Man, it's so nice to be back. I feel like Terry Waite right now. So much stuff I've wanted to do while in captivity, so I think I'll just start writing.
In no particular order:
- Sox fans, and baseball fans everywhere, stop with the whole focus on money. It's not the money. The market spiked. If Johnny Damon were a free agent this season, and not last, then his price would have been 5 years at 100 million.
Are the Sox overpaying for JD Drew? Yes.
Are you like me and wonder "hey, I thought they don't do 5-year deals and waive no-trade clauses..." ? I hope so.
And can you figure out the thing with Julio Lugo? No? Good.
But it is what it is, as Coach Belichick is wont to saying, and I fear that the Sox are in no better position than they were in September of this past year. Let's review.
1B - Kevin Youkilis performed pretty well in his first full season as an everyday player. Not much pop, but had a good OBP for a leadoff guy when Boom Boom Bust (my new name for Coco Crisp) bwoke his itty bitty wittle pinky finger. Defense didn't suck.
2B - What the hell was wrong with Mark Loretta? Brought a glove. Got basehits. Made the All-Star team. Turned double plays. Cost nothing. Who is replacing him, Pedroia? The only think he adds to the lineup is one less comma on his paycheck.
SS - Um, if I told you last Winter that Alex Gonzalez would hit .250, you'd have taken it, right? And then if I said that he would've been the best defensive SS in Sox history, perhaps, plus a handful of HR and a few key RBI here and there, you'd sign him up, right? Well, no you wouldn't have, because maybe Hanley Ramirez was in the mix. Well, now we have a guy with the domestic life of Wil Cordero, the bat of Orlando Cabrera, the glove of Jose Offerman, and the facial resemblance of Quincy Douby. Shampoo.
3B - You know what Mike Lowell has done so far this offseason? Get coffee for 35 cents at McDonald's, go to movies for half-price, vote, shit his pants, and complain that it's so god-damned hot. Why? Because that's what old people do.
LF - For christ's sake, is it Manny or not? Y'all know how I feel about Manny, so I won't restate it (ok, I will - he's my second favorite Red Sox of all-shampooing-time.). So trade him if you're going to trade him. Get nickels on the dollar if you must, because it's better than pennies. If you're not going to trade him, then make a few exceptions for whatever it is that makes him happy. Somehow the only reason I think they acquired Drew was to have someone else to bitch about quitting on the team or acquiring fake injuries.
CF - Big year coming for Boom Boom. Nothing wrong with him in the nine-hole. While Mike Lowell was buying aspercreme and Werther's candies, lets hope Boom Boom spent his time watching Tom Emanski's "How To Properly Track a Ball in Centerfield" DVD.
RF - JD Drew. Yawn. I'm willing to give him the benefit of the doubt, and if he can provide some protection for the Dominican Duo, I'm even more in favor. He is a better fielder than Trot (is that a difficult task to achieve???) and Wily Mo (Mike Lowell's Depends are better than Wily Mo defensively) so he's got that going for him.
C - Tek. Backup? As long as he's not hitting .158 and named Doug, I don't care. I hope the Mass Staties gave Dougie an 11-minute ride BACK to Logan.
Bench: Wily Mo, good righty power; Hinske, versatile lefty bat; Alex Cora, Remy's man-crush; Carlos Pena, why not?; Dave Murphy, you have to give him a shot, right?; Joe McEwing, whatever; George Kotteras, backup catcher, whatever.
I'll move onto the starters tomorrow
- Jennifer Aniston and Vince Vaughn broke up? Who cares?
My only concern: is she going to join the fellowship of the bimbos and stop wearing undies, so the whole world can see Wile E. Coyote, a la Britney and Lindsay and Paris et al?
By the way, Brit-love...C-section scars are so passe. UGG boots, too.
- To my recollection, this year - and it's only December - has had the best early-season, non-conference college basketball in quite some time.
Is it the new rule about the NBA making kids wait a year? Sure.
Is it a cousin of that rule - the "George Mason effect" - in that mid-major schools are better teams because they have seniors that get to play and improve together for four years?
Sure. All of the above.
And most of all, it's the due diligence of the NCAA Tournament committees the last few, who have not rewarded "power" conference teams with weak schedules over mid-majors who hang and bang, night in and night out.
Either way, this early season slate only sets up what will be some great conference matchups in January, February, and March.
That's it for now.
It's so nice to be back at the Dexter Lake Club. Shama-lama-ding-dong.