Of Rocco and Smoltz .. and a Penny for my thoughts

Finally, the 2009 Red Sox have begun to take shape with the only real ambiguity now whether Jason Varitek or someone else splits catching duties with Josh Bard.

Let’s start with the feel-good story of the day, the official news that the Red Sox have signed Rocco Baldelli, the pride of Cumberland, R.I. Well, let’s see, the Red Sox were looking for a fourth outfielder with pop in his bat and the ability to play all three OF positions. Enter Rocco, who does all those things. The difference is that Baldelli, when right, is a starting-caliber player. And given that J.D. Drew will probably miss three weeks to a month at some point during the year — no knock, J.D., that’s just who you are! — it is very valuable depth.

Obviously Baldelli’s health is an issue, but it sounds like progress has been made in determining why he was experiencing such excessive fatigue and how to combat it. If he stays on the field, this is a terrific signing. Baldelli and Theo Epstein will talk about the signing later today, prior to the Boston Baseball Writers Dinner.

Now, to John Smoltz. The veteran righty has long been one of my favorite pitchers to watch because, much like guys like Curt Schilling and David Wells, no stage is too big for him. Smoltz craves the big moment. Though the Red Sox obviously came through with a far better financial offer than the Braves, I wouldn’t be surprised if the allure of winning for a big market team had just as much to do with this highly-competitive athlete finishing his career somewhere other than Atlanta.

As for Mr. Brad Penny, if I had said a year ago or even two years ago, who would you rather have as your No. 4 starter, Penny or Burnett, I think a lot of you would have said Penny. He has always had tremendous stuff, but last year he obviously had arm problems and might have even clashed with management a little. If that was just his one down year — kind of like the one Mike Lowell had for the Marlins in 2005 — this could be one of the best signings of the winter, considering the price.

Now, Theo figures to spend his remaining weeks before Spring Training trying to find a catcher, or just keeping the old one. Personally, I hope they can keep Varitek. I think he means a lot to that team, both from a stability standpoint and with game preparation. But I do think Jason would need to come to grips with the fact that Josh Bard is going to pinch-hit for him quite a bit, and that he figures to get closer to 90 or 100 starts than the 120 he’s been accustomed to.

All for now. Talk to you in a bit. I’ll be live from the Writers Dinner tonight.

Ian.

120 Comments

I’m guessing Varitek is back and probably not going too make more than 5 million. If Varitek is back, please no more than a 1 yr. contract. Perhaps some incentive clause could kick in and a 2nd year is possible. Varitek in 2008 was an automatic out and I doubt that much will change. Varitek does have the leadership/intangibles that are very important for a team’s success.

All in all everyone so far has too be happy with the Red Sox offseason. Getting Ramirez from K.C. was a solid move and I think the Red Sox bullpen is one of the best in the game! Also having Masterson for a entire season will pay dividends as well.

One thing I do like about the R

I got cut off at the end. Hmmmmmm is someone telling me something. lol. One thing I do like is the Red Sox haven’t handed out any ridiculous long term contracts! Payroll flexibility is key for long term success in baseball. Don’t get locked in with under-performing players with lots and lots of $$$$$ coming their way.

Ian,
What do you think is really going on with Tek? Is the reason he hasn’t signed strictly money and length of contract or is there something else in the works, like Theo wanting him to go so he can get the draft picks?? You hear anything?

Great story about Baldelli. Imagine what it’s like to play for the Sox if you grew up in R.I.?

Sox are looking good so far.

Isn’t the Rhode Island state police the greatest law enforcement in the country??? LOL!! Remember the movie Me, Myself & Irene?? Jim Carrey was the star…..A Farrelly Brothers flick! If you haven’t seen it, rent it. Quite funny!

007 said that Now with the pitching staff stocked and Baldelli signed that makes Buchholz and Ellsbury expendable… Baldelli will NOT be an everyday player I’m sure. They didnt ship Coco out to turn around and get rid of Jacoby I have always thought that He (Baldelli)has one of THE best baseball names ever!!!

Ellen: I am a fan of Ellsbury. I don’t want to see Ells go. But would you trade Ells and Buchholz for Salty?
Brian: I think the Sox will offer Varitek somwehere between $2-5M 1 year contract with one year club option. Take it or leave it. What a dumb idea to turn down arbitration which cost Tek $10M thankd to Mr. BoraSS.
I love it when the Yanks throwing all the money at CC, AJ and Tex and they are still not a better team than the Sox with the low budget and no risk off season signing.

007..

Ellsbury and Buchholz for Salty…no way!

I think Varitek will get about that. Certainly a pay cut in 2009 for Varitek. That is what happens when your bats is toast!

I really hope that Tek is resigned soon and that Ellsbury isn’t traded! Baldelli is a great feel good story and I’m sure he feels great to be “home”. For Smoltz I really hope the shoulder is okay and I wonder how the Atlanta fans feel?

Julia
http://werbiefitz.mlblogs.com/

007, I MIGHT , but I doubt that Theo and Co. will. Ellsbury ms to figure in a lot of the RedSox futire plans.

However, I may consider Buchholz and Ellsbury for H. Ramirez. Just a thought.
Acquisitions of Baldelli and Smoltz are “luxuries” for the Sox. If it works, it makes the Sox even a better team. If it doesn’t, so be it. They are signed for 1 year not for multiple years at low cost.
Now the Sox need an everday catcher and that will do it for the off season. Play ball!
It is hard to imagine Smoltz and Hoffman wearing different uniforms other than Braves and Padres.

ms=seems

007…

I would do that deal for sure but the Marlins wouldn’t. H. Ramirez is one of the elite players in the game and his contract is friendly for any team.

smoltz signing i like alot for the run in the dog days of summer….maybe we can switch to a 6 man rotation by then and save the best investment on a team….the pitching….u can say that pitchers have a very particular regiment that they follow and so on…i say blah blah blah…so u make them adjust during spring training and slowly in the season and then come the end of the year when u need great games every game they are relatively fresh and strong…..when u have the depth that the sox do this is exactly the time to try it….please…theo be the hero and introduce the six man rotation and save us the injuries to beckett and lester and so on come august….maybe we can enter the playoffs fresh….oh yeah and with a six man rotation i would think ur starters could go longer thus giving u the luxury of having the one inning wonders do their thing….as for rocco…we all know jd will get a hangnail and miss 6-8 weeks of the season…the thing here is that if it happens…he may not have a spot when he returns from his multiple life threatening injuries….now get teagarden theo…quit messin around demmit….just do it lol…..judge

by the way im gonna comment on what i think of tito as soon as i drink a six pack and take my blood pressure pills and activate my typin sensor which beeps loudly when i write a curse word….it beeps alot lemme tell ya….titos tongue lashing commin soon…i call him the worst manager managing the best team in baseball…how in the heck is that possible…..judge

007, I’m with Brian on Ellsbury and Buchholz for Salty. NO! The two for Hanley Ramirez I would consider, but not for Salty (as much as I like him).
Julia, you asked about Smoltz and Braves fans. I live in Braves country, and every report I have seen around here is that his shoulder will be fine. As for Braves fans, there are two reactions from locals and on their blogs; one, as if they’re going to a funeral for Smoltz, or two, they are after GM Frank Wren’s head, and they’re sharpening the pichforks and lighting the torches. All of them are about to give their tickets back, or not buy them, until Wren is gone. It will be interesting down here!

Oh, by the way, neither of the reactions of Braves fans I’m describing is exaggeration, either. They really are lamenting as though they’ve lost a family member, and that the GM killed him.

Be gentle with Tito!!! How many managers have done what he has!!!

I am betting by next Monday Zaun will be a Red Sox. Theo probably offered Varitek a contract as I type this for 2 million, with offensive incentives, that could reach 5 million. Since Smoltz is now a Red Sox, I figure he is giving his expierience as far as Salty. My guess if he is worth it Bowden, if not wait till July 31 trading deadline when Texas is 20 games out.

oh yes ellen ur right ….his team..TEAM….has won 2 beloved championships for us….he tried to manage us out of one in 04 but they proved him wrong and gutted out 4 awesome victories….i keep a list every year of manager screw ups …that yr was by far and away the worst….he had over 20 games that he directly blew because of moronic decisions…now…i do not get paid to manage nor i should be….but i am a scholar of history and baseball must do’s….im not gonna lay em all out but lets just asume i know what im talkin about….im gonna just scratch the surface here with one of titos infamous managerial decisions….most managers decide to rest their plrs at end of season and empty the bench in blowouts or when u have already clinched…tito….gawd i hate even thinking of him…decides to do this 30 times a yr on sunday….emptys the bench and plays all the backups in one game a week on sunday…so if ur like me who works emormous hrs u get to watch half a team on sunday…why not rest players one at a time and field ur best minus a backup a day…or against teams or pitchers who are sub par…nooooooooooooooo…..lets just empty the bench on evey sunday and piss away maybe 10-15 games a yr…..now i love the sox…i mean LOVE….i watch every game including the ones in the west where i get 2 hrs sleep after and then go to work just so i can see em…anyways…what im saying is we can use those sunday games or whatever day he decides to do it…..as for him getting done for us what most managers just dream of…BAAAAAAAAAAAAH……he coaches a great team…..yes great….9 from 10 managers in baseball could win 90 a yr with the sox as plrs and theo runnin the show….so im sorry if u like tito and his idiotics..im sorry for offending u…but i still hold to my point that he is a moron…albeit our moron lol…judge….i could go on but im too excited about this yr so i will just sit back and wait for our sox to run out onto the green and dive for a ball and run out that grounder and rip a game winner with 40 thousand screaming…..gawd i cant wait ….judge

Ellsbury and Bucholz expendable…WOW!!!!

one thing on ells and buch…ells should be untouchable…gold glove caliber OF and pure leadoff hitter…lets keep em for 15 yrs pls…as for buch or bowden…a good trade for tea or salty….nothing more nothing less…oh yeah…if masterson gets traded…im considering writing my congressman…the kid as rookie showed ice in his veins that no one other than paps has showed in yrs in our bp…he better be there next yr to show us it wasnt a freak show…judge

Judge!! Dude, what are ya smokin’? Do you really think that the ’04 Sox would have won 20-plus more games if Tito had not been managing? You think last year that, by your calculations, they would have won 15 more games? Did you watch the games? Are you privvy to the discussions in the dugout? You know who is working some mechanical problem out? You sit and travel with the players every day? Answer some of those questions and let’s see how much you really know. But seriously, can you send me an ounce or 2 of your stash? It’s gotta be good!

everyone here is entitled to their opinion, but be careful, we all have very long memories… be prepared to eat your words.. bring your salt and pepper… also be prepared to have a lot of rebuttal discussions…
Tito is a very POPULAR guy on this blog.

Oh and you drink your 6 pack and I’ll have my case then we’ll talk@!!lol

One more thing Judge. By your logic, when the Sox win, it’s the players, but when they lose it’s Tito. You’re right about one thing: you should not get paid to manage the Sox.

Arnie, my friend…. TOUCHE!!!!!
OH ps Judge, I’ll send you my address.. my husband wants some too..

Thought I was done, BUT….. I have a question.
Judge, You keep a list of ALL managerial screwups???? Wow, wish I had that kind of time!!

I have a question for Ian and for everyone arround here. I know Theo and Tito firmly beleive you never have enough starting pitching and that at some point of the season a guy will get hurt or need some rest, but assuming everybody is healthy when Smoltz is ready. Would this mean the end of the road for Wakefield?? To begin with, I have some serious concerns about how he will perform without having a “personal” catcher (Mirabelli, Cash)

How many managers have done what he has!!! Sixto Gaston perhaps??
I was reading on a dominican newspaper that H. Ramirez was so hurt when was traded to FL, that in order to play back with BOS he should get a contract of 300M… It wont be smart to get him -and it wont happen of course….

wow…ok last blog for me and ill leave u guys and gals to ur oponions as long as they meet the criteria of this blog….i said i didnt agree with his decisions (the list btw ellen i make in the boxscore with my son as we watch the game…i work 16 hrs a day so my time is well spent thank you)…he makes in games and the one day a week of emptying the bench…..as for him doing what no other could and so on…he had a great team…some of the greatest so called managers of all time won wherever they managed…anyhoo i think u get the point…im sorry for questioning ur views….funny tho how i sit here and lament on some of the things ppl blog and then later write the same exact opposite later…u should go back and read some of ur blogs from last yr and look in the mirror…i wont blog anymore and disturb ur comfort zone…i also wont let my son read this site anymore because now i have to explain to him what a stash is and why so many ppl want some….very nice…i could get this talk from espns blogs….so ill take my opinions and kee em to myself and just watch the games….touche u guys well done….judge

WOW.. guess I hit anerve.. there was nothing personal meant by any of that.. Guess really joking around is out of the question!
Have a good day!! Sorry if I offended you or your son.

Judge, I guess you are allowed to have your opinion but we are not allowed ours and we cant counter your point of view…?? Sorry about your son and having to explain, I didnt know you had a son.
and, please feel free to point out where I’ve changed my stance on something with an explanation… can’t wait for this. We all joke around on this blog and if you were offended by anything, well I’m sorry, but if you’ve been reading here for a while as I think I saw that you stated, you know that it goes back and forth here
ALL the time but that its all in good fun.’

that would be “without an explanation”…

ofcourse u can have ur opinions and counter mine…i relish it…what i dont relish is a bashing with absurd vocabulary…not centering on u either….everyone has plrs and ppl they like or dislike…..my opininon wont change on tito until he proves me wrong in my view….which by no means does he need too…i know that it takes a myriad of things to be privy to manage a team….that said it also takes common sense sometimes in decisions being made…so if someone can tell me the point of emptying a bench on one day and how this helps the team then im all ears….as long as its clean rebuttles and not accusations of indulgences of the weak minded who need such chemical related help to have an opinion…..oh and btw if i sound like that fool jim rome then someone pls shoot me now and end everyones misery….judge

Aw Judge, sorry if I hurt your feelings! But if you are going to make such a strong statement about Tito, be ready to defend it. 007 bashes Tito day and day out on this blog and takes a lot of heat for it. He doesn’t just throw in the towel after a little brow beating from Ellen and the gang. Buck up!! You are welcome here but have a little gumption and stick up for yourself! Cmon Judge, show us what you’re made of! Don’t give up so easily.

Please explain “absurd vocabulary”.

Believe me, my weak mind is not chemically induced.. I’m just blonde!! (unless you count the chemicals in L’Oreal Excellence Hair Color {champagne blonde 8 1/2A!!!!!) lol
(and it was a joke about the other thing.. simply a joke)
As I said earlier, there was no harm intended.. Sorry if any was there.

the insinuation of a chemically induced opinion(stash)=absurd vocabulary….to be honest that would offend most ppl…especially those who have a kid sittin on their lap after workin all day cause thats the time we spend together before i crash and do it all again…and as for havin thick skin…lol elephants wish they had skin like me…i spent half my life in the military as a redsox fan…let me tell ya u be surprised how many friggen yanks fans are in the service…so yes i have very thick skin….

I wasnt the one who said that, But I’ll take the heat for my statement,,,

Good night all. Talk again tomorrow.. Judge, I hope that you and your son have a great night… Read your son the story of the 2004 and 2007 Sox… Those are great bedtime stories!!!! See ya’ll….

Well Judge, if you do the math, by your assertions, the Sox should have won about 115 games in ’04. And last year they could have won 110 without Tito. Those are ridiculous numbers. So I made the equally ridiculous statement that you have a stash. I also provided you with a golden opportunity to bond with your son and explain to him the dangers of having a stash. And all I get for that service to you is abuse! Sheeesh!!

Oh, and this is completely serious and sincere, thanks for serving this country and helping to keep us free to have these silly disagreements.

I know you have to cut the new kid on the block some slack, and as a lawyer, I’ve always been trained to be excessively deferential to judges, but Judge, you just don’t hit your drive off the first tee right at my birthday buddie Tito’s head without raising my ire. I hope your list of managerial moves includes Tito’s move in Mayish, 2007 when most on this blog and elsewhere were screaming for Tito to replace his cribbage (my favorite card game) buddie DP with Alex Cora and he refused to listen. How did DP respond? He turned in a ROY performance in 2007, literally leading the Sox to the WS title, and then turned around and topped it in 2008, with GG, SS and MVP, literally strapping the injury-riddled Sox on his back, carrying them to within 1 game of the WS this year.

The saddest thing is that, having piloted the Sox to the WS title in 2007, Tito was entirely unlikely to be seriously considered for MOY in 2008 (not unlike Belichick and his injury-response were unlikely to net him COY after taking the Pats to an 18-1 season in 2007-08). However, given all of the injuries Tito dealt with (Big P., JD, Dice-K, Beckett 2-ice, Mikey L.), not to mention how he quietly handled the embarrassment that was Zazu, turning that into an extreme positive by swapping Zazu for the new Massachusetts Bay, IMHO he did at least as much as Joe Madden to get the Sox to the ALCS. His problem is that he does it so quietly that many think he’s ineffective. Never confuse a non-holler guy with being ineffective. In my book, there are few better managers in MLB than Tito and Joe Torre, they manage a lot the same way and are good friends.

I would ask, if Tito is not high on your list, who on Earth is? You can have Lou Piniella and his mouth. I know he has had some success but I think his abrasive personality is a part of the reason he has rarely been able to inspire his players to reach their pinnacle. Mike Scioscia — I grant you that he is deserving of praise, but he had the most talented team last year he is ever likely to manage, and couldn’t get them to the ALCS after winning 100 regular season games! Bobby Cox — now I grant you he has demonstrated a level of continued success over the years, but to borrow your logic — “Who couldn’t win with a starting rotation of Tom Glavine, Greg Maddux, John Schmoltz and Steve Avery (although the Sox couldn’t seem to find a way to win with Avery pitching for them)? But how many times has he won it all? If I’m not mistaken, in all of the time he has lead the supremely talented Braves teams, he has won one fewer World Series titles than Tito’s Sox have won in the 5 years he has been at the helm. I’m not saying that Tito’s God in the dugout (although I’d put him close), but I’m hard-pressed to find many in his profession who can hold a candle to him. Joe Torre, you say, I’ll give you that one, but I suggest that when you make that comparison, you are putting my birthday buddie in pretty cushy company.

So understand that on this blog, you take on Tito, and you are going to get taken on.

Now, for anyone who is still reading to hear my take on today’s deals, I certainly salute Theo’s creativity, but remain a bit concerned. It used to be that the Sox could pretty much count on the play-offs, and simply had to gear themselves to find a way to win them. I’m not sure that’s entirely the case anymore. With the way the Yanks have reloaded, and the way the Rays are loaded (not to mention adding Pat Burrell), I don’t think the Sox can take the post-season for granted. I agree with the sentiment expressed early by either my college football nemesis BosoxBrian, or Jeff, (I can’t remember which), that if the Sox were going to add Brad Penney, they still needed a reliable No. 4 starter. I don’t think they got it in Smoltzie. I like Smoltzie for Aug. and thereafter, but I still think they need an innings eater for the first portion of the season. I think that guy is D-Lowe, but whether the Sox went after him or Ben Sheets, I am concerned they don’t have their rock solid No. 4 for the entire season, unless either Buch steps up, or Justin M. comes out of the bullpen and fills in while neither Smoltzie or Penney can.

I would say the same thing for Rocco B. Beyond the romantic story attached to that signing, can he play day-in and day-out for the 4 -6 weeks when JD is down for whatever reason? While he would have cost $10+ Mil., i still think the 4th outfielder for the Sox was Eric Byrnes, and I was hopeful of a trade for him and the catcher Montero. That now seems highly unlikely, if for no other reason than the Sox have to be running out of spaces for their in-season 25-man roster. I surely hope I am wrong on both counts — that Smoltzie notches 18 starts and wins 12 games to go with 14 Brad Penney wins, and that Baldelli has 250 AB’s hitting 12 HR’s and plating 55 RBIs. Theo has clearly decided on a different path than the Yanks. Let’s hope he again is right. I will continue to chant “In Theo I Trust.”

Hey, BosoxBrian: You have to like the way the Bucks hung in there against the ‘Horns. It looks as though they and the Pats have to find a way to have critical games end after about 58 1/2 minutes (LOL).

actually the only thing i like about tito is his willingness to keep playing a plr until he plays thru it….say kudo to u on that 1…oh and by the way if ur so hung up on math…what i said was the games where he gives away by emptyin the bench are around 20-30….im not a fool and expect to win all of those games with the starters in….but a 1/3 of them isnt far off…a normal % givin im sure they won some of em anyways….so a 6-10 game ratio is what i meant…lol even im not so absurd as to assume they win every sunday game and u thought thats what i meant then i guess ur absurd also lol….btw u remember his good moves…who put timlin in so many times and i mean in critical situations last yr…it wasnt me….so if u honestly think timlin was the good choice all those times along with tito then gawd bless yeah…if i remember 1 of those was really critical…way back and gone….nice choice…..anyone and everyone knew that game was over when he made the call…..and i have many more…..judge

btw your welcome…sleep well all….judge

To quote,” he had over 20 games that he directly blew…” That, to me, means he lost those games. If one “directly” blows a game i am assuming that game would have been won, without the direct blowing. So that means that in ’04 the Sox should have won 115 games or so. Those are your own words. Also,….”piss away maybe 10-15 games a year…” So does “piss away” mean lose or maybe win? If “piss away” means lose, then last year the Sox could have been penciled in for at least 105 games won last year. There is no way in the world the Sox could have won 105 games last year.
I agree about some of those Timlin games. God awful.

Let’s see, dare I enter this minefield I’ve been witnessing the past few hours? HMMMM!…OK, I do at my own risk. Some of the games that we are referring to seem to be ones that would have been problems anyway. I agree with what has been said about Timlin in ’08 (although he did admirably in ’07; I think he overstayed this year and he shouldn’t be re-signed). I could throw in a few other instances with DelCarmen and Lopez, as well. Lopez, especially, has been a bust in my opinion. But it is difficult to lay all of that at Tito’s doorstep; to mix metaphors, he’s using the tools he has in his box (‘pen), and many of these tools in the box worked (witness, Masterson; I think Tito did admirably at not overworking him this year, or Pap, when our starters were not going deep into the ballgames as we needed them to). When Pap had his arm troubles in ’06, Tito was doing quite well, with mgmt and dr.’s, with making sure Pap and Oki were not overused, and partly because of it, we won the WS. And while we’re on it, Tito was not the one in ’03 who left Pedro in too long–that was another guy! And Tito did not make the “Pedro Mistake” in ’04. So we can debate games where Tito should have removed a pitcher or not played a younger player (but when you have Lugo, what’s the option?), but yes–Tito HAS done several things right in order to win 2 WS with the Red Sox teams we’ve had, and the way he handled the Zazu issue is underrated. So I do not give Tito a blank pass, nor do I give the FO a free pass (re-signing Timlin was not the best move last year, and we’ve talked about JD and Lugo). But he is FAR from the worst mgr. ever! And if we’re concerned about language, I can simply refer to Boras as “Beam Me Up Scotty” and leave it at that, but we might not want to talk about “pissing away a game” either.

This is great! The blog is heating up and it’s only January. The season is going to be here soon. Go Sox!!!

Judge,
Hang in there. I am a huge Tito aplogist and backer and I will be backing him up all year on this blog. But you won’t find a better place to comment anywhere. 99% of the folks on here are extremely knowledegable and we are like family so just stay here for a while and spend the season with us. We have a couple military retirees on here but sometimes our skin gets a little thin….we all have our moments…..right Garry??????? There are a great bunch of folks on here so buckle up the seatbelt in that GTO and come along for the ride!!!!!! It will be nice to have you and your son along.
- Craig Farnham

DBenjamin..

How the mighty ( Ohio State ) have fallen. Your happy with a close loss. Now that is funny! LOL!!

Judge,

My oh my! That is my reply for your comments about Francona and his “moronic” moves that cost the Red Sox over 20 games. What is in the water where you live???

I see that my old Dirt Dawg Trot Nixon has signed a contract (albeit Minor League) with the Brewers. The man still just wants to play the game!!!!

Judge and Jim Rome have never ever been seen in the same place at the same time, things that make me go hmmmmmmmmm. LOL!

DBenjamin…

Oh by the way, well said with your thoughts about Francona and managers! I just agreed with you. Yikes! We need too stop doing this. lol.

My thoughts about the Rays and there signing of Pat Burrell. Burrell has always played in the field and now needs time too adjust as just a hitter. Not an easy thing. O.K. signing by the Rays. Burrell’s knees are very bad and we’ll see how he holds out all season. I personally wouldn’t have given him that deal. Also my thoughts with T.B. going into the 2009 season is I don’t think there bullpen will be as lights out as it was in 2008. As of right now the Rays do not have a closer. Troy Percival was good about 4 years ago, if he was a horse he would have been shot long ago! Also them trading Edwin Jackson wasn’t the best move as well. You can never have enough starting pitching. We all know that but apparently the Rays do not! T.B. will be a good team but nothing more than 85 wins. Also another thing regarding the Rays, expectations in 2009. They snuck up on everyone in 2008, not the case in 2009!

In 2009 the A.L. East will be a 2 team race. We know who those teams are. Each team has questions going into 2009!

One more thing I would like too comment on is the signing of Kotsay. I am happy too here that he is back. I thought Kotsay played very well last year with the Red Sox and played first base as if he had played that position his entire career. Kotsay is versatile and players like him are needed in baseball because of the length of the season. Kotsay is like a butter knife, you can use him in various ways! Being a spoon or fork limits you! Food for thought, lol.

First off, awesome week Theo! Rocco, Kotsay, Smolz! Wow. Penny is frosting. I’m tickled to see Kotsay back. Gee what depth! All we need is the Captain. C’mon back and catch Smolzy, Tek!!!!

As for the war that’s been going on in the group as of late, I’m going to have to side with Ellen and the gang against the Tito outburst. Regardless of your opinion of the man, he’s done a tremendous job leading this team and I, for one, don’t waste my time looking for cheap stats like those that the Judge looks for. In all honesty, while reading this mindless drivel, I couldn’t help but think that this dude was planted on here by a Yankee blogger, just to stir the pot. Or maybe he IS a pinstriper at heart, but just likes messing with the gang. I realize I don’t contribute much to the conversation, but that doesn’t mean I don’t read the blog and in all honesty, Tito-bashing doesn’t belong here. If you want to do it, go blab away on a Yankee blog.

Living out here in between D-Back/Ranger country, the fans aren’t too happy at the thought of the Sox “robbing” them of their young catching talent (Montero/Salty/Teagarden) and I’ve not heard anything to substantiate any of the three of them moving East.

I have a feeling Papi and Lowell will have breakout years again and Smolz will do everything that Colon should have done. The Yanks are NOT the favorites in the East this year and I’m not being biased. There are a lot of knowledgeable baseball people around here and they are VERY impressed with Theo and the gang who are silently putting together a solid and championship-caliber bunch.

Looking over things from a contract perspective its interesting to note that our highest salaried player is…..J.D. Drew at 14 million!!

Listed are salaries in millions without bonuses.
Arbitration eligible players left (Paps, Youk, Lopez)
Needing Contracts (Lester, Delcarmen, Ellsbury, Ramirez)

Drew JD OF 14.00
Ortiz David DH 12.50
Lowell Mike 3B 12.00
Beckett Josh SP 10.50
Lugo Julio SS 9.00
Matsuz Daisuke SP 8.00
Bay Jason OF 7.50
Smoltz John SP 5.50
Penny Brad SP 5.00
Wakefield Tim SP 4.50
Francona Terry Mgr 3.50
Okajima Hideki RP 1.75
Bard Josh C 1.70
Kotsay Mark 1B/OF 1.50
Pedroia Dustin 2B 1.50
Baldelli Rocco OF 0.50
Tazawa Junichi P 0.45

I have been critical of Francona?s moves when I see it. I am still incensed with Franocon?a roster move and his passive managerial style during the 2008 playoffs.
That said, I firmly believe that Francona is the right manager for the Red Sox. The value of Francona is not necessarily his in-game managerial ability (actually his weakness) but his personality that fits like a hand in a glove with the organization. He maintains good relationships with the ownership, the FO, and the players. Francona is the type of manager that the players are willing to die/play for. Sometimes it is difficult to knock Fr. O?Malley type of guy when he makes a mistake. Francona is the personification of the ultimate team concept as opposed to a team trussing together by a bunch of individual superstars.
Resigning Kotsay almost makes the roster complete except for the catcher. I have no problem having Lowrie as an everyday SS. The Sox will not offer Tek more than $5M per yr. I wish Tek takes whatever the reason offer from the Sox or life goes on without Tek. I read that the FO is high on Buchholz and is willing to trade Bowden and/or Daniel Bard for Salty. I don?t think it?s enough for the Ranger.
So far I like Theo’s low risk/cost and potentially high reward signings. Hope it will make the Sox a more competitive team in 2009.

Jim, Judge (itwasntme7777), Has a right to his opinion.
and he’s been here for the past couple of months, I absolutely dont think he’s a Yankee plant.
It just comes down to agreeing to disagree.
Ps I take it your back from Paradise???

Brian:
I agree that AL East remains a two team race. The Yanks look formidable on the paper only. CC and AJ merely replaces Mussina (20 game winner) and Pettitte. The key to Yanks success rests with Wang and their 4th SP. If Wang had a good year like in 2007, the Yanks are playoffs bound. Well, we know how CC and Wang choke in the post season.
Teixeira replaces Giambi and Abreu?s bat. Of course Tex?s glove will help the Yanks defensively at 1B and that?s about it. OMG, imagine Tex, Jeter, and A-Rod in the same clubhouse. Do you think they will go out for a drink after the game? LOL

One thing about the Yankees that is a total unknown is can Joe Girardi handle the ego’s on the team. Also can he handle the heat as well. The kitchen in the Bronx gets real hot at times. Almost as hot as Arnie’s stoves. LOL!! Torre did a great job handling distractions ( Francona does a great job as well ) but will Girardi be able too do so. Also the players that were brought in ( Sabathia, Texeria and Burnett ) will they be able too handle N.Y. Texeria is known too get off too a slow start. I wish the season was starting tomm.

007…

I’m guessing like you and everyone else, those guys go in different directions when the game is over. Word has it that A-Rod and Texeria didn’t get along well in Texas. Things that make go hmmmmmmmmmm. lol.

Francona’s strength isn’t his moves during the game, we all know that. His in game moves are questioned by me and others but we can’t argue with success! Francona handles/manages people very well. He has the respect in that clubhouse and that is all that matters! In a clubhouse there are 25 different personalities and I believe the players have Francona’s back and he has theirs. When players left Boston in the past they always would nail the organization, that is not the case anymore! I think at times some fans ( remember fan is short for fanatic ) are just unhappy no matter what!

I think that when the Yankees games are over, the Clubhouse guy calls for 26 cabs (25 for the team and an extra one for Arods ego)
When the Redsox games end they call for 1 big ol bus!!!!

I have also, at times-particularly during the game- feel that Tito’s moves leave a lot to be desired and let it be known on this blog (often criticized by other, more loyal bloggers). But, after venting, we move on to the next game and take it from there. Basically, we all want the Sox to win and at times we are frustrated.
As far as Tek is concerned, I think he ought to accept what Theo offers provided he is given reasonable performance incentives- like some of Theo’s most recent hires. If Tek performs like he used to, he should be rewarded accordingly. If he doesn’t, then he accepts what he signed for. I think that everyone (except Boars) would agree that this is fair.

I am also very happy to see Kotsay return. He plated solidly while he was here, and he can fill in admirably at either 1B or OF. If we can re-sign Casey, Cora, and/or Kielty, (any combo) we’ll have a solid bench.
I hope we’ll get off this “Judge is a Yankee plant” nonsense. I disagree with him on Tito as much as I disagree with Brian on Lowrie, but the last thing I’d call either of them is a Yankee mole! Let’s get real, please! (I still maintain that Lowrie and Tito are underrated, not overrated!) I would still hope that the FO and Tek would put aside “Beam Me Up Scotty” and re-sign Tek on the same type of year-to-year option that Wake has. That was Judge’s idea (on this blog, anyway), and I hope it has legs with the FO!

While we’re on the Yankees for the minute, we will just have to get over the fact (sob, sob) that they will be without Jason and the Golden Thong! The Evil Empire is out of whack again without its “charm” ;)!

Greg…. YES YES YES!!!! RE-SIGN SEAN CASEY!!!! lol
I would like to see him re-signed, he is a great clubhouse “glue” and very solid back-up for 1st base.

I agree totally with u on all of your points!
I have come down with my 1st cold in 4 years. and it is a horrible one. Just in time for me to stand in line tomorrow to get RedSox v Oriole Spring Training Tickets. I will be there if they have to strap me to a stretcher and lean it up against a wall. We can only get bleacher seats but… its only 12 dollars per ticket and the bleachers are next to the batting practice area and the bull pen and the guys have to walk right by us to get to the dugout. I do think it stinks that in order to get reserved seats, you have to buy a 4 game block… I dont think I could put together 4 games that I want to see the Orioles play. (they have the games picked out that you have to buy). But anyway, I’ll get to see the “boys of spring-summer-and early fall” play!!!! WOOOOOOOOOOO
WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!! B-Ball right around the corner!!!!(60 + days, thats not tooo long). I cant wait

Hey! BosoxBrian:

You just won’t let me breathe about the Bucks!!! Can’t wait to see your banter next Fall when the Trojans invade Columbus. I know you won’t be surprised to hear that there is loud disappointment around Cleveburg about why the Brownies had to jump so quickly for Mangenius. Should be the kiss of death for their hopes of landing Scott Pioli as GM, although there is some discussion about Mangini retaining Romeo C. I think that would be a bit odd, but from what I can tell, he is a bit odd. Guess he started out as a Brownie ballboy. What a major hiring credential for a pro football coach (lol)!

I’m not as hyped on bringing back Mark Kotsay as the rest of you seem to be. In the one game I saw him live last Fall, he certainly did appear to hustle and fit into the club, but I still think Eric Byrnes would contribute more, not withstanding his significantly higher salary.

As I said the other day, I do like the Penny and Shmoltzie signings, but hope they can still find an innings-eater for the No. 4 spot. As I count, with Kotsay, there is at most one other 25-man roster spot remaining. Guess there won’t be room for both Tek and Salty. I suspect with the cryptic comments Theo is making he expects to ultimately get Tek committed to returning to the Sox. I also wonder if the conversations that keep seem to come back to Gregg Zaun are anything more than idle speculation.

The Sox must have a lot of confidence that Luis Exposito will be the real deal in a couple of years. Sure hope the farm system is precisely that good. Have a pretty good Wilmington, Del. lawyer who regularly hosted Shmoltzie and his Braves pitching buddies at the best golf course in the US, a place called Pine Valley, when the Braves played in Philly. I called him today to see if he would give me some Shmoltzie contact info so I could invite Shmoltz to play my course in Cleveburg (we are scheduled to host the Senior PGA Championship this May), when the Sox visit in late April. I had not talked to my friend Bob in quite a while, and only learned when I called today that he has health struggles that have held him out of the office for the past two months. I thought I’d left that crap behind when I turned the calendar to 2009. Guess advancing age keeps bringing that situation around.

Ellenc — loved your 26 Yankee taxis comment. Hope you fare well getting O’s tix tomorrow. I did get tix to the O’s game at Fort Myers 3/15, but by the time I got through to the Sox computer tix window, all that was left was SRO. I hope a bunch of people decide to pass that game up so we can eventually get some seats.

Am I the only one watching the MLB Network?? At 7 every night they have the Hot Stove Report. They have Kevin Millar as an analyst (I guess his new spot until/unless he gets picked up). He is REALLY VERY good, I was impressed,
one drawback though.. they have him next to Migrane… McReynolds is there also… I just love this new network.. ML baseball 24/7!!!!! On directv here its on 213. Give it a try, If nothing else it makes the baseball jones-ing a lot easier..

I like Kotsay as a vesatile reserve but is he going to be happy as a role player? I know he figures to get playing time with Lowell coming off rehab and JD Drew being JD Drew but I did not think he would be happy as a part timer. Hope it works out. Wonder what kind of incentives a part timer can hope to achieve? It certainly is an interesting roster. A lot of potential that could go either way.

I wish I could, Ellen. No can do–too $$$.

By the way….hope you shake that cold Ellen!!!!! Maybe Arnie has a special concoction that’ll chase it away!!!

CFarnham, I don’t think Kotsay would have agreed to sign with us if he were not willing to return to a similar role that he had last year. One thing about these former Braves (Kotsay being one–having watched them now as my “local” team for a while), they are blue-collar, go-to-work, do-your-job types, so I am sure that Kotsay would fit in that way. (I like Casey and Salty for the same reason). And if nothing else, were he to change his mind, he could be someone’s Rent-A-Player for the second half, or sign with someone else next year. (Or, he could be part of a trade pkg. to unload Lugo)–but I can wish ;)!

Greg,
I guess you are right. It has to be pretty easy for Kotsay to see his role with the Sox. I don’t think other teams were beating his door down either so it was getting late for him to make up his mind. Ballplayers are human and want to know as soon as possible where the family will be for the next year. If it’s anything like the military it can be an anxious time when it’s time to go to a new station. He’s got stability for the next year and a paycheck so i’m sure that’s part of the decision. I like what he brings. He’s a hustler who gives 110% and he is a good team mate. Can’t wait for the season to start.

By the way CFarnham (and you too, Judge), thank you and all vets for your service to this country. God Bless.

im glad kotsay,smoltz,and penny are signed.all are great clubhouse guys and performers.i said before that penny would be the only pitcher i would want other than lowe but he is overpriced.what a steal penny will be if he puts up 15 wins.anyone wondering like me if that deal with texas is ever gonna get done?….i prefer teagarden but i love salty too…one other thing too…what would u want more instead of lowrie?….i mean he stepped in and didnt commit an error,lead the team in driving in runs with less that 2 outs,batted a respectful ave,and between him and mighty mouse were a dominant turn two duo….ill take em anyday…unless hanley is commin but i cant see that ever happenin….judge

My ears are burning, did someone mention my name? Oh… a cold remedy? Well, when I’m feeling blue, which isn’t often, I take the juice of 2 lemons, add 2 tablespoons of honey and pour hot water over it. Add a quarter to 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper and drink it down. My business partner says that his aunts who raised him would drink a shot of aged tequila every morning and never got sick. I recommend Centenario Anejo or Sauza Tres Generacions. Tasty! You’ll want to get sick more often with those!

Judge, I couldn’t agree more on Lowrie. Give the kid a chance, he did well in his brief debut.

Greg,
Appreciate the thanks. Garry is a retiree from the Navy and I retired form the USAF and we both agree that without the civilians behind us, it would not have been possible to accomplish our jobs. Judge…I agree with you about Lowrie. He is ready to bust out and perform like **** is expected to. Sometimes I think people get spoiled by the power hitting/speedy/.300 hitting SS. All I ask for is good defense and a steady bat. I think Lowrie can give the Sox that. He should at least be given more than a 3-month trial. And that was in the middle of a pennant race and I thought he did good. He ‘s tough as nails and another kid who leaves it all on the field when the game is over. I think his range will improve with experience and a lot of guys with good range have learned how to postion themselves against certain hitters to begin with. It’ll all come together and I think the Sox realize that.

Ellen,
Arnie has your homemade Nyquil ready. His sounds a lot better!!!!!!

Check it out…..I wrote A Shortstop but abbreviated SS and it thought I cussed….thus the ***. Ha Ha!!!!

CF04, I thought you were simply bleeping out “LUGO” :)!

Greg,
It would have been appropriate!!!!!! I cringed whenever anything was hit at him last year!!!

Ellen and the gang,

Hi again. Yes, back from paradise. The wife took 2nd in the show and we’re waiting for word from ESPN if/when they plan to televise the results. Oftentimes, shows such as Ms. Fitness Pageants are pushed to the backburner of sports programming and ironically, these days, world class athletes such as my other half take a backseat to……

Poker? When did poker become a sport? In eighth grade, I represented my junior high in Washington in the Scripps Howard Spelling Bee and not once did it occur to me that I would qualify for a spot on a sports highlight reel or show.

That being said, I shift gears. One of the things that attracted me to this blog (first and foremost, Ian) was the class with which the gang exhibited when blogging about the greatest baseball team on the planet. This is a gathering of baseball fans with a common interest. In addition, it’s quite refreshing to read commentary from a group of passionate people who are well-versed in the sport and cognizant of every Red Sox characteristic. It’s also pleasant to read well-written blogs that contain little, if any misspellings, hateful attacks and grammatical butchering of the English language, a long-time staple of keyboard commandos with a sixth-grade education. I understand that some folks are not as well-versed in penmanship or as careful with the keys as others. I can live with that. Nor do I view my skills on the keboard as superior — I just enjoy reading good writing from knowledgeable people and I found it here with Arnie, Ellen, Brian, Greg, Garry, DJ, etc..etc..

Then along came da Judge and quite frankly, I couldn’t keep my mouth shut after the Tito comments. I will refrain from any further Judge-bashing, as long as negative comments about the team and its players (which you commenters are completely entitled to share) are minimized in the fashion in which he expressed them. Quite frankly, Gang, I have felt a kindred spirit with you throughout the duration of our blog-time and though, I don’t know any of you personally, I
“know” you. When someone jumps on board and brings a fresh, new perspective to this blog, I’m fine with it. But when the Tito-bashing comments were made by someone who is supposedly a “fan”, I couldn’t help thinking as though I was reading Yankee garble. Have any of you hopped over to the “dark side” and read some of their blog entries? They sound like a bunch of home-bound teens taking out their athletically-challenged frustrations on the other bloggers and the team. And I couldn’t help but think that da Judge was a Yankee mole — even if some of his previous entries contained insightful commentary. And with that, I will seque into baseball chat…..
I think now that Penny, Kotsay and Smolz have boarded the Red Sox Express, there’s only one other stop that needs to be made: Tek Station. If we don’t get that big bopper to compliment Papi, so be it. 1 through 9 in the Sox order will still beat the pants off of 99% of the rest of MLB on any given day. And with that in mind, I can’t wait for Ft. Myers.

P.S. Judge, welcome to the gang.

Well, Jimm3, thanks for including me in as part of the “gang” even though I have been actually blogging on this page for a shorter time than Judge has (I actually thought he was one of the “old-timers” on this blog!). While I am new to actually blogging on this page, I have followed Ian’s page (if not always the commentary) for a while, and have highly respected his blogging and his news reporting. And I am happy that everyone on the blog has taken what I have said and responded in the spirit in which I’ve written it, whether serious or mischievous ;)! I began blogging simply because people on the blog have been more seriously-minded than what I have seen on other blogs, especially (and this is what got me started in the blog itself) when it came to the Tex/ Lowell debate. Ian’s perspective is one I share, and Lowell is one of my favorite players in a long time (I respected him, and Beckett, when they won the 2003 WS–beating the Yankees then did not hurt, either!), and I could not believe that we were “handed” Mike Lowell on a silver platter along with Beckett! And both delivered in 2007, which made me all the more excited, and I wanted Lowell to re-sign with us as much as anyone who was chanting for him in the stands after the 07 WS! So that’s what “provoked” me to start blogging; but I have enjoyed blogging with y’all in the short time I have, but I’ll be around for a while on the blog. Even when I’ve disagreed with Judge or Brian or anyone else, it has been a blast, and I liked the fact that everyone simply responded to me as a contributor, and didn’t even seem to pay attention to the fact that I was/am “new”. So, thanks, y’all. GO SOX!

Jim, you’re right about the Yankee blog. I visit there occasionally to gauge the mood in the Bronx and to see if their is the same positive attitude there as on Ian’s blog. It’s a nightmare world of ghetto-speak. If you saw Lord Of The Rings it’s like taking a trip to Mordor. God bless my Mom, I never got past high school, but she made sure I could construct a sentence well enough and gave me some spelling lessons. Thanks Mom! Congrats to your wife for 2nd place.

You think Tek is sizing up the Sox now and thinking that he should sign on? I like the way Theo has brought in players who know the game, can produce in the post-season and are professionals.
Vault, I wonder if you could do a side-by-side of the Sox payroll and the Yanks, just for giggles? Then at the end of the season we could do a ROI on the teams, position by position. Or most expensive to most economical.

Arnie, is that because there they “Mordor” the English language ;)?? Tek might want to get on the Red Sox Express if he is listening to someone other than “Beam Me Up Scotty”–the train is headed for Ft. Myers, and he would be smart to get on!

Greg, your posts fit in so seamlessly that I thought you had just been off the blog for a while. Stick around, it’s a blast here during the season. Hmmm…. a blast…. well that may speak more to my lack of a life than anything else, let’s just say that it’s nice to share with other Sox fans. Especially since I live so far from New England now.

“Mordor” the English language?? Ouch!! I was typing when you posted that. Good one.

That’s what comes with the territory when you are actually asked (as I have, Arnie), “Is Pun your second language? You get to catch people with their “Tips of the Slongue”! I wish I were anywhere near Fenway, as I never have. I have only seen Fenway from the outside–the John Hancock building, in fact–and that, only once, in 1978!! But that is what happens when you grow up in a town without a baseball team (I am from DC–”where national news is local news”)! GO SOX!!

Welcome Greg……This is a great place to be. You’ll never see a basball season go by as fast as when you are on this blog. Really is sad when the season is over. Just wait and see….it gets better!!!!! And it’s not too bad right now!

Good night, I hope not! The season goes way too fast as it is, already! I am always itching for it as soon as the season is over, and can’t wait (even as I am enjoying NFL and college sports) for MLB season to start! GO SOX!

Out here in NV it is only 8:46 PM.

While the veterans that Theo picked up may not be in their prime, and not in the best of health, the one thing that they possess is the innate drive of competitiveness, both against an opponent as well as amongst teammates, that many of the younger higher-priced players lack today. They have been there and know what it is all about. Given half the chance health-wise, they will hopefully give it their all, particularly against the “enemy”. Spring training, and beyond for some of the ailing players, should be something to look forward to this season. I know this blog will give them all the support we can. Let’s hope they heal fast.

one thing im kinda sad on….i like kotsay and his attitude and is definately a capable back up….why couldnt we have brought back trot trot for that spot….just a thought….judge….gn all sleep well

another thought ive been pondering is movin yuke to 3rd and lowell to 1st to preserve mikeys health a bit…..i know mikey is better glove than yuke at 3rd but not by much and if yuke could do it why couldnt mikey….im sure were gonna see alot of switches in the infield to pending health issues….im dreading seeing lugo back but maybe he will earn some of that ghost contract he got…i love theo but man what was he thinkin….did he think lugo was gonna step into the fenway phone booth and emerge super lugo…his numbers were never really great ….one other thing im gonna out on a limb now and predict….i think bay will lead the team in rbis next ….great park to play in and plenty of help around em…no shortage of ppl on base for em if he can grab that 5th or 6th spot in line up….judge…

Greg1969I dont know what television service you have, but MLB Network is on directv and Comcast (the only ones i know of). But we pay no extra for that.

Well… MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!!!! Ticket window opened at 10:00. We got there at 10 til nine… 21st in line… Home by 10:50, 4 tickets in hand!!!!!! March 14th…. YEEEESSSSSS!!!

D.Benjamin..

I love having fun with your beloved Buckeyes. Somehow someway they ended up in the top 10 with 3 losses. Did Tressell mail some blank checks too the voters? LOL!! I’m calling it right now, Gators vs Trojans for all the marbles in Jan. 2010. Gators are loaded up and down there roster. Too many Gator fans for me around here but that is how it goes.

I’m guessing Smoltz and Wakfield will be great friends. Similar age and they love too golf and fish. Smoltz is one of the best golfers among all the major sports ( baseball, football and basketball–sorry no hockey ) from what I have read. Pitchers are under-rated athletes! I hope Garry read that. Props too you Garry.

I don’t know why you don’t like the idea of Kotsay. Kotsay did anything the Red Sox asked of him last season. He played first base when Lowell went down. Kotsay made some really solid plays down at first in 2008. Kotsay can play all outfield positions and has a solid arm as well. Among the leaders is assists the last couple of seasons. I thought a year ago at this time the Sox bench and bullpen was very weak. Not the case in 2009!

Ian or Jeff,
Any chance the Sox could put a package together for Buster Posey. This guy would be awesome in Sox uniform. He was fantastic at FSU.
Something like Manny DelCarmen, Daniel Bard, and Josh Riddick. Not Weiters, but not bad at all.

Ellen, where we are, MLB Network, like NFL Network, is on a “sports tier” that you’d have to pay SIGNIFICANTLY more $ than what we currently pay! :/ Congrats, Ellen.
I’d love to see Trot return, Judge–I’d have loved that in 07, also!–but that hasn’t seemed likely. I am glad, though, that he gets a very deserving reception from the fans when he returns to Fenway (even as he attempted to take our lunch in the 07 ALCS! Hmmm…:/). But I’d love to see him return!
How about this: Lugo and Lopez (or DelCarmen if desired), for Posey ;)? Oh, well, here again, I can wish!…

We just picked up Saito, also?! Does anyone smell a trade in the air? Looks to me like we’re stocking up for a blockbuster! Anyone else think so?

multiplayer deal with texas maybe?……..texas also has an outfielder that may be superstar someday….cruz…5 tool plr…maybe florida is gonna unload hanley before he gets really paid…..judge…..delcarmen,bucholz,and masterson or bowden for hanley?…i know i can only dream lol

I hope not Masterson, Judge, but I like where you’re going with that (throw in Lugo, we might get it done, no ;) ?)!

Trot signed a mior league contract with the Brewers last month… Still scrapping away he is!!

I have directv and here it just comes on as a non premium. We bundled (2 years ago)our internet (at&t),telephone (at&t),and satellite (directv) all 3 for 99 per month. 5 dollars more per month for extra boxes. I think we got quite a deal.

Is Gabe Kapler still with the Brewers, also, Ellen? Red Sox Reunion Tour in Milwaukee, hmmm…Maybe they can watch a Marquette college basketball game with me (my alma mater)! GO SOX!

The Phillies are looking at Gabe AND NOMAHHHH.. I think that Kapler only had a one year deal with the Brew Crew.. He’d be Phreakin awesome in Philly..

I too wish that Trot was here. For the newer members here, I am the unofficial number 1 Trot Fan.. Broke my RedSox heart when the didnt re-sign him… I just LOVE DIRT DAWGS!!!! he’s one guy you can count on to give 130% every time he steps to the plate or onto the field.

I noticed that Baldelli (who should be an excellent pick-up!) kept his #.5 jersey–so much for NOMAAAHHH! Hmmm…

actually my favorite alltime #5 was the boomer….boy did he launch some moster homers…judge

monster that is….good old days of scoring 12 but givin up 14 lol

I never thought of the trade aspect of Theo picking up all these pitchers, Saito, etc. My first thought was that he wanted to go into Spring Training with a bullpen loaded up. You never know who will falter as the season progresses. I’d keep Masterson for sure and probably Buchholz too. So many teams are interested in Buch, must be for a very good reason. The kid has nasty stuff, he just needs to learn how to use it. I really think the Sox are looking very good for ’09 as long as Lowell and Ortiz can get back to something close to their old form. I hope for Mike to hit .275 or .280 with maybe 25 HR’s and 80 to 90 RBI. And if Ortiz can hit high 200′s with 30 HR and 100 RBI the Sox will be fine. Look for Bay to hit around .280, 30 and 100. Youk is so versatile and we can pencil in DP for .300, 12 to 15 HR and 75 RBI. Add Ellsbury, who can only improve, and JD who should be good for .275, 20 and 80. So there are only 2 question marks, barring severe injury, in Lowrie and catcher. If Tek signs, that’s a weak spot in the line-up but so what? Bard can sub for Tek sometimes, he has a good bat. The real mystery is Lowrie and I project him at .250 or .270 with maybe 8 HR’s and 50 or so RBI. It’s really a pretty balanced line-up; not a bone-crushing line up but most of these guys are crafty players who can take the extra base and steal a base, and not a lot of them strike out too much. There will always be someone on base, they’ll put a lot of pressure on opposing pitchers. I predict that by the end of ’09 the Sox will be in the top 5 or 6 in runs scored in the AL. Add to that the pitching, which will be very good and a solid defense and you’ve got a very well balanced team that should go far in October. The Sox infield has 3 Gold Glovers and the outfield has three guys who can run down a fly ball. What’s not to like for ’09? Look how solid the bench is. I think the Sox are the team to beat in the AL East in ’09.

I also like the way the lineup is shaping up, also; I hope Lowrie does better than .250, though, or Brian will be right in his skepticism. I hope Masterson is an untouchable, and Buchholz only if there is a blockbuster trade shaping up! We seem to be overstocking on relievers, even without Timlin on the roster; with Ramirez, Oki, DelCarmen, Masterson/Wake (whichever is not in the rotation), Aardsma, Lopez, Pap, etc., we won’t have enough space left for position players before long! Hmmm…that’s why (along with Tek not being re-signed yet!) I think a trade of some kind is in the works, and it could shape up to be a big one if we can dump some salaries (Lugo, Drew, etc.,)! But who knows–maybe we’re just positioning ourselves to get back Zazu from the Dodgers! (Yeah, right ;) !)

Yeah, yeah, I know about Lugo, but I can still dream, can’t I? ;)

New Post!! see you there

Is it just me, or does this pitching swap (Pauley for Bierd) with the O’s got everyone else scratching their heads?

Must have been a slow day in Theo’s office.

Someone mentioned getting Zazu back from the Dodgers. Really? Maybe as a DH but CERTAINLY NOT in LF. Even still, I don’t see him (or management) considering that one.

My 7 year old wants to comment:

“Bring back Manny!”

He still won’t remove Manny from the lineup on MLB 2008 (PS 2 game)!

MY comment: Bring back JASON!

Jimm3, Nah, I was just thinking ironically about Zazu returning to us, esp. with “Beam Me Up Scotty” Boras as his agent! After all, if we’re no closer to bringing back Tek, with or without “Beam Me Up Scotty” involved, how much less would Zazu make sense? I am with you, Bring Back Tek, but I must say, I still am not so sure it will happen. (So we’re killing time trading Minor League pitchers. Hmmm…)

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