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Don Orsillo Will Reportedly Not Be The Red Sox Play By Play Guy Next Year Because The Red Sox Hate Their Fans

NOWe knew there would be plenty of changes for the Red Sox heading into 2016, but few anticipated that a major change would be coming to the television broadcast booth.

According to a report from WEEI’s “Dennis and Callahan Morning Show,” this will be Don Orsillo’s final season as the play-by-play man for NESN’s Red Sox broadcasts.

Orsillo—currently in his 15th season calling Red Sox games on NESN—is a longtime fan favorite since moving up to the major league broadcasts in 2001 after serving five years as the play-by-play man for the Triple-A Pawtucket Red Sox. Orsillo became the full-time Red Sox voice in 2005 when NESN took over airing all Red Sox local telecasts.

First off, that boob grab video is one of the greatest videos of all time. Second off, what in the actual hell NESN. How’re you not going to bring back the only good thing about this and every other bad Red Sox season? Don Orsillo is, inarguably, the best play by play announcer in baseball. This isn’t a regional/Red Sox bias, either. My guy is better than your guy, and there is no argument to be made. There’s a reason he’s been doing playoff baseball for almost a decade, and there’s a reason he and Jerry Remy are the funniest announcer tandem in sports. He’s incredibly good at his job but performs it in such a way that it’s really a joy to listen to and watch. ‘If it ain’t broke don’t fix it’ is probably the best phrase that I can use to sum up my thoughts on this. The 2015 Red Sox are broken, so they should be fixed. Don Orsillo is not broken, so why bring in anyone else? In a year full of bonehead and asinine moves, this one might take the cake. As a side note, I’m just going to let Michael Scott express my feelings from now on:

-Ryan

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Pedro Martinez Took His Rightful Place in the Baseball Hall Of Fame Yesterday

Slow Clap (Citizen Kane)

Pedro Martinez, one of the greatest pitchers of all time, is finally a hall of famer. In his first year of eligibility, Pedro was selected as a member of the 2015 hall of fame class with 91% of the vote. As a lifelong Red Sox fan, watching Pedro pitch in his prime was nothing short of amazing. He’s the only pitcher I can remember getting EXCITED about. During that era, when guys like Bonds, Sosa and McGwire were hitting 60-70 home runs a year, it was Pedro who routinely stole the show. There’s the 17 strikeout, one hit performance in Yankee Stadium. There’s the 1999 All Star game, where he struck out Barry Larkin, Larry Walker, Sammy Sosa and Mark McGwire in succession to start the game at Fenway. There’s game 5 of the ALDS in Cleveland, where he pitched 6 no hit innings in relief to get the Red Sox to the ALCS. He was so great, and he did with an extra sense of flair that made everything he did, whether it was on the mound, in the dugout cheering on his teammates or taking on the media. He’ll get his #45 retired by the Red Sox tomorrow night, and I’ll be there to witness. One last chance to see the great Pedro Martinez at Fenway.

– Ryan

Red Sox Live Recap: Mookie Betts Is Really, Really Good

I went to the Sox game last night, and just like that their 4 game losing streak is now a 1 game winning streak. While I’d love to take all the credit, there is one guy who take most of it, and his name is Mookie Betts. Mookie homered twice and turned a great double play in the Sox’s 2-0 win last night, and this could be the type of game to really get him going offensively. Rick Porcello pitched great, holding the Rays scoreless through 7 innings, and Alexi Ogando and Koji did their thing to seal the victory. It’s fitting that the Red Sox celebrated the 1975 team last night, because this current team does have some similarities. During Fred Lynn’s interview on the pre show, he mentioned how that 1975 team was a good mix of veterans and young guys. The 2015 Red Sox have Bogaerts, Betts, Holt and Swihart all under 27 years of age and a solid group of veterans headlined by the clubhouse leader David Ortiz. The pitching staff is still in shambles, but if we’ve learned anything from the first month of baseball, it’s that the AL East is going to be up for grabs come October. It’s a very long season, and while I’d like to see them make a move to bolster the starting rotation, I’m not going to go into panic mode on May 6th. The hitting will come around, and hopefully the pitching will follow suit. All I know is this is going to be a fun/incredibly frustrating team to follow over the summer.

– Ryan

Mookie Betts Had One Of The More Memorable Home Openers In Red Sox History Yesterday

Robbing Bryce Harper of a three run homer in the top of the 1st. Stealing two bases on one play for only the 11th time in MLB history. And to top it off, knocking a three run homer into the monster seats to give the Red Sox the lead for good. That’s one hell of a home opener for a guy who doesn’t turn 23 until October, and Mookie Betts is officially one of the most exciting Red Sox players to come along in a long time. The Sox are 5-2, and a large part of that success belongs to Betts and his infectious energy. He’s the rare combination of incredible athletic ability and on point baseball instincts, and he’s leading this Red Sox team in the right direction. We’ve still got a lot of baseball to go, but I’m looking forward to watching Mookie Betts for a long time to come.

– Ryan

With The Regular Season Right Around The Corner, It’s Time To Take A Look At The 2015 Boston Red Sox

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Grantland has already predicted that the Red Sox will emerge as the front runners in the AL East this year, similar to their unbelievable run in 2013 after bottoming out the year before. While I won’t bother you with advanced metrics and in depth stats, my opinion is pretty much the same: the Red Sox will be very good this year. There’s something about suffering through one of the worst winters in history that makes you appreciate warm weather, green grass and baseball. This winter was terrible, with accumulated snow falling 10 weeks in a row, but all of that is behind us now. The Boston Red Sox start their 2015 campaign Monday afternoon against the Phillies, and Red Sox fans nationwide are hoping for more 2013 and very little of what we saw last year and in 2012.

Offense: It goes without saying, but the Red Sox upgraded their offense tremendously this offseason. They added Hanley Ramirez and Pablo Sandoval at the major league level, and 19 year old phenom Yoan Moncada at the minor league level. Their opening day lineup will feature a variation of Mookie Betts, Xander Bogaerts, Dustin Pedroia, David Ortiz, Hanley Ramirez, Pablo Sandoval, Mike Napoli, Shane Victorino and Ryan Hanigan (more on him later). Depending on how Farrell aligns his lineup, Victorino and Napoli have the potential to be the best 7-8 combo in the league. Mookie Betts has been on fire this spring, hitting almost .500 over 48 at bats. While scouts, players and fans alike are christening Betts an immediate All Star, I’d rather be cautiously optimistic after watching Boegarts struggle in his first full season in the pro’s. Speaking of Xander, not much has been heard from or about him this spring, which I think is a good thing. Clearly all the pressure and moving positions affected him last year, and I think he will have a nice comeback year now that he’s undoubtedly the team’s starting shortstop. Bogaerts isn’t even 23 yet, and only has 162 big league games under his belt. The future is bright for this one. The rest of the Sox lineup is full of old faithful’s (Pedroia, Victorino, Ortiz, Napoli) who collectively had a down year last year thanks to injuries and the team’s place in the standings, but who also were all apart of that 2013 team that won a championship. They’re all a year older, so I don’t expect monster numbers out of any of them, but if they can produce at a level similar to 2013, especially with the youth infusion of Betts and Bogaerts, then the Red Sox will be a fearsome lineup. The two biggest additions were obviously Sandoval and Ramirez, who combined for 29 home runs and 144 RBI’s last year. They will immediately bolster the middle of the Red Sox order, and no matter what Sandoval produces, he’ll be a welcome upgrade over the disaster at 3B last year for the Sox. The lineup is rounded out by Ryan Hanigan who is thrust into the starting position after the devastating news that Christian Vasquez needs Tommy John Surgery and will be out for the year. While Vasquez isn’t known as a great hitter, his absence will surely be felt on the other side of the diamond.

Defense: In what was pretty much a lost season, the Red Sox actually weren’t that bad defensively. They finshed 10th in the MLB with 92 errors and a .985 fielding percentage. While they upgraded at 3B, the two big question marks for the Sox are in left field and behind the plate. Hanley Ramirez has never played a professional game as a left fielder, but he will start the year out there for the Red Sox. While another Ramirez, who wasn’t known as a great defensive player, conquered the Green Monster, it’s much more likely that Hanley experiences some growing pains. Mookie Betts and Shane Victorino are both above average defensive outfielders, so they will each be able to cover a lot of ground, but eventually Ramirez will have to show his worth defensively. The much bigger hole the Red Sox need to fill will be at catcher, now that Christian Vasquez is lost for the season. Ryan Hanigan is the projected starting catcher, and Sandy Leon was just acquired from the Nationals as his backup. While the Sox have Blake Swihart waiting in the wings, it’s clear the organization is not going to rush him up just to fill a void. Hanigan played 84 games for Tampa Bay last year, and while he may not be a widely known player, Sox GM Ben Cherington explained to the media on Wednesday that with Hanigan, the pitchers come first. That is good news, considering that the Sox lineup is already stacked. If Hanigan can control the pitching staff and be pedestrian throwing out runners, then the Red Sox will be in good shape.

Pitching: The Red Sox season, at least it’s pitching staff, is banking on the right arm of Clay Buchholz. If Buchholz can be his first half of 2013 self, then the Red Sox might be the best team in baseball. If he’s mediocre of worst, the Sox are in trouble. They didn’t re-sign Lester this offseason, and stayed away from acquiring big names and contracts for guys like Hamels and Scherzer, and instead got solid middle of the rotation arms in Porcello, Masterson and Miley. The only problem I see the Sox having is if they make the post season and Buchholz isn’t performing, then they don’t have a clear #1 starter. I really don’t think it’ll be an issue in the regular season, especially with the lineup the Sox are putting out there. If the bullpen can perform and guys like Masterson, Porcello and Miley can consistently give you 6 innings, the Sox will be fine. The starting five will round out with Joe Kelly, who showed flashes of effectiveness last year, and they also have a slew of young arms in the minors headlined by Henry Owens. The Sox are banking on Koji to return to his stellar self and the rest of the bullpen features stalwarts Junichi Tazawa and Craig Breslow as well as newcomers Anthony Varvaro and Alexi Ogando. While the offense is built on flash, the pitching staff is built on substance, as each cog in the pitching machine is asked to do their job while the Sox hopefully put up a lot of runs.

Prediction: The 2015 Red Sox won’t be as bad as last year’s club, but they also won’t be as good as the World Series team in 2013. This team will probably finished somewhere in between, and I think they will win the AL East with a 90-92 win season. Depending on injuries and how the starting pitching holds up, they could be playing well into October. One thing I know for sure is that I’m so glad baseball is finally back.

– Ryan

H/T ESPN & Red Sox

Jon Lester & David Ortiz Are Being Adorable On Twitter & Now I’m Sad All Over Again

Well this is wonderful and depressing at the same time. We got Justin Masterson and Rick Porcello and Wade Miley, three pitchers under 30 who are by no means a staff ace, but we will absolutely bolster the Red Sox starting staff. Unfortunately, we got those three guys because we no longer have Jon Lester. If Masterson, Porcello or Miley don’t become David Ortiz’s best friend immediately, I don’t know if he’ll be able to recover. Side note: saying HAHAHA in a conversation has now been replaced by jajajaja.

– Ryan

Jon Lester Is Officially A Chicago Cub

JLThe Chicago Cubs have won the Jon Lester sweepstakes, with the free-agent left-hander agreeing to sign with the team late Tuesday night.

The deal is for six years and $155 million, a source confirmed to ESPNChicago.com’s Jesse Rogers. It includes a signing bonus of at least $20 million and a vesting option for a seventh year that could bring Lester’s total take to $170 million, sources confirmed to ESPN.

Theo got his guy, and the Chicago Cubs just got a class act, a great pitcher and one hell of a model American. When I saw the report last night that Lester had narrowed it down to the Cubs and the Sox, I knew it was over. If you’re Jon Lester, would you rather go to the guy who helped signed you to the Red Sox and developed you as a player and a person, or to the guys who just offered you almost $100 million less than you’re going to make now? Easy decision, and if I was Jon Lester, I would’ve done the same thing. Would I have been ecstatic if the Sox signed Lester to the same deal? Absolutely, but only time will tell if it’s too much money or too many years. Lester turns 31 in January, which means he’ll be 37 when the deal is done. He clearly shows no signs of slowing down, but that could change in a few years. I wish him all the best, though, and this is easily the least heartbroken I’ve been over a Red Sox player signing elsewhere, mostly because we did this to ourselves. Lester is a certified ace, and the $70 million offer last year was a joke. Now it’s time to find some pitching on the open market and get back to work on reclaiming the AL East.

– Ryan

Pablo Sandoval’s New Locker With The Red Sox Is Spectacular

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@kfp48's new locker. 🐼 #Repost from @redsox

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I have a feeling Pablo Sandoval and the Red Sox are going to get along just fine. Not only are the Red Sox getting a premier third baseman in the prime of his career, but judging by his interviews and new locker setup, it seems like Sandoval has a good sense of humor too. I need someone to create a Panda Red Sox T-shirt and I needed it yesterday.

– Ryan

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