Rantings and ravings from an admitted fan (as in fanatic!) of the Boston Red Sox. Updated only occasionally, but with my take on recent developments in Red Sox Nation. Updated more frequently during the end of the regular season and playoffs (hopefully).

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Beckett and Lowell, come on down!

Looks like the Sox have reached an agreement with the Fish for pitcher Josh Beckett and third baseman Mike Lowell (all players have to pass physicals over the next few days, so it could still fall apart). They had to give up shortstop prospect Hanley Ramirez (this guy is supposed to be something else!), but they get immediate pitching help and noted Yankee killer Beckett (MVP of the 2003 World Series, when he totally baffled the Evil Empire's batters). I guess this means that Bill Mueller is out at third. Lowell is a pretty solid 20-homer, 90-100 RBI guy for about the past five seasons, although his numbers were a little off last year.

The most intriguing thing about this deal is that it was done sans GM. Assistant GM Jed Hoyer worked with Larry Lucchino on pulling the trigger in the three weeks "Post Theo." Interesting.

On its surface, this is a good deal. You hate to give up bright prospects, especially one as good as Ramirez is supposed to be, but Beckett is the real deal. My first reaction is that this is worth it, and it's a good trade. Well done! (I'm sure Lucchino was sitting on pins and needles waiting for my approval).

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Kapler released

The Sox added six players to their 40-man roster yesterday, and released Gabe Kapler yesterday. I will miss him. Kapler was a nice utility player for the Sox, and perhaps more than anything, he was a member of the 2004 team, and will thus forever be enshrined in a special place in my heart. But I think perhaps the biggest thing I'll remember about Kapler is that he may be the first -- and last -- player to be injured while rounding the bases in a home run trot.
On Sept. 14 this year, Kapler was on first base when Tony Graffanino homered. As Kapler rounded second base, he collapsed in pain. Diagnosis: ruptured Achilles' tendon, season over. Definitely one of the weirdest things you'll ever see watching a baseball game.

Among the new additions to the roster are Jon Lester -- the Minor League Pitcher of the Year -- right-hand pitchers Jesus Delgado, Harvey Garcia, and David Pauley, as well as outfielders David Murphy and Brandon Moss. I hope Delgado eventually works his way into a closer role, setting up the most obvious headline pun ever -- "Jesus Saves."

Still no general manager, although they are interviewing David Wilder -- no relation to Gene -- from the White Sox front office. Stay tuned.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Theo dons gorilla suit

Now this is one of the funniest stories I've seen in a while. Seems Theo Epstein donned a gorilla suit to escape reporters as he made his way out of Fenway on Monday, hours after announcing that he was leaving the Red Sox. This is one of those "only the Red Sox" stories. No word yet on how many bananas it's going to take for the next club to sign Theo.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Say it ain't so, Theo

Theo is gone.

It's only been 3 years, but forgive me if I say that I really liked the tenure of young Theo Epstein as general manager of the Sox. I will admit to some initial skepticism when Epstein was hired -- I at first couldn't get over the initial shock of the fact that the GM was younger than me (the 'image' of the GM, to me and many others, is of some old guy chomping on a cigar, but those days have been surrendered to the era of sabermetrics). But once I got over this and started to understand some of his moves, I really liked this guy. The Nomar trade was, in hindsight, a stroke of genius. Again, at the time, there was initial shock, but soon realized that Nomar had to go. The picture of him sitting in the dugout at Yankee Stadium while all his teammates were on the top step cheering spoke more than any words ever could, and he had to go. So Theo pulled the trigger, and he got more value than he gave up. If that's not a trademark of a good GM, I don't know what is.

So it is with sadness today that I read that news that Theo turned down the Sox latest offer, and even greater sadness that this appears to not be about money. Initially they couldn't agree on a salary, but apparently they had closed that gap, and the differences were now about power. Let's hope Larry Lucchino knows what he is doing, and perhaps they will be better off. But Theo was the GM of a team that won the Sox first title in 86 years, and he pulled some of the significant strings that made it happen. That earns you some clout in my book, so I am saddened by his departure. But in baseball, as in many things, one individual does not make the team, and they will move on.

Anyone have Billy Beane's cell numbah?