In the midst of a horrific month of July that has seen the PawSox go 3-14 with a team batting average of .210, the team desperately needs help.
How fast can Chris Duncan get here?
The Red Sox traded Julio Lugo to the Cardinals on Wednesday for Duncan and a player-to-be-named later (how ’bout Pujols?) or cash.
Duncan is having a tough year. He was batting .227 with 5 HR and 32 RBI in 87 games with the Cardinals, and has 1 hit in his last 31 at-bats.
But he hit .293 with 22 HR last year and .259 with 21 HR the year before. Call me crazy, but I think we can find a spot for him on a Pawtucket team that’s gone 2-14 in its last 16 games while averaging 2.9 runs.
According to this story and this story in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Chris had been the target of harsh criticism from Cardinals fans – due in part to the fact that his father Dave is the team’s pitching coach. It sounds to me like he needs a fresh start.
And while I’m sure he’s bummed that he won’t get to see his dad every day, he will get to see his brother Shelly eight times when the PawSox face Scranton/WB.
Who knows, if he really hits well for Pawtucket, maybe they’ll even name a chain of Donut shops for Duncan.
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Ready for a Nostradamus-like prediction?
If the PawSox continue to struggle, Manager Ron Johnson will get thrown out of a game by the end of the weekend.
It’s really not a bold call on my part. RJ admitted he might do that in hopes of lighting a fire under the team.
“Yea, you start looking for stuff,” Johnson said. “I’m sure that the way things have been going – you may see an act here in the next few days. If there’s a play that comes along where you look at it and say, ‘there may be some value in going out and putting on a little show for the boys,’ then you do it. I’ve done it before where it didn’t work, and I’ve done it at times where we’ve wound up winning. We’ll play it be ear, but yea; I’m definitely thinking about it.”
RJ apparently blew off some steam in the clubhouse a few nights ago, when he closed the door to reporters for a few minutes to address the team after a particularly shoddy performance.
What was his message?
“Professionalism . . . hustle . . . it’s all about effort,” RJ said. “I told these guys in our first meeting of the year that they’ll never be yelled at for wins and losses. What will cause the hair on the back of my neck to stand up is if I see a less-than-100% effort.”
I suspect the next time Mt. Johnson erupts, the explosion will be directed at an umpire.
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He played baseball and hockey at Trinity College.
He was the Red Sox Minor League Offensive Player of the Year in 2006.
He does an outstanding job with his “At Bat With Nat” interviews.
And yes, Jeff Natale even makes pasta.
And least when his girlfriend tells him to.
Thanks to Leigh for sending the photo. Her company is Nella Pasta and you can check it out here.
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Don’t forget to join us bright and early on Thursday for the 11:05 am start in Rochester. The pre-game show starts at 10:50 on the PawSox radio network and PawSox.com.
I’d love to hear from you. The address is firstname.lastname@example.org.