Monday, March 23

Going Around the Horn....

There has been a flurry of Sox-related news of here's ITM's attempt at addressing a few of the larger items....

- Daniel Bard has been sent down, (most likely to Triple A) but I don't think many of us are expecting him to stay down there too long. ITM was extremely impressed with the 6'4" 23 year old while spending time in Ft. Myers a few weeks ago, and we weren't the only ones. The Red Sox staff openly admits Bard was among the best pitchers in the entire Sox camp, blowing his 100 mph fastball by hitters that ranged from chumps to studs (multiple sources confirm he can touch 101 with regularity, but can't control it as well when he reaches that far back)....who is this guy? Nolan Ryan?...let's hope for that and not Joel Zumaya. Bard struck out 11 while completing 9 1/3rd innings without surrendering a run this spring. Studly stuff from anyone, yet alone a 23 year old with no major league experience. The debate is already raging on whether to keep him in a bullpen role, or stretch him out to be a starter...either way, he's showing some of the best upside in a Sox system full of young pitchers. Man-crushes aside, the kid can bring it and provided he doesn't drop a table on his foot, he'll likely be up with the big league club at some point this year, September at the latest.

- Brad Penny went three scoreless innings in his first spring training start of the year against the Tigers today. Penny looked sharp and only allowed one base runner on a walk in the first inning. The best news here is that he felt no pain during or after the game. Everything looks to be on track for him to start the year as Boston's 5th starter. After the game Penny said: “It was nice, I felt good. It has been a while since I’ve got out there and felt good, you know. Last year, I went out. I was pitching, but I didn’t really feel like I had a lot behind it. Another stepping stone. I felt pretty good.” Red Sox Nation's collective tail is wagging after reading that.....If this guy stays healthy and reverts back to the 07' Brad Penny....lights out.

- Curt Schilling officially retired today. We've all seen it coming over the past week, but today he made it official via his 38 pitches blog. This topic probably deserves its own post, perhaps we'll get to that down the road....but say what you want about Schilling, his political beliefs, and his uncanny ability to stick his foot in his mouth at times, the man brought 2 championships to a city in desperate need of them. He stated his intentions when coming here in 2004 and sacrificed everything (including his 2005 season) to make them whole. The HOF debate is starting, and while his numbers alone may not get him there, I think he'll get in after a few years....the bloody sock will turn into the bloody pant leg, and did you know he had to walk up hill to Fenway both ways in the snow?

- ......anyways, the Sox hit back to back to back to back taters today off of Brandon Lyon (remember him?). Not big news considering it's spring training and all, but one of those 4 jacks came from Mike Lowell, who has now homered in back to back games and has 3 taters for the spring. Also, just hearing about the string of 4 homeruns brings me back to a very happy place.... April 22, 2007, at Fenway Park, against the Yanks, 4 tall jacks in a row off of Chase Wright....effectively ruining that kid's chances at a successful professional career. See how much the Sox poured??

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