WHY ARE YOU ON THE BENCH!?

 

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Why in God’s name is Jason Varitek still behind the plate!!!????? I’m sorry to say it, but he s**ks! He’s hit .151 since the All-Star b
reak, and his defense has been atrocious. I cannot figure out Tito’s logic as to why he insists on playing him when you have Victor Martinez, and George Kottaras sitting there waiting to go. Martinez has been great since his arrival in town, hitting .335 7 HR 35 RBI. Unfortunately, George has become the odd man out. Since the All-Star break, he’s hit .300
(3-10) in just 9 games, 4 of which he has been a pinch runner or defensive replacement. WHY!? V-Tek just cannot do it anymore, and you have a 26 year old kid who can play sitting there! Never have I been a critic of Terry Francona,but this is a joke. Jason Varitek has been hurting this team, more than he has been helping it. With only few regular season games left, I pray that Francona realizes that he NEEDS to play George more than Tek. You gotta play the kid!

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He’s BACK!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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After a questionable “injury”, George Kottaras made his return to the Major League field against the Tampa Bay rays. His return came in a crucial spot. The ‘pen gave up 3 runs and were looking for more, when George made a beautiful play at the plate to tag out fellow catcher Greg Zaun to prevent the game from getting out of hand. Then to end the inning, Kottaras threw out an attempted base-stealer at 3rd base to end the inning.

With 3 Catchers on the active roster, and Jason Varitek being a bit banged up, the likelihood of George receiving good playing time is a possibility. The only foreseeable issue is with catching Wakefield. Victor Martinez showed that he could do a decent job handling the knuckleball, and yet that job has been George’s for 99% of the season so far. Look for George to possibly return to his normal duties, and pushing V-Tek out of the picture.

Blindsided

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Blindsided. That is exactly how part of me feels about the recent transaction dealing with George Kottaras. When the Sox acquired Victor Martinez, I was glad because he’s one of those players that everyone loves in their lineup (defensively, thats another story). Poor George is left out of the picture until the Red Sox figure out what to do with him (He’s currently on the 15-day DL). My guess is that the best case scenario is to have both Martinez and Kottaras on the 25-man Roster, and let Jason Varitek go. You have more youth and up-side with a Kottaras/Martinez duo than any other. I hope that management comes to their senses, and realize that the potential of a Martinez/Kottaras  can be deadly for opponents!

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Heating Up!

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As previously stated, George Kottaras IS legit. We have seen him raise his Batting Average from .118 in April, to .259 in May, and now hitting .333 in June. He has been red hot in his last 3 games going 5-for-11 (.455) with 3 doubles and driving in 2 runs, which has ultimately risen his Batting Average to .237 for the year. Not only has his offense started to come around, but so has his defense. He has managed to commit only 1 error, and has has thrown out 3 attempted base stealers. Now with V-Tek struggling (3-for-32 in his last 10 games), we
can only hope to see more and more of George on a regular basis.
 
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Nick & George’s BIG media day

George Kottaras vs. Cuba
George Kottaras vs. Chinese Taipei at the 2004 Olympics

You’ll hear it here first! Leaked out by various members of the Greek media, ERT (Greek Radio and Television) are including George Kottaras and Nick Markakis in their feature on Greek sports/athletes outside of Greece. Both members of the 2004 Athens Olympic Baseball team that went 1-7 in the tournament, will be featured as part of the Baseball segment along with Diamantis “Adam”  Zervos who wrote the famed Baseball’s Golden Greeks, a book featuring The first Greeks to play in the MLB between the 1934-1974. Yours truely will try to get in on some of the action, Mr.Zervos is my uncle, so you can bet that I’ll be over the house, trying to get on the air.

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Nick Markakis at the 2003 European Championships (Greece placed 2nd)

And on a side note, here is a clip for Joe Costiglione’s pregame interview with George Kottaras.
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Baseball’s Golden Greeks is published by Aegean Books International, 636 Washington Street, Suite 8, Canton, Massachusetts 02021, Tel. 781-828-9399

Blues Brothers?

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Yes, thats right the Blues Brothers. Thats exactley what the Red Sox battery of Timmy Wakefield and George Kottaras have become since their pairing this season. Wakefield has been holding batters to a .186 AVG and sporting an outstanding 2.93 ERA in the process. While Kottaras has been struggling a bit at the plate, he’s showing signs of getting out of it by going 2-for-8 (.250) in May and having driven in 2 Runs. Despite his .160 AVG, George still offers a great left-handed bat to go along with solid (I say great) defense. Listening to WEEI 850AM’s, “Dale and Holley Show”, I found it interesting that they have a pole going on how long it will take for Big Papi to go deep. So i just want to interject by saying that George will hit one before Ortiz does.

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And on a side note, My condolences go out to the DiMaggio family and the Red Sox for the loss of “the Little Professor” Dom DiMaggio. Born to Sicilian immigrant parents (Sicily was once an Ancient Greek province), Dom spent his entire 11 year career with the Sox and was the younger brother of Yankee Joe DiMaggio.

Struggling and Thriving

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STRUGGLING: GEORGE KOTTARAS

The young Red Sox catcher has seen his Batting Average fall from a lovely .333 to .143 in the last 4 games he has played in (One of which he served as a defensive replacement and did not record an AB). While I am not ready to quit on him anytime soon, it seems as though George has run into some good pitching and tough luck at the dish. Behind it though,he’s been awesome. With an exception to the last start against Cleveland where he allowed 2 Passed balls, he has showed the critics that he’s capable of playing “Big League” caliber defense. I would still like to see him play more often,about 2-3 times a week in more of a platoon role. The only way to get out of this mini funk is to keep swinging. Για την Ελλάδα ρε Γιώργο!

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THRIVING: NICK MARKAKIS

What can I say, He’s a STUD! Nick Markakis is the epitome of the 5-Tool Player, a soon to be “Perennial All-Star”, and THE Franchise Player in Baltimore. He’s batting .382 with 2HR and 21RBI. You just have to love how he plays the game, almost like a “Dirt Dog”. He has 15 Hits in his last 10 games, has driven in 6 and is hitting .405 during that span (Apr.18-27). If you were fortunate enough to draft him in your Fantasy League, you are a very lucky owner, and if not, then I feel sorry for you. Keep it up Nick!

Quality Starts…what else would you expect

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He never ceases to amaze me, but let me begin by saying Χριστὸς ἀνέστη! George Kottaras has called complete games in 2 of his last 3 starts to go along with a stellar outing by Jon Lester (7 IP 4 H 0 R/ER 2 BB 9 K) on Πάσχα (Orthodox Easter). Despite going 0-for-5 in his last 2 starts (dropping his AVG to .182), he managed to drive in a run via a sacrifice fly. George has played perfect defense so far this season and his young career, and has managed to throw out a base stealer making him 1-for-5 on the year.

So far in his young career, George doesn’t have stand out stats, but he is EFFICIENT. Efficiency is hard to come by in young catchers, especially with those who’s defense has been called into question. Look for his bat to come around in his next couple of games. He possesses a big bat, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he starts his hot streak soon. Here’s a picture I found showing George having hit .217 AVG 8 HR 28 RBI by  May 26th, 2008 (I cannot remember where I found it). Even though this isn’t Triple-A, it gives you some idea of how he can get “hot” in an instance.

Keep it up George!

Kottaras calls a gem!

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The Boston Red Sox rookie catcher, George Kottaras, couldn’t have called a better game today. Well maybe he could have, but no one will complain with this one. With veteran knuckleballer Tim Wakefield on the hill, George set the tone from behind the dish. Needing only 111 pitches (76 for strikes) the Kottaras-Wakefield battery no hit the A’s into the 7th inning before Kurt Suzuki broke the streak with a single to Left. Defensively, Kottaras was brilliant, not allowing a passed ball the entire game. The Greek-Canadian from Markham, Ontario just missed putting one over the fence by a couple of feet in his second AB after grounding out in his first and later hit into a double play in his third AB before drawing a walk in his final At-Bat. So far in his young career, George is hitting 3-11 (.273) in 5 games with 2 doubles. I look forward to seeing him play more often in the future and eventually making it more of a platoon role between him and Varitek.

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The Beginning of an Era: The first of many to come

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Last night marked the beginning of an era…the George Kottaras era in Red Sox history. Let’s not get too ahead of ourselves, he’s still the back-up, but George did his job and that’s all we can ask for. After striking out in his first AB, George did what he does best, collecting a single into Right Field. He ended the night going 1-for-3, which so far is second on the team (that doesn’t even count). Behind the dish, was another story. Kottaras did a good job managing Wakefield’s Knuckleball, allowing a ball in the dirt to kick off his wrist, which allowed the runner to advance. Throwing runners out was, as you can imagine, an “interesting” experience. The Angels were 4-for-4 stealing bases, which should have been 3-for-4 but the Umpire didn’t seem to agree with me. All in all, George played well, and I look forward to seeing him catch very soon!

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