Mike Kahn: A great boss and even better man

I’ve been a little out of sorts over the last couple of days since hearing that Mike Kahn, my first boss, died at the age of 54.

Mike had fallen ill over the last few months to lung cancer. However, right before Thanksgiving, we got some great news from Mike and his family. The doctors, though they had to remove a lung and reconstruct the lung cavity, had gotten all of the cancer out of Mike’s system. It seemed as if Mike was going to get through this terrible ordeal still standing, which didn’t surprise me because I knew full well what a strong man he was. This guy was a fighter all the way.

But sometime recently, Mike developed a post-operative infection. That turned into pneumonia and his heart simply gave out either late Wednesday night.

It’s been a tough loss to swallow, for many reasons. First of all, Mike leaves behind a great family that he absolutely loved, including long-time wife Jo Ann, son Andy and daughter Sarah, not to mention a grandchild who had changed his life wonderfully.

On a personal level, it’s hard for me to swallow because Mike was the guy who officially got me into the world of journalism. Sure, I had my internship at the Boston Globe and Don Skwar, Larry Ames and Bill Griffith and all of the great editors and writers there were tremendous and put me in position to get a full-time job. But Mike was the guy who gave me the chance in the “real world”.

I was 24 years old. It was 1996. The Internet was just starting. Mike, a long-time writer for various papers and an NBA expert, was hired by SportsLine USA — which later became CBS SportsLine and now CBSSports.com — to be the managing editor. Mike literally got that site off the ground. He had a vision that this site — that didn’t even have a major media partner like CBS at the time — could be a major player and compete with ESPN.com and the like. It might have sounded preposterous, but not the way Mike sold it. He was so persuasive about his goals for the company and it was hard not to take him at his word.

Mike’s vision was to turn SportsLine — and later CBS SportsLine — into “The National” of the Internet. Many of you who read this blog probably know that the National was a paper in 1989-90 or thereabouts that had opinionated writers from all over the country chime in on sports from a regional basis. It was one-stop shopping. Unlike the National, which unfortunately folded, CBS  SportsLine became the power Mike had envisioned.

Mike’s enthusiasm and zest for sports rubbed off on all those who worked under him. I can’t even describe how much confidence he gave me. Without any major experience, Mike told me to go cover the Stanley Cup Finals in 1996. By 1997, I was covering the ALCS, the World Series and the NCAA Tournament. He threw “the kid” in the water, and fortunately, I swam. I’m not sure how many other people in his position would have given me a chance like that, and that’s why I am forever grateful to him.

At the time, we were all based in a little office in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. with satellite dishes on the roof. It was my first year away from home and Mike and his family graciously invited me to their home for Thanksgiving dinner. It was typical Mike. Mike was my boss, but he made me feel like extended family.

After a couple of years in Lauderdale, SportsLine took the next editorial step, putting writers in various pockets of the country rather than all of us brainstorming under one roof in South Florida. Mike moved me to New York City as a one-man bureau, where I was set free to cover all things baseball and all things New York from 1998-2001.

Eventually, Mike and I both went on to different career endeavors, but I always felt connected to him. And now, there’s a certain feeling of “disconnect” because  this great man is no longer around.

As a pioneer in web journalism, Mike fueled a lot of careers — in the writing, editing and supervisory capacity — and I’m sure every single person I’m speaking of feels as empty as I do right now.

But we can all smile at the great memories that Mike left us with. He is the only person I knew who loved a pastrami sandwich as much as I did. He also loved to debate about sports as much as I did, and we seemed to disagree on quite a few subjects, but we shared a similar passion for our arguments. Even in those days Mike was a boss, he stayed in the writing game, serving as the journalism equivalent to player-manager.

You could always tell when Mike was writing because of the way he pounded the keyboard and was so locked in on what he was writing. If you tried to have a conversation with Mike while he was writing, he might try to answer, but it would be kind of a blank stare. The man was engrossed with what he was doing, whatever subject he was writing or reporting on and I think all journalists can relate to that.

When I was entrenched in New York, Mike and I got to cover the NBA Finals together at Madison Square Garden in 1999. While the series itself was not memorable, the time I spent with Mike was. We would take the media bus from the media hotel to Madison Square Garden every day and have great chats. After the game, we would back to the hotel and have more fun times in the media hospitality suite.

In recent weeks, Mike and I had been in semi-frequent touch. I was awed by the way he was battling his illness. And each time we exchanged e-mails, he always asked that I pass along my best to my wife Amy and my kids, which meant a lot.

So now I ask all of you to please think of the great family that Mike leaves behind and remember the most important lesson of all — to try to live in the moment as much as impossible.

Ian Browne.

76 Comments

I am so sorry to hear of the lose of your friend. Take comfort in the fact that he will live on through the work of all of you who he touched. My thoughts and prayers are with his family and all of you, his friends.

Julia
http://werbiefitz.mlblogs.com/

Ian..

Sorry too here about your loss. I can tell he has had an impact on your life, both professionally and personally. You’ll be forever grateful and you will always remember him. It’s always tough when someone leaves way too early and he certainly did.

Ian, I am truly sorry for the loss of your dear friend and mentor.
Here is a posthumas thank you to Mike Kahn. Without him there may never have been a Brownie Points blog for all of us to communicate through, and a possibility that I never would have met you!! The prayers of my family will be sent up for your dear friend Mike!!

THANK YOU MIKE KAHN..
And thank you Ian.

Ian,
Sorry to hear about Mike. It’s a tough, tough thing when someone who has that type of influence on your life dies so young. My Dad died when he was 60 and now that I’m 54 I realize how young that was. But you can take some comfort in the knowledge that he lived to see you become successful in your own right. I’m sure he was proud that the chance he took sending a young guy out on his own paid off. And you deserve credit for being up to the challenge when he showed confidence in you.
There will always be that empty space inside where Mike used to be, but you can fill that emptiness with the knowledge that you didn’t let Mike down. That is HUGE. When I was young I had a wild streak in me that had me sometimes one step away from big trouble. When I finally decided to lead a “normal” life I struggled mightily and sometimes took a couple steps back. By the time I became successful and got my own restaurant my Dad was gone. My Mom came to see my place and she said,”If your Dad was here he’d be SO proud.” Sometimes when I re-live that moment there is a little twinge of regret that I did not mature a little faster. You, my friend, will not ever have that regret. Good for you. Don’t take that lightly, it’s a VERY precious thing.

Ian:

Sorry to hear of your loss. I personally cannot wait for the end of 2008, a year which took 2 such influences from my life, the latter a 56 year old gentleman who looked to be in prime health at the beginning of the year — vibrant, hard-working (pushing the growth and success of a law firm he founded within the past 8 years), one of the very best golf swings you would ever want to watch, and watch it I did, as we traveled to many of the greatest golf courses in the US. I witnessed him carve them up — Pine Valley, Pebble Beach, Oakmont, Winged Foot, Seminole, the list goes on and on. Last February, he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer which had already migrated into his liver and eventually made it into his lungs, sapping the very life from him. A mutual friend was prepared in May to arrange a round for him at Augusta National, the one great course his golf spikes had not yet dug into, and he didn’t have enough strength or determination to take advantage of the offer. I went to see him weekly over the Summer and watched his cancer suck the life right out of him, taking him from his loving wife, family and grandkids just before Labor Day week-end.

Losing my Dad during my first year in law school when he was only 51 was a long-ago reminder of how precious life is, but this one was “writ-large” for me. My deepest sympathies to you and your friend’s family. All I can say is “Hurry, 2009!!”

Arnie: you ask why the public curiosity in the salaries of others. When it comes to knowing what others make (and being jealous of the fact that they make whatever they make) we perversely want to know. In my law practice I have devoted much of my efforts to working with local governmental units which are public and required by Ohio State law to disclose almost all of the information they possess, so the public/electorate knows what its government is doing. While certainly not in the Teixeira or Sabathia stratosphere, the public has always wanted to know precisely what I make while representing my various clients over the years. What is frustrating is how, having access to that information, they always screw up when reporting or commenting on it because of a perverse desire to make it bigger than it actually is! At that point, you begin to wonder, why publish what the commentators are simply going to misrepresent anyway?

I remember years ago being affiliated with a Cleveland law firm which represented Jackie Presser and his co-union boss, Harold Friedman. There is a Federal, Union Reporting and Disclosure law that requires the reporting of union leaders’ salaries, by the end of each calendar year. Invariably, the Cleveland Plain Dealer would pick up this published information, and run a story on it, making Jackie livid, and complaining to Harold about how he wanted to take “back door money” to hide how much he really made from the reporting press. Harold supposedly reminded him that by reporting it all he avoided any risk of violating this law which had criminal jail sanctions tied to it. Harold supposedly emphasized that the story ran one day a year, and it was something both could get over while spending their respective salaries the other 364 days.

We do have a strange curiosity about the compensation accorded to others. While I don’t believe my interest is perverse, I do enjoy having access to this information. It helps me envision: “if the Sox were to trade Mike Lowell to Cleveburg to re-acquire Kelly Shoppach, what would that deal mean to both teams, and how much money would the Sox likely have to absorb in order to get that deal done? It does make my “Hot Stove Experience” that much more realistic.

Its interesting here that the teams involved in the Teixeira pursuit, even those on the periphery, seem to be making sufficient comments to expose the bluff that Scott Boras is attempting. Now was Brian Cashman’s comment “Not US” intended to make the Sox misbelieve that they were in the driver’s seat with regard to Big Teix, to allow the Yanks to swoop in and pick Big Teix up as well? Could be, and I’m sure Theo has factored that possibility into the Sox thinking in the way they approached this bargaining. That having been said, it seems as though the teams involved have enough respect for each other’s position that they are willing to make rather candid comments, despite the fact that it may eliminate some competitive advantage each might enjoy in a secretive negotiation. If the teams persist in doing so in other similar situations, it will reduce the influence of the varmints we call sports agents, a development I think most of the commentators on this blog would hail as a “breath of fresh air.”

Having done a fair amount of labor bargaining, I marvel at the Sox apparent ability to gauge what their “fair offer” should be, put it on the table, and stay with it. With Dice-K, I think they decided they really wanted him, and calculated a posting offer way above what they felt anyone else would propose. I think the Sox offer caught the Yanks way off guard. So much so, that I think the Yanks, in pursuing Sabathia, decided what his value was to them, went pretty much “all in” at the beginning, and then blew the field away, leaving Sabathia’s only decision to be “am I willing to be a Yank or aren’t I?” This sort of candor, often referred to as transparency, could eliminate some of the dramatic rise in player’s salaries, although for as long as poaching goes on (the Yanks taking Burnett while he was under contract to the Blue Jays, the Sox doing the same with JD Drew), artificial and dramatic salary increases will continue to occur.

This sort of mutual candor may touch off a determined effort by players and their agents to include “during the contract opt-out” periods, such as Burnett and Drew had. I honestly believe, as I suggested in an earlier commmentary, that the one way to stop that development in its tracks is for ownership to insist that opt-out provisions be mutual. The player is saying, “hey, if my value increases dramatically because of my positive performance, I want to pursue that increase in the market.” FO’s should be able to counter, “but if your value decreases dramatically because of negative performance, we should be able to dump the excess commitment.” I am confident that Theo has the cast-iron will to implement such a strategy, and that his pursuit of this would be endorsed by Sox team ownership, which long ago had their judgment in him sustained by his many positive deals and results. (It seems only yesterday that we were mockingly calling him the 28-year-old Theo Epstein!).

Enough for my epistle of the day.

-david benjamin

My condolences Ian,
Losing a good friend, and someone who has taught you many things, is very hard on one’s mind.
But what is taught, always lives on in you, so his spirit is alive.

my granny used to say that ppl who passed young had accomplished early in life what god had intended for them…im sorry for your loss ian….remember the wonderful times u had with him and rejoice in the fact that u had the privelage in knowing him…judge

Ian,
Sorry for your loss and the rest of Mike’s family and friends. Sounds like the world lost a great human being, there just isn’t enough of those!

Arnie,
Considering what the minimum salary is for MLB players, I would gladly risk a few splinters in my butt for that kind of $$$.

Dbenjamin, I understand the envy regarding players’ salaries. That’s the human condition and won’t ever change, but I question what, if any, enjoyment people could get from knowing the details of someone else’s paycheck. From your perspective it enhances the process of the Sox’ aquiring some big name free agent or retaining a key player. The cat-and-mouse game of the negotiating and re-negotiating offers seems tedious to me but I can see why you might find it interesting.
I’m one of the few people who does not think the inflated salaries are ruining the game. I think it makes the game more competitive and helps baseball attract better athletes from all over the world. Your mention of a two way street opt out clause is a great idea. I also think that the ownership should be able to put minimum numbers into a contract. For instance: if a player had a contract that stated if his BA fell under .280 or if he only played 125 games or some such criteria then that player’s salary would decrease the next year, we’d see better performances year in and year out. It’s not by chance that so many players have career years in their last contract year. But that would never fly with the players union.

Kramer, yeah, you and I would be getting splinters from riding the bench all season, but I’d take the risk also. And if I could get Theo to put a kitchen in the clubhouse, then we’d be styling!

Ian, when you were based in Fort Lauderdale, where were your offices and where did you live?? I have been here all my life. Just to satisfy my curiosity….
and Arnie and Kramer… for that kind of money, I’d risk more than a few splinters…. (but I wont go into just HOW MUCH or what I’d risk)
Arnie, whats on your Christmas menu for your gang??
We’re having deep fried turkey, baked ham, broccolli casserole, sweet potatoe casserole, broccoli rabe with Italian sausage, potatoes au gratin and for dessert, Mile high apple pie with cinnamon caramel sauce and vanilla ice cream…. YUM!!!!!!

throw in some tapes of the sox from last yr and im on my way ellen…sounds yummy lol….im thinkin an anouncement is commin tomorrow….been to quiet today…..

We’re from from the Midwest and are planning a trip to Boston this summer. We have been looking at tickets for sale on the website and have noticed that you can only buy tickets in April, May, September, and October. What about June, July, and August? Does anyone know someplace else we can buy tickets for those months or should we keep checking the website? – Thanks

Hey, how’s everyone doing ? Conny, here’s where i bought my Sox tix on two occasions :

http://www.gotickets.com/sports/mlb/al/boston_red_sox.php

They won’t be cheap though. No face value there, but at least at this time of the year you can choose any game.

its not: I only have the Championship form 2004.. (alcs, alds and WS) my husband keepd forgetting that it is something I want. (yeah sure.. he has a mans memory!! lol)

sorry… I previously called you “itsnot” itwasn’t: In the past the Sox have sometimes waited until Christmas eve to make really good anouncements.. The last time I remember was when our Captain signed his previous contract..
For me if Te”k” signed again, It would be a really comforting gift.. I’d have peace of mind when it comes to our plate “D” and our young pitchers..

santa is gonna bring u tek ellen….im thinkin lowe and tex also…..derek wants to come home….whatever happens we will have a great team in 56 days…..some good ones comming up soon too….i cant wait….im gettin the itch lol…happy holidays all

Ellen, we can’t have you losing sleep, so I am going to call Theo personally and tell him to sign Tek. Consider it a “fait accompli” .
Ellen, my sister is coming out from Tampa, just in time for a balmy 6 degrees. At least it’s a dry cold, hahahaha. Anyway, I thought I would cook that boiled dinner recipe I sent you. So I asked our meat supplier to put a good cut of meat for “pot roast” on our order and he says, “What?!?! You don’t want to cook no damn pot roast!(He’s kind of crude, but a great guy) I’ll bring you a prime rib, no charge. You’re good customers.” Now I’ve got a beautiful 7 bone rack sitting in my walk-in with the cap trimmed nice and neat. I’m going to rub it down with some chiles, onion and garlic, lime and beer, and maybe a touch of oregano and cumin. New Mexico style. We are going to sear it on the grill and finish it in the oven. Then I’m going across the pond for some potatoes with Gruyere and onion. Butternut squash. Assorted cheeses and Mousse Trouffe’. Snowflake rolls. Baby green salad. I thought about Chocolate Eclairs(they’ve been on my mind lately), but I also wanted to bake a Red Velvet cake. Do you know that one? It’s a southern thing and my partner is from the south and she knows it. I’ll have to flip a coin for that one. The other day I had some egg whites kicking around so I slammed together an Angel cake with ground anise in it. Oh my Lord, it was addictive(trust me, I know addictive!)!! Try that sometime. Make a normal Angel cake and add 1/2 teaspoon anise extract and 2 tablespoons ground anise. You’ll thank me for it. Gotta go.

Ellen, your dinner sounds great. That’s a feast! how many people you have coming? You have a big family down there? Isn’t it funny that Ian was kicking around Lauderdale when he was a young punk, er… excuse me Ian, a young JOURNALIST!

itwasnt: if you have “the itch”, please see your Dr. immediately!!!
Arnie: No, no large family. Just David, my brother, Mom and a few friends and leftovers to take home for all!!
and I think that when Ian was here, I was just married (not to David, to the MORON)… that was a LONG tme ago.

Oh and PS:: I bought an extra extra extra LARGE stocking just in case Santa brings me Sean Casey!! (or just a large one for Dustin)

i took ur advice and saw a doc ellen….he said watch some vid of papi and the boys from o4and o7….wear alot of red….(i wear my vintage #24 jersey)…and i mean vintage….not that quitter mannys number….deweys number who was my hero for 19 yrs…..i guess i can wait 55 days till they rpt…if i must….till then ill just wallow in all the wonderful memories of a team that has mad me yell, pray, cry and laugh for over 40 yrs…..aand thank god every day that i wasnt born in NY ….he he ….go sox and happy holidays to all…..judge

Arnie, are you in Longmont or Louisville??? Its Christmas Card Time!!

I live in Louisville, the restaurant is in Longmont. If you are using the restaurant address I posted here, it’s in Longmont. Are you sending Roseanne with a singing telegram?

Arnie, 2 things…
1} I like you.
2} It’s the Christmas season….
Why would I want to make you vomit???!!!!!

Just checking.

HAPPY HANUKKAH!

I think I speak for all of Red Sox nation were sorry

Actually, I thought maybe you’d prefer (oh let’s go back a ways) Joey Heatherton, Britt Ecklund, or Ursula Andress (in their prime, of course). Just pick one and the outfit she should wear and listen for your door bell!!!!

Happy Hanukkah!!!! Happy Kwaanza!! Feliz Navidad!! and Joyeaux Noel!!!!

OK Ellen, I choose Ursula Andress, in a red ribbon with a bow. And maybe no singing. Thanks. I’ll be waiting……

well angels pullin out is a sign hes gonna pick soon….tex i mean….pencil him in @the #4 slot for tito…..tek and lowe are soon to come also….so far my early predictions are commin true….as for manny goin to ny….that i dint expect….i figured even the yanks could see hes become a prob…i know i know….manny is loved…i loved him dearly also until he imploded ….i pld sports for many yrs and u never ever ever quit on ur teamies….ever…as for manny being upset with management…boo hoo…u dont think managment was never upset with him….they still signed his well deserved check and said well hes manny….but when u quit on ur teamies and the fans who really are the ones who put the money in his pocket….well its disgraceful….pushin yuke and hittin an aid….lawdy….he signed his fate….ive always hated the yanks….from birth…but now i will pity them…..judge…

Happy Chanukkah everybody! Start lighting your candles tonight and don’t forget to send me some geldt.

Did ZAZU sign with the Yankees? Well, that will make the rivalry interesting!!

hasnt yet but rumors have said 3 yrs 75 mill

Ian, I never know what to say when I hear this kind of thing. I understand the feelings you must have and I hope you, and Mike’s family will find a way to celebrate his life, and who and what he is to you. There is no past tense in this. I have lost both my mom and dad, but their spirit, widsom and guidance remains with me every day as I know Mike’s will remain with you, and with his family. I know none of this makes it any easier to say good-bye. My thoughts and prayers are with you and with the Kahn family.

Itwasnt: Manny who??? We only have ZAZU here…. When referring to the former leftfielder for the
RedSox…. Its sort of like that guy who played center field for the RedSOx until he went to the Yankees, what was his name… I think it was Jimmy or Donny something..

my mistake ellen…sorry….i have more colorful names for ZAZU…..but i would never put them in print incase a child was reading this…judge

haha!! you excaped punishment (this time)… the next time you will be subject to a date with Roseann Barr… (don’t tell Arnie.. he’s still carrying a torch for her)

that would be ESCAPED.. I am having a case of “blonde fingers” today…

lord i think id rather date arnie than barr….and im a guy….it will never happen again lol….

I had a dream Saturday night in which we all were playing a baseball game. Ellen, Garry, Brian Craig 007 Dave were all on the team. I was pitching for some strange reason. The funny thing is that we were playing in an office with filing cabinets for bases and such. I didn’t have room to pitch from a windup (I would have bumped into the office furniture) so I pitched the whole game from the stretch. Kind of like Dice-K does. Anyway, it was pretty dangerous but no one got hurt and I think we may have won but I can’t remember. The dream morphed into some other dream as often happens. Sorry Ellen but Sean Casey wasn’t there. He was playing golf in a hotel swimming pool somewhere. Crazy stuff, those dreams.

I see that you sign off as”JUDGE” is that your name or occupation??
My husband was listening to sports talk radio today and heard the name CC Sabathia, and he knows the donut jokes about thim. He came up with what the initials C.C. stand for… Chocolate Covered, NOT CALORIE OR CARBOHYDRATE COUNTER!!! I thought that was pretty good!!! lol

Arnie.. No more spicy food after midnight for you!!! Unless it gets Sean (naked) into the dream… and if youre having dreams about naked Sean Casey then there other issues that we’ll discuss!!!!

Arnie,
I remember that game. You pitched a no-hitter thanks to Ellen’s game saving catch behind the book shelf. Garry decided to catch the game since he always wanted to see the game from the other side and called a great game. Brain went yard twice, over the bannister on his second shot and the Yankees keep calling him offering him $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ to leave our team. 007, Dave and I all hit solo homeruns and made it around the bases in less time than it takes for ZAZU to drop his bat when he cracks one. What a team. A guy can dream right?????? Actually, that’s how this whole bamboozled mess started. Sorry, I’ll go take my meds now. Happy Holidays to all.

Oh,
And dbenjamin took my 8 iron and smoked one over the couch and entertainment center for the longest home-run ever recorded in Arnie’s Yards. (A cross between Fenway and Camden Yards)

very cute craig!!! But did I go 0-for???? i would hate to think that my private batting practice with Mags went for naught!!!!

Funny stuff Craig!! It was kind of like that. Baseballs bouncing off furniture and everyone yelling “Heads!” and general mayhem. The ground rules were tricky. Garry was busy all game making up ground rules that would help us.

Ellen, I remember you hit one off the Xerox machine that caromed into left field for a ground rule double. Or was that a mimeograph machine?

its a nickname ellen…when iwas in the service i picked it up because i owned a gto judge….so my fellow paratroopers and myself became the judge and his jury and later i used the nic judge_n_jury online spades playing….it sorta stuck thru the yrs…..judge(russ)……idl ike to make a small comment in the tex race for gold lol….if the nats are lookin to make a team im thinkin it would be easier for them to build it the atlanta style way…load ur pitchin staff and slowly add defense and find thumpers and vets to teach em along the way…id be surprised if tex bought into the ur the center piece and we will build around u idea…hasnt worked in decades…remember texas had limp rod and tex…they finished 50 games under if i remember correctly….the O’S are even further away from the nats…as for him addin the escape clause like a few have done recently….well thats just dumb….for the team and business side i mean….sign with the sox tex…and bring back our captain and lowe also…happy holidays….judge

Arnie and Craig …… I think Dave has rubbed off on you guys. But Arnie, your dream hits close to home. During my last tour in the Navy at the Navy Personnel Command (headquarters of sorts for the Navy), we would occasionally play Nerf Baseball in the office. I was a very senior Master Chief Petty Officer, who is supposed to set the example and maintain good order and discipline. Yeah right. The young sailors loved the game. Of course, the ceilings were very low, so we had a ground rule (yep, I was the Master Chief so I made the ground rules) that if the ball was caught off the ceiling it was an out. We were playing one day and the Admiral walked in to discusss an issue with me so we were caught red handed. Of course, when an Admiral walks in the room, everything stops and we come to “Attention on Deck!” The Admiral’s response was, “Carry on” and he wanted to know if he could play too!

After the game, and while discussing the issue about which he came to see me, we talked about baseball, morale, and a myriad of other things. I found out he was a Red Sox fan and we often talked about the Sox after that. Baseball created a bond amongst a group of sailors that ranged in rank from Seaman to Admiral as it has created a bond here between a diversified bunch of people who have never met yet consider one another family. It’s pretty amazing stuff when you think about it.

Now, on to baseball …….. I think the Sox are in great shape heading into this year. I have seen posts all over the place that they really haven’t done anything to improve on a team that fell short last year. Well, they will realize significant improvement if everyone just stays healthy. Think of where they might have been if Beckett, Ortiz, Drew and Lowell were healthy all year. The East Division race might have been a joke. They will be improved because they’ll have stability in left field with Jason Bay. Jacoby Ellsbury, Jed Lowrie, Jon Lester, and even Dustin Pedroia are still growing and improving and are likely to be better than last year. They are doing it right and they don’t need to spend $180M on Teixeira. Bring back Tek, tie up Youk and maybe even Ellsbury and probably still have $120M left over to make other improvements. I think they are in great shape.

I sincerely hope Tex winds up with the Nationals. He’ll go there and become insignificant and won’t do any damage to anyone. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Tex is not Zazu. He won’t bring the presence to the lineup behind Ortiz that Zazu did. His numbers are marginally better than Youk’s, and having Bay behind Youk is going to make Youk that much better. The Sox don’t need him. They need to wrap up Youk, resign Bay, and take care of business at home before they go out investing in an over rated player whose value to the existing lineup is marginally higher than what they have now.

I have one word for you garry::: AMEN!!!!!

Ellen,
For me, CC would stand for Cream Centered. Thank God I have not been subjected to much donut exposure for the last ten years. With my sweet tooth I could easily hit the scales at 300lbs.
Garry,
No doubt the Sox will be a solid, talented team in 2009 with or without Teixeira. Is he worth $23M a year? Not to me, but there may be someone! I’d rather watch Lars Anderson develop to replace Lowell in 2011.
I think Ellsbury and Lowrie have nowhere to go but improve. I’m also anxious to see how the roster rounds out with utility players in the infield and outfield and the whole catching situation. It’s more fun tracking three teams this year!!!

Ian,
Sorry about your loss, my thoughts and prayers will be with his family this holiday season. Continue the life he lived. Take care, and have a great holiday
-Elizabeth
http://redsoxgirl46.mlblogs.com

How about those Boston Celtics!!! Talking about a team! Ego’s are put too the side for the better of the team. As Boston sports fans we are very lucky! Great owners translates into winning teams, they go together like cranberry and vodka!

Merry Christmas too everyone on here! Also a Happy New Year! When 2009 enters, we are just that much closer for spring training. Amen!!

Redsox girl: why is it that when I try to comment at your blog is says “you do no t have permission to comment here”??

As usual, the Yanks swoop in the last minute and are at the verge of signing Tex !! Unbelievable.

ofcourse the stankies did what only the stankies can do when they start losing…yes u guessed it….whip out the check book and spend almost half a billion dollars in less than 2 weeks….its so comical even im surprised…well we see at end of yr if it will ever be enuff….im still happy with my sox ….and the yanks will never cease to amaze me

The Yankees inked Damon and everyone was like oh no the Yankees signed Damon. What has happened since. A title for Boston and no playoff series wins for the Yankees. A-Rod is dealt too the Yankees and when he was traded to the Yankees. The question was how many titles will the Yankees win with A-Rod. Last time I checked the Yankees are still waiting for their fist title with A-Rod.

I felt Texeria was a luxury too have not exactly a major need. Same thinking I had with Johan Santana last year. Santana would have been nice but at who/what would the Sox have given up. Texeria is a good player ( only 1 All Star Appearance–2005 ) but not the game changer everyone thinks he is.

What wins in baseball is good pitching ( Boston has that ) timely hitting ( Boston has that ) and good defense and once again Boston has that. A year ago wasn’t Detroit supposed too win it all. We all know what happened there. Last time I checked the game was played on grass/dirt/artifical turf not paper!

The Yanks are going to be very competitive in 2009 and so are the Sox if Ortiz will be what Ortiz was and Lowell is healthy. And most importantly, Francona has to start managing and live up to his reputation. Francona cannot afford to sit back and wait for the big inning to happen as he did in ALCS.
Now Theo go out and acquire a catcher, a 4th outfielder, and a 4th starter.

Welcome back Mike Lowell!!! Then again, he never left. lol.

Ian, Sorry to hear about your loss. We all lose a mentor in life but their legacy lives on.

Speaking of legacies, the Sox can get back to business now that Tex has signed to play for the next chapter of 3rd place Yankee teams. I am soooo relieved. Mikey will be healthy and solid this year and next. Youk won’t get displaced. We’ve got some solid young talent coming up. Things look awesome without Tex. Now, how about TEK? Sign him. He went through a tough divorce this year and played sub-par. I’ll bet he and Mikey come back with a vengeance in 2009. Theo, sign Lowe, forget Smolz. Pick up another solid batter for the middle of the lineup — anyone have any suggestions? We’ll be back in the Series this year and will edge out the Rays for the division. Yanks? They’ll be this year’s Detroit Tigers *of 08*. Merry Christmas!!!!

Here is a thought.. what does this do to ZAZU’s marketability???? or will the Yankees open the bottomless pit that they call a bank vault one more time??

I bought another EXTRA EXTRA large stocking in case Santa brings us Tek!!!!

C’mon Ellen, keep it clean, girlie! Last time I was on here I read something you wrote about Sean Casey being naked — and that’s not something I’m interested in seeing.

Can you guys imagine if they DO sign ZAZU? Wow. We’d actually have to give them a chance at 2nd place next year.

Jim

the Sean Casey thing is an old joke that Dave and Arnie started last season,, very funny. I wish I could remember the entire thing…

….. and P.S. Jim, YOU may not want to see Sean in a state of undress.. but I wouldnt look away!!! lol

I wonder how the sox feel now to lose a player like him to the yanks.Jesus christ put the money up and get the guy u need enought with the ********.If you guys think that pitching is all you need your more dumb than i thought.

The yanks just built there team to beat us because some people were to cheap to get the guy that is the right for us man you guys need to pull your heads out of your ***

I really think our red sox made a huge mistake. I am very upset and nervous for the coming season. everybody is very big on saying that we dont need tex bla bla bla. well now the yankees have something they also didnt need, but got anyway, and are better because of it. with beckett being good, not (2007) great, dice k being great for 4 innings, and thats it, and a shadow of david ortiz and no manny, we cannot assume we will be able to even come close to a tie for the seaon series with the yankees. we couldnt beat them one on one before, and we cant now. They would have to try awful hard to get third place again.

mistake for boston.

Okay,
So the Yanks got Tex. They needed him. They just spent over $400 Million dollars and received 1 position player. The other 2 they signed will play once every 5 days. And Burnett will be treated with kid gloves with his injury track record. I for one am ready to see what $400 million translates to over 162 games. That’s not even counting Jeter/A-Rod’s salaries. Are the Yankees improved…..absolutely, but you still have to play the games. You won’t see any regulars on this blog panic. Chin up Sox fans….it ain’t over until the team chemistry is evaluated.

Our regulars here have been saying all along acquiring Tex is a luxury and by no means a necessity for the Sox. By signing the stellar free agents, it merely, at best, guarantees the Yanks a postseason berth, it does not guarantee the division title, neither the league championship nor the WS championship. I am disappointed but not upset about losing out Tex to the Yanks. The Yankees fans are in euphoria now until the regular season starts just like the time when Zazu was traded to the LAD.
That said, I hope Theo is actively pursuing a catcher, an outfielder, and a reliable sp. Even without any major off season signing as the voids can be filled within the organization, the Sox remain competitive in 2009.
The Yanks are pathetically known at stealing away what the Sox need. I suggest that the FO feigns interest in Zazu which would invariably lead the Yanks to offer another blockbuster contract to the habitual faker. lol

The difference is only $10M-15M over a span of 8 years which is pocket change for either the Yanks or the Sox. The point is the Yanks WILL outbid the Sox even if the Sox are willing to match or exceed the amount. Forget it! Let the Yanks have Tex. It is not the sour grape feeling. Is Tex that good worth $22M+ a year for the next 8 years? You will be judge.
Aside, the Yanks sign Kevin Cash to a minor league contract at $700K.

ah the ever present fickle boston fan….the yanks were forced into spending almost half a billion…..yes half a billion..wowzas….lets go retro for just a sec….the 2 pitchers the yanks added look very similiar to signings they made yrs earlier….they lost alot in production also….and have a relatively weak minors system….one HUGE glaring problem is they dont have a comraderie in the clubhouse that is needed to play 162 games and then into oct…..ill take our gritty grinders who play with their heart and leave the wallet at home….btw…the yanks are taking a major hit pr wise…a high official and writers are chastisin them for this latest spree…one comment was they are spending like drunken sailors ….they still havent addressed all the probs…im afraid tek might catch the hit here too…boras as pissed off the sox…and tek will not get much money….the sox are getiing kudos all over sport center for stayin firm in this ec`onomy…the yanks have earned the nic EVIL EMPIRE now and it only cost us CREAM PUFF 300 LB PITCHER AND A DL PERMANENT resident….tex will not make up for wot they lost in the juicer and the guy who s afraid of runnin into rt field walls lol….i still am a redsox fan and proud of it….judge

Let’s objectively analyze the Yanks’ free agent signing. It is unquestionably a great signing. But is it worth almost 1/2 billion upgrade? CC and AJ effectively replace Mussina (a 20 game winner) and Pettite. There is not much upgrade in that respect even assuming AJ is healthy. The key rests with Wang and Chamberlain. If they are effective, the Yanks rotation will be awesome.
Tex will have the 1B locked up for many years. Unless Posada can physically be the everyday catcher, if not where do you play Posada if he is not catching? DH of course. Then where do you play Matsui? Also, the Yanks do not have the bats of Giambi and Abreau. Both of them accounted for so many RBIs and HRs.
Where do you play the aging Jeter when he cannot be an effective ss any more?

Ian let me be the latest (considerably later than most posts here!) to offer my condolences to you an dMr. Kahn’s family. While I am a newcomer to this blog, I’ve been reading your reporting (and now your blog) since before we won the 2007 WS, and it is obvious that he (and your mentors at the Globe) did have a great impact on your work. Keep up the good work–it is a great way to honor Mr. Kahn and continue his legacy. My condolences and prayers are with you and his family. Thanks, Ian.

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