Results tagged ‘ Derek Lowe ’

Baseball is Back

Although I am upset that the Rays vs Red Sox game was pushed tomorrow, it is only because I want my real Red Sox baseball back. Believe me, I don’t want Josh Beckett pitching in the rain. He’s already injury prone enough, and who knows, maybe blisters are more common in rainy conditions. Plus, this gives me a chance to provide an offensive breakdown of the Red Sox plus my thoughts on Opening Night/Day.

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Opening Day/Night
Okay, so I wasn’t at home when Brett Myers threw out the first pitch of the season. But I was listening to it on the radio as I tried to convince my mother to ignore the speed limit and stop signs. But I was able to see the first hit of the 2009 season– Chipper Jones’ single to left field. I witnessed the first home run of the season, and Jordan Schafer’s first home run ever… in his first at-bat in the major leagues. Little did I know that I was witnessing the first pitching gem of the 2009 season. I thought that Derek Lowe pitched beautifully, and I’m pretty sure that the Braves don’t regret signing him on as their ace. It made me miss him more than I already do, but I understand why the Red Sox didn’t go out and aggressively pursue him. 
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(credit: minor.mlblogs.com– great pic!!)
I got my hair cut today… and I made sure that my appointment was in the morning so I wouldn’t even miss Aaron Harang’s first pitch. I realized that I had gotten my hair cut the day after the Red Sox lost the ALCS. I was blinking back tears at the loss of the season, and the potential loss of Jason Varitek. And today, I was bouncing with optimism, until of course I found out that the Red Sox start would be postponed until tomorrow. Nonetheless, I was still pretty happy about baseball being back. I know, weird how I can remember that but not whether or not the bonds of carbon dioxide are polar. 
I have watched at least a part of every baseball game today, and as I write this I am listening the Cubs vs Astros game. I saw Johan Santana and Kevin Millwood pitch beautifully, I smiled as CC Sabathia struggled against the Orioles, and I saw the incredible Marlins game.
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Emilio Bonifacio had an inside the park home run… and he was so fast! The first inside the park home run on Opening Day since Carl Yastrzemski in 1968. Oh, and Hanley Ramirez… just my number one draft pick on my fantasy baseball team… hit a grand slam! 
A Brief Offensive Breakdown for the Red Sox
Jacoby Ellsbury: The thing with Jacoby is that his speed can really change the game. He went through some ups and downs last season, but overall he was pretty good for his first full season in the Majors. I think that he needs to be more confident at the plate, he watches a lot of pitches. And believe me he has a great eye and everything, but he could be a little more aggressive
Dustin Pedroia: I am completely confident that this guy can put up very similar numbers again this season. I can’t really critique much with him… he’s doing everything right. 
David Ortiz: The biggest question of course is: can he get healthy? I think so. In fact, I think his numbers will be similar to 2007. I think he feels a lot better this year, and he looks a lot more comfortable when he swings. I think that he also has to stop worrying about having another 30 HR bat behind him. The Red Sox aren’t about home runs this year, I think they’re going to go a bit more down the small ball route this year. 
Kevin Youkilis: Again, with Kevin Youkilis, there’s not much I can critique. He is an all around great ball player, and I love the way he approaches the game. Just one thing though… he could take it a little easier when he strikes out :)
JD Drew: Drew had a great season last year, much better than the 2007 one. I said this a while ago, but I’m pretty sure his son was ill in 2007, and that probably distracted him a little bit (I don’t blame him). I’m pretty sure that his son recovered by 2008, and his numbers really improved. I’m very comfortable with having him in right field as well. 
Jason Bay: I’m not too concerned with Jason Bay either (I love not being concerned). He adjusted to Boston really nicely, and to October baseball as well. In fact, it looked natural for him. Opening Day shouldn’t phase him either :)
Mike Lowell: I am very optimistic about Lowell. As I watched him throughout the Spring, that look of pain on his face was gone. Like Ortiz, he looked much more comfortable with his swing. And he’s really not that old… he’s only 34. I am very glad that the Red Sox decided to pass on Mark Teixeira. When he’s healthy, Lowell is not only a good hitter, but he can also make some crazy plays over at third. 
Jed Lowrie: I think I found him on Twitter… I think. Did you even happen to glance over his statistics this Spring? He was hitting the crap out of the ball, and oh yeah he hit a grand slam at Citi Field the other day. I think that confidence is key for him too since he is still young.
Jason Varitek: I don’t know if you guys realize this, but I had so much fun typing his name just then. It re-emphasizes the fact that he is back on the Red Sox. I think that his bad season last year wasn’t just because he is getting older. I am pretty sure that he was going through a divorce, and I’d guess that it wasn’t that easy. Now that it’s over, I am fairly confident that his stats will increase a little bit. And if he hits .220 again so what? I love having him behind the plate… his experience and knowledge are priceless.
Chris Carter: Now I know that the games against the Mets weren’t REAL games. But they were about as close to real games as you get. And in that game, Chris Carter did pretty well. I honestly think that he will provide better offense than Mark Kotsay will. 
Nick Green: Like Carter, I don’t think that Nick will be phased by the majors beca
use he has actually played in them for a significant amount of time. Granted he didn’t do that well, but he did have an impressive Spring. He is my project, therefore he will do well. 
George Kottaras: So he didn’t have the best offensive season last year in AAA. The fact of the matter is, he can catch a knuckleball, and he can throw to second pretty well. The Red Sox offense is pretty deep, we don’t need catchers who hit for really high batting averages. 
Rocco Baldelli: I really liked this acquisition. He is the perfect guy coming off the bench because I think any team would be lucky to have him as an everyday player if he could play everyday. Since he just can’t play everyday, being a player off the bench is exactly what he needs to do. This will allow him to stay healthy and maximize his skills. 
Overall, we have an offense that can match any team, and the lineup goes pretty deep. Obviously the guys to keep your eyes on are Lowell and Papi. As far as minor league players go, keep your eyes out for Lars Anderson and Josh Reddick (mainly Lars Anderson though). 
I can’t wait for our Opening Day tomorrow! 

The World Baseball Classic produces a Classic

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I cannot tell you how happy I am that baseball is back. I woke up at 9 am today (I don’t know why) and watched four editions of ’30 Clubs in 30 Days’ (yes, I am addicted). I have to say, I really enjoy watching that show, but my favorite part of the show isn’t the analysis. 

Towards the end of the show, they do a little segment on the history of the club. It’s short, but I swear, every time it gives me goosebumps! The clubs that were analyzed were the Blue Jays, the Reds, the Braves, and the Rays. 
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I loved seeing familiar faces in the form of Kevin Millar (Blue Jays), 
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Bronson Arroyo (Reds),
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 and Derek Lowe (Braves). I had not known that Millar had signed a minor league contract with the Blue Jays. That’s crazy– a minor league deal!! I can see him being similar to the Sean Casey of last year. What a great guy to have coming off the bench. 
Mark called this a long time ago, but I’m starting to agree with him– the Reds are looking great this year! I don’t think that they can win the division, but after watching that show, I can see them getting third place! I think they have one more year to go until they become like the Rays of 2008. 
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Bronson Arroyo is such a great guy to have on their staff too. He has made so many starts for the Reds– more than anyone else around the Majors! He may not be the best pitcher in the world, but he still eats up innings, and that’s important. 
Plus, he is pretty serious about his music!! 
Baseball References of this week
I’ve wondered why I feel so strongly about the past of baseball, even though I never live through it. It’s painful for me to watch highlights from the 1986 World Series, I feel so happy when I see clips of Carlton Fisk’s 1975 home run, and I feel so strongly about Pete Rose even though I haven’t seen him play. So why do I care so much?
Well, in my math class, we ended up talking about the String Theory one day. I don’t completely understand it, but from what I do understand, somehow, I could have been at those games– in a different dimension. So instead of just experiencing them vicariously, perhaps I really was there. That’s a bit of a stretch I know. 
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In my history class, we were talking about World War II, and the battles of Okinawa and Iwo Jima. So what do I write in my notes? The battle of Okajima. So this is what I’m thinking about 24/7. Even as I was writing this entry, I put Iwamura instead of Iwo Jima initially. 
In chemistry, we were learning about The Shield Effect. I had no idea what it was (and I barely understand it now), and when my teacher asked someone to explain it, I thought to myself:
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‘Well, I can’t explain the Shield Effect, but I would love to talk about the Schilling Effect’. Curt is pretty aware of his effect as well. He wants to help a team get to the World Series. In fact, he specifically mentioned the Cubs and the Rays. What about helping the Pirates to a winning season? 
World Baseball Classic 
Well, after the three episodes of ’30 Clubs in 30 Days’ that I watched, I turned to ESPN (for the first time in months) to watch Team USA play Team Canada. That was one hell of a game if you guys didn’t get to see it. 
The starting lineup for Team USA was loaded:
1. Dustin Pedroia (2B)
2. Derek Jeter (SS)
3. Chipper Jones (DH)
4. David Wright (3B)
5. Kevin Youkilis (1B)
6. Adam Dunn (RF)
7. Ryan Braun (LF)
8. Brian McCann (C)
9. Shane Victorino (CF-RF)
Starting pitcher: Jake Peavy
The starting lineup for Canada had some familiar faces as well:
1. Barnwell (SS)
2. Russell Martin (C)
3. Joey Votto (DH)
4. Justin Morneau (1b)
5. Jason Bay (CF)
6. Stairs (RF)
7. Teahen (3B)
8. Weglarz (LF)
9. Orr (2B)
Starting pitcher: Johnson
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Jake Peavy had a bit of a rough first inning– I’m pretty sure that he loaded the bases. He settled down the second inning and had a great 1-2-3 inning, but gave up a home run to Joey Votto in the third inning. 
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Let me tell you guys something, Joey Votto looks really good. I can see him having a really nice season for the Reds. 
It was really interesting for me though, to be rooting against Jason Bay. Kevin Youkilis scored the first run of the game on a sacrifice fly by Brian McCann to Jason Bay. I bet they’ll be laughing about that later. 
Youkilis produced the second home run of the game by hitting a home run to right-center field. Not to mention the fact that his beard is coming back. I love seeing the Youk-Fu in the pictures though. 
Brian McCann and Adam Dunn also hit home runs to make the score 6-4. In the bottom of the ninth, Joey Votto struck again with a double over the head of Shane Victorino to score Russell Martin. 
Then, in the bottom of the ninth, Joey Votto was on second with Jason Bay at the plate. There were two outs, and the co
unt was 3-2… talk about a conflict! Don’t worry though, I ended up rooting for my country. That’s the beauty of baseball right there. Jason Bay represented the tying run of the game. Had he hit a ball into deep right, the game would have been tied, the entire tournament could have been different! That is one of the many things that I love about baseball. 
-Elizabeth

New Edition: ‘My Daily Dosage of Baseball’

I am not sure if any of you realized, but my ‘Prime 9′ (enjoy the pun Metsmainman) only had eight topics. My mistake, but to those of you who were wondering, ‘what the heck is number nine’…

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Lowell’s Recovery
After being the MVP of the 2007 World Series, Mikey’s numbers dropped, and he did not even play in the ALCS. I think the reason for that was his troublesome hip. His range over at third base was minimized, and his batting average dropped to .274 and his RBI total was diminished. Mike has had surgery this offseason, and according to some sources around the web, his rehab is going very well. I cannot believe that I forgot him after vying for his place on the team as the Red Sox pursued Mark Teixeira. 2009 is Lowell’s year to show the Red Sox that he is not done just yet! I think he has the ability to show us all that it was well worth it not picking up Teixeira. 
My Daily Dosage of Baseball
I think I’ve decided to dedicate this section of my blog to any baseball conversation(s) that I have throughout the day. Today, Mr. Gedeon, my gym teacher from last semester and I talked about the Mets. 
Gedeon: So we [the Mets] got Oliver Perez
Me: Yeah, for the same price as Derek Lowe! 3 years, $36 million…
Gedeon: Yeah, but I would rather Perez than Lowe
Me: Really? But Perez has been known to be inconsistent…
Gedeon: Well, kind of.. but at random times. And you know when he’s off, like if he’ll walk six people or something
Me: Yeah, Dice-K does that sometimes in the first inning. He always manages to get out of it unscathed though. You guys could still get Ben Sheets
Gedeon: Yeah, that would make me happy, I know they’re talking to him.
Me: Yup, but the Rangers are in the mix now too… You guys could be getting Manny Ramirez… potentially… maybe…
Gedeon: Yeah, I wish… 
Me: I don’t know, I don’t really see it happening
Gedeon: Yeah… well he could always go back to the Red Sox
Me: No, he’s not coming back
Gedeon: Don’t you miss him?
Me: Yes… 
Here is where I launch into my story about how I made a statue of his head in seventh grade, and how it hurts me every time to look at it! If you haven’t heard, Manny turned down a 1 year $25 million dollar contract from the Dodgers. I also had this conversation with my friend Cloe. She was appalled that anyone could decline $25 million, but as I replied to her, Manny does think that he is God’s gift to the baseball world. 
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I think we all know why Manny declined this deal– he wants to go long term. I think that he would be willing to settle for less money, but more years. I don’t understand why he wants to be tied down so badly, he tends to get tired of places pretty easily. This has not discouraged either side from negotiations as they are still talking. Where is Manny going to go? 
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Apparently, an offer from the Nationals has been sitting with Adam Dunn for a while. It does not seem like he is too eager to head over there. If no one else has offered him anything, it looks like he may have to settle. 
Baseball has come back faster than I expected it would. In about a week, pitchers and catchers will finally be reporting to their respective Spring Training camps. As soon as the Super bowl ended, baseball officially took center stage. For some people, March is about college basketball’s ‘March Madness’, but for us, it’s all about Spring Training. How will you guys fill the void until it officially begins? 
The Latest Leaders came out today from this past week. Julia is number one!! I think she deserves a huge congratulations from all of us, and I think we knew that it would only be a matter of time before she would be number one. She is such a wonderful, hardworking blogger. 
I dropped down to number 17, but I suppose that happens with blogging inconsistently and an annoying week. Regardless, I am always honored to even be in the latest leaders. My dedication will be coming soon! Thank you all for reading, and congratulations if you were on the list!!
-Elizabeth

MLB Network Request and Tim Lincecum

I was thinking about the MLB Network today as always, and I can only complain about one thing. It’s not even a complain–it’s more of a request. 

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Last week, Kevin Millar was on the ‘Hot Stove Report’ for two days, and he was wearing a suit! I’m pretty sure that I’m not the only one who thought that I’d NEVER see Kevin Millar in a suit in my life. Anyway, so at one point in the show, they went to their field to get a hitting lesson from Kevin Millar. We all know that Kevin Millar is somewhat of a powerful guy, and with Harold Reynolds is just lobbing balls at him, without any protection.
Sure, the Under Armor outfits are snazzy, but when Harold or Magrane, or whoever are pitching to people like Kevin Millar at least need that fence thing (anyone know what it’s actually called?) to protect them. 
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And when Harold Reynolds is catching behind the plate for National League Cy Young Award Winner Tim Lincecum, he should at least have some protection. Sure Lincecum isn’t throwing his normal speed (and don’t you just love that windup?), but all I request is a little protection. 
Imagine if something happened to dear Harold. One of my favorite analysts would be temporarily recovering in the hospital. We don’t want that to happen! 
That Millar-Pedroia interview was hilarious! My favorite part was:
Kevin Millar *after reciting the long list of Pedroia’s achievements*: And you wear my number!
Dustin: Yeah, the best part is wearing your number. I actually have a funny story about that. I was warming up one day, and this elderly lady was wearing a number 15 jersey and I thought, ‘oh, that’s sweet’. But then I looked closer as saw that it said Millar and I almost threw up! I was like: ‘That was a hundred thousand years ago’! LOL
And then there was that story where Pedroia started yelling at Millar, because Millar always yells at.. well… everyone, and Pedroia convinced the guy playing all the music to stop playing Millar’s song. Once it actually happened, Pedroia was actually screaming up at the guy from second base. Pedroia is such a character. 
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I didn’t know much about Tim Lincecum during the regular season besides the fact that he was REALLY good. But after hearing some more about him through MLB Network, and seeing his interview and pitching techniques, I’ve decided that I really like him. He’s only been in the league two years and he’s already picked up a Cy Young Award. I love young talent. In ’08 he went 18-5 with a 2.62 ERA, and his windup is so cool! And I’m sure the King of Cali can tell you more! 
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Apparently, he’s a pretty big part of MLB ’09 The Show (or one of those baseball games), and he had all these movement censors attached to him so that his actual windup could be incorporated into the game. I’m not too good at video games, but I’m pretty wicked when it comes to Guitar Hero. I definitely want to try out MLB ’09 The Show–Pedroia is on the cover of it!! I remember Scott wrote an article on his addiction to a baseball game a little while ago. 
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Derek Lowe signed with the Braves. Sure, I wanted him on the Red Sox, but I knew as soon as we got Brad Penny that he wouldn’t be coming over here. I did want Lowe back because I still love him. He was so good during the ’04 post season (we’ll always remember Game 7 in our hearts) and he had that beautiful no hitter in 2002, which Jason Varitek caught. Jason Varitek is the only pitcher in history to have caught four no-hitters. Hideo Nomo in 2001, Derek Lowe in 2002, Clay Buchholz in 2007, and Jon Lester in 2008. How can we not re-sign him?? 
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Former Red Sox utility infielder Alex Cora signed with the Mets a few days ago. He was pretty nice to have backing up the entire infield, but his offense was always a little shaky. Still, I am concerned that we don’t have a good back up second baseman or shortstop. We have Mark Kotsay to backup first, and Kevin Youkilis can move to third if needed. Maybe what we’ll end up doing is keeping both Julio Lugo and Jed Lowrie, and having them battle out the starting shortstop position in Spring Training (ONE MONTH!!!!!!!!!!) and having the other one as a backup. If not, Kevin Youkilis could probably play every infield position if we really needed him too–in fact, he could probably play them all at once! 
So last night, I decided to make my status on facebook (kind of like Twitter) my blog URL. I didn’t think too many people would click on it–little did I know that people would actually read it! Normally when I see a link on facebook, I just bypass it–especially if it’s a youtube link. But I always appreciate people reading what I write :). Thank you guys so much for your support!!
I’ll be dedicating my locker combination to some Red Sox players in my next post LOL. And Tommy has inspired me to write about my autograph from last year (yeah only one lol). 
-Elizabeth

The Sox are out of the Mark Teixeria Sweepstakes

It was announced roughly two days ago that the Red Sox are out of the Mark Teixeria sweepstakes. As soon as I heard the news, I was happy. Like I’ve been saying since the second the rumor came out in the first place, we don’t need Mark Teixeria. When you get to Game 7 of the ALCS, there’s not much to improve upon, especially if some of your star players had injuries (Mike Lowell). Teixeria would’ve messed everything up with the Red Sox.

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Kevin Youkilis at first is golden (alright, pun intended…). Earlier in the season he broke the record for most consecutive games at first base without an error. Why would you want to tamper with that? Sure he’s proven that he can play third (and outfield for that matter) but we already have a gold glover third basemen. 
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Plus, he was the 2007 World Series MVP, and we extended his contract in 2007. Sure Mikey had some offensive problems this year, and he couldn’t always make those impeccable backhanded catches when the ball was sharply hit down the third baseline, and then throw it perfectly over to Kevin Youkilis, but he had a hip injury! It can all be salvaged, that’s what rehab is for! 
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And for that matter, we already have a designated hitter, David Ortiz. Sure he didn’t have a great offensive season, he had that horrible slump at the beginning of the season, but his wrist was hurting, and his knee too for that matter. Hopefully he’ll engage in some training program that will make both those areas (which are essential for every hitter) less of an obstacle for him. This upcoming season, I think he’s going to have to step up and be the offensive forces of the lineup. And going back to the David Ortiz slump, in my opinion, a home run gets you out of a bad slump. So when the Sox were playing Texas kind of early in the season, I called his grand slam- placement and everything. I can only call a couple of home runs a year, so that was a nice one. 
Here’s the rotation/lineup that I want for next year:
Pitchers (not in order)
1. Jon Lester
2. Daisuke Matsuzaka
3. Josh Beckett
4. Derek Lowe (I think we should go after him now that we’re out of the Tex sweepstakes)
5. Tim Wakefield *
Relievers
-Manny Delcarmen
-Ramon Ramirez
-Hideki Okajima
-Justin Masterson
-Clay Buchholz **
-Michael Bowden ***
-Javier Lopez
-Jonathan Papelbon
C: Jason Varitek
backup catcher: wishfully thinking, Jarrod Saltalamacchia, but if I have Clay Buchholz up there, then I don’t think that’s happening
1B: Kevin Youkilis
2B: Dustin Pedroia
3B: Mike Lowell
SS: Jed Lowrie
LF: Jason Bay
CF: Jacoby Ellsbury
RF: JD Drew
The actual lineup should look like this
1. Jacoby Ellsbury
2. Dustin Pedroia 
3. Big Papi
4. Kevin Youkilis
5. Jason Bay
6. JD Drew
7. Mike Lowell
8. Jason Varitek
9. Jed Lowrie
*(Tim Wakefield): Depending on Spring Training, we could always move him to the bullpen like in 2003. 
**Clay Buchholz: Maybe the bullpen would be better for him to start off in…
***Michael Bowden: I say put him in the bullpen, but treat him like the Justin Masterson of last year. We add him to the roster in September, and we can bring him up when needed earlier. 
By the way, I think we should keep Tazawa in the minors for the entire year, or maybe bring him up as well in September. 
Player to keep an eye on for Red Sox Spring Training: Lars Anderson. I predicted Jed Lowrie last year since the beginning, this year I’m thinking Lars Anderson. 
Last but not least, like I mentioned in some of my former blog posts, I’m writing for this site MLB Center now as the Red Sox Correspondent (once again, thanks Ben! I found it through your link). So not only am I providing weekly updates, but I have a new assignment:
Top 10 Red Sox players of all time, ranked and everything. So, I would like to ask all of you for any opinions/input you may off. If your input doesn’t make the top 10, I’ll put it in the “honorable mention category” quoting you and putting a link to your URL. 
-Elizabeth

I’m Back- Thoughts on the Latest News in Baseball

I know, I haven’t posted in a week, but that’s within good reason. I was trying to get through this horrible week alive, and now that I have, I’m free for two weeks. I got through five painful midterms, and now that I have, the daily posts will return. The hot stove is still pretty hot from the Winter Meetings. A couple of acquisitions went down, a few non-tenders, and plenty of rumors. 

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Perhaps the Yankees made the biggest acquisition this past week. We all know that they signed Sabathia, but Burnett as well? The two most eligible free agent pitchers are now on the Yankees. They have one hell of a pitching staff. They’re hoping they get lucky with Burnett’s history of injuries, he came off a great season with 18 wins and roughly 231 strikeouts. They’re really hoping he doesn’t become the next Carl Pavano; however, I’m sure a few other teams are.I’m actually hoping that he stays healthy, the Sox and Yankees are going to have some of the best match ups this upcoming year. 
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The next both eligible free agent (I feel like I’m auctioning people off here) is Derek Lowe. It seems like the Yankees would still have some interest in him, but the Phillies, not so much seeing that they recently signed Jamie Moyer. Theo and the Sox have been laying low with all this talk about Teixeria so it’s unclear as to whether or not we’re interested in Lowe. For the Sox, Lowe would be more appealing if his price went down a little bit. Then again, it’d also be more appealing for the Mets as well, who are looking for another starter. So that would lead to another crazy offseason between the Mets and Red Sox (remember Johan Santana last year?). On another note involving the Yankees, Petite was offered a three year deal from an unnamed team. The Dodgers and Red Sox are supposedly interested in him (even though I haven’t heard ANYTHING about Petite and the Red Sox). 
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Not only did the Phillies sign Moyer, they also signed Chan Ho Park, and Raul Ibanez. With the signing of the right handed Ibanez, Pat Burrell will no longer be with the Phillies-after a nine year run with them. 

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Kerry Wood of the Cubs, who had a rough, injury prone season last year, signed with the Indians (I originally thought of the Reds, but I got that resolved…) to a two year $18 million contract. I think that’s a bit much for a guy who didn’t have that great of a season last year. 
Both the Angels and the Cardinals have been looking into Brian Fuentes, and they are both in need of closers. 

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A more interesting story; however, is the one involving Rafael Furcal. Earlier this week, I heard a report that he was returning to the Braves, that Escobar would probably move to second base, etc. Then, yesterday, I heard a report that he signed with the Dodgers! As far as I know now, he received. the contract from the Braves, but did not return it, and ended up signing with the Dodgers. The Athletics were looking into him too so now they need a shortstop. 

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So a sad but possible rumor about Manny? He could be going to the Yankees. He’s asking for a lot of money and the Yankees could be one of the only teams willing to supply it. Personally, I don’t think he’s a good fit for the team. He’s way too much of a free spirit, and the Yankees are kind of uptight. Manny doesn’t like to shave, or cut his hair, he never really runs, he throws his glove up in the air in the outfield, he eats sandwiches during pitching changes, etc. Plus, I’m way too emotionally attached to Manny to have him go to the Yankees. I was absolutely devestated when Johnny Demon went to the Yankees in 2005, because he was my favorite player. Now, Manny, who used to be my favorite player, could be going to the Yankees as well? I don’t even know if I could handle that. 
On my french midterm, which was today, we had to write about our favorite memory, so I wrote about my first time at Fenway Park. I’m really hoping that it’s coherent. I’ll be around here during winter break, reading and analyzing every rumor that comes out of the Hot Stove season. 
-Elizabeth

Winter Meetings Updates-HOTTER HOT STOVE (finally)

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If any of you are subscribed to the Hot Stove news feed, you may have been as overwhelmed as I was when I went online and saw 45 new updates! 

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Varitek declined arbitration, but I think that deep down, we all knew it was going to happen. It seems as if Theo only offered Varitek arbitration so that he would decline, because since he declined, the Sox will get two compensation draft picks should he sign with another team. So if this is the case, is Theo anticipating him signing with another team? 
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The situation is further complicated now that young Rangers catcher Gerald Laird is headed to Detroit. It would be harder for the Sox to acquire catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia, unless they decided to give up Clay Buchholz, which is probably not going to happen. I’m pretty sure “Salty” used to play for the Braves, and I’m pretty sure that he has the longest name in baseball. 
What confuses me is why Varitek would decline arbitration. Sure he wants a multi-year deal… and sure he wants more money I guess, but he is coming off the worst offensive season of his career. If Varitek had accepted arbitration, as some analysts put it, it probably would’ve been the best chance he had at making the $10 million he made in his last contract. Ideally, the Red Sox would want to retain Varitek and find a catcher who would be mentored by Varitek, or a successor if he was to sign with another team. Kevin Cash is definitely not ready to handle that yet. 
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The Red Sox also appear to be right in contention to acquire AJ Burnett. The biggest problems with that would be that he is seeking a five year deal, and the Red Sox would probably only offer him four (like what they did with Dice-K)… perhaps with a fifth year buy-out plan. Also the fact that he was (reportedly) very close to a deal with the Atlanta Braves, who were prepared to offer him a five-year deal. 
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The Red Sox are also stepping up their efforts to acquire the powerful switch hitter Mark Texieria, who is in the prime of his career. As we know, if we acquired him, Mike Lowell would be the most likely to be traded seeing that Youkilis is still under contractual control for the next two years, and Papi is basically the icon of the Red Sox. Then again, Mike Lowell has been a fan favorite since coming to Boston, seeing him go would be heart breaking for many of us. In my opinion, Tex would be great, but we don’t need him that badly, we got to Game 7 remember? Acquiring him would be like a mercantilist policy: there’s only so much wealth in the world (wealth is power in this case… hitting etc.) and you want to prevent others from getting wealth. 
There have been some rumors regarding Derek Lowe, as of now, his top suitors are the Yankees, and Phillies.

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The biggest news in baseball today is the Mets’ acquisition of K-Rod. They needed him since Wagner will be out the next season because of Tommy John Surgery (ouchhhh), and K-Rod is pretty much a perfect fit. 
The Hot Stove went from zero-450 degrees and FAST, it’s flying with rumors, and hopefully more will appear as the Winter Meetings progress. 

Around the Hot Stove- Arbitration

The arbitration deadline was last night at midnight, and some premier free agents received the offer, others (somewhat surprisingly) did not. 

As far as the Red Sox go, only Jason Varitek and Paul Byrd were offered arbitration. It was expected that Varitek would receive the offer, but with Byrd it was not so obvious. If he accepts, it would put him and the club in an awkward position because there’s not necessarily room for him in Boston’s plans. There have been rumors that the Braves have interest in him though. 

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Brian Fuentes received arbitration from the Rockies, which may (or may not) influence the Mets’ interest in him, and as we know, they’re also interested in K-Rod. 
The Yankees did not offer arbitration to ANY of their eight eligible free agents. The Yankees have interest in holding on to Petite, but not at the same price, which could cause a conflict (perhaps even reuniting him with his former manager!).

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  Bobby Abreu did not receive arbitration because he is seeking a three year deal which the Yankees are not offering. Plus, the Yankees have a pretty deep outfield already: Deamon (sorry), Cabrera, Gardener, and Nady. The top pitching interests for the Yankees were all offered arbitration (Sabathia, Burnett, and Lowe)

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The Marlins did not offer arbitration to their Type B Free Agents Luis Gonzalez, Paul Lo Duca, or Arthur Rhodes. The Reds have reported interest in the reliever Arthur Rhodes. With the Mariners offering arbitration to Raul Ibanez, it is unlikely that the Marlins will continue seeking him because they don’t want to sacrifice a draft pick. Since the Yankees did not offer arbitration to Ivan Rodriguez (known to us as Pudge), he might be the perfect fit for the Marlins organization since they are seeking an experienced catcher to help their young pitching staff. The Marlins have also experienced interest in Carl Pavano
If the Braves want to continue pursuing Burnett, they would not have to give up their first round pick if they signed him because they have one of the first fifteen selections. Their compensation would be a “sandwich selection” between the first and second rounds, and their second round pick. 
The Phillies did not offer arbitration to Jamie Moyer or Pat Burrell. They could be interested in outfielders Juan Rivera or Rocco Baldelli seeing that those two were not offered arbitration by their teams, so Philly would not have to compensate by giving up draft picks. 
Players have until midnight of December 7 (so technically December 8) to accept or refuse these offers. 
In other Red Sox news… the Sox will officially announce their signing of the Japanese righty Junichi Tazawa sometime this week, after his physicals go through. The terms of the deal were three years at $3 million. The Red Sox also signed left handed reliever Billy Traber to a minor league contract, and an invitation to Spring Training. However, a spot on the major league roster might be difficult to attain seeing that the Sox already have two lefties in the bullpen: Okajima and Lopez. Last year with the Yankees, Traber had a 7.02 ERA in 19 outings, and in 95 career appearances (28 starts) he is 12-14 with a 5.54 ERA. The Red Sox have really gone after some pitching this offseason! 

How about bringing Derek Lowe back?

So I’ve heard that Derek Lowe wants to come back, and that the Sox would be interested in starting him. What harm could that do? I think everyone still loves him in RSN, there’s no real reason not to. He only left after ’04 because he was a free agent, it’s not like he betrayed an entire organization and went to a team that he said he would never go to (yeah, y’all know who I’m talking about right?). Plus, it would add some serious depth to our starting rotation. Look who we already have:

1. Josh Beckett
2. Dice-K Matsuzaka
3. Jon Lester
Those three right there are going to be sick, especially if we can a) get Dice-K to go more innings and b) get Beckett healthy, and c) just keep Lester the way he is. Now, we picked up the option on Wakefield, so he could be the number 4 starter, but think about this: say we pick up Lowe, he’d be our number 4 starter. So we could either make Timmy our fifth starter, or put him in the bullpen, like a Mike Timlin type person. We could have one of our darling prospects vie for a fifth spot in the rotation, and if that doesn’t work, then we just bring Wake back into the rotation. We can let Terry and John fret over that when it comes time, right now, I hope that they’re sleeping. 
According to the ‘Hot Stove Blog’ the Sox talked with the Rangers about Salty. Apparently, the Rangers “covet” Buchholz, or the Sox would give up someone like Masterson or Bowden. I don’t think anything SHOULD happen. Here’s why
1) We should re-sign Varitek. Like I’ve said, you don’t just give up on a guy after a bad year, give him another chance. He’s so important. If we re-sign him, we have no need for Salty. 
2) Sure Clay Buchholz went 2-9, but that’s because they screwed him over in his rehab stint. Apparently, he’s doing pretty well in the AFL. Why not see how he is in spring training? How much would we regret it if he became a big star on another team? The Sox have a knack for developing some wicked players.
3) JUSTIN MASTERSON! Why would we trade him? He’s amazing, did you NOT see him in the post season? He could be a potential fifth starter, OR add depth to the ‘pen, which we desperately need!!!
4) Michael Bowden. I hear he’s good, let’s develop him!!! 
So yeah, I’m pretty protective of allthe players, I really like them all, and I want to keep them for a while. I’m open to a Julio Lugo trade, I wonder who we could get for him? 

I forgot how depressing the offseason is…

Now that baseball season is over, I’m pretty bored. I actually have to do my homework in my room now, not while watching a baseball game. Maybe that explains the sudden escalation in my geometry grade (except for Friday’s test). Ironically, I’m behind on my AP US History reading now. Forget outlining, I’ve just got to finish the antebellum period! 

So I just found out on the MLB Pro-Blog ‘Brownie Points’ that Jason Varitek has been going through a divorce throughout the year. Perhaps that explains his offensive numbers. Even though players shouldn’t let their personal life interfere with their professional life, it’s hard not to. Plus, perhaps he was trying too hard to have a stellar year since it is a contract year. Nevertheless, I think the Sox should re-sign him. Remember JD Drew in 2007 how is offensive numbers were disappointing? Well, I’m pretty sure that his son was ill throughout the entire year, and then in 2008, look at the year he’s had! Wasn’t he player of the month in June or something like that? Maybe Varitek can turn it around next year. You can’t just give up on a guy because he has a down year. 
I also think that Jacoby Ellsbury and Jed Lowrie will do better next year. The problem with Jacoby was that everybody expected him to have an amazing year because of what he did September-October of ’07. But remember all of the amazing plays he made in the outfield? He didn’t have an error all season! It’d be a mistake to let him go. And as far as Jed Lowrie, even though his offensive numbers fell towards the end of the season to about .256, he was pretty solid at shortstop. And Julio Lugo didn’t do much better offensively, and don’t even get me started defensively. Lugo is a nice guy, don’t get me wrong. He threw me a ball after all (and then I started crying of course, I’m so pathetic), but I think we should develop Lowrie into a great player. 
Besides Varitek being a free agent, Curt Schilling also filed for free agency. I think he wants to pitch in the second half of the ’09 season. But, in my opinion, I don’t think anyone is going to sign him. He’s had a great career with the Red Sox, and I remember the look on his face as he walked off the field in ’07, perhaps the last time he pitched for the Red Sox. I think he should just retire, continue his blog, and punch anyone in the face who tries to say that his famous bloody sock is fake. Alex Cora and David Ross also filed for free agency. Alex Cora has been a somewhat important factor in the organization, seeing that he is a utility infielder. Maybe we can use him to get some bullpen depth though? And I’m sure some of you are asking yourself right now, who is this David Ross guy? He was Kevin Cash’s backup catcher (and Cash was Varitek’s back up catcher) so no wonder he didn’t get any action. 
As far as the AFL goes, Clay Buchholz is “regaining his confidence”, but he still has a lot to prove in spring training. He’ll probably be in competition (agian) for the fifth starting spot since Paul Byrd will soon be filing for free agency.
The Red Sox exercised their option on Tim Wakefield, as I expected. Perhaps they’ll use him in the bullpen as they did in 2003. He can go anywhere. Maybe they’ll use him like they did Mike Timlin. 
Zink is also doing well in the minor leagues, so expect to see him in spring training. Also expect Dave Pauley and Chris Smith (at least, I think it’s Chris). Maybe we can use them for bullpen depth. 
Bartolo Colon is basically gone, the Red Sox suspended him when he basically left the team. Whatever, that was probably more of a gain than it was a loss. 
Some good news: The Red Sox are going to remain in Fort Myers for a little while at City of Palms Park, but a new stadium is going to be built by 2012 (the 100 year anniversary of Fenway Park!!! I’m so excited). It’ll probably have a mock green monster, and other similarities to the antiquated, but beautiful park in the great city of Boston. 
As far as free agent pitchers go, I love the idea of Jake Peavy, but the problem is, who do we give up for him? He’s basically the face of the Padres organization. There’s also Derek Lowe, who I’m sure would love to come back to Boston. And I still love that guy, so why not? There’s also AJ Burnett, who appears to be a great pitcher, and I think that he is, but with all of his injuries, it’s hard to know weather or not he is reliable. 
I wish I could debate about this instead of felon disenfranchisement. Why must I listen to the NFL (no, not football, National Forensics League). I might as well drop debate. 
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