Hall of Fame thoughts

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Hall of Fame thoughts

Earlier this week, right around the time Curt Schilling was running his mouth about the inner workings of the Red Sox clubhouse, the Sox announced that Schil will be one of this year's inductees into the Red Sox Hall of Fame. In all, there are five former players and two non-players included in this year's class and they'll be inducted during a ceremony at Fenway Park on Tom Brady's birthday. (August 3)

Here's a quick rundown of who's headed to the Hall, with some commentary from the Standing Room Only staff.

Schilling: He may be brutally annoying in his post-playing days as opposed to only relatively annoying in his playing days but there's no question that Schil deserves a piece of this Hall of Fame pie. And if he's able to keep his acceptance speech a shade under three hours, I'll be happy to see him inducted.

Ellis Burks: For children of the '80s, Burks was the man. One of the first guys who made you feel cool for being a Red Sox fan. When my father used to pitch to me in the backyard growing up, any line drive hit would be referred to as "an Ellis Burks swing"; he was the guy I always wanted to "be." And in the end, Ellis had an unbelievable career. At this point, I don't really care how he did it, but he put up some ridiculous numbers. Over 18 season, he hit .291 with 352 homers, and while most of his damage was done outside of Boston, it was great to see him finish his career here and most importantly, finally get that ring.
Marty Barrett: The MVP of the 1986 ALCS, but more importantly, the Red Sox lead off hitter in RBI Baseball (even if I always used to replace him with a pinch hitter; coincidentally, Ellis Burks). Either accolade makes Barrett a worthy inductee.

Also, did you know that in 1995, Barrett won a 1.7M malpractice suit against Sox team physician Arthur Pappas, where Barrett claimed Pappas misdiagnosed a knee injury and performed medical procedures without his consent?

Better not bring that one up at the ceremony

Joe Dobson: Dobson pitched for the Sox from 1941-1950 (with two years off in the middle for military service) and finished his Boston career with a record of 106-72 and 3.57 ERA. According to Baseball-Reference, Dobson's nickname was Burrhead. That's a Hall of Fame nickname right there.

Dutch Leonard: People used to talk about the Curse of the Bambino, but I always called it the Curse of Dutch Leonard. Leonard won three rings as a pitcher for the Sox from 1912-1918, but in December of 1918 he was traded with Duffy Lewis and Ernie Shore to the New York Yankees for Ray Caldwell, Frank Gilhooley, Slim Love, Roxy Walters and 15,000.

The Sox didn't win another title for 86 years. Hopefully they'll exorcise whatever's left of those demons with this posthumous induction.
Jon I. Taylor: He owned the team from 1904-1911, but most importantly, he's the man who named Fenway Park. And thank God he did. If it weren't for Taylor's suggestion, they were going to call it Kenmore Caverns.

No they weren't.

Joe Mooney: The head groundskeeper from 1971-2000 and the current Director of Grounds Emeritus. A true legend of the groundskeeping game.

No truth to the rumor that he retired in 2000 after growing tired of washing Rich Garces' BBQ sauce stains out of the infield grass.

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

Sunday's Red Sox-Twins lineups: No Ortiz, Betts

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Sunday's Red Sox-Twins lineups: No Ortiz, Betts

David Ortiz is out of the starting lineup on Sunday, as is Mookie Betts, as the Red Sox conclude their four-game series with the Twins at Fenway Park looking for a split with last-place Minnesota.

It's a scheduled day off for Ortiz and Betts is still bothered by right knee swelling and soreness that led him to miss the game Saturday (an 11-9 Red Sox loss) and come out of the game in the fifth inning Friday.

Hanley Ramirez takes Ortiz's spot a DH and Travis Shaw moves to first base. Rick Porcello (12-2, 3.47 ERA) looks to extend his Fenway winning streak to 10 (he's 9-0 with a 2.98 ERA in 10 home starts this season). Left-hander Tommy Millone (3-2, 4.71) starts for the Twins.

The lineups:

TWINS
Eduardo Nunez SS
Joe Mauer 1B
Miguel Sano 3B
Brian Dozier 2B
Max Kepler RF
Kennys Vargas DH
Eddie Rosario LF
Juan Centeno C
Byron Buxton CF
---
Tommy Millone LHP
 
RED SOX
Brock Holt LF
Dustin Pedroia 2B
Xander Bogaerts SS
Hanley Ramirez DH
Jackie Bradley Jr. CF
Aaron Hill 3B
Travis Shaw 1B
Bryce Brentz RF
Ryan Hanigan C
---
Rick Porcello, SP

Now a reliever, Kelly returns to Red Sox, Hembree sent down

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Now a reliever, Kelly returns to Red Sox, Hembree sent down

The Red Sox have recalled right-hander Joe Kelly from Triple-A Pawtucket, where he had been working out of the bullpen, and optioned right-handed reliever Heath Hembree back to the PawSox.

Kelly, originally in the Red Sox starting rotation this season, was plagued by injuries and ineffectiveness as a starter (8.46 ERA) but has rebounded as a reliever in Pawtucket (no runs allowed in five relief innings with one walk and nine strikeouts).

Hembree (4-0, 2.41) has been hit hard since the All-Star break, including giving up a run on three hits and allowing two inherited runners to score in a five-run seventh inning of an 11-9 loss to the Minnesota Twins on Saturday night. 

Three things we learned from the Red Sox’ 11-9 loss to the Twins

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Three things we learned from the Red Sox’ 11-9 loss to the Twins

Three things we learned from the Boston Red Sox’ 11-9 loss to the Minnesota Twins . . .

1) David Price isn’t having fun

Boston’s $217 million-dollar arm had another rough outing -- this time against a team that already has 60 losses.

Those are the team’s he’s supposed to dominate.

“It’s been terrible,” Price said on how his season has gone following the loss. “Just awful.”

Price’s mistakes have often been credited to mechanical mishaps this year. Farrell mentioned that following his start in New York, Price spent time working on getting more of a downhill trajectory on his pitches.

But Price doesn’t think his issue is physical.

So it must be mental -- but he doesn’t feel that’s the case either.

“Honestly I don’t think it’s either one of those,” Price said when asked which he thought was a factor. “It’s me going out there and making pitches. “

But when it comes down to the barebones, pitching -- much like anything else -- is a physical and mental act.

So when he says it’s neither, that’s almost impossible. It could be both, but it has to be one.

His mind could be racing out on the mound from a manifestation of the issues he’s had throughout the season.

Or it could just be that his fastball isn’t changing planes consistently, like Farrell mentioned.

Both could be possible too, but it takes a certain type of physical approach and mental approach to pitch -- and Price needs to figure out which one is the issue, or how to address both. 

2) Sandy Leon might be coming back to Earth

Over his last five games, Boston’s new leading catcher is hitting .176 (3-for-17), dropping his average to .395.

A couple things have to be understood. His average is still impressive. In the five games prior to this dry spell, Leon went 7-for-19 (.368) But -- much like Jackie Bradley Jr. -- Leon hasn’t been known for his offensive output throughout his career. So dry spells are always tests of how he can respond to adversity and make necessary adjustments quickly.

Furthermore, if he’s not so much falling into a funk as opposed to becoming the real Sandy Leon -- what is Boston getting?

Is his run going to be remembered as an exciting run that lasted much longer than anyone expected? Or if he going to show he’s a legitimate hitter that can hit at least -.260 to .280 with a little pop from the bottom of the line-up?

What’s more, if he turns back into the Sandy Leon he’s been throughout his career, the Red Sox will have an interesting dilemma on how to handle the catching situation once again.

3) Heath Hembree has lost the momentum he gained after being called up.

Following Saturday’s contest, the right-hander was demoted to Triple-A Pawtucket after an outing where he went 1/3 of an inning, giving up a run on three hits -- and allowing some inherited runners to score.

Hembree at one point was the savior of the bullpen, stretching his arm out over three innings at a time to bail out the scuffling Red Sox starting rotation that abused it’s bullpen.

His ERA is still only 2.41 -- and this has been the most he’s ever pitched that big league level -- but the Red Sox have seen a change in him since the All-Star break.

Which makes sense, given that hitters have seven hits and two walks against him in his 1.1 innings of work -- spanning four games since the break.

“He’s not confident pitcher right now,” John Farrell said about Hembree before announcing his demotion. “As good as Heath has been for the vast majority of this year -- and really in the whole first half -- the four times out since the break have been the other side of that.”

Joe Kelly will be the pitcher to replace Hembree and Farrell hopes to be able to stretch him out over multiple innings at a time, as well.