Archive - Sports Article
August 6th, 2013
FOXBORO â This is the time of year when the conversations between Texas childhood pals Will Middlebrooks and Ryan Mallett slow to a crawl.
On the surface, itâs perfectly understandable.
Middlebrooksâ baseball duties are in full bloom with two or possibly three months in his season remaining. With Mallett, the dog days of summer represent a hectic time, with practices and intra-squad scrimmages going hand in hand with film sessions and preseason football contests.
MINNEAPOLIS â The Boys & Girls Club of Pawtucket RBI Junior Division All-Stars fell behind 2-0 in the fifth inning before ultimately falling to Miami, Florida, 2-1, on Day 1 of the RBI Junior World Series.
Pawtucketâs lone run came in the sixth inning when Steven Otis scored on a fielderâs choice by Nick Gagnon. The locals loaded the bases with two down in the seventh but proved unable to capitalize.
BRISTOL, Conn. â Lincoln All-Starsâ assistant coach Marty Gaughan Sr. had a feeling his team would face South Burlington, Vt. ace Sammy Premsagar in the third game of this Little League New England Regional Tournament on Monday afternoon.
Thatâs why he took all necessary measures to prepare the kids offensively.
âThey say heâs a real fireballer; thatâs why I just spent the last hour pitching batting practice to them,â he said perhaps 40 minutes before the tilt. âI was throwing them 100-mph heaters so theyâd be ready.â
BRISTOL, Conn. â Thankfully for Lincoln Little League, Brandon Lee is just one player.
The No. 3 hitter in Newton South Eastâs lineup certainly did some damage Sunday, slugging two home runs with four RBI and two runs scored. Collectively, Lincoln was able to overcome the Herculean effort and knock off the Massachusetts representative. 14-8, in the second game round-robin play of the Little League New England Regional Tournament.
Both squads ended up spraying the ball all over Leon J. Breen Field, tallying 22 runs and 25 hits, including 10 extra base hits.
PAWTUCKET â Sometimes the trades that a major-league ballclub doesnât end up making can prove quite revealing.
The Jake Peavy acquisition was not the only smoke signal sent out by the Red Sox at the July 31 non-waiver trading deadline. Last Wednesdayâs 4 p.m Eastern Time deadline did not feature the acquisition of a warm body for the sole purpose of augmenting the bullpen core that manager John Farrell presently has at his disposal.
PAWTUCKET â Rich Sauveur canât wait to see Anthony Ranaudo go all Pablo Picasso on the blank canvas that will represent his tenure at Triple-A Pawtucket after his promotion here on Friday.
âFrom what I heard, he was throwing the ball extremely well down in Portland and I canât wait to see him throw,â stated Sauveur, Pawtucketâs pitching coach. â(Sea Dogs pitching coach Bob Kipper) sent me some information on Anthony, and I was just reading up on it. Kipper thinks that heâs an outstanding person and a great student of the game.
PAWTUCKET â Was Bryce Brentz resigned to the possibility that his season was over upon undergoing significant surgery to his right knee? A rollover-and-surrender attitude wouldnât fit the PawSox outfielderâs hard-charging persona now, would it?
That said, the power hitter is a realist and understands the slippery slope that comes with accelerating the rehab timetable in order to return to the field this season.
BRISTOL â Milliseconds after southpaw Brendan Wright had fielded an easy grounder and thrown to first baseman Jayden Struble for the final out on Thursday evening, Cumberland American's All-Stars came from all directions to celebrate mere feet in front of home plate.
Not surprisingly, the one on the bottom of the pile happened to be second baseman Johnny Belisle, one of the more vociferous members of this splendid contingent.
WEST WARWICK â Upper Deck Post 86/14 was only looking for some insurance runs while holding a 4-3 in the bottom of the eighth inning on Wednesday night.
Yet when it was all said and done, one walk and one error by R&R Construction opened the floodgates for a big rally and a comfortable 9-3 win in the winnerâs bracket semifinals of the American Legion âFinal Eightâ Tournament at McCarthy Field.
R&R ace pitcher Eddie Hole was working with authority through seven innings, allowing just two hits since the first inning. That was, until the eighth.
PAWTUCKET â It was apparent that Will Middlebrooks was not a happy camper.
On the same day that saw the Red Sox bring up Brock Holt to fill the infield void that was created in the wake of Jose Iglesiasâ departure, Middlebrooks expressed his displeasure in a loud and boisterous way after striking out to end the third inning of Pawtucketâs 3-0 loss to Norfolk on matinee Wednesday at McCoy Stadium.
PAWTUCKET â In economic terms, the Red Sox were sitting on a surplus of shortstops and third basemen. As the Jake Peavy trade demonstrated, the organization was comfortable with putting that surplus to good use.
The parent club was not going to field a team that included Jose Iglesias, Xander Bogaerts, Will Middlebrooks and Garin Cecchini on the same roster at the same time. And as Iglesias is a free agent at the end of the season, the Red Sox were able to sidestep a potential off-season topic by trading away the one-time perceived starting shortstop of the future to Detroit.
PAWTUCKET â It was akin to the calm before the storm Tuesday afternoon inside the PawSox clubhouse.
Some 24 hours before Wednesdayâs 4 p.m. Eastern Time non-waiver trading deadline, Pawtucket took the field for batting practice. There was perfect attendance as Will Middlebrooks and Xander Bogaerts â two names that have swirled amidst the trade winds in recent days â joined the rest of their Triple-A teammates in heading back inside for a cool, air-conditioned sequester.
PAWTUCKET â The conversation started out as a prime chance to look ahead for PawSox players Alex Hassan and Dan Butler. The pair is listed on Bostonâs 40-man roster, meaning thereâs a pretty good chance that each will make their big-league debuts when MLB rosters expand come September.
It wasnât Gary DiSarcinaâs intention to throw this reporter off the trail, but not soon after the two aforementioned names and the particular circumstances surrounding them were brought to his attention, the Pawtucket manager made a point that helped place everything in proper perspective.
PAWTUCKET â On the surface, it seems fitting that Jose Contreras and Brandon Lyon are locker room neighbors in the PawSox clubhouse.
One stall stands between the two veteran right-handed pitchers who by happenstance reported to the Triple-A ballclub on the same day (July 19). At this stage, Contreras, 41, and Lyon, 33, are intriguing due to the perception of bullpen depth thatâs already in the fold â something the Red Sox at the moment seem to have in abundance considering Franklin Morales and Alex Wilson are in town this week for rehab assignments.
PAWTUCKET â Itâs always nice to start the postseason slate with your top arm grabbing the ball for the first game.
That luxury becomes even better when your pitcher hurls a top-notch performance, as Elmwood Sportsâ Bryan Quinlan exemplified in his squadâs 7-1 win over Westerly on Monday night in the opener of the best-of-three Connie Mack playoff series.
PAWTUCKET â Prior to Sunday, the Pawtucket Red Sox had captured only two of 12 contests against North Division foe Lehigh Valley this season.
During that horrible slump, their hurlers had mustered a dismal ERA of 7.04, while their offense had contributed an equally horrendous collective batting average of .215.
In the third of this four-game set Sunday afternoon, Pawtucket would have its mettle tested for sure, as it would face talented Ethan Martin, who had been tied for second in International League wins with 11.
BRISTOL â The unimaginable happened to Cumberland Americanâs best on Saturday morning.
In their opening tilt of the R.I. Little League Major Division (10-11) Tournament at King Philipâs Roger W. Pigeon Field, three of manager Dave Belisleâs hurlers â including usually-stellar Nick Croteau, Addison Kopack and Sean Meers â had serious problems finding the plate, and Johnston took complete advantage.
That trio surrendered six straight walks, in the process digging themselves a 5-0 hole after the top of the first frame.
CRANSTON â The Lincoln All-Stars didn't just dominate their games among Rhode Island's best, but turned all of them into cakewalks.
Their mastery of the bat was a major reason why.
Skipper Matt Netto's offensive-minded crew once again derailed Cranston Western, this time by a 13-2 count, to claim the R.I. Little League Major Division (11-12) Tournament title at CWLL's Michael P. Varrato Field home on Friday night.
LINCOLN -- It will certainly be âGame Onâ for four fighters with local ties to the Blackstone Valley this weekend when Classic Entertainment & Sports, Inc. hosts an action-packed card at the Twin River Events Center.
Pawtucket middleweight Thomas Falowo will make his co-feature debut in an eight-round showdown, and Woonsocket super middleweight Joe Gardner will try to erase the sting of a close loss in May to Richard Gingras in a six-round battle.
BRISTOL, Conn. â The final game of pool play of the Little League Eastern Regionals may very well prove a harbinger of things to come.
Yes, the Cumberland Major Divisions All-Stars and the George J. Hummel Little League from Seymour, Conn. still have to get through its respective quarterfinal-round clashes before meeting with a spot in the regional championship hanging in the balance.
After the performance these same two teams staged Wednesday night at Breen Field on the Bart Giamatti Complex, itâs certainly within the realm of possibility that a rematch could be in the fold come Friday.