It's 1am so of course that can only mean one thing.
Much like my stomach, the Red Sox off season is rounding into form. The managerial candidates have been flying fast and furious around Yawkey Way, like a really boring Vin Diesel movie, as opposed to most Vin Diesel movies which are extraordinarily interesting. The latest to interview was Sandy Alomar, who sported no pocket square and as far as I'm aware held no piece of electronic equipment beginning with a lower case letter 'i". Next. Alomar's lack of experience won't hurt him, according to Providence Journal's Brian MacPherson, which sounds like something one of my first girlfriends would have told me.
While his old team is searching for his replacement, Terry Francona has somehow managed to move on with his life. He spent a short time reminding us all that color commentators on baseball broadcasts don't actually have to be drooling numbskulls*. But that was only a seat-warming job. Francona is looking for something more permanent. He's also made it clear he hopes to manage again, and with Tony La Russa's retirement to tour with Glenn Beck, he may get his shot in St. Louis. Joy of Sox has some details, as well as notes on Dan Duquette and Yoenis Cespedes, the Cuban defector who many major league teams are salivating over because he can not only roast whole pigs and lift heavy friends with his legs, but can play some baseball as well. Kevin Goldstein at Baseball Prospectus has a (free) piece on scouting Cespedes.
*That, of course, isn't a fair characterization. We all know most color commentators don't drool very much, especially since the advent of the napkin.
Mores post jump....
Over at Fire Brand of the AL, Chip Buck has settled into a regular routine that I can only imagine involves spending three out of every five full days hiding in Nick Carfardo's bushes. How else would he get access to all of Carfardo's mail? Don't answer that. In any case, Mr. Buck has taken to answering Carfardo's mail and he does it, if I may say so, much better than Carfardo himself. Were it me I'd probably throw in some swear words and sprinkle in a few poop jokes, but then Mr. Buck has class and I won't hold that against him.
After drunkenly hooking up with just about every big name available last year, the Red Sox are nursing what can probably be described as a pretty big headache. All of which is to say, don't expect them to woo any big name free agents this off season, at least not according to Alex Speier of WEEI.com. That is more than fine with this humble writer. The names on the free agent market this off season reads like a who's-who of players I would avoid giving out long term big money contracts out to.
Speaking of long term big money deals, in light of Ruben Amaro, Jr's latest spending bonanza, Jonathan Papelbon may be looking at a bigger payday than any of us here imagined. Marc wrote about the effect Madson's potential deal could have on Papelbon here at OTM yesterday, but in short, he felt that while the increased dollars and years offered could alter the market, losing the Phillies as potential suitors might make the whole thing a wash. Alex Speier disagrees. Over at WEEI.com, Mr. Speier provides a counter point of sorts, discussing that Madson's potential deal will set the market. I suspect that both Marc and Mr. Speier would agree that the Red Sox should not offer Papelbon anything north of the rumored numbers the Phillies supposedly offered Madson. I would agree that doing so would be a mistake.
A few quickies here...
Baseball Nation's Jeff Sullivan has a nice piece on free agent starter Mark Buehrle and the odd way he has gone about winning games. Steven Goldman of Pinstriped Bible discusses Buehrle's strange stats and what it says about his potential going forward
Jason Wojciechowski has a piece up at The Platoon Advantage on what we as baseball fans know and what we don't. It's excellent.
Finally, the irrepressible Carson Cistulli, who seriously doesn't enjoy being pressed, has located the strangest and most unlikely of Peter Gammons famous pocket tweets.