Hot Stove fired up early..


Manny clears waivers. Neat beginning, though. From Sox owner John W. Henry posted over at Sons of Sam Horn:

We know sometimes it’s very difficult having faith in management, especially when information is limited, so we take no offense….Hang in there, the offseason has barely begun.

Can you imagine another baseball owner posting in, let alone READING, an internet message board devoted to his team?

According to a couple different sources this morning, Manny’s agent ASKED the Sox to put the slugger on waivers. So throw out the “If nobody claims him, he’s going to feel unwanted” theory.

This is the first quote I’ve seen from Moorad:

“He’ll be just fine if he’s back in Boston next season,” said Jeff Moorad, Ramirez’s agent. “He always expressed a desire to play for the Yankees, and in a strange twist of fate, the Red Sox certainly gave him an opportunity to make that happen, although it seems unlikely to me it will. You certainly can’t fault the Red Sox for creating a mechanism for that opportunity to come about.” EDES

The Edes article is pretty interesting. Another tidbit:

“There is a $250,000 fine for commenting on waivers,” John W. Henry, the principal owner of the Red Sox, said yesterday. “I cannot say if a player is on waivers or not on waivers. I have no comment on these reports.”

So where is the leak?

We’ll see what goes down by late afternoon, although it is highly unlikely that anybody picks him up.

From this morning’s New York Post:

Taking on the best player in baseball will not be easy, especially because he is still owed $154 million over seven years. That is why the Red Sox want to rid themselves of Ramirez’s $101.5 million over the next five years.

To land A-Rod, according to sources, the Red Sox would send Nomar Garciaparra, who has one year left on his contract, to an unidentified third team as part of a three-way trade, most likely a West Coast club. The Rangers would acquire help in a number of ways, including pitcher Casey Fossum and pitching coming back from the team that lands Garciaparra.

The Red Sox are fed up with both Garciaparra and Ramirez. Even if they can’t dump Ramirez on someone else, they at least can tell him, “See, we tried to get you to the Yankees, but even they didn’t want you, so get your act together.” KERNAN

I put that in the “throw enough you-know-what at the wall and see what sticks” department, but I thought I’d share.

Today’s Hartford Courant has some analysis/projections for this already interesting offseason:

Sox roster stay/maybe/gone info

Sox Hot Stove preview:

Interesting tidbit from that Heusckel article that contradicts the notion that Kim will be non-tendered:

Given that Epstein had his eyes on Kim for a long time, it’s doubtful the Red Sox would give up on him because he made some bad pitches, and one bad gesture. It can be debated whether it was a sore right shoulder, a bruised ego or an allergic reaction to the Yankees that kept Kim off the ALCS roster. A team official described the results of a recent MRI on Kim’s shoulder as clean. His ego healed the day Grady Little was fired. Kim, who wasn’t happy in the bullpen and was in the manager’s doghouse, might be the only player on the team who wasn’t disappointed to see Little go.

There is also similar writeups on the Yankees. One thing taken from there is that the Yanks have 115 million COMMITTED to 2004 as of right now.

As always, trust the Courant for the best Sox/Yanks coverage, in my opinion. If you aren’t registered on the site, I suggest you do so. And no, I don’t have anything to gain from that.

Guest Column

From the member known as dannycater:

Who Cares Who Manages, Just Make Sure They Are Fresh

In the history of Sox Baseball going back to 1912, managers of Boston teams are known for quick turn-arounds, or success in a relative hurry.

The Red Sox have made it to the postseason 13 times in the years from 1912-2003. In those 13 successful years, only Joe Cronin in 1946 was a manager for any significant period of time before his team won either a pennant, division or wild card.

This bodes well for any new manager of the Sox.

Here is a list of the managers, listed with the year that they won after they became manager of the Sox:

1912-Jake Stahl-1st season
1915-Bill Carrigan-2nd season
1916-Carrigan-3rd season
1918-Ed Barrow-1st season
1946-Cronin-13th season
1967-Dick Williams-1st season
1975-Darrell Johnson-2nd season
1986-John McNamara-2nd season
1988-Joe Morgan-1st season
1990-Morgan-3rd season
1995-Kevin Kennedy-1st season
1998-Jimy Williams-2nd season
1999-Williams-3rd season
2003-Grady Little-2nd season

Nine different managers rang up a postseason appearance by their second season as Sox manager. And the three other appearances were by same managers in their third season.

What does all this mean? Well, it tells you that having a manager long-term doesn’t seem to be all that important. It also speaks of how managers are hired to be fired, especially with the Sox.

A less-alarming statistic is that in each of 13 cases, the manager was NO LONGER running the sox on the field by their third season following the playoff appearance. Again, success either happens quick and if it isn’t sustained, the manager is fired.

Five different managers hit playoff pay-dirt in their 1st season as manager, so hopefully whomever the sox hire will be the sixth in 2004.

Any updates on the “Manny on Waivers” situation, I’ll post here if I hear them.

Sox Schedule Released

Sox close the season October 1,2, and 3 in Baltimore. For those that may be interested in doing a group outing, I’d suggest booking your room now. You can always cancel if you don’t go…but when I booked a month before I went in August, I found a crummy hotel a mile away for $180 a night. Tonight I booked at the Day’s Inn Inner Harbor for $135 a night, literally a block or two from the park. Check for yourself; we’ll worry about tickets later.

Here is the whole Sox schedule. Brutal beginning and end; all AL East to start and finish.

Am I the only one that has a problem with this?

Headlines over the past couple of days: Red Sox Fire Little
MSNBC: Skipper fired in wake of decision-making in ALCS loss to Yanks
CBSSPORTSLINE: Little scapegoat

The majority of headlines I’ve perused are less inflammatory. But goes so far as to have a chart with managers let go in similar situation with asterisks next to those who were fired. Including Grady Little.


Did Game 7 have anything to do with this decision? I’m sure it played a part. But let’s be realistic. If Sox management were so enthralled with Little, then his option would have been picked up long ago. And for those that question if he really would have been let go had the Sox made the World Series…what happened to Dusty Baker last year?

Since calming down a bit after the initial anger, I’ve gone back and forth with this decision. I decided a few days ago that I could live with it either way. At least the Sox didn’t waste any time coming to this decision so they can jump right in and start looking for people.

Anyway, most locally will approve of this move (and again; not just because of Game 7), and most nationally will hate it (but he’s such a good guy!). It’ll all blow over by Spring Training.

I find it interesting that the most quoted player over the past few days, at least in the Hartford Courant, has been John Burkett…who has as much chance being on the 2004 Sox as Grady Little.

Ding, Dong redux

BREAKING SPORTS NEWS: The Red Sox have decided not to renew Grady Little’s contract, according to the Globe’s Gordon Edes. Little was informed of the decision within the past hour. The team will hold an afternoon news conference to announce their decision. — Developing


Ding, Dong

Is the witch dead?

Maybe, maybe not.

I finally watched some of the World Series. We went to a movie Saturday night (go see Mystic River…excellent), and I watched from the 5th inning on after we got home. I’m happy that the Yankees didn’t win (kind of), but I’m not overjoyed as I’m sure some Sox fans are.

To me, the Yankees losing means that Steinbrenner does everything in his power to rebuild this team into a powerhouse…payroll be damned. On one hand, if they make the right moves, and other teams don’t get any of the premier free agents…this could work. On the other hand, it could be the death knell for this particular dynasty.

Personally, I’m hoping for a run similar to the LAST time Steinbrenner took an angry hold of the reins…like the mid 80’s until he was suspended. I also hope that Cashman is NOT fired…because if you look at it, he really hasn’t done too much for the Yanks. He inherited an excellent club…and really hasn’t made it too much better.

From a Sox standpoint, this very interesting offseason gets off to a start if/when Grady Little is not extended. I honestly go back and forth on this one. No question that he made the wrong call in Game 7 in my mind…but how much damage may be done if he is let go? What kind of backlash; not only from current Sox players…but future players/coaches that are considering working here? We’ll see what happens…

Sometime this week I’m going to roll out a retrospective…snippets from my posts throughout the season. When I have some time, I’ll compose it.

So are you watching?

I honestly have yet to watch an entire at bat. Part of me doesn’t care, and part of me can’t stomach to watch.

Sure, the first thing I do in the morning is get the paper off the porch and look at the Sports section to see what happened, but as for the live broadcast…I’ve not done more than flip to FOX to see the current score.

After reading what transpired last night, and hearing the reactions on the radio this morning, I have to think that Jeff Weaver’s future with the Yankees look about as good as Grady Little’s with the Red Sox.

I’ve gone back and forth over the past week regarding Grady. Part of me still is (and will always be) absolutely furious at his decision not to go to the bullpen in the 8th…or at least once Pedro gave up a hit. Not to mention not going to the bullpen in the bottom of the 11th. Had the Sox lost with the pen used as it had been all playoffs, I could have lived with that. Another part of me, the slightly more rational part, says that it may not be right to hang a guy based on one monumentally bad decision.

Well, according to this morning’s Boston Globe, there is a chance that Grady might make the Sox brass decision a little easier.

Faced with the increasing likelihood that he will be fired as Red Sox manager, Grady Little said yesterday that he’s not sure he wants to manage the Red Sox next season.

“I’m prepared for the likelihood . . . I’m not sure that I want to manage that team,” Little said by phone from his home in North Carolina. “That’s how I felt when I drove out of town.

“If they don’t want me, fine, they don’t want me. If they want me to come back, then we’ll talk and see if I want to come back up there. That’s the way I feel about it.”

Little said he hasn’t heard a word from Sox brass since returning home. “All I know is when I left there, there was some hesitation. That’s all I need to know,” he said. “If Grady Little is not there, he’ll be somewhere.

“Right now I’m disappointed that evidently some people are judging me on the results of one decision I made — not the decision, but the results of the decision. Less than 24 hours before, those same people were hugging and kissing me. If that’s the way they operate, I’m not sure I want to be part of it.”

“That’s not my problem, (player disappointment at his possible dismissal)” he said. “Just add one more ghost to the list if I’m not there, because there are ghosts. That’s certainly evident when you’re a player in that uniform.” EDES

Go read the whole article. In my opinion, it reads like a man who is angry (perhaps rightly so), but also like a man in denial.

Closing the door on 2003

So here I sit, almost 24 hours after the ignominious end to what was a great, great season.

Does it still hurt? Sure it does. I’m sure that at least once a day for the next 4 and a half months, many of us will shake are heads and muttter out loud “Why, Grady?” or “5 outs away”…and we’ll probably have the same thought a few times a year for the rest of our lives.

But life goes on. Starting next week, we’ll all be more productive at work. Our families will have us back. Projects around the house will get the attention they deserve. The sun will rise in the east and set in the west.

But it sure was a helluva season, wasn’t it? I can’t think of another season that had as many euphoric highs (and unfortunately, devastating lows). It wasn’t everything we had hoped…but it was a great ride.

This site has been a lot of fun for me. What started as a possible haven for a group of people tired of what’s Sox chat had become turned into a nice little community. Actually, it has become a couple of factions…those that come into the chat during the day and at gametime (there are several people not in New England who basically used the chat to follow the game. Across the country and around the world), and those who have found there way here and stop by to read the front page. Which frankly amazes me. The fact that some people come here for no other reason than to see what I have to say about the Sox is interesting. On the other hand, I guess I do the same…bouncing around the web to find out what some of the real fans think.

So I want to thank you, dear visitor, for stopping by as much as you do. And especially to all of you who dropped me a consoling email yesterday and/or made those nice comments on yesterday’s post. I think things like that and the discussion in online communities such as this and Sons of Sam Horn help us deal with a loss like last night a little better.

Updates will obviously be less frequent from here on out…and may even delve into non baseball matters. Until then, I leave you with the obligatory…

Wait until next year.