Friday, March 31, 2006

Quiz time

Are you ready for a Red Sox quiz from the Big O on WEEI? He had 30 questions to ask, but I missed the last dozen or so. What are your thoughts?

1) Will Schilling win more than 15 games?
2) Will Lowell be the starting 1B on June 1st?
3) Will Damon or Coco Crisp have a better year?
4) Will Foulke have more than 30 saves?
5) Will Alex Gonzalez brilliant defense allow us to ignore his poor offense?
6) Will Trot Nixon play in 125 games (not necessarily start)?
7) Will Josh Beckett land on the DL? (Blister or shoulder?)
8) a) Kevin Youkilis, will he go over 18 HR?
- b) KY, over 80 RBI?
- c) Will KY be a regular 3B (not just appear there a few times)?
9) Wily Mo Pena over 300 AB? 400 AB?
10) Post all star wins at 7 for Matt Clemente?
11) Will Tavarez be suspended again by August 1st?
12) Will the Sox bullpen be in the top 7th or bottom 7th for ERA?
13) Josh Bard catching Wakefield -- does it affect him?
14) Will a writer blame the changes on homeruns on the structural changes?
15) Will the pitching staff be affected by the absence Dave Wallace?
16) Will the Sox lead the Yankees at runs scored? (they have the past few years)
17) The Sox will have over 200 HR this year?

My answers:
1) Schilling will win more than 15 games (I'd guess 19).
2) Yes -- they are paying him too much to sit on the bench.
3) Damon will have a better year
4) Yes -- but not much more than 30.
5) Yes -- If Renteria had played with the defensive skill we were promised last year, I wouldn't have cared about his hitting.
6) No -- definitely under.
7) Duh.. Yes. Beckett will land on the DL for a blister.
8) a) Yes, Kevin will have over 18 HR.
- b) Under 80 RBI... he'll be batting at the bottom of the order.
- c) Yes... Eventually they will remove Lowell and move Youkilis over there.
9) Yes, No.
10) No -- Under 7 wins.
11) Yes... He can't handle the pressure.
12) top 7th.
13) I don't think so... but how would you know if Bard affects Wake?
14) Yes, some writer will talk about it, but is it true? The HR will be lower because of the position player changes.
15) Yes, they will be affected by the absence of Wallace, but how?
16) No, the Yankees will have more runs this year.
17) Yes, they will have over 200 HR this year.

Ortiz may be signing four year extension

Extension may be for 2007 - 2010 at about 50 million, for an average of 12.5 million per year. Wrapping up Ortiz for the next five years (including this one) is, of course, a very important step for the Red Sox in the future.

Ortiz has been 'the' clutch player for the Red Sox. He hit 47 homeruns, had 148 RBI, and batted .300. Ortiz was released by the Twins Dec, 2002 and picked up the Red Sox as a free agent in Jan, 2003.

According to ESPN last year, Ortiz ranks:
2nd in AL in HR (47) - 1st in AL in RBI (148)
3rd in AL in R (119) - 2nd in AL in BB (102)
4th in AL in OBP (.397) - 2nd in AL in SLG (.604)
3rd in AL in OPS (1.001)

His salary has increased exponentially in the past few years. He started at just over 1 million in 2003, and last year he was paid a little over 5.

Tavarez gets 10 day suspension

I thought the Sox would get Tavarez to appeal his suspension, but the Sox are encouraging Tavarez to take his suspension right from the beginning, rather than appeal it. With two days off, he would only miss 8 games. But the Red Sox would start the season with only 24 players, not the 25 they are entitled to.

Why did they pick this guy up? Is his arm worth the hassle, the attitude and his overall demeanor? Tavarez has been suspended from MLB 5 times before this. If you want to read about his problems, read my post on the acquisition of Tavarez. 6.7 million for this guy?

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Orien Greene suspended

The Celtics suspended Orien Greene for one game with the possibility of more to follow. According to Rivers, the indefinite period will be determined today (radio interview). He will speak to Greene again today, after both sides have had a chance to cool off and make a less emotional decision.

Doc was extremely upset to hear that Greene was out at 3 AM driving at high speeds. "To me, breaking the law is one thing. That’s something you just shouldn’t do. Everyone’s gotten a speeding ticket, but the fact that he got it at 3:30 in the morning bothers me, too. I think athletes at times believe they’re invincible, but you have to have respect. Orien violated the rules, and he has to pay the consequences for it."

Green was arrested for failure to stop for an officer in Waltham after speeding at over 90 mph on Main Street. Police have stated neither drugs or alcohol were involved in the incident. The charges were dismissed after Green paid fines on each.

According to Doc: "I want these guys to be great players, but I also want them to learn how to be professional, to just be good people. I don’t know if that comes under my job title or not, but I believe it does. So when that stuff happens you have to take an action that you really don’t want to take."

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

NFL preseason schedule announced

Of the primetime games being televised, New England has two. The first will be August 11th against Atlanta. The second will one week later and will feature Arizon at New England on Aug 19th.

The NFL presesason starts on Aug 6 in Canton, Ohio with the Hall of Fame game.

The Cardinals-Patriots and Texans-Broncos will be shown on NFL Network, which begins live coverage of regular-season games on Thanksgiving.

Read more at ESPN.

In other scheduling news (from way back in February):
In 2006, the Patriots will play each of the other AFC East teams twice and one game against each of the teams from the AFC South and the NFC North. The Patriots will also play the firstplace teams from the AFC West (DEN) and the AFC North (CIN).

Buffalo Bills
Miami Dolphins
New York Jets
Houston Texans
Indianapolis Colts
Denver Broncos
Chicago Bears
Detroit Lions

Buffalo Bills
Miami Dolphins
New York Jets
Jacksonville Jaguars
Tennessee Titans
Cincinnati Bengals
Green Bay Packers
Minnesota Vikings

DelCarmen and Hansen moved to Triple-A

Craig Hansen and Manny Delcarment were sent back down to Triple-A last night before the game. Francona expects Hansen to do more than just close games in the minors, though:
"The more the ball’s in his hands, the better he’s going to get," Francona said. . . .

With that move (and I expect Choi who was picked up off of waivers to be moved to Triple-A as well), that settles the Red Sox line-up. David Wells will start on the DL, but will come back around April 12th when he's expected to become the fifth man in the rotation. That leaves Schilling, Beckett, Wakefield, and Clement as your four starters. Foulke is expected to close, with Mike Timlin, Jonathan Papelbon, Julian Tavarez, David Riske, Rudy Seanez and Lenny Dinardo filling the set up roles.

With Tavarez likely suspension in the offing, I expect he will appeal until Wells is ready to come off the DL. When that happens, Tavarez will probably (gracefully?) accept his suspension, leaving a roster spot open for DiNardo to fill.

It also seems that Bard has taken Mirabelli's spot and will be catching Wakefield's knuckleball. Good luck to him.

I don't think there's any other controversial spots to fill. Except for seeing how Lowell does, the line-up has been set for some time. But with reports of Lowell's bat speed suffering, the pick up of Choi as a back up 1B shouldn't be a surprise.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Bye bye Tony

Tony Graffanino has been picked up off of waivers by the KC Royals today, in what was most likely the last major move for the Red Sox this off season.

Tony's fate was sealed when Loretta came to play 2B from the Padres. Unfortunately for Tony, KC already has a 2B in Mark Grudzielanek (I dare you to pronounce that one).

"It was probably one of, if not my most favorite place I've ever played," said Graffanino, who also has been with Atlanta, Tampa Bay and the Chicago White Sox. "I loved every minute of it, playing in that stadium [Fenway Park] with those fans."

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Patriots must reads

If you're looking for some insight into the free agency market for the Patrios and why things have gone the way they have for them (Adam, Givens, and other Patriots are gone in free agency), take a look at the following two stories.

The first is from Cold, Hard Football facts and details (in too much detail, if you ask me), that no kicker is worth the money the Colts are shelling out to Adam this coming year.

The second was written on 3/9 at football outsiders. Its full of why and how the Patriots are dealing with free agency this year. You will need to scroll down to the section on the Patriots.

BTW, it's rumored on the radio that Brown will be re-signing with the Patriots this year. Despite his rhetoric, keep in mind he was a free agency last year and decided to sign with the Pats rather than sign with New Orleans for more money last year.

Red Sox Yankees rivalry begins early

It seems somebody didn't get the word that this is Spring Training. Or maybe this is just the Yankees establishing how they are going to pitch this year. With a lack of depth in their opening rotation, I'd have to say intimidation may be a good strategy.

JT Snow was hit in the seventh by an inside pitch. Riske had a wild pitch hit Jeter. Then Sturtze drilled Mike Lowell in the hip, despite it being fairly obvious Riske wasn't intentionally going for Jeter. As usual in these incidents, the he's defending his own excuse came out after the game. - Boston Red Sox: Tempers heat up as Sox, Yankees get reacquainted

“I wasn’t too pleased with it,” Francona said of the Sturtze pitch. “Derek got hit with a split. We knew it, they knew it. He got hit with a split-finger and Lowell gets one in the ribs. I wasn’t too pleased with it.”

Lowell downplayed the incident. “I didn’t make anything of it,” he said. “He was just protecting Jeter. They thought we hit him. Not a big deal.”

Intimidation may be the Yankees only viable strategy since Johnson is 42 and Mussina shouldn't even be a starter any more (a slight exageration... Mike's 4.05, 3.40 and 4.59 ERA in the last three years are good enough for a starter, but not for the position he holds in the Yankees rotation). Pavano, Small, and Wright are hurt. That leaves Chacon, Wang and Small. So where are the saviors going to come from this year?

Vanderjact going to Dallas

It has been rumoured that Vanderjact may be in the spotlight to replace Adam as kicker for the Patriots, but it seems that's not going to happen. According to sources on the radio, Vanderjact is signing with the Cowboys.

One has to wonder how they are going to replace Vinatieri? My guess is through the draft. They'll use up one of those, oh so valuable, late round picks on a kicker who can also kick off.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Red Sox trade rumors

Trade Rumors:The pitching-starved Reds have been eyeing relief pitcher Jermaine Van Buren, who was sent to the minors last week with the first round of cuts. The Sox are expected to trade Tony Graffanino within the next week. . . .

Vinatieri is gone

And I, for one, am not that upset about it. There are (more than) several reasons why.

First, of course, is the motto In Bill we Trust. Now does that mean that we're guaranteed a playoff berth every year because Bill is our coach? No, not at all. But a record like his is hard to ignore. He builds good teams againa and again, and I for one am OK with that.

Second, Vinatieri wanted a reported $3.5 million signing bonus. According to, Vinatieri will average $2.5 million a season over the first three years of the contract, which one source believed could run for as long as six years. That's a bit much for a kicker.

Third, he's a kicker.

Fourth, he's been clutch in the past, that's no guarantee of the future. I don't know if you've noticed, but he missed some big kicks this past year. There are a lot of people on the radio today (did you know that you can stream WEEI to your computer? I can't at work, but you can't have everything) complaining about how they didn't have to hold their breath when the kicking team rolled out onto the field. Well, I was holding my breath again this year when Adam walked onto the field. For a couple of years, there, I wasn't. But just think back to his last game as a Patriot and tell me that wasn't a big kick he missed.

Fifth, it's hard to judge losing a player until you know who the new guy that will replace him is. Damon was a big loss, but I feel better about it know Crisp is in center field for the Sox this year. Maybe a new kicker will not be as good as Adam, but I don't know that. Ask me again at the end of the year.

Sixth (this list is getting long), Adam's leg strength just isn't what it used to be. He's not kicking as far as he used to. Look up his numbers.

I am not saying that Adam is a bad kicker. I wanted to see him in a Patriots uniform next year. I admire what he did for the Pats. There are several kicks that are indelibly etched onto the the Patriots fans hearts and memories. He has been THE clutch kicker in the game. I'm just saying there is no guarantee for next year. Kickers come and go, so thanks for the memories, Adam. We will miss you.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

More on the Wily for Arroyo deal

The Cincinnati Reds seem to like the deal:

"I like the trade," David Weathers said. "(Arroyo's) a proven winner. He won in one of toughest places to play. He was a big part of the time winning it all (two years ago)."

"He's very good," Hatteberg said. "He eats up innings, which is important. His stuff is good."

The Reds also got $1.5 million in cash in the deal. Arroyo got a $750,000 signing bonus with the three-year, $11.5 million contract he signed in January. The $1.5 million makes Arroyo's salary match Pena's ($1.25 million) for this year.

It's rather frightening that we had to send money to the Reds. I sometimes forget how bad the rest of the league is in terms of revenue. The Red Sox would have gobbled up Arroyo's contract without a thought, but the Reds needed some money thrown in just to acquire a proven 29 year old starter.

Update: CBS 4 talked to Bronson over the phone this morning.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Bronson Arroyo traded

This is not good if you ask me. Maybe there's something going on that I'm not aware of (such as Bronson asked to be traded), but for the Red Sox to trade away Bronson Arroyo to the Reds for Pena is just terrible if you ask me. Trade away that big bellyache of a pitcher Wells with the rubber arm. He's the one who asked to be traded.

Bronson basically took a home town discount to stay here. His agent told him not to take the trade, but he talked to the Red Sox and they assured him he wouldn't be traded. And here he is, not even out of spring training and he's gone. Terrible.

As for Pena, the 24 year old is expected to platoon with Nixon. But the oft injured Trot may not be in the long term planning for the Sox.

Celtics win one for Doc

Celtics win one for Doc. - Boston Celtics: Team keeps Rivers in its thoughts -- Dedicates ’W’

The Celtics needed a win against Indiana yesterday to boost their fading playoff hopes, but when it was over, they gave it to Doc Rivers.
“We’re going to give this win to Doc, even though he’s not here with us,” said assistan coach Tony Brown, who filled in for Rivers as he remained in Orlando, Fla., following the death of his father-in-law Saturday. “We know he’s going through some tough times right now, so, from the coaching staff to the players, we want to send this out for him.”

Friday, March 17, 2006

Wells may not be in starting four man rotation

Who else are they going to bench? Maybe they should choose the guy who was in a wheelchair for a month? Or maybe they should sit the guy who hasn't pitched more than 6 innings in spring training? - Boston Red Sox: All not Wells again -- Lefty upset he may not get a turn

The left-hander, who on March 5 rescinded his offseason request to be traded, appeared in his first spring game yesterday by throwing three decent innings in a minor league intrasquad affair. When told afterward by reporters that the possibility existed the team wouldn’t need him until the first time a fifth starter was required around April 15, Wells’ eyes widened.

“If that’s the way they feel, they can grant that first wish then,” he said. “If they’re going to use that against me, there’s other alternatives.”

I'd be more than happy to send Wells on his way, with a thank you and see you around. There were two scouts at yesterday's throwing session by Wells: from the Arizona Diamondbacks and Texas Rangers.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Schilling signs with a new team

According to gamecloud, Curt Schilling has signed for a different team this year. Namely Sony.

Curt signed on as a spokesman for their popular EverQuest I and II (Known better for it's pseudonym EverCrack). I knew Curt was an online junky, but EverQuest can be extremely addicting.

Gamecloud - - Red Sox Pitcher Signed As Everquest Spokesperson

"I enjoy the anonymity and the ability to interact on a personal level with people I wouldn't normally meet or know," Schilling said. "That, and the game is a riot. There's no end to it, the world is enormous, the possibilities are endless, and above all else, it's a place to go and relax amongst friends. What I can't get enough of is your ability to interact with real live people. The game's about teamwork, and knowing the right way to pick and play your class properly in such a way that it complements a group. That's why EverQuest has stayed so popular."

Who does America think will win the NCAA pool?

Not surprisingly, it's the favorites.

Check out ESPN's composite of the tournament entries from their site.

GIvens and McGinest are gone

But would you really want them at that price? I think Givens is worth 5 years at $24 with an $8 million signing bonus, but McGinest at 34 wasn't worth $12 over three years with $6 million in bonuses. That's a bit over the top for a player that's 34.

But in the end, the Patriots are known for looking for value, not big contract numbers. That's what gave them the depth to continue competing even when a majority of their secondary went down last year. So, I'll continue to trust in their moves.

I'm just sorry to see Givens go. It was a nice group with Brady, Branch, and Givens. Since their number three receiver was Brown last year, I hope they can find another option. Maybe Watson (TE) will come of age and catch more balls?

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Tito gets two year extension

Terry Francona, Red Sox manager has gotten a two year extension according to an AP report at the Boston Herald. Terms were not released.

I guess they learned their lesson when it comes to waiting till the last moment to do deals with their management ;-) - Boston Red Sox: Francona gets contract extension

Patriots History

How many times in the past few years has a player left the Patriots and you were left wondering if we should have kept them? How many times has a player left to become a force elsewhere? What player has gone on to bigger and better things?


There have been some players that we questioned why they were let go at the time (31-0 game), or there was some debate as to who we should keep (Brady vs. Bledsoe), but each time, Bill Belichick and Scott Pioli were proven to know more than the average fan (or player).

If I were Adam Vinatieri, I might consider that before I left to go elsewhere. If the Patriots are letting you go, what does that say for your future career?

Monday, March 13, 2006

Schilling working on his inside pitch

Schilling is working on his inside pitch in an effort to become more aggressive in his old age. Chris Duffy paid the price yesterday, but hopefully his sacrifice will pay off in the long run as more batters become aware that Curt is going inside.

Papelbon is OK with poor outing - The Boston Globe

A day after Curt Schilling hit Pittsburgh's Chris Duffy in the head and said Duffy has ''got to be able to get out of the way of that," Duffy responded. ''I know he wasn't trying to hit me, especially in an exhibition game," Duffy said, according to the Associated Press. ''I understand he is working on pitching inside more, but sometimes you've just got to take responsibility. You've got to go about it in a classy way." Duffy was diagnosed with a mild concussion. Schilling could not be reached for comment

In other news, Lester, Alvarez and 11 others were sent to AAA today by the Red Sox. They include: pitchers Edgar Martinez, David Pauley, Jermaine Van Buren and outfielders Brandon Moss and David Murphy. Also being assigned: righties Tim Bausher and Franklin Nunez, infielders Luis A. Jiminez, Rodney Nye and Josh Pressley and outfielder Tyler Minges.

Patriots are running

All the news out of Foxboro is about the run. Specifically, Givens may be (almost certainly) leaving, Fauria has left, Davis is gone and Vinatieri is probably gone as well.

David Givens went to talk to the Dolphins on Saturday, spent Sunday in Houston and is meeting today with the Titans. A busy schedule for someone looking for big money on the free agency market this year.

Fauria signed with the Redskins. This shouldn't be a surpise given his limited role with Watson and Graham in the lineup in front of him.

Andre Davis signed with the Bills. Not a surprising event, given the depth of the wider receiving corps, Davis didn't have a lot of playing time last year.

And Adam is looking for big money on the free agency market. The question is, even for a kicker of his stature and reputation, are other teams willing to pay big money for him? It's certainly a possibility, and one that Adam is willing to explore. Hopefully, the Patriots can make a deal with him, but I'm not hopeful. The hometown discount just isn't going to apply in Vinatieri's case. I think he's been frustrated by being getting the franchise tag, and is now looking for a way out.

A day after visiting the Dolphins, Givens spent yesterday with the Houston Texans before boarding a plane for Nashville, where he will meet today with the Titans.

Foulke update

Keith Foulke is doing his best to return to form, and I for one hope he makes it. I've been very clear on how important I think he is to the Red Sox success this year, and so I'm glad to see he threw batting practice for the first time, even if it was to just three minor league players.

He is still receving injuections (of a joint lubricant called Synvisc?) in his knees, however. But, according to Foulke, "I can bend down and pick up my kid now without grimacing or having pain. So ... when it comes to the injection, how my knees feel, I'm happy, very happy." And "I will be ready Opening Day, there's no doubt in my mind. I'm stronger now than I have been in four years. April 3, that's a lifetime away."

He should receive shots in each knee on Saturday. He may get shots during the season as well. After that, he'll probably throw again on Monday and Tuesday, and then it's batting practice again on Wednesday or Thursday.

Foulke may be increasing his utility. He may be using four pitches this year, rather than just his normal fastball-changeup.

Friday, March 10, 2006

What are the Bruins doing?

Thornton and Samsonov are 26 and 27, respectively. Both have been incredible for the Bruins, leading them into the playoffs in '98, '99, '02, '03, and '04. At least when you look at the Celtics, you can see what they are doing and why, but the Bruins just don't make any sense this year.

Said Samsonov: “Am I surprised? Probably not. But I’m a little disappointed. It’s been a different kind of year than past years, that’s for sure, with the trades. I think they’re trying to figure out what direction they want to go in. But obviously, they decided they didn’t want me in their plans.”

Samsanov's record as a Bruin:

Career Regular Season Stats
2005-2006Bruins 55181937-322601010716.8
2003-2004Bruins 58172340124305113212.9
2002-2003Bruins 856118210302321.7
2001-2002Bruins 742941702127304019215.1
2000-2001Bruins 82294675618303221513.5
1999-2000Bruins 77192645-64603014513.1
1998-1999Bruins 79252651-618608116015.6
1997-1998Bruins 8122254798703015913.8

NHL Totals: 514164212376411033503041,13314.5

Career Playoff Stats
2003-2004Bruins 72572000001315.4
2002-2003Bruins 5022-100000100
2001-2002Bruins 6224-200000267.7
1998-1999Bruins 113143000002114.3
1997-1998Bruins 62571000101811.1

NHL Totals: 35915243000108810.2

Thursday, March 09, 2006

How come we never get players like this?

Oh wait... that's right. We do have players like this. Lead off, Alfonso Soriano, followed by Miguel Tejada, Pujols, Ortiz, Alou and Beltre. I mean, that's a line-up. I'm not sure the US team could beat this lineup, even with their pitching staff. Just imagine if the batting order for the Dominican Republic held Vladimir Guerrero and Manny Ramirez (Both players opted out).

BTW, in case you missed it, Ortiz and Beltre both homered twice leading the Dominican team won 11-5 over Venezuela. Ortiz finished with 3 RBI.

And, of course, there's Jason Varitek with his grand slam in a losing effort against Canada. Canada beat the US with a team of AAA players? How could they win? Adam Stern who plays for Canada, and is a backup outfielder for the Red Sox, that's how. Adam hit an inside-the-park homer and drove in four runs.


Stern tripled in a run in the second and singled in two more in the third. Then leading off the fifth, his opposite-field fly ball skidded off the base of the bullpen fence past left fielder Matt Holliday.

As Holliday pulled up lame, Stern raced around the bases for an inside-the-park homer to put Canada up 8-0. After being examined by the trainers, Holliday stayed in the game.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Traffic Analysis

I like to take a look at where my traffic is coming from and how they were referred (I'm a stats geek, I can't help it). Recently I found out I was ranked third for Boston Sports Blog, for instance. And not surprisingly, most of my visitors are from the US and Europe.

But I have been surprised that so many people visiting my blog are still using internet explorer. Since I use Mozillar Firefox almost exclusively, I'm just shocked that there are people out there who don't realize how advantageous firefox is.

For instance, tabbed browsing is wonderful. If you don't know what tabbed browsing is, but you surf the web all the time then you don't know what you're missing. You can easily flit from one site to the next while keeping sites that you want to reread later up in the background.

I also think firefox is faster at loading pages (although I can't prove that). And that it's safer (or so I've been told). I'm not a web master expert and I can't say for sure about those things. I do know it's easier to clear out my personal info, such as browser history, cookies, etc... It also updates itself, without slowing me down.

I also use some great extensions that allow me to move the tabs around, check on my adsense stats almost instantaneously, checks on my gmail account for new mail, allows me to blog faster (using performancing's blogger or XBlogThis!). I also have bookmarks for and post to and the latest headlines.

Well enough of this. If you're happy with IE, then continue using it. I'm glad you came to see what I have to say. But personally, I'm glad I have the better option.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

John Flaherty retires as a Red Sox player

On the AP: John Flaherty, who was competing for a backup role as catcher to Tim Wakefield retired. Flaherty has been in the league for 14 years. He was drafted back in 1998 by the Red Sox. Since then he's played for the Yankees, Tampa Bay, Detroit, and San Diego.

"We'll miss his presence and contributions, but we respect and support his decision," Boston general manager Theo Epstein said. "We're proud that John began and ended his career in a Red Sox uniform."

While I still think Clemens will stay in Houston or retire, statements like this make me wonder:

Boston Globe

''It was a great video," said Clemens. ''It was very personable. They shot people around town. They went out to Framingham where I used to live. Deb got pretty teary-eyed about it. She loved being there in those years and we still have friends there, of course, and it was great to see the effort they put into it.

''Theo spoke to me afterward and he was explaining to me how things have changed and everything. I cut him off at one point and told him, 'You don't have to explain that to me. I know that.'

''I've seen for myself how things have changed when I come up there to see my friends. But I liked it the way it was before, so you don't have to sell me on the organization or the city or the ballpark and all the great changes they've made there."

If the CBA is not approved, neither will the new stadiums

It seems that if the CBA agreement is not signed and all signs are pointing every which way today, the league won't allow teams to borrow the money needed for stadium construction. At $150 million a stadium, that's not chump change and could change the landscape (literally) of the league.

From Newsday:

If no extension is reached and the sides can't agree on a labor accord before this one runs out after the 2007 season, the G-3 program, which allows teams to borrow up to $150 million for stadium construction, would be eliminated until a new CBA is approved.

The Giants and Jets plan to ask the league for $300 million ($150 million per club) as part of a stadium package. They hope to build a stadium, estimated to cost more than $1 billion, near Giants Stadium.

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones also is looking to build a stadium in Fort Worth, and Vikings owner Zygi Wilf wants to build one outside Minneapolis. The Chiefs are trying to win funding for a major stadium upgrade, and the 49ers hope to eventually build a stadium to replace aging Monster Park.

The G-3 program is a joint venture of the owners and union, which wants to promote stadium construction because it adds revenue streams that eventually help increase player salaries. But if the union follows through on its threat to decertify if the CBA is not extended, the G-3 program will be eliminated.

Monday, March 06, 2006

What if we don't want him?

Wells is now claiming he'd be happy to remain in Boston. Most likely this is because he was in a wheelchair for a month! and noone else will take him. But what if we don't want to keep him?

I've never been happy with having Wells on the team. He had a 4.45 ERA last year. And with an incentive laden contract, he's going to go out and try to pitch whether he's healthy or not. I expect a lot of three inning outings from him this year.

Also, I'm tired of hearing how he's a big game pitcher. Well, let's take a look at how he did in his big games last year?

How about opening day last year? That was a big game, right? Yankee stadium, opening day... Boomer "gave up 10 hits and four runs over 4 1/3 innings. He also balked in a run, walked one and had two hit batsmen (Jason Giambi both times) while notching four strikeouts. The Boomer took the loss as the Yankees pounded the Sox, 9-2, on Sunday's Opening Night."

Well, what about the playoffs. Those are big games, right? Well, it was a better outing than opening day, that's for sure. In 6.2 innings, he gave up 7 hits and 5 runs (only 2 ER) and only 5 K's. I certainly remember how he got rattled after that error. That was his last big day for the Sox. I only hope it really was his last.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Alex Gonzalez pulls out of WBC

Alex Gonzalez is on his way back to spring training with the Red Sox after pulling out of the WBC. Although there is no official word as to why he pulled out, chances are good it's because Carlos Guillen and Omar Vizquel are also on the Venezuelan team and Alex wouldn't get a lot of playing time.

Alex played for the Venezuelan team over the winter where he hit a three-run homer in the ninth inning to win one game, and drove in the tying run and scored the winning run in the championship game vs. the Dominican Republic.

Nomar plays first base

Doesn't that just sound weird. Nomar Garciappara may have been the best shortstop to play for Boston, and here we are just a few years later, and he's playing first base.

Pre mid 90's, SS was just a defensive position, leaving the power and hitting numbers to the outfielders. Then Nomar, Jeter and A-Rod came along and redefined what the position meant. Now, Jeter is the only one still starting at SS.

Boston Globe

Nomar Garciaparra made two outstanding plays at first base

Why is Toine still complaining?

Am I missing something? I just don't understand what Antoine Walker's issues are when it comes to leaving the Celtics. Does he still have issues from the first trade when Ainge made it clear that they didn't want him?

The Celtics managed to get Walker onto a better team with a six-year contract for over $52 million. What more did he want?

"I feel that he’s a guy that doesn’t understand what we’re doing - and he doesn’t need to understand," Ainge said. "I just think Antoine feels hurt, but I have nothing personal against him. I did everything I could to work out the trade and get him the contract he wanted even though we got very little back in return. He said we didn’t want him back, but I talked to his agent last summer and just realized that their goals were different than ours. Once I knew that, I tried to help him get what he wanted."

Comments from Walker like: "I don’t know if (Ainge is) trying to run the youth thing, but we were coming off an Atlantic Division title and we had a good core together. And I’m 29 years old, so I don’t know what you consider old. I don’t know where the problem lies, but the truth will probably never come out." just don't make sense to me.

Does he just not get it? The Celtics weren't going to win (it all) with just him and Pierce. Will someone explain to me what his issues are. Things worked out really well for him. The Celtics are struggling without him. What more could he want?

Papelbon scare

Without knowing how important he could be to the team this year, I was still very worried when I heard about how Papelbon got hit on the ankle in yesterday's game. With all the question marks when it comes to the starting rotation, one more 'if' could topple the whole thing.

“I’m as fortunate as I can be,” said Papelbon, who suffered only a bruise and didn’t require X-rays. “If that ball is an inch higher on my ankle, I’m probably done for 3-6 months. The Big Man Above was watching out for me.”

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Vinatieri is contemplating free agency

According to a story in the Orlando Sentinel today, Adam Vinatieri is contemplating free agency and multi year deals. Which may be a good thing for him, but not so good for the Patriots.

"I really enjoyed my 10 years with the Patriots. It's been a great time and I have a lot of good memories there," he said. "The New England Patriots are bigger than I am. There have been other people who have been released, and others who have been brought in, and that team's been good no matter what."

"The franchise tag means a one-year guarantee -- so that's a good thing. But if you're wanting to get multi years, it's a bad thing. The opportunity to go into free agency this year is a good thing," Vinatieri said.

It's just agents being agents

Manny's agent, being an agent, has come out (see quote below) and laid the whole trade issue at the Red Sox feet. Now that Manny is back in camp and playing nice, it's time for his 'I'm excited to play here and it's where I'd like to keep playing.' statement. This seems to have become a spring training ritual with Manny in Boston.

It's too bad Manny wants out of Boston. I think the fans love him, except for a few hard nosed nuts who think he's a distraction to the team. I say the only thing he distracts is the media, which is fine with the rest of his team.

The only time I've had a problem with Manny is the time Francona asked him to play on his day off and he refused. While I can understand if he's not feeling well or he is injured and afraid it's going to get worse, I think we all know that team sports demand you play for the team.

Boston Herald story by Jeff Horrigan

“I think it’s been mis-characterized all along,” Genske said. “I think it’s been a situation over the last few years where the Red Sox have wanted to pursue trade alternatives, just to kind of see what’s out there, and Manny has always been willing to participate in those kind of talks and he’d been willing to keep an open mind and cooperate if the Red Sox decide they want to have trade discussions with another team.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Nixon to be player rep?

In a boston herald story today by Tony Massarotti, he reports on how Schilling and new pitching coach Nipper have butted heads. That's a good thing. I want Schilling anxious and ready to go out there and pitch more. I also want the Sox to keep his workouts at a reasonable pace. We need Curt to come out and have a great year.


Nixon, for what it’s worth, seems to be the leading candidate to succeed Johnny Damon as the club’s union player representative. Nixon was the assistant player rep a year ago and indicated that the club would not hold an election until after the start of the regular season.

It would probably be a good fit. Nixon is a serious guy who's not afraid to take on responsibility. Of course, with his health problems, he'll probably have time off to face any issues that come up. (a cheap shot, yes... but still true).

Manny arrives sporting a throwback jersey

Manny has arrived at spring training. Maybe we can talk about something else now. Oh, did you guess what the throwback jersey would be?

Boston Red Sox Nation: Heeeeeere's Manny!

Manny Arrives in Camp at 9:02 a.m.

"Oh yeah you know I’m back, I guess people want me to come back and my main focus is baseball right now and trying to help this team win and let me get this straight, I don’t want no question about the trade rumors about the winter this and that. You guys want to talk about baseball or whatever, you know I’m open to talk. We could talk all day." -- 3.1.06, Manny Ramirez