May 19, 2024

Devers Hits Home Run In Sixth Consecutive Game, Setting New Red Sox Record

Rafael Devers homered for the sixth consecutive game, setting a new Red Sox record in a 5-0 win over the Rays.

Tanner Houck allowed only two hits in seven shutout innings and Ceddanne Rafaela also hit a two-run homer. Neat and tidy in only 2:08.

Red Sox Players With Home Runs In 6 Consecutive Games (Team Record)
Rafael Devers  2024  (5/15-20)

MLB Players With Home Runs In 8 Consecutive Games
Dale Long, Pirates, May 19-28, 1956
Don Mattingly, Yankees, July 8-18, 1987
Ken Griffey, Jr., Mariners, July 20-28, 1993
MLB Players With Home Runs In 7 Consecutive Games
Jim Thome, Cleveland, June 25-July 3, 2002
Barry Bonds, Giants, April 12-20, 2004
Kevin Mench, Texas, April 21-28, 2006
Kendrys Morales, Blue Jays, August 19-26, 2018
Joey Votto, Reds, July 24-30, 2021
Mike Trout, Angels, September 4-12, 2022

Rafael Devers is one of seven Red Sox players to hit a home run in five consecutive games.
Devers stroked his ninth dong of the season in Boston's 11-3 win over the Cardinals on Sunday. Tyler O'Neill hit his team-leading 11th.

Devers will have a chance to set a new franchise record Monday evening in Tampa Bay.

Red Sox Players With Home Runs In 5 Consecutive Games (Team Record)
Jimmie Foxx    1940  (8/13-17)
Ted Williams 1957 (7/12-16)
Dick Stuart 1963 (6/11-16)
George Scott 1977 (6/14-19)
Jose Canseco 1995 (8/21-25)
Bobby Dalbec 2020 (9/05-10)
Rafael Devers 2024 (5/15-19)
Devers has hit safely in his last nine games and 21 of his last 23 games, slashing .337/.416/.652/1.068 in that time (since April 24).

April 2, 2024

RIP Larry Lucchino (1945-2024)

Larry Lucchino, John Henry, and Tom Werner, with three Red Sox World Series trophies

Larry Lucchino, Red Sox president and CEO from 2002-2015, has died at the age of 78. Lucchino celebrated three World Series championships as a Red Sox executive, including the astonishing 2004 title that ended the franchise's 86-year title drought. Lucchino was also instrumental in saving Fenway Park, roughly a decade after he helped create a new standard for ballpark construction.

There was a lot of talk about replacing the venerable park in the late 1990s (in truth, threats or promises to get rid of Fenway went back decades before that). It was assumed that when the new ownership group took control of the team from the Yawkey Trust, a modern park would be built. But as Lucchino later said, "You can't destroy the Mona Lisa. You preserve the Mona Lisa."

He hired architect Janet Marie Smith – who helped design Camden Yards during Lucchino's time as Orioles president (1988-93) – and the team made more than $300 million in renovations over a ten-year period, including the construction of the Monster Seats atop the left field wall.

Lucchino was inducted into the Red Sox Hall of Fame in 2016. He is also a member of the Padres Hall of Fame; before coming to Boston, Lucchino served as the Padres' president/CEO from 1995-2001.

John Henry, Red Sox principal owner:

Larry's career unfolded like a playbook of triumphs, marked by transformative moments that reshaped ballpark design, enhanced the fan experience, and engineered the ideal conditions for championships wherever his path led him, and especially in Boston. Yet, perhaps his most enduring legacy lies in the remarkable people he helped assemble at the Red Sox, all of whom are a testament to his training, wisdom, and mentorship.

Many of them continue to shape the organization today, carrying forward the same vigor, vitality, and cherished sayings that were hallmarks of Larry's personality. Larry was a formidable opponent in any arena, and while he battled hard, he always maintained the utmost respect for a worthy adversary and found genuine joy in sparring with people. I was lucky enough to have had him in my corner for 14 years and to have called him a close friend for even longer. He was truly irreplaceable and will be missed by all of us at the Red Sox.

Tom Werner, Red Sox chairman:

When John and I joined forces with Larry in 2001, we dreamed not only of breaking an 86-year curse and winning multiple championships, but also about how a baseball team could transform and uplift a region. Larry was more decorated in sports than any of us, coming to the group with a Super Bowl ring, a World Series ring, and even a Final Four watch from his days playing basketball at Princeton. He added to that impressive collection with us in Boston because he was the kind of man who would find a path to success no matter the obstacles. He was bold and had the audacity to dare, challenge, and even taunt our rivals in ways that made the game of baseball better.

In a sport defined by statistics and standings, he was accomplished in every way, and while his career is a masterclass in leadership and innovation, he will be equally remembered for his unwavering commitment to community engagement and his hands-on role with the Red Sox Foundation and The Jimmy Fund. We are devastated by the loss of a great man, a great leader, and a great friend.

In late 2002, as the Red Sox were close to signing Cuban pitcher Jose Contreras, the Yankees unexpectedly grabbed him at the last minute. Lucchino's reaction became famous: "The evil empire extends its tentacles, even into Latin America." Contreras ended up being a below-average pitcher for the EE before he was traded to the White Sox in July 2004. The Red Sox recovered.

Theo Epstein worked with Lucchino in Baltimore and San Diego before becoming, at age 28, the youngest general manager in baseball history (at the time):

Larry leaves behind a giant baseball legacy full of historic accomplishments with three different organizations. For me and for so many of my best friends in baseball, Larry gave us our start, believing in us and setting an enduring example with his work ethic, vision, competitiveness and fearlessness. He made a profound impact on many in baseball – and on the game itself – and will be missed.

Sam Kennedy, another Lucchino protege and the Red Sox's current president and CEO:

There are so many of us who were given our start in baseball by Larry. He loved a good slogan and his campaign to 'free the Brookline two' liberated Theo and I from the San Diego Padres, allowing us to work for our hometown team and changing the trajectory of our lives forever. He instilled in us, and so many others, a work ethic, passion, competitive fire that we will carry forever. His legacy is one that all of us who were taught by him feel a deep responsibility to uphold. When those he mentored moved on from the Red Sox, he would always say, 'We'll leave a light on for you.' The lights will always be on for you at Fenway Park, Larry. May you rest in peace.

David Ortiz:

Larry Lucchino was someone who really cared about the Red Sox doing well. When I first joined the organization, he was just the business guy who dealt with the agent. As a player, it was sometimes hard to understand where he was coming from, but he made everything about winning and the organization doing well. Once we got to know each other better, we became really good friends. I loved Larry. He supported me and always gave me really good advice. Our relationship kept getting better and better. It is so sad to see him go, and I send my condolences to his family and all who loved him. He knew how to put the pieces together. When you talked to Larry and understood what the Red Sox meant to him, you got the memo: Win.

The Red Sox were able to bring the Large Father to Boston because of a phone call Pedro Martinez  made to Lucchino after the Twins had released Ortiz.

My heart goes out to the Lucchino family. They lost not only a great man, but a visionary with the biggest heart, even though he tried to cover it playing shy and trying to hide away from people's eyes. … But not me; he didn't fool me. We just lost a dear friend and we're all sad about it. I will miss you my dear friend. R.I.P. Larry.

Dustin Pedroia:

Larry was a winner. Didn't matter if it was a contract negotiation, saving Fenway, asking players what we need to compete. Larry was going to work until the job was finished. He had a presence and an attitude that wouldn't be denied. He was a tone setter for our organization.

Alex Cora, Red Sox manager:

Larry was a visionary. He saw things before they happened, taking the fan experience to the next level in every city he worked. And he won. He was a relentless winner. Larry led a great life and impacted so many of us. I'm thankful to have had him as a part of my life.

Mike Lupica, long-time New York sportswriter:

He was one of the great baseball men of this time or any time, and when you add up everything that has happened to the Red Sox since he became a part of their management team over two decades ago, he is without question the best and most important baseball man the club has ever had. Sadly, he dies without being in the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, where he belongs.

John Henry and Tom Werner became the owners of the team back in 2002. But it was Lucchino, as president of the Red Sox the way he had been president of the Orioles and the Padres before that, who set the tone for everything that happened after he got to Boston. It was Lucchino who did the most to create a culture that changed everything for a team that hadn't won a World Series since 1918.

Mike Barnicle, MSNBC commentator and former Boston Globe columnist:

His legacy is the management teams that he assembled in [Baltimore] and San Diego and in Boston. His legacy is being a driving force behind the building of Camden Yards and Petco Park and bringing Fenway into the 21st century. His legacy is hiring young men like Theo Epstein and Sam Kennedy. But more than anything else, it was Larry's vision that finally put the Red Sox into the 'yes' business. 'Yes, we can win the World Series again. Yes, we can put together a winning team not just on the field but in the front office, as well.' Greatest yes man we ever had in Boston, in all the best ways.

From the Red Sox:

We are heartbroken to share that our beloved brother and uncle, Lawrence Lucchino, passed away on April 2 surrounded by his family. The Lucchino family wishes to thank his friends and caregivers who, over the past few months, have surrounded him with love, laughter, and happy memories.

To us, Larry was an exceptional person who combined a Hall of Fame life as a Major League Baseball executive with his passion for helping those people most in need. . . . Equally important to Larry was the establishment of a first-of-its-kind in professional sports "San Diego Padres Scholars" college scholarship program, co-founding the Boston Red Sox Foundation, and being Chairman of the Jimmy Fund, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute's grassroots effort to help save lives and give hope to cancer patients everywhere. He brought the same passion, tenacity, and probing intelligence to all his endeavors, and his achievements speak for themselves.

March 27, 2024

2024 W-L Contest Entries

Brayan Bello is the youngest Red Sox Opening Day starting pitcher (24-316) in almost 30 years (Aaron Sele, 1995).

Happy Opening Day to everyone, except the Dodgers and Padres!

The Boston Red Sox begin their 124th season in Seattle. The Red Sox finished both 2022 and 2023 with a record of 78-84. They have ended up in the AL East basement for three of the last four seasons. It would not be a shock if by October, it's four out of the last five.

Here are the 2024 W-L Contest entries:
               W-L    BELLO ERA
Paul H.       91- 71    3.38
Matt B. 90- 72 3.41
Jacob L. 90- 72 3.63 David I. 90- 72 3.90 Elliot S. 88- 74 3.88 Jeff M. 88- 74 4.28 Ray P. 82- 80 3.99
Benjamin B. 82- 80 4.05
Brett H. 81- 81 3.45 Laura K. 81- 81 3.50
Kara K. 80- 82 4.23 Allan W. 78- 84 3.92
David F. 77- 85 4.06 Jeff L. 74- 88 3.64
Rich G. 74- 88 4.22
Matt K. 72- 90 3.66 Aimee C. 72- 90 4.00
John G. 70- 92 3.50 Rob R. 69- 93 4.82 Bricks C. 62-100 3.00

March 25, 2024

Everyone Loves A Contest #30: 2024 Red Sox W-L Record

The 2024 Red Sox season begins on Thursday night in Seattle – so it's time for the annual Red Sox W-L Contest!

The person who correctly guesses the Red Sox's 2024 regular season W-L record will win a signed copy of the upcoming paperback edition of Don't Let Us Win Tonight.

Contest entries must be emailed to me before the first pitch on Thursday night and include the following two predictions:
1. 2024 W-L Record
2. Tiebreaker: Brayan Bello's ERA

The winning W-L prediction must be exact, of course. The tiebreaker, if needed, will be the closest guess, either over or under.

Good luck . . . and as always, fuck the Yankees!

March 14, 2024

Schadenfreude 349 (A Continuing Series)

Christian Arnold, Post:
Gerrit Cole was spotted for the first time since The Post reported that the Yankees ace would be out for at least one-to-two months.

The reigning AL Cy Young winner was photographed at LAX on Wednesday.

In photographs exclusively obtained by The Post, Cole is seen wearing a dark long-sleeve shirt and blue jeans along with a grey backpack as he exited the bustling Los Angeles airport.

When approached by a videographer, Cole politely requested "a little space." . . .

Cole is slated to meet with noted sports surgeon Dr. Neal ElAttrache as concern over his ulnar collateral ligament prompted the Yankees pitcher to go for an in-person visit.

Team doctors and ElAttrache viewed Cole's preliminary film and the highly respected sports surgeon recommended further testing . . .

Cole is anticipated to be out for an "extended period" with the hope currently being that he could return in . . . early June. . . .

Yankees manager Aaron Boone had told reporters in Florida at spring training that Cole was "handling" the situation with his right elbow. . . .
Craig Calcaterra, Cup of Coffee:
It should be noted that the 1-2 month timeline is a best case scenario. . . . If Dr. ElAttrache finds something amiss short of a tear it could obviously take much longer for him to come back. If the closer look by the good doctor reveals a tear it's goodbye 2024 and part of 2025.

Like I've been saying all week, I have little confidence in health reports coming from the Yankees these days. This is the same club who ran Anthony Rizzo out for months last year before acknowledging — or realizing — that he had a concussion. It's the same club that, earlier this week, said that Aaron Judge was just sore when he was actually getting an MRI for a possible abdominal injury. They simply have no credibility when it comes to this stuff at the moment . . .

In the meantime, this is a huge hit for the Yankees, whose rotation . . . does not strike me as a contending rotation.
Yep, I knew it. A fuckin schadenfreude post about my fuckin arm.

Also: Former Yankee save-blower Aroldis Chapman shared a video of himself fondling his mother's breasts.

March 2, 2024

"Don't Let Us Win Tonight": A Paperback Edition Arrives May 21

A paperback edition of Don't Let Us Win Tonight arrives from Triumph Books in less than three months, on May 21.

I had hoped to expand the narrative, restoring some of the cuts we were forced to make back in 2013 to get the word count down, but that was always a long shot. In almost every instance, the cuts were made to shorten existing quotes as opposed to deleting them entirely. Back in November 2014, I shared an example of this pruning, posting the longer version of Curt Schilling's recollection of the Thanksgiving 2003 meeting with Theo Epstein, et al.

In addition to revised covers, this "20th anniversary" edition includes personal memories of 2004 and the seasons that followed from both myself and co-author Bill Nowlin (2,500 words each). Mine begins: "The 2004 Red Sox rewired my brain." We fixed a few typos, added a blurb from the legendary Peter Gammons, and made minor edits to smooth out some rough spots.

This fucking awesome book (now even better!) can be pre-ordered at Triumph, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Indigo, or (presumably) from your local book store.