My wife got diamond earrings. I got socks and a hat that says, "Spam" on it.
The socks also say "Spam."
Welcome back from your second turkey induced coma in the last month. Bob McClure: Pitching Coach should wake you the heck up. For those of you who spent the last week fighting over the last Crackhead Barbi at the Toys 'r Us, the Red Sox completed their coaching staff by hiring Bob McClure as their pitching coach. McClure, who will surely face a barrage of Simpsons related jokes in this space over the coming year, will replace the one-and-done that was Curt Young. Over at The Providence Journal, Brian MacPherson posits that McClure's hiring is proof of Allard Baird's influence within the front office. The former Royals GM and current Red Sox assistant to the GM has been an integral part of the Sox front office since coming over after his dismissal in KC following the 2006 season. I'm a bit surprised Baird didn't leave for Chicago with Theo Epstein who hired him in Boston, but the Sox and Cubs apparently agreed that Chicago wouldn't raid Boston's front office for three years. I guess after that the raid will commence.
Whatever can be said about McClure's tenure in Kansas City, he had a unique experience during his playing days that could be applicable to the Red Sox this coming year. After years in the bullpen, McClure was converted to the starting rotation, like the Red Sox are discussing doing with Daniel Bard. How much this will help push such a conversion towards success is uncertain, but it probably can't hurt. And oh yeah, that article is by Mr. MacPherson too.
Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald notes that the Red Sox have historically made significant moves later in the off season. Of course that isn't true every year, and a number of the later moves have been busts. I'd guess a similar percentage to those made earlier in the season. But the central point stands. It is possible to acquire talented players later in the off season and it has happened on multiple occasions in the past. I'm not sure that that is exactly relevant considering the new regime in charge of baseball operations now, but I present the article here to those of you who are worried the Red Sox haven't had a splashy enough off season. Sometimes the splash arrives later in the off season and, I'd also note, sometimes it comes later in the post-season. That last one is the one that's hard to guess based on what happens in late December.
The Globe's Nick Carfardo offers up his Sunday Notes column wherein he says the Sox may still be in on Jason Varitek, though for what I have no idea. Maybe he makes a nice quiche lorraine? Mr. Carfardo also takes a look at the pitching market to see where any outside help might be coming from. The Sox reported willingness to deal prospects for Gio Gonzalez likely means the team will at least continue trying to acquire more help for their pitching staff. Whether they'll find a match remains to be seen
If you haven't already checked out the Globe's slideshow featuring pictures of the Red Sox new spring training home currently under construction in Fort Myers, Florida, now is as good a time as any.
Finally, because the baseball world has been asleep for the better part of a week, I present for your consideration, two articles that have nothing to do with baseball. First, for all the talk about what a crazed maniac Kim Jong-Il was, he was an even worse human being. Or maybe he was a crazier maniac.
Second, we have actual people who dress up like super heroes and prowl the streets at night. Oh good. By day, he's a fat guy in a suit pushing papers, but by night he's a fat guy in a tighter leather suit strolling the streets trying to overcompensate for his boring life. If we're lucky maybe he'll scare some kids in the process. It's just a matter of time before one of these guys tries to fly off a rooftop at midnight and the authorities have to scrape him off the sidewalk with a spatula. This reminds me of the real gift that keeps on giving: crazy.