What's Happening To The Red Sox?

On August 18th, the Red Sox announced Dave Dombrowski as the president of baseball operations. The Saturday prior to that, Red Sox owner John Henry told Ben Cherington that the team was talking to Dombrowski. 

Although announced today by NESN that play-by-play announcer Don Orsillo would be replaced next season by Dave O'Brien, Orsillo was first told about 10 days ago. 10 days ago is right about the same time Dombrowski was agreeing to join the Red Sox.

Obviously Dombrowski isn't involved in this, but it's really interesting that both of these things were decided within about 24 hours of each other. 

So here's a conspiracy theory; John Henry and co. are selling the team. By bringing in Dombrowski, a known commodity to do well with trades, he can take a fully stock minor league system and improve the team without totally sacrificing the talent they've acquired and home grown in the minors. Ideally a strong showing in 2016 showcases the franchise and Henry and co. pass the team over to another owner. Dombrowski sticks around as long as ownership remains, but moves on when the sale is complete.

How does Orsillo play into this? By removing a well liked fan favorite like Orsillo, it allows a future owner to handpick their own talent, without creating any negative light right away. 

It's a stretch, but is it really? I guess we'll find out soon enough.

Flat Tires Are The Worst

Since 2010 I have biked more than two thousand miles. Most of these miles have been in New York City and Brooklyn in particular. About 400 have been mainly in the borough of Queens. 

Until I moved to Queens and upgraded my tires to hybrid sport tires, I had maybe four flats while riding the streets of New York. Since the upgrade, it seems as though I puncture a tire within fifty miles. 

I'm not sure if this is tied to the streets and the debris that I'm riding over, or if it's a reflection of the tires I'm riding with. I suspect it has more to do with the former. In Brooklyn, 90% of my riding was on protected lanes, and in some cases dedicated bike paths on the sidewalk. Maybe half of my routes in Queens are in bike lanes, and there are only a few stretches of completely protected bike lanes.

I also upgraded my tracking, opting for Strava instead of Map My Ride. though Map My Ride shows my rides from 2010 through part of 2014. 2012 was an epic year. I biked almost 600 miles that year. Just looking at that number makes me consider whether I've really tried hard enough to get on the bike recently.

My building has a gym, but I never think to jump on a stationary bike when I have a flat tire. It's not because I'm lazy. It has more to do with the fact that riding a bike in the streets offers a lot more. Physically, I think it's more demanding. Mentally though, I don't think a stationary bike comes close. There's something almost meditative about taking out the bike and going on a 15-20 mile ride. Hopefully that makes sense to more than just me.

I used to take a lot of photos while riding, but I've trimmed my photos down to one or two per ride. It's about the ride, isn't it, not really whether you can share every moment of it? 

I didn't have a nice way to wrap this post up, so here are some photos from recent rides.

Dog Does Backflip, Hilarity Ensues!

I could google search a dog doing a back flip, but I'll leave that to you.

Humans of New York has been in Pakistan for the past week or so, highlighting the lives of many people in the region. The last few days have focused on the slave labor that exists within the brick industry. There was a crowdfunding, and 40,000 people helped raise $1,000,000 in 12 hours. 

That's a pretty amazing thing to see happen, isn't it? 40,000 people put an average of $25 towards a cause to free a family from an insanely unfair bondage related to a kiln in Pakistan. 


Wherever your political affiliations are positioned, you can't help but notice Vermont senator Bernie Sanders's summer ride as the hopeful for the Democratic nomination for the next President of the United States. Apparently Bernie Sanders has little chance. Apparently he's too left, too much of a socialist, and way too inexperienced with a large country, foreign relations, and pretty much everything outside of Vermont. I think that covers it.

He has also managed to raise $15,000,000 from about 250,000 people, with 99% of donations under $250. The article I linked is old, so there might be new numbers. 

What's interesting about this, is Bernie Sanders isn't following the same route as a lot of other presidential hopefuls. He's tapping into the everyday person. $15 million dollars. That's impressive. In an era where it's a depressing reality that a person need millions upon millions of dollars to run for the highest office in the land, it's a refreshing reality that perhaps a candidate doesn't need to be beholden to whatever interest group gives money. 

Donald Trump(he could be a separate post later) even spoke about the joke that fundraising has become during the first GOP debate. He essentially said he gives money, and whoever he gives money to shows up when they're asked. There's a photo of Hillary Clinton at Trump's wedding that sort of hammers this home. 

At the end of the day, or in this case the election, neither Bernie Sanders nor Donald Trump will likely be in the conversation. However, imagine if they were? It seems the summer is when only the marginal candidates are making news...and usually as the butt of a joke. Maybe this time is different? Trump caters to people sick and tired of the boring politician. Sanders caters to people who want to hear original ideas and someone who isn't bound by who donates the most. Combine the hilarious crazy attitude of Trump with the sensible values of Sanders? What would happen? It would only help the race, as far as I can see.


My point of both stories, is that perhaps the people that control most of the money in the world aren't all that powerful. If lots of people with similar views get together, it seems possible to make a difference. In Sanders's case it might be a stretch, but isn't it worth it, if only to change the conversation a bit? 



No, not really! But I like the click bait title, so there you go.

Air quality is so bad in Beijing that researchers are estimating that every person in the area is inhaling the equivalent of 1.5 cigarettes every hour. That is serious toxic fumes! It's amazing that this isn't bigger news.

The Taxi King of Queens is crumbling, thanks to Uber. I listened to NPR's Planet Money's recent episode that interviewed Gene Friedman and touched on the impact of Uber on owning taxi medallions in NYC. It was an interesting discussion, and a larger one that implicates livery regulation on a whole. One the one hand, taxi companies must adhere to regulations that include providing vehicles that at ADA compliant. Uber has no such requirements. In fact, Uber has so such vehicles. Uber actually doesn't pick up people with wheelchairs. You can google Uber and ADA Compliance and find numerous articles referencing law suits. It's interesting, Uber skirts the ADA requirement by stating that they're a technology company, not a transportation company. There's an industry waiting to happen for a fleet of ADA compliant van drivers.

Back to my initial point on the Taxi King and Uber. Taxi companies and drivers alike are complaining that Uber is not regulated and pretty much free to do as they please. Uber and its drivers are arguing that they're filling a void for people who can't easily grab a cab in the city. They're both right. The thing that I find funny is you don't hear about the taxi companies working on their own mobile app to compete with Uber. Maybe it's because Uber added an Uber Taxi option, which allows you to request a taxi for a $2 surcharge. 

Imagine if the taxi companies hired away developers from Uber, or just hired capable developers on their own, and then we had competing mobile apps? Prices would probably drop, and people would get where they need to be. Instead, we have Uber skirting ADA laws, taxi owners complaining, and a stalemate where people would benefit if both sides figured out the best way to duke it out.

I saw Kill The Alarm last night. First time in a few years, but they were great. It took me back to college, when I saw the lead singer perform in tiny places like a frat house living room and a bar with 4 patrons. Good times.

Pat Venditte Called Up

If you love baseball, and baseball makes you happy, then the story of Pat Venditte is right up your alley. 

Pat Venditte is the first Switch Pitcher in the big leagues since 1894. The Oakland A's called Venditte up today after he posted a 1.36 ERA over 33 innings at the AAA level. Because of Venditte's unique pitching style, MLB needed to add a rule specific to switch pitching; Venditte must announce his intended throwing arm, and he must not switch arms until an at bat has ended. 

Check out the hilarious back and forth from Venditte's low minor league days when this was an unresolved issue. Start it around the one minute mark.:

Game 52 vs. Minnesota Twins: 10 Gifs To Give

The Red Sox haven't played since Sunday's impressive display of not giving any sh*ts against the Texas Rangers. Their overall play over the season has been pretty bad, but between Pablo Sandoval's oley bullshit on Sunday and John Farrell's decision to walk Prince Fielder against Koji Uehara(no hits in 8 at bats) to get to Josh Hamilton(4 hits in 13 at bats), there is only one reaction to the Red Sox up to this point of the season.

Since it seems the Red Sox aren't interested in immediately turning this ship around, here are 9 other gifs to give. 

Despite every hope, dream, and prayer by Red Sox fans everywhere...it seems 2015 is quickly going the way of the 2014 season. It seems it might be even be worse than the Bobby Valentine scorched earth disaster.

Not to turn this into a The Office Gif Re-Mix, I'll throw out the other one that speaks to me. It speaks to everyone who has regularly spent 3 hours of their day watching the Red Sox throw up another stinker.

Remember, on April 17,when the Red Sox were 7-3? Oh, good times. The Red Sox GM looked so smart with a bunch of middle rotation starters. Who needed an ace?

Hanley Ramirez had a great homecoming! He hit 10 home runs in his first 21 games, and looked poised to fill that offensive void. 

Then he hit a wall, quite literally. In 26 games since, he has hit 2 home runs and his average is in the .230's over that time.

Remember the days of Mookie Betts and Xander Bogaerts kicking everyone's ass? The highlight reels. The epic go ahead runs, heads up baserunning, all around awesome style of play?

Between Xander, Betts, and Brock Holt, it seems Red Sox fans have more than just one source of hope.

So, maybe it's not the end of the world. Maybe there is hope. Maybe the Red Sox can find a way to stop sucking.

Maybe the Brock Star can join forces with the other young players.

Maybe Eduardo Rodriguez can put Clay Buchholz and the entire pitching staff on his shoulders!

Maybe 2015 will end in another champagne supernova!

More likely is the Red Sox will continue their slide, John Farrell will be fired, and David Ortiz will be the only player to have an admirable resurgence the rest of the way. However, this is BaseballHappy.com, not BaseballSadAngryPissedOff.com. So, here we are.


Game 51 vs. Texas Rangers:Ila Borders

Ila Borders never played for the Boston Red Sox or the Texas Rangers. She never played with a team linked to Major League Baseball. She did, however, play parts of four seasons with independent league baseball teams. On this day in 1997, Ila Borders made her professional debut with the St. Paul Saints, becoming one of the first woman to play in integrated men's baseball. Toni Stone and several other women played in the negro leagues. 

Though Borders never played on a major league team, she did play with several former major leaguers. Esteban Beltre is the only former teammate to have played with the Red Sox, Rangers, and Saints while Ila Borders was a teammate. Perhaps her most famous teammate was JD Drew, who at the time was holding out for a larger signing bonus with the Philadelphia Phillies.

Ila Borders struggled through much of her brief career to find consistency to her pitching style. It wasn't until her third season that she found some semblance of success. Using an approach where she consistently threw three innings per start, she had a 1.67 ERA over 15 games. Her success didn't translate into looks from big league clubs, and she decided to retire during the 2000 season.

Over the last few weeks, there has been a lot of talk about various Red Sox players finding ways to improve their game. Whether video hitting coach Dustin Pedroia helps out Mike Napoli and Hanley Ramirez, or David Ortiz takes a few days off to work on his swing, it seems the entire team is looking for ways to improve their game. 

You have to wonder if one of Ila Borders teammates with MLB experience chimed in with support on how her career could improve, or just ways to make things stick a bit better. Chances are it was a combination of things. Since we're allowed to think outside the box, I'm going to go out on a limb and say the pitching staff rallied around the first female in modern day baseball to find ways to keep her career going. Just like I'm going to go out on a limb and say that the Red Sox are having team meetings to sort out how they can right the ship before it's too late. 

Game 50 vs. Texas Rangers: Ron Mahay

The Boston Red Sox continue their slide into obscurity, and they are now 3-7 in their last 10 games. Eduardo Rodriguez is a pleasant surprise, but right now the team needs four more of him. That, and they need an offense to match when the pitching is going right. It's like they've been thisclose to putting things together. It seems every other day the Red Sox are losing games 6-2 or winning 7-3. 

Dustin Pedroia has reportedly helped Mike Napoli and Hanley Ramirez with minor tweaks to their hitting that has resulted in immediate changes. Big Papi took a few days off to work on his swing, and returns tonight, hopeful of seeing changes. 

Ron Mahay is the poster boy of making changes that impacted his career and the success of the teams he played on. He was drafted as an outfielder, and after a brief stint in the big leagues as an outfielder, he opted to change his ways and became a pitcher. He spent an entire offseason pitching in Australia, crafting his transition to being a full time pitcher. The results were a fourteen year career with the Red Sox, Rangers, and six other teams. 

The connection here is that perhaps the Red Sox need a little more time to get things together. The AL East is still wide open. That seems to be a theme of the last ten posts or so. It's also very likely that I'm holding out hope that 2015 isn't quickly becoming an also-ran year much like 2014 was. As we've seen with the previous World Series runs, regular dominant rotation cycles is the key to a championship. Timely hitting as well. Neither seem to be happening right now. 

Perhaps the ghost of Ron Mahay success will help turn things. 

Game 49 vs. Texas Rangers: Justin Germano

Eduardo Rodriguez became youngest Red Sox pitcher to win his major league debut on the road since Billy Rohr of the 1967 Red Sox. He though 7.2 scoreless innings and struck out seven. It's hard not to consider the ramifications this could have of the rest of the season if it turns out that Rodriguez is a legit starting option.

It's hard to guess the path of a player's future. Just ask Justin Germano. If Germano gets into a game with the Seattle Mariners this season, it will be his 8th team in 10 seasons. Germano appeared in just one game for the Red Sox, and had two appearances as a Texas Ranger. He's had equally brief stops at the major league level with the Toronto Blue Jays and Cincinnati Reds. You really just need to check out his B-Ref page

For what it's worth, Germano was awesome in his one Red Sox appearance. In the lost season of 2012, in a meaningless game against the New York Yankees, Germano shut down the Yanks after entering the game with a deficit. The Red Sox never dug out, but it wasn't because Germano didn't pick them up. For one magical day, he was lights out in the Red Sox / Yankees rivalry.

It's impossible to say whether Eduardo Rodriguez has a big future ahead of him, or if he'll have something like today's starter, Steven Wright. Wright is looking for his second career victory in his fifth career start..while being 8 years older than Eduardo Rodriguez. 

The hope here is Wright and Rodriguez end up becoming lightning in the bottle that helps turn things around for the 2015 Red Sox. 

Game 48 vs. Texas Rangers: Gabe Kapler

First, a few things about May 28th.

On May 28th, 2013, the Red Sox were 32-21, in first place, and had Ryan Dempster pitching. Dempster lost, but pitched well enough to win by allowing 2 runs over 7 innings.

On May 28th, 2007, the Red Sox were 35-15, in first place, and had Curt Schilling pitching. It was vintage Schilling. 7 innings, 1 run, 10 strikeouts.

On May 28th, 2004, the Red Sox were 30-18, in first place, and had Pedro Martinez pitching. He wasn't vintage but he was efficient, throwing 7 innings and striking out 9, though he allowed 4 runs.

No recent Red Sox team has won a World Series with a record below .500 as of May 28th on any given season. The 1967 Impossible Dream reached the World Series, but they were only a single game below .500 on May 28th that year.

That being said, it's still too early to completely count out the 2015 Boston Red Sox.  Highly touted prospect Eduado Rodriguez takes the mound tonight. Over the course of 100 minor league starts, Rodriguez has an ERA of 3.23. He currently has a 2.98 ERA with the Pawtucket Red Sox, and has a complete game to go along with 8 starts. If he has a solid outing, it could turn things around for the Red Sox.

Eduardo Rodriguez joins a long line of players to join the Red Sox at a time when the team is looking for a spark. Around the same time in 2003, Shea Hillenbrand was traded to the Arizona Diamondbacks for closer Byung-Hyun Kim.

Another trade in 2003 may have helped spark the team as well. A player who has been called Dave Kapler, Gabe The Babe, and he makes women swoon.

Gabe Kapler was acquired at the end of June in 2003. At the time the team was middling through a losing month. In Kapler's first two games, he nearly hit for the cycle in his first game, and homered twice in his second game. It's not clear in the box scores if Kapler had a huge part in the turnaround for the Red Sox, but considering his tenure with the team, it's likely it had some impact. 

As the Red Sox hopes begin to become more questionable, the hope is that Eduardo Rodriguez is the answer that the team needs. Can a rookie suddenly become an ace? Doubtful, but maybe a strong performance inspires the rest of the team.

Game 47 vs. Minnesota Twins: Bullet Joe Bush

Rick Porcello is a pretty good pitcher. He has had two certified stinker starts in 2015, but due to the Red Sox playing like they're stuck in the mud, it has garnered attention. Which Rick Porcello will show up today?

Bullet Joe Bush played for the Red Sox and Washington Senators(precursor to the Minnesota Twins). He also spent time with the Philadelphia Athletics, New York Yankees, Pittsburgh Pirates and New York Giants. He won world championships with the A's, Red Sox, and Yankees. 

Bullet Joe Bush also had a career where good things and bad things happened. He led the league in losses in 1916, but also won 15 games for his team; a team that lost 117 games. He was on the winning team for three World Series, and on the losing team for two others. He had eight seasons where his record was even or he had more losses than wins, but his career record was 196-184. He won 46 games as a member of the Red Sox, but went 1-8 with the Washington Senators. Nevermind the fact that his time with the Senators was toward the end of his career. 

Bullet Joe Bush is also the #1 comp to Rick Porcello during his rookie year. The hope here is that is where the comparisons end. Bush didn't play long or successfully after his 26th year in the league. It'd be nice if Good Rick Porcello pitches today, though considering he has pitched fairly well most of the season, that is a pretty good bet.

Here we go, Bullet Rick Porcello!

Game 46 vs. Minnesota Twins: Boof Bonser

Don't fret, Joe Kelly. It can always be worse. Just ask Boof Bonsor. 

The Red Sox acquired Boof Bonser from the Twins in December 2009, and he made exactly two appearances before he was shipped out of town.

On June 9th, in a game between the Red Sox and the Cleveland Indians, Clay Buchholz faced off against Justin Masterson. Justin Masterson threw a complete game 2 hit shut out. Yeah, I'm sure you're thinking, " Wow! Where can we get guys like that--oh, right.". Anyway, Buchholz held his own, giving up just three runs over seven innings. He gave way to Boof Bonser. Boof just had to get through an inning. Hell, a single out might have been nice.

Alas, Boof Bonser started his Red Sox career with an infinity ERA. He entered the game, and promptly gave up a walk, single, walk, and another single before Joe Nelson came on and doused Bonser's smoldering fire with gasoline. Nelson gave up a single, home run, another single, a double and a walk before registering an out. 

Yesterday Joe Kelly had a rough outing, but he can take pride in knowing he is no Boof Bonser. Bonser's second(and final appearance) in a Red Sox uniform started off with 3 singles before recording an out. The Red Sox were already behind ten runs, so mop up duty apparently wasn't an easy thing for Bonsor either. 

The 2010 Red Sox team that featured Boof Bonser won 89 games and finished in third place. With the way the American League East is playing out, 89 wins might just win the division. Only 3.5 games separate first place and fifth place, and the AL East leading Rays are only two games over .500. 

If nothing else, that tells you there is a whole lot more baseball to be played. Hopefully not in the style of Boof Bonser.

Game 45 vs. Minnesota Twins: Tom Brunansky

Everybody knows that David Ortiz is the biggest success story the Red Sox achieved with a former Twin, but as 1990 gets further in the rearview mirror, Tom Brunansky risks being left behind in history. 

Brunansky was a member of the 1987 World Series Champion Minnesota Twins and had heroics that helped the team to their first title since the team had moved to Minnesota. The following year Bruno was shipped out to the St. Louis Cardinals, where he logged two season before he started his last season in St. Louis hitting .158. The Red Sox had a surplus of relief pitching, and shipped Lee Smith to St. Louis in exchange for Tom Brunansky.

Bruno hit well the rest of the way, but his biggest contribution to the 1990 season came at the end of the game that finished the season. The Red Sox needed a victory to secure the AL East title, and they earned that win in a most dramatic fashion. Ozzie Guillen hit a line drive to the far corner of right field. In 1990 there was one camera angle, and it only included a diving Tom Brunansky at the initial moment of catching the ball. Imagine Twitter exploding if there was only one obstructed view camera angle? Here's the clip:

Mike Napoli's resurgence over the last five games or so made me think of Tom Brunansky. Napoli was a member of a few Angels teams that reached the postseason. He was jettisoned prior to the 2011 season, first to the Toronto Blue Jays and then the Texas Rangers a few days later. On the Rangers he helped the team nearly win the franchise's first World Series title. Two years later he helped the Red Sox win the 2013 World Series.

What's the moral of today's story? Maybe these guys, Napoli and company, aren't quite as done as many suggest. Maybe they just need a little more than a quarter of a season to get things sorted out.

Lets hope it continues against the Minnesota Twins.


Game 41 vs. Texas Rangers: Doug Mirabelli

The 2015 Red Sox continue to struggle to find their footing and put everything together. The pitching is beginning to come around, and the hitters are getting on base...but they're still not quite figuring everything out yet. They're still struggling to get above .500 and get the victory machine rolling.

The Red Sox have stranded 24 runners on base through the first two games against the Rangers, including 8 in the final 4 innings of last night's game. Simply put, they're missing some umph. Umph isn't even a word, but it's what the Red Sox are missing. They are missing either their mojo, or the sense of urgency, or a simple mentality to get fired up. It's not just this Texas Rangers series, it's the 2015 season. The season of malaise continues.

This in a stark contrast from 10 years ago, when every minor details about the Red Sox roster was ripe with excitement. It peaked with Doug Mirabelli. Up until the point where he was a backup for the San Francisco Giants and Texas Rangers, there wasn't much to get excited about.

Then he became Tim Wakefield's binky. The man could catch the knuckler like no other, and prevent passed balls and wild pitches like a champ. He became a beloved member of the team by the fans, in a role that otherwise nobody ever notices. His single job became a backdrop for the greatest Day In The Life every created, which centered around Dougie's Going Deep Tonight!

The era of Doug Mirabelli reached its apex on May 1, 2006. The Red Sox had traded Mirabelli to the San Diego Padres for Mark Loretta, and Tim Wakefield struggled mightily without the knuckle whisperer.  On May 1st, Mirabelli was reacquired from the Padres, and Mirabelli received a police escort to Fenway Park in time for Tim Wakefield's start against the New York Yankees. Of course it was the Yankees! This truly was the crazy times of the Red Sox rivalry. The Red Sox won that day, and Mirabelli shored up Wakefield's 2006 season after starting the season with a 1-4 start. 

What does Doug Mirabelli have to do with the 2015 Red Sox? Nobody knows Sandy Leon, nor should they particularly care who Sandy Leon is. He's the backup catcher for the Red Sox, who lost their primary and backup catchers already. Sandy Leon is like the bullpen catcher as far as where he belongs in the depth chart.

The lack of interesting characters wouldn't really mean a lot if the Red Sox were winning. It's only because they're slogging through the season by winning in drips and drabs of victories that there is a focus on the question, "Who are these guys?". 

Their identity hasn't been sorted out yet, and perhaps Sandy Leon is a key to unlocking whatever victorious identity they will have...but currently that's a long shot. Perhaps that'll change. Maybe tonight, Sandy Leon's first start in almost a week, will be the night where things begin to shift.

Game 40 vs. Texas Rangers: Jeff Frye

The Red Sox are entering the first quarter turn of the 2015 season, and there are questions about which direction this team is going. Is David Ortiz old? Is Mike Napoli washed up? What's with this pitching staff? It's almost like they're like a patching staff instead. Patching a win here or there, just hanging on. They just wrapped up their longest road trip with five wins and five losses, and find themselves one victory under .500.

So, what's next? Is Napoli really toast? Is Ortiz just finally old? Napoli and Ortiz went deep last night, and this was after Napoli and Dustin Pedroia had a mid flight heart to heart where Pedroia told Napoli to focus on the stuff he can do, not the stuff he can't.

What was that conversation about? Maybe it was about Jeff Frye defying all odds. Jeff Frye, a guy who missed 2 full seasons and played only 8 seasons at the major league level. What's so special about Jeff Frye? Despite missing key seasons in his career, despite being bumped out of his role by Jose Offerman, despite only hitting 16 career home runs, Jeff Frye was a winner.

What kind of winner? Jeff Frye was at the end of his career when he hit for the cycle as a member of the Toronto Blue Jays. A feat as rare as a no hitter, and Jeff Frye locked himself into a list of players that undoubtedly rests somewhere in the National Baseball Hall of Fame. Hitting for the cycle is one thing. Hitting for the cycle when you have 16 career home runs in over 2,000 at bats. More than two thirds of Frye's hits were singles. He only had 11 career triples.  

On August 17, 2001, Jeff Frye made history when he hit for the cycle. He only played in six more games after his epic performance. His cycle featured his last major league career home run, double, and triple. He hit five more singles in his remaining games, but he came damn close to hitting for the cycle and dropping the mic. 

How does this all connect to David Ortiz, Mike Napoli, and the 2015 Red Sox? Jeff Frye probably saw that the end was near in 2001. His numbers had decreased, so he made the best of his time and made history on August 17. He was on his way out, but he made a statement that he wasn't done until he decided. 

Chances are, Napoli and Ortiz and the 2015 Red Sox are not done. They have at least a cycle left in them. In ten days we might be laughing off the notion that this year's Red Sox are toast. Hopefully the laughing begins with another win tonight.

Game 39 vs. Texas Rangers: Mike Stanton

Sometimes a player is in the right place at the right time. Mike Stanton is just that player. He found himself on the New York Yankees in 1997, his fourth team in three years. At that point he hadn't quite put it together. Then suddenly everything clicked. It happened to occur at the same time the Yankees launches their epic World Series run between 1998-2000. 

It didn't start out that easy for Stanton. In 1995 he was traded to the Red Sox from the Atlanta Braves at the trade deadline. The Braves went on to win their only World Series title that season, while Stanton's Red Sox were swept out of the 1995 ALDS by the Cleveland Indians. Exactly one year later Stanton was traded to the Texas Rangers, a team that was charging towards their first postseason appearance. 

The Texas Rangers had the same fate as Stanton's Red Sox, except they managed to pull out a single victory against the 1996 Yankees in the ALDS series loss. 

It makes sense that Mike Stanton went on to join the Evil Empire. If you can't beat them, you might as well join them.

The Red Sox and Rangers are both struggling to pull themselves above the .500 mark. The Rangers are at least above .500 for the month of May. The Red Sox just reached .500 for the month with their last victory. Of course, the Red Sox did just go 5-5 on a road trip that took them north of the border and then to the west coast. 

Chances are the Red Sox need this series to turn out well for them, as approaching the quarter mark of the season with a middling .500 team isn't going to work out for a full season. At this point, the phrase Small Sample Size begins to wear off. There is some time left, but not a whole helluva lot.


Game 38 vs. Seattle Mariners: Robert Petagine

Roberto Petagine had 233 career home runs, three gold gloves, two batting titles, and an MVP award under his belt. He also managed to go almost seven years without a home run at the major league level.

You see, Petagine was a player who logged five mediocre years in MLB before taking his talents to Japan, where he became an offensive juggernaut over the course of six seasons. The Red Sox took a flyer on Petagine prior to the 2005 season, but between ability and injuries, he never duplicated the numbers he displayed in Japan.

Taking a look at Petagine's home run log, it's amazing to consider that he went 2,512 days between MLB home runs. 

Petagine didn't work out for the Red Sox, and he was let go before the 2006 season. The Seattle Mariners took a flyer on Petagine, much like the Sox did, and this time Petagine made sure he didn't go 2,512 days without another home run. His first home run came in his first at bat with Seattle. It was also his final homer with Seattle and at the major league level. 

Petagine returned to Japan for one more season and added 10 homers to his career numbers there. 

The Red Sox and Mariners are both currently under .500, but the Red Sox started the road trip off in last place. They're now in 3rd place. Sure, it doesn't mean a lot at Game #38, but it shows some promise. There is no Roberto Petagine-type player in either lineup today, but Daniel Nava is still searching for his first home run of the season. He's way off from the 2,512 days without a home run, but it'd be a nice thing if he ended his home run drought with a home run or two today.