My picture of the week is with my broadcast idol as a kid growing up in New England, Ken Coleman.
Coleman, who was inducted into the Red Sox Hall of Fame in 2000, passed
away in 2003 at the age of 78 and spent 34 years on both television and
the radio until retiring in 1989.
The Quincy, Mass., native broke into the business in 1952 with the
Cleveland Browns, where he spent the next 14 seasons calling every
touchdown Hall of Famer Jim Brown ever had. In 1965, Coleman got a job with the Red Sox, replacing Curt Gowdy, and called the 1967 World Series for NBC television and radio.
And now onto this week’s mailbag:
Do you think John Smoltz should take Dice-K’s spot in the rotation? Would the Red Sox ever consider a six-man rotation?
–Paul, Tampa Bay
No, I think they are going to give Daisuke some more time. We should
find out more Tuesday. I would consider a six-man rotation, but the Red
Sox may not. I think it would preserve your starters for September and
the postseason. Everyone says it will mess with routine and change how
they approach time in between starts, but to me, rest would be more
important. If your starting rotation is that deep, then use it all.
Who is the Red Sox’ top hitting prospect? How is he doing this season?
–Heather, Dalton, Mass.
Lars Anderson. He is at Double-A Portland and is
doing fairly well. Last year, he hit 18 home runs between Single-A and
Double-A. This year in the Eastern League, he has seven home runs and
34 RBIs and a .260 average. He was an 18th-round pick in the 2006 draft
and was in spring training with the big club this past spring. He is
listed as the No. 1 prospect in the organization by Baseball America,
and the scouts feel he will become a power guy.
Clay Buchholz is itching to get back to the Show. When do you think he will get his shot with the Red Sox this season?
–Miguel, Albany, N.Y.
Again, this starting rotation will come to a head Tuesday or in the
next few days. I just don’t see where he fits right now as the
Red Sox are trying to find a spot for John Smoltz. I do not see a spot
for Buchholz. I have said all along I believe he is the pitcher the Red
Sox will trade as part of a package. I think the scouts are impressed
with what they have seen at that level and feel he could be a
productive starter. It’s just there is no room right now for him here.
Are you a fan of interleague play?
–Kelly, Hartford, Conn.
I love interleague play. I love everything about it. I like,
selfishly, going to all the different parks and seeing all the National
League players. Finding a natural rival is difficult for some, and I
think that part of it could be tweaked and made so that the schedule is
more consistent for all teams. The fans have spoken, and they are
attending these games — as a result, it will stay for years to come.
Do you think the Red Sox will go after another bat?
–Skip, Hingham, Mass.
If they do go after anything, I think it will be at shortstop or a
bat. Everything else is solid, and as far as shortstop goes, I think
they feel Jed Lowrie, when ready, will fill the void there. This recent stretch by David Ortiz may have quieted their desire for a bat.
Who was your broadcast idol when you were growing up?
That’s easy. Ken Coleman. I grew up in North Conway/Madison, N.H. We
had more games on radio than TV where we lived. So it was every night
in the kitchen listening to radio, and at that time, Ken Coleman was
there every night. It seemed like the coolest job ever. He seemed like
a friend, even though I did not know him until years later. Ironically,
I had the chance to intern for him in his last season of 1989 as his
statistician. I sat next to him and spent a lot of time with him after
that year. He passed away in 2003 before the Red Sox won the World
Series in 2004. He is missed.