Jacoby Ellsbury: The Early Years

Mhsbaseball99

When we found out that YFSF regular Nyara was a Little League and High School teammate of elite Red Sox prospect Jacoby Ellsbury, we couldn’t help but ask him to contribute a short piece about their time playing together. We’re pleased to present the result. Above is the 1999 Madras (Oregon) White Buffaloes team photo. Ellsbury (#2) is second from the left. Nyara (#8) is sixth from the left. Enjoy!

As a sixth-grader in Madras, my Little League team fell short of players midway through the 1992 season. My dad (our coach) was forced to “call up” a player from the younger league of third- and fourth-graders to fill the roster. With little hesitation, he passed over the older kids and chose a 9-year-old named Jacoby Ellsbury. Now, Madras isn’t exactly a booming metropolis, so Jacoby’s talent was no secret. He came up and played well for us, and I even remember an instance where my friends and I watched him pitch on the side, marvelling at how consistently he threw strikes (which, in Little League, is not a common trait).

His athleticism obviously continued into high school, where we again became teammates, and in several sports. I was a senior when he got to high school, but he easily made the varsity football and baseball teams. He played wide receiver and (I believe) free safety for the White Buffaloes, but his season was cut short when he suffered a broken collar bone. He healed during the basketball season, and was ready for baseball in the spring. He started in centerfield and was also our leadoff hitter. He did well his freshman year, hit a couple of homers while being one of the team leaders in average, and we all knew he’d be a special player. Never did we realize, however, that he’d make it as far as he has.

He obviously had a stellar high school career in baseball, but he also was a star of the basketball team. He was a popular student, as he was very friendly and genuinely nice, which isn’t always the case with elite athletes. I’m happy to see that these attributes haven’t seemed to have changed. Although I don’t live in Madras anymore, I know he had the full support of the town, and is a local hero in central Oregon. I spend my spring afternoons coaching the freshmen baseball team in Corvallis now, and he is a popular subject there as well, as he spent his impressive collegiate career at Oregon State University, leading them to their first of three straight CWS appearances.

His incredible talent and speed is impressive, but equally relevant (and probably overlooked) is his intense work ethic, his commitment to his team and the sport, and his humility and integrity. He plays the game well, and he plays the game right. As a 20-year Yankees fan, I was devastated when the Sox chose him 23rd overall in 2005, and now my fears have come to fruition. Sox fans, I tell you (with more than a trace of bitterness) congratulations, for you truly have an extremely valuable young man on your roster.

The following article documents Ellsbury’s first appearance in a high school game.

Slide_3

White Buffaloes Clip Culver Twice

Jeremy Logue drew a leadoff walk to open the eighth inning and came around on a passed ball, giving the White Buffaloes a 3-2 victory over Culver and a sweep of the doubleheader with the Bulldogs Saturday afternoon.

Madras won Saturday’s opener 8-7 as three pitchers limited the bulldogs to two base hits. Madras’ Jacoby Ellsbury was 2-for-2 in the second game, scoring a run and driving in a third-inning run on a sacrifice fly. That put Madras ahead 2-1, but Culver sent the game to extra innings by tying the score in the top of the seventh. Culver’s Ryan Overcash scattered six hits while registering a complete game in the second game. In the first game, Madras helped keep the Bulldogs close by issuing 11 walks and committing four errors. Madras went ahead 5-2 in the second inning with a four-run rally highlighted by Logue’s leadoff double, Jorge Mora’s run-scoring groundout, Ellsbury’s RBI triple, and Charlie Nyara’s run scoring single.

Culver tied the game at 5-5 in the top of the fifth, but Madras went ahead for good in the bottom of the frame, when Logue singled in Jake Jaca, who had doubled, and Mora lofted a pitch for a sacrifice fly. Nyara finished 3-for-4 with two RBIs, [Way to go Nyara!—ed.] and Logue was 2-for-3.

170 comments… add one
  • Pretty cool. Thanks Nyara! Ellsbury is an exciting prospect and it’s easy to forget these guys have great back stories. But I worry about the injuries and lack of power this year. Honestly before they go and trade Coco, I’d like to see Jacoby go out and post at least a .850/.900 OPS in AAA with passable splits against LHP even in a half season. He’s just not there yet.
    Overlooked this year has been Jed Lowrie (also from OR – Salem – Nyara, you play against him?) who had a better numbers this year at AAA (.862 OPS in 162 AB) while playing SS. They probably won’t do it but I’d rather they slide Lowrie to 3B than sign another guy to an overpriced deal. The difference is having Crisp to cover CF, at least for another half season, while Jacoby develops his pop against AAA pitching. Then, next June, if he shows that development, trade Coco for mid-season help.
    Now that’s an exciting future! This time next year it could be Pedroia at 2B, Lowrie at 3b, and Jacoby in CF.
    Could have been even better if they held onto to WMP as Manny’s replacement in LF. He hit another 2 HR’s last night and now has 7 in 72 AB with the Nationals while playing a flawless OF. Hopefully Carter shows enough to make Lugo (by way of Lowrie) expendable.

    Pete September 11, 2007, 6:01 am
  • Thanks, Nyara – this is fantastic.
    And I agree with Pete re: Coco 100%, though I am more flexible with Jacoby, meaning that if we can get value for Manny and slot Jacoby into left I’d consider it.

    SF September 11, 2007, 8:38 am
  • I’ve seen several comments over multiple posts re: the RS getting something for Manny. Haven’t the last several years proven he is pretty much un-tradeable? Has something changed? How many years does he have left on his contract?
    Great story and photos Nyara.

    IronHorse (yf) September 11, 2007, 8:43 am
  • IH:
    He’s in the last year of his contract, which is worth $18M with $4M deferred. I can’t imagine there aren’t teams that would take one year of Manny if the Sox picked up some of the tab. He’s a 10-5 guy, which complicates things, and he’s had an off-year, hurting his value. So I am not deluded into thinking this is an easy task. But it’s worth thinking about in lieu of dumping a cost-controlled young guy like Crisp. Not sure it’s either/or, though, as the Sox could leave Ells in AAA to start ’08 and go from there. There are lots of permutations for the FO.

    SF September 11, 2007, 8:55 am
  • That’s $18M total, not $18M plus $4M deferred.

    SF September 11, 2007, 8:55 am
  • The problem with trading Manny and slotting Ellsbury into left is that the Sox would be left with very little power in the outfield. I may be wrong, but don’t Ellsbury’s numbers match up to a good centerfielder, but not a very strong corner?
    And I agree with everyone. Great stuff, Nyara!

    Nick-YF September 11, 2007, 8:58 am
  • Very cool Nyara. Thanks for this.

    LocklandSF September 11, 2007, 9:19 am
  • I agree, Nick. He just hasn’t shown the power yet (with over 1000 minor league AB’s his SLG sits at .426) for a corner or even full-time at CF.
    I’d rather see Ells develop in AAA to begin 08, then bring him up if he shows power improvement and trade or 4th OF Coco.
    Manny leaving, I’m afraid, will leave a gaping hole in the lineup.

    Pete September 11, 2007, 9:26 am
  • By the way, not sure if it’s a big coincidence but:
    Happy Birthday Jacoby!

    Pete September 11, 2007, 9:28 am
  • Now, if we only had a regular that went to high school with Clay “Fastest Man in Baseball” Buchholz, that would also be very interesting…

    LocklandSF September 11, 2007, 9:50 am
  • On Bucholz, the NYT reports today that Joba sent him a congratulatory text message following his no-hitter (they played together in the Futres Game 2 months ago). First strike against Joba in my book (joking…sort of…)

    IronHorse (yf) September 11, 2007, 10:21 am
  • Proof that Joba isn’t yet a “true Yankee.” Doesn’t he know that you’re supposed to root against Sox no-hitters and cheer wildly when they fail?

    Paul SF September 11, 2007, 11:03 am
  • he knows that you’re supposed to root wildly if the pitcher throwing the no-hitter is the ever popular blow-hard Curt Schilling…no matter who he’s pitching for.

    Nick-YF September 11, 2007, 11:08 am
  • “I can’t imagine there aren’t teams that would take one year of Manny if the Sox picked up some of the tab.”
    I would think Manny would demand that his ’09 and ’10 options be exercised before accepting a trade. No way he’d make $20 million on the open market. I’d be really surprised if we were willing/able to move him.

    Tyrel SF September 11, 2007, 11:16 am
  • Oh, and thanks for the post Nyara, good stuff.

    Tyrel SF September 11, 2007, 11:16 am
  • I like Crisp, too. I like his attitude, I love his defense.
    What I don’t love is that for essentially two whole seasons, he’s been a black hole on offense. Last year, we all (rightly) gave him a pass, as he recovered from an injury that directly affects a batter’s swing.
    This year, however, as I mentioned in last night’s game thread, he’s been arguably even worse.
    Last year, Crisp finished with a .264/.317/.385 line, essentially identical to this year’s .269/.333/.386 line to date. He’s walked a little more this year.
    Crisp is clearly a streaky hitter, but his bad streaks have been much longer than his good ones. After reaching .281 last year in early August, Crisp finished the season .230/.291/.367. Only a 13-game, .382/.393/.491 stretch in July saved his season from being truly, truly awful.
    This year, sans injury, it’s the same thing. First 64 games this season: .221/.277/.295. Next 31 games: .402/.454/.641. Last 44 games: .237/.320/.321. Take away his one good month, and Crisp’s season over 373 at bats looks like this:
    .228/.296/.298
    Along with the utter lack of consistency is the fact that his bad streaks have blown away his good ones — twice as extreme for twice as long.
    All that to say: Based on Ellsbury’s limited play to date — adding that his arm and speed are as good as, if not better than, Crisp’s — I would feel pretty comfortable saying that Ellsbury is highly likely to provide more value than Crisp from the center field position.

    Paul SF September 11, 2007, 11:19 am
  • Yeah, Jacoby for Manny, straight up! Look, I am as high of Jacoby as the next guy, but please..
    get a load of the potentcy:
    Jacoby
    Ped
    Youk
    Papi
    JD
    (new corner IFer)
    Varitek
    Lugo
    CoCo
    That would be a lineup of 6 (six!) players who at one point this season were the defacto leadoff man. Umm, maybe not Youk but he was last year. And if Papi went down? Ouch!
    Sorry guys but that will not work.
    So the question is, who do you keep/play? Coco or Ellsbury? (it has to be Coco). Manny or Ellsbury? (please…). JD or Ellsbury? (JD is here to stay. No choice at this point). So what to do with Ellsbury?
    4th OFer. Has to be. I don’t think at this point Theo/Tito would much consider moving him up. I’m sure they are far more concerned about what to do if/when Lowell is gone, hence their move of Moss to 1st.
    Free agents:
    Casey (Leftie. No way)
    Koskie (same)
    Hatteberg (I like him as the ‘right’ part of a platoon)
    Batista (uggh)
    Feliz (same)
    Arod
    Lowell
    Looks like Arod or Lowell to me. In any case, it’s a decent discussion thread.

    BostonRAW September 11, 2007, 11:29 am
  • I guess te question is how much value you could get back for Crisp. Clearly, a couple of years ago he was a well-regarded young player who yielded one of the top prospects in baseball, but has his hitting lowered that value? Do teams think that highly of his potential stll?

    Nick-YF September 11, 2007, 11:33 am
  • There’s no way Ellsbury is a fourth OF. He’ll either be in the minors or starting next April. It’s just a matter of which outfielder would be displaced. Drew is untradeable. Manny is tradeable, but I agree that losing his bat — even if it’s not the bat it was in 2005 — would be terrible for the lineup unless he’s replaced by A-Rod. That leaves Coco. Again, I like him, but it’s hard for me to see why he should stay.
    Unless the Sox truly plan to trade Manny, let Lowell sign elsewhere and throw a bank at A-Rod, which would be fine with me.

    Paul SF September 11, 2007, 11:33 am
  • That’s definitely the question, Nick. For some reason, his terrible hitting isn’t getting the press it did last season, but I imagine a GM wouldn’t overlook it. I really don’t know what he could be had for, unless there’s a GM who loves the speed and defense and is willing to gable on his bat returning. Unless the Sox package Manny AND Coco, haha.

    Paul SF September 11, 2007, 11:34 am
  • Paul, Coco is a 29 YO kid who (IMO) happens to be one of the more valuable players on the team. I think it would be a mistake to lose him for a rookie with so few AB’s.
    Seeing that this is the RS we are talking about, I think Jacoby first needs to show how he can handle a slump.

    BostonRAW September 11, 2007, 11:36 am
  • Will he handle it any worse than Coco, who has essentially slumped for two straight years?
    My point is that it’s hard to imagine him being any worse than Crisp is right now.

    Paul SF September 11, 2007, 11:37 am
  • “There’s no way Ellsbury is a fourth OF”
    That is an opinion but have you considered that Manny will be 37 and JD’s history of injuries?
    Jacoby would get play as the 4th

    BostonRAW September 11, 2007, 11:38 am
  • This is what the Sox said about Wily Mo Pena, who got no playing time and suffered for it developmentally.

    Paul SF September 11, 2007, 11:48 am
  • Coco is 27, first of all, he turns 28 in November.
    Secondly, NOBODY is untradeable, I don’t care what their contract is. Not Drew, not Lugo, not Manny. Some are harder to trade than others (10-5 rights are a monkey wrench). It all boils down to what a team wants in return for that player, or how much subsidy they are willing to provide.

    SF September 11, 2007, 11:53 am
  • 28… hmmmm, even better!
    Not to whine about some of the posters here but let’s get this right; if Boston trades away Coco and Jacoby does not live up to standards he has set for himself after a handful of games, RS Nation will be all over Theo for being such an idiot.
    Coco has proven himself a valuable commodity with his D and O potential. I think it is far to soon to give up on him, especially considering that he could very well still be affected by his wrist injury last year.
    Let’s not forget that this guy was the ‘next Damon’ before that injury.

    BostonRAW September 11, 2007, 12:01 pm
  • “NOBODY is untradeable”
    True that, but trading Drew or Lugo would be like giving them away – better to keep them and hope for better results next year? I say yes.
    Why rush Ellsbury? Give him the ABs he needs in the minors; keep Coco for another year; very possible his hitting improves. Move him after’08 when you stand a good chance of getting more for him.
    And guys – do you really think there’s more than a VERY slim chance you get Arod? As long as George is still breathing, he’s not going to let his biggest rival outbid him for his best player. Get real.

    Andrews September 11, 2007, 12:06 pm
  • I don’t know how much sway Bill James has in the FO but earlier this season he was quoted by Seth Mnookin as saying that Coco was the most valuable player on the Sox during their tremendous early season run solely for his amazing defense. If you add this to the fact that the Sox thought so highly of Crisp as a young player (he was on their radar a whole season before they traded for him), it seems clear that the FO values him highly. My feeling is that they’d might be more inclined to trade Ellsbury or Manny before trading Crisp because both their perceived values or higher than Crisp’s. Having Ellsbury and Crisp is a luxury, but they are somewhat redundant. Meanwhile, the Sox have needs at catcher, short, and in the power department.

    Nick-YF September 11, 2007, 12:08 pm
  • “his wrist injury last year”
    Wasn’t it a finger injury?
    BTW what is the statute of limitations on the “injury” excuse? It happened a tear and a half ago… :)

    Andrews September 11, 2007, 12:08 pm
  • ..year and a half ago.., sorry

    Andrews September 11, 2007, 12:11 pm
  • It comes down to this:
    Knowing a 4th OF’er is needed since, apparently, the RS want to see Moss at 1st, how sure is RS management that Jacoby can equal Coco’s .275 AVG and .350 OBP (given his same improvement over last year, next year)?
    Is Jacoby a .290/.375 hitter?

    BostonRAW September 11, 2007, 12:11 pm
  • Wow, I work for an hour and you guys go crazy.
    No one’s explained yet how a kid with a .740 OPS in a half season of AAA should replace a guy with a .720 OPS in the majors. Worse, is the splits Jacoby has shown against LHP (.620 OPS in AAA this year – >100 AB). If he doesn’t improve those he’ll never get regular playing time.
    And let’s draw a distinction between Jacoby as a 4th OF for 2008 and Jacoby as a 4th OF forever. Still, I just want to see him perform in AAA before he’s given anything. Trading Coco this off-season makes no sense. His value is as low as it’s ever going to be. Best case: He rebounds a bit next year (.750 OPS) and Jacoby has a monster first half for the PawSox. Then trade or 4th OF Crisp and promote Jacoby.
    I look at Jacoby as the Sox’s Melky (as much as I hate to agree with RAW). Going in there may not be room for him. But by June he may have forced his way into a full-time gig. But he’s not there yet.

    Pete September 11, 2007, 12:11 pm
  • “True that, but trading Drew or Lugo would be like giving them away – better to keep them and hope for better results next year? I say yes.
    Why rush Ellsbury? Give him the ABs he needs in the minors; keep Coco for another year; very possible his hitting improves. Move him after’08 when you stand a good chance of getting more for him”

    I could not agree more.
    As far as Arod; it depends on what he wants, how much Theo is willing to spend, and how earnest Cashboy was when he said ‘no extensionee, no playee’

    BostonRAW September 11, 2007, 12:16 pm
  • I have no interest in the Sox trading Drew OR Coco, for the record. I like what I have seen from Ellsbury, but I am not convinced that we aren’t just seeing a nice start followed by the eventual pitching adjustment. I am with Pete – AAA may be a good thing for him. My thoughts on moving Manny are not “move Manny at all costs” or even “move Manny even if the costs are great so Ells can play”, but rather “why not explore what it might take to move Manny, particularly now that his contract isn’t as daunting”. Nothing too radical.
    All this is medium-term in the future. Right now the key is to get Manny back healthy for the stretch run; it’s clear that even a depleted Manny is best for the team right now. When November comes it might be another story.

    SF September 11, 2007, 12:18 pm
  • LOL @ Sox fans thinking they have anywhere close of a chance of getting A-Rod. You’re already putting him in your dream ’08 lineups. I can’t believe you actually are seriously entertaining the thought. Wow. Just wow.

    doug YF September 11, 2007, 12:22 pm
  • Which explains why his wifey wore a shirt that told all you Yank fans to go fuck yourselves.
    Sure. No chance.

    BostonRAW September 11, 2007, 12:25 pm
  • That shirt made a statement. And if Arod disapproved I doubt she would have worn it.
    Also; you have any idea who Boras’s new butt buddies are?

    BostonRAW September 11, 2007, 12:27 pm
  • “why his wifey wore a shirt that told all you Yank fans to go fuck yourselves.”
    So, you’re saying that, if he leaves the yanks because he doesn’t like the treatment he’s received, that’s it’s likely he goes to Boston, where he’s been treated even worse?
    Makes no sense.

    Andrews September 11, 2007, 12:30 pm
  • all this speculation about where A-Rod is going to end up is fruitless. At this point, I wouldn’t be surprised if he ended up a Sock or a Yanks. The one thing I know is he’ll end up on one of the big market teams. Both NY and Boston fit that description.

    Nick-YF September 11, 2007, 12:35 pm
  • ” I wouldn’t be surprised if he ended up a Sock or a Yanks”
    I would be quite surprised if he ended up with the sox – if money is the issue, the yanks won’t be outbid by their biggest rival; if personal comfort is the reason, he will surely not go to Boston. (Masks with long blonde hair, anyone?)

    Andrews September 11, 2007, 12:39 pm
  • Nick is right.

    SF September 11, 2007, 12:39 pm
  • if money is the issue, the yanks won’t be outbid by their biggest rival
    This is a myth.

    SF September 11, 2007, 12:41 pm
  • I really, really think he’s going to be playing in an Angels uniform next year, which certainly makes them the most complete team seen in a long, long time. Tons of speed, tons of guys who hit for average, tons of power in the middle, and a supreme playoff rotation followed by an incredible closer.

    Brad September 11, 2007, 12:41 pm
  • It’s likely to be worse in Boston. I cannot help to believe though that there is something going in the background with him. It just doesn’t ‘smell’ as if Arod wants to stay put.
    Boras undoubtably has a lot to do with that.

    BostonRAW September 11, 2007, 12:42 pm
  • Initially I think the Sox will be in it, but later in negotiations, they are only going to drive the price through the roof for whomever.. As they should.

    Brad September 11, 2007, 12:42 pm
  • People who want to stay put don’t hire Boras.

    Brad September 11, 2007, 12:42 pm
  • Hardly ever do Boras’ clients, who are stars anyhow, end up staying put. It’s happened before, but it’s not a common thing to have happen.

    Brad September 11, 2007, 12:43 pm
  • Andrews, he’s not going to think of any of that. This is about money, period. There is a chance the Red Sox will want Arod more and be willing to put up more dollars. It’s a remote possibility, but a possibility just the same.

    Anonymous September 11, 2007, 12:45 pm
  • “This is a myth”
    Care to explain?

    Andrews September 11, 2007, 12:46 pm
  • LA does make a lot of sense, as Arod seems an ‘LA kind of guy’. I just wonder about his cost and their ability (or want) to pay though.
    When it comes to it, NY or Boston make the most sense because we are talking about A$Rod.

    BostonRAW September 11, 2007, 12:46 pm
  • “Andrews, he’s not going to think of any of that. This is about money, period.”
    Probably true. In which case, the yanks won’t be outbid – it’s no small coincidence that the yanks attendance has set records since Arod’s been here. Even at 30M a year, it still makes financial sense for them to re-sign him.

    Andrews September 11, 2007, 12:49 pm
  • That LAA team has plenty of money. Other than Vlad, they’re really not paying much to anyone (relative to the the other two teams we’re discussing), and even then, Vlad is not costing an arm and leg for them. That stadium is packed now, and with A-Rod there, it woulud only get better.
    I have to think that they’ll be in it big-time. Anyone with eyeballs, and that includes the owner there, can see that A-Rod (or Manny for that matter) is all that is needed there. Someone has to be able to provide protection for Vlad consistently.
    Imagine that team with either of those guys?

    Brad September 11, 2007, 12:50 pm
  • On the outside chance that comfort level is a factor, I agree, Brad. He very well could end up with the Halos.

    Andrews September 11, 2007, 12:51 pm
  • Cashman has already said they wouild be if Arod refuses an extension and seeks FA (something that Boras would shoot him for doing).
    Is he not a man of his word?

    BostonRAW September 11, 2007, 12:51 pm
  • If they give Arod $32m what will they do with Vlad after 2008 when he is a FA?
    Vlad or Arod? I’d take Vlad because he isn’t such a pain in the ass.

    BostonRAW September 11, 2007, 12:53 pm
  • “Imagine that team with either of those guys?”
    I would rather not. They are a thorn in our side as is.

    Andrews September 11, 2007, 12:53 pm
  • SF, I’m still waiting for the explanation of that “myth”…

    Andrews September 11, 2007, 12:54 pm
  • “Is he not a man of his word?”
    This is a business negotiation, not “To Tell The Truth” :)

    Andrews September 11, 2007, 12:56 pm
  • Is he not a man of his word?
    No. No baseball GM is, but in this case, I happen to think that Cashman is telling the truth on his own principles. I think he’s saying to A-Rod “If you want to be here, you’re going to work with us, but if not, we’re not going to make you even richer by competing with four other major markets”.
    Just my thougts, and really, I can see A-Rod working with them to keep Texas’ money, but regardless of that, they’re going to pay through the nose for a long, long time to keep him. No matter the team he ends up on, the money will be off the chart, but in NY, I think it will be worse. Boras knows how much money they have, and he’s going to make sure that if NY is the place, they’ll pay accordingly.
    Factor in the new stadium for NY, and A-Rod staying in NY makes a ton of sense, but I don’t know that NY is going to be quick to cave to Boras, at which time Boras will opt out.

    Brad September 11, 2007, 12:57 pm
  • BR, I think they think that young Howie Kendrick is the next big thing, and really, few people disagree with this scenario. He’s an awesome player, and for that year with all four of them (O_Cab as well), that team is going to be sick.
    They let Vlad walk, or maybe extend him.
    I don’t know, but that is where I think he goes if he leaves NY.

    Brad September 11, 2007, 12:59 pm
  • if money is the issue, the yanks won’t be outbid by their biggest rival
    Is that the same thing Yankee fans thought when the bids came in for Daisuke Matsuzaka?
    Different scenarios, of course, but the Yanks knew the Sox were in the bidding and certainly could have blown the field away with a bid. For whatever reason, they did not.
    I don’t think A-Rod will end up with Boston, but it is no less plausible a scenario than his ending up with LAnaheim or any other deep-pocketed big-market team. The one thing working against the Sox is the desire of the Yankees to keep hima s far away from Boston as possible. But even the Yankees have a price limit, no doubt.
    where he’s been treated even worse?
    Also, I would argue that commensurate with A-Rod’s status in each city (won an MVP for the Yankees in 2005, slapped Bronson Arroyo’s hand in Boston), A-Rod’s actually been treated far worse in New York. Until this season, he got booed harshly in both places.

    Paul SF September 11, 2007, 1:01 pm
  • Melky was a 4th OFer until things happen. I think it’ll be worked out, though if Manny’s out, then ya, there’s a power outage unless Drew hits what he’s paid..

    Lar September 11, 2007, 1:02 pm
  • Paul: Let’s not confuse open bidding and close bidding.

    Lar September 11, 2007, 1:04 pm
  • What players fit the bill, Andrews? I assume you will mention Damon and Bernie Williams, but Williams simply played the Sox in order to get the most out of the Yankees and was developed in the system and was a lifelong Yankee (in fact didn’t he take less to stay with the Yankees?!), and with Damon the Sox never were given a chance by Boras and Damon to match, though they probably wouldn’t have matched the Yankees’ offer anyhow, such was the magnitude of difference. How many true free agents with no history with either team have the two teams bid on in the last decade where the Yankees have simply said “whatever the Sox offer we offer 10% more?”. How many where players had a history? There simply haven’t been many cases either way – Mike Mussina was one but I don’t think the Sox ever entered that sweepstakes with intent. Manny was another, but the Yankees didn’t do anything there. Pedro was a free agent, and the Yankees passed, while Pedro showed no interest in bypassing the city of New York. The Matsuzaka posting was an example of the Yankees underestimating or simply not having interest in spending on a player that they knew their rival was bidding on, though the blind bid process is admittedly different and difficult. Contreras is the one guy I can think of that really fulfills this storyline, and that story was blown out of proportion, famously — the Yanks had been scouting Contreras for several years prior to his defection and knew his interest in NY. It was also nearly five years ago.
    Scott Boras will do what he can to prize as much value for A-Rod as is possible, and the idea that the Yankees won’t be outbid for anyone the Sox want plays right into his hands. You are enabling the devil!! ;-)

    SF September 11, 2007, 1:05 pm
  • How much under-the-table money is Hicks offering Boras to break that extension?
    :) just wondering.

    BostonRAW September 11, 2007, 1:10 pm
  • The Matsuzaka bid relative to the rest of the market is like giving A-Rod $50 million/year. If the Sox want to do that, I’m sure he’d sign there (and watch as they’re the 2003 Rangers).
    No thanks on A-Rod. But I predict, for what it’s worth, that he signs an extension with the Yankees for some ridiculous amount (180 million for 5 years).

    Pete September 11, 2007, 1:13 pm
  • P.s. Everyone seems to neglect A-Rod in this theorizing. Regardless of Boras, he’ll make the decision. If he wants to stay in NY, he will. If not, he won’t.
    What’s interesting to me about Cashman’s stance is that he’s playing the ten day deadline against Boras. He could offer a serious 160 million on day one and then wait Boras out until day 10 (just like the Sox with Matsuzaka last year). If A-Rod still opts out, Cashman knows he was never going to sign with the the Yanks, regardless of the money.

    Pete September 11, 2007, 1:26 pm
  • So, SF, the only example of the yanks being outbid on a player you cite is Matsuzaka, which, by nature of the blind bid, is a completely different situation. Hmm…
    Anything can happen here, but there is no “myth”. Steinbrenner’s ego gets involved, and to win what he wants, he’ll pay whatever it takes – it has been that way since he bought the team.
    “You are enabling the devil!! ;-)”
    True.
    “Also, I would argue that commensurate with A-Rod’s status in each city (won an MVP for the Yankees in 2005, slapped Bronson Arroyo’s hand in Boston), A-Rod’s actually been treated far worse in New York.”
    Your opinion, I don’t agree.
    My point is he won’t go from one harsh fan base to another if he opts out for personal reasons. He surely won’t have an easier time in Boston; no doubt he’s well aware of this.

    Anonymous September 11, 2007, 1:30 pm
  • Me, typekey sucks.
    I’m out on Arod – don’t want to hijack the post any further.

    Andrews September 11, 2007, 1:32 pm
  • Pete, the Matsuzaka contract, given his noted talent and performances, is not otherworldly, IMO. $17m a year for guy which has been written – “He has six pitches that grade out as plus or plus-plus at their best, and he’ll be the best Japanese import ever. And no, we’re not forgetting about Ichiro”, is not so bad in todays market.
    Less than Zito’s and both of which may well prove cheap in 3 years the way salaries are escalating. I’m not ecstatic this year but next is another story.
    But I guess the real question is would the Yanks had offered $17m a year for someone of Dice’s pedigree? Damn straight they would have.
    IMO, they blew the acquisition primarily because they don’t have the same relationship with Boras that SM do. If the Yanks knew they could have signed Dice for $52m I believe they would have been more aggressive with their filing bid.

    BostonRAW September 11, 2007, 1:32 pm
  • Hey Yank fans
    I thought George was one step away from the loony bin? Isn’t it being reported that he’s gone half nuts?
    Whatever the case, it is quite evident that George is not calling the shots in NY this year.
    Out

    BostonRAW September 11, 2007, 1:37 pm
  • Andrews, I was responding to this statement of yours:
    “the yanks won’t be outbid by their biggest rival”
    Surely there’s a difference between players who sign with the Yankees or Sox independently and players who negotiate with both the Sox and the Yankees and then make a decision. Personally I think the idea that one team spends money only to keep someone away from their rival a tad overblown, if not completely irrelevant. Certainly it’s relevant, but to the extent it defines a team’s final decision and/or offer it is overplayed as a factor, in my opinion.
    For (probably a bad) example, the Yankees could have signed Manny, and the events of the last several years would have been inexorably changed; the Sox may still be standing in a quagmire of futility, the Yankees gunning for their eighth title in 10 years. But they didn’t, because they didn’t determine that signing Manny was worth it for them even need-wise or money-wise, even at the expense of the (future) potential successes of the Red Sox.

    SF September 11, 2007, 1:40 pm
  • Nah, RAW, Boras had no leverage because Dice said he was leaving Japan and there were no other suitors. That’s what enabled the cheap contract not some flaky relationship with Sox management. Still, the price is a bit galling to me because they out-bid their nearest competitor by almost 25 million (51.11 vs. 28 by the Mets). To me, Dice-K’s year is easier to swallow at 12 million/year. But the guy drives me batty because of the extreme variance in results.

    Pete September 11, 2007, 1:40 pm
  • “Personally I think the idea that one team spends money only to keep someone away from their rival a tad overblown, if not completely irrelevant.”
    Then you haven’t been paying attention to the Steinbrenner owned yanks.

    Andrews September 11, 2007, 1:46 pm
  • Document, please, Andrews. Honestly, I want to know, in the last twenty years, who the Sox and Yanks have fought over and how zero-sum it has been.
    It’s not that this dynamic is non-existent, it’s that this dynamic is mythologized: “Sox only spent on Dice to keep him away from the Yanks!”. “Yanks break the bank to keep Damon from the Sox!”. This is a popular story, but it’s not 100%, maybe not even 50% accurate. It’s a factor, and a much more minor one than conventional wisdom would have any of us believe.

    SF September 11, 2007, 1:54 pm
  • I see bragadoccio BRAW is back. So BRAW, the loss to Tampa Bay last night – just an “old and tired” team? Or are the standards different when the shoe is on the other foot?
    On A-Rod, if he doesn’t want New York for reasons of fans being nasty to him I don’t think Boston looks any better to him. If NY can’t land him, the best chance is LAA for any number of reasons (loves that park and does some of his best work there over his career, great line-up with nice coverage for him, fans that are unlike the NY/Boston types in terms of how they get on slumping players, etc.). And at the end of the day, I don’t think the money will make the difference becasue I think they are all likely to throw similar chunks of change at him and if anyone throws more it is likely to be the Yanks up front with their Texas subsidy in hand. He will either stay in NY because he wants to or go outside the NY-Boston fan-buzzsaw for comparable and even slightly less money.

    IronHorse (yf) September 11, 2007, 1:57 pm
  • ” It’s a factor, and a much more minor one than conventional wisdom would have any of us believe.”
    Document this statement.
    Twenty years is more research than I’m willing to do today. For starters, Clemens this year; you mentioned Damon,and Contreras.

    Andrews September 11, 2007, 2:03 pm
  • Remember, too, that the Sox actually were willing to go very close to what Damon actually signed for, but Boras lied about how much the Yanks were offering so the Sox, thinking the price was much higher, didn’t even bother upping their final bid. That’s really neither here nor there, but it shows how Boras acts when it’s Sox vs. Yanks. There’s no telling how this would turn out if it’s between those two teams again.
    Regardless of Boras, he’ll make the decision.
    A-Rod might be different, but as I understand it, clients hire Boras with the understanding that they basically let him pull the strings of the negotiations. The player has very little to no input on that side of things.
    I also agree he won’t go to Boston if he’s leaving New York because he doesn’t like the way the fans treated him. But I don’t think that will play into his considerations. He’s played well in NY despite the distractions. It’ll be all about the money. I was just objecting to the idea that he’s somehow been treated worse in Boston than in New York. If anything, A-Rod if he performed for Boston how he performed for the Yankees would be treated better. Look at it this way: J.D. Drew isn’t being booed half as much despite his struggles as A-Rod was in 2006, when he had a much, MUCH better year.

    Paul SF September 11, 2007, 2:10 pm
  • Let me put it to you this way, SF. The yanks really want to keep Arod. If the sox sign him, and money is the deciding issue, I’ll wear a red sox cap to a yanks game next season – you can accompany me, I have a season ticket plan – if the yanks outbid the sox, you have to wear the red sox cap. Deal?

    Andrews September 11, 2007, 2:11 pm
  • “J.D. Drew isn’t being booed half as much despite his struggles as A-Rod was in 2006, when he had a much, MUCH better year.”
    Drew didn’t win the MVP in ’05. The expectations, especially after his subpar postseason performances, were much higher.

    Andrews September 11, 2007, 2:14 pm
  • For starters, Clemens this year; you mentioned Damon,and Contreras.
    Clemens is an example of the Sox refusing to overpay for talent, not the Yankees overpaying for talent to keep them away from Boston.
    Damon comes closest because the Sox were clearly in the bidding, and the Yankees in hindsight clearly overpaid for his services, but even then, the Sox refused to go above a certain point and had a backup plan (Crisp) in mind.

    Paul SF September 11, 2007, 2:17 pm
  • “If anything, A-Rod if he performed for Boston how he performed for the Yankees would be treated better. Look at it this way: J.D. Drew isn’t being booed half as much despite his struggles as A-Rod was in 2006, when he had a much, MUCH better year.”
    Who knows! This is is tantamount to saying that Sox fans are better and more caring fans. Maybe. My feeling is that A-Rod’s persona, which doesn’t appeal to the rough and tumble NY fanbase (and perhaps this idea has been overblown by tabloids anxious to sell papers. For instance, I know of few fellow Yanks fans who don’t like A-Rod as a player) would probably not appeal to the Sox fanbase, which initiated the latently homophobic Slappy Bluelips handle. Just a guess.

    Nick-YF September 11, 2007, 2:19 pm
  • 1. I’d say Damon is much more gullible than A-Rod (and A-Rod will be much more involved than is typical – he loves this shit. It’s ego stroking and money). Meanwhile, I thought Damon got 12 million more than the Sox offered. That’s pretty significant.
    2. Why did Matsuzaka hire Boras when there was little negotiating to be had?
    Nah, they can all dance around for leverage but it basically comes down to whether A-Rod wants to stay in NY. He’ll get paid regardless, but there’s little doubt in my mind that the spin, if he leaves, can’t go any way other than he wanted to go elsewhere. I just can’t see him and Boras standing there and saying team X offered much more than the Yankees. No one would believe them.

    Pete September 11, 2007, 2:21 pm
  • “Which explains why his wifey wore a shirt that told all you Yank fans to go fuck yourselves.”
    I can’t believe we are going down this road AGAIN…The shirt was and is FCUK NY it’s French Connection NY, it DID NOT SAY F*CK NY.
    “If they give Arod $32m what will they do with Vlad after 2008 when he is a FA?
    Vlad or Arod? I’d take Vlad because he isn’t such a pain in the ass.”
    The Angels have an option for ’09 on Vlad at $15 million dollars. He would have to hit a pretty step decline for them not to pick that bargain of an option. (JD makes $16 per)
    I think it was said pretty well yesterday, but it’s worth repeating. We are rivals here, so it’s understood that sometimes we aren’t going to like one another, but B-Raw, you don’t come across well. The comment about Hicks, the comment about Steinbrenner and the looney bin. They all seem like you are trying to light a fire with each comment. This is a great place to talk baseball and MOST times we all get along, stop being such an instigator.

    John - YF (Trisk) September 11, 2007, 2:22 pm
  • “Clemens is an example of the Sox refusing to overpay for talent, not the Yankees overpaying for talent to keep them away from Boston.
    Damon comes closest because the Sox were clearly in the bidding, and the Yankees in hindsight clearly overpaid for his services, but even then, the Sox refused to go above a certain point and had a backup plan (Crisp) in mind.”
    Paul, this just lends credence to my point – that the yanks are willing to overpay for talent – and won’t be outbid for players they feel they have to have – and the sox, with a few exceptions, aren’t.

    Andrews September 11, 2007, 2:25 pm
  • By contrast, look at the Clemens deal to see how the Sox management continues to use the “we don’t have money” card when it’s convenient for them. For Clemens, they thought they were set with pitching (for good reason) and so they offered less than he made last year with Houston. But they spun it as “We offered him a fair deal and he wanted to go elsewhere”. The Boston media ate it up as a sincere effort especially since the Yankees made money no object. The whole scenario fit perfectly into their respective past archetypes. Who cares if it wasn’t true?
    Instead, they took the same difference in money and gave it to Gagne.

    Pete September 11, 2007, 2:29 pm
  • Heh. Detroit’s getting pounded 10-0 by Texas in the first game of a doubleheader. Looks like Boston’s and New York’s postseason magic numbers are going down by at least one today (that would make it 9 for Boston and 15 for New York if the Tigers lose).

    Devine September 11, 2007, 2:48 pm
  • John. It did say Fuck, its not a french connection shirt, its from a store called Chrome Hearts (very trendy). The shirt had nothing at all to do with Arod, and thinking that his wife made a decision to wear that shirt to piss of people in NY is probably giving her way too much credit.
    Overpaying on the Posting fee was the smartest decision any team who really wanted could have done. It was well worth it to go over the top because of the economics involved, both salary cap implications and ways to match the money from an accounting standpoint on the business side. Dice had little leverage one he decided he was leaving on the contract side as well. If they wanted too they could have just never signed a deal. They would have got the posting fee back. (this also is a blow to the argument that the yankees over bid, because even if they had no interest in dice k they could have bid and then never signed him for free). Boras will have to think hard about having Alex opt out. The reason is because it might not get him the most money or longest contract because of what the yankees can offer will most likely be greater because of the current terms. I doubt that Boras double dips on his fees (take his cut on the original deal, so he would have to forfeit some of that back) so financially it should not make any difference to him either.

    Seth September 11, 2007, 2:48 pm
  • Let me put it to you this way, SF. The yanks really want to keep Arod. If the sox sign him, and money is the deciding issue, I’ll wear a red sox cap to a yanks game next season – you can accompany me, I have a season ticket plan – if the yanks outbid the sox, you have to wear the red sox cap. Deal?
    No deal. Personally I think the Yankees have a fair chance of extending A-Rod without even letting him hit the market, simply because of the Texas subsidy. If A-Rod opts out and hits full free agency, I honestly don’t have any idea where he’ll end up, but California seems like a fair expectation. I don’t necessarily see him in Boston but that isn’t because the Sox can’t offer as much as the Yankees for a player like him considering their roster circumstances next year, which they can: Lowell, Schilling coming off the books, lots of minimum-making players. I am actually working on a post on this, started it earlier this week, to be honest. Coming soon.
    This is another case of zero-sum taking over, Andrews. I am not saying the rivalry isn’t a factor. I am only saying that, in my opinion, the game of “keep away” is less significant than we all are led to believe. Both of our teams have already made plenty of acquisitions to show this the case, whether at deadlines or in the off-season: in a much-argued-at-this-site case, did the Sox give up all those prospects for Abreu last year or did they somewhat passively watch him go to the Yankees, their arch-rival, for a lesser deal, just for example? Was this the Yankees going the extra mile, or the Yankees playing keep-away, or the Sox not playing keep-away, or what? This storyline is overplayed, to me.
    P.S. About the betting – nothing personal: I just do not bet, as a rule, unless I am in Vegas. Which makes me kind of dumb, frankly.

    SF September 11, 2007, 2:51 pm
  • Instead, they took the same difference in money and gave it to Gagne.
    This is totally bad math, Pete.
    Gagne was making $6M+ this year, of which Texas had already paid nearly $4M. So with the guaranteed bonuses that Boston gave him, the Sox still don’t even come close to the Clemens’ pro-rated numbers, particularly when you factor in the luxury tax hit it would have engendered. By most reports there was at least $10M (pre-luxury tax difference) between the two offers for Clemens.

    SF September 11, 2007, 2:55 pm
  • The Yanks and Sox’ respective offers to Clemens were also a function of the teams’ needs at the time (and even now honestly). Igawa and Pavano proved useless while the Sox staff was strong. The Yanks made an offer he couldn’t refuse,a nd the Sox made a good offer he could.

    Nick-YF September 11, 2007, 2:58 pm
  • Not that it matters, but if the shirt really said “FCUK YOU” and not the correct spelling, why would they blur it out in the photo and why would no news story mention it was just the designer clothing line?
    http://tinyurl.com/yp5lou

    LocklandSF September 11, 2007, 3:00 pm
  • Agreed on the overplayed, SF. So few deals we can know for certain. The ones where we know the basic parameters, we know one team stayed in while the other dropped out (Damon, Clemens, Gagne). Only a select few know why in each case, but it seems pretty obvious (Sox had other plans than Damon after letting Pedro and Lowe and Cabrera walk; Sox didn’t “need” Clemens; Yanks didn’t want to part with Melky and had Joba).

    Pete September 11, 2007, 3:01 pm
  • “did the Sox give up all those prospects for Abreu last year or did they somewhat passively watch him go to the Yankees, their arch-rival, for a lesser deal, just for example?”
    Not apples to apples – the sox’ greatest need in ’06 was starting pitching; while they were interested in Abreu,( and probably in blocking his move to the yanks) it would have tied up money they needed to spend to shore up their rotation in the offseason.

    Andrews September 11, 2007, 3:01 pm
  • “John. It did say Fuck, its not a french connection shirt, its from a store called Chrome Hearts (very trendy). The shirt had nothing at all to do with Arod, and thinking that his wife made a decision to wear that shirt to piss of people in NY is probably giving her way too much credit.”
    My bad Seth, but from all reports I heard it was FCUK NY. Either way the shirt wasn’t a shot at the fans or the Yankees. That’s the point.

    John - YF (Trisk) September 11, 2007, 3:04 pm
  • strike “it would have tied up money they needed to spend to shore up their rotation in the offseason” from my last post. They ended up spending the same amount on Nancy.

    Andrews September 11, 2007, 3:06 pm
  • It’s not apples-to-apples, Andrews, I agree. But it tells us something about this myth: each move has circumstances that help dictate how far a team will go to play “keep away”, if they play it at all. My guess is that the “keep away” factor is far smaller than conventional wisdom (or, as I call it, the “mythology”) would have people believe, on almost any move. My guess is there are deals where this is a factor, even if minor, some where it isn’t at all. With A-Rod, I imagine the first (or second, or even third) factor for the Yankees isn’t “let’s make sure he doesn’t go to the Sox”.

    SF September 11, 2007, 3:07 pm
  • SF –
    My apologies. I wasn’t clear. I only meant that the difference between the deals the Sox and Yanks offered (prorated) is equal to what the Sox are giving Gagne (about 4 million).
    Regardless, I was one of the few that thought they scammed the town in pretending a legit offer. They didn’t even match what Houston gave Clemens in 06. And yet the press ate the “Evil Yankees conspire with Clemens” storyline.
    It’s just bull all around. At this point, the Sox and Yankees compete on every level and the financial differences between the two is negligible, esp relative to every other team. It’s a myth that the Sox can get out-bid. Still, it one that’s convenient for the Sox management to promote wherever possible. We all should have learned that lesson permanently with Theo’s field speech last year following Abreu then the off-season signings.

    Pete September 11, 2007, 3:09 pm
  • One more note on the myth: Isn’t it only convenient for Sox management to propagate it? It’s not like the Yankees get any good PR from it. But the Sox do. So you end up with Sox fans who are really angry with Damon and Clemens for selling out, even though their organization could have prevented the outcome if they really wanted to. Me, I was shocked at the reception Damon received when he returned. It just showed how pervasive the myth is from the same people paying the highest ticket prices in the sport.

    Pete September 11, 2007, 3:15 pm
  • I was one of the few that thought they scammed the town in pretending a legit offer
    I don’t look at it that way. The Sox offered what they wanted to, Clemens took more elsewhere. Did the Sox make a fair offer in trying to sign Clemens? Sure: they offered to make him the highest paid pitcher on the team despite his age and durability questions. Did they make an offer that they thought would get the deal done? Not so sure about that one. But they also may have figured that an offer was better than no offer, or they may have overestimated the nostalgia factor, or, perish the thought, they may have been leveraged by Clemens’ agents, who probably knew that Clemens wanted to play in NYC and may have had no interest in Boston in the first place. Regardless, I don’t think many people have been “scammed” by a company line, at least not the Sox fans that I know.

    SF September 11, 2007, 3:19 pm
  • I think Pete is right here. Actually, if there’s one thing I begrudgingly admire (although somehow I find it annoying too) it’s how media-conscious the current Sox management is. This is probably a lesson they learned from the problems of previous Red Sox FO’s, but Theo and company are very interested in controlling media perception and publicity especially around their manuevers.

    Nick-YF September 11, 2007, 3:21 pm
  • So you end up with Sox fans who are really angry with Damon and Clemens for selling out, even though their organization could have prevented the outcome if they really wanted to.
    Again, you demonize (Damonize?!) a whole legion of fans with a broad stroke, and this isn’t helpful. In my family there are six of us, four of whom are legitimate Sox fans. My mom has a love/hate relationship with the team, and she has intense personal reactions to players like you describe. And she’s smart, she doesn’t get scammed by anyone. My dad has a more passive relationship: he’s a businessman and gets the business aspect, he looks at the team more clinically. I react to games like my mom, but player moves more like my dad. My sister follows the team but doesn’t get caught up in the BS. So to make a comment that damns a legion of fans like you do is helping the mythmaking, Pete.

    SF September 11, 2007, 3:23 pm
  • Pete, the Mets’ Dice-K bid was around $39 million, not $28, so the Sox only outbid the Mets by $12 m, not $25.
    “the yanks are willing to overpay for talent – and won’t be outbid for players they feel they have to have – and the sox, with a few exceptions, aren’t.”
    Andrews, this statement implies that the Sox felt they “had to have” Damon but wouldn’t pony up. I think it was pretty clear that the Sox felt it wasn’t worth signing Damon at that money, not because they couldn’t afford him, but because he’s not worth the money. Just because the Yanks were willing to overpay for certain players (Damon, Clemens) that the Sox don’t necessarily want or need doesn’t mean the Sox won’t match them for an elite player.
    And regarding Contreras, my memory may be faulty, but had Theo been given notice of the Yanks offer, he may of matched it. But instead he was caught off guard that Jose had signed, and thus the broken chair incident. I think.

    Tyrel SF September 11, 2007, 3:25 pm
  • And don’t forget the Sox reportedly made the better offer to Carl Pavano!
    Damn fate.

    Nick-YF September 11, 2007, 3:27 pm
  • thus the broken chair incident
    Ah, the broken chair story, another myth that feeds this “keep-away” meme.
    http://www.sethmnookin.com/blog/2007/01/23/i-cant-quit-you/

    SF September 11, 2007, 3:29 pm
  • SF –
    Sorry, they helped fuel the Clemens froth with the DVD and outright push. Problem was, when it came time to ante up they realized they already had a good hand. And so they folded while not making it look obvious. I exchanged emails on this topic with Edes because his initial reporting left out the fact they the Sox didn’t even match what Houston paid in 2006. If that isn’t scamming the town, I don’t know what is. The press printed the myth. And the fans swallowed whole.
    As for Damon and Clemens, I was just referring to the reception they each received. I was simply shocked at the former. I thought it would be scattered boos, then we’d get to “hating” him properly. Instead, it’s been much more spiteful.
    But sorry for the overgeneralization. I didn’t mean it that way.

    Pete September 11, 2007, 3:29 pm
  • What is all this discussion worth without a reference to Boston’s obvious advantage in medical advice?
    See Pedro, Damon, Clemens. Also, you think they knew Giambi was a ‘roid freak? (I think so)
    discuss amongst yourselves..
    :)

    BostonRAW September 11, 2007, 3:34 pm
  • For lack of a better place to post this, Bradford has an answer to a question I posed in last night’s Sox gamer:
    Who would the Red Sox play in the first round?
    Answer is, right now it would be Cleveland, but only because they have the worst record among the AL playoff teams and the Red Sox have the best. Although the Angels narrowly in front of the Indians.

    I’d much rather Boston had Cleveland in the first round, and leave it to the Angels to knock out New York.
    But even if the Yankees beat the Halos, I’d still prefer seeing the Sox take on New York for the pennant rather than in the first round, because we have more pitching depth and hey, a long series would be more fun no matter the outcome.

    Hudson September 11, 2007, 3:36 pm
  • And Matt Clement?

    Nick-YF September 11, 2007, 3:37 pm
  • Tyrel –
    Where’s the report on the Mets’ Dice-K offer. I could swear it was 51.11, then 28 (Mets), then 25 (Yankees).

    Pete September 11, 2007, 3:37 pm
  • FWIW, I know someone in the Mets front office who told me the Mets offer was a little over $39 million. They were second. Believe me if you will.

    Nick-YF September 11, 2007, 3:38 pm
  • Let’s not talk about the bids, there is no way to verify any of them, all we have is rumor and speculation, or worse, info intentionally leaked by clubs.
    For all we know every team was just under Boston, or Boston over bid everyone by 30 million.

    LocklandSF September 11, 2007, 3:44 pm
  • or a drunken conversation with an acquaintance who works in the Mets front office, Lockland;). He claimed it was $39 mil and I have no reason to disbelieve him.
    But I will not divulge who he is.

    Nick-YF September 11, 2007, 3:46 pm
  • Ok Nick, your source is a little better, my point is, I hate when people quote the bid numbers as absolute fact. Frankly, I think there are a lot of motives for clubs to leak certain numbers.

    LocklandSF September 11, 2007, 3:53 pm
  • This weather is disgusting in Boston. My fear, the game gets rained out and we have to play a double header tomorrow.

    LocklandSF September 11, 2007, 3:54 pm
  • BRaw. What did the medics say about Damon? He has played in 124 games this year. JD Drew is at 125.

    Seth September 11, 2007, 3:54 pm
  • I was unaware that the bid amounts were up for debate. According to MLB.com, it was 51 from the Sox, 39 from the Mets, and 33 from the Yanks.
    http://tinyurl.com/2dejwe

    Tyrel SF September 11, 2007, 3:55 pm
  • Hudson…teams in the same division cannot play each other in the first round of the playoffs. If we see the Yanks in the playoffs, it will be in the ALCS.

    Devine September 11, 2007, 3:55 pm
  • Seth, 40 percent of Damon’s games (or at least 40 percent of his at bats) were as a DH, because his body has broken down. I don’t like BRAW’s tone, but I see his point there.

    Tyrel SF September 11, 2007, 3:58 pm
  • Point is: Who knows? But, regardless, the Sox vastly overbid. And that plays into Dice-K’s cost which affects how I think of him. At $17 million/year I worry he could be a huge bust. At $12 million/year I’d be more willing to accept this year as a league average transition. Moreso than anything, he may end up being the most maddening pitcher since Lowe.

    Pete September 11, 2007, 3:59 pm
  • For lack of a better place to post this, Bradford has an answer to a question I posed in last night’s Sox gamer:
    Who would the Red Sox play in the first round?
    Answer is, right now it would be Cleveland, but only because they have the worst record among the AL playoff teams and the Red Sox have the best. Although the Angels narrowly in front of the Indians.

    I’d much rather Boston had Cleveland in the first round, and leave it to the Angels to knock out New York. On the other hand, the Angels have a very mediocre road record…
    Anyway, regardless of matchups, I guess I’d much prefer seeing the Sox take on New York for the pennant rather than in the first round, because we have more pitching depth and hey, a long series would be more fun no matter the outcome.

    Hudson September 11, 2007, 3:59 pm
  • The Sox courted Clemens in ’06 because they NEEDED him in ’06. They likely offered him less in ’07 because they didn’t need him as badly. It’s simple economics. Clemens went where there was more money.
    And most Sox fans hated Clemens long before he decided to go back to the Yankees. At any rate, i thought Damon got a pretty good reaction on his return. Mostly cheers, a lot of boos, but that was to be expected. I understand that people have different impressions of that first ovation, though.

    Paul SF September 11, 2007, 4:01 pm
  • Tyrel, I don’t see anything where MLB announced and confirmed other teams bid amounts, just “sources” and speculation.
    It’s my understanding that MLB would not release bid amounts, in fact, it was only when the Lions president announced the Red Sox bid at the press conference that anyone knew for sure the amount of the Red Sox bid. I’m not so sure MLB was aware he was going to do that.
    I could be wrong, but I don’t think so.

    LocklandSF September 11, 2007, 4:02 pm
  • Thanks Tyrel. I’m not sure where I got that those numbers. It makes me fell a little better, but not much.

    Pete September 11, 2007, 4:03 pm
  • Moreso than anything, he may end up being the most maddening pitcher since Lowe.
    Is this the same Lowe you were praising as a pitcher you’d much rather have (over Josh Beckett, if I remember correctly) in this year’s rotation, Pete?

    Paul SF September 11, 2007, 4:03 pm
  • Paul, I was there, infield grandstand and my little brother was in the bleachers. In the infield, I would estimate about 70% cheers, 30% boos. My brother in the bleachers said it was about the opposite out there, 70% boos, 30% cheers.
    As for me, I cheered.
    I don’t think for a second the Red Sox had any intention of signing Damon, they just wanted it to look that way.

    LocklandSF September 11, 2007, 4:05 pm
  • Hey Lockland, you’re probably right, I was just letting Pete know where I got the numbers.

    Tyrel SF September 11, 2007, 4:07 pm
  • They also courted Clemens this winter and through the Spring. It was only the hot start (with the rotation leading the charge) that cooled things.
    But my point is still the myth, the press propagation of it, and the fans accepting it on face value. Sox offered less than Houston paid in 2006. That tells me they were never serious this year but played it off as if the price was something they couldn’t afford (the “myth”). Me, I’ll never buy that argument from them again.

    Pete September 11, 2007, 4:08 pm
  • Re: Lowe
    Oh, absolutely. He was maddening. But yes, I would rather have Lowe and Hanley than Beckett and Lowell, especially Hanley for the next four years at league minimum.
    Meanwhile, if Beckett’s career is any indication, he’s not likely to perform as well next year. That may end up pretty maddening too.

    Pete September 11, 2007, 4:11 pm
  • “the fans”
    Stop with this “the fans” stuff! You are participating in a discussion where a solid number of SFs (and many of the YFs who participate at YFSF) understand the economics of things, understand the way the front office works, who don’t forgive them blindly their mistakes and foibles. Enough generalizations — it may not be that you mean to cut such a broad stroke, but at a site like ours when you do that you engender flame wars: invariably people take offense at being included in a large generalized group (since they themselves may have nothing in common with said group) and then things spiral downward.
    As a moderator and author of this site I would like to make a stylistic suggestion: please qualify these types of statements with “many” or “some” etc. It does wonders for the tenor of discussion here.

    SF September 11, 2007, 4:16 pm
  • That tells me they were never serious this year but played it off as if the price was something they couldn’t afford (the “myth”).
    I understand where you’re coming from re: the myth, Pete, but here is the sole comment from the Red Sox after Clemens’ announcement:
    “We offered a substantial salary and suggested, for health purposes, that Clemens return on approximately the same timetable as last year. Today we learned from Randy that Clemens has signed elsewhere.”
    No mention whatsoever of not being able to hang with the Yankees. They didn’t “play it off,” at all. They simply didn’t comment.

    Paul SF September 11, 2007, 4:20 pm
  • Whoops! Sorry! When I write “fans” I actually mean all the folks not likely to be found here. I’ll try better in the future. Feel free to point out when I fail you again. :)

    Pete September 11, 2007, 4:22 pm
  • Going back to the A-Rod discussion for a moment – fwiw all the Yankee fans I know universally love him. Take a look at the Yankee facebook group.
    He’s carried our team on his back for much of the season, and we want him to stay. I haven’t encountered a single Yankee fan who thinks he’s expendable.

    doug YF September 11, 2007, 4:24 pm
  • Not trying to lecture, Pete, please don’t take it that way, but this site has a large core of knowledgable fans, of both Boston and New York ilk, and we’ve found that the broad generalizations tend to be the most antagonistic.
    We want to reduce the chance that a smart comment ends up being seen as needlessly general.

    SF September 11, 2007, 4:25 pm
  • By saying “substantial” that’s exactly what I’m talking about! It was so substantial they didn’t even want to pay him what the Astros did!
    And that was my complaint to Edes. And nowhere in the coverage did one author point out how unsubstantial the offer actually was, relative to what he made last year for a smaller market team. So at least I can legitimately generalize with respect to “the press”. I was genuinely annoyed and so read every report.

    Pete September 11, 2007, 4:25 pm
  • Also, Clemens made $18 million with the Astros in 2006. The Red Sox’ offer was $18 million, prorated for the amount of time he’d actually be playing.
    I’m sorry, but that sounds like a fair offer to me.

    Paul SF September 11, 2007, 4:27 pm
  • I gotcha, SF. No worries. It’s actually a good life lesson too.

    Pete September 11, 2007, 4:27 pm
  • Actually, Paul it was less than 18 million (prorated) while Houston paid on 22 million prorated. It was a joke of an offer.

    Pete September 11, 2007, 4:31 pm
  • And Clemens actually made 12 million last year. He’s making 17.4 million this year.
    Basically the Sox said:
    1. We’ll give you 18 million (prorated)
    2. Report next month
    3. Total would have equaled something like 10 million.
    So 2 million less than Houston in 2006 = “substantial” offer?

    Pete September 11, 2007, 4:35 pm
  • Sorry, my final point is: If the Sox were anywhere close to serious, they would have at least offered the same 22 million prorated. And that was my point to Edes.
    That they didn’t told Clemens and the Hendricks boys everything they needed to know – there was no reason to go back to Boston for a counteroffer.
    BTW: All salary info from: http://mlbcontracts.blogspot.com

    Pete September 11, 2007, 4:40 pm
  • Fair enough, Pete. That being said then, Clemens is not an example a. of the Yankees outbidding the Sox, or b., of the Sox crying poor.
    Assuming those fact: They lowballed Clemens knowing they didn’t really need (or want) him, and essentially declined comment after he chose the Yankees. For the points made in this discussion, the Clemens situation just isn’t germane.

    Paul SF September 11, 2007, 4:44 pm
  • I agree on (a) not on (b). Saying it was a “substantial” offer was their way of spinning it as being out-spent. Then the Boston press corps reported it exactly that way. Indeed, my comment to Edes was that Larry could have written the coverage himself cause it was all about how much the Yankees paid, not how insulting the Boston offer was (less than Houston!?). And that to me was a clear propagation of the myth at the time and I was shocked – so much so to write a reporter directly which I never had done before. The contrast for me was with the off-season and no one answered why the Boston offer was so low relative to his 2006 salary.
    I understand why they offered what they did. But the manipulation of the reporting is pretty amazing. And most :) fans accepted it as is – Clemens being greedy.
    Bravo Larry. Bravo.

    Pete September 11, 2007, 4:52 pm
  • Out of curiosity, what did Edes say in response? It is interesting that he didn’t at least put what Clemens was making in 2006 — that’s basic reporting, imo.

    Paul SF September 11, 2007, 4:55 pm
  • And sorry, those points are germane to the discussion of the myth. My point was: It continues to exist because it’s a convenient card for the Sox front office. They play it when necessary. And the Clemens situation, with all the DVD hype, was a necessary means of saving face. What were they going to do? Come out and say: “You know, our pitching has been so outstanding that we just don’t need Roger”. Then have Schilling miss a month?

    Pete September 11, 2007, 4:56 pm
  • there was no reason to go back to Boston for a counteroffer
    They got what they wanted: leverage to get more money from the Yankees. Not “more money from the Yankees than from the Red Sox”, but simply MORE money than the Yankees first offer.
    My take on the situation, retroactively, is that Clemens wanted to come back to the Yankees, not the Red Sox. The Sox made an offer that would make Clemens the highest paid pitcher on the team, regardless of whether that was the right metric based on performance (which is probably an irrelevant measure, but still a measure nonetheless). It’s almost impossible to say that is an unfair offer, no matter whether or not it was what Clemens wanted, what he got last year, or whatever. And the Sox’ front office would have been obliged to spend $18M pro-rated on a 45 year old injury risk, since they offered it. Whether they thought Clemens would ever accept it, that’s speculative. So they made an offer of a lot of money, an offer that may never have been accepted, but that they would have spent had it been accepted. Perhaps there was an element of PR in it, perhaps there was an element of an empty gesture, perhaps not. I am not naive about the magnitude of $10M pro-rated, but that seems like a rather broad gap to bridge. The bottom line is that the Yankees spent 45% more than the Red Sox did for the Rocket, and this gap wasn’t going to be spanned by the Sox upping their offer to a “respectable” second — had the Sox offered $21M pro-rated (more than he made in Houston, more than any pitcher in the game, etc.) would Clemens have gone to Boston? Would Pete still be complaining that the offer was perfunctory, a media show, even as it was just as much of a dead-end as was the $18M?
    The Red Sox knew exactly what they were doing: so who did they fleece? Dan Shaughnessy? The “fans”?
    I was fleeced into thinking that Roger Clemens might want to come back to Boston for closure, the romantic in me wanted that, in a way. But I was only fleeced by my own sense of romanticism, not by any front office flack or supposedly hollow $18M offer.

    SF September 11, 2007, 4:58 pm
  • I deleted the email but he of course denied being manipulated then said he had meant to put that info in. Even then his whole report was about the Yankee offer being 28 million and the Sox offering 18 million – implying a math that just wasn’t kosher (“A $10 million difference! The bum!”)
    I understand it’s an easy story (“Sox lose again because of money”) but I know now it’s simply not true. That said, I’m not saying the Sox made the wrong choice, just that they could have easier made it a harder choice for Roger. Instead they made it very easy.

    Pete September 11, 2007, 5:01 pm
  • I think you missed my point, SF. They didn’t even offer what Houston paid the year before 22 million (prorated) or 12 million. That’s an insult, plain and simple. What, he’s going to take a pay cut coming from Houston to Boston?
    I believe that if they had started at 22 million Roger would have thought about it. And maybe there would have been more numbers exchanged (cause there was still a five million gap with the Yankees).
    But the Sox weren’t serious and made that obvious from the get-go. That made his decision very easy.

    Pete September 11, 2007, 5:06 pm
  • I believe that if they had started at 22 million Roger would have thought about it.
    See, I think you are naive. Roger wasn’t coming to Boston.

    SF September 11, 2007, 5:07 pm
  • Having read the story, Pete, I don’t agree with your characterization of it as saying: “Sox lose because of money.” The tenor, as supplied by quotes from Curt Schilling and Mike Lowell, is: “Sox lose and it doesn’t matter as much as we thought it would.”
    I personally can accept his explanation of meaning to put that info in and forgetting. I’ve done that several times, particularly in number-heavy stories.
    As for the use of the non-prorated salary figures, this was common in the initial day-of, day-after stories. It wasn’t untils econd- or third-day follow-ups that reports really began breaking down how much Clemens would make depending on his start date. And having said that, Edes actually provided that breakdown earlier than most, going per month with it (roughly $1 million difference).

    Paul SF September 11, 2007, 5:08 pm
  • I’ll repeat the numbers cause there still seems to be confusion:
    Houston (2006): 22 million (prorated) = 12.2 million
    Red Sox (2007): 18 million (prorated) = ~10 million
    Yankees (2007): 28 million (prorated) = 17.4 million

    Pete September 11, 2007, 5:10 pm
  • The question I wanted answered, Paul, and not one reporter did:
    Why did the Sox offer only 10 million (18 million prorated)? And how can they call that “substantial” when it’s less than Houston paid him?

    Pete September 11, 2007, 5:12 pm
  • Who knows SF – they didn’t even make it close. And Roger was genuinely intrigued about the return. Instead the organization punted.

    Pete September 11, 2007, 5:13 pm
  • It seems to me this argument has jumped into the realm of fantasy. Let’s remember the facts. The Yanks were desperate for Clemens when he signed. They wanted him in the majors immediately, and they were going to put the most money on the table to make that happen. The Sox wanted Clemens to take a slower approach, to save his arm. SF has in the past dismissed this as a factor in the signing, but according to Clemens, timing was a central issue. Believe him or not. Your choice.
    My personal opinion is that Clemens is not merely a mercenary player. That factors beyond simply dollar signs brought him back to NY. There’s Yankee tradition, which he appreciates. There’s the Savior RIding in on the White Horse/Hummer factor. There’s the Torre/Jeter factor. There’s money. That’s a nexus of things, not just one. My feeling is the Sox did what they thought was best for the Sox, and compared to what NY offered, it just didn’t stack up. Nothing unfair. If Sox fans feel bitter that he decided to forego a celebratory last run in Boston, I certainly can appreciate that feeling. But I think to claim his decision was entirely about the dollars is not accurate.

    YF September 11, 2007, 5:14 pm
  • One other thing:
    Why should we assume that Clemens’ value increased as a pitcher from 2006 to 2007? The idea that Clemens should have been offered more than he made in Houston is based on what, other than relative value to the franchises bidding on his services? That he was going to pitch better? That he was going to sell more tickets? That he was going to bring a championship to whatever city he came to? I don’t understand your assumption that it was an insult to offer him less money than he made in the previous year, in a lesser league, at a younger age. Now, if Clemens thought it an insult, then that tells you all you need to know about Clemens.

    SF September 11, 2007, 5:14 pm
  • By the way, I believed Edes. He seems like a good guy and he treated me as such. But it was the point of emphasis that got my goat. The coverage wasn’t why the Sox didn’t get him (and that’s what I wanted to know). It was why the Yankees did (because of 28 million!!!).

    Pete September 11, 2007, 5:16 pm
  • I thought about the value increasing bit, SF. And I agree. But I think you’d be hard-pressed to argue that his value decreased after an 197 ERA+ in 113 innings. But that’s what the Sox were saying.
    That’s my only point. The Sox offer 22 million proated and he still goes to NY without a chance of a counteroffer? I probably feel like almost every one else. But they didn’t.

    Pete September 11, 2007, 5:19 pm
  • YF:
    I agree with much of what you say. But I speculate that Clemens really, truly preferred to come to New York (just like you do!), and this “negotiation” with Boston and Houston was the Hendricks’ best effort to get as much as possible for Clemens before he “decided” to go to New York. So the decision wasn’t just about the money, but the “negotiation” was, as it should be.
    To put it Pete’s way, Clemens and the Hendricks’ were just as disingenuous with the “fans” about Clemens’ intentions as the Sox were with Clemens.
    As for bitterness, I am not at all bitter about this; I have disliked Clemens for many reasons for many years (he was a childhood hero, my favorite player), not related to his being traded to the Yankees or his first exodus from Boston. I won’t bother going into them here for obvious reasons, this thread is about Jacoby!

    SF September 11, 2007, 5:19 pm
  • I know the analogy doesn’t work, but look at it this way:
    You leave Boston for a better job in San Fran. Three years later your old employers start selling you hard on returning. Then you get the offer and they want you to take a pay cut. You’re telling me you going to say: “Okay! For sentiment, sure!”.
    It struck me as a true WTF moment. And yet not one reporter answered the question. Again that Edes email. By the way, in the follow up Edes justified it as saying that “Of course the Sox weren’t going to match 28 million.” But to me, that was besides the point.

    Pete September 11, 2007, 5:24 pm
  • I agree with YF mostly too. I’m just saying the Sox didn’t even make it a choice. They didn’t even make it close. They made an offer for PR reasons – so they could call it “substantial” – playing that myth card again.
    I don’t see Clemens as a mercenary. I just see that the Yankees (and sure, their situation) vs the low-ball Sox offer made it an easy decision.

    Pete September 11, 2007, 5:28 pm
  • Yeah, but I’m probably deciding between $100k and $80k, while Clemens…well, he doesn’t have as much to worry about.
    And that’s as much as I’m going to say about this. I don’t really care about this issue anyway.

    Devine September 11, 2007, 5:39 pm
  • I think the Hendricks played it beautifully. When Cashman called one of the brothers in the thick of the Clemens race and he told him he couldn’t talk right now and that he was at Fenway Park – genius. I am not so sure 22million was a low-ball. I think Cashman blinked, and blinked hard, because the Yankees were getting desperate and the deal shot up pretty high and fast. I agree with whoever said that Clemens probably wanted to rejoin Pettitte and the Babe monument all along. And I do think that whatever Steinbrenner said to him a couple weeks earlier, which Clemens said he would only reveal at the end of the year, made a difference too. Call me naive, but I do. I think Steinbrenner, clearly sick, probably layed it on thick about his plans of relinquishing control of the Yankees, getting near the end of his life, wanting nothing but champions and knowing that is what Clemens is, blah, blah.
    People not in these negotiations (us fans) seem to always scream “it’s all about the money” and to shout down anyone who says otherwise as naive, but dpeneding on the individual, there are always other considerations and often very big ones that to others might seem sentimental or even unwise (reference the earlier thread weeks ago re: Wakefield’s deal in Boston). Where your kids will grow up, whether your wife likes this or that town, what it means for your place in history to play for this or that team, what you think of the manager you’ll likely play for, likelihood of making it to the postseason every year, etc., etc.
    A-Rod has surprised me most of all with how sensitive and thin-skinned he is. I would not at all be surprised if, having gone totally for the money last time and making more than many countries’ GNP, he now has other considerations in mind too. No one except his wife and possibly Boras know whether those other considerations make NY the only place he wants to play, one of the top 3, or a place he just wants to escape. And no one but he knows how big the money will factor in to that decision.
    So debating who might offer more or less to a player is interesting, because it clearly is A factor, but beyond that, I don’t know that it tells us very much at all, and may even be completely off the point given the player and the point he is at in his career/life.

    IronHorse (yf) September 11, 2007, 5:46 pm
  • They had no intention of signing Clemens.
    They had no intention of signing Damon.
    They wanted the fans to think otherwise.

    LocklandSF September 11, 2007, 5:46 pm
  • I know this topic was brought up and dropped upthread, but Tim Marchman (who?) seems to think Arod will either be in Red Sox or Didger Blue next year…
    http://www.nysun.com/article/62362

    Tyrel SF September 11, 2007, 6:48 pm
  • ” With A-Rod, I imagine the first (or second, or even third) factor for the Yankees isn’t “let’s make sure he doesn’t go to the Sox”.”
    Baseball owners like Henry, Steinbrenner, Moreno, etc, are super rich, highly competitive, successful businessmen who are used to getting what they want. At least in George’s case, I can tell you that he enjoys winning the player auctions – look at the record.
    Throw out all the other deals that have been discussed here – regarding Arod, there is no way the yanks don’t outbid the sox. It would go completely against Steinbrenner’s nature.

    Anonymous September 11, 2007, 7:19 pm
  • me

    Andrews September 11, 2007, 7:20 pm
  • Sorry for the double negative, yeesh!

    Andrews September 11, 2007, 7:54 pm
  • one crucial thing that has been left out of the clemens decision is….the respective teams records at the time. clemens clearly chose to opt for the team offering the biggest pile of cash over the team with best chance of winning a ring. no surprise. to think that 10 games up in the standings, at the time, doesn’t offer an added non cash value to a “comming out of retirement player” is blind. roger is today what he has always been….a cash cow”boy”.
    GOODNESS GRACIOUS, OF ALL THE THINGS I’VE EVA SEEN.

    sf rod September 12, 2007, 6:53 am
  • One thing that’s been left out of the A-Rod discussion is that the Sox don’t need to trade Manny to clear money to sign A-Rod. consensus is that $28-$30 mil/yr will get it done for five years, right? Well, the Sox have, coming off the books this offseason, Curt Schilling (~$12), Matt Clement ($9), and Mike Lowell ($9), which adds up to 30 right there. They’ll also be filling those holes with players already in the system (Buchholz for Schill, nothing for Clement who hasn’t figured in) leaving 3B for A-Rod. The Sox could have a middle of the order that ran 2-6 Pedroia, A-Rod, Ortiz, Manny, Drew. YFs, tell me that doesn’t scare the pants off you.

    Andrew September 12, 2007, 2:48 pm
  • Wow! This article is very good a lot of detail and it gets me in the player’s point of view. Nice job. Keep up the good work. Job well done.

    jessica October 24, 2007, 9:49 pm
  • So now that you’ve seen how Jacoby has performed in the series against the braves and the series against the rockies (replacing COCO in the OF) what do you think now?
    Jacoby over COCO starting 08 in CF.

    Alexis November 1, 2007, 2:08 pm

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