Home' The River Weekly News : RWN 011218 Contents Local Spring Training Teams Still
Seeking Help In Free Agency Market
by Ed Frank
While the brutal winter temperatures and winds engulf
Boston and Minneapolis, those cities’ Red Sox and Twins
are expect to open Spring Training here exactly one
month from this Sunday when pitchers and catchers report for
It’s been a relatively quiet off-season for both teams, although
don’t be surprised if some free-agency signings and trades are
made in these final weeks leading up to Spring Training.
Let’s take a look at the present makeup of both teams four
weeks before the start of Spring Training:
Boston Red Sox:
The defending American League Eastern Division Champions
will open Spring Training at JetBlue Park with all nine members of the team’s 2017
starting lineup signed. However, they will have a new manager, Alex Cora, who replaces
John Farrell, let go after the team failed to advance in post-season play two years in row.
Despite the return of this veteran lineup, it’s no secret that Dave Dombrowski,
president of baseball operations, is after free-agent slugger J. D Martinez in order to
strengthen his team’s offense.
Although Boston repeated as division champion last season, it was obvious they lacked
the prestigious power that was lost when David Ortiz retired after the 2016 season.
Martinez, 45 homers last season with the Arizona Diamondbacks, would bring
greater production to the Red Sox than any other free agent on the market. Reportedly,
Dombrowski has offered the slugger a hefty five-year deal, but bargaining with his agent,
Scott Boras, is never easy.
Should the Red Sox be successful in landing Martinez, the question remains where
would the outfielder play with the team’s present solid outfield of Andrew Benintendi,
Jackie Bradley, Jr., and Mookie Betts?
Most likely he would start as the designated hitter.
Stay tuned to learn whether the crafty Dombrowski lands the slugger.
The Twins were one of baseball’s biggest surprises last season when they reversed
course from their disastrous 2016 season when they lost more than 100 games to earn a
postseason playoff berth in 2017.
And it earned Manager Paul Molitor the American League Manager of the Year
Like the Red Sox, the Twins return most of their starting lineup when they report to
the CenturyLink Sports Complex next month.
Minnesota has signed ageless Fernando Rodney and lefty Zach Duke to one-year deals
to significantly improve their bullpen.
The top priority, however, is to sign a top-of-the-line starting pitcher. They have made
no secret of their desire to sign veteran free-agent Yu Darvish, who pitched for the Los
Angeles Dodgers last season.
But the Chicago Cubs, the Houston Astros and the Texas Rangers also are in pursuit
of the talented Japanese pitcher.
Other top starters such as Jake Arrieta, Lance Lynn and Alex Cobb remain unsigned
at the time of this writing. But Darvish is clearly the Twins first choice.
1. Who was the last Boston Red Sox pitcher before Rick Porcello (22 wins) in 2016 to
win 20 or more games in a season?
2. Name the last player before Houston’s Jose Altuve (2014-17) to have at least four
consecutive 200-hit seasons.
3. Indianapolis’ Adam Vinatieri set an NFL record in 2016 for most consecutive made
field goals (44). Who had held the mark?
4. Who was the first U.S. male player to win two Olympic basketball gold medals?
5. Since the NHL adopted its current playoff format in 1994, how many times has a No.
1 seed been swept in the first round?
6. When was the last World Cup before 2018 for which both the Italian and the U.S.
men’s soccer teams failed to qualify?
7. Who was the last French cyclist to win the Tour de France?
1. Josh Beckett won 20 games in 2007. 2 . Seattle’s Ichiro Suzuki, 2001-10. 3 . Mike
Vanderjagt, with 42 in a row (2002-04). 4 . Bob Kurland, in 1948 and 1952. 5 . Once -- the
Chicago Blackhawks, in 2017. 6 . It was in 1958. 7 . Bernard Hinault, in 1985.
THE RIVER - JANUARY 12, 2018
Community, Ser vice, Leadership,
Expertise, Integrity, Results
Pfeifer Realty Group
Is Your Home Team!
More than 135 of the best synchro-
nized skating teams in the Eastern
Region will compete in the U.S .
Figure Skating 2018 Eastern Synchronized
Skating Sectional Championships at
Germain Arena from Wednesday, January
17 to Saturday, January 20. This is Lee
County’s first time hosting the champion-
ship, which is expected to draw more
than 2,000 skaters to Southwest Florida,
including a local team from the Florida
Everblades Figure Skating Club.
A popular discipline within U.S.
Figure Skating and around the world,
synchronized skating uses the same judging
system as singles, pairs and dance. It is
characterized by teamwork, speed, intricate
formations and challenging step sequences.
During the Eastern Synchronized Skating
Sectional Championships, teams consisting
of eight to 20 skaters are contending in
preliminary, pre-juvenile, open juvenile,
open collegiate, open adult and open
masters levels. Teams are vying for a spot
in the 2018 U.S. Synchronized Skating
Championships, which takes place in
Oregon in late February.
The event is anticipated to bring 8,000
competitors and spectators to Southwest
Florida, generating an estimated 7,000
hotel room nights and $4 million in direct
Qualifying rounds will be held on
Wednesday and Thursday leading up to the
competition’s championship rounds, which
will kick off with an opening ceremony
at 3:30 p.m. on Thursday. All teams will
perform a free skate with required well-
balanced program elements, and teams at
the junior level will also perform a short
program. For more details and the full
event schedule, visit www.easternsynchro-
Daily and full-week admission is avail-
able online through Ticketmaster at www.
germainarena.com. Daily tickets are $25
for adults and $10 for youth ages 6 to 12.
Discounted rates are offered for seniors
and active military, and admission is free
for children under age 5.
Germain Arena is located at 11000
Everblades Parkway in Estero.
A team competes at the 2017 Synchronized Skating Championships
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