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).

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Johnny Damon sleeps with the fishes...

The news this morning hit me like a ton of bricks. At first a friend left me a voicemail message asking if I was now going to root for the Yankees. Knowing that was, let's see, frickin' impossible, I still wondered what would prompt such a sarcastic message. A quick check of the web confirmed my worst fears. Johnny Damon, the "Unfrozen Caveman Centerfielder" Sox fans have come to know and love, has signed a 4-year pact with the Evil Empire.

First of all, I will never forget the contribution Johnny D. made to the 2004 Red Sox and the joy he brought to Red Sox Nation. I wish him nothing but the best in the future.

That being said. Johnny, how could you? Sure, I could see the Dodgers, now that they are building an outpost of Red Sox Nation on the Left Coast, but the Bronx? It actually makes good sense for the pinstripes, with an aging Bernie Williams needing to be replaced in centerfield. And Damon will certainly provide a nice spark at the top of a potent lineup. But this one stings. I think I'm still in shock, but the first time I see the 'Unfrozen One' suited up in pinstripes is really going to be a dagger. I will always think of Damon's grand slam in Game 7 of the 2004 ALCS as the nail in the Evil Empire's coffin (even given all of Ortiz's heroics), so it's going to be weird, to say the least.

So, chalk up Johnny D. in the pantheon of former Red Sox greats suiting up in pinstripes, starting with the Babe and going right through to Wade Boggs and the Rocket (no, I didn't forget Mark Bellhorn, but I tried to). The really hard part of this is going to be explaining this to my 7-year-old daughter. She hates the Yankees (she has been brainwashed, uh, I mean 'well schooled), and she loves Johnny Damon. I'm not sure how I'm going to break this to her. In the end analysis, just two words come to mind: "This sucks."

Monday, December 12, 2005

Co What???

When the rumors were circulating that the Red Sox were going to name co-General Managers (or shouldn't it be Generals Manager) to replace Theo Epstein, I thought it was a joke. Theo was good and all, but two people to replace him? Come on.

Well, darned if they didn't do it. Today the Sox announced that Jed Hoyer and Ben Cherington will share the GM duties (and presumably all decision-making responsibility about trades, free agent signings, etc.). Sounds a bit suspect to me, but hey, Larry Lucchino had a straight face when he announced it, so why not give it a shot? Stranger things have happened.

The Rocket, Part Deux?

The rumor mill is buzzing with news that the Sox have been in touch with the agents for Roger Clemens (newspapers have quoted Larry Lucchino confirming it, so I guess it's not much of a rumor anymore). To me, this is the definition of "mixed emotions." Now hear me out on this one.

I LOVED Roger Clemens when he pitched for the Sox. The year he had in 1986 still makes me shake my head in amazement. The guy just mowed people down like they were mannequins. He was untouchable. And I'll never forget the 20-strikeout night against Seattle. However, the way he left town and suddenly got 'healthy' when with the Blue Jays, not to mention the fact that he suited up in freakin' pinstripes (!!!!) makes me, I don't know, not love him so much. In fact, I've hated Roger Clemens for the past few years. Even when he came out of retirement for Houston, I didn't really care about him, but any thoughts I had of him were negative because of the Yankee days. Now what the heck am I supposed to think?

First of all, as nice as it is to think about the days of old and how great they were, the Roger Clemens of 2006 is NOT the Roger Clemens of 1986. Not that there was any doubt about that, but just to be clear. But, he's had a couple of decent years in Houston, so he's not exactly done yet, either. What to do, what to think?

But then it hit me. The Yankees have called his agents as well. That tears it! I want him wearing Red Sox in 2006, not pinstripes. Let's get this done, GM by committee or whatever we're calling ourselves this week. Stay tuned, because this thing is going to play out until January.

No word yet on conversations between the Red Sox and Calvin Schiraldi's people.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Explaining "the business" of baseball to my daughter

One of the joys I have had over the past couple of seasons is sharing my passion for the Red Sox with my 7-year-old daughter (she would correct me here and say "I'm almost 8, daddy!"). She always picks the Red Sox when we play MVP Baseball on the computer, and she knows the members of the team by heart. But that joy is tempered by the difficulty of events this week spent explaining the 'business' of baseball to her, as the Red Sox say goodbye to several of her favorite players. Even though he was only with the Sox for 1 year, Edgard Renteria was one of her favorites, she adored Doug Mirabelli (the knuckle-ball catcher), and she's crazy about Kevin Millar. Renteria is now on the Atlanta Braves, Mirabelli is in San Diego, and Millar will soon be gone, as the Sox have not offered him salary arbitration. Sure, she will learn new names like Mark Loretta and others, but it's tough to say goodbye to these players. I know the days of Yaz, Cal Ripken, and other players staying with one team for their whole careers are long gone, but try explaining that to a 7, or 8-year-old.

All that being said, I *really* don't want to have to explain to her that we have a new centerfielder, which makes the signing of Johnny Damon a pretty important priority. I hope they get it done. Trying to explain why the Red Sox have a completely new infield in 2006 is going to be tough enough.