With uncertainty surrounding Curt Schilling’s shoulder the Boston Red Sox picked up a little insurance today. The Sox signed the 2005 Cy Young winner Bartolo Colon to a minor league deal. Times have certainly changed for Colon who settled for a minor league deal with no guaranteed money. If Colon pitches in the Majors he’ll receive a smll salary with bonus incentives. Bartolo Colon is coming off an injury plagued 2007 season with the Los Angeles Angels where he posted a career low 6.34 ERA.
Boston Red Sox manager Terry Francona has been rewarded a nice contract extension by the team. Since joining the team in 2004, Francona has won two World Series titles including the 86 year drought ending title in 2004. Francona’s new contract extends him through 2011 with team options for 2012 and 2013. Francona will make between 3.5 and 4 million a year, making him one of the highest paid managers in the game.
Entering the 2nd half of the NBA season, the Boston Celtics were clearly the team to beat and that’s exactly what happened in the first game back after the All-Star break weekend. The Denver Nuggets shot .513 percent from the floor en route to a high scoring, 124-118 victory over the team with the NBA’s best record. This was the Celtics first lost to a team from the Western Conference and their 4th straight loss to the Nuggets in Denver.
Unfortunately for the C’s, there is no time to regroup, the team is in the midst of a week long West Coast road trip in which they will play five games in the seven nights. They will now go onto face Golden State, Phoenix, Portland, and L.A (Clippers) before they return to Beantown for an Eastern Conference showdown with Lebron James and the Cavaliers on Feb. 27th.
One bright note in last nights’ loss was the return of Kevin Garnett who had been sidelined for two weeks with an abdominal muscle strain. The injury forced him to also miss out on the All-Star game which no one was happy. Garnett had received the most votes out of any player in the league for the game but due to his injury missed out on the action. He was still in attendance for the weekend’s festivities, cheering on the East and supporting teammates Paul Pierce and Ray Allen who were also elected as team members.
Hope you had a fun weekend guys because you all looked jet lagged and fatigued late in last nights’ game and it may have cost you the win.
Garnett looked especially rusty and his statistics for the evening were sub-par at best. He netted a season low of 4 points, grabbed only 8 rebounds and turned the ball over 4 times in a mere 20+ minutes of action. Celtics coach Doc Rivers was not very shy with reporters after the game about how he felt of the superstar’s performance.
“Not very good,” said Rivers, “But you have to expect that when he sits out that long. He was rusty.”
By the end of the road trip, expect to see Garnett back in his normal routine of double-doubles every night. As uninspiring as last nights performance was, there is no reason to get down on the Big Ticket because he’s good… he’s really good. KG is allowed to have an off night on the day when he returns from a two week absence due to an injury. All we saw last night was that Garnett is simply human. I know, I was shocked too.
With four remaining games on their West Coast swing, Garnett and the Celtics need to pick up the intensity level and find a way to win like they had been doing the whole first half of the season.
As long as the team is in first place, they will have a target on their back wherever they go. Teams all over the league are gunning for them, now its gut check time to see how well the men in green can dodge those bullets in order to stay hot and on top.
It’s been a long four months for Boston Red Sox fans awaiting the return of the 2007 World Series Champions, but the wait is over. Pitchers and catchers have officially reported to Fort Meyers, Florida for the start of the 2008 spring training campaign and sox fans are as ready as ever to ‘ring’ in the new year.
Along with pitchers and catchers, a few members of the field roster reported early to camp to try and get in a few extra days of conditioning and training before the entire roster reports. Most notably was 2007 AL Rookie of the Year, 2B Dustin Pedroia. Pedroia got off to a very cold start last year when he hit only .192 in April, but from May until the end of the World Series he was a new man, and finished the season with a .317 batting average.
“I don’t think about that, man,” Pedroia said on redsox.com. “That’s just something that sportswriters voted on. I don’t think I was the best rookie. I didn’t really think about it. The only thing I knew is I got an opportunity to play in the World Series and we won. That’s what our goal was all year. The whole Rookie of the Year thing, I’m not really concerned about it. I actually, I might put a little holster on it and hold up my garage door and put it down there.”
Obviously Pedroia wont be using his award as a garage door stop, but this just goes to show that his head is exactly where its supposed to be. Not caught up in the moment of a great year, but focused on the fact that it’s a new season and its time to go back to work, hard hats only in this job site.
Some more encouraging news for Red Sox nation involved a few of the younger arms that we will be seeing a lot of this year. RHP Clay Bucholtz reported to camp having gained over 10 lbs of muscle mass to help strengthen his upper body. With the recent shoulder injury RHP Curt Schilling reported, Bucholtz is expected to have a shot to win the 5th spot in the starting rotation based on his performances in spring training. RHP Manny Delcarmen also reported to camp looking great, having lost 16 lbs since the winter. With the help of a personal trainer, he hit the gym routinely and the Sox are just as happy with the results as he is.
“He looks so good,” Red Sox manager Terry Francona said on redsox.com. “This is a kid who last year we kind of pounded on him in the winter, and he showed up a little chunkier maybe than we would have hoped, and he goes to Triple-A and does a great job from there. Now, all of sudden, he gets some responsibility in the Major Leagues and he takes it and runs with it.”
Everything is beginning to shape up for the World Series Champions and Sox fans have every right to be excited for what’s ahead.
Some predictions for this year: look for 100+ wins from the team, another AL East Championship, the MLB consecutive sell-out streak record to be broken at Fenway Park, two legitimate Cy-Young candidates in Dice-K and Beckett, a HR title by David Ortiz, and the first repeat champions in baseball since the Yankees three-peat from 1998 to 2000.
Yea, yea, yea, I know what you’re thinking and so what if it’s only spring training! The Red Sox are the team to beat this year, and I’m sticking to it.
2008 Boston Red Sox tickets are now on sale for all Spring Training and regular season games.
The 2007 Police Reunion tour was such a success that the band has decided they want more. The Police, who sold out dozens of shows just last year, are returning to play areas they might have missed in ’07. The 2007 Police tour was Billboard’s top selling tour of the year selling over 2.5 million Police Tickets. This year’s tour should is expected to be just as popular. Joining The Police throughout the tour will be Elvis Costello and the Imposters.
The Police have announced that these shows will be their last in each city. Don’t miss your chance to see the reunited Police. It may not happen again.
Check the full 2008 Police Tour Schedule below to find a show in a city near you. Police Tickets are now available for all shows.
2008 Police Tour Schedule
01 May Scotiabank Place, Ottawa
03 May HSBC Arena, Buffalo NY
04 May Nationwide Arena, Columbus OH
10 May Allstate Arena, Chicago IL
13 May Sprint Center, Kansas City MO
14 May Qwest Center, Omaha NE
16 May Amway Center, Orlando FL
17 May Cruzan Amphitheatre, West Palm Beach FL (formerly Sound Advice)
20 May Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, Houston TX
21 May Superpages.com Center, Dallas TX
23 May MGM Grand Garden Arena, Las Vegas NV
24 May Cricket Wireless Pavilion, Phoenix AZ
26 May Coors Amphitheatre, San Diego CA
27 May The Hollywood Bowl, Los Angeles CA
11 Jul Clark County Amphitheatre, Portland OR
12 Jul The Gorge, Seattle WA
14 Jul Shoreline Amphitheatre, San Francisco CA
16 Jul Sleep Train Pavilion, Concord CA
17 Jul Sleep Train Amphitheatre, Sacramento CA
19 Jul USANA Amphitheatre, Salt Lake City UT
21 Jul Red Rocks Amphitheatre, Denver CO
25 Jul Marcus Amphitheater, Milwaukee WI
26 Jul DTE Energy Music Center, Detroit MI
28 Jul Post Gazette Pavilion, Pittsburgh PA
29 Jul Wachovia Center, Philadelphia PA
31 Jul Tweeter Center, Boston MA
01 Aug Saratoga Performing Arts Center, Saratoga NY
03 Aug PNC Bank Arts Center, Holmdel NJ
04 Aug Nikon at Jones Beach Theater, Wantagh NY
The Police just announced on May 7, 2008 that they will play their last show ever in New York City sometime in August of 2008. The concert proceeds will benefit MillionTreesNYC, an initiative to plant 1 million trees in NYC by 2017. The concert will bring the Police full circle. They kicked off their 1st American tour in 1978 at CBGB’s in New York.
Over the next four months, the Theatre District in Boston will come to life featuring many top named acts and Broadway shows. A wide variety of musicals, comedians, the ballet and much more will be headlining the stage (more)
Due to overwhelming demand in New England, Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers have added a show at the Tweeter Center in Mansfield on June 14, 2008. This show will follow their first New England show at Boston’s TD Banknorth Garden on June 13. Tickets for the first Tom Petty show sold extremely well prompting promoters to seek out another date in the area. With a Tweeter Center show added, fans now have a choice of an outdoor pavilion Tom Petty show or a closed arena show.
The Boston Celtics have been playing great basketball all season long, even recently without the presence of former league MVP Kevin Garnett. Garnett who suffered an abdominal muscle strain two weeks ago has missed the team’s last seven games. Over that time period the men in green have produced a 5-2 record with nice victories over the San Antonio Spurs and Dallas Mavericks.
One key to the teams overall success this year has been their dominant play versus the Western Conference. After yesterdays win over the Spurs, the Celtics season record against the West is a perfect 16-0. The energy at the TD Banknorth Garden this season feels like that of the old Boston Garden in the 80’s when Larry Bird was still in uniform and leading the team to their 16th NBA Championship in 1986.
Did someone say Green 17?
It might still be too early to start to think about another banner hanging from the rafters, but it’s not too early to see that this team definitely has the potential to win another title. When was the last time that midway through the NBA season the Celtics were the heavy favorites to represent the East in the Finals? Can’t remember? That okay because neither can the team. Most of them were in middle or elementary school when the Celtics last made a run at a title in 1988 but fell short to the Detroit Pistons in 6 games in the Eastern Conference Finals. The teams post-season run in 2002 was more of a Cinderella story then the domination we are seeing this year.
Besides the off-season additions of Garnett and Ray Allen, what makes this year’s team so much different from last years? It’s the little things, not to mention the C’s are showing some heart on the court every night. They’re diving for loose balls, hustling back on defense, taking charges, out rebounding bigger teams, and most importantly they are doing it all as one unit.
Members on this year’s team are accepting their roles. The Celtics are not asking Paul Pierce to take the 20 shots he was averaging a game last year. He has a better supporting cast, therefore his shot selection has improved, creating better offensive looks and more production for the team. James Posey is only averaging 24 minutes a game, but in those minutes is producing on both ends of the court. He’s providing a defensive spark and the three point shot as well, shooting at .410 percent from behind the arc through 48 games.
It’s about time that a Danny Ainge trade is finally panning out, the Celtics can say that they clearly got the better end of the KG deal. Not only is the team winning, but the hibernating fans of the past ten years are coming to life, and Boston is once again a basketball city and not just an East Coast tourist attraction.
As the playoffs approach and the anticipation continues to grow, keep an eye on the younger players on the roster like Rajon Rondo, Glen Davis and Kendrick Perkins who have never been in the NBA Playoff atmosphere before. The mix of veterans on the team should be able to help them along the way but one can only hope that they will step up to the challenge when the time calls for it.
When Garnett returns from the injury and the C’s are back at full strength the rest of the NBA needs to keep one thing in mind; this team is on a mission and they will not stop until it is complete.
Boston Red Sox RHP Curt Schilling will not be making the trip next week to Fort Meyers, FL when pitchers and catchers report to spring training. The former World Series MVP has suffered an undisclosed injury to his throwing shoulder and will miss a good portion, if not all of the 2008 MLB season. Currently, Schilling and the Red Sox are deciding on what action to take with the injury that will be in the best interest for both parties.
Earlier this week on his online blog, 38pitches.com, Schilling expressed some of his feelings towards the injury and the Red Sox choices on how to handle it.
“There have been disagreements these past few weeks in an effort to provide me with a solution that would allow me to pitch as much as possible during the 2008 season,” he wrote. “At no time did I ever consider taking a course of action against the club’s wishes. In the end, regardless of who agreed with whom, I have chosen the club’s course of action and will vigorously pursue any and every option I can to be able to help this team to another World Series title in 2008.”
Red Sox executives have no comment at this point on the situation but did release a two sentence statement that acknowledges the injury.
“Curt Schilling was examined by Red Sox doctors in January after he reported feeling right shoulder discomfort,” the team said. “Curt has started a program of rest, rehabilitation and shoulder strengthening in an attempt to return to pitching.”
Since joining the Sox in 2004, Schilling has started 98 games compiling a record of 53-29. In the two years that he was completely healthy and did not spend any time on the DL (04’, 06) he boasted impressive numbers winning 36 games compared to only 13 losses. In 05’ and 07’, Schilling spent multiple months on the DL and his stats backed up that fact that he was not healthy. The ace pitcher put up mediocre numbers at best going a combined 17-16 in those two seasons. If Schilling plans to pitch in 2008, these numbers do not bode well in his favor for success.
Although no one knows how the injury occurred, if you want to start pointing fingers at who is to blame for the bad news, blame the Red Sox. Schilling is 41 years old and over his career has pitched 3261 innings. That’s 92nd on the all time list and eighth most among active pitchers. Honestly, did you think he was going to make it through the full season anyway? You know it’s already bad enough when you have to add weight incentive bonuses in a contract to encourage your players to stay in shape. And does anyone else find it convenient that Schilling made this announcement less than a week after the Mets signed Johan Santana, whom many thought the Red Sox were going to land.
If Schilling can win five games in 2008, that’s five more wins then Red Sox fans should be expecting. He already announced this was going to be his final year and that he just wanted to go out on top one last time. Well Schill, you’re going to go out on top all right, on top of the list for the most selfish, overpaid, greedy and overweight pitchers to not throw an inning in their final MLB season. I’d say Kudos, but you’d probably eat it.