Saturday, January 31, 2009

Can This Lineup Win the East?

With the signing of Jason Varitek the Red Sox are ready to enter spring training with a competitive team. The opening day lineup could look very similar to last season.

1. Ellsbury CF
2. Pedroia 2B
3. Ortiz DH
4. Youk 1B
5. Bay LF
6. Lowell 3B
7. Drew RF / Baldelli
8. Lowrie SS / Lugo
9. Varitek C/ Bard

Tito has multiple options in the middle of the order and the lineup will change often. If these players stay healthy they should be able to provide enough power and if they get injured the Sox have Kotsay, Baldelli, Lugo and Bard who can all fill in nicely. It is a team that came within 1 game of the World Series last season and should be better this year with some improvements in the pitching staff and the healthy return of some veterans.


Friday, January 30, 2009

BREAKING NEWS: Red Sox sign Tek

The Red Sox have signed Jason Varitek to a 1 year deal. Extra Bases has the terms of the deal:

Varitek will earn $5 million in 2009, with the club holding a $5 million option for 2010. If the Red Sox do not pick up that option, Varitek has the choice of remaining with the club on a $3 million deal. In '10, he can earn another $2 million in incentives based on playing time, beginning at 80 games started.

Great job by the team and Tek for agreeing on a fair deal!


Report: Tek Decision Coming Today

It appears there is some sort of soft deadline for Scott Boras and Jason Varitek to respond to the Red Sox offer. Extra Bases is citing a source as saying that Boras will give a response on the offer this afternoon:

A resolution on the matter still is expected by the end of the day....Late last night and this morning, the same source indicated that the sides expected to go into the late morning and early afternoon in hopes of resolving the matter. Boras, who is based on the West Coast, is expected to contact club officials today to accept or decline the offer.

Why does everything that involves Scott Boras have to suck so much?


No Deadline for Tek?

The ProJo is reporting that there is no deadline for Jason Varitek to accept the Red Sox offer.

Word out of Fenway Park this morning is a deadline for Jason Varitek to accept or reject the club's contract offer by this morning does not exist.
A decision is likely to be made by this afternoon, and even if that does happen, it's unlikely a possible deal would be finalized today.

So I guess we forget about all of this Tek news for now and get ready for the Super Bowl and revisit the discussion on Monday. Not really the news the Nation wants right now. We want answers and we want them now!


East Coast Deadline Passes, West Coast Deadline Looms for Tek

8:30 am came and went on the East Coast with no word from Tek or his agent Dr. Evil. There is still the possibility that the deadline was for 8:30 California time. Is the captain really still at home listening to the Clash's "Should I stay or should I go?" What could possibly be gained by pushing the decision to the last minute? I believe that Boras will ignore the deadline and try to figure out what move the Sox will make next and try to break it up so he can try to get Varitek a better offer from the club closer to spring training. With no news yet I would put the odds of Tek coming back to the team at less than 20%. There will be plenty of time to reflect on his career with the Sox later but for now there is just the feeling of what could he possibly be thinking?


Thursday, January 29, 2009

Lucchino on Ramirez

Lenny Megliola of The MetroWest Daily News posted about Larry Lucchino's remarks at a recent event, including this shot at Manny:

"No, we will not sign Manny. His moment has passed with the Red Sox," said Red Sox president Larry Lucchino.

Lucchino went so far as to mock Manny. Appearing at a fundraiser for the Boston College baseball team on Tuesday, Lucchino handed out some prizes to the audience. A Jonathan Papelbon jersey; a Terry Francona autographed ball. When he gave out a DVD of the Red Sox' 2007 World Series win over the Rockies, Lucchino said, "If you look closely you can see Manny hustle."

Lucchino also had comments about Teixiera, Lowell, Ortiz, and the Yankees & Sox in 2009.


Report: Tek Balking at Sox Offer

On WEEI's Dale & Holley show the following was reported this morning:

"I have moles who have told me if the deadline were today, no deal."

I don't see any teams rushing in at the last minute to sign Varitek and the fact that he has not taken the deal with 1 day left point to him not signing. It would be a shame to have him play elsewhere this season but I think he made his bed when he rejected arbitration so now he has to deal with the consequences. I am a big fan of what Tek has done for the team but I think the Red Sox are in the right here with this deal and will have a hard time if he cries foul over the offer. The silver lining of this might be players becoming less willing to take on Scott Boras as their agent.

hat tip to MLB Trade Rumors


Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Lowell Out of WBC

The Red Sox have requested that Mike Lowell not participate in the World Baseball Classic as he continues his recovery from hip surgery. reported the following on his progress:

Lowell's recovery is said to be going well and the Red Sox are optimistic he will make a strong comeback for 2009.

In fact, Lowell, according to, took 50 swings off a tee on Tuesday, marking the first time he has swung a bat since his surgery.

I would have thought his progress would be a little further along than that at this point. Spring Training starts in 3 weeks and if Lowell is just starting to swing a bat I am wondering if he can be ready by opening day. If Lowell can't start the season we may see Lowrie at third and Lugo at short in the first few weeks.


Alex Ochoa Added to Coaching Staff

From the official press release:

RED SOX ADD ALEX OCHOA TO MAJOR LEAGUE COACHING STAFF: The Red Sox today named Alex Ochoa as the Major League Coaching Staff Assistant. His duties will include helping the coaching staff in all pregame on-field preparations, assisting in the advance scouting effort, as well as completing special in-game assignments as delegated by manager Terry Francona.

Ochoa is entering his first season as a professional coach after an eight-year Major League career with the Mets (1995-97), Twins (1998), Brewers (1999, 2002), Reds (2000-01), Rockies (2001) and Angels (2002), during which he hit .279 with 46 home runs and 261 RBIs over 807 games. He played for Hiroshima of the Japanese Central League in 2008 after spending part of the 2007 campaign in the Red Sox system, appearing in 24 games for Triple-A Pawtucket.


Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Varitek Has 5 Days to Decide

UPDATE: the clock is ticking faster, the deadline is really Friday.

Tick...tick...tick, the captain is on the clock and time is running out. When the month comes to an end we will know if Tek will be behind the dish in '09. More from Extra Bases:

A baseball source confirmed this morning that the Red Sox have presented Varitek with a Jan. 31 deadline to accept or decline their most recent proposal, a one-year offer for a guaranteed $5 million with a dual option for 2010. The proposal affords the Sox a $5 million option on the player for that season; should the team decline to exercise the option, Varitek subsequently can return to the team at a salary of $3 million.

Tek may want to now sign a one year deal so he could make more in '10 on the free agent market if he has a good year. The Sox will likely be open to a 1 year deal but they are not going to up the salary much. Boras has really screwed his client on this one by telling him to forego arbitration; a $5 million mistake.


Monday, January 26, 2009

Offer to Tek is Low and Comes With a Deadline

The details of the offer made to Jason Varitek from the Boston Red Sox are now coming to the surface. From Rob Bradford at

"The two-year offer made by the Red Sox to catcher Jason Varitek is for $5 million for the first year, along with a club option for $5 million or a $3 million player option for season No. 2 of the deal. It is believed incentives would be part of the agreement. The Red Sox have set a deadline for Varitek to accept the offer, although it is not known what the date has been set."

$5 million is far below what Varitek would have earned through arbitration, which he rejected, and is most likely why the negotiations have stalled. If you look at it from the Red Sox point of view, they are making an offer based on the age of the player and his performance last season. Tek is asking for money based on what he has contributed to the team in the past. The team is taking the right approach here; Tek had his big payday during his last contract and he is not going to get much more elsewhere. Once he and Boras realize there is no market for him at $8 million/year for 2 years they will accept the offer.


Sunday, January 25, 2009


Thanks to Sports Illustrated (12/29/08) for this nugget from Tito:

TERRY FRANCONA, RED SOX MANAGER, when asked who was tougher to handle, his 14-year-old daughter, or petulent slugger Manny Ramirez: "I plead the eighth." (Aug. 4)


Joe Torre Says A-Rod Had A Man-Crush on Jeter

Joe Torre is coming clean about his time with the Yankees in a new tell-all book. In what should surprise nobody the NY Post reported the following:

In an explosive new book called "The Yankee Years," Torre gets most personal in his attacks against Alex Rodriguez, who he says was called "A-Fraud" by his teammates after he developed a "Single White Female"-like obsession with team captain Derek Jeter and asked for a personal clubhouse assistant to run errands for him.


Roll Strikes With Delcarmen

For the second time this offseason you have a chance to bowl with Manny Delcarmen to support Boston Public Schools.



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