'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 Red Sox Nation,
We were waiting for results from J.D. Drew's eighth examination;
Our Red Stockings were hung in third place just last year,
And now the-next-big-thing pitcher must turn boos into cheers;

Mr. Boras was nestled all snug in his bed,
(He's still smarting from Theo going upside his head)
He was nervous about J.D. and his contractual flap;
But started dreaming of Drew in his new Red Sox cap ...

While back east at Fenway there arose such a clatter,
Boras sprang from his bed shouting: "Drew's your No. 5 batter!"
He tuned to NESN-HD, Sox press conference in a flash,
He saw Werner and Henry, he starting counting his cash;
Theo stood up to speak, the full Dr. Charles show,
This was J.D.'s big payday... (Boras still counting commission dough);

When, what to Scott's wondering eyes should appear
But the face of Trot Nixon, signed for $3 million, one year!
"Theo duped me again with a dirty dog trick!
He can't do this to ME! ...I think I'm going to be sick;"

More rapid than flying on John Henry's plane,
Boras hissed and he shouted, he then called them bad names:

"#%@! Epstein! #%@! Werner! #%@! Henry!, you too Nixon!
You'll rue this more than the day that you lost Johnny Damon!
No closer for you! I control them all!
You took my cash away! You'll dearly pay! Now dash away all!"

Players still flock to Boras, contract price will be high,
He plays games with the numbers, he still tells the big lie,
So it's back to the phones, 'cause he's gotta move Drew,
Plus a sleigh full of players who gotta eat too.

The new Japanese members of the "official" Sox Nation,
Will pay $200 to Lucchino's slick operation;
Just the price of "citizenship," there's no ticket at all,
Only a chance to buy a bleacher seat on top of the Wall

But then, down in Ft. Myers, he walked to the mound,
His new translator watched, not making a sound,
Laying his finger aside of the seam,
He stares just like Pedro, an impossible dream?

He spoke foreign words, and 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 toward home plate, the ball took off with a bound;

He pitched just like Petey, so lively and quick,
Hitters down in a moment, his balls miss their stick;
His heater’s mid-nineties, curve ball has big bite,
Let’s mark Dice-K down for a shutout Opening Night!

And there stood Curt Schilling, looking incredibly slim
Who knew CEO could find time for the gym?
Even Manny came early and was ready to play
But come back tomorrow, he'll want to get traded away;

With Crisp back in center, And Lugo at short,
They're fine up the middle, still need run support
And then just like before, David let the ball fly,
‘Tek threw out base stealers, even Youk crushed line drives,
Nixon had the old stroke back, when he hit ‘em they flew,
They all batted around, Pedroia too;

The crowd sprang to their feet, to the team gave a whistle,
Lowell circled the bases, Dice threw another missile;
Wild Card hopes had been fading for our retooled ballclub,

BUT THE HEADLINE IN MAY WILL READ, "PENNANT FEVER GRIPS HUB!"

...with apologies to Clement Clarke Moore
Merry Holidays, Boston Dirt Dogs


Frank Galasso illustration

(BDD Illustration / Frank Galasso)

Happy Anniversary?

NESN: Santa Edes Fills Hot Stove Stockings
Extra Bases: Sox Sign the Venerable Runelvys Hernandez


Happy Anniversary?

Johnny Damon of the New York Yankees kisses his wife Michelle 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)

Exactly One Year Ago, The Makeshift Red Sox Front Office Played Scrooge with the Rock Solid Leadoff-Hitting Center Fielder Over $8m-$12m (Over Four Years) and Woke Up to Find Coal... Then Coco... in Their Stocking
Thankfully Crisp, Mohr, Stern, Harris, Pena, and Murphy Picked Up the Slack

A Look Back at Boston's Biggest Bungle:
Here's JohnNY: Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow
Co-incidence? Sox Co-GMs Caught by Surprise
Johnny Appleseed Takes Manhattan
Damon to the Dark Side | Johnny Chokes Up
Yankee Clipping: Johnny's Bad Hair Day
Sox Brass Blew It with Initial Three-Year Offer
Johnny Cash Walks Over the Line

Johnny Keeps on Giving Back in Boston

Damon Donates $20k Busload of Toys to Franciscan Children’s Hospital in Brighton (Meanwhile, We're Wondering if Manny Ever Set Up His MR24 Charitable Foundation ... )

Who Will Be King of Games?

Johnny Damon and Curt Schilling show off the World Series trophy before the New England Patriots game against the Buffalo Bills at Gillette Stadium on November 14, 2004 in Foxborough, Massachusetts.

(Getty Images Photo / Ezra Shaw)

Look Out CEO of Green Monster Games, Johnny's Come Out to Play

Damon Will Serve as League Commissioner for
New Professional Baseball Video Game League

"GGL is bringing together two of my biggest passions -- baseball and video games -- in a way that neither baseball fans nor video gamers have seen before," said Commissioner Damon. "Both baseball and video games play a huge role in today's culture in the US and around the world, and the PBGL is doing a great job of bringing these two communities together."

"More importantly, the PBGL is allowing me to invoke another passion of mine -- the Wounded Warrior Project, which raises funds and awareness for wounded veterans," continued Damon." As Commissioner, I'm proud to add former US Army Sergeant Steven Andrew Robison of Kansas City, Missouri, to this season's PBGL line-up." -- 12.21.06, Johnny Damon


Whoa, Nelly!

Curt Schilling poses with Canadian singer-songwriter Nelly Furtado and his two children Gabriella, left, and Gehrig backstage at the Kiss 108 Boston Jingle Ball at the Tsongas Arena in Lowell, Mass., Thursday, Dec. 14, 2006

(12.14.06 - Schilling, children, Nellie Furtado - Boston Globe Staff Photo / Robert E. Klein)

Is Curt Going to Have to Have the Green Monster Gear
Surgically Removed Before the Season Starts?
Or Is He Working It Into His Extension That He
Gets to Wear It in Lieu of His Sox Uni?

Trump: 'Mr. USA' Can Stay

Trump: 'Mr. USA' Can Stay

The Donald and Manny

(Trump - AP Photo / Ramirez - Boston Globe Staff Photo / Stan Grossfeld / BDD Illustration)

Ramirez to Remain in Left Field for Duration of Contract
Zero Tolerance on 'Manny Being Manny' Going Forward

As Ramirez Packs on the Pounds in Florida,
Trump Decides at Last Minute Not to Send Him Packing

Manny Ramirez, a.k.a. Mr. USA, who had come under criticism amid rumors he had been frequenting fast food restaurants while he was supposed to be at the gym last month, will be allowed to keep his position on the Red Sox, Donald Trump announced today.

"He left a big condo in Boston and he was telling me that he got caught up in the whirlwind of Ft. Lauderdale," Trump said at a news conference. "It's a story that has happened many times before to many players and many men who came to the Red Sox. They wanted their bite of the Big Mac and they found out it wasn't so easy to stay in shape."

"I've always been a believer in second chances," Trump said, standing at a podium in the atrium of Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue. "Manny is a good person, but Manny hasn't played hard. However, Manny is going to be given a second chance."

Ramirez looked chastened and grateful and hungry as Trump called him a man who'd "made some very very bad choices, especially last September when he chose to sit out, some very foolish choices."

Ramirez won the World Series MVP title and became a United States citizen in 2004 and has been living in Florida, hiding from Joe Kerrigan. Recent media accounts of heavy eating at Mickey D's brought a storm of criticism since he was already overweight at the time. Manny weighed 251 lbs. on Monday.

In a tear-choked voice, Manny said, "In no way did I think it would be possible for a second helping to be refused by me." Turning to Trump, he said, "You'll never know what this means to me, and I swear I will not let you down."

Trump said Manny would be entering fast-food rehab. A Red Sox nutrition official said details would be worked out privately with Manny over the next weeks.

"I think Manny is going to be the great comeback kid," Trump said after making it clear he would no longer tolerate any 'Manny Being Manny' episodes for the next two years.

If Manny had been dethroned, his position would have been taken over by left field runner-up Mr. Pawtucket, David Murphy.

'Tis the season ...

'Tis the season ...

The Boston Men's Baseball League played the 6th Annual Winterball Extravaganza on Dec. 2

(BDD Photo / Boston Men's Baseball League)

... To Give to Those Less Fortunate

The Boston Men's Baseball League played the 6th Annual Winterball Extravaganza on Saturday Dec. 2. The doubleheader was played at Boston English High School in 45 degree cold. All participants had to donate a toy to Toys for Toys in order to participate. 57 players from across the league's three age divisions played. An entire truckload of donated toys was filled, as the event went off flawlessly.

Game 1 began at 10:30 AM and was won 5-1 by the MABL (the young guys). Game 2 began immediately afterwards and the MABL was leading 4-3 going into the eight inning. The MSBL tied the score 4-4 and stranded to bases loaded to close the 8th inning. The game ended in a tie due to darkness at the conclusion of the inning.

Two members of the United States Marine Corps stationed out of Ft. Devens came down to collect all the toys. Thanks to John "Smokey" Moore of the Winthrop Black Sox for securing the Toys for Tots pick up and for Charity Hop for coordinating all the details. Additionally, Boston Police Captain Kelley McCormick and also a player for the Somerville Senators were on hand to ensure everything went smoothly.

Please take the time to support Toys for Tots, Globe Santa,
or your favorite charity this holiday season

Drew's Anatomy

Drew's Anatomy

Derek and Burke to determine if J.D. can play

(Grey's Anatomy/ABC Photo)

Derek and Burke to Determine If J.D.'s Body Can
Withstand Another Grueling 45 Minute Physical

Will Boras Have to Drop the Price on a Broken-Down Drew?

"J.D. Drew was scheduled to receive a second opinion Monday on a shoulder issue the Red Sox have concerns about, according to a major league source familiar with Drew's condition.

"The red flag went up after the Sox right-fielder underwent a physical in Boston last week and the reason the 5-year, $70 million deal struck at baseball's winter meetings nearly two weeks ago has not be finalized." -- 12.17.06, Nick Cafardo, Globe Staff

Update: How 'Minor' Is Drew's Snag?
(Is J.D. Now a $14m Trot Nixon?)

You Don't Sato ...

You Don't Sato ...

Daisuke Matsuzaka looks on as Tak Sato translates for him during a press conference announcing that the pitcher has signed with the Boston Red Sox on December 14, 2006 at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts. Matsuzaka will get $52 million over six years.

(Getty Images Photo / Elsa)

Catching Up with Daisuke Matsuzaka and
His Translator, Tak Sato, Over the Weekend

Q: Have you had any success in finding a place to live? Do you prefer to live in the suburbs like Schilling or to live in the city like Manny?

A: (via Tak Sato): Money is good but Borat should have gotten me more.

Q: Do you respond better to a tough disciplinarian like La Russa, or to a "players' manager" like Grady?

A: (via Tak Sato): Brady looks ready to take the Pats deep into the playoffs now.

Q: How do you plan to pitch to Derek Jeter?

A: (via Tak Sato): No cheater. I watched the World Series, that was dirt on Rogers’ hand.

Q: When you go to Paris, do you stay at the Hilton?

A: (via Tak Sato): I don’t know what Britney was thinking, but that girl is trouble.

Q: Are you concerned about the health problems with J.D. Drew?

A: (via Tak Sato): No because Romo is the quarterback of the future in Dallas.

Q: The first time you pitch at Fenway, how it is going to feel when you walk out of the tunnel?

A: (via Tak Sato): The tunnel better get fixed soon, the traffic is terrible in Southie…

The preceding interview is a parody. A real interview with Dice-K via Tak Sato would have been much more confusing.

Let's Go UMass!

Appalachian Fail

UMass Comes Up Short But Stands Tall

" 'They're a great bunch of guys,' said the coach, choking back tears when asked about his seniors. 'The big thing about our guys -- they compete to the bitter end. I've got great people. I wouldn't trade any of them. We came in here as a team. We're going home as a team.' "

"This would be a time for the students and alums of the University of Massachusetts to stand tall. Go to an alumni club meeting. Reminisce about the good old days at the Blue Wall. Buy a little UMass garb and wear it when you go Christmas shopping. Brag about your school at the office. Send along a little donation, maybe." -- 11.16.06, Dan Shaughnessy, Boston Globe


Let's Go UMass!

UMass Football

Get It Done Tonight


Sox Get Some Relief: Brendan Donnelly Acquired; J.C. Romero Signed
No More 'Waaaaaay Baaaack,' Troup is Gone:
O'Brien, Geffner Added to Sox Radio Team
Found in Translation: What Dice-K Really Said Yesterday
Bradford: Some Props for Jon Deeble

Thank God That's Over

Thank God That's Over

Daisuke Matsuzaka (R) hesitates before he tries on his hat as Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein looks on during a press conference announcing that the pitcher has signed with the Boston Red Sox on December 14, 2006 at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts. Matsuzaka will earn $52 million over six years.

(BDD Photo Illustration / Ryan Sullivan)

Now The Red Sox Can Begin the Worldwide Search to
Find a Translator for Matsuzaka's Translator

"Heck, Carl Everett made more sense than Tak Sato, agent Scott Boras' designated translator.

"When Daisuke Matsuzaka was asked about joining the greatest rivalry in sports on Thursday, his answer via Mr. Sato was, "Not even the game between Yankees and Red Sox in Japan maybe Giants and Tigers."

"That was one of the more understandable responses." -- 12.15.06, Jeff Jacobs, Hartford Courant

"We'd love to share his pearls of wisdom, his hopes and dreams, his musings on Curt Schilling, Red Sox Nation, and Boston traffic, but alas these matters will take time. Matsuzaka was accompanied by an interpreter, but clearly most of his comments were lost in translation.

"Consider this sampling:

"Q: I'd like to get your impression of Fenway Park, after pitching off the mound, your initial impression of the park.

"A: When the season starts, I'm looking forward to the game." -- 12.15.06, Jackie MacMullan, Boston Globe

"During a 45-minute news conference, Matsuzaka smiled and laughed a lot. But Japanese reporters said Tak Sato, Matsuzaka’s translator, did not fully translate Matsuzaka’s responses, so the pitcher’s personality was mostly disguised from American reporters. A Japanese reporter provided a full translation and the words proved that Matsuzaka was poised and had a swagger, which is the scouting report for him on the mound, too." -- 12.15.06, Jack Curry, New York Times

"Matsuzaka’s interpreter’s command of the English language was shaky, and thus the pitcher’s translated comments were brief and, occasionally, unintelligible. About the only clear statement related by the interpreter was when Matsuzaka said, “I’m very happy and excited to be a member of the Boston Red Sox.” -- 12.15.06, Art Martone, Providence Journal

Dice-K's in the Fold

Dice-K at Fenway

Down Goes Henry, Down Goes Henry

Before his press conference, Daisuke Matsuzaka went to the mound at Fenway Park and threw a pitch to Red Sox owner John Henry, (which he missed), and after he missed he fell backwards, which brought a howl of laughter from the pitcher as his agent Scott Boras (bottom right), rushed to Henry's aid.

(Boston Globe Staff Photo / Jim Davis)

Extra Bases: A Light Moment at Fenway

Will Borat Speak at Sox Presser?

Will Borat Speak at Sox Presser?

Boston Dirt Dogs - John Henry, Borat, Theo Epstein

(BDD Photo Illustration)

How Will Short-Money Signing Be Spun By Special-K Agent?


Boras Was the Poster Child for All That Is Bad About Agents

Boston Dirt Dogs: Greed is Bad

(BDD Photo Illustration / Steve Myers)

After Theo's Spanking, Greed Posters Now 80 Percent Off in Japan

Eric Wilbur: Cirque du Dice-K
Inside Track: Rockets Has Landed, Too

Special-K

Boston Dirt Dogs

(BDD Photo Illustration)

Special-K's Not Going to Be One of the Guys
(But He's Bringing Snorkels Back, Yeah!)

Reports Persist That Roger Clemens May Have to Carry His Luggage

ESPN.com: Matsuzaka Contract Contains Litany of Personal Comforts

"Matsuzaka will get a massage therapist, physical therapist, interpreter and personal assistant, and the Red Sox agreed to provide the pitcher with 80-90 flights over the course of the deal, along with special housing and transportation arrangements and accomodations for his wife." -- 12.14.06, ESPN.com

(Wait Until Pedro Hears About This)

Holy Posting Fee, Batman!
Pay $199 for the 'Guaranteed Opportunity' to Purchase Monster Seats
Welcome to 'Red Sox Nation' Japanese Fans

Epstein Knocks Out Boras; No 'Fort Knox' for Dice-K

Epstein Knocks Out Boras;
No 'Fort Knox' for Dice-K

Boston Dirt Dogs

(BDD Photo Illustration)

Sox Roll the Dice, Come Up With Daisuke at Good Price

Edes: Matsuzaka-san Agrees to Terms on $52M, 6-Year Deal
Cafardo: Decision Goes to Sox

"If they were fleeced by Scott Boras in giving J.D. Drew a five-year, $70 million deal with no other teams bidding, the Red Sox have evened the score with Daisuke Matsuzaka." -- 12.14.06, Nick Cafardo, Boston Globe

Gammons: Sox Get Matsuzaka Their Way

"Boras argued that the posting price was part of the negotiations and therefore Matsuzaka should get more in his contract, but it didn't work. Seibu's fiscal problems demanded immediate cash; the Japanese team could hold Matsuzaka to a minimal contract if he didn't go to the Red Sox and provide the $51.1M -- and it could send him to the minors for a couple of weeks and make him wait until after the 2008 season to be a free agent." -- 12.13.06, Peter Gammons, ESPN.com Insider Blog (subscription)

Valentine Has His Say

"The danger that Matsuzaka faces, that if catcher Jason Varitek sees he throws the ball 95 mph, then he'll [Varitek] think we have to keep throwing this fastball until we're ahead in the count and then we'll throw a breaking ball; or if we're behind the count, we have to throw a fastball because of his 95 mph speed...if he(Daisuke) falls into the trap of following a catcher that doesn't call his strengths, I think he can fall into trouble...

"The Red Sox have to realize that he can throw it 95, but he doesn't have to because he has these other pitches that he can throw over any time in the count which makes him special, but if the Red Sox try to make him ordinary and eliminate pitches; throw just three pitches; throw your fastball when you're behind in the count and pitch outside; this 'American-menatlity' of machoism...he can fall into a deep hole...." -- 12.14.06, Bobby Valentine, Baseball This Morning, XM Radio 175

Herald: Lions Considered Sending Dice-K to Minors
Mnookin: What a Bargain!
Rosenthal: Sox Didn't Rule Out Moving Beckett at Winter Meetings

Konichiwa Dice-K

Let's Get Physical

Japanese pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka arrives with his agent Scott Boras, right, in Boston, Wednesday, Dec. 13, 2006, as negotiations with the Boston Red Sox neared agreement on a $52 million, six-year contract.

(AP Photo)

Millions of Dollars Baby Goes to Mass General

Cafardo: Deal for Dice-K Appears Imminent
Gallery: Matsuzaka Arrival Tops Crazy Day
Shaughnessy: Newcomers Guide to the Red Sox


Boston Dirt Dogs

(BDD Photo Illustration)

Time to Break Out the Signs and Line the Streets and Highways
As the Plane Has Now Landed

Boston Dirt Dogs, Fantasy Island

(BDD Photo Illustration)

Da Plane! Da Plane!

Da Plane! Da Plane!

track the flight

Where Are They Now?
FlightAware: Track the Dice-K Flight Here
Due to Land at 5:35 P.M. EST

airliners.net photo


The Latest: John Henry Says No Deal Yet
Chan Ho Park to Close? | Mirabelli's Back

Snake's On a Plane

Snake's on a plane

(BDD Illustration / B. Ball)

... Theo, Tom, Larry, and Dice-K Are On It, Too

"They all took off together." -- Larry Lucchino, Red Sox CEO, shortly after noon EST

Here He Comes

THE DICEMAN COMETH

Boston Dirt Dogs Illustration, Danny O

(BDD Illustration / Danny O Art)

Edes: Dice-K Is En Route to Boston

“ 'You can assume that a deal is done or close,' said another source with direct knowledge of the talks." -- 12.23.06, Gordon Edes, Extra Bases

Extra Bases: Lugo Makes It Official | Eric Wilbur: Alternate Ending

Knockout? Or Big Payday for Fort Knox?

Big Payday for Fort Knox?
Or a Knockout for Theo?

Boston Dirt Dogs Photo Illustration by Meir Weinberg

(BDD Photo Illustration / Meir Weinberg)

Final Round Underway

Matsuzaka Watch: Dialogue Continues
Ryan: Sox Know How Game is Played
Survey: Whom to Blame if No Dice?

"The word here in Japan is that Matsuzaka would find it rather difficult coming back to Japan should the Red Sox fail to sign him. He said his farewells to his fans, and they sent him off with their blessings. After the Red Sox bid of $51.1 million, he would look even more foolish should he fail to come to terms, particularly when it appears the Red Sox are offering him more money than proven Japanese major leaguers -- Matsui and Ichiro. Can't guarantee he won't come back, but in the minds of many here, there is more pressure for him to sign." -- 12.13.06, Mark Caprio quote from Bob Ryan column

The American Way

The American Way

OCTOBER 2, 1995: Red Sox Roger Clemens takes a breatk before workout at Jacobs Field in Cleveland

(10.2.95: Boston Globe File Photo)

The Sox Can Go in a Different Direction
As Dice Is Not the Only Game in Town

Chron.com: Red Sox to be Clemens' Christmas stocking?

"One of my best baseball sources says the Red Sox have made the most impressive pitch to Clemens, offering him the opportunity to have a contract much like the one the Astros gave him. He'll be able to pitch, work out on his own, attend family functions and arrive late to the roster. One difference: Rather than a half-season, Roger will pitch for slightly more — close to two-thirds of the season.

"The only unknown is whether the Sox' ongoing negotiations with Japanese sensation Daisuke Matsuzaka will impact the money the Red Sox will offer Clemens. That's TBA." -- 12.12.06, John P. Lopez, Houston Chronicle

'Greed is Good'

'Greed is Good'

Boston Dirt Dogs

(BDD Photo Illustration)

That's the Message Dice-K Is Sending to Japan

"Let this be a lesson in the real American Dream for all Japanese ballplayers, courtesy of Gordon Gekko: Greed is good." -- 12.12.06, Eric Wilbur, Boston.com

"The point is, ladies and gentlemen of Japan, that: Greed, for lack of a better word, is good. Greed is right; greed works. Greed clarifies, cuts through, and captures the essence of the evolutionary spirit. Greed, in all of its forms, greed for life, for money, for love, knowledge — has marked the upward surge of mankind and greed, you mark my words — will save not only the Red Sox but that other malfunctioning corporation called Major League Baseball."


Kap Retires: Gabe to Be Named Manager of Single-A Greenville
No Drew, Lugo News; Mirabelli Still in the Backup Catcher Mix
Henry's Happy That Manny's Still Here; Sox Interested Masumi Kuwata

Gammons: Show Matsuzaka the Money | Sox Have Issues
Mnookin: Fatal Collision Course | Boras Pulling a Fonzie?
Olney: Boras' Way Good for Matsuzaka?

"And you'd have to wonder: For Scott Boras, when does this stop becoming a chase of dollars and start being about his clients' doing what they love in their work and playing baseball?...

"Boras is extraordinary at what he does, at extracting a volume of dollars from places that you never would've imagined. He is like a chess master, and every negotiation is a match to be won. But in this era, when players are now making more money than they can ever spend in their lifetimes, it's debatable whether the extra cash actually improves the quality of life of his players, and whether all this angst pays off, in the big picture." -- 12.12.06, Buster Olney, ESPN

The Latest: 'No Progress' on Dice-K Talks Tonight
Eric Wilbur: Last Pitch Effort

The Next Sox Skipper?

The Next Sox Skipper?

10.28.04: Sox Gabe Kapler holds the World championship trophy on a flight  from St. Louis where the Red Sox won the World Series. In the background Trot Nixon yawns.

(Boston Globe Staff Photo / Stan Grossfeld)

Kapler Retires, Named Single-A Greenville Manager

Will Boston Welcome Back Gabe as Manager Someday?
No Reason Kapler Can't Be Hired When Tito Retires

"I have managerial aspirations. I'd like to win the World Series as a manager someday." -- 12.12.06, Gabe Kapler

Boras Playing with Loaded Dice

Boras Is Playing
With Loaded Dice

Time to Say Sayonara to Dice-K

(AP Photo)

Sox Should Just Walk Away from Dice-K

Cafardo: Boras Demands Way Out of Line

"Doesn't he [Matsuzaka] want to be a big league ballplayer first and PROVE he's worth $100 million? Or does he just want a team to hand him the money before he proves anything?

"I'm not sure the latter is honorable in any country.

"If Larry Lucchino, Theo Epstein, and/or John Henry come close to that number (I'm talking about a six-year, $100 million contract, not counting the $51.1 million posting fee) they should have their franchise revoked." -- 12.12.06, Boston Globe, Nick Cafardo Web Exclusive

Edes: John Henry Makes a Pitch...
And the Sox Embarrassingly Bid Against Themselves

" 'It's highly unusual,' Epstein said of submitting a second offer without receiving a response to the first, 'but it's showing that Matsuzaka is extremely important to the Boston Red Sox. It's normally not a good ploy, but we want to demonstrate to Matsuzaka, and the fans of Japanese baseball, just how important he is to us.' " -- 12.11.06, Gordon Edes, Boston Globe

The Sox' Very Own 'Fort Knox?'

"In Japan, he's known as the national treasure. Here, he will be known as Fort Knox."
-- 12.11.06, Scott Boras, agent for Daisuke Matsuzaka

Scott Boras's Waterloo.jpg

Boras Makes a Dishonorable Mention
And Fails in the School of Hard 'Knox'

And Now Thanks to His Agent,
The Shamed Pitcher Will Be Known as GreeD-Mat in Japan

Roger That! Rocket Seen as Sox Fallback

Deal or No Deal?

Deal or No Deal?

BDD: Deal or No Deal?

(BDD Photo Illustration)

No Deal, No Dice, No Problem?

Extra Bases: Tumbling Dice as Boras Runs Out the Clock
Survey: Will Sox Get a Deal Done by the Deadline?

"Boras had pledged late last week that the Sox would hear directly from Matsuzaka, who flew in from Tokyo on Saturday, but there was no public indication that has yet to happen. Indeed, frustrated Sox officials were privately wondering whether the player was aware that Boras so far had not made a counter-offer." -- 12.11.06, Gordon Edes, Boston Globe

Extra Bases: Boras, Sox, Posturing, and California Propaganda
Chat Wrap: Edes Rolls the Dice

Miami Ice

Miami Ice

Frank Galasso illustration

(BDD Illustration / Frank Galasso)

Hook, Line, Stinker: Miami 21, New England 0
Beach Bumbling Pats Are Pathetic Again
It's Deja Boo: Suddenly the 2006 Patriots
Look Just Like the 2006 Boston Red Sox

Deion Branch is Playing the Role of Johnny Damon
Rodney Harrison Stars and Sits as Trot Nixon
Chad Jackson is The Fall Season's Coco Crisp
Tom Brady's Starting to Sound a Lot Like Josh Beckett
Richard Seymour's Results Remind Us of Jason Varitek's
Light, Neal, Mankins, Kazcur, and Koppen Are Giving It Up
Like Seanez, Hansen, DiNardo, Foulke, and Van Buren
Dynasty Builder Scott Pioli is the New Theo Epstein

"As the score mounted, so did the fury of Miami's pass rush and New England had no weapons to counter it. When your tight end is your deep threat, you have serious problems." -- 12.11.06, Ron Borges, Boston Globe


The Sox Are Learning Japanese
Extra Bases: Sox Not Likely to Land Gagne

Minutemania!

Minutemania!
This Team's Got Mass Appeal

Massachusetts football players celebrate in front of the televison cameras in Missoula, Mont., Friday, Dec. 8, 2006, after defeating Montana 19-17 in an NCAA Division I-AA semifinal.

(AP Photo)

UMass Grinds Out a Win in Montana and
Choo Choos off to Chattanooga for the Championship
Minutemen Reach Division 1-AA Final with 19-17 Win

"We were scared to death preparing for this football game. We just found a way. We're not artistic. We just found a way to win. It wasn't pretty, but we found a way to get it done. That's what you do in this tournament. You survive and advance." -- 12.8.06, UMass coach Don Brown

Baylark Was Too Much to Bear for Grizzlies

Massachusetts running back Steve Baylark poses after Massachusetts defeated Montana 19-17 in an NCAA Division I-AA football playoff game in Missoula, Mont., on Friday Dec. 8, 2006. Baylark had two touchdowns. Baylark ran for 169 yards and two touchdowns and caught five passes for 76 yards.

(AP Photo)

"I hurt a muscle in my back. I didn't think I was going to finish the game. But I put my heart in it." -- 12.8.06, Steve Baylark, 169 yards rushing, 76 in receiving

Virtual Reality

Virtual Reality

The Virtual Waiting Room

(BDD Photo)

Today's the Day

Message Lost in Space?

Message Lost in Space?

In this image from NASA TV shuttle flight engineer Sunita Williams actually held a Go Red Sox sign in the white room before entering the shuttle Discovery in Cape Canaveral, Fla. Thursday, Dec. 7, 2006. The shuttle was scheduled for for an evening launch.

(AP Photo/NASA TV/BDD Photo Illustration)

Earth to Epstein: Show Some Restraint

Will Theo Bow Down to Boras on Dice-K
And Throw Money Away on Eric Gagne?

"As Daisuke Matsuzaka prepared to fly from Tokyo for an arrival in Los Angeles tomorrow for the final phase of negotiations with the Red Sox, he may not have been aware that interest in his fate extends to the far reaches of the universe.

"That's not propaganda by either agent or ball club, whose posturing in the last days before the Dec. 14 deadline to sign Matsuzaka will make rich headline material in both Japan and Red Sox Nation. It is the observation of Seth Borenstein, a science writer from the Associated Press and Sox fan who yesterday passed on word that before astronaut Sunita 'Sunny' Williams boarded the space shuttle Discovery, the Needham native jumped in front of a TV camera and held up a "GO RED SOX" sign, which she planned to take with her on a scheduled six-month trip into space." -- 12.8.06, Gordon Edes, Boston Globe

'I'm Going to Disney World!'

Hey Theo, You've Just Spent $106 Million
on Two Players at the Winter Meetings,
What Are You Going To Do Now?

Boston Dirt Dogs

(BDD Photo Illustration)

... He's Going to Disney World!

Winter Meetings Thursday Update: Will Boras Hoodwink Sox Again?
Nothing Doing on Gagne | Dice-K to L.A. on Saturday
Foulke Says No. Cantankerous Keith Won't Be Coming Back.

Can Boras Stop Dice-K from Coming?

Can Boras Stop Dice-K from Coming?

Boston Dirt Dogs

(BDD Photo Illustration / Daigo Fujiwara)

Will the Sox Say Sayonara to the Japanese Sensation?
Edes: It's Getting Dicey with Matsuzaka

"According to sources with direct access to the Sox' view, there is an increasing feeling that Boras is setting the stage, both privately and publicly, that there is not going to be a deal. 'Unless he's being less than honest,' one source said, 'there isn't going to be a deal.' " -- 12.7.06, Gordon Edes, Boston Globe

Bah, Humbug!

Bah, Humbug!

Boston-10/5/95- Sox manager Kevin Kennedy pauses while answering a reporters question about Mo Vaughn at a press conference at Fenway. Cleveland vs Red Sox playoffs

(Boston Globe File Photo / John Tlumacki)

Kennedy Pans Sox Moves

Former Sox Manager Thinks Boras Got the Best of Boston

"With J.D. Drew, the Red Sox brass are citing all kinds of statistics, including his great on-base percentage and spinning the deal for their fans. But look at all the stats you want, I still think it's more important to look closely at the man. J.D. Drew is a nice player, but he's also a guy who has averaged just 118 games a year. Unless you're David Ortiz, it's also not easy being a left-handed power hitter at Fenway Park. And Drew is not the kind of southpaw swinger who is going to be peppering shots off the left-field wall...

"I'll say one thing. Scott Boras is a terrific agent who sells his players well and apparently Boston bought into it. To be honest about it, I think they should have simply re-signed Trot Nixon. I'm not saying that Drew is a bad sign, I'm simply saying I wouldn't have given him all that money. He's also a very selective hitter who will have to expand the zone in run-producing situations. In other words, he can't always take ball four on a pitch that's maybe an inch or two off the plate...

"Lugo is a guy who came to the Dodgers from Tampa Bay last year and I didn't see him hit the warning track once at Dodger Stadium. In fact, I didn't see the player people told me he was at Tampa Bay." -- 12.6.06, Kevin Kennedy, FoxSports.com

Eric Wilbur: 60 RBIs Projected for Drew?
Tom Caron: Cut Drew a Break

The Best Sign of All

Boston Red Sox Spring Training at the Red Sox Player Development Complex. Red Sox pitcher Jon Lester, wearing his glove on his head so as to free his hands for autograph signing.

(Boston Globe Staff Photo / Barry Chin)

Globe: Lester Has Healthy Shot at Return

"My expectation from the beginning was that I would be at spring training next season at some point. Everything is good, and ready to go. I'm looking to be there at the reporting date." -- 12.05.06, Red Sox lefty Jon Lester


Winter Meetings Wednesday Update:
La Russa, Grady Chime In | No Action on Manny

Mnookin: In Defense of J.D. | Damon Wasn't Staying
Eric Wilbur: Repair Kit | Arms Worth Hammer?

New Shortstop Du Jour

New Shortstop Du Jour

Sept. 29: Julio Lugo No. 3 of the Los Angeles Dodgers charges a bunt hit by Noah Lowry of the San Francisco Giants at AT&T Park on September 29, 2006 in San Francisco, California.

(Getty Images Photo / Jed Jacobsohn)

Hopefully This One Will Be Around for Longer Than 15 Minutes
And Theo Won't Have to Pay Him to Play for Someone Else in '08
Julio Lugo On Board in (Gulp) 4 year/$36m Deal

Say Hello to J.D. Drew

Just D elivered

Los Angeles Dodgers' J.D. Drew heads to the dugout after being tagged out at home plate in the second inning of the first game of the National League Division Series against the New York Mets at Shea Stadium in New York on Wednesday, Oct. 4, 2006.

(AP Photo)

Say Hello to J.D. Drew... And Be Nice

Globe: Outfielder J.D. Drew Reaches $70 Million Deal with Sox
(And Johnny Damon Just Rolled Over in His Pinstripes)
Globe: Drew Has Gotten a Bad Rap
Ouch: The Injury History of D.L. Drew | Stats
Discuss the Deal | Survey Gallery


Winter Meetings Tuesday Update:
Gagne on Sox Radar; Sox Meeting with Lugo's Agents
Tito Doesn't See Manny Deal Happening

Is Manny on the Move or Not?

Is Manny on the Move or Not?

Manny Being Traded?

(Boston Globe Staff Photo / Jim Davis)

Is Theo Still Dreaming About Getting 'Fair Value'?

FoxSports: Sox Have Offer for Young Pitching

"The Red Sox told one club on Monday that they have received a legitimate offer for Ramirez, and that it revolves around 'young pitching.' " -- 12.5.06, Ken Rosenthal, FoxSports.com

Globe: Closer in Focus in Any Ramirez Deal

"In talks with the Dodgers, they asked for mountain man (6 feet 3 inches, 290 pounds) Jonathan Broxton, LA's 22-year-old setup man. In talks with the Angels, they gave GM Bill Stoneman a choice: closer Francisco Rodriguez or setup man Scot Shields. In talks with the Mariners, the names of closer J.J. Putz and setup man Rafael Soriano surfaced." -- 12.5.06, Gordon Edes and Nick Cafardo, Boston Globe

Herald: Club Wants Fair Value for Manny

"The Red Sox are a better team with Ramirez than they are without him, and everybody knows it. There really is no way around that. Unless the Red Sox can swap Ramirez for Albert Pujols or, say, Alex Rodriguez - ever heard that one before? - they aren’t going to get 'fair value' for someone who piles up RBI as if he were putting M&Ms in a fruit bowl." -- 12.5.06, Tony Massarotti, Boston Herald

Callahan: Don’t Cry for Manny, He Blames You

"No, the reason for his trade demand was, like the man himself, pretty simple. He just hates you, the paying customer and unwavering supporter of the Sox. He hates that you’re always there, always yelling and cheering and fawning all over him. He hates your very nature - your devotion, your intensity, your insatiable appetite for all things Red Sox. Hell, you could say he hates you for loving him so much.

"And you know what’s really kind of pathetic? You just keep loving him anyway." -- 12.5.06, Gerry Callahan, Boston Herald

LA Times: Angels, Dodgers Discuss Ramirez

"...but the chances for a [Manny to LA] deal now seem remote. The Red Sox told the Angels that closer Francisco Rodriguez or setup man Scot Shields would have to head any package for Ramirez. It's possible Boston would accept a package led by one of the Angels' two young starting pitchers, Ervin Santana or Jered Weaver...

"Talks between the Red Sox and Dodgers cooled because Dodgers General Manager Ned Colletti considers Epstein's demands exorbitant. Boston wants three of the top six Dodgers prospects, including outfielder Matt Kemp and potential closer Jonathan Broxton. The names of James Loney, Andy LaRoche, Chad Billingsley and Scott Elbert also came up." -- 12.5.06, Mike DiGiovanna, LA Times

Survey: What If Sox Can't Get Fair Value?

Make Theo an Offer

(BDD Photo Illustration)

Out and About

Out and About

Jon and Ashley 'Do the Wright Thing'

Jonathan Papelbon and wife, Ashley attend the 2nd Annual

(Getty Images Photo / Amy Sussman)

'Do The Wright Thing' Gala a Big Success
Benefit Raises Funds for Children's Causes

"Cardinals pitcher Jason Marquis arrived by himself, followed by Red Sox reliever Jonathan Papelbon, along with his wife, Ashley, who drew a handful of 'oohs' and 'aahs' from the crowd. Sibling figure skaters Emily and Sarah Hughes flashed their signature grins." -- 12.3.06, Chris Girandola, MLB.com

Curt and Shonda Make Their Pitch

Boston, MA 12/03/06 Boston Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling and his wife Shonda host a private reception to thank 2006 Curt's Pitch for ALS members in Boston, MA on Sunday, December 3, 2006. Curt is greeting Keith Moegle of Hull. Keith is an ALS patient.

(Boston Globe Staff Photo / John Bohn)

Schillings Continue Fight Against ALS
Couple Hosts Curt's Pitch for ALS Reception

" 'Events like this are kind of at the heart of what we do, taking it to really a grassroots level,' Schilling said. 'The great thing about the Mass chapter is that there are a lot of people in this program ... that don't have someone in their family with ALS.' " -- 12.3.06, Alan Ginsberg, MLB.com


Winter Meetings Extra Bases Monday:
Dodgers 'Longest of Long Shots' for Manny
Turnbow on Sox Radar? | Grady Gives J.D. Thumbs Up

NESN: Gammons on Sox Needs | Eric Wilbur: Landing in Gear
Eric Wilbur: Dice-K Off to Market?
Mnookin: The Ballad of Theo and Larry
Bradford: Lester Not Alone in Fight

It Will Be Perfectly Clear by Midnight

DOG GONE

5-12-97: Pawtucket, R.I.: PawSox outfielder Trot Nixon (wearing his contractually guaranteed #7).

(Boston Globe File Photo / Jim Davis)

... For Now Anyway

Red Sox Decline Arb for Nixon, Kap, Loretta; Yes on Foulke

"I can't thank these fans enough. I don't know what the future's going to hold for me." -- 12.1.06, Christopher Trotman Nixon


"When I heard that the Red Sox might be bringing Trot Nixon back, it restored my faith
in the front office.... he's gritty, he's a dirt dog, he would play with a broken leg...
he's been great in right field." -- Linda, caller to WEEI's Dale & Holley, 12.1.06

It Will Be Perfectly Clear by Midnight

10/01/2006: Red Sox RF Trot Nixon, who possibly is playing in his final game in a Boston uniform, acknowledges the cheers of the crowd as he leads off the game for the home team.

(Boston Globe Staff Photo / Jim Davis)

The Smoking Gun: If Theo Offers Nixon Arbitration,
It Spells the End of Manny in Boston

Homeward Bound? Trot Could Be Up to Some Old Tricks in '07

"A possible scenario: Nixon will share time with Wily Mo Peña in a newly realigned outfield that manager Terry Francona could play in a variety of permutations: The soon-to-be-added J.D. Drew could play right field or center, if Francona chooses to move Coco Crisp to left, which is what Cleveland did in 2005, or Crisp could remain in center with Drew and Nixon/Peña flanking him.

"Those scenarios presume a trade of Ramírez, with the San Diego Padres still looming as the No. 1 landing spot for the righthanded slugger." -- 12.1.06, Gordon Edes, Boston Globe


Dice-K's Got a New BFF*

Hideki Okajima (R) listens as Red Sox Executive Vice President and General Manager Theo Epstein (L) introduces him at Fenway Park November 30, 2006 in Boston, Massachusetts. Okajima, 30, signed a multi-year contract with the Red Sox after being one of the top setup relievers in Japan

(Getty Images Photo / Darren McCollester)     * - best friend forever

Okaji Gets OK to Take Left Turn in Pen

Sox Hire Hideki Okajima
Extra Bases: Padres Won't Trade Peavy
Bradford: Hey Japan, Boston's Back
ProJo: 'Schilling Thinks Manny's a Goner' and Goes to Bat for J.D.

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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The "Curt’s Pitch for ALS" program is a joint effort by Curt and Shonda Schilling and The ALS Association Mass Chapter to strike out Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease.

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