Friday, January 19, 2018

The Other Lingering Red Sox Outrage Of This Off-Season

(Getty Images)
It's bad enough that the Red Sox have yet to solve their middle-of-the-order 'phantom bat' problem—with only about a month to go until Spring Training. But another piece of unfinished business is the fact that their best player—Mookie Betts—remains un-signed after the two sides failed to reach an arbitration agreement. How good was Betts last year? Well, he led The Carmine Hose in: hits (166); extra-base hits (72); HRs (24); RBIs (102); walks (77); stolen bases (26); slugging (.459) and OPS (.803). So, why exactly isn't he already signed? If nothing else, the sense of priorities in this Red Sox organization is way out of whack.

Ex-Red Sox Kapler Predicts “S—load” Of Phillies Wins

Former Red Sox player Gabe Kapler—now the manager of the Philadelphia Phillies—was sounding very "presidential" at a recent news conference. He predicted that the lowly Fightins' would amass a 's—load' of victories in the 2018 season. For six straight years, the Phillies have lost at least 80 games, so the prediction is a bold one. Those who remember Kapler's infectious optimism and honesty while he was a member of The Carmine Hose can fully understand his comments. We wish Gabe the best of luck in The City Of Brotherly Love. With those fans, he'll need it!

Thursday, January 18, 2018

POLL: Majority Still Wouldn't Shed Tear Over Henry Sale

Continued voting in our latest FenwayNation Poll shows that a growing majority of readers would not be upset if John Henry sold the Red Sox in the next few years—in fact, they'd like it. As the chart shows, a combined 56% now say they'd either be "somewhat happy" (35%) or "giddy" (21%) if the billionaire unloaded The Carmine Hose. On the flip side, a combined 44% now say they'd either be "devastated" (13%) or "mildly upset" (31%) if Henry cashed-in on the Sox. You can still vote in the poll HERE.

NESN Steps-Up Spring Training Coverage To 20 Games

As our readers know, we have been critical of New England Sports Network (NESN) for a long time. But, when they do something exceptional, we feel the need to throw them some praise as well. The Red Sox-owned network announced today that they will televise a total of 20 Spring Training games in 2018—the most since 1997. They will do this, in part, by hooking up with Boston 25 WFXT for six games that NESN will then broadcast to the rest of New England outside of the Boston market. This is a very positive development. Kudos, NESN!

Muddy Chicken Is Cleared To Begin Running Program

(Getty Images)
In what could be a major watershed moment, Dustin Pedroia was cleared today to begin a running program to rehab his surgically-repaired knee. The fact that the hurdle was cleared a full month before the start of Spring Training bodes well for The Laser Show missing minimal time in the 2018 season. Of course, the crack Red Sox 'medical team' will still be involved—so missing the entire season is still in play. Last week, Pedroia had stated that—if he got today's positive news—he expected to be ready to play on Opening Day (March 29th). This is still highly unlikely, but a return much sooner than the previously-thought mid-season point is now almost certain.

'La Flow Benintendi' Appears Gone For The 2018 Season

Women across Red Sox Nation are in a quandary this afternoon after The Boston Globe's Peter Abraham posted a picture of Andrew Benintendi on his Twitter feed. So what, you say? Well, the pic in question shows a severely-shorn Benny—with none of the signature "flow" in view. It looks like he's going for either: the James Dean look from Rebel Without A Cause OR the Marlon Brando look in On The Waterfront. Neither of these looks works. Anyway, get ready for all kinds of commentary on Benintendi's new "moss" (as Dennis Eckersley—another hirsute Red Sox player—might put it).

POLL: Majority OK With John Henry Selling Red Sox

Very early voting in our latest FenwayNation Poll shows that a majority of readers (53%) would not be all that broken-up over John Henry selling the Red Sox in a few years. As the chart shows, fully one-third (33%) say they'd be "somewhat happy" if the billionaire bailed on the team—while another 20% actually say they'd be "giddy" about his departure. A similar 20% say they'd be "devastated" by such a sale, with just under one in three (28%) saying they'd be "mildly upset" if Henry sold the team. You can still vote in the poll HERE.

POLL: How Upset If John Henry Sold The Red Sox?

How 'broken-up' would you be if John Henry sold the Red Sox in the next few years?
 
pollcode.com free polls

Chunichi Dragons Holding Tryout For Daisuke Matsuzaka

(Getty Images)
Former Red Sox pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka will get a tryout next Tuesday from the Chunichi Dragons of the Nippon Professional Baseball League. The 37-year-old Matsuzaka has pitched only one game in the NPB since 2015—suffering a shoulder injury that required surgery. Over his entire Japanese professional career, Dice-K is 108-60 with a 2.96 ERA. His MLB record was 56-43 with a 4.45 ERA. He won a World Series Championship with the Red Sox in 2007.

Boras: Reported Sox Offer On Martinez 'Not Accurate'

Reports on Wednesday that the Red Sox offer for J.D. Martinez was five years and $100 million are being called into questionby Martinez's agent. According to Jon Heyman of FanRagSports.com, Uber-Agent Scott Boras told him that the reported figures were "not accurate". The numbers did seem a bit low (PERSPECTIVE EDIT: but not, of course, to the 99% of Planet Earth who would die for that kind of compensation). Stay tuned, this is sure to get nuttier.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Little Rhody Confab To Put PawSox Stadium On Ballot?

Rhode Island House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello will hold a "closed-door" caucus of his conference to decide how to respond to the Senate's passage of a bill to fund a new stadium for the Pawtucket Red Sox—the AAA affiliate of the Boston Red Sox. Failure to fund the project by the state would likely result in the team moving to Worcester, Massachusetts. Reportedly, Mattiello wants to ask caucus members what they are hearing from their constituents about the financing plan. The Senate measure puts forward a total of $44 million in both state and City of Pawtucket financing. One option is to put the plan before voters this coming November.

Olney: Red Sox Offer To Martinez Is 5 Yrs, $100 Million

According to a report by ESPN's Buster Olney, the Red Sox offer on the table to sign free-agent J.D. Martinez is: five years, $100 million. At $20 million per year, it's somewhat understandable that Uber-Agent Scott Boras is holding out—his likely minimum is six years, $180 million (or, $30 million per year). Clearly, the two sides are very far apart—hence the stalemate. But, all things considered, the Red Sox offer (to be fair) is not that far off what is really deserved. We think a sixth mutual option year should be added—and the price should go to $25 million per year (a total value of $150 million if the sixth year vests). That would probably get it done. We're available for arbitration services—ours is just a 1% fee.

Has Scott Boras Floated A 'Nuclear Option' On Martinez?

The ever-wily Uber-Agent Scott Boras keeps a stable of toadies in the mainstream sports media. It's long been rumored that, whenever he really needs to send up a trial balloon, he calls on a toady or two. Such may be the case now when stories are being planted that claim "one of the best free agents available this offseason" is confiding to friends that he is prepared to sit out until the middle of season. Not the start of Spring Training, or the beginning of the season—the middle. Why this radical approach? Because the offers for his services so far are "so incompatible with his production". Do you need The Amazing Kreskin to figure out that this is Boras talking about J.D. Martinez? Good, we knew our readers were smart. This is likely just another Boras ploy—intended to smoke-out Dave Dombrowski. So, in a weird way, we're kinda hoping it actually works.

Dombrowski Would Be 'Content' With Current '18 Roster

(Boston Globe Photo)
It's been more than three months since the Red Sox walked off the field as first-round playoff losers for the second straight year. In less than one month, the team will begin formal 2018 Spring Training workouts. So, would Red Sox honcho Dave Dombrowski be OK with heading into next season with the current roster? Said DoubleD on MLB Network Radio yesterday, "So yeah, we would be content. Would we rather do it? Yes. But again, we have to be flexible in our thought processes because you never know what is going to take place." Say what? We don't want no stinking "flexible in our thought processes"—we want a damn bat. We're all for patience—but obstinacy in the face of a dire need is just plain irresponsible.