13 Days To Go! Follow John as he lets us take a sneak peak into his journey with his latest post! Come along for the ride!
Just last season, about this very time of early morning, I spouted that a young third baseman was going to be the linchpin to the Red Sox season. Boy was I wrong.I was wrong to put that much pressure on a kid who was still for all intensive purposes a rookie, i was wrong to not see the Sox overcoming his struggles… I was wrong
Middlebrooks struggled almost from the get go. Despite hitting six home runs – three of them coming in one game against the Jay’s, and driving in twelve after his first hundred AB, Will was dragging an abysmal line of .194/.218/.418 into May. Then his power numbers disappeared, belting just two more round trippers while barely peeking over the Mendoza line .211. The Thrill was gone – Really Gone – sent off to Redemption Rhode Island. The Lone Star of the 2012 season was back in Pawtucket left scratching his head to wonder how things could have gone so wrong so fast. I’ll tell you in a minute how.
In 2012, Middlebrooks hit .288/15/54 with a .835 OPS in 75 games. Those are the numbers I can see him returning to this season. And those are numbers this Red Sox incarnation is going to need to overcome the loss of Elsberry…and yes even Steven Drew. But I’m not worried (do I look worried? no i dont) and you shouldn’t either.
Will’s issues last year came facing right handed pitching. He batted just .208 compared to .280 the year before, yet he still managed to put up his best power numbers against righties – more than doubling his HR and 2B numbers, driving in three times as many runs then he did against southpaws. What does that tell me? He was compensating for the broken wrist he suffered in 12’ and a newly separated rib he managed to get running into David Ross. Between the two, Will developed a nice BIG hole in his swing. Luckily any hole can be patched, just ask the Flex-Seal guy.
Will was put on the DL to S-heal up but that didn’t do the trick after just seven games back on the roster he was sent down. Maybe AAA pitching and a dose of humility would get the power hitting rightie back on track ? It certainly seemed to do just that, After a rocky week or two Middlebrooks took his medicine, healed up body and mind and came back focused and healthy. The thing is, his 200 at bat pre-all star numbers of .192/9/25 overshadowed a fine second half line of .276/8/24, matching his power output in almost 60 fewer at bats. Not all star numbers I grant you, but the compensation was no longer an issue. Will was swinging more like he did in his rookie season and I don’t see a reason to doubt him when the Sox break camp and head north.
If the Sox are going to contend this season that’s what this team is going to need.
You can follow me @TMurph207
Red Sox are the Oldest Team in MLB
In 2011, the Sox proved Dean Vernon Wormers point…”Fat, drunk, and stupid is no way to go through life son”…Or a baseball season. In 2012, Bobby Valentine proved removing the alcohol just made things worse. Lucky for the folks in the stands, they could still get a stale over-priced Bud. In 2013, Ben Cherington jettisoned the Fat and the stupid kept a drinker or three and a perfect storm of chemistry, health, and depth came into play.
John Farrell rode a swell that began in the off season with smart moves and grew into a tsunami that washed ashore in October with a World Series win. That was last year.
This season, we are looking at a roster that is older than any other in baseball – a lineup that’s only kept under the 30 year average age buy the grace of – no, not God, but Jackie Bradley JR and Xander Bogaerts penciled into the lineup. In fact, if you removed the two kids, this team would be hovering around 103 years old.
So far in this short spring both Sox catchers have dealt with nagging style injuries. AJ Pierzynski rolled his ankle jogging around first base – the second time this has happened already this spring. David Ross has a swollen tendon in his foot, and is already being held out of game action to “REST”. yes kids let Grampy rest.
Roses were tossed at Shane Victorino today as he was finally deemed healthy enough to take batting practice because he was dealing with “Core Strength Issues” after 4 moths off …No one seems to know when Hula Hustle will hit the field for an actual game.
And we all know now that Jake Peavy shouldn’t be allowed to play with sharp objects, as he gashed open his index finger on his non pitching hand. You say this isn’t age related – but you never know, trust me the eyes go first…Jake might open the season on the DL.
Papi is just old and contract cranky: SO FAR
The good news is that Clay Buchholtz, who just looks and acts like an old man, managed to get through an inning yesterday without having to go on the DL…Huzzah.
Could these ticky-tack injuries just be the guys rounding into shape after a short offseason – sure…could they be a sign of things to come? Hell Yes.
you can follow me on Twitter @Tmurph207
By T.J. Murphy II
I love the DH – expanded playoffs, hell yes – PED’s, not a huge deal for me…yet I call myself a purest. Doesn’t quite jive dose it? There are new aspects of the game that I can’t stand – interleague games, replay, sushi – and a schizophrenic batting order. some things I grew up with that just make baseball baseball. One of them is a batting order. I’m not talking about juggling spots to shake things up when you’re struggling, I’m not talking about slipping someone into the lineup when a tough lefty is on the hill – but I like players knowing exactly where they will be every single day. It’s the way I grew up, it’s what I like, more importantly it’s what ballplayers like – and it works.
There has been a lot of chatter this week about Boston’s lineup and who should be taking over the leadoff spot for the not so dearly departed Jacoby Ellsbury. Victorino this day, Nava the next, and don’t forget Johnny Gomes. Johnny Gomes…yeah, Johnny Gomes on the third Tuesday of every month when there isn’t an interleague game and there is a waxing moon. Oh My God – set your lineup and let hitters hit. Here is the way Butchie and I would like to see things on opening day…and as often as possible after that.
Shane Victorino: Shane’s healthy and will be swinging from both sides of the plate, what more could you ask for in a lead off guy…a few more walks and a better OBP…but I still think Hula Hustle is the man for this spot … 290/13/66.
Dustin Pedroia: I took a lot of grief at the end of the season when I graded Laser Show at a B. He batted third in the order for most of last season and I always thought that was out of place for him, the two hole hitting behind the speedy Victorino is where Pedy should be… 305/16/85.
Will Middlebrooks: This is where things get interesting; yes, I would bat Middlebrooks in the three hole. In six hundred AB, Middlebrooks is batting .254/32/103 … true he has too few walks and far to many strikeouts – most of those came last season. Will had issues with righties last year, batting just .206, but in 2012 he hit .282 against those same arms and I think he will come back to those digits in 2014. All Will needs is a little protection, and I see a thrill like… 275/25/95.
David Ortiz: Guys named Big Papi don’t hit anyplace else do they? Last season was not David’s swan song. He’s again in amazing shape and I don’t see a cliff for him to fall off of… 306/29/109.
Mike Napoli: I can’t remember a guy more suited for Boston than Mike Napoli. I don’t mean the team…I mean The Town. Mike loves Boston and it loves him and I like Mike batting right behind the big guy. I see a few more days off this season than he had last year, but still solid power numbers for the bearded wonder… 250/22/85.
Xander Bogaerts: I don’t expect to be writing this young mans name this far down a batting order ever again in his playing career. He has all the tools to be in the heart of any batting order and all the time in the world to get there. But for now let’s take some of the pressure off him… 272/11/65.
AJ Pierzynski/ David Ross: I still don’t fully understand the AJ signing or like it that much, but he does have pop from the left side of the plate. This won’t be a straight up platoon, but I do hope to get more ABs out of Ross than last season. Between the two old guns, I can see a combined line… 250/22/70.
Daniel Nava: I’m penciling Nava in here because, well, I think he is better than Gomes and in my book the best players play. Gomes will get his, but I would like to see if Dan can be the man in Left this season… 300/15/65.
Jackie Bradley: Last April wasn’t kind to JBJ…let’s hope this season starts out warm and Jackie can keep the bottom of this lineup hot and productive. There is no reason to think he can’t, he has the tools and now knows the job is his… 255/9/53.
That’s it folks. I know it’s early, but this is the way I see this team being its most productive. Sure, there are going to be off days and lefty-rightie heavy lineups to be played with, and of course insufferable interleague games to be played, but Butchie and I can’t fix that from here, now can we?
Butchie for Commish
you can follow me on Twitter @Tmurph207
Just how far will you go?? Would you destroy all your hard work for 2 dozen doughnuts? How low would you allow yourself to feel before snapping out of it, and knowing that you have to be strong? John is tested, and lets you know! 4 weeks to go, and life does suck!!!
A huge deal is being made out of Red Sox Prez and CEO Larry Lucchino’s recent comments to a throng of reporters who asked him about the differences between Boston and NY when it comes to baseball..
“We’re very different animals. I’m proud of that difference,” Lucchino said Friday at the Red Sox’s spring training complex in Fort Myers. “I always cringe when people lump us together. Other baseball teams sometimes do that. They are still — this year at least — relying heavily on their inimitable, old-fashioned Yankees style of high-priced, long-term free agents. And I can’t say that I wish them well, but I think that we’ve taken a different approach. … If you compare what we did last year in the offseason to what they did this year, there’s quite a contrast there.”
Ok so call it poetic license, call it a blind spot, call it selective memory – it’s still a shot across the Yankee’s bow. Call it what ever you want, but with a few exceptions Larry is right. On opening day the Sox will have at least five and maybe six players on the field who have never worn a uniform other than the one they wear that day. Pedroia-Bogaerts-Middlebrooks manning the infield, JBJ in center – and then there is the rotation…Lester, (the opening day starter), that’s five….. Bucholtz, Doubront, and swingman Workman – all drafted Int’l singings, all home gown…sounds vastly different than the lineup the Yankee’s will put on the field opening day..
After hearing about Larry’s comments, Yanks own Prez, Larry Mr. Larry Levine fired back:
“I feel bad for Larry; he constantly sees ghosts and is spooked by the Yankees. But I can understand why, because under his and Bobby Valentine’s plan two years ago, the Red Sox were in last place. Ben Cherington and the Red Sox did a great job last year winning the World Series, but I’m confident Cash and Joe and our players will compete with a great Red Sox team to win a world championship this year.”
I’m not sure what ghosts Mr. Levine is speaking of, but maybe he meant the ghosts of Home Grown Yankee’s past. After Jeter and Brett Gardener you would be hard pressed to find any home grown Yankee that will make an impact on this season. The roster, as always, is filled with overpaid, over the hill talent that he and Cashman have assembled to keep them afloat. But honestly who wants to see that? I guess New Yorker’s
No matter what you think of last seasons club it was a bridge year, yes over paid but also overachieving, find me anyone who thought that team was built to create Soxtober ? The Sox are stacked with players who know nothing but the Red Sox way of life. Not just on the big league roster, but guys banging on the door to get here as well. Matt Barnes, Anthony Ranaudo, Henry Owens, and Allen Webster are all set at AA and AAA. Don’t forget the position guys Garin Cecchini , Blake Swihart, and even Mookie Betts a bit further down the line…Want me to go on? I could – the Sox have nine ranked prospects in MLB’s top 100…the Yanks have two. Yeah, there’s a difference Mr. Levine – a Big difference. You see, it isn’t how much money you spend, it’s who you spend your money on — your own kids or the neighbors.
My Parnter in crime Andrew “Fish” Fain has written a brilliant preview for Spring training! Some key points have been made, to get you up to speed with what you should look for, and know regarding the upcoming 2014 season! Make sure you keep up to date, and Get Infused!
10 Things we hope to learn this Spring
Pitchers and catchers have reported to all training camps, and full squads aren’t far behind. We are just days away from our first spring games, and just over 4 weeks away from the Dodgers and Diamondbacks opening the regular season in Australia.
But before the games start for real or otherwise, there are a number of questions that baseball fans want to know the answers to. Spring training is a perfect place to learn some of these mysteries. So we will try to answer the Top 10 questions people want answers to heading into the 2014 season
1) What will happen to the Gang of Four?
That is the name being given to the four bigger named free agents who have still not found homes. The one thing all have in common is that they were all given qualifying offers, so any team that signs them loses a draft pick. But you can’t tell me Stephen Drew, Nelson Cruz, Kendrys Morales and Ervin Santana can’t help some team.
I think each and every one of these guys has a home that just makes a ton of sense if the baseball people (that means Owners, GM, Agents & Players), would just do the inevitable:
Nelson Cruz is a perfect fit hitting behind Robinson Cano in Seattle, giving their new big money guy (who we will get to a little later), the protection he will sorely need.
Kendrys Morales and the Pirates were a match made in heaven. This is a team that not only finished above .500 for the first time in 20 years, but they also made the playoffs. So now is not the time to go cheap. Since they haven’t spent any cash really since the off-season, and had a ton of it come off when the lost AJ Burnett, why not spend a little and get yourself some pop at first, something you haven’t had for quite a while.
Stephen Drew should trade in his Red Sox for Mets blue and orange. The team can’t survive with Reuben Tejada manning the middle, and Drew has been rumored in the Big Apple for some time both his glove and bat should be a welcome addition and will lengthen a line-up that has a new look that could be dangerous. Sandy Alderson has had conversations with him, but until his demands come down, he may be out there for a while.
Ervin Santana should hope for a good exchange rate as he heads up to Toronto to pitch for the Blue Jays. He would slot in nicely where Josh Johnson left, and if Brandon Morrow can stay healthy and they can get even a little out of the kids, there rotation starts to look pretty good. Considering that the Jays pick is protected, they wouldn’t even have to give up compensation to get him.
2) How will Tanaka adjust to the US and NY?
Well if he performs like most of the Japanese pitchers who have made the transition to the United States (Hiroki Kuroda, Daisuke Matsuzaka, Yu Darvish with Hideo Nomo being the exception), his first year will be average at best. That will become a problem, considering how much he is being paid and the fact that he is pitching for the Yankees. GM Brian Cashman has already tried to temper expectations by saying he is just their #3 starter. But again, does a 3 deserve $155 mil? I think not, and I don’t blame Yankee fans for being a little ticked off.
The big question will be if his psyche can handle the boos he will get when he gets shelled at Yankee Stadium. Remember, Japanese pitchers only pitch once a week, with much smaller balls and less talented hitters. I think a 12-7 record with an ERA around 4.00 is what should be expected. He will never touch with how good Darvish is going to be, as he is not the strikeout pitcher Darvish is, but he will eventually shape up into a decent three+/two-.
3) Can the Yankees get back to contending?
With the Captain Derek Jeter retiring after this season, you know the Bronx Bombers would love to send him off with another World Title. Sadly, I don’t think that is going to come close to happening.
Yes, they added Brian McCann, Jacoby Ellsbury, Carlos Beltran and Tanaka, and Mark Teixeria and Jeter should both be healthy this year, but it is not enough. Not only did they lose their best hitter Robinson Cano to free agency, but like him or hate him A-Rod will not be there either and he is a solid bat, even at his advanced age.
This team is still full of holes and question marks. Will Teixeria stay healthy and go back to his power ways? Can Kelly Johnson and Brian Roberts be everyday players and add something? Can Carlos Beltran’s knees hold up? Will Ellsbury be able to stay off the DL? Are Sabathia and Kuroda over the hill as last year would suggest? Can David Robertson be even half the closer Mariano was? Who will set-up for this team?
See, too many questions and not enough answers to go around. Last year Joe Girardi did a masterful job to get the Yankees to win 85 games, this year 85 may be the celing.
4) Where will David Price go?
As of this writing, the answer to this question is easy … Nowhere!!! The Rays are bucking their own trend of trading guys at their highest value before they have to pay them. With 2 years until free agency for the southpaw ace, this was the off-season that the Rays would have been able to get the biggest haul.
If the Rays are in the playoff hunt in July (as they should be), then Price will remain the head of their young and impressive rotation, and he will be dealt in the off-season.
However, if the Rays are out of the race for some strange reason come July, he will be the biggest chip on the trade market.
I am not sure they will be able to get the haul they got from Kansas City in the James Shields deal, but you better believe they will get one Major League ready top prospect and at least 2 other solid prospects who are about a year or two away.
So which teams have the ability to trade for Price? Well the Dodgers are the leaders in the clubhouse, being able to offer Joc Pederson, Zach Lee and Corey Seager. But the Mariners with phenom Taijuan Walker can make a strong case, just like the Cardinals with their bevy of young arms and even the Rangers could get involved at that point. Just don’t expect Price to be wearing anything other than a Rays uni this season.
5) Who will be this year’s Indians/Pirates?
Picking who will be the biggest surprises is always a tough bet. But every year there is at least one team in each league who nobody really saw competing battling for a playoff spot. Last season the Pirates and Indians were those two teams. Is there room for two more teams to make that leap? I say yes.
Let me start by saying the Padres, Royals and Mariners will all be improved, but I don’t really see any of them falling into this category. No, I have the two teams I think will be the surprise this year and let’s start in the Junior Circuit.
The Los Angeles Angels have been a major disappointment since doling out large deals to Albert Pujols and Josh Hamilton. But this is the year they put it all together and get back in the post-season. Pujols is finally healthy again and I don’t see Hamilton struggling as much this year. Add in the best player in the game in Mike Trout plus the addition of a solid 3rd baseman (something they haven’t had since Troy Glaus), David Freese and this team’s offense will be much improved.
Their rotation, which had been a weak spot has been bolstered by the addition of a pair of lefty’s Hector Santiago and Tyler Skaggs. With little pressure on them in the 4 & 5 hole, they should hold up nicely behind Jered Weaver, CJ Wilson and Garret Richards.
Over in the NL the team to be on the lookout for is the Milwaukee Brewers. With Matt Garza added to the top of the rotation that already features bounce back candidate Yovani Gallardo and Kyle Lohse, their rotation has become very solid.
Their offense gets Ryan Braun back (more on him in a minute) to go with Carlos Gomez in center and last year’s surprise Khris Davis in right. The infield is even stronger with the slugging platoon of Mark Reynolds and Juan Francisco at first, Scooter Gennett and Jean Segura up the middle with studs Jonathan Lecroy and Aramis Ramirez behind the plate and at 3rd respectively, offense will not be hard to come by. They even have some trade chips should they need it come the deadline in July.
So look for the Brewers and Angels to battle for a spot in the post-season this year, surprising all but the most avid of all baseball fans.
6) Which Ryan Braun will we see?
That depends on how strong his psyche is. If he can handle the boos he will hear, both at home and on the road (which I think he can), then I think you will still see one hell of an outfielder. Remember, when most of these PED users started taking them, they did it not to improve their game, but to be able to recover faster from the daily bumps and bruises, as well as the bigger injuries.
Without the PED’s, I still think you will see a .300 hitter who is capable of 30 blasts and 100 driven in. He may not steal as many bases as he once did, and he may not be a perennial MVP candidate, but he will still be a very effective slugger.
7) Who will be the odd man out in the Dodgers OF?
This question is not as simple as it would first appear. All during the off-season the Dodgers were listening for deals for one of their four outfield bats, especially Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier.
While Kemp would get the bigger haul, the problem is he is still recovering from micro fracture surgery on his ankle. So the Dodgers are only being offered .50 on the dollar.
When he is healthy, he is one of the best hitters in the game, so while the trade would be better, the Dodgers may not want to give up a healthy Kemp.
So Andre Ethier becomes the guy I believe the Dodgers will deal before the season ends. He has pop in his bat, hits left-handed and can play all 3 OF positions. He is on a reasonable contract, that I am sure the deep pocketed Dodgers would be willing to pick-up a chunk of for the right players. If I were to venture a guess, I think the one deal the Dodgers may take would be sending Ethier and maybe a prospect to the Reds for Brandon Phillips. This move especially makes sense if rookie Alexander Guerrero can’t handle 2nd base.
What makes dealing one of the outfielders a little more palatable for the Dodgers is that their top prospect, Joc Pederson, is also an outfielder and they will need some room for him too soon.
8) Was Robinson Cano worth it for the Mariners?
If the Mariners sign Nelson Cruz, like I mentioned earlier in this piece, the deal should very well be worth it, at least for the first 6 years until age starts to catch up to him.
With Cruz protecting him in the line-up and a solid young staff on the hill, as well as newcomers Corey Hart and Logan Morrison, I think this Mariners squad could be in the wild card hunt come September.
If they don’t get any protection for him, then Cano will just be constantly pitched around and the Mariners will have spent over $200 million on one of the best walkers in the game.
9) Who are the kids to look out for heading into the season?
Every year Major League clubs get an infusion of youth and exuberance by adding a prospect or two to the line-up or rotation. Sometimes the kids make the club out of spring training, other times an injury or poor play causes them to get called up mid-season.
2013 was a banner year for these kids as guys like Wil Myers, Gerrit Cole, Yasiel Puig, Jose Fernandez, Hyun-Jin Ryu and Christian Yellich all made a major impact on their clubs. So who will be those guys this year?
Well here is a list of at least 7 guys who I guarantee you will hear from in the 2014 season:
Taijuan Walker – P Mariners; the kid with the hardest cutter in the game is just about guaranteed a spot in the M’s rotation. He has the skill set to be an ace, yet the luxury of being able to learn from and pitch behind King Felix and Hisashi Iwakuma.
Jameson Tallion – P Pirates; His stuff is A+, but his control is more like a C. When he learns to harness what he has, he will team with Gerrit Cole to form one of the best 1-2 combo’s in the NL.
Archie Bradley – P D-Backs; throwing strikes is the key to a long career, but with Bradley’s velocity and incredible curve it hasn’t been easy so far. Once he gets that consistency, he will be mainstay in the D-Backs rotation.
Billy Hamilton – OF Reds; any time this kid gets on first, with his speed it might as well be a double. He is the fastest man in baseball, and will easily steal 100 bags as the Reds leadoff man and centerfielder. Of course, in order to steal second, you have to get on first, which may pose the biggest problem for him.
Addison Reed – SS A’s; He is poised to lead the next wave of shortstops in the majors. He has all the speed, skill and athleticism to revolutionize the position. He needs to work on his defense, his footwork around the bag specifically, in order to make the impact he should.
Miguel Sano – 3B Twins; There is one thing this kid doesn’t lack is confidence. After hitting 35 bombs in 123 minor league games last season, Sano came out and said he expects to hit 45-55 this season in the bigs. I am not so sure of that, but there is no question he will be a big improvement over what the Twins have there currently.
Byron Buxton – OF Twins; He is ranked as the number 1 prospect in all of baseball, and for good reason. He has all the tools to be the next Mike Trout. He just needs to learn to settle down and hit Major League pitching and Buxton is a name you will be hearing for years to come.
10) Who will be in the post season and win it all?
Finally, a question that won’t be answered in Spring Training, but merely a forecast of who is playing for October.
AL West: Oakland A’s
AL Central: Kansas City Royals
AL East: Tampa Bay Rays
AL Wild Cards: Los Angeles Angels & Detroit Tigers
ALCS: The A’s over the Angels
NL West: Los Angeles Dodgers
NL Central: St Louis Cardinals
NL East: Washington Nationals
NL Wild Cards: Milwaukee Brewers & San Francisco Giants
NLCS: The Dodgers over the Cardinals
World Champions: Dodgers over the A’s
Don’t lose your collective minds Red Sox Nation. I still believe in Say Hey JBJ and no, this isn’t an endorsement of Grady Sizemore. This is simply a cautionary hindsight is 20/20 tale.
Last spring JBJ took The Fort by Storm feasting on spring arms and writing a .419/.507/.613 line with 2 home runs 12 RBI. Just for giggles, he added a couple of stolen bases (MAN CRUSH ALERT). You bet I was on the JBJ bandwagon early. I wanted Jackie in left field all day every day against, lefties – righties, ambidextrous I didn’t care. I witnessed the swing, saw the smooth to the ball reactions in the field and loved the hustle. I was sold…I still am.
So Murph, what’s with the title, you ask.( that’s a great question you guys always ask great questions) Well let me get you up to speed with our thinking. After his breakout, spring reality set in quickly for young Mr. Bradley. In 31 April ABs he batted an anemic .097 striking out 12 times in those 31 at bats. Just five May ABs later, he was sent down. After a slow start, he picked up his game and found his swing. In a cup of coffee call up in June, he hit a respectable .250 with a HR and 3 RBIs and in a 6 AB July espresso, he managed another round tripper. Again the signs were there that Jackie has a future here. The real eye opener came in his September call up, when he batted .243. Three of his nine hits went for extra bases, including another HR. He still wasn’t walking enough and was striking out to often, but his eye was getting more accustomed to big league pitching and when he went down, it was swinging at good pitches.
So here’s my formula. Good spring or not, let Jackie start the season back in AAA. I don’t want this kid to come up to a cold New England spring and get off to another bad start, just to be sent back down to Pawtucket before he can get find a groove. Lets take the pressure off this kid from the get go. Allow him start the season in a more comfortable AAA environment where he hit .275/.374/.469 with 10 home runs and had just 75 strikeouts in 374 plate appearances. Let Victorino split his time between center and right while easing Sizemore back into major league shape. Nava, Gomes and Carp can handle the corner spots for now. Jackie can slide into the back end of this batting order in mid May.
Did you think living your dream would be easy? Not everyday is easy, there are days where you want to walk away. Those are the days where you reach down deep, look into your heart, you discover strength that you couldn’t imagine was there. These are the days that make or break the strongest of us. It’s when you realize walking away isn’t an option. If it is an option for you, then you don’t want what you seek that badly. Here is an example of raw truth, uncut, honest..just real. From my friend John King…
By T.J. Murphy II
Jen Welter may be 5’2’” but she plays football like Ed “Too Tall” Jones. I’ve never asked her weight because well, my mother raised me right. But she hits like a ton of bricks. Don’t believe me? Ask the concussed offensive linemen she has left scattered across Europe in the last two World Championship she helped bring home Gold in. Or the litany of great female athletes who the tiny linebacker has laid out while playing for the Dallas Diamonds of the (WFA) and now you can ask the men shes played with and against in the ( IFL )
Dr Jen Welter is a Gamma infused Football player. That’s it, a Football player, who happens to be a woman. And tonight she took the field as the first woman in history who was not a kicker or holder to play football with men. Welter suited up tonight as a Running Back for the Texas Revolution of The Indoor Football League. And as always she came to play. I’m sad to say I had to follow this game through the teams twitter feed, there was no TV no national coverage of this amazing athlete breaking thought the “Grass Ceiling”. But Jen is used to that. Playing a sport considered a mans game Jen and the women she’s played with lined up behind next to and across from for over a decade are all used to that, they don’t get the credit, accolades, money or plays of the day respect they deserve for playing this game the way they do. But They play, they play because they love football.
If you asked Jen Welter: if she is or was the best woman’s football player in the country she would tell you “NO WAY” . And a roll call of names she’s played with and against would flow past her infectious smile like Santa Clause going over his list of good kids he was leaving footballs for that Christmas. That’s the type of person Jen Welter is, she didn’t take on this challenge for self promotion she has no illusions about herself. She did this because they (The Revolution) asked her to. she did this for all the girls that came before her and the ones who will come after. She did this for the little girls who had to watch all those games from the sidelines. When they knew they could do it better. Jen did this because she had too.
But I digress.. While most of the country was glued to Olympic coverage or the NBA All Star weekend festivities I was staring at the Twitter feed of an Indoor Football League team I had never heard of 3 weeks ago. And in the third quarter my heart skipped a beat as I read “@jwelter47 is in the game and took a great hit! She got rocked and popped up!” and history was made… I can only imagine what she said to the guy who hit her. I’d like to think there was a bit of smack. But she probably just chuckled and huddled up. Jen’s First Run went for 2 yards she finished the night with three carries for minus one yard…
As far as this writers concerned it was the most important three carries in football history.
follow me on Twitter @TMurph207