Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy New Year

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'08 Outlook for Tim Wakefield

'07 Season: Tim Wakefield started the season with numbers typical of his career; he had 9 wins and a 4.39 ERA before the All Star Game. As the season progressed he showed signs of excellence and his knuckle ball continued to work well in domed stadiums where he had a 5-2 record and an ERA in the 2's. His walks were up this year which hurts him more than other pitchers. With his slow delivery to the plate a walk can often equal a double or triple for speedy runners. Wake missed most of the post season with a shoulder injury. He continued to be a good starter for the Red Sox last season with 17 wins.

'08 Outlook: Boston picked up Wakefield for another year and the longest tenured player on the Sox could be in his last season. He is 41 years old but because he throws the knuckler his career can extend more than average pitchers. The shoulder problems of last season are gone so Wake will be ready for Spring Training. The biggest question is who will be behind the dish when he is on the mound next year. Some of Wake's past success has to be given to his personal catcher Doug Mirabelli. The Red Sox have yet to sign Mirabelli for '08 so it is unclear who will catch him. Everyone remembers Josh Bard's feeble attempt at catching the knuckle ball. With Mirabelli back the Red Sox can count on another workhorse season from Wakefield with around 15 wins and an ERA under 5. If Doug is not back look for more past balls and a higher ERA from Wake. He will continue to be a clubhouse leader and for the fans it will be another year of wondering which Wake is going to pitch tonight?

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Sunday, December 30, 2007

'08 Outlook for Curt Schilling

'07 Season: Schilling had an up and down year for the Sox with a 9-8 record and a 3.87 ERA. His best pitching of the season was on June 7 against the A's (I was lucky enough to have a ticket behind home plate) where he pitched a near perfect game; only an error by Lugo and a single with 2 outs in the 9th broke it up. The Red Sox were in the middle of a losing streak and Schilling was able to right the ship. His effort in this game may led to his time on the DL after just 2 more starts. He was able to get back into playing shape by the end of the season and pitch well down the stretch. He pitched great against the Angels in the division series followed by a terrible start in the ALCS. He apologized for his performance and made up for it in game 7 and had a good outing in the World Series.

'08 Outlook: Schilling accepted less money to finish his career in Boston. He knows that the Red Sox could win again next year and wants to go out on top. He is 41 years old and past his prime, his fastball has lost some zip. However, Schilling is a well prepared pitcher; he takes detailed notes on every batter he faces to prepare for the future. He has a "weight clause" in his new contract to make sure he does not show up at spring training looking like El Guapo again. Schilling could really benefit from a 6 man rotation giving him more recovery time between starts. He can still be a good major league pitcher in '08 by mixing up his pitches an limiting his walks. Schilling will be focused for his last year and that will help him where his abilities are waining. I would expect a 16 win season from him and an ERA under 4.00. If the Sox make it to the post-season again they can count on Curt to do his part.

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Saturday, December 29, 2007

Pats Run The Table

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Sox in '08 NESN Video Clip

Bob Ryan and Gordon Edes of the Boston Globe talk about the expectations for the Red Sox in '08 and focus on Tek and J.D. Drew.

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'08 Outlook for Daisuke Matsuzaka

'07 Season: Dice-K was hyped up to be the second coming of Nolan Ryan, Bob Gibson, and Sandy Koufax. The Red Sox broke the bank to get him and fans expected excellence from him. The media room at Fenway had to be expanded to make room for the Japanese media. He was supposedly armed with an unhittable pitch called the Gyroball. Fans from around the world watched his first MLB game against the Royals on April 5. Dice-K had a solid first outing; he only gave up 6 hits and had 10 strikeouts getting his first win. Most Sox fans saw this as a good sign that he would be the player he was hyped up to be. However, in his second start he was out-classed by Seattle's Felix Hernandez. For the rest of the season he was inconsistent; masterful one game and ineffective the next. He had control problems at times and struggled when he had runners on base. He ended the season going 15-12 with a 4.40 ERA. He went 3-1 in the post-season getting the win in game 3 of the World Series.

'08 Outlook: The tremendous pressure Dice-K faced in '07 will be off him. He now knows what to expect from a long major league season with a baseball obsessed town. A 6 man rotation would be a great benefit to Matsuzaka who showed fatigue last season. He pitched in a 6 man rotation in Japan. Dice-K's season was similar to Beckett's first year with Boston. Once he adjusts to the hitters he should have a better second year with the Red Sox. He has "ace" stuff and with some increased control he could be the pitcher Boston paid big bucks for. With increased control and a lower pitch count he should have a better record and a lower ERA in '08. He will be a great #2 pitcher for the Sox next season and start to earn his hefty paycheck.

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Friday, December 28, 2007

Buchholz Rehabbing Well in Offseason

After a brilliant no-hitter against Baltimore on September 1, Sox rookie pitcher Clay Buchholz was shut down for the season on Sept. 28th following concerns about his right arm. Things seem to be going well on the rehab front for Buchholz this offseason.

Red Sox pitching coach John Farrell told the Providence Journal's Joe McDonald, “There have been gains from a physical standpoint. In retrospect, it was certainly the right decision to deactivate him at the time. He is making progress, but he still has some work to do, particularly since we project 180 to 185 innings for him next year. There’s still some work to be done to build that foundation to endure that load. We do have some mechanisms and structure in place that will prepare him best for the start of Spring Training."

Buchholz has been rehabbing in Pensacola. He plans to be in Boston in January to take part in the Sox rookie development program.

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'08 Outlook: Josh Beckett

During the slow part of the off-season I will feature a preview of the '08 season for Red Sox players starting with the pitching staff.

'07 Season: Josh Beckett had a near Cy Young year leading the American League with 20 wins and was lights-out in the playoffs. He pitched over 200 innings for the second year in a row and had much better control with only giving up 40 walks vs. 74 in '06.

'08 Outlook: Beckett has become a true ace and will be the opening day starter. His shoulder problems seem to be a thing of the past and he has adjusted to American League batters. He should be able to win 20+ games and reach 200 K's unless the Sox go with a 6 man rotation. Beckett would benefit from the extra rest to limit the blister problems he can sometimes have. Look for a Cy Young Award winning season from the 27 year old pitcher who is entering his prime.

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Thursday, December 27, 2007

Jim Rice's Hall Chances

Shaughnessy of the Boston Globe thinks this is the year.

Rob Neyer of ESPN does not.

I think he is a borderline H.O.F. player but the release of the Mitchell Report has helped his chances. Most sports reporters outside of the Hub have been hesitant to vote for him so I tend to agree with Rob Neyer that he will not get in even though it would be great if he did. I posted earlier on Rice's numbers.

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Are the Sox Offering Too Much For Santana?

The Providence Journal has an article today on two of the prospects the Red Sox are offering for Johan Santana; Jed Lowrie and Justin Masterson. Lowrie had a solid year at short last year for the Sea Dogs batting .300 and according to the Journal he is ready for "the show." With the deal Boston signed with Lugo last year it is unlikely he will be replaced in '08 with a rookie, but if he struggles again next season Lowrie could come to the rescue.

Justin Masterson finished last season with a 4-3 record and a 4.33 ERA for Portland. He has been developing quickly and has good control of his pitches. Boston has 6 quality starters going into the '08 season but they will lose Schilling and most likely Wakefield to retirement in '09. Everyone knows you can never have too much pitching.

When you look at what the Red Sox are offering you can understand why Theo is reluctant to add much. He is willing to part with 3 solid major league ready players; all whom have low salaries and one pitcher who should be ready in another year. Besides Coco Crisp, all of these players could fit nicely into Boston's long term plans. It was the young players that carried the Red Sox through the World Series this year, and some some new rookies may help the team in the next few seasons if they don't go to Minnesota.

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Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Santana Discussions Dormant?

Minneapolis Star Tribune "Twins Insider" columnist LaVelle Neal reported on the latest Santana rumors today, but there wasn't a whole lot to report. He said that the Mets, Sox and Yankees are still vying for Santana. The only new name to be added to the Santana trade rumor mix is Yankee pitcher Kei Igawa.

Neal's sources said that ,"'dormant' definitely was a good word to describe dealings with the Red Sox."

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Paper Says Tigers Will Beat Sox in '08

2 months before pitchers and catchers report to spring training

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Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Red Sox Give A Christmas Gift To Major League Baseball

The Red Sox owe a luxury tax of $6.06 million for the '07 season and must pay it before Jan. 31. This is a big increase from the $497,000 they paid last year but nowhere near the $23.88 million the Yankees owe. For more information on how the tax is calculated or where it goes click here.

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Monday, December 24, 2007

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Big Papi Wants Santana But Doesn't Think It Will Happen

David Ortiz was interviewed at the scene of number 15 for the Pats yesterday and talked about Johan Santana. The two are good friends and Big Papi has pictures of Johan's kids in his cell phone. He doubts the Twins will send their ace to the Sox because they had already given too much to the World Champs. This is just speculation by Ortiz with no real insight on the negotiations. It is great that Santana would fit in well with some of the players on the team; this could make him accept a lower salary to go to the Red Sox.

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Sunday, December 23, 2007

Pats Salute Sox

Prior to the kickoff in today's Patriots game (where they are currently stomping the Miami Dolphins), the Pats took time to honor the Red Sox.

On hand were Sox owner John Henry, along with Youk (wearing Tom Brady's jersey), Schilling (wearing Tedy Bruschi's jersey) and Big Papi (wearing Laurence Maroney's jersey).

The Sox entourage brought the World Series trophy on the field with them in Foxboro.

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Roger* Videotapes a Denial and Will Appear on 60 Minutes

Roger Clemens wants you to feel sorry for him and denies using steroids again. I still do not believe him. Where's the slander lawsuit Roger? Check out the background of the video.... some shameless self promotion.

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How Much Is Manny Worth

Rob Bradford had an interesting article in the Herald about Manny Ramirez this morning. After next season the Red Sox can pick up his option for a 9th season at $20 million. If Manny has his typical numbers next year there will be teams willing to pay more than the option for at least a 3 year deal. The Yankees will be looking for an outfielder, especially if they do not deal Matsui before the '08 season, and they will have the money to spend. For all the times Manny has been Manny and come up with new injuries or car shows to attend, he always puts up great numbers and has been a big part of two World Series championships. He was MVP in the '04 series and he had one of the best post season moments this year with his walk-off against the Angels. If Boston can get Manny for 3 more years at $20 million/year I say go for it. What's the worst that could happen? We might get a few new things to bid for on ebay and a couple more rings.

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Saturday, December 22, 2007

Mike Lowell Is Writing a Book

World Series MVP announced that he is writing a book with Rob Bradford (Boston Herald Writer) yesterday on WEEI. He also discussed the contract negotiations he was involved in. You can listen to the interview below.


Red Sox Baseball Coverage - Mike Lowell

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World Series Trophy Headed to Canada

The World Series Trophy will be on display in Halifax, Nova Scotia in January thanks to a The Bluenose Bosox Brotherhood, a Canadian chapter of The Nation. The group will have a private party with the trophy before it is viewed by the general public. Wally the Green Monster will also join the trophy in Canada. I have not heard anything about the trophy making a trip to the West Coast as it did in '04.

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Christmas List

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Friday, December 21, 2007

J.D. Drew Wins TYIB Award For Best Post-Season Play of t

J.D. Drew's Game 6 grand slam earned him the Post-Season Play of the Year Award. If you combine that with his home run in the back-to-back-to-back-to-back ones against the Yankees you have his entire highlight reel for the year. I admit I have never been a fan of J.D. and have let my opinions on him known. As soon as his home run cleared the fence my phone was ringing with the "I told you so" calls. He did produce a great moment for Sox fans this year, let's hope he can do it more often next year.

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Twins Reporter Rags On Coco's Defense

Tom Powers of the Pioneer Press had this to say about Coco Crisp today: "Unfortunately, every time I hear names being tossed around, Coco Crisp's is among them. No thanks. The team needs a better glove than that in center field." Wow...he gets paid to write about baseball, I guess he has never seen Coco play in his life. I will be the first to complain about Coco's offensive skills but I don't think there is anyone who can really believe that Coco is a bad defensive player.

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Red Sox in "The Year in Photos"

Time Magazine is out with its annual Year in Images Edition with this Sox Photo as one of the 48 pictures.
Sports Illustrated included this photo of Big Papi in their Year in Photos Edition.

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Thursday, December 20, 2007

Jeter Stands Behind Pettitte and Clemens. Hasn't He Always?

Here's a shocker. MLB.com is reporting that Yankee-boy Jeter is defending Andy Pettitte:


"Andy knows how I feel about him, and he knows how we feel about him as an organization," Jeter said. "It took a lot of courage for him to come out and be honest about it. Hopefully he can move on."

Courage? What's courageous about waiting until he gets named in the Mitchell Report before coming clean?

Then Jeter defends Clemens. He said, "...people are rushing to judgment. I think you have to let it play out a little bit before you make the decision on whether he's guilty or not."

Of course Jeter is defending Clemens. If you believe Clemens is guilty, like most thinking Americans, the Mitchell Report, and the person who injected him with PED's do, then there is a big asterisk on many of the Yankees recent years.

Just what you'd expect from the Evil Empire.

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Kapler Leaves Manager Job, Signs with Brew Crew

WBZTV is reporting that Gabe Kapler has signed a deal with the Brewers to play for one year.

After spending the last year managing the Greenville Drive, (a Single A farm team for the Sox), Kapler has rekindled the fire to play in the Bigs.

Kapler, now 32, signed an $800,000 contract.

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Papelbon's Dog Eats World Series Ball

Red Sox closer Jonathan Papelbon was given the ball from game 4 after he threw the winning pitch but the ball was missing for a while, bringing back memories of the '04 ball fiasco. Now comes word that Papelbon's best friend shredded the ball. "He plays with baseballs like they are his toys, he jumped up one day on the counter and snatched it. He likes rawhide. He tore that thing to pieces."

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Listen to Me Now and Believe Me Later

From today's Herald:
















We are here to pump you up.
video

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Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Schilling Calls Out PED Users

Curt Schilling posted a long response to the Mitchell Report today on his blog. As I said earlier he is never short on opinions and he lives up to the hype again. He addresses Canseco, Bonds, and Clemens. Here is his opinion on Clemens which is sure to grab headlines: "From that point on(1997) the numbers were attained through using PED’s. Just like I stated about Jose, if that is the case with Roger, the 4 Cy Youngs should go to the rightful winners and the numbers should go away if he cannot refute the accusations." Schilling is also takes on the current state of baseball by writing: "The sport needs fixing. It’s become clear that testing has to involve an outside party at some point and that the MLBPA and MLB need to find common ground on testing that allows investigation for probable cause instead of only relying on positive tests." I couldn't agree with him more. It is nice to see someone try to move the sport forward instead of doing everything to protect the status quo.

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Clemens May Be Subpoenaed by Congress

We may get to see how far Roger* is going to go with his denials of steroid use if he has to testify under oath before Congress. So far he has said it is not the right time to talk about the Mitchell Report although he has issued denials through his agent and lawyer. It will be interesting to see if Clemens still wants to deny steroid use when he could face the possibility for perjury if he lies to Congress. Dan Shaughnessy has an interesting take on Roger's denial so far in today's Globe, worth a read. The Congressional hearings are scheduled for Jan. 15 and 23.

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The Santana Hunt Continues

The Pioneer Press is reporting the Red Sox are still the frontrunners for landing Twins Ace Johan Santana. "Regardless, there's buzz that the Santana trade could be made within days." The report states that Boston has not moved from their initial offer of Lester, Coco, Lowrie, and Masterson. The Yankees seem to be looking elsewhere for starters and have shown interest in Mark Prior and Kyle Lohse. It is not Christmas yet so Santa still has time to bring a gift to Sox fans.

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Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Gagne Might Get Suspended....Brewers Fans Can Only Hope.

According to ESPN's Buster Olney, Eric Gagne is one of 14 players from the Mitchell Report who may have used performance enhancing drugs recently enough to warrant a 15 game suspension. This doesn't punish the Brewers, it punishes the teams that play the first 15 games against Milwaukee; no Gagne give-aways. The Brew Crew may start off another season with a lead in the NL Central and blow it again. Gagne will help that cause.

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Roger* Takes a Page Out Of Bill Clinton's Book

Deny, deny, deny. That is the Rocket's plan to get through the Mitchell Report fallout. He released the following statement through his agent today: "I want to state clearly and without qualification: I did not take steroids, human growth hormone or any other banned substances at any time in my baseball career or, in fact, my entire life. Those substances represent a dangerous and destructive shortcut no athlete should ever take."

I am not going to take Roger's word on this. I know in the U.S. you are innocent until proven guilty in court, but we are not in court. We have Roger's past to judge him on and he has not shown any reason to give him the benefit of the doubt.

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Okajima Wins Setup Man Of the Year Award

MLB fans voted for Hideki Okajimi in the TYIB Setup Man of the Year Award. Oki is the 4th Red Sox player to win a TYIB award, he joins Beckett (Best Starter) Papelbon (Best Closer) and Buchholz (Best Performance) Okajima had a 2.22 ERA and batters only hit .202 against him. Once he developed the "Oki Doki" pitch he became a solid MLB reliever. His great pitching came at the right time for the Sox with Timlin getting hurt. Down the stretch he seemed to show some fatigue but Francona gave him time off before the playoff run where he pitched very well. He and Jacoby Ellsbury were the biggest surprises of the season for the Red Sox.

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Monday, December 17, 2007

The Mitchell Defense

For everyone else on The Mitchell Report I have included this easy fill-in statement so you do not have to consult with your lawyer or pay a high price PR firm. Feel free to distribute among your teammates.

I ____________ did use HGH very briefly during the ____________ season while I was recovering from a ___________ injury. I was not using it to gain an advantage just to help the slow healing process. I stopped using it because it did not help me. I did not use steroids. I apologize for my brief indiscretion and I think baseball should do more to clean up the game.

Sincerely,


If you need any help filling it out just ask Andy Pettitte, Brendan Donnelly or Fernando Vina; they got theirs done fast.

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4 Spring Training Games Are Already Sold Out

The Red Sox have sold out games on March 8 vs. the Marlins , March 11 vs. the Mets, March 14 vs. the O's and March 15 vs. the Reds. The Sox play a total of 13 home games during spring training before going to Japan. They have already sold 27000 tickets but some still remain. For ticket information call 877-REDSOX9. The off-season is almost half over.

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A-Rod Says He's Sorry But Brings Up Another Lie

Alex Rodriguez was on 60 minutes last night and the following information came out: Rodriguez said he was sitting in his living room watching the World Series when the news broke and had been shocked.

"You know, I got white like a ghost," Rodriguez said. "I just couldn't believe my eyes. I was under the impression that it would come out a day or two after the World Series concluded. And I would never do anything to harm the game ... to the Red Sox and the Rockies, my deepest apologies, and to all of Major League Baseball."

I was at game 4 of the World Series ready to boo A-Rod when he was introduced for the Hank Aaron award but he was a no-show. Didn't he have a family obligation so he couldn't attend. I thought he would never do anything to hurt the game. I guess sitting on his couch is more important than being part of the World Series and honoring Hank Aaron. This is the closest he could have been to actually being a part of the Fall Classic.

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Sunday, December 16, 2007

Donnelly Says He Never Took Steroids...and Elvis Is Still Alive

From the Boston Herald :“In 2004, I was having multiple health issues and was concerned about not getting on the field fast enough. I made a phone call to (former New York Mets clubhouse attendant turned Mitchell informant Kirk Radomski) about a substance called Anavar. Once I learned Anavar was classified as a steroid I realized that was not an option. That was the end of it. Yes, I called him. But I did not purchase or receive anything from him and have never taken Deca or Anavar. I fully support the current drug testing program put in place by Major League Baseball and agree with their efforts to widen the testing.”

From the Mitchell Report: "Radomski said that Donnelly was referred to him by Adam Riggs. Both Riggs and Donnelly played for the Angels in 2003 and 2004. Radomski recalled that Donnelly called him in 2004 looking for Anavar, an anabolic steroid. Radomski made one sale to Donnelly of Deca-Durabolin for which Donnelly paid $250 to $300."

When I need a legal prescription I talk to my doctor, not a shady clubhouse attendant from the Mets. Do you really expect us to believe this Brendan?

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Roger* May Want To Pitch Again For Boston

According to Newsday, Roger Clemens' friends say he will not want to go out on a low note and will try to pitch again for the Red Sox or Angels. The article goes on to say that Boston would be interested in him it the Yankees get Santana. That is where the article if flawed; the Red Sox do not need another starter if they fail to get Johan. Roger would not add any value to the solid rotation Boston already has and if he does not admit his steroid use nobody will support him. Message to Roger: your chance to come back to the Sox and help them win the World Series and retire a Boston sports hero is gone. That ship sailed last season. If you are looking for something to do with your free time why don't you join Mark McGuire in educating kids about the dangers of steroids(he seems to need some help) or join OJ in his search for Nicole's killer.

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Saturday, December 15, 2007

Pettitte Admits HGH Use....Now What Roger*?

Andy Pettitte made the following statement today through his agent; "If what I did was an error in judgment on my part, I apologize. I accept responsibility for those two days.'' He did the right thing and now baseball can forgive him (even if he is a Yankee.) Will Roger Clemens* follow his lead? I doubt it, but this is not going to make many people believe he didn't do steroids.

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Don't Believe the Hank

The Yanks are back in the Santana sweepstakes even if Hank Steinbrenner said they were done. Much like his false statements about A-Rod, Hank has done a 180. Dan Haren was traded to the Diamondbacks yesterday taking away one pitching option for New York. The Yankees do not have a true ace and their staff consists of two aging veterans; Mussina and Pettitte.* They do have 3 solid pitchers in Wang, Joba, and Hughes but one of them will have to be included in a trade to the Twins. Boston keeps coming up as the "front-runner" to land Santana but it does not seem like they are willing to move away from their earlier offers. New York might be become desperate now that there is not much of a fall-back if they don't get Johan. The Yankees had been rumored to be in talks with Minnesota long after the Hank deadline, now it looks like they may be the front-runners.

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Can The "Clean Generation" Save Baseball?

Dustin Pedroia was interviewed about the Mitchell Report by the Providence Journal today and said that his generation is clean. Here is a quote from the article, "Pedroia was also quick to point out all the young talent within the Sox’ organization — all of whom are 26 or younger — are all of sound mind and body. Players such as Jonathan Papelbon, Jon Lester, Jacoby Ellsbury, Clay Buchholz, Brandon Moss, and Pedroia, consider themselves fortunate to be part of a new and cleaner game." It was this group of young players that gave a huge lift to the Red Sox this season and have a future so bright that Boston does not want to part with them in trade deals. The Mitchell Report made two clear points; steroids were a major part of the game in the 90's and now we need to move forward. The Steroid Era did not end with the Mitchell Report but maybe the group of young stars on the Red Sox can bring baseball out of it.

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Friday, December 14, 2007

A-Rod Denies He's a Juicer

Jose Canseco has called the Mitchell Report "laughable" because Alex Rodriguez was not mentioned in it. So far Canseco seems like the only honest person in the game. His book Juiced is a lot more accurate than people gave him credit for. (Dan Duquette and Jose Canseco credible...who would have thought?) A-Rod will appear on 60 Minutes in an interview with Katie Couric where he says he is clean and the reason he is not in the Mitchell Report is because he has never used steroids. The 60 Minutes interview airs this Saturday and you can view a preview here. Before you take A-Rod's word remember he cheated on his wife with a stripper, he tried to slap the ball out of Bronson's hand during the ALCS and he yelled "mine" to interfere with a play in Toronto. I never thought I would say this but I am going to believe Canseco.

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Schilling and the Mitchell Report

Curt Schilling was asked by George Mitchell to speak about steroids in the game for the investigation because he has been outspoken about the issue and had testified in front of Congress. Schilling declined to participate in the investigation because he "would have nothing to offer other than personal opinion and hypotheticals." Schilling posted in his blog on Wednesday that the report was the biggest thing baseball has had to endure since the Black Sox Scandal. He has said he is still digesting the report but does believe it. Schilling is never one to be short on opinions so I would expect he will write extensively on the report soon.

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Congress Wants Another Swing At Baseball

Congress wants leaders of MLB to testify at hearings once again. The hearings are scheduled for Tuesday with the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee and Jan. 23 by the House Energy and Commerce Committee. MLB has a legal monopoly which can be taken away by Congress. Cliff Stearns (R) Florida has called for Selig's resignation. Even President Bush has weighed in on the steroids investigation saying, "I love the sport. I love the game. Like many fans, I've been troubled by the steroid allegations. I think it's best that all of us not jump to any conclusions on any individual players named." Not that Bush did anything about steroids as owner of the Rangers. The last hearings brought some entertaining television and memorable moments from Mark McGuire and Rafael Palmeiro.

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Don't You Mean 22 Rings?

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Donald Fehr Fails His Clients

MLB Players Association Director Donald Fehr responded to the Mitchell Report yesterday in a press conference and through a released statement. It is his job to protect his player clients but it is also his responsibility to ensure the integrity of the game. If you read his statement and watch the press conference you realize how he failed to protect the integrity of the game which in turn hurts his players in the long run. Fehr would better serve his players if he put his full effort into ridding baseball of steroids instead of constantly throwing up roadblocks to progress. George Mitchell put it best when he said, "The principal victims . . . are the players who don't use those substances," Mitchell laments. "Their careers and livelihood are put at risk. There's a lot of discussion in the media of the integrity of the game, the effect on the fans and sports generally. All of which are important. But to me, the real issue is the effect on the competitors and the competition, and those who play by the rules and don't use these substances."
The MLB Players Association has chosen to represent the cheaters at the expense of the honest players. Donald Fehr has let his clients down and he has let baseball down.

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Thursday, December 13, 2007

Clemens Misses Yet Another Chance To Make The Right Choice

How many times have baseball fans given Clemens a pass? Sox fans gave him a "standing O" during his several "last" games at Fenway. Yankee fans welcomed him back after giving him a car on his farewell tour. Astro fans gave him a pass for not going on the road with the team. The media gave him a pass when he threw a bat at Mike Piazza. After all of this Red Sox management produced a slick video to try to bring him back to Boston. But he once again picked the Yankees causing Yankee announcer Suzyn Waldman to nearly pee herself. Clemens thinks you are going to give him another pass. He has already released a statement through his lawyer saying he never used steroids. Whenever Clemens has the chance to do the right thing he always disappoints. He could have apologized and taken some responsibility for the state of baseball. He did not. Don't give him a pass on this one, don't vote him into the Hall of Fame, don't feel sorry for him. Clemens has let you down in the past and has made his bed. Now let him sleep in it.

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Sox Don't Give Donnelly New Contract

At 12:03 this morning, the Sox announced that they would not be offering reliever Brendan Donnelly a new contract, making him a free agent.

The Sox announcement came less than 24 hours before the Mitchel Report named Donnelly as a player implicated in the use of performance enhancing drugs.

A Red Sox spokesman said that they did not have advance notice of the names in the Mitchell Report.

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Red Sox Front Office Comments on Mitchell Report

The Red Sox Front Office released a statement this afternoon on the Mitchell Report.

In their statement, the Sox said that they "supported and fully cooperated with this investigation initiated by Commissioner Selig and conducted by Senator Mitchell." They also commended Senator Mitchell and his staff for conducting the report.

The Sox go on to say that baseball should, "do everything we can to eliminate them (performance enhancing drugs) entirely from the game of baseball." They continue, the"Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program, the toughest in all of professional sports, will also result in helping to achieve this goal."

Yankees response: "We are reviewing the report and have no comment." the evil empire is alive and well.

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Bud Selig Press Conference

Commissioner Bud Selig held a press conference about the Mitchell Report today where he announced he will act to rid the sport of steroids by doing these 3 things:

1. No 24 hour test notice for players

2. Selig will deal with active players and club personnel in the Mitchell Report. Discipline will be made on a case by case basis.

3. Selig will be proactive in finding new ways to test for steroids.

MLB will work with the NFL for a test for HGH and will hold an HGH summit.

In questioning he says he will take action to protect the integrity of the sport. He will not comment on records or achievements by steroid users. When asked if he is at fault for steroid use in baseball he avoids a direct answer to the question. He also said he has not read the entire report yet.

Not much new here, I wouldn't put too much faith in his efforts.

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Red Sox and Yankee Players in Mitchell Report

No current Red Sox on the list but several former players.

Josias Manzanillo
Jeremy Giambi
Clemens
Mo Vaughn
Chris Donnels
Mike Lansing
Kent Mercker
Mike Stanton
Eric Gagne
Brendan Donnelly
Steve Woodard
Chris Donnels

Yankees on the list:
Hal Morris

Andy Pettitte

Chuck Knoblauch
David Justice
Glenallen Hill
Denny Neagle

Todd Williams
Kevin Brown
Daniel Naulty
Gary Sheffield
Ron Villone
Jason Grimsley

the complete list of players is here

All of the players listed in the Mitchell Report took steroids more than 2 years ago and more than half are no longer playing.

not as harsh for Sox as it could have been....Clemens is going to be hurt the most from this report....according to the report Clemens began using steroids with Toronto after leaving Sox.

"McNamee injected Clemens in the buttocks four to six times with testosterone from a bottle
labeled either Sustanon 250 or Deca-Durabolin that McNamee had obtained from Radomski.
McNamee stated that during this same time period he also injected Clemens four
to six times with human growth hormone he received from Radomski, after explaining to
Clemens the potential benefits and risks of use."

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The Bomb is About to Drop

The report is under an hour away and could chance the way we look at several players in the game. The news conference will be streamed live on mlb.com but I would bet it will crash due to the number of people watching...remember the Rockies attempt at online ticketing? A second news conference is scheduled for 4:30 pm EST. The questioning of Bud Selig could get interesting in that one. We know that Clemens and Pettitte will be on the list. I'll keep posting updates about the report as soon as I get them.


UPDATE: As speculated yesterday, Tejada is on the list...Merry Christmas Astros. Former Yankee players Mike Stanton, and Chuck Knoblauch are also on the list.

UPDATE 2:Read the entire report here after 2pm EST

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Sox sign Kevin Cash to a Minor League Deal

Cash has re-signed a minor league deal with the Red Sox. He could become Wakefield's personal catcher but the Red Sox will most likely continue to look for a backup for Tek or re-sign Doug Mirabelli.

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CNBC Posts List of Players on the Mitchell Report

I don't know how accurate this is but take a look. Players with Sox connections: Nomar, Gagne, Trot,Clemens, Damon, Offerman, Tek, Mo Vaughn, El Guapo, Carl Everett, and Tavarez. This would be very bad for the Nation if it is true.

Update: The validity of this report has been disputed by MLB...CNBC has now taken down the list. It would be hard to believe that El Guapo juiced.

UPDATE 2: THIS LIST IS NOT ACCURATE for an accurate list look here.

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Clemens Will Be Named In Mitchell Report

As I speculated yesterday, Roger Clemens will be listed in the Mitchell Report. Sox fans who have been shunned by The Rocket and his choosing the Yankees will now they get a little payback. Clemens* may join Bonds* as the face of the steroid era. This may only be temporary if any Sox players appear on the Mitchell Report.

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Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Mitchell Report to Expose "Top to Bottom" Drug Culture

It's about to hit the streets...and the earlier reviews aren't good for Major League Baseball. The Mitchell Report on steroids in baseball is going to name names including some of baseball's MVP's and All-Stars.

The 304 page report is likely to bring a dark cloud over what has been a stellar year (at least for the Sox), and raise further questions about Bonds* and the home run craziness of recent years.

So far the Associated Press has yet learn any of the names in the report.

Stay tuned...tomorrow promises to be a grim one for baseball. The full report will be available on MLB.com

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Theo Becomes a Dad

Theo's wife gave birth to a baby boy they named Jack. Don't expect a Santana deal today.

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Bill Richardson Looks For Help From Red Sox Nation

Earlier this week I posted about Curt Schilling's aid for John McCain in New Hampshire. The power of the Red Sox Nation voting block is now being targeted by Democratic Presidential Candidate Bill Richardson who is having Luis Tiant campaign for him in the Granite State. Richardson had previously said his dream job outside of politics would be playing center field for the Yankees. Richardson has said before he grew up as a Yankee fan but started liking the Sox after going to Tufts for college.

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Tejada Is Out of The American League

The O's traded Tejada to the Astros today for Luke Scott, Matt Albers, Troy Patton and Dennis Sarfate, and Michael Costanzo. Without Tejada Baltimore should continue to reside in the basement of the AL East and be a cheaper source of tickets for traveling Red Sox Nation. Tejada is one of the players rumored to be included in the Mitchell Report.

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Mitchell Report Will Be Released At 2 pm EST Thursday

The long awaited Mitchell Report is almost here and the leaks are starting. According to the New York Times there are 50 players named in the report, Bloomburg says as many as 80. There will be a news conference at 2 pm EST in New York (11:00 out here) on Thursday followed by the release of the report. Union officials and MLB Execs looked at the report yesterday to ensure it did not violate any collective bargaining agreements. One person who read the report felt it was "harsh." Let the chips fall where they may.

Update: Is Clemens in the report? From NY Daily News: "Brian McNamee, a former Yankee trainer whose most famous clients have been Roger Clemens and Andy Pettitte, has already shown up in news reports about one investigation into the use of illegal substances."

Update 2: Curt Schilling would not be surprised if a member of the Red Sox is listed in the report.

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Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Mitchell Report May Be Released on Thursday

It is almost unfair that we have to have the Mitchell Report interrupt the holiday season and the continued Red Sox Championship off-season. If Santana arrives before the report no one will even pay any attention to it. However, it may be the first big step to cleaning up baseball. I have heard every argument about why it is the worst thing to happen to baseball to why it is not a big deal. I am on the side that it is cheating and that the MLB Players Union and the worthless commissioner Bud Selig have done nothing for too long. I am hoping the Mitchell Report will be used to clean up baseball from here forward but dragging names through the mud will not help much (unless it is a Yankee player.) Judging from the poll on this site it seems that most believe the Sox are above the steroid cloud....I can only hope you are right.

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More News On Santana

The latest has the Red Sox and Twins still talking with Ellsbury, Lowrie, Masterson and a yet to be determined 4th player in exchange for Santana. If the 4th player is not Buchholz or Lester the Sox will have pulled off a major trade without giving up too much. Jacoby will have a hard time getting Twins fans to shell out $125 for an autograph.

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Papelbon Wins TYIB Closer of the Year

Jonathan Papelbon joined Josh Beckett in winning a TYIB award. Today the fan's selection was announced as the Red Sox closer. Boston started spring training with Joel Pineiro as the closer but by the end of spring training Papelbon went back to the bullpen as the best closer in the game.

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More Red Sox Christmas Gifts

If you still have not found the perfect Red Sox gift you can buy the 2nd DVD released about the World Series this year. NESN started selling "Champions Again" on their website late last week. Early review say it is good and has more focus on the regular season than the Matt Damon DVD. If you want a one of a kind gift, a Danvers bakery created an edible version of Fenway Park that they are selling raffle tickets for. The proceeds will go to the Red Sox Foundation.

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Monday, December 10, 2007

Red Sox Players Continue to Give

I doubt there is a team in baseball that has more players who donate time and money than the Boston Red Sox. This is well know with the Jimmy Fund during the regular season but the team giving does not end with the baseball season. I posted earlier about Julio Lugo and David Ortiz helping victims of flooding in the Dominican Republic. This week Doug Mirabelli organized a coat drive for charities in Michigan and Boston. Julian Tavarez, Kyle Snyder, Brandon Moss and Bryan Corey spent today visiting hospitals with the World Series Trophy. It is nice to see players who don't even know if they will be with the Red Sox next year helping out the Boston community.

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Beckett Wins This Year In Baseball Award

Josh Beckett was the fan's choice for the This Year in Baseball Starter of the Year Award. Its not the Cy Young but at least he is being recognized for his great achievements in '07.

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Schilling Continues To Help McCain

Curt Schilling has been busy helping Arizona Senator John McCain during the past 2 weeks. He has traveled to New Hampshire, site of the January 8 Primary, to try to get members of Red Sox Nation support John McCain. In addition to this Schilling posted information about his support for McCain on his blog. Today the McCain campaign released a new ad featuring Schilling. You can watch the ad below.

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Sunday, December 9, 2007

Another Japanese Pitcher For The Red Sox?

Boston was unable to sign Kerry Wood for bullpen use next season and Eric Gagne is off to the Brewers. With the pen still needing a solid short reliever the Red Sox are once again looking at Japan. Last year the Red Sox benefited from Okijima as much as they did from Dice-K so they may try to go to the well again. The pitcher in they are looking at is Kazou Fukumori. The Japanese pitcher had a 4.74 ERA last season before having season ending surgery on his elbow. He is healthy now and looking for a 2 year deal in the U.S. The Yankees, Nationals, Rockies and Pirates are also interested in Fukumori but I wouldn't count on Colorado, Washington nor Pittsburgh to win a bidding war.

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Santana Talks Keep Going

The buzz continues around a deal for Johan Santana but at a much lower level. The Sox are reportedly talking more with the Twins than the Mets or Yankees lately but there are no indications that Boston has changed their offer significantly. The Twins want to get a deal done soon to restructure their team and Boston needs to figure out what is going to happen with Coco. Crisp's agent told the Herald this week that he will not accept a backup role in '08. I don't think he would have much of a choice if he is not traded; Ellsbury has won the job.

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Saturday, December 8, 2007

The Real Tavarez

When Julian Tavarez joined the Red Sox I was sceptical. He had a reputation as being a hothead and he did not do much in his first spring training to dispute that. (Remember the Devil Ray fight?) Ever since that moment Julian proved to be a quiet and fun-loving member of the Red Sox. He handled the booing by fans in the middle of the '06 season when his setup role did not work out well. He became a solid starter at the end of that season and then filled in when a stater was needed this year. Tavarez did whatever the team needed him to do. He was not on the post-season roster but you could always see him on the top step of the dugout with a smile on his face cheering on his teammates. The Providence Journal had a great article today that shows the real Tavarez; the one the fans will miss if he gets traded. Here is a quote that shows you what kind of a guy he is: “I gave my best energy to the team,” he said. “I was keeping the team awake and cheering for the guys. I was really happy how things ended because that’s something you’re always working for in your career — to be a champion. A lot of guys play 17 years and never get a ring, so it’s my first one in 14 years and I’m just happy how things went in 2007.”

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