by Mark Lawrence, International Editor
When David Ortiz talks – or rants, as some reporters assert – I sit up straight and pay attention. The most recent burr under Papi’s blanket has to do with this wacky Pace of Play initiative and, sportsfans – upon consideration - I believe he has a legitimate gripe.
My geographic remove oftentimes leaves me out of touch with the minutiae of MLB Policy, but Pace of Play confuses me a tad. Why does the game really need to be sped up? I mean, what’s the point? A trawl through the interwebs shows some interesting stats regarding average game length over the decades – and while I can’t vouch for the veracity of some of this information, it seems that in the past few decades, average game length has indeed increased – but only by some thirty odd minutes or so. Is that enough to warrant these surprisingly specific new rules and regulations? More importantly, though, I’ve been unable to find the Why of this.
Friday, February 27, 2015
merit will be the driving force in deciding the order of the Red Sox starting rotation. As it should be. Given the relative equality of the five candidates, whoever steps up in Spring Training should get the Opening Day start. When asked about this issue, manager John Farrell stated, "Merit is one. You factor in what’s taken place either the year or years before." Frankly, whether it's Clay Buchholz, Rick Porcello, Wade Miley, Joe Kelly or Justin Masterson doesn't really matter—getting a number one does.
the Red Sox have the sixth-highest international bonus pool—coming in at $3,681,000. The rankings are determined by reverse order of winning percentage from the previous year. However, Boston will be unable to sign any pool-eligible players for more than $300,000 through the 2015-16 signing window. This is the result of a penalty for going more than 15% over their current pool number (2014-15)—mostly due to their mega-signings of Cubans Rusney Castillo and Yoan Moncada.
Thursday, February 26, 2015
the Red Sox are showing "no sense of urgency" to make a trade for lefty ace Cole Hamels. While McAdams indicated that Boston is "monitoring" the trade market for Hamels, they are continuing to refuse the inclusion of either Mookie Betts or Blake Swihart in any package. GM Ben Cherington is in a good spot—since all the pressure is on Philly, particularly after Hamels made it clear he wants out of The City of Brotherly Love. As we get closer to Opening Day, the price (in prospects) for Hamles is bound to drop—even more so if the Red Sox pick up the bulk of the remaining $90 million on the lefty's contract.
|Papelbon (Top Left)|
as Jacoby approaches a new season, he's pretty cool with The Centaur. Said Ellsbury, "For whatever reason...he was friendly with me. He'd always say, 'Hello. How you doing?' So I always appreciated that. That's my memories of Alex. Whenever I got to third base, he was always seeing how I was doing. You appreciate that as a baserunner." Well, isn't that special? We hope they have a beautiful friendship in pinstripes.
Boston—with it's three championships in 11 years—is clearly out-doing the Steinbrenners. The Yankees have won once in the last 14 years (2009). During this active off-season, the Red Sox have spent a whopping $329 million on new acquisitions—and their 2015 salary will bust through the $200 million ceiling. And, they did not hesitate to spend $63 million on 19-year-old Cuban phenom Yoan Moncada—even with the severe penalties that came with that deal. Said Lucchino about the Moncada deal, "It speaks volumes about our commitment to winning that we’ve been talking about since we got here. That’s the basic rock on which the church is built." Amen.
Wednesday, February 25, 2015
asked if the team had discussed contract with David Ortiz beyond this year—the DH's last that's guaranteed—he was pretty direct. Said Cherington, "David knows he's going to be a Red Sox as long as he wants to be a Red Sox." Any questions? If he stay healthy and accumulates at least 425 plate appearances (he had over 600 last year), the 2016 contract provisions automatically kick in. We'll see if the issue of a guaranteed extension is a topic that comes up at all during Spring Training.
|(Photo Capture From Rob Bradford VINE Post)|
Tuesday, February 24, 2015
the planned move of the Red Sox AAA franchise from their city to Providence will "devastate" the municipality's economy. A group of Red Sox owners—including Larry Lucchino—recently purchased the team from the widow of the previous owner, Ben Mondor. The new owners plan to re-name the franchise as the "Rhode Island Red Sox" and play in a new riverfront stadium in the capital city. Pawtucket has been the home of team's AAA entry since 1973 (and was also briefly home of the AA franchise).
The Chicago Cubs announced today that they have hired Manny to be a major-league hitting consultant. Last week, it was reported that Youk was also hired by Theo Epstein as a part-time scouting and player development consultant. Be honest, whenever you think of Manny and Youk, you think: "Consultant". Anyway, Theo made the following comments about Manny, "Sometimes people say Manny is a hitting savant, but there was a lot of hard work that went into it in Boston. He's definitely thought through a lot of aspects of hitting. He's got a real intuition about what hitters are trying to do and what pitchers are trying to do to hitters and how to maintain proper swing mechanics." Manny being mechanic!
|Carlos Mesa While In The Pirates Organization|