Chris Carter had a tremendous 2008 season for Pawtucket, The affable Californian hit .300 with 24 home runs and 81 rbi. The International League All-Star then went to spring training and lead the Red Sox with 6 homers in the Grapefruit league. Carter was rewarded with a spot on Boston’s opening day roster. In limited action, Carter had an rbi, going 0-5 for the big club. Carter was optioned to the PawSox and joined the team on Friday as they embarked on their current swing through Pennsylvania and New York. In three games, the lefthanded slugger has gone 7-13, hitting a red-hot .538, leading the PawSox to a pair of wins. Carter has reminded me of Kevin Youkilis in his professional approach, not pouting, or making excuses, just playing the game as hard as he can. Youkilis was a regular traveller up and down route 95 in 2004 and 2005 before becoming a cornerstone for the Red Sox. Each time “Youk” was sent back down, he put his nose to the grindstone and continued to prove he belonged in the “Bigs”. Carters’ approach and results are similar. He ought to be proud of himself. He will be back in the Majors soon, this time for good.
Baseball can be a dangeous sport. Just ask PawSox manager, Ron Johnson. On Saturday, during a win over Lehigh Valley, RJ was at the wrong place at the wrong time. While talking with pitching coach Rich Sauveur, RJ was inadvertantly clipped in the chin by the bat of Chip Ambres. The skipper required medical attention from trainer Greg Barajas, who cauterized the wound. RJ pretended the procedure wasn’t painful, as it was performed in the dugout, in front of the team. Johnson later admitted “It hurt so bad I wanted to cry”. Johnson is no stranger to in-game pain. In 2007, while coaching third base in a game at Scranton, RJ was zapped by a foul ball hit by Jeff Bailey. It left a bruise on the manager’s ample belly that lingered for weeks.
Anyone who knows me, knows that there is nothing I hate more than the Yankees. I realize that hate is a strong word, but in this case it applies. I rank the “Evil Empire” somewhere between Adolph Hitler and Saddam Hussein. Imagine how horrified I was to find out that Dustin Pedroia and Kevin Youkilis became friends with Derek Jeter at the World Baseball Classic when the trio played together on Team USA. Pedey admitted that Jeter would be the one “non Red Sox” that he’d love to play with before he retires. Get on your knees and ask whatever God it is that you pray to, that it NEVER happens.