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Boston Red Sox: 4 Under The Radar Prospects

Andrew Martin (Featured BBBA Writer/Owner – baseballhistorianblogspot.com) 

The Boston Red Sox have enough top prospects to keep fan publications and websites interminably churning out content singing their praises. Despite the blue chippers that dot the team’s farm system there is also an extraordinary amount of secondary talent.

These are players who may not be as well known as some of their counterparts but could wind up matching or surpassing them when it is all said and done.

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Did Bony Knees Cost Lou Gehrig A Hollywood Acting Career?

Lou Gehrig was only 35 when he was diagnosed with ALS.  He had to retire right away and came back for what some would consider 'the greatest speech of all-time' on July.4, 1939.  It was the "I am the Luckiest Man on the face of the Earth" speech.  Gehrig died June.2, 1941 at the age of 37. --Photo courtesy of ultimateyankees.com

Lou Gehrig was only 35 when he was diagnosed with ALS. He had to retire right away and came back for what some would consider ‘the greatest speech of all-time’ on July.4, 1939. It was the “I am the Luckiest Man on the face of the Earth” speech. Gehrig died June.2, 1941 at the age of 37. –Photo courtesy of ultimateyankees.com

Andrew Martin (Featured BBBA Fantasy Baseball Writer/Owner – baseballhistorian.blogspot.com) 

Lou Gehrig is an iconic figure in baseball history, both for his legendary career with the New York Yankees as a slugging first baseman, and because of his tragic death from an eponymous disease at the age of 37. Despite his exploits on the field, he nearly had another star turn—that of Hollywood actor.

At one point he was actually poised to assume the role of Tarzan in the movies but was ultimately passed over; possibly due to knobby knees.

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Bill Sarni: A Baseball Career Interrupted

bill sarni

Andrew Martin (Featured BBBA Writer/Owner – baseballhistorian.blogspot.com) 

Former catcher Bill Sarni had immense ups and downs during his 13-year playing career; perhaps more of a disparity than anyone before him or since. A teen-aged phenom, he started in the Pacific Coast League as a 15-year-old and ultimately made himself into a solid big league receiver.

Unfortunately, his story was not to be a happy one, as he was forced to retire at the age of 29 due to a heart attack suffered while playing pepper with teammates before a spring training game.

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5 Things About the 2016 Boston Red Sox That Aren’t Being Talked About Enough

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Andrew Martin (Featured BBBA Writer/Owner – baseballhistorian.blogspot.com)

 

After finishing the 2015 season in last place, the Boston Red Sox look much better this year, currently on a pace for 93 wins. While some things have gone very well, there are others that have not.

Despite the chatter that seems to perpetually swirl around the team, some things haven’t received the attention they deserve. Here are five of them (keeping in mind the season is only about a sixth of the way over):

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Can The Boston Red Sox Solve The Pablo Sandoval Situation?

(AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

(AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

Andrew Martin (Featured BBBA Writer/Owner baseballhistorian.blogspot.com) 

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A mere 18 months after signing a lucrative free agent contract with the Boston Red Sox, third baseman Pablo Sandoval has for all intents and purposes become a pariah with his new team.

Having lost his starting job at the end of the recently concluded spring training, his future with the team is unknown, and at the same time feels untenable. With four seasons remaining on his deal, it’s incumbent upon the Red Sox to find a solution, but what can be done?

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What Is Clay Buchholz’s Legacy With The Boston Red Sox?

z clay buchholz

Andrew Martin (Featured BBBA Writer/Owner – baseballhistorian.blogspot.com) 

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It’s hard to believe but pitcher Clay Buchholz began his tenth year with the Boston Red Sox when he toed the rubber against the Cleveland Indians in the second game of the 2016 season.

During that time, he has been a whirling dervish of disappointment, results and expectations. With a $13.5 million team option (or $500,000 buyout) coming up next year, it’s possible that this could be his swan song in the Hub.

If that’s the case, what exactly is his legacy?

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Larry McLean’s Unusual Baseball Contract Demand

mclean

Andrew Martin (Featured Baseball Writer/Owner – baseballhistorian.blogspot.com) 

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Haggling over contracts is nothing new in professional baseball. For years, players and management have gone back and forth over getting the perceived upper hand when it comes to determining worth. 

In the days before free agency and player representation, teams could more or less dictate the terms, which could lead to some pretty unhappy exchanges and counter proposals.

Perhaps none were as bizarre as hard-drinking catcher Larry McLean, who tried to negotiate the payment of 25 cents for every drink he refused during the 1911 season with the Cincinnati Reds.

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Three Sleeper Boston Red Sox Prospects For 2016

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Andrew Martin (Featured Baseball Writer/Owner – baseballhistorian.blogspot.ca) 

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The Boston Red Sox enter the 2016 season with a revamped major league roster, having landed some significant talent this past offseason. At the same time they have been able to maintain a well-stocked farm system that no less an authority than Baseball America has ranked as fourth-best in baseball this year.

While many will be familiar with some of their better known prospects, their young talent pool is so deep that there are many who have largely flown under the radar thus far in their young careers but may start to get more recognition.

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Bugs Raymond: A Baseball Legend

image - dugoutlegends.com

image – dugoutlegends.com

Andrew Martin (Featured Baseball Writer/Owner – baseballhistorian.blogspot.ca) 

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Professional baseball is rife with legends and ciphers that have popped up over the years. Although most of them may not reach the level of a Sidd Finch, there have been many whose stories have vacillated between the humorous and the tragic.

Bugs Raymond was an outstanding pitcher who fits into both categories; whose escapades that became legendary even as he battled alcoholism and wound up murdered at the age of 30.

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Baseball’s Fun Problem: Old School Vs New: Goose Vs Bautista/Cespedes/Harper

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Andrew Martin (Featured Baseball Writer/Owner – baseballhistorian.blogspot.ca) 

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Baseball has a “fun” problem. The game noticeably stands apart from other professional leagues with its reputation for longer, slower-moving games and expectations for more stoic behavior on the field. S

ports are a leading source of entertainment but baseball lags behind their counterparts in many ways when it comes to their image of being stuffy and boring.

This was personified by recent comments made by Hall-of-Fame reliever Goose Gossage, blasting behavior he thinks is ruining the game.

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Is Edwin Encarnacion The Key To Next Offseason For The Boston Red Sox?

Edwin Encarnacion has been one of the top 5 offensive hitters in the AL since the start of the 2012 year.  It is unfortunate that Bautista and he will probably not remain a Blue Jays beyond this upcoming year.  If EE can't come to terms with the Canadian franchise - perhaps Boston may be a perfect candidate to ink the slugger after this season.

Edwin Encarnacion has been one of the top 5 offensive hitters in the AL since the start of the 2012 year. It is unfortunate that Bautista and he will probably not remain a Blue Jays beyond this upcoming year. If EE can’t come to terms with the Canadian franchise – perhaps Boston may be a perfect candidate to ink the slugger after this season.

Andrew Martin (Featured Baseball Writer/Owner – baseballhistorian.blogspot.ca) 

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The 2016 MLB season has just kicked off with the first spring training games of the year, yet it’s not too early to start looking forward to next year.

As things currently stand, there is a lengthy list of players set to become free agents in 2017.

While they possess varying skills and positions, there is one player in particular the Boston Red Sox should focus their attention on, and that is Edwin Encarnacion — who could be the key to next offseason as an excellent candidate to replace the departing David Ortiz.

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An Interview With Former MLB’er Glenn Wilson

glenn wilson

Andrew Martin (Featured Baseball Writer/Owner – baseballhistorian.blogspot.ca) 

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Only a small percentage of baseball players who sign or are drafted end up playing in the major leagues. Therefore, when a prospect pans out and goes on to have a solid career, it’s quite the accomplishment.

When outfielder Glenn Wilson became a professional player, he began with high expectations but more than lived up to them during his decade as a big leaguer.

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The Selling Of The Babe From Boston To New York: A Review

babe-ruth-ftr

Andrew Martin (Featured Baseball Writer/Owner – baseballhistorian.blogspot.ca) 

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Roger Kahn, Donald Honig and David Halberstam are some of the names on the short list for of the greatest baseball authors.

Someone who is making a serious run at that distinction is Glenn Stout, who is submitting another entry to his resume with The Selling of the Babe: The Deal that Changed Baseball and Created a Legend—an outstanding take on the Bambino’s famous sale from the Boston Red Sox to the New York Yankees.

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Carl Yastrzemski And The Boston Red Sox: Did You Know?

Carl Yastremski was the last major league baseball player to ever win the triple crown before Miguel Cabrera in 1967 - a span of 46 years.

Carl Yastremski was the last major league baseball player to ever win the triple crown before Miguel Cabrera in 1967 – a span of 46 years.

Andrew Martin (Featured Baseball Writer/Owner – baseballhistorian.blogspot.ca) 

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Every major league baseball team has their own Mount Rushmore; their most iconic players from respective franchise histories.

The Boston Red Sox are no exception, and having been in existence for more than a century, have as impressive a group as anyone. This includes Hall-of-Fame outfielder Carl Yastrzemski, better known to fans simply as “Yaz.”

Although his career has been much discussed, here are some things that you may not know.

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Alex George: The Teen Baseball Phenom

Andrew Martin (Featured Baseball Writer/Owner – baseballhistorian.blogspot.ca) 

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What would be tougher? Being good enough to play major league baseball but only get in to five games? Or having all of those five games come before your 17th birthday?

Only one person knows that answer for sure, and its former shortstop Alex George, who reached the pinnacle of his baseball career as a teenager in the autumn of 1955.

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The 2016 Red Sox Outfield Has A Lot Of Questions

 (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

(AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

Andrew Martin (Featured Baseball Writer/Owner – baseballhistorian.blogspot.com) 

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Hopes are high for the 2016 Boston Red Sox. A strong offseason that saw them land a number of players, including beefing up a lackluster pitching staff, has optimism running high.

However, not everything is necessarily rosy. Although nary a game has been played, one area of potential concern is the outfield, which could be an area of weakness for the team if things don’t go just right.

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Gavvy Cravath: From Slugger To Hard Hitting Judge

gavvy cravath

Andrew Martin (Featured Baseball Writer/Owner baseballhistorian.blogspot.ca) 

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Before Babe Ruth, perhaps the most feared power hitter in baseball history was outfielder Gavvy Cravath. Leading his league in home runs in six of his nine full major league seasons during the Dead Ball Era, the right-handed hitter struck fear into the hearts of opposing pitchers across baseball.

Despite his near-Hall of Fame career, it turned out to be his work as a judge after his playing days were over that ended up most defining the intimidating slugger.

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Buck Weaver’s Bet On His Black Sox Future

1919 Blacksox had 8 men suspended for life including Buck Weaver and Shoeless Joe Jackson.

1919 Blacksox had 8 men suspended for life including Buck Weaver and Shoeless Joe Jackson.

Andrew Martin (Featured Baseball Writer/Owner baseballhistorian.blogspot.ca) 

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The 1919 Chicago White Sox (aka Black Sox) are perhaps the most tragic of all teams in baseball history.

A powerful squad, they lost that year’s World Series to the Cincinnati Reds despite being heavily favored, and were later had eight of their players banished from the sport for their involvement or knowledge of a plot to intentionally throw the Series.

One of those eight was third baseman Buck Weaver, who maintained his innocence until his death, yet was never reinstated. Unfortunately, he was sometimes his own worst enemy when it came to pleading his case.

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Examining The 2016 Boston Red Sox’s Most Intriguing Non-Roster Spring Training Invitees

a red sox logo

Andrew Martin (Baseball Writer/Owner – baseballhistorian.blogspot.com) 

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With a 40-man roster that’s already garnering wide praise for its projected ability to win games in 2016, the Boston Red Sox are sitting pretty heading into the upcoming spring training.

That being said, even though they roll deep there’s never a way to know how they might be impacted by injury or ineffectiveness.

Non-roster invitees typically generate little fanfare, but in some cases can end up becoming major contributors.

The Red Sox are no exception, and have some players worth watching on their own list this year.

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Connie Mack: The Grand Old Man of Baseball- In His Final Years, 1932-1956: A Review

a connie mack

There have been more famous figures in baseball than Connie Mack over the years but few are still as recognizable as the tall thin man who spent over 60 years as a major league player, manager and team owner.

A true pioneer of the game, the taciturn Hall-of-Famer had as much impact as anyone affiliated with America’s Pastime. With such a lengthy and noted career, he is a worthy subject for research and writing.

You’ll find no better work on his life than Norman L. Macht’s Connie Mack: The Grand Old Man of Baseball- In His Final Years, 1932-1956 (University of Nebraska Press).

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3 Questions Facing The 2016 Boston Red Sox

Red-Sox1

Mere weeks remain until players for the Boston Red Sox report to spring training in Florida as the kick off to the 2016 season.

A flurry of high-profile offseason moves have the team presumably sitting in a much better space than last year, when they finished in the basement of the American League East.

However, they are far from a finished product and still have some uncertainty facing them as they prepare for another season on the diamond.

Here are three of the most looming questions:

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Prospect Jordan Weems Trying To Catch On With The Boston Red Sox

A WEEMS

With Blake Swihart and Christian Vazquez, the Boston Red Sox have two of the most highly regarded catching prospects in baseball.

Now that they have both reached the majors, fans and the media continue to debate the merits of each. However, team’s organizational depth at the position does not end with them.

There are other young receivers who have the talent to potentially contribute to the big league club one day, including 23-year-old Jordan Weems.

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Ira Flagstead:The Boston Red Sox’s Unknown Hall-of-Famer

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Earlier this week it was announced that the Boston Red Sox had selected four new members for their Hall of Fame.

Fans should have little trouble recognizing the first three inductees, former players Jason Varitek and Tim Wakefield, and former front office man Larry Lucchino.

However, the fourth honoree, former outfielder Ira Flagstead, will likely leave many scratching their heads.

Despite his anonymity, he is worthy of the honor and is someone whose career all Boston fans should become more familiar with.

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The Slow Death Of Phil Reccius From Baseball

a ray chapman

A sad footnote in the annals of baseball history is the passing of Cleveland Indians shortstop Ray Chapman in 1920 following being struck in the head with a pitch.

Although he remains the only major leaguer to have died as a result of a play on the field, there are unfortunately other professional players who have suffered similar fates.

This includes Phil Reccius, who succumbed in an insane asylum to his baseball injury in 1903—a full nine years after being struck by a ball during a game.

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Carl Scheib, The 16-Year-Old Major League Bullpen Pitcher

a carl scheib

Appearing in 267 games during an 11-year major league career, pitcher Carl Scheib had a solid yet unspectacular showing as a big leaguer.

However, he would likely have never gotten the change if not for a traveling salesman, who wrote Philadelphia Athletics manager Connie Mack to recommend the high school phenom— resulting in a 16-year-old Scheib working as the team’s batting practice pitcher in 1943 and making his debut before the year was over.

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5 Big Questions And Predictions For The 2016 Boston Red Sox

With most gambling establishment having the Red Sox at around +1000 for the World Series - this +900 mark for the AL Pennant is a lights out value. Pounce on it.

As the last notes of Auld Lang Syne evaporate into the atmosphere, and 2016 stretches its wings for the first time, the realization that spring training is mere weeks away starts to settle in.

Although the Boston Red Sox made a significant splash this offseason to upgrade their roster after consecutive disappointing seasons, they are still a work in progress.

Let’s take a look at five of the biggest questions facing the team, and some predictions of how it will all play out.

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