Tag Archive | "Great Game"

B Strong

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B Strong

Posted on 23 April 2013 by Nick Schaeflein

In the last week it was a proud time to be a baseball fan. There was no milestones reached, no must see plays, or terrific stat lines to wow over but there was something deeper that happened. The events that happened last week in the city of Boston were tragic. In the matter of minutes a tradition in the streets of Bean Town became a nightmare. The silver lining however, is that the great game of baseball and a great city became one and showed true beauty during a difficult time with honor and class.

BostonStrong

Growing up, my dad traveled a lot to Boston for work and I always associated that with the baseball team there. Not knowing any better, throughout the years I became a fan of the Red Sox. I have had the privilege to walk the streets of Boston where the marathon is held and watching the events last Monday hit home in a way. In addition, having a cousin currently preparing to run the Chicago Marathon made it strike another cord as well.

Last Monday was to be a special day in the city of Boston. It was Patriots Day in the city. The day is a holiday where fans take in a day game at Fenway and also celebrate Marathon Monday with the running of the Boston Marathon. In Major League Baseball as well April 15th was the annual celebration of Jackie Robinson Day across the league. Celebrating those two historical events, who would dream up anything but a festive day? But then a mere forty five minutes after the Red Sox won a ball game in walk off fashion, the earth shook with a moment in time that will now be linked to Patriots Day history forever.

If there is one city and one franchise that could rally around a tragedy like this it would be Boston and the Red Sox. That type of mentality is in their core as Bostonians. They are a tough, hard nose city. The Red Sox themselves have guys that are true leaders and role models that would not tarnish this tragedy. Guys like Dustin Pedroia, Ryan Dempster, and David Ortiz are community guys that will help shoulder the pain of a city and lead a city as one. They will bear that cross and honor the city through the healing process.

The following day, it was fitting the Red Sox played a game in Cleveland where in the opposite dugout was former manager Terry Francona and a few former teammates. It was as if the game of baseball created a chance for brethrens to come together in a time of grievance. Also during their short time in Cleveland, Jon Lester made a start on the same mound where in 2007 he made his comeback from beating cancer. On the field it was a three game sweep in the win column for the Red Sox, but much deeper it was a group of guys forced into leading an example for a city and rallying together to overcome pain.

Around the league as well, support was displayed for Boston. Ballparks and cities united and rivalries were put to the side. To name a few, in New York and Chicago they played Neil Diamonds’ Sweet Caroline which is a Fenway Park mantra. Ben Revere of the Phillies showed remembrance on his glove. For a few moments in time, Red Sox Nation was supported across the whole nation. It was later discovered as well that in the marathon was the brother of former Red Sox GM Theo Epstein who was unharmed. The Red Sox are a group that has a knack of sticking with you. It goes to show that while you may be able to take them out of Boston, the ties to Boston will always remain.

Over the weekend, the Red Sox returned home to Boston. They came home to cheers of unity and a nation banding together. Fittingly, it also marked the return and season debut of fan favorite David Ortiz. Big Papi wasted little time collecting a few hits, but also providing a touching pre game speech as well for the crowd. There are no stats to prove it, but that Saturday afternoon ballgame in April could be one of the biggest moments in Fenway Park lore.

In the city limits, Patriots Day will no longer be just for remembering the battles of Lexington and Concord, but also for the tragic events of 2013. Sox Nation will do their part in honoring the fallen. They will help ease the pain, but they will also never forget. As always, Sox Nation will B Strong.

 

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Finding Keepers: San Francisco Giants

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Finding Keepers: San Francisco Giants

Posted on 26 March 2012 by Aaron Somers

Pitching is king when it comes to the San Francisco Giants, as the team is led by a pair of aces most other teams would love to have. But ever since the Giants’ World Series winning run in 2010 the organization has been striving to get back there, attempting to assemble a reliable (and consistent) offense while integrating some youth for the organization’s minor league system. But amid all that roster turnover, are there any viable keepers on this roster?

SP Tim Lincecum and SP Matt Cain are unquestionably the first names for this, or any similar list. Lincecum has thrown 200+ innings, won 13+ games, and struck out 200+ batters in each of the past four seasons, winning a pair of Cy Young Awards in the process. Meanwhile, Cain offers similar innings totals and an equally impressive ERA, but isn’t quite the dominant strikeout pitcher his teammate is. If you can get your hands on either player in your league, it’s a move worth making.

C Buster Posey is another easy choice, regardless of the positional scarcity. When he won the Rookie of the Year Award in 2010 he hit .305/.357/.505 with 18 HR and 67 RBI. It seems safe to assume that in time he could be even better. He just needs to stay healthy and avoid any detrimental collisions at the plate.

SP Madison Bumgarner is coming off a big 2011 season in which he went 13-13 with a 3.21 ERA in 204.1 innings. The left-hander proved in his first full season that he’s capable of being a reliable and quality Major League starter. Control has proven to be an asset for him, as he struck out 191 in 2011 versus a mere 46 walks, and could make him an asset to your fantasy baseball lineup under the right league setup.

OFs Melky Cabrera and Angel Pagan are two names worth keeping an eye on, as they offer a fair combination of power (HR, 2B) and speed (SB). Neither is really worth a keeper selection, particularly with how deep the outfield class tends to be each year.

Feel free to follow me on Twitter (@BlogFTBleachers) for more of my thoughts on the great game of baseball. You can also follow my coverage of the Washington Nationals at District on Deck and the game as a whole at Blogging From The Bleachers.

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