Thoughts on Schilling and Helton

I never thought Curt Schilling should retire after 2007. He still has too much to give. If a physical specimen such as David Wells can pitch into his mid 40s, I’m thinking that Schill has a few more good years left in him.

It would have been a pity if Schilling had retired after ’07 because it would have left him smack on the bubble for the Hall of Fame. As a matter of fact, I think those numbers would have left him a little short in the eyes of many of the voters.

With 207 career wins, Schilling could close in on 250 wins with three more quality seasons. I think that would be the magic number for Schilling. Put 250 career wins with Schilling’s legendary reputation in postseason play and I don’t think he’d have any problem going to Cooperstown.

The big question is whether Schilling will wind up in Boston beyond ’07. I would think that with the relationship that Schilling and Theo have, they’ll be able to strike a deal. But stay tuned on that one.

On to other matters, I think the Red Sox did a very smart thing not overpaying to make a Todd Helton trade happen. The Red Sox have a good enough offense to win. Helton would have made them a more relentless offensive team, to use one of Theo Epstein’s favorite adjectives, but Helton was much more of a luxury than a necessity.

With Helton’s age and recent decline in performance, it wouldn’t have made a lot of sense for the Red Sox to mortgage their future and deal a top prospect.

More later,



ESPN reports trade talks have ended with colorado… Looks like lowell is staying after all🙂

Personally, I think this would have been a good deal as long as Delcarmen didn’t go. I think Hansen will never work out, and Delcarmen will always be an above average set up man. Helton for Lowell, Tavarez and Hansen would have been fine by me as long as the Rockies were picking up 40 to 50 % of Helton’s contract.

It sounds like they were only offering about 25 percent.

I can’t help but notice Helton’s decline coinciding with much tougher substance-use regulations in MLB. I think we would have been making only a slight upgrade, which isn’t wise at the cost of these young guys. Kudos to Theo for not overspending here; I think he learned a tough lesson with Hanley, Anibel, and Cla.

I haven’t posted in a while, but this is a topic I feel pretty strongly about. They needed to get the Helton deal done. When you get a chance to add that caliber of hitter/fielder you have to do it. Lowell, Tavarez and Delcarmen…Helton is worth more than those guys..THEO needs to smarten up, He gave away our top prospect last year in Hanley Ramirez (How nice would it be to have him as our shortstop right now? Lugo is so overrated). Our team is built to win NOW!!! It doesn’t matter that we have pretty good prospects, they won’t be helping us that much this year. In an offseason of already ridiculous spending, they didn’t need to find restraint now. Lucchino had the right idea in trying to get Helton, Theo is the problem. I don’t think anyone except the **** Padres will deal with him. Theo has failed Sox fans on this one. Helton and Ramirez, arguably the best hitters from each side of the plate..I thought my dreams had come true. FIRE THEO EPSTEIN. Luchinno is the one we should all respect and give credit to, he should just be our general manager, Theo is to much of a hypocrite.

Matt, I think your view on Lucchino is a bit inflated. (Just my opinion) It was Lucchino who blew the A-Rod deal, (depending on which side of the fence you’re on on that one), and if my memory serves me correctly, I believe Theo had already did his Ape routine before negotiations began with Damon, Lucchino destroyed that deal…. Theo has made some mistakes, as all have, but in general I think he’s done a pretty good job.

I also agree with not mortgaging the future to get Helton.

In my mind, I kind of saw this as Schilling’s farewell season, and part of me thinks that’s still not a bad idea. There will be quite a log jam in the starting pitching department in 2008 if Schilling comes back. I know 2006 showed that you can never have too many starters (Jason Johnson??? Jarvis????), but there are still only 162 games in a season. I say bring Schilling back if he’s willing to take a home town discount, but if he wants 14 million plus, I think we’re stacked with enough starting pitching to decline on his services.

Sbrad.. I was glad the deal with ARod fell through, I personally think Manny is a better player. If Theo had his way, Manny would be long gone. I thought putting him on waivers is one the most disrespectful moves I’ve ever seen in basball. I can understand Ramirez’s behavior since that incident. Distrust/disgust with the front office, but also recognizing Red Sox nation loves him. When it comes to prospects, Theo has played his chips quite poorly. This is after all his talk about building for the future. Delcarmen is a second tier prospect, he is quite expendable. We’ve seen both him and Hansen in action, I’d rather keep Hansen. I have no clue how giving up Delcarmen, Lowell, and Tavarez is mortgaging the future. Delcarmen’s potential does not merit that statement. Todd Helton by the way, is a big time player. He may not put up the power numbers of old, but he could hit well over .350 and put our lineup into another stratosphere. He’s the type of impact player the Red Sox really need if they want to contend for Championships in the next three years. I think one of his best attributes is his leadership. Even through all his losing seasons, he has been the model ball player. Now towards the end of his career, he wants to win, and he wants to join the Sox..He is the best type of player to add to this team. I think the unbelievable upside to his joining the team is worth any risk/costs. Like Rockies owner Monfort said “We’re talking about Todd Helton here”…Helton is a perfect fit to this team. Oh wait, Theo wants to keep some marginal prospects.

You’re talking about lefty todd helton, who would not benefit as much as a righty with the green monster, who hit under 300 away from coors field, who has been playing in the NL West his entire career, hitting over .350? Something he has done twice in 10 seasons and not since he was 29? Come on now, we all know helton is an above average hitter and probably would bat over .300 in fenway with 20-25 hrs, but .350 is a bit extreme.

And how do u say in the same post that Epstein needs to smarten up and not trade his top prospects (because it would be sweet to have those guys on the team right now) and then say he needs to pull the trigger on an impact player that will benefit them “right now” when you are fully aware it would mean giving up more prospects?

I said it would be nice to have Hanley Ramirez. I also tried to explain that all the prospects we have left are pretty much expendable. You misinterpreted what i said, he needs to smarten up, our prospects aren’t going to help very much..Helton is the type of player that would put the Sox over the top. We fundamentally disagree on the Helton impact on the lineup, in our lineup he could hit .350..He is a premier hitter primed to join a real lineup, and win.

But alas, we will not have Todd Helton in our lineup, will the Yankees have him in theirs?

Kudos for Theo for not dealing away top prospects.


I have to say I was unsure about this trade and mulled it over quite a bit. I would definitely have liked to see Helton’s bat in the Bo Sox line up, but I wasn’t sure at what price nor whether having him in the line up in the fourth or fifth year of the contract was going to be the best option. Since it did not work out I kind of feel disappointed, but not completely. If I am not mistaken, I believe Teixeira will become a free agent after next season and he would sure be a nice piece to add. Understandably not the same defensive player as Helton nor the same hitter for average or OBP, but certainly much younger and with more power. Teixeira will come at a very high cost on the open market though. Therefore, getting Helton for $10-12 million a year may not have been terrible. Yet, it sounds as if they were asking for some prospects that were just off limits. In any event, I am still on the fence on this one I guess. I think signing Schill to another year would be a good bet if he doesn’t ask for an outrageous sum of money.

Helton not a ‘roid guy, much like Mike Lowell is not a ‘roid guy. not that you can ever say for sure, but from what i’ve heard, it’s a combination of things that have kept helton’s power down, ranging from changes in Coors Field to a decline in Helton’s health to the natural aging process.

Matt, I think you don’t have a full understanding of what it takes to build a consistent winner. In today’s MLB financial climate, even teams like the Red Sox, Yankees and Mets need to build a deep farm system loaded with top prospects and also promising second-tier prospects so they can fill positions from within, and also have the pieces to acquire veterans (preferrably young veterans) through trades. If a team wants to avoid the luxury tax, it cannot fill each position in the field, the rotation and the bullpen with pricey free agents. You are entitled to your opinion about Theo Epstein, but I firmly believe he is oneof the game’s brightest minds. The Sox now have a viable farm system, and top prospects will start appearing in Boston this season, and in the next few seasons. It is important not to deal top prospects for older players like Todd Helton. If we have a chance to get a young standout like Lance Berkman in a trade, I support dealing away guys like Hansen, Delcarmen and Ellsbury. But not Helton.

This season, and in the next few seasons, the Sox will reap the dividends of draft picks and acquisitions like Hansen, Delcarmen, Ellsbury, Daniel Bard, Bryce Cox, Jason Place, Dustin Pedroia, George Kottaras, Edgar Martinez, Lars Anderson and Kristofer Johnson. Why build a farm system if you don’t eventually see the players at Fenway, or in another uniform after bringing a young veteran in a trade.

It is unfair to judge Hansen and Delcarmen based on 2006, when they both should have been in Triple-A. Theo Epstein is taking the right approach, and his approach (supported by John Henry’s pocketbook when needed) of building a roster through the Sox minor league system, and by acquiring young veterans through trades and free agent signings, will make the Sox an annual contender for the World Series. Littering the lineup with expensive free agents and older veterans through trades at every position (Helton would have been an example) is not the wise direction to take.


That said, you do not an older veteran here and there, as long as that player is still productive. Thus the reason I think the Sox should sign Schilling to an extension through 2008. He’s worth $13 million.


I meant…you DO need an older veteran here and there, but not a team stocked with older, overpriced veterans.

Matt, Not picking on you, just responding to your response. The Rockies declined the Lowell, Hansen, Delcarmen offer, thy wanted untouchable prospects such as Bucholtz etc. Besides they only offered to pick up 28 Mil of Helton’s 90 Mil contract.
I hope the Sox sign Schilling for 2008 an possibly beyond. I read in the Herald that he had called the sox and told them that he would play in 2008 for the same figure he is signed through this year for, 13 Mil, and the Sox reportedly told him they would get back to him. I hope Schilling didn’t take that response as an insult and bolts to someone else after this year.

THE SOX ROK MY SOX!!!!!!!!!!!(IN A MANNER OF SPEAKING), but i still think they shoulda tryed to get helton more then they did

i mean like hansen?they need a (better then average)first baseman more than him!on second thought tho they dont wanna end up like last season and not hav AT ALL enough middle relief

All-Star players at every position doesn’t win you championships. It’s about having dependable, solid, and reliable players who get the job done. And having a good clubhouse chemistry. Look at the great yankee teams from the mid-late 90’s. I bet there are less All-Stars and/or potential HOF’s than you think.

Thank you for the clarification matt, that said I disagree with your philosophy and this is coming from a yankee fan. All stars get you excited to come to the stadium, will boost your revenue and give you the money to buy other all stars, but they do not win championships, a mixture does.

Jeter, Rivera and clemens (for half of the 4) are the only hall of famers I can recall on that team. Oneil, brosius and williams all fall short in my mind.

O’neal was a 5 time all-star. He had some great years. He was definately an Olerud type, whom I think will get in the HOF. Tino had some good years too.

I definately agree with you when it comes to baseball philosophy YankeeVM. Expensive Over-the-hill free agents on the cusp of decline are not worth the headache, and can cripple a team financially.

You do need a mixture. That’s why it’s important the Sox resign Schilling in 2008 and even 2009. Guys like Beckett, Papelbon, Matsuzaka, Lester, Bard and Buchholz are promising, but you need that veteran presence in the rotation – as long as that veteran is still productive.

As for veteran leadership by example, the Sox have Mike Lowell and Jason Varitek among the position players, and Schilling, Wakefield and Timlin. I think the Sox have a nice mix of young players and veterans, and it will only get better in the next few seasons as the top prospects arrive in Boston.


My question is no so much a question but a plea of help. MLB is selling the Extra Innings rights to DIrect TV, which means people who have cable tv can not get this package. I am one of the many who can’t get DIrect TV and have cable. I also had MLB Extra Inning for the last 3 years and even though I only got it for Yankees games, it was still better than nothing. Since I can’t get the YES Network ot Direct TV, I am trying to fight this situation. Nothing is in stone and MLB has no offically sold the rights to MLB Extra Innings. SO-basically I am begging you to post this email and I bet readers to email- to please try and stop this madness. I need my Yankees and I need your help! I read your blog all the time and I know you want to help people watch baseball. Getting rid of baseball Extra Innings for cable tv views is a nighmare for people who can’t get direct tv. Please put this info on your blog so we can stop this from happening! Also the number for MLB complaints is (212) 931-7800, I have been calling and emailing twice a day. If MLB sells the rights to Direct TV, people who don’t have Direct TV and don’t live in NY/NJ will only get to see Yankees games on ESPN and FOX!!!! Please Help ME!


Joshua Mayer

mayer, i sent an email though it will do no good, baseball will screw us in the end. You still have the option of MLBtv though if you dont mind sitting in front of your computer watching a lower quality picture

Anyways, today is Februray 1st, and since I’m such a baseball junkie the season offically starts for me on February 12th when that equipment truck leaves Boston for Fort Myers. I don’t know about you guys, but I’m really excited and really anticipating this upcoming season more than any other season I can remember. Maybe its because of how good this team can potentially be and/or maybe its also due to the fact that baseball season for us Sox fans for all practical purposes ended late last August in an ugly way. I think I just really appreciate a fresh start with a good team after that late summer that I hope I’ll forget all about come this October

geez we all know you want and deserve to be in the hall Curt but your wife sounded kind of ridiculous in that article.

Everyone in Red Sox Nation (and Yankeeland for those Yankees fans who blog here), we can use your help. Vince and I are developing what will be the most thorough, entertaining and aesthetically pleasing Red Sox-Yankees blog that will debut sometime before opening day. We have the design, the content and the format in order, we just need a name. Any suggestions? It would have to be something that, upon hearing it or reading it, you would know that it is a blog about the Red Sox and Yankees, and everything that is great about the rivalry. So the Red Sox and Yankees may or may not be part of the name. For example, when you hear about the Over the Monster blog, you know it’s about the Sox, even though the Sox name is not part of it. Any ideas will be appreciated. No payment or royalties, though, just your personal satisfaction!


Hmmm… tricky one, Jeff, Vince.
The obvious and sophomoric ones spring to mind…Babe and Ted’s Big Blog. Da Fens Vs. Da Bronx.

26 To 6. (ouch!). Bagels ‘N Beans

But I’m having trouble with the subtle. Give me time to think.

Jeff, 2teams1rivalry or greatestrivalryever comes to mind.

Completely off any topic that’s been discussed here as far as I know, but:

Wednesday morning I got online to try and get tickets for a Sox/Yankees game in NY. They went on sale at 10:00, and by 10:30 they were down to single seats, no pairs together. I wound up having to go to stubhub to get tickets at four times face value. That’s not my gripe, as I expected they’d be the most popular tickets and toughest to get.

My gripe is how much better the ticketing process is on the Yankee website than on the Sox site. On the Yankee website, you place your request, and the website tells you how long it will be until your request is processed. When I was trying to order, none of the requests took as long to process as the website estimated (a good thing in my book). By contrast, the usual response on the Sox website is “Due to the high volume of transactions, we are unable to process your request.” You have to try again by clicking “continue.” Not a big deal, but you have to sit there and keep clicking until your request gets through.

Also, if there aren’t as many seats available as you request on the Yankees site, they ask you if you’d like them to try looking for seats in consecutive rows. Nice touch. No such luck on the Sox website, just a response that they don’t have that number of seats available together, and you have to modify your request by reducing the number of tickets you’re requesting.

Neither of these things are terribly awful, but they perpetuate the stereotype that Sox management doesn’t give a hoot about the fans, a stereotype that I think they’ve been trying to get rid of. I really can’t imagine that the software necessary to offer these niceties to Sox fans would break the Boston budget. Who knows, maybe I’m wrong, and it’s incredibly expensive to offer these features and the Yankees are the only team in the majors that have them. I doubt it. Ian, if you have the opportunity, perhaps you could pass along to the Sox management the suggestion that they look into upgrading their website. It really makes ordering tickets online a whole lot nicer.

Sorry to be complaining on a Friday, but it’s really been grinding at me.

Hmm, I like the idea of combining the blogs Jeff and Vince. As for names..I was thinking of something like “Red Pinstripes”..Its sorta ambiguous, but I think that most baseball fans would get it..just a hunch.

As for Spring Training..Great news to have Lester back and ready to start. I predict he will be ready by the All-Star break. The sox need to take it slow with this kid, get his confidence and strength back. Chemo eats away muscle (The main reason Lance Armstrong became such an amazing mountain climber in the Tour) and his strentgh and stamina are going to be way down. My darkhorses for the sox this year in spring training are Devern Hanseck and Kason Gabbard. I watched Gabbards debut, (Against Seattle) and he looked solid. Seemed like he had a good instinct for the game while on the mound. Same for Hanseck. You don’t go 5 no-hit innings without having some good instinct for the game. I think both of them could be good 4 or 5 guys in the rotation or even maybe long relievers. Overall I’m excited for this team this year a lot more than last-years team. As always, health will always be a big factor for this team..

Muffinman, I agree with you about Gabbard and Hansack. I mentioned the same thing on my blog. I think that both pitchers will be best used as relievers, but it’s nice to know they are available for insurance in case someone in the rotation is injured. In addition to the solid five-man rotation, we have Jon Lester, Gabbard and Hansack who can step in if needed. Julian Tavarez as well, if he is not traded before opening day, which I think is a possibility. Depth will certainly not be an issue in the Sox rotation this season.


Don’t forget Chris Smith. He had solid numbers at Portland and Pawtucket last season, and has recovered nicely from Tommy John surgery a few years ago. He’s another potential spot starter.

By the way, keep the ideas coming for the Sox-Yankees blog name. No idea is a bad idea when brainstorming!


Rob, regarding tickets, it is much easier to get tickets to a Yankees game than a Red Sox game. Especially since interest in the Red Sox is so high nationwide, and there are fewer seats at Fenway Park, thus the reason it is difficult to get more than a few seats together in one row.

Yes thank you for the ideas, between work, classes, the new arena opening (crazy hockey games) and whatnot, the name has just not come to me yet.

Yeah the fact there are 20,000 less seats at fenway are definitely an issue. You are right though, the yankee online tickets are superior in efficiency.


I don’t mind them being difficult to get. I understand and accept that the Red Sox and Yankees are probably the two most popular teams in the majors right now and getting tickets at face value is a long shot. But it’s a little like a store acccepting cash only while other stores accept checks, credit and debit cards, etc.

As for the blog name, muffinman’s response made me think of Sox and Sripes.

i like the sox&stripes idea, how about, although im sure there are more then one nation out there. we all would know that one but others might not. is it possible we have too many starters this year, especially if lester and clement are both ready…and if the rocket touches down here. me thinks a trade will happen before season starts. not to beat a dead horse, but why didnt we sign gagne again…i pray i dont have to say that again this year.

Hey guys I’m bored so I’ve made my list of top 10 Sox prospects

1) Daisuke Matsuzaka

Projection: Sox ace for 07 and beyond. Already one of the best pitchers in the world; he proved that last year.

2) Jon Lester

Projection: One of the better pitchers in the league by 08 or 09. Needs to fully recover from cancer to reclaim his former hype.

3) Clay Buchholz

Projection: #2 starter in the majors. Needs more stamina and there are fears of regression from excellent control last year.

4) Jacoby Ellsbury

Projection: Sox leadoff hitter and CF for the next decade or so. May not reach power potential.

5) Craig Hansen

Projection: Sox closer in 08. Needs to regain his dominating slider (which is literally UNHITTABLE).

6) Bryce Cox

Projection: Sox setup man by 09.

7) Michael Bowden

Projection: Middle-of-the-rotation innings muncher by 09. Needs better command of pitches and more consistency.

8)Daniel Bard

Projection: Depends completely on his control; could become an ace or just a reliever.

9) Jason Place

Projection: starting OF in MLB by 2010. Needs to lay off of the breaking pitches.

10) Lars Anderson

Projection: Power hitting 1B sometime in the future.

In hindsight, Would you rather have:
Lowell and Lugo on the rightside of our infield with Coco. Or Andy Marte and Hanley Ramirez with probably Wily Mo in center, not to mention maybe some extra cash to spend on a 2nd baseman (Not that I don’t have faith in Dustin).

Andy Marte would probably rank as our #1 prospect…

and Hanley was the Rookie of the Year last yr. Wily Mo has more potential than Coco.

But you’re forgetting something: We got Josh Beckett in the deal too, and WMP is still on our roster. Of course, having Anibal Sanchez would be nice, too…

Hindsight is not always a good thing. But back to the blog name. How can we incorporate “Holy Cow!”? When I was a kid, before there was cable, I used to watch the Yankees on channel 11. I could not get the Sox games. Sometimes I had to bribe my little sister to stand and hold the antenna so the picture would come in. Anyway, Phil Rizzuto was such a great announcer. He reminded me of my nieghbors(I grew up in an Italian nieghborhood) He was so funny, talking about canolis and his friends. How can we get Holy Cow into the name of the blog? Help!?!

Hey Jeff,

how about Holy-Cow-Boy-Up?

What a huckleberry. 😉

I’m glad the Sox didn’t make that Helton trade,and that Mike Lowell is still with Boston. He is a very class act guy, and a real professional in every aspect of the game, not to mention a team leader. Top that all off with being a real person, and the best 3rd defensive baseman we’ve ever had, IMO. He’s exciting to watch, and makes hard plays look easy. His contract ends at the end of the season, and I believe he would take a salary cut to stay in Boston, he loves it here that much. I hope he has a great year, and shows people that he’s worth keeping. Go MIKE!!!!!!!!

I am glad as well that helton remained with the softies i mean rockies. Helton is a H**l of a ballplayer but they (rockies) were just asking entirly too much. Helton would have been a great addition to the lineup but why waste the future to get him. Someone said earlier that HELTON WAS A WANT NOT A NEED. I think that sums it up nicely.

Besides look at this line up





6)Varitek or 7th

7)Lowell or 6th



Fit WMP in where you may and that my fellow nationers is a nasty line up.. Look out AL East..

Hey Jeff-how about The First and the Worst? Of course, each team’s fan have their own idea of who’s the worst!

Sox and Stripes Forever?

Hey, I like Sox And Stripes Forever. And Holy Cow Boy Up.

I think we have a name in place, but before we announce it, keep the ideas coming. We’ll announce the name on Monday.

Wolf, I also like Lowell. I hope the Sox resign him to a one or two-year deal after his contract ends.

Parts, I agree about the lineup. It is fine the way it is. No need to trade top prospects for an injury-prone veteran who has an albatross of a contract.


I love the Red Sox

I think you nailed it with Sox and Stripes Forever, ctzmom. That’s got the right ring to it.

Less than two weeks until pitchers and catchers report to camp!!

The anti 2004 has begun:)

We have decided to call our Red Sox and Yankees blog, Sox and Pinstripes. This is a variation of what ctzmom suggested. We’ll let you know the URL, and when it will debut. We’ll all still be blogging here, at BoSox Banter and on Sox and Pinstripes. That’s the great thing about baseball blogs. The more the better.


“…anti 2004…” Still a little traumatized there, Vince? I’m not being a smart-*** here, not my style, but you can kind of get a feeling for what Sox fans have endured for decades if you multiply that disappointment by ’67, ’75, ’86, ’99, ’03 and a host of other games the Sox have managed to find some creative way to lose. Cubs fans wallow in a sort of endless dreariness, but Sox fans have the excitement of getting so close and then the crushing depression of having it snatched away. Hmmm… not now, though. After the ’04 ALCS, I read an article in the New Yorker, and one line in it was,”hey, this is how they always feel.” It’s a whole new ballgame, Sox fans. Aint it great!!

Oh, I forgot ’78.

You’re forgetting ’46.

the Oakland (’88, ’90) and Cleveland (’95, ’98) beatdowns stunk too.

Well, trsg, I wasn’t around for ’46, my dad was, and after ’86 I kind of lost hope for awhile. I followed the Sox half-heartedly and honestly had begun to feel as if they would never win in my lifetime, so the disappointment was less. But, you’re right, those losses were no fun. That’s why ’04 is so special, because when you give up hope( or almost give up) it more or less frees you from more hurt, but the downside is you have less joy for the little successes, if I am making sense. ’04 lifted that moribund feeling from me and restored me to grace, in a manner of speaking.

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