About this Blog

Kevin Thomas covers baseball and basketball for the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram. He wisely moved to Maine in 1994 after working for the St. Petersburg Times. He is married to Nancy and they have nine children.

Follow his thoughts on the Boston Red Sox and Portland Sea Dogs on Clearing the Bases

Follow his thoughts on the Boston Celtics and Maine Red Claws on Holding Court


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April 2014

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Sunday April 06, 2014 | 10:23 AM

Of course, when I write a column before Saturday's Red Sox game, about the solid Red Sox starters, Clay Buchholz goes out and gives up six runs.

Also mentioned Will Middlebrook's steady start ... and he goes out with a calf strain (MRI results pending).

Still, the Red Sox look in good shape, despite a 2-3 record.

Pawtucket won on a fine start by Ruddy De La Rosa (5 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 5 K). If De La Rosa commands consistently, he will be valuable to Boston ... Garin Cecchini went 3-for-3 and is off to a .556 start (something to think about if Boston needs a third baseman).

Friday April 04, 2014 | 07:03 AM

When we write about baseball prospects, sometimes the hype gets a little heavy. Afterall, they are still minor league players.

But can you say enough about Henry Owens. We wrote about Owens last year, comparing him to previous Sea Dogs lefthanders, Jon Lester and Felix Doubront.

Owens looked strong when he ended last year in Portland. To start 2014, all he did was throw a no-hitter Thursday night in Reading, Penn., in a game abbreviated to six sinnings by rain. The Sea Dogs won 5-0.

He wrote about Mookie Betts last month. All he did was lead off the game with a home run and go 4-for-4.

Thursday April 03, 2014 | 08:37 AM

The Portland Sea dogs open their season tonight - weather pending - in Reading, PA. Several players on the Sea Dogs played last year for Salem - the OTHER team in the Red Sox organization to win a championship. We have a look at the 2014 Dogs.

The Red Sox won with home runs from David Ortiz and Mike Napoli. In another at-bat, Napoli came to bat after Ortiz was intentionally walked to load the bases. Napoli singled in two runs. Jason Mastrodonato looks at Boston's 1-2 punch in the 3-4 spots in the lineup.

Ortiz is so much more effective when there is another power bat in the lineup (see the Manny Ramirez years).

The Red Sox have been staying away from long-term contracts that they deem unwise. There is a reason why Boston did not re-sign Jonathan Papelbon. And the Phillies may discover that this season. In his first appearance Papelbon blew a 2-run lead in a Philadelphia loss to Texas.

Wednesday April 02, 2014 | 08:30 AM

The Portland Sea Dogs travel much this week, bouncing from Florida to Maine on Tuesday, and then busing to Reading, Pa. today. We offer a quick glimpse of some of those who showed up at Hadlock, and who didn't.

While the Red Sox were off Tuesday, the Yankees played their season-opener in Houston. C.C. Sabathia, his fastball averaging 89 mph, gave up six runs in the first two innings, in a 6-2 loss. In the words of the New York Post's George King, the Yankees stunk.

Boston is back at it tonight with John Lackey taking the mound against Baltimore and Ubaldo Jimenez.

The Red Sox visited the White House yesterday. While honoring the Red Sox, President Obama mentioned the city's resilience in the wake of the Boston Marathon bombing last year. Then the president admirably brought up the names of two real heroes, Boston firefighters Michael Kennedy and Edward Walsh, who recently died while on duty. Here is a link to Obama's text.

Tuesday April 01, 2014 | 10:07 AM

The 2014 Portland Sea Dogs roster, just released by the Red Sox, is a mix of prospects and darkhorse hopefuls, as is usually the case.

The roster is headed up by pitcher Henry Owens and catcher Blake Swihart, two of the top prospects in Boston. Both took part in the Red Sox major league spring training, as did reliever Noe Ramirez and shortstop Deven Marrero.