Not news, really, just some a good cause and some nostalgia.

I’m gonna go with 90-72 for the Red Sox this year. They had a gigantic share of injury good luck last year (only Buchholz and Ross were sidelined for more than a few weeks, as far as I recall, though Victorino was day-to-day a lot, Ortiz missed most of April, and Ellsbury missed most of September), look to break in rookies or almost-rookies at 3B, SS, and CF, and are a year older at most positions. Hopefully they can sneak into the wild card and get hot, but I’m trying to temper my enthusiasm and enjoy the games day by day instead of looking for macro 2013-style success.

Plus the expectations set above were approximately the peak of my 2013 expectations, so why change what’s working?

Or at least turns to a beautiful day in the neighborhood, or at least if you are watching grapefruit league in person and not up north giving the hairy eyeball to your shovel when you meet again for the last time.

Time to wake up.
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Against FSU, winning 5-3 in the 6th. Tomorrow, they play the Pirates!

Red Sox will play split squad games against Northeastern and Boston College Thursday and play the Twins on the last day of February.

Baseball: it’s back! Kind of.

The Yankees have signed Brett Gardner to a four year extension, $52M, club option for a fifth year. This is most excellent.

Ryan Dempster will not pitch for any MLB team in 2014, because:

“I don’t feel like I am capable of performing to the ability and standard that I am accustomed to,” Dempster told “I feel it’s in the best interest of both the club but most importantly myself to step away from playing baseball at this time. The time is right.

“I’m not saying retirement but I definitely won’t be playing this season.”

He is likely to go to the restricted list and will forego his entire 2014 salary, giving the Red Sox a little more wiggle room to, say, sign Stephen Drew (if the Yankees haven’t already done that).

Thanks for the innings, Dempster. Best to you in your future, and glad you could pitch in the postseason and grab a ring.

In 2015, ARod will be the elder of players to wear pinstripes.

Derek Jeter will retire after the 2014 season.

Let the accolades, expositions, and never-ending farewells begin. I’ll start with:

A kid from Kalamazoo
knew what he wanted to do

and did it.

Alex Rodriguez drops his lawsuit against the baseball world. What could possibly have changed his mind?

Nobody likes a quitter, they used to say.

Forty-seven-year-old Curt Schilling announced he has cancer. He and his wife Shonda, who herself has survived melanoma, have done much to raise money and awareness to help people who have to cope with and hopefully overcome cancer. Here’s hoping that he is successful in surviving and overcoming this very personal and real threat to his life.

“I want money” says Big Papi.

David Ortiz, who is later in his career compared to some of those who recently accepted or mull over team-friendly deals, would be willing to go to another team if it came to it.

To be fair, the quote in the article “it can be 10 years” (that his career could continue) is tempered in the full quote when he says something along the lines of “it can be two years, it can be three years, it can be 10 years”. So he must realistically understand the Sox shouldn’t be willing to go more than two years at a time.

I don’t care if they end up wasting a few dozen million dollars in the last two years of his career. It is unthinkable that he go anywhere else and they should keep him happy. Keep extending him by a year and deal with it when he breaks down.

Lester: “I want to win. If it means taking a Pedroia deal where you stay for less money to be happy and win every year, let’s do it”

I am enjoying this recent trend (Pedroia, Napoli, Pierzynski) of “I sure do like Boston, by golly. Sure, I will take fewer years and less money to play for your winning baseball team. Jolly good.” Hard to believe we’re just over a year removed from the chemistry and winning clusterf*ck of 2012.

Lester just turned 30 years old, had a tremendous 2013 postseason, and is a season away from his big payday. Given his comments, would 6/$105 do the job? 7/$120? That’s about the upper limit of rationality for this Sox fan (taking him to his age-37 season). If he tests the market, he gets 7/$150 easy, IMO (unless he just tanks it this season). And probably that money comes from the Yankees.

Oft-injured, out-of-baseball-for-a-while Grady Sizemore gets a 1-year major league contract. 750K base, up to 6 mil in incentives. Seems reasonable enough. A little more competition in spring training. If he breaks his knees in March, the Sox aren’t on the hook for much and he was once a truly awesome player on both sides of the ball in my memory. 31 years old and with about a million surgeries. We’ll see if he can shove JBJ back to the minors or what.

Tanaka is coming to The Stadium, according to Ken Rosenthal. What a nice way to start the day.

Details of the contract? Who cares. 7yrs, $155M if you have to a complete pedant.

The Yankees have Sabathia under contract until 2016, but Roc Nation grows.

Pitchers and Catchers