Tagged: Theo Epstein

Even the players want Varitek back!

It appalls me that some Red Sox fans don’t want Jason Varitek back. Perhaps they are those lowly bandwagon fans who only look at the statistics and don’t realize that there are certain players whose impact goes much beyond the box score. 

It goes beyond hardcore fans who want Jason Varitek back on the Red Sox. Even fans of opposing teams know that Jason Varitek belongs on the Red Sox. I have said before how much of an impact Jason Varitek is on the pitchers, and I’m not just making that up. 
Jason Varitek and Jonathan Papelbon.jpg
Upon signing with the Red Sox, Jonathan Papelbon said, “There are certain players in Major League Baseball that you take a gamble on, whether it’s age or whether it’s money… Varitek is, no question about it, in that category… Whether it’s a money issue, or whether it’s an age issue, there’s not question in my mind, you make a gamble with a person like that. It’s that simple to me.”
Papelbon has spent his entire career with the Red Sox, so he has only known one catcher, Jason Varitek. 
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If that’s not enough for you, Curt Schilling, who joined Boston in 2004, had some stuff to say. Curt has been around a little bit longer than Papelbon, so he’s definitely speaking some words of wisdom. Schilling speculated that the Sox have invested roughly $45 million dollars in its pitching staff for next year and “if your catcher doesn’t work with your pitching staff, it’s not one player that has a down year, an off season,  it’s potentially the entire staff”. He then said that he’s “very comfortable in saying that there is very little chance that every guy on that staff won’t be better if he’s back next year. He’s the kind of guy that makes you as good as you can be in each start”. 
The most significant quote though was, “Jason knows us as good, if not better, than we know ourselves” 
I don’t remember the exact quote, but I do remember Kevin Youkilis saying that it would be a huge blow not to see Varitek back at Spring Training. 
Jason Varitek and Theo Epstein.jpg
It seems like Theo and the front office have finally listened to the pleas of fans, and the pleas of the players themselves. As we know a contract offer has [finally] been made. That took a while after the whole arbitration mistake. Varitek wants two years, and he could finally be getting his wish. The contract could guarantee two years, or Varitek could attain two years by having a certain number of at-bats. It’s like those incentive contracts that we gave John Smoltz and Brad Penny. Those are the best type of contracts. Instead of just throwing the money at people and potentially getting disappointed (like the Dodgers and Andruw Jones), that money should certainly be attainable, but only by certain means. 
Hopefully Varitek would be willing to accept a lower payroll. His hopes for something around $10 million dollars were diminished upon declining arbitration. I really find it interesting that apparently he didn’t know that by declining arbitration that the receiving teams would have to relinquish two draft picks. Does that sound like the captain of the Red Sox? Are players really that blind to the business side of baseball.
I blame Scott Boras. I have no warrant for that, but I blame him. 
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Another player announced his retirement. This time it was Sean Casey. Great, our new team just lost it’s first baseman (just kidding). 
He only played 12 major league seasons, the majority of which he spent with the Reds. This doesn’t mean he’s done with baseball by any means. He signed on for some kind of job with the MLB Network. Could he be another analyst? I could definitely see him up there. 
Did you realize that with the abundance of unsigned free agents out there that you could form a pretty good team? If you didn’t see the entry, all you have to do is scroll down. If you could name it, what would you name it, and which city would it be in? 
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I found out yesterday that my friend’s Dad used to be a partner in owning the Savannah Sandgnats. Unfortunately, she did not realize the significance in owning an autographed John Smoltz ball (I’m the one with the Jacoby picture in the back),or sitting on his lap for that matter, or owning a signed World Series ball. Regardless, her father has agreed to let me interview him for this blog.
Savannah Sandgnats.jpg
So, if you could ask a former minor league baseball owner any question(s), what would you ask?

Theo’s not taking any breaks: New Red Sox Acquisition.

Thanksgiving is officially over, and it seems like Jane had the most eventful one of us all. That’s what’s being a baseball fan is all about, when someone bashes your team you don’t just sit by, you take action! 95832c1169_theo_11072007.jpg

Speaking of action, Theo Epstein made an acquisition today, it obviously didn’t take him long to digest his dinner. Today, the Red Sox acquired right handed pitcher Wes Littleton of the Texas Rangers. In exchange, the Rangers will receive either two players to be named (of course) or cash considerations. The question is, which two players? Maybe minor leaguers, maybe pitchers? We all know that it will not be Clay Buchholz, seems like Theo is very protective of him. So who could it possibly be? Perhaps Michael Bowden, maybe Lars Anderson? I wouldn’t think so though, the Sox probably want to develop those players. My guess is that it’s cash considerations. 

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I hadn’t heard of Wes Littleton until today, but here’s what I’ve gathered. In 2008 he spent most of the year in Triple-A Oklahoma, where he went 7-1, with six saves and a 4.01 ERA out of the bullpen. Over three separate stints on the major league level, he combined to throw 18.0 innings, and posted a 0-0 record with a 6.00 ERA. However, his major league career doesn’t start there, he’s been in the leagues since 2006. He is 5-3 with three saves, a 3.69 ERA, and 55 strikeouts in 102.1 innings over 80 career relief appearances. He has limited right handed opponents to a .236 BA. The Sox already have Javy Lopez, a lefty-specialist, so perhaps Littleton could be our righty specialist. In 2006 he went 2-1 with a 1.73 ERA (the tenth lowest in the AL among relievers with at least 30 appearances, and fourth among rookies). In 2007 he went 3-2 with two saves and a 4.31 ERA. Our bullpen could potentially be locked up, and with the addition of Littleton, the Sox have now locked up 38 of 40 men on their 40 man roster. One more thing Theo: re-sign Varitek to make it 39 of 40. 
On a separate note, the Sox have added first base coach Tim Bogar (replacing Luis Alicea), who will also be focusing on infield defense. He has also worked with the Rays as an assistant Major League coach working with infield defense and baserunning. Before this, he was also a minor league manager for Houston and Cleveland. Terry Francona’s staff is now as follows: Brad Mills (bench coach), John Farrell (pitching coach), Dave Magadan (hitting coach), DeMarlo Hale (third base coach), Gary Tuck (bullpen coach), and now Tim Bogar as our first base coach. 
Tazawa is expected to announce to sign with the Red Sox on Monday, even though the Rangers offered him more money. My only guess as to why is because of Dice-K Matsuzaka and Hideki Okajima… Matsuzaka is an “idol” in Japan. 
There haven’t been a lot of rumors on the Hot Stove about Manny. I’m starting to wonder where he’s going to go. Any thoughts? 
-Elizabeth

What Does Joe Biden put on his pasta?

It’s finally here, it’s what we’ve all been waiting for (for the past four years)! Ever since the primaries started, I’ve been excited. I myself am a moderate-liberal, but I do like Barack Obama, and Joe Biden. John McCain is a great guy though, I just don’t like Sarah Palin very much. If McCain-Palin ends up getting elected, we’ll have some great SNL skits to come in the next four years; plus, perhaps some more prank calls from French-Canadian radio stations! 

So I got home from school today, and I was really excited to turn on the news to see how the election was going. I turn on Fox News at 4 (channel 7 or whatever) and some guy is talking about the weather, so I look for CNBC or MSNBC but I can’t find it, I think it just disappeared. But, I did find the Colbert Report, which is much more reliable than any of the other stations, in my opinion at least. Mr. Colbert and Mr. Stewart are probably the smartest guys on television. Political satire shows are my favorite.
So, the only big baseball news of the day that I have acquired is that Theo Epstein’s contract has been extended. I trust Theo with everything he does, I’d put my life in his hands. I just really hopes that he decided to keep Jason Varitek, and Jacoby Ellsbury. One more thing, I want Pedroia to be MVP, I think that he really deserves it. How cool would it be if he got rookie of the year and then the MVP in back to back seasons. He’s insane. I think the top 3 cadidates are Pedroia, Mauer (or maybe it’s Hamilton? I’m not sure) and Youkilis. If one of them wins, then they definitely deserve it. 
So, the answer to the question (or joke rather)… What does Joe Biden put on his pasta? COMMUNIST MANIPESTO! See? Not only is Steven Colbert smart, he’s clever too!

A Day of Abuse, all is normal

It was nice having Monday off, so that I could really take it all in. It was definitely not has heart breaking as the 2003 ALCS, which I watched as a 10 year old, and was astounded by what happened. In fact, it wasn’t even that heart breaking, a little disappointing sure, but nothing huge. The day off came at a good time for me though, I wasn’t ready to deal with all the abuse that I would’ve gotten. I was still getting over the fact that this might be Jason Varitek’s last year as a Red Sox, and I don’t know if I ever will be over that. 

Of course, as soon as I got to school today, the abuse started, and boy did they go to town. All the Red Sox haters were at it, some of whom don’t even watch baseball, which really annoys me. A few of my teachers were surprised I wasn’t wearing all black in mourning of the Red Sox. I suppose they infer that I’m a Red Sox fan from the earrings, the sweatshirt, oh, and the shoes. If it wasn’t that it might be the loud arguments I have on a daily basis with some of the Red Sox haters (none of which I start). One person commented how he had the same batting average as Jacoby Ellsbury, another decided to bring up Bucky Dent *spits*, Aaron Boone *spits*, and Bill Buckner. Really shows their level of maturity, huh? 
Theo Epstein is already pondering the offseason, he sure has a lot on his plate. There are a bunch of free agents out there, and players up for trade for that matter. Some of which are: Jake Peavy, CC Sabbathia, Mark Texiera, Salty (you know who I mean!) On a positive note, Theo is going to sit down and talk with Jason Varitek’s agent and try to come to an agreement. Theo called Varitek an “invaluable asset to our team”. I think he will do all that he can (within reason of course) to keep Jason Varitek. Mike Timlin will probably be retiring, Curt Schilling too, and even perhaps Tim Wakefield. He might try and squeeze one more year out though. The thing is, in this offseason, we don’t really want to give up our young prospects. Our team is pretty young right now, so perhaps we should focus on building a team for the future, while still keeping around some important veterans. We definitely want to keep people like: Jed Lowrie, Justin Masterson, Jacoby Ellsbury, and Clay Buchholz. We also want to bulk up contracts for people like Jonathan Papelbon, Dustin Pedroia, among others. I think we need to work on perhaps some more starting pitching (unless they do something with Masterson), and maybe even the bullpen. Don’t forget though, that Masterson, Okajima, and Papelbon were the ones who really came through for us in the postseason. 
On another note, Joba Chamberlain got arrested for DUI, but hey, plenty of athletes do. I’m sure he’ll get some crap about it, but the fact of the matter is: that doesn’t change how great of a pitcher he is. Whether he’s setting up for Mariano Rivera or starting, he’s scary to face. However, it is a nice backup argument to use during my daily (involuntary) debates. 
Where do you think Jake Peavy will go? CC Sabbathia? Texiera, Salty?? Anyone else (like Manny?). 
World Series starts tomorrow night, it should be a great series!
-Elizabeth