I have thoroughly enjoyed bloggin here on mlblogs.com. I’ve come to find it a great community of folks who share a love of the game of baseball. As more people have come and visited my blogs and even posted comments, though, I have started to find myself getting more and more confused about the comments.
For example, Elizabeth posted in one of my blog articles in response to one of my comments. However, I don’t remember where the comment that she is responding to is posted. Did I post it on one of her entries, or did I post it on Jane’s blog? LOL.
That being said, I wish there was a place in your settings (Mark, are you listening?) where you could see a list of all the comments that you have left. I think it would help lessen my confusion, and then I’d be able to keep better track of the conversations and discussions I have been having with other bloggers. Some of the folks are even more active than me, so I can only imagine what they are going through.
Anyway, that’s my suggestion for MLBlogs. I am having fun, and where else do you get to interact with such a varying array of folks such as local beat writers for various newspapers, actors (Alyssa, feel free to get in touch with me =), authors, super fans, and even the players themselves, like Kevin Slowey?
Well, back to work for me. I hope the boss wasn’t watching.
Well, since the Hot Stove flame seems like it is flickering and the off-season wheeling and dealing is moving a pace slower than this guy:
I figured I’d blog about something else.
This weekend, a Patriot QB did something no the other Patriot QB had ever done. (No, I’m not talking about marrying a pregnant girlfriend.) Matt Cassel threw for over 400 yards in two consecutive games. That is also more 400 yard games in a span of 2 games than Tom Brady has thrown in his career (or so I’ve hard, there is no snazzy Play-Index over at Football Reference like there is a Baseball Reference.) Cassel has really done a great job filling in for Brady during this injury. The Patriots still have a great shot of another championship. The Pats currently sit a game behind the Jets in the AFL East and tied with the Colts and Ravens in the Wild Card race at 7-4. Aside from this upcoming week against the Steelers, the remaining schedule is pretty easy. It looks like the Pats can easily finish the season at 12-4 or no worse than 11-5 which should easily clinch a playoff spot. However, the Patriots are no longer the sole winter team in Boston vying for our attention.
Although it is still early in their respective seasons, both the Celtics and Bruins are the top teams in their conferences. Usually nobody pays much attention to these two teams. However, since Kevin Garnett came to town, the Celtics have returned to being the force they were from a previous era:
Not only that, but the Bruins are actually fun to watch. They play fast, the play hard, they hit hard, and they score goals. I’ve never been much of a Bruin follower or a hockey watcher for that matter. Usually I’d start to tune into hockey come playoff time. There are less whistles and faster pace that is funner to watch during the playoffs. However, I actually did flick the channel over the Bruins game the other night against the Canadians. They were down 1-0 at that time, but came back to win in a shoot out. I can’t remember the last time I flipped to that channel.
So, at least in Boston, we have some sports to keep us occuppied during this baseball void.
Oh, and since this is a baseball themed blog specifically tailored to the Boston Red Sox, there was a bit of news today. Rob Bradford at WEEI.com is reporting that the Red Sox opened negotiations with Jason Varitek by offering him a 1-year deal. If the story is true, I don’t think that is an offer that is going to get a deal done. Maybe it is only a starting point, as according to Peter Gammons over at ESPN, it doesn’t appear that the fax machine dedicated to Varitek offers at the Boras office isn’t exactly ringing off the hook.
I do hope that the Sox and Tek can work out a deal, possibly a 2-yr deal with a mutual option for a 3rd year, as I can’t picture him in any other uniform but Red Sox.
Now that players who filed for Free Agency are able to sign with any team, the transactions are flying fast and furious. (Note the sarcasm dripping from that sentence.) The action has been slower than anticipated, with the biggest news of the Yankees desperate attempt to make sure they sign Sabathia. Supposedly they have offered $140 million over 6 years and if that is only their initial offer, one has to wonder how high they will go. So far, the only free agent to change uniforms is Jeremy Affeldt. He will not be returning to Cincinnati, instead choosing to sign with the San Francisco Giants.
In Red Sox news, several Sox players and coaches are awaiting to hear some results. Bench coach Brad Mills and 3rd Base coach DeMarlo Hale both interviewed for the Seattle Mariners manager position. The Mariners are supposed to announce their selection today. Although, rumor has it that the Mariners will select Oakland A’s bench coach Don Wakamatsu. Good luck to Mills and Hale.
Meanwhile, Dustin Pedroia and Kevin Youkilis are 2 of the top candidates for AL MVP. We will find out the winner around 2pm today. Even though I think Youk is more deserving, my guess is that Pedroia will be named AL MVP. Go Red Sox!
Finally, if you have never checked out this blog: U.S.S. Mariner, it is one of the best blogs around. Anyway, one of the creators of that blog is trying to win a college scholarship for bloggers. Here is his post about it. So, let’s support our fellow baseball blogger, and help him win. Vote for David Cameron!! He was winning for a while, but is now about 200 votes behind. Help him out not only because he loves baseball and blogging, but he is a poor Mariners for fan for cying out loud.
No, I’m not going to complain about Jacoby Ellsbury not winning the RoY. Congrats to Evan Longoria and Geovany Soto for winning the AL and NL RoY, respectively (I’ve always wanted to write that.)
However, I have uncovered a discrepancy in the NL RoY Voting (and I’m not talking about Soto not winning unanimously, although he should have). What I am talking about is that there was a mysterious “extra” vote cast.
If you calculate all the votes from these results, you’ll find that there were 97 votes tabulated here. Was this voting done somewhere in Florida? The voting is done by the Baseball Writers Association of America. Two writers from each city cast a vote for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place.
So for the 14 AL teams, there would be 2 writers from each city placing 3 votes or (14x2x3) which would get you 84 total votes. In the NL, since there are 16 teams, it would go (16x2x3) for 96 total votes. If you count all the votes from the results above, you get (GASP!) 97 votes. Additionally, 3 voters voted for an ineligible candidate! I am sure this was just a simple mistake by some overworked accountant at Ernest & Young (you know the Oscar and other awards shows are coming up, and I’m sure there too busy prepping for those votes), BUT I demand an investigation!!!
Not only has voter fraud been seen in the political arena, but it has seeped into our National Pastime.
Oh the Travesty!
The Sox and Tek haven’t come to an agreement on a contract. Who knows if they even will? However, the MLB Player Rankings have been published by the Elias Sports Bureau and Varitek has been rated as a type “A” player. This is good news, because a type “A” free agent will get their former team a supplemental round pick between the first and second rounds and a compensatory pick from the signing team.
Now, the Sox will only get these 2 draft picks if:
1) They offer Varitek salary arbitration and he declines it.
2) If Varitek signs with another team before the deadline for teams to offer salary arbitration to their free agents.
This rating makes it a virtual no-brainer that Varitek will be offered arbitration. If Varitek accepts arbitration, it means that Varitek will be a Red Sox in 2009 at the least. That basically means that the Sox and Tek have agreed to a 1 year contract and if the two sides can’t agree on a salary, it will be decided by an arbitrator.
However, if he rejects arbitration, he can still sign with the Red Sox. However, they will have to come to an agreement based on the terms negotiated by the team and Tek’s agent, Scott Boras. Boras has come out to say that the starting point of negotiations for Tek is a Jorge Posada’s recent 4 yr, 50 something million deal. If any other team signs Tek, the Sox will get 2 draft picks, as stated above.
So the good news translates to: Red Sox will either get something for Varitek (2 draft picks) or have a chance to get him for only a 1 year deal via arbitration process. Both are good results for the Red Sox. As there is no way the Sox are going to give him a contract similar to Posada, especially when Tek would be 41 years old at the end of the deal.
Since Tek has already filed for free agency, here is the likely scenario that will happen:
1) On Nov 14, he is eligible to sign with any team in MLB (if he does, the Sox receive 2 draft picks.)
2) Red Sox will offer him salary arbitration. They have until December 1, 2008 to do so.
3) Varitek will reject salary arbitration. Tek will have until December 7, 2008 to do so.
4) Tek will sign a contract with some team other than the Red Sox, and the Sox will get 2 draft picks.
A lot of this will depend on how Boras and Tek feel the about the offers they get from other teams, if any. If Varitek decides to accept arbitration, we will know that there was not much interest from other teams in him OR he REALLY wants to stay with the Red Sox. The good thing about arbitration for Varitek, is if he does file, the worse his contract will be for is the same 10 million he was making, as the chances of him getting a larger salary in an arbitration case would seem to be not too good, especially considering his putrid offensive production this season.
A quick congratulations to Dustin Pedroia who is going to be named the winner of the AL Gold Glove Award for 2nd Basemen. It could be just the first award he may receive this off-season, as there is a chance he could win a Silver Slugger and a Bronze….errr I mean MVP award.
Finally, congratulations to Mo Vaughn, Mike Greenwell, Bill “Spaceman” Lee, who will be inducted into the Red Sox Hall of Fame tomorrow evening. They will be joined by Frank Sullivan, Wes Ferrell, Everett Scott, scout George Digby, and executive Ed Kenney, Sr.
Jake Peavy has said he would not accept a trade to the Boston Red Sox. Peavy has a full no-trade clause in his deal with the Padres. Kevin Towers confirmed that the Red Sox were on a list of teams Peavy does not want to get traded to. However, the New York Yankees are not on that list. Seems there is something about the Padres not liking Boston. Remember when Brian Giles would not accept a trade to Boston at the trade deadline?
However, it seems like the Sox aren’t going to give up on trying to get Padres. It looks like they may be interested in acquiring shortstop Khalil Greene. Greene is coming off a down year where he hit .213 in only 105 games. In 2007, he did hit .254 with 27 HRs and 97 RBIs after having 15 HRs a season from 2004 – 2006. Greene would either be a free agent after 2009 or be in his last year of salary arbitration, as he will finish up a 2-yr, 11m contract extention that he signed at the beginning of 2008 to avoid salary arbitration. This could be a nice stop gap to give Jed Lowrie a bit more seasoning, especially if they can move Julio Lugo somewhere duing the off-season.
EDIT: Heard on WEEI that Coco Crisp has been offered to the Padres for Greene.
So, word has it that the Red Sox are the front runner for a young amateur free-agent from Japan named Junichi Tazawa. He is 22 yrs old, supposedly with an above average fastball to go along with a curve and split-finger. He requested that Japanese professional teams not draft him so he could sign with MLB as a free agent. Japanese players usually must go through a posting process, but since Tazawa has never been drafted or sign to a Japanese professional team, he does not need to through that process. It is unclear how major league ready he is, but it is never wrong to try build up some quality young pitching.
Don’t forget to vote today!!