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Friday, February 27, 2004

Cashman is Crazy

It appears Cashman may have inherited the same disease that made Yankees owner Steinbrenner call Theo Epstein "Esposito." Apparently Cashman just caught wind of four month old rumors that the Sox were hoping to trade Trot for Randy Johnson, and decided to be all Yankee-style reactionary and call Arizona desperately begging that he had a chance at the Unit before the Sox got him. Read about it here, since I imagine it sounds too funny to be true. But true, my friends, it is.

Something else funny: apparently Ortiz has been bringing a valet into the clubhouse to hold his clothes for him while he changes. Years ago they'd call this a sign of the "nouveau riche" or something. As if the paranoid Yankee tactics weren't enough to make me laugh today, that would throw me over the edge.

Tuesday, February 24, 2004

Boston Sports Mediots

...BSM, as I will call them, will be hounding each and every unsigned player all year until he is actually signed or until there is a definitive statement that he won't be (and I don't see that happening). Some players will sail through that, but I am worried about Nomar. He's never been a fan of speaking to the press, and I think that now the distraction of the billion questions he'll be getting every day could be really harmful. In this article on RedSox.com, Nomar seems decently comfortable with the press. But come on, this is the guy who has a ritual every Sox fan's memorized before each and every pitch -- he is not, shall we say, a stranger to pressure. Normally, when players are unsigned and possible Free Agents, they have a good chance of having a career year. I do think that Nomar could likely have a MUCH better year than last year, but I am worried that he'll implode due to all the outside pressure and distractions.

It's awful that as Sox fans, we are also necessarily addicted to reading all the press that we can't stand. I mean, sometimes it gives us legitimate news, but even when it doesn't, everyone still reads/watches because, when it comes down to it, there's not much else for most Sox fans to do in the preseason.

Sox management could help us all out by having a few signings in the near future, but I don't expect that will be enough to quell the BSM - no, I don't think they'll be quiet until each and every decision is made, and by then it will be time to start over next year.

Saturday, February 21, 2004

Spring has Sprung in Florida

Curt's throwing and hinting at a new pitch, McCarty's throwing in a last-ditch attempt to make the team, Pedro's throwing on Monday, baseball betters are throwing their lot in with the Yankees for this year's AL east, and some flimsier Sox fans are throwing in the towel.

Players have a right to be throwing. Fans on the other hand should not panic. No amount of speculation will really get us prepared for what this season will have in store. Really. I admit to making my predictions (see below, heh) as much as anyone else, and I admit to being deadly curious about who will be signed. But getting overheated in arguments about who's more important, Nomar or Varitek (or any variation of that) is really silly because in the end, we'll have to wait and see what Theo and the boys have in store.

Spring training has begun. Let's just sit back and cheer for our boys.

Monday, February 16, 2004

We are NOT the Yankees.

The Red Sox are not the Yankees. It's times like this when we are most reminded of that fact, and it's times like this when we NEED to remind ourselves of that.

We do not have an unlimited budget. People who say the Sox "flubbed up" our possible deal with A-Rod are not remembering how we did all that was within our means to make it happen. We are just not quite as monetarily-endowed as Steinbrenner.

We are NOT reactionary. Articles like this one try to portray the Sox like desperate crybabies who are all about trying to stop the Big Bad Yanks from getting A-Rod and anything else. It makes me sick.

We are not going to buy everyone available and just pay our way to a title. Some would argue this was a bad thing, but it only takes a read through the Onion's article I posted in my last entry to remember how pathetic it is that a team stops trying to be a team and working for character and all the things we should value as baseball fans.

And in the same article linked above, there is a rumor that the Yankees are going for Maddux. Personally, I think it's hogwash, but it MIGHT be true. Even so, I am not waiting to see it happen; I'm pretty sure he's going to be with the Cubs in the end, because of his commitment to the NL and avoiding the east coast. I think that the article seems shady anyways, to be honest. We need a really good piece of journalism every now and then.

Sunday, February 15, 2004

I hate the Yankees.

For those of you who are hating the Yankees more than ever, read this article to cheer you up.

Saturday, February 14, 2004

A-Rod in PINSTRIPES??

Now, the big news earlier today was about the distant possibility of A-Rod joining the Yankees here.

But things have changed. Now it is no longer a distant possibility. It's a very real possibility. You know something is in an advanced stage when MLB.com feels safe enough to float the story. For those of you who don't want to read three or four articles, this is the most recent report, just released at about 4:15 this afternoon.

I wasn't too upset that the Red Sox weren't getting A-Rod. He was such a distant threat, being on a team that seems destined to get last in their division, and after all we were keeping two very good players. But A-Rod on the Yankees is enough to make me sick. They wouldn't even be giving up people who were arguably as valueble. Just Soriano and the money they'd need to pay A-Rod.

I'm just praying that something happens to sabotage this. I really don't want to have to change my predictions for next year. I was so ready for the Red Sox to do so well....

Wednesday, February 11, 2004

Predictions

I might as well use this dead waiting-time to make my predictions about the Red Sox. Keep in mind these are based on some facts and intelligent guesses, not really on statistics. For those, you can check out plenty of other predictions. And there's no way my guesses could be less well-founded than some others that I've read (not on blogs so much as "official" guesses), even.

Re-signings
We already have Trot locked up. I think we should have one more signing before the summer is in full "swing," based on a comment of Theo's. My guess is that this is Pedro Martinez, for about $13/3 years
Varitek: It depends on how Shoppach does, but I guess they don't sign him for a long contract, if any. It would be ideal if we just had him for one more year, but things aren't that easy to plan in advance.
Lowe: Everyone's saying he's gone because of Boras. It's certainly most likely. I think, however, that if he has another year with terrible road splits and a lower gpa/lower wins to make his record more balanced, it's possible the Sox would want him and that he would be inclined to stick around. I give it 50/50.
Nomar: I think it's 50/50 here, too. Let's put it this way: the Sox will have Nomar or A-Rod as our shortstop next year, unless there's a miracle kid we don't know about. Whether a long-term agreement goes along with this, I don't know.
Ortiz: Here's one who I predict will sign a 2-year contract at the end of the year, unless he declines a lot.

Players
1) Our rotation will be as planned for a while, with Arroyo thrown in during some injury midseason and used semi-frequently afterward.
2) Williamson will not be as reliable as last year, and Embree will be moreso.
3) Kim does something shocking, like throw a no-hitter or have a tiny GPA or something.
4) Nomar's average will go up, though not as high as his vintage ones. . . ~.320
5) Second base is a batting headache all year, with everyone who plays there hitting ~.200. However, we lead the AL east in lowest errors for a while.
6) Nixon and Ortiz continue their good numbers, while Millar improves (or, is consistent through the year) and Mueller slightly goes down.

Wins
I predict the Sox win the AL East by a small margin over the Yankees and 'Jays, with about 100 wins.

We'll see how very, very wrong I am come October. And - no, I'm not going to predict postseason anything. Don't even think about it.

Sunday, February 08, 2004

Trot

Trot now has a newly-signed contract that entitles him to three years more with the Red Sox. The article at RedSox.com doesn't mention any dollar amounts, but elsewhere reports are saying that the contract's value is 19.5 overall, 6.5 a year. In my humble opinion, this is a very good value. We were going to be paying more than 6.5 this year - 6.6 - and Trot is a good hitter and outfielder in the prime of his career. He'd be amazing if he could fix his ability to hit against lefties, but if the Francona is intelligent about his platoons, his overall average might get even better because of it.

I hope the renewal contracts keep coming in, but I have a hard time imagining the Sox will have an easy time negotiating with the others. In the second link above, Luccino admits of course that the Sox will not be able, in all likelihood, to retain everyone they want to, but I am crossing my fingers for as many as possible.

Wednesday, February 04, 2004

Burks is Back

Well, the Red Sox aren't short on veterans, but now we're about to add one, unless this article by Edes is being way too optimistic. Burks, who started in the Sox organization as a top prospect, is back, despite a rocky road between then and now. He has been plagued by injuries and there is talk about how a few years back, Boston was on his no-trade list, but all in all I would say he will be a wonderful hitter to have on our bench against lefties. We're getting to have a bench, now, that is too full, but that's better than skimpy. Many of the players on our 40-man still have options and/or minor league contracts, so we'll be all right sending them back to Pawtucket to get hot for September.

We do have a lot of veterans (though, we're not an old a team as New York) but one good thing about that is that we also have a lot of returning Sox, be it from this year or the past. I will refrain from mentioning the reasons I like this, but hint: it has to do with my optimism for this season. I will say, however, that there are no guarantees. The best team on paper (and that is, in itself, debatable) does not always go the farthest in the playoffs. But I can hope.

Monday, February 02, 2004

Not soon enough...

Well, I admit to not watching the Superbowl. I am vicariously a fan of the Patriots, I guess, since they're the Red Sox citymates and all, but can you blame me for just preferring baseball?

Now it's officially the opening of the baseball season. We diehards didn't need any such official beginning, but it's nice to feel like the world is paying attention to America's pastime again. As predicted, Detroit and IRod stole the spotlight from the superbowl as quickly as possible by announcing the signing. MLB has been posting various articles previewing and promoting Spring training, and Sox bloggers have, for the most part, taken a day off in order to breathe and prepare for when things begin to get REALLY interesting. And they will... not soon enough for me...

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