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    Friday, December 31, 2004

    Damon Settles

    Wild man Damon slows down a bit and gets married. Thurday night Johnny Damon and Michelle Mangan were wed in romantic Orlando amoung 175 close friends.

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    Thursday, December 30, 2004

    Done and Done: Johnson Heads to NY

    The "Big Unit" wanted the Big
    Apple. It appears to have finally reached fruition.

    ESPN is reporting that the New York Yankees have acquired
    five-time Cy Young Award winner Randy Johnson from the Arizona
    Diamondbacks for pitcher Javier Vazquez, prospects and cash.

    According to ESPN, paperwork needs to be submitted to the
    commissioner's office before the trade is finalized.

    On December 17, the Yankees, Diamondbacks and Los Angeles
    Dodgers were working on a three-way deal which would have sent
    the 41-year-old Johnson and pitcher Kazuhisa Ishii to New York,
    outfielder Shawn Green and pitcher Brad Penny to Arizona and
    Vazquez and prospects to Los Angeles. However, the Dodgers
    backed out at the last minute.

    Yankees president Randy Levine and Arizona's incoming chief
    executive officer Jeff Moorad resumed trade talks after
    Christmas without involving a third party and apparently reached
    an agreement.

    The Diamondbacks wanted money to offset the difference in
    Johnson's $16 million salary and the $35.5 million owed to
    Vazquez over the next three seasons.

    According to the New York Daily News, the Yankees will sign
    Johnson to a two-year extension for another $32 million.

    Wednesday, December 29, 2004

    File This One Under: Well Duh!?

    Red Sox victory voted top sports story
    There was no Commissioner's Trophy the last time the Boston Red Sox won the World Series. No commissioner, in fact. So when the Red Sox won it all for the first time since 1918, they didn't think it would be right to stick their trophy on a shelf somewhere to gather dust.

    Instead, they took it to every state in New England, to a fan hangout in California and the team's academy in the Dominican Republic, to Christmas tree lightings and churches and nursing homes, where octogenarians have waited all their lives to see their favorite team win just once.

    The World Series trophy has been a much-welcomed and well-traveled guest this offseason. And how it got to be that way is the sports story of the year, according to a vote by the newspaper and broadcast members of The Associated Press.
    Boston's first World Series title since 1918 and the unprecedented comeback against the Yankees that made it possible was a runaway winner with 108 first-place votes and 1,325 points.

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    Monday, December 27, 2004

    Time to pay up.

    The bill is coming due for the World Series champion Boston Red Sox. Final figures from the baseball commissioner's office show the New York Yankees, Boston and Anaheim
    will be paying baseball's luxury tax.
    The Yankees are required to pay about 25 million dollars, Boston owes about three million and Anaheim just under one million.
    All three teams exceeded the payroll threshold of 120-point-five million.
    The CBT is now an important part of baseball's economic

    Red Sox owner John Henry said in an e-mail Monday. Checks for the competitive-balance tax, as it is formally known,are due at the commissioner's office by Jan. 31.
    From my perspective, even though it costs us, the stronger the
    CBT is in the future, the stronger the sport is going to be. It is
    a much more productive form of taxation than that of strictly
    revenue taxation because the economic incentives for teams are not

    Friday, December 24, 2004

    Captain Tek Money

    Varitek will take the ice next year sporting a C on his chest, literary. Friday the Red Sox announced Jason Varitek's and new deal worth $40 million over four years. Just how much is a top free agent catcher worth? Javy Lopez the top offense catcher in the game was able to garner a three year 25 million dollar deal just one year ago. So it would be fair to say that the Sox were not afraid to pay through the nose for their unofficial team captain now turned official.

    Everyone knew he was the captain before, it was actually acknowledged, but I think it's a great honor that the Red sox were able to put the 'C' on his jersey and officially call him the captain of the team," said veteran knuckleballer Tim Wakefield
    Jason becomes the first Red Sox captain since Jim Rice in 1989.

    I'm extremely honored right now. I don't really know what to say. You add all these things together with it being Christmas Eve, a special day, but to have that honor, to hold this honor in this city and this region, for this team, is something I'll wear proudly," said Varitek. "For me, I can't change. I lead by my position, by what I do, by what I believe in."

    (Michael Dwyer/AP)
    Full Story

    Thursday, December 23, 2004

    Varitek: Sox Stocking Stuffer

    It appears that the Red Sox will announce a 4 year deal with Jason Varitek on Christmas Eve, reports the Boston Globe.

    The free-agent catcher agreed to a four-year, $40 million contract today, a source directly involved in the negotiations told the Boston Globe's Gordon Edes. The Red Sox were expected to announce the deal on Friday. According to the source, the 32-year-old Varitek's demand for a no-trade clause was the singular issue that kept the sides from reaching a deal previously, but they found some way to satisfy Varitek without granting him a no-trade clause.

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    BK Suiters?

    The Red Sox are believed to have offers on the table for Byung-Hyun Kim from at least two National League clubs. The Rockies and Brewers? Kim might bounce back next season, but with the additions of Wade Miller, Matt Mantei and John Halama, there doesn't seem to be any room for him in Boston. The Red Sox will eat a large portion of the $6 million he's still owed if it gets them a quality prospect in return. But any thing is better than having an ungrateful sack of crap pitcher on your team who wont play in the minors.

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    John Valentin Delusional After All These Years

    You know, I'm at a stage in my career where, obviously, I could probably still play..
    John Valentin on becoming a minor league hitting coach.
    Full Story

    Wednesday, December 22, 2004

    Ho vs Wade

    Sox sign Wade Miller to a one year deal.

    Last year the 29 year old starting pitcher won 7 games and earned 3.5 million dollars along the way. According to reports on ESPN.com Miller agreed to 1.5 million dollars for 2005 with incentives that could reach a total of 4.5 million.

    The Red Sox were right on it from the beginning," Garber said. "They flew him to
    town and made him feel welcome. That's what Theo Epstein does. He makes players
    feel wanted, and they want to come here."

    Full Story

    The book on Wade:

    After a slow start, Wade was one of the best pitchers down the stretch for the Astros in 2003. For the season, Wade was 14-13 with a 4.13 ERA, throwing a team-high 187.1 innings. However, over his final 14 starts of the year, Wade was 9-4 and allowed four or more earned runs only twice while pitching six or more innings 10 times.
    After leading the Astros in wins (16), ERA (3.40) and innings pitched in 2001 en route to being named the team's Pitcher of the Year, Wade came back with yet another strong season in 2002. Despite missing more than a month of the season due to a pinched nerve in his neck, Wade went 15-4 with a 3.28 ERA. His 15 victories ranked second on the Astros and tied for 10th in the league. He also ranked second on the Astros in ERA, games started (26), innings pitched (164.1) and strikeouts (144). After coming off the disabled list in late May, Wade went on to win 15 of 16 starts, including a 12-game winning streak from June 10-Sept. 21. Wade dominated most opponents during the streak and ended the season holding opposing batters to a .219 average.

    Wade throws his fastball in the mid 90s in addition to a sharp curveball and slider that he keeps low in the strike zone. A 20th-round draft choice in 1996, Wade made his debut with the Astros in 2000, going 6-6 with two complete games. Wade had 89 strikeouts in 105 innings pitched.

    Tuesday, December 21, 2004

    Thanks and Goodbye

    Dave Roberts was traded to his hometown San Diego Padres on Monday night for outfielder Jay Payton and infielder Ramon Vazquez.

    Boston also received minor-league right-hander David Pauley and $2.65 million in cash.

    "This is a dream come true," said Roberts, who has lived in San Diego County since he was 12. "After winning the World Series you don't think it can get any better, but it has."

    Roberts will play center field in spacious Petco Park and bat leadoff, which will allow the Padres to drop Sean Burroughs in the order. Had Roberts stayed with Boston, he wouldn't have played regularly.

    Roberts did not play in the World Series, but it was his stolen base in the ninth inning of Game 4 in the ALCS that began the comeback against New York Yankees closer Mariano Rivera.

    "As far as we're concerned, (it was) one of the biggest stolen bases in baseball history," Boston general manager Theo Epstein said. "We went from potentially getting swept to winning the World Series for the first time in 86 years."

    Roberts hadn't played in 10 days before the stolen base.

    "When everyone in the ballpark knows you're going to steal against Rivera, it's pretty tough," he said. "Thank God I was safe. That was a great chapter in my life, but I can't express how excited I am to put on a Padres uniform.

    Payton, 32, is a career .285 hitter with 77 homers and 300 RBIs in 715 games with the Mets, Rockies and Padres. The former college teammate of Jason Varitek and Nomar Garciaparra hit .260 with eight homers and 55 RBIs for the Padres last season and had his best season in '03, when he batted .302 with 28 homers and 89 RBIs for Colorado.

    Vazquez, 28, hit .262 with six homers and 79 RBIs with the Mariners and Padres. He has played all four infield positions.

    Pauley was 24-29 with a save and a 3.97 ERA in 79 games in four minor league seasons.

    Also Monday, the Red Sox did not offer contracts to catcher Sandy Martinez, pitcher Lenny DiNardo and left-hander Billy Traber. The players could re-sign with Boston, but by allowing them to become free agents the Red Sox can get around the maximum-cut rules.
    Full Story

    Sunday, December 19, 2004

    Delgad-em ... Cowboy Out?

    A source told the New York Post that the Red Sox are planning to trade Kevin Millar and Doug Mientkiewicz in order to make a run at Carlos Delgado.
    Delgado is still the Mets' top target, but the team is concerned about losing him. There's no doubt that the Red Sox would like to add either Delgado or J.D. Drew to their lineup, but it would be very difficult to do unless they decide to forget about Jason Varitek and his excessive contract demands. According to the Post, Baltimore is a possible destination for Mientkiewicz.

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    Saturday, December 18, 2004

    Clement Time

    Red Sox sign Martinez replacement Matt Clement

    World series champions the Boston Red Sox have snapped up pitcher Matt Clement on a three-year deal to replace Pedro Martinez.

    Martinez left Boston this week to join the New York Mets.

    According to his agent, Clement has agreed terms on a $25.5m switch to the Red Sox after rejecting a similar deal with the Anaheim Angels.

    Other teams to have shown an interest in the 30-year-old were Toronto, Los Angeles, Cleveland and Arizona.

    Clement went 9-13 with a 3.68 ERA in 30 games for the Chicago Cubs last season. He allowed just 155 hits and struck out 190 in 181 innings.

    The player's agent Barry Axelrod told the team's website:
    "There are no issues [remaining].

    "We have a couple of i's to dot and t's to cross, but nothing major, there is pretty much a deal in place.

    "We should finish up the terms [Friday night] or [Saturday] and he'll have to take a physical probably early next week."

    Full Story

    Thursday, December 16, 2004

    Halama Time

    The only thing I'm going to bring to the game is what Halama brings."

    -- John Halama on what Halama brings

    Sunday, December 12, 2004

    How Renteria Stacks Up

    Coming off a monster year in 2003 Edgar Renteria's stock has fallen, but not enough to take him out of the group of premeir shortstops.
    In the post season this year he hit .280, scored seven runs, and knocked in seven more.
    Historicly he would be an upgrade from Orlando Cabrera but their numbers in 2004 were very similar hitting 10 homeruns each, and knocking in less then 75 runs.

    Top Shortstop Rankings
    1. Miguel Tejada, BAL82.8965.34+17.55162.311107341504
    2. Jimmy Rollins, PHI77.7152.95+24.76154.289119147330
    3. Michael Young, TEX77.2772.85+4.42160.313114229912
    4. Derek Jeter, NYY73.4154.66+18.75154.292111237823
    5. Carlos Guillen, DET70.8338.70+32.13136.31897209712
    6. Cesar Izturis, LA62.3927.76+34.63159.2889046225
    7. Edgar Renteria, STL58.1876.22-18.04149.28784107217
    8. Jack Wilson, PIT57.8237.51+20.31157.3088211598
    9. Royce Clayton, COL57.1528.49+28.66146.2799585410
    10. Omar Vizquel, CLE55.8622.87+32.99148.2918275919
    11. David Eckstein, ANA51.2735.73+15.54142.2769223516
    12. Rafael Furcal, ATL49.9056.13-6.23143.279103145929
    13. Orlando Cabrera, BOS48.2164.36-16.15161.26474106216

    Saturday, December 11, 2004

    Sox Contract Wells : 2 years 8 Million

    According to Wells agent Gregg Clifton the Red Sox offered Wells a one-year contract on Friday which the declined but the Boston Globe reports that Clifton and his 41-year-old pitcher agreed to a two year deal with incentives and bonuses reaching 18 million dollars.

    Wells is the pitcher who Babe Ruth is his idol. He claims Ruth leaving the Red Sox saved baseball. He has said repeatedly that he hates Fenway Park and wouldn't mind if the place was blown up.

    His Record at Fenway is not good, in 23 starts he has won 10 games and lost just as many with a 4.87 ERA giving up 24 longballs along the way.

    When Theo Epstein was asked if Wells outspoken and boisterous attitude would fit in in the clubhouse he said...

    "No, we don't have any guys like that."

    Full Story

    Friday, December 10, 2004

    The 42 Million Dollar Man?

    Is Pedro really worth 14 million dollars a year? For three years? What is he worth? I think we all can agree that we would like to see Pedro throw his last pitch on the mound in Fenway wearing a white uniform, but at what cost? A no point in the season did you know which Pedro would take the mound. The flamethrower? The intimidator? The finesse specialist? From the first inning he pitched in April to coming out of the bullpen in game seven of the ALCS, to winning game 3 of the World Series you never knew what you were going to get. That doesn't sound like a 14 million dollar pitcher to be. What follows was Pedro's ranking in the beginning of June among starting pitchers in the majors and their salary. With Pedro being the highest paid pitcher in the game you would think he would be near the top right?

    1 Roger Clemens HOU $4,751,741
    2 Randy Johnson ARI $16,500,000
    3 Tom Glavine NYM $10,765,608
    4 Kenny Rogers TEX $2,406,551
    5 Brad Penny FLA $3,725,000
    6 Jason Schmidt SF $7,937,500
    7 Ben Sheets MIL $2,425,000
    8 Mark Mulder OAK $4,450,000
    9 Curt Schilling BOS $12,000,000
    10 Carlos Zambrano CHC $450,000
    11 Matt Clement CHC $6,000,000
    12 Paul Wilson CIN $3,500,000
    13 Cliff Lee CLE $303,200
    14 Jake Peavy SD $350,000
    15 Chris Carpenter STL $500,000
    16 Mark Buehrle CHW $3,500,000
    17 Kevin K Brown NYY $15,714,286
    18 Steve Trachsel NYM $5,000,000
    19 Tim Hudson OAK $5,000,000
    20 Russ Ortiz ATL $6,200,000
    21 Esteban Loaiza CHW $4,000,000
    22 Kazuhisa Ishii LA $2,497,342
    23 Brian Lawrence SD $925,000
    24 Doug Davis MIL $450,000
    25 Roy Halladay TOR $6,000,000
    26 Jeff Suppan STL $1,000,000
    27 Eric Milton PHI $9,000,000
    28 Javier Vazquez NYY $9,000,000
    29 Scott Schoeneweis CHW $1,725,000
    30 Dontrelle Willis FLA $353,500
    31 Joe Kennedy COL $320,000
    32 Wade Miller HOU $3,400,000
    33 Brad Radke MIN $10,750,000
    34 Freddy An Garcia SEA $6,875,000
    35 Oliver Perez PIT $321,000
    36 Livan Hernandez MON $6,000,000
    37 Kerry Wood CHC $8,000,000
    38 Andy Pettitte HOU $5,500,000
    39 Horacio Ramirez ATL $330,000
    40 Carl Pavano FLA $3,800,000
    41 Carlos Silva MIN $340,000
    42 Roy Oswalt HOU $3,250,000
    43 Odalis Perez LA $5,000,000
    44 Pedro Martinez BOS $17,500,000

    To be fair he ended the season ranked 13th, a fast improvement but not the stuff of a 14 million dollar pitcher. The Sox do owe Pedro some respect and the right to finish his career in Boston, but since Pedro was ridiculously over paid for the past two years he owes Boston the right to sign what ever contract Theo and the Red Sox put in front of him. If the MLB was the mafia Pedro would have had his kneecaps broken for failing to pitch anywhere near like the highest paid pitcher is baseball? Think about it.

    Has Hell Frozen Over? David Wells?

    The Red Sox will meet with David Wells' agent today and are likely to make an offer.
    If Boston signs Wells, it's clear they'd no longer have room for both Pedro Martinez and Carl Pavano alongside Curt Schilling, Bronson Arroyo and Tim Wakefield in the rotation.
    You may remember Wells from pitching to Barry Bonds who pointed skyward after hitting his 701st career home run off the San Diego Padres' pitcher in the second inning on Sept. 18, 2004.

    Thursday, December 09, 2004

    Sean McDonough Officially Fired

    In the world of TV no one is really fired, their contract is simply not renewed and that unfortunetly happened to long time, sure to be Hall of Fame broadcaster, Sean McDonough. The Boston Herald spoke with Sean earlier this week.

    I didn't expect it, This really hurts,''
    said McDonough,
    "They've ripped my heart out."

    Don Orsillo and Jerry Remy will broadcast nearly all of the 162 Red Sox games this season.

    Full Story

    Wednesday, December 08, 2004

    Another Diamondback Closer Joins the Pen

    With one of the fastest arms in the league Matt Mantei will pack his bags and head for Boston to become a Red Sox if he passes a Wednesday night physical. That is a big if, Mantei, whom you may think is young and up and coming is not. Simply because he is never healthy. When healthy he use to throw at speeds over 100 miles per hour. Like BK Kim Mantei was over paid last year cashing in on 7 million dollars as he pitched in only 50 games. Mantei will not be taking Foulke's roll but most likely Timlin's...when healthy.

    Full Story

    Tuesday, December 07, 2004

    Arbitration Explained

    How salary arbitration works
    From the good guys at MLB.com

    Arbitration is prescribed by Major League Baseball's collective bargaining agreement as a method to determine salaries primarily for players with at least three years but fewer than six years of Major League service time. Also eligible are players in the top 17 percent of the two-years-plus service class and free agents who accepted salary arbitration rather than test the open market.

    The filing is a procedural move to preserve rights, but does not preclude the club and player from continuing negotiations. If negotiations do not produce an agreement, the two sides must submit blind salary figures after the filing period. While negotiations may continue, hearings this year have been scheduled from Feb. 1-20 and are held before a three-member arbitration panel that will weigh written and oral arguments from both sides and select one figure or the other, without explanation, to be the player's 2004 salary.

    There are six criteria considered by the arbitration panel, which is instructed to assign such weight to the evidence as shall appear appropriate under the circumstances. Nonetheless, the crux of every case is the quality of the player's contribution to the club the previous year and comparative baseball salaries.

    The arbitration panel is directed to give particular attention, for comparative salary purposes, to the salaries of players with Major League service time not exceeding one annual service group above the player's annual service group. However, a player with "special accomplishments" may argue comparative salaries of players without regard to service time. Players with five years of service also may argue comparative salaries without regard to service time.

    The other criteria are career contribution, past compensation, injuries or other debilitations, and the club's recent performance and attendance as an indication of public acceptance.

    Evidence that is not admissible includes the financial condition of the club or player, press comments, offers made by the club or player prior to the hearing and salaries in other sports or occupations.
    By Ken Gurnick

    Where Are They Now

    Nomar Garciaparra stayed with the Chicago Cubs,
    and the Boston Red Sox made arbitration offers to Pedro Martinez
    and several other World Series stars Tuesday, the first big
    deadline of the offseason for teams and free agents.
    Garciaparra agreed to an $8 million, one-year contract to remain
    with the Cubs, the team that acquired him from the Red Sox at the
    end of July. If he stays healthy, he could make up to $11 million
    with Chicago.
    I really loved playing there, I really loved the experience I
    had in the short time I was there," he said. "I just felt Chicago
    is the best place for me. I'm looking forward to going out there
    and, hopefully, turning this into a long-term relationship."

    Chicago also agreed to a $2.5 million, one-year contract with
    second baseman Todd Walker. Philadelphia agreed to a $5.25 million,
    two-year deal with left-hander Rheal Cormier.

    Sunday, December 05, 2004

    Hero Be Gone?

    The Red Sox are showing interest in Japanese second baseman Tadahito Iguchi.
    It was thought Iguchi might be posted last season, and the Red Sox were one of the teams interested them. He's a free agent now, and he's believed to be very interested in playing in the U.S. The 29-year-old Iguchi hit .333/.399/.549 for the Fukuoka Daiei Hawks last season. He batted .340/.438/.573 and stole 42 bases in 2003.

    Full Story

    Saturday, December 04, 2004

    McDonough Done? Orsillo In

    In times of great change for Red Sox Nation one thing will remain the same next year, Don Orsillo will be back along the side of the Rem Dog calling play by play. On Friday 12/3 Orsillo singed a two-year contract with the Red Sox and NESN, and will call the games broadcasted on cable TV. It is not known if he will call all of the games NESN produces this coming year.
    The fate of outspoken veteran broadcaster Sean McDonough is unclear. After NESN announced that Orsillo and Tom Caron will be back they only had,
    I don't know anything of that,'' NESN spokesman Gary Roy
    to say when questioned if McDonough would be back. The Boston Herald reports that NESN executives do not plan on renewing McDonough's contract.
    The loss of McDonough will be more of a sentimental blow than anything else. The long time voice of the Red Sox McDonough was a fan favorite but not necessarily a favorite of the players or management. Nomar made it clear that he did not like McDonough's 'tell it like it is' style of game calling. In the days following Nomar's comments to the press, McDonough fired back at Nomar on the air after Garciaparra had a bad at bat and continued to struggle saying "what am I suppose to say 'he had some good cuts up there? You'll get em next time?'" Sean made it clear on the air that he was not sad to see Nomar leave once being traded to the Cubs.
    He was always miserable." McDonough on Nomar's tenure with the Red Sox
    McDonough called a mere 28 games last year down from calling the majority of the 162 games a few years ago. Traditionally an over the air broadcaster, McDonough's airtime was reduced since NESN had begun broadcasting the majority of Sox games two years ago. McDonough is no stranger to looking for new jobs. Over the years he has worked for a myriad of networks including CBS, ABC, and ESPN as well as a handful of local affiliates broadcasting the Red Sox games throughout the 90's. A couple years ago he turned down an offer to call play by play for the Mets citing quality of life issues after a talk with his father.

    Thursday, December 02, 2004

    Stephen King's First Non-Fiction Thriller

    Fans of the Boston Red Sox are known for devotion to the team, and as well all know that devotion finally paid off this past baseball season, when the Sox reversed the curse, beat the Yankees, and captured their first World Series title since 1918.

    Two diehard Red Sox fans, fellow novelists Stephen King and Stewart O'Nan, chronicle the storybook season in their new book called "Faithful." Stewart O'Nan told Here & Now's Bob Oakes he and King wanted to share the ups and downs, and their second guessing of Red Sox manager Terry Francona, as they experienced them, so they wrote the book in real time during, not after, the season.

    The two authors spoke about their book which hits the stores Tuesday 12-2-04on Here and Now (NPR)
    Listen to the interview

    Varitek:Not in the Cards

    Topps' new baseball card collection honoring Boston's World Series-winning team has a glaring omission: catcher Jason Varitek.

    Topps said the omission was unavoidable. Varitek is the only Red Sox player who hasn't signed a contract with the company.

    The company said Varitek is the only prominent player in all of Major League Baseball missing from its lineup.

    A Topps spokesman said he has no idea why Varitek isn't interested in being on a baseball card.

    A call by the Boston Herald to Varitek's agent wasn't immediately returned.
    Full Story

    Wednesday, December 01, 2004

    Unit Trade: Short Term Memory Loss

    Sean McAdam is reporting that the Sox and in talks with the Diamondbacks in effort for Johnson to play his last year on his AZ contract in a Red Sox uniform. It will never happen. If it was going to happen it would have happened last year when the Sox were willing to sell their sole, or at least trade Nomar, to bring Boston a World Series Championship. This move is most likely being used to make the Yankees negotiations with the D-Back more difficult. Have at it.

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