“I’m not sure how something can be the same over and over and over and over again and yet be so wonderful. There’s a lot excitement. There’s certainly some anxiety. There’s probably a small piece of terror. Did we cover everything?
Things like that. But it’s the same every year. It never changes. I hope it doesn’t. It’s a great feeling.”

Terry Francona in the Boston Globe

Terry Francona on Opening Day

Posted in Baseball

Ruben Amaro Jr. is getting ready for his new role

On Monday, the Boston Globe published a story about ex-Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr.‘s decision to take a job with the Boston Red Sox as their new first base coach and how he’s preparing for spring training.

“When I was let go, it was like one door closed and another one opened up,” Amaro said. “I’m still in decent health; I’m fairly young. I wanted to scratch that itch to get back on the dirt. I wanted to understand the player a little better.

“It’s a significantly different world from when I was playing and what motivates a player and what is going on off the field. I want a better understanding of that. Hopefully this is something I like.”

It will be interesting to see how Amaro’s return to the field goes.

Posted in Autographs, Baseball

Featured autograph: Blake Swihart

Blake-Swihart-Heritage
Signed Blake Swihart 2014 Topps Heritage Minor League baseball card from my collection

I have my first new autographs of 2016… and it only took until February 1st.

Blake Swihart was the 26th overall selection in the 2011 draft and rose through the Boston Red Sox farm system as one of their top prospects.

In 2014, my friend Bart and I got to see him play with the Portland Sea Dogs in Trenton a few times, but I never managed to get his autograph before he got promoted to Triple-A.

I tried writing to him care of the Pawtucket Red Sox towards the end of that season, but so far, anyway, nothing has come back.

Continue reading “Featured autograph: Blake Swihart”

Posted in Baseball, New York Mets

News & Notes: Daniel Murphy, Ty Kelly & early off-season trades

Daniel Murphy (Photo credit: Paul Hadsall)
Daniel Murphy (Photo credit: Paul Hadsall)

On Friday, New York Mets second baseman Daniel Murphy declined the club’s $15.8 million qualifying offer, making him eligible to sign with any the other 29 MLB teams. Despite a World Series performance to forget, Murphy should be able to land a multi-year deal this winter, so his decision is not much of a surprise.

And with Dilson Herrera waiting for an opportunity to take over at second base for major league minimum, the Mets never seemed all that interested in negotiating with Murphy. But while Herrera should provide better defense, it’s going to be important for a club that was already offensively challenged in 2015 to find a way to replace Murphy’s hitting contributions. Despite playing in just 130 games, Murphy was second on the 2015 Mets in hits, first in doubles and fifth in home runs.

Here’s hoping that Sandy Alderson has a plan.

Continue reading “News & Notes: Daniel Murphy, Ty Kelly & early off-season trades”