Wednesday, December 31, 2008

New Years Eve Day, With A Single Extra Second Added To It At 11:59:59 PM

Hello on this New Years Eve Day, a day that an extra second will be added to the clock as the ball drops in Times Square to signal the start of 2009. Apparently the earth's rotation does not keep proper time, so the scientists and/or clock keepers decided this would be the best way to remedy the situation. So tomorrow, if you're a second early for an appointment, now you know why. On to baseball.

Sports Illustrated has reported that after the Red Sox lost the battle for Mark Teixeira to the New York Yankees, they made an attempt to devise a trade with the Florida Marlins to re-acquire Florida's best player, shortstop Hanley Ramirez. Alas, Florida wanted too much. Here is part of that article...

"At one point this winter, the Red Sox made a play to re-acquire Marlins superstar Hanley Ramirez, league sources tell But while the Marlins listened to Boston's overtures, talks were quickly scuttled and it appears there's very little chance they will be revived as Florida isn't anxious to trade its best player.
The Marlins were said to be most interested in a centerfielder, and it's believed Boston's promising young centerfielder Jacoby Ellsbury and talented pitching prospect Clay Buchholz were among those mentioned in a potential package for Ramirez, who began in Boston's organization before being traded to the Marlins after the 2005 season in the deal that sent Josh Beckett and Mike Lowell to the Red Sox."

Peter here, and yes, that was a great trade for both sides. The Marlins received a tremendous shortstop in the field and most importantly, at the plate. The Red Sox acquired their stopper in Beckett and their much loved third baseman, Mikey Lowell. It's rare that a trade works out so well for both teams involved, but that time, it sure did. I'd give a slight edge to Boston when all things are considered. But now the questions come up. Why trade for a shortstop? We're fine at that position. I'll answer my own question, or try to. Hanley's bat does all the talking and with it in the lineup, Boston would be very potent at the plate. But it was not to be. Se la vie.

In other baseball news, well, there isn't any, not on this New Years Eve day. But you can click on this post's title for more on that team we love to love. I want to wish you and yours a happy and safe New Years Eve night and the healthiest and happiest 2009, the best year you've ever had. I thank you for being one of my Constant Readers...I thrive on you. As always, BE WELL...every minute, every hour, every day, for the rest of your long lives. You make my day glorious every single time. And for that, I thank you humbly. I'll close with a salute to life itself...l'chaim. And that means "to life."

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Roger Clemen's Reputation Takes Another Hit...A Well Deserved One, Too

Peter here on the second to last day of 2008. Wow, what a quick decade so far. Time should slow down, just a bit. No, a lot! OK, I got that off my chest. Here's a little non-Red Sox baseball news...I found this in the Boston Herald from today, December 30th, 2008...

"Roger Clemens’ name is being removed from a sports medicine institute at a Houston hospital in another dent to the legacy of the major league baseball pitcher since he was linked to steroid use. The Roger Clemens Institute for Sports Medicine at Memorial Hermann will shed Clemens’ name effective Jan. 1 “to better reflect its commitment to all sports and athletes,” the Houston health system said."

Peter here...Roger, you shouldn't have LIED THROUGH YOUR TEETH. What goes around comes around. Hey Rog, it came around! All the way around. And your world is still spinning, not in your control. Will you ever get elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame or will you be in the same "Phantom Zone" that Pete Rose is. I suspect the latter. Have a great Tuesday, everyone. Cheers. L'Chaim (to life). Forever.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Penny For Your Thoughts, Brad?

Brad Penny, that is. Pending his physical, the Boston Red Sox are going to sign him to a one year deal worth $5 million with built in incentives that could bump the $5 million up to $8 million. He struggled with a shoulder injury (I know the feeling) during the second half of 2008, ending up with a won-loss record of 6-9 and a rather high ERA of 6.27. Boston feels his shoulder problems are behind him and the upcoming physical will end all doubts, one way or the other. In 2007, BEFORE the injuries, he won 16 games for the second straight year. He was 16-4 with a nifty 3.03 ERA. Now that's nice, especially for a guy who will be slotted in the four position of the rotation. Great job, Theo.

In other possible signing news (Penny is more than possible, he's probable) catcher Josh Bard might be coming back. The Sox have plans, pending HIS physical, to sign him to a one year contract worth a thrifty $1.6 million. Last year he batted a woeful .202 with a solo home run and 16 RBIs. He would be our backup catcher, so the search for a number one battery mate for our pitchers goes on...I hope Varitek will overrule his agent, Scott BorasS, and TELL him (who's working for who here?) that he wants to return to his former club. We ALL know how much Jason wants to come back. Sure, he will play less games than past years but his opposing hitter expertise will wash over the other catcher completely. There are a couple first rate starting catchers out there, but they're not free agents. Future Red Sox players would be lost via the trade route, something Boston does not want to do.

The bottom line is this...pending their physicals, Brad Penny will join our now five man rotation, pitching after Daisuke and before Timmy. And that's just great...if his shoulder is sound. Bard? I'm not so sure about him...if he is physically fit to be signed, he will be, but in a back-up role. So the search for a catcher is still very on.

I hope your extended Christmas weekend was a happy and healthy one filled with family and friends. Food too, I'd wager. Mine was quiet and restful, maybe even a little boring. But I have you, my Constant Readers. And my girlfriend, too far away in Minnesota. She'll be here in Connecticut towards the end of January for an extended stay...I couldn't be any happier. I haven't lived with anybody for a long time, so she might take a little getting used to. She'll have to get used to me, too. But I know I love her and I know she loves me even more, sometimes TOO much, if there IS such a thing. Her name is Nadia, by the way. I call her Nadi. My Nadi.

Have a wonderful week as we count down the days remaining in 2008, a wild and wacky year. You can click on this post's title for more on Bard and Penny, and as always, BE WELL. Shalom. Aloha. Cheerio. Eh? (That's for Nadi)

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Manny Going Nowhere...FAST!

Hello. It's early Sunday morning, a day when the temperatures should reach 65. 65? Just four days ago it was minus 3 degrees F. That's New England for you, and I love it. On to baseball, just for a moment. The lack of solid hardball news is normal in the days between Christmas and New Years Day.

Manny Ramirez is still jobless. Brian Cashman said this a few days ago...

"We don't have any offers out there on anybody."

Peter here...he might have been fibbing. His club was just about to sign Teixeira, which they did. But Cashman was talking about Manny. What about the Mets? This is from Dan Graziano of the Newark Star-Ledger...

"...people familiar with the Mets' thinking say it's not happening. Omar Minaya loves the guy, wants him badly, but he can't sell him to ownership. Talk to people associated with the Mets, and they'll all tell you the same thing -- if the Mets were going to get Manny Ramirez, they'd have got him in July, when he was practically free."

Peter here. When Minaya said that, he meant "practcally free" because the Red Sox were desperate to rid themselves of the "Manny plague," a devasting team-breaking malady. The only cure is to jettison the cause of it, which Boston did. So the Mets are being smart. Sure, the guy can hit with the best of 'em, but his defense is spectacularly ordinary and his actions can be unspeakably derisive, even violent at times. Looney? Yes. Oh yes. Where will he end up? As the song goes, "God only knows."

That's it for today. I hope you're in the middle of a great weekend. Enjoy the warm Sunday weather if you have it. You can click on this post's title for more on the Sox, and as always, BE WELL. Skol. L'chaim. To life.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Nagging Boston Red Sox Questions...

A Saturday morning hello from good old (not) me. The Boston Globe ran an article which clearly and point by point highlighted the questions that the Red Sox are facing right now. With their permission, I'd like to list them with my comments (in parenthesis) following each one. OK? Here we go...

1) Find a starting and a back-up catcher. (Peter here...this is essential. Boston needs TWO catchers...I'd like Jason Varitek to be our number one guy but play less games. He'll get his hitting stroke back...I just know it).

2) Find a starting pitcher? (This is a tough one. Our rotation as it stands now is a great one, right up until the number five guy. That rotation would be Beckett, Lester, Matsuzaka, Wakefield and...Buchholz?...Masterson? I say no to Masterson...he's much more valuable coming out of the bullpen and inducing ground ball outs, especially to right-handed hitters. Buchholz would be better off with another half year or year at the minor league level. When he harnesses all his skills, he'll be a super starter. Jake Peavy is an intriguing option...see question number four).

3) Find a fourth outfielder. (No Coco, remember? The Sox will find someone and he won't cost a lot of money).

4) Make a blockbuster trade? (Like question number two, this one also had a question mark after it. If the Red Sox were to acquire a big money player, I would hope he would be a starter, a member of the pitching rotation. Jake Peavy comes to mind. Doing that will let Masterson back into his late inning bullpen role and Buchholz to further improve in the upper minor league system.)

I'd love to hear what you think...just leave a comment and I'll answer them. I hope your Christmas was great and that your New Years will be even better. Nostrovia. Cheers. See ya.

Friday, December 26, 2008

No Long Term Deal For Youkilis

First baseman Kevin Youkilis will not be offered a long term deal by the Boston Red Sox, not this year. His agent, Joe Bick, had this to say...

"It doesn't look promising," said Bick. "We're going to concentrate our efforts from this point forward on getting a one-year deal done, whether it's negotiated or otherwise," Bick said. "That's where we stand."

Youk will not be eligible for free agency until after the 2010 season, so the Sox had better sign him to a multi-year deal after this season, much like Dustin Pedroia's six year, $40.5 million contract. Youk made $3 million last year...that was a one year deal, too. The club will never take a chance of losing him...he is superb in the field and at the plate. Last year he batted .312 with a team high 29 home runs and 115 RBIs. He said this about the wheeling and dealing...

"I leave it up to Joe with all that stuff," Youkilis said last Thursday. "Both sides come up with offers and try to broker it all out, do all that stuff. They're working on that, and for me, I'm up here in a Boston Red Sox uniform unless I get traded. For me, I don't worry about it. I just know that I have two more years here, unless I get traded. It has to be the right fit for myself, and it's got to be the right fit for the Red Sox, too. It works both ways."

Peter here. Kevin is simply too valuable for the club to trade him. Most likely he'll bat cleanup next season, providing a certain level of protection for the guy in the number three slot, Big Papi David Ortiz. He has an uncanny ability to get his bat on the ball and put it in play. And remember, he was the third place vote getter in the AL MVP race. He hit .312 and led the club with 115 RBIs and 29 home runs. That's fantastic. He has also accepted an offer to play for his country in the World Baseball Classic. When asked about it, he said this...

"For me, it'd be cool to represent my country," Youkilis said. "If they ask me, yeah. Yeah, definitely. I'll play. Cool experience. I've done a lot of great things, and that could be an added thing to put on the plate."

Peter here...I want to stress this...Kevin Youkilis will be a member of the Boston Red Sox for the next half dozen plus years. He means too much to his club for any trade to even be imagined. And that's the way it should be, and will be. Period.

I hope your Christmas was a good one filled with food, family and fun. Many people have the day off today, and we all know that the mall will be full of bargain hunters. I say good for them, but I'm not going anywhere near the mall...parking spaces will be sparse and the crowds overwhelming, and for good reason. To make up for the down economy and sluggish holiday sales, many stores are offering ridiculously huge discounts. Take advantage of them.

Have a wonderful Friday, the day after, and a tremendous weekend. As always, BE WELL...2009 will be here in a matter of days. You can click on the title of this post for more on the Red Sox comings and goings. Ciao. L'chaim. See ya...soon.

Thursday, December 25, 2008


Today is Christmas Day, a warm (40F) morning here in north central Connecticut. But there's snow on the ground and holiday cheer in the air, even at 5:20 in the AM. I want to take a moment to wish all my readers everywhere a happy Chanukah and a very Merry Christmas. May health and happiness be with you for many years to come, for time is fleeting. Try to enjoy every moment.
Peace on earth, everywhere. IMAGINE.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Final Teixeira Thoughts...For Now

Good morning on this Christmas Eve Day, the day after, I guess you could call it. Here are a few of my thoughts. They come to me often...I guess that's good. It turns out that the pinstriped Mark Teixeira wanted to become a Yankee the whole time. His agent, Scott Boras(s), made a late night, last minute call to the Yankees' brass to inform them of this and NY responded with their $180 million offer, ten million more than Boston. But you know what? Even if the Sox had upped their $170 million eight year bid by $10 million, Teixeira still would have chosen the evil ones. The deck was stacked, the dealer was in on it and the cards were marked. It's over now. John Henry had this to say about the NY - Boston competition...

"From the moment we arrived in Boston in late 2001, we saw it as a monumental challenge," owner John Henry said in an e-mail to the Associated Press, referencing the competition with the Yankees. "We sought to reduce the financial gap and succeeded to a degree. Now with a new stadium filled with revenue opportunities, they (NYY) have leaped away from us again. So we have to be even more careful in deploying our resources."

Peter here...what did he mean by that? Will the Sox go after the bat they need? No, they are solid at every position, except catcher. Will they sign Varitek? Yes, they almost have to. Will they add another arm to their division best rotation? Derek Lowe would be nice...the young arms would have more time to develop their skills. The bottom line is this...NO, THE SKY HASN'T FALLEN. Have faith. I think they'll sign 'Tek and maybe add an arm. If Mike Lowell comes back hale and hearty, the infield is still one of the best. I don't know who our starting shortstop will be, but it's a sure thing that Lugo will be in the mix. Who knows? He might have a complete health resurgence and be vastly improved at the plate. That would be nice. And Youk and Pedey on the infield's right side are the best in all of baseball. No one will argue that, Teixeira or no Teixeira.

That's it for this Christmas Eve Wednesday. I hope your long holiday weekend will be a happy and safe one with family and friends. Merry Christmas to everyone. If you'd like, please click on the title of this post for more on the deal day that was.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

***TEIXEIRA GOES TO YANKEES For $180 Million!!!***

What the...? It's true. From ESPN dot com and ESPN radio and ESPN HD...

"Free agent first baseman Mark Teixeira has reached agreement with the New York Yankees on an eight-year contract worth more than $170 million, two sources involved in the negotiations tells ESPN The Magazine's Buster Olney.
The Yankees swooped in on Teixeira on Tuesday when it was believed the Boston Red Sox or the Washington Nationals were the likeliest to be his future employer. The Red Sox's offer was believed to be in the range of $170 million, and the Nationals reached out with an offer perhaps greater than that of Boston.
Teixeira finished last season with the Los Angeles Angels following a trade from Atlanta. The Angels withdrew from negotiations on Sunday night, in a very public manner, and say they were moving on to other players.
Teixeira had made it clear that he wanted to make a decision on where to play next season and beyond by Christmas." goodness. Did Theo and John Henry blow it? The Yankees have now spent nearly $440 million for THREE PLAYERS!!!!Later...


It's between the Nationals and the Red Sox, according to ESPN. Read this...

"At a time when Mark Teixeira's decision about where he wants to sign is seemingly imminent, the Baltimore Orioles' negotiations for the free-agent first baseman appear dormant. The Yankees, on the other hand, continue to review their options, preparing for the possibility -- however real it is -- that Teixeira might make them an offer that they couldn't refuse.
The Boston Red Sox or the Washington Nationals continue to be the most likely destinations for Teixeira, executives involved in the process believe -- the Red Sox, with an offer that might be in the range of $170 million, and the Nationals perhaps with a proposal greater than that of Boston."

That's it for now. It's 2:21pm EST...more to come almost as it happens...

Steinbrenner..."No Manny Here."

Maybe Hal Steinbrenner actually made a smart decision for once. He has rebuffed recent media reports that said Manny will be wearing pinstripes. Here's what he said when asked if NY had made an offer to Scott Boras(s) for Manny Ramirez or Mark Teixeira...

"If we are (making an offer), I don’t know about it," Yankees co-chairman Hal Steinbrenner told Newsday Monday in shooting down the report by (a Dominican Republic newspaper). There’ve been no offers made since last week’s news conference."

Peter here, and if Hal doesn't know about it, two things are possible. One, he's telling the truth and no offers are currently on the table, and B, he lieing through the teeth in his misshapen head. Oh wait, that his brother Hankie's head...Hal's head looks fairly normal. So the way I see it, three teams have offers on the table for Mark Teixeira...the Nationals, the Orioles and the Red Sox, who have the highest offer of least that's what the media has reported. As for Manny, well, maybe his instincts were right and he SHOULD retire. After all, not one club wants his cancerous prescence on its home turf. After last year, every Boston fan knows all too well what a detriment to team chemistry he was and can be. And probably continue to be...a dalmation doesn't change his spots. Or should that have been a leopard...a cheetah...a zebra?

The baseball news is slim while we zip through Christmas week. We're all awaiting Teixeira's decision...he said he wanted to have all this resolved by Christmas Day. Hey Mark, that's the day after tomorrow! Click on the title for the Boston Herald Red Sox homepage, and as always, BE WELL. Ciao. Shalom. Aloha. Arevaderci. See ya. Your comments, seldom seen but always answered, are welcome. Thanks.

Monday, December 22, 2008


The California Anaheim LA Angels have removed themselves from the Mark Teixeira bidding war, leaving the Red Sox, whose eight year $170 million offer is STILL on the table, the Washington Nationals (8 years at $160 million) and the Baltimore Orioles (8 years at $150 million). That leaves only one winning team with an offer on the table...the Boston Red Sox. The Yankees are lurking in the Twilight Zone, somewhere between fantasy and reality...who knows what they will do. Angels owner Arte Moreno thought agent Scott Boras(s) was using his team to drive up Teixeira's price. Boras(s) is JUST ASS. Here's what Angels team spokesman Tim Mead had to say. It's short and sweet...

"We have indeed withdrawn our offer and ceased negotiations," Mead said in an e-mail.

Peter here. I guess he got right to the point. Ok, I've said this before and I'll say it again. Barring the mysterious Yankees, the only winning team with a standing monetary offer to Teixeira are the Red Sox. This should be simple, but I'm sure there are more twists and turns looming before Christmas Day arrives. Mark wants to make his decision by then. Keep your fingers crossed...whatever Boston owner John Henry said a couple days ago, the Red Sox are still VERY in it. More now than ever.

You can click on this post's title for more on this delicate and important matter. Thanks for making me one of your pit stops, and as always, BE WELL.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Teixeira On My Mind...Still!

Good morning on this still snowless (not for long) Sunday morning. Let me get right to business, Mark Teixeira business. The following blurb is from Chad Finn's TOUCHING ALL THE BASES, right out of today's Boston Globe. If you have the time, read this and then I'll be back with my thoughts. I always have more than a few, as you probably know by now. Here you go...

"So for the $180-million question . . . where does Teixeira end up once Boras stops playing his reindeer games and ends the charade? Despite Brian Cashman's "dude, it ain't us" denial this morning when asked if the Yankees had outbid the Sox, I still refuse to believe that they have no interest -- they need him more than the Red Sox do, and with their resources, they can make it happen with one call to Boras. Maybe I should put it another way: If they honestly aren't going to leap in with a monster offer for Teixeira, then their management team is less devious and much stupider than I've long believed. That said . . . there are too many people with more insight and knowledge than the doofus you're reading right now who believe that Teixeira will eventually end up with the Sox. I do agree that John Henry's missive last night was just a negotiating ploy, and a savvy one at that. I guess what I'm saying is that I'm coming around to that optimistic way of thinking, but given the bizarre and excruciating way this whole situation has dragged out, I'm not officially going to believe Mark Teixeira will be a member of the Boston Red Sox until Big Papi has him in one of his "welcome to the club, Bro" bear hugs during the first day of camp in Ft. Myers. And not a day sooner."

Peter here...I like the way Chad writes and portrays himself. He kind of reminds me of me. WAIT, that's a scary thought! Seriously (I WAS being serious before), I have faith that John Henry and company know just what a perfect fit Mark could and will be, for so many glorious All Star years. The guy has played an average of 160 games each season and he's a better defensive first baseman than our Kevin Youkilis. Wow...Youk is SO good at first. And, just as important when playing in Fenway Park, he's a bona fide switch hitter, great from both sides of the plate. I know Theo and John Henry realize he is the ultimate fit for Boston. I hope they can pull it off. Faith.

Have a safe and sound Sunday filled with happiness and if you're on the road, the rails or in the air, be safe. You can click on the title of this post for more on the Red Sox...if any news breaks, I'll have it up in a post in a New York minute. Well, in a BOSTON minute! As always, BE WELL. Shalom. L'Chaim (to life).

Saturday, December 20, 2008

A Game Of Teixeira Hold 'Em...No Limit. Bluffing Welcome And Advised

Much like a game of Texas Hold 'Em, the ultimate poker game where bluffing is a necessity and good cards are SO nice, the back and forth between agent Scott Boras(s) and Red Sox owner John Henry continues. Yogi was SO right when he said "it aint over 'till it's over." WELL, THIS ONE AIN'T OVER, not by a long shot

Jon Heyman of SI dot com wrote that Boston hasn't "given up" and that "they're taking a break from the bidding." Here's more...

"Though Boston's chances to land the multitalented free-agent slugger may have diminished slightly after the sides failed to make progress in their high-powered Texas meeting Thursday night, few baseball people believe the Red Sox are completely out of the picture. At least a half-dozen baseball executives with some knowledge of the process suggested to that the Red Sox remain interested in Teixeira and are merely intent on sticking to their last proposal (which one source pegged at close to but probably not more than $180 million for eight years). Several of these baseball executives suggested Henry and Epstein could merely be engaging in a game of poker with Boras, and all said they believed the Red Sox still would like to land Teixeira, the biggest free-agent prize among everyday players. And some still believe the Sox are the frontrunners to land the coveted power-hitting first baseman."

Peter here. I knew something was fishy when John Henry meekly bowed out of the process. He's not that type of man. George King of the NY Post wrote that the pinstriped ones are not involved. Read this...

"The Red Sox say they got outbid for free agent first baseman Mark Teixeira. Though Boston didn't talk about which teams offered more for the switch-hitting Teixeira, it wasn't the Yankees," King writes. " 'Not us,' Yankees general manager Brian Cashman told The Post late last night."

Peter here. First of all, only believe 30% of what the baseball people say when this type of potential deal is in the works. Here's what I believe, but I can't tell you why. Why's that? Because I don't know! I think John Henry has an agenda, a plan of action. Mark Teixeira would be such a PERFECT fit for the Red Sox and an eight year deal for mega bucks is perfectly fine with me. After all, he's just 28 and entering his supreme prime. Some wonder that in the last two years of his deal, when he will be 35 or 36, will he be worth the $23 million PER YEAR at that "advanced" age? I say yes, and by that time other players will be making similiar dollars. To put it bluntly, if Boston could land the gold glove first baseman, their offensive lineup would again be one of the most feared in all of baseball. Coupled with their starting rotation and the multi-armed back end of their bullpen, the baseball world would be their oyster. I'm all in.

Thanks for stopping in on this frigidly white Saturday. We ended up with a solid ten inches of snow on Friday with another eight inches expected for Sunday. When it snows, it pours, I guess! Click on this post's title for more on the Teixeira mind games and as always, BE WELL. Sayanara. Go all in, John Henry.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Is John Henry Bluffing...Or Not?

Big news broke during the overnight hours in the form of an email from Red Sox owner and wallet holder John Henry. Here's the entire article from the Boston Globe's THE BUZZ, and then I'll be back with a few syllables. Henry sent the email after he, LL and Theo went to Texas for a face to face with Teixeira and his agent, Scott Boras(s)...
"Red Sox owner John Henry issued a stunning proclamation late last night regarding the team's pursuit of free agent first baseman Mark Teixeira, all but ruling out Boston's chance to land the prize hitter of baseball's offseason.

"We met with Mr. Teixeira and were very much impressed with him," Henry said in an e-mail time-stamped 10:45 p.m. "After hearing about his other offers, however, it seems clear that we are not going to be a factor."

The statement came as shocking news given how close the Sox and Teixeira appeared to be to a deal. On Tuesday, a general manager in the hunt for Teixeira declared the Red Sox the favorite. Channel 5's Mike Lynch reported yesterday that Sox general manager Theo Epstein, along with Henry and Larry Lucchino, had flown to Dallas to meet with Scott Boras, Teixeira's agent. Boras was in Dallas last night, staying in a hotel by the Dallas/Fort Worth Airport. Teixeira has a home in Texas. The report indicated the Red Sox were closing in on landing Teixeira with a contract worth $184 million over eight years, which would have been the richest contract signed by a Red Sox player."

OK, it's Peter. I'm a little stunned but I'm still wondering if this is just a ploy by the Boston owner or by Boras(s) himself. Henry might be throwing the other teams off the scent, but here's what bothers me the most. I know and understand that Mr. Henry does not want to exceed an eight year deal...look what happened with Sir Manny the bum. But I don't know who "outbid" us. If it's the Angels, I understand...they're winners. But if it's the Nationals or the Orioles, well, they shouldn't even be in the running. Teixeira said repeatedly that he wants to go to a WINNER. Those two teams are ANYTHING but. So this is by no means over, not until Henry or Epstein gets in front of the cameras to explain to all of us why Teixeira went elsewhere. And if he DOES end up in DC or Baltimore, he doesn't want to play for a winner at all...the guy simply wasn't telling the truth. If we lose out on Teixeira for a few million dollars, that would also be a shame. The guy will be an All Star throughout the terms of his deal and Boston's lineup would be superhuman-like yet again. The waiting game is on.

I'll link the entire Boston Globe Sox homepage...all you have to do is click on the title. Have a wonderful weekend and as always, BE WELL. L'chaim, skol, cheers. GO the right thing and land this player.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Mark, Where??

Hello on this rapidly clouding Thursday late afternoon in north central Connecticut. I came across an article written by Richard Justice on sporting news dot's a little bit of it. I enjoyed reading his words SO much. The subject matter is Mark Teixeira. The question is...where will he go?

"West Coast or East Coast? Some of those close to him believe Teixeira prefers the East Coast. But he was a perfect fit in Anaheim. He might have had his eyes opened to the good life that is Southern California. He saw the huge crowds the Angels draw, experienced the solid clubhouse chemistry and got to play for one of the game's great managers, Mike Scioscia. If there is a difference between the two finalists, it could be that baseball in Boston simply is different.

Terry Francona is also a players' manager, and the Red Sox are contenders. If Teixeira wants to play in an intense, every-game-matters atmosphere, he'll sign on with the Red Sox. At the moment, Boston is the best place on Earth to play baseball.
Yes, the Boston media coverage is intense. Yes, the fans sometimes care too much. That's the beauty of the thing. Teixeira played in Texas and Atlanta, where baseball really matters only until football season starts. He already knows he can have a happy career in Anaheim.

If Teixeira wants to be part of something special, he should sign with the Red Sox. Never mind a couple of extra years. He can name his price. Eight years at $165 million? Done, Mark. What jersey number would you like? See you in Fort Myers."

Peter here. Mr. Justice is correct...where else is there? See ya in the morning. The entire article is linked when you click on this post's title.

Teixeira Or Bust For The Frontrunning Boston Red Sox

As the Christmas holiday nears, so too does a decision from Mark Teixeira. Will he go to Baltimore (no), the Orioles (a bigger no), the Angels (maybe) or the Red Sox (I hope so). Boston is currently the frontrunner in the expensive bidding process, at least according to one GM who has been involved. Here's what he had to say, courtesy of the Boston Globe's the Buzz and Nick Carfado...

"I think they're in the lead and ahead of where everyone else is right now," he said. "I'm not sure who's bidding against them at this point. You just never know (when the talks will end) where Scott Boras and the Red Sox are involved."

Peter here, and as Yogi said (the catcher, not the bear), "It ain't over 'till it's over." But Teixeira's decision is expected by Christmas Day, and that's only seven days away. If Mark goes elsewhere (LA or nowhere), Mike Lowell will be back manning third base and Kevin Youkilis will take care of first. But to acquire the services of a man who is just entering his prime, talented at the plate and a gold glover in the field, would be plain old AWESOME. So keep your fingers (and toes and whatever) crossed and hope for the best. We won't have to wait long...Boston, here he comes. Or not. I'll have the news right here, as soon as I can. What a Christmas present he would be. He'd also make the Red Sox infield one of the most feared and talented in all of baseball. Teixeira, the MVP Pedey at second, the third place finisher in the MVP voting, Youk, at third and the shortstop to be determined. Not bad, huh?

There is not much of anything else on the Boston Red Sox news front, so I guess that's a wrap for this early Thursday morning. We are expecting six to twelve inches of snow tomorrow. It will definitely be a white Christmas, but the white will be on the ground, not falling from the sky. But that's OK. No one's travel plans will be altered. You can click on this post's title for more Sox news, and as always, BE WELL. Be safe out there.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Are The BIRDS Grounded?

This is from ESPN dot com, just now...

"Unless free agent Mark Teixeira is willing to give the Orioles a major hometown discount, it does not appear he will be playing in Baltimore.
The Orioles have stood by their initial offer and have not upgraded it, and sources say that the other teams involved in the bidding -- the Boston Red Sox, Los Angeles Angels and Washington Nationals -- have gone beyond Baltimore's proposal for the slugging first baseman.
Teixeira, 28, is considered one of the top unsigned free agents. He batted .308 with 33 home runs, 121 RBIs and a .552 slugging percentage for the Angels and Atlanta Braves last season.
The only way the Orioles can be considered a serious player for Teixeira now, sources say, would be if the Maryland native were to take their offer, which is believed to be for seven years and about $150 million.
"The Orioles are out of it, unless Teixeira really, really wants to play there," said one source."

Peter here...that'll happen, maybe, when pigs fly...not that I have anything against pigs. Have a great evening! And watch the Red Sox land be continued. Hopefully gleefully.

A Costly But Excellent Christmas Present For One Baseball Team...Boston? Maybe??

Hello and good morning on this icy Wednesday in north central Connecticut. On to baseball, no time for a weather report right now. But snow, a lot of it, is in our near future. I was reading ESPN dot com, the Boston Herald and Globe, the Providence Journal and the Hartford Courant. That's just my normal pre-post routine. In the Herald, John Henry was asked if his club, the Boston Red Sox, would offer Mark Teixeira and his agent, Scott Boras, a TEN year deal. Henry was burned and scalded by that ass, Manny Ramirez, who had an eight year multi-million dollar deal with a two year option. We all know what happened...Manny is history now, an eternal bum because of the way he acted. But here's Henry's answer...the question is if the club would rule out offering ANYONE a guaranteed deal longer than any other player in Red Sox franchise history. Here you go...

“Yes,” Henry responded in an e-mail. “The Red Sox effectively had a 10-year deal with a player (Manny) determined not to live up to his contract. A lot can change over 10 years, for both sides. We’re in a challenging economic environment,” Henry wrote, again, addressing the concept of spending in a general sense, “because we just don’t know to what extent our long-term revenues will be hurt by the global financial crisis. A lot of businesses are in the same position. There will also be impact on player compensation, but no one at this point knows the degree.”

What he's saying is that Boston might balk if forced to offer Teixeira a ten year guaranteed deal. Eight years? Maybe...only time will tell. But from what I read on ESPN dot com, a couple of the four actively bidding ballclubs have upped their offers, both in years and moolah. The Red Sox will not do anything foolish, but they covet Mark Teixeira. Who wouldn't? Slipping him into the cleanup spot of the Sox lineup would be SO great...Papi would see more hittable pitches and with Kevin Youkilis in the on deck circle and MVP Pedey Pedroia batting second, well, all I can say is WOW! Teixeira wants to make a decision by Christmas. That special day is only eight days away. It's nailbiting time for everybody involved.

Well, that's it for now. You can click on this post's title to be instantly transported to the Boston Globe Red Sox homepage for all you need to know about everything. Your comments are welcome and I appreciate every one of you. As always, BE WELL. Shalom, cheers. Ciao. See ya.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Toe To Toe? Not This Time...

The Yankees and the Red Sox are bitter rivals DURING the season and throughout the off season. We all know that. But the battle for slugger Mark Teixeira is one that the Yankees will not have an influence on. They probably won't even be involved. Things could change, but I think they'd sooner go after Manny than spend $200 million on the first baseman. That would make their yearly payroll astronomically high. This is something I'm totally convinced about. When asked about the continuing back and forth, monkey see, monkey do relationship with NY, Theo Epstein had this to say about that mistaken notion...

“So why then would the first instinct of an observer be that, since the Yankees did something big that we have to do something big?” Epstein said. “I think the first reaction should be: O.K., the Yankees did something big to improve themselves. The Red Sox are probably going to continue to do what they have done. It’s been that way for a long time,” Epstein said. “We’ve done pretty well going toe to toe with them with a slightly different model.”

Peter here...the Red Sox will go to the ends of the earth to acquire the services of Mark Teixeira, not because the pinstriped ones spent the big bucks on two front line pitchers, but because it's what's best for the club itself. And that's the bottom line. Period. Scott Boras is waiting for the "ultimate" offer, and he WILL get it. The Angels might increase their generous offer a bit, but whatever they do, Boston will do better. And remember, the LA Angels are the competition in this case. We can beat 'em in the post season, we'll beat 'em in this one, too.

Click on this post's title for all you need to know about the Boston Red Sox from the Boston Globe's Red Sox homepage, and as always, BE WELL. Your comments are welcome and ALWAYS answered. Thank you for making my blog one of your rest stops. Cheers. L'chaim. Here's to you, Mrs. Robinson.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Pinstriped Pinheads?

The New York Yankees have sent out "feelers" that hint they would love to acquire the services of Manny Ramirez. If they do outbid the other contenders (they might - Manny isn't worth the BIG bucks), I can imagine the Fenway Park boos echoing throughout the ballpark. This is from the New York Post, courtesy of the Boston Globe...

"Hank Steinbrenner wants him, but he isn't alone in the organization," a source told the Post about Ramirez. "They need somebody to protect Alex Rodriguez."

And this is from SI dot com's Jon Heyman, and then I'll be back with a few choice words.

"Yankees co-owner Hank Steinbrenner is said by people close to him to want Manny Ramirez in pinstripes," writes Heyman. "Unlike his father, who dreaded dreadlocks, Steinbrenner the junior is said by a Yankees person 'not to give a shit about his hair.'"

Hey Hankie, how about his attitude? Sure, AROD will see more hittable pitches, and yes, Manny will bash the ball, but my goodness, this whole Manny Ramirez rumor REALLY STINKS. He could have finished his career in Boston and maybe have had his uniform number amongst the hallowed ones. But if he goes to the Bronx, he would commit the ultimate travesty. From Red socks to Dodger blue TO THE YANKEES? Is he really THAT upset about the lack of suiters in this off season? I guess he is. We all know he can play an average defensive outfield but he can still hit the ball with the best of 'em. We'll see, we'll see. Hey Manny, stay in the National League unless you want to go the DH route. Frankly, I'm getting to hate you! Bigtime. You make it SO easy!

As for Red Sox news, there isn't much. They are prepared to make an offer to Mark Teixeira, if they haven't already. It is expected to be an eight year deal for $20 plus million per year. They could (they will) go as high as $175 million...more if needed. It won't be. It's up to Mark. If he wants an east coast winning team, there's only one, and that's Boston. The Sox have never offered any player moolah like that. But in this case, it makes so much sense. If the Yankees are rumbling about Manny, their interest in Teixeira will disappear like castles made of sand, slipping into the sea, eventually. (Thanks Jimi)

Have a great Monday, thank you for stopping by and click on this post's title for more Sox stuff, from nesn dot com. If you want all Sox news, the clickable link is at the top of the NESN homepage. As always, BE WELL. Sayanara and shalom.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

ANGELS Make Texeira Eight Year Offer

Hello on this still moonlit Sunday morning. I wake up so early, it's crazy. OK, on to baseball. The big story is the LA Anaheim California Angels' offer to slugger Mark Teixeira. It would pay the slugger $160 million for eight years of playing time. That's steep but totally expected, so Boston was NOT taken off guard. They will prepare a counter offer of approximately the same value and then it will be up to the player himself. He says he wants to play on the east coast, closer to his and his wife's families, for a winner. Let's hope that is true, for if it is, the Red Sox are a slam dunk destination. Here's what the Angels GM, Tony Reagins, had to say about their mammoth offer...

"Scott (Boras) knows where we stand," Reagins told the LA Times. "We have a level of salary and years that we're comfortable with, and hopefully that will get it done. . . . If it doesn't, we'll have to move on."

And here is a blurb from the latest LA Times...

"The Angels have offered an eight-year contract to Mark Teixeira, general manager Tony Reagins said Friday night. The contract would be the longest and richest in club history. The value could almost double the previous club record, the $90 million guaranteed last year to Torii Hunter."

Peter here, and what I THINK Reagin is saying is that twenty million bucks per year for eight years is the upper limit the Angels are comfortable with. The Red Sox will have to gulp and at least match that offer. They have a reduced payroll (so far this offseason) and they have the money to spend. Teixeira is a PERFECT fit for the club and I'm fairly certain Boston will go to the ends of the earth (and their wallets) to land the switch hitting powerful gold glove first baseman. That's my take on the situation right now...I know I've written so much about this upcoming blockbuster deal in the last two or three weeks, but I have to. The acquisition of Mark Teixeira will completely revamp the once fearsome Red Sox lineup. Sure, they were potent after Manny left via the yellow brick road of insanity, but with Mark, the lineup will be awesome yet again. Boston is stocked with plenty of pitching arms and have improved the back end of their bullpen immeasurably by snagging Ramirez. With Delcarmen et. al., the bridge to Papelbon is complete. Now it's time to find our cleanup hitter...Ellsbury, Pedey, Papi, Tex, Youk, Bay and JD Drew...what a first seven...with 'Tek (?) and whoever plays shortstop as the numbers eight and nine. Top to bottom? STRENGTH, POTENCY, RUN SCORING ABILITY.

Th-th-th-thats all, folks. Enjoy your football Sunday (or UCONN women's basketball, in my case) and as always, BE WELL. Nastrovia, shalom and l'chaim. Your comments are welcome and needed. What do you think? Is eight years too long? Is $160 million too much? I say no and no! Click on this post's title for more on our Red Sox.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Angels And Teixeira...Manny On Manny

The Anaheim LA California Angels DID make an offer to Mark Teixeira in Las Vegas, terms not public yet. Boston will smear them, and if Mark wants to come to the east coast, there is, frankly, only one destination for him. My fingers are crossed.

And here's a "sob" story, from the AP...

"Manny Ramirez is so upset by his lack of suitors on the free agent market that he’s told friends he would consider retirement if an offer doesn’t come soon, Newsday reported yesterday. Los Angeles Dodgers GM Ned Colletti is prepared to wait out Ramirez, meanwhile.
The NL West champions made the free agent slugger a two-year, $45 million offer this fall but haven’t heard whether he will accept it. Colletti said he last spoke with Ramirez’ agent, Scott Boras, on Monday night. The 36-year-old Ramirez, who came to the Dodgers from the Red Sox at the July 31 trade deadline, batted .396 with 17 home runs and 53 RBI in 53 games for Los Angeles."

Peter here...poor Manny...or as Linda Rondstat wrote and sang, "POOR POOR PITIFUL ME." What he did to the Red Sox with his attitude and general "Mannyness" was completely and pitifully disgusting. More to come as the situations develop.

Yankees Land AJ Burnett

The New York Yankees dipped into their oversized wallets yet again and signed pitcher AJ Burnett to a five year contract worth $82.5 million. Last year, the often injured hurler had a great second half. Overall, his record was 18-11 with an ERA of 4.07. For him, it was a great season with many tremendous starts against the Boston Red Sox and his new team. It's a gamble the Yankees are taking though...Burnett rarely pitches more than 200 innings, as he did in '08. Hankie Steinbrenner had this to say after his club picked up its second starting pitcher within one week...

"I can sense the excitement and the confidence that's spreading around the entire organization about what we're getting done and what we may get done still," the Yankees' co-chairman told The Associated Press before news of the Burnett deal came out Friday. "A rising tide lifts all boats, and the confidence and the excitement right now among the team and the organization is contagious."

Peter here. Does he mean contagious like the flu? And what's that about a rising tide? Frankly, I do not like that man, and not just because he's an owner of the Yankees. But you have to admit, NY has helped their ballclub bigtime with the signings of CC and AJ. Gee, they almost sound like brothers with their double initials, but they couldn't be less alike. One is a somewhat heavy and very tall Afro-American lefty, the other a slim, blue eyed blond righty. But when healthy, boy, can they pitch! And don't forget the durable Derek Lowe. You know what they can NEVER have enough pitching, and Burnett is often injured or not feeling 100%. Only time will tell, but NY might shell out some more dinero for him. I wouldn't be surprised. Cashman met with Pettitte yesterday (Friday), so HE might be coming back. Clearly, the Yankees' focus is strictly on pitching. That opens the door even wider for the Sox. I can almost guarantee every one of my Constant Readers that Mark Teixeira will be wearing a Boston Red Sox uniform...soon. The sooner the better, new logo or not.

Have a great Saturday and a wonderful weekend. You can click on this post's title for more on the Yankees AJ Burnett deal from the NY Post, and as always, BE WELL. Shalom. L'chaim. Skol. Peace.

Friday, December 12, 2008

According To Boras, What Teixeira Wants

Scott Boras sounded off yet again on behalf of one of his premiere clients, first baseman switch hitting Mark Teixeira. It is said that there are four, maybe five if you include the Yankees, suitors who want Teixeira on their team for a decade, maybe a little less. They are the Nationals, the Orioles, the Angels and the Red Sox. The first two clubs have already made offers to the slugger. The Angels and Red Sox have not, at least publically. I say there are only two teams Teixeira would sign with...LA and Boston. Here's what his agent, Scott Boras, had to say on what type of club Teixeira would sign a long term deal with...

"The club's ability to win and win in the long term," Boras said yesterday. "Commitment by the owners, long term, to the franchise being successful. Where they play, the city they're in. He's played in both leagues. He's had an opportunity to make an analysis of what's best for he and his family. And, of course, the economics too."

Peter here...of course, the economics, the dinero, the moolah, the cash. If he wants to go to a perennial winner, a club where EVERY game has a playoff atmosphere and the front office is determined to reach the postseason year after year after year, then it would be the Boston Red Sox, hands down. Let's face it...the Nats and the O's are two dismal teams. Cross them off your list even though they are the only two clubs who have officially announced their mammoth offers. I discard the idea that the Yankees will spend $150 plus million after they landed CC Sabathia. So that leaves two, two clubs on opposite sides of the country. Both the Anaheim California LA Angels and the Boston Red Sox are commited to winning. Every year. So it's more a matter of choice for Teixeira rather than money. Each team will go deep into their wallets to acquire his services. And with good reason. With a lineup of Ellsbury, MVP Pedey, Big Papi, Teixeira, Youk and Jason Bay as its first six hitters, damage, severe damage will be done. That's why I think the Sox will go to the ends of the earth to put him in a Boston uniform for many years to come. If he wants to go to an east coast winning ballclub, there's only one choice, right? THE BOSTON RED SOX. However, anything is possible.

That's my take on how things stand right now. We're all waiting for Boston's "big move." It will come sooner rather than later. Boston has to be the frontrunner...if Boras is being honest. Oh, I almost on the title of this post for more Red Sox news, and as always, BE WELL. Aloha. Arivaderci.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

YANKEES Are Still Busy...

From the NY Daily News, just a few minutes ago...

"The Yankees have found their center fielder for 2009, as they are set to send Melky Cabrera to Milwaukee for veteran outfielder Mike Cameron on Thursday, according to two major league sources.
The Yankees have been saying that Cabrera and Brett Gardner would compete for the center field job, but the acquisition of Cameron gives them a veteran presence at the position.
Many believed Cabrera would be the center fielder of the future entering the 2008 campaign, but a disappointing season, in which he hit .249 with eight homeruns and 37 RBIs in 129 games, led many to believe he was destined for a future as a utility outfielder. Yankees blue-chip prospect Austin Jackson is not expected to be ready for big league action until at least 2010, making Cameron the ideal one-year stopgap in center field.
Cameron, a former Met, hit .243 with 25 HRs and 70 RBIs in 120 games last season. He will earn $10 million in 2009."

Peter here. Big deal, huh? Wait for the Red Sox to move...THEY WILL. SOON.

Sabathia Bronxbound...Boston Makes 'Tek An Offer...The Latest On Teixeira

Where to begin on this colder Thursday morning? I guess I'll start with the Yankees' agreement with ace pitcher CC Sabathia. The New York Yankees, yes, those guys in pinstripes who were woeful last year, have reportedly made Sabathia a seven year contract offer for a whopping $161 million. In my view, the Yanks desperately need the guy but CC will not be able to do anything more than try to match Mussina's 20 victories. But they went after their guy and they got him. Sabathia will be flying west to JFK airport for his physical sometime this week. Cashman could not say anything specific, but here is part of what he did say...

"There’s a lot of layers in the process. Until that process is completed I'm kind of prevented from saying too much," Yankees general manager Brian Cashman told the AP. "Legally I've got to protect myself. And, you know, you're never done until you're done, and so, we're not done."

Next up is the news that the Red Sox have indeed been in touch with catcher Jason Varitek and his agent, Scott Boras(s). Here is what Boras(s) and Theo Epstein had to say, rather cryptically...

“Jason Varitek is a guy teams know what his value is,” said Boras. “Certainly Boston has let us know they want him back, and we have talked to Boston.”

“We’re in contact with Scott about Jason. That’s accurate,” said Epstein.

Last up is the quest for the best guy out there, Mark Teixeira. It is believed that there are four teams actively pursuing him. Two have made offers, both located near his home in Maryland. The Washington Nationals offered the first baseman an eight year deal for $180 million dollars (yes, you read that correctly). The Baltimore Orioles coughed up a seven year deal worth $150 million. Most importantly, remember this...Teixeira wants to go to a winner. That leaves both of those teams out of the running if Mark is sincere in his stated wishes. So let's see, that leaves the California Anaheim LA Angels and another team from the eastern part of the States, the Boston Red Sox. Neither club has made an offer, at least an offer that was publically announced. Here's my take on this four team battle. First of all, it's a two team battle if Teixeira's wishes to go to a winner are accurate. Angels or Sox? Sox or Angels? I think (sometimes I get these kind of guesses right) that Boston will land their guy. He wants to go to a winning ballclub not far from his home. LA could not be any farther from his home...Boston is less than a one hour plane ride. Boston will put a dent in John Henry's seemingly bottomless wallet to land him, AND THEY WILL. The down side of all of this is that the Sox would have to trade one of our heros, Mike Lowell. Unfortunately, that would be what's best for the club. Maybe they'll package him with the now useless and injury prone Lugo, while having to eat a portion of his salary, to land another player. It all depends on the final outcome of the Teixeira dealings. Theo knows best, I don't.

Phew, I think I'm finished. For now. You can click on the title of this post for more of the wrap up of the winter meetings, and as always, be well. My thanks go out to those of you who sent me birthday wishes...the years are going by too fast for me! Any comments will be read and answered, and as always, BE WELL. SHALOM, peace, and happiness forever.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Patience Is A Virtue...I Guess

Today is Wednesday, December 10th, my birthday. Happy birthday to me (it's too early in the morning to have received any phone calls saying that). And today is the last day of the winter meetings in Vegas. It's been quiet, probably because of the declining economy woes that is hitting all of us so hard. The Mets filled their need for a closer by signing record-setting closer K ROD. His real name is Francisco Rodriguez, and he had an amazing 2009 season with the LA California Anaheim Angels. But the rumors, strong rumors, are that the Boston Red Sox have one main target, a guy they will go all out to acquire, even if it means a long term deal, something they usually do not like to do. Usually. Mark my words...this year will be different. The club is in dire need of a cleanup hitter to bat after Big Papi and before the valuable Kevin Youkilis. The once Manny-laden lineup will be fearsome once again. That guy's name, as you most likely guessed, is Mark Teixeira, and he WILL be wearing a Boston uniform next year. Here are a couple quotes from Theo Epstein about his approach to these very quiet winter meetings...

"It's hard to be patient," general manager Theo Epstein said. "But it's important to be patient. The offseason is not going to hinge on these winter meetings. We'll just continue to work at it until we find some things we like. In reality, you're not trying to win the offseason. You're trying to win DURING the season. It's good to be thorough," Epstein said. "But no, I don't see the need to be engaged or talk with every player. The ones that we like, it kind of makes sense to be involved. Even if you're not going to sign a player, you get a feel for what the market is like, a feel for what other teams are trying to do."

Peter here, and those are wise words. But everything I hear and read, especially this morning, tells me the Boston Red Sox have their eyes on only ONE guy, although they've talked to agents and players galore. Let's hope. Faith. Always.

You can click on the title of this post to be transported to the NESN website. On the top, you'll see a still picture of Theo...just click "play" to hear and see what he had to say. Thanks for stopping in and your comments are always welcome and always answered to the best of my ability. BE WELL.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

The Red Sox Seem To Have Their Las Vegas Sights On Mark Teixeira, Bigtime...

Hello must be getting sick of me. Just kidding (I hope). Here's the latest buzz (thank you Boston Globe) on the Boston Red Sox and their search for a cleanup hitter. First up, an unidentified MLB person...

“I think he’ll (Teixeira) sign with the Red Sox,” the official said. “They want him. They have a good relationship with agent Scott Boras, and in the end, they have the dollars to make it happen.”

And another MLB unidentified official...

“He is a perfect fit for the Red Sox and Boston,” said another club official. “A guy who plays every day, doesn’t need to be the center of attention, is a good teammate, and can hit like he does, I can’t see the Red Sox letting him get away.”

Peter here, and boy, oh boy, if the Sox can sign Mark, their offensive lineup, top to bottom, will be fearsome, awesomely fearsome once again. I don't think money is an object with John Henry and company. I agree with the last sentence from the last quote.."I can't see the Red Sox letting him get away."

Let's not.

From Vegas To Lowell...

The Winter Meetings in Las Vegas, land of casinos, money and just about everything (except winter), remains quiet, all quiet on the western front, I guess. But Nick Carfado of the Boston Globe, while stolling through the lobby of the Bellagio Hotel, gathered these observations from Theo Epstein and Sox manager Tito Francona. Here you go. First up is Theo Epstein, the main architect of so many great Red Sox transactions...

"We're not really optimistic about our chances of getting anything done while we're here,'' Epstein said just a short time ago. "We're not really close to anything. I wouldn't expect anything to come out of these meetings, to be honest with you. Prepare to be underwhelmed,'' Epstein said.

And now manager Terry "Tito" Francona's take on the recovery from surgery of our third baseman, Mikey Lowell...

“He had a sparkling report, which was really nice to hear,” the manager said. “I think the timetable is that he’ll probably be hitting by the middle of January. I think everybody, from the medical people on down, think that when the season starts, he’ll be ready to go. The report today from trainer Mike Reinhold is that he has better range of motion today than he has since he joined our ballclub.

And Theo sounded off with some good news, too...

“I think that this has to run its course, as any surgeries do. But when it’s all said and done, he’s going to be in a lot better shape than he was trying to fight his way through it this year.”
“His reports are really good,” the GM said. “He’s ahead of schedule, he’s really impressed the doctors and rehab guys with where he is. He’ll start throwing pretty soon.”

Peter here. I know Mike Lowell well enough to say this...he's going to work his butt off to recover and be better than he ever was. And that's REALLY good. We all love fact, we clamored as one for Boston to resign him. It looks like he'll be playing without pain for the 2009 season. I know what constant pain is like (unfortunately), and I hope for the best. Heal, Mikey, we love you. On the grim side, if the Sox sign (buy) Teixeira, Mike Lowell will be shopped to another team, but so far in Las Vegas, Boston has been exploring ALL of their options. Only Theo can put all the pieces together and improve the '09 team. Ya know what? He'll do exactly that.

I want to sincerely thank all those who commented on my yearly John Lennon post, which is just below this one. I wish we could have celebrated his birthday instead of mourning his death 28 years ago. But your comments touched my heart, deeply. Thank you.

You can click on this post's title for more Boston Red Sox news, and as always, BE WELL. You're the best.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

John Lennon...October 9, 1940 - December 8, 1980...We Miss You

Good morning on this Monday, December 8th, a day I always dread. John Lennon lost his life, forcibly, 28 years ago today. Here is my post from last year, with a couple minor additions. I'll be back after you read this...
Today marks the 28th anniversary of the death of John Lennon. Here is my open letter to John, who was shot 4 times in the back, severing all the major blood vessels leading to and from his heart. There was nothing the doctors could do on that night 27 years ago, December 8th, 1980. There would be no doctor's chance even if he had been shot in a 2008 trauma room. He was 40 years old. Too young. Far too young.

Dear John. Wow, it's been 28 years. Hard to believe, huh? You were walking into your apartment at the Dakota in New York City when a crazed idiot stepped out behind you, and while you were walking away from him, shot at you five times using a two handed "shooter's" grip, hitting you four times in the back at point blank range with deadly hollow point bullets. I hope you didn't feel much pain, but I know better. When the two policeman put you in their car (an ambulance would have made no difference), the damage was done even if the shooting had happened INSIDE a 21st century trauma room. One of the cops asked you if you knew who you were, and you nodded and sputtered out the word yes, with blood pouring out of your mouth. You suffered and died quickly. In fact, the last word you ever said was YES. When I heard the news of your passing, I said "NO!"

John, oh how you meant so much to me. I was mesmerized by the Beatles music. You gave me so much joy. It was always the music that helped me through my awkward years of 11-16, and some of them were not happy ones. And then in the 70's, at least the first 5 years, your music still flowed, while it seemed everyone clamored for a Beatles reunion. And then in late '79, when your newly born son Sean was a little older and your doting period ended, you came back to your music, music more alive and vibrant than it had been in the past decade. And then THAT night.

It was a Monday, just as today eeriely is. I remember because I was watching
Monday night football, and Howard Cosell said that he had
just learned of a terrible thing, and he announced to
the country, and the world, the few facts known about your violent
death. I cried. I called my parents and friends, and was
stunned. As I write this, I feel exactly the same way. The tears will always be too close.
As they are right now, rolling down my cheeks.

But your music will live forever. You said, in a
song named INSTANT KARMA...
"And we all shine on
Like the moon and the stars and the sun.
Yes we all shine on,
On and on and on and on."

When I looked up at the sky tonight, I knew you were right. You were so right about so many things. The world would have been a different place with you, at 68, still demanding peace. Insisting on it. I miss you John. I love you. As you said, "Come together, give peace a chance, all you need is love." We should have listened. We should have listened.

We're still waiting for your voice to shine on. And I'll keep on waiting.
Peter N. I'll never forget you. On and on and on and on. SHINE. Forever. You already are.

More CC Sabathia Winter Meetings Musings

Two writers have expressed their opinions on what pitcher CC Sabathia will do and where he will end up. Thank you to the Boston Globe's THE BUZZ. Read them and then I'll be back with a few syllables. First off is Buster Olney of ESPN. He talks about why Boston reached out to Sabathia and his agent...

"It's unclear whether the Red Sox are seriously interested in trying to compete with the Yankees' $140 million offer to Sabathia, or if they are just doing their due diligence and preparing alternatives in their winter shopping."

And now, Mark Feinsand from the NY Daily News comments on why Sabathia has kept the Yankees waiting more than three weeks after receiving their mammoth offer ($140 million smackaroos)...

"It's very simple. Sabathia clearly doesn't have the Yankees listed first on his list, preferring to pitch in the National League and/or in California. He's waiting to see if the Angels, Dodgers or Giants will get involved before he does anything, but it doesn't mean he's decided he won't wind up in pinstripes.

Peter here. Nobody knows exactly what the thinking process of the portly but effective pitcher might be. I know if I was offered $140,000,000, I would accept it in a heartbeat. Alas, I don't have any talents that are worth that much...Sabathia does. He pitched remarkably well for the Brewers last year, with multiple complete game victories. That lets a team's bullpen get an important day off. That's huge. But maybe he DOES long to be back on the west coast, where his home is. I think the Red Sox have established communication without any interest in signing him. I also think Boston will put up the big bucks and outbid everybody for the services of Mark Teixeira. If that happens, they will have to trade Mikey Lowell (with Lugo??) and shift the versatile Youk to third. They would gain a tremendous force at the plate and in the field. Everything is a positive. AND THEY WILL SIGN VARITEK TO A ONE YEAR DEAL. We'll find out soon enough. Right now (well, when they wake's early), everybody who's anybody in baseball is attending the winter meetings in shiny Las Vegas. Expect the unexpected...soon. I do.

Thanks for stopping in on this early Sunday morning. We had our first measurable snow of the winter in the overnight hours. Granted, it's only one inch, but I can't wait for the sun to peek over the horizon at its steep angle to gaze at the white beauty of the precipitation. There's just something about a fresh snowfall that gets my blood flowing. I think it goes back to high school and the anticipation of snow days, one day vacations from school where sledding and hot chocolate were the norm. Wow, just remembering that makes me smile. I'm older now, but when a big snowstorm is forecast for southern New England, I still get that same excitement. Some things never change, do they?

Click on the title of this post for all the latest Red Sox news, and as always, BE WELL. Shalom. Aloha. See ya.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

'Tek Talk With Theo At The Winter Meetings In Las Vegas, Nevada USA

It's Saturday morning and the fun is about to begin. And where else but the city of fun (and much more), Las Vegas, Nevada. Jason Varitek will decide by tomorrow (Sunday) whether or not to accept arbitration. I certainly hope he does. That would guarantee Boston one more year of his services and it would guarantee Jason a salary of $10 million dollars or more. Even better, having Varitek return with a short-term contract and trading for a younger catcher who will be the future of Sox catching would be an ideal situation for Theo & company. Epstein's formula in one sentence? Here you go...

“We try to acquire players in their prime or entering their prime,” said Epstein. “That’s our focus.”

And when asked about the possibility of the Sox signing 'Tek AND acquiring a young and talented catcher...

“That’s a desirable outcome,” Epstein said. “We also have catchers-in-waiting in the minor leagues who are talented but not quite ready to step into a prominent role right now. We’ll see. I’m confident we’ll find a way to end up with a reputable catching corps that will have us set up for not only 2009, but also the future.”

Peter here, and I'm quite confident, too. Boston has already filled one big hole in the bullpen with a brilliant trade. The 'pen right now is in good shape. Another starting pitcher would be ideal but not pivotal. What's crucial is to acquire another corner infielder. Think Mark Teixeira. It will cost the big bucks, but that's money the Red Sox have to spend. And mark my words...spend they will. So strap yourselves in and buckle your seatbelts...the offseason fun is about to begin. Throughout this weekend and next week, my birthday week, I'll have one eye on the sports news and one ear on ESPN Sportsradio 1410 here in Hartford. Their 20 minute updates have been the basis of many "flash news" type of posts.

I want to wish every one of you a great weekend. The winter meetings, college football (I don't care about that much) and NFL football (will the Giants lose another game?) will fill the bill. You can title click for the latest from the Sox page over at projo dot com and as always, BE WELL. Shalom.

Oh, I wanted to wish OJ a wonderful weekend. He's EXACTLY where he belongs! At least nine years, Juice. I hope they go verrrry slowwwwly.

Friday, December 05, 2008

OJ Gone...At Least For A While

Breaking news one hour ago...

BREAKING NEWS: O.J. Simpson Sentenced to 15 Years

The former football star and actor was sentenced for his role in a Las Vegas armed robbery case. "I didn't want to steal anything from anyone," he said. Simpson was sentenced to serve 15 years, but will have to serve at least six years before he is eligible for parole.

Peter here...make that at least nine years before ANY chance of parole. You know what they say...what goes around comes around. IT DID!

More On Red Sox Pitcher Junichi Tazawa

The Boston Red Sox made the formal announcement to the press on Thursday that Junichi Tazawa has signed a three year deal with the club. He will receive a $1.8 million dollar signing bonus and be paid $450,000 in 2009, $500,000 in 2010 and $550,000 in 2011. That's life changing money for the young righthander who will start out in the minor leagues. Here's part of what he had to say at the signing announcement...

"The reason I came directly to the United States is I wanted to try to play here," Tazawa said through a translator at a press conference at Fenway Park today. "I wanted to challenge myself. I think there is a definite influence of having Daisuke Matsuzaka play here," Tazawa said. "To me he is the best player and to be able to learn from him is an incredible opportunity for me."

Theo Epstein also had a few words to say to the gathered media members. Here is part of them...

"He projects to be very versatile, but we're going to start him off as a starting pitcher," Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein said. "We'll certainly give him every chance to start. To me this is a story about Junichi wanting to challenge himself at the highest level of baseball. He had that desire. He expressed his desire," Epstein said. "We wanted to provide that opportunity.
He can hit his spots, and he's got outstanding makeup on the mound," Epstein said. "We think he's a solid prospect. Where he starts out remains to be seen."

Peter here, and this is yet another piece of good off season news for the Sox. Nothing BIG has happened yet, but that's what the winter meetings and beyond hold in store for us. Boston has bolstered their bullpen with the acqusition of Ramirez and has added little pieces here and there to improve the team. As they say, so far, so good. Now how about a power packed gold glove switch hitter and another starting pitcher? Theo Epstein has said that it's possible the Sox might sign Varitek AND another catcher...the difficulty in catching the Wakefield knuckleball, believe it or not, is a potential stumbling block for many catchers out there. We all know Kevin Cash can do the job once every five days with the dancing offerings of Timmy, but the Red Sox might be looking at others. I have a feeling Jason Varitek WILL be a member of the 2009 Boston Red Sox team...I'm just about positive. We'll all find out SO much more next week, live from Las Vegas. Hey, if you can't be there, stop in here, early and often!

You can title click for all the latest on Tazawa and 'Tek, and as always, BE WELL. Shalom. I'd love to see some comments...I'll respond to every one of 'em. That's a promise.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Boston Signs JUNICHI TAZAWA...It's Official

From red sox dot com Thursday, December 4th...

"The Red Sox announced today the signing of right-handed pitcher Junichi Tazawa to a three-year Major League contract extending through the 2011 season.
The 22-year-old joins the Red Sox organization after a four-year amateur career with the Nippon Oil ENEOS of the Japan Industrial League. With the addition of Tazawa, Boston now has 39 players on its Major League roster.
This past season, Tazawa was 13-1 with 5 saves and a 0.80 ERA in 21 games/11 starts. He struck out 114 batters and walked just 15 over 113.0 innings pitched. In November he led the ENEOS to the semifinals of the league's corporate championship and in his last start of the competition, a quarterfinals matchup in Osaka on the 21st, Tazawa allowed just four hits and struck out 10 in a complete-game shutout, one of four during the 2008 campaign.
In September, Tazawa helped Nippon Oil win the 32-team Intercity Baseball Tournament for the first time in 13 years. He appeared in all five of the ENEOS' games from September 1-9, and earned the event's Most Valuable Player award going 4-0 with one save and a 1.27 ERA. He tossed 8.0 innings or more with double-digit strikeouts in each of his first two tournament appearances, including a complete-game, five-hit effort on September 4."

PETER here..I'll be back in the morning.

Pedroia Part Deux

I wanted to follow up my Wednesday post, the one with the Dustin Pedroia news flashes. I know the Red Sox did the exact right thing at precisely the exact right time. Good for Pedey, good for Boston, good for everyone. Boston held a press conference yesterday to announce the deal and here's a little of what Theo Epstein, a master craftsman, and Dustin Pedey Pedroia had to say. First at the plate is Theo...

"He's a leader in the clubhouse, I think he's a leader on the field with the way he approaches the game, and he's really talented and helps us win every night. . . . If we had 25 guys like this we'd be in good shape. I don't think we'd be the Red Sox right now without Dustin Pedroia."

And now the man himself, Pedey Pedroia...

"I know that if I would have gone year to year, yes, I would probably have made a lot more money. I understand that without a doubt," Pedroia said. "But I'm here in a place that I love, my family loves it. They treat us unbelievable. It's like a family here. I'm happy with this. I'm extremely excited, my wife's excited, my parents, they're ecstatic. . . . I want to be here. I want to play for the Red Sox and I don't want to play for anybody else. So it just seemed right to do something." I'm going to be the player I am for longer than 32, I can tell you that for sure," Pedroia said. "I saw how long the deal was and I was excited about it. That means I get to be here with the place I love for the next six or seven years. That's the way I looked at it."

Well said, Pedey. Pedroia is a player who goes all out for his team every game. He cares about winning, not whining, like some ex-Sox players (one in particular, with dreadlocks...ring a bell?) seemed to focus on. Now I have one BIG question for the Red Sox front office...WHAT ABOUT YOUK? Remember, folks, Kevin Youkilis finished third in the AL MVP voting. He's every bit as crucial to the success of the Boston Red Sox as Pedey is. Hey Theo, lock him up with a five or six year deal. He, like Pedroia, is the heart and soul of this Boston Red Sox team. NO MORE ONE YEAR DEALS...PLEASE!

The eyes of baseball fans everywhere turn westward to Las Vegas, the city of sin, for the start of the baseball winter meetings. The official start to the wheeling and dealing begins Monday, December 8th. Anything can and will happen. So fasten your seat belts and settle in for what I hope will be a very productive week for the Sox. A starter? A slugging first baseman? Who knows. Right now, no one does, but soon, my Constant Readers, soon, everything will be on the table with all the cards turned face up. I hope the Yankees read 'em and weep while we collect a huge pile of multi-colored chips. Yes, that's the way it should be, that's the way it should be.

Thanks for popping in, title click for more Sox stuff and as always, BE WELL. Forever.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Dustin "Pedey" Pedroia Is Signed By Boston To A Long Term Deal...Just now..

This just in from the Boston Herald and the Boston Globe! Great news!!!!

"As it turned out, winning the AL MVP last month wasn’t the only big event of Dustin Pedroia's offseason.
Pedroia and the Red Sox have reached agreement on a six-year, $40.5 million extension, to be announced later this afternoon. According to an industry source, Pedroia will receive a $1.5 million signing bonus and a $1.5 million salary for 2009. He’ll earn $3.5 million in 2010, $5.5 million in 2011, $8 million in 2012, $10 million in 2013 and $10 million in 2014, with a club option for $11 million in 2015 and a buyout of that option worth $500,000.
Additionally, Pedroia’s base salary can escalate by $2 million in both 2014 and 2015 with additional Top 3 finishes in MVP voting."

Peter here...that's from the Herald. Now, here's the Globe blurb, and then my comments...

"In case you're wondering, here's the precise breakdown of Dustin Pedroia's new six-year, $40.5 million contract with the Red Sox, which is due to be formally announced at approximately 3 p.m. today (Wednesday)...

Signing bonus - $1.5 million
Base salaries
2009 - $1.5 million
2010 - $3.5 million
2011 - $5.5 million
2012 - $8 million
2013 - $10 million
2014 - $10 million
Club option
2015 - $11 million (or a $500,000 buyout)

A few things:
* For the Red Sox, the big point here is that they bought at least two of Pedroia's free agent years for $10 million per. If the club exercises the option, they will effectively have signed Pedroia to a three-year deal (beyond 2012, when he is eligible for free agency) worth $31 million. Pedroia's gain is that he obviously guarantees himself a good deal of money now and gains a great measure of long-term security.
* If the Red Sox execrise the otpion, Pedroia's contract will be worth $51 million over seven years, an average of just under $7.3 million per season. Without the option, the deal is worth an average of $6.75 million, which immediately becomes Pedroia's average annual salary from 2009 to 2014. That $6.75 million is the number which will be used in the formula to determine the Sox' payroll for luxury tax purposes.
* The option will increase to $13 million if Pedroia wins another MVP at any point over the next six years. Anytime he finishes in the top three of the voting, his option would increase by $1 million each time, capping at $13 million. At most, barring award incentives, the deal could be worth $53 million over seven years."

Peter here. EVERY PENNY IS WORTH IT! Thanks to the Herald and the Globe, and of course, thank you Red Sox front office and to you, John Henry's wallet. The AL MVP will be with us for a long time, and nothing could be ANY better.

The Boston Red Sox 2009 Pitching Rotation...Who, What, Where & When

The Boston Red Sox 2009 starting pitching rotation, as it stands now, consists of Josh Beckett (be healthy, Josh), Jon Lester, Daisuke Matsuzaka and Tim Wakefield. There is a wide open spot for that fifth man, with the Sox talking to the agents of Derek Lowe, who has expressed a desire to come back to Boston, and AJ Burnett, a move I would not like. But where will Justin Masterson end up? Will he reprise his vitally important late inning relief role along with newly acquired Ramon Ramirez and the veteran Manny Delcarmen and lefty Lopez, all part of the bridge to ninth inning savior Jonathon Papelbon, or will Boston put him into that last spot of the rotation? Here's what he had to say...

"As far as where they put me, I think it continues to leave me in the same spot that I have always been in," Masterson wrote in an e-mail addressing the Ramírez trade. "That whether I will be starting or relieving is still up in the air. I don't really think I'll have much of an understanding of what it will be until I get to spring training and we go through that process. I will be coming in with the mindset of a starter just because it's easier to go from that to reliever than think I'll be a reliever and then move to a starter."

Peter here, and as the Stones wrote and sang, "TIME IS ON OUR SIDE..YES IT IS." The next ten days will prove to be momentous over at the winter meetings in Las Vegas. Boston has money to spend and deals that WILL be done. That much is certain. But who, where and when...we'll all know in less than two weeks. If you ask me, and I just did, I would leave Masterson right where he excelled last year...coming out of the 'pen in the late innings and inducing ground ball outs. With Ramirez, Delcarmen and lefty Javie Lopez, the bridge to Paps never seemed so sturdy. Let's keep it that way. What do you think? Let me know with a comment if you can...comments have been few and seldom, but I have a feeling that when the winter meetings begin, it will again get "lively" here. Until then, I'll be here...everyday. With a smile.

Please click on the title to read more about all the who, what, where and whens of this important upcoming week in Nevada and as always, BE WELL.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Hall Of Fame Nominations Are Coming Up...Will Jim Ed Make It? Tazawa Signs...Arbitration Offerings

On January 12th, Major League Baseball will announce it's 2009 Hall of Fame inductees. It's the last chance for Jim Ed Rice on the regular Hall of Fame ballot. In 2008 he garnered 72.5 % in balloting. 75% is the needed mark for induction. But listen to this...Jim Ed was the 21st player to reach the more-than-70%, less-than-75% level, and each of the earlier players were inducted in their next year of eligibility (thank you Boston Globe). So history is on Jim Ed's side. WE ARE, TOO! And Mo Vaughn will be on the ballot for the first time, but the eyes of Red Sox Nation and Red Sox International will be watching the status of number 14, leftfielder and slugger for so many great Boston teams. He deserves to be there, he should be there and he WILL be in the Hall of Fame. That's my prediction. Again, the 2009 Hall of Fame inductees will be announced on January 12th. GOOD LUCK JIM ED. We love ya!

In other Red Sox news, the young Japanese righthander Junichi Tazawa has made it official by signing a three year three million dollar contract. Hopefully in a year or so he'll be playing for the big club. Right now, he's not ready. But he will be, that I know. One thing that the numerous Japanese players have to get used to in the USA brand of baseball is the size and stitching of the leather covered round ball. Believe it or not, there IS a difference between the Japanese baseballs and those of MLB. Okie and Daisuke have made the transition...Junichi will too.

Sox players offered arbitration are few and two...Jason Varitek and Paul Byrd (why?). I don't think Byrd has anything to offer Boston's 2009 team but 'Tek...that's another story! I want him on the team. If his agent Scott Boras continues to insist on a long term deal, there might be very few interested teams...but a 2 year deal for modest to upper modest bucks would be great. Who knows? Jason might turn it all around at the plate and bat a healthy .280. So I ask the Sox powers-that-be this...SIGN HIM! Short but sweet. Period.

That's a wrap for this Tuesday, December 2nd. You can title click for all the arbitration details and a lot more Soxiness from the Boston Globe Red Sox homepage. Your comments are always welcome, too. As always, BE WELL. Shalom.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Tazawa To Sign With The Red Sox...Is Boston Looking At Derek Lowe? YES!

The Boston Red Sox and Japanese pitcher Junichi Tazawa have agreed to a three year deal worth three million dollars. It is said that Junichi will be coming to Boston for a complete physical and will sign the contract by week's end. As I wrote a couple of posts ago, there is a very slim chance we will see him hurling in the big leagues in 2009. He'll probably go to the Double A level affiliate to learn all that he can from that pitching dominated AA level of play. That's one more piece added to the puzzle that is next year's team. Here's another, just conjecture on this first day of December, my favorite month of the year (my birthday is the 10th).

Nick Carfado of the Boston Globe reported over the weekend that free agent and old friend Derek Lowe is interested in coming back to his old haunt. Lowe said this...

"If you're looking four or five years down the line, they fit the criteria of what I'm looking for," said Lowe. "It's not just the fact I played there - but, yeah, there were a lot of things I enjoyed - but they're definitely a franchise that has a chance to win."

And according to the New York Daily News and the Globe's Adam Kilgore...

The Mets "don't expect to outbid either the Yankees or Red Sox for Lowe, if it comes to that, especially with agent Scott Boras putting out the word that he's looking for a five-year deal in the $15 million-$16 million a year range," according to the New York Daily News . . . According to Boras, numerous teams have contacted him about the Dodgers' free agent righthander, writes the Globe's Adam Kilgore. "There is a very aggressive market for Derek," Boras said. "A widespread number of teams are interested.

Peter thanks to the Globe and the Daily News for putting out that easily found information. OK, time for my thoughts. Tazawa's signing is a no-lose deal for Boston. Three years at one million bucks per year is chump change for John Henry and life-changing money to young Junichi. It's good news all around...if Tazawa can develop his pitching skills the way I think he will, and he has all the raw skills to do just that, he'll be with the big club next year (2010) at the latest and he'll join his pitching idol, our very own Daisuke Matsuzaka, in the formidible Boston pitching rotation. Good luck, Junichi. Welcome to America's brand of baseball, the game you love. We do, too!

As for Derek Lowe, yes, he can still pitch. Can he keep on keeping on for five years? That remains to be seen, but if Boston lands him and he WANTS to be here, which seems to be the case, well, it's all good. We know a team can never have too many starting pitchers, especially a sinker ball ground ball inducing pitcher like Lowe. Hey Derek, come back home!

Thanks for stopping in to my place and welcome to December. You can title click for more news on the Tazawa and Lowe fronts...for a slow baseball news day, the Sox are adding all the little pieces before they (I hope) land "the big fish." As always, BE WELL. Shalom to one and all. Your comments are needed and appreciated. I'll answer every one of 'em.