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  • January 9th, 2009

    January 9, 2009:
    Number 5, ALIVE!

    Posted by Christine E. at 11:34 am in Baseball,Random Thoughts,Red Sox No Comments

    For the 1st time in over 4 years, the Boston Red Sox will have someone wearing Jersey #5–hometown player Rocco Baldelli will suit up with Nomar’s number when he takes in the field for the 2009 campaign. Baldelli and the Sox have agreed to a 1-year, $ 500k contract, with numerous, incentives, based on performance, and plate appearances.

    Rocco played he whole 6-year career with Tampa Bay, but was limited by a ton of injuries, and chronic fatigue, which was diagnosed as a mitochondrial disease. In this off season, he had more testing done, and the diagnosis was clarified to a condition called channelopathy, which has more treatment options, which can help him manage better (he only played in 28 games in 2008) And if they can get double, or even triple out of him, this was money well spent, cause when this guy is healthy, he is AMAZING…and only 27 years old…

    From Tito: “He can play left, right and center. He can catch the ball. He can run the bases. He can hit a home run. And he’s a great kid. But there are some risks. It seems like it’s kind of worth it from our side, because he’s very accountable as a player and a person, so that makes us feel good.”

    Single bad thing: To make room on the 40 man, knuckleballer Charlie Zink was designated for assignment. Not a surpise, but a disappointment nonetheless…

    And, another player is leaving the only team he has even known; After 21 seasons with the Atlanta Braves, as a starter, and a closer, John Smoltz has signed the offer sheet from the Red Sox, for a 1 year contract, with a base of $5.5 million but has incentives up to $10 million. He still needs to do the physical thing, having just come off shoulder surgery, and will probably not pitch until at least June. The 41 year old is a career a 3.26 ERA pitcher with a 588 win %, and 3,011 strikeouts, AND the only pitcher in history with at least 200 (210) wins and 150 (154) saves… I LOVE this signing! I have always been a fan of John Smoltz, and I think, if he is healthy, is still a force to be reckoned with…

    Finally, another great signing, which will certainly complement the Rocco Baldelli on: Mark Kotsay has agreed to return (in principal–pending a physical) to the Red Sox, with a 1-year, $1.5 million contract–with the ubiquitous incentives…Mark played 22 regular season games with the Sox last year, and batted .226 with 12 RBI’s in that span. But in the postseason, he stepped up and became a very competent starting 1st baseman, allowing Kevin Youkilis to go over the 3rd for the injured Mike Lowell…

    Speaking of Mike Lowell, he is doing well in his rehab, and will be at Spring Training next month…

    So, the only hole left is a catcher–ohhhh boy…

    And it appears that Jason Varitek and Satan have boxed themselves into a corner with regard to ‘Tek’s contract status. As we know, the ONLY offer he got was the arbitration offer from the Sox, which would have guaranteed that he at least made what he made last year, which was $10 million dollars–and probably even a million or 2 more–and had a chance to improve his numbers and get better money in next years free agent market. But, of course, Satan convinced him he could do better than that (Jorge Posada money?), despite the fact that he barely batted above the Mendoza line last year (13 homer runs, 43 RBIs, and a .220 BA.) Ironically, the arbitration offer, and subsequent rejection of it, is what has killed some of the potential interest for his services–Jason Varitek is a Type A Free Agent, so whoever signed him would have to give up a 1st round draft pick for him, and the feeling is that he is just not worth that sacrifice. So now he sits and he waits, and will probably be VERY lucky to get a 3rd of what he could have made.

    Before, I thought Theo should make a 2-year $8 or 9 million/year offer. In light of recent events (or lack thereof) I think a 2-year, $10 million offer TOTAL (with incentives that could take him to about $15 million or so) would be VERY generous. And it still might happen. From Theo: “…Jason is still out there. As I said at the beginning of the off season, he’s been a really important guy here to this organization and by no means have we shut the door on him. There’s still some unfinished business there…

    But the $64,000 question is: Will ‘Tek accept the offer, whatever it is?

    Speaking of accepting less: Apparently, Manny Ramirez is not going to get the contract HE expected to get either…The big spenders are not interested (the Skanks got Toxemia, The Angels don’t want him, the Sox–PUL-EESE) and the little spenders cannot afford him…

    Right now, the ONLY offer he has is the original one from the Dodger, for 2 years $45 million, which is certainly not chump change, but it is a far cry from the 4-5 years, $100-125 million contract he and Lucifer expected to get…

    2 words: HA HA…

    And as if the hardware stream could get any longer for Dustin Pedroia: He was chosen as the cover player for Playstation’s MLB 09 The Show: “Hopefully, I’m better in the game than I was before. It’s going to be awesome. I play a lot of video games myself, and a lot of my friends are excited. It’s pretty cool and an honor to be on the cover.”

    Coming up: The BIG day is at hand. January 12th. The reading of Hall of Fame Inductees for the 2009 class. And Jim Ed’s 15th and final chance at getting in under the regular ballot, voted on by the media…And so we wait…

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