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.