between two American League also-rans.

Can you feel it?!

Rich can be reached at rlevine@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Rich on Twitter at http:twitter.comrich_levine

After strong bullpen session, Koji Uehara could be back by Labor Day

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After strong bullpen session, Koji Uehara could be back by Labor Day

BOSTON - For a bullpen that could use all the help it can get right now, there's the prospect that Koji Uehara could rejoin the Red Sox on Labor Day.

Uehara, who's been out since July 20 with a strained pectoral muscle, threw a bullpen Monday at Fenway that impressed John Farrell.

"He came out of today's work session in good fashion,'' said Farrell. "It was 25 pitches to hitters with good intensity to both his fastball and split. It's been impressive to see how he's handled the volume, and now, three times on the mound, the intensity to his bullpens and BP.''

Next up for Uehara will be a bullpen session Wednesday morning, followed by a live batting practice session Saturday in Oakland.

Since both Pawtucket's and Portland's seasons are over on Labor Day, Uehara won't have the option of going on a rehab assignment to face hitters before being activated.

But the Sox believe that he can build arm strength through these side sessions and BP sessions -- enough so that he could return to the active roster soon.

"We'll re-assess where is after Sunday,'' said Farrell, "and I wouldn't rule out activation [after that]. What we've done with Koji is just review how he feels after each session and we'll take it from there.''

Uehara, 41, is 2-3 with a 4.50 ERA, and while he's had a propensity for giving up homers (eight in just 36 innings), he had been throwing better before being injured.

And given the performance of the bullpen in general and the recent poor showings from Matt Barnes, the Sox would welcome Uehara back as soon as he's ready.

"The one thing that Koji has proven to us,'' noted Farrell, "is that, even with limited spring training work [in the past], he's been a very effective pitcher for us and obviously, he has a chance to make a very positive impact once he does return.''

Uehara's progress since late July has been a pleasant surprise for the Sox, who feared at the time of the injury that he might be done for the season.     

"To his credit,'' said Farrell, "he's worked his tail off and advanced fairly rapidly and he's withstanding the intensity that he's put into [the work]. A healthy Koji certainly adds to our bullpen.

 

Red Sox among ‘roughly half’ of MLB who’ll attend Tebow workout Tuesday

Red Sox among ‘roughly half’ of MLB who’ll attend Tebow workout Tuesday

Maybe Tim Tebow could be the eighth-inning guy? 

OK, OK. Maybe not. Still, the Red Sox will be among the “roughly half” of the MLB teams who will attend the former Heisman Trophy winner and Patriots’ 2013 training camp phenomenon’s baseball tryout on Tuesday in Los Angeles.

Tebow is 29 and hasn’t played organized baseball since he was a junior in high school. He was an All-State performer in Florida back then.

Based on his accuracy and mechanics throwing a football, maybe DH would suit Tebow better than the mound. 

 

 

Monday’s Red Sox-Rays lineups: No Pedroia to start, Porcello goes for 18th

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Monday’s Red Sox-Rays lineups: No Pedroia to start, Porcello goes for 18th

Dustin Pedroia is out of the Red Sox starting lineup for the second night in a row as they open a three-game series with the Tampa Bay Rays tonight at Fenway Park.

Pedroia, who left the team Sunday to attend a family funeral, told manager John Farrell that he might be able to return during the game Monday night. 

"Based on his texts he's envisioning a walk-off hit in the ninth," Farrell said before the game Sunday. "Much like Pedey's fashion, that was his parting text this morning before he left."

For the second game in a row, Brock Holt will play second base in place of Pedroia and bat leadoff. The Red Sox lost 10-4 to the Kansas City Royals on Sunday night. 

Right-hander Rick Porcello (17-3, 3.23 ERA) will go for his 18th win and try to match Dave “Boo” Ferris in 1946 as the only Red Sox pitchers to go 13-0 at Fenway Park. Right-hander Matt Andriese (6-5, 3.71) starts for the Rays.

The lineups:

RAYS

Logan Forsythe 2B

Kevin Kiermaier CF

Evan Longoria 2B

Brad Miller 1B

Matt Duffy SS

Logan Morrison DH

Nick Franklin RF

Corey Dickerson LF

Bobby Wilson C

Matt Andriese RHP 

RED SOX

Brock Holt 2B

Xander Bogaerts SS

David Ortiz DH

Mookie Betts RF

Hanley Ramirez 1B

Travis Shaw 3B

Chris Young LF

Sandy Leon C

Jackie Bradley Jr. CF

Rick Porcello RHP