Keeping Up Appearances Or In This Case Anything You Can Do …. We’ll Try And Do Better Than You ……The New York Yankees …………..

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.

Larry Lucchino  (center)  and  Theo  Epstein,  (right) seen here  with   principal partner  and  owner   John  Henry  of  the  Boston  Red  Sox.  picture  appears  courtesy  of  AP/photo/  Chris Argyle  ...................
Larry Lucchino (center) and Theo Epstein, (right) seen here with principal partner and owner John Henry of the Boston Red Sox. picture appears courtesy of AP/photo/ Chris Argyle ...................

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

Red Sox on the prowl before player market gets busy

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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In order to read Mike Fine’s article in its entirety just click unto the text link provided
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Roy Halladay on  the  mound    for the   Toronto   Blue Jays.  The  pitching  ace  is  said  to be  a desired  target  of the AL  East's  Boston  Red  Sox.  As to  what it'd   take to  pry  away  the  player  from  the Blue Jays is said  to be  open  to speculation.  But names  being  mentioned   are   that of  Red  Sox pitchers either   Jon Lester  or  Clay Bucholtz  and one  or two  members  from  within  their  farm  system .   picture appears  courtesy of  AP/photo/  Chris  Nettles  ....................
Roy Halladay on the mound for the Toronto Blue Jays. The pitching ace is said to be a desired target of the AL East's Boston Red Sox. As to what it'd take to pry away the player from the Blue Jays is said to be open to speculation. But names being mentioned are that of Red Sox pitchers, either Jon Lester or Clay Bucholtz and one or two members from within their farm system . picture appears courtesy of AP/photo/ Chris Nettles ....................

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

Tigers would need super offer to trade first baseman Miguel Cabrera

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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Click on link provided to read John Lowe’s article in its entirety
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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.

Miguel Cabrera (24) of the Detroit Tigers watches his fourth inning grand slam in front of Jarrod Saltalamacchia (21) of the Texas Rangers during Opening Day on April 10, 2009 at Comerica Park in Detroit, Michigan.    picture appears courtesy of  Getty Images/  Gregory  Shamus .........................
Miguel Cabrera (24) of the Detroit Tigers watches his fourth inning grand slam in front of Jarrod Saltalamacchia (21) of the Texas Rangers during Opening Day on April 10, 2009 at Comerica Park in Detroit, Michigan. picture appears courtesy of Getty Images/ Gregory Shamus .........................

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.”

NB: Boston Red Sox Front Office, click here to view in its entirety ….

OFFICERS
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
— top —

PARTNERS
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
— top —

FRONT OFFICE
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
— top —

BASEBALL OPERATIONS
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

This Is For My Boy , Sportschump

This Is For My Boy , Sportschump

Sportschump   aka   Chris   .......perhaps  the  most   vociferous   Red   Sox   fan  there   is  within  the  state  of    Florida   ,  if   not  in    on  the   whole   Eastern   seaboard  .
Sportschump aka Chris .......perhaps the most vociferous Red Sox fan there is within the state of Florida , if not in on the whole Eastern seaboard .

Boy oh boy I don’t think that there’s more much that can be said . But the Boston Red Sox have seen better days. They were squarely bitch slapped like an unwanted stepchild .Terry Francona’s team played like a bunch of inexperienced players who were overwhelmed by the importance of the event and what was being asked of them. To say that this team underperformed would be an immense understatement. And cearly the team was outplayed in every facet of the game. Their surprising series sweep in the ALDS can only have left the Red Sox fans in a state of shock , and perhaps no one more so than my buddy Chris aka Sportschump. A long time avowed and die-hard Red Sox fan.

Gary  Matthews Jr (24) and   his teammates  of  the  Los  Angeles   Angeles   run   on  to the  field  to  celebrate  the  team's   7-6  victory  over  the   Boston  Red  Sox   at  Fenway   Park   in  Boston ,  Massachusetts .    The  Angels   swept  the  Red  Sox  3-0   in the  best   of   5  game   series   in  the  ALDS.  They   will  now   go  on  to  face  the  New York  Yankees   for  the  AL  Pennant  and  the  right  to   represent  the  AL  in  the  World  Series.        picture  appears   courtesy  of   getty  images/  Jim  Rogash  .......................
Gary Matthews Jr (24) and his teammates of the Los Angeles Angeles run on to the field to celebrate the team's 7-6 victory over the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park in Boston , Massachusetts . The Angels swept the Red Sox 3-0 in the best of 5 game series in the ALDS. They will now go on to face the New York Yankees for the AL Pennant and the right to represent the AL in the World Series. picture appears courtesy of getty images/ Jim Rogash .......................

For the Los Angeles Angels they now await the winners of the New York Yankees and Minnesota Twins‘ series. And with the Yankees now leading the best of 5 games series 2-0. They’re now heavily favored to defeat the Twins and close out the series with a 3-0 sweep of the AL Central champions. And for the New York Yankees they now chase their 27th World Series title and their first since 2000 . The Steinbrenner family have got to be extremely happy with the outcome and with the team having opened their ostentatious stadium. With their ever vapid fans and the thought of another World Series being on the cusp of being attained. It says a great deal as to what the franchise has been about since it was purchased by George Steinbrenner. No stone has been left unturned as they’ve sought to acquire the very best talent available . And if it meant breaking the bank – then that was what they indeed did. Money is of no object to baseball’s wealthiest franchise. And in many respects sports’ most famous , respected and widely recognized name.

  A  bewildered   Johnathan  Papelbon   ,  closer  for  the  Red  Sox  leaves  the   mound   in the   ninth   inning  of   game   3  in  the  ALDS  playoffs   against  the  Los  Angeles  Angels.   Also   seen  in   picture   is  the  Red  Sox  manager   Terry  Francona .               picture  appears   courtesy  of  ap/photo/  Elise  Amendola  ................
A bewildered Johnathan Papelbon , closer for the Red Sox leaves the mound in the ninth inning of game 3 in the ALDS playoffs against the Los Angeles Angels. Also seen in picture is the Red Sox manager Terry Francona . picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/ Elise Amendola ................

What this series’ defeat says of the Red Sox and how they’re viewed not only by their fans but also fans of the game in general. Either they are indeed the Yankees’ most feared rivals or they’re now becoming merely another stop off spot for the Yankees as they seek reassert their dominance of the game. With Joe Girardi taking over the reins of this team and with the presence of Derek Jeter as the stabling influence on this team. The World Series is now theirs for the taking and there isn’t much of a thought being given for their next opponent in the ALCS, which will be the Los Angeles Angels. Whom , basically the Yankees have had their way with, over the last few years when it comes to the postseason.

Vladimir   Guerrero  of  the  Angels   hits  a  two  run  RBI   against  the  Red  Sox  in the  ninth  inning  of   game  3   in the  ALDS   game   .    picture  appears   courtesy of   getty  images/  Elsa  ................
Vladimir Guerrero of the Angels hits a two run RBI against the Red Sox in the ninth inning of game 3 in the ALDS game . picture appears courtesy of getty images/ Elsa ................

There may well be no love lost between these two arch rivals but as of now there has to be a great deal envy undeniably between these two . Especially amongst their vociferous fans as they‘ve each as always , have sought to have the upper hand . As of now the upper hand reverts back to the New York Yankees. ‘The Evil Empire’ as they’ve come to be known have regained their mantel as the game’s most dominant team. It’s something baseball and in particular its hierarchy has always sought. Because without those hated Yankees , the game and essentially all that it represents becomes obsolete if they’re not amongst the upper echelons of the teams that are viewed as the top contenders to win it all. Need one say anymore ?

Bobby  Abreu (right) and  teammate  Kendry  Morales (left)  are   euphorical  after  scoring   to  put   the  Angels    in  the   lead  over  the    Boston  Red  Sox.     The  two   runs   batted  in   were   by  teammate   Vladimir   Guerrero   .        picture   appears   courtesy  of   getty  images/    Elsa   .....................
Bobby Abreu (right) and teammate Kendry Morales (left) are euphorical after scoring to put the Angels in the lead over the Boston Red Sox. The two runs batted in were by teammate Vladimir Guerrero . picture appears courtesy of getty images/ Elsa .....................

For the hierarchy of the Boston Red Sox in the guise of Team President Larry Lucchino and GM Theo Epstein . Over the off-season they’ll have to take a serious look at the team’s roster and view the changes that they’ll no doubt feel will need to be made. Though their failings weren’t magnified in any great measure. It was clear for all to see that there was indeed something missing from the team . As to what that might be , that is for the Red Sox management to decide. But it’s very clear that both the GM and team President can’t have been too pleased with the outcome. And I’d dare say that principal partner and team owner , John Henry can’t have been all that pleased either. Not when one considers, that their much hated rivals , the New York Yankees are back to their dominant best. And looking to avail themselves of another AL Pennant as well as the World Series.

And as of now , members of the Red Sox Nation are on the outside looking in. One would think that they’re not entirely pleased at the fact that in terms of bragging rights they’ve now got to put up with the Yankees’ fans lambasting them and their untimely demise. If nothing else we all know that come Spring Training of 2010 , the Red Sox fans’ resolve will be one of – looking to make amends for the disappointment suffered.

If like me you’re an avid sports fanatic and you’re always in search of a good read. Then I highly recommend Chris’ site sportschump.net. I’ve provided a direct link to the site below. In order to view just click unto the text link shown.

Sportschump.net …… http://sportschump.net