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Pro Sports Wrap - Sports Personality of the Day:Seth Smith

6/19 Red Sox Injury Report

June 19th 2011 14:09
1. Carl Crawford

The star left fielder was put on the disabled list with a Grade 1 strain on his left hamstring. The training staff didn't want to take any risks with a player of his caliber, but I wish they didn't go this far to put him on the DL.

2. Bobby Jenks

Jenks threw 45 pitches off flat ground, and he has back tightness. He won't be back immediately after the 15 days that have transpired since the injury. I think he'll be back just before the month ends.

He assured us that he wont do too much, Red Sox manager Terry Francona said. We dont want any setbacks with this. I think hes on board with that. Hes being pretty logical about it.

3. Jed Lowrie

Lowrie injured his left shoulder, and he is scheduled to take an MRI. The injury is very recent, and it seems like deja vu with the whole Jacoby Ellsbury thing last year. He tried to play through the pain, but he couldn't and said that he felt it pop out or something. The good thing is that the first MRI showed no structural damage, but there needs to be a second MRI to confirm everything.

4. Rich Hill

Hill is always injured, so it wasn't a surprise to see him land there on the 2nd of June. Dr. James Andrews said that the injury has nothing to do with Hill's new sidearm delivery. The injury? Yup, Tommy John. It's another crushing setback for a pitcher who always seems to get injured.

5. Daisuke Matsuzaka

This is another guy who had Tommy John surgery, and he is another guy- Lowrie's the other- who was seen by Dr. Lewis Yocum. Will Matsuzaka ever get a break?

6. Junichi Tazawa

He has made progress in his minor league rehab assignments after having Tommy John surgery last year. His offspeed stuff has gotten better, but his velocity needs to get back to where it was.

7. Franklin Morales

Morales pitched his third rehab game in AAA, and he will get some time off. The goal is to have him throw 30 pitches in his next outing. His velocity is at 92 miles per hour right now, but it still needs to climb back up to where it was.
Always Injured

6/19 Daily Rundown: Crawford on DL

June 19th 2011 05:53
1. Hamstring Sends Crawford to DL

Carl Crawford was put on the 15-day DL for a minor hamstring injury. The injury happened in a 10-4 win over the Brewers, and the hamstring was viewed as a Grade 1 strain. The medical staff thought it would be best for him to rest up his hamstring. Crawford was injured after beating it out for an infield single.

2. Tiki Barber Battled Depression

Tiki Barber said that he needs football and is actually looking to come back to the NFL. The year after he retired, Barber battled depression for a year thanks to events that occurred off the field. Barber was fired from working at NBC, and there was a chain of events that has led to what is happening now. He's serious about playing in the NFL, but the odds are certainly against him. One thing though: if anyone can make a comeback to the NFL as a 36 year old running back, it's Tiki.

3. Holliday's Big Day Snaps Seven Game Skid

Matt Holliday hit a go-ahead homer in the seventh, and that was all the Cards needed to beat the Royals 5-4. Holliday also had a double and a walk. Matt Treanor went 2-4 with a homer and two runs. Jake Westbrook labored through seven innings and 121 pitches. Vin Mazzaro was slightly better, but the Cardinals' bullpen fared out much better than their opponents' pen did. Trever Miller, Jason Motte, and Fernando Salas gave up just one hit in two innings with two strikeouts (combined).

4. Yanks Scrape by Cubs

The bases were loaded in the bottom of the six thanks to errors from the Yankees' middle infield. Geovany Soto hit one to left, and Brett Gardner came up with the out. Carlos Pena was barreling towards the plate, and Brett Gardner threw a beauty to Russell Martin. Pena slammed into Martin, but the Yankees' catcher absorbed the hit and got Pena out. Brett Gardner showed us why he is one of the best defensive players in baseball. Why do other Yankees fans want to replace him so much?

Mariano Rivera got another save in a poorly pitched ninth; a rarity for the best closer in history. The Cubs always tried to rally in this one, but the Yankees would hold them off each time. Robinson Cano hit two doubles and drew two walks, and Pena hit a two run shot to right. Ryan Dempster was clearly outpitched by A.J. Burnett's eight K's, and Dempster walked six and threw 119 pitches. Jeff Samardzija was also poor as he walked three in 1.1 innings pitched.

5. College Football Player Shot

Brandon Wimberly was shot in the stomach after a fight in Reno. Wimberly was with other football players, and they were in a fight with some other people. Nevada's starting receiver went up to the car, and he was shot by somebody inside the vehicle. The injuries sustained are considered serious but not life-threatening. Thank God Wimberly is OK. I would hate to see somebody killed, especially a young man with untapped potential.
15 Day DL

5/21 Baseball Stats Check

May 21st 2011 15:56
1. Jonny Gomes has the lowest BABIP at .185 as well as the 14th highest strikeout rate 31.2%. He is hitting .176.

2. A.J. Pierzynski is hitting .252, but he has the lowest strikeout rate in the league at 5.8%.

3. As far as hitters go, Juan Pierre has the worst WAR in the league at -1.1. Carl Crawford has the fifth lowest thanks to a .212/.247/.282 line. He'll start hitting, but Juan Pierre needs to sit on the bench really soon. This is another "What is Ozzie Doing?" moment.

4. Jose Bautista has by far the highest WAR in the league at 3.9. Bautista is in the midst of a historical season in which he has a .352/.503/.797 line with 16 home runs, 35 runs, a better walk rate than strikeout rate, and a .445 isolated power average.

5. Raul Ibanez and Juan Pierre can't field or hit. It's time for these two outfielders at the bottom of the pile in WAR and Fielding to take a seat. Denard Span, Carlos Gomez, and Shin Soo-Choo probably won't get Gold Gloves by the end of the year, but they should be on every reasonable person's short lists.

6. Jose Bautista has the highest walk rate in the league. I mean, who in their right mind would pitch it to this guy? He's having a Bonds-like year. His 3.1 Fielding is also a plus.

7. Is Justin Smoak the slowest person in baseball right now and Ian Desmond the fastest? According to the Speed stat on Fan Graphs, they are.

8. Miguel Tejada's done, and the Vernon Wells trade is looking much worse than anyone thought. Wells has a chance of playing well, but Tejada needs to call it quits after this season.

9. Two Matts, Joyce and Holliday, are definitely going to see their batting averages fall. BABIPs of over .400 usually aren't good. This especially holds true for Joyce because he doesn't have a good strikeout rate, and he's also the worse hitter of the two.

10. Is Alcides Escobar already a bust? He's a huge liability right now. David Ortiz hasn't had his "clutch-touch" of late, and the only thing good about Dexter Fowler has been his ability to come through in close situations. He can field, but he can't hit. Jim Tracy has too much faith in him, but maybe it's because he has the highest Clutch Factor in baseball right now.

All stats from
Is He The Best Hitter in the AL?

3/2011 Team Scope: Boston Red Sox

March 30th 2011 14:52
The Red Sox made huge acquisitions in this off-season. They two of the best hitters in the game in Carl Crawford and Adrian Gonzalez. The Sox also added former star closer Bobby Jenks as well as solid reliever Dan Wheeler from their division rivals in Tampa. It's going to be a big year and another division win for the Red Sox. I just can't see how any team in the AL will keep up with this juggernaut.

Gonzalez is primed for a huge year after having several great ones in one of the heaviest pitchers' parks in baseball. Gonzo is ready for an MVP year on his new team, and he's going to be well acquainted with Fenway. Dustin Pedroia is solid as ever at second, and Marco Scutaro can score runs at short. The Youk moves over to the hot corner, and he's one of the most consistent hitters in the MLB.

The big question for this offense comes at catcher. Jason Varitek and Jarrod Saltalamacchia are two terrible catchers. Salty is the better hitter- even though he is pitiful against lefties- but he can't even throw it at the pitcher accurately. And forget about him catching people attempting to steal bases. Varitek is one of the worst hitters out there, he's so old that his slow reaction times are a gift to base runners, but he does have good chemistry with the pitching staff. The Red Sox should start Salty because he at least brings something to the table offensively.

Jed Lowrie is an interesting backup middle-infielder. People are saying that he is swinging the bat well, but I never believe what they say about Lowrie. He's an average player that is playing in his rightful role; backup. Carl Crawford is a beast. What more is there to say? He has insane speed, he can hit for average, and he is solid in every other part of his game. He's the other new acquisition that has vaulted himself into the MVP discussion.

Jacoby Ellsbury is coming off of a bad, lingering injury. It will be interesting to see how he bounces back from it. Ellsbury's speed on the basepaths is unquestioned, he scores runs like crazy when healthy, and he is a very athletic fielder. J.D. Drew has some pop, but he's definitely not going to be anything more than an above average role player with how he played last year.

Darnell McDonald showed that he can be a capable backup last season. Mike Cameron is old and overpaid, but he is a good backup that can still field. David Ortiz is the best clutch-hitter on this team, and he can still lug the wood. The abundant power will always be there, but he won't contribute in any other way. He's still very valuable to this team, and he will be one of the main power sources on a loaded team. That's saying something about Papi's strength.

Jon Lester is the only pitcher in this rotation that doesn't carry any questions about his ability to produce at a high level in 2011. He's one of the best pitchers in baseball, and last season was the year where everyone finally saw that he is an elite player. John Lackey is on the downside of his career, and Red Sox fans can only hope that he plays okay and doesn't implode like he did last year.

Josh Beckett is an interesting player. He'll either do great, or he'll get blown. I don't know if we're going to see the 09 Beckett or the 10 Beckett, but Boston fans hope it's the former, not the latter. When Beckett is on the top of his game, he's unhittable. When he's not, well, it's a reenactment of a play called "Barry Bonds in Coors Field" that features Jeff Suppan.

Clay Buchholz was great last year. Buchholz will put together another nice year, but I don't know if it's going to match last year's great campaign. I really hope that Daisuke Matsuzaka turns back the clock and pitches like it's 2008. After the tsunami in Japan, it would be great to see Dice-K get healthy again and get a 2.90 ERA. Matsuzaka is like Beckett in that we don't know which side of him we'll see in a game or season. Let's hope he has a terrific year.

Jonathan Papelbon is one of the best closers in baseball, but he'll likely be traded because of young set-up man Daniel Bard. He's the heir to the throne, and he looks nearly as good as Paps. Bobby Jenks was once a great closer, and he'll continue his greatness as one of the best set-up men in baseball. Dan Wheeler is another new acquisition that will make an impact in the pen. Dennys Reyes is decent at the back, and Matt Albers and Tim Wakefield are two decent options in the pen that will be injury replacements at starter.
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