The Boston Globe‘s Tony Massarotti writes that Japanese prospect Junichi Tazawa has agreed to a 3 year $3 million major-league contract, pending a physical in Boston sometime in the next few days. Although he has had no professional experience, Tazawa dazzled for Nippon Oil ENEOS, a corporate team. Subject to amateur draft rules, Tazawa would not be eligible to become a free agent until 2014.
On the low end of potential, Tazawa has been assessed to be like reliever Shigetoshi Hasegawa, an effective middle reliever and setup man for the Mariners and Angels from 1997-2005. After some time in the minors, Tazawa could even develop into a middle or back of-the-rotation starter.
2009 Boston Red Sox tickets are available now!
The Boston Red Sox were able to free up some money, move an outfielder and pick up a solid reliever via a trade with the Kansas City Royals today. Centerfielder Coco Crisp will be heading to the Royals in a deal for right handed reliever Ramon Ramirez. Crisp split time in the outfield with Jacoby Ellsbury but was owed $5.75 million in 2009, too rich for a part time player. The move also helps the Red Sox free up cash for a very good free agent market this off-season.
Ramon Ramirez appeared in 71 games in 2008 with a 2.64 ERA in 71 1/3 innings. He was 3-2 with one save.
Boston Red Sox second-baseman Dustin Pedroia won the 2008 AL MVP award, the first time a 2B has won the award since Nellie Fox in 1959 for the Chicago White Sox. Dustin received 317 total points in the voting beating out Justin Morneau who had 257 points and teammate Kevin Youkilis who finished third in the voting with 201 points. Dustin is also the first Red Sox player to win the award since Mo Vaughn in 1995. Pedroia batted .326 in 2008 with 83 RBI and was the heart and soul of the Boston Red Sox. Congratulations to Dustin Pedroia and the Boston Red Sox.
USA Today Sports Weekly recently released a list ranking all MLB franchises by a number of criteria (including on-field performance and front office business). The Boston Red Sox secured the top spot; thanks in part to five postseason trips in the past two years, two World Series titles, one rookie of the year and multiple Cy Young Award candidates, a healthy mix of high profile veterans and successful home-grown rookies, and maintaining and improving Fenway Park. The ownership group, helmed by John Henry, Tom Werner, and Larry Lucchino, has turned the Red Sox into a very successful brand name.
2009 Boston Red Sox Tickets are available for all games!
With the economy the top concern among most in the country, many sports franchises have been torn about what to do with their ticket prices. Today members of Red Sox nation can take some solace in the news that the Boston Red Sox will freeze their 2009 Red Sox ticket prices. This price freeze is the 1st time since 1995 that Red Sox ticket prices stayed the same. CEO Larry Luccino said the following in a team press release this morning:
“We have been listening to fans, friends, and family about the challenges they are facing in light of the current adverse economic conditions. We are also grateful for the unwavering faith and support our fans have shown us year after year and we hope our ownership’s decision to hold prices for the upcoming season will in some way help ease the burden on Red Sox Nation.”
Face values from the 2008 Red Sox season will remain the same for 2009. The news comes just weeks before Red Sox season ticket holders get their 2009 season ticket bills. This announcement will leave them with a little extra cash for holiday shopping. A very welcome gift from the Red Sox to their dedicated fans.
The uncertain economic climate has many franchises worried about their 2009 seasons. So far Boston teams have been lucky. Both Celtics and Bruins tickets remain in high demand. In fact Celtics and Bruins tickets are selling at a higher rate on the secondary market than they did one year ago. It doesn’t hurt that the Celtics are coming off a Championship year and the Boston Bruins are playing great hockey. Given the fact that the Red Sox are likely to be competitive in 2009 it’s unlikely that the high demand for Red Sox tickets will dissipate. Red Sox fans are notoriously loyal and devoted and will likely still show up in droves at Fenway Park. Some difference may be seen in the secondary market for 2009 Red Sox tickets but it’s too early to tell. Ace Ticket is already receiving inquiries regarding the 2009 Sox season. A good sign for sure. Landing a big name via free agency could also help the demand for Red Sox tickets. The Red Sox have interest in a few big names this offseason, including Mark Texiera.
For their part the Red Sox expect to weather the economic storm. Even though they are freezing prices for 2009 they remain optimistic about the team’s future both on the field and as a business. Red Sox CEO Larry Lucchino had the following to say to USAToday.com:
“I don’t think we’ve hit some kind of plateau,” he says. “We’ll find new avenues, new possibilities. The 100th anniversary of Fenway Park is going to be a very big deal. We have more plans to enhance Fenway”.
Formerly of the Chunichi Dragons of the Japan Central League, righty Kenshin Kawakami may be the next Japanese Pitcher to make the move to Boston. Kawakami seems like a potential #4-5 starter, and brings a lot to the table. Just two years ago, Kawakami walked a miniscule 21 batters in 190 innings of work. He can consistently strike batters out (over a strikeout per inning this season) and induces a lot of ground balls.
At 33 years old, Kawakami has his first taste of free agency, and seems to be leaning towards Boston.
The Boston Red Sox have set yet another American League Championship series record. David Ortiz and JD Drew powered the Sox back from a seven run deficit, the largest overcome in ALCS history (and second biggest in playoff history). The Rays jumped ahead early, putting up five runs on the board against Sox starter Daisuke Matsuzaka. At the end of a a disastrous seventh inning, the Sox found themselves down seven runs.
After a Jed Lowrie double and a Coco Crisp single, David Ortiz put the Sox on the board with a towering homer to left off of Rays reliever Grant Balfour. Jonathan Papelbon held the Rays scoreless in the top of the eighth inning, and a JD Drew 2-run jack put the Sox within one. Coco Crisp hit a long single that scored Mark Kotsay, tying up the game.
Justin Masterson pitched a clean inning, giving the Sox a chance to work some of their walk-off magic. With two down in the bottom of the ninth, a throwing error by Tampa third baseman Evan Longoria allowed Kevin Youkilis to get on base. Joe Maddon called for the intentional walk of Jason Bay, bringing up JD Drew. Drew hit a long fly to right that outfielder Gabe Gross could not quite get a handle on, giving Youkilis a chance to score the winning run.
The dramatic win give the Sox momentum as they head to face the Rays in Tampa. Josh Beckett will match up against James shields on Saturday night as they try to force a game seven.
Tickets are still available for all Red Sox Playoff games!
In 2004, the Sox overcame a 0-3 deficit to beat the New York Yankees. In 2007, The Sox came from down 1-3 to beat the Cleveland Indians. This year, the Sox are behind again, but the adversity seems to have energized the team. “I think they wish we were playing in about 10 minutes,” Red Sox manager Terry Francona told reporters in an off-day press conference. “It’s good. It’s very good. It’s enthusiastic. I mean, we’ll play tomorrow, because that’s when we’re supposed to, but I think everybody is ready to play right now, which is what I was hoping for.”
Sox Nation is gearing up to cheer for a team on the brink yet again. The same team that fought off elimination in the 1999 ALDS, 2003 ALDS, 2004 ALCS, and last year’s ALCS. Team captain Jason Varitek was there for each of those series’, and will lead the Sox with the same determination this year.
The Sox will be sending Daisuke Matsuzaka to the mound tonight. Matsuzaka held the Rays hitless into the seventh inning in his first appearance of the series. The Rays moved up Scott Kazmir to face him, giving James Shields a day off and what they consider to be a better matchup at home in a possible game six. Potential game six and seven starters Jon Lester and Josh Beckett faltered in their previous appearances, but both have a playoff pedigree that speaks for itself.
Tickets are available for tonight’s game starting at face value!
Last night’s 5-1 win by the Phillies over the Dodgers gave Philadelphia a 4-1 series win over L.A. in the NLCS, putting them in the World Series for the 1st time since 1993. The Phillies who own the distinction as the losingest franchise in pro sports history with over 10,000 losses can finally have something to cheer about. The Championship starved city now awaits the winner of the ALCS between the Boston Red Sox and the Tampa Bay Rays.
Phillies World Series Tickets
After last night’s loss to the Rays the Red Sox will be looking to pull even in tonight’s game 4 at Fenway. Veteran knuckle baller Tim Wakefield gets the ball tonight for the Sox. He’s pitched in his fair share of big games for the Red Sox and should give the team a great chance to knot this series up at two apiece.
If you haven’t seen a Red Sox playoff game yet, or if you just need to get back to Fenway to cheer them on, now is the perfect time to grab some tickets. ALCS ticket prices for the Red Sox have never been this low. You can get great deals for games 4 and 5 right now, especially on the most coveted Field Box seats at Fenway. Check them out now.
Red Sox vs Tampa Bay Rays Tuesday 10/14/08 – 8:07pm
Tim Wakefield (Red Sox) vs Sonnanstine (Rays)
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