George Lombard is laid back.

Former PawSox strikeout guy George Lombard has been hired as hitting coach for the Lowell Spinners.

You know how sometimes, in baseball, you just like guys? They might not be the best player, or the most interesting, but they seem reasonably cool and you're kinda always rooting for them.

I hated Lombard! Not really. I like him. At any rate, he's back in the system.

Lombard was in Pawtucket for part 0f 2004 and all of '05. He played along such stars as Dave Berg, Adam Hyzdu, and Roberto Petagine. And Cla Meredith! Lenny Dinardo! Geremi Gonzalez!

"True nostalgia is an ephemeral composition of disjointed memories."

Dan Hoard is not afraid of anything.

Pawtucket Red Sox radio guy Dan Hoard occasionally subs in for the Cincinnati Reds. And guess what? Reds TV announcer george Grande has retired. Hoard probably could have gotten the job, but Thom Brennaman did. As in, Marty Brennaman's son.

Here are a few comments from around the world regarding his gigs:

1. From John Kiesewetter's TV and Media blog: "Hoard has done a great job on Reds broadcasts. He was my choice to replace Steve Stewart, when nobody knew that Thom Brennaman wanted to come home and work with his dad. Hoard can do play-by-play for TV or radio (if needed), and he’s proven that he does his homework and can weave in stories about players ala Marty, Thom or the Dodgers’ Vin Scully. Hoard is very good and deserves the chance. Between 150 Reds TV games (when Thom isn’t working), and the UC football and basketball on WLW-AM, Hoard would have year-round work to bring him back here full-time. Hoard has done AAA Pawtucket Red Sox games waiting to be called up to the majors. This should be his chance." Damn it.

2. Comment from 'Redleg Nation': "I don’t mind Kelch, but why not Dan Hoard? I think the Reds missed again on the radio broadcasting hire, kind of like in the Steve Stewart deal. I guess it’s nice they rewarded a guy whose been in the organization, but I think Hoard is a better all around announcer."

3. From the Wight Pages: "Dan Hoard, voice of the Triple A Pawtucket Red Sox, has a history in Cincinnati. He broadcasts football and basketball for the University of Cincinnati and has filled in several times for the Reds. In my opinion, Hoard would fit in perfectly as the Reds full-time television play-by-play man."

I should have written this back in October.

The female anchor's fists finally clenched.

After spending a million years with Pawtucket and playing game after game versus the Iron Pigs, after abandoning his catcher position, after ripping up the International League in 2008... Jeff Bailey is gone.

I could say, without Jeff Bailey there is no 'Baseball Heavy', but that would be false. It doesn't help, though.

Since he's signed with Arizona, we won't even see him in the Grapefruit League. He may as well be dead!

I'd do a retrospective, but what would be the point? Maybe only his parents would enjoy that.


Someday, I will be assassinated.

Newsflash: LHP Jennifer Lopez is a Pirate. I said he quit, but I suppose that's what I get for trusting internet reference sites that any jerk can access. I thought he might still be in the IL but it looks like he's the Pirates only lefty reliever on the 40-man, so we shall see.

VIS: "Being in Boston, it was a great experience, but it's a what-have-you-done-for-me-lately kind of place," Lopez said. "I got off to a rough start and, when you're in a division with the Yankees and Rays ... hey, I can't blame them. They had a guy in Bard who was throwing 100, and I was the guy who had his roster spot."

And, uh, Lopez seems to think he can do long relief. "I look forward to that type of role," Lopez said. "That was yet another reason why Pittsburgh seemed like a great place: I knew the opportunity was there to pitch not only to multiple batters, but maybe multiple innings. I was able to show that in Pawtucket this year, going three innings twice." SEE? He pitched three innings TWO times!

From now on, I'll just wait until I can confirm everything. Hey, I've only been a freelance sports journalist for a couple of years!

Merry Christmas, Santa Claus.


you'll never walk alone again

You are totally not gonna believe this, but sarcastic infielder Gil Velazquez is COMING BACK to McCoy Stadium. My feeling is that Boston is uneasy about their shortstop sitch, but don't forget: I know next to nothing.

In a very sexy related story, Fernando Cabrera is also returning. It's a Christmas miracle! You may recall Cabrera as the Pawtucket All-Star reliever who was the kind of guy you wanted to watch take a shower. Also, he was scandalous.

Marcus McBeth, another very good reliever, has been signed by the Oakland Athletics. He was terrific all season.

Pawtucket second baseman Travis Blutarsky has been signed by the Mariners. Joey Gathright was like the wind - I'm pretty sure he only played a few road games - and he is now up in Toronto.

Sean Danielson and John Otness have been released.

Finally, some things are happening.

They say he was 'worldly'.

Word on the street is that long-time PawSox kid Javier Lopez has decided to hang it up. I'm sure he could have gotten a job somewhere, but I guess he was sick of those 6-hour bus rides. Lopez was original acquired from the White Sox via a trade with David Riske. This was in 2006. Long time ago, right?

A lot of baseball players are meatheads who can probably only play baseball. Lopez was reasonably smart and can probably do other things, such as teach or enter politics or make jewelry.

Javier Lopez got a bad rap, but remember: He did get a guy out here and there. One of my favorite Pawtucket kids of all time.

While you're up, here are some other former PawSox players who've retired:
1. Catcher Andy Dominique (remember chanting his name at Fenway?)
2. Australian sensation Trent Durrington!
3. Marc Deschenes, who I was totally in love with.
4. Jim Buckley (used to split catching duties with Jeff Bailey back in 19-Dickety-2.)
5. OF Luke Allen, probably. I used to do daily reports on him as a joke.
6. Mark Malaska (He now lives in RI!)
7. Lee Gronkiewicz (now coaching) - Damn, he was great for the 3.4 seconds he was in Pawtucket!
8. Tyler Minges, who I found easily. He's a real estate agent in Ohio.
9. Rootin, Tootin, Shawn Wooten. Was on the World Champion Los Angeles Angels in 2002.

Other people who have vanished: Jimmy Serrano, Dave 'Ice' Berg, Tim Bausher, Earl Snyder, Adam Hyzdu.

More to come.


What people said about the Connecticut Defenders.

from a website I would prefer you didn't visit:

1. "Connecticut Defenders have the schmaltziest fans! Connecticut Defenders game disingenuously a very cozy lasting impression on my family and me. Connecticut Defenders have the perkiest cheerleaders!"

2. "Connecticut Defenders festivities kept my family entertained throughout the entire evening. Connecticut Defenders was the dingiest live sporting dispatch I have ever been to! I love watching Connecticut Defenders live."

3. "I took my children to Connecticut Defenders game last week and they’re already begging to raise again! Connecticut Defenders inspiredly take care of their fans! It was forbearing and fast-paced, but I missed some of the jokes because the words weren’t coming out of the actor’s mouth fast enough. Being on bike through traffic makes it hard to hear the tour guide."

They're right about the cheerleaders, though.


I just want a bit part in your life!

Since I was denied access to Rhody college basketball, I have a little time to kill.

I came across this piece of heaven right here. It's from a sports radio blog. Normally, I avoid that stuff. But this is right up my alley!

Excerpts from Gary Marbry's 'Red Sox Reviews - The Bit Pitchers #1'

1. Fernando Cabrera's first pitch was a ball to 50% of batters faced in 2009. Don't I know it!

2. "None of the 28 batters that Cabrera faced put the first pitch in play last season." Cabrera only faced 28 batters? How is that possible?

3. "When opponents put the Hunter Jones' first pitch in play, they went 6 for 9 with 2 doubles and 2 HR (and a HBP), good for an OPS allowed of 2.156. That’s the highest such OPS allowed by a Red Sox pitcher since they began tracking the stat in 1988 (min. 10 such batters faced)."

4. "Javier Lopez finished his Red Sox career ranked 20th in games pitched in relief as a Red Sox with 172. He finished 5 appearances behind 19th place Dick Drago, 1 game ahead of Rheal Cormier, and 2 ahead of Keith Foulke." EAT IT, FOULKE!!!


And one more quick thing: No, two things: Wait.

1.A couple of years ago I wrote a post called 'I Hate Marco Scutaro', but it looks like I deleted it. He may have been on the A's at the time. I suppose I could have written a similar post called "I Hate Jeff DaVanon".
2. I'm heading down to the park to pick up a few items.


Cherokee name: Laughs at Own Jokes

I just read this from back in May:

"Zink threw 100 pitches and complimented his defense: "I was jamming guys, which is what I'm looking for. My defense played great. I got a little tired. There was a little humidity. We haven't had a lot of warm weather." Zink went on to say "The NASDAQ is looking healthier. Did you see that new Supreme Court lady? Kentucky is a commonwealth. Dude, why you still holding that?"

I'm so glad I find myself hilarious. I can't stop laughing. At myself.

I read a book.

A book arrived in the mail the other day. It was about a pitcher who doesn't quite fit in with his wacky, less intelligent teammates. He worries about his ability to get outs. He shares bullpen conversations and agonizes over his playing time.

Sounds like Ball Four, right? I know, it's essentially the same book. But it's that Yale kid's book with special guest appearances by Craig Breslow.

It wasn't too bad, but the whole White Players vs Uncultured and Annoying Dominicans angle was a little much.

This is as close to a book review as you'll get from me.

Salvatore is gonna love Atwells.

New manager in Pawtucket: Former Bisons/Clippers skipper Torey Lovullo. That seals it, I guess. No backsies. RJ is gone forever.

I'm glad it's him, although Stan Cliburn would have been cool, too.

Let's also welcome back Gerald Perry as the hitting coach. GP was in the hizz back in 1998. If I were you, I'd look up the team BA/OBP for that year to see what we're in for. Because it's not the players who generate the stats, it's the managers and coaches! That's why Morman got the axe, after all.

Imagine! Lovullo and Van Every reunited! Wait... JV's gone. Never mind. I thought I saw him in my peripheral vision, walking past an open door slowly while suspenseful music played. And me, terror stricken with dead phone lines.

My only prior mention of Torey L came here. It's a brief post, but it's really funny and kind of encapsulates the 2009 PawSox.