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Author: Scott Frizzell

On to Pittsburgh

Wow, that game was awful. Another loss down in Miami and an ugly showing by the Patriots to fall one game behind the Steelers heading into next week’s match-up. Despite what the scoreboard said, this might have been the ugliest game the Patriots have played all season. Kenyan Drake ran wild and Jay Cutler was routinely hitting open receivers. Then you have the 0-11 on 3rd downs. 0-11! This was the Patriots’ first game since a 24-10 loss to the Phoenix Cardinals in Week 5 of 1991 where they failed to convert on third down. That team was quarterbacked by the legendary Hugh Millen. Based on how the offense looked last night, I think Millen may have been on the field again. Why This Might Not Be a Bad Thing Hear me out; yes the Patriots looked terrible and fell behind Pittsburgh in the standings. If the Patriots win this coming week, they jump back ahead due to head-to-head tiebreaker, so they control their own destiny. I don’t think it’s a bad thing to drop a game late in the year. The Patriots were just humbled, shown they are not invincible by a very mediocre team. Moving forward, maybe they approach each game with more meaning. I’ve always thought since 2007 the Patriots would have been better off dropping that regular season game to the Giants. As it stands,...

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The Greatest Designated Hitters in Red Sox History

Designated hitter is the final position to cover for Red Sox all-time greats. This is a spot that has had a lot of turnover since it came into existence, aside from a certain lovable Papi. The DH did not come into existence until 1973. Many guys have only played for two to three years as the primary DH on the Sox as Big Papi took up about one-fourth of that time. Keeping with the theme of these articles, here are the five greatest in Red Sox history. David Ortiz We can thank the Twins for one of the greatest players in franchise history, and maybe the most influential. Ortiz had shown promise with the Twins, posting an .818 OPS over his last three seasons. He hit 20 home runs in 2002 while posting a .500 slugging percentage. I remember thinking it was strange when they let him go and I wanted the Red Sox to sign him. Of course, nobody could have predicted the levels of success yet to come. There are too many feats to list them all, but Big Papi helped the Red Sox to their first three World Series Championships in 86 years. When finally elevated into the lineup in 2003 over the terrible Jeremy Giambi, (took you long enough Grady Little!) Ortiz raked, hitting .293 with 29 homers and a 1.010 OPS from June 1st...

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The Greatest Right Fielders in Red Sox History

As I draw near the end of my series of articles on the greatest Red Sox at each position, I come to the right fielders. This group of five right fielders are the final defensive position left to cover. Following this article I will still have the designated hitters to go and a wrap up. There were not many competitors for the top five, yet the group is quite solid. Dwight Evans Dwight Evans is both the greatest offensive and greatest defensive right fielder in Red Sox history. Personally, I am a strong advocate of “Dewey” getting his number retired. Always underrated nationally, Dewey received frighteningly little support for the Hall of Fame and has not been brought up by any veteran’s committee for election. I believe if he had hit in the 70’s like he did during the 80’s he would probably be a Hall of Famer. Evans batted .272 with 379 home runs, 1346 RBI and 2373 base hits as a Red Sox. He walked a lot, leading the league in walks three times. This helped him to a .369 on base percentage and .842 OPS. In Boston Red Sox history he ranks 5th in home runs, 4th in base hits, 4th in doubles, 5th in RBI, 3rd in runs scored and 3rd in walks. As I stated earlier, Dewey developed as a hitter over time and...

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The Greatest Center Fielders in Red Sox History

Center field is a position with a lot of competition. Picking the greatest Sox center fielder ever was easy. Selecting the next four, not so much. Two through four were obviously going to make the top five, but determining an order was difficult. Again, at number five there were a few guys vying for the one spot, so pay attention to the honorable mentions at the end. Tris Speaker Tris Speaker is not only the greatest center fielder in Red Sox history, he is one of the very best of all-time. Although he put up better numbers after being traded to Cleveland, Speaker was already one of the best players in baseball with the Red Sox. From his first full season in 1909 until he was traded following the 1915 season, Speaker batted .342 with a .909 OPS. During this time he averaged 34 doubles, 15 triples and 38 stolen bases per season. Speaker’s best season with the Sox came in 1912, when he won the MVP Award. That season he batted .383, leading the league with 10 home runs and 53 doubles. Speaker had 222 base hits and stole 52 bases that season while scoring 136 runs. Always a huge extra base guy, Speaker followed that season with a .363 average and 22 triples in 1913. He put up a 55.5 WAR over his seven full seasons. Rookie...

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The Greatest Left Fielders in Red Sox History

With the pitchers and infielders all covered, it’s time to head to the outfield. Who are the greatest players to ever roam left field in front of the Green Monster? Ted Williams The greatest hitter who ever lived. I could go on and on writing about his statistics, they are mind-boggling. The last player to ever hit .400, Williams batted .356 over his first four seasons. He then went to war and missed the next three seasons. Where many guys return from war and have a hard time readjusting, Williams came back and won the MVP Award in his first year back. Williams was called back to service for the Korean War. He left early in 1952 and returned in August 1953. After over a year fighting overseas, Williams did one of the most superhuman feats in sports history. Over 91 at-bats, having not played baseball in over a year and fighting a war during that time, Williams batted .410 and hit 13 home runs! That’s one home run every seven at-bats. He then never batted lower than .345 over the next four years, topping out with a .388 batting average during his age 38 season in 1957. In 1960, at the age of 41, Williams posted his best HR/AB ratio of his career, hitting 29 home runs in only 310 at-bats. If the DH existed back then, he...

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The Greatest Shortstops in Red Sox History

The Red Sox have had a rich history at the shortstop position. On this list are five Red Sox Hall of Famers and some worthy candidates in the honorable mention category. Placement of the players after the top couple was difficult, but one thing is for sure; I had no trouble finding five qualified candidates at this position. Nomar Garciaparra Nomah was the greatest shortstop to ever play at Fenway Pahk! Going to a Sox game in the late nineties and early 2000s one could hear “Nomaaahhhh” yelled all over the ballpark. The 12th overall pick in 1994, Nomar had no trouble climbing through the minors before debuting in 1996. He won the Rookie of the Year Award in 1997, then placed 2nd in the MVP vote in 1998. He proceeded to win the batting title in each of the next two seasons, batting .357 and .372. Nomar was getting better and better, spraying line drives all over the yard. Then Al Reyes happened. A Reyes pitch hit Nomar on the wrist and would later require surgery. When Nomar returned he was still a good player, but wasn’t the same. He popped the ball up more, hitting a few less line drives. Hard to complain with a .310 average, 24 home runs and 56 doubles in 2002 followed by 28 home runs in 2003 though. For his Red Sox...

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Should Roger Clemens Make the Hall of Fame?

Scott’s Argument Supporting Clemens Clemens clearly used after leaving the Red Sox so his stats and awards are greatly inflated by the help of foreign substances. Over his final four seasons with the Red Sox he had a 3.77 ERA and 8.7 k/9. In the next two seasons he had a 2.33 ERA and 10.2 k/9. He was 34 years old in 1997 and struck out a career high in batters. I mean, come on. There is no argument about what he did. The argument comes over what to do with him and the others. Honestly, there is no wrong answer, and that is the problem. It is an individual’s opinion over how to treat steroid users, and many people have differing opinions. As a result, guys like Clemens and Barry Bonds have been stuck in ballot purgatory. Steroids Steroids very clearly affect statistics in a huge way. Two people have ever hit 60 home runs in a season, and then it happened six times in four years during the height of the steroid era. It hasn’t been done since. The record book was left in shambles. It’s a shame. All of these players have better stats due to using, but some of them were Hall of Famers anyways, and that’s where my argument for Clemens (and some others) comes into play. I could care less about the character...

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Red Sox Greatest Third Basemen of All-Time

Making the way around the infield, my next installment in the series comes at the hot corner. Making the top five there will be a couple mainstays, a couple players from a century ago, and one I think you all will remember watching play. There were a couple options for the last spot, guys who weren’t with the team a real long time but made a big impact. But that’s what the honorable mention section is for at the end. Wade Boggs Wade Boggs is by far the greatest third baseman in franchise history. He leads the team at the position in almost every offensive category. Wade burst onto the scene in 1982 by batting .349. Over the next six seasons he only batted below .357 once, leading the league in hitting five times. Over his first seven seasons Boggs batted .356 while averaging 220 hits and 103 walks per 162 games played. He was the best hitter in baseball during the 80’s, seemingly able to foul off pitch after pitch until he got the one he wanted. Boggs set a Major League record while with the Red Sox by collecting 200 hits in seven consecutive seasons. Not only that, they were the first seven full seasons of his career. Even with all the base hits, Boggs managed to walk over 100 times each season from 1986-89. Over the...

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Red Sox Greatest Second Basemen

Red Sox Greatest Second Basemen The keystone position is next on the agenda for my series of Red Sox articles. Unfortunately, the top player has just passed away. At the age of 99, Bobby Doerr passed away on Tuesday. He was the oldest living Hall of Famer. Doerr played against Lou Gehrig, and faced A’s teams managed by Connie Mack, who was born in 1862. RIP to the great Bobby Doerr. Bobby Doerr Doerr spent 14 seasons with the Red Sox, which spanned his entire career. He missed the 1945 season, while serving his country in the war. He then was forced into an early retirement at the age of 33, due to a bad back. Even still, Doerr managed to collect over 2000 base hits, and swat 223 home runs. His 1247 runs batted in are far and away the tops at the position. About the only category he doesn’t lead in is stolen bases. He was a career .288 hitter, and posted an .823 OPS. Doerr was just as good in the field as he was at the plate. In 1948, he set a record for second basemen, by handling 414 consecutive chances without making an error. This record lasted for nearly 60 years, until it was broken in 2007. He also turned more double plays than any second baseman in Major League history, until 1963. His...

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