Thursday, February 1, 2007

Careful the stove is hot

Now that I got the X Games out of my system it’s time to turn some attention to the Red Sox hot stove which has been glowing red hot in the past few days.

The Red Sox stove chose a good time to start heating up since the Celtics are about to set the franchise record for longest losing streak (I will be at the game Friday so I’ll have something Celtics oriented this weekend) and other than that there really isn’t that much going on this week…other than Barbaro dying of course, so sad, so sad.

The hot stove week kicked off with a Saturday morning phone call from none other than Joseph P. Reynolds. He sounded a little distraught and told me that he had heard some people talking about the Red Sox trading for Todd Helton. He was nervous that they’d ship Manny off to Colorado and get Helton in return and since he was calling from CTU Park City, Utah he had no way of confirming or denying these rumors.

After hearing this I was instantly jolted out of an early afternoon daze so flipped open the laptop and started checking out some of my “sources”. After a day of phone calls back and forth and constantly checking out SoSH and Dirt Dogs I finally saw something on ESPN’s 11pm Sports Center.

Six Degrees of Hating Peyton Manning: We still can’t escape the Pats-Colts loss - Helton started at quarterback over Peyton Manning in his senior year at Tennessee, granted he got hurt Manning took over and never looked back, have I mentioned I hate Peyton Manning.

Unfortunately to my dismay ESPN decided to rehash the old SNL skit where Jerry Seinfeld is a night time news anchor and he just keeps reading teases about a life threatening thing that you could be eating for dinner and saying things like “up next: it’s deadly and it could be your dinner”.

Every time ESPN went to commercial it was “are the Red Sox going to add a $90 million slugger…” or “up next good Rex vs. bad Rex and who’s in the trade talks for the Red Sox” it was seriously killing me.

They did an especially good job scaring the bejesus out of me by showing clips of Manny with every tease, not cool. Turns out the Sox were in trade talks with the Rockies for Todd Helton after all. They may not allow music in Utah but apparently they are on top of their hot stove baseball in the local ski shops.

By now this is old news but in hindsight it would have been a pretty decent addition to the Sox lineup especially since the trade talks involved Mike Lowell and Julian Tavarez and maybe someone like Delcarmen or Hansen.

I wasn’t big on the idea of trading away Lowell and having Youk move back to third. The infield isn’t going to be as solid this year mainly because Julio Lugo isn’t Alex Gonzales (defensively) and it’s still not clear what you’ll get from Dustin Pedrioa.

I like having gold glove caliber defense at third and I think Lowell provides a pretty good amount of pop (solid doubles hitter), not as much as Helton would but in the end it was probably a better choice to stick with Lowell rather than move Youk again and take on Helton and his six year contract. With that said I’d have no problems moving on from Tavarez the guy really hasn’t shown me much other than that he can pitch ok when it doesn’t matter.

As for Hansen and MDC I would have been ok if the Red Sox had moved on from them, they have shown promise but have been unable to take that next step and jump up to being effective on a consistent basis. There are some guys I don’t want to see dealt, like Jacoby Ellsbury or Daniel Bard, and I think it’s safe to say the Sox aren’t willing to move them. However if you are going to get an established guy like Helton then it makes sense to take a chance in giving up a guy like Hansen or Delcarmen.

In the end it was all for show as the Sox and Rockies broke off talks, rumor has it Theo was pretty unhappy with the Rockies for throwing out the names of the Sox players the two teams were talking about. I guess he didn’t want Lowell, Tavarez and company to know they were on the block, can’t say I that I blame him after the way the whole Nomar thing went down.

No Helton but there is plenty more Sox stuff going on. Theo got married and his dad tricked Gordon Edes into thinking Theo got hitched at Nathan’s Famous hot dogs on Coney Island, which made for a pretty good story on the radio and internet yesterday.

Things to be excited about:

Dice-K is throwing in California which is exciting news but I want to see some video, just over two weeks till pitchers and catchers report. Also he has told the Sox new pitching coach that he does in fact throw a gyro ball and he is working on a new pitch, maybe a cut fastball no real word on that yet.

Jon Lester arrived in Ft. Myers today. Granted I wouldn’t expect Lester to be ready to go by opening day never mind when pitchers and catchers report in a couple weeks, but this is still encouraging news. According to the Globe he says he isn’t 100 percent yet but he is optimistic and is looking to return as soon as possible.

He also said that he will start where ever and whenever the team feels is necessary. I know the Red Sox have a good amount of pitchers but you can never have enough pitching and having a healthy Lester available for long relief or spot starts will really make the Sox bullpen or starting rotation better.

Check out Nick Cafardo’s brief article about Lester here.

The newest news...Curt Schilling wants another year, but the Sox haven’t really said much. Schilling said he wants to get a deal done before the season starts, if not he will head to free agency. Here’s my two cents. Sign him and sign him now.

I think that’s what the Red Sox will do but seriously Schilling, a one year deal for the same money he is getting right now. Even if he becomes your number three starter, I don’t care you still sign him. He had a better year last year than Gil Meche and he got a huge deal. The guy made a truck commercial in which he said and I quote “I’ve got an 86 year curse to break” and he f’n did it. When I first saw this commercial I was upset, why jinx us right off the bat, but then he came in and helped the Sox win the World Series that alone is worthy of a one year extension.
Two Words: Blood, Sock (or Blood and Sox if you want to play with some words)

I’m sure this will be the talk of the town for the next couple of weeks before pitchers and catchers report. Some people are painting Schilling as whining for more like Pedro did but I say sign him right now, get a deal done there is no need to wait. This is the same team that offered Coco Crisp an extension after the first two weeks of last season so why not extend Schilling another year.

Pitching is always at a premium and if you can get Schilling for a discounted price, even if he falls off a little and becomes a third starter, he is one of the best pitchers out there and if you let him go to free agency he will definitely be more expensive. Sign him and sign him now!

1 comment:

Senalda said...

Well written article.