Monday thoughts

Nice to see Terry Francona get rewarded with a big payday on Sunday. I’m not sure he gets enough credit for just how well he has handled this team since he took over in 2004. Francona — much like Joe Torre for all those years in New York — knows how to handle a market that carves up most managers.

The other underrated thing about Francona. Most managers are either known as game tacticians or clubhouse managers. This guy is both. He knows how to run a game, and he knows how to deal with the players.

The Sox hired Bruce Hurst this morning as a roving Minor League instructor. It’s nice to see Hurst back in the fold. He still regrets leaving as a free agent following the 1988 season and going to San Diego.

Bartolo Colon has signed a Minor League deal with the Sox, and he’ll be in Fort Myers tomorrow. al. It’s hard to believe he’ll all of a sudden regain his Cy Young repertoire after two injury-filled years, but there’s not much risk involved, so why not?

"Signing Colon to a Minor League deal, we think is a no-risk, potential high-reward signing," said Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein. "He’s
on a Minor League contract and he’s going to show up in camp tomorrow and we’ll
do an evaluation of how far he is away from helping us but it takes more than
five starting pitchers to get through a season. obviously he’s an accomplished
guy and if we can get him back to a point where he’s throwing well, he can
certainly help us at some point during the season.”

But the true excitement of the day? The Red Sox 2008 media guide was delivered to the media trailer this morning. For a beatwriter, this is one of the great days of spring. We live and die with this book for the next eight months, relying on the encyclopedic nature of it.

Kudos to John Blake of the PR staff for getting this bible out so ealry this year. The cover photo is a collage from last October — Josh Beckett pumping his fist, Jason Varitek hoisting the trophy, Jonathan Papelbon in utter disbelief, Mike Lowell watching the flight of a drive, Pedroia and Ortiz embracing, and Manny watching his bottle rocket walkoff soar out of the yard to end Game 2 of the Division Series.

And the new Red Sox Hall of Fame Class of 2008 was revealed in the guide. The Sox put players into their team’s Hall of Fame every two years. This November, the group of inductees is Mo Vaughn, Bill Lee, Frank Sullivan, Mike Greenwell, Wes Ferrell, Everett Scott, George Digby (scout) and Ed Kenney Sr. (executive). The Most Memorable Moment to be recognized that night will be home run No. 521 for Ted Williams, which came in the Splendid Splinter’s final at-bat in the Major Leagues.

24 Comments

There is no other way to look at the Colon signing then with a “why not?” attitude. He is a classic case of low-risk/potential reward.

I’m thrilled that the Sox extended Francona, although it was never in doubt that they would do so. It’s nice to see him finally getting a salary that matches his team’s performance.

The one thing that this new contract for Tito ensures is that everybody on this blog is going to be even more critical of him when he makes a move that they disagree with. But then again, there’s probably a reason why we’re on this blog and he’s making $4 million/year and has two rings.

Good for tito, he deserves it. Totally agree with “why not?” on Colon, if he can get to 80% of what he was in 2005, he will be a nice starter to fall back on in case of injury.

Zachary:

To quote Tito, those who manage like the fans are destined to become fans.

I couldn’t be happier for my birthday buddy Tito, as well as for the Sox, who in my humble opinion, have the best manager in the business, Joe Torre included. The calmness with which he handled the 3-0 2004 deficit to the Yanks was a thing of beauty, and I think, allowed the team to not get ahead of itself, attacking the games 1 at a time as they needed to. His handling of Pedroia last year was nothing short of masterful, and I believe one of the key reasons the Sox got to the Series, given the contribution they ultimately got from Pedroia down the stretch and in the play-offs. Let’s not forget the handful that dealing with Manny represents, yet for the most part, what we see is a minimum of noise and a maximum of performance….and now Manny is talking about remaining with the Sox for years to come!!!

While pleased about the fact that the Sox gave Terry a contract extension, given what he has already accomplished, he deserves to surpass Joe Cronin as the longest continuous manager in Sox history. Here’s hoping that the team’s continuing performance allows that to become a reality. How many days to opening day? Someone has to have that on the tip of their memory.

Why are the Red Sox signing injuried or coming off injury reserve old fart players. Anyone older than 34 is welcome. bring your doctor’s note if you suffered prior injuries or sugery. Curt Shilling is done. He lasted 4 innings in the World Series for god sakes. He was great back in 2004 do not get me wrong, but last world series was a nail biter. I do not want to hear anymore excuses why he pitch terribly. Put him in the pastor. End it. Now we get another pitcher who is 34 to replace Schilling. Where are the younger guys like other teams requiring that throw 98-102 miles per hour. We need strong left handers as well. should have required Bernard from the former Orioles that went to Seattle. He gave red sox’s a tough time, also as kashmir of tampa bay.Who is doing the scouting or the dealing? Is he switching from crack to smack. We need younger ball players not old farts that last 4 innings or pulled hamstring or shoulder cuff and use up the bullpen. Clemens came back.. did we not learn from the Yankees mistakes. Next thing you know we will required Nolan Ryan out of retirement to play for a 1 year 10 million deal!! Red Sox Management wake up!!!!

I’m not sure where to start with your unintelligible rant, but maybe I should begin by pointing you in the general vicinity where he 2007 World Series banner will hang at Fenway this season, thanks in large part to some “old farts” named Schilling and Wakefield.

Second of all, obtaining “Bernard” or “Kashmir” would have required the Sox to basically gut their minor league system (names such as Ellsbury, Lester, Buchholz, and Masterson). This would not be good.

Third of all, I defer you to Schilling’s postseason statistics last year: 24 IP, 8 ER, 16 K, 3 BB. Obviously he is getting up there in years, nobody is denying that, but the guy brings it when the games matter most. He is arguably the greatest playoff pitcher of the modern era although he looks to be usurped from that throne by his own teammate, Josh Beckett.

And I’m not getting all worked up about this guy’s post, I guess I just missed arguing for argument’s sake on this blog.

Ian’s mailbag was pretty interesting this week. In it, he discussed the Red Sox policy on retiring numbers. Hall of Fame players who played at least their last 10 years with the team. I look at the numbers currently retired, and they are all players or people who are legends in Red Sox folklore. Even Carlton Fisk, who did not technically meet the Sox requirements to have his number retired, will forever be a legend for that home run in the 75 series. Yaz, triple crown winner and leader of the 67 Impossible Dream Team. Ted Williams, enough said. Mr. Red Sox, Johnny Pesky. Dom Dimaggio. These guys are legends. Who among the recent great players and Hall of Famers who donned a Red Sox uniform should have his number retired?

Wade Boggs? Certainly, he was a great player, but was he a legend? I don’t think so, especially after riding the horse around when the Yankees won the Series?

Pedro Martinez? He was 117-37 during his Red Sox years, multiple Cy Young winner and member of the 2004 curse breaking team? For his eight years in Boston, he was easily the best pitcher in baseball. In ten years, will he be remembered as a legend? I’m thinking not. As good as he was, there were no legendary feats.

Roger Clemens? Hmmm, I think the jury is still out on that one.

How about some of the current stock? How about Manny? He’s had some good years. World Series MVP in 2004. Manny being Manny. Well, this year could determine whether Manny becomes legendary forever. He is finally endearing himself to his fans and the media, so maybe that brings him over the top.

Most like to achieve legendary status? Too late. David Ortiz has already done that. The greatest clutch hitter in the history of the franchise who carried the Sox in 2004 with his heroic walkoff efforts, broke Jimmy Foxx’ all time home run record in 05, and played hurt through last year and still managed some clutch hits and to be a leader in bringing the Sox their second championship in four years. Add the fact that he is universally loved and that’s what legends are made of, and maybe before I move on to Fenway in the sky, #34 will be among the numbers on the fascade.

Who else’s numbers should be retired?

Bonvox, What are YOU smoking??? It seems to me that the scouts and/or deal makers have been doing a pretty terrific job!! I think you’re being pretty harsh and judgemental regarding the state of pitching staff. We have one pretty young bunch (exceptions being
Wake and Mikey T.) We’ve got Lester Bucholtz, BECKETT Paps

And as far as the pitchers you mentioned the Sox missing the boat on, I assume you are talking about Bedard and Kazmir, right???

It already looks as if this will be a VERY interesting season (to say the least!!!)for all of us here on the blog,lol!!

Theo is right. Signing Colon is a no-brainer. If he gets back in reasonable shape he could certainly contribute. Colon at 80% is probably better than Tavarez and Lopez at 100%.

Here, here!! as far as Tavarez, he meakes me VERY VERY nervous

meakes = makes

Bonovox, there’s a huge difference between being acquired to replace Curt Schilling in the rotation and signing a minor league deal with a “hey, we’ll see” approach.

Colon did the latter.

As for getting an ace like “Bernard” or “Kashmir”, you can think about dismantling your future only if you think you’re one big player away from winning a WS. In case you missed last year post-season, here’s a scoop : the Sox ARE world champions.

They certainly can’t relax, but there’s no need to harm the future to fix a rotation that is pretty solid anyway. I would take Beckett, Dice-K, Lester, Wake and Buccholz as my starting staff any day of the week.

Hey, totally out of topic here, but has anyone here ever went to a baseball game with an e-ticket ? Is it really as valid as a hard ticket ?

*ever been

Hi everybody. And a special welcome to you, Bonovox67, I hope you continue to post your opinions; though you could stand a grammer lesson or two; you’ll surely fire up this blog.

As for the retired numbers, I’d certainly think that if David Ortiz plays out his career as a Red Sox he should have his number retired. Unless he disgraces himself in some unthinkable way. Although I doubt that scenario is on the horizon. ‘Tek maybe. But not Rice. As much as I think he was a great player and a great person, I just don’t see his career as deserving of a retired number. Clemens?, no, no, no. Boggs?, forget it. Pedro, no. Manny?, if he has some post-season dramatics like Ortiz in ’04. I guess I am just kind of stingy when it comes to retired numbers. Otherwise the outfield will be a wall of numbers and it won’t be all that special anymore.

The Red Sox hall of fame is a different story and that is where most of the aforementioned people should end up. I’m a little unsure what to think of Clemens. Sometimes it seems he is lying through his teeth about the Mitchell thing. Other times I wonder about Macnamee(how do you spell that?). How can you trust HIS word? In the end, Clemens may have been better off just saying, yea, I used steriods, I’m sorry. At least then he’d get a measure of respect for owning up. Because the longer it goes on the more he seems to be covering up, and his statements seem a little too contrived. Whoops, got off on a tangent there.

Anyhow, Happy Spring Training everyone.

Any player that sold his soul to the pinstripes deserves instant disqualification of the Sox retiring their number, imo. If the Man Ram has both of his option years picked up and stays with the team as he sais he wants to do, I’d say his number will be retired. He’s got to be going to the HoF, and Manny represented the fear in the heart of our order for this golden era in Sox history. Tek should be no brainer, even if he doesn’t make the HoF. He led thi team through this period, and you can’t deny his importance to the team. I think it’s too early to tell for Papi, but if he continues the way he has he shoul be a shoe-in. I’d like to see some of our pitchers from this era included. That would be Pedro, though he didn’t go the full 10 required seasons. It’s too early to see with any of the rest of them, though maybe Beckett could if he becomes a RS lifer and he continues to have a succesful career, which I believe he is capable of.

rs34, We’ve been to both regular season and ST games on E tickets. I had absolutely NO problem what so ever. It does seem a bit strange walking up to the window with a sheet of paper though!!

What about Wakefield??? He has the Creds plus he has had a hand in both seasons of World Series wins.

I’d say Wake will make the Sox HoF but not Cooperstown, so I don’t think he will be able to have his number retired.

rsox_34, I have used e-tickets to go see the Sox in Tampa. I have never had a problem. They work fine.

Speaking of tickets, I have two SRO tickets for the Sox game against Cincy next week. I will be unable to attend. Would like to give them to one of you regular bloggers who I know will appreciate them. Email me at gsm52@comcast.net if you’re interested.

Hey everybody!
Glad to see Mo in the rsox HOF, he deserves it!

About the Colon signing, I think it is a good one. It beats Tavarez and Snyder as the starter.

Like Peter Gammons said on ESPN yesterday, they got him so Buch and Lester won’t pitch 200 inninings

Thanks a lot gsm.

I’m about to buy 3 e-tickets for the D-Backs/Red Sox game on June 23. My only fear about those seats ( grandstand 8 ) is the possibility of a pole obstructing our view. I guess we’re gonna take a chance.

Thanks to you too Ellen. Just saw your post about e-tickets.

rsox, I bought “obstructed view” tix last year for a Sox-Yanks game that were in the lower grandstand behind home plate and thy were some of the best seats I’ve sat in at Fenway. What was obstructed? Half of the Green Monster.

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