Friday, November 30, 2007

Jon Lester Speaks! And We Listen.....

While in town for a routine regular medical checkup, Jon Lester, who might be on his way to Minnesota in the possible Santana trade, had this to say....

"Until [general manager Theo Epstein] calls me, I don't worry about it," Lester said Wednesday. "If it happens, it's something I will have to deal with at that point. Most of the time, it's just speculation.
"Dan Haren and Johan Santana, that's not bad. Those are two great pitchers to have your name involved with in a trade, but I want to be here for a long time and win more World Series."

That quote was borrowed from the Hartford Courant. My thanks to them. As long as Santana does not go to the Yankees, the world champion Boston Red Sox will be just fine, with their current rotation or a new one that would include one of the best lefties in the game today. They say most lefties have trouble against righthanded batters at Fenway, with the Green Wall looming and leering over their right shoulder, daring you to put the ball over the plate, fat and ripe. But Johan Santana, much like Bruce Hurst, who was the best lefty I ever saw pitch at Fenway, has the guile, the guts and the stuff to overcome a silly wive's tale such as that. First things first, though. And that's what next week's winter meetings are all about. Hopes, dreams, nervous conjecture and the many "what if's." That's the winter meetings in a nutshell.

Click on the title of this post for the latest Red Sox stuff, from the great Amalie Benjamin of the Boston Globe. Have a wonderful last day of November (hard to believe!), and just be well.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Like It Or Not......

This is from Twin Cities dot com......

"A little birdie says the Boston Red Sox have become the favorite in the Johan Santana trade sweepstakes.
The Twins would receive four players for the Twins' two-time Cy Young Award winner, including center fielder Coco Crisp, 28.
The New York Yankees don't have the prospects available who the Twins figure have a reasonable chance to play in the major leagues by the end of 2008."

Peter here. And I don't know WHAT to think. Obviously, the Sox will be adding one of the best lefthanded pitchers in the game...but to say goodbye to Jon Lester will be tough. Another quality arm in our rotation, and a lefty to boot, would be great. But I'll wait until the facts (just the facts, please) become more than a writer's musings. And I'll have much more to say then. The winter meetings start in less than four days......excitement is on the way. Good or bad? I'll leave that up to Theo.

Click on this post's title for the full article. Mixed feelings here, but if this deal comes true, the Yankees won't be adding anything. Not now. Including a world championship......

Jon Lester Wins Tony C. Award

Good news for Jon Lester fans worldwide. This is from the Thursday Boston Globe....

"Jon Lester, who came back from a cancer diagnosis in 2006 to win this year's World Series clincher for Boston, was honored Wednesday with the Tony Conigliaro Award for overcoming adversity through spirit, determination and courage.
The award, which will be presented at the Boston chapter of the Baseball Writers' Association of America dinner on Jan. 17, is named for the promising Red Sox player whose career was derailed when he was hit in the face by a pitch in 1967.
Pitching coach John Farrell said Lester "looks great" and "will be counted on heavily once spring training opens."

Peter here, and what a deserving honor. To be able to overcome cancer AND pitch effectively (he was 4-0 and won game 4 of the World Series) is quite simply a stunning achievement, and we have to hope he will be able to continue his winning ways in 2008 while pitching for the Red Sox. His name has been bantered about in the Santana talks, so until the end of next week, his future remains up in the air. The same goes for Clay "no hitter" Buchholz. Keep reading.

Why keep reading? Because I've been thinking about Clay Buchholz recently, and the sky is the limit for this young man. 2008 will bring him fame nationwide. This quote from our pitching coach supreme John Farrell is from the Hartford Courant....

"Buchholz, 23, showed electrifying stuff in a month with the Red Sox, including the first no-hitter by a rookie in team history Sept. 1.
But Buchholz was shut down in September with arm fatigue and the team has him on a strengthening program in Florida.
"There have been gains from a physical standpoint," pitching coach John Farrell said. "In retrospect, it was certainly the right decision to de-active him, for lack of a better term. But he is making progress. He still has some work to do, as we project 180-185 innings for him next year."

Clay's name has been linked with Lester's in the many "what-if" scenarios...what if we trade Lester and Buchholz and Crisp just to be able to join the rest of the Santana suiters. I say this...the biggest reason why the Sox want to land Santana to be their number two starter would be to keep him away from the New York Yankees. I like the six man (for now) rotation of Beckett, Schilling, Matsuzaka, Lester, Buchholz and Wakefield. Other teams crave that mixture of young arms and experienced mound soldiers, and I so hope the Red Sox won't sell the farm to buy a dozen eggs. Even if they're double yolkers! That's just my opinion. That's all I've got.

Please click on the title of this post for Rob Bradford's Boston Herald article that focuses on the maybes surrounding the whole Santana dilemna. And it's EXACTLY that. Here's a snippet...

"Even though, as one major league executive said last night, “The Twins are in a bind. They have to trade Santana,” and the Red Sox remain as one of a handful of teams with the prospects and financial resources to get the job done, completing a deal will be one of the current Sox regime’s biggest challenges to date.
If, however, that challenge can’t be met, falling back on the arms of Clay Buchholz and Jon Lester - whose names have been thrown around in the Santana rumors - is a pretty good security blanket, judging by offseason reports."

Peter here, and Rob has it exactly right...combined, Lester and Buchholz will be a force to be reckoned with for all of the American League pretenders, and I MEAN pretenders. And so, my Constant Readers (thank you SK), click on the title, and thanks yet again for stopping by. Readership is slim as the days dwindle down to a precious few before the season-defining winter meetings start next week. So until then, keep the faith, leave a comment, and just BE WELL. Always. Red Sox Forever!!!!!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Spring Is Just Around The Corner

It's true. Spring will be here before we know it! I know we still have a long and cold winter to endure (I LOVE the snow), but the annual exodus to Florida by players and fans alike will begin two weeks early. Because of the trip to Japan that will start the Boston Red Sox 2008 season, pitchers and catchers will report to Fort Myers on Valentine's Day, February 14th. The full squad is due there by the 20th. The Sox will head off to Red Sox International, Japan for two exhibition games, then the first two regular season games against the Oakland A's. Those first two games of the 2008 season will be on March 25th and 26th. After that, it's back to the left coast for three exhibition games with Red Sox west, the Los Angeles Dodgers. April Fool's Day will usher in game three of the regular season, against the A's, and by then the Sox will have become accustomed to the time changes. Jetting through time zones takes its toll on bodies and on minds, so I think the front office is doing this correctly to minimize any after effects once the season resumes on the mainland.

Click on the title of this post for the Boston Herald's Michael Silverman's Sox notebook, with tidbits of information about everything. It's title? "WANTED:SANTANA." Here's a taste...

"The Red Sox are actively engaged in trade talks with the Minnesota Twins about Johan Santana and plan to aggressively pursue the two-time Cy Young Award winner, a baseball source said yesterday.
However, finding the right blend of prospects and major league talent that will satisfy the Twins and not deforest the Red Sox farm system, then working out a five- or six-year contract extension for Santana in the neighborhood of $120 million-$150 million, remains a tall order."

So click on the title, and enjoy your Wednesday hump day. The winter meetings start next week, and the news will come fast and furious, so buckle your seat belts, hold on and get ready for the ride! I'll be here to write about whatever happens. AND IT WILL!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To Fenway Park

There's not much going on in the Sox news department, except for ongoing talks with the Twins about their soon-to-be-traded Johan Santana.....talks that include the New York Yankees. That's one destination we do NOT want to see him call home for the baseball seasons to come. So I wanted to tell you a quick story, a tale I will always remember. The names have been changed to protect the innocent (just kidding!).

Flash back six or seven years ago. I and a couple friends were on our way to Fenway Park, motoring up Route 84 east near the Massachusetts line, where Route 90, the Mass Pike, intersects and takes you straight east (or west) into the heart of Boston, and that fabled little ballpark called Fenway Park. We were listening to WTIC-AM1080, a radio station fabled for it's unwavering Sox coverage for more than 50 years, and during the top of the hour newscast (the 11AM hour, I remember that), we heard a report, an "Amber alert" before there were "Amber alerts," that said a child had been taken while playing in her frontyard, and it described the car they were looking for, which was said to have hopped on Route 84 east fairly near where we were at the time. Now picture this....three guys, happy and excited to see our Sox play the Rangers on a beautiful Saturday afternoon in late August, hearing this report but only half-listening, when, and I STILL can't believe it happened, that Chevy tan car with the last four letters of the plate saying SBTS passed us by in the left lane. You know me, Mr. Conservative (kidding!!) while on the highway, zooming along at 78 MPH in the middle lane, and this guy passed me like I was standing still. And one of my friends mentioned that the speeding car AND it's plate matched the radio report. Holy sh*t!!!! At least that's what I said, outloud, while reaching for the car phone. There were no cell phones back in the very early 90s, at least ones you'd want to own. I called 911, gave them the reason for the call and our exact location, mile marker included. They said to stay on the line, and within 3 miles or so (we were near a State Police sub-station), the good guys were not only zooming past us in pursuit but were waiting for that car to reach them, parked with engines running on Route 84 east just before the Mass. Pike intersection. And they got their man! Two of the Statie's actually waved as we went by, and the phone operator thanked us for being "good citizens."

We were beaming with pride and happiness as we walked towards Fenway Park. It was a sunny day, two (not 1!) kids were rescued from an enraged, estranged father, and all was right with the world. The Red Sox ended up getting smashed, losing to Texas by a score of 12-3, or something like that. But nothing could ruin that inner glow....we had done a GOOD thing. There's no better feeling in all of the world.

OK, back to the reality that is 2007. The Red Sox are WORLD champions yet again, and if you had told me THAT while on our way to Fenway on that fate-filled day in the early 90s, I wouldn't have believed you. But then again, I wouldn't have believed what happened on that unforgettable trip to the Emerald City, which is better known as Fenway Park. And remember that special glow I told you about earlier? Sometimes it STILL shines, warm and soothing, deep within my heart.

Thanks for reading Peter's Red Sox Forever, as always. There's no link to click on for an accompanying news story. The news is slim and none. But that trip down memory lane? As the ad campaign goes....PRICELESS!

Monday, November 26, 2007

The Winter Meetings Are so Close! December 3rd Through December 7th

That's right! It's hard to believe that the winter meetings begin one week from today, commencing on December 3rd and ending the following Friday, December 7th. The most visible and obtainable pitcher will likely be the Minnesota Twins phenom lefty, Johan Santana, and it seems like the Twins are more than willing to trade him for good young talent. This is from SI....

"Minnesota's proposal to Santana, who was 15-13 with a 3.33 ERA and 235 strikeouts in 2007, was for a four-year extension -- not the five years that's been previously reported -- and isn't believed to have brought the sides much closer to a contract. While Santana's asking price isn't known, it is generally thought to be well in excess of the $126-million contract the Giants gave last winter to free agent pitcher Barry Zito, who isn't considered in Santana's league. It is believed that as a free agent next winter the lefthanded Santana could earn at least $150 million, or more, providing he stays on his current path of productivity. So the sides could be as much as $50 million apart, or even more."

More! "...the left-hander will dominate the Winter Meetings that open Sunday in Nashville. After center fielders Andruw Jones and Aaron Rowand, the free agent market is thin."

Peter here....the Red Sox have the money to sign him to a multi-year contract, but they DO NOT want to part with Pedroia (in fact, he will not be mentioned in any trade talks), Jacoby Ellsbury, Jon Lester or Clay Buchholz. Coco Crisp? There's a spot for him in the Twin's outfield, and he will probably go. Somewhere. Or he might be our fourth outfielder, which will make the return of Kielty (see below) that much more remote. I'd be comfortable seeing Jon Lester go with him in order to get Santana, but Buchholz, who has a much greater upside than Lester EVER will, or Jacoby? No thank you.

Click on the title of this post for a Monday Boston Herald article about Bobby Kielty. Where will he go? Will he be back? Just click on that title. My readers, make the most of your Monday. I have a doctor appointment at 1PM EST today, one that I've not been looking forward to. But I WILL be a happy guy when I'm on the way OUT of his office, on the way to my car. THAT'S what I'm looking forward to! Be well, and I hope your holiday was an unforgettable one. Mine was!!!!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

"There are no problems, only solutions."

So said John Lennon in 1980, and you know what? As the years slip by so quickly, those words and other Lennon utterances have grown to be eerily true. I refer to the dilemna of the Johan Santana sweepstakes. The winner will receive the services of just about the best lefthanded pitcher in all of baseball, Johan Santana. The dilemna....who to dangle in front of the Twins as trade bait. This is from the Boston Herald, and I'll be back with more to say after you read it.....

"The Boston Red Sox? Most everyone in baseball agrees the Sox could be a player (in the Santana sweepstakes) if they want to be, primarily because they have the combination of wealth and talent to make the trade happen. The obvious problem is that center fielder Coco Crisp does not come close to matching packages potentially offered by the Yankees, Mets or Dodgers, an obstacle for which the Red Sox have only one answer:
At this stage, of course, it seems highly unlikely the Sox will trade Ellsbury, let alone put him in a package with someone like Clay Buchholz. But ask yourselves this: What if the Sox could make the deal for Santana by giving up Ellsbury while retaining Buchholz and Jon Lester? (Such a deal would require the inclusion of one or two lower-level pitching prospects like Justin Masterson.) Would you make the deal then?"

Peter here, and THE ANSWER IS NO, NO AND NO AGAIN!! Buchholz and Ellsbury should be on the "protected at all costs" list. Coco and Jon Lester and one or two others will have to go, if not more, but Jacoby and Clay? No way. This whole thing is very tempting, because the reward to the winner of the sweepstakes is having Santana in the number two spot of our rotation, behind Beckett and in front of Matsuzaka and Schilling. What an awesome front four. But I want to reiterate. There is no way I would concoct a trade with a package that consists of Buchholz and Ellsbury included in that mix. Not even for Lou Gehrig in his too short prime. Wait! Wait...I might have spoken too soon. Lou, you're welcome to join the Sox anytime you wish. You were the absolute best! Ok,ok, back to reality. But talking to the one and only Lou Gehrig was wonderful, if only for a fleeting moment. I leave you with this--I want to hear your comments about this whole "what if Johan goes here, what if Johan goes there" drama, and I will respond to each and every one of you. You know my feelings. In a nutshell, I think Ellsbury and Buchholz should be protected against any and all scenarios. They shouldn't be going anywhere, except when they leave the team for their retirement. Justin Pedroia should not even be mentioned in the same sentence as the word "trade." Thank you Maine Catwoman, for all your comments on this subject. Readers, look at her comments over the last couple of posts and you'll know what I mean!

I might have overslept today, which is something I NEVER do, but I'm roaring (yawning!) and ready to go. Thanks for being here, and click on the title of this post for the Herald's Tony Massarotti's Sunday article. His words are the ones that sent me on the path to write this post. So enjoy your Sunday, go Pats, and don't forget, it's number five in the country Duke going up against number two UCONN today. It's the last of a three game set in paradise, the United States Virgin Islands. St. Thomas, to be exact, a place I've been to countless times. Go get 'em, UCONN.

And remember this. If the Sox have Santana, no other team gets him.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

The Untouchables

The Untouchables. And I'm not talking about the 1950s television show or the recent movie. I'm talking about the two Boston Red Sox players who can not, should not or WILL not be traded for Johan Santana-Dustin Pedroia and Jacoby Ellsbury. I read an article in the Boston Herald this morning, penned by Steve Buckley, and that was his point exactly. Here's a little taste of it.....

"To make this trade (Santana) happen, I would sadly part with Lester, who will always be an inspiration to us all. I would part with Buchholz, who very likely will emerge as a top pitcher down the road. As for some other very talented kids in the system - Brandon Moss and Justin Masterson, to name a couple - they, too, could be used in a deal for Santana.
But Pedroia and Ellsbury must remain with the Red Sox, and for a long, long, long, long time. Look, it’s not just the numbers, even though the numbers are impressive. And it’s not just that Ellsbury has already made some great grabs in the outfield, or that Pedroia has good range and is deadly on the pivot."

Peter here. "A long, long, long, long time" sounds exactly right to me. I agree one hundred percent. I was clamoring for the Sox to put Buchholz on that "untouchable" list, if there is such a thing, but I have changed my tune. Slightly. Sadly, Lester and Coco Crisp are as good as gone if the Sox enter into any serious discussions with the Twinkies. And if it will take the addition of Clay Buchholz to make this happen, then the Sox will have to do it. But Pedroia and/or Ellsbury? They will be major league superstars for many years to come, and they are so untradable that the Sox shouldn't even let rumors begin to swirl. Heck, they shouldn't even ALLOW the Twins to include their names in any trade discussions of any kind. TABOO! Forget about it!!! Our second baseman and centerfielder are going absolutely NOWHERE!!!!!! And I think with every fiber of my baseball being that that is the case. So we needn't worry. Will it hurt to lose Buchholz, Lester or Crisp? Oh yeah, especially somone like Clay who has such an unlimited potential. But Dustin and Jacoby are and will be Red Sox players for as long as they want to be, and we aren't including them in ANY trade talk with ANYONE! End of discussion. Case closed. The defense rests, your Honor.

Click on the title of this post for the entire Steve Buckley article....I'm sure you will enjoy it. And then leave me a comment. Maine Catwoman has already expressed her opinion in the comment section of the previous post. She reminded me that NO ONE is "untouchable." And I KNOW that, but Pedroia and Ellsbury define the meaning of that exact word.

Have a wonderful IS Saturday, but because of the long holiday weekend, it has seemed like Sunday since the moment I opened my eyes and crawled out of bed. And that's a good thing! Be happy, be well, and thanks, as always, for being here.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Santana Musings (Evil Ways).....

Now that the Lowell signing is history, the Boston Red Sox will address their other needs. One, get Tito signed. We couldn't have done it without him! Two, add a couple arms to the bullpen. Three is not as essential as one or two, but the talk around baseball is that Johan Santana of the Twins WILL BE traded. There don't seem to be any ifs, ands or buts, and it looks like the world champion Boston Red Sox will be an active participant in the Johan quest. This is from this morning's Boston Herald, and my rather succinct opinions on this subject are sure to follow.....

"Indications are that the Twins have already inquired about center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury and right-hander Clay Buchholz, plus other top prospects.
A more realistic package, perhaps, would have Coco Crisp filling Minnesota’s hole in center field that free agent Torii Hunter left behind and one of two top starting prospects, Buchholz or lefty Jon Lester, entering the mix. The Sox would likely have to include at least one other proven major league talent, plus one, more likely two, other minor leaguers. The Twins are known to be high on Crisp.
One major league source familiar with the Sox’ thinking said that a package of both Buchholz and Lester, or one of those pitchers and Ellsbury, would be “way too rich” for the team to part with."

Peter here with a comment or two, as promised. First off the bat (pun intended), Jacoby Ellsbury is NOT going to be traded. Not this month, not next month, not ever! Period. Case closed. I seriously doubt that Lester and Buchholz will BOTH go, especially Clay. The Twins have a need for a centerfielder, what with the departure of Torii Hunter to Joe Torre's Dodgers, so Coco is as good as gone. Couple him with Jon Lester, much as I hate to say it, and you have the start of a deal to land one of the best lefthanders in the game. But Jacoby or Clay? NO WAY! THEY ARE UNTOUCHABLE, especially Jacoby. That's just the way I see it right now. The Sox have a surplus of starters, but the thought of a rotation that consists of Beckett, Santana, Schilling, Matsuzaka and Buchholz is enough to start me salivating. And I NEVER drool! This is something that will probably happen next month if it happens at all, and expect the Sox to make a strong run to further establish their rotation as the best in baseball. Hey, it ain't too shabby right now!

Click on the title of this post for an article from the Boston Globe's sports blog, all about the Sox and what might happen trade-wise by Christmas time. I hope every one of you had a joyous Thanksgiving with family and friends. I sure did, and the glow from that wonderful, basted and brown turkey will last well into the weekend. In fact, maybe well into 2008! Have a great Friday, and if you have a comment, I have a response. As always, thanks for stopping by my little corner of the "blue nowhere." Be well.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

John F. Kennedy...May 29, 1917-November 22, 1963

He was so young and youthful, such a great orator, and he was our leader and commander in chief starting with his inaugeration on a frigid January morning in 1961 and ending on that black Friday, November 22nd, 1963, a day which will always live in infamy and people who were alive then will never forget where they were and what they were doing when the indescribably sad news was released at lunchtime. I used to listen to his Inaugeral Address incessantly on an album that my dear Mom bought for me, and these words still echo SO true. "Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what YOU can do for your country."

He was shot dead in Dallas, Texas by a lone assasin, Lee Harvey Oswald, the first shot going through his neck, from the rear, and the second shot that blew off a potion of the back of his head. That killing blow took off the right rear of his head and scattered skull parts and grey brain matter throughout his open-topped limosine. That moment, forever in time, was captured on frame #313 of the Zapruder film, one of the most complete pieces of photograpic footage of a President sacrificing everything for his country and it's citizens that is known to this very day, 44 years later. At that point, as the limosine STARTED to accelerate towards Parkland Hospital, it was too late to do any good at all. Our President had died. He took his last breath while in the arms of his wife Jackie. And the nation cried. And wept. Wall to wall television coverage started on that Friday, with the jet ride home to DC, the swearing in of the NEW President, Lyndon Baines Johnson, while ABOARD Air Force One, right through to live coverage of Oswald being transferred from one jail to another in Dallas on the following Sunday, just two days later. A bar owner and friend of the police, Jack Ruby, stepped up to within three feet of him and shot him in the gut. His screams were audible over the audio feed of NBC, and those were chilling sights and sounds. He died while in the ambulance. And with that, all the questions asked and unasnwered, to THIS day, remain so.

We thank you, John Fitzgerald Kennedy, or Jack, as he was referred to by so many. And one of his aides, Kenny O'Donnell, put it best. "Jack, we hardly knew ye." And we didn't. 1000 days. Jack, rest in peace.

A Day To Give Thanks

GOBBLE GOBBLE GOBBLE......those were the first words I heard this morning upon awakening. My pet turkey Bernie was hungry, and I was running late and hadn't fed him his kibble yet. I know having a turkey as an in-house pet is a little strange, and that's why I've kept it a secret while writing here and commenting on your various Sox blogs. He's a joy. Since my whole family is out of the country for the holiday (they tried to go as far as they could), it's just Bernie and me. What an odd twosome, but we're great together. Separate us, and things are pretty much normal. But together, in one place? WOW, magic happens! That's EXACTLY what they said about the Beatles and the recording studio. Apart, OK. But put the four of them together? MAGIC!

Happy Thanksgiving to all who had the pleasure (or pain) of reading this post, and enjoy the long weekend while you eat to your heart's delight. When Red Sox magic happens, this is the place to be.
So for Bernie and me, have a happy and healthy Thanksgiving, wherever you are.

Hi. This is Peter on this Thanksgiving morning of 2007. The preceding bit of humor was from my Thanksgiving post written in November of 2005. I just spruced it up a little. Talk about being lazy. But my wishes are the same. Bernie is fine. I am too. I needed to thank you for the wonderful year it's been here in blogland. I couldn't have done it without you. And the Red Sox did it all! May the coming year be full of hope and health and happiness to each and every one of you. Forever. Be well, be safe and be happy!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

"I'm Not All About Money."

"I'd like to believe I'm not all about money," Lowell said on a conference call. "I feel like I'm more of a baseball player than businessman. I weighed where I felt comfortable, where I could produce the best and have a chance to win a world championship, and it was Boston. I didn't think my happiness should be bought just by dollars.
"There were things that were considered, definitely. The amount of money that was left on the table was something that ... I didn't really struggle with, but I was thinking, guaranteeing that fourth year, was that something I should really pass up? Ultimately, my fit and my comfort level with my family and the team here in Boston outweighed those other options."

Peter here, and that, of course, was our third baseman Mike Lowell talking, taken from the Hartford Courant, and his words ensure us that he's a Red Sox player in his heart AND in his soul. And that's good to know. Theo Epstein had this to say about the actual process of obtaining Lowell's services....

"The process wasn't always easy, but in the end both sides are really happy," Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein said. "It's a credit to Mike's character that he certainly passed up more money elsewhere to come back to Boston. We don't take that for granted.
"We were balancing two competing interests: our desire to bring Mike back and adhering to principles about contract length and future roster and payroll construction that were important to us."

Peter back once again. And I think Theo and the powers that be did everything EXACTLY right. Mike's desire to come back to the team he loves certainly helped decide matters.....he could have had a cool $50 million for four years spent (suffering?) in Philly, but he wisely decided to stay at the place where the Fenway Faithful, Red Sox Nation and Red Sox International converge. It's a brilliantly joyous piece of Oz, and it's called Fenway Park. Yellow Brick Road included.

Click on the title of this post for the Globe's Nick Cafardo's look at this exact same subject, and I hope you're all getting ready for the Thanksgiving holiday on this still dark Wednesday morning. If you're traveling, be careful and be safe, and if it's just homeward bound for a wonderful dinner with the entire family, like me, have fun, eat and eat a lot, then eat some more. But be happy. That's the most important thing. Thank you, as always, for stopping by, and leave a comment or three. I'll reply to each and every one. And that's a promise. Since the news out of Boston is so quiet, that's all I have for today. But if something breaks, though on the day before the holidays I'm expecting peaceful nothingness, I'm right here to get it in print. As Richard Pryor said in the wonderful comedy SILVER STREAK, "We aims to please." And I do! Always and forever. I'll be here tomorrow to write something, too. I try to have a post up every day, 365 (366 next year) days per year. Bye!!!!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

AROD, MO and Mike Lowell

AROD has won the AL MVP award, and deservedly so, collecting all but two of the first place votes. His stats dwarfed all others, and the only thing a baseball fan can say is that the voters got this one right.

Mariano Rivera has decided to rejoin the New York Yankees in what ended up to be a three year deal worth $45 million. That makes him the highest paid reliever in all of baseball. The Yanks would have been in trouble without him, and they did the right thing (for them) by signing him. Me? I'd rather have Paps...any day, any way, any time.

And last but certainly not least, the Boston Red Sox have agreed in principle with Mike Lowell on a three year deal worth $37.5 million, which matches the annual payout of the last minute four year deal offered by the Phillies. Here are a couple facts about the deal and what teammate Curt Schilling had to say....

"Lowell, who hit the free agent market last Tuesday, had been seeking a four-year deal, and ESPN reported Monday that the Phillies made Lowell a four-year, $50 million offer Sunday night. But Lowell chose to stay with the Red Sox, who increased their offer from $36 million, matching the annual amount of the Phillies' offer.
After the World Series clincher at Coors Field in Denver Red Sox fans serenaded team ownership on the field with a chant of "Re-Sign Lowell." That mantra was echoed publicly by catcher Jason Varitek and pitcher Curt Schilling, who also tested free agency, then returned, signing a one-year deal Nov. 6.
"How cool is that?" Schilling wrote about Lowell and the relationship with fans on his personal blog Monday. "Leaving years and dollars on the table to come back here for three more years, good stuff. Pretty nice to think you are fans in a town that is now a desired destination for athletes across the major sports. Come a long way for sure."
"Congrats to Mike and I've already spoken with a few guys on the team and suffice to say we're all ecstatic."

Peter here, and ecstatic is a great word, Curt. I can think of a few others....delighted, overjoyed, confident, psyched...I could go on, but you get the idea. And taking less money to stay with the team that loves him and the fans who adore him was the exact right thing to do. Thanks Mikey. Go get 'em next year. The Red Sox now have the exact same on-the-field starting nine as last year, with Papi, of course, as the DH, and all that's needed to do now is add a couple pair of arms to the bullpen. And that bodes well for 2008, and beyond.

Click on the title of this post for the Boston Herald's full report on the argeement with OUR third baseman, Mikey Lowell. Have a great Tuesday. Any comments will be read and responded to, as always. Be well. Great job Red Sox front office, by the way.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Mike Lowell...WELCOME BACK!!!!!!!! YES!!!!!!!

From the Globe, with thanks to Matt, who writes the blog Fenway West (on my link list!)...

"Free-agent third baseman Mike Lowell has agreed in principle to the framework of a three-year deal to return to the Red Sox, major league baseball sources close to the negotiations have confirmed.
Lowell, 33, tested the free-agent waters, and may have received at least one four-year offer from another undisclosed team, but in the end the Sox third baseman elected to stay where he was most comfortable. Sources indicate that the three year deal is worth in the $36-$38 million range.
The Red Sox had placed a deadline of today for Lowell to make up his mind. If Lowell had passed on the Sox offer, which remained pretty close to the original offer they made the World Series MVP, they were ready to begin implmenting their Plan B.
The Sox have now re-signed both of their major free-agents - Curt Schilling, who agreed to a one-year deal for $8 million and $5 million in incentives. The Sox could now entertain a deal for outfielder Coco Crisp sometimes between now and the winter meetings in December."

Peter here, and words cannot describe how happy I am! For the full Herald article, click on the title of this post.

The Entire Boston Red Sox 2008 Schedule..April Through September...'s all folks!! Just click on the title above. And think what might be in store for us next year, just a few quick months from now. Believe me, the time will pass quickly!

Connecticut--The One Of A Kind Red Sox-Yankee Battle State

Having lived in north central Connecticut for my entire life, I am well aware of the divided baseball loyalties of the state's residents. Walk the streets of downtown Hartford and you'll see people wearing Yankee apparel striding side by side with fans proudly wearing the Red Sox colors. And there's no mistaking the difference. But recently, the tide had begun to turn. This is from the Monday Boston Herald business section, for your enjoyment...

"The number of Connecticut fans pledging allegiance to the Sox has risen to 37 percent from just 33 percent back in 2003. Conversely, the percentage of fans favoring the Yankees has dropped from 47 percent to 43 percent, polls conducted by Quinnipiac University show.
And those numbers include heavily populated Fairfield County near New York City, where a quarter of Connecticut’s population lives. That county is true Yankee country, with the Sox barred by Major League Baseball from marketing there.
Take out Fairfield, and the ratio of Red Sox fans to Yankees fans might even be roughly equal in the rest of the state."

Peter here, and that's right. Except for Fairfield county, which comprises the southwest part of the state and is sometimes considered by many a distant suburb of New York City, it's about dead even. The cable companies in that part of the state aren't even allowed to carry NESN, the Sox television network! Put it this way, I'll NEVER move there! Jere, author of the great blog A RED SOX FAN IN PINSTRIPE TERRITORY, and Reb, who used to write another great blog called REB'S SOX, have written extensively about that NESN blackout. Their blogs, one active and one more on the sporadic side, are listed on my link list. In no other state will you find such a deep chasm of divided loyalties. I'm a proud member of Red Sox Nation, yet the next door neighbors on both sides of my place are tried and true pinstripe fans. It takes some getting used to, but I've had years and years to do just that. And I wouldn't have it any other way. Here in Hartford, we're waiting for the inevitable appearance of yet another World championship trophy, with Larry Lucchino firmly in tow. That will be a treat....the trophy, I mean, not the Larry appearance. But he means well as he travels with the trophy and a few players to many parts of Red Sox Nation and Red Sox International, and I'm sure come next March the trophy will be held proudly high when the Sox invade Tokyo and their very loving Sox fans.

Click on the title of this post for the entire Boston Herald Connecticut/NY article, and enjoy your Monday. I'll be patiently waiting for the 10AM EST Ticketmaster site's release of the Springsteen tickets for Hartford, a concert sure to sell out it's 17,000 seats in about 9 minutes! Again. There is no better band in the world. I couldn't be happier. Be well.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN & The E Street Band Are Coming Back!!!

Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band
Hartford Civic Center, Hartford, Connecticut! MY hometown!!!
Thu, 02/28/08 7:30pm

Peter here, and I can't wait!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Mariano Rivera To Sign With Yankees.....

This is from the New York Post on this quiet Sunday morning....

Nov. 18, 2007--- "Despite not getting the fourth year he desired, closer Mariano Rivera, with former catcher and new Yankees manager Joe Girardi in 1997, is expected to accept the Yankees' three-year, $45 million offer early this week.
After returning from the Dominican Republic last night, Mariano Rivera is going to huddle with his representatives today and according to several sources is expected to accept the Yankees' three-year, $45 million offer early this week."

Peter here, and how could he not? Mikey, it's still up to you...the New York Daily News reported yesterday that the reports out of Boston which said the Yankees offered Lowell a four year deal were, and I quote, "pure fantasy." I feel better. Apparently, the Yanks are just fine with using Giambi (great defense, huh!?) and Duncan at first base.

A Hometown Hero

Boston Red Sox centerfielder Jacoby Ellsbury received a hometown hero's welcome in Madras, Oregon, the place where he grew up, and he was clearly moved by the reception. He had this to say...

"The parade in Boston was amazing, but this is even better," he told the crowd to cheers. "You guys are incredible."
Ellsbury wiped away a tear as Madras Mayor Jason Hale proclaimed it Jacoby Ellsbury Day. He recalled being so nervous he almost threw up driving to the ballpark for his first start for the Red Sox, and pitcher Josh Beckett advising him, "Just don't screw it up."
Asked what advice he had for kids who wanted to follow in his footsteps, Ellsbury said, "I kept my nose clean and worked hard. They can do that."

Peter here, and you have to feel happy for him. And that's great advice, too. We know he'll be a fixture in centerfield and batting leadoff (most likely) for the Sox for many, many years to come, and it couldn't have happened to a nicer and more talented guy. Said to resemble a young Johnny Damon, Jacoby thrilled us with his jetlike speed on the basepaths and in the outfield, chasing down fly balls and line drives with the ferociousness and speed of a wild cheetah. Jacoby, we salute you. Our centerfielder. And that's just so great.

Click on the title of this post for the entire Boston Globe article, and enjoy your Sunday, a day where snow makes it's first close brush with southern New England. Be happy, and I'll answer any and all comments. You're the best!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Lucchino On Lowell (Who Else?)

It seems that lately every other post here at Peter's Red Sox Forever has something about the Red Sox and their quest to retain the services of third baseman supreme Mike Lowell. And I ain't going to stop until he is signed, hopefully with us. Larry Lucchino spoke the words we all want to hear (other than the words saying he's back!).....

“I think any public comment on it will be detrimental to a process that has been going on, respectfully and positively,” Red Sox president and CEO Larry Lucchino said yesterday. “So I’m not going to say anything, except to say we want him back very much. We want Mike Lowell to know, we want fans to know that we are endeavoring to sign him because we want him back. We’d like to see him at third base on Opening Day next year receiving his World Series ring.
“I don’t want to comment, except to say, ‘Mike Lowell, if you’re watching, we want you back.”

Peter here. We want you back, Mike. Sweet words indeed. Now, Red Sox front office, make it happen. The Herald article went on to say that the Yankees withdrew their four year offer to him after they locked up AROD and when Mike informed them he did NOT want to make the switch to first base. So now, with the Sox being just about the only team out there in the Lowell sweepstakes, all they should have to do is up the offer to four years at $48 to $52 million and we'd all be happy. I know, I know, easier said than done. But he's still only 33, and with him back, the world championship infield AND outfield, at least the starting nine (DH included), would be intact. Throw in a couple added arms to the 'pen, and the Red Sox would be more than ready to defend the World Series title, with a Schill in better shape, a Beckett who's simply Beckett, a Daisuke who'll be more comfortable in his second year, a young phenom who goes by the name of Clay, an inning eater named Wakefield and the cancer free and talented Jon Lester. Yes, that's six pitchers in the starting rotation, and that's a whole lot better than four! Julian Tavarez will be relegated to a long relief role, an important one, too. So I'm optimistic about everything except for the empty chasm at third base. C'mon back Mikey!! And this, just in, from Pinstripe Alley, a New York Yankees blog.....

"A source close to the Lowell side of the negotiations tells 7Sports that each offer is a 4-year contract, worth between $55-60 million. The Yankees offer includes a request that Lowell play First Base, something the Gold-Glove-winning third baseman does not want to do."

Peter here, and thank you Pinstripe Alley!! That's the first time I've heard that the Sox offer has climbed to the four year level. YAY! Enjoy your Saturday, and your weekend, and click on the title of this post for the entire Boston Herald article, penned by the always entertaining and informative Michael Silverman. Thanks for being here, and any and all comments, which have dwindled to a precious few since the glow of the World Series has softly faded, would be appreciated. Be well, be safe and be happy. Forever.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Red Sox International Speaks!

I have a blog friend who goes by the name of Superbowl. He is a super blogger from Tokyo who reads my blog, as well as the Boston sports pages, every day. In fact, his blog is listed on my link list, under "Japan's Superbowl Blog." It's mostly in Japanese, but you can tell how much he and his friends love the Red Sox. Here's an email I received last night...short but sweet....

"Hello Peter san. This is Superbowl
I'm sorry that I wrote too soon last mail.
I have seen that Sox trip to JAPAN doesn't mean a good news for RSN fans and even for players.
Please forgive my regardlessness.

Still RSN Int'l

Peter here, and he was reacting to the inconvenience and time zone suffering that our Sox will go through. I assured him that the joy brought to Japan and its baseball fans more than offset the minor inconvience to the team and the more major heartache for those who thrive on visiting Fort Myers for a little taste of spring training. He and his friends are all huge Sox lovers, and his blog was even written up in the Boston Globe. And he was instrumental in spreading the word about Hideki Okajima's nickname, "the Darkman." The nic caught on there more than it did here, but it just goes to show you...we're all the same when it comes to the love of this game of baseball. Thank you, Superbowl san. Thank you Red Sox International. And of course, Red Sox Nation. And this is his reply, just recieved......

"Thank you for your email and latest blog post.
I was very impressed by your words "we're all the same"
It's enough for every Sox fan in Japan and all around the world.
Thanks again Peter-san !"

Well said, my friend. You made me very happy with your thoughtful words!

Red Sox Versus Yankees For Mike Lowell

Here we go again on this Friday November morning. The winds have turned around to blow from the northwest, chilling everybody in the Northeast. And the winds of change on the baseball front have turned more sinister, too. This is from the Hartford Courant....

"The Cardinals, Braves, Angels and Phillies, four of seven teams identified in the past 48 hours as prime suitors, have backed off. Only the Dodgers have not publicly taken themselves out of the race.
The Yankees might be the one team that trumps the Red Sox's reported three-year offer in the $40 million range. Thursday night, Boston's WBZ-TV reported the Yankees have offered Lowell a four-year deal between $56 million and $60 million, but with the caveat that the Gold Glove winner switch to first base. Lowell turns 34 in February."

Peter here, and yes, shades of Johnny Damon again. The Boston Red Sox, again acting stubbornly, will have to up their modest three year offer to a four year deal worth close to the amount of money the Yankees have agreed to shell out. If it's close and the years are the same, we all know that Mike will be back, and back playing third base, his first love, not first base. Even if the Sox sign him for four, they can always switch Youk and Lowell from first to third for the last two years of the contract, if necessary. So I say the world champions should go for it, and not only to keep Mikey away from their hated rivals. We need Mike Lowell's bat, his defense and his clubhouse presence. So many of the current Soxers have lauded Mikey for his helpful and encouraging words and deeds during the never forgettable 2007 season. So we have to hope, and wait. I'm getting used to this. And I do not like it one bit!

In the leading sports story, Barry Bonds has hit his final home run. Prosecuters have served Bonds with a 5 count indictment, charging him with lieing to a grand jury and obstructing justice. He might not be able to wiggle out of this one by claiming he never knowingly ingested any body-altering substances. I have no sympathy for the man. He's always been an a**hole to the media representatives in and around the clubhouse, and his body shape has morphed into something entirely different than it was. We'll see how this one plays out, but don't expect to see Barry Bonds on a baseball field in 2008. Or ever.

Hey, enjoy your Friday and the upcoming weekend, and click on the title of this post for more on the Mike Lowell developing fisticuffs between New York and Boston. It's an article by the Herald's Rob Bradford, entitled "LOWELL AND BEHOLD, DECISION LOOMS." My Constant Readers, be safe and be well. Turkey day is coming up at light speed, stuffing and all! Love ya!!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

AROD Negotiates WITHOUT Boras...Schill On Lowell

Today on this early Thursday morning, all signs are pointing towards AROD returning to the New York Yankees. For a decade. He and his wife traveled to Florida to meet with the Steinbrenners, and it looks like there is a 10 year deal in the works that would pay him roughly $27 million per year. That's $270 million shekals! A quarter of a billion smackers!! My goodness. A $25 million incentive will be built into it when (not if) he passes Bonds, Ruth and Aaron to become the all-time home run king. If he does go back to the Yankees, it might (accent on "might") mean there is a better chance that Mike Lowell will return to the Red Sox, but I don't think the Sox will EVER give him the four year deal he's looking for. And that doesn't make Mike Lowell a villain for holding out for what he wants. Curt Schilling put it best yesterday, on WEEI radio. Here's part of what he said....

"I really, honestly, don't want to see this turn into a segment of people against Mike Lowell or Mike Lowell's greedy," pitcher Curt Schilling told WEEI-AM Wednesday. "Mike Lowell earned the right to do what he is doing. Mike's signing probably one of the last huge contracts he's going to have a chance to sign. I want him to get everything he can get.
"If it's three years and $45 million here and three years and $49 million or $50 million somewhere ... he's staying here. I would bet my bottom dollar he's staying here, just in knowing the man. But if someone offers him four [years] at $58 [million], or four at $60 [million] and he's at $40 [million], do you blame him? No, you don't, and you can't."

Peter here, and I totally agree with Curt, outspoken though he is. You know why? What he said makes perfect sense. This will be Mikey's last chance for "the big one," and no one should deny him that chance of lifetime financial security for his family and himself. He certainly deserves it. And there are unsubstantiated rumors out there that the Yankees covet Mike Lowell, not for third base with AROD's imminent return, but TO PLAY FIRST BASE. They certainly are in a money spending mood this lonely month of November, and they want to "stick it" to the World Champions. Ha! But what an infield that would make! Wow.

Lastly, the Boston Red Sox will open the season in Japan. This is from the Hartford Courant....

"Major League Baseball announced Wednesday the Red Sox and Oakland A's will play the first two games of 2008 at the Tokyo Dome March 25 and 26.
The Red Sox and A's will also play exhibition games against Japanese teams March 22 and 23.
With Matsuzaka and All-Star Hideki Okajima returning to their homeland, the tour promises to be a marketing success for MLB in Japan."

Peter here, and the Sox, already a favorite in Japan, will become even more so. And when they return to the States, jetlag will be reduced to a minimum because they will play two exhibition games on the left coast before resuming the early April season in Oakland. But there's a big drawback....the Red Sox spring training schedule will be cut by almost two weeks. There are members of RSN who plan on spending time in Florida every year, watching their Sox play in Fort Myers. But it's eastward ho, and the games will be televised here in the early morning hours. There's an approximately 12 hour time difference, so an evening game there is a morning game here. Oh well, rush hour morning drive time with the Sox and A's! Nice way to get to work.

Click on the title of this post for the Globe's Nick Carfado's look at yesterday, not a great day for the Red Sox in terms of free agents comings and goings. Have a wonderful Thursday, be safe and be happy. Forever. As always, your comments are welcome. Now click on that title for a very interesting and tought provoking Sox article. Thanks.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

On Second Thought.....

He wasn't robbed. We weren't robbed. But that's the way I ended my last post. I was referring to the Cy Young Award voting that bequeathed the honor to Cleveland's CC Sabathia. I was in the heat of the moment, but now I've gone over all their stats, and I can relunctantly say that the voting could have gone either way. As it turned out, it wasn't even close, with Sabathia garnering 19 of 28 first place votes to Beckett's 8. It might have been the innings pitched that turned the trick, with Sabathia throwing 40 more innings over the regular season. And that showed in the postseason, as he was wild and ineffective when facing a mound opponent like Beckett and a batting lineup like the Red Sox. Hey, we have the rings, they don't. 'Nuff said!

There is absolutely no news on the Lowell front to report. But the Yankees, after already securing Jorge Posada's services for another 4 years, two of which he'll be their catcher and two spent at first base and/or DH, have offered their closer, Mariano Rivera, a three year $45 million dollar contract, which would make him the highest paid reliever in all of baseball. That's the type of moolah that would have locked up Mike Lowell for three years, unless he has his heart set on a four year deal. But we have to wait for our third base slot to be filled. Who will be playing defense at the hot corner and batting fifth in 2008 and beyond? We have no idea.

Enjoy your Wednesday hump day as we slide towards the weekend, and click on the title of this post for the Herald's Michael Silverman's Red Sox notebook, which looks at the Lowell non-goings on, among other things. Be well and be safe, and as always, your comments are more than welcome.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Josh Is OUR Cy Young Award Winning Pitcher....Not According To The Powers-That-Be, Though....

No, not this year...the voting, as I said in an earlier post, took place BEFORE October. WE know that Josh is the best pitcher in baseball....CC Sabathia knows it too! What a major gaffe by those who voted. Hey, we're World Series Champions, the best in the world, but as the famous words go...."HE WAS ROBBED!" WE WAS, TOO!

Josh Day Today??

"The American League Cy Young Award will be announced Tuesday, with Josh Beckett of the Red Sox and C.C. Sabathia of the Cleveland Indians the favorites.
Beckett was the major league's only 20-game winner in 2007, striking out 194 batters and compiling a 3.27 ERA.
He was a perfect 4-0 in the playoffs, including two critical wins in the American League Championship Series against the Cleveland Indians."

Peter here, and that was from a wire report. The Cy Young Award voting was completed BEFORE the postseason, and CC Sabathia had some strength at that time. We all know now that Josh "Baseball" Beckett is the best pitcher in the game, but what we don't know is how the Cy Young voting ended up. Good luck carried us with your mighty right arm all season long! And for that, we will NEVER forget you!!!

Our Second Baseman Supreme...And A Mike Lowell Downer

He finished tenth in the American League with a .317 batting average, the highest EVER for a rookie second baseman. He led all the rookies in doubles with 39. He was second with a .380 on base average and third in runs with 86. His name is Dustin Pedroia, and he ran away with the American League Rookie of the Year balloting, finishing with 24 of the 28 first place votes. And he's a team player. He said this after the Red Sox conquered the baseball world yet again.....

"The only thing I cared about was trying to help the team win," Pedroia said. "That was our ultimate goal. We set out to try to win the American League East and try to win the World Series. We accomplished both of those things. I think that if you're dedicated into team goals, individual goals will come later."

Peter here, and that's quite a mature and smart way to look at things. And speaking of looking, we'll be watching Dustin Pedroia man Fenway Park's second base for many, many years to come. And what could be better than that? Another World Series Championship? All in good time, all in good time.

Not all the news was good on Monday, however, as talks between the Red Sox and Mike Lowell's Levinson brothers agents broke down. As of this morning (Tuesday), any and all interested teams can "talk turkey" with them. And you can bet your bottom dollar that they will. Mike Lowell is not only wanted (and needed) in the Bronx, but in many other baseball cities as well. Remember, he batted .324, played a tremendous hot corner, and was an all-around great teammate. He would be missed. But the $36 million offer the Red Sox submitted was more of a joke than a sincere attempt to sign one of our heros. They might have other things and other players in mind (think AROD, I hate to say), but we'll never know until something happens. Lowell's side wants four years, and they know they can get it from one team or another (or another, or another). An older Jorge Posada, who had a fantastic 2007, just inked a four year deal with that pinstriped team, so why, in Mike's case, won't the Sox offer a reasonable four year pact? I KNOW he's 34 and will be 38 at the end of the contract, but he has no blossoming physical problems like Johnny Damon or Petey Martinez did. We'll have to wait, I guess, and hope.

Click on the title of this post for the Boston Herald's Michael Silverman's article all about the American League's runaway Rookie of the Year, and enjoy your Tuesday. From now in mid November right through the all important winter meetings in December, and beyond, things will be hoppingly happening. You'll read about it all right here, and I'm so lucky you keep coming back. Be well, and be safe. Always!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Runaway Dustin!

For the first time since Nomar in 1997, a Boston Red Sox player has won the Rookie of the Year Award!! It wasn't even close!!!! Well deserved, too. Congrats, DUSTIN PEDROIA!

Dustin's Day

Today, Monday November 12th, is the day the American League Rookie of the Year Award is handed out, and I can't think of anyone more deserving than our second baseman, Dustin Pedroia. Not only did he have a tremendous year at the plate after an awful start when people were calling for his head on a platter, he provided the defense at second base that is a requirement for any world championship team. And he did it with a broken hamate bone in his left hand for the last few months of the season. Hitting coach Dave Magadan had this to say about our pint-sized bundle of talent....

"He’s just got so much intestinal fortitude. He’s got a driving force inside him. Whether it’s always being told he was too little to play, or that he can’t play, he has had to always prove people wrong. The injury probably goes along those same lines: ‘I’m not going to let this thing beat me and make me suffer.’ He’s just fun to be around.”

Peter here, and Dustin never let us down. In fact, as the season progressed, month by month, Pedroia's batting average soared. He will be a fixture at second base for the Boston Red Sox for many years to come. And I couldn't be happier.

This is from the Boston Herald, as we are on the eve of the deadline for exclusive talks with Mike Lowell and his agents, the Levinson brothers. My comments will follow.....

"With their exclusive negotiating rights set to expire at midnight, the Red Sox [team stats] continued to work with Mike Lowell’s agents, Sam and Seth Levinson, in hopes of reaching an agreement before the deadline.
Following yesterday’s talks, both sides understand that Lowell will certainly be able to garner more money from teams such as the New York Yankees, Los Angeles Dodgers, Philadelphia Phillies or Los Angeles Angels than he would from the Red Sox.
The question that continues to linger is how much the 33-year-old third baseman is willing to leave on the table in order to remain with the Sox."

Peter here, and I can tell you this, my Constant Readers. No one would want to leave THAT much money on the table after being offered a paltry and sure to be rejected $12 million per year for three years. Either the Red Sox knew that the offer was one sure to be rejected, or they have something else up their nefarious sleeves. To me, the offer was a pure and simple INSULT!

Click on the title of this post for the entire Rob Bradford Boston Herald article on Dustin Pedroia, soon destined for glory. Really soon! And that makes me so proud.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Veteran's Day 2007

Today, Sunday November 11th, 2007, is the day we honor our veterans. Alive or passed away, they are ALL our heros. Take a moment and say a prayer for each and every one of those brave men and women, for they help ensure that America truly is "the land of the free, and the home of the brave." From my heart to yours, THANK YOU.

If Not Mike Lowell, Then Who?

Tony Massarotti of the Boston Herald wrote a very interesting article in the Sunday edition of that newspaper. It's title is "Plan B Begins With A," and it is all about what the Red Sox will do in case Mike Lowell goes elsewhere. Here's a little bit of it....I'll link the entire thought provoking piece, so just click on the title of this post. Here's that taste....

"The Red Sox certainly seem sincere about their attempt to re-sign Lowell, who is (and should be) their first choice. The question is at what cost. From the very start of this negotiation, the sticking point was going to be the term of the deal, be it three years or four. (The Sox have offered the former and Lowell wants the latter.) Most have correctly assumed, too, that Lowell will earn between $12-$15 million annually, which puts a three-year package between $36-$45 million.
So what did the Sox do out of the gate? They offered $36 million, a proposal that almost certainly will be rejected, if it has not been already. (The Sox undoubtedly expected this.) With the Philadelphia Phillies, New York Yankees and Los Angeles Angels all in need of a third baseman, Lowell almost certainly will get a four-year offer in the range of at least $48-50 million when he is able to discuss financial terms with other clubs this week."

Peter here. I didn't know that the Sox offer to their third baseman was only for $12 million a year....Mikey SHOULD reject that. But at the same time, I can see why the club is balking at a four year deal. After all, Lowell's 34. But $36 million? C'mon front office! That's insulting!! I see now why there has been no news as of yet, and Monday night is fast approaching. I do not understand the logic. Why not make the guy an offer that would be seriously considered rather than rejected, and rightly so? Does the club really want AROD?? The boos of the Fenway Faithful will quickly change to wild and enthusiastic cheers once Alex dons that sacred uniform, that I know. But that's about ALL I know right now. Except for one important thing. I WANT MIKE LOWELL BACK....I just don't want the club to screw him, and that's exactly what their initial offer accomplished.

Please read Massarotti's entire article, and if you wish, leave a comment for me to respond to....what do you think the Sox are up to with such a devastatingly low offer? Did they just go through the formality of a salary proposal when anyone who can read can tell that it was a half-assed one? Are they coveting AROD for the hot corner? He'd hit 50 home runs easily with half of his games at Fenway. Right now I can't fathom the thought processes of Theo, John, Larry and all the powers-that-be who make these decisions. And remember, Mike Lowell had a higher batting average than Alex did, and his defense, at least to me, is superior. So please click on the title of this post to read the entire article, and then I'd love to hear from you. Have a great Sunday. Here in North Central Connecticut, it's the coldest morning of this late autumn season--20 degrees F. Something we'll all get used to as the days grow shorter and the afternoon shadows grow longer. And right now the shadows are masking the bright face of third base. And I don't like it. Not at all.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Our Big Big Papi, David Ortiz, Wins The Silver Slugger Award....Again!!

For his position as DH, our David Ortiz has won the Silver Slugger award. Again!! Congrats, David. You KNOW how much we love you!

Oh...the latest, on this cold November weekend, on Mike Lowell, from the Boston Globe......

"Lowell and the Sox appear to be within striking distance of an agreement, the major issue remaining three years vs. four. The Sox are willing to go for a three-year deal, a major step for them; Lowell's side believes four years (at approximately $56 million) is attainable in the open market.
Epstein, who is back in Boston after this week's general managers' meetings in Orlando, Fla., characterized yesterday as quiet. He said he exchanged messages with the Levinson brothers, Lowell's agents, and they agreed to keep talking this weekend. Lowell can begin negotiating with other teams starting Tuesday."

Peter here, and little steps sometime morph into GIANT steps, but insisting on four years would undermine my belief that Mike wants to return to the Sox. I think that it's his money hungry agents talking, and he will veto their thoughts and JUST COME BACK! As Cyn said, in her great blog named RED SOX CHICK, which is linked on my link list..."The waiting is the hardest part." So true, Cyn!

Johan Santana To Sox? No Way, No How!

I had a good laugh this morning, and I wanted to share it with you. My newspaper carrier, who's a nice guy AND a Red Sox fan, told me that he was listening to New York City's all sports radio station, WFAN, and they were interviewing some kind of baseball expert. After Brian (my paper guy) told me what that person had to say, I seriously doubted he's any kind of baseball expert at all. In fact, I mentally checked the calender to make sure it wasn't April Fool's Day. The fact that this absurdity was on a NYC radio station was not lost on me, either. Here goes....he (the "expert") said that the Sox were frontrunners in the quest to land Johan Santana, the great lefty. He said that the Sox, to make room for Santana, were said to be ready to trade Jon Lester and (get this!) Clay Buchholz to make room for him. At first, I couldn't speak (it was early!), and what came out of my mouth was a laugh, a rather loud one for 5:30AM in the morning. Then I explained to Brian that the Sox are chock full of starters and not in a million zillion years would they trade a future superstar like Buchholz, or a lefty with such a promising future like Jon. But Brian was adamant that that was what the "expert" said. I told him that if that nonsense came to pass, I would GIVE him my computer, it would rain money and I'd turn into a frog. In THAT order! Puh-leeze!! I could use the money, but IT AIN'T GONNA HAPPEN! I wish I had heard what Brian heard, just for the giggles. Talk about something that makes absolutely no sense! Jeez!!

Ok, back to reality. I guess we have to. But have you ever heard something THAT ridiculous? Phew! The Mike Lowell waiting and watching fest continues, and I really hope something comes down over the weekend or on Monday, because after that Mikey and his Levinson brother agents can talk to ANY team. I am confident that Mike, if he wants to stay in Boston as much as he says he does, will take the three years guaranteed ($42 to $45 million) and be his wonderful self, patrolling the hot corner and batting in the all-important fifth spot. I just KNOW it. I've been wrong before, but not this time. Please!

Click on the title of this post for a Boston Herald article from today all about Dustin Pedroia, his search for a Boston home and his hopes that Mike Lowell will come back to HIS team, the World Champion best in the world Boston Red Sox. Hey, thanks for being here. I hope you enjoyed the Santana nonsense, and I'd love to read your comments about it. Have a wonderful and safe weekend. I'll be here, bright and early, every day. Count on me as much as I count on you. RED SOX FOREVER!

Friday, November 09, 2007

It's Up To You, Mr. Mike Lowell....

The Boston Red Sox have offered a GUARANTEED three year contract deal to Mike Lowell and his agents, the Levinson brothers. A National Baseball League official, not named, said that the third baseman should be "very happy" with the terms of the contract-to-be (we have to hope!). But the signals coming out of Boston are more of the mixed variety. Read this, from the Boston Herald....

"While they are not sending out any take-it-or-leave-it signals to his camp, the Red Sox made a three-year guaranteed offer to third baseman Mike Lowell, that one club source described as “really strong.”
As the general managers meetings concluded, there was a belief coming from the ballclub that their offer is competitive enough that if Lowell truly wants to re-sign with the Sox (!!!!!) -- which the club believes and which the club wants to happen -- then their three-year offer is significant enough to make him want to stay."

Peter here, the exclamation points were mine, and that three year deal is on the table. Mikey, we want you back, you WANT to be back, so please don't hold out for a four year offer, because you probably ain't going to get it from the Red Sox. Show us how you feel. Schill took a hit to stay, and you wouldn't even be taking a hit, because the new contract will be worth (my educated guess) $14 million or so per year. We need you to help us win a second World Championship in a row.

Wow, I'm finished. The National League quote I used earlier was from a wee hour of the morning (3:20AM) ESPN radio update, by the way. What was I doing awake at that time of the night? Who knows? I woke up and couldn't go back to sleep, so I put the radio on. Back to the important stuff now....I hope this works out, because Lowell is the anchor of our infield, and along with Youkilis, Pedroia and Lugo, well, that's a championship infield!

Click on the title of this post for the entire Boston Herald article about the up to date Mike Lowell situation. Any comments? Do you think Lowell will accept this three year deal, or will he hold out for four. You KNOW my feelings! Hey, I LOVE this team, and thanks for reading. Don't forget to click on that title!

Thursday, November 08, 2007

More Mike Lowell News? WHY NOT!

From Newsday dot com......

ORLANDO, Fla. - "Mike Lowell's return to the Red Sox appears inevitable, and Yankees general manager Brian Cashman is resigned to the fact that Alex Rodriguez's replacement will have to come via the trade market.
Lowell, the 2007 World Series Most Valuable Player, could re-sign with the Red Sox before Tuesday, when free agents can begin negotiating with other clubs."

Peter here, just to keep our hopes high!!

And, In THIS Corner.....

The AL Rookie of the Year award will be announced this coming Monday, November 12th. This is from mlb dot com, again with a smile! From me!!

"Boston second baseman Dustin Pedroia led all rookies in batting average at .317, on-base plus slugging at .823, runs scored with 86 and doubles with 39.
The diminutive 24-year-old began the season in a horrible slump, batting just .172 on May 1. The fans were clamoring for popular backup Alex Cora to take Pedroia's spot in the lineup, but Red Sox manager Terry Francona stuck with him, and had his faith was rewarded.
Pedroia batted .335 between May 3 and the end of the season, working his way from the No. 9 spot in Boston's lineup all the way to the leadoff hole.
He won over the fans with his ability to fight through at-bats, tallying 165 hits and 47 walks while only striking out 42 times - ranking him second among all AL players with 12.4 at-bats per strikeout.
Pedroia was at his best during Boston's playoff run, hitting .345 against the Cleveland Indians in the American League Championship Series and clubbing a two-run homer in the decisive Game Seven. He hit .283 in the World Series against the Colorado Rockies and led off Game One with a home run."

Peter here, and sweet news yet again to come? At least it looks that way, and it would be a HUGE injustice if anyone else wins the award. My goodness, Monday might be another double-barreled good news Sox day. Stay tuned, right here. And click on the title of this very post for the entire article, which includes the names of three other Sox players, pitchers, in fact! I know you know who they are! What do you think?

The News We Are Waiting To Hear...Is Close!!!!

From the combined wire services on this Thursday 22 F degree morning....

"Third baseman Mike Lowell, the World Series MVP, could re-sign with the Red Sox before Tuesday, when free agents can begin negotiating with other teams. "We're hopeful," Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein said at the GM meetings in Orlando. Lowell, who turns 34 in February, likely will sign a deal that guarantees him three years."

Peter here, and I thought I'd try to start your day off with a huge smile plastered right across your kisser! When the official word comes down (by Tuesday, we have to hope!), I know that's exactly what will happen to me. A HUGE smile!! For our infield will be intact, our outfield will be the same as last year, and all that's needed is a little "bullpen tuning." And what a great feeling THAT is!

Roger Clemens news, or non- news is more like it.....from the Courant....

"In a sign that Roger Clemens' playing career could be over, his agent told the Astros on Wednesday that the seven-time Cy Young winner is set to start his personal-services contract with the team.
It's the first time agent Randy Hendricks formally told the Astros that Clemens, who pitched for Houston from 2004-2006, was ready to work off the field.
Clemens, 45, was 6-6 with a 4.18 ERA in 17 starts and one relief appearance for the Yankees last season. He rejoined them in June and was paid $17.4 million, a prorated portion of his $28 million salary.
Clemens was slowed by injuries, then hurt a hamstring and left in the third inning of his playoff start against the Indians."

Peter here, and for what he accomplished last year, those Yankees were RIPPED OFF! But they're the Yankees...who cares? I know I don't.

For more on the Lowell talks between the Sox and the Levinsons, click on the title of this post. It's an article by the Herald's Michael Silverman, whose outlook is bleaker than it should be. MARK MY WORDS. Mikey will be signed for three years by the Boston Red Sox before Tuesday, November 13th, 2007. And it'll be a day we will all remember next October as one of the keys to our 2008 second consecutive World Championship! Wishful thinking?? We never know, do we? And I've gotten a few comments, mostly via email, that with 7 pitchers (including Tavy) ready for a spot in the 5 man rotation, there will be a trade involving one of our starters. NOTHING could be further from the truth! Trust me.

Enjoy this Thursday...we're over the hump and sliding towards the weekend. And I'd love to read and respond to your comments, too. Thanks for being here!

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

A Six Man Rotation In 2008?

Good morning on this Wednesday, the day after Kevin Youkilis' Gold Glove award and Curt Schilling's signing were announced. With Schill, there are six men ready to slide into the starting rotation, seven if you include Julian Tavarez, who will be used in long relief. Would a six man rotation benefit the club? Theo Epstein had some thoughts on this very subject, and here they are, from the Hartford Courant....

".....a rotation that goes six deep with Tim Wakefield (re-signed last week), Josh Beckett, Daisuke Matsuzaka, Jon Lester and Clay Buchholz. Epstein said there would be discussions about using a six-man rotation next season, although that remains theoretical.
"We've tried to build as much starting depth as possible, realizing that the free agent market was pretty thin," Epstein said. "We feel pretty good about all the starters we have, and if you add [Julian] Tavarez, we have seven guys that we feel pretty good about. It usually takes that many to get through a whole year.
"We've discussed the concept of the six-man rotation. I think it's premature to commit to any usage pattern. But certainly we're in a unique situation where a number of our starters might benefit from something like that. It's an interesting concept, but not something we've fully explored yet."

Peter here. and this concept needs a lot of thought. On one hand, the wear and tear on the Red Sox starters would be lessened along with the number of innings pitched over the course of a baseball season. Yet some pitchers, Josh Beckett in particular, thrive on pitching every fifth day, and if it ain't broke, don't fix it, especially in Josh's case (Cy Young Award winner-he HAS to be!) Guys like Daisuke Matsuzaka, however, would benefit from that extra day of rest between starts. And Curt Schilling, who has an incentive in his new contract, among others, that rewards him for each extra ten innings he pitches over a set minimum, might frown on this whole discussion. Theo and company have to think of the starting rotation as a "unit," and do what is right for that "unit." And it will not be an easy decision to make. I hope they can concentrate, for now, on one thing....RE-SIGN MIKE LOWELL, and then worry about the makeup of our talented pitching staff later. Remember, all the pitching pieces are there, it's the assembly and usage that remain question marks. And that's NOT true of most clubs in MLB. The Red Sox are in better shape because their pitching staff, except for two additions to the bullpen (more on that in another post) is all set and roaring to go!

In free agents doings, Mike Timlin and the aforementioned Mike Lowell have filed, and they did it yesterday. My feelings are known about Mikey Lowell. As for Timlin, if the price is right and the club uses him the right way, not overburdening him with innings, he would be a nice addition to the 'pen. Time will tell, I guess.

Click on the title of this post for the Herald's Mike Silverman's look at the latest in the quest for Mike, OUR third baseman.....who is so needed to be a big part of the 2008 Boston Red Sox, baseball's best. And you, my Constant Readers, are the best too. I don't know what I'd do without you. Your comments are welcome, and will be answered. Thanks, and stay well.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

YOUKKKKKK!!! More Great Tuesday News!!!!

"Kevin Youkilis was awarded the Gold Glove as the American League's best fielding first baseman today. Youkilis becomes the first Red Sox first baseman to win the award since George "Boomer" Scott, who won his last Gold Glove in 1971. Youkilis was the only Red Sox to win a Gold Glove this year."

Peter here, and what a trifecta of great news on this magic Tuesday. Congrats to the "error-free" man of our infield, KEVIN YOUKILIS. We love you!

IT'S OFFICIAL! Curt Schilling Is A 2008 Member Of The Red Sox!!!!

Oh yes!! A one year $8 million dollar contract, with $5 million in incentives, did it! happy RSN and RSI!! For our Boston Red Sox get better and better each and every day!

Curt Schilling To Stay With the Red Sox...Pettitte Declines An Option Year With The Yankees

Here are two pieces of good news for all of us in Red Sox Nation and Red Sox International to help start your Tuesday on the right foot. Number one, according to the Boston Herald and Curt Schilling himself, he and the club are very close to an agreement on an incentive-laden one year contract. Here is what the man himself had to say, from his blog......

"Talks with the Red Sox are moving. Theo and I have spoken multiple times daily over the past week and given the current situation I am feeling very confident that we will be able to finalize a 1 year contract to allow us a chance to finish our career as members of the Red Sox organization.
“There are some things to iron out and details that must be finalized for both sides but barring something unforeseen or outrageously odd happening I feel very comfortable that I will finish my career here.”

Peter here, and that is such a welcome turn of events. The market for free agent pitchers this off season is a nortoriously thin one, and Curt wanted to stay anyways. It was the fans' wish too, and he'll fit perfectly in that number two slot of the rotation, right after Josh Beckett and before Daisuke Matsuzaka. Jon Lester, Clay Buchholz and Timmy Wakefield should be competing for the final spot. I know, I know...that's six arms, but as we all learned last season, you can never have enough pitching. And the acquisition of Schill will allow Theo and company to add an arm or two to the bullpen, where the departure of Brendan Donnelly, due to injury, has left a gaping hole. We can't count on Paps and Oki every time. Now, it's on to another pressing and important issue. His name is Mike Lowell. He plays third base, and WE WANT HIM BACK. Theo said this yesterday...

“With respect to third basemen, signing Mike is our clear priority,” Epstein said.

Peter here, and those are the words we want to hear. Now, as for Andy Pettitte, arguably the most consistant pitcher for the Yankees in '07, especially during September and their short post season, the Herald had these wonderful words to say....

"Andy Pettitte declined his $16 million option with the New York Yankees.
Pettitte’s agent, Randy Hendricks, said yesterday in an e-mail to The Associated Press. “Accordingly, we are declining to exercise the option for 2008 and Andy will declare free agency in order to free up a roster spot for the Yankees.
“If Andy decides to play, I am confident we can reach an agreement with the Yankees within 24 hours. The only options, as Andy has stated, are the Yankees or retirement."

Peter here, and I, Sox fan that I am, hope he chooses the latter. He will leave a huge void in the Yankees' rotation, a team that for 2008 will have a very different player roster. They also need to re-sign Jorge Posada in the worst way-his departure would leave them in a heap of trouble.

Well, after reading that double-barreled chunk of great news, I hope that you will enjoy this still-dark Tuesday. The Sox are close to signing Schill and putting the emphasis on retaining the services of Mikey Lowell. And that's just what we wanted to hear. Hey, be safe out there, and I'd LOVE to read and respond to any and all of your comments. And click on the title of this post for the Globe's Nick Carfado's look at what's going on with the Schill and Lowell negotiations. Thanks. For being here!

Monday, November 05, 2007

Winter Meeting Preview For The Red Sox

I hope you all enjoyed the New England Patriots' thrilling comeback victory over the Indianapolis Colts. Down by a score of 20-10 with 9 1/2 minutes left, they abandoned their running attack and stuck to the airwaves. With great success. Two touchdowns made the final score 24-20 Patriots, and they remain unbeaten at 9-0. Great job by Tom Brady and superstar receiver Randy Moss, among so many others.

Fox Sports dot com had an interesting article about baseball's upcoming winter meetings, and briefly delved into the needs of each and every MLB team, including the Boston Red Sox. Here is what they had to say about the world champions (I LOVE typing that!).....

"The world champs face tough decisions on Mike Lowell and Curt Schilling. There's of course the Alex Rodriguez scuttle going around, but the fans and clubhouse are united in wanting to see Lowell back. The Yankees may drive up Lowell's price, so that's something to be considered. There's nothing on the market after Lowell and A-Rod, so if the Sox fail to sign one of those two they may be forced to trade for a Joe Crede or a Miguel Tejada. The pitching market is similarly thin, so Boston might do well to take Schilling up on his offer to sign a one-year deal. Otherwise, they might be in the mix for top import pitcher Hiroki Kuroda."

Peter here, and wow, it seems like the team we love to love doesn't have many needs. Number one, I totally agree they should sign Schill for the one year contract that he desires. He will come back in the spring in much better shape than he was this past year, and there is a perfect spot for him in the rotation. Please Theo! Now, on to Mikey Lowell. Two words---SIGN HIM! Two more words---FORGET AROD! Red Sox Nation, Red Sox International and all of his fellow teammates unanimously want him back. So what that he's 34. Give him a two year deal with an option for a third, or just a straight three year contract. We demand it! And most importantly, he wants to be back playing third base for the Red Sox, and everyone knows it, management, the fans and fellow players alike.

The entire Fox Sports dot com article, with the needs of every MLB team on the planet included, is linked when you click on the title of this post. So enjoy your Monday, the first full week of November, and thanks for visiting my little corner of the internet's blue nowhere. And it's refreshingly nice to see the first traces of the sun before 6:20 AM EST. Those 7:25 AM sunrises were getting on my nerves! Be safe, be well and be happy. Any comments...I'll read and answer EVERY one. Promise.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Josh Beckett. Right Now, The Best There Is!

I've talked to some of my neighbors, who comprise a 50-50 mix of Sox fans and Yankee fans. It's the opinion of the New York fans that matter most to me right now for this Sunday morning, eastern STANDARD time post. Yes, that's right, we DID get an extra hour of sleep last night, but the only thing I accomplished was waking up an hour earlier than normal, and I was unable to go back to sleep. So I got out of bed, took a shower, had breakfast and began writing this post to you. Oh, where was I? Josh Beckett! Got it. Almost every one of the Yankee fan neighbors I talked to, actually it was more like a quiz, to be more precise, answered this when I asked them their opinion of the Red Sox starting pitching staff, in the World Series and the ALCS. It was unanimous....they all thought that the best pitcher around right now, National and/or American League, is none other than Josh Beckett. Mind you, this is from Yankee fans only. WE all know it to be true, but to hear it from pinstriped fans is nice indeed. This is from the Sunday Boston Globe, penned by the great Gordon Edes.....

"His (Josh) postseason record of 6-2 with an accompanying ERA of 1.73 is pretty good. But it's the last five starts that have gotten our attention. You have to go back to names such as Koufax and Gibson to find someone who has been as dominant in the playoffs as Josh Beckett has been in his last two postseasons.

Wins the clinching Game 6 of the World Series on (first-ever) three days' rest, throwing five-hit shutout.

Wins Game 1 of the ALDS with four-hit shutout of Angels.
Wins Game 1 of the ALCS, giving up two earned runs in six innings in 10-3 victory over the Indians.
Wins Game 5 of the ALCS with an eight-inning, five-hit, one-run elimination-game victory.
Wins Game 1 of the World Series with seven-inning, six-hit, one-run performance against the Rockies.

Wade through it all, and you'll see that Beckett has been essentially unhittable in the games that matter most."

Peter here...sort of makes you smile, doesn't it? And the feelings of the aforementioned Yankee fans, most (who am I kidding...ALL!) of whom absolutely HATE the Red Sox, is a further kudo to the pinpoint excellence that Josh showed, not only in the games that meant the most, but through the entire season. Thank you, Josh "Baseball" Beckett, as I've called him since April. You are truly the epitome of the best of everything. We owe you our gratitude. And we can't wait for next year.

Have a great weekend, Constant Readers, as the sun comes up over the horizon here in Connecticut at the thankfully early hour of 6:29 AM EST. Click on the title of this post for a Boston Globe article written, again, by Gordon Edes. It's a celebration of the 2007 Boston Red Sox, who are at the very top of the baseball world, just where we like them!! Enjoy your Sunday, and don't forget that 4:15 PM EST showdown between the undefeated New England Patriots and the undefeated Indianapolis Colts. It's not Sox baseball, but wow, it should be great! Be safe, be well. Forever.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Two Reasons Why The Sox Won It All

I want to give you the two of the most important reasons why the Boston Red Sox are the World Champions. Their names are John Farrell and Terry Francona. First, our pitching coach. John did a tremendous job with our pitching staff, starters and relievers alike. When there was an injury, the correct measures were taken to heal it. If a guy was in some sort of trouble out on the mound, he would trot out there and calm his pitcher, imparting invaluable information as to what might be the matter, and how to fix it. In most cases, it worked! Look at our team ERA....unbelievable, and in the World Series, even better. Great job, John Farrell. Thank you.

And now to our manager supreme, Mr. Terry Francona. Two times in the last four years, he has taken his team, OUR team, to the pinnacle of success, the World Championship. And it's no coincidence he did it twice. His blend of caring and patient nuturing of the youngest players all the way up to the most grizzled of veterans was the secret. His ability to know JUST when to take a starter out and go to his strong bullpen was, for the most part, the best in all of baseball. Again, look at the stats and the innings pitched, the careful use of Jonathon Papelbon until the time of the year came when he was unleashed on the baseball world, with great success, and his general likeability to players and fans alike. Red Sox Nation and Red Sox International are so lucky to have him, for in Tito Francona, we have the best manager in all of baseball. Tito, thank you, and that's from all of us out here who live and die by your team's fortunes. For all the happiness and joy in our hearts and souls, you are SIMPLY THE BEST.

Have a great weekend, everybody. Super-tropical storm Noel will make its impact on mostly eastern and southern New England today, so be careful out there. With the wind and the rain will come slippery roads, what with all the leaves, or most of them, having hit the ground and roads. And what's left of any leaves still clinging to their tree perches will soon also hit the ground, with a healthy helping of Noel wind. Be safe, wear your seatbelts, and have a fantastic, although baseball-less weekend. I guess we'll have to get used to it. For about four months! See ya!!

Oh, click on the title of this post for the news from the Boston Globe, our heartbeat newspaper, that John Farrell has declined to take the Pittsburgh Pirates' managerial job, and will stay with the Red Sox. And that's good news for ALL of us. It's just a bundle of smiles here today, isn't it? And that's just the way I like it!

Friday, November 02, 2007


Good morning! There are two new major league baseball managers, one on each coast. Joe Girardi has officially been named the skipper of the New York Yankees, and has a three year contract. At the press conference held to announce his hiring, he spoke of his Dad, who is sick, and that touched me. The man has a big heart and the love he has for his family is real. He said this, taken from the Hartford Courant's Jeff Jacobs' Friday column....

"My father hasn't spoken in a month," Girardi said as he buttoned up pinstripe jersey No. 27 and secured his Yankee cap. "And when the lady who takes care of my father - he has Alzheimer's - showed him the picture of me as the new Yankee manager, my father said, `Oh, yeah.' This means a lot to our family."
There was a tear in Girardi's voice and, for a second, there was another Torre in The House That Ruth Built and A-Rod Abandoned. This was a moving introductory moment for Girardi."

Peter here, and yes it was. My Dad also suffered from that terrible affliction, and I know exactly how he feels. Good luck to him. At least he won't have to deal with Georgie Porgie.

Also signing a three year deal, this one for $13 million, is Joe Torre, a gifted leader. And he'll need all those leadership skills to handle a team of young players and veterans who never really meshed the way they should have under Grady "leave him in there" Little. I wish him well. He is and always will be a class act, a gentleman who knows what he's doing. Don Mattingly will remain "his man Friday." And that bodes well for the Dodgers. Will Posada or Rivera follow them to Lala land? Only time will tell, but Andy Pettitte has gone on record to say that if he pitches at all in 2008, it will be for the Yankees.

And so it goes, day five of the off season, the time of year when thoughts turn to football and college basketball, the University of Connecticut Huskies for us here in North Central Connecticut. The men are coming off a tough season and will improve. The women? That's another story entirely. They are ranked number two in the country, behind their non-showing nemesis, Tennessee. And they have the best high school player in the nation, BY FAR, coming to Storrs next year. They should be so much fun to watch, and they kick off the 07-08 season with a game against the USA National team, featuring the likes of Diana Taurasi, Sue Bird and Swin Cash, who all played for UCONN in the beginning of this century. This should be a great one to watch, the start of what should be a Final Four season, and it IS televised tonight at 7:30 PM EDT on CPTV (Connecticut Public television).

Wow, I was a little long-winded, but I'm done! Have a wonderful Friday and weekend. The Red Sox news front was quiet (All Quiet on the Fenway Front), except for the news that Doug Mirabelli filed for free agency on Thursday. If he's going to go, we'll miss him. He had an off year with a .202 batting average, but his defense when faced with the Wakefield knuckleballs was unsurpassed. Good luck, Dougie!! Click on the title of this post for the aforementioned Jeff Jacobs and his Friday sports piece. I'm sure you'll enjoy. Be well, be safe, and be happy. Always and forever.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

ANOTHER Missing World Series Ball??

Well, it might have happened again. The last time we saw the ball Jonathon Papelbon threw to end the World Series in game number four, Jason Varitek had stuffed it into his right rear pocket on his way to hug Paps near the mound. And now? Here's what Tek has to say.....

"I already gave it to Pap," Varitek said, not aware the ball was missing. "He has the first two [final outs] from the first two clinching series, and he wanted the third one. No question, I gave it right to him, right away. It's out of my hands. I held it for a little while."

Peter here. By no means is this a serious problem, but the club has said that they'll look into the matter when this World Series furor dies down a bit. It's nothing to lose sleep over. And in other Boston Red Sox news, Eric Gagne has filed for free agency. I'm surprised he waited so long (snicker, snicker). Hey Eric, thank for the draft picks.

And this from Jason Varitek, yet again, on the prospect that Mike Lowell will sign with another team when or if he files for free agency, and his AROD opinion, taken from the Hartford Courant......

"You guys are putting me in a tough spot," Varitek said. "I don't know. I can answer that by, I know Mike [fits in]. That's all I can answer to. I mean, the guy is a great player. Alex is a great player, and he was even better this year than he's ever been. I can say that."
And the fans of Boston have spoken, prompting Varitek himself to hold up a fans' sign calling for Lowell's return along the parade route.
"It turned from a World Series parade to a Mike Lowell parade," Varitek said. "He's such a special teammate to play with. Mike was in the boat behind me and every 10 feet there was a re-sign Lowell sign, so we had fun with it.
"Would I'd like to have Mikey back? Yes. Would I like to see 99 percent of this whole team back? Yes. Mikey's fit well here. It would be a hard guy to replace."

I feel the same way. And we WILL have most of the '07 team back with us for another go around in 2008. Mike Lowell is 34, so a two year deal with an option for a third seems eminently fair to both sides, at least to me. Or just a straight three year deal, because Mike will probably be looking for a four year contract. We all know he wants to stay with his team, and we all know that the powers that be are also aware of this important fact. The makeup of the 2008 Boston Red Sox is vitally important, and having Mike at the "hot corner" is, and will be, a key.

Thanks for being here, my Constant Readers. It looks like Schill is gone. He submitted a list of 12 teams he would play for next year. Conspicously but not surprisingly absent were the New York Yankees. After all, Curt would NEVER pull a "JOHNNY DAMON' on us. NEVER! And that's why we love him, and will continue to love him, no matter what uniform he dons in 2008. And good luck to him....I hope he wins 20 games, but none against us.

Click on the title of this post for the FULL transcript of Jonathon Papelbon on the Dave Letterman Show. It's a very funny four minute interview, and takes about a minute less than that to read. But your smiles are guaranteed, as are your outloud laughs. You see, "we aim to please," as Richard Pryor said in the funny and clever movie about a runaway train, SILVER STREAK. He and Gene Wilder were a classic comic pairing, and I recommend that you rent the DVD. Thanks for being here, I'll answer and respond to any of your comments, and have a wonderful Thursday, day four of the offseason that we all have to endure. Hey, Colt/Patriots should make this weekend very interesting, so let's look on the bright side. Pats by 10, by the way. Be well! Always!