Saturday, January 26, 2013

Counting down the days

I can't wait!
Not for Opening Day...
Not for Spring Training...
Until the release of OOTP 14!

I just got an e-mail announcing that pre-orders for the latest version of this game have started.  I have previously written about this game (more than once),  and even though I haven't gotten my hands on this one yet (hence the counting down the days), I am very excited for this latest version.

First of all, it will feature the 2013 opening day rosters, so we can see right away if the changes the Red Sox made in the offseason will be enough to counter the improvements the Blue Jays made.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

More Red Sox - Alberta connections

Ruben Lipszyc / BMC
If you're a semi-regular reader of this blog, you know I frequently mention Canadian associations to the Red Sox.  Whether it's Jason Bay scoring a playoff series winning run, Eric Gagne closing out a Series win, or Kevin Youkilis hitting his first career home run in Toronto, there have been many Canadian connections to the Red Sox recently.  But connections specific to Alberta are a bit rarer.  Calgarian Chris Reitsma  was drafted in the 1st round, and a couple of years ago, the Sox drafted another player who played High School ball in the province, but otherwise there hasn't been a lot linking the Red Sox directly to Alberta.

But the other day as I was flipping through some old baseball cards, I came across a Kevin Millar and a Ryan Dempster (left) card in Calgary Cannons uniforms.  So that got me thinking, what other Red Sox (players and coaches) called Alberta home on the way to The Show (or were sent down after a playing in the Bigs)?  I did some quick research and came up with a fairly lengthy list.  From all-stars who were integral part of Red Sox teams, to part time players, who just made a brief stop in Fenway. My research was not exhaustive so I may have missed someone, and if so, please let me know in the comments below and I'll amend the post.

Without further ado, here is the list of former (and current!) Red Sox who played in Alberta.  I counted over 75 players including a Hall of Famer and several all-stars, and that's without any of these teams being affiliated to us!

Calgary Cannons (AAA - Pacific Coast League)
Mike Lowell
Kevin Millar
Ryan Dempster

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Three Top Red Sox Players In Fantasy

As the baseball season nears, fans are starting to think about Fantasy Leagues.  Below is a guest article which focuses on Fantasy Baseball Red Sox players:

Most people outside of Boston might be down on the Red Sox in 2013, but there is plenty of talent still in Beantown. Fantasy owners will be eyeing a number of their every day players and pitchers, even if they lack that first or second round star. Here’s a look at when the right time is for a person to take three of their top players.

Dustin Pedroia
The second baseman for the Red Sox has been a steady producer for quite some time, so it is no surprise that he is the top fantasy baseball player heading into 2013. Last season, he posted solid overall numbers of 15 home runs, 65 RBI and 20 stolen bases to go with a .290 average. If he can stay healthy for an entire season, those numbers can go up even more. He is a top 30 overall fantasy baseball player heading into the year, and only Robinson Cano is better amongst second basemen.

Jacoby Ellsbury
When the outfielder is healthy, few provide the type of overall value Jacoby Ellsbury does. What hurts him is that he plays a loaded position where his numbers do not stand out as much. His numbers are pretty insignificant to talk about in 2013 since he missed so much time, but his 14 steals in limited action shows that his wheels are still there. He might be a bit of a risk, but he will probably last until the 35th-40th overall pick in most drafts. Amongst outfielders, he is in the 10th to 15th range.

Jon Lester
A guy who went 9-14 with a 4.82 ERA in 2012 might not seem like much of a reliable fantasy pitcher, but his track record and lack of other options make him the best pick out of the Red Sox. The left-hander had a terrible season by his standards last year, but at 29 years old, most of it could be corrected. Wins are out of his control to a degree, but when an ERA is near five, there is not much that can be done. He still strikes out enough guys that he will make a solid 4th or 5th starter on most fantasy squads.