Monday, December 22, 2008

Here's the Deal

No, not the Teixeira deal. The whole world remains in suspense over what uniform this guy will decide to wear in 2009. In fact, it's looking more and more like he's going to be a Red Sox and that it's just going to take a little bit of time. I say they need him, I'm happy if they get him, but don't bid against yourselves and dole out even more money to Boras. I think John Henry - a man who knows all about financial risk - gets it this time around. If they can't get Tex signed at $175-180 million over eight years, move on. That's an outrageous contract in these times. (See, I just go on and on about baseball... back to my original intent...)

No, the deal we're talking about here is the first question I asked my buddy Bobby yesterday after the Patriots had eviscerated a gutless Arizona Cardinals team in the snow at Gillette, to the nice little tune of 47-7. "Are the Jets incented to beat the Dolphins next week? I need to know that a win matters to them." See, the Pats and Dolphins both won their games yesterday, making them each 10-5. The Jets, predictably, lost in Seattle, making them 9-6 and on the far outer edges of the playoffs. The Jets' loss gives the Pats two possible pathways in: if the Ravens lose and the Pats win, we're a wild card team. And if the Pats win and the J-E-T-S win next Sunday, we're AFC East division champs again and we're hosting a home playoff game. Just like that. So I needed to know that Ratboy Mangini and his overpaid team of choke artists would at least show up. I even wanted to know what time the two games were scheduled for, taking the conspiracy theory a level deeper that one team could see that the other lost or won, and simply not care anymore.

But not to worry, I feel better that the Jets will play to win, even if I have to peg my playoff hopes to Brett Favre. (Imagine saying that five years ago?) The NFL got smart and moved both the Jets-Dolphins and Ravens-Jaguars games to 4:00 starts, while keeping Pats-Bills at 1:00. Why is this smart? Because if the Ravens lose and the Jets win, the Jets are in. And you have to think Ratboy is kinda coaching for his livelihood here too, the way they've played down the stretch. So that satisfies me in the incentive department.

It would be a shame if the Pats didn't get a shot in the postseason this year, a statement that was unthinkable just a few minutes into Game 1 this year, when someone named Bernard Pollard seemingly ruined our season before it even began. But the Pats very well could become the first 11-5 team in NFL history to not make the playoffs, all while having to stomach watching the likes of the Cardinals and Broncos make it in.

I hate to say it, but here we go J-E-T-S! We love ya Brett. You too (holding my nose, crossing my fingers) Ratboy. Coach 'em up! And remember who made you what you are today, you ungrateful little piece of ... like I said, coach 'em up.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Not So Fast

Less than an hour after the post below, I heard the news that Sox owner John Henry had e-mailed the media late Thursday night, saying that the Sox were bowing out of the Teixeira talks because of "other offers" that the team couldn't compete with. It was a stunning turn of events, but we should all know better how these things with Boras tend to work. They take time. There's maneuvering on both sides. Most baseball people think that Henry's message was a negotiating ploy, and that the Red Sox are still Teixeira's top suitors.

Not much new news yesterday, so we'll just have to wait and see.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Sox Getting Close on Teixeira?

Please let this happen. Various reports are saying that Sox reps are in Texas tonight talking with Scott Boras about a mega-deal for Mark Teixeira. Something in the neighborhood of 8 years and $184 million. Very nice neighborhood. And then after this happens, please God, please, let the Hankees sign Manny for big bucks. That'll make for a very nice Christmas, indeed.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Spending Spree

So, do you think the Yankees were pleased about missing the playoffs last year for the first time in forever? Their master plan to build a scouting and player development machine has fallen by the wayside and the Steinbrenner wallet is back out. That didn't take too long, but it's certainly not surprising. They're opening up a new ballpark this year, and George is in failing health so he doesn't want to watch the likes of Philip Hughes and Ian Kennedy develop.

And it certainly didn't take them long to figure out that their starting rotation absolutely sucked. In the past week, the Spanks have responded by shelling out more than $240 million to CC Sabathia and A.J. Burnett. Similar to when the Yanks didn't go hard after Johan Santana - and later regretted it - they needed Sabathia and they got their man, signing him to a 7-year, $161 million contract with an opt-out clause after three years. Yesterday, news broke that they had also signed Burnett, a guy with immense talent whose body is unfortunately made out of papier mache, to a ridiculous 5-year, $82 million deal. That one has Carl Pavano written all over it. Or maybe Kevin Brown. Or Randy Johnson. You get the point - they suck at judging free agent pitching talent. I am hoping and praying that they go after Manny Ramirez, just for pure entertainment reasons.

As for the Sox, most everyone thinks they're in on the Mark Texeira sweepstakes along with the Angels. I think he'd be a great sign - a young player in the prime of his career who desperately wants to be on a winner. They'd have to move Youkilis to third and figure out what to do with Mike Lowell, but like the Yanks' money grab for CC, I think this is a case of the Red Sox needing Texeira. Big Papi needs someone to ride sidecar with him.

The other big story hook has been what the Sox will do about Varitek and their lack of catching depth. Despite what you hear out of Scott Bore-ass' mouth, it doesn't appear that 'Tek got any other substantial offers from other teams. I think he'll be back, maybe for 2 years at between $15 and $18 million. I know you're supposed to keep emotion out of it, but I'd have no problem giving Varitek an extra million or so for what he's done. He's earned a little bit of legacy pay, in my book.

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