An Exciting Day on the Road (and in the air, apparently!)

During a long day in the car, I was able to tune in to WEEI, ESPN, ESPN Radio, WFAN, and ESPN-New York radio (the beauty of the AM dial coupled with Sirius!),  I learned a few things during the drive.

  1. Steve Phillips should do what George Costanza did.  Whatever he thinks in his head, he should say the opposite.  Around 930am, he said the deal was probably not going to happen.  Not as in "failed a physical" not gonna happen, but "the sides won’t come to terms" not gonna happen.
  2. Orestes Destrade said Daisuke Matsuzaka reminds him of the good Jaret Wright and Doug Drabek.  Not sure what to make of this.
  3. Yankees fans who call WFAN and Michael Kay have glorious imaginations, and those who call in should have brain-taps inserted that link to video screens, so we can all partake in the wild scenarios that play out in fan-land.  One fan asserted that Daisuke Matsuzaka ending up on the Red Sox was proof of a Red Sox/MLB/Boras alliance.  Another fan asserted that the Red Sox clearly told Scott Boras that they would probably give A-Rod whatever he wanted if he opted out, if in return DM signed with the Sox, and that the Yankees ought to consider icing A-Rod’s deal to prevent this from happening.  A third caller felt that Boras "delivered" JD Drew to the Sox and that this was proof of illicit dealings between the two teams, despite the fact that the Sox had to a) win a blind bid and b) offer Drew a $70M contract, far above what many people thought he would get.  The last caller I remember believed that the Sox and Boras were in communication before the blind bid process and had this all worked out in advance.
  4. Scott Boras has a little Karl Rove in him.  And Theo Epstein has a little Howard Dean in him.  Boras’ blowhardish claims had almost all of us fooled (see Rove’s "I have access to THE numbers", just before the midterm blowout, for a Boras-ish type bluff).  Epstein and the Sox front office did a really fine job here, and they deserve acknowledgment for their efforts.  $100M+ buys you almost whatever you want, let’s not kid ourselves here, but it’s clear that the number could have gone much higher had they been less stalwart. 

Pending the physical, and pending a couple of moves yet to be made (a closer, anyone!?), the Sox have improved this offseason.  Let’s forget about the Yankees for the moment, who are still the top of the heap in the East.  Let’s forget about the other contenders in the AL, of which there are several.  For the moment, let’s just let ourselves be excited about watching a phenom test his wares in a Boston uniform.  That’s an absolutely thrilling concept.

194 comments… add one
  • Wow, so who has the better pitching staff going into next year? Considering that Igawa is yet to sign, and probably will now that Matsu-son has, and Pettitte is a huge upgrade over Wright, and Sanchez and Hughes will be possibilities come August, I’d say that the Yanks have the arms in the East. Anyone has any points to make, lemme know whatya think.

    zrsahai (YF) December 13, 2006, 8:42 pm
  • Also, to play devil’s advocate, it is a good point to make that if Schilling and Wake stay healthy, Beckett makes adjustments, and Pap is a glimmer of what he was last year… well as a YF that makes me have to “change my britches.” Thoughts, ladies?

    zrsahai (YF) December 13, 2006, 8:48 pm
  • Instead, how about we compare WEEI callers to WFAN callers? I can’t stand talk radio so I’ve never actually sat and listened to it…but I’m sure there are some stories. :)
    (The rotation debate was in full force on the previous thread, and really didn’t go anywhere…)

    desturbd1 December 13, 2006, 8:48 pm
  • Hey, I love the blog, I think you guys do a great job. I was wonderng if you would link my blog to yours and I would do the same. Let me know if you would do that so I can add this blog to my site.
    Thanks,
    David
    http://www.americanlegends.blogspot.com

    David Stef December 13, 2006, 8:49 pm
  • well since there are a select few who have those stations available, it would be wise to include others by discussing NYY/BOS comparisons of somekind; besides, that is why we all pay attention to blogs, espn, WFAN, etc. to determine how our team will due during the season against the other and who will win the division? There’s a topic for discussion.

    zrsahai (YF) December 13, 2006, 8:53 pm
  • Sox starters on tap for next year:
    Schill
    Wake
    Paps
    DK
    Beckett
    Lester**
    Clement**
    Snyder**
    Obviously Snyder moves to the pen for long relief. Clement is history and Lester provided he is okay adds the lefty combo. I think that Schill will be in shape for the season with DK coming on board.
    I would not just say the yanks have the arms based off of getting Pettite and the yanks getting Igawa.
    I think that this may be the year that the arms race may have finally hit ludicrous speed.

    Rob December 13, 2006, 8:57 pm
  • During the time I was in range of WEEI, the hosts (Dale Arnold and Michael Holley) didn’t take a single call, preferring, instead, to allow us to listen to their self-assured proclamations about what I cannot remember. I am sure the callers in the afternoon were as idiotic as the ones who rang WFAN. But at least they root for the good guys. ;-)

    SF December 13, 2006, 9:00 pm
  • I can’t say I’m happy about this development, but it should make for exciting baseball next year. The rivalry has just gotten better.

    Nick-YF December 13, 2006, 9:03 pm
  • Oh, and results of the Matsuzaka Contract Pool will be announced when a deal is finally signed. Initial review doesn’t look like any of us came remotely close. It’s gonna be a tough decision…

    SF December 13, 2006, 9:07 pm
  • off topic completely, but is there a worse GM in baseball than Bavasi in Seattle? He just traded a top-hitting prospect and a relief prospect for Jose Vidro, who is aging and barely above average. Why?

    Nick-YF December 13, 2006, 9:11 pm
  • Don’t forget! He traded a top-hitting prospect and a relief prospect…and agreed to pay $12/16MM left on Vidro’s deal. So, no…although I would point out that Rafael Soriano’s velocity is supposedly way, way down in the Dominican right now, and some are saying Seattle knew he wasn’t going to be right next year. If that’s true, the Soriano for Ramirez deal looks much better.

    desturbd1 December 13, 2006, 9:13 pm
  • Bwahaha, and the Mariners are giving Vidro a vesting option for 2009 to get him to wave his no-trade clause.

    desturbd1 December 13, 2006, 9:17 pm
  • nd Sanchez and Hughes will be possibilities come August
    Take it from a Red Sox fan – depending on young arms to come in and make a difference is setting yourself up for disaster. Remember, no matter how good prospects are, they don’t face guys like Ortiz, Wells, Giambi, and Jeter. They’re big fish in small ponds, and the last time one came into the AL East and made a difference, well, it’s been awhile.

    Brad December 13, 2006, 9:17 pm
  • it’s bizarre. In every way, it’s the antithesis of a good trade. So, I guess he’ll deal Jose Lopez now for an aging middle reliever or something.

    Nick-YF December 13, 2006, 9:18 pm
  • “They’re big fish in small ponds, and the last time one came into the AL East and made a difference, well, it’s been awhile.”
    Wasn’t his name, uh, Wang? Heh.

    desturbd1 December 13, 2006, 9:18 pm
  • And Papelbon kind of stepped it up last year too…

    desturbd1 December 13, 2006, 9:20 pm
  • D1 takes the words right out of my mouth. And in the spirit of fairplay, I’ll return the favor. I heard once of a guy named Papelbon…

    Nick-YF December 13, 2006, 9:20 pm
  • doh!

    Nick-YF December 13, 2006, 9:20 pm
  • That’s funny D1, but I’m talking immediately – not after a half year and serious shoulder problem. I’m talking about a call up that wins consistently against Boston, Toronto, Cleveland, and LAA. Wang is as close as I can think of off the top of my head.

    Brad December 13, 2006, 9:22 pm
  • Haha. I see the point he was making though…neither team was really banking on performances like that, they both kind of ‘lucked’ into them. Better to have them as a backup plan then to be forced into using them before you really want to.

    desturbd1 December 13, 2006, 9:22 pm
  • Nick – see comment above. Papelbon nor Wang were anything special that half year. They took some lumps, and came back stronger the next year.
    Plus, we all know how lucky Wang got:)

    Brad December 13, 2006, 9:23 pm
  • SF, can you link us to that pool thread so we can check it out?

    LocklandSF December 13, 2006, 9:25 pm
  • Heh, yeah I figured as much…was just making fun of you a little. Boston and NY haven’t had a pre-injury Liriano/Jered Weaver/Jeremy Sowers type in really, really long time.

    desturbd1 December 13, 2006, 9:25 pm
  • Click on the “Matsuzaka” category, it’ll come up quick.

    SF December 13, 2006, 9:25 pm
  • If I can remember correctly, we were all pretty far off base with those predictions. Who would of thought an all-out robbery was going to take place re: his actual per year salary.

    Brad December 13, 2006, 9:27 pm
  • Lester came in and pitched really well, but if you watched those games, as I did, he really struggled sometimes with control. He buckled down nicely when he had to, but like Wang, he was always one hit away from a really, really bad inning. For Boston anyhow, that’s about as close as a good performance from a true rookie I can think of recently.

    Brad December 13, 2006, 9:29 pm
  • > tune in to WEEI, ESPN, ESPN Radio, WFAN, and ESPN-New York radio (the beauty of the AM dial coupled with Sirius!)
    You ability to find beauty in that dreck is worthy of an award. I just don’t know which award that would be.
    > Steve Phillips should do what
    Harry Houdini did and disappear.
    > Yankees fans who call WFAN and Michael Kay have
    their walking papers revoked and be returned to Bellevue.
    > Scott Boras has a little Karl Rove in him
    with shades of Rumsfeld.
    > And Theo Epstein has a little Howard Dean in him.
    I love that comparison, but I think it is more apropos of Lucchino. He seems to be more of the one to make over-the-top declarations that seem out of place in the room he’s talking to.
    > Boras’ blowhardish claims had almost all of us fooled
    I was duped. I really thought we would see 13-15M per year.
    > Epstein and the Sox front office did a really fine job here, and they deserve acknowledgment for their efforts
    I begrudgingly, admirably, acknowledge his efforts.
    > pending .. the Sox have improved this offseason
    No pending. They did.
    > Let’s forget about the Yankees for the moment
    Still waters run deep. Or fetid. Plenty of time.
    > still the top of the heap in the East
    Very courteous and generous. On paper, it’s quite a bit closer than it was 10 days ago.
    > let’s just let ourselves be excited about watching a phenom test his wares in a Boston uniform. That’s an absolutely thrilling concept.
    Agreed. I say this with the utmost enthusiasm: Gentleman and ladies, let’s play ball.

    attackgerbil December 13, 2006, 9:30 pm
  • Hillarious to review the contract pool thread, everyone over bet the dollars per year and only one person bet 6 years.
    Paul might have taken it with his joke:
    “So if I bid $1, do I automatically win if everyone else overbids? ;-)”
    Classsic, nothing like a blog to bring out that funny time capsule quality.

    LocklandSF December 13, 2006, 9:34 pm
  • I’m going to repeat myself, but I’m amazed Boras caved into 6 years.

    Nick-YF December 13, 2006, 9:36 pm
  • what’s the Igawa contract going to be?

    Nick-YF December 13, 2006, 9:37 pm
  • Is Boras overrated too? I say YES. :)

    Brad December 13, 2006, 9:37 pm
  • Boras is the Josh Beckett of..oh forget it.

    Nick-YF December 13, 2006, 9:38 pm
  • what’s the Igawa contract going to be?
    I dunno, what’s the asking price for the Japanese version of Jamie Moyer and David Wells? What’s the going rate for a back of the rotation door prize?
    I say 3yr/16mil and a lifetime membership to Blockbuster game rentals to go with his very new PS3 the Yankees will get him.
    :)

    Brad December 13, 2006, 9:40 pm
  • Igawa should be looking for Lilly money…

    SF December 13, 2006, 9:42 pm
  • I take that back – David Wells is gross when he’s on, so I don’t think that’s a fair comparison to him. But, I did read that this kid’s fastball averages about 88mph. Is he a sinkerballer? If so, that’s pretty good. If not, I hope his hook is damn good.
    I don’t know much about him, other than what I’ve read here and elsewhere, but BB is suggesting that he’s a back of the rotation guy.
    Has anyone seen the “fretalian” Dunkin Donuts commercial. It’s hilarious.

    Brad December 13, 2006, 9:43 pm
  • Nah, the Yanks will have to promise to get him the next Dragon Quest game before it ships, and agree to hire a secretary to screen out phone calls from pesky super-hot actresses…

    desturbd1 December 13, 2006, 9:44 pm
  • Brad, that’s a really interesting question now. I don’t see how the Matsuzaka deal could do anything but tank any aspirations Igawa and co. could have hoped for regarding receiving more than 5-6M/year, and it will likely be a longer contract as well, to be in line with the Matsuzaka signing.

    attackgerbil December 13, 2006, 9:44 pm
  • Oh, and the money…uhh, how about 4/20?

    desturbd1 December 13, 2006, 9:44 pm
  • Only two months till Truck Day!
    I can’t remember the last time I was this anxious for Spring Training in December. Oh wait… it was last year. :)
    Seriously, no matter what Matsuzaka does during his Boston career, I’m very excited about him and his potential, even if said potential doesn’t materialize. This is a great say in RSN.

    mouse - SF December 13, 2006, 9:48 pm
  • 4 months, 20 grand, D1?

    SF December 13, 2006, 9:48 pm
  • > Igawa should be looking for Lilly money
    I’m curious. Because of the lower posting fee? It seems that Boston was successful in translating the posting fee as part of the cost of the signing with Matsuzaka, which, by the way, I take at face value. I do not (or choose not) to see any dark machinations behind Boston’s dealings with Boras. I see at as a sign that _some_ sanity (like I can comprehend even the reduced numbers involved) may have manifested itself in the actual contracts signed with UNproven talent entering the market. But hey, I’m an optimist.

    attackgerbil December 13, 2006, 9:49 pm
  • Yeah, Art T. can’t be happy with Mr. Boras tonight. He pretty much killed any hopes of driving up that price in one fell swoop. Cashman is sure to say that Igawa is 25% the pitcher Matsuzuka is, and he’s only going to pay accordingly. Cashman knows the whole “back to Japan” is pure BS at this point, so why would he ever do anything other than lowball Art?
    I say the deal get’s no more than 4/year, and you’re probably right, AG. Five or six years makes more sense in hindsight.

    Brad December 13, 2006, 9:49 pm
  • Heh, 4 months for 20 grand would be quite the bargain.
    I don’t think he gets 5 or 6 years because I think the Yanks might like their chances in arbitration more than Boston liked theirs. Especially if he winds up in the bullpen, in which case he probably won’t get more than $5MM a year anyway. So I’m sticking with 4 years, $20MM

    desturbd1 December 13, 2006, 9:51 pm
  • I do not (or choose not) to see any dark machinations behind Boston’s dealings with Boras. I see at as a sign that _some_ sanity (like I can comprehend even the reduced numbers involved) ..
    Interesting. Am I the only guy on earth who thinks there were plans between Boras, the Red Sox, and JD Drew the instant the Red Sox won the bid? It CANT be chance all this took place. Plus, we’ve been saying here for a month that there is no way that Matsuzuka can refuse a legitimate offer, so if we knew it, I guarantee the Red Sox did. They did all this for JD Drew.
    It was a shot from the Grassy Knoll, and I’m pretty sure the guy was a Cuban.

    Brad December 13, 2006, 9:53 pm
  • The Lilly thing was a joke – a bad one. There’s no chance in hell he gets Lilly money.
    Would the Sox be morons to make Josh Beckett a closer? Bad for the blister situation, that much warming up and constant usage? Is this a terrible use of his services?

    SF December 13, 2006, 9:53 pm
  • Also check out the picture of Matsuzaka on the front page of the Globe sports section. Heh, anyone else think he looks a little, uh, stoned?

    desturbd1 December 13, 2006, 9:54 pm
  • Wait, so if Igawa gets 4/20 then by Matsuzaka silly math that’s 4/46 and hence MORE than Ted Lilly money!

    SF December 13, 2006, 9:54 pm
  • I can’t take my eyes off the man-fur, D1. What’s next, a Dave Puddy eight-ball leather jacket?

    SF December 13, 2006, 9:55 pm
  • Yeah, when my girl saw him earlier, the first thing she said is:
    “Well now he can afford a new jacket. Why would Theo let him wear that in public”?
    It’s funny you bring that up too.

    Brad December 13, 2006, 9:57 pm
  • I dunno Brad. I think there are a lot of fingers in the pie, so to speak, and if there were any subterfuge it would get messy pretty quickly due to the fact that *someone* is going to lose enough of the cut of the pastry to sing.
    I honestly think this came down to the fact that Boston knew their number, put it on the table, and Matsuzaka was happy to take it for personal gain and for the fact that he is now more of a hero to Seibu and the Japanese population. He already _raked_ in endorsements. What do you think happens for him now? His kickers in endorsements will lap his salary. The Lions are happy. Boston is happy. Boras Ltd. is richer and will stay on point for future posters. Now all we have to do is play the games and see what he will produce.

    attackgerbil December 13, 2006, 10:03 pm
  • “Plus, we’ve been saying here for a month that there is no way that Matsuzuka can refuse a legitimate offer, so if we knew it, I guarantee the Red Sox did. They did all this for JD Drew.”
    I think you just hit on two different things here. If Boston knew all along that Matsuzaka had to accept a fair deal, then why bother getting a side-thing together with Boras and Drew? (Incidentally, I called Boston’s signing him last night right before I went to bed…last thing I posted. Thought he’d get more money, but I also decided Boston had the upper hand. Hooray for me)
    I dunno about Beckett closing…I seem to remember him being at his worst early in games; in fact, a quick look here shows that pitches 1-15 were his worst, and that he gave up a .814 OPS in the 1st inning. Plus sticking him in the pen also assumes that Lester is back and an effective starter…and I’m not sure he will be, at least right away.
    Haha, maybe he assumed he’d need it in the icy Boston winter? Or maybe that coat’s fashionable in Japan? We should all try to be culturally sensitive…heh.
    PS: This warm weather is really pissing me off…it was almost 60 in DC today, and from what I hear it won’t be much colder back home. It ain’t right…

    desturbd1 December 13, 2006, 10:04 pm
  • Beckett closing?
    Why waste such a good arm? He’s soooo much more valuable to a team after 200 innings, Nick be damned. Of all the starters currently on the Sox, he’s the last one I want anywhere near the bullpen – ever. He’s a true, dominating stuff type starter, but I digress. This talk goes nowhere, and we’re all aware it just get’s our blood boiling. I’d rather risk Papelbons arm than Beckett’s – if that tells you anyhing about how I feel about the guy.

    Brad December 13, 2006, 10:08 pm
  • I say go ahead and trade a package of WMP or Crisp with either Hinske (who could be good if he got the chance to play more often) with a couple prospects from lower levels and get a legitimate closer.
    Also, I can’t seem to shake the idea of getting the kid from Baltimore (his name slips me now) but he throws really hard and was pretty good for them last year. I’m not talking about their closer, but the other kid who sets up for him. Damn. Okay, research time.

    Brad December 13, 2006, 10:13 pm
  • Hawkins. His closer stuff isn’t good, but when he’s not in that role, he’s pretty darn good. Could help a bullpen in need for sure.

    Brad December 13, 2006, 10:15 pm
  • Never heard of him…Baltimore? You sure? Cuz there’s no Hawkins on Baltimore’s 40-man.

    desturbd1 December 13, 2006, 10:18 pm
  • Oh wait, LaTroy Hawkins, duh. He’s 34, and already signed with the Rockies.

    desturbd1 December 13, 2006, 10:20 pm
  • I watched LaTroy Hawkins pitch with the Cubs a fair amount. He will give you ulcers (check his whip). Be thankful that he’s not available.

    attackgerbil December 13, 2006, 10:23 pm
  • “They’re big fish in small ponds, and the last time one came into the AL East and made a difference, well, it’s been awhile.”
    forgive me brad, tonight may seem like your night to get picked on, but isn’t dm a big fish from a small pond that you’re hoping makes a difference?…
    i heard that the only thing holding up the official confirmation of the deal was not dm’s physical, but he insisted that the sox throw in a subscription to espn-the magazine, along with the complimentary mp3 player…

    dc December 13, 2006, 10:23 pm
  • I say ship Dave Murphy to Florida for Travis Bowyer, a 25-year-old who was supposed to be Florida’s closer of the future until he went down with arm problems and Taylor Tankersley stepped in. Then deal WMP or Coco and Kris Johnson (still a long way off, but a decent prospect) to Texas for Otsuka, or (preferably) to the Pirates for Mike Gonzalez.

    desturbd1 December 13, 2006, 10:23 pm
  • Yeah, I knew he was available, but I did not know he already signed. He did a nice job this year against Boston.
    Speaking of Baltimore, it’s funny to me that Tejada’s name wasn’t mentioned more so far. He seems to fill that “hitter” role everyone is looking for, and his contract is absolutely pennies in comparison to some. It seems that teams would be knocking down their door for the chance to nab him away. Why the Dodgers didn’t focus on him and not Manny is weird.

    Brad December 13, 2006, 10:26 pm
  • Man,
    Something tells me that whichever team gives WMP the opportunity to play everyday is going to be so happy with the results. I’d hate to lose him much more than Crisp. I know it sounds bad on the surface, but he’s hit more HR’s in his last 160 games than anyone in baseball. More than Manny, Ortiz, Price Albert, and all of the others.
    I’d hate to see him hitting 55HR a year somewhere else in two years.
    If one of them goes, I’m counting on it being Crisp. At least I’m hoping that it is. WMP’s speed is awesome, and his power is something to marvel at.

    Brad December 13, 2006, 10:29 pm
  • don’t worry about a closer, i heard rich garces wants to make another comeback…oi
    it’s good to see you guys are more flexible about trading the youth to fill a need, but i thought you loved murphy…i guess i saw him fitting in down the road, especially if manny gets traded…also surprising to see the coco trade talk resurface, since he could be an important part of this year’s outfield…but, i guess a trade is the most effective way to fill certain needs now…

    dc December 13, 2006, 10:29 pm
  • I’d love to see WMP getting his act together at the plate, and opposing pitchers having to face Ortiz, Manny, Drew and Pena in the same effin lineup. Presumably someone always being on base as well. Holy cow.

    Brad December 13, 2006, 10:31 pm
  • murderers row

    dc December 13, 2006, 10:33 pm
  • Dunno about everyone else, but I never loved Murphy. Ellsbury is a similar player, but he’s 3 years younger and a much better prospect. And WMP would be a terrible defensive downgrade, but I think the idea would be that he’d play CF instead of Crisp. I don’t really want either of them to go (I wanted Manny to go, to be honest) but something has to be done. I don’t really know who I’d rather keep-Pena or Crisp. It’s a toss up for me.

    desturbd1 December 13, 2006, 10:33 pm
  • I know it sounds bad on the surface, but he’s hit more HR’s in his last 160 games than anyone in baseball.
    —————————————–
    2005 99 games 19 HRs
    2006 84 games 11 HRs
    ————————
    Ttl. 183 games 30 HRs
    How is that more then anyone else in baseball?
    Ortiz hit more then that in the first half of the season.

    TJ Sox Fan December 13, 2006, 10:38 pm
  • WMP is not a huge defensive downgrade in center, and I would love to see him their fulltime.
    Honestly, I just wish Coco’s trade value was higher right now, but I still think we can get solid BP help for him and I think that’s what needs to be done.
    HOOD milk is going to be pissed.

    LocklandSF December 13, 2006, 10:39 pm
  • TJ – That’s good to know. I actually heard that stat today on EEI when they were talking about the same thing. I didn’t think to consider that it may be wrong.
    Sorry about that, but regardless of that, I think his total upside is much, much better than Crisps. I like Crisp, but I think that Boston will regret losing Pena (and his very nice pricetag) if he gets a chance to play full-time.
    He could very well be the Twins version of David Ortiz. A guy they knew had power, but needed to see pitches and strike out less and try to hit for average.

    Brad December 13, 2006, 10:44 pm
  • Maybe his last 160 ABs?

    Paul SF December 13, 2006, 10:47 pm
  • Seriously, if we had Ortiz, Manny, Drew and Pena EVERY day, jesus…..

    LocklandSF December 13, 2006, 10:49 pm
  • That doesn’t work either…he only had 11 homers last season in 276 ab’s. Chalk it up to EEI talking out its ass.

    desturbd1 December 13, 2006, 10:49 pm
  • If I had to flip a coin, I’d pick Pena. His tools are better, and he’s nearly as fast as Coco. I don’t think it’s as bad a downgrade as we think. I think RF made him look bad last year, but it’s been known to do that now and again to young players.
    I like Crisp, but again, I think by suffering through the first full month or so of Pena batting everyday, the rewards could be really great. If not, there’s a really good one available at the deadline this year.

    Brad December 13, 2006, 10:50 pm
  • yeah, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to post something before looking it up, but I took it for what it was worth from the radio. Sorry.
    The funny thing is that I believed it. It seemed that everytime he played last year he hit either a huge double or a homer. His shot at the game I went to left Fenway faster than any ball I’ve seen since Big Mac and the all star game there. It was over the Volvo sign like a Sheffield foul ball. It was almost like I didn’t see it and by the time the sound of the bat crack hit me, the ball was gone.
    Ahhh, the sound of bats cracking. Someone push fast forward.

    Brad December 13, 2006, 10:53 pm
  • Anyone else worried that Lugo and Drew had their physicals at the same time and we have only heard aboout Lugo so far?
    What’s the hold up?

    LocklandSF December 13, 2006, 10:55 pm
  • I’d guess it’s because Drew is the bigger acquisition and they wanted to make sure they had all the Big Boys there to welcome him aboard. Just a guess.
    Either that or they’ve found that every bone in his body is bruised, abrased, fractured or crushed — twice.

    Paul SF December 13, 2006, 10:56 pm
  • Boras being in town today. He does Drew and Matsuzaka at the same time, and doesn’t have to make two trips.

    Brad December 13, 2006, 10:57 pm
  • Brad, I was there for the shot Wily Mo hit off the monster seats, he hit it straight at the seats, no arc, it it the seats, made a huge dent and bounced back to the INFIELD, the ball was later shown to have two a flat side from where it hit the wall behind the seat.
    It came back to the infield…

    LocklandSF December 13, 2006, 10:58 pm
  • “Anyone else worried that Lugo and Drew had their physicals at the same time and we have only heard aboout Lugo so far?
    What’s the hold up?”
    Here. Tina Cervasio (I think it was her) asks Jed Hoyer that question. He wouldn’t comment on the state of Drew’s physical, so I’m not sure it’s even been done yet, but he said the only thing holding it up is that the contract’s more complicated than most and Epstein and Boras have been real busy. The phrase he used (repeatedly) was that they just had to go back to cross the t’s and dot the i’s.

    desturbd1 December 13, 2006, 11:05 pm
  • “Anyone else worried that Lugo and Drew had their physicals at the same time and we have only heard aboout Lugo so far?
    What’s the hold up?”
    ———————————————
    I think the thing is perhaps they just wanted Theo there perhaps for his introduction. Or perhaps they are splitting them up. Lugo today Drew tomorrow Matsuzaka Friday?

    TJ Sox Fan December 13, 2006, 11:07 pm
  • He easily has as much or more pure raw power than anyone in all of baseball. I don’t think that’s the question, but rather his ability to create quite the wind gust at the curveball.
    But, I know that can be learned. That much power and speed can’t be learned.

    Brad December 13, 2006, 11:07 pm
  • Boras has confirmed the deal with ESPN.com

    TJ Sox Fan December 13, 2006, 11:09 pm
  • Press conference tomorrow at 5PM to introduce Matsuzaka.

    TJ Sox Fan December 13, 2006, 11:10 pm
  • On another note, I was watching NESN tonight for Hot Stove and they did a little highlight reel of Lugo. I gotta tell you, his range is better than Cabrerra’s or Gonzo’s. He was in the hole like a SS should not be.

    Brad December 13, 2006, 11:14 pm
  • This is an exciting day, not just for the RS, but for the AL East, and all of baseball. I can’t believe how happy I am that a deal was made…
    Hughes v. Matsuzaka in game 6 of the ALCS, I’m calling it right here! (At the stadium of course, as the Yanks win the East.)

    tom yf December 13, 2006, 11:15 pm
  • “On another note, I was watching NESN tonight for Hot Stove and they did a little highlight reel of Lugo. I gotta tell you, his range is better than Cabrerra’s or Gonzo’s. He was in the hole like a SS should not be.”
    Yep…Pinto’s Range Model loves him for a reason. :)

    desturbd1 December 13, 2006, 11:17 pm
  • Yeah, Brad. His problems, IIRC, lie entirely with his hands and with his throwing. The man can get to the ball, no doubt about it.

    QuoSF December 13, 2006, 11:18 pm
  • as of this moment heres the opening day lineup…
    Lugo SS
    Youkilis 1B
    Ortiz DH
    Ramirez LF
    Drew RF
    Lowell 3B
    Varitek C
    Crisp/Pena CF (If Pena switch him and Tek)
    Pedroia 2B
    Rotation
    Schilling
    Matsuzaka (This baring any rainouts allows Matsuzaka to pitch the home opener with his first batter being…… Ichiro. That will be a Japanese media circus)
    Beckett
    Wakefield
    Papelbon (This puts the knuckler between to fireballers.)

    TJ Sox Fan December 13, 2006, 11:21 pm
  • ESPNNews just reported that Matsuzaka has passed his physical.

    TJ Sox Fan December 13, 2006, 11:24 pm
  • Nick: (going way back in the thread) I’m also very surprised at six years. That’s an absolutely, positively phenomenal acquiescence. I would guess Matsuzaka had a great deal more sway in the proceedings than I thought, which I realize means I know nothing.

    attackgerbil December 13, 2006, 11:26 pm
  • Wow – thanks for that insight into what is going on in Yankee-land. Those folks are clearly obsessed with with the Sox are doing this off-season rather than what the Yanks are up to.
    They are also apparently a bunch of nuts! They think re-signing Mussina and Pettite for ridiculous money is a good thing while apparently the Sox/Boras are the next coming of a JFK conspiracy!
    I can’t say it any better than you already did above, so kudos to calling out those idiots for their foolish opinions.

    SoxSpot December 13, 2006, 11:30 pm
  • I diaried the diplomatic angle on the DM negotiations (it came up at an assistant secretary of state press conference) at the left-political blog/community site DailyKos (http://www.dailykos.com/story/2006/12/13/221412/51).
    One oh-so-intelligent response was “F*** the red sox!”
    Perhaps feeling a bit cocky, my retort was a little quiz:
    Excuse me for being curious, but…
    do you say this because:
    a) You’re upset that despite spending about $50 million more than the Red Sox in recent years, the Yankees haven’t been able to win the world series since 2000, including the biggest choke-job ever in 2004?
    b) You’re frustrated that the projected rotation of Schilling – Matsuzaka – Beckett – Papelbon – Wakefield beats the pants off of Wang – Mussina – Johnson – Pettitte – ?????
    c) Your $19M shortstop hates your $25M third baseman (although he only gets 64% of that from NYY) who is a head case and you’re just really frustrated?
    d) David Ortiz gives you nightmares and you lash out rather than accepting the fact that he is the most clutch hitter ever?
    e) Mariano Rivera, who has been worth 7 WPA wins above average per year since ’02 (fangraphs.com), is 37, is beginning to have arm problems, and may not be so dependable anymore?

    froggywomp (SF) December 13, 2006, 11:34 pm
  • TJ: I assume you put Lugo in leadoff because he can steal, but Youk works so well in the 1-hole with his great batter’s eye. With Lugo’s power behind him, leading into the “perfect storm” of Ortiz-Manny-etc., I think it would be a a match made in RBI heaven. Just curious.

    attackgerbil December 13, 2006, 11:37 pm
  • I put them 1-2 like that because thats what I keep reading from the sports writer of how its likely to go.
    Think thinking is probably that Youkilis has more power then Lugo (Youyk had 13 last year while Lugos career best is 15) and having him bat right ahead of Ortiz and Manny will give him more pitches to hit.
    They would like to have some speed constantly on base and with a career .340 OBP he can deliver that, also Lugo strikes out much less then Youk.

    TJ Sox Fan December 13, 2006, 11:42 pm
  • gerbil:
    There have been reports (eg “Manager Terry Francona has already indicated that Lugo will bat leadoff, with Kevin Youkilis hitting second.” http://www.projo.com/redsox/content/projo_20061207_07meetjo.31df835.html) that Lugo will indeed bat 1st, although as you say there is a good rationale for Youk then Lugo.

    froggywomp (SF) December 13, 2006, 11:46 pm
  • SoxSpot: maybe you’re right, but I really thought that most sensible Yankee fans were just commenting on the most exciting process in baseball right now, since we’re not actually playing baseball; that is what Matsuzaka is. It’s still all speculation and maneuvering. We still have to play the games. From this YF’s perspective, it just got quite a bit more juicy. Sorry if I misread your take, but it’s not obsession. It’s just that I like reading about baseball. The Sox made a spectacular bid to negotiate with Matsuzaka, and then sealed the deal. How is it a fault that, as a baseball fan, I’m curious about the proceedings?
    Opinions are only what they are. Let’s play ball and see, eh?
    froggywomp: Wow, you itemized.
    A) Biggest choke ever? Yeah, it was vicious. Was it a choke? Dunno. It’s been discussed ad nauseum here and everywhere. Most Yankee fans I know give propers to the ’04 Sox for doing something outstanding. What more do you want? Does the money matter? It’s not your money.
    B) Yes, the Sox rotation looks great on paper. I’m not frustrated by it in any sense. I want to play the games and see what happens.
    C) This is a non-issue, only given traction because of the fact that ARod had a “bad year” that offensively lined up against every other third baseman in the game, looks mighty decent. Defense will come back to him, (or so I pretend). He’s not the dog that everyone wants him to be.
    D) Ortiz is a great hitter. I thought he should be MVP last year. Clutch? He was. Jeter was better with RISP. Still, Ortiz was my MVP. Rectify that.
    E) Rivera? Until Mo can’t deliver, it is impossible to dismiss him.

    attackgerbil December 13, 2006, 11:56 pm
  • Assuming Lugo does what he did leading off in recent years and gets on at a .365+ clip, letting Youk hit 2nd is a fine idea. As long as the 2 of them are at the top, Boston’s doing the right thing; given Lugo’s speed, I do like him better hitting 1st assuming he gets on (almost) as often as Youk does anyway.
    Some have said Drew should bat 2nd. I agree that with the close to .400 obp he would make an ideal 2-hitter…but given the righty-lefty matchup problem that would create, and the fact that Drew has more power than Youkilis, (who I’m assuming would bat fifth in this scenario) I think putting him behind Manny makes more sense.
    PS: AG, you aren’t exactly of the same ilk as that guy who led off the Daily Kos story with “Fuck the Red Sox.” I bet Froggy wasn’t commenting against you, just the blathering and irrational idiots both our respective fanbases include.

    desturbd1 December 13, 2006, 11:59 pm
  • D1, I agree with you that Youk and Lugo are basically tremendous assets where you can assign them at multiple points in the lineup and expect results. I personally have great respect for Youk leading off based on his incredibly savvy ability to reach base.

    attackgerbil December 14, 2006, 12:05 am
  • As desturbd1 said, by no means am I commenting against AG. I enjoyed reading his response, though, well thought out as it was. I had some fun wasting time coming up with a response to the “blathering and irrational idiot” and figured, as long as I’d invested the effort in it, I’d make sure my response got a wide airing. BTW this site seems to be near-unique in the level of dialogue between YFs and SFs.

    froggywomp (SF) December 14, 2006, 12:05 am
  • The Times is reporting specific details about Matsuzaka’s contract.
    $2MM signing bonus, $6MM in 2007, $8MM from 2008-2010, and $10MM in 2011 and 2012.
    “Boras said the final negotiating session began at about 5:30 a.m. PST Wednesday, and within 90 minutes he was confident there would be an agreement.
    ”Daisuke really had three choices,” Boras said. ”He could sign now. He could wait another year or he could wait two years and become a free agent. He had to determine how much money he was willing to give up now.””

    desturbd1 December 14, 2006, 12:35 am
  • Oh…forgot about this:
    “Matsuzaka’s agreement include $8 million in escalators based on awards that would bring the total to $60 million over six years, and also includes award bonuses. Boras said the deal includes travel from Japan for the player and his family, plus provisions for a trainer, a masseuse, an interpreter, an assistant and housing for spring training and the regular season.”
    Housing…?

    desturbd1 December 14, 2006, 12:36 am
  • froggywomp: regarding dialogue, in my attempt at an opinion. that is the ideal that YF and SF were trying to establish when they made this place. Yes, there are frequent failures where conversations turn to baiting, but there are many commendable successes to be lauded in creative thought that expands on what many fans think it is the best rivalry in all of sport. Personally, I want to see the Sox put their best team on the field, and watch the Yankees beat it with their best effort. I love ball and I love smart argument.

    attackgerbil December 14, 2006, 12:42 am
  • i agree ag, occasionally the discussion takes a turn south, but i attribute that to the strong feelings both sf’s and yf’s have for their teams and the history between the sox and yanks…the passion can be a good thing, and lead to some very interesting reading, but at times it deteriorates into an ugliness that none of us can be comfortable with…my biggest beef is name-calling and baseless critcism of players and posters…i’ve been accused of some transgressions myself, but my biggest offense seems to be offending sf’s with generalities, and not knowing when to leave a dead argument alone…i want to do better with that…
    since this is a “gracious” moment, i just want to say again to all sf’s that despite my [occasional] biting sarcasm about other topics, i sincerely congratulate you on your pickup of dm…i believe he’s the real deal, and my team’s got some catching up to do…i also think the additions of drew and lugo, despite the skepticism you hear from the yf side at times, significantly strengthens your team…anyone not admitting that the yankees have significant issues [that i don’t need to repeat here] with the team has their head in the sand…i never believed that the gap was as wide as last year’s finish suggests, and the sox just got a whole lot better…again, nice job, you have every reason to be excited and optimistic about the red sox in 2007…
    while it’s fun to start penciling in names as our teams start to take shape, i can’t wait for opening day [i don’t get too excited about spring training]…that’s when the proverbial rubber will meet the road, and we can have some fun seeing how smart we [and our teams’ mgmt] was this winter…i said yesterday that for me the interesting thing about baseball is not your opening day lineup, but about the adjustments you make as the season unfolds…that’s what makes it or breaks it…
    ag always says it better than i do, but one thing [maybe the only thing] i know sf’s and yf’s agree on unanimously is that baseball is the greatest game…for us to be having this much fun and showing this much enthusiasm in the dead of winter is all the proof you need…baseball’s been a part of my life ever since i was a little kid playing in my parents’ backyard every single day in the summer, and i still feel like that kid when i watch or talk about the game…i’m grateful to have that opportunity here…

    dc December 14, 2006, 9:48 am
  • Wow, dc. All I can say is: extremely well-said.

    QuoSF December 14, 2006, 9:57 am
  • I think it’s safe to say that this is exactly how we all planned the signing of DM to be.. =)

    Lar December 14, 2006, 9:59 am
  • Shaughnessy of the Globe has a pretty humorous article (non-vitriolic for a chenge!) with some “friendly suggestions” for Matsuzaka.
    I liked this one: “Remove all AM radios from your home and automobiles.”

    Scott SF December 14, 2006, 10:14 am
  • John Henry’s plane is enroute to Hanscom AFB with John Henry.

    TJ Sox Fan December 14, 2006, 10:15 am
  • Was watching is once again slathering his hatred of all things Red Sox puke again. This guy is a joke.

    Brad December 14, 2006, 10:32 am
  • “Wow, dc. All I can say is: extremely well-said.”
    Ditto.
    “Was watching is once again slathering his hatred of all things Red Sox puke again. This guy is a joke.”
    What a moron. The scouting reports all say he gets most of his power from his lower body and his delivery is conducive for long-term success. That’s what happens when you grasp at straws…”Must…criticize…look! Height and weight! Smallish! Wah wah wee wah!”

    desturbd1 December 14, 2006, 10:41 am
  • One of the commenters pointed out the similarity in body types with Matsuzaka and Pedro, as we might all have thought about already. Have to be careful with it, as no one will be Pedro. Just as no LHP will ever be Koufax. However, it’s a shining example that smaller-size pitchers aren’t neccessarily overmatched in this league.
    I wonder what Daisuke’s position is on beanballs. Both sides of the aisle here are familiar with Pedro’s thoughts on the matter.

    QuoSF December 14, 2006, 10:44 am
  • Now this the Herald is saying that there were reports out of Japan that may have reached Boras and Matsuzaka that had he failed to sign with Boston the Seibu Lions were gonna send him to the minors which would have set back his free agent departure til after the 2009 season.

    TJ Sox Fan December 14, 2006, 10:46 am
  • Ken Rosenthal:
    It’s not inconceivable that the Sox could sign Clemens and trade Beckett for a closer; they didn’t rule out the possibility of moving Beckett when rival clubs asked about him at the winter meetings.

    TJ Sox Fan December 14, 2006, 10:49 am
  • TJ, I saw that, and was kind of mystified by the whole thing. Sure, Matsuzaka returning would’ve been a financial disaster for the Lions…but you have to figure him pitching for them would’ve helped them recover more than sending him to the minors.
    Of course, if it’s true, it’s likely it was simply posturing for the purposes of adding pressure to Matsuzaka to sign a contract.

    QuoSF December 14, 2006, 10:49 am
  • This is kind of interesting…”Mike Pagliarulo, who for years has run a sophisticated scouting service for international players,” approves of everything Boston has done with regard to Matsuzaka, and says he saw and agreed with the $50MM posting fee before it was even made. He also basically says that Boston paid Matsuzaka more than they really had to, and probably knew it, but did so as “a fair gesture of good will given the quality of the player.”

    desturbd1 December 14, 2006, 10:51 am
  • If they trade Beckett, I won’t watch a single game. Period.

    Brad December 14, 2006, 10:57 am
  • And, my tickets will be on sale for really cheap to you guys.

    Brad December 14, 2006, 10:57 am
  • Brad, if that’s the case (re: the tickets), I hope they trade Beckett.
    …just kidding.

    QuoSF December 14, 2006, 11:00 am
  • Honestly, no kidding. He’s my favorite Red Sox player since a young Pedro. If they trade him, all this positive they have done in the past month goes right down the drain. If that happened, it’s a bonehead of all bonehead moves, and I’ll switch off the television all year on them.

    Brad December 14, 2006, 11:11 am
  • I dunno, to me if your gonna trade him for a closer why not just put Schilling in the closer spot and add Clemens to the rotation. It would be a shame to lose Beckett for Clemens when you would have atleast 2 rotation spots opening in ’08 when Schilling retires and Clemens possibly retires not to mention Wakefield’s status beyond ’07.

    TJ Sox Fan December 14, 2006, 11:25 am
  • “It’s not inconceivable that the Sox could sign Clemens and trade Beckett for a closer”
    That would be really stupid.
    Does anyone really think that Clemens, at 44, would dominate in the AL over an entire season?

    Andrews December 14, 2006, 11:33 am
  • Does anyone really think that Clemens, at 44, would dominate in the AL over an entire season?
    The entire time he plays, he will dominate. Lets hope its in pinstripes.

    Seth December 14, 2006, 11:37 am
  • I’d rather Wakefield be the closer than trade Beckett. No kidding, I hate this rumor. I’d rather the Yankees get Santana and Oswawlt before I trade Beckett. I’d rather Prince Albert agree to play for free in NY and Ichiro says that he want’s some of the same action.
    NO WAY!

    Brad December 14, 2006, 12:02 pm
  • Does anyone really think that Clemens, at 44, would dominate in the AL over an entire season?
    No, but he can dominate a game in Septemeber when you need him to. And again in October if the need should arise. But I digress, It’s not worth it for a whole year. If they’re offering him a contract from July onward, I’m okay with it. 12mill, half a year, I’m all for it. At that time, move Papelbon back to the pen.

    Brad December 14, 2006, 12:03 pm
  • Clemens is still a great pitcher, though he doesn’t seem to be able to sustain it for a full season. Further, the AL East ain’t the NL Central. He’d still be top-tier if he were in the AL East, though.
    I think he’ll do what he did last year: take the first half off and then ride to the rescue, getting a massive contract from some team (Sox & Yanks both possibilities) to pitch for a couple of months. The Clemens-back-to-Boston is a good storyline, of course, and it’s possible Roger feels the pull. But I’ve given up trying to figure out what he’s gonna do. What happens, happens.

    Rob (Middletown, CT) December 14, 2006, 12:13 pm
  • No way on the Beckett trade. The Sox don’t do that, I bet. If they get Clemens, they move Wakefield to long relief and have him and Lester both pitching out of the pen — which would be ridiculously awesome, by the way.

    Paul SF December 14, 2006, 12:20 pm
  • Who is the closer they would get in return?

    Seth December 14, 2006, 12:31 pm
  • Red Sox rotation:
    Shilling
    Beckett
    D-Mat
    Wakefield
    Papelbon
    Potential other starters who might be relievers:
    Lester (big time way to go, kid!)
    Snyder
    Shilling is a year older, but I think he’ll turn in a solid if unspectacular performance. Beckett once again has the potential, but unless he cuts down on the gopherballs he’s potential with a 5 ERA. D-Mat is supposed to be really good… we’ll see. Wakefield is old and battled injury last year. That he is a knuckleballer helps, but it’s not immunity from the ravages of age. Papelbon is young, exciting, and damned good. His shoulder also freaked out on him last year. If he can stay healthy, he should be good. They’ll start him, but if the Hunt for Red Sox Closer doesn’t turn out well, it’ll be awfully tempting to turn back to him.
    Overall, that rotation could be anywhere from mediocre to great.
    Yankee rotation:
    Mussina
    Wang
    Pettite
    RJ (?)
    Pavano/Karstens/Rasner/Igawa/etc
    There are more question marks here. Moose is a year older. Wang will battle the low k-rate demon again and there is always concern for his shoulder. Pettite’s elbow is always a worry. RJ is a fossil coming off back surgery. Pavano… :lol: Karstens is “scary fly ball guy.” I like Rasner, but he’s probably a back-of-the-rotation guy at most. Igawa is an unknown.
    The “etc,” of course, includes Phil Hughes, Humberto Sanchez and Tyler Clippard. Expectations for Hughes are sky-high, which in and of itself worries me. But stats and scouts agree that he’s the real deal. I hope for a mid-season callup. I don’t know much about Sanchez. Clippard is the darkhorse. He did throw a no-hitter last year in AA, and finished strong. But AA isn’t AAA, let alone MLB.
    The top three for the Yanks are good. There is more “proven” ability there than the Sox top three, I feel. The Sox top three have more upside, though (due to Beckett & D-Mat). The 4/5 slots are more of a crapshoot.
    Of course, I hope D-Mat is overrated, Igawa underrated (provided he signs :) ), Wang continues his freakish performance, Moose comes up with yet another pitch, Pettite is the Pettite of the 1/2 half of ’06, not the first… etc.
    But right now, on paper, I’d say edge Sox.

    Rob (Middletown, CT) December 14, 2006, 12:32 pm
  • Hey Rob.
    I think its likely Matsuzaka will start the season as the #2 guy for one reason, it would line up for him to pitch the home opener with his first fenway pitch being thrown to Ichiro. every TV in Japan will be tuned in at 2AM to watch that game

    TJ Sox Fan December 14, 2006, 12:40 pm
  • I’m not necessarily putting the guys in exact order. Such things shift throughout the season anyway.

    Rob (Middletown, CT) December 14, 2006, 1:07 pm
  • The one night that best symbolized the year Mike Lowell had on defense was Aug. 11, when Lowell threw his entire body into the stands down the third-base line to track down a foul ball off the bat of Baltimore’s Nick Markakis. That play was a combination of skill, fearlessness and determination, which Lowell showcased at the hot corner all year long.
    Fans noticed, judging by the fact that Lowell has been named the Defensive Player of the Year in MLB.com’s fifth annual This Year in Baseball Awards.

    TJ Sox Fan December 14, 2006, 1:48 pm
  • yeah, he deserves that.

    Brad December 14, 2006, 2:03 pm
  • “The one night that best symbolized the year Mike Lowell had on defense was Aug. 11, when Lowell threw his entire body into the stands down the third-base line to track down a foul ball off the bat of Baltimore’s Nick Markakis. That play was a combination of skill, fearlessness and determination, which Lowell showcased at the hot corner all year long.”
    This sounds awfully familiar.. in some extra inning game between rivals or something..

    Lar December 14, 2006, 2:10 pm
  • with the exception of Jeter’s six steps before the dive, they are extremely familiar:)

    Brad December 14, 2006, 2:22 pm
  • NEW YORK (AP) — New York Yankees pitching prospect Hector Noesi was suspended Thursday for the first 50 games of next season after testing positive for a banned performance-enhancing substance under baseball’s minor league drug program.
    The Dominican right-hander, who turns 20 on Jan. 26, pitched in five games last season for the Gulf Coast League Yankees from July 31 to Aug. 18. He was 0-0 with a 1.29 ERA and one save, striking out 11 in seven innings.

    TJ Sox Fan December 14, 2006, 2:24 pm
  • Lets remember thpugh Lowells grab came after being hit in the head at the plate in the 1st inning.

    TJ Sox Fan December 14, 2006, 2:24 pm
  • Man, another Yankee druggie? What, are they handing them out for free somewhere?

    Brad December 14, 2006, 2:33 pm
  • Giambi’s garage?
    Sorry…couldn’t help it.

    desturbd1 December 14, 2006, 2:35 pm
  • And I’ve never seen any infielder do what Lowell did on that foul bunt popup, when he went diving across the on-deck circle to snare it mid air and land on his stomach. Amazing play.

    Paul SF December 14, 2006, 2:55 pm
  • Wow. Credit to Wang, but serious credit to YFs. TYIB Starter of the Year? Somewhere, Pujols’ PR representative is drafting a response in Johan Santana’s name.

    QuoSF December 14, 2006, 3:22 pm
  • Yeah…that’s kind of a joke. Gotta feel for the guy who has to write the fluff piece defending the pick for yankees.com. “Although his strikeout total paled in comparison to Santana’s, Wang made up for it with 33 groundball double plays this season.” A ringing endorsement if there ever was one…
    You can at least make a legitimate case for Jeter, Lowell, and Rivera’s awards…but there really isn’t any way to defend this. Fan awards piss me off…

    desturbd1 December 14, 2006, 3:34 pm
  • And for the record, I’d also be bitching if Beckett or Schilling had put up numbers identical to Wang’s and beat out Santana. I just really don’t understand the logic…

    desturbd1 December 14, 2006, 3:36 pm
  • Coulda went either way, there. I’d be pissed if I was Johan, but he’s probably saying the same thing we all are – let’s see him duplicate it.

    Brad December 14, 2006, 3:56 pm
  • http://newyork.yankees.mlb.com/NASApp/mlb/news/article.jsp?ymd=20061213&content_id=1760538&vkey=news_nyy&fext=.jsp&c_id=nyy
    For those of you. Do these include the postseason? I loved Melky’s catch, but I also thought Endy Chavez’s catch was more amazing. Though maybe if they had run it would’ve been better..

    Lar December 14, 2006, 3:58 pm
  • My guess is that Johan, if he’s the person we’ve got glimpses of in interviews, etc, probably doesn’t give a &*%$. Doesn’t make it any less incorrect though…

    QuoSF December 14, 2006, 3:59 pm
  • Lar, I’m guessing run = won?

    QuoSF December 14, 2006, 3:59 pm
  • I missed that last part about Chavez having the best postseason moment. So ignore my previous comment.

    Lar December 14, 2006, 4:00 pm
  • I blame my food coma. Hahaha, but yes.

    Lar December 14, 2006, 4:00 pm
  • “food coma”? I’m both intrigued and disturbed.

    QuoSF December 14, 2006, 4:01 pm
  • http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=food+coma
    Just in case you think I’m making this up.. =P

    Lar December 14, 2006, 4:02 pm
  • Didn’t think you were making it up, I truly had never heard the term before.

    QuoSF December 14, 2006, 4:03 pm
  • Said it more as an expression rather than being defensive. I have a week-long snowboarding vacation coming, leaving in a few hours, so I’m terribly excited. =)

    Lar December 14, 2006, 4:07 pm
  • Johnny Damon
    Derek Jeter
    Bobby Abreu
    Alex Rodriguez
    Jason Giambi
    Hideki Matsui
    Jorge Posada
    Robinson Cano
    Andy Phillips/Doug M.
    That’s an impressive lineup. I hope Orestes Destrada is a better judge of talent then he is a first baseman.

    Kevin Maas December 14, 2006, 4:13 pm
  • Kind of a light moment here at Fenway Park a few moments ago:
    Daisuke Matsuzaka was touring Fenway Park with Sox brass and stopped at the pitcher’s mound. Team owner John W. Henry positioned behind the plate as his catcher, but when Matsuzaka’s offering sailed over Henry’s head, Henry lost his balance, fell back … and here’s the kicker … was caught by Matsuzaka’s agent, Scott Boras, before he hit the ground.

    TJ Sox Fan December 14, 2006, 4:13 pm
  • Haha, is this on NESN?

    desturbd1 December 14, 2006, 4:15 pm
  • Oh yeah and a shut down closer who’s ERA hasn’t been above 2 in 4 seasons.

    Kevin Maas December 14, 2006, 4:15 pm
  • dunno I live in Brookyln so i dont have NESN ESPNNews will have the press conference at 5pm

    TJ Sox Fan December 14, 2006, 4:16 pm
  • Kev – yes that’s an insanely good lineup. Unforunately, that insanely good lineup (plus Shef) disappeared last postseason..

    Lar December 14, 2006, 4:18 pm
  • Right, I remember, was unfortunate. Ran into the Tigers and a rejuvanated Gambler.
    Anyway, I thought we were talking about the upcoming season? If not we can bring up the Sox finishing 3rd last season also.

    Kevin Maas December 14, 2006, 4:21 pm
  • d-1, It was in the Globe’s blog. I hope NESN’s cameras were around…

    Paul SF December 14, 2006, 4:31 pm
  • Kev – I’m a YF, but I think there’s very little things that can be said about that lineup (unless something suddenly changes) that hasn’t already been rehashed to death..

    Lar December 14, 2006, 4:31 pm
  • Also, Edes says Matsuzaka is dropping the puck at the Bruins game tonight. Something tells me that game just sold out.

    Paul SF December 14, 2006, 4:32 pm
  • BASE SALARY
    2007-10 — $8 million per season.
    2011-12 — $10 million per season.
    CONTRACT ESCALATORS
    Both the 2009 and 2010 base salaries would increase to $10 million in the event Matsuzaka: a) finishes first in Cy Young voting in 2007 or 2008; b) finishes first, second, or third Cy Young voting in 2007 and 2008; c) finishes first in league MVP voting in 2007 or 2008; or d) finishes first, second, third, fourth, or fifth in league MVP voting in 2007 and 2008.
    Both the 2011 and 2012 base salaries would increase to $12 million in the event Matsuzaka: a) finishes first in Cy Young voting in 2009 or 2010; b) finishes first, second, or third in Cy Young voting in 2009 and 2010; c) finishes first in league MVP voting in 2009 or 2010; or d) finishes first, second, third, fourth, or fifth in league MVP voting in 2009 and 2010.

    TJ December 14, 2006, 4:40 pm
  • can we get over the p. hughes hype? he might be good someday. trenton is no indicator though. the only time he’s faced decent triple A hitters, he got shelled. no sox fans are touting how clay buchholz is gonna make an impact this year. hughes is now in the running with joe d. and jeter for most overhyped yankee of all time.

    sf rod December 14, 2006, 4:42 pm
  • Heh, Matsuzaka’s locker is right next to Julian Tavarez’s. I don’t know why I think that’s funny, but I do.

    desturbd1 December 14, 2006, 4:55 pm
  • What’s the difference between DM hype and Hughes hype? =)

    Lar December 14, 2006, 4:58 pm
  • Blooper of the Year
    Sean Casey, Detroit Tigers: Receiving a TYIB Award isn’t always a good thing. Just ask Casey, who earned this dubious distinction for being thrown out at first base on a one-hop line drive to left field.
    Does someone have this on YouTube or somewhere? I feel like I want to see this!

    Lar December 14, 2006, 5:01 pm
  • Lar, it seems like it would be funnier, but I remember seeing a highlight, and it was a line drive that the shortstop or 3B leaped for, and Casey thought he caught it so he stopped in the basepath. Casey realized his mistake and tried to get to first, but he’s slow and was thrown out by a lot.
    Also, Lar, DM has succeeded at a level higher than AAA for a sustained period of time, succeeded against MLB hitters in the WBC, and has mature stuff that scouts and observers say will translate well into MLB. That’s much more than a great year at AA with even three good pitches.

    Paul SF December 14, 2006, 5:15 pm
  • Paul – thanks for answering my totally irrational post. But I don’t think the hype is unjustified! (for both DM and Hughes, though Hughes is not on DM’s level, I think)
    The video is actually on the MLB site itself. It’s actually disappointingly unfunny. I do remember the video where Big Frank was almost thrown out at first – and he was running the whole way. Of course, he hit it to RF, so the time delay isn’t as much..
    I love Wang, but somehow not only does he beat Santana, he beats him 47% to 17.6%. I didn’t vote, but I suspect a lot of Taiwanese people did..

    Lar December 14, 2006, 5:28 pm
  • Lar, stop, the sox fans are always right. Hundreds of scouting reports and many ML execs must be wrong. Hughes will s*ck and Dice K is the next Cy Young, please know your roll. The only way a prospect is worth anything is if he goes through Pawtucket. I am done with this site until March, I never saw such nonsense….He’s dropping the puck, his locker is next to…He has the Gyro ball….See you in Yankee Stadium.

    Kevin Maas December 14, 2006, 5:31 pm
  • That’s much more than a great year at AA with even three good pitches.
    Are you talking about Beckett or Hughes?

    Seth December 14, 2006, 5:31 pm
  • I am done with this site until March, I never saw such nonsense….He’s dropping the puck, his locker is next to…He has the Gyro ball….See you in Yankee Stadium.
    Have a great winter, Troll.

    Brad December 14, 2006, 5:33 pm
  • Not sure your poi9nt, Seth. I know I have no clue what Kevin is griping about. Am I somehow incorrect in assuming the Matsuzaka story is the biggest in all of baseball?
    Lar, I agree an amount of hype is justified for Phillips. But I agree with SF-Rod that to expect a kid who has never pitched above AA to step in by midseason and help the Yankees to a pennant completely unjustified. If I’m a yf, I would oppose suck a move for fear that he doesn’t succeed, he loses his confidence, and it takes even more development time than it would have originally to get him back on track.
    See, on the Red Sox: Cla Meredith. For an opposite scenario, see: Papelbon, for whom Sox fans were clamoring well before he finally was called up late in 2005, after nearly a full season at AAA.

    Paul SF December 14, 2006, 5:37 pm
  • To expect such a scenario IS completely unjustified. I would oppose SUCH a move.

    Paul SF December 14, 2006, 5:39 pm
  • kevin- did the scouts ever see you hitting above .255? if they did, they were wrong on that account too.

    sf rod December 14, 2006, 5:39 pm
  • The only way a prospect is worth anything is if he goes through Pawtucket.
    —————————–
    Man, all he said was that the only time Hughes faced a higher level hitter, he was shelled to pieces. Is that wrong? The game log is on the internet; look it up if you’re confused about the statement. It’s one hundred percent accurate. Also, I’m of the ilk that Hughes is pretty good, but again, so were a thousand other top rated prospects.
    The difference between Hughes and DM is that DM dominated the WBC, and Japan for years. He didn’t have a good year at AA ball. A single good year does not a great pitcher make, but I do think at worst, he’s going to make major league rosters, and that’s not a shot at him – Several thousand players don’t ever smell one.

    Brad December 14, 2006, 5:39 pm
  • Can we get a new argument thread – I’m tired of scrolling all the way down.
    ha.

    Brad December 14, 2006, 5:41 pm
  • To be fair, DM has about 6 years on Hughes. So if you mean next year, then maybe. But there’s no reason to believe Hughes isn’t worth the hype just because he’s hyped. You can’t foresee injuries, but if anything, DM’s been kind of pushed a bit (pitching in Japan) while Hughes will probably be babied. I would happy if Hughes is just as good as the 2006 Wang, if not in 2007, then in 2008 or 2009. Plus strikeouts!
    That won’t push him over DM, but hey, he’s arguably the best pitching prospect in the minors right now. And the kid’s 20.

    Lar December 14, 2006, 5:42 pm
  • Sabathia, Oswalt, and several others threw more pitches at about the same age, FWIW.

    Brad December 14, 2006, 5:45 pm
  • Which hype are we talking about?
    For me, if he can step in and do what McCarthy did last year and what Mo did before he became a closer and just a few great middle relief innings here and there, that would be good enough for me. A lot of scouts rated DM very high, but a lot of scouts also say Hughes is the real thing.
    I don’t think anyone reasonable think Hughes will step in and become a savior. I probably wouldn’t be surprised if he did, but is anyone hyping him for next year?

    Lar December 14, 2006, 5:46 pm
  • Brad – Well, you have to factor in all that supposingly rough workouts, but I don’t think it’ll make him injury-prone, just that it’ll make him more prone to injury.. (does that make sense?)
    On a related note, Mark Prior’s been sitting on my legacy team’s DL pretty much for the last few seasons.. though he did help me win that year a few years back..

    Lar December 14, 2006, 5:48 pm
  • My point was Beckett never played AAA ball. The dominace in AA translated over (to the AL at least).
    Oswalt, Sabathia, and few others have pitched more than DM at the same age. The thing that I have heard regarding this is high school baseball in Japan is crazy and DM was the man in high school. That supposedly added some additional ‘wear and tear’ that US comparables do not have.

    Seth December 14, 2006, 5:55 pm
  • my guess is that we’ll see hughes this year, given the age of some of the yankees starting 5. alot of yf’s around here tought drew henson was the 3rd baseman of the future. that’s why prospects are prospects till proven otherwise.

    sf rod December 14, 2006, 5:55 pm
  • Ah, thanks, Seth. Didn’t know that.
    Yeah, it can be done, but it’s certainly not something that should be expected. And just the overall tenor of some of the rotation discussions we’ve been seems to have been:
    “The Yankees have (etc.) in the top 5 plus Hughes waiting to step in, hopefully by the All-Star Break. I don’t mind hype for prospects, but I’d rather the hype be a little more realistic. If Hughes steps in at the All-Star Break as a starter with just three months of AAA under his belt, it will be a sign of weakness, not a sign of strength. He might come in and succeed to some measure, like Lester did, but no one would say the fact that Lester came and started and pitched well in 2006 was a sign of how strong and deep the Sox’ rotation was.

    Paul SF December 14, 2006, 6:00 pm
  • Paul – I don’t think we would assume he’ll be higher than a #4 starter, and since he’s at a #5 slot at the middle of the season.. well, we’ll see how he handles AAA, but if he puts up Lester-like numbers (and at least in terms of the “mythical” stuff, he’s capable) it would justify the hype.
    We’re in trouble if the Yankee’s season depended on a 20 year old! =)

    Lar December 14, 2006, 6:08 pm
  • What I mean by “pushed”:
    Daisuke Matsuzaka graduated from Yokohama High School in Japan in 1998. Matsuzaka became a national hero in 1998 when he pitched Yokohama High School into the Koshien Tournament. In the quarterfinals of that year’s Koshien national high school baseball tournament, he threw 250 pitches in 17 innings against P.L. Gakuen. The next day, he played in the outfield but recorded a save. In the final, he threw a no-hitter, the second ever in a final. This performance garnered the attention of a great many scouts.
    Keep in mind that Japanese have a 6 man rotation, and play less games – I don’t know the numbers, but the pitch / game is probably going to be higher. He threw 13 complete games last season, and throws a 200-pitch bullpen session before every start.
    No point to make here, just informational update.

    Lar December 14, 2006, 6:14 pm
  • Also, Matsuzaka Watch from before the Red Sox won the bid:
    http://matsuzaka.blogspot.com/2006/08/pitcher-abuse-points.html
    More math I’m too lazy to look at..
    But the Sox will probably treat him much better, so there’s probably no need to worry.

    Lar December 14, 2006, 6:20 pm
  • on the the subject of hype, BOTH teams have players that are hyped, and overhyped…it’s tiring to hear that it’s just the yanks that are overrated…give it a break and be objective…not a day goes by that i don’t hear that jeter is over-rated, or over-hyped, whatever; it’s as much bs as saying ortiz is overhyped…both guys have their “flaws”, but both sets of fans would love to have them on our respective teams…they are both great players with great resumes…
    it’s starting to feel like the discussion could turn ugly…the sf’s have the right to feel good about what they’ve accomplished, but it would be better sportsmanship not to rub yf’s noses in it by denigrating the yank players…
    hughes, dmat, and the rest are basically unproven at the mlb level, but neither is overhyped until they’re given that chance…let’s be fair here…

    dc December 14, 2006, 6:22 pm
  • dc, This discussion started a couple posts ago by yfs denigrating the Sox rotation and in so doing using Hughes as an example of why the Yanks’ rotation.
    To say that we’re “denigrating” Hughes by saying he might not be ready to start in MLB by July when he hasn’t even pitched above AA, and to further say that we’re saying this because we’re trying to rub your nose in the fact that the Red Sox signed Matsuzaka — both those positions strike me as reading a bit too much into a pretty straight-forward conversation.

    Paul SF December 14, 2006, 6:37 pm
  • Woops, “why the Yanks’ rotation was better,” and that should be a couple THREADS ago, not posts. Anyway, I’ve said at least twice that Hughes is worth a good bit of hype, so I don’t see where there’s a lot of disagreement.

    Paul SF December 14, 2006, 6:39 pm
  • fair enough paul…i wasn’t talking about you though…i’ve said just today that i congratulate the sox for a real upgrade during the past couple of weeks, and i meant it sincerely…anybody who says you don’t have a good rotation is full of beans, or is just a homer for another team…

    dc December 14, 2006, 6:44 pm
  • Good deal. Appreciate the candor, dc, and the fairness. Better watch out though — you might be called an apologist for the Red Sox. You’re getting as bad as AG! ;-)

    Paul SF December 14, 2006, 6:50 pm
  • Hey, now! :)

    attackgerbil December 14, 2006, 7:16 pm
  • i meant it paul…i do try to be fair despite my obvious bias, and i’m flattered to be mentioned as being “gerb-like”…i’m making progress…

    dc December 14, 2006, 7:50 pm
  • dc: I thank you for the compliment. For the sake of what makes this site great and for the betterment of baseball argument you continue to be yourself; insightful, sharp, and keep the brands from the fire to the feet of these many vociferous adversaries we yank-fans must face, especially in this dark time when they are so (rightfully) proud of what that brazen Sox FO has accomplished.
    Well done, dc. Let’s get those red-stockinged maroons. ;)

    attackgerbil December 14, 2006, 7:59 pm
  • Going back to the Sean Casey blooper, I was at Comerica Park that day. The whole stadium thought Crede caught the ball. Little Pablo Ozuna threw him out at first…amazing.
    Our seats were about 10 rows up that day, on the third base side. We could still see him blush.

    QuoSF December 14, 2006, 9:14 pm

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