Thursday, November 19, 2009

Tito On Bay, 'Tek, Lackey, Kottaras & More

Good things don't happen overnight and Red Sox baseball fans will have to wait to learn the final destination of last year's left fielder, Jason Bay. It's the nature of the game and the Red Sox manager, Terry "Tito" Francona, had this to say on that...

"You have to be patient. As fans, as the manager, you want things to happen now. We want to have our team in place now. It’s not going to happen. It’s going to take time. He has earned the right to be a free agent. This is his first time, and he wants to see it through. You know we’re going to be a major player. We always are. Do I hope it gets done? Yeah. I bet you Jason Bay hopes it gets done. But he’s going to have other options, too."

Boston has until midnight eastern standard time today (Thursday) to negotiate with Jason Bay without any other teams being involved. It is expected that Bay will "test the waters" of free agency but I'm fairly certain that, when everything pans out, he'll be back with the Red Sox for the 2010 season and beyond. He has been far too consistently excellent, at the plate and with his glove, for Boston not to make their bid up there with the best of 'em. We'll see...that I know.

Tito also said that Red Sox captain Jason Varitek has fully accepted his 2010 role as the backup to Victor Martinez. I never thought otherwise. Here's Tito again...

“If he didn’t accept that (the backup role), then it could have been a problem. I don’t see that happening,” Francona said. “I saw him the other day. He was about as fired up as I’ve seen him. That’s part of the reason he has the ‘C’ on his chest,” Francona said. “He’s lived up to that. I know he will continue to.”

Well said, Terry. Next up, Francona tried to express how much it would mean to the club he manages to have righthander John Lackey in his already crowded rotation. To me, it would put the Red Sox starting pitching rotation on a par with the world champion NY Yankees (I hate it when I have to type that). Once again, here is Mr. Tito Francona...

“John Lackey is one of the best,” Francona said. “Every year, there’s a couple guys who seem like they can sway the fortunes of an organization. He’s that type of pitcher. Now, to get that type of pitcher, you’re going to have to make quite a commitment. That’s something that makes our organization a little bit uneasy.”

Catcher George Kottaras was claimed off waivers by the Milwaukee Brewers on Wednesday. Here's Tito...

“We had to release George Kottaras,” Francona said. “I love George. He never played but that doesn’t mean he wasn’t a good kid."

Thanks for your words of wisdom, Tito. The most important off-season matter to me is to lock up the services of Jason Bay and to find another power hitting defensive player (you know who...he plays first) from the free agent market. Getting Wagner back would help the bullpen depth immensely, too, and another starter wouldn't hurt. Time will tell. Tick-tick-tick.

You can click on this post's title for more on the Boston Red Sox and as always, BE WELL. If you'd like to leave a comment, that would be great. Thanks for popping in and I'll see you tomorrow, if not before.

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