Monday, March 27, 2017

I Scored!

May 19, 2002

Let’s go back quite a few years on this one. All the way back to the days when the Red Sox were still cursed. And with the players they put on the field that day, it’s not hard to see why people thought they were. Let’s take a looksee.

First of all, the pitchers box. John Burkett got the start on that day. He had himself a nice little major league career, but was not known for his time in Boston. On this day, though, he pitched very well giving up only two runs on his way to the win. Pretty much all you can ask for there. Tim Wakefield showed off his versatility by coming in next, before Ugueth Urbina came in to close the door. And, it’s a good thing too. After all, look at the line-up.

New addition Johnny Damon led things off. With Jose Offerman and Nomar Garciaparra following him, three all-stars started the line-up. Then? A bunch of garbage other that Jason Varitek floating towards the bottom. That’s pretty much exactly how this game played out. Damon scored two of the runs, and Nomar scored the other. Nomar had one of the two Red Sox RBI. The game was controlled by exactly who you’d expect.

The player of the game? Have to give it to Damon, although Varitek put up a fight. As a lead off guy, not sure there’s more you can expect than two hits and two runs. Without him, hard to imagine the game ending up the same way. 

The goat? Amazingly only two players on the Sox went hitless on the day. But, the fact that Shea Hillenbrand did it from the five-hole seems worse to me. It’s one thing when your number nine hitter has a poor day. It’s another thing entirely when that performance comes from the meat of the order. So I have to give Hillenbrand the horns.

But, obviously, it didn’t matter. Thankfully the Sox were facing the Mariners on this day, so they were able to squeak out a visctory. The pitching kept a marginal Seattle line-up in check, and the Red Sox were able to do everything they needed to come out on top.

And the scorecard shows you how it happened. 

Friday, March 24, 2017

Carly Fisher Visits Section 36!

Photo by Robby Trottier
Section 36 has another visitor! Carly Fisher is my youngest visitor to date. The current Miss Boston's Outstanding Teen will be competing next month for the title of Miss Massachusetts' Outstanding Teen! She took a break from her preparations to talk with us about her time as Miss Boston's Outstanding Teen, and of course the Red Sox! I'm really glad she did.

So, let's see what happens when Carly Fisher visits Section 36!

What made you choose to compete for Miss Boston’s Outstanding Teen?
I've grown up around the Miss America Organization. My mom used to volunteer with a local pageant and my entire life I idolized the title holders and all that they were able to accomplish. When I had the opportunity to become I title holder myself, I couldn't pass it up.

With appearances and interview requests, how do you make sure your duties as Miss Boston’s Outstanding Teen don’t interfere with your schooling?
Carly (left) and her sister pose with Wally in 2011
Schooling always comes first. I go to a college preparatory catholic high school, so some of my classes can be demanding. Before I commit to an appearance or interview, I make sure it can fit into my busy schedule with school and sports commitments.

I love that your talent is “speed painting.” How did you decide
on that?
I've been sketching and drawing for as long as I can remember, and when I decided that I wanted to compete in the program, I found a way to bring that talent to the stage.  I painted Audrey Hepburn when I won Miss Boston's Outstanding Teen.  I'm painting another famous actress for the state pageant, and I'm really excited about that!

Your platform is The Martin Richard Foundation. What drew you to that choice?
In 8th grade I was at a leadership conference through Project 351 where Bill Richard (Martin's dad) spoke to us about Martin's message of "No More Hurting People. Peace". His message stuck with me,  leading to my involvement with the foundation.  I've run several fundraisers for the foundation, but what I enjoy the most is talking to young students about promoting projects they can do to help spread Martin's message of peace and keep his memory alive.

What lessons from the Miss Boston's Outstanding Teen competition can you bring with you to Miss Massachusetts' Outstanding Teen?
I've definitely learned to keep moving forward. I made a few mistakes on the day of the Miss Boston's Outstanding Teen pageant, but instead of getting nervous or giving up, I kept doing everything to the best of my ability that day. I hope the mistakes decrease at the Miss Massachusetts' Outstanding Teen pageant, but if they do happen, I know how to handle them and persevere.

Who is your favorite current Red Sox player? Why?
Carly in the cage, taking her cuts
Like a lot of people who are fans of the Red Sox, my favorite player had always been David Ortiz. Now that he has retired, I'm going to have to watch this season closely to find my new favorite.

I hear you’re a big fan of 70’s music. The Red Sox tend to play a lot of that genre at Fenway, especially with “Joy to the World” being played after victories. Which 70’s song do you think would be fun to hear at the park?
"September" by Earth, Wind, and Fire should be played at Fenway. It's such a  great song that you can't help but sing along to, and September is always such an exciting time in baseball.

I'm guessing this will be the first season you can remember where David Ortiz isn't on the Red Sox. What's your favorite David Ortiz memory?
Even though the most appropriate language wasn't used, my favorite memory was when Ortiz showed his love and passion for our city after the Boston Marathon bombing during his speech at Fenway.

How do you think the Red Sox will do this season?
Like any loyal Boston Red Sox fans, I think they can win it all this year!

Hard to argue with that!

As always, I want to give a huge thank you to Carly for taking the time to visit with us. Another big thank you to her for providing so many wonderful pictures to go along with the interview. They definitely made the post much better.

Be sure to keep track of Carly on the official Miss Boston's Outstanding Teen website and social media accounts:  Instagram and Facebook!

Thanks again for the visit Carly, and Good Luck next month!

Thursday, March 23, 2017

From The Pedro Binder

2001 Fleer Futures

This is an interesting dynamic to a card. On the surface, it's a simple design. Reminds me a bit of 1959 Topps, actually. A simple gray background with a circle. I even like the circular hole, even though I'm not quite sure what it's implying it is. As usual, I'm a sucker for pictures expending beyond a border. So, I enjoy that part of it. But, what's interesting to me is the background in the hole. It's the background of the picture. But, Pedro himself is entirely on this side of the hole. So, he's not stepping through the hole. He was simply removed from the picture, and this gray wall went behind him.

And then the wall was covered with gold dirt. Like, glued onto the wall. The card actually has a gritty feel to the surface. Where did that idea come from? 

But, if you ignore the sand, and the odd hole, it actually comes together nicely. 

I just have no idea why. 

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Sale-ing Along

This is what makes Spring Training fun. Watching your new acquisition simply dominate the Yankees.

Oh, trust me, I know. It's only Spring Training. And, if he was dominating by getting them to ground out sharply to second, that would be one thing. But, not Sale was getting batters to strike out in incredible number. And not just strike out. Making them look bad in the process.

Again, it's Spring Training.

But, a killer slider is a killer slider, whether it's March or October.

Now, does this mean that Sale is going to have the best season by a Red Sox pitcher since Pedro? No, not at all. He could, but probably not. It does mean that Sox fans had a little fun watching their new toy do some fantastic things.

It was a burst of good news that this Spring Training had been sorely lacking. Too many starts pushed back, or programs slowed down. Too much business as usual to be truly entertaining.

But, here was Chris Sale doing Chris Sale things. Reminding us that honest to goodness baseball is less than two weeks away. In less than two weeks we'll be watching Chris Sale do these wonderful things in Fenway Park.

Won't that be a sight to see!

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Cha Cha Cha Chages

It seems to me that the Red Sox are beginning a transition season. No, not a bridge year. (For some reason people found that term negative.) But, it seems like the style of the Red Sox is ready for a change.

Maybe I'm putting too much thought into David Ortiz lately. But, it seems like his style of play is leaving the team. The plodding 3-run homer mindset that has been so useful in the years past is out the door with him. No longer will the team be loading up the bases the best they can and hoping for a Manny or Ortiz homer. This year they are definitively going for the "younger" approach. A bunch of young guys running all over the place scoring as many runs as possible. 

Truth be told, the team has been trending that way for a while. In last year's line-up, really only Hanley and Ortiz fit the old style. The rest of the team was a pretty athletic group. So, maybe it's mostly symbolic. Replacing an opening day line up last year that had Ortiz with one this year that has Andrew Benintendi is drastic. It creates a line-up that is not only incredibly deep and talented, but designed to beat you senseless. No more "if I can get by Papi I'll be ok" mentality. Everyone will be getting their hits, and taking their extra base, and forcing you into errors. It will be relentless.

I'm never sure what to think of this approach. Many teams have tried this approach, and succeeded. But, very few win it all. There's something comforting about having someone you can depend on to really help your team ,as opposed to needing the entire line-up to perform at a high level. Take the 2013 World Series. Only one guy was hitting at all. David Ortiz was able to carry that team. Replace him with, say, Benintendi, and what happens? Sure, it's more exciting. But Ortiz was able to drive in himself. Tendi needs some help.

But, I'm willing to see how it works. Hopefully the talent level of the whole team is high enough that you can count on enough of them being hot to score runs. Because if this line-up is clicking, not sure there's anything that will be able to stop it. They'll be scoring runs in bunches.

And it will be a lot of fun. 

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Amanda Debus Visits Section 36!

Amanda Debus is not a Red Sox fan, but we won’t hold that against
I need this shirt!
her. The current Miss Delaware has actually become a big Pittsburgh Pirates fan. But, I’m guessing that has a lot to do with the fact that her boyfriend, Chad Kuhl, is hoping to leave Spring Training as a member of the Pirates starting rotation. Since the Pirates open the season in a couple weeks against the Red Sox in Fenway Park, I thought it would be fun (and appropriate) to see if Amanda would be willing to answer some questions about herself, Chad, and her time as Miss Delaware. Thankfully she agreed.

So, let's see what happens when Amanda Debus visits Section 36!

You’ve worn a few crowns in your life. What was special about winning the Miss Delaware title?
Each title (Miss Delaware’s Outstanding Teen 2008, Miss Delaware Teen USA 2011 & Miss Delaware 2016) holds a special place in my heart for different reasons. Winning Miss DE this year was pretty special though, given it was our 75th anniversary of the pageant. I’m extremely nostalgic, so being able to wear my state’s sash at Miss America, in historic Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, NJ — where so many of my Miss DE role models have walked across the stage before me — was awesome!

What has surprised you about your time as Miss DE?
I am always prepared for anything, especially this year, but one
thing that has surprised me was the amount of support I have received over my choice in platform — ALL-AWARE: Allergy Awareness. I have been invited to speak at National food allergy conferences, State health fairs, and various interviews. The allergy community really stood behind me during my time at Miss America. I received so many well wishes from parents, teens, tons of people who have had their life somehow affected by allergies during their life. It was humbling to hear their stories.

What does the future hold for you after you turn over your crown in a few months? 
After I crown Miss DE 2017 in June, I plan on using my scholarships that I earned through competing and return to school. After finishing up my degree in the fall semester, I will be looking forward to teaching health and physical education in Delaware schools!

How do we help kids with food allergies in our schools, or wherever they may be?
When I was a kid, I was bullied due to my allergies and asthma, and I hate for students to be bullied, let alone bullied over health
conditions. When I go into schools, I stress that it is important to be considerate with the needs of others. I teach kids to “Be a P.A.L: Protect A Life” — an initiative started by Food Allergy Research & Education, Inc. — which help children learn how to be a good friend to kids with food allergies.

How did you meet your boyfriend, Chad Kuhl?
We actually met in middle school! We were both in the same class at Everett Meredith Middle School in Middletown, DE. We then went to high school and college together as well. 

Chad’s Major League debut was last year on a Sunday night against Clayton Kershaw. Quite a set-up. What was it like for you to watch that night unfold?
I was a barrel of nerves. I was fortunate to make it up to PNC Park to see his first game and it was amazing. Unlike anything you could expect! His family (Mom, Dad, 4 siblings & their significant others/kids), my mom, and some of his friends were there as well. If you watch the game, you can see me and his oldest brother behind
home plate, and we were going insane — especially during the home plate tag-out! Win or lose, I’m always proud of how he plays, but beating Kershaw was icing on the cake that night!

I’m sure you’ve spent a lot of time inside PNC Park. What’s your favorite feature?
The view, obviously! That’s what made me fall in love with Pittsburgh! The view of the bridges and the river is second to none. I like watching the game from the top of the rotunda sometimes, that way I can catch the city sights at the same time.

How do you deal with Pirates twitter, or other ways people express their opinions, when Chad’s on the mound?
I love hearing from his fans, I just don’t engage in the negative stuff. I’m not oblivious. I know that people like to ‘express’ their opinions during sports games, but those statements have no baring on how Chad will play. 

I’m guessing you grew up in Phillies country. Was it tough switching allegiances to the Pirates?
My family is actually Baltimore fans. I grew up watching the likes
of Cal Ripkin Jr and Mike Mussina in Camden Yards. Luckily, they're in different leagues, so they don't often play each other. This year will be interesting, though, as there are two Pirates-Orioles series on the schedule. I’ll tell you how it plays out! 

What are your hopes for Chad this season?
That’s simple — I’m just hoping he has a strong (and healthy!) year. He worked so hard over the off season, and during spring training. I’m just so excited to see what all comes of this season for Chad and the Pirates! 


I think we can all agree with Amanda and hope for a strong and heathy season from Chad this season.

As always, I want to give a huge thank you to Amanda for taking the time to visit with us. It was exciting to be able to branch out with some new lines of questions. Another big thank you to her for providing so many wonderful pictures to go along with the interview. They definitely made the post much better.

As Amanda finishes her term as Miss Delaware, be sure to keep track of her on all the official Miss Delaware social media accounts: Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and even Snapchat! You can also follow Amanda on her own Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter accounts so you don’t miss anything once she relinquishes her crown. 

Thanks again for the visit Amanda!

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

List of 36: Happy Pi Day!

1. David Ross
2. Jim Rice
3. Kevin Millar
4. Ted Williams
5. Wade Boggs
6. John Farrell
7. Jonathan Papelbon
8. Johnny Peacock
9. Trot Nixon
10. Ben Chapman
11. Derek Lowe
12. Curt Schilling
13. Craig Kimbrel
14. Brock Holt
15. Alan Embree
16. Rusney Castillo
17. Josh Rutledge
18. JD Drew
19. Dusty Cooke
20. Mookie Betts
21. Robbie Ross
22. JT Snow
23. Koji Uehara
24. Stephen Drew
25. Devin Marrero
26. Gordie Hinkle
27. Mike Greenwell
28. Rick Ferrell
29. Heath Embree
30. Johnny Gomes
31. Rich Gedman
32. Fernando Abad
33. Kevin Youkilis
34. Merv Shea
35. Christian Vazquez
36. Tim Wakefield

What do those players have to do with Pi Day? Leave a comment when you figure it out!

(Oh, and huge thanks to Kristen at redsoxdiehard. Couldn't have done it without her!)

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Wantlist: 2015

2015 Bowman
76 David Ortiz - Boston Red Sox
81 Xander Bogaerts - Boston Red Sox
117 Mike Napoli - Boston Red Sox
122 Anthony Ranaudo - Boston Red Sox RC

143 Matt Barnes - Boston Red Sox RC

2015 Bowman Prospects

BP34 Rafael Devers - Boston Red Sox
BP57 Jantzen Witte - Boston Red Sox
BP64 Jordan Betts - Boston Red Sox
BP92 Henry Owens - Boston Red Sox

BP133 Trey Ball - Boston Red Sox

2015 Bowman Chrome

6 Clay Buchholz - Boston Red Sox
25 Wade Miley - Boston Red Sox
50 Pablo Sandoval - Boston Red Sox
91 Rick Porcello - Boston Red Sox

136 Dustin Pedroia - Boston Red Sox
138 Koji Uehara - Boston Red Sox
155 Hanley Ramirez - Boston Red Sox
174 Rusney Castillo - Boston Red Sox RC
180 Blake Swihart - Boston Red Sox RC
196 Eduardo Rodriguez - Boston Red Sox RC

2015 Bowman Chrome Prospects
BCP215 Simon Mercedes - Boston Red Sox
BCP230 Manuel Margot - Boston Red Sox

2015 Bowman's Best
43 Dustin Pedroia - Boston Red Sox
47 Mookie Betts - Boston Red Sox

55 Rusney Castillo - Boston Red Sox RC
71 Eduardo Rodriguez - Boston Red Sox RC
84 Blake Swihart - Boston Red Sox RC
91 Hanley Ramirez - Boston Red Sox

2015 Bowman's Best Top Prospects
TP-6 Henry Owens - Boston Red Sox
TP-29 Rafael Devers - Boston Red Sox
TP-37 Andrew Benintendi - Boston Red Sox

2015 Topps Allen and Ginter

13 Koji Uehara - Boston Red Sox
63 Edwin Escobar - Boston Red Sox RC
68 Matt Barnes - Boston Red Sox RC
86 Rick Porcello - Boston Red Sox
94 Xander Bogaerts - Boston Red Sox
115 Dustin Pedroia - Boston Red Sox
154 Rusney Castillo - Boston Red Sox RC
209 Hanley Ramirez - Boston Red Sox
217 Wade Miley - Boston Red Sox
257 Pablo Sandoval - Boston Red Sox
274 Mookie Betts - Boston Red Sox
300 Bryce Brentz - Boston Red Sox RC

336 Shane Victorino - Boston Red Sox
338 Mike Napoli - Boston Red Sox

2015 Topps Archives
30 Carlton Fisk - Boston Red Sox
69 Nomar Garciaparra - Boston Red Sox
86 Mookie Betts - Boston Red Sox
133 Dennis Eckersley - Boston Red Sox
161 Xander Bogaerts - Boston Red Sox

192 Matt Barnes - Boston Red Sox RC
275 Ted Williams - Boston Red Sox
281 Hanley Ramirez - Boston Red Sox
292 David Ortiz - Boston Red Sox
302 Rick Ferrell - Boston Red Sox SP
312 Rusney Castillo - Boston Red Sox SP RC
329 Bobby Doerr - Boston Red Sox SP

2015 Topps
445 Christian Vazquez - Boston Red Sox
500 David Ortiz - Boston Red Sox
601 Wade Miley - Boston Red Sox
626 Hanley Ramirez - Boston Red Sox

2015 Topps Chrome
21 Matt Barnes - Boston Red Sox RC
38 Pablo Sandoval - Boston Red Sox
67 Mookie Betts - Boston Red Sox
69 Bryce Brentz - Boston Red Sox RC
124 David Ortiz - Boston Red Sox
150 Mike Napoli - Boston Red Sox
160 Rusney Castillo - Boston Red Sox RC
168 Edwin Escobar - Boston Red Sox RC
172 Dustin Pedroia - Boston Red Sox
199 Hanley Ramirez - Boston Red Sox

2015 Topps Finest
7 Dustin Pedroia - Boston Red Sox
9 Hanley Ramirez - Boston Red Sox
11 David Ortiz - Boston Red Sox
24 Matt Barnes - Boston Red Sox RC
54 Koji Uehara - Boston Red Sox
60 Rusney Castillo - Boston Red Sox RC
72 Edwin Escobar - Boston Red Sox RC

2015 Topps Gypsy Queen
60 Mookie Betts - Boston Red Sox
125 Roger Clemens - Boston Red Sox
154 Ryan Howard - Philadelphia Phillies
155 Troy Tulowitzki - Colorado Rockies
156 Ted Williams - Boston Red Sox
168 David Ortiz - Boston Red Sox
187 Xander Bogaerts - Boston Red Sox
191 Pablo Sandoval - Boston Red Sox
273 Allen Craig - Boston Red Sox
343 Dustin Pedroia - Boston Red Sox
349 Koji Uehara - Boston Red Sox

2015 Topps Heritage
88 Dan Butler - Boston Red Sox Carlos Rivero - Boston Red Sox 
152 Joe Kelly - Boston Red Sox
214 Allen Craig - Boston Red Sox
259 Boston Red Sox
293 Rick Porcello - Boston Red Sox
356 Anthony Ranaudo - Boston Red Sox Rusney Castillo - Boston Red Sox
391 Christian Vazquez - Boston Red Sox
427 Xander Bogaerts - Boston Red Sox
438 Hanley Ramirez - Boston Red Sox
499 Dustin Pedroia - Boston Red Sox

2015 Topps Opening Day
17 David Ortiz - Boston Red Sox
104 Anthony Ranaudo - Boston Red Sox RC
112 Bryce Brentz - Boston Red Sox RC
113 Matt Barnes - Boston Red Sox RC
151 Rusney Castillo - Boston Red Sox RC
183 Dustin Pedroia - Boston Red Sox

2015 Topps Stadium Club
101 Mookie Betts - Boston Red Sox
141 Edwin Escobar - Boston Red Sox
169 Brock Holt - Boston Red Sox
176 Matt Barnes - Boston Red Sox RC
212 Rusney Castillo - Boston Red Sox RC
287 Pablo Sandoval - Boston Red Sox

2015 Topps Update
US4 Jean Machi - Boston Red Sox
US32 Blake Swihart - Boston Red Sox Rookie
US121 Alexi Ogando - Boston Red Sox
US128 Brock Holt - Boston Red Sox
US216 Carlos Peguero - Boston Red Sox
US241 Sluggers Supreme - Boston Red Sox
US264 Brock Holt - Boston Red Sox Future Star
US270 Craig Breslow - Boston Red Sox
US362 Rick Porcello - Boston Red Sox

Friday, March 10, 2017

Where Should Andrew Benintendi Bat in the Order?

In this case, I think the joke answer is the correct answer.

Anywhere he wants.

I'm not sure there's a wrong place to put an immensely talented hitter. The hope is that he'll produce no matter which number is written next to his name.

But, is there a better place than another? Probably.

I happen to be a subscriber to the theory that a batting order should be top heavy. Your lead-off batter will get the most at-bats over the course of a season, so why wouldn't you put your best hitter there? Now, as with every statistic people try to use, there's some thinking that needs to be applied. If you're doing a line-up for, say, the 2013 Red Sox, David Ortiz might have been the best hitter. But, batting him lead-off to be followed by Mookie Betts has some obviouls flaws. I don't like the idea of Betts hitting a triple to the gap, but only reaching second base because Papi was clogging the way. So, it's probably best to use the "best hitter at the top" idea to only decide "top half" vs "bottom half" of the order. As long as Papi's somewhere in the top four or five, you're probably getting enough of his at-bats.

So, I'd say Benintendi should find a place in the upper half. That much is obvious. But, how about from there?

There's been some talk about batting 'Tendi third as a way to break up a string of four right-handed hitters in Pedroia, Betts, Bogaerts, and Ramirez. I agree that going right-left through the order isn't a bad idea. But, I wouldn't define the line-up just to do that. If you're looking at Bogaerts-Ortiz-Betts, sure. No reason not to stick Ortiz in there. But, I wouldn't want to see Bogaerts-Bradley-Betts just as a way to alternate the batter's boxes. But, I think Benintendi is a pretty reasonable candidate to slide in the middle there.

The drawback? Generally, the third hitter is your best hitter. Does anyone care that a rookie is being cast in that spot? Does the rookie? Will he pit too much pressure on himself to produce "like a 3-hitter"? All accounts are that he's a pretty mature guy, who should be immune to himself. But, it's easy to be cool and collected when you're not assumed to be the best hitter on a team destined for the World Series. It's easy to be fast and loose when you're playing with house money. A 22-year old making his ML debut out of necessity has no pressure. The starting opening day left fielder and #3 hitter has a bit more. So, how 'Tendi would handle the spot remains to be seen. As for his teammates? Assuming they even care, I'm not sure how much they should care. Betts would probably bat clean-up as the protection. Hanley would be protecting the MVP. Pedroia would bat leadoff. Really, only Xander would be taking anything resembling a "demotion" going from #3 to #2 in the order. He'll just have to be OK with that fact.

Because, all things being equal, the idea of throwing Benintendi in the middle of the righties is a fine idea. Do I think that going Pedroia-Bogaerts-Betts-Ramirez in a row would be a problem? No. They're good hitters. I can't imagine a tough righty pitcher just mowing them down. (Frankly, if a pitcher mows down those four, not sure Tendi has much of a better chance.) So, if Tendi proves to not be able to handle the "pressure" of the position, I'd have no problem swapping him with Bogaerts. But I'd start with him batting third.

What would you do?

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Is Sam Travis the Latest Trade Chip?

If he's not, he probably should be.

Once again, the Red Sox have a young player doing very well during spring training when there's not really a spot for him on the major league club. Last year Travis Shaw transformed a good couple weeks into a starting position when the team broke camp, and he never really hit that well again.

This year Sam Travis is lighting up the scoreboard with his eyes on a spot in Boston. Like Shaw, Travis has a couple roadblocks. The Sox just signed Mitch Moreland to play first base, and have a healthy Pablo Sandoval ready to resume his role at third.

Sounds like Travis has turned into a pretty decent trade chip.

Now, Travis is a better prospect than Shaw ever was. You could envision Travis producing a little closer to these lofty numbers. But, the Red Sox made a mistake with Shaw last year. They should have traded him in the spring before the bloom came off. Without an obvious need for him, perhaps the Sox should trade high on this Travis.

Don't get me wrong. I don't think every prospect is a trade chip. Andrew Benintendi is the top prospect is all of baseball, and I think the Sox should keep him. They need him this year to play left field. It's the same reason I was just fine with trading Moncada in the deal that brought Chris Sale. The Sox didn't have a spot for Moncada. They have a spot for Sale.

So it would make perfect sense to make a move with Travis (and a catcher for that matter) while the value is at its peak. The Sox have some holes they could fill. You can always use another pitcher. Would Travis be a key part of a package for Jose Quintana? Someone else along those lines? 

Because, what's the advantage of keeping him? Having a decent bat sitting in the minor leagues? Who does that help? This team is built for now. Let's take advantage of that. Before it's too late.

See what Travis can get for you.

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