|Photos: Red Sox 2015 home opener vs. Nationals||04.13.15 at 4:27 pm ET|
The Red Sox welcomed fans back to Fenway Park with a memorable home opener ceremony that featured, among others, Tom Brady, Bill Belichick, Robert Kraft, Pete Frates and Jane and Henry Richard. Check out all our photos from throughout the day here.
|Live Blog: Red Sox take on Nationals in Fenway Park opener||04.13.15 at 2:21 pm ET|
|Poll: What was the biggest positive in Monday’s 8-0 Red Sox win?||04.07.15 at 11:12 am ET|
The Red Sox couldn’t have asked for a better start to the 2015 season, beating the Phillies 8-0 and hitting five home runs in the process.
Besides two homers apiece from Dustin Pedroia and Hanley Ramirez, Clay Buchholz went seven innings, not allowing a run and struck out nine. Mookie Betts also hit a home run in his first Opening Day start.
|Red Sox catcher Christian Vazquez to undergo Tommy John surgery||04.01.15 at 7:43 pm ET|
The Red Sox‘ worst fears have been realized.
Catcher Christian Vazquez, presumed to be the team’s rifle-armed starter, will instead undergo Tommy John surgery on Thursday in Pensacola, Fla. The surgery will be performed by the renowned orthopedist, Dr. James Andrews.
Given the typical recovery time of roughly a year, Vazquez should be ready next spring training, but that’s of little consolation in the here and now for a Red Sox team that expected Vazquez to handle not just a new pitching staff, but to shut down opposing running games with his howitzer of a right arm.
Vazquez threw out 52 percent of opposing base stealers in an impressive debut last year, but that arm ended up being his undoing. He felt soreness after throwing out Tyler Wade of the Yankees on March 13, and when two weeks of rest didn’t provide adequate healing, underwent an MRI. The results of that, on Friday, “found something,” Vazquez said, and he was referred to Dr. Andrews.
The two met on Wednesday, and the Red Sox announced the findings later at night.
Without Vazquez, the Red Sox will lean on veteran Ryan Hanigan, an Andover native, to hold down the starting job, with recently acquired Sandy Leon in reserve. Neither has Vazquez’s arm – though Hanigan has thrown out 38 percent of opposing base stealers lifetime, and led the NL in 2012 (48 percent) and 2013 (45 percent) – but they’ll have to replace him.
|Baseball America ranks Red Sox farm system second in MLB||03.31.15 at 3:44 pm ET|
Minor league industry bible Baseball America has released its annual farm system rankings, and you don’t have to just take our word for it anymore — the Red Sox are loaded.
BA ranked the Red Sox‘ system second in the game for the second straight year, this time behind only the Cubs. The magazine named Yoan Moncada the team’s top prospect, and praised the Red Sox for their aggressive spending in Cuba, which has yielded not only Moncada but Rusney Castillo.
The Red Sox are deep in quality left-handed starters, with Brian Johnson the closest to the majors, Henry Owens the best prospect at the moment, and Eduardo Rodriguez with potentially the highest ceiling.
The Red Sox placed seven prospects on BA’s top 100 list, and that doesn’t include Moncada, who signed after the list was compiled. The team’s best prospect otherwise is catcher Blake Swihart (17th overall in baseball).
Rounding out the top five of the organizational rankings were the Dodgers, Twins and Mets.
|Live chat: Rob Bradford talks Red Sox (and other stuff), 10 a.m.||03.30.15 at 9:26 am ET|
Join WEEI.com’s Rob Bradford for a live chat to discuss the state of the Red Sox, the best wings in Fort Myers, what Gould’s Distinctive Clothing has planned for Opening Day, the wildly popular Jeld-Wen Window and Doors ad, or anything else you want to throw his way. It all starts at 10 a.m. Jump on in …
|Shane Victorino blasts critics for saying he wanted to trade Red Sox prospects for Cole Hamels||03.26.15 at 10:20 am ET|
FORT MYERS, Fla. — Over the past few days much has been made of Shane Victorino and Cole Hamels, with the Red Sox potentially giving up prospects (most notably Mookie Betts and Blake Swihart) to get a number one starter.
Victorino has taken exception to the matter and spoke to WEEI.com’s Rob Bradford Thursday morning calling out the critics.
“Of course. I wouldn’t use the word surprised,” he said. “I think it’s just the understanding of what was being construed and these guys are obviously going to assume because those are the names that were attached. There is no reason why I would want anybody out of here. That’s not the basis of the conversation. The conversation was if you could go get a number one, would you give up pieces of the future to go get them? That was the question. It wasn’t this name specifically, that name just because those guys have been attached to these kinds of players or in trades that’s the people they assume I am talking about. I never mentioned any names in general — it could be a hitter, it could be a pitcher. Could be any team. I’m not talking about even just here.
“These guys, individuals that want to speak up and say certain things and put me out there like I am calling my teammates out — hey, come show up. Let me discuss this and talk to you in person rather than you make an assumption and that is the stuff as an athlete that upsets me. People who make comments and they don’t come in and justify the situation. You’re going to say on talk radio and you’re going to make those kinds of comments, don’t think that I don’t hear it, or somebody is not going to send me a message, or it’s not going to get back to me. Of course it is. Before you make that assumption, Mazz, and whoever you are, let’s get the situation of what I was trying to say. I never said anybody’s name. Trust me, if there is one guy I am an advocate of and I have been a believer in since day one, that’s him [Betts].
“I am not worried about the pitching aspect. I’ve played this game long enough. I was just saying in the scheme of things, anything, not even just here, that is the part they centered in on this team or Cole Hamels and the situation that was going on. Yes, Cole is a big guy, but at the end of the day I am just talking about in the scheme of things. When you talk about prospects, when you talk about these guys. If you got a guy to me, in my opinion that has been there and has done it, rather than ‘OK this guy is a prospect and he has a lot in the future or this guy can be compared to that player. Hey, why not go get the guy now and hey, if this guy turns out tip your cap and he turns out to be that player.’
“That for me, never being a prospect and understanding that situation and having guys ahead of me that were considered that prospect or this prospect, that is the part where I justify that question. That is what I look at. I am not looking at it any other way, no other speculation and like I said, these guys are going to take the headline, or take whatever is being talked about and go make it into a bigger fish. It’s a small fish.
|Photos: Spring baseball 2015||03.03.15 at 3:18 pm ET|
|Live blog: Follow all action as Red Sox kick off spring training games||03.03.15 at 12:40 pm ET|
FORT MYERS, Fla. — While listening to the game on WEEI 850 AM with Rob Bradford and Joe Castiglione, you can also follow along as the Red Sox take on Northeastern and Boston College in a pair of seven-inning exhibition games. Join in the description and conversation of this season’s first spring training contests …
|Live Chat: Kirk Minihane live from Fort Myers, 11 a.m.||03.02.15 at 11:27 pm ET|
Join Kirk Minihane of the Dennis and Callahan Show for a live chat, Tuesday morning starting at 11. Get your questions in now …
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