Tag Archives: John Smoltz

As soon as those Rumors about Penny going to the Braves for Francoeur heated up….

Nick "The Sox only win when I'm at short" GreenPenny gets roughed up and Millwood silences the Sox bats in what was an altogether forgetable game. t was just one of those ones that make you wake up the next morning and have forgotten that it actually happened. It was unremarkable in every way, other than the fact that David Ortiz’ Rotting Corpse was the one member of the Sox to come up with an RBI.

Blame it on Lugo. If Nick Green was in the game we might have won.

Jeff Francoeur, who all the rumors say might be coming to the Sox for penny in a couple of weeks when Smoltz is ready, has been not bad this year (even though I’m pretty sure that SMC traded for him in his video game, as he does every year). He’s hitting .250 and could be a fill in as a left handed bat when pieces start to fall off of Ortiz (he’s rotting, remember). the issue is that we could probably get the smae production from hitting Kotsay and Baldelli as DH, even though they are right handed. It’s a crappy situation no matter how you look at it  (unless Adam Dunn is in the way).

We’ve got Lester on the mound tonight trying to build some momentum, and hopefully Green in the lineup.

Go Sox.

Done.

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Holy Shit! It’s Truck Day and the Red Sox are going to win the AL East.

Truck DayCongratulations Red Sox fans, we’ve made it through the long ALCS hangover known as the off season and we are standing on the precipice of another brand spanking new baseball season.  While not all of us will be able to get over to Fenway at 1:00 today to see off the gear and the flatbed that will lead it out with Wally, Fenway Ambassadors (I hope that means the new hooker service in the EMC club) and some people who paid to be called “official” members of Red Sox Nation, we can all bask in the fact that it is less than a week until the fields of Ft Myers will be teaming with pitchers and catchers. 

This brings me to my main point of the day: The Boston Red Sox will win the AL East this season. The division features the three best teams in all of baseball (yes, all of baseball, Phuck you Phillies Phans), and the rules say that one of them has to be left out. It will be the Sox who rise to the top of the division this season, for these three reasons (among others):

Rotation1. Starting pitching. “You can never have too much pitching,” according to Theo Epstein (our resident genius), but the Sox come close. The starting rotation is led by Beckett, He Who Shall Not Be Doubted, and the Wiggler. Any of those guys can step in and be a stopper on any individual day, and if you add to that the fact that Beckett is cooler than the Fonz in odd numbered years (’03, ’05, ’07) you have three aces. The back end of the rotation is a fluid situation, with Timmmmmaaaaaaaayyyyyyyy, and Mr. Dushku taking the lead and the physical freak (Smoltz, who’ll be available in June), Suchholz, Bowden and Masterson (who’s gonna start the season in the pen) all available to fill in. 

CC Sabathia on his way to work.

CC Sabathia on his way to work.

The Yankees filled their previously struggling rotation out for around $243.5 Million this winter but didn’t get a single actual proven commodity in those two signings. Other than last season and, to a lesser extent, his previous walk year of 2005, AJ Burnett has not been impressive. Yes, he has nasty stuff, buit he also smells a lot more like Carl Pavano than Josh Beckett (all three of them won the Series with the ’03 Marlins). He broke down his first two years in Toronto and only showed up when there were dollars on the line. CC Sabathia, on the other hand, is a horse (and might weigh as much as one once the pressure of pitching in the AL East gets to him). He has thrown nearly 500 innings in the last two seasons and shat the bed in the playoffs both years (2-3 with a 7.92 ERA), not to mention the fact that he sucks against the Sox. Does not inspire a ton of confidence. The Rays had an entire rotation full of career years last year, except for Kazmir, and are adding the truly frightening David Price, so nobody has any clue what they are going to do, any anyone who tells you that they do is full of shit. 

Bad Man2. David Ortiz is a bad man. He is pissed at all of those people who said that he was done, and he knows how to make them hurt. He is healthy, jacked, and has Youkilis’ beard (already taking his cuts at City of Palms) and the Buzzard (it’s my new nickname for Jason Bay), both 30 HR guys protecting him in the lineup. Don’t sleep on this lineup or you’ll end up in worse shape than Squeak after the Beers won the Denslow Cup.

Better than Hootie and the Blowfish3. But the real reason that the Sox are the class of the division, and therefore the league is the bullpen. Who would you rather have: a fading Mariano Rivera (still the best closer ever but at the end of his time on top of the mountain), Dan Wheeler (no, seriously, they expect Dan Wheeler to be a shut down closer, ha), or the Papelbeast? I thought you’d say that. Not only do the Sox have the clear advantage in the closer department, but the rest of the guys playing the drums out in right field are a formidable force themselves. Since Masterson stepped into the seventh inning role last summer, Delcarmen (2.35 ERA in the last 35 games) became more reliable as a shutdown reliever and should be able to hold down the sixth and seventh, He's excitedOki got more comfortable and bounced back from his slow start, and Javier Lopez became one of the better lefty match up guys in the league. They will be joined by fireballing young righty Ramon Ramirez (2.64 ERA last season) and former Dodgers closer Takashi Saito. The group goes seven deep with two players who can effectively close on nights when the Papelbeast is unavailable (hungover). The Rays have problems at the back end of their bullpen, where Wheeler was exposed last fall and David Price stepped in. Price, who is still a rookie, is going to be moving into the rotation, leaving a hole in the late innings. JP Howell and former Sox righty specialist Chad Bradford, both had career years last season but are middle relief guys, and nobody really knows what Grant Balfour (who is still nuttier than elephant turds when he is on the mound) is going to be able to do. There are too many question marks here, as in their starting rotation, to be confident about much.Mo-No! I blew another save! The Yanks on the other hand, have Mariano Rivera at the back end of the pen to shorten games. He is coming off of a scope of his shoulder and is already starting to fade at age 39 even though he posted 39 saves last season with a WHIP of .665 and and ERA of 1.40. Beyond him there are a lot of empty spaces and question marks. Damaso Marte was great at the end of the season, but we have yet to see if he can duplicate that on the big stage and after AL hitters have gotten a better look at him. Jose Veras and Edwar Ramirez are both middle relief guys and have had control problems in the past, so neither can be expected to step into the set up role. Brian Bruney, Phil Coke and some minor leaguers round out the group but none of them has a proven track record at anything and leave the Yankees depth in question. Of course, they’ll probably pick up somebody from a struggling club at mid season, but for now their bullpen is a real concern. The Sox go seven deep, and only have one real question mark out there in the form of Saito, who has been very successful in the past but is coming of an injury plagued season. The less uncertainty the better and the Boston bullpen ranks last in the number of question marks. 

Be happy. The Boston Red Sox will win the AL East. They have a stronger pitching staff than their competitors and the lineup is going to be better than all of the worrywarts think. Of course, you don’t have to score many runs when your pitchers are this good. The long dark teatime of the soul is over. It’s Truck Day, the sun is shining and somewhere, on green fields, under blue skies and with B’s on their caps, people are going to be playing baseball really really soon. Anyone wanna have a catch?

Go Sox.

6 Days. 

Done.

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The Captain Question: Part Dos

 

No Seriously, it's better than Christmas and Hannukah combined.

No Seriously, it's better than Christmas and Hannukah combined.

With only 15 days remaining until truck day (yes, just 15 days. If you don’t know what truck day is, you should find out, it’s better than christmas, especially for Joos) the Red Sox roster is coming into focus. The rotation is solid, with seven guys ready to take the ball: Beckett, He Who Will Never Be Doubted, The Japanese Wiggler, Wake, Penny, Smoltz (after June 1) and Suchholz.The bullpen is solid with all of the new guys plus the crew that was strong at the end of last season. The lineup card should look like this:

1. Jacoby Ellsbury CFYeah, they're still pretty good

2. Dustin Pedroia, AL MVP 2B

3. David “fear me” Ortiz DH

4. The Beard that Should Not Be 1B

5. Jason “Buzzards” Bay LF

6. J.D. Drew RF

7. Mike Lowell 3B

8. Little Jeddy SS

9 Josh Bard C

Dear God, let me be good enough to play in Boston.

Dear God, let me be good enough to play in Boston.

Thats right, Josh Freaking bard is our only major league ready catcher. George Kottaras, no matter what kind of boner Dale Arnold has for him, is not the answer, either offensively or behind the plate. Dusty Brown is simply not ready (and is no sure thing either) and a trade for one of the guys in Texas or Arizona does not seem to be on the horizon in the near future. But what about the guy who held down the job last year? Where did he go to that multi year offer that his agent (Satan) told him was coming? Oh, yeah, he’s waiting for someone to come to him. 

Tek Paps HugJason Varitek is in a no win situation. His fate has been a big question since the days following the end of the 2008 season in October. He will not get an offer from anyone other than the Red Sox, because as a type 1 free agent, any team that signs him will have to give up a first round draft pick. The Sox don’t have to pay him big because they know this. Each time another catcher signs, Varitek’s options dwindle.  First Texas traded Gerald Laird to the Tigers and Ramon Hernandez went to Cincinnati, closing the door that many thought might be open in Detroit or Cinci. Then, when Satan turned down a one year deal in Boston for $10-12 Million in arbitration, he lost the only guaranteed money that was going to be out there. Now as teams start to sign backups (Brad Ausmus and the Dodgers, Henry Blanco and the Padres) the market begins to close down even more. 

The Red Sox are in a prime position of power over one of the most important players in recent team history. They can cut the cord now, move on and take the risk that comes with having another receiver behind the plate, bring back the Captain for another year as the starting catcher and deal with the future of the position later or bring him in as a mentor to a guy who they think is the catcher of the future. Out At First Of course, the issue isn’t what Varitek can do behind the plate, where he is one of the best in the game still, but what he does with his spot in the lineup. Last season was unquestionably the worst in the career of the one time Silver Slugger winner. He hit .220 with only 13 home runs and 43 RBI. He was a liability with his inability to create the all important productive out down the stretch and into the playoffs, striking out at many times when something as simple as a ground out would have advanced a runner or scored one. This failure was one of the factors that led to the Sox falling two runs short of the AL Pennant. The 2007 season was significantly better in most categories. He hit .255 (.035 better) reached base at a .367 clip (.o54 better) and had 25 more RBI. These may not be astounding offensive numbers, but for such a premium defensive position, and one which has such an impact on the pitching staff, Tek’s 2007 stats are enough to give him that spot in the lineup.

The Brain TrustFrom the Sox side, it is time for a decision. The cold, analytical part of Theo  is ready to move on, more so since the rejection of arbitration. These are the tough decisions that come with the success that the team has had in the past few years, and what will keep them competitive in the future. Yes, we need a new catcher who can take the job and run with it as Varitek did in 99. That is the cold hard facts of the situation. John Henry, on the other hand, is a more sentimental type, and met with Jason at his Atlanta area home last week. He wants to be loyal to one of the men who has done a tremendous amount for his organization. He wants Varitek to be able to return to the team and leave on his own terms, not simply be let go.

George Kottaras

George Kottaras

The main problem with taking Theo’s route and cutting the cord is that there is no viable replacement on the roster. The three catcher coming to spring training are Josh Bard, George Kottaras and Dusty Brown. The last two are too young and inexperienced to tackle the every day duties of handling a pitching staff, even though Dale Arnold has a man crush on Kottaras and Brown has a great ballplayer name (if you are going to name your kid dusty he can’t become an accountant). They are also not ready to produce offensively in the Major Leagues. Kottaras, in two seasons in Pawtucket, has failed to hit above .243, and though he has shown pop (22 HR last year) his RBI production is disappointing (only 65).  Brown, who many see as a better prospect, had 12 HR, 55 RBI and a .290 average last season, but was limited to 297 at bats (84 games) due to injuries. Neither one is ready to be an every day Major League hitter, and their inexperience behind the plate is too much to ignore. Over the Monster had a great rundown on the two of them at the end of December, where they said that using these two is worth a shot, but as Truck Day and Reporting Day get closer I still don’t think that they are ready.

Josh Bard Wears a goofy Hockey Helmet.

Bard, on the other hand, has plenty of Big League experience, though never in a starting role. The catcher, 31, has played parts of six seasons in the Majors. He has never started more than the 118 games he did in 2007, when he hit .285 with 5 hr and 51 RBI. He is a very viable back up catcher but due to his age, injury history, and relative (to Varitek) lack of experience handling a pitching staff, he is probably not ready to take over for a man as sturdy as the Captain. Yeah, Bard could start for most clubs, like he did for the Padres, but this is a different situation. The Red Sox are a club built to win now, and having a mediocre player filling such an important role just will not do. The fact that every member of the pitching staff has raved about all that Varitek does for them when he is behind the plate gives you a clue as to how important that experience is. 

Never Forget

Never Forget

It comes down to this: The best option in November is still the best option today. Sign Varitek and bring in a young catcher to apprentice to him for one or two years, whether that is by bringing Brown up to be the guy, or trading for someone like Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Taylor Teagarden, or Miguel Montero. Though it is a sellers market, especially since everyone knows that the Sox are getting desperate, catching is at as much of a premium as young pitching is these days and it may be a wise move to let some of the minor league arms go for the catcher of the next ten years. Varitek, like Lowell and Ortiz, is primed to have a bounce back year. Unlike last season, this year he will not be playing under the outside pressure of a failing marriage which has become fodder for the Inside Track, and his head will be focused squarely on his game. I would expect a return to his 2007 numbers at least. 

Now it’s up to Theo, Henry, Lucchino and their crew to decide. Will it be a return for the Captain, or a new dawn behind the plate for the Sox? 

Go Sox. 

21 Days. 

Done.

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Congrats, Jim.

 

 

Just doing my job.

Just doing my job.

There’s probably not a lot left to say, but after 24 hours of digesting the information, I’m as happy for Jim Rice as I have been for anyone to make the Hall of Fame since Pudge Fisk made it nine years ago. Jim may not have been a clear cut candidate for the Hall, but he was good enough 20 years ago, just as he is today.It will be a tear filled night at Fenway this summer when Jim Ed’s number joins the other legends on the right field facade (way cooler than monument park, or whatever graveyard those assholes in pinstripes have at their over priced new ballyard). This also makes the number 14 eligible for me to buy a jersey of, as I only get the retired numbers and don’t need to worry about them ending up as Yanks, like all the women who bought Shitface Damon jerseys in 2004 (I currently have 9 and 27). Tom Verducci’s article on SI.com this morning gave the best explanation of why Jim Rice should have been in the Hall of Fame:

“In 1978 Brewers general manager Harry Dalton was asked who he would want if every player in the AL were made a free agent. “Rice,” he said, without hesitation.

In 1979 Rice was the highest paid player in baseball. And in 1986 and ’87 he was still the highest paid player in baseball. His value and respect as a player in the days when he played, not in the sabermetric autopsy, was off the charts.

He once hit a ball completely out of Fenway Park by clearing the back wall of the centerfield bleachers, a shot the late Tom Yawkey described as the longest ball he ever witnessed in seven decades of watching games at Fenway.

Rice wasn’t great just for a small period of time. In the 12 years starting with 1975, Rice finished first, third, third, fourth, fourth and fifth in MVP balloting, was named to eight All-Star teams, and ranked among the top five in RBIs seven times, home runs five times, total bases five times and batting average four times. His reliability at an elite level was extraordinary. Rice qualified for the batting title in every one of those 12 seasons and never had a truly bad year — his worst OPS+ in that run was 112, and that was a season in which he drove in 122 runs. He took 76 percent of his career plate appearances in either the third or fourth spot in the lineup, and batted .308 with runners in scoring position.”

Left Field Represent!

Left Field Represent!

I couldn’t have said it better myself (even though I’ve tried). Surviving Grady also gives us some great looks at why Jim belongs amongst the stars. I am really looking forward to the July 26th induction ceremony this year, not just for the fact that we will get to see Jim’s plaque hang with the men who he followed in the shadow of the Monster, Yaz and the Kid, but that we will get to see what kind of loud, epilepsy inducing suit he will wear. I also want to give a shout to the one and only Rickey Henderson. Both he  (2002) and his brother Dave (’86-’87) were one time Sox, and the stuff that promises to come out of his mouth in Cooperstown will be the stuff of legends. They are the first left fielders to be inducted since Yaz got in 20 years ago. Even at the press conference after the announcement, both Jim and Rickey entertained us all by ripping on the Steroid users who made them look all the better for their class, skill, and ability to follow the rules. I just can’t wait for the next step. 

Smoltz signing is official: Here’s to the 7 man rotation (Josh “the Fonz” Beckett, He Who Shall Never Be Doubted, The Wiggler, Wake, Penny, Smoltz, Suchholz)!

Go Sox.

30 Days. 

Done.

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What? Baseball Season is Only 33 Days Away? Awesome

Yeah, thats right. We may have missed some things while spending this week talking about how much Tebow sucks. But, as we close in on a month left to go until spring (yes, it will be spring on February 12. You can’t have spring training without it being spring), there are a few pieces to pick up.

  Rocco!The Sox added two more pieces to the puzzle that is the 2009 team. Rocco Baldelli is the fourth outfielder that I have hoped the Sox would pick up since he showed what he can still do at the end of the season with the Rays. He hit .263 with 4 home runs, 5 doubles and 13 RBI in just 80 at bats last season, after coming back from a mitochondrial disorder which caused him to fatigue easily and lose his legs. Those numbers translated over 400 at bats equal a pretty damn good season, and the mitochondrial disorder has been rediagnosed as Channelopathy, which is apparently much more treatable (I have no idea what any of this means. Perhaps Dr. Douchetits can explain?). He will also be a welcome departure from the recent slate of noodle armed Red Sox outfielders (he has a cannon). Won’t we miss the days of runners walking into third while Johnny “throws like Mary” Damon watches with the ball in his hand in center field? I guess not. The fact that he has reclaimed the number five (my favorite number) from the imagined greatness of Nomar, allowing plenty of people to pull their old home jerseys out of the closet, and is a local kid who grew up in a family of Red Sox fans just puts icing on the cake of a very good signing.  

Looks just as good aged 20 years.

Looks just as good aged 20 years.

The addition of John Smoltz, who may not be available to pitch until late May or early June, is a good signing in that he provides the depth to the pitching rotation, much like Bartolo Colon did last year. He is coming off of shoulder surgery, and is 41 years old, but also happens to be the only man in Major League Baseball history who has 150 saves and 200 wins. He is a battle tested, playoff hardened success who is 15-4 with a 2.65 ERA in the postseason. This signing is good because should he come back strong he will provide a less blowhardly (I invented that word) version of Curt Schilling’s presence in the clubhouse and on the mound during the playoffs, and also allow the Sox to be more flexible with their young starters like Masterson, Bowden and Buccholz. I like it, supposing he does make the comeback as scheduled.   

The Show

With these aquisitions, and the earlier signings of Bard and Penny, the Sox seem to be building up quietly to being a very good team this spring. The question marks, such as Lowell’s hip, Ortiz’ wrist, and Beckett’s, well, Beckett, are too many to ignore, but we’ve got to keep reminding ourselves that this is still the professional core of a team that won the freaking World Series two years ago, and was two runs short of an AL pennant last year. Yeah, the Old Left Fielder is gone, but we still have excellent pitching, a third season in the States will yield a more comfortable Matsuzaka, and the American League Most Valuable Player is still hitting in the two spot and playing second base (Dusty Pete will be gracing the cover of MLB 2009 and this is a good thing. Unlike the Madden curse, when Ortiz was on the cover in 2006, he had his best statistical season, with 54 HR, 137 RBi and 1 stolen base. Pedroia will do fine). Gold Gloves are heavy, thats why he's bending down.I also want to pay a little respect to Youkilis, who came in third in the MVP voting, is a guy who can put up 30/100/.300 and plays gold glove first base. If he continues to improve on pace with how he has done in his three full Major League seasons, he will become the power hitter that can back up Big Papi in the lineup. The possible return of Mark Kotsay as a backup first baseman/fifth outfielder is just one more reason to be optimistic about the depth of this team, as he is a guy who could be playing everyday somewhere else if the circumstances were different.  

But there are question marks every where, New York, Tampa Bay and Boston. Will almost half a billion dollars get the Yanks back into the World Series fold? Will the Ray’s young starting pitching and questionable bullpen be able to repeat the season that they had last year? Will CC Sabathia and Mark Teixeira be able to thrive in the pressure filled environment of New York when they have never had this kind of expectations on them in the past? Will Josh Bard punch A-Rod in the face just to prove that he is the right guy for the job? Peter Gammons (the man) helped to process some of these issues last week when he spoke to WEEI (Thanks to Extra Bases for the transcript). 

just as big a tool as Mattingley

I'm a Tool.

His thoughts on the Teixeira situation: “He wanted to go to the Yankees, his wife doesn’t like Boston — apparently she doesn’t like the stores on Newbury Street or something — and in the end that’s the way it goes…. As you probably remember, there was a lot of testiness between Alex Rodriguez and Mark Teixeira when they played in Texas together . . . and I don’t think Alex really cares about communicating with other players, we know [that] from Derek Jeter. Also, we haven’t really seen Teixeira in a situation where the expectations are really that high, and he’s going to have to deal with them in New York. It will be very interesting to see how it goes with the Yankees.”

(A Big F@#$ you to Leigh Teixeira for that one. Now Boston doesn’t like you either.)

On the free agent market this winter and Scott Boras’ evil control: “This is one of the worst winters I can ever remember. What happened this winter is that, as the internet has expanded to become the media power, the flow of information is quickly controlled by agents. A lot of general managers and those of us in the business kid about a couple of sites referred to as ScottBoras.com, and Scott will float things out there and throw it out there and people will report it, you know, ‘The Brewers are jumping in on Derek Lowe.’ They’re not jumping in on Derek Lowe. I mean, please. ‘The Red Sox are really hot for Derek Lowe at $16 [million] . . . ‘ No, they’re not. But Scott floats this stuff out, and he’s able to get people to report it.”

Tek ThrowOn whether Varitek will return to Boston: “Well, if he calls and says, ‘I’ll sign at $2 million,’ they might do it. If someone would just sign Varitek, the Red Sox would say, ‘Thank you, we’ll take the draft choices.’ Now, I’m not sure anybody is going to sign him. One player said to me, ‘Well, the Marlins might sign Varitek for $5 million.’ No, they won’t . . . they Marlins aren’t giving up a first-round draft pick for Jason Varitek. Can’t happen. I don’t know what’s going to happen . . . I still think the Red Sox will trade for a catcher, whether it’s now or the 15th of March, and I don’t know what’s going to happen with Jason. It’s too bad. How Scott Boras looked him in the eye and said, ‘By the way, I turned down $10 million [in arbitration],’ is beyond me.”

How he thinks the AL East will turn out: “They actually asked me to do this last night on “SportsCenter.” I took Tampa third, and I really like Tampa. Buster Olney disagreed — he thinks Tampa is the team to beat with all of their young pitching . . . I don’t see their bullpen coming close to doing what they did last year. I picked the Red Sox second, just because we don’t know about the health of David Ortiz and Mike Lowell, and I think Josh Beckett will be fine. You never know about J.D. Drew’s health. And the Yankees, with the innings that [CC] Sabathia and [Chien-Ming] Wang can give them and all the offense they should have, they clearly have to be the favorites.”

June 10, 2010Now, I don’t know if I agree with the great one on the last point. The pressure is going to balloon Sabathia until he looks more like Cartman on Weight Gain 4000, A-Rod and Teixeira will get into a purse fight at the mound and Wang broke down last season and is as big a question mark as anyone on the Sox. He does, however, give some interesting insight into the Varitek situation, and how Boras is seen by teams, his clients and the media.

Gammons also had this happy thought to share about the Red Sox pitching staff in his chat yesterday on EB:

Jon Lester says, "Get Out Of My Ballpark."

Jon Lester says, "Get Out Of My Ballpark."

“I think it could be the best. Obviously Josh Beckett has to be healthy and I think they really improved the setup crew in front of Papelbon with the addition of Ramirez, and Masterson and Okajima. Obviously   they should have three really good starters, the alternatives with Wake, Smoltz, Penny, Buchholz, and Bowden could be potentially the deepest staff in the league. I love the Smoltz signing. Both John Farrell and Ben Cherington went to Atlanta to watch him throw and were very impressed.   And Smoltz is one of those rare players who thrives on pressure and crowds. What’s interesting about Penny, is that if he had gone out on the market last winter, he would have gotten an A.J. Burnett contract b/c he was coming off finishing third in Cy Young race. He did break down the last three months, but Burnett has broken down 2-3 times himself. Over the last three years, Burnett and Penny have each won 38 games, and Burnett has only averaged 10 more innings a season. One of the reasons Penny wanted Boston was b/c of the way that Terry Francona and John Farrell handle pitchers, so there’s a good chance he can turn out to be a major contributor.”

Takashi SaitoAs I was writing this the Sox announced that they have signed Takashi Saito to a one year deal so hold down the seventh and eighth innings along with Delcarmen, Masterson, Okajima, Ramirez and Masterson (yeah, our bullpen is awesome). It’s a good deal for a guy who was the Dodgers closer for three years, and can definitely do the job in the late innings for the Sox, and of course, gives them more flexibility with the pitching staff. 

Hit like and All-Star, Party like a Rock Star, F#$% like a Pornstar.Also Jason Giambi has signed a contract to take his mustache, gold thong and steroid carrying trainer back to the Oakland A’s, where he made his name, before going to New York for $115 Million and seven Ringless years. Hey, at least he will fit in at many Bay Area events with the mustache and thong. 

Tonight is the annual Hot Stove Cool Music Concert at the Paradise Rock Club. I was fortunate enough to be at the summer version of this concert a few years ago (where SMC and I bought a Jon Lester autographed cap) and it was amazing (even though SMC’s girlfriend has been threatening to leave him for John Legend ever since). I highly recommend getting to one of these shows in the future to see Theo, Gammons and all manner of local rockers display their wares. If you have tickets, enjoy tonight’s show. 

33 Days. 

Done.  

 

From the ” I’m sorry and I take it all back” Department: I here by publicly recant all i said in my predictions for 2009. The Celtics clearly did not get the memo that it was a joke and a reverse cheer. I now know that they will go on another monumental winning streak, and there will be another June parade in Boston where SMC, ABA and I can get high fives for smoking cigars on a crowded city street. Thanks.

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Winter Meetings Day 2: This is What Going Mad Must Feel Like.

 
Overrated, Overrated, Overrated. After two days of wheeling and dealing in Las Vegas, the Winter Meetings finally got exciting yesterday. Well, for some that is. The Mets nailed down the back of their bullpen by signing the vastly overrated Frankie Rodriguez to a three year, $37 Million contract. The Yanks have reportedly gotten their man in the 7 year, $161 Million arm of CC Sabathia (too much, too long, too fat). The Dodgers have signed former Patriots Day hero Mark Loretta as well as retaining Casey Blake. The Orioles have traded Ramon Hernandez (who they were not going to trade in Division for all of you who think he could have replaced Varitek) to the Reds for Ryan Freel. The Indians are nearing a deal with oft injured former Cub Kerry Wood. Lots of deals and imminent deals are floating around, but something is missing, and it’s making me feel like these aren’t really the Winter Meetings.

boras_antichristLet’s see; all of the GMs are there, there are lots of buffets, Satan is wandering around collecting dollars, souls and robbing the occasional little old lady. What is missing? Oh, Yeah, the Boston Red Sox have not made a deal yet. The usually very active Theo and Company have been stagnant, though they have had their noses in pretty much everything. This is what’s been going on according to my numerous sources:

oh, yeah. He plays Gold Glove first base as well.

oh, yeah. He plays Gold Glove first base as well.

The Sox are the frontrunners in the race for Mark Teixeira, having met with Satan early this morning (Theo goes all night). Now that Sabathia is off the market, this negotiation should heat up. He is also known as the prime target of his current team, the LAAAngels, and to be in the plans of a few other teams. He should be getting somewhere in the range of The old left fielder’s deal (8 Yrs, $160 million), probably a few million a year more. The Yanks might not get involved now that they’ve got CC, instead aiming to lure D-Lowe and/or Burnett to join him. Hank “Dumber than dad with a bigger mouth” Steinbrenner has made it clear that he also wants to bring home the old left fielder (he grew up within view of the Stadium). Of course, they have more money than brains so an offer will probably be forthcoming. 

It would just be a great kick in the Nuts to the Yankees fans for him to have a good season in a Red Sox uniform.

It would just be a great kick in the Nuts to the Yankees fans for him to have a good season in a Red Sox uniform.

Another market they are heavy into is the one for a moderately priced veteran starter. names kicked around have been Pettite, Smoltz, Pavano, Lowe and Burnett. Of course, the latter two have a heftier (like Sabathia, who’s fat) price in terms of both years and dollars, but the Sox are exploring all options. Lowe still has a boner for Northeastern girls, and has stated that he wants to come back, but I doubt the Sox would bring him back at the 4 year, $50-60 million range that he’s looking for. Burnett already supposedly has an offer from the Yanks on the table for 5 years and $66 Million, which the Sox will not go to. This wold be as bad a deal as the Sabathia one as both of them are primed to break down (though in different ways). One GM said of Sabathia, “As he gets older, he’s not gonna get skinnier,” and Burnett only had one really good season in Toronto and originally looked to be as bad a signing as Pavano (likely returning to the Marlins) in the first two years. Smoltz and Pettite are both better options as they could come in for only one year, if big money ($12-17 Million) and allow Masterson to continue in the setup role where he excelled this season. 

Still the Captain

Still the Captain

The other Priority for the Sox is actually one where they are getting help from teams around the league. Yesterday’s trade of Ramon Hernandez to the Reds removes another possible landing place for Varitek, as he will not want to sit in Baltimore as the O’s introduce their big catching prospect. He is losing options by the day and in all likelyhood will be returning to Fenway. The trade market has rumors flying that the Rangers will be willing to give us Salty for Clay “I threw a no hitter in my second start and then shit the bed after” Buchholz. I like that deal on many levels, first it allows the Sox to shed the history and personal issues that comes with any failure by Buchholz in this uniform and second the Sox get the Catcher of the Future with time for him to train with the Captain. 

Tomorrow the Sox will make one new announcement: New logo and Uniforms. I’m praying that they won’t touch the basic home jersey or hat, but changes to the road and alternate unis and hats could be a great way to increase revenues (you know you’ll want one,. I do). Either way, it’ll all shake out, but for now let’s just trust in Theo, laugh at the Yanks for giving a fat man an unlimited food budget in New York City, and Watch Baseball Tonight at 5 PM today on ESPN2. 

Go Sox. 

64 Days.

Done.

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