First we thought the extra Wild Card slots weren't going to happen. Then Bud Selig piped up to say they're probably coming this season. Now, strike that. According to ESPN's Jayson Stark (via SB Nation's Grant Brisbee) the two additional Wild Card spots in the playoffs may not happen this season because so much of the season has already been planned. Don't hold your breath though, because after all this back and forth, I'll bet there's some announcement about adding the Wild Cards in question to this season's schedule by the end of March. That's how Uncle Bud rolls.
Ben Cherington told us all yesterday to stop thinking about getting another starting pitcher because it's "unlikely (via Hardball Talk)" to happen. This came moments after Hardball Talk had published an article titled, "The Red Sox May Still Have A Shot At Roy Oswalt." The take-away here is that nobody has any idea what is going on.
Tim Britton of the Providence Journal covers the statement from the GM and its implications. Tim does his typical great job* but I should reiterate that just about all statements made by GMs, especially guys like Cherington and Epstein before him, are calculated for effect. That isn't to say Cherington isn't telling the truth, just that there is likely an ulterior motive involved in making the statement to the media beyond simply informing fans not to expect another starting pitcher to walk through that door.
*An aside: We Sox fans really are lucky to enjoy such great coverage from local media like Mr. Britton and his colleague Brian MacPherson at the ProJo, Chad Finn at the Globe, and of course Alex Speier at WEEI.com. It really is the golden age of sports writing, and not just here at OTM.
If you live in the Boston area, that little jolt you feel every weekday at 7:30am isn't from your coffee. Nope. It's Curt Schilling, opining away on some inane topic du jour. The finely coiffed Tom Verducci of Sports Illustrated spoke to Schilling about all manner of topics. Genius or blowhard, I find myself not caring so much about what he says because my mind drifts off to this.
Fire Brand honcho Chip Buck interviews and was interviewed by Matt Imbrogno of Yankee Analysts. The one where Chip answers questions about the Red Sox is here, and the one where he asks about the Yankees is here. It's almost like a cease fire, though once March rolls around that's out the door.Three great articles at Baseball Prospectus, all by former guests on the OTM Podcast:
Ben Lindbergh takes a look at a claim made by Uber-Agent Scott Boras and finds it... well, misleading is probably the right term. Ben also recently wrote a great piece looking at managers and whether or not they should have some of their responsibilities delegated to other assistants, like in football, to extract the maximum value from both the coaches but the players as well. (Ben is on fire.)
Jason Wojciechowski wrote an entertaining piece on stepping into the role of a journalist at Oakland A's fanfest.
Finally, over at Replacement Level Yankees Weblog, SG has run another 10 billion (or something) simulations of the 2012 season. The Red Sox finished in second place, two games behind the Yankees and two ahead of Tampa. It looks like, if those numbers are close to correct, Roy Oswalt or Edwin Jackson could make a very big difference were they actually coming to Boston. Which, of course, they aren't. Duh.