No Johan?

Still no deal between the Red Sox and Twins for Johan and maybe there won’t be. The sides just can’t seem to find a fit that makes both teams happy. This is, unless the Twins are merely seeking everyone else’s last and best offer, only to decide Boston’s offer is the best.

It’s starting to seem like the Twins just might keep Santana and see what they can get for him later in the winter, or once the season starts. Doesn’t this remind you a lot of the way things went with Manny the last few offseasons?

Every winter, it seemed, the Sox were going to trade Manny. That was, until they couldn’t get another team to sweep them off their feet. And then Manny would wind up right back in Boston. It doesn’t seem like the Twins have burned any bridges with Santana, or vice versa.

If Santana goes to another team besides the Yankees, I don’t think the Red Sox will be all that heartbroken. In that case, the Sox could hang on to all their young players and save that $150 million for something else.

Finally, there is an old-fashioned podium announcement here in Nashville as right now the Tigers and Marlins GMs are discussing the Cabrera-Willis blockbuster.

I wish there was more excitement to fill you in on here in Nasvhille, but there really isn’t.

Ian.

105 Comments

Reading between the lines, it looks as though the Twins are looking to obtain the best centerfielder they can (to replace Torii Hunter) and 2 pitching prospects to replace Santana. It sounds as though the Yanks offered an acceptable CF in Melky Cabrera, but wouldn’t throw in the 2 pitching prospects the Twins wanted, instead only offering Phil Hughes.

The Sox offer accomplishes all that, with Twins **** in case Brendan Harris, who they obtained in the Garza trade, does not pan out, or in the event that they are looking to complete a solution for their 3b situation.

It now appears that the potential trade is in the “stare down”, who will blink first stage. I am certain the deal will be concluded if the Sox offer another deal sweetener, either Buchholz instead of Masterson, or Ellsbury instead of CoCo.

I do hope that the Sox Front Office holds firm in their position. I believe that they have offered fair value under the circumstances. Frankly, if the Twins don’t make the deal, the Sox have enough talent to aggressively compete for another AL Pennant. While the Yanks have good hitting, their starting pitching is largely inexperienced and suspect.

Certainly the Tigers have helped their batting order for 2008. However, before handing over the 2008 AL Pennant, the following need to be considered: the Tigers starting rotation, Verlander aside, but Dontrelle Willis included, had off-years last year. The question is how many of them can bounce back to the kinds of years they had in 2006, and does Kenny Rogers, at age 43, have another competitive year left in him. Beyond that, Gary Sheffield, who started off last season not hitting at all and came back some, had his worst hitting year in the last 10. At 40, how much will he have left in 2008?

If the Twins make the deal with the Yanks and insist on both Kennedy and Hughes, what will the Yanks do for their starting rotation. Mussina, Pettite, Wang, Igawa and Pavano is the same starting rotation they began the year with last year. Certainly Chamberlain and Santana would be an upgrade, but by themselves they won’t lift that pitching staff. Plus, they will have eliminated their “shut-down” set up man.

So Sox Administration, stay committed to your bargaining position: 1 prime pitcher, 1 pitching prospect (Masterson) 1 good outfielder (CoCo), and 1 good infield prospect. Beyond that, take a pass, and let the circumstances sort themselves out. Once the Twins get past their bluffing, they’ll choose one of the deals in front of them. I hope the Sox don’t let the excitement of the circumstances cloud their judgment and cause them to unwisely up their ante.

I, for one, hope that we don’t get Santana. Sorry everyone. I just think that we have the best rotation in MLB. I know that Santana is a force to be reckoned with, but something inside me says that this is just something we don’t absolutely need. I also think that he’s due to have an OFF year stats/health wise. It’s just the law of averages, how many seasons can he go without having a bad, or “not so good” one? I know that there are those of you who think that I’m totally off base with this, oh well.

It seems a LOT like all the Manny hoopla . . . and all the A-Rod speculation before 2004. The difference with Manny, though, is the Sox had him under contract for several more years. The Twins have him for just this year and really do NEED to deal him, because there’s really no chance of him returning to Minnesota. Once it gets into the season, the Twins will only get a fraction of what they can now. And, they have to consider how strong the Tigers (now with Cabrera and Willis) and Indians (Jason Bay maybe?) will be in 2008. The Twins deal now and maybe they concede next year, but really are in better shape to compete sooner (2009?) rather than later.

The Twins are just posturing now. They’ll deal.

-Dan

http://fansonthefield.mlblogs.com

I’m already exhausted from these Santana talks, and I’ve decided that whatever happens, I will be happy. If the deal falls through and we get to keep Lester, Ellsbury, and (as Ian said) $150 million, I will be happy. If we acquire the best LHP in baseball, I will be happy.

As for as the Tigers go, they’re loaded offensively but that’s not going to mean much when they’re running out an oft-injured 43-year old as their #2 guy and a #3 guy who had a 5.17 ERA in the NATIONAL LEAGUE!

With that being said, I could see the D-Train having a solid year because of spacious Comerica Park as well as his funky wind-up which most AL teams haven’t seen yet.

Sure, Johan would make an already proven and formidable rotation that much better (in fact, he would make it arguably the best rotation the Sox have ever had), but I agree with Tito. The Sox are in great shape no matter if the trade goes down or not. And I really don’t want to lose Ellsbury. I’ve been keeping an eye on him through the minors all the way up to his major league debut this past fall. He is a very exciting young player and I think a big part of the Sox future both on and off the field.

If the Twins do hold on to Santana in hopes of dealing him later in the winter or possibly even later than that, I don’t see how they won’t be able to blame themselves when they see the value of offered trades diminish the longer they hold out. Besides, Cleveland and the now-upgraded Tigers are going to be so dominant in the central next year, I’m not sure Johan will really help them enough to overcome those two teams. I say trade now and rebuild for later.

As we all know the Sox don’t have to get Santana. I think it would be great to see him in the Red Sox rotation. Beckett, Santana, Dice-K, Bucholtz are all young arms. There present looks very bright and of course the future as well. You can never have enough of good arms. Santana has a devastating fastball and perhaps the best change in the last 20 years. He would a great addition to the Red Sox, not only for 2008 but beyond. Schilling would be the #4 starter if the Sox get Santana. Wow, what a staff that would be, not too mention Papelbon waiting in the 9th. I have watched the Sox for many years and this pitching staff with Santana would be the best in my lifetime, no doubt about it. The more and more I think of Santana in the Red Sox rotation, the more and more I am loving the idea of him making 35 starts. The Red Sox don’t have to make the trade but if you can get him and your not going to give up Bucholtz, go for it. The Red Sox won nearly 100 games with Crisp in c.f. last year, the guy had a great year in the field. How many times did we watch him go after a ball that looked like it was heading for the gap but he made the catch? Too many to count. I would love to see Ellsbury in the Red Sox lineup for years to come but if he is dealt, I say good luck to him, I wish him the best. Remember folks we root for the uniforms as Jerry Seinfeld once said. This is why you stock your farm system, when you have a chance to get quality and you have to give up some young players, so be it, you go for it.

Gee, heres a real 1st: The Twins doing something in the off season that they’ll kick themselves for later… I know that we can all say DAVID ORTIZ!

zachary,

I agree with you totally about your opinion on the D-train. His herky jerky motion will be tough around the league for the first time around. He could win 17-20 games. Of course the Tigers will be like the Yankees and Red Sox, score a bunch. Will they do anything with there bullpen? The Red Sox are the most complete team in baseball. The Angels are the biggest losers with Cabrera being dealt to the motor city. Angels once again will have a hard time in the h.r. dept. Cabrera would have been a HUGE impact out west with the Angels and they would have been right there with the Red Sox.

bosox. excellent points. i agree the sox should hold their position though as well. ellen, i’m really at a loss to understand your point of view regarding johan. surely you don’t think boston is BETTER off with lester? but your entitled to your opinion. it’s true they don’t NEED him but he def makes the staff better. the reason i say theo should hold his position is simply put unless the angels or dodgers get involved, not likely IMO, nothings going to change. the mets don’t have the prospects and nobody other than NYY and boston can afford the ext. so ultimately no matter how long they wait it would seem minn has 4 options that aren’t likey to change between now and forever. well until next year anyway. 1) re-sign him to the 6 yr deal he wants. 2) take one of sox proposals. 3) take the NY deal. 4) lose him to FA after next year and get nothing. personally i would think they would want to get it over with but what ever works for em. maybe their new GM is just afraid of that tag as the one who traded a HOF pitcher away.

We may not be better off, but we lose nothing that we currently have especially the figure of 150 mil! We are certainly no worse off than when we ended the season.

ps as I said earlier many of you won’t agree with my input on this, but as you said, I’m allowed (not entitled, I hate that word, reminds me of the Yankees) to have my opinion, we all have them and we know what they say about opinions… Mine probably is wrong, but it’s mine.

ellen. the money is irrelevent. it’s monopoly money in pro sports. especially for teams like boston. they can afford johan and never blink an eye. they paid 51MM up front just to talk to dice! and if you don’t get better you do get worst in this case because teams like the angels and tigers and even the yankees ( a lil ) will be improved. detroit immensely. keep in mind they only won the div by a couple of games and cleve took em to 7. johan is a difference maker. i don’t think they need/have to inc ells with lester but if they do it’s still a great deal.

Red Sox have $$$$$ pouring out of there drain at Fenway. I would agree with you smckinny about the $$$$ part of it. I like the idea of spending, as long it is on quality and Santana is quality for sure.

the flip side of the whole thing is, although i pray he winds up in boston, i can’t imagine why the twins aren’t willing to give him those 2 extra years. they offerd 4/80 apparently. he’d still only be 35 when it’s done!

Alot of these teams spend there $$$$ on **** and it shows in there standings. Gil Meche–55 million, if Meche is there or not, the Royals lose 95 games. Look at the $$$$ the Orioles gave to there bullpen last year, talking about money not well spent. There bullpen was a disaster last year. These g.m.’s spend $$$$ just for the sake of spending. Look at the Yankees, the $$$$ they are going to have pay A-Rod, that was a classic case of a team bidding against themselves. Hank and Hal ( just love writing there names for some reason ) have spent there $$$$ this winter, rather poorly. With Pettite, that was a very good move. Hank and Hal got that one right.

the sad truth is there’s not a whole lot they can do to get better offensvely. ells, if he’s there, or someone like rowand would help some but overall some guys will be better next year. some worst. some about the same. all in all it’ll prob be about what it was this year. so to stay ahead, especially of det, they’re gonna have to be lights out in pitching.

Rowand is not going to Boston, if Ellsbury is dealt in the Santana deal. Crisp is in c.f. in 2008.

Hey guys, good comments around. I just want to say that Johan Santana maybe the best left hander since Randy Johnson. His stats are sick. I know I’ll get some flax for this but he has better stats than Josh. Josh has never struck over 200, JOhan has done it 4 times in 6 seasons in which he has over 100 innings. Josh has only started 30 games once in his career, (this year) Johan has done it four times. Every once in a while a guy like Santana comes along, we had it in Pedro for many years, and this is one of those times. A lot of people ***** that the Red Sox are buying a team, but the key is yes you need the money but also you need to have a farm system so when these opportunities come along you can take them. I love Lester, jacoby and Clay, but they are not of the talent level of Johan. Theo needs to make this deal. Josh and Santana would be like Schilling and Johnson for Diamond backs in 01′, but for 5 years in their prime! I agree with whoever said (I think it was smckinny)the money is meaningless. The Sox are printing money. It simply doesn’t matter. Look at the cubs they have a lot of money, they could sign him, but because they have no minor league systems they are as relevant as the Roayls in ths discussion.

Sorry guys I hit post instead of preview and it looks like my dog composed that one.

Beckett may not be having very good numbers in the regular season compared to Santana but his the all important post season numbers are not even close. In the case of Beckett we are talking abt one of the greatest postseason pitchers in a very long time(Bob Gibson like)

Ellen with regard to the point you made at the beginning of the thread, even if there was any logic to your point about Santana being due an off year, I’d say we’ve likely seen his off year all ready, and it was last season. Oh to have 15 wins and an ERA of 3.33 and have it called an off season.

Seriously though, I know I’m repeating myself, but if we miss on Santana due to our unwillingness to give up Lester and Ellsbury I will be very disappointed. I know it’s always fun watching prospects come up to the bigs and perform, but we’ve got plenty of other kids coming through. The opportunity to grab someone like Santana is very rare, and when it comes along we have take it.

Connor, your dog talks a lot of sense.

After all have been said and done, Santana will remain as a Twines. Who would you like to be your pitcher in Game 7 of the WS at Fenway? Beckett or Santana? That’s your answer.
Jeff, Steelers 31, Pats 21? You have to remodel your home office and rearrange your closet just to make the game close. Granted Pats barely beat Eagles & Ravens, they will find a way to beat the Steelers the same way. Steelers DB Anthony Smith guarantees a win. Ha ha…

If the Red Sox got Santana, then the top end of their rotation could be the best of all time. Even better than Glavine/Maddux/Smoltz of the 90s Braves. Santana is the best in the game, Beckett is one of the best, and Dice K is supposedly going to be the best eventually (if he ever settles in). And with Schilling, Wakefield, and Bucholtz/Lester (if not traded) at the tail end, the Red Sox rotation would be almost embarassingly good.

Santana would make them the best team in the AL by a long shot, but an embarassment of riches like that seems to be the type of thing that would create bad karma in October. So I think if the Sox get Santana they win 110-120 games, but lose to the upstart Royals in the first round of the playoffs, if they dont they win 90-100 games, win the WS.

Umm 007 what are you on about?

That question makes absolutely zero sense. Beckett or Santana?! When did it become either or?

I’ll tell you what I want then. Santana pitching a complete game shutout for us in game 6 to force a game 7. That will then allow Beckett to pitch in your game 7 for you.

bosox. i know rowand isn’t playing in boston. but everybody is so concerned about what ells would have brought if he was dealt i was just making the point there are lots of guys who can bring what he does and more. coco ain’t one of em but that’s who we’d have. if the twins do wind up re-signing him , doubtful, that’s fine. he’ll just continue to be the world’s best pitcher on a very average team. no way minn will compete with det and cleve the next 2-3 years in the central. that’s why i think they have to deal him.

007. game 7 of a series? i’d take either. look beckett is a post season stud and THIS year finally showed what he’s capable of for a full year. i wouldn’t trade him for anybody. BUT johan is the best in the game. he should have 3 CY’s ( only has 2 ) at the age of 28. his numbers for an AL pitcher are insane.

i’ve been a steeler fan about as long as a boston fan but i am a realist. the defense is good enough to keep it close but pitt can’t run the ball consistently, they have no deep threat at receiver, and r-berger always seems to become color blind and throw it to the opp at least once ( if not more ) every game. i hate to say it but pats playin at home will cover the 10 pt spread easily. pitt just isn’t consistent enough offensively.

simon & smckinny: If both Santana and Beck are healthy and ready and able to pitch Game 7 in Fenway. Pick one. No two ways about it.
Pats will win but I doubt it would cover 11 pt spread.

007 I still don’t get the point of you’re question.

But ok for arguments sake, I’d take Beckett. Although Santana’s playoff record is excellent as well as a starter (a few rough outings as a youngster coming on in relief ruin his ERA slightly).

Even though there’s nothing to suggest that this trade is any closer to being completed, here’s my question:

For next year’s rotation, who is your #1 starter?

For me, it unequivocally Beckett. He’s obviously been with the team longer and the Sox essentially rode his right arm to the World Series. You can’t just slot him down to #2 because of the Santana hype.

Also, you create a nice right-left-right dynamic between Beckett-Santana-Matsuzaka when involved in 3-game series.

I’m with you Zach. What happens, happens. We still have the WS trophy and with or without Santana,can add another one next year.

Ellen, do you have an Ellsbury jersey?

simon, my point is who is actually a better pitcher although Santana has a better stats. If anyone picks Beck in Game 7 secenario, Beck should be #1 starter.

007. it doesn’t matter because they’re both great and th epoint is you’d have both. i’d take the one who was most rested how is that? as far as who is the “no. 1″ starter, that doesn’t matter either. if healthy they would both get an equal number of starts. i’d use beck mostly though because as zach pointed out it sets up a good r-l-r rotation.

smckinny, evevrything being equal, both are equally well rested and healthy, Beck or Santana in Game 7 in Fenway and Metrodome? You’re giving me an equivocal answer. I will unequivocally say Beck.

simon, I never claimed that my comment held any logic, and I even said that I knew alot of you would take issue with it. I simply stated my feelings and my very humble opinion. I may not have my hand in the stat book but I will always say how I feel and if I’m proven wrong, I will always be the FIRST to own up to it.
jimmaynard: No Ellsbury jersey (yet) not till I know he’s staying.

zach: I’m with you regarding moving Josh into the #2 spot in the rotation.

I meant that it shouldn’t happen.

007. i’m a lil biased given beck’s current situation. so right now i’d say beck for 1 game in the playoff’s. BUT given the fact johan is basically equal at the same point in their career’s as clemens if you forced me to pick 1 for the rest of their career i’d take santana. i’m not sayin i’d necessarily trade one for the other but if FORCED to choose i’d take johan. i’m glad i don’t have to because they’re both outstanding. it’s just that johan has been more dominant in a tougher league for a longer period of time. and they’re only a year apart in terms of age. the beauty is your not trading beck for him you woud be trading lester for him.

Ellens Defense;( PLEASE notice DEFENSE is spelled “DEFENSE, not defence). I have noticed that some people don’t agree with my line of thinking regarding Johan Santana. I didn’t expect that most woiuld be on this side of the argument. I seem to be here almost exclusively by my lonesome. I’m not bothered so much about being on the side of an argument by myself ( I was debate team), but people just keep throwing the money argument. Just because we (the Sox) have the money, does that mean they have to spend it??? We have the pitching staff that dreams are made of, how much more money do we have to spend before it’s “ok” not to spend anymore??? You have heard me rant about my adversity to change, I just have a problem with it. My issues, I’ll deal with them. But when is it ok to leave WELL ENOUGH ALONE??? Does the phrase “if it aint broke, don’t fix it come to mind?? I love you guys but you look at my opinions as if I just pulled them out of thin air. No there is no scientific solution to mine just good old fashioned home grown heart felt feeling. If you look at my posts from last year, I wasn’t far off on ANYTHING. So while you all lay posed over your stat books and computer #’s, how many of you said anything that was any different than me? Except I said that JD would not have a good season. Great GS in the WS but mediocre season at best. Hopefully better this year with acclamation to the park and the league. I think and hope that Lugo has more time with Magadan before we get to April.. The only difference between us is I don’t happen to think that we need a fortune to fix our problems (???) and we don’t need to send wonderful young prospects out of the clubhouse door to get there either. If it were me, I’d say let’s get to March, open up and bring ‘em on…. They couldn’t take us down last year, what makes them think that they can do it this year. Hold me accountable for these statements at the end of the 2008 Season. PRE HAPPY HOLIDAYS TO ALL!

If we get Santana,thats it.We are winning a good 3 or 4 championships more.

ellen. i admire your loyalty and respect your opinion/s i really do. BUT. they aren’t, or wouldn’t be, just throwing money at anything because they can. they have an opp to obtain a likely future HOF pitcher in the prime of his career and put this team in a postion to dominate for the next 3-5 yrs. the cost in terms of cash is irrelevent because much like the yankees they pretty much afford anything they want. they just tend to choose their wish list a lil more carefully. your correct they did have enough to win it last year after barely getting through the div and playoffs against cleve. but look around. how much better do you think ana and det are gonna be? cleve will be better with more exp. even NY will be a lil better. boston MIGHT still be good enough. but if you have an opp to absolutely get better why not take it? you just have to take every opp to get better each year. because other teams will improve. as far as the players involved. other than lester and ells where/when are they gonna be able to contribute anything? boston’s position players, other than possibly CF, are set for the next 3-4 yrs. with johan they would still have 6 starters going into next year. 4 of them 29 or younger. plus bowden in minor’s. i like and admire lester but he is not a difference maker like santana. as far as ells. same thing. love his potential. but the fact is if he’s great he’s gonna give you .300-.325, 5-10 hr’s, and 60 -70 rbi’s. lots of guys can give you that. even coco has that kind of ability though obviously he’s yet to show it in boston. for now i wouldn’t inc ells and lester in the same deal BUT if it comes down to it i absolutely would. johan is just that good IMO. with johan on the staff and coco in ctr this team is A LOT better than with ells in ctr and lester on the staff and that’s pretty much what it boils down to.

Ellen, I agree with smckinny. First off, you are entitled to your opinioin and it is always well thought out and sometimes a breath of fresh air. I think maybe what is being missed is just how good Santana is. I have been paying close attention to baseball for close to 30 years now, and I honestly cannot think of a better left handed pitcher in the last 25 or so years. glavine? Johnson? Certainly arguable. Guys like Santana come along verly rarely. I would even include Youk in this deal and take out a prosepct if that is what they wanted. Honestly, the only players I would not include would be Josh, Papi, Paps, Jason and maybe Dice K, because I think he is going to have a break out season. I know Jason is getting older and all, but I still believe his intangibles behind the plate are too big. So I guess you know where I stand on this.

Let me reload here for a second. I could imagine a scenerio where Jason could be in the deal, so I guess I didn’t think that one through enough. It would certainly leave a gaping whole but that is how good I think Santana is.

Hi, All:

I included this in my post today, but I thought I would include it here as well with all this talk about the Steelers and Patriots. Should be an interesting game!

Some of you disagree with my prediction that the Pittsburgh Steelers will defeat the New England Patriots, 31-21, on Sunday. We shall see. The Patriots are not invincible, and their defense is showing flaws. The Steelers have the game’s best defense statistically, and they have an effective running game and passing attack, though it has been hindered in recent weeks because of the injury to deep threat Santonio Holmes. Yet, even if Holmes is not at full strength, the Steelers have Willie Parker, who is second in the league in rushing.

I firmly believe that the Steelers will control the ball, and the game clock, limiting the touches for Tom Brady. Pittsburgh does have some ugly losses on the road to Denver, Arizona and the New York Jets, but they will be ready for the Patriots. Though Anthony Smith was ignorant for shooting off his mouth and guaranteeing a victory, he was right about one thing. The Patriots receivers are not as talented as the Cincinnati Bengals group, and the Steelers silenced Chad Johnson and T.J. Houshmandzadeh, who are better than Randy Moss and Wesley Welker.

I stick by my prediction: Steelers 31, Patriots 21

Jeff

http://www.soxandpinstripes.com

Regarding Santana, I think the Sox will and should acquire him. I like the Sox prospects, and I think Lester, Buchholz, Ellsbury and Masterson will all have solid careers. Not so sure about Lowrie. That said, though I would like to keep Buchholz and Ellsbury, I would trade one of them to get Santana. At first, I did not like the idea, but now I think it would be worthwhile. I would definitely not include Ryan Kalish, who will be just as good if not better than Ellsbury, in the trade. If it takes Buchholz, Crisp, Masterson and Lowrie; or Ellsbury, Masterson, Lowrie and a second-tier prospect, I would make either deal to get Santana. The guy will only be 29, and since Dice-K will emerge as one of the top AL starters in 2008, that would give the Sox three ace-caliber pitchers in their rotation.

I forgot to mention Lester in that second deal, so it would be Ellsbury, Lester, Masterson and Lowrie.

Jeff: When will Ryan Kalish be ready for the big league? If it takes Ellsbury, Lester and plus prospects to acquire Santana, let’s do it. A week ago I was dead against any deal that includes Ellsbury, not since he changed his agent to Bora$. Just a personal feeling.
The Pats will beat the Steelers by a touchdown or a field goal. It won’t cover the ridiculous 10 1/2 pt spread.

jeff. totally agree with you on the santana thing. what ever hey give up in terms of “prospects” they will have plenty of time to recoup before they would make any impact. as for our steelers though. parker is 2nd in the league but he’s not consistent. he’ll run 15 times and gain 40 yds and then break a 40 yarder. his numbers are diceiving. their def is good enough but their offensive is entirely too inconsistent. hope i’m wrong but i’d say NE 31 – 17. pitt/ r-berger turn the ball over too much and can’t stay on the field enough to keep NE off it. as good as pitt’s def is if you give brady & co enough chances you’re gonna lose. i.e. baltimore monday nite.

The Patriots receivers are not as talented as the Bengals? Now that is funny.

The Patriots have the most talented receivers in the N.F.L. Have you been watching any of these games Jeff?

Patriots 34

Steelers 17

I’ll take the combo of Welker and Moss over Johnson and Houshmanzadeh any day of the week. Welker could be the best slot receiver in the N.F.L. and Moss is the best deep threat in the league. Not too mention Stallworth who is always among the leaders in avg. per catch, a big play receiver for sure. Of course that doesn’t include Gaffney who is the 4th receiver on the team. Good luck covering those guys.

Tomlin is one of the best defensive minds in football but he has hands full on this one.

Big Ben is good for a pick or two come Sunday.

Yes, Brian, I follow all of the NFL quite closely. I’m not a fan of the Bengals or the Patriots. In fact, the Bengals are the Steelers chief rival (along with the Ravens). Johnson, Houshmandzadeh and Henry are better than Moss, Welker and Stallworth. The Bengals main problem is their defense, and keeping their players out of the police blotter. Moss is doing well because of the system he is in. Ditto for Welker. You wouldn’t have mentioned either as two of the game’s best receivers last year. Even without Polamalu, I think the Steelers will keep Moss, Welker and Stallworth in check.

SMckinny, I think that Parker’s slide in the last couple games has more to do with the field conditions than inconsistency. What the Steelers need for next season is another Bettis-type back to spell Parker and give the opposing defense a different look. Even when healthy, Najeh Davenport is not the answer.

007chow, Kalish is 2-3 years away from the big leagues. He will likely start the 2008 season at Single-A Greenville or Lancaster – probably Greenville and then Lancaster. The Sox have a lot of exciting outfield prospects in the lower level of the minor leagues. Josh Reddick is another.

Regarding the prospects that would be traded, the Sox have excellent scouting and player development personnel. They draft well, much like the Steelers. The Sox will replace the prospects they trade with new prospects in the 2008 draft.

red sox **** long live the yankees greatest sport team of all time

the dallas cowboys would blowout the patriots if superbowl was played today

Thanks to all of you for the feed back, you have given me something to think about. But let me ask this: Have any of you just ever had a feeling you couldn’t shake??? That’s where I am on Santana. I can’t put my finger on it, it’s just a feeling that’s REALLY strong.

jeff. that’s been parker’s MO since he arrived. he’s a big play guy but not the grind it out type of guy you need to beat NE. if they had a “bettis” type i’d give them a better cahnce. i hate beli-cheat. i’m prob one of the few people who think brady is overrated but NE will win this one by at least the spread. after that debacle monday i’m convinced they’re charmed this year. they “lost” that game 3X and still won in the end.

i also agree that as a group NE has better receivers. but their coach is a joke and their def is even funnier.

Good news about Timlin. The Sox definitely need some work on their bullpen. Right now, it’s just Papelbon, Delcarmen, Okajima and Timlin. Tavarez will likely be traded. Snyder and Breslow are being shopped. Corey, Lopez, Hansack and Hansen will be battling for jobs in spring training, as will Lee Gronkiewicz. Right now, out of those four, I only feel comfortable about Corey, who I think would be an effective sixth and seventh inning guy. Daniel Bard has opened eyes as a reliever, but he likely needs another year or two in the minors. The Sox definitely need an additional solid right-handed set-up man, and another lefty.

Jeff

http://www.soxandpinstripes.com

sorry. i meant cinci has better receivers. the joke statement was correct was waht i menat to say.

If that Patriots system was so good, why has Brady had his best year this year? System has been in place for many years there and the most touchdown’s Brady has thrown prior to this season was 28. I think the receivers he has on his roster, has alot to do with it, just a hunch there.

Jeff, we are talking about this year not last year.

Parker has the yards this year but not finding the endzone in 2007.

Jeff, I think you forgot about the Cleveland Browns as a rival for the Steelers, what do you think?

rsam,

The Patriots SMOKED the Cowboys back in October in Dallas. This is a team that has won 3 Super Bowls and likely there 4th in early February. Dallas doesn’t have the defense to slow down the Patriots, there secondary is average at best.

I am praying that Eric Gagne doesn’t come back.

Ellen,

Please buy a Gagne jersey, please, do everyone a favor!!! I wouldn’t want him back. I want to see him on the mound at Fenway as a visitor.

smckinny,

Brady over-rated???? Please put down the crack pipe up there in Winston-Salem, please put it down. That is all I ask, lol….

Mo Lewis puts a hole in Bledsoe’s chest and look at the team since Brady has taken over at q.b. Pretty simple to figure that one out, even I can.

There is no chance Gagne returns, Boston only offered him abritration so that they would receive a sandwich draft pick when he (inevitably) denies it.

I don’t know which teams need a closer, but I could see him heading back to the NL.

Rsam, you are a Yankees fan and a Cowboys fan? At least you’re consistent with your winner picking, although those would probably be better options if this were still the mid-to-late ’90’s.

According to what I read about Gagme, oops, Gagne, he is looking to strictly be a closer. Scuse me, ain’t happenin in Fenway, I’ll take the guy who dances the Jig in his underwear. Even though I don’t think he looks good that way, I much prefer him in his uniform.. If Lowell were to dance in his underwear, that would be a TOTALLY different story!

Brian, most Steelers fans will tell you that the new Browns are no longer major rivals. The Ravens (the old Browns) are. Until the Browns are a consistent winner, they will not be rivals. The Steelers-Ravens games are just as fierce as the Steelers-Browns games before Art Modell moved the team to Baltimore.

Ok you guys ****** me into the football talk. Whoever RSM is playing up dallas give me a break. pats won 48-27 AT Dallas. You really are living in the 90’s with your yankee/dallas love. I hope you are blasting your nirvana records while watching Bay Watch. Jeff it is so strange being on the opposite end of view with you on sports with your Steeler support but I guess you gotta go with your heart. But any team that loses to that Jets team does not really scare me. This Patriots team is really good. First Boston team since the 80’s Celtics that I can honestly say should win it all.

Connor, I am a devout and lifelong Celtics, Steelers and Ohio State fan, but I am most passionate about the Red Sox. I don’t like it when the Celtics, Steelers and Buckeyes lose, but it doesn’t impact my day. I literally feel aggravated and sick to my stomach when the Red Sox lose a big game, or encounter a losing streak. Baseball and the Red Sox are my true passion in sports.

That said, I really do think the Steelers will win. I agree that the Patriots are a solid team – not one of the best ever, but a very good one. Yet I think the Steelers will take this game. The Jets loss was embarrassing, and the Cardinals and Broncos losses were frustrating, but the Steelers tend to play up (or down) to their competition. They will be ready for the Patriots.

It is weird to be on the opposite side. I coordinate a Red Sox Nation Orlando group, and most of the members are Patriots fans. I will get a lot of grief if the Steelers lose, but as I told them, they know where to find me at Sox and Pinstripes. I don’t hide when my team loses, unlike Yankees fans. However, I think I will be the one delivering the harassment on Monday!

Oh, I forgot to mention my kudos to the Celtics. 16-2. They are playing much better than I expected. Like everyone else, I knew they would be much better than previous seasons, but I thought it would take longer for them to mesh as a unit. Garnett, Ray Allen and Pierce are definitely responsible for the turnaround, but Rondo and Perkins deserve recognition for their contributions, as does role players like James Posey, Tony Allen, Brian Scalabrine, Eddie House “Big Baby” Glen Davis. The bench will be the reason the Celtics advance deep into the playoffs, not just the new Big Three. Finally, a reason to again follow the NBA in April, May and hopefully June.

Although he led the league in strikeouts, Santana was 15-13 and also led the league in giving up home runs. It would seem he has regressed some and I think there is some risk in taking him and a long term and huge commitment on. I would be hesitant about giving up a young kid like Bucholz who has the potential to be something very special, or Ellsbury who will bring excitement to the lineup we haven’t seen since Lynn and Rice.

Brady is the best quarterback in football, period. He has been winning since the day he took over for Drew Bledsoe. Until this year, he has never had the elite receivers Peyton Manning and others have had. He had a quality running back in Corey Dillon for one year. He simply finds ways to make everyone around him better, and he wins. The scary part is he continues to get better. He is making fewer mistakes and he is the unquestioned leader of the team.

Everyone wants to say there is now a blueprint for beating the Patriots. Put pressure on Brady and knock the receivers around. In today’s NFL, that’s pretty much a blueprint for beating any team. Good teams win close games because they put themselves in a position to do so. There’s nobody better at that than the Patriots.

The defense gave up some yards and some points, but when it got down to crunch time at the end of close games, they made the plays they had to make. On the offensive side, the Ravens and Eagles really slowed Brady down. He only threw for a combined 630+ yards against those teams.

Don’t be fooled by the last two games. Give Philly and Baltimore the credit they deserve for playing great games. Give the Pats credit for winning the tough ones. If both teams play their A game, the Steelers are no match for the Patriots.

future of for red sox s/be rf chris carter cf jacoby ellsbury lf brnadon moss/sean danielson if jd drew has not acclimated himself to al pitching this year trade him.if he does move chris carter to lf & trade manny.

well, looks like we won’t have Gagne to kick around anymore, OH DARN!! and I didn’t even have to buy his jersey….LOL

gsm. buch is ( would not be i should say ) not involved in the santana deal. at least he’s not been mentioned yet. he seems to be “untouchable”. basically it’s ells and propects or lester, coco, and prospects as i understand it. if i recall beckett led the league in HR’s allowed last year so i wouldn’t worry too much about that personally. johan also had a 3.3 era this year. pretty much equal to beck’s in his best year. fact is he’s a great pitcher on a bad team and he’s only a year older than beck. even if it costs ells and lester you still gotta do it IMO. santana has the potential to be a LH clemens.

you’re right about the whole “blueprint” thing. the fact is if you can pressure any quarterback, brady inc., for 4 quarters you stand a pretty good chance to win espeially against NE because they can’t run the ball. pitt apparently won’t have palamalu that’s a big loss when it comes to pressure. like i said pitt’s def is prob good enough but their off is just too inconsistent. if pitt were to play mistake free and run the ball consistently well i do think they’d have a decent shot. well assuming they can get to brady. i just think it’ll be difficult at NE. i would love to see that smirk knocked off beli-cheat’s face though at some point.

Brady is the most intelligent and adaptable QB in the NFL today.
smckinny,in a big name, who would you rather be your QB, Brady, Manning, Romo, Fauve,or Big Ben?

That said, Jeff, smckinny, good luck with your Steelers. May the better team win!

Bye Bye Gagne. Good luck. Good riddance.

Pats over the Steel Curtain.

The Pats will definitely cover the 10.5 points considering they have owned the Steelers as of late and are playing at home. Add to that the fact that the Steelers are just an average road team, and you’ve got a 24-10 Patriots win.

With that being said, I don’t want NE to win at all. I’m a Bills fan and am still bitter over what they did to Buffalo on Sunday Night Football a couple of weeks back. If Pittsburgh can get on top early and then get Willie Parker 30-35 touches, they can pull this thing off.

Because God knows the Jets, Dolphins, and Giants won’t be able to stop the Pats, even if they are playing their reserves.

Has anyone gotten into the ticket purchase website to buy individual game tickets for next season? I’ve been in the “virtual waiting room” for 4 1/2 hours, and its frustrating, to say the least.

I gotta tell you all something funny. Aside from the 300 registered members of the El Paso Red Sox Nation (who meet regularly during the summer months here for games on NESN), there might be that many Sawx fans collectively in this city of nearly a million people. Dodgers/Rangers/D-Backs fans abound. There are quite a few Yank fans too. What’s most interesting is that, while the wife and I Christmas shopped, we counted not one Sox cap, but 32 (THIRTY-FREAKIN’-TWO!) on other shoppers. Now that its cool to be a Sox fan because they won the Series again, the band-wagoners are everywhere. I thought I’d have some fun and out of the bunch that I saw, I approached at least 10 of them and asked them to name ONE middle-reliever on the Sox roster. ZILCH!!!! NADA!!! NONE!!!! Not one of those wannabes could name one! I know it was cruel, but I told them to put the hat back in the closet and put their Yankee cap back on…. on backwards. Unbelievable. Oh, and I’m having a blast ******* off Cowboy fans by telling them they’ll be bridesmaids in January (nope, never liked ‘em even though I’m a Texan). Go Pats!

lol. I watched the game with a Patriots fan, so I’ve already endured my share of grief. We’ll get ‘em in the playoffs!

Yet again the Red Sox ticketing system leaves the little guys like me waiting 11 hours to get in and then getting error messages because there are no longer even two tickets together. But two ticket brokers I know have tickets to the games recently made available. WHY OH WHY won’t the Red Sox do more to battle touts? Why do I see the same seats up for sale on ebay by the same guys? Why aren’t season tickets taken away from people who resell them? I’ve very dissapointed in an organization which is usually so community-orientated.

R.I.P. Steelers. Next Victim?

Before we start counting rings, Pats fans should not overlook the Manning Boys in NY and Indy. Could still be a tough road ahead to the SB.

jeff. i admire your optimism! not this year. pitt is just too vanilla offensively. not sure if it’s the new coor or the personnel or both. they just can’t move the ball consistently. the only team’s IMO who could potentially de-rail NE this year would prob be dallas and indy. the giants have the same issue as pitt. good “d” but very inconsistent “o”.

The Giants have zero shot against the Pats, I don’t care if Eli somehow is possessed by the spirit of his brother Peyton, it’s not happening.

I think the only way Dallas could beat NE would be in a shootout, similar to the game the two teams played for 3 quarters this season before Dallas completely fell apart in the 4th. But now Dallas has a new confidence which they lacked a month and half back.

Indy is the team who I feel will knock off the Patriots in the AFC Championship, with a steady dose of Joseph Addai and a healthy receiving core (Marvin Harrison included). They have the experience to do so, while other teams continually give New England reasons to beat them down (ie: making guarantees, Mangini being a snitch, etc.)

There are 2 teams that could beat New England, the Colts and the Patriots.

If the Pats get to the Super Bowl, I am extremly confident they will. The Patriots will beat down Dallas. The Cowboys secondary is quite average. Cowboys have to get out of the N.F.C. first, Seahawks or Packers could beat them.

The Patriots will not meet the Steelers in the playoffs. The Steelers will probably be the #3 seed and if they win there 1st rd. matchup they will be playing at Indy and the Colts will beat them.

Jeff,

What do you think of those receivers now of the Patriots?

They combined for 24 catches, 344 yards and 3 t.d.’s. There not as good as the Bengals wide receivers, lol….

I think it is time for you to change your opinion on that, what do you think?

The Pats will go 16-0. NYG will probably play their reserves the last game of the regular season. The Colts is the only team that can give the Pats the fit. But I don’t see how the Colts can beat the Pats at Foxboro. It will be a tight game. The Pats will win a squeaker.
Pats and Cowboys will be in the SB.

i agree they’ll go 16-0. as i said pitt even if they were to play 5 more times this year just isn’t good enough offensively. dallas and indy both are but the key is consistent pressure on brady on “d”. phili and balt both proved if you pressure brady you can win. they just made too many mistakes and like my poor ol steelers couldn’t move the ball consistently when it counted. the other way they could lose, and it doesn’t appear likely, is bad weather. if they were ever forced to run the ball they might be in trouble.

smckinney, I had no doubt that the Pats would win, but not by that margin. I thought the game would be close. Good thing I am not a betting man. What amazes me was that the Steelers couldn’t score any point in the whole second half. If the Steelers keep playinng like that, I wouldn’t be surprised it would be knocked out in the first round.

The Steelers certainly won’t advance far in the playoffs if they repeat yesterday’s performance, but they undoubtedly have the talent to beat Indy and New England. They need to rebound against Jacksonville, which will not be an easy task. They have a tough game at Baltimore to end the season as well.

Brian, I think that Moss and Welker are good receivers, but, no, they are not as talented as a twosome as Johnson and Houshmandzadeh. One game doesn’t change that. Johnson and Houshmandzadeh have put up big numbers since joining the Bengals. The Steelers play them twice a year, so any Steelers fan will tell you that Johnson and Houshmandzadeh are the best wide receiver tandem in the AFC and perhaps the NFL. Moss and Johnson are similar in talent and style. Houshmandzadeh is not far behind them. Welker is a beneficiary of the system he plays in. I would much rather have Johnson and Houshmandzadeh as a pair than Moss and Welker. The Bengals have great receivers and a great QB, they just can’t keep their players out of trouble, and their defense is awful.

Now that the NBA season is about one-fourth finished, I am really starting to believe that the Celtics have what it takes to win the Eastern Conference. They are getting a lot of contributions from outside of the main trio. I still would like to see them get a veteran backup point guard because Eddie House is more of a 2 than a 1.

That said, though the Steelers and Celtics are having good seasons, and Ohio State is in another national championship game, I still miss baseball. Attending the winter meetings staved it off a little bit, but it will not be completely alleviated until spring training games begin.

Yanks picked up LaTroy Hawkins… That is probably the best news the RedSox have received this offseason. LaTroy is a complete goat and will be a disaster… I guarantee it. I witnessed him flush a Cubs playoff berth down the toilet a few years back. It was brutal to watch here in Chicago.

I totally agree with you rayman about Hawkins. A great signing for the Red Sox.

The Yankees need to put Chamberlain in the pen, if they don’t that will be a mistake.

Hawkins will be hearing the boo birds by mid May for sure.

Jeff,

I agree with you about the Celtics. When the season started I thought they had a chance to win 50 games and be a force at home. I thought they could make it to the Eastern semi’s but know I think they can win the East. They have clicked right away, a solid coaching job by Doc. It has been a long time since the Celtics have been this good. Very enjoyable season to this point.

If you think the Yankees signing Hawkins is good for the Sox (which I agree), just wait until the Yankees sign Ron Mahay. For some reason, the Yankees are taking the Orioles approach to building a bullpen, and not the Padres or the Twins. I agree that Chamberlain should be in the bullpen for the Yankees. If not, there is no reliable bridge to Rivera.

HAHA the brewers can have some fun with eric gagne. so glad he’s gone!!!

Assuming Crisp is traded at some point, I think the Sox should look at So Taguchi as a 4th OFer. He has plate discipline, can play all 3 OF spots and has the Japanese connections.

Not a major move, but would help to shore up the bench. I’d then look at folks like Mike Lamb to fill the corner bench slot or try out Brandon Moss in ST

If you don’t read Extra Bases in the Boston Globe on line, you should. There’s some good stuff in there. Today was the second half of an interview with Okajima. You get some good insight as to how difficult this past year was for him. A few days back they reported Jacoby Ellsbury fired his agent and signed with Scott Boras. Ellsbury is a good kid, I hope Boras doesn’t ruin him.

About the Pats …. Jeff, Randy Moss is a freak. He has all the attributes of Chad Johnson and he is bigger with better hands. He just doesn’t look like he works as hard because he is so fluid. There’s nobody better at catching passes in coverage, or double coverage. He can play possession, or go down field. If I absolutely need a pass caught with a game on the line, Moss is the man I’m going to, probably even if he’s covered. Welker is the best slot man in the game right now. Besides being a great receiver, he is a superb blocker and gets a lot of yards after the catch. The Bengals guys are good, but they are a distant second (or maybe even third to Harrison and Wayne)to the Pats’ boys.

We’ll see what the Steelers are made of Sunday when they face a tough Jacksonville team. It will be the most physical game they see this year and if they don’t hold on to the third seed, they’ll see them again in the playoffs.

Let the Twins or anybody else keep Santana. He is not worth the price of Ellsbury & Lester or Buckholtz. The wins these 2 pitchers can get with what Ellsbury’s speed and bat can do is worth a lot more.Five years of our guys is worth much more than 5 years of Santana.

The Jest official said that the videotaping was pre-approved by the Pats and was in accordance with the NFL rules. If the filmng was pre-authorized, why the Jets cameraman was removed? The Pats did not confisticate the camera. It should.
What rules were the Jets referring to?

I believe the penalties imposed on the Pats were excessive and did not fit the “crime’. I wonder why the Pats were so quick to accept the penalty in light of the fact that the Jets did it to the Pats first.

We will see how the Pats be motivated in the Sunday’s name as if the Pats needs more motivation.

I wish that the Sox acquires Santana without giving up Ellsbury. Can’t have the cake and eat it too!

Yea, Boras getting to Ellsbury — that can’t be good — maybe Ellsbury figured he needed to play hardball too once he heard the SOX would actually trade him — I can’t blame him for that — only Mike Lowell and Schilling (who are both are financially secure) seem to be able to control themselves instead of letting their agents control them — Damon probably would have a second ring by now and be a much more storied player if he could have controlled his greed (and not listened to his wife — somehow I always thought she was partially behind his bad decisions, but that is not fair to say — just a hunch).

Boras was Dice-K’s agent in the US — and we got through that though — but if I remember right — it sounded like Theo eluded to the fact that Dice-K got the deal done in the end — he may have had to put the clamps on Boras himself.

Is Boras as bad as I think he is? or am I just not informed?

A comment about trades (Johan Santana, etc.) — today its absolutely all about winning, it seems, and nothing else —

I can’t say I wouldn’t be happy to land Santana — but the teams I grew up loving to follow had more consistency — you bonded and identified with the players, routed for them — it felt like a team, and had the cohesion of a team.

Now days it seems like you do whatever you can to better yourself by getting the very best players (first) — and not believing you can win by playing the very best you can.

Now I am sure that every team tries to do both of course, but it seems like prevalent thought is the best players win and the players that play their best (but are not the top) can’t, and always come up short.

For me personally, I would get more satisfaction out of winning with our guys (except the clunkers :) ) rather than if we constantly mortgage ourselves. Look at Gagne — he gets a ring (for what) and Kason Gabbard (poor guy) deserves one. And Gagne’s gone, we managed to win in spite of his struggles, but definitely lost team spirit/karma for while — and a deserving piece of the team is gone instead.

Look at the Patriots — bringing in Moss, Stallworth, Welker — now their smashing everone – but I for one have less interst in them now — its seems like a bought the team, even are are bit callous — even the Cowboys have more home-grown feel to them now than the Pats, even with T.O. — hey, no theory is perfect.

Point is, a team like the Yankees (and hopefully not the SOXs) that constantly mortage themselves — is no more than a Las Vegas bet in the end. I prefer to build a team, build a relationship, trade within reason — but keep building something you can bond, players you admire and respect, something more than a trophy.

What will RSN be in the end — just people who have no other interest than a W?

smckinny, I haven’t seen you post here for a bit and I’m wondering if you’re in denial about your boy Roward signing with the Giants.

dgneubert, Bora$ is also Veritek’s agent.
If Ellsbury is traded away and Rowand is unavailable, we have to endure Coco for another year hoping he will be back to his form and shape at Cleveland.

I have enjoyed the speculation that the Patriots will score over 100 on Sunday. No doubt they will try. Could Brady eclipse Manning’s season TD pass record on his Sunday production alone?

I also have enjoyed the conversation about new player acquisitions. The Yanks are asking Carl Pavano to accept a minor league contract. — They signed him to a 4-year deal worth what $40 Mil, and thus far, he has recorded 5 wins for them. I was amused to see the Yanks sign Andy Pettite for $16 Mil. for next year alone. Last year he had a good year for them, and won 15 games for them, earning a cool $16 Mil. If you throw in the post-season win he had for them, that’s $1 Mil per win. The price of good pitching is rising, and question becomes, when will the fans say enough is enough?

That’s the argument against trading for Santana. If the Sox pay him $20-$25 Mil. per year, they will pay more than $1 Mil. per year. If you attribute both the posting fee and Dice-K’s contract to his cost, his first year cost the Sox approximately $17 Mil. In return, he provided 15 regular season wins, and 2 play-off wins, including Game 7 against the Indians and Game 3 in the WS against Colorado, If post-season victories deserve more credit than regular season victories, then the Sox cost of Dice-K was slightly below $1 Mil. per year. But that’s where we are headed. Mathematizing that out over a season, that would mean that for a team to win 95-100 games in a season, to hopefully entitle them to participate in the post-season, would cost nearly $100 Mil. in pitching alone. All of a sudden, baseball will become a very expensive spectator sport.

zach. more depressed about pitt’s total no show in the second half against NE! not too disappointed about rowand. i can live with coco if it means getting johan. he just wouldn’t have been my first choice. you’d have to think his talent will emerge eventually though.

guess it’ll be confirmed soon enough but the mitchell report supposedly inc’s some current and former sox guys. saw a list of names supposedly in it. varitek, tavarez, trot nixon, damon. well and clemens although i don’t consider him a sox guy anymore.

Why in the world would you make a trade for santana. Lester will be almost as good and Elsbury can play all outfield pos. And give a day off for the other outfielders as the fourth outfielder.I have been a red sox fan for over sixty years and they are legit players.Santana will break down,if you need another starter use Delcarmen he has all the qualities of Beckett except the drive. He just has to get a little meaner. if your going to trade with the Twins then trade for Mauer.Elsbury reminds me of Yaz when he came to the Red Sox, not that big and when he saw that right field bull pen he said i’ll never reach it.Look what happened Elsbury is already there,never trade this kid he’s going to be great.

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