Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Derek Lowe Is Not Coming Back Through That Door

Derek Lowe will not be returning to the Boston Red Sox. The Mets have offered him a 3-year deal and with the Red Sox signing of Brad Penny there is very little chance they would want another middle of the road starter. The Daily News had this additional information:



Lowe recently told a friend that the Red Sox, who signed Brad Penny to a one-year deal this week, have never showed serious interest in him, and indicated that he thinks he'll wind up as a Met, telling the friend the two sides had exchanged contract proposals before Christmas.


The Red Sox could still go after a front of the rotation type player like Peavy or try to get a bargain on a guy like Sheets but they are not going to spend big money on a middle to back of the rotation pitcher right now. With the recent rumors about going after Hanley Ramirez it looks like the Red Sox are willing to make a big trade to gain some power not pitching.

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Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Amalie Benjamin & Tim Kurkjian on Scouting

Amalie Benjamin of The Boston Globe wrote a nice piece on Blair Henry, the Northern California and Nevada scout for the Boston Red Sox. Blair Henry was the scout who found Lars Anderson. In her article, she describes not only the Henry's discovery of Anderson, but also gives us a glimpse into the life and travels of MLB scouts, seemingly a dying profession in the aftermath of Billy Beane's Moneyball approach to scouting. She describes the Red Sox's approach to homegrown scouting and it's relationship to filling out the roster with trades and free agents.

Tim Kurkjian of ESPN
also told some great scout stories in his book, "Is This A Great Game, or What?" I'll leave you with a passage from that book:

Ellis Clary was an old-time scout for several teams. “He had a heart attack and was basically pronounced dead,” said Farmer. “He was in the ambulance on the way to the hospital when he came to. He asked, “Where the hell are we?” The ambulance guy said, ‘On the way to the hospital in an ambulance.’ Ellis asked, ‘Where is the ballpark?! Get the mileage from the ballpark to the hospital! I’m going to need that for my expense account!”

(Hey, I was a bookkeeper! It was funny to me!)

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A-Rod Finds A New Way To Piss People Off

If you didn't have enough reason to dislike the Yankees prima donna third basemen, here's another story to add to the list. From the NY Daily News:


Onlookers say, the Yankees slugger blocked traffic with his black Maybach while waiting for a parking spot at the Bal Harbour Mall. “It was ridiculous,” one witness fumed. “He’s in a $400,000 car, chatting away on his cell phone, oblivious to everyone honking at him. He was holding up traffic in both directions. You’d think he could pay the $25 for ­valet!”


No word on whether the call was to Madonna, Scott Boras, a divorce lawyer, or one of his many stripper friends.

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Monday, December 29, 2008

Roger* Gets Kicked to the Curb

Now Roger Clemens* can't get any love in his hometown....even after giving $3 million:

HOUSTON -- The Roger Clemens Institute for Sports Medicine will no longer carry the former Astro's name.

The Institute opened in 2007 and Clemens had donated three million dollars to the hospital's pediatric wing.

But on January 1, it will now be called the Memorial Hermann Sports Medicine Institute. The hospital has not released a reason for the name change

.

I wonder what the reason for the name change could be....maybe the frequent phone calls from kids looking for steroids. With a name like "Roger Clemens Institute for Sports Medicine," they might as well have be called BALCO.

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Theo's To-Do List is Pretty Short

In any other off-season fans might be happy with what Theo has done; the team that came within one game of the World Series has been preserved, the MVP second baseman has been locked up for the future, and some good additions have been added while the payroll is down.

Has the Yankee spending spree made us all feel like we are lagging behind? I never thought the team really needed Teixeira but the idea of adding a little more thump to the lineup is very appealing. It is almost like we got practical gifts for Christmas and not the really fun toy that we had wished for.

If the Red Sox bring back Varitek they will be a very solid team, perhaps the favorite to win the division. If they trade for the catcher of the future the Red Sox will be without their captain who helped them win two World Series and will also be without atleast one of their most promising prospects. The Sox can add some power to the lineup by replacing Tek but it will be a bittersweet moment for the Nation.

Theo's last to-do item is to add a 4th outfielder; not a very exciting thing for Red Sox fans. The 4th outfielder however will play a very significant role on the team this season. Drew is bound to miss 1/4 of the season with injuries and Ellsbury showed some fatigue last season.

The Teixeira money may be burning a hole in fan's pockets but I don't think John Henry and company are looking to get a big name just to match the Yanks. As frustrating as it is, look for the offseason to continue in this manner and wait for the Red Sox to compete with the Yankees where it really matters: on the field.

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Sunday, December 28, 2008

Josh Bard is Back

In other news, GM's across the majors look through the Rolodex for Doug Mirabelli's agent's number. In a day of ho-hum additions to the Red Sox, the signing of Josh Bard gets a thumbs up, just not way up. Bard looked like a steal for the Padres in '07 but looked like a bust in '08; so what you really have with him is a solid backup. The major problem with Bard in Boston is his inability to catch the knuckle ball. If Tek comes back you may see him catching Wakefield and have Bard become Dice-K's personal catcher. So at the end of the day the Red Sox have picked up a solid spot starter and backup catcher, not bad news at all, now go get the big fish!

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Red Sox Close to Signing Brad Penny

The Red Sox may have found their spot starter and his name is Brad Penny. This news is not going to have Red Sox Nation popping the New Years champagne corks early, but it does fill the need for a spot starter or 5th starter if he is healthy. There is a big "if" with Penny considering he was shut down early last year with shoulder problems. MLB Trade Rumors notes:

The Red Sox have a sophisticated system for dealing with pitching shoulders, so it's an interesting match.

Really? Didn't seem to work so well with Schilling last season. Penny could work out well for the Sox but right now it is not the big news I am waiting for. Maybe its time for Cowboy Up 2.0.

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What it Will Take To Get Peavy

If Theo can work out a trade with the Padres for Jake Peavy the Red Sox would have the best rotation in the majors by far. The Pads have said they are listening to offers but the Sox would have to pony up some of their favorite prospects. The Peavy-to-Cubs deal fell through after the price became too high for Chicago:

five or six players, plus the remaining $63 million on the final four years of Peavy's contract.

"They were looking for a Herschel Walker-type deal," one Cubs official said.

The Red Sox have the money and the players in the farm system to land Jake Peavy. The Padres are having a fire sale and need cheap players. Boston could aford to put together a package of young players to land one of the best pitchers in baseball. The Red Sox could ship Bowden, Bard, and Kalish to San Diego and still have a solid farm system for the future. Theo and Lucchino have strong ties to the Padres so they should be able to work something out if they are willing to give up some prospects. Most Red Sox deals involve secrecy (think Coco) so maybe no news is good news on this one.

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Saturday, December 27, 2008

Site Changes

Fenway West in undergoing a redesign during the next week. Please be patient as I work out all of the bugs and get things working correctly. Thanks for your continued support.

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Yankee Owners on the Down Low

Gettin' harsh and nasty with the Yankees and Boras in a couple of R-rated posts, but you'll have to CLICK HERE if you want to read them. You've been warned.

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Varitek Update

The Red Sox are still negotiating with Jason Varitek but since they have not landed a big bat yet they may not be as willing to sign him. Teagarden or Salty from Texas would be good offensive fits for Boston but the Sox are unwilling to pay the price (Buchholz or Bowden). Theo is stuck in a position he does not want to be in: keep a player beyond his prime or trade away one of his best homegrown prospects for an unknown. I highly doubt that the Red Sox will play the steep price for one of the Ranger's catchers so Tek should be coming back. If they do bring back Tek they are going to need to bring in a good backup too and somebody with some thump off of the bench. Last season Tito was very reluctant to pinch hit for Varitek late in games; if Tek comes back we better hope that Francona is not afraid to use the hook in those big situations.

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Friday, December 26, 2008

Shopping Time

There are bargains to be had out there in the after-Christmas sales and the Red Sox need to join the masses and get busy shopping. Teixeira was really a luxury item for Boston, but the Red Sox have some absolute needs in the coming weeks and must fill these holes in order of importance:

1. Starting Catcher- whether it be Tek or a the catcher of the futre, the Red Sox need to fill this spot with a quality player.

2. 5th/Spot Starter- Right now the rotation is Beckett, Lester, Dice-K, Wake and a question mark. Buchholz or Masterson could the guy but Theo wants to keep Masterson in the pen and I still don't have faith that Buchholz can step into the role just yet. Even if Buchholz is the 5th starter, the Red Sox still need a guy to step in when someone is hurt.

3. 4th Outfielder- there are multiple free agents out there who could fit in this spot or the Sox could go the trade route. There is also the slim chance that Lugo becomes the 4th outfielder.

4. Backup Catcher- with Cash gone the Sox need a backup catcher too. If Tek comes back it could a rookie they want to prepare for the future or a Mirabelli type to catch Wake.

5. Corner Infielder- this is not as urgent as Lowrie can play third and Papi can play first in a jam but the Sox still need to get a good hitting corner infielder to come off of the bench.

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Thursday, December 25, 2008

Happy Birthday Hideki Okajima



DOB 12/25/75

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Merry Christmas

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Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Youk to Play for Team USA in WBC

Kevin Youkilis will join Dustin Pedroia on Team USA in the World Baseball Classic this spring. No word on whether he will play 1st or 3rd base.

“For me, it’d be cool to represent my country,” Youkilis said. “If they ask me, yeah. Yeah, definitely. I’ll play. Cool experience. I’ve done a lot of great things, and that could be an added thing to put on the plate.”


UPDATE: David Wright and Chipper Jones will play third so Youk will be at first.

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Mike Lowell- Safe at 3rd!

I'm extremely happy to see that Mike Lowell has a job with the Sox in 2009. While Mark Teixeira's bat and glove may have been a welcome presence in the Sox line up (to some), the heart and soul (aka chemistry) of the team that missed going to the 2008 WS by only one (1) game (with an injury riddled line up, taboot) would have no doubt been disrupted to an unfortunate end. Watch out for the Sox in 2009 with a healthy Papi and Lowell!

I don't care what ANYbody says- chemistry is just as important as talent. Case in point- the Yankees, who have plenty of talent, but have not had any chemistry since..... lemmee see..... um..... somebody please remind me the last time they even went to the WS, never mind WIN one?

Mark Teixeira's prescence in a Yankee clown suit guarantees them nothing, certainly not #27. It's that dark shadow that oozes pinstripe scum and greed, scum and greed (aka Boras) that Teixeira will have to scrub himself clean of since he will be next to the grandstanding greed king himself, A-Rod.

Not that I would ever wish ill upon a ball player, but in 2009, I see Sabathia showing up to ST with an extra 30#, Burnett getting 3 starts before his next trip to the DL, and Teixeira, well, he'll have to invest a ton of his $180m in A-Rod soap.

Last item- with that $180m not spent on Teixiera, sign 'Tek already!

Note about the photo- I googled 'A-Rod Soap' and I got 'soap on a rod'.

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The Nation Reacts

The news of Mark Teixeira signing with the Yankees has now reached the farthest corners of Red Sox Nation and reactions are not hard to find.

Sox and Dawgs has a rundown of Red Sox bloggers on the issue.

The Bottom Line shows proof that Teixeira always wanted to be a Yankee.

Curt Schilling thinks Theo is making the right moves.

The AP says Recession is lost on the Yankees.

Phil Sheridan of the Philadelphia Inquirer points out what we already know: The New York Yankees represent the very worst of America.

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Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Yankees Sign Kevin Cash

The New York Yankees continue to sign players, now they have signed Kevin Cash. The day just got worse, not that Cash is the best player in the world but I did meet him last year and my son has an autograph from him that says "Go Sox!"

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The Rivalry Adds Another Chapter

The Yankees acquisition of Mark Teixeira is bad news for the Red Sox. As a switch hitter Teixeira can take advantage of the short porch at Yankee Stadium and of the Green Monster when he comes to Fenway. With A-Rod and Teix signed to long term deals the Yankees should have solid offense for some time. By signing Teixeira the Yankees took away the one good power hitting free agent on the market for Boston. But things will only be bad if Mike Lowell and Ortiz do not bounce back this season. If they are both healthy the Red Sox should have no problem competing with the Yankees (and the Rays). If one of them does not start out well the Red Sox can make a midseason trade for some power. Lars Anderson could be the long term power solution in the lineup as well. Today's news adds some needed life into the Red Sox/Yankees rivalry that was losing a little steam. Openning Day is just a little over 3 months away.

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BREAKING NEWS - Yankees Sign Teixeira

SI is reporting the Yankees will sign Teixeira shortly.

The story is also being reported by ESPN Radio and the NY Times.

The Herald has confirmed he will not be signing with Boston and will most likely go to the Bronx.

Peter Gammons has the deal at 8 years $180 million

This is a last minute coup for the Yankees, taking away the one big bat free agent out there for the Red Sox; a very interesting development to say the least. New York is going to have one fat payroll next season. This will also have an impact on other players:

The Angels have said that Manny will not play for them next season so where does that leave him? Back with the Dodgers?

The Yanks will probably not have enough money for D-Lowe so he may be back with the Sox.

UPDATE: Buster Olney has confirmed a deal has been made by the Yankees and Mark Teixeira for 8 years and more than $170 million.

The Adam Dunn talk has already begun on Sons of Sam Horn.

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Get Off The Pot Already Mark Teixeira

So are we getting a decision today or are well all going for another ride on the Boras roller coaster?

Now the Yankees are back in the mix trying to mess things up for the Red Sox and there are also reports that Teixeira has still not made up his mind between the Nationals and Boston.

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Report: Red Sox Could Announce Teixeira Signing Today

The Washington Times has a source telling them that an announcement from Mark Teixeira is coming today with most indications that he will be signing with Boston.

UPDATE: The Washington Post reports the Nats have no plans to make an announcement on Teixeira today. Merry Christmas Sox fans, looks like we may have a great 3-4 combination in the order again.

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Roger* Gets Sued for Defamation



Roger Clemens* former trainer Brian McNamee has filled a defamation lawsuit against him according to published reports. Now Roger* is facing a federal perjury investigation, a defamation lawsuit, and is likely to have his own defamation lawsuit thrown out. How's that vindication thing going now?

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Scott Boras Begs The Angels To Get Back in the Race for Teixeira

Scott Boras wrote a letter to the Orange County Register to let the Angels know they could still be in the race for Mark Teixeira if they wanted to be. He is trying to do some damage control after the Halos felt like they were being used to drive up the price for his client. One Angels beat reporter even called him the Anti-Christ.

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Monday, December 22, 2008

Nats May Have Retaken the Lead in Teixeira Sweepstakes

The Nationals have upped their offer to Mark Teixeira to 8 years $178- 184 million. That might just be a little more than what the Red Sox have offered. With the Angels out there is a good chance that Teix will end up in D.C.

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Report: Manny Close to Signing With Yankees

A newspaper in the Dominican Republic is reporting that Manny Ramirez is close to signing a three year $75 million contract with the Yankees. According to the report he could sign as early as today.

UPDATE: Brian Cashman has said the report is not true in a text message.

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Sunday, December 21, 2008

Angels Give Up Hope for Teixeira

The Angels have withdrawn their offer to Mark Teixeira according to the LA Times:

Boras is reportedly seeking an eight-year deal for at least $180 million, and a source familiar with the Angels' thinking maintained all last week that owner Arte Moreno had no plans to sweeten the deal.

"Arte is sticking to his guns on this one," the source said.

That leaves the Red Sox (no matter what John Henry said) the Nats, and the O's in the bidding. The O's don't look like they will offer as much as the Nats. The Red Sox may get a better price for Teixeira than Boras was looking for as the competition drops out.

UPDATE: Tim Brown of Yahoo! Sports says the Red Sox have had no contact with Boras since John Henry's email saying they were out.

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Manny Thinks Yanks Will Give Him 3 Years

A person close to Manny Ramirez told the Daily News that he thinks the Yankees will be offering him at least a three year contract. Three years might be all it takes to land Manny. Are you prepared to see Manny in pinstripes? This would certainly make the rivalry even more interesting.

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Saturday, December 20, 2008

Gammons Says Sox and Teixeira are Close

Peter Gammons has a new blog post up filled with info on the Red Sox including Teixeira negotiations:

One source close to Teixeira said Friday that the two sides are not that far apart, and the conciliatory and civilized nature of those words made it obvious that Teixeira likes Mr. Henry's neighborhood, he just wants the kitchen and heating system redone as part of the deal.

The post also includes info on Varitek, Lowell, and Junichi Tazawa.

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Catching Market Continues to Shrink

The Red Sox do not have a catcher for the 2009 season and the available options are shrinking. Scott Boras may have been too busy trying to work out a deal for Teixeira while leaving his client Jason Varitek behind. The Rangers are no longer willing to deal a catcher, and the D-Backs just announced they do not want to trade Miguel Montero:


"We've spent a lot of the off-season assessing and nothing has motivated us (to make a trade) to this point. At some point, you have to say, 'OK, we kicked the tires and nothing in trade exceeds the value of keeping both, so we'll keep them both.'"...The Diamondbacks discussed a deal that would have sent Montero to Boston for pitching prospect Michael Bowden, but the Red Sox wouldn't bite. Detroit and Pittsburgh also are believed to have shown interest in Montero.

It is looking more and more likely that the Red Sox will find a way to re-sign Tek.

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Friday, December 19, 2008

John Henry Calls the Bluff of Boras...

…and Boras just shit his bed. He bluffed one too many times. Players will drop him like the bag of shit that he is. He becomes a nobody, a has been, nothing. Players salaries return to normal, as do ticket prices, and a tall glass of Sam Adams will be only $4.

I was dreaming when I wrote this....

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We Will Know Soon if Boras Was Bluffing

If Scott Boras had better offers for Mark Teixeira, they haven't surfaced yet. All of the leakers from other teams are not reporting that their team is close to getting Tex, they are saying the Red Sox had the best offer and are still in the hunt. Boras' email to the press said that Teixeira was in the process of eliminating teams. Boras and Teixeira have played all of their cards; other teams are not going to up their offers now that the Red Sox are "out," if anything the price could begin to drop. This has to come to a head very soon and somebody is going to have some splanin' to do.

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Did Scott Boras Screw Up?

Is Scott Boras going to lose some money for his client with his tactics? It is possible that the Red Sox had the best offer for Mark Teixeira and Boras went back to them to get more claiming he had higher offers. The Red Sox had a higher offer than the Angels according to the L.A. Times:


The Red Sox were believed to have offered Teixeira an eight-year deal in the $175-million range, and a source who is familiar with negotiations but is not authorized to speak about them on the record said it was "significantly" better than the Angels' offer.

It is also possible that the Orioles upped their deal or that the Nats threw some more crazy money on the table. Either way I am just glad Red Sox brass walked away from the deal, it may help bring some sanity into baseball salaries.

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Thursday, December 18, 2008

BREAKING NEWS - Red Sox Drop Out of Teixeira Sweepstakes

SI is reporting that Red Sox owner John Henry has said the Red Sox have been outbid for Mark Teixeira and they are not going to throw any more money into the pot.


"We met with Mr. Teixeira and were very much impressed with him,'' Henry said. "After hearing about his other offers, however, it seems clear that we are not going to be a factor.''

This does not necessarily mean the Sox are done in the case that Boras was bluffing about other offers and will have to come back to the Red Sox with hat in hand but that is an unlikely senario.

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Mark Teixeira Just Farted

He is rumoured to have had bacon and eggs for breakfast.

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New Info on Tonight's Negotiations

The meeting between Red Sox brass and Scott Boras has been confirmed but the deal is not a sure thing. The Angels' are $20 million behind the Red Sox eight-year $184 million offer. The Angels could try to top the deal but it looks like Tex is coming to Boston. Watch video of Youk reacting to the Teixeira news here.

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Help Jim Rice Get into the Hall - Sign the Petition


As a kid growing up I had a Stop & Shop Jim Rice poster on my wall. He was the most feared hitter in the American League in his prime. This year is his last chance to get into the Hall of Fame on the writer's ballot, you can send a message to baseball writers by signing a petition on Sawxheads.com. Please take a minute and support a well deserving player.

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Deal Tonight?

Theo, John Henry, and Larry Lucchino are all in Texas today meeting with Scott Boras. The latest report is an offer of 8 years at $23 mil/year with the possibility of a deal tonight or tomorrow morning for Mark Teixeira.

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Rolling Green Monster Update

Yesterday I posted about Rocky Rhodes and his Rolling Green Monster and his recent mechanical problems. His plight first became known on the Sawxheads fan social networking site. He recently posted some more detailed comments about his situation:

hi, its a dodge explorer motor home not a jeep, that's not the problem. the problem is there are no replacement parts available. 2 there is a major snow storm coming. 3 the garage has given me till tomorrow to have the rgm outta here because he can't fix it. thanks for your thoughts But I need your prayers. everything happens for a reason. we're not suppose to know why, we're suppose to just try to make life better


If there are any mechanically inclined Sox fans who can steer him in the right direction to obtain the parts he needs (10 bolt rear end), please contact Mickey's Towing & Repair Station, 3104 Fairfield Ave., Bridgeport, CT, phone # 203.336.3042

UPDATE:

Rocky has found the parts! Thanks to Sawxheads member 'redsoxguitar', he was able to locate the 10 bolt rear end he needed. Not an easy part to find, I'm sure. Now all he needs is a shop big enough to handle the job.

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Report: Red Sox Have Highest Offer for Teixeira

Nick Cafardo of the Globe has 2 GMs involved in the Teixeira as saying the Red Sox have the highest offer on the table for Mark Teixeira. The events are moving fast but with a decision coming any day now, Tek could be on the Sox before Christmas.

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Youk About to Get Richer

Pedrioa signs a big contract, the Sox need a flexible corner infielder for the long term, and huge sums of money are being discussed for Teixeira. All of those things are going to help Kevin Youkilis as he begins his negotiaions for a long term deal with the Red Sox. Youk came close to winning the MVP this season, he is a great defensive player, and he takes pitches well to fit the Bill James/ Theo mold. Look for the Red Sox to go at least 5 years in this deal with a salary around $10 million/year.

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Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The Rolling Green Monster is in Trouble!!!

Last month Fenway West posted a story about Rocky Rhodes and his Rolling Green Monster (RGM) and his cross country trip to raise money and awareness for The Jimmy Fund and cancer research.

I received a message today from Rocky. He is stranded at Mickey's Towing & Repair Station, 3104 Fairfield Ave., Bridgeport, CT, phone # 203.336.3042, and in need of a 10 bolt rear end for his 1980 Dodge Explorer van. I am not a mechanic, so I didn't know what other questions to ask him about the van.

If there are any mechanics in RSN that can help him out, please send me a message: redsoxsonoma@yahoo.com or try calling the repair shop at the number above.

Thank you all in advance for any help we can send his way!!!

UPDATE: The passenger side wheels actually fell off while he was driving to Yankee Stadium.

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And Then There Were 3

The Orioles appear to have dropped out of the Teixeira running. Yesterday ESPN said they may be the front runners but today Buster Olney says they have not increased their initial offer and are behind the Red Sox, Nats, and Angels. The three remaining teams all have 8 year deals on the table, Boras will try to get at least one more year for his client. Yesterday the Red Sox said they would not sign any player to a 10 year deal. The Red Sox are up against their limit for signing Teixeira so it now really comes down to the Angels. The Nats will have the biggest offer money wise at the end of the negotiations but they are not and will not be a winning team for a long time. The Angels can offer Teixeira a chance at the post-season and they may have the funds to bring him on board. If they add a 9th year to their offer they will land Teixeira as it is unlikely the Sox will match it. If the bidding ended today without any increase to the offers, Tex would be headed to Boston.

UPDATE: The O's said they're not dead yet to the Baltimore Sun:


"We have indicated before that we have flexibility," Orioles president Andy MacPhail said today. "I don't think anyone expects [Teixeira's agent Scott Boras] to lean over and accept the first proposal."

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Schilling Talks About Manny - Video

Here is video of Schilling's latest explanation of run-ins with Manny Ramirez from WEEI:


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Report: Yanks to Offer Manny 3 Year Deal

The New York Daily News is citing a Yankee executive as saying the team is willing to offer Manny Ramirez a 3 year contract for $22-25 million per year. It will be very interesting to see if Manny takes it since he grew up close to Yankee Stadium but he wanted out of Boston because of the media and fan attention. He will not find much privacy in New York, so we will know what Manny is all about if he joins the Evil Empire.

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Tuesday, December 16, 2008

ESPN Says O's in the Lead for Tex

Watch ESPN breaking down the latest on the negotiations:

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Cold Stove -Remaining Free Agents

Here is the list of the remaining free agents in case you were interested. There are still some big names and value players out there. Time for Theo to work his magic.

AMERICAN LEAGUE

BALTIMORE (4) — Juan Castro, ss; Alex Cintron, ss; Kevin Millar, 1b; Jay Payton, of.

BOSTON (9) — Paul Byrd, rhp; Sean Casey, 1b; Bartolo Colon, rhp; Alex Cora, ss; Mark Kotsay, of; David Ross, c; Curt Schilling, rhp; Mike Timlin, rhp; Jason Varitek, c.

CHICAGO (6) — Orlando Cabrera, ss; Joe Crede, 3b; Ken Griffey Jr., of; Toby Hall, c; Horacio Ramirez, lhp; Juan Uribe, 3b.

CLEVELAND (4) — Brendan Donnelly, rhp; Scott Elarton, rhp; Sal Fasano, c; Juan Rincon, rhp.

DETROIT (5) — Casey Fossum, lhp; Freddy Garcia, rhp; Todd Jones, rhp; Kenny Rogers, lhp; Vance Wilson, c.

KANSAS CITY (1) — Mark Grudzielanek, 2b.

LOS ANGELES (4) — Garret Anderson, of; Jon Garland, rhp; Juan Rivera, of; Mark Teixeira, 1b.

MINNESOTA (2) — Eddie Guardado, lhp; Dennys Reyes, lhp.

NEW YORK (8) — Bobby Abreu, of; Jason Giambi, 1b; Chad Moeller, c; Mike Mussina, rhp; Carl Pavano, rhp; Andy Pettitte, lhp; Sidney Ponson, rhp; Ivan Rodriguez, c.

OAKLAND (3) — Emil Brown, of; Keith Foulke, rhp; Frank Thomas, dh.

SEATTLE (3) — Willie Bloomquist, of; Miguel Cairo, inf; Raul Ibanez, of.

TAMPA BAY (3) — Rocco Baldelli, dh; Cliff Floyd, dh; Eric Hinske, of.

TEXAS (3) — Milton Bradley, dh; Jason Jennings, rhp; Jamey Wright, rhp.

TORONTO (4) — A.J. Burnett, rhp; John Parrish, lhp; Brad Wilkerson, of; Gregg Zaun, c.

NATIONAL LEAGUE

ARIZONA (7) — Tony Clark, 1b; Juan Cruz, rhp; Adam Dunn, of; David Eckstein, ss; Orlando Hudson, 2b; Randy Johnson, lhp; Brandon Lyon, rhp.

ATLANTA (6) — Elmer Dessens, rhp; Tom Glavine, lhp; Greg Norton, of; Will Ohman, lhp; John Smoltz, rhp; Julian Tavarez, rhp.

CHICAGO (5) — Henry Blanco, c; Jim Edmonds, of; Chad Fox, rhp; Jon Lieber, rhp; Daryle Ward, 1b.

CINCINNATI (6) — Paul Bako, c; Josh Fogg, rhp; Jerry Hairston Jr., of; Kent Mercker, lhp; Corey Patterson, of; Javier Valentin, c.

COLORADO (6) — Brian Fuentes, lhp; Matt Herges, rhp; Livan Hernandez, rhp; Adam Melhuse, c; Scott Podsednik, of; Glendon Rusch, lhp.

FLORIDA (3) — Luis Gonzalez, of; Mark Hendrickson, lhp; Paul Lo Duca, c.

HOUSTON (2) — Brad Ausmus, c; Randy Wolf, lhp.

LOS ANGELES (13) — Joe Beimel, lhp; Gary Bennett, c; Rafael Furcal, ss; Nomar Garciaparra, ss; Jason Johnson, rhp; Jeff Kent, 2b; Derek Lowe, rhp; Greg Maddux, rhp; Pablo Ozuna; Chan Ho Park, rhp; Brad Penny, rhp; Manny Ramirez, of; Mark Sweeney, 1b.

MILWAUKEE (8) — Craig Counsell, 3b; Ray Durham, 2b; Eric Gagne, rhp; Gabe Kapler, of; Guillermo Mota, rhp; CC Sabathia, lhp; Ben Sheets, rhp; Brian Shouse, lhp.

NEW YORK (11) — Moises Alou, of; Tony Armas Jr., rhp; Luis Ayala, rhp; Damion Easley, 2b; Orlando Hernandez, rhp; Pedro Martinez, rhp; Ramon Martinez, 2b; Trot Nixon, of; Oliver Perez, lhp; Ricardo Rincon, lhp; Matt Wise, rhp.

PHILADELPHIA (3) — Pat Burrell, of; Tom Gordon, rhp; Rudy Seanez, rhp.

PITTSBURGH (3) — Chris Gomez, 3b; Doug Mientkiewicz, 1b; Luis Rivas, ss..

ST. LOUIS (7) — Juan Encarnacion, of; Jason Isringhausen, rhp; Cesar Izturis, ss; Braden Looper, rhp; Mark Mulder, lhp; Russ Springer, rhp; Ron Villone, lhp.

SAN DIEGO (2) — Trevor Hoffman, rhp; Mark Prior, rhp.

SAN FRANCISCO (2) — Rich Aurilia, 1b; Omar Vizquel, ss.

WASHINGTON (2) — Aaron Boone, 1b; Odalis Perez, lhp.

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Report: Red Sox Make Huge Offer to Teixeira

The Boston Red Sox have made the biggest offer in club history to Mark Teixeira. The deal is said to be for 8 year and could be up to $180 million. With the economy going down and ticket prices frozen you have to wonder how the Red Sox plan on making this kind of committment for the long term. Does this mean they will not be able to get that big free agent next year or the year after that? The farm system has been good but it can not replace eveything and the Sox are going to need some front line starters in the next few years. We just have to say "in Theo we trust" with this one.

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Monday, December 15, 2008

2012 (A Short Story)

Preface


I was laying in bed late one night last summer reading "Joe DiMaggio- The Hero's Life", when all of a sudden, I put the book down, picked up my notebook and pen and started writing. I kept on writing and didn't stop until I had filled up about 6 pages. What follows is almost exactly what I wrote that night. Certain events since then have sent me back to the drawing board to tweak it a bit, but otherwise very few changes have been made. This is a story (fantasy, really) that just that flowed out of me with literally no effort at all. This is my first attempt at writing fiction.






2012 (A Short Story)


It is September of 2012. The Red Sox have been dominating the AL East since 2004, having won 5 of the last 8 World Series by an astounding margin of 20 games to 6, and setting a new Major League Record for most wins in the regular season in 2010 along the way. Terry Francona has been a brilliant manager and has been receiving all star performances from Pedroia, Youk, Bay, Ellsbury, Papelbon, Beckett, and Dice-K. Even Wakefield is still throwing that screwy knuckleball and doing it well! He's 46 years old, but Hoyt Wilhem and Wilbur Wood both pitched into their late 40's, and Satchel Paige pitched until he was 53, so why not Wake? He still gets 175+ innings per season and 4.20 has been his highest ERA since 2007.

And Lester! Jon Lester! His fairy tale continues as if he's living in some parallel universe. He has been dominating the Junior Circuit like no other lefty since Randy Johnson was in Seattle. He has become the ace of the staff, not an easy thing to do with a staff that includes All-Stars and Cy Young winners Beckett and Dice-K. He's won no less than 18 games in each season since 2009 and lost no more than 9 in that same time span. He's struck out at least 175 batters and has had an ERA no higher than 3.15, a remarkable feat considering that Fenway is a difficult park for southpaws, to say the least. He has 9 shoutouts and 2 no-hitters since 2008, and a Cy Young Award of his own last year. He even made it into the 7th inning with a perfect game going on that was broken up by a cheap infield hit that was questionable to all but the 1st base umpire whose view of the play was somewhat obstructed. Tito racked up yet another early exit that day arguing Lester's case, but to no avail. This has been a Red Sox dynasty even more impressive than their run in the early 20th century when that team won 5 World Series in 15 years before the infamous, but almost now forgotten sale of Ruth to the formerly despised Yankees.

The Yankees on the other hand....

Ah, yes, the Yankees. The once great and proud Yankees had fallen on hard times. After completely missing the playoffs in 2008 for the first time since 1994, Hank Steinbrenner continued to screw up the club so badly into 2009, that their (remaining) fans were calling for his head on a stick! Even Joba Chamberlain, the poster child of the new generation of Yankee's was disgracing the once venerable franchise with his many notable trips to the stripper clubs, DUI's, and his continued harassment of Kevin Youkilis which finally earned him a fine and suspension. The Evil Empire had been destroyed by the Rebel Red Sox so badly that Steinbrenner finally said, 'Fuck this shit', sold the team, and went back to his horse ranch much to the delight of Yankee fans in the tri-state area, thus ending the Steinbrenner years in disgrace. The new owners immediately set about to right the ship. They hired a brilliant GM to replace Cashman and immediately made several 'Fuckin' A' trades, as Billy Beane called them (trades that when other GM's hear of, they say, 'Fuckin' A!') Working the off season trading market like the stock market, they loaded up with top draft picks and top prospects for 2011. They cut loose all the old and overpaid stars: Damon, Matsui, Abreu, and Petitte. They cut loose all the over-priced candy that Hank went out and bought after missing the playoffs in 2008, including Manny Ramirez, who missed most of 2010 and 2011 with injuries after Hank washed his feet and then gave him $90 million. The Yankees were still stuck with some of the old guard from the 1995-2000 dynasty, the ones who King George bowed down to and lavished with contracts back in 2007: Old Man Jeter, and Mr. Controversy, A-Rod (Posada and Rivera had finally hung up their spikes in 2011.) One thing was certain about A-Rod, barring injury or unforeseen circumstance; he would hit more than 800 home runs by the time he was done with his career. The Yankees lost 92 games in in 2009, but with the new owners making immediate changes in the way the whole company was run and not just the approach to fielding and managing the team, they fared much better in 2010, winning 80 and losing 82, and continued to improve in 2011, but slowly, winning 82 and losing 80. But 2012 was different. The draft picks and the farm system had finally produced some bona fide major leaguers who were primed for breakout seasons in 2012, comparable to the Papelbon- Youkilis- Pedroia- Ellsbury- Lowrie- Lester breakout years. No one really thought that they were a legitimate challenge to the Sox, but winning 90 games was a real possibility this year.

The Sox had developed a model farm system and had handfuls of major league quality studs in Pawtucket just chomping at the bit to get a taste of the big show. 2012 brought a slew of injuries to the team, but they continued to win, although with not quite as much authority as the year before. The Sox were on a pace to win 95 games this year despite the injuries, but the whole AL East had become the strongest division in the major's. Even Baltimore was a contender. In 2011, all 5 teams finished at .500 or better. The Yankees had been having a superb year for the young team and were only 2 games behind the Sox heading into the final series of the season for both teams. It seemed as if every season the Yanks and the Sox played each other on the last weekend. It wasn't of course, but it just seemed like it. Sox fans were delighted that after looking up at the Yanks for all those painful 86+ years, that the tide had turned and the Sox were enjoying their dynasty. Coming into the final 3 game series of the year, the Yankees were hot, winning 10 of their last 12 and were only 2 games behind the 1st place Sox. A-Rod had finally gotten his shit together and started producing when it mattered. The Sox had been playing well and only needed to win 1 of the final 3 games to clinch the division. With Beckett, Dice-K, and Lester scheduled to pitch the final 3 games at Fenway, it seemed that the Sox had a virtual lock on the division title. Beckett and Dice-K were superb! Unfortunately, the young Yankee pitchers were 1 run better as the Sox lost 1-0 and 2-1. It was the first time in over 200 games that the Sox had been shut out! An eery, unsettling discomfort fell over Red Sox Nation that hadn't been felt since 2004. But not to worry- Jon Lester would be pitching the finale. Lester had been having yet another career year: 24-6, 2.92, 209 K's, 0.98 WHIP, but there was one batter in the whole American League who seemed to have figured him out: A-Rod. While his numbers against Lester weren't outstanding, he did have more success against him than anyone else in the league.

It is now the top of the 9th inning and the Yankees have 2 outs. The Sox are up 4-3, Lester is spinning another gem, but he walks Jeter after an 8 pitch battle, the last one barely an inch off the plate, or so it seemed. Although A-Rod has had some success against Lester this year, he had been baffled by Lester all day this day. Lester had another great game going with a low pitch count, so Tito decided to leave him in, as A-Rod had been having marginal success with Pap this year, as well.

0-1 ->

1-1 (barely) ->

1-2 ->

1-2 (foul) ->

1-2 (foul) ->

1-2 (foul) ->

2-2 ->

2-2 (foul) ->

2-2 (foul) ->

3-2 ->

3-2 (foul) ->

Finally on the 12th pitch of the at-bat, 2 outs, full count, go ahead run at the plate..... SWING!

CRACK!

Oh shit!

Back, back, back, back...

Just like the old days between the Yanks and the Sox!



Originally posted on walstib, ykwim? by Red Sox Sonoma 12/10/08

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Pedroia in WBC

Rob Bradford is reporting that Dustin Pedroia will participate for Team USA in the World Baseball Classic.

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Top 5 Red Sox Traitors Of All-Time

With recent news of Johnny Damon adding fuel to the fire it is time to look at the top 5 traitors in Red Sox history. There is no bigger sin than joining the Yankees by choice (this eliminates the Babe) so to qualify a player had to go over to the Evil Empire.

#5 Don Zimmer - Granted Zim was never loved in the Nation and he ran many of the Buffalo Heads out of town and may have even been working for the Empire as a member of the Red Sox, but Zimmer makes the list for his charge at Pedro in '03. His attack will always be one of the strangest moments in the history of the rivalry.




#4 Bob Watson - After playing with the Sox in 1979 Watson signed with the Yankees. He did not have nice things to say about the Hub : "If you're not Irish Catholic, you have trouble in Boston. If you're black, you're at the bottom of the list . . . I didn't want another Boston. It was sterilized there. We were surrounded by Bostonians who weren't black. There was no identity. I'd have to drive across town to get a haircut. In Wellesley, there wasn't even a black garbageman." Watson said that he still considered Boston at the end of the 1979 season; then a black student bused into Wellesley was shot. "That hit home." Watson drew more ire from the Nation after the Fancona uniform incident as well as doling out some uneven fines and suspensions for Red Sox players as V.P. of discipline for MLB.


#3 Wade Boggs - 2 events put Boggs on the list: the first is the horse. Red Sox fans had to watch as a player they once cheered on rode around the outfield of Yankee Stadium on the back of a police horse. ''If you had said to my dad that one day we would watch Wade Boggs riding a horse around Yankee Stadium to celebrate his championship with the Yankees, his head would have blown up.'' - Dennis Leary. The second event occurred this season when Boggs wore a Yankee hat at the All-Star game in New York.


#2 Johnny Damon- After being the face of the "Idiots" Damon leaves for the Evil Empire after the 2005 season. Damon said this a few months before signing with the Yankees: "There's no way I can go play for the Yankees, but I know they are going to come after me hard," Damon said. "It's definitely not the most important thing to go out there for the top dollar, which the Yankees are going to offer me. It's not what I need." When you add him cutting his hair to play for New York, he has to be a top vote getter for biggest traitor.


#1 Roger Clemens*- Even though he went to Toronto before joining the Yankees he still found a way to be a huge traitor. Last year the Red Sox created a video to try to have him finish his career in Boston where he was once revered, but Roger* chose to go back to the Yankees, making his announcement in Steinbrenner's box. Bill Simmons once wrote an article comparing him to the Anti-Christ: "It wasn't bad enough that the winningest pitcher in Red Sox history wanted to play in New York -- he actually cheated to get there. Even the staunchest Clemens sympathizers in New England couldn't defend him anymore. He had crossed over to the dark side. He was Darth Vader with a Texas accent. He was the enemy." To make things worse he wore a Yankee hat during the Greatest Players of the 20th Century All-Star game ceremony at Fenway after only being with the Yankees for 3 months.

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Mark Teixeira Update

The ProJo thinks the Yankees are the Red Sox main competitors in landing the free agent.

Joel Sherman of the N.Y. Post does not.

Michael Silverman of the Herald breaks down the Red Sox possible contract offering.

The Red Sox are willing to go for a higher annual salary than any other team right now but will not offer the longest contract. By the end of the week each team in the bidding will have offered their best deal and Teixeira will have to decide. He has said in the past he wants to make a decision before Christmas.

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Sunday, December 14, 2008

Pokey Oki

Hideki Okajima did not outrun all of the competition in today's marathon but he did finish in 6,959th place in the male division with a time of 6 hours and 10 minutes. His time would not qualify him to participate in the Boston Marathon so he should be able to pitch on Patriot's Day if needed. All that being said he did just run a marathon which is a nice accomplishment in itself.


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Yankees Want Either Teixeira or Manny

The NY Daily News is citing several sources as saying the Yankees want to add some power to their lineup by acquiring either Mark Teixeira or Manny Ramirez. If the evil empire is able to land either slugger they will have a pretty solid lineup. Jermaine Dye is also a player being considered by the Yankees.

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Meet Casey Kelly - Video

Watch NESN's showcase of Red Sox 2008 draft pick Casey Kelly. This year Kelly had to choose between being quarterback for Tennessee or playing baseball. NESN's video player is having code issues so hit play and select the second video at the top.

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Saturday, December 13, 2008

Should the Red Sox Look at Peavy?

Jake Peavy previously stated that he did not want to play in the A.L. Now that the deal with the Cubbies has fallen apart he may be open to the idea of joining baseball's dominant league. Barry Axelrod said the Red Sox could be one place he would play:


“Jake has a strong preference to stay in the National League. If Jake's ever going to accept anything to the American League – and I don't want this to be taken wrong – I can safely say that it's going to be the Yankees or Red Sox or maybe the Angels. Those teams are going to be in contention and are going to spend money. If there were circumstances where he would be asked to go to the AL, kicking and screaming, those are the three places.”

The Pads are having a fire-sale and are in need of a shortstop. The Sox could send them Lugo and cover most of his salary, throw in a prospect or two and try to land Peavy. How nice would it be if the Red Sox could add Peavy to an already good rotation?

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Lucchino Is Not Going To Jump Ship

Last August there was some speculation that Larry Lucchino might be leaving the Red Sox to head back to the West Coast. Today he was asked by Nick Canepa of the San Diego Union Tribune if he was going to put together a group to purchase the Padres. Lucchino's response:

“All I can say is that I have a wife and kids and I'm comfortably ensconced in Boston. I'm gainfully employed and my situation is very attractive. I don't think you'll see me in the hunt. My plan is to stay here.”

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Friday, December 12, 2008

8 Years or More to Get Teixeira

The Red Sox will have to offer and at least 8 years to sign Mark Teixeira. Right now the Nats and the Angels both have 8 year offers on the table and each has an extra added incentive. The Nats offer the home town angle and Teixeira recently bought a house in So Cal while he was with the Angels. The Sox are going to at minimum match an 8 year offer and possibly go 9 to land him. Is it worth it? In the short term I have to say no, but he is a guy that could be the backbone of the offense for years to come. $20 million a year for 8 years in this economy is a pretty significant committment. Are you ready for $12 beers at Fenway?

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Yankees Rotation Begins to Take Shape

The Yankees have signed A.J. Burnett for 5 years. Burnett joins Sabathia, Wang, Joba (if he does not go to the pen) and possibly Lowe and Pettitte. This is a much better rotation then than had last year but by no means gives them a guaranteed trip into the World Series.

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Kevin Cash is Now a Free Agent

The Red Sox did not tender Kevin Cash a contract making him a free agent. This decision was made to avoid arbitration. Cash can be re-signed by the Red Sox before the season begins but he could get offers from other teams. Cash did well catching the knuckleball making people quickly forget about Doug Mirabelli. With Wake coming back there is a good chance Cash will be back. I met him last September and he signed a nice note for my son, I hope he will be behind the dish next time Wake takes the mound.

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Okajima's Off-Season Preparation Includes Running a Marathon

Hideki Okajima will be running the Honolulu Marathon this Sunday. It is usually the Red Sox wives that are involved in running marathons but it is nice to see a player staying fit. I am guessing he will not be joined by C.C. Sabathia or Manny (the video games and cartoons are calling) in this endevor.

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New Uniform Press Conference - Video

Here is the video of yesterday's press conference unveiling the new Red Sox uniforms.

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Who's Gonna Take Manny?

Yesterday's news was filled with reports of Manny Ramirez being upset about getting so little attention at the Winter Meetings and having to play second fiddle to Mark Teixeira. His friends said he was spending his time watching cartoons and playing video games (there you see the real Manny; Ortiz holds a fundraiser for charity, Ramirez plays video games and watches cartoons).

Most news outlets were saying Scott Boras was going to try to deal Manny to teams that lost out on Mark Teixeira but that may not work. The Red Sox don't want him, the Angels wanted Ibanez as a fall back (too late for that), the Nats may go with Adam Dunn, and the Dodgers have yet to put their offer back on the table. There is only one team out there that may have the money and be willing to sign him; that team is.....the Yankees.

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Thursday, December 11, 2008

Theo Speaks to the Nation

Rafe Anderson scored a great interview with Theo Epstein for Sawxheads.com today. The interview gave some insight into how he approaches his job:

On progress made towards trades or acquisitions at Winter Meetings:

Theo Epstein: There has been a lot of lot of talks out here and we’ve made some progress on some fronts and we were shut down on other fronts, but we didn’t get anything done out here. So we’ll fly back today, keep working on things and see what we can accomplish.

On the economy affecting salaries in MLB:

TE: It’s our responsibility to assess how the economy affects our club. It’s important not to take a snapshot in time. If you go year-to-year [in evaluating the financial situation of the club] you wind up getting caught. You have to look at big chunks of time, look five years ahead. And looking ahead over the next five years, I don’t know how anyone could deny that there’s financial uncertainty out there. Thus, proceeding cautiously or at least with that uncertainty in mind seems like the prudent thing to do.

On whether Sox met with C.C. Sabathia during the Winter Meetings:

TE: We met with [Sabathia]. But we meet with a lot of players, it was a pretty standard meeting. He’s a great pitcher and I have a great deal of respect for what he did down the stretch last year, putting his team before himself. He really deserves everything he got.

On whether the Yankees overspent for Sabathia:

TE: Not very many elite pitchers get to free agency. When a pitcher accomplishes what Sabathia has accomplished and manages to stay healthy to free agency and can talk to all 30 teams, you’re going to see a large contract. Maybe the Yankees spent much more than the next best offer but that’s not what you’re going to be talking about next April when he’s on the mound.

On whether the way the organization’s handling of the Manny Ramirez/Jason Bay trade impacted Pedroia’s decision to stay in Boston:

TE: We put a lot of thought into the organization and what we stand for. We want to win but want to win the right way. But talking about isn’t nearly as meaningful as if you conduct your business accordingly. At the trading deadline last year, it was a demonstration of our values and what was important to us.

You can listen to the entire interview here.

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The New Uni's Are Here


The Red Sox are calling the new road uniforms a "retro" look.

I'm still not sure what I think of the new look, but I do know that 4 is too many uniforms for a team. Keep the extra uni's for expansion teams.

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Leaving Las Vegas

Theo and the Red Sox will be headed back to the Hub with two pitchers: Miguel Gonzalez and Miguel Marquez from the Rule 5 draft. Epstein explained where Boston stands with other free agents:

"We are still in the middle of the process," he said. "We're not at the end. We're in the middle of the process with a lot of guys."

He did admit that he made three offers to available free-agents. Jason Varitek was one of them. The other two were likely Teixeira and a pitcher.

Theo's statement contradicts Cafardo's earlier reporting about Tek. The Winter Meetings are now over.

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Did Tek Did Not Get an Offer?

Nick Cafardo of the Globe says Varitek has not been offered a contract:


Except for the "offer" of arbitration, which he declined, free agent catcher Jason Varitek has not received a contractual offer from the Red Sox, a source familiar with the talks said.
This does look more and more like Boras is trying to pressure the Red Sox into a package deal with Teixeira and Varitek.

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Where Everything Stands With Teixeira and Varitek

Last night Ken Rosental reported that the Red Sox were making good progress with Teixeira but this morning Jon Heyman reports that the Yankees are making a serious run at him. It would make sense for the Yanks to try to sign him, even with Sabathia they still have some problems, especially with their offense. They are going to pick up Mike Cameron because he is C.C.'s best friend and was most likely part of the deal to bring Sabathia to the Bronx. Cameron is not going to bring too much offense with him so the Yankees need to get a big stick to go along with their aging lineup.

The O's have not gone beyond 7 years yet in their offer for Teixiera.

The Angels have not gone beyond 7 years and the Nats have offered 8.

ESPN Radio mentioned the possibility of Boras offering some kind of package deal for the Red Sox with Varitek and Teixeira. Both of them played at Georgia Tech. Boston is said to have offered Tek a 2 year deal, is this connected to any offers for Teixeira?

If Theo goes offers 8 years than Teixeira will be in Boston next season but that is much longer than the team may be comfortable with.

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Red Sox Might Have a New Taker For Lugo

ESPN is reporting that the Red Sox are talking with the Diamondbacks for a trade of Julio Lugo for Eric Byrnes. Boston needs a fourth outfielder now that Coco is gone and Byrnes could be that guy. Last season Byrnes only played in 50 games due to injury and hit .209 but in '07 he hit .289 and had 50 steals. He is a guy Theo likes because he will take some pitches. I just hope he doesn't try to regrow that mustache like he did last June.

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Wednesday, December 10, 2008

All Signs Point to Tek Returning

The Red Sox seem pretty confident that they can re-sign Jason Varitek. They made an offer to him today and it looks as if Tek has not drawn much interest from other clubs. The Red Sox did explore the possibility of getting a young catcher from Texas but they have not had any additional talks with the Rangers at the Winter Meetings. Earlier today there were some rumors that the Sox may let Kevin Cash go. It is unlikely this will occur without some significant progress in the Varitek talks. Look for a 1 year deal with an option for a second year. In the current market I think the best Varitek could get from the Sox is a 2-year deal. A deal should be finalized in the very near future.

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Theo Sums Up Day 3 - Video

Watch Theo Epstein react to the C.C. deal and the Red Sox progress at Winter Meetings:

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O's Get Back in the Teixeira Mix

Scott Boras must be loving life right now as 4 Major League teams are involved in a pissing contest over Mark Teixeira. Washington still has the highest bid with the Angels and Red Sox right behind. The Orioles have "survived" the initial give and take and are now in the mix with a 7 year $150 million offer. The Red Sox are discussing the possibility of offering 8 years. Just to stir the pot a little the Yankees are meeting with Boras tonight to discuss Lowe but they will say they were talking about Teixeira. This is looking like it will come to a head before teams depart Vegas tomorrow.

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Yankees May Buy Every Free Agent Out There

The Yanks are going big after A.J. Burnett who has ruled out the Red Sox, and they're not done yet:

"The Yankees also have had serious conversations in recent days with right-hander Derek Lowe, and as of Wednesday afternoon they had a four-year, $65 million proposal on the table to him. They would be happy to sign both Lowe and Burnett to go into the rotation with Sabathia, Chien-Ming Wang and Joba Chamberlain. If they can't, they're interested in Ben Sheets (on a two-year deal with options) and Andy Pettitte."

The building from within process seems to be going according to plan.

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Evening Winter Meetings Update Day 3

The Nationals have offered Mark Teixeira an 8 year deal that the Red Sox and Angels will probably not top, so it is up to Tex if he wants $ or glory.

The Yankees are offering A.J. Burnett a 5 year deal, that's right 5 YEARS!!! That is way to long for anyone other than Hank to even consider offering.

The Red Sox have made and offer to Jason Varitek.

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The Latest From Vegas With Gammons, Cafardo, and Buckley

Peter Gammons, Nick Cafardo, and Steve Buckley were guests of Bob Lobel on Sawxheads daily Winter Meetings call-in. I asked them reflect on the Red Sox chances of signing Teixeira. Call highlights include Gammons saying listening to Scott Boras answer questions was like listening to Sarah Palin; he didn't understand any of the answers. He also said he believes Manny will end up on the Nats. Listen below, there's some great stuff:




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Tito Is Out of the Loop on Red Sox Negotiations

The Red Sox may be skilled at spin and "misdirections" as the Herald reports but they need to fill in Tito when he is away from the blackjack table to stick to the talking points. Look at this from USA Today:

"Did you meet with C.C. (Sabathia)?" the reporter asked.

Francona: "Did I? No, not to my knowledge. Did Theo (Epstein, Red Sox general manager) say we did?"

Reporter "I haven't seen Theo."

Francona: "I haven't done much, to be honest with you. I would bet that Theo is checking in with everybody. I'm answering that a little bit vaguely because I don't know exactly what he did."

Reporter: "But were you part of the group that met with C.C.?"

Francona: "I was upstairs. I didn't do much today."

Reporter: "So, no, you were not part of it?"

Francona: "I'm pleading the fifth on that one only because I don't know. I apologize. That's a weak answer. What did Theo say?"

Reporter: "He said he met with a free agent but he didn't say who."

Francona: "That's what I say. That's my answer. I said, 'Theo, I need to talk to you before I go out and talk to the media,' and I whiffed on him."

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Hank Still Wants Manny

About a month ago Hank Steinbrenner said he wants Manny on the Yanks. He has reiterated that point today. From Jon Hayman of SI:

LAS VEGAS -- Yankees co-owner Hank Steinbrenner is said by people close to him to want Manny Ramirez in pinstripes. Unlike his father, who dreaded dreadlocks, Steinbrenner the junior is said by a Yankees person "not to give a (hoot) about his hair.'

Am I the only one who thinks Hank may have given up on his plan to build from within?

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Who Will Blink First on Teixeira?

The Red Sox seem to be in a pretty good position in the negotiations for Mark Teixeira, they are an East Coast team with money a chance of winning now. The Angels are in the worst position in the negotiations because they NEED Teixeira and Boras knows it. To re-sign him they are going to have to beat the huge salary offer the Nats have already made and convince him to play on the West Coast for a long time. The Angel are so desperate to re-sign Tex that their owner has flown to Vegas to participate in the negotaitions. Theo has to stay out of the way at this point and not further inflate the bidding war. Boras will now go the Angels and see what they are going to offer before asking Theo to top it. How high will the Sox go? 8 years? 9 years? $180 million or higher? The Red Sox don't need Teixeira so he may be one that gets away if the Angels throw a big offer on the table. The New York Times notes that Teixeira may still be holding a grudge against the Red Sox. With Sabathia now gone it is looking more likely that Teixeira will sign somewhere before the end of the week.

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Could Smoltz Be This Year's Colon for the Red Sox?

SI is reporting that the Red Sox are interested in John Smoltz. Even with his current rehab, Smoltz could be a good fit in Boston's rotation.

Peter Gammons is also reporting that the Red Sox have been given Smoltz's medical information.

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The Chips Begin to Fall

The Winter Meetings are heating up with some big news:

C.C. Sabathia is headed to the Bronx in a massive 7 year deal worth around $170 million.

The Yankees are also close to signing Derek Lowe and are still interested in A.J. Burnett.

The Red Sox are still the front runners in the Teixeira sweepstakes.

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Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Theo Talks Catchers - Video

Theo Epstein discusses the catching market and the Winter Meetings on NESN, watch below:

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Tito Hits the Tables Early


According to T.J. Simers of the L.A. Times, Terry Francona was at the blackjack table at the Bellagio before 10 am this morning. I guess everything doesn't stay in Vegas.

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The Latest From Vegas

If the Angels are in on Teixeira then they need to get busy because they have not made an offer yet. They may loose out on Tex and Sabathia. Maybe they need to follow Brian Cashman to see where the action is.

Brian Cashman has left his hotel room for a super-secret meeting according the the Star Ledger:

UPDATE (8:57 pm): A person familiar with the situation just told me the Cashman meeting may not be with Burnett after all. Another person suggested the meeting was with Derek Lowe, adding that it was definitely not with Sabathia or Sheets. I'll keep at it, folks. We'll get this yet.

I think the secret meeting might be at the Spearmint Rhino...what happens in Vegas

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