Happy New Year!

Year_in_Review2.jpg


Happy New Year!

Harley the Original Boston Dirt Dog, English Bulldog, 2 years old, Kevin J. Lopes

(BDD Photo / Kevin J. Lopes)

From Harley and Eveyone at BDD


Ryan's Hope

"Here's what John Henry should know.

"His fans are dazed, confused, and more than a little annoyed that the front office seems to be under some sort of Bronx-cast spell. They see a team adrift, and they are very unhappy..."

"But get somebody -- not Larry Lucchino -- out front. The fans aren't buying the Ben Cherington/Jed Hoyer thing. It makes them nervous. So, John Henry, stop with the Fantasy League prep for five minutes and take care of business here." -- 12.31.05, Bob Ryan, Boston Globe

Burn Baby Burn

WWJDFD?*
*What Would Jilted Damon Fans Do?

Burn Baby Burn: Damon Inferno is Sweeping the Nation

Burn Baby Burn

(BDD Photos / Deidre Straley)

(We Don't Know What They're Thinking Either)

"3 Johnny Damon t-shirts = $60.00
Cooking Pot = $9.99
Gasoline = $2.75
Burning Johnny Damon shirts on Christmas Eve? ...Priceless!"
-- Deidre Straley


Wilbur: Birds of a Whether
Marlins Sign Pokey-Woulda-Had-It
The Gotham Baseball Guys and Their Rumors Just Won't Quit

Disgruntled Shortstop Miguel Tejada
is 'More Upset' with Orioles

Cowboy: Grow Up

Cowboy: Grow Up

Kevin Millar in the critically-acclaimed Still, We Believe

(BDD Photo / Kevin Millar in "Still, We Believe")

Millar Thinks Talk Shows Influenced Theo's Thinking; Blames WEEI for Breakup of World Series Sox

'We didn't give a (expletive) what people thought.' -- Kevin Millar

"'Where's the loyalty? Mark Bellhorn hits two of the biggest home runs in franchise history, but, sorry buddy, WEEI (850 AM sports talk radio) is wearing you about striking out, so you've got to go.'

'One thing I will never understand is how in Boston a radio station can control what a team does,' said Millar. 'We had something working, but then there was the constant pressure from talk radio.'"

"'I have been watching it from the get-go. I watched it with Derek Lowe. I saw it happen with Nomar (Garciaparra). I saw it happen with Pedro (Martinez). I saw it in 2004 when everybody was saying we needed a defensive first baseman. That is probably part of the reason they don't win. That's what made our group so special, because we didn't give a (expletive) what people thought.'" -- 12.29.05, Rob Bradford, Lawrence Eagle-Tribune


Seattle's Best Offer?

"An East Coast source said the Mariners are offering pitcher Gil Meche as well as center fielder Jeremy Reed, in an effort to obtain one of Boston's prized pitching prospects, Jon Lester (a Puyallup native) or Jonathan Papelbon, in a trade." -- 12.29.05, Seattle Times
(12.29.05: "It simply won't happen" -- Rob Bradford, Eagle-Tribune on WEEI)

Can Sox Get Shorty?

Orioles Sign Burnitz; Set to Keep Tejada?

"'There is absolutely no deal we find acceptable to trade this very special player to another team,' an Orioles official said." -- 12.28.05, Orioles sign Burnitz

ESPN Rumor Central: "The Orioles are seriously weighing a proposal from the Red Sox of Manny Ramirez and Matt Clement for Miguel Tejada, ESPN's Peter Gammons reports. Baltimore will weigh other discussions -- Philadelphia, the White Sox and Houston are also in on Tejada -- and decide early next week which way to go. They want a star in return for Tejada. Ramirez is better suited for Camden Yards. Tejada's agents are pushing for Boston so he can be united with good friend David Ortiz."

Can Sox Get Shorty?

Make an Offer for Tejada

(BDD Photo Illustration)

Tale of Two Tejada Trades

Will the O's Take Clement and Manny?

Even with Clement and Manny, Tejada Remains a Long Shot: "The Red Sox, according to one source, have made one of the most intriguing offers - outfielder Manny Ramirez and starting pitcher Matt Clement for Tejada - but several high-ranking Orioles officials remain opposed to trading the team's best player within the American League East.

"The Cubs, who are offering a package anchored by ace right-hander Mark Prior, are believed to be the most aggressive suitor for Tejada at this point, but the two teams still haven't come close to reaching an agreement on any deal, according to sources. The Orioles are believed to prefer Cubs starter Carlos Zambrano over Prior, and they also are reluctant to part with left-hander Erik Bedard in the deal." -- 12.28.05, Baltimore Sun

Manny to Mets in Four-Way Deal?

'Tis the Season for the Four-Way Trade Rumors on the Internet (File Under: Not Happening): "Multiple independent baseball sources have told GB that the Mets, Baltimore Orioles, Boston Red Sox and Tampa Bay Devil Rays are working on a four-team megadeal that would send -- eventually -- Miguel Tejada to the Red Sox, Kris Benson and Julio Lugo to the Orioles, Aaron Heilman and prospects to the Devil Rays, and Manny Ramirez to the Mets.

"We've been able to piece together some aspects of the deal, but they are subject to change as the teams continue to communicate with one other.

"Mets would send Heilman and (Kaz) Matsui (and $5 million) to Tampa Bay for Lugo. Then New York would send Lugo, Kris Benson, Brian Bannister and Victor Diaz to Baltimore for Tejada, and then send Tejada to the Red Sox for Manny Ramirez." -- 12.28.05, GothamBaseball.com Rumor Mill

Wilbur: Roger on the Rebuild
Wilbur: Blue Thunder
Mets Sign Chad Bradford

Rough Outing for Reardon

Rough Outing for Reardon

Jeff Reardon

(AP and file photos)

UMass Alum and Former Sox Reliever Charged with Robbery
(Get Well Soon Jeff)

Millwood? Sox Wouldn't

Millwood? Sox Wouldn't

Cleveland Indians starting pitcher Kevin Millwood reached a preliminary agreement on a $60 million, five-year contract with Texas, Monday Dec. 26, 2005, giving the Rangers the legitimate No. 1 starter they have been seeking.

(AP Photo)

Sox Won't Go Past Three Years; Millwood Goes to Texas
(Turns Out He Can't Play Center, Short, or First Anyway)


Jacoby's Ladder

Rush to Judgment in Center?: "If I were the Red Sox, I’d take Jacoby (Ellsbury) to (major league) training camp in February. If he’d get 50 at-bats during spring training, they’d find he is a lot closer to being big-league ready than they thought. He’d probably hit .250 and steal some bases and play well defensively and they’d go, ‘Wow.’" -- 12.27.05, OSU Coach Pat Casey

'Twas the Night Before Christmas

'Twas the Night Before Christmas

Red Sox Santa

(Frank Tencza Photo / Arts Unlimited)

'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the Nation,
We were angry that Johnny gave in to New York’s temptation;
Our Red Stockings were hung when Damon took the dare,
(After Manny told him to get the hell out of here);

The GMs were nervous all snug in their beds,
While visions of an irate Larry Lucchino danced in their heads;
Praying for the return of Theo and their fleeing stars,
Window lights were left on; the doors were ajar;

When down in the Crown Royal room there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed as it must be some pressing matter;
Away to the tube, turning NESN on in a flash,
I saw the whole GM committee, Charles trying to make a big splash;

Larry stands up to speak, no time for hello,
He’s reporting “Manny to the Mets” is finally a go;
We get a No. 1 prospect, that’s the whole deal,
Now there’s a hole in left field, this all seems unreal;

When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But that getaway gorilla and John Henry in the rear;
He stepped out of his costume, looked ready to attack,
This is the big moment, Theo Epstein was back;

More rapid than Roberts his ops guys they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name:

"Now, Kapstein! now, Hoyer! now, James and Cherington!
On, Lajoie! on Shipley! on, Jauss and O’Halloran!
To the top of the list! Time to make some calls!
Now dash away! dash away! dash away all!"

Players leaving in droves, after the Series flag fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, they take to the sky,
Can Theo trade Wells and poor Matt Clement?
Losing faith in our genius? And his money well spent?

More holes than Swiss cheese, and no idea how to fill ‘em
The fans upset, and miss Manny, Mueller, and Damon;
So down to spring training to Ft. Myers they flew,
With the roster full of boys, and old free agents too.

And then, in a twinkling, he came to the mound,
The prancing and pawing of this new throwing hound,
Laying his finger aside of the seam,
No blisters now thanks to Stan’s Rodeo Cream

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
He went into his windup; then turned with a jerk,
As he threw out his hand, and was coming around,
Down towards home plate, the ball took off with a bound;

He threw like the old Rocket, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment, Beckett was starting to click;
His heater’s mid-nineties, the curve ball has bite,
Let’s mark him down for nine innings a night!

With some new guy in center, A fill-in at short,
A no-name at first, forget run support
But then just like before, Papi let the ball fly,
‘Tek threw out base stealers, hit long drives through the sky,
Lowell had the old stroke back, when he hit ‘em they flew,
They all batted around, Alex Cora too;

I sprang to my feet, to the team gave a whistle,
They circled the bases, Josh threw another missile;
The good times were back for our rebuilt ballclub,

"NO MATTER WHO LEAVES BOSTON, PENNANT FEVER STILL GRIPS HUB"

Damon Got Scrooged

Damon Got Scrooged

Jed Hoyer (left) co-general manager of the Red Sox, Larry Lucchino (center) president of the Red Sox and Ben Cherington (right) also co-general manager of Boston Red Sox talk to the press today December 21st 2005 Boston MA. They held the press conference to talk about the news of Johnny Damon going to the New York Yankees.

(Boston Globe Staff Photo / Dominic Chavez)

Sox Brass Blew It with Three-Year Offer

"According to Damon, that realization hit in November, when Boston made its first offer, which Boras confirmed to be three years and $27 million.

"'I knew I became a free agent after I got the three-year offer,' Damon said.

"Boras echoed that sentiment, saying, 'I don't think he ever considered leaving before receiving that offer'"

"The Sox' only apparent action on the matter this past week was to impose a deadline of Christmas Eve for Damon to accept their offer or watch it expire. Damon said he got that news at about 7 p.m. Tuesday, a few hours before committing to the Yankees, and 'it didn't sit well with me.'

"At that point, he knew $40 million 'was their last offer . . . I thought I was more important there. I know to the fans I was.'

'''I think there was, there could have been, division [within the front office],' Damon said. 'That's what brings me here today. These guys know what direction they're taking, [they] know exactly what's going on.'"

"Cashman phoned Damon over the weekend.

'''At that point,' Cashman said, 'he was disgruntled with how the process had gone with the Red Sox negotiation for whatever reason, but he was also honest in the fact that he had a very strong bond with that fan base. Separating himself from that Red Sox Nation -- and I thought this from the very beginning -- was going to be more difficult than getting him away from the Red Sox team. That was the biggest hurdle.'" -- 12.24.05, Chris Snow, Boston Globe

Manny Shooting His Way Out of Town: Tells Damon to Go to NY
"Manny said, 'You should go to New York,' Michelle Damon told The Post." -- 12.24.05, NY Post

Father Knows Best?

"Mark it down: It's going to be another Babe Ruth. They sent Johnny off just like they sent off Babe Ruth. It's going to be another big, big mistake. They made the biggest mistake of their lives. The Yankees are going to win it with Johnny in there. I think Boston will always remember the day they let him leave." -- 12.22.05, Jimmy Damon (Johnny Damon's father)

Rock Star Talk Was Cheap Trick

Johnny Cash
Walks Over the Line

Johnny Damon of the New York Yankees poses in the Yankee Dugout after being introduced as the new Yankee center fielder on December 23, 2005 at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx Borough of New York City.

(Getty Images Photo / Al Bello)

And Enters the Ring of Fire

Johnny Dapp

Johnny Damon of the New York Yankees tries on his hat after being introduced as the new center fielder on December 23, 2005 at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx Borough of New York City.

(Getty Images Photo / Al Bello)

Clean-Cut Damon Puts On the Pinstripes
Photo Gallery: Heeeere's JohnNY!
Damon Talks About Being a Yankee

"There are some upset players over there (in Boston)."


Rock Star Talk Was Cheap Trick

Frank Galasso Illustration

(Boston Dirt Dogs / Frank Galasso, cartoonist)

Damon: 'There's no way I can go play for the Yankees'

Red Sox Fans Feel Betrayed by Damon
Sox Fans Begrudge Gift to Yankees
A Hairy Predicament for Sox Fans
Damon Departure All the Buzz
End of the Love Affair

Last minute shopping? Damon cutouts half off at iParty!

(Boston Globe Staff Photo / Pat Greenhouse)


Will it Be Stern in Center? Cora at Short?
Pioneer Press: 'Forget About Hunter Going to Red Sox'
Sun Times: Sox Talking to Cubs About Patterson

The Latest Buzz: Sox Keep Movin' on Wells
Talking to Dodgers About Pitchers Yhency Brazoban or
Duaner Sanchez, 3B Willy Aybar, and 1B Hee-Seop Choi
or SS Cesar Izturis in Possible David Wells Deal

New York's Fair-Haired Boy

Yankee Clipping

He's New York's Fair-Haired Boy

Fair-Haired Boy

(AP Photos)

It's Johnny's Bad Hair Day

Clipped Johnny is Now on the Spot
In the Bronx, Johnny Be Good
Photo Gallery: Damon in New York


Sox Strike Back at Empire!

John Flaherty No. 17 of the New York Yankees hits a single to score Alex Rodriguez No. 13, cutting the Seattle Mariners lead to 2-1 in the second inning at Yankee Stadium on May 10, 2005 in Bronx, New York.

(Getty Images Photo / Ezra Shaw)

Boston Steals Backup Catcher John Flaherty

Johnny Appleseed

Johnny Appleseed

Former Red Sox player Johnny Damon returns to the Regency Hotel Thursday, December 22, 2005 in New York City.

(Boston Globe Photo / Andrew Gombert)

He'll Take Manhattan

Good Riddance Johnny

Sung to the tune of Good Riddance (Time of Your Life) by Green Day

Another long drawn out Scott Boras episode
George grabs him by the wrist, directs him where to go
So take the cash and defect to the other side
It's not a question, because we know the reason why

Johnny left for the money, his agent by his side
I hope you had the time of your life.

The Damon photographs now cost $1.99
Cardboard cutouts are half off for a limited time
No more Michelle hosting NESN's show "In Style"
We'll watch you fade and then get old in those pinstripes

Johnny left for the money, his agent by his side
I hope you had the time of your life.

-- BDD lyrics / Jared Pellegrini

Getting ready for work

(New York Post Photo Illustration)

Damon Shirt on the Hot Seat:
'My Sensible Reaction to Johnny Damon Signing with the Yanks'
CBS4 Video: Dan Roche Talks to Johnny About Leaving Boston
CBS2 Video: One-On-One With Johnny Damon in New York

Damon to the Dark Side

Damon to the Dark Side

Boston Dirt Dogs, Damon to the Dark Side, Meir Weinberg

(BDD Photo Illustration / Meir Weinberg)

Hench: Good Riddance Johnny
'I hope you had the time of your life'

"Good riddance, Johnny Damon, self-proclaimed American idiot.

"Though I suppose it was hardly unpredictable that the New York Yankees would overpay a star player as he heads into the decline phase of his career, I guess I thought Damon might be the one guy who could resist the siren call of Delilah.

"But no, just as Samson was seduced and betrayed by that treacherous woman, so, too, has Damon capitulated to the overtures of the dark side. Delilah had to coax Samson to sleep in her lap before she had a Philistine shave off his strength-inducing locks. Damon, presumably, will willingly submit to George Steinbrenner's shears as he joins Goliath — after helping slay that particular Philistine in 2004.

"Samson's hair had been a symbol of his covenant with God. Damon's hair had been a symbol of his covenant with good in its unending opposition to the Evil Empire. After being shorn, Samson awoke to find that both God and his strength had left him. Will Damon suffer the same fate? (For the sake of Red Sox Nation, he must.)

"Sapped of his strength, Samson was captured, blinded and sent to grind meal in the prison house at Gaza. Damon — blinded by Steinbrenner's millions and Scott Boras' wild exaggerations — has now also been captured, pulled in by the Death Star's tractor beam..."
-- Kevin Hench, continued at FOXSports.com

Sox Left Hanging

Damon Chokes Up

Johnny Puts Sox on the Spot: "I know fans are upset. I’m sorry. It wasn’t even close and obviously the money looks like a huge factor, but the fact that they wanted me real bad, they courted me. There was a 6-year offer for more money than the Yankees. I’m walking away from $25 million from another team, so I can play for four years in New York... It was difficult with many other people gone... trainers, players, Millar screaming at the top of his lungs ... (chokes back tears) ... that’s the stuff I’m going to miss," Johnny Damon told CBS4's Dan Roche Wednesday night from his home in Orlando, Fla.

"I was just trying to get the best offer," Damon said.

On NESN's "Red Sox Now," Damon said the Yankees came back with a five year offer and another team offered six years and more money. They (Damon and Boras) decided a four-year deal was better as it offered more guaranteed money, “I’ll be 37 (at the end of the contract), a lot of 37-year-olds are getting (nice) 2-3 year contracts… they (Yankees) kept everything quiet, possibly came in and stole me… After the last contact with the Red Sox (Tuesday night), it wasn’t going to happen… even teammates for the Red Sox all felt like this was the right decision… I tried last offseason (to get a deal done), for part of the season up until the All-Star break, I tried, up until yesterday… I wish them the best. John, Tom, and Larry…Those owners are great people… hopefully they can get on track (on Yawkey Way).”


Sox Left Hanging

Jed Hoyer (left) co-general manager of the Red Sox, Larry Lucchino (center) president of the Red Sox and Ben Cherington (right) also co-general manager of Boston Red Sox talk to the press today December 21st 2005 Boston MA. They held the press conference to talk about the news of Johnny Damon going to the New York Yankees.

(Boston Globe Staff Photo / Dominic Chavez)

Extra Bases Blog Sox Lose Damon to Yankees:
Lucchino, Cherington, and Hoyer Face the Nation

Christmas Leave: Sox Set Deadline to Pull Offer

How did this transpire? Did you guys pull your offer, a four year, $40 million deal, off the table?

Lucchino: We did not. What we did do was to say that we wanted this thing to be resolved by Christmas (Eve.) and it would expire at that time if we weren't able to reach an agreement, and we were talking about the offer that we made on Dec. 6.

The offer that you made to Scott Boras in Dallas. Did you ever make a subsequent offer or was that the last offer?

Lucchino: We... I think it's fair to say that we left the door ajar for a subsequent formal offer. What we did in Dallas was a formal written offer. We never sent another formal written offer.

Did they ever make a counter proposal back?

Lucchino: This is what we were hoping to avoid wasn't it Jed? In and out and this and that... There's a danger if we get into this that it leads to kind of an editorial comment on how they conducted the negotiations or how we conducted the negotiations. As Jed said earlier, we don't see that to be fruitful at this stage.

Just to clarify, for the Christmas (Eve) deadline, was that just for the offer you presented on December 6th?

Lucchino: It was. But there was a suggestion that we were eager to sit down and talk further and do that by the end of... by Christmas Eve.

You needed an answer one way or another?

Lucchino: No, no... we said we wanted... it was an invitation to have further discussions in hopes of getting that done by Christmas Eve.

Did they ever respond to that?

Lucchino: Not to me they did not.

Is this something that is done? Setting a deadline like that?

Lucchino: I think it happens with some frequency and again it was not for arbitrary reasons, it was because we had an offer out there for several weeks and we needed to know and Christmas time is not an illogical time before baseball shuts down for a week or 10 days as it always does to have a sense of whether you have a deal or don't have a deal. -- 12.21.05, Red Sox president Larry Lucchino

Sox GMs Caught By Surprise

Co-incidence?

Sox Co-GMs Caught By Surprise

Jed and Ben

(Boston Globe Staff Photo / Jonathan Wiggs)

The Great Unknown

Red Sox co-GM's Jed Hoyer and Ben Cherington spoke to the media Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. via conference call, just a few hours before the news of Damon's departure broke.

Where are you guys at with Johnny? Waiting to hear from him?

-- Jed Hoyer: “As far as where the ball is on the court right now, I’d say we never really talk about how that process is going. I think it is a negotiation. It’s ongoing. But I think that obviously now with him rejecting arbitration that puts a bit of a deadline on it. So, there is a deadline to the negotiation but I think that things are still progressing well. We’re still having a lot of conversations with Scott and at least from our vantage point, those are very productive."

-- "The dialogue… we’ve had a lot of dialogue with Scott. I think that I would expect that dialogue will probably pick up a little bit as we get closer to the deadline… there are more teams that have traded for or signed center fielders, so the market in some ways is clearer. There are more knowns now than unknowns. As far as the actual negotiation, I still think that something that’s sort of between the Red Sox and Scott and Johnny so I would hesitate to talk about how that impacts the negotiation but sure obviously the further we go down this road the more things become known and the fewer things are unknown."

-- "Our absolute priority is to bring Johnny back and have him in center field next year but it would be irresponsible if we just sat back and didn’t explore alternatives in case we cannot make that happen, so yeah we’re always working on both fronts and there’s no question that as the winter goes on some of these fronts go away. It is a very delicate balance, it’s something we face in some way, shape, or form every offseason."

Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow

Here's JohnNY!

Johnny in Pinstripes

(BDD Photo Illustration)

The Pinstripes Pinhead

"We're going to be tough to beat... Our policy with the Yankees is to go out there and win... Our job is to try to win another American League East title and hopefully we can go back to the World Series and bring another championship..." -- 12.20.05, Johnny Damon

Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow

Johnny, Alex, and Jeets

(BDD Photo Illustration)

"We were notified at 11:55 tonight that Damon had accepted an offer from the Yankees."
-- 12.20.05, Red Sox president Larry Lucchino in an e-mail to The Associated Press

ROCK STAR SHOCKS SOX;
JED&BEN LET JOHNNY DAMON
SLIP AWAY TO THE YANKEES

Angry Nation Stunned and Chagrined;
There's Another Big Hole in Our Sox

Johnny Damon has agreed to a 4-year, $52 million contract with the Bronx Bombers

Edes/Snow: Damon Jumps to Yankees
Shaughnessy: For Sox, A Little Off the Top

"This signing will polarize the Nation. Most fans will paint the current Sox bosses as buffoons and there's good evidence to support the charge. But others will see Damon as a traitor, a mercenary ballplayer no different than Messrs. Clemens or Boggs. Damon went to the Yankees because they offered him $52 million over four years while the Sox offered $40 million over four." -- 12.21.05, Dan Shaughnessy, Boston Globe

Survey: Who's to Blame in the Damon Debacle?
Photo Gallery: Possible Replacements in Center
Your Turn: Sound Off on the Sox Losing Johnny Damon to the Yankees

Johnny Pleads His Case

12.20.05: Johnny Damon spoke to television station CBS4 Boston on Tuesday night:

"It was a very tough decision but New York came after me aggressively and that's what sealed the deal. They showed that they really wanted me, and I tried with Boston for them to try and step up but unfortunately they didn't and now I'm headed to New York, something that I wasn't quite sure would happen but I'm very excited. The players were calling me and trying to recruit me. They did a heck of a job doing it. It's with mixed emotions. I'm very happy to be starting a new career and sad to say bye to some of the greatest fans in the world. Unfortunately they had to see this day but it's time for me to move forward.

"We know George Steinbrenner's reputation. We know George Steinbrenner’s reputation. He always wants to have the best players, and I think he showed that tonight. He and Brian Cashman came after me hard and now I'm part of the Yankees and that great lineup and we're going to be tough to beat. They've been bolstering their team, making their bullpen better. It's a little different but I'm very excited."

“No, (the Red Sox did not match the offer), I made contact with them. I talked to Tito (Francona) and I told him they need to really get going because if not, I'm going to be on another team... I actually thought it would be tomorrow or Thursday when we agreed in principle and we were actually able to hammer things out tonight. Unfortunately Boston had other plans. I'm not sure if they knew that I meant it but now I'm a Yankee and hopefully now they can go off and get one of the center fielders they've been courting for the past month or so.

"Without a doubt (he'll cut his hair and shave his moustache). Mr. Steinbrenner has a policy and I'm going to stick to it. Our policy with the Yankees is to go out there and win and we're going to try to bring another championship to them. They haven't had a championship since Chuck Knoblauch was there, when they had a great leadoff hitter. I think the leadoff role has been underappreciated over the years but I think with the teams that have won lately, Scott Podsednik this year, myself last year, Juan Pierre the year before, a good leadoff man is tough to find, and I think that New York just found the best leadoff hitter in the game.

“My message to Red Sox fans is I tried, I tried everything in my power to try to come back. Unfortunately I know they are going to be upset but I'm always going to have a strong feeling about them. I'm always going to remember the great times. The World Series. The three out of four years we made the playoffs. I just want them to know that I appreciate them and I tried and that's the least I can do. I know they're going to continue to root for the Red Sox which they should and I'm going to win another World Series. That's what I have to do now. I'm going to be a member of the New York Yankees and our job is to try to win another American League East title and hopefully we can go back to the World Series and bring another championship to them."

Johnny Judas?

Johnny Judas?

(Boston Globe File Photo)

Will He Keep Pitching Those "Red Sox Nation" Cards To Us On TV?

Yankees Bloat

yankees_bloat560.jpg

(BDD Screenshot of ESPN / David Suspanic)

The Best Team An Obnoxious Amount of Money Can Buy


New York Stories

New York Post and New York Daily News

NY Post; NY Daily News; Newsday; NY Times


Big Apple Circus

Johnny Damon Has Arrived

(AP Photo)

Johnny Damon Has Arrived
(But He's Not in New York Yet)

Longtime Damon Fans Livid

Damon Fans Turn White

Disciples Remain in Disbelief

Time for Another 'Queer Eye' Makeover

BDD_carson_damon.jpg

Get Carson on the Phone

Here Comes the Clean Shaven Damon

Clean Shaven Damon

He's in a New York State of Mind


Nobody Did It Better

PM_9.24bg.jpg

(Getty Images Photo)

Goodbye Michelle

(Pat Greenhouse / Boston Globe Staff Photo)

The Real Cost of the Damon Loss:
NESN Must Find New Host for "In Style"
Will Juliana and Manny Ramirez Be the Next Couple to Go?


New York Monkey Business

Frank Galasso Illustration

(Boston Dirt Dogs / Frank Galasso, cartoonist)

Manny Needing Money?

Manny Needing Money?

Red Sox slugger Manny Ramirez memorabilia on display at the new SportsWorld store on Route One in Saugus

(Boston Globe Staff Photo / Jim Davis)

Ramirez Gets Cold Cash for Emptying Sox' Closet
(Is He Setting Up That Charitable Foundation with the Extra Dough?)

File Under: When $160 Million Is Not Enough
(Whose Stuff Is It Anyway?)

"I talked to people at the ballpark and they said every night he (Manny) would put stuff aside." -- 6.20.05, Sportsworld's Phil Castinetti on WEEI

2006 Season Going Down the Tubes?

2006 Season Going Down the Tubes?

Stan's Rodeo Ointment

(BDD Photo: Stan's Rodeo Ointment)

Beckett, Blisters, and Bull-Riding

"'It' is a brown, gooey substance that just might be the difference-maker in Boston's quest for a fourth straight playoff appearance. Applied religiously, and correctly, Beckett's blisters appear to be no match for the stuff, a welcome notion for those Sox fans who have already lived through former Red Sox Derek Lowe's battles with the ailment." -- 12.20, Rob Bradford, Eagle-Tribune

Thanks Blue-tiful

Thanks Blue-tiful

Nomar's a Dodger

(AP Photo)

Nomar Says He's Not Injury Prone
... Alrighty Then

"Despite having played in only 21 big league games in 2001, 81 in 2004 and 62 last year, Garciaparra maintained he's not injury-prone.

"'No, not at all,' he said."

So, will there be a new red-tape boundary for reporters
in the Dodgers' clubhouse now?

"They (fans) don't believe in us, they all think we're just a bunch of spoiled millionaires who are all juiced up on steroids." -- 6.18.03, Nomar Garciaparra

'Tis Their Season

'Tis Their Season

Frank Galasso Illustration

(Boston Dirt Dogs / Frank Galasso, cartoonist)

They've Been Good for Goodness Sake


Masterful Class of '97 at UMass
CBS4: 'Seanez a Red Sox'

California Signin'

Beach Bum

Nomar's in L.A.

(BDD Photo Photo / Peter Stasiowski)

Nomar Agrees to One Year Deal with Dodgers

California Signin'
Sung to California Dreamin' by the Mamas and the Papas

L.A.’s his new town -- Nomar’s brand new town
At first he will play -- Was he on eBay?
Will he walk the walk -- Or just talk the talk
On a summer’s day -- With Grady making hay
He'll be safe and warm -- He'll be safe and warm
Now that he’s in L.A. -- Finally in L.A.
California signin' -- California signin'
Where’s Nomar’s big payday?

Married Mia in a church
In Californ-i-a
Well, he got down on bad knees -- Got down on bad knees
And he began to pray -- He began to pray
You know Boston fans are cold -- Boston fans are cold
We knew he’d go away -- Afraid of East Coast play
California signin' -- California signin'
Does Coco go away?

When Nomar left our town -- Nomar left our town
We didn’t have to pay -- $60 million to save
He still won't take a walk -- He won't take a walk
Or do what Grady say -- Or do what Grady say

If he would have signed here -- If he would have signed here
For two more years we’d pay -- Worse than the Edgar mistake
California signin' -- California signin'
Poor Nomar's at first base
California signin' -- California signin'
Poor Nomar's at first base
California signin' -- California signin'
Poor Nomar's at first base

"Sun, beach, what else is there?" –- Nomar Garciaparra, circa 2002

It's a Whole New Ball Game
The Bat Man

Loco for Coco?

Are the Sox Loco for Coco?

Coco Crisp on the Jake scoreboard in June 2005

(TechIMO Photo)

Report: Sox May Be Looking to Get Crisp from Cleveland
for 3B Prospect Andy Marte and Reliever Guillermo Mota;
But it May Depend on Where Nomar Ends Up

Nomar's Still Affecting Sox

(AP Photo)

"According to two major league baseball front-office sources, the Red Sox went into last night primed to pull off a deal with Cleveland which would send newly-acquired third baseman Andy Marte and relief pitcher Guillermo Mota to the Indians for outfielder Coco Crisp.

"The trade is reportedly partly contingent on the Indians' ability to sign Garciaparra, a free agent, with the purpose of putting the former Red Sox shortstop in right field. The move would make the 26-year-old Crisp expendable, helping Boston fill a need in either left or center field, depending on the return of Manny Ramirez or Johnny Damon." -- 12.16.05, Rob Bradford, Eagle-Tribune (Rob also walked in Wally's shoes)

WEEI: Lucchino Finally Speaks to D&C
Extra Bases: Roger Clemens Loves Boston

Thank You Mr. Bill

Thank You, Mr. Bill ...

Offense and Defense

(Jim Davis / Boston Globe Photo and Elsa / Getty Images Photos)

... For Being the Consummate Professional

Shaughnessy: Mueller Leaves an Enduring Mark with Sox

Billy Ballgame Turns Dodger Blue

Dan Roche, Right Again (Like Chris Collins on Tedy Bruschi)
When You're Right, You're Right

Excuse Me Edgar?

Newsday: Torre pitches to Damon, Nomar
Photo Survey: You Make the Moves
Wilbur: In Short, It Won't Be Nomar
News from the North Pole: Two Fans Want Nomar Back,
and They Both Started Web Sites


Excuse Me, Edgar?

Home of the Mr. Brave

(AP Photo)

Mr. Ed Adds Infield to Injury

Dirty Trick: Brave Blames Fenway
for His Big Time Sox Flop

Our $22 Million Dollar Mistake is Suddenly
Making Excuses for His Horrible Showing in Boston
Rent-a-Wreck Blames Fenway's Infield for Errors
and a Bad Back and Legs for Lousy Season

Rent Wanted Out Like Manny and Wells
Did He Even Bother to Get in Shape for His New Club, Con-tract?

"Edgar Renteria last night acknowledged that he 'wanted out of Boston,' but not because of the Boston fans (he called them 'more demanding' than those in St. Louis but said he came to appreciate it) or his comfort level with the American League (he said it was increasing). Rather, he cited the Fenway infield, which he said contributed to his major league-leading 30 errors.

"'It's one of the main reasons why I didn't feel comfortable,' he said, speaking in Spanish yesterday when reached by phone in Miami.

'''I worked a lot last year to feel comfortable and just couldn't. It's one of the reasons why I wanted out of Boston.'"

"The 30-year-old shortstop also confirmed last night that he dealt with back and leg injuries this season, which he said limited him to '50 to 60 percent' at times, though he didn't say how much of the season he spent coping with those injuries.

"Renteria said he 'pulled [his] lower back and leg' catching a ground ball, though he wasn't specific as to when that occurred. He was clear in that it handicapped him.

"'It was really uncomfortable,' he said. 'It is not the same thing to play at 100 percent than at 50 or 60 percent. But I think that God doesn't let his children get roughed up.'" -- 12.12.05, Chris Snow and Luis Andres Henao, The Boston Globe

But He Made 14 Errors on the Road to Go with 16 at Fenway
And the Infield Was Brand Spankin' New to Boot

"So this offseason, the Red Sox owners did something even more fundamental to shore up their defense than signing Gold Glove shortstop Edgar Renteria.

"They ripped up the old field and rebuilt it.

"For the first time since the major league’s oldest park was built back in 1912, the playing surface has been dug up, down to as much as two feet, and completely reconstructed. And even though the dimensions of the park will be exactly the same, the field will definitely look different. Especially the infield.

"It’ll be flat. There will be no blade of grass in the Fenway infield any higher or lower than the one next to it. The old Fenway infield was crowned, to encourage water to drain off. They were playing baseball on a hill. The grass around the base of the mound was as much as eight inches higher than the foul lines. So a ground ball to first or second might bounce or roll a little to the right, and one to short or third might head a little left. Or it might not. Not great for your team fielding percentage."

"The infield of Joe Cronin and Bobby Doerr and Nomar, and the outfield once patrolled by Tris Speaker and Ted Williams and Yaz, is gone, dug up and replaced down to its roots. Head groundskeeper Dave Mellor, who planned and supervised the work, said “I thought about all the people who played out there, the impressions that field made on so many peoples lives. It was a great privilege, but also a lot of responsibility. Nothing this major had ever been done. It’s probably the most antiquated field in baseball.”

"And subsurface soil packed down more in some spots than others after 92 years of use. That old mess has been replaced with a 3-inch layer of gravel specially manufactured so all the grains are uniform in size, on which is laid a grid of perforated 6-inch drainage pipes, and a modern automated irrigation system.

"On top of all the pipes, they laid nine inches of USGA-certified sand (the kind approved for use on golf courses). Then they laser-leveled everything, to make sure it’s REALLY flat. Actually, there will still be a slight crown, but only in the outfield. About 40 feet past the infield dirt things will slope off slightly toward the outfield wall and the foul lines, to help with drainage. It’ll barely be noticeable."

“Next to my daughters being born and getting married, the Red Sox winning the World Series and being part of putting in a whole new field are my biggest dreams come true,” Mellor said. He declined to say how much this new field of his dreams cost to build. One source suggested it was several million dollars, the going rate for a No. 3 starter these days. If it helps reduce some of those excruciating unearned runs and turns a bunch of games from Ls to Ws, it could be one of the best offseason acquisitions the Red Sox have made." -- 1.25.05, David Ropeik, Boston.com

Truth Be Told: He Never Blamed the Field Before; Said He Was Healthy

"Renteria claims that he's simply made physical mistakes in the field, that the burden of a new city and a pennant race are not affecting him. He also claims that nothing is wrong with his body. The fact that he dives so rarely gives the suggestion that he might be injured, but that, he said, is not the case." -- 9.15.05, Chris Snow, The Boston Globe

"'It's been different,' he (Renteria) said of finding his way with the Sox, 'but when you're struggling, it doesn't matter if you're here or the National League or Japan.' -- 5.2.05, Gordon Edes, The Boston Globe

"'I'm going to show Tony that I can play here.'

"How about the booing during the series with the Braves last weekend? 'That doesn't bother me one bit,' said Renteria, who went 1 for 13 against Atlanta. 'If you're not doing the job, people have the right to boo you. If I don't give them a reason to cheer for me because I'm doing good, what can I say?'

"'I know the fans in Boston are the best in baseball. When you perform the way you're supposed to, they're behind you. When I play the way I'm supposed to play, the Boston fans will be behind me.'

"Renteria, who signed a four-year, $40 million deal, isn't denying that he has a lot to live up to. He wants nothing more than to justify the faith of Terry Francona and Theo Epstein, in particular, who went to ownership over the winter and sold them on Renteria.

"'All I can do is try to work my way out of it,' said Renteria. 'I work every day with Papa Jack [hitting coach Ron Jackson]. Mike Barnett has helped me, too. Everyone is trying to get me going, but I have to go out and do it myself. I know this will come because I know myself. I know how hard I work at it.'" -- 5.25.05, Nick Cafardo, The Boston Globe

Lucchinote: Don't Hire These Guys for Co-GMs

"'Edgar is a guy who's going to hit .300 and win a Gold Glove,' Ramirez said. 'He's a guy who will do a lot of special things, be a runner, get a big hit, that's part of his game.'"

"'He's pretty much Jeter, without that notoriety,' Johnny Damon said. 'He's that solid of a player.

I got asked last year, `Who is the most underrated player in baseball?' " said Sox reliever Matt Mantei, Renteria's Florida teammate in '97 and '98. 'I said, `Edgar.' He hits .300 every year, plays great defense, is one of the best clutch hitters in the game, doesn't get a lot of recognition. He's quiet, laid back, plays for his team. He's awesome. He hasn't changed a bit.'" -- 4.11.05, Chris Snow, The Boston Globe

"'He doesn't have to say anything,' Clement said, when asked if Renteria apologized to him (for a costly third-inning error, allowing an Alex Rodriguez two-hopper to carom off the heel of his glove into the outfield). 'When I was on the Cubs, that was the one shortstop I wanted to play with. He's going to make a lot of plays that will over shadow that one.'" -- 4.6.05, Chris Snow, The Boston Globe

"David Ortiz told Renteria, 'you've got two different jobs. If you're not hitting, then you've got to do the job with the glove. He's a smart player. We're going to see a very good player there.'" -- 4.9.05, Nick Cafardo, The Boston Globe

"'We've known all along that Edgar is a great player,' said manager Terry Francona. 'When you sign a four-year deal and come to Boston, you're supposed to be a great player on Day 1. Edgar's smart enough. He didn't panic. Hopefully, we can get him on a roll because we need him. We know he's going to be good. He had a big impact on the game. That's going to happen a lot.'"

"'In September, Edgar is going to be right where we think he should be with his numbers,' said Nixon. 'This guy has a proven track record. He's done the job year after year. This guy can play. He doesn't have to prove anything to us. We all heard of him and his reputation before he came in this locker room and he's lived up to it.'" -- 4.15.05, Nick Cafardo, The Boston Globe

"Jason Varitek also is optimistic the Red Sox and Renteria will turn it around. 'I just know,' he said. 'Guys will start getting their hits. [Renteria] is working his butt off. He wants to be the player we know he is capable of being. We all have a ton of confidence in Edgar. He is going to do well for this team. We need him to do well for this team. He's been a very clutch player everywhere he has been and he will be here, too.'" -- 5.22.05, Paul Harber, The Boston Globe

The Renteria Regimen

ER_12.15_bg.jpg

(Boston Globe Staff Photo / Jhony Olivares Rodriguez)

Get the Edgar Renteria Offseason Dominoes-Workout DVD
Act Now and Get a Renteria Commemorative Error
Holiday Tree Ball:

The Edgar Renteria E-6 Ball

Playing at Fenway... For Now

Now Playing at Fenway

Ben and Jed's Excellent Adventure

(BDD Photo Illustration)

Going Straight to DVD?

Thanks Bountiful

Thanks Bountiful

Nomar, Alex, and Derek

NY Post: 'Just Say Nomar'
Yanks Looking at Garciaparra for First Base

Callahan: Henry Offered Theo Pres. of Baseball Ops Job
Wilbur: Trump: The Game
Bradford: Beattie Down, But Not Out


Super Santa

Frank Galasso Illustration

(Boston Dirt Dogs / Frank Galasso, cartoonist)

Now That the Excitement of the Co-GMs Conference Has Died Down
We Can Focus on the Pats for a Second

New Sheriffs in Town

Just Say Co!

Ben Cherington, Jed Hoyer, and Larry Lucchino

(Left to Right: Ben Cherington, Jed Hoyer, Larry Lucchino -- Boston Globe Staff Photo / Justine Hunt)

New Sheriffs in Town

Sox Name Hoyer, Cherington Co-GMs
(But Offer Nothing Official on Theo)
Extra Bases: Press Conference Transcript

Red Sox Apprentice: Sox Go for Co-GMs

Ben and Jed... and Theo?

The New Click Five

(L-to-R: Bill Lajoie, Theo Epstein, Jed Hoyer, Craig Shipley, Ben Cherington / BDD Photo Illustration)

Gammons: Jed Hoyer and Ben Cherington to be Co-GMs
Wilbur: Curtain call for Epstein


Red Sox Apprentice

Report: Gammons and Wally Out of
Sox GM Hunt as Surprise Pair Emerges

Wally the Green Monster and Peter Gammons

(Boston Globe File Photos)

'Restructuring' Decision, Details at 3:30 p.m. Today

Red Sox Apprentice: Former GM candidate Peter Gammons reports today that the Red Sox will name in-house staffers Ben Cherington and Jed Hoyer co-GMs, with a possible return of Theo Epstein also on the horizon.

With that announcement, the two Apprentice finalists, Gammons himself, the former Boston Globe scribe now nationally known major league baseball writer, analyst, and commentator, and Wally the Green Monster, longtime Red Sox baseball operations foot soldier, were rumored to have been have told by Lucchino that they are both out of the running for the GM position.

Both Gammons and Wally were still agressively campaigning in the past week to win the job outright. Gammons' man-on-the-street efforts paid off with the fans, as he won the meaningless popular vote survey. Wally worked his in-house liasons and media contacts to get his plans out in a public forum.

A source familiar with the late night GM debate said the team was still deadlocked in a midnight vote between Gammons and Wally, so out of the blue, they decided to give the job to a pair of in-house employees vowing to "figure it out as we go along." Lucchino, not exactly a favorite of Gammons and vice versa, voted for Wally along with Tom Werner, Ben Cherington, Bill James, Dave Jauss, and Zach Scott. Red Sox principal owner John Henry voted for Gammons along with Bill Lajoie, Jed Hoyer, Craig Shipley, Brian O'Halloran, and Jeremy Kapstein.

More details to follow as they become available...

Survey Said: Sox Fans Go for Gammons


NY Times: Epstein May Return to Sox

"How the new structure will work is unclear. Lucchino would not confirm Epstein's role, but he said in a telephone interview: 'The door has been left ajar for some time. That's obvious to everyone. So we'll see what happens over time.' Was he saying that the door had been left ajar for Epstein to return? 'We haven't replaced him yet and he hasn't taken a position yet, so by definition it's been left ajar,' Lucchino said." -- 12.12.05, Murray Chass, The New York Times

You Can Go Home Again

You Can Go Home Again

Roger Clemens, Roger Clemens

(Boston Globe Photo / Paul Benoit) )

Sox Looking to Bring Back Clemens

"'We had an internal discussion,' said Sox CEO and president Larry Lucchino, 'and concluded we should make an initial call to let the Hendricks brothers know we were open to discuss Roger's return if he should have interest in the Red Sox in 2006.'" -- 12.11, Nick Cafardo, Boston Globe

Making Roger's Return a Reality Isn't Rocket Science

The Real Cy Young Award is Still Up for Grabs
Red Sox Career Wins:
Cy Young -- 192
Roger Clemens -- 192

He's Still the Same Old Roger

Roger Clemens, Roger Clemens

(AP File Photos)

(...Hopefully No. 21 hasn't been given to Beckett yet. Could be a deal-breaker.)


Extra Bases Blog
Lucchino Speaks: 'Restructuring' Announcement This Week
Red Sox CEO Talks about Theo, The Gang of Four, Beckett, Renteria, Manny...
and Palace Intrigue

GM in the Spring for Theo?

"Epstein's new title may not be permanent, however, with some indications pointing to his return to the organization's general manager position as early as spring training. The switch will largely depend on redefining the duties of president/CEO Larry Lucchino, whose role in the organization continues to be revamped in order to pave the way for Epstein's re-emergence."

"At one point, outside consultation was brought in to analyze Lucchino's role within the organization."

"Insiders suggest that Epstein sided with a group of Red Sox executives who were leaning against the Josh Beckett trade."

"Overpaying for center fielder Johnny Damon is also reportedly a concern of Epstein and his supporters, who seem to be targeting trades for Seattle center fielder Jeremy Reed and Cleveland's Coco Crisp as a backup plan. Lucchino, meanwhile, has been spearheading the Damon negotiations." -- 12.11.05, Rob Bradford, Eagle-Tribune

Henry: Lucchino Not on the Outs

Is Theo Walking Through That Door?

Theo Walking

(BDD Photo Illustration)

Globe: 'Sox Work on Return of Epstein'

"Red Sox ownership is working to bring back former general manager Theo Epstein in a consulting/advisory position, according to team sources.

"Epstein would advise Jed Hoyer and Ben Cherington, the members of the Sox' baseball operations team who are expected to serve as co-general managers for the 2006 season, barring a last-minute reversal by ownership. It is not known whether Epstein, who on Oct. 31 declined a three-year, $4.5 million contract offer to remain as GM, has been formally approached yet by the team's principal owner, John W. Henry, or team chairman Tom Werner, but Henry and Werner have made their intentions known internally, the sources said." -- 12.10.05, Gordon Edes and Chris Snow, Boston Globe

Shaughnessy: 'Would Lucchino Quit if Epstein is
Brought Back Against His Wishes?'

"The Red Sox might bring Theo Epstein back into the fold in some capacity soon, and it could be causing some problems upstairs. We all know that Henry loves Theo like a son and was devastated when Epstein resigned. Team CEO Lucchino took the fall and has since admitted making mistakes in the Epstein contract negotiations. With the possibility of Epstein returning in some capacity, Henry and Lucchino could be in the midst of their first major showdown. The guy with the billion-dollar bank account always wins that one. Ben Cherington and Jed Hoyer are expected to be named co-general managers, possibly as early as this weekend. That wouldn't rule out Theo coming back as an adviser. But would Lucchino quit if Epstein is brought back against his wishes? No one was saying much on the record yesterday. " -- 12.10, Dan Shaughnessy, Boston Globe

Gammons on 'EEI: Is Theo Still Pulling the Strings?

Larry and Theo

Larry Johnson: If Theo were still running the show, do you think he would have operated the same way in terms of endorsing...

Peter Gammons: You don't think he is?

LJ: I'm sorry...

Gammons: You don't think he is?

LJ: I don't know, is he?

Gammons: (four seconds of silence) Umm, yeah, he definitely would have operated the same way.

LJ: Do you think he still has some contact with them with input?

Gammons: Yes. I don't think there's any question... of course he talks to them, he's very good friends with them all.

Glenn Ordway: You're not giving the impression, because it's been thrown out there, Buster Olney's thrown it out there, that he still believes there's a chance that Theo's gonna come back in that position. You don't believe that's gonna happen do you?

Gammons: (three seconds of silence) Yeah. I think there's a chance. I mean, there's certain things you couldn't script and they're all laughing about this today. There are things that are very funny and I'm not being cruel about it but one of the funniest things, and the thing we in Boston have been laughed at most, is people actually saying and writing that Jerry Kapstein is gonna be the general manager. That is the single funniest thing... it's become the laughing stock of the United States... He's a wonderful guy. He's a terrific guy but he hasn't been in baseball a long time... he's a very well meaning, terrific person... I don't know where it's all going. There's always contact because he's friends with those guys. This thing has gone on a long time. There is nobody on the general manager horizon. I could see maybe they would do it, although (Bill) Lajoie reiterated today that he doesn't want to be the general manager, I could if there were no way Theo came back, I could see them continuing this group. But there's no one there right now that they've interviewed who's a candidate.

Ordway: But with everything that's happened, how would Theo come back and take that role?

Gammons: John Henry never wanted him to leave in the first place and Larry never wanted him to leave. I think that. There are things that I always believed could be cleared up. Larry Lucchino wants the team to be really good. And by the way, he did a phenominal job down here with the whole Scott Boras negotiations with Damon... Right now, I'm not sure it could happen, but I don't really see what else they will do... they've made no move to go in another direction... they're all adults (and can clear up past problems). I'm not saying it's happening. I just think it can happen... it seems strange to me that 37 days (after Theo left) there would be nobody on the horizon to replace him... If you knew Theo Epstein, one of the things you would understand that one of the things he's best at is saying 'you know what, I'm wrong' and moving on (as he would have done on Renteria)."

Gammons Archive: 'Lucchino Wants Epstein Back'

"Some in the ownership group hold out hope that Epstein can resolve his differences with Lucchino and return as the GM. Contrary to some reports, Lucchino has not rejected that idea, and wants Epstein back." -- 11.9, Peter Gammons, ESPN.com

New WEEI Audio: Shipley, Gammons, Schurholz
Photo Gallery: Going, going, gone

Damon back? Ramirez out?

Will Damon Be Back?
Will Ramirez Get Out?

Michelle Damon in Escada and Juliana Ramirez in St. John Couture.

(Boston Globe File Photo)

Depends Where Johnny Signs
And If Manny Gets Traded

Herald: Sox at Limit with Damon?

"According to baseball sources, the Sox might not be prepared to move much from the four-year, $40 million offer currently being offered to Damon. Agent Scott Boras began the offseason by indicating Damon is seeking a seven-year contract, but reliable sources have indicated Damon actually is seeking a guaranteed five-year deal." -- 12.9.05, Boston Herald

Gammons: Will Manny Ramirez get traded?

"Not now. His personal problems are his responsibility, not those of the team. The Angels will not give up value, and neither can the Mets. The three-way with the Dodgers and Phillies (Ramirez to L.A.; Derek Lowe, Trot Nixon and a prospect to Philly; Bobby Abreu, J.D. Drew and a prospect to Boston) fell apart quickly. For $160 million, it is Ramirez's job to accept some adult responsibility. He can ask to be traded, but he has no right to demand one. He can sit at home and forfeit $57 million, or he can forfeit the last three years and pay $40 million in damages to be a free agent." -- 12.8.05, Peter Gammons, ESPN.com Insider (subscription)

Inside Job? Hoyer-Cherington to Share GM Duties?
Mora the Same: Another Oriole Chirps
Wilbur: Swap Meet | Gallery/Survey: Shortstop Options

Get Miggy Wit It

Get Miggy Wit It

Make an Offer for Tejada

(BDD Photo Illustration)

Now We're Talkin': Tejada Wants to be Traded

"A source close to the All-Star shortstop indicated Tejada would welcome a trade to the Red Sox. Tejada, who is close with Sox slugger David Ortiz, has four years remaining on a six-year, $72 million deal he signed with the Orioles. 'He’s always played well there and he wants to go to a winner,' the source said." -- 12.9.05, Boston Herald

Survey: Manny for Miggy?

Smarte Move

Smarte Move

Atlanta Braves rookie Andy Marte drives in a run with a sacrifice fly off Los Angeles Angels pitcher Paul Byrd in the fourth inning Tuesday, June 7, 2005, in Atlanta, in this June 7, 2005 photo. The Boston Red Sox gave up on Edgar Renteria just one year after lavishing a four-year, $40 million contract on him, trading the shortstop to the Atlanta Braves on Thursday Dec. 8, 2005, for third baseman Andy Marte.

(AP Photo)

Atlanta's Andy Marte is Quite the Prospect
(But the Braves Third Baseman Started Out as "K-Marte")

More Marte: BP's Interview with John Schuerholz

May 2005 -- BP: How will the near-term future of Andy Marte be addressed? We rated him as our #1 prospect this year, he's producing at Triple-A, you've got question marks at the corner outfield spots, and you've got Chipper Jones, by our metrics one of the worst defenders in the majors, playing third base. At what point do you bring up Marte and move Jones back to the outfield?

Schuerholz: Chipper Jones was a perennial All-Star at third base. We moved him to left field to accommodate Vinny Castilla, who by everyone's admission was a better third baseman. Chipper did not take to it, he did not play his new position well. It was physically debilitating to him, hard on his legs. We brought him back to third base, not just for physical reasons, but with the idea that it would help his bat as well. If you have a player the caliber of Chipper Jones, a potential future Hall of Famer, you accommodate him.

Are we delighted to have Andy Marte? Absolutely. And it will likely happen for him at third base. On the other hand, could he be a Miguel Cabrera-type player, where he plays some left field, right field, some first base? Maybe. You can't really analyze the value of Chipper Jones if you just look at statistical defensive analysis. Because then you don't see what his impact is when he drives in the winning run in the ninth inning. It's important to feed some positivity to a player like that. If Marte does what we think he's going to do, he'll be in the big leagues very shortly.

BP: Another consideration with a player like Marte is the question of starting his service-time clock. How much of a concern is that for you, given the budget constraints the Braves and every other team must face?

Schuerholz: It's never an issue for us. Maybe that's just because of my attitude--we always seem to have quality talent in the pipeline behind the guy whose time clock starts, behind the guy who's going to get more expensive than his quality of play demands. So we'll just put another player in that role. We have great confidence in our scouting and development program, that we have a very full pipeline of talented players. If they're good enough, there's really no problem--they'll earn their way into a starting spot.

Gammons Chimes In on Marte

“In their (Atlanta) organization, he’s the best player they ever traded. (Atlanta Asst. GM Dayton) Moore makes the point that he would have been in college last year and the question would be who goes first, he or (No. 1 2005 draft pick) Upton… the thing that this administration tried to do is build for the future and contend at the same time. This deal gives them a chance to do both. They’ll probably go out and sign the Florida Alex Gonzalez who in my mind next to Cesar Izturis is one of the best defensive shortstop in the game. And he’s got a little pop. Sign him to a one-year deal and see what happens or maybe a two-year deal, but there’s no other market for him so… they’re just looking for defense at shortstop. They’re going to talk to other guys. I know they talked to Anaheim a little bit about Maicer Izturis, Caesar’s half-brother from Anaheim. …The Red Sox wouldn’t take three more years at $8 million for Orlando Cabrera… the Angels tried to dump him (Cabrera) all week.

“As Dayton Moore said to me today ‘This is one of those deals that people in Boston will say ‘oh’ and about ten years from now they’ll say ‘remember when they made that trade.’

“He had an .880 OPS in the international league as the youngest everyday player in the league. It’s remarkable. He’s a great kid but they had to get rid of him (because of Chipper Jones will be the Braves third baseman for the next five years). Absolutely (he stays with the Red Sox).”
–- 12.8.05, ESPN’s Peter Gammons on WEEI

Sox Pay $11 Million (Or a Year of Damon)
to Get Out of Theo's Edgar Rentererror

Red Sox shortstop Edgar Renteria can't field this ball cleanly during an April game at Fenway Park vs. the Yankees.

(Boston Globe Staff Photo / Jim Davis)

Extra Bases Blog from the Winter Meetings
Edes: Adios, Edgar; Bienvenidos, Andy Marte
Marte is described as a throwback third baseman by Bill Lajoie, a big thick-bodied power hitter
who projects as a 25-30 home run guy when he establishes himself in the big leagues ...
Some candidates to fill Renteria's shoes include Alex Gonzalez, Royce Clayton, and Pokey Reese

MLB: Myers to Yankees; CBS4: Mueller to Dodgers
Wilbur: Docket Full of Change
Your Turn: This (Shortstop) Space for Rent
Wilbur: Sox Short on Options
Survey: Who Should Play Short?

Sox Make Rule 5 Draft Picks

A Short Stop in Boston

Moving Day

Moving Day for Rent-a-Wreck

(BDD Photo Illustration)

ONE AND DONE
The End of An Error

RENTERIA TRADED TO BRAVES FOR 3B PROSPECT MARTE

Edgar Renteria lays down a bunt in September

(Boston Globe Staff Photo / Jim Davis)

The Long Swinging, Weak Hitting, Slow Running, Bumbling Fielding, Lacking in Leadership
$40 Million Shortstop is No Longer Our Problem

Thanks for That Big Weekend in New York and ... ...

The Globe's Gordon Edes is reporting that "the Sox and Braves have agreed to a deal sending Edgar Renteria to Atlanta in exchange for top prospect Andy Marte (third baseman). The deal will be finalized as soon as commissioner Bud Selig OKs the money exchanging hands between the teams. The Red Sox are expected to pick up part of the $29 million remaining on Renteria’s contract over the next three years." -- Story

From the Ridiculous to Sublime

Renteria
Sung to Santeria, by Sublime

I don't malice Renteria
He ain't gonna hit the ball
Had $40 million dollars but he
Theo spend it all
If we had Miguel Tejada
Another leader we’d have found
Oh well, I'll pop a note to Tito and he’ll move Edgar down.

What I really wanna know
La Russa
mmm What you really want to say
He’s sensitive
Well his glove, that we neeeeed, oh
ER will have to -
Hide till he get back
Find handshake of his own
Tito's gonna love one and all

He hears the boos, hears the boos,
heeeears the boos
And he got to suck it up, oh yea huh
Well I swear that he

What I really wanna know
La Russa
What you really want to say
He’s sensitive
That glove make it go-woh
Rent-a-Wreck will have to...

What he really wanna say
La Russa
What he really wanna say
Is I've got mine
Edgar, will he make it?
oh Yes, Hanley comin' up.

Tell shy guy that if he knows what is good for him
he best go run and hide
Fans got a new No. 45
And they won't think twice to stick that signing straight down Theo's throat
Believe me when I say we could get something for his slumping ass

What I really wanna know
La Russa
What he really wanna say
He’s not the one
Look back, and he'll ma-e-a-e-ake it, yeah
But we will have to wait yeah, yeah, yeah, yeeea, yeah, yeaah


A Short Stop in Boston

Nowhere to hide at Fenway

(Boston Dirt Dogs Photo Illustration / Brian Shamis)

Rent May Be Looking to Hide at Fenway Next Season
if They Can't Run Him Out of Town Today

Not Exactly Votes of Confidence
in Theo's Big Signings:

'Sox Work on Renteria Deal'
and Try to Toss Clement to the Brewers

"As midnight came and went last night, representatives of the Red Sox and Braves were talking about a deal that would send Edgar Renteria to Atlanta for third baseman Andy Marte, the Braves' top prospect, according to a source with direct knowledge of the talks. The sides intend to talk again today, the fourth and final day of baseball's winter meetings."

"The Sox were in the running for Overbay, a lefthanded-hitting first baseman (.276, 19 HRs, 72 RBIs in '05), offering pitcher Matt Clement. But Boston's refusal to pick up any of the remaining $19.25 million on Clement's contract, a Brewers source said, led the Brewers to accept a deal with the Toronto Blue Jays." -- 12.8.05, Chris Snow and Gordon Edes, Boston Globe

La Russa Laid It Out for Us

"He’s a sensitive and shy guy and this is why a lot of us worry about him coming into Boston. You know Boston, there’s a lot of expectation here, the fans are very passionate. And they’re not going to be as forgiving as they were in St. Louis. So we’re concerned that if he doesn’t really play to their expectations and they start hootin’ on him, and I know fans don’t want to hear this, but it will not help an Edgar Renteria. I think it will hurt his feelings, and I’m just telling you he’s a really great guy, he’s very good player and I think it’s gonna be hard for him to hide here and I think it takes a special type to play in Boston. Somebody who really likes the attention. Not being able to hide will really bother Edgar." -- 5.17.05, Tony "I told you so" La Russa

Clement and the Confidence Issues

"The Red Sox have $25.5 million invested in Clement, under the terms of a contract that has another two years to run. They will not simply yank him from the rotation without some attempt at allowing him to save face. Maybe he comes out of the bullpen tomorrow, gets a couple of outs, and puts to rest, at least temporarily, the growing conviction that when the spotlight is brightest, he fades into the shadows.

"'That's always been the rap,' said one major league scout who watched Clement labor through 3 1/3 excruciating innings Tuesday, allowing eight runs while consistently missing his target by a wide margin. When Clement, head lowered, walked off the mound to the sound of what has been for years the White Sox national anthem, 'Na, Na, Hey, Hey, Kiss Him Goodbye,' you half-expected a hooded executioner waiting for him on the top step of the dugout." -- 10.6.05, Gordon Edes, Boston Globe

Wilbur: Market Correction on Theo's Signings

"A year ago, we fell for press conferences introducing David Wells, Edgar Renteria, Matt Clement, and John Halama (yes, they actually had one for him), trying to convince ourselves these guys were the answers to the question as to whether the Red Sox could repeat. Wells and Clement would easily replace Pedro Martinez and Derek Lowe, and Renteria, well yeah it was a lot of money, but this was a Gold Glove-winning on-base machine we were talking about.
"As it turns out, not one of them has what it takes to succeed in Boston." -- 12.7.05, Eric Wilbur, Boston.com


Extra Bases Blog from the Winter Meetings
Edes: Wells's Market Shrinks
The latest word is that the Dodgers, A's, and Giants are all out of the David Wells sweepstakes.

Hench: Grady's brain cramps: Not just Pedro

So Long Cowboy

Goodbye Cowboy

Millar montage

(Globe and Wire Photos, and BDD Photo Illustrations)

Cowboy Rides Off into the Sunset
(He'll Be Missed Around These Parts)

''These were the greatest three years of my entire life playing baseball," he said. ''Playing for the Red Sox, playing for Boston, that city, those fans. And that's 100 percent from my heart.

''It's sad, of course. I don't think there is anyone that did more laughing, more winning, more competing than this team, and who would believe that it is over.

''I don't think people will realize until these guys are gone what they were like, a good group from 1 to 25 that knew how to win on a daily basis." -- 12.8.05, former Red Sox first baseman Kevin Millar

Goodbye Belli, Hello Loretta

Sweet, Loretta!

Red Sox Trade Catcher Doug Mirabelli to San Diego
for Second Baseman Mark Loretta

Belli_Loretta_BDD.jpg

(Scott Halleran and Jed Jacobsohn / Getty Images Photos)

Goodbye Belli, Hello Loretta

Second Helping: Sox Acquire 2B Mark Loretta from Padres

The Three Amigos?

New York Monkey Business

Frank Galasso Illustration

(Boston Dirt Dogs / Frank Galasso, cartoonist)


The Three Amigos?

Johnny, Alex, and Jeets

(BDD Photo Illustration)

Is Damon in a NYY State of Mind?

"'I think New York's a great city,' Damon said ... Damon also thinks the Yankees have a great team, and he's thought about joining them. 'I have,' he said. 'That's a lineup people dream about. It would be one of the best lineups we've seen in a long time.'"

"'They're just one of the teams in the market right now,' Damon said of Boston. 'They've had all the time in the world, and I've given them every chance before last season and during the season. It wasn't until after the season that they wanted to start talking. By that time, I'd taken all the risk and played through all the injuries.'"

"'Now I'm a free agent, and I'll see what's out there. I'm excited about it.'"

"'The clubhouse is changing. Our team doctor is gone, and our team chiropractor is gone ... Bill Mueller will be gone. And Kevin Millar, who was instrumental in keeping the clubhouse loose,' Damon said. 'There's been a lot of changes. That's why signing me early was very important.'"

"'We were guys who didn't care about The Curse. That's the reason we were able to win. Without certain guys, it's going to be tough. There were a lot of changes last year, which never should have happened. Pedro and Derek Lowe could pitch on the big stage.'" -- 12.7, John Heyman, Newsday

Rock $tar Changed His Tune Apparently

"'There's no way I can go play for the Yankees, but I know they are going to come after me hard,' Damon said. 'It's definitely not the most important thing to go out there for the top dollar, which the Yankees are going to offer me. It's not what I need.'" -- 05.01.05, Alan Eskew, MLB.com

Does Boras Really Have a 5/$70M Deal for Damon?

Rent-a-Wreck on Trading Block

Rent-a-Wreck
on Trading Block

Edes Says Renteria Could Be Going to Atlanta

Rent-a-Trade?

(AP Photos)

Are the Sox Exiting Edgartown?

"...the Red Sox were moving aggressively to trade shortstop Edgar Renteria."
-- 12.6, Gordon Edes, The Boston Globe

Atlanta Constitution Confirms Trade Rumor

"Atlanta would send a top prospect, likely third baseman Andy Marte, to Tampa Bay and the Devil Rays would send shortstop Julio Lugo to the Red Sox in the deal (for Red Sox shortstop Edgar Renteria), which was characterized as "percolating" late Tuesday by a person familiar with the talks. -- 12.6, David O'Brien, Atlanta Journal-Constitution


Extra Bases Blog from the Winter Meetings
Not So Fast: Moving Manny May Not Happen So Quickly
Committee Splits Up to Lay Groundwork

Gammons on ESPN: "The Sox nearly cancelled the Beckett deal when they saw the MRI on his shoulder." File under: Yikes!

Bottoms Up for John!

Bottoms Up!

Red Sox first baseman John Olerud makes a great diving stop of a ball on the foul line off the bat of Chicago's Scott Podsednik. He held on, got up and tossed to David Wells covering for the first out of the bottom of the fourth inning during Game 5 of the ALDS.

(Boston Globe Staff Photo / Jim Davis)

Olerud Retires. Raise a Glass for a Man with Class.

Big Job for Little

Grady's Back in The Show

Los Angeles Dodgers' Tommy Lasorda, right, stands by Grady Little following a press conference where Little was introduced as the new team manager during the winter baseball meetings on Tuesday

(AP Photo)

Big Job for Little: Managing the Dodgers

"I know that wherever I go, I'll do the best I can," Little told the Globe's Gordon Edes in Oct. 2003. "I know what we did there. I'm sorry the results of one decision caused so much pain, and it sure helped sell a lot of papers. I feel bad for it. But gol'dang, I can't turn back the clock and make another decision, not knowing whether the results of that decision are good or not... If Grady Little is not back with the Red Sox, he'll be somewhere. I'll be another ghost, fully capable of haunting."

Ghost is spelled G-R-A-D-Y

(BDD Photo Illustration)

DodgerBlues.com Strikes Gold with Grady

Troy Story

Troy Story

Troy Glaus

(Nick Merrill / BDD Photo Illustration)

Glaus Could Become the New Boss in Manny Trade

"One source involved in negotiations with the Red Sox confirmed that there is substance to the rumor that the Sox are working on a three-way deal with the Arizona Diamondbacks and Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in which the Sox would ship Ramírez to the Angels, the Angels would send prospects to the Diamondbacks, and the Sox would receive a package of players that includes power-hitting infielder Troy Glaus. Those talks, the source emphasized, remain in the preliminary stage, but he expressed hope that a deal could be done by the end of the meetings." -- 12.6, Gordon Edes, Boston Globe

Wilbur: Fault of Troy
Olney Insider Blog: 'Still a Chance Theo Returns'

Names Tossed Around: Lugo, Shoppach, Youkilis, Huff, Snow...
NY Daily News: Are Angels Out of the Manny Race?

Henry speaks on Theo, Lucchino, Manny and The Trade

The Owner Opens Up

John Henry Talks About Theo, Lucchino, Manny and The Trade

Eagle-Tribune's Rob Bradford: So if a GM wants to make a trade he picks up the phone and calls Larry?

Red Sox owner John Henry: No. He calls the general manager.

Rob Bradford: That's what I mean ...

John Henry: Well, Bill Lajoie has been the point man, but it depends on who is calling. If the Mets are calling, well they were talking with Peter (Woodfork). Things are divided up. The David Wells stuff has been handled by (Craig) Shipley. Things are divided up. It's necessary. It doesn't work as well as it has worked in previous years, but it works. We lost a terrific GM and a terrific assistant general manager (Josh Byrnes). Last year I feel we had five members of that staff who hadn't been GMs yet who will be one day.

John Henry

Henry on the trade for Josh Beckett: "I made the point that one could argue that signing A.J. (Burnett) to a long-term contract was potentially cheaper than giving up a number of prospects and acquiring the players we acquired."

On Larry Lucchino being hated: "He's forthright. He doesn't hold back, and therefore he becomes a lightning rod. But that doesn't prevent him from being the best CEO in baseball... I saw a story in the paper that Johnny Damon and Larry had had dinner when they hadn't had dinner. Larry could have just said, 'No' when asked, but he not only said 'No' but went on to say how it was absolutely 100 percent false. He is a lightning rod because he expresses himself in no uncertain terms."

On Theo Epstein being emotionally drained: "I know that he had to get sick of me saying, 'You need to take time off,' or 'You need to take a vacation this week.' For him it was always next week. Three years later ... "

On the possibility of trading Manny Ramirez last July: "The consensus was that there was not a deal involving Manny that made sense to the team. There was not a deal that would have put us in a situation where pitchers would not pitch around David." -- 12.6, Rob Bradford, Eagle-Tribune newspapers

Who's Your Caddie?

Who's Your Caddie?

Who's Your Caddie?

(AP Photo)

Pedro's Got the Eye of the Tiger

Photo Caption: Met' pitcher Pedro Martinez from the Dominican Republic (center) putts as Dominican President Leonel Fernandez (left), Mets president Jeff Wilpon (third from right), and Red Sox DH David Ortiz (first from left) look on during the inaugural ceremony of the FUNGLODE Golf Cup in La Romana, Dominican Republic, last Friday.


Extra Bases Blog
Texas Two-stepping: Edes Checks In

Rosenthal: Sox Interested in Trevor Hoffman?
World Baseball Classic: Damon, Tek to Play for US
There's No Denying It: Sox, Damon Meeting Tonight

NY Post: Ballplayers Involved in Phon-y 'Scam'

Wilbur: What are the Odds on a Nomar Return?
Gammons on GM by Committee: Hoping for Hoyer?

"Boston has a 26-person contingent arriving in Dallas. Larry Lucchino will continue his GM search, which to his credit has played out to ensure the best choice, not to expedience or he who leaks the most to the parent Boston Globe. There have been some comical suggestions, but Hoyer is older than Epstein when Theo got the job, more experienced and has been Epstein's right-hand man for his tenure as Boston GM. He also understands the requirements of owner John Henry, who is a great boss and not going to allow the franchise to drift to mediocrity." -- 12.5, Peter Gammons, ESPN Insider (subscription only)

Bob Lobel's Larry Lucchino Interview
Sox CEO Admits Mistakes in Theo Negotiations
Denies Having Dinner with The Damons

Response to the 'KeepManny' Movement... Is Manny Behind It?

Final Two in The Apprentice

Red Sox Apprentice

Survey: It's Down to the Top Two for Red Sox GM,
Gammons or Wally? Make Your Pick.

El Tiante and Mrs. Damon are Out;
Gammons and Wally are Still Alive

Luis Tiant and Michelle Damon

(Luis Tiant 1975 - Boston Globe File Photo / Michelle Damon - Boston Globe Staff Photo, Essdras M. Suarez)

It's Down to the Final Two as Lucchino Cuts
Damon and Tiant from GM Contention

Red Sox Apprentice: Down in Dallas, it's two down, two to go. Red Sox CEO Larry Lucchino released a statement indicating that he had spoken to both Luis Tiant and Michelle Damon late on Sunday to inform them that they are no longer being considered for the vacant GM position.

“Former Boston Red Sox Manager Darrell Johnson once said about Loo-iee ‘If a man put a gun to my head and said I'm going to pull the trigger if you lose this game, I'd want Luis Tiant to pitch that game,’” said Larry Lucchino, who is en route to the winter meetings in Dallas. “As I noted in the New York Times, it may be time for us to be looking internally for the solution to this puzzle. So to start with we took a look at Luis Tiant, an instructor, ambassador, and fan favorite in our baseball operations group who just turned 65 last month. We were highly impressed with his passion and eagerness to learn the job and lead the bowling alley even after the winter meetings and in the old timer’s tenacity, sticking with this ongoing process.

A source familiar with the Tiant discussions said “The Sox felt the job would just be too demanding for him (Tiant) so they went in a different direction. They know El Tiante’s been out of the game longer than (Jeremy) Kapstein. He needs to devote much of his energy selling those $8.00 Cubanos while RemDawgs is breathing down his neck.”

“Luis doesn’t care if we keep Manny or Trade Manny,” said the person authorized to speak for Tiant. “And he thinks Rick Miller can replace Damon in center. If he has his way with Francona and the pitching, we’ll have Schilling throwing 165 pitches an outing in a 'That 70’s Show' remake."

Tiante would only say ''I had dreamed about being a general manager for a long time. But with no experience, I never thought I would get a chance to interview. I’m thankful for the chance ... and I hope my colleague Wally gets the job. He deserves it.''

The much ballyhooed Damons and their agent Scott Boras were rumored to be in town over the weekend having dinner at The Hotel Commonwealth, though Lucchino denied it. Hey Scott, can we see the books on Chan Ho Park and Magglio Ordonez? And the while the negotiations on a new contract continue, Lucchino informed the couple that Michelle would not become the first woman GM in the game.

NESN’s “In Style” host was a surprise Final Four survivor. Those close to the Red Sox GM extravaganza say the team was trying to kill two birds with one stone, fill their GM role with someone that would ensure Johnny stays in a Red Sox uniform. With 11 people to share the GM duties, they figured she could just act as the spokesperson for the group on television. And they lock up Johnny.

At the end of the day, it was determined that Johnny Damon could be signed without taking the last resort step offering the GM slot to his wife for "Theo money." It was simply a creative compensation method to add overall dollars to the Johnny Damon signing package, something that was not in Boras's book, something the Yankees cannot do with Brian Cashman locked in the GM role.

“We thank Michelle Damon for seeing the process through and congratulate her on being a final four contestant” according to Lucchino’s statement. “We look forward to her being a major player in the media cartel for many years.”

“Although our primary goal was to lock up Johnny by promoting Michelle, it was much more than a courtesy interview,” said Lucchino. “And she was flat out impressive in her knowledge of the marketplace and how we operate.”

(Michelle) Damon did not return calls seeking comment. (Johnny) Damon would only say “She was a little shocked ... she thought she’d be a good GM ... I would definitely have stayed to help her with it but ... she’ll be fine and has plenty of other projects going on. We’re going to go back to Florida now and we’ll take a ride in the boat and hang out ... it’s all good ... and I think Peter Gammons could be a very good general manager so we’ll see what happens ... I’d like to sing in his All-Star band ...”

Lucchino is confident that either Wally or Gammons will emerge as the new GM before the meetings in Dallas are complete.

Click Five Heads to Dallas

The Sox Click Five

(The (Real) Click Five: L-to-R: Bill Lajoie, Jeremy Kapstein, Jed Hoyer, Craig Shipley, Ben Cherington / BDD Photo Illustration)

Appearing Live in Dallas All Week

...or is it the Click Six with Lucchino? ...Or the Click Four if you subtract Kapstein? ...Or Click Seven if you add Zach Scott and Brian O’Halloran? Or Click 11 if you add Bill James, Dr. Thomas Gill, Les Otten and "Pookie" Jackston to Scott and O'Halloran plus the original five? Or...


Next GM Could Be an Insider

"'It's getting to the time that it's appropriate that we consider internal as well as external candidates,' Lucchino added. In other words, a member of the general manager by committee could become the general manager." -- 12.4, New York Times

Extra Bases Blog
GM-By-Committee (Sans Kapstein) Previews the Meetings

Edes: Wells, Mirabelli to Pads for 2B Loretta?
Soriano Part of Manny-to-Texas Deal?

Globe and Mail: Sox Called J.P. About Manny

Drinking the Kapstein Kool-Aid?

Shaughnessy's Talkin' About Jeremy

Is Everyone Drinking the
Kapstein Kool-Aid?

Kapstein Kool-Aid Man

(Silver Bullet Comic Books / BDD Photo Illustration)

Just Add Kapstein for Instant GM?

"That leads us to an alternate scenario of giving the job to longtime baseball man Jeremy Kapstein for one year, with the young guys continuing to have significant input. Kapstein has already said he will do it for short money.

"With that option, how can Lucchino hand the job to Beattie, who wants three years, and, in all likelihood, something in the neighborhood of $1 million per? He can't -- or at least he shouldn't. There's a reason Beattie hasn't been given this position by now. The reservations are there, maybe in Lucchino's mind, as well...."

"Lucchino knows Kapstein well, having tapped his baseball expertise for years, both in San Diego and Boston. In spite of his extensive contacts, there's no doubt Kapstein is an unorthodox choice. He does not fit the visual bill of a public relations conscious franchise that likes polished people out front. Kapstein prefers windbreakers and shirts purchased at Wal-Mart. Of course, if it's image the Sox are worried about, that's nothing a haircut and a nicely cut suit (from somewhere other than Wal-Mart) can't fix.

"So do it, already. Stick with the group that brought you Beckett, Lowell, and Mota, and the first bit of positive spin you've had in weeks. Give Kapstein the GM title for a year, let the young guys continue to grow, and revisit your future next fall. Maybe you'll get lucky and Mark Shapiro will win a World Series in Cleveland, freeing him to come home and fulfill his dream of running the Red Sox." -- 12.2, Jackie MacMullan, Boston Globe

What's in a Name?

20/20 Commentary

What's in a Name?

Nixon for President BOSTON -- In their constant quest to add depth to the bullpen, the Red Sox on Thursday acquired right-hander Jermaine Van Buren from the Cubs for a player to be named later or cash.

What's in a name? Apparently, the Red Sox have devised a new strategy to rebuild their troubled franchise. The Sox have gone 'Presidential' in acquiring Jermaine Van Buren to supplement their other Presidential resident, Trot Nixon.

What are the possibilities here? Neither Terry Adams (Philadelphia) nor Russ Adams (Toronto) merit consideration. Milwaukee's Mike Adams (ERA 2.70) definitely deserves some effort. Homer Bush didn't see action in 2004 and David Bush looked 'Bush league' against the Sox in 2005.

Of the Carters, unfortunately the best, Gary (Hall of Fame) and Joe (memorable World Series home run) are long gone, and Lance Carter (was he the D-Rays headhunter?) leaves much to be desired. The Sox have gone the Cleveland (Reggie) and Clinton (Lou) routes in the past in their once fruitless quests for the brass ring. Joe Kennedy had his moments with Oakland, once they rescued him from Colorado. With just 7 homers in 2005, former Sox farmhand Lew Ford could be out there. Of course, we hear the Sox have far more interested in a Torii (Hunter) than Democrats or Republicans.

Among the Jackson clan, forget about Edwin (Dodgers) or Damian, especially if we're trying to reduce Johnny Damon's headaches. Conor Jackson is another story, a power-hitting prospect first baseman from the Diamondbacks. Plus, we have lots of connections in Arizona, as the quislings defect from the defunct BoSox bargain basement baseball barracks. There's always a Johnson out there, and the best of the Johnsons out there is Nats first basemen Nick. As for the rest of the Johnsons, the most interesting might be Florida's Josh Johnson, but we've got our limit on Joshes already. We could certainly do worse than acquiring Sox nemesis Ted Roosevelt Lilly, but never mention John Truman Wasdin.

We might need outfielders if the Sox fulfill Manny's wishes, and Craig Monroe slammed 20 homers, 89 RBIs and had a .446 slugging percentage in spacious Comerica Park. Don't even think about Reggie Taylor. Craig and Jack Wilson may have peaked with the Pirates, although nobody's going to make us forget about Earl Wilson who had a no-hitter for the Sox and won 20 games for the Tigers. Preston Wilson has pop in his bat but lots of holes in his strike zone, and for gawd's sake, let's try not to remember Mookie Wilson.

Well, the Sox don't have time to ponder all the presidential aspirants, especially when they're trying to find the right caliber general manager. Of course, they wouldn't have this problem if they hadn't found the right caliber to finish off former GM Theo Epstein.

-- Ron Sen, Boston Dirt Dogs contributor and founder of Red Sox Reality Check

Theo's Back... in Boston

Theo's Back ...

Paul Epstein, left, his brother Theo, middle left, and Joan Wallace-Benjamin, President and CEO of The Home for Little Wanderers, middle right, all react to Nicholas Davis, of Brockton, Mass., while he holds a baseball given to him from Theo high in the air during a press conference to kick off a gift drive for The Home for Little Wanderers in Boston on Thursday.

(AP Photo)

... in Boston

Theo Epstein joined his twin brother Paul and Joan Wallace-Benjamin, CEO of The Home for Little Wanderers, who all react to Nicholas Davis, of Brockton, Mass., while he holds a baseball given to him from Theo during a press conference to kick off a gift drive for The Home for Little Wanderers in Boston today.

"I'm doing really well," said Epstein. "I don't know if it surprises you or not, there's more to life than baseball, I'm sure I will work in baseball again soon, but everything is going really well. My departure from the Red Sox will do a lot of good for me as a growth opportunity to see the rest of the world, but also for the Red Sox in the long run, sometimes it takes a bit of a shock to the system to improve organizations or institutions and they've done a great job this last month of examinating those things. It's a great organization, it always was but we're all imperfect and there are always ways to improve."

Who knows? Maybe he'll return as the surprise GM in Dallas next week since the job is still open. ESPN's Buster Olney writes in his blog (on 12.2.05) "Still think there's a chance Theo Epstein returns to the organization; he continues to be involved in conversation with ownership."


Extra Bases Blog
Sox Pick Up Jermaine Van Buren from Cubs
Sox Complete Staffing for '06 Medical Team
Mientkiewiczes Rebuffed Sox Offers to Settle on Ball

More Manny Being Traded Talk

More Manny Being Traded Talk:
Abreu? Angels?

Bobby Abreu and Manny the Angel

(Abreu: Getty Images Photo / Manny as Angel: BDD Photo Illustration)

Herald: Angels Back in Manny Hunt
NY Post: Phillies in Manny Race with Abreu
The Buzz: Debunking the Philly Rumors

Abreu Pulled a Pedro on Tito

"Francona's message to his players was succinct: I'll fight for you, as long as you follow my rules. Abreu, an outfielder with a sweet swing, tested Francona's patience by arriving late to the park. The first time, the manager ushered him into his office and calmly explained tardiness was unacceptable. The second time, the player was fined. The third time, Francona threw Abreu out of the clubhouse. 'Terry wanted to send Bobby home, but the ball club wouldn't let him,' Mills said. 'Even though the front office wouldn't stand behind him, Terry still found a way to make it work. He stayed on Bobby. He made him a better player.'" -- 2.13.04, Jackie MacMullan, Boston Globe

Sox Play Hardball

Sox Play Hardball

Larry Lucchino and Doug Mientkiewicz

(Boston Globe File Photos)

Team Forced to Go to Court to
Keep '04 Series Ball in Boston

Mientkiewicz Was Set to Get Sox Ball Back in January

Your Turn: Whose Ball is it Anyway?

"First of all he (Foulke) wasn’t going to throw it to me, I’m yelling at him, ‘throw me the ball!’ I want to be on Sports Illustrated too. He threw me the ball and I held on to it. I held onto the one when we won against the Yankees too. Derek had pitched such a good game, he’s gotta have that ball. I gave it to him after all that he had been through, and I was going to give him this one, and I thought, “this is crazy, I’m a baseball buff, it’s something I want to hang on to.” -- 1.7.05, Former Red Sox reserve Doug Mientkiewicz

"I'd have definitely liked to have it (World Series ball) back. When we got back to Boston, I asked him about it and I didn't get it. So that's the end of that. I didn't really think about it at the time. After he caught it, it was like there are other things going through my mind... I didn't get the ball and that's it." -- 2.16.05, Red Sox relief pitcher Keith Foulke

ball_case_final.jpg

(AP Photo)

A Look Back on Ballgate
Ballgate Swings Wide Open
The Verdict is In: Mink Stole
'I Think the Whole Thing is Disgusting'
Mientkiewicz Agreed to Give Ball Back
Million Dollar Baby Returns
Caught Red-Handed

BDD is a feature of Boston.com. The site is not produced by the Boston Globe sports dept.

Boston Globe:

Red Sox agree to deal with Pierzynski > Sox non-tender Bailey, Kalish > Sox face arbitration decisions

Boston Herald:

Sox set Bailey, Kalish free > Doug Fister dealt to Nats > White Sox agree to 1-year contract with C Flowers

ProJo:

Pierzynski reaches deal with Red Sox > Kalish, Bailey non-tendered > Mike Napoli still ideal at first base > Middlebrooks, Red Sox both looking for improvement

NY Post:

Cashman pessimistic on Yankees re-signing Cano > Report: A-Rod called PEDs 'Food'

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