Wells / Buehrle -- Wakefield / Garland -- Clement / Hernandez. The two teams split a four-game series in late July (6-5, 4-8, 3-0, 4-6). ... The Boston bats are hot: they've scored at least eight runs in eight of their last 12 victories.
Tony Massarotti says "let us set aside all the talk of Manny being Manny" and then quotes some impressive stats -- but Ramirez's hitting is a huge part (to me) of what makes Manny Manny.
Fact: Ramirez is the best run producer in baseball history, per at-bat, since Ted Williams. During last month's All-Star Game, Fox-TV revealed that Ramirez had the sixth-highest at-bat-to-RBI ratio in history, behind only Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Hank Greenberg, Jimmie Foxx and Williams. Not a single one of those men has played since 1960.This ratio -- which is very impressive -- is still context-driven; I'd like to see Manny's RBI numbers re: actual RBI opportunities. ... Manny has 107 RBI in 105 games this year -- he could become the first Red Sox player to knock in more than 150 runs since Ted Williams and Vern Stephens each had 159 in 1949. ... Nick Cafardo looks at Ramirez's MVP chances.
Keith Foulke enjoyed his most productive day of his rehab on Wednesday, throwing 35 pitches off the bullpen mound. He also took about 20 long toss throws. "To go from not being able to walk up a flight of stairs post surgery, to throwing off the mound in three weeks is good progress. ... The last three or four days have been really good, but my leg is tired ... When I come back, you'll see that I'm throwing better and I'm stronger." Foulke will throw on flat ground today and return to the mound Saturday.
Cafardo also writes: "According to a team source, one scenario the Sox are considering is to release second baseman Mark Bellhorn after his 20-day rehab stint at Pawtucket, get him through waivers, and then outright him to Pawtucket and call him up when rosters are expanded Sept. 1." ... Gabe Kapler is glad to be "home". ... An update on AA ace Jon Lester.
A look at the guys who work in the Sox clubhouse. ... David Ortiz leads the AL with 72 walks, three shy of his career best last year. It's great to see him taking a walk, rather than trying to hit pitches out of the zone. ... Craig Hansen was promoted to Double A Portland from the Gulf Coast rookie league.
The tentative schedule for 2006: Boston begins the season in Texas on Monday, April 3; its home opener will be against Tampa Bay on April 10. The first four series against the Yankees (May 1-2, May 9-11, May 22-24, and June 6-8) will include no weekend games. The Sox also host the Mets on June 27-29.