Saturday, January 17, 2009

All Signs Point to Tek Coming Back

NESN's Hot Stove Talk has a few tidbits on last night's meeting between John Henry and Jason Varitek:

A NESN source has learned that the recent meeting between catcher Jason Varitek and principal owner John Henry on Jan. 16 went well. The meeting, which was held at Varitek’s request, was held at a restaurant near the catcher’s Atlanta home on Friday night with agent Scott Boras not in attendance.

The two met not to negotiate a potential contract for the 12-year veteran, but to clear the air and express each party’s future interests. NESN has also learned that negotiations between the two parties will resume over the next couple of days.

With no other options for Tek and the Red Sox in need of a starting catcher, it is looking more and more like both sides will come to an agreement soon. Look for a 2 year $16 million deal.


Youk Calls Boston His Home, Tek Wants to Join Him

During Kevin Youkilis' press conference about his new contract he said "this is home to me." Watch below:

Jason Varitek confirmed he wants to remain with the Red Sox after meeting with John Henry for 90 minutes last night. The meeting could have brought the two sides closer to a deal but Varitek did not have much to say when the Globe tried to contact him:

Communicating via text message after the meeting, Varitek would say only that the meeting "went OK" and that there was "nothing to report." The Red Sox’ captain and longtime catcher said he met with Henry "to speak [about] how I feel" and answered "yes" when asked if his desire was to return to the team for the 2009 season.


Friday, January 16, 2009

John Henry to Get the 'Tek Ball Rollin'

Alex Speier of WEEI and Tony Massarotti of the Boston Herald are both saying that John Henry will be meeting personally with Jason Varitek tonight, without Scott Boras.

He's leavin' (leavin'), on a Jet Blue plane to Georgia (leavin' on a Jet Blue plane)...

Said he's goin' back to sign a catcher for the Red Sox nine.

Sorry, couldn't resist. Sure Gladit's (to)Knight.... doh!


Lars Anderson Discusses the Future - Video

After the Red Sox failed to sign Mark Teixeira, the pressure on Lars Anderson increased tenfold. Watch him discuss what he has been up to and what he hopes to accomplish:


Red Sox Convert Padres Fan

A disgruntled Padres fan recently sent letters to Major League teams informing them that he had given up on his hometown team because:

after the recent events with Padres ownership and management, I have come to the conclusion that they are doing a huge disservice not only to their fans but to the community as well. You must agree that decades-long Padres fans – such as myself – have had plenty to bemoan, and precious little to celebrate. The final straw was trading away my favorite player, letting the fan favorite closer leave town (and letting the door hit him on the way out), and actively trying to sell their highest trading chip

He went on to say that his loyalty was for sale and that he would attend as many games as possible and attend spring training for the team that won his loyalty. The Red Sox sent him a letter back explaining their committment to winning as well as a bag of dirt from Fenway, player photos and a few stickers. The disgruntled Padres fan is now a happy Red Sox fan. The Western Nation continues to grow.


Thursday, January 15, 2009

David Aardsma Becomes Victim of Multiple Signings

The Red Sox have designated David Aardsma for assignment to make room for Takashi Saito. Aardsma was a surprise standout in the bullpen for some of last season so he will be missed if any of the new guys fail to live up to their expectations.


Red Sox Sign Youk for 4 Years

The Boston Red Sox have reached an agreement to keep Kevin Youkilis with the team for 4 more years at $10 mil/year. It was reported last month that the team were having a hard time reaching an agreement and would push back negotiations for a while.


John Henry Discusses the Off-Season

John Henry answered questions from NESN's Tom Caron and explained the Red Sox approach this off-season:

TC: Theo Epstein and manager Terry Francona have often pointed out that championships are won in October, not in the middle of winter. That said, do you feel good about your current team’s ability to compete for another championship?

Henry: Yes. It’s hard to predict how one player and especially a group of players will do from one year to the next. The recent history of the Cleveland Indians is illustrative of that point. They have a great organization and a great group of players, but recently they’ve only been able to put things together successfully only every other year. We have a young team and that bodes well for the future, but as the Indians, Yankees, Tigers, Rays and others have shown recently — the game is changing. It’s getting harder and harder to predict who is going to do well.

Henry makes an excellent point that the moves in the off-season and a player's past performance do not guarantee anything, look at where Andruw Jones has been the last few seasons after what he did earlier in his career. Theo and Red Sox management have shown the ability to adapt throughout the season and do what it takes to get into the playoffs and then play from there. It is really amazing just how sucessful the Red Sox were last season when you consider the injuries to Papi, Lowell, Lowrie, and the whole Manny situation.


Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Doc Rivers Helped Land Smoltz

Doc Rivers became friends with John Smoltz while he was in Atlanta with the Hawks, he helped convince the pitcher to come to the Red Sox:

“I just told him about (manager) Terry (Francona) and the Red Sox organization,” Rivers said. “I told him it’s a no-brainer. I just kept telling him, ‘You’ve had a hell of a career there. You’ve got a chance to win another one right now. You’ve got to seize that moment.’ So I just told him, ‘Since I’m in Boston, why don’t you come here? I don’t want you to go to New York.’

“I just thought it would be great for him. I think Terry does such a great job with veteran pitchers. He’ll give them days off and stuff. … (Smoltz) is a tough, competitive dude. He’ll fit in with that clubhouse. He’ll be perfect.”

Not bad when the basketball coach helps improve the baseball team.


Shadiness in the Bronx

The New York State Assembly will issue subpoenas to Yankee officials to investigate the use of public stadium funding by the team.

A New York Assembly committee investigating the use of millions of dollars in public funding to build the new Yankee Stadium has issued subpoenas to the team's president and an official with the city economic development office.

This should make for some interesting news if the Yankees used the funding for things other than the a contract for Mark Teixeira. It is hard enough to believe that the richest team in baseball was able to convince the state and city government to pay for their stadium, but for them to then misuse those funds is just pure evil.


Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Smoltz Talks About Joining the Red Sox - Video

John Smoltz discusses the pain of leaving Atlanta and his expectations in Boston. Watch below:


Catching Situation Coming To a Head

The vacancy behind the dish is close to being filled. Extra Bases is reporting that the Red Sox and Diamondbacks could soon reach a deal to send Miguel Montero to Boston.

At this point, the Red Sox and Arizona Diamondbacks clearly feel there is a fit. The Diamondbacks have a catcher to deal and the Red Sox have prospects to trade, and it is only a matter of finding the right match.

This is going to put pressure on Boras and Varitek to take the 2-year deal the Sox are offering before it goes away. The news will also make the Rangers decide whether or not they want to deal Salty. With the excess of pitching the Red Sox now have they can easily make a trade for a Texas catcher. Look for the catching situation to be resolved very soon.


Monday, January 12, 2009

Jim Rice Talks About Getting the Nod - Video



Jim Rice got his ticket to Cooperstown!

At 2pm Eastern time it became official. Jim Rice is a hall-of-famer.

Fenway West passes on our congratulations to #14. Well deserved.


Dustin Pedroia Rips Bradford, A-Rod's Velvet Tux, and Explains the Remy Incident

Dustin Pedroia called in to WEEI to rip on Rob Bradford this morning. During the call he said Bradford looked like "the Penguin" from the movie Batman in his tuxedo at the sportswriter's dinner. Pedroia shared that last season A-Rod showed up to the event in an all velvet tuxedo. He also goes on the explain what happened in the Jerry Remy incident from earlier this season.

Watch the the Jerry Remy moment Pedroia was referring to below and listen to the interview here.


Sunday, January 11, 2009


I know I have been quiet this off-season, but like so many members of Red Sox Nation, I was growing ever so impatient with the lack of moves by the Sox with the Yankees signing everyone to ridiculous amounts of money (can you believe they even signed Kevin Cash?). Even the Rays signed Pat Burrell. Times were desperate. However, as always, trusting in Theo has seemed to pay off.

Smoltz, Penny, Saito, Kotsay and Baldelli (even reliever Ramirez), have all joined the Sox at discount rates. Let's not kid ourselves though, of the first five mentioned, only Kotsay isn't coming off an injury fill season. However, if, and that is a very large if, any of these can contribute 90% of what they have in the past.........the Sox will again had added significant value without mortgaging the future.

I am still not very happy with the trading of Coco Crisp for a reliever who is now almost assured of not having a large role in the pen considering you've now got three guys (Paps, Masterson and Saito) with closer stuff and then add Delcarmen and Oki and it sounds like the Sox starters will be pitching a lot of 5 and 6 inning games. Considering the large amount of innings Lester pitched last year, the age of Wake, the injuries of Beckett, Smoltz and Penny and that bodes well for a staff that will need rest. Will all of these guys, maybe the pressure will be off Buchholz and he will finally flourish.

Or, maybe Theo is planning a monster trade that we haven't even imagined yet. Maybe, he is looking at Holiday if the A's fall out of contention (not sure where he would play). Maybe he is looking at Peavy or Hanley Ramirez. I don't know, but what I do know is that we need a big bat.......but where is that big bat going to fit in? Yes, encouraging news has been put out about Big Papi, but if he returns to form, that leaves him leading the league in walks next year. I really like Jason Bay, but if a pitcher throws him any other pitch next year but a breaking ball on the outer half of the plate.........he should be taken out of the game by the manager. Can we count on Lowell in his mid thirties and coming back from a hip injury? Real power comes from the legs......
Can we count of Youk continuing his power tear when watching his swing, you wonder how he has any power at all?

All and all, I'm excited about this year's team. I think the pitching is going to return to form and Theo will find an option with power.....that's just what he does.


Good News on Big Papi

For the Red Sox to get back to the promised land they are going to need David Ortiz and Mike Lowell to be healthy in '09. Without power coming from the middle of the order the Sox will not be able to keep up the Rays or Yankees. Today we have some good news about half of the equation from the Boston Herald:

According to a source close to him, David Ortiz is getting up at 8 a.m. every morning for strength and cardio workouts, followed by hitting at 11 a.m. He is said to be experiencing no discomfort or pain in his left wrist, injured last season.

If the wrist and knee are fine, we can expect Papi to be back to hitting 40+ homers this season.



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