Saturday, December 6, 2008
Curt Schilling has recently joined WEEI.com as a blogger but as soon as he inked the deal he was off to Iraq to visit some troops. After looking at this picture I somehow don't feel safer.
Greg Maddux will announce his retirement on Monday in Las Vegas. Maddux was quite possible the best pitcher in the game during his peak, he will retire with 355 wins, 9th on the all-time list. He is sure to be a first ballot hall of famer. I lived in Atlanta for three years during the 90's and was able to watch Maddux pitch at his best, he had amazing movement on his fastball. One of the best things about going to a game when he pitched was how quick he was to the plate. When Maddux was on the hill you could count on the game being under 3 hours. He was not a flashy ego guy like many of the other top pitchers during his time but he owned the black on the corners of the plate. I feel lucky to have seen him pitch live on so many occasions.
Friday, December 5, 2008
Earlier this week we heard Jerry Remy's version of Jingle Bells and now track 2 of the RemDawg drunken Christmas album has appeared on Sawxheads. Once again I advise you to listen with caution as it may ruin your holiday mood.
A.J. Burnett - Rumor has it that he may be signing with the Braves over the weekend
C.C. Sabathia - Red Sox are meeting with him this weekend. He would love to play on the West Coast and the Giants would like him but they are a little gun shy after the Zito deal.
Mark Teixeira - Red Sox still like him but are not going to throw everything at him, if he is going to Boston it will most likely take place after the Winter Meetings when his price goes down.
Yesterday there was a meeting between Yankees GM Brian Cashman, super agent Scott Boras and his client Mark Teixiera in Washington. It is no secret that the Yanks want C.C. so why is Cashman talking about Teixiera in this meeting? The answer comes from the N.Y. Times:
"The Yankees’ priority is pitching, and Cashman met with Teixeira at the request of the agent Scott Boras."
The Yankees have no real interest in Mark Teixeira but it would benefit Scott Boras, Mark Teixeira and Cashman if it is perceived they are interested. Teixeira's price would go up and the Red Sox might have to pay more for him making them have less money to sign another high priced free agent like Derek Lowe, a player the Yankees are really interested in signing. Boras is not afraid to use Cashman to help drive up the price of his client. The Evil Empire is alive and well and working with baseball's second least popular person. (Bud Selig still has a tight hold on the #1 spot.)
Thursday, December 4, 2008
Red Sox GM Theo Epstein discusses what Junichi Tazawa brings to the team. Watch below:
The Texas Ranger's blog posted this from a conference call with Ranger's GM Jon Daniels:
Daniels said there have been some second and third conversations with clubs about potential deals. Though he did not elaborate, the feeling here is that if those conversations have been about Gerald Laird, it's been the Detroit Tigers on the other end of the call. If it's about a younger catcher, it's been the Boston Red Sox.
If the Red Sox do not come out of the Winter Meetings with a new catcher you can almost guarantee they are close to re-signing Tek. I don't think they are going to balk at the chance of getting a young catcher at the meetings, especially if Boras is still having Tek hold out for "Posada money." The Red Sox have what Texas wants and the Rangers have what the Sox want so when they meet next week a deal should not be hard to work out. Boras has to realize this and will try to get a deal worked out with Boston once he sees there is not a huge market for his client.
The Red Sox have formally signed Junichi Tazawa, Extra Bases reported the details:
"Tazawa will receive a $1.8 million bonus, with salaries of $450,000 in 2009, $500,000 in '10, and $550,000 in '11. The Sox retain his rights as a pre-arbitration eligible or arbitration eligible player until 2014."He will most likely start in AA and could join the team this season altough scouts are split as to how much seasoning he will need.
If Tito's gum was not bad enough, you can now bid on Josh Beckett's or Kevin Youkilis' game worn undies. I'm sure you can put them in a nice frame in your office to show your love for the Red Sox. (please don't do that) In case you were wondering, Beckett's are at $51 while Youk's only have 1 bid for $9.99
Rob at the Bottom Line has secured an interview with Kevin Youkilis, he is taking questions from readers to submit to the Greek God of Walks. This is your chance to ask Youk that question you have been dying to know the answer to.
It may soon come to the point where players' salary demands will not be met by any team. We may have already hit that point with Manny Ramirez where there are now rumors of him accepting arbitration from the Dodgers. Many Major League teams have put a freeze on spending and are looking for ways to cut cost leaving only a handful of teams competing for some big names. The Red Sox and Yankees only have a few players on their wish list as do the Dodgers and Angels. So who is going to pay the big money if those teams leave the auction? In recent years we have seen teams like the White Sox and Tigers go down the big money route and their teams have not met their expectations. This along with the successes of Moneyball has led teams to take a new approach to signing high priced free agents making for a fairly week market for second tier free agents. This could allow for some late bargains for teams willing to wait longer into the off-season to make some deals. The winter meetings will have some big signings but look for a few big name free agents to be without a team as we turn the calendar to '09.
UPDATE: It seems I am not the only person noticing this, a similar view has just been posted in the Baltimore Sun columnist Peter Schmuck's blog.
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
OK, so maybe some Red Sox fans are not wicked smaht. It seems that one Chuck Null of Florida got in line a bit early to buy Red Sox Spring Training tickets thinking that they went on sale today. From News-Press.com:
Recently laid off from his pest control job, Null didn’t realize tickets weren’t on sale until 10 a.m. on Saturday.
“Some guy driving a black van came out and told me,” he said. “I thought there were single-game tickets on sale today.”
Null kept busy by eating a pizza and offering a slice to maintenance workers around the park. He came equipped with a blue camping chair, Mountain Dew and his Red Sox cap.
I'm guessing that if you can't hold down a pest control job you may not be the best guy to represent the rest of Red Sox Nation, but there is no entrance exam for being a member . Also, I hope Chucky was reaching for the diet Mountain Dew based on his picture, and without a job is buying baseball tickets really your best career move?
Dustin Pedroia is signing a 6 year deal with the Boston Red Sox. He cannot file for free agency until after he plays for 4 more seasons but the Sox have locked him up for 2 more after that. They also have 1 additional option year tacked onto the contract. Extra Bases published the following details of the contract:
2009 - $1.5 million
2010 - $3.5 million
2011 - $5.5 million
2012 - $8 million
2013 - $10 million
2014 - $10 million
2015 - $11 million (or a $500,000 buyout)
The Boston Herald has a great article breaking down the Red Sox payroll for '09. In '08 it was $133 million, the Herald projected a payroll of $111 million for '09 if the Red Sox were to re-sign Tek and pick up some utility players.
What does this mean for the team? There are two ways the Red Sox could go; they could spend the money they did last season by signing a big name free agent or it could be a sign that Sox ownership is worried about the economy and wants to cut some costs. I would be happy if they can go with some younger guys and find sucess at the lower payroll, I am tired of people saying that the Red Sox are just like the Yankees and are buying championships even though they have won with a solid group of home-grown talent.
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
The Winter Meetings are fast approaching and this year they will be in Las Vegas. That's right, Vegas, baby, VEGAS! That means the print media and blogosphere will be filled with references to gambling through cheesy headlines. Look, it has already started and MLB.com leading the charge:
"Sox not rolling dice on major players"
"Bet on Yanks to go all in on pitching"
"Reds ready to let chips fall in Vegas"
"No Vegas vacation for Angels GM"
"Braves aim to leave Vegas with ace."
Who is the marketing genius at MLB who wrote the memo to all of its website beat reporters to play up the Vegas angle in the article? What are the odds that we see a "double-down" headline when a team picks up its second free agent at the meetings? or God forbid the Angels looking to keep Mark Teixeira leads to a "Teixeira Hold 'em" headline. Get ready, because what happens in Vegas is not going to stay in Vegas.
The ProJo Sox Blog has reported that the first Red Sox casket has been ordered by the family of a Sox fan that has passed away. Red Sox management may now stop getting requests for the scattering of ashes at Fenway. For more on planning for your or family member's Red Sox funeral arrangements watch the video below. As of this time there are no plans for a Fenway West casket.
Monday, December 1, 2008
The Red Sox have hedged their bets on Varitek by offering him arbitration in case he signs elsewhere. Since Tek is a type A free agent the Red Sox would get a first round pick in the 2009 draft if he signs elsewhere. It was a surprise to see Byrd offered arbitration and it may benefit the Sox because it is doubtful he will accept.
Mo Vaughn is on the Hall of Fame Ballot for the first time this year. He does have some impressive numbers including 328 home runs, a career batting average of .293 and 1064 RBI's but he will most likely be done in by his use of steroids. Vaughn was a beloved player in Boston and continues to do a great amount of charity work. Last month he was elected to the Red Sox Hall of Fame. Jim Rice will also be on the ballot to try again after missing getting elected last year by 16 votes.
Rob Bradford of WEEI.com has announced that Curt Schilling will be participating in online chats during select Red Sox games throughout the season. He did show up during game 7 of the ALCS on WEEI's live blog. Schilling uses the same screen name "Gehrig38" on WEEI as he does on Sons of Sam Horn.
Sunday, November 30, 2008
Jerry Remy should stick to air guitar. Over at Sawxheads Rafe Anderson has posted an audio clip of the RemDawg singing "Rudolf the Red Nose Reindeer." It ain't pretty. If you do decide to listen to it just know you have been warned it could kill all of your Christmas spirit.
Here is video of Junichi Tazawa pitching in Japan for you to take a look at some of his stuff. Happy viewing.
Derek Lowe wants back in; not because he loves the Red Sox so much, but because he wants to be on a winning franchise. You can't blame him for not having undying love for the team since they did not re-sign him after his last contract ran out. But much has changed since he left Boston:
"I think I'm a lot better pitcher now, teammate now, than I was four years ago," he said. "Sometimes you have to learn, and I think getting out of Boston was the best thing for me. I was able to sit back and analyze what's going on. What's good, what's bad. And I think hopefully that's what happened. Sometimes you need a dose of reality as to why a team didn't want to keep you around. You have to be honest with yourself, and once you do that, it's all right to say I may have made some mistakes in my time there, as long as you can change them and understand them. And I think that's what has happened the last four years."
Would Lowe be a good fit? The Sox have Beckett, Lester, Dice-K, Wake, and ? in the rotation. The 5th guy could be Buchholz but I would rather have Lowe in there. It could be Masterson but how nice would it be to afford to keep him in the pen? There are some that think you can't go home again, but I think Lowe would be a good fit. A sinkerball pitcher at Fenway is always nice and if the Red Sox could sign him for a 3 year deal he could be the key to getting another championship. With Lowe on the team the Red Sox can use Buchholz as a spot starter without the huge pressure that undermined him last season.