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Preview: Red sox and the rest

Red sox and the rest

Updated: 2014-09-30T23:15:12.098-07:00


Lester arrives at camp


BOSTON -- Coming up through the Red Sox system, lefty Jon Lester was known for his great command and poise.
Those attributes have helped in recent months as he is in the midst of a remarkable comeback from lymphoma.

The 23-year-old southpaw showed up Wednesday at Red Sox camp in Fort Myers, Fla., ready to begin the next stage of his comeback.

Lester, who was 7-2 with a 4.76 ERA in his rookie season of 2006, said he is aware that the club may choose to be cautious as he builds up his strength, not just in his left arm but the rest of his body after an offseason of chemotherapy treatments.

"The club always has the best interest of the player, so I'm going to do what they tell me to do," Lester told WBZ radio reporter Jonny Miller. "If they want me to take it slow, I'll take it slow. If they want me to be normal, I'll be normal."

Lester, who finished his chemotherapy treatment in mid-December, said he is up to 208 pounds, seven pounds shy of his goal heading into Spring Training. Also, according to Miller, Lester was joined by fellow southpaw Kason Gabbard, righty Chris Smith, first baseman Ian Bladergroen, second baseman Jeff Natalie and shortstop Jed Lowrie.

Elsewhere, Red Sox assistant general manager Jed Hoyer said the team isn't close to reaching an agreement with arbitration-eligible outfielder Wily Mo Pena, according to the Boston Herald. There has not been an arbitration case in the Theo Epstein era as general manager, which began in 2003.

Boston Red Sox


In 1900, the minor Western League, led by Ban Johnson declared its equality with the National League, then the only major league. Johnson changed the name of the league to the American League . Competing in the streets, the upstart placed franchises in two of the largest and most important National League cities, Philadelphia and Boston. As one of these two franchises, the Boston Americans, as they were often called, finished second and third before capturing their first pennant in 1903 and repeating the next year. Those teams were led by manager and star third baseman Jimmy Collins and by pitcher Cy Young, whose 1901 to 1904 seasons rank among the best four-year runs ever. In addition, the Americans received significant contributions from outfielders Chick Stahl, Buck Freeman and Patsy Dougherty. In 1903, the Americans participated in the first modern World Series, beating the favored Pittsburgh Pirates, winners of the NL pennant by six and a half games, winning five games to three. The Americans, aided by the modified chants of "Tessie" by the Royal Rooters fan club and by its stronger pitching staff, managed to overcome the odds, winning the first ever World Series.The Red Sox Logo used in 1908, when they were simply known as "Boston".The 1904 club was almost as good as the previous team, but due to the surprise emergence of the New York Highlanders, the Americans found themselves in a tight pennant race through the last games of the season. A predecessor to what would become a storied rivalry, this race featured such controversial moves as the trade of Patsy Dougherty to the Highlanders for Bob Unglaub. However, perhaps the climax of the season occurred on the last, dramatic doubleheader at the Highlanders’ home stadium, Hilltop Park. In order to win the pennant, the Highlanders needed to win both games. With Jack Chesbro, the Highlanders' 41-game winner, on the mound, the Highlanders seemed to have a good chance of winning the first game. However, with the score tied 2-2 with a man on third in the top of the ninth, a spitball got away from Chesbro and Lou Criger scored the go-ahead run on one of the most famous wild pitches in history. Unfortunately, the NL champion New York Giants declined to play any postseason series, fearing it would give their New York rivals (they had expected the Highlanders to win) credibility, but a sharp public reaction led the two leagues immediately to make the World Series a permanent championship.These successful times soon ended, however, as the Americans lost 100 games in the 1906 season. But several new star players helped the newly renamed Red Sox improve almost immediately. By 1909, the legendary center fielder Tris Speaker had become a fixture in the Boston outfield, and the Red Sox worked their way to third place. However, the Red Sox would not win the pennant again until their 105-win 1912 season, finishing with a club record .691 winning percentage. Anchored by an outfield considered to be among the finest in the game — Tris Speaker, Harry Hooper and Duffy Lewis — and superstar pitcher Smokey Joe Wood, the Red Sox beat the New York Giants 4-3-1 in a classic World Series best known for Snodgrass’s Muff. From 1913 to 1916 the Red Sox were owned by Joseph Lannin, who signed Babe Ruth, soon the best-known and one of the best players ever. Another 101 wins in 1915 propelled the Red Sox to the World Series again, where they beat the Philadelphia Phillies four games to one. The 1916 team repeated the pennant, though Tris Speaker, a fixture for six years, was traded to the Cleveland Indians in the off-season. His departure was more than compensated for, however, by the emergence of star pitcher Babe Ruth. Once again, the Red Sox won the World Series, this time defeating the Brooklyn Robins. By 1918, the team found itself at the top of the heap again, led by Babe Ruth to a World Series championship over the Chicago Cubs.Sale of Babe RuthAfter three seasons in Boston, Harry Frazee sold Babe Ruth to the New York Yankees on January 3, 1920. Ruth had jus[...]

Red Sox awash in rainouts


Again it was too wet for the Red Sox to play yesterday, as the field, the dugouts, and a caved-in ceiling panel in manager Terry Francona's office bathroom all reflected the soaking antiquated Fenway Park had endured.''Almost had to go on the DL," Francona said, looking at the gaping hole in the ceiling directly above his toilet.Rain now has cost the Sox 21 consecutive innings of baseball, the last three innings of Friday's abbreviated 6-0 loss to the Rangers and the games scheduled for Saturday and yesterday.The Sox, as previously announced, intend to make up Saturday's game as a doubleheader during the Rangers' visit to Fenway June 9-11.Yesterday's game could be made up as another doubleheader that weekend, making for four games in two days (''There's a chance," Francona said. ''I think that's probably a small chance.") The other possibility: playing a one-game series July 20, a mutual offday for the teams. (''But that's not a given," Francona said. ''Nothing's a given.")July 20 would seem to make the most sense. That is an open date during Texas's 11-day, 10-game trip stopping in Baltimore (July 13-16), Toronto (July 17-19), and Chicago (July 21-23). A game that day would extend the Sox' seven-game homestand coming out of the All-Star break. The Sox play in Seattle the next night.That, however, is a concern for another day. The more immediate issue yesterday was how to align the rotation, which has become a four-man unit for the time being. Fifth starter Lenny DiNardo, who last pitched May 7, will move to the bullpen for the three-game series beginning tonight in Baltimore, and will return to the rotation Saturday or Sunday.Josh Beckett, scheduled to start yesterday opposite Kevin Millwood, pitches tonight against Rodrigo Lopez (1-5, 7.03 ERA). Curt Schilling works tomorrow against Bruce Chen (0-4, 8.42), and Tim Wakefield opposes Erik Bedard (4-2, 4.63) Wednesday. All three Sox starters will be working with one additional day of rest.Matt Clement, who went seven days between his last starts, will have gone six days without pitching when he takes the mound in the series opener Friday at Philadelphia. Beckett and DiNardo will pitch Saturday and Sunday against the Phillies, though it has not been determined in what order.''Lenny goes to the bullpen for the foreseeable future, my guess until Thursday," Francona said. ''We'll have Lenny available, that gives us an extra pitcher. They're going to pitch Saturday, Sunday, I just don't know what order yet."Schilling could pitch Sunday in Philadelphia on normal rest, but he'd have to bat (probably not a good idea for that ankle) and he'd miss pitching against the Yankees, who come to town next Monday. So, as it's set up, he will pitch the opener of that series, in exactly one week, to be followed by Wakefield Tuesday and Clement Wednesday.The odd man out, of course, is David Wells, who was supposed to pitch a simulated game Saturday, make a rehab start Thursday, and possibly rejoin the rotation May 23, in the middle game of that series vs. New York. Now -- though it has not been announced -- he stands to make a rehab start Saturday and return to the rotation as soon as May 25 or 26, taking DiNardo's scheduled turn against Tampa Bay at Fenway.''Basically backed him up a couple days," Francona said. ''Talking to him [Saturday] I think he understood and thought maybe it won't hurt him. Nothing we can do about it anyway, so he might as well look at it like that."Meanwhile, in Pawtucket, the PawSox' scheduled doubleheader yesterday was rained out, resulting in a single-admission makeup doubleheader (two seven-inning games) tonight at 5:05. If Pawtucket and Scranton-Wilkes Barre play it will be the first time the PawSox have been able to play at home since Thursday afternoon. Pawtucket has been rained out three times in a row, four times in six days, and five times this season.The pitching probables for tonight's games at McCoy Stadium:Game 1: RHP Jeremy Cummings (3-1, 5.54) vs. RHP David Riske (0-0, 0.00).Game 2: LHP Jim Crow[...]