'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the Nation,
Sox fans were still stirring from the Gonzo-Crawford celebration;
Red Stockings were hung in third place just last year,
Now the hope is the Yankees have a view from the rear
Our GM was nestled all smug in his bed,
While visions of a bullpen plum danced in his head;
And Werner in his ascot, and John taking a nap,
They're both so run-down from all this Liverpool crap
When over at Fenway there arose such a clatter,
Did Jacoby get traded? Is there a tweet on the matter?
Away to Yawkey I flew like a flash,
Snuck under a gate and paid an usher with cash;
The Citgo sign on the breast of the 4-day-old snow,
Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below
When, what to our wondering eyes should appear
But New Kids on the Block, Backstreet Boys must be near
With a little plump maestro, so lively with knack,
I knew in a moment, Charles Steinberg was back
More rapid than eagles new relievers they came,
Tito whistled, and shouted, and called them by name;
"Now, Wheeler! now, Miller! now, Albers, Atchison!
On, Doubront! on Bobby! on, Bardsy, Papelbon!
Will Pap last as the closer? A committee the call?
Is Jon going away? He wants more pay! Say goodbye in the fall!"
No more bridge for your Red Sox, limit is the sky
Store-bought team full of All-Stars, Lester might win the Cy;
With a stud at first base, Youk on the corner at third
Laser Show back at second, injuries cured for this herd
And then, in a twinkling, he strolled to the mound,
The prancing and pawing of this hard-throwing hound,
Laying his fingers aside of the seam,
No more blisters... Stan’s Rodeo Cream
He threw out his hand, tight belly twisting around,
Down toward home plate, the ball took off with a bound;
He spoke not a word, just continued to work,
He went into his windup; didn't act like a jerk,
His eyes—how they twinkled! His dimples how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!
He threw like the old Rocket, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment, Beckett had the old kick;
His heater’s mid-nineties, the curve ball has bite,
Let’s mark him down for a win every fifth night!
And nice to see Dice-K, looking so fit and trim
Japan's National Treasure found his way to a gym
Lackey showed up real early, Marco's ready to play
Even Lowry is healthy, well, for now anyway
Living up to the hype, A-Gon hit the ball high,
'Tek grinded away, Youk slugged hard line drives;
Cam's the rare righty, Carl Crawford! in left,
Catching could be a problem, unless Salty is deft;
Papi had the old stroke back, when he hit ‘em they flew,
They all batted around, even J.D. Drew!
The crowd sprang to their feet, to the team gave a whistle,
Jacoby circled the bases, Clay threw another missile;
A new year is upon us and our Olde Towne ballclub,
"We've got Crawford and A-Gon! PENNANT FEVER GRIPS HUB!"
...with apologies as always to Clement Clarke Moore and Henry Livingston, Jr. Merry Christmas, Boston Dirt Dogs
They'll Be No Closer Controversy in Boston Just Yet
Theo Bails on The Bold Bard Move, Just Happy to Have Jenks, and Names the No-Longer-Dominant Jonathan Papelbon as The Closer If the Blackberry Don't Ring, That's Jonathan Papelbon Returning His General Manager's Phone Calls on the Other End Coming This Summer After Pocket Change and Before Best of NESN Daily: 'Theo Epstein Builds a Solid Top-to-Bottom Bullpen... Take 12' Wish I Had Known You Were Getting Jenks, Too. Sincerely, Mariano Rivera Most Anticipated Ft. Myers Arrival? Crawford? Gonzo? ... Mr. Papelbon Closer-by-Committee, Anyone?
LFC Chairman Tom Werner Checks in From Across the Pond Happy to Have Blown Up the Bridge; Thanks Philly for the Help
Liverpool Football Club Chairman Tom Werner calls into WEEI's Dennis and Callahan show this morning: "Nobody was happy about the season last year although I do think injuries had a lot to do with our results but we were determined this year to come out, we obviously, I couldn't have said that we were definitely going to sign Adrian [Gonzalez] or Carl Crawford but we were determined to improve the team and I think Theo had a game plan and this year he executed it. I think we're just delighted. I know that there's a great sense of anticipation for the year. I'm really looking forward to the beginning of spring training... Some years you have a game plan and you don't execute it. I think the Phillies [by signing Cliff Lee] helped us with our game plan this year, didn't they? ...To joke about it for a minute, we were determined to blow up that bridge from last year. ... I thought Christmas came early [on what happened to the Yankees]... Some years they [Yankees] execute their game plan. This year we executed ours... "
WEEI's Gerry Callahan: "Well the Liverpool Reds fans are pissed Tom, they think you're just spending all your money here, and just neglecting them..."
Werner: "[laughs] Well, you know each business stands alone, but I just want to finish back on, and you guys were kind enough to invite us on today, and this run [2011 Run to Home Base], I'm really excited about it, and excited to see if Gerry can beat me..."
Roy, Oh Roy
Meanwhile, Back in the Complaint Department ... While Disaster Looms in the Sox Bullpen, Henry & Werner Went Back to Europe to Deal With Hodgson's Head
Adrian Gonzalez Wasn't Even Done Speaking About The Splendid Splinter When John Henry Was Back on the Plane to Join Chairman Tom in England Oh, And the Catching Situation Still Doesn't Sit Well in Boston ...The Starting Rotation Has 3 Big Question Marks So Let's Watch the Made-for-TV Owners Address LFC Fans' Concerns:
LFC Now Video Part 1: Tom Werner Clearly Uncomfortable with the Giant Responsibility of Being Chairman of Liverpool Soccer; Henry Jet Lagged as They Break Down 3-1 Loss to Newcastle
LFC Video: Part 2: John and Tom Talk About Antiquated Anfield and Roy 'Just Waiting to Be Fired Like Grady Little' Hodgson
LFC Video Part 3: John Is Still Awake; Tom Still Dazed About How Much They Had to Spend on Two Red Sox Players to Take the Focus Off Liverpool
LFC Video: Part 4: Werner Quoting Oscar Wilde Now; Henry Can't Stop Thinking About the 2-1 Defeat at Tottenham
"We understand... We saw Roy [Hodgson] today. And we saw the tape on Roy, and we do expect immediate improvement. Our intention is to add to the squad and to improve the quality of the match... [but] we have to attack this with our reasoned judgment and not do anything precipitous, not based on any one result." -- Werner to LFC fans on Grady Hodgson, who in 82 away fixtures in the Barclays Premier League, has only been on the winning side on 13 occasions
"I think we were making significant progress, and then, even in Tottenham, I thought we should have won that game, and if we played like that the rest of the year that we would have won. ... There's no doubt about it. The play that has gone on this year has been unacceptable. The results are unacceptable. And it's up to us to take responsibility going forward. My understanding is that players want to come here. I've heard from agents and various people throughout the league that Liverpool is a very, and from players this is a very attractive place for players to come to." -- John Henry on LFC TV Monday night
Grady Didn't Think He Was Going to Get Fired Either ...
"I wouldn't know Carl Crawford from Cindy Crawford so it doesn't mean anything to me, but I'd be happy if they gave [Liverpool manager Roy] Hodgson $42 million to spend, never mind $142 million." -- LFC fan to WSJ
11.10.2010: Good to know Mazz hates Crawford: "What is the fascination with Carl Crawford? Just wondering: are we playing fantasy baseball or the real thing? Crawford puts up nice numbers and, as any stat geek will tell you, he runs! Five-category player, dude: hits, runs, homers, RBI and steals. Top five pick. Yes, Crawford is a good player in the real game, too, but is he really a lineup centerpiece that is worthy of contract akin to that of, say, Matt Holliday?
"If your answer is yes, we have irreconcilable philosophical differences.
"Now, if you want to talk about the value of speed, particularly on defense, we can talk. The value of good baserunning? We can talk. But as for stolen bases, the San Francisco Giants finished last in the majors this year and last in steal efficiency, too, which should tell you plenty. You don't need it. And if you start paying out the nose for speed, you're a dope.
"A request: take away Crawford's steal total and look at his average numbers over the last three years. Is that really worth somewhere around $18 million a year? Hell no."
Gonzo Says He Needs to Set the Market for the Young Guys a.k.a. He's Greedy and Will Hold Out for Every Last Dime
"(My contract) affects every single young (first baseman), Ike Davis and Joey Votto and every guy behind me that's going to sign a contract, and I (will) set the market for them. Ryan Howard and those names that are being thrown out there, they set the market for when I become a free agent. So when those guys behind us are free agents, I'm going to be the one setting the market for them. In essence, if I take what you call a San Diego discount, I'm affecting their market, I'm affecting what they're going to make." -- Gonzalez to San Diego radio station XX1090 in November
Crock & Role: Girardi, GM dismiss Joba's talk of starting or closing for Yankees > Steinbrenner A-OK with Alex's portrayal in Yankees kids movie > Youkilis not worried after being pulled from Yankees lineup > Desperate Damon makes plea to be Yankees' Granderson sub