Matt Barnes gets a thrill

  1. You have chosen to ignore posts from 2013soxchamps. Show 2013soxchamps's posts

    Matt Barnes gets a thrill

    Sox slugger David Ortiz points at the 2004, 2007, and 2013 World Series trophies, which he had a big hand in.

    By Peter Abraham  |  Globe Staff  

      February 24, 2014

    FORT MYERS, Fla. — Matt Barnes glanced at the daily schedule posted in the Red Sox clubhouse to see what time he would be throwing live batting practice.

     

    When his eyes moved to the right, the 23-year-old righthander saw that he would be facing David Ortiz and Mike Carp.

     

    “That gets your attention, facing a guy like David. It puts things in perspective because I grew up watching him,” Barnes said Sunday. “Obviously everybody knows who he is and what he has done. But you still have to compete and go out there.”

     

    Barnes, a native of Bethel, Conn., rooted for the Yankees as a kid and remembers being disappointed when Ortiz delivered so many big hits against New York in the 2004 American League Championship Series. Now there he was, standing at the plate with mirrored sunglasses on, menacingly swinging a bat back and forth.

     

    “You can’t get nervous. If I’m going to succeed in the majors, I know I’m going to face great hitters,” Barnes said. “I took it as a challenge.”

     

    Barnes had a little trouble throwing strikes, but the pitches he got over the plate produced some poor swings by Ortiz.

     

    “Guy is tough,” Ortiz said when he left the cage.

     

    The Red Sox are counting on that. Barnes was the 19th overall pick of the 2011 draft out of the University of Connecticut and signed for a $1.5 million bonus. He has a 3.48 earned run average in 50 minor league starts and ended last season with Triple A Pawtucket.

     

    Barnes has struck out 275 in 233 minor league innings. He has one of the best fastballs in the system, but needs work on his secondary pitches. This is his first year in major league spring training.

     

    Barnes was excited to be able to face Ortiz, but said the best part of the day was throwing to veteran catcher David Ross.

     

    “Great feedback from Rossy, that was helpful to me,” he said. “He has so much experience and knows the game so well. Those kind of moments are valuable for me.”

     

    Until Sunday, Barnes said the toughest hitter he faced was Shelley Duncan, a power hitter with major league experience who spent time last season in Triple A.

     

    “Nobody like David,” Barnes said. “But it was fun. I want to do it again.”

     

     

     
  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from ThefourBs. Show ThefourBs's posts

    Re: Matt Barnes gets a thrill

    Good story.

    Thanks.

     
  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from mrmojo1120. Show mrmojo1120's posts

    Re: Matt Barnes gets a thrill

     That was cool.Thanks for posting the story.

     
  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from 2013soxchamps. Show 2013soxchamps's posts

    Re: Matt Barnes gets a thrill

    Three trophies..... gotta love that.

     
  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from Kingface12. Show Kingface12's posts

    Re: Matt Barnes gets a thrill

    Great read!  Thanks!  Its something that so many of the Ortiz bashers forget.  To these kids the guy is an absolute legend and somebody that they look forward to not only meeting but learning from.  To me this is a MUCH bigger and more important story than bashing him because he wants to play for the Sox for another season!

     
  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from 2013soxchamps. Show 2013soxchamps's posts

    Re: Matt Barnes gets a thrill

    In response to Kingface12's comment:

    Great read!  Thanks!  Its something that so many of the Ortiz bashers forget.  To these kids the guy is an absolute legend and somebody that they look forward to not only meeting but learning from.  To me this is a MUCH bigger and more important story than bashing him because he wants to play for the Sox for another season!




    Exactly. There is so much more to the Ortiz persona that many miss. If you ever get the chance to sit near the dug out during a game, it is fun watching him and the team. His interaction with his team mates is sometimes better than the game itself.

    I was at the marathon finish line for the Sox parade. The emotion Ortiz and the rest of the squad showed was something I will NEVER forget.

    To those that want to label me an obsessive fan.... go right ahead, I wear it with pride.

     

     
  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from ctredsoxfanhugh. Show ctredsoxfanhugh's posts

    Re: Matt Barnes gets a thrill

    I absolutely love Barnes' fastball.  He has the velocity and he has the command, he can dial it up and throw it high he can keep it low and throw it to both sides of the plate.  Commanding your fastball like that is almost like having multiple pitches with that one pitch.

    If absolutely nothing also evolves for Barnes and he stays stagnant.  (and there is every reason to believe he will continue to progress) I think he could still end up being one of the best closers in the league. 

     
  8. You have chosen to ignore posts from Kingface12. Show Kingface12's posts

    Re: Matt Barnes gets a thrill

    In response to 2013soxchamps' comment:

    In response to Kingface12's comment:

    Great read!  Thanks!  Its something that so many of the Ortiz bashers forget.  To these kids the guy is an absolute legend and somebody that they look forward to not only meeting but learning from.  To me this is a MUCH bigger and more important story than bashing him because he wants to play for the Sox for another season!




    Exactly. There is so much more to the Ortiz persona that many miss. If you ever get the chance to sit near the dug out during a game, it is fun watching him and the team. His interaction with his team mates is sometimes better than the game itself.

    I was at the marathon finish line for the Sox parade. The emotion Ortiz and the rest of the squad showed was something I will NEVER forget.

    To those that want to label me an obsessive fan.... go right ahead, I wear it with pride.

     




    Well said.  He has a TON of intangibles that people never see, hear or forget about.  Instead they focus on silly stuff.  They forget how he rallied the troops during the ALCS, how he keeps the team loose during road trips, the work he does for charity all over the world...etc etc.  His absence when he retires will be felt in more ways than his big stats or his heroics in the clutch....

     
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  10. You have chosen to ignore posts from 2013soxchamps. Show 2013soxchamps's posts

    Re: Matt Barnes gets a thrill

    In response to Kingface12's comment:

    In response to 2013soxchamps' comment:

    In response to Kingface12's comment:

    Great read!  Thanks!  Its something that so many of the Ortiz bashers forget.  To these kids the guy is an absolute legend and somebody that they look forward to not only meeting but learning from.  To me this is a MUCH bigger and more important story than bashing him because he wants to play for the Sox for another season!




    Exactly. There is so much more to the Ortiz persona that many miss. If you ever get the chance to sit near the dug out during a game, it is fun watching him and the team. His interaction with his team mates is sometimes better than the game itself.

    I was at the marathon finish line for the Sox parade. The emotion Ortiz and the rest of the squad showed was something I will NEVER forget.

    To those that want to label me an obsessive fan.... go right ahead, I wear it with pride.

     




    Well said.  He has a TON of intangibles that people never see, hear or forget about.  Instead they focus on silly stuff.  They forget how he rallied the troops during the ALCS, how he keeps the team loose during road trips, the work he does for charity all over the world...etc etc.  His absence when he retires will be felt in more ways than his big stats or his heroics in the clutch....




    My two favorite images from WS run.... I get goosebumps each time I see the bottom photo...

    They went from zeroes to heroes.....how often will we get to see something like that????

     
  11. You have chosen to ignore posts from garyhow. Show garyhow's posts

    Re: Matt Barnes gets a thrill

    In response to ctredsoxfanhugh's comment:

    I absolutely love Barnes' fastball.  He has the velocity and he has the command, he can dial it up and throw it high he can keep it low and throw it to both sides of the plate.  Commanding your fastball like that is almost like having multiple pitches with that one pitch.

    If absolutely nothing also evolves for Barnes and he stays stagnant.  (and there is every reason to believe he will continue to progress) I think he could still end up being one of the best closers in the league. 




    Big fan of Barnes watched him grow up in CT. live next town over and UCONN alum. Still believe he will be a starter at MLB, great fastball just needs to be able to throw breaking ball consistently for strikes, somethng he could not do 1st half last yr. But see him and Owens as best RS hopes for top of rotation starter in near future [Ball a little farther out]. Big yr for him if he pitches well could see for Sept. callup.

    But same could be said or a lot of RS young pitching prospects. Who will make that jump that Worman made last year. Is it RDR / Webster / Barnes / Raunado fun time to be RS fan. Owens I see staying full yr in minors no matter how well he pitches, still needs to workon mechanics and issue fewer walks.

     

     
  12. You have chosen to ignore posts from Flapjack07. Show Flapjack07's posts

    Re: Matt Barnes gets a thrill

    Pawtucket's rotation (like Portland's last season) is going to be very fun to watch this year. Makes me wish I still lived nearby.

     
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