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Tuesday, January 27, 2004

Who's getting resigned?

One of the biggest questions this offseason is, "who's getting resigned?" In this article, Martinez' good health this offseason is explored, but it also contains the possibility that this may be his last season with the Sox. It arose the question in my mind about who is going to be around for 2005.

Thinking purely the superstars who are coming off long contracts...
We keep hearing about discussions with Martinez, but nothing is solidifying. It appears he'd be willing to have a contract less than his last time's, but the question is how much less. Lowe appears likely to leave, with his agent being the aggrivating Boras, but there could be a surprise there. Others are speculating that Varitek is on his way out, especially if we feel like Shoppach has been primed for the majors, but if Lowe goes we may have the money to keep him if we want him back. Nomar of course is the biggest question mark, whose time seems most certainly wearing to an end, but nothing is completely certain til next winter. Of all those up, I would be most surprised if his contract gets extended before this season.

The question of course is who can we best afford to lose? Because while the irrational part of me and every fan might say "resign all the good guys," that clearly is not usually a possibility.

Monday, January 26, 2004

Byebye Boone!

Anyone who watched the playoffs remembers Aaron Boone. Despite the obvious, he was also brothers with one of the announcers, and we Sox fans were suspicious of just how frequently the words "third base" were thrown subtly into comments.

Now Aaron Boone has an ACL injury , putting an unexpected spin into the AL East right before Spring training. Now, having had an ACL injury myself, I can put a wee bit of sympathy for the pain, but I have no sympathy for the Yankees. Even on the official website, the article mentions how the Yankees are getting put into a tight spot because of this unexpected incident, forced either to promote a prospect who's nowhere near ready, or else trade for a third-baseman and undoubtedly give someone up.

Except there's this one thing. A-Rod, although recently declared "captain" of the Rangers, was, in the past, interested in trades to both Boston and New York. Several websites, including this guy's, pointed out the possibility that the Yankees, aka the moneybags, would sweep in and try a Soriano-for-Rodriguez trade. Since this news broke, there's a little more credence to such a paranoid rumor. I was and am still happy for the Sox that we got to keep Nomar and Ramirez, but I would be quite the angry person if Jeter moves to third and paves the way for A-Rod at shortstop.

The Yankees need to do something. They could also try to grab old Shea Hillenbrand from the Diamondbacks, trade for someone on one of the west-coast teams, or actually make this move happen. I am not proposing that A-Rod in pinstripes is precisely likely, but nothing strikes me as likely in this situation, so all bets are off.

Leave me a comment below on your opinion!

Sunday, January 25, 2004

Sunday Updates

Tony Massarotti had an interesting article that claims, among other things, that good pitching is more valueble than good hitting, that the Blue Jays will not be a challenge to the Sox and the Yankees this year, and that there's a possibility that the sale of the Dodgers to a Boston businessman means they'll be moving to Boston Harbor. Despite what many people say, I don't think that the Boston area (or New England for that matter) would be able to handle a second baseball team. Oh, we have some die-hard fans, but I think a lot of that is just because of the storied Red Sox. When we win the World Series again, some less emphatic fans might find a place in their hearts for a different club, but until then, it's never going to work.

Around the baseball world currently, the only interesting subject seems to be who's new that's coming, and who's not coming back. It appears that Mo Vaughan is not coming back to the world of baseball, while people are heavily discussing the possibility of an M-Rod coming to the MLB, along with his Cuban defector cohorts. Unfortunately or fortunately for the Sox (depending on whether we consider him a serious possibility) reports are saying that his fastball didn't break 90, something quite lackluster on an audition-of-sorts.

Oh, there are a few last-minute signings people are watching. Where Maddux and I-Rod end up is always interesting, because those players pack a punch. Halladay's signing with the Jays was the biggest solid news of last week, and everyone's trying to figure out the final pieces to add to their team's bench or bullpen. Unfortunately, this week became another attempt for everyone to analyze the possibility of an A-Rod trade. At this point, my desire for a good team and my desire to keep our stars both have been completely superseded by my desire to LET IT DIE. This sort of sensational drama could only hit the forefront now, when everyone's dying of boredom in the baseball world. Although, I must admit, this article about UUU getting arrested was not entirely without interest. Anything to spark the deadness of a January afternoon.

Wednesday, January 21, 2004

January Tidbits

January, in the baseball world, is all about waiting and overanalyzing details. True to this habit, the baseball world has been overanalyzing the Red Sox silence and declaring that it means the A-Rod trade is revived. This despite Theo's adament denial of the same. Boswell has a particular claim about this:
"Just yesterday reports surfaced that the complex trade of Alex Rodriguez to the Red Sox was being discussed again. Why? At this point, the main reason may be to avoid just such bad karma. The Red Sox disrespected the great Nomar Garciaparra in their lust for the greater A-Rod. Add to the mix the Red Sox's raw hatred of the Yankees, whom they seem to resemble more and more. As for Rodriguez, would he be welcomed fully in the Rangers' clubhouse after making it so clear he would go to the Pope for a dispensation if it would help him blow town?"
It makes sense...well, except for one sentence, which I'll get to later... but the fact that Nomar was treated so shoddily, the fact that he was shoved aside, could as easily be used to support the idea that when Theo says "we're not doing this trade," he is not lying. Because if we find out in a couple of weeks that talks are revived and a new proposal has been issued to the Union or something, Nomar is going to be permanently lost to us - finally unable to believe any Red Sox reassurances about ANYTHING. Now, obviously this would not be the case if the trade was quietly completed, but what kind of PR would that be for Theo in the New England fand base, to be thought of as the GM who blatantly lies?
Now, for my complaint about the quote: you guessed it, the part about how the Sox are "more and more" resembling the Yankees. Now, I hate the Yankees even if they were our twin, but thankfully they're not. I won't try too hard to prove my point, but I think most Sox fans would agree. And the simplest proof (also most relevent to the above) is that Theo is not a Yankees-style GM.
Unless he's lying. And because of all of this, I just don't think he is.

Sunday, January 11, 2004

Signings

It seems that it's the last hurrah of free agent signings, wrapping up just before pitchers/catchers time (and don't tell me you're not excited!). Palmiero to the Orioles, Guerrero to the - Angels !, and other clubs are making their last minute tweaks, like Arizona working at their Hillenbrand contract and the Giants nabbing Tomko (who, incidentally, was seriously dating my sister's friend). What's interesting is that Ivan Rodriguez is the only major free agent who's really still in the dark. Now, there are rumors that the Orioles will go for I-Rod and platoon him with Javy Lopez, but I HOPE not. Of course it wastes both of their abilities to some degree, but I am also not too happy about the lineup we'll be facing in Baltimore. I'm glad that they have no pitching (and can't really compete with us for the playoffs) but they won't be so fun to face on the road either.

Any picks for what will happen in the AL West? I don't see the Mariners becoming too competitive, and while the A's have lost a lot, I still see them bouncing haphazardly into the top half of their division. Texas should be pretty bad, all in all, and I think the Angels have improved themselves. I'm not saying I'd want their lineup, but I think they can beat up decently on their neighbors. Tentatively, I would guess Angels-A's-Mariners-Rangers in that division, though to me it seems quite likely the Wild Card will come from the AL East.

Saturday, January 10, 2004

M-Rod?

Sorry I haven't updated lately. Oh, there's been a plethora of rumors in the baseball world but nothing so earth-shattering that would serve to make my drivel interesting.

However, I did read today a lot about Maels Rodriguez, a 24-year-old righty who recently defected from Cuba to El Salvador. Apparently the Sox are giving him a workout. Back when we were pursuing Schilling heavily, there were a lot of rumors of Yankee interest in "M-Rod" but nothing panned out. This pitcher is hot stuff when he's on: he's pitched what seems to be the only perfect game in Cuban history, his fastball has reached over 100mph, and he's still really young. However, concerns about his health have been a trouble for him this offseason. He was left of Cuba's national team for the Pan American games and Olypics because of arm/back troubles. Still, Rodriguez insists he can still throw 100 miles an hour and his agent calls him a bargain at about $2.5 million.

Is this a "bargain" for the Sox? I doubt it, because of how close our payroll is to the Luxury threshold. But it's an interesting rumor, at least.

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