February 17th, 2010
Holy Buckets! In less than 18 hours, all of the Pitchers and Catchers of the Boston Red Sox will converge in Fort Myers, FL, to officially kick off Spring Training…Yay!
So Jonathan Papelbon denies that he is all but NY bound the moment Free Agency hits: “I think that’s the perception, that I’m going to go somewhere else, but it’s all a perception…It’s one year at a time. It’s working out, and both sides are happy. Of course I’d love to be with Boston for a long time. But this is the way it is right now, and I’m happy going one year at a time. This is the organization I started in. This is the organization that gave me the opportunity to play Major League Baseball. Of course I’d love to stay here for 15 years. Right now one year at a time is the way it’s working, and I’m happy and everyone else is happy, so why not?”
I’m thinking that the ONLY way Papelbon will not end up as the closer for the Skanks once Rivera retires is 1. The Skanks go after someone else 2. His arm falls off, or maybe (but very unlikely) 3. The Sox will give him more money than the Skanks…But I guess we will see…
And what was Theo’s response to Victor Martinez’s desire to stay in Boston for the rest of his career, and not ever touch free agency? Pretty much the same as always: “It’s always nice when players want to be here. We’ve got talented guys on this team that we’d like to keep around. We’ll see what happens…With both him and Josh, we’ll stick to a policy on not commenting. The more clubs talk about potential deals for free agents, the less likely they are to get done.” Spoken like a true attorney…
So Daisuke’s back is bothering him, which was bad enough that he did not participate in the optional workout yesterday. But apparently, no one is super concerned at this point–It may keep him out of workouts for a few days, but doe not look like it will impact his Spring Training too significantly…Hey, at least he told his employers this time…
In a complete non-surprise, the Sox are going to have Mike Lowell play some 1st base this spring–to either make him more marketable, or more useful to the Sox. I know I am partial because Mike Lowell is one of my favorites, but I reallyREALLY think the Sox would make a mistake if they trade him. What happens if Big Papi slumps as horribly as he did last year? Or Youk or Beltre get hurt? The Sox would be in a heap of trouble. As much as I love David Ortiz, if he cannot get it done, let Mike Lowell DH–his offense isn’t the issue–when some think big happens, he’s usually right in the middle of it…So why not???
For the complete stat-heads, MIT is hosting The Sloan Sports Analytic Conference on March 6th at the Boston Marriott. The 9-hour conference will feature 13 different discussions including Baseball Analytics, hosted by Rob Neyer of ESPN, and will feature a panel that includes Tom Tippett, the director of baseball information services of the Red Sox along with John Dewan, Dan Duquette and Shiraz Rehman from the Diamondbacks. There will also be a “Moneyball” discussion. For more info, to buy tickets ($200 for non-MIT students) and a complete schedule of events, check out their website.
From 1st to Worst: Chien-Ming Wang, former Skankee Ace, before his body started to fall apart, has signed with the Nations with a very incentive heavy contract. Still recovering from last year’s shoulder surgery, he won’t even be ready to pitch until May. But he IS a career 55-26 pitcher, with a 4.16 ERA–and will only be 30 years old (on my birthday no less…)
Finally: The signups for raffles for all of the really good seats at Fenway started today (already signed up myself) Pretty long list, including the Skankee games, the dates Manny returns to Fenway (which is an interesting choice) as well as Green Monster and Right Field Rood Deck Seats. Deadline for signups is next Monday the 22nd, and for a complete list of available tickets, and drawing dates, go here.