A.J. Burnett, Coco Crisp, Mark Teixeira… The hot stove is indeed buzzing this week, but for closure's sake, I moonlight down the road to take one last look back at the sudden departure of Manny Ramirez, who meant so much, it shouldn't be any surprise his July departure still stings more than three months later.
Thursday, November 20th, 2008
Wednesday, November 19th, 2008
We're still waiting to see the move confirmed by other sources. Ramirez had an excellent rookie year for the Rockies in 2006 before struggling in 2007, but bounced back following a trade to the Royals last season, posting a 2.64 ERA and 70/31 K/BB ratio in 71 2/3 innings.
I've poured a few grains of salt on this report until I see a newspaper somewhere actually reporting this, but in the two seasons in which Ramirez — who is just 27 — had significant playing time, he posted very strong numbers.
Update: Nick Cafardo confirms it.
The Red Sox and Yankees find themselves apparently locked in battle for the services of … A.J. Burnett?
The Yankees still are preparing a formal offer for righthanded pitcher A.J. Burnett, a club official said yesterday, but the Red Sox have become serious competitors to land him.
The Red Sox's pursuit of Burnett complicates the Yankees' plans. A source close to Burnett said that a half-dozen teams are in contention for his services: the Yankees, Blue Jays, Red Sox, Braves, Phillies and Orioles. The Red Sox, the source said, have significantly increased their involvement in the pitcher in the past 36 hours and are now "fully engaged."
Update: Confirmation from the Daily News:
According to an industry source, Boston plans to be a major player for A.J. Burnett, one of the pitchers the Yankees are targeting along with CC Sabathia to bolster their starting rotation. Derek Lowe, another arm coveted by the Bombers, is also on Boston's radar.
The Red Sox are not planning to make an offer to Sabathia, who already has a six-year, $140 million offer on the table from the Yankees. But Burnett, who turns 32 in January, will certainly receive serious attention from Boston, which has already engaged in discussions with the pitcher's agent, Darek Braunecker, according to the source.
Tuesday, November 18th, 2008
It’s time for our predictaroo retrospective. Back in March, a nation looked towards a year of great debate as it set to choosing new leadership while welcoming the dawn of a bright new age of enlightenment and reason. Instead, the Phillies won the series while a team from the spring training circuit stunned pundits everywhere, and for much of the year, gas cost more than milk, resulting in many people giving up their SUVs in favor of riding cows to work. Prior to the events that transpired, your intrepid authors donned their fortune teller turbins and peered into the future. With today’s announcement of The Gnat as AL MVP, it’s time to take a look back and decide which author was the most accurate. Or more accurately, least wrong, as we boggle at how ridiculous a lot of those prognostications turned out to be.
Since none of my fellow authors authorized, asked, or really care one hoot about this, I’m going to be completely arbitrary in my scoring and dictatorial in awarding the “Soothy” to the soothiest soother to have soothed a sooth. And so we begin.
The AL East predictions are the creamed corn. I don’t know what creamed corn has to do with anything. I just like saying “creamed corn.” Anyway, you get this wrong, you lose. Everyone got it wrong, so in effect, this contest is already less attractive than a seven-day walkabout in Flint in February. YF, Nick, SF, and Paul were homers. John and ag went with Beantown. +1 point for everyone since all six participants had Boston in the post. +1 point to YF, Nick, and ag for picking the Rays to finish in front of the Jays. +1 to ag for being the least wrong in the beast, and therefore, the winner of the coveted RayJay award for being the beast’s best handicapper. Unfortunately, that’s all ag will win the rest of the way.
Too small. Not toolsy enough. Finnish.
Today all these doubts were put to rest, as an award was handed out.
The little one that could. Dynamic. Team supporter without compare.
That's right. Today Comptel Dynamic OSS won a Mobile Star Award for "Achievement in Operator Software for Customer or Device Management". Many people said it couldn't be done, that the code was too lean, too short, binary in talent. But Compt—
Oh, shit. Lost my mind for a second there. The award goes to Dustin Pedroia. Congrats, little man!
The Curse of the Hit Dog may finally come to an end today.
Yes, I'm referring to the Red Sox' long, terrible MVP drought, no player having won the hardware since Mo Vaughn in 1995. After acrimoniously leaving Dan Duquette's soulless regime in 1998, Vaughn famously cursed the Red Sox, and the effects have been devastating.
First there was the Great Pedro Snub of 1999, when George King famously left Martinex off his ballot, arguing he didn't believe pitchers should be eligibe for the MVP one year after naming two pitchers to his MVP ballot.
Then, despite having the greatest pitching season in the history of baseball in 2000, Martinez could finish no better than fifth, thanks to the Red Sox' suckitude. Disastrous campaigns in 2001 and 2002 cost Manny Ramirez shots at the award.
In 2003, David Ortiz, Ramirez and Nomar Garciaparra finished fifth, sixth and seventh in the balloting, splitting six first-place votes among them — the same number that went to winner Alex Rodriguez. In 2004, Ramirez led the league in OPS for the eventual World Series winners, yet finished third behind Valdimir Guerrero and Gary Sheffield.
And who can forget the Grest Debate of 2005, when Ortiz and Rodriguez were locked in a close race for the award while the Sox and Yanks were locked in a race for the division. The Sox lost the division on a tiebreaker; Ortiz lost the MVP by 24 votes. Somewhere, Mo Vaughn flexed a tattooed bicep and smiled.
The Sox were out of it in 2006, costing Ortiz another shot at the MVP in a season where he surely would have won if Boston had even contended for a playoff spot, and last year, Alex Rodriguez was simply too good.
But could this year be the year? Dustin Pedroia comes in as the favorite, but Kevin Youkilis also has garnered support. Could they split the vote, allowing a dark horse like Carlos Quentin or Francisco Rodriguez to slip in and keep the curse alive?
We'll know in a few short hours.
Monday, November 17th, 2008
A new week of the Hot Stove Season dawns with this rumor: That Tim Wakefield will retire rather than pitch in 2009.
Sunday, November 16th, 2008