Boston Red Sox - Ready To Rumble In 1991 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   What do first place in the American League East, a playoff spot, and eighty-eight wins in 1990 add up to? Recognition! The Boston Red Sox showed many so-called baseball experts that they were in a class by themselves. A very poor pitching rotation led many to believe that these "Beantown" boys would have an enormous task to battle with the elite. Somebody forgot to tell them as they cut and pasted their way to a miraculous season. The only problem was that the Oakland A's stood in the way of their path to the World Series and they were beaten in four straight playoff games. One could say this must only have left a bitter taste in their mouths, yet a taste for what is to come this season.

This year things look promising for the Sox with the free agents they have signed, namely Danny Darwin, Matt Young, and Jack Clark, along with some excellent players developing in the minor leagues. Though the Red Sox showed they can win without big-name pitchers, they still needed to build a better pitching staff. The addition of Danny Darwin and Matt Young certainly beefs up their rotation. Danny Darwin has played twelve years in the majors with three different teams. The last two years, Danny has been a superb pitcher! He compiled an 11- 4 record in 1989 and in 1990. Danny had been one of the best middle relievers in baseball when he was suddenly turned into a starter in July of the 1990 season. After this change, he ran off with a nine-game winning streak, the longest in the National League, and he established a League leading 2.21 ERA.

Matt Young finally had a regular season in '90 as he came back from reconstructive elbow surgery two years earlier. Matt was on the disabled list during 1988 and was not playing much with the Oakland A's in 1989 when he signed with the Seattle Mariners in the off-season. He is a hard-throwing, high-kicking starter who has never established a good season, but when you play for a mediocre team like the Mariners, your record can only be as good as your team. Look for Matt to delight many Fenway fans this season!

Now that the Red Sox have two quality pitchers, they need to find someone who can fill Dwight Evans' DH role. Their answer is Jack Clark. A power-hitter extraordinaire, Clark has the ability to unleash fear in opposing pitchers. He has a big swing that can either bring big hits or big strikeouts. While other players get hot streaks, Clark doesn't get hot - he gets dangerous. Known as a slugger, Clark doesn't let a good fast ball pass him by. He hits with power and he never stops trying.

In addition to these free agents, the Red Sox have a bunch of rookie prospects in their minor league counterpart, the Pawtucket Red Sox. Some of the rookies spent some time with the big leagues last season. It seems apparent that Mo Vaughn will have a chance to be the first baseman for Boston this season. Mo hits with pure, raw, awesome power. He's been given lots of praise as one of the best prospects in the game right now. Phil Plantier spent some time in the last stretch of the '90 season with the Sox. He was the named the International League's MVP and Class A Player of the year. He batted .253 with 33 HR's and 79 RBI's in Pawtucket. He's a powerful left-handed hitter who will have to wait in line for a position on the team. Tim Naehring looks to secure a spot with the Red Sox as a backup shortstop. He batted .269 with Pawtucket and .271 in 24 games with Boston. Naehring was named the International League's All Star shortstop in 1990. He's a great guy who has a winning attitude and the talent to be the best he can.

As for pitchers, Daryl Irvine and Dave Owen are emerging as two rising rookies. Irvine spent little time with the BoSox. On April 28, 1990, Daryl made his big league debut. His outing was not great and he was sent back to Pawtucket. He bounced back and forth three times and hopes to have a role with Boston this year. A big righthander, Daryl had twelve saves and thirty games finished in Pawtucket. Dave Owen is a left-handed pitcher with one heck of a fast ball. He has one of the best pickoff moves around. Dave went 3-0 in his stint with Pawtucket last year and he might see some action in the big leagues, but probably only in an emergency. He had a consistent fastball in 1990, and he's an incredible competitor.

Things look bright for the Boston Red Sox 1991 Edition. They've got a great pitching staff and a lot of powerful players in their lineup. There will be some stiff competition in the AL this year, but look for the Red Sox to capture the American League East title once again. Fenway fever is starting to infect many baseball lovers and all we can do now is sit and wait until the fun begins! n


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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