January 12th, 2007
To bring news of the Red Sox–Two days in a row! Be still my heart….
Stuff from the Boston chapter of the Baseball Writers Association of America dinner and awards ceremony held last night:
With Jonathan Papelbon in town to receive the Best Reliever, Fireman of the Year and Rookie of the Year Awards at last night’s festivities, you KNOW “The Question” was going to be asked…Would it surprise him if the Sox turned to him, once again, to close? While he said it wouldn’t surprise him, Pitching Coach John Farrell was quick to try and temper the buzz. “…there are two main factors here: the needs of the club and what is in the best interest of Jonathan…According to the medical staff…he would be better served with extended rest in between outings, obviously, in the rotation…we’ve taken the approach with Jonathan in this role as a starter, he’s prepared for it physically. For us to shift gears on it right now is ill advised.” Doesn’t rule it out completely, but it does not seem likely…
In some of the conversations I have been having with fellow Red Sox fans, the general consensus is that if Hansen can recover his slider, acclimate himself to a 162 games season and learn to stay within himself (i.e.: not be a headcase) he could be a KILLER closer…can all of this happen this season? Possibly…its like everything else–we are going to have to wait an see. Do I think we need a closer April 2nd? not so much, probably not even 3rd, 4th or 5th…I reallyREALLY think we need to let this play out. Let’s see what we have to play with, before we go out and spend a ridiculous amount of money on a “closer”.
Speaking of ridiculous amounts of money–Would you believe the J.D. Drew deal is not complete yet? Me either….
Remember this time last year, when the nation was freaking out becasue we took Mike Lowell to get Josh Beckett? Anyone regret that decision now? Anyone? Bueller? Mike Lowell was also in town for last nights awards, having received the Jackie Jensen Award for spirit and determination, in recognition for his battle against testicular cancer. And is THRILLED that he rebounded from a sucky 2005 to hit 20 HR and drive in 80 in the 2006 campaign. And always one for a witty, classy and erudite comment, Mike does not disappoint: “All of the experts said my career was on a downward spiral and each year was going to get progressively worse…I was only 32. It’s not like I was 52. I was happy the Red Sox gave me the opportunity, not only to come here but to play every day.”
Speaking of classy: Phillies 1st baseman Ryan Howard, who, as baseball’s best hitter in 2006, was awarded the Ted Williams Award: “To come to Boston, a team not even in your league, to be honored with an award named after Ted Williams–it’s an honor.”
Warning: Cynic Alert! Yes, Ryan it is an honor, but if we find out that you won this award because you were ‘roiding your head off, you will be required to stand in Fenway Park, naked, and smack yourself around the head and neck with said award… Cynic Alert is now over….you may now return to your regularly scheduled blog…
The Daisuke has landed: Can you imagine nearly FIFTY reporters following you and watching every move you make? Eating a sandwich is national news? If you strike out the side, that is probably grounds for a national holiday. This is what Daisuke deals with. Now, for the money he is making, of course there has to be a tradeoff–But it appears he is taking a page from the rulebook of his new teammate, Manny Ramirez–he doesn’t speak to them. Which is exactly what he did when he was greeted by 48 Japanese reporters when he touched down at LAX yesterday. He has begun his workouts for the season at a training facility in Southern California…So, I have this piece of toast, that looks EXACTLY like Daisuke–anyone interested?