Thursday, December 22, 2005

THE STORY THAT WOULD NOT DIE

Enough already! The Red Sox are equally ridiculed and criticized, by the same host, caller, writer, etc for both letting Damon get away even though he was ridiculously overpaid. Hmm. So they were smart not to pay him $13 million a year, and yet they were stupid for not paying him whatever it takes to keep him here even if it threw the entire salary structure on the team out of whack. Whatever. And these bozos who ask why the Sox did not come back and offer four years and eleven or twelve million per season: PUH-LEEZE!

How many times did the Johnny Damon/Scott Boras Show go into hysterics at the mention of a home town discount?. Damon made it clear he was taking the money. This mysterious team that no one has any leads or leaks on that offered five years and more money is so obviously a fictional creation of the uber-agent and yet the idiotic media people eat it up like it was the word of God. The more I think about this deal, the more I like the options it presents for the Sox.

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FIXING A HOLE:

Very simple solution here folks: Juan Encarnacion, David Murphy, and Adam Stern. All for less than $6 million per season total. Encarnacion could hit $30 homers in Fenway, move to RF when Nixon gets hurt for the umpteenth time, and cover left field when Manny is being Manny. Murphy deserves a shot. The Braves thought Jeff Francoeur was not ready, and look what he did.

Give the kids a chance, I say!

Adam Stern is raw and maybe a year away, but again, give him a shot in center, he already has shown he can catch anything out there, and bat him ninth and tell him to steal every single time he reaches base. He needs to play to learn.

With a rotation of Josh Beckett, Curt Schilling, Jonathan Papelbon, Tim Wakefield, and Bronson Arroyo/Matt Clement/David Wells/Jon Lester/Abe Alvarez/mystery free agent signing (Kevin Millwood?), the Sox will not need to score 1,000 runs this season. The Yankees, with their rotation, took the Baltimore approach of adding bats instead of arms this season (Yo, Octavio Dotel is gonna be smoking outta the pen, if he gets healthy by July, if he gets his groove, if he avoids pressure situations, if he can beat out Felix Heredia for a roster spot). Great choice. Look where it got Baltimore last year.

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COMMUTER UPDATE:

OK, no idiots today on the train talking about trading Kevin Youkilis straight up for Albert Pujols (Duh, I don’t know why the Red Sox don’t make that deal!), but the whacko on her cellphone going into graphic detail on the train about the birth of her child and fluids and all the disgusting details. Talk about a desperate plea for attention!

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BACK IT UP:

This is a wonderful off-season for the Patriots to find a long-term backup for Tom Brady. As impressed as I was with Matt Cassell in the preseason games, and with Doug Flutie nearing the end of his time as a pro player, the list of solid veterans and talented players in the wrong system, situation, or in need of a good coach is staggering. Some of the names who may be available this off-season include:

SOLID VETERANS:

Kerry Collins, Oakland: His value is as a veteran backup, not as a starter.

Brad Johnson, Minnesota: Unfortunately for the Vikings fans, Dante Culpepper will be back.

Brett Favre, Green Bay: Hey, if I were a cheesehead, I would want to be rid of him. Think Dan Marino before he finally hung them up and accepted he was no longer the best quarterback in the league.

OODLES OF TALENT:

Joey Harrington, Detroit: Quack. Joey the Duck has oodles of talent, but maybe not the broad shoulders to carry Matt Millen and the Lions much longer.

Kyle Boller, Baltimore: How much longer will they wait on Boller? Remember, the Ravens traded their future number one along with other picks to the Patriots to draft Boller. That number one turned out to be Vince Wilfork.

J.P Losman, Buffalo: Another highly regarded draft pick withering under the expectations.

Any of these guys could learn a lot from Bill Belichick and Tom Brady. They are all worthwhile risks.

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LINK OF THE DAY:

No, not Link Jarvis, king of the your mother jokes from high school, but my link of the day:

Dr. Z on MNF. The crustiest old dude on the NFL beat rips the American Institution a new you-know-what in his typical, Jersey, acerbic manner.

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UNTIL THE END OF THE WORLD

Not to pile on Johnny Damon, but how much endorsement money did he just pass up to go to New York? I know I ranted on it a while back, but there is something to be said about staying somewhere comfortable where your pole-dancing wife can get a TV gig, a cushy job for life is yours if you want it after retirement (Jim Rice may have been unfriendly with the media, but he stayed in Boston his entire career and is basically assured a team-related job for the rest of his life. How do you put a price tag on that?) Does Johnny really think anyone in New York is going to be interested in him? Somehow a sequel will not play too well in the Bronx, I imagine. Heck, unless he starts brawling with A-Rod and Psycho Sheffield in the locker room, the back pages are gone form his future. He gave up a statue in Boston for a few extra dollars now.

Of course, on the other hand, I doubt there are many people that would be able to objectively weigh the long-term benefits of a position when faced with the big dough and bonuses and whatnot of the newest suitor on the block. How many executives spent a year or more scrambling for work after bailing out and going with some stupid start-up of the week in the late nineties in an attempt to get as much money in hand at once? Scott Boras really does not give a flying you know what about Johnny Damon and his life outside baseball: he only cares about his percentage on the deal he is working on right now.

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NOMAH IS A DODGAH:

Not to be rude or anything, but did anyone else take a gander at the AP photo of Nomah and Mia Hamm Sandwich holding up the Dodgers jersey and think: can you imagine what that poor kid would look like? Sure, the kid would be a great athlete, but the costs of keeping paper bags around to cover that face…

All kidding aside, it is sad that after all the good that Nomar did in Boston the most emotion I can muster over Nomar packing up his bags and moving out west is a slight wave of the hand and an of-hand: bah! The man is Spike Owen to me now. Sure, you are a little curious about where he will end up, but otherwise we are all more concerned about figuring out what to do with three second base candidates.

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GOING GREEN:

Sure, I meant to tune in to the Celtics game the other night versus the Warriors, but without Run-TMC for the past 15 or so years, who really cares about the Golden State Warriors? Also, what the heck right do they have referring to themselves as the nickname, not a good one, of an entire state with three other pro teams? Golden State. Where do they play anyway? Not L.A., not Sacramento, so where? Talk about a team that could/should be moved to Las Vegas!
Anyway, between wrapping presents, How the Grinch Stole Christmas and checking in on how Jamal Lewis was running against the Green Bay Packers last night (as he only carried my entire fantasy football season on hi s back) the Celtics, as they tend to do lately, totally slipped my mind.

The good news is I needed 12 points from Jamal Lewis to advance to the second round and I got 13. The bad news is that one of the few loyal Celtics fans out there totally missed the game and likely dropped the viewership from 13 to 12 regular viewers.

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SEEING RED:

So is the plan officially to move Dustin Pedroia back to shortstop for a year in AAA and let Alex not Joey Cora handle SS in 2006? It makes sense to me and I see no reason to panic or rush into a rash decision for the Red Sox. Trading Manny to Anaheim for the O.C. and Darin Freaking Erstad seems like such a bad move that I cannot imagine the Sox pulling the trigger on that one. Dealing away phenom Andy Marte makes no sense either. His value is over the next four years before becoming arbitration eligible as he hits down in the order and develops into the full-time replacement for Manny in 2008.

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LIFE IS CRUEL:

Is there nothing worse than sitting on the commuter rail listening to two bozos talk about trading Manny to Seattle for Ichiro would be such a great deal. It reminds me of Gallagher’s t-shirt: YOU, OUTTA THE GENE POOL!

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