Annoyed by Must Wins

I thought I’d start the week by getting this non-Red Sox matter off my chest. When I was driving on Sunday morning and early Sunday afternoon, I must have heard the Patriots-Dolphins game referred to as a “MUST WIN” about 14 times.

Realizing that it was a crucial game, and not understating that, it was not a MUST Win. If the Pats had lost, would the season have been over? Would nobody have talked about this Sunday’s game against the Steelers because the Pats had just lost that MUST WIN Game?

They have five games left. Even if they lost to Miami, I’m quite sure they would have made the playoffs if they had run the table.

Anyone who watched the Red Sox-Yankees ALCS in 2004 should know better than to call anything but a potential elimination game a MUST WIn. Here is why. When the Sox lost the first two games at Yankee Stadium, everyone called Game 3 at Fenway a must win. Well, the Sox were pummeled in Game 3, 19-8. They then got into the truly must win situation and won all four to save the season.

So don’t tell me about a must win until a loss means complete elimination. As long as you are breathing, you still have a chance.

OK, glad i got that off my chest.



I’m not sure if it was a “must win” for the Pats yesterday in South Florida but it was a very important win for sure. If the Pats lost yesterday it would have been there 3rd loss in the division ( translation wild card ) and with the Jets winning in the music city yesterday ( N.E. would have been 3 games behind the Jets ) that would have been an uphill battle for the division. With the win yesterday they remain 1 game behind the Jets and still have a great shot at the division. A must win???A big win for the Pats. I think we can all agree on that!

How about the improvement of Matt Cassell.
Pats will win at home vs Pitts…sorry Jeff! lol.

Brian, Matt Cassel is going to be shown what a real NFL pass rush is when he faces the Steelers! I will be surprised if New England scores more than 14 points. My prediction: Pittsburgh 24, New England 10.

The report that Tazawa has decided on the Red Sox is encouraging. Another top pitching prospect. Rooster wrote about Felix Doubront being added to the 40-man roster. He is someone to watch, as is cacher Mark Wagner, another one added to the 40-man roster. I’m not as excited about the third guy added to the 40-man roster – Hunter Jones. He is a left-handed reliever who struggles against left-handed hitters.

The reported one-year offer to Varitek sounds to me like the Sox are not serious about resigning him. Boras claiming that Varitek should get a Posada-like contract because Bob Boone and Carlton Fisk had bounce-back years at 37 is laughable – especially the comparison to Fisk, who had 376 home runs in his career. Varitek is excellent behind the plate, but he is far from Fisk at the plate.


Is there a Red Sox prospect named Jim Callis? Can you tell me about him?


Pitts. does have a good pass-rush but Cassell has some athletic ability and can move in the pocket and avoid the pass rush. I’m guessing Ben R. throws a pick or two and he’ll get dumped a few times as well. N.E. scoring only 10 points, highly unlikely. Last time I checked they have Welker and Moss.

N.E. 24
Pitts. 17


I only saw Hunter Jones pitch once this past season, in Pawtucket (the game over the Memorial Day Weekend when Buchholz pitched his first PawSox start, and both Cris Carter and Brandon Moss hit HR’s, and the stadium was full and rocking) but I liked what I saw. I’m certainly no pitching coach or guru, but he seemed to have major league stuff that night.

As much as it always kills me to do so, I must agree with BosoxBrian: I think the Pats will have their way with the Steelers. It’s at home and the Steelers can’t seem to find a way to win against the Pats. Plus the Pats face another “should win” game (my apologies to Ian — [lol])

Matt Cassel is really showing his pre-free agent mettle — I loved the remark that Chris Collinsworth was reported to have made near the end of the Pats/Phins game yesterday — Somebody has to get Cassel a supermodel, ‘cuz right now he’s Tom Brady! Clever, clever!!

Jeff, the Pittsburgh defense doesn’t scare me as much as the New England defense does. I doubt the Steelers will be able to run effectively against the Patriots, but it’s likely Rothlesberger will have lots of time to throw against a very porous New England secondary and a defensive line that has shown little ability to put pressure on quarterbacks. I could see Rothlesberger throwing for 300+ on Sunday. However, the Pittsburgh rush will encounter a very good New England offensive line that is getting its act together. Cassel will have time to throw and the Patriots will have some effective runs from the shotgun. It’s going to be a shootout and I don’t think the Steelers can out shoot the Patriots. Pats 38, Steelers 31.

Ian …… a “Must Win” isn’t a “MUST WIN”, it’s just a “Must Win”. There’s a difference. It doesn’t mean going into a fourth game of a seven game series down 0-3, it just means that barring some miracle, you might as well be doing that. If the Patriots lost yesterday, they would have needed a miracle to make the playoffs, beginning with winning thier five remaining games which they are unlikely to do.

No results found. Please try your search again.

Player’s last name: Callis

Ian – all the announcers were Jets fans and they were saying to try and bolster the Jets claim that they are the team to beat. I have faith in my Pats and YES I see them in the playoffs!

If Tek wants to come back to the Sox for a year, at whatever salary they agree upon, I think Bore-*** should stay out of the picture. Maybe Bore-*** isn’t making enough $$$. He really screwed up the Yankee Arod negotiations. Let Tek make up his own mind.

Ian, I heard the other night that Marv Levy once said that the only MUST WIN was WWII. Great quote, he has his priorities straight.

Scott Boras is a menace to the game. I am actually hating him. He is arrogant and conceited and is decaying the game. In fairness, he is also quite aware of the “Be Stupid” signs posted all over general manager’s offices. The idea of a 4 year contract to Varitek is just as moronic as the one offered to Zazu. If owners were smart they would avoid signing anyone from Scott Boras until he moves back into reality.

Phil/Dave: I agree fully with both of you. I am afraid that Boras is going to price Tek right out of Fenway.. and yes, Tek should take the same road that ARod took (ooh, that hurts even saying he did something right!lol) fire Boras and handle the negotiations one on one with the RedSox FO..
He knows the management better than Boras does.
Tek… Dont listen to that moneymonger egomaniac!!!! Come Back Tek, Come Back!!!!

I’ve made these comments before, and I’ll make them again. This topic of negotiating representatives is something I am familiar with, as I regularly negotiate labor union contracts on behalf of employers, and have my name scrawled all over restrooms in some unflattering terms as a result of my efforts.

Its easy to vilify a bargaining representative, and that is typically one of the prime purposes of the bargaining rep…to take the animosity away from the employment relationship after the bargaining is done. However, don’t ever misunderstand that the representative advocates positions not approved by the player. I am confident that Boraas and A-Rod had agreed on the tack initially taken over last Winter, and then A-Rod recognized that he’d navigated himself right into a corner, so Boraas falls on his sword, and A-Rod gets a slightly better deal.

A general manager has to properly evaluate the worth of any player who he/she is considering offering a contract to, whether that’s a free agent, or one whose contract is currently being considered for extension. A player trying to get himself a better deal will take advantage of any circumstances that will enhance his ability to increase his contractual compensation. That’s the way the game is played.

But so will management. Having trekked virtually all of the performance hardware home, do we really think DP is only worth the $600,000 or so annual salary he is scheduled to be paid in 2009? From what I can tell, his contract did not even include bonus provisions for any of the awards he earned.

Go back to last Winter with me. While he had had a good season, the only award Mikey L. won was World Series MVP, and it was worth what, $13 — $14 Mil. per year over 3 years. Does anyone want to try to tell me that DP’s last 2 seasons haven’t been the equal of Mikey’s 1st two in Boston? And yet, next year Mikey, after a significantly down year, will be making substantially more than DP will. Its just the nature of the situation that causes something like this to happen. Playing seniority has pushed Mikey into a significantly higher compensation bracket, and that’s where it is expected he will stay, at least until his performance markedly declines for a significant period. As he continues to play in the league, so the theory goes, DP’s salary will continue to rise, eventually getting to, or beyond that of Mikey’s.

Now I suspect the Sox will attempt to adjust DP’s salary. They do that, not out of the goodness of their hearts. They do it 1) to keep the player satisfied so that when the day comes that he could look at other possibilities, he will be less inclined to do so, and 2) so that when the day comes when he is eligible for salary arbitration, the team won’t get so badly clobbered. I believe Youk is now eligible for salary arbitration, and will file for it unless the Sox significantly enhance his compensation. So far as I am aware, the Sox have never put on a salary arbitration case, but rather have always settled with the player in question prior to the hearing. I think this is smart for the team, as it retains a shread of amicability with the player.

Most players (Schill being one of the exceptions) would rather not wade into their salary negotiation activity. On the one hand, you have to seriously tout your abilities. On the other hand, I suspect some of the non-public negotiation interaction is not all that pleasant (believe me, I have been through a significant amount of negotiation unpleasantness), and most players would rather not have to suffer those hard feelings with their employer.

So, enter the bargaining agent. No matter what Boraas says about Tek’s value, shame on Theo if he doesn’t have Tek’s value gauged in his mind. He did with both Pedro and Damon, and called those both correctly. Last Winter, Theo decided he would not continue to pay Eric Hinske $5 Mil + per year to work for the Sox as a substitute. The Sox went out and got Sean Casey for under $1 Mil. Hinske went to Tampa signed for under $1 Mil. and had a good year: 20 HR’s, 60 RBI’s, .247 BA in 380+ AB’s. Why wouldn’t Hinske take “Casey” money to stay with the Sox and have that kind of year? Undoubtedly, Hinske and the Sox did not agree on Hinske’s value, and Hinske decided to go out and test the market to see what his value was. That meant cutting ties with the Sox and moving to another club. I suspect that for 2009, Hinske’s value will be closer to the $5 Mil. he sees, rather than the $800,000 the Rays paid. In all likelihood, he will not resign with the Rays, but will go to another club which more closely agrees to Hinske’s view of his value.

Take Alex Cora as another example. Undoubtedly, the Sox could resign him for another year or more at the $2 Mil +/- they have paid him over the past couple of years. He’s a decent “fill-in” glove with limited range, limited speed and limited stick, who is a positive influence in the clubhouse. I don’t think Theo believes he is “league average” or better at that position (I always hear Theo, when measuring the capabilities of his players, saying he wants to be at least “league average” at all positions, and then have those players who are well above “league average” to help the Sox succeed). The Sox may pursue adding Juan Uribe to their squad. His power numbers are better than Cora’s and his fielding seems somewhat better, but his salary is 2+ times higher. To get above league average at any position is going to cost you, unless you get the performance from your farm system, where you can artificially hold the costs down for a while as a result of the rules in place which allow teams to recoup the costs associated with their farm systems.

Some team is going to pay CC Sabathia over $100,000 Mil. to commit to pitching for them for 6 years or more. The team that ultimately does that will be betting on future performance based on what has happened in the past. Will the team that eventually signs him get performance for the money (which will undoubtedly all be guaranteed regardless of what follows) that approximates the 8 years Pedro gave the Sox, or the 4 or so years Carl Pavano has given the Yanks, or the 2 years (thus far) Barry Zito has given the Giants, or something in-between? It’s a gamble on both sides, with the players trying to maximize their compensation.

Some team is likely going to give Big Teix upwards of $200 Mil. for performance over the next 8 or so years, and frankly, I hope its the Sox. The Sox got the performance they were hoping for the last time they extended that long a contract, for Zazu, and that was one of the essential puzzle pieces that got the Sox to the next level (along with getting lucky with the pick-up of David Ortiz). The successful team will be banking on his past performance continuing, and on his ability to avoid injuries or accidents. Will that pan out? His 6 years in the bigs thus far look remarkably like Manny’s 1st 6 did. That’s certainly the hope, but the hope doesn’t always pan out. When the Yanks paid Jason Giambi a lot of money to play 1B for them, they assumed that his performance with the A’s would continue for them. Then, we became aware that the performance was enhanced, and it declined when the enhancement was removed. That’s a rather extreme case, but all sorts of things can happen.

I do not begrudge any employee, athlete, lawyer, auto worker, doctor, baker, candlestick maker, or whatever, from making whatever they can legitimately. If that involves the use of a bargaining agent, so be it. However, when you begin to castagate an agent for his/her conduct, remember that in virtually every situation, the represented individual approves of that conduct.

All Tek has to say is “send me the contract and I’ll sign it.” When he doesn’t do that, he is condoning the activities of his bargaining agent. Frankly, I don’t fault him. He recognizes this is his last big payday. Even if he winds up in coaching for the Sox or someone else, he will never be paid the sort of money he is now being paid. As one of the most successful managers in the business, what’s Tito making $3 Mil? Joe Torre, perhaps the most revered manager, is making what, $6 Mil? Tek just concluded a 4 year contract of $10 Mil per, and is looking for that for as long as he can get it.

I remember when Bronson Arroyo gave the Sox a “hometown” discount, figuring that he would be staying in Boston, where he wanted to be, but failed to get a “no-trade” clause in return for the discount. The ink was still wet on the contract when the Sox sent him packing to Cincinnnati for Willy Mo. This is a business for the Sox — they have let Mo Vaughn, Pedro and Johnny Damon go to other teams offering more money when each of them were still significant performers. In each case, the Sox were correct in their business judgment.

That business judgment goes both ways. More power to players who employ bargaining agents who see as their goal acquiring the maximum compensation for their clients.

Unfortunately, that means higher prices at the ballpark for you and me. But with the Sox selling out each and every game, and many of those sold out tix going on or some other secondary ticket sales market for 4-10 times its face value, do you really think we have reached the point of maximum ticket price the Sox can charge?

So kick the Boraas dog if you want, but recognize that when he barks, he is barking on the cue he gets from his master.

It still feels good to kick Boreass!!!

Very well put, Dbenjamin. The employer/employee relationship is, by its very nature, adversarial. It’s a delicate dance, getting as much value as you can for the money–employer. Getting as much money as you can for performance–employee. As fans of both the team and its players we look for a third party to despise when things go poorly, and as you said so well, the agent is that third party. So be it, it’s the way of the world.

We all have so much to give thanks for, and I am no exception. I have a wonderful husband who is always there for me. I have a wonderful family. We live in a country that allows me to do what I wish (within the law and reason of course). I am thankful for the Armed Forces personnel who give of themselves daily so we can remain free. I am thankful that I have a job that keeps the bill collectors away from the door and the power on in my home.
I give thanks that I am able to be a part of a group who are as passionate about the RedSox as I am. This is my “summer family”. I give thanks that I am able to see the RedSox play 162 games a season.
To all of my Brownie Points Buddies:
Thank You to all of you for making me a part of this again this year.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!!!

………..and a very Happy Thanksgiving to you too Ellen. You’re right, we do have a lot for which to be thankful. For me, every day I get to look down at the grass is a bonus, and I am thankful for that.

I’ve never met any of you guys who have been here on the forum with me for the past few years, yet I feel like some of you are close friends, and we’ve been through a lot together. Of course, it’s mostly about baseball and the Red Sox, but we have discussed a whole myriad of other subjects …………….. personal, professional and foolish. Arnie has cooked for us all; Dave has told us bed time stories; Jeff has tried to keep us sane (an impossible task); Dbenjamin provides legal assistance; Brian is our forum bartender; and for me Craig is a new found shipmate. Ellen (a/k/a Trixie) in her own naughty way keeps us honest and adds a much needed lady’s touch. We have it all.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Happy thanksgiving to you all. It’s been a great ride. I’ve been watching the 2004 playoffs on DVD. how the Sox have changed. Pedro did look darn spectacular out there when he had his stuff and Varitek looked like a spring chicken. Zazu looked healthy and utterly ineffective, Johnny Damen was an automatic out but Big Papi came through when you needed him. Tim Wakefield was a team player even back then and Trot Nixon was a deliver guy. Schilling was nasty when he got it right and Lowe was great. Timlin was actually effective and their closer (Holte??) I can never spell or get his name right) was downright dynamite. However, I feel the 2007 team was better. That was a team that came from the ground up.

Happy Thanksgiving to you all!
Rumor is that Texas demanded Buchholz for one of its catchers. The Sox declared Buchholz is not available under any circumstance and is willing to give up Masterson or Bowden. Interesting that the Sox FO is still so high on Buchholz who partially caused the Sox the division title in 2008. Don’t know how true the rumor is. But I am willing to give Buchholz another shot in 2009.

Despite working on “new mechanics,” Clay put up some nice numbers in Arizona including a 3.86 ERA in 21.0 innings. Will his development resume in Portland or Pawtucket?

I had a chance today to check the Sox minor league rosters but could not find a Jim Callis. Did you hear directly from Jeff?
You may answer directly to my E-mail below!

“Keith Charles Foulke” – boy, what a job Keith Foulke did for the Sox in 2004, especially in the post-season.

On a slightly different tack – I see MLB are showing Game 6 of the 2004 ALCS tomorrow, at 10am ET – Schill’s bloodied boot!

That was also the game in which Rodriguez knocked the ball out of Arroyo’s hand, to get to 1st & score Jeter; only for the ump’s to call foul.

1st – a brave call by the ump’s. 2nd – I reckon that single play pretty much sums up Rodriguez, & underlines how lucky we were that the proposed deal to bring him to Fenway fell through.

In all rivalries in sport, you kinda ‘hate’ certain players on your rivals’ team – Jeter, of course! But the hate is mingled with respect – Jeter’s done it all, & he was there when those pesky Yankees were doing there stuff back a few long years ago. Rivera – well, the guy is just so lights out, & such a gentleman, hate doesn’t really come into it.

Nor does it for Rodriguez, I reckon…partly because he’s never really done it (for all the numbers, there’s no ring, no post-season success), but mostly because he cheated, & was caught. That play says all you need to know about the ‘man’. Giambi cheated with the steroids, Rodriguez cheated on the field. In my book, that makes them beneath hate.

Could you ever imagine Youk, or Pedey, or Ellsbury, or Lowrie, or Lester, or Beckett, cheating?

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!!!!!

This is one of my favorite holidays because I get a chance to look back and realize that I , indeed, have a LOT to be thankful for. And a special “Thanks” to all of my friends here on Ian’s blog. Thanks to you, Ian, for having us! Have a safe and joyful holiday tomorrow. It’s been a privilege to be able to come on here and hang out with you all.

I love this… all my BIG STRONG men!!!! All the warm fuzzy’s!!!
OKAY everyone!!!! GROUP HUG virtual sty of course!!
Arnie… Are you working tomorrow, cooking at home, or have you taken the day OFF completely??


Wishing everyone a Safe and Happy Thanksgiving!!
Enjoy the time with your love ones.

Ellen, I’ll be off the whole day tomorrow! Yahoo! I only had to work for about two hours today. This is as close as I get to a vacation. I’ll be going over to my friend’s house and bringing some food. I’ve got the desserts and some side dishes and breads. My assignment is: Snowflake rolls, Pain au Levain( French-style sourdough bread), Boston Brown Bread, pumpkin pie, Key Lime pie, Coconut Macaroons, Chocolate truffles, mashed potatoes and butternut squash. My buddy is taking on the St. Louis ribs, ham, chicken, stuffing, veggies, cheeses, cranberry sauce, chips, Guacomole, chile verde. None of us likes turkey but we still eat the stuffing and cranberry sauce.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!!!! Great time of year….like Garry says “every day above ground is a good day!!!!” I’ll be playing golf all weekend starting on Friday. But baseball is always on my mind. Wonder if all the free agent happenings will be after the winter meetings here in Las Vegas. I keep waiting to hear some big news. Looks like the Angels are giving the Yankees some competition with CC. That will be fun to watch. Nice to see the new additions to Ian’s Blog and of course all the vets who have carried this thing on their backs for years!!!!! God bless the troops and their families where ever they may be during these holidays and God bless everyone on this blog. Talk to you soon!!!!!!
– Craig

May all of you, and your loved ones, have a safe and Happy Thanksgiving. Ditto for all of the Sox and their management. Next year, after we win the World Series we will have even more to be thankful for.

I found it, Jim Callis is the author of this piece I posted a few weeks ago:
Baseball America’s Top 10 Red Sox Prospects:

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving to you all. It’s been a great ride. Thanks for the correction — Foulke! Also here is another satire about baseball.

McDonalds and the Cleveland Indians will reinvent baseball.

In a startling move, McDonalds, the number one fast food franchise in the world, setup an exciting business deal that will change the game of baseball forever. ?Baseball will grow and change in the most exciting ways possible, ? says an excited McDonald?s employee.? Cleveland management had this to say: ?We did it to meet payroll after buying into another moronic Scott Boras deal involving $694 billion for ten years for Manny Ramirez. I?m a complete Mcmoron and now we?re playing McDonald-ball at the new Fillet-O-Fish park! I?m Mcpressed.?

Those new and exciting changes include those boring bases, which will now be changed from the ugly white bags to the classic McDonald land hamburger wrappers. Once a player touches a base — now called a hamburger, the wrapping on the bag unfolds and a sparkling hamburger emerges that will be given to a random audience member at no extra charge. The pitchers mound, now called the Big Mac mound, will be a huge reproduction of a Big Mac including the sesame seed bun will really highlight the field. Home plate will also see some exciting changes. It will be in the shape of the classic ?M?. The batter?s box will now be Ronald McDonald for a right hander and The Hamburgler for the left hander. A spokeswoman for McDonalds said ?Those two [Ronald McDonald and the Hamburgler] have been fighting for generations so it made sense to us to use them…wait?is there a point to this conversation? ?

But that?s not all! The outfield grass will also change into McDonald land classic yellow grass with a red road showing the various menu options that will spring up when a player runs over the button on the field. Several fractures have been reported from players running into advertisement signs but otherwise no problems were reported. Also, when a Mcrun is hit, an exploding Ronald McDonald head will spray mouth watering greasy thrown out French fries in the air along with small amounts of c-4 explosives.

In order to get everyone into a hungry mood, the game will still have nine double cheese burgers [innings] and still three fries [three strikes] still gets you a McShake [strikeout] or four apple pies [four balls] gets you a quarter pounder [a walk] to Hamburger [first base]. The baseball [chicken mcnugget] itself will now be colored yellow and salted and every player must wear the standard McDonalds minimum wage uniform with a puffy red hat with red hair. A spokesperson for McDonalds said ?It?s a you-deserve-a-break-day-today?today or?oh who comes up with this garbage!?

In order to show how well this would work, McDonalds setup an exhibition game featuring well paid volunteer all stars from around the league to play at the new Fillet-O-Fish stadium in Fillet-O-Fish Ohio.

(To help new viewers, here is a partial table of easy conversions)

Pitcher?s mound Big Mac
Pitch McNugget
Strike Fry
Ball Apple pie
Single/hit hamburger bun
First base hamburger
Double cheeseburger
Triple double cheeseburger
Home Run Big Mac heart attack
Inside the park Home Run Super Size me Big Mac heart and brain tumor attack.
Strike Fry
Ball Apple pie
Fastball chicken mcnugget
Curveball side salad
Slider apple pie salad
Cutter chicken salad
Knuckleball McDonaldland cookie
Sinker super size me meal with French fries and a delicious coca cola.
Double Play Double cheeseburger
Fly ball Mcskillet Burrito with sausage
Walk Four apple pies with icing
Stolen base Chicken selects premium breast strips.
Broken bat Snack size fruit and walnut salad
Bunt onion rings.

(Played on December 1, 2008)
?All right everyone, welcome to the Fillet-O-Fish stadium. I?m Joe French Fry Magrane of the Devil Rays and this is Bill ?Hamburgler? Buckner formally of the Red Sox. You?re Mcsaturated with Mcadvertisement and don?t turn the channel less you miss some stupid French Fry commercial. I?m McSick. ?
?Anyway, here is A-Rod taking Ronald McDonald. C.C. Sebastia is on the *******? America?s freshest hamburger and ready for the first McNugget I?m going to let Buckner take over. I have a bad mc-micgrane stomachache.

?Buckner here. Just want to mention that the ******* is the OTHER burger joint. The pitcher?s mound is the Big Mac. Keep is straight because??

?Wait a minute. I can?t have a stomach tablet because it?s not on the #$#4 menu. ?

?Calm down Joe. Anyway, looks like a chicken McNugget there for Fry number one. Ouch, that was way outside for apple pie 1. Wait?he got an onion ring but it was fouled off??

?How can anyone understand this nutty commentary! ?

?Hey Joe, I don?t believe it. The bats are made of hard rubber so they match the ones at McDonalds happy meal! So kids head out today to McDonalds??

?Wait, so for a stupid promotion, you can only bunt??

?Onion ring Joe. A bunt is an Onion ring!?

?This is nuts. I?m supposed to say that A-Rod got a hamburger bun by hitting a McSkillet Burrito with sausage and is now on the hamburger after making contact with the apple pie salad. Stop it. I can?t take all these moronic names.?

?Uh oh Joe. Sounds like you need the soothing taste of a McDonald?s partially gelatinized, non-dairy, McFlurry with M&M candies. The only shake that has the nerve to call itself food without actually including any. ?

?I can?t believe I?m listening to this insanity. No wonder CC Sebastia weighs 850 pounds now and?wait?instead of a sinker, I?m supposed to say a freaking ?super size me meal with French fries and a delicious coca cola.? That?s ridiculous. I?m not putting up with this freaking insanity! I Mc-quit. This is the Mc-stupidest Mc-thing I have ever Mc-heard of. This is not the McDonald?s network. It?s mc-baseball?crap now I?m adding mc to every other Mc-word. I can?t do this walking Mc-mercial anymore.?

?Hey, Joe I?ve got kids to feed. ?

?Well if you hadn?t let the ball go through your legs in game 6??

?Hey that?s not right Joe, I let an Apple Pie create a ketchup ??

?Stop it! We even say a ground ball any more because?because it?s probably called super sized fat fries or maybe a frosted strawberry milk shake! Where?s that Electro shock machine or am I supposed to call it a Happy Meal! This place is nuts. This isn?t baseball anymore! It?s the Cleveland looney bin?

?Joe?calm down!?

?How can I calm down when I have to stay things like A-Rod just did a Premium Grilled Chicken Club Sandwich [hit and run] but not before a Ranch Snap wrap [stolen base] but the run scored anyway because of a Chipotle BBQ Snack wrap grilled [suicide squeeze]??

?Excellent McWork Joe but we?re at a commercial break and you forgot to mention the delicious quarter pounder with cheese?or a Quarter Newton with cheese for our metric audience.?

?Bucker?what type of medication are you on anyway!?

Regrettably, McDonalds had to cut the feed after Joe jumped out the window and smashed into Ronald McDonald [batters box]. McDonalds does say it may not use the suicide stunt [a *******] for the new Happy Meal campaign but debate [barbeque sauce] continues.
In other news, the Yankees signing a contract with Burger King and The Devil Rays signing a contract with Mattel and Texas signing a contract with Depends diapers (now calling themselves the abdominal distensions) it seems clear that corporate sponsorship it here to stay. It only seems a matter of time before Fenway park will call itself a Toys ?R? Us World.

Hope everyone had a good Thanksgiving!!!!

A few thoughts, a couple of weks ago Ellen said not to trade for Willis and Robertson, and more thinking about it I tend to agree.
Neither pitchers at this point show me anything, also just paying extra at this point. Lugo may not what we expected but, his trade value is at a lowpoint. Sometimes biting the bullet is good. He does give us insurance at the SS position, and I feel can be a utility kind of infielder. Also, as season goes by injuries to other teams might help the trade value for him go up. Could also have a good season which could help his value. So looks like status quo on that.
Jason Varitek I think will be offered arbitration, I hope he accepts at this point in career. Can hopefully show his critics offense last year was a fluke, helps him out next year. Might give both sides time to determine if contract extension could be done. From what I have been reading, his value low to on other clubs sites. This is a good move for both parties.
Ben Sheets I am thinking in the lower price range starting pitchers on the free agent market, less innings at the back end of the rotation, and I feel has still has a lot to offer to any club. Pitching injuries happen to all clubs, so good to have as many quality starters without breaking the bank in rotation.
Well a few thoughts, things should start heating up a little before Dec. 1.
Have a good day everyone!!!

Hi, All! For those of you who are craving Red Sox information and enjoy a dose of Red Sox history, feel free to check out the latest column in the series, “Best Red Sox Players: A-Z.” Today’s column focuses on players whose last name end in “B.” I know Brian will enjoy the series of columns because they include references to some obscure Red Sox players as well as the all-time greats. I am writing columns from A to Z leading up to spring training. Can’t wait until the Hot Stove League heats up at the winter meetings.


To Suggestion–You may want to have two separate categories re: your alphabet ratings– one for pitchers and one for players. It is difficult enouigh to combine everyone and then select one individual for each letter of the alphabet.

To Anyone
Does anyone know what Hideki Okajima is looking at on the underside of his cap bill prior to stepping to the rubber for his first live pitch in a game? I tried to find out through his interpreter pre-game and got nowhere.

Probably a picture of a Japanese porn star!! lol

Cafardo’s Latest: Lowe, Lowell, Dye, Saltalamacchia

Kramer… Sorry, but that simply looked like someone who was trying to make a deadline, with not much to say but big names to “not” say it.. nothing personal.

Rule 5 draft sleeper this year, Eduardo Morlan. Was in New Britain, very fast got to see him, before trade. Good fastball, but really good slider. Just a little bit wild.

This thread started with Ian expressing his annoyance at games considered “Must Wins” for teams. With the Patriots embarrassing loss to the Steelers yesterday, they have to look at the remainder of their schedule as “Must Wins.”

I think its unlikely that the Pats win their division, as they have for a number of years in a row. The Jets are 8-4, and unlikely to lose more than 1 of their last 4 games vs. Buffalo, Miami, SF and Seattle. If both stood at 11-5, I am unclear what the tie-breaker would do: they would have split their season series, assuming the Jets’ 1 additional 1 loss came vs. Miami or Buffalo and the Pats won out, they would have identical Division and conference records. The Jets are likely to have scored more points, and to have the higher points scored differential. To win their division again this year, the Pats will almost assuredly have to compile an 11-5 record, and that may not even be good enough.

Alternatively with Baltimore and Indianapolis both at 8-4 and having a tie-breaker edge vs. the Pats, you have to figure they will both go at least 10-6 (Indy has games vs. Cincy, Det., Jax and Tennessee left, Baltimore a tougher road in Wash., Pitts, Dallas and Jax left). If the Pats are to get into the play-offs via a Wild Card, they almost have to get to 11-5 to get themselves beyond one of those teams. Compiling a 10-6 record and hoping that Baltimore finishes at 9-7 I believe is a slim hope.

While I resisted calling yesterday’s game a “Must Win,” I did suggest it was a “Should Win,” for it would have moved the Pats into a “record tie” at 8-4 with the Jets, Indy and Baltimore, and would have also improved their Conference Record. Certainly it is no embarrassment to lose to a talented team like the Steelers. However, to lose on turn-overs, particularly turn-overs coming at crucial moments in the game, is more reflective of what Belichek teams do to others, not what they have done to themselves. It was a disappointing display. They now have 2 consecutive games again on the West Coast. The last time they went out there, they stayed out there after beating SF and got handled by San Diego. Lets see if the travel plans are different this time around, or if they are better able to motivate themselves spending 10 consecutive days away from home.

Thanks Kramer!!! I guess I was just suffering from withdrawl (arent we all)…. Didnt mean for that to read like that… sorry….

Just bringing news from other sources that you may not have time to check!


I think the Pats will win out. I don’t think that is saying much, there remaining opponents couldn’t make the B.C.S. lol.

It was proven last night the Pats are at best a medicore football team. A team with alot of holes. I thought going into that game they would win for sure. What was I thinking? The Steelers looked pretty darn good. Matt Light got used and abused thru-out the game. He looked like a human turn-style. Moss also had the case of the dropsies. Cassell looked over-whelmed. N.E. also has one of the worst secondaries in the N.F.L. They couldn’t cover me. LOL!! Deltha O’Neal should have been released weeks ago! Brady or no Brady the Pats wouldn’t have won it all. With Brady they would win 12 games but they would have lost sometime deep in the playoffs. Either in the conference championship game or the Super Bowl.

The Steelers are a good team. When they have a lead late in the game, they suck the life right out of a team. I think the Steelers are the 3rd best team in the A.F.C.( sorry Jeff ) I also think the Colts are the team too beat in the A.F.C. It could be a Manning vs Manning Super Bowl. I would be very surprised if the Giants don’t get too Tampa.

How would you like too be a Longhorn fan? Why have a reg. season in college. It didn’t matter if Texas beat Oklahoma. What a STUPID system! I could go on and on but why bother. I am gonna go with Bama over Florida. The Bama O.L. might be the difference.

I guess Ohio State will end up in the Sugar Bowl and play the loser of Bama–Florida. Not a good football year for you Dbenjamin. LOL!!

That’s alright, Brian, you said the Pats would win 24-17, so you’ve lost some credibility🙂 I predicted a 24-10 Steelers win, so I guess I didn’t give the Steelers enough credit. The Steelers are the second best team in the AFC right now, maybe even the best. After all, they have the toughest schedule in the NFL. They can make a statement when they play Tennessee in three weeks, but they first have Dallas and Baltimore before ending the season with a likely win against Cleveland. It’s amazing what the Steelers have been able to accomplish this season despite being banged up all season long. The running game is crucial for Pittsburgh, but Willie Parker has been far from 100 percent and Rashard Mendenhall was lost for the season before making his debut. The defense has definitely carried them. It is like a dominant pitching staff in baseball. A great defense will be a great offense most of the time. I think the Patriots are a soft team. They were last year, too, but they can better afford to be soft with someone as exceptional as Tom Brady at quarterback. This year, with Cassel, they don’t have that luxury. If you want to see true, physical football, watch Pittsburgh and Baltimore in two weeks. Personally, I think Baltimore is better than Tennessee. Baltimore has the same tough schedule that Pittsburgh does.

Now that the Steelers-Patriots game is over, I can get back to agreeing with my Boston sports fan friends. I am a lifelong Celtics fan, too. Tonight’s win over Orlando was impressive. I am anxious for the Sox to sign Mark Teixeira. I have also written that I want them to sign Willie Bloomquist to replace Alex Cora, acquire Jarrod Saltalamacchia and sign Rocco Baldelli to replace Coco Crisp. Bloomquist can play the infield and the outfield, and he has speed so he can pinch-run. I think the backup first baseman (and they can both play left field too, though they don’t have good gloves or speed) will be Jeff Bailey or Chris Carter. I think one of the other deserves a chance and will fill the role well. I still believe that the Sox need to bring in Lowe or Burnett. I don’t like the idea of relying on Wakefield to last the entire season, and Buchholz or Bowden to emerge.



Your given me too much credit by stating I lost some credibilty. I never knew I had any credibility. LOL!!

One thing that is certain….The Celtics should play the Cavs in the Eastern Finals….Celtics and Cavs are clearly the 2 best teams in the East.

I’m not too high on Baldelli as the 4th outfielder. I would like too see someone that has a track record of staying healthy. One thing that is very rare in baseball is a righthanded hitting 4th outfielder. Payton and perhaps some others, not many.

dbenjamin – If both the Pats and Jets finish 11-5, the Jets’ loss would have to come against Miami or Buffalo. I think the Jets have only one division loss at this time, and the Patriots have two. That would be the first tie breaker. The next tie breaker is record against common opponents. Let’s say the Jets lose to Miami or Buffalo and the Patriots win out. The Patriots would have the advantage because the beat Oakland, while the Jets lost to Oakland and Denver while the Patriots beat both of those teams. So far, both the Jets and the Patriots lost to San Diego and beat all other common opponents. However, none of that matters unless the Jets lose two games, or lose one game to either Miami or Buffalo. After the common opponents, conference record comes into play. You can find the whole scenario at the following site:

Jeff, the Steelers were the better team on Sunday. You don’t have to go beyond turnovers to figure out why they won the way they did. The Patriots offensive line played very well against the vaunted Steeler pass rush in the first half. Cassel had plenty of time to throw but was consistently off target. He had two interceptions, but that number could easily have been five. I’m not sure what happened in the second half. However, turnovers will quickly take the wind out of any team’s sails.

Brian’s credibility ……… sounds like an oxymoron to me. That being said, I thought the Patriots would beat the Steelers too. I didn’t think Cassel would regress the way he did, I never anticipated the turnovers, and I didn’t think the Steelers would be able to run against the Patriots. I thought they would force Roethlesberger’s hand and that doesn’t ususally fare well for the Steelers. The Patriots played a sloppy and poorly executed game, period. I think they lost that game more than the Steelers won it.

Varitek will take the offer. Believe me he is not very highly sought after on the free agent market. GM’S are thinking why pay 10m+ when they can get a catcher for 3-5M a year, who does the same thing. I read that at this point David Ross is a better deal than Varitek, more inquiries about him and he might make 5m. Boras better wake up and look at the best interest in his client. Lets talk truth, we are not talking about handling pitching staffs, catching no-hiitters, great leader all this stuff. Owners and GM’S think if we are going to pay 10m+ for a catcher, he better damn well hit too. Too expensive for just defense. Theo Epstein is thinking along the same way, hey he was good and we paid him for that. If Varitek feels, not Boras that he will do better on the open market, then God Bless Him. If Boras feels this way, then he is not doing his job, for what is best for client, stop living in a dream world. Baseball is starting to change, more and more teams are looking for younger and CHEAPER players. You can see it by the development and emphasis in the minor leagues. It would shock me if Varitek does not accept arbitration this time. Things could change, and show that the last year and a half was something that was happening in his personal life that affected his offensive output. I sort of doubt that, but I hope I am wrong. Anyway it would help the Sox if he would return one more year.
I also think that Tito is running this team, I think if he comes back he will not be catching as often as in the past. Future has to start sometime. I think they bring someone up from the minors, and not make the trade with Texas. To me this makes more sense, have someone already in the organization that you are already familiar with, then to bring someone from another organization, where you do not know anything about.
It seems we have many Boston people who already know these Texas catchers. Sorry I am not familiar with any of them. Laird, Salty, Teagarden have caught a total of 487 games. Laird .984 Fielding% that aint getting it done, Salty .985 and this is the best one Teagarden caught all of 12 major league games and has a .961 %. Now I see why Theo did not want to make a trade. Josh Bard is a better deal caught 384 games with a .993 fielding % and switch hitter.
Well Tek I feel will come back, but things are going to be different. Take Care Everyone!

Hey to all!! I play backgammon on and I’m ALWAYS running into basball fans there. They start talking ball because I’m REDSOXFAn there. I’ve met some really nice people there and some bas on.. I just played a guy who is a Kansas City fan,, (he’s got our Coco) and I told him about our “Summer Family” and I invited him over.. I think he said his name is Dale.. So when he comes over lets make this Baseball withdrawl feeling person feel at home!!!!
He too is counting the days to p’s and c’s!!!! He’ll fit right in!!

rooster…(in my opinion) He’s not going to accept the abritration… He’s too smart for that.. Becasue the Sox offered the arbitration does not mean that that is the end of their interest.. if they weren’t interested they wouldnt have offered.. (see Trot Nixon, see Bill Mueller etc, etc, …) they sre just testing the waters…

I agree with you Ellen, there’s no way Tek accepts arbitration. Besides not getting the length of contract he wants, he might stand a chance at losing based on his performance last season. He’s on the tail end of a pretty good career. His big pay day was the last contract the Sox gave him.

There’s no way he gets Posada money. Posada shouldn’t have gotten Posada money. His contract was a joke and the Yankees were the only team falling for it. I love Tek, but his days as a high priced catcher are over. If he gets 25M for three years, he’d be doing well.

I hate to say this, but the Sox broke with their philosophy by signing Mike Lowell after 2007. I really hope Mikey comes back with a vengeance this season, but the older you get, the tougher it is to come back from the kind of injury he had. What happened to him this past season is the kind of thing that happens to older players. At least the Sox only signed him for three years. However, to Mikey’s credit, he is a warrior and if he can play, he will. He isn’t a guy to sit with a minor “boo boo”.

I think the Sox will look at Teixeira, but he won’t wind up in Boston. There’s no way Theo signs him for 10 years. Someone will pay him a ludicrous amount of money, but it won’t be the Sox. Ditto for A J Burnett who wants five years. Theo is smarter than the average Yankee GM who after being victimized by Carl Pavano will certainly give Burnett what he wants. Personally, I don’t think Tex makes the Sox that much better if all hands are healthy. In fact, Youk or Lowell would have to go which certainly would make the infield weaker defensively. Youk is a Gold Glover at first base, but not so at third.

It is a comforting thought that the Sox will have Dustin Pedroia for the next 6 years at the bargain price of $40.5M.
Since there is no major movement at Hot Stove, let me predict where the prominent players will end up in 2009.
CC Sabathia ? a NL or AL team in west coast
Teixeira ? LAA or Red Sox
AJ Burnett stays with Toronto
D Lowe ? LAD or Red Sox

Garry, I disagree with you about Youk. Though Lowell statistically is the best all-time third baseman in big league history, Youkilis is no slouch. In fact, I think he can win a gold glove (or provide gold glove caliber defense, since the award is political anyway, after all, Derek Jeter won one) at third base. It makes sense for the Sox to bring in a 28-year-old Teixeira at first and move Youkilis to third. I do agree with you that Boston will not offer Tex 10 years. Maybe eight. It depends on how badly he wants to win a World Series and if he thinks Boston is the ideal place.

007chow, I agree with you about Pedroia. Hopefully, Youkilis is next.

Ellen, the Sox offered Varitek arbitration to protect themselves in the event they do not resign him. Since he is a Type A free agent, they will get the first round pick of the team that would sign him, and a sandwich pick between the first and second rounds. I do think Boston is interested, but not beyond two years. Varitek would be wise to accept arbitration since he would likely earn $10-12 million in 2009 and prove himself with a bounce back year at the plate. However, I would be shocked if he did accept.


I’ll chime in and offer my thoughts where some big name free agents end up in 2009 and beyond. No particular order.

Ramirez….Dodgers or Yankees
Sabathia…..Angels, Dodgers, Giants
Texeria…..Angels, Red Sox, Yankees or Nationals
Lowe….Mets, Yankees or Red Sox
Burnett….Yankees, Braves, Orioles or Cards

Youk is solid at third base. Lowell is better at third but Youk can hold his own at the hot corner. When filling in for Lowell at third, Youk has made some gold glove caliber plays. Youk is a ballplayer and all he wants too do is play!

Great job by Theo and company, locking up Pedroia. I assume Youk is next and Papelbon.

I think Boston will give Texeria a contract of no more than 7 years. 10 years is unlikely, have the Yankees offer 10 years!

Congratulations to Dustin Pedroia, the Red Sox, and to us for the contract worked out today that will keep Dustin in Boston for at least six years. From Pedroia’s perspective, he is set for life. He could have waited and made more money through arbitration and free agency a couple of years earlier. However, as reckless as he is on the field, he takes a chance by waiting that he might be injured. This is a good deal for him, and for the Sox. The Sox get a quality player at a reasonable price and Pedroia, if he continues to perform, will still be worth a bundle when this contract expires. Good job Dustin and Theo.

I thoroughly enjoyed the explanation for contract negotiating by D. Benjamin. The agent is being the “bad cop”, right? But in sports player negotiation isn’t the agent working for just that individual, whereas in union contract negotiation the agent/rep is working for the union members. The advantage goes to the sports negotiation, thus the absurd amounts of money.

And will someone explain how and why “Zasu” began?

Congratulations to Dustin Pedroia – an award well-deserved. He makes the game exciting to watch.

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