Sunday, December 31, 2006

Rocket: The Last Straw? For me....YES!!!

I came across this article on this soon to be sun-splashed Sunday morning, from SI. Dated today! And as the title of this post says, if the following scenario comes to pass, that would be the last straw for Rocket Roger and this, and I'll be back with a comment or six.

"While the Yankees continue their efforts to trade Randy Johnson -- Arizona still seems the most likely landing spot -- they are envisioning Roger Clemens as the one to replace Johnson, to the point where they hope to convince Clemens to move up his possible 2007 start date, sources said.
Baseball people say the Yankees seem determined to deal Johnson and hopeful to convince Clemens to not only come to New York but to begin the season much earlier than he did with Houston in 2006. If the Yankees are successful in trading Johnson, their need for Clemens to start sooner becomes much more vital. The Yankees were disappointed when Barry Zito went to the Giants for an eye-popping $126-million deal, but appear much more confident about their chances for Clemens.The word going around is that while Clemens loved the convenience of home, he also misses the drama of New York. And, whether they know it or not, the Yankees' efforts in trying to trade Johnson could enhance their chances to land Clemens. Beyond the fact that by trading Johnson they would free up dollars, word is that Clemens doesn't particularly like Johnson to the point where he might even prefer to go to Boston or stay in Houston if the Yankees fail to unload The Big Unit."

Peter here, and first of all, who DOES like RJ? But Roger Clemens as a player, a pitcher, hell, a HUMAN BEING will be dead to me if he were to don pinstripes once again. I think deep in my heart that this SI article completely misses out on Roger's frame of mind right now. I STILL think he'd like to finish his tremendous career in a blaze of glory, and that blaze would be colored by the splash of red on his Boston uniform. Until I hear to the contrary, I won't budge in those thoughts. Roger Clemens is either loved or hated by us Red Sox fans. We either can't stand him or we can't wait for every fifth day, his pitching day. But clearly he would make our 2007 Red Sox team, that team with soo much promise, immeasurably better. If he WERE to go to the "dark side," not only would it be huge for the Yankees, but it would finally make me see the light. And that light would illuminate a man who has been so good for so many years reduced to a money-hungry idiot who only wants to go back to New York, a club that doesn't even exist in his heart, just for the moolah, the bucks, the dollars. Not for the fans who still love him and who would stand and scream and clap their hands and show every emotion there is in this wonderful world of Red Sox baseball with his every pitch. It's up to you Roger. Do not go to the Yankees. PERIOD. CASE CLOSED. THE END.

Phew...thanks for reading. Me emotional? Damn right! Maybe that's why you like it here.

In Closing....Parts One And Two....

I just came across this little blurb from the Globe a couple of days ago....let me run it here, and I'll be back later with comments and any back-up news on this last day of 2006......(P.S.....this is part one...)

......"the Sox continue to explore trade talks for a closer. Washington's Chad Cordero, Houston's Brad Lidge and Pittsburgh's Mike Gonzalez all appear to be targets."

Peter here, and it's nice to know that the Sox are active on the closer situation rather than wait for someone already on the club to morph into that oh-so pivotal role. For without a closer, everyone else in the starting rotation is reduced to non-importance. If we can"t nail down a one-run lead in the ninth inning, the first eight innings are almost moot points! I'll stay on top of this. I hope Theo will too. BUT..............

This is me again, three hours later. That would make it, oh, about 9:50am on this last day of '06....getting late! But three hours makes a difference, as you shall read. This from today's (Sunday's) GLOBE. An abrupt turn-around from the earlier part of this post. (Oh, part two coming it is....)

"But right now, a bona fide closer isn't walking through Gate A at Fenway Park.
Efforts to obtain Chad Cordero of the Nationals, Mike Gonzalez of the Pirates, and Brad Lidge of the Astros were met with either "thanks but no thanks" or price tags that were far too expensive.
Barring a closer falling from the sky, there exists a tremendous opportunity for someone on the current staff to be on the ground floor of a profitable career. If this sounds like the 2003 season, when the pertinent phrase was "closer by committee," that's true, but this time there appear to be more options.
More than one executive at the winter meetings wondered whether Boston would turn back to Papelbon if he shows that, with a healed shoulder, he can take the up-and-down and pitching three or four times a week."

Peter here, and thanks for sticking in while reading this merry-go-round Sunday post. But I posted as soon as I could....and it just goes to show us what an up-in-the-air proposition the closer role is right now for our Boston Red Sox. Comments??
And please have a wonderful day number 365 in this year of 2006. Thanks.

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Daisuke Matsuzaka Is Already A Sox Spokesman.....

Read this, from the Globe, on this day before New Year's eve day......

"Newly minted Red Sox hurler Daisuke Matsuzaka donned a Red Sox uniform to make his latest pitch in Japan.
The Japanese baseball star, also known as "Dice-K," who the Sox paid $103 million to acquire has recorded a Japanese commercial hawking Asahi Super Dry beer, fully dressed in Red Sox regalia, showing that his star power in the Far East has already lent marketing clout to his new team. The endorsement happened without the involvement of the Red Sox, under rules that give Major League Baseball control over the team's trademarks outside New England .
Those rules aside, Sox executives believe there is a big market in Japan and locally for endorsements involving the team and Matsuzaka, and that their new pitcher will boost the team's popularity in Japan past that of a certain pinstripe-wearing rival with a Japanese player of its own."

Peter, smiling widely, here.....and how nice is that! I can't wait for him to make his first purposeful regular season walk to the mound..the mound at KC, but he will be wearing our uniform, and he'll be shutting down the opposition, whatever team happens to be unfortunate enough to be on the looking end of his many different pitches! And I'm sure we're ALL looking forward to hear those two words...."PLAY BALL!"

Is This JD Drew Thought Far From The Truth? I Say NO...Resoundingly!

This is from the ever entertaining Steve Buckley of the Boston Herald. You see, there is no hard Red Sox news, not until after the New Year's holiday. But Mr. Buckley makes a valid point, and uses humor while making it. He starts out talking about the long delay between the initial word that the club and Scott Boras had come to an agreement about JD Drew with a staggeringly high price tag and the subsequent but still yet to come press conference. Here you go, and then I will return with a brief comment....

"But still we have no J.D. Drew press conference.
It’s obvious what has happened here: The Sox called Drew and said something along the lines of, “We’re thrilled that you’re going to play for the Red Sox and would like you to come to Boston and hold up a Sox jersey and tell the media that as a kid growing up in Georgia you always dreamed of playing for the Red Sox, but, um, if you don’t mind, could you, um, send us X-rays of your shoulders, wrists, knees, ankles and elbows?”
What happened next? I can’t help but wonder if the Red Sox, after taking a look at those X-rays, said, “Hey! Who left Johnny Pesky’s medical file in here!?"

Peter here. Well said, Steve...and Johnny Pesky's X-Rays might be an improvement! The point of my bringing up JD Drew yet again is this. For $70 million dollars over WHO CARES how many years, damaged goods are damaged goods. To be avoided at all costs. That $70 mill could be used in so many different ways, all better ways to make the 2007 Boston Red Sox a vastly improved team. So many of the missing pieces have been sculpted to fit into the jig-saw puzzle that is our team, but the center piece, the closer's piece, still remains barren, empty of life. Julian Tavarez will not be able to do it. Theo has said that by the end of spring training, whether from inside or outside the team as it stands now, we WILL have a closer. Without one, one who can be trusted and effective, our promising 6 plus man rotation and our young yet old but "looking good" bullpen remains just a rotation and a bullpen on paper. The starter can be brilliant for 7 or 8 innings, all for nothing if that guy, that elusive keynote player who can shut 'em down for three outs, is not there. A house of cards, with a stiff wind....liable to fall at any moment. We need that shelter from the winds.........and that shelter is a bona fide closer. NOT Julian Tavarez.
Thanks, my readers, on this second to last day of 2006. My year-end thoughts about, well, everything, will come up tomorrow. I might even have to write some of them down on paper before commiting them to blogdom, rather than listen to that little, sometimes smart and sometimes combative voice in my left ear. Until then, enjoy your Saturday. And thanks for reading.......I really appreciate it. But you knew that!

Saddam Hussein 1937-2006

Saddam, I hope death did not quickly claim you as you swung back and forth from your rope. May you rot in Hell for eternity.

Friday, December 29, 2006

Once An IDIOT Always An Idiot

I saw this and felt disgust mixed with pity....but he is such a fool...from SI......

"Mike Tyson was ordered released without bond on a felony drug possession charge Friday after an early-morning arrest in which Buckeye police said they found two bags of white powder in his back pocket.
"He said he was an addict and had a problem," according to a police probable cause statement filed in Maricopa County Superior Court. "He admitted possessing the bags of cocaine, and said he uses it anytime he can get his hands on it."
He was expected to be released within hours.
Tyson was arrested early Friday, after nearly ramming a police car, on suspicion of driving under the influence and possession of cocaine when police stopped him shortly after he left a Scottsdale nightclub. According to the report, an officer saw Tyson trying to wipe a white powder off the console of his BMW as he approached."

Mike, you've had so many chances to get it together. What is wrong with you? Maybe a new facial tatoo? IDIOT.......

I'll be back tomorrow..........night everybody!!!!

Mercer News...RJ Too......

The good news out of Texas is that doctors removed Bobby Murcer's cancerous brain tumor and late yesterday he was awake and resting comfortably. No further details were released, but I know we hope that the doctors were able to remove ALL of the growth and that Bobby will be in no way permanently disabled. Cancer is scary, especially brain cancer.
In RJ news, losing out on Barry Zito seems to have in no way affected the Yankees desire to trade RJ for young pitching. The wire services tell me that the Yankees would like at least two of the following three pitchers from the Diamondbacks, who are the team hottest on the trail of Ol' Lefty.....Dustin Nippert is a 6-8 righthander who was 13-8 with an ERA of 4.87 at Triple A. Micah Owings, a 6-5 righty, was 6-2 at Double A and 10-0 at Triple A (!!). And lastly, Ross Ohlendorf, a 6-4 righty who was 10-8 ,with a 3.28 ERA in Double A. By acquiring 2 of those 3, the Yankees will add young dependable arms while jettisoning RJ's $16 million dollar paycheck. Now that doesn't sound like a bad deal to me. In fact, I'm wondering why the Diamondbacks are so hot and heavily going after Johnson. The Yankees, at least in this case, are being smart.
More news later, but with the Sox offices closed for the holidays, there might not be much about them until Tuesday, when we should hear something about JD Drew. Enjoy your New Year weekend everybody. I'll pop up from time to time to check in. Count on me!

Thursday, December 28, 2006

ZITO Signs!!!!!!!! NOT With The Yankees!!! Can We Say YES?

Yes, he is a new member of the San Francisco Giants! What does that mean? He is NOT a Yankee! More after I learn more...I will be! Holy crap! I'm just as surprised as you. And right now at 12:31:30, I will wait until I know it is official.......shortly after 12:40 EST...wait with me.....

And yes...a 7 year $126 million dollar contract!!! The math is easy, but staggering!....ZITO is a SF Giant...RSN's smiles all over the place...made you smile!!! I hope...and I'm here for you.

Steroids Anyone? Get Your Red Hot Steroids! All The Toppings Too!

All hell is about to break loose as the names of those who tested positive, some with little-known names, and some blockbuster names,"players who are adored" names, are sure to come into the light of public awareness.....this from the Globe, and then the Herald, although I could have used a few hundred comments will be there too......

"A ruling by the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals yesterday in San Francisco, giving federal prosecutors the right to use the names and urine samples of 100 major league players who tested positive for steroids three years ago for future investigations, could spell more bad news for Barry Bonds."

Peter here, but there are more players, or cheaters, other than Bobby Bonds, who WILL be implicated as the names for those who tested positive back in '03 are made public, for all to see. Here's more, again from today's Herald........

"Back in 1998, when McGwire and Sosa were busting fences in pursuit of Roger Maris’ single-season home run record, we all buried our heads in the press releases and went along for the ride. And by “we,” I mean the commissioner’s office, the owners, the fans and, of course, the media. We bought all of it and we agreed that McGwire and Sosa were “saving” baseball.
Yet here we are, eight-plus years later, bracing for the inevitability that more names will be linked to performance-enhancing drugs. If it’s true that steroid-enhanced athletes helped “save” baseball in 1998, now the bill has arrived for services rendered.
Ultimately, the game is more important than any one player."

Peter here again, and those words by the Herald's Steve Buckley ring true, at least to me. The cards were dealt, the players who were allegedly involved responded, and now we will have the concrete, set in stone results of those all-important blood tests. For some high profile players, this will be the start of their personal downhill slides. Without a net....and with NO MERCY. For those players who hid the facts or flat-out lied to the investigating commitees, you should be scared. Because your public personna, the way we all think of you, is going to take a HUGE hit. So happy holidays to each and every one of you. Or as Mr. Buckley of the Boston Herald said as he concluded his great article....

"Ultimately, the game is more important than any ONE player. And for the players who use steroids, it’s really quite simple: Screw ’em."

Screw 'em! Peter here...I cannot add anything more. Enjoy your Thursday. 2007 is just around the corner, close enough to taste. May the guilty ones realize that the hidden ones, all of you, will be revealed to ALL of us. Thanks for reading and being here. I'll be back with anything late-breaking.

Bobby Murcer Has Brain Cancer

This sad word came down late last night. After complaining of headaches and a lack of energy, a CAT scan revealed a brain tumor. He will undergo brain surgery today. I'm sure all of RSN wishes him the best.
Here is what he had to say late yesterday......

"I'm feeling OK and we're just going to have to see what this surgery will bring,'' Murcer told the Daily News by phone Wednesday night. "I'm hopeful that everything will turn out OK and I'm thankful to have so many friends who are rooting for me.''
Murcer was to be treated at the MD Anderson Hospital in Houston, one of the top cancer facilities in the nation, the newspaper said.
Murcer played 17 seasons in the major leagues from 1965-83 and was a five-time All-Star and a Gold Glove-winning outfielder. In his career with the Yankees, San Francisco Giants and Chicago Cubs, he batted .277 with 252 home runs and 1,043 RBIs."

Though he was the enemy on the field, in between the lines, in real life he's just like you and me. Human. Good luck Bobby!

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Keith Foulke Close To Cleveland Signing...And Is Zito To The Yankees That Far-Fetched??

It has been reported that Keith Foulke is close to an agreement with the Cleveland Indians, where he will compete for the closer's job with Joe Borowski. Good luck, Keith.....I don't know how many bullets you have left in your six-shooter, Keith, so maybe you should take up the bow and arrow.

On another note, let's play what if! What if.......the Yankees are successful in dealing RJ. Will that mean the door is open to a Zito signing? As a Red Sox fan, I HOPE NOT! The Yankees seem to be acting rationally for once....does this mean that Mr. Steinbrenner has really relinquished his everyday control? I hate to say this, but it sure looks like it. More to follow, as circumstances warrant. But Zito joining the Yankee rotation is indeed a scary thought. One maybe-reality that we as Sox lovers DO NOT NEED.

President Gerald R. Ford 1913-2006

When the country was in the midst of Nixon's Watergate fiasco, and for the first time ever a sitting President was forced to resign his office, in stepped Gerry Ford, and he proceeded to guide our country out from the depths of confusion and upheaval and back to a better place. The only non-elected President in our country's history, he served in the nation's highest office from the summer of 1974 until Jimmy Carter's swearing in in January 1977. Mr. President, rest in peace.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Vote For Me.....A New Addition.....

Yes, in lieu of additional baseball news on this day after the holiday, I've added a link called BlogTopLists, which you will see on the right side of the page, in light blue. There are two spots in light blue, one that says blogtoplist, and then right next to it is one with a red (how nice a color) check mark that says "vote for me." Please click on that one and vote....if you like it here, if you don't, or if you don't give a darn, it would make me so happy. I'll be here everyday...for you, for the team we love, the Boston Red Sox, and for the game we all love, that game called baseball. We're all lucky to have a team that we love. For me, it's a matter of faith and trust and just plain old RSN madness. So please, click on that light blue "vote for me" button. Join the madness that is Red Sox baseball. I promise to keep on keeping on......and we're all waiting for the umpire to yell, "PLAY BALL!". April KC. The countdown clock, also on your right, is ticking. So turn your gaze a little lower than the countdown clock, the two buttons in Robin's egg light blue. And after you use the button with the red checkmark that says "vote for me," just click on sports under the blog categories there and see how I'm doing! It's all there. And thank you. I know you won't let me down. And YOU know I'll never let you down. Remember, the light blue buttons, on your right as you scroll down. Thanks! What a great Christmas/New Year present that would be!
Self-promotion? A little. I work hard at keeping us all informed. And I love it!!

Randy Johnson Being Shopped By The Yankees

I hope you all had a great holiday on this Monday......err, Tuesday morning. Seems like Monday, doesn't it? And news of the possible trade of RJ is big....this from the NY Post......

"BIG DEAL?: An agent for Randy Johnson has confirmed a Post report that the Yankees have talked trade with Arizona concerning the star left-hander.

December 26, 2006 -- Randy Johnson could be leaving the Yankees after just two seasons.
The Yankees have started trade talks with several teams, including the Diamondbacks, although it is too early to tell whether the discussions will lead to a deal.
Talks were confirmed yesterday by a baseball official who had knowledge of them and spoke on condition of anonymity because they are in the preliminary stage."

Peter here. RJ, who was 34-19 in his two checkered years with the Yankees and 0-1 with an ERA near seven (!) in the post season, would be the third lefty in the Yank's rotation, after Pettitte and Igawa, making him dispensible. I for one hope the Yankees are not able to rid themselves of the lanky lefty. Why? Because I think at best he would be a .500 pitcher this year. But any such thoughts are pure conjecture.
Enjoy your Monday-like Tuesday, everyone. I'll be back if there is any baseball news ANYWHERE. A tall order!

Monday, December 25, 2006

Happy Christmas (War Is Over)

So this is Christmas
And what have you done?
Another year over
And a new one just begun.
And so this is Christmas
I hope you have fun
The near and the dear one
The old and the young.

A very merry christmas
And a happy New Year
Let's hope it's a good one
Without any fear.

And so this is Christmas
For weak or for strong
For rich and the poor ones
The world is so wrong.
And so happy Christmas
For black and for white
For yellow and red ones
Let's stop all the fight.

A very merry Christmas
And a happy New Year
Let's hope it's a good one
Without any fear.

And so this is Christmas
And what have we done?
Another year over
And a new one just begun.

And so happy Christmas
We hope you have fun
The near and the dear one
The old and the young.
A very merry Christmas
And a happy New Year
Let's hope it's a good one
Without any fear.

War is over!
If you want it
War is over!

Words and music by John Lennon 1972

Peter and happiness to all of my readers. You are my friends forever. And have yourself a very Merry Christmas time. Thanks.

James Brown 1933-2006

The Godfather of Soul left us on this Christmas morning of 2006. Rest in peace James Brown. You will be missed, but your music? Your music will live on forever.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Christmas Eve Day And Back To The Tropics...With Such Sweet Memories Of 1983

It's Sunday, Christmas Eve Day, and I just found out that the rest of my family is going for a nine day stay to St. Maarten, which is in the eastern caribbean. I spent a wonderful ten days there on our company's trip in 1983. Back into my memories, if you wish to go.......

We took a group of customers, furniture store owners who sold our bedding and wanted to go on a ten day getaway. Most were returning customers who'd gone on other company trips and who realized that a good time with the best food and lodging was guaranteed for all. A large group of around 65 people jetted out of Boston non-stop to St. Maarten. I took a different route. SSSHHHH, I always try to. I planned it so that I could join my parents down in St. Croix, one of three US Virgin islands, a week before we were due to arrive in St. Maarten. My parents had a wonderful house on that island, an island never far from my heart, from 1974 until Hurricane Hugo in that awful Autumn 1989 blew the house down. Literally....but that's another story written in an earlier post. St. Croix is 81 miles east of the eastern tip of Puerto Rico and 40 miles south of its more famous USVI, St. Thomas, and roughly a 45 minute flight east and north on a small plane to St. Maarten.
I was tanned and looking every bit an islander by the time our small plane touched down at the airport, on a runway that starts right at the beach as even the big jets virtually skim the tops of the ocean's waves. Beautiful.
The highlight of my 10 days there, other than the unbelievable beaches, one a nude beach (no-i didn't go, but my sis-in-law wanted to) and delicious food was meeting two young ladies who I remained friends with for many years, one to this very day! The hotel next to ours was a Sheraton, not a huge tall building but a series of beautiful "on the beach" dwellings surrounding a wonderful casino. I love blackjack-these were the days before Texas Hold-em. After a great dinner I headed to the casino for the first time (it was only our second night there) and took a tour of the tables, deciding to join one that only had two people playing the cards. Two beautiful ladies...I'm no dummy! We all said hi, and they asked me where I was from. I'll never for the rest of my life forget the look on their faces when I said Connecticut--their jaws dropped, their eyes opened wide, all that stuff. And I knew we were all about the same age, and it turns out that Joanne was 21 and Cindy, my friend to this day, was 24. And they were both nurses from the New Haven CT. area. Wow! From that night on, we were a threesome (not that kind of threesome), gambling, sunning, dinnering, and when it came to alone time Cindy always knew when to make herself scarce. For I was smitten with Joanne, angel face with vibrant eyes and chestnut hair. An angel on earth, I thought. Before they departed for the mainland, I promised I would take them both to see Bruce Springsteen and Billy Joel. Bruce was rumored to be working on an album due out in the early summer of '84, and I knew he would tour. That album turned out to be BORN IN THE USA, and we all know how big that was. It made him a world-wide American entertainer. And Billy Joel was touring every year, and about to meet Christie Brinkley. And I also knew that concert tickets were an easy thing for me, and I mean GREAT seats, no more than seven rows back. You see, a good friend was, and still is, one of the leading promoters here in Connecticut. The St. Maarten trip was in November of 1983, and darned if the three of us didn't go to see Billy Joel in New Haven, where Jo and Cindy were nurses at the time. We sat right next to Christie in the fourth row. And Cindy turned out to be just as big a Bruce fan as I, and we saw him in Hartford in September '84 and Providence in January '85 on his magnificent Born in the USA tour, a tour that lasted more than a year. I'll never forget her shining green eyes, making my greens look almost dull.

And now it's 2006. December 24th, in fact. I just opened up Cindy and her husband Roby's Christmas card, and the memories came flooding back. And they're doing well! I lost touch with Joanne in 1990 or sometime near that.
But just writing what was supposed to be a short post has filled me with the smiling warm fuzzies. I hope my brother and sister-in-law and my niece and two nephews have a wonderful time on that so beautiful island. You see, I have many memories that dot the St. Maarten landscape. memories that will live in my heart until my last breath. One is scripted on a small buoy just 20 feet from the beach, a place where Jo and I "anchored" our raft, enjoying the water-reflected sun, and we actually signed that little white buoy. I forgot what we wrote, but I'd bet my life that whatever it was, it reflected in words how happy we were.

Merry Christmas everyone. I'm so glad you read this little piece of such a happy time for me, in the autumn of 1983. A good time. And now, in 2006, I have you, my readers. And happy times are back. Cyn reads my blog once in a while....and she still looks great! Enjoy the holiday, and I'll be back tomorrow. I hope I brought you smiles. I'd love to hear your comments, too. And I wish I had told my nephew to find that little buoy, just outside the swimming area, recognizable instantly by me. I it still there? I'd like to think so. And if a floatable piece of white plastic tethered to the sandy ocean bottom could talk, well, my world would be a better place. But me complaining? No way.

Be every one of you....I do!!

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Wouldn't It Be Nice? The Answer? IT WOULD BE GRAND!

Sports Illustrated wrote it, and you can read it, and then I'll comment. What else is new? I won't tamper with a good formula. It's a dark and eeriely warm rainy day here in north central Connecticut, 50 degrees of warmth yet again, as the first hours of the long Christmas weekend are upon us. Ho ho ho! The green grass has not given way to the piles of snow soon to come, snow sure to be beautifully white and then too quickly an ugly brown, so I'd like to play "what if." And whenever the name Roger Clemens is brought up, the differing viewpoints emerge. Read this, please, and I'll be back after a word from my sponsers (not!)........

"Roger and the Red Sox......There might be a touch of nostalgia involved in Clemens' thoughts about Boston. But there's more than a touch of business sense in Clemens' thinking, and he well knows that Boston provides the best personal marketing opportunity. Boston is where there's the best buzz for him.
GM Theo Epstein wouldn't directly address the Clemens issue. But the team's acquisition of Daisuke Matsuzaka wouldn't necessarily discourage them, either, Epstein indicated. "You can never have enough pitching, and last year we pretty much proved it," said Epstein, referring to his trade of Bronson Arroyo last spring. "We went from seven starters to four in a week ... my fault, more than anything else."
If Clemens did go back to Boston, the story would be great, the theater would be grand. Can you imagine a matchup of Clemens vs. Pettitte in Fenway for the pennant? Even in "retirement mode,'' you can be sure Clemens is thinking about that."

Red Sox's odds: 9-5.

Peter here. Forget the odds....Roger Clemens WILL pitch in 2007, and 2008 if he so wishes. He has proven in his last three years with the Astros that he is still a hitter's worst nightmare. And the scenario painted above? Oh, lets see if this brings you shivers. It did for me............the following are my words, my imagination...may they come to pass.

A Friday night. Game 3 of the ALCS. And it's a beautiful mid September night here in Boston. Games one and two at Yankee Stadium were split. And it's Andy Petitte versus his longtime friend but sudden enemy, at least on this field, Roger Clemens. And this field, this stage, is Fenway Park, the Green Wall looming in the background. Clemens, the winner of 15 games while losing only four, three by shutouts for the opposing team, has been a revelation this year, adding so much to a fivesome of talent that has soared for this Boston club. A victory will give the winning team a huge jump in this possible seven game battle.

Ok ok, Peter here, and it's back to winter '06, December 23rd, in fact. Clemens versus Petitte for all the marbles is the stuff of dreams. Our dreams. I have a feeling that if the unthinkable happens and Roger joins our talented and varied rotation, the Fenway "buzz," always mind-numbingly awesome (hey, we LOVE our team!!), will become even more so. And as Theo said in his quote, we can NEVER have enough pitching. Hello Bronson, can ya hear me?

Wow, it was nice to imagine with words what it might be like a few short months from now. Too many starters, you say? Remember spring '06.....and on the same subject, namely PITCHING, the Sox acquired a no lose type of pitcher. No lose? He is a win-win case of little money spent with a tremendous upside. His Name? Runelvys Hernandez. Here's some stuff about him, from Boston's Saturday Herald......

"In 2006 he was 6-10 with a 6.48 ERA in 21 starts with Kansas City and 5-6 with a 4.59 ERA in 12 games (11 starts) with Triple-A Omaha.
Hernandez made three starts at Omaha to open the season before defeating Minnesota in his 2006 Kansas City debut on April 26. He was 1-4 when optioned to Omaha on May 28 before returning to the Royals for the rest of the season on July 21.
From Aug. 10 to Sept. 1, Hernandez recorded his best stretch of the year, going 3-1 with a 2.88 ERA over five starts. That included a complete-game, 2-0 victory on Aug. 26 at Toronto."

This finishes the first portion of your Red Sox baseball whims and whimsy on this Christmas weekend at Peter's Red Sox Forever (PRSF). I hope you enjoyed my flight of fancy, and as always, I love it that you continually stop by and read what my mind dictates to my fingers. I'll be here for everything. The good, the bad, the ugly, the inspiring. All a part of baseball as we know it. Boston Red Sox style, OUR style. Thanks, happy Christmas time, and I'd love to hear what you think.
And that's a wrap............for now. I couldn't do this without you!

Friday, December 22, 2006

Patriots Day Minus One Hour-AM Drive Time For The Angels! And A JD Drew Update Of Sorts....

Yes, the annual Patriots game will be moved up an hour. From the Globe.....

"The Red Sox tradition of playing a morning game on Patriots Day is getting tweaked for 2007. With the start of the Boston Marathon pushed up to 10 a.m., the Sox have obtained permission from Major League Baseball and the players' union to start their Patriots Day game, traditionally an 11:05 start, an hour earlier."

Peter here. And the opponent on that early season day will be the Los Angeles Angels, whose fans will have the singular sensation of being able to listen to their favorite team play during the morning drive time hours. 7am Pacific time. There is a stipulation that the Sunday game must be started no later than 1:05pm. Now that makes sense. Imagine if TV tried to reschedule the game to an 8:00 pm start, ending around midnight. That would be too quick a turnaround for players and fans alike.

On the JD Drew front, it seems as if Scott Boras is AGAIN dealing from a position of weakness. We have to love it!!! Read this from the Herald, and then I'll make my point.

"The sides agreed to a five-year, $70 million contract on Dec. 5, but a physical examination six days later apparently revealed concerns about the 31-year-old outfielder’s right shoulder. The Sox are seeking changes in the language of the pact that will protect them if the shoulder eventually leads to a significant loss of playing time, but agent Scott Boras has been reluctant to accommodate.
Boras told the Associated Press on Wednesday night that his client is healthy and has no “condition that would affect him over the five years of the contract.” He also indicated, however, that he and Sox general manager Theo Epstein have been working on settling the issue “in good faith.” "

Peter here, and I know I've talked this deal to death, but this is a case where the upside is in our Soxs' hands. In fact, it's in the palm of their hands and all the Sox need to do is CLENCH THEIR FISTS! But here is my point, a big one in that Boras is used to "holding all the cards," the wild cards and the trump cards. But now, yet again, Boras is forced to deal from a lame duck position....he and the Sox have agreed in principle, with nothing made official (thank goodness!), and it is the Sox who are being smart. Where does this leave Sir Scott? It leaves him in the unenviable position of constantly having to assure the Red Sox brass that his client is fine and ready for 5 years of Red Sox rightfield. But, and this is a BIG but, whatever it was that the Red Sox discovered during the Drew exam has made them hit the brakes, lay rubber, a literal four wheel slide into the signing process, until they are satisfied with changes in the non-official agreement that will assure the club that they're not getting the equal of a shattered bat, useless for anything but maybe an autographed keepsake for a fan. Theo and company, remember how Scott Boras uses and abuses major league teams, and CUT HIM NO SLACK. 5 years at $70 million US bucks........make sure this huge sum will be money well spent instead of paying a dividend to a player who will average 100 games per season and an agent who, despicable. That, to me, leaves WMP out there in right, where he should not be, for 60 plus games. No way, no how, not next year, not in 2010..

We start the holiday weekend today, and I'll be back later with some thoughts on that subject and others. Once I get started, it's hard to stop me. But you seem to like it, so I won't change a thing. OK??

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Boras..In Good Faith? YEAH RIGHT!!!

This from the AP via, and then a comment from me on this warm late December gloomy day......a day with new windows (last post) on the way.

NEW YORK -- "J.D. Drew's agent said the outfielder doesn't have any physical ailments that would prevent his contract with the Boston Red Sox from being finalized.
Scott Boras, who represents Drew, reached a preliminary agreement with the Red Sox on Dec. 5 for a $70 million, five-year contract. The Boston Herald reported Saturday that the outfielder's medical exam raised "a red flag" that the team wanted to check into, and the Herald and Boston Globe have focused on his right shoulder.
Drew had surgery on his right shoulder and on a wrist in September 2005.
"J.D. is healthy," Boras said Wednesday night. "We've had noted experts that have demonstrated that he's without any condition that would effect him over the five years of the contract."
Boras said that drafting the agreement is the only obstacle to completing an agreement. Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein has not commented publicly on the deal since the reports on Drew's condition began last weekend.
"Theo and I are working on this in good faith," Boras said. "We're just working through the language."

Peter here. And Scott, I have language for you! Good faith? Do you want me to define that? It means everything you're NOT! And I'll edit my upcoming remarks so that they are PG rated. Oh, and, needless to say, you are far from my favorite person, baseball-related or otherwise.
Number one, oh let's see, 70 million US dollars? 5 years? Wow, your client, our maybe future rightfielder, has not come on the cheap. So.......the Sox are doing the right thing. And that is to make sure that premium dollars are not buying damaged goods. So anything out of your (yes you Mr. Boras(s)) mouth has to be taken with a grain of salt. Hell, a quart container of salt. The longer it takes for this deal to become official, signed, sealed and delivered, the better. We're not idiots, ya know
And to my readers, I had to say something about this possible mistake. And I said POSSIBLE. For that amount of money we should be signing someone with a bionic body, capable of taking flight in rightfield, twisting and turning to catch those balls hit near the Pesky Pole. Scott should be patient. We (I) trust him about as much as an ice cube trying and promising to hang around for hours on a 90 degree day.
There! I feel better. Don't you?? Oh, and hi Trot...stay tuned!!!!!

The Start Of Winter, And New Windows For The Bedroom

Today is December 21st, and winter officially starts at 7pm. If December ended today here in Connecticut, then December 2006 would be the warmest December since records began, roughly 100 years ago. Today will be another day in the abnormal but so nice warm 50s, where normals are 37 degrees and 22 degrees respectively. All the temperatures are in Fahrenheit, of course. And I'm lucky that it IS so warm. Why? Read on. Because I told you that to tell you this. Don't leave me now. And yes, there is NO baseball in this post. But there WILL be in the next.
I live in a condominium complex, so-called luxury condos built in the middle of a golf course amidst a small showcase of woods-like trees. It's very nice. Away from all the sounds of traffic and civilization. And every year the condo board has foot the bill for the replacement of windows, crank style windows that open up from right to left rather than the vertical, lift it to open it, style. Well, they've aged, and my two bedroom windows, floor to ceiling type, were due to be replaced in the mid-fall, as is always the case here. But due to "this, or that," mid-fall turned into today, in about 20 minutes. These new windows are the triple insulated type, so the bedroom will be even toastier than normal. Once winter decides to rear its cold shivering scowling head, I'll be ready! For now, the heating bill has not been a harbinger of a fainting spell. Not yet. But Mother Nature has a way of getting even. I will not be surprised when (not if) that happens. But for now, I'm waiting for that knock on the door, (yes, we all have our own entrances....they're called front doors here in the northeast. And each unit is its own separate entity. I wouldn't live here if that wasn't the case) bringing the new windows to my second floor perch, a perfect place to gaze upon a soon-to-be-white winter wonderland. But hold off on that snow and frigid air for a couple more weeks! My Natural Gas bill is due any day!
I'll be back with some Red Sox baseball news. If there is any. If not, I'll make it up.

P.S. Thank you "you-know who," for the inspiration for this post. Sign that "Silly Me."

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Our Mark In Pinstripes?

Wow, I never thought, even 3 weeks ago, that there was a chance for Mark Loretta, the clutch player offensively and defensively last year with the Sox, would be going.....over there. I still think that if he came back to play second base, in 2007, back to his home turf, the BOSTON turf, the Red Sox would benefit immensely. I'll comment after this....from the Wednesday NY Times...

"The Yankees’ search for a first baseman has veered from one veteran to another, with a homegrown player and a Rule 5 draft pick mixed in. The latest name to surface is Mark Loretta, a free agent, who spent last season as the second baseman for the Boston Red Sox.
Mark Loretta was an All-Star in 2004 and last season, when he batted .285......
Loretta’s agent, Bob Garber, said yesterday that he had preliminary discussions with the Yankees, who are trying to decide if they want Loretta as a first baseman.
“We’re just feeling each other out at this point,” Garber said. But there seems to be some level of interest on both sides. Loretta, 35, could add a wrinkle to the Yankees’ plans. He can play all the infield positions and could serve as the backup at third, short or second on the days he does not play first base. That would lessen the need to carry another backup infielder, like the unsigned Miguel Cairo. His career on-base percentage is .363, and he is considered a tough out who could move runners along at the bottom of the Yankees’ order."

OK, I have to think in two different ways. As a Yankee fan (a stretch), I would be overjoyed to have Mark Loretta, who can win games with his glove OR his bat singlehandedly. He would make such a great and not prohibitvely expensive perfect option. Can we say "no brainer?"

As a Red Sox fan, who will in this case just be me and my opinon, I know we have a young player, Peds, who is ready to step in at second. But if Mark is there, and we can grab him, well, number one....second base will be in great hands. And number two...the Yankees would just have to offer more money or, ......or........gulp, say the Sox beat us to the punch again. And yes, I know right now the major focus in all our eyes is the closer spot. And it should be. But Theo, I know how I feel.....keep the option open, as well as the rightfield uncertainly which is there...and for good and obvious reasons.

Phew, I'm finished...I guess when I offer my Red Sox visions, more words are involved. But it's vintage Peter, not a copy of part of an article. And I feel strongly on the miriad of ways to improve '07.......Closer...and.....DO NOT get ripped off with JDD.....and the rest will fall in line. made it to the end. I almost didn't! Comments would, as always, be so great.

Contract-wise, Drew Not Drawn!

And I think that the Red Sox are being smart. $70 million is too much to pay for a healthy Drew, but I was resigned that that figure was necessary. Now with the possible shoulder problem surfacing, I am against this acquisition unless he proves to be 100% healthy after even more extensive tests on ALL parts of his body. Trot is out there, affordable "great defense" Trot, who knows Fenway's rightfield better than any active player in the majors.
I'll be back later this morning with something else sweet and delicious. And thank you for your continuing readership. Back at number one and happy. For how long? Who knows? But the most important thing is that the Red Sox are number one in 2007.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

TEK And Daisuke...A Match? Seems So!

This from the Globe, about our new battery pair.........

"Matsuzaka spoke with his new catcher, Jason Varitek, in a conference call the day after signing, Boras said.
When the agent visited in Japan this summer, Matsuzaka's wife asked for a favor. "She wanted to know if I could get Daisuke the jersey of his favorite player," Boras said. "I thought it might be Ichiro, or [Hideki] Matsui. No -- it was Jason Varitek."

Peter here....and how nice is that! Just a little something that I hope brought a smile to you, just as it did for me. Hey, that's my job. To bring you Red Sox information AND to do it with a smile plastered all over your faces. Because of me. How am I doing?????? I'd love to know! But just the fact that you keep reading is enough happiness for me. I mean that......

Six Arms To Hold You

And those six arms belong to Paps, Beckett and Dice K. The title of this post is a take off of the original title of the Beatles 1965 second film and fifth album, later renamed HELP! The working title was EIGHT ARMS TO HOLD YOU, but then the still young 24 year old John Lennon wrote the song Help, with a little help from his buddy Paul, and the rest is history. But the six arms in this case are part of the valuable trio of young guys, young guns who make up 60% of our 2007 rotation. Read on....I'll be back....this from the Herald......

"To build a championship team, you start with a pitching staff made up of young power arms. With Josh Beckett, Jonathan Papelbon and Matsuzaka, the Red Sox now have three 26-year-old right-handers who have the potential to win the Cy Young. None of the three is eligible for free agency until after the 2010 season.
The fact is you can find a closer. You can trade for a closer. You can even make a closer. Twenty-six-year-old starters are the most precious commodity in the game."

Peter here. And don't forget our number one guy, Curt Schilling. And his bookend, number five starter, "old-timer" Timmy Wakefield. And our newly and "thank you God" healthy young talented youngster Jon Lester. A full house, aces over kings. And a wild card makes six. An imposing and possibly history making six pack. Backed by great defense, although not quite like last year's, and a bullpen that is nearly complete, the Red Sox will compete. Compete? We might ROAR! And if the horrid injury bug that infested the team last year does not rear its ugly and dreaded head, then we'll be just fine. One more piece, Theo.......let's not MAKE a closer, let's get an established one, even if he costs us WMP and cash, and more. An ace closer, with the rest of the bullpen and the "fab five plus one" would be catastrophic for the rest of the league. And that means smiles and leaps of joy for us, all summer long. As another guy whose songwriting peaked to unbelievableness in 1965, Brian Wilson, sang in the leadoff song for 1965's landmark LP "PET SOUNDS, "WOULDN'T IT BE NICE? I can answer that! Oh yes.......

Monday, December 18, 2006

JD Drew Must Shoulder The Load...And A bookmarking Tool For PRSF

The news in the Herald and in the Globe this Monday morning concerns JD Drew. Short on facts and totally straightforward, here's the gist, and then a comment.

"J.D. Drew today will get a second opinion on an undisclosed medical issue the Red Sox have concern about, according to a major league source familiar with Drew's condition.
The Sox expressed concern about the issue after the right fielder underwent a physical in Boston last week. The situation is the reason the five-year, $70 million deal struck at baseball's winter meetings nearly two weeks ago has not been finalized."

Peter here. 5 years...$70 million US dollars. So, the Red Sox are being smart in scheduling a second examination, a thorough one, I hope. The amount of money is immense, and has been debated ceaselessly. And with good reason. You throw in a hurting shoulder and the power numbers and the batting average head south. Just look at Scott Rolen. His numbers after two shoulder surguries plummeted in 2005....a batting average of .235 with only 5 taters in 56 games. And JDD had minor surgery on HIS shoulder in '05.
The Red Sox have to be careful. Rightfield, Trot's territory, at Fenway with a bad shoulder is a recipe, and a great one, for disaster, in the field and at the plate.
And speaking of heading south, I will say this right now....... 2007 will NOT be a "south" type of year for this team that we love to love.. I feel it in my bones. RSN bones.
Enjoy the upcoming week as we count down to Christmas. No holiday break for me--I'll be here every day. I love it too much. Thanks to you guys!
Oh, I almost forgot.I added a new tool to make it easier for you to bookmark my blog, or have it appear on your homepage. Either way, it's nice! Red Sox stuff at your fingertips! Just look over on the right side halfway down. You'll see a white rectangle that says "bookmark." Click and it gives you a bevy of choices. Let me know how it works if you decide (please!) to click on it. Thanks are the engine behind my words. Just knowing that you'll be here to read my stuff makes me so happy. I'm baffled but pleased, and once in a while, I like what I write!

Sunday, December 17, 2006

A SUPER 2007 Team...Or Just An Ordinary One??

You're here again! My goodness. Luckily, I have something to say. I usually do, but with the sharp focus on the 2007 Red Sox and the fact that the team has really taken shape, and taken shape quickly, I put together this mix of Boston Herald stuff and Peter N.(remember him?) stuff. OK? This is from today's Herald. The subject? Read on, with a comment or two from me afterwards...

" not underestimate the importance of a good closer. The Sox themselves learned that lesson in ’03. As much as the Red Sox rejoiced when Keith Foulke walked out the door, no one should ever forget how instrumental he was in winning the 2004 World Series. During that season, Foulke effectively neutralized New York Yankees closer Mariano Rivera. While the great Rivera went 0-2 with a 4.22 ERA and two blown saves (in five chances) against the Sox, Foulke went 2-1 with a 1.50 ERA and three saves (in three chances) against New York.
And that was before the playoffs.
So, what will the Sox do? While Epstein has had some continuing discussion with the Houston Astros about Brad Lidge, Chad Qualls and Dan Wheeler, the teams have had difficulty matching up. Remember: Spring training is still roughly two months away."

Peter here again. What WILL the Sox do? Michael (look in my link section for Random Fandom---that's Michael, known to millions and millions. Always a great read, every day!), in comments for my last post, said that this team will be super. I countered that for this team to be super, the Sox will have to acquire a closer. Whoever that turns out to be will not be able to match up with the job Paps did when he was healthy last year. Frankly, he was just short of historically good. But we need a guy who can come into the ninth inning, or late in the eighth, and mow 'em down, holding a slim lead, or a big one. MOST OF THE TIME. With all the money spent on the new position players and pitchers, it just wouldn't make sense to draw the line on spending now and develop a closer once spring training begins. That would be ludicrous. This team, the Boston Red Sox of 2007, is ONE PIECE away from being the elite of the AL East, and one of the best teams in baseball. If they get their hands on a bona fide closer. IF....key word. This, also from the Herald, gives you a little idea of what we can expect....

"There’s no telling what’s going to happen in 2007 with Schilling and Matsuzaka atop an incredible Red Sox rotation, but the events of the last decade suggest the one-year pairing could bring remarkable results."

C'mon Theo, ONE more guy. Let me be able to look at this team, MY team, as a whole and shout....."WOW!" And you know what, my faithful readers? We are oh-so close. Enjoy your Sunday....and as always, thanks for checking in. I'd love to hear your comments, not just about the 2007 club, but about the need for a closer. Thanks.....I couldn't do this without you!

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Bullpen Nearly Restocked. As Is The Radio Announcer's Booth. JD Drew? Up In The Air...For Now......

In addition to Brendan Donnelly, the Sox signed free agent lefty J.C. Romero, who had an off year last year for the Angels, going 1-2 with a horrid 6.70 era. Donnelly's stats as a righthanded set-up guy, a position he will hold down this year, were much better. So the bullpen is complete, except for the closer. The main bullpen pieces, for now? Timlin, Hansen, Delcarmen and Tavarez join the newcomer Donnelly from the right side as Romero joins Okajima as the southpaws. Theo said this about the closer situation....

"We're going to find a closer, whether it's internal or external, before we break spring training."

Peter here. I hope so, Theo. The bullpen is complete except for the stopper, the guy who will earn his due every ninth inning of so many victories to come. I hope he can make it look as easy as Paps, but that's a tall order.

As for the delayed official announcement of outfielder JD Drew, there IS an air of mystery. Was there a "red flag" that showed up on his physical? Are the Red Sox looking for assurances and protection in the case of a future ailment that might have been hinted at during the physical exams? Great questions, huh? According to Tony Massarotti of the Boston Herald, SOMETHING is up. So we wait. What else is new? I'll tell you one thing. The Red Sox do not want to put Wily Mo Pena out in right for an extended period of time. Shades of Jose Canseco defensively! So if they're being careful, making sure with such a HUGE expenditure for a good but surely not great player, then that's a good thing.

In the radio booth, Trupe is gone, giving way to Dave O'Brien and Glenn Gefner, two pros. Thank you Jerry. You are part of the 2004 World Championship team, and you will always be so. We will miss you so much. Chalk this one up to corporate politics in the radio industry.

Enjoy your Saturday. I'll be back later. Puzzles amongst prizes...smiles and quizzical frowns.......that's RSN!!! And I love it.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Boston Bullpen Better Now!

From the Globe, charting the Red Sox 2006/2007 pursuit of everything.....JOIN THE RIDE!!

"The Red Sox today announced that the team has acquired righthanded pitcher Brendan Donnelly from the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in exchange for lefthanded pitcher Phil Seibel.
The Red Sox released the following details on the announcement:
Donnelly, 35, has compiled a 23-8 record and a 2.87 ERA with 295 strikeouts in 295 innings over 276 relief appearances with the Angels in the last five seasons. His .742 winning percentage in that span ranks as the best among all major league relievers with at least 20 decisions. He has 20 victories in the last three years, tied for the third most relief wins in the majors from 2004-06."

Peter here. From my keyboard plea for bullpen help earlier this afternoon, and many other times, to REALITY! Scary! ENJOY........

Fenway's Red Monster

Dice-K, on Fenway Park....

"I've seen it several times on TV. It's very beautiful. I'm very impressed. There's a Green Monster. My nickname in Japan is also 'Monster.' Now I will become a Red Monster."

Welcome to Boston, Daisuke. Win. Prosper. Be happy. Enjoy New England and America. And don't worry. Theo will get us a closer and another bullpen guy so your outings are successful ones. He has to.

Oh, I just wanted to add a warm greeting to the readers in Japan (!!) who stopped here yesterday. I hope you can return for your fill of all things Red Sox and Daisuke as we march towards Red Sox baseball 2007. It is an honor.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

And Now, In This Corner Of RSN..........

First of all, our rock of defense, our infield 3rd base hot corner guy......Mike Lowell...

"How good is Lowell defensively?
His .977 fielding percentage is the best in history among third basemen who have played at least 1,000 games. He is our TWIB third baseman of 2006."

And we need a new third baseman why?????????? Answer...WE DON'T!!

And as we wait for five o'clock, on NESN and surrounding supporting Red Sox media outlets, hope abounds. I'll be back on Friday. Have a great night, everyone!

But wait...this is Peter one more time on this magic Thursday. I just watched the Dice K. press conference with smiles of happiness and with a proud sense of RSN 2007. RSN2007 and you and me. What a combination!

It's A Dice-K Day! Number 18 Arrives!


The news conference announcing the newest pitcher for the Boston Red Sox will be at 5pm today, Thursday. The terms of the six year deal made it abundantly clear that the devil himself, Scott Boras, was not in a strong position to deal from. With only one team, ours, to bargain with, the terms were much more what the Red Sox had in mind instead of Boras' sometimes insane mumblings. $52 to $61 million with incentives over 6 years is fair to both sides. And so we wait for the 5pm news confab, with smiles all around. And he will wear, as we all shall see, number 18....hummm, that number rings a bell, doesn't it? And it's in much better hands with Dice-K...after all, the number 18 means life, la'chaim, in Hebrew. And that's what he will bring to our club.

In other Red Sox news, Julio Lugo's 4 year deal was officially announced, and it was also announced that Doug Mirabelli will return in his back-up catcher role for $750,000.
And now the front office can turn its eyes to the bullpen, which is still two pitchers minimum short, including the closer. And without a bullpen, which right now is too similar to last year's, and without Paps in the closing role, there is work to be done. But we will enjoy today. Theo....great job. Boras, go home!
We proud members of RSN are sure to enjoy today, one that is guaranteed to be a "so great to be a Red Sox fan" day. Oh yeah!

And now RSN turns it's not lonely any longer eyes to the bullpen......the last job left to be done. Everyone....have fun on Dice-K Day...we will remember this all season long! And I'll remember you FOREVER. As always!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

6 Years, Affordably So........Relatively..

The news is confirmed, but as a good friend said, it's not time to count our chickens yet. But..........HI CHICKENS!!!!!! Join me in a great big hello. Sayonara Scott Boras(s)...for another year.

From SI, just a few minutes ago.......

"Daisuke Matsuzaka has reached a deal with the Boston Red Sox for six years, $52 million, a source close to the negotiations has told The deal contains escalator clauses that could bring it up to $60 million.
The clauses are similar to the ones in the contract of Curt Schilling, another starting Red Sox pitcher, a person connected to the team said.
Matsuzaka and the Red Sox came to an agreement shortly before both sides boarded a private jet out of Orange County, Calif., around 9 a.m. PST on Wednesday."

As you know who said, "HOW ABOUT THAT!"

Flying Eastward...With EVERYONE!!!!!!

I posted this before I heard that Peter Boyle, that dear man, had passed away.

"A source close to the negotiations confirmed that the Red Sox contingent in Southern California is flying back to Boston with pitcher Daisuke Matsuzka and his agent, Scott Boras, on board."

And I, Peter, say, "HOLY CRAP!"

And now, real life intrudes....sadly....

LOS ANGELES - "Peter Boyle, the tall, prematurely bald actor who was the tap-dancing monster in "Young Frankenstein" and the curmudgeonly father in the long-running sitcom "Everybody Loves Raymond," has died. He was 71."

A loved one has passed away. What can I say? He will be missed by all of us. Especially me.....and whenever I say "Holy crap," well, I'm thinking of him. With tears.......

Flying Eastward.....SOLO!

Yes, there is no new Japanese employee on John Henry's jet alongside LL and Theo. Scott Boras(s) remains an immovable obstacle to any common sense talks, a mute testament to stupidity. Or a man with his own agenda, an agenda that seems not to have his client's wishes included. The more this story evolves, the stranger this man seems. Maybe important details have not been revealed. Hopefully they will be. And now, at 9AM Wednesday, we're down to hours. As Theo said, the ball is in DMat's court. Unfortunately, his courtside partner is one Scott Boras. Stay tuned. I was up last night at midnight, 2am and 4am to tune into ESPN radio sports news, ready to dash downstairs to write an early morning joyous post. But NOOOOOOO!

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Gabe Kapler Retires

I was hoping for bigger and better news....maybe that will have to wait.....but not for too long. Gabe was dispensible......a nice comeback from a terrible injury, though.

Gagne Signs...Not With Us....And....The Meetings Go On

This from right now...the Globe....

"Theo said it (the upcoming today offer) will be the most money paid a Japanese player coming to the major leagues in his initial contract."

Peter here....I HOPE SO. Handcuffed by a Scott Boras that will have to, very soon, save his face. A face no one would love. And yes, no Gagne for our Sox....leaving the importance of DMat's signing ever more important. Another starter? Another bit of flexibility to turn to last year, and his (you know who) excellence as a closer. This is premature by me, but so is this WHOLE DAY.
Speak up! I'd love to hear from you.

Tuesday...Face To Face Negotiation Day

"Boras said he planned to meet with the Red Sox executives all day Tuesday."

Peter here, and yes, today is Tuesday. Unusual circumstances demand this second post in as many hours. For if today comes and goes without a gutbusting newsbreaker of a Red Sox story, then that spells trouble. And that starts with T which rhymes with P and that stands for pitcher (thank you THE MUSIC MAN). So we wait, and hope, and wonder about Scott Boras' thought process.....sane or insane? Or just quirky? Pick your favorite adjective....he baffles me. Totally. I could do without him. Couldn't you? I'd love to hear your comments as we wait and wonder. Thanks. I'm watching the clock, and the sports wires. Ready to leap for joy or curse Mr. Boras and the used bus he rode in on.

Winging West

John Henry's jet has been busy this week. In it were Theo Epstein and Larry Lucchino. Their destination? California. Their mission? To deal directly with DMatt as well as Boras(s), and make a second, higher offer even though Boras has never even made a counter offer. The Sox, and so many of us, think that Boras is stalling until Thurdsay midnight before DMat has to return to Japan. But the pitcher has already said goodbye to his countless fans and teamates, and he does not want to go back. I don't know who Boras is working for, or what his methods mean. But Theo and Larry hope to be winging back east to Boston with their new prized pitcher seated alongside them. On Wednesday. That's tomorrow. So stay close for the latest news. Because whatever is going to happen is going to happen within 36 hours or so. Count on it.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Thank You Evie.....

I just received the news that you passed away....thank you for the so many years...thank you for being like a second Mom to me...thank you for all the hugs, all the love.....thank you for everything. I will miss you. Love, Peter

Boston. We Have A Problem...

And no, this is not Apollo 13, and the city is Boston, not Houston. But indeed, we HAVE A PROBLEM, and not the immediate right now yesterday not tomorrow problem we are facing with Scott Boras(s). I dealt with that in my last post, right below this one. But, in a nutshell, as written by the Globe's DS, and as his MO, this ONE paragraph has already drawn the ire, AND applause, of RSNers everywhere. Here it is......the subject, the glaring weakness of our club....tada!

"Meanwhile, what about the bullpen? Other than signing Japanese lefty Hideki Okajima, the Red Sox have not addressed this crucial area. Mike Timlin is 105 years old, Manny Delcarmen has yet to establish that he's more than a Triple A pitcher, and Craig Hansen was brought to the bigs too early. For all of the dollars spent and deals done, the Sox at this hour are a team with no closer.
Don't be surprised if Papelbon is back in that role when the Sox break camp. He was dominant through last August, and if the Sox don't find a reliable fireman, they'd be better off putting Papelbon back in the bullpen and spending their Eric Gagne mad money finding a fifth starter."

Peter here, and yeah, those words are sharp as razors, cutting right to an essential problem that has not been resolved. Anything could happen, especially if the Sox are hell-bent on developing a closer from within. I hope that does not happen. Paps and his shoulder are suited to being a starter. Why? I'll tell you, or try to. What has to help him is being able to have an each game timetable and a personal menu that will let him go seven or eight innings and not have to "throw the lights out" of the ball each and every pitch. Something that last year he was very good (read that as the BEST) at doing. So after the next three days of the DMat/Boras(s) soap opera, this hits us right in the face. Point blank, right between the eyes, as Bruce wrote and sang in the 1980 masterpiece POINT BLANK. I had to get in a Bruce mention....
Thanks for the multiple Monday visits. I'm loving it!


This from the Monday morning Globe, penned by Edes....

"With Thursday's deadline for signing Daisuke Matsuzaka looming, the Red Sox are in a position of wondering, as one well-placed source said yesterday, whether agent Scott Boras is "running out the clock'' on negotiations.
Talks over the weekend moved at a glacial pace, with the Sox, as of Sunday night, still awaiting the semblance of a counter-offer from Boras to the comprehensive offer they made at least 10 days ago. Boras had pledged late last week that the Sox would hear directly from Matsuzaka, who flew in from Tokyo on Saturday, but there was no public indication that has yet to happen. Indeed, frustrated Sox officials were privately wondering whether the player was aware that Boras so far had not made a counter-offer."

Peter here on a post-birthday Monday morning. I am baffled. These snail-like non-response tactics from Scott Boras(s) have become, to put it kindly, tiresome. Other choice words come to mind, but they're better off left unsaid. I fail to grasp his logic, utterly fail. I only see benefits, and not just for him but for DMat and the ballclub and the country and the baseball loving people of Japan. Is Boras(s) trying to make a statement of some kind? Has he told his client that he has failed to make a counter-offer that will certainly result in compromises from both sides, eventually leading to an agreement? Spock, this is the Captain. Where's the logic? I do not see it. Scotty, beam Boras(s) to the nearest uncharted unpopulated planet. Now.
This is the first of daily reports until the deadline of Thursday midnight comes to pass. I hope this is the deepest and darkest post of them all, for there is no bright side. Not now. Not even close. The near future looks grim. But the prime directive will not be violated. Startdate 20061211. Kirk out.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

There WILL Be An Abrupt Change......

This, from ESPN Sunday and Peter Gammons.........

"After all the hoopla surrounding the $51.1 million bid the Red Sox posted to talk to Daisuke Matsuzaka, it appears a contract may not materialize.
Boston essentially needs to get the Matsuzaka agreement done by Tuesday night so they can get him in Wednesday for a physical prior to the Thursday deadllne. One GM Friday said "it would be a shame for Matsuzaka and baseball to hold him out to try to force a change in the posting system." Boras has a very strong relationship with Theo Epstein, but he is willing to hold out players when necessary, such as Boston's current catcher and right fielder.
Will it get done? No one knows. But one can assume that the Red Sox are a far better team with Matsuzaka than without him, although he has never thrown a pitch in the AL East.
Negotiations between the team and the Japanese star pitcher have nearly broken down, the Boston Herald reported Sunday. A source familiar with the situation told the Herald late Saturday that unless "there is an abrupt change of course," the Red Sox will not strike a deal with Matsuzaka before the deadline midnight Thursday.
Attempts to reach Matsuzaka's agent, Scott Boras, were unsuccessful. The source blamed Boras for a lack of interest in the negotiations."

Peter here, and Boras really IS an ass! Flexibility is needed on BOTH sides. I for one am confident, although a little less so, that the stakes will become agreeable to both sides. So BorASS....get your sh*t together. You too Theo!

Five Days......And Counting, For Daisuke.....

Yes, we are in the final stretch run for the sevices of Daisuke Matsuzaka. And I've finally mastered the spelling of his name without having to look it up somewhere. But the Boras/Red Sox talks have until the end of Thursday, December 14th. If Boras and the Sox are still worlds apart in their thinking, and from what I hear, they are, I think it's time for those worlds to collide dramatically, dangerously. The result of that collision would be a compromise-a higher figure than the Sox are thinking of, and a lower one for Mr. Boras.
It crossed the wires this morning that Curt Schilling and pitching coach John Farrell are learning Japanese so that they can better communicate with Daisuke, who is a maybe Sox, and Hedeki Okajima, who now wears the uniform proudly. Said Schill, "He is literally a national symbol. I didn't realize what we had coming our way......." Well Curt, we know Hedeki is in the fold, and now we are counting the hours for Daisuke to become a prominent member of the rotation and a possibility to be our number one starter for many years to come. I hope Theo, Larry, Tom and John get this done. We're looking at a possible 18 game winner and a number two starter. How big is that? Answer....HUGE. And that, my friends, my readers, is number one on the Sox "must do" list. The closer and the veteran needed in the bullpen? We have time. And that's what we DON'T HAVE with Daisuke Matsuzaka. As the Nike ads say, "JUST DO IT!." For the team, and us, the people that love them.
Everyone, enjoy your Sunday December 10th. I was born on this date, so I guess I can truthfully say that it's my birthday. A nice dinner is in store for me and my brother, his wife (my sister-in-law), their son Skip, my so great nephew, and his Jersey girl girlfriend Lauren. She is equally amazing! We're going to a wonderful place in West Hartford Center, home of so many great eateries and hopping night spots. It's called Grants, and the owner and chef is a good friend of my brother Bob. His name is Billy Grant. And I am excited. I have already chosen my meal....To start? Shrimp Cocktail (they have the best cocktail sauce, with plenty of lemon and horseradish combined with a wonderful tomato base), Caesar Salad, with a nice slice of lemon for me to drizzle over the salad right before the fresh cracked pepper and a tad of salt. Sound good so far? My mouth is watering, and I JUST had breakfast. For the entree, a New York Strip, medium rare (or, in other words, pink. Not red, but pink!) Served with that will be pomme frittes (french fries, fresh cut, flash fried, with a touch of kosher salt and a smattering of parmesion cheese, served in a cone of paper inside an upright metal "vase"). Maybe a Miller Light, to taste. Maybe two. Hey, it's my birthday! Desert is one thing I have to forgo, what with my Type One Diabetes. But I think, no, I KNOW, that I'll be full after such a great meal with my loved ones. And I have an unnamed friend, call her X, who because of her location can not be there. But her seat will be saved, and in my heart she'll be there in spirit. Hi X!!!!
Enough about that. Hope I made some of you hungry. Let's see, it's 8:30, reservations are for 6:30, so I have 10 hours or so. I'll make it! And I already received a happy birthday call this morning, the longest distance birthday call in all my years! It was from Japan. Daisuke called and said, with his tranlator, happy birthday. No no, the call WAS from Japan, and it WAS this morning, night there, but it was from a friend of mine. How nice is that.
And now I leave you. Again, the best birthday present, and belated would be perfectly OK, would be to hear that the signing of DMat is complete, successful, AND DONE. Enjoy your Sunday. As always, I love it that you manage to find time to stop by and read what I have to say. That's the best birthday present of all!!! A full post-birthday dinner report, with celebrity sightings, will be up tomorrow, unless of course there is breaking Red Sox news. I hope so.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Closing Argument

Are the Red Sox as good as they were last year? They were a third place team that landed with a thud after the injury bug infested the team in so many places that an exterminator would have been powerless to stop it, infected himself. The answer is a resounding NO. Why? Look at the title of this post and remember that the current thinking seems to be that the club will enter spring training without a closer. WITHOUT A CLOSER. Someone, the front office hopes, will win the job in spring training. This brings all sorts of bad vibes to me. 2004, that magic year when everything seemed possible and then IT WAS, was possible only because Keith Foulke was masterful all season long, and then was the MVP for many of us in the World Series. Last year Jonathon Papelbon put out the late inning fires without peer in the AL. The NL too! Until his injury. Bullpen by committee failed miserably. Hansen seems not ready to be the full-time "count on me every time out" go-to guy. So we seem to be about to enter the season with a huge big fat bloated question mark. I know it's only early December (my birthday tomorrow!), with plenty of time to fill this possibly fatal hole. I hope Theo and company do it. Because without a closer, even with the improved offense in right and shortstop, and a rotation, hopefully WITH DMatt, that looks real good, excellent with DMatt, we're only good until the ninth inning. Then the need in a one run game is a 1-2-3 inning. 9th inning heart-stopping suspense was not something we had to get used to last year. Thankfully. But Paps is better suited to the rotation, where the stress on his shoulder and his insistence on rearing back and whizzing the ball past the hitter, which he did quite well while mixing in his cutter, will be tempered by the mix of pitches required to be able to throw for seven or hopefully eight innings. And after eight innings, where are we? Right back to the subject at hand. Theo, do something. Some team needs a DH supreme that WMP will become. He's a starting point...we must acquire a closer. That's my opinion, and you know I'm never shy to leave it out there. And I've been right far more than wrong. Or I have selective memory. Maybe a little of both. It's been a while since I turned back time and read my blog from start (Nov. '05 until now). I will soon.
Have a great weekend, and thanks for stopping by every day. I mean mean the world to me. And I'd love to hear your thoughts on this....ALL OF YOUR THOUGHTS. Are we better, RIGHT NOW, than '06? Or?????????

The Yankees Get Their Guy

Andy Pettitte and the New York Yankees have renewed their vows. Pettitte will pitch for the Yankees in 2007 and have an option year for 2008. The contract is for one year at $16 million dollars and an option year for the same amount. Pettitte has agreed not to exersise the option year if he is injured. His stats while pitching for Houston? In 2005 he was 17-9 with a sparkling ERA of 2.39. And last year he came back to earth with a record of 14-13 with an ERA of 4.20. Expect similar numbers to 2006 for next year. Just a feeling.
And coming up next-are the Red Sox as good as they were last year? In a word, NO. Watch for my next post, which will be up in a couple hours, when the light of the nearly full moon gives way to the winter-diluted December sunshine.

Friday, December 08, 2006

John Lennon...October 9, 1940-December 8, 1980

Yet again this sad anniversary of the murder of John Lennon leaves me sad, bitter and speechless. Yoko said it best....


December 8th is near again. Each year, on this day, I hear from many people from all over the world who remember my husband, John Lennon, and his message of peace. They write to tell me they are thinking of John on this day and how he was shot and killed at the prime of his life, at age 40, when he had so much life ahead of him.

Thank you for your undying love for John and for your concern for me on this tragic anniversary. This year, though, on December 8th, while we remember John, I would also like us to focus on sending the following messages to the millions of people suffering around the world.

To the people who have also lost loved ones without cause: forgive us for having been unable to stop the tragedy. We pray for the wounds to heal.

To the soldiers of all countries and of all centuries, who were maimed for life, or who have lost their lives: forgive us for our misjudgements and what happened as a result of them.

To the civilians who were maimed, or killed, or who lost their family members: forgive us for being unable to prevent it.

To the people who have been abused and tortured: forgive us for having allowed it to happen.

Know that your loss is our loss.
Know that the physical and mental abuse you have endured will have a lingering effect on our society, and the world.
Know that the burden is ours.

As the widow of one who was killed by an act of violence, I don't know if I am ready yet to forgive the one who pulled the trigger. I am sure all victims of violent crimes feel as I do. But healing is what is urgently needed now in the world.

Let's heal the wounds together.

Every year, let's make December 8th the day to ask for forgiveness from those who suffered the insufferable.
Let's wish strongly that one day we will be able to say that we healed ourselves, and by healing ourselves, we healed the world.

With deepest love,
Yoko Ono Lennon
New York City 2006

Peter here. I miss you John. So much.

Red Sox Misconduct?

This from the New York Times' Red Sox hater Murray Chass, and then a comment......

Talk of Misconduct Is Swirling Around Red Sox
Published: December 8, 2006

"The Boston Red Sox might think of the Yankees as the Evil Empire, but other people in baseball now seem to view the Red Sox as a team that feels it can operate outside the rules.
According to executives of several clubs, the Red Sox were a hot topic of private conversation at the general managers’ meeting last month and at the winter meetings this week. Several officials who work for Major League Baseball said there appeared to be good reason for the talk. Many of those interviewed did not want to be quoted by name because of what they viewed as the sensitivity of talking critically about another team’s conduct.
Exhibit A for the disgruntled is Boston’s signing of J. D. Drew, who walked away from the final three years of his contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers, a move that his agent, Scott Boras, said was aboveboard and precipitated by the marketplace. The signing of Drew could lead to an investigation by the commissioner’s office into possible tampering by the Red Sox; one baseball official said the commissioner’s office would vigorously investigate the matter if it received a complaint, but added that no complaint has been forthcoming.
One general manager said that many people at the general managers’ meeting, after hearing that Drew would sign with Boston, urged the Dodgers to file a tampering charge.
“We haven’t reached a decision yet,” Ned Colletti, the Dodgers’ general manager, said by telephone yesterday before leaving the winter meetings in Orlando, Fla."

Peter here. There seems to me to be no way to prove anything one way or another without a complete investigation. Was Drew informed of the Red Sox interest shortly before the winter meetings, and did this information cause him to legally back out of his remaining years with the Dodgers? That is the question. And if that's the case, that is wrong. The Red Sox should not go unpunished. But I want proof....100% proof before rumors and inuendos run rampant. clean! Unlike Larry Lucchino, I TRUST you.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

And Now, A Word From Me...With Great News About My Boy, The Cat.....

The cat is the one I love, and the vet just called me with his 18 1/2 year old bloodwork. The phone rang, and I saw on caller ID that it was the Doctor. I took a deep breath, preparing myself for ANYTHING.! I'm still emotional..sorry. His bloodwork is better than it was 6 months ago. He's OK..I'm OK, but my blood pressure might take a few more minutes. But I told you I would let you know, even if, well...never mind about the ifs.......I am so happy...Baby Cakes and Peter (that's me!) thank you so much for always being here. And now, I can take a breath, and smile without being terrified. And I thank you for having the patience to read all my nonsense. Love ya!!!!!! And yes, these tear are tears of joy!

DMat, Just For A Minute..........And Pearl Harbor..65 Years Ago Today...Never Forget.

From the Boras(s)/Red Sox negotiations for DMat........who WILL be in our uniform next year...more on that after this....

"One major league power broker with firsthand knowledge of the negotiations said he does not share the Sox' pessimism that a deal might not be struck. "In the end, they'll get it done," he predicted. "There are too many reasons for this deal not to get done."
It's a high-stakes poker game, of course. Both the Sox and Boras have incentive to make the other side believe they're willing to walk away from the deal. Both sides have shown a willingness in the past to do just that. Midnight remains a week away, but it's approaching high noon."

Peter here. High noon. Big guns. One week. Seven days. .45 caliber sidearm loaded and ready to blaze. A standoff at the OK Corral? Wyatt Earp, where are you when we need a sheriff to reign in Boras, who asks for the moon and the stars and the sky but knows he's up against all or nothing? No other teams involved and a home Japanese club who needs the $51.1 million, a player who wants to pitch in good old America, the land of the free and the brave, George Bush or not....I mean, the signs point to a last minute agreement. Next week. But right now, I do not know. I thought that the one team and one team only basis of these negotiations with Scott Boras(s) would ensure an agreement, last second or not. My hopes are high.
65 years ago today...REMEMBER PEARL HARBOR. God bless every one of the brave men and women who died for their country. OUR country. For us. And for those brave men and women right now, gathering in Hawaii for their every five year observance of that dreaded day. They don't have many years left, but we are ALL beholden to every one of them. And for that I give thanks. AMEN. HEROES.

A Slice Of 2007's Lineup.......

This from MLB.COM, and then a comment......

"Barring any changes for the rest of the winter, manager Terry Francona's lineup should look something like this on April 2 when the Sox open their 2007 season in Kansas City:

Lugo, SS
Kevin Youkilis, 1B
Ortiz, DH
Ramirez, LF
Drew, RF
Mike Lowell, 3B
Jason Varitek, C
Coco Crisp, CF
Dustin Pedroia, 2B

The Red Sox think that Youkilis is a better fit near the top of the order because of his ability to get on base, and the speedy Crisp would be more free to run near the bottom when he wouldn't be taking the bats out of the hands of Ortiz and Ramirez."

Peter here. I like that line of reasoning. With Lugo leading off, Youk is the perfect number two. An on-base force followed by four, maybe five guys who can bash at will.
The closer status is still a dilemna. Epstein hinted that there will be a closer in place by opening day one way (a trade) or another (from within). As long as Mike Timlin is not penciled in for that role. His age would prevent him from pitching on consecutive days, and I highly doubt they are thinking of any role other than a 7th inning appearance on non-consecutive days. Time will tell.
On the personal front, my cat Baby Cakes and I went to the vets yesterday for his every 6 month check up. The bloodwork results will be revealed to me when the vet calls. Sometime today. I am a little nervous. We've been together since 1988. Bush #41 was President. He's no kitten anymore at 18 1/2 years. But he's my guy and I love him. I will let you know. Promise.
So Manny will be Manny with the Red Sox next year. That's what it looks like. If he could hear me now, this is what I would say. " Manny, we've tried to honor your trade requests, but teams shied away because of your sure to come demand for $20 million dollar option years. So act like an adult and come to play. We have a good team this year. Be the plus you know you can be, not the minus who quit on his team like a sniveling coward last year. CARRY US. You have the ability. We know it. You know it. IT'S NO SECRET."
Wish me luck with my cat. I so love him. And thanks.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

J.D. Drew...Right, Or Center? What May Happen.....

From the Wednesday of all Wednesday's Boston Globe....
This papragraph, of course, is talking about J D Drew, and his outfield capability....

"The Sox were also attracted, as Epstein would put it, by the thought of putting a center fielder in right field. And Drew could end up in center, because there is a market for Coco Crisp. If Crisp could bring end-of-the-game relief help in trade, the Sox might turn to Drew to play center. Drew's agent, Scott Boras, said Drew has agreed to play either position.

Peter here, and that last paragraph was BIG. But if Drew ends up in centerfield, where does that leave us for rightfield defense?? Not WMP! So unless Coco brings someone truly unbelievably good, let the outfielders sort out the way they look now, with WMP there as the fourth outfielder, an always needed player on a team complete enough for the post-season. And don't forget...the Red Sox right now are not set up the way they will be for the start of the season. Glaring hole number one....the closer. There ain't one! And a set-up man is needed also. And a back-up catcher. And the second base situation seems to be in the good hands of Alex Cora and Pedrosia. So right now, DMat and Mr. "soon-to-be-named"-closer loom large. Thanks for reading, and I'll try to keep you as up to date as possible during this oh so busy breaking news time of the year. Fasten your seatbelts! I'm with ya!

Of Lugo And Drew, A HEALTHY Jon Lester And A Returning Manny

Oh what a day yesterday, and not just down in Florida. The news from Seattle could not have been sweeter. Jon Lester is cancer-free and will report to Spring Training on time and ready to go. He has one more course of chemotherapy on December 21st. To say that I am happy hearing this news would be an understatement. God willing he'll be able to go on with his life just like any other healthy 20 something year old. Fearless and having fun. Please.
The Sox had their pens out and ready to go yesterday. They signed JD Drew to a 5 year $70 million dollar contract to patrol right with his great defense and will probably bat 5th in the potent middle (with Manny!) of the order. And Julio Lugo is our shortstop. He was signed to a 4 year $36 million dollar deal and will provide defense and pop to the bottom of the line-up.
Are we finished? Not yet! The Sox have declared that the Mannny trade talks are virtually dead, and he will be, barring a miracle, in leftfield, a place he can handle, and bat cleanup while protecting Papi's back in the line-up. An outfield, left to right, of Manny, Coco and Drew sounds good to me, with an occasional (that's all!) appearance by WMP. And all that in one day. Mazel Tov!
I'd like to say that yes, the new players will add so much to the 2007 Boston Red Sox. But it was the news of Jon Lester's good health that enabled me to say that I am truly happy. To the Big Guy upstairs, THANK YOU.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

JOYOUS Jon Lester News...And More......

So what about my petty problems? Who cares with news like this. Tito Francono told the press today that our hero, JON LESTER, has been cleared to finish his course of chemotherapy. TOMORROW. I hope that this marks his latest largest step on the way to perfect health. We all do.
And Tito also said on this happy, then sad, and then so happy again Tuesday that the club will give the Manny trade talks another day "front and center." After Wednesday, it might be back-burner time, but I'm sure the Red Sox are actively listening.
The day has taken a heaven-sent turn. For hope, prayers, and good health to come for our Jon Lester. Please Lord.

A Visit To The Connecticut Department Of Motor Vehicles

Yes, I had to go. Today. My license would have expired on my birthday, which this year falls on a Sunday, December 10th, for those of you who want to know. Two days before that is the black Friday known as December 8th. More on that on Friday. So, well, after you read my last post, I can't tell you I woke up EARLY. Because that's when I wake up. EARLY. And it was cold. Not Wyoming cold, but a Connecticut cold on an early and crisp December morning. 23, with mostly cloudy skies. Believe me, if there was NO wind and completely clear skies, radiational cooling would have kicked in. What does that mean, Peter? I'll tell you. Even with non-snow covered ground, with little or no wind AND clear skies, anywhere, the heat will escape into the skies beyond. Without the wind, the cooler air will sink as the nighttime atmosphere cools. In a nutshell, if it's winter and there's a clear sky with little or no wind, the temperatures will plummet. Add a little snow cover? Brr times two.
Oh! I told you that to tell you this.
I waited until almost the last minute to renew my drivers license. No man in uniform took it away, and I had until Sunday, December 10th to do it, but I WANTED TO GET IT DONE. I explained this to a dear friend of mine. So I thought, "Peter, wouldn't the best plan of action be to stop at work and pick up the necessary paperwork that was sent to me in the beginning part of November (yes, sometimes I do put off things), and GET THERE EARLY!" Key words indeed. I noticed that the DMV opened on Tuesday, after being closed Sunday and Monday, at 8am. I'm all set! Now all I was worrying about were traffic jams, accidents, idiots and other traffic hazards. So.......phew...part one of the trip was from my home in Farmington to my workplace, in Hartford, where gentle snow was falling, as if the flakes were saying to me, "Peter, you're going to be fine. You're getting there early!" P.S. My first snowflake quote EVER!
Well, the flakes were right. I arrived in Wethersfield CT, 8 miles east of Hartford, with Howard on the Sirius radio in my car, at 7:55. There was a line, but it only consisted of 20 people. And then presto! The doors opened a couple minutes before 8am EST, and I knew something that I realized before my head left my pillow. I'm GOLDEN! This day that started out with me literally JUMPING out of bed with delight (I was alone) would stay great. And lo and behold (whatever that means), for the first time in ALL my years, I was out in 14 minutes. And the pic on my license even turned out well. Secret---to all..think of someone who makes you smile and the state owned polaroid picture camera that captures all of us at one time or another will be kind. And that friend? You know who you are. And YOUR friend too. She's right beside you this morning.
Sooooo, all in all, this was the best MVD experience I've ever had. And as for winter meeting news, I'll be here when the circumstances, shockingly happy or slap my face sad, and you, my most important people, need me to be here. I am on call forever.
And ya know what. I had so much fun writing this. Maybe because I have a new license? Or maybe not. May your Tuesday be great. Every day...I hope I can be a part. I really do. And I will. I promise, even though my day took a sad turn. Just now. As the song goes, "I WILL SURVIVE."

Monday, December 04, 2006

What? Me Sleep?????

This is Peter on a clear and sparkling Monday morning. I hope everyone had a great weekend. Mine was quiet and uneventful, but nice. The weather here in north central Connecticut has realized we are in the first days, the very beginning, of December, and temperatures have begun a gradual decline to normalcy. Just as I predicted ( was more of a guess. The computers were all over the place), the coastal storm expended all its energy in the ocean waters to our east. And that's good. Now, here's what I meant by the title of this post, the first of what promises to be an exciting week for those of us hungry, even starving, for baseball news.
Sometimes I just get tired at 9pm or so. Especially Sundays. Mondays and Tuesdays too, and less frequently Wednesdays right through Saturdays. On all the other evenings, and you can count 'em, I'm fine! And when I take an afternoon nap, I'm just as fine. Really fine!! I guess I have to train myself not to get up so early in the morning. You see, I usually wake up, sans alarm clock, shortly before 6 AM, almost a full hour this time of year before the sun makes its daily appearance in the eastern skies. I'm bored and I KNOW I can't go back to sleep. So rather than lie there like a log, a very comfortable piece of wood by the way, because I have a great bed, I get up. Shave, shower, brush anything that needs to be brushed. And I'm ready to go. Downstairs, thirteen steps, to feed my boy Babycakes and rustle up some breakfast for his dad, who is me. I know how to rustle up a good breakfast, for one. It's easier to cook for two, but that's another story, another post for another day. I take my blood sugar level, give myself the correct amount of insulin, and sit down with the Hartford Courant sports page section (IF it has been delivered. Our carrier is 77 years old, bless him) for a healthy hearty breakfast. My morning 6-6:30 routine. Now don't forget, that leaves a heck of a lot of morning. But it also leaves me tired by 9 or so in the evening. So I guess that is my MAJOR flaw.
Now you know more about me. Just a little.
The winter meetings are right now getting cranked up to shake our worlds. But when there is no baseball news, there's always me to write about. Please don't leave all at once when I do write about's just temporary.....I don't know what I'd do without you. And hi A. Thank you, and ONLY you, for the inspiration to write all these silly words that turned into an OK post. What would I do without your feedback, your kind words? I have no idea. Lost, maybe.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

The Eve Of Tomorrow...Today!

And the title of this post means that yes indeed, it's that time of year. The winter meetings of 2006 are upon us, and they are sure to shake the very foundations of so many teams. The Red Sox are sure to be one of those teams. News will come fast and furious on many fronts. The bullpen will be the main focus for Theo and company, with the Sox needing a closer and a right handed set-up man. At least. And then there is the shortstop hole. Julio Lugo? Odds on favorite, but his price tag is not cheap. The DMat saga will continue, probably right up until next Friday (12-14), deadline day. And lastly but not leastly, the outfield. Sure, JD Drew looks like a certainty to take over the always tough Trot territory of rightfield at our beloved Fenway. Big bucks and injury concerns abound, but the Sox seem to have already decided on this matter. More interesting is the Manny mayhem. We'll see on that. Any Manny comments from me would probably be outdated by the time I posted them. Other than that? Boredam. Yeah, right!
So on this Sunday, a day of peace and hope, and love, stay calm. Mayhem will indeed start tomorrow down in the Sunshine State. And our Boston Red Sox will be in the thick of it. Would you want it any other way? NOT ME!!
Have a great Sunday, my readers, my friends.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

One Two Three From Larry Lucchino

This from the Globe of Saturday, and then a word, a pre-winter meeting word, from me. Larry Lucchino's thoughts on three subjects close to our hearts, and the Red Sox' future in '07......

"Daisuke Matsuzaka: "Our interest is obviously sincere. There is a fallacious assumption that this is a defensive maneuver. I tried to squash that while I was in Japan. We have until Dec. 14. Knowing the way the agent [Scott Boras] works, it will probably happen on the night of the 14th."

Possibly signing free agent J.D. Drew: "I'm not going to have any comment on [negative media impressions of Drew]. It would be grotesquely unfair of the media to say that before a new player ever came to town. The last time I remember that happening was for a player named David Ortiz."

On the potential trade of Manny Ramírez: "We like this to be an offseason exploration or transaction, but not a melodrama. There's a danger when we descend on that. This is an active exploration, as we promised Manny we would do in the offseason. Through his agent he has reaffirmed that he wants to be traded. We will need a fair and appropriate deal if a trade is made."

Peter here, and remember, I do not trust this guy. Do you?? Nevertheless, his comments are politically bland enough to ensure that we have no idea what's coming up starting Monday down in Florida except for this.....our club will change significantly in the next week or so. And change is needed. Enjoy your Saturday...stay warm where needed, and cool where it's too warm. And be safe. ALWAYS. Next week should be fun, but for me, everyday here is fun. Believe it or not. I wouldn't change anything for the world. Well, maybe for super powers like Superman, but I've been dreaming of that since I was 5. Oh, and unknown mystery guest, it was great to talk to you yesterday. I hope the movie was great.

Thank You TROT

Trot Nixon was one of four players the Red Sox did not offer salary arbitration. After 8 glorious years catching everything in sight in the fabled Fenway rightfield, he will be gone. Trot, thank you so much for your expert outfield work in one of the toughest rightfields around. You will be missed. The original dirt dog, Trot Nixon.
Others not offered arbitration were Doug Mirabelli, Gabe Kaplan and, sadly because we could use him for one more year, Mark Loretta. More later on this dark and cooler Saturday morning, with the promise of Monday snow tantalizingly close.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Jane, You Ignorant Slut!

The title of this post goes back to the late 70s Saturday Night Live comic greatness of Dan Ackroyd and Jane Curtin, in their weekly video segment "Point-Counterpoint." A place where both opposing views of a topic are hilariously demonstrated. And this IS a different view from the last post, just below this one, and also concerning Manny. I'll let you read an excerpt, and thanks to MSNBC online.

"The Boston Red Sox have been down this slippery slope before. A couple of times, actually.
Sometimes, it’s their idea. Like when they tried to give away Manny Ramirez and his remaining contract, but couldn’t. They put him on waivers a couple of winters ago, and nobody claimed him.
Sometimes, the prompt comes from Ramirez, the unpredictable yet talented designated hitter masquerading as a left fielder, who every once in a while says he wants out.
And so Ramirez has played six seasons in Boston, averaged .316, 39 homers and 119 RBI, been a key part of a World Series champion, won a batting title, a home-run title and five Silver Sluggers — and otherwise caused enough commotion to, as Phillies general manager Pat Gillick politely put it recently, be a distraction.
But in the wake of the game’s economic health and escalating salary scale this winter, the possibility of Ramirez actually wearing another uniform soon has gained momentum. That is, if he really wants to — because no matter how many trade offers the Red Sox may find acceptable this winter, it all eventually will come down to Ramirez and his 10/5 trade veto rights. And predicting what he might do is impossible. Ramirez has begun to hit the downside of his career. He will play most of next season at 35, and four more guaranteed years likely would mark the end of the line for him.
But there are obvious drawbacks to leaving Fenway Park — especially considering who might be interested in making a deal for him, as that list reportedly includes the Dodgers, Giants, Rangers, Padres and Angels.
Changing leagues at this point is wrong from both Ramirez’s perspective, and any National League team thinking about trading for him. His defense is an adventure even in the smallest left field in the majors. Take him out of Fenway and put him in any of the three NL pitchers parks on the potential trades list — Dodger Stadium, AT&T Park and Petco Park — and you get what you deserve. (Of course, in the Giants’ case, the change would be minimal, given Barry Bonds’ statuesque interpretation of playing the position these days).
Not to mention having to learn a whole new set of pitchers, and be put in a new lineup that won’t score nearly as many runs as the Red Sox will with Ramirez, David Ortiz and likely J.D. Drew in the middle. If Hall of Fame credentials mean anything to Manny — and he’s sitting on .314, 470 homers and 1,516 RBI lifetime — these are two more reasons why staying in the DH league is the better option at this point.
Then there are the Texas Rangers, who have a clear need for another bat in the middle of their lineup, and need a big strike to reverse a horrible off-season to date, one in which they have seen Carlos Lee, Gary Matthews Jr., Adam Eaton and Mark DeRosa leave as free agents for a combined $187 million. It would be worse if Rod Barajas hadn’t backed out a reported two-year, $6-million deal with Toronto, but he will land elsewhere soon.
The Rangers have closer Akinori Otsuka to offer, which would fill a primary Red Sox need, and also young starting pitching. The Red Sox also still need a shortstop (Julio Lugo?), a second baseman, a backup catcher and maybe another reliever.
Ameriquest Field also is hitter-friendly, and the advantages of staying in the AL — same pitchers, DH possibility, familiarity, etc. — all hold. The real question now is what will Manny want to do?"

Peter here. HHMMMMMM, a good question. We've all tried, at one moment or another, to try to ooze inside Manny's brain and try to decipher the thought process. No success so far, at least for me. But I do think if he goes anywhere, he would want (?) to stay in the AL. Outfields other than Fenway Park's leftfield scare him! I'm convinced. This is ongoing, but so am I. I'd love to see some comments on this post, and the preceding one. And thanks. Hope you all have a safe and happy weekend, the first of my birthday month, number 12, December.