Red Sox

The Daily Thread from NBC Sports Boston for Thu., March 26

The Daily Thread from NBC Sports Boston for Thu., March 26

What are we kicking around in our virtual newsroom these days? The digital editors at NBCSportsBoston.com will compile the best from the daily e-mail exchanges amongst our on-air personalities, insiders and producers from both “Arbella Early Edition” and “Boston Sports Tonight” so you can get a sense of what’s on our minds.

Dave Cherubin, Producer (8:53 a.m.) -- Today was supposed to be Opening Day.  Do you miss the day?  The sport?  When MLB resumes what happens to their league? I think MLB will come out of this pandemic crisis on the losing end, more so than any other league.  I don't think people will miss the game and when it comes back they will face plenty of other competition for sports fans' attention.  If MLB is smart, they make sure they are the first league back playing games.  Get a jump on the competition for fans' attention and try to mitigate the loss of interest.

The only thing slower than the game of baseball is the league's investigation of the Red Sox.   Well, it's finally done.  Rob Manfred said last night : "We are done with the investigation. There’s been a delay in terms of producing a written report just because I frankly have not had time to turn to it. ... We will get a Boston report out before we resume play."  What punishment is in store for Red Sox?

Ideas MLB is considering if/when the season starts.
•7 inning games

•Increased double headers (up to 2 per week)

•Neutral-site World Series (warm city, dome city)

•Expanded playoff system

Seven-inning games stand out.  Players would never go for it.  The game needs be shortened or sped up.

Jeff Capotosto, Coordinating Producer (9:25 a.m.) -- I will miss Opening Day. What I won’t miss is Game 4 of the season when Ryan Weber battles Matt Shoemaker in a 4-hour game with 14 total pitchers.

A shortened MLB season is fine. Doubleheaders are fine. Seven-inning games are a joke. You can’t change the sport just to fit something in.

No idea why but my one memory of Opening Day was faking sick so I could watch Sox vs Jays in 1991 and Jack Clark hitting a HR in his Red Sox debut. Clark would proceed to go 1 for 457 for the remainder of his Red Sox career.

Trenni Kusnierek, host, Arbella Early Edition (9:35 a.m.) -- Am I the only one who misses Opening Day? I love it. It is the unofficial start of spring. The pomp and circumstance of each city. Real hope your team could find a way to win it all. I’d give anything to be on the T to Kenmore, grabbing a Starbucks, walking down Boylston towards Jersey Street with all the bars packed with day drinkers. Batting practice. Streaming the Brewers while watching the Sox. If I could stream FSWI today and watch old Brewers games, I would.

Rob Snyder, Producer (9:51 a.m.) -- As I put on my jacket, hat, and gloves to take my dog out this morning, I realized that no, I don’t miss Opening Day. It was too early anyway and I was never ready for it.

I agree with Cap and Cherubin and I think the combination of sports coming back (please come back) and those sports playing until possibly August or September will be a rude awakening for baseball. The players would never go for seven-inning games and doubleheaders but what if people stopped watching their sport? Are the players in tune enough to know how big of a problem that would be? I don’t think they do.

Michael Holley, host, Boston Sports Tonight (10:04 a.m) -- I’ve got more home opener memories than Opening Day ones. My favorite is 1998: Mo Vaughn hits a walkoff grand slam off Randy Johnson. Great drama. Think about some of the names from that era: Dan Duquette as your GM, Jimy Williams as your manager, Mo and Nomar as your 1-2 punch. The new guy: Pedro Martinez.

I’m nostalgic about it because baseball was intense then. It was the mix of local crazy over not winning since 1918 and the thought that the current Sox represented the best chance to win. It was daily drama and it was a blast.

As for the sport now, I’m all for doubleheaders and even starting the season with the All-Star Game. I don’t want to start runners on second base in extra innings. I don’t want seven-inning games. A 100-game season is just fine with me.

Gary Tanguay, host, Arbella Early Edition (12:35 p.m.) -- I hate Opening Day. Overrated crap. Covering it sucks. Cold, drunk fans, one stupid game that has become a hallmark card for the plus 55 demo.

Tom Giles, host, Boston Sports Tonight (12:43 p.m.) -- I don't necessarily agree but I love the passion, Tanger.

Seriously though, April baseball is mostly miserable so the fact that they keep moving up the start date is dumb.  I agree that weather plays as much of a role in this as anything else.

Trenni Kusnierek, host, Arbella Early Edition (1:25 p.m.) -- Pssst. Gary ...you are the 55+ demo.

Who are the best center fielders in Red Sox history? Ranking the Top 5

Who are the best center fielders in Red Sox history? Ranking the Top 5

The Red Sox have employed all manner of center fielders throughout their history.

Whereas left field has generally been home to run producers and right to all-around threats, the men in the middle have covered a wide range of styles. There are straight speedsters like Jacoby Ellsbury, defensive dynamos like Jackie Bradley Jr., fun-loving eccentric types like Johnny Damon, underappreciated standouts like Ellis Burks, and even plodding sluggers like Tony Armas.

Get the latest news and analysis on all of your teams from NBC Sports Boston by downloading the My Teams App

Only in recent years have the Red Sox consistently prioritized defense in the role, from Coco Crisp to Ellsbury to Bradley.

But that doesn't mean they haven't featured some talented players there, including a turn-of-century Hall of Famer, the younger brother of baseball royalty, and the one who fans over 50 still lament got away.

Click here for the Top 5 center fielders in Red Sox history.

MLB's Top 100 players for 2020 season: Numbers 100-76

MLB's Top 100 players for 2020 season: Numbers 100-76

There was once a time when a list of baseball's top 100 players would've been dominated by men in their 30s or even 40s. In 2004, for instance, the NL MVP was 39-year-old Barry Bonds and the Cy Young went to 41-year-old Roger Clemens. It was the seventh respective award for each.

We now can be almost certain that neither accomplishment was achieved without help, but if any good came from that era, it's that it forced baseball to address its PED problem, which means that a top 100 list now looks very different.

Get the latest news and analysis on all of your teams from NBC Sports Boston by downloading the My Teams App

Our list will reflect that shift. What it won't include are three pitchers guaranteed not to play in 2020 because of Tommy John surgery — Noah Syndergaard of the Mets, Luis Severino of the Yankees, and of course Chris Sale of the Red Sox.

Over the next four weeks, NBC Sports Boston will unveil its top 100 players, 25 at a time, and the list is dominated by youth. Never have young players been so essential to winning, whether it's 20-year-old Juan Soto helping lead the Nationals to last fall's shocking World Series title, or 23-year-old Cody Bellinger being named NL MVP.

Click here for Part 1: Players ranked 100th to 76th on our list.