Well it had to have stuck into the claw of Boston Red Sox President,Larry Lucchino and the team’s General Manager,Theo Epstein, to see the New York Yankees defeat the Philadelphia Phillies to raise their 27th World Series title. Albeit,that it was their first since 2000.
Having made the playoffs the disappointment of having lost to the Los Angeles Angels was a bitter pill to swallow. And in many ways it was somewhat indicative of their season as a whole. Wherein, at times there were playing outstanding baseball. But more often than not there were those momentary lapses in concentration and where their game became entirely inconsistent of what one had come to expect of the organization.It may well have been from over complacency on their part or quite possibly from the fact that this time around they simply weren’t just good enough.
Courtesy of The Patriot Ledger
Epstein’s history is to deal before winter meetings
By Mike Fine, The Patriot Ledger
The perception of the annual MLB winter meetings is that it’s a free-for-all meat market of free agents replete with clandestine meetings in shady corners between general managers and agents, and wholesale sell jobs by those agents.
True, but the league’s GMs would much prefer to avoid the clamor and make their deals well before the meetings commence. The Red Sox have been fairly successful in doing just that during the Theo Epstein regime, making numerous deals before the meetings, which this year begin on Dec. 7.
(Epstein made this year’s first move on Thanksgiving Eve, acquiring infielder Tug Hulett from the Royals. Hold the applause.)
Epstein’s first coup, in fact, was the signing of Curt Schilling. Six years ago he was sitting in Schilling’s dining room partaking in the Thanksgiving dinner that led to the Schilling acquisition, thereby keeping him away from the Yankees and any other vultures who’d be awaiting him as the meetings loomed. Schilling told WEEI listeners on Wednesday that while the Sox were visiting, he took an illicit call from the Yankees in another room.
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The team’s nucleus is totally reliant on an aging but experienced roster but there’s little by way of a real emerging presence of a leader to take over from team captain, Jason Varitek. Certainly, there wasn’t anything coming from the likes of Jason Bay, Josh Beckett, Tim Wakefield,David Ortiz, Victor Martinez or any other of an assortment of players on the team. And it became even more apparent that players such as Kevin Youkilis and Mike Lowell didn’t seem ready to step up to the plate and assume that role. Though it has to be said that the diminutive Dustin Pedroia seemed to fit the role but no one would follow suit. And it typified the struggles that the team faced throughout much of the regular and postseason. It certainly wasn’t lost on the casual observer of the game or the most ardent of fans and many of the analysts, commentators covering baseball and MLBin particular.
Terry Francona, as manager of the Red Sox, has guided the team to two World Series’titles in his first four years as the team’s manager. And that success hasn’t been lost on the die-hard fans within the ‘Red Sox Nation’. If anything, they’ll forever be eternally grateful to Francona for that success , having drifted in the wilderness of mediocrity for a number of years and being the butt of jokes from the Yankees’ fans as well from the rest of the baseball world. But seemingly, as times changed, so too did the mindset of the Red Sox fans and the organization. They sat back and rested on their laurels. They seemed to have forgotten that the once ‘sleeping giant’ known as the New York Yankees weren’t about to let the Red Sox seem to think that they were the dominant force in baseball. The game has its pecking order ….and that appears to be ..it’s the New York Yankees and then everyone else in no discerning order.
Courtesy of The Detroit Free Press
By John Lowe , Free Press Writer
Amid continuing speculation that the Tigers will trade first baseman Miguel Cabrera this off-season, here are some things to keep in mind:
• Cabrera’s contract could represent a huge deterrent for any team, even a high-payroll one. For each of the remaining six years of his contract, Cabrera will make at least $20 million. That’s more than $120 million total.
• Unlike with a free-agent signing, any team that takes Cabrera would have to come up with more than big bucks. They’d also have to send players to the Tigers. If the Tigers took players in the trade whose combined salaries are close to Cabrera’s, that would contradict one speculated reason for the Tigers to trade Cabrera: cost-cutting.
• If the Tigers receive an irresistible offer for Cabrera, he could be gone — just as almost any other player in the majors could be traded for the right offer. For this reason, among others, clubs are reluctant to declare that any player of theirs is “untouchable.”
• Evidence that the Tigers are actively shopping Cabrera to other teams is hard to find.
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Now it is being rumored that the Red Sox will make a full court press to land pitching ace, Roy Halladay, of the Toronto Blue Jays. And with the Blue Jays being in the midst of an upheaval not just within their onfield personnel but also within their front office. There’s bound to be a great deal of speculation as to what the Red Sox will be prepared to give up and what the Blue Jays in return will desire from the Red Sox in order to let go of Halladay. And it is being further mentioned that the team is said to be thinking of acquiring the Detroit Tigers’ slugger, Miguel Cabrera. Tigers’ general manager,Dave Dombrowski, it appears is about to have a fire sale of the majority of team’s roster, as they seek to start afresh building around youth and through their ‘farm system’.
While no one doubts the financial acumen of the Boston Red Sox organization. And that of its principal partners,John Henry , Tom Werner, film and television mogul. It’ll take a phenomenal amount of maneuvering to make both deals happen.In Theo Epstein, the Boston Red Sox might just have the most astute general manager in all of baseball. His knowledge of the game is unprecedented and his assessment of talent is second to none. And if anyone is able to make such a deal materialize,then he’d be the guy to do it. Albeit, that there may well be one or two opponents against such a deal. In the case of Cabrera, it would mean having to be tied to the player’s $120 million dollar contract for the money that he’s owed over the next six years. Financial constraints being what they are, in essence for the Red Sox, it’s about trying to keep apace with the New York Yankees, rather than falling too far behind.But also Epstein and Lucchino have thought that with Jason Bay seeking to pursue the free agency market, some additional ‘pop’ on the Red Sox’s offensive will be needed. Far too often, their bats at times were found to be wanting . And as prolific on appearance as their offense is said to be, when it mattered most in really tight games , it was nowhere to be seen.
And within the always competitive AL East , where it’s always been primarily about the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees. It hasn’t helped that the waters have become somewhat muddied with the ascendancy of the Tampa Bay Rays, who view themselves as the ‘new kids on the block’ looking to usurp the dominance of these two fabled foes. With them now becoming more competitive within the division where they were once the doormat that everyone seemingly beat up on. Now things have taken on a sense of urgency for both of these two dominant teams.
In the meantime, the other occupants within the division,the Baltimore Orioles and Toronto Blue Jays can only sit back and watch in amazement, as they’re left further behind from the triumvirate ahead of them in the pecking order within the most competitive division in all of baseball. And for them the appearance of being competitive is akin to trying to ascertain the number of sand grains it would take to fill an hour-glass. Their’s at present is a thankless task, which hasn’t been made any easier by owners who on appearance alone have no guts to show that they’ve got what it takes to either show an interest in their respective teams. If I am indeed wrong ,then please avail of the information that indicates that Peter Angelos of the Baltimore Orioles or Rogers Communications of the Toronto Blue Jays actually gives a damn about their respective baseball organizations ? Because I for one, have yet to see it for myself over the last decade and counting. And that is the misnomer that MLB Commissioner,Bud Selig would contrive to have us believe about the game and its erstwhile and compassionate owners. Absolutely nothing could be further from the truth.
With the Winter Meetings scheduled to start in the first week of December (December 7th),it’ll be interesting to see what materializes from the get together of the major league general managers, agents ,coaches and their ancillary staff.This is in effect is where a great deal of the back door maneuvers and deals in essence take flight or get burnt down as the case maybe. And on hand to report it all with the usual aplomb will be the cabal of baseball writers, analysts looking to give light to a rumor or just to be seen doing their jobs in the customary fashion.As to whether or not there’s to be a major scoop to come out of it all. We’ll just have to wait and see. One thing is certain however, the Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees will most definitely have one or two irons in the fire looking to wheel and deal. As to the others in attendance as it was so made abundantly clear by Marie Antoinette “……let them eat cake.”
Principal Owner John W. Henry
Chairman Thomas C. Werner
Vice Chairmen David Ginsberg, Phillip H. Morse
President/Chief Executive Officer Larry Lucchino
Director George J. Mitchell
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Theodore Alfond New York Times Co. (Jim Lessersohn, Janet Robinson)
William Alfond Arthur E. Nicholas
Thomas R. DiBenedetto Frank Resnek
Michael Egan Martin Trust
Michael Gordon Jeffrey Vinik
John A. Kaneb
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EVP/Chief Operating Officer Sam Kennedy
EVP/Business Affairs Jonathan Gilula
General Counsel of NESV Ed Weiss
Vice President, Emeritus Joe McDermott
Vice President, Team Historian Dick Bresciani
Executive Consultant Lou Gorman
Senior Advisor/Baseball Projects Jeremy Kapstein
Senior Advisor/Strategic Planning Michael Porter
Special Assistant to the Principal Owner Sylvia Moon
Senior Business Analyst Tim Zue
Special Assistant to SVP Business Affairs Katie Haas
Special Assistant to COO and CSMO Fred Olsen
Executive Assistants Fay Scheer (to the President/CEO)
Barbara Bianucci, Jeanne Bill, Claire Durant, Kathleen Fleming
Special Projects Coordinator Jon Dienstag
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Executive Vice President/General Manager Theo Epstein
Senior Vice President/Assistant General Manager Ben Cherington
Senior Vice President/Assistant General Manager Jed Hoyer
Senior Vice President/International Scouting Craig Shipley
Assistant to the General Manager Allard Baird
Senior Advisor/Baseball Operations Bill James
Director of Baseball Operations Brian O’Halloran
Director of Baseball Information Services Tom Tippett
Assistant Director of Baseball Operations Zack Scott
Special Assistant to the General Manager David Howard
Executive Assistant Erin Cox
Traveling Secretary Jack McCormick
Instructors Johnny Pesky, Jim Rice, Luis Tiant
Medical Director Dr. Thomas Gill
Team Internist Dr. Larry Ronan