February 24, 2006


Getting jazzed about kids is child’s play (Tony Massarotti, February 24, 2006, Boston Herald)

Remember these names, Sox followers: Josh Beckett and Jonathan Papelbon, Jon Lester, Craig Hansen and Manny Delcarmen. All are 25 or younger, all are pitchers, all are in major league camp. In recent Red Sox history, it is difficult to remember a time when the Sox had so many talented young arms so close to contributing at the big league level. [...]

In recent Red Sox history, young pitching prospects have been like four-leaf clovers. There has been Pavano and Rose, maybe someone like Casey Fossum. There were Kevin Morton and Aaron Sele. But to find a collection of arms like this, you may have to go back all the way to the 1980s, then the Sox minor league system produced a stable that included Roger Clemens, Bruce Hurst, John Tudor, Bobby Ojeda and even Oil Can Boyd.

Among those arms, Clemens was the true barrier breaker. Red Sox history has been littered with home-grown positional players from Ted Williams to Carl Yastrzemski to Jim Rice, Fred Lynn, Ellis Burks and Mo Vaughn. But until Clemens came along - and these are Roger’s words here - pitching was always regarded as a “second-class citizen.”

During the offseason, the Red Sox once again made a concerted effort to change that. With or without Theo Epstein, the Sox acquired Beckett. They kept Papelbon, Lester, Hansen and Delcarmen, despite repeated overtures from other clubs. When the Sox were at the winter meetings in December, one respected, longtime baseball evaluator said the only pitcher to interest him on the Red Sox’ 2005 playoff roster was Papelbon.

Yesterday, along with the other rookies in camp, Papelbon ran laps in his underwear.

Meanwhile, the Red Sox eagerly await the day when they can all take their diapers off.

If they'd started the Can in Game 7 they'd have won the '86 World Series.

Posted by Orrin Judd at February 24, 2006 12:00 AM

Enough with that Can in Game 7 nonsense. The Mets pounded him when he pitched. All Met fans were terrified of Bruce Hurst. We prayed the Can got the ball.

Posted by: Matt Cohen at February 24, 2006 1:58 PM