Sports Outside the Beltway

JD Drew Update

According to Nick Carfardo of the Boston Globe while the Red Sox and Boras hope to finish this deal soon, there is still nothing to report:

According to Drew’s agent, Scott Boras, his doctors have indicated there’s nothing wrong with Drew’s shoulder. That could be an indication Boras might be balking at revising any of the contract, especially a revision that would take away guaranteed money and replace it with incentives. The Red Sox aren’t placing much stock in second opinions that Drew received because they are only concerned with what they saw in their examination and test results.

As Carfardo points out, the Sox were succesful regarding a similar sitution with Pedro Martinez following the 2004 season. While I am sure the Mets were thrilled with his 2005 season, I doubt the ROI is looking too good now.

Personaly I would love to see the deal fall through. Why a healthy JD Drew is a great player, I just think there are far too many concerns. As I have seen mentioned in other places (sorry could not find them), you could get similar production from Trot Nixon for 25% of the cost.


MVP (Most Valuable Papi)

Not only is he a great baseball player, he is also a great man.

I would suspect that he is not the only athlete that does these things, but it is good to root for players that do not forget where they came from.


Will Runelvys Hernandez be the Red Sox Closer?

As reported by multiple sources the Red Sox have signed Runelvys Hernandez:

If he is added to Boston’s 40-man roster, Hernandez would get a $655,000, one-year contract with the opportunity to earn another $1.5 million in performance bonuses, mostly based on games finished.

While this move is not a major one, what intrigues me is the clause in his contract based on games finished. I guess we can just add him to the mix and hope some of this “stuff” works.


Rise and Shine

A New England Tradition may be starting an hour earlier:

The Red Sox tradition of playing a morning game on Patriots Day is getting tweaked for 2007. With the start of the Boston Marathon pushed up to 10 a.m., the Sox have obtained permission from Major League Baseball and the players’ union to start their Patriots Day game, traditionally an 11:05 start, an hour earlier.

As a Red Sox season ticket holder this is a game that I look forward to attending each year. The early start can’t be beat and then there is nothing better than pulling a Rosie Ruiz and finishing off the marathon


J.D. Drew is Healthy?

According to super-agent Scott Boras, JD Drew is “Healthy”. The AP is reporting:

“J.D. is healthy,” Boras said Wednesday night. “We’ve had noted experts that have demonstrated that he’s without any condition that would effect him over the five years of the contract.”

If that is the case why have the Red Sox not announced anything? Gordon Edes suggests that the team’s silience is due to the trouble the Orioles had with the immortal Xavier Hernandez in 1998

Xavier Hernandez was a relief pitcher and free agent in the winter of 1998. The Orioles announced that they’d signed him to a contract, but made no mention that his signing was contingent on Hernandez passing a physical.

Hernandez flunked his physical — tests showed a partial tear of his rotator cuff — and the Orioles tried to void the deal. Hernandez and his agent filed an appeal, arguing that the Orioles’ public announcement that he had been signed was the equivalent of a signing itself. An arbitrator agreed, and Hernandez was awarded $1.75 million, even though he never threw a pitch for Baltimore.

Despite some of the questionable moves made by Theo this past year, he is no moron. Since he returned from his brief retirement he has taken a very Belicheckian approach to news. He tells us what he wants to tell us and he provides no bulletin board material or somethign else that will get the club in a legal bind. My guess is Theo will say something only when there is a conclusion to this issue, that means (to quote that guy from NBC) “Deal or No Deal”.


Eight is enough?

The Boston Red Sox announced the signing of 8 players to minor league deals and invited them spring training non-roster players.

According to

The eight free agents are righthanded pitcher Travis Hughes, catcher Alberto Castillo, infielders Jeff Bailey, Luis Jimenez, Joe McEwing, Ed Rogers, and Bobby Scales, and outfielder Kerry Robinson.

Seems like most of the players will be in camp to provide fresh bodies, and they all might be great guys, but I hope I do not see too much of them on the big club!


Red Sox 2006 draft graded as the best

Baseball America has provide some top 5 lists (premium content – logon needed) from last June’s amateur draft. 


  1. Red Sox 
  2. Yankees 
  3. Diamondbacks 
  4. Orioles 
  5. Twins 

Second-Day Picks (Rounds 21-50)
5. Josh Papelbon, rhp, Red Sox (48) 

5. Lars Anderson, 1b, Red Sox (18) 

4. Daniel Bard, rhp, Red Sox (1) 

5. Bryce Cox, rhp, Red Sox (3) 


Baseball Relative Division
1. Jeremy Papelbon, lhp, Cubs (19)
and Josh Papelbon, rhp, Red Sox (48) 

Non-Baseball Relative Division 
2. Dustin Richardson, lhp, Red Sox (5) 

1. Lars Anderson, 1b, Red Sox (18) 

College Players 
4. Matt LaPorta, 1b, Red Sox (14) 

3. Brandon Belt, lhp, Red Sox (11) 

I am fairly confident that the top ranking is due to Boston’s ability to draft the players that were considered to be tough signs (Bard, Anderson, LaPorta – who will truly be the one who got away). Regardless from a Red Sox fan’s perspective it is good to see that the club is spending their money wisely, but the true results will be seen in the next 3-5 years.


Red Sox Pay $51.1 Million Matsuzaka Post Fee

According to the AP, the Red Sox paid the $51.1 million post fee for Daisuke Matsuzaka today.

It will be interesting to see if the Sox find a way other than gameday sales and advertising to recover that money.


Red Sox Offseason Progress – Bullpen

After the disappointing 2006 season , the Red Sox obviously had some issues to deal with. Based on the torture I encountered by watching the squad after July, these are the areas that I saw as the biggest needs for the 2007 season.
  1. Bullpen
  2. Starting pitching
  3. Manny
  4. Replace the aging talent.

I will break down their progress on each of these topics one at a time.

While there were many issues with the 2006 season, the collapse of the bullpen exacerbated the rest of them. Jonathan Papelbon’s superhuman effort from April-July masked the fact that NO ONE in the pen other than he could get someone out. While I love the upside of Hansen and Delcarmen, and the past contributions of Timlin and Foulke, things just did not work out for them last year.

To make matters worse, when Papelbon had to shut it down late in the season due to shoulder fatigue, it made me wonder, what now? Well, now it has been determined that the team’s best option at closer, and maybe one of the best in MLB will be a starting pitcher. As much as I would love to have Paps close, I do think this is the right choice. If his body can not take the wear and tear or warming up 70-90 days a year (including the games he warms up but does not pitch), then I am all for him being in the rotation. He is of no use to the squad if he has to spend a portion of the season on the DL.

For the upcoming season, the new blood of Donnelly, Romero, and Okajima may be better than Rudy, “Lights Out” Lenny Dinardo, Jamie Van Buren, and Foulke, but there are still far too many questions.

Are Donnelly and Romero on the backside of their careers? Is Okajima going to be effective in this league and in this environment? In regard to the players who are coming back this year, can Timilin show us he has one more good year, or is he really as old as he looked last year? Hopefully Delcarmen and Hansen are better with last year behind them. It appears that the philosophy right now is to find as much “stuff” as possible and hope some of it works. IMO that is not they best strategy!

Hopefully Theo and company can provide a clear cut option prior to spring training because theyy tried the bullpen by comittee once, and we know how that turned out. But, as it stands now, the bullpen problem has not been resolved.


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