Saturday, November 20, 2004

Story on Our Arizona Fall League Prospects

The Sox claimed Billy Traber off of waivers from Cleveland. He's a token lefty that adds organizational depth.

The minor league system has been slightly changed. The Sox have 2 new single A afifliates. Capitol City and Wilmington.

A win against Cuse gives Boston College a 5-1 conference record and with the head-to-head tiebreaker over WVU, Boston College would win the Big East and receive an automatic bid to a BCS Bowl.

With a possible Big East title (granted it is a joke of a conference this year), a World Series championship, and a Super Bowl championship, is there any doubt that no other sports market is as good overral as Boston? We also have a competetive NBA team and if there were an NHL, we'd be one of the better teams in the League. It is a good time to be a Boston sports fan.

Friday, November 19, 2004

OK in my last post I said I wouldn't talk about the free agents but I'm on Thanksgiving Break, its 2 o'clock, and I'm bored.

Pedro was offered a 2 year deal by the Red Sox for somewhere around $24M. That's a decent yearly salary but Pedro wants more long term security. Pedro's agent met with Yankee brass down in Tampa and the way ESPN, Yahoo, FSN, etc are protraying it, it is almost as if Pedro's already gotten a pinstriped uniform. But this is not so. From a strictly baseball perspective, we can do without Pedro and still win. He's a 7 inning pitcher who has good stuff on most nights. He is not the dominator he once was.

In order to replace Martinez, the Sox are looking at former Red Sox farmhand Carl Pavano. Pavano, along with Tony Armas Jr. were traded for Pedro seemingly decades ago. His career numbers aren't too impressive. He's 57-58 with a 4.21 ERA. Strictly average. But last year he had his best season with the Marlins. He went 18-8 and pitched over 220 innings. His ERA was 3.00. But his WHIP was not that low at 1.174. Pedro's was about the same at 1.171. Pavano gave up 10 fewer HRs than Pedro. Pavano also brings a 2-0 postseason record with an ERA of 1.40. Granted this was only in last season's playoffs but he's been stuck in Quebec for most of his career. The only other free agent candidates I could envision being capable of replacing Pedro would be Radke or Milton. However, Theo might be able to do some wheeling and dealing to bring a top arm to backup Schilling.

For all the talk about Steinbrenner and big market teams killing baseball, Scott Boras gets very little blame. If Scott Boras is a player's agent, he is almost guaranteed to get an extra $1 or $2 million. Varitek, represented by Boras, has asked for a 5 year, $55 million deal with a no-trade clause. I respect the fact that he wants to stay in Boston but I feel that the true motivation behind asking for the clause is to keep the Red Sox from dumping him and his salary. 5 years is also a very long time for a 32 year old catcher. I just don't see how Tek is going to contribute all that much when he is 36, and 37. Certainly he won't produce $11,000,000 worth of production in his alte 30s. He might be a backup catcher or converted to a first baseman. I love Varitek as a player. He's a true Dirt Dog and he does everything he can to win (10 SBs last year), but tying up $55 million into a catcher in his 30s is not a wise decision and the money can be spent better.

Some catchers out there are the washed up Sandy Alomar Jr, career backup John Flaherty, old timer Henry Blanco, the mediocre Brook Fordyce, Greg Zaun, Greg Myers, Mike Redmond, Einar Diaz, Todd Pratt, and Mike Matheny. Mike Matheny would be a good pickup but I feel that if we get a strictly defensive catcher like Matheny, we should resign Mirabelli to give us some pop off the bench in the late innings and an occasional offensive production on Matheny's off-days.

I haven't been able to find anything about Derek Lowe. Where he is going, who wants him, anything.

I would like everyone at ESPN, Fox Sports, et cetera to keep at least one foot off the Pittsburgh bandwagon. Remember these key facts:
1. Bellicheck's defenses are always better the more times he sees a QB
2. Corey Dillon did not play
3. Tyrone Poole did not play
4. CBs Ty Law and Randall Gay missed plays due to injury
5. Deion Branch did not play
6. The game was in Pittsburgh

The Pats were able to muster a total of 5 yards rushing. With no run game the Steelers were able to focus on defending the pass, which they did well, but it wasn't like they were playing a guessing game or anything.

The Pats faced a somewhat difficult game, going into St. Louis with a depleted defensive backfield but they were able to amass 40 points and hold the Rams to 22. Even though the Rams scored the 3rd most points against New England that anyone has this season, the offense exploded. Dillon returned with 112 yards, Brady had a pair of TDs and hit 8 receivers, Givens had 100 yards receiving, and Vinaterri had 22 total points (1 passing TD, 4 FGs, 4 XPs).

The Bills then came to town and the Pats simply had their way with them. Dillon had 151 yards rushing, Faulk had 61, Brady threw 2 TDs and hit 10 receivers, Vinaterri had 17 points, Bruschi had a pick, Wilson had a pick, Banta-Cain had a pick, and Mr. Troy Brown had a pick. Vinaterri is now over 1,000 points in his career.

The Pats take on Kansas City with no Priest Holmes on Monday Night Football.

The MOTG for games 7, 8, and 9 are:
7: Ben Rothelsberger
8: Adam Vinaterri
9: Troy Brown

With no NHL, college hockey is the only game in Beantown and the Terriers are ontop with a 5-3 record. UMass has a better record overall but BU has a 4-1 conference record. At the beginning of the week, BC was ranked #1 in the USA Today poll.

They're 3-3 with some close losses. On average, they've lost by just under 5 points. One of their losses was in OT. They're probably going to make the playoffs, at best as a 6 seed I think. The season would be a success if they won 2 or more games in the postseason.

No-one reading this knows this but there's a football game played every year between my school, Ithaca College, and Cortland State. It is perhaps the biggest game in Division 3 and one of the biggest in central NY. A few years ago SI dubbed it the biggest little game in the country. About 10,000 pack either Cortland or Ithaca's stadiums to watch this game. This year IC won 47-22.

I'm not going to talk about who the Sox might sign and who they might not because whatever Theo does, it will probably work out.

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