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Thursday, December 07, 2006

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Of course I was hoping for it to fail, but still surprise if this is indeed true. I still think they'll sign him..

BTW, I was under the impression that DM only had to go back for one more year - but I also keep seeing "two more years" here and there.. which one's right?

Someone also told me something about one year and a month or so.. anyone can confirm at all?

Lar,
I heard the same thing: he's not a real "free agent" until after the 2008 season. And, he's not allowed to post again next year.
Hence: I'm not buying into their wait and see what happens later, thing.
However, I do buy into Boras buying the rights himself and putting him on the FA market.

On his blog that helps sell his book, Mnookin quotes an excerpt from said same book where he said that an anonymous official said that other officials said that they had no evidence to corroborate what Boras said. Solid.

I don't buy the Boras buying him out. He is one of the most important people affiliated with MLB and he would just completely belittle the process (with is a terrible on to begin with) MLB created. Can the Sox/Boras work out a sign and trade, even if the sox get a low level prospect thats better than nothing.

The Globe and Herald both reporting that talks are progressing with Boras on acquiring Eric Gagne, who is seeking a guaranteed $5M, 1-year deal.

Gagne $5M, one year? That would be a gamble worth taking.

There's a whole week left in the negotiations window. This is nothing but posturing on both sides at this point.

$5 million is a lot of money to guarantee to someone who's only thrown about 15 innings in the past two years.

Here is the deal with DM's Japanese FA, as I have been able to gether, please correct me if I'm wrong...

You need 9 full seasons to be a FA in Japan, time spent on the DL doesn't count. Matsuzaka spent a large part of one season on the DL, so that time wasn't ticking on his FA clock.

He will be eligible for FA in May of 08, but would be on a Japanese sqaud for the 08 season by then.

If he goes back, he will have to be posted again after the 07 season.

As for my opinion on the matter....

This is just part of the dance, it's the only leverage Boras has in this situation, so he's going to use it, he can't put teams against each other, so this is all he has.

Could he sign a k-month contract for until May or whatever? Since he'll *has* to play to become FA, he'll actually have to pitch that month (or so), right?

Lar, come again?

The difference when you're dealing with numbers that "small" seems negligible, but I'd be more cofortable with $3M and a ton of incentives that could bring it up to $10M (for 40 saves, 50 games finished, that kind of thing) and an option vested for next year at certain performance levels, say 35 saves or something like that.

Sorry, I mean if I understand you correctly, he *has* to play out that month or two until May to get his full 9 years. Can he sign a one (or two) month contract with Seibu and then become a FA after that, presumably jumping to the US?

Gagne is awesome.. when he's healthy. He's been sitting on my legacy fantasy baseball team for the last four years, and err.. last two on the DL not doing much. I suppose it is relatively good risk since not every team can be anchored by Mo..

To me, the Gagne thing is worth the risk involved for a couple reasons:

A) you could end up with a very good closer for a very small price.
B) Incentives always make a player try harder for some reason. See David Wells.
C) If healthy, I don't think it's any question that he's the best in the business. His run a couple years ago was the most impressive thing I've ever seen. He was the only guy I ever saw stand on the mound, stare down a juiced up Barry Bonds, and strike him out on three pitches right over the plate. He's gross when he's on, and the money isn't bad at all.
I think he would be an excellent pickup no matter who gets him. Also, the one year he's seeking makes me think that he knows he will have a good enough year to get back on the market quickly.
I say do it.

Lar, good question, I don't know. I will say from what I have read in the last 6 months about Japanese baseball, that would probably not fly with them.

For those that haven't read in to Japanese ball, I suggest you do, it's really amazing. They have taken the game to the point where it's almost a martial art.

"stare down a juiced up Barry Bonds"

I am of the train of thought that the reason he was so successful in doing so is because he was juiced as well. Heavy juiced.

For example, in Japan...

Their High School national championship is a national event on par with the NCAA basketball Final Four as far as interest level, maybe even more.

They practice ALL the time in their youth all the way to the pros, even the bad players, 3 or 4 hours a day and not just during the season.

When I was a kid, we went every where with our glove and ball; I never left the house without it in the warm/mild months. You would be hard pressed to find that in your typical American suburb any more. That's the way it is in Japan now, kids are constantly looking for pickup games. It's the same in the Dominican, by the way.

Their obsession with the fundamentals of the game is simply incredible, their dedication unwavering, and their work ethic is second to none.

It's interesting to watch two parallel evolutions of the same game. It also highlights the lazy entitlement that grips American society now, but not other cultures.

The future of America’s pastime is not happening in America, at least not in the same way as it is in other cultures.

Baseball, and how it’s being developed world wide, I fear is a glimpse at a greater development in every other aspect of life.

relax my sf friends...you will sign dm...all this nonsense in the closing days is just posturing...ultimately it's what the kid wants to do, not boras, and the rumors i've seen suggest that he is impressed with the sox, likes it in america, and would prefer not to go back to japan for another year+...

We all agree, this sounds like posturing. If the Sox make a "reasonable" offer to DM, then how can he return to Seibu with any face? The issue is what is "reasonable". Would 4/40M be "reasonable", seeing as that's what Ted Lilly just got? Not that Lilly is an equal pitcher, but he is a guy who has now had a 15 win season, and has a length of ML experience, which DM does not. Is something like what Josh Beckett just extended for reasonable, since he's won a World Series and had a few very nice seasons already?

How can Boras take DM back to Japan if the Sox pony up a 4/40 contract, considering DM has never thrown a pitch?

Now, if the Sox are lowballing, offering 4/24 or something like that, he's got a case in this market. But I very much doubt the Sox are this clueless. Boras is in a pinch.

The fact that Boras reportedly is offering 6/$72M is telling, I think. First of all, it shows he has no leverage here to haggle years and make due on his promise to get DM free agency after three years. Secondly, I would have been surprised in a good way if the Sox got that kind of a deal -- it locks up a potential ace for a long time at dollars pretty well below what such a pitcher is fetching in this market (granted, if he flops, the Sox owe a crappy pitcher a lot of money for a long time, so there's definitely some desire to not go so long as six or as high as $12M a year).

The fact that this is Boras' reported starting point shows that he really is weak here and is scrambling for any kind of leverage he can. You'd think the Globe would be able to report some of this somewhere in its article on the subject...

Why would the Sox toss 70 million at Nancy Drew, and 36 million at Julio the wife beater, yes, he was arrested in Houston for bouncing his wife's head off the hood of their car at the AstroDome, and then try to lowball the player who is most important to Boston's chances next year? It's not Matsuzaka's fault that they bid over 50 million to get him. And now they want him to take less. We could have kept Trot and Gonzo, saved a ton, and made better moves than these two. If the Sox let Matsuzaka go because of money after lavishing millions on players of dubious makeup, I'll be very disappointed.

Nancy Drew, and 36 million at Julio the wife beater...

Yes - another perfect person has decided to post his thoughts.

Save the name-calling for Lohud, where you'll be on the same page as everyone.

kept Trot? Guy, he's nowhere near Drew in capability, and is even less dependable.
I like Trot, but I'm tired of the praise this guy gets. He never plays - ever!
At least "nancy drew" had a broken hand from a HBP, and not a strained everything from simply swinging a bat.
Holy Cow.
This is exactly the kind of fan I can't get on board with. Keep our already crappy players so we have something to complain about when they're always hurt.
Explain to me why you would rather have Trot, and also why the money is so important to you.

Hey, Frank, a lesson in the legal system for you. The charges against Lugo were dropped, which means he's never been convicted, which further means he's not a wife-beater. You sound more like a Yankee fan than anyone, Frank. How eagerly you grabbed that "Nancy Drew" nickname! Dan Shaughnessy would be proud.

And if you'd rather have Trot Nixon over J.D. Drew, feel free to run your own team -- because based on the lack of news surrounding Nixon, it looks like you'd be the only GM interested in having an outfielder with no power who can't swing too hard for fear of injuring himself.

> which means he's never been convicted

He was charged with misdemeanor assault, and the charges were dropped.

> which further means he's not a wife-beater

How would one know one way or the other? As far as I'm aware, there is no "wife-beater" law. However, his previous wife did get a restraining order, he was arrested, and he was dropped from the Astros. What exactly happened before that game in Houston? We will never know for sure, but the the fact that the chargers were dropped doesn't mean he didn't strike his now ex-wife.

brad, here is jd drew's baseball reference.com page:

http://www.baseball-reference.com/d/drewj.01.shtml

scroll on down to the "similar player" rankings... you'll see that numero uno is none other than... trot nixon.

granted, trot is declining as much as i respect the guy... but an argument could be made that they are indeed similar.

It appears Lugo did actually stand trial and was found not guilty: here's a link to a wiki article

Just because a famous baseball player weaseled out of a conviction (his wife probably didn't want all the attention, her scummy wife-beating husband was probably already too much) does not mean he's not a wife-beater. I'll take the evidence, just like with Brett Myers, that this 'man' has little control over his emotions and is particularly violent.

And no, it's not an excuse to say that many other, greater men, are wife-beaters. Just accept that Lugo is probably scum personally and try to ignore it. It's what he does on the field that should count to baseball fans when they're talking about the player. When you're talking about the man, though, it's hard not to ignore the charge and the subsequent drop from his team.

I don't think it makes any sense to believe that there won't be a deal on DM. The Sox would lose all of the traction they just gained in Japan if they let him got back or force him to accept a poor deal. They understand the PR implications, which in fact is some additional leverage that Boras has.

I also don't understand why some people think the Red Sox would even want a short-term deal? Their investment of $51m isn't going to be easy to re-coop, at all, and having the guy short-term won't help. They need a long-term contract and, if Boras' comments about 6/$72 are legit, I bet that's what DM will get (and I won't mind having a player of his caliber around for that long at that price).

I think Boras is taking the tact he used with Johnny Damon, get a long-term deal at good money, or take a shorter deal so he can get a follow-up contract for his client who will only be 29 three years from now and still just entering his "prime" at that time.

If the Sox agree to a short-term deal, say 3/30, the real dollars for that would amount to nearly $27m per year. The math doesn't add up. They want a long term deal just as much as Boras does, assuming the reported desire for 6 years is correct. And Boras has to understand the same math.

YF in Boston - that's funny. ;)

Well put, Andrew.

Here's an an article on the trial.

...Assistant Harris County District Attorney Catherine Evans told jurors Mabely Lugo signed a sworn statement that her husband grabbed her by the hair and forced her head into their vehicle at Minute Maid Park and told the same story to nine individuals involved in the case. Mabely Lugo testified Tuesday she had exaggerated the account and that her husband wasn't trying to harm her.

Evans told jurors during closing arguments Wednesday that it is not uncommon for victims of domestic violence to change their stories.

"She was not happy to be here,'' Evans said. "She is protective of her husband. She is anxious. She is nervous. I don't blame her. How sad is it to hear a woman say over and over, 'I hit myself with the truck. I provoked him. It was my fault.'''

Evans said she first learned Mabely Lugo's story had changed when she arrived at court Tuesday for opening statements in the case.

"She had never, ever said it didn't happen until yesterday,'' Evans said of Mabely Lugo. "I felt he committed the crime. I still believe that.''

lar-
i was checking drew's #s out after the signing. that definitely stood out. enough to remember it.

i would love to be compared to trot nixon. it isn't a put-down.

Are you an attorney Paul?

Looks like a couple of wisemen stepped in with some common sense after the Designated Bashers-Paul and Brad, of anyone that questions the Sox were done. Trot was a favorite of mine. He could have been had for maybe 2 yrs. and 12-15 mil. He was a fan favorite. He could have covered until next year, when Jones, Wells, and Hunter could be available.
Trot's waited to listen for other offers until it was obvious the Sox didn't want him back. Somebody will snatch him up. It's just another piece of the 2004 team gone. And of course now that he's gone, Brad and Paul bash him. Reading the content here the last few months, I noticed Paul was against this Drew deal originally, but now, it's great. Flip-flopper. My brother in LA disliked Drew immensely, for reasons which can be summed up by the nickname that he was called behind his back by the other players on the Dodgers-Nancy. As for Lugo, attackgerbil summed it up well. Lugo pleaded with his ex-wife to drop the charges, and agreed to get counselling, but reportedly never went. And while he's better offensively, although not if he shows what he showed the Dodgers while he was there, he's no Alex Gonzalez with the glove, which we will miss. As for me being a Yankee fan, that's a good one. Have you paid any attention to what's being said all over Red Sox Nation about these signings? Do you think I'm alone in these views?

YFIB -

Numbers wise: I wasn't trying to make that argument, but rather the health issue, which is what makes them similar in the first place.

Trots good years were a few years ago, when he stayed healty. Since then, and I may be a little off here, he's had a few strained oblique muscles, a few shoulder strains, a concussion, a few knee problems, and a few hamstring problems. These things are all an indicator that Trot is not only in decline, but is a serious threat to get really, really hurt every year.
Comparing this to Drew, who has not missed the majority of his time due to those type of injuries is wrong. We know why Drew missed time, and when he's healty I think he's the better player.
If both players are healty, they probably are about the same level, but Drew has more upside, I think.
I wasn't trying to shat on Trot, but keeping him for another three or four years is a mistake, and I think all of us can agree on that.

He could have been had for maybe 2 yrs. and 12-15 mil. He was a fan favorite. He could have covered until next year, when Jones, Wells, and Hunter could be available...

For what reason? So we can watch him go down once in Spring Training, once again in June, and once again in August? Two years, 15 million and 75 games played healthy?
We've been down this road before. Trot has ALWAYS been injured. I'm not bashing him, I'm just tired of seeing relacement level players in RF. I like Trot a lot, but two more years is just too much to swallow.
And yes, I have been paying attention to EEI and other places - but does that mean that I can't have my own opinion on the issue? Because the blowhards on the radio need something Red Sox to bash everyday, does that mean you HAVE to jump on the wagon? When everyone was booing Kevin Millar did you do the same? Even though we may like the player, there comes a time to move on to better things.
Being called a flip-flopper is pretty general and probably covers eveyone who ever like a baseball team. Did you boo Damon? Are you still mad they didn't sign Pedro?
Trot is older and more fragile. Move on.

one more thing on the drew/nixon thing:

baseball prospectus is projecting jd drew to put up the following numbers playing half of his games in fenway:

.286 14 HR 60 RBI

that is of course based uppon 475 plate appearances... which the more durable jd drew has matched 3 times in his 8 seasons.

compare those numbers to the 162 game average for mr. nixon, who played 10 seasons, all (thanklessly) with the sox:

.278 22 HR 86 RBI

granted, he wouldn't have put those numbers up this year, but he would've looked tough trying.

although not if he shows what he showed the Dodgers while he was there...


Actually, when he was playing full-time there and not a platoon player, his numbers were very good. It didn't get bad for him until the only played him once or twice a week. But, that would happen with almost anyone.

brad-
i wasn't attempting to say that nixon would outperform drew in '07 and beyond, merely stating that a comparison is legitimate.

Ahem...PECOTA bases its projections on previous years. Do you really think JD Drew, batting behind Manny and Ortiz, and playing the projected 144 games, will only drive in 60 RBI? I'm pretty sure Alex Gonzalez could have lucked into that number batting 5th for the Boston Red Sox...

"compare those numbers to the 162 game average for mr. nixon, who played 10 seasons, all (thanklessly) with the sox"

And that thanklessly quip pisses me off a bit...everyone here loves Nixon and always have, but the rational among us recognize the need to move on.

Okay. Well if we all belive that Trot Nixon is a better player than JD Drew, I guess the Sox front office are nothing more than a bunch of morons trying to lose money on overpriced FA's. Man, why can't I just wrap my mind around the notion that JD Drew isn't as good, or durable, than Trot Nixon. It takes a special kind of person to be as durable as Trot, and by special, I mean a possible broken leg or missing arm. I just can't believe that JD's numbers will be that bad in Fenway, especially when he hits to the opposite field as much as he pulls the ball.
Oh well, at least if they're the same player, all the Sox are out of is money.

point noted.

i apologize for the "thanklessly" thing. probably not the proper wording.

i stand by the rest of it, however.

they factored in ballpark factors, too. i think that this has a lot to do with the look of the stats they gave. how many runners will be left on base after manny and ortiz are through hacking? the projection might not be that far off.

...but "this is why they play the games..."

Brad, Of course you can have your opinion, as I can have mine. Edgar and Crisp came in here with glowing resumes, known as great guys, and both crapped out although Coco may rebound if he's still around.
Now we have Drew and Lugo coming aboard with very dubious reputations. Look what Ryan and Shaughnessy said about Drew. Something tells me they know more and have heard more in their circles than we have. I wonder if some milk company will want Lugo as it's spokesman? You have to question these moves. You don't have to be a homer to voice your opinion here do you?

Bud...most of us don't care about Ryan and especially Shaughnessy. Their opinions hold zero weight with me. About anything. When I find out they agree with me on something, I rethink my position. (OK...exaggerating a tiny bit...but you get my point)

Weird thing is...Drew keeps getting bashed for not caring about anything and being too laid back. Does that sound like the type of player who would give a damn about the pressure of Boston? Seems more like a possible Manny-type to me...

i haven't heard anyone say that the pressure here would have a negative effect on drew. that should roll off his back. have people been saying that?

It's hardly fair to say Coco crapped out, he played with an injured hand all year.

Actually,

I say Little on NESN hot stove, and he said that he thought the pressure would be the best thing for him.. He went onto say that the teammate issue came from the start when he refused to sign with Philly (and was never forgiven for the move). He said that he's a emotional player, that thrives on the being in the big spot.
It seems to me that Boston is exactly the place he should be. Or NY. Or the other NY.

edit -

say Little = saw Little

he played with an injured hand all year..


excellent defensively, I might add. He made two of the top five catches I've ever seen in CF in Fenway. Those two catches might have been made by three other CF'ers in the whole leauge. The one against Wright to end the Mets series was the best I've ever seen without question.

that is the one thing i don't understand. he was a kid. wasn't boras his agent?

(prior post in reference to drew & not signing.)

Frank -
So, you're already on the wagon that Drew is going to be horrible. Is he already bad because you heard this, or because he's replacing your favorite player? At least hold off on the negative comments until the guy proves what he's capable of, is all I'm saying. There's no sense in calling him Nancy because everyone else does. There's no sense in calling Lugo a wife beater. Who cares? It's not your wife, and you have no idea what went down truthfully. I could care less if the guy goes home and boils puppies. If his play is great, I could care less. He's not my friend or relative, so I don't care what happened in his personal life. Just hit the ball and catch the ball. That is all.
At least give them a chance before you jump to your negative, bashing slurs.
But no, you are allowed to voice your opinion. It's what makes this site my favoite spot. The good arguments.

i guess my point is that i don't understand why anyone (other than team officials) would hold a grudge regarding a kid not signing after being drafted.

maybe if he was drafted first and player X was drafted 2nd. because he would have essentially robbed player X from being the first pick and having all that goes with that. i could understand that one person's annoyance.

I don't know, YFIB. I have no idea who the agent was at the time, but it's funny to me that the player most vocal about Drew being a selfish kind of player that the leauge did not need, and probably more cocky than talented was none other than Schilling.

edit: Boras was the agent, after doing some research.

Here's the link:
http://www.baseballlibrary.com/baseballlibrary/ballplayers/D/Drew_JD.stm

oh yeah... research... thanks.

That little arguent goes a long way to explaining where some of the negative things came from, and he's never been able to shake them.

Seems like Boston is the perfect place to sink or swim for him, and I bet he knows it all too much. You think if he did not care, or did not want any part of that pressure he would have agreed to the deal?

Ryan and Shaughnessy are nothing more than mediocre baseball hackers who appeal to the long-driven Red Sox "glass half empty" emotions every Winter.
Shaughness is the absolute worst ever. I'd rather read the slur on the back of the NY Post during the season than hear this guy pat his own back.

Brad, its funny to me too. Think Drew and Schilling will be getting along fine now? I say yes if Drew plays hard, but thats a big if.

Regardless of the details of the situation, we simply don't know whether Lugo in fact beat his wife. While there's plenty of room for rational criticism of the front office, dismissing Lugo and Drew because one's "a wife-beater" and the other's a "Nancy" is simply unsupportable, contrarian hogwash absolutely in the vein of Shaughnessy and the EEIdiots. The fact that you cite them as examples, Frank, shows that you apparently have no problems allying yourself in that camp. That's your prerogative, but you should know that camp has a reputation for being fair-weather and finicky, more happy when the Red Sox lose because it gives them something to gripe about. It's the worst of the Nation, and it's what is most prominent to fans of other teams.

As Baseball Analysts reports today, the PECOTA numbers are likely too low -- and to my mind make no sense, with 60 RBI batting behind Ortiz and Ramirez? Drew has never in a healthy season slugged below .500, yet they have him below that mark, so I'd take it with a grain of salt. Look, we all love Trot Nixon, but he's injured every season and his power disappeared last year. What else is left? It's time for the sides to move on. Drew is younger, healthier and has a higher upside. If you're concerned about injuries, be concerned about injuries -- but ignoring the facts in favor of the "Nancy Drew" appellation smacks of BDD-style curse- and fear-mongering. It's distasteful and infuriating.

Yeah, if Drew bags it even once, I would bet Schilling is the first to the microphone to say "he had a talk with Drew about how we do things here".

ha.

Do a Google search for what Curt Schilling said about Drew when he snubbed Philly. He wasn't very, uh, graceful. You think Schilling isn't psyched by Drew's arrival? Of course he is. Sports has a funny way of skewing our feelings towards people we don't know. Sometimes accuratley, but often unfairly. Drew comes with "baggage", some fairly packed (his health, to some extent, though I do acknowledge the HBPs as "different" than chronic problems), some unfairly packed (this "Nancy" stuff is a joke, and Bob Ryan has lowered himself yet again).

Anyone who thinks that Nixon wasn't appreciated in Boston and by the club is mistaken. He was one of the most popular players (despite almost never playing full-time), and the Sox appreciated that too, they paid him well, kept him in the organization for a long time. This was the exact right time to cut the cord, and I imagine Trot knew this and probably gets it.

As for Lugo's "wife-beating", or whatever you choose to call it, it is and was an ugly part of his life. There's no reason to try to explain it away on technicalities or excuse it now that he's on our beloved Sox. We can only hope he learned from his ordeal and that this is in the past for good. If not, he should be shown the door.

There's also no reason to use it as a reason to dismiss the signing -- particularly when we simply don't know -- without discussing the merits of the signing itself.

Schilling was pretty adamant that Philly fans should boo Drew when he returned for the first time. Apparently the fans took that a step further and threw trash on the field, which made the Cardinals angry at Schilling because they felt he incited them. As we all know, Curt is very media-conscious. He knows what to say to get and keep the fans on his side, and while I'm sure he meant it at the time, that's years ago -- and he's clearly taking up for Drew now, what with the call-in to Dennis and Callahan...

I don't think Drew will be affected by the pressure. He's been described as "stoic." JD, on appearance, has always looked out for JD, and I see nothing wrong with that in principle. There is already undeserved bad chemistry generated with the fan base in the white-hot crucible of scrutiny that is the RSN due to the facts that 1) he's not Trot, 2) he held out with the Phillies (YFIB: yes Boras was his agent and he warned not to draft Drew unless the team would pay top dollar), 3) regardless of the fact that it is not at all related to the other JD FA situation, this JD's situation is absolutely related to the JD situation (this is about the importance of perception, not fact), and 4) he's not Trot.

One thing I have learned following the Red Sox (really, all New England teams) over thirty years from a New York Yankee fan and ex-NY resident's perspective is that there are many more vocal fans of the various pro-sports New England franchises than anywhere else. Drew has an uphill battle, and though reason and fairness may dictate otherwise, he will have to be truly stellar to transcend the somewhat artificial hurdles placed in front of him and curry favor with the fans. See ARod for more information.

That said, he's a truly gifted ballplayer. If he stays healthy, I don't look forward to watching Yankees pitching deal with the 3-5 holes next year.

As far as Lugo and "character" issues go, everyone says he's a great teammate; first at the top step to congratulate a great play. People can make up their own mind as to how to handle his off-field debacle, but it's really tough for me personally to abide an physical abuser. Yes, I understand he wasn't convicted. No, I don't think he should be run out of the game because of something as nebulous as what is a he-said, she-said, she-changed-her-mind event that' is now history. It is a sad incongruity for the fan who utters condemnation of any player for alleged substance abuse but doesn't consider the impact it has when a person with that sort of history is made part of a team.

From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/J.D._Drew :

He was the second overall pick in the 1997 MLB Draft by the Philadelphia Phillies. Drew and his agent Scott Boras, elected not to sign with the Phillies, sticking to their guarantee that they would not sign for less than $10 million dollars. The Phillies had no plan to pay an unproven player this amount of money, and despite Boras' warnings, drafted Drew nonetheless. Drew's younger brother, Tim, a pitcher, was also drafted in the first round that year, making them the first brothers drafted in the first round of the MLB Draft in the same year. Drew sat out 1997, and was selected fifth overall in 1998 by the St. Louis Cardinals. To this day, he is booed every time he makes a plate appearance in Philadelphia.

re: schilling's comments on drew.
schilling was also saying that it was time for manny to go.
did you hear the things that francona was saying about manny not "running as hard as you'd like to see", etc.?

i'm wondering what kind of effect that will have on manny.

...or if it will effect him at all... you never really know with that guy.

re: trot & my remark
that was aimed at one poster's seemingly dismissive tone towards trot nixon.

i pulled a john kerry. i tried to clarify, but poorly.

"It is a sad incongruity for the fan who utters condemnation of any player for alleged substance abuse but doesn't consider the impact it has when a person with that sort of history is made part of a team."

This reminds me of Deadspin's article today about the Cards' rumored interest in Barry Bonds. Dc several times here has said Sox fans would be far less condemning of Sheffield/Giambi/Bonds if they were members of the Sox. Ultimately, what are we to do? We root for uniforms, but ultimately that means rooting for flawed people with pasts of which they may or may not be proud of and histories with which we may or may not want to be identified.

I do tend to lean toward assuming innocence. I hadn't read anything more than that charges had been dropped when I first posted, so it does seem to be more substantive than I thought, but I jumped at what I still view as a faulty argument -- that Lugo's checkered past somehow nullifies his value to the Sox, particularly without any kind of support, either in regard to the incident or his playing skills.

I've got some qualms about Lugo, too. 20-plus errors per season and a .280 BA sound like Renteria all over again to me, but I also recognize that A-Gon wasn't worth three years with a sub-.300 OBP and that Lugo was the best of a bad lot otherwise. If he is a wife-beater, if he is arrested, charged and convicted while a member of the Red Sox, clearly there is no use for him on the team, and clearly baseball is not the thing he should be worrying about anyway.

Entirely irrelevant, but...Does the Times think Roger and Andy are...ah, more than friends?

Heh. I know, more of the usual "will he or won't he" Roger retirement talk, this time from a NY paper in love with the idea that he may come back to the Yanks. And it's spicier this time around too, since Pettitte's up in the air...but is Andy's presence really all it takes to get Clemens to pitch again? Am I the only one who finds this extraordinarily hard to believe? Like I've got best friends...but I wouldn't follow any of them to a new job across the country just so we could get some more alone-time together. Going back home to Houston at the same time was pretty understandable, they're both Texas guys...this would just be a little weirder...

"If he is a wife-beater, if he is arrested, charged and convicted while a member of the Red Sox, clearly there is no use for him on the team, and clearly baseball is not the thing he should be worrying about anyway."

Amen, brother. I'd be out for blood after a Bret Myers-type situation, too; conviction or no. You know, an extremely well-documented case of spousal abuse complete with impartial witnesses, and not just she-said he-said stuff (were there any witnesses who saw the 2003 incident? I know she told people right after it happened what Julio supposedly did...but that's not the same thing). I'm gonna give the guy the benefit of the doubt, because whatever happened when he was with Houston, it was 3 years ago...and the reviews he got in Tampa in terms of his character and behavior were fantastic. Could be his first wife really was full of it, it could be he's just changed for the better; either way, until something else goes down, he's clean in my book.

frank, you asked the question: "You don't have to be a homer to voice your opinion here do you?"...uh, the answer is yes...unless you unequivocally agree with every sox move and sf opinion, you will be shouted down...having said that, welcome...i was starting to feel lonely...

...they don't care about "Ryan and especially Shaughnessy", because they don't preach the sox FO propaganda...they actually have minds of their own...

...lugo: i'm willing to give you guys the same benefit of the doubt that you've given giambi and sheffield...lugo's guilty because he was never proven innocent...nice guy to have on your team...
"I could care less if the guy goes home and boils puppies."...you're kidding right brad, where's the same moral outrage you've have for the supposed cheaters in the game?...is taking steroids worse than wife-beating?...

...nixon: you've got to be kidding me...one of the classiest red sox ever to pull on a uniform, and you're kicking him to the curb...and you say yf's are tough on arod...frank, what you're witnessing here is an sf phenomenon that proclaims "all current red sox are great, all incoming sox are even better, and outgoing sox are bums"...it's how they treat all their former players...loyalty?..not in the vocabulary...

Same loyalty the Yankees gave Giambi when they tried to nullify his contract midseason, dc. Of course, now he's a "True Yankee," so it's all good ...

Look, opinions of all stripes are welcome here. dc makes me laugh because if he truly didn't feel welcome here, he wouldn't post as often as he does. So clearly we're quite tolerant of divergent viewpoints well-stated, even when they laud clowns like Shaughnessy for "having a mind of their own." Not even I believe you actually think that, dc.

If you don't like the Lugo and Drew signings and fear they could take away money from Matsuzaka and ultimately doom those negotiations, then say so, and explain why you think that's the case. Labeling and name-calling are simply not arguments, and they give all Sox fans a bad name.

SF- Thank you for an intelligent and thoughtful comment on Julio Lugo.
As for you Brad, your statement basically saying that you don't care if Lugo is a wifebeater as long as he can play ball, is at once amazing, infuriating, and unbelievably ignorant. Domestic abuse of women and children, is an ugly problem all over the world that is often swept under the rug, mostly because of fear. Because this is a baseball site, I won't go into the implications of what you said on this most distressing subject, and this is the last I'll mention it. If I were you, I would hope not too many female Sox fans or any others would read your comment, as I think their opinion of you would fall through the floor.

OK, Trot is gone. Drew deserves a chance. I'll cease with the Nancy label, for now.

"nixon: you've got to be kidding me...one of the classiest red sox ever to pull on a uniform, and you're kicking him to the curb...and you say yf's are tough on arod...frank, what you're witnessing here is an sf phenomenon that proclaims "all current red sox are great, all incoming sox are even better, and outgoing sox are bums"...it's how they treat all their former players...loyalty?..not in the vocabulary..."

And again...nobody here has said anything negative about Nixon beyond stating the fact that he can no longer stay healthy or be counted on to contribute. It's not a lack of loyalty, it's realism. And we treat all outgoing Sox as bums? Hmm...Mueller? Loved. Millar? Standing O(and don't tell me you would have kept him around). Pedro? Adored...but not resigning him was still the right move.

Oh, and Shaughnessy and Ryan have minds of their own? I don't know if you noticed...but just about every writer and columnist in Boston has taken to preemptively bashing Drew and Lugo. They're not exactly offering anything unique or particularly interesting to the debate. The equivalent to what I'm assuming columnists in New York love to do to A-Rod...only our guys aren't even here yet.

Wow, Meche at 55 mil...

Where does KC get that money from?

unless you unequivocally agree with every sox move and sf opinion, you will be shouted down

one of the classiest red sox ever to pull on a uniform, and you're kicking him to the curb

dc: I think I am learning that many of your comments are said in jest, just that it doesn't always come through in type. So can you clarify if these are serious or not? If they are serious, you're off-base. This site has thrived because neither YF or SF alike "shout each other down" with any kind of tiring regularity. There are certainly spirited debates, and things do get testy and partisan, but this is a site about THE rivalry, so what do you want? I'd say that there are more examples of Sox fans buying into a YF-biased position (heck, I think Jeter was robbed of the MVP this year, I think YFs are spot-on in their desire to get AP back, and love Joe Torre) and YFs buying into SFs positions (see the Gerb re: Dice-K) here than anywhere else on the web. I'd say that there's a good deal of open-mindedness on all sides, which is why some of the threads here are so interesting. When push comes to shove we veer towards our own squads' side of the argument, if even marginally tenable. That's natural.

As for your second comment, it's just wrong (there's some shouting-down, if you want to call it that!). Trot's contract was up. There was a better option, a younger player with more skill. Trot was paid a ton for his time in Boston. If the Sox had placed Trot on waivers, DFA'd him, or traded him for peanuts, then you'd have a case that the Sox were casting him out. As it is, there's no such basis for making out Trot as some sort of victim here, which is what you are doing, all while not-so-subtly demeaning the Sox' organization and, perhaps, unintentionally, some of their fans.

Considering the three standing O's Trot got in Game 162 last season, it's especially difficult to say he's been "kicked to the curb."

Where does KC get that money from?

It's wired from Steinbrenner's account, directly.

If you're Gil Meche, what would you choose: $55M from what seems to be a doomed team, or, say, $10M less from a contender (if he was offered something like that, just for hypothesizing). I know $10M is an insane amount of money (so is $45M, too!), but what drives a player to jump on a ship that, if it's not sinking, is at least half-submerged, with no pails for bailing?

SF: ;)

But then again, I'm sure we said that about IRod a few years back. And I don't have to mention the rest..

Lar:

You speak the truth. But somehow the Royals just seem so bad off, it's hard to figure.

""But then again, I'm sure we said that about IRod a few years back. And I don't have to mention the rest..."

Yeah but to be fair...I-Rod was I-Rod, World Series Hero and probable HoF. Gil Meche is...Gil Meche...

You're right, d1. No "probable" about IRod - he should be a first balloter all the way, if not on defense alone.

That said, he had some subpar (for him) years right before that, not even playing in that many games.. and people were honestly just wondering if he wanted a few more paychecks before he left, as reasonably, the decline of catchers are well noted.

And he made some good money off the Tigers. At least fair value. Of course, then he turned out to still relatively awesome for a catcher, if only for defense alone..

I'm not saying it'll even be likely to happen with KC, but hey, at least in theory, these teams try, right? =)

Maybe Gil Meche was excited about the probability of him being the default "ace" in KC, like Redman was last year. ...only thing I can come up with.

More likely it was this:

Gil's Agent: "The Royals offered 55"

Gil: "55? Sweet! For four years that's almost two hundred and fifty grand!"

Gil's Agent: "No, fifty-five MILLION"

Gil: "Uh, I assume you have my fax number?"

Many of you have probably seen this already, (hell, I might have already posted it, I really don't remember) but since he just reposted it on the Baseball Musings front page for some reason...Dave Pinto's Probabilistic Model of Range loves Julio Lugo. Doesn't take into account his crappy hands, but apparently Julio had the 5th best range in the game as a SS last season. I know it's just one metric, but it's nice to see. And I'm not gonna bother bringing up/making fun of Jeter's range...

sf, if i said i was "half-kidding" would that blow my cover?...

frank asked if you had to be a homer to voice an opinion...i said yes...it's confirmed by the responses to my post, but that's understandable, and it proves the point...i deserved it, but i wasn't exactly wrong...i noticed that none of you responded to my lugo observation...oversight, convenient, hmm

i happen to like nixon, and don't want to see him leave so unceremoniously...he was well paid by boston, and except for the injuries, you got every penny back when he was on the field...i know he's deteriorating, and the team is smart to make a move with him...i just want to see some compassion when they do it...yes, the fans were great to him...i'll be sorry to see him go...

paul, how in heaven did you read that i think drew and lugo are sucking money from dm and therefore dooming the signing from anything i said?...damn, that's a leap sideways...in fact, i've been consistent in saying that i think you will in fact sign him...i've been wrong before, but not this time...your giambi comparison is way out of bounds...you yourself said he was a confirmed cheater and it was shameful for the yanks to keep him...trot's issues are different...you also conveniently forget the contract the yanks gave bernie last year so he could retire in pinstripes...the money wasn't great, but he took it gladly...

i do like to post here, and you guys do let me blow off steam...and yep, i am off base sometimes, just like you are...hopefully not too often, but i say what i mean, i don't kiss butt, and i have passion for my team and our rivalry...i think it's the best thing in sports...it would be a bit boring if we didn't have it...

re. ryan and shaughnessy: that was pure sarcasm...sportswriters are jackasses...look, i'm stuck with lupica...

i just want to see some compassion when they do it

See, I have no idea what this means. They can, and have, said nice things about Trot. He's not retiring. They can't give him a Harley, retire a number. How do you show compassion when declining to offer a guy arbitration? The Sox handled this totally professionally, and Trot has done likewise.

As for Lugo, I made a pretty clear statement about Lugo above, before your comments, and they don't really need amending. Other SFs here have said much about Lugo, and I can't say I agree with all of them. I am not a huge fan of the signing, definitely not a huge fan of the man, so what else is there to say? Am I supposed to root for his failure, for him to beat the crap out of his new wife so he's released and I don't have to root for the guy? Or should I hope he excels, and stays clean off the field? What are you asking of us?

dc, for clarification, I was responding to Frank in that paragraph re: Drew, Lugo and Matsuzaka.

Paul: Originally your thread was directed towards the fact the Sox may not be able to come to terms with Boras, whose character was drawn into question regarding the Damon dealings. We've ranged into spousal abuse and the ethics of rooting for acknowledged roids abusers, which is why I love this site in how it can be so flexible.

To come back to the original nugget, I'm concerned that there is already a movement to pain Boras as the villain for wanting to maximize Matsuzaka's contract, or paint the Sox as cheapos for, in my opinion, thinking that because of of the necessity to save face he'll sign for less than comp (whatever comp may be for a guy who has never thrown a pitch in the bigs). Frankly I find it delicious dilemma for Boston. *evil grin*.

We're seeing high-water mark signings of players that frankly would be considered pedestrian in any of the past four seasons. It's a rough time for Epstein and company to be stingy with the mustard when coming to the table with Boras and Matsuzaka. Can anyone honestly say that one year ago, as a Sox fan, you would be on board with the money that Drew/Lugo just took down? But then again, that was a year ago. Strange stuff, this hot stove.

I still think the deal will be done, and it will be at outset's inspection fair to what is going on with other similarly respected pitchers. I think my guess for SF's prize pool was 3+1 59 million. I'm still feeling good with that guess.

ok paul, i thought you were talking to me...

d-1...i have to plead the 5th on understanding some of the more obscure stats that get tossed around...can you explain how "range" is measured so i can get a better appreciation for it?...thanks

sf, i'm asking for less hypocrisy...you guys crucified giambi and sheffield for allegedy taking steroids, and generally tried to make yf's feel guilty for rooting for them, but you're willing to give the alleged wife-beater a pass, and of course, you have to root for him...he's a beloved sox now...and before you blast me for saying that you gave him a pass, here's exactly what you said: "We can only hope he learned from his ordeal and that this is in the past for good. "...learned what exactly?...and let me add brad's gem for good measure: "I could care less if the guy goes home and boils puppies. If his play is great, I could care less. He's not my friend or relative, so I don't care what happened in his personal life. Just hit the ball and catch the ball." ...you should have taken the chance i gave you to "amend" your comments so you wouldn't look so foolish...

dc: I should have taken the time to amend my comment so I don't look foolish? Why? What makes me look foolish? I made an utterly clear comment about my distaste for Lugo. And why don't you reprint my entire comment? Slicing and dicing it to suit your thoughts is silly, particularly when a simple scroll up shows what I wrote in full. I have no admiration for Lugo. I have no tolerance for what he did. Your comments on this matter are, to put it lightly, utter bullshit. You are trying to paint my comments on Lugo as somehow enabling, or dismissive of his horrid transgression, which they are simply not. I suggest you stop this, all you are doing is wrecking your own credibility.

I don't think I have ever suggested to Yankees fans that they shouldn't root for Giambi to succeed. I have acknowledged that I find it difficult to understand how they can unconditionally root for someone like Giambi to succeed (and, in a sad commentary on this subject, Lugo didn't cheat. Giambi did. But that's somewhat irrelevant - they both did bad things, and Lugo's was worse). In that way, I don't know how I can unconditionally root for Lugo to succeed. I probably can't, and I probably won't. But that doesn't mean I won't be happy for my team if he does succeed, however perverse that might make me. I utterly disagree with Brad's attitude - I am conflicted. Though I do understand what he is trying to say, even as I personally have different sentiments.

But you've got to cut out this selective slicing of comments, trying to make some of us appear to have written things with meanings that we never intended. Seriously.

The problem for Boras, Gerb, is that DM has never thrown a pitch. Sure, he's a HUGE prospect, Major League-ready. But he's not pitched a whit in the States. So though Boras has every right to argue that DM should be paid in line with a team "ace", he has nothing to back that up, no record of performance at the Major League level. Conversely, the Sox have every right to argue that DM should be paid as a prime prospect, as a mid-rotation (until proven otherwise) guy who has upside, factoring in some money for future performance. I think both arguments are extreme.

As I said earlier, Ted Lilly just won 15 games in the AL East. While no ace, he's getting 10M per, in this new market. For Matsuzaka (or rather, Boras) to waltz in, demand more money over more years than a proven 15 game winner in one of the toughest divisions in baseball for a guy who has played his entire career in a lesser league, that takes stones. Which Boras has. And the Sox will pay, I believe, particuarly after this off-season. If Pettitte decides to come to the Yankees in the next three days, then the Sox definitely pay.

I stand by my 5/68 prediction, since I can't, by my own rules, lower it. If I could guess again, I'd say 5/60.

...fine sf, i'm for a truce on this topic...i was selective about your comments [i do that when it's relevant], but your rebuttal is much closer to the sentiment i wish you had showed in your [entire] original comment...i didn't say that you hoped giambi wouldn't succeed; what i said was that you couldn't understand how we could root for him, which you confirmed...look man, as much of a jerk you might think i am, i feel for you...even if the allegations aren't true, the man has a cloud over him, just like my guys...i just wanted you to understand how it feels...sorry my friend, i didn't mean any harm...

I'm sure your apology to SF is heartfelt, dc. However, I'm not sure when being that selective about someone's comments is EVER relevant.

quo, you've got no room to talk...but thanks for the sermon anyway...go back and actually read the posts before you comment, and then tell me the selected statement was out of context...like i said his rebuttal was much more forceful and convincing, so i feel better...

i was sorry because i didn't expect him to get so emotional...he doesn't like it when i make a counterpoint that bests his, and from our prior interactions i can tell you don't either...you surface, take a shot, then duck for cover...

he doesn't like it when i make a counterpoint that bests his

dc: you seem pathologically unable to let something go. You can't even respond to Quo without taking a shot at me. And I can't not return the favor, though I thought you volunteered a "truce", which was neither demanded nor seemingly necessary.

So, as for your "apology", you say you are apologizing because you "didn't expect [me] to ge so emotional". In other words, you aren't apologizing for anything, for trying to distort my sentiments, rather you are apologizing because I supposedly got "emotional". This is the textbook "I apologize that you were offended" apology, which is, in fact, not an apology at all, but pointing blame at someone else. Nice job.

2 sentences is a sermon now. Look. It did take his statement out of context. I don't need to paste his entire outlook on Lugo. It can be read above. I don't think his tone needed clarification. He's lukewarm at best on the Lugo signing, and thinks that "at best" Lugo could prove he's learned from the incident and moved on, while acknowledging that the allegation makes it hard for him to root for Lugo no matter what happens. Not sure that needed more "forceful and convincing" clarification. I don't think SF was being hypocritical at any point.

If you've read ANY of my responses, dc, you know that me leaving a particular argument has nothing to do with "ducking for cover". There comes a point in an argument where both sides have done their "best" at speaking eloquently about their side. If you happen to feel like you need to get the last word in, or that I should want to (or otherwise I'm ducking for cover), then that's how you feel. If I feel like the last point I've made in an argument still stands even after you've responded, I won't re-iterate it. Wouldn't feel like I'd need to.

"And I'm not gonna bother bringing up/making fun of Jeter's range..."

Uh, desturbd1, you just did. Most Yankee fans know Jeter's range isn't the greatest, but we kinda like him anyway. Hey, was that the first shot fired on the soon to start debate on who's better, Julio or Jeter?

Speaking of Lugo, when he was with Tampa I considered him a scrappy, hard nosed little player who was a tough out.

Considering his past transgressions, domestic abuse is, as most of us know, a terrible thing. In Lugo's case, if he's learned from his mistakes of the past and has righted himself in that area, it will be forgotten. I would imagine the Sox must have looked into how he's conducted himself off the field since then, knowing they would be investing 36 mil. in him.

As for Drew, Sox fans who have already started on him seem to be going a little overboard. You can question this signing, but a petition to Theo not to sign him? And I don't know what's up with Bob Ryan. I certainly can't blame the Sox fans who want to feel good about this signing. He's got a lot of talent and could end up being very good for the Sox(although I hope not). If he was signed by the Yanks, I would be positive about this signing too, even if part of me had a little trepidation about it.

DMat will sign with the Sox. No way he'll go back home and cost Seibu all that money, and have to wait to come to MLB. Boras is just dragging it out, most definitely. Actually, I doubt the two parties have even begun serious negotiations yet, as both sides had a lot to attend to at the winter meetings. It'll get done, I'm sorry to say, from a Yanks fan standpoint.

I certainly hope the Yanks can land Pettitte, not for old times sake, but because I think he is still an effective pitcher, who knows what it takes in NY. His numbers compare very favorably with other good pitchers over the last two years. I'm not so sure that he will sign with the Yankees though, knowing his family will probably want him to stay in Houston. But he'd have a better shot at another ring in NY.

sf, read my "apology", i said i was sorry, didn't mean any harm...and, i meant it...but you have to admit it's true, you don't like it when i get the best of you...none of us do...the truce is still on for this topic for you, if that's ok...

quo, sf doesn't need you to defend him...the statement was not out of context...his subsequent comments are proof of that, so go back and read those...my point, if you'll bother to consider it was that yf's were made to feel guilty about rooting for alleged cheaters, while sf admits he will root [perhaps reluctantly] for lugo, an alleged wife-beater...that seemed to me to be hypocritical, and i asked for some moral clarity on what you guys think is worse...i think i got my answer, so you can go back to what you were doing...no need to restate your position...

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