Nation STATion: In honor of Henri Stanley

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Nation STATion: In honor of Henri Stanley

By Bill Chuck
CSNNE.com

You know who Henri Stanley is, dont you?

No, hes got nothing to do with the Bruins, Henri couldnt lift Lord Stanleys cup.

When it comes to baseballs trade deadline, Henri Stanley was the key to the greatest steal in Red Sox history.

Still dont know who this career minor leaguer is? Henri Stanley played for nine different minor league clubs and hit .283 with 80 homers in eight seasons. While that sounds unimpressive, it was good enough to enable the Sox to win a World Series. My hope is that in 2014 when the Sox celebrate the 10th anniversary of the World Series championship that broke the curse, that Stanley, who was hitting .299 for Pawtucket in 2004, will run onto the field and stand next to the player he was traded for at the trade deadline: Dave Roberts, who pulled off the greatest steal in team history, the steal that kept the Sox alive in the ALCS.

When the Sox traded for Dave Roberts, all the attention that day was on the deal that sent "Nomah" to the Dodgers for Orlando Cabrera. This year, the Sox major attention-grabbing deal was for Erik Bedard, who was born in Ontario and probably appreciates my reference to the Stanley Cup.

Erik Bedard already has one credential that enables him to fit in with the Sox rotation perfectly . . . hes been on the Disabled List eight times in his career. I guess one way to look at this is that it is an improvement over Rich Harden, who the Sox almost got, and has had 10 stints on the DL. Bedard had three shoulder operations in his three-plus years with the Mariners.

Many people thought that Bedard might have hurt his chances to be traded when he pitched poorly this past Friday night in his return from the DL (sprained knee), but he appeared more rusty than anything else. The start Friday night was his 16th of the season, the most he has had since 2007 with Baltimore. Both in 2008 and 2009 he was healthy enough for just 15 starts each season. He missed all of last season (left shoulder surgery).

But, when Bedard is on the mound (which we are getting the sense is more likely than Clay Buchholtz this season), he has relatively good stuff.

Heres Nine to Know about Erik Bedard this season:

1. In 91.1 innings this season, hes struck out 87 batters. His 8.57 strikeouts per nine innings is almost identical to David Price (8.56) and James Shields (8.59).

2. His ERA is 3.45, and batters are hitting .226 against him. Batters are hitting .227 against A.J. Burnett and Dan Haren, and hit .224 against Dice-K.

3. His WHIP this season of 1.172 is comparable to Gavin Floyd, who also has a 1.172, Doug Fister, who has a 1.171, and Justin Masterson, who has a 1.176.

4. Hes walked 30, which means he has averaged 2.96 walks per nine innings. As a frame of reference, think of Jason Marquis 2.91, Yovani Gallardo 2.93, and Jon Lester 3.03.

5. Bedards Game Score average (for a complete explanation of Game Scores, click here) http:www.billy-ball.com201107the-fun-of-game-scores this season is 55, just like Kyle Lohse, Hiroki Kuroda, and Wandy Rodriguez.

6. You can count on about 94.4 pitches per start for Bedard, although hes thrown over a hundred six times this season. James McDonald also averages 94.4 per start, Madison Bumgarner averages 94.2, and Tim Hudson is at 94.5

7. With the bases empty, batters are hitting just .205 against him, but from the stretch they are hitting .260.

8. Lefties are hitting .239 against the lefty Bedard, but righties are hitting .221. While lefties have hit just three homers, that represents 3.3 of the 101 at bats against him. Righties have slammed eight homers which is 3.2 (249 AB).

9. Bedard throws his fastball close to 58 of the time and batters are only hitting .180 against it. His curve accounts for about 29 of his pitches and batters hit .280 against that pitch. He also throws a cutter and a changeup.

The mainly overlooked deal for Boston this deadline was the acquisition of Mike Aviles from the Royals. Aviles has made 144 appearances at short, 135 at second, and 39 at third. He has already been told to get a glove for the outfield. Defensively, his best position is SS where he has a plus six Total Zone fielding runs above average. He is minus six at second and minus five at third in his career.

Aviles is not the threat that Roberts was to steal bases (Dave was 33-of-34 when the Sox acquired him LA), but Aviles is 10-of-12 and really, all the Sox may need is from him is to steal one when it counts.

Speaking of steals

On July 31, 1997, the Sox and the Mariners made another trade at the deadline sending the immortal Heathcliff Slocumb out to Seattle for Derek Lowe and Jason Varitek.

Bonjour Henri, wherever you are.

Pedro Martinez tells WEEI Ortiz will make comeback this season

Pedro Martinez tells WEEI Ortiz will make comeback this season

Never say never?

While Red Sox officials said at the team's annual Winter Weekend at Foxwoods on Saturday that they'd be traveling to the Dominican Republic to talk to David Ortiz about a role with the team, Pedro Martinez told WEEI he sees Big Papi returning to his old role - designated hitter - this season.

CSN's Trenni Kusnierek and WEEI's John Tomase talked to Martinez on their show Saturday at Foxwoods and Martinez said his old teammate would be making a comeback despite the long, emotional farewell tour last season. 

For the full interview with Martinez, click here.

Red Sox executives Tom Werner, Sam Kennedy and Dave Dombrowski made no mention of Ortiz returning as a player when talking about their Dominican trip. Ortiz has repeatedly said he is going to stay retired. 

Chris Sale on leaving White Sox: 'Time for both sides to do something different, I guess'

Chris Sale on leaving White Sox: 'Time for both sides to do something different, I guess'

MASHANTUCKET, Conn. -- While there’s a deal of anticipation going into Spring training with the four Killer B’s, David Price and Pablo Sandoval’s shot at redemption and Rick Porcello looking to be something similar to his 2016 self, there’s one name that trumps them all.

Chris Sale.

The lankly lefty received an ovation from fans at the Friday night Town Hall, kicking off Red Sox Winter Weekend. With his consistent success, there’s reason to be excited.

But there’s also reason for apprehension given the way Sale’s departure from Chicago was depicted. But he’s made sure to clear the air.

“I wouldn’t say . . . ya know . . . I loved my time in Chicago,” Sale said when asked if it was time to leave the Windy City. “My best baseball memories are there [and] will be there forever. I love the city; I love the people in the organization.

“It was time for both sides to do something different, I guess. I talked to (White Sox Senior V.P.) Rick on the phone, I talked to (White Sox pitching coach Don) Coop (Cooper). We’re all cool, it’s fine. We understand where both of us are, it happens in baseball, but I thoroughly enjoyed my time in Chicago.”

He didn’t seem irritated discussing the issue, and certainly wasn’t timid -- we all know that’s not in his DNA.

He genuinely seems excited to deal with the large sum of Sox fans and to call a new place home -- in a city his wife’s fond of no less.

But ultimately, he’s focused on winning, nothing else.

“Every time I’m out there it’s gonna be all I got,” Sale said. "Every time, no matter what. Can promise you that.”