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Posts Tagged ‘Sports Guy’


Since the winter meetings start next week, it is time to talk about some baseball (mostly Red Sox though).

Some of the best off season news is that Joe Morgan was non-tendered by ESPN.  I didn’t mind Jon Miller, but Morgan drove me crazy.  He was a Hall of Fame player, but not a good color man.  They will replaced by the team of Orel Hershiser, Bobby Valentine and Dan Shulman.  Not too wild about Bobby, but Orel provides some great insight in my opinion.

AP Michael Dwyer

I was a bit surprised by the whole Victor Martinez thing.  Not that he left, but some of the details of his departure.  While he was in Boston we occasionally read how he was a catcher- he wanted to catch.  He was willing to play a little firstbase or DH, but he viewed himself as a catcher.  Victor is an elite hitter as a catcher, but only very good as a DH or a first baseman (and a below par fielder).  When you consider the guy who won the Silver Slugger award at the position last year (on a 1 year deal) made $9 million, you see that the price for elite DH’s is not quite as high as elite catchers.  And that is the catch- the Red Sox didn’t want to pay him like an elite catcher when he had shifted to first base or DH full-time.  Position does matter.

Their experience with ‘Tek’s swift offensive decline (and Victor, his conditioning is legendary so it wasn’t that he didn’t take care of his body), left a bad taste in their mouth.  That and the Mike Lowell contract.  They don’t want old guys gone bad being paid big bucks.  They can’t print money like the Yankees can (especially with Fenway no longer being a HOT ticket and NESN ratings plummeting).

During the press conference to announce V-Mart’s good-sized contract it was announced that he was going to back up their catcher and spend most of his time at DH and 1st base.  Huh?  I felt like I got the old switcheroo.  But they are paying him like he’s a elite catcher.  He doesn’t have the thump you want from a DH or 1st baseman.  I will miss his ability to excel against lefties, but I think the Red Sox made a good move.  He was also a great club house guy, who worked well with some of the pitchers (Clay) but struggled with others (is Beckett’s decline coincidental?).  His probable replacement didn’t hit as well, but did a good job with the pitchers.  All starters went into the 7th (and with that bullpen, it was a huge deal).  So the Sox most likely got a defensive upgrade.  Victor worked hard, and showed some improvement but he’s over 30 and his defensive skills won’t drastically improve.  When you have to face the Rays 19 times, and face the possibility of facing the Rangers in the playoffs- you have to throw people out!

AP Photo Jeff Roberson

Of course, now there is talk of the Red Sox picking up Russell Martin via free agency, or swinging a trade with the Dodger for him.  He has been hampered by injury the last few years, but might make a good platoon with Salty. [Update: they have just re-signed, not resigned, Jason Varitek.]

I’ve posted before on the Crawford-Werth debate. Sox officials met with Crawford yesterday.  They plan to meet with Scott Boras (hit the Darth Vader music) about Werth and Beltre before the Winter Meetings.  My BIG concern (really big concern) is the length of contracts mentioned thus far.  Far too long.  I suspect the Red Sox will be quite resistant to commit to anyone that long, especially anyone over 30.

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In the first half of Game 4 of the NBA Finals I was discouraged and disappointed.  I figured we still had a shot at Game 5, but the Lakers were going to win Game 4.  Afterall, Lamar Odom showed up and the Celtics were playing no defense.

They sort of gave me a glimmer of hope as they cut the Laker lead to 12 just before the Lakers put on a mini-run to push the lead back up at the half.  Ray Allen was the only one who looked like he hadn’t been replaced by an alien look-alike.  Pierce, KG, Rondo … anyone you named- horrible!

Doc needs more credit than he gets.  He didn’t panic, and he assessed the situation well.  He and his coaches did  a great job.  They worked to spread the floor and give their guys room to run the offense.  Paul Pierce gets tons of credit for 1. volunteering to guard Kobe and doing a fantastic job, 2. reminding guys to play and not look at the score, 3. leading the charge offensively in the 3rd. 

The Celtics returned to playing defense, and shut down the Lakers.  I love that the Celtics didn’t give up, which would have been very easy.  But they kept going.  Leon Powe bought KG a few minutes of rest.  Pierce was utterly exhausted when this was over.  It is a testament to Ray Allen’s conditioning that he played the whole game and still had something left for that final layup on the isolation to basically seal the victory.  He was moving all night long and had increased ball handling responsibilities with Rondo on the bench during the stretch run.

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