Things are getting crazy down at the Hilton Anatole hotel in Dallas, Texas, home of the Winter Meetings. I'm told peanuts are up to $3.50 a bag, crappy beer is $7 at the hotel bar, and room service will cost you several fingers and/or an unborn child, depending on your order. But hey, you'll be able to see things like Jim Leyland horking a candy bar from the hotel gift shop. Seriously.
The Winter Meetings are sort of heating up, or warming up, or lukewarming up. The Twitter-verse was alive with rumors about Albert Pujols. First Pujols was headed to Miami, then he was going back to St. Louis, then nobody knew where he was going, then Miami again, then there was a mystery team, then there wasn't a mystery team and on and on and on. But that's the poetry of the Winter Meetings, isn't it? Following the rumors as they break, are then broken, and replaced by others that are then also debunked. It's the nitty-gritty of baseball as deals arise and then crushed to death before consummation, like baby stars in a black hole. The Pujols situation, by the way, will resolve by the time you read this. Unless it doesn't. As of 4am in the east, this article by Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports was the latest on the situation. By the time you read it it'll be as out of date as that six old carton of milk in the back of your fridge. You really should throw that out, by the way.
As for the Red Sox, good news, David Ortiz is coming back for sure! Probably! The Red Sox have offered Ortiz a two year contract for $18 million as well as arbitration, which should he accept it, would likely mean a contract for next season at around $14 million. The math there is pretty easy to figure out. The only wild card in the equation is a potential other team, but considering what has been reported in that vein (nothing) and the fact that any team to sign Ortiz would have to give up their first round pick to the Red Sox (again, probably, depending on their draft position and who else they sign this off season) Ortiz is pretty certain to return to Boston in 2012. In any form that's good news.
More good news everyone! Andrew Miller will return! Probably! The Red Sox did re-sign him to a one year contract, but the contract isn't guaranteed. If Miller doesn't pitch well in Spring Training, and let's be serious, why would he, the Red Sox can cut him. They can also cut him if they have a change of heart, or if they acquire another pitcher who can throw strikes some of the time, or if, God forbid, they eat some bad fish. Point is, no risk here. In an ideal world Miller could be the second lefty out of the bullpen, but that's only in an ideal world, defined as one where he doesn't walk everyone he comes in contact with.* So, you know, don't put any money on that or anything.
*You know what Andrew Miller is going to do after baseball? He's going to make walkers for old people. He's also going to stay involved with his big investment in Johnny Walker whiskey. Then he hopes to one day walk on the moon.
Beyond the Boxscore has been running a series called All True Teams. They recently hit up the Red Sox with this article, which looks at the greatest Red Sox ever to spend their entire careers with the team. I'm not sure why players who played the vast majority of their time with one organization are omitted, but they are. So no Pedro, and no Johnny Pesky either. If ever there were "true Red Sox" those two were.
Finally, there was a disturbance in the twitter-verse this afternoon after it was revealed that the Red Sox had won the bidding for Japanese shortstop Hiroyuki Nakajima. It took a good ten to fifteen minutes to shoot that rumor dead and during that time we all wondered what the heck the Red Sox were doing. Turns out, nothing. Sometimes ignorance really is better.