Wednesday, April 23, 2014
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
Subscribe to the
Holding Court RSS
Cuts are expected today in Boston Red Sox camp, although the anticipated decision about center field will not likely be made until Friday, according to reports in Fort Myers.
Here is one guess on the roster (not a lot of surprises):
Infield: Mike Napoli, Dustin Pedroia, Xander Bogaerts, Will MIddlebrooks, Jonathan Herrera.
Outfield: Jonny Gomes, Daniel Nava, Grady Sizemore, Shane Victorino, Mike Carp
Grady Sizemore homered in a spring training game on Tuesday. While one blast does not guarantee a starting job in center field, it is another sign that the one-time All-Star is ready for a comeback. See Sean McAdam's story.
When Adrian Gonzalez was traded, the first base job at Fenway Park opened up. For now, Mike Napoli occupies the position. Might Travis Shaw get there someday? It did not look that way last season but he he re-discovered his ways. See the story.
Those who enjoyed the videos shot by the Press Herald's Gabe Souza last week in Florida will enjoy one more entry recently posted. How to get an autograph.
News out of the Orioles camp is that Portland's Ryan Flaherty has made the team. Not a big surprise, but still good new for his fans up north. Former Sea Dogs third baseman Michael Almanzar, trying to make the Orioles roster, has patella tendinitis and will likely go on the disabled list.
You are one serious Red Sox fan if you can quickly name the seven players who manned third base last year for Boston.
Everyone knows who finished the year there, as the kid, Xander Bogaerts, burst into the post-season.
And Will Middlebrooks will re-claim his job this season.
Should anything happen to Middlebrooks during the season, a new name might be added to the list of those who have played third for Boston.
Big Papi will finish his career with the Red Sox. After lobbying all off-season for a contract extension, David Ortiz got his wish late Sunday night.
Ortiz, 38, already under contract this year for $15-million, will receive $16-million in 2015. There is a vesting option for 2016, based on plate appearances and a club option for 2017, for when Ortiz is 41.
The options make sense. If Ortiz is healthy and plays, he can go to 2016. If he is productive, Boston can sign him up for the next year, too. No more threats from Ortiz about possibly playing in another uniform.
Before Ortiz signed his previous contract, we looked at the wisdom of committing to a slugger reaching his late 30's. As the story pointed out, it was a gamble. But Ortiz came through last year (30 home runs, World Series MVP).
When players gets along, does that mean a team will win?
Or when a team wins, does that help the players get along?
All together now: "Kumbaya my Lord, kumbaya"
(Fun fact: Kumbaya is actually a spiritual song that was meant to lift up a group, but now it's become synonymous with people moving unquestionably together)