March 2010

Heading Back Home

I mentioned this last week but I must mention it again.  The airlines have done a tremendous thing to make their customers happy – free internet in the airport.  I was shocked to hear the internet was free at JFK in New York but now it’s free every where.  Now more people will be getting work done or updating their facebook status.

Right now I’m waiting to head back home and get the 2010 season underway.  Once I arrive at Spring Training, I feel like the season has started, despite the games not counting.  The one great thing about spring training baseball – it’s just baseball.  There isn’t all the bells and whistles going off or annoying radio guys (ha ha), plus, baseball during the day is special.
I look forward to bringing the fans and everyone on the internet another exciting season of Sea Dogs baseball.  This is going to be another special season in Portland from the great players on the field to the great promotions planned.
This was my favorite photo from spring training.  I am not at all a great photographer and getting a shot with the baseball so close to the bat was complete luck,
Opening Day at Hadlock Field is April 15 against the Trenton Thunder but Portland opens up next Thursday in Reading.  Hopefully this weekend, the complete roster will be set.

Tuesday Morning

The weather is still a bit cool in Ft. Myers but I have nothing to complain about – sunny skies, cool and no snow, I’ll take that any day.

As I mentioned yesterday, Tim Wakefield is expected to pitch in a minor game at the Red Sox complex beginning at 1:00 PM.  Follow me on twitter this afternoon for updates on the status of the knuckleballer.  I did see yesterday that former Sea Dog Charlie Zink was released from the Cardinals.
Out of the Batter’s Box: Interesting tidbit about the new video game MLB the Show, featuring Joe Mauer on the cover.  You can’t find the game anywhere in Ft. Myers and I think it’s from the advertising.  There’s a sign in both the Red Sox and Twins’ ballparks advertising the new game…Casey Kelly is getting the start for Boston this afternoon against the Rays…Tommy Hottovy is traveling with the big league club, I’d love to see him pitch…Josh Reddick is getting the start in left field…On Junichi Tazawa going to see Dr. James Andrews – I wouldn’t say that’s good news, hopefully Junichi is okay.
Who’s on the team: That is the million dollar question every year at this time.  I’ve heard reports that the final rosters will be here on Friday.  

Is Jose Iglesias the shortstop of the future for the Boston Red Sox?  Could be the future shortstop for the 2010 Portland Sea Dogs!

After today’s exhibition game for the Red Sox, they will have four remaining on the slate, including a date in Washington D.C. on Saturday.

Dice-K a Sea Dog again….

Well we’ll have to see about that.  Earlier this morning, Daisuke Matsuzaka threw 62 pitches in a simulated game at the Red Sox minor league complex.  Due to the rain last night and earlier this morning, all minor league games were cancelled but there was a lot going on at the complex.

Red Sox Pitching Coach John Farrell addressed the media following Daisuke’s outing and said “the biggest factor in his first rehab start is weather.”  So, we assume that means they want Daisuke pitching somewhere warm but Farrell wants the competition to be better than throwing simulated games in Ft. Myers.  “Ideally we would be able to do an affiliate where we would get more of an atmosphere, said Farrell.

So, after hearing Farrell speak, I had to look at Portland’s schedule to see how things line up. Dice-K is schedule to pitch on Saturday against the Nationals in Washington DC and with four days of rest in-between, his third rehab start would be on April 18 – the Sea Dogs are home against Trenton.  How about that for the big rivalry?


Quick notes….The minor leaguers faced live batting practice at the complex to make up for the lost games…Former Sea Dogs Dusty Brown and Jorge Jimenez were removed from Boston’s roster earlier today.  Brown was optioned to Pawtucket and Jimenez was assigned to minor league camp…Boof Bonser and Manny Delcarmen threw live batting practice at the minor league complex…The Sea Dogs play Montgomery (Tampa Bay affiliate) on Tuesday afternoon beginning at 1:00 PM in Ft. Myers

Morning News – Rain in Ft. Myers

The rain has been falling in Ft. Myers since last night and the radar shows it could continue all afternoon.

Portland and Pawtucket will travel to Sarasota today to play the Orioles’ affiliates at 1 PM.  The Red Sox host Tampa Bay at 7:05.
My plan was to stay at the Red Sox Minor League Complex and watch the lower minor league teams play.  According to yesterday’s Red Sox Game Notes; Boof Bonser, Manny Delcarmen and Daisuke Matsuzaka are scheduled to pitch in those minor league games.
Sea Dogs’ Beat Writer Kevin Thomas has a great article about former Sea Dogs Manager Ron Johnson.  Read his blog called “Clearing the Bases”
I will have more updates throughout the morning, including anything new on the status of today’s games.

Report from the Fort Part 2 (Spring Training 2010)

The Red Sox minor leaguers had a camp day on Sunday but all
the levels split up and played intra-squad games.  In talking with Mike Hazen (Red Sox Player
Development Director), the camp day is designed to give the players a bit of
break.  The games start at 9:30 AM and last
only five innings, enabling most of the players and staff to be home by noon.

Portland played Pawtucket in a 5-inning intra-squad game on
field 3.  I’m sure nobody cares what
field it was on but I thought it sounded more official.  Former Sea Dog Felix Doubront made the start
for the PawSox against Kyle Weiland.  I
was bouncing around between all three games so I didn’t see the entire Sea Dogs
game but I did see two hits from PawSox DH Brett Harper.  Harper, who played in the Eastern League with
the Binghamton Mets, had a broken bat single and a homer, picking up 4
RBI.  Ryan Kalish also smacked a homer for Pawtucket.

One funny moment came from Catcher Mark Wagner, who
pretended to be mad at Weiland after getting plunked on the back.

I had a chance to chat with Tommy Hottovy who feels very good
after suffering injuries the past few seasons. 
He’s pitching a lot, including effective outings in two big league
games.  Dustin Richardson told me he’s
changed his delivery a bit, which is helping him get more “life” on his
fastball.  Richardson has really
impressed the big league club and could land in that bullpen at some point this

I spent the afternoon at the Major League game and sat with
PawSox radio announcer Steve Hyder.  We
watched a fun-filled offensive afternoon from the Red Sox but the Twins had
their fun against Clay Buchholz.  Joe
Mauer hit a first-inning, 2-run homer to left field, which he crushed.   Bubba Bell struck out in his only at-bat and
Jorge Jimenez played first base.


Before the game I met Jon Rish of the Boston Red Sox Radio
Network.  This season I will be providing
interviews for their website –  I’m very excited to help them out and I’m
very thankful for the opportunity.

On Monday, I will stay at the Red Sox Minor League complex
and watch the Single-A teams play the Baltimore affiliates.  Boof Bonser, Manny Delcarmen and Daisuke Matsuzaka
will all pitch in the minor league games. 
Check our Facebook Page to see photos from the day and all my coverage
of Spring Training 2010.

Well, that’s it from the Fort!

Morning News

Will have an update from this morning’s minor league camp day and my coverage of the big league game.  I was having trouble filing my blog from the ballpark.

Good Morning

I wanted to write a short entry before I head over to the Red Sox Minor League Complex.  Sunday is a camp day and there is a 5-inning game going to take place at 9:30.  I’m not sure who’s playing in it but I’ll have updates through Twitter

Report from the Fort (Spring Training 2010)

Okay, I must get a quick jab in to my family and friends back north – it’s sunny, hot and near 80 degrees today.  Just a gorgeous day in Ft. Myers where I spent the afternoon at Lee County Complex to watch the Sea Dogs and Pawtucket play exhibition games against the Twins’ Double-A and Triple-A affiliates.

I didn’t get a final score in the Sea Dogs’ exhibition game I think they beat New Britain 3-2. Pawtucket lost to Rochester 4-2.  One interesting thing fan should know about exhibition games, the home team bats in the bottom of the 9th inning regardless of the score.
Portland Batters
Lin CF   0-for-2, 2 BB (great catch in the outfield and displays a great arm)
Hee SS 0-for-4 (Hit a rocket that was caught in the third inning)
Anderson DH 0-for-2, BB (flied to deep-center field on a 3-1 pitch in his second at-bat)
Exposito ph grounded out to SS
Navarro 3B 1-for-3, HR, 2 RBI, BB (hit an absolute bomb to left field in the first inning)
Place RF 0-for-3 (had two really good at-bats)
Mailman LF 1-for-3 (battled in his final two trips)
Lavarnway C 1-for-2 (was caught stealing)
Weeden ph/C hit into a 6-4-3 double play
Jones 1B 1-for-3, 2B, BB (showed good opposite field pop with a double to left field)
Gentile 2B 0-for-4 (hit the ball hard in his second at-bat)
Garcia ph nailed a single
Stephen Fife, Jason Rice and Kyle Fernandes pitched for Portland
Other Nuggets from the Double-A game:  SS Jose Iglesias was sent down to Portland on Saturday and did not play in either game…Kevin Boles managed the Sea Dogs game with Arnie Beyeler managing Pawtucket…Major Leaguer Denard Span played in the Double-A game.
Faces in the Crowd: Even with the Twins at home their manager Ron Gardenhire was at the minor league games…Former Twins’ Manager Tom Kelly was walking around with a fungo-bat, chatting with fans and he even sat in the Pawtucket dugout with Arnie Beyeler…Paul Molitor works as an instructor with the Twins and was roaming around the complex…Boston Red Sox sports psychologist Bob Tewksbury was watching the game…Portland Hitting Coach Dave Joppie was in Pawtucket’s dugout.
AAA Notes: Michael Bowden was roughed up a bit in the time I saw him pitch. I had a chance to chat with him after his appearance, he says he feels good and is working on his mechanics this spring.  There was a published report that he changed his arm angle but that is false…Portland Manager Arnie Beyeler was skippering the PawSox while their manager Torey Lovullo contines to travel with the big league team…Some of the players from the game: Bell, Kalish, Still, Harper, Apodaca, Natale, Nava and Sheely.
What’s Next: The Minor Leaguers have a camp day tomorrow starting at 9:30 AM, they will play a 5-inning game, I will be covering that from the Minor League complex. You can find my twitter account here –

Day 1 in the Fort

I will be heading to the Minnesota Twins minor league complex today to cover the AA and AAA games.  Stay tuned for more updates, plus, check our twitter, facebook and new for 2010 our pages.  Lexy is an audio service, which I will provide a Sea Dogs report.

Papelbon released…not the one you think!

The bad economy must be hampering wireless internet sales for airports.  I’m sitting at JFK in New York, awaiting a connecting flight to Ft. Myers, and I’m using free wireless.  The only reason I found this out was from the guy sitting next to me.

I wanted to thank everyone for attending Friday’s luncheon, I thought it went very well, and it was nice seeing a lot of familiar faces.  Plus, Media Relations Director Chris Cameron did a great job setting up the event.  I also wanted to thank all of our new assistants that have joined us for the 2010 season.  Many of them helped with the event and they were there in attendance, but of course I forgot to mention them.
Okay with the news you really want….According to Sox, these four minor league players have been released, including RHP Josh Papelbon and OF Reid Engel.
here’s the link 4 minor league players released 
Red Sox made some roster moves today: LHP Brian Shouse was released and they signed lefty Scott Schoeneweis and infielder Kevin Frandsen. 
On Saturday I will be watching Portland and Pawtucket playing exhibition tilts at the Twins complex.