OK, so it’s been a while since I’ve written anything, and that means some random ramblings about everything.
It’s starting to look like there aren’t too many landing spots for A-Rod. That move he just pulled trying to upstage the World Series was a really poor decision on his part, and will only make him more of the baseball villain. Perhaps he’ll replace Bonds or join Vlad, but as Sox fans chanted after game 4 in Denver, please don’t let it be the Sox, for real baseball operations reasons, as well as the obvious karma issues.
As far as this whole World Series business goes, I enjoyed this Red Sox season, but I’m honestly much more excited about the next couple years. While this team gutted opposing pitchers and had a great bullpen to save a sometimes iffy rotation (moreso towards the end of the season), the team the Sox have assembled should be both younger and more entertaining over the next few years. Young pitchers like Lester, Buchholz, perhaps Craig Hansen, and Justin Masterson (you’ll know who he is next season) should play prominent roles on the staff, joining Beckett, an adjusted Matsuzaka, Manny Delcarmen, and Jonathan Papelbon, making every game more intriguing.
Terry Francona has grown into one of the best managers in baseball, no doubt.
As far as Schilling, Lowell, Coco, Gagne, and Wakefield/Mirabelli go, here’s my stance:
Lowell—sign him for anything below $15 million a year for 3 guaranteed years. A club option for a fourth could be fine. I would prefer a two year deal with an option that needn’t be solely a club choice. I suspect the Sox feel somewhat the same and am confident he’ll be back.
Schilling—for one year, give him whatever the market dictates, but only for one year. I also feel the Sox have no plans to give him anything more than one guaranteed year, and thus it’s 50/50 whether or not he’ll be back.
Coco—I would certainly explore his trade value, but I’m not sure it’s worth trading him right now, considering he had quite the dismal post-season. I can see keeping him around and having an extremely strong 4 outfielder semi-rotation as a nice move until the Sox find something worth moving the guy for. Once that happens Brandon Moss should be ready to help us out as a 4th OF.
Gagne—I know this is somewhat unthinkable right now, but the guy could be very effective once again this coming year. I think the team MUST offer him arbitration, and if he accepts, so be it. I’m not sure what his compensation status will be now that he had such a lame end to the season, so the picks might not be great that we get for him if he signs elsewhere, but perhaps we should think about trying to come to terms on a one year deal if he’ll consider it.
Wakefield/Mirabelli—I list them together because without Wake, Dougie will be gone the next day, and even if Wake comes back next year, there’s a chance the Sox won’t re-sign his personal catcher. I think it would be nice to have Wakefield around another year, especially if Schilling is gone, but perhaps it’s time for George Kottaras and Kevin Cash (or some other back up type) to take over for Dougie. If Wakefield is gone, the move should be Kottaras by the end of the season, in the hopes that he can be ready to start taking the load from Varitek, whose contract is up after this coming year.
Now, on to the NBA.
The Celtics are going to win 50 games or more, should be a top 3 seed, and advance to at least the Eastern Conference Finals. I expect the champs to come out of the West in the form of the Spurs, Suns, or Rockets (in order of likelihood), but I wouldn’t be surprised to see the C’s pull off a championship.
Some teams/players to keep an eye on (for various reasons, some more obvious than others):
Memphis Grizzlies, Houston Rockets, Atlanta Hawks, Indiana Pacers.
Al Jefferson, Juan Carlos Navarro, Robert Swift, Stephane Lasme, Luis Scola, Al Thornton, Andrew Bynum, Mike Conley, Tyrus Thomas, Ike Diogu, Dwight Howard, Kevin Durant, LaMarcus Aldridge, David Lee, Tony Allen.
Also, watch LeBron this season, this could be a pivotal year in terms of his legacy and his frustrations with the front office in Cleveland. He might find himself on a team that went from the NBA Finals to a 6th or 7th play-off seed, or even as low as the lottery.
Side notes: Ryan Braun is Jewish. Represent for us, Ryan. Maybe someday we can sign him to man the hot corner while Youk stays at first and Kapler looks on from the dugout.
The Pats are just ridiculous at this point; yes, they’re running up the score, and if you have a problem with this (which you probably do), TRY STOPPING THEM THEN! This Colts game should be unbelievable, and unfortunately, will be overhyped more than Paris Hilton’s release from jail over the next week. Also, the only protection Tom Brady needs is his offensive line, everyone else, it’s still no glove, no love.