Wednesday, December 20, 2006

AROUND THE WEB

Here is the headline that REALLY scared me: Yankees discussing deals involving Cabrera. After a torrent of profanities, I read the article at SI.com and found out the Yankees were looking to move their young outfielder, Melky Cabrera. Now, I was not happy to see that it would involve lefty reliever and former Sox farmhand, Mike Gonzalez, but my initial reaction was that it involved Marlins wonder-kid and all-around superstar-in-the-making, Miguel Cabrera. The reason I am not too concerned about the deal actually taking place is that it is a three-way deal with the Pirates, Braves and Yankees and the Braves are expected to give up future star Adam LaRoche for Melky Cabrera? Sorry, I do not see that happening.

* * *

New York know-it-all Mike Lupica checks in to offer some New York perspective in the Daily News and claim that Theo Epstein is jealous of power that Brian Cashman now has in his piece Theo's solo gig ends. Lupica contends that all Theo has done is idiotically sign J.D. Drew, screw-up the Matsuzaka deal, and that Larry Lucchino was the hero who rode in on his white horse to save the day for the Red Sox. First off, I think Brian Cashman is about five seconds from losing control of his power in charge of the Yankees: a sub-.500 record anytime after April 30 and he will be calling Tampa for permission to use the bathroom at Yankee Stadium. Finally, somehow I think that Theo has done a good job of rebuilding the Red Sox. Despite the statement by Lupica that

A lot has changed since the Red Sox came back from 0-3 down on the Yankees two
years ago. Most of the change has occurred in Boston, where they have spent a
lot of time trying to ruin a good thing.
Ahh, yes. The Red Sox should have re-signed Derek Lowe and Pedro Martinez (because that looks like such a good idea), not traded Bronson Arroyo, kept Orlando Cabrera at shortstop (despite the rumors he was a problem in the clubhouse), not let the now-retired Bill Mueller at third-base, keep the original dirt-dog (Mark Bellhorn), and kept that killer combo of Doug Mientkiewicz and Kevin Millar at first base. Keep Johnny Damon and Trot Nixon in the outfield at all costs, and erect a statue for Alan Embree while we are at it. Look, the 2004 Red Sox were the right team at the right time, in the right place. This was no team to keep together for all-time.

* * *

Buster Olney checks in on a subject that has me (and Theo and Tito) up at night mulling multiple possibilities: the closer situation in Boston. He responds to a question from a reader:
What is the best solution to the Red Sox closer issue? The starting rotation
looks strong, but the lack of a reliable closer could be haunting.
-- Mike,
East Bethel Road, Vt.
Mike: I think they should go into spring training with
Mike Timlin penciled in as the closer and assume that something more palatable
will come along, through competition, through injury, through trade. I think
Timlin could be OK -- not great, but decent enough -- so long as Terry Francona
uses him the way Bruce Bochy used Trevor Hoffman in San Diego, limiting only to
save situations, and for only one inning at a time. Put it this way: I'd bet
that whoever is the Red Sox closer on April 1 will not be the closer on Sept.
30. It will be a developing situation.

Someone will come along and jump into the role. Closer is the most over-rated position in baseball. Teams change these guys like we change our socks. There is no magic formula. You need a good pitcher who throws strikes, has a little success, gains a little confidence, and VOILA!

* * *

FullPressCoverage.com: New England Patriots’ Top 2019 NFL Draft Picks Show Evolution on Both Sides of the Ball

The New England Patriots may have tipped their hand with their first two 2019 NFL Draft picks. Choosing a bigger, more aggressive outside-...