Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Thoughts on the Trade

(AP Photo)

Eric Wilbur of the Globe and Boston.com wrote an interesting article today, Nothing fishy about it, on the acquisition of Josh Beckett. He basically said things that I have already said, that the Sox got a steal out of this deal. They got their ace, they got their stopper.

And what are the Yankees doing? George can't be too happy to see a team, specifically their rival, without a general manager pull this move off. Why wasn't newly re-signed Brian Cashman out sniffing out a deal like this? Why are the Yankees so enamored with offense, when they need to shore up a pitching staff that sorely lacked leadership last season? Their ace is 42, Mussina is starting to show his age, and Carl Pavano and Jarret Wright showed absolutely nothing last season.

One of the reasons could be that they just don't have the young talent that the Red Sox have. Their farm systems hasn't produced a big name talent since Derek Jeter almost 12 years ago. That's absoutely ridiculous. I know the Sox' minor league system was pretty barren for some time, but atleast the new regime picked it up. Their farm systems is basically gushing with talent. Jonathan Pappelbon, Jon Lester, Manny Delcarmen, Craig Hansen, recently departed Hanley Ramirez, Dustin Pedroia, Lenny Dinardo... The list goes on and on. The job that Theo Epstein did with this farm system was basically unbelievable.

This trade is why a good farm system is so crucial in this league. Instead of waiting on the possibility of Hanley Ramirez to flourish and for Anibel Sanchez to hopefully become a great pitcher someday, they went out and got the Ace they needed. They now have two World Series MVPs on their staff, who have both defeated their arch-rivals in their own stadiums on the biggest stage. Oops. Game, set, match.

How in the world are the Yankees going to counter this move? Go get Brian Giles. He doesn't scare me. Neither does AJ Burnett. The market is barren this year. No top guys out there. IF the season started today, I'd love the Sox' chances. But please, please, please sign Bill Mueller back. Fuck, I know they won't. Damn it... I think I love this guy too much, but for some reason, I just love guys like him. Like John Stockton of the Utah Jazz. They just go out, do their job, play as hard as they can, and go along with their businness. No bullshit. Not mouth. No smart ass shit. They just play the game how its supposed to be played, and they do it quietly. Those are the kind of guys I like. Guys who value the word "Team." I don't know Bill Mueller personally, but I bet each and every member of that clubhouse would do anything for a guy like him. He's a gamer, and they need him back.

I guess I should change the name of this blog to the "Bill Mueller Fanclub," but oh well. He's my boy, and I'll be sure to follow him wherever he goes. That's all for today.. LATER!

Monday, November 21, 2005

BLOCKBUSTER: Sox Acquire Beckett, Lowell

According to Peter Gammons tonight on Sportscenter, and a story on ESPN.com, Red Sox on verge of acquiring Beckett, Lowell, the Boston Red Sox look to be just a few mineut numbers away from acquiring the young flamethrower and third baseman. According to the story, the Sox and Marlins have come to a tentative agreement that would send Josh Beckett and Mike Lowell to the Red Sox for prospect Hanley Ramirez, Anibel Sanchez, and another pitching prospect. According to the story:

"The deal is contingent on the finalization of paperwork and all players passing physicals, sources outside the Red Sox organization have told ESPN's Peter Gammons. An official announcement is not expected for a day or two, which leaves open the possibility that it could still fall apart, Gammons said on SportsCenter."
According to the story, only some "last-minute haggling over some numbers" is what is holding up the deal. The Marlins will also pay some cash to the Sox to off-set the 18 million that is owed to Lowell over the next two seasons.

My take? I like it. I like it a lot. Like I said a few days ago, the Sox need a guy like this. They need a stopper, they need a guy that can come in and guarantee a solid outing every fifth day, especially an outing that will more than likely wind up being a W.

Now Lowell won't be playing third for the Sox. I think they'll try him at first, and still try to pursue someone else to play third, or have Youkilis or re-sign Billy Mueller. Jesus I wish they'd bring back Mueller, but it doesn't look like it is going to happen at this point. They are going to lose a stud at the corner infield position if they let him go. He should have gotten more recognition than he did for his play at third base this year. He wasn't even voted for by one writer when it came to gold gloves. Unbelievable.

Looks like the guys in charge of the front office now are doing their job pretty well. This is a solid addition for the Sox, and finally a little good news out of the Sox' camp this off-season. Hope to hear more of it in the months to come leading up to the season.




Sunday, November 20, 2005

Quick notes for the Day...


(AP Photo)
Will we see you again Old Friend?


According to a story today in the Boston Globe by Nick Cafardo, Kids hope they'll get to play in pen, hard-throwing relievers Craig Hansen and Manny DelCarmen will begin their off-season programs at Fenway park in the coming days. I still like a healthy Keith Foulke in the closer role, but we'll have to see how he shows up to training camp in early February. If his attitude hasn't changed, and his velocity hasn't returned, then I can't see him sticking around here very long. I sure hope he returns to the Keith Foulke we saw in 2004, but who knows. Hansen should take over the slot that Alan Embree couldn't handle this past season. He would be a perfect seventh inning stopper, and he would help take the burden off of the soon-to-be 40 year old Mike Timlin. He needs to be back in that 8th inning setup man slot, and I don't see him closing this season. I loved DelCarmen's stuff when he was out there, but they didn't use him enough at the end of the season. Hopefully he'll start the season in the bullpen, and all of Red Sox nation will get a chance to see just how electric this kids' stuff is.

Wells is still admament on being traded to a team closer to his home in San Diego. According to the article, the Sox are willing to trade him back to San Diego, in return for old friend Dave Roberts and a pitcher to be named. That's pretty wierd, wasn't I the one who said to watch for the return of Mr. Roberts? Personally I think it's a great move. The team didn't have speed on the bases this year, and when Gabe Kapler went down for the season, they didn't have that solid guy that they could plug into any outfield slot when someone needed a rest. He's a great guy for the clubhouse too, a gamer, like Billy Mueller.

If you haven't realized it yet, I love gamers. Guys who play the game right, who love the game. You can see it in how guys like Roberts and Mueller play, and I hope the new Sox GM sees these qualities too. Epstein was great at finding guys who played their role. The reason the Red Sox won the World Series in '04 was because they had all of their roles covered. They weren't a team of superstars, you can't win that way. Getting Roberts back would be a step in the right direction.

The story also hints to a possible Nomar Garciaparra return. If the Sox were to trade Ramirez and lose Johnny Damon, they said it could be a possibilty. I think the Sox should definetly give Garciaparra a look. He proved last season that he is willing to change positions, and he is another gamer, a guy who plays the game right. He should have been a Red Sox for life, and bringing him would be a great move. He could play third, short, and second, and a move to the outfield wouldn't be a bad idea either. He has the tools, the arm and the athleticism to play all of these positions. They could get him for practically nothing as well. I don't see why they wouldn't pursue him, and I just have a feeling that he's going to be healthy again and just explode. He has the talent. Ted Williams didn't call him the best hitter he'd seen since Joe Dimaggio for no reason. You just don't get rid of guys like him, and they shouldn't have in the first place. Bring Nomar back.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Sox eyeing Josh Beckett


What? Do I hear the Sox calling?


It was reported on ESPN.comthis afternoon that the Marlins are interested in dealing Josh Beckett and Carlos Delgado, and it has been said that the Red Sox and the Texas Rangers are the two teams vying for the hard-throwing, oft-injured, Beckett. According to the article, the Rangers are willing to deal Hank Blalock, but don't want to give up two young studs they have in the minors. The Marlins are asking for Hanley Ramirez, and a starting pitcher, either Jon Lester or Anibel Sanchez.

The move would be solid for a Sox staff that had a handful of mediocre starting pitchers this off-season. If they could some-how unload Clement and/or Arroyo, the addition of Beckett would be huge. However, how long can he stay healthy? We've seen pitchers come in here that were injury-prone in previous years, and suceed here in Boston, maybe Beckett can do the same. He sure does have electric stuff, and he's only 24 years old. He could be a staple in the Sox' rotation for a long time to come. They need a big strike-out pitcher, who can come in every 5 days and get a win. We really don't know how Schilling is going to come out this season, so Beckett would give the Sox that ace that they really need, that stopper, that guy who can come in when you've lost two in a row, and virtually guarantee a victory, like Pedro used to do. I think this would be huge for them.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Sox Sign Timlin, Tito to have knee replaced

(Photo from the Boston Globe Staff Photo / Jim Davis)
Well, there hasn't been much news as of late, but a couple of days ago, amidst all of the Theo hoopla, the Sox signed a key component from their World Series charge two years ago, and their catalyst in the bullpen this season, Mike Timlin. Is he going to be the closer next season, or is he going to go back to being the 8th inning set-up man ? I'd love to see the Sox go after lefty BJ Ryan of the Orioles, but don't forget, they still have Keith Foulke under-wraps for next season. I wouldn't mind Foulke going back to the closer's role, if he can prove in the preseason that he is back to his former self.
According to the Boston Globe yesterday, Francona will have knee replaced, Terry Francona will check into Mass. General Hospital tommorow for knee replacement surgery. He's expected to spend nine days in the hospital for the procedure.
Wow, slow times for the Sox these days immediately following the fall-out of Theo.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

EPSTEIN RESIGNS

(Globe File Photo / Michele McDonald)
SHOCKER...EPSTEIN'S GONE
I know this is old news, sorry about the lack of updates... The story behind the lack of updates is that this stupid Blogger software is unbelievably frustrating, and I had a whole column written up on Monday, and the whole thing was erased... Needless to say I was a little pissed off... This is all that I have left from that day :
Don't know how to react to this one, really don't. I actually first found out about this yesterday afternoon, right after getting back from the gym. I flipped on ESPN, and they had Peter Gammons on. I wasn't paying too much attention, but while untying my shoes I looked up at the screen a couple of times, and it said "Theo Epstein resigns." I don't know if I just wasn't paying attention or what it was, but I thought it said he had re-signed. I didn't give it too much though, as I had read previous reports throughout the past couple of days that Theo was going to come back. I also remember reading somewhere that the deal was done, and they just weren't going to announce it until after the weekend because of an agreement with the Patriots on not to release important information during the weekends. So I get out of the shower, and Gammons is still on, and now I'm starting to think, wait a minute, something's not right here. I turned the volume up, and I just couldn't believe what I was hearing, or that this actually happened. Oh boy, this is not going to be good for the Sox.
First, lets run down the coverage that the media has given to the event:
-On ESPN.com we have a story by Sean McAdam: Sox wondering where they went wrong with Epstein
Well... That's where things went wrong... so now, just yesterday, Bob Ryan of the Boston Globe had a really great piece on the Epstein saga, Getting in the Last Words, and how we still don't know why he walked away from the job, even after his press conference ... I found this little passage from that story as a great way of summing up this whole ordeal...

"What we do know is that Henry is 100 percent correct in declaring Epstein's
exit to be a ''great, great loss" to the franchise and the fans. In a business
of egos and ruthlessly ambitious people, Theo was a refreshing exception to the
rule. Henry related how, as an assistant GM to interim boss Mike Port, Epstein
had actually lobbied for Henry to hire Billy Beane and J.P. Ricciardi. ''I said
to him, 'You want both these guys to be ahead of you?' " Henry marveled. ''That
was an early indication to me as to just how unselfish he was and how he was all
about the Boston Red Sox." -Bob Ryan's article, Getting in the Last Words

To go off on a side note here, that Ryan article surely proves why he is one of the best in the business. I can't remember one column that he has written where I have gone, wow, that sucks. Or wow, I don't really agree with with. He has this brilliant characteristic of always finding the side of the story that no one else really touches on. He has a great knack for always finding the "good" in any given situation. It's a breath of fresh air for sports journalism, because 9 times out of 10, sports journalists are writing about the negative, writing about whats wrong. But with Bob Ryan, his writing reflects whats good about sports, and I truly enjoy reading his writting. The only other write that I feel the same way about is Rick Riley from Sports Illustrated. Both of these men are geniuses in my mind... Anyway... On to the Theo saga...

Well, he's gone, and I can't say that I saw this one coming. I thought he'd re-sign for sure just like everyone else did. But Bob Ryan does ask a good question, why are you not coming back? If it wasn't Lucchino and it wasn't the chain of command, then what was it? I just can't believe that at 31-years-old, he would be burned out. Maybe the pressure? I doubt it. He seemed like a good kid, a brilliant kid, who hadn't really been fazed in public since coming to the Sox. The only conclusion I can come to is that it had to involve something with Lucchino. It just had to be. Though they have been together for years, something must have happened... I don't know, wish I did...

So now what? Who do the Sox turn to now? I have no clue, and most of the name that are out there don't sound too appealing to me. Brian Sabean from the Giants would be one guy I'd like the Sox to look at, but other than him, no one really jumps off the paper at me. How about me? I'd like to have that job, maybe I'll send in a resume. Whatever... I'm off for the day, look forward to more frequent updates, I promise..

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Just a case of "Manny Being Manny"


(Globe Staff Photo / Jim Davis)

Manny asks to be Traded...Again

According to a story published in the Boston Globe this morning by Chris Snow, Manny again asks Sox for trade, Geno Mato, one of Manny's representatives, told prinicipal owner John Henry that Manny wants to be traded, and if he is not, he will not report to spring training with the ballclub. Just three months ago, Manny requested to be traded just before the All-Star break, and then after not finding a suitable deal, the Sox decided to keep him, and Manny made nice, saying "I want to stay here for 2005 and win another World Series."(Globe Article) The article also goes on to say that Manny, who is now a 10-5 player, which gives him the ability to reject any trade that sends him to a place he doesn't want to play in, could still stay with the Sox. Mato said in the article that Ramirez might decided, during the whole process of shopping him, that he wants to remain with the Sox.

Also in Sox news this morning, yesterday was the first day free agents could officially file, and Kevin Millar and Billy Mueller were the first two of the Sox' free agnts to do so. That means they can negotiate with any team that they choose, but can only discuss dollar figures with the Sox, for 14 more days. After the that time they are free to talk to any team.

Like I've said before, bring back Billy Mueller, for the love of god. I won't ask the Sox to do anything else all off-season, just bring him back. For the LOVE OF GOD, bring BILLY MUELLER BACK!

That's all for today, off to a wedding, and off to get pretty drunk..oops..