Now it makes sense

Wondering why the Red Sox signed Brad Wilkerson earlier this week when they already have Mark Kotsay to back up at first base and the outfield?

We got our answer today with the revelation that Kotsay underwent back surgery on Jan. 29.

The Red Sox sound optimistic on Kotsay. He shouldn’t miss much time. He’s had back issues in the past. But it’s nice to have Wilkerson around to fill that role until he gets back.

109 Comments

Back surgery! Great. Now I’m really glad that we signed Wilkerson. Thanks for the update Ian!

Julia
http://werbiefitz.mlblogs.com/

Theo was hot for Wilkerson last year. Of course Wilkerson signed with the M’s and had a horrible season. I have never had back problems but anyone that has had it, says it is a b—h. Get well Kotsay! I like role players like Kotsay.

Pitchers and catchers are getting closer and closer too reporting. Lester is already there, a sign of good things! Living here in the bay area gives me alot of chances too see Spring Training. I love it!

OMG, didn’t we discuss Kotsay and Wilkerson this morning before the news came out?

I also like Kotsay a lot, and I feel bad for him; I wonder if Theo and the FO had a heads-up that this surgery was going to be necessary. I hope this back surgery helps him, and when he returns, Kotsay can add depth to our bench. Meanwhile, I hope this gives Wilkerson the opportunity to cash in on some of that untapped potential that I’ve always believed he had, but has never really materialized.
Jimm3, I don’t know for a fact that Theo hasn’t, in fact, been pursuing a “big bat”. I hope, though, he does not pursue Dunn. He has “Drew and Lugo results” written all over him. If he joins us, don’t be surprised if he lays an egg, and we have another empty spot in the order.

Somewhat an unrelated issue. Is it a little disconcerting to anyone else that the SS position is being considered a “foot race” between Lugo and Lowrie? Hmmm…doesn’t exactly inspire confidence in the postition! I sure hope Lowrie comes out of the gate strong on this one! :/

If Theo wants Lugo to earn the salary he is getting let him sell peanuts at Fenway. Expensive, but at least he’ll get something out of him. Lowrie earned the spot when Lugo shirked his obligations. Use Lugo as a pinch-runner if need be.

I agree with Greg. When did Lugo become a possible starter at SS?

Julia
http://werbiefitz.mlblogs.com/

Lugo selling peanuts, Pangelotti? Nice!…If you can’t trade him, put him to work! Well done! GO SOX!

Memo to Theo: TRADE LUGO, for peanuts (literally!) if need be!

Barring any latest trade, Lugo could be the opening day SS if Lowell is not healthy enough to play. Lowrie will play 3B. If Wilkerson can play 1B, Lowrie will likely be the SS and Youk at 3B.

007, and I thought Ian’s scenario of Lugo starting at SS (or having an “open competition”) was depressing! Your first scenario brings back the “what’s in the water where you live?” debate. Please tell me you’re joking. :/ Lugo should not be ANYWHERE NEAR 3B, let alone SS! Put Wilkerson at 1B and Youk at 3B if you must, but I’d rather have Youk or Lowrie play SS than Lugo. Let him sell Pangelotti’s peanuts!

Greg: We know Kotsay will be out till May. If Lowell cannot start on opening day. The infield will look like this barring any trade, not necessarily the way I want:
1B Youk, 2B Pedroia, SS Lugo, 3B Lowrie OR if Wikerson can play 1B
1B Wilkerson, 2B Pedroia, SS Lugo/Lowrie, 3B Youk

Kotsay can still be a productive player if he is healthy. He played really well for the Braves and Red Sox last year. I liked seeing him play first base so well too.
http://downonstrikes.blogspot.com/

007, then put Wilkerson in at 1B and see what Lowrie can do. Lugo ain’t it. And all the more, we need to make sure Lowell is healthy, so this debate is moot! Lowrie at 3B? That is no answer, either.

Someone mentioned on here that Lugo could sell peanuts. Have you folks been too Fenway and watch those guys throw those peanut bags around? They seem too make the perfect throw everytime, something Lugo can’t do! LOL!!

Lugo is making 9 million in 2009( great job on that contract Theo….NOT!! ) he’ll find his way on the field somehow someway. John Henry doesn’t want 9 million dollars watching the game like us the fans. No owner wants that too happen.

I have the perfect position for Lugo… LEFT. as in LEFT OUT!!! LOL Why not make him a morale booster for Pawtucket.. You know, he could go down to Triple A and try all the positions, and when he fails and the minor leaguers look so much better than he, they’ll surely have their spirits lifted!!!! haha

Turning Lugo into our “little mentor” again, eh, Ellen? Be careful that he not scare away the prospects! ;)
Then again, thinking back to Lugo’s “posting” given to us by davecgs (on the Jim Rice thread), since Lugo was shooting for “only 40 errors in 30 games” and “batting .002, a full point up from last year” (thanks, davegcs), maybe he’ll give folks the illusion that they are major-league ready, when they hit better than he does! :)

If bosoxbrian is correct and Theo will find some way to put Lugo on the field- I would suggest that he help the ground crew. When it rains he can help with the tarp and also spread sand on the pitcher’s mound. He can also help smooth out the infield just prior to game time. Of course he could also act as a ball-boy and bring out extra baseballs to the umpire as well as act like a bat-boy. I would hesitate putting him along the sidelines to get foul balls. He makes too many errors and would not only hold up the game but he might also put some of the fans at risk which would then drive up insurance costs.

Hey! Guys and Girls!

I’ve had a devil of a time signing on the last few days. I’ve been amused by your brutality with $9 Mil. of your ticket money.

Theo never ceases to amaze me. We just find out that Kotsay has a back ailment, and Theo already has a back-up plan in place. While it is of some concern that the Sox already have to start thinking about injury replacements (and pitchers and catchers are a week away from reporting [other than Jon L -- way to go fellow lefty!]) the Pawsox should look mighty potent this year. I’m telling you, I think they could give a bunch of major league teams a run for their money on a regular basis.

Here’s a question for all of you: of the players expected to start in the minors (including Buchholz, Bowden, Kottaras, Brown, etc), who will get the first call up (or make the team out of Spring Training)? If you feel Brad Wilkerson will be first to make it, then who do you think will be the second to make it?

I’d like to see Bowden come up, and let us see what he can do. I’ve not seen him yet, and either in ST or in the regular season, I would love to see how good his stuff is. Plus, I think he (or any of our pitchers) would benefit from Smoltz’ leadership, since he has both started and closed.

I dont think that Lugo could carry the ground crews joc,, well you know.

I think it will be Clay-boy Buccholz.. I still think that they will package him at some point down the line. I like him…. but he just plain scares the hell out of me..

Okay,
Now you have all just scared the heck out of me. If our opening day line-up includes Wilkerson and Lugo I am going to cry right now. I’m not ready for that reality check yet. Next time I go to Fenway I’ll need to find out if Lugo is playing so I stay on the 3rd base side of the field. Assuming one of his throws could reach the stands no sense sitting on the first base side. I am about to say a big prayer for Mike Lowell to come back healthy in time for spring training and for Jed Lowrie to have a strong spring. I know that the pitchers had to be cringing on every ball hit to Lugo….at least I was. Lowrie has a better glove and will hit better than Lugo when given the chance. Unfortunately at $9M a year we are stuck with Lugo…unless we play our famous “you can have him and we’ll pay his salary” trick as we have in the past. Okay, my first rant for the year is over. Our father, full of grace…….

Make that Our Father, who art in heaven…..Got that mixed up with Hail Mary, Full of grace, help me find a parking place. (It worked last time I tried it!!!!)

You’re right, Craig, which is why I was wondering if Ian was writing his analysis of the “footrace” for the SS position (between Lowrie and Lugo) with a straight face, or he was bawling, also! Like I said at the beginning of this discussion, that is not a race that inspires fear in our opponents! (Let alone putting Wilkerson at 1B or Lowrie at 3B with Lugo at SS–if Lowell doesn’t start Opening Day at 3B–like 007 suggested!) It should scare us to death–no matter how good Lowrie turns out to be! As for “eating” Lugo’s salary, I’m all for it! (Someone gets a “stimulus pkg.” that way!) UGH!

Lugo can be the bat boy sweep up the sunflower seeds in the dugout keep the double bubble stocked up and Do skits on top of the dugout with Walley

Greg,
I guess you missed the Bowden ML debut. He may be the answer to a future trivia question of “Who had his first ML win before winning at AAA?” His delivery reminds me of Keith Foulke another “short-armer.”

If I remember correctly, Buchholz was optioned back to Portland to work on new mechanics. Depending on how he progressed in the AFL (good stats,) his starting the year at Portland would seem to make it unlikely that he sees any time in MLB this year.

D. Benjamin,

I was thinking you were too busy shoveling snow and that was the main reason why you were not around. LOL!! A tad cool for Florida standards the last few days. Can’t complain about the weather in Florida, alot of folks do. Boy they have a nerve, lol.

Kramer,

I doubt Buchholz will spend time in A.A. Portland. I’m guessing if he stays with the Red Sox, he’ll be in A.A.A. or the big leagues. I will say he’ll start the year in A.A.A. Hard too believe he tossed a no hitter back in Sept. of 2007. It seems like so long ago! The ups and downs of young pitchers.

Brian,
I hope you’re right, I love to see the kids play. So this move was just a wake-up call?

8/20/08 Optioned RHP Clay Buchholz to Double-A Portland.

Kramer,

If memory serves correct on Buchholz being demoted to A.A. Portland last year. Buchholz was going to be with a pitching coach that he was very familar with and had success with. I’m sure it was some sort of wake-up call as you say, I agree with you. Buchholz did do very well in the Arizona Fall League. When it comes too young talent like Buchholz, patience is needed. I would not deal him away just yet.

This may be one heck of a roller coaster ride for us Sox fans this year. This is the first time in a while that I can remember when I have no clue what this club is capable of. They could be great or they could be in trouble. I don’t see much middle ground with this team. It looks like we’ll be relying on pitching and defense which isn’t so bad but I am a little edgy….and it’s not even pitchers and catchers time yet!!!!! Somebody on here calm me down….AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!

I agree, Craig, and part of what would help my edginess would be to get an update on Lowell. Last I heard, he was progressing well (I am VERY glad he’s not going to be in the WBC this year), but an update would help. As would that “big bat” that has been the talk around RSN ever since the Tex fiasco. I suspect, also, that Lugo’s not being healthy, with his quad injury, has limited our ability to move him. (Let alone his salary!)
I still would like to see one of our pitchers be traded as part of that “big bat” pursuit, and see how our new pitching acquisitions pan out (I probably am not alone in saying I am far from sold on almost any of them). But I have said before that I’d like Lopez to be moved (with or without Lugo going with him!), and pkg. him in a trade (with other pieces, of course) to get that bat (and no, I hope Dunn is not it!). That, finally, might give Bowden and/or Buchholz the opportunity to see what they can do. But no, the present makeup of this roster, even with Lowell healthy, will still be somewhat shaky until Spring Training is well underway.

Okay Craig.. This is Trixie talking to you…. STEP AWAY FROM YOUR THOUGHTS…. Think about this… What exactly have we changed??? Not a whole lot, right?… ( are you feeling any less anxious??) Okay.. We still have Youk at 1st, Petey at 2nd, Mikey at 3rd (even at 3/4 strength he’s still better than most) and he shouldbe at FULL STRENGTH this season. We have JBay in left we have Obey-wan Jacoby in center, and JD in right (with a much “feely better” Baldelli backing the outfield up) Hey.. we even had Johnny Pesky turn the key on the moving van today to start the process!!!! Don’t worry Craig.. dont think about this now… Hey if all else fails, we always have Trixie to keep up the morale!!!
Wow.. He was really close to that ledge…
Craig, are you feeling any better now??
I’m GLAD!!!

That’s right! Hey. as long as we’ve got Trixie, we’ll be just fine! ;)

Did anyone take a look at the previous thread about our “Catcher of the Future” debate? Seems a couple of Rangers fans pitched in (pun intended!) and gave a couple of thoughts on their catchers, Salty and Teagarden, in particular. Y’all may want to check it out–it’s an interesting take from their side of things!

To speak honestly, I for one (and many others), is disappointed with the Varitek resigning. Hope we do not lose a lot for the future because of him. If Kotteras is gone, Shoppach was traded, might still have to make trade with another team for catcher, they will want more as season goes longer. Could lose Bard, and guess what happens if we do not make playoffs.
This is not a knock on Varitek, but teams have to learn when it is time to move on.
With Manny gone this team has to have timely hitting, cannot afford any longer to keep men on base, in critical parts of the game.
Like my friend said to me yeah lose 4-3, with 9 men left on base, but catcher called a good game. I am sure Jason will not get to 1-16 with the bases loaded like last year. Francona cannot be as incompetent as that again.
Just speaking what I feel, no hard feelings.

No hard feelings, but as I see it (and this is just my li’l ‘ol opinion) the only way that the Sox werent going to bring Tek back is if they were sure that they could get a quality catcher at a price (money plus bodies) that didnt hurt them financially or on the mound. It doesnt appear that the Sox are willing part with much (if any) of the really good young talent that they have spent the past few years developing. And I think that they have been burned by a few contracts (Lugo for one) that came back to bite them in the butt, so we’ll have Tek back for this year and next (dual option) and the powers that be will work on the future catching situation in the mean time. As far as Tito being incompetent, well, for now, I will leave that one alone….. As I said, for now.

Since we seem to not want to let this horse die after beating it to death, let’s start here: yes, it is a knock on Tek, and you are free to say so without being PC. But if you really think that (at least for this year) you want to go with Bard and Kottaras instead of Tek, then you are going to make ME cry. (If we want to talk “dead spot in the order” we can start there). Trade for a catcher in place of Tek if you need to, but Bard ain’t it, Rooster7! STOP IT! “Yeah, we called a good game, but lost 4-3″. OK, but we lost 10-3 because we had too many pitcher/catcher crossups, PBs, and WPs. In case we forgot, we traded Shoppach when we had Mirabelli, and we did pretty well then. Now, I’m all for trading FOR Shoppach, or Teagarden or anyone else. Until you do that, however, Tek is better, for this year, than any other options we have. I’m all for a catcher for the future, and I am all for a power bat. But you have got to be KIDDING me if you think that Bard, Kottaras, or Brown is the answer THIS YEAR! Now, maybe we can put the sausage maker away and put this to BED!

Ellen,
You got me off the ledge and back in the house. Good job girl. Like Greg, I am concerned on Lowell’s rehab. His age and the severity of the injury have me wondering if it’s going to be a nagging injury that pops up all season long. JD Drew scares me too. I think he scares all of us. He’s great when he’s healthy…..I really like Jason Bay and I hope Papi can get in a groove this year. Greg, I don’t think there is another “big bat” out there that can help us at this point. Like you said, Dunn is a “no go”. I think what you’ll see happen is that the Sox will see if this team is hanging around contention at the trade deadline and then pull the trigger on someone available on a non contender. As an example, if Oakland is not contending surely they will dangle Matt Holliday out there as they will most likely not sign him next year. Although I am not a big Holliday fan I think you may see something like that at the deadline if the Sox need another bat. Ahead of myself……but not going back out on the ledge yet…Thanks Ellen!!!!! You’re right…..this team is special and I think they have a way of having a different player come up big each night instead of waiting for Papi and ZAZU night after night. I get like this every year right after the Super Bowl in anticipation of another great MLB season. Now i have to go on line and find my wife a Tripoley game. I guess she wants to take all my pennies away!!!! GO Sox!!!! WOOOOOOOOOOOOOO WOOOOOOOOOOOO

Dbenjamin,
Do you ever where short sleeve wind shirts????

The news that A-Rod tested positive twice in 2003; the year he won the MVP as reported today by Sports Illustrated exposes some serious issues in baseball.

The first issue for me, is whether MLB strip A-Rod of the MVP award from 2003 and asterisk the years 1998 to 2003 in terms of what it means for any HOF vote?

I’m tired of these grossly overpaid, drug addict cry babies. A-Rod should be stripped of all awards and both Bonds and Clemens deserve jail time.

Second and just as important, is why did major league baseball award A-Rod the MVP award when they knew he tested positive twice??????

Just think about how hypocritical that is?????

I dont think that tghey can strip ARod of the MVP because, if I read the article correctly, didnt they say something about there not being a ban on that in place at that time?? Not sure but, do you think they would take ANYTHING away from
AFraud?? I mean, hell, how does a player on the last place team become MVP??? Isnt that like winning a beauty contest in a Leper Colony??? Or me being my mothers favorite daughter?? ( I am her ONLY daughter!!)

Oh and I’ve been meaning to ask: Whats up with Schill?? Anyone know what plans if any he has??

Craig, I still think Lowell will be ready and chomping-at-the-bit come Opening Day, but I do find it a little unnerving that we have not heard any solid updates on his progress. I also don’t really think that there is another power bat out there, but if there were, I would not be opposed to investigating a trade–but not at any cost. If it were to bring about a “catcher of the future” in the process, though, bring it on!

Hey! BosoxBrian!

Its finally gotten to 50 deg. today (we’re havin’ a heat wave, a tropical heat wave…lah, lah, lah (lol). Its finally melted the snow cover on my driveway exposing the glare ice sheet underneath. This has made walking to my car without falling (my wife’s car is in the garage) an isometric ordeal of the highest order. Hopefully, with the temperature supposedly remaining above freezing overnight tonight, the 2 — 2 1/2 feet of snow on my patio will melt, although the mountains of snow at the edges of my driveway will take a good deal longer, past when pitchers and catchers (and likely position players as well) report.

For those of you already panicking over the make-up of the Sox for 2009, come in off the ledge. If Theo were seriously considering pursuing Adam Dunn, he would have done so when finding a replacement for Mark Kotsay…after all, Dunn played both corner outfield positions, as well as 1B last season. You have to figure that Theo took a pass because he is intent on winning the lion’s share of low-scoring games, not the high scoring ones. At this point, you have to figure the 25 man roster is pretty much set: Ortiz, Youk, DP, Lowrie, Lugo (yes, I know, I would like to see him as the first $9 Mil. man in the minors as well, but that isn’t going to happen, nor are the Sox about to give him away and absorb his entire salary for 2 years…get over it), Lowell, Bay, Ellsbury, Baldelli, JD Drew, Tek and Bard — 12 position players — Beckett, Lester, Dice-K, Wake, Penny, Pap, Oki Doki, Masterson, Manny D., Lopez, Ramirez, and Littleton — 12 pitchers. Saito may supplant Littleton, but that still leaves us with 24. Likely, Wilkerson will start the year with the Sox (unless supplanted by Carter, Anderson, Bailey or one of the others invited to Spring Training), which gets us to 25, with Kotsay and Smoltzie starting the year on the DL. If one of the starters “blows a tire” then perhaps Buchholz or Bowden get to the Sox and either fit into the rotation, or they go into the bullpen and Masterson winds up in the rotation.

That’s it. Get used to it. Now, before we jump off my ledge, or call Boston Edison to report a severe power outage, be mindful of the following — last year the Sox hit the following nos. of HR’s at the following positions: DH – 25+/-, 1B — 20+, 2B — 17+, 3B 20+/-, LF — 30 +/-, CF — 15 +/-, RF — 20 +/-, C — 16 +/-. Not exactly a bunch of banjo hitters. Before you scream that those numbers are inflated because some were created by Zazu, remember: Jason Bay hit a total of 31 dingers last year, and has hit 22 — 35 dingers in Pitts. each of the 4 years before that. Yes, I know, the Sox were 12th in the majors in team HR’s last year, but recognize, only 4 of the teams which hit more HR’s than the Sox even got to the play-offs: Cubs, Brewers, Phillies and Rays. In all other offensive categories, the Sox were mighty strong: 7th in stolen bases (this is really not a Sox team like all the ones that I remember!!![lol]), 3rd in team BA, RBI’s and slugging % (and behind only the Rangers in the AL in each category). And this in an injury-plagued year unlikely to repeat itself.

Yes I know, the Sox could face some downturn this year, but do we really think all of the following will happen this year? Lowell and Big Papi don?t rebound from last year, Jason Bay has a down year worse than any of his last six, neither Youk nor DP come close to last year’s performance, Lester and Dice-K win fewer games, and Beckett wins no more, than last year?

Yes, it could happen, and if it does, the Sox, even with an infusion of talent they are hording in the minors, may well not make the play-offs. However, the way I see it, they will be no worse (and likely better), at the following positions: C, DH, SS, 3B, CF, bullpen and 4th and 5th positions in the starting rotation. If the Sox can then get some solid contributions from 1B, 2B, LF, RF and the top of the rotation, they will be just fine. I do expect Smoltzie to win 10-12 games for the Sox (heck, Bartolo Colon won 4 last year, and he was up briefer than some meals he [or I for that matter] has/have eaten), including wins to end losing streaks, critical wins against the Yanks and Rays and some significant production in the post-season.

For those still wringing their hands, what team would you trade for, even up lock, stock and barrel? The Yankees? As someone much brighter in baseball than me said (I think it was Tony Mazzarotti), they are a mile wide and an inch deep. What with the A-Fraud/steroid stuff starting to circulate, and without Joe Torre to keep an even hand on the team, I suspect there will be much anguish in Steinbrenner-land. Say what you want about Tito being too player oriented, it is just that orientation which is necessary at a time when the players in the clubhouse are going into their respective corners. Tito keeps sanity in a difficult clubhouse because they know, through thick and thin, he has their back.

The Rays? I?d much rather have a team that has shown it can continually succeed through thick and thin. And don?t forget, the Twins, who have a discerning eye for talent, gave up on Matt Garza at a time when they were also losing Johann Santana. Now maybe they just flat got that one wrong, or maybe Garza just had the best year he?s going to have. The Phillies? I?d rather have either Josh Beckett or Jon Lester than Cole Hamels, and I like the balance of the Sox rotation and bullpen far better than the Phillies. I acknowledge that Ryan Howard might be a power upgrade, but I?ll still take Youk and his determination to get his uniform dirty, and Big Papi. I?d rather have DP than Chase Utley, and I think the Sox left side of the infield holds its own against that of the Phillies. I?d rather have the Sox outfield than the Phillies. The Cubs?. who can?t seem to will themselves to post-season wins?or the Angels?who don?t even have all of the pieces and parts that they had when they once again did their October wilt in front of the Sox?having won the season series dramatically, and given themselves all sorts of confidence?..

No, give me the Sox. No matter what happens this year, give me the Sox and all of the talent they will begin to put on the field this week. Now there is something I desperately hope for, but it is not a talent-infusion. It?s Tek, standing at a microphone, declaring how happy he is to be back in his Sox uniform, alongside the FO, screaming even louder that it is wonderful to have him back. As I said earlier, a lot of ?deep tongue kissing? should be involved. With the role Tek plays, there has to be public closure to the drama that played out in the media. I am hopeful it happens early-on after Tek gets into camp. If it doesn?t, I think the Zazu rift from last year will be a speed bump by comparison to the dissension the Sox will deal with in 2009, and not even my birthday buddie Tito may be able to quell that one, no matter how big a shill I am for him.

So lets hope that happens, and the Sox then take aim at another World Series championship, and begin taking the necessary steps to get there. For those still needing an enthusiasm boost, read the article posted on the Boston Globe website (Boston.com) about Yaz and his grandson. If you were around like me in 1961 when the media was suggesting Yaz would never be able to pick up Teddy Ballgame?s jock strap, much less carry it or even put it on, it will bring tears to your eyes. To those who want me to cut up my epistles, I apologize. To everyone else, I say Amen.

dbenj: I like your epistles… Very thought provoking, all of them! I will add to your thoughts of why you’d take Boston over the other teams by saying that here in
The Nation, The RedSox Nation (there are so many other imposter “nations” out there now) we are a true family. One with all the faults and blemishes on display for the world to see, yet we seem to get through them FAR better than most other teams. Look at last year for an example. We had Zazu purposefully under achieving and erring, in the end just slacking- we had Lugo, who among other things was injured, we had Mikey out, Papi not at full throttle. We didnt even have Schilling. Yet with those things going on we still hung in for quite a ride. And here on the blog its the same way. “cept we dont have anyone pulling a “Zazu being Zazu”!!! lol

Hey! cfarnham!

Yes, I do have lots of short sleeve shirts — they’re called golf shirts…and they are never too far from my reach, no matter the weather.

With the advent of Spring Training, I think back to last year, and all of the unfathomable things that happened: who would have predicted, knowing that the Sox would be the wild card play-off team, that they would lose the division to the Rays? Who would, having been told that Sox team members would finish 1-2 in AL MVP voting, have picked the names to be DP and Youk, in that order? Who would, having been told that Zazu would get serious MVP consideration, have guessed that it would be in the National League? Who would have predicted that 2 pitchers would win more games than Josh Beckett, that Dice-K would lead the way in both wins and ERA, and that Jon L. would lead the way in innings pitched? How many of us would have predicted that the rookie pitcher with the most innings pitched would be named Masterson, and not Buchholz?

I don’t know what anomalies will occur this year, but undoubtedly, there will be some. What did you find most unexpectedly surprising about last year?

Oops, I meant 1st and 3rd in AL MVP voting…isn’t that what I said?!?!?!

If Major League Baseball and the players union want to reinstate baseball’s credibility and move on from this soiled drug era, they should immediately take the following steps.

1) Release the full test results from 2003 to the fans.
2) Change the rules so any player caught using PED’s receives an automatic 60 day suspension on the first offense, 1 year on the 2nd and lifetime on the 3rd. Three strikes and you’re out. Any positive test result is released to the public. The list of offending PED’s to be identical to the Olympic committees list.
3) Amend all player contracts to allow teams the right to cancel any player agreement if the player tests positive.
4) Analyze all player awards from the period, strip them from players who tested positive and award them to the player who garnished the most votes and was clean.

As fans who pay exorbitant prices for tickets, we have rights and should demand these changes take place or boycott the game.

David, I can tell you what I HOPE will happen (not sure if it will)–that Lowrie wins the SS job and has a breakout year–maybe not Dustin in 07, but one that will, offensively and defensively, get him the nod for the SS role for a LONG time. I would love for the SS carousel to stop SOMEWHERE! As big a fan of Mike Lowell as I am, I want him to have a nice, solid rebound year (I’ve just wanted an update on his rehab!). Last, yes, Tek needs to get out in front of this fiasco that was his negotiation, and show fans and the team the leadership and loyalty that has been his trademark up to now.
As far as Surprise? I don’t know how much of a surprise this might be, but how about an MVP year for Jason Bay, to make us all really forget about Zazu? ;)

Those are great hopes for 2009!! I concur!

oh here’s another hope, what do you think?? Have Lugo relieve the guy in Wally’s suit!!!! I’m sure it’s an awfully lonnng hot summer for him and he could surely use a breather!!

and gs, great ideas as well, but not all players were tested so they would have to come up with a way to figure out who to give the stripped award to, what if the next guy in line wasnt tested but was still using??

GSJAYS,
The test results have been sealed by court order in the Balco case. MLB and the PA have no control here.

As I stated on a previous thread, my biggest hope for this year is for our pitching staff to remain healthy, and have the starters go 6+ innings on a regular basis. When that didn’t happen last year, for myriad reasons, our bullpen wore down. And while additional relievers are nice to have(and Smoltz having starter AND closer stuff does not hurt, either, no matter when he joins the staff), the real need is for the starters to go deeper into games and preserve the bullpen, so they’re fresh in Sept. and Oct.!
Fortunately for us, in Beckett and Lester, among others, if they pitch up to their capabilities, we can do that! GO SOX!

Greg,
It’ll be a miracle if the whole staff doesn’t miss any starts. So there’s a good chance we’ll get to see some starts by Bowden, Buchholz, or even Hansack!

GSJAYS, as far as your suggestions are concerned (aside from the penalties you suggest, which are not that different from what there is now in place), what you are really doing if those changes are made is breaking up the Players’ Union. Perhaps that is something you would like to see, but essentially, if you release the documents, since they were done under a CB agreement, you will have a de facto boycott of games, because there would be a labor stoppage. If that’s what you want, that’s one thing. If that’s really what will clean up the game in the long run, that’s another. (I think there are arguments to be made for having changes in the structures of sports unions, let alone in the “supplements” industry, but those will not happen without some other fundamental things happening–far larger than what you have suggested here.) But as much egg on their face that Selig and Fehr have had up to now, let alone Bonds, et al, it is difficult to say that doing backward any further will move us forward.
I don’t blame those who say that the “Steroid Era” players (whether on this list, or in the Mitchell Report, or otherwise) should never get into the HOF, since we don’t know who’s using and who isn’t (yet, anyway). I think that is one of the prices to be paid for the Steroid Era (as well as having players like Rice, Lee Smith, Jack Morris, etc., not make the HOF because their numbers don’t look as glamorous). But a lot of what you are otherwise suggesting will not get MLB (let alone the NFL, etc.) to a better place–it will simply set back labor relations. Until then, I just look at the numbers from the “Steroid Era” with a great degree of skepticism across the board.

Fine by me, Kramer, but I don’t want to have a repeat of starters goin 5 or fewer innings, with 100+ pitches thrown before 5 innings are done! I’m all for seeing our young pitchers stay up longer than for a cup of coffee (or tea, or chai, or…;) !)

cappucino anyone??

Sounds good, Ellen. Fax it over to me, would ya? ;)

Greg,
The only starter to worry about is Matsuzaka. And I think his pitching for Japan will likely influence a return to his propensity for high pitch counts. But he’s only one of five (or six with Smoltz) and the middle relievers will need some work so it won’t be all bad! Gotta let those coaches earn their salary too!!!

Greg
Actually it looks like it’s the fault of the players union that this situation happened. The list of 104-which was about 5-7% of players tested was supposed to be destroyed right after it was developed in 2003.
Gene Orza, COO for the union refused to provide test results to the feds for the players linked to the Balco scandal and so the feds supponed the list and got all 104.

You and I both know it’s likely this list will come out anyway as the Balco case unfolds. So my take is it will be a whole lot less damaging to baseball if they deal with this situation proactively instead of seeing them leaked 3-4 at a time over years or wait until evidence is supplied in the Balco case in which they’re all released anyway.

In order to regain public trust, both MLB and the players union is going to have to do something or this stench isn’t going away anytime soon. The stronger they deal with it, the faster it goes away.

I know it was directed at gs but I agree about being proactive. I think that it is also in the players best interest if they tested positive (and they know who they are) that they just “come clean” so to speak. I am fearful that we have/had a couple on that list. Remember when Damon was rumored to have been juicing??? I think that there may be more from those years that play/played for the Sox..

Onr thing that I always thought about was the guys who did it clean. You know they had to be privvy to knowledge of guys who were using. I myself would find it hard if it were me, I was having a really good year, doing it the right way and the guy on another club or just across the locker room has a super year on the juice, gets the awards/big contract. I know that there is that unwritten code of silence but…… if it were me I, as I said, would find it terribly difficult.

wilkerson is good for the bosox..

junior13.mlblogs.com

what is it that makes you say that??

GSJAYS, I do agree it is the fault of the Union that the whole situation is as it is. I think Gene Orza should be strung up on a flagpole, as I think is at the center of most of this obstructionism, and drug-test dodging (esp. if we believe the Anderson tapes). It is one thing, though, for the players to proactively “come clean”, as it IS in their best interest to do so, and it is another thing for the CBA to be renegotiated. Now, as I said, if you want to blow up the Union, be my guest. If you want to regulate the supplements industry, go right ahead (and be ready to do so in Mexico, and the Dominican, and wherever else they get these supplements). But be ready for a player stoppage if the list gets public, and be ready for it to be a LONG one. Would it be worth it? Maybe so. But be ready for it!

Do not be surprised, by the way, if Red Sox players are found to be on that list, or on subsequest evidence that comes out in BALCO or other places!

Greg: Your echoing me… I am just afraid (in my 9 year old fan mind… you know the one where even at the age of 49 makes me idolize these guys) to find out who they are… Even at my age shattered images are not easily repaired. I know they “are but mere mortals”, but its seems so much different when you see one of them throw a no hitter or hit the big salami!!

Greg
If the list becomes public now and it likely will in the Balco case, its the COO of the players union, Orza who’s responsible, so why would there be a player stoppage? Against whom-the players union?

It is in everyone’s best interest for this list to come out all at one time, deal with it and then move on. If they don’t, I’d expect to see names come out over years until they’re all out which would damage baseball and the players an awful lot more.

Then be prepared for it to come out bit by bit, GSJAYS. The Union does not see it as in their best interest, and will put up plenty of fight, with MLB (yes, including a strike), with the courts, in the press, etc., if the list comes out unilaterally (and would get more egg on Fehr’s and Orza’s faces). What would be their beef with MLB? “We told you we never should have consented to these tests”–that’s been their line all along. What makes you think the Union will not fight, especially if it gets leaked before the BALCO trials are over?!
The players SHOULD come clean themselves, but the Union will not do it–players will do it on their own, if they do so at all (which might happen if they get attached to the BALCO story). The Union does not see it as in their interests to do so, and until different administration comes in, that will not change. Boycott the game, or break up the Union, then, but don’t expect otherwise. And no matter what happens from here, it will be difficult for us to simply “move on”–the cloud from this era will remain for a long time.

Oh, by the way, if this sounds like PoliticianSpeak, you’d be right–I’ve lived in Washington WAY too long!
But it is reality.

Greg
Well the union is already fighting in district court to keep the list confidential, but the feds now have the list and have suggested that if they lose in district court they will appeal to the supreme court to use this evidence.
The point is the players in the Balco case probably tested positive and are in the 104 so the feds have good reason to ensure the list is presented in court.
That being said, no one in any public office wants to be seen protecting druggies, so you can count on the list being public one way or the other.
When that happens the guy who has egg on his face is Orza-the COO of the players union,so whether the players come out one by one or all together the players union and the players lose.

And of course, the biggest loser is Major League Baseball, who will need to justify awarding the MVP to someone who tested positive twice.
So its a lose, lose situation one way or the other. The only way to squelch the stench is to deal proactively and do it quickly.

GSJAYS, you haven’t lived in Washington, D.C. for any length of time, have you? Did you see those “steriod hearings” on Capitol Hill? Half the Committee was protecting the “druggies”! Of course it’s a lose-lose. Does not mean that it will be done quickly? Absolutely not. The Union will go to the mat on this, and Orza will end up with egg on his face (and on that flagpole, I hope!), but it is the unfortunate reality. Sorry, GSJAYS, but it is reality.

Hi all. The wife and I are headed for the gym this morning and I need a little “picker-upper”. Does anyone have A-Rod’s phone number handy?

I don’t know why people are surprised the A-Roid information is out there. The most important person in the world, the President of the United States, kept incredibly damaging information on himself, when all he had to do was destroy it (the taping device at the White House and the tapes it generated). It was those tapes that took him down, and caused President Nixon to resign the position he had lusted after his entire life, in absolute disgrace. With that sort of “total bonehead” move out there, is it any surprise that the “anonymous drug use information” that was supposed to be destroyed, was not.

Now the bigger question is, what now gets done with the balance of the information that should have been destroyed years ago? Do you destroy it now, leaving the other 103 names out of public speculation, hanging A-Roid out to dry, or do you hang everyone else out there with him to twist in the winds of public outcry? I am as devoted a Papi fan as there is, but whenever this topic comes up, I catch myself momentarily thinking about his performance spike with the Sox, and begin to compare it with the performance spike the Rocket achieved when he left the Sox in favor of the Jays.

I would like to think most Sox players are immune. One would expect that the youngsters are in no speculation jeopardy. And it would astound me if someone like Wake or Schill ever allowed themselves to try to enhance their performances. I look at Zazu from his early years with Cleveburg, and his performances were always pretty consistent. But there have been those players who have had short, performance bursts like Gag-Me had in LA. Names like Keith Foulke, Mark Bellhorn, and Kevin Millar come to mind. Hopefully, since he took over as GM, Theo instituted a culture which discouraged steroid use, but 15% of the players testing positive is 15% of the players testing positive. Let’s wait to see how the other shoe falls.

I’ve just seen bits of the A-Roid interview with Peter Gammons. WOW!!!! How thankful are you that Theo was not able to land him? All of a sudden, Julio Lugo looks a whole lot better to me. At this point, I wouldn’t trade Lugo or Mikey Lowell for him, no matter how much of his salary the Yankees agreed to take back. This media nightmare has only begun. Imagine the media feeding-frenzy that will be the Yankees Spring Training Camp.

Even though Theo wasn’t concerned about winning the Hot Stove League season, anyone still want to suggest that the Yankees did. The circus will soon be back in town.

OMG>>>> How dare you use Mikeys name in the same breath with LUGO”s lol!!!
I was neither shocked nor surprised about the Arod stuff. I suspected it for a couple of years. But I also dont think its fair that they have chosen him to be the sacrificial donkey (sorry I just cant call him a lamb) As I said yesterday, I wont be surprised OR shocked if we have/had players who are on that list. as disgusting as we find it, it is a sign of the times that were. I just want to move ahead to 2009 and PLAY BALL!!!

A-Rod has no choice but to admit using the PED from 2001 to 2003 unlike Clemens who still maintains his innocence. The only difference is that Clemens was never tested positive for steroids.
I am not a fan of A-Rod (because of his admission I refuse to use the word A-Roid), I was wondering why he was singled out among the other 103 users/abusers especially the drug was not banned in 2003. What now? Put an asterisk to his MVP in 2003.
MLB should institute mandatory testing for ALL major league players periodically if it has not been in place already.

If it was 15 percent of appx 700 players, that breaks down to appx 3.5 players per team that tested positive….

I would never call him A-Roid.. HEMMERRHOID maybe..

I am sooooooo glad that Theo didn’t sign A-Rod thanks to the Yanks last minute swoop in. There is always something at the Yankeeland. Hope Tex enjoy his tenure at the Yankees. What a fool!

Ha, ha what a pain in the a _ _!

haha!!! 007, good one

All this talk of steroids is making me hungry!!

Ellen! You asked for a chicken recipe a while back and I’ve been a little busy, so apologies for the delay. As long as we are in a slow time here and ST is still a couple days off, here is a quick chicken dish for you:
Get yourself a nice 1 1/2 to 2 pound frying chicken and skin it and disjoint it. Cut out the backbone. Rub the chicken with olive oil, salt and pepper and put it on a sheet pan and into the oven at 450 degrees for about 10 to 15 minutes until it starts to brown a little. Take out the chicken, lower the oven to 325. Put the chicken in a heavy baking dish with two medium sized peeled potatoes cut in quarters, one onion sliced, a green bell pepper diced, 4 to 8 crushed garlic cloves, a can of diced tomatoes,a double handful of porcini mushrooms, and a can of tomato puree, and a tablespoon of balsamic vinegar. Season this with basil, oregano, rosemary sage and thyme. Add a half cup of red wine—cabernet, merlot etc— Use a lot of basil, medium amount of oregano, and small amounts of sage, rosemary and thyme. Don’t forget the salt and pepper. Also if you want an extra shot of deliciousness, add a small jar of roasted red peppers. Bake this until the veggies are cooked and the chicken is nice and tender. Garnish with chopped Italian parsley. This is great with soft polenta or rissoto. We made this for ourselves at one of the Italian kitchens I worked in. When we were in the mood to really eat well we put in some hot Italian sausage. That takes it to the promised land, as we like to say.

Arnie.. Sounds like another winner… I did your pork recipe and it THE BEST!!!!! You would have liked eating at my house this weekend. (I’m cooking for my mom now too, so its mostly standard fare and easy to chew and digest) Saturday I baked a ham, with fresh green beans and sauteed summer squash with onion. Yesterday I made roasted chicken in my BIG roasting pan with potatoes, LOTS of carrots and a couple of onions… YUM! Tonight is my husbands favorite… Leftovers!

Oh and I have created a folder in my computer with nothing but YOUR recipes! Its titled “Cooking with the Schmo!”

Crucify me now but……I’ll bet ZAZU was using ‘roids too. That baggy buniform was hiding some massive muscles. I’ll bet of those 103 other names, there are some big fish. I hate to say this but I am getting tired of the press dragging this crap out. Clean it up as they are doing now and MOVE ON. A-Rod did the smart thing and admitted it. I’m sure his motivation for that was Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens to say the least. I think anyone caught will now admit it because after that the story is minimal. I am just a fan….the media needs to realize that. Gaylord Perry won 300 games with an illegal pitch (spit ball). So what….I enjoyed watching him pitch. Babe Ruth and who knows who else drank during prohibition. Did not enhance his game but it was illegal. What about all the uppers (greenies) that were allowed and accepted in the clubhouses before games for guys that were run-down and tired during travel and beat down towards the end of the season? They were accessible to anyone who felt they needed them. As you can tell I am a little fed up and frustrated with the media who went nuts and profitted during the McGuire/Sosa home run race and now don’t want to get anything spilled on them. I’m sure some of them knew but like everyone else did but looked the other way while papers selled. I may be full of crap but i feel better!!!!!!! A new era has been realized and passed by. The horse has been beat to death.
CLEAN IT UP, MOVE ON AND PLAY BALL.

I meant while papers “sold”….man I can screw the pooch when I’m on my soap box. Sorry!!!!!

Okay guys, I’m in my glory now!! I’m sitting here watching Sean Casey on Hot Stove report… Sounds great. Doesnt look too bad either!

Craig, I would love to hear Ian’s take on this. He usually pulls no puches and doesnt beat around the bush, so I think it would be very very interesting.

and I’m not sure about Zazu. If he was using then, and since random testing is in place now, how is it that his numbers have stayed pretty consistent?? I could be wrong (imagine that!!lol) but it just seems that his productivity has stayed the course and not varied much.

Ellen,
I am not sure about ZAZU but it would not surprise me. I always thought A-Rod was clean as far as streroids were concerned because I never heard his name linked with them and I thought for sure someone would have leaked it by now as big as a story it would have been…but 104 players in ’03? Wow. I could be wrong about ZAZU though. I thought he was a perrennial 40 Home run guy but looking back…as you said…he has been consistent. Not always hitting 40 but most of the time high 30′s to low 40′s. I heard Big Papi tested positive for Spare Ribs!!!! Ha Ha!!!

Yeah, Craig, maybe Big Papi can share his recipe for spare ribs! (Did you give him a recipe Arnie?) ;)
Unfortunately, Craig, I still think the number will continue to climb, from the 104, due to “masking agents” like THG. Even more unfortunately, I still think the Union will drag this out, so that names come out in spurts, at best, a trickle at worst. That was the point I was attempting to make with our crusader, GJAYS (as you can see, not much success there); that even if the 104 names are released, the problem will not just “go away” so we can “move on”.
One other problem, though, is that even if some of our guys appear on this (or any other) list, a lot of our recent players have played for both teams; so even if one of “our guys” gets mentioned, chances are he will have also spent time with the Yankees, so it may still seem like the Yankees are being “singled out”.

Arnie, like I said before about the sausages–how’s this for “watching a sausage (or a law!) get made”?

Greg,
You’re right. Wasn’t Varitek mentioned in the Mitchell report? There’s another mess. I guess because I love baseball so much I hate to see the side bars. I guess that’s life. I’m glad when I was a kid things were a lot simpler as far as baseball goes. I kind of feel for today’s kids. They see their heroes torn down like tall buildings. I’m sure when I was a kid the players weren’t all that innocent like Mantle going in to drunken stupors and such, but now with the media everywhere and the internet and all….you can’t fart without the whole world coming down on you. Don’t get me wrong….steroids is not just a little fart…..but I just miss the days when they played ball and the game was a game. My little fantasy I guess. I’ll return to reality in a minute or two!!!!!

007, we agreed on something for a change! ;) We certainly agree on being relieved that A-Rod did not join us! Tex’s signing seems to be viewed differently now by Yankee fans also (gauging from Bombers Beat), including in light of A-Rod’s admission.
Ellen, I also hope to hear Ian’s take on this issue.
I also hope that if people are named in the list, they handle it more like A-Rod did today, compared to how Clemens, Bonds, and others have handled it! You may or may not believe everything they tell you, but they do far more for themselves (and perhaps also for the kids who watch them!) if they look into a camera and say, “I screwed up”, instead of denying everything and being found to be a liar.

Craid, I don’t recall if Tek was mentioned in the Mitchell Report (I am inclined to re-check, though); the one that I remember was named was Mo Vaughn (again, whether it was accurate or not). It would not surprise me, though.

I think that’s CraiG!! Nice spelling, dude.

I have long suspected ARod, whether it was because I didnt like him or because Canseco came out and mentioned him… and hey, they both have common friends from the Rangers. Thats where they all started it. Palmiero, Canseco, etc

Craig, I took a quick look again at the Mitchell Report, and I did not see Tek’s name there (he may have surfaced elsewhere, though). The ones I saw with past connections to the Red Sox were Mo Vaughn, Brendan Donnelly, Eric “Gag-Me” Gagne, and Paul Byrd (who latere confirmed the report). Interestingly enough, when Theo was looking into acquiring Gagne, what piqued Theo’s radar when consulting the Dodgers was “the steroid question”, according to Mitchell. Hmmm…

That would be goat ribs. He had goat served when he did his rehab stint at Pawtucket last year!!

Jeremy Giambi and Manny Alexander are also mentioned as former Red Sox in the Mitchell Report.

You’re pretty sharp, Ellen. Goat is very popular in some parts of the Caribbean.

I’m so tired of this steroid BS. One story I read said that baseball banned steroids in 1991 but there were no penalties until a few years ago. No penalties???? Are you kidding me? Does anyone believe for a second that you can ban something without there being a penalty in place? The honor system, with millions of dollars on the line.!? If that story is true baseball was run by retards and dolts; and those were the smart ones!

I’ll take some goat ribs, Arnie. Sounds good to me! Tailgating, anyone? ;)

OK Greg, we’ll cook ‘em up with some curry, and serve them with kalalu greens, & rice and pigeon peas. Sweet potato pie and pina coladas.

Curried goat ribs and pigeon peas! MMMMM!!! When do I eat? ;)

SI’s Selena Roberts is writing a biography of A-Rod so she was seeking only information on him alone. If her sources are ever identified, and I doubt that will happen, I’m sure they will remember at least a dozen or two other high profile names.

Former Red Sox J. C. Romero will be serving his 50 game suspension for testing positive while with the Phillies. I think there are three or four other suspensions that will be effective once the season starts. One is a Yankee off-season pick-up pitcher Sergio Mitre and I can’t remember the Met player (not a star) in the same boat. So even with all of the publicity the juicing continues.

NEW THREAD

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